Deep State

The Pronk Pops Show 999, November 10, 2017, Story 1: President Trump Delivers America First Address With Bilateral Trade Agreements With Nations That Want Free But Fair Trade At The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam — Videos — Story 2: From Crying To Screaming — Big Lie Media Joins Lying Lunatic Left Losers —   Sky Screaming — Trump Still President — Videos — Story 3: Let Voters of Alabama Decide Who They Want For Their Senator — Alabama Republican Senate Candidate, Roy Moore, Denies Accusations Made in Washington Post Attack Article  vs. Democratic Senate Candidate, Doug Jones, Supporter for Pro Abortion Planned Parenthood and Women Should Have The Right To Choose Killing Their Babies in The Womb — Denies Civil Rights Protection of Life To Babies Before Birth — Videos — Story 4: Remembering The Veterans in Music — Lili Marleen — We’ll Meet Again — Sky Pilot — We Gotta Get Out Of This Place — Paint it Black  – – War — Where Have All the Flowers Gone? — Blowing In The Wind –Videos

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Story 1: President Trump Delivers America First Address At Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Da Nang, Vietman — Videos —

President Trump Speech in VIETNAM at the APEC Summit 11/10/17

President Trump delivers remarks at the APEC CEO Summit in Da Nang, Vietnam. – President Donald Trump adresses the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in Vietnam – President Trump Speech at APEC Summit in Vietnam 11/10/17

President Trump gives fiery speech in Vietnam

President Trump gives fiery speech in Vietnam

Remarks by President Trump at APEC CEO Summit | Da Nang, Vietnam

Ariyana Da Nang Exhibition Center

Da Nang, Vietnam

1:19 P.M. ICT

PRESIDENT TRUMP: What an honor it is to be here in Vietnam — in the very heart of the Indo-Pacific — to address the people and business leaders of this region.

This has already been a remarkable week for the United States in this wonderful part of the world. Starting from Hawaii, Melania and I traveled to Japan, South Korea, and China, and now to Vietnam, to be here with all of you today.

Before we begin, I want to address all those affected by Typhoon Damrey. Americans are praying for you and for your recovery in the months ahead. Our hearts are united with the Vietnamese people suffering in the aftermath of this terrible storm.

This trip comes at an exciting time for America. A new optimism has swept all across our country. Economic growth has reached 3.2 percent, and going higher. Unemployment is at its lowest level in 17 years. The stock market is at an all-time high. And the whole world is lifted by America’s renewal.

Everywhere I’ve traveled on this journey, I’ve had the pleasure of sharing the good news from America. But even more, I’ve had the honor of sharing our vision for a free and open Indo-Pacific — a place where sovereign and independent nations, with diverse cultures and many different dreams, can all prosper side-by-side, and thrive in freedom and in peace.

I am so thrilled to be here today at APEC, because this organization was founded to help achieve that very purpose. America stands as a proud member of the community of nations who make a home on the Pacific. We have been an active partner in this region since we first won independence ourselves.

In 1784, the first American ship sailed to China from the newly independent United States. It went loaded with goods to sell in Asia, and it came back full of porcelain and tea. Our first president, George Washington himself, owned a set of tableware from that ship.

In 1804, Thomas Jefferson sent the explorers, Lewis and Clark, on an expedition to our Pacific Coast. They were the first of the millions of Americans who ventured west to live out America’s manifest destiny across our vast continent.

In 1817, our Congress approved the first full-time Pacific development [deployment] of an American warship. That initial naval presence soon grew into a squadron, and then a fleet, to guarantee freedom of navigation for the growing number of ships, braving the high seas to reach markets in the Philippines, Singapore, and in India.

In 1818, we began our relationship with the Kingdom of Thailand, and 15 years later our two countries signed a treaty of friendship and commerce — our first with an Asian nation.

In the next century, when imperialist powers threatened this region, the United States pushed back at great cost to ourselves. We understood that security and prosperity depended on it.

We have been friends, partners, and allies in the Indo-Pacific for a long, long time, and we will be friends, partners, and allies for a long time to come.

As old friends in the region, no one has been more delighted than America to witness, to help, and to share in the extraordinary progress you have made over the last half-century.

What the countries and economies represented here today have built in this part of the world is nothing short of miraculous. The story of this region in recent decades is the story of what is possible when people take ownership of their future.

Few would have imagined just a generation ago that leaders of these nations would come together here in Da Nang to deepen our friendships, expand our partnerships, and celebrate the amazing achievements of our people.

This city was once home to an American military base, in a country where many Americans and Vietnamese lost their lives in a very bloody war.

Today, we are no longer enemies; we are friends. And this port city is bustling with ships from around the world. Engineering marvels, like the Dragon Bridge, welcome the millions who come to visit Da Nang’s stunning beaches, shining lights, and ancient charms.

In the early 1990s, nearly half of Vietnam survived on just a few dollars a day, and one in four did not have any electricity. Today, an opening Vietnamese economy is one of the fastest-growing economies on Earth. It has already increased more than 30 times over, and the Vietnamese students rank among the best students in the world. (Applause.) And that is very impressive.

This is the same story of incredible transformation that we have seen across the region. Indonesians for decades have been building domestic and democratic institutions to govern their vast chain of more than 13,000 islands. Since the 1990s, Indonesia’s people have lifted themselves from poverty to become one of the fastest-growing nations of the G20. Today, it is the third-largest democracy on Earth.

The Philippines has emerged as a proud nation of strong and devout families. For 11 consecutive years, the World Economic Forum has ranked the Philippines first among Asian countries in closing the gender gap and embracing women leaders in business and in politics. (Applause.)

Kingdom of Thailand has become an upper middle-income country in less than a generation. Its majestic capital of Bangkok is now the most visited city on Earth. And that is very impressive. Not too many people here are from Thailand. (Applause.)

Malaysia has rapidly developed through recent decades, and it is now ranked as one of the best places in the world to do business.

In Singapore, citizens born to parents who survived on $500 dollars a day [year] are now among the highest earners in the world — a transformation made possible by the vision of Lee Kwan Yew’s vision of honest governance and the rule of law. (Applause.) And his great son is now doing an amazing job.

As I recently observed in South Korea, the people of that Republic took a poor country ravaged by war, and in just a few decades turned it into one of the wealthiest democracies on Earth. Today, South Koreans enjoy higher incomes than the citizens of many European Union countries. It was great spending time with President Moon.

Everyone knows of China’s impressive achievements over the past several decades. During this period — and it was a period of great market reforms — large parts of China experienced rapid economic growth, jobs boomed, and more than 800 million citizens rose out of poverty. I just left China this morning and had a really productive meeting and a wonderful time with our gracious host, President Xi.

And, as I saw on my first stop of this trip, in Japan we see a dynamic democracy in a land of industrial, technological, and cultural wonders. In fewer than 60 years, that island nation has produced 24 Nobel Prize winners for achievements in physics, chemistry, medicine, literature, and the promotion of peace. (Applause.) President Abe and I agree on so much.

In the broader region, countries outside of APEC are also making great strides in this new chapter for the Indo-Pacific.

India is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its independence. It is a sovereign democracy, as well as — think of this — over 1 billion people. It’s the largest democracy in the world. (Applause.) Since India opened its economy, it has achieved astounding growth and a new world of opportunity for its expanding middle class. And Prime Minister Modi has been working to bring that vast country, and all of its people, together as one. And he is working at it very, very successfully, indeed.

As we can see, in more and more places throughout this region, citizens of sovereign and independent nations have taken greater control of their destinies and unlocked the potential of their people.

They’ve pursued visions of justice and accountability, promoted private property and the rule of law, and embraced systems that value hard work and individual enterprise.

They built businesses, they built cities, they built entire countries from the ground up. Many of you in this room have taken part in these great, uplifting national projects of building. They have been your projects from inception to completion, from dreams to reality.

With your help, this entire region has emerged — and it is still emerging — as a beautiful constellation of nations, each its own bright star, satellites to none — and each one, a people, a culture, a way of life, and a home.

Those of you who have lived through these transformations understand better than anyone the value of what you have achieved. You also understand that your home is your legacy, and you must always protect it.

In the process of your economic development, you’ve sought commerce and trade with other nations, and forged partnerships based on mutual respect and directed toward mutual gain.

Today, I am here to offer a renewed partnership with America to work together to strengthen the bonds of friendship and commerce between all of the nations of the Indo-Pacific, and together, to promote our prosperity and security.

At the core of this partnership, we seek robust trade relationships rooted in the principles of fairness and reciprocity. When the United States enters into a trading relationship with other countries or other peoples, we will, from now on, expect that our partners will faithfully follow the rules just like we do. We expect that markets will be open to an equal degree on both sides, and that private industry, not government planners, will direct investment.

Unfortunately, for too long and in too many places, the opposite has happened. For many years, the United States systematically opened our economy with few conditions. We lowered or ended tariffs, reduced trade barriers, and allowed foreign goods to flow freely into our country.

But while we lowered market barriers, other countries didn’t open their markets to us.

AUDIENCE MEMBER: (Inaudible.)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Funny. They must have been one of the beneficiaries. (Applause.) What country do you come from, sir?

Countries were embraced by the World Trade Organization, even if they did not abide by its stated principles. Simply put, we have not been treated fairly by the World Trade Organization. Organizations like the WTO can only function properly when all members follow the rules and respect the sovereign rights of every member. We cannot achieve open markets if we do not ensure fair market access. In the end, unfair trade undermines us all.

The United States promoted private enterprise, innovation, and industry. Other countries used government-run industrial planning and state-owned enterprises.

We adhered to WTO principles on protecting intellectual property and ensuring fair and equal market access. They engaged in product dumping, subsidized goods, currency manipulation, and predatory industrial policies.

They ignored the rules to gain advantage over those who followed the rules, causing enormous distortions in commerce and threatening the foundations of international trade itself.

Such practices, along with our collective failure to respond to them, hurt many people in our country and also in other countries. Jobs, factories, and industries were stripped out of the United States and out of many countries in addition. And many opportunities for mutually beneficial investments were lost because people could not trust the system.

We can no longer tolerate these chronic trade abuses, and we will not tolerate them. Despite years of broken promises, we were told that someday soon everyone would behave fairly and responsibly. People in America and throughout the Indo-Pacific region have waited for that day to come. But it never has, and that is why I am here today — to speak frankly about our challenges and work toward a brighter future for all of us.

I recently had an excellent trip to China, where I spoke openly and directly with President Xi about China’s unfair trade practices and the enormous trade deficits they have produced with the United States. I expressed our strong desire to work with China to achieve a trading relationship that is conducted on a truly fair and equal basis.

The current trade imbalance is not acceptable. I do not blame China or any other country, of which there are many, for taking advantage of the United States on trade. If their representatives are able to get away with it, they are just doing their jobs. I wish previous administrations in my country saw what was happening and did something about it. They did not, but I will.

From this day forward, we will compete on a fair and equal basis. We are not going to let the United States be taken advantage of anymore. I am always going to put America first the same way that I expect all of you in this room to put your countries first. (Applause.)

The United States is prepared to work with each of the leaders in this room today to achieve mutually beneficial commerce that is in the interest of both your countries and mine. That is the message I am here to deliver.

I will make bilateral trade agreements with any Indo-Pacific nation that wants to be our partner and that will abide by the principles of fair and reciprocal trade. What we will no longer do is enter into large agreements that tie our hands, surrender our sovereignty, and make meaningful enforcement practically impossible.

Instead, we will deal on a basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit. We will respect your independence and your sovereignty. We want you to be strong, prosperous, and self-reliant, rooted in your history, and branching out toward the future. That is how we will thrive and grow together, in partnerships of real and lasting value.

But for this — and I call it the Indo-Pacific dream — if it’s going to be realized, we must ensure that all play by the rules, which they do not right now. Those who do will be our closest economic partners. Those who do not can be certain that the United States will no longer turn a blind eye to violations, cheating, or economic aggression. Those days are over.

We will no longer tolerate the audacious theft of intellectual property. We will confront the destructive practices of forcing businesses to surrender their technology to the state, and forcing them into joint ventures in exchange for market access.

We will address the massive subsidizing of industries through colossal state-owned enterprises that put private competitors out of business — happening all the time.

We will not remain silent as American companies are targeted by state-affiliated actors for economic gain, whether through cyberattacks, corporate espionage, or other anti-competitive practices. We will encourage all nations to speak out loudly when the principles of fairness and reciprocity are violated.

We know it is in America’s interests to have partners throughout this region that are thriving, prosperous, and dependent on no one. We will not make decisions for the purpose of power or patronage. We will never ask our partners to surrender their sovereignty, privacy, and intellectual property, or to limit contracts to state-owned suppliers.

We will find opportunities for our private sector to work with yours and to create jobs and wealth for us all. We seek strong partners, not weak partners. We seek strong neighbors, not weak neighbors. Above all, we seek friendship, and we don’t dream of domination.

For this reason, we are also refocusing our existing development efforts. We are calling on the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to direct their efforts toward high-quality infrastructure investment that promotes economic growth.

The United States will also do its part. We are also committed to reforming our development finance institutions so that they better incentivize private sector investment in your economies, and provide strong alternatives to state-directed initiatives that come with many strings attached.

The United States has been reminded time and time again in recent years that economic security is not merely related to national security. Economic security is national security. It is vital — (applause) — to our national strength.

We also know that we will not have lasting prosperity if we do not confront grave threats to security, sovereignty, and stability facing our world today.

Earlier this week, I addressed the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea and urged every responsible nation to stand united in declaring that every single step the North Korean regime takes toward more weapons is a step it takes into greater and greater danger. The future of this region and its beautiful people must not be held hostage to a dictator’s twisted fantasies of violent conquest and nuclear blackmail.

In addition, we must uphold principles that have benefitted all of us, like respect for the rule of law — (applause) — individual rights, and freedom of navigation and overflight, including open shipping lanes. Three principles and these principles — (applause) — create stability and build trust, security, and prosperity among like-minded nations.

We must also deal decisively with other threats to our security and the future of our children, such as criminal cartels, human smuggling, drugs, corruption, cybercrime, and territorial expansion. As I have said many times before: All civilized people must come together to drive out terrorists and extremists from our societies, stripping them of funding, territory, and ideological support. We must stop radical Islamic terrorism.

So let us work together for a peaceful, prosperous, and free Indo-Pacific. I am confident that, together, every problem we have spoken about today can be solved and every challenge we face can be overcome.

If we succeed in this effort, if we seize the opportunities before us and ground our partnerships firmly in the interests of our own people, then together we will achieve everything we dream for our nations and for our children.

We will be blessed with a world of strong, sovereign, and independent nations, thriving in peace and commerce with others. They will be places where we can build our homes and where families, businesses, and people can flourish and grow.

If we do this, will we look at the globe half a century from now, and we will marvel at the beautiful constellation of nations — each different, each unique, and each shining brightly and proudly throughout this region of the world. And just as when we look at the stars in the night sky, the distance of time will make most of the challenges we have and that we spoke of today seem very, very small.

What will not seem small — what is not small — will be the big choices that all of our nations will have to make to keep their stars glowing very, very brightly.

In America, like every nation that has won and defended its sovereignty, we understand that we have nothing so precious as our birthright, our treasured independence, and our freedom.

That knowledge has guided us throughout American history. It has inspired us to sacrifice and innovate. And it is why today, hundreds of years after our victory in the American Revolution, we still remember the words of an American founder and our second President of the United States, John Adams. As an old man, just before his death, this great patriot was asked to offer his thoughts on the 50th anniversary of glorious American freedom. He replied with the words: independence forever.

It’s a sentiment that burns in the heart of every patriot and every nation. Our hosts here in Vietnam have known this sentiment not just for 200 years, but for nearly 2,000 years. (Applause.) It was around 40 AD when two Vietnamese sisters, the Trung Sisters, first awakened the spirit of the people of this land. It was then that, for the first time, the people of Vietnam stood for your independence and your pride.

Today, the patriots and heroes — (applause) — of our histories hold the answers to the great questions of our future and our time. They remind us of who we are and what we are called to do.

Together, we have it in our power to lift our people and our world to new heights — heights that have never been attained,

So let us choose a future of patriotism, prosperity, and pride. Let us choose wealth and freedom over poverty and servitude. Let us choose a free and open Indo-Pacific.

Finally, let us never forget the world has many places — (applause) — many dreams, and many roads. But in all of the world, there is no place like home.

so, for family, for country, for freedom, for history, and for the glory of God, protect your home, defend your home, and love your home today and for all time. (Applause.)

Thank you. God Bless You. God Bless the Pacific region. And God Bless the United States of America. Thank you very much. Thank you. (Applause.)

END

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/11/10/remarks-president-trump-apec-ceo-summit-da-nang-vietnam

 Story 2: From Crying To Screaming — Big Lie Media Joins Lying Lunatic Left Losers —   Sky Screaming — One Year After Trump Elected President — Videos 

Protesters ‘Scream At The Sky’ On Anniversary Of Trump Election

Raw video: Protesters scream at the sky on Trump election anniversary

Liberals scream at sky on anniversary of Hillary’s loss

Trump protestors ‘scream helplessly’ in Washington Square Park to mark one year election anniversary

Peak Moral Outrage Achieved by the “Left”: Screaming at the Sky Helplessly Due to Trump

Ben Shapiro – The Reason Why The left Can’t Stop Screaming At The Sky

Ben Shapiro – The Left Have Officially Lost Their Minds

One Year Later: America Reacts to the Election of Donald Trump

Trump: One Year Later

Story 3: Let Voters of Alabama Decide Who They Want For Their Senator — Alabama Republican Senate Candidate, Roy Moore, Denies Accusations Made in Washington Post Attack Article  vs. Democratic Senate Candidate, Doug Jones, Supporter for Pro Abortion Planned Parenthood  and Women Should Have The Right To Choose Killing Her Baby in The Womb — Denies Civil Rights Protection of Life To Babies Before Birth — Videos

“It NEVER Happened!” Roy Moore DEFENDS Himself in NEW Hannity Interview

Roy Moore responds to allegations of sexual misconduct

Hannity: Don’t rush to judgement over Roy Moore

Roy Moore slams Washington Post report as ‘fake news’

David Wohl: Allegations against Roy Moore don’t hold water

Katie Hopkins on Roy Moore Sexual Assault Allegations

Michelle Malkin on Roy Moore and the NFL

Judge Roy Moore’s Victory Speech in Alabama (Sweet Home)

Judge Roy S. Moore

Acknowledge God: The Story of Roy Moore

Roy Moore for Senate

Born to Fight

Defeat the Deceivers

“This is Going to Be About the People of Alabama”

Dem Senate Hopeful Doug Jones Explains When He Becomes ‘Right To Lifer’: Only ‘Once A Baby Is Born’

Who is Doug Jones, and can he defeat Roy Moore in conservative Alabama?

Doug Jones still trails Roy Moore in Senate race. NBC 15 News, WPMI

Doug Jones commits political suicide in Alabama Senate Race!

Interview with Doug Jones

Had Enough?

Doug Jones: Birmingham changed when bad things happened

Roy Moore Denies Teen Sex Abuse Allegations in Interview With Hannity: ‘It Never Happened’

Roy Moore is continuing to deny the blockbuster allegations that he pursued relationships with four teenage women while he was in his 30s.

“It never happened,” Moore said Friday on The Sean Hannity Show

In his first interview since the Washington Post published the explosive claims, Moore — the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in Alabama — appeared on Sean Hannity‘s radio show Friday. The former Alabama Supreme Court justice told the host that

“These allegations are completely false and misleading,” Moore said. “But more than that, it hurts me personally because, you know I’m a father. I have one daughter. I have five granddaughters. And I have a special concern for the protections of young ladies. This is really hard to get on radio and explain this. These allegations are just completely false.”

A new poll taken just after the allegations were made public showed Moore in a dead heat with Democratic opponent Doug Jones — numbers that can only be considered incredibly weak for a Republican in Alabama, which has not had a Democratic Senator since 1994.

Many prominent Republicans are calling on Moore to step aside. But the Republican nominee says he’s staying in the race.

Moore said that he believed the allegations were politically motivated.

“I believe they’re politically motivated,” Moore said. “I believe they were brought on to stop a very successful campaign. And that’s what they’re doing.

Hannity went through the Post story and detailed the allegations of the four accusers. Moore claimed to know two of four, but denied any instance of misconduct with either. In response to the allegations involving Debbie Wesson Gibson, Moore said,

“I don’t remember going out on dates. I knew her as a friend. If we did go out on dates, then we did. But I don’t remember that.”

Moore released another statement during his interview, presented in full below via Phil Mattingly of CNN.

Listen above, via The Sean Hannity Show. (You can check out part two here.)

https://www.mediaite.com/online/roy-moore-denies-teen-sex-abuse-allegations-in-interview-with-hannity-it-never-happened/

 

Roy Moore is pictured. | AP Photo
Roy Moore has adamantly denied the allegations and insisted he will remain in the race. | Brynn Anderson/AP

Moore defiant as Senate Republicans sever ties

The GOP Senate campaign arm withdrew from a fundraising pact with the party’s Alabama nominee.

Updated

But Moore and his backers remained defiant, portraying accusations that he initiated sexual contact with teenagers decades ago as a conspiracy by his opponents to drag down his candidacy.

The move by the National Republican Senatorial Committee came a day after The Washington Post reported the accounts of four women who alleged that Moore, as a man in his 30s, had pursued them as teenagers. One of the woman said he initiated sexual contact with her as a 14-year-old.

Two Republican senators rescinded their endorsements of Moore on Friday evening, with Steve Daines of Montana and Mike Lee of Utah pulling their support.

“Having read the detailed description of the incidents, as well as the response from Judge Moore and his campaign, I can no longer endorse his candidacy for the US Senate,” Lee wrote on Twitter.

Pressure also intensified on Friday for Moore to exit the race from national Republicans who opposed him in the primary and have never felt comfortable with the controversial former judge.

“Moore is unfit for office and should step aside,” Mitt Romney, the party’s 2012 nominee, wrote on Twitter.

The Alabama Republican, however, has adamantly denied the allegations and insisted he will remain in the race.

Appearing on Sean Hannity’s radio show on Friday afternoon, Moore said he did not know his accuser, Leigh Corfman.

“I’ve never talked to her, never had any contacts with her. Allegations of sexual misconduct with her are completely false. I believe they’re politically motivated,” he said. “I believe they’re brought only to stop a very successful campaign, and that’s what they’re doing. I have never known this woman or anything.”

Moore’s spouse, Kayla, wrote a fundraising appeal in which she called on supporters to rally around her husband’s candidacy.

“Knowing you’re standing with him in his corner helps lift Roy’s spirits and encourages him to continue slugging it out with everything he’s got against the forces of evil,” she wrote.

While the Senate GOP campaign arm has ended its fundraising arrangement with Moore, he still has one with the Republican National Committee. Top officials with the committee, who have been in talks with the White House, are still trying to determine whether to sever its ties with the candidate. The RNC also has field staffers in Alabama.

After the story broke on Thursday, RNC Chairwoman Ronna Romney McDaniel spoke by phone with White House political director Bill Stepien. Yet as of Friday afternoon, she still had not connected with President Donald Trump, who is traveling abroad in Asia.

Throughout his Alabama Senate primary against Sen. Luther Strange, Moore pummeled the Republican establishment practically on a daily basis. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and strategist Karl Rove were his favorite punching bags.

But there was no love lost in either direction. The NRSC campaigned against Moore, and a McConnell-backed super PAC spent millions casting Moore, who was twice removed from the Alabama Supreme Court for defying federal orders, as unfit for the Senate.

Nonetheless, the two sides made up, at least formally, after the election. In late October, Moore’s campaign entered into a fundraising pact with the RNC, the NRSC and the Alabama Republican Party.

But paperwork filed with the Federal Election Commission on Friday showed that the NRSC is no longer listed as part of a joint fundraising committee with Moore’s campaign.

“The allegations against Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore are deeply troubling. If these allegations are found to be true, Roy Moore must drop out of the Alabama special Senate election,” NRSC Chairman Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) said in a statement Thursday.

The joint fund, dubbed Alabama 2017 Senate Victory Committee, allowed Moore to raise $80,500 at a time from individual contributors.

Moore is running against Democrat Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney, to fill the seat of now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions in the staunchly conservative state. The election is on Dec. 12.

The revelations have given Democrats hope in a race few thought was winnable for the party. Democrats took no new significant public steps to support Jones on Thursday or Friday, though a series of prominent Senate Democrats sent out fundraising emails for him.

The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has been monitoring the race closely for months, and remains in close contact with Jones’ campaign team. But national Democrats are wary of weighing in heavily given the party’s toxic brand in the state.

Republicans are racing to find ways to keep their hold on the seat, which was occupied by Jeff Sessions until he became attorney general. Some in the party are encouraging Strange, a former state attorney general who was temporarily appointed to the seat in February, to wage a long-shot write-in campaign.

Yet Strange has expressed little interest in the idea, said one person with direct knowledge of the discussions.

Moore and his supporters, including Breitbart chief Steve Bannon, have tried to turn the crisis into a rallying cry for his supporters.

In his Hannity appearance, Moore said his campaign had launched an “investigation” into the emergence of the story and found evidence of “collusion,” though he did not elaborate on what he meant.

“This is a hit job from the ultra-liberal Washington press seeking to not only destroy Judge Moore but the conservative movement sweeping America,” said Moore campaign chairman Bill Armistead. “Ultimately, the truth will be known about what is going on to keep Judge Moore out of the Senate.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/10/nrsc-drops-out-of-fundraising-agreement-with-moore-244783

 

Ed Henry on Moore accusations: I’m not buying it

Ed Henry
State Rep. Ed Henry, R-Hartselle, is seen in this Times file photo.

Amanda Shavers-Davis | The Cullman Times

State Rep. Ed Henry lashed out at Roy Moore’s accusers and Republicans who said the U.S. Senate candidate should back out of the special election in an interview Thursday evening with The Times.

Henry, R-Hartselle, who represents a portion of Cullman County, said he suspects the timing of the stories told by five women about Moore’s alleged sexual advancements 40 years ago, as told to The Washington Post, are politically motivated as the Dec. 12 special election nears. Moore will face Democrat Doug Jones, a former U.S. attorney.

“The idea that accusations like this would stop his campaign is ludicrous. If this was a habit, like you’ve read with Bill Cosby and millions of dollars paid to settle cases and years of witnesses, that would be one thing,” Henry said. “You cannot tell me there hasn’t been an opportunity through the years to make these accusations with as many times as he’s (Moore) run (for office) and been in the news.

Henry said he believes legal action should be considered against Moore’s accusers, finding their story unbelievable.

“If they believe this man is predatory, they are guilty of allowing him to exist for 40 years. I think someone should prosecute and go after them. You can’t be a victim 40 years later, in my opinion,” Henry said.

The Alabama lawmaker said Moore is a threat to “establishment” lawmakers on the national level, including in the Republican Party.

“(Senate Majority Leader Mitch) McConnell and (Arizona Sen.) John McCain, what they said about Moore ending his campaign just really gets to me. They are two of the biggest goobers we have in Washington D.C.,” Henry said. “Even (U.S. Sen. Richard) Shelby was a coward with his comments. He’s not going to like Roy Moore because Shelby was a Democrat for a long time. Everyone close to the establishment is going to love this.”

Henry said he believes Moore’s accusers have been stoked by the Democratic Party and may be paid money eventually for their actions.

“I’m not buying it,” Henry said. “It’s too easy for someone to make these accusations. It’s foolish to go down that road, it’s like what if a frog had wings, he wouldn’t bump his ass every time he jumps.”

The winner of the Dec. 12 election will fill the seat vacated by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The Senate seat is currently held by Sen. Luther Strange, who was appointed to the position by former Gov. Robert Bentley. Strange lost to Moore in the Republican primary runoff.

http://www.cullmantimes.com/news/ed-henry-on-moore-accusations-i-m-not-buying-it/article_ddb8650a-c5cd-11e7-be2c-1f9ffb09ccc5.html

Abortion clearly a ‘difficult issue’ for Alabama Democrats as Doug Jones pushes pro-choice stance

U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones at an event at the BJCC in Birmingham, Alabama, on Tuesday October 3, 2017. (Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com).
U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones at an event at the BJCC in Birmingham, Alabama, on Tuesday October 3, 2017. (Joe Songer | jsonger@al.com).

After Josh Crowley listened to Doug Jones’ interview with NBC’s Chuck Todd late last month, he took to Facebook and urged his friends to ignore the Senate hopeful’s pro-choice stance on abortion.

“Too many Christians look at just the issue of abortion in making their political decisions, but there is so much more that has the potential for legislation at the national level,” said Crowley, 27, a University of South Alabama student who describes himself as pro-life, and a Jones supporter. “I think it’s obvious that the abortion issue can really get in the way for any liberal candidates.”

Jones, the Democratic opponent of strongly conservative Roy Moore in the Dec. 12 Senate election, raised some eyebrows among political observers in Alabama and elsewhere after he said during the Todd interview that he would not support legislation to ban abortion after 20 weeks of pregnancy. The U.S. House approved a similar measure,largely along partisan lines, which would make the practice illegal.

The Jones campaign, last week, doubled-down on the candidate’s pro-choice platform: “I support a woman’s right and freedom to choose what to do with her body. This is a decision between a woman, her doctor and her Lord. Who am I to tell a woman what to do with her body?”

Jones, in a statement, added, “I also support Planned Parenthood because they provide cancer screening, breast exams, contraceptives, prenatal care, and other vital, sometimes life-saving, services to hundreds of thousands of women. These are my beliefs.”

‘Liberal view’

Jones’ statement underscores a vexing cultural issue conundrum for Democrats in Alabama, who haven’t won a statewide race in nearly a decade and haven’t occupied one of the state’s two Senate seats since 1992. But with Jones, many Democrats believe, they have a good opportunity of pulling an electoral upset over Moore, who is a far-right ex-judge twice booted from the bench for violating federal orders.

“Republicans have to make this election be about abortion and the national Democratic Party because they know that if his election is about their candidate, they stand a good chance at losing,” said state Rep. Craig Ford, D-Gadsden, the former minority leader of the Alabama House. “They see abortion as a way to keep moderate Republicans who are turned off by Roy Moore from voting for a Democrat.”

Abortion politics in Alabama seem to weigh heavily in the Republican Party’s favor. Alabama is one of the top states in the U.S. for voters who identify as Christians. Nearly half identify as evangelical Protestants – a group that largely consists of white and conservative-leaning voters.

According to the most recent Pew Research Center’s study, 58 percent of Alabama residents believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, while only 37 percent believe it should be legal. Only Arkansas (at 60 percent) and Mississippi (at 59 percent) have a higher percentage of residents who want to criminalize abortions.

Alabama’s statistics contrast with the national split over the issue, according to a Gallup poll taken in early May. But the same poll showed that 71 percent of Democrats call themselves “pro-choice,” the highest that statistic has been in at least 17 years.

Republicans, including Moore – the former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice who won last month’s GOP runoff against Senator Luther Strange, for the right to face off against Jones – are on the attack.

A Moore campaign spokeswoman, last week, said Jones’ comments are “the most liberal, extremist view” on abortion.

“Doug Jones’ views on abortion are way out of line on how a larger majority of Alabamians feel on the issue,” said Brent Buchanan, a Montgomery-based Republican strategist. “There is a strong contingent of people in our state which this is a make or break issue for them.”

Democratic supporters, however, are countering with appreciation toward Jones’ stance, which they believe is a “genuine response.”

Zac McCrary, a Democratic pollster based in Montgomery, said he believes most Alabamians are “sort of the middle” of the issue, and while they support some abortion restrictions, they do not want government interfering in someone’s personal choices.

‘Difficult’ issue

Ford, though, acknowledges the difficulty the issue poses for Democrats not only in Alabama, but elsewhere. He noted the differences between national Democratic leaders like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, who support inclusion of pro-life Democrats into the party fold, and the National Democratic Party led by Chairman Tom Perez, who said in April that pro-choice is “non-negotiable” and shouldn’t vary by geography.

The abortion debate for Democrats comes ahead of the 2018 midterm elections, when the party defends a number of Senate seats in traditionally red states.

“The National Democratic Party has made it difficult for pro-life people to feel welcome in the party,” said Ford. “Most of the elected officials who have switched parties in Alabama over the last six or seven years have cited abortion as a key reason for leaving. It’s definitely a problem for Democrats in conservative states.”

Thomas Groome, a professor of theology and religious studies at Boston University, addressed the issue in a New York Times piece in March, when he blamed Democrat Hillary Clinton’s struggles nationally to the abortion issue.

“It’s almost like the Democrats have made it a litmus test to support Roe v. Wade,” Groome said, referring to the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case which gave women the right to choose whether to have an abortion during the first trimester. “To say ‘I’m supporting Roe v. Wade,’ that opinion is so dated now. Eighty percent of people don’t want to criminalize abortion, but a majority favors some sort of time limit (before receiving one).

Matthew Tyson, a marketing strategist and a member of the Calhoun County Democratic Committee, is a pro-life Democrat who has done research with Democrats for Life of America. But he, too, has faced backlash from other liberals and progressives who have told him that he has no place within the Democratic Party.

“The fact that Democrats put so much emphasis on abortion has to be one of the worst branding mistakes in the last 50 years,” he said.

He said a main reasons why groups he supports continue to work with Democrats is because of their platform – living wages, health care, better sex education, child care support, etc. – “goes a long way to address those ‘root causes'” which leads to women seeking an abortion.

“Outlawing abortion won’t make abortions go away, nor will it do anything to help women in a crisis pregnancy,” he said. “I believe we need to first attack the social pressures that would require a woman to abort in the first place.”

Tyson and Groome both believe that the issue could hinder Jones’ prospects at winning the Senate seat. Polls show that Moore has a 6 to 8 percent lead over his Democratic rival, representing a much tighter race than Moore had against his GOP rival, Strange. Most pre-election polls showed Moore with a commanding lead over Strange ahead of the Sept. 26 runoff.

“I can’t for the life of me figure out why Jones would put such a clear pro-choice stance at the forefront of his campaign,” Tyson said. “I think perhaps he’s putting too much faith in the ‘kitchen table issues’ approach, and hoping that Alabamians will put aside their differences on abortion to come together for jobs, education, etc.”

He added, “Most of the people Jones needs to win … for them, it’s a make or break issue, so you cannot come out with the traditional Democratic stance, especially in Alabama. His stance may not drive Republicans to vote for Moore, but it could encourage them to just stay home. He can’t afford that.”

Groome said Jones should focus more on effective social services that lead to a reduction in abortions, such as easier access to birth control. He noted that abortion rates continue to decline, reaching historic lows in 2013 and 2014, and researchers believe it’s due to improved contraception use. Unintended pregnancies declined from 2008-2011,after experiencing an increase from 2001-2008.

“When you deny people social services, the abortion rate skyrockets,” Groome said. “The Republican policies cause abortions and it is too bad Mr. Jones didn’t say that.”

‘Political damage’

Longtime political observers in Alabama believe that Jones has waded into a difficult political position in Alabama, where hot-button cultural issues can swamp economic messages during a campaign.

Steve Flowers, a former Republican member of the Alabama House who now writes a political column that appears in more than 60 newspapers around the state, said Alabama voters historically tend to be “driven by race and religion” whereas “most states in the country are driven by economic issues.”

Indeed, Jones’ platform has focused more on economic issues, the environment, and civil rights. Jones, in the early 2000s, led the successful prosecution of two Ku Klux Klan members for their role in the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.

Jess Brown, a retired political science professor at Athens State University, said that Jones needs to maintain focus on economics. If social issues – such as abortion, same-sex marriage and gun rights – dominate the campaign, “then the Dems lose in Bama.”

William Stewart, a professor emeritus of political sciences at the University of Alabama, said that despite the recent massacre in Las Vegas, gun rights are likely not to rise to the top of social concerns during the Senate campaign. Instead, he said, abortion is likely to become a more discussed topic following the addition of conservative Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“With more Trump appointees on the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade could be reversed or at least modified to allow states to put more restrictions on abortions,” Stewart said. “No matter what bread and butter issues (Jones) discusses, Alabamians will not be persuaded if they are reminded of Mr. Jones’ position on abortion.”

Quin Hillyer, a conservative columnist based in Mobile, said that Jones’ position on abortion is a problem for his candidacy.

“Because he has stated his position so openly, there is almost nothing he can say now that would lessen the political damage his stance causes him,” Hillyer said.

Flowers said he wouldn’t be surprised to see Moore ads targeting the issue, especially if the race tightens between the two around Thanksgiving.

“You have to respect his position,” Flowers said about Jones. “But I don’t think he’s in the mainstream of Alabama.”

http://www.al.com/news/mobile/index.ssf/2017/10/post_114.html

Watch: Abortion Extremist Doug Jones Highlighted in Ad

A newly released ad by Great America Alliance is highlighting Democratic Senate candidate Doug Jones’s extreme view on abortion that holds unborn babies have no right to life until they are born.

The ad confronts Jones’s statement he is a “right-to-lifer” – once a baby is born.

As Breitbart News reported, Jones told MSNBC’s MTP Daily host Chuck Todd, “Well, look I am a firm believer that a woman should have the freedom to choose what happens to her own body. And I’m going to stand up for that and I’m going to make sure that that continues to happen.”

When asked about gruesome late-term abortions, Jones added he is “not in favor of anything that is going to infringe on a woman’s right and her freedom to choose.”

Judge Roy Moore – Jones’s Republican opponent – clearly states his pro-life position and his specific call for defunding Planned Parenthood on his campaign website:

I oppose abortion, same-sex marriage, civil unions, and all other threats to the traditional family order.

Federal funding for Planned Parenthood or any form of abortion should be stopped.

“Doug Jones is completely out of step with Alabama values and voters must know the disturbing truth about his position on this issue,” said Eric Beach, Co-chair of the Alliance. “Claiming to be ‘right to life’ when he holds such extreme views on abortion is absurd and insults the intelligence of the voters he claims he wants to represent. When Alabama knows the truth, his tenuous support in the state will drop like a rock.”

National pro-life organization Susan B. Anthony List President Marjorie Dannenfelser condemned Jones’s position in a statement:

Doug Jones clearly has no problem with the fact that the U.S. is only one of seven nations – alongside North Korea and China – to allow elective abortion on-demand after five months. His extremism puts him dramatically out of step with Alabama voters.

Dannenfelser adds that Alabama is one of 20 states that approved a limit on late-term abortions.

“Polls consistently show that a large majority of Americans – women in higher numbers than men – support bringing our national laws into line with basic human decency,” she said. “Jones is out to impress the big abortion lobby but this does nothing for his chances against Judge Moore.”

Jones faces Moore in a special election on December 12 to fill the Senate seat previously held by now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2017/10/19/abortion-extremist-doug-jones-highlighted-in-ad/

Story 4: Remembering The Veterans in Music — Lili Marleen — We’ll Meet Again — Sky Pilot — We Gotta Get Out Of This Place — Paint it Black  – – War — Where Have All the Flowers Gone? — Blowing In The Wind — Videos

Marlene Dietrich Lili Marleen (ENGLISH)

Lili Marleen.

Outside the barracks, by the corner light
I’ll always stand and wait for you at night
We will create a world for two
I’ll wait for you the whole night through
For you, Lili Marlene
For you, Lili Marlene

Bugler tonight don’t play the call to arms
I want another evening with her charms
Then we will say goodbye and part
I’ll always keep you in my heart
With me, Lili Marlene
With me, Lili Marlene

Give me a rose to show how much you care
Tie to the stem a lock of golden hair
Surely tomorrow, you’ll feel blue
But then will come a love that’s new
For you, Lili Marlene
For you, Lili Marlene

When we are marching in the mud and cold
And when my pack seems more than I can hold
My love for you renews my might
I’m warm again, my pack is light
It’s you, Lili Marlene
It’s you, Lili Marlene

My love for you renews my might
I’m warm again, my pack is light
It’s you, Lili Marlene
It’s you, Lili Marlene

Written by Hans Leip, Norbert Schultze • Copyright © EMI Music Publishing, Universal Music Publishing Group

Vera Lynn – Lili Marlene

Dame Vera Lynn, DBE (born Vera Margaret Welch on 20 March 1917) is an English singer and actress whose musical recordings and performances were enormously popular during World War II. During the war she toured Egypt, India and Burma, giving outdoor concerts for the troops. She was called “The Forces’ Sweetheart”; the songs most associated with her are “We’ll Meet Again” and “The White Cliffs of Dover”. She remained popular after the war, appearing on radio and television in the UK and the United States and recording such hits as “Auf Wiederseh’n Sweetheart” and “My Son, My Son”. In 2009 she became the oldest living artist to make it to No. 1 on the British album chart, at the age of 92. She has devoted much time and energy to charity work connected with ex-servicemen, disabled children and breast cancer. She is still held in great affection by veterans of the Second World War and in 2000 was named the Briton who best exemplified the spirit of the twentieth century.

We’ll Meet Again – Vera Lynn

We’ll Meet Again
We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day
Keep smiling through
Just like you always do
‘Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away
So will you please say hello
To the folks that I know
Tell them I won’t be long
They’ll be happy to know
That as you saw me go
I was singing this song
We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day
We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day
Keep smiling through
Just like you always do
‘Til the blue skies
Drive the dark clouds far away
So will you please say hello
To the folks that I know
Tell them it won’t be long
They’ll be happy to know
That as you saw me go
I was singin’ this song
We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day
Songwriters: Hughie Charles / Ross Parker
We’ll Meet Again lyrics © Music Sales Corporation

Vera Lynn The White cliffs of Dover

The White Cliffs of Dover
there’ll be bluebirds over
The white cliffs of Dover
Tomorrow
Just you wait and see
I’ll never forget the people I met
Braving those angry skies
I remember well as the shadows fell
The light of hope in their eyes
And though I’m far away
I still can hear them say
Bombs up…
But when the dawn comes up
there’ll be bluebirds over
The white cliffs of Dover
Tomorrow
Just you wait and see
there’ll be love and laughter
And peace ever after
Tomorrow
When the world is free
The shepherd will tend his sheep
The valley will bloom again
And Jimmy will go to sleep
In his own little room again
there’ll be bluebirds over
The white cliffs of Dover
Tomorrow
Just you wait and see
there’ll be bluebirds over
The white cliffs of Dover
Tomorrow
Just you wait and see…
Songwriters: Johnny Mercer
The White Cliffs of Dover lyrics © Shapiro Bernstein & Co. Inc.

Vera Lynn relases new album aged 97

Eric Burdon & The Animals Sky Pilot

Sky Pilot
He blesses the boys as they stand in line
The smell of gun grease
And the bayonets they shine
He’s there to help them all that he can
To make them feel wanted he’s a good holy man
Sky pilot [x2]
How high can you fly?
You’ll never, never, never reach the sky
He smiles at the young soldiers
Tells them it’s all right
He knows of their fear in the forthcoming fight
Soon there’ll be blood and many will die
Mothers and fathers back home they will cry
Sky pilot [x2]
How high can you fly?
You’ll never, never, never reach the sky
He mumbles a prayer and it ends with a smile
The order is given
They move down the line
But he’ll stay behind and he’ll meditate
But it won’t stop the bleeding or ease the hate
As the young men move out into the battle zone
He feels good, with God you’re never alone
He feels tired and he lays on his bed
Hopes the men will find courage
In the words that he said
Sky pilot [x2]
How high can you fly?
You’ll never, never, never reach the sky
You’re soldiers of God, you must understand
The fate of your country is in your young hands
May God give you strength
Do your job real well
If it all was worth it
Only time it will tell
In the morning they return
With tears in their eyes
The stench of death drifts up to the skies
A soldier so ill looks at the sky pilot
Remembers the words
Thou shalt not kill.
Sky pilot [x2]
How high can you fly?
You’ll never, never, never reach the sky
Songwriters: Barrie Ernest Jenkins / Barry Jenkins / Danny Mcculloch / Eric Victor Burdon / Johnny Weider / Vic Briggs
Sky Pilot lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Carlin America Inc

The Animals – We Gotta Get Out Of This Place

The Animals Lyrics

“We Gotta Get Out Of This Place”

In this dirty old part of the city
Where the sun refuse to shine
People tell me there ain’t no use in trying
Now my girl you’re so young and pretty
And one thing I know is true
You’ll be dead before your time is due
I know
Watch my daddy in bed and tired
Watch his hair been turning gray
He’s been working and slaving his life away
Oh yes, I know it
He’s been working so hard
I’ve been working too babe
Every night and day
Yeah yeah yeah yeah
We gotta get out of this place
If its the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
‘Cause girl, there’s a better life
For me and you
Now my girl you’re so young and pretty
And one thing I know is true, yeah
You’ll be dead before your time is due
I know it
Watch my daddy in bed and tired
Watch his hair been turning gray
He’s been working and slaving his life away
I know
He’s been working so hard
I’ve been working too babe
Every day baby
Yeah yeah yeah yeah
We gotta get out of this place
If its the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
Girl, there’s a better life
For me and you
Somewhere baby
Somehow I know it baby
We gotta get out of this place
If its the last thing we ever do
We gotta get out of this place
Girl, there’s a better life for me and you
Believe me baby
I know it baby
You know it too
Writer(s): Cynthia Weil, Barry Mann

Paint it Black – Vietnam War

The Rolling Stones Lyrics

“Paint It Black”

I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors any more, I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by, dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goesI see a line of cars and they’re all painted black
With flowers and my love both never to come back
I see people turn their heads and quickly look away
Like a newborn baby, it just happens every dayI look inside myself and see my heart is black
I see my red door I must have it painted black
Maybe then I’ll fade away and not have to face the facts
It’s not easy facing up when your whole world is black

No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue
I could not foresee this thing happening to you
If I look hard enough into the setting sun
My love will laugh with me before the morning comes

I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors any more, I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by, dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes

Hmm, hmm, hmm,..

I wanna see it painted, painted black
Black as night, black as coal
I wanna see the sun blotted out from the sky
I wanna see it painted, painted, painted, painted black

Yeah!

Hmm, hmm, hmm…

Writer/s: Keith Richards, Mick Jaggers
Publisher: Abkco Music, Inc.
Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

War – Edwin Starr

War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
War, huh, yeah
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it again, why’all
War, huh, good god
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing, listen to me
Oh, war, I despise
‘Cause it means destruction of innocent lives
War means tears to thousands of mothers eyes
When their sons go to fight
And lose their lives
I said, war, huh good god, why’all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing say it again
War, whoa, lord
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing, listen to me
it ain’t nothing but a heart-breaker
(War) friend only to the undertaker
Oh, war it’s an enemy to all mankind
The point of war blows my mind
War has caused unrest
Within the younger generation
Induction then destruction
Who wants to die, ah, war-huh, good god why’all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing
Say it, say it, say it
War, huh
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing listen to me
it ain’t nothing but a heart breaker
(War) it’s got one friend that’s the undertaker
Oh, war, has shattered many a young mans dreams
Made him disabled, bitter and mean
Life is much to short and precious
To spend fighting wars these days
War can’t give life
It can only take it away
Oh, war, huh good god why’all
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing say it again
whoa, lord
What is it good for
Absolutely nothing listen to me
it ain’t nothing but a heart breaker
(War) friend only to the undertaker
Peace, love and understanding
Tell me, is there no place for them today
They say we must fight to keep our freedom
But lord knows there’s got to be a better way
Oh, war, huh good god why’all
What is it good for you tell me
Say it, say it, say it, say it
huh good god why’all
What is it good for
Stand up and shout it nothing
Songwriters: Barret Strong / Norman Whitfield
War lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Pete Seeger: Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

Spadecaller

Published on Feb 18, 2008

On July 26, 1956, the House of Representatives voted 373 to 9 to cite Pete Seeger and seven others (including playwright Arthur Miller) for contempt, as they failed to cooperate with House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) in their attempts to investigate alleged subversives and communists. Pete Seeger testified before the HUAC in 1955. In one of Pete’s darkest moments, when his personal freedom, his career, and his safety were in jeopardy, a flash of inspiration ignited this song. The song was stirred by a passage from Mikhail Sholokhov’s novel “And Quie Flows the Don”. Around the world the song traveled and in 1962 at a UNICEF concert in Germany, Marlene Dietrich, Academy Award-nominated German-born American actress, first performed the song in French, as “Qui peut dire ou vont les fleurs?” Shortly after she sang it in German. The song’s impact in Germany just after WWII was shattering. It’s universal message, “let there be peace in the world” did not get lost in its translation. To the contrary, the combination of the language, the setting, and the great lyrics has had a profound effect on people all around the world. May it have the same effect today and bring renewed awareness to all that hear it.

Where Have All the Flowers Gone
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the flowers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the flowers gone?
Girls have picked them every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young girls gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young girls gone?
Taken husbands every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the young men gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the young men gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the young men gone?
Gone for soldiers every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards every one
When will they ever learn?
When will they ever learn?
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time passing
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Long time ago
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Covered with flowers every one
When will we ever learn?
When will we ever learn?
Songwriters: Peter Seeger
Where Have All the Flowers Gone lyrics © The Bicycle Music Company

Blowing In The Wind (Live On TV, March 1963)

Blowin’ In The Wind

WRITTEN BY: BOB DYLAN
How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
Yes, ’n’ how many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
Yes, ’n’ how many times must the cannonballs fly
Before they’re forever banned?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

How many years can a mountain exist
Before it’s washed to the sea?
Yes, ’n’ how many years can some people exist
Before they’re allowed to be free?
Yes, ’n’ how many times can a man turn his head
Pretending he just doesn’t see?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

How many times must a man look up
Before he can see the sky?
Yes, ’n’ how many ears must one man have
Before he can hear people cry?
Yes, ’n’ how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many people have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
The answer is blowin’ in the wind

Copyright

© 1962 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1990 by Special Rider Music

President Trump Visits the USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Aiea, Hawaii

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visit the USS Arizona Memorial Pearl Harbor

Veterans Day

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Veterans Day
World War I veteran Joseph Ambrose, 86, at the dedication day parade for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982.jpg

World War I veteran Joseph Ambrose attends the dedication parade for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, holding the flag that covered the casket of his son, killed in the Korean War.
Observed by United States
Type National
Date November 11
(fourth Monday in October, 1971–1977)
Frequency Annual
Related to Armistice DayMemorial DayRemembrance Day

Veterans Day is an official United States public holiday, observed annually on November 11, that honors military veterans; that is, persons who served in the United States Armed Forces. It coincides with other holidays, including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I; major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. The United States previously observed Armistice Day. The U.S. holiday was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.

Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day, a U.S. public holiday in May; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who died while in military service.[1] It is also not to be confused with Armed Forces Day, a minor U.S. remembrance that also occurs in May, which specifically honors those currently serving in the U.S. military.

History

On November 11, 1919, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson issued a message to his countrymen on the first Armistice Day in which he expressed what he felt the day meant to Americans:

ADDRESS TO FELLOW-COUNTRYMEN
The White House, November 11, 1919.

A year ago today our enemies laid down their arms in accordance with an armistice which rendered them impotent to renew hostilities, and gave to the world an assured opportunity to reconstruct its shattered order and to work out in peace a new and juster set of inter national relations. The soldiers and people of the European Allies had fought and endured for more than four years to uphold the barrier of civilization against the aggressions of armed force. We ourselves had been in the conflict something more than a year and a half. – With splendid forgetfulness of mere personal concerns, we re modeled our industries, concentrated our financial resources, increased our agricultural output, and assembled a great army, so that at the last our power was a decisive factor in the victory. We were able to bring the vast resources, material and moral, of a great and free people to the assistance of our associates in Europe who had suffered and sacrificed without limit in the cause for which we fought. Out of this victory there arose new possibilities of political freedom and economic concert. The war showed us the strength of great nations acting together for high purposes, and the victory of arms foretells the enduring conquests which can be made in peace when nations act justly and in furtherance of the common interests of men. To us in America the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with – solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service, and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations.

WOODROW WILSON[2]

The United States Congress adopted a resolution on June 4, 1926, requesting that President Calvin Coolidge issue annual proclamations calling for the observance of November 11 with appropriate ceremonies.[2] A Congressional Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U.S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday: “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’.”[3]

Veterans Day parade in Baltimore, Maryland, 2016

In 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. Weeks led a delegation to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, who supported the idea of National Veterans Day. Weeks led the first national celebration in 1947 in Alabama and annually until his death in 1985. President Reagan honored Weeks at the White House with the Presidential Citizenship Medal in 1982 as the driving force for the national holiday. Elizabeth Dole, who prepared the briefing for President Reagan, determined Weeks as the “Father of Veterans Day.”[4]

U.S. Representative Ed Rees from Emporia, Kansas, presented a bill establishing the holiday through Congress. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, also from Kansas, signed the bill into law on May 26, 1954. It had been eight and a half years since Weeks held his first Armistice Day celebration for all veterans.[5]

Congress amended the bill on June 1, 1954, replacing “Armistice” with “Veterans,” and it has been known as Veterans Day since.[6][7]

The National Veterans Award was also created in 1954. Congressman Rees of Kansas received the first National Veterans Award in Birmingham, Alabama, for his support offering legislation to make Veterans Day a federal holiday.

Although originally scheduled for celebration on November 11 of every year, starting in 1971 in accordance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October (Oct 25, 1971; Oct 23, 1972; Oct 22, 1973; Oct 28, 1974; Oct 27, 1975; Oct 25, 1976 and Oct 24, 1977). In 1978, it was moved back to its original celebration on November 11. While the legal holiday remains on November 11, if that date happens to be on a Saturday or Sunday, then organizations that formally observe the holiday will normally be closed on the adjacent Friday or Monday, respectively.

Observance

Veterans Day 2007 Poster

Because it is a federal holiday, some American workers and many students have Veterans Day off from work or school. When Veterans Day falls on a Saturday then either Saturday or the preceding Friday may be designated as the holiday, whereas if it falls on a Sunday it is typically observed on the following Monday. A Society for Human Resource Management poll in 2010 found that 21 percent of employers planned to observe the holiday in 2011.[8]

Non-essential federal government offices are closed. No mail is delivered. All federal workers are paid for the holiday; those who are required to work on the holiday sometimes receive holiday pay for that day in addition to their wages.

In his Armistice Day address to Congress, Wilson was sensitive to the psychological toll of the lean War years: “Hunger does not breed reform; it breeds madness,” he remarked.[9] As Veterans Day and the birthday of the United States Marine Corps (November 10, 1775) are only one day apart, that branch of the Armed Forces customarily observes both occasions as a 96-hour liberty period.

Election Day is a regular working day, while Veterans Day, which typically falls the following week, is a federal holiday. Some people[who?] have called for the holidays to be merged, so citizens can have a day off to vote. They state this as a way to honor voting by exercising democratic rights.[10]

Spelling of Veterans Day

While the holiday is commonly printed as Veteran’s Day or Veterans’ Day in calendars and advertisements (spellings that are grammatically acceptable), the United States Department of Veterans Affairs website states that the attributive(no apostrophe) rather than the possessive case is the official spelling “because it is not a day that ‘belongs’ to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans.”[11]

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ Kelber, Sarah Kickler (28 May 2012). “Today is not Veterans Day”Baltimore Sun. Retrieved 2013-10-21.
  2. Jump up to:a b “Supplement to the Messages and Papers of the Presidents: Covering the Second Term of Woodrow Wilson, March 4, 1917, to March 4, 1921”Bureau of National Literature. 11 November 2015.
  3. Jump up^ “Veterans Day History”. Veteran’s Affairs. Retrieved November 12, 2013.
  4. Jump up^ Zurski, Ken (November 11, 2016). “Raymond Weeks: The Father of Veterans Day”. Unremembered History. Retrieved November 9, 2017.
  5. Jump up^ Carter, Julie (November 2003). “Where Veterans Day began”VFW Magazine. Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Archived from the original on 2012-07-14.
  6. Jump up^ “History of Veterans Day”. United States Department of Veterans Affairs. 2007-11-26. Retrieved 2008-11-06.
  7. Jump up^ “The History of Veterans Day”. United States Army Center of Military History (CMH). 2003-10-03. Retrieved 2007-11-01.
  8. Jump up^ Society for Human Resource Management (November 4, 2010). “2011 Holiday Schedules SHRM Poll”. Archived from the original on December 4, 2010.
  9. Jump up^ Smith, Andrew F. (2007). The Oxford companion to American food and drink. New York: Oxford University Press, Inc. p. 290. ISBN 0-19-530796-8. Retrieved November 12, 2010.
  10. Jump up^ Sutter, John D. (12 November 2012). “Election Day should be a federal holiday”CNN. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  11. Jump up^ Veterans Day Frequently Asked Questions, Office of Public Affairs, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Updated 2015-07-20. Retrieved 2015-11-08.

External links

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

 

 

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‘Harvey Weinstein’s Media Enablers’? The New York Times Is One of Them

The paper had a story on mogul’s sexual misconduct back in 2004 — but gutted it under pressure

A whole lot of fur has been flying since last Thursday, when The New York Times published a game-changing investigative story about Harvey Weinstein’s sexual misconduct that in lightning speed brought the mogul to his knees.

He apologized and took an immediate leave of absence from the company he co-founded, but that wasn’t enough. His board members and legal advisers have been resigning en masse. And as new, ugly details emerge of three decades of settlements for sex-related offenses, he’s quickly becoming a national pariah.

I applaud The New York Times and writers Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey for getting the story in print. I’m sure it was a long and difficult road.

But I simply gagged when I read Jim Rutenberg’s sanctimonious piece on Saturday about the “media enablers” who kept this story from the public for decades.

“Until now,” he puffed, “no journalistic outfit had been able, or perhaps willing, to nail the details and hit publish.”

That’s right, Jim. No one — including The New York Times.

In 2004, I was still a fairly new reporter at The New York Times when I got the green light to look into oft-repeated allegations of sexual misconduct by Weinstein. It was believed that many occurred in Europe during festivals and other business trips there.

I traveled to Rome and tracked down the man who held the plum position of running Miramax Italy. According to multiple accounts, he had no film experience and his real job was to take care of Weinstein’s women needs, among other things.

As head of Miramax Italy in 2003 and 2004, Fabrizio Lombardo was paid $400,000 for less than a year of employment. He was on the payroll of Miramax and thus the Walt Disney Company, which had bought the indie studio in 1993.

I had people on the record telling me Lombardo knew nothing about film, and others citing evenings he organized with Russian escorts.

At the time, he denied that he was on the payroll to help Weinstein with favors. From the story: “Reached in Italy, Mr. Lombardo declined to comment on the circumstances of his leaving Miramax or Ricucci, saying they were legal matters being handled by lawyers. ‘I am very proud of what we achieved at Miramax here in Italy,’ he said of his work for the film company. ‘It cannot be that they hired me because I’m a friend.’”

I also tracked down a woman in London who had been paid off after an unwanted sexual encounter with Weinstein. She was terrified to speak because of her non-disclosure agreement, but at least we had evidence of a pay-off.

The story I reported never ran.

After intense pressure from Weinstein, which included having Matt Damon and Russell Crowe call me directly to vouch for Lombardo and unknown discussions well above my head at the Times, the story was gutted.

I was told at the time that Weinstein had visited the newsroom in person to make his displeasure known. I knew he was a major advertiser in the Times, and that he was a powerful person overall.

But I had the facts, and this was the Times. Right?

Wrong. The story was stripped of any reference to sexual favors or coercion and buried on the inside of the Culture section, an obscure story about Miramax firing an Italian executive. Who cared?

The Times’ then-culture editor Jon Landman, now an editor-at-large for Bloomberg, thought the story was unimportant, asking me why it mattered.

“He’s not a publicly elected official,” he told me.  I explained, to no avail, that a public company would certainly have a problem with a procurer on the payroll for hundreds of thousands of dollars. At the time, Disney told me they had no idea Lombardo existed.

A spokeswoman for the Times had no comment on Sunday.

I was devastated after traveling to two countries and overcoming immense challenges to confirm at least part of the story that wound up running last week, more than a decade later. I had met in person with a woman who said she’d been paid off for an unwanted sexual encounter and thus proved she existed.

Update: Several have asked why I did not pursue the story once I started TheWrap. Fair question. Five years later, 2009, the moment had passed to go back and write the missing piece about Lombardo, who was no longer on the scene and whose story had been half-published in the Times. Miramax was no longer part of the Walt Disney Company. And I did not have sufficient evidence to write about a pay-off, even though I knew one existed. My focus was on raising money, building a website and starting a media company. In the subsequent years since then I did not hear about further pay-offs or harrassment and thought the issue was in the past. Weinstein had made a big effort, supposedly, to curb his temper and behavior, which was reflected in other areas of his public life.

Today I wonder: If this story had come to light at the time, would Weinstein have continued his behavior for another decade, evidenced by the scathing 2015 memo by former staffer Lauren O’Connor unearthed by Kantor and Twohey.

Writes Rutenberg: “Mr. Weinstein had his own enablers. He built his empire on a pile of positive press clippings that, before the internet era, could have reached the moon.”

The New York Times was one of those enablers. So pardon me for having a deeply ambivalent response about the current heroism of the Times.

Editors note: A previous version of this story stated that Jon Landman was a deputy managing editor at the Times. He left that position in 2013 to become an editor at large at Bloomberg View. TheWrap regrets the error.

https://www.thewrap.com/media-enablers-harvey-weinstein-new-york-times/

Is Harvey Weinstein’s career over? Experts don’t think so

By Jade Scipioni  Media & Advertising FOXBusinessOpens a New Window.

Harvey Weinstein scandal revealing Hollywood hypocrisy?

Maslansky + Partners President Lee Carter and Forbes Media Chairman Steve Forbes on the Weinstein Company’s decision to fire Harvey Weinstein over allegations of sexual harassment.

Even though famed Hollywood studio executive Harvey Weinstein has been officially ousted from his own film studio that he co-founded, The Weinstein Company, amid a barrage of sexual harassment claims, many brand experts say the film producer still has a shot at a comeback.

“While it does not look good for him, others in equally as bad places did bounce back,” Karen Post, author of the book “Brand Turnaround”, told FOX Business.

Weinstein was fired on Sunday by his board of directors, following three days of turmoil after The New York Times published an investigative piece detailing his sexual misconduct involving actresses and underlings for multiple decades.

Post says Weinstein’s first step in hopes of having a comeback should be owning his actions and putting his money where his mouth is.

According to Forbes, Weinstein’s company’s most recent net worth totaled around $150 million dollars in 2015. However, The Weinstein Company is reportedly in talks to change its name in light of board members’ fears that the company’s reputation has been severely tainted by Weinstein’s behavior.

A source with knowledge of the company told entertainment news website The Wrap that “TWC will need a new name” and that change should be expected soon.

Rob Frankel, branding strategist and expert at Frankel & Anderson in Los Angeles, told Fox Business that while things keep getting worse for Weinstein, there is “no way is he done.”

“Sidelined for a time, but not done. He’s too connected to be done. Anyone with a hot screenplay will still do business with him because he can make the deal happen. All the media lemmings thought Don Imus, Martha Stewart, Kobe Bryant, Dan Rather and Brian Williams were done. They were all wrong. In fact, even money says that O.J. Simpson will be back with a reality show of his own within a year,” Frankel said.

 

While a name change for the company will likely happen, Frankel added that unlike most industries, it won’t have any major impact.

“In Hollywood, production companies come and go all the time. That’s the transient nature of a very fluid business,” he said.

However, branding expert Kait LeDonne said it’s simply too early to say whether or not Weinstein will be able to make a comeback.

“Fortunately, we are at a turning point, where more and more brave women are coming forth to share their stories, shining a light on this unacceptable behavior,” LeDonne told FOX Business. “If he truly wants to come back, he will have to lead the way on what it looks like for someone with these patterns of behavior to transform themselves. As for The Weinstein Company, from a branding standpoint, I’d advise they change their name. It will be hard for individuals to separate the name from negative associations due to his behavior.”

http://www.foxbusiness.com/features/2017/10/09/is-harvey-weinsteins-career-over-experts-dont-think-so.html

 

Harvey Weinstein Is Finished. Which Accused Hollywood Predator Will Be Next?

The controversial movie mogul was fired Sunday after a series of sexual-misconduct allegations came to light. But plenty of other so-called Hollywood scumbags remain.

On Sunday evening, The Weinstein Company’s board of directors reached the conclusion that “in light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days… his employment with The Weinstein Company is terminated, effective immediately.”

The damage, however, was already done. Weinstein, a terribly bullying, terribly pinguid, terribly influential movie mogul—first with Miramax, then Weinstein Co.—had allegedly committed heinous acts of sexual coercion and harassment for decades, with a bombshell New York Times investigation revealing that the 65-year-old exec paid off at least eight of his accusers, many of whom shared similar horror stories: a “business meeting” at a hotel suite soon gave way to propositions that were increasingly sexual in nature. One TV reporter claimed that Weinstein cornered her in the bowels of his restaurant before jacking off into a potted plant. His accusers say they felt trapped, pressured to give in to this round mound of renown’s base demands. He was, after all, a Hollywood kingmaker; the man behind modern cinema classics like Pulp FictionThe Lord of the Rings, and Good Will Hunting; a behind-the-scenes wizard who’d been thanked at the Academy Awards more often than God. How could they deny him?

Weinstein’s comeuppance had a ring of poetic justice to it—after all, the Times piece dropped around the one-year anniversary of Donald Trump’s infamous “grab them by the pussy” Access Hollywood tape, in which the president-to-be was caught on a hot mic bragging that his stardom allowed him to sexually assault women at will (both Weinstein and Trump are from the outer borough of Queens). It was also curious how, the very same week, Politico chose to run (and incessantly tweet out) a glowing profile of celebrity-turned-politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, a man who stands accused of predatory behavior similar to Weinstein and Trump.

Right now, many people—both in the Tinseltown bubble and beyond—are asking why? Why now, after decades of payouts and whispers, did one of cinema’s most powerful players finally get his? It’s a difficult question to fully answer, though one possible reason is an increased sense of media accountability surrounding the issue of sexual misconduct in Hollywood, born out of the Bill Cosby case and having more women’s voices heard in newsrooms.

When the full scope of the Cosby catastrophe came into focus, that one of America’s most “beloved,” “wholesome” comedians stood accused of sexually assaulting more than 60 women over a 40-year period, everyone in the access-reliant entertainment media should have received a much-needed wake-up call. They were, in a sense, complicit, churning out profile after pasteurized profile that helped fuel the Cosby mythos. Even right as the horrifying Cosby testimonies were coming to light, former Newsweek editor Mark Whitaker was peddling a 544-page biography of the funnyman scrubbed of any rape allegations.

ANGELA WEISS/GETTY

Taylor Swift, Este Haim, Jaime King, Harvey Weinstein and Lorde attend The Weinstein Company’s 2015 Golden Globes After Party on January 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California.

Weinstein was even more well-connected in the New York media landscape than Cosby, with numerous friends in very high places. He’d infamously launched Talk magazine with Tina Brown (also the founding editor of The Daily Beast), and seemingly, between the ad dollars he spent and the access he could no doubt provide (or withhold), had the cachet to get stories killed.

The Times’ recent Weinstein story, meanwhile, came about thanks to two intrepid female reporters, Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey, operating at an organization whose news masthead is comprised of 50 percent women, and one “name” actress in Ashley Judd, who was mad as hell and not going to take it anymore.

It’s not just the media that enabled Weinstein, either. Since the sexual-misconduct allegations came to light, those who have benefited from professional relationships with the embattled film mogul, from directors and actors he launched to stardom to agents and producers who got their cut, have remained deafeningly silent. The Daily Beast has reached out to dozens of industry folks, and the consensus is it’s the talk of the town behind closed doors, but no one is willing to go on the record—perhaps fearing that it could hurt them down the line, should Weinstein return from the dead. Even late-night TV hosts, who relish assuming the role of moral arbiter, have—with the notable exception of Last Week Tonight’s John Oliver—thus far refused to violate the apparent omertà.

Worth noting, too, is that Weinstein’s star has diminished considerably in recent years. His company is coming off a string of duds, including the much-ridiculed Tulip Fever, and the last Weinstein-shepherded Academy Award came over two years ago in a minor category (Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game). As with Cosby, retribution for Weinstein did not come until he was past his sell-by date.

CARLOS ALVAREZ/GETTY

Arnold Schwarzenegger attends the ‘Wonder Of The Sea 3D’ premiere on September 25, 2017 in San Sebastian, Spain.

Which brings us back to Schwarzenegger, and that profile of him that ran over the weekend in Politico. In the piece, the writer, Edward-Isaac Dovere, confesses to having accompanied Schwarzenegger on flights aboard his private jet and red-wine-filled feasts in Spain, and in return, gifted his idol with a puffy piece wherein he floated the actor for a number of Cabinet positions and refused to press him on his pitiable track record as governor or myriad sex scandals—including, as it were, numerous Weinstein-esque allegations of sexual misconduct.

A 2001 piece in Premiere magazine is largely credited with lifting the lid off the Schwarzenegger allegations. In the story, titled “Arnold the Barbarian,” writer John Connolly uncovered numerous shocking stories concerning the actor, from a female talk-show host who claimed that he “tweaked her nipple and then laughed at her objections” to a producer who recalled how, on the set of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Schwarzenegger allegedly pulled out a female crew member’s breasts against her will. “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. This woman’s nipples were exposed, and here’s Arnold and a few of his clones laughing. I went after the woman, who had run to the shelter of a nearby trailer. She was hysterical but refused to press charges for fear of losing her job. It was disgusting,” the producer told Premiere. Two years later, just as the A-list actor emerged as the Republican frontrunner in the race for governor of California, the Los Angeles Times ran a series of stories in which as many as 11 women accused Schwarzenegger of grabbing or groping them, including an assistant director on the 1988 film Twins and a CNN intern.

“Did he rape me? No,” one unnamed woman, who alleged the actor grabbed her breast in 1980, told the Los Angeles Times. “Did he humiliate me? You bet he did.”

Schwarzenegger initially denied the allegations through his spokesman, before sort of fessing up. “It is true that I was on rowdy movie sets and I have done things that were not right, which I thought then was playful,” he said at the time. “But now I recognize that I offended people. Those people that I have offended, I want to say to them I am deeply sorry about that and I apologize because that’s not what I’m trying to do.”

This selective outrage also extends to Woody Allen, whose latest feature Wonder Wheel is closing the New York Film Festival this week. The film’s marquee stars, Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake, are two of many who continue to feature in Allen productions—despite the fact that the legendary filmmaker’s own adopted daughter, Dylan Farrow, has long accused him of child sexual abuse. Or how about Louis C.K., whose Allen-inspired film I Love You, Daddy opens on Nov. 17, and who’s been dogged by sexual-misconduct rumors for years?

When it comes to Hollywood, these men, it seems, have not yet outlasted their use.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/harvey-weinstein-is-finished-which-accused-hollywood-predator-will-be-next

Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes in January. In her statement, she said Mr. Weinstein had been “respectful” during their working relationship. CreditPaul Drinkwater/NBC, via Associated Press

Meryl Streep led an increasingly vocal Hollywood chorus condemning the reported sexual misconduct of the Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein on Monday, issuing a carefully worded statement released to HuffPost. She decried the behavior as “disgraceful” and “inexcusable,” yet also pleaded ignorance about it, writing, “Not everybody knew.”

Ms. Streep’s statement seemed to have opened the floodgates, with Glenn Close and Judi Dench, among others, soon voicing their own dismay and disgust about Mr. Weinstein.

In recent days, after The New York Times released a scathing investigationon Thursday chronicling accusations that Mr. Weinstein had sexually harassed employees and actresses, many people called for reactions from Hollywood’s A-list players, and especially Ms. Streep, a longtime champion of women’s causes who worked with Mr. Weinstein on films like “August: Osage County” and “The Iron Lady,” for which she won an Academy Award.

Mr. Weinstein was fired Sunday night from his production company, the Weinstein Company, which issued a statement saying the decision was made “in light of new information about misconduct by Harvey Weinstein that has emerged in the past few days.” In its report, The Times found that Mr. Weinstein had reached at least eight settlements with women who had claimed sexual harassment.

In her statement, Ms. Streep also said Mr. Weinstein had been “respectful” during their working relationship, and challenged the widely repeated narrative that his misbehavior had been a longtime open secret in Hollywood.

Here is Ms. Streep’s full statement:

The disgraceful news about Harvey Weinstein has appalled those of us whose work he championed, and those whose good and worthy causes he supported. The intrepid women who raised their voices to expose this abuse are our heroes.

One thing can be clarified. Not everybody knew. Harvey supported the work fiercely, was exasperating but respectful with me in our working relationship, and with many others with whom he worked professionally. I didn’t know about these other offenses: I did not know about his financial settlements with actresses and colleagues; I did not know about his having meetings in his hotel room, his bathroom, or other inappropriate, coercive acts. And if everybody knew, I don’t believe that all the investigative reporters in the entertainment and the hard news media would have neglected for decades to write about it.

The behavior is inexcusable, but the abuse of power familiar. Each brave voice that is raised, heard and credited by our watchdog media will ultimately change the game.

Glenn Close: ‘I’m Angry’

In a statement to The Times, Ms. Close said that she felt “angry and darkly sad,” and that while Mr. Weinstein had been decent with her, she had heard rumors of inappropriate behavior toward women over many years.

Her full statement:

I’m sitting here, deeply upset, acknowledging to myself that, yes, for many years, I have been aware of the vague rumors that Harvey Weinstein had a pattern of behaving inappropriately around women. Harvey has always been decent to me, but now that the rumors are being substantiated, I feel angry and darkly sad.

I’m angry, not just at him and the conspiracy of silence around his actions, but also that the “casting couch” phenomenon, so to speak, is still a reality in our business and in the world: the horrible pressure, the awful expectation put on a woman when a powerful, egotistical, entitled bully expects sexual favors in exchange for a job.

Ours is an industry in which very few actors are indispensable and women are cast in far fewer roles than men, so the stakes are higher for women and make them more vulnerable to the manipulations of a predator. I applaud the monumental courage of the women who have spoken up. I hope that their stories and the reportage that gave them their voices represents a tipping point, that more stories will be told and that change will follow.

The changes must be both institutional and personal. Men and women, in positions of power, must create a work environment in which people, whose jobs depend on them, feel safe to report threatening and inappropriate behavior, like that reported in the Times. No one should be coerced into trading personal dignity for professional success. I feel the time is long and tragically overdue for all of us in the industry, women and men, to unite — calmly and dispassionately — and create a new culture of respect, equality and empowerment, where bullies and their enablers are no longer allowed to prosper.

Judi Dench: ‘Horrifying’

Ms. Dench, who has credited Mr. Weinstein with launching her film career, also took aim, saying in a statement to Newsweek that while she had been “completely unaware” of any misconduct, she found it “horrifying,” and gave her “wholehearted support to those who have spoken out.”

Ms. Dench’s films with Mr. Weinstein include “Shakespeare in Love” and “Mrs. Brown,” and she has said she has a tattoo that reads “JD loves HW” on her rear end.

Kevin Smith, Judd Apatow and Mark Ruffalo

Several prominent men in show business took to Twitter to express disgust at Mr. Weinstein’s behavior. “He financed the first 14 years of my career — and now I know while I was profiting, others were in terrible pain,” wrote the director Kevin Smith. “It makes me feel ashamed.”

http: www.nytimes.com/2017/10/09/movies/dench-close-streep-weinstein.html

Harvey Weinstein

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Harvey Weinstein
CBE
Harvey Weinstein 2010 Time 100 Shankbone.jpg

Weinstein in 2010
Born March 19, 1952 (age 65)
FlushingNew York, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater University at Buffalo (BA)
Occupation Film producer
co-founder of Miramax Films and The Weinstein Company
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Eve Chilton (1987–2004; 3 children)
Georgina Chapman (2007–present; 2 children)
Children 5

Harvey WeinsteinCBE (honorary) (born March 19, 1952) is an American film producer and film studioexecutive. He is best known as co-founder of Miramax, which produced several popular independent films including Pulp FictionClerksThe Crying Game, and Sex, Lies, and Videotape.[1] He and his brother Bob have been co-chairmen of The Weinstein Company, their film production company, since 2005. He won an Academy Award for producing Shakespeare in Love, and garnered seven Tony Awards for producing a variety of winning plays and musicals, including The ProducersBilly Elliot the Musical, and August: Osage County.[2]

Weinstein has been accused by multiple women of committing sexual harassment over several decades.[3] Following a series of allegations made against him in October 2017, Weinstein was terminated from The Weinstein Company by its board of directors on October 8, 2017.

Education and early career

Weinstein was born in FlushingNew York.[4] He was raised in a Jewish family,[5] the son of Max Weinstein, a diamond cutter (d. 1976[6]), and Miriam (née Postel; d. 2016 at 90[6]).[7] He grew up with his younger brother, Bob Weinstein, in a housing co-op named Electchester in New York City. He graduated from John Bowne High School and the University at Buffalo.[8][9] Weinstein received an honorarySUNYDoctorate of Humane Letters in a ceremony at Buffalo in 2000.[10] Weinstein, his brother Bob, and Corky Burger independently produced rock concerts as Harvey & Corky Productions in Buffalo through most of the 1970s.

Film career

1970s: Early work and creation of Miramax

Both Weinstein brothers had grown up with a passion for movies and they nurtured a desire to enter the film industry. In the late 1970s, using profits from their concert promotion business, the brothers created a small independent film distribution company named Miramax, named after their parents, Miriam and Max. The company’s first releases were primarily music-oriented concert films such as Paul McCartney‘s Rockshow.

1980s: Success with arthouse and independent films

In the early 1980s, Miramax acquired the rights to two British films of benefit shows filmed for the human rights organization Amnesty International. Working closely with Martin Lewis, the producer of the original films, the Weinstein brothers edited the two films into one movie tailored for the American market. The resulting film was released as The Secret Policeman’s Other Ball in May 1982 and it became Miramax’s first hit. The movie raised considerable sums for Amnesty International and was credited by Amnesty with having helped to raise its profile in the United States.[8][11]

Weinstein at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival

The Weinsteins slowly built upon this success throughout the 1980s with arthouse films that achieved critical attention and modest commercial success. Harvey Weinstein and Miramax gained wider attention in 1988 with the release of Errol Morris‘s documentary The Thin Blue Line, which detailed the struggle of Randall Adams, a wrongfully convicted inmate sentenced to death row. The publicity that soon surrounded the case resulted in the release of Adams and nationwide publicity for Miramax. In 1989, their successful launch release of Steven Soderbergh‘s Sex, Lies, and Videotape propelled Miramax to become the most successful independent studio in America.[12]

Also in 1989, Miramax released two art-house films, The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover and director Pedro Almodóvar‘s film Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down!, both of which the MPAArating board gave an X-rating, effectively stopping nationwide release for these films. Weinstein sued the MPAA over the rating system. His lawsuit was later thrown out, but got the MPAA to agree to introduce the new NC-17 rating.

1990s–2000s: Further success, Disney ownership deal

Miramax continued to grow its library of films and directors until, in 1993, after the success of The Crying GameDisney offered the Weinsteins $80 million for ownership of Miramax.[13] Agreeing to the deal that would cement their Hollywood clout and ensure that they would remain at the head of their company, Miramax followed the next year with their first blockbuster, Quentin Tarantino‘s Pulp Fiction and distributed the popular independent film Clerks. Miramax won its first Academy Award for Best Picture in 1997 with the victory of The English Patient (Pulp Fiction was nominated in 1995 but lost to Forrest Gump). This started a string of critical successes that included Good Will Hunting (1997) Shakespeare in Love (1998), both of which won several awards, including numerous Academy Awards.

2005–2017: The Weinstein Company

On March 29, 2005, it was announced that the Weinstein brothers would leave Miramax on September 30 to form their own production company, named The Weinstein Company, with several other media executives, directors Quentin Tarantinoand Robert Rodriguez, and Colin Vaines, who had successfully run the production department at Miramax for ten years and moved with the brothers to head development in The Weinstein Company.[14] The board of The Weinstein Company fired him on October 8, 2017 following allegations of Weinstein’s sexual misconduct.[15]

Praise and criticism

In 2004, Weinstein was appointed an honorary Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his contributions to the British film industry (the award being “honorary” because he is a citizen of the United States).[16]

While lauded for opening up the independent film market and making it financially viable, Weinstein has been criticized by some for the techniques he has allegedly applied in his business dealings. Peter Biskind‘s book, Down and Dirty Pictures: Miramax, Sundance and the Rise of Independent Film,[8] details criticism of Miramax’s release history and editing of Asian films, such as Shaolin SoccerHero and Princess Mononoke. There is a rumour that when Harvey Weinstein was charged with handling the U.S. release of Princess Mononoke, Miyazaki sent him a samurai sword in the post. Attached to the blade was a stark message: “No cuts”. Miyazaki commented on the incident: “Actually, my producer did that. Although I did go to New York to meet this man, this Harvey Weinstein, and I was bombarded with this aggressive attack, all these demands for cuts. I defeated him.”[17] Weinstein has always insisted that such editing was done in the interest of creating the most financially viable film. “I’m not cutting for fun”, Harvey Weinstein said in an interview. “I’m cutting for the shit to work. All my life I served one master: the film. I love movies.”[11][18]

Another example cited by Biskind was Phillip Noyce‘s The Quiet American, whose release Weinstein delayed following the September 11 attacks, due to audience reaction in test screenings to the film’s critical tone towards America’s past foreign policy. After being told the film would go straight-to-video, Noyce planned to screen the film in Toronto International Film Festival in order to mobilize critics to pressure Miramax to release it theatrically. Weinstein decided to screen the film at the Festival only after he was lobbied by star Michael Caine, who threatened to boycott publicity for another film he had made for Miramax. The film received mostly positive reviews at the Festival, and Miramax eventually released the film theatrically, but it was alleged that Miramax did not make a major effort to promote the film for Academy Award consideration, though Caine was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor.[8]

Weinstein’s aggressive efforts to campaign for Oscars for his films during Oscar season led to a ban on such campaigns by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.[19]

Weinstein has also cultivated a reputation for ruthlessness and fits of anger. According to Biskind, Weinstein once put a New York Observer reporter in a headlock while throwing him out of a party. On another occasion, Weinstein excoriated director Julie Taymor and her husband during a disagreement over a test screening of her movie Frida.[11]

In a 2004 newspaper article, in New York magazine, Weinstein appeared somewhat repentant for his often aggressive discussions with directors and producers.[20] However, a Newsweek story on October 13, 2008, criticized Weinstein, who was accused of “hassling Sydney Pollack on his deathbed” about the release of the film The Reader. After Weinstein offered $1 million to charity if the accusation could be proven, journalist Nikki Finke published an email sent by Scott Rudin on August 22 asserting that Weinstein “harassed” Anthony Minghella‘s widow and a bedridden Pollack until Pollack’s family asked him to stop.[21][22]

In September 2009, Weinstein publicly voiced opposition to efforts to extradite Roman Polanski from Switzerland to the U.S. regarding a 1977 charge that he had drugged and raped a 13-year-old, to which Polanski had pleaded guilty before fleeing the country.[23]Weinstein, whose company had distributed a film about the Polanski case, questioned whether Polanski committed any crime,[24] prompting Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley to insist that Polanski’s guilty plea indicated that his action was a crime, and that several other serious charges were pending.[25]

In November 2011, independent filmmaker Michael Bartlett blamed Weinstein for the poor quality of his film, World of the Dead: The Zombie Diaries, citing pressure from Weinstein to deliver the film ahead of schedule. When Weinstein said, “This is the date you will deliver the film and if it isn’t finished then we’ll finish it for you”, the post production was rushed and the editing and sound mix were not completed properly.[26]

In March 2012, Weinstein was made a Chevalier (knight) of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Consulate in New York City in recognition of Miramax’s efforts to increase the presence and popularity of foreign films in the United States.[27]

In April 2012, Time magazine included Weinstein in its annual list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.[28]

In 2013, New York Post film critic Kyle Smith accused Harvey Weinstein of making numerous anti-Catholic films, including Priest (1994), The Butcher Boy (1997), The Magdalene Sisters (2002), and Philomena (2013).[29]

Activism and Rejection of Support

Weinstein is also active on issues such as poverty, AIDSjuvenile diabetes, and multiple sclerosis research. He serves on the Board of the Robin Hood Foundation, a New York City-based non-profit that targets poverty, and co-chaired one of its annual benefits.[30] He is critical of the lack of gun control laws and universal health care in the United States.[31]

Weinstein has been a supporter and generous contributor to the Democratic Party including the campaigns of President Barack Obama and presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry.[32] He supported Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign,[33] and in 2012, he hosted an election fundraiser for President Obama at his home in Westport, Connecticut.[34] In 2013, he expressed support of President Obama amid criticism for the launch of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Weinstein has expressed favorable opinions about New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

After it became public knowledge in October, 2017 that Weinstein was a serial harasser of women[3] many politicians he had supported rejected his support. Senator Al Franken (MN), who had received $20,000 from Weinstein donated his contributions to the Minnesota Indian Women’s Resources Center.[35] Senator Patrick Leahy (VT) and Senator Martin Heinrich (NM), donated campaign contributions received from Weinstein to funds supporting women.[36]

Legal problems

In February 2009, former Sam & Dave singer Samuel David Moore filed suit against Harvey and Bob Weinstein for allegedly basing Soul Men, a Weinstein Co. comedy starring Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson, on Sam & Dave’s career.[37]

In February 2011, filmmaker Michael Moore took legal action against the Weinstein brothers, claiming he was owed millions in profits for his 2004 documentary Fahrenheit 9/11.[38] In February 2012, Moore dropped the lawsuit for an undisclosed settlement.[39]

Sexual harassment allegations

On October 5, 2017, an exposé was published in The New York Times accusing Weinstein of sexually harassing a number of women, including actress Ashley Judd.[40] In a statement to The New York Times, he said, “I appreciate the way I’ve behaved with colleagues in the past has caused a lot of pain, and I sincerely apologize for it.” An adviser described him as “an old dinosaur learning new ways.” He said he was due to take a sabbatical and was working with therapists to “deal with this issue head on.”[3] However, his consulting lawyer, Lisa Bloom, stated that “he denies many of the accusations as patently false.”[3]

In an email to The Hollywood Reporter, Weinstein’s attorney Charles Harder said they would be suing The New York Times and any proceeds derived from the suit would be donated to women’s organizations. Harder’s email read as follows:

The New York Times published today a story that is saturated with false and defamatory statements about Harvey Weinstein…It relies on mostly hearsay accounts and a faulty report, apparently stolen from an employee personnel file, which has been debunked by nine different eyewitnesses. We sent the Times the facts and evidence, but they ignored it and rushed to publish. We are preparing the lawsuit now. All proceeds will be donated to women’s organizations.[41]

Depictions in media

Harvey Weingard, a character portrayed by Maury Chaykin on the HBO TV series Entourage, is based on Weinstein. Although the character is portrayed as an intimidating and aggressive producer, Weinstein has reportedly responded positively to the character.[42] The foul-mouthed character Malcolm Tucker in the BBC series The Thick of It is based on Hollywood agents and producers, notably Harvey Weinstein and the team at Miramax that has been “long celebrated for Malcolm-like behavior,” according to actor Peter Capaldi.[43][44]

Personal life

Weinstein has been married twice:

  • In 1987, he married his assistant Eve Chilton. They divorced in 2004.[20][45] They had three children: Remy (previously Lily) (born 1995), Emma (born 1998), and Ruth (born 2002).[46]
  • In 2007, he married English fashion designer and actress Georgina Chapman.[47] They have a daughter, India Pearl (born 2010)[48] and a son, Dashiell[49] (born 2013).[50]

On August 20, 2012, Vivek Shah was arrested for the attempted extortion of Weinstein, Chris Cline, and three other unnamed individuals. Shah demanded millions of dollars be wired to an offshore bank account or he would murder the family members of each recipient of his extortion letters.[51] A seven-count felony indictment against Shah was filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in September 2012.[52] Shah was convicted in September 2013 and sentenced to seven years in prison.

Selected filmography

Television.svgThis film, television or video-related list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it with reliably sourced additions.

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Donald Trump, the President Without a Party

Estrangement from Republican leaders clouds the White House’s agenda

President Trump walked to board Marine One at the White House on Saturday.
President Trump walked to board Marine One at the White House on Saturday. PHOTO: SHAWN THEW/POOL/ZUMA PRESS

Increasingly, Donald Trump is a president without a party.

With virtually no Republican votes to spare in the Senate, where his agenda hangs in the balance, he has nonetheless become estranged from two key figures in his own party. First it was John McCain of Arizona, over his defiance of the president on health care. Next it was Bob Corker of Tennessee, who feuded with the president in a remarkable weekend of exchanged insults.

As it happens, Mr. McCain is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee; Mr. Corker is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Thus, the president is alienated from the two most important Senate figures on national security at a time when two critical national-security issues are coming to a boil: the fate of the nuclear deal with Iran and the increasingly dangerous standoff with North Korea.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump backed the losing candidate in a Republican primary runoff in Alabama, finding himself trapped between the party establishment whose choice he supported and the social conservative foot soldiers who backed Roy Moore, the candidate who actually won.

Now, Mr. Trump’s once and perhaps current political guru, Steve Bannon, has set out to attack much of the rest of the Republican caucus in the Senate. He’s also gunning for the entire GOP congressional leadership, with which the president is himself increasingly disillusioned.

How Independent Can Trump Become?

President Trump defied the Republican party this week by striking a deal with Democrats in Congress on raising the debt ceiling, keeping the government running and funding hurricane relief. The WSJ’s Gerald F. Seib explains whether this signals Trump will be more independent in the coming weeks. Photo: AP

After a conversation with Mr. Bannon in recent days, Robert Kuttner of the American Prospect summarized his agenda this way: “Bannon’s current obsession is to blow up Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican Senate incumbents whom he regards as hostile to his brand of nationalism.”

Mr. Trump has tried to adjust to this growing estrangement from leaders of his own party by opening the door to cooperation with Democrats on immigration and health care. But after seemingly striking a deal with Democrats to protect the legal status of so-called Dreamers—young immigrants brought here illegally as youths—he plotted strategy over how to follow through on that agreement with a group of Republican senators over a White House dinner last week.

What emerged was a list of demands that may well blow up any pending immigration deal. To get the Dreamers deal Democrats want, Mr. Trump called for, among other things, funding for a wall he wants along the Mexican border, new restrictions on those seeking asylum in the U.S. and punishment for localities that declare themselves “sanctuary cities.”

Those principles surely are negotiable. Still, they seem to leave Mr. Trump trapped in a kind of immigration no-man’s-land, between Democrats wanting a Dreamers fix and Republicans hoping to use that fix as a lever to push through broad immigration changes they’d like to make.

The question is: Where is this all supposed to lead?

There is an answer to that—in the long run. Mr. Trump would like to lead, and Mr. Bannon would like to create, a Republican Party different from the one that exists. It would be a party molded in the Trump image: nationalist, skeptical of immigration and trade agreements, dubious about the virtues of diplomacy and international negotiations, with economic strategies skewed to help workers in traditional American industries.

After all, Mr. Trump has said on several occasions—most notably at a conservative conference in February—that he wants the GOP to be the party “of the American worker.”

There are three problems with that vision, though. First, that party doesn’t exist today. The current version of the GOP was built largely by merging the interests of the business community with the agenda of social conservatives. Neither of those groups would win top billing in the vision for a new, Trump-inspired party.

The second problem is that it isn’t at all clear that such a new Republican Party would, in fact, be a majority party. There are disaffected people loitering in both current major parties—disgruntled blue-collar workers, fearful middle-class Americans, trade skeptics, those who feel culturally alienated from the current Democratic establishment—who are drawn to such a vision.

But ultimately, Mr. Trump failed to win the popular vote even as he won the presidency in 2016, and he has never come close to winning majority approval for the job he’s doing as president.

The third problem is that, while waiting for that Republican Party to emerge, Mr. Trump confronts the job of governing today. The current party has just 52 members in the Senate, and, as noted, Mr. Trump doesn’t have the loyal support of all of them. Mr. Bannon and his allies are threatening to challenge other Republican incumbents in primary elections next year, which won’t exactly keep those targeted at his side.

Meantime, Mr. Trump hasn’t forged reliable tactical alliances with enough Democrats to make up the difference. Which leaves him a leader in search of reliable followers.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/donald-trump-the-president-without-a-party-1507563185

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The Pronk Pops Show 970, September 22, 2017: Breaking Story 1: Rocket Man Kim Jong-Un Promises To Explode Hydrogen Bomb Over Pacific Ocean — Story 2: The Democratic and Republican Party Failure To Completely Repeal Obamacare Including Repealing The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and All Related Mandates, Regulations, Taxes, Spending and Subsidies — Obamacare Collapsing — Replace Obamacare With Free Enterprise Market Capitalism Health Insurance — Keep The Federal Government Out Of The Health Insurance and Health Care Business — Videos — Story 3: Obama’s Secret Surveillance Spy State Scandal — Misuse of Intelligence Community For Political Purposes — Gross Abuse of Power and Political Conspiracy — Violation of Fourth Amendment — Videos —

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Breaking Story 1: Rocket Man Kim Jong-Un Promises To Explode Hydrogen Bomb Over Pacific Ocean —

North Korea Threatens Nuclear Test in the Pacific Ocean

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People in Pyongyang, North Korea, watched a television broadcast on Friday of Kim Jong-un’s response to President Trump’s speech at the United Nations. CreditEd Jones/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea has long cultivated an image of defiant belligerence, punctuating its propaganda and diplomacy with colorful threats, insults and bluster. But by addressing President Trump in a personal statement on Friday, the nation’s leader, Kim Jong-un, has pushed his government’s brinkmanship to a new, potentially more perilous level.

In a statement written in the first person, published on the front pages of state newspapers and read on national television, Mr. Kim called Mr. Trump a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard” who had “denied the existence of and insulted me and my country in front of the eyes of the world.”

Mr. Kim vowed to take the “highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history.”

In a country where the leader is essentially portrayed as a god, Mr. Kim’s decision to respond personally to Mr. Trump’s speech to the United Nations General Assembly and pledge reprisals escalated the standoff over the North’s nuclear program in a way that neither he nor his predecessors had done before.

Though the statement made no mention of nuclear weapons, in the context of a political system built on a cult of personality, Mr. Kim’s intervention appeared to sharply reduce the possibility that his government might retreat or compromise, even in the face of war.

Mr. Kim condemned Mr. Trump’s threat to “totally destroy” North Korea if the United States is forced to defend itself, and he declared that it had “convinced me, rather than frightening or stopping me, that the path I chose is correct and that it is the one I have to follow to the last.”

Mr. Ri could not have made such an alarming comment without approval from Mr. Kim, although some analysts question whether North Korea has the technology or political daring to conduct an atmospheric nuclear test, something the world has not seen for decades.

Mr. Trump responded on Friday by further personalizing the dispute. On Twitter, the president pronounced Mr. Kim to be “obviously a madman.”

North Korea has often issued statements in the names of its government and its People’s Army, and since taking power in late 2011, Mr. Kim has delivered an annual New Year’s Day speech. But Friday’s statement was the first by Mr. Kim directed openly at a foreign head of state. Mr. Kim’s father and grandfather, who ruled North Korea before him, never made such a statement, South Korean officials said.

In effect, Mr. Kim, whose cultlike leadership rests upon his perceived daring toward North Korea’s external enemies, has turned the nation’s standoff with the United States into a personal duel with Mr. Trump, analysts said.

The North Korean news media carried photographs of Mr. Kim sitting in his office and reading his statement, but his voice was not broadcast. On the country’s state-run Central TV, a female announcer read his statement.

“This is totally unprecedented,” said Paik Hak-soon, a longtime North Korea analyst at the Sejong Institute, a think tank outside Seoul, referring to Mr. Kim’s statement. “The way North Korea’s supreme leadership works, Kim Jong-un has to respond more assertively as its enemy gets more confrontational, like Trump has.

“There is no backing down in the North Korean rule book,” Mr. Paik said. “It’s the very core of their leadership identity and motive.”

Until now, Mr. Kim himself has appeared to refrain from personal attacks on the American president, even as Mr. Trump has called him a “maniac,” a “total nut job,” and, most recently, “Rocket Man.”

On Friday, Mr. Kim said he took Mr. Trump’s latest assault personally and accused him of making “the most ferocious declaration of a war in history.”

Mr. Kim also suggested Mr. Trump’s belligerent rhetoric signaled American weakness rather than resolve. “A frightened dog barks louder,” he said.

Koh Yu-hwan, a professor of North Korean studies at Dongguk University in Seoul, said that Mr. Kim, faced with Mr. Trump’s threat of annihilation, could respond only with equal force.

“When Trump stood before the United Nations General Assembly and threatened to totally destroy his country, Kim Jong-un had to take that as the United States telling the world of its intention for possible military action,” Mr. Koh said. “He had to respond in kind, launching the same kind of verbal bombs.”

Analysts said that by putting his reputation on the line with his statement, Mr. Kim was now far more unlikely to stand down. Instead, his government was likely to conduct more nuclear and missile tests, they said.

“Trump shot himself in the foot with his unabashedly undiplomatic United Nations General Assembly speech,” said Lee Sung-yoon, a Korea expert at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. “By threatening to totally destroy North Korea, he created the impression around the world that it is actually the United States — instead of North Korea — that’s motivated by aggression. In effect, Trump gave Kim Jong-un a freebie for another major provocation. Kim will oblige, and claim that it was in ‘self-defense’ against Trump’s unnerving threats.”

Daryl G. Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, compared the Korean standoff to the October 1962 crisis over Soviet missiles in Cuba, urging the United Nations secretary general, António Guterres, to convene the six parties that were previously involved in talks on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula — China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea and the United States — to discuss reducing fever-pitch tensions.

“We are in a cycle of escalation that leads to a very bad end,” Mr. Kimball said.

North Korea has conducted all of its six nuclear tests within deep underground tunnels to diminish the spread of radioactive materials, and has stepped up the pace of its missile tests. Some analysts fear that the next step might be for North Korea to try to prove that it can deliver a nuclear warhead on a long-range missile, no matter how dangerous and provocative that might be.

It has been 37 years since any nation tested a nuclear weapon in the planet’s atmosphere, reflecting the nearly universal opposition to such tests over fears of the effects of radioactive fallout on human health and the environment. The last atmospheric test took place in 1980, when China fired what experts believed to be a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile into a desert salt flat more than 1,300 miles west of Beijing.

Mr. Trump addressing the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. CreditChang W. Lee/The New York Times

Shin Beom-chul, a security expert at the government-run Korea National Diplomatic Academy in Seoul, said that even if North Korea wanted to conduct an atmospheric nuclear test in the Pacific, it did not have the ability to dispatch test-monitoring ships to the open ocean while the United States military was on the prowl.

Mr. Shin said North Korea probably would not risk the radioactive fallout and other grave dangers involved in a nuclear missile test. The country has yet to master the technologies needed to prevent the warhead at the tip of its long-range ballistic missile from burning up while re-entering Earth’s atmosphere, South Korean officials said.

“What if the nuclear missile goes wrong midflight and detonates over Japan? It would mean a nuclear war,” Mr. Shin said. “More likely, North Korea will graduate its provocations, as if moving on steppingstones.”

Analysts said North Korea had been escalating tensions in stages in what they called a “salami tactic,” as in slice by slice.

Kim Dong-yub, a defense analyst at the Seoul-based Institute for Far Eastern Studies of Kyungnam University, said that North Korea would probably try to disprove skeptics in the West over its ability to strike long-range targets by firing its Hwasong-14 intercontinental ballistic missile over Japan and farther into the Pacific — but without a nuclear payload.

Some analysts said the North Korean leader was acting more defensively than offensively, with his threats aimed at forcing the Trump administration to ease sanctions. On Thursday, Mr. Trump issued an executive order empowering his government to punish international banks and other entities that trade with North Korea.

But other analysts warned that North Korea’s determination to improve its nuclear capabilities — and act offensively — had long been underestimated.

“If we follow what North Korea has been doing, it will be almost certain that it will fire its missile sooner or later to demonstrate an ICBM range,” Mr. Kim, the Kyungnam University analyst, said. “I don’t think the missile will carry a nuclear warhead, but I can’t shake off the fear that it might, because North Korea has time and again carried things beyond my expectation.”

Story 2: Obamacare Collapsing– American People Be Damned — Democratic and Republican Parties Fail To Completely Repeal Obamacare Including Repealing Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) and All Related Mandates, Regulations, Taxes, Spending and Subsidies — Replace Obamacare With Free Enterprise Market Capitalism Health Insurance — Keep The Federal Government Out Of The Health Insurance and Health Care Business — Videos

Image result for ludwig mises quotes consumer sovereigntyImage result for ludwig mises quotes consumer sovereigntyImage result for ludwig mises quotes consumer sovereigntyImage result for ludwig mises quotes consumer sovereignty

Graham-Cassidy Will Probably Fail. McCain and Paul Announce No Votes

BREAKING NEWS: McCain kills Obamacare repeal for a second time and announces he’ll oppose his p…

Rand Paul a No Vote on Graham-Cassidy HC Bill. He Explains

RAND PAUL FULL ONE-ON-ONE EXPLOSIVE INTERVIEW WITH MARTHA MACCALLUM (9/18/2017)

Rand Paul Goes Off On Obamacare “Repeal”

Senator: Graham-Cassidy not an Obamacare repeal

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) On Latest Obamacare Effort: This Is Not Repeal – The Five

RAND PAUL FULL ONE-ON-ONE EXPLOSIVE INTERVIEW WITH NEIL CAVUTO (9/14/2017)

 

Paul: ‘I won’t be bribed or bullied’ on repeal vote

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) pushed back on Friday against pressure from President Trump to vote for a last-ditch GOP effort in the Senate to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, saying that he “won’t be bribed or bullied.”

In an early-morning tweet, Trump warned Paul that if he failed to vote for Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Bill Cassidy‘s (R-La.) health-care proposal, he would forever be known as “‘the Republican who saved ObamaCare.'”

But in a series of tweets following the president’s post, Paul contended that the Graham-Cassidy measure does not fulfill the GOP’s longtime promise to repeal the ACA, and ultimately keeps ObamaCare’s taxes and spending.

The Graham-Cassidy measure revives the GOP’s efforts to repeal and replace parts of the ACA after a slimmed-down repeal bill failed in July. It seeks to end ObamaCare’s insurance subsidies and the Medicaid expansion, and instead convert those pots of money to block grants for the states.

The new proposal needs at least 50 votes to pass the Senate with a tie-breaking vote from Vice President Pence, and backers are scrambling to round up the votes before a Sept. 30 procedural deadline, after which the measure would need a filibuster-proof 60 votes.

The White House has thrown its weight behind the measure and Trump has tweeted his support for it in recent days, casting the bill as a new opportunity for the GOP to fulfill its seven-year promise to do away with ObamaCare.

So far, Paul is the only GOP senator who has indicated he will vote against the Graham-Cassidy proposal. But three others — Sens. Susan Collins(Maine), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and John McCain (Ariz.) — are being closely watched.

The trio voted “no” on the “skinny” ObamaCare repeal bill in July leaving that bill one vote short of passing. All three remain undecided about the Graham-Cassidy proposal.

http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/351865-paul-i-wont-be-bribed-or-bullied

3 red-flag provisions in the Graham-Cassidy health care bill

Posted September 21, 2017 08:36 AM

by Daniel Horowitz

Red flag storm warning

John-Kelly | Getty Images

Previously, I noted that while Graham-Cassidy does nothing to change the fundamentals of the current system of health care and medical insurance, it at least repeals the individual mandate, which will allow us to escape from the dumpster fire and potentially start a new system. But any “holding of the nose” to pass this bill should only be under the condition that the other provisions are not worse than the status quo. That’s the only way we can take “half a loaf rather than none” — or in this case, more like ten percent. That rationale breaks down if there are provisions that will make the system worse or further entrench Obamacare in current law.

Thus far, I have found three concerning provisions:

Protected class for insurance coverage

Page 13 of the bill stipulates that “a health insurance issuer may not vary premium rates based on an individual’s sex or membership in a protected class under the Constitution of the United States.”

Readers of Conservative Review are well aware that the radical king courts have already made foreign nationals and transgenders protected classes under the U.S. Constitution in many respects. Most certainly, once we codify such language into statute, there is no limit to what lower court judges and Anthony Kennedy will do to expand “constitutional” rights to all sorts of insurance coverage. They could use this provision to mandate coverage for illegal aliens. They could use this provision to carve out all sorts of coverage for homosexuals and for sex-change operations. Most certainly, it will give states trouble in cutting off subsidy funding for abortions.

This might possibly be worse than current law.

Forcing Texas and conservative states to expand government-run health care

Proponents of the bill are touting this system as an exercise in federalism because it devolves the subsidies and Medicaid expansion to the states in one giant pot. Some D.C. conservatives think it’s a good thing that red state that didn’t originally expand Medicaid will “get their fair share.” However, those who truly oppose Obamacare and understand free markets know that expanded Medicaid not only is costly and creates dependency but also distorts the market and inflates the cost of health care for everyone else. Furthermore, it hurts private practices because the programs pay hospital physicians more than private practice physicians. Medicaid expansion has been a boon for the hospital cartel and has destroyed any semblance of market-based health care.

Until now, we all celebrated the one silver lining of some red states not expanding Medicaid. Now, this bill brings this aspect of Obamacare, and its ensuing price inflation on the market, to the states that don’t currently have it. Worse, the bill (page 15) puts a gun to the heads of these states and says that if they want a waiver for even the few regulatory relief provisions offered in this bill, they must take and administer the federal Obamacare/Medicaid expansion grants.

Thus, to the extent a state can waive a regulation for an individual insurance contract, they must give subsidies to that individual — regardless of his status. He could be a millionaire!

As Chris Jacobs, noted health policy expert at the Texas Public Policy Institute, wrote, “Moreover, some conservatives may view provisions requiring anyone to whom a waiver applies to receive federal grant funding as the epitome of moral hazard—ensuring that individuals who go through health underwriting will receive federal subsidies, no matter their level of wealth or personal circumstances.” He further observed, “By requiring states to subsidize bad actors—for instance, an individual making $250,000 who knowingly went without health coverage for years—with federal taxpayer dollars, the bill could actually raise health insurance premiums, not lower them.”

Thus, this is not a “half a loaf,” this is a poisonous loaf. While blue states are free to move the funding further to the Left and create single-payer, in no way can red states move towards free markets, because for every step they make towards regulatory relief, they must add more market-distorting funding than even under the status quo. This will hook the politicians from the reddest of red states on the dope they didn’t fully embrace before now.

The bailout fund

It would be one thing to leave most of Obamacare in place, as opposed to leaving it all in place. But this bill adds a state bailout fund that entrenches Obamacare even further. Not only does it codify the illegal cost-sharing subsidies for three years (and we all know the three years will be expanded indefinitely), it creates an unaccountable $35 billion slush fund for HHS to dole out at their full discretion to “fund arrangements with health insurance issuers to address coverage and access disruption and respond to urgent health care needs within States.” And of course, rather than disappearing in 2020, this will create a funding cliff that will only expand the program thereafter.

As I mentioned before, the only saving grace of this bill is that repeal of the individual mandate will prompt consumers to leave the insurance cartel and create direct care and health-sharing associations as an alternative to this entire scheme. However, by creating an unaccountable bailout program, HHS bureaucrats will work with state bureaucrats and insurance cartel lobbyists (no elected officials involved!) to mask the price inflation to keep the insurance monopoly intact.

It will codify, enshrine, and expand Obamacare.

Overall, it’s understandable why conservatives would want to support something over nothing at this late hour. And with the right focus on supply-side market reforms, we could possibly make a partial repeal work, with the elimination of the mandates. But politicians must first focus on not making things worse. Moreover, they should at least negotiate to get rid of the bailout fund and these onerous provisions while working for some true health care reforms, such as price transparency and parity of tax treatment. If this requires using the reconciliation bill for next year to fix health care, then so be it.

The mother’s milk of the D.C. swamp is the false dichotomy of “take or leave it.” Don’t fall for the trick without first fighting for more.

https://www.conservativereview.com/articles/3-red-flag-provisions-in-the-graham-cassidy-health-care-bill

Story 3: Obama’s Secret Surveillance Spy State Scandal — Misuse of Intelligence Community For Political Purposes — Gross Abuse of Power and Political Conspiracy — Violation of Fourth Amendment — Videos —

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President Obama went to British intelligence to spy on Trump for him! – Judge Napolitano

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It looks like Obama did spy on Trump, just as he apparently did to me

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The Pronk Pops Show 961, September 11, 2017, Story 1: Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irma is History — Storm Surge and Rain Floods Jacksonville, Miami, Naples , Charleston and Many Others –Wind and Flood Damage In Billions — More Than 25 Dead and Over 7 Million Without Electrical Power — Looting — Videos — Story 2: Bannon on Sixty Minutes — Republican Leadership Promises Not Kept — Firing of FBI Director Comey — A Big Mistake — DACA May Lead To Republican Civil War — Videos

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Image result for tropical storm irma Image result for hurricane irma advisory as on 5 pm Monday Sep 11, 2017Image result for steve bannon 60 minutes

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Hurricane Irma: Nearly half of Florida in the dark, Tampa takes pounding

The hurricane’s maximum sustained winds weakened to 85 mph with additional weakening expected. As of 2 a.m. EDT, the storm was centered about 25 miles northeast of Tampa and moving north-northwest near 15 mph.

Irma continues its slog north along Florida’s western coast having blazed a path of unknown destruction. With communication cut to some of the Florida Keys, where Irma made landfall Sunday, and rough conditions persisting across the peninsula, many are holding their breath for what daylight might reveal.

Forecasters say they expert Irma’s center to stay inland over Florida and then move into Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.

They also expect Irma to weaken further into a tropical storm over far northern Florida or southern Georgia on Monday as it speeds up its forward motion. The hurricane center says the storm is still life-threatening with dangerous storm surge, wind and heavy rains.

More than 3.3 million homes and businesses — and counting — have lost power in Florida as Hurricane Irma moves up the peninsula.

The widespread outages stretch from the Florida Keys all the way into central Florida.

Florida Power & Light, the state’s largest electric utility, said there were nearly 1 million customers without power in Miami-Dade County alone.

There are roughly 7 million residential customers in the state.

The county administrator in the Florida Keys says crews will begin house to house searches Monday morning, looking for people who need help and assessing damage from Hurricane Irma.

Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi says relief will arrive on a C-130 military plane Monday morning at the Key West International Airport.

Once it’s light out, they’ll check on survivors. They suspect they may find fatalities.

Gastesi says they are “prepared for the worst.”

Hurricane Irma made landfall Sunday morning in Cudjoe Key.

But The Associated Press has been texting with John Huston, who has been riding out the storm in his house on Key Largo, on the Atlantic side of the island, just south of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

Every few minutes during the height of the storm, he sent another dispatch.

He described whiteout conditions, with howling winds that sucked dry the gulf side of the narrow island, where the tide is usually 8 feet deep. He kept his humor though, texting to “send cold beer” at one point. Now he sees furniture floating down the street with small boats.

He says the storm surge was at least 6 feet deep on his island, 76 miles from Irma’s eye. He can see now that structures survived, but the storm left a big mess at ground level.

Irma set all sorts of records for brute strength before crashing into Florida, flattening islands in the Caribbean and swamping the Florida Keys.

It finally hit the mainland as a big wide beast, but not quite as monstrous as once feared. The once-Category 5 storm lost some of its power on the northern Cuba coast.

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_HURRICANE_IRMA_THE_LATEST?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-09-11-07-05-11

Florida picks up the pieces of Irma’s devastation: 7.2million left without power and at least seven dead after hurricane beat a path across the state before being downgraded to a tropical storm

  • Irma weakened to a tropical storm on Monday, as it continued to pummel northern Florida 
  • The storm is expected to move into Georgia later today, where Atlanta has been put on a tropical storm warning for the first time ever and schools are closed for the day 
  • More than 4,000 flights were cancelled on Monday, mostly out of Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale and Tampa’s airports  
  • About 7.2 million people are without power and it could take a few days to by fully restored 
  • Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys early Sunday morning then pushed up the Gulf Coast
  • The National Hurricane Center said water levels in Naples rose 7ft in just 90 minutes with substantial flooding
  • Seven deaths reported in Florida so far but officials admit they do not have a definitive number of fatalities yet
  • The storm has toppled cranes, swallowed streets and ripped the roofs off homes  
  • Nearly seven million people had been told to leave their homes in mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders
  • More than 200,000 people waited in shelters statewide as Irma headed up the coast 
  • The storm has already claimed at least 25 lives across the Caribbean since it took hold earlier in the week 

The first Floridians are returning home today to survey the damage wreaked by Hurricane Irma.

The powerful hurricane made landfall Sunday morning in the Florida Keys as a category 4 storm and then made it’s way up the Golf Coast – knocking out power to some 7.2million people in the southeast, swamping downtown Miami with storm surge and blowing the roofs off homes.

More than 200,000 people waited in shelters statewide as Irma headed up the coast.

As of Monday morning, the storm was still pummeling northern Florida but had been downgraded to a tropical storm. Irma’s maximum sustained winds were down to 60 mph as the storm was about 50 miles south-southeast of Albany’ Georgia Monday afternoon. It’s moving at 17 mph.

Northern Florida and southern Georgia should keep getting soaked, with rain totals eventually accumulating to 8 to 15 inches. Isolated parts of central Georgia, eastern Alabama and southern South Carolina may get up to 10 inches of rain.

So far, the storm is believed to have caused seven deaths – including two in the Florida Keys, which was under mandatory evacuation.

But this morning, Florida Director of Emergency Management Bryan Koon said he could not confirm or deny reports of multiple deaths or extensive damage, admitting: ‘I don’t have any numbers on fatalities at this point.’

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A person walks through the flooded streets of a trailer park in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Monday in Key Largo, Florida

Marie Powell surveys damage to her property at a mobile home park after Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida, U.S. September 11, 2017

Tommy Nevitt carries Miranda Abbott, 6, through floodwater caused by Hurricane Irma on the west side of Jacksonville, Florida on Monday

Debris from destroyed mobile sit in the Naples Estates mobile home park in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida Monday, September 11, 2017

Kelly McClenthen returns to see the flood damage to her home with her boyfriend Daniel Harrison in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Bonita Springs, Fla., Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

Wrecked boats that have come ashore are pictured in Coconut Grove following Hurricane Irma in Miami, Florida, U.S., September 11, 2017

The Sunrise Motel remains flooded after Hurricane Irma hit the area on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

Water rises in a neighborhood after Hurricane Irma brought floodwaters to Jacksonville, Florida Monday, September 11, 2017

Floodwaters surround a marina in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Monday in Key Largo, Florida 

Floodwaters surround a marina in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Monday in Key Largo, Florida

Hurricane Irma will cross into Georgia on Monday, bringing heavy wind and rain to the state 

A van remains in a sinkhole on Monday  in Winter Springs, Florida after Hurricane Irma passed through the state

People walk around branches and trees that were downed when hurricane Irma passed through Miami, Florida on Monday

A man walks by damage from Hurricane Irma at Sundance Marine in Palm Shores, Florida, Monday, September 11, 2017

Boats sit on the bottom in the north Florida panhandle community of Shell Point Beach as Hurricane Irma pulls the water out September 11, 2017 in Crawfordville, Florida

Downed power lines are seen in Bonita Springs, Florida, northeast of Naples, on September 11, 2017 after Hurricane Irma hit Florida

The roof of a gas station is shown damaged by Hurricane Irma winds on September 11, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

A gas station is shown damaged by Hurricane Irma winds on September 11, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

Pedestrians try to walk as waves crash at The Battery as Tropical Storm Irma hits Charleston, South Carolina on Monday

This satellite image shows Tropical Storm Irma as it moves up Florida's West Coast Monday morning

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says there’s damage across the state caused by Hurricane Irma and it’s still too dangerous for residents to go outside or return from evacuation.

Scott said Monday on Fox News that he’s concerned about flooding now unfolding in Jacksonville and the amount of damage in the Florida Keys. The governor will be flying out of Mobile, Alabama, on a U.S. Coast Guard plane down to the Keys where he plans to inspect the extent of the damage there.

Scott asked Floridians to be patient and warned that roads are impassable and that there are downed power lines.

A Fort Lauderdale police officer holds the paw of his K-9 as the two take a nap during the storm on Sunday 

While Irma has been downgraded to a tropical storm over Florida, it still has winds near hurricane force.

Jacksonville, Florida, authorities are telling residents near the St. Johns river to leave quickly as floodwaters rise.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office warned people in evacuation zones A and B along the St. Johns River to ‘Get out NOW.’

They say river is at historic flood levels and likely to get worse at high tide around 2pm.

On its Facebook page, the sheriff’s office told those who need help evacuating to ‘put a white flag in front of your house. A t-shirt, anything white.’

Rescue teams were ready to deploy.

The storm surge flooding in downtown Jacksonville has already exceeded a record set during a 1965 hurricane by at least a foot. A river gauge downtown in the Atlantic Coast city measured 3 feet above flood stage.

John Ward, the emergency operations manager of Clay County, says crews have pulled 46 people from flooded homes by early Monday and an undetermined number are still stranded as the area’s creeks and ponds are getting record flooding.

Ward says between 400 and 500 homes received severe flood damage but there have been no serious injuries or deaths.

To the south, winds knocked a utility pole and power lines onto a sheriff’s cruiser late Sunday in Polk County, illustrating the dangerous conditions for emergency personnel. A deputy and a paramedic, who had just escorted an elderly patient to safety, were trapped for two hours until a crew could free them. Both were unhurt.

Property damage is seen at a mobile home park after Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida, U.S. September 11, 2017

A man walks through a flooded street in a rural area the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

A tree blocks a road after it was downed by winds from Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

People take photos of boats that have come ashore in Coconut Grove following Hurricane Irma in Miami, Florida, on Monday

Partially submerged boats caused by Hurricane Irma sit in the water in a marina in downtown Miami, Florida on Monday

People wade through a flooded neighborhood in Bonita Springs, Florida, northeast of Naples, on September 11, 2017, after Hurricane Irma hit Florida

People wade through a flooded neighborhood in Bonita Springs, Florida, northeast of Naples, on September 11, 2017, after Hurricane Irma hit Florida

Kelly McClenthen walks through her flooded neighborhood, as she returns to see the damage to her home in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Bonita Springs, Florida on Monday

A boat is seen washed ashore at the Dinner Key marina after hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

Street flooding is prevalent on the Southbank of downtown as Hurricane Irma passes by in Jacksonville, Florida on Monday

A fire truck is shown in a flooded area in the wake of Hurricane Irma on Monday in Key Largo, Florida 

The entirety of the Florida Keys was under evacuation during Irma but an estimated 10,000 stuck around to weather the storm 

Above, another flooded neighborhood in Key Largo, Florida on Monday 

A pickup truck drives through a flooded area of Key Largo, Florida on Monday 

The winds ripped the roofs off of these two homes in Key Largo, Florida, as seen on Monday

The heavy winds left many of the trees in Key Largo, Florida barren after the storm 

And more than 120 homes were being evacuated early Monday in Orange County, just outside the city of Orlando, as floodwaters started to pour in. Firefighters and the National Guard were going door-to-door and using boats to ferry families to safety. A few miles away, 30 others had to be evacuated when a 60-foot sinkhole opened up under an apartment building. No injuries were reported in either case.

Much of central Florida, including Orlando, suffered significant damage as Irma blew through Sunday night and into Monday morning.

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said Monday morning that there’s been widespread damage and significant power loss throughout the area.

Jacobs said approximately 300,000 residents in Orlando are without power. She also said 60 per cent of the fire stations are operating on backup generators and dispatchers received 1,381 calls between Sunday at midnight and 5:45 a.m. Monday morning.

Residents are being asked to minimize usage such as flushing toilets, bathing, along with washing dishes and laundry.

SeaTow workers attempt to save a damaged motor yacht in the Pompano Beach, Florida on Monday, following the passing of Hurricane Irma

A driver guides his pickup truck through a neighborhood flooded by Hurricane Irma on Monday in Bonita Springs, Florida

A driver guides his pickup truck through a neighborhood flooded by Hurricane Irma on Monday in Bonita Springs, Florida

A man walks through Hurricane Irma floodwaters on Monday in Bonita Springs, Florida

A man walks through Hurricane Irma floodwaters on Monday in Bonita Springs, Florida

People move around branches and trees that were downed when hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

People move around branches and trees that were downed when hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

A boat is seen washed ashore at the Dinner Key marina after hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

A boat is seen washed ashore at the Dinner Key marina after hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

ouis Castro picks up a coconut downed by the winds of Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

ouis Castro picks up a coconut downed by the winds of Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

Members of the Bonita Springs Fire Department set off to survey damage in a flooded neighborhood in Bonita Springs, Florida, northeast of Naples, on September 11, 2017 after Hurricane Irma hit Florida

Members of the Bonita Springs Fire Department set off to survey damage in a flooded neighborhood in Bonita Springs, Florida, northeast of Naples, on September 11, 2017 after Hurricane Irma hit Florida

A woman walks past trees downed by the winds of Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

A woman walks past trees downed by the winds of Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

Some street flooding persists on Biscayne Boulevard after Hurricane Irma struck in Miami, Florida, USA, 11 September 2017

In Redington Shores west of Tampa, attorney Carl Roberts spent a sleepless night riding out Irma in his 17th floor beachfront condo. After losing power late Sunday, he made it through the worst of the storm shaken but unhurt.

‘The hurricane winds lashed the shutters violently, throughout the night,’ he wrote in a text message, ‘making sleep impossible.’

As morning broke, he couldn’t open the electric shutters to see outside.

‘It’s so dark in here,’ he said.

Nearly 5.8 million homes and businesses across Florida lost power, and utility officials said it will take weeks to restore electricity to everyone. More than 125,000 were in the dark in Georgia.

Downtown Savannah was getting soaked Monday morning, with winds just strong enough to rustle treetops and shake small branches onto the roads. Impacts from the storm were expected throughout the day.

People walk through flooded streets the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

A Miami Beach Police officer watches residents attempting to return to their homes after Hurricane Irma struck in Miami, Florida, USA, 11 September 2017

Mike Getman (left) and Rob Beaton (right), residents of the north Florida community of Shell Point Beach, walk the newly exposed Gulf bottom as Hurricane Irma pulls the water out on September 11, 2017 in Crawfordville, Florida

Neighbors emerge from their homes to get a first look at the damage to their neighborhood caused by Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Fort Meade, Florida

A women stands near trees downed by Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

A women stands near trees downed by Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

Zachary Harrison, his fiance Cheyanne O'Donnell and their three children, Jaiden, 14, Jackson, 9, and Ella, 10-months, get their first look at the damage to their neighborhood caused by Hurricane Irma on Monday in Fort Meade, Florida

A large tree is seen laying on top of a home after high winds from Hurricane Irma came through the area on Monday in Fort Meade, Florida

A large tree is seen laying on top of a home after high winds from Hurricane Irma came through the area on Monday in Fort Meade, Florida

The National Weather Service said the threat of storm surge had decreased Monday along Georgia’s 100 miles of coast, but flooding rains could still cause swollen rivers, streams and creeks to overflow.

Officials say at least one tornado has been reported in coastal Georgia as strong winds and drenching rains from Tropical Storm Irma hammer the state.

The National Weather Service also issued a flash-flood emergency for Charleston,  South Carolina as heavy rains begin to move into areas already flooding by ocean surge from Tropical Storm Irma.

Irma has now knocked out power to around 190,000 customers in South Carolina.

Firefighters on one of South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island are staying inside until the worst weather from Tropical Storm Irma passes.

Irma’s center was about 105 miles north of Tampa when forecasters announced it had weakened to a tropical storm. However, they warned its maximum sustained winds were 70 mph, and the storm was still producing higher gusts.

The monster storm, which arrived in Florida as a Category 4 hurricane, has toppled at least three constructions cranes – two over downtown Miami and one in Fort Lauderdale.

People in the heavily populated Tampa-St. Petersburg area had feared a first direct hit from a major hurricane since 1921, but the storm weakened to a Category 2 as it approached that area.

A Florida Highway Patrol vehicle drives by part of a roof and ceiling torn off of a nearby home from the high winds from Hurricane Irma at an intersection on September 11, 2017 in Bowling Green, Florida

A Florida Highway Patrol vehicle drives by part of a roof and ceiling torn off of a nearby home from the high winds from Hurricane Irma at an intersection on September 11, 2017 in Bowling Green, Florida

A car sits in a flooded parking lot outside the Germain Arena, which was used as an evacuation shelter for Hurricane Irma, which passed through yesterday, in Estero, Florida on Monday

A car sits in a flooded parking lot outside the Germain Arena, which was used as an evacuation shelter for Hurricane Irma, which passed through yesterday, in Estero, Florida on Monday

Above, another view of downed trees in Miami, Florida on Monday  

Above, another view of downed trees in Miami, Florida on Monday

A couple leave their flooded home the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Fort Myers, Florida

A couple leave their flooded home the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Fort Myers, Florida

A home with a religious message taped to the front door sits apparently undamaged just hours after Hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Fort Meade, Florida

A home with a religious message taped to the front door sits apparently undamaged just hours after Hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Fort Meade, Florida

Cars make their away through a flooded street the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

Hurricane Irma whips an aluminum carport in the north Florida panhandle community of Shell Point Beach on Monday

Above, the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Marco Island, Florida 

A fallen palm tree and a roof litters a street as Rick Freedman checks his neighborhood's damage from Hurricane Irma in Marco Island, Florida on Monday

The front staircase sits damaged as Rick Freedman surveys the aftermath on his home with his parrot Mango from Hurricane Irma in Marco Island, Florida on Monday

Hotel guests are served breakfast by lamplight as the power remains off at the Courtyard by Marriott one day after Hurricane Irma struck the state on Monday in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said the situation was not as bad as it could have been, but warned residents that dangerous storm surge continued. He also described downed power lines and other debris.

Speaking Monday morning on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe,’ Buckhorn said ‘What we thought was going to be a punch in the face was a glancing blow.’

Buckhorn did say there are a lot of downed power lines and debris.

He said Tampa’s officials have vehicles positioned ‘to be sure that when that surge comes in we can keep people out of the streets.’

He said he expected power to be out for some sections of Tampa for at least a couple more days.

Meanwhile, rescue efforts ramped up in the evacuated neighborhood near Orlando as Guardsmen in helmets and fatigues rolled through standing water in a high-clearance vehicle. Firefighters rescued a puppy from one of the homes there and leashed the anxious dog to the front of one of their trucks to give it water and snacks.

As the sun rose in Orlando, many tried to survey the damage, but authorities warned that conditions remain dangerous and asked people not to venture outside because of a curfew.

Sedat Esenbahar carries his bird Maxiy after checking out of at the Courtyard by Marriott, where he stayed during Hurricane Irma on Monday

Sedat Esenbahar carries his bird Maxiy after checking out of at the Courtyard by Marriott, where he stayed during Hurricane Irma on Monday

Seat Turtle Overshight Protection co-founder Richard WhiteCloud works to recover and re-bury sea turtle eggs that were destroyed during Hurricane Irma along Fort Lauderdale Beach on Monday 

Seat Turtle Overshight Protection co-founder Richard WhiteCloud works to recover and re-bury sea turtle eggs that were destroyed during Hurricane Irma along Fort Lauderdale Beach on Monday

A bicycle rack is half buried in blown sand at Fort Lauderdale Beach the day after Hurricane Irma slammed into the state on Monday

A homeless man lays on a bench on Historic River Street on Monday in Savannah, Georgia 

Evacuees, from left, Dennis Larios, Odaliz Larios, Jennifer Larios and Kevin Renoso, wait to leave the Germain Arena, which was used as an evacuation shelter for Hurricane Irma, which passed through yesterday, in Estero, Florida on Monday

Tony Lobato works on removing tree branches and debris downed in the early morning hours by Hurricane Irma from his home on September 11, 2017 in Bowling Green, Florida

Tony Lobato works on removing tree branches and debris downed in the early morning hours by Hurricane Irma from his home on September 11, 2017 in Bowling Green, Florida

Sam Parish wades through a flooded neighborhood in Bonita Springs, Florida, northeast of Naples, on September 11, 2017 after Hurricane Irma hit Florida

Miami downtown residents return home after evacuating before Hurricane Irma struck in Miami, Florida, USA, 11 September 2017

Road crews clear debris after Hurricane Irma passed through on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

A woman walks past trees downed by the winds of Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

Kristen Bell sings for Hurricane Irma evacuees

Actress Kristen Bell says she’s ‘singing in a hurricane’ while riding out Irma in Florida.

The ‘Frozen’ star is in Orlando filming a movie and staying at a hotel at the Walt Disney World resort. She stopped by an Orlando middle school that was serving as a shelter and belted out songs from ‘Frozen.’

Back at the hotel, Bell posted pictures on Instagram of her singing with one guest and dining with a group of seniors.

Bell also helped out the parents of ‘Frozen’ co-star Josh Gad by securing them a room at the hotel.

Bell tells Sacramento, California, station KMAX-TV – where her father is news director – that the experience is her version of one of her favorite movies, ‘Singin’ in the Rain.’

Actress Kristen Bell performed at a shelter during Hurricane Irma on Sunday, belting out songs from the movie Frozen

Irma has so far claimed seven lives so far in the U.S.

Two of the people killed were in Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys. One of the bodies was found in a Shark Key home while another man was killed when he lost control of a truck carrying a generator.

A sheriff’s deputy and corrections officer were killed in a two-car crash in Hardee county during heavy rains.

Hardee County Sheriff’s deputy and mother-of-one Julie Bridges and Hardee Correctional Institute sergeant Joseph Ossman crashed and died around 60 miles from Saratosa.

Another victim was killed in Miami-Dade county from carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator while one person died in a car crash in Orange County.

Georgia Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Catherine Howden said Monday that one storm-related death has been confirmed in Worth County, about 170 miles (270 kilometers) south of Atlanta. She had no further details.

In the Caribbean, at least 37 were people were killed during Irma’s destructive trek across exclusive islands known as the vacation playground for the rich. Ten of those deaths were in Cube.

Randy Bresnik took this picture of Hurricane Jose's eye from the International Space Station

Hurricane Irma, taken by NASA astronaut Randy Bresnik, seen from the International Space Station.

INSIDE THE EYE OF HURRICANE JOSE – Taken by Randy Bresnik aboard the ISS – ‘A walk inside the Eye of #Jose. Just amazing to see through the eye to the surface!’

Bridges, one of the people killed during the hurricane, had been collecting supplies to keep helping civilians when she collided with Ossman, 53, who had been going to work.

‘She worked the shelter all night and was going home to retrieve some more items and then go back to the shelter,’ Hardee County Sheriff Arnold Lanier told the Herald-Advocate.

The wreck was reported at 6.53am, having been found at the intersection of Old Crewsville Road and SR 66 in Zolfo Springs. No other vehicles or people were involved.

Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the incident, and has not yet ruled whether the winds and rain caused by Irma at the time of the crash directly influenced the accident.

Bridges was a mother of an eight-year-old boy and a member of the sheriff’s Honor Guard. Ossman, meanwhile, had been working at the Hardee Correctional Institute for 21 years.

‘We are heartbroken by this loss, and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and fellow officers at this time,’ Corrections Secretary Julie Jones told the Miami Herald.

They were not the only people to die amid the deluge.

Evacuees leave the Germain Arena, which was used as an evacuation shelter for Hurricane Irma, which passed through yesterday, in Estero, Florida on Monday

Tony Loduca walks back to his apartment past a roof whose tiles where torn off from Hurricane Irma in Marco Island, Florida on Monday

A roof is strewn across a home's lawn as Rick Freedman checks his neighbor's damage from Hurricane Irma in Marco Island, Florida on Monday
A roof is strewn across a home’s lawn as Rick Freedman checks his neighbor’s damage from Hurricane Irma in Marco Island, Florida on Monday

Brian Baker, of Valrico, Florida, cuts up an Oak tree that fell across Falling Leaves Drive after Hurricane Irma passed through the area on Monday in Valrico, Florida

Wind from Hurricane Irma whip the flags on City Hall, Monday, Sept., 11, 2017, in Savannah, Georgia
Wind from Hurricane Irma whip the flags on City Hall, Monday, Sept., 11, 2017, in Savannah, Georgia

A large tree is seen laying in the front yard of a home after high winds from Hurricane Irma came through the area on Monday in Fort Meade, Florida 

Ducks swim through a street the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida. Hurricane Irma made another landfall near Naples yesterday after inundating the Florida Keys

People inspect their neighborhood that was flooded by Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

Men clear debris from a roadway the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

Another man was killed after tropical-storm-strength winds caused him to lose control of the truck he was driving through Monroe County, which contains Key West. He had been carrying a generator, local officials told ABC News.

And an elderly man died of natural causes while sheltering in a school in the city of Marathon on the Keys, Larry Kahn, an editor for FlKeysNews.com, said.

‘He was staying in one of the classrooms,’ Khan explained. ‘Police came up, along with a couple of nurses who are here, actually, got everyone out of the room and sealed it off.’

Those deaths come after Irma claimed at least 25 lives in the Caribbean as it swept over several countries, destroying entire islands. Yesterday, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced that the confirmed death toll on the Caribbean island of St Maarten had increased to four.

In one of the largest U.S. evacuations, nearly 7 million people in the Southeast were warned to seek shelter, including 6.4 million in Florida alone. More than 200,000 people waited in shelters across Florida.

An overnight curfew was imposed in Miami to stop opportunistic looters taking advantage of the countless coastal homes that now stand abandoned.

But at least 32 people have been arrested across Florida for trying to loot the empty businesses and homes.

Two people burst into an Orlando sporting store and allegedly stole guns, before facing off with SWAT in a standoff. Shocking videos also emerged of gangs trying to break into stores and take advantage of deserted properties.

Bryan Koon, Florida’s emergency management director, said late Sunday that authorities had only scattered information about damage.

‘I’ve not heard of catastrophic damage. It doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. It means it hasn’t gotten to us yet,’ Koon said.

Pedestrians walk by a flooded car on a street as Tropical Storm Irma hits Charleston, South Carolina on Monday 

A pet owner protects her dog as pedestrians prepare for waves crashing over The Battery as Hurricane Irma hits Charleston, South Carolina on Monday

Mattson Wiksell picks up debris at Waterfront Park as Hurricane Irma hits Charleston, South Carolina on Monday

Mattson Wiksell picks up debris at Waterfront Park as Hurricane Irma hits Charleston, South Carolina on Monday

A man takes pictures as people prepare for huge wave crashing over The Battery as Hurricane Irma hits Charleston, South Carolina on Monday

In the low-lying Keys, appliances and furniture were seen floating away, and Monroe County spokeswoman Cammy Clark said the ocean waters were filled with navigation hazards, including sunken boats.

The county administrator, Roman Gastesi, said crews would begin house-to-house searches Monday morning to check on survivors. They suspect they may find fatalities. Gastesi says they are ‘prepared for the worst.’

About 30,000 people heeded orders to leave the Keys as the storm closed in, but about 10,000 refused, in part because, to many storm-hardened residents, staying behind in the face of danger is a point of pride.

Koon said it was likely they did not have power or water and that there would have been ‘fairly significant impact to homes’.

‘It is obvious we need to get in there, assess the damage and figure out what we need to do for helping those folks,’ he said.

John Huston, who stayed in his Key Largo home, watched his yard flood even before the arrival of high tide.

‘Small boats floating down the street next to furniture and refrigerators. Very noisy,’ he said by text message. ‘Shingles are coming off.’

As the nation’s eyes turned to follow Irma up the west coast of Florida, the Keys began to take in the immensity of the damage done.

Another victim of the storm was claimed when his truck (pictured) was swept off the road and into a tree in Monroe County. He has not yet been named

People drive through a neighborhood that was flooded by Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

Workers from Orange County rescue make a final check of an area on a flooded street after they were called to rescue residents from their homes during Hurricane Irma on Monday in Lake Buena Vista, Florida

An abandoned car that was stranded in storm surge remains on North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard one day after Hurricane Irma slamed into the southern part of the state on September 11, 2017

Florida responded with the launch of a massive airborne relief mission by Monroe County Emergency Management, whose director, Martin Senterfitt, called the damage done to the Keys a ‘humanitarian crisis.’

He promised disaster mortuary teams, as well as C-130 cargo planes, which United States Air Force special operations pilots are testing flights around the massive storm. Also on the mission will be Air National Guard flights of more C-130s, backed up by squadrons of helicopters. They are expected to start arriving early Monday morning.

The first load will head to Florida Keys Marathon Airport. As it can handle about two C-130 planes at a time, the plan is to land two every two hours, keeping a steady flow of good.

‘The help is on its way,’ Senterfitt said, adding: ‘We’re going to get more aid than we’ve ever seen in our lives.’

It has been difficult to determine the extent of damage Hurricane Irma caused in the Florida Keys due to difficulties with communication.

The Navy is sending an aircraft carrier to Key West to provide emergency services.

An update from Monroe County describes ‘an astounding recovery effort’ taking place in the Florida Keys.

The USS Lincoln aircraft carrier will be anchored off Key West to provide emergency services, and three other Navy vessels are en route.

Officials said the National Guard has arrived in the island chain, and state transportation officials have cleared six of 42 bridges as safe for travel. However, roads remain closed because of debris, and fuel is still a concern. There is no water, power or cell service in the Keys.

Irma once was the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the open Atlantic, a Category 5 with a peak wind speed of 185 mph (300 kph). For days, forecasters had warned Irma was taking dead aim at Florida. Irma made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane Sunday morning at Cudjoe Key, not far from Key West. It then rounded Florida’s southwestern corner and hugged the coast closely as it pushed north.

Meanwhile, an Atlanta airport official says there’ve been around 800 cancellations due to the threat of Irma, which weakened to a tropical storm Monday morning.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport spokesman Andrew Gobeil says the airport will still be operational Monday and will monitor storm conditions.

Gobeil says the airport created an overflow parking plan to allow planes unable to land in areas such as Florida to park at the airport in Atlanta.

Miami International Airport has announced it will be closed today and there has been no confirmation flights will resume on Tuesday.

Orlando International Airport closed Saturday and won’t reopen to passenger traffic until after Irma has passed, a damage assessment has been completed, necessary recovery efforts made and the airlines are consulted to determine when best to resume operations.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport says on its website it has no timetable yet to reopen. Its last flights were Friday. Tampa International Airport also is closed as Hurricane Irma moves up the Florida peninsula.

Airlines are preparing their recovery schedules, which may take several days to execute.

As the remnants of Hurricane Irma move out of Florida, work is underway to resupply the state with gasoline. Hurricane Irma caused a huge spike in gasoline demand as residents evacuated, topped of their tanks, and/or filled gas cans to power generators. This led to outages at various gas stations throughout Florida and neighboring states, and it could take a week for supply conditions to return to normal.

Suppliers face an uphill battle in the coming days, trying to keep gas stations supplied, as Florida evacuees return home in large numbers after the storm. Gas stations not located along major highways should have an easier time keeping supplies, as residents are no longer ‘panic pumping’, since the storm is no longer a threat. Refueling gas stations along major evacuation routes will be a top priority, as it was before the storm. Motorists are still likely to find long lines, which could lead to temporary outages, due to the surge in demand.

Heavy westbound traffic comes to a stop at a back up on I-4 near the Celebration exit as Florida residents attempt to make their way back home after evacuating Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida

Steve Slonan inspects a friend's home after Hurricane Irma hit the area on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

: A man walks through a flooded street in a rural part of Naples the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

A family leaves their flooded home in a rural area the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida

A home is shown damaged after Hurricane Irma hit the area on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

A home is shown damaged after Hurricane Irma hit the area on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

A home is shown damaged after Hurricane Irma hit the area on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

A home is shown damaged after Hurricane Irma hit the area on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

A swamped boat off Watson Island marina after Hurricane Irma struck in Miami, Florida, USA, 11 September 2017

A damaged boat is seen at the Dinner Key marina after Hurricane Irma passed through the area on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

‘Florida evacuees should plan their return home very carefully,’ said Mark Jenkins, spokesman, AAA – The Auto Club Group. ‘First, ensure you know there are no major hazards at home or along your travel route. Expect congestion on the roadways, as the first few days after the storm will be the busiest. Pay close attention to traffic reports. Ensure you have a full tank of gas before you hit the road. Do not let your fuel gauge fall below a quarter tank before you start looking for a place to refuel. Bring a gas can in case you run out of fuel. It is not safe to drive with a full gas can inside an enclosed vehicle.’

President Donald Trump said last night that the U.S. may have gotten a ‘little bit lucky’ after Hurricane Irma veered from its original course and headed west along Florida’s coast.

He said Irma might not have been quite as destructive as a result, but that things will play out over the next several hours. Trump added that Irma would cost ‘a lot of money’ but he wasn’t thinking about that because ‘right now, we’re worried about lives, not cost.’

He declared a major disaster in the state of Florida, making federal aid available to people affected by Hurricane Irma in nine counties already hit by the storm.

The federal help includes temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans for uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover in the counties of Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Pinellas, and Sarasota.

Property damage is seen at a mobile home park after Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida, U.S. September 11, 2017

Property damage is seen at a mobile home park after Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida, U.S. September 11, 2017

Property damage is seen at a mobile home park after Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida, U.S. September 11, 2017

With no gas stations open anywhere in the area, motorists running low on fuel stop at an on ramp to westbound I-4 and get a few gallons of gas from Javier Franqui, a Florida Department of Transportation Road Ranger, on September 11, 2017 in Lake Helen, Florida

With no gas stations open anywhere in the area, motorists running low on fuel stop at an on ramp to westbound I-4 to refuel from tanks strapped to their vehicle's roof on September 11, 2017 in Lake Helen, Florida

Debris is shown strewn along a roadway in the wake of powerful Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Isamorada, a village encompassing six of the Florida Keys

A road is partially blocked by a tree downed in the high winds from Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida

Residents make their way across a flooded street after Hurricane Irma brought floodwaters to Jacksonville, Florida Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

Lawrence Buckmen rides his motorcycle through Hurricane Irma flood waters on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

Lawrence Buckmen rides his motorcycle through Hurricane Irma flood waters on September 11, 2017 in East Naples, Florida

The crumbled canopy of a gas station damaged by Hurricane Irma in Naples, Florida, U.S., September 11, 2017

A patient is evacuated by boat from the St. Vincent's Medical Center after floodwaters from Hurricane Irma covered the first floor of the hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

A patient is evacuated by boat from the St. Vincent’s Medical Center after floodwaters from Hurricane Irma covered the first floor of the hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

A lamp post is wrapped around a car in the wake of Hurricane Irma in Kissimmee, Florida September 11, 2017

Federal funding also is available to governments and non-profit organizations for emergencies in all 67 Florida counties. For the first 30 days, that money will cover 100 percent of the costs of some emergency responses.

As Irma swept over the country, people trapped in its midst told DailyMail.com of the drama they were enduring. One of them was lifelong Floridian Jacqueline Cobb of Pembroke Pines, which is near Miami.

She had been forced to bunker down in a school as it was the only shelter she could find for people with special needs, like her friend Stephen Herndon who has problems with his autonomic nervous system that can cause severe nosebleeds, fainting and overheating.

She had originally found a hotel for them to stay in, but it canceled their booking, saying that the lack of impact windows and a backup generator meant they had to shut down.

Cobb helped out as a Red Cross volunteer in Hurricane Andrew in 1992, but says Irma is on another level. ‘It was nothing like this, because Hurricane Andrew was a smaller, more compact hurricane, so you could get away from it,’ she said.

‘We did not feel the wrath, so to speak, in the northern part of the county, but in the southern part it was a battle field. It was completely decimated, some houses were completely destroyed, others were partially damaged.’

Cobb and her friend are safe in her shelter, but a shocking text message left her worried about her home and neighbors.

‘I received a code red tornado alert,’ she said. ‘I have a two-story townhouse and there is a three-and-a-half-ton air conditioner on the rooftop. I’m on a lake in the first house, so If the tornado rips that off, it will open up my house and let water into the building,’ she said.

Heavy rainfall is predicted to continue falling through Tuesday, even as Irma moves on, breaks up and dissipates

Also in the line of the storm was British tourist Stephanie Jay, who took shelter in Naples with her husband Elliot and their two-year-old daughter Isabella.

The family, from St Albans outside London, had enjoyed a week’s holiday in Miami until they were unceremoniously evicted from their hotel.

‘We went down to reception to ask what was happening and were told to pack our bags and move out of the hotel,’ she told DailyMail.com.

‘They weren’t very helpful considering they knew we were very worried, especially as we don’t know many people in Florida… They clearly didn’t want us to be there and made our one night there very difficult.’

‘We tried to get out of Florida but all the flights were booked and we knew they would be closing the airport so didn’t want to be stranded with a two year old,’ she said.

Instead, they spent a night in Naples with a friend before heading to Bradenton, south of Tampa. That has left them in the path of the oncoming Irma – but they are remaining positive and hope to return home as planned next week.

In more serious trouble were a pair of would-be sailors who called Martin County Sheriff’s Office for help after they remained on their boat in the storm – even though they could not swim.

‘MCSO Marine Rescue and Strike Teams are launching into treacherous waters to begin a marine rescue of two people who remained on their boat near the causeway,’ a post on the sheriff’s office’s Facebook page.

‘The mariners say they are unable to swim. We will keep you posted on this. Please pray for the safety of our brave first responders.’

Video later showed the paid being led off their boat safely onto the docks.

Reader Jenny Williams sent in this photograph from her Saratosa neighborhood where she and many of her neighbors had decided to weather out the storm

Key West's streets started to flood as Hurricane Irma struck the area. Even with the eye 15-20 miles out, winds and rain had made it too dangerous to drive

Water levels rose rapidly in Naples (above) from Hurricane Irma's storm surge with a reported a seven foot rise of water in just 90 minutes. The storm kept its top sustained wind speed of 110 mph yesterday

People tend to a car that flipped over on Cape Coral Parkway during Hurricane Irma last night in Cape Coral

A tree is seen toppled onto a pickup truck in Miami after being battered by Irma's winds. Flying debris is an omnipresent danger for those outside in the terrifying weather

Dramatic pictures have emerged showing the moment Hurricane Irma's powerful 130mph winds ripped the roof off a Miami home

Dramatic pictures have emerged showing the moment Hurricane Irma's powerful 130mph winds ripped the roof off a Miami home

A car sits abandoned in storm surge along North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard. Irma made initial landfall at 9:10am on the Florida Keys, which are now the subject of a massive relief effort. Five people have been confirmed dead in the disaster

A car sits abandoned in storm surge along North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard. Irma made initial landfall at 9:10am on the Florida Keys, which are now the subject of a massive relief effort. Five people have been confirmed dead in the disaster

Irma tore down a construction crane atop a skyscraper high over Miami

The crane can also be seen here. Cranes are designed to withstand strong winds and twist like weather vanes to reduce resistance, but Irma was too much

Palm Bay officer Dustin Terkoski walks over debris from a partially collapsed two-story home at Palm Point Subdivision in Brevard County

Large waves produced by Hurricane Irma crash all the way over the top of Anglins Fishing Pier in Fort Lauderdale as Irma picks up steam in the area

Large waves produced by Hurricane Irma crash all the way over the top of Anglins Fishing Pier in Fort Lauderdale as Irma picks up steam in the area

Recently planted palm trees lie strewn across the road as Hurricane Irma passes through Miami Beach

At least 32 people have been arrested across Florida for trying to loot empty businesses and homes that have been evacuated in preparation for Hurricane Irma

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4872940/The-sun-rises-devastation-wreaked-Irma-Florida.html#ixzz4sP9v0kAu

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The Pronk Pops Show 941, August 7, 2017, Story 1: The United Nations Security Council Vote Was Unanimous (15-0) Including China and Russia Imposing Sanctions on North Korea — Videos — Story 2: Will American People Form A New Political Party ? Yes — American Independence Party? When? — 2024 When Over 50% Are Independents — No Longer Believe Democratic or Republican Parties Represent Their Interests/Concerns — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Takes 17 Day Working Vacation While White House Undergoes Needed Repairs — Videos — Story 4: Seymour Hersh Exposes The DNC Leaker — Seth Rich — Not The Russians — DNC Obstruction of Trust — Videos

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Image result for cartoons more sanctions on north koreaImage result for cartoons on 2020 presidential electionsImage result for seymour hersh seth rich murder source of wikileaks DNCImage result for seymour hersh seth rich murder source of wikileaks DNCImage result for cartoons 2020 presidential raceImage result for o cartoons 2020 presidential race

 

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U.N. Security Council Approves New Sanctions on North Korea

By Chas Danner

Image
The unanimous vote on Saturday. Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP/Getty Images

The United Nations Security Council has approved a U.S.-drafted resolution to strengthen sanctions on North Korea, in response to its escalating nuclear- and ballistic-missile weapons programs. The new sanctions, which received unanimous support from the council on Saturday, will impose a full ban on roughly a third of North Korean exports, denying them more than $1 billion in annual revenue.

The sanctions are the seventh set to be imposed on North Korea since its first nuclear-weapon test in 2006, but the first international measure to be taken against the regime since President Trump took office. The resolution comes a little more than a week after North Korea successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that was capable of reaching the mainland U.S. It also received the crucial support of China, North Korea’s most important ally and trading partner, and one of the countries that can veto any U.N. Security Council resolution.

In fact, Politico reports that the sanctions negotiations with China, which started following North Korea’s first successful test of an ICBM on July 4, succeeded in derailing a Trump-administration plan to open a trade investigation targeting China. That plan, which Trump and White House officials hinted at last weekend, was apparently due to be announced on Friday. Assuming the Politico report is accurate, staving off the White House represents a rare win for the State Department against other factions in the Trump administration. It also, for now, denies the White House a chance to test whether or not a trade war with China would be a smart way to protect the U.S. from a North Korean nuclear missile.

“This is the most stringent set of sanctions on any country in a generation,” U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley declared before the U.N. Security Council vote on Saturday. Per the resolution, North Korea can no longer export coal, iron, lead, seafood, and a few other materials. New joint ventures with the country are also prohibited, as are new investments in existing ventures, and more North Korean individuals and entities have been added to the preexisting U.N. sanctions blacklist, which freezes assets and travel.

China’s U.N. ambassador, Liu Jieyi, declared on Saturday that the new resolution demonstrates that the world is “united in its position regarding the nuclear position on the Korean peninsula,” and said that China was glad that the U.S. said it was not seeking regime change in Pyongyang or reunification of the two Koreas. North Korea’s denuclearization (which is not very likely) is still a top U.S. priority, however. The U.S. will also continue to conduct its annual military exercises with South Korea, while both China and Russia reiterated their opposition to the deployment of the U.S. THAAD missile-defense system in South Korea, though that issue did not prevent them from supporting the final resolution.

The resolution does not, as the U.S. originally had sought, cut the amount of oil being delivered to North Korea, but the U.S. was apparently able to overcome the initial objections of China and Russia. All involved stressed that they saw the sanctions as a way to force North Korea to the negotiating table over its nuclear- and ballistic-missile weapons programs, but the successful implementation of this — or any — new sanctions on the country will rely almost exclusively on China following through on its end.

Sanctions against North Korea

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sanctions against North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, have been imposed by various countries and international bodies. The current sanctions are largely concerned with North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and were imposed after its first nuclear test in 2006.

United Nations sanctions

A North Korea cargo ship at the dock in Nampo

The UN Security Council has passed a number of resolutions since North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006.[1]

Resolution 1718 in 2006 demanded that North Korea cease nuclear testing and prohibited the export to North Korea of some military supplies and luxury goods.[2][3] A Sanctions Committee is established, supported by a Panel of Experts that issue annual reports.[4][5][6]

Resolution 1874, passed after the second nuclear test in 2009, broadened the arms embargo. Member states were encouraged to inspect ships and destroy any cargo suspected being related to the nuclear weapons program.[3][1]

Resolution 2087, passed in January 2013 after a satellite launch, strengthened previous sanctions by clarifying a state’s right to seize and destroy cargo suspected of heading to or from North Korea for purposes of military research and development.[3][1]

Resolution 2094 was passed in March 2013 after the third nuclear test. It imposed sanctions on money transfers and aimed to shut North Korea out of the international financial system.[3][1]

Resolution 2270, passed in March 2016 after the fourth nuclear test, further strengthened sanctions.[7] It banned the export of gold, vanadium, titanium, and rare earth metals. The export of coal and iron were also banned, with an exemption for transactions that were purely for “livelihood purposes”.[8][1]

Resolution 2321, passed in November 2016, capped North Korea’s coal exports and banned exports of copper, nickel, zinc, and silver.[9][10] In February 2017, a UN panel said that 116 of 193 member states had yet not submitted a report on their implementation of these sanctions, though China had.[11] Also in February 2017, China announced it would ban all imports of coal for the rest of the year.[12]

United States sanctions

In February 2016, President Obama enacted the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016, which passed the House of Representatives and the Senate with nearly unanimous support.[3] This law:

  • requires the President to sanction entities found to have contributed to North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction program, arms trade, human rights abuses or other illegal activities.[3]
  • imposes mandatory sanctions for entities involved in North Korea’s mineral or metal trades, which comprise a large part of North Korea’s foreign exports.[3]
  • requires the US Treasury Department to determine whether North Korea should be listed as a “primary money laundering concern,” which would trigger tough new financial restrictions.[3]
  • imposes new sanctions authorities related to North Korean human rights abuses and violations of cybersecurity.[3]

This followed the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2013 which the Senate failed to pass.

South Korean sanctions

South Korea imposed sanctions against North Korea following the 2010 sinking of the South Korean naval ship, the Cheonan. These sanctions, known as the May 24 measures, included:[3]

  • banning North Korean ships from South Korean territorial waters.[3]
  • suspending inter-Korean trade except at the Kaesong Industrial Zone.[3]
  • banning most cultural exchanges.[3]

In 2016 President Park Geun-hye ordered the Kaesong complex shut in retaliation for the nuclear test in January and the rocket launch in February.[3]

Japanese sanctions

In 2016, Japan’s sanctions against North Korea included:[3]

  • banning remittances, except those made for humanitarian purposes and less than 100,000 yen in value.[3]
  • freezing assets of suspect individuals and organisations in Japan.
  • prohibiting North Korean citizens from entering Japan.[3]
  • renewing the ban on North Korean ships entering Japanese ports and extending it to include other ships that have visited North Korea.[3]
  • banning nuclear and missile technicians who have been to North Korea from entering Japan.[13]

European Union

The European Union has imposed a series of sanctions against North Korea since 2006. These include:[3]

  • an embargo on arms and related materiel.[3]
  • banning the export of aviation and rocket fuel to North Korea.
  • banning the trade in gold, precious metals and diamonds with the North Korean government.[3]
  • banning the import of minerals from North Korea, with some exemptions for coal and iron ore.
  • banning exports of luxury goods.[3]
  • restrictions on financial support for trade with North Korea.[3]
  • restrictions on investment and financial activities.[3]
  • inspections and monitoring of cargoes imported to and exported from North Korea.[3]
  • prohibiting certain North Korean individuals from entering the EU.[14]

Assessment

A report by the United Nations Panel of Experts stated that North Korea was covertly trading in arms and minerals in defiance of the sanctions.[15]

The academic John Delury has described the sanctions as futile and counterproductive. He has argued that they are unenforceable and unlikely to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.[16]

On the other hand, Sung-Yoon Lee, Professor in Korean Studies at the Fletcher School, and Joshua Stanton, advocate continued tightening of sanctions, targeting Pyongyang’s systemic vulnerabilities, including blocking the regime’s “offshore hard currency reserves and income with financial sanctions, including secondary sanctions against its foreign enablers. This would significantly diminish, if not altogether deny, Kim the means to pay his military, security forces and elites that repress the North Korean public”.[17][18]

References

Story 2: Will American People Form A New Political Party? Yes — American Independence Party? When? — 2024 When Over 50% of American Voters Are Independents — No Longer Believe Democratic and/or Republican Parties Represent Their Interests/Concerns — Videos

Pence denies NYT report on 2020 presidential run

Mike Pence And Kellyanne Just Announced The BEST News About What Trump Just Decided To Do For Americ

Tucker Carlson Tonight 8/7/17 – Tucker Carlson Fox News August 7, 2017 TRUMP’S FIRST 200 DAYS

A Milestone For Women In Politics: Libertarians Reflect on Hillary’s Nomination

Richard Epstein Enriches Us with His Ideas on Inequality, Taxes, Politics, and Health Care

Richard Epstein: Obamacare’s Collapse, the 2016 Election, & More

What Is Libertarianism?

WOW! Hillary Wants To Run In 2020 (Will She Ever Learn)

What It Will Finally Take to Put Hillary Clinton Behind Bars

From white supremacy to Barack Obama: The history of the Democratic Party

The Inconvenient Truth About the Democratic Party

Why Did the Democratic South Become Republican?

How the Republican Party went from Lincoln to Trump

My Red Pill Moment: The Awakening

 

More Voters Voting Independent, Want Competitive Third-Party

Monday, August 07, 2017

Voters are more receptive to a political third party than they have been in recent years, and more than half now say they have voted for a candidate independent of the two major parties. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

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

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on August 1-2, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Questions – Third Party – August 1-2, 2017

See Toplines
See Crosstabs
Platinum Page

National Survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters

Conducted August 1-2, 2017
By Rasmussen Reports

 

1* Would it be good or bad for the United States if there was a truly competitive third political party? Or would it make no political difference?

 

2* Have you ever voted for an independent candidate not affiliated with either major party?

 

NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/questions/pt_survey_questions/august_2017/questions_third_party_august_1_2_2017

 

Voters See Republicans As Bigger Roadblock Than Democrats For Trump

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Voters are now more likely to believe Republicans in Congress are the bigger problem for President Trump than Democrats are.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 43% of Likely U.S. Voters believe congressional Republicans are a bigger problem for the president, while 36% believe Democrats are the bigger problem. A sizable 22% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

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

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 20 & 23, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/july_2017/voters_see_republicans_as_bigger_roadblock_than_democrats_for_trump

 

Story 3: President Trump Takes 17 Day Working Vacation While White House Undergoes Needed Repairs — Videos —

Trump’s vacation looks a lot like those of modern presidents

2 Days Into White House Renovation Contractors Uncover Sick Find Trumps Were Forced To Live With 

[HOT News] President Trump Has Already Redecorated the Oval Office

When White House Had to Be Gutted

Barron Trump Moves Into the White House: What Can He Expect?

What Are Donald Trump’s Goals For His Working Vacation? | Morning Joe | MSNBC

White House renovations begin as Trump starts 17-day working vacation in New Jersey

PODS are loaded from the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. The West Wing is getting a renovation while President Donald Trump is away on vacation. (AP Photo/Laurie Kellman)
PODS are loaded from the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. The West Wing is getting a renovation while President Donald Trump is away on vacation. (AP Photo/Laurie Kellman) 
 – The Washington Times – Saturday, August 5, 2017

White House renovators didn’t waste any time overhauling the West Wing once President Trump left for a 17-day vacation Friday.

Renovations at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue began hardly an hour after Mr. Trump boarded Air Force One en route to Bedminster, New Jersey, according to his social media manager, Dan Scavino. The president is scheduled to spend the next two and a half weeks at his golf resort there as the White House receives a well deserved makeover.

Mr. Scavino tweeted a picture of the Oval Office being emptied hardly an hour after Air Force One left Joint Base Andrews on Friday, and on Saturday he shared a photograph of the White House’s historic Resolute desk being removed for renovation.

The White House announced earlier in the week that the West Wing will undergo extensive renovations in Mr. Trump’s absence, including upgrades to the facility’s 27-year-old air-conditioning and heating systems, as well as the installation of new wiring, paint and carpets.

“Due to the 24/7, 365-day use a year, the estimated age of the system based off of usage is 81 years old,” deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters told reporters Thursday.

“I doubt that you would want to come to work on a hot summer day when the air-conditioning wasn’t working,” she said Friday.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/aug/5/white-house-renovations-begin-trump-starts-17-day-/

Now that President Trump has left the White House and kicked off his 17-day getaway to his golf course in New Jersey, renovations at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue are going full-steam ahead.

Dan Scavino Jr., the president’s director of social media, tweeted on Friday a photo of an empty Oval Office with a step ladder near the fireplace.

“Renovations underway at the @WhiteHouse,” he captioned the photo. “One hour after Air Force One is wheels up??the Oval Office is empty. West Wing is clearing out now.”

Renovations underway at the @WhiteHouse. One hour after Air Force One is wheels up🛫the Oval Office is empty. West Wing is clearing out now.

White House set for renovations as Trump takes first vacation

Trump denies he called White House a ‘dump’

As ABC News previously reported, the West Wing will be cleared out for several weeks for much-needed repairs.

Work has already begun on White House grounds to replace the 27-year-old heating and cooling system, the second stage of a renovation that started under the Obama administration.

Other work includes painting and new carpeting in the West Wing and refurbishments in the Oval Office. All of the renovations will be conducted by General Service Administration designers.

Trump took to Twitter Wednesday night to deny a golf.com report that while speaking with members at the Trump National Golf Club, he said the White House is a “dump.”

“I love the White House, one of the most beautiful buildings (homes) I have ever seen,” he tweeted. “But Fake News said I called it a dump – TOTALLY UNTRUE.”

I love the White House, one of the most beautiful buildings (homes) I have ever seen. But Fake News said I called it a dump – TOTALLY UNTRUE

ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel contributed to this report.

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/trump-staffer-tweets-photo-white-house-renovations-kicking-053405552–abc-news-topstories.html

 

Story 4 Seymour Hersh Exposes The DNC Leaker — Seth Rich — Not The Russians — DNC Obstruction of Trust — Videos

Seymour Hersh discussing Wikileaks DNC leaks Seth Rich & FBI report

Seymour Hersh Reveals Russian Hacking Story Fake

Exclusive: Seymour Hersh Exposes DNC Leaker’s Identity

Journalist Sy Hersh Discusses Seth Rich Situation- Leaked Audio Raw

Seth Rich’s spokesman interviews with New Day’s Alisyn Camerota about the impact of the coverage on

Seymour Hersh Bombshell: Seth Rich Leaked DNC Emails to WikiLeaks and Russian Hacking Story Is False

Seymour Hersh States Seth Rich Was WikiLeaks Source

Seymour Hersh: Seth Rich Indeed Leaked DNC Emails to Wikileaks (Confirmed by Wikileaks Itself)

SEYMOUR HERSH CONFIRMS KIM DOT COM STORY. SETH RICH WIKILEAKS LEAKER

Roger Stone – DNC and Seth Rich Murder Developments

The Truth About Seth Rich & The DNC⁄Wikileaks Scandal | Stefan Molyneux

The Seth Rich Story Changes Once Again

The Truth About Seth Rich & The DNC⁄Wikileaks Scandal | Stefan Molyneux

Seth Rich Just Latest Media Obfuscation in Grip of Mass Delusion

Unless Alternative Media Sees its Own Blindspots, We Won’t Be Effective With Change

Seth Rich Transferred 44,054 Emails to Wikileaks Per Federal Investigator

 

SEYMOUR HERSH: SPY CHIEFS INVENTED RUSSIA-COLLUSION STORY

Famous journalist claims they lied to Obama and lied about Trump

GARTH KANT

 

The entire Russia collusion story was a fiction made up by intelligence chiefs who lied about President Trump, and lied to President Obama and the media, according to a person on a just-released audio recording who is almost certainly legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh.

Further, the person who recorded the audio is almost certainly financier Ed Butowsky, who hired private investigator Rod Wheeler to investigate the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich last July.

Wheeler filed a defamation lawsuit against Butowsky and Fox News on Tuesday over a story the network retracted about the investigation.

 

WND did some digging and discovered those identical words appear on the audio recording, apparently verifying they were spoken by Hersh and taped by Butowsky. Judging by a report in the Washington Post, the conversation happened during, or before, February.

The audio was first posted late Tuesday afternoon on a site called Big League Politics then went viral after it was linked on Twitter by WikiLeaks.

Hersh, himself, acknowledged speaking with Butkowsy, during an NPR interview Monday in which he referred to the Seth Rich angle as gossip and said Butowsky “took two and two and made 45 out of it.”

But Hersh did not disavow what he said about the Russia collusion narrative.

On the recording, the reporter called the entire story that the Trump presidential campaign and transition team colluded with Russia “a Brennan operation.”

Hersh accused former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and current NSA Director Michael Rogers of peddling “disinformation” and misleading Obama and the press.

And he dded, “Trump’s not wrong to think they all f—ing lied about him.”

Hersh suggested Rogers falsely told the press that American intelligence agencies even knew who in the Russian military intelligence service “leaked it,” in apparent reference to the hacked Democratic emails that embarrassed the Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign.

He also dismissively called Brennan an “a—hole,” Rogers a “f—ing moron” and Clapper “sort of a better guy but not a rocket scientist.”

Hersh ascribed a simple motive to the subterfuge by the top spies: They wanted to keep their jobs by assuring Clinton won the presidential election.

“With Trump they’re gone. You know, they’re done – they’re going to live on their pensions, they’re not going to make it.”

Hersh also explained why the story came to dominate the news cycle, portraying his colleagues in the establishment media as, essentially, too gullible.

“I worked at the New York Times for years and they have smart guys but they are totally beholden on sources. If the president or the head of the (unintelligible) tells them something they actually believe it,” he said.

And, speaking of those highly placed sources, he said, “These guys run the f—ing Times.”

Hersh won the Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for exposing the My Lai massacre and has become one of the nation’s best-known and most-accomplished investigative reporters.

According to his biography in the New Yorker, in addition to Hersh’s Pulitzer, his journalism and publishing awards include five George Polk Awards, two National Magazine Awards, and more than a dozen other prizes for investigative reporting.

Hersh made on-the-record comments critical of the Russia collusion story to The Intercept on Jan. 25, flatly saying he did not believe the assessment by the intelligence community that Russian President Vladimir Putin orchestrated a hacking campaign designed to elect Trump.

He also blasted the major media for uncritically accepting the claims by Obama’s intelligence officials as facts.

“The way they (the media) behaved on the Russia stuff was outrageous,” Hersh said two days after Trump was inaugurated. “They were just so willing to believe stuff.”

Hersh told the Intercept that if he had been covering the story, “I would have made Brennan into a buffoon. A yapping buffoon in the last few days. Instead, everything is reported seriously.”

The reporter zeroed in on questionable aspects of the intelligence assessment that would become highly relevant when Brennan and Clapper finally testified before congressional committees months after the inauguration of Trump.

“What does an assessment mean?,” asked Hersh. “It’s not a national intelligence estimate. If you had a real estimate, you would have five or six dissents. One time they said 17 agencies all agreed. Oh really? The Coast Guard and the Air Force — they all agreed on it?”

He continued, “And it was outrageous and nobody did that story. An assessment is simply an opinion. If they had a fact, they’d give it to you. An assessment is just that. It’s a belief.”

Hersh’s critique of the flimsiness of the intelligent assessment parallels the analysis made by a prominent former CIA analyst after Clapper revealed during a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on May 8, that it was not true that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies had compiled, and agreed with, the findings.

As WND reported, Clapper not only revealed that just three agencies, the NSA, FBI and CIA, were involved in the assessment.

He also revealed that those agencies did not do the assessment themselves.

The analysis and conclusion were made by an irregular and hand-picked panel of what were called experts, who actually may have been, according to former CIA officer Fred Fleitz, highly politicized.

Fleitz served in U.S. national security positions for 25 years at the CIA, DIA, Department of State and the House Intelligence Committee staff.

As someone intimately familiar with the inner workings of the intelligence community, Fleitz penned an article for Fox News on May 12, that spelled out what really happened.

He had written previously that when the U.S. Intelligence Community issued an ‘Intelligence Community Assessment’ (ICA) on January 6, 2017, that found Russia deliberately interfered in the 2016 presidential election to benefit Trump’s candidacy, he “was suspicious because it reached unusually clear judgments on a politically explosive issue with no dissenting views.”

Fleitz was then surprised to hear Clapper explain in his May testimony that two dozen or so “seasoned experts” were “handpicked” from the contributing agencies and drafted the ICA “under the aegis of his former office” (the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.)

Wrote Fleitz, “This process drastically differed from the Intelligence Community’s normal procedures.”

Describing just how unusual that was, he said, “Hand-picking a handful of analysts from just three intelligence agencies to write such a controversial assessment went against standing rules to vet such analyses throughout the Intelligence Community within its existing structure.”

Furthermore, “The idea of using hand-picked intelligence analysts selected through some unknown process to write an assessment on such a politically sensitive topic carries a strong stench of politicization.”

Fleitz also noted that former FBI Director James Comey had testified that the report’s conclusion of Russian interference was based on logic, not evidence.

“So we now know,” surmised the former CIA officer, “this was a subjective judgment made by a hand-picked group of intelligence analysts.”

“One has to ask how these hand-picked analysts were picked. Who picked them? Who was excluded?”

Fleitz called it a major problem that “the process gave John Brennan, CIA’s hyper-partisan former director, enormous influence over the drafting of the ICA.”

“Given Brennan’s scathing criticism of Mr. Trump before and after the election, he should have had no role whatsoever in the drafting of this assessment. Instead, Brennan probably selected the CIA analysts who worked on the ICA and reviewed and approved their conclusions.”

In other words, it seems Fleitz thought it not impossible that Brennan rigged the report to arrive at the conclusion he wanted.

Which makes Brennan’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on May 24, all the more relevant, because even though he testified he saw no evidence of collusion, the former CIA director admitted it was he who set in motion the FBI’s investigation into whether the Trump team colluded with the Russians.

Fleitz wants Congress to investigate the spies. He wrote:

“The unusual way that the January 6, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment was drafted raises major questions as to whether it was rigged by the Obama administration to produce conclusions that would discredit the election outcome and Mr. Trump’s presidency. The House and Senate Intelligence Committees therefore should add investigations of whether this ICA was politicized to their investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.”

http://www.wnd.com/2017/08/seymour-hersh-spy-chiefs-invented-russia-collusion-story/#GCyp3JGqpJvbUcrE.99

 

Seymour Hersh audio transcript revealing Seth Rich leaked the DNC emails to Wikileaks.

As reported by many alternative news websites, and as ignored by many corrupt mainstream media news outlets, audio recently emerged of award winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh stating that Seth Rich leaked the DNC emails to Wikileaks.

You can listen to the audio here, or the transcript of the audio is provided below:

“I’ll tell you what I know. All I know comes off an FBI report. Don’t ask me how – you can figure out – you’ve been around long enough. I don’t think he was murdered because of what he knew. The kid was not an IT expert, but he learned stuff. He was a data programmer, but he learned stuff.

He’s living in a very rough neighborhood, and in the exact area where he lives – I’m sure you know – there’s been about 8 or 9 or 10 violent robberies, most of them with somebody brandishing a gun. And the kid’s hands – I’m sure you know – his hands are marked up, the cops included he fought off the people, tried to run and they shot him twice in the back with a .22 small caliber, and then the kids that did it ran – they got scared – didn’t take his wallet.

Okay, so what the cops do then, and here’s what nobody knows, what I’m telling you – or maybe you know something about it – when you have a death like that, DC cops, you have to get to the kid’s apartment and see what you can find. If he’s dead you don’t need a warrant, but most cops get a warrant because they don’t know if the guy has a room-mate. You need a warrant, so they get a warrant.

They go in the house, and they can’t do much with his computer, it’s password. The cops don’t know much about it. So the DC cops, they have a cyber unit in DC and they’re more sophisticated. They come and look at it. The idea is maybe he’s had a series of exchanges with somebody who says ‘I’m going to kill you, you mother ****er over a girl’ or… And they can’t get in. The cyber guys are a little better, but they can’t make sense of it, so they call the FBI cyber unit. The DC unit, the Washington field office is a hot s*** unit. The guy running the Washington field office, he’s like a three star at an army base. he’s ready for four. You know what I mean – he’s gong to go for a top job. There’s a cyber unit there that’s excellent.

What you get in a warrant – the public information you get in a warrant – doesn’t include the affidavit underlying why you’re going in – what the reason was. That’s almost never available. I can tell you that. The existence of a warrant is a public document 99% of the time.

So, and the same morning they call in the feds. The feds get through and here’s what they find. This is according to the FBI report. What they find is he makes contact.

First of all, you have to know some basic facts. One of the basic facts is that there are no DNC or Podesta emails that exist beyond May 21st or 22nd, the last email from either one of those groups.

And so what the report says is that sometime in late spring/early summer, he makes contact with Wikileaks. That’s in his computer, and he makes contact. Now, I have to be careful because I met Julian ten twelve years… I stay the f*** away from people like that. You know, he’s invited me, when I’m in London I always get a message, “Come see me at the Ecuadorian embassy.” F*** you, I ain’t going there. I got enough trouble without getting photographed. He’s under total surveillance by everybody.

Anyway, they found what he had done. He had submitted a series of documents, of emails, some juicy emails from the DNC. And you know, by the way all this s*** about the DNC, you know, whatever happened the democrats themselves wrote this s***, you know what I mean. All I know is that he offered a sample, an extensive sample, I’m sure dozens of emails, and said, “I want money.”

Then later Wikileaks did get the password. He had a DropBox – a protected DropBox – which isn’t hard to do. I mean you don’t have to be an IT wizard. He was certainly, he was not a dumb kid.

They got access to the DropBox. He also – this is also in the FBI report – he also let people know with whom he was dealing. I don’t know how he dealt with the Wikileaks and the mechanism but he also… The word was passed according to the NSA report, “I also shared this box with a couple of friends so if anything happens to me it’s not going to solve your problems.” Okay. I don’t know what that means. I don’t know whether he…

Anyway, Wikileaks got access, and before he was killed. I can tell you right now. Brennan’s1 an asshole. I’ve known all these people for years. Clapper2 sort of a (illegible) guy but not a rocket scientist. The NSA guy’s a f***ing moron. And the trouble with all those guys is the only way they’re going to make it to, you know, get hired by SAI (illegible) and delivered some fat cat contract is if Hillary stayed in. With Trump they’re gone. They’re done. They’re going to live on they’re pension. They’re not going to make it. And I got to tell you, guys in that job, they don’t want to live on their pension. They want to be on boards making six hundred thousand bucks.

I have somebody on the inside. I’ve been around a long time and I write a lot of stuff. I have somebody on the inside who will go and read a file for me. This person is unbelievably accurate and careful. He’s a very high level guy. He’ll do a favor. You’re just going to have to trust me. I have what they call in my business, long form journalism, I have a narrative of how that whole f***king thing began.

It’s a Brennan operation. It was an American disinformation operation f***ing the f***ing president. And at one point they even started telling the press, they were back-briefing the press, the head of the NSA was going and telling the press – f***ing c***sucker Rogers3 – was telling the press that we even know who in the Russian military intelligence service leaked it. I mean all bulls***.

I worked for the New York Times for f***ing years. The trouble with the New York Times is they have smart guys but they’re totally beholden on sources. If the president or the head of the (illegible) told them something, they actually believe it. I was hired by the Times to write about, go after the war, the Vietnam war in 72, because they were just locked in, so that’s what the Times is. These guys run the f***ing Times.

And Trump’s not willing to… I mean I wish he would calm down and had a better Press Secretary. Trump’s not willing to think they all f***ing lied about him.”

– – – – – – – – – –

This is arguably the biggest scandal in decades, and yet despite the magnitude of the scandal, it’s a sad reflection on just how corrupt and anti-American the mainstream media has become that the majority of them will attempt to cover this story up.

Everyone needs to share this story far and wide. Tell your friends. Tell everyone you know. Sydney Hersh, arguably the greatest investigative journalist of the last five decades, has stated:

* Seth Rich leaked the DNC emails to Wikileaks.
* Obama’s intelligence chiefs, led by John Brennan, ran a disinformation campaign to mislead the American public.

#DrainTheSwamp

 

Murder of Seth Rich

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Murder of Seth Rich
Date July 10, 2016
Time 4:20 a.m. EST (approximate)
Location Bloomingdale neighborhood
(Ward 5Washington, D.C.)
Cause Shooting
Outcome Under investigation by D.C. police
Inquiries Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia
Coroner Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Washington D.C.

Seth Conrad Rich (January 3, 1989 – July 10, 2016) was an American employee for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) who was fatally shot in the Bloomingdaleneighborhood of Washington, D.C.[1][2][3] As of May 2017 the shooting is still under investigation by the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.[4]

The murder spawned several right-wingconspiracy theories about the crime, including the claim that Rich had been involved with the leaked DNC emails in 2016, which runs contrary to U.S. intelligence that concluded the leaked DNC emails were part of 2016 U.S. elections interference.[5][6][7] These theories were debunked by law enforcement,[5][6] as well as by fact-checking websites like PolitiFact.com,[6][8]Snopes.com,[9] and FactCheck.org.[5] The fabrications were described as fake news and falsehoods by The New York Times,[10]Los Angeles Times,[11] and The Washington Post.[12]

Rich’s parents condemned the conspiracy theorists and said that these individuals were exploiting their son’s death for political gain, with their spokesperson calling them “sociopaths” and “disgusting”.[13][14][15] They requested a retraction and apology from Fox News,[16] and sent a cease and desist letter to the investigator Fox News used.[6][15][16] The investigator admitted he had no evidence to back up his claims, and Fox News issued a retraction.[5][6][17]

Seth Rich’s early life and career

Rich grew up in a Jewish family, in Omaha, Nebraska.[18][19][20] He volunteered for the Nebraska Democratic Party, interned for Senator Ben Nelson, was active in Jewish outreach,[21] and worked with the United States Census Bureau.[22][23] In 2011, he graduated from Creighton University with a degree in political science.[24][23] He moved to Washington, D.C. to work for pollster, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.[23] In 2014 he began working for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as the Voter Expansion Data Director. One of his tasks at the DNC was the development of a computer application to help voters locate polling stations.[2][25][26]

Shooting and death

On Sunday, July 10, 2016, Rich was shot about a block from his apartment in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C.[27][28][29]

Earlier that night he had been at Lou’s City Bar, a sports pub 1.8 miles from his apartment, in Columbia Heights, where he was a regular customer. He left when the bar was closing, at about 1:30 or 1:45 a.m.[30][31] Police were alerted to gunfire at 4:20 a.m. by an automated gunfire locator.[29][32] Within approximately one minute after the gun shots, police officers found Rich with multiple gunshot wounds, in a conscious and breathing state.[33] He was transported to a nearby hospital, where he later died.[34][35][36] According to police, he died from two shots to the back[27][28] and may have been killed in an attempted robbery, noting that the neighborhood had recently been plagued by robberies.[27] Rich’s mother told NBC‘s Washington affiliate WRC-TV, “There had been a struggle. His hands were bruised, his knees are bruised, his face is bruised, and yet he had two shots to his back, and yet they never took anything… They didn’t finish robbing him, they just took his life.”[37] The police told the family they had found a surveillance videotape showing a glimpse of the legs of two people who could possibly be the killers.[30]

Aftermath

On the day after the shooting, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued a statement mourning his loss and praising Rich’s work to support voter rights.[32][38] Two days after the shooting, Hillary Clinton spoke of his death during a speech advocating limiting the availability of guns.[2][19]

Bike rack and plaque outside the DNC headquaters

In October 2016, a plaque and bike rack outside the DNC headquarters were dedicated to Rich’s memory.[38] In September 2016, Rich’s parents and girlfriend appeared on the syndicatedtelevision show Crime Watch Daily to speak about the murder case.[39][40] In February 2017, the Beth El Synagogue in Omaha named after Rich an existing scholarship that helps Jewish children attend summer camps.[41]

The Rich family accepted the pro bono public relations services of Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman in September 2016.[11] The Rich family and Burkman held a joint press conference on the murder in November 2016.[11][42] In January 2017, Burkman launched an advertising campaign in Northwest D.C. searching for information regarding Seth Rich’s death. This included billboard advertisements and canvassing with flyers.[43][44] In late February, Burkman told media outlets he had a lead that the Russian government was involved in Rich’s death,[45] and the Rich family distanced itself from Burkman.[46] On March 19, 2017, Rich’s brother, Aaron, started a GoFundMe campaign to try to raise $200,000 for private investigation, public outreach activities, and a reward fund.[47] On March 24, Burkman started “The Profiling Project” with some forensics students at George Washington University, an independent investigative attempt to solve the murder of Seth Rich.[48][49] On June 20, 2017, the Profiling Project said that the conspiracy theories surrounding the death were unfounded, and published a report which speculated that the murder was caused by a serial killer.[50]

According to the Rich family spokesman, a Fox News contributor and financial adviser Ed Butowsky contacted the Rich family and recommended having former homicide detective and Fox News contributor Rod Wheeler investigate Seth Rich’s murder. The family gave Wheeler permission to investigate, though they did not hire him.[15][51] Instead, Wheeler’s investigation was financed by Butowsky himself.[52] NBC News reported that Butowsky initially denied involvement in the case, though he later told CNN he was involved in Wheeler’s investigation by offering financial support.[53][54] Butowsky told Dallas News that he advised the Rich family to hire a private investigator, and that they then chose to hire Wheeler.[53] After Wheeler asserted links between Rich and Wikileaks in a Fox affiliate interview on May 15, 2017—an assertion he later backpedaled from[55]—the family spokesman said that the family regretted working with Wheeler.[4] Wheeler then sued Fox News on August 1, 2017, for mental anguish and emotional distress, alleging that he had been misquoted in a story that was then published on the urging of President Donald J. Trump[56]

Rewards

The Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPDC) posted its customary reward of $25,000 for information about the death.[2][33]

On August 9, 2016, WikiLeaks announced a $20,000 reward for information about Rich’s murder leading to a conviction,[57][58][59] although Rich’s family said they were unable to verify this reward offer.[60] When making the offer for the reward, WikiLeaks said their offer should not be taken as implying Rich had been involved in leaking information to them.[2]

In November 2016, Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman stated he was personally offering a $100,000 reward in addition to those announced by the police department and WikiLeaks, and he added another $5,000 to his offer in December and another $25,000 in January.[60][61][30] Burkman said he hoped the money would help “get to the truth of what happened here and will either debunk the conspiracy theories or validate them”.[62]

American businessman and investor, Martin Shkreli offered $100,000 for information leading to the murderer.[63]

Conspiracy theories

Origins

Genesis

The murder stoked right-wingconspiracy theories that arose days after Rich’s death,[64][65][66] including an unsubstantiated claim that his murder was connected to the DNC email leak of 2016.[4] A post on Twitter before Rich’s memorial service originated the idea that he was killed related to a political assassination.[64] Subsequently the conspiracy theory was publicized on Reddit and then on the website Heat Street, later popularized by Donald Trump political adviser Roger Stone via his Twitter account.[64] Reddit users attempted to tie the homicide to prior “Clinton Body Count” conspiracy theories.[65] On July 13, 2016, conspiracy website WhatDoesItMean.com promoted a similar conspiracy theory.[66]

WikiLeaks statements

Assistant Police Chief Peter Newsham said the police had no information suggesting a connection between Rich’s death and data obtained by WikLeaks.[2]Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, fueled speculation of a connection when, unbidden, he brought up the case.[30][67] People who worked with Rich said he was not an expert computer hacker helping to leak information to foreigners. Andrew Therriault, a data scientist who had mentored Rich, said although he had recently been working as a programmer, this “wasn’t his background”, and another co-worker said Rich was very upset when he heard hackers associated with Russian intelligence services had broken into the DNC computers and could be interfering with the election.[30]

Spread by social media and right wing

These conspiracy theories were promoted by Mike CernovichSean HannityGeraldo RiveraKim DotcomPaul Joseph WatsonNewt GingrichJack Posobiec, and others.[68][69][70]

The same venues that fomented the false Pizzagate conspiracy theory helped to promulgate the Seth Rich murder conspiracy theories,[71][72][11] and each shared similar features.[73][74][75] Both were promoted by individuals subcribing to far-right politics,[76] and by campaign officials and individuals appointed to senior-level national security roles by Donald Trump.[77][78][79] After prior coordination on Facebook, each theory was spread on Twitter by automated bots using a branded hashtag, with the goal of becoming a trending topic.[71] Both the Pizzagate conspiracy theory and the Seth Rich murder conspiracy theory were spread in the sub reddit forum promoting Donald Trump, called “The Donald”.[80] In both conspiracy theories, the promoters attempted to shift the burden of proof — asking others to attempt to disprove their claims, without citing substantiated evidence.[52]Slate called the claims about Seth Rich a “PizzaGate-like conspiracy theory surrounding Rich’s death”,[81]The Huffington Post described it as “the ‘alt-right’ idiocy of Pizzagate all over again”,[75]NPR‘s David Folkenflik said Fox News coverage of it “evokes the pizza-gate terrible allegations utterly unfounded”,[82] and Margaret Sullivan wrote for The Washington Post: “The Seth Rich lie has become the new Comet Ping Pong … Crazy, baseless and dangerous.”[83]

Debunking

The conspiracy theories have been debunked by law enforcement,[5][6] as well as by fact-checking websites like PolitiFact.com,[6][8]Snopes.com,[9] and FactCheck.org.[5]

The Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia described the murder as related to a bungled attempted at theft.[5] Police further debunked claims by Rod Wheeler, and made a statement saying: “the assertions put forward by Mr. Wheeler are unfounded.”[5] The FBI told PolitiFact.com that the MPD was investigating the homicide.[8]

A representative of the Rich’s family members, Brad Bauman, disputed the notion of conspiracy theorists that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was involved in looking into the homicide.[5] Bauman stated: “The FBI is not now and has never been a party to this investigation.”[5]

FactCheck.org analyzed statements by Newt Gingrich related to the conspiracy theory, where Gingrich said Rich “apparently was assassinated” subsequent to “having given WikiLeaks something like … 53,000 [DNC] emails and 17,000 attachments”.[5] FactCheck.org determined this claim was “unsupported” and determined “there’s no evidence for his claim.”[5]

PolitiFact.com rated the assertion Rich gave emails to WikiLeaks as a “baseless claim”.[6] They called the claim “an unfounded conspiracy theory”.[6] PolitiFact.com analyzed the claims by Gingrich and rated their false nature as “Pants on Fire!”[6] PolitiFact.com concluded: “Gingrich and others are talking about an unfounded conspiracy theory as if it’s a matter of fact. It is far from it. We rate his claim Pants on Fire.”[6] In a separate analysis, PolitiFact.com concluded: “There’s no evidence there’s any link between Rich and WikiLeaks. The FBI has indirectly denied investigating the case, which Washington police consider a robbery gone wrong.”[8]

Snopes.com looked into the matter and stated: “We were able to confirm the FBI is not investigating Rich’s murder — it is an MPD investigation… All claims made by Mr. Wheeler are false and take fake news to a whole new level. The family deserves better and everyday MPD continues to work diligently to solve this case.”[9] Snopes rated the claim “DNC staffer Seth Rich sent ‘thousands of leaked e-mails’ to WikiLeaks before he was murdered.” as “False”.[9]

The fabrications were described as fake news and falsehoods by The New York Times.[10]The New York Times cited the conspiracy theories as an example of the persistence of false claims, concluding: “fake news dies hard”.[10]The Los Angeles Times called the conspiracy theories “unsubstantiated rumors”.[11]

The Washington Post cited the conspiracy theories as an example of the power of fake news to spread virally online.[12] The paper used the example as a case study of the persistence of fake news, and found that television news media can be a soft target for such false stories.[12]The Washington Post further found that the proliferation of fake news via Facebook had decreased, but remained powerful on Twitter due to spread via online bots.[12] They found that the conspiracy theories with the largest potential to spread on the Internet were those that held attraction for both the alt-right movements and the political left wing.[12]The Washington Post concluded that even if a particular false story had been sufficiently debunked, such fact-checking was unable to stop the spread of the falsehoods online.[12]

Fox News retracted reporting

Uncorroborated story

On May 15, 2017, Fox 5 DC (WTTG) reported the uncorroborated and later largely retracted[84] claims by Rod Wheeler, a Fox News contributor and former homicide detective, that there was evidence Seth Rich had contacted WikiLeaks and that law enforcement were covering this up;[85][84] claims that were never independently verified by Fox.[86] The next day, Fox News published a lead story on its website and provided extensive coverage on its cable news channel about what it later said were Wheeler’s uncorroborated claims about the murder of Seth Rich;[87][88][89] in the lead story Fox News removed from their website a few days later, they stated that Wheeler’s claims had been “corroborated by a federal investigator who spoke to Fox News.”[90][91][92] In reporting these claims, the Fox News report re-ignited conspiracy theories about the killing.[73][93][94] According to NPR, within a day of the original Fox report, “Google searches for Rich had overtaken searches for James Comey, even amid continuous news about the former FBI director’s conversations with Trump.”[52]The Washington Post noted Fox News chose to lead with this story at a time when most other media outlets were covering Donald Trump’s disclosure of classified information to Russia.[88]

Other news organizations revealed Wheeler was a Donald Trump supporter, a paid Fox News contributor, and according to NBC News had “developed a reputation for making outlandish claims, such as one appearance on Fox News in 2007 in which he warned that underground networks of pink pistol-toting lesbian gangs were raping young women”.[93][95][4]The Washington Post noted it is “rare for a news organization to have such a close relationship with the people it is covering”, as Wheeler was “playing three roles at once: as a Fox source, as a paid contributor to the network and as a supposedly independent investigator of the murder”.[73] When Wheeler appeared on Sean Hannity‘s Fox News shows, these multiple roles were not disclosed to viewers.[73] Seth Rich’s family had hired Wheeler to investigate Rich’s death; after Wheeler’s Fox News interview on May 15, 2017, Brad Bauman, a communications professional and pro bono spokesman for the Rich family, said the family was asking Fox News and the Fox affiliate to retract their reports and apologize for damaging their son’s legacy.[4]

The family spokesperson, the Washington, D.C. police department, the Washington, D.C. mayor’s office, the FBI, and law enforcement sources familiar with the case all disputed Wheeler’s claims.[93][96] The family said, “We are a family who is committed to facts, not fake evidence that surfaces every few months to fill the void and distract law enforcement and the general public from finding Seth’s murderers.”[93] Bauman criticized Fox News for its reporting, saying he believed that the outlet was motivated by a desire to deflect attention from the Trump-Russia story: “I think there’s a very special place in hell for people that would use the memory of a murder victim in order to pursue a political agenda.”[9]

Later that day, Wheeler told CNN he had no evidence that Rich had contacted Wikileaks.[84] Wheeler claimed that Fox had presented his quotes misleadingly and that he only learned about the possible existence of the evidence from a Fox News reporter.[84][52] Despite this, Sean Hannity’s show and Fox & Friends continued to promote the conspiracy theory for the remainder of the week.[97][98] Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Geraldo Rivera took part in spreading the conspiracy.[98][99][100] Hannity had on his program Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, who said the organization filed Freedom of Information Act requests for documents from Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, and from the Metropolitan Police.[101] Sean Hannity furthermore promoted the uncorroborated claims of Kim Dotcom, a New Zealand resident sought by the United States on fraud charges who claimed without evidence that Rich had been in contact with him before his death.[102] Fox News host Julie Roginsky was critical of the conspiracy theory peddlers, stating on Twitter and on her television show: “The exploitation of a dead man whose family has begged conspiracy theorists to stop is really egregious. Please stop.”[103] Fox News was also criticized by conservative outlets, such as the Weekly Standard,[104]National Review,[105][106] and Red State,[107][108][109] and conservative columnists, such as Jennifer Rubin,[110] Michael Gerson,[111] and John Podhoretz.[112]

Cease and desist letter and retraction

On May 19, 2017, an attorney for the Rich family sent a cease and desist letter to Wheeler.[16]

Fox News issued a retraction of the story on May 23, 2017 and removed the original article, and did not apologize or specify what went wrong or how it did so.[17][113][114] Despite this, Hannity, who pushed the theory, remained unapologetic, saying “I retracted nothing” and “I am not going to stop trying to find the truth.”[115][102][114] In their May 23 statement, Fox News said,

The article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting. Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed.[115]

The Poynter Institute said that the retraction was “woefully inadequate”, noting that,

The two-paragraph statement, published under the “politics” category on the network’s website, doesn’t say what about Fox News’ reporting was inaccurate (that its original source backed away from his claim that he had information showing Rich was in touch with Wikileaks). It doesn’t replace the bad information with accurate information (that police believe Rich was murdered during a robbery). It doesn’t specify who in the organization is being held accountable. And the correction doesn’t appear on the original story to explain why it was removed, nor has it been shared in the on-air forums where the inaccurate story was promoted. As of this writing, the original URL displays a 404 error. Fox News isn’t even acknowledging to people who click the link to the original story that it’s been retracted.[116]

On May 23, 2017, Sean Hannity stated on his television program that he would cease discussing the issue.[117] Hannity said his decision to cease commenting on the matter was related to the family of the murder victim: “Out of respect for the family’s wishes, for now, I am not discussing the matter at this time.”[117] In the same statement wherein he promised to cease discussion of the topic, he vowed to pursue facts in the future: “I promise you I am not going to stop trying to find the truth.”[117] Several advertisers including Crowne Plaza HotelsCars.comLeesa MattressUSAAPeloton and Casper Sleep pulled their marketing from his program on Fox News.[118][119][120] Crowne Plaza Hotels later said that it was not their policy to advertise on political commentary shows, and had not been aware of their sponsorship of the show.[121] USAA soon returned to advertising on Fox News after receiving customer input.[122]

Wheeler lawsuit

On August 1, 2017, Rod Wheeler, the private investigator hired by Butowsky who was the first to claim links between Seth Rich’s murder and the DNC hack on Fox, but who later appeared to retract his claims, filed a lawsuit (Case 1:17-cv-05807 Southern District of New York), in which 21st Century Fox, the Fox News Channel, Fox News reporter Malia Zimmerman and Ed Butowsky are named as defendants, stating that quotes attributed to him in the original Fox News piece were fabricated. The lawsuit also alleges that the fabricated quotes were included in the Fox News story at the urging of the Trump White House.[123][124]

Text messages and audio apparently supporting this assertion were included in the filing of the lawsuit. About a month before the story was aired on Fox News, Wheeler and Butowsky met at the White House with the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer to review the planned story on Seth Rich’s murder. After talking to Wheeler and Butowsky, Zimmerman sent Wheeler a draft of a story without any quotes from Wheeler on May 11th. On May 14th Butowsky texted Wheeler saying “Not to add any more pressure but the president just read the article. He wants the article out immediately. It’s now all up to you. But don’t feel the pressure.” Butowsky also left a voicemail for Wheeler which said “We have the full, uh, attention of the White House on this. And tomorrow, let’s close this deal, whatever we’ve got to do.”[124] Butowsky said Seymour Hersch confirmed a link between Rich and the FBI. Hersch confirmed the conversation with Butowsky but told NPR the link was “gossip” and that Butowsky exaggerated its significance.[125]

In an email to Fox News Bukowsky also wrote about the purpose behind the Seth Rich story: “One of the big conclusions we need to draw from this is that the Russians did not hack our computer systems and ste[a]l emails and there was no collusion (between) Trump and the Russians.” He also instructed Wheeler that “[T]he narrative in the interviews you might use is that you and [Zimmerman’s] work prove that the Russians didn’t hack into the DNC and steal the emails and impact our elections (…) If you can, try to highlight this puts the Russian hacking story to rest.”[124]

When the story aired on Fox News, it included supposed quotes from Wheeler and was written as if the accusations against the DNC came from him. Wheeler alleges that the quotes were fabricated and should not have been attributed to him.[123]

In later recordings Butowsky admits to Wheeler that the claims being attributed to him were false but says that “One day you’re going to win an award for having said those things you didn’t say.” He also says “I know that’s not true, if I’m under oath, I would say I never heard him say that.”[124]

Family’s reaction

In May 2017, Aaron issued a statement saying “We simply want to find his killers and grieve. Instead, we are stuck having to constantly fight against non-facts, baseless allegations, and general stupidity to defend my brother’s name and legacy.”[4]

The family spokesperson said “At this point, only people with transparent political agendas or sociopaths are still perpetuating Seth Rich conspiracies.”[126]

His parents authored a piece in The Washington Post on May 23, 2017 titled: “We’re Seth Rich’s parents. Stop politicizing our son’s murder,” in which they wrote:

We are asking you to please consider our feelings and words. There are people who are using our beloved Seth’s memory and legacy for their own political goals, and they are using your outrage to perpetuate our nightmare. We ask those purveying falsehoods to give us peace, and to give law enforcement the time and space to do the investigation they need to solve our son’s murder.[13]

See also

References

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

Seymour Myron “Sy” Hersh (born April 8, 1937) is an American investigative journalist and political writer based in Washington, D.C. He is a longtime contributor to The New Yorkermagazine on national security matters and has also written for the London Review of Books since 2013.[5][6]

Hersh first gained recognition in 1969 for exposing the My Lai Massacre and its cover-up during the Vietnam War, for which he received the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. In 2004, he notably reported on the US military‘s mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. He has also won two National Magazine Awards and five George Polk Awards. In 2004, he received the George Orwell Award.[7]

Early years

Hersh was born on April 8, 1937[8] in Chicago to Yiddish-speaking Lithuanian Jewish parents who emigrated to the US from Lithuania and Poland and ran a dry-cleaning shop in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. After graduating from the University of Chicago with a history degree, Hersh found himself struggling to find a job. He began working at Walgreens before being accepted into University of Chicago Law School but was soon expelled for poor grades.[9]After returning for a short time to Walgreens, Hersh began his career in journalism as a police reporter for the City News Bureau in 1959. He later became a correspondent for United Press International in South Dakota. In 1963, he went on to become a Chicago and Washington correspondent for the Associated Press. While working in Washington Hersh first met and befriended I. F. Stone, whose I. F. Stone’s Weekly would serve as an initial inspiration for Hersh’s later work. It was during this time that Hersh began to form his investigative style, often walking out of regimented press briefings at the Pentagon and seeking out one-on-one interviews with high-ranking officers. After a falling out with the editors at the AP when they insisted on watering down a story about the US government’s work on biological and chemical weapons, Hersh left the AP and sold his story to The New Republic. During the 1968 presidential election, he served as press secretary for the campaign of Senator Eugene McCarthy.

After leaving the McCarthy campaign, Hersh returned to journalism as a freelancer covering the Vietnam War. In 1969, Hersh received a tip from Geoffrey Cowan of The Village Voice regarding an Army lieutenant being court-martialled for killing civilians in Vietnam. His subsequent investigation, sold to the Dispatch News Service, was run in thirty-three newspapers and exposed the My Lai massacre, winning him the Pulitzer Prize in 1970.[9][10]

In 1972, Hersh was hired as a reporter for the Washington bureau of The New York Times, where he served from 1972 to 1975 and again in 1979. Hersh reported on the Watergate scandal, though most of the credit for that story went to Carl Bernstein and Hersh’s longtime rival Bob Woodward. Nonetheless, Hersh’s Watergate investigations led him in 1983 to the publication of The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House, a damning portrait of Henry Kissinger that won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

In 1975, Hersh was active in the investigation and reporting of Project Azorian (which he called Project Jennifer), the CIA‘s clandestine effort to raise a Soviet submarine using the Howard Hughes‘ Glomar Explorer. This was one of the most complex, expensive, and secretive intelligence operations of the Cold War at a cost of about $800 million ($3.8 billion in 2015) dollars.

After the New York Times

His 1983 book The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House won him the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times book prize in biography. In 1985, Hersh contributed to the PBS television documentary Buying the Bomb. In 1993 Hersh became a regular contributor to The New Yorker.[11]

Hersh has appeared regularly on the syndicated television news program Democracy Now![12]

Selected stories

My Lai Massacre

On November 12, 1969, Hersh reported the story of the My Lai Massacre, in which hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese civilians were murdered by US soldiers in March 1968.[13] The report prompted widespread condemnation around the world and reduced public support for the Vietnam War in the United States. The explosive news of the massacre fueled the outrage of the US peace movement, which demanded the withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam. Hersh wrote about the massacre and its cover-up in My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and Its Aftermath (1970) and Cover-up: The Army’s Secret Investigation of the Massacre at My Lai 4 (1972). For My Lai 4, Hersh traveled across the United States and interviewed nearly 50 members of the Charlie Company.[14]A movie called “Interviews with My Lai Veterans” won an Oscar for Best Documentary, Short Subjects in 1971. A movie was also produced, based on this book, by Italian director Paolo Bertola in 2009.[15]

Project Jennifer

In early 1974, Hersh had planned to publish a story on “Project Jennifer” (later revealed to be named Project Azorian and Operation Matador), a covert CIA project to recover a sunken Soviet navy submarine from the floor of the Pacific Ocean. CIA director William Colby discussed the operation with Hersh in 1974, but obtained his promise not to publish while the operation was active. Bill KovachThe New York Times Washington, D.C. bureau chief at the time, said in 2005 that the government offered a convincing argument to delay publication in early 1974—exposure at that time, while the project was ongoing, “would have caused an international incident”. The NYT eventually published Hersh’s account on March 19, 1975, after a story appeared in the Los Angeles Times, and included a five-paragraph explanation of the many twists and turns in the path to publication. It is unclear what, if any, action was taken by the Soviet Union after learning of the story. It was later revealed that the leaks prevented a second recovery attempt of the submarine after a small portion of it was raised in the summer of 1974.[16]

Korean Air Flight 007

In The Target Is Destroyed (1986), Hersh alleged that the shooting down of Korean Air Flight 007 in September 1983 by the Soviet Union was due to a combination of Soviet incompetence and United States intelligence operations intended to confuse Soviet responses.

Later releases of government information confirmed that there was a PSYOPS campaign against the Soviet Union that had been in place from the first few months of the Reagan administration. This campaign included the largest US Pacific Fleet exercise ever held, in April to May 1983.

Mordechai Vanunu and Robert Maxwell

In The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy (1991), Hersh wrote that Nicholas Davies, the foreign editor of The Daily Mirror, had tipped off the Israeli embassy in London about Mordechai Vanunu. Vanunu had given information about Israel’s nuclear weapons program first to The Sunday Times and later to the Sunday Mirror. At the time, the Sunday Mirror and its sibling newspaper, the Daily Mirror were owned by media magnate Robert Maxwell who was alleged to have had contacts with Israel’s intelligence services. According to Hersh, Davies had also worked for the Mossad. Vanunu was later lured by Mossad from London to Rome, kidnapped, returned to Israel, and sentenced to 18 years in jail. Davies and Maxwell published an anti-Vanunu story that was claimed by critics to be part of a disinformation campaign on behalf of the Israeli government.[17]

Hersh repeated the allegations during a press conference held in London to publicize his book. No British newspaper would publish the allegations because of Maxwell’s famed litigiousness. However, two British MPs raised the matter in the House of Commons, which meant that British newspapers were able to report what had been said without fear of being sued for libel. Maxwell called the claims “ludicrous, a total invention”. He fired Davies shortly thereafter.[18]

Attack on pharmaceutical factory in Sudan

Hersh strongly criticized Bill Clinton‘s decision to destroy, on August 20, 1998, the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Sudan. Al-Shifa, the largest pharmaceutical factory in Sudan, accounted for half the country’s domestically produced medicines.[19]

Iraq

Hersh has written a series of articles for The New Yorker magazine detailing military and security matters surrounding the US-led invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. In March 2002, he described the planning process for a new invasion of Iraq that he alleged had been on-going since the end of the First Gulf War, under the leadership of Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Fried and other neo-conservatives. In a 2004 article, he alleged that Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld circumvented the normal intelligence analysis function of the CIA in their quest to make the case for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Another article, “Lunch with the Chairman”, led Richard Perle, a subject of the article, to call Hersh the “closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist.”[20]

A March 7, 2007, article entitled, “The Redirection” described a recent shift in the George W. Bush administration‘s Iraq policy, the goal of which Hersh said was to “contain” Iran. Hersh asserted that “a by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.”[21]

In May 2004, Hersh published a series of articles which described the treatment of detainees by US military police at Abu Ghraib prison near BaghdadIraq.[22] The articles included allegations that private military contractorscontributed to prisoner mistreatment and that intelligence agencies such as the CIA ordered torture in order to break prisoners for interrogations. They also alleged that torture was a usual practice in other US-run prisons as well, e.g., in Bagram Theater Internment Facility and Guantanamo. In subsequent articles, Hersh wrote that the abuses were part of a secret interrogation program, known as “Copper Green“. According to Hersh’s sources, the program was expanded to Iraq with the direct approval of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, both in an attempt to deal with the growing insurgency there and as part of “Rumsfeld’s long-standing desire to wrest control of America’s clandestine and paramilitary operations from the C.I.A.”[23] Much of his material for these articles was based on the Army’s own internal investigations.[24]

Scott Ritter, a disaffected former arms inspector, asserted in his October 19, 2005 interview with Seymour Hersh that the US policy to remove Iraqi president Saddam Hussein from power started with US president George H. W. Bushin August 1990. Ritter concluded from public remarks by President Bush and Secretary of State James Baker that the Iraq sanctions would only be lifted when Hussein was removed from power. The justification for sanctions was disarmament. The CIA offered the opinion that containing Hussein for six months would result in the collapse of his regime. According to Hersh, this policy resulted in the invasion and occupation of Iraq.[25]

Iran

In January 2005, Hersh alleged that the US was conducting covert operations in Iran to identify targets for possible strikes. Hersh also wrote that Pakistan and the United States had struck a “Khan-for-Iran” deal in which Washingtonwould look the other way at Pakistan’s nuclear transgressions and not demand handing over of its infamous nuclear scientist A. Q. Khan, in return for Islamabad‘s cooperation in neutralizing Iran’s nuclear plans. This was also denied by officials of the governments of the US and Pakistan.

In the April 17, 2006 issue of The New Yorker,[26] Hersh wrote that the Bush administration had plans for an air strike on Iran. Of particular note in his article was that a US nuclear first strike (possibly using the B61-11 bunker-busternuclear weapon) is under consideration to eliminate underground Iranian uranium enrichment facilities. In response, President Bush cited Hersh’s reportage as “wild speculation.” [27]

When, in October 2007, he was asked about presidential candidate Hillary Clinton‘s hawkish views on Iran, Hersh stated that Jewish donations were the main reason for these:

During one journalism conference, Hersh stated that after the Strait of Hormuz incident, members of the Bush administration met in vice president Dick Cheney‘s office to consider methods of initiating a war with Iran. One idea considered was staging a false flag operation involving the use of Navy SEALs dressed as Iranian PT boaters who would engage in a firefight with US ships. According to Hersh this proposed provocation was rejected. Hersh’s allegation has not been verified.[29]

Lebanon

In August 2006, in an article in The New Yorker, Hersh wrote that the White House gave the green light for the Israeli government to execute an attack on Hezbollah in Lebanon. Supposedly, communication between the Israeligovernment and the US government about this came as early as two months in advance of the capture of two Israeli soldiers and the killing of eight others by Hezbollah prior to the 2006 Lebanon War in July 2006.[30] The US government denied these allegations.[31]

Killing of Osama bin Laden 

In September 2013, during an interview with The Guardian, Hersh commented that the 2011 raid that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden was “one big lie, not one word of it is true”. He said that the Obama administration lies systematically, and that American media outlets are reluctant to challenge the administration, saying “It’s pathetic, they are more than obsequious, they are afraid to pick on this guy [Obama]”.[32] Hersh later clarified that he didn’t dispute Bin Laden’s death in Pakistan, and rather meant that the lying began in the aftermath of bin Laden’s death.[33]

On May 10, 2015, Hersh published the 10,000-word article “The Killing of Osama bin Laden” in the London Review of Books (LRB) on the fourth anniversary of the Abbottabad raid that killed bin Laden (Operation Neptune Spear). It immediately went viral, crashing the LRB website.[34] Hersh outlined with extensive quoting of both named and unnamed sources the background to how bin Laden’s presence in Abbotabad came to be known to the U.S. government and how the SEAL raid was in fact known to the Pakistanis and had ISI cooperation. Hersh alleges the U.S. government’s narrative was in fact an elaborate cover story meant to conceal Pakistan’s relationship with the Al Qaeda leader and to yield maximum political payoff for President Barack Obama in the runup to the 2012 election season:

The killing was the high point of Obama’s first term, and a major factor in his re-election. The White House still maintains that the mission was an all-American affair, and that the senior generals of Pakistan’s army and Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) were not told of the raid in advance. This is false, as are many other elements of the Obama administration’s account.[35]

Operation Neptune Spear is often contrasted[citation needed] with a low point—Operation Eagle Claw, the botched 1980 attempt to rescue American hostages in Iran ordered by President Jimmy Carter that killed eight troops and freed no captured Americans.

The official U.S. version is that bin Laden’s location at Abbottabad was identified by the CIA by tracking an al-Qaeda courier, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti. Hersh reports that in August 2010 a former senior Pakistani intelligence officer walked into the office of Jonathan Bank, the CIA station chief at the US embassy in Islamabad and betrayed the secret of bin Laden’s whereabouts in return for part of the $25 million reward, and has since been relocated with his family to Washington and is a consultant to the CIA. The ISI had captured bin Laden in 2006; he had lived undetected from 2001 to 2006 with some of his wives and children in the Hindu Kush mountains. The ISI got to him by paying some of the local tribal people to betray him. Bin Laden was very ill and was living as prisoner under ISI control in the garrison town of Abbottabad less than two miles from Pakistan’s National Military Academy at Kakul (equivalent of United States Military Academy at West Point). The Saudi government also knew about Osama’s presence in Abbottabad and had advised the Pakistanis to keep him as a prisoner and gave financial assistance. Major Amir Aziz, a Pakistani Army doctor, was ordered to move near his compound to provide treatment. Aziz was also given a share of the $25 million reward because he got the DNA sample which conclusively proved that it was bin Laden. A real casualty in the whole affair was the doctor named Shakil Afridi. His perfectly legitimate hepatitis B vaccination programme was claimed to be the way the US obtained bin Laden’s DNA. Afridi became the sacrificial lamb because the US wanted to protect its real CIA informant, Amir Aziz, who had been held by the Pakistanis. Afridi was sentenced to 33 years by the Pakistanis. Other vaccination programmes were canceled once this lie was put forth.[35]

Hersh writes that the Pakistan Army and intelligence service was warned about the U.S. Navy SEALs’ raid and made sure that the two helicopters carrying the SEALs to Abbottabad crossed Pakistani airspace without triggering an alarm: “The most blatant lie was that Pakistan’s two most senior military leaders—General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of the army staff, and General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, director general of the ISI—were never informed of the US mission.”[35] The report also states that Pakistani officials knew about the raid before it happened in May 2011 and instructed those monitoring bin Laden’s compound to allow the SEALs to conduct the operation unobstructed.

Since his killing in 2011, the U.S. media has reported that bin Laden was given a perfunctory naval funeral off the deck of an aircraft carrier, to prevent any gravesite from becoming a symbol of martyrdom. According to Hersh’s account of the assassination, bin Laden’s corpse never made it to the USS Carl Vinson, because it had been torn apart by automatic fire at point-blank range before the CIA took whatever shreds were left: “Some members of the SEAL team had bragged to colleagues and others that they had torn bin Laden’s body to pieces with rifle fire. The remains, including his head, which had only a few bullet holes in it, were thrown into a body bag and, during the helicopter flight back to Jalalabad, some body parts were tossed out over the Hindu Kush mountains.” And bin Laden’s wives and children were never turned over to the Americans for questioning.

Hersh’s story drew harsh criticism from media commentators and officials. Peter Bergen disputed Hersh’s contentions, saying they “defy common sense”;[36] Hersh responded that Bergen simply “views himself as the trustee of all things Bin Laden”.[37] A similar dismissal of Hersh’s account came from former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell.[38] A former intelligence official who had direct knowledge of the operation speculated that the Pakistanis, who were furious that the operation took place without being detected by them, were behind the false story as a way to save face.[39]

Others criticized the press response. In an article for the Columbia Journalism ReviewTrevor Timm wrote that “barely any follow-up reporting has been done to corroborate or refute his [Hersh’s] claims”, and observed that Slate, for example, “ran five hit jobs on Hersh within 36 hours”.[40]

On May 12, the Pakistan-based journalist Amir Mir disclosed that the “walk-in” who had provided the CIA with the information about bin Laden’s whereabouts was Brigadier Usman Khalid of ISI.[41][42]

On May 20, a former CIA officer, Philip Giraldi, opined in The American Conservative that he found Hersh’s story credible:

Syrian Civil War

During the Syrian Civil War US President Obama argued in a 2012 speech that a chemical attack in Syria would constitute crossing a “red line” and that this would trigger a US military intervention against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.[44]

After this speech, and prior to the chemical attacks in Ghoutachemical weapons were suspected to have been used in at least four attacks in the country.[45] On 23 March 2013, the Syrian government requested the UN to send inspectors in order to investigate an incident in the town of Khan al-Assal, where it said opposition forces had used chlorine-filled rockets.[46] However, on 25 April US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel stated that US intelligence showed the Assad government was likely to have used chemical weapons – specifically sarin gas.[47]

On 8 December 2013, the London Review of Books published “Whose Sarin?”, in which Hersh argued that President Obama had “omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts” in his assertion during his televised speech of 10 September that the Syrian government had been responsible for the use of sarin gas in the Ghouta chemical attack of 21 August 2013 against a rebel-held district of Damascus.[48] In particular, Hersh wrote of anonymous intelligence sources telling him that the Syrian army was not the only agency with access to sarin, referring to the Al-Nusra Front Jihadist group, and that, during the period before the Ghouta attack, secretly implanted sensors at the country’s known bases had not detected suspicious movements suggesting a forthcoming chemical attack in the period.[48]

On 22 December 2015, the London Review of Books published Hersh’s article “Military to Military”[49] in which he exposed the divide between the US top brass and the politicians in the White House when it came to dealing with Islamic extremists in Syria and Iraq. Hersh reported that the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of the United States Department of Defense has indirectly supported Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad with quality intelligence in an effort to help him defeat jihadist groups, providing said intelligence via GermanyIsrael and Russia – to help Assad push back Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State. Hersh also writes the military even undermined a US effort to arm Syrian rebels in a bid to prove it was serious about helping Assad fight their common enemies. Hersh says the Joint Chiefs’ maneuvering was rooted in several concerns, including the US arming of unvetted Syrian rebels with jihadist ties, a belief the administration was overly focused on confronting Assad’s ally Russia, and anger the White House was unwilling to challenge Saudi ArabiaQatar and Turkey over their support of extremist groups in Syria. These countries had armed extremists with modern weapons – which gave them the upper hand in subduing the Syrian Army – and resulted in huge territorial losses by 2013. Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish government supported Jabhat al-Nusra. The US JCS reported the Erdogan government were “doing the same for Islamic State” in order to disrupt the balance in the Middle East. The Turkish government refused to halt the flow of foreign militants going through Turkey.[50][51]

On 25 June 2017, Welt am Sonntag published Hersh’s article “Trump’s Red Line”[52] in which he claimed to expose the divide between the US ‘intelligence community’ and Donald Trump, the President of the United States, over the alleged ‘sarin attack’ at the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib on 4 April 2017 … ‘Trump issued the order despite having been warned by the U.S. intelligence community that it had found no evidence that the Syrians had used a chemical weapon.’ A chat conversation delivered to Hersh by his informants and published by Welt am Sonntag, “We got a fuckin‘ problem”[53] seems to evidence much upset on the part of at least one ‘American soldier’ in Syria in conversations with an American ‘security advisor’ as well. However, at least one journalist accused Hersh of sloppy journalism: “Hersh based his case on a tiny number of anonymous sources, presented no other evidence to support his case, and ignored or dismissed evidence that countered the alternative narrative he was trying to build.”[54]

Criticism

Kennedy research

Hersh’s 1997 book about John F. KennedyThe Dark Side of Camelot, made a number of controversial assertions about the former president, including that he had had a “first marriage” to a woman named Durie Malcolm that was never terminated, that he had been a semi-regular narcotics user, and that he had a close working relationship with mob boss Sam Giancana which supposedly included vote fraud in one or two crucial states in the 1960 presidential election. For many of these allegations, Hersh relied only on hearsay collected decades after the event. In a Los Angeles Times review, Edward Jay Epstein cast doubt on these and other assertions, writing, “this book turns out to be, alas, more about the deficiencies of investigative journalism than about the deficiencies of John F. Kennedy.”[55] Responding to the book, historian and former Kennedy aide Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. called Hersh “the most gullible investigative reporter I’ve ever encountered.”[56]

A month before the publication of The Dark Side of Camelot, newspapers, including USA Today, reported Hersh’s announcement that he had removed from the galleys, at the last minute, a segment about legal documents allegedly containing JFK’s signature.[57] The documents signed by “John F. Kennedy” included a provision, in 1960, for a trust fund to be set up for the institutionalized mother of Marilyn Monroe.[58][59] A paralegal named Lawrence Cusack had shared them with Hersh and encouraged the author to discuss them in the book.[58] Shortly before Hersh’s publicized announcement, federal investigators began probing Cusack’s sale of the documents at auction.[58] After The Dark Side of Camelot became a bestseller, Cusack was convicted by a federal jury in Manhattan of forging the documents and sentenced to a long prison term.[60] In 1997 the Kennedy family denied Cusack’s claim that his late father had been an attorney who had represented JFK in 1960.[58]

Use of anonymous sources

There has been sustained criticism of Hersh’s use of anonymous sources.[55][61][62] Critics, including Edward Jay Epstein and Amir Taheri, say he is over-reliant on them.[55][61][62] Taheri, for example, when reviewing Hersh’s Chain of Command (2004), complained:

As soon as he has made an assertion he cites a ‘source’ to back it. In every case this is either an un-named former official or an unidentified secret document passed to Hersh in unknown circumstances. […] By my count Hersh has anonymous ‘sources’ inside 30 foreign governments and virtually every department of the U.S. government.[61]

In response to an article in The New Yorker in which Hersh alleged that the U.S. government was planning a strike on IranU.S. Defense Department spokesman Bryan G. Whitman said, “This reporter has a solid and well-earned reputation for making dramatic assertions based on thinly sourced, unverifiable anonymous sources.”[63]

David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, maintains that he is aware of the identity of all of Hersh’s unnamed sources, telling the Columbia Journalism Review that “I know every single source that is in his pieces. … Every ‘retired intelligence officer,’ every general with reason to know, and all those phrases that one has to use, alas, by necessity, I say, ‘Who is it? What’s his interest?’ We talk it through.”[64]

Speeches

In an interview with New York magazine, Hersh made a distinction between the standards of strict factual accuracy for his print reporting and the leeway he allows himself in speeches, in which he may talk informally about stories still being worked on or blur information to protect his sources. “Sometimes I change events, dates, and places in a certain way to protect people. … I can’t fudge what I write. But I can certainly fudge what I say.”[62]

Some of Hersh’s speeches concerning the Iraq War have described violent incidents involving U.S. troops in Iraq. In July 2004, during the height of the Abu Ghraib scandal, he alleged that American troops sexually assaulted young boys:

Basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children, in cases that have been recorded, the boys were sodomized, with the cameras rolling, and the worst above all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking. That your government has. They’re in total terror it’s going to come out.[62]

In a subsequent interview with New York magazine, Hersh regretted that “I actually didn’t quite say what I wanted to say correctly. … It wasn’t that inaccurate, but it was misstated. The next thing I know, it was all over the blogs. And I just realized then, the power of—and so you have to try and be more careful.”[62] In Chain of Command, he wrote that one of the witness statements he had read described the rape of a boy by a foreign contract interpreter at Abu Ghraib, during which a woman took pictures.[62]

Link between the US government and Fatah al-Islam

In March 2007, Hersh asserted in a New Yorker piece that the United States and Saudi governments were funding the terrorist organization Fatah al-Islam through aid to Lebanese Sunni Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.[65] Following the publication of the story, journalist Emmanuel Sivan in Beirut wrote that Hersh put forth the allegation without any reliable sources.[66][67]

Morarji Desai libel suit

Hersh wrote in his 1983 book The Price of Power that former Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai had been paid $20,000 a year by the CIA during the Johnson and Nixon administrations. Desai called the allegation “a scandalous and malicious lie” and filed a $50 million libel suit against Hersh. By the time the case went to trial Desai, by then 93, was too ill to attend. CIA director Richard Helms and Henry Kissinger testified under oath that at no time did Desai act in any capacity for the CIA, paid or otherwise. A Chicago jury ruled in favor of Hersh, saying Desai did not provide sufficient evidence that Hersh had published the information with intent to do harm or with reckless disregard for the truth, either of which must be proven in a libel suit.[68][69]

Controversy

On August 1, 2017, Hersh was interviewed by National Public Radio for a story on a lawsuit related to an investigation into the 2016 death of former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. In the interview, Hersh denied a claim by investigator Ed Butowsky that Hersh had said he’d spoken to a Federal Bureau of Investigation source who confirmed the existence of information on Rich’s laptop computer showing h