Hillary Clinton

The Pronk Pops Show 748, August 21, 2017, Story 1: Eclipse Totality — Moon Shadow — Here Comes The Sun — The Primary Cause of Climate Change — Videos — Story 2: Bannon Breitbart Banishment– Interventionist War Mongering Generals and Political Establishment Winning — Trump Just Another Big Government Liberal Democrat Presidents (Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson) — Videos –Story 3: The Democrat Party of Slavery, Segregation, Klu Klux Klan, and White Supremacy Rewrites History By Tearing Down Confederate Soldier Statues That They Put Up — Admit It Democrats Are Racists That Play Race Cards — Lying Lunatic Left Losers — Videos — Story 4: The Radical Islamic Terrorists Killed and Captured –13 Killed and Injured 100 in Barcelona Thursday — Videos

Posted on August 21, 2017. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Breaking News, Business, Climate Change, College, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Elections, Employment, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Genocide, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hate Speech, Health, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Investments, Law, Legal Immigration, Lying, Medicare, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Trump, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Scandals, Science, Second Amendment, Senate, Social Security, Spying, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Image result for total eclipseImage result for branco cartoon on resignation of steve bannon

Story 1: Eclipse Totality — Moon Shadow — Here Comes The Sun — The Primary Cause of Climate Change —

Cat Stevens – Moon Shadow (1970)

 

 

Cat Stevens – Moonshadow Lyrics

[Chorus:]
Oh, I’m bein’ followed by a moonshadow, moon shadow, moonshadow—
Leapin and hoppin’ on a moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow—And if I ever lose my hands, lose my plough, lose my land,
Oh if I ever lose my hands, Oh if I won’t have to work no more.And if I ever lose my eyes, if my colours all run dry,
Yes if I ever lose my eyes, Oh if I won’t have to cry no more.[Chorus]And if I ever lose my legs, I won’t moan, and I won’t beg,
Yes if I ever lose my legs, Oh if I won’t have to walk no more.And if I ever lose my mouth, all my teeth, north and south,
Yes if I ever lose my mouth, Oh if I won’t have to talk…Did it take long to find me? I asked the faithful light.
Did it take long to find me? And are you gonna stay the night?[Chorus]
Moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow, moonshadow.
Songwriters: YUSUF ISLAM, CAT STEVENS

Why a total solar eclipse is such a big deal

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2017 eclipse: First moment of totality

Total Eclipse Darkens Wyoming

Solar Eclipse 2017 Full 360º VR Experience In Casper, Wyoming | 360 Video | TIME

Trump Watches Eclipse From White House

Kern Astronomical Society explains why the solar eclipse is such a huge deal

Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles Tribute

Here Comes the Sun: A Tribute to George Harrison by Paul Simon, Crosby and Grahm Nash

Beatles – Here Comes The Sun Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Here comes the sun (doo doo doo doo)
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Little darling, the smiles returning to the faces
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes
Sun, sun, sun, here it comes

Little darling, I feel that ice is slowly melting
Little darling, it seems like years since it’s been clear
Here comes the sun
Here comes the sun, and I say
It’s all right

 

Read more: Beatles – Here Comes The Sun Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Story 2: Bannon Breitbart Banishment– Interventionist War Mongering Generals and Political Establishment Winning — Trump Just Another Big Government Liberal Democrat Presidents (Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Lyndon B. Johnson) — Videos —

“The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over. The Republican establishment has no interest in Trump’s success. They’re not populists, they’re not nationalists, they had no interest in his programme. Zero. They’re going to try to moderate him.”

~ Stephen Bannon

 

Image result for steve bannon and donald j. trump

Sean Hannity – on Bannon Resignation With Guests

The Story with Martha MacCallum – August 18, 2017

Trump FIRES Steve Bannon!!!

Tucker Carlson Reacts To Steve Bannon Getting Fired

Tucker Doesn’t Want More Troops In Afghanistan

Steve Bannon resigns as President Donald Trump’s chief strategist: Special Report

Steve Bannon Accidentally Spills The Beans?

Roger Stone On Steve Bannon Getting Fired

Steve Bannon vows to ‘go to war’ for Trump agenda after sacking – BBC News

Bannon Speaks After Stepping Down

Newt Gingrich Reacts to Bannon’s White House Departure

Ann Coulter Reacts to Steve Bannon’s Firing

BREAKING NEWS TRUMP 8/18/17 STEVE BANNON FIRED, Trump fires Steve Bannon as Chief Strategist

Shepard Smith REACTS to the firing of steve bannon – Steve Bannon FIRED by President Trump

Ann Coulter on Trump: Today We Got Our Leader Back! | Alt Left Takedown (8-16-17)

Trump Fires Steve Bannon; Which Doesn’t Surprise Me Even Slightly (Here’s Why)

Bill O’Reilly: Reacts to Trump Charlottesville Backlash & Steve Bannon (8-18-17)

Bannon, backed by billionaire, prepares to go to war

Win McNamee / AP

Steve Bannon’s next moves will be all about the billionaire Mercer family. I’m told Bannon, who visited New York this week, met with Bob Mercer and together they will be a well-funded force on the outside.
  • Bannon has felt liberated since it became clear he was being pushed out, according to friends. He’s told associates he has a “killing machine” in Breitbart News, and it’s possible he returns to lead their editorial operation.
  • A source familiar with Breitbart’s operations told me they would go “thermonuclear” against “globalists”that Bannon and his friends believe are ruining the Trump administration, and by extension, America.
  • Watch for Breitbart’s Washington Editor Matt Boyle to be a central figure in this war — which has already begun — against White House officials like HR McMaster, Dina Powell, Gary Cohn, and Jared and Ivanka.

Steve Bannon’s next moves will be all about the billionaire Mercer family. I’m told Bannon, who visited New York this week, met with Bob Mercer and together they will be a well-funded force on the outside.

  • Bannon has felt liberated since it became clear he was being pushed out, according to friends. He’s told associates he has a “killing machine” in Breitbart News, and it’s possible he returns to lead their editorial operation.
  • A source familiar with Breitbart’s operations told me they would go “thermonuclear” against “globalists”that Bannon and his friends believe are ruining the Trump administration, and by extension, America.
  • Watch for Breitbart’s Washington Editor Matt Boyle to be a central figure in this war — which has already begun — against White House officials like HR McMaster, Dina Powell, Gary Cohn, and Jared and Ivanka.

https://www.axios.com/bannons-next-move-2474479917.html

Steve Bannon, the ousted White House chief strategist, is reportedly considering starting a television network which would allow him to “go nuclear” as he settles vendettas with moderate advisers in the White House and pressures President Donald Trump to pursue a populist agenda of economic nationalism.

Allies of Mr Bannon compared him to a “tiger freed from his cage,” suggesting things would get “ugly” as he targets the Republican establishment and what he calls “West Wing Democrats”.

The departure of Mr Bannon came amid one of Mr Trump’s worst weeks as president.

He and first lady Melania Trump decided not to participate in the annual Kennedy Center Honours event celebrating American culture after a backlash from those being honoured. The White House said the first couple were pulling out to “allow the honourees to celebrate without any political distraction”.

I want to thank Steve Bannon for his service. He came to the campaign during my run against Crooked Hillary Clinton – it was great! Thanks S

Meanwhile, a host of charities canceled annual fundraising events at Mr Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida. They included the American Red Cross, Salvation Army, and the American  Cancer Society.

Mr Bannon’s possible TV network would be intended as a rival to Fox News, the Rupert Murdoch-owned channel which has been supportive of Mr Trump, but which Mr Bannon now regards as too moderate,  Axios reported.

Immediately after his departure on Friday he re-assumed control of Breitbart, the influential right-wing news website he steered before joining Mr Trump’s campaign last year. Mr Bannon said he was “going to war for Trump,” which appeared to mean the original hard line policies pursued during the campaign.

Mr Bannon’s new venture would probably be funded by Bob Mercer, the hedge fund billionaire and conservative mega-donor, who has previously backed both Breitbart and Mr Trump. Mr Mercer and Mr Bannon met last week to discus plans for after his White House exit. The following evening Mr Mercer had dinner with the president.

On the outsideMr Bannon will target a ring of presidential advisers sometimes known as the “globalists”. It includes Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, with whom Mr Bannon appeared to have lost a battle over putting more troops in Afghanistan.

Also in the firing line are Republican leaders in Congress such as House Speaker Paul Ryan and senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Republicans who Mr Bannon blames for stalling Mr Trump’s agenda, including funding for the border wall, and failing to overturn Obamacare.

Mr Bannon has few allies left within the White House promoting his agenda of economic nationalism. There was speculation that the few who remain, including senior policy adviser Stephen Miller, and deputy assistant Sebastian Gorka, could be purged by John Kelly, the new chief of staff who is seeking to bring order to the chaotic administration.

Mr Kelly’s authority over the White House was boosted by Mr Bannon’s departure. A triumvirate of military generals – Mr Kelly, Mr McMaster, and Defence Secretary James Mattis – now hold extraordinary sway within the administration.

Sam Nunberg, a former Trump campaign adviser and friend of Mr Bannon, said:  “It’s a tough pill to swallow because you have a Republican West Wing that’s filled with generals and Democrats. It would feel like the twilight zone.”

In a candid first interview after leaving, Mr Bannon told the Weekly Standard: “The Trump presidency that we fought for, and won, is over. The Republican establishment has no interest in Trump’s success. They’re not populists, they’re not nationalists, they had no interest in his programme. Zero. They’re going to try to moderate him.”

Mr Bannon added: “I feel jacked up. I’ve got my hands back on my weapons. It’s Bannon the Barbarian. I am definitely going to crush the opposition. I built a f****** machine at Breitbart. We’re about to rev that machine up.”

A friend of Mr Bannon told The Atlantic: “Steve is now unchained. He’s going nuclear. You have no idea. This is gonna be really f****** bad.”

https://uk.news.yahoo.com/steve-bannon-apos-nuclear-west-171613803.html

Story 3: The Democrat Party of Slavery, Segregation, Ku Klux Klan, and White Supremacy Rewrites History By Tearing Down Confederate Soldier Monument Statues  That They Put Up — Admit It —  Democrats Are Racists That Play Race Cards — Lying Lunatic Left Losers — Videos —

“Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”

~George Santayana

The Inconvenient Truth About the Democratic Party

Why Is ANTIFA Not Being Condemned?

The history of the racist Democrat party in under 12 minutes by Billy Whittle

Bill Whittle – Racism – Democrats and Republicans switch sides?

Trump Adviser: ‘He Is Stubborn And Doesn’t Realize How Bad This Is Getting’

Judge Napolitano: A Nation of Sheep

Judge Napolitano: How Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson Destroyed Constitutional Freedom

Ku Klux Klan – A Secret History

Ben Shapiro: Did The Parties Switch?

Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party (Dinesh D’Souza Interview)

Black History Racist Democrats Refuse to Teach Today – Pt. 1

Black History Racist Democrats Refuse to Teach Today – Pt. 2

The Reasons Why Democrats Are the Party of Slavery and Victimization | ZoNation

Sheriff Clarke ‘proud’ of Trump’s Charlottesville response

The Camera Caught A Key Moment At The Charlottesville Incident That Changes The Whole Story!

RIOTERS BEWARE: LIBERAL PROTESTERS ARE NOT GOING TO LIKE WHAT JEFF SESSIONS DID SECONDS AGO

 

Tearing Down Monuments of War – Is Destroying the Legacy of American Heroes Right or Wrong?

Credit Denise Sanders/The Baltimore Sun, via Associated Press

Recent news involving Al Sharpton criticizing the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Museum, and the arrest of Antifa protester Takiyah Thompson who helped topple a Confederate statue, has many liberals applauding and many conservatives decrying the death of American Patriotism.  Who’s right and who’s wrong?  Is it repairing injustice or perpetuating the hate?

The Left’s Argument: Glorification of the Immoral

The left’s argument is that to bring public glory to Confederate, Nazi or Colonial figures of history, who were decidedly immoral in conscience, is our right as a progressive society. The first amendment guaranteeing freedom of expression doesn’t apply to public statues, which supposedly reflect the modern public’s appreciation of the American heritage of old. We keep their statues because, in theory, we agree with these depictions of heroism. We feel they represent us as a state, as a federal republic, and as Americans.

First amendment rights do not protect the right of public exhibition—rather, the right to privately exercise free speech and pay honor to any historical figure of choice behind closed doors or in a gathering of peers, with land owners that reflect the views of the party.

Not surprisingly, Nazis and other white supremacists are finding it difficult to book public venues because their ideology is offensive to most Americans. Corporations that own these venues usually don’t court public controversy for any reason, and so citing first amendment rights does not apply in this case.

If Antifa’s concluding solution to dissenters of the left is ever to invade the private properties of white supremacists, they would be exhibiting behavior like the Nazi Gestapo—the very evil they claim to fight against. However, the demonstrations have not reached that point yet.  Thus far the argument is that “we” don’t want symbols of segregation or slavery in the public eye.

The Right’s Argument: Cultural Marxism

The right’s argument is that removing these figures is un-American, treasonous and seditious—especially since Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Robert E. Lee, are all important figures in American history and they’re all at threat of being torn down.  Yes, many historical figures were slave owners and were, in the case of people like Harry Truman and FDR, full blown unlikable racists who spoke disparagingly of blacks and other non-whites.

Should this necessitate removal from a public square because it is little more than an offensive exhibition, as is burning the flag, or burning copies of the Quran?

The reason why such violent demonstrators are being called “communists” is not simply as a name dropping slur. Conservatives are referring to a pattern in history called Cultural Marxism.

The very definition of Cultural Marxism is the belief that all modern human behavior stems from the culture society allows—and that all culture is malleable, and easy to shape if only society takes a firm hand in censoring thoughts and statements contrary to public decency.

Cultural Marxism has a historical pattern of “modern societies” destroying icons and imagery of the past, particularly in destroying public statues, or even in destroying the legacy of historical, fictional or religious figures—a need for modern society to reject the old doctrines and old way of life in favor of a new and greater morality.

Some have gone so far to say that Cultural Marxism is the intentional destruction of all “holy things” an old society has accomplished, from legacies to traditional schools of thought, to even the gradual molding of individual preferences towards a State model worthy of following.

The Historical Perspective of Destroying Statues

Subversify and other third party progressives take an unemotional approach to the argument, and one based on a largely historical perspective. We know for example:

1. The dead are conscious of nothing. It doesn’t hurt Andrew Jackson’s feelings that he’s not on the $20 bill. It doesn’t concern Jefferson or Washington in the least, that people 200 years removed find their lifestyles offensive. This is merely the progression of modern society—and old society will never be in sync with the modern world because it hasn’t progressed to our state of civilized behavior, our compassion and humanity, learned by experience, a gradual process that takes literally hundreds of years.

2. It is common behavior among all revolutionaries to destroy the statues, legacies and icons of old figures that no longer serve a political purpose. This is nothing new—liberal radicals in Russia did the same on the early 20th century, as did revolutionaries in the French Revolution, and all the way down to ISIS in modern times. These people would not be revolutionaries if they “fought with honor” and tried to be nice to all those wonderful dead people.

3. In an ideal world, there would be no monuments to war heroes because nobody would ever see the value of resorting to war. The pacifist argument is that we should never think of a man who has resorted to war, resorted to murdering other people for his political purposes, as anyone deserving of special honor.  He did what had to be done, according to his perspective, not what he was proud of doing.

One may argue that violence is a necessary evil, such as protecting against home invaders, serial killers and gang warfare. That may be so, but at no point has anyone erected a monument saluting Bob for shooting his next door neighbor after a break-in attempt.

Wars, at the very best, are failures of human communication. Horrific “final solutions” that leaders take because they have run out of all other reasonable options. The aim of any so-called humanist should be to promote peace, find other options to violence, and negotiate a compromise so that we can all live one more day without gunning each other down in cold blood.

There may be no real advantage to removing statues, besides appeasing an angry mob—especially since the news media is what actually riles people up to commit violence in the first place. People only know how to respond to any situation after hearing a news narrative that demonstrates a “call to action” that makes sense.

We the Subversives, in opposition to the 1% and the oppression of the poor, will not violently intervene to oppose the removal of statues consecrating dead men and their dead wars. We can only imagine that Jefferson himself, and Washington himself, would be far less concerned with their legacies and far more concerned with the survival of the United States of America—especially as it faces its greatest divisionary war yet.

Instead, we will only remind the radicals of society that if you’re going to censure war criminals and morally repugnant men and women of yesterday, don’t forget to do the same to men and women today who are equally flawed.

Destroy the legacies of men who invaded other countries and killed civilians for profit and political advantage. Stop paying homage to public figures who align themselves with political parties that are morally reprehensible, whether because of election corruption, or because their own history is steeped in racism, slavery advocacy, white supremacy and resisting a progressive society.

Subversify remains adamantly opposed to both Republican and Democratic parties and any other ideology that promotes hate and an oligarchian society.

 

The Late Mitchell Warren is the author of The End of the Magical Kingdom series, a fairy tale parody / political satire dealing with issues of politics, religion and individual responsibility.

http://subversify.com/2017/08/16/tearing-down-monuments-of-war-is-destroying-the-legacy-of-american-heroes-right-or-wrong/

A statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee was removed from the University of Texas campus in Austin early on Monday. CreditEric Gay/Associated Press

With little warning, the University of Texas at Austin removed three Confederate monuments from its campus overnight, 10 days before classes are set to begin.

Work to remove statues of two Confederate generals, Robert E. Lee and Albert Sidney Johnston, and the Confederate cabinet member John Reagan began late Sunday and continued into the early morning. A statue of James Stephen Hogg, Texas’ 20th governor, was also being removed.

The university’s president, Greg Fenves, explained that the decision had been made after the violent protests in Charlottesville, Va., this month opened his eyes to what the statues represented. One woman was killed and dozens more injured after white nationalists gathered in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee from a park.

In a letter to the Texas campus’s community, Mr. Fenves wrote that after the events in Charlottesville, it had become clear to him “that Confederate monuments have become symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism.”

He said the statues’ historical and cultural significance was compromised by what they symbolized, and noted that they were erected in the midst of Jim Crow and segregation and that they represented “the subjugation of African-Americans.”

“The University of Texas at Austin has a duty to preserve and study history,” Mr. Fenves wrote. “But our duty also compels us to acknowledge that those parts of our history that run counter to the university’s core values, the values of our state and the enduring values of our nation do not belong on pedestals in the heart of the Forty Acres.”

A university spokesman, J. B. Bird, said Monday that the school had chosen to remove the statues at night “for public safety and to cause the least disruption to the university community.”

The statues were the latest to be removed this year, mostly after the events in Charlottesville. In April and May, at night and under guard, New Orleans removed four Confederate statues that had been the subject of controversy for years. Last week, Baltimore removed four statues in the middle of the night, in a swift operation similar to the one in Austin. On Saturday, Duke University in Durham, N.C., removed a statue of Lee from a campus chapel, days after protesters toppled a Confederate statue at the Durham County Courthouse.

The removals have been accompanied by a new wave of opposition to the statues. On Saturday, a Houston man was taken into custody near a monument to Richard W. Dowling, a Confederate commander, in the city’s Hermann Park after a park ranger reported finding the man in possession of materials that could be used to make an explosive device.

The man, Andrew Schneck, 25, was charged with attempting to damage or destroy federal property, according to Abe Martinez, the acting United States attorney for the Southern District of Texas.

According to a criminal complaint released by the United States attorney’s office, Mr. Schneck told the ranger that he wanted to harm the statue and did not “like that guy.”

Meanwhile, the University of Houston announced Monday that it would be changing the name of a campus residence hall, the Calhoun Lofts, to the more innocuous “University Lofts.” Although the housing unit was not originally named for John C. Calhoun, the seventh vice-president and a strong defender of slavery, the school said that it was changing the name “in the wake of recent events, and out of sensitivity to our diverse student community.”

In Austin, three of the statues will be added to the collection of a campus historical center, where they will join a Jefferson Davis statue that was taken down in 2015 after a white supremacist killed nine black parishioners at a church in Charleston, S.C. The statue of Mr. Hogg was removed because it was a part of the broader exhibit, not because the university had ideological objections to its presence on campus, Mr. Bird said. The university is looking to find a new place for it on campus.

General Johnston was appointed to his post by Jefferson Davis in 1861 and given command of the Confederate army’s western department. He was killed in the battle of Shiloh in 1862. After resigning a congressional seat in the lead-up to the Civil War, Mr. Reagan served as the Confederacy’s postmaster general.

Austin is the Texas university system’s flagship campus. The school’s history, like that of many southern institutions, is intimately linked with the history of the Confederacy. A task force assembled to study the statues in 2015 said that removing the statue of Mr. Reagan might “put a target” on other buildings or spaces that honor Texans who fought in the Confederate army. The report noted that those Texans would include much of the university’s founding generation, including George Washington Littlefield, a regent and benefactor who commissioned the statues.

 

Story 4: Barcelona Terrorist Killed — Videos

Police Kill Man Suspected Of Deadly Barcelona Van Attack, The Fugitive Was Wearing Bomb Belt | TIME

Barcelona Terrorist being shot dead by police in Cambrils

Barcelona terror attack: How it happened

Cat Stevens (Yusuf Islam) – Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

 

Hero policewoman kills FOUR jihadists wearing fake suicide vests made from Coke cans

  • Five ISIS jihadis were shot dead in a beach resort attack launched eight hours after 13 died in Barcelona
  • Jihadis in fake suicide belts gunned down by police in beach resort of Cambrils on the Costa Dorada at 1 am
  • A wounded extremist clambered to his feet and climbed crash barrier before he was killed with 15 bullets
  • Catalan police officer managed to shoot dead four of the five suspects using a handgun and saved partner
  • Yesterday a terrorist in a van launched murderous rampage on Barcelona’s packed Las Ramblas promenade
  • He fled the scene and police are now hunting for Moroccan-born Moussa Oukabir, 18, who rented the vehicle
  • Fellow young Moroccans Mohamed Hychami, Younes Abouyaaqoub and Said Aallaa now also on the run
  • Two attacks linked and police say 12-strong terror cell’s bomb factory packed with gas canisters exploded 

A hero policewoman surrounded by drugged-up jihadis wearing ‘Coke can’ suicide vests killed four out of five of them herself and saved an injured colleague, it was revealed today.

The terrorists carrying knives and an axe bailed out of their overturned Audi A3 used to plough into crowds on the seafront in Cambrils on the Costa Dorada at 1am today, killing a woman, 61, from Zaragoza, and injuring six others.

Two police officers were on a routine foot patrol when one was hit by the car and within seconds her partner pulled out a handgun and killed four of them as they charged her.

The fifth terrorist ran into a park and was gunned down minutes later by a policeman – but clambered to his feet with a smile on his face and ran at armed officers who eventually needed 15 bullets to kill him.

Today Catalan police chief Josep Luis Trapero confirmed a single officer, who was meant to be on holiday this week, killed four of the terrorists and said: ‘To kill four people, even if you are a professional, is not easy to digest’, adding the officer was now receiving psychological support.

Eight hours earlier a ‘linked’ ISIS van assault on the packed Los Ramblas boulevard in Barcelona killed 13 including a three-year-old girl and injured at least 100 victims from 34 different countries.

Fitzroy Davies, from Wolverhampton, described how officers gunned down one of the Cambrils jihadis and filmed the moment he rose to his feet in a scene he compared to a ‘horror film’.

He said: ‘He must have been on drugs. He took the first round of shots he fell on the floor, and then within two seconds, I thought I was watching a film, one of them horror films, the guy just stood up. He was taunting, smiling, laughing and he carried on walking to the police, and then they gave it to him again, a couple more shots and then he fell to the ground’.

He said that his suicide belt ‘looked fake’, adding: ‘It looked like he was wearing Coke cans on him’.

ISIS has been feeding its fighters cheap super-amphetamine pills called Captagon, used to induce euphoria and increase adrenaline during their murderous missions.

Shocking video footage shows bodies strewn across the ground in the seaside town 

This is the moment a jihadi (pictured centre) in a fake suicide vest is finally shot dead - seconds after he was gunned down and got up again to walk towards police

The jihadi in a fake suicide vest walsk up and down the street ranting at police

He was shot and fell down - only to get up again

Witnesses described how he stood up like a monster in a horror film before being shot again

The terrorist gunned down twice lies dead on the ground - four of the five jihadis were shot dead by the same hero policeman, it emerged today

The killers, wearing fake explosive belts and clutching knives, bailed out of the shattered Audi and were seen smiling and shouting taunts at police shot them dead in the street at around 1am local time

Moroccan-born Moussa Oukabir, 18, who lives in Barcelona, has been named as a suspect in the Las Ramblas attack after reportedly stealing his brother's ID to rent the van and is still on the run

Police are hunting Moussa Oukabir (pictured), Said Aallaa, Mohamed Hychami and Younes Abouyaaqoub, over the two terror attacks in Catalonia which killed 14 people and left more than 100 injured
Police are hunting Moussa Oukabir, Said Aallaa (pictured), Mohamed Hychami and Younes Abouyaaqoub, over the two terror attacks in Catalonia which killed 14 people and left more than 100 injured
Police are hunting Moussa Oukabir, Said Aallaa, Mohamed Hychami (pictured) and Younes Abouyaaqoub, over the two terror attacks in Catalonia which killed 14 people and left more than 100 injured
Police are hunting Moussa Oukabir, Said Aallaa, Mohamed Hychami and Younes Abouyaaqoub (pictured), over the two terror attacks in Catalonia which killed 14 people and left more than 100 injured

Police are hunting (left to right) terror quartet Moussa Oukabir, Said Aallaa, Mohamed Hychami and Younes Abouyaaqoub, over the two terror attacks in Catalonia

The van used to plough into crowds in Barcelona is towed away by police in the early hours of this morning with the driver still believed to be at large

Spanish security forces escort a friend of two Moroccan-born brothers linked to the Barcelona plot after arresting him in the town of Ripoll, Catalonia

Spanish security forces escort a friend of two Moroccan-born brothers linked to the Barcelona plot after arresting him in the town of Ripoll, Catalonia

The terror began in Barcelona yesterday and spread to Cambrils overnight and police believe the terror cell has a safe house in Alcanar and has links to Moroccan brothers from Ripoll

The terror began in Barcelona yesterday afternoon and spread to Cambrils overnight and police believe the terror cell has a safe house in Alcanar and has links to Moroccan brothers from Ripoll. The coast south of Barcelona has a reputation as a hotbed for terrorists and a key meeting to plan 9/11 was held a few miles from Cambrils

Multiple gunshots heard after sirens near house party in Cambrils

THE TERRORISTS KILLED AND SUSPECTS ARRESTED AFTER THE BARCELONA ATTACKS

As of Friday morning, four people have been arrested and six people have been killed in connection with the terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambril.

The four arrested include one Spanish and one Moroccan national.

One man handed himself into police on Thursday evening: This is Driss Oukabir, 28, a Moroccan national living in Ripoll, 65 miles north of Barcelona.

He claims he is not connected and that his identity documents had been stolen by his younger brother.

Moussa Oukabir, 18, is now being hunted by police, thought to have been the driver of the van on Las Ramblas that killed 13 and injured 100.

Thursday also saw one man arrested in Alcanar, 120 miles south of Barcelona, where the gas explosion in a house is being investigated.

One man died in this explosion, who has since been linked to the attacks last night.

Police believe the house where the explosion took place was being used as a bomb factory by the terrorists.

The third arrest, a man of unknown nationality, was also made in Ripoll, on Friday morning.

He is reportedly the driver of a Ford Focus which smashed though a police checkpoint on Thursday.

The driver fled the scene, leaving behind the car in which police found the car’s owner stabbed to death.

Five men wearing fake suicide belts were shot dead by police after they launched a second terrorist attack in Cambrils, 70 miles southwest of Barcelona at 1am Friday morning, injuring seven people by driving an Audi A3 into crowds on the seafront.

Eight hours earlier an ISIS jihadi drove a van at 60mph through crowds of people on Barcelona’s famous Las Ramblas promenade – Spain’s busiest tourist street – which was ‘jam-packed’ with holidaymakers and locals.

Police are today hunting for Europe’s most wanted man Moussa Oukabir, an 18-year-old Moroccan-born teenager believed to have been the driver. He fled on foot and it is unclear if he joined the Cambrils attack. Three of his young friends are also on the run.

His brother Driss’ ID was used to rent up to three vans including the one in the attack but he has handed himself into police and denied any involvement. He is among four people arrested.

Police are linking the Barcelona and Cambrils attacks and believe the terror cell with up to 12 members had a base in the resort town of Alcanar, 120 miles south of Barcelona, where a house-cum-bomb factory packed with gas canisters was destroyed in an explosion on Wednesday killing one man and injuring another.

Five jihadis have been shot dead and four men including Driss Oukabir, 28, have been arrested.

A fourth suspect was gunned down in his car as he rammed officers at a roadblock in Sant Just Desvern, Barcelona. But Spanish media said he may have been the victim of a hijacking because he also had knife wounds.

As ISIS terrorists caused carnage in one of Europe’s great cities once again, it emerged today:

  • 13 were killed and at least 100 injured after an ISIS jihadi used a white Fiat van as a weapon on Los Ramblas, Barcelona at 4pm yesterday;
  • The driver flees the scene after driving at 60mph along 500 yards of road swerving to hit men, women and children including dozens of tourists;
  • Fugitive Moussa Oukabir, an 18-year-old Moroccan-born teenager, is Europe’s most wanted man and is believed to have been the driver of the van; Three other Moroccans Mohamed Hychami, 24, Younes Abouyaaqoub, 22, and Said Aallaa, 18, are also on the run;
  • Moussa may have rented up to three vehicles using his brother Driss’ ID and his 28-year-old older sibling has since handed himself in to police and is among four suspects arrested, including some mutual friends;
  • At 1am a second terror attack takes place in Cambrils, a seaside resort around 70 miles from Barcelona. An Audi A3 with five jihadis on board ploughs through crowds killing one woman and injuring six more including a policeman. Their car turns over and they bail out with knives before being shot dead by police in the street;
  • Police say a house in Alcanar, further along the Costa Dorada from Barcelona, exploded on Wednesday killing one man. They say it was packed with gas canisters and contained maps of Barcelona and is now understood to be the terror cell’s headquarters and bomb factory;
  • A man was shot dead in the town of Sant Just Desvern close to Barcelona after he drove at a road block. Police now believe he was a not a terrorist either fleeing the city in fear or may have been the victim of a hijacking;
  • ISIS have claimed responsibility for the attacks, which are strikingly similar to attacks in LondonBerlin, Stockholm and Nice, where rented vehicles were used as weapons;
  • CIA warned Spanish police two months ago that Barcelona faced an imminent attack;

Families fled for their lives yesterday when suspected Islamic State terrorists mowed down dozens in a hotspot for British holidaymakers.

More than 100 men, women and children were mowed down and their broken bodies lay in pools of blood on the famous Las Ramblas street at 4pm yesterday, where 13 are confirmed dead.

Prams and toys lay among the carnage alongside tourists’ ‘selfie sticks’, discarded in the chaos as families fled the terror attack.

Shops, bars and restaurants packed with tourists and locals were abandoned with drinks, half-eaten meals and ice creams abandoned on the tables.

Pictures from their Alcanar bomb factory show more than 20 butane gas canisters scattered in the rubble and detectives found paperwork suggesting an attack in Barcelona was imminent.

It was unclear whether the house was deliberately destroyed to hide evidence or whether an accidental detonation forced the cell to rush through an improvised van attack. One person pulled from the rubble of the house was among four people so far arrested for the plot.

The attack in the coastal town began when a van hit pedestrians near the port area, leaving seven people including a police officer injured. The van then overturned and the attackers, now on foot, were shot by police as they attempted to leave the scene. It was unclear whether they were armed.

Spain's King Felipe VI (C), Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (L) and President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont applaud after observing a minute of silence for the victims in Barcelona today

Spain’s King Felipe VI (C), Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (L) and President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont applaud after observing a minute of silence for the victims in Barcelona today

Huge crowds gathered at Plaza de Catalunya, which sits at the top of Los Ramblas, to observe a minute's silence that turned into applause 

Huge crowds gathered at Plaza de Catalunya, which sits at the top of Los Ramblas, to observe a minute’s silence that turned into applause

Crowds have returned to the scene of yesterday's terror attack to remember those killed or injured by the rampaging van

Crowds have returned to the scene of yesterday’s terror attack to remember those killed or injured by the rampaging van

Flowers and candles are starting to be laid at the top of Los Ramblas today as the city comes to terms with the shocking attack

Flowers and candles are starting to be laid at the top of Los Ramblas today as the city comes to terms with the shocking attack

Mourners in Barcelona were in tears and clinging to eachother for support as they surveyed the scene of devastation today

Large units of police are patrolling Los Ramblas today as tourists and local returned to the area where 13 died yesterday

In Cambrils - the scene of the second terror attack - armed police are patrolling the streets and blood was being washed from the cobbled streets

In Cambrils - the scene of the second terror attack - armed police are patrolling the streets and blood was being washed from the cobbled streets

A crowd in Barcelona’s main square defiantly shouted “not afraid” today following a minute’s silence attended by Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and King Felipe VI, held for the victims of a double vehicle attack.

Standing silent in the Plaza de Catalunya, Rajoy joined the king and Carles Puigdemont, the president of the Catalonia region where Barcelona is located, in mourning the victims of attacks that left 13 dead and more than 100 injured.

At loggerheads as the separatist Catalan government attempts to break away from Spain, Rajoy and Puigdemont put their differences aside as they held the minute of silence in the square near the scene of the Barcelona attack.

Just after, crowds at the square broke out in loud applause, shouting “I’m not afraid.”

Dramatic video posted online showed bystanders walking casually towards police cars before gunshots rang out, sending them leaping for safety on the beach below the raised roadway.

A second video shows four bodies lying on and near the road, apparently some way from the overturned vehicle, which is not in shot. The suspected suicide belts can be seen around the waists of the dead men.

A Spanish man filmed three of the terrorists as they lay dead on the ground, saying: ‘Look, there are two dead lying there on the floor. Sons of bitches, they were wearing explosives. No there are three of them. They were wearing explosives. Sons of bitches!’

Markel Artabe, a 20-year-old restaurant worker, said he was on the seaside promenade when he heard what he initially thought were fireworks, but soon realised were gunshots.

He said he saw someone lying on the ground ‘with a gunshot in the head’. The victim’s friends were crying out ‘help’, he added.

Joan Marc Serra Salinas, a 21-year-old waiter, said he heard many gunshots.

‘And shouting. And more shouting. I jumped onto the beach and didn’t move,’ he said.

A spokesman for the regional government in Catalonia said: ‘The suspected terrorists were driving an Audi A3 and ran down several people, until they crashed into a Mossos d’Esquadra patrol and the shootout began.’

As the Cambrils attack began police warned locals to stay inside – and many locked themselves inside hotels and bars.

Six people including a police officer were injured in the Cambrils attack, in the province of Tarragona. One was today in a critical condition in hospital, with another two seriously injured.

Four of the terrorists were killed immediately in the shootout and the fifth was shot and later arrested after being located by police in a helicopter. He later died from his injuries.

The regional police tweeted: ‘We are working with the hypothesis that the crimes in Cambrils are a terrorist attack. We have taken down those presumed responsible.We confirm that the 5th terrorist taken down in Cambrils, who was injured, has died.’

Driss Oukabir (pictured) has been arrested by police, according to local media reports. The Guardia Civil previously said the van used in the attack was rented by Oukabir in the town of Santa Perpetua de la Mogada

One of the arrested suspects is believed to be Driss Oukabir

Driss Oukabir (pictured) has been arrested by police, according to local media reports. The Guardia Civil previously said the van used in the attack was rented by Oukabir in the town of Santa Perpetua de la Mogada

Police officers rushed to the seaside resort to carry out an operation and ended up shooting the five terror suspects dead

Seven members of the public including a policeman were hurt in the new attack in Cambrils, 70 miles from Barcelona, which saw the jihadis’ car overturn before armed police gunned down the suspects

Seven members of the public including a policeman were hurt in the new attack in Cambrils, 70 miles from Barcelona, which saw the jihadis’ car overturn before armed police gunned down the suspects

Five terrorists were shot dead by police in the resort of Cambrils, south of Barcelona, as they carried out a new terror attack

Police officers and forensic personnel begin a search of the vehicle driven by the suspected Jihadists, who were quickly shot dead after the car flipped in the road

Police officers and forensic personnel begin a search of the vehicle driven by the suspected Jihadists, who were quickly shot dead after the car flipped in the road

The attack in the coastal town began when a van hit pedestrians near the port area, leaving seven people including a police officer injured

In Barcelona, a hired van (pictured), registered to rental company Telefurgo, rammed into scores of holidaymakers and their children. The crumpled van is pictured as a body lies on the ground

In Barcelona, a hired van (pictured), registered to rental company Telefurgo, rammed into scores of holidaymakers and their children. The crumpled van is pictured as a body lies on the ground

Horrifying images of the aftermath show an elderly couple were among the injured after the van ploughed into pedestrians on the busy Barcelona street

Horrifying images of the aftermath show an elderly couple were among the injured after the van ploughed into pedestrians on the busy Barcelona street

Police were seen arresting a suspect

They arrested a man earlier on Thursday

Stills from a video showing a man being arrested by Spanish police in Barcelona after the suspected terror attack in the heart of the city

There are harrowing scenes in Barcelona after a van was driven into pedestrians in Las Ramblas in the heart of the city. Thirteen people have been killed and more than 100 have been injured as armed police swarm the streets

How the Barcelona attack unfolded: Map shows the route the terrorist took as he ploughed into scores of holidaymakers

In a day of chaos and carnage that saw the deadliest Islamic terror attack in Spain since the 2004 Madrid bombings that killed 192, the biggest loss of life was in Barcelona.

The lone terrorist swerved his van onto the paved walkway of Las Ramblas and ploughed on for hundreds of yards. By the time he came to a halt, 13 people were dead and more than 100 more injured. Three Germans, a Greek and a Belgian were among the dead. More than 20 French nationals are believed to have been injured.

A five-year-old Irish boy suffered a broken leg when his family was caught up in the terror attack in Barcelona.

The boy’s father also has leg injuries after a van was driven into innocent people in Las Ramblas, one of the busiest avenues in the Spanish city.

Ireland’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Simon Coveney, said: ‘They are not life-threatening, I’m relieved to say. But in a way it’s a miracle that more Irish people weren’t involved, given that there are so many Irish people in Spain, Barcelona and Cambrils at this time of year.’

ISIS hits Europe with yet another marauding vehicle attack

The attack is the sixth time in a year that Islamic fanatics have used vehicles to kill pedestrians in Europe – with more than 100 dead.

· On July 14 last year, a truck was driven into crowds in Nice on Bastille Day, killing 86 revellers.

· On December 19, 12 died in Berlin when a truck smashed through a Christmas market in the German capital.

· On March 22 this year, five died after Khalid Masood drove into crowds on Westminster Bridge in Central London.

· On April 7, a fanatic drove a truck into pedestrians in Stockholm, killing five.

· On June 3, eight died when three attackers in a van mowed down passers-by on London Bridge (pictured above) before stabbing others nearby.

The father and son were part a family of four, including the mother and a daughter, and are understood to have been on a trip to celebrate the boy’s birthday. The youngster suffered a broken femur.

Spanish police initially named their prime suspect in the attack as the man they said hired the van, Driss Oukabir, a 28-year-old Morocco-born man living in the town of Ripoll, 65 miles north of Barcelona.

However hours later he apparently presented himself at a police station in Ripoll and claimed his 18-year-old brother Moussa had stolen his papers to hire the van.

Disturbing comments posted on social network Kiwi by an account carrying Moussa Oukabir’s name and photograph makes reference to killing all infidels.

Driss was the second of the two people arrested, while Moussa remained unaccounted for this morning.

Horrifying pictures and video from the scene of the Las Ramblas attack show armed police and paramedics rushing around the busy promenade in the centre of the city, as victims lie hurt in the street.

Josep Lluis Trapero, the head of the regional police force the Mossos d’Esquadra, said the attack was designed ‘to kill as many people as possible’.

A witness called Angel said he saw the attacker close up and described him as ‘a young man, maximum 25 years old, chestnut brown hair and skinny.’

Others described him as about 5ft 6in tall and wearing a blue and white striped top.

Another witness, Isaac, said: ‘The person was accelerating. He mounted the pavement to run people over. We saw the van passing by running people over at 50 miles an hour. It was as if it was driving through a field of corn.’

A taxi driver told Catalan TV station TV3: ‘The van was doing zigzags knocking over everyone he could. It was shocking.’

Aamer Anwar was walking down Las Ramblas at the time, which he said was ‘jam-packed’ with tourists.

He told Sky News: ‘All of a sudden, I just sort of heard a crashing noise and the whole street just started to run, screaming. I saw a woman right next to me screaming for her kids.’

Briton Steve Garrett was in a nearby market and sheltered in a bakery with several others after streams of people ran inside.

Mr Garrett told the BBC: ‘A very large number of people ran into the market area in a big kind of way, lots of screaming, lots of shouting.

‘Obviously coming from England it was reminding me a great deal of what happened in London, so we were very concerned about what might be going on next.’

Mr Garrett said a ‘second wave’ of people then entered the market, followed by armed police.

He said: ‘They seemed to sweep through the market area. They seemed to be looking for someone. They were going very carefully, very cautiously, stall to stall.’

Another witness told Sky News: ‘It was quite terrifying. All of a sudden scores of people ran towards us, hysterical, children hysterical… first of all they said someone had been shot.

‘All of a sudden a second wave of people came down the street, we just ran, I lost my husband in the melee. The shops went into lockdown mode.’

She added: ‘We really had no idea what was going on other than that we needed to get ourselves out of there very quickly… there was just hundreds of people running away very quickly.’

'Bomb factory' blast: A home in Alcanar which exploded on Wednesday leaving butane gas canisters strewn in the rubble was linked to the terror cell, say police, who believe it was being used to make explosives. One man died in the blast and people were hurt

‘Bomb factory’ blast: A home in Alcanar which exploded on Wednesday leaving butane gas canisters strewn in the rubble was linked to the terror cell, say police, who believe it was being used to make explosives. One man died in the blast and people were hurt

Police are linking the terror attack in Barcelona to an explosion at a home 125 miles south of the city, which is believed to have been caused by canisters filled with butane

Police are linking the terror attack in Barcelona to an explosion at a home 125 miles south of the city, which is believed to have been caused by canisters filled with butane

Investigators have confirmed that yesterday's explosion is being linked to the terror attack in Barcelona 

Investigators have confirmed that yesterday’s explosion is being linked to the terror attack in Barcelona

BRITISH ACTRESS ‘WAS FORCED TO HIDE IN FREEZER’

Laila Roussa dramatically live tweeter her experience as the horrifying attack unfolded in Barcelona

Laila Roussa dramatically live tweeter her experience as the horrifying attack unfolded in Barcelona

Actress Laila Rouass has dramatically live tweeted her experience ‘hiding in a restaurant freezer’ after being caught up in the horrific terrorist attack in Barcelona.

The wife of snooker star Ronnie O’Sullivan, 46, took to Twitter amid the brutal terror attack which is believed to have claimed the lives of 13 people and wounded 100 others.

Tweeting directly in the middle of the attack, the former Holby City star said: ‘In the middle of the attack. Hiding in a restaurant freezer. Happened so fast. Praying for the safety of everyone here x.’

And in a later tweet, the star, from Stepney in London, posted: ‘Gunshots just heard. Armed police running down the street looking for someone.’

In a series of further tweets she added: ‘The whole of Las Ramblas and surrounding roads in lock down with armed police everywhere,’ and ‘hearing one person has been shot.’

Friend of Mrs Rouass and fellow actor Douglas Henshall tweeted a message of support to the former Holby City star.

He said: ‘F*** sake Laila stay safe. X’.

Tom Gueller, who lives on an adjoining road, was forced to flee the scene when he saw the van hurtling through the crowds.

He told BBC’s PM: ‘I heard screams and a bit of a crash and then I just saw the crowd parting and this van going full pelt down the middle of the Ramblas and I immediately knew that it was a terrorist attack or something like that.

‘I ran away, I mean I live near, I had to run back about 50 metres or so and go up to my flat and obviously see what’s happening on the road from my balcony.’

Asked about the van, he said: ‘It wasn’t slowing down at all. It was just going straight through the middle of the crowds in the middle of the Ramblas.’

Police chief Trapero told a news conference: ‘At 16.50 a van entered the pedestrian area of the Rambla, and drove for many meters, running over hundreds of people.

‘Many of them were injured and it caused the death of 13 people. The driver got out of the van and ran away. There was no shouting, no phrases which sometimes accompany such attacks. Witnesses called the emergency services and gave a description.

‘The Mossos began Operation Cage, an anti-terrorist operation throughout Catalonia. There is no evidence that the person who left the van was armed. We do not believe he was armed, at least visibly.

‘We entered all of the bars and establishments of the area to check nobody was hiding. This was clearly a terrorist attack with the intention of killing as many people as possible.

‘It is believed to be connected with a second incident – the explosion of a house in Alcanar. We received an alert of an explosion where one person has died and others were injured.

‘A part of the building collapsed. We are linking these two incidents. I cannot give further details as we are still working on the investigation.

At least 13 people have been killed and dozens injured after a van ploughed into pedestrians in Las Ramblas, Barcelona's busiest tourist area

At least 13 people have been killed and dozens injured after a van ploughed into pedestrians in Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s busiest tourist area

Eyewitnesses said swarms of people were running for their lives with one woman desperately screaming out for her child. The van can be seen with a crumpled bonnet as people lie motionless on the pavement

Eyewitnesses said swarms of people were running for their lives with one woman desperately screaming out for her child. The van can be seen with a crumpled bonnet as people lie motionless on the pavement

Footage had emerged of heavily armed police swarming the area, searching for the attackers. Witnesses said the area was swamped with terror cops and plain clothed officers ‘within 30 seconds’ 

Footage had emerged of heavily armed police swarming the area, searching for the attackers. Witnesses said the area was swamped with terror cops and plain clothed officers ‘within 30 seconds’

‘This led to the arrest of two people directly implicated in this attack. This does not mean that the two people under arrest are those who carried out the attack in Barcelona – but they are connected to the attack.

‘Neither of them was the person driving the van. Neither of them has any convictions for terrorism. One is from Melilla [a Spanish enclave in north Africa] and the other is Moroccan.

‘One person was arrested in Alcanar and the other, a Moroccan, in Ripoll.’

World leaders were quick to condemn the bloodbath, with UK Prime Minister Theresa May saying Britain ‘stands with Spain against terror’ in response to the tragic news.

She added: ‘My thoughts are with the victims of the terrible attack in Barcelona and the emergency services responding to this ongoing incident. The UK stands with Spain against terror.’

US President Donald Trump condemned the attack and promised to do ‘whatever is necessary to help’ the Spanish.

As news of the atrocity was breaking, US First Lady Melania Trump tweeted: ‘Thoughts and prayers to #Barcelona’.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, tweeted: ‘My thoughts are with the victims of this barbaric terrorist attack in the great city of Barcelona and with their brave emergency services.’

Mr Khan added: ‘London stands with Barcelona against the evil of terrorism.’

Barcelona Mayor Ada Colau says a moment of silence will be held in the city’s main square at noon today ‘to show that we are not scared and we are more united that ever’.

Many of those injured were seriously hurt, and Catalonia’s interior minister Joaquim Forn said he thought it ‘very possible’ that the number of dead will rise.

Pedestrians treated on ground after truck crashes into crowd

A woman lies injured on the pavement as paramedics offer treatment just moments after the van ploughed into pedestrians on Thursday 

A woman lies injured on the pavement as paramedics offer treatment just moments after the van ploughed into pedestrians on Thursday

Police have confirmed that at least 100 people are injured, with Catalonia's interior minister Joaquim Forn saying it is 'very possible' that the number of dead will rise

Police have confirmed that at least 100 people are injured, with Catalonia’s interior minister Joaquim Forn saying it is ‘very possible’ that the number of dead will rise

Victims lie in the street after the van attack in Barcelona

The attack has claimed 13 lives and left more than 100 injured

Victims lie in the street after the van attack in Barcelona, which has claimed 13 lives and left more than 100 injured

Armed police on the streets of Barcelona following Thursday's atrocity, which saw a van plough into crowds of pedestrians in the city's tourist area

Armed police on the streets of Barcelona following Thursday’s atrocity, which saw a van plough into crowds of pedestrians in the city’s tourist area

Armed policemen arrive in a cordoned-off area after a van ploughed into a crowd in Barcelona, killing at least 13 people yesterday 

Armed policemen arrive in a cordoned-off area after a van ploughed into a crowd in Barcelona, killing at least 13 people yesterday

The confusion and carnage was added to when a white Ford Focus car rammed police at a roadblock that had been set up to try and capture the fugitive terrorists, injuring three officers including a woman who suffered a broken leg.

The driver was shot dead after what was described as an exchange of fire, however officials last night sought to downplay the link to the terror plot.

Police chief Mr Trapero told his press conference: ‘He is a Spanish national and at the moment we have no indication he is linked to these other people.’

One of the terrorists ran on foot after carrying out the attack in the centre of Barcelona, which is typically packed with tourists 

One of the terrorists ran on foot after carrying out the attack in the centre of Barcelona, which is typically packed with tourists

People gather round a victim after the van drove into a crowd in Barcelona 

People flee after the van drove into crowds in centre of Barcelona 

People flee after the van drove into crowds in centre of Barcelona which left at least 13 people dead and more than 100 injured

The scene in Barcelona on Thursday as emergency services rush to help after Barcelona was attacked by suspected terrorists

The scene in Barcelona on Thursday as emergency services rush to help after Barcelona was attacked by suspected terrorists

Injured people are treated at the scene in Las Ramblas, Barcelona after the horrific attack. Right: People trapped in a shop under police guard

The civil guard has said the van used in the attack was rented in the town of Santa Perpetua de la Mogada, which is around 15 miles by road from the scene of the killings.

A second van was found parked in the town of Vic, which is around 50 miles north of Barcelona. Police believe it was meant to be used as a getaway vehicle.

Local newspaper El Periodico said the CIA had warned local police two months ago that La Rambla could be the scene of a terrorist attack.

The incident has taken place at the height of the tourist season in Barcelona, which is one of Europe’s top travel destinations with at least 11 million visitors a year.

A man sits on the pavement with his head in his hands after the tragic attack, now being treated as a terrorist incident

A man sits on the pavement with his head in his hands after the tragic attack, now being treated as a terrorist incident

People taking refuge in a shop near Las Ramblas in Barcelona after fleeing the busy promenade after the attack on Thursday 

People taking refuge in a shop near Las Ramblas in Barcelona after fleeing the busy promenade after the attack on Thursday

People are guided out of a fast food restaurant by police after the attack in Barcelona on Thursday afternoon 

People are guided out of a fast food restaurant by police after the attack in Barcelona on Thursday afternoon

The most wanted man in Europe: Manhunt for 18-year-old Barcelona terror suspect ‘who stole his brother’s identity and talked about killing infidels on social media’ 

Police are still hunting the teenager thought to have been behind the Barcelona terror attack which killed 13 and injured more than 100 people.

Moussa Oukabir, 18, is believed to have stolen his older brother’s identity documents to rent the white Renault van which ploughed into pedestrians on a busy street popular with tourists.

The teenager, said to be a Spanish national of Moroccan heritage, had previously written about ‘killing infidels’ in a chilling online post.

His brother Driss Oukabir, 28, was initially named as a suspect but later handed himself to a police station in Ripoll, a town to the north of Barcelona, not far from the French border.

The older brother, whose identity document is said to have been found in the van, was reportedly arrested after he told police his brother took his ID documents.

Moussa Oukabir is being hunted by police after his brother said he stole his ID to rent a van used in the Barcelona terror attack

Driss Oukabir was initially named as a suspect. It is understood his ID was found in the van used in the attack. He later said his younger brother stole his ID to rent the van

Police circulated the image of Driss Oukabir, 28, (right) saying he had rented a van used in the attack – but he later accused his brother Moussa (left) of stealing his ID documents to rent at least one van

An account with Moussa Oukabir's name and photograph posted on social media that, on his first day ruling the world, he would 'kill the infidels' and 'let Muslims follow the religion'

An account with Moussa Oukabir’s name and photograph posted on social media that, on his first day ruling the world, he would ‘kill the infidels’ and ‘let Muslims follow the religion’

On the run: Spanish police are now looking for the teenager in connection with yesterday's attack, which killed at least 13 people and injured more than 100

On the run: Spanish police are now looking for the teenager in connection with yesterday’s attack, which killed at least 13 people and injured more than 100

Moussa can be seen smiling and posing in images on his social media accounts, which he also used to air hatred for non-Muslims.

The teenager, reportedly a resident of Barcelona, posted on social network Kiwi that, if he was king of the world, his first act would be to ‘kill the infidels’.

After Moussa’s brother and another suspect were detained yesterday, police arrested a third person, a 34-year-old Moroccan, in Ripoll today. Moussa however is still on the run.

A security expert told the New York Times that police believe three vans were hired using the elder Oukabir brother’s ID, after the plotters were unable to hire a larger truck.

Little is yet known about Moussa, although his brother is thought to have been born in the small Moroccan town of Aghbala, on the edge of the Sahara Desert. He is said to have come to Spain via Marseille in the south of France.

In the aftermath of the attack police circulated an image of the elder Oukabir, a Catalan resident of Moroccan origin, saying he had rented out a second van thought to be intended as a getaway vehicle – where his documents were found.

But police sources said Driss later handed himself in at a police station in Ripoll, 65 miles north of Barcelona, claiming his brother had stolen his documents, leading to police now focusing on finding Moussa.

On Friday morning, a third person was arrested by police investigating the attacks – also in the city of Ripoll.

Moussa pulling typical teenage poses on social media, where he also posted about hatred for non-Muslims

Moussa is said to be a Spanish national of Moroccan origin. His brother is understood to have been born in the small Moroccan town of Aghbala

Moussa is said to be a Spanish national of Moroccan origin. His brother is understood to have been born in the small Moroccan town of Aghbala

Authorities tow the van which ploughed into the crowd on Las Ramblas on Thursday

Authorities tow the van which ploughed into the crowd on Las Ramblas on Thursday

Damage: The front of the van can be seen destroyed in these images taken late last night

Damage: The front of the van can be seen destroyed in these images taken late last night

Hunted: The driver of the van is still on the run, but it is not known who was behind the wheel

Hunted: The driver of the van is still on the run, but it is not known who was behind the wheel

Spanish police has linked Thursday's attack to an explosion that killed at least one person in a Alcanar, 120 miles south of the Barcelona

Spanish police has linked Thursday’s attack to an explosion that killed at least one person in a Alcanar, 120 miles south of the Barcelona

Police officers rushed over to treat what is believed to be an officer after a driver in a Ford Focus drove through a roadblock 

British boy, seven, among those missing after Barcelona massacre as death toll from attacks rises to 14 and photos emerge of Las Ramblas victims – including Italian father killed while shielding his son 

Desperate families of those missing after the Spanish terror attacks searched for their loved ones on Friday as the death toll rose to 14 and the first victims were identified.

Seven-year-old Julian Cadman, who was born in Kent but moved to Australia three years ago, was named among the missing by his cousin who posted an appeal online after the boy’s mother, Jom, was listed as being in a serious condition in hospital by Spanish authorities.

His father, Andrew, is currently flying from Sydney to Spain to help in the search for his missing son without knowing whether the boy is dead or alive.

Meanwhile Heidi Nunes, from California, also appealed for information about her husband Jared Tucker, 43, on Friday after they got separated during the attack while out shopping.

Elsewhere the first of those killed in the ISIS attack on Las Ramblas were named as Italians Bruno Gulotta and Luca Russo, Belgian mother-of-two Elke Vanbockrijck, 44, and 57-year-old Spaniard Fransisco Lopez Rodriguez.

A three-year-old Spanish boy from Llimiana was also killed in the attack, the town’s mayor said. He was with his mother, grandmother, sister and aunt who was injured trying to save him.

It came as the death toll from both the Barcelona and Cambrils attack was raised to 14, while 130 people were confirmed injured, including 17 in critical condition and 30 in serious condition.

Julian Cadman, seven, believed to be from Britain, is missing after the terror attack in Barcelona has his family appeal for news

Julian was pictured enjoying his holiday in Barcelona just hours before the attack took place. British authorities have confirmed 'a small number of citizens' were caught up in the attack, but would not say if they were among the injured or dead

Julian was pictured enjoying his holiday in Barcelona just hours before the attack took place. British authorities have confirmed ‘a small number of citizens’ were caught up in the attack, but would not say if they were among the injured or dead

Luca Russo, 25, an engineer from Padua, in Italy, was also confirmed among the dead. He was on holiday at the time of the attack alongside his girlfriend Marta Scomazzon

Luca Russo, 25, an engineer from Padua, in Italy, was also confirmed among the dead. He was on holiday at the time of the attack alongside his girlfriend Marta Scomazzon

Miss Scomazzon (pictured with boyfriend Luca before the attack) was left with a broken collarbone after being hit, Italian media reported on Friday

Miss Scomazzon (pictured with boyfriend Luca before the attack) was left with a broken collarbone after being hit, Italian media reported on Friday

Elke Vanbockrijck, 44, from Belgium, has been identified as being among the dead. Authorities said she was on holiday with her husband and sons when she was run down and killed

Elke Vanbockrijck, 44, from Belgium, has been identified as being among the dead. Authorities said she was on holiday with her husband and sons when she was run down and killed

Spanish authorities say 57-year-old  Francisco Lopez Rodriguez (pictured on Las Ramblas moments before the attack) died on the spot after being hit by ISIS terrorists. He was earlier reported as missing

Spanish authorities say 57-year-old  Francisco Lopez Rodriguez (pictured on Las Ramblas moments before the attack) died on the spot after being hit by ISIS terrorists. He was earlier reported as missing

Heidi Nunes, from California, said online that her husband Jared Tucker, 43, is missing after the pair got separated on Las Ramblas during the attack. Rex Tillerson has confirmed one American death and said the State Department is 'still confirming the deaths and injuries of others', without giving specific details

Heidi Nunes, from California, said online that her husband Jared Tucker, 43, is missing after the pair got separated on Las Ramblas during the attack

UK Prime Minister Theresa May said authorities are ‘urgently looking into reports’ of a dual-nationality child believed to be missing in Spain, and confirmed that ‘a number of British nationals’ were caught up in the attack.

Mrs May gave no indication if those Britons were among those wounded or killed.

Mr Gulotta, a computer salesman from Legnano, in northern Italy, was crushed to death in the Barcelona attack as he walked along holding his six-year-old son’s hand.

His wife, Martina, said he died kneeling down to shield their son and seven-month-old daughter from the van, according to boss Pino Bruno, who claimed to have spoken with her.

Meanwhile Belgian authorities named Mrs Vanbockrijck, from Tongeren, as among the dead, saying she was on holiday with her husband and sons at the time.

Spanish authorities said Mr Rodriguez, who was pictured on Las Ramblas moments before the attack, died on the spot after being hit by the terrorist’s van. He was earlier reported as missing.

Seven-year-old Julian Cadman’s grandmother Norma Canaveral told MailOnline: ‘We are just so worried. I am just waiting for news, hoping for good news.’

The 66-year-old, from London, said: ‘I don’t know what to say. His mother is in the hospital, she’s ok, but she became separated from Julian and we don’t know where he is. All we can do it wait.’

Julian was born in Kent and attended the Chiddingstone Nursery before moving to Sydney three years ago with his parents Jom and Andrew Cadman.

Andrew is from Australia and Jom is originally from The Philippines.

Driss Oukabir, 28, the brother of the suspected van driver, lives in Ripoll where he handed himself over to police on Thursday, while another man was also arrested there 

Driss Oukabir, 28, the brother of the suspected van driver, lives in Ripoll where he handed himself over to police on Thursday, while another man was also arrested there

King Felipe VI (centre), Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy (to his left), and President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont (to his right) led a minute of silence in Barcelona on Friday for the victims of the attack

Thousands gathered in Catalonia Square in the centre of the city in order to honour the 13 people who died in the city, and another woman who passed away on Friday after being struck in a second attack in Cambrils

Thousands gathered in Catalonia Square in the centre of the city in order to honour the 13 people who died in the city, and another woman who passed away on Friday after being struck in a second attack in Cambrils

Women on Las Ramblas, the street where the attack took place, break down in tears as they remember victims of the attack

Women on Las Ramblas, the street where the attack took place, break down in tears as they remember victims of the attack

Jom is in hospital in Barcelona as she recovers from yesterday’s attack on Las Ramblas. Julian is still missing. Andrew has flown from Sydney to Spain.

Norma, who is Jom’s cousin, but is called ‘granny’ by Julian, said her daughter Christabel Juguilon had been calling relatives to find out what has happened to Julian.

Her other daughter Norie-Jean, Jom’s niece, added: ‘I saw the post about Julian being missing on Facebook this morning but we don’t know any more.

‘Julian’s a really sweet boy. He loves to dance, he’s a lovely, bubbly boy.’

Appeals for the missing came as two Spaniards, three Germans and one Belgian were identified among the dead, according to Spanish media.

The two Spainards were reported to be a man and boy who were related and came from the Rubí neighbourhood of Barcelona.

Meanwhile citizens from America, Australia, Ireland, France, Greece, Hong Kong and the Netherlands were confirmed among the more than 100 people injured.

A six-year-old girl, also of unknown nationality, is in serious condition in hospital after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage, theNew York Times reports.

Norman and Pederlita Putot, who were born in the Philippines but lived in Ireland, were named by RTE as among those caught up in the attack along with their two Irish-born children.

Their five-year-old son, who was not named, suffered a broken leg in the attack and is now in hospital along with his father, who suffered knee injuries.

Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said: ‘It’s a miracle that more Irish people weren’t involved, given that there are so many Irish people in Spain, Barcelona and Cambrils at this time of year.

‘At the moment, you can safely say that over 300,000 Irish people are in Spain, today as we speak.

‘This is not just an attack on Spain or on Barcelona, but it’s an attack on the way we live as European citizens in the free world.’

French authorities have confirmed the largest number of injuries so far, saying 26 of its citizens were among those hurt with 11 in serious condition.

Julie Bishop, Australia’s minister for foreign affairs, said two citizens were in critical condition following the attack, two more were injured, and a total of 16 Australians were caught up in the attack.

Belgium’s foreign affairs minister Didier Reynders confirmed one citizen had been killed and another two injured, including one in serious condition.

Meanwhile Greek authorities said three people had been injured, identifying them as a woman and her two children, though the extent of their injuries is unclear.

Chinese authorities said one person from Hong Kong was among those hurt, while the US also confirmed and American suffered minor injuries.

Three Dutch are also among the injured, though it is not known how badly.

Five Cubans were identified among the injured on Friday as the country’s embassy in Spain said four were hurt in Barcelona and a fifth received minor injuries in the Cambrils attack that wounded a total of seven people, including a police officer.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4800282/PICTURED-Moroccan-man-rented-Barcelona-van.html#ixzz4qQj9MlJu

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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

Posted on August 7, 2017. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Budgetary Policy, Central Intelligence Agency, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Independence, Insurance, Investments, Labor Economics, Law, Life, Media, Monetary Policy, National Interest, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Russia, Scandals, Security, Senate, Social Science, Spying, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Unemployment, United States of America, Videos, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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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

 

Story 1: The United Nations Security Council Vote Was Unanimous (15-0) Including China and Russia Imposing Sanctions on North Korea — Videos —

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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

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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

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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 he had been in contact with Wikileaks prior to his death. In the NPR interview, Hersh dismissed the claim as “gossip.”[70]

Later that same day, a purported audio recording of Hersh was made public, in which he states that his “high level” and “unbelievably accurate” source provided him with information from an FBI report confirming Rich had been in contact with Wikileaks prior to his death. Hersh has not publicly denied the authenticity of the recording, nor his alleged statements on it.[71]

Awards, honors and associations

His journalism and publishing awards include the 1970 Pulitzer Prize, the 2004 National Council of Teachers of English George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language, two National Magazine Awards, 5 George Polk Awards – making him that award’s most honored laureate – and more than a dozen other prizes for investigative reporting:

  • 1969: George Polk Special Award (for his My Lai reporting)
  • 1970: Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting
  • 1973: George Polk Award for Investigative Reporting; Scripps-Howard Public Service Award; Sidney Hillman Award
  • 1974: George Polk Award for National Reporting
  • 1981: George Polk Award for National Reporting
  • 1983: National Book Critics Circle Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize for The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House.
  • 2003: National Magazine Award for Public Interest for his articles “Lunch with the Chairman”, “Selective Intelligence”, and “The Stovepipe”.
  • 2004: following Hersh’s 2004 articles in the New Yorker magazine exposing the Abu Ghraib scandal: National Magazine Award for Public Interest, Overseas Press Club Award, National Press Foundation’s Kiplinger Distinguished Contributions to Journalism Award, and his fifth George Polk Award.

Publications

Books

Articles and reportage

Forewords

  • Hersh, Seymour M. (foreword) (2005) in Scott RitterIraq Confidential: The Untold Story of the Intelligence Conspiracy to Undermine the UN and Overthrow Saddam Hussein (Hardcover), Nation Books, ISBN 1-56025-852-7

See also

References

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

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 939, August 2, 2017, Breaking News — Story 1: President Trump For National Unity Furiously Signs Flawed Russia, Iran, and North Korea Sanctions Bill — Videos — Story 2: Trump Announces New Immigration Policy — Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 939,  August 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 938,  August 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 937,  July 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 936,  July 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 935,  July 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 934,  July 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 934,  July 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 933,  July 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 932,  July 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 931,  July 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 930,  July 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 929,  July 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 928,  July 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 927,  July 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 926,  July 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 925,  July 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 924,  July 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 923,  July 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 922,  July 3, 2017 

Pronk Pops Show 921,  June 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 920,  June 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 919,  June 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 918,  June 26, 2017 

Pronk Pops Show 917,  June 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 916,  June 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 915,  June 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 914,  June 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 913,  June 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 912,  June 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 911,  June 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 910,  June 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 909,  June 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 908,  June 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 907,  June 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 906,  June 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 905,  June 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 904,  June 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 903,  June 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 902,  May 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 901,  May 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 900,  May 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 899,  May 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 898,  May 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 897,  May 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 896,  May 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 895,  May 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 894,  May 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 893,  May 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 892,  May 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 891,  May 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 890,  May 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 889,  May 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 888,  May 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 887,  May 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 886,  May 4, 2017

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Image result for RAISE ACT immigration

Image result for Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act. charts on numbers 

Breaking News — Story 1: President Trump For National Unity Furiously Signs Flawed Russia, Iran, and North Korea Sanctions Bill — Videos —

President Trump signs Russian sanctions bill Fox News Video

President Trump signs new Russia sanctions, questions whether bill interferes with foreign policy 

BREAKING NEWS 8/2/17 PRESIDENT TRUMP SIGNS NEW RUSSIA SANCTIONS BILL

January 3, 2017: Sen. Tom Cotton joined Tucker Carlson Tonight on Fox News

Trump Signs Sanctions Bill – Another Deep State Victory

Real Bipartisanship: Republicans And Democrats Unite For New Cold War

Germany growing sick of US sanctions on Russia

Russians See Sanctions Regime as a Blessing in Disguise

Trump signs Russia sanctions bill but blasts Congress

In a pair of statements, the president said parts of the law violate the Constitution.

President Donald Trump on Wednesday signed a bipartisan bill placing new sanctions on Russia — but in a statement, he claimed multiple aspects of the legislation violate the Constitution.

The sanctions, aimed at punishing Russia for its interference in the 2016 election, limit the president’s power to lift the sanctions without congressional approval and were initially resisted by the administration.

In one of two statements released almost simultaneously Wednesday morning by the White House, Trump said he supports the law’s efforts to crack down on the actions of Iran, North Korea and Russia. But the White House protested what it sees as congressional encroachment on the president’s power in foreign affairs.

“In its haste to pass this legislation, the Congress included a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions,” Trump said in one statement. “My Administration particularly expects the Congress to refrain from using this flawed bill to hinder our important work with European allies to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, and from using it to hinder our efforts to address any unintended consequences it may have for American businesses, our friends, or our allies.”

The president’s second statement included a stepped-up defense of his own administration’s foreign policy and input on the legislation. Trump said that “despite its problems,” he had signed the bill “for the sake of national unity.” The statement characterized the governments of Iran and North Korea as “rogue regimes,” a label he did not apply to the Russian government.

Even as he continues to label Russian interference in the election a “hoax,” the statement went further in acknowledging the intrusion than Trump has in the past.

“I also support making clear that America will not tolerate interference in our democratic process, and that we will side with our allies and friends against Russian subversion and destabilization,” the statement said.

Still, Trump was quick to push back on what he views as congressional overreach.

“The bill remains seriously flawed — particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate. Congress could not even negotiate a health care bill after seven years of talking,” Trump said, in reference to congressional Republicans’ latest failure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act.

“I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars. That is a big part of the reason I was elected,” the president continued. “As President, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress.”

The statements drew mixed reaction on Capitol Hill.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, a leading architect of the sanctions bill, told reporters he was not concerned about Trump’s statement, though he said he had not yet seen it.

“Both countries talk privately in ways that are very different from how they talk publicly,” the Tennessee Republican said of U.S.-Russia relations. “But this was a necessary step that we took, and I’m glad we took it.”

In addition to allowing lawmakers to handcuff Trump on any future changes to Russia sanctions, the legislation converts some existing sanctions from executive orders into law, making them more difficult to roll back, and imposes new sanctions focused on Moscow’s reported cyber-meddling in the November election. The legislation’s Iran and North Korea sanctions were broadly popular in both parties and with the Trump administration.

Although White House officials asserted that some of the preferred changes to the legislation were included before its final passage last week, the administration had long underscored its opposition to provisions that will impede Trump’s ability to warm relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The action by the Congress to put these sanctions in place and the way that they did, neither the president nor I are very happy about that,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters Tuesday. “We were clear that we didn’t think it was going to be helpful to our efforts.”

Still, Tillerson added, “we can’t let it take us off track of trying to restore the relationship” with Russia.

Even as Trump criticized the measure, he added that “I nevertheless expect to honor the bill’s waiting periods to ensure that Congress will have a full opportunity to avail itself of the bill’s review procedures.”

That apparent concession by Trump did not assuage Democratic concerns about his signing statement. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California warned in a statement that Trump’s interpretation of the sanctions bill “raises serious questions about whether his administration intends to follow the law, or whether he will continue to enable and reward Vladimir Putin’s aggression.”

And some Republicans who played a key role in the sanctions package raised their own alarms.

“Look, whether it was President Bush, President Obama, or President Trump, I’ve never been a fan of signing statements,” said Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado. “I think they’re a way for any president to usurp the role of the legislative branch. And that’s why I’ve always been concerned, regardless of who issued them, on any matter.”

The bill enjoyed wide bipartisan support. The House passed the sanctions by a vote of 419-3, and the Senate cleared it 98-2 — making any presidential veto futile and sure to be overridden.

With multiple investigations into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia, a veto also would have been politically disastrous.

After weeks of waffling, the White House confirmed over the weekend that Trump would sign the bill.

The White House still sought to characterize the bill as a win, with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying in a statement on Friday that Trump “negotiated regarding critical elements of it” and decided to sign it “based on its responsiveness to his negotiations.”

The statement Wednesday also contained a warning — not to Russia, but to Congress.

“The Framers of our Constitution put foreign affairs in the hands of the President,” Trump said. “This bill will prove the wisdom of that choice.”

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/08/02/trump-signs-bipartisan-russia-sanctions-bill-241242

 

Furious Trump signs Russian sanctions into law – then issues tirade against ‘unconstitutional’ bill and boasts his billions show why Congress shouldn’t stop him making deals with Putin

  • President Donald Trump signed legislation imposing new sanctions on Russia, North Korea, and Iran
  • The White House did not organize a ceremony of any kind for it
  • Trump said in a statement he signed the bill for the sake of ‘national unity’ 
  • The White House lobbied to water down restrictions in the bill
  • It passed Congress overwhelmingly with veto-proof majorities
  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he and the president were not ‘very happy’ about the sanctions bill 

President Donald Trump signed legislation Wednesday that slaps sanctions on Russia and limits his own ability to create waivers – but at the same time issued a furious statement calling it ‘flawed’.

He signed the bill, which Secretary of State Rex Tillerson publicly said he wasn’t happy about, in private.

Then the White House sent out statement by the president revealing the depths of his unhappiness and boasting that his billions showed he was far better at deal-making than Congress.

Trump said despite some changes, ‘the bill remains seriously flawed – particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate.’

He called parts of it ‘unconstitutional’ and signaled fresh tensions with Republicans by criticizing their failure to repeal and replace Obamacare.

President Donald Trump has signed legislation that slaps sanctions on Russia and limits his own ability to create waivers

‘Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking. By limiting the Executive’s flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people, and will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together.

‘The Framers of our Constitution put foreign affairs in the hands of the President. This bill will prove the wisdom of that choice,’ Trump said in a statement.

‘Yet despite its problems, I am signing this bill for the sake of national unity. It represents the will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States. We hope there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global issues so that these sanctions will no longer be necessary.’

In a message to Congress in response to the bill, Trump singled out provisions his lawyers considers in conflict with Supreme Court case law – and asserts his own latitude to carry out the law as he sees fit.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Trump wasn't happy with the bill

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Trump wasn’t happy with the bill

‘My Administration will give careful and respectful consideration to the preferences expressed by the Congress in these various provisions,’ the president said in one point – in language certain to irk lawmakers who consider the law much more than a preference.

‘My administration … expects the Congress to refrain from using this flawed bill to hinder our important work with European allies to resolve the conflict in Ukraine, and from using it to hinder our efforts to address any unintended consequences it may have for American businesses, our friends, or our allies,’ he said.

The president also complained about what he said were ‘clearly unconstitutional provisions’ in the legislation relating to presidential powers to shape foreign policy.

 White House counselor Kellyanne Conway confirmed the signing on Fox News.

The bill passed Congress by overwhelming margins sufficient to override a presidential veto. The White House lobbied to water down restrictions in the bill.

The bill contains language meant to prevent the president from lifting them without approval from Congress – provisions that got drafted amid concerns Trump would lift or limit sanctions amid his frequent praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin and desire to improve ties between the two powers.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters he shared misgivings with the president, as they try to improve relations with Russia.

‘Neither the president nor I are very happy about that,’ Tillerson said. ‘We were clear that we didn’t think that was going to be helpful to our efforts, but that’s the decision they made.’

The FBI and congressional intelligence panels are probing Trump campaign connections to Russians during the election.

SIGN OF THE TIMES: Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a news conference after the G20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany, July 8, 2017

SIGN OF THE TIMES: Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks during a news conference after the G20 summit in Hamburg, northern Germany, July 8, 2017

Then-candidate Donald Trump holds up a signed pledge during a press availability at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York September 3, 2015

Then-candidate Donald Trump holds up a signed pledge during a press availability at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York September 3, 2015

Justice Department lawyers and security officials were reviewing Russia sanctions legislation Tuesday

Justice Department lawyers and security officials were reviewing Russia sanctions legislation Tuesday

Trump during the campaign repeatedly called for better relations with Russia. The U.S. intelligence community concluded that the Russian government backed a campaign to interfere in the presidential election.

Despite communications with Russian President Vladimir Putin capped off by two one-on-one meetings in Europe, Trump has struggled to meet his goal.

Putin said last weekend that Russia would expel more than 700 U.S. diplomats from Russia in retaliation for the sanctions legislation.

I’M WORTH BILLIONS – I CAN MAKE BETTER DEALS THAN CONGRESS

Today, I signed into law the ‘Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,’ which enacts new sanctions on Iran, North Korea, and Russia. I favor tough measures to punish and deter bad behavior by the rogue regimes in Tehran and Pyongyang. I also support making clear that America will not tolerate interference in our democratic process, and that we will side with our allies and friends against Russian subversion and destabilization.

That is why, since taking office, I have enacted tough new sanctions on Iran and North Korea, and shored up existing sanctions on Russia.

Since this bill was first introduced, I have expressed my concerns to Congress about the many ways it improperly encroaches on Executive power, disadvantages American companies, and hurts the interests of our European allies.

My Administration has attempted to work with Congress to make this bill better. We have made progress and improved the language to give the Treasury Department greater flexibility in granting routine licenses to American businesses, people, and companies. The improved language also reflects feedback from our European allies – who have been steadfast partners on Russia sanctions – regarding the energy sanctions provided for in the legislation. The new language also ensures our agencies can delay sanctions on the intelligence and defense sectors, because those sanctions could negatively affect American companies and those of our allies.

Still, the bill remains seriously flawed – particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate. Congress could not even negotiate a healthcare bill after seven years of talking. By limiting the Executive’s flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people, and will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together. The Framers of our Constitution put foreign affairs in the hands of the President. This bill will prove the wisdom of that choice.

Yet despite its problems, I am signing this bill for the sake of national unity. It represents the will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States. We hope there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global issues so that these sanctions will no longer be necessary.

Further, the bill sends a clear message to Iran and North Korea that the American people will not tolerate their dangerous and destabilizing behavior. America will continue to work closely with our friends and allies to check those countries’ malignant activities.

I built a truly great company worth many billions of dollars. That is a big part of the reason I was elected. As President, I can make far better deals with foreign countries than Congress.

In his statement about the bill, Trump highlighted a series of concerns about the legislation. Had he vetoed it, Congress could have easily overridden him.

‘Since this bill was first introduced, I have expressed my concerns to Congress about the many ways it improperly encroaches on Executive power, disadvantages American companies, and hurts the interests of our European allies,’ Trump complained.

‘My Administration has attempted to work with Congress to make this bill better. We have made progress and improved the language to give the Treasury Department greater flexibility in granting routine licenses to American businesses, people, and companies. The improved language also reflects feedback from our European allies – who have been steadfast partners on Russia sanctions – regarding the energy sanctions provided for in the legislation. The new language also ensures our agencies can delay sanctions on the intelligence and defense sectors, because those sanctions could negatively affect American companies and those of our allies.’

 Russia hawk Sen. John McCain of Arizona responded in a statement: ‘I welcome President Trump’s decision to sign legislation imposing new sanctions on Russia, Iran, and North Korea. The enactment of this legislation, which enjoyed overwhelming bipartisan support in both houses of Congress, sends a strong message to friend and foe alike that the United States will hold nations accountable for aggressive and destabilizing behavior that threatens our national interests and those of our allies and partners.’

McCain also called out Trump’s signing statement. ‘The concerns expressed in the President’s signing statement are hardly surprising, though misplaced. The Framers of our Constitution made the Congress and the President coequal branches of government. This bill has already proven the wisdom of that choice,’ he wrote.

“While the American people surely hope for better relations with Russia, what this legislation truly represents is their insistence that Vladimir Putin and his regime must pay a real price for attacking our democracy, violating human rights, occupying Crimea, and destabilizing Ukraine.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4754014/President-Donald-Trump-signs-Russia-sanctions-bill.html#ixzz4ocylqTKe

 

President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia met with President Trump for the first time during the Group of 20 summit meeting in Hamburg, Germany, this month. CreditStephen Crowley/The New York Times

MOSCOW — The last time the Kremlin forced a sweeping reduction of local staff at the American Embassy in Moscow, a young diplomat named Steven Pifer found himself working four days a week on arms control, as usual. But on the fifth day, he navigated the capital in a big truck to move furniture or haul mammoth grocery loads.

The entire staff of the embassy, except the ambassador, was assigned one day each week to grunt work called All Purpose Duty, Mr. Pifer recalled in an interview on Monday, when they shed their dark suits and polished loafers to mow the lawns, fix the plumbing, cook in the cafeteria and even clean the toilets.

That was a last hurrah for the Cold War in 1986, and although the embassy now functions on a far more complex scale, many current and former diplomats expect a similar effort in the wake of President Vladimir V. Putin’s announcement on Sunday that the United States diplomatic mission in Russia must shed 755 employees by Sept. 1.

“The attitude in the embassy was if they think that they will shut us down, we will show them,” said Mr. Pifer, who went on to become an American ambassador to Ukraine and is now a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington. “I think the embassy will adapt this time, too.”

Russia demanded that the United States reduce its diplomatic staff to equal the 455 Russian diplomats working in the United States, including at the mission to the United Nations. That means cutting about 60 percent of a work force estimated at 1,200 to 1,300 people, the vast majority of whom are Russians.

Given the continuing deterioration in relations between the two countries, core functions like political and military analysis will be preserved, along with espionage, experts said, while programs that involve cooperation on everything from trade to culture to science are likely to be reduced or eliminated.

Besides the State Department, a dizzying array of American government agencies have employees at the embassy, including the Departments of Agriculture and Commerce as well as NASA and the Library of Congress.

The other area expected to take a heavy hit will be public services, like issuing visas to Russian travelers to the United States, which is likely to slow to a glacial pace.

The Russian staff can be broken down into two broad categories: specialists who help individual departments in the embassy like public relations, and basic service workers employed as security guards, drivers, janitors, electricians and a host of other maintenance functions.

As of 2013, the latest year for which public records are available, there were 1,279 staff members working in the American Embassy in Moscow and in consulates in St. Petersburg, Yekaterinburg and Vladivostok, according to a report by the Inspector General’s Office. Of those, 934 were not Americans, including 652 basic service workers. The numbers are believed to have stayed roughly the same.

Russian staff members working in various departments like the political or economic section often provide the embassy’s institutional memory, because they stay on the job for years while American diplomats rotate every two or three years. (If the Russian employees stay for at least 15 years, they are eligible for special immigration visas to the United States and their salaries are high by Russian standards.)

It is the Russians who tend to notice nuances in domestic news coverage or in Mr. Putin’s speeches, or who direct diplomats toward public events or responsible journalists. The Russian employees provide continuity, an American diplomat who recently left Moscow said, speaking anonymously because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

Gen. Bruce McClintock, the American Defense attaché from 2014 to 2016 and now a RAND Corporation analyst, said Russian employees were often more effective in organizing meetings with government officials, while experienced translators ensured that the positions of both sides were clear in often complex discussions.

Russia had already chipped away at embassy programs, anyway, he noted. In 2013, it shuttered USAID, for example, and in 2014, in response to the West’s cutting off military cooperation after the Ukraine crisis, it closed the Defense Threat Reduction Agency.

Although the work continued, it was much harder to coordinate because its 10 employees had departed, said General McClintock.

Russian nationals are not given the security clearances needed to work in the more clandestine branches of the embassy. Indeed, in the chancellery itself, no Russians worked above the fourth floor in the roughly 10-story building, former Russian employees said.

The American Embassy, which held a staff meeting on Monday to confirm the news to its employees, refused to comment on the events, while in Washington the State Department would say only that it was studying the Russian government’s request.

The general hostility toward the United States means Moscow was already considered a hardship post for American diplomats, and the new measures will lower morale further, diplomats said.

Russian employees are confused and do not yet understand how the changes will be carried out, a former Russian employee now working outside the country said, adding with dark humor that Stalin used to say there were no irreplaceable people.

Russian employees who worked for specialized departments feel especially vulnerable because they carry a certain stigma in Russia’s current nationalistic mood. Michael McFaul, a Stanford University professor who was the American ambassador from 2012 to 2014, remembered trying to help find work for 70 Russians who were let go when the Kremlin closed the USAID office.

It was especially hard because “many Russian companies would not consider hiring these ‘tainted’ people,” he said in an email.

In recent years, local employees have come under increasing pressure from the Russian security service, the F.S.B., according to current and former employees. Russians escorting delegations of American musicians around the country were harassed, for example, or some in Moscow returned home from work to find agents sitting in their living rooms, demanding that they inform on their employers, they said.

Mr. Pifer said American diplomats who lived through the 1986 clampdown learned all kinds of things about Soviet life that they would not have otherwise.

One of his colleagues, who had to navigate customs, wrote a slightly tongue-in-cheek diplomatic cable titled “The 29 Steps Needed to Clear a Container of Furniture,” detailing every stamp issued on every piece of paper. The cable was a huge hit back in Washington, he said.

In previous spats with the United States or the West in general, Mr. Putin often chose measures that hurt Russians the most, not least because Russia’s limited economic reach globally means it does not have many options.

Angered over sanctions imposed by Congress under the Magnitsky Act in 2012, he banned Americans from adopting Russian children. When the West imposed economic and military sanctions after the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, he barred a broad array of food imports, forcing up prices and limiting the options for Russian consumers.

This time, hundreds of Russians will lose their jobs and Russian travelers hoping to visit the United States are likely to wait months for visas. Some 50 Russians were employed in the consular section that processes visas, according to the inspector general’s report.

“I don’t think Mr. Putin is terribly worried about this,” Mr. Collins said, noting the presidential election looming in March. “As he is running for election, it is comfortable for him to show that he can stand up to the Americans and to protect Russian interests and that is what he is doing.”

Outside the embassy on Monday, many of those emerging from the visa section suggested the Russian measures could only make a bad situation worse. Anecdotal evidence suggested that on both sides, what used to take weeks had already slowed to months.

Shavkat Butaev, 50, who works for a company that helps Russians get visas, said rejections were way up, too. “It was never like this before. Fifty, 60 people get rejected every day,” he said.

Oleg Smirnov, an 18-year-old student studying in the United States to become a psychiatrist, said that he had hoped President Trump would improve relations and that he was worried about possible fallout on immigration policy.

“These mutual sanctions look like a game played with water guns,” he said

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/31/world/europe/russia-sanctions-embassy.html

Story 2: Trump Announces New Immigration Policy — Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act — Videos

Trump announces new immigration policy

Published on Aug 2, 2017

President Trump announced the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act on Aug. 2, which aims to cut immigration by half from the current level of more than 1 million green cards granted per year.

 

Pres Trump and Sens Cotton and Perdue Introduce “The Raise Act”. Excellent!

August 2, 2017: Sen. Cotton and Sen. Perdue Answer Questions about the RAISE Act at the White House

 

Jim Acosta vs Stephen Miller – Immigration – White House Press Briefing 8/2/17

Senator Tom Cotton, Immigration Reform, and the RAISE Act

Senators David Perdue and Tom Cotton RAISE Act Press Conference

Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts

Sen.Barbara Jordan Legal Immigration Recommendations

2015 Barbara Jordan TV ad

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 1

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 2

Milton Friedman – Illegal Immigration – PT 1

Milton Friedman – Illegal Immigration – PT 2

Why Free Markets Work: Milton Friedman on Political Economy (1996)

Obama’s Amnesty & How Illegal Immigration Affects Us

The Impact of Immigration on Jobs and Income

 

Trump, GOP senators unveil measure to cut legal immigration

Trump, GOP senators unveil measure to cut legal immigration

President Trump on Wednesday teamed up with two conservative Republican senators to roll out new legislation aimed at dramatically curbing legal immigration to the United States, a key Trump campaign promise.

Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) have been working with White House officials to revise and expand a bill released earlier this year that would halve the number of people who receive legal permanent residence over a decade.

The senators joined Trump at a White House ceremony to announce the measure.

The president told reporters in the Roosevelt Room that the measure “would represent the most significant reform to our immigration system in a half a century.”
They say the legislation would move the United States to a “merit-based” immigration system and away from the current model, which is largely based on family ties.
The measure reflects Trump’s rhetoric during the 2016 campaign, when he argued that the spike in legal immigration over the past several decades has taken job opportunities away from American citizens and threatened national security.
“As a candidate, I campaigned on creating a merit-based immigration system that protects U.S. workers and taxpayers and that’s why we are here today,” he said, adding the measure would “reduce poverty, increase wages and save taxpayers billions and billions of dollars.”
Trump met with Cotton and Perdue in March to discuss the legislation, known as the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act.
The bill would mark a dramatic change in U.S. immigration laws, and could open up a nasty internal fight among Republicans.

The legislation would eliminate immigration preferences currently given to extended family members and adult children of U.S. citizens seeking green cards, and it would cap the number of accepted refugees at 50,000 — half of the Obama administration’s target for 2017.

It would also end the State Department’s Diversity visa lottery, which the senators say is “plagued with fraud.” The program had been allotted 50,000 visas for the 2018 fiscal year.

About 1 million immigrants receive green cards per year.

Conservative outside groups immediately praised the legislation and called for the Senate to vote on the bill.

“The RAISE Act helps realize President Trump’s vision of making America great again by making immigration great again as well. It provides a pathway for a modern, smarter immigration system while protecting those Americans struggling to make ends meet,” said Dan Stein, president of Federation for American Immigration Reform.

Roy Beck, president of NumbersUSA, added that the Cotton-Perdue bill will “do more than any other action to fulfill” Trump’s campaign pledges on immigration.

The legislation faces an uphill battle in the Senate, however, where it’s expected to get pushback from Democrats as well as GOP senators who oppose strict limits on legal immigration and want a broader reform effort that would address the roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.

If Cotton and Perdue can get GOP leadership to bring the legislation up for a vote, supporters will need to cobble together 60 senators, including at least eight Democrats or independents, to agree to start debate on the legislation.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and a handful of Republicans — including GOP Sens. Jeff Flake (Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Dean Heller (Nev.) — have been working on bills this year to allow undocumented immigrants who entered the country as children to, at least temporarily, remain in the country legally.

Hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants have been granted temporary reprieves from deportation under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. But it does not confer legal status on immigrants.

Cotton and Perdue would need to win over their votes, as well as Sen. John McCain. The Arizona Republican, who is currently undergoing cancer treatment, was critical of their earlier bill.

The White House roll out could give the legislation a boost of momentum, but the earlier version of the Cotton-Perdue bill garnered zero cosponsors.

Critics of the measure say it would devastate families’ effort to reunite with their overseas relatives while providing few economic benefits.

“If this is an acknowledgement that our immigration system is broken, the Trump administration and these senators are right, but this is the wrong way to fix it,” said Ali Noorani, executive director of the National Immigration Forum. “Cutting legal immigration for the sake of cutting immigration would cause irreparable harm to the American worker and their family.”

“Congress should focus on stopping illegal immigration – not on restricting the legal immigration that grows our economy,” said John Feinblatt, president of the former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg-backed group New American Economy.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/344924-trump-gop-senators-unveil-measure-to-cut-legal-immigration

Sen. Cotton Officially Introduces RAISE Act

PUBLISHED:

Thu, FEB 16th 2017 @ 9:40am EST

Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) has officially introduced the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, S. 354, in the Senate. The bill would reduce legal immigration by up to 50% by ending future chain migration and the diversity visa lottery.

Roy Beck, President and Founder of NumbersUSA responded saying, “the RAISE Act has a number — S. 354 — and one that we will do all possible to ensure that lives on through history as one of the great achievements of this period of our country.”

The RAISE Act would:

  • End the Visa Lottery
  • Limit annual refugee admissions to 50,000
  • End chain migration
  • Reduce the worldwide level of family-sponsored immigrants from 480,000 to 88,000 by prioritizing nuclear family
  • Add a nonimmigrant visa for parents of adult U.S. citizens (W-Visa)
    • 5-year renewable visa
    • No work authorization or ability to receive public benefits

The RAISE Act would reduce legal immigration to the United States by 50% in an effort to diminish its impact on vulnerable American workers. First, it eliminates the visa lottery and limits refugee admissions to 50,000 per year, removing the ability of the President to unilaterally adjust upward refugee admissions. Further, it eliminates chain migration by limiting family-sponsored immigration to the spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.

While U.S. citizens maintain the ability to sponsor nuclear family members without numerical limitation, the worldwide level of family-sponsored immigration is reduced from 480,000 to 88,000 to account for the elimination of the extended-family categories. Finally, a new nonimmigrant visa category is created for parents of adult U.S. citizens. Under this new category, sponsored alien parents would receive a renewable 5-year visa, but must be financially independent or supported financially by the adult son or daughter, as the visa does not authorize the alien to work or receive any form of public benefit.

https://www.numbersusa.com/news/sen-cotton-officially-introduces-raise-act

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 938, August 1, 2017: Story 1: Vice-President On The Trump Doctrine In Speech Delivered From Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Will Sign Sanctions Bill For Russia, North Korea, and Islamic Republic of Iran — Videos — Story 3: Washington War Fever with Neocon Republicans and Progressive Democrats United Against Russia — Masking Incompetency — Videos

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Vice President Pence Speaks to Troops from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

Published on Jul 31, 2017

Vice President Pence Speaks to troops from Estonia, Latvia, USA and Lithuania during Visit to Eastern Europe, the Baltic’s…

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The Trump Doctrine is easy to understand — Just look at his background

Foreign policy experts all over Washington seem completely stupefied when it comes to understanding President Trump’s national security goals. And for a long time, I was one of them.

In happy hours all over town where we love to gather, some experts would describe Trump’s approach as “uneducated,”“unsophisticated” or even “unprofessional.”

Rubbish. They just can’t get over the fact that he doesn’t share their often overly polished and overly sophisticated perspectives. I should know, it’s my profession.

The simple fact is this: you don’t need a Ph.D. from Yale or Cambridge to understand Trump’s vision for America’s place in the world—you just need to take the time to study his background.

He doesn’t care about your foreign policy schools of thoughts, deep historical perspective or game-theory workshops. He just wants the best “deals” for America. Period. End of story.

Washington’s foreign policy brain trust would be wise to take heed the words of a 900-year-old Jedi master named Yoda: “Unlearn what you have learned”.

Understanding the Trump Doctrine is child’s play—just don’t overthink it.

Put away your Hans Morgenthau, Kenneth Waltz or just war theory training because President Trump has his own ideas when it comes to global affairs.

Our new president is very different than almost any other we can remember in modern times.

He does not have the professorial pontification skills or deeply intellectual mindset of Barack Obama. Nor does he have the government experience of George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Gerald R. Ford, Richard Nixon, Lyndon Johnson or JFK.

Trump is cut from a different cloth—he’s a street fighter and certainly not a slick, ivy league educated foreign policy expert.

The Donald is a rough and tumble, school of hard knocks, New York City businessman. He doesn’t care about your foreign policy schools of thoughts, deep historical perspective or game-theory workshops. He just wants the best “deals” for America. Period. End of story.

All of this is exactly what the American people voted for. Something different—with the old models of thinking being clearly rejected. And we need to make our peace with it.

But that doesn’t mean he isn’t sophisticated or doesn’t have a sense of vision when it comes to international affairs.

In fact, Trump has his own loosely crafted foreign policy playbook, based on his own success and failures as a New York City businessman, entrepreneur and branding genius.

Our new president is taking his business acumen and applying it on a global stage. He has, at least in my opinion, what can be best described as a foreign policy balance sheet in his head. Trump looks at where he thinks America is “winning,” code for where Washington’s interests are moving forward, and losing, where America’s interests are not being served. And he tackles the ‘losses’ on that balance sheet with ruthless efficiency.

And that all makes Trump’s global agenda, one in which he takes on the toughest of problems—problems that have been festering for decades—a very hard task, but one that is worth pursuing.

Taking on China over North Korea will be an immense challenge—creating tensions in a relationship with the two biggest global economies and militaries. Taking on trade deals that many times were not always in America’s best interests might be even harder. Asking our allies to spend more towards our common defense won’t be easy. But who said change ever was?

Making all of this even more difficult is when people misinterpret the president’s own words or cherry pick his ideas to change his message, all in an effort to take him down.

Will Trump abandon NATO, leave South Korea on its own to confront a nuclear North Korea and withdraw to some sort of fortress America? Never.

Again, his past clues you into his thinking. Like any CEO, our president is using his background in business to strike the best terms for the nation in its relationships. And just like any CEO, he is not going to break a signed deal, like alliances with key partners the world over – that’s bad for the business of the nation. But he will try to ask for a little more—just like many of us do in our own lives and business deals. Shocker.

What unnerves people is the patented Trump approach—blunt and straightforward—and almost never politically correct in how he sometimes goes about striking a deal. That will get smoothed out in the months and years to come, just like many other presidents in the past. The stature of the office, the highest in the land, has that impact on the occupant.

But Trump is not going to change his core thinking or personality—that much is clear.

World leaders at the G-20 should already understand by now who our president is and his approach.

Trump is not going to coddle you, make you feel all warm and fuzzy when you do something against America’s national interests—he is not Barack Obama. He’s going to tell you in his own Trumpian way he is not impressed—and press you to change your position. And he might even do it on Twitter. And the media will go crazy over it, only amplifying the power of his message.

In fact, there might be a foreign policy vision that personifies the Trump Doctrine after all: mega-realism on steroids—and it’s what the American people asked for. Trump has stayed true to what he said he would do in foreign affairs, and it’s simple to understand, you just have to see the world through his own training and life experience—not yours.

Let Yoda be your guide.

Harry J. Kazianis (@grecianformula) is director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest, founded by former President Richard M. Nixon.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/07/07/trump-doctrine-is-easy-to-understand-just-look-at-his-background.html

VOICE

There Is No Trump Doctrine, and There Will Never Be One

There Is No Trump Doctrine, and There Will Never Be One

“Neither a wise man nor a brave man lies down on the tracks of history to wait for the train of the future to run over him,” Dwight D. Eisenhower observed in 1952. Managing the future’s course is no small task, but in foreign policy the development and execution of sound strategy are a leader’s best hope. In January, on the eve of Donald Trump’s inauguration, we warned in Foreign Policy that Trump’s approach to foreign policy was dangerously nearsighted and posed unacceptable risks to national security. Absent a course correction, a trainwreck is all but assured.

Six months later, there is little indication that the president and his advisors have developed the kind of strategy — what academics call “grand strategy” and pundits refer to as “doctrine” — designed to impose America’s will on the world, rather than vice versa. Indeed, it seems there will never be a Trump doctrine. In resisting the careful patience required to develop and execute a purposive course of action over time, the administration’s method of policymaking is explicitly anti-strategic.

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During Whirlwind Week in Washington, VP Pence Comforts…

What White House infighting?

This deficiency results from three operational and philosophical principles that orient the president’s decision-making: a focus on short-term wins rather than longer-term strategic foresight; a “zero-sum” worldview where all gains are relative and reciprocity is absent; and a rejection of values-based policymaking. The shortcomings of this approach — which we dubbed “tactical transactionalism” — are already apparent in the Trump administration’s foreign-policy record to date.

First, Trump has made no secret of his desire to “win,” a worldview that privileges short-term, tactical triumphs.

Nowhere was this attitude more evident than in Trump’s decision to fire off 59 cruise missiles in retaliation for a Syrian government chemical weapons attack. Although administration officials herald this decision in public and private as a signal accomplishment of Trump’s foreign policy, the strike actually had little effect: The targeted airfield was operational again within days, and the attack’s muddled rationale obscured any intended signal to American adversaries. Nonetheless, the arresting images of U.S. Navy destroyers launching missiles remain the most vivid exemplar of the Trump administration’s foreign policy in its first six months.

This short-termism was also apparent in the initial enthusiastic response to the Gulf crisis that began on June 5, when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and announced a blockade on the country. Trump, eager to claim a win from his trip to the Middle East, tweeted his support for the move. Even as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tried to take a more strategic view of the crisis — recognizing the centrality of the Al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar to the U.S.-led counter-Islamic State campaign — Trump undermined his chief diplomat with bravado, doubling down on his criticism of Qatar and asserting, “If we ever needed another military base, you have other countries that would gladly build it.” Unsurprisingly, when the secretary of state attempted a well-publicized diplomatic effort to find a regional solution, U.S. partners refused to participate.

Though well suited to splashy successes — or at least the tweetable impression of them — a tactical-transactional approach blinds the president to the second- and third-order effects of his actions, making sound strategy nearly impossible.

Second, the Trump foreign policy is characterized by a zero-sum worldview: Every win for another country is a loss for the United States, and Washington’s best bet is to out-negotiate both allies and adversaries at every turn. Cooperation, according to the perspective explicitly articulated by top advisors H.R. McMaster and Gary Cohn, emerges only when narrow self-interests exactly align.

In an illustration of this principle, on his fourth day in office, Trump signed an executive order that withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement. He did so after expressing a series of deep misunderstandings about the TPP’s likely impact on jobs and wages, its power over U.S. decision-making, and its inability to deal with Chinese and Japanese currency manipulation. In its place, Trump has promised to “fix” America’s trade relations with all of its trading partners through bilateral deals. “Wait till you see what we’re going to do on trade,” Trump boasted this week to the New York Times, without offering any supporting details (as always). Meanwhile, the TPP, the text of which overwhelmingly reflected American preferences, is now being redrafted without American participation; meanwhile, China is advancing its own trade agenda through the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

The zero-sum perspective even extends to U.S. allies, which the president views more as competitors than enduring strategic partners. Despite Seoul’s vital role in addressing the North Korean nuclear crisis — undoubtedly the national security issue atop Trump’s agenda — the president has threatened to terminate the American bilateral trade agreement with South Korea and tried to renege on the U.S. commitment to pay for the THAAD anti-missile defense system.

By ignoring the multidimensional nature of international politics and denying the value of reciprocity, this relentless unilateralism denies the United States critical cooperative tools in countering threats and seizing opportunities.

Finally, tactical transactionalism is devoid of moral or ethical considerations.

President Trump has demonstrated an intuitive adoration for authoritarian leaders.

President Trump has demonstrated an intuitive adoration for authoritarian leaders. In April, he praised Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a habitual human rights abuser, for doing a “fantastic job in a very difficult situation.” Later in the month, he called Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte to congratulate him, telling the man behind the deaths of thousands of his own citizens: “I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem.… Keep up good work. You are doing an amazing job.” Perhaps most dramatically, he called North Korea’s Kim Jong Un a “pretty smart cookie,” whom he would be “honored” to meet.Though it may enhance the unpredictability Trump prizes, a foreign policy unmoored from values results in a foreign policy oriented exclusively — and nihilistically — around pursuit of the “best deal.”

Over the past six months, in the wake of Trump’s cruise missile strikes in Syria and again with soaring speeches in Saudi Arabia and Poland, foreign-policy analysts have attempted to weave the administration’s actions into a coherent strategic doctrine. Senior administration officials are in on the game as well, with various factions vying to impose their strategic vision of “America First” in a bizarre, latter-day Kennan sweepstakes. But for all the op-ed ink that’s been spilled, these attempts are little more than a fool’s errand.

Even if analysts and advisors could impose intellectual coherence on Trump’s constellation of instincts and predilections, tactical transactionalism all but guarantees the inconsistent translation of those preferences into policy.

Even Trump’s well-documented antipathy toward American allies is not a reliable guide to his actual conduct of foreign relations: Despite decades of bashing both Japan and Germany, over the past six months, Trump has embraced Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe — who cleverly came bearing golden golf clubs to Trump Tower in New York last November — while spurning German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Moreover, the administration lacks the capacity to implement any strategic vision — particularly one that requires the use of non-hard-power tools. Military officials have wisely emphasized that lasting solutions to the wars in Afghanistan, Syria, and even Yemen are primarily the responsibility and role of the State Department. But the State Department itself has been gutted and demoralized. The White House’s fiscal year 2018 budget request was a paltry $37.6 billion for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development (a 33 percent decrease over the previous budget) and $639 billion for the Department of Defense (representing a 10 percent increase). Tillerson has also refused to fill an unprecedented number of senior diplomatic posts and ambassadorships, claiming that it would be pointless until the State Department had been fully reorganized.

To some extent, the inability of the Trump administration to develop and execute grand strategy has resulted in an astounding degree of continuity with Barack Obama-era foreign policies. Despite Trump’s pronouncement that Obama’s “strategic patience” with North Korea is over, the “peaceful pressure” policy is not discernibly distinct. Similarly, the administration’s still-secret strategy to defeat the Islamic State clearly entails tactical intensification but remains strategically similar to the Obama approach.

While surely desirable in some instances, stability is not necessarily the best response to a dynamic world.

While surely desirable in some instances, stability is not necessarily the best response to a dynamic world.Without a grand strategy, the United States cannot seize the initiative on the world stage and, simply by default, will cede ground to hostile powers, as the effects of a reactive foreign policy accrue exponentially over time. The unpredictability that Trump prizes has already injected uncertainty into America’s alliances, as international partners question whether Washington can be trusted to uphold its security commitments. Around the world, public opinion is turning against the United States, and foreign capitals can be expected to reorient their foreign policies accordingly.Come fall, the administration will likely release a wave of strategy documents, from the overarching National Security Strategy to more specific ones like the Nuclear Posture Review. These documents may provide the fleeting illusion of strategy, but they cannot elide a fundamental truth: So long as Trump’s tactical transactionalism governs the formation of U.S. foreign policy, the United States is condemned to be the object, rather than the agent, of history.

Rebecca Friedman Lissner is a Stanton nuclear security fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Micah Zenko is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. 

There Is No Trump Doctrine, and There Will Never Be One

Story 2: President Trump Will Sign Sanctions Bill For Russia, North Korea, and Islamic Republic of Iran — Videos

Congress and the Public

Image result for summary U. S. sanctions on iran, russia, north korea

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US Senate approves Iran, Russia, North Korea sanctions

Trump will sign bill imposing stiff sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea

President Donald Trump said he would sign a series of bills that will impose stiff financial sanctions on Russia.

The announcement comes after Congress this week overwhelmingly approved packages to punish Moscow for allegedly meddling in U.S. elections.

After Congress approved the sanctions, Moscow said it was reducing the number of U.S. diplomats in Russia in retaliation.

In a statement late Friday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump had “reviewed the final version and, based on its responsiveness to his negotiations, approves the bill and intends to sign it.”

The legislation is aimed at punishing Moscow for interfering in the 2016 presidential election and for its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria, where the Kremlin has backed President Bashar Assad. It also imposes financial sanctions against Iran and North Korea.

Before Trump’s decision to sign the bill into law, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said the bill’s passage was long overdue, a jab at Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress. McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, has called Putin a murderer and a thug.

“Over the last eight months what price has Russia paid for attacking our elections?” McCain asked. “Very little.”

Russia’s Foreign Ministry on Friday said it is ordering the U.S. Embassy in Russia to reduce the number of its diplomats by Sept. 1. Russia will also close down the embassy’s recreational retreat on the outskirts of Moscow as well as warehouse facilities.

Meanwhile, some European countries expressed concerns that the measures targeting Russia’s energy sector would harm its businesses involved in piping Russian natural gas. Germany’s foreign minister said his country wouldn’t accept the U.S. sanctions against Russia being applied to European companies.

A spokesman for the European Commission said Friday that European officials will be watching the U.S. effort closely, vowing to “remain vigilant.”

The North Korea sanctions are intended to thwart Pyongyang’s ambition for nuclear weapons by cutting off access to the cash the reclusive nation needs to follow through with its plans. The bill prohibits ships owned by North Korea or by countries that refuse to comply with U.N. resolutions against it from operating in American waters or docking at U.S. ports.

Goods produced by North Korea’s forced labor would be prohibited from entering the United States, according to the bill.

The sanctions package imposes mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them. The measure would apply terrorism sanctions to the country’s Revolutionary Guards and enforce an arms embargo.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/07/28/trump-to-sign-bill-levying-sanctions-on-russia-iran-and-north-korea-white-house-says.html

How U.S. Sanctions Are Working (Or Not) in 5 Countries

Jul 31, 2017

Sanctions are back in the news — though if you’re President Donald Trump, that’s not a good thing. Here’s a look at the current state of U.S. sanctions on a few key countries and how they’re faring.

Russia

This week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on a new round of sanctions against Russia, targeting its intelligence, energy, defense, mining and railway industries. The U.S. has had sanctions in place against Russia since the 2014 invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, but this latest round also hits Russia for meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. Sanctions take years to have full effect—in the short term, they’re mainly a shot across the bow (and one to which Putin has already retaliated). But you don’t often see a Republican-led Congress using sanctions as a shot across the bow of a Republican president.

Near-universal support from Congress (the sanctions bill passed the Senate by a 98-2 margin; the House of Representatives went 419-3) undermines Trump’s ability to unilaterally lift sanctions against Russia—compromising the traditional power of the president to lead the country’s foreign policy (if Trump wants to try to lift these sanctions, Congress has 30 days to approve or reject this request). The bipartisan bill had been held up by ferocious White House lobbying, but the realization has since set in that the bill will pass, even if Congress has to override a presidential veto. Trump still says that accusations his campaign colluded with the Russian government are “fake news.” Fake or not, concerns about his relations with Russia are beginning to have real impact on policy.

North Korea

While the Russia component of the bill is receiving the lion’s share of media attention, it also ramps up penalties against North Korea (in addition to Iran—see below). The U.S. has kept sanctions on the North Koreans since the Korean War. Not that they’ve done much beyond adding to the misery inside a country where 41 percent of people are undernourished and more than 70 percent depend on food aid. The Kim dynasty remains in power and continues to develop the country’s nuclear program. In fact, U.S. intelligence revised estimates just this week to say that Pyongyang could develop the capability to deliver a nuclear weapon to the continental US within a year. Some experts believe an ICBM tested on Friday could already put U.S. cities at risk.

But recent North Korea sanctions have also ricocheted on China, North Korea’s primary benefactor and link to the outside world. More than 90 percent of North Korea’s trade volume comes from China, not to mention most of its food and energy. North Korea uses Chinese banks to fund transactions throughout the rest of the world, and recent rounds of sanctions have targeted those Chinese banks and companies. Trump continues to complain that Beijing should place more pressure on the Kim regime; this is one way to add more encouragement. It’s highly unlikely to be enough to change Beijing’s mind though, given Chinese fears of extreme instability on the Korean peninsula.

Iran

Sanctions on Iran, on the other hand, have shown some results, because unlike North Korea, Iran wants a deeper commercial and political engagement with the rest of the world. Cutting off access to global markets and investments, as well as freezing $56 billion in assets, hit the country hard. Iran had hoped that signing the 2015 nuclear deal would breathe new life into its economy by allowing it to return to oil markets, and it has—though not by as much as moderates like President Hassan Rouhani had hoped.

Iran is still being kept in the cold despite the nuclear deal because the U.S. has retained sanctions over Iran’s ballistic missiles program, human rights abuses, and state sponsorship of groups like Hezbollah that Washington considers terrorist organizations. The country’s also being held back by plummeting oil prices: when Iran first signed the 2013 interim deal that would ultimately become the nuclear deal we know today, oil was selling at $111 and Iran was producing about 2.8 million barrels a day. Today, it’s producing nearly 4 millionbarrels daily, but oil is only selling at just over $50. Sometimes, the free market can be crueler than sanctions.

Syria

U.S. sanctions against Syria have been in place since 2004, long before the country descended into civil war. The Bush and Obama administrations accused the Assad regime of supporting terrorism, pursuing weapons of mass destruction, and undermining the U.S. in neighboring Iraq.

But instituting country-wide sanctions gets harder when the country in question is falling apart. The latest round have been more precisely targeted: following Assad’s use of sarin gas against civilian populations, the U.S. government levied sanctions against 271 Syrian individuals who work for the government agency making chemical weapons in April 2017. Members of Assad’s family saw their U.S. assets frozen in May. A strength of sanctions is that they can be aimed directly at individual sectors and officials, limiting damage to ordinary citizens and creating incentives for more cooperative behavior. But that advantage isn’t worth much when the government in question is already fighting for its life.

Cuba

More than 80 percent of Americans (not to mention a majority of Republicans) supported lifting the Cuban travel embargo back in 2015; 58 percent of Americans favored reestablishing diplomatic relations. Despite that, Trump has rolled back some of those Obama provisions by limiting commerce with Cuban businesses affiliated with the military, which owns almost all of the island’s retail chains and hotels. Trump has also ordered that any American who wants to visit the island for “educational” purposes must do so through a licensed tour group. The embassies in Washington and Havana will remain open.

The U.S. has been sanctioning Cuba in one form or another since the Dwight Eisenhower administration in the late 1950s. John F. Kennedy expanded sanctions further, and they remained in place for more than 50 years until Obama eased many restrictions. Over the decades, Cuba estimates that the U.S. embargo has cost the country nearly $117 billion, yet the island is still governed by Raul Castro following his brother’s death in November.

The lesson of sanctions: context is everything. About 10 years ago, I wrote a book called The J-Curve, where I envisioned all the countries in the world plotted on an X-Y axis.

On the far left of the curve are countries like North Korea and Cuba, whose regimes are stable precisely because they’re closed off from the rest of the world. On the far right of the curve are open countries like Germany and the U.S., whose governments are stable precisely because they engage with the rest of the world. Sanctions generally shift countries further left along the curve; sometimes, if the sanctions are significant enough, they can shift the entire curve downwards for a single country.

Put another way: a government like Syria’s that is fighting for its life will always have bigger problems than sanctions guiding its choices. But when sanctions are imposed on governments that feel safer outside the international system like those in North Korea and Cuba (i.e. on the far left of the J-Curve), the penalties are unlikely to bring about change — especially when they can rely on a deep-pocketed patron. (Cuba has recently opened mainly because the friendly Chavista government in Venezuela seems fated to join the Soviet Union on the ash heap of history.)

A larger country on the left-hand side of the J-curve like Russia is more vulnerable to its own economic shortcomings than to Western sanctions. But pressure on a country like Iran (also on the left side of the J-Curve, but near the dip), one that wants to plug into international commerce but that remains small enough to isolate, has more potential for success.

http://time.com/4875370/sanctions-russia-north-korea-iran-donald-trump/

Russia sanctions bill heads to Trump after Senate approval

 July 27

WASHINGTON — The Senate voted decisively on Thursday to approve a new package of stiff financial sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea, sending the popular bill to President Donald Trump for his signature after weeks of intense negotiations.Never in doubt, however, was a cornerstone of the legislation that bars Trump from easing or waiving the additional penalties on Russia unless Congress agrees. The provisions were included to assuage concerns among lawmakers that the president’s push for better relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin might lead him to relax the penalties without first securing concessions from the Kremlin.The Senate passed the bill, 98-2, two days after the House pushed the measure through by an overwhelming margin, 419-3. Both are veto proof numbers as the White House has wavered on whether the president would sign the measure into law.The legislation is aimed at punishing Moscow for meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria, where the Kremlin has backed President Bashar Assad.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said the bill’s passage was long overdue, a jab at Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress. McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, has called Putin a murderer and a thug.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 27, 2017. The Senate voted decisively to approve a new package of stiff financial sanctions against Russia, Iran and North Korea, sending the popular bill to President Donald Trump for his signature after weeks of intense negotiations. The legislation is aimed at punishing Moscow for meddling in the 2016 presidential election and its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria, where the Kremlin has backed President Bashar Assad. McCain said the bill’s passage was long overdue, a jab at Trump and the GOP-controlled Congress. McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, has called Putin a murderer and a thug. (Cliff Owen/Associated Press)

“Over the last eight months what price has Russia paid for attacking our elections?” McCain asked. “Very little.”

Trump had privately expressed frustration over Congress’ ability to limit or override the power of the president on national security matters, according to Trump administration officials and advisers. They spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal White House deliberations.

But faced with heavy bipartisan support for the bill in the House and Senate, the president has little choice but to sign the bill into law. Trump’s communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, suggested earlier Thursday on CNN’s New Day that Trump might veto the bill and “negotiate an even tougher deal against the Russians.”

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said that would be a serious mistake and called Scaramucci’s remark an “off-handed comment.” If Trump rejected the bill, Corker said, Congress would overrule him.

“I cannot imagine anybody is seriously thinking about vetoing this bill,” said Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “It’s not good for any president — and most governors don’t like to veto things that are going to be overridden. It shows a diminishment of their authority. I just don’t think that’s a good way to start off as president.”

Still, signing a bill that penalizes Russia’s election interference would mark a significant shift for Trump. He’s repeatedly cast doubt on the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia sought to tip the election in his favor. And he’s blasted as a “witch hunt” investigations into the extent of Russia’s interference and whether the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.

The 184-page bill seeks to hit Putin and the oligarchs close to him by targeting Russian corruption, human rights abusers, and crucial sectors of the Russian economy, including weapons sales and energy exports.

The bill underwent revisions to address concerns voiced by American oil and natural gas companies that sanctions specific to Russia’s energy sector could backfire on them to Moscow’s benefit. The bill raised the threshold for when U.S. firms would be prohibited from being part of energy projects that also included Russian businesses.

Lawmakers said they also made adjustments so the sanctions on Russia’s energy sector didn’t undercut the ability of U.S. allies in Europe to get access to oil and gas resources outside of Russia.

The North Korea sanctions are intended to thwart Pyongyang’s ambition for nuclear weapons by cutting off access to the cash the reclusive nation needs to follow through with its plans. The bill prohibits ships owned by North Korea or by countries that refuse to comply with U.N. resolutions against it from operating in American waters or docking at U.S. ports. Goods produced by North Korea’s forced labor would be prohibited from entering the United States, according to the bill.

The sanctions package imposes mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them. The measure would apply terrorism sanctions to the country’s Revolutionary Guards and enforce an arms embargo.

Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., voted against the sanctions bill.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/congress/russia-sanctions-bill-heads-to-trump-after-senate-approval/2017/07/27/21f0a93c-7324-11e7-8c17-533c52b2f014_story.html?utm_term=.d85fb5faaa55

Now I am going to read you a list of institutions in American society.

Please tell me how much confidence you, yourself, have in each one — a great deal, quite a lot, some, or very little? Congress

 

Great deal Quite a lot Some Very little None (vol.) No opinion
% % % % % %
2017 Jun 7-11 6 6 39 44 3 1
2016 Jun 1-5 3 6 35 52 3 *
2015 Jun 2-7 4 4 37 48 5 1
2014 Jun 5-8 4 3 36 50 7 1
2013 Jun 1-4 5 5 37 47 5 1
2012 Jun 7-10 6 7 34 47 5 1
2011 Jun 9-12 6 6 40 44 4 1
2010 Jul 8-11 4 7 37 45 5 2
2009 Jun 14-17 6 11 45 34 4 1
2008 Jun 9-12 6 6 45 38 3 2
2007 Jun 11-14 4 10 46 36 3 1
2006 Jun 1-4 5 14 44 32 3 2
2005 May 23-26 8 14 51 25 1 1
2004 May 21-23 11 19 48 20 1 1
2003 Jun 9-10 10 19 50 19 1 1
2002 Jun 21-23 9 20 53 16 1 1
2001 Jun 8-10 10 16 49 20 2 3
2000 Jun 22-25 7 17 47 24 3 2
1999 Jun 25-27 9 17 51 21 1 1
1998 Jun 5-7 10 18 48 20 2 2
1997 Jul 25-27 9 13 50 24 3 1
1996 May 28-29 6 14 50 26 2 2
1995 Apr 21-24 9 12 48 28 2 1
1994 Mar 25-29 7 11 48 29 0 2
1993 Mar 22-24 8 10 40 35 4 2
1991 Oct 10-13 7 11 43 33 3 3
1991 Feb 28-Mar 3 11 19 44 21 2 3
1990 Aug 16-19 9 15 43 28 2 3
1989 Sep 7-10 13 19 42 21 3 2
1988 Sep 23-26 8 27 45 16 2 2
1987 Jul 10-13
1986 Jul 11-14 10 31 43 12 1 3
1985 May 17-20 9 30 42 15 2 3
1984 Oct 6-10 12 17 40 28 4
1983 Aug 5-8 6 22 42 23 2 5
1981 Nov 20-23 8 21 41 22 6 3
1979 Apr 6-9 11 23 39 23 1 3
1977 Jan 7-10 12 28 34 17 1 7
1975 May 30-Jun 2 14 26 38 18 1 3
1973 May 4-7 15 27 35 11 3 8
(vol.) = Volunteered response; * Less than 0.5%
GALLUP

http://www.gallup.com/poll/1600/congress-public.aspx

 

Story 3: Washington War Fever with Neocon Republicans and Progressive Democrats — Masking Incompetency — Videos

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Ron Paul: Dick Cheney Wants War With Russia – Deep State Desperate For WW3

Published on Mar 29, 2017

During a recent episode of The Ron Paul Liberty Report, Dr. Paul called out the recent statement from Dick Cheney that Russia meddling in the U.S. election is an “act of war.”
So the irresponsibly pro destruction viewpoint of warhawk globalists is once again on full display.

Ron Paul: Shadow Government Will Stage False Flags To Bring Trump Into War

Ron Paul – Neo-CONNED!

Elvis Presley Fever 1960

 

Is Donald Trump Morphing Into A Neocon Interventionist?

04/20/2017 07:45 am ET | Updated Apr 20, 2017

Candidate Donald Trump offered a sharp break from his predecessors. He was particularly critical of neoconservatives, who seemed to back war at every turn.

Indeed, he promised not to include in his administration “those who have perfect resumes but very little to brag about except responsibility for a long history of failed policies and continued losses at war.” And he’s generally kept that commitment, for instance rejecting as deputy secretary of state Elliot Abrams, who said Trump was unfit to be president.

Substantively candidate Trump appeared to offer not so much a philosophy as an inclination. Practical if not exactly Realist, he cared more for consequences than his three immediate predecessors, who had treated wars as moral crusades in Somalia, the Balkans, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and Syria. In contrast, Trump promised: “unlike other candidates for the presidency, war and aggression will not be my first instinct.”

Yet so far the Trump administration is shaping up as a disappointment for those who hoped for a break from the liberal interventionist/neoconservative synthesis.

The first problem is staffing. In Washington people are policy. The president can speak and tweet, but he needs others to turn ideas into reality and implement his directives. It doesn’t appear that he has any foreign policy realists around him, or anyone with a restrained view of America’s international responsibilities.

Rex Tillerson, James Mattis, and Herbert McMaster are all serious and talented, and none are neocons. But all seem inclined toward traditional foreign policy approaches and committed to moderating their boss’s unconventional thoughts. Most of the names mentioned for deputy secretary of state have been reliably hawkish—Abrams, John Bolton, the rewired Jon Huntsman.

President Trump appears to be most concerned with issues that have direct domestic impacts, and especially with economic nostrums about which he is most obviously wrong. He’s long been a protectionist (his anti-immigration opinions are of more recent vintage). Yet his views have not changed even as circumstances have. The Chinese once artificially limited the value of the renminbi, but recently have taken the opposite approach. The U.S. is not alone in losing manufacturing jobs, which are disappearing around the world and won’t be coming back. Multilateral trade agreements are rarely perfect, but they are not zero sum games. They usually offer political as well as economic benefits.

The administration’s repudiation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership was particularly damaging. His decision embarrassed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who made important economic concessions to join. More important, Trump has abandoned the economic field to the People’s Republic of China, which is pushing two different accords. Australia, among other U.S. allies, has indicated that it now will deal with Beijing, which gets to set the Pacific trade agenda.

In contrast, on more abstract foreign policy issues President Trump seems ready to treat minor concessions as major victories and move on. For years he criticized America’s Asian and European allies for taking advantage of U.S. defense generosity. In his speech hosted by the Center for the National Interest he complained that “our allies are not paying their fair share.” During the campaign he suggested refusing to honor NATO’s Article 5 commitment and leave countries failing to make sufficient financial contributions to their fate.

Yet Secretaries Mattis and Tillerson have insisted that Washington remains committed to the same alliances incorporating dependence on America. Worse, in his speech to Congress the president took credit for the small uptick in military outlays by European NATO members which actually began in 2015: “based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning” to “meet their financial obligations.” Although he declared with predictable exaggeration that “the money is pouring in,” no one believes that Germany, which will go from 1.19 to 1.22 percent of GDP this year, will nearly double its outlays to hit even the NATO standard of two percent. Yet after recently meeting alliance officials he even repudiated his criticism of NATO as “obsolete.”

President Trump’s signature policy initiative, rapprochement with Russia, appears dead in the water. Unfortunately, the president’s strange personal enthusiasm for Vladimir Putin undercut his desire to accommodate a great power which has no fundamental, irresolvable conflicts with the America. Moreover, President Trump’s attempt to improve relations faces strong ideological opposition from neoconservatives determined to have a new enemy and partisan resistance from liberal Democrats committed to undermining the new administration.

President Trump also appears to have no appointees who share his commitment on this issue. At least Trump’s first National Security Adviser, Mike Flynn, wanted better relations with Russia, amid other, more dubious beliefs, but now the president seems alone. In fact, Secretary Tillerson sounded like he was representing the Obama administration when he demanded Moscow’s withdrawal from Crimea, a policy nonstarter. Ambassador-designate Huntsman’s views are unclear, but he will be constrained by the State Department bureaucracy.

The president is heading in an uncertain direction regarding China. How best to handle America’s one potential peer competitor is a matter of serious debate, but even before taking office President Trump launched what appeared to be confrontation on multiple fronts: Taiwan, trade, South China Sea, North Korea. Secretary Tillerson also took a highly adversarial position, suggesting in Senate testimony that the U.S. might blockade the PRC’s claimed Pacific possessions, a casus belli, and “compel,” whatever that means, compliance with sanctions against North Korea. Yet after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping President Trump appeared ready to take a more balanced approach to China. More seasoned Asia experts have yet to be appointed, however.

The Trump policy in the Middle East seems in confused flux. During the campaign he briefly pushed an “even-handed” approach to Israel and the Palestinians, before going all in backing the hardline Likud government’s practical repudiation of a two-state solution and expanded colonization of the West Bank. Since then, however, he, like other presidents before him, has backed away—though perhaps only temporarily—from the promise to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Moreover, President Trump has emphasized his desire to make a peace deal, which obviously would require concessions on both sides.

The president appears to be stepping into the Syrian and Iraq quagmires despite his election promises to the contrary. He sharply criticized previous policy in the Mideast: “Logic replaced with foolishness and arrogance, which led to one foreign policy disaster after another.” He explicitly denounced interventions in Iraq and Libya, promising to get out “of the nation-building business,” and emphasized the defeat of the Islamic State rather than overthrow of Bashar al-Assad.

Yet the administration launched missile strikes on Syria and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley loudly joined the “oust Assad” bandwagon. The president also proposed creating “safe zones” in Syria, which would require an extensive and potentially long-term U.S. military presence.

The Pentagon introduced a Marine Corps artillery battalion and other forces to assist in capturing the ISIS capital of Raqqa, Syria. Despite complaining about inadequate burden-sharing principle in the Middle East, President Trump risks encouraging the Gulf States and Turkey to reduce their efforts to defeat the Islamic State. There are reports that the administration is considering an extended military role in Iraq as well.

Finally, the president appears to have reversed himself on Afghanistan. Early in the campaign he said America should end its longest war, which has devolved into a forlorn attempt to create a centralized, liberal democratic state in Central Asia. More recently, however, he indicated he planned to keep U.S. forces there. In December he told Afghan President Ashraf Ghani that he “would certainly continue to support Afghanistan security.” There may be no conflict which less advances serious American interests than attempting to sustain an incompetent, corrupt, and failing central government in Kabul.

Where the president stands on other issues is unclear. During the campaign he indicated a willingness to talk with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. But his secretary of state rejected that course, instead threatening military action—backed by an aircraft carrier battle group off of the North’s coast. President Trump’s support for Brexit has roiled relations with Europe, which also worries about his protectionist beliefs—highlighted by his attack on Germany’s alleged currency manipulation—and potentially softer approach to Russia.

Despite being highly critical of the Iran nuclear accord, he has not yet challenged the pact. He appears to be restoring Washington’s uncritical embrace of Saudi Arabia, which will undermine his expressed desire for greater burden-sharing by allies and yield long-term problems in Yemen. He has barely noticed Africa and South America.

It remains early for the Trump administration, and there’s no there there in much of the State and Defense departments, as well as other agencies. The president still could move in a more pragmatic, Realist direction. However, without allies in his administration that prospect seems small. Hopefully the American people, having voted against the promiscuous military intervention of his predecessors, will not end up with more of the same foreign policy.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/is-donald-trump-morphing-into-a-neocon-interventionist_us_58f898dae4b081380af51913

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 937, July 31, 2017, Story 1: Stagnating Economic Growth Rates Due To Growing Big Government Under Two Party Tyranny With Spending Addiction Disorder (SAD) — Solution: Replace All Federal Taxes with A Single Broad Based Consumption Tax (20 % Rate Included In Price of All New Goods and Services — Fair Tax Less) With Generous Tax Prebates ($1,000 Per Month For American Citizens Age 18 and older) and Limit Federal Budget Spending To 90% of Last Year’s Collections With Remaining 10% Paying Down National Debt) — As Government Shrinks — Peace, Prosperity and Freedom Flourish — Videos

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Story 1: Stagnating Economic Growth Rates Due To Growing Big Government Under Two Party Tyranny With Spending Addiction Disorder (SAD) — Solution: Replace All Federal Taxes with A Single Broad Based Consumption Tax (20 % Rate Included In Price of All New Goods and Services — Fair Tax Less) With Generous Tax Prebates ($1,000 Per Month For American Citizens Age 18 and older) and Limit Federal Budget Spending To 90% of Last Year’s Collections With Remaining 10% Paying Down National Debt) — As Government Shrinks — Peace, Prosperity and Freedom Flourish — Videos

 

US economy grew 2.6 percent in the second quarter.

(First Quarter Revised Down to 1.2 percent in the first quarter)

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“Too much Maths, too little History: The problem of Economics”

Milton Friedman – Why Economists Disagree

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TAKE IT TO THE LIMITS: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism

U.S. Economy at a Glance:Perspective from the BEA Accounts

BEA produces some of the most closely watched economic statistics that influence decisions of government officials, business people, and individuals. These statistics provide a comprehensive, up-to-date picture of the U.S. economy. The data on this page are drawn from featured BEA economic accounts.

National Economic Accounts

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
Current Numbers
  • 2nd quarter 2017: 2.6 percent
  • 1st quarter 2017: 1.2 percent
Next release: August 30, 2017
Quarterly data: Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the second quarter of 2017 (table 1), according to the “advance” estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first quarter, real GDP increased 1.2 percent (revised).

https://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/glance.htm

National Income and Product Accounts
Gross Domestic Product: Second Quarter 2017 (Advance Estimate), and Annual Update

Real gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the second quarter of 2017
(table 1), according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the first
quarter, real GDP increased 1.2 percent (revised).

The Bureau emphasized that the second-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source
data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see “Source Data for the
Advance Estimate” on page 3). The "second" estimate for the second quarter, based on more complete
data, will be released on August 30, 2017.

The increase in real GDP in the second quarter reflected positive contributions from personal
consumption expenditures (PCE), nonresidential fixed investment, exports, and federal government
spending that were partly offset by negative contributions from private residential fixed investment,
private inventory investment, and state and local government spending. Imports, which are a
subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased (table 2).

Real GDP: Percent Change from Preceding Quarter
Box___

                       Annual Update of the National Income and Product Accounts

The estimates released today reflect the results of the annual update of the national income and
product accounts (NIPAs) in conjunction with the "advance" estimate of GDP for the second quarter of
2017. The update covers the first quarter of 2014 through the first quarter of 2017. For more
information, see information on the "2017 Annual Update" on BEA’s Web site. Additionally, the August
Survey of Current Business will contain an article that describes the results in detail.

______


The acceleration in real GDP growth in the second quarter reflected a smaller decrease in private
inventory investment, an acceleration in PCE, and an upturn in federal government spending. These
movements were partly offset by a downturn in residential fixed investment and decelerations in
exports and in nonresidential fixed investment.

Current-dollar GDP increased 3.6 percent, or $169.0 billion, in the second quarter to a level of $19,226.7
billion. In the first quarter, current-dollar GDP increased 3.3 percent (revised), or $152.2 billion (table 1
and table 3).

The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 0.8 percent in the second quarter, compared
with an increase of 2.6 percent in the first quarter (revised) (table 4). The PCE price index increased 0.3
percent, compared with an increase of 2.2 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price
index increased 0.9 percent, compared with an increase of 1.8 percent (appendix table A).


Personal Income (table 10)

Current-dollar personal income increased $118.9 billion in the second quarter, compared with an
increase of $217.6 billion in the first quarter (revised). The deceleration in personal income primarily
reflected decelerations in wages and salaries, in government social benefits, in nonfarm proprietors’
income, and in rental income, and downturns in personal interest income and in farm proprietors’
income. These movements were offset by an upturn in personal dividend income.

Disposable personal income increased $122.1 billion, or 3.5 percent, in the second quarter, compared
with an increase of $176.3 billion, or 5.1 percent, in the first quarter (revised). Real disposable personal
income increased 3.2 percent, compared with an increase of 2.8 percent.

Personal saving was $546.8 billion in the second quarter, compared with $553.0 billion in the first
quarter (revised). The personal saving rate -- personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal
income -- was 3.8 percent in the second quarter, compared with 3.9 percent in the first.


Source Data for the Advance Estimate

Information on the source data in the advance estimate is provided in a Technical Note that is posted
with the news release on BEA’s Web site. A detailed "Key Source Data and Assumptions" file is also
posted for each release. For information on updates to GDP, see the “Additional Information” section
that follows.


                    Annual Update of the National Income and Product Accounts


Updated estimates of the national income and product accounts (NIPAs), which are usually made each
July, incorporate newly available and more comprehensive source data, as well as improved estimation
methodologies. This year, the notable revisions primarily reflect the incorporation of newly available
and revised source data. The timespan of the revisions is the first quarter of 2014 through the first
quarter of 2017. The reference year remains 2009.

With the release of the updated statistics, select NIPA tables will be available on BEA’s Web site
(www.bea.gov).  Shortly after the GDP release, BEA will post a table on its Web site showing the major
current-dollar revisions and their sources for each component of GDP, national income, and personal
income.  Additionally, the August 2017 Survey of Current Business will contain an article describing these
revisions.

Updates for the first quarter of 2017

For the first quarter of 2017, real GDP is now estimated to have increased 1.2 percent; in the previously
published estimates, first-quarter GDP was estimated to have increased 1.4 percent. The 0.2-percentage
point downward revision to the percent change in first-quarter real GDP reflected downward revisions
to nonresidential fixed investment, to private inventory investment, to residential fixed investment, and
to federal government spending, and an upward revision to imports. These movements were partly
offset by upward revisions to PCE, to state and local government spending, and to exports.

Real GDI is now estimated to have increased 2.6 percent in the first quarter; in the previously published
estimates, first-quarter GDI was estimated to have increased 1.0 percent. First Quarter 2017

                                                     Previous Estimate       Revised

                                                  (Percent change from preceding quarter)
Real GDP                                                   1.4                 1.2
Current-dollar GDP                                         3.4                 3.6
Real GDI                                                   1.0                 2.6
Average of GDP and GDI                                     1.2                 1.9
Gross domestic purchases price index                       2.5                 2.6
PCE price index                                            2.4                 2.2


Real GDP (Tables 1A, 1B, and 2A)

The updated statistics largely reflect the incorporation of newly available and revised source data (see
the box below) and improvements to existing methodologies.

*	From 2013 to 2016, real GDP increased at an average annual rate of 2.3 percent; in the
        previously published estimates, real GDP had increased at an average annual rate of 2.2 percent.
        From the fourth quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2017, real GDP increased at an average
        annual rate of 2.1 percent, the same as previously published.

Real GDP: Percent Change from Preceding Quarter
*	The percent change in real GDP was revised up 0.2 percentage point for 2014, was revised up
        0.3 percentage point for 2015, and was revised down 0.1 percentage point for 2016.

    o       For 2014, upward revisions to nonresidential fixed investment, inventory investment,
            and state and local government spending were partly offset by an upward revision to
            imports.

    o       For 2015, upward revisions to personal consumption expenditures (PCE), inventory
            investment, exports, and nonresidential fixed investment were partly offset by
            downward revisions to state and local government spending and to residential fixed
            investment, and by an upward revision to imports.

    o       For 2016, downward revisions to exports, federal government spending, and inventory
            investment were partly offset by an upward revision to state and local government
            spending.

*	The revisions to the annual estimates typically reflect partly offsetting revisions to the quarters
        within the year.

    o       For 2014, the annual rate of change in GDP was revised up 0.3 percentage point for the
            first quarter, 0.6 percentage point for the second quarter, and 0.2 percentage point for
            the third quarter; these upward revisions were partly offset by a downward revision of
            0.3 percentage point for the fourth quarter.

    o       For 2015, upward revisions of 1.2 percentage points for the first quarter and 0.1
            percentage point for the second quarter were partly offset by downward revisions of 0.4
            percentage point for both the third and fourth quarters.

    o       For 2016, downward revisions of 0.2 percentage point for the first quarter, 0.7
            percentage point for the third quarter, and 0.3 percentage point for the fourth quarter
            were partly offset by an upward revision of 0.8 percentage point for the second quarter.

*	For the first quarter of 2014 through the first quarter of 2017, the average revision (without
        regard to sign) in the percent change in real GDP was 0.4 percentage point.  The revisions did
        not change the direction of the change in real GDP (increase or decrease) for any of the
        quarters.

*	For the period of economic expansion from the second quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of
        2017, real GDP increased at an average annual rate of 2.1 percent, the same as previously
        published.

*	Current-dollar GDP was revised up for all three years: $34.5 billion, or 0.2 percent, for 2014;
        $84.1 billion, or 0.5 percent, for 2015; and $55.4 billion, or 0.3 percent, for 2016.


Gross domestic income (GDI) and the statistical discrepancy (Tables 1A and 1B)

*	From 2013 to 2016 real GDI increased at an average annual rate of 2.3 percent, unrevised from
        the previous estimate.  From the fourth quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2017, real GDI
        increased at an average annual rate of 2.2 percent; in the previously published estimates, real
        GDI increased at an average annual rate of 2.1 percent.

*	The statistical discrepancy is current-dollar GDP less current-dollar GDI.  GDP measures final
        expenditures -- the sum of consumer spending, private investment, net exports, and
        government spending.  GDI measures the incomes earned in the production of GDP.  In concept,
        GDP is equal to GDI.  In practice, they differ because they are estimated using different source
        data and different methods.

*	The statistical discrepancy as a percentage of GDP was revised up from -1.5 percent to -1.3
        percent for 2014, was unrevised at -1.4 percent for 2015, and was revised up from -1.3 percent
        to -0.8 percent for 2016.

*	The average of GDP and GDI is a supplemental measure of U.S. economic activity. In real, or
        inflation-adjusted, terms this measure increased at an average annual rate of 2.3 percent from
        2013 to 2016, the same as previously published.


Price measures (Table 4A)

*	Gross domestic purchases - From the fourth quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of 2017, the
        average annual rate of increase in the price index for gross domestic purchases was 1.2 percent,
        the same as previously published.

*	Personal consumption expenditures - From the fourth quarter of 2013 to the first quarter of
        2017, the average annual rate of increase in the price index for PCE was 1.2 percent, 0.1
        percentage point higher than the previously published estimates. The increase in the “core” PCE
        price index, which excludes food and energy, was 1.6 percent, the same as previously published.


Income and saving measures (Table 1B)

*	National income was revised down $9.9 billion, or 0.1 percent, for 2014, was revised up $74.3
        billion, or 0.5 percent, for 2015, and was revised down $50.0 billion, or 0.3 percent, for 2016.

    o       For 2014, downward revisions to proprietors’ income and corporate profits were partly
            offset by upward revisions to taxes on production and imports and rental income of
            persons.

    o       For 2015, upward revisions to net interest, corporate profits, taxes on production and
            imports, and supplements to wages and salaries were partly offset by a downward
            revision to proprietors’ income.

    o       For 2016, downward revisions to wages and salaries, proprietors’ income, supplements
            to wages and salaries, and corporate profits were partly offset by upward revisions to
            net interest, taxes on production and imports, and the current surplus of government
            enterprises.

*	Corporate profits was revised down $11.5 billion, or -0.5 percent, for 2014, was revised up $29.4
        billion, or 1.4 percent, for 2015, and was revised down $12.4 billion, or 0.6 percent, for 2016.

*	Personal income was revised up $8.5 billion, or 0.1 percent, for 2014, was revised up $94.5
        billion, or 0.6 percent, for 2015, and was revised down $58.0 billion, or 0.4 percent, for 2016.

*	From 2013 to 2016, the average annual rate of growth of real disposable personal income was
        revised down 0.2 percentage point from 3.2 percent to 3.0 percent.

*	The personal saving rate (personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income) was
        revised up from 5.6 percent to 5.7 percent for 2014, was revised up from 5.8 percent to 6.1
        percent for 2015, and was revised down from 5.7 percent to 4.9 percent for 2016.


New and revised source data

The updated statistics incorporated data from the following major federal statistical sources:

Agency                                      Data                                     Years Covered and Vintage

Census Bureau                       Annual surveys of wholesale trade               2014 (revised), 2015 (new)
                                    Annual surveys of retail trade                  2014 (revised), 2015 (new)
                                    Annual survey of manufactures                   2014 (revised), 2015 (new)
                                    Monthly indicators of manufactures,
                                      merchant wholesale trade, and retail trade    2014–2016 (revised)
                                    Service annual survey                           2014 and 2015 (revised), 2016 (new)
                                    Annual surveys of state and local
                                    government finances                             Fiscal year (FY) 2014 (revised), FY 2015 (new)

                                    Monthly survey of construction spending
                                      (value put in place)                          2014–2016 (revised)
                                    Quarterly services survey                       2014–2016 (revised)
                                    Current population survey/housing vacancy
                                      survey                                        2014 and 2015 (revised), 2016 (new)

Office of Management
  and Budget                        Federal Budget                                  Fiscal years 2016 and 2017

Internal Revenue Service            Tabulations of tax returns for corporations     2014 (revised), 2015 (new)
                                    Tabulations of tax returns for sole
                                      proprietorships and partnerships              2015 (new)

BLS                                 Quarterly census of employment and wages        2014–2016 ( revised)
                                    Survey of occupational employment               2016 (new)

Department of
Agriculture                         Farm statistics                                 2014–2016 (revised)

BEA                                 International transactions accounts             2014-2016 (revised)



Changes in methodology and presentation

The annual update also incorporated improvements to estimating methodologies and to the
presentation of the NIPA estimates, including the following:

*	Estimates for consumer spending incorporated improved allocations of industry-based retail
        sales to consumer goods, including increased use of retail scanner data and the Census Bureau’s
        E-Commerce Report.

*	The price index used to deflate fixed investment in prepackaged software is now based on a
        more representative Bureau of Labor Statistics Producer Price Index (PPI). In the previously
        published estimates, the BEA price for prepackaged software was based on the PPI for
        “Application software publishing.” Beginning with this annual update, BEA will use the PPI for
        “Software publishing, except games” that includes both applications and systems software
        publishing.

*	Publication of key source data and assumptions that are used to estimate quarterly GDP is
        updated and accelerated. Beginning with this annual update, BEA will post this information with
        each GDP release. (Previously, BEA released this information after the monthly personal income
        and outlays release, usually the business day following the GDP release.) Certain monthly data
        will continue to be released with the monthly personal income and outlays release. Because
        quarterly key source data and assumptions will now be available on the day of the GDP release,
        BEA will no longer publish Technical Note Table A.




                                          *          *          *

                               Next release:  August 30, 2017 at 8:30 A.M. EDT
                         Gross Domestic Product:  Second Quarter 2017 (Second Estimate)
                         Corporate Profits:  Second Quarter 2017 (Preliminary Estimate)

                                          *          *          *
https://www.bea.gov/newsreleases/national/gdp/2017/gdp2q17_adv.htm

US Real GDP Growth Rate by Year

Date Value
Mar 31, 2017 2.10%
Dec 31, 2016 1.96%
Dec 31, 2015 1.88%
Dec 31, 2014 2.49%
Dec 31, 2013 2.66%
Dec 31, 2012 1.28%
Dec 31, 2011 1.68%
Dec 31, 2010 2.73%
Dec 31, 2009 -0.24%
Dec 31, 2008 -2.77%
Dec 31, 2007 1.87%
Dec 31, 2006 2.39%
Dec 31, 2005 3.03%
Dec 31, 2004 3.12%
Dec 31, 2003 4.36%
Dec 31, 2002 2.04%
Dec 31, 2001 0.21%
Dec 31, 2000 2.89%
Dec 31, 1999 4.69%
Dec 31, 1998 5.00%
Dec 31, 1997 4.39%
Dec 31, 1996 4.45%
Dec 31, 1995 2.28%
Dec 31, 1994 4.13%
Dec 31, 1993 2.63%
Dec 31, 1992 4.33%
Dec 31, 1991 1.22%
Dec 31, 1990 0.65%
Dec 31, 1989 2.78%
Dec 31, 1988 3.84%
Dec 31, 1987 4.45%
Dec 31, 1986 2.94%
Dec 31, 1985 4.28%
Dec 31, 1984 5.63%
Dec 31, 1983 7.83%
Dec 31, 1982 -1.40%
Dec 31, 1981 1.29%
Dec 31, 1980 -0.04%
Dec 31, 1979 1.30%
Dec 31, 1978 6.68%
Dec 31, 1977 4.98%
Dec 31, 1976 4.33%
Dec 31, 1975 2.56%
Dec 31, 1974 -1.93%
Dec 31, 1973 4.02%
Dec 31, 1972 6.86%
Dec 31, 1971 4.38%
Dec 31, 1970 -0.15%
Dec 31, 1969 2.07%
Dec 31, 1968 4.97%
Dec 31, 1967 2.70%
Dec 31, 1966 4.51%
Dec 31, 1965 8.48%
Dec 31, 1964 5.15%
Dec 31, 1963 5.18%
Dec 31, 1962 4.28%
Dec 31, 1961 6.37%
Dec 31, 1960 0.86%
Dec 31, 1959 4.54%
Dec 31, 1958 2.67%
Dec 31, 1957 0.36%
Dec 31, 1956 1.99%
Dec 31, 1955 6.57%
Dec 31, 1954 2.74%
Dec 31, 1953 0.53%
Dec 31, 1952 5.35%
Dec 31, 1951 5.49%
Dec 31, 1950 13.40%
Dec 31, 1949 -1.50%
Dec 31, 1948 3.80%
Dec 31, 1947 -0.01%
Dec 31, 1946 10.67%
Dec 31, 1945 48.82%
Dec 31, 1944 76.87%
Dec 31, 1943 78.21%
Dec 31, 1942 64.41%
Dec 31, 1941 33.71%
Dec 31, 1940 19.39%
Dec 31, 1939 23.92%
Dec 31, 1938 24.99%
Dec 31, 1937 43.21%
Dec 31, 1936 34.55%
Dec 31, 1935 3.78%
Dec 31, 1934 -10.81%
Dec 31, 1933 -26.34%

http://www.multpl.com/us-real-gdp-growth-rate/table/by-year


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The Pronk Pops Show 934, July 24, 2017, Breaking — Breaking — Story 1: Pence Breaks Tie — Senate Will Debate How To Proceed With Obamacare Repeal and Replace — Videos — Story 2: Congress Overwhelming Passes New Sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea — Long Overdue — Videos — Story 3: Trump Again Critical Of Attorney General Sessions Apparently For Not Prosecuting Leakers and Going After Clinton Foundation Crimes — What about Obama Administration’s Spying On Trump — An Abuse of Power Using Intelligence Community for Political Purposes — Will Trump Dump Sessions? If He Does Trump Will Start To Lose His Supporters in Talk Radio and Voter Base — Direct Deputy Attorney Rod Rosenstein To Fire Mueller — If He Won’t Fire Him — Fire Both Mueller and Rosenstein —  Punish Your Enemies and Reward Your Friends President Trump! — “In Your Guts You Know He is Nuts” — Videos

Posted on July 25, 2017. Filed under: American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Crime, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Federal Government, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, Health Care Insurance, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, James Comey, Law, Medicare, National Interest, News, People, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Breaking — Story 1: Pence Breaks Tie — Senate Will Debate How To Proceed With Obamacare Repeal and Replace — Videos —

Senate votes to start debate on health care bill

Senate Dems Stage Strange Protest During ObamaCare Vote

Protesters Chant “Kill The Bill! Don’t Kill Us!” At Senate Debate Vote To Repeal Obamacare | TIME

Senate to vote on Obamacare repeal today

Senate Vote On Health Care Debate In Yet Another Effort To Repeal And Replace Obamacare | TIME

 

The Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, at the Capitol on Tuesday.CreditGabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

WASHINGTON — The Senate voted narrowly on Tuesday to begin debate on a bill to repeal major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, but hours later, Republican leaders suffered a setback when their most comprehensive plan to replace President Barack Obama’s health law fell far short of the votes it needed.

The Tuesday night tally needed to reach 60 votes to overcome a parliamentary objection. Instead, it fell 43-57. The fact that the comprehensive replacement plan came up well short of even 50 votes was an ominous sign for Republican leaders still seeking a formula to pass final health care legislation this week.

For Republicans, the failure ended the day on a sour note, hours after a more triumphant scene on the Senate floor. Lawmakers from both parties had risen to their feet in the afternoon and applauded when Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, showed up in the chamber despite his diagnosis of brain cancer. He cast a crucial vote in favor of opening what promises to be a freewheeling, hard-fought debate over the future of the Affordable Care Act.

The 51-50 vote to start debate, with Vice President Mike Pence breaking a tie, came only a week after the Republican effort to dismantle a pillar of former President Barack Obama’s legacy appeared all but doomed. It provided an initial win for President Trump, who pushed, cajoled and threatened senators in recent days to at least begin debating the repeal of the health care law.

But the victory could be fleeting: Senate Republicans still have no agreement on a repeal bill that they can ultimately pass to uproot the law that has provided health insurance to millions of Americans.

How Each Senator
Voted on Full Obamacare
Repeal-and-Replace

Republican leaders brought the first of several expected amendments to a vote Tuesday night.

The Senate is now moving ahead with debate, amendments and ultimately a final vote in the coming days on legislation that would have a profound effect on the American health care system — roughly one-sixth of the United States’ economy. But it is entirely possible that by week’s end, they will have passed nothing.

“Now we move forward towards truly great health care for the American people,” Mr. Trump said from the White House Rose Garden, where he was holding a news conference with the visiting prime minister of Lebanon. “This was a big step.”

Only two Republicans, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, voted against the procedural motion, though at least several other Republicans had been seen as possible holdouts. No Democrats voted in favor of the motion.

The Tuesday night vote was on a comprehensive amendment that included disparate proposals calculated to appeal to conservatives and moderates in the Republican caucus.

One proposal, offered by Senator Ted Cruz, Republican of Texas, would have allowed insurers to sell stripped-down health plans, without maternity care or other benefits required by the Affordable Care Act, if they also sold plans that included such benefits.

“You shouldn’t have to buy what the federal government mandates you must buy,” Mr. Cruz said. “You should choose what meets the needs for you and your family.”

Three major proposals are being discussed.

The amendment also included money to help pay out-of-pocket medical costs for low-income people, including those who buy private insurance after losing Medicaid coverage as a result of the Senate bill. This proposal was devised by Senator Rob Portman, Republican of Ohio, and other senators from states that have expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.

But nine Republicans, spanning the party’s ideological spectrum, voted against the package.

The debate to come will have broad implications for health care and households in every state, and emotions are high.

Before senators voted to start the debate in midafternoon, protesters in the Senate gallery chanted, “Kill the bill, don’t kill us!” and “Shame, shame, shame!”

Despite his vote to move ahead, Mr. McCain offered harsh words for the secretive process by which Senate Republican leaders came up with their bill to repeal and replace the health law, and he delivered a pessimistic take on its chances.

“Asking us to swallow our doubts and force it past a unified opposition — I don’t think that’s going to work in the end, and probably shouldn’t,” Mr. McCain said, adding that it “seems likely” that the current repeal effort would end in failure. Still, Mr. McCain voted with Republican leaders in favor of the comprehensive replacement plan on Tuesday night.

Arizona is one of the 31 states that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, and Mr. McCain’s remarks could reflect concerns of other senators from states that expanded Medicaid, including the junior Republican senator from his state, Jeff Flake.

 

Senator John McCain, who was recently diagnosed with brain cancer, spoke to the Senate after casting his vote to begin debating legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. Photo by Gabriella Demczuk for The New York Times. Watch in Times Video »“We are ground zero for the failure of the exchanges, but we are also an expansion state,” Mr. Flake said. “I think all of us are concerned that we don’t pull the rug out from people.”

Just before the Senate vote, the Democratic leader, Chuck Schumer of New York, made an impassioned plea to Republicans.

“We know that A.C.A. is not perfect,” Mr. Schumer said. “But we also know what you’ve proposed is much worse. We can work together to improve health care in this country. Turn back now before it’s too late and millions and millions and millions of Americans are hurt so badly in ways from which they will never, ever recover.”

Given the divisions within their caucus, Senate Republican leaders were considering a new approach to keeping their repeal quest alive: They could try to reach agreement on a slimmed-down bill that would repeal a few major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, like the penalties imposed on people who go without insurance and businesses that do not offer insurance to their employees. Republican leaders would not intend for such a bill to become law, but they believe that it could win approval in the Senate.

That “skinny” bill could then be a basis for negotiations with the House.

Republican leaders in Congress have struggled all year to fulfill their promise of repealing the 2010 health care law. By a vote of 217 to 213, the House approved a repeal bill in early May, but only after Republicans overcame their own difficulties in that chamber.

Mr. Trump kept up pressure on the Senate on Tuesday with Twitter posts. After the procedural vote, he applauded the Senate, but was cutting toward Ms. Collins and Ms. Murkowski: “We had two Republicans that went against us, which is very sad, I think. It’s very, very sad for them.”

Majority needed to pass YES NO
Republicans 51 2
Democrats 0 48
Total 51 50

The successful procedural vote was also a moment of redemption, at least temporarily, for Mr. McConnell, who just last week appeared to have failed in his effort to put together a health bill that could squeak through the narrowly divided Senate.

That said, it remained far from certain whether Republicans would be able to agree on a bill in the days to come — and what exactly the contents of that bill would be. Mr. McConnell promised an “open amendment process” in which members of both parties could propose changes.

“This is just the beginning,” Mr. McConnell said. “We’re not out here to spike the football.”

For weeks, Mr. McConnell has been promoting and revising a comprehensive bill that would repeal the health law while also replacing it, but he has struggled to nail down the support needed to pass that measure. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office has yet to assess the most complete version of that legislation, which includes the proposals by Mr. Cruz and Mr. Portman.

Without that assessment, the measure needed 60 Senate votes, and it failed that test on Tuesday night.

The Senate is also expected to vote on a measure that would repeal the health law without putting in place any replacement, but that approach does not appear to have enough support to pass, either.

That proposal resembles a bill passed by the Senate in 2015 and vetoed by Mr. Obama in early 2016. But it would increase the number of people who are uninsured by 32 million in 2026, the budget office said.

Mr. Portman had anguished for weeks over provisions of Mr. McConnell’s repeal bill that would make deep cuts in projected Medicaid spending and roll back the expansion of the program under the Affordable Care Act.

Mr. Portman voted to move ahead with the debate on Tuesday after being assured that the Senate would vote on his plan to provide financial assistance to people moving from an expanded state Medicaid program to private health insurance.

States could have used the money, totaling $100 billion, to help low-income people pay deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs when they receive medical care.

Mr. Portman worked on the plan with the Trump administration and with several other Republican senators from states that have expanded Medicaid, including Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia and Dean Heller of Nevada.

Mr. Heller voted Tuesday to open the debate, but he made no commitment to vote for the repeal bill itself.

“If the final product isn’t improved for the state of Nevada, then I will not vote for it,” Mr. Heller said. “If it is improved, I will support it.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/25/us/politics/senate-health-care.html

 

Senate Passes Vote to Begin Debate on Obamacare Repeal

Image: Senate Passes Vote to Begin Debate on Obamacare Repeal

By Todd Beamon   |   Tuesday, 25 Jul 2017 03:06 PM

The Senate voted Tuesday to begin debate on the plan to repeal Obamacare outright and replace it within two years — after Vice President Mike Pence voted to break a 50-50 tie and an ailing Arizona Sen. John McCain returned to slam the chamber’s secretive process.

“On this vote, the yeas are 50 and the nays are 50,” Pence said. “The Senate being equally divided, the vice president votes in the affirmative and the motion is agreed to.”

Moderate Republican Sens. Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska voted against the motion, which Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky proposed after two previous versions of a healthcare bill failed to attract enough votes.

Several senators switched their positions after saying as recently as last week that they would not support a complete Obamacare repeal without replacement.

They were Sens. Shelly Moore Capito of West Virginia, Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, Rob Portman of Ohio and Dean Heller of Nevada – considered the party’s most vulnerable incumbent going into next year’s congressional elections.

McCain, 80, who was diagnosed with brain cancer after undergoing surgery 11 days ago, returned to the Senate to vote for the procedural motion.

He was the first to speak on the floor during debate.

“I voted for the motion to proceed to allow debate to continue and amendments be offered,” McCain said. “I will not vote for this bill as it is today.

“It’s a shell of a bill right now. We all know that.”

He called for both parties to work together to bring forth legislation that would improve healthcare for all Americans.

“We keep trying to win without help from the other side of the aisle,” McCain said. “We are getting nothing done, my friends, we’re getting nothing done.

“All we’ve managed to do was make more popular a policy that wasn’t very popular,” he said, referring to Obamacare.

“The administration and congressional Democrats shouldn’t have forced through Congress without any opposition a program that brought forth social and economic change as massive as Obamacare.

“And we shouldn’t do the same with ours.

“If this process ends in failure, which seems likely, then let’s return to regular order,” McCain said.

“What a great honor, an extraordinary opportunity it is to serve in this body,” he concluded. “It’s a privilege to serve with all of you. I mean it.

“I hope to impress on you again that it is an honor to serve the American people in your company.”

McCain’s comments were greeted with a standing ovation.

President Donald Trump afterward thanked McCain for coming from Arizona to cast his vote to move the healthcare motion forward, calling him a “very brave man.”

“He made a tough trip to get here and vote,” Trump said at the start of a joint news conference with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri in the White House Rose Garden. “We want to thank Sen. McCain and all of the Republicans.

“We passed it without one Democrat vote,” the president added. “And that’s a shame, but that’s the way it is. And it’s very unfortunate.

“But I want to congratulate the American people, because we’re going give you great healthcare.”

The Senate last voted to repeal Obamacare in 2015, but it was vetoed by then-President Barack Obama. The House has voted more than 50 times to end the healthcare program.

President Trump has vowed to sign any bill that repeals the Affordable Care Act.

Before the procedural vote, McConnell encouraged Republicans to take action to end Obamacare after promising to do so for seven years.

“We have a duty to act,” he said. “The president’s ready with his pen.

“The House has passed legislation. Today, it’s the Senate’s turn.

“That starts with a vote we’ll take momentarily. The critical first step in that process, the motion to proceed.

“It’s the vote that determines whether this debate can proceed at all,” McConnell said. “Whether we’ll even take it up.”

But Minority Leader Chuck Schumer pleaded with Republicans to reject the procedural vote and work with his party – saying that beginning debate on the repeal motion would eventually lead to the end of Obamacare.

“The best the majority leader’s been able to cook up is a vague plan to do whatever it takes to pass something — anything — to get the bill to a House and Senate conference on healthcare,” the New York Democrat said before McConnell spoke.

“My colleagues, plain and simple, it’s a ruse,” Schumer continued. “The likeliest result of a conference between the House and Senate is full repeal of the Affordable Care Act or something very close to it.”

He slammed Republicans for crafting the healthcare plan under “much cloak-and-dagger legislating” and for locking Democrats out of the process.

“Their plan all along was to keep their bill hidden for as long as possible, evade scrutiny, hide the truth from the American people, and then jam the bill through in the dead of night on a party line,” Schumer said.

McConnell emphasized that the motion opens the debate on repealing Obamacare – and that any legislation could be amended during the debate process.

“President Obama vetoed what we passed before,” he said. “President Trump will sign what Congress passes this time.

“All we have to do today is to have the courage to begin the debate with an open amendment process and let the voting take us where it will.”

http://www.newsmax.com/Headline/senate-passes-healthcare-vote/2017/07/25/id/803717/

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