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The Pronk Pops Show 1255, May 10, 2019, Story 1: No Deal — United States Imposes 25% Tariff on $200 Billion in Chinese Exports To U.S. — Talks Break Up — Videos — Story 2: North Korean Short Range Missile Based on Russian Missile Can Hit U.S. Forces in South Korea — Videos — Story 3: Defense Department Shifts $1.5 Billion to Build Border Barrier — Videos — Story 4: Invasion of Illegal Aliens Continues with April Record of  109,000 Apprehensions — Build Border Barrier of 1,500 Additional Miles — Videos

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Story 1: United States Imposes 25% Tariff on $200 Billion in Chinese Exports To U.S. — Videos

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The U.S. Increases Tariffs and China Threatens Retaliation

Trump raises tariffs on Chinese goods

US-China trade war: Trump says tariffs are “excellent” alternative to trade deal with China

U.S., China break off latest trade talks without a deal, as new tariffs rile markets

The United States and China ended negotiations Friday without a new trade agreement, hours after new tariff hikes took effect and President Donald Trump threatened to slap duties on virtually all Chinese imports – though the two sides also agreed to keep talking.

“The relationship between President Xi (Jinping) and myself remains a very strong one, and conversations into the future will continue,” Trump said in  a pair of tweets hours after the talks broke up. “In the meantime, the United States has imposed Tariffs on China, which may or may not be removed depending on what happens with respect to future negotiations!”

The president also threatened new tariffs on China if a deal is not reached, but did not set a deadline as he did earlier this week, a move that roiled markets and pressured Chinese negotiators.

The U.S. and China also did not set a schedule for new talks.

Tariff rates jumped to 25% from 10% on a massive range of Chinese goods, including office furniture, handbags and frozen catfish fillets.

Earlier, in a morning set of tweets sent just hours after new tariffs took effect, Trump said that “talks with China continue in a very congenial manner – there is absolutely no need to rush.”

Global markets have dropped throughout the week, as investors feared new U.S. tariffs and Chinese retaliatory barriers will raise prices for consumers and slow the global economy. But on Friday the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.44% after Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin earlier said talks had been constructive.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Over the course of the past two days, the United States and China have held candid and constructive conversations on the status of the trade relationship between both countries. The relationship between President Xi and myself remains a very strong one, and conversations….

Liu He, China’s vice premier and top trade negotiator, told reporters at his hotel that the talks went “fairly well.”

After a day of sending mixed signals on the progress with China, Trump caused new jitters for traders when he deleted his Twitter thread in which he said Chinese trade talks were progressing in “a very congenial manner” and that there is “no need to rush” a new agreement. Trump re-posted the message later.

Deleted tweet: Trump rattles markets with deleted tweets amid China trade talks 

While Trump claimed that “tariffs will bring in FAR MORE wealth to our country than even a phenomenal deal of the traditional kind,” market analysts noted that China will retaliate by increasing tariffs on U.S. goods.

The results, they said, will be higher prices for consumers, perhaps less trade between the world’s two largest economies, and more complicated negotiations on a new trade agreement.

New U.S. tariffs of 25% on $200 billion in Chinese goods went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, after the two sides were unable to nail down the details of a new trade agreement during talks on Thursday. Trump also has threatened to extend the tariffs to $325 billion in Chinese goods.

Trump met Thursday night with Mnuchin and U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, and they agreed to “continue discussions” on Friday with the Chinese, the White House said.

Trump expressed both optimism and pessimism about a new trade deal in the run-up to the Friday deadline, which roiled markets as investors tried to parse the president’s words and assess whether he was serious about raising the tariffs.

Trump announced the new tariffs on Sunday on Twitter because he was angry about the pace of the talks and at what he said was China’s attempts at backtracking on several commitments it had made during months of negotiations.

The threat came after Trump and his top economic advisers had said for weeks that talks with China were progressing and that a deal was imminent. As late as Thursday afternoon – hours before Liu He met with his counterparts in Washington – Trump signaled that a deal with Beijing remained within reach.

Speaking to reporters at the White House midday Thursday, Trump indicated he was ready to move forward with the new tariffs. But he also said he had received a “beautiful letter” from Chinese President Xi Jinping and would likely speak to him about the negotiations.

“We were getting very close to a deal and then they started renegotiating the deal,” Trump said. “He just wrote me a beautiful letter. I just received it.”

China has denied that it is attempting to renege on its commitments and threatened to retaliate with tariffs on unspecified U.S. products if Trump followed through with the new tariffs. It said Trump’s threats were needlessly stressing world markets.

U.S. farmers and business leaders urged Trump not to go forward with the tariffs, warning they could result in up to 2.1 million job losses over the next three years.

Trump, who ran for president in part on a promise to renegotiate U.S. trade agreements, has made threats to raise the Chinese tariffs to 25% twice before, and then backed down at the last minute. Trump cited “substantial progress” in late February when he pushed back a March 1 deadline to reach an agreement or impose higher duties.

This time, the tariff increase went through.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/05/10/donald-trump-says-trade-talks-china-continue-despite-tariff-hike/1162002001/

US-China talks break up after US raises tariffs

2 hours ago

Trade talks between the U.S. and China broke up Friday with no agreement, hours after President Donald Trump more than doubled tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports.

Trump asserted on Twitter that there was “no need to rush” to get a deal between the world’s two biggest economies and later added that the tariffs “may or may not be removed depending on what happens with respect to future negotiations.”

A White House official, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly on the matter, confirmed that the talks had concluded for the day but could not say when they would resume.

Hours earlier, the Trump administration hiked tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports to 25% from 10%, escalating tensions between Beijing and Washington. China’s Commerce Ministry vowed to impose “necessary countermeasures” but gave no details.

The tariff increase went ahead even after American and Chinese negotiators briefly met in Washington on Thursday and again on Friday, seeking to end a dispute that has disrupted billions of dollars in trade and shaken global financial markets. After a short session on Friday, the lead Chinese negotiator, Vice Premier Liu He, left the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative about midday. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin shook hands with Liu as he left.

Trade talks between China and the U.S. continue Friday in Washington despite new tariffs the U.S. imposed on $200 billion in Chinese imports and Beijing's vow to retaliate. (May 10)

In the afternoon, a motorcade of sport-utility vehicles and a police escort, both with lights flashing, carried the Chinese delegation away from their lodgings at the Willard hotel and out of town.

Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the Chinese newspaper Global Times, citing “an authoritative source,” tweeted that “talks didn’t break down. Both sides think that the talks are constructive and will continue consultations. The two sides agree to meet again in Beijing in the future.”

On Wall Street, stocks fell initially Friday but turned positive on optimism over future talks.

Earlier, Trump asserted in a tweet that his tariffs “will bring in FAR MORE wealth to our Country than even a phenomenal deal of the traditional kind. Also, much easier & quicker to do.”

In fact, tariffs are taxes paid by U.S. importers and often passed along to consumers and companies that rely on imported components.

American officials accuse Beijing of backtracking on commitments made in earlier rounds of negotiations. “China deeply regrets that it will have to take necessary countermeasures,” a Commerce Ministry statement said.

U.S. business groups appealed for a settlement that will resolve chronic complaints about Chinese market barriers, subsidies to state companies and a regulatory system they say is rigged against foreign companies.

The latest increase extends 25% duties to a total of $250 billion of Chinese imports, including $50 billion worth that were already being taxed at 25%. Trump has said he is planning to expand penalties to all Chinese goods shipped to the United States.

Liu He

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He, center, waves to members of the media as he arrives at the Office of the United States Trade Representative in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Beijing retaliated for previous tariff hikes by raising duties on $110 billion of American imports. But regulators are running out of U.S. goods for penalties due to the lopsided trade balance.

Ford spokeswoman Rachel McCleery said the carmaker is most concerned about any retaliatory tariffs China might impose.

The Dearborn, Michigan-based company says 80% of the vehicles it assembles in the U.S. are sold domestically, but it does export some vehicles to China.

“While most of the vehicles we sell in China are built in China, Ford does export a number of vehicles to China from the U.S.,” McCleery said. “Our biggest concerns are impacts retaliatory tariffs would have on our exports and our expanding customer base in China.”

Chinese officials have targeted operations of American companies in China by slowing customs clearance for them and stepping up regulatory scrutiny that can hamper operations.

The latest U.S. increase might hit American consumers harder, said Jake Parker, vice president of the U.S.-China Business Council, an industry group. He said the earlier 10% increase was absorbed by companies and offset by a weakening of the Chinese currency’s exchange rate.

A 25% hike “needs to be passed on to the consumer,” Parker said. “It is just too big to dilute with those other factors.”

Despite the public acrimony, local Chinese officials who want to attract American investment have tried to reassure companies there is “minimal retaliation,” he said. “We’ve actually seen an increased sensitivity to U.S. companies at the local level,” he added.

The higher U.S. import taxes don’t apply to Chinese goods shipped before Friday. Shipments take about three weeks to cross the Pacific Ocean by sea, giving negotiators more time to reach a settlement before importers may have to pay the increased charges.

A worker walks near truck trailers and cargo containers, Friday, May 10, 2019, at the Port of Tacoma in Tacoma, Wash. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Liu, speaking to Chinese state TV upon his arrival Thursday in Washington, said he “came with sincerity.” He appealed to Washington to avoid more tariff hikes, saying they are “not a solution” and would harm the world.

“We should not hurt innocent people,” Liu told CCTV.

Also Thursday, Trump said he received “a beautiful letter” from Chinese President Xi Jinping and would “probably speak to him by phone.”

This week’s setback was unexpected. Through late last week, Trump administration officials were suggesting that negotiators were making steady progress.

U.S. officials say they got an inkling of China’s second thoughts about prior commitments in talks last week in Beijing but the backsliding became more apparent in exchanges over the weekend. They wouldn’t identify the specific issues involved.

A sticking point is U.S. insistence on an enforcement mechanism with penalties to ensure Beijing lives up to its commitments. American officials say China has repeatedly broken past promises.

China wants tariffs lifted as soon as an agreement is reached, while U.S. officials want to keep them as leverage to ensure compliance.

“A real enforcement mechanism is critical,” the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai said in a statement.

__https://apnews.com/e8a5195c21af44e5b783082366cc2f29

US car tariffs would have ‘bigger effect’ on global economy than US-China trade war, says WTO economist

  • World Trade Organisation chief economist Robert Koopman warns that there would be a ‘big disruptive effect’ on supply chains and on consumers hoping to buy cars
  • Direct trade between the US and China accounted for just 3 per cent of global trade in 2017 compared to 8 per cent for the car sector including parts

 

Story 2: North Korean Short Range Missile Based on Russian Missile Can Hit U.S. Forces in South Korea — Videos

North Korea Fires Two Suspected Short Range Missiles

North Korea reportedly fires at least one short-range missile

North Korea launches 3 short-range ballistic missiles

Why North Korea launched latest missile test

What Would Happen If North Korea Launched A Nuclear Weapon

No One Is Sure Which Country Is Helping North Korea Make Its Missiles (HBO)

How developed is North Korea’s nuclear programme?

 

North Korea’s New Weapon Likely to Better Evade Missile Defense

Pyongyang’s short-range missiles resemble a Russian Iskander, which can carry nuclear warheads, experts say

A missile is launched in North Korea, in this May 9 photo provided by the North Korean government. PHOTO: /ASSOCIATED PRESS

SEOUL—The short-range missiles tested by North Korea can strike much of South Korea and may be able to carry a nuclear warhead, military experts said, providing Pyongyang with extra firepower as diplomatic frictions grow with Washington.

Pyongyang test-fired a pair of short-range missiles Thursday that soared to a height of 50 kilometers (about 31 miles) before landing in the sea off the country’s east coast. Leader Kim Jong Un directed the test and lauded the weapons’ “long-range strike” capabilities, according to North Korean state media, which provided little other detail.

The Thursday launch came just five days after Pyongyang fired multiple projectiles, including a short-range missile.

The missile tests suggest Pyongyang has a new type of powerful, evasive weapon, according to military experts. They said, based on the projectiles’ flight paths and launch vehicle’s appearance, the short-range missiles bear an uncanny resemblance to Russian Iskander missiles, which can carry nuclear warheads.

The new missiles can travel far enough to hit U.S. military bases in South Korea hosting missile-defense systems designed to fend off incoming North Korean ballistic missiles, according to Cheon Seong-whun, a former South Korean National Security Council official.

“I don’t think South Korea or the U.S. forces here have the requisite missile-defense system to protect the country from North Korean Iskander missiles,” said Mr. Cheon, noting other U.S. military bases in the region were too far away to be at risk.

The Iskanders can fly at altitudes that are difficult for U.S. and South Korea missile-defense systems to reach, said military analysts. A North Korean Iskander would also likely better evade missile defenses, as its flight path can be controlled after launch, unlike other short-range ballistic missiles in North Korea’s arsenal, such as the Scuds.

“The weapons appear to be ballistic missiles that have addressed a traditional ballistic missile’s weak point, by adding a cruise missile’s guidance features,” said Kim Dong-yub, a professor of security studies at South Korea’s Kyungnam University.

The weapons further give North Korea its version of a “bloody-nose” counterstrike plan, should the U.S. military conduct a limited strike against one of North Korea’s military targets, Prof. Kim said.

Tensions have dialed up between Pyongyang and Washington in recent days: The Kim regime’s two weapons tests in under a week was shortly followed by a U.S. announcement it had seized a North Korean cargo ship it alleges violated sanctions by illicitly transporting coal.

On Friday, Stephen Biegun, the U.S. special envoy on North Korea, met South Korean counterparts in Seoul, saying the “door for North Korea’s return to negotiations remains open,” according to the South’s foreign ministry.

A day before, President Trump told reporters at the White House he doubted Mr. Kim would abandon nuclear talks, though “nobody’s happy” about the short-range missile test.

The U.S. and North Korea hit an impasse in denuclearization talks after a Vietnam summit earlier this year ended without a deal.

'We Had to Walk Away,' Trump Says After Kim Summit Ends With No Deal

‘We Had to Walk Away,’ Trump Says After Kim Summit Ends With No Deal
The second summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was cut short with the two leaders failing to reach a deal and Washington saying that Pyongyang asked for too much with too little in return. Published in March. Photo: AP

Thursday’s test was the North’s fourth show of military force in recent weeks, including the projectiles launched last weekend, a tactical weapon drill and an air force drill directed by Mr. Kim.

For the most recent test, Mr. Kim personally guided defense units for a strike drill of “various long-range strike” capabilities, North Korea’s state media said.

The shows of force allow Mr. Kim to express unhappiness with Seoul and Washington, said Rachel Lee, a former senior North Korea analyst for the U.S. government. At the same time, she said, they could act as a morale boost for the North Korean military, which may have felt sidelined in 2018 as the country pursued diplomacy.

“The North is keeping the overall tone moderate while keeping up the pressure,” said Ms. Lee, who now works at NK News, a group covering North Korea.

Russian Iskanders appear to have been first successfully tested in the late 1990s. They were part of Moscow’s goal to build weapons that could penetrate missile-defense systems being deployed in Eastern European countries that were joining the U.S.-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

North Korea has a tradition of developing its own missiles, often imitating or using Russian and Chinese technology, said Moon Seong-mook, a retired South Korean Army brigadier general. While Mr. Moon couldn’t rule out the possibility North Korea had imported the missiles from Russia, he said the weapons’ appearance suggested North Korea had made adjustments to the original Russian model.

Write to Andrew Jeong at andrew.jeong@wsj.com or Na-Young Kim at nayoung.kim@wsj.com

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1254, May 9, 2019, Story 1: North Korea Launches Short-Range Missile — Linkages — Trump Imposes 25% Tariff on All Communist China Exports to United States — Videos — Story 2: Islamic Republic of Iran Terrorist Attack on U.S. Bases — CIA Meeting — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Says Former Secretary of State John Kerry Should Be Prosecuted Under The Logan Act — Long Overdue — Videos — Story 4: No Constitutional Crisis — A Failure To Prosecute In Timely Manner The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — Videos

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Story 1: North Korea Launches Short-Range Missile — Communist Chinese Linkages — Trump Imposes 25% Tariff on All Communist China Exports to United States — Videos

North Korea launches missiles amid deadlock over nuclear talks

US seizes massive North Korean cargo vessel for violating sanctions

North Korea fires missiles, U.S. seizes ship as tensions rise

North Korea fires two suspected short-range missiles overnight

North Korea launches short-range ballistic missile: Report

North Korea sends a message with launch of short-range projectiles

North Korea fires short-range projectiles into Sea of Japan | DW News

What Would Happen If North Korea Launched A Nuclear Weapon

The countries within reach of North Korea’s missiles | Did You Know?

The growing North Korean nuclear threat, explained [Updated]

North Korea had help from China, Russia in building missile program: Gen. Jack Keane

 

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North Korea Launches New Missiles

Paul D. Shinkman, Senior National Security WriterMay 9, 2019, at 9:39 a.m.

The short-range missile launch is the second this week and further strains U.S.-led efforts to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula

 

 

The Associated Press

A North Korean rocket takes off during a missile test on Saturday. North Korea launched two short-range missiles in a separate missile test on Thursday.THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

NORTH KOREA ON THURSDAY launched two short-range missiles, marking the second weapons test in less than a week and further straining U.S.-led efforts toward denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

The South Korean joint chiefs of staff announced the launch in a statement, saying the missiles were fired from the northwest city of Kusong and traveled roughly 260 miles to the east. American negotiators are currently in South Korea for discussions on how to break the impasse following two high-level summits between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that failed to secure any lasting changes.

The launch comes less than a week after North Korea fired several short-range missiles on Saturday, the first such weapons test since November 2017. Trump has previously cited North Korea’s lull in missile and nuclear tests as evidence that his outreach to the Hermit Kingdom was proving successful.

North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday defended Saturday’s launch as a “routine and self-defensive military drill.” A spokesman said the test was “nothing more than part of the regular military training, and it has neither targeted anyone nor led to an aggravation of [the] situation in the region.” In a separate statement, North Korean state media reported that the missiles did not threaten the U.S., South Korea or Japan and dropped into North Korean-controlled waters.

Analysts say the missile trajectory and the distance it traveled were not indicative of ballistic weapons.

The North Korean statement condemned the continuation of joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises in the region, which Kim has repeatedly condemned as provocative “war games.”

Neither the White House nor Trump immediately commented on the launch on Thursday. The president tweeted shortly after the Saturday launch that he believes Kim “realizes the great economic potential of North Korea and will do nothing to interfere or end it,” adding “he also knows that I am with him and does not want to break his promise to me.”

The launch likely challenges the patience of Washington and Seoul at a contentious time as the two powers struggle to determine how to proceed in denuclearization talks while North Korea seeks to increase its leverage.

Cartoons on North Korea

Kim traveled to eastern Russia last month to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss how the two countries could cooperate, representing their first face-to-face meeting and a North Korean leader’s first trip to the country in almost a decade.

Kim and Trump’s meeting in Vietnam in February – their second – ended at an impasse over American insistence that North Korea agree to denuclearize and Pyongyang’s demands that the U.S. provide sanctions relief first.

Earlier this week the Pentagon announced it had ceased efforts to recover the remains of American war dead, citing an inability to contact their North Korean counterparts. That arrangement had been one of the most highly touted results of Trump’s meetings with Kim.

In a phone call on Tuesday following Saturday’s launch, Trump reportedly encouraged South Korean President Moon Jae-in to continue providing food aid to the North – a crisis both South Korea and the United States say Pyongyang has manufactured – saying it is “timely and will be a positive move,” according to South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper. The White House readout of that call did not include the detail. As of Thursday morning, those shipments were still set to proceed.

The recent launches come at a particularly awkward time for Moon, who has made peace on the peninsula a cornerstone of his administration. On Tuesday, he touted his administration’s achievements in an op-ed published in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, writing that “the sounds of gunfire have disappeared in the air, on the sea and on the ground around the Korean Peninsula.”

And just hours before his defense ministry confirmed Thursday’s missile test, Moon’s official Twitter account posted a picture of his meeting with Kim as the two officials smiled, with the quotation, “peace has become a part of everyday life.”

https://www.usnews.com/news/world-report/articles/2019-05-09/north-korea-launches-new-missiles

U.S. seizes North Korean ship suspected of violating U.N. sanctions

The 17,000-ton freighter, called the Wise Honest, was stopped in Indonesia last year after it was found to be carrying coal.
Image: The North Korean ship, "Wise Honest."

The North Korean ship, “Wise Honest.”Department of Justice

The U.S. has seized a North Korean freighter that was caught shipping coal in violation of U.N. sanctions, the Justice Department revealed Thursday.

The 17,000-ton cargo ship, called the Wise Honest, was stopped in Indonesia last year after it was found to be carrying coal. The ship’s captain was charged with violating Indonesian law, and last July, the U.S. filed an action to seize the ship, according to court papers.

Federal prosecutors said the seizure marks the first time the U.S. has taken possession of a North Korean ship for violating international sanctions.

“This sanctions-busting ship is now out of service,” said John Demers, assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s National Security Division.

The North Korean ship, "Wise Honest."
The North Korean ship, “Wise Honest.”Department of Justice

The Wise Honest, North Korea’s second-largest ship for carrying bulk cargo, was on its way to American Samoa, U.S. officials said.

On Thursday, the Justice Department asked a federal judge to give the U.S. ownership of the vessel through a civil forfeiture action — the same thing prosecutors do when they seek to take ownership of planes or boats used by drug smugglers. The Justice Department says the U.S. is entitled to take this action because payments to maintain and equip the vessel were made through American banks.

“Our office uncovered North Korea’s scheme to export tons of high-grade coal to foreign buyers by concealing the origin of their ship, the Wise Honest,” said Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. “This scheme not only allowed North Korea to evade sanctions, but the Wise Honest was also used to import heavy machinery to North Korea, helping expand North Korea’s capabilities and continuing the cycle of sanctions evasion.”

The announcement of the seizure came just hours after North Korea launched suspected short-range missiles — the second such weapons test in a week. But Berman said the effort to take control of the Wise Honest had been in the works for some time and was not spurred by North Korea’s overnight actions.

The Justice Department said the Korea Songi Shipping Company used the Wise Honest from at least November 2016 through April 2018 — and broke American law by paying U.S. dollars to “unwitting” banks for several improvements, equipment purchases and service expenditures for the vessel.

The March 2018 cargo shipment yielded payments totaling more than $750,000, the Justice Department said.

Berman declined comment when asked if the heavy machinery shipped back to North Korea was used in the country’s weapons program.

The seizure follows a report in March by a U.N. panel of experts that found North Korea is successfully evading United Nations sanctions through elaborate smuggling and deceptive tactics, allowing the regime to import oil and ship coal to China and other countries.

The sanctions are designed to deprive Pyongyang of cash for its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs and force the regime to abandon its arsenal. The Trump administration has led international efforts to tighten sanctions against North Korea, vowing to impose “maximum pressure” to persuade North Korea agree to relinquish its weapons in return for an end to sanctions.

“These violations render the latest United Nations sanctions ineffective by flouting the caps on the import of petroleum products and coal oil” by North Korea imposed by the U.N. Security Council in 2017, according to the U.N. report. “These transfers have increased in scope, scale and sophistication,” it said.

Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics

Despite U.S. warnings to keep up the economic pressure on North Korea, the regime has not suffered a spike in fuel prices in recent months, a sign that analysts say shows the country is able to secure enough fuel to keep its economy afloat.

North Korea has adapted to sanctions over the years and now employs increasingly sophisticated methods, the U.N. panel found in its March report. Pyongyang used to alter sections of shipping documents but now creates entirely fake registration and other papers that enable it to smuggle illicit cargo through ports around the world.

The regime also steals the identities of other ships and spoofs the location of vessels on the global electronic tracking system for ships, according to the U.N. panel.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/justice-department/u-s-seeks-seize-north-korean-ship-suspected-violating-u-n1003811

Story 2: Islamic Republic of Iran Terrorist Attack on U.S. Bases — CIA Meeting — Videos

John Bolton Holds ‘Highly Unusual’ Meeting At CIA | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Trump’s top intelligence and military advisers held unusual meeting at CIA on Iran, officials say

Current and former officials said it is extremely rare for senior White House officials or Cabinet members to attend a meeting at CIA headquarters.
Image: National Security Adviser John Bolton speaks to reporters at the White House on May 1, 2019.

National security adviser John Bolton, outside the White House last week, has long advocated for regime change in Iran.Kevin Lamarque / Reuters

Story 3: President Trump Says Former Secretary of State John Kerry Should Be Prosecuted Under The Logan Act — Long Overdue — Videos

Keane: John Kerry is undermining Trump’s foreign policy

Gutfeld: Did John Kerry violate the Logan Act?

John Kerry Hits Back at Trump Call for Logan Act Prosecution: ‘Simply Wrong, End of Story’

 

Trump says John Kerry ‘should be prosecuted’ for Iran contacts

President Trump on Thursday accused former Secretary of State John Kerry of breaking the law by meeting with Iranian officials last year — and went so far as to say he should be prosecuted under the Logan Act.

“You know John Kerry speaks to them a lot, and John Kerry tells them not to call. That’s a violation of the Logan Act, and frankly he should be prosecuted on that,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

TRUMP AND KERRY TRADE BARBS OVER EX-SECRETARY OF STATE’S MEETINGS WITH IRANIAN REGIME

“But my people don’t want to do anything, only the Democrats do that kind of stuff. If it were the opposite way, they’d prosecute him under the Logan Act,” he said.

Trump appears to be partially referring to a reported meeting between Kerry and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif at the beginning of 2018, part of what the Boston Globecalled “an aggressive yet stealthy” mission to put pressure on the Trump administration to keep the Iran nuclear deal.

Such a push was unsuccessful as Trump would announce the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) just a few months later.

But Trump has repeatedly accused Kerry of being in violation of the Logan Act, which prohibits private citizens from negotiating on behalf of the U.S. government without authorization. No one has ever been successfully prosecuted under the law, however.

In September, Kerry acknowledged meeting with Zarif “three or four times” since leaving office, admitting to discussing the scrapped nuclear deal, among other issues.

CLINTON SLAMS TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S ‘MAXIMUM PRESSURE’ CAMPAIGN 

“What I have done is tried to elicit from him what Iran might be willing to do in order to change the dynamic in the Middle East for the better,” Kerry said on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show.

On Thursday, Trump indicated he believes the contact between Kerry and Tehran to be ongoing, accusing Kerry of having “many meetings and many phone calls and he’s telling them what to do — that is a total violation of the Logan Act.”

A spokesman for Kerry pushed back on Trump’s remarks, calling them “simply wrong, end of story.”

“He’s wrong about the facts, wrong about the law, and sadly he’s been wrong about how to use diplomacy to keep America safe. Secretary Kerry helped negotiate a nuclear agreement that worked to solve an intractable problem,” the spokesman said.

“The world supported it then and supports it still. We’d hope the President would focus on solving foreign policy problems for America instead of attacking his predecessors for theater.”

Trump’s remarks came as the administration imposed sanctions on Tehran’s steel, aluminum, copper and iron sectors this week, the latest pressure the administration is putting on Iran’s already fragile economy.

Iran, meanwhile, announced that it will keep excess uranium instead of selling it as required by the nuclear deal. It also issued an ultimatum to Europe that it will enrich its stockpile in 60 days unless new terms to the deal are negotiated.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-kerry-prosecuted-iran

Story 4: No Constitutional Crisis — A Failure To Prosecute In Timely Manner The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — Videos

Gaetz: I don’t think Democrats know what ‘crisis’ means

Nancy Pelosi Declares Donald Trump Has ‘Triggered A Constitutional Crisis’ | Hallie Jackson | MSNBC

Jerrold Nadler On Holding Barr In Contempt: We Are In A ‘Constitutional Crisis’ | Deadline | MSNBC

Rep. Al Green Declares Constitutional Crisis Requiring Impeachment

What’s a real constitutional crisis?

Pelosi agrees US faces constitutional crisis

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday said she agreed with House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler‘s (D-N.Y.) assertion that the U.S. is currently facing a “constitutional crisis” after the panel voted to hold Attorney General William Barr in contempt of Congress.

“Yes, I do agree with Chairman Nadler,” Pelosi said during a press conference in the Capitol, “because the administration has decided that they’re not going to honor their oath of office.”

Yet Pelosi said even a constitutional crisis is not grounds to launch impeachment hearings against the president before Nadler and the heads of the other investigative committees are able to gather more evidence — and convince more voters — that such a step is necessary.

“This is very methodical, it’s very Constitution-based, it’s very law-based, it’s very factually based,” she said. “It’s not about pressure, it’s about patriotism.”

Pelosi’s remarks came a day after the Judiciary Committee voted along strict party lines to hold Barr in contempt for his refusal to comply with the panel’s subpoenas seeking an unredacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

“We’ve talked for a long time about approaching a constitutional crisis. We are now in it,” Nadler told reporters after the vote.

“Now is the time of testing whether we can keep a republic, or whether this republic is destined to change into a different, more tyrannical form of government,” he added. “We must resist this.”

Pelosi declined to say when the full House will vote on the contempt measure, suggesting Democrats are eyeing similar contempt resolutions targeting other administrative officials and packaging them all together before bringing it to the floor. She did not name names.

“In terms of timing, when we’re ready, we’ll come to the floor. And we’ll just see, because there might be some other contempt of Congress issues that we want to deal with at the same time,” Pelosi said.

“[Nadler] wants to do it as soon as possible, and so do we.”

The contempt resolution against Barr will have no immediate practical effect, as the Justice Department is highly unlikely to take action against the attorney general. But it escalates the already heightened tensions between the Democratically led House, which is seeking to delve deeper into Mueller’s findings, and a White House and Republicans in Congress fighting to put a lid on the years-long investigation.

The release of Mueller’s report has fueled a small but vocal group of liberals on and off of Capitol Hill clamoring to impeach Trump. Pelosi has consistently tamped down that effort, citing the lack of public support. On Thursday, she amplified that message, noting that the ouster of President Nixon took months of investigations to bring voters on board.

“Impeachment is one of the most divisive things that you can do, dividing a country,” she said. “Unless you really have your case with great clarity for the American people.”

But Pelosi has also adopted a new framing for the debate in recent days, arguing that Trump, by stonewalling Congress’s oversight efforts, is building the case for “self-impeachment.”

“As I said yesterday, the president is almost self-impeaching because he is, everyday, demonstrating more obstruction of justice, and disrespect for Congress’s legitimate role to subpoena,” Pelosi said. But for the impeachment advocates, she delivered a warning.

“We won’t go any faster than the facts take us, or any slower than the facts take us,” she said.

https://thehill.com/homenews/house/442889-pelosi-i-do-agree-we-are-in-a-constitutional-crisis

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1249, May 2, 2019, Story 1: Democrats and Big Lie Media False Accusations: Trump and His Campaign Conspired With The Russians — Muller Report Conclusion: No Evidence of Crimes Committed By Trump and Campaign Team — Trump and Barr Move On To Investigating, Indicting and Prosecuting The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — Democrats Panic — Panicky Progressive Pelosi Projection: William Barr committed a crime — New Radical Extremist Democrat Socialists (REDS) Smear Campaign — Videos — Story 2: High Stakes of Venezuelan Revolution — Largest Oil Reserve In The World — Coupe Attempt Failed — Send In The Marines and CIA — Videos — Story 3: FBI or CIA Sent Informant To Spy on Trump Campaign Foreign Policy Adviser George Papadopoulos — Coming Attractions of The Department of Justice Inspector General Report in Early June –Videos 

Posted on May 3, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, College, Communications, Congress, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Elections, Fiscal Policy, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human Behavior, Independence, Labor Economics, Lying, Mental Illness, Monetary Policy, National Interest, News, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Security, Senate, Subornation of perjury, Subversion, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Trade Policy, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1249 May 2, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1247 April 30, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

Pronk Pops Show 1232 March 29, 2019 Part 1

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Story 1: Democrats and Big Lie Media False Accusations: Trump and His Campaign Conspired With The Russians — Muller Report Conclusion: No Evidence of Crimes Committed By Trump and Campaign Team — Trump and Barr Move On To Investigating, Indicting and Prosecuting The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — Democrats Panic — Panicky Progressive Pelosi Projection: William Barr committed a crime — New Radical Extremist Democrat Socialists (REDS) Smear Campaign — Videos —

Is Barr stealing Trump’s ‘impeachment spotlight’?

Nancy Pelosi: William Barr committed a crime

Hannity: The Mueller witch hunt is completely over

Collins blames Dems for Barr’s absence in fiery hearing open

BREAKING NEWS: ‘He lied to Congress!’ Nancy Pelosi accuses Bill Barr of a crime claiming he hid Mueller contact from House committee – but Trump’s AG will blame a DEMOCRAT for asking the wrong question

  • Nancy Pelosi says Bill Barr lied to Congress, which is a crime
  • Barr testified in April that he didn’t know why some members of Mueller’s team were frustrated by the slow release of their final report
  • Mueller had sent Barr a letter more than a week earlier complaining about the pace of things
  • Justice Department official tells DailyMail.com that Barr will stick to his guns and say he was asked the wrong question – about Mueller’s team, not Mueller himself
  • Barr refused to show up and testify in a House hearing on Thursday
  • Democrats held an abbreviated session and brought a bucket of KFC and a toy chicken to paint him as a coward 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi claimed Thursday in a dramatic press conference that Attorney General Bill Barr committed a crime in sworn testimony last month, ratcheting up the latest war of words to paralyze Washington in the Trump era.

‘He lied to Congress. He lied to Congress. If anybody else did that, it would be considered a crime,’ Pelosi told reporters. ‘Nobody is above the law. Not the President of the United States and not the attorney general.’

Barr testified April 9 in a House hearing that ‘no, I don’t’ know why some members of special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team were frustrated by the nature of what he released to Congress on March 24.

With this week’s revelation of a March 27 letter in which Mueller told Barr he was displeased with how little material had been made public, that statement appears to have given Democrats a new weapon. Barr, however, plans to stick to his guns, according to a Justice Department official.

Barr told a House panel in April that he didn't know why some members of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's team were frustrated by how little information he had released to lawmakers; he said no, despite getting a letter weeks earlier with grips from Mueller himself

Barr told a House panel in April that he didn’t know why some members of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team were frustrated by how little information he had released to lawmakers; he said no, despite getting a letter weeks earlier with grips from Mueller himself

During a House Appropriations Committee, Florida Democratic Rep. asked: ‘Reports have emerged recently, general, that members of the Special Counsel’s team are frustrated at some level with the limited information included in your March 24th letter, that it does not adequately or accurately necessarily portray the report’s findings. Do you know what they’re referencing with that?”

Barr said he didn’t. He added: ‘I suspect that they probably wanted more put out, but in my view, I was not interested in putting out summaries or trying to summarize.’

A DOJ official predicted on Thursday that Barr will stand by his claim that Crist’s question was poorly worded since it asked about Mueller’s team of lawyers and not the special counsel himself.

‘Crist asked it wrong. AG Barr did what good witnesses do: he didn’t answer a question that wasn’t asked,’ the official told DailyMail.com.

‘When a prosecutor asks you if you know what time it is, you don’t tell him it’s 12:30. If you know, the answer is yes. You don’t volunteer anything. We all learn that in law school.’

Officially, a Justice Department spokesperson issued a terse statement: ‘Speaker Pelosi’s baseless attack on the Attorney General is reckless, irresponsible and false.’

The March 27 letter from Mueller to Barr came three days after Barr released his four-page top-line results to a bipartisan quartet of congressional leaders from both judiciary committees.

Florida Democratic Rep. Charlie Crist asked the question during an April 9 hearing; he said Wednesday that Barr should resign, joining a growing chorus of Democrats looking to make hay from a potential misstep by President Donald Trump's newest cabinet member

He wrote that Barr’s limited disclosures had resulted in ‘public confusion about critical aspects of the results of our investigation. This threatens to undermine a central purpose for which the Department appointed the Special Counsel: to assure full public confidence in the outcome of the investigation.’

Barr said Wednesday that he decided against releasing the Mueller report ‘piecemeal,’ describing the report as ‘my baby’ at the point it hit his desk.

He also described the letter as ‘a bit snitty,’ and suggested someone on Mueller’s staff wrote it.

Pelosi’s esclation came hours after House Judiciary Committee Democrats briefly gaveled in a hearing where Barr had expected to testify for a second day in a row, after sitting for an extended Senate grilling on Wednesday.

Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler lectured the Trump administration, facing an empty chair, while other Democrats ate KFC and displayed a plastic chicken to frame Barr as a coward.

Nadler opted to convene the hearing rather than waste a made-for-TV tableau after Barr refused to show up, with the Justice Department citing Nadler’s demand that staff attorneys should be able to question him in addition to elected lawmakers.

‘Given the Attorney General’s lack of candor before other congressional committees,’ Nadler said in an opening statement, referring to Barr’s hours-long grilling Wednesday on the Senate side ofthe Capitol, ‘I believe my colleagues and I were right to insist on the extended questioning.’

Ranking Republican Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia hit the roof, saying Democrats were treating Barr as a proxy for Trump because they ‘can’t’ or ‘don’t want’ to publicly impeach him.

Democrats in the House Judiciary Committee held an abbriviated hearing on Thursday with a plastic chicken standing in for Attorney General Bill Barr, who refused to attend because the chairman demanded he submit himself to questions from staff lawyers in addition to lawmakers

Hearing organizers arranged a bipartisan tableau facing an empty chair on Thursday

Hearing organizers arranged a bipartisan tableau facing an empty chair on Thursday

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler slammed Barr for refusing to appear, and threatened the Justice Department with action for refusing to turn over an unredacted copy of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russia election interference

House Judiciary Committee Chair Jerrold Nadler slammed Barr for refusing to appear, and threatened the Justice Department with action for refusing to turn over an unredacted copy of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russia election interference

Barr, who spent hours testifying in a Senate hearing on Wednesday and was seen leaving his house Thursday, can't release an unredacted copy of the report to anyone, including Congress, because federal law requires him to protect material related to grand juries; all the other redactions have been uncovered in a copy made available to congressional leaders from both parties

‘The stunt and the circus continues over here,’ he boomed.

‘They wanted to have a staff member ask questions?’ Collins asked. ‘If that staff member wants to ask questions so desperately, run for Congress! Put a pin on. Find a committee.’ 

Nadler quickly gaveled the hearing to a close, ignoring other Republicans’ demands for parliamentary questions about the event’s format and whether they would have a chance to speak.

Pelosi wouldn’t speculate on Thursday about what Nadler might do next.

‘The committee will act upon how it will proceed,’ she said in a cryptic forecast.

‘How sad it is for us to see the top law enforcement officer in our country misrepresenting, withholding the truth from the Congress of the United States,’ she said.

Crist said late Weddnesday that Barr was parsing words and should have understood the spirit of the question he asked on April 9.

‘He not only misled the House of Representatives but also the United States Senate. When you’re doing that then you’re lying to the American people and if the chief legal officer of the United States is willing to do that, that erodes confidence in our institutions. That’s just unacceptable,’ he said.

Crist added that Barr should resign.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6985653/He-lied-Congress-Pelosi-accuses-Bill-Barr-crime-hiding-Mueller-contact-House.html

Spygate (conspiracy theory by Donald Trump)

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Spygate is a conspiracy theory initiated by President Donald Trump in May 2018 that the Obama administration had implanted a spy in his 2016 presidential campaign for political purposes.[1][2][3][4]

On May 22–23, 2018, Trump made these assertions, without providing evidence, adding that it was done in an effort to help Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton, win the general election. He said this person was paid a “massive amount of money” for doing so.[5][6] Stefan Halper, a longtime FBI informant, had approached separately three Trump campaign advisers in 2016 in a covert effort to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, but as of April 2019, no evidence has surfaced that he had joined Trump’s campaign or acted improperly.[7]

On June 5, 2018, Trump further alleged that a counterintelligence operation into the Trump campaign had been running since December 2015.[8] The House Intelligence Committee, then in Republican control, concluded in an April 2018 report that the FBI counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign began in late July 2016, while the February 2018 Nunes memo written by Republican aides reached the same conclusion, as did the February 2018 rebuttal memo by committee Democrats.[9][10][11]

High-ranking politicians on both sides of the aisle, as well as Fox News personalities, have dismissed Trump’s allegations as lacking evidence and maintained that the FBI did nothing improper. Trump’s claims have been shown to be false.[5][12][13]

Contents

Background

Trump has been involved in the promotion of a number of conspiracy theories which are lacking in evidence. These have included promoting Barack Obama citizenship conspiracy theories from 2011, claiming in 2016 that Ted Cruz‘s father was involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and claiming that he would have won the popular vote in the 2016 election if not for “millions” of illegal voters. Trump also alleged in 2017 that his Trump Tower offices had been wiretapped, which his Justice Department has debunked.[14] Max Boot, writing for The Washington Post, described Spygate as the latest example in a “nonstop” series of Trump’s “nonsensical” allegations of a “Deep State” conspiracy against him, and that an earlier conspiracy theory Trump had advocated in January 2018 was that texts between FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page were tantamount to “treason”, but the Wall Street Journal reviewed them and concluded they “show no evidence of a conspiracy against” Trump.[15]

In early February 2018, the Nunes memo — written by aides of Republican Devin Nunes, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee — confirmed that a tip about George Papadopoulos “triggered the opening of” the original FBI counterintelligence investigation into links between the Trump campaign and Russia in late July 2016.[16] Later that month, a rebuttal memo by committee Democrats stated that “the FBI initiated its counterintelligence investigation on July 31, 2016”.[11][17]

In April 2018, the House Intelligence Committee, then in Republican control, released a final report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, which stated that the House Intelligence Committee found that “in late July 2016, the FBI opened an enterprise CI [counterintelligence] investigation into the Trump campaign following the receipt of derogatory information about foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos”.[9][10][18] In March 2019, Nunes, the then-ranking member of the committee, asserted that it was “for certain” false that the FBI investigation began in late July 2016 as his earlier report had found, but media reports offered no further evidence or explanation from Nunes on this claim.[9][19][20]

On May 16, 2018, The New York Times reported the existence of a 2016 FBI investigation named Crossfire Hurricane tasked with investigating whether individuals within the Trump campaign had inappropriate or illegal links to Russian efforts to interfere with the election. Four individuals — Michael T. FlynnPaul ManafortCarter Page and George Papadopoulos — were initially investigated because of such ties.[21] During the investigation, the FBI “obtained phone records and other documents using national security letters, a secret type of subpoena”. The Times also reported that FBI agents, believing that Trump would lose the election, and cognizant of Trump’s claims that the election was rigged against him, took extreme care and caution to keep the investigation secret as they feared that Trump would blame his defeat on the revelation of the investigation.[21]

Stefan Halper spoke to Trump campaign advisers, but there is no evidence that Halper had actually joined Trump’s campaign.

Although an FBI informant, Stefan Halper, spoke separately to three Trump campaign advisers – Carter Page, Sam Clovis and George Papadopoulos – in 2016 in an effort to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, there is no evidence that Halper had actually joined Trump’s campaign. Page said that he “had extensive discussions” with Halper on “a bunch of different foreign-policy-related topics”, ending in September 2017.[22] A former federal law enforcement official told The New York Times that their initial encounter at a London symposium on July 11–12, 2016 was a coincidence, rather than at the direction of the FBI.[23][22] Clovis’s attorney said that Clovis and Halper had discussed China during their sole meeting on August 31 or September 1, 2016.[22] The New York Times reported that on September 15, 2016 Halper asked Papadopoulos if he knew of any Russian efforts to disrupt the election campaign; Papadopoulos twice denied he did, despite Joseph Mifsud telling him the previous April that Russians had embarrassing Hillary Clinton emails, and Papadopoulos bragging about it to Alexander Downer in May. After the emails were leaked, Downer informed the FBI of his conversation with Papadopoulos, triggering the opening of the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections.[24][22][25] Papadopoulos was paid $3,000 by Halper for a research paper on the oil fields of Turkey, Israel and Cyprus.[7]

On May 17, 2018, Trump tweeted[26] that the use of an informant by the “Obama FBI” was “bigger than Watergate“.[27]

In April 2019, The New York Times reported that the FBI had asked Halper to approach Page and Papadopoulos, although it was not clear if he had been asked to contact Clovis.[28] In May 2019, the Times reported that the FBI also sent an investigator using the name Azra Turk to meet with Papadopoulos, while posing as Halper’s assistant.[29]

Trump and his allies’ allegations

May 2018

On May 22, Trump made the following accusation on Twitter without providing any evidence:[6]

If the person placed very early into my campaign wasn’t a SPY put there by the previous Administration for political purposes, how come such a seemingly massive amount of money was paid for services rendered – many times higher than normal … Follow the money! The spy was there early in the campaign and yet never reported Collusion with Russia, because there was no Collusion. He was only there to spy for political reasons and to help Crooked Hillary win – just like they did to Bernie Sanders, who got duped!

A day later, he followed up with related tweet:[30]

SPYGATE could be one of the biggest political scandals in history!

The Associated Press reported that Trump privately said that he wanted “to brand” the informant as a “spy” as using a more nefarious term than “informant” would supposedly resonate more with the public.[31][32] Trump has not offered any evidence for Spygate when asked for it, instead saying: “All you have to do is look at the basics and you’ll see it.”[33]

In the May 22 tweets, Trump wrote that Halper, a longtime FBI informant, was paid a “massive amount of money” and concluded that he thus must be a spy implanted for “political purposes”. However, the $1 million in contracts for “social sciences and humanities” research, some of which Halper subcontracted to other researchers, were signed with the Defense department‘s Office of Net Assessment between 2012 to 2016, with 40% of the money awarded before Trump announced his candidacy in 2015.[34] It is unknown if the FBI paid Halper at all.[35][36] Halper worked for the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations and continued as a State and Defense department advisor until 2001.[34][37] He had been considered for an ambassadorship in the Trump administration.[38]

In the May 23 tweets, Trump published a false quote attributed to former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper that “Trump should be happy that the FBI was SPYING on his campaign.” Instead, when asked “Was the FBI spying on Trump’s campaign?”, Clapper said, “No, they were not.” Clapper added that Trump should have been happy that the FBI was investigating “what the Russians were doing”, and “were the Russians infiltrating” his campaign or trying to influence the election.[39]

On May 26, 2018, Trump questioned “why didn’t the crooked highest levels of the FBI or ‘Justice’ contact me to tell me of the phony Russia problem?” NBC News reported in December 2017 that after Trump won the Republican nomination, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) “briefed and warned” him that foreign adversaries, including Russia, might attempt to spy on and infiltrate his campaign. Trump was told to alert the FBI of any suspicious activity.[40]

On May 25, The Washington Post wrote that several conservative sources have sided with Trump to embrace and promote Spygate, including the Fox & Friends talk show and political commentators Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity for Fox News, the website Breitbart, and also radio show host Rush Limbaugh. Meanwhile, Infowars host Alex Jones took credit for coining the “Spygate” term.[41]

Asked on whether the promotion of the Spygate theory is meant to discredit the special counsel investigation, Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani said on May 27 that the investigators “are giving us the material to do it. Of course, we have to do it in defending the president … it is for public opinion” on whether to “impeach or not impeach” Trump.[42]

June 2018

On June 5, Trump made new accusations on Twitter, again without providing any evidence:[43]

Wow, Strzok-Page, the incompetent & corrupt FBI lovers, have texts referring to a counter-intelligence operation into the Trump Campaign dating way back to December, 2015. SPYGATE is in full force! Is the Mainstream Media interested yet? Big stuff!

However, the December 2015 texts do not make any reference to the Trump campaign or Russia.[44]

This particular conspiracy theory promoted by Trump was traced by media outlets to originate from a Twitter user called @Nick_Falco, who on June 4 posted about the words “oconus lures” in December 2015 texts between FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page. While “oconus” refers to “outside the continental United States”, Falco inferred that “lures” refer to spies.[43][45] However, according to the United States Department of Justice, “lures” refer to “subterfuge to entice a criminal defendant to leave a foreign country so that he or she can be arrested”.[46] Falco questioned if “the FBI wanted to run a baited Sting Op using foreign agents against Trump”, despite none of the texts mentioning the Trump campaign or Russia.[44] Also on June 4, Falco’s tweet spread to the r/conspiracy forum on Reddit, and also The Gateway Pundit, a far-right, pro-Trump website which has published multiple false conspiracy theories.[43][45] The Gateway Pundit wrote an article entitled: “Breaking: Senate releases unredacted texts showing FBI initiated MULTIPLE SPIES in Trump campaign in December 2015”.[47] However, the texts referenced by Falco were publicly released by a Senate committee months earlier in February 2018.[45][44] On June 5, Lou Dobbs of Fox Business said that “the FBI may have initiated a number of spies into the Trump campaign as early as December of 2015”. Dobbs’s interviewee on the show, Chris Farrell of the conservative group Judicial Watch, agreed that the existence of an “intelligence operation directed against then-candidate Trump” was “indisputable”. Trump’s June 5 tweet on Spygate came less than an hour after Dobbs’s interview, with Trump also tweeting praise of Dobbs for the “great interview”.[44][48]

After Trump made his June 5 tweet, Fox News described the news as “New Strzok-Page texts released”, with Fox News television host Laura Ingraham saying: “It certainly appears they were looking to put more lures into the campaign in 2015.” Republican Representative Ron DeSantis, a panelist on Ingraham’s show, agreed that it was “clear” that the FBI investigation into Trump started earlier than July 2016.[44][47]

Reactions and criticism

May 2018

Shortly after Trump’s allegation, several members of Congress received a classified briefing on the matter from the Justice Department. Trey Gowdy, the Republican chairman of the House Oversight Committee and a former federal prosecutor, stated after the briefing:[49][50]

I am even more convinced that the FBI did exactly what my fellow citizens would want them to do when they got the information they got, and that it has nothing to do with Donald Trump…President Trump himself in the Comey memos said if anyone connected with my campaign was working with Russia, I want you to investigate it, and it sounds to me like that is exactly what the FBI did. I think when the President finds out what happened, he is going to be not just fine, he is going to be glad that we have an FBI that took seriously what they heard…. The FBI is doing what he told them to do.

Senior Republicans including House Speaker Paul Ryan and Richard Burr, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, supported Gowdy’s assessment of the situation.[51]

Republican Representative Tom Rooney, who is on the House Intelligence Committee, chided Trump for creating “this thing to tweet about knowing that it’s not true…. Maybe it’s just to create more chaos.”[52] Republican senator Jeff Flake has said that the “so-called Spygate” is a “diversion tactic, obviously”.[53] while Republican senator Marco Rubio said that “it appears that there was an investigation not of the campaign but of certain individuals who have a history that we should be suspicious of that predate the presidential campaign of 2015, 2016”.[54]

Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has said that Spygate is “lie-gate”, a “piece of propaganda the president wants to put out and repeat”. He accused President Trump of repeatedly spreading baseless lies by quoting that “people are saying …” or “we’ve been told …”.[53][55] Michael Hayden, a retired general, former Director of the National Security Agency and former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said that Trump, through Spygate, was “simply trying to delegitimize the Mueller investigation, the FBI, the Department of Justice, and he’s willing to throw almost anything against the wall”.[54]

Journalist Shepard Smith has said that “Fox News can confirm that Spygate is not” true; “Fox News knows of no evidence to support the president’s claim. Lawmakers from both parties say using an informant to investigate is not spying. It’s part of the normal investigative process.”[56] Former judge and Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano concurred:[57][58]

The allegations from Mayor Giuliani over the weekend, which would lead us to believe that the Trump people think the FBI had an undercover agent who finagled his way into Trump’s campaign and was there as a spy on the campaign seem to be baseless — there is no evidence for that whatsoever. But this other allegation with this professor, whose name we’re not supposed to mention, that is standard operating procedure in intelligence gathering and criminal investigations…I understand the president’s frustration that he was not informed of the fact that his campaign was being investigated, not because they think the campaign did anything wrong, but some people may have unwittingly…welcomed the Russian involvement in the campaign, and Donald Trump didn’t know about it…. [It] is such a stunningly unremarkable event, because law enforcement does this all the time.

Jon Meacham, a presidential historian, has said, in regards to Spygate: “The effect on the life of the nation of a president inventing conspiracy theories in order to distract attention from legitimate investigations or other things he dislikes is corrosive.”[1]

Aaron Blake, writing for The Washington Post, wrote that the “central problem” of the Spygate conspiracy theory is the “fact that these people who supposedly would do anything to stop Trump … didn’t”. In the period before the election, the FBI “didn’t use the information it had collected to actually prevent Trump from becoming president”, as it did not publicly reveal it was already investigating links between George Papadopoulos, Carter Page, Paul Manafort and Russia. Rather, the reports before the election were that the FBI saw no clear link between Russia and the Trump campaign, instead believing that Russia was trying to disrupt the election without purposely trying to elect Trump.[59]

Steven Poole, writing for The Guardian, wrote that the real scandal was Trump using the “-gate” suffix for the issue, as the Spygate allegations are about “purely imaginary things”.[60]

From May 31 to June 5, 2018, Quinnipiac University conducted a national poll of 1,223 voting Americans regarding the Spygate allegations. With the margin for error being 3.4%, a majority of 56% believed that the FBI’s usage of a confidential informant was “routine procedure”, while 33% agreed with Trump that the FBI was spying on the Trump campaign. The only group of voters with a majority believing Trump were Republicans at 66%.[61][62]

June 2018

The New York magazine addressed the June 2018 allegations by stating: “It’s not surprising or scandalous that FBI agents would be using espionage tradecraft. Gateway Pundit seems to have invented the crucial factual element of the conspiracy out of thin air” while “Trump is citing right-wing conspiracy theorists who operate at a full level further removed from reality than the right-wing conspiracy theorists he customarily cites.”[43]

Zack Beauchamp of Vox, which noted that “the FBI’s investigation into Trump didn’t open until July 2016”, wrote about the situation which was “entirely unfounded in the actual evidence” occurred because “Fox picks up on some random internet rumor, the president picks it up from Fox, and then Fox and other right-wing outlets leap to defend what the president tweeted, which only reinforces Trump’s sense that he’s right.” After reporting on both Trump’s May 2018 and June 2018, Beauchamp wrote that the “best way to analyze ‘Spygate’ is … a conspiracy theory … a ginned-up controversy Trump has capitalized on to justify his argument that the FBI is hopelessly biased against him”.[47]

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spygate_(conspiracy_theory_by_Donald_Trump)

 

 

Stefan Halper

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Stefan A. Halper
Voa chinese Stefan Halper 8Apr10.jpg

Halper in 2010
Born June 4, 1944 (age 74)
Nationality American
Education Stanford University (BA)
University of Oxford (PhD)
University of Cambridge (PhD)
Occupation Professor

Stefan A. Halper (born June 4, 1944) is an American foreign policy scholar and Senior Fellow at the University of Cambridge where he is a Life Fellow at Magdalene College and directs the Department of Politics and International Studies.[1] He served as a White House official in the NixonFord, and Reagan administrations, and was reportedly in charge of the CIA spying operation by the 1980 Ronald Reagan presidential campaign that became known as “Debategate“. Halper had through his decades of work for the CIA extensive ties to the Bush family.[2] Through his work with Sir Richard Billing Dearlove he had ties to the British Secret Intelligence Service MI6.

Halper acted as an FBI informant for its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and was a subject of the Spygate conspiracy theory.[3][4]

Contents

Early life

Halper[5] graduated from Stanford University in 1967.[6] He received a Ph.D. from the University of Oxford in 1971.[6] He was appointed Director of American Studies at the University of Cambridge‘s longstanding Department of Politics and International Studies in 2001.[1][6] He received a second Ph.D. from the University of Cambridge in 2004.[6]

Career

United States government (1971–1984)

Halper began his United States government career in 1971 in the United States Domestic Policy Council, part of the executive office of the president, serving until 1973.[6] He then served in the office of management and budget until 1974, when he moved to the office of the White House chief of staff as assistant to the chief of staff where he had responsibility for a range of domestic and international issues. During this time, Halper worked as an assistant for three chiefs of staff, Alexander HaigDonald Rumsfeld, and Dick Cheney. He held this position until January 20, 1977.[6]

In 1977, Halper became Special Counsel to the Congressional Joint Economic Committee and Legislative Assistant to Senator William Roth (R-Del.).[6] In 1979 he became National Policy Director for George H. W. Bush‘s Presidential campaign and then in 1980 he became Director of Policy Coordination for the Reagan- Bush Presidential campaign.[6]

Halper played a central role in a scandal in the 1980 election. But it was not until several years after Reagan’s victory over Carter that this scandal emerge. In connection with his position Halper’s name came up in the 1983/4 investigations into the Debategate affair, which was a spying scandal in which Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) officials passed classified information about Carter administration’s foreign policy to Reagan campaign officials in order to ensure the Reagan campaign knew of any foreign policy decisions that Carter was considering (Iran hostage crisis). Reagan Administration officials cited by The New York Times described Halper as “the person in charge” of the operation.[7][8] Halper called the report “just absolutely untrue”.[9]

In 1983, the UPI suggested that Halper’s handler for this operation was Reagan’s Vice Presidential candidate, ex-CIA-Director George H. W. Bush, who worked with Halper’s father-in-law, ex-CIA-Deputy-Director Ray Cline.[9] After Reagan entered the White House, Halper became Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs.[6] Upon leaving the Department in 1984, he remained a Senior Advisor to the Department of Defense and a Senior Advisor to the Department of Justice until 2001.[6][2][10]

Business (1984–1990)

From 1984 to 1990 Halper was chairman and majority shareholder of the Palmer National Bank of Washington, D.C., the National Bank of Northern Virginia and the George Washington National Bank.[6] Palmer National Bank was used to transfer money to Swiss Bank Accounts controlled by White House aid Oliver North.[11]

According to Peter Dale Scott‘s book The Iran-Contra Connection: Secret Teams and Covert Operations in Reagan Era on the Iran-Contra scandal, Ray Cline’s son-in-law Roger Fontaine “made at least two visits to Guatemala in 1980… (with General Sumner) drafting the May 1980 Santa Fe Statement, which said that World War III was already underway in Central America against the Soviets and that Nicauragua was the enemy. And some Reagan aides felt that Halper “was receiving information from the CIA.”[12]

The Palmer National Bank, where Halper worked, was described as “the DC hub by which Lt. Col. Oliver North sent arms and money to the anti-Sandinista guerrilla Contras in Nicaragua. One of Palmer’s founders, Stefan Halper, had no previous banking experience but was George H.W. Bush’s foreign policy director during Bush’s unsuccessful 1980 presidential campaign.” [13]

Halper later set up a legal defense fund for Oliver North.[14]

Academic and media (1986–2000)

From 1986 to 2000 Halper wrote a national security and foreign policy-focused weekly newspaper column, syndicated to 30 newspapers.[6]

Halper has worked as a senior foreign policy advisor to various think-tanks and research institutions, including the Center for Strategic and International Studies, The Center for the National Interest, where he is a Distinguished Fellow, and The Institute of World Politicswhere he is a Research Professor. He has served on the Advisory Board of Directors of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and contributed to various magazines, journals, newspapers and media outlets. These include: The National InterestThe Washington TimesThe Washington PostLos Angeles TimesThe Wall Street JournalThe American Spectator, the BBC, CNN, SKY NEWS, ABC, CBS, NBC, C-Span, and a range of radio outlets.

Professor Halper is a member of the Cosmos Club in Washington, and the Travellers Club in London.

In a 2007 book, The Silence of the Rational Center, Halper analyzed “institutional failures” in United States policy-making:

“Three times since World War II, Big Ideas have seized the political discourse and driven policy experts to the sidelines: during the Red Scare of the early Cold War; during the entry to the Vietnam War, with its talk off democracy and dominos; and at the onset of the Iraq War. Each time, framing concepts rooted in Big Ideas turned complex foreign policy challenges into undifferentiated, apocalyptic threats to the nation’s very existence. Professionals and area experts were excluded from the debate if they diverged from the patriotic consensus, and the mainstream institutions and publications that could have opposed the rush to simplification were either silent or instead provided an echo chamber for the dominant narrative.”[15]

Russian Berlin-based journalist Leonid Bershidsky wrote in May 2018, that “the Trump-Russia scandal born of this operation [FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign] could be added to The Silence of the Rational Center as a fourth institutional failure.”[15]

United States government research (2012–2016)

From 2012 to 2016 Halper received $1 million in contracts for “social sciences and humanities” research from the Defense department‘s Office of Net Assessment, some of which Halper subcontracted to other researchers. Forty percent of the money had been awarded before Trump announced his candidacy in 2015.[16]

FBI Operation ‘Crossfire Hurricane’

Halper acted as an FBI informant for its investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and was a subject of the Spygate conspiracy theory initiated by President Donald Trump in May 2018. The theory alleges that the Obama administration planted a paid spy in the 2016 Trump campaign “for political purposes” to gather information in support of Hillary Clinton’s candidacy. Beginning in summer 2016, Halper spoke separately to three Trump campaign advisers — Carter PageSam Clovis and George Papadopoulos — but there is no evidence that Halper had actually joined Trump’s campaign.

Page said that he “had extensive discussions” with Halper on “a bunch of different foreign-policy-related topics,” ending in September 2017.[17] A former federal law enforcement official told The New York Times that their initial encounter at a London symposium on July 11–12, 2016 was a coincidence, rather than at the direction of the FBI.[18][17] Clovis’s attorney said that Clovis and Halper had discussed China during their sole meeting on August 31 or September 1, 2016.[17] On September 2, 2016 Halper contacted Papadopoulos, inviting him to London and to write a paper on Mediterranean old fields, which he did.[17] On September 15, 2016 Halper asked Papadopoulos if he knew of any Russian efforts to disrupt the election campaign; Papadopoulos twice denied he did, despite Joseph Mifsudtelling him the previous April that Russians had embarrassing Hillary Clinton emails, and Papadopoulos bragging about it to Alexander Downer in May. The New York Times reported in April 2019 that the FBI had asked Halper to approach Page and Papadopoulos, although it was not clear if he had been asked to contact Clovis.[19] During the late summer of 2016 the FBI authorized a federal investigator who called herself Azra Turk to pose as Halper’s research assistant, to gather information on Papadopoulos, and oversee the operation.[20]

Trump’s Spygate allegations are widely debunked, but gained renewed interest in April 2019 after attorney general William Barr testified to Congress that “spying did occur” on the Trump campaign, although his characterization of “spying” was ambiguous and he declined to be specific. He stated he was assembling a team to examine the matter, although the Justice Department inspector general had been looking into it and related matters for some time and was expected to release his report within weeks.[21]

Prior to his 2016 activities, Halper had a February 2014 encounter at a London intelligence conference with Michael Flynn, then the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) and later a Trump supporter and first national security advisor. Harper became so alarmed by Flynn’s close association with a Russian woman that a Halper associate expressed concerns to American authorities that Flynn may have been compromised by Russian intelligence. Flynn was forced out of the DIA six months later, although public accounts at the time cited other reasons for his removal, including his management style and views on Islam.[22]

Consideration for Trump administration role

Axios reported in May 2018 that during the transition Trump top trade advisor Peter Navarro had recommended Halper for an ambassadorship.[23]

Personal life

Halper’s former wife, Sibyl Cline, is the daughter of the former CIA deputy director for intelligence, Ray S. Cline.[8]

Books

He is the co-author of the bestselling book, America Alone: The Neo-Conservatives and the Global Order, published by the Cambridge University Press in 2004, and also co-author of The Silence of the Rational Centre: Why American Foreign Policy is Failing (2007). In April 2010, his book The Beijing Consensus: Legitimizing Authoritarianism in Our Time, was published by Basic Books. Also a bestseller, it has been published in Japan, Taiwan, China, South Korea, and France.

Awards

Halper is a recipient of the State Department’s Superior Honor Award, the Justice Department’s Director’s Award, and the Defense Department’s Superior Honor Award.

References …

External links

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

Joseph Mifsud

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Joseph Mifsud
Born 1960

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

Joseph Mifsud (born 1960)[1] is a Maltese academic, with reportedly high level connections to the Russian government.[2] In 2016, he became involved with George Papadopoulos, an advisor to the Donald Trump presidential campaign, and was later accused of being a link between that campaign and Russia. In 2018, he was described as missing, and an Italian court listed his location as “residence unknown”.[3] According to media reports he is in Rome as of April 2019.[4] In an April 2019 interview Rudy Giuliani revealed that Mifsud was a “…Maltese counterintelligence guy[5]

 

Education

Mifsud holds a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Malta (1982) and a master’s degree in education from the University of Padua (1989).[1] He was awarded a PhD in 1995 from Queen’s University Belfast; his thesis was titled “Managing educational reform: a comparative approach from Malta (and Northern Ireland); a headteachers’ perspective”.[6]

Career

From 2006 to 2008, Mifsud served as the chef de cabinet of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malta.[1] He later became a principal in the London Centre of International Law Practice. In 2008, he was named President of the Euro-Mediterranean University of Slovenia(EMUNI).[1][7] He was a professorial teaching fellow at the University of Stirling in Scotland,[8] as well as director of the London Academy of Diplomacy, where he served as director from 2012 until it closed in 2016. The academy was partnered with the University of Stirling.[9][10][11] He has also served as president of the University Consortium of the Province of Agrigento in Sicily; in September 2018, an Italian court ordered him to repay the Consortium 49,000 euros ($56,700) in overpayments.[3]

In a 2017 interview, he claimed to be a member of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR),[12] although the ECFR website in 2018 did not list him as a member.[13] He regularly attended meetings of the Valdai Discussion Club, an annual conference held in Sochi, Russia, backed by the Kremlin and attended by Vladimir Putin.[14] According to a BBC report, Mifsud was in Moscow in April 2016 to speak on a panel run by the Valdai Club alongside Dr. Stephan Roh, a German multimillionaire lawyer and investor described as a “wheeler-dealer” by the BBC Newsnight program.[15] Roh, Mifsud’s former employer,[16] could not be reached for comment by the BBC and has since attempted to erase links between the two men on his company website. Another speaker at the Valdai Club was Ivan Timofeev, who works for a think tank close to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whom Mifsud subsequently introduced to Papadopoulos via email.[15] Mifsud reportedly claimed to his former girlfriend that he was friends with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov.[17]Mifsud himself denied having any contact with the Russian government, saying “I am an academic, I do not even speak Russian.”[8] The Mueller Report, released in 2019, said that Mifsud “maintained various Russian contacts while living in London”, including an unnamed person (name redacted), who was a former staff member of the Internet Research Agency, the Russian troll farm based in Saint Petersburg.[18]

Connection to George Papadopoulos

In March 2016, shortly after Papadopoulos was named as a foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign, Mifsud met Papadopoulos in Rome. They later met again in London, where Mifsud allegedly introduced Papadopoulos to a Russian woman that he falsely claimed was Putin’s niece; Mifsud has denied the report.[8][14] At a meeting in April, Mifsud told Papadopoulos that he had learned the Russians were in possession of thousands of emails that were damaging to Hillary Clinton. Papadopoulos allegedly repeated the information to the Australian High Commissioner in London, Alexander Downer, who later reported to American authorities that Papadopoulos had apparently known about Russia’s theft of emails from Democratic sources before it was publicly reported. Papadopoulos has since publicly denied any recollection of this topic with Downer. The FBI then launched an investigation into possible connections between Russia and the Trump campaign.[19]

Volume 1 of the Mueller Report[20] states that Mifsud travelled to Moscow in April 2016, and upon his return told Papadopoulos that the Russian government had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.[18] It also mentions that Papadopoulos “suggested to a representative of a foreign government that the Trump Campaign had received indications from the Russian government that it could assist the Campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to candidate Clinton”. This would appear to corroborate the contact with Downer.

According to Mifsud, he was interviewed by the FBI in February 2017 while visiting the United States to speak at a conference.[21][22] The FBI has not confirmed that they interviewed him, but he is listed as a featured speaker at the February 2017 national meeting of Global Ties, an event sponsored by the U.S. Department of State.[23] Mifsud left the United States on 11 February 2017. Prosecutors with the investigation into Russian interference in the election suggested, in a 17 August 2018 sentencing memorandum for Papadopoulos, that they might have wanted to challenge, detain, or arrest Mifsud if Papadopoulos had told the truth about their interactions.[24]

Connection to Stephan Roh

Stephan Roh, a Russian-speaking[25] German lawyer and multimillionaire with close ties to Russia, has worked alongside Mifsud for years. Papadopoulos’s wife, who briefly worked for Mifsud, has described Roh as Mifsud’s lawyer, best friend, and funder. Roh owns multiple businesses, many headquartered in Moscow or Cyprus; he also co-owns Link University, where Mifsud taught. Roh was detained and questioned by investigators on Robert Mueller’s Special Counsel team in October 2017.[26]

Missing report

According to a filing in a U.S. federal court in the case Democratic National Committee v. Russian Federation in September 2018, Mifsud “is missing and may be deceased”. Mifsud’s whereabouts were unknown and he could not be served with the complaint.[27] He spoke to his girlfriend on 31 October 2017. The next day an Italian newspaper revealed that the “professor” referred to in news reports about Papadopoulos was Mifsud, and she has not heard from him since then.[28] According to CNN, he has “gone to ground” and was last seen on 6 November 2017 at Link University, a private university in Rome where he was teaching at the time.[21] In September 2018, an Italian court described his location as “residence unknown”.[3]

In September 2018, a few days after the DNC filing, his associate Stephan Roh told The Daily Caller that he had gotten an indirect message from “really good sources” indicating that Mifsud is alive and living under a new identity.[29]

See also

References …

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

Story 2: High Stakes of Venezuelan Revolution — Largest Oil Reserve In The World — Coupe Attempt and Socialism Failed — Down With Dictator Maduro — Send In The Marines and CIA — Videos —

The Five’ on Omar faulting US for Venezuela’s socialist crisis

What To Know About The Attempted Coup In Venezuela (HBO)

 

Story 3: FBI or CIA Sent Informant To Spy on Trump Campaign Foreign Policy Adviser George Papadopoulos — Coming Attractions of The Department of Justice Inspector General Report in Early June –Videos 

US informant reportedly tried to probe Papadopoulos on Trump-Russia ties, ‘seduce him’ during campaign

Published on May 2, 2019

An informant working for U.S. intelligence posed as a Cambridge University research assistant in September 2016 to try to probe George Papadopoulos, then a Trump foreign policy adviser, on the campaign's possible ties to Russia, according to a new report. And, Papadopoulos told Fox News on Thursday, the informant tried to “seduce” him as part of the “bizarre” episode.
The Thursday report in The New York Times cited individuals familiar with the Justice Department's ongoing Inspector General (IG) review of the intelligence community's actions in the run-up to Donald Trump's election as president. Attorney General William Barr received harsh partsian blowback for suggesting that “spying did occur” during the presidential race, but doubled down at a testy Senate hearing on Wednesday.
The Times reported that the FBI sent a woman using the alias Azra Turk to meet Papadopoulos at a London bar, where she asked, conspicuously and directly, whether the Trump team was working with Russia. Papadopoulos told Fox News on Thursday that he “immediately thought she was an agent, but a Turkish agent, or working with the CIA,” and “that's why I never accepted her overtures and met her again after London. … London became a very bizarre hangout spot for me that year.”
The FBI did not reply to Fox News' request for comment. BOMBSHELL CLAIM: FBI ASKED TRUMP AIDE TO WEAR A WIRE Turk, Papadopoulos added, was trying to “seduce” him in an effort to “make me slip up and say something that they knew I had no info on.” George Papadopoulos (left) pleaded guilty in October to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Maltese professor Joseph Mifsud (right). (Twitter/Youtube) Papadopoulos told Fox News that he saw Turk three times in London: once over drinks, another over dinner, and then once with Stefan Halper, the Cambridge professor who has been a longtime FBI informant. The Times noted that Turk had apparently been sent to oversee Halper.
In House testimony. Papadopoulos previously said Turk “didn't strike me as a Cambridge associate at all” and noted that “her English was very bad.” According to Papadopoulos, “the professors liked to introduce me to young beautiful women.”
“As someone who has worked a lot in the Middle East and Southern Europe on policy issues and energy issues, as I was heavily involved in from 2011-2017, I would notice odd behavior of people I later learned were agents,”
Papadopoulos continued. When asked when he learned Turk was an agent, Papadopoulos replied: “I always had suspicions but the moment Halper was outed a year ago, I knew she was, too.” The informant operation against Papadopoulos provided no useful information to U.S. intelligence, the Times reported. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report indicated that operation began after Papadopoulos told an Australian official of “indications from the Russian government that it could assist the campaign through the anonymous

 

 

a man wearing a suit and tie: George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide, was the target of an F.B.I. investigation into connections between the campaign and Russia.© Tom Brenner for The New York Times George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign aide, was the target of an F.B.I. investigation into connections between the campaign and Russia.

WASHINGTON — The conversation at a London bar in September 2016 took a strange turn when the woman sitting across from George Papadopoulos, a Trump campaign adviser, asked a direct question: Was the Trump campaign working with Russia?

The woman had set up the meeting to discuss foreign policy issues. But she was actually a government investigator posing as a research assistant, according to people familiar with the operation. The F.B.I. sent her to London as part of the counterintelligence inquiry opened that summer to better understand the Trump campaign’s links to Russia.

The American government’s affiliation with the woman, who said her name was Azra Turk, is one previously unreported detail of an operation that has become a political flash point in the face of accusations by President Trump and his allies that American law enforcement and intelligence officials spied on his campaign to undermine his electoral chances. Last year, he called it “Spygate.”

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The decision to use Ms. Turk in the operation aimed at a presidential campaign official shows the level of alarm inside the F.B.I. during a frantic period when the bureau was trying to determine the scope of Russia’s attempts to disrupt the 2016 election, but could also give ammunition to Mr. Trump and his allies for their spying claims.

Ms. Turk went to London to help oversee the politically sensitive operation, working alongside a longtime informant, the Cambridge professor Stefan A. Halper. The move was a sign that the bureau wanted in place a trained investigator for a layer of oversight, as well as someone who could gather information for or serve as a credible witness in any potential prosecution that emerged from the case.

A spokesman for the F.B.I. declined to comment, as did a lawyer for Mr. Halper, Robert D. Luskin. Last year, Bill Priestap, then the bureau’s top counterintelligence agent who was deeply involved in the Russia inquiry, told Congress during a closed-door hearing that there was no F.B.I. conspiracy against Mr. Trump or his campaign.

The London operation yielded no fruitful information, but F.B.I. officials have called the bureau’s activities in the months before the election both legal and carefully considered under extraordinary circumstances. They are now under scrutiny as part of an investigation by Michael E. Horowitz, the Justice Department inspector general. He could make the results public in May or June, Attorney General William P. Barr has said. Some of the findings are likely to be classified.

It is unclear whether Mr. Horowitz will find fault with the F.B.I.’s decision to have Ms. Turk, whose real name is not publicly known, meet with Mr. Papadopoulos. Mr. Horowitz has focused among other things on the activities of Mr. Halper, who accompanied Ms. Turk in one of her meetings with Mr. Papadopoulos and also met with him and other campaign aides separately. The bureau might also have seen Ms. Turk’s role as essential for protecting Mr. Halper’s identity as an informant if prosecutors ever needed court testimony about their activities.

Mr. Barr reignited the controversy last month when he told Congress, “I think spying on a political campaign is a big deal.” He backed off the charged declaration later in the same hearing, saying: “I think spying did occur. The question is whether it was adequately predicated. And I’m not suggesting that it wasn’t adequately predicated. But I need to explore that.”

Mr. Barr again defended his use of the term “spying” at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on Wednesday, saying he wanted to know more about the F.B.I.’s investigative efforts during 2016 and explained that the early inquiry likely went beyond the use of an informant and a court-authorized wiretap of a former Trump campaign adviser, Carter Page, who had interacted with a Russian intelligence officer.

“Many people seem to assume that the only intelligence collection that occurred was a single confidential informant” and the warrant to surveil Mr. Page, Mr. Barr said. “I would like to find out whether that is in fact true. It strikes me as a fairly anemic effort if that was the counterintelligence effort designed to stop the threat as it’s being represented.”

Possible FBI, Trump campaign “spying” under review: Barr

This account was described in interviews with people familiar with the F.B.I. activities of Mr. Halper, Ms. Turk and the inspector general’s investigation. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the subjects of a continuing inquiry.

As part of Mr. Horowitz’s investigation, his office has examined Mr. Halper’s past work as an F.B.I. informant and asked witnesses about whether agents had adequate control of Mr. Halper’s activities, people familiar with the inquiry have said.

While in London in 2016, Ms. Turk exchanged emails with Mr. Papadopoulos, saying meeting him had been the “highlight of my trip,” according to messages provided by Mr. Papadopoulos.

“I am excited about what the future holds for us :),” she wrote.

Weeks before Mr. Papadopoulos met with Ms. Turk and Mr. Halper, the F.B.I. had opened its investigation into the Russia effort — based largely on information that Mr. Papadopoulos had relayed to an Australian diplomat about a Russian offer to help the Trump campaign by releasing thousands of hacked Democratic emails.

The F.B.I. received the information from the Australian government on July 26, 2016, the special counsel’s report said, and the bureau code-named its investigation Crossfire Hurricane.

Investigators scrambled to determine whether Mr. Papadopoulos had any Russian contacts while deciding to scrutinize three additional Trump campaign aides who had concerning ties to Russia: Paul Manafort, its chairman; Michael T. Flynn, who went on to be the president’s first national security adviser; and Mr. Page.

Secrecy was paramount for the F.B.I. officials because of the sensitivities of investigating campaign advisers during a presidential race. Had the investigation into Trump advisers’ contacts with Russia become public, it could have devastated the Trump campaign. And top bureau officials were enduring fresh attacks over their handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

One of the agents involved in the Russia inquiry, a seasoned counterintelligence investigator out of New York, turned to Mr. Halper, whom he viewed as a reliable and trusted informant. They had a longstanding relationship; the agent had even spoken at an intelligence seminar that Mr. Halper taught at the University of Cambridge, discussing his work investigating a Russian espionage ring known as the illegals.

Mr. Halper had the right résumé for the task. He was a foreign policy expert who had worked for the Pentagon. He had been gathering information for the F.B.I. for about two decades and had good contacts in Chinese and Russian government circles that he could use to arrange meetings with high-ranking officials, according to a person briefed on Mr. Halper’s relationship with the F.B.I.

The F.B.I. instructed Mr. Halper to set up a meeting in London with Mr. Papadopoulos but gave him few details about the broader investigation, a person familiar with the episode said.

His job was to figure out the extent of any contacts between Trump campaign advisers and Russia. Mr. Halper used his position as a respected academic to introduce himself to both Mr. Papadopoulos and Mr. Page, whom he also met with several times. He arranged a meeting with Mr. Papadopoulos in London to discuss a Mediterranean natural gas project, offering $3,000 for his time and a policy paper.

The F.B.I. also decided to send Ms. Turk to take part in the operation, people familiar with it said, and to pose as Mr. Halper’s assistant. For the F.B.I., placing such a sensitive undertaking in the hands of a trusted government investigator was essential.

British intelligence officials were also notified about the operation, the people familiar with the operation said, but it was unclear whether they provided assistance. A spokeswoman for the British government declined to comment.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly claimed that British intelligence spied on his campaign, an accusation the British government has vigorously denied. Last month, the president quoted on Twitter an accusation that the British had spied on his campaign and added: “WOW! It is now just a question of time before the truth comes out, and when it does, it will be a beauty!”

When Mr. Papadopoulos arrived in London on Sept. 15, he received a text message from Ms. Turk. She invited him for drinks.

In his book, “Deep State Target,” Mr. Papadopoulos described her as attractive and said she almost immediately began questioning him about whether the Trump campaign was working with Russia, he wrote.

Mr. Papadopoulos was baffled. “There is no way this is a Cambridge professor’s research assistant,” he recalled thinking, according to his book. In recent weeks, he has said in tweets that he believes Ms. Turk may have been working for Turkish intelligence but provided no evidence.

The day after meeting Ms. Turk, Mr. Papadopoulos met briefly with Mr. Halper at a private London club, and Ms. Turk joined them. The two men agreed to meet again, arranging a drink at the Sofitel hotel in London’s posh West End.

During that conversation, Mr. Halper immediately asked about hacked emails and whether Russia was helping the campaign, according to Mr. Papadopoulos’s book. Angry over the accusatory questions, Mr. Papadopoulos ended the meeting.

The F.B.I. failed to glean any information of value from the encounters, and Ms. Turk returned to the United States.

Mr. Halper continued to work with the F.B.I. and later met with Mr. Page repeatedly in the Washington area. The two had coincidentally run into each other in July as well at Cambridge, according to people familiar with the episode.

At the urging of Mr. Page, he met another campaign aide, Sam Clovis, Mr. Trump’s campaign co-chairman, to discuss foreign policy. While aware of the contact with Mr. Clovis, the F.B.I. did not instruct Mr. Halper to ask him questions related to the Russia investigation, according to a person briefed on the matter.

Mr. Clovis recounted his coffee with Mr. Halper in Washington with an Iowa radio station in May 2018. “There was no indication or no inclination that this was anything other than just wanting to offer up his help to the campaign if I needed it,” he said.

Mr. Halper’s connections to the Trump administration strengthened from there. He was invited as part of a group of China experts to meet with White House advisers in 2017. Mr. Halper informed the F.B.I. of the invitation but was not provided with any guidance, people familiar with the episode said.

The group met briefly with Peter Navarro, the president’s top trade representative, who had interviewed Mr. Halper years earlier at Mr. Halper’s home in Virginia for a documentary. According to Axios, the administration also considered Mr. Halper for an ambassadorship.

In an interview with Fox Radio, Mr. Navarro said he viewed Mr. Halper’s role as an F.B.I. informant as a betrayal, saying he felt “duped.”

Adam Goldman, Michael S. Schmidt and Mark Mazzetti

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1242, April 23, 2019, Story 1: The Arrogance and Stupidity of The Habitual Criminal Hillary Clinton — There Coming To Take You Away — Videos — Story 2: American People Waiting For Attorney General Barr Investigations, Grand Jury Indictments and Justice Department Prosecutions of The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspirators — Videos — Story 3: Radical Extremist Democratic Socialists (REDS) Using The Government To Plunder or Steal From Others To Pay For What Elites Want — Senator Warren’s Free Education Proposal — Santa Claus Socialism Subsidies — Vote For Me For Free Stuff — There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch — Videos

Posted on April 23, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Diseases, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Elizabeth Warren, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, High Crimes, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Impeachment, Independence, Insurance, Investments, Kamala Harris, Law, Life, Lying, Medicare, Mental Illness, Military Spending, National Interest, National Security Agency, Networking, News, Nuclear Weapons, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Public Corruption, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Scandals, Security, Senate, Social Security, Subversion, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: The Arrogance and Stupidity of The Habitual Criminal Hillary Clinton — There Coming To Take You Away — Videos

Image result for hillary clinton time 100 See the source image

Hillary Clinton On Mueller Report And 2016 Election | TIME 100 | TIME

Hillary Clinton On Impeachment | TIME 100 | TIME

Napoleon XIV: ‘They’re coming to take me away’

The End of Mueller’s Probe Renewed the Right’s Hillary Clinton Obsession

The MAGA people can’t let go of their obsessive hatred of Hillary Clinton. Photo: RJ Sangosti/Denver Post via Getty Images

My first real understanding of the conservative obsession with the personal destruction of Hillary Rodham Clinton came in Des Moines, on the eve of the 2016 Iowa caucuses. At a Ted Cruz rally I noticed about half the attendees wearing pins that read “Hillary for Prison,” featuring a cartoon depiction of the former secretary of State behind bars. By the time Donald Trump won the nomination to face Clinton in the general election, the rank-and-file Republican hate frenzy toward this relatively conventional center-left Democrat metastasized to become a major feature of campaign rallies, with “Lock Her Up” chants providing a steady drumbeat to the GOP candidate’s own bombastic attacks on his opponent.

After Trump won his unlikely election victory and Clinton largely receded from public view, claims from his supporters that she, not Trump, deserved to be investigated by the FBI and the Justice Department regularly arose alongside every new allegation of malfeasance by the president or his campaign. Right on through the midterm elections, every time Trump mentioned his former opponent at public events the same old “Lock Her Up” cries quickly emerged.

As pathological as the phenomenon may seem, it’s not surprising that the first thought many MAGA folk had after Robert Mueller decided not to pursue further prosecutions in the Russia collusion case was to demand a fresh investigation of Hillary Clinton and her alleged responsibility for the Steele dossier that many of them blamed for the entire “witch hunt” against Trump. As usual, arch-sycophant Lindsey Graham was on the case, talking about turning the tables in Trump’s presence at a fundraising dinner shortly after the news broke of Mueller’s decision:

Graham soon made it clear this wasn’t just a taunt made to amuse POTUS, as the Daily Beast reported:

In a Monday press conference on Capitol Hill, the South Carolina senator — one of the president’s staunchest allies in Congress — declared that his next move is going after Democrats and the Department of Justice over “what happened” to Trump.

Graham laid out a laundry list of questions and grievances that have been stewing on the right since the 2016 election: How did the FBI go about spying on Carter Page, a Trump campaign associate with links to Russia? What was the deal with Bill Clinton meeting with Barack Obama’s attorney general, Loretta Lynch, on an airport tarmac? How did the infamous “dossier” compiled by hired British spy Christopher Steele come to be? What about Hillary Clinton’s emails?

All of these questions, Graham said, will be at the top of the agenda for the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, which he chairs.

The Clinton emails and the Steele dossier aren’t the only alleged HRC sins Trump’s allies now want to make the object of high-level investigations. Amid its massive coverage of Trump’s supposed vindication by Mueller, Breitbart.com was pushing for a probe of the so-called Uranium One scandal:

It is a well-known tactic, particularly among modern-day Democratic political operatives, to accuse your opponent of committing offenses that you and your team have actually committed. By doing so, you deflect public opinion away from what must not be discovered — your own illegal activities.

A number of unanswered questions surround the role then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton played in handing over 20 percent of America’s uranium supplies to Uranium One, a company entirely owned by the Russian government. To date, no serious investigation has been launched into this highly controversial decision.

The psychology of tit-for-tat vengeance here is pretty naked, I’d say. But unsurprising as it is, given Clinton’s symbolism as the feminist Red Queen of liberalism in the eyes of angry conservatives for decades, it’s amazingly self-indulgent for people who ought to be focused on their still-uphill fight to hang onto power in 2020.

What, exactly, can a renewed vendetta against HRC accomplish for Trump and the GOP at this point? The kind of people who exult at the thought of Clinton donning an orange jumpsuit and dining on prison fare fall into two categories, neither of whom are 2020 swing voters or people who need motivation to vote: hard-core MAGA people who would follow their brutish warlord to hell and back, or hard-core anti-Clinton progressives who are deeply invested in a post-Clinton, left-trending Democratic Party. A GOP that’s not only backward-looking in longing to bring back the America of the 1950s, but can’t let go of its hatred for a vanquished opponent, is not well-equipped to win an entirely new battle. No wonder conservative media kept buying into idiotic predictions that HRC would run again in 2020. That’s the contest they wanted, and will not get.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/03/gops-hillary-clinton-obsession-renewed-after-mueller-probe.html

 

Hillary Clinton: Mueller report is beginning, not the end

 

WOW! Hillary Clinton Discusses “Roadmap” to Impeachment — Says Trump Should Have been Indicted by Mueller Probe

Let it go, Hillary.
On Tuesday Hillary Clinton spoke at the TIME 100 conference of top celebrities for the year.

Hillary Clinton spoke briefly about the Mueller Report during her remarks.

Hillary Clinton: I’m really of the mind that the Mueller report is part of the beginning…because there’s still so much more that we should know and that we should act upon… And we’re a long way from knowing because we need to get the full report — the unredacted version.

 

Hillary then commented about the “roadmap” to impeachment.

Hillary Clinton: Actions that undermine the integrity of our government. That placed the personal or political interests of a president over the interests of the nation. And in so doing we were able to make a case that was accepted by the Judiciary Committee that then voted out articles of impeachment on a bipartisan basis. So I know what it looks like and I know what is required to do it in a way that wins the trust of not only the congress but of the American people. But I certainly think that the roadmap that some call it…

 

Hillary Clinton was part of the Watergate investigation.

Hillary went on to say that Trump should have been indicted.
Wow!

 

WOW! Hillary Clinton Discusses “Roadmap” to Impeachment — Says Trump Should Have been Indicted by Mueller Probe

Clinton: Trump Would Have Been Indicted If He Weren’t President

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that President Trump would have been indicted over the actions described in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report had he not been a sitting president.

“I think there’s enough there that any other person who had engaged in those acts would certainly have been indicted,” Clinton said during her remarks at the Time 100 Summit. “The whole matter of obstruction was very directly sent to the Congress. And if you read that part of the report, it could not be clearer.”

Mueller concluded in the report that Trump and his associates had not engaged in collusion with Russia but declined to weigh in on whether a number of Trump’s actions during the investigation — including his decision to fire FBI director James Comey and his attempts to have Mueller fired — constituted obstruction of justice. The report instead left that determination up to Congress.

Stay Updated with NR Daily

“With respect to whether the President can be found to have obstructed justice by exercising his powers under Article II of the Constitution, we concluded that Congress has the authority to prohibit a President’s corrupt use of his authority in order to protect the integrity of the administration of justice,” the report read.

The details of the report have split Democrats on the question of impeachment. Party leaders in the House have continued to insist that no impeachment proceedings are forthcoming, while several 2020 presidential candidates, including Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris, have called for such proceedings to be initiated since the redacted version of the report was released last week.

In her remarks Tuesday, Clinton echoed House speaker Nancy Pelosi’s view of the matter, saying impeachment should “be something undertaken in a really serious, diligent way, based on evidence,” and adding that Pelosi is “right to be cautious” about it.

https://www.nationalreview.com/news/mueller-report-hillary-clinton-trump-would-have-been-indicted/

Story 2: American People Waiting For Attorney General Barr Investigation, Grand Jury Indictment and Justice Department Prosecution of The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspirators — Videos —

US intelligence agencies spied on Trump campaign, claims attorney general WIlliam Barr

Former Trump lawyer challenges details in Mueller report

Dershowitz: Mueller should have made a decision on obstruction

Full Rudy: ‘No Reason To Dispute’ Mueller Report | Meet The Press | NBC News

Graham grills Barr over Obama DOJ surveillance of Trump team

WATCH: Mueller report explains lack of obstruction of justice recommendation, Barr says

Mark Levin on why Obama may have been spying on Trump

Story 3: Radical Extremist Democratic Socialists (REDS) Using The Government To Plunder or Steal From Others To Pay For What Elites Want — Power For Them and Higher Taxes For You — Senator Warren’s Free Education Proposal — Santa Claus Socialism Subsidies — Vote For Me For Free Stuff —  Videos

 

Sen. Warren Pushes Student Loan Forgiveness Plan At NH Town Hall

Elizabeth Warren’s Free Public College Tuition: What Might the Real Cost Be for Students and Taxpayer

Elizabeth Warren’s plan for universal free college and student loan debt

Milton Friedman – Should Higher Education Be Subsidized?

Milton Friedman: There’s No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

 

Elizabeth Warren unveils plan to cancel $640 BILLION in college debt in one-off amnesty she says would be paid for by tax on ultra-wealthy

  • Democratic 2020 candidate proposes canceling $50,000 in debt for each person with household income under $100,000
  • She calculates 42 million would benefit and calculates total bill of $640 billion and says she would pay for it by a tax on the ‘ultra-wealthy’
  • Her tax plan would see a 2 per cent annual levy on households worth more than $50 million – of which she says there are 75,000
  • Moves to make c4ollege free are becoming part of Democratic mainstream 

Democrat Elizabeth Warren is proposing the elimination of existing student loan debt for millions of Americans, part of a sweeping set of education funding proposals announced as she and other presidential candidates seek to differentiate themselves in a sprawling field.

The Massachusetts senator says the proposal unveiled Monday would eliminate almost all student loan debt for 42 million Americans, canceling $50,000 in debt for each person with household income under $100,000. 

According to Warren’s description of the plan in a piece to be posted on Medium, the debt cancellation proposal would create a one-time cost to the federal government of $640 billion.

Many in the growing field of Democratic candidates have proposed reforming the nation’s student loan programs, including dramatic restructuring of existing refinancing structures, but Warren appears to be the first to propose flat-out debt cancellation.

Radical move: Elizabeth Warren is suggesting a $650 billion massive write-off of college debt

Radical move: Elizabeth Warren is suggesting a $650 billion massive write-off of college debt

Competitive field: Tuition-free higher education was a mainstay of Bernie Sanders's 2016 presidential run. Elizabeth Warren and others are following his lead

 

Competitive field: Tuition-free higher education was a mainstay of Bernie Sanders's 2016 presidential run. Elizabeth Warren and others are following his lead

Competitive field: Tuition-free higher education was a mainstay of Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential run. Elizabeth Warren and others are following his lead

Among Warren’s other proposals is elimination of tuition and fees for two- and four-year public college degree programs, as well as a $100 billion investment in Pell Grants, a federal aid program that requires no payback.

Tuition-free higher education was a mainstay of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential run. Warren, Harris and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, another presidential contender, all signed owhat n as co-sponsors of Sanders’ 2017 College for All Act , which would have allocated $47 billion annually to states to cover two-thirds of the tuition obligation, leaving states responsible for the rest.

The costs of debt cancellation and universal free college, Warren said, would be ‘more than covered by my Ultra-Millionaire Tax — a 2% annual tax on the 75,000 families with $50 million or more in wealth.’

Warren announced the policy ahead of a CNN town hall in New Hampshire focusing on issues important to young voters. Her slot in the five-hour broadcast Monday comes along with other appearances by Harris, Sanders and Sen. Amy Klobuchar as well as Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana.

Following New Hampshire, Warren this week is making stops in South Carolina, Texas, Iowa and Nevada.

WHO ARE ALL THE 19 DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020?

CORY BOOKER

Age on Inauguration Day: 51

Entered race: February 1, 2019

Career: Currently New Jersey senator. High school football star who went to Stanford or undergraduate and masters degrees before studying in Oxford as a Rhodes scholar and Yale Law School. Worked for advocacy and youth projects and successfully ran for Newark, New Jersey, city council in 1998. Narrowly lost mayoral election in 2002 facing claims he was ‘suburban’ and ‘not black enough.’ Ran again in 2006 and won landslide on radical reform platform for troubled city, including being tough on crime, cutting budget deficit, increasing affordable housing and tackling failing schools – controversially taking a huge donation from Mark Zuckerberg for the city. Ran for New Jersey senate seat in 2013 special election and won; won full term in 2014

Family: Unmarried but dating actress Rosario Dawson. Parents Cary and Carolyn were among IBM’s first black executives. Brother Cary Jr. is education adviser to New Jersey’s Democratic governor

Religion: Baptist

Views on key issues: Self-proclaimed liberal. Endorses abortion rights; affirmative action; single-payer health care; criminal justice reform; path to citizenship for ‘dreamers; federal marijuana decriminalization; $15 minimum wage; but has also spoken against tech regulation and for long-term deficit reduction

Would make history as: First unmarried president since Grover Cleveland in 1886

 Slogan: Together, America, We Will Rise     

PETE BUTTIGIEG

Age on Inauguration Day: 39

Entered race: Announced formation of exploratory committee January 23, 2019. Formally entered race April 14, 2019

Career: Currently mayor of Sound Bend, Indiana. Harvard grad and Rhodes scholar who got a second degree from Oxford before working as a McKinsey management consultant and being commissioned as a Navy Reserve intelligence officer. Elected South Bend mayor in 2011 and served in combat in 2013, won re-election in 2015

Family: Came out as gay during second mayoral run and married husband Chasten Glezman, a middle school teacher in 2018. Parents were University of Notre Dame academics. Surname is pronounced BOOT-edge-edge. Would be first combat veteran since George H.W. Bush

Religion: Raised as a Catholic, now Episcopalian

Views on key issues: Has said Democratic party needs a ‘fresh start’; wrote an essay in praise of Bernie Sanders aged 17; backed paid parental leave for city employees; other policies unknown 

Would make history as: First openly gay and youngest-ever president

Slogan: To be announced

JULIAN CASTRO 

Age on Inauguration Day: 46

Entered race: January 12, 2018, at rally in his native San Antonio, TX. Had formed exploratory committee two months previously

Career: No current job. Stanford and Harvard graduate who was a San Antonio, Texas, councilman at 26 and became mayor of the city in 2009. Was Obama’s Housing and Urban Development secretary from 2014 to 2016

Family: Married with nine-year-old daughter, Carina, and four-year-old son, Cristian. His identical twin Joaquin, who is a minute younger, is Democratic congressman. Mother Maria del Rosario Castro was part of ‘radical’ third party for Mexican-Americans; father left his wife and five children for her but they never married. Would be first Hispanic-American president – announced his run in English and Spanish – and first-ever U.S. president with a twin

Religion:  Catholic

Views on key issues: Wants medicare for all; universal pre-K; action on affordable housing; will not take money from political action committees (PACs) tied to corporations or unions. Other views still to be announced

Would make history as: First Hispanic president, first to be a twin  

Slogan: One Nation. One Destiny

JOHN DELANEY

Age on Inauguration Day: 57

Entered race: Filed papers July 28, 2017

Career: No current job. Three-time Maryland congressman, first winning election in 2012. Previously set up publicly-traded companies lending capital to healthcare and mid-size businesses and was youngest CEO at the time of a New York Stock Exchange-listed firm

Family: Married father of four; wife April works for children’s issues nonprofit 

Religion: Catholic 

Views on key issues: Social liberal in favor of legalized pot and gun control but not single-payer healthcare; fiscally conservative

Would make history as: First president from Marlyand 

Slogan: Focus on the Future

TULSI GABBARD

Age on Inauguration Day: 39

Entered race: Still to formally file any papers but said she would run on January 11 2019

Career: Currently Hawaii congresswoman. Born on American Samoa, a territory, and therefore may be subject to questions over whether she is natural-born. Raised largely in Hawaii, she co-founded an environmental non-profit with her father as a teenager and was elected to the State Legislature aged 21, its youngest member in history. Enlisted in the National Guard and served two tours, one in Iraq 2004-2006, then as an officer in Kuwait in 2009. Ran for Honolulu City Council in 2011, and House of Representatives in 2012

Family: Married to her second husband, Abraham Williams, a cinematographer since 2015. First marriage to childhood sweetheart Eduardo Tamayo in 2002 ended in 2006. Father Mike Gabbard is a Democratic Hawaii state senator, mother Carol Porter runs a non-profit.

Religion: Hindu

Views on key issues: Has apologized for anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage views; wants marijuana federally legalized; opposed to most U.S. foreign interventions; backs $15 minimum wage and universal health care; was the second elected Democrat to meet Trump after his 2016 victory

Would make history as: First female, Hindu and Samoan-American president; youngest president ever

Slogan: Lead with Love

KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND

Age on Inauguration Day: 54

Entered race: Announced exploratory committee on Stephen Colbert’s CBS show on January 16, 2019. Formal launch in front of Trump International Hotel and Tower, New York, March 24, 2019

Career: Currently New York senator. Dartmouth and UCLA law grad who was a high-flying Manhattan attorney representing big businesses. Says she was inspired to enter politics by hearing Hillary Clinton speak, although she is also scion of a prominent New York Democratic political family. Won New York’s 20th district, centered on Albany in 2004; appointed to Hillary Clinton’s senate seat in 2008 and won it in 2010 special election 63-35; won first full term 2012 and re-elected 67-33 in 2018

Family: Married to British venture capitalist Jonathan Gillibrand with two sons, Theodore, 15, and Henry, ten. Father Douglas Lutnik was Democratic lobbyist; grandmother Polly Noonan was at center of Albany Democratic politics

Religion: Catholic

Views on key issues: Initially pro-gun as Congresswoman, has since reversed herself to be pro-gun control and also pro-immigration; said Bill Clinton should have resigned over Monica Lewinsky and helped force Al Franken out of Senate over groping allegations; in favor of single-payer healthcare and Medicare for all

Would make history as: First female president 

Slogan: Brave wins

KAMALA HARRIS  

Age on Inauguration Day: 56 

Entered race: Announced she was running January 21, 2018 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day – on Good Morning America. Formally entered race January 27

Career: Currently California senator. Howard and U.C. Hunter law school grad who worked as assistant district attorney in Alameda County, CA, then in San Francisco’s DA’s office before being elected San Francisco DA in 2003 and used it as springboard to run successfully for California attorney general in 2010. Won again in 2014 and was at center of U.S. attorney general and Supreme Court speculation but also endured a series of controversies, including over police brutality allegations. Ran for Senate in 2016 and established herself on liberal wing of party

Family: Born in Berkeley, CA, to immigrant Indian Tamil mother and Jamaican father who were both academics and brought up from seven to 18  in Montreal, Canada. Dated married San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, when he was 60 and she was 29. Married attorney Douglas Emhoff in 2014 and has two stepchildren; Cole, an aspiring actor, and Ella, an art and design student. Sister Maya was a Hillary Clinton adviser and brother-in-law Tony West is Uber’s chief legal counsel

Views on key issues: Social ultra-liberal who has rejected criticisms of ‘identity politics’ and is running without a political action committee, which will make her reliant on small donors. Has shifted left on criminal justice reform; supports Medicare for all;  pro-gun control and anti-death penalty; says illegal immigration is a civil not a criminal offense

Religion: Has said she was brought up in both Baptist and Hindu tradition

Would make history as: First female and first Indian-American president

Slogan: Kamala Harris: For The People 

JOHN HICKENLOOPER

Age on Inauguration Day: 68

Entered race: March 4, 2019 with Good Morning America interview

Career: No current job. Wesleyan University-educated geologist who moved to Colorado to work in petroleum industry but was laid off and started Wynkoop Brewing Company, the first craft brewpub in 1988 in Denver’s LoDo (lower downtown) area. Ran for mayor of Denver as an outsider in 2003 and won, then won a second term in 2007. Ran for Colorado governor in 2010 and won 51 per cent of the vote; his nearest rival took 36.5 per cent. Won re-election 49.3 to 46 in 2014, but was term limited and ended his second term in January 2019

Family: Married to second wife Robin Pringle, 40, a vice president at LibertyMedia Corp., owners of Sirius XM. Divorced first wife Helen Thorpe in 2012 after 10 years of marriage; ex-couple have son Teddy, a high school student. Born and brought up in Narbeth, in the Main Line of Philadelphia, his father’s ancestors include Civil War Union general Andrew Hickenlooper

Religion: Quaker

Views on key issues: Voiced support for Green New Deal but has also been in favor of fracking; has not embraced single-payer healthcare but expanded Medicaid in Colorado; long record of being pro-gun control; pro-choice but has gone out of his way to talk about reducing unplanned teenage pregnancies ; opposed to the death penalty; advocated for gay marriage

Would make history as: First Colorado president

Slogan:  To be announced     

JAY INSLEE

Age on Inauguration Day: 69

Entered race: March 1, 2019

Career: Currently Washington governor. Stanford drop-out who graduated from University of Washington and Williamette University School of Law before working as a city prosecutor in Selah, WA. First elected to Washington House of Representatives in 1989 and again in 1990; won Congressional seat in 1992 elections but lost in 1994 and then had failed 1996 gubernatorial run. Returned to Congress in 1998 elections and stayed until 2012 to run for governor. Won first term 51.5 to 48.5; re-elected in 2016 by 54.4 to 45.6

Family: Born in Seattle to late parents Frank, a Navy veteran and high school teacher and coach, and Adele, a Sears sales clerk. Married high school and college sweetheart Trudi since 1972. Three adult sons Jack, a radio producer in Washington D.C.; Connor, director of a Washington state non-profit for the disabled; and Joe, who works for King County, WA’s department of natural resources and parks. Grandfather of three 

Religion: Non-denominational Protestant 

Views on key issues: Running to combat climate change with praise for  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal – his record in Washington D.C. including aspiring to ‘zero emissions’ buildings and largely eliminate fossil fuel use; vocal gun control advocate; fought Trump’s ban on entry to people from seven Muslim-majority countries; called moratorium on death penalty in Washington; supported marijuana legalization in Washington and expected to do so federally; will not take money from political action committees; healthcare position still unclear

Would make history as: First Washington state president 

Slogan:  Our moment 

AMY KLOBUCHAR

Age on Inauguration Day: 60

Entered race: Announced candidacy February 10, 2019 at snow-drenched rally in her native Minneapolis

Career: Currently Minnesota senator. Yale and University of Chicago law graduate who became a corporate lawyer. First ran unsuccessfully for office in 1994 as Hennepin, MI, county attorney, and won same race in 1998, then in 2002, without opposition. Ran for Senate in 2006 and won 58-38; re-elected in 2012 and 2018

Family: Married to John Bessler, law professor at University of Baltimore and expert on capital punishment. Daughter Abigail Bessler, 23, works fora Democratic member of New York City council. Father Jim, 90, was a veteran newspaper columnist who has written a memoir of how his alcoholism hurt his family; mom Rose is a retired grade school teacher

 Religion: Congregationalist (United Church of Christ)

Views on key issues: Seen as a mainstream liberal: says she wants ‘universal health care’ but has not spelled out how; pro-gun control; pro-choice; backs $15 minimum wage; no public statements on federal marijuana legalization; has backed pro-Israel law banning the ‘boycott, divestment and sanctions’ movement; spoke out against abolishing ICE

Would make history as: First female president

Slogan: To be announced

WAYNE MESSAM

Age on Inauguration day: 46

Entered race: Announced March 28, 2019, formal launch March 30, 2019

Career: Currently mayor of Miramar, Florida. Florida State University football star who played starting wide receiver, and graduated in 1997. Worked in construction industry as contractor and started his own company in 2007. Ran for City of Miramar Commission in 2011 and mayor in 2015, defeating 16-year Democratic incumbent and becoming first black mayor of the city. Won second term March 2019, days before announcing presidential bid

Family: Married to college sweetheart Angela Sands, 44, who is also his business partner. Three college-age children: son Wayne Jr. and twin daughters Kayla and Kyla. Fourth child and first American-born child of Jamaican immigrants Hubert , a sugar-cane cutter, and his wife Delsey, who are both deceased. Was president of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials in 2018

Religion: Worships at the Fountain of New Life Church in Miami Gardens where he is a deacon

Views on key issues: Says he is staunch advocate of gun control. Wants action on climate change and is opposed to off-shore oil drilling. Opposes Trump immigration policies and proposed forcing immigration officials to get a warrant before entering city property. Yet to state position on health care and foreign policy

Would make history as: First Jamaican-American and first Florida president 

Slogan: Your Champion

SETH MOULTON

Age on Inauguration Day: 42

Entered race: April 22, 2019

Career: Currently Massachusetts Congressman. Educated at elite Phillips Academy Andover – like both Bush presidents – and Harvard, he joined the Marines early in 2001. Was commissioned in 2002, then saw combat in invasion of Iraq and four total tours of duty, rising to captain and winning a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and a Bronze Star. Attended graduate school, worked for a high-speed rail project in Texas and ran against incumbent Democrat and then Republican in 2014 to take his hometown district of Marblehead, which he has held since.  Would be only second sitting congressman elected president – first was James Garfield in 1880

Family: Married wife Liz Moulton, a divorcee, in 2017. Couple had a daughter, Emmy, in October 2018. Parents Tom and Lynn, a real estate attorney and a secretary, campaigned against Vietnam as students

Religion: United Church of Christ

Views on key issues: Democratic moderate who campaigned on opposition to Iraq War which he served in. Wants a Pacific NATO and radical change to military, with concentration on new technology. Pro-gun control. Healthcare views unclear. Announced support for  Green New Deal. Has compared Trump’s rise to Hitler’s 

Would make history as: Youngest ever president, beating Theodore Roosevelt by 234 days 

Slogan:  To be announced

BETO O’ROURKE 

Age on Inauguration Day: 47

Entered race: March 14, 2019

Career: No current job. Born Robert Francis O’Rourke. Boarding-school educated Columbia grad who lived in a New York loft, playing in a punk band and doing desultory jobs and setting up an internet firm. Ran for El Paso city council in 2005, winning re-election and serving until 2012. Ran for Congress in 2012, defeating eight-term Democratic incumbent in primary. Gave up seat to run for Senate against Ted Cruz in 2018, losing 51-48

Family: Married to wife Amy Sanders, nine years his junior, with sons Ulysses and Henry, and daughter Molly. Father Pat was long-time El Paso politician who switched from Democrat to Republican; mom Melissa ran family-owned store in city until selling it after IRS probe. Melissa’s stepfather Fred Korth was one of JFK’s secretaries of the Navy. Father-in-law William Saunders is real estate developer estimated to be worth $500 million

Religion: Catholic

Views on key issues: Wants comprehensive immigration reform to give citizenship to ‘dreamers’ and a path to it for their parents, and vehemently opposes Trump’s wall. Supports federal marijuana legalization. Pro-gun control including an assault rifle ban and universal background checks. Supports single-payer health care but with co-pays and has backed Medicaid expansion. Strongly pro-choice. Has hinted at backing breaking up tech giants. Said he would have voted for impeachment in Congress if he had had the chance

Would make history as: No clear claims 

Slogan: To be announced  

TIM RYAN

Age on Inauguration Day: 46

Entered race: April 4, 2019

Career: Currently Ohio congressman. High school football star who got a scholarship to Youngstown State, Ohio, but transferred to nearby Bowling Green University when his career ended in injury. Became a congressional aide, picked up a law degree, then served in the Ohio Senate and when his former House boss Jim Traficant went to prison for fraud ran for his seat in 2002 and won. Has held district – first Ohio 13th then the 17th when Youngstown was redistricted – since with little opposition since. Released book on meditation in 2012 and considered running against Nancy Pelosi for minority leader

Family: Married first grade schoolteacher Andrea Zetts in 2013. Couple had a son, Brady, the following year. Zetts has a daughter, Bella, and a son, Mason, from her first marriage who Ryan says he ‘loves like his own.’ Ryan’s first marriage ended in divorce. He was brought up by his mom Rochelle after she and his father Allen divorced when he was seven

Religion: Catholic

Views on key issues: Moderate who backs Medicare for all. Flipped from anti-abortion to pro-choice in dramatic fashion in 2015. Does not appear to back the Green New Deal but suggests a carbon tax. Spoken up for capitalism but is also pro-union. Advocated for mindfulness teaching in classrooms. Also flipped on gun control from A rating by NRA to strong support of anti-gun measures

Would make history as: Only second sitting congressman elected president – first was James Garfield, also from Ohio, in 1880 

Slogan: To be announced

BERNIE SANDERS

Age on Inauguration Day: 79

Entered race: Sources said on January 25, 2019, that he would form exploratory committee. Officially announced February 19

Career: Currently Vermont senator. Student civil rights and anti-Vietnam activist who moved to Vermont and worked as a carpenter and radical film-maker. Serial failed political candidate in the 1970s, he ran as a socialist for mayor of Burlington in 1980 and served two terms ending in 1989, and win a seat in Congress as an independent in 1990. Ran for Senate in 2006 elections as an independent with Democratic endorsement and won third term in 2018. Challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016 but lost. Campaign has since been hit by allegations of sexual harassment  – for which he has apologized – and criticized for its ‘Bernie bro’ culture

Family: Born to a Jewish immigrant father and the daughter of Jewish immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York. First marriage to college sweetheart Deboarah Shiling Messing in 1964 ended in divorce in 1966; had son Levi in 1969 with then girlfriend Susan Cambell Mott. Married Jone O’Meara in 1988 and considers her three children, all adults, his own. The couple have seven grandchildren. His older brother Larry is a former Green Party councilor in Oxfordshire, England. Would be first Jewish president

Religion: Secular Jewish 

Views on key issues: Openly socialist and standard bearer for the Democratic party’s left-turn. Wants federal $15 minimum wage; banks broken up; union membership encouraged; free college tuition; universal health care; re-distributive taxation; he opposed Iraq War and also U.S. leading the fight against ISIS and wants troops largely out of Afghanistan and the Middle East

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president

Slogan: Not me. Us.

ERIC SWALWELL

Age on Inauguration Day: 39

Entered race: Announced on the Stephen Colbert Show, April 8, 2019

Career: College soccer scholar whose sporting career was ended by injury who was a Capitol Hill intern in the building on 9/11. University of Maryland law graduate, served as a prosecutor in Alameda County, CA – where Kamala Harris worked in earlier years. He was elected to Dublin City Council, CA, in 2010 and ran for Congress in California’s 15th District the following year, unseating 20-seat Democrat incumbent through California’s ‘top-two’ system. Number 6 on The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful List in 2014. Won fourth term 73-27 in 2018. Would be only second sitting congressman elected president – first was James Garfield in 1880

Family: Married second wife Brittany Ann Watts, a Ritz-Carlton sales director in 2016, and has a son Nelson and daughter Kathryn. First marriage to Melissa Maranda ended in divorce. Born in Iowa where his father was a police chief who was fired for being too hardline, and brought up in California where the family moved in search of work

Religion: Christian

Views on key issues: Socially-ultra liberal. Has called for mandatory buyback of ‘military-style semi-automatic assault weapons’ and other gun control measures. Supportive of the green new deal but with new jobs guarantee for fossil fuel workers. Wants ‘health-care guarantee’ rather than Medicare for all. Aggressive voice for investigation of Trump

Would make history as: Youngest president ever 

Slogan: Go big. Be bold. Do good.          

ELIZABETH WARREN

Age on Inauguration Day: 71

Entered race:  Set up exploratory committee December 31, 2018

Career: Currently Massachusetts senator. Law lecturer and academic who became an expert on bankruptcy law and tenured Harvard professor. Ran for Senate and won in 2012, defeating sitting Republican Scott Brown, held it in 2018 60% to 36%. Was short-listed to be Hillary’s running mate and campaigned hard for her in 2016

Family: Twice-married mother of two and grandmother of three. First husband and father of her children was her high-school sweetheart. Second husband Bruce Mann is Harvard law professor. Daughter Amelia Tyagi and son Alex Warren have both been involved in her campaigns. Has controversially claimed Native American roots; DNA test suggested she is as little as 1,064th Native American

Religion: Raised Methodist, now described as Christian with no fixed church

Views on key issues: Was a registered Republican who voted for the party but registered as a Democrat in 1996. Pro: higher taxes on rich; banking regulation; Dream Act path to citizenship for ‘dreamers’; abortion and gay rights; campaign finance restrictions; and expansion of public provision of healthcare – although still to spell out exactly how that would happen. Against: U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Syria; liberalization of gambling

Would make history as: First female president 

Slogan: To be announced 

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON

Age on Inauguration Day: 68

Entered race: Announced exploratory committee November 15, 2018. Formally entered January 28, 2019

Career: Currently an author, Dropped out of Pomona College, California, became part of the counter culture and anti-war movement and ran a ‘metaphysical bookstore’ before publishing spiritual guide A Return to Love and being praised by Oprah, sending it to number one. Published series of follow-ups and founded AIDS charity and subsequently more non-profits including a peace movement. Ran for Congress in 2014 and lost

Family: Born to immigration attorney father Sam and housewife mother Sophie in Houston, Texas. Married for ‘a minute and a half’ to unnamed man; daughter India was born in 1990 but Williamson declines to name her father

Religion: Jewish

Views on key issues: Wants vast expansion of physical and mental healthcare; and nutrition and lifestyle reforms including ban on marketing processed and sugary foods to children; universal pre-K; much of the Green New Deal’s proposals including a de-carbonized economy, electric cars and rebuilding mass transit; gun control through licensing; wants more vacation time; pro decriminalizing all drugs

Would make history as: First female president 

Slogan: Join the Evolution

ANDREW YANG

Age on Inauguration Day: 46

Entered race: Filed papers November 6, 2018

Career: No current job. Started a dotcom flop then become healthcare and education tech executive who set up nonprofit Venture for America

Family: Married father of two. His parents were both immigrants from Taiwan who met at the University of California, Berkeley, as grad students

Religion: Reformed Church

Views on key issues: Warns of rise of robots and artificial intelligence, wants $1,000 a month universal basic income and social media regulated. Spoke out against male circumcision. Wants a state monitor to crack down on ‘fake news.’

Would make history as: First Asian-American president 

Slogan: Humanity First

AND THOSE WHO’VE ALREADY WITHDRAWN 

RICHARD OJEDA. West Virginia ex- state senator and paratrooper veteran

Entered race: November 12, 2018. Quit: January 25, 2019

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6946939/Warren-unveils-640-billion-college-debt-forgiveness-plan.html

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1232, April 1, 2019, Part 2, Story 1: U.S. Federal Government Sets Ten Year Spending Record as Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Deficit Will Be Over $900 Billion Heading for $1 Trillion on $1,000,000,000,000 — Government Spending Is Out of Control — Robbing From Our Children’s Future — Totally Immoral and Irresponsible — Will Congress Take on Spending? — Yes By Increasing Even More! — I Hear The Drums — Videos — Story 2: Trump Threatens To Close U.S. Mexican Border As Border Apprehension Heading To Over 1 Million In 2019 — 30-60 Million Illegal Alien Invasion of United States Over 32 Years — Enough Is Enough — Shut Border Down and Build and Complete The 2000 Mile Border Barrier Now! — Videos — Story 3: President Trump 2020 Stump Speech Preview — Radical Extremist Democrat Socialists or REDS On The Run — Hello Goodbye — We Can Work It Out — Videos

Posted on April 5, 2019. Filed under: Addiction, Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Climate Change, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Environment, European History, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Insurance, Investments, IRS, Islam, Killing, Language, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, Middle East, Military Spending, Monetary Policy, National Interest, National Security Agency, Natural Gas, News, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Religion, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Science, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Software, Spying, Spying on American People, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

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Pronk Pops Show 1230 March 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1229 March 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1228 March 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1227 March 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1226 March 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1225 March 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1224 March 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1223 March 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1222 March 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1221 March 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1220 March 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1219 March 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1218 March 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1217 February 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1216 February 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1215 February 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1214 February 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1213 February 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1212 February 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1211 February 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1210 February 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1209 February 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1208 February 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1207 February 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1206 February 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1205 February 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1204 February 8, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1195 January 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1194 January 10, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1192 January 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1191 December 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1190 December 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1189 December 14, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1187 December 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1186 December 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1185 December 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1184 December 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1183 December 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1182 December 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1181 December 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1180 December 3, 2018

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Story 1: U.S. Federal Government Sets Ten Year Spending Record as Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Deficit Will Be Over $900 Billion Heading for $1 Trillion on $1,000,000,000,000– Government Spending Is Out of Control — Robbing Our Children’s Future — Totally Immoral and Irresponsible — Will Congress Take on Spending? Yes By Increasing Spending Even More — Videos

 

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News Wrap: Trump asks Cabinet to cut federal budget

Socialist vs. Libertarian: Deficit Debate

David Stockman on the Trump economy

This debt ceiling does not work: David Walker

National debt surpasses $22 trillion

Budget Deficit Hits Highest Level In 6 Years After Tax Cuts | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

US debt is growing faster than the economy: Maya MacGuineas

America’s debt will exceed size of economy within 10 years: Study

Rick Astley – Never Gonna Give You Up (Official Music Video)

Never Gonna Give You Up

We’re no strangers to love
You know the rules and so do I
A full commitment’s what I’m thinking of
You wouldn’t get this from any other guy
I just wanna tell you how I’m feeling
Gotta make you understand
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you
We’ve known each other for so long
Your heart’s been aching but you’re too shy to say it
Inside we both know what’s been going on
We know the game and we’re gonna play it
And if you ask me how I’m feeling
Don’t tell me you’re too blind to see
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you
Never gonna give, never gonna give
(Give you up)
(Ooh) Never gonna give, never gonna give
(Give you up)
We’ve known each other for so long
Your heart’s been aching but you’re too shy to say it
Inside we both know what’s been going on
We know the game and we’re gonna play it
I just wanna tell you how I’m feeling
Gotta make you understand
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you
Never gonna give you up
Never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry
Songwriters: Mike Stock / Matt Aitken / Peter Waterman
Never Gonna Give You Up lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

a-ha – Take On Me (Official Music Video)

Lyrics
We’re talking away
I don’t know what
I’m to say I’ll say it anyway
Today’s another day to find you
Shying away
I’ll be coming for your love, okay?
Take on me (take on me)
Take me on (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day or two
So needless to say
I’m odds and ends
But I’ll be stumbling away
Slowly learning that life is okay
Say after me
It’s no better to be safe than sorry
Take on me (take on me)
Take me on (take on me)
I’ll be gone
In a day or two
Songwriters: Pal Waaktaar / Morten Harket / Magne Furuholmen
Take On Me lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Toto – Africa (Official Music Video)

Africa
I hear the drums echoing tonight
But she hears only whispers of some quiet conversation
She’s coming in, 12:30 flight
The moonlit wings reflect the stars that guide me towards salvation
I stopped an old man along the way
Hoping to find some old forgotten words or ancient melodies
He turned to me as if to say, “Hurry boy, it’s waiting there for you”
It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had (ooh, ooh)
The wild dogs cry out in the night
As they grow restless, longing for some solitary company
I know that I must do what’s right
As sure as Kilimanjaro rises like Olympus above the Serengeti
I seek to cure what’s deep inside, frightened of this thing that I’ve become
It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had (ooh, ooh)
Hurry boy, she’s waiting there for you
It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you
There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do
I bless the rains down in Africa
I bless the rains down in Africa
(I bless the rain)
I bless the rains down in Africa (I bless the rain)
I bless the rains down in Africa
I bless the rains down in Africa (ah, gonna take the time)
Gonna take some time to do the things we never had (ooh, ooh)
Songwriters: David Paich / Jeff Porcaro
Africa lyrics © Spirit Music Group

 

 

Federal Spending Hits Highest Level Since Bank Bailout and Obama Stimulus

By Terence P. Jeffrey | March 26, 2019 | 12:01 PM EDT

Then-President-elect Barack Obama and President George W. Bush, Nov. 10, 2008. (Getty Images/Gary Fabiano-Pool)

(CNSNews.com) – The federal government spent $1,822,712,000,000 in the first five months of fiscal 2019, the most it has spent in the first five months of any fiscal year since 2009, which was the fiscal year that outgoing President George W. Bush signed a $700-billion law to bailout the banking industry and incoming President Barack Obama signed a $787-billion law to stimulate an economy then in recession.

At the same time that federal spending was hitting this ten-year high, federal tax revenues in the first five months of the fiscal year were hitting a four-year low of $1,278,482,000,000.

According to the Monthly Treasury Statement for February, the Treasury spent $1,822,712,000,000 in the five months from October 2018 through February 2019, the first five months of the federal fiscal year.

The last time the Treasury spent more than that in the first five months of a fiscal year—in inflation-adjusted constant February 2019 dollars—was fiscal 2009. That year, the Treasury spent $1,936,268,470,000.

Fiscal 2009 started with President Bush signing the Troubled Asset Relief Program into law on Oct. 3, 2008; it continued with President Obama, after his January inaugural, signing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Feb. 17, 2009.

At the time, the Bush bank bailout and Obama stimulus were perceived as the two of the biggest emergency spending bills in the nation’s history.

“With evidence mounting that the nation faces a sharp economic downturn, Congress yesterday gave final approval to what may be the biggest government bailout in American history, authorizing the Bush administration to spend $700 billion to try to thaw frozen credit markets and prevent a deep recession,” the Washington Post reported when Bush signed the bank bailout.

The reporting on Obama’s stimulus was similar.

“Warning that its passage into law ‘does not mark the end of our economic troubles,’ President Obama on Tuesday signed the $787 billion stimulus package, a measure he called the most sweeping financial legislation enacted in the nation’s history,” the Washington Post reported on Feb. 17, 2009.

The Congressional Budget Office said this about the impact the stimulus (H.R. 1) would have on federal deficits: “CBO estimates that enacting the conference agreement for H.R. 1 would increase federal budget deficits by $185 billion over the remaining months of fiscal year 2009, by $399 billion in 2010, by $134 billion in 2011, and by $787 billion over the 2009-2019 period.”

After federal spending hit an all-time high of $1,936,268,470,000 (in constant February 2019 dollars) in the first five months of fiscal 2009, it eventually dropped to $1,595,941,280,000 in the first five months of fiscal 2014. That was the lowest level for the first five months of any fiscal year in the last ten.

Federal spending climbed from $1,702,631,750,000 (in constant February 2019 dollars) in the first five months of fiscal 2018 to $1,822,712,000,000 in the first five months of fiscal 2019.

While spending has gone up this year, federal tax receipts have declined.

Total federal tax revenues through February dropped from $1,305,723,550,000 (in constant February 2019 dollars) in fiscal 2018 to $1,278,482,000,000 this year.

The last time, total federal tax revenues were lower through February than they were this year was fiscal 2015, when they were $1,276,806,230,000 (in constant February 2019 dollars).

Standing alone, individual income tax receipts also hit a four-year low of $626,592,000,000.

Corporation income taxes through February hit their lowest level in eight years–$59,194,000,000. That was down from $74,658,920,000 through February in fiscal 2018.

The last time federal corporation income taxes were lower through February than they were this year was fiscal 2011, when they were $43,607,510,000 (in constant February 2019 dollars).

In the month of February alone, corporations paid a net negative in federal income taxes, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.

During the month, according to the statement, corporations paid a net negative of $669,000,000 in income taxes.

It is not unusual for corporations to pay a net negative in income taxes in the month of February, according to historical data from the Monthly Treasury Statements. In the last 20 fiscal years (2000 through 2019), corporations have paid net negative income taxes in 10 Februaries (2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019).

In fact, the net negative $669 million in income taxes paid by corporations this February was less than the net negative income taxes paid by corporations in any of the other nine years over the past 20 that corporations paid net negative income taxes.

The highest level of net negative income taxes paid by corporations over the past 20 years occurred in fiscal 2016, when corporations paid a net negative $3,685,390,000 in income taxes (in constant February 2019 dollars).

Asked about the decline in corporation income tax revenues, a senior Treasury Department official told CNSNews.com that the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed by President Trump in December 2017 was understood to be frontloaded in that corporations early on would take advantage of the new expensing rules to build their businesses.

paper by the Tax Foundation explains: “The provision allows businesses to immediately deduct the full cost of short-lived investments, similar to the treatment of other business expenses, rather than stretching the deductions over many years.”

[Below is the summary of receipts from the February 2019 Monthly Treasury Statement.]

(Dollars amounts in this story were adjusted to constant February 2019 values using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator.)

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/federal-spending-hits-highest-level-bank-bailout-and-obama-stimulus

Story 2: Trump Threatens To Close U.S. Mexican Border — “I’m not playing games” — As Border Apprehension Heading To Over 1 Million In 2019 — 30-60 Million Illegal Alien Invasion of United States Over 32 Years — Enough Is Enough — Shut Border Down and Build The Border Barrier Now! — Videos

The southern border is at its breaking point

Why the US may need to close the southern border

Illegal Caravan 2500+ to USA Mexico Border Patrol apprehend 1 million illegal migrants in 2019

Border Patrol: unprecedented number migrants illegally crossing NM border

How Thousands Of Asylum Seekers Are Trapped At The U.S. Border | NBC News

The biggest border issue is US asylum laws, not a wall?

Should the U.S. Asylum System Change?

Border business: Inside immigration

Turbulence in Tijuana Documentary – The Immigration Crisis in Mexico

Trump on border fight: I’m not playing games

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer SHOCKED by TRUMP said HE WILL CLOSE BORDER Next Week and KEEP IT Closed

Who can apply for asylum in the US?

Why seeking asylum in America is so difficult

Trump Says Its Likely He Will Close The U.S.-Mexico Border

Trump threatens to permanently shut down border

Asylum seekers crossing back to the U.S. illegally

This Immigrant Left the U.S. To Seek Asylum In Canada And Regrets It (HBO)

Tears For Fears – Shout (Official Video)

Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
Come on
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
Come on
In violent times
You shouldn’t have to sell your soul
In black and white
They really really ought to know
Those one track minds
That took you for a working boy
Kiss them goodbye
You shouldn’t have to jump for joy
You shouldn’t have to shout for joy
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
Come on
They gave you life
And in return you gave them hell
As cold as ice
I hope we live to tell the tale
I hope we live to tell the tale
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
Come on
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
Come on
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
Come on
And when you’ve taken down your guard
If I could change your mind
I’d really love to break your heart
I’d really love to break your heart
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
Come on
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
So come on
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
Come on
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
Come on
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
So come on
Shout
Shout
Let it all out
These are the things I can do without
Come on
I’m talking to you
Songwriters: Ian Stanley / Roland Orzabal
Shout lyrics © EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Trump cuts aid to Central American countries as migrant crisis deepens

by Reuters
Saturday, 30 March 2019 23:40 GMT

Trump has claimed that the countries had “set up” caravans of migrants in order to export them into the United States

By Julia Harte and Tim Reid

WASHINGTON/EL PASO, Texas, March 30 (Reuters) – The U.S. government cut aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras on Saturday after President Donald Trump blasted the Central American countries for sending migrants to the United States and threatened to shutter the U.S.-Mexico border.

A surge of asylum seekers from the three countries have sought to enter the United States across the southern border in recent days. On Friday, Trump accused the nations of having “set up” migrant caravans and sent them north.

Trump said there was a “very good likelihood” he would close the border this week if Mexico did not stop immigrants from reaching the United States. Frequent crossers of the border, including workers and students, worried about the disruption to their lives the president’s threatened shutdown could cause.

At a rally on the border in El Paso, Texas, Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke denounced Trump’s immigration policies as the politics of “fear and division.”

A State Department spokesman said in a statement it was carrying out Trump’s directive by ending aid programs to the three Central American nations, known as the Northern Triangle.

The department said it would “engage Congress in the process,” an apparent acknowledgement that it will need lawmakers’ approval to end funding that a Congressional aide estimated would total about $700 million.

New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called Trump’s order a “reckless announcement” and urged Democrats and Republicans alike to reject it.

Trump told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida on Friday that the United States was paying the three countries “tremendous amounts of money,” but received nothing in return.

Mario Garcia, a 45-year-old bricklayer in El Salvador, said he was setting off for the United States regardless of the president’s threat to close the frontier.

“There is no work here and we want to improve (our lives), to get ahead for our families, for our children. I don’t give a damn (what Trump says), I’m determined,” Garcia said.

Garcia was one of a group of at least 90 people who left the capital San Salvador over the weekend on buses heading north, in what locals said was the tenth so-called caravan to depart for the United States since October.

The government of El Salvador has said it has tried to stem the flow of migrants.

The Honduran Foreign Ministry on Saturday called the U.S. policies “contradictory” but stressed that its relationship with the United States was “solid, close and positive.”

Trump, who launched his presidential campaign in 2015 with a promise to build a border wall and crack down on illegal immigration, has repeatedly threatened to close the frontier during his two years in office but has not followed through.

This time, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other U.S. officials say border patrol officers have been overwhelmed by a sharp increase asylum seekers, many of them children and families who arrive in groups, fleeing violence and economic hardship in the Northern Triangle.

March is on track for 100,000 border apprehensions, Homeland Security officials said, which would be the highest monthly number in more than a decade. Most of those people can remain in the United States while their asylum claims are processed, which can take years because of ballooning immigration court backlogs.

Nielsen warned Congress on Thursday that the government faces a “system-wide meltdown” as it tries to care for more than 1,200 unaccompanied children and 6,600 migrant families in its custody.

Trump has so far been unable to convince Congress to tighten asylum laws or fund his border wall. He has declared a national emergency to justify redirecting money earmarked for the military to pay for the wall.

Mexico has played down the possibility of a border shutdown. Its foreign minister, Marcelo Ebrard, said the country is a good neighbor and does not act on the basis of threats.

It was not clear how shutting down ports of entry would deter asylum seekers because they are legally able to request help as soon as they set foot on U.S. soil.

But a border shutdown would disrupt tourism and U.S.-Mexico trade that totaled $612 billion last year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. A shutdown could lead to factory closures on both sides of the border, industry officials say, because the automobiles and medical sectors especially have woven international supply chains into their business models. (Reporting by Julia Harte and Richard Cowan in Washington, and Tim Reid in El Paso; Additional reporting by Jose Luis Gonzalez in Ciudad Juarez, Julia Love in Mexico City, Omar Younis in San Diego, Nelson Renteria in San Salvador and Orfa Mejia in Tegucigalpa; Writing by Daniel Wallis; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien)

http://news.trust.org/item/20190330195340-c3vlh

Asylum in the United States

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Annual Refugee Admissions to the United States by Fiscal Year, 1975 to mid-2018

Annual Asylum Grants in the United States by Fiscal Year, 1990-2016

The United States recognizes the right of asylum for individuals as specified by international and federal law.[1] A specified number of legally defined refugees who either apply for asylum from inside the U.S. or apply for refugee status from outside the U.S., are admitted annually. Refugees compose about one-tenth of the total annual immigration to the United States, though some large refugee populations are very prominent. Since World War II, more refugees have found homes in the U.S. than any other nation and more than two million refugees have arrived in the U.S. since 1980. In the years 2005 through 2007, the number of asylum seekers accepted into the U.S. was about 40,000 per year. This compared with about 30,000 per year in the UK and 25,000 in Canada. The U.S. accounted for about 10% of all asylum-seeker acceptances in the OECD countries in 1998-2007.[2] The United States is by far the most populous OECD country and receives fewer than the average number of refugees per capita: In 2010-14 (before the massive migrant surge in Europe in 2015) it ranked 28 of 43 industrialized countries reviewed by UNHCR.[3]

Asylum has two basic requirements. First, an asylum applicant must establish that he or she fears persecution in their home country.[4] Second, the applicant must prove that he or she would be persecuted on account of one of five protected grounds: racereligionnationalitypolitical opinion, or particular social group.[5]

Character of refugee inflows and resettlement[edit]

Refugee resettlement to the United States by region, 1990–2005 (Source: Migration Policy Institute)

During the Cold War, and up until the mid-1990s, the majority of refugees resettled in the U.S. were people from the former-Soviet Union and Southeast Asia.[citation needed] The most conspicuous of the latter were the refugees from Vietnam following the Vietnam War, sometimes known as “boat people“. Following the end of the Cold War, the largest resettled European group were refugees from the Balkans, primarily Serbs, from Bosnia and Croatia.[citation needed] In the 1990s/2000s, the proportion of Africans rose in the annual resettled population, as many fled various ongoing conflicts.[citation needed]

Large metropolitan areas have been the destination of most resettlements, with 72% of all resettlements between 1983 and 2004 going to 30 locations.[citation needed] The historical gateways for resettled refugees have been California (specifically Los AngelesOrange CountySan Jose, and Sacramento), the Mid-Atlantic region (New York in particular), the Midwest (specifically ChicagoSt. LouisMinneapolis-St. Paul), and Northeast (Providence, Rhode Island).[citation needed] In the last decades of the twentieth century, Washington, D.C.SeattleWashingtonPortlandOregon; and AtlantaGeorgia provided new gateways for resettled refugees. Particular cities are also identified with some national groups: metropolitan Los Angeles received almost half of the resettled refugees from Iran, 20% of Iraqi refugees went to Detroit, and nearly one-third of refugees from the former Soviet Union were resettled in New York.[citation needed]

Between 2004 and 2007, nearly 4,000 Venezuelans claimed political asylum in the United States and almost 50% of them were granted. In contrast, in 1996, only 328 Venezuelans claimed asylum, and a mere 20% of them were granted.[6] According to USA Today, the number of asylums being granted to Venezuelan claimants has risen from 393 in 2009 to 969 in 2012.[7] Other references agree with the high number of political asylum claimants from Venezuela, confirming that between 2000 and 2010, the United States has granted them with 4,500 political asylums.[8]

Criticism

Despite this, concerns have been raised with the U.S. asylum and refugee determination processes. A recent empirical analysis by three legal scholars described the U.S. asylum process as a game of refugee roulette; that is to say that the outcome of asylum determinations depends in large part on the personality of the particular adjudicator to whom an application is randomly assigned, rather than on the merits of the case. The very low numbers of Iraqi refugees accepted between 2003 and 2007 exemplifies concerns about the United States’ refugee processes. The Foreign Policy Association reported that “Perhaps the most perplexing component of the Iraq refugee crisis… has been the inability for the U.S. to absorb more Iraqis following the 2003 invasion of the country. Up until 2008, the U.S. has granted less than 800 Iraqis refugee status, just 133 in 2007. By contrast, the U.S. granted asylum to more than 100,000 Vietnamese refugees during the Vietnam War.” [9]

Relevant law and procedures

“The Immigration and Nationality Act (‘INA’) authorizes the Attorney General to grant asylum if an alien is unable or unwilling to return to her country of origin because she has suffered past persecution or has a well-founded fear of future persecution on account of ‘race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.'”[1]

The United States is obliged to recognize valid claims for asylum under the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol. As defined by these agreements, a refugee is a person who is outside his or her country of nationality (or place of habitual residence if stateless) who, owing to a fear of persecution on account of a protected ground, is unable or unwilling to avail himself of the protection of the state. Protected grounds include race, nationality, religion, political opinion and membership of a particular social group. The signatories to these agreements are further obliged not to return or “refoul” refugees to the place where they would face persecution.

This commitment was codified and expanded with the passing of the Refugee Act of 1980 by the United States Congress. Besides reiterating the definitions of the 1951 Convention and its Protocol, the Refugee Act provided for the establishment of an Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to help refugees begin their lives in the U.S. The structure and procedures evolved and by 2004, federal handling of refugee affairs was led by the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM) of the U.S. Department of State, working with the ORR at HHS. Asylum claims are mainly the responsibility of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Refugee quotas

Each year, the President of the United States sends a proposal to the Congress for the maximum number of refugees to be admitted into the country for the upcoming fiscal year, as specified under section 207(e) (1)-(7) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. This number, known as the “refugee ceiling”, is the target of annual lobbying by both refugee advocates seeking to raise it and anti-immigration groups seeking to lower it. However, once proposed, the ceiling is normally accepted without substantial Congressional debate. The September 11, 2001 attacks resulted in a substantial disruption to the processing of resettlement claims with actual admissions falling to about 26,000 in fiscal year 2002. Claims were doublechecked for any suspicious activity and procedures were put in place to detect any possible terrorist infiltration, though some advocates noted that, given the ease with which foreigners can otherwise legally enter the U.S., entry as a refugee is comparatively unlikely. The actual number of admitted refugees rose in subsequent years with refugee ceiling for 2006 at 70,000. Critics note these levels are still among the lowest in 30 years.

Recent actual, projected and proposed refugee admissions
Year Africa % East Asia % Europe % Latin America
and Caribbean
% Near East and
South Asia
% Unallocated
reserve
Total
FY 2012 actual arrivals[10] 10,608 18.21 14,366 24.67 1,129 1.94 2,078 3.57 30,057 51.61 58,238
FY 2013 ceiling[10] 12,000 17,000 2,000 5,000 31,000 3,000 70,000
FY 2013 actual arrivals[11] 15,980 22.85 16,537 23.65 580 0.83 4,439 6.35 32,389 46.32 69,925
FY 2014 ceiling[11] 15,000 14,000 1,000 5,000 33,000 2,000 70,000
FY 2014 actual arrivals[12] 17,476 24.97 14,784 21.12 959 1.37 4,318 6.17 32,450 46.36 69,987
FY 2015 ceiling[12] 17,000 13,000 1,000 4,000 33,000 2,000 70,000
FY 2015 actual arrivals[13] 22,472 32.13 18,469 26.41 2,363 3.38 2,050 2.93 24,579 35.14 69,933
FY 2016 ceiling[13] 25,000 13,000 4,000 3,000 34,000 6,000 85,000
FY 2016 actual arrivals[14] 31,625 37.21 12,518 14.73 3,957 4.65 1,340 1.57 35,555 41.83 84,995
FY 2017 ceiling[15] 35,000 12,000 4,000 5,000 40,000 14,000 110,000
FY 2017 actual arrivals[16] 20,232 37.66 5,173 9.63 5,205 9.69 1,688 3.14 21,418 39.87 53,716
FY 2018 ceiling[17] 19,000 5,000 2,000 1,500 17,500 45,000
FY 2018 actual arrivals[18] 10,459 46.50 3,668 16.31 3,612 16.06 955 4.25 3,797 16.88 22,491
FY 2019 ceiling[19] 11,000 4,000 3,000 3,000 9,000 30,000
*FY 2019 actual arrivals[20] 3,473 59.28 893 15.24 1,095 18.69 135 2.30 263 4.49 5,859
  • FY 2019, actual arrivals up to January 11, 2019.

A total of 73,293 persons were admitted to the United States as refugees during 2010. The leading countries of nationality for refugee admissions were Iraq (24.6%), Burma (22.8%), Bhutan (16.9%), Somalia (6.7%), Cuba (6.6%), Iran (4.8%), DR Congo (4.3%), Eritrea (3.5%), Vietnam (1.2%) and Ethiopia (0.9%).

Application for resettlement by refugees abroad

The majority of applications for resettlement to the United States are made to U.S. embassies in foreign countries and are reviewed by employees of the State Department. In these cases, refugee status has normally already been reviewed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and recognized by the host country. For these refugees, the U.S. has stated its preferred order of solutions are: (1) repatriation of refugees to their country of origin, (2) integration of the refugees into their country of asylum and, last, (3) resettlement to a third country, such as the U.S., when the first two options are not viable.[citation needed]

The United States prioritizes valid applications for resettlement into three levels.[citation needed]

Priority One

  • persons facing compelling security concerns in countries of first asylum; persons in need of legal protection because of the danger of refoulement; those in danger due to threats of armed attack in an area where they are located; or persons who have experienced recent persecution because of their political, religious, or human rights activities (prisoners of conscience); women-at-risk; victims of torture or violence, physically or mentally disabled persons; persons in urgent need of medical treatment not available in the first asylum country; and persons for whom other durable solutions are not feasible and whose status in the place of asylum does not present a satisfactory long-term solution. – UNHCR Resettlement Handbook[citation needed]

Priority Two

is composed of groups designated by the U.S. government as being of special concern. These are often identified by an act proposed by a Congressional representative. Priority Two groups proposed for 2008 included:[21]

  • “Jews, Evangelical Christians, and Ukrainian Catholic and Orthodox religious activists in the former Soviet Union, with close family in the United States” (This is the amendment which was proposed by Senator Frank LautenbergDN.J. and originally enacted November 21, 1989.[22])
  • from Cuba: “human rights activists, members of persecuted religious minorities, former political prisoners, forced-labor conscripts (1965-68), persons deprived of their professional credentials or subjected to other disproportionately harsh or discriminatory treatment resulting from their perceived or actual political or religious beliefs or activities, and persons who have experienced or fear harm because of their relationship – family or social – to someone who falls under one of the preceding categories”[citation needed]
  • from Vietnam: “the remaining active cases eligible under the former Orderly Departure Program (ODP) and Resettlement Opportunity for Vietnamese Returnees (ROVR) programs”; individuals who, through no fault of their own, were unable to access the ODP program before its cutoff date; and Amerasian citizens, who are counted as refugee admissions[citation needed]
  • individuals who have fled Burma and who are registered in nine refugee camps along the Thai/Burma border and who are identified by UNHCR as in need of resettlement[citation needed]
  • UNHCR-identified Burundian refugees who originally fled Burundi in 1972 and who have no possibility either to settle permanently in Tanzania or return to Burundi[citation needed]
  • Bhutanese refugees in Nepal registered by UNHCR in the recent census and identified as in need of resettlement
  • Iranian members of certain religious minorities[citation needed]
  • Sudanese Darfurians living in a refugee camp in Anbar Governorate in Iraq would be eligible for processing if a suitable location can be identified[citation needed]

Priority Three

is reserved for cases of family reunification, in which a refugee abroad is brought to the United States to be reunited with a close family member who also has refugee status. A list of nationalities eligible for Priority Three consideration is developed annually. The proposed countries for FY2008 were Afghanistan, Burma, Burundi, ColombiaCongo (Brazzaville), Cuba, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK)Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), EritreaEthiopiaHaiti, Iran, Iraq, RwandaSomaliaSudan and Uzbekistan.[21]

Individual application

The minority of applications that are made by individuals who have already entered the U.S. are judged on whether they meet the U.S. definition of “refugee” and on various other statutory criteria (including a number of bars that would prevent an otherwise-eligible refugee from receiving protection). There are two ways to apply for asylum while in the United States:

  • If an asylum seeker has been placed in removal proceedings before an immigration judge with the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which is a part of the Department of Justice, the individual may apply for asylum with the Immigration Judge.
  • If an asylum seeker is inside the United States and has not been placed in removal proceedings, he or she may file an application with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), regardless of his or her legal status in the United States. However, if the asylum seeker is not in valid immigration status and USCIS does not grant the asylum application, USCIS may place the applicant in removal proceedings, in that case a judge will consider the application anew. The immigration judge may also consider the applicant for relief that the asylum office has no jurisdiction to grant, such as withholding of removal and protection under the Convention Against Torture. Since the effective date of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act passed in 1996, an applicant must apply for asylum within one year[23] of entry or be barred from doing so unless the applicant can establish changed circumstances that are material to his or her eligibility for asylum or exceptional circumstances related to the delay.

Immigrants who were picked up after entering the country between entry points can be released by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on payment of a bond, and an immigration judge may lower or waive the bond. In contrast, refugees who asked for asylum at an official point of entry before entering the U.S. cannot be released on bond. Instead, ICE officials have full discretion to decide whether they can be released.[24]

If an applicant is eligible for asylum, they have a procedural right to have the Attorney General make a discretionary determination as to whether the applicant should be admitted into the United States as an asylee. An applicant is also entitled to mandatory “withholding of removal” (or restriction on removal) if the applicant can prove that her life or freedom would be threatened upon return to her country of origin. The dispute in asylum cases litigated before the Executive Office for Immigration Review and, subsequently, the federal courts centers on whether the immigration courts properly rejected the applicant’s claim that she is eligible for asylum or other relief.

The applicant has the burden of proving that he (or she) is eligible for asylum. To satisfy this burden, an applicant must show that she has a well-founded fear of persecution in her home country on account of either race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group.[25] The applicant can demonstrate her well-founded fear by demonstrating that she has a subjective fear (or apprehension) of future persecution in her home country that is objectively reasonable. An applicant’s claim for asylum is stronger where she can show past persecution, in which case she will receive a presumption that she has a well-founded fear of persecution in her home country. The government can rebut this presumption by demonstrating either that the applicant can relocate to another area within her home country in order to avoid persecution, or that conditions in the applicant’s home country have changed such that the applicant’s fear of persecution there is no longer objectively reasonable. Technically, an asylum applicant who has suffered past persecution meets the statutory criteria to receive a grant of asylum even if the applicant does not fear future persecution. In practice, adjudicators will typically deny asylum status in the exercise of discretion in such cases, except where the past persecution was so severe as to warrant a humanitarian grant of asylum, or where the applicant would face other serious harm if returned to his or her country of origin. In addition, applicants who, according to the US Government, participated in the persecution of others are not eligible for asylum.[26]

A person may face persecution in his or her home country because of race, nationality, religion, ethnicity, or social group, and yet not be eligible for asylum because of certain bars defined by law. The most frequent bar is the one-year filing deadline. If an application is not submitted within one year following the applicant’s arrival in the United States, the applicant is barred from obtaining asylum unless certain exceptions apply. However, the applicant can be eligible for other forms of relief such as Withholding of Removal, which is a less favorable type of relief than asylum because it does not lead to a Green Card or citizenship. The deadline for submitting the application is not the only restriction that bars one from obtaining asylum. If an applicant persecuted others, committed a serious crime, or represents a risk to U.S. security, he or she will be barred from receiving asylum as well.[27]

  • After 2001, asylum officers and immigration judges became less likely to grant asylum to applicants, presumably because of the attacks on 11 September.[28]

In 1986 an Immigration Judge agreed not to send Fidel Armando-Alfanso back to Cuba, based on his membership in a particular social group (gay people) who were persecuted and feared further persecution by the government of Cuba.[29] The Board of Immigration Appeals upheld the decision in 1990, and in 1994, then-Attorney General Janet Reno ordered this decision to be a legal precedent binding on Immigration Judges and the Asylum Office, and established sexual orientation as a grounds for asylum.[29][30] However, in 2002 the Board of Immigration Appeals “suggested in an ambiguous and internally inconsistent decision that the ‘protected characteristic’ and ‘social visibility’ tests may represent dual requirements in all social group cases.”[31][32] The requirement for social visibility means that the government of a country from which the person seeking asylum is fleeing must recognize their social group, and that LGBT people who hide their sexual orientation, for example out of fear of persecution, may not be eligible for asylum under this mandate.[32]

In 1996 Fauziya Kasinga, a 19-year-old woman from the Tchamba-Kunsuntu people of Togo, became the first person to be granted asylum in the United States to escape female genital mutilation. In August 2014, the Board of Immigration Appeals, the United States’s highest immigration court, found for the first time that women who are victims of severe domestic violence in their home countries can be eligible for asylum in the United States.[33] However, that ruling was in the case of a woman from Guatemala and was anticipated to only apply to women from there.[33] On June 11, 2018, Attorney General Jeff Sessions reversed that precedent and announced that victims of domestic abuse or gang violence will no longer qualify for asylum.[34]

INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca precedent

The term “well-founded fear” has no precise definition in asylum law. In INS v. Cardoza-Fonseca480 U.S. 421 (1987), the Supreme Court avoided attaching a consistent definition to the term, preferring instead to allow the meaning to evolve through case-by-case determinations. However, in Cardoza-Fonseca, the Court did establish that a “well-founded” fear is something less than a “clear probability” that the applicant will suffer persecution. Three years earlier, in INS v. Stevic467 U.S. 407 (1984), the Court held that the clear probability standard applies in proceedings seeking withholding of deportation (now officially referred to as ‘withholding of removal’ or ‘restriction on removal’), because in such cases the Attorney General must allow the applicant to remain in the United States. With respect to asylum, because Congress employed different language in the asylum statute and incorporated the refugee definition from the international Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, the Court in Cardoza-Fonseca reasoned that the standard for showing a well-founded fear of persecution must necessarily be lower.

An applicant initially presents his claim to an asylum officer, who may either grant asylum or refer the application to an Immigration Judge. If the asylum officer refers the application and the applicant is not legally authorized to remain in the United States, the applicant is placed in removal proceedings. After a hearing, an immigration judge determines whether the applicant is eligible for asylum. The immigration judge’s decision is subject to review on two, and possibly three, levels. First, the immigration judge’s decision can be appealed to the Board of Immigration Appeals. In 2002, in order to eliminate the backlog of appeals from immigration judges, the Attorney General streamlined review procedures at the Board of Immigration Appeals. One member of the Board can affirm a decision of an immigration judge without oral argument; traditional review by three-judge panels is restricted to limited categories for which “searching appellate review” is appropriate. If the BIA affirms the decision of the immigration court, then the next level of review is a petition for review in the United States court of appeals for the circuit in which the immigration judge sits. The court of appeals reviews the case to determine if “substantial evidence” supports the immigration judge’s (or the BIA’s) decision. As the Supreme Court held in INS v. Ventura537 U.S.12 (2002), if the federal appeals court determines that substantial evidence does not support the immigration judge’s decision, it must remand the case to the BIA for further proceedings instead of deciding the unresolved legal issue in the first instance. Finally, an applicant aggrieved by a decision of the federal appeals court can petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case by a discretionary writ of certiorari. But the Supreme Court has no duty to review an immigration case, and so many applicants for asylum forego this final step.

Notwithstanding his statutory eligibility, an applicant for asylum will be deemed ineligible if:

  1. the applicant participated in persecuting any other person on account of that other person’s race, religion, national origin, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion;
  2. the applicant constitutes a danger to the community because he has been convicted in the United States of a particularly serious crime;
  3. the applicant has committed a serious non-political crime outside the United States prior to arrival;
  4. the applicant constitutes a danger to the security of the United States;
  5. the applicant is inadmissible on terrorism-related grounds;
  6. the applicant has been firmly resettled in another country prior to arriving in the United States; or
  7. the applicant has been convicted of an aggravated felony as defined more broadly in the immigration context.

Conversely, even if an applicant is eligible for asylum, the Attorney General may decline to extend that protection to the applicant. (The Attorney General does not have this discretion if the applicant has also been granted withholding of deportation.) Frequently the Attorney General will decline to extend an applicant the protection of asylum if he has abused or circumvented the legal procedures for entering the United States and making an asylum claim.

Work permit and permanent residence status

An in-country applicant for asylum is eligible for a work permit (employment authorization) only if his or her application for asylum has been pending for more than 150 days without decision by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or the Executive Office for Immigration Review. If an asylum seeker is recognized as a refugee, he or she may apply for lawful permanent residence status (a green card) one year after being granted asylum. Asylum seekers generally do not receive economic support. This, combined with a period where the asylum seeker is ineligible for a work permit is unique among developed countries and has been condemned from some organisations, including Human Rights Watch.[35]

Up until 2004, recipients of asylee status faced a wait of approximately fourteen years to receive permanent resident status after receiving their initial status, because of an annual cap of 10,000 green cards for this class of individuals. However, in May 2005, under the terms of a proposed settlement of a class-action lawsuit, Ngwanyia v. Gonzales, brought on behalf of asylees against CIS, the government agreed to make available an additional 31,000 green cards for asylees during the period ending on September 30, 2007. This is in addition to the 10,000 green cards allocated for each year until then and was meant to speed up the green card waiting time considerably for asylees. However, the issue was rendered somewhat moot by the enactment of the REAL ID Act of 2005 (Division B of United States Public Law 109-13 (H.R. 1268)), which eliminated the cap on annual asylee green cards. Currently, an asylee who has continuously resided in the US for more than one year in that status has an immediately available visa number.

Unaccompanied Refugee Minors Program

An Unaccompanied Refugee Minor (URM) is any person who has not attained 18 years of age who entered the United States unaccompanied by and not destined to: (a) a parent, (b) a close non-parental adult relative who is willing and able to care for said minor, or (c) an adult with a clear and court-verifiable claim to custody of the minor; and who has no parent(s) in the United States.[36] These minors are eligible for entry into the URM program. Trafficking victims who have been certified by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the United States Department of Homeland Security, and/or the United States Department of State are also eligible for benefits and services under this program to the same extent as refugees.

The URM program is coordinated by the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), a branch of the United States Administration for Children and Families. The mission of the URM program is to help people in need “develop appropriate skills to enter adulthood and to achieve social self-sufficiency.” To do this, URM provides refugee minors with the same social services available to U.S.-born children, including, but not limited to, housing, food, clothing, medical care, educational support, counseling, and support for social integration.[37]

History of the URM Program

URM was established in 1980 as a result of the legislative branch’s enactment of the Refugee Act that same year.[38] Initially, it was developed to “address the needs of thousands of children in Southeast Asia” who were displaced due to civil unrest and economic problems resulting from the aftermath of the Vietnam War, which had ended only five years earlier.[37] Coordinating with the United Nations and “utilizing an executive order to raise immigration quotas, President Carter doubled the number of Southeast Asian refugees allowed into the United States each month.”[39] The URM was established, in part, to deal with the influx of refugee children.

URM was established in 1980, but the emergence of refugee minors as an issue in the United States “dates back to at least WWII.”[38] Since that time, oppressive regimes and U.S. military involvement have consistently “contributed to both the creation of a notable supply of unaccompanied refugee children eligible to relocate to the United States, as well as a growth in public pressure on the federal government to provide assistance to these children.”[38]

Since 1980, the demographic makeup of children within URM has shifted from being largely Southeast Asian to being much more diverse. Between 1999 and 2005, children from 36 different countries were inducted into the program.[38] Over half of the children who entered the program within this same time period came from Sudan, and less than 10% came from Southeast Asia.[38]

Perhaps the most commonly known group to enter the United States through the URM program was known as the “Lost Boys” of Sudan. Their story was made into a documentary by Megan Mylan and Jon Shenk. The film, Lost Boys of Sudan, follows two Sudanese refugees on their journey from Africa to America. It won an Independent Spirit Award and earned two national Emmy nominations.[40]

Functionality

In terms of functionality, the URM program is considered a state-administered program. The U.S. federal government provides funds to certain states that administer the URM program, typically through a state refugee coordinator’s office. The state refugee coordinator provides financial and programmatic oversight to the URM programs in his or her state. The state refugee coordinator ensures that unaccompanied minors in URM programs receive the same benefits and services as other children in out-of-home care in the state. The state refugee coordinator also oversees the needs of unaccompanied minors with many other stakeholders.[41]

ORR contracts with two faith-based agencies to manage the URM program in the United States; Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS)[42] and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). These agencies identify eligible children in need of URM services; determine appropriate placements for children among their national networks of affiliated agencies; and conduct training, research and technical assistance on URM services. They also provide the social services such as: indirect financial support for housing, food, clothing, medical care and other necessities; intensive case management by social workers; independent living skills training; educational supports; English language training; career/college counseling and training; mental health services; assistance adjusting immigration status; cultural activities; recreational opportunities; support for social integration; and cultural and religious preservation.[43]

The URM services provided through these contracts are not available in all areas of the United States. The 14 states that participate in the URM program include: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and the nation’s capital, Washington D.C.[43]

Adoption of URM Children

Although they are in the United States without the protection of their family, URM-designated children are not generally eligible for adoption. This is due in part to the Hague Convention on the Protection and Co-Operation in Respect of Inter-Country Adoption, otherwise known as the Hague Convention. Created in 1993, the Hague Convention established international standards for inter-country adoption.[44] In order to protect against the abduction, sale or trafficking of children, these standards protect the rights of the biological parents of all children. Children in the URM program have become separated from their biological parents and the ability to find and gain parental release of URM children is often extremely difficult. Most children, therefore, are not adopted. They are served primarily through the foster care system of the participating states. Most will be in the custody of the state (typically living with a foster family) until they become adults. Reunification with the child’s family is encouraged whenever possible.

U.S. government support after arrival

As soon as people seeking asylum in the United States are accepted as refugees they are eligible for public assistance just like any other person, including cash welfare, food assistance, and health coverage. Many refugees depend on public benefits, but over time may become self-sufficient.[45]

Availability of public assistance programs can vary depending on which states within the United States refugees are allocated to resettle in. For example, health policies differ from state to state, and as of 2017, only 33 states expanded Medicaid programs under the Affordable Care Act.[46] In 2016, The American Journal of Public Health reported that only 60% of refugees are assigned to resettlement locations with expanding Medicaid programs, meaning that more than 1 in 3 refugees may have limited healthcare access.[47]

In 2015, the world saw the greatest displacement of people since World War II with 65.3 million people having to flee their homes.[48] In fiscal year 2016, the Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration under the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act (MRA) requested that $442.7 million be allocated to refugee admission programs that relocate refugees into communities across the country.[49] President Obama made a “Call to Action” for the private sector to make a commitment to help refugees by providing opportunities for jobs and accommodating refugee accessibility needs.[50]

Child separation

The recent U.S. Government policy known as “Zero-tolerance” was implemented in April 2018.[51] In response, a number of scientific organizations released statements on the negative impact of child separation, a form of childhood trauma, on child development, including the American Psychiatric Association,[52] the American Psychological Association,[53] the American Academy of Pediatrics,[54] the American Medical Association,[55] and the Society for Research in Child Development.[56]

Efforts are underway to minimize the impact of child separation. For instance, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network released a resource guide and held a webinar related to traumatic separation and refugee and immigrant trauma.

LGBTQ asylum seekers

Historically, homosexuality was considered a deviant behavior in the US, and the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 barred homosexual individuals from entering the United States due to concerns about their psychological health.[57] One of the first successful LGBTasylum pleas to be granted refugee status in the United States due to sexual orientation was a Cuban national whose case was first presented in 1989.[58] The case was affirmed by the Board of Immigration Appeals and the barring of LGBT and queer individuals into the United States was repealed in 1990. The case, known as Matter of Acosta (1985), set the standard of what qualified as a “particular social group.” This new definition of “social group” expanded to explicitly include homosexuality and the LGBT population. It considers homosexuality and gender identity a “common characteristic of the group either cannot change or should not be required to change because it is fundamental to their individual identities or consciences.”[59] This allows political asylum to some LGBT individuals who face potential criminal penalties due to homosexuality and sodomy being illegal in the home country who are unable to seek protection from the state.[60][61] The definition was intended to be open-ended in order to fit with the changing understanding of sexuality. According to Fatma Marouf, the definition established in Acosta was influential internationally, appealing to “the fundamental norms of human rights.”[62]

Experts disagree on the role of sexuality in the asylum process. Stefan Volger argues that the definition of social group tends to be relatively flexible, and describes sexuality akin to religion—one might change religions but characteristics of religion are protected traits that can’t be forced.[59][62] However, Susan Berger argues that while homosexuality and other sexual minorities might be protected under the law, the burden of proving that they are an LGBT member demonstrates a greater immutable view of the expected LGBT performance.[63] The importance of visibility is stressed throughout the asylum process, as sexuality is an internal characteristic. It is not visibly represented in the outside appearance.[62]

When considering how sexuality is viewed, research utilize asylum claim decisions and individual cases to understand what is considered characteristic of being a member of the LGBT community. In migration studies, there was an implicit assumption that immigrants are heterosexual and LGBT people are citizens.[64]

One theory that took route within the queer migrations studies was Jasbir Puar‘s idea of homonationalism. According to Paur, following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack, the movement against terrorists also resulted in a reinforcement of the binary “us vs. them” against some members of the LGBT community. The social landscape was termed “homonormative nationalism” or homonationalism.[65]

Obstacles asylum seekers face

Gender

Female asylum seekers may encounter issues when seeking asylum in the United States due to what some see as a structural preference for male narrative forms in the requirements for acceptance.[63] Researchers, such as Amy Shuman and Carol Bohmer, argue that the asylum process produces gendered cultural silences, particular in hearings where the majority of narrative construction takes place.[66] Cultural silences refers to things that women refrain from sharing, due to shame, humiliation, and other deterrents.[66] These deterrents can make achieving asylum more difficult as it can keep relevant information from being shared with the asylum judge.[66]

Susan Berger argues that the relationship between gender and sexuality leads to arbitrary case decisions, as there are no clear guidelines for when the private problems becomes an international problem. Berger uses case specific examples of asylum applications where gender and sexuality both act as an immutable characteristic. She argues that because male persecutors of lesbian and heterosexual female applicants tend to be family members, their harm occurs in the private domain and is therefore excluded from asylum consideration. Male applicants, on the other hand, are more likely to experience targeted, public persecution that relates better to the traditional idea of a homosexual asylum seeker. Male applicants are encouraged to perform gay stereotypes to strengthen their asylum application on the basis of sexual orientation, while lesbian women face the same difficulties as their heterosexual partners to perform the homosexual narrative.[63] Joe Rollins found that gay male applicants were more likely to be granted refugee status if they included rape in their narratives, while gay Asian immigrants were less likely to be granted refugee status over all, even with the inclusion of rape.[67] This, he claimed, was due to Asian men being subconsciously feminized.[67]

These experiences are articulated during the hearing process where the responsibility to prove membership is on the applicant.[63][66][59] During the hearing process, applicants are encouraged to demonstrate persecution for gender or sexuality and place the source as their own culture. Shuman and Bohmer argue that in sexual minorities, it is not enough to demonstrate only violence, asylum applicants have to align themselves against a restrictive culture. The narratives are forced to fit into categories shaped by western culture or be found to be fraudulent.[66]

Mexican Transgender Asylum Seeker

LGBT individuals have a higher risk for mental health problems when compared to cis-gender counterparts and many transgender individuals face socioeconomic difficulties in addition to being an asylum seeker. In a study conducted by Mary Gowin, E. Laurette Taylor, Jamie Dunnington, Ghadah Alshuwaiyer, and Marshall K. Cheney of Mexican Transgender Asylum Seekers, they found 5 major stressors among the participants including assault (verbal, physical and sexual), “unstable environments, fear for safety and security, hiding undocumented status, and economic insecurity.”[68] They also found that all of the asylum seekers who participated reported at least one health issue that could be attributed to the stressors. They accessed little or no use of health or social services, attributed to barriers to access, such as fear of the government, language barriers and transportation.[68] They are also more likely to report lower levels of education due to few opportunities after entering the United States. Many of the asylum seeker participants entered the United States as undocumented immigrants. Obstacles to legal services included fear and knowledge that there were legal resources to gaining asylum.[68]

Human Rights Activism

Human Rights and LGBT advocates have worked to create many improvements to the LGBT Asylum Seekers coming into the United States.[69] A 2015 report issued by the LGBT Freedom and Asylum network identifies best practices for supporting LGBT asylum seekers in the US.[70] The US State Department has also issued a factsheet on protecting LGBT refugees.[71]

Film

The 2000 documentary film Well-Founded Fear, from filmmakers Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini marked the first time that a film crew was privy to the private proceedings at the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS), where individual asylum officers ponder the often life-or-death fate of the majority of immigrants seeking asylum. The film analyzes the US asylum application process by following several asylum applicants and asylum officers.

See also

Sources

  • David Weissbrodt and Laura Danielson, Immigration Law and Procedure, 5th ed., West Group Publishing, 2005, ISBN 0-314-15416-7

Notes and references

  1. Jump up to:a b Matter of A-B-27 I&N Dec. 316, 317-18 (A.G. 2018); 8 U.S.C. § 1158 (“Asylum”).
  2. ^ Spreadsheet: Inflows of asylum seekers into selected OECD countries. Associated migration report: OECD International Migration Outlook 2009.
  3. ^ UNHCR (2015). Asylum Trends 2014: Levels and Trends in Industrialized Countries, p. 20. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  4. ^ Scott Rempell, Defining Persecution, http://ssrn.com/abstract=1941006
  5. ^ “8 USC 1101(a)(42)(A)”Legal Information Institute. Cornell University. Retrieved 25 November 2018.
  6. ^ http://www.discipleshomemissions.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/DW-WWW-2009-RIMStudy.pdf
  7. ^ “Venezuelan middle class seeks refuge in Miami”.
  8. ^ “Thousands of Venezuelans Have Gotten Political Asylum in the U.S.” 24 June 2011.
  9. ^ “Global Views: Iraq’s refugees, by R. Nolan, Foreign Policy Association Features, Resource Library, June 12, 2007.
  10. Jump up to:a b US Department of State “Proposed refugee admissions for fiscal year 2014
  11. Jump up to:a b US Department of State “Proposed refugee admissions for fiscal year 2015
  12. Jump up to:a b US Department of State “Proposed refugee admissions for fiscal year 2016
  13. Jump up to:a b US Department of State “Proposed refugee admissions for fiscal year 2017
  14. ^ US Department of State “Arrivals by Region 2016_09_30
  15. ^ Presidential Determination – Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2017
  16. ^ Admissions Reports | Arrivals by region | 2017
  17. ^ Proposed Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2018
  18. ^ Admissions Reports | Arrivals by region | 2018
  19. ^ Proposed Refugee Admissions for Fiscal Year 2019
  20. ^ Admissions & Arrivals | Arrivals by Region
  21. Jump up to:a b Report to the Congress Submitted on Behalf of The President of The United States to the Committees on the Judiciary United States Senate and United States House of Representatives in Fulfillment of the Requirements of Section 207(E) (1)-(7) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Released by the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration of the United States Department of State, p. 8
  22. ^ Perry, Jeffrey (June 6, 2013). “The Lautenberg Amendment”CounterPunch Magazine. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  23. ^ Schaefer, Kimberley. “Applying for Asylum in the United States”kschaeferlaw.com/. Kimberley Schaefer. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  24. ^ Satija, Neena (2018-07-05). “The Trump administration is not keeping its promises to asylum seekers who come to ports of entry”. The Texas Tribune. Retrieved 2018-07-07.
  25. ^ Chang, Ailsa (September 28, 2018). “Thousands Could Be Deported As Government Targets Asylum Mills’ Clients”NPR(All Things Considered). NPR.
  26. ^ Schaefer, Kimberley. “Asylum in the United States”kschaeferlaw.com/immigration-overview/asylum. Kimberley Schaefer. Retrieved 6 August 2012.
  27. ^ Kutidze, Givi. “Green Card Through Asylum”us-counsel.com/green-cards/green-card-asylum. Givi Kutidze. Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  28. ^ Farris, Christopher J. and Rottman, Andy J. “The Path to Asylum in the US and the Determinants for Who Gets In and Why.” International Migration Review, Volume 43, Issue 1, Pages 3-34. First Published March 2, 2009.
  29. Jump up to:a b “Asylum Based on Sexual Orientation and Fear of Persecution”. Archived from the original on 24 February 2015. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  30. ^ “How Will Ugandan Gay Refugees Be Received By U.S.?”NPR.org. 24 February 2014. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  31. ^ Marouf, Fatma E. (2008) “The Emerging Importance of “Social Visibility” in Defining a Particular Social Group and Its Potential Impact on Asylum Claims Related to Sexual Orientation and Gender”. Scholarly Works. Paper 419, pg. 48
  32. Jump up to:a b “Social visibility, asylum law, and LGBT asylum seekers”Twin Cities Daily Planet. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  33. Jump up to:a b Preston, Julia (29 August 2014). “In First for Court, Woman Is Ruled Eligible for Asylum in U.S. on Basis of Domestic Abuse”The New York Times. p. A12. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  34. ^ Benner, Katie; Dickerson, Caitlin (11 June 2018). “Sessions Says Domestic and Gang Violence Are Not Grounds for Asylum”The New York Times. p. A1. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  35. ^ Human Rights Watch (12 November 2013). US: Catch-22 for Asylum Seekers. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  36. ^ Congressional Research Service Report to Congress, Unaccompanied Refugee MinorsPolicyarchive.org pg. 7
  37. Jump up to:a b “About Unaccompanied Refugee Minors”. Department of Health and Human Services.
  38. Jump up to:a b c d e “Unaccompanied Refugee Minors” (PDF). Congressional Research Service.
  39. ^ “The Vietnam War and Its Impact – Refugees and ‘boat people. Encyclopedia of the New American Nation.
  40. ^ “Lost Boys of Sudan :: About The Film”. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  41. ^ “The United States Unaccompanied Refugee Minor Program” (PDF). United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
  42. ^ “LIRS – Stand for Welcome with Migrants and Refugees”. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  43. Jump up to:a b “Unaccompanied Refugee Minors”. Retrieved 3 December2014.
  44. ^ Department of State, Office of Children’s Issues: Intercountry Adoption Overview Adoption.state.gov
  45. ^ “Ten Facts About U.S. Refugee Resettlement”migrationpolicy.org. 2015-10-21. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  46. ^ “A 50-State Look at Medicaid Expansion”Families USA. 2013-12-16. Retrieved 2018-04-17.
  47. ^ Agrawal, Pooja; Venkatesh, Arjun Krishna (2016). “Refugee Resettlement Patterns and State-Level Health Care Insurance Access in the United States”American Journal of Public Health106 (4): 662–3. doi:10.2105/ajph.2015.303017PMC 4816078PMID 26890186.
  48. ^ “Global Refugee Crisis”Partnership for Refugees. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  49. ^ Congressional Presentation Document Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) FY 2016 [PDF] – U.S. Department of State Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
  50. ^ “Private Sector Call to Action on Refugees”state.gov. Retrieved 2016-11-17.
  51. ^ “Memorandum for Federal Prosecutors Along the Southwest Border, Zero-Tolerance for Offenses Under 8 U.S.C. § 1325(a)”.
  52. ^ “APA Statement Opposing Separation of Children from Parents at the Border”psychiatry.org. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  53. ^ “Statement of APA President Regarding the Traumatic Effects of Separating Immigrant Families”apa.org. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  54. ^ “AAP Statement on Executive Order on Family Separation”aap.org. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  55. ^ “Doctors oppose policy that splits kids from caregivers at border”AMA Wire. 2018-06-13. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  56. ^ “The Science is Clear: Separating Families has Long-term Damaging Psychological and Health Consequences for Children, Families, and Communities”Society for Research in Child Development. Retrieved 2018-07-27.
  57. ^ Shannon, Minter, (1993). “Sodomy and Public Morality Offenses under U.S. Immigration Law: Penalizing Lesbian and Gay Identity”Cornell International Law Journal26 (3). ISSN 0010-8812.
  58. ^ “Social visibility, asylum law, and LGBT asylum seekers”. Twin Cities Daily Planet. October 7, 2013.
  59. Jump up to:a b c Vogler, Stefan (2016). “Legally Queer: The Construction of Sexuality in LGBQ Asylum Claims”. Law & Society Review50 (4): 856–889.
  60. ^ Kerr, Jacob (June 19, 2015). “LGBT Asylum Seekers Not Getting Enough Relief In U.S., Report Finds”Huffington Post.
  61. ^ Taracena, Maria Inés (May 27, 2014). “LGBT Global Persecution Leads to Asylum Seekers in Southern AZ”Arizona Public Media, NPR.
  62. Jump up to:a b c Marouf, Fatma (2008). “The Emerging Importance of “Social Visibility” in Defining a “Particular Social Group” and Its Potential Impact on Asylum Claims Related to Sexual Orientation and Gender”. Yale Law & Policy Review27 (1): 47–106.
  63. Jump up to:a b c d Berger, Susan A (2009). “Production and Reproduction of Gender and Sexuality in Legal Discourses of Asylum in the United States”. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society34 (3): 659–85. doi:10.1086/593380.
  64. ^ Lewis, Rachel A; Naples, Nancy A (2014). “Introduction: Queer migration, asylum, and displacement”. Sexualities17 (8): 911–8. doi:10.1177/1363460714552251.
  65. ^ Puar, Jasbir K (2007). Terrorist Assemblagesdoi:10.1215/9780822390442ISBN 978-0-8223-9044-2.[page needed]
  66. Jump up to:a b c d e Shuman, Amy; Bohmer, Carol (2014). “Gender and cultural silences in the political asylum process”. Sexualities17(8): 939–57. doi:10.1177/1363460714552262.
  67. Jump up to:a b Rollins, Joe (2009). “Embargoed Sexuality: Rape and the Gender of Citizenship in American Immigration Law”. Politics & Gender5 (4): 519–544.
  68. Jump up to:a b c Gowin, Mary; Taylor, E. Laurette; Dunnington, Jamie; Alshuwaiyer, Ghadah; Cheney, Marshall K (2017). “Needs of a Silent Minority: Mexican Transgender Asylum Seekers”. Health Promotion Practice18 (3): 332–340. doi:10.1177/1524839917692750PMID 28187690.
  69. ^ Mertus, Julie (2007). “The Rejection of Human Rights Framings: The Case of LGBT Advocacy in the US”. Human Rights Quarterly29 (4): 1036–64. doi:10.1353/hrq.2007.0045JSTOR 20072835.
  70. ^ “Best Practice Guide: Supporting LGBT Asylum Seekers in the United States” (PDF). LGBT Freedom and Asylum Network.
  71. ^ US Department of State LGBT Human Rights Fact Sheet, US Department of State, accessed May 14, 2016

External links

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

Story 3: You Can’t Always Get What You Want  — President Trump 2020 Stump Speech Preview — Trump Victory Lap — Radical Extremist Democrat Socialists or REDS — Band On The Run — Videos

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Rolling Stones “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” in 1969

You Can’t Always Get What You Want
I saw her today at a reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she would meet her connection
At her feet was her footloose man
No, you can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
And if you try sometime you find
You get what you need
I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she was gonna meet her connection
At her feet was her footloose man
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you might find
You get what you need
Oh yeah, hey hey hey, oh…
And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, “We’re gonna vent our frustration
If we don’t we’re gonna blow a 50-amp fuse”
Sing it to me now…
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need
Oh baby, yeah, yeah!
I went down to the Chelsea drugstore
To get your prescription filled
I was standing in line with Mr. Jimmy
And man, did he look pretty ill
We decided that we would have a soda
My favorite flavor, cherry red
I sung my song to Mr. Jimmy
Yeah, and he said one word to me, and that was “dead”
I said to him
You can’t always get what you want, no!
You can’t always get what you want (tell ya baby)
You can’t always get what you want (no)
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You get what you need
Oh yes! Woo!
You get what you need–yeah, oh baby!
Oh yeah!
I saw her today at the reception
In her glass was a bleeding man
She was practiced at the art of deception
Well I could tell by her blood-stained hands
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need
You can’t always get what you want (no, no baby)
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need, ah yes…

FULL MAGA RALLY: President Trump in Grand Rapids, MI

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President Trump Talks Auto Industry and Trade: “Get the damn plants open!”

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Trump shreds the Green New Deal at rally in Michigan

TRUMP ON SCHIFF: During #MAGA Rally in Grand Rapids, MI

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President Trump speech at Grand Rapids, Michigan rally

Paul McCartney – Band on the Run (Live)

“Band on the Run” by Paul McCartney & Wings lyrics (HD)

Stuck inside these four walls
Sent inside forever
Never seeing no one
Nice again like you
Mama you, mama you
If I ever get out of here
Thought of giving it all away
To a registered charity
All I need is a pint a day
If I ever get outta here
If we ever get outta of here
Well, the rain exploded with a mighty crash
As we fell into the sun
And the first one said to the second one there
I hope you’re having fun
Band on the run, band on the run
And the jailer man and sailor Sam
Were searching every one
For the band on the run
Band on the run
Band on the run
Band on the run
Well, the undertaker drew a heavy sigh
Seeing no one else had come
And a bell was ringing in the village square
For the rabbits on the run
Band on the run
Band on the run
And the jailer man and sailor Sam
Were searching every one
For the band on the run
Band on the run
Yeah, the band on the run
Band on the run
Band on the run
Band on the run
Well, the night was falling as the desert world
Began to settle down
In the town they’re searching for us everywhere
But we never will be found
Band on the run
Band on the run
And the county judge who held a grudge
Will search for evermore
For the band on the run
Band on the run
Band on the run
Band on the run
Songwriters: Linda McCartney / Paul James McCartney
Band on the Run lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Paul McCartney and Wings: Band On The Run – ITV Special – Dermot O’Leary

Paul McCartney “Hello Goodbye/All My Loving/We Can Work It Out” Live

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The Pronk Pops Show 1230, March 27, 2019, Story 1: Bombshell Collusion of Big Lie Media — Do Not Trust — Do Not Watch — Do Not Listen — Do Not Read — Less Audience — Less Advertising — Less Revenue — Less Profits — Less Propaganda — American Accountability — Videos — Story 2: Twilight Zone of Dirty Desperate Delusional Democrats of The Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers and Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) — Pivot To Socialized Medicine or Medicare For All Single Payer (U.S. Government or Amercan Taxpayers) — You Cannot Keep Your Doctor or Plan — Fool Me Once Shame on You — Fool Me Twice Shame on Me — Enormous Tax Increase For Medicare for All — Political Suicide For Democrats — Videos

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Story 1: Bombshell Collusion of Big Lie Media — Do Not Trust — Do Not Watch — Do Not Listen — Do Not Read — Less Audience — Less Advertising — Less Revenue — Less Profits — Less Propaganda — American Accountability — Videos —

Hannity: Mainstream media has lied to you for years

Mueller report raising questions over the Steele dossier?

Rudy Giuliani reacts to Mueller report finding no collusion

Ingraham on holding the media accountable for frenzy over Mueller

Media accused of over-hyping Trump-Russia collusion claims

Hannity fox news Mueller The left’s favorite conspiracy theory is dead

Inside Dems’ ‘big lie’ about Trump and Russia

Laura Ingraham: The anatomy of a smear

The Rush Limbaugh Show Tuesday – Mar 26, 2019 [FULL SHOW]

The Big Lie (1951)

Joseph Goebbels: The Propaganda Maestro

Joseph Goebbels Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda

We Have Ways of Making You Think – Goebbels Master of Propaganda – BBC Documentary 1992

 

The Late, Not-So-Great Mueller Investigation

Robert Mueller on Capitol Hill in 2013. (Larry Downing/Reuters)

It followed the Soviet style: ‘Show me the man, and I’ll show you the crime.’Had Hillary Clinton just won the 2016 election, there would have been neither a Mueller investigation nor much talk of Russian collusion.

 

No Trump Victory, No Collusion Investigation

A losing Donald Trump would have slunk off to left-wing and Never-Trump ridicule and condemnation — and no investigation about collusion.

A defeated Trump would have posed no threat to the 16-year Obama-Clinton progressive project. President Clinton would have been content to let her unverified but lurid dossier rumors hound Trump for the rest of his life, with Trump as the supposed “loser” who had tried, in cahoots with the Russians, to unfairly beat Hillary, though he pathetically failed even at that.

Of course, a President Hillary Clinton herself may well have faced some Russian blackmail attempts. Kremlin fixers would have likely threatened to go public that their planted lies to Christopher Steele were gobbled up by President Clinton’s own private Fusion GPS hit team. In essence, the Russians would have claimed that they had fueled the dossier that wounded the Trump campaign — and expected some sort of quid pro quo, perhaps in Uranium One fashion.

NOW WATCH: ‘California Pulling National Guard from Border to Wildfires’

California Pulling National Guard from Border to Wildfires

Obama-administration bureaucrats — Attorney General Loretta Lynch, subordinate attorneys general such as Bruce Ohr and Rod Rosenstein, FBI grandees such as James Baker, James Comey, and Andrew McCabe, intelligence kingpins such as John Brennan and James Clapper, and national-security officials turned intelligence sleuths such as Susan Rice and Samantha Power — would all have been competing on the basis of service beyond the call of duty for top jobs in the Clinton administration.

Among their swamp talking points would have been rival obsequious claims to have squashed Trump. Clinton-administration transition officials would have had to parcel out patronage by judging the relative help of people who had seeded Hillary’s Steele dossier around the government and the media, or fooled a FISA court to monitor Carter Page and thereby generated leaks that the Trump campaign was “under investigation,” or obstructed the Clinton email investigation, or placed an informant in Trump’s campaign, or unmasked the contents of surveilled conversations and leaked them to the press.

Translated, that means the hysteria that helped prompt the Mueller investigation was in part whipped up by those who had knowingly acted unethically or illegally during and also after the 2016 campaign. These Obama officials bet on the sure-thing but wrong horse and suddenly, after Nov. 8, 2016, feared that they were soon to be subject to lots of criminal exposure.

Assume that both the ruse of “collusion” and James Comey’s leaking gambit to prompt a special counsel’s investigation were thus the preemptive defenses of an assortment of crimes by Obama-era officials, such as lying to federal officials, conspiracy to obstruct justice, illegally leaking confidential or classified documents to the media, deceiving a FISA court, and myriad conflicts of interest. In other words, there were never any evidentiary reasons to appoint a special counsel other than to divert attention away from an array of wrongdoing. After 22 months, that fact finally became clear even to a largely partisan group of attorneys, once eager to become folk heroes by aborting the Trump presidency.

Let us hope both that Attorney General Barr can now turn to the real illegal behavior of an entire array of Obama-administration officials, and that the public at last can have access to unredacted documents that record their frenzied and illegal efforts.

The Clinton-purchased Steele Dossier was the encephalitic virus that infected the entire Washington establishment between 2016 and 2019.

Without it, there would have been no such thing as “collusion,” much less a Mueller investigation.

Had James Comey and his associates (and Bruce Ohr had briefed them all previously on the shaky dossier) been honest and apprised the FISA court in October 2016 that their “opposition research” evidence for a warrant was 1) paid for by Hillary Clinton, 2) largely written by a foreign national (with help from the spouse of Obama DOJ official Bruce Ohr) who despised Donald Trump and who was dismissed from his nebulous relationship with the FBI, 3) remained unverified, and 4) served as the basis for submitted news accounts that in circular fashion supposedly substantiated collusionary behavior, then the writ might have been rejected and the dossier’s usefulness died.

Immediately after the election, the dossier was reinvigorated (by nervous-lame-duck careerists like John Brennan and James Clapper, and Senator John McCain) to serve a new role in aborting the Trump presidency, given that it had always been the only real basis for the entire mythology of Trump-Russian collusion.

Paul Manafort was no doubt duplicitous and acted in a variety of felonious ways, but, without the seeded dossier, his illegal behavior would no more have sparked a wider investigation of the Trump campaign than the actions of the Podesta brothers (whose suspect Russian ties had long contaminated the Clinton campaign) would have spurred investigations of liberal Russian collusion and profiteering.

So, Steele’s insertion of the Trump-prostitute-Obama’s-hotel-bed-urolagnia meme was the sharp hook that snagged Washington’s swamp creatures. The Steele dossier was not just spurious in its wild claims about Carter Page eyeing billion-dollar payoffs or a bumbling Michael Cohen in Prague on a secret Trump collusionary mission, it was also so salacious that it served as lurid pornography that supercharged its odyssey throughout the bowels of the Obama government and the media.

 

The ‘All-Stars’ and ‘Dream Team’ Were Flawed from the Beginning

Robert Mueller spent over $30 million and 674 days in vain ferreting out “collusion” not because it was necessarily difficult to prove such a charge either true or false. After all, the basis for the allegation, the veracity of the Steele dossier, could have been easily and quickly adjudicated.

Indeed, already by May 2017 and the beginning of Mueller’s investigation, the dossier was roundly denounced as fraudulent. FISA transcripts of surveilled conversations had already apprised officials that there was no direct evidence of collusion, which is why Peter Strzok, well before Mueller began, had privately warned his paramour and soon to be fellow Mueller team member, Lisa Page, that “there’s no big there there” to the collusion charge.

What explains the cost and length of the Mueller investigation? It’s not the (relatively easy) challenge of adjudicating collusion. It’s the politicized make-up of his team, which relentlessly and expansively drove on to tag any Trump aide with almost any crime imaginable.

Mueller could have saved the nation a great deal of national angst and division had he only insisted on a brief series of special requisites in his personnel selections: 1) None of his lawyers and investigators should have donated either to the Trump or Clinton campaign; 2) there should have been some numerical parity between Democratic and Republican members; 3) attorneys should not in the past have directly defended either the Trump or Clinton Foundation or any aides who had previously worked for Trump or Clinton; 4) they should not have transmitted on government devices any prior hyper-partisan praise or invective concerning either Trump or Clinton.

Yet Mueller could not fulfill even those minimal requirements. And the result was twofold: Mueller never escaped the charge that his team was biased; and, because it was stocked with progressives, in its zeal to get Trump, the investigation started out with the Soviet assumption that to convict the guilty criminal Trump, they needed only enough time and money to find the right crime.

Members including Page, Strozk, and Weissman had either in email or in texts on their government phones or computers earlier expressed hyper-partisan, anti-Trump views.

Another working for Mueller, Jeannie Rhee, a prosecutor on the team, had been employed as “outside counsel” at one point by the Clinton Foundation. Rhee also had represented Obama official Ben Rhodes in the Benghazi controversy; Rhodes, remember, after the election, was outspoken in his efforts to resist the Trump administration’s initiatives.

Another prominent Mueller team member, Aaron Zebley, had once defended Hillary Clinton’s staffer Justin Cooper. Cooper infamously had set up the private and illegal email server in the basement of the Clintons’ home.

Mueller attorneys such as former federal officials Andrew Weissmann and Zainab Ahmad had also both previously communicated with, and been briefed by, Bruce Ohr, who allegedly had warned them of the unverified nature of the Steele dossier.

Mueller team member Strzok had long been directly involved in Clinton-Trump investigations. He had previously interviewed Michael Flynn (Jan. 24, 2017) to learn about possible Trump-Russian collusion. Earlier, Strozk had interrogated Clinton aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills in connection with the Clinton email scandal; both had clearly lied to the FBI and both had been given de facto immunity. In short, Peter Strozk had no business posing as a disinterested investigator of Trump.

Another lead attorney on Robert Mueller’s team had also previously been assigned to the investigation of the Clinton emails. After the election, the unnamed Mueller team member, later revealed to be Kevin Clinesmith, had bragged in a text to an FBI attorney acquaintance of his opposition to Trump: “Viva le [sic] resistance.”

The point is not that Mueller deliberately selected a biased team. It’s that he did not exercise proper caution in order to avoid even the appearance of bias in such a high-profile investigation. That is why liberal activists and the media were understandably giddy on hearing of the make-up of the team, and they gushed approbation of their newly adopted  “army,” “untouchables,” “all-stars,” and “dream team” — or what Max Boot praised as a “hunter-killer team of crack investigators and lawyers.”

It did not help appearances that the appointed Mueller was a longtime friend and associate of fired FBI director James Comey, who had bragged that he had sought to prompt a special-counsel investigation by deliberately leaking to the press confidential (if not in one case classified) memos of private conversations with the president.

Worse still, Acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversaw the Mueller investigation, signed off on a misleading FISA writ after the start of the Mueller investigation. Rosenstein also had provided the official rationale for firing James Comey, and he had been knee-deep in prior investigations involving both Trump and Clinton. Rosenstein allegedly had agreed to wear a wire, shortly before Mueller was appointed, to capture enough supposedly treasonous or unhinged Trump dialogue to invoke the 25th Amendment. Remember, in surreal fashion, Rosenstein stepped up to oversee Mueller’s work because, unlike Attorney General Jeff Sessions, he posed as someone who had no such conflicts of interest.

In the end, to justify the absence of any proof of collusion, Mueller’s progressive attorneys and investigators descended to dogging small-time wannabes and a few shady operators on charges that had nothing to do with Russian collusion — before they finally ended up ignominiously going after minor nobodies such the braggart and provocateur Roger Stone and Infowars’ Jerome Corsi.

Does anyone doubt that a comparable conservative team of lawyers including a few Trump donors, with $30 million of government money, a 90 percent favorable press, and 22 months’ time, while investigating Team Clinton and its hangers-on, couldn’t find scads of extraneous felonies, apart from its purported mission of investigating the collusionary Steele dossier?

 

Mueller, Progressive Hero?

The bias and the wasted resources and time of the stymied Mueller investigation will not matter to progressives. They saw Mueller and company as heroic, or at least useful, for all the righteous damage that the special prosecutor has already inflicted on the hated Trump administration.

For some 674 days, Donald Trump was under a cloud of a special investigator, prying into all aspects of his personal and private life, as well as the lives of his family and aides. Or to put it another way, for 83 percent of Trump’s first term, constant media announcements have blared about the “bombshell” to come as “the noose is tightening” and “the walls are closing in” — all as inaccurate as they were damaging to the efficacy of the administration.

The mainstream-network, MSNBC, and CNN prophesies of impeachment hearings driven by Russian “collusion” had, as planned, driven down Trump’s polls. Between 2017 and 2019, Mueller’s supposed prelude to impeachment caused defections among a once-solid Republican House and Senate and thereby stalled initiatives, thwarting efforts to curb illegal immigration, repeal Obamacare, quickly confirm judicial nominees and executive appointees, and preserve diplomatic leverage abroad.

Without the Mueller investigation and enablers such as Representative Adam Schiff (who had falsely insisted to the media that the dossier was not integral to a pre-election FISA application and had not launched the FBI investigation before the election), and without the MSBNC/CNN punditry, all the serial conspiratorial talk of invoking the 25th Amendment and the emoluments clause, as well as the comical McCabe-Rosenstein palace coup and the efforts of the “resistance” to thwart Trump’s administration from the inside, as outlined in the Sept. 5, 2018, anonymous New York Times op-ed, would probably have been written off immediately as short-lived psychodramas. Instead, they were all sensationalized by a 90-percent-biased media as the prefaces to the Mueller “bombshell” to come.

In the end, Mueller’s investigation really did prove to be a witch hunt, just as half the country came to conclude. It has probably forever ended the idea that a special prosecutor can be useful or fair. It has curtailed foreign-policy options and prevented the traditional American realist approach to Russia as a triangulating counterweight to China. It ruined the lives of innocents such as Carter Page and the reputations of dozens of others such as General Michael Flynn. It divided the country in its transparent violation of any sense of disinterested investigation and turned the idea of American jurisprudence into a version of the Soviets’ “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime.” And now that it is over, we should not forget what it wrought and those who empowered it.

Editor’s Note: This article originally misidentified FBI employee Sally Moyer as an acquaintance of Kevin Clinesmith who had sent disparaging texts about President Trump. The mistaken reference has been corrected.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON — NRO contributor Victor Davis Hanson is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and the author, most recently, of The Case for Trump.

NOW WHAT?

MSNBC’s Trump-Russia Ratings Fizzle: ‘Time to Pivot to 2020’

The Mueller report and its potential implications have driven the network’s coverage—and monster ratings—for two years. Now it’s ended with a whimper, leaving execs in a bind.

Photo Illustration by Lyne Lucien/The Daily Beast/Getty

Attorney General William Barr’s short letter claiming Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation found no clear evidence of collusion between Russia and President Trump’s 2016 campaign left some MSNBC personalities dumbfounded on Sunday.

Several hours before Barr’s letter was released, former intelligence officer Malcolm Nance predicted on MSNBC that the report could “technically eclipse Benedict Arnold” in its level of treasonous activity.

But when Nance returned to MSNBC several hours after Barr’s letter was made public, the network contributor did little to hide his displeasure about why the investigation hadn’t resulted in more criminal indictments.

“We’ve seen these things occur and in any other standard, these people would’ve been arrested, they would’ve been polygraphed, and would’ve been brought to trial,” he said.

Over the past two years, Nance has been one of MSNBC’s most outspoken personalities commenting on the network’s most important story: Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference. Hosts like Rachel Maddow have seen their ratings notably increase as the investigation unfolded, while other anchors like Ari Melber have built major elements of their shows around interviews of witnesses of the investigation to get their perspective on Mueller’s probe.

But the release of Barr’s summary letter threw a wrench into the narrative that has driven the network’s coverage and called into question what the primary narrative would be for the network going forward.

Over the past several days, MSNBC and other media outlets have been the targets of criticism from Trump supporters and others who felt the network’s journalists and commentators had spent too much time obsessing over the Mueller investigation and drawing conclusions that were not borne out by Barr’s summary.

The White House shared a meme mocking Maddow’s and host Chris Hayes’ coverage of the investigation. Conservative news outlets and prominent politicians also criticized former CIA director John Brennan, who predicted earlier this month that there could be further indictments and suggested there may be evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Within MSNBC, there’s an acknowledgement that the Trump-Russia narrative on which the cable network—and especially its primetime star Maddow—built monster ratings has fizzled for the moment.

Insiders also claim not to be surprised that the conclusion of the long-awaited Mueller report—or at least the Trump-appointed attorney general’s summary—was a whimper, not a bang for an outlet that has invested so much time and energy, in primetime and throughout its dayparts, in the notion that Trump is unworthy of the Oval Office and might at some point be forced to give it up.

And it’s also possible that the Mueller disappointment drove loyal viewers away in much the same way that people avoid looking at their 401(k)s when the stock market is down. Maddow, who has consistently vied for the first or second top-rated cable news program, was sixth on Monday evening, down almost 500,000 total viewers from the previous Monday, as was MSNBC’s second top-rated program in primetime, The Last Word With Lawrence O’Donnell.

Conversely, “It was obviously a big couple of nights for Fox,” said one network insider, claiming, however, that nobody at MSNBC is panicking.

Many top on-air personalities at the network argued Monday night that the public should not jump to conclusions until it has Mueller’s full report, not a brief, vague summary written by Trump’s attorney general.

On her program Monday night, Maddow listed a number of unanswered questions from from the Barr letter.

“Can we expect President Trump and the Trump White House to finally accept the underlying factual record that Russia did in fact attack us?” Maddow asked. “I know, I know, I’m just getting crazy. But the Barr report has given us this whirlwind of questions. The Mueller report, if and when we see it, should answer most of them. But tick tock, how long do we have to wait?”

Many of the network’s top figures defended its coverage of the Russia story.

Though MSNBC president Phil Griffin did not return The Daily Beast’s request for comment, he said in a statement that the Mueller investigation was a “huge story” and that the network was going to “keep doing our job, asking the tough questions, especially when it involves holding powerful people accountable.”

On Tuesday, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough delivered a lengthy monologue admonishing Trump supporters and media critics who used the Barr summary to discount major reporting by The New York TimesThe Washington Post, and others on the Mueller investigation. He also acknowledged that while there were some “bad actors,” they didn’t represent the responsible journalism done around the report.

“What was the media supposed to do at that point? Shrug it off? No. You know the answer,” Scarborough said, noting the instances where individuals in Trump’s orbit had lied to law enforcement officials.

“Were there bad actors?” he continued later in the show. “Yeah, and guess what? We know who they are. We won’t have them back on our show.”

According to network insiders, viewers can expect to hear less about Trump’s alleged collusion with Russians—which Barr has declared an investigative dead end—both from the cable outlet’s anchors and its paid contributors.

Several MSNBC employees who spoke to The Daily Beast following the release of the report said although Nance appears regularly across numerous shows on the network, many producers already had reservations about bringing him on, given his penchant for over-the-top rhetoric related the investigation.

But until Mueller’s full report is released, there is no sense that there will be any major changes at the network or evaluation of its coverage. Nance and Brennan, both contributors, are expected to be back on the air in the coming days.

The hope now is that Trump’s conduct as president, along with the ramping up of the 2020 presidential campaign, will prove powerful storylines that will give MSNBC the opportunity to regroup. Hayes led his show Tuesday night with an interview with Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg about the Trump administration’s decision to pursue yet another repeal of Obamacare.

“This stuff ebbs and flows,” said one network insider. “I think we’re ebbing.”

Asked what they thought of Monday’s ratings and the path forward for the network, another network source replied succinctly.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/msnbcs-trump-russia-ratings-juggernaut-fizzles-time-to-pivot-to-2020

Story 2: Twilight Zone of Dirty Desperate Delusional Democrats of The Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers and Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) — Pivot To Socialized Medicine or Medicare For All Single Payer (U.S. Government or Amercian Taxpayers) — You Cannot Keep Your Doctor or Plan — Fool Me Once Shame on You — Fool Me Twice Shame on Me — Enormous Tax Increase For Medicare for All — Political Suicide For Democrats —  Videos

Trump: Republicans will be party of health care

Tucker: There’s a real collusion story, it doesn’t involve Trump

Nancy Pelosi Announces ‘Big Step To Lower Health Care Costs’ | NBC News

The TRUTH About Universal Healthcare! (from a Canadian)

Medicare for All? Why It Can’t Work | Louder With Crowder

Government Can’t Fix Healthcare

What’s Wrong with Government-Run Healthcare?

Single-Payer Health Care: America Already Has It

What Is the Cost of Medicare for All?

Why Is Healthcare So Expensive?

Ben Shapiro Dismantles Universal Healthcare

The Economics of Healthcare: Crash Course Econ #29

Medicare For All: What Does it Actually Mean?

 

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