National Interest

The Pronk Pops Show 1035, February 15, 2018, Story 1: Grand Jury Indicts 13 Russians Trolls and 3 Russian Companies Commit Federal Crimes While Interfering With United States Political System By Sowing Discord in America Including Rallies For and Against Trump After Election — No Impact on Election Outcome and No Americans Colluded With Russians — Trump and Campaign Vindicated — When Will Their Be Indictments of The Clinton Obama Conspiracy? — Is That All There Is? — Videos — Story 2: FBI Epic Failure In Not Stopping Mentally Disturbed Killer in Parkland Florida — Missed Following Up Two Tips — Government Failures Locally, County, State, and Federal Levels — Government Dependence Kills — Videos

Posted on February 21, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Cartoons, City, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Elections, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, First Amendment, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Games, Government, Government Spending, Hardware, Health, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Independence, Investments, James Comey, Killing, Law, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, Movies, National Interest, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Progressives, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Religion, Resources, Rifles, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Russia, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Software, Spying, Spying on American People, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1035, February 16, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1033, February 14, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1032, February 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1031, February 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1030, February 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1028, February 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1027, February 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1026, February 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1025, January 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1024, January 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1023, January 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1022, January 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1021, January 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1020, January 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1019, January 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1018, January 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1017, January 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1016, January 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1015, January 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1014, January 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1013, December 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1012, December 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1011, December 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1010, December 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1009, December 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1008, December 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1007, November 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1006, November 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1005, November 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1004, November 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1003, November 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1002, November 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1001, November 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1000, November 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 999, November 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 998, November 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 997, November 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 996, November 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 995, November 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 994, November 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 993, November 1, 2017

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Story 1: Grand Jury Indicts 13 Russians Trolls and 3 Russian Companies Commit Federal Crimes While Interfering With United States Political System By Sowing Discord in America Including Rallies For and Against Trump After Election — No Impact on Election Outcome and No Americans Colluded With Russians — Trump and Campaign Vindicated — When Will Their Be Indictments of The Clinton Obama Conspiracy? — Is That All There Is? — Videos —

troll farm

New Word Suggestion

An organization whose employees or members attempt to create conflict and disruption in an online community by posting deliberately inflammatory or provocative comments.
Additional Information

E.g. his username was not from one of the usual troll farms.

Peggy Lee — Is That All There Is? 1969

Is That All There Is

I remember when I was a very little girl, our house caught on fire
I’ll never forget the look on my father’s face as he gathered me up
in his arms and raced through the burning building out to the pavement
I stood there shivering in my pajamas and watched the whole world go up in flames
And when it was all over I said to myself, is that all there is to a fire
Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is
And when I was twelve years old, my father took me to a circus, the greatest show on earth
There were clowns and elephants and dancing bears
And a beautiful lady in pink tights flew high above our heads
And so I sat there watching the marvelous spectacle
I had the feeling that something was missing
I don’t know what, but when it was over
I said to myself, “is that all there is to a circus?
Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball
If that’s all there is
Then I fell in love, head over heels in love, with the most wonderful boy in the world
We would take long walks by the river or just sit for hours gazing into each other’s eyes
We were so very much in love
Then one day he went away and I thought I’d die, but I didn’t
and when I didn’t I said to myself, is that all there is to love?
Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
I know what you must be saying to yourselves
if that’s the way she feels about it why doesn’t she just end it all?
Oh, no, not me I’m in no hurry for that final disappointment
for I know just as well as I’m standing here talking to you
when that final moment comes and I’m breathing my first breath, I’ll be saying to myself
Is that all there is, is that all there is
If that’s all there is my friends, then let’s keep dancing
Let’s break out the booze and have a ball

If that’s all there is

Songwriters: Jerry Leiber / Mike Stoller
Is That All There Is lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Russian tactics to create discord during the 2016 election

Steyn: Trump elected because of careless Left demonization

Ingraham: New Russia indictments have White House cheering

Jarrett: Mueller is still focused squarely on Donald Trump

Rod Rosenstein’s Last Ditch Effort to Justify Mueller’s Existence: Indicting 13 ‘Russian Nationals’

Mueller and His Sad Handmaid Rosenstein Dump This Pathetic 37-Page Indictment Against Evil Russians

Joe Digenova: Rosenstein’s Press Conference|Judge Sullivan|Improper Conduct in General Flynn Case

Ben Shapiro: President Trump gets some good news on the Robert Mueller’s investigation! (02-19-2018)

Hannity: Examining key points from Russian indictments

White House reacts to Russia indictments

Tucker: Here’s what seems true about Russia indictments

Tucker: You will here a lot of propaganda about the indictment of 13 Russian citizens accused of trying to meddle in the 2016 election. Here’s what seems true: No evidence any vote was changed and Russia tried to ‘sow discord.’

Carter Page reacts to Russia meddling indictments

Tucker vs Rob Reiner

Trump Tweets 14 Times in 24 Hours on Russia Investigations

James Clapper: No doubt Russia wanted to sway election

Lawrence: Advisers Held Off Donald Trump’s Golfing, But Not His Tweeting | The Last Word | MSNBC

Russian indictment lays out how they financed “sophisticated operation” in the U.S., ex-federal p…

Stelter: Pro-Trump media’s dishonest Russia talking points

Watch Rosenstein’s full announcement of the indictment of 13 Russians

Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein on Feb. 16 announced the indictment of 13 Russians linked to a troll farm as part of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into meddling in the 2016 election.

Special counsel indicts Russian nationals for meddling

Mueller Indicts 13 Russians, Three Entities for Election Meddling

Media find way to connect Trump to Mueller’s indictments

Doris Day – Dream A Little Dream of Me

Dream A Little Dream Of Me
Stars shining bright above you
Night breezes seem to whisper “I love you”
Birds singing in the sycamore tree
Dream a little dream of me
Say “Night-ie night” and kiss me
Just hold me tight and tell me you’ll miss me
While I’m alone and blue as can be
Dream a little dream of me
Stars fading, but I linger on, dear
Still craving your kiss
I’m longing to linger till dawn, dear
Just saying this
Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me
Stars fading, but I linger on, dear
Still craving your kiss
I’m longing to linger till dawn, dear
Just saying this
Sweet dreams till sunbeams find you
Sweet dreams that leave all worries far behind you
But in your dreams whatever they be
Dream a little dream of me
Songwriters: Fabian Andre / Gus Kahn / Wilbur Schwandt
Dream A Little Dream Of Me lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, T.R.O. Inc.

 

55 Savushkina Street in St. Petersburg, Russia, the former home of the Internet Research Agency.CreditJames Hill for The New York Times

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia — Operating from St. Petersburg, they churned out falsehoods on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. They promoted Donald J. Trump and denigrated Hillary Clinton. They stole the identities of American citizens. They organized political rallies in several states, and hired a Clinton impersonator for one event, in West Palm Beach, Fla.

On Friday, 13 Russians were indicted by a federal grand jury in Washington on fraud and other charges. Details of their roles in a three-year campaignto disrupt American democracy have begun to emerge from the indictment, other records, interviews and press accounts.

The Oligarch: Yevgeny V. Prigozhin

Photo

Yevgeny V. Prigozhin controlled two companies that financed the operations of the Internet Research Agency, a shadowy troll farm. CreditMikhail Metzel/TASS, via Getty Images

A former teenage champion cross-country skier who was later imprisoned for robbery, Mr. Prigozhin started a hot-dog business as the Soviet Union collapsed and eventually branched into convenience stores and restaurants. He received catering contracts and threw lavish state banquets. He has played host to world leaders like George W. Bush and Jacques Chirac. He developed a close relationship with President Vladimir V. Putin, and has been derogatively called “Putin’s cook.”

According to the indictment, he controlled two companies that financed the operations of the Internet Research Agency, a shadowy troll farm. Created in 2013, it began a so-called translator project in 2014 that targeted Americans and pursued “information warfare against the United States.” It employed hundreds of people and, by the summer of 2016, was spending $1.2 million a month.

In the past five years, Mr. Prigozhin has received government contracts worth $3.1 billion. Lately, he has branched out into areas like recruiting contract soldiers to fight overseas and establishing a popular online news service that pushes a nationalist viewpoint, making him even more indispensable to Mr. Putin. Mr. Prigozhin, 56, declined several interview requests from The New York Times in recent months.

One sign of his connection to the trolls, according to the indictment: In what appeared to be something of an inside joke, people working for the Internet Research Agency paid an American to hold a sign outside the White House — “Happy 55th Birthday, Dear Boss” — to celebrate Mr. Prigozhin’s birthday (June 1) in 2016.

The C.E.O.: Mikhail I. Bystrov

Mr. Bystrov is a retired St. Petersburg police colonel who, according to the indictment, joined the company in February 2014 and became its highest-ranking official. He also led shell entities that were used to conceal its activities, including one called Glavset, a so-called database and information company. It shared an address — 55 Savushkina Street — with the Internet Research Agency. (The troll farm has since moved to Optikov Street, according to the local press.)

The troll farm soon drew notice in Russia: news outlets reported that it employed 250 people in 12-hour shifts to provide a round-the-clock flow of pro-Kremlin posts and comments, praising Mr. Putin and excoriating President Barack Obama and President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine. Monthly salaries ranged from $1,100 for a junior analyst to $1,400 for a blogger to $4,200 a month for senior management.

Mr. Bystrov, who is believed to be 59, has avoided reporters and declined interview requests.

The Executive Director: Mikhail L. Burchik

Mikhail L. Burchik

A young tech entrepreneur, Mr. Burchik, 31, joined the company in October 2013 and became its executive director, the No. 2 official, by March 2014, according to the indictment.

According to online records, he registered a company in 2009 called Add1.ru that was behind a 2014 hoax. In that hoax, a young woman in aviator sunglasses calling herself Zoe Foreman spent hours spamming politicians and journalists about a horrific — and fictitious — chemical plant explosion in Louisiana.

“I have heard of it, but I don’t work in this organization,” he told the journalist Adrian Chen, who wrote about the troll farm in 2015 for The New York Times Magazine. He said he had bought and sold many internet domains and didn’t remember them all.

Mr. Burchik also won government contracts to publish local municipal newspapers, organize lectures and do some video reports.

Throughout the troll farm’s operations to interfere in American politics, including the election, “Burchik was a manager involved in operational planning, infrastructure and personnel,” according to the indictment.

The business news website RBC reported on Friday that Mr. Burchik claimed not to know English well enough to understand what he had been accused of. “If a few hundred million Americans are so worried about the activities of a regular Russian small-business man from the IT-sphere doing website development, then it seems the situation in the country is completely grave,” he said.

Mr. Burchik told Komsomolskaya Pravda, a Russian tabloid, that he was not concerned about being detained while traveling abroad. “I love my country. In Russia there are many beautiful places where you can go,” he said.

GRAPHIC

The Propaganda Tools Used by Russians to Influence the 2016 Election

Thirteen Russian nationals have been charged with illegally trying to disrupt the American political process through inflammatory social media posts and organized political rallies.

OPEN GRAPHIC

Mr. Burchik has worked on several small government projects in St. Petersburg. In 2015 he was awarded a contract worth about $20,000 to develop and publish a newspaper called Dvortsovy Ukrug, for the administration of one of St. Petersburg’s municipal districts, according to government documents.

That same year, another municipal district government awarded him a similar contract to prepare a film about its activities. And in 2012, he won a $4,500 contract for organizing a program for promoting “tolerance and prevention of drug addiction” for local schools.

The Travelers: Anna V. Bogacheva and Aleksandra Y. Krylova

Ms. Bogacheva and Ms. Krylova obtained visas to visit the United States in 2014 “under false pretenses for the purposes of collecting intelligence to inform the organization’s operatives,” according to the indictment. They are said to have embarked on what amounted to a three-week reconnaissance tour, visiting California, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, New York and Texas. Along the way, they bought SIM cards, cameras and drop phones and discussed “evacuation scenarios” and other security measures.

According to the indictment, Ms. Bogacheva oversaw the data analysis group for the “translator project.” A woman with the same name was listed in 2013 on the website of ITMO, a prestigious science university in St. Petersburg, as a doctoral candidate. She worked there from 2011 to 2014, as an engineer in the eScience Research Institute, according to a university spokeswoman. Many of the school’s graduates have gone on to work for the Russian government or for large tech companies.

Ms. Bogacheva also owns IT Debugger, a company that says it has worked with “difficult clients.”

Ms. Krylova became the No. 3 person at the troll farm, according to the indictment. According to what appears to be her LinkedIn profile, she is a graduate of the Moscow State University of Printing Arts, where she studied with the faculty of advertising and public relations.

She was the head of the Federal News Agency, which is believed to be Mr. Prigozhin’s flagship media outlet. The agency is known for its exclusive coverage of Russian private armies on Syria’s front line.

The I.T. Expert: Sergey P. Polozov

Mr. Polozov ran the troll farm’s I.T. department and oversaw the purchase of space on computer servers inside the United States to set up virtual private networks that masked the agency’s Russian location, according to the indictment. After a co-conspirator traveled to Atlanta in November 2014, he gave Mr. Polozov a summary of his trip and expenses.

According to business records and Mr. Polozov’s page on the Russian social network Vkontakte, Mr. Polozov runs a software company called Morkov, which was registered in 2013, and began to recruit web developers and programmers in early 2014.

“In need of people with knowledge of website promotion for full-time work,” he wrote in a Vkontakte post on May 28, 2014. “If interested, send me a personal message. You can send your résumé immediately.”

On Vkontakte, he shared political jokes at the expense of Russia’s rivals and neighbors. One post he shared in June 2015 quoted the Chechen writer German Sadulaev:

The greatest possible mistake is to neglect the Russians. Consider them weak. Offend them. Never offend the Russians. The Russians are never as weak as you think they are. God forbid you expel the Russians or take something from them. The Russians always come back. The Russians will come back and take back what is theirs. But when the Russians return, they do not apply force proportionally. They destroy everything in their path.

The ‘Translators’: Maria A. Bovda and Robert S. Bovda

Not much is known about the Bovdas, including their relationship. According to the indictment, she was the head, and he the deputy head, of the “translator project,” the troll farm’s campaign to target Americans with messages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, starting in April 2014. The project employed hundreds of people and, by the summer of 2016, was spending $1.2 million a month. It hid activities through a web of shell companies. According to the indictment, Ms. Bovda and Mr. Bovda both worked for the troll farm for about a year, from November 2013 to October 2014.

The America Specialist: Dzheykhun N. O. Aslanov

According to the indictment, Mr. Aslanov oversaw many of the operations targeting the United States election. An investigation by RBC, a newsmagazine, found that Mr. Aslanov was in charge of the “American department” of the troll farm. It reported that Mr. Aslanov arrived in St. Petersburg in 2000 from his hometown Ust-Kut, in the Irkutsk region. His Vkontakte profile says he graduated from the Russian State Hydrometeorological University in St. Petersburg in 2012, and a university page indicates that he studied economics and wildlife management.

The RBC report says that he spent several months in the United States in 2009, visiting New York and Boston. His work at the troll farm included registering legal entities in the names of his employees.

His name appears in public records as general director of Azimut — which, according to the indictment, was used to funnel money to the troll farm — and of the Reputation Management Center. According to its website, the Reputation Management Center first determines what kind of reputation a client has online through media monitoring, and then creates bots that improve its image through positive posts, “drowns negative reviews in a sea of favorable information about the company” and “creates hype” around it.

The Others: Irina V. Kaverzina, Vadim V. Podkopaev, Gleb I. Vasilchenko, Vladimir Venkov

Ms. Kaverzina grew worried after Facebook revealed last September that it was cooperating with the authorities to look into Russian advertising on the platform. “We had a slight crisis here at work: the F.B.I. busted our activity (not a joke),” she wrote to a relative, according to the indictment. “So, I got preoccupied with covering tracks together with the colleagues,” she added. “I created all these pictures and posts, and the Americans believed that it was written by their people.”

Mr. Podkopaev was an analyst for the “translator project.” He conducted research on the United States and drafted social media messages for the organization, according to the indictment.

Mr. Vasilchenko posted to, monitored and updated social media accounts while posing as Americans or as American grass-roots organizations. He led two subgroups focused on political interference in the United States, including the election. On Vkontakte, he shared a meme in October 2016 that imagined a drinking game in which players took a shot every time Mr. Trump talked about building a wall along the Mexican-United States border or making America great again, told voters to believe him, or complained about being treated unfairly; and every time Mrs. Clinton coughed, sipped water, laughed awkwardly, or mentioned her daughter or President Barack Obama.

Mr. Venkov inhabited multiple social media personas, according to the indictment. Someone with that name belongs to a Facebook group of social media marketing professionals and posted a photo last May of himself wearing a Republican elephant pin.

Why did a Florida shooter FBI tip fall through the cracks?

The FBI says it got a tip about the man accused of murdering 17 people in Parkland, Florida, but never investigated. Director Christopher Wray said on Friday that a caller warned the bureau of Nikolas Cruz’s desire to kill people. Judy Woodruff talks with The Washington Post’s Matt Zapotosky and former assistant attorney general John Carlin.

Former FBI profiler analyzes Florida shooting suspect

Dr Susan Gratia-Hupp – Survivor of the 1991 Kileen TX Lubys Shooting Massacre

What Is An “Assault Rifle”? – You’ve Probably Been Lied To

The Difference Between SEMI-AUTOMATIC and FULLY AUTOMATIC GUNS

Assault Rifle vs. Sporting Rifle

Published on Dec 30, 2012

The media and the anti-gunners are trying to tell Americans that “assault weapons” need to be banned for public safety. The problem is, assault rifles were banned in 1986. What they want to ban now are semi-automatic sporting firearms. The firearms they want to ban account for less than 1% of the firearms used in crime. We need to stop this mindless attack on our Constitutional rights.

Full Auto vs. Semi-Auto with an AK

Inside the AK-47

What is a Bump Stock? Should it be illegal?!

President Trump said the FBI is too focused on trying to prove collusion between his campaign and the Russians and suggested that this may have contributed to the agency’s bungled handling of a tip about the shooter who killed 17 people and injured scores more at a Florida high school last week.”Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable,” Trump tweeted late Saturday night. “They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign – there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”

The confessed shooter Nikolas Cruz, 19, used an AR-15-style rifle to attack his former high school in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday. On Friday, the FBI admitted that that it received a tip about Cruz last month that he had been behaving erratically and threatening to kill people, but “protocols were not followed.” Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered an “immediate review” of the Department of Justice and FBI after officials failed to follow up on that tip. Sessions called the review a “top priority.”

Trump also expressed his dismay with a comment his national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, made during the Munich Security Conference in Germany earlier in the day.

Following the unveiling of Mueller’s indictments of 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities on Friday, McMaster said “the evidence” of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election “is now incontrovertible.”

“General McMaster forgot to say that the results of the 2016 election were not impacted or changed by the Russians and that the only Collusion was between Russia and Crooked H, the DNC and the Dems,” Trump tweeted. “Remember the Dirty Dossier, Uranium, Speeches, Emails and the Podesta Company!”

As Trump notes, the indictment Friday makes no allegations of collusion, saying, “some defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities.” Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who is overseeing Mueller’s efforts, also said “there is no allegation in the indictment that the charged conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”

Trump’s allegation that his Democratic rival in the election, Hillary Clinton, is guilty of corruption stems from reports and investigations into multiple controversies, including the “Trump dossier,” which contains salacious and unverified claims about his ties to Russia. The opposition research firm that commissioned the dossier was funded in part by Clinton and the Democratic National Committee.

One of the other controversies Trump referenced involves the “Uranium One” deal, which relates to Clinton’s alleged involvement while serving as secretary of state in a quid pro quo scheme that allowed Russia to buy a stake in U.S. uranium production in exchange for donations to the Clinton Foundation.

The Podesta Group, a longtime K Street fixture run for decades by Tony Podesta, brother of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, collapsed at the end of last year as the firm’s involvement in a lobbying campaign on behalf of pro-Russia forces in the Ukrainian government came under scrutiny from both the press and Mueller.

Trump’s hammering of the FBI comes as a time when the reputation of the federal law enforcement agency had already been facing stern question from Republicans and Trump supporters over concerns of political bias.

Trump is spending the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Springs, Fla.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/trump-scolds-fbi-for-missing-many-signs-from-florida-shooter-being-too-focused-on-russia-collusion/article/2649405

Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Friday ordered an “immediate review” of the Department of Justice and FBI after officials failed to follow up on a tip that Nikolas Cruz, who shot up his former Florida high school on Wednesday, could be a threat.The FBI admitted that “protocols were not followed” in this case, and Sessions said a full inquiry would be made. 

“It is now clear that the warning signs were there and tips to the FBI were missed. We see the tragic consequences of those failures,” Sessions said in a statement.

Sessions said he has ordered Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein to conduct an “immediate review of our process” at the Justice Department and FBI “to ensure that we reach the highest level of prompt and effective response to indications of potential violence that come to us.”

“This includes more than just an error review but also a review of how we respond. This will include possible consultation with family members, mental health officials, school officials, and local law enforcement,” the attorney general said.

Sessions called the review a “top priority.”

In the meantime, Sessions reviewed how the department has been helping Parkland, Fla., and the surrounding areas in the wake of the deadly shooting. According to the department, there are 250 FBI staff in both Miami and Washington working on the case.

There are also 17 special agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms’s Miami office assisting, and 14 more agents from the ATF’s West Palm Beach and Fort Pierce field offices.

ATF has also completed an “urgent trace” of a recovered firearm through its National Tracing Center and is assisting in ballistics analysis, the Department of Justice said.

The Office for Victims of Crime “has funding available to support victim-assistance activities, such as crisis intervention and grief trauma counseling, and to reimburse victims for certain expenses related to the shooting,” and the Office for Victims of Crime and the Bureau of Justice Assistance “stand ready to assist the state and local authorities,” the DOJ said.

According to reports, Cruz — who has reportedly confessed to the shooting — was seen online posing with guns and knives on Instagram. A defense attorney has described him as “a broken child.”

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/jeff-sessions-orders-review-after-fbi-failed-to-pursue-tip-on-florida-shooter/article/2649328

Susan Boyle – I Dreamed A Dream – Les Miserables – Official Britains Got Talent 2009

I Dreamed a Dream

I dreamed a dream in time gone by
When hope was high and life worth living
I dreamed that love would never die
I prayed that God would be forgiving
Then I was young and unafraid
And dreams were made and used and wasted
There was no ransom to be paid
No song unsung, no wine untasted
But the tigers come at night
With their voices soft as thunder
As they tear your hopes apart
And they turn your dreams to shame
And still I dream he’d come to me
That we would live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather
I had a dream my life would be
So different from this hell I’m living
So different now from what it seemed
Now life has killed the dream, I dreamed
Songwriters: Alain Albert Boublil / Claude Michel Schonberg / Herbert Kretzmer / Jean Marc Natel
I Dreamed a Dream lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Susan Boyle performs Duet with Elaine Paige

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The Pronk Pops Show 1034, February 15, 2018, Breaking and Developing Story 1: Part 2– Mentally Disturbed Shooter With Antisocial Personality Disorder Kills 17, Wounds 14, In No Gun Zone of Public High School in Parkland, Florida — St. Valentine’s Day Mass Shooting — Government Failure — Depending On Government Can Kill You — Keep Your Weapons To Protect Yourself From Criminals, Crazies, Tyrannies and Government Failures — Gun Free Zones Are Killing Zones — Videos

Posted on February 18, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Business, Communications, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Education, Employment, Environment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Freedom of Speech, Genocide, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, Health Care, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Independence, Killing, Language, Law, Legal Drugs, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, National Interest, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Pro Abortion, Pro Life, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Religion, Rule of Law, Security, Senate, Success, Surveillance/Spying, Terror, Terrorism, Trump Surveillance/Spying, United Kingdom, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 1030, February 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1028, February 7, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1019, January 18, 2018

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See the source imageImage result for branco cartoons gun free zonesImage result for branco cartoons gun free zonesImage result for branco cartoons gun free zonesSee the source imageSee the source image

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PHOTO: Graphic shows details of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14, 2018.See the source imageGunshots were first heard at about 2.25pm on Wednesday before Cruz, who had escaped among fleeing students, was arrested a short time later in Coral SpringsSee the source image

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Updated February 17, 2018

Breaking and Developing Story 1: Part 2– Mentally Disturbed Shooter With Antisocial Personality Disorder Kills 17, Wounds 14, In No Gun Zone of Public High School in Parkland, Florida — St. Valentine’s Day Mass Shooting — Government Failure — Depending On Government Can Kill You — Keep Your Weapons To Protect Yourself From Criminals, Tyrannies and Government Failures — Videos

BILL OF RIGHTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA (1791)

Download a PDF of the Bill of Rights

The first 10 amendments to the Constitution make up the Bill of Rights. Written by James Madison in response to calls from several states for greater constitutional protection for individual liberties, the Bill of Rights lists specific prohibitions on governmental power. The Virginia Declaration of Rights, written by George Mason, strongly influenced Madison.

One of the many points of contention between Federalists and Anti-Federalists was the Constitution’s lack of a bill of rights that would place specific limits on government power. Federalists argued that the Constitution did not need a bill of rights, because the people and the states kept any powers not given to the federal government. Anti-Federalists held that a bill of rights was necessary to safeguard individual liberty.

Madison, then a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, went through the Constitution itself, making changes where he thought most appropriate. But several Representatives, led by Roger Sherman, objected that Congress had no authority to change the wording of the Constitution itself. Therefore, Madison’s changes were presented as a list of amendments that would follow Article VII.

The House approved 17 amendments. Of these 17, the Senate approved 12. Those 12 were sent to the states for approval in August of 1789. Of those 12, 10 were quickly approved (or, ratified). Virginia’s legislature became the last to ratify the amendments on December 15, 1791.

The Bill of Rights is a list of limits on government power. For example, what the Founders saw as the natural right of individuals to speak and worship freely was protected by the First Amendment’s prohibitions on Congress from making laws establishing a religion or abridging freedom of speech. For another example, the natural right to be free from unreasonable government intrusion in one’s home was safeguarded by the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirements.

Other precursors to the Bill of Rights include English documents such as the Magna Carta, the Petition of Right, the English Bill of Rights, and the Massachusetts Body of Liberties.

THE BILL OF RIGHTS – FULL TEXT

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment II

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

Amendment III

No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.

Amendment VII

In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment VIII

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment IX

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment X

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the states respectively, or to the people.

http://www.billofrightsinstitute.org/founding-documents/bill-of-rights/

Florida School Shooting: New Details About Nikolas Cruz Emerge | TODAY

Student says heroic janitor saved many lives during shooting

Who is Nikolas Cruz?

Man who warned FBI of Florida shooter speaks out

19-year-old Nikolas Cruz ordered held without bond

Hannity: How to address the school security problem

School shooting renews gun control vs. mental health debate

Judge Jeanine: The FBI needs a complete overhaul

Mother that took in accused gunman ‘never would have let him into their house’ if she knew anything

Woman who knew alleged Florida gunman: “I should have done something”

Classmates of Florida Shooter Say They Suspected Him | Good Morning Britain

School shooting renews gun control vs. mental health debate

Sheriff: At least 17 dead in Florida school shooting

Tucker Carlson Tonight 02/15/18 8PM | February 15, 2018 Breaking News

Florida school shooting: Broward County Sheriff gives update | ABC News

Behind the Parkland shooter’s ‘trigger’

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#SchoolShootings Coverage: Blame #Trump and #Guns But Never #PsychMeds Per #BigPharma Instructions

#FloridaShooting #DeepStateMedia Lies: Ignoring Insanity, Shielding #BigPharma, Glorifying Killers

Live Stream: With School Shootings No One Will Mention What Psych Meds the Kid Was On If Any

Antisocial Personality in 4 Minutes

What is Antisocial Personality Disorder?

Probing Mental Illness to Explain Shootings

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Is There Really a Link Between Mental Illness and Mass Shootings?

02/17/18 – Steven Pinker on MSNBC w/Hugh Hewitt

Steven Pinker: Political Correctness Might Be Redpilling America

Ben Shapiro DEFENDS Left-Wing STEVEN PINKER from the RABID LEFT

Why do progressives hate progress? | Steven Pinker

Dr. Jordan B. Peterson on gun rights

Jordan Peterson: high school shootings like Parkland, Florida’s

Jordan Peterson Dissects the Mind of a Mass Murderer

Jordan Peterson – Antisocial, Cynical Kids

Jordan Peterson: Antisocial psy.cho.pathic males

Paul Bernardo Police interview

What is Antisocial Personality Disorder?

What is the difference between Antisocial Personality Disorder & Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

“Psychopathic Child” AP Psychology

Child of Rage Full Documentary – The Original Documentary

What is ASPD? (Anti Social Personality Disorder)

Normal Personality and Personality Disorders

Antisocial Psychopath and Sociopath: Antisocial Personality Disorder

Anti Social Personality Disorder

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Psychopath in the family

Antisocial Personality Disorder – The Low-Level Psychopath (Impulsive & Less Manipulative)

Personality Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #34

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Documentary on AntiSocial Personality Disorder “Meet The Psychopaths” Part 1 of 5

Documentary on AntiSocial Personality Disorder “Meet The Psychopaths” Part 2 of 5

Documentary on AntiSocial Personality Disorder “Meet The Psychopaths” Part 3 of 5

Documentary on AntiSocial Personality Disorder “Meet The Psychopaths” Part 4 of 5

Documentary on AntiSocial Personality Disorder “Meet The Psychopaths” Part 5 of 5

Sociopaths, Psychopaths & Antisocial Personality Disorder Explained. Relationship Expert Advice

Antisocial Personality Disorder: Symptoms and Treatment

Things you hear after every US mass shooting

‘We don’t need more gun control, we need more idiot control’: Senators weigh in on Florida shooting

Florida Sen Bill Nelson calls for more gun control within hours after Florida school shooting

How Presidents have responded to school shootings

Everything the Mainstream Media News Doesn’t Want You to Know About Gun Violence

Ben Shapiro Thoughts On The Florida Mass Shooting

Gun Control Won’t Save Lives, But Internet Free Speech and a Better Education System Might

Tucker: Calls for gun control are a kind of class warfare

AR-15 at center of gun control debate after school shooting

Hannity: How to address the school security problem

R-15 at center of gun control debate after school shooting

Florida Sen Bill Nelson calls for more gun control within hours after Florida school shooting

Lionel Interviews Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America on #FloridaSchoolShooting

John Lott: The War on Guns

John Lott: “When Countries Impose Gun Bans Murder Rates Go Up”

John Lott: Why More Guns Equal Less Crime

More Guns Mean Less Crime: The Most Rigorously Comprehensive Data Analysis (2000)

Las Vegas Massacre: John Lott discusses gun laws and ownership

The Port Arthur Massacre – Australia’s Worst Shooting Spree in History (Crime Documentary)

Published on Mar 10, 2017
The Port Arthur Massacre – Australia’s Worst Shooting Spree in History (Crime Documentary) The Port Arthur massacre of 28–29 April 1996 was a massacre in which 35 people were killed and 23 wounded. It occurred mainly at the historic Port Arthur former prison colony, a popular tourist site in south-eastern Tasmania, Australia. It was the deadliest mass shooting in Australian history, and amongst the worst in the world.[3] Martin Bryant, a 28-year-old from New Town, a suburb of Hobart, was found guilty of the shootings and given 35 life sentences without possibility of parole. Following the incident, it emerged in the media that Bryant had significant intellectual disabilities. He is now imprisoned in the Wilfred Lopes Centre near the Risdon Prison Complex. Following the spree, the Prime Minister of Australia, John Howard, introduced strict gun control laws within Australia and formulated the National Firearms Programme Implementation Act 1996, restricting the private ownership of high capacity semi-automatic rifles, semi-automatic shotguns and pump-action shotguns as well as introducing uniform firearms licensing. It was implemented with bipartisan support by the Commonwealth, states and territories.

Norway’s Utoeya massacre: 5 years on – BBC News

BBC This World – Norway’s Massacre

Dr Susan Gratia-Hupp – Survivor of the 1991 Kileen TX Lubys Shooting Massacre

What Is An “Assault Rifle”? – You’ve Probably Been Lied To

The Difference Between SEMI-AUTOMATIC and FULLY AUTOMATIC GUNS

Assault Rifle vs. Sporting Rifle

Published on Dec 30, 2012

The media and the anti-gunners are trying to tell Americans that “assault weapons” need to be banned for public safety. The problem is, assault rifles were banned in 1986. What they want to ban now are semi-automatic sporting firearms. The firearms they want to ban account for less than 1% of the firearms used in crime. We need to stop this mindless attack on our Constitutional rights.

Full Auto vs. Semi-Auto with an AK

Inside the AK-47

What is a Bump Stock? Should it be illegal?!

 

Parkland, Florida Shooting: A Timeline From the Attack to the Arrest

By LISA MARIE SEGARRA

February 16, 2018

 As authorities piece together information in Wednesday’s school shooting in Parkland, Fla., details are emerging on the timeline of events that took place in and around Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Police released a timeline of the movements of accused shooter Nikolas Cruz Thursday. Cruz is said to have confessed to the shooting that killed 17 people and wounded 14 others. Here is what authorities say alleged shooter is alleged to have done before, during, and after the shooting:

2:19 p.m.

The suspect exited an Uber car, arriving at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School around dismissal time. Uber has confirmed to TIME that Cruz did use the service and said they are working with authorities.

2:21 p.m.

The shooter allegedly enters the school and takes his AR-15 out of a case. He begins shooting into three classrooms, returning to two of them, shot into anther classroom, then shot into two more classrooms before dropping his rifle.

2:28 p.m.

The suspect is believed to have run outside, mixing in with students who were running away from the scene.

2:50 p.m.

Police say the alleged shooter went into a Walmart and bought a drink at a Subway before leaving on foot.

3:01 p.m.

The suspect allegedly walked into a McDonald’s, sat down for a while and then left on foot again.

3:41 p.m.

Cruz was taken into custody by a police officer without incident, after the officer matched the 19-year-old’s clothing with a description being shared by authorities.

http://time.com/5162936/florida-high-school-shooting-timeline/

 

Florida school shooting: Timeline of the massacre

By Linda TrischittaContact Reporter Sun Sentinel

Nikolas Cruz showed up at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in an Uber car — with a rifle inside a duffel bag — and walked purposefully toward the campus.

A school worker recognized him as a “former troubled student,” according to a police report. He was wearing a maroon shirt, black pants and a black cap, carrying the duffel bag and wearing a black backpack loaded with ammunition.

The employee radioed a colleague to alert him that Cruz was headed toward Building 1200.

Within minutes, shooting began, ultimately leaving 17 people dead Wednesday at the school in Parkland.

On Thursday, Broward Sheriff’s Office released an arrest report and a timeline of the massacre, providing a harrowing look at the moments before, during and after the shooting.

According to Sheriff Scott Israel:

2:19 p.m. The Uber car drops Cruz off. Cruz entered the east stairwell of the 1200 building and pulled the rifle out of the case.

2:21 p.m. Cruz began shooting into rooms 1213, 1216 and 1214. He climbed the west stairwell to the second floor and shot a victim in room 1234. Cruz then took the east stairwell to the third floor, where he dropped his weapon and backpack and ran down the stairs and out of the building to toward the tennis courts and then turned south.

He stopped at a Walmart store, bought a drink at a Subway shop and continued walking.

3:41 p.m. Cruz’s next stop was a McDonald’s, where he sat briefly. Police caught up to him at 4700 Wyndham Lakes Drive in Coral Springs and took him into custody.

The police report said Cruz admitted to a detective that he shot students he saw on school grounds. He fired “well over 100 shots,” a law enforcement source told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

He said he ditched the gun, ammunition and a vest that held more bullets so he could blend into the crowd that swarmed the campus in the panicked atmosphere after the killings, the report said.

After Cruz was arrested, the school monitor identified him, as did the Uber driver.

Judge Kim Theresa Mollica on Thursday denied bond for Cruz during his first court appearance, when he wore an orange jumpsuit while shackled at his waist and ankles. He kept his face down during most of the hearing when he was told he would face 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Chief Assistant Public Defender Gordon Weekes called his agency’s client “a deeply troubled child” who has “significant depression” after the loss of his mother in November.

REVEALED: Expelled gunman in gas mask and armed with smoke grenades ‘SET OFF fire alarm so he could draw students into halls for maximum devastation’ before shooting dead 17 people

  • Former student Nikolas Cruz, 19, opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida
  • Broward Sheriff Scott Israel confirmed that 17 people had been killed and dozens more were injured
  • Cruz was armed with at least one AR-15 rifle and had ‘multiple magazines’ when he stormed the school
  • Investigators are now looking into whether Cruz may have pulled the fire alarm to draw people into halls 
  • The teenager had been expelled from the school last year for unknown ‘disciplinary reasons’ 
  • Police say the shooter managed to evade police by fleeing the school with hundreds of terrified students 
  • He was tracked down in a nearby neighborhood after authorities reviewed surveillance footage 
  • Traumatized students said that once they heard reports of a mass shooting at the school they knew it would be Cruz, while one teacher said he had been identified as a potential threat to his classmates last year 
  • Some students barricaded themselves inside their classrooms while others were seen sprinting away from the school as police and SWAT teams swarmed the building
  • A student who claims to know Cruz said the suspected gunman was a ‘troubled kid’ and obsessed with guns
The teen gunman who shot dead 17 people at a Florida high school is believed to have set off the fire alarms to draw people out into the halls before he opened fire – and then managed to evade police by pretending to be one of the terrified students running for cover.
Nikolas Cruz, 19, stormed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday afternoon armed with an assault rifle. He was taken into custody off the school campus about an hour after the shooting broke out.
Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said Cruz was a former student at the school but had been expelled for unknown ‘disciplinary reasons’ last year.

Cruz was armed with at least one AR-15 rifle, had ‘multiple magazines’ and smoke grenades when he stormed the school wearing a gas mask and killed 17 students and staff.

The first of the 17 victims have now been identified as 46-year-old athletic director Chris Hixon and student Jaime Guttenburg. According to Local 10 News, her parents Fred and Jennifer Guttenberg said she died in the shooting, while their son, Jesse, made it home.

Investigators are now looking into whether Cruz may have pulled the fire alarm to draw people into halls so he could get a higher death toll.

Scroll down for video

Nikolas Cruz, 19, was arrested after he stormed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday afternoon armed with an assault rifle

The suspected gunman was checked out at a hospital after his arrest (above in a hospital gown) and is now being held at a secure location in a public building

The suspected gunman was checked out at a hospital after his arrest (above in a hospital gown) and is now being held at a secure location in a public building

Gunshots were first heard at about 2.25pm on Wednesday before Cruz, who had escaped among fleeing students, was arrested a short time later in Coral Springs

Gunshots were first heard at about 2.25pm on Wednesday before Cruz, who had escaped among fleeing students, was arrested a short time later in Coral Springs

A number of students have said they thought they heard the fire alarm right before the first shots were fired and many were in the process of evacuating. The school had already had a fire drill earlier that day, leaving many of the students confused.

‘People were halfway down the stairwell, it just stopped, the alarm stopped. We heard gunshots coming from the first floor… and people were running upstairs. We all got upstairs and into our classroom. As (my teacher) was closing the door he was actually shot and killed right there. The door was left open the whole time so as (Cruz) walked by the door was open. He could have walked in at any time,’ a student named Alex WSNV.

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said Cruz was a former student at the school but had been expelled for unknown 'disciplinary reasons' last year 

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said Cruz was a former student at the school but had been expelled for unknown ‘disciplinary reasons’ last year

Authorities quickly started dissecting the shooter’s social media accounts in a bid to piece together a motive for the deadly shooting. Sheriff Israel reported that some of things the shooter had been posting was ‘very disturbing’.

Traumatized students said that once they heard reports of a mass shooting at the school they knew it would be Cruz, while one teacher said he had been identified as a potential threat to his classmates last year.

Matthew Walker, a 17-year-old student at the school, told WFOR-TV that all his classmates ‘knew it was going to be him.’

‘A lot of people were saying it was going to be him,’ he said. ‘A lot of kids threw jokes around saying that he was going to be the one to shoot up the school. It turns out that everyone predicted it. That’s crazy.’

‘He was going class to class just shooting at random kids,’ he said. ‘Everything he posts (on social media) is about weapons. It’s sick.’

Math teacher Jim Gard, who taught Cruz last year, told the Miami Herald: ‘We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him. There were problems with him last year threatening students and I guess he was asked to leave campus.’

Another student took to social media claiming Cruz had mental health issues that were ‘ignored by all the adults’.

‘He literally had an Instagram where he posted pictures of animals he killed gruesomely and he physically assaulted one of my friends once,’ the student added.

As a high school freshman, Cruz was part of the US military-sponsored Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corp program at the school.

Cruz was adopted as an infant and raised by Roger and Lynda Cruz, a family member told ABC News. Family say his adoptive mother died a few months ago.

ct, wearing a maroon colored top, is taken into custody two hours after opening fire on his high school

The suspected gunman was checked out at a hospital after his arrest (above in a hospital gown) and is now being held at a secure location in a public building

The suspected gunman was checked out at a hospital after his arrest (above in a hospital gown) and is now being held at a secure location in a public building

A student, on a stretcher, is loaded into the back of an ambulance after the mass shooting on Wednesday afternoon

A student, on a stretcher, is loaded into the back of an ambulance after the mass shooting on Wednesday afternoon

Authorities inspect the AR-15 rifle the teen gunman used in the mass shooting on Wednesday

Authorities inspect the AR-15 rifle the teen gunman used in the mass shooting on Wednesday

The first victim of the mass shooting has been identified as 46-year-old athletic director Chris Hixon

Student Jaime Guttenburg (pictured) has also been identified as a victim, according to Local 10 News . Her parents Fred and Jennifer Guttenberg said she died in the shooting, while their son, Jesse, made it home

Student Jaime Guttenburg (pictured) has also been identified as a victim, according to Local 10 News . Her parents Fred and Jennifer Guttenberg said she died in the shooting, while their son, Jesse, made it home

Student Jaime Guttenburg (pictured) has also been identified as a victim, according to Local 10 News . Her parents Fred and Jennifer Guttenberg said she died in the shooting, while their son, Jesse, made it home

Sources told CNN that the gunman purchased the rifle in the past year and passed a required background check to obtain it.

He had been living in a mobile home with a student for the last three months in Lantana, about 30 miles north of Parkland, according to Fox News.

An attorney for the family Cruz lived with said he already owned the weapon before he moved in with them.

Family lawyer Jim Lewis said: ‘It was his gun. The family made him keep it in a locked gun cabinet in the house but he had a key.’

Police said the gunman started firing before he entered the school building and left behind a deadly trail.

Twelve of the people shot dead were found dead inside the school building, two more were killed just outside the school and another in a nearby street. Two other people died later after being rushed to hospital.

Police arrived at the scene to find hundreds of students fleeing the school. They later learned the shooter had concealed himself in the crowd and was among those running off the campus.

Investigators were able to identify him after trawling surveillance video. He was arrested about and hour after the shooting first broke out when police cornered him in a nearby neighborhood.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott joined law enforcement agents near the site of the deadly school shooting on Wednesday night and offered his condolences to the victims’ families and survivors.

He said the attack that claimed at least 17 lives was ‘just absolutely pure evil.’

Scott added that he couldn’t imagine what the families of the victims are going through. He also said he would be visiting hospitalized survivors.

Sheriff Scott Israel of Broward County also said at the news conference that 12 of the dead have been identified but some weren’t carrying identification and that slowed confirmation efforts. The families were being notified.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said the state would cover funeral expenses for the victims and counseling for survivors.

had posted multiple photos on his Instagram of him posing with various weapons. Authorities have already started dissecting his social media accounts and reported that some of things he had been posting was ‘very disturbing’

Shocking: Victims of the shooting were being treated on the sidewalk while the gunman was reported to still be at large and law enforcement officers from multiple agencies were flooding the area
 Shocking: Victims of the shooting were being treated on the sidewalk while the gunman was reported to still be at large and law enforcement officers from multiple agencies were flooding the area
At around 4pm, two hours after the shooter first opened fire, police and SWAT teams took him into custody.

Aerial footage showed him wearing a maroon or burgundy colored sweatshirt as he was put in the back of a cruiser by half a dozens officers.

Meanwhile, horrifying video filmed from inside a classroom captured the moment the shooter, who was wearing a gas mask, burst in and began shooting at his fellow students as they screamed in terror.

The students were spotted sitting or lying on the classroom floor, trying to avoid being hit, as rapid gunfire was heard nearby. One girl’s hysterical screams were suddenly cut off during the shocking clip.

Desperate parents and relatives of students still locked down in the high school rushed to the scene to find out if their children were among the injured.

One mother, Michelle, whose daughter was inside, said there at least 20 students and teachers still barricaded in the school buildings. The unnamed mom said her daughter sent her a text that said: ‘There’s been a shooting in school… and it’s for real.’

‘My prayers and condolences to the families of the victims of the terrible Florida shooting. No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school,’ he wrote.

He added that he’d spoken with Florida Governor Rick Scott and ‘we are working closely with law enforcement on the terrible Florida school shooting.’

White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters said in a statement: ‘The president has been made aware of the school shooting in Florida. We are monitoring the situation. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected.’

Police asked parents to tell children still inside to ‘remain calm and barricaded until police come to their room’.

A student, who was not identified, but claims to know Cruz told WSVN he was obsessed with guns and showed him pictures of them on his phone.

‘He’s been a troubled kid and he’s always had a certain amount of issues going on. He shot guns because he felt it gave him, I guess, an exhilarating feeling.’

He added that Cruz made him nervous.

‘I stayed clear of him most of the time. My time in alternate school, I did not want to be with him at all because I didn’t want to cause any conflict with him because of the impression he gave off.’

The incident comes just a few weeks after a 15-year-old boy opened fire at his rural Kentucky high school, killing two and injuring more than two dozen others

 

Public defender puts arm around shackled and cowering Florida gunman at his first court appearance: ‘White supremacist’ is silent as he is ordered to be held without bond for killing 17 people

  • Nikolas Cruz, 19, was ordered held without bail during his first court appearance on Thursday 
  • His public defender, Melisa McNeil, comforted him by putting a hand around his shoulder during the hearing
  • The teen faces 17 counts of premeditated murder – charges that carry the death penalty in Florida
  • Cruz killed 17 and injured more than a dozen when he opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida Wednesday afternoon    
  • Details are beginning to surface about Cruz, whose adoptive mother died in November from pneumonia 
  • Cruz was kicked out of the the high school last year for allegedly getting into a fight 
  • A man also reported Cruz to the FBI last year for writing an online post saying he was going to be a shooter 
  • He has also been connected to a white supremacist organization, the Republic of Florida 
  • When gunfire rang out Wednesday afternoon, several students said they knew the gunman would be Cruz
  • Many pointed to Cruz’s disturbing social media, where he allegedly posted pictures of animals he killed
  • President Trump said in a tweet Thursday morning that there were signs that the shooter was ‘mentally disturbed’ – and entreated Americans to report similar people to the authorities

A cowering Nikolas Cruz was comforted by his public defender as he was ordered held without bail during his first court appearance on Thursday, in connection to the deadly shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school on Wednesday that left 17 dead and 14 injured.

The 19-year-old wore an orange jump suit and shackles on his wrists and ankles as he was officially charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

He kept his eyes down and didn’t speak in court today, other than to confirm his name with a polite ‘yes ma’am’ to the judge.

Standing next to him was his public defender, Melisa McNeil, who comforted him by putting a hand around his shoulder.

After the hearing, Cruz’s defense team revealed that he was on suicide watch and that he understood the magnitude of his actions.

McNeill told reporters gathered outside the courtroom that her client was sad and remorseful.

‘He’s sad. He’s mournful. He’s remorseful. He is fully aware of what is going on, and he’s just a broken human being,’ she said.

She became emotional while speaking to reporters, saying she’s fully aware of the impact the shooting has had on the community, as a parent herself.

‘I had to have the exact same conversation that every parent in Broward had to have with their children this morning, then I had to walk and meet with him,’ McNeill said. ‘I’m fully aware of the impact this has on the people who live here.

According to her LinkedIn, she has worked in the homicide division of the Broward public defender’s office since 2000.

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Cruz (left and right in orange) mostly kept his head down for the brief bond hearing on Thursday

'He¿s sad. He¿s mournful. He¿s remorseful. He is fully aware of what is going on, and he¿s just a broken human being,' Cruz's public defender Melissa McNeil (pictured) said after the court hearing 

‘He’s sad. He’s mournful. He’s remorseful. He is fully aware of what is going on, and he’s just a broken human being,’ Cruz’s public defender Melissa McNeil (pictured) said after the court hearing

Gordon Weekes (pictured), who is also representing Cruz, said the teen 'is deeply troubled and he has endured significant trauma that stems from the loss of his mother'

Gordon Weekes (pictured), who is also representing Cruz, said the teen ‘is deeply troubled and he has endured significant trauma that stems from the loss of his mother’

Another member of the defense team, Gordon Weeks, was brought to tears as he addressed reporters, telling them that Cruz ‘recognizes’ what he has done and is ‘deeply sad’.

‘He is dealing with the shock of all this that’s going on,’ Weeks said.

McNeill and Weeks said that Cruz suffers from autism, depression and has dealt with significant psychological problems – all without the sort of support system that most people have.

‘When your brain is not fully developed, you don’t know how to deal with these things,’ McNeil said. ‘That’s the child I’m sitting across from.’

Weeks added: ‘The child is deeply troubled and he has endured significant trauma that stems from the loss of his mother.’

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi has said she is ‘certain’ prosecutors will be seeking the death penalty for the teen shooter.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel revealed on Thursday afternoon that Cruz had tried to mix in with a group of students fleeing the school before stopping at fast food restaurants after the attack.

The sheriff said Cruz headed to a Wal-Mart and bought a drink at a Subway restaurant before walking to a McDonald’s. Cruz was confronted by a police officer and taken into custody about 40 minutes after leaving the McDonald’s.

Cruz was initially taken to the hospital to be treated for ‘labored breathing’.

He was soon released to the police who spent most of the night questioning Cruz, trying to make sense of the horrific school shooting – now the third deadliest in American history.

The fact that it was the 30th mass shooting so far this year has spurred activists to call on Congress again to revamp the nation’s gun control policies. President Trump, a staunch defender of the National Rifle Association, said at a press conference on Thursday that the real issue lawmakers need to tackle is mental health, not guns.

Meanwhile, details are starting to emerge about the shooter, who recently was orphaned, stopped getting mental health treatment about a year ago and even had ties to a white supremacist group.

Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School painted the picture of a weird and disturbed teen who sold knives out of a lunchbox, bragged about killing animals and was finally kicked out of school for fighting and carrying bullets in his backpack.

An FBI official also said Thursday that they were warned – not once, but twice – about the shooter. One of the warnings came in September, from a bail bondsman in Mississippi who alerted the feds about an alarming online message Cruz wrote saying he was ‘going to be a professional school shooter’ 

This photo provided by the Broward County Jail shows Nikolas Cruz, the teen suspected of killing 17 and injuring more than a dozen in a school shooting on Wednesday in Florida

This photo provided by the Broward County Jail shows Nikolas Cruz, the teen suspected of killing 17 and injuring more than a dozen in a school shooting on Wednesday in Florida

Cruz was dressed in a hospital uniform as he was seen leaving the Broward County Sheriff’s Office early Thursday morning
He was given an orange jumpsuit after arriving at the county jail Thursday morning  

He was given an orange jumpsuit after arriving at the county jail Thursday morning

Ben Bennight says he alerted the FBI to a comment shared by Cruz on one of his YouTube videos back in September. He says the FBI was quick to respond to the concerning statement, arriving at his office the very next day to find out if he knew anything about the young man.

He didn’t hear from the FBI again until after the shooting on Wednesday. At a press conference Thursday morning, an FBI official said they followed up on the report but were ‘unable to further identify the person who made the comment’.

Broward County Mayor Beam Furr also revealed that Cruz had been getting treatment at a mental health clinic for a while, but hadn’t been back to the clinic in more than a year.

‘It wasn’t like there wasn’t concern for him,’ Furr told CNN. ‘We try to keep our eyes out on those kids who aren’t connected. … In this case we didn’t find a way to connect with this kid.’

Former President Obama tweeted on Thursday that he was 'grieving with Parkland' while calling for stricter gun control laws

President Trump and former President Obama weighed in on the tragedy with tweets on Thursday

Trump spoke about the shooting at a mid-morning press conference from the White House

Trump spoke about the shooting at a mid-morning press conference from the White House

Authorities offered no immediate details about Cruz or his possible motive, except to say that he had been kicked out of the high school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which has about 3,000 students.

Officials wouldn’t say why exactly Cruz had been expelled, but fellow students said it was because he got into a fight with his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend and because he was caught with bullets in his backpack.

Authorities quickly started dissecting the shooter’s social media accounts in a bid to piece together the motive. Sheriff Israel reported that some of things the shooter had been posting was ‘very disturbing’.

In one Instagram post, Cruz posted a screengrab of Google search results for ‘what does allahu akbar’ mean. Allahu Akbar means ‘God is great’ in Arabic, and is something Islamist terrorist often shout before attacks.

He captioned the photo: ‘Well at least we know what it means when a sand durka [a racial expletive for an Arab person] says ‘allahu akbar’ [laughing face emojis].’

ABC News reported Thursday that Cruz appeared to have ties to a white nationalist group called the Republic of Florida. A spokesman for the group confirmed Cruz was a member.

Cruz's Instagram is filled with disturbing posts of what appears to be himself showing off weapons, his face sometimes covered, along with other disturbing images and captions

Cruz’s Instagram is filled with disturbing posts of what appears to be himself showing off weapons, his face sometimes covered, along with other disturbing images and captions

In one Instragram post, Cruz posted a screengrab of Google search results for 'what does allahu akbar' mean. Allahu Akbar means 'God is great' in Arabic, and is something Islamist terrorist often shout before attacks. He captioned the photo: 'Well at least we know what it means when a [racial lslur] says "allahu akbar" [laughing face emojis].'

Cause for concern: 'I'm going to be a professional school shooter.' wrote Cruz on a video that had been shared by YouTube vlogger Ben Bennight (Cruz's comment above) 

Cause for concern: ‘I’m going to be a professional school shooter.’ wrote Cruz on a video that had been shared by YouTube vlogger Ben Bennight (Cruz’s comment above)

The group describes itself as a ‘white civil rights organization fighting for white identitarian politics’ and seeks to create a ‘white ethnostate’ in Florida.

The leader of the group, Jordan Jereb, told the Anti-Defamation League that Cruz was brought into the group by another member and had participated in training exercises with the group.

Jereb said that Cruz was not ordered to pull off the shooting and that they are not a terrorist organization.

He added to ABC News that he had not seen Cruz in ‘some time’ but after the shooting on Wednesday ‘he knew he would be getting this call’.

He also said he had ‘trouble with a girl’ and he believed the timing of the attack, carried out on Valentine’s Day, wasn’t a coincidence.

A law enforcement official says he knows of ‘no known ties’ between the suspect who confessed to a deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school and a white supremacist group.

Lt. Grady Jordan is a spokesman for the Leon County Sheriff’s Office in Tallahassee, where the white nationalist militia known as the Republic of Florida is based.

He says his office has ‘very solid’ information on the group and ‘there’s no known ties that we have that we can connect’ 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz with the group.

Cruz suffered a major blow in November when his adoptive mother Lynda Cruz, 68, died of pneumonia. Lynda was apparently the only person Cruz was close with.

‘Lynda was very close to them,’ her sister-in-law Barbara Kumbatovic told The Washington Post. ‘She put a lot of time and effort into those boys, trying to give them a good life and upbringing.’

Lynda and her husband, who died of a heart attack several years ago, adopted Cruz and his biological brother, Zachary, after the couple moved from Long Island in New York to Broward County. Cruz was an infant when he was adopted. It’s unclear if he was adopted from the U.S. or aboard. Adopted children from abroad sometimes have issues adjusting due to neglect in their orphanages, especially children from Russia.

Tyra Hemans, a 19-year-old senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, sobs as she holds signs honoring slain teachers and friends near the police cordon around the school in Parkland Florida, U.S., February 15, 2018

Tyra Hemans, a 19-year-old senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, sobs as she holds signs honoring slain teachers and friends near the police cordon around the school in Parkland Florida, U.S., February 15, 2018

A man with a sign is seen after the news conference in the hallway outside the courtroom where Nikolas Cruz appeared via video at a bond court hearing after being charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S., February 15, 2018

A man with a sign is seen after the news conference in the hallway outside the courtroom where Nikolas Cruz appeared via video at a bond court hearing after being charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S., February 15, 2018

The White House flag was lowered to half-staff on Thursday in remembrance of the victims who died in the shooting on Wednesday

The shooting was the 30th mass shooting of the year, a fact that has propelled many, including Kim Kardashian, to demand Congress enact stricter gun control laws

A group of police officers stand guard in front of the entrance of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, on Thursday 

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, right, speaks to reporters at a Thursday morning press conference about the shooter

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, right, speaks to reporters at a Thursday morning press conference about the shooter

City, county and state officials release balloons in honor of the victims during a prayer vigil for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting at Parkridge Church in Coral Springs, Florida on February 15, 2018

City, county and state officials release balloons in honor of the victims during a prayer vigil for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting at Parkridge Church in Coral Springs, Florida on February 15, 2018

While his brother was quiet and liked to stay indoors, Cruz constantly got into trouble and appeared to have ’emotional issues’.

‘Lynda dealt with it like most parents did. She was probably too good to him,’ Kumbatovic said. ‘She was a lovely woman. She was a hard-working woman. She made a beautiful home for them. She put a lot of effort and time into their schooling, their recreation, whatever they needed. She was a good parent. And she went over and above because she needed to compensate for being a single parent.’

She added: ‘I don’t think it had anything to do with his upbringing. It could have been the loss of his mom. I don’t know.’

Longtime Cruz family neighbors Malcolm and Christine Roxburgh told the Sun Sentinel that the police came to the boy’s house many times, as he used to get in trouble and harass people. He didn’t have an arrest record though.

Malcolm Roxburgh said a neighbor across the street kept pigs, and Nicolas Cruz targeted the family.

‘He didn’t like the pigs and didn’t like the neighbors, so he sent over his dog over there to try to attack them,’ Roxburgh said. Another neighbor, Shelby Speno, said she once witnessed Cruz shooting at chickens owned by another resident.

Roxburgh’s wife said she once caught Cruz peeking in her window.

‘I said, ‘What are you doing here?’ He said he was looking for golf balls. I said, ‘This isn’t the golf course,” she said.

And, the couple said, when the boy didn’t want to go to school, he would bang his head against a cement wall. They were scared of him. ‘He could have killed any of us,’ Christine Roxburgh said.

After their mother’s death, the boys were left in the care of a family friend – but Cruz didn’t stay there very long.

Classes for the rest of the week have been cancelled at the school in Parkland, Florida (pictured above on Thursday)

There continued to be a police presence on the campus on Thursday. Investigators were no doubt continuing to comb the scene for clues

Pictured above is the Broward County Jail where Cruz is being held pending his trial  

Unhappy there, Cruz asked to move in with a friend at a mobile home park in northwest Broward. The friend’s family agreed and Cruz moved into his own room in the home around Thanksgiving.

‘The family brought him into their home,’ the family’s attorney, Jim Lewis, said. ‘They got him a job at a local dollar store. They didn’t see anything that would suggest any violence. He was depressed, maybe a little quirky. But they never saw anything violent. … He was just a little depressed and seemed to be working through it.’

Cruz brought his AR-15 rifle with him to the family’s home, where it was kept in a locked cabinet that the teen had a key to. Sources told CNN that the gunman purchased the rifle in the past year and passed a required background check to obtain it. Two federal law enforcement officials said the Smith & Wesson M&P rifle was purchased legally at Sunrise Tactical Supply in Coral Springs, Florida. Federal law allows people 18 and over to legally purchase long guns. At 21, people can legally buy handguns from a licensed dealer.

While living with the family, Lewis started going to a school for at-risk youth. Usually every morning, the father of the family would drive Cruz to school, but on Wednesday he overslept and then gave a cryptic reason why.

‘He said, ‘It’s Valentine’s Day and I don’t go to school on Valentine’s Day,” Lewis said.

Lewis said the family is devastated and didn’t see this coming. The family’s son was a junior at the school and was there when the shooting happened. Lewis said the family is cooperating and no one there is suspected of wrongdoing, he added.

The family’s cream-colored home was empty Thursday morning but in the backyard a bullet-riddled Bud Light can was stuck on a twig of an avocado tree overlooking a creek.

How were at least 15 warning signs missed for Nikolas Cruz?

1. ‘I’m going to be a professional school shooter’

Nikolas Cruz left a comment on a YouTube video back in September using his own name that simply read: ‘I’m going to be a professional school shooter’

2. FBI was warned about the comment but couldn’t identify him

Vlogger Ben Bennight alerted the FBI to the comment shared by Cruz. The FBI was quick to respond, arriving at his office the next day but only after Bennight called a local field agent, revealing his initial attempts to send in a screengrab of the comment failed when the email address he found listed on the agency’s website came back with a domain error saying it did not exist. The FBI was unable to identify the person who posted the comment.

3. Bought an AR-15 age 18

After Cruz’s mother died, he eventually moved in the the family of a former classmate, where he brought his AR-15 which was kept in a locked cabinet that he had the key to. He was able to purchase the rifle in the past year and passed a required background check. Federal law allowed people 18 and over to legally purchase long guns. At 21, people can legally buy handguns from a license dealer. Cruz was also studying marksmanship in the Army Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps.

4. Troubling Instagram page 

Cruz’s Instagram page is filled with disturbing posts of what appears to be himself showing off with weapons with his face covered, asking for advice on buying firearms, and making racist comments about Muslims.

5. Was a member of a white nationalist group and came to training exercises

Jordan Jereb claims that Cruz was a member of the Republic of Florida, which aims to make Florida its own white-entho state. Jereb claimed Cruz, who was adopted, was brought up in the organization by another member and he reportedly carpooled to at least two training exercises held by the group.

6. Boasted about hurting animals

Students who say they knew Cruz claimed he liked to kill animals.

‘He was crazy because he liked to kill small things, like little animals – frogs and other animals like that and he just had a crazy mind,’ one told 10ABC news.

Another classmate claims he would tell him he shot rats with a BB gun.

7. Took knives and bullets to school

Former classmate Joshua Charo, 16, said all he ‘would talk about is guns, knives and hunting’.

Another student said he started selling knives out of a lunchbox when he started high school, while he was also found to be carrying bullet casings in his bag.

8. Was banned from carrying a backpack

Jim Gard, a math teacher, who had Cruz in his class last year, said he believes the school sent out an email warning teachers he shouldn’t be allowed on campus with a backpack.

‘There were problems with him last year threatening students and I guess he was asked to leave campus’.

9. Expelled for fighting

The deeply troubled ‘loner’ was expelled last year for ‘fighting over his ex-girlfriend’ with her new boyfriend.

10. Abusive to his ex-girlfriend

Students claim the gunman was abusive to his girlfriend

11. Stalked another girl

Mr Gard also claimed that he was taken with another student ‘to the point of stalking her’, while another student who claims to have been friends with Cruz said he had to cut him off because he started ‘going after’ and ‘threatening’ a female friend of his.

12. Peeping Tom

Neighbor Christine Rosburgh said she, and all the other neighbors, were terrified of the teen who would bang his head against a cement wall if his legal guardians tried to send him to school.

She also claims she caught him peeking in her window and when she confronted him, he said he was looking for golf balls.

‘I said, “This isn’t the golf course”.

13. Stopped his mental health treatment

Cruz had been getting treatment at a mental health clinic, but stopped about a year ago and dropped off the radar. He was showing signs of depression.

Broward County Mayor Beam Furr said: ‘It wasn’t like there wasn’t concern for him. We try to keep out eyes out on those kids who aren’t connected… In this case, we didn’t find a way to connect with this kid.’

14. Possible fetal alcohol syndrome

Natalie Brassard, a program director at the non-profit FASCETS, which works with FASD children, said some of Cruz’s characteristics ‘suggest that he might have been living with an invisible brain-based condition – it could have been FASD or many others.’

Conditions of FASD can range from mild to severe but can include learning disabilities, intellectual disability or low IQ, poor reasoning and judgment and a host of other issues.

15. Orphaned 

Cruz’s adoptive mother, Lynda Cruz, 68, died of pneumonia in November last year. She was one of the only people that was remotely close to Cruz. His adoptive father Roger Cruz died of a heart attack several years ago.

After his mother died, he and his brother were left in the care of family friend Barbara Kumbatovich, of Long Island, New York, but unhappy there, he moved in with a former classmate in a mobile home park in northwest Broward.

Pictured above is the mobile home where Cruz had been staying with a friend's family before the shooting 

In the backyard of the home, beer cans and plates were set up as shooting targets

The backyard of the home on Easter Cay Way is littered with garden furniture and toys. Eerily, a Hot Wheels toy in a container is still beeping. A tan Kia Soul stands in the driveway

The backyard of the home on Easter Cay Way is littered with garden furniture and toys. Eerily, a Hot Wheels toy in a container is still beeping. A tan Kia Soul stands in the driveway

Above, a look at a storage shed on the property. No one appeared to be home on Thursday 

Above, a look at a storage shed on the property. No one appeared to be home on Thursday

A paper plate, apparently a shooting target, was on another tree.

Few people on the Lantana Cascades estate speak English. One neighbor who would not give his name said he only met Cruz once when the people in the house introduced him.

‘He seemed like a nice kid but it was only the once,’ the elderly man said. ‘Then he was gone. I never saw him again.’

The backyard of the home on Easter Cay Way is littered with garden furniture and toys. Eerily, a Hot Wheels toy in a container is still beeping. A tan Kia Soul stands in the driveway.

Another neighbor, whose house on a neighboring street overlooks the home where Cruz had been staying, described Wednesday night on Lantana Cascades as ‘a madhouse.’

‘Dozens of police came. It was shortly after 5pm.

‘They taped two whole streets off and made those nearest the house get out. I stayed though.

‘I saw them go in and bring a lot of stuff out, but it was dark so I couldn’t see what.’

Nikolas Cruz, 19, was arrested after he stormed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday afternoon armed with an assault rifle

Nikolas Cruz, 19, was arrested after he stormed Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Wednesday afternoon armed with an assault rifle

Authorities inspect the AR-15 rifle the teen gunman used in the mass shooting on Wednesday

The suspected gunman was checked out at a hospital after his arrest (above in a hospital gown) and is now being held at a secure location in a public building

Students called Cruz ‘weird’ and a ‘loner’ – even those who’d been friendly with him said they hadn’t seen him in more than a year since his expulsion.

Dakota Mutchler, 17, recalled Cruz posting on Instagram about killing animals and said he had talked about doing target practice in his backyard with a pellet gun.

I think everyone had in their minds if anybody was going to do it, it was going to be him.
Dakota Mutchler, Stoneman Douglas High student

‘He started going after one of my friends, threatening her, and I cut him off from there,’ Mutchler said.

He said students weren’t surprised officials had identified Cruz as the shooter: ‘I think everyone had in their minds if anybody was going to do it, it was going to be him.’

Victoria Olvera, a 17-year-old junior at the school, said Cruz was expelled last school year because he got into a fight with his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend. She said he had been abusive to his girlfriend. Another student said that part of the reason Cruz was expelled was that he was caught carrying bullets in his backpack.

Matthew Walker, a 17-year-old student at the school, told WFOR-TV that all his classmates ‘knew it was going to be him.’

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said Cruz was a former student at the school but had been expelled for unknown 'disciplinary reasons' last year 

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said Cruz was a former student at the school but had been expelled for unknown ‘disciplinary reasons’ last year

‘A lot of people were saying it was going to be him,’ he said. ‘A lot of kids threw jokes around saying that he was going to be the one to shoot up the school. It turns out that everyone predicted it. That’s crazy.’

‘He was going class to class just shooting at random kids,’ he said. ‘Everything he posts (on social media) is about weapons. It’s sick.’

One teacher said he had been identified as a potential threat to his classmates last year.

Math teacher Jim Gard, who taught Cruz last year, told the Miami Herald: ‘We were told last year that he wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack on him. There were problems with him last year threatening students and I guess he was asked to leave campus.’

Another student took to social media claiming Cruz had mental health issues that were ‘ignored by all the adults’.

‘He literally had an Instagram where he posted pictures of animals he killed gruesomely and he physically assaulted one of my friends once,’ the student added.

Another student, who was not identified, but claims to know Cruz, told WSVN he was obsessed with guns and showed him pictures of them on his phone.

‘He’s been a troubled kid and he’s always had a certain amount of issues going on. He shot guns because he felt it gave him, I guess, an exhilarating feeling.’

He added that Cruz made him nervous.

‘I stayed clear of him most of the time. My time in alternate school, I did not want to be with him at all because I didn’t want to cause any conflict with him because of the impression he gave off.’

He’s been a troubled kid and he’s always had a certain amount of issues going on. He shot guns because he felt it gave him, I guess, an exhilarating feeling.
Anonymous classmate of the shooter

Former classmate Joshua Charo, 16, told the Miami Herald that all Cruz ‘would talk about is guns, knives and hunting’.

‘I can’t say I was shocked. From past experiences, he seemed like the kind of kid who would do something like this,’ Charo said.

‘He used to tell me he would shoot rats with his BB gun and he wanted this kind of gun, and how he liked to always shoot for practice,’ Charo added.

One student added that Cruz started selling knives out of a lunchbox when he started high school.

But Broward County School District Superintendent Robert Runcie said he did not know of any threats posed by Cruz to the school.

‘Typically you see in these situations that there potentially could have been signs out there,’ Runcie said. ‘I would be speculating at this point if there were, but we didn’t have any warnings. There weren’t any phone calls or threats that we know of that were made.’

As a high school freshman, Cruz was part of the US military-sponsored Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corp program at the school.

 

President Trump tweeted Thursday morning, saying there were signs that the shooter was ‘mentally disturbed’.

He also entreated Americans to report similar people to the authorities.

‘So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior.

‘Neighbors and classmates knew he was such a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!’ he wrote.

Trump has cited mental health before as a cause for mass shootings, dismissing questions about gun control.

Trump spoke later in the morning about the shooting at a press conference from the White House.

Taking up the now-familiar ritual of public consolation after terrible violence, Trump spoke from the White House Diplomatic Room. In a slow, deliberate style, he sought to reassure a troubled nation as well as students’ families and shooting survivors in Florida.

‘We are all joined together as one American family, and your suffering is our burden also,’ Trump said. ‘No child, no teacher, should ever be in danger in an American school.’

Trump, who owns a private club in Palm Beach, Florida about 40 miles from the town of Parkland, where the shooting happened, said Thursday he was making plans to visit the grieving community.

He did not answer shouted questions about guns as he exited the room.

Staff and students walked single file outside the school as they evacuated after the shooting 

Staff and students walked single file outside the school as they evacuated after the shooting

Students were seen fleeing the building with their hands in the air, as they ran for safety from the gunman

Medical personnel tend to a bloodied victim as they help to evacuate them from the school 

Medical personnel tend to a bloodied victim as they help to evacuate them from the school

An injured female was transported from the school on a stretcher by first responders on Wednesday afternoon 

TIMELINE OF FLORIDA SCHOOL SHOOTING

2.25pm: Gunshots ring out through the corridors of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The school goes into immediate lockdown.

2.30pm: Authorities respond to an active shooter at the school in Parkland where they say the shooter is still active.

3.pm: Hundreds of students flee the school with their hands raised as SWAT arrives to tackle the ongoing situation

3.30pm: Students and teachers begin posting harrowing footage from inside the school where they are trapped and unable to leave their classrooms.

4pm: Just after 4 p.m., Broward County Sheriff’s Office announced on Twitter that a suspect had been apprehended

4.30pm: The suspect – named as Nikolas Cruz – was transported handcuffed and via ambulance to local hospital where he was placed under armed guard.

Just before the shooting broke out at 2:25pm, some students thought they were having another fire drill.

Such an exercise had forced them to leave their classrooms hours earlier. So when the alarm went off Wednesday afternoon shortly before they were to be dismissed, they once again filed out into the hallways.

That’s when police say Cruz, equipped with a gas mask, smoke grenades and multiple magazines of ammunition, opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon, killing 17 people and sending hundreds of students fleeing into the streets. It was the nation’s deadliest school shooting since a gunman attacked an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, more than five years ago.

‘Our district is in a tremendous state of grief and sorrow,’ said Robert Runcie, superintendent of the school district in Parkland, about an hour’s drive north of Miami. ‘It is a horrible day for us.’

Police arrived at the scene to find hundreds of students fleeing the school. They later learned the shooter had concealed himself in the crowd and was among those running off the campus.

Investigators were able to identify him after trawling surveillance video. He was arrested about an hour after the shooting first broke out when police cornered him in a nearby neighborhood. He had multiple magazines of ammunition on him, authorities said.

Seventeen people were killed and more than a dozen injured.

‘It’s catastrophic. There really are no words,’ said Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

A local politician told DailyMail.com that the high school has high-definition surveillance cameras that captured every single shot by Cruz and authorities are pouring through them now.

The cameras allegedly picked up Cruz walking across the empty parking lot toward the school carrying his rifle, as classes were in session.

The two school resource officers, from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, are supposed to monitor the perimeter.

DailyMail.com reached out to the sheriff’s office for comment, but they did not respond.

Students released from a lockdown embrace following following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

Students released from a lockdown embrace following following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018. (John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

Students are evacuated by police from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018, after a shooter opened fire on the campus

Medical personnel tend to a victim following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018

Medical personnel tend to a victim following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018

Medical personnel tend to a victim following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018

Terrified students barricaded themselves in their classrooms as the shooter prowled the halls, armed with an assault rifle

Terrified students barricaded themselves in their classrooms as the shooter prowled the halls, armed with an assault rifle

Frantic parents rushed to the school to find SWAT team members and ambulances surrounding the huge campus and emergency workers who appeared to be treating the wounded on sidewalks. Students who hadn’t run began leaving in a single-file line with their hands over their heads as officers urged them to evacuate quickly.

Hearing loud bangs as the shooter fired, many of the students inside hid under desks or in closets, and barricaded doors.

‘We were in the corner, away from the windows,’ said freshman Max Charles, who said he heard five gunshots. ‘The teacher locked the door and turned off the light. I thought maybe I could die or something.’

As he was leaving the building, he saw four dead students and one dead teacher. He said he was relieved when he finally found his mother.

‘I was happy that I was alive,’ Max said. ‘She was crying when she saw me.’

Noah Parness, a 17-year-old junior, said he and the other students calmly went outside to their fire-drill areas when he suddenly heard popping sounds.

‘We saw a bunch of teachers running down the stairway, and then everybody shifted and broke into a sprint,’ Parness said. ‘I hopped a fence.’

Sen. Bill Nelson told CNN that Cruz had pulled the fire alarm ‘so the kids would come pouring out of the classrooms into the hall.’

‘And there the carnage began,’ said Nelson, who said he was briefed by the FBI.

Students released from a lockdown are overcome with emotion following following a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018

Parents wait for news after a reports of a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018

Parents wait for news after a reports of a shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2018

The scene was reminiscent of the Newtown attack, which shocked even a country numbed by the regularity of school shootings. The December 14, 2012, assault at Sandy Hook Elementary School killed 26 people: 20 first-graders and six staff members. The 20-year-old gunman, who also fatally shot his mother in her bed, then killed himself.

Not long after Wednesday’s attack in Florida, Michael Nembhard was sitting in his garage on a cul-de-sac when he saw a young man in a burgundy shirt walking down the street. In an instant, a police cruiser pulled up, and officers jumped out with guns drawn.

‘All I heard was ‘Get on the ground! Get on the ground!” Nembhard said. He said Cruz did as he was told.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott joined law enforcement agents near the site of the deadly school shooting on Wednesday night and offered his condolences to the victims’ families and survivors.

Scott said that he couldn’t imagine what the families of the victims are going through. He also said he would be visiting hospitalized survivors.

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said the state would cover funeral expenses for the victims and counseling for survivors.

The school will be closed for the rest of the week.

Gunshots were first heard at about 2.25pm on Wednesday before Cruz, who had escaped among fleeing students, was arrested a short time later in Coral Springs

Majory Stoneman Douglas High School is located in Parkland, west of Boca Raton, in Florida 

Majory Stoneman Douglas High School is located in Parkland, west of Boca Raton, in Florida

South Florida remained on edge on Thursday. Miami’s main criminal courthouse building was put on lockdown after an unspecified threat was reported, Miami-Dade County’s state attorney said on Twitter.

Another Broward school briefly also went on lockdown after reports of a shooting, which turned out to be unfounded, local media reported.

A law enforcement officer is assigned to every school in the Broward County district, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High board member Donna Korn told a local newspaper. The sheriff’s office also provides active shooter training and schools have a single point of entry, she said.

‘We have prepared the campuses, but sometimes people still find a way to let these horrific things happen,’ Korn said.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is in Parkland – Florida’s safest city last year.

It’s also a lucrative area to live because the schools are so good.

The incident comes just a few weeks after a 15-year-old boy opened fire at his rural Kentucky high school, killing two and injuring more than two dozen others.

It’s the 30th mass shooting of the year and the third-deadliest school shooting in American history, behind Sandy Hook and Virginia Tech.

PICTURED: Fourteen students, geography teacher, coach and athletic director shot dead in Florida high school massacre

Jaime Guttenberg, 14, was described by relatives as a 'kind-hearted, sweet' girl. She attended the school with her younger brother who survived and rushed home afterwards

Senior Nicholas Dworet was a gifted swimmer who had his sights set on 2020 Tokyo Olympics success. His devastated college student girlfriend is among those grieving his death. Friends said he was not just a talented athlete, but a 'good guy' who will be missed

Martin Duque, 14, was missing for hours on Wednesday and his frantic family desperately appealed for him to get in touch on social media. On Thursday, his older brother Miguel confirmed his death. Martin was a freshman

Martin Duque, 14, (left) was missing for hours on Wednesday and his frantic family desperately appealed for him to get in touch on social media. On Thursday, his older brother Miguel confirmed his death. Martin was a freshman. Meadow Pollack, 18, (right) was preparing for college. Her father was at the school on Wednesday and showed her photograph around in the hope that she would be found alive

Alyssa Alhadeff, 15, (seen right) was eulogized by her mother who said she was a talented soccer player and creative mind. 'All she had to offer the world was love... I just sent her to school and she was shot and killed,' she said

Luke Hoyer, 15, was described as a 'precious' child by his grandparents who confirmed his death. They found out about the shooting on television. They said he was a 'good kid' who 'never got in trouble'

Luke Hoyer, 15, (left) was described as a ‘precious’ child by his grandparents who confirmed his death. They found out about the shooting on television. They said he was a ‘good kid’ who ‘never got in trouble’. Joaquin Oliver, 17, (right) was also killed. Joaquin was a Venezuelan immigrant who came to the US with his family for a ‘better future’, they said on Thursday

Gina Montalto, 15, was described as a 'light and joy'. She and Jaime, another victim, volunteered at a local project called The Friendship Initiative where they acted as buddies for children with special needs. Gina's mother Jennifer shared pleas to find her on social media on Wednesday

Carmen Schentrup, 16, was also killed in the shooting. Carmen was a gifted student who last year was named as a semifinalist in the 2018 National Merit Scholarship Program. It includes students who score above average in their SATs or National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test

Alex Schachter, 14, was also killed.  His mother died when he was a child and he attended the school in Florida with his brother, who survived. The teenager's father Max said he was a 'sweetheart of a child' who 'just wanted to do well and please his parents'

Helena Ramsey, 17, was described by relatives as a 'reserved' and studious girl who was due to go to college next year
Alex Schachter, 14, (left) was also killed.  His mother died when he was a child and he attended the school in Florida with his brother, who survived. The teenager’s father Max said he was a ‘sweetheart of a child’ who ‘just wanted to do well and please his parents’. Helena Ramsey, 17, (right) was described by relatives as a ‘reserved’ and studious girl who was due to go to college next year

Geography Scott Beigel, 35, was shot dead as he tried to lock the door of his classroom again after letting a group of fleeing students in to hide. They were running away from the gunman.

Aaron Feis, 37, died acting as a human shield. The track coach had thrown himself on top of the kids to stop the bullets from hitting him. He was a former student and was also a security guard at the school where he had worked for eight years

Geography Scott Beigel, 35, (left) was shot dead as he tried to lock the door of his classroom again after letting a group of fleeing students in to hide. They were running away from the gunman. Aaron Feis, 37, (right) died acting as a human shield. The track coach had thrown himself on top of the kids to stop the bullets from hitting him. He was a former student and was also a security guard at the school where he had worked for eight years

Athletic director Chris Hixon, 49, was also killed shielding students

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5394229/Florida-high-school-shooting-plunges-city-mourning.html#ixzz57DvLUr9N

POLAND-US-UKRAINE-RUSSIA-POLITICS-CRISIS-OBAMA

Saul Loeb/Getty Images

The deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history has tragically just taken place at The Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. The nightmarish attack claimed the lives of 49 Americans, and wounded 53 more.

Many Americans are rightly searching for answers about what went wrong and how do we prevent more from occurring.

In the midst of all this confusion and national soul-searching, some startling claims have been made about the mass shootings in the United States compared with the rest of the world.

One of the more extravagant was that the frequency of shootings in the U.S. is more than one a day, meaning that there have purportedly been 173 mass shootings in 164 days in 2016:

However, the source massshootingtracker.org qualifies a “mass shooting” as any shooting incident with more than 4 injuries.

An article in the New York Times by Mark Follman of Mother Jones, on the other hand, clarifies that this coding of data can be misleading:

For at least the past decade, the F.B.I. regarded a mass shooting as a single attack in which four or more victims were killed. (In 2013, a mandate from President Obama for further study of the problem lowered that threshold to three victims killed.) When we began compiling our database in 2012, we used that criteria of four or more killed in public attacks, but excluded mass murders that stemmed from robbery, gang violence or domestic abuse in private homes.

Our goal with this relatively narrow set of parameters was to better understand the seemingly indiscriminate attacks that have increased in recent years, whether in movie theaters, elementary schools or office parks.

The statistics now being highlighted in the news come primarily from shootingtracker.com, a website built by members of a Reddit forum supporting gun control called GunsAreCool. That site aggregates news stories about shooting incidents — of any kind — in which four or more people are reported to have been either injured or killed.

Much like the massshooting.org data, the shootingtracker.com data characterizes any shooting incidents with four or more victims as a “mass shooting.”

Such claims have been used to promote the argument that mass shootings at such a frequency don’t happen in other nations (with stricter gun control and even gun bans), and furthermore, that the higher rate is a justification for increased gun control measures of various kinds.

The president made the claim that mass shootings don’t happen in other countries after the heinous Charleston shooting, which killed nine people.

“I say this every time we have one of these mass shootings. This just doesn’t happen in other countries,” President Obama said.

The president also made the statement in Paris, the site of a recent armed ISIS attack that killed 130 civilians, and the location of Charlie Hedbo magazine attacks that killed 12 people and injured 11 people in January.

So, are the president’s claims true?

The following is a chart of mass shooting statistics, when corrected for population. It shows that the U.S. has comparable frequency to other nations when accounting for its large population size. It should also be noted that the U.S. by far has most armed citizens in the world.

Screenshot - 6_18_2015 , 9_43_12 PM

OECD data. Archived at: http://archive.is/f4gbv

The Rampage Shooting Index. Taken from a now-defunct website, assembled data from around the world to construct a per capita mass shootings index that controls for population differences. [Update: Archived data based on OECD and other statistics can be found here.]

And since we’re just talking about members of the OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development), we can assume these 34 countries are sufficiently “advanced” to enter into the discussion.

The bottom line: The United States falls from number one due to its frequency of 38 mass shootings from January 1, 2009 to December 31, 2013 (which would be number one without correcting for population) to number seven.

Security Magazine commented on the data findings:

Between January 1, 2009, and December 31, 2013,there were 413 fatalities from mass shootings in the 34 member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). From the five-year period of 2008-2012, there were 373 total spree shooting fatalities.

According to the OECD’s latest version of the Rampage Shooting Index, a pair of deadly shootings in Switzerland in early 2013 pushed the U.S. out of the top five OECD nations for the most per capita fatalities, but the U.S. continues to have the most rampage shooting deaths (one reason could be its size – The U.S. population accounts for 25 percent of the OECD total). However, the U.S. saw a drop in mass shooting deaths from 93 in 2012 to 68 in 2013.

The U.S.’ index of 0.12 per 5,000,000 places it behind Norway (recall the Anders Breivik massacre), Finland, Slovakia, Israel, and Switzerland – at half the ratio.

Another thing one might note: The top 5 countries for mass shootings per capita all have “restrictive” gun policies.

https://ijr.com/2015/12/348197-paris-attack-claim-mass-shootings/

 

Mass shootings in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Total U.S. deaths by year in mass shootings: 1982 to 2016[1]

The United States has more mass shootings than any other country.[2][3][4][5] A mass shooting is usually defined as a shooting resulting in at least four victims, excluding the perpetrator.[6] When the definition is restricted to four or more people dead, data shows 146 mass shootings between 1967 and 2017, with an average of eight people dead including the perpetrator.[7] The perpetrator generally either commits suicide, is killed by law enforcement, or is restrained by unarmed civilians.[8]

Frequency

Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, site of the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, resulting in 59 deaths and 546 non-fatal injuries.

The frequency in which mass shootings occur depends upon definition. In recent years, the number of public mass shootings has increased substantially, even though there has been a massive decrease in gun related deaths.[9]Studies indicate that the rate at which public mass shootings occur has tripled since 2011. Between 1982 and 2011, a mass shooting occurred roughly once every 200 days. However, between 2011 and 2014 that rate has accelerated greatly with at least one mass shooting occurring every 64 days in the United States.[10]

A report by USA Today stated that there were mass killings every two weeks and that public mass killings account for 1 in 6 of all mass killings (26 killings annually would thus be equivalent to 26/6, 4 to 5, public killings per year).[11]Mother Jones listed seven mass shootings, defined as indiscriminate rampages in public places resulting in four or more victims killed,[12] in the U.S. for 2015. The average for the period 2011–2015 was about 5 a year.[13] An analysis by Michael Bloomberg‘s gun violence prevention group, Everytown for Gun Safety, identified 110 mass shootings, defined as shootings in which at least four people were murdered with a firearm, between January 2009 and July 2014; at least 57% were related to domestic or family violence.[14][15] This would imply that not more than 43% of 110 shootings in 5.5 years were non-domestic, though not necessarily public or indiscriminate; this equates to 8.6 per year, broadly in line with the other figures.

Other media outlets have reported that hundreds of mass shootings take place in the United States in a single calendar year, citing a crowd-funded website known as Shooting Tracker which defines a mass shooting as having four or more people injured or killed.[16] In December 2015, The Washington Post reported that there had been 355 mass shootings in the United States so far that year.[17] In August 2015, The Washington Post reported that the United States was averaging one mass shooting per day.[18] An earlier report had indicated that in 2015 alone, there had been 294 mass shootings that killed or injured 1,464 people.[19] However, an article from Russia Today stated that 42 percent of the incidents involved zero deaths, and 29 percent one death.[20] Shooting Tracker and Mass Shooting Tracker, the two sites that the media have been citing, have been criticized for using a criterion much more inclusive than that used by the government—they count four victims injured as a mass shooting—thus producing much higher figures.[21][22]

Contributing factors

There are several factors that work together to create a fertile environment for mass murder in the United States.[23] Those factors include: failure of government background checks due to incomplete databases and staff shortages,[24][25] relatively high accessibility of guns,[23][26][27] acute copycat phenomenon,[26] desire for fame and notoriety,[23][26] widespread chronic gap between people’s expectations for themselves and their actual achievement,[23] and individualistic culture.[28] It is debated whether mental illness is a factor.[29][30][31] Many of the mass shooters in the U.S. suffered from mental illness, but the estimated number of mental illness cases has not increased as significantly as the number of mass shootings, which tripled from 2011 to 2014.[26]

Deadliest shootings

The following are the 20 deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history (c. 1949 onwards).

  Was previously the deadliest mass shooting.
Incident Year Deaths Type of weapon(s) used Reference(s)
1 Las Vegas shooting 2017 59 (including the perpetrator) Semi-automatic rifles [32][33]
2 Orlando nightclub shooting 2016 50 (including the perpetrator) Semi-automatic rifle [32][33]
3 Virginia Tech shooting 2007 33 (including the perpetrator) Handguns [32]
4 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting 2012 28 (including the perpetrator) Semi-automatic rifle and bolt-action rifle [32]
5 Sutherland Springs church shooting 2017 27 (including the perpetrator) Semi-automatic rifle [34][33]
6 Luby’s shooting 1991 24 (including the perpetrator) Handguns [32]
7 San Ysidro McDonald’s massacre 1984 22 (including the perpetrator) Multiple weapons [32]
8 University of Texas tower shooting 1966 18 (including the perpetrator) Multiple weapons [32]
9 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting 2018 17 Semi-automatic rifle [35]
10 San Bernardino attack 2015 16 (including both perpetrators) Semi-automatic rifles [32][33]
11 Edmond post office shooting 1986 15 (including the perpetrator) Handguns [32]
Columbine High School massacre 1999 15 (including both perpetrators) Multiple weapons [36]
13 Binghamton shootings 2009 14 (including the perpetrator) Handguns [36]
14 Camden shootings 1949 13 Handgun [36]
Wilkes-Barre shootings 1982 13 Semi-automatic rifle [36]
Fort Hood shooting 2009 13 Handguns [36]
Washington Navy Yard shooting 2013 13 (including the perpetrator) Shotgun and handgun [36]
18 Aurora shooting 2012 12 Multiple weapons [36][33]
19 Geneva County massacre 2009 11 (including the perpetrator) Multiple weapons [36]
20 GMAC shootings 1990 10 (including the perpetrator) Semi-automatic rifle [32]
Red Lake shootings 2005 10 (including the perpetrator) Multiple weapons [36]
Umpqua Community College shooting 2015 10 (including the perpetrator) Handguns [36]

See also

References

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

Jordan Peterson

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jordan Peterson
Peterson Lecture (33522701146).png

Peterson at the University of Toronto, 2017
Born Jordan Bernt Peterson
June 12, 1962 (age 55)
EdmontonAlberta, Canada
Residence TorontoOntario, Canada
Citizenship Canadian
Education Political science (B.A., 1982)
Psychology (B.A., 1984)
Clinical psychology (Ph.D., 1991)
Alma mater
Spouse(s) Tammy Roberts (m. 1989)
Children 2
Website jordanbpeterson.com
Scientific career
Fields Psychology
Institutions
Thesis Potential psychological markers for the predisposition to alcoholism (1991)
Doctoral advisor Robert O. Pihl

Jordan Bernt Peterson (born June 12, 1962) is a Canadian clinical psychologistcultural critic, and professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. His main areas of study are in abnormalsocial, and personality psychology,[1] with a particular interest in the psychology of religious and ideological belief,[2] and the assessment and improvement of personality and performance.[3]

Peterson grew up in FairviewAlberta. He earned a B.A. degree in political science in 1982 and a degree in psychology in 1984, both from the University of Alberta, and his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from McGill University in 1991. He remained at McGill as a post-doctoral fellow for two years before moving to Massachusetts, where he worked as an assistant and an associate professor in the psychology department at Harvard University. In 1998, he moved to the University of Toronto as a full professor. He authored Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief in 1999, a work which examined several academic fields to describe the structure of systems of beliefs and myths, their role in the regulation of emotion, creation of meaning, and motivation for genocide.[4][5][6] His second book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos, was released in January 2018.[7][8][9]

In 2016, Peterson released a series of videos on his YouTube channel in which he criticized political correctness and the Canadian government’s Bill C-16. He subsequently received significant media coverage.[7][8][9]

Childhood

Peterson was born on June 12, 1962, and grew up in FairviewAlberta, a small town northwest of his birthplace Edmonton, in Canada. He was the eldest of three children born to Beverley, a librarian at the Fairview campus of Grande Prairie Regional College, and Walter Peterson, a schoolteacher.[10] His middle name is Bernt (/bɛərnt/ BAIRNT), after his Norwegian great-grandfather.[11][12]

When he was 13, he was introduced to the writings of George OrwellAldous HuxleyAleksandr Solzhenitsyn, and Ayn Rand by his school librarian Sandy Notley—mother of Rachel Notley, leader of the Alberta New Democratic Party and 17th Premier of Alberta.[13] He also worked for the New Democratic Party (NDP) throughout his teenage years, but grew disenchanted with the party due to what he saw as a preponderance of “the intellectual, tweed-wearing middle-class socialist” who “didn’t like the poor; they just hated the rich”.[10] He left the NDP at age 18.[14]

Education

After graduating from Fairview High School in 1979, Peterson entered the Grande Prairie Regional College to study political science and English literature.[2] He later transferred to the University of Alberta, where he completed his B.A. in 1982.[14] Afterwards, he took a year off to visit Europe. There he developed an interest in the psychological origins of the Cold War, particularly 20th century European totalitarianism,[2][15] and was plagued by apocalyptic nightmares about the escalation of the nuclear arms race. As a result, he became concerned about mankind’s capacity for evil and destruction, and delved into the works of Carl JungFriedrich NietzscheAleksandr Solzhenitsyn,[10] and Fyodor Dostoyevsky.[15] He then returned to the University of Alberta and received a B.A. in psychology in 1984.[16] In 1985, he moved to Montreal to attend McGill University. He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology under the supervision of Robert O. Pihl in 1991, and remained as a post-doctoral fellow at McGill’s Douglas Hospital until June 1993, working with Pihl and Maurice Dongier.[2][17]

Career

From July 1993 to June 1998,[1] Peterson lived in Arlington, Massachusetts, while teaching and conducting research at Harvard University as an assistant and an associate professor in the psychology department. During his time at Harvard, he studied aggression arising from drug and alcohol abuse and supervised a number of unconventional thesis proposals.[14] Former Ph.D. students: psychologist and teacher from Harvard Shelley Carson, and author Gregg Hurwitz, recalled that his lectures already were highly admired by the students.[8] In July 1998, he returned to Canada and took up a post as a full professor at the University of Toronto.[1][16]

His areas of study and research are in the fields of psychopharmacologyabnormalneuroclinicalpersonalitysocialindustrial and organizational,[1] religiousideological,[2] political, and creativity psychology.[3] Peterson has authored or co-authored more than a hundred academic papers.[18] Peterson has over 20 years of clinical practice, seeing 20 people a week, but in 2017, he decided to put the practice on hold because of new projects.[7]

In 2004, a 13-part TV series based on his book Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief aired on TVOntario.[10][16][19] He has also appeared on that network on shows such as Big Ideas, and as a frequent guest and essayist on The Agenda with Steve Paikin since 2008.[20][21]

Works

Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief

Something we cannot see protects us from something we do not understand. The thing we cannot see is culture, in its intrapsychic or internal manifestation. The thing we do not understand is the chaos that gave rise to culture. If the structure of culture is disrupted, unwittingly, chaos returns. We will do anything — anything — to defend ourselves against that return.

— Jordan Peterson, 1998 (Descensus ad Inferos)[22]

In 1999, Routledge published Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief. The book, which took Peterson 13 years to complete, describes a comprehensive theory for how we construct meaning, represented by the mythical process of the exploratory hero, and provides an interpretation of religious and mythical models of reality presented in a way that is compatible with the modern scientific understanding of how the brain works. According to Craig Lambert writing in Harvard Magazine, it synthesizes ideas drawn from narratives in mythologyreligionliterature, and philosophy, as well as research from neuropsychology in “the classic, old-fashioned tradition of social science“.[22]

Peterson’s primary goal was to examine why individuals, not simply groups, engage in social conflict, and to model the path individuals take to support their belief systems (i.e. ideological identification[14]) that results in pathological atrocities like the Gulag, the Auschwitz concentration camp and the Rwandan genocide.[22] He explores the origins of evil, and also posits that an analysis of the world’s religious ideas might allow us to describe our essential morality and eventually develop a universal system of morality.[23][2]

According to Peterson, there exists a struggle between chaos (characteristic of the unknown) and order (characteristic of explored, mapped territory). Humans with their capability of abstract thinking also make abstract territoriality—the belief systems which “regulate our emotions“. A potential threat to an important belief triggers emotional reactions which are potentially followed by pathological attempts to face internal chaos, and “people generally prefer war to be something external, rather than internal … than re-forming our challenged beliefs”. The principle in between is logos (consciousness), and heroic figures are those who develop the culture and society as intermediaries between these two natural forces.[22]

Harvey Shepard, writing in the religion column of the Montreal Gazette, stated: “To me, the book reflects its author’s profound moral sense and vast erudition in areas ranging from clinical psychology to scripture and a good deal of personal soul searching. … Peterson’s vision is both fully informed by current scientific and pragmatic methods, and in important ways deeply conservative and traditional”.[24] The psychologists Ralph W. Hood, Peter C. Hill, and Bernard Spilka, in their book The Psychology of Religion: An Empirical Approach(2009), stated that in regard of the relationship of five factor model to religion, the “dynamic model for the tension between tradition and transformation has been masterfully explored by Peterson (1999) as the personality basis for what he terms the architecture of belief”.[25]

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos

In January 2018, Penguin Random House published Peterson’s second book, 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. The work includes abstract ethical principles about life, written in a more accessible writing style than is Maps of Meaning.[7][8][9] To promote the book, Peterson went on a world tour.[26][27][28] As part of the tour, Peterson had an interview on Channel 4 News, which went viral, receiving over six million views on YouTube.[29][30] Following the Channel 4 News interview, 12 Rules for Life was ranked the number one bestselling book on Amazon.com in the United States, number one in Canada and number four in the United Kingdom.[31][32] It also became the No. 2 nonfiction book on The Wall Street Journals Best-Selling Books list, and the No. 1 nonfiction e-book.[33]

Melanie Reid, in her review of 12 Rules for Life for The Times, says the book is “aimed at teenagers, millennials and young parents”. Summarising it, she states: “If you peel back the verbiage, the cerebral preening, you are left with a hardline self-help manual of self-reliance, good behaviour, self-betterment and individualism that probably reflects [Peterson’s] childhood in rural Canada in the 1960s.”[34] Bryan Appleyard, also writing for The Times, describes the book as “a less dense and more practical version of Maps of Meaning.” He says it is “a baggy, aggressive, in-your-face, get-real book that, ultimately, is an attempt to lead us back to what Peterson sees as the true, the beautiful and the good — ie God.”[35] Hari Kunzru of The Guardian said the book collates advice from Peterson’s clinical practice with personal anecdotes, accounts of his academic work as a psychologist and “a lot of intellectual history of the ‘great books‘ variety”.[36] Julian Baggini, in a review of the book for the Financial Times, writes: “In headline form, most of his rules are simply timeless good sense. … The problem is that when Peterson fleshes them out, they carry more flab than meat.”[37]

Other projects

In 2013, Peterson began recording his lectures (“Personality and Its Transformations”, “Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief”[38]) and uploading them to YouTube. His YouTube channel has gathered more than 800,000 subscribers and his videos have received more than 35 million views as of January 2018.[39] He has also appeared on The Joe Rogan ExperienceThe Gavin McInnes ShowSteven Crowder‘s Louder with CrowderDave Rubin‘s The Rubin ReportStefan Molyneux‘s Freedomain Radioh3h3Productions‘s H3 PodcastSam Harris‘s Waking Up podcast, Gad Saad‘s The Saad Truth series and other online shows,[40] discussing the Bill C-16 controversy, identity politics, and his work as a psychologist. In December 2016, Peterson started his own podcast, The Jordan B. Peterson Podcast, which has 37 episodes as of January 10, 2018, including academic guests such as Camille PagliaMartin Daly, and James W. Pennebaker,[41] while on his channel he has also interviewed Stephen HicksRichard J. Haier, and Jonathan Haidt among others. Peterson supported engineer James Damore in his action against Google.[9]

In January 2017, he hired a production team to film his psychology lectures at the University of Toronto. He used funds received via the crowd-sourced funding website Patreon after he became embroiled in the Bill C-16 controversy in September 2016. His funding through Patreon has increased from $1,000 per month in August 2016 to $14,000 by January 2017 to more than $50,000 by July 2017.[13][39][42]

Peterson with his colleagues Robert O. Pihl, Daniel Higgins, and Michaela Schippers[43] produced a writing therapy program with series of online writing exercises, titled the Self Authoring Suite.[44] It includes the Past Authoring Program, a guided autobiography; two Present Authoring Programs, which allow the participant to analyze their personality faults and virtues in terms of the Big Five personality model; and the Future Authoring Program, which guides participants through the process of planning their desired futures. The latter program was used with McGill University undergraduates on academic probation to improve their grades, as well since 2011 at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University.[45][46] The Self Authoring Programs were developed partially from research by James W. Pennebaker at the University of Texas at Austin and Gary Latham at the Rotman School of Management of the University of Toronto. Pennebaker demonstrated that writing about traumatic or uncertain events and situations improved mental and physical health, while Latham demonstrated that personal planning exercises help make people more productive.[46] According to Peterson, more than 10,000 students have used the program as of January 2017, with drop-out rates decreasing by 25% and GPAs rising by 20%.[10]

In May 2017, he started a new project, focusing on the psychological significance of the Biblical stories,[47] a series of live theatre lectures in which he analyzes archetypal narratives in Genesis as patterns of behavior vital for personal, social and cultural stability.[9][48]

Critiques of political correctness

Peterson’s critiques of political correctness range over issues such as postmodernismpostmodern feminismwhite privilegecultural appropriation, and environmentalism.[40][49][50] Writing in the National Post, Chris Selley said Peterson’s opponents had “underestimated the fury being inspired by modern preoccupations like white privilege and cultural appropriation, and by the marginalization, shouting down or outright cancellation of other viewpoints in polite society’s institutions”,[51] while in The SpectatorTim Lott stated Peterson became “an outspoken critic of mainstream academia”.[15] Peterson’s social media presence has magnified the impact of these views; Simona Chiose of The Globe and Mail noted: “few University of Toronto professors in the humanities and social sciences have enjoyed the global name recognition Prof. Peterson has won”.[52]

According to his study – conducted with one of his students, Christine Brophy – of the relationship between political belief and personality, political correctness exists in two types: PC-Egalitarianism and PC-Authoritarianism, which is a manifestation of “offense sensitivity”.[53] The first type is represented by a group of classical liberals, while the latter by the group known as “social justice warriors[10] who “weaponize compassion“.[2] The study also found an overlap between PC-authoritarians and right-wing authoritarians.[53]

Peterson considers that the universities should be held as among the most responsible for the wave of political correctness which appeared in North America and Europe.[52] He watched the rise of political correctness on campuses since the early 1990s,[54] and considers that the humanities have become corrupt, less reliant on science, and instead of “intelligent conversation, we are having an ideological conversation”. From his own experience as a university professor, he states that the students who are coming to his classes are uneducated and unaware about the mass exterminations and crimes by Stalinism and Maoism, which were not given the same attention as fascism and Nazism. He also says that “instead of being ennobled or inculcated into the proper culture, the last vestiges of structure are stripped from [the students] by post-modernism and neo-Marxism, which defines everything in terms of relativism and power“.[15][55][56]

Of postmodernism and identity politics

And so since the 1970s, under the guise of postmodernism, we’ve seen the rapid expansion of identity politics throughout the universities, it’s come to dominate all of the humanities — which are dead as far as I can tell — and a huge proportion of the social sciences … We’ve been publicly funding extremely radical, postmodern leftist thinkers who are hellbent on demolishing the fundamental substructure of Western civilization. And that’s no paranoid delusion. That’s their self-admitted goal … Jacques Derrida … most trenchantly formulated the anti-Western philosophy that is being pursued so assiduously by the radical left.

— Peterson, 2017[55]

Peterson believes that postmodern philosophers and sociologists since the 1960s,[49] while typically claiming to reject Marxism and Communism, because they were discredited as economic ideologies as well by the exposure of crimes in the Soviet Union, have actually built upon and extended their core tenets. He states that it is difficult to understand contemporary society without considering the influence of postmodernism which initially spread from France to the United States through the English department at Yale University. He argues that they “started to play a sleight of hand, and instead of pitting the proletariat, the working class, against the bourgeois, they started to pit the oppressed against the oppressor. That opened up the avenue to identifying any number of groups as oppressed and oppressor and to continue the same narrative under a different name … The people who hold this doctrine – this radical, postmodern, communitarian doctrine that makes racial identity or sexual identity or gender identity or some kind of group identity paramount – they’ve got control over most low-to-mid level bureaucratic structures, and many governments as well”.[55][18]

He emphasizes that the state should halt funding to faculties and courses he describes as neo-Marxist, and advises students to avoid disciplines like women’s studiesethnic studies and racial studies, as well other fields of study he believes are “corrupted” by the ideology such as sociologyanthropology and English literature.[57][58] He states that these fields, under the pretense of academic inquiry, propagate unscientific methods, fraudulent peer-review processes for academic journals, publications that garner zero citations,[59] cult-like behaviour,[57] safe-spaces,[60] and radical left-wing political activism for students.[49] Peterson has proposed launching a website which uses AI to identify and showcase the amount of ideologization in specific courses. He announced in November 2017 that he had temporarily postponed the project as “it might add excessively to current polarization”.[61][62]

Peterson has criticized the use of the term “white privilege“, stating that, “being called out on their white privilege, identified with a particular racial group and then made to suffer the consequences of the existence of that racial group and its hypothetical crimes, and that sort of thing has to come to a stop. … [It’s] racist in its extreme”.[49] In response to the 2017 protest in Charlottesville, Virginia, he criticized the far right‘s use of identity politics, and said that “the Caucasians shouldn’t revert to being white. It’s a bad idea, it’s a dangerous idea, and it’s coming fast, and I don’t like to see that!” He stated that the notion of group identity is “seriously pathological … reprehensible … genocidal” and “it will bring down our civilization if we pursue it”.[63] He has also been prominent in the debate about cultural appropriation, stating it promotes self-censorship in society and journalism.[64]

Of Bill C-16

On September 27, 2016, Peterson released the first installment of a three-part lecture video series, entitled “Professor against political correctness: Part I: Fear and the Law”.[13][65] In the video, he stated he would not use the preferred gender pronouns of students and faculty as part of compelled speech, and announced his objection to the Canadian government‘s Bill C-16, which proposed to add “gender identity or expression” as a prohibited ground of discrimination under the Canadian Human Rights Act, and to similarly expand the definitions of promoting genocide and publicly inciting hatred in the Criminal Code.[65][66]

He stated that his objection to the bill was based on potential free speech implications if the Criminal Code is amended, as he claimed he could then be prosecuted under provincial human rights laws if he refuses to call a transsexual student or faculty member by the individual’s preferred pronoun.[67] Furthermore, he argued that the new amendments paired with section 46.3 of the Ontario Human Rights Code would make it possible for employers and organizations to be subject to punishment under the code if any employee or associate says anything that can be construed “directly or indirectly” as offensive, “whether intentionally or unintentionally”.[68] Other academics challenged Peterson’s interpretation of C-16,[67] while some scholars such as Robert P. George supported Peterson’s initiative.[13]

The series of videos drew criticism from transgender activists, faculty and labour unions, and critics accused Peterson of “helping to foster a climate for hate to thrive”.[13] Protests erupted on campus, some including violence, and the controversy attracted international media attention.[69][70][71] When asked in September 2016 if he would comply with the request of a student to use a preferred pronoun, Peterson said “it would depend on how they asked me … If I could detect that there was a chip on their shoulder, or that they were [asking me] with political motives, then I would probably say no … If I could have a conversation like the one we’re having now, I could probably meet them on an equal level”.[71] Two months later, the National Post published an op-ed by Peterson in which he elaborated on his opposition to the bill and explained why he publicly made a stand against it:

I will never use words I hate, like the trendy and artificially constructed words “zhe” and “zher.” These words are at the vanguard of a post-modern, radical leftist ideology that I detest, and which is, in my professional opinion, frighteningly similar to the Marxist doctrines that killed at least 100 million people in the 20th century.

I have been studying authoritarianism on the right and the left for 35 years. I wrote a book, Maps of Meaning: The Architecture of Belief, on the topic, which explores how ideologies hijack language and belief. As a result of my studies, I have come to believe that Marxism is a murderous ideology. I believe its practitioners in modern universities should be ashamed of themselves for continuing to promote such vicious, untenable and anti-human ideas, and for indoctrinating their students with these beliefs. I am therefore not going to mouth Marxist words. That would make me a puppet of the radical left, and that is not going to happen. Period.[72]

In response to the controversy, academic administrators at the University of Toronto sent Peterson two letters of warning, one noting that free speech had to be made in accordance with human rights legislation and the other adding that his refusal to use the preferred personal pronouns of students and faculty upon request could constitute discrimination. Peterson speculated that these warning letters were leading up to formal disciplinary action against him, but in December the university assured him that he would retain his professorship, and in January 2017 he returned to teach his psychology class at the University of Toronto.[13]

In February 2017, Maxime Bernier, candidate for leader of the Conservative Party of Canada, stated that he shifted his position on Bill C-16 after meeting with Peterson and discussing it.[73] Peterson’s analysis of the bill was also frequently cited by senators who were opposed to its passage.[74]

In April 2017, Peterson was denied a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council grant for the first time in his career, which he interpreted as retaliation for his statements regarding Bill C-16.[75] A media relations adviser for SSHRC said “[c]ommittees assess only the information contained in the application”.[76] In response, The Rebel Media launched an Indiegogo campaign on Peterson’s behalf.[77] The campaign raised $195,000 by its end on May 6, equivalent to over two years of research funding.[78]

In May 2017, Peterson spoke against Bill C-16 at a Senate committee on legal and constitutional affairs hearing. He was one of 24 witnesses who were invited to speak on the bill.[74]

In August 2017, an announced event at Ryerson University titled “The Stifling of Free Speech on University Campuses”, organized by former social worker Sarina Singh with panelists Peterson, Gad Saad, Oren Amitay, and Faith Goldy was shut down because of pressure on the university administration from the group “No Fascists in Our City”.[79] However, another version of the panel (without Goldy) was held on November 11 at Canada Christian College with an audience of 1,500.[80][81]

In November 2017 a teaching assistant (TA) at Wilfrid Laurier University (WLU) was censured by her professors and WLU’s Manager of Gendered Violence Prevention and Support for showing a segment of The Agenda, which featured Peterson debating Bill C-16, during a classroom discussion.[82][83][84] The reasons given for the censure included the clip creating a “toxic climate” and being itself in violation of Bill C-16.[85] The case was criticized by several newspaper editorial boards[86][87][88] and national newspaper columnists[89][90][91][92] as an example of the suppression of free speech on university campuses. WLU announced a third-party investigation.[93] After the audio recording of the meeting in which the TA was censured was released,[94] WLU President Deborah MacLatchy and the TA’s supervising professor Nathan Rambukkana published letters of formal apology.[95][96][97] According to the investigation no students had complained about the lesson, there was no informal concern related to Laurier policy, and according to MacLatchy the meeting “never should have happened at all”.[98][99]

Personal life

Peterson married Tammy Roberts in 1989.[13] They have one daughter and one son.[10][13] He became a grandfather in August 2017.[100]

Politically, Peterson describes himself as a classic British liberal.[101][15] He is a philosophical pragmatist.[48] In a 2017 interview, Peterson identified as a Christian,[102] but in 2018 he did not.[103] He emphasized his conceptualization of Christianity is probably not what it is generally understood, stating that the ethical responsibility of a Christian is to imitate Christ, for him meaning “something like you need to take responsibility for the evil in the world as if you were responsible for it … to understand that you determine the direction of the world, whether it’s toward heaven or hell”.[103] When asked if he believes in God, Peterson responded: “I think the proper response to that is No, but I’m afraid He might exist”.[7] Writing for The SpectatorTim Lott said Peterson draws inspiration from Jung’s philosophy of religion, and holds views similar to the Christian existentialism of Søren Kierkegaard and Paul Tillich. Lott also said Peterson has respect for Taoism, as it views nature as a struggle between order and chaos, and posits that life would be meaningless without this duality.[15]

Bibliography

Books

Journal articles

Top 15 most cited academic papers from Google Scholar and ResearchGate:

References

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

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1031, February 12, 2018, Story 1: President Trump’s Infrastructure Framework/Plan — More Federal Government Spending of $200 Billion Over Ten Years With $1.5 to $1.8 Billion From Local Public Private Partnership Poo Pourri — Unconditional Guarantee Stink Free — Videos — Story 2: President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2019 Budget An American Budget — Huge Government With Massive National Debt and Unfunded Liabilities and Obligation Until Debt Bomb Blows Up — Hundreds of Trillions — The Great Default and Inflation — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump’s Infrastructure Framework/Plan — More Federal Government Spending of $200 Billion Over Ten Years With $1.5 to $1.8 Billion From Local Public Private Partnership Poo Pourri — Unconditional Guarantee Stink Free — Videos —

Girls Don’t Poop – PooPourri.com

How to Poop at a Party – PooPourri.com

Paying for Trump’s infrastructure plan

What President Donald Trump just REVEALED about his Infrastructure Plan will Shock Everyone!!

Trump is on right track with infrastructure bill: Rep. Biggs

Trump wants $1.5 tril. for infrastructure blueprint

Trump’s infrastructure plan is way too expensive: Kennedy

A $3.6 billion reconstruction project at Salt Lake City International Airport. The $200 billion infrastructure program that the White House unveiled on Monday is intended to attract a huge amount of additional money from states, localities and private investors.CreditKim Raff for The New York Times

President Trump’s $200 billion plan to rebuild America upends the criteria that have long been used to pick ambitious federal projects, putting little emphasis on how much an infrastructure proposal benefits the public and more on finding private investors and other outside sources of money.

Unveiled on Monday, the infrastructure program that Mr. Trump has championed since the campaign is intended to attract a huge amount of additional money from states, localities and private investors. The goal is to generate a total pot of $1.5 trillion to upgrade the country’s highways, airports and railroads.

Those financial priorities are crystallized in the new guidelines established by the White House. The ability to find sources of funding outside the federal government will be the most important yardstick, accounting for 70 percent of the formula for choosing infrastructure projects. How “the project will spur economic and social returns on investment” ranks at the bottom, at just 5 percent.

In this new competition for federal funds, a plan to, say, build a better access road for a luxury development — a project with the potential to bring in more dollars from private investors — could have a strong chance of getting the green light. By comparison, a critical tunnel overhaul that has trouble getting new money might not be approved.

“Instead of the public sector deciding on public needs and public priorities, the projects that are most attractive to private investors are the ones that will go to the head of the line,” said Elliott Sclar, professor of urban planning and international affairs at Columbia University. “Private investors will become the tail that will wag the dog, because they’ll want projects that will give returns.”

How Trump Plans to Turn $200 Billion Into $1.5 Trillion in Infrastructure Spending

President Trump’s long-awaited infrastructure plan proposes that the federal government put up $200 billion in incentives and investments, leaving local governments and private industry to come up with the rest.

Proposals intended to serve more impoverished communities that require more state and local money, including improving drinking water in a place like Flint, Mich., could be given short shrift. Financial investors may not see a big profit in such a project.

“A private corporation has a fiduciary obligation to make a profit. The government is supposed to be providing a public service,” Mr. Sclar said.

The president’s plan recasts the federal government as a minority stakeholder in the nation’s new infrastructure projects. Half of the $200 billion promised over 10 years will be used for incentives to spur even greater contributions from states, localities and the private sector. Mr. Trump also wants to speed up the approval process.

The White House budget, separately released on Monday, also gives federal agencies the authority to sell assets that would be better managed by state, local or private entities in cases where a sale would “optimize taxpayer value.” The budget suggests that Ronald Reagan Washington National and Dulles International Airports could be among the assets ripe for new owners.

Coming up with the $200 billion in federal funding will not be easy. Republicans have already ballooned the deficit in last week’s spending agreement and with their tax cuts. Democrats are unlikely to go along with cuts that would offset the cost of Mr. Trump’s plan.

With his infrastructure framework, the president is rethinking Washington’s role.

Economic development has been the justification for federal involvement going back to the country’s efforts in the early 1800s to improve harbors and rivers for navigation. It animated the 1902 Reclamation Act that funded irrigation projects that developed the western United States.

“National economic development benefits were the cornerstone of federal support,” said Debra Knopman, a principal researcher at the RAND Corporation. “That was the point.”

Public health, safety and national defense were added in the 20th century as core values, when the government developed the national highway system and passed the Clean Water Act.

“Now, they’re putting out incentive programs that don’t have to generate national or regional economic developments,” said Ms. Knopman, the lead author of a new 110-page RAND report on transportation and water infrastructure in the United States. “It may happen, but that’s not what they’re interested in and that’s not the way they’re screening these projects.”

The math for the infrastructure plan also relies on a lot of unknowns.

Along with private investors, cities and states are being counted on to put up significant funds. They have a need. States have been struggling for years to rejuvenate creaky roads, bridges and ports. And even if the plan appears to put much of the onus on them to finance projects, any additional federal funding is welcome.

“States won’t look down their nose at adding more money for infrastructure,” said John Hicks, executive director of the National Association of State Budget Officers. “It’s seen primarily as a positive, because it continues to shine light on a shared need of infrastructure improvement.”

But cities and states are not necessarily flush with cash for new infrastructure projects.

Congress has thrown their finances into upheaval, with local lawmakers still trying to come to grips with the effects of the $1.5 trillion tax overhaul that was passed last year. Many states have already expressed concern that it will be hard for them to increase state and local taxes, because deductions on them have been limited.

Some are considering other ways, such as gasoline taxes, to raise funds, but it may not be enough to fund new infrastructure projects. A report released last month by Fitch, the ratings agency, found that many states could see their tax revenue fall from the changes to the individual and corporate taxation laws.

David Damschen, Utah’s treasurer, said his state faces many infrastructure challenges as it works to accommodate a growing population, expand its stock of affordable housing and improve the transportation system. He said Utah was already looking for new sources of tax revenue to fund projects because sales tax and gas tax revenue had been declining.

But Mr. Damschen also noted that public-private partnerships do not tend to work well in his state. “When things roll out, you’ll find what the market will do with these ideas,” he said. “Sometimes creative ideas don’t always have the level of acceptance in the marketplace as you hoped.”

The amount of federal funds — $20 billion a year — will be spread very thin when stretched across the entire country. It is also unclear how much new money, as opposed to repurposed funds, the federal government is actually supplying.

One analysis by the Penn-Wharton Budget Model at the University of Pennsylvania said that other pieces of the White House budget could end up reducing federal infrastructure spending by $55 billion over 10 years — despite the president’s new plan.

Douglas Holtz-Eakin, former director of the Congressional Budget Office and the president of the conservative American Action Forum, complimented aspects of the president’s initiative that dealt with streamlining regulations and using federal credit guarantees. But he doubted the promised total could be reached.

“It’s hard to get the $200 billion to $1.5 trillion, if you do the arithmetic,” he said.

Beyond the math, the revamped selection standards, too, are untested. The new criteria likely stemmed from the administration’s attempt to distinguish its program and try something new.

Indeed, criteria announced just last year by the Trump administration for other transportation and infrastructure grants relied on more traditional standards. One lists safety, overall condition, economic competitiveness, environmental sustainability and quality of life as “primary selection criteria.” Another cites “support for national or regional economic vitality” as the No. 1 one objective, while coming up with new money was second.

The new plan “doesn’t allocate money in terms of congestion, economic need or the public good,” said Martin Klepper, the former executive director of the Transportation Department’s Build America Bureau. “It does it mostly on the basis of the leverage issue.”

Mr. Klepper, who spent decades in the private sector developing, financing and selling large infrastructure projects, was recruited to lead the bureau in the final weeks of the Obama administration. He said he decided to take the job even after the Democrats lost, because of the new administration’s commitment to public-private partnership and Mr. Trump’s promise of a major infrastructure plan.

He resigned in November 2017.

“I left because I was pretty frustrated and disappointed with where the program was going,” Mr. Klepper said. “No one has any idea to the extent with which states and localities will be able to come up with the money to match the federal government.”

 

Trump’s infrastructure plan isn’t a plan. It’s a fantasy

Trump's infrastructure plan isn't a plan. It's a fantasy
A man works on the Southern Nevada portion of U.S. Interstate 11 near Boulder City, Nev. on May 19, 2017. (John Locher / Associated Press)

 

President Trump’s infrastructure plan isn’t a plan. It’s fantasy. The outline the administration put forth Monday is essentially this: The federal government will offer a diminished amount of money — $200 billion over 10 years — for building or repairing roads, bridges, airports, seaports, energy projects and water systems and somehow, magically, $1.5 trillion to $1.8 trillion in infrastructure spending will materialize.

Where would all that money come from? The president’s framework doesn’t say, but the intent is for the federal government to spend a lot less money on infrastructure and for local and state governments to spend a lot more. Oh, and private investors are expected to rain down money on infrastructure projects too.

Trump’s long-awaited plan was supposed to be an ambitious effort to build, as he put it, “the best, fastest and most reliable infrastructure in the world.” It was also a rare opportunity for bipartisan cooperation; Democrats and Republicans generally agree that crumbling roads and bridges are bad, and together they have been drawing up multibillion-dollar infrastructure spending plans for decades.

But the Trump framework is short on funding and pragmatism. The plan calls for $200 billion in federal spending over a decade, but much of that money is set aside for rural communities and loan programs. One hundred billion dollars would go to competitive grants, providing a mere $10 billion a year for roads, railroads, airports, water treatment plants, flood control systems and contaminated land cleanups.

That’s barely enough money to make a dent in the estimated $2 trillion of needed transportation, water and energy system upgrades. By way of comparison, the federal government spent $96 billion on transportation and water projects alone in 2014.

The $200 billion wouldn’t be new money. It would be paid for by cutting other infrastructure-funding programs. Trump’s budget, which was also released Monday, would slash funding for the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency, among other agencies.

The Trump plan envisions it can do more with less by requiring localities to put up at least 80% of the required funding. Traditionally, the federal government covered 80% of major transportation projects, with locals contributing 20%.

There’s nothing wrong with requiring localities to kick in a significant portion of the bill for regional projects. A Trump aide singled out Los Angeles County’s Measure M sales tax increase as a “good case study” for how locals could help pay for public transit and road improvements.

In fact, cities, counties and states across the country are raising their gas and sales taxes and passing bonds to help tackle the massive backlog of unmet needs. But Measure M and similar efforts are supposed to complement, not replace, federal funding. Without federal money, projects will take longer to build, fewer jobs will be created and backlogs will lengthen. The federal pullback sought by Trump ignores why the federal government has been contributing so much to state and local infrastructure projects: We have a shared national interest in a country that’s safe and well-connected, and where people and goods move efficiently.

The Measure M-funded public transit building boom in L.A. County relies on federal funding that would be slashed under the president’s infrastructure and budget proposals. The Purple Line subway to Westwood was slated to receive more than $1 billion, or roughly 45% of the total cost, from the federal government. Without that money, it will be extremely difficult to complete that project, as well as others, in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

Trump’s plan isn’t all terrible. It would reserve funding specifically for rural communities and transformative but challenging projects, two areas where it can be harder to raise local and private dollars. And to usher vital infrastructure projects faster through the bureaucratic gantlet, it calls for streamlining approvals so projects can get started in two years or less. That would be a welcome change, assuming that it means reducing unnecessary delays rather than gutting safety and environmental protections.

So by all means, streamline permitting and cut bureaucracy. But it’s still going take money to build the “gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways” that Trump says he wants. So far, his plan is all gleam, no grit.

http://www.latimes.com/opinion/editorials/la-ed-trump-infrastructure-20180213-story.html

Read the full text of Trump’s infrastructure plan

  • The Trump administration released the full text of its infrastructure proposal to Congress on Monday.
  • The plan includes $200 billion in federal funds that are intended to stimulate more than $1.5 trillion in spending from local and state governments and private entities over a decade.

President Donald Trump delivers a speech on tax reform after touring Sheffer Corporation in Blue Ash outside Cincinnati, Ohio February 5, 2018.

Trump talks up infrastructure plan with local and state officials  

The Trump administration released the full text of its infrastructure proposal to Congress on Monday.

The plan includes $200 billion in federal funds that are intended to stimulate more than $1.5 trillion in spending mostly from local and state governments and private entities over a decade.

In a letter addressed to Congress at the beginning of the proposal, President Donald Trump asks lawmakers to “act soon” on a bill that would:

  • Stimulate at least $1.5 trillion in new investment over the next decade;
  • Shorten the approval process for projects to two years or less;
  • Focus on infrastructure needs for rural areas;
  • Encourage training for American workers;
  • Create opportunities for state and local governments to invest in “large-scale infrastructure projects.”

Trump, who often touts his history as a real estate developer, made infrastructure one of the pillars of his presidential campaign. However, the president has indicated that he is skeptical of public-private partnerships, a key part of the White House’s plan.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/12/read-the-full-text-of-trumps-infrastructure-plan.html

Story 2: President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2019 Budget An American Budget — Huge Government Spending With Massive National Debt and Unfunded Liabilities and Obligations Until Debt Bomb Blows Up — Hundreds of Trillions — The Great Default and Inflation — Videos

 

Trump Proposes $4.4 Trillion Budget

Trump’s budget: Where are the spending cuts?

Deficit from Trump’s budget plan a concern for the economy?

White House’s $4.4 trillion budget plan could hurt Americans in the future

5 takeaways from Trump’s 2019 budget plan

Trump Proposes $4.4 Trillion Budget

 

Heritage Experts Analyze President Trump’s FY 2019 Budget Proposal

Feb 12, 2018

This morning, the Trump administration released its fiscal year 2019 budget proposal. This is President Trump’s second budget proposal since becoming president. Below is reaction from multiple Heritage Foundation experts on the President’s proposal.

 

Justin Bogie, Senior Policy Analyst in fiscal affairs, on the overall spending levels and fiscal sustainability of the budget proposal:

 

“The budget proposal released by President Trump this morning is a mixed bag. While it demonstrates commitments to a strong national defense, eliminating waste, and pursuing much-needed entitlement and welfare reforms, it fails as sound fiscal policy. The Trump administration, just last year, proposed balancing the federal budget within 10 years. However, this proposal would add an additional $7 trillion to the national debt – something not even a big spender like President Obama ever proposed.

 

“While the administration’s accomplishment on tax reform and pursuit of welfare and further regulatory reform are all critical for increased economic growth – this budget proposal threatens economic growth by doubling down on fiscal policies that have failed us in the past and will pass the burden on to our children, grandchildren, and beyond. The time for talking about a smaller government is over – it is time for the President and his administration to demonstrate leadership and put us on a path to fiscal sanity rather than following Congress on the path to fiscal ruin.”

 

Lindsey Burke, Director of the Center for Education Policy, on proposed changes to K-12 education funding:

 

“Overall, the President’s budget makes needed reductions in K-12 spending, taking the size and scope of the federal Department of Education in the right direction – smaller. Yet much more significant reductions are needed to begin the long-overdue process of restoring state and local control of education. Proposals for new spending on school choice programs, however, should be directed to those populations where there is a rationale for federal spending. Providing education savings accounts for children from active duty military families is a promising proposal to do just that.”

 

Marie Fishpaw, Director of Domestic Policy Studies, on health spending in the new budget proposal:

 

“Today, the White House released a budget that rightfully assumes Republican lawmakers will roll back the harmful effects of Obamacare, which drove up health costs while reducing Americans’ health choices. Repealing Obamacare and replacing the law with patient-centered reforms is an effort that lawmakers cannot abandon. However, the budget also allows for $11.5 billion in bailouts to Obamacare’s insurance companies. Advocates claim these bailouts are needed to lower health insurance premiums.This is absurd. Rather than use corporate welfare to paper over the flaws of a fundamentally broken program, Congress should return to ideas that solve the real root problems.Conservative policy leaders continue to call on Congress and the Trump administration to focus their efforts on a real plan to reduce health premiums, improve health choices and protect American taxpayers from corporate bailouts.”

 

Fred Bartels, Policy Analyst for defense budgeting, on military spending:

 

“The Trump administration’s 2019 defense budget request is a great step forward in rebuilding our military. The Heritage Foundation has recommended a defense base budget of $664 billion, a 5.5 percent increase over the 2018 budget, while the administration requested $647 billion, a 2.8 percent increase over the 2018 budget, matching the recent budget deal. The budget calls for an additional 25,900 troops in FY19, similar to Heritage’s recommendation of 25,600 personnel. This will be a substantial step in the military buildup, and will allow the military to start to change the trajectory of asking the services to do more with less. The budget misses the opportunity to call for a new round of base realignments and closure (BRAC), which the Pentagon called for the past six years. It is unfortunate that they passed on an opportunity to save $2 billion per year, but hopefully they will take this time to re-think and reform the BRAC process. Finally, our national defense rests on a solid economic foundation. This is why our government needs to get the nation’s debt and deficits under control. Financing the military through debt sets the nation up for failure and makes the buildup less sustainable.”

https://www.heritage.org/press/heritage-experts-analyze-president-trumps-fy-2019-budget-proposal

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1030, Story 1: Obama Destroyed The Democratic Party and Trump Destroying Republican Party with Out of Control Federal Government Spending By Signing $400 Billion Bipartisan Budget Busting Bill — Night of Financial Infamy and Flooding The Swamp — The Tea Party Movement Will Rise Again and Form A New Political Party — Independence Party — To Challenge Big Spending Democrats and Republicans In Primaries and General Elections — Videos — Breaking Story 2: Russian Conman Bilked U.S. Spy Agency of $100,000 for National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Hacking Tools and Trump Information/Video  — Videos — Story 3: Dueling Memo Madness On Abuse of Power By Obama’s FBI and Department of Justice In Misleading Foreign Intelligent Surveillance Act (FISA) Court — President Trump Blocks Democratic Ten Page Memo For Including Numerous Classified Intelligence Sources and Methods — Resubmit Without Compromising National Security — Appoint Special Counsel To Investigate DOJ and FBI Contempt of FISA Court and Abuse of Power By Obama Administration In Spying on Trump Campaign and American People By Intelligent Community Including FBI, NSA, and CIA — Clinton Obama Conspiracy Exposed — Videos

Posted on February 9, 2018. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, European History, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Insurance, Investments, Killing, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Monetary Policy, National Interest, National Security Agency, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Privacy, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Rule of Law, Scandals, Senate, Social Security, Spying, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Trade Policy, U.S. Dollar, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weather, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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 Story 1: Obama Destroyed The Democratic Party and Trump Destroying Republican Party with Out of Control of Federal Government Spending By Signing $400 Billion Bipartisan Budget Busting Bill — Night of Financial Infamy and Flooding The Swamp — The Tea Party Movement Will Rise Again and Form A New Political Party — Independence Party — To Challenge Big Spending Democrats and Republicans In Primaries and General Elections — Videos —

Mind blowing speech by Robert Welch in 1958 predicting Insiders plans to destroy America

President Trump Signs Spending Bill, Ending Second Shutdown

President Trump Signs Bill Ending Gov’t Shutdown

Stockman Trashes Budget Deal: ‘The Fulcrum Point,’ ‘A Night of Fiscal Infamy

Ep. 329: Republican Hypocrites Embrace Debt to Avert Shutdown

Congress approves spending bill to end brief government shutdown

BREAKING: Congress Votes to REOPEN Government After a Brief Shutdown – Trump Signs Budget

New spending bill raising concerns the tax cuts are unsustainable

Getting implausible that America can pay back debt: Gov. Bevin

 

Party Affiliation

 http://news.gallup.com/poll/15370/party-affiliation.aspx

After temporary shutdown, Congress passes two-year spending deal

WASHINGTON — After a temporary lapse in government funding that lasted through the night, Congress passed a pricey two-year spending deal early Friday that will also fund the government for an additional six weeks.

The government temporarily closed after Congress failed to pass a government funding bill before a midnight deadline due to the objections of one senator, shutting down non-essential government services.

In the end, a bipartisan cohort of lawmakers supported the $400 billion agreement. Shortly after 1:30 a.m. ET, the Senate voted, 71-28, to approve a two-year spending bill that would reopen the government, and the House passed it at 5:30 a.m. with the support of 240 members.

Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that he had signed the bill, officially ending the brief shutdown.

“Just signed Bill. Our Military will now be stronger than ever before. We love and need our Military and gave them everything — and more. First time this has happened in a long time. Also means JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!” he wrote. He followed the post with a call for Republicans to increase their majority in the midterm election.

“Without more Republicans in Congress, we were forced to increase spending on things we do not like or want in order to finally, after many years of depletion, take care of our Military. Sadly, we needed some Dem votes for passage. Must elect more Republicans in 2018 Election!” he tweeted.

Congress now has until March 23, the next funding deadline, to write the legislation to accompany the spending deal that will fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.

 

Trump signs budget bill, ending overnight shutdown 4:04

The overnight shutdown occurred because Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., used a procedural tactic to block the Senate from meeting its deadline.

To the ire of his colleagues, Paul protested the vote because of the large price tag of the two-year spending deal. The agreement is an attempt to end the repeated drama of short-term funding bills that have occupied Congress for much of the past five months. But it, too, was filled with drama until the end: Paul’s stunt forced government agencies to begin shutting down for the second time this year.

“I can’t, in all good honesty, in all good faith, just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits. But really who’s to blame? Both parties,” Paul said on the Senate floor.

In the House, the measure easily passed despite several days of outcry from Democrats over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program, or DACA. But 73 Democrats supported the measure, including many from districts ravaged by hurricanes that would benefit from $90 billion in disaster aid.

“There’s a considerable irony here that there’s so many good things in the bill and yet there’s an outstanding issue that’s very stubborn,” said Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., ranking member of the Appropriations Committee.

The spending deal was hammered out between the Republican and Democratic Senate leaders. It increases domestic spending by $131 billion and defense spending by $165 billion over the next two years and suspend the debt limit for one year — until well after the midterm elections.

Government shuts down overnight, but is back open again2:39

What it doesn’t address is DACA. Per an agreement to end the three-day government shutdown last month, the Senate will take up DACA next week. House Democrats sought a similar agreement from House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., who insisted that he will bring up DACA legislation.

“To anyone who doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill: Do not,” Ryan said at a news conference Thursday. “We will bring a solution to the floor, one that the president will sign. We must pass this budget agreement first, though, so that we can get onto that. So please know that we are committed to getting this done.”

But Ryan has not promised an open and neutral process that gives Democrats the opportunity to help craft the bill. And most notably, President Donald Trump’s support for a bill is a litmus test Democrats can’t accept.

“Sometimes I think the speaker thinks he is the speaker of the White House not the Speaker of the House of Representatives,” Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said just before the vote.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., said it’s time for Democrats to have “courage.”

“Anyone who votes for the Senate budget deal is colluding with this president and this administration to deport Dreamers. It is as simple as that,” Gutierrez said in a statement.

How Rand Paul’s shutdown stunt fits in history 6:27

Fiscal conservative Republicans decried the price tag.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas., who is chair of the House Financial Services Committee and is retiring at the end of his term, called the bill “a monumental mistake and a sad day.”

“With the passage of this spending package, I fear Republicans have ceded our moral authority to lead our nation away from eventual national insolvency. I cannot in good conscience support it,” he said in a statement.

Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, was one of 67 House Republicans, and 16 in the Senate, to vote against it.

“The more we read the text, the more surprises for green energy and some of those things that we’re adamantly against,” Walker said.

Some Republicans are praising the proposed increase in military spending, while Democrats are hailing an increase in domestic spending, a tonic that was enough, along with the desire to avoid a another government shutdown, to garner enough votes. But it’s wasn’t an easy vote for many.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., struggled with his vote but supported it.

“I think the military spending is incredibly important — probably a once-in-a-lifetime increase from my perspective — but the pay-fors are challenging,” Scott said, referring to about $100 billion of revenue-raising mechanisms.

One of those offsets would be to sell off 100 million barrels of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve from 2022 to 2027, which some House conservatives say should be saved for an emergency.

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., voted against the measure, pointing to the major increases to the deficit. “Anybody in the Milky Way concerned about the deficit has to be worried about this bill,” he told reporters.

There were enough sweeteners in the bill to entice enough members to support the measure’s passage. The addition of disaster relief brought Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who often votes against spending bills, on board.

“This latest disaster relief bill is the next step in our state’s road to recovery,” Cruz said in a statement. “And I am gratified that (Sen.) John Cornyn (R-Texas) and I have been able to build upon and improve the bill that was sent to us by the House of Representatives to give the state of Texas the resources it desperately needs.”

Breaking Story 2: Russian Conman Bilked U.S. Spy Agency of $100,000 for National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency Hacking Tools and Trump Information/Video  — Videos

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FBI informant speaks to Congress about the Uranium One deal

BREAKING NEWS!!! WOW! U.S. SPIES PAID $100,000 TO ‘SHADOWY’ RUSSIAN PROMISING DAMNING ‘KOMPROMAT’ ON

Uranium One Informant: ‘Moscow’ Paid Millions to Influence the Oven Mitt Fashionista HRC

Clinton has lied repeatedly about funding the dossier: Kennedy

Media’s handling of Clinton’s dirty dossier ‘absolutely shameful:’ Chaffetz

FBI takes its time with Clinton-Russia scandal?

Gorka: Uranium One scandal is absolutely massive

Comey hid the uranium deal from Congress: Gregg Jarrett

Hillary Clinton LYING THREE TIMES UNDER OATH Before Congress

The headquarters of the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Md. CreditJim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency

BERLIN — After months of secret negotiations, a shadowy Russian bilked American spies out of $100,000 last year, promising to deliver stolen National Security Agency cyberweapons in a deal that he insisted would also include compromising material on President Trump, according to American and European intelligence officials.

The cash, delivered in a suitcase to a Berlin hotel room in September, was intended as the first installment of a $1 million payout, according to American officials, the Russian and communications reviewed by The New York Times. The theft of the secret hacking tools had been devastating to the N.S.A., and the agency was struggling to get a full inventory of what was missing.

Several American intelligence officials said they made clear that they did not want the Trump material from the Russian — who was suspected of having murky ties to Russian intelligence and to Eastern European cybercriminals. He claimed the information would link the president and his associates to Russia. But instead of providing the hacking tools, the Russian produced unverified and possibly fabricated information involving Mr. Trump and others, including bank records, emails and purported Russian intelligence data.

The United States intelligence officials said they cut off the deal because they were wary of being entangled in a Russian operation to create discord inside the American government. They were also fearful of political fallout in Washington if they were seen to be buying scurrilous information on the president.

The Central Intelligence Agency declined to comment on the negotiations with the Russian seller. The N.S.A., which produced the bulk of the hacking tools that the Americans sought to recover, said only that “all N.S.A. employees have a lifetime obligation to protect classified information.” 

The negotiations in Europe last year were described by American and European intelligence officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a clandestine operation, and the Russian. The United States officials worked through an intermediary — an American businessman based in Germany — to preserve deniability. There were meetings in provincial German towns where John le Carré set his early spy novels, and data handoffs in five-star Berlin hotels. American intelligence agencies spent months tracking the Russian’s flights to Berlin, his rendezvous with a mistress in Vienna and his trips home to St. Petersburg, the officials said.

The N.S.A. even used its official Twitter account nearly a dozen times to send coded messages to the Russian.

The episode ended earlier this year with American spies chasing the Russian out of Western Europe, warning him not to return if he valued his freedom, the American businessman said. The alleged Trump material was left with the American, who has secured it in Europe.

The Russian claimed to have access to a staggering collection of secrets that included everything from the computer code for the cyberweapons stolen from the N.S.A. and C.I.A. to what he said was a video of Mr. Trump consorting with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room in 2013, according to American and European officials and the Russian, who agreed to be interviewed in Germany on the condition of anonymity. There remains no evidence that such a video exists.

The Russian was known to American and European officials for his ties to Russian intelligence and cyber criminals — two groups suspected in the theft of the N.S.A. and C.I.A. hacking tools.

But his apparent eagerness to sell the Trump “kompromat” — a Russian term for information used to gain leverage over someone — to American spies raised suspicions among officials that he was part of an operation to feed the information into United States intelligence agencies and pit them against Mr. Trump. Early in the negotiations, for instance, he dropped his asking price from about $10 million to just over $1 million. Then, a few months later, he showed the American businessman a 15-second clip of a video showing a man in a room talking to two women.

No audio could be heard on the video, and there was no way to verify if the man was Mr. Trump, as the Russian claimed. But the choice of venue for showing the clip heightened American suspicions of a Russian operation: The viewing took place at the Russian embassy in Berlin, the businessman said.

At the same time, there were questions about the Russian’s reliability. He had a history of money laundering and a laughably thin legitimate cover business — a nearly bankrupt company that sold portable grills for streetside sausage salesmen, according to British incorporation papers.

“The distinction between an organized criminal and a Russian intelligence officer and a Russian who knows some Russian intel guys — it all blurs together,” said Steven L. Hall, the former chief of Russia operations at the C.I.A. “This is the difficulty of trying to understand how Russia and Russians operate from the Western viewpoint.”

American intelligence officials were also wary of the purported kompromat the Russian wanted to sell. They saw the information, especially the video, as the stuff of tabloid gossip pages, not intelligence collection, American officials said.

But the Americans desperately wanted the hacking tools. The cyberweapons had been built to break into computer networks of Russia, China and other rival powers. Instead, they ended up in the hands of a mysterious group calling itself the Shadow Brokers, which has since provided hackers with tools that infected millions of computers around the world, crippling hospitals, factories and businesses.

No officials wanted to pass on information they thought might help determine what had happened.

“That’s one of the bedeviling things about counterintelligence and the wilderness that it is — nobody wants to be caught in a position of saying we wrote that off and then five years later saying, ‘Holy cow, it was actually a real guy,’” Mr. Hall said.

American intelligence agencies believe that Russia’s spy services see the deep political divisions in the United States as a fresh opportunity to inflame partisan tensions. Russian hackers are probing American voting databases ahead of the midterm election this year, they said, and using bot armies to promote partisan causes on social media. The Russians are also particularly eager to cast doubt on the federal and congressional investigations into the Russian meddling, American intelligence officials said.

Part of that effort, the officials said, appears to be trying to spread information that hews closely to unsubstantiated reports about Mr. Trump’s dealings in Russia, including the purported video, whose existence Mr. Trump has repeatedly dismissed.

Rumors that Russian intelligence possesses the video surfaced more than a year ago in an explosive and unverified dossier compiled by a former British spy, and paid for by Democrats. Since then, at least four Russians with espionage and underworld connections have appeared in Central and Eastern Europe, offering to sell kompromat that would corroborate the dossier to American political operatives, private investigators and spies, American and European intelligence officials said.

American officials suspect that at least some of the sellers are working for Russia’s spy services.

The Times obtained four of the documents that the Russian in Germany tried to pass to American intelligence (The Times did not pay for the material). All are purported to be Russian intelligence reports, and each focuses on associates of Mr. Trump. Carter Page, the former campaign adviser who has been the focus of F.B.I. investigators, features in one; Robert and Rebekah Mercer, the billionaire Republican donors, in another.

Yet all four appear to be drawn almost entirely from news reports, not secret intelligence. They all also contain stylistic and grammatical usages not typically seen in Russian intelligence reports, said Yuri Shvets, a former K.G.B. officer who spent years as a spy in Washington before defecting to the United States just before the end of the Cold War.

American spies are not the only ones who have dealt with Russians claiming to have secrets to sell. Cody Shearer, an American political operative with ties to the Democratic Party, has been crisscrossing Eastern Europe for more than six months to secure the purported kompromat from a different Russian, said people familiar with the efforts, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid damaging their relationship with him.

Reached by phone late last year, Mr. Shearer would say only that his work was “a big deal — you know what it is, and you shouldn’t be asking about it.” He then hung up.

Mr. Shearer’s efforts grew out of work he first began during the 2016 campaign, when he compiled a pair of reports that, like the dossier, also included talk of a video and Russian payoffs to Trump associates. It is not clear what, if anything, Mr. Shearer has been able to purchase.

Before the Americans were negotiating with the Russian, they were dealing with a hacker in Vienna known only to American intelligence officials as Carlo. In early 2017, he offered to provide them with a full set of hacking tools that were in the hands of the Shadow Brokers and the names of other people in his network, American officials said. All he wanted in exchange was immunity from prosecution in the United States.

But the immunity deal fell apart, so intelligence officials decided to do what spies do best: They offered to buy the data. That is when the Russian in Germany emerged, telling the Americans he would handle the sale.

Like Carlo, he had previously dealt with American intelligence operatives, American and European officials said. He served as a fixer, of sorts, brokering deals for Russia’s Federal Security Service, or F.S.B., which is the successor to the old Soviet K.G.B. American intelligence officials said that he had a direct link to Nikolai Patrushev, a former F.S.B. director, and that they knew of previous work he had done helping move illicit shipments of semiprecious metals for a Russian oligarch.

By last April it appeared that a deal was imminent. Several C.I.A. officers even traveled from the agency’s headquarters to help the agency’s Berlin station handle the operation.

At a small bar in the old heart of West Berlin, the Russian handed the American intermediary a thumb drive with a small cache of data that was intended to provide a sample of what was to come, American officials said.

Within days, though, the deal turned sour. American intelligence agencies determined that the data was genuinely from the Shadow Brokers, but was material the group had already made public. As a result, the C.I.A. said it would not pay for it, American officials said

The Russian was furious. But negotiations limped on until September, when the two sides agreed to try again.

Late that month, the American businessman delivered the $100,000 payment. Some officials said it was United States government money but routed through an indirect channel.

A few weeks later, the Russian began handing over data. But in multiple deliveries in October and December, almost all of what he delivered was related to 2016 election and alleged ties between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia, not the N.S.A. or C.I.A. hacking tools.

In December, the Russian said he told the American intermediary that he was providing the Trump material and holding out on the hacking tools at the orders of senior Russian intelligence officials.

Early this year, the Americans gave him one last chance. The Russian once again showed up with nothing more than excuses.

So the Americans offered him a choice: Start working for them and provide the names of everyone in his network — or go back to Russia and do not return.

The Russian did not give it much thought. He took a sip of the cranberry juice he was nursing, picked up his bag and said, “Thank you.” Then he walked out the door.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-10/here-full-35-page-report-alleging-trump-was-cultivated-supported-and-assisted-russia

 

Special Counsel Q&A


 

On May 17, the Justice Department announced the appointment of former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel to investigate any possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Trump responded by calling the investigation a “witch hunt.”

At a May 18 press conference, Trump said: “Well, I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt. And there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign — but I can always speak for myself — and the Russians, zero.”

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made the decision to appoint a special counsel just days after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Comey told Congress on March 20 that the FBI had opened an investigation last July into “the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

Amid ongoing investigations by the FBI and House and Senate intelligence committees, what exactly does the appointment of a special counsel mean? Here we answer some questions that readers may have.

Who appoints a special counsel?

The appointment of a special counsel typically is the decision of the U.S. attorney general. But in this case, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia inquiry after it was revealed that he had met twice with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential campaign and did not disclose the meetings during his Senate confirmation hearing. In such cases of recusal, the power to appoint a special counsel falls to the “acting attorney general,” in this case, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. According to the Code of Federal Regulations, a special counsel is appointed for an investigation into a matter that “would present a conflict of interest for the Department [of Justice] or other extraordinary circumstances” or in cases when it “would be in the public interest” to have an outside counsel.

Why was a special counsel appointed?

In a released statement, Rosenstein explained his decision: “In my capacity as acting attorney general I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter. My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination. What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.”

What is the scope of the investigation?

In his order appointing Mueller special counsel, Rosenstein wrote that his responsibility is to ensure a “full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.” As special counsel, Mueller is charged with investigating “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.” In addition, Mueller is to look into “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.” That would include any obstruction of the investigation or perjury related to it.

Whom does the special counsel report to?

Mueller will report to Rosenstein. But the special counsel is supposed to act independently, with some limits. As the federal code explains, a special counsel must consult the acting attorney general (Rosenstein) if he wishes to expand the inquiry beyond what was spelled out in Rosenstein’s order “or to investigate new matters that come to light in the course of his or her investigation.” In addition, Rosenstein can ask the special counsel to “provide an explanation for any investigative or prosecutorial step,” and if such step is deemed “inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices” the acting attorney general reserves the right to intervene, provided Congress is notified.

Who is Robert Mueller?

Mueller was director of the FBI for 12 years, from September 2001 to September 2013. His was the second longest tenure for an FBI director, behind only J. Edgar Hoover. Serving under both Democratic and Republican presidents, Mueller enjoyed wide, bipartisan support from the Senate, which initially confirmed him 98-0 in 2001, and then extended his term past 10 years by a vote of 100-0 in 2011. The New York Timesnoted that during his career, Mueller oversaw cases ranging from crime boss John J. Gotti to those responsible for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Mueller helped “transform the bureau from a crime-fighting organization into a central piece of the antiterrorism establishment,” the Times wrote. His independence and competence was praised by leaders on both sides of the political aisle.

Can Mueller be fired?

Yes, but not by the president, at least not directly. Only the acting attorney general — in this case, Rosenstein — can discipline or fire a special counsel, and then only for cause. According to the federal code, “The Attorney General may remove a Special Counsel for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies.” The president can, however, fire the deputy attorney general.

What authority does a special counsel have?

A special counsel has the same authority as any federal prosecutor, William Banks, a professor and the founding director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University, told us in a phone interview. That includes access to classified documents. It also includes the authority — if deemed appropriate — to subpoena, say, the president’s tax records.

How big of a staff will Mueller get, and who decides that? 

The federal code does not specify how large a staff the special counsel is afforded. It says only that a special counsel “shall be provided all appropriate resources by the Department of Justice.” The code notes that special counsels may request the assignment of Justice Department staff to assist them, and that such employees will be supervised by the special counsel. Special counsels also may request additional staff from outside the Justice Department, and “[a]ll personnel in the [Justice] Department shall cooperate to the fullest extent possible with the Special Counsel.” The special counsel’s proposed budget is subject to approval by the acting attorney general. The length of the investigation is not mandated, but federal code requires the special counsel to make a budget request each fiscal year, at which point the acting attorney general “shall determine whether the investigation should continue and, if so, establish the budget for the next year.”

What happens when the special counsel’s investigation is complete?

Rosenstein’s order notes that if Mueller deems it “necessary and appropriate,” he is “authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters.” The federal code states that at the conclusion of a special counsel’s investigation, he must provide the acting attorney general with a confidential report explaining decisions about whether or not prosecutions are warranted. The acting attorney general could decide to make that report public. According to the code, the “Attorney General may determine that public release of these reports would be in the public interest, to the extent that release would comply with applicable legal restrictions.”

How will this affect the ongoing FBI and congressional investigations?

According to NBC News, Mueller will oversee the prosecutors and FBI agents who are working on the Russia investigation. Sam Buell, a law professor at Duke University, told us via email that Mueller’s investigation and the FBI’s will essentially now be one in the same. “What we have now is a prosecutor paired with the agents who have been investigating this, which means, among other things, access to the grand jury and a greater degree of lawyerly advice and supervision over how the investigation is progressing,” said Buell, who was a former federal prosecutor for 10 years in New York, Boston, Washington and Houston.

The special counsel’s investigation does not preclude Congress’ investigations, and every indication is that those will continue. Buell told us Congress’ mandate is broader, “looking at questions of governance generally not just violations of criminal laws, which is the question to which Mueller is restricted.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham warned that Mueller’s investigation will “severely restrict” Congress’ ability to call witnesses and issue subpoenas, as some witnesses could argue they have a right not to incriminate themselves amid a criminal investigation. In order to compel witnesses to testify, Congress has to immunize their testimony, David Sklansky, a former assistant U.S. attorney who now teaches law at Stanford University, told us in an email. “Mueller — like any prosecutor conducting a criminal investigation — will be concerned about Congress granting immunity to any witnesses who might be implicated in criminal activity, because prosecuting someone whose congressional testimony has been immunized is very difficult,” Sklansky said. Of less concern to Mueller, he said, are those who testify voluntarily before Congress.

Buell told us fears about Mueller’s investigation in any way blocking Congress’ are an “overstatement” and that “legally, nothing prevents Congress from proceeding apace.” Congress could still set up an independent commission to investigate Russian influence in the election, but it has so far resisted calls for one.

How common is the appointment of a special counsel?

According to the Lawfare blog, this is only the second time a “special counsel” has been appointed under this specific regulation. The first was in 1999 when Attorney General Janet Reno appointed former Sen. John Danforth to lead an investigation into the federal law enforcement raid of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. But as Lawfare explained, past attorneys general have used “different authorities to appoint other special counsels — like Nora Dannehy, appointed in 2008 to investigate the firing of U.S. Attorneys, Patrick Fitzgerald, tasked with leading the investigation into the Valerie Plame affair, and John Durham, who investigated the alleged abuse of suspected terrorists by CIA interrogators.” Those are wholly different from “independent counsels” such as Kenneth Starr, who investigated the Whitewater scandal during Bill Clinton’s presidency. Starr’s investigations were carried out under the Ethics in Government Act, which was enacted in 1978 after the Watergate scandal. But that law expired in 1999.

Lawfare and a Congressional Research Service report go into some detail about the differences between the variations of special counsels, independent counsels and special prosecutors over the years. But Banks said they all have the same core function: to investigate and prosecute possible violations of criminal law by officials of the federal government. And they have been all too common in American history.

https://www.factcheck.org/2017/05/special-counsel-qa/

Read the controversial Nunes memo and its key points

FISA Court Finds “Serious Fourth Amendment Issue” In Obama’s “Widespread” Illegal Searches Of American Citizens

A newly released court order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) found that the National Security Agency, under former President Obama, routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall.  In describing the violations, the FISA court said the illegal searches conducted by the NSA under Obama were “widespread” and created a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”

These new discoveries come from a recently unsealed FISA court document dated April 26, 2017 and center around a hearing dated October 26, 2017, just days before the 2016 election, in which the FISA court apparently learned for the first time of “widespread” and illegal spying on American citizens by the NSA under the Obama administration.

“The October 26, 2016 Notice disclosed that an NSA Inspector General (IG) review…indicated that, with greater frequency than previously disclosed to the Court, NSA analysts had used U.S.-person identifiers to query the result of Internet “upstream” collection, even though NSA’s section 702 minimization procedures prohibited such queriesthis disclosure gave the Court substantial concern.”

FISA

 

The court order goes on to reveal that NSA analysts had been conducting illegal queries targeting American citizens “with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the Court”…an issue which the court described as a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”

“Since 2011, NSA’s minimization procedures have prohibited use of U.S.-person identifiers to query the results of upstream Internet collection under Section 702.  The October 26, 2016 Notice informed the Court that NSA analysts had been conducting such queries in violation of that prohibition, with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the Court.”

 

“At the October 26, 2016 hearing, the Court ascribed the government’s failure to disclose those IG and OCO reviews at the October 4, 2016 hearing to an institutional ‘lack of candor’ on NSA’s part and emphasized that ‘this is a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.'”

FISA

Of course, these discoveries and their timing, coming just before the 2016 election, are even more suspicious in light of the Obama administration’s efforts to ‘unmask’ intelligence on various Trump campaign officials shortly after the election.

As Circa noted, the American Civil Liberties Union said the newly disclosed violations are some of the most serious to ever be documented and strongly call into question the U.S. intelligence community’s ability to police itself and safeguard American’s privacy as guaranteed by the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure.

“I think what this emphasizes is the shocking lack of oversight of these programs,” said Neema Singh Guliani, the ACLU’s legislative counsel in Washington.

 

“You have these problems going on for years that only come to the attention of the court late in the game and then it takes additional years to change its practices.

 

“I think it does call into question all those defenses that we kept hearing, that we always have a robust oversight structure and we have culture of adherence to privacy standards,” she added. “And the headline now is they actually haven’t been in compliacne for years and the FISA court itself says in its opinion is that the NSA suffers from a culture of a lack of candor.”

Of course, we suspect that none of this will be reported by any of the mainstream media outlets who will undoubtedly overlook these very distburbing facts in their ongoing efforts to track down the latest anonymously-sourced ‘bombshell’ report about how Trump once sat across from a Russian boy at lunch in the 2nd grade.

 

The full FISA Court opinion can be read here:

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/349261099/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-OVHZTNMNxBIJRoX6Xh9t&show_recommendations=true

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-24/fisa-court-finds-very-serious-fourth-amendment-issue-obamas-widespread-illegal-searc

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1026, February 1, 2018, Story 1: Trump Booming Economy in 2018 Continuing Into 2020? — Economic Policies Have Consequences — Boom — Bubble — Bust (2018-2022) — Videos — Story 2: Memo Madness — Waiting For House Intelligence Committee Release of FISA Memo Outlining FBI/DOJ  Plot  To Spy on American People Based On Clinton Campaign Paid For Russian Disinformation in Phony Christopher Steel Dossier — Clinton And Obama Crimes Against American People —  American People Demand The Release of Memo and Supporting Documents And Appointment of Special Counsel — Videos

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Story 1: Trump Booming Economy in 2018 Continuing Into 2020? — Economic Policies Have Consequences — Boom — Bubble — Bust (2018-2022) — Videos — Story 2: Memo Madness — Waiting For House Intelligence Committee Release of FISA Memo Outlining FBI/DOJ Plot To Spy on American People Based On Clinton Campaign Paid For Russian Disinformation in Phony Christopher Steel Dossier — Clinton And Obama Crimes Against American People — American People Demand The Release of Memo and Supporting Documents And Appointment of Special Counsel — Videos

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Don’t Wait For The Trump Boom — It’s Already Here

 Rising: The economy, in case you hadn’t noticed, is surging right now as we enter 2018. It’s not an accident. Nor is it a delayed reaction to Obamanomics, as some misguided pundits would have it. It’s Trumponomics in action, and it works.

As so many others, we thought that it might take a while for President Trump’s policies to kick in. After all, there’s usually a lag time between the action (the policy) and the reaction (economic growth). But the fact is, the previous administration’s policies — trillion-dollar “stimulus,” ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank, a disastrous regulatory expansion — were so growth-damaging that even the possibility that they would be reversed has brought about a welcome burst of growth.

President Trump, working fast, changed many of those economy-slowing policies by deregulating, weakening Dodd-Frank, getting rid of ObamaCare’s mandate, and cutting taxes sharply for all Americans and businesses alike, among many other things.

 

We see it now in literally dozens of economic indicators, both large and small:

  • The Dow Jones industrial average has hit record after record and just burst through 25,000 for the first time. Based on the total return on the Wilshire 5000 Total Stock Index, the stock market has created $7.1 trillion in new wealth since Trump was elected.
  • An analysis by IBD’s Jed Graham shows that, based on recent tax revenue data, hourly wages are growing faster than the tepid 2.5% pace now expected.
  • Total job openings of 6 million remains near the record high set last year. Some 2.1 million jobs were created in 2017.
  • The 4.1% civilian unemployment rate is the lowest since 2000.
  • The employment-to-population ratio, the broadest measure of labor demand, now stands at 60.1%, the highest level since President Obama’s first month in office.
  • African-American unemployment for those 16 years and over fell to 7.5%, its lowest level since December 2000; meanwhile, Hispanic unemployment dropped to 4.7%, an all-time low, in 2017.
  • New claims for unemployment insurance stood at a four-week average of 241,750 in December, close to the 44-year-low set earlier in 2017 and well below 2016’s average of 253,750.
  • ADP’s monthly job report says 250,000 new jobs were created in December, based on payroll data the firm collects.
  • The total number of food stamp recipients fell by 2 million last year.
  • Federal spending, as a share of GDP, fell from 21.1% in 2016 to an estimated 20.5% currently.
  • U.S. manufacturing grew in December at the fastest rate in three months, capping “the strongest year for factories since 2004,” according to the Institute for Supply Management.
  • Some 90 companies have already granted or promised bonuses based on Trump’s policies, in particular the December tax cuts, the nonpartisan Americans For Tax Reform reported. “Thanks to tax cuts, growing list of companies announcing bonuses, wage hikes, and charitable donations,” the group said.
  • Rising stock, home and other asset prices have helped push U.S. household wealth to a record $96.2 trillion, up from just under $55 trillion in 2009.
  • The total number of pages in the Federal Registry, the government’s regulatory bible, totaled 61,950 pages, the lowest in a quarter century and a sign that Trump’s deregulation of the U.S. economy is having a major impact.

Had enough? We could go on. The fact is, these are the most bullish economic conditions in America since the early 1980s. We know, because that’s when this newspaper first began. That was the Reagan Boom, a period that followed a near-decade of stagflation, high interest rates, job frustration and, perhaps worst of all, disco.


No Hidden Agenda: Get News From A Pro-Free Market, Pro-Growth Perspective


We could easily add dozens other items to our list of economic data and other things that have “suddenly” or “unexpectedly,” as the media like to say, gotten much better during just one year of President Trump. The list would be a long one.

No, we’re not Pollyannas. We know, of course, that markets sometimes go down; that the economy sometimes shrinks; and that people sometimes lose jobs. A policy mistake here, a foreign policy scare there, one rate-hike too many by the Fed — any of these things could take down soaring markets and the economy. So could an unforeseen financial disaster somewhere. Bitcoin? Shaky European banks? A state pension-fund bankruptcy? Who knows. It’s part of the eternal ebb and flow of a market economy.

But right now, growth-enhancing policies are in place in the U.S., and the economy looks set to grow by more than 3% for a third straight quarter and into 2018, a welcome relief from the subpar 1.5% GDP growth of the Obama years. After having their bridles reined in for nearly a decade by Big Government and high taxes, the economy’s horses are free to run. In case you missed it, don’t wait for the starting gun — the horses have already left the gate.

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https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/dont-wait-for-the-trump-boom-its-already-here/

 

U.S. Debt by President: By Dollar and Percent

Why the Winner Is…Barack Obama

5 presidents and their debt
 (L-R) President Barack Obama and former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter attend the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center April 25, 2013 in Dallas, Texas. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

What’s the best way to determine how much each president contributed to the $20 trillion U.S. debt? The most popular method is to compare the debt level from when a president enters office to the debt level when he leaves. A good visual representation is a graph showing the percent of the debt accumulated under each president. You can also compare the debt as a percent of economic output.

But these aren’t accurate ways to measure the debt created by each president.

Why? The president doesn’t have much control over the debt added during his first year in office. That’s because the budget for that fiscal year was already set by the previous president.

For example, President Bush took office in January 2001. He submitted his first budget in February. But that was for FY 2002, which didn’t begin until October 1. For the first nine months of his new term, Bush had to live with President Clinton’s last budget. That was FY 2001, which continued until September 30, 2001. This is why no new president is accountable for the budget deficit in his first year in office.

Yes, it’s confusing. But the federal fiscal year is set up that way to give the new president time to put together his budget during his first month in office.

The Best Way to Measure Debt by President

One way to measure the debt by president is to sum his budget deficits. That’s because the president is responsible for his budget priorities.

Each year’s deficit takes into account budgeted spending and anticipated revenue from proposed tax cuts or hikes. For details, see Deficit by President and Deficit by Year.

But there’s a difference between the deficit and the debt by president. That’s because all presidents can employ a sleight of hand to reduce the appearance of the deficit.

They can borrow from federal retirement funds. For example, the Social Security Trust Fund has run a surplus since 1987. That’s because there were more working people contributing via payroll taxes than retired people withdrawing benefits. The Fund invests its surplus in U.S. Treasury notes. The president can reduce the deficit by spending these funds instead of issuing new Treasurys.

Barack Obama — Under President Obama, the national debt grew the most dollar-wise. He added $7.917 trillion, a 68 percent increase, in seven years. This was the fifth-largest increase percentage-wise. Obama’s budgets included the economic stimulus package. It added $787 billion by cutting taxes, extending unemployment benefits, and funding public works projects. The Obama tax cuts added $858 billion to the debt in two years.

Obama’s budget increased defense spending to between $700 billion and $800 billion a year. Federal income was down, thanks to lower tax receipts from the 2008 financial crisis. He also sponsored the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. It was designed to reduce the debt by $143 billion over 10 years. But these savings didn’t show up until the later years.

George W. Bush — President Bush added $5.849 trillion, the second-greatest amount.

It was the fourth-largest percentage increase. Bush increased the debt 101 percent from where it started on September 30, 2001, at $5.8 trillion. That’s the end of FY 2001, which was President Clinton’s last budget. Bush launched the War on Terror in response to the 9/11 attacks.  The War on Terror included two wars. The War in Afghanistan cost $1 trillion and the Iraq War cost $807.5 billion. They increased military spending to record levels of $600 billion to $800 billion a year.

President Bush also responded to the 2001 recession by passing EGTRRA and JGTRRA. The Bush tax cuts further reduced revenue. He approved a $700 billion bailout package for banks to combat the 2008 global financial crisis.  Both Presidents Bush and Obama had to contend with higher mandatory spending for Social Security and Medicare.

Franklin D. Roosevelt  President Roosevelt increased the debt the most percentage-wise. Although he only added $236 billion, this was a 1,048 percent increase from the $23 billion debt level left by President Hoover. Of course, the Great Depression took an enormous bite out of revenues. The New Deal cost billions. But FDR’s major contribution to the debt was World War II spending. He added $209 billion to the debt between 1942 and 1945.

Woodrow Wilson — President Wilson was the second-largest contributor to the debt percentage-wise. He added $21 billion, which was a 727 percent increase over the $2.9 billion debt of his predecessor. Wilson had to pay for World War I. During his presidency, the Second Liberty Bond Act gave Congress the right to adopt the national debt ceiling.

Amount Added to the Debt for Each Fiscal Year Since 1960:

Barack Obama:Added $7.917 trillion, a 68 percent increase from the $11.657 trillion debt at the end of George W. Bush’s last budget, FY 2009.

  • FY 2016 – $1.423 trillion.
  • FY 2015 – $327 billion.
  • FY 2014 – $1.086 trillion.
  • FY 2013 – $672 billion.
  • FY 2012 – $1.276 trillion.
  • FY 2011 – $1.229 trillion.
  • FY 2010 – $1.652 trillion.
  • FY 2009 – $253 billion. (Congress passed the Economic Stimulus Act, which spent $253 billion in FY 2009. This rare occurrence should be added to President Obama’s contribution to the debt.)

George W. Bush:Added $5.849 trillion, a 101 percent increase from the $5.8 trillion debt at the end of Clinton’s last budget, FY 2001.

  • FY 2009 – $1.632 trillion. (Bush’s deficit without the impact of the Economic Stimulus Act).
  • FY 2008 – $1.017 trillion.
  • FY 2007 – $501 billion.
  • FY 2006 – $574 billion.
  • FY 2005 – $554 billion.
  • FY 2004 – $596 billion.
  • FY 2003 – $555 billion.
  • FY 2002 – $421 billion.

Bill Clinton: Added $1.396 trillion, a 32 percent increase from the $4.4 trillion debt at the end of George H.W. Bush’s last budget, FY 1993.

  • FY 2001 – $133 billion.
  • FY 2000 – $18 billion.
  • FY 1999 – $130 billion.
  • FY 1998 – $113 billion.
  • FY 1997 – $188 billion.
  • FY 1996 – $251 billion.
  • FY 1995 – $281 billion.
  • FY 1994 – $281 billion.

George H.W. Bush: Added $1.554 trillion, a 54 percent increase from the $2.8 trillion debt at the end of Reagan’s last budget, FY 1989.

  • FY 1993 – $347 billion.
  • FY 1992 – $399 billion.
  • FY 1991 – $432 billion.
  • FY 1990 – $376 billion.

Ronald Reagan: Added $1.86 trillion, a 186 percent increase from the $998 billion debt at the end of Carter’s last budget, FY 1981. Reaganomics didn’t work to grow the economy enough to offset tax cuts.

  • FY 1989 – $255 billion.
  • FY 1988 – $252 billion.
  • FY 1987 – $225 billion.
  • FY 1986 – $297 billion.
  • FY 1985 – $256 billion.
  • FY 1984 – $195 billion.
  • FY 1983 – $235 billion.
  • FY 1982 – $144 billion.

Jimmy Carter: Added $299 billion, a 43 percent increase from the $699 billion debt at the end of  Ford’s last budget, FY 1977.

  • FY 1981 – $90 billion.
  • FY 1980 – $81 billion.
  • FY 1979 – $55 billion.
  • FY 1978 – $73 billion.

Gerald Ford: Added $224 billion, a 47 percent increase from the $475 billion debt at the end of Nixon’s last budget, FY 1974.

  • FY 1977 – $78 billion.
  • FY 1976 – $87 billion.
  • FY 1975 – $58 billion.

Richard Nixon: Added $121 billion, a 34 percent increase from the $354 billion debt at the end of LBJ’s last budget, FY 1969.

  • FY 1974 – $17 billion.
  • FY 1973 – $31 billion.
  • FY 1972 – $29 billion.
  • FY 1971 – $27 billion.
  • FY 1970 – $17 billion.

Lyndon B. Johnson: Added $42 billion, a 13 percent increase from the $312 billion debt at the end of JFK’s last budget, FY 1964.

  • FY 1969 – $6 billion.
  • FY 1968 – $21 billion.
  • FY 1967 – $6 billion.
  • FY 1966 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1965 – $6 billion.

John F. Kennedy: Added $23 billion, an 8 percent increase from the $289 billion debt at the end of Eisenhower’s last budget, FY 1961.

  • FY 1964 – $6 billion.
  • FY 1963 – $7 billion.
  • FY 1962 – $10 billion.

Dwight Eisenhower: Added $23 billion, a 9 percent increase from the $266 billion debt at the end of Truman’s last budget, FY 1953.

  • FY 1961 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1960 – $2 billion.
  • FY 1959 – $8 billion.
  • FY 1958 – $6 billion.
  • FY 1957 – $2 billion surplus.
  • FY 1956 – $2 billion surplus.
  • FY 1955 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1954 – $5 billion.

Harry Truman: Added $7 billion, a 3 percent increase from the $259 billion debt at the end of FDR’s last budget, FY 1945.

  • FY 1953 – $7 billion.
  • FY 1952 – $4 billion.
  • FY 1951 – $2 billion surplus.
  • FY 1950 – $5 billion.
  • FY 1949 – slight surplus.
  • FY 1948 – $6 billion surplus.
  • FY 1947 – $11 billion surplus.
  • FY 1946 – $11 billion.

Franklin D. Roosevelt: Added $236 billion, a 1,048 percent increase from the $23 billion debt at the end of Hoover’s last budget, FY 1933.

  • FY 1945 – $58 billion.
  • FY 1944 – $64 billion.
  • FY 1943 – $64 billion.
  • FY 1942 – $23 billion.
  • FY 1941 – $6 billion.
  • FY 1940 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1939 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1938 – $1 billion.
  • FY 1937 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1936 – $5 billion.
  • FY 1935 – $2 billion.
  • FY 1934 – $5 billion.

Herbert Hoover: Added $6 billion, a 33 percent increase from the $17 billion debt at the end of Coolidge’s last budget, FY 1929.

  • FY 1933 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1932 – $3 billion.
  • FY 1931 – $1 billion.
  • FY 1930 – $1 billion surplus.

Calvin Coolidge: Subtracted $5 billion from the debt, a 26 percent decrease from the $21 billion debt at the end of Harding’s last budget, FY 1923.

  • FY 1929 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1928 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1927 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1926 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1925 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1924 – $1 billion surplus.

Warren G. Harding: Subtracted $2 billion from the debt, a 7 percent decrease from the $24 billion debt at the end of Wilson’s last budget, FY 1921.

  • FY 1923 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1922 – $1 billion surplus.

Woodrow Wilson: Added $21 billion to the debt, a 727 percent increase from the $2.9 billion debt at the end of Taft’s last budget, FY 1913.

  • FY 1921 – $2 billion surplus.
  • FY 1920 – $1 billion surplus.
  • FY 1919 – $13 billion.
  • FY 1918 – $9 billion.
  • FY 1917 – $2 billion.
  • FY 1916 – $1 billion.
  • FY 1915 – $0 billion (slight surplus).
  • FY 1914 – $0 billion.

FY 1789 – FY 1913: $2.9 billion debt created. (Source: Historical Tables, U.S. Treasury Department.)

https://www.thebalance.com/us-debt-by-president-by-dollar-and-percent-3306296

Joint Statement of Steven T. Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury, and Mick Mulvaney, Director of the Office of Management and Budget, on Budget Results for Fiscal Year 2017


10/20/2017

Receipts by Source
Outlays by Agency

WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mick Mulvaney today released details of the fiscal year (FY) 2017 final budget results. The deficit in FY 2017 was $666 billion, $80 billion more than in the prior fiscal year, but $36 billion less than forecast in the FY 2018 Mid-Session Review (MSR). As a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the deficit was 3.5 percent, 0.3 percentage point higher than the previous year.[1]

Growth in spending outpaced growth in tax receipts for the second year in a row as a result of historically subpar economic growth. Rising deficits show that smart spending restraint and pursuing policies that promote economic growth, like tax reform and reductions in regulatory burden, are critically necessary to promote long-term fiscal sustainability.

“Today’s budget results underscore the importance of achieving robust and sustained economic growth. Through a combination of tax reform and regulatory relief, this country can return to higher levels of GDP growth, helping to erase our fiscal deficit,” said Secretary Mnuchin. “The Administration’s pro-growth policies will create better, higher-paying jobs, make American businesses competitive again, and bring back cash from offshore to invest here at home. This will help place the nation on a path to improved fiscal health and create prosperity for generations to come.”

“These numbers should serve as a smoke alarm for Washington, a reminder that we need to grow our economy again and get our fiscal house in order. We can do that through smart spending restraint, tax reform, and cutting red tape,” said Director Mulvaney.

Summary of Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Results

Year-end data from the September 2017 Monthly Treasury Statement of Receipts and Outlays of the United States Government show that the deficit for FY 2017 was $666 billion, $80 billion higher than the prior year’s deficit. As a percentage of GDP, the deficit was 3.5 percent, an increase from 3.2 percent in FY 2016 and above the average of 3.1 percent over the last 40 years.

The FY 2017 deficit of $666 billion was $63 billion greater than the estimate in the FY 2018 Budget (Budget), and $36 billion less than estimated in the MSR, a supplemental update to the Budget published in July.

Table 1. Total Receipts, Outlays, and Deficit (in billions of dollars)
Receipts Outlays Deficit
FY 2016 Actual 3,267 3,852 -586
    Percentage of GDP 17.7% 20.9% 3.2%
FY 2017 Estimates:
    2018 Budget 3,460 4,062 -603
    2018 Mid-Session Review 3,344 4,045 -702
FY 2017 Actual 3,315 3,981 -666
    Percentage of GDP 17.3% 20.7% 3.5%
Note: Detail may not add to totals due to rounding.

 

Government receipts totaled $3,315 billion in FY 2017. This was $48 billion higher than in FY 2016, an increase of 1.5 percent, below expectations from both the Budget and the MSR. As a percentage of GDP, receipts equaled 17.3 percent, 0.4 percentage point lower than in FY 2016 and 0.1 percentage point below the average over the last 40 years. The dollar increase in receipts for FY 2017 can be attributed to higher social insurance and retirement receipts and net individual income taxes, partially offset by lower deposits of earnings by the Federal Reserve.

Outlays grew in FY 2017, but by less than expected in the Budget and the MSR, and decreased slightly as a percentage of GDP. Outlays were $3,981 billion, $128 billion above those in FY 2016, a 3.3 percent increase. As a percentage of GDP, outlays were 20.7 percent, 0.1 percentage point lower than in the prior year, but above the 40-year average of 20.5 percent. Contributing to the dollar increase over FY 2016 were higher outlays for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and interest on the public debt. In addition, one-time upward revisions in estimates of credit subsidy for outstanding Federal loans and loan guarantees, primarily in the Departments of Education and Housing and Urban Development, increased outlays relative to FY 2016 by $55 billion. Lower spectrum auction receipts and higher spending by the Federal Emergency Management Administration for hurricane relief and recovery also contributed to the increase.

Total Federal borrowing from the public increased by $498 billion during FY 2017 to $14,667 billion. The increase in borrowing included $666 billion in borrowing to finance the deficit, partly offset by $167 billion related to other transactions that on net reduced the Government’s financing requirements, such as changes in cash balances and net disbursements for Federal credit programs. As a percentage of GDP, borrowing from the public declined from 76.7 percent of GDP at the end of FY 2016 to 76.3 percent of GDP at the end of FY 2017.

Below are explanations of the differences between estimates in the MSR and the year-end actual amounts for receipts and agency outlays.

Fiscal Year 2017 Receipts

Total receipts for FY 2017 were $3,314.9 billion, $28.7 billion lower than the MSR estimate of $3,343.6 billion. This net decrease in receipts was primarily attributable to lower-than-estimated collections of deposits of earnings by the Federal Reserve, other miscellaneous receipts, and corporation income tax receipts.  Table 2 displays actual receipts and estimates from the Budget and the MSR by source.

 

  • Individual income taxes were $1,587.1 billion, $3.2 billion higher than the MSR estimate. This increase is the net effect of higher withheld payments of individual income tax liability of $2.7 billion, lower nonwithheld payments of $1.7 billion, and lower-than-estimated refunds of $2.2 billion.
  • Corporation income taxes were $297.0 billion, $5.4 billion below the MSR estimate.  This difference reflects lower-than-expected payments of 2017 corporation income tax liability of $3.2 billion and higher-than-estimated refunds of $2.2 billion.
  • Social insurance and retirement receipts were $1,161.9 billion, $1.0 billion lower than the MSR estimate. This reduction is the result of lower-than-estimated deposits by States to the unemployment insurance trust fund of $1.0 billion.
  • Excise taxes were $83.8 billion, $3.7 billion below the MSR estimate.
  • Estate and gift taxes were $22.8 billion, $0.4 billion below the MSR estimate.
  • Customs duties were $34.6 billion, roughly equal to the MSR estimate.
  • Miscellaneous receipts were $127.7 billion, $21.5 billion below the MSR estimate. Lower-than-expected deposits of earnings by the Federal Reserve accounted for $10.3 billion of this decrease relative to the MSR. The remaining decrease was attributable to lower-than-expected collections of various fees, penalties, forfeitures, and fines.

Fiscal Year 2017 Outlays

Total outlays were $3,980.6 billion for FY 2017, $64.7 billion below the MSR estimate. Table 3 displays actual outlays by agency and major program as well as estimates from the Budget and the MSR. The largest changes in outlays from the MSR were in the following areas:

Department of Defense — Outlays for the Department of Defense were $568.9 billion, $9.9 billion lower than the MSR estimate. This difference is mostly due to lower-than-expected outlays for operation and maintenance, which were $7.8 billion less than the MSR estimate. Operation and maintenance disbursements were less than anticipated for Army contracts from FY 2016 and prior years, reimbursements from the Coalition Support Fund, and Defense Health Program and counter-ISIL “train and equip” contracts. Additionally, outlays were lower than expected by $1.5 billion for Army military personnel, $1.4 billion for revolving and management funds due to lower-than-expected fuel costs, and $1.0 billion for disbursements against aircraft procurement contracts. These differences were partially offset by $2.2 billion of higher-than-expected outlays for research, development, test and evaluation.

Department of Education — Outlays for the Department of Education were $111.7 billion, $1.8 billion higher than the MSR estimate. This difference was driven by outlays for higher education programs. In the Pell Grant program, outlays were $0.9 billion higher than projected in the MSR, due to faster-than-expected disbursement patterns. For the Federal Direct Student Loan program, because of changes in the mix of activity in direct student loans, $0.7 billion more in positive subsidy outlays for the FY 2017 loan cohort were recorded in FY 2017 than estimated in the MSR.

Department of Health and Human Services — Outlays for the Department of Health and Human Services were $1,116.8 billion, $11.8 billion lower than the MSR estimate. Outlays for Medicaid spending were $3.8 billion less than projected at MSR, driven primarily by lower benefit expenditures than was anticipated during the second half of the year. National Institutes of Health (NIH)’s outlays were $1.5 billion lower than projected, due in part to lower-than-expected disbursement for research grants in the fourth quarter of the fiscal year. The Service and Supply Fund (SSF) outlaid $0.9 billion less than expected at MSR. SSF expected higher outlays in FY 2017 mainly due to an anticipated increase in contracts serviced; however many of these contracts will be outlaid starting in FY 2018 instead. Outlays for the Public Health and Social Services Emergency Fund (PHSSEF) were lower than expected due to procurements that occurred much later in the fiscal year than originally planned.

Department of Homeland Security — Outlays for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) were $50.5 billion, $2.2 billion lower than the MSR estimate. Outlays in a number of DHS components were below the MSR estimates. Outlays for Customs and Border Protection were $1.4 billion below the MSR estimates, due to slower-than-expected spending for procurements and construction for customs enforcement and border protection infrastructure projects. Outlays for the National Protection and Programs Directorate were $1.2 billion lower than the MSR estimate, due to slower-than-expected outlays of the agency’s cyber budget. Outlays for the Transportation Security Administration were $0.9 billion lower than the MSR estimate, due to slower-than-expected outlays from obligations for airport security construction projects. Partially offsetting these decreases, outlays for the Federal Emergency Management Agency were $2.0 billion higher than the MSR estimates because of response activities related to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Department of Justice — Outlays for the Department of Justice were $31.0 billion, $3.4 billion lower than the MSR estimate. This difference is primarily due to payments from the Assets Forfeiture Program being $2.3 billion less than estimated in the MSR. Also contributing to the overall difference was higher-than-expected receipts from fines and penalties, which were $0.7 billion higher than the MSR estimate. Outlays were $0.5 billion lower than the MSR for programs within the Office of Justice Programs partially due to pending litigation. Outlays were also lower across many other programs due to delayed action on FY 2017 appropriations.

Department of Labor — Outlays for the Department of Labor were $40.1 billion, $3.6 billion lower than the MSR estimate. Nearly $2 billion of this difference is attributable to lower-than-projected unemployment insurance benefit outlays because the actual unemployment rate was lower than assumed in the MSR economic forecast. Another $1.5 billion of the difference is attributable to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), due to both gross outlays being less than expected and offsetting receipts being greater than expected. The majority of the change in outlays is related to lower-than-expected payouts in the single employer program. PBGC also anticipated a substantial investment loss in FY 2017, but experienced a profit, leading to much higher offsetting receipts than anticipated in the MSR.

Department of State — Outlays for the Department of State were $27.1 billion, $3.0 billion lower than the MSR estimate. Outlays were lower than expected for Department of State foreign assistance programs by $1.6 billion, mostly due to lower-than-anticipated spending for Global Health Programs, which was driven primarily by a delay in lump sum payments to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The delay was necessary due to a shortfall in confirmed statutorily required matching payments from other donors. In addition, lower-than-expected outlays for capital-intensive programs such as new overseas facility construction and delayed payments for contributions to international organizations and peacekeeping were primarily responsible for the remaining difference of $1.3 billion from the MSR estimate.

Department of Transportation — Outlays for the Department of Transportation were $79.4 billion, $2.2 billion lower than the MSR estimate. Nearly $0.9 billion of this difference is due to lower-than-expected outlays for highways and transit programs. Most of the remaining difference is an accumulation of lower-than-expected spending across a number of programs.  Late-year congressional action on FY 2017 appropriations delayed grant-making and hiring activity across the agency.

Department of the Treasury — Outlays for the Department of the Treasury were $546.4 billion, $17.3 billion lower than the MSR estimate. Virtually all of the difference is due to interest on the public debt, which was $16.4 billion lower than the MSR estimate. Interest on the public debt is paid to the public and to trust funds and other Government accounts. The difference is the result of lower-than-projected interest paid to the public on inflation-indexed securities and other marketable Treasury securities, as well as lower-than-projected interest paid to Government accounts.

International Assistance Programs — Outlays for International Assistance Programs were $18.9 billion, $4.1 billion lower than the MSR estimate. This difference is largely due to net outlays for Department of State Foreign Military Sales that were more than $3 billion lower than the MSR estimate due to higher-than-anticipated receipts received from foreign governments for weapons purchases.

Social Security Administration — Outlays for the Social Security Administration were $1,000.8 billion, $1.7 billion lower than the MSR estimate. The difference, which is relatively small in comparison to total program outlays, is primarily attributable to lower-than-expected outlays for the Disability Insurance Trust Fund and Supplemental Security Income programs.

United States Postal Service — Net outlays for the United States Postal Service were -$2.2 billion, $5.5 billion lower than the MSR estimate. Outlays were lower than the MSR estimate due largely to the failure of the Postal Service to make required payments for health and pension contributions.

Railroad Retirement Board — Outlays for the Railroad Retirement Board were $5.2 billion, $1.7 billion lower than the MSR estimate, due largely to the National Railroad Retirement Investment Trust’s unrealized gains and losses on investments. Actual returns to the Trust were much higher than projected in the MSR due to favorable market conditions in the last few months of FY 2017.

Undistributed Offsetting Receipts — Undistributed Offsetting Receipts were -$236.9 billion, $6.6 billion higher than the MSR estimate. Net outlays for interest received by trust funds were $3.0 billion higher than the MSR estimate (lower net collections). The difference is due largely to the interest earnings of the Military Retirement Fund, which were $4.2 billion lower than the MSR estimate, partly offset by higher-than-projected interest earnings in some other programs. This intragovernmental interest is paid out of the Department of the Treasury account for interest on the public debt and has no net impact on total Federal Government outlays. In addition, receipts for employer share, employee retirement were $2.5 billion higher than MSR estimates (lower net collections) primarily due to the failure of the Postal Service to make required accrual payments to the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefit Fund.

 

___________________________

 

[1] The estimates of GDP used in the calculations of the deficit and borrowing relative to GDP reflect the revisions to historical data released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) in July 2017. GDP for FY 2017 is based on the economic forecast for the President’s 2018 Budget, adjusted for the BEA revisions.

https://www.treasury.gov/press-center/press-releases/Pages/sm0184.aspx

 

Economy to grow at 5.4% rate in first quarter, Atlanta Fed tracker shows

  • The Atlanta Fed updated its rolling look at the U.S. economy, projecting that GDP would grow 5.4 percent in the first quarter.
  • If the forecast holds, it would be the strongest quarter since the economic recovery began and would more than double the typical annualized growth during the period.

The economy is on track to put up blockbuster growth numbers in the first quarter, according to the latest forecast from the Atlanta Fed.

GDP is expected to surge 5.4 percent to start 2018, the central bank branch estimated in its latest rolling look at how the economy is progressing.

If the forecast holds, it would be the best quarter since the Great Recession ended in 2009. The previous highest was third quarter of 2014, which hit 5.2 percent.

However, the Atlanta Fed’s tracker has shown to have reliability issues in the past. In particular, the model’s sensitivity to the ISM Manufacturing Index has led the gauge astray multiple times, causing growth to be overstated.

The ISM numbers were the principle impetus for the raise in growth projections Thursday.

Real consumer spending jumped from 3.1 percent to 4 percent amid a sharp savings drawdown, and private fixed-investment growth surged from 5.2 percent to 9.2 percent.

Since 2015, ISM boosts have caused the Atlanta Fed to overstate growth by 0.8 percentage points on average, including 1.9 percent points in the fourth quarter tracking on Nov. 1, according to CNBC calculations.

That comes as jobless claims hover around generational lows and the unemployment rate is at 4.1 percent. Productivity, however, continues to be lackluster, falling 0.1 percent in the fourth quarter against an expected rise of 1 percent.

GDP for the fourth quarter came in at 2.6 percent, a disappointment caused primarily by a decline in inventories and a surge in imports, temporary setbacks expected to reverse in the quarters ahead.

President Donald Trump rode to office on promises of growth that would hit at least 3 percent and run as high as 6 percent.

The Atlanta Fed also was optimistic about the 2017 first quarter, estimating growth at one point to be 3.4 percent, where the final reading came in at 1.2 percent.

—With reporting by CNBC’s Steve Liesman.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/01/economy-to-grow-at-5-point-4-percent-rate-in-first-quarter-atlanta-fed-tracker-shows.html

National Income and Product Accounts
Gross Domestic Product: Fourth Quarter and Annual 2017 (Advance Estimate)

Real gross domestic product (GDP) increased at an annual rate of 2.6 percent in the fourth quarter of
2017 (table 1), according to the "advance" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. In the
third quarter, real GDP increased 3.2 percent.

The Bureau emphasized that the fourth-quarter advance estimate released today is based on source
data that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency (see "Source Data for the
Advance Estimate" on page 3). The "second" estimate for the fourth quarter, based on more complete
data, will be released on February 28, 2018.

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

The deceleration in real GDP growth in the fourth quarter reflected a downturn in private inventory
investment that was partly offset by accelerations in PCE, exports, nonresidential fixed investment, state
and local government spending, and federal government spending, and an upturn in residential fixed
investment. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, turned up.

Current-dollar GDP increased 5.0 percent, or $238.3 billion, in the fourth quarter to a level of $19,738.9
billion. In the third quarter, current-dollar GDP increased 5.3 percent, or $250.6 billion (table 1 and table
3).

The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 2.5 percent in the fourth quarter, compared
with an increase of 1.7 percent in the third quarter (table 4). The PCE price index increased 2.8 percent,
compared with an increase of 1.5 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index
increased 1.9 percent, compared with an increase of 1.3 percent (appendix table A).


Personal Income (table 10)

Current-dollar personal income increased $178.9 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with an
increase of $112.3 billion in the third. The acceleration in personal income primarily reflected an upturn
in personal interest income and an acceleration in nonfarm proprietors’ income.

Disposable personal income increased $139.0 billion, or 3.9 percent, in the fourth quarter, compared
with an increase of $73.8 billion, or 2.1 percent, in the third. Real disposable personal income increased
1.1 percent, compared with an increase of 0.5 percent.

Personal saving was $384.4 billion in the fourth quarter, compared with $478.3 billion in the third. The
personal saving rate -- personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income -- was 2.6 percent
in the fourth quarter, compared with 3.3 percent in the third.


2017 GDP

Real GDP increased 2.3 percent in 2017 (that is, from the 2016 annual level to the 2017 annual level),
compared with an increase of 1.5 percent in 2016 (table 1).

The increase in real GDP in 2017 primarily reflected positive contributions from PCE, nonresidential fixed
investment, and exports. Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, increased (table 2).

The acceleration in real GDP from 2016 to 2017 reflected upturns in nonresidential fixed investment and
in exports and a smaller decrease in private inventory investment.  These movements were partly offset
by decelerations in residential fixed investment and in state and local government spending. Imports,
which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP, accelerated.

Current-dollar GDP increased 4.1 percent, or $762.3 billion, in 2017 to a level of $19,386.8 billion,
compared with an increase of 2.8 percent, or $503.8 billion, in 2016 (table 1 and table 3).

The price index for gross domestic purchases increased 1.8 percent in 2017, compared with an increase
of 1.0 percent in 2016 (table 4). The PCE price index increased 1.7 percent, compared with an increase
of 1.2 percent. Excluding food and energy prices, the PCE price index increased 1.5 percent, compared
with an increase of 1.8 percent (appendix table A).

During 2017 (measured from the fourth quarter of 2016 to the fourth quarter of 2017), real GDP
increased 2.5 percent, compared with an increase of 1.8 percent during 2016.  The price index for gross
domestic purchases increased 1.9 percent during 2017, compared with an increase of 1.4 percent during
2016 (table 7).


Source Data for the Advance Estimate

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

                                   *          *          *
                     Next release:  February 28, 2018 at 8:30 A.M. EST
                Gross Domestic Product:  Fourth Quarter 2017 (Second Estimate)
                                   *          *          *

Additional Information

                                        Release Dates in 2018


      Estimate                   2017: IV and annual    2018: I           2018: II           2018: III
Gross Domestic Product
 Advance                         January 26             April 27          July 27            October 26
 Second                          February 28            May 30            August 29          November 28
 Third                           March 28               June 28           September 27       December 21

Corporate Profits
 Preliminary                     …                      May 30            August 29          November 28
 Revised                         March 28               June 28           September 27       December 21



                                      Additional Information

Resources

Additional resources available at www.bea.gov:
•	Stay informed about BEA developments by reading the BEA blog, signing up for BEA’s email
        subscription service, or following BEA on Twitter @BEA_News.
•	Historical time series for these estimates can be accessed in BEA’s Interactive Data Application.
•	Access BEA data by registering for BEA’s Data Application Programming Interface (API).
•	For more on BEA’s statistics, see our monthly online journal, the Survey of Current Business.
•	BEA's news release scheduleNIPA Handbook:  Concepts and Methods of the U.S. National Income and Product Accounts

Definitions

Gross domestic product (GDP) is the value of the goods and services produced by the nation’s economy
less the value of the goods and services used up in production. GDP is also equal to the sum of personal
consumption expenditures, gross private domestic investment, net exports of goods and services, and
government consumption expenditures and gross investment.

Current-dollar estimates are valued in the prices of the period when the transactions occurred—that is,
at “market value.” Also referred to as “nominal estimates” or as “current-price estimates.”
Real values are inflation-adjusted estimates—that is, estimates that exclude the effects of price changes.
The gross domestic purchases price index measures the prices of final goods and services purchased by
U.S. residents.

The personal consumption expenditure price index measures the prices paid for the goods and services
purchased by, or on the behalf of, “persons.”

Personal income is the income received by, or on behalf of, all persons from all sources:  from
participation as laborers in production, from owning a home or business, from the ownership of
financial assets, and from government and business in the form of transfers. It includes income from
domestic sources as well as the rest of world. It does not include realized or unrealized capital gains or
losses.

Disposable personal income is the income available to persons for spending or saving. It is equal to
personal income less personal current taxes.

Personal outlays is the sum of personal consumption expenditures, personal interest payments, and
personal current transfer payments.

Personal saving is personal income less personal outlays and personal current taxes.
The personal saving rate is personal saving as a percentage of disposable personal income. (For a
comparison of personal saving in BEA's national income and product accounts (NIPAs) with personal
saving in the Federal Reserve Board's financial accounts of the United States, go to
www.bea.gov/national/nipaweb/nipa-frb.asp.

For more definitions, see the Glossary: National Income and Product Accounts.


Statistical conventions

Annual rates. Quarterly values are expressed at seasonally-adjusted annual rates (SAAR), unless
otherwise specified. Dollar changes are calculated as the difference between these SAAR values. For
detail, see the FAQ “Why does BEA publish estimates at annual rates?”

Percent changes in quarterly series are calculated from unrounded data and are displayed at annual
rates, unless otherwise specified. For details, see the FAQ “How is average annual growth calculated?”

Quantities and prices. Quantities, or “real” volume measures, and prices are expressed as index
numbers with a specified reference year equal to 100 (currently 2009). Quantity and price indexes are
calculated using a Fisher-chained weighted formula that incorporates weights from two adjacent
periods (quarters for quarterly data and annuals for annual data). “Real” dollar series are calculated by
multiplying the published quantity index by the current dollar value in the reference year (2009) and
then dividing by 100. Percent changes calculated from real quantity indexes and chained-dollar levels
are conceptually the same; any differences are due to rounding.

Chained-dollar values are not additive because the relative weights for a given period differ from those
of the reference year. In tables that display chained-dollar values, a “residual” line shows the difference
between the sum of detailed chained-dollar series and its corresponding aggregate.


Updates to GDP

BEA releases three vintages of the current quarterly estimate for GDP:  "Advance" estimates are
released near the end of the first month following the end of the quarter and are based on source data
that are incomplete or subject to further revision by the source agency; “second” and “third” estimates
are released near the end of the second and third months, respectively, and are based on more detailed
and more comprehensive data as they become available.

Annual and comprehensive updates are typically released in late July. Annual updates generally cover at
least the 3 most recent calendar years (and their associated quarters) and incorporate newly available
major annual source data as well as some changes in methods and definitions to improve the accounts.
Comprehensive (or benchmark) updates are carried out at about 5-year intervals and incorporate major
periodic source data, as well as major conceptual improvements.
The table below shows the average revisions to the quarterly percent changes in real GDP between
different estimate vintages, without regard to sign.

Vintage                               Average Revision Without Regard to Sign
                                         (percentage points, annual rates)
Advance to second                                     0.5
Advance to third                                      0.6
Second to third                                       0.2
Advance to latest                                     1.3
Note -