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Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy

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Story 1: The Smoking Gun Email Chain of The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Videos —

Sean Hannity 12/6/18 – Hannity Fox News December 6, 2018

Sean Hannity Fox News 12/6/18 Breaking Fox News December 6, 2018

Hannity 12/06/18 1AM | December 06, 2018 Breaking News

FBI email chain may provide most damning evidence of FISA abuses yet

12/5/2018

By John Solomon
Opinion Contributor

Just before Thanksgiving, House Republicans amended the list of documents they’d like President Trump to declassify in the Russia investigation. With little fanfare or explanation, the lawmakers, led by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), added a string of emails between the FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to their wish list.

Sources tell me the targeted documents may provide the most damning evidence to date of potential abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), evidence that has been kept from the majority of members of Congress for more than two years.

The email exchanges included then-FBI Director James Comey, key FBI investigators in the Russia probe and lawyers in the DOJ’s national security division, and they occurred in early to mid-October, before the FBI successfully secured a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The email exchanges show the FBI was aware — before it secured the now-infamous warrant — that there were intelligence community concerns about the reliability of the main evidence used to support it: the Christopher Steele dossier.

The exchanges also indicate FBI officials were aware that Steele, the former MI6 British intelligence operative then working as a confidential human source for the bureau, had contacts with news media reporters before the FISA warrant was secured.

The FBI fired Steele on Nov. 1, 2016 — two weeks after securing the warrant — on the grounds that he had unauthorized contacts with the news media.

But the FBI withheld from the American public and Congress, until months later, that Steele had been paid to find his dirt on Trump by a firm doing political opposition research for the Democratic Party and for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and that Steele himself harbored hatred for Trump.

If the FBI knew of his media contacts and the concerns about the reliability of his dossier before seeking the warrant, it would constitute a serious breach of FISA regulations and the trust that the FISA court places in the FBI.

That’s because the FBI has an obligation to certify to the court before it approves FISA warrants that its evidence is verified, and to alert the judges to any flaws in its evidence or information that suggest the target might be innocent.

We now know the FBI used an article from Yahoo News as independent corroboration for the Steele dossier when, in fact, Steele had talked to the news outlet.

If the FBI knew Steele had that media contact before it submitted the article, it likely would be guilty of circular intelligence reporting, a forbidden tactic in which two pieces of evidence are portrayed as independent corroboration when, in fact, they originated from the same source.

These issues are why the FBI email chain, kept from most members of Congress for the past two years, suddenly landed on the declassification list.

The addition to the list also comes at a sensitive time, as House Republicans prepare on Friday to question Comey, who signed off on the FISA warrant while remaining an outlier in the intelligence community about the Steele dossier.

Most intelligence officials, such as former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, have embraced the concerns laid out in the Steele dossier of possible — but still unproven — collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Yet, 10 months after the probe started and a month after Robert Mueller was named special counsel in the Russia probe, Comey cast doubt on the the Steele dossier, calling it “unverified” and “salacious” in sworn testimony before Congress.

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page further corroborated Comey’s concerns in recent testimony before House lawmakers, revealing that the FBI had not corroborated the collusion charges by May 2017, despite nine months of exhaustive counterintelligence investigation.

Lawmakers now want to question Comey about whether the information in the October email string contributed to the former FBI director’s assessment.

The question long has lingered about when the doubts inside the FBI first surfaced about the allegations in the Steele dossier.

Sources tell me the email chain provides the most direct evidence that the bureau, and possibly the DOJ, had reasons to doubt the Steele dossier before the FISA warrant was secured.

Sources say the specifics of the email chain remain classified, but its general sentiments about the Steele dossier and the media contacts have been discussed in nonclassified settings.

“If these documents are released, the American public will have clear and convincing evidence to see the FISA warrant that escalated the Russia probe just before Election Day was flawed and the judges [were] misled,” one knowledgeable source told me.

Congressional investigators also have growing evidence that some evidence inserted into the fourth and final application for the FISA — a document signed by current Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — was suspect.

Nunes hinted as much himself in comments he made on Sean Hannity’s Fox News TV show on Nov. 20, when he disclosed the FBI email string was added to the declassification request. The release of the documents will “give finality to everyone who wants to know what their government did to a political campaign” and verify that the Trump campaign did not collude with Russia during the election, Nunes said.

As more of the secret evidence used to justify the Russia probe becomes public, an increasingly dark portrait of the FBI’s conduct emerges.

The bureau, under a Democratic-controlled Justice Department, sought a warrant to spy on the duly nominated GOP candidate for president in the final weeks of the 2016 election, based on evidence that was generated under a contract paid by his political opponent.

That evidence, the Steele dossier, was not fully vetted by the bureau and was deemed unverified months after the warrant was issued.

At least one news article was used in the FISA warrant to bolster the dossier as independent corroboration when, it fact, it was traced to a news organization that had been in contact with Steele, creating a high likelihood it was circular intelligence reporting.

And the entire warrant, the FBI’s own document shows, was being rushed to approval by two agents who hated Trump and stated in their own texts that they wanted to “stop” the Republican from becoming president.

If ever there were grounds to investigate the investigators, these facts provide the justification.

Director Comey and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein likely hold the answers, as do the still-classified documents. It’s time all three be put under a public microscope.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He is The Hill’s executive vice president for video.

https://thehill.com/hilltv/rising/419901-fbi-email-chain-may-provide-most-damning-evidence-of-fisa-abuses-yet

 

FBI Knew Steele Dossier Was Bogus Before Using In FISA Application: Solomon

A string of emails quietly requested by House Republicans for declassification by President Trump may be the smoking gun that the FBI and DOJ committed egregious abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), according to The Hill‘s John Solomon.

The email exchanges – kept from Congressional investigators for over two years, “included then-FBI Director James Comey, key FBI investigators in the Russia probe and lawyers in the DOJ’s national security division,” according to the report – and took place in early to mid-October of 2016, prior to the FBI successfully securing a FISA warrant to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

The email exchanges show the FBI was aware — before it secured the now-infamous warrant — that there were intelligence community concerns about the reliability of the main evidence used to support it: the Christopher Steele dossier.

The exchanges also indicate FBI officials were aware that Steele, the former MI6 British intelligence operative then working as a confidential human source for the bureau, had contacts with news media reporters before the FISA warrant was secured. –The Hill

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Two weeks after the FBI secured the FISA warrant using the Steele Dossier, Steele was fired by the FBI on November 1, 2016 for inappropriate communications with the news media.

Also withheld from both Congress and the general public until months later is the fact that Steele had been paid by Fusion GPS – an opposition research firm hired by Hillary Clinton and the DNC to dig up dirt on Donald Trump. Moreover, Steele absolutely hated Donald Trump.

And as Solomon notes; “If the FBI knew of his media contacts and the concerns about the reliability of his dossier before seeking the warrant, it would constitute a serious breach of FISA regulations and the trust that the FISA court places in the FBI.”

That’s because the FBI has an obligation to certify to the court before it approves FISA warrants that its evidence is verified, and to alert the judges to any flaws in its evidence or information that suggest the target might be innocent. –The Hill

The FBI, however, went to extreme lengths to convince the FISA judge that Steele (“Source #1”), was reliable when they could not verify the unsubstantiated claims in his dossier – while also having to explain why they still trusted his information after having terminated Steele’s contract over inappropriate disclosures he made to the media.

“Not withstanding Source1’s reason for conducting the research into Candidate1’s ties to Russia, based on Source1’s previous reporting history with the FBI, whereby Source1 provided reliable information to the FBI, the FBI believes Source 1s reporting herein to be credible

Chuck Ross@ChuckRossDC

On top of that, Bill Priestap told Congress that corroboration of the dossier was in its “infancy” when FISAs were being granted. An FBI unit found dossier was only “minimally” corroborated.

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Of course, none of this mattered to the FBI – which painted Carter Page in the most criminal light possible, as intended, in order to convince the FISA judge to grant the warrant.In order to reinforce their argument, the FBI presented various claims from the dossier as facts, such as “The FBI learned that Page met with at least two Russian officials” – when in fact that was simply another unverified claim from the dossier.

It flat out accuses Page of being a Russian spy who was recruited by the Kremlin, which sought to “undermine and influence the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in violation of U.S. criminal law,” the application reads.

Paul Sperry@paulsperry_

ALERT: The declassified FBI warrant application attests to secret FISA court that “THE FBI LEARNED that Page met with at least two Russian officials during the trip,”as if FBI learned this independently,when in fact it’s clear it relied on Clinton-paid dossier for the information

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Chuck Ross@ChuckRossDC

FBI represented to a federal judge that investigators knew for certain that Carter Page met w/ Igor Sechin and Diveykin. Except, the FISA app acknowledges this intel came from Steele dossier. And FBI has acknowledged dossier was not verifieid. http://dailycaller.com/2018/07/21/doj-release-carter-page-fisa/ 

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Another approach used to beef up the FISA application’s curb appeal was circular evidence, via the inclusion of a letter from Democratic Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (NV) to former FBI Director James Comey, citing information Reid got from John Brennan, which was in turn from the Clinton-funded dossier.

Meanwhile – current and former members of the US intelligence community continue to hinge their theories of Trump-Russia collusion on the Steele Dossier, despite Comey admitting that it was “salacious” and “unverified” during sworn testimony.

Most intelligence officials, such as former CIA Director John Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, have embraced the concerns laid out in the Steele dossier of possible — but still unproven — collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Yet, 10 months after the probe started and a month after Robert Mueller was named special counsel in the Russia probe, Comey cast doubt on the the Steele dossier, calling it “unverified” and “salacious” in sworn testimony before Congress.

Former FBI lawyer Lisa Page further corroborated Comey’s concerns in recent testimony before House lawmakers, revealing that the FBI had not corroborated the collusion charges by May 2017, despite nine months of exhaustive counterintelligence investigation. –The Hill

Congressional investigators now want to question Comey about the October email string and whether it contributed to his assessment. According to Solomon, the newly requested email chain “provides the most direct evidence that the bureau, and possibly the DOJ, had reasons to doubt the Steele dossier before the FISA warrant was secured.”

“If these documents are released, the American public will have clear and convincing evidence to see the FISA warrant that escalated the Russia probe just before Election Day was flawed and the judges [were] misled,” one source told Solomon.

What’s more, House GOP investigators now have a growing pile of evidence that some of the information inserted into a fourth and final application for the FISA – signed by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, was suspect – as evidence by hints by House Intelligence Committee member Devin Nunes (R-CA) on Fox News‘s Sean Hannity TV show November 20. Nunes said that the declassification of the requested documents will “give finality to everyone who wants to know what their government did to a political campaign.”

As Solomon bluntly puts it:

The bureau, under a Democratic-controlled Justice Department, sought a warrant to spy on the duly nominated GOP candidate for president in the final weeks of the 2016 election, based on evidence that was generated under a contract paid by his political opponent.

That evidence, the Steele dossier, was not fully vetted by the bureau and was deemed unverified months after the warrant was issued.

At least one news article was used in the FISA warrant to bolster the dossier as independent corroboration when, it fact, it was traced to a news organization that had been in contact with Steele, creating a high likelihood it was circular intelligence reporting.

And the entire warrant, the FBI’s own document shows, was being rushed to approval by two agents who hated Trump and stated in their own texts that they wanted to “stop” the Republican from becoming president.

No wonder Comey wanted a public testimony – where he wouldn’t have to discuss any of this.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-06/fbi-knew-steele-dossier-was-bogus-using-fisa-application-solomon

Obama Political Spying Scandal: Trump Associates Were Not the First Targets

(Reuters photo: Jonathan Ernst)

This list includes Dennis Kucinich and investigative journalists.In 2011, Dennis Kucinich was still a Democratic congressman from Ohio. But he was not walking in lockstep with President Obama — at least not on Libya. True to his anti-war leanings, Kucinich was a staunch opponent of Obama’s unauthorized war against the Qaddafi regime.

Kucinich’s very public efforts included trying to broker negotiations between the administration and the Qaddafi regime, to whom the White House was turning a deaf ear. It was in that context that he took a call in his Washington office from Saif al-Islam Qaddafi, the ruler’s son and confidant. Four years later, as he recalled in a recent opinion piece, Kucinich learned that the call had been recorded and leaked to the Washington Times.

To be sure, it is not a solid case. Kucinich is now a commentator at Fox News, on whose website he explains his side of the story, and on whose programming ardently pro-Trump contributors are a staple — including contributors who have been sympathetic to the new president’s claim that he was monitored by his predecessor. The gist of Kucinich’s piece is to “vouch for the fact that extracurricular surveillance does occur.” The express point is to counter the ridicule heaped on Trump’s claim that he personally was wiretapped at Trump Tower.

As we’ve repeatedly noted (see, e.g., herehere, and here), there is no known support for Trump’s narrow claim (made in a series of March 4 tweets). Yet, there is now overwhelming evidence that the Obama administration monitored Trump associates and campaign and transition officials. There were, moreover, leaks of classified information to the media — particularly in the case of Trump’s original national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, whose telephone communications with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. were unlawfully disclosed to the Washington Post.

The answer is no.

In an important analysis published by Tablet magazine, Lee Smith considers the likely abuse of foreign-intelligence-collection authority by the Obama administration in connection with negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. The White House knew there would be vigorous Israeli opposition to the Iran deal — just as there was ardent American opposition to the highly objectionable pact. Notwithstanding that Israel is an important ally, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the U.S., became surveillance targets — agents of a foreign power, treated no differently under the law than such operatives of hostile foreign powers. Fair enough — it is simply a fact that allies occasionally spy on each other. Obviously, their interests sometimes diverge.

But there was something different about this monitoring initiative. It was not targeted merely at Israeli officials plotting their opposition strategy. The Wall Street Journal, Smith notes, reported in late December 2015 that the targeting “also swept up the contents of some of [the Israeli officials’] private conversations with U.S. lawmakers and American-Jewish groups.”

“At some point, the administration weaponized the NSA’s legitimate monitoring of communications of foreign officials to stay one step ahead of domestic political opponents,” says a pro-Israel political operative who was deeply involved in the day-to-day fight over the Iran Deal. “The NSA’s collections of foreigners became a means of gathering real-time intelligence on Americans engaged in perfectly legitimate political activism — activism, due to the nature of the issue, that naturally involved conversations with foreigners. We began to notice the White House was responding immediately, sometimes within 24 hours, to specific conversations we were having. At first, we thought it was a coincidence being amplified by our own paranoia. After a while, it simply became our working assumption that we were being spied on.

This is what systematic abuse of foreign-intelligence collection for domestic political purposes looks like: Intelligence collected on Americans, lawmakers, and figures in the pro-Israel community was fed back to the Obama White House as part of its political operations. The administration got the drop on its opponents by using classified information, which it then used to draw up its own game plan to block and freeze those on the other side. And — with the help of certain journalists whose stories (and thus careers) depend on high-level access — terrorize them.

Once you understand how this may have worked, it becomes easier to comprehend why and how we keep being fed daily treats of Trump’s nefarious Russia ties. The issue this time isn’t Israel, but Russia, yet the basic contours may very well be the same.

Do you really think the Obama administration, which turned the Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department into process cudgels for beating Obama detractors, would be above that sort of thing?

At her website, Sharyl Attkisson provides a very useful “Obama-era Surveillance Timeline” — with “surveillance” broadly construed to encompass many varieties of government power to collect and coerce the production of information. Attkisson notes, for example:

‐The IRS’s targeting of conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status, a politicized initiative that stymied the groups’ ability to contest Obama’s reelection in 2012.

‐The administration’s targeting of journalists, including (a) attorney general Eric Holder’s approval of the seizure of personal and business phone records of Associated Press reporters en masse (i.e., not a particularized search targeting a specific journalist suspected of wrongdoing); and (b) Holder’s approval of a warrant targeting the e-mails of Fox News reporter James Rosen in a leak investigation — based on an application in which the government represented to a federal court that the journalist could be guilty of a felony violation of the Espionage Act in connection with a leak of classified information (in addition to purportedly being a “flight risk”).

‐The administration’s 2011 loosening of minimization procedures to enable more-liberal scrutiny of communications of American citizens incidentally swept up in foreign-intelligence gathering

‐The CIA’s accessing of Senate Intelligence Committee computers and staff e-mails — which CIA director John Brennan initially denied, then apologized for after it was confirmed by an inspector-general report.

‐The investigation of Trump associate Carter Page, including a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act warrant based on the claim that Page was a Russian agent, which would have authorized monitoring of Page’s communications — including any with Trump, then the Republican nominee for president.

‐The criminal leaking to the media of former Trump national-security adviser Michael Flynn’s communications with the Russian ambassador to the U.S.

‐The “unmasking” of identities of Americans (connected to Trump) at the behest of Obama national-security adviser Susan Rice, a White House staffer and Obama confidant.

Ms. Attkisson also has her own story to tell. Formerly at CBS News, she was one of the few journalists at mainstream outlets who aggressively reported on the Fast and Furious scandal and the Benghazi massacre. In the latter, we recall, Rice and other Obama officials falsely told the public that the attack, which resulted in the killing of four Americans including the U.S. ambassador, grew out of spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim video (rather than being a coordinated jihadist strike). The Obama administration later used its criminal-prosecution authority to trump up a case against its chosen scapegoat: the video producer.

Attkisson’s reporting prompted internal administration complaints that she was “out of control.”

As a tale of political spying intrigue, Dennis Kucinich’s story would not be worth telling. But can it so easily be dismissed after the spying on American critics of the Iran deal?

Based on examinations by two forensic experts, Attkisson and CBS eventually reported that her personal and work computers were “accessed by an unauthorized, external, unknown party on multiple occasions.” Was this “unknown party” the government? The experts say it was a highly advanced intruder, which “used sophisticated methods to remove all possible indications of unauthorized activity.” Moreover, one computer was infiltrated remotely by the use of “new spy software proprietary to a federal agency.”

It is a good bet that the National Security Agency was monitoring the communications of Qaddafi’s son and other regime figures in 2011. If so, it is likely that then-congressman Kucinich was lawfully intercepted “incidentally.” It is also entirely possible, however, that the Libyans themselves were recording their conversations with prominent Americans and that the Kucinich–Qaddafi call was found after the regime fell.

The Washington Times reporters did not reveal to Kucinich how they had gotten the tape, but the paper’s related stories had referred to “secret audio recordings recovered from Tripoli.” Moreover, if the Obama administration had been behind a vindictive leak against Kucinich, one might have expected the leak to have happened in 2011, during Kucinich’s prominent opposition to the Libya war, rather than four years later, when the regime had long been toppled and Kucinich had retired from Congress.

On the other hand, Kucinich recounts that the recording is very clear on both ends (one might expect a Libyan recording would be distinctly clearer on the Libyan end). The Washington Timesalso does not seem the most natural destination for a secret disclosure from Libya. Furthermore, Kucinich explains, he made routine FOIA requests regarding information pertinent to him before leaving Congress in 2012. Although he did not learn of the recording until 2015, these FOIA requests would have covered his communication with Qaddafi, he adds. Kucinich says that some of the intelligence agencies have failed to respond.

On its own, Dennis Kucinich’s story would not be worth telling — not as a tale of political spying intrigue. But can it so easily be dismissed after the spying on American critics of the Iran deal? The measures taken to make “incidental” monitoring of Americans easier, its fruits far more widely disseminated and, inevitably, criminally leaked? The shocking abuse of IRS processes to collect information on, and procedurally persecute, Barack Obama’s political adversaries? Fast and Furious — the use of government police powers to create a political anti-gun narrative, then the contemptuous cover-up when it went horribly wrong, resulting in a Border Patrol officer’s death? The scandalous Benghazi cover-up — including a bogus prosecution of a pathetic video producer to help prop up the fraud? The monitoring of Trump associates and members of his campaign and transition staffs — the unmasking, the intentional wide dissemination of raw intelligence, the willful felony publication of classified information?

There is considerably more evidence that the Obama administration grossly abused its awesome intelligence-gathering and law-enforcement powers than that Russian meddling had a meaningful impact on the 2016 election. And these abuses of power certainly did not start with the targeting of Donald Trump’s campaign.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior policy fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.

Editor’s Note: This piece has been emended since its initial posting.

https://www.nationalreview.com/2017/04/barack-obama-spying-journalists-dennis-kucinich-sharyl-attkisson-donald-trump-campaign-transition/

Could the President Spy on His Political Opponents?

Under the government’s current interpretation of the law, unfortunately, the answer is yes.

he controversy continues over President Trump’s Twitter storm accusing President Obama of wiretapping him. On Monday, members of Congress peppered FBI Director James Comey with questions about the claims, who once again dismissed them as lacking support. Even Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, who originally defended Trump’s claims, has defected. “I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower,” the congressman said last week at a news conference. None of these statements seem to have affected President Trump, however, who continues to stand by his accusations.

But regardless of whether these claims turn out to be completely false, which is all but certain now, they do raise a question that shouldn’t be casually dismissed: Could President Obama’s administration have surveiled his political opponents under its interpretation of the law? Could President Trump’s administration now do the same?

The answer, unfortunately, is yes. And that should make Republicans and Democrats nervous enough to work together to reform our surveillance laws.

Many have dismissed President Trump’s accusations as the unsubstantiated ramblings of a Twitter addict with little understanding of how our intelligence laws work. These may be fair criticisms—today the president cannot simply order the intelligence agencies to wiretap his domestic political opponents. But many of our surveillance authorities have been interpreted so broadly that they put vast amounts of Americans’ data easily within the president’s reach. Without significant reform, exploiting this immense pool of data may one day prove irresistible. Thus, whether President Trump’s accusations are true or not, the potential for White House officials to abuse our spying laws for political purposes is real.

It is important to remember that surveilling political opponents in the name of security is something of an American pastime. In the 1960s, the FBI targeted political activists, including Martin Luther King Jr., claiming they posed “national security” threats. Cesar Chavez, the prominent labor and civil-rights activist, was similarly tracked for years because of his supposed communist ties.

In response to many of these types of abuses, Congress created the Church Committee to investigate surveillance practices. The widespread crimes and abuse they uncovered led to the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 1978. But recent disclosures demonstrate that the law did not go far enough. Moreover, passage of the Patriot Act in 2001 and other laws have undercut the protections in FISA, further opening the door to biased, unjustified, or politically motivated spying. There are jarringly few protections against these abuses.

The result: if the president wanted to surveil his critics, he could exploit at least three national security authorities.

Section 702 of FISA

Section 702 of FISA was passed at the request of the Bush administration and extended at the request of the Obama administration with bipartisan support. Now the Trump administration is reportedly pushing for reauthorization of this law when it is set to expire in 2017, with the nominee for the director of national intelligence calling it the “crown jewels” of the intelligence community. FBI Director Comey once again defended the controversial program.

While Section 702 was passed to protect against international terrorism, its tentacles reach much farther. Under the law, the government collects emails and phone calls—without a warrant—of nearly 100,000 foreign “targets.” These include their conversations with people in the United States. These targets can include journalists, human-rights workers, and other individuals who have no connection to terrorism or criminal activity, and whose only offense may be discussing information related to “foreign affairs”—a nebulous term.

Over 250 million internet communications alone are collected under Section 702 annually. While the government refuses to disclose how many Americans have been swept up in this dragnet, analysis of leaked documents suggests that at least half those communications contain information about a U.S. citizen or resident. If that’s accurate, the Trump administration will collect over 125 million internet communications that contain information about someone in the United States. Given that much of the data collected under Section 702 is stored for five years or longer, it means the government likely has access to hundreds of millions of stored emails and phone calls.

Once collected, the government asserts that they can mine this information to scrutinize the activities of Americans—opening the door to political abuse. For example, if the intelligence agencies under President Obama had wanted to search through Section 702 data for information about Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), on the argument that McConnell might possess information about “foreign affairs,” no technological barrier or explicit provision in Section 702 would have stopped them. Under current procedures, no court would have needed to approve this and Senator McConnell would not need to be notified that he had been the subject of such a search.

Under the government’s current interpretation of the law, this information could then be used as the basis for a criminal prosecution, criminal investigation, civil action, or additional surveillance.

Executive Order (EO) 12333

Under Executive Order 12333, the government engages in the bulk collection of communications and data—with no approval from a court or any other independent judicial body. This surveillance primarily takes place abroad. While the government is not supposed to target Americans under EO 12333, this spying likely results in the collection of information of millions of Americans. We know, for example, that the government reportedly relied on EO 12333 to steal data transmitted between certain Yahoo and Google data centers; to capture the content of all phone calls to, from, and within the Bahamas and other countries; and to collect millions of text messages from individuals around the world.

Under EO 12333, the government can target foreigners for “foreign intelligence” purposes, which, similar to Section 702, is a category so broad that it easily encompasses individuals who have no nexus to a national-security threat. As a result of recent NSA procedures, agencies across the federal government now have the right to request access to the raw information collected under EO 12333, which can contain the information of both Americans and foreigners.

While NSA officials have said there are procedures that limit the ability of the NSA to search through electronic surveillance captured under EO 12333 for information about Americans, those procedures are largely secret and can be modified purely at the discretion of the president. Moreover, the government has taken the position that information collected under the executive order can be used to prosecute Americans for certain ordinary domestic crimes—even though it was collected without a warrant.

In practice, this means that if the president decided to unilaterally change EO 12333 procedures to allow him to search for information for purposes unrelated to national security, he would have broad latitude to do so under the government’s current legal interpretations. In addition, it means that if the government stumbles across information related to these individuals in the trove of data they collect, they may assert the right to use it as the basis to prosecute or further investigate these individuals, without ever notifying them. This creates a bizarre incentive for any ill-intentioned president: the more information collected under EO 12333 in the name of security, the more information that can be mined for other purposes.

“Traditional” FISA

Although FISA was passed with the admirable goal of halting many of the surveillance abuses of the 1960s, this statutory scheme is not nearly as protective as a warrant. Specifically, unlike an ordinary warrant or wiretapping order, a traditional FISA order does not require the government to believe that its spying will produce evidence of a crime, and the secrecy surrounding the FISA court undermines effective oversight. For these reasons, the ACLU has long cautioned that FISA authorities are prone to abuse.

Under FISA, when the government seeks to conduct electronic surveillance, it must submit an application to the secret intelligence court demonstrating that there is probable cause that its individual target is a “foreign power or an agent of a foreign power,” and it must identify the particular phone line or communications facility used by the target. The terms “foreign power or agent of a foreign power” are broadly defined. They include foreign government officials, foreign political organizations not substantially composed of U.S. citizens or green-card holders, and foreign individuals engaged in terrorism. While this authority is certainly narrower than EO 12333 or Section 702, it too leaves room for abuse.

For example, under traditional FISA, the government would have the authority to surveil virtually any foreign government official—including that official’s entirely legal conversations with individuals in the United States. These communications can be retained or disseminated under procedures that are more lenient than those that apply to federal wiretaps. For instance, in the wiretapping context, the government is supposed to immediately purge communications that are considered irrelevant. FISA, by contrast, permits retention, analysis, and dissemination of Americans’ information for years, regardless of whether there is any evidence of criminal activity.

The Potential for Abuse Is Real, No Matter What the Intel Community Says

The intelligence agencies would argue that these authorities do not permit the government to deliberately “target” Americans—at least not without a warrant—mitigating constitutional concerns. But that explanation only tells half the story. The reality is that these authorities are used to vacuum up large amounts of Americans’ data, do not prevent the government from knowingly capturing the communications that Americans have with tens of thousands of foreign “targets,” and, in some cases, routinely collect purely domestic communications. Moreover, once Americans’ information is collected, there are inadequate safeguards to ensure that such data is not inappropriately used.  

The fact that our intelligence-gathering laws leave room for politically motivated surveillance should give us pause. And it’s not enough for President Trump or members of Congress to simply express outrage that the private communications of political leaders could have been surveilled. With the expiration of Section 702 looming, they have the opportunity to push for a complete overhaul of our surveillance authorities, and ensure that they are brought fully in line with the requirements of our Constitution.  

In other words, President Trump should match his action to his tweets, and demand that Section 702 and other authorities be reformed.

Neema Singh Guliani is a legislative counsel at the ACLU focusing on surveillance, privacy, and national-security issues. Prior to the ACLU, she worked at the Department of Homeland Security and as an investigative counsel with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/could-the-president-spy-on-his-political-opponents/

Story 2: Time Running Out For Federal $25 Billion Funding Appropriation $25 Billion of for Trump’s  Wall — Videos

Pelosi takes hard line on paying for Trump’s border wall

an hour ago
Nancy Pelosi

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, meets with reporters at her weekly news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi on Thursday rejected the idea of paying for President Donald Trump’s border wall in exchange for helping hundreds of thousands of young immigrants avoid deportation.

Funding for the wall — a top Trump priority — and legal protections for so-called Dreamers, a key Democratic goal, should not be linked, Pelosi said.

“They’re two different subjects,” she said.

Her comments came as the House and Senate approved a stopgap bill Thursday to keep the government funded through Dec. 21. The measure, approved by voice votes in near-empty chambers, now goes to the White House.

Trump has promised to sign the two-week extension to allow for ceremonies this week honoring former President George H.W. Bush, who died Nov. 30. But he wants the next funding package to include at least $5 billion for his proposed wall, something Democrats have rejected. Trump is set to meet Tuesday at the White House with Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer.

Pelosi, who is seeking to become House speaker in January, said the lame-duck Congress should now pass a half-dozen government funding bills that key committees have already agreed on, along with a separate measure funding the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the border. Funding for the homeland agency should address border security and does not necessarily include a wall, Pelosi said.

Most Democrats consider the wall “immoral, ineffective and expensive,” Pelosi said, noting that Trump promised during the 2016 campaign that Mexico would pay for it, an idea Mexican leaders have repeatedly rejected.

Even if Mexico did pay for the wall, “it’s immoral still,” Pelosi said.

Protecting borders “is a responsibility we honor, but we do so by honoring our values as well,” she added.

Schumer said Thursday that a bipartisan Senate plan for $1.6 billion in border security funding does not include money for the 30-foot-high (9-meter-high) concrete wall Trump has envisioned. The money “can only be used for fencing” and technology that experts say is appropriate and makes sense as a security feature, Schumer said.

If Republicans object to the proposal because of pressure from Trump, Schumer said lawmakers should follow Pelosi’s advice and approve six appropriations bills and a separate measure extending current funding for Homeland Security.

Either option would avert a partial government shutdown, which lawmakers from both parties oppose, he said.

“The one and only way we approach a shutdown is if President Trump refuses both of our proposals and demands $5 billion or more for a border wall,” Schumer said. He called the wall “a nonstarter” for Democrats, who face increasing pressure from outside groups and liberal lawmakers to resist Trump’s continued push for the barrier, which Trump says is needed to stop an “invasion” of Central American migrants and others from crossing into the country illegally.

Schumer called the spat over the wall unnecessary, noting that the administration has not spent more than $1 billion approved for border security in the budget year that ended Sept. 30. “The idea that they haven’t spent last year’s money and they’re demanding such a huge amount this year makes no sense at all,” he said.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Richard Shelby said he prefers to include Homeland Security in an omnibus package containing seven unresolved spending bills for the current budget year.

“I believe the best route is to keep all seven together and pass them,” the Alabama Republican told reporters Thursday. Lawmakers have “made a lot of progress” in recent weeks on the seven spending bills. “I’d like to conclude it,’” he said.

Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt, a member of Republican leadership, said the key question is whether Trump will sign a bill without funding for the wall.

“It doesn’t matter how much appetite there is for a shutdown anywhere else, if he is willing to have a shutdown over this issue,” Blunt said. “He has given every indication that he would.”

___

Associated Press writers Alan Fram and Padmananda Rama contributed to this story.

https://apnews.com/e3fd315c66554c22bfdf97710e0df711

 

Story 3: President Trump Will Nominate Former U.S. Attorney General William Bar as Permanent Replacement for Former AG Jeff Sessions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former U.S. Attorney General William Barr, who served under former President George H.W. Bush, is the leading candidate for the job as a permanent replacement for Jeff Sessions, a source familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

The Washington Post reported earlier on Thursday that President Donald Trump could choose his nominee for attorney general in coming days, and that Trump had told advisers he plans to nominate Barr.

Sessions departed from the role last month, and Trump named Matthew Whitaker as the government’s top lawyer on an interim basis. With the current session of Congress set to soon end, anyone Trump nominates may have to wait until well into 2019 for confirmation.

Barr has worked in the private sector since serving as attorney general from 1991 to 1993, retiring from Verizon Communications (VZ.N) in 2008.

Reporting by Steve Holland and Lisa Lambert, Editing by David Gregorio and Bill Berkrot

Story 3: President Trump Will Nominate Former U.S. Attorney General William Bar as Permanent Replacement for Former AG Jeff Sessions — Videos

Trump eyeing Bush 41 attorney general to replace Sessions

President Trump To Tap Former Attorney General William Barr To Head Justice Department

William P. Barr

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Bill Barr
William Barr, official photo as Attorney General.jpg
77th United States Attorney General
In office
November 26, 1991 – January 20, 1993
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Dick Thornburgh
Succeeded by Janet Reno
25th United States Deputy Attorney General
In office
May 1990 – November 26, 1991
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Donald B. Ayer
Succeeded by George J. Terwilliger III
United States Assistant Attorney Generalfor the Office of Legal Counsel
In office
April 1989 – May 1990
President George H. W. Bush
Preceded by Douglas Kmiec
Succeeded by J. Michael Luttig
Personal details
Born
William Pelham Barr

May 23, 1950 (age 68)
New York CityNew York, U.S.

Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Christine Moynihan
Children 3
Education Columbia University (BAMA)
George Washington University(JD)

William Pelham Barr (born May 23, 1950) is an American attorney who served as the 77th Attorney General of the United States. He is a Republican and served as Attorney General from 1991 to 1993 during the administration of President George H. W. Bush.

 

Early life, education, and career

Barr was born in New York City. The son of Columbia University faculty members Mary and Donald Barr, he grew up on the Upper West Side, attended the Corpus Christi School and Horace Mann School. He received his B.A. degree in government in 1971 and his M.A. degree in government and Chinese studies in 1973, both from Columbia University. He received his J.D. degree with highest honors in 1977 from the George Washington University Law School.[1]

Barr with President Ronald Reaganin 1983

From 1973-77, he was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency. Barr was a law clerk to Judge Malcolm Wilkey of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit from 1977 through 1978. He served on the domestic policy staff at the Reagan White House from 1982 to 1983. He was also in private practice for nine years with the Washington law firm of Shaw, Pittman, Potts & Trowbridge.[2]

Department of Justice

Barr and Dan Quayle watch as President George H. W. Bush signs the Civil Rights Commission Reauthorization Act in the Rose Garden of the White House in 1991

During 1989, at the beginning of his administration, President George H. W. Bush appointed Barr to the U.S. Department of Justice as Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel, an office which functions as the legal advisor for the President and executive agencies. Barr was known as a strong defender of Presidential power and wrote advisory opinions justifying the U.S. invasion of Panama and arrest of Manuel Noriega, and a controversial opinion that the F.B.I. could enter onto foreign soil without the consent of the host government to apprehend fugitives wanted by the United States government for terrorism or drug-trafficking.[3]

During May 1990, Barr was appointed Deputy Attorney General, the official responsible for day-to-day management of the Department. According to media reports, Barr was generally praised for his professional management of the Department.[4]

Acting Attorney General of the United States

During August 1991, when then-Attorney General Richard Thornburgh resigned to campaign for the Senate, Barr was named Acting Attorney General.[5] Three days after Barr accepted that position, 121 Cuban inmates, awaiting deportation to Cuba as extremely violent criminals, seized 9 hostages at the Talladega federal prison. He directed the FBI’s Hostage Rescue Team to assault the prison, which resulted in rescuing all hostages without loss of life.[6]

Nomination and confirmation

It was reported that President Bush was impressed with Barr’s management of the hostage crisis, and weeks later, President Bush nominated him as Attorney General.[7]

Barr’s two-day confirmation hearing was “unusually placid” and he received a good reception from both Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee.[8] Asked whether he thought a constitutional right to privacy included the right to an abortion, Barr responded that he believed the constitution was not originally intended to create a right to abortion; that Roe v. Wade was thus wrongly decided; and that abortion should be a “legitimate issue for state legislators”.[8] Committee Chairman, Senator Joe Biden, though disagreeing with Barr, responded that it was the “first candid answer” he had heard from a nominee on a question that witnesses would normally evade.[9] Barr was approved unanimously by the Senate Judiciary Committee. Chairman Biden hailed Barr as “a throwback to the days when we actually had attorneys general that would talk to you.”[9]

Attorney General of the United States

Tenure

Analysis

The media described Barr as staunchly conservative.[10] The New York Times described the “central theme” of his tenure to be: “his contention that violent crime can be reduced only by expanding Federal and state prisons to jail habitual violent offenders.”[10] At the same time, reporters consistently described Barr as affable with a dry, self-deprecating wit.[11]

Subsequent career

After his tenure at the Department of Justice, Barr spent more than 14 years as a senior corporate executive. At the end of 2008 he retired from Verizon Communications, having served as Executive Vice President and General Counsel of GTE Corporation from 1994 until that company merged with Bell Atlantic to become Verizon. During his corporate tenure, Barr directed a successful litigation campaign by the local telephone industry to achieve deregulation by scuttling a series of FCC rules, personally arguing several cases in the federal courts of appeals and the Supreme Court.[12] Barr currently serves with several corporate boards.[citation needed]

In his adopted home state of Virginia, Barr was appointed during 1994 by then-Governor George Allen to co-chair a commission to reform the criminal justice system and abolish parole in the state.[13] He served on the Board of Visitors of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg from 1997 to 2005.[14]

He became an independent director of Time Warner (now WarnerMedia) in July 2009.

In 2009, Barr was of counsel to Kirkland & Ellis and joined the firm in 2017.[15]

On December 6, 2018, it was reported that President Donald Trump was considering Barr to be Attorney General.[16][17]

Policy positions

Immigration

As deputy attorney general, Barr successfully challenged a proposed rule by the Department of Health and Human Services to allow people with HIV/AIDS into the United States.[18] He also advocated the use of Guantanamo Bay to prevent Haitian refugees and HIV infected peoples from claiming asylum in the United States.[19]

Crime and security

Social issues

Barr has stated that he believed the constitution was not originally intended to create a right to abortion; that Roe v. Wade was thus wrongly decided; and that abortion should be a “legitimate issue for state legislators”.[8]

Health care reform

Energy and environment

Executive power

Personal life

Barr is an avid bagpiper, an avocation he began at age 8, and has played competitively in Scotland with a major American pipe band; he was a member for some time of the City of Washington Pipe Band.[20]

Barr is a Roman Catholic. He married Christine Moynihan in June 1973, and they have three grown daughters. He is a resident of Virginia.[citation needed]

References … 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_P._Barr

Story 4: United States Net Oil Exporter — First Time Since 1949 — Videos

See the source image

See the source image

OPEC set to curb oil supply? | DW News

The US Is Making Its Mark On The Global Oil Market, But How Long Will It Last?

Study: US Could Be a Net Energy Exporter

Analysts: OPEC Meeting in Vienna to Result in Less Production

The U.S. Just Became a Net Oil Exporter for the First Time in 75 Years

 Updated on 
  • Crude, refined products exports exceed imports in weekly data
  • Shale boom has boosted U.S. crude oil shipments to record
Oil Analyst Sankey Sees OPEC Cuts Stabilizing Market Short-Term
Paul Sankey, analyst at Mizuho, examines what production cuts from OPEC+ can mean to the global oil market.

America turned into a net oil exporter last week, breaking 75 years of continued dependence on foreign oil and marking a pivotal — even if likely brief — moment toward what U.S. President Donald Trump has branded as “energy independence.”

The shift to net exports is the dramatic result of an unprecedented boom in American oil production, with thousands of wells pumping from the Permian region of Texas and New Mexico to the Bakken in North Dakota to the Marcellus in Pennsylvania.

While the country has been heading in that direction for years, this week’s dramatic shift came as data showed a sharp drop in imports and a jump in exports to a record high. Given the volatility in weekly data, the U.S. will likely remain a small net importer most of the time.

“We are becoming the dominant energy power in the world,” said Michael Lynch, president of Strategic Energy & Economic Research. “But, because the change is gradual over time, I don’t think it’s going to cause a huge revolution, but you do have to think that OPEC is going to have to take that into account when they think about cutting.”

The shale revolution has transformed oil wildcatters into billionaires and the U.S. into the world’s largest petroleum producer, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia. The power of OPEC has been diminished, undercutting one of the major geopolitical forces of the last half century. The cartel and its allies are meeting in Vienna this week, trying to make a tough choice to cut output and support prices, risking the loss of more market share to the U.S.

American Oil Renaissance

U.S. net imports of crude oil and refined petroleum products

Sources: 1918-1948 courtesy of Michael Lynch and adapted from American Petroleum Institute’s ‘Petroleum Facts and Figures 1959’; for 1949-2017 U.S. EIA ‘Monthly Energy Review’. 2018 and 2019 are forecast from the EIA.

The U.S. sold overseas last week a net 211,000 barrels a day of crude and refined products such as gasoline and diesel, compared to net imports of about 3 million barrels a day on average so far in 2018, and an annual peak of more than 12 million barrels a day in 2005, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The EIA said the U.S. has been a net oil importer in weekly data going back to 1991 and monthly data starting in 1973. Oil historians that have compiled even older annual data using statistics from the American Petroleum Institute said the country has been a net oil importer since 1949, when Harry Truman was at the White House.

On paper, the shift to net oil imports means that the U.S. is today energy independent, achieving a rhetorical aspiration for generations of American politicians, from Jimmy Carter to George W. Bush. Yet, it’s a paper tiger achievement: In reality, the U.S. remains exposed to global energy prices, still affected by the old geopolitics of the Middle East.

U.S. crude exports are poised to rise even further, with new pipelines from the Permian in the works and at least nine terminals planned that will be capable of loading supertankers. The only facility currently able to load the largest ships, the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, is on pace to load more oil in December than it has in any other month.

The massive Permian may be even bigger than previously thought. The Delaware Basin, the less drilled part of the field, holds more than twice the amount of crude as its sister, the Midland Basin, the U.S. Geological Service said Thursday.

While the net balance shows the U.S. is selling more petroleum than buying, American refiners continue to buy millions of barrels each day of overseas crude and fuel. The U.S. imports more than 7 million barrels a day of crude from all over the globe to help feed its refineries, which consume more than 17 million barrels each day. In turn, the U.S. has become the world’s top fuel supplier.

“The U.S. is now a major player in the export market,” said Brian Kessens, who helps manage $16 billion at Tortoise in Leawood, Kansas. “We continue to re-tool our export infrastructure along the Gulf Coast to expand capacity, and you continue to see strong demand globally for crude oil.”

— With assistance by Jessica Summers

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-06/u-s-becomes-a-net-oil-exporter-for-the-first-time-in-75-years

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1177, November 20, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Wanted To Prosecute Hillary Clinton and James Comey — Missed Golden Opportunity To Bring The Plotters of The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy To Justice — The American People Demand Justice and Prosecutions — Appoint A Second Special Counsel To Investigate and Prosecute Plotters — Three Cheers For Judicial Watch and Tom Fitton — Videos — Story 2: Wrap Up The Mueller Investigation or Face The Consequences — Videos — Story 3: U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar Opposes Trump Efforts To Stop Illegal Alien Invasion of United States and Enforce Immigration Law By Issuing A Temporary Restraining Order and Trump Reacts — Videos — Story 4: Trump’s Principled Realism Foreign Policy — Back To 1946 — Videos 

Posted on November 21, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, College, Communications, Computers, Congress, Countries, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Elections, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, James Comey, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Media, Mental Illness, National Interest, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Robert S. Mueller III, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Software, Spying, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Terror, Terrorism, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy

See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

See the source image

 

Story 1: President Trump Wanted To Prosecute Hillary Clinton and James Comey — Missed Golden Opportunity To Bring The Plotters of The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy To Justice — The American People Demand Justice and Prosecutions  — Appoint A Second Special Counsel To Investigate and Prosecute — Three Cheers For Judicial Watch and Tom Fitton — Videos

See the source imagehttps://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51bcQvf%2B-pL._AC_SY200_.jpgSee the source image

Donald Trump threatens to prosecute Hillary Clinton

Fitton: ‘OUTRAGEOUS’ that DOJ and State Dept. CONTINUE to Protect Hillary Clinton

Judicial Watch

Streamed live on Nov 20, 2018

In this edition of “Inside Judicial Watch,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton gives an update on some of the key cases and investigations Judicial Watch is involved with, including the Clinton email scandal, the Mueller probe into alleged Trump/Russia collusion during the 2016 election, and the midterm election recount in Florida.

Judicial Watch did a REAL Investigation into Clinton Email Scandal While FBI Didn’t

Tom Fitton on credibility problems of DOJ and FBI

Published on Dec 13, 2017

New FBI text messages draw a possible connection to Obama

Published on Feb 7, 2018

#FBI Texts Hint at Obama Involvement in Deep State FISA Abuse, Treason and Sedition

Dershowitz: ‘Terrible Mistake’ If Trump Ordered DOJ to Investigate Clinton, Comey

Media pounce on report Trump wanted Clinton, Comey probes

Dem and GOP lawmakers call for dueling investigations

Trump wanted to prosecute Hillary Clinton, James Comey

Joe diGenova on Comey and Lynch Subpoenas

Should Whitaker recuse himself from the Russia probe?

Trump speaks out on Ivanka’s private emails, Saudi Arabia

WATCH: House Republicans hold news briefing regarding special counsel

House Republicans call for second special counsel

DOJ watchdog: James Comey broke protocol in Clinton probe

Today News – Here’s Why the New York Times Bombshell Report Could Be the Finishing Touch for Mueller

Trump on Justice Department and Comey: ‘The end result was wrong’

Hillary Clinton committed a myriad of crimes: Gregg Jarrett

Hillary Clinton should be prosecuted, says Judge Andrew Napolitano

New York Times vs. Donald Trump – The Fifth Estate

The New Trump TV Network: Providing the Death Knell of MSM But A Vital Citizen Connection to Truth

 

Report: Trump wanted to prosecute Comey, Hillary Clinton

yesterday
James Comey

FILE – In this Thursday, June 8, 2017, file photo, former FBI director James Comey speaks during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, in Washington. A published report says President Donald Trump told his counsel’s office last spring he wanted to prosecute political adversaries Hillary Clinton and Comey. The New York Times says the idea prompted White House lawyers to prepare a memo warning of consequences ranging up to possible impeachment (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump told his counsel’s office last spring that he wanted to prosecute political adversaries Hillary Clinton and former FBI Director James Comey, an idea that prompted White House lawyers to prepare a memo warning of consequences ranging up to possible impeachment, The New York Times reported Tuesday.

Then-counsel Don McGahn told the president he had no authority to order such a prosecution, and he had White House lawyers prepare the memo arguing against such a move, The Associated Press confirmed with a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to discuss the situation. McGahn said that Trump could request such a probe but that even asking could lead to accusations of abuse of power, the newspaper said.

Presidents typically go out of their way to avoid any appearance of exerting influence over Justice Department investigations.

Trump has continued to privately discuss the matter of prosecuting his longtime adversaries, including talk of a new special counsel to investigate both Clinton and Comey, the newspaper said, citing two people who had spoken to Trump about the matter.

Trump has repeatedly and publicly called on the Justice Department to investigate Clinton, and he has tweeted his dismay over what he saw as former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ reluctance to go after Clinton. Trump’s former lawyer, John Dowd, urged Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in a memo last year to investigate Comey and his handling of the Clinton email investigation.

Sessions last year said he was directing senior federal prosecutors to look into matters raised by House Republicans related to the Clinton Foundation and a uranium mine transaction benefiting the foundation that was approved when Clinton was secretary of state. The FBI has been investigating that matter. Sessions, in March, told lawmakers that he was not prepared to appoint a special counsel to investigate the FBI and potential political bias there.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the report. McGahn’s lawyer, William Burck, also did not respond to a request for comment.

___

Associated Press writers Eric Tucker and Chad Day contributed to this report.

https://www.apnews.com/060ca2399a744b4a9554dbd2ec276a90

Trump Wanted to Order Justice Dept. to Prosecute Comey and Clinton

President Trump stoked his enmity for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 race and since taking office has publicly and privately revisited the idea of prosecuting her.CreditCindy Ord/Getty Images for 
Image
President Trump stoked his enmity for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 race and since taking office has publicly and privately revisited the idea of prosecuting her.CreditCreditCindy Ord/Getty Images for Glamour

By Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman

WASHINGTON — President Trump told the White House counsel in the spring that he wanted to order the Justice Department to prosecute two of his political adversaries: his 2016 challenger, Hillary Clinton, and the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, according to two people familiar with the conversation.

The lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, rebuffed the president, saying that he had no authority to order a prosecution. Mr. McGahn said that while he could request an investigation, that too could prompt accusations of abuse of power. To underscore his point, Mr. McGahn had White House lawyers write a memo for Mr. Trump warning that if he asked law enforcement to investigate his rivals, he could face a range of consequences, including possible impeachment.

The encounter was one of the most blatant examples yet of how Mr. Trump views the typically independent Justice Department as a tool to be wielded against his political enemies. It took on additional significance in recent weeks when Mr. McGahn left the White House and Mr. Trump appointed a relatively inexperienced political loyalist, Matthew G. Whitaker, as the acting attorney general.

It is unclear whether Mr. Trump read Mr. McGahn’s memo or whether he pursued the prosecutions further. But the president has continued to privately discuss the matter, including the possible appointment of a second special counsel to investigate both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Comey, according to two people who have spoken to Mr. Trump about the issue. He has also repeatedly expressed disappointment in the F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, for failing to more aggressively investigate Mrs. Clinton, calling him weak, one of the people said.

A White House spokesman declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the F.B.I. declined to comment on the president’s criticism of Mr. Wray, whom he appointed last year after firing Mr. Comey.

“Mr. McGahn will not comment on his legal advice to the president,” said Mr. McGahn’s lawyer, William A. Burck. “Like any client, the president is entitled to confidentiality. Mr. McGahn would point out, though, that the president never, to his knowledge, ordered that anyone prosecute Hillary Clinton or James Comey.”

It is not clear which accusations Mr. Trump wanted prosecutors to pursue. He has accused Mr. Comey, without evidence, of illegally having classified information shared with The New York Times in a memo that Mr. Comey wrote about his interactions with the president. The document contained no classified information.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers also privately asked the Justice Department last year to investigate Mr. Comey for mishandling sensitive government information and for his role in the Clinton email investigation. Law enforcement officials declined their requests. Mr. Comey is a witness against the president in the investigation by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

Mr. Trump has expressed disappointment in the F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, for failing to more aggressively investigate Mrs. Clinton.CreditAl Drago for The New York Times
Mr. Trump has expressed disappointment in the F.B.I. director, Christopher A. Wray, for failing to more aggressively investigate Mrs. Clinton.CreditAl Drago for The New York Times

Mr. Trump repeatedly pressed Justice Department officials about the status of Clinton-related investigations, including Mr. Whitaker when he was the chief of staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, according to a person with direct knowledge of the conversations. CNN and Vox earlier reported those discussions.

In his conversation with Mr. McGahn, the president asked what stopped him from ordering the Justice Department to investigate Mr. Comey and Mrs. Clinton, the two people familiar with the conversation said. He did have the authority to ask the Justice Department to investigate, Mr. McGahn said, but warned that making such a request could create a series of problems.

Mr. McGahn promised to write a memo outlining the president’s authorities. In the days that followed, lawyers in the White House Counsel’s Office wrote a several-page document in which they strongly cautioned Mr. Trump against asking the Justice Department to investigate anyone.

The lawyers laid out a series of consequences. For starters, Justice Department lawyers could refuse to follow Mr. Trump’s orders even before an investigation began, setting off another political firestorm.

If charges were brought, judges could dismiss them. And Congress, they added, could investigate the president’s role in a prosecution and begin impeachment proceedings.

Ultimately, the lawyers warned, Mr. Trump could be voted out of office if voters believed he had abused his power.

Mr. Trump’s frustrations about Mr. Comey and Mrs. Clinton were a recurring refrain, a former White House official said. “Why aren’t they going after” them?, the president would ask of Justice Department officials.

For decades, White House aides have routinely sought to shield presidents from decisions related to criminal cases or even from talking about them publicly. Presidential meddling could undermine the legitimacy of prosecutions by attaching political overtones to investigations in which career law enforcement officials followed the evidence and the law.

Perhaps more than any president since Richard M. Nixon, Mr. Trump has been accused of trying to exploit his authority over law enforcement. Witnesses have told the special counsel’s investigators about how Mr. Trump tried to end an investigation into an aide, install loyalists to oversee the inquiry into his campaign and fire Mr. Mueller.

In addition, Mr. Trump has attacked the integrity of Justice Department officials, claiming they are on a “witch hunt” to bring him down.

Mr. Trump has accused the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, without evidence, of illegally having classified information shared with reporters.CreditJustin Tang/The Canadian Press, via
Mr. Trump has accused the former F.B.I. director James B. Comey, without evidence, of illegally having classified information shared with reporters.CreditJustin Tang/The Canadian Press, via Associated Press

More significant, Mr. Mueller is investigating whether the president tried to impede his investigation into whether any Trump associates conspired with Russia’s campaign to sow discord among the American electorate during the 2016 presidential race.

Mr. Trump stoked his enmity for Mrs. Clinton during the campaign, suggesting during a presidential debate that he would prosecute her if he was elected president. “If I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your situation,” Mr. Trump said.

“It’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country,” Mrs. Clinton replied.

“Because you would be in jail,” Mr. Trump shot back.

During the presidential race, Mr. Whitaker, a former United States attorney, also said he would have indicted Mrs. Clinton, contradicting Mr. Comey’s highly unusual public announcement that he would recommend the Justice Department not charge her over her handling of classified information while secretary of state.

“When the facts and evidence show a criminal violation has been committed, the individuals involved should not dictate whether the case is prosecuted,” Mr. Whitaker wrote in an op-ed in USA Today in July 2016.

Two weeks after his surprise victory, Mr. Trump backed off. “I don’t want to hurt the Clintons, I really don’t,” Mr. Trump said in an interview with The Times. “She went through a lot and suffered greatly in many different ways, and I am not looking to hurt them at all. The campaign was vicious.”

Nonetheless, he revisited the idea both publicly and privately after taking office. Some of his more vocal supporters stirred his anger, including the Fox News commentator Jeanine Pirro, who has railed repeatedly on her weekly show that the president is being ill served by the Justice Department.

Ms. Pirro told Mr. Trump in the Oval Office last November that the Justice Department should appoint a special counsel to investigate the Uranium One deal, two people briefed on the discussion have said. During that meeting, the White House chief of staff, John F. Kelly, told Ms. Pirro she was inflaming an already vexed president, the people said.

Shortly after, Mr. Sessions wrote to lawmakers, partly at the urging of the president’s allies in the House, to inform them that federal prosecutors in Utah were examining whether to appoint a special counsel to investigate Mrs. Clinton. A spokeswoman for the United States attorney for Utah declined to comment on Tuesday on the status of the investigation.

Mr. Trump once called his distance from law enforcement one of the “saddest” parts of being president.

“I look at what’s happening with the Justice Department,” he said in a radio interview a year ago. “Well, why aren’t they going after Hillary Clinton and her emails and with her, the dossier?” He added: “I am not supposed to be doing the kind of things that I would love to be doing. And I am very frustrated.”

Michael S. Schmidt reported from Washington, and Maggie Haberman from New York.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/20/us/politics/president-trump-justice-department.html

Story 2: Bombshell is A Dud– President Responds in Writing To Mueller Questions — Time To Wrap Up The Mueller Investigation–No Evidence Trump Colluded With Russians Nor Obstructed Justice — Videos — 

President Trump Submits Written Answers To Mueller’s Questions In Russia Probe | TIME

Hannity: Trump’s ‘unprecedented cooperation’ with Mueller

Sean Hannity 11/20/18 Fox News November 20, 2018

Joe diGenova on Mueller Wrap Up

Story 3: U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar Opposes Trump Efforts To Stop Illegal Alien Invasion of United States and Enforce Immigration Law By Issuing A Temporary Restraining Order and Trump Reacts — Videos 

Trump: Federal courts in Ninth Circuit ‘very unfair’

Trump hits back at Chief Justice Roberts’ rebuke

Trump hands over responses to Robert Mueller’s team

Homan: Trump’s efforts to protect US are met with lawsuits

Tucker Carlson Tonight 11/20/18 | Breaking Fox News | November 20, 2018

What Happens When Democrats Run Your State?

‘Two-States of California’- Victor Davis Hanson at American Freedom Alliance

On Watch: Exposing Mainstream Media Lies About the Illegal Alien Invasion

Streamed live on Nov 21, 2018

In this episode of “On Watch,” Judicial Watch Director of Investigations & Research Chris Farrell joins filmmaker Ami Horowitz to discuss his recent trip to Mexico investigating the migrant caravan.

As Predicted, San Francisco-Based Obama Judge Blocks Trump Asylum Order

The migrant caravan makes its way to Juchitan from Santiago Niltipec, Mexico, October 30, 2018. (Hannah McKay/Reuters)

It took a few more days than I expected, but a San Francisco-based federal judge appointed by President Obama issued an order last night barring the administration from enforcing the asylum restrictions President Trump announced on November 9. U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar ruled that the president had unlawfully attempted to rewrite congressional law. (Mind you, these are the same federal judges who are striving to enshrine President Obama’s DACA program, an actual presidential rewrite of congressional law.)

Tigar’s predictable judicial usurpation of immigration and border security policymaking authority will no doubt be appealed to the Ninth Circuit, which will no doubt endorse the district judge’s gambit.

To repeat what I wrote ten days ago:

As I write on Friday, the restraining order hasn’t come down yet. But it’s just a matter of time. Some federal district judge, somewhere in the United States, will soon issue an injunction blocking enforcement of the Trump administration’s restrictions on asylum applications.

The restrictions come in the form of a rule promulgated jointly by the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, and a proclamation issued by President Trump. In conjunction, they assert that an alien who wishes to apply for asylum in the United States must act lawfully: An alien who is physically present here and wishes to apply must be in the country legally; an alien outside the country who wishes to apply must present himself at a lawful port of entry — not attempt to smuggle his way in or force his way in as part of a horde (i.e., no invasions by caravan).

Of course, what used to be assumed is today deemed intolerable. It is no longer permitted to expect of non-Americans what is required of Americans — adherence to American law while on American soil.

Therefore, the fact that the administration’s action is entirely reasonable will not matter. No more will it matter that, contrary to numbing media repetition, the rule and proclamation derive from federal statutory law. Nor will it make any difference that, in part, the president is relying on the same sweeping congressional authorization based on which, just four months ago, the Supreme Court affirmed his authority to control the ingress of aliens based on his assessment of national-security needs.

Just two things will matter. The first is that the asylum restrictions represent a Trump policy that reverses Obama policies — specifically, policies of more lax border enforcement, and of ignoring congressionally authorized means of preventing illegal aliens from filing frivolous asylum petitions (with the result that many of them are released, evading further proceedings and deportation). The second is that, precisely to thwart the reversal of Obama policies, President Obama made certain that the vast majority of the 329 federal judges he appointed were progressive activists in the Obama mold.

The media-Democrat complex will tell you this is “the rule of law.” In reality, it is the rule of lawyers: the Lawyer Left on the front line of American decision-making, a line that runs through courtrooms, not Capitol Hill.

The people of the United States, through their elected representatives, have empowered the president to suspend or impose conditions on the ingress of aliens if he finds their entry would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.” How can it be denied that the illegal entry of aliens — which patently undermines the rule of law — is detrimental? Yet, there is certain to be a race to be the first judge to issue a restraining order, to champion an imaginary right of aliens to seek asylum however they damn well please.

Congratulations Judge Tigar, you win the prize!

https://www.nationalreview.com/corner/san-francisco-based-obama-judge-blocks-trump-asylum-order/

California Judge Blocks New Trump Rule Restricting Asylum

Judge Jon Tigar, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (Photo: Jason Doiy/ALM)

A California judge late Monday issued a nationwide order blocking the Trump administration’s efforts to restrict asylum-seekers, saying a new rule imposed eligibility conditions that went beyond the powers granted by Congress.

The Trump administration’s rule and a related presidential proclamation restricting asylum claims on the southern border to those individuals who enter the U.S. at designated ports run afoul of the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, said Judge Jon Tigar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. In some instances, he said, the rule would have categorically prevented some immigrants from making asylum claims.

“The rule barring asylum for immigrants who enter the country outside a port of entry irreconcilably conflicts with the INA and the expressed intent of Congress,” Tigar wrote. “Whatever the scope of the president’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden.”

Tigar imposed a nationwide injunction—the latest against a Trump administration immigration policy—that is set to run at least until Dec. 19. The ruling came just hours after a hearing in San Francisco federal district court, where the American Civil Liberties Union, representing nonprofit plaintiffs, argued against the so-called asylum ban. A related court hearing also was held Monday in Washington, D.C.

U.S. Justice Department lawyer Scott Stewart argued the Trump administration’s asylum rule did not flatly bar asylum-seekers so long as they enter through designated U.S. ports.

Tigar’s ruling is certain to be challenged by the Trump administration, which has railedagainst the number of nationwide injunctions blocking immigration and other policies. Tigar said he would meet with the lawyers in the case on Dec. 19 to review whether a preliminary injunction should be imposed.

“Potential asylum seekers are exposed to numerous harms while waiting to present their claims, including not only physical privations like physical assault but also the loss of valuable, potentially meritorious claims for asylum,” Tigar wrote. “The rule, when combined with the enforced limits on processing claims at ports of entry, leaves those individuals to choose between violence at the border, violence at home, or giving up a pathway to refugee status.”

ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt said in a statement: “This ban is illegal, will put people’s lives in danger, and raises the alarm about President Trump’s disregard for separation of powers. There is no justifiable reason to flatly deny people the right to apply for asylum, and we cannot send them back to danger based on the manner of their entry. Congress has been clear on this point for decades.”

In the Washington case, Judge Emmet Sullivan of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia did not issue an immediate ruling. Sullivan in August drew national headlines when he ordered the U.S. government to turn around a plane midflight carrying a woman and her daughter who had been seeking asylum. The judge was incensed that the government, despite assertions to the contrary, had removed the family amid emergency proceedings in the case.

Read the order:

https://www.law.com/therecorder/2018/11/20/california-judge-blocks-new-trump-rule-restricting-asylum/?slreturn=20181021165005

Federal Judge Blocks Trump’s Proclamation Targeting Some Asylum Seekers

Women and children in Tijuana, Mexico, on Saturday after getting a number to apply for asylum at the entrance of the border crossing to the United States.CreditMauricio Lima for The New York Times
Women and children in Tijuana, Mexico, on Saturday after getting a number to apply for asylum at the entrance of the border crossing to the United States.CreditCreditMauricio Lima for The New York Times

By Miriam Jordan

LOS ANGELES — A federal judge on Monday ordered the Trump administration to resume accepting asylum claims from migrants no matter where or how they entered the United States, dealing at least a temporary setback to the president’s attempt to clamp down on a huge wave of Central Americans crossing the border.

Judge Jon S. Tigar of the United States District Court in San Francisco issued a temporary restraining order that blocks the government from carrying out a new rule that denies protections to people who enter the country illegally. The order, which suspends the rule until the case is decided by the court, applies nationally.

“Whatever the scope of the president’s authority, he may not rewrite the immigration laws to impose a condition that Congress has expressly forbidden,” Mr. Tigar wrote in his order.

As a caravan of several thousand people journeyed toward the Southwest border, President Trump signed a proclamation on Nov. 9 that banned migrants from applying for asylum if they failed to make the request at a legal checkpoint. Only those who entered the country through a port of entry would be eligible, he said, invoking national security powers to protect the integrity of the United States borders.

But the rule overhauled longstanding asylum laws that ensure people fleeing persecution can seek safety in the United States, regardless of how they entered the country. Advocacy groups, including the Southern Poverty Law Center and the American Civil Liberties Union, swiftly sued the administration for effectively introducing what they deemed an asylum ban.

After the judge’s ruling on Monday, Lee Gelernt, the A.C.L.U. attorney who argued the case, said, “The court made clear that the administration does not have the power to override Congress and that, absent judicial intervention, real harm will occur.”

“This is a critical step in fighting back against President Trump’s war on asylum seekers,” Melissa Crow, senior supervising attorney for the Southern Poverty Law Center, one of the other organizations that brought the case, said in a statement. “While the new rule purports to facilitate orderly processing of asylum seekers at ports of entry, Customs and Border Protection has a longstanding policy and practice of turning back individuals who do exactly what the rule prescribes. These practices are clearly unlawful and cannot stand.”

The Center for Constitutional Rights also joined in the suit.

President Trump, when asked by reporters about the court ruling on Tuesday, criticized the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the liberal-leaning court where the case will likely land, calling it a “disgrace.” He labeled Judge Tigar an “Obama judge.”

“Our asylum system is broken, and it is being abused by tens of thousands of meritless claims every year,” Katie Waldman, spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security, and Steve Stafford, the Justice Department spokesman, said in a statement.

They said the president has broad authority to stop the entry of migrants into the country. “It is absurd that a set of advocacy groups can be found to have standing to sue to stop the entire federal government from acting so that illegal aliens can receive a government benefit to which they are not entitled,” they said. “We look forward to continuing to defend the executive branch’s legitimate and well-reasoned exercise of its authority to address the crisis at our southern border.”

Presidents indeed have broad discretion on immigration matters. But the court’s ruling shows that such discretion has limits, said Stephen Yale-Loehr, an immigration scholar at Cornell Law School.

“The ruling is a significant blow to the administration’s efforts to unilaterally change asylum law. Ultimately this may have to go to the Supreme Court for a final ruling,” said Mr. Yale-Loehr.

The advocacy groups accused the government of “violating Congress’s clear command that manner of entry cannot constitute a categorical asylum bar” in their complaint. They also said the administration had violated federal guidelines by not allowing public comment on the rule.

But Trump administration officials defended the regulatory change, arguing that the president was responding to a surge in migrants seeking asylum based on frivolous claims, which ultimately lead their cases to be denied by an immigration judge. The migrants then ignore any orders to leave, and remain unlawfully in the country.

“The president has sought to halt this dangerous and illegal practice and regain control of the border,” government lawyers said in court filings.

Mr. Trump, who had made stanching illegal immigration a top priority since his days on the campaign trail, has made no secret of his frustration over the swelling number of migrants heading to the United States. The president ordered more than 5,000 active-duty troops to the border to prevent the migrants from entering.

The new rule was widely regarded as an effort to deter Central Americans, many of whom request asylum once they reach the United States, often without inspection, from making the journey over land from their countries to the border.

United States immigration laws stipulate that foreigners who touch American soil are eligible to apply for asylum. They cannot be deported immediately. They are eligible to have a so-called credible fear interview with an asylum officer, a cursory screening that the overwhelming majority of applicants pass. As result, most of the migrants are released with a date to appear in court.

In recent years, more and more migrants have availed themselves of the asylum process, often after entering the United States illegally. A record 23,121 migrants traveling as families were detained at the border in October. Many of the families turn themselves in to the Border Patrol rather than queue up to request asylum at a port of entry.

The Trump administration believes the migrants are exploiting asylum laws to immigrate illegally to the United States. Soaring arrivals have exacerbated a huge backlog of pending cases in the immigration courts, which recently broke the one-million mark. Many migrants skip their court dates, administration officials say, only to remain illegally in the country, which Mr. Trump derides as “catch and release.”

But advocates argue that many migrants are victims of violence or persecution and are entitled to seek sanctuary. Gangs are ubiquitous across El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala, where lawlessness and corruption enable them to kill with impunity.

Daniel Victor contributed reporting from Hong Kong.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/20/us/judge-denies-trump-asylum-policy.html

Jon S. Tigar

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Jon Steven Tigar
Judge Jon S. Tigar.jpg
Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California
Assumed office
January 18, 2013
Appointed by Barack Obama
Preceded by Saundra Brown Armstrong
Personal details
Born Jon Steven Tigar
October 8, 1962 (age 56)
LondonUnited Kingdom
Education Williams College (B.A.)
UC Berkeley School of Law (J.D.)

Jon Steven Tigar (born October 8, 1962) is a United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

Early life and education

Tigar was born in LondonEngland in 1962.[1] His father is retired law professor Michael Tigar.[2] Tigar earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1984 from Williams College and a Juris Doctor degree in 1989 from UC Berkeley School of Law.[3] He graduated Order of the Coif,[1] was an Articles Editor of the California Law Review, and served as a Research Assistant to Professor Melvin Eisenberg. In 1989, Tigar served as a law clerk for United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit Judge Robert Smith Vance.[3][4]

Professional career

From 1990 until 1992, Tigar served as a litigation associate for the law firm Morrison & Foerster. He then served as a public defender in San Francisco from 1993 until 1994[3] Tigar practiced complex commercial litigation at the law firm Keker & Van Nest from 1994 until 2002.[3] From 2002 to 2013, Tigar served as a judge on the Alameda County Superior Court.[3] Tigar is a member of the American Law Institute and serves as an Adviser to the forthcoming Restatement (Third) of Torts: Liability for Economic Loss.[4]

Federal judicial service

On June 11, 2012, President Obama nominated Tigar to be a judge on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, taking the seat vacated by Judge Saundra Brown Armstrong, who took senior status on March 23, 2012.[3] The United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing on his nomination on July 11, 2012, and reported his nomination to the floor on August 2. The Senate confirmed his nomination by unanimous consent on December 21, 2012, and he received his commission on January 18, 2013.[4]

Notable decisions

On November 19, 2018 Tigar issued a nationwide restraining order that barred the Trump administration from denying asylum to immigrants who crossed over the southern border between points of entry.[5][6]

References

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_S._Tigar

Story 4: Trump’s Principled Realism Foreign Policy —  Back To 1946 — Videos

America and the World, 2017-2018 | Victor Davis Hanson

Victor Davis Hanson, the Wayne and Marcia Buske Distinguished Fellow in History at Hillsdale College, is also a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and a professor of classics emeritus at California State University, Fresno. Dr. Hanson earned his B.A. at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his Ph.D. in classics from Stanford University. In 2007, he was awarded the National Humanities Medal, and in 2008, he received the Bradley Prize. He is a columnist for National Review Online and for Tribune Media Services, and has published in several journals and newspapers, including Commentary, the Claremont Review of Books, The New Criterion, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. Dr. Hanson has written or edited numerous books, including Wars of the Ancient Greeks, A War Like No Other: How the Athenians and Spartans Fought the Peloponnesian War, and his latest book, The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won.

Victor Davis Hanson reveals the nature of history, politics and the left

Victor D Hanson; Explains Perfectly how Trump pulled off the biggest Upset in Presidential History

Donald Trump’s entire foreign policy speech

U.S. Foreign Policy in the Trump Era: The Future of Great Power Politics

U.S. Foreign Policy: The Fate of Realism and Restraint in the Trump Era

The publication of the National Security Strategy (NSS) is a milestone for any presidency. A statutorily mandated document, the NSS explains to the American people, U.S. allies and partners, and federal agencies how the President intends to put his national security vision into practice on behalf of fellow citizens.

First and foremost, President Donald J. Trump’s NSS is a reflection of his belief that putting America first is the duty of our government and the foundation for effective U.S. leadership in the world. It builds on the 11 months of Presidential action thus far to renew confidence in America both at home and abroad.

Four vital, national interests—organized as the strategy’s four pillars—form the backbone of this commitment:

  1. Protect the homeland, the American people, and the American way of life
  2. Promote American prosperity
  3. Preserve peace through strength
  4. Advance American influence

This NSS and its four themes are guided by a return to principled realism.

The strategy is realist because it is clear-eyed about global competition: It acknowledges the central role of power in world affairs, affirms that sovereign states are the best hope for a peaceful world, and clearly defines our national interests. It is principled because it is grounded in the knowledge that promoting American values is key to spreading peace and prosperity around the globe.

President Trump’s ultimate goal is to leave our children and grandchildren a Nation that is stronger, better, freer, prouder, and greater than ever before.

Read a summary of the President’s National Security Strategy here.

The full NSS report is available for download here.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/articles/new-national-security-strategy-new-era/

President Trump at the UN: An Unapologetic Defense of “Principled Realism”

Sep 28th, 2018 5 min read

COMMENTARY BY Brett D. Schaefer

Senior Research Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs

Brett D. Schaefer is the Jay Kingham Fellow in International Regulatory Affairs at Heritage’s Margaret Thatcher Center for Freedom.
President Trump speaks at the 73rd General Debate at the United Nations General Assembly at United Nations Headquarters at in New York City on September 25, 2018. MONIKA GRAFF/UPI/Newscom

Addressing the United Nations for the second time in his presidency, Donald Trump spoke first to the American people, using the opportunity to tout his domestic policies and successes. “The United States is stronger, safer and a richer country than it was when I assumed office less than two years ago,” he proclaimed.

However, the bulk of the speech outlined and defended his foreign policy and international priorities—exactly what you’d expect in a speech before the world’s leaders. 

North Korea was featured prominently, as it was in last year’s speech . However, the tone could not have been more different. In 2017, the Trump warned, “Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.” This year, he expressed optimism in ongoing negotiations with North Korea. While noting that progress has been made, the president smartly cautioned that much remains to be done and vowed that “sanctions will stay in place until denuclearization occurs.”

Trump also highlighted the diplomatic effort in the Middle East to address the situation in Syria, combat ISIS, and deal with other points of instability. He reaffirmed America’s determination to “respond if chemical weapons are deployed by the Assad regime,” assist the refugees displaced by the war, and participate in UN peace negotiations.

He reserved his strongest warning for Iran:

Iran’s leaders sow chaos, death and destruction. They do not respect their neighbors or borders, or the sovereign rights of nations. Instead, Iran’s leaders plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond . . . The Iran deal was a windfall for Iran’s leaders. In the years since the deal was reached, Iran’s military budget grew nearly 40 percent. The dictatorship used the funds to build nuclear-capable missiles, increase internal repression, finance terrorism, and fund havoc and slaughter in Syria and Yemen . . . We cannot allow the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism to possess the planet’s most dangerous weapons. We cannot allow a regime that chants “Death to America,” and that threatens Israel with annihilation, to possess the means to deliver a nuclear warhead to any city on Earth. Just can’t do it.

He made clear that the United States will continue to ratchet up pressure on Iran through sanctions and urged other nations to “support Iran’s people as they struggle to reclaim their religious and righteous destiny.” Iran is a serious threat, and the administration is right to confront it.

The most consistent theme of the speech was a robust defense of American sovereignty and security.

Early on, the president stated, “America will always choose independence and cooperation over global governance, control, and domination. I honor the right of every nation in this room to pursue its own customs, beliefs, and traditions.” He concluded the speech by noting, “Sovereign and independent nations are the only vehicle where freedom has ever survived, democracy has ever endured, or peace has ever prospered. And so we must protect our sovereignty and our cherished independence above all.”

These bookends encapsulate the U.S. belief that sovereignty derives from the governed and that efforts to impose rules, restrictions, or principles via supranational institutions upon the American people without our consent are objectionable and unjust. This notion threads through the speech in several passages including:

– The direct rejection of the International Criminal Court that claims authority to investigate and prosecute Americans even though the United States has never joined the court.

– The defense of the decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in accordance with the right of every sovereign state to “determine its own capital.” Indeed, each of the last three U.S. presidents had promised to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem in accordance with U.S. law, but only President Trump actually followed through.

– The right of nations to control their borders and “confront threats to sovereignty from uncontrolled migration.”

However, the speech at times flirted unhelpfully with the idea that the United States would not criticize other nations or seek to advance core principles that America has embraced for decades. For instance, the president stated, “The United States will not tell you how to live or work or worship. We only ask that you honor our sovereignty in return.”

If the United States does believe that sovereignty is derived from the governed, then it must be a champion of civil and political rights around the world as well as self-government. Americans should not tell others how to worship, but they must instead defend their freedom to worship as their conscience dictates. This does not mean that the United States has an obligation to intervene or take direct action when people are denied these rights, but the United States should not and must not stand silent.

In fact, the failure of the Human Rights Council to champion human rights consistently and forthrightly was a central reason for the U.S. decision to withdraw from the Council this summer. This was the correct decision , and the president rightly praised Ambassador Nikki Haley’s leadership in leaving that gravely flawed body. However, the United States undermines its case if it is silent in the face of repression.

Indeed, the president’s condemnation of the “human tragedy” in Venezuela in his speech is a case in point. The president is right—socialism and communism have “produced suffering, corruption, and decay” wherever it has been tried. We do people no favors by refraining from urging them to avoid that misery or failing to condemn repressive governments that deny their people fundamental rights and freedoms.

The president also defended his recent trade actions based on sovereignty. There is no doubt that nations have the right to defend their economic interests and respond when other nations violate agreed rules, such as Chinese theft of intellectual property. But the economic benefits of trade between nations are well established and the long-term interests of the American people should lead the administration to support free trade, not protectionism.

Finally, the president focused on the need to advance U.S. interests in the UN, including asking the UN to be “more effective and accountable” and more evenly share the burden of supporting its activities. This is certainly a reasonable expectation for the largest financial supporter of the UN and is a goal pursued by U.S. administrations going back decades.

He also stated that “[m]oving forward, we will only give foreign aid to those who respect us and our friends.” This is a broad statement and not entirely clear. America provides assistance for many purposes, and it is not useful to tie allocation of all aid to support for the United States at the UN. Linking humanitarian and security aid to support of U.S. policy priorities would undermine the purposes and effectiveness of that aid. However, the United States also provides assistance to advance its broader foreign-policy interests. The UN is an important institution where governments make significant decisions, and it is entirely appropriate to use this assistance to increase support for U.S. priorities in the UN.

Overall, the speech was quintessential Trump. It was an unapologetic defense of his “principled realism” approach to foreign policy—one that elevates the interests of the United States and protection of the American people above all and explicitly rejects the more idealized global leadership role favored by the foreign-policy establishment—with significant divergence in means and goals—on the left and the right. This approach wins few plaudits in Turtle Bay and Washington, but appeals strongly to those who most concern Trump: non-coastal Americans who have grown increasingly concerned that their circumstances and welfare are irrelevant to the decisionmakers in Washington.

https://www.heritage.org/global-politics/commentary/president-trump-the-un-unapologetic-defense-principled-realism

 

The National Interest

September 26, 2018 Topic: Security Region: Americas Tags: Donald TrumpUnited NationsForeign PolicyPopulismPatriots

Trump’s Foreign Policy Successes Show Principled Realism in Action

Trump has overcome internal resistance and external pressure to deliver a string of foreign-policy successes.

by Salvatore Babones

President Donald Trump took a lot of ribbing Tuesday morning at the United Nations for proclaiming, in his usual modest style, that his administration had “accomplished more than almost any administration in the history of our country.”

But if the claim smacks of hyperbole, then the hyperbole is at least well deserved. The economy is booming, the military is rapidly recovering from fifteen years of overextension, and the Trump administration is concluding trade deals in record time.

And all this has come despite the fact that much of the country’s expert class, including many people employed in the federal government itself, have been desperately hoping for failure. If it is true that the Trump presidency is unprecedented, then it is equally true that the existence of an organized resistance campaign among erstwhile public servants is unprecedented.

Yet Trump has overcome internal resistance and external pressure to deliver an as yet uninterrupted string of foreign-policy successes : North Korea’s “Rocket Man” Kim Jong-un hasn’t launched a rocket in ten months; America’s NATO allies are finally starting to deliver on pledges to increase defense spending toward the 2 percent of GDP target agreed in 2006 ; Mexico has seemingly come to terms on long-overdue NAFTA reforms; the United States has stayed out of the Arab world’s interminable wars in Syria, Libya and Yemen; and the U.S. embassy in Israel moved to Jerusalem in May without sparking the Third Intifada predicted by Trump’s opponents.

Perhaps just as important (from a U.S. perspective), America’s long-term enemies are nearly all on the run. The Russian economy is crumbling. The Venezuelan economy has crumbled. The Iranian economy, which boomed after the nuclear deal was signed in 2015, has come back down to earth since Trump took office, and stagnated since he pulled the United States out of the deal in May.

And then there’s China. Back in December 2016, just a few weeks before Trump took office, China staged a “Trump Test,” exactly as predicted by U.S. Naval War College Professor Andrew S. Erickson. A Chinese ship sent marines on a speedboat to seize a surveillance drone from under the stern of a U.S. Navy oceanographic survey vessel. President Barack Obama politely asked for the return of the device. President-elect Trump told China to keep the drone —and implied that things would get tougher when he took office.

Under the Obama administration, Chinese forces regularly harassed U.S. vessels navigating the South China Sea. That doesn’t happen under the Trump administration. What’s more, China is now enforcing UN sanctions against North Korea, cooperation that has been crucial to bringing Kim to the nuclear bargaining table. And though China regularly threatens and bullies Taiwan, it has done little more than issue bland propaganda statements in response to expanding U.S. weapons sales to the island. Even the Trump administration’s full court press on trade has not disrupted U.S. relations with China. If anything, China’s behavior has improved.

Principled Realism

The secret to the Trump team’s success is its embrace of principled realism : in its simplest terms, the faith that America’s goals are just and American power should be exercised to support those goals. Since taking office a year and a half ago, Trump has forcefully applied American power—while avoiding his predecessors’ equation of power with military force. As a result, America is getting its way on the world stage, generally without putting American lives at risk to get it. That’s about as win-win as things come in international relations.

If anyone doubts that this newfound realism is principled, just look at the targets: North Korea, Iran, Syria, Venezuela, Russia and China. Trump has exerted strong pressure on America’s NATO allies as well—to arm themselves against Russia and other regional threats. And on international trade, Trump has pressured just about everyone to stop unfair and often illegal trading practices.

Now that the Trump era is well and truly underway, it is worth remembering that Hillary Clinton’s “reset” in U.S.-Russia relations was a hallmark of the Obama administration’s first term foreign policy. It ended in Russia’s seizure of Crimea and a proxy war in Eastern Ukraine that continues today. John Kerry’s signature issue at the start of Obama’s second term was Israeli-Palestinian peace. Nine months of inconclusive talks ended in the 2014 war in Gaza.

It may be too soon to declare victory for principled realism, but the early signs are certainly encouraging. Other countries do not always accept the principle that America’s goals are just, but history has usually vindicated the United States in the long run. And in any case, as Trump is fond of pointing out, he is not the president of the world. He is the president of the United States of America.

Two weeks into that presidency, one of America’s most respected foreign-policy scholars summarily declared that Trump Has Already Blown It , while Obama administration veterans were labeling Trump’s foreign policy the “ Grand Strategic Train Wreck .” With the midterm elections now looming, there’s little chance that these experts will admit that they were wrong. But as long as the voters keep seeing results, the chances are that Trump will stay on target.

Salvatore Babones is the author of The New Authoritarianism: Trump, Populism, and the Tyranny of Experts .

Image: U.S. President Donald Trump participates in a signing ceremony for the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the sidelines of the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, U.S., September 24, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/trumps-foreign-policy-successes-show-principled-realism-action-32042

Trump sets out national security strategy of ‘principled realism’ and global competition

President Trump spoke about dealing with Russia and China during a speech Dec. 18 in D.C., saying “We will stand up … like we have never stood up before.”

December 18, 2017

President Trump placed himself at the center of a new national security strategy Monday, casting his election as a pivot from failed policies pushed by his predecessors and presenting his “America First” doctrine as the organizing principle for U.S. engagement around the world.

In a year-end, campaign-style speech, the president emphasized his view that the United States has been cheated and taken advantage of abroad while its citizens were ill-served at home — a situation he said his security plan would seek to reverse.

“For many years, our citizens watched as Washington politicians presided over one disappointment after another; too many of our leaders — so many — who forgot whose voices they were to respect, and whose interest they were supposed to defend,” Trump said at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, before an audience that included Cabinet secretaries, government workers and uniformed members of the military.

The National Security Strategy, a congressionally mandated mission statement, is supposed to guide an administration’s priorities for global engagement, economic bargaining and demonstrations of military strength.

While it is viewed as an important policy document, its release is usually a low-key affair and Trump is believed to be the only U.S. president to present the plan with a speech, an aide said. At times Monday, Trump seemed as intent on revisiting his electoral victory as he was on defining a new national security strategy for the country.

“You spoke loud and you spoke clear,” Trump said of his upset election last year. “On November 8, 2016, you voted to make America great again. You embraced new leadership and very new strategies and also a glorious new hope.”


President Trump speaks with Russian President Vladimir Putin during a break at a leader’s meeting at the 25th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Danang, Vietnam, on Nov. 11. (S/Kreml/Epa-Efe/Rex/Shutterstock/S/Kreml/Epa-Efe/Rex/Shutterstock)

Trump, as he did during the campaign, declared the United States must push for better trade deals to remain strong when it comes to national security. “Economic security is national security,” he said. “Economic vitality, growth and prosperity at home is absolutely necessary for American power and influence abroad.”

Yet many of the trade tactics he has advocated could end up hurting the U.S. economy.

He boasted of killing the Trans­-Pacific Partnership, a trade pact between a dozen countries, but supporters of the accord say it would have helped keep Chinese economic influence at bay.

The linkage Trump drew between economic and political power is valid, but Trump’s confrontational trade policies work against his own goals, said Nicholas Burns, a Harvard Kennedy School professor and former senior State Department official.

“He is right about the philosophical point, but all his practical policies undercut it,” Burns said.

C. Fred Bergsten, veteran trade expert at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, agreed.

“There’s a germ of truth in what he says,” Bergsten conceded. U.S. policy has failed to choke off intellectual property theft, especially in China. But, Bergsten added, “his overarching point that these are terrible [trade] deals, that they adversely affect U.S. economic interests, he’s never offered a shred of proof of that.”

Trump has dismissed this type of criticism and used the speech to emphasize one of his campaign themes — that past administrations got the short-end of trade agreements because they didn’t now how to cut deals.

“Our leaders in Washington negotiated disastrous trade deals that brought massive profits to many foreign nations but sent thousands of American factories and millions of American jobs to those other countries,” he said.

Trump also boasted of his decision to withdraw from the “very expensive and unfair Paris climate accord” that President Barack Obama agreed to two years ago. But supporters of the accord say it is a small step toward slowing global warming that could prove catastrophic economically as well as from a climate view. And Obama repeatedly argued that denial of climate science would undercut renewable energy technologies that the U.S. economy needs to remain competitive in the future.

Trump’s campaign theme of “America First” formed the foundation of his remarks.

“A nation that does not protect prosperity at home cannot protect its interests abroad,” Trump said. “A nation that is not prepared to win a war is a nation not capable of preventing a war. A nation that is not proud of its history cannot be confident in its future. And a nation that is not certain of its values cannot summon the will to defend them.”

Burns argued that “what’s missing from this document is any emphasis that the U.S. has to promote democracy and human freedom, which most American presidents — John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan — have felt was important. He’s weakening us on these essential foundations of American power.”

Trump highlighted claimed accomplishments — including on issues not directly related to national security — a list the administration contends has not received the attention it deserves.

Alongside withdrawal from what he called unfair trade and climate deals and a sharper focus on terrorism and border security, Trump listed a soaring stock market, deregulation and the likelihood of forthcoming tax cuts.

The national security strategy documents are broad outlines of U.S. policy that guide other, more specific planning such as nuclear and ballistic missile force posture.

Trump’s version has four main organizing principles: protecting the American homeland, protecting American prosperity, preserving peace through strength and advancing U.S. influence.

He presented China and Russia as competitors that want to realign global power in their interests, potentially threatening the United States. At the same time, he added, those nations can be partners in pursuit of shared interests.

That is a familiar theme from past administrations, but the Trump document frames the contest as one that previous U.S. leaders failed to adequately recognize or counter.

“China and Russia challenge American power, influence, and interests, attempting to erode American security and prosperity,” the document says. “They are determined to make economies less free and less fair, to grow their militaries, and to control information and data to repress their societies and expand their influence.”

The president said intellectual property theft would be targeted, a clear warning to China which American companies have complained about for years. “We will no longer tolerate trading abuse,” he warned.

As a candidate, Trump accused China of “raping” the United States economically and stealing jobs. As president, he has developed and trumpeted a warm relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, whom he credits with helping to apply pressure on North Korea over its nuclear weapons program.

Trump also pointed to his energy policies as a source of strength at home and abroad, suggesting that the United States could use its “energy dominance” to enhance its influence.

The Trump administration has indeed sought to open up more federal lands to coal, oil, and natural gas exploration and production, but most of the domestic energy boom took place under the Obama administration. Oil output under Obama grew by more than 4 million barrels a day and natural gas output in states like Pennsylvania, Texas and Oklahoma rose rapidly.

Trump has publicly complimented Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling him “very smart,” and has sought a better relationship with Russia after years of worsening ties under Obama. He has been openly skeptical of U.S. intelligence findings that Russia mounted a systematic effort to undermine the 2016 presidential election. But Trump has not reversed congressional sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine, as Putin hoped he would.

The strategy document released Monday skirts the issue of Russia’s involvement in the presidential election.

“Through modernized forms of subversive tactics, Russia interferes in the domestic political affairs of countries around the world,” the document says.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-sets-out-national-security-strategy-of-principled-realism-and-global-competition/2017/12/18/7edcb0be-e412-11e7-ab50-621fe0588340_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.1fbe20ebc80e

National Security Strategy (United States)

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The National Security Strategy (NSS) is a document prepared periodically by the executive branch of the government of the United States for Congress which outlines the major national security concerns of the United States and how the administration plans to deal with them. The legal foundation for the document is spelled out in the Goldwater-Nichols Act. The document is purposely general in content (contrast with the National Military Strategy, NMS) and its implementation relies on elaborating guidance provided in supporting documents (including the NMS).

Contents

Purposes of the NSS Report

The stated intent of the Goldwater-Nichols legislation is broadly accepted as valid for effective political discourse on issues affecting the nation’s security–the Congress and the Executive need a common understanding of the strategic environment and the administration’s intent as a starting point for future dialogue. That said, however, it is understood that in the adversarial environment that prevails, this report can only provide a beginning point for the dialogue necessary to reach such a “common” understanding.[1]

The requirement of producing this report along with the budget request leads to an iterative, interagency process involving high level meetings that helps to resolve internal differences in foreign policy agendas. However, “this report was not to be a neutral planning document, as many academics and even some in uniform think it to be. Rather it was … intended to serve five primary purposes.” [1]

  1. Communicate the Executive’s strategic vision to Congress, and thus legitimize its requests for resources.
  2. Communicate the Executive’s strategic vision to foreign constituencies, especially governments not on the US’s summit agenda.
  3. Communicate with select domestic audiences, such as political supporters seeking Presidential recognition of their issues, and those who hope to see a coherent and farsighted strategy they could support.
  4. Create internal consensus on foreign and defense policy within the executive branch.
  5. Contribute to the overall agenda of the President, both in terms of substance and messaging.

Where the incoming executive team has not formulated a national security strategy, such as an after an election in which foreign policy and defense were not important campaign issues, the process of writing the report can be of immense importance:

Few things educate new political appointees faster as to their own strategic sensings, or to the qualities and competencies of the “permanent” government they lead within executive bureaucracies, than to have to commit in writing to the President their plans for the future and how they can be integrated, coordinated and otherwise shared with other agencies and departments. The ability to forge consensus among these competing views on direction, priorities and pace, and getting “on board” important players three political levels down from the president is recognized as an invaluable, if not totally daunting, opportunity for a new administration.[1]

Counterinsurgency objective

In order to defeat al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan, according to the National Security Strategy of 2010, the United States needs to engage in a large amount of interagency cooperation and communication with the Muslim population in Afghanistan and throughout the world.[2] The objective of the National Security Strategy is to create a stable situation for the world, including those countries struggling with insurgencies. “The most effective long-term measure for conflict and resolution is the promotion of democracy and economic development.”[3] In order to promote democracy and economic development communication with the civilian population of the host-nation is essential. The Stability Operations Field Manual states that success depends on a U.S. ability to build local institutions and in the establishment of a legitimate permanent government, which builds trust between the citizens and the counterinsurgency personnel.”[3] The National Security Strategy establishes the interagency coordination in order to conduct useful public diplomacy to secure the population in the countries of Afghanistan and Iraq.

Previous national security strategies

The National Security Strategy issued on September 17, 2002 was released in the midst of controversy over the Bush doctrine of pre-emptive war which is contained therein.[4] It also contains the notion of military pre-eminence that was reflected in a Department of Defense paper of 1992, “Defense Policy Guidance”, prepared by two principal authors (Paul Wolfowitz and I. Lewis Libby) working under then US Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney. The NSS 2002 also repeats and re-emphasizes past initiatives aimed at providing substantial foreign aid to countries that are moving towards Western-style democracy, with the “ambitious and specific target” of “doubl[ing] the size of the world’s poorest economies within a decade.”[4]:p. 21

The Bush doctrine emerges in the context of moving from the old Cold War doctrine of deterrence to a pro-active attempt to adjust policy to the realities of the current situation where the threat is just as likely to come from a terrorist group such as al-Qaeda as from a nation state such as Iraq or Iran.[5]

The document also treats AIDS as a threat to national security, promising substantial efforts to combat its spread and devastating effects.

The 2010 National Security Strategy

On May 26, 2010, the third most recent National Security Strategy was issued by President Barack Obama.[2]:p.8 The new Strategy was referred to by United Nations ambassador Susan Rice as a “dramatic departure” from its predecessor.[6] The Strategy advocated increased engagement with Russia, China and India.[7] The Strategy also identified nuclear non-proliferation and climate change as priorities,[8] while noting that the United States’s security depended on reviving its economy.[9] The drafters of the new Strategy made a conscious decision to remove terms such as “Islamic radicalism”, instead speaking of terrorism generally.[10]

The 2015 National Security Strategy

On February 6, 2015, the second most recent National Security Strategy was issued by President Barack Obama[11]:p.1310 to provide “a vision and strategy for advancing the nation’s interests, universal values, and a rules-based international order through strong and sustainable American leadership.” [12]

The 2017 National Security Strategy

President Donald Trump delivered his first national Security Strategy on December 18, 2017. The new document named China and Russia as “revisionist powers” while removing “climate change” as a national threat.[13] It also characterized the world as a competitive arena rather than a “community of nations” or “international community” as previous documents had.[14] NSS-2017 represents a break with past foreign policy doctrine. “My guess is that members of the Foreign Policy elite will encounter these first pages as a kind of boilerplate, even trite. Notice, though, that those two pages lead directly to a third page that repudiates the whole living body of American foreign policy thought. Everything since Ronald Reagan is rejected in two short paragraphs which explain exactly what four successive administrations got wrong.”[15]

Success, however, bred complacency. A belief emerged, among many, that American power would be unchallenged and self–sustaining. The United States began to drift. We experienced a crisis of confidence and surrendered our advantages in key areas. As we took our political, economic, and military advantages for granted, other actors steadily implemented their long-term plans to challenge America and to advance agendas opposed to the United States, our allies, and our partners.

We stood by while countries exploited the institutions we helped to build. They subsidized their industries, forced technology transfers, and distorted markets. These and other actions challenged America’s economic security. At home, excessive regulations and high taxes stifled growth and weakened free enterprise—history’s greatest antidote to poverty. Each time government encroached on the productive activities of private commerce, it threatened not only our prosperity but also the spirit of creation and innovation that has been key to our national greatness.[16]

See also

References

External links

In the media

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Strategy_(United_States)

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1174, November 14, 2018, Story 1: Florida Recount Concludes That Ron Desantis Is The Next Governor of Florida — Governor Scott Won Senator Seat in Machine Recount and Must Wait for Final Human Count — Video — Story 2: The Fake Stolen Election in Georgia Governor Race — Republican Brian Kemp Wins and  Democrat Stacey Abrams Loses — Lying Lunatic Leftist Loser Stacey Abrams Refuses To Concede — Voter Suppression Charged — Results Will Be Certified Friday — Videos Story 3: President Trump Will Not Fire Mueller As Mueller Wraps Up Investigation of Russian Interference in U.S. Elections — Absolutely No Evidence of Trump Collusion With Russians and Therefore No Indictments — Complete Hoax Fabricated By Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Appoint Second Special Counsel Now To Investigate and Prosecute Plotters — Videos

Posted on November 17, 2018. Filed under: 2018 United States Elections, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, First Amendment, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Gangs, Government, Government Dependency, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, James Comey, Killing, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, Military Spending, National Interest, National Security Agency, Networking, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Privacy, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Russia, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Spying, Spying on American People, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trump Surveillance/Spying, United Kingdom, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: Florida Recount Concludes That Ron Desantis Is The Next Governor of Florida — Governor Scott Won Senator Seat in Machine Recount and Must Wait for Final Human Count — Video

Special Report w Bret Baier 11/15/18 Fox News November 15, 2018

Story 2: The Fake Stolen Election in Georgia Governor Race — Republican Brian Kemp Wins and  Democrat Stacey Abrams Loses — Lying Lunatic Leftist Loser Stacey Abrams Refuses To Concede — Voter Suppression Charged — Results Will Be Certified Friday — Videos

Tucker Carlson Tonight 11/15/18 Breaking Fox News November 15, 2018

Latest on the disputed election count for Georgia governor

Kemp says he won Georgia governor race

Stacey Abrams says she recognizes Brian Kemp will be Georgia’s next governor

Abrams campaign responds to the legal drama unfolding post-election

Stacey Abrams refuses to concede in Georgia Gubernatorial defeat

GEORGIA RACE OVER: Democrat Stacey Abrams Ends Challenge For Governor Race

Abrams ends run for governor against Kemp, but won’t concede

Kemp pledges to put ‘divisive politics’ behind him

Stacey Abrams ended her run for Georgia governor on Friday, but the Democrat said she would not concede the contest to Republican Brian Kemp as state officials prepared to certify the election.

Saying the law “allows no further viable remedy” to extend her quest to be the nation’s first black female governor, Abrams announced a new voting rights group that will file “major” litigation against the state over electoral issues.

And she laced her speech with bruising critiques of Kemp, a former secretary of state who she said was “deliberate and intentional in his actions” to suppress the vote.

“I will not concede,” she added, “because the erosion of our democracy is not right.”

Kemp, meanwhile, thanked Abrams for her “passion, hard word and commitment to public service.”

“The election is over and hardworking Georgians are ready to move forward,” said Kemp. “We can no longer dwell on the divisive politics of the past but must focus on Georgia’s bright and promising future.”

The Democrat’s campaign was considering a long-shot legal challenge under a law that allows losing candidates to contest the election in the case of misconduct, fraud or “irregularities.”

She would have faced a tremendous legal burden to prove her case, and even some Democrats warned that prolonging the court battle would jeopardize two down-ticket runoffs set for next month.

The secretary of state could certify the election as soon as 5 p.m. Friday and cement Kemp’s victory in the tightest race for Georgia governor since 1966.

The latest tally showed Abrams is roughly 55,000 votes behind Kemp — and in need of more than 17,000 votes to force a Dec. 4 runoff. Georgia law requires a runoff if no candidate gets a majority of the vote, which is only a possibility because a third-party contender netted about 1 percent.

Hundreds of previously uncounted votes could still be added Friday before the election is certified by Secretary of State Robyn Crittenden.

Abrams’ campaign has long tried to make the case that Kemp used his role as secretary of state to suppress the vote.

In her fiery speech, Abrams cited long lines at voting sites, closed polling stations and the cancellation of hundreds of thousands of voter registrations.

But to have a chance in court, Abrams would have had to prove there were enough Georgians blocked from voting to close the gap. Her campaign apparently could not meet that requirement.

Before Abrams ended the campaign, Republicans blasted the suggestion that she might contest the election in court. In one of the most biting barbs, Kemp’s spokesman called for Abrams to end her “ridiculous temper tantrum and concede.”

Unchanged dynamics

Kemp’s lead had dwindled since Election Day as absentee and provisional ballots trickled in. But as more counties completed their vote tallies, Abrams and her allies claimed there were thousands of outstanding ballots that never materialized.

Her campaign also went to court to force local officials to accept some previously rejected ballots.

She secured one court order that required elections officials to review as many as 27,000 provisional ballots, though it didn’t require those votes to be accepted.

Another ruling required the state to count absentee ballots with incorrect birthdate data, but rejected an effort to accept provisional ballots cast in the wrong counties.

That order, by U.S. District Judge Steve Jones, set off a scramble by county officials to revisit rejected ballots. But it left Kemp’s lead virtually unchanged, even as the biggest trove of those votes in Gwinnett County was added to the total.

Those final ballots in Gwinnett also likely cemented the contest for Georgia’s 7th District. Republican U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall led Democrat Carolyn Bourdeaux by about 400 votes, though her campaign on Friday requested a recount.

Some pushback

Abrams has long hinted at more litigation challenging “irregularities” at polling sites, and targeted what she claimed was Kemp’s abuse of the secretary of state’s office. But she determined that new legal action wouldn’t prevent Kemp’s victory.

Some Abrams’ allies had raised alarms that the prospect of extending her legal fight would shift attention away from a pair of candidates who are already in a runoff: John Barrow for secretary of state and Lindy Miller for Public Service Commission.

“I totally concur with the notion that every vote should be counted,” said Michael Thurmond, the DeKalb chief executive and a former Democratic state labor commissioner. “And going forward, the most effective way to do that is to focus on electing John Barrow as the next secretary of state.”

And former U.S. Rep. Buddy Darden said it’s “pretty evident” the race will be certified for Kemp and that Abrams should begin focusing on a 2020 run against U.S. Sen. David Perdue.

“Never stop. Keep using this energy,” he said. “Keep using these new voters.”

Kemp, meanwhile, has tried to cast himself as the eventual winner.

Several of his aides were at the Capitol this week to meet with state legislators and scope out executive offices. And Kemp’s campaign has repeatedly criticized Abrams for refusing to concede, saying she has no mathematical chance at forcing a runoff.

On Friday, Kemp struck a far more conciliatory tone.

“I humbly ask for citizens of our great state to stand with me in the days ahead,” he said.

“Together, we will realize the opportunities and tackle the challenges to come. We will be a state that puts hardworking Georgians – no matter their zip code or political preference – first.”

https://www.ajc.com/news/state–regional-govt–politics/kemp-holds-steady-lead-over-abrams-state-prepares-certify-vote/WI5zxjHjLNR2WbvcEBVYWL/

Story 3: President Trump Will Not Fire Mueller As Mueller Wraps Up Investigation of Russian Interference in U.S. Elections — Absolutely No Evidence of Trump Collusion With Russians and Therefore No Indictments — Complete Hoax Fabricated By Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Appoint Second Special Counsel Now To Investigate and Prosecute Plotters — Videos

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Hannity: FISA court was abused for political gain

Joe diGenova on Mueller Wrap Up

OH BOY!! HAPPENING NOW! Hannity Just EXPOSED Dems HIDE This BIGGEST PLAN Against Trump!

Trump legal team finalizing answers to Mueller questions

Lindsey Graham on Florida recount, Mueller probe

Sen. Mike Lee on Democrats’ objections to Matt Whitaker

Joe diGenova Talks About Jeff Sessions Replacement

MUELLER JUST GOT TRUMP’D! [AND HE DIDN’T SEE IT COMING

Matthew Whitaker (attorney)

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Matthew Whitaker
Matthew G. Whitaker official photo.jpg
Acting United States Attorney General
Assumed office
November 7, 2018
President Donald Trump
Deputy Rod Rosenstein
Preceded by Jeff Sessions
Chief of Staff to the United States Attorney General
In office
September 22, 2017 – November 7, 2018
Attorney General Jeff Sessions
Preceded by Jody Hunt
Succeeded by Gary Barnett
United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa
In office
June 15, 2004 – November 25, 2009
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by Stephen Patrick O’Meara
Succeeded by Nicholas A. Klinefeldt
Personal details
Born Matthew George Whitaker
October 29, 1969 (age 49)
Des MoinesIowa, U.S.
Political party Republican
Education University of Iowa (BAJDMBA)

Matthew George Whitaker (born October 29, 1969) is an American lawyer and politician serving as Acting United States Attorney General since November 7, 2018. He was appointed by President Donald Trump on November 7, 2018, after Jeff Sessions resigned at Trump’s request.[1] Whitaker served as a U.S. Attorney during the Bush Administration and served as Chief of Staff to Sessions from September 2017 to November 2018.[2]

In 2002, Whitaker was the candidate of the Republican Party for Treasurer of Iowa. From 2004 to 2009 he served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa. Whitaker ran in the 2014 Iowa Republican primary for the United States Senate. He later wrote opinion pieces and appeared on talk-radio shows and cable news as the director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust, a conservative advocacy group.

The legality of Whitaker’s appointment as Acting U.S. Attorney General was challenged by the State of Maryland.[3][4] His appointment prompted a number of legal scholars, commentators, and politicians to question its legality and constitutionality, noting that his selection circumvented Senate confirmation.[5] Some also called for Whitaker to recuse himself from overseeing the Special Counsel investigation led by Robert Mueller because of his public criticisms of the probe and his ties to Trump, and to Sam Clovis, a witness in the investigation.[6][7][8]

After Whitaker took office, reports surfaced of his prior involvement with World Patent Marketing, which had been fined $26 million and shut down by federal regulators in 2017 for deceiving consumers.[9][10]

Early life and education

Whitaker was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on October 29, 1969. His mother was a schoolteacher and his father a car salesman. Whitaker graduated from Ankeny High School and attended the University of Iowa, from which he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications, a Master of Business Administration, and a law degree in 1995.[11] While in college he wanted to be in the film industry.[12]

During his undergraduate years at Iowa, Whitaker played tight end for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes football team, appearing in Iowa’s Rose Bowl game in 1991.[13]

Career

After graduating from law school, Whitaker worked for a number of regional law firms including Briggs & Morgan (Minneapolis) and Finley Alt Smith (Des Moines). He was also corporate counsel for a national grocery company, SuperValu, and small businessman owning interests in a trailer manufacturing company, a daycare, and a concrete supply company.[14] Whitaker ran as a Republican for Treasurer of Iowa in 2002, losing to incumbent Democrat Michael Fitzgerald by 55% to 43%.[15]

In 2003, Whitaker founded “Buy The Yard Concrete,” based in Urbandale, Iowa which did projects as far away as Las Vegas. In 2005, Whitaker was named as a defendant to a collections lawsuit in Nevada for $12,000 in unpaid invoices for supplies and equipment rentals related to a concrete project in Las Vegas. The lawsuit was settled out of court.[16]

Whitaker’s U.S. Attorney portrait

United States Attorney

On June 15, 2004, Whitaker was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa by President George W. Bush. The appointment was at the recommendation of Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, in spite of Whitaker’s minimal relevant legal experience.[17]

From 2005 to 2007, Whitaker was responsible for the unsuccessful investigation and prosecution of Iowa State Sen. Matt McCoy, a gay, liberal Democrat, on charges of attempting to extort $2000.[18] A columnist for the Des Moines Register said that the case “… was based on the word of a man former associates depicted as a drug user, a deadbeat and an abuser of women; a man so shady even his Alcoholics Anonymous sponsors called him ‘a pathological liar.'”[19][20] The jury took less than two hours to return a verdict of “not guilty”.[21][22]

Whitaker resigned in November 2009 following the Senate confirmation of his replacement, Nicholas A. Klinefeldt, who was nominated by President Barack Obama.[13][23]

Private practice and political activities

From 2009 to 2017, Whitaker was a managing partner of the small general practice law firm Whitaker Hagenow & Gustoff LLP (now Hagenow & Gustoff LLP) in Des Moines, Iowa.[24]

During the 2012 presidential campaign, Whitaker was Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty‘s co-chairman in Iowa, and then state co-chairman for Texas governor Rick Perry.[25]

Whitaker was a candidate for the Republican nomination in the 2014 United States Senate election in Iowa, a seat being vacated by Democrat Tom Harkin. He came in fourth in the Republican primary in June, with 11,909 votes (7.54%). The nomination was won by Joni Ernst, who went on to win the general election.[26]

After losing the Republican primary, Whitaker chaired the campaign of Sam Clovis, another unsuccessful primary candidate who had been selected, later in June, to run for Iowa State Treasurer.[27] Clovis lost in the November 2014 general election.[28][29][30]

MEM Investment

In 2012, Whitaker and two partners used their company, MEM Investment, to purchase and develop an affordable-housing apartment building in Des Moines.[31] In 2014, the partnership reverted to just Whitaker. By spring of 2016, the company failed to deliver on the contracted renovation, the city terminated the loan agreement, Lincoln Savings Bank declared MEM in default of the $687,000 mortgage, and the property was sold to another developer for completion.[32][33]

World Patent Marketing

In 2014, Whitaker joined the board of World Patent Marketing (WPM) which was a fraudulent invention promotion firm based in Florida that deceived inventors into thinking that the company had successfully commercialized other inventions.[34][35][36] In March 2017, the Federal Trade Commission charged the company with fraudulently deceiving consumers and suppressing complaints through intimidation and the use of gag clauses.[36][37][38] In May 2018, a federal court ordered the company to close and pay a $26 million fine.[39] Many customers suffered significant losses as a result of working with the company[9][40] and when they tried to recoup their fees, the company used Whitaker’s background as a U.S. Attorney to threaten them. In a 2015 email mentioning his background as a former federal prosecutor, Whitaker told a customer that filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau or “smearing” the company online could result in “serious civil and criminal consequences.”[41][42] The owner of Ripoff Report told The Wall Street Journal that Whitaker had called him in 2015 demanding his website take down negative reports about WPM, alleging, “He threatened to ruin my business if I didn’t remove the reports. He [said he] would have the government shut me down under some homeland security law.”[43][44] The company contributed to Whitaker’s 2014 US Senate campaign.[45] Whitaker performed almost $17,000 in compensable work for the company.[46] In 2017 FTC investigators examined whether Whitaker had played any role in making threats of legal action to silence the company’s critics. Whitaker rebuffed an FTC subpoena for records in October 2017, shortly after he had joined the Justice Department.[47]

White House and senior Justice Department officials were surprised to learn of Whitaker’s connection to the company.[48] Through a DOJ spokesperson, Whitaker has denied awareness of the company’s fraud.[9] The court receiver in the case said he has “no reason to believe that [Whitaker] knew of any of the wrongdoing.”[48] As of November 2018, the FBI is still investigating World Patent Marketing.[49]

Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust

From October 2014 to September 2017, Whitaker was the executive director of the Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT),[50] and the organization’s only full-time employee in 2015 and 2016.[51] FACT, founded in late 2014, is a conservative nonprofit organization specializing in legal and ethical issues related to politics.[52][53] The group was backed by $1 million in seed money from conservative donors, who Whitaker declined to identify to the media.[54] According to the organization’s first tax return, its funding — $600,000 in 2014 – came from a conservative donor-advised fund called DonorsTrust, a pass-through vehicle that allows donors to remain anonymous.[55]

While Whitaker was the head of FACT, the organization had a special focus on the Hillary Clinton e-mail controversy and perceived favoritism in the business dealings of Clinton.[56] Despite claiming to be nonpartisan, the organization called for ethics investigations into or filed complaints about forty-six different Democratic politicians, officials, and organizations, compared to only a few Republicans.[57] FACT has been described as using “the legal system as a political weapon”[58] and characterized, by a GOP operative, as a “chop shop of fake ethics complaints”.[59] During this time, Whitaker wrote opinion pieces that appeared in USA Today and the Washington Examiner, and appeared regularly on conservative talk-radio shows and cable news.[60]

CNN contributor

Whitaker aspired to become a judge in Iowa, and hoped his media appearances would catch the eye of the Trump administration.[25] For four months, from June to September 2017, he was a CNN contributor.[61] One month prior to joining the Justice Department, Whitaker wrote an opinion column for CNN titled “Mueller’s Investigation of Trump is Going Too Far.”[62] He stated that Mueller’s investigation was a “lynch mob”, that it should be limited, and that it should not probe into Trump’s finances.[63][64]

Legal and policy views

Constitutional issues

Whitaker stated in a question-and-answer session during his 2014 Iowa Senatorial campaign that “the courts are supposed to be the inferior branch.”[65][66] Whitaker was critical of the United States Supreme Court‘s decision in Marbury v. Madison (1803), the decision that allows judicial review of the constitutionality of the acts of the other branches of government, and several other Supreme Court holdings. Harvard Law professor Laurence Tribe commented on Whitaker’s views that “the overall picture he presents would have virtually no scholarly support,” and that they would be “‘destabilizing’ to society if he used the power of the attorney general to advance them.”[65]

Whitaker also stated during his 2014 Senate bid that he would not support “secular” judges and that judges should “have a biblical view of justice.” Asked if he meant Levitical or New Testament justice, he replied “I’m a New Testament.”[67] Whitaker’s answer has been interpreted by various individuals and groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, to imply that he would disqualify non-Christian judges, and were condemned as unconstitutional. An ADL spokesperson said, “The notion that non-Christian judges are disqualified from service is patently wrong, and completely inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution, which explicitly bars any religious test for public office.”[68]

Whitaker stated in 2013 he supports the right of states to nullify federal laws.[69] Stephen Vladeck, a University of Texas law professor, stated that Whitaker’s views on nullification are “irreconcilable not only with the structure of the Constitution, but with its text, especially the text of the Supremacy Clause,” and added that “For someone who holds those views to be the nation’s chief law enforcement officer, even temporarily, is more than a little terrifying.”[69]

Criticisms of 2017 Special Counsel investigation

During the months prior to joining the Justice Department as Jeff Sessions’ chief of staff in September 2017, Whitaker made several statements critical of the Mueller investigation, of which he assumed oversight responsibility upon being appointed Acting Attorney General in November 2018. By July 2017, the Trump White House was interviewing Whitaker to join the Trump legal team.[70] During a six-month span in 2017, Whitaker insisted that there was no obstruction of justice or collusion and criticized the initial appointment of the special counsel. He also called the probe “political”[71] and “the left is trying to sow this theory that essentially Russians interfered with the U.S. election, which has been proven false.”[72] He also published an op-ed titled, “Mueller’s Investigation of Trump Is Going Too Far”[73] in which he expressed skepticism about the investigation generally and called the appointment of Mueller “ridiculous.”[72] Through social media, he also promoted an article that referred to the investigation as a “lynch mob.”[63][73][74]

Relationship with Donald Trump

Trump saw Whitaker’s supportive commentaries on CNN in the summer of 2017, and in July White House counsel Don McGahn interviewed Whitaker to join Trump’s legal team as an “attack dog” against Robert Mueller, who was heading the Special Counsel investigation. Trump associates believe Whitaker was later hired to limit the fallout of the investigation, including by reining in any Mueller report and preventing Trump from being subpoenaed.[70] On November 13, Whitaker sought advice from ethics officials at the Department of Justice (DOJ) about whether a recusal from overseeing the Russia investigation was warranted.[75]

In 2017 Whitaker provided private advice to Trump on how the White House might pressure the Justice Department to investigate the president’s adversaries, including appointing a special counsel to investigate the FBI and Hillary Clinton.[76]

Leonard Leo of the Federalist Society recommended Whitaker to McGahn as chief of staff for Sessions, and Whitaker was installed into that role at the direction of the White House. Sessions, it is reported, did not realize for a year that Whitaker wanted to replace him.[77]

By early September 2018 Whitaker was on the short list of President Trump‘s White House staff as the replacement for Don McGahn as the White House Counsel.[78][79]

In September 2018, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly referred to Whitaker as the White House’s “eyes and ears” in the Justice Department, which the president considered himself at war with.[80]

Trump had spoken with Whitaker in September 2018 about potentially assuming Sessions’s role as Attorney General, although it was not clear whether Whitaker would take over on an interim basis or be nominated in a more permanent capacity.[81] At that time, The New York Times described Whitaker as a Trump loyalist who had frequently visited the Oval Office and as having “an easy chemistry” with Trump.[80] Whitaker was referenced by White House staff after a New York Times article disclosed in September that Rod Rosenstein had discussed secretly taping his conversations with the president and talked about using the Twenty-fifth Amendment to remove Trump from office.[73]

Trump repeatedly stated on November 9, “I don’t know Matt Whitaker,” contradicting remarks a month prior on Fox & Friends when he said, “I can tell you Matt Whitaker’s a great guy. I mean, I know Matt Whitaker.”[82][83][84] The president met with Whitaker at least ten times and frequently talked to him on the phone, and according to a former and a current administration official, Whitaker advised Trump in private on how to potentially pressure the Justice Department into investigating Trump’s adversaries.[85]

Other policy Issues

Whitaker has ties to the evangelical Christian community, his website previously stated that he is a “Christian who regularly attends church with his family, Matt has built a life on hard work and free enterprise” and he stated in 2014 that “life begins at conception.”[86][87][88]In 2014 he advocated for reducing the influence of the government saying, “I know that the government forcing people to violate their faith must never be tolerated. In the Senate, I will be a steadfast protector of every American’s religious rights.”[89]

He has expressed a desire to get rid of chain immigration and is against “amnesty” for illegal immigrants.[90] Whitaker argued in 2014 that expressing homophobic comments is legitimate expression of religious beliefs that should be protected speech, saying “I just really think this case is a prime example of where religious freedom in our country is under assault and we need to send a strong message.”[91] Whitaker supported repealing the Affordable Care Act in his 2014 Senate campaign.[73]

Department of Justice

Chief of Staff

On September 22, 2017, a Justice Department official announced that Sessions had appointed Whitaker to replace Jody Hunt as his chief of staff.[63][92] George Terwilliger, a former U.S. attorney and deputy attorney general, said in his role as chief of staff, Whitaker would have dealt daily with making “substantive choices about what is important to bring to the AG….”[93]

Acting Attorney General

With the resignation of Sessions on November 7, 2018, Whitaker was appointed to serve as Acting Attorney General under the Federal Vacancies Reform Act of 1998.[11][94] The Acting Attorney General directly supervises Robert Mueller‘s Special Counsel investigation, which had previously been supervised by Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in his role as Acting Attorney General, due to the recusal of Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

Supervision of the Special Counsel investigation

Soon after Whitaker’s appointment as Acting Attorney General, a “broad and growing array” of legal experts expressed concern.[95] New York University law professor Ryan Goodman and Walter Shaub, former director of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics, argued for Whitaker to recuse himself from supervising the investigation, citing potential conflicts of interest such as his previous criticism of the Special Counsel investigation and his ties to Sam Clovis who is a witness in the investigation.[7][96][97] NYU law professor Stephen Gillerssaid Whitaker “has no such legal or ethical obligation to step aside” but agrees that “Whitaker should be recused. His repeated expression of hostility to the Mueller investigation makes it impossible for the public to have confidence in his ability to exercise the necessary prosecutorial judgment in supervising Mueller”.[98][99] According to people close to Whitaker, he does not have any plans to recuse.[100]

Democrats poised to assume chairmanships of key House committees in January 2019 warned the Justice Department and other departments to preserve records relating to the Mueller investigation and Sessions’ firing. Republicans Senator Susan Collins, Senator Jeff Flake, and Senator-elect Mitt Romney, also issued statements insisting that Mueller’s investigation must remain free from interference.[101]

Legality and constitutionality of the appointment

Former Attorneys General Michael Mukasey and Alberto Gonzales, who both served in the George W. Bush administration, questioned the legality of the appointment.[102] Lawyers Neal Katyal and George T. Conway III called the appointment “illegal” and “unconstitutional” under the Appointments Clause of the Constitution.[103][104][105] Fox News senior judicial analyst Judge Andrew Napolitano posited that Whitaker is “not legally qualified for the role” as he is neither the Deputy Attorney General nor in a role that required Senate confirmation, and the senate is not in recess currently.[106][107] Lawyers Renato Mariotti and Laurence Tribe have argued that the Vacancies Act would not allow Trump to appoint Whitaker if Sessions was fired and that a court could conclude that Sessions did not resign but was fired.[108] John E. Bies, who served in the Obama Administration as a deputy assistant attorney general, has written that legality and constitutionality of Whitaker’s appointment is an open question and it has not been answered. Bies also points out that it is a difficult argument to make that Sessions was fired instead of resigning since a court would probably not “look past an official’s formal statement that they resigned”.[109]

Law professor John Yoo, who notably argued in favor of expansive executive power as a deputy assistant attorney general in the Office of Legal Counsel in the George W. Bush administration, echoed the Katyal and Conway argument, stating that because of the Appointments Clause “it is not only the special-counsel investigation that he cannot supervise. Every action of the Justice Department might fall before challenges to Whitaker’s appointment.”[110] Law professor Stephen Vladeck argued that the U.S. Supreme Courtdecision United States v. Eaton allowed the appointment since it was temporary and that Sessions formally resigned.[95] Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said “I think this will be a very interim AG.”[111]

The US Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel released an internal legal opinion supporting the legality of the appointment. The memo concluded that because the appointment was temporary, no senate confirmation was required. It found that previously in 1866 an assistant attorney general who was not confirmed by the senate was appointed as acting attorney general, and that a non senate confirmed individual served as a principal officer in an acting capacity over 160 times between 1809 and 1860, and more recently at least nine times in the Trump, Obama, and Bush administrations.[112][113][114]

NBC News analyzed the section of the Code of Federal Regulations that prohibits a federal employee from participating in a criminal investigation if he has a personal or political relationship and said it may “arguably apply,” but also noted that “Even if a court could review the application of the recusal regulations to Whitaker in this situation, it might conclude that this personal or political relationship does not warrant [Whitaker’s] disqualification.”[115] Writers at Lawfare also noted Whitaker’s personal and prior political relationship with Sam Clovis, Trump’s campaign co-chairman and chief policy adviser, who has been questioned by Mueller’s investigators and testified before the investigation grand jury.[116][117]

A group of prominent conservative and libertarian lawyers have formed a group called Checks and Balances in the wake of Whitaker appointment.[118] Members include George T. Conway III, Tom Ridge, Peter D. KeislerJonathan H. AdlerOrin S. Kerr, Lori S. Meyer, Paul McNultyPhillip D. BradyJohn B. Bellinger III, Carrie Cordero, Peter Keisler, Marisa C Maleck, Alan Charles Raul and Paul Rosenzweig amongst others.[119][120][121][122] The group was formed to provide a critical legal and conservative voice for when, “he [Trump] attacks the Justice Department and the news media.”[123][124] The group was formed by Conway after he published a letter critical of Matthew Whitaker appointment that argued the illegality of his appointment because of constitutional reasons and specifically mentions the phrase checks and balances, “It defies one of the explicit checks and balances set out in the Constitution, a provision designed to protect us all against the centralization of government power.”[125]

On November 14 The American Constitution Society released a letter signed by over 1,600 attorneys nationwide calling for lawmakers and Justice Department officials to protect the special counsel’s Russia probe in light of Matthew Whitaker’s appointment as acting attorney general.[126][127] The signatories demand that Whitaker recuse himself or “otherwise be removed from overseeing the Mueller investigation as a result of his profound ethical conflicts.”[128]

Legal challenges

Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh representing the State of Maryland filed for an injunction against Whitaker’s appointment.[129] Maryland had previously filed a suit against the then Attorney General Jeff Sessions regarding his inability to defend the Affordable Care Act in court as part of a broader hostility of the Obama era act from the Trump administration.[130][131][132] Maryland is expected to test the argument in court that Whitaker was unlawfully named acting attorney general, and thus has no standing in the court or authority to respond to their lawsuit.[3][4] Maryland is also arguing that Whitaker’s appointment violates the Constitution, which requires that principal officers of the United States be appointed “with the Advice and Consent of the Senate.” Whitaker was not serving in a Senate-confirmed position when he was appointed.[3] The state is arguing that the role of acting Attorney General rightfully belongs to the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein.[133]. A judge has set a December 19 hearing.[134]

On November 12 San Francisco’s city attorney questioned the appointment of a new acting attorney general, saying in a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice that his office may take court action if the DOJ does not provide a legal justification for the designation.[135][136]

Lawyers for former agricultural products executive Doug Haning filed a motion on November 13 asking a federal court in St. Louis to rule that Whitaker’s appointment as Acting Attorney General is illegal thereby he has no standing to hear the case.[134] Some lawyers have predicted a flood of similar motions.[134]

Personal life

Whitaker has three children with his wife, Marci, a civil engineer.[137] He is affiliated with Lutheran Evangelicalism.[138][89]

Electoral history

2002 Iowa State Treasurer

General election results[139]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Michael Fitzgerald 534,714 54.77%
Republican Matthew Whitaker 421,574 43.18%
Libertarian Tim Hird 19,687 2.02%
Republican Write-ins 344 0.04%
Total votes 976,319 100.00%

2014 U.S. Senator for Iowa

Republican primary results[140]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Joni Ernst 88,535 56.12%
Republican Sam Clovis 28,418 18.01%
Republican Mark Jacobs 26,523 16.81%
Republican Matthew Whitaker 11,884 7.53%
Republican Scott Schaben 2,233 1.42%
Republican Write-ins 155 0.10%
Total votes 157,748 100.00%

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matthew_Whitaker_(attorney)

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The Pronk Pops Show 1170, November 7, 2018, Story 1: The Big Winner Is President Donald J. Trump — Senators: Republicans 55 — Democrats 45, Representatives: Republicans 197 — Democrat — 238 — No Wave But Blue Ripple — Videos — Story 2: President Trump’s Reaction To Election Results — Trump Puts Progressive Press In Its’ Place — Sit Down — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Fires  Attorney General Jeff Sessions By Accepting His Requested Letter of Resignation — Second Special Counsel To Investigate and Prosecute Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy? — The 2020 Presidential Election Begins –Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 1125, August 15, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1122, August 9, 2018

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Story 1: The Big Winner Is President Donald J. Trump — Senators: Republicans 55 — Democrats 45, Representatives: Republicans 201 — Democrats — 234 — No Blue Wave But Blue Ripple — Videos —

Midterm election 2018: The biggest winners

Republicans, Democrats weigh in on midterm election results

Trump will help Republicans win midterm elections: Rep. Biggs

Story 2: President Trump’s Reaction To Election Results — Videos —

See the source image

 

Trump press conference following midterm elections

Trump holds press conference after mixed night at midterms

Donald Trump: 50 supporters explain why they love him – BBC News

A look at potential 2020 contenders

‘Sit down, you’re very rude, you’re fake news!’ President Trump’s extraordinary confrontation with CNN reporter as his aide wrestles for the microphone and he takes credit for mid-terms ‘victory’

  • Democrats took control of the House of Representatives during the US mid-terms in a blow to Donald Trump 
  • Party vowed to frustrate his populist political agenda while launching investigations into his administration
  • But Republicans are set to increase their majority in the Senate, providing the President with a partial victory
  • Trump hailed a ‘big win’ for his party and those who backed his pro-business, anti-illegal immigration agenda 
  • He also threatened to go to war in the Capitol if Democrats try to launch investigations into his administration

Donald Trump hailed ‘a historic day’ for Republicans in the American mid-term elections and became embroiled in an extraordinary confrontation with a CNN reporter at his press conference today.

Democrats won back control of the House of Representatives, and are projected to win 238 seats to the Republicans 197 seats – with Republicans projected to retain control of the Senate and increase their majority to 54 seats.

At the press conference President Trump took credit for victory, then when taking questions from the media, got into a furious row with CNN reporter Jim Acosta who challenged his characterisation of migrants heading for the US border in a ‘caravan’ from Central America as ‘an invasion.’

A riled President Trump points and admonishes CNN reporter Jim Acosta in a tense argument between the two at his press conference today. The duo often clash during the President's briefings at the White House

President Trump denied using a migrant caravan making its way to the US border through Mexico to whip up fear ahead of Tuesday’s election to win votes, and then went on to admonish Acosta

Acosta attempted to ask a further question that was denied to him before him and a White House Aide then got into a strange fight over the microphone.

The reporter attempted to ask a question about whether President Trump was ‘concerned about the investigation into Russia’, with a quick riposte coming from Trump who said the investigation was a ‘hoax.’

The President added: ‘CNN should be ashamed of itself having you working for them. You are a very rude ..terrible person.. the way you treat Sarah Huckabee is…’

The room went temporarily silent before another question from a reporter was taken who defended Acosta describing him as ‘diligent’.

President Trump shot back at the reporter he ‘wasn’t a big fan of his either’ to laughter from the room, before Acosta stood up again and started talking to the President.

Trump said ‘just sit down please’ and then accused Acosta of reporting ‘fake news’ and branded him ‘an enemy of the people.’

A White House aide takes the microphone from Jim Acosta as he attempts to ask a further question to President Trump. The reporter managed to ask a further question about Russia that President Trump rebutted saying the investigation was a 'hoax'

A White House aide takes the microphone from Jim Acosta as he attempts to ask a further question to President Trump. The reporter managed to ask a further question about Russia that President Trump rebutted saying the investigation was a ‘hoax’

At the start of the news conference President Trump claimed the largest Senate gains for a President’s first midterms since President Kennedy in 1962.

He said: ‘We saw the group of candidates I supported achieve tremendous success last night.’

The President said he they had a ‘big day yesterday, an incredible day and last night the Republican party defied history to expand our Senate.’

They managed this despite being ‘getting bombarded with money on the other side’ and ‘a very hostile media coverage to put it mildly,’ he added – ‘it set a new standard.’

Donald Trump hailed a 'Big Win' for Republicans in the mid-term elections on Tuesday after the party increased its majority in the Senate, marking the first time since 2002 that a ruling party has picked up seats in the upper house of government

Donald Trump hailed a ‘Big Win’ for Republicans in the mid-term elections on Tuesday after the party increased its majority in the Senate, marking the first time since 2002 that a ruling party has picked up seats in the upper house of government

Trump said he had made history in raising the number of Senators to 55, ‘the largest number of Republican Senators for the last 100 years.’

Responding to Democrats threats over claims of Russian election tampering, Trump said ‘It’s been a long time they’ve got nothing.’

He continued, ‘They can play that game but we can play it better because we’ve got the Unites States Senate.’

He was also critical of some Republican candidates who did not accept his ’embrace.’

‘Those are some of the people that decided for their own reasons – whether its me or what we stand for, but what we stand for meant a lot to most people and we have had tremendous support of the Republican party – at 93% its a record.’ Trump said.

 There may be some room, however, for Trump and Democrats to work together on issues with bipartisan support such as a package to improve infrastructure or protections against prescription drug price increases.

‘It really could be a beautiful bipartisan situation,’ Trump said.

He said Nancy Pelosi, who may be the next speaker of the House, had expressed to him in a phone call a desire to work together. But Trump doubted there would be much common ground if Democrats press investigations.

‘You can’t do it simultaneously,’ he said.

He also said he hopes he can work with Congress to get enough money to build his long-promised border wall but that he would not necessarily force a government shutdown over the issue.

‘We need the money to build the wall, the whole wall, not pieces of it,’

‘We need the wall, many Democrats know we need the wall, and we’re just going to have to see what happens.’

Republicans are forecast to hold 54 out of 100 seats in the Senate once all votes are counted, up from 51, while the Democrats are projected to take 238 seats in the House of Representatives, with 218 needed for a majority.

Trump used the result – the first time since 2002 that the ruling party has gained Senate seats – to congratulate himself, saying: ‘Yesterday was such a very Big Win, and all under the pressure of a Nasty and Hostile Media!’

Despite the Democrats making gains, Tuesday failed to live up to expectations that a ‘blue wave’ of support would sweep them into power in both houses and leave Trump as a lame duck.

But winning the House does give Democrats the ability to block Republican legislation they disagree with, frustrating Trump’s political agenda for the remaining two years of his term.

They also win control of several powerful committees which they have pledged to use to launch investigations into Trump, including subpoenaing tax records he refused to release during the 2016 election and probing whether he has received money from Russia.

Trump preempted that tactic on Wednesday, vowing to go to war on Capitol Hill if necessary.

He said: ‘If the Democrats think they are going to waste Taxpayer Money investigating us at the House level, then we will likewise be forced to consider investigating them for all of the leaks of Classified Information, and much else, at the Senate level. Two can play that game!’

The President used the victory to attack critics within his own party, saying that those who supported his pro-business, anti-illegal immigration policies 'did very well'

The President used the victory to attack critics within his own party, saying that those who supported his pro-business, anti-illegal immigration policies ‘did very well’

As well as gaining the House, Democrats gained control of powerful committees which they plan to use to investigate Trump. But he preempted that tactic on Wednesday, vowing to fight fire with fire 

As well as gaining the House, Democrats gained control of powerful committees which they plan to use to investigate Trump. But he preempted that tactic on Wednesday, vowing to fight fire with fire

The Democrats are on course to win 238 seats in the House following the mid-term elections on Tuesday, though the figure falls short of the upper limit of 245 that they hoped to win

Republicans clung on to power in the Senate after the Democrats were defeated in key battleground states of Indiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas and North Dakota

Nancy Pelosi, who could return as Democrat House Speaker after last night's result, proclaimed victory and said the party would work to impose Constitutional checks and balances on Donald Trump 

Trump tweeted out his support for Pelosi after she said the Democrats would work with Republicans in the House 'where we can find common ground'

Trump tweeted out his support for Pelosi after she said the Democrats would work with Republicans in the House ‘where we can find common ground’

Nancy Pelosi thanks candidates for returning House to Dems

Should any of these bills pass both houses and make it to Trump’s desk, it could force him to veto the legislation, something he hasn’t had to do so far and allowing Democrats to paint him as the bad guy.

But maintaining control of the Senate allows Trump to nominate justices and recruit members of his cabinet unopposed, and puts a stop to any hopes the Democrats may have had of impeaching him.

The result also helps silence Trump’s critics within his own party, a fact he seemed very aware of when he tweeted: ‘Those that worked with me in this incredible Midterm Election, embracing certain policies and principles, did very well. Those that did not, say goodbye!’

The omens are not all bad for Trump’s hopes of winning a second term in 2020 either. Obama lost the House and Senate in the 2010 mid-terms, which he described as a ‘shellacking’, but went on to win a second term in 2012.

Nancy Pelosi, former Democrat Speaker in the House, hailed the victory early Wednesday, vowing to apply ‘checks and balances’ to Trump’s power, but also saying Democrats would cooperate with Republicans where possible.

The Democrats also made gains in the elections for state governors – which act like lesser Presidents for the state they represent – gaining seven seats from the Republicans.

However, high-profile candidates Andrew Gillum and Stacey Abrams fell short in Florida and Georgia, leaving the Republicans with a majority of governors nationwide.

Gillum was hoping to become the first black governor of Florida, while in Georgia Stacey Abrams was aiming to enter history as America’s first female black governor.

Gillum finished less than a percent shy of Republican rival Ron DeSantis, while Abrams finished two per cent short of Brian Kemp. However, Abrams was refusing to concede on Wednesday, in the hopes that a recount could force another contest in December.

Encouragingly for the Democrats, they won governor’s races in states where Trump claimed victory in 2016, and while facing down candidates the President had endorsed.

In Kansas, Laura Kelly triumphed by a four-point margin over Kris Kobach – a strong ally of Trump’s immigration policies – while in Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer opened up an eight-point lead over Republican Bill Schuette.

Taylor Swift’s intervention also flopped as Marsha Blackburn won the Senate in Tennessee by 11 points over Democrat candidate Phil Bredesen, who the singer backed.

Trump called the night a 'tremendous success' for Republicans on Twitter because the incumbent party typically loses seats during the mid-terms, while he managed to make gains in the senate

Trump called the night a ‘tremendous success’ for Republicans on Twitter because the incumbent party typically loses seats during the mid-terms, while he managed to make gains in the senate

The President also praised himself as a ‘magic man’, quoting from TV news reports that said the Republicans were ‘lucky’ to have him as their leader

One key Senate battleground was Texas, which had been widely seen as a safe seat for Republican Ted Cruz (pictured) until Beto O'Rourke emerged from obscurity to take him on

One key Senate battleground was Texas, which had been widely seen as a safe seat for Republican Ted Cruz (pictured) until Beto O’Rourke emerged from obscurity to take him on

Ultimately Beto (pictured alongside wife Amy Sanders) fell short of victory, though many have pegged him as a rising star within the Democrat part

Ultimately Beto (pictured alongside wife Amy Sanders) fell short of victory, though many have pegged him as a rising star within the Democrat part

I’m so f***ing proud of you! Beto drops F-bomb after defeat
Ted Cruz supporter Marie Rice sheds tears of joy as Cruz declares victory at their election night headquarters

Ted Cruz supporter Marie Rice sheds tears of joy as Cruz declares victory at their election night headquarters

While the Democrats’ grass-roots organisation allowed them to seize the House, Trump’s showmanship and personality thwarted them in key Senate battleground states of Indiana, Missouri, and Tennessee – where he held rallies in the closing days of the election.

WHY IS LOSING THE HOUSE SIGNIFICANT?

Losing the House of Representatives will make it more difficult for Trump to govern by making it harder for Republicans to pass laws.

Laws start their life as bills submitted in either the House of Representatives – often shortened to House – or Senate, which makes up the legislative branch of the US government.

Bills must pass a vote in both of those houses before they can become law, giving the Democrats an opportunity to thwart bills they disagree with.

Holding the House also gives Democrats the opportunity to introduce bills on subjects the Republicans would rather not discuss – such as gun control, the environment, or healthcare – and force a debate.

Finally, the House includes several powerful committees which the Democrats now control and could use to probe Trump’s misdeeds.

Russian election meddling, Trump’s tax returns, and security clearances granted to members of the Trump clan could all come under scrutiny.

If a Democrat bill does make it through both the House and Senate it will land with the executive branch – which Trump leads – for approval.

This could force Trump into vetoing legislation he disagrees with, which is something he has not had to do so far.

However, maintaining control of the Senate allows Republicans to hold sway over the third branch of government – the judiciary – which is responsible for enforcing these laws.

The President is responsible for appointing justices, but they must be confirmed by Senators, which is why keeping control here was a key goal.

Senators are also responsible for confirming nominations to Trump’s cabinet, which he will also keep control of after Tuesday.

One of the most bitter defeats for the Democrats came in Texas, where rising star Beto O’Rourke was defeated by incumbent Ted Cruz – a onetime foe of Trump who has since warmed to him – though the contest was closer than anticipated.

In Arizona, Republican Martha McSally looked set to triumph over Kyrsten Sinema as counting stopped early on Wednesday, though the result might not be announced until later in the week.

The seat was left vacant after Jeff Flake, a Republican critic of Trump, announced he was retiring from politics.

Clare McCaskill, a moderate Democrat senator for Missouri, was handed a thumping defeat on Tuesday by Josh Hawley, a Republican who has allied himself to Trump, who won by more than 10 percentage points.

As the dust settled on Wednesday, Democrats standing ready to return next year as chairmen of House Oversight and Judiciary Committees were sharpening their pens and preparing to drag Trump through his own swamp.

 ‘We probably will’ seek Trump’s tax returns, said Reps. Elijah Cummings and Jerrold Nadler.

As Tuesday headed to Wednesday, presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway told reporters at the White House: ‘I guess they could try.’

‘I don’t know that there will be much of an appetite … for their members to be spending all of their time, or even most of their time, or a fraction of their time investigating, instigating, trying to impeach or subpoena people,’ Conway said.

Nadler said it was ‘way too early’ to talk about impeaching Trump, but wouldn’t rule it out depending on the results of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s expansive Russia probe.

‘He’s going to learn that he’s not above the law,’ he said, according to CNN.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters that ‘the president’s agenda isn’t going to change regardless of whose party is there.’

Democrats will also find themselves empowered to launch probes into voting-rights matters and questions about whether Trump has violated the Constitution’s ‘Emoluments Clause’ that prohibits presidents from receiving income from foreign governments.

Security clearances in the Trump White House could also come under close examination, along with prescription drug prices, family separations along the U.S.-Mexico border, gun control and insurance coverage for Americans with pre-existing medical conditions.

As results rolled in from around the country, the Democrats made gains in suburban areas outside of Washington, Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago and Denver that fell to Trump in 2016.

In Florida, Trump's adopted home state, Ron DeSantis won the race to become state governor, defeating rival Andrew Gillum

Gillum said he regretting not being able to 'bring it home' in Florida after he lost the election with 49 per cent to 50 per cent

Gillum said he regretting not being able to ‘bring it home’ in Florida after he lost the election with 49 per cent to 50 per cent

Speaking alongside his tearful wife, Gillum urged Democrats not to give up the fight in Florida, which was a key battleground state in 2016 that ultimately went to Trump

Speaking alongside his tearful wife, Gillum urged Democrats not to give up the fight in Florida, which was a key battleground state in 2016 that ultimately went to Trump

Blackburn (above) shook off Swift's foray into politics to win election Tuesday night
Swift said she got involved in politics for women's issues and LBGT issues

Republican Marsha Blackburn (left) claimed victory in Tennessee despite an unexpected intervention by pop princess Taylor Swift (right), who urged people to vote for her Democrat rival Phil Bredesen

Scott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin who ran for President against Trump in 2016 (pictured), lost his race against Democrat Tony EversScott Walker, the Republican governor of Wisconsin who ran for President against Trump in 2016 (pictured), lost his race against Democrat Tony Evers
Marsha Blackburn defeats Bredesen in Tennessee’s senate race

But Trump tightened his grip on support in rural areas and among blue-collar workers. In Kentucky, one of the top Democratic recruits, retired Marine fighter pilot Amy McGrath, lost her bid to oust to three-term Rep. Andy Barr.

History was working against the president in the Senate: 2002 was the only midterm election in the past three decades when the party holding the White House gained Senate seats.

As the news broke that the Republicans had achieved just that, Trump began retweeting quotes from later night news bulletins praising himself as a ‘magic man’.

Whether voters opposed or supported him, Trump certainly electrified the mid-term contest, which has been a lackluster event under previous administrations with voter turnout struggling to hit 40 per cent.

High turnouts were recorded across the nation on Tuesday following record spending on advertising. Two thirds of those who voted said that Trump was the reason they cast their ballot, either to support or oppose him.

Overall, 6 in 10 voters said the country was headed in the wrong direction, but roughly that same number described the national economy as excellent or good.

 Twenty-five percent described health care and immigration as the most important issues in the election.

Claire McCaskill (left), the incumbent Democrat in Missouri, lost her Senate seat to Republican challenger Josh Hawley, who attacked her for refusing to nominate Trump’s two Supreme Court picks

Stacey Abrams, who was bidding to become the first female African American governor in American history, has refused to concede a closely-fought contest in Georgia 

Abrams’s supporters cheer after learning she was making up ground on opponent Brian Kemp, though the election was still too close to call on Wednesday morning

The night was a record-breaker for women, who now hold more seats in the House than at any point in history. Among them is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 29-year-old Democrat who has come to embody what Trump brands the 'far left'

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez beats Republican Anthony Pappas

Trump encouraged voters to view the first nationwide election of his presidency as a referendum on his leadership, pointing proudly to the surging economy at recent rallies.

He bet big on a xenophobic closing message, warning of an immigrant ‘invasion’ that promised to spread violent crime and drugs across the nation. Several television networks, including the president’s favorite Fox News Channel, yanked a Trump campaign advertisement off the air on the eve of the election, determining that its portrayal of a murderous immigrant went too far.

The president’s current job approval, set at 40 percent by Gallup, was the lowest at this point of any first-term president in the modern era. Both Barack Obama’s and Bill Clinton’s numbers were 5 points higher, and both suffered major midterm losses of 63 and 54 House seats respectively.

Democrats, whose very relevance in the Trump era depended on winning at least one chamber of Congress, were laser-focused on health care as they predicted victories that would break up the GOP’s monopoly in Washington and state governments.

Yet Trump’s party will maintain Senate control for the next two years, at least.

In Texas, Sen Ted Cruz staved off a tough challenge from Democrat Beto O’Rourke, whose record-smashing fundraising and celebrity have set off buzz he could be a credible 2020 White House contender.

In Indiana, Trump-backed businessman Mike Braun defeated Democratic incumbent Joe Donnelly. In Missouri, Josh Hawley knocked off Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill. And in Tennessee, Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn defeated former Gov. Phil Bredesen, a top Democratic recruit.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said that Trump has no plans to alter his political agenda despite losing the House to the Democrats

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, said that Trump has no plans to alter his political agenda despite losing the House to the Democrats

Democrat voters in Georgia learn that Stacey Abrams is trailing her Republican opponent, though she has refused to concede

Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, cheers as she declares victory in the governor's race in Detroit, Michigan, one of the areas which was key to Trump's victory in 2016 
Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, cheers as she declares victory in the governor’s race in Detroit, Michigan, one of the areas which was key to Trump’s victory in 2016

A Democrat supporter puts her head in her hands as she learns that Republicans are projected to hold the Senate

What are the mid-terms and why do they matter?

Mid-term elections come mid-way through a President’s term in office, and typically serve as a referendum on their work so far while shaping how the rest of their term will play out.

The office of President is not on the ballot paper, however, and voters are instead asked to pick candidates for the two houses of government – the House and Senate – and state governor, who acts like a lesser President for their own state.

In the November 2018 mid-terms, all 435 seats in the House and 35 of the 100 seats in the Senate were up for election, along with 36 out of 50 state governors.

The Republicans held majorities in both houses before the election, allowing them to pass legislation, nominate judges, and appoint members of Trump’s cabinet unimpeded.

The Democrats were hoping to win back control of both houses in a so-called ‘blue wave’ that would have left Trump a lame duck and made it extremely difficult for him to get anything done in his last two years.

Supporters of Democrat Beto O'Rourke, who was running for the Senate in Texas, wait to hear the result. He ultimately lost the race to incumbent Republican Ted Cruz

As it happened, a divided nation produced a divided result, with Democrats winning back control of the House but Republicans increasing their majority in the Senate.

For Trump, that means the business of governing will become more difficult, with Democrats vowing to frustrate his populist political agenda.

Democrats also gained control of several powerful House committees and have promised to use them to investigate Trump, including a potential subpoena of his tax records.

But any hopes of impeachment, which was whispered about in Democrat circles during the campaign, are firmly off the table since the Senate would be required to find Trump guilty of an impeachable offence – which Republicans will not do.

Good showings for candidates who closely aligned themselves with Trump and his views will also help to quieten his opponents within his own party, and having Democrats in the House could provide a useful scapegoat for failed policies.

While state governors cannot affect Trump’s national agenda in the same way that representatives or senators can, he will rely on them to help enact his policies at a local level – and in these races, Republicans also lost ground.

The Democrats gained seven seats from Republicans, flipping states like Kansas and Michigan where Trump won big in 2016, but lost out in high profile races in Florida and Georgia.

A man dressed as Donald Trump lends his support to Florida governor candidate Ron DeSantis, an ally of the President who ultimately won his election against Democrat Andrew Gillum

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6361843/Dems-House-midterm-elections-Republicans-control-Senate.html

 

Story 3: President Trump Fires  Attorney General Jeff Sessions By Accepting His Requested Letter of Resignation — Second Special Counsel To Investigate and Prosecute Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy? — — The 2020 Presidential Election Begins –Videos Videos

Jeff Sessions resigns as Attorney General

Special Report: Jeff Sessions resigns as Attorney General

Attorney General Jeff Sessions fired

Schumer says he finds timing of Sessions’ resignation ‘suspect’

Trump slams Jeff Sessions: ‘I don’t have an attorney general’

GOP lawmakers call on Sessions to resign

Embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigns under pressure from Trump

  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions is leaving the Trump administration after more than a year of public criticism from his boss, President Donald Trump.
  • Trump has repeatedly hammered Sessions for his decision last year to recuse himself from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin.
  • Sessions’s chief of staff Matthew Whitaker will serve as acting attorney general, Trump announced. Whitaker also will assume oversight of the ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and possible collusion by Trump’s campaign in that meddling.

Embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned at the “request” of President Donald Trump on Wednesday after more than a year of public criticism from the president.

Sessions’s chief of staff Matthew Whitaker will serve as acting attorney general, Trump announced.

Whitaker also will assume oversight of the ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and possible collusion by Trump’s campaign in that meddling, according to the Justice Department.

Whitaker, who has publicly criticized the Mueller investigation, by law can serve as acting AG for a maximum of 210 days.

Whitaker will have the power to fire Mueller “for cause” as outlined under rules governing the special counsel’s office, if such cause is found.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein up till now has had oversight over the Mueller probe, as a result of Sessions’ move to recuse himself from the investigation in 2017.

Sessions, 71, had been repeatedly blasted by Trump for his recusal.

Trump has said that moment opened the door to special counsel Mueller’s probe, which the president has repeatedly called a “witch hunt.”

Sessions’ resignation was expected to happen sometime after Tuesday’s midterm elections, particuarly given the drumbeat of the president’s repeated criticism of the attorney general.

Bob Woodward’s recently published book about the Trump administration, “Fear,” says that Trump had called Sessions “mentally retarded” and a “dumb southerner.” Trump has publicly claimed, “I said neither” about Sessions.

“I don’t have an attorney general,” Trump told The Hill in an interview with that news site in September.

But the abruptness of the move, less than 24 hours after the close of the polls Tuesday, stunned Trump’s closet allies both inside and outside of the White House.

“I didn’t know this was coming, especially so soon after the midterms,” one source said on the condition of anonymity.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

We are pleased to announce that Matthew G. Whitaker, Chief of Staff to Attorney General Jeff Sessions at the Department of Justice, will become our new Acting Attorney General of the United States. He will serve our Country well….

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….We thank Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his service, and wish him well! A permanent replacement will be nominated at a later date.

Hours before the resignation was announced, Trump was asked about Sessions’ future in the administration.

“I’d rather answer that at a little bit different time,” Trump answered.

Trump’s press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the White House received a resignation letter from Sessions earlier Wednesday and Trump accepted it.

Sessions’ letter to Trump, which is not dated, begins by saying, “At your request, I am submitting my resignation.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Getty Images
Attorney General Jeff Sessions

A spokesman for Mueller’s office declined to comment when contacted by CNBC about the resignation.

But Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who is the odds on favorite to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives, called Sessions’ “firing” a “blatant attempt” by Trump to undermine Mueller.

Nancy Pelosi

@NancyPelosi

It is impossible to read Attorney General Sessions’ firing as anything other than another blatant attempt by @realDonaldTrump to undermine & end Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation.

Nancy Pelosi

@NancyPelosi

It is impossible to read Attorney General Sessions’ firing as anything other than another blatant attempt by @realDonaldTrump to undermine & end Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation.

Nancy Pelosi

@NancyPelosi

Given his record of threats to undermine & weaken the Russia investigation, Matthew Whitaker should recuse himself from any involvement in Mueller’s investigation. Congress must take immediate action to protect the rule of law and integrity of the investigation.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, the New York Democrat and Senate minority leader, said, “Protecting Mueller and his investigation is paramount.”

“It would create a constitutional crisis if this was a prelude to ending or greatly limiting the Mueller investigation and I hope President Trump and those he listens to will refrain from that,” Schumer said.

Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-NY, the incoming chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, in a tweet wrote: “Americans must have answers immediately behind” Trump removing Sessions from the Justice Department.

“Why is the President making this change and who has authority over Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation? We will be holding people accountable,” Nadler wrote.

Additional reporting by Kevin Breuninger and Brian Schwartz of CNBC.

Read Jeff Sessions’ resignation letter here.

See the source image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/11/07/trump-says-attorney-general-jeff-sessions-resigns.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1169, November 5, 2018, Story 1: Red Wave Breaking — Senators — Republican 56, Democrat 44 — House Representatives — Republican 226 — Democrat 209 — Videos — Story 2: Top Three Issues — The Economy/Jobs, Illegal Alien Invasion, Healthcare — Videos — Story 3: Waiting For Successful and Viable New Political Party — Videos

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Story 1: Red Wave Breaking — Senators — Republican 56, Democrat 44 — House Representatives — Republican 226 — Democrat 209 — Videos —

Midterm elections: Republican voters show strong turnout in early voting

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People line up to vote.
Analysts cautioned against drawing broad conclusions about which party could gain an advantage from high early vote totals. | Jim Mone/AP Photo

ELECTIONS

A staggering 36 million people have voted early, setting the stage for big midterm turnout

The turnout could be a source of error in pre-election surveys if pollsters did not calibrate properly for such high rates of voting.

A staggering 36 million voters cast their ballots ahead of Election Day this year, setting the stage for much-higher-than-usual turnout for a midterm — and, potentially, big surprises on Tuesday night.

Republican enthusiasm for President Donald Trump and Democrats’ itch to repudiate him at the ballot box have driven people to the polls far faster than in 2014, when 27.2 million people voted early, according to Michael McDonald, a University of Florida professor who tracks voter turnout.

And that trend is expected to extend into Election Day. Early voters in three states — Texas, Nevada and Arizona — have already surpassed total turnout in the last midterm election, McDonald’s data shows, and more states will blow past their normal non-presidential turnout with just a handful more votes on Election Day. The high voting rates have transformed expectations about who will show up in the midterms — and they could inspire results that diverge from any pre-election polls that did not reckon with this year’s unusually high enthusiasm.

“This is not a normal election,” McDonald told POLITICO. “The best guess is that we’re looking at some sort of hybrid midterm/presidential election” in terms of turnout.

Analysts cautioned against drawing broad conclusions about which party could gain an advantage from the high early vote totals. But they did note that pre-election polls make built-in assumptions about how many people will vote, and pollsters who leaned too heavily on past midterm turnout may have misfired.

McDonald and the team at Edison Media Research, which is conducting a revamped exit poll this election after stumbling in 2016, predict that 105.5 million people will vote this year — about 45 percent of the voting eligible population. That’s up from 2014, an unusually low-turnout year in which fewer than 82 million people voted for the highest office on their ballot, but still lower than 2016, when about 137 million people voted for president.

“I think we’ve all made a very safe assumption that 2018 will look nothing like 2014,” Bonier said, noting that underestimating certain demographics by even a few percentage points in a poll could have an outsized effects on the results.

Some pollsters, like Monmouth University and the New York Times/Siena College, have adjusted this year by publishing multiple results for each poll, detailing how the results would change under different turnout scenarios. And the baseline estimates have gone up in recent weeks: The first Times/Siena poll of Rep. Pete Sessions’ (R-Texas) contested reelection race, for example, projected that about 194,000 people would turn out, while the second poll projected 211,000 voters would cast ballots in that slice of the Dallas suburbs.

Over 188,000 voters have already cast early ballots in the Dallas County portion of the battleground district, according to county data. (Another 7 percent of the district’s population is in another county that has not published early vote totals by congressional seat.)

Higher-than-expected turnout helped Democrats in some but not all of the Times/Siena polling models.

Mara Suttmann, a professor of government at Connecticut College, noted that it’s hard to predict which party will benefit from early voting because many voters would have voted whether or not early voting was an option — “cannibalizing” the Election Day vote instead of adding many new voters to the electorate.

Bonier noted that there has been in a surge in non-usual voters, including young people and people voting for the first time, which could favor Democrats. But even this does not guarantee electoral success for Democrats on Tuesday.

“The open question that won’t be answered until [results are in]: Do those early vote trends carry on through Election Day?” Bonier asked. “Or are they reversed? In 2016, in a lot of cases, they were reversed. I don’t think you can bet one way or another at this point.”

These low-propensity voters still make up a proportionally small portion of both the early voter electorate and the expected overall electorate. Data from TargetSmart shows that early voters younger than 39 are still easily outnumbered by voters aged 50-64, and even more so by voters over the age of 65.

And even in states where Democrats lead Republicans in early ballots cast — like Florida, where there’s a tight gubernatorial and Senate election — the election is still far from over.

And there’s still a likely majority of votes to be cast on Election Day.

“We may see another 60 million votes cast [on Election Day]. Most people who will have ended up voting in this election have still not voted,” Bonier said. “In the end, what happens on Election Day turnout will, to some extent, swamp what happened in the early vote.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/11/05/early-voting-turnout-2018-elections-midterms-963149

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With him or against him, Trump looms large over Election Day

today
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FILE- In this Nov. 2, 2018, file photo residents vote early at the Douglas County Election Commission office in Omaha, Neb. For voters across America, this year’s midterm elections represent something far greater than whatever Senate and House races appear on their ballots. It is a referendum on President Donald Trump and the venomous political culture that many blame for gridlock in Congress and a recent spate of hate crimes and politically motivated attacks. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Michael Gregoire marched along a downtown sidewalk in the tense days before the midterm elections, waving a hand-painted sign at passing traffic: “DEFEAT REPUBLICANS 2018.”

“The survival of the country is going to depend on this election,” he said as another man stopped for a moment to argue. The strangers faced each other from opposite edges of the great American divide, Democrat versus Republican, both convinced the election is among the most consequential in their lifetimes and that they must save the nation from the other side.

President Donald Trump looms large over Tuesday’s election, which is expected to draw historic numbers to the polls and will determine which party controls Congress. For Gregoire and Kanter — and for voters across the country — the election represents something far greater than whatever Senate and House races appear on their ballots. It is a competition for the soul of America — a referendum on Trump and the venomous political culture that many blame for gridlock in Congress and a recent spate of hate crimes and politically motivated attacks.

Less than two weeks ago in this city, a white man gunned down two African-American shoppers at a grocery store in what police described as a racially motivated attack. Days later, an avid Trump supporter was arrested for mailing pipe bombs to prominent critics of the president, all of whom Trump routinely derides as “evil” and “un-American.” The next day, another gunman opened fire in a synagogue in Pittsburgh, massacring 11 worshippers and telling police “all these Jews need to die.”

Don Albrecht, a 75-year-old accountant and Republican who voted for Trump in 2016, lives blocks away from the Louisville grocery store where two people died. He’d pulled into the parking lot minutes after the gunfire erupted, saw the police cars and shaken employees, and felt like the country’s poisonous political climate had landed in his backyard. He wishes he could take back his vote for Trump.

“He has diarrhea of the mouth and diarrhea of the brain. He’s just so irresponsible,” said Albrecht, who worries Trump’s embrace of the far-right is remaking his party. “I don’t think the American public is going to put up with it. I think there’s going to be a big backlash against Republicans because of this divisiveness.”

Other Trump voters remain staunchly behind him, and plan to choose Republican candidates to help him make good on his pledges, including vows to implement more hardline immigration policies. “I want to see the wall go up,” said Joe Spirko, 57, as he peddled Trump flags outside of one of the president’s rallies in Florida last week. “Since Trump come along, I feel a lot better.”

Trump has stepped up his rhetoric on immigration ahead of the elections, focusing on a caravan of Central American migrants heading toward the United States. Trump and his backers have called it “an invasion” — though the group of a few thousand people, including mothers and children, remains hundreds of miles away — and suggested without proof that there are criminals and terrorists in the crowd of those fleeing violence and poverty. In a White House speech, the president said he would sign an order preventing border-crossers from claiming asylum, a legally questionable proposition, and said he’d told military troops he’s mobilizing to the border to respond to thrown rocks like they were “rifles.”

Julie Hoeppner, a 67-year-old psychologist in Indiana, voted early for Republican candidates, also citing illegal immigration as a primary concern.

A friend recently sent Hoeppner a photo of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island with a note that said: “For our ancestors, this is their caravan.” Hoeppner didn’t respond but thought to herself that her ancestors arrived legally. “Which is a big difference,” she said. “They didn’t come trying to storm the border.”

Pedro Panelo, the 21-year-old president of the College Republicans at Wheaton College in Illinois, is frustrated immigration became a last-minute political football, because the issue is more complex than what either Democrats or Republicans make it out to be. Panelo, the son of a Mexican immigrant, said migrants shouldn’t be demonized, but he stopped short of criticizing the president, and plans to vote for Republican candidates who could help push Trump’s agenda.

“When it comes to his actions, I’m not a huge fan of his tweets,” Panelo said. “But what I say is look what he’s done for the country and not always what he’s said on Twitter.”

He said he’s felt an extraordinary level of enthusiasm for this election among his fellow students. Young people, who historically sit out of midterm elections, and women are both expected to be pivotal forces Tuesday. In Georgia, Democratic campaign volunteer Adrienne White said she struggled to recruit volunteers ahead of the 2016 presidential election but that it’s been easy this year, especially among women.

In Pittsburgh, where residents just finished burying those gunned down at the Tree of Life synagogue, some voters saw their Election Day decisions as a way to send a message that the country is headed down a dark and dangerous path.

“This is probably the most important election in the past 100 years. This will turn the tables,” said Barbara Villa, 71, who with her husband planted a crop of “Vote Blue” signs outside their home.

Rose Cathleen Bagin, 77, lives in the same neighborhood as the synagogue. She lashed a sign to her front porch reading “VOTE FOR GUN CONTROL,” and she is stunned every time she sees the crowd at Trump rallies on television cheering for his divisive language.

“I can’t stand the terrible things he says and the terrible things he’s doing,” said Bagin, who plans to vote Democratic Tuesday. “I’m terrified. We’re going to a place I just don’t understand.”

___

Also contributing were AP reporters Allen G. Breed and Adam Geller from Pittsburgh and Tamara Lush from Estero, Florida.

https://apnews.com/464f27b585d34fc597884d88d8ab10af

Democrats’ Pickup Chances Rise In More House Races, Analyst Says

More U.S. House races are competitive and leaning toward Democrats with Election Day tomorrow, according to the latest ratings changes by Cook Political Report. The new rankingsshow nine districts shifting toward Democrats and only one becoming better for Republicans.

Democrats’ chances to pick up seats have improved in key races in Georgia, Pennsylvania, California and Washington, according to ratings changes by Cook’s David Wasserman. The contest to succeed retiring California Republican Darell Issa is likely going to Democrat Mike Levin, and in Washington state’s 8th district, Democrat Kim Schrier’s chance of replacing retiring Republican Dave Reichert has moved from “Toss Up” to “Lean Democratic.”

“Bottom line: anything from a Democratic gain of 20 to 45 seats remains well within the realm of possibility, but a gain of 30 to 40 seats – and House control – is the most likely outcome,” Wasserman wrote today in an online post.

In Georgia, GOP Rep. Karen Handel’s race moved to “Toss Up” from “Lean Republican.”

Handel, elected in a special election last year, is facing headwinds from a gubernatorial contest that is energizing Democrats in her north Atlanta district. Handel’s challenger, Democrat Lucy McBath, is a gun-control activist and African American who could be helped by a possible surge in black voter turnout led by enthusiasm for Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, according to Wasserman.

Democrats’ Pickup Chances Rise In More House Races, Analyst Says

Meanwhile, a new congressional map in Pennsylvania is giving Freedom Caucus member Scott Perry his first competitive general election bid. The race is now considered a “Toss Up” as the three-term Republican continues to be out raised by Democrat George Scott.

The re-election bids of Republicans Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida and Fred Upton of Michigan both moved from “Likely Republican” to “Lean Republican.” In Texas, House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul’s race and retiring Republican Joe Barton’s open seat were previously considered “Solid Republican,” but now are rated “Likely Republican.” Wasserman also moved West Virginia Republican Representative Alex Mooney’s re-election from “Solid Republican” to “Likely Republican.”

The good news for Republicans out of the latest rating changes is in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. Incumbent Democrat Tom O’Halleran’s race moved from “Likely Democrat” to “Lean Democrat,” as the freshmen member continues to defend a seat in a district President Donald Trump narrowly won in 2016.

Story 3: Waiting For Successful and Viable New Political Party — Videos

George Carlin – It’s a Big Club and You Ain’t In It! The American Dream

George Carlin Doesn’t vote

Third Parties in the United States

Here’s Why No Third Parties Have Any Power in the U.S.

So You Want to Vote Third Party

Why Can’t Third Parties Take Off?

The Top 10 Most Successful Third Party/Independent Presidential Candidates

 

Exclusive poll: Only half of Americans have faith in democracy

Just 51% of Americans said they have faith in democracy, and 37% say they have lost faith in democracy, according to a new Axios/SurveyMonkey poll conducted in late October.

Why it matters: It suggests that recent political turmoil has caused people to doubt the very foundation of American society, particularly leading up to election day.

Show less

Since October 2016, just before the last presidential election, SurveyMonkey has tracked Americans’ views toward democracy.

What’s happening: Despite the political turbulence over the past two years, Americans’ faith in democracy has been relatively stable — with two exceptions.

  • Just before heading to the polls in 2016, 52% of voters had faith in democracy.
  • That number grew from pre-election numbers (by 8 percentage points) immediately following the election in November 2016 and in February 2017, after President Trump’s inauguration.
  • One year ago, in October 2017, faith in democracy dropped by 7 percentage points and has held fairly steady since then.
  • The other half of Americans have either lost faith in democracy or never had faith in it to begin with, according to the poll.

The big picture: SurveyMonkey also found that half the country believes America is more divided today than ever before — and that these divisions will probably continue far into the future (ranging between 46% and 51% over the past two years).

  • About one-third of Americans agree America is more divided today, but are optimistic that Americans will come together in the near future.
  • 18% say America is not more divided today than it has been in the past.

Methodology: This survey was conducted Oct. 19–24 among 3,913 adults. Respondents were selected from the more than 2 million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over.

The modeled error estimate for the full sample of that survey is plus or minus 2 percentage points and full crosstabs are available here.

Go deeper:

https://www.axios.com/poll-americans-faith-in-democracy-2e94a938-4365-4e80-9fb6-d9743d817710.html

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1168, November 2, 2018, Story 1: Jobs Report — U.S. Economy Added 250,000 Jobs — Real Wages Up 3.1% and Capital Spending Growth — Civilian Labor Participation Rate Up .2% Going in Right Direction — Getting Better– All The Time — Videos — Story 2: Federal Reserve Will Be Increasing Fed Funds Target Rate by .25% In December 2018 — No Real Surprise — Videos — Story 3: President Trump’s Job Approval Rising — Hits 51% — Top Three Concerns of American People — The Economy, Illegal Immigration and Obamacare — Videos

Posted on November 4, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Banking System, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Books, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, College, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Eating, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Insurance, Investments, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Monetary Policy, National Interest, Networking, News, Obama, Obesity, Overweight, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Rule of Law, Scandals, Security, Senate, Social Security, Spying, Success, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP_, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: November 2018 Jobs Report — U.S. Economy Added 250,000 Jobs With 3.7% U-3 Unemployment Rate  — Real Wages Up 3.1% and Capital Spending Growth — Civilian Labor Participation Rate Up .2% Going in Right Direction Up! — Getting Better– All The Time — Videos 

The Beatles – Getting Better

Getting Better
It’s getting better all the time
I used to get mad at my school (No, I can’t complain)
The teachers who taught me weren’t cool (No, I can’t complain)
You’re holding me down
Turning me round
Filling me up with your rules
I’ve got to admit it’s getting better (Better)
A little better all the time (It can’t get no worse)
I have to admit it’s getting better (Better)
It’s getting better
Since you’ve been mine
Me used to be angry young man
Me hiding me head in the sand
You gave me the word, I finally heard
I’m doing the best that I can
I’ve got to admit it’s getting better (Better)
A little better all the time (It can’t get no worse)
I have to admit it’s getting better (Better)
It’s getting better
Since you’ve been mine
Getting so much better all the time!
It’s getting better all the time
Better, better, better
It’s getting better all the time
Better, better, better
I used to be cruel to my woman
I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved
Man, I was mean but I’m changing my scene
And I’m doing the best that I can (ooh)
I admit it’s getting better (Better)
A little better all the time (It can’t get no worse)
Yes, I admit it’s getting better (Better)
It’s getting better
Since you’ve been mine
Getting so much better all the time!
It’s getting better all the time
Better, better, better
It’s getting better all the time
Better, better, better
Getting so much better all the time!
Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney
Getting Better lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Trump celebrates strong jobs report at rally

Job growth powers ahead

Economy adds 250K jobs in October

Santelli Exchange: Lazear on the jobs report

Jim Cramer on October jobs report: We have to move fast

CEA’s Hassett on China Trade, Jobs Report, Debt and Deficit

What does October’s banner jobs report tell us about where the economy is headed?

A Deep Dive Into the U.S. October Jobs Report

How Wall Street Views the October Jobs Report

What the markets want from the jobs report

What Is 3%? Jim Cramer on the Jobs Report

Alan Greenspan: Tightest labor market I’ve ever seen

Greenspan: We are in uncharted territory

Alan Greenspan: We have to deal with entitlements

Greenspan: The financial community doesn’t care about bookkeeping, they’re going to confront inflation

Defining the Unemployment Rate

Is Unemployment Undercounted?

Labor Force Participation

Cyclical Unemployment

Frictional Unemployment

Structural Unemployment

Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve

Monetary Policy: The Best Case Scenario

Milton Friedman: Inflation vs Unemployment

Milton Friedman – Stimulus and Inflation

Milton Friedman – Money and Inflation (Q&A)

Responsibility to the Poor

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

TAKE IT TO THE LIMITS: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism

156,562,000: Record Employment for 12th Time Under Trump

By Susan Jones | November 2, 2018 | 8:41 AM EDT

A sign of the times in an Illinois shop window. (Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) – The economy is the second most important issue for registered voters as the midterm election nears, a new Gallup Poll says. And there was very good economic news on Friday, as the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics rolled out the October employment report — the final one before next week’s midterm election.

The number of employed Americans has never been higher. The 156,562,000 Americans employed in October is the twefth record set under President Donald Trump.

In October, the number of employed men age 20 and up — 80,405,000 — set the 12th record since Trump took office; and likewise, for the 12th time, the number of employed women age 20 and up set a record, reaching 70,909,000 in October.

The unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent, the same as September, which is the lowest it’s been in decades — since the end of 1969. And the Hispanic unemployment rate, 4.4 percent, has never been lower.

The unemployment rate for African-Americans, 6.2 percent, remained near the all-time low of 5.9 percent set in May.

On top of those numbers, the economy added a whopping 250,000 jobs last month. After revisions, job gains have averaged 218,000 over the past 3 months.

(“Wow!” Trump tweeted on Friday morning. “The U.S. added 250,000 Jobs in October – and this was despite the hurricanes. Unemployment at 3.7%. Wages UP! These are incredible numbers. Keep it going, Vote Republican!”)

The number of Americans not in the labor force dipped to 95.8 million, down from last month’s record high; and the labor force participation rate increased two-tenths of a point to 62.9 percent, a move in the right direction.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.5 percent), adult women (3.4 percent), teenagers (11.9 percent), Whites (3.3 percent), Blacks (6.2 percent), and Asians (3.2 percent) showed little or no change in October.

In October, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 5 cents to $27.30. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by 83 cents, or 3.1 percent.

In October, the nation’s civilian noninstitutionalized population, consisting of all people age 16 or older who were not in the military or an institution, reached 258,514,000. Of those, 162,637,000 participated in the labor force by either holding a job or actively seeking one.

The 162,637,000 who participated in the labor force equaled 62.9 percent of the 258,514,000 civilian noninstitutionalized population, the same as August.

The higher the participation rate, the better, but economists expect this percentage to remain stagnant and decline in the years ahead as an increasing number of baby boomers retire.

President Trump highlghted the booming economy at his rally in Missouri yesterday, telling voters that next week’s election “will decide whether we build on an extraordinary prosperity,” or whether Democrats “will wipe it all away.”

“The unemployment rate just fell to the lowest level in over 50 years,” the president said. “More Americans are working now than any time in history. Think of that…So today, right now, we have more Americans working than at any time, any time in the history of our country. That’s pretty good,” he said. “That’s pretty good!”

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Alternate Unemployment Charts

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

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

 

Public Commentary on Unemployment

Unemployment Data Series   subcription required(Subscription required.)  View  Download Excel CSV File   Last Updated: November 2nd, 2018

The ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment Rate for October 2018 is 21.2%.

Republishing our charts:  Permission, Restrictions and Instructions (includes important requirements for successful hot-linking)

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

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

Civilian Labor Force Level

162,637,000

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

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000 142267(1) 142456 142434 142751 142388 142591 142278 142514 142518 142622 142962 143248
2001 143800 143701 143924 143569 143318 143357 143654 143284 143989 144086 144240 144305
2002 143883 144653 144481 144725 144938 144808 144803 145009 145552 145314 145041 145066
2003 145937(1) 146100 146022 146474 146500 147056 146485 146445 146530 146716 147000 146729
2004 146842(1) 146709 146944 146850 147065 147460 147692 147564 147415 147793 148162 148059
2005 148029(1) 148364 148391 148926 149261 149238 149432 149779 149954 150001 150065 150030
2006 150214(1) 150641 150813 150881 151069 151354 151377 151716 151662 152041 152406 152732
2007 153144(1) 152983 153051 152435 152670 153041 153054 152749 153414 153183 153835 153918
2008 154063(1) 153653 153908 153769 154303 154313 154469 154641 154570 154876 154639 154655
2009 154210(1) 154538 154133 154509 154747 154716 154502 154307 153827 153784 153878 153111
2010 153484(1) 153694 153954 154622 154091 153616 153691 154086 153975 153635 154125 153650
2011 153263(1) 153214 153376 153543 153479 153346 153288 153760 154131 153961 154128 153995
2012 154381(1) 154671 154749 154545 154866 155083 154948 154763 155160 155554 155338 155628
2013 155763(1) 155312 155005 155394 155536 155749 155599 155605 155687 154673 155265 155182
2014 155357(1) 155526 156108 155404 155564 155742 156011 156124 156019 156383 156455 156301
2015 157063(1) 156734 156754 157051 157449 157071 157035 157132 156700 157138 157435 158043
2016 158387(1) 158811 159253 158919 158512 158976 159207 159514 159734 159700 159544 159736
2017 159718(1) 159997 160235 160181 159729 160214 160467 160598 161082 160371 160533 160597
2018 161115(1) 161921 161763 161527 161539 162140 162245 161776 161926 162637
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.

Labor Force Participation Rate

62.9%




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

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.1 67.1 66.9 66.9 66.9 66.8 66.9 67.0
2001 67.2 67.1 67.2 66.9 66.7 66.7 66.8 66.5 66.8 66.7 66.7 66.7
2002 66.5 66.8 66.6 66.7 66.7 66.6 66.5 66.6 66.7 66.6 66.4 66.3
2003 66.4 66.4 66.3 66.4 66.4 66.5 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 65.9
2004 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 66.0 66.1 66.1 66.0 65.8 65.9 66.0 65.9
2005 65.8 65.9 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0
2006 66.0 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.3 66.4
2007 66.4 66.3 66.2 65.9 66.0 66.0 66.0 65.8 66.0 65.8 66.0 66.0
2008 66.2 66.0 66.1 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 65.8
2009 65.7 65.8 65.6 65.7 65.7 65.7 65.5 65.4 65.1 65.0 65.0 64.6
2010 64.8 64.9 64.9 65.2 64.9 64.6 64.6 64.7 64.6 64.4 64.6 64.3
2011 64.2 64.1 64.2 64.2 64.1 64.0 64.0 64.1 64.2 64.1 64.1 64.0
2012 63.7 63.8 63.8 63.7 63.7 63.8 63.7 63.5 63.6 63.8 63.6 63.7
2013 63.7 63.4 63.3 63.4 63.4 63.4 63.3 63.3 63.2 62.8 63.0 62.9
2014 62.9 62.9 63.1 62.8 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.8
2015 62.9 62.7 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.7 62.6 62.6 62.3 62.5 62.5 62.7
2016 62.8 62.9 63.0 62.8 62.6 62.7 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.8 62.7 62.7
2017 62.9 62.9 63.0 62.9 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.9 63.0 62.7 62.7 62.7
2018 62.7 63.0 62.9 62.8 62.7 62.9 62.9 62.7 62.7 62.9

Unemployment Level

6,075,000

 

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

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000 5708 5858 5733 5481 5758 5651 5747 5853 5625 5534 5639 5634
2001 6023 6089 6141 6271 6226 6484 6583 7042 7142 7694 8003 8258
2002 8182 8215 8304 8599 8399 8393 8390 8304 8251 8307 8520 8640
2003 8520 8618 8588 8842 8957 9266 9011 8896 8921 8732 8576 8317
2004 8370 8167 8491 8170 8212 8286 8136 7990 7927 8061 7932 7934
2005 7784 7980 7737 7672 7651 7524 7406 7345 7553 7453 7566 7279
2006 7064 7184 7072 7120 6980 7001 7175 7091 6847 6727 6872 6762
2007 7116 6927 6731 6850 6766 6979 7149 7067 7170 7237 7240 7645
2008 7685 7497 7822 7637 8395 8575 8937 9438 9494 10074 10538 11286
2009 12058 12898 13426 13853 14499 14707 14601 14814 15009 15352 15219 15098
2010 15046 15113 15202 15325 14849 14474 14512 14648 14579 14516 15081 14348
2011 14013 13820 13737 13957 13855 13962 13763 13818 13948 13594 13302 13093
2012 12797 12813 12713 12646 12660 12692 12656 12471 12115 12124 12005 12298
2013 12471 11950 11689 11760 11654 11751 11335 11279 11270 11136 10787 10404
2014 10235 10365 10435 9724 9740 9474 9610 9602 9266 8972 9064 8704
2015 8951 8634 8578 8546 8662 8265 8206 7996 7891 7884 7948 7907
2016 7811 7806 8024 7942 7465 7812 7723 7827 7919 7761 7419 7502
2017 7642 7486 7171 7021 6837 6964 6956 7127 6759 6524 6616 6576
2018 6684 6706 6585 6346 6065 6564 6280 6234 5964 6075

Not in Labor Force

95,877,000

 

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

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000 69142 69120 69338 69267 69853 69876 70398 70401 70645 70782 70579 70488
2001 70088 70409 70381 70956 71414 71592 71526 72136 71676 71817 71876 72010
2002 72623 72010 72343 72281 72260 72600 72827 72856 72554 73026 73508 73675
2003 73960 74015 74295 74066 74268 73958 74767 75062 75249 75324 75280 75780
2004 75319 75648 75606 75907 75903 75735 75730 76113 76526 76399 76259 76581
2005 76808 76677 76846 76514 76409 76673 76721 76642 76739 76958 77138 77394
2006 77339 77122 77161 77318 77359 77317 77535 77451 77757 77634 77499 77376
2007 77506 77851 77982 78818 78810 78671 78904 79461 79047 79532 79105 79238
2008 78554 79156 79087 79429 79102 79314 79395 79466 79790 79736 80189 80380
2009 80529 80374 80953 80762 80705 80938 81367 81780 82495 82766 82865 83813
2010 83349 83304 83206 82707 83409 84075 84199 84014 84347 84895 84590 85240
2011 85441 85637 85623 85603 85834 86144 86383 86111 85940 86308 86312 86589
2012 87888 87765 87855 88239 88100 88073 88405 88803 88613 88429 88836 88722
2013 88900 89516 89990 89780 89827 89803 90156 90355 90481 91708 91302 91563
2014 91557 91559 91150 92036 92058 92072 92012 92105 92428 92274 92390 92726
2015 92660 93165 93326 93214 93006 93592 93841 93963 94625 94403 94312 93893
2016 94010 93766 93515 94049 94662 94421 94413 94340 94357 94621 94996 95006
2017 94364 94248 94179 94407 95038 94743 94684 94759 94480 95395 95416 95512
2018 95665 95012 95335 95745 95915 95502 95598 96290 96364 95877

U-3 Unemployment Rate

3.7%

Series Id:           LNS14000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Rate
Labor force status:  Unemployment rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000 4.0 4.1 4.0 3.8 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.1 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9
2001 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.5 4.6 4.9 5.0 5.3 5.5 5.7
2002 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 6.0
2003 5.8 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.1 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.1 6.0 5.8 5.7
2004 5.7 5.6 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.4
2005 5.3 5.4 5.2 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.9
2006 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4
2007 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4 4.6 4.7 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 5.0
2008 5.0 4.9 5.1 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.1 6.5 6.8 7.3
2009 7.8 8.3 8.7 9.0 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.8 10.0 9.9 9.9
2010 9.8 9.8 9.9 9.9 9.6 9.4 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.8 9.3
2011 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.0 8.8 8.6 8.5
2012 8.3 8.3 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.1 7.8 7.8 7.7 7.9
2013 8.0 7.7 7.5 7.6 7.5 7.5 7.3 7.2 7.2 7.2 6.9 6.7
2014 6.6 6.7 6.7 6.3 6.3 6.1 6.2 6.2 5.9 5.7 5.8 5.6
2015 5.7 5.5 5.5 5.4 5.5 5.3 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
2016 4.9 4.9 5.0 5.0 4.7 4.9 4.9 4.9 5.0 4.9 4.6 4.7
2017 4.8 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.3 4.3 4.3 4.4 4.2 4.1 4.1 4.1
2018 4.1 4.1 4.1 3.9 3.8 4.0 3.9 3.9 3.7 3.7

 U-6 Unemployment Rate

7.4 %

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

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2000 7.1 7.2 7.1 6.9 7.1 7.0 7.0 7.1 7.0 6.8 7.1 6.9
2001 7.3 7.4 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.9 7.8 8.1 8.7 9.3 9.4 9.6
2002 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.7 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.7 9.8
2003 10.0 10.2 10.0 10.2 10.1 10.3 10.3 10.1 10.4 10.2 10.0 9.8
2004 9.9 9.7 10.0 9.6 9.6 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.4 9.7 9.4 9.2
2005 9.3 9.3 9.1 8.9 8.9 9.0 8.8 8.9 9.0 8.7 8.7 8.6
2006 8.4 8.4 8.2 8.1 8.2 8.4 8.5 8.4 8.0 8.2 8.1 7.9
2007 8.4 8.2 8.0 8.2 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.8
2008 9.2 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.7 10.1 10.5 10.8 11.0 11.8 12.6 13.6
2009 14.2 15.2 15.8 15.9 16.5 16.5 16.4 16.7 16.7 17.1 17.1 17.1
2010 16.7 17.0 17.1 17.1 16.6 16.4 16.4 16.5 16.8 16.6 16.9 16.6
2011 16.2 16.0 15.9 16.1 15.8 16.1 15.9 16.1 16.4 15.8 15.5 15.2
2012 15.2 15.0 14.5 14.6 14.7 14.8 14.8 14.6 14.8 14.4 14.4 14.4
2013 14.6 14.4 13.8 14.0 13.8 14.2 13.8 13.6 13.5 13.6 13.1 13.1
2014 12.7 12.7 12.7 12.3 12.1 12.0 12.1 11.9 11.7 11.5 11.4 11.2
2015 11.3 11.0 10.9 10.9 10.8 10.4 10.3 10.2 10.0 9.8 9.9 9.9
2016 9.9 9.7 9.8 9.8 9.8 9.5 9.7 9.6 9.7 9.6 9.3 9.1
2017 9.4 9.2 8.8 8.6 8.4 8.5 8.5 8.6 8.3 8.0 8.0 8.1
2018 8.2 8.2 8.0 7.8 7.6 7.8 7.5 7.4 7.5 7.4

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this news release is embargoed until            USDL-18-1739
8:30 a.m. (EDT) Friday, November 2, 2018

Technical information:
 Household data:     (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
 Establishment data: (202) 691-6555  *  cesinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:        (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


                        THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- OCTOBER 2018


Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 250,000 in October, and the unemployment rate
was unchanged at 3.7 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Job
gains occurred in health care, in manufacturing, in construction, and in transportation
and warehousing.

   __________________________________________________________________________________
  |                                                                                  |
  |                               Hurricane Michael                                  |
  |                                                                                  |
  | Hurricane Michael made landfall in the Florida Panhandle on October 10, 2018,    |
  | during the reference periods for both the establishment and household surveys.   |
  | Hurricane Michael had no discernible effect on the national employment and       |
  | unemployment estimates for October, and response rates for the two surveys were  |
  | within normal ranges. For information on how severe weather can affect employment|
  | and hours data, see Question 8 in the Frequently Asked Questions section of this |
  | news release.                                                                    |
  |                                                                                  |
  | BLS will release the state estimates of employment and unemployment on           |
  | November 16, 2018, at 10:00 a.m. (EST).                                          |
  |__________________________________________________________________________________|


Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate remained at 3.7 percent in October, and the number of unemployed
persons was little changed at 6.1 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate and
the number of unemployed persons declined by 0.4 percentage point and 449,000,
respectively. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.5 percent),
adult women (3.4 percent), teenagers (11.9 percent), Whites (3.3 percent), Blacks
(6.2 percent), Asians (3.2 percent), and Hispanics (4.4 percent) showed little or no
change in October. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially
unchanged at 1.4 million in October and accounted for 22.5 percent of the unemployed.
(See table A-12.)

The labor force participation rate increased by 0.2 percentage point to 62.9 percent in
October but has shown little change over the year. The employment-population ratio
edged up by 0.2 percentage point to 60.6 percent in October and has increased by 0.4
percentage point over the year. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as
involuntary part-time workers) was essentially unchanged at 4.6 million in October.
These individuals, who would have preferred full-time employment, were working part
time because their hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.
(See table A-8.)

In October, 1.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, little
changed from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were
not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job
sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had
not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 506,000 discouraged workers in October, about
unchanged from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers
are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available
for them. The remaining 984,000 persons marginally attached to the labor force in
October had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family
responsibilities. (See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 250,000 in October, following an average
monthly gain of 211,000 over the prior 12 months. In October, job growth occurred in
health care, in manufacturing, in construction, and in transportation and warehousing.
(See table B-1.)

Health care added 36,000 jobs in October. Within the industry, employment growth
occurred in hospitals (+13,000) and in nursing and residential care facilities
(+8,000). Employment in ambulatory health care services continued to trend up
(+14,000). Over the past 12 months, health care employment grew by 323,000.

In October, employment in manufacturing increased by 32,000. Most of the increase
occurred in durable goods manufacturing, with a gain in transportation equipment
(+10,000). Manufacturing has added 296,000 jobs over the year, largely in durable
goods industries.

Construction employment rose by 30,000 in October, with nearly half of the gain
occurring among residential specialty trade contractors (+14,000). Over the year,
construction has added 330,000 jobs.

Transportation and warehousing added 25,000 jobs in October. Within the industry,
employment growth occurred in couriers and messengers (+8,000) and in warehousing
and storage (+8,000). Over the year, employment in transportation and warehousing
has increased by 184,000.

Employment in leisure and hospitality edged up in October (+42,000). Employment was
unchanged in September, likely reflecting the impact of Hurricane Florence. The
average gain for the 2 months combined (+21,000) was the same as the average monthly
gain in the industry for the 12-month period prior to September.

In October, employment in professional and business services continued to trend up
(+35,000). Over the year, the industry has added 516,000 jobs.

Employment in mining also continued to trend up over the month (+5,000). The industry
has added 65,000 jobs over the year, with most of the gain in support activities for
mining.

Employment in other major industries--including wholesale trade, retail trade,
information, financial activities, and government--showed little change over the
month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1
hour to 34.5 hours in October. In manufacturing, the workweek edged down by 0.1 hour
to 40.8 hours, and overtime was unchanged at 3.5 hours. The average workweek for
production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls, at 33.7 hours,
was unchanged over the month. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In October, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls
rose by 5 cents to $27.30. Over the year, average hourly earnings have increased by
83 cents, or 3.1 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and
nonsupervisory employees increased by 7 cents to $22.89 in October. (See tables B-3
and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised down from
+134,000 to +118,000, and the change for August was revised up from +270,000 to
+286,000. The downward revision in September offset the upward revision in August.
(Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from businesses and
government agencies since the last published estimates and from the recalculation
of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 218,000 over the
past 3 months.

_____________
The Employment Situation for November is scheduled to be released on Friday,
December 7, 2018, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).



The PDF version of the news release

News release charts

Supplemental Files Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
[Numbers in thousands]
Category Oct.
2017
Aug.
2018
Sept.
2018
Oct.
2018
Change from:
Sept.
2018-
Oct.
2018

Employment status

Civilian noninstitutional population

255,766 258,066 258,290 258,514 224

Civilian labor force

160,371 161,776 161,926 162,637 711

Participation rate

62.7 62.7 62.7 62.9 0.2

Employed

153,846 155,542 155,962 156,562 600

Employment-population ratio

60.2 60.3 60.4 60.6 0.2

Unemployed

6,524 6,234 5,964 6,075 111

Unemployment rate

4.1 3.9 3.7 3.7 0.0

Not in labor force

95,395 96,290 96,364 95,877 -487

Unemployment rates

Total, 16 years and over

4.1 3.9 3.7 3.7 0.0

Adult men (20 years and over)

3.8 3.5 3.4 3.5 0.1

Adult women (20 years and over)

3.6 3.6 3.3 3.4 0.1

Teenagers (16 to 19 years)

13.7 12.8 12.8 11.9 -0.9

White

3.5 3.4 3.3 3.3 0.0

Black or African American

7.3 6.3 6.0 6.2 0.2

Asian

3.0 3.0 3.5 3.2 -0.3

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

4.8 4.7 4.5 4.4 -0.1

Total, 25 years and over

3.3 3.2 3.0 3.1 0.1

Less than a high school diploma

6.1 5.7 5.5 6.0 0.5

High school graduates, no college

4.3 3.9 3.7 4.0 0.3

Some college or associate degree

3.6 3.5 3.2 3.0 -0.2

Bachelor’s degree and higher

2.0 2.1 2.0 2.0 0.0

Reason for unemployment

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

3,214 2,875 2,796 2,850 54

Job leavers

731 862 730 726 -4

Reentrants

2,001 1,846 1,877 1,906 29

New entrants

626 584 586 606 20

Duration of unemployment

Less than 5 weeks

2,128 2,208 2,065 2,057 -8

5 to 14 weeks

1,943 1,720 1,720 1,821 101

15 to 26 weeks

856 923 861 856 -5

27 weeks and over

1,645 1,332 1,384 1,373 -11

Employed persons at work part time

Part time for economic reasons

4,880 4,379 4,642 4,621 -21

Slack work or business conditions

2,960 2,551 2,782 2,816 34

Could only find part-time work

1,615 1,365 1,447 1,436 -11

Part time for noneconomic reasons

20,897 21,781 21,464 21,512 48

Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

Marginally attached to the labor force

1,535 1,443 1,577 1,491

Discouraged workers

524 434 383 506

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

 

Employment Situation Summary Table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted

ESTABLISHMENT DATA
Summary table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
Category Oct.
2017
Aug.
2018
Sept.
2018(P)
Oct.
2018(P)

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

Total nonfarm

271 286 118 250

Total private

277 267 121 246

Goods-producing

38 49 42 67

Mining and logging

1 7 4 5

Construction

17 31 20 30

Manufacturing

20 11 18 32

Durable goods(1)

10 11 14 21

Motor vehicles and parts

-1.6 2.7 1.0 6.8

Nondurable goods

10 0 4 11

Private service-providing

239 218 79 179

Wholesale trade

7.5 20.6 3.3 9.1

Retail trade

6.5 9.1 -32.4 2.4

Transportation and warehousing

13.7 23.1 20.8 24.8

Utilities

0.0 0.9 0.1 1.2

Information

0 -4 -4 7

Financial activities

9 9 15 7

Professional and business services(1)

60 54 46 35

Temporary help services

19.8 10.8 7.6 3.3

Education and health services(1)

15 67 26 44

Health care and social assistance

35.7 52.5 34.9 46.7

Leisure and hospitality

110 30 0 42

Other services

17 8 4 7

Government

-6 19 -3 4

(3-month average change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

169 220 190 218

Total private

167 199 175 211

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

Total nonfarm women employees

49.5 49.7 49.7 49.7

Total private women employees

48.1 48.3 48.3 48.3

Total private production and nonsupervisory employees

82.4 82.4 82.4 82.4

HOURS AND EARNINGS
ALL EMPLOYEES

Total private

Average weekly hours

34.4 34.5 34.4 34.5

Average hourly earnings

$26.47 $27.17 $27.25 $27.30

Average weekly earnings

$910.57 $937.37 $937.40 $941.85

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

107.8 110.0 109.7 110.3

Over-the-month percent change

0.5 0.3 -0.3 0.5

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

136.5 142.8 143.0 143.9

Over-the-month percent change

0.4 0.6 0.1 0.6

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

Total private (258 industries)

63.2 64.5 60.7 65.7

Manufacturing (76 industries)

63.8 56.6 65.1 62.5

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

NOTE: Data have been revised to reflect March 2017 benchmark levels and updated seasonal adjustment factors.

The Beatles – Hey Jude

Hey Jude
Hey Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better
Hey Jude, don’t be afraid
You were made to go out and get her
The minute you let her under your skin
Then you begin to make it better
And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain
Don’t carry the world upon your shoulders
For well you know that it’s a fool who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder
Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah
Hey Jude, don’t let me down
You have found her, now go and get her
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better
So let it out and let it in, hey Jude, begin
You’re waiting for someone to perform with
And don’t you know that it’s just you, hey Jude, you’ll do
The movement you need is on your shoulder
Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah yeah
Hey Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her under your skin
Then you’ll begin to make it
Better better better better better better, oh
Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude
Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude
Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude
Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude
Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude
Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude
Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude
Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude
Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude
Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude
Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude
Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude
Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude
Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude
Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude
Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude
Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney
Hey Jude lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

 

Getting Better

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“Getting Better”
Getting Better - The Beatles (sheet music).jpg

Original UK sheet music for the song
Song by the Beatles
from the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
Released 26 May 1967[1]
Recorded 9 March 1967
Genre
Length 2:47
Label ParlophoneCapitolEMI
Songwriter(s) Lennon–McCartney
Producer(s) George Martin

Getting Better” is a song written mainly by Paul McCartney, with lyrical contributions from John Lennon (credited to Lennon–McCartney).[3] It was recorded by the Beatles for the 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Composition

The song, which has been said to be musically reminiscent of the hit single “Penny Lane,”[4] moves forward by way of regular chords, produced by Lennon’s guitar, McCartney’s electric piano,[verification needed] and George Martin, who struck the strings of a pianet with a mallet. These heavily accented and repetitive lines cause the song to sound as if it is based on a drone. Lead guitarist George Harrison adds an Indian tanpura part to the final verse, which further accentuates this impact.

McCartney’s bassline, in counterpoint to this droning, was described by music critic Ian MacDonald as “dreamy” and “well thought out as a part of the production by McCartney”.[5] It was recorded after the main track was completed, as were many of the bass lines on Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.[6] Starting out in the verse with a pedal on the root note (G) that leaps two octaves, McCartney moves to a marching quarter-note (walking) bass line for the first (and only the first) chorus. In stark contrast, all subsequent choruses are played using a fluid, swing feel, full of anticipated notes that propel the song forward despite the quarter-note droning of the guitar and keyboard.

The song’s title and music suggest optimism, but some of the song’s lyrics have a more negative tone. In this sense, it reflects the contrasting personas of the two songwriters. In response to McCartney’s line, “It’s getting better all the time”, Lennon replies, “Can’t get no worse!”[7] In a December 1983 interview, McCartney praised this contribution as an example of things he “couldn’t ever have done [him]self”.[8]

Referring to the lyric “I used to be cruel to my woman/I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved/Man I was mean but I’m changing my scene/And I’m doing the best that I can”, Lennon admitted that he had done things in relationships in the past that he was not proud of.[9]

In a 1980 interview in Playboy with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Lennon, when asked about the song, said that the song’s lyrics came personally from his own experience abusing women in relationships in the past. He states: “It is a diary form of writing. All that ‘I used to be cruel to my woman / I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved’ was me. I used to be cruel to my woman, and physically—any woman. I was a hitter. I couldn’t express myself and I hit. I fought men and I hit women. That is why I am always on about peace, you see. It is the most violent people who go for love and peace. Everything’s the opposite. But I sincerely believe in love and peace. I am a violent man who has learned not to be violent and regrets his violence. I will have to be a lot older before I can face in public how I treated women as a youngster.”

According to the author Hunter Davies and music critic Ian MacDonald, the initial idea for the song’s title came from a phrase often spoken by Jimmie Nicol, the group’s stand-in drummer for the Australian leg of a 1964 tour.[3][5]

Lennon on the roof

One of the recording sessions for “Getting Better” is infamous for an incident involving Lennon. During the 21 March 1967 session in which producer George Martin added a piano solo to “Lovely Rita“, Lennon complained that he did not feel well and could not focus.[10][11]He had accidentally taken LSD when he meant to take an upper.[12] Unaware of the mistake, Martin took him up to the roof of Abbey Road Studios for some fresh air, and returned to Studio Two where McCartney and Harrison were waiting. They knew why Lennon was not well, and upon hearing where Lennon was, rushed to the roof to retrieve him and prevent a possible accident.[11][13][14]

Personnel

Personnel per Ian MacDonald[4]

Live performances

Paul McCartney performed the song live for the first time by any Beatle on his 2002 Driving World Tour. He later reprised the song on his 2003 Back in the World Tour.[citation needed]

Cover versions