Elections

The Pronk Pops Show 1037, February 22, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Hosts a Meeting with State and Local Leaders on School Safety — Videos — Story 2: Part 2 — President Trump Hosts a Listening Session with High School Students and Teachers at White House — Videos — Story 3: Council of Economic Advisers Submits Annual Report — Expects Real Gross Domestic Product To Grow at Annual Rate of  3% Through 2028 –Videos

Posted on February 22, 2018. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, College, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Fiscal Policy, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Human Behavior, Independence, Labor Economics, Media, Monetary Policy, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Scandals, Senate, Tax Policy, Trade Policy, United States of America | Tags: , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1037, February 22, 2018 posted as soon as possible

Pronk Pops Show 1036, February 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1035, February 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1034, February 15, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1033, February 14, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1032, February 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1031, February 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1030, February 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1028, February 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1027, February 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1026, February 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1025, January 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1024, January 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1023, January 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1022, January 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1021, January 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1020, January 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1019, January 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1018, January 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1017, January 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1016, January 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1015, January 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1014, January 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1013, December 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1012, December 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1011, December 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1010, December 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1009, December 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1008, December 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1007, November 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1006, November 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1005, November 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1004, November 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1003, November 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1002, November 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1001, November 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1000, November 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 999, November 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 998, November 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 997, November 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 996, November 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 995, November 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 994, November 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 993, November 1, 2017

See the source image

See the source imageSee the source image

 

Story 1: President Trump Hosts a Meeting with State and Local Leaders on School Safety — Videos —

FULL. President Trump meets with State and local officials on school safety. Feb 22, 2018

President Trump Meets With Officials To Discuss School Safety. | Thursday, 22 February 2018

Tucker Carlson Tonight 2/22/18 – Fox News Today February 22, 2018

Addressing Gun Violence at Schools Is Not a Political Issue: It’s a Common Sense One

Parkland Shooting Survivor: CNN Gave Me “Scripted Question” After Denying Question About Armed Guard

Crisis Acting Crises, Antigun Paroxysms, Feigned Hysteria — Lionel on “Real News With David Knight”

Gutfeld: The media’s role in mass shootings

NRA’s LaPierre accuses Democrats of exploiting Florida shooting

NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre speaks at CPAC after school shooting

Second Amendment Explained

What Should We Do About Guns?

Penn & Teller – Gun Control

Is Gun Ownership a Right?

Gun Control is Bullshit!!

The Truth About Gun Control

CNN town hall in wake of Florida school shooting

Story 2: Part 2 — President Trump Hosts a Listening Session with High School Students and Teachers at White House — Videos —

President Trump Hosts a Listening Session with High School Students and Teachers. 2.21.18 — Videos

President Trump: “It’s called concealed carry.” (C-SPAN)

The Ingraham Angle 2/21/18 , The Ingraham Angle February 21. 2018

Tucker Carlson Tonight 2/21/18 | Fox News Today | February 21, 2018

Sean Hannity 2/21/18 – Fox News Today February 21, 2018

President Trump full statement on Parkland, Florida School Shooting (C-SPAN)

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

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

The Difference Between SEMI-AUTOMATIC and FULLY AUTOMATIC GUNS

Assault Rifle vs. Sporting Rifle

Published on Dec 30, 2012

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

Full Auto vs. Semi-Auto with an AK

Inside the AK-47

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

Rush Limbaugh: We Need Concealed Carry in Schools. “Bashing NRA Isn’t Going to Do it”

Texas school allows teachers to carry concealed weapons

Tx. Teachers To Carry Guns

Published on Aug 19, 2008
The Harrold, Texas school district calls for teachers to carry guns to prevent a future Columbine school incident. Harry Smith talks to the superintendent and a teacher’s federation representative.

The school where teachers are armed

The Safest School District In The USA! Shamrock ISD In Amarillo Texas

Marble Falls TX School Allows Teachers To Carry Guns On Campus

Published on Jan 31, 2013
Because it makes sense, that’s why!

Principals and Teachers Who Carry Guns at School

What It’s Like Inside a School Shooting Drill

Auburn University Active Shooter Response Training – ALICE

ALICE training

ALICE Training Video

Law to allow concealed carry guns on school campuses

John Lott: The War on Guns

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

John Lott: Why More Guns Equal Less Crime

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

Las Vegas Massacre: John Lott discusses gun laws and ownership

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

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

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

BBC This World – Norway’s Massacre

 

TIMELINE: Deinstitutionalization And Its Consequences

How deinstitutionalization moved thousands of mentally ill people out of hospitals—and into jails and prisons.

1773

The first patient is admitted to the Public Hospital for Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds in Williamsburg, Virginia.

The rebuilt Public Hospital for Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds in Williamsburg. Wikipedia

1841

Boston schoolteacher Dorothea Dix visits the East Cambridge Jail, where she first sees the horrible living conditions of the mentally ill. Believing they could be cured, Dix lobbies lawmakers and courts for better treatment until her death in 1887. Her efforts lead to the establishment of 110 psychiatric hospitals by 1880.

Dorothea Dix Wikipedia

1887

On assignment for New York WorldNellie Bly feigns lunacy in order to be admitted to the Women’s Lunatic Asylum on New York’s Blackwell’s Island. Her exposé, “Ten Days in a Mad-house,” detailing the appalling living conditions at the asylum, leads to a grand jury investigation and needed reforms at the institution.

Wikipedia

1907

Indiana is the first of more than 30 states to enact a compulsory sterilization law, allowing the state to “prevent procreation of confirmed criminals, idiots, imbeciles and rapists.” By 1940, 18,552 mentally ill people are surgically sterilized.

Wikipedia

1936

Dr. Walter Freeman and his colleague James Watt perform the first prefrontal lobotomy. By the late 1950s, an estimated 50,000 lobotomies are performed in the United States.

Dr. Walter Freeman and Dr. James Watts examine an X-ray before a psychosurgical procedure. Wikipedia

1938

Italian neurologist Ugo Cerletti introduces electroshock therapy as a treatment for people with schizophrenia and other chronic mental illnesses.

A man sits in a Bergonic chair for electroshock treatment. Wikipedia

1946

President Harry Truman signs the National Mental Health Act, calling for the establishment of the National Institute of Mental Health to conduct research into neuropsychiatric problems.

1954

Marketed as Thorazine by Smith-Kline and French, chlorpromazine is the first antipsychotic drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration. It quickly becomes a staple in asylums.

A 1962 advertisement for Thorazine. Wikipedia

1955

The number of mentally ill people in public psychiatric hospitals peaks at 560,000.

1962

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a novel by Ken Kesey, is published. The bestseller is based on his experience working the as a nurse’s aide in the psychiatric wing of Menlo Park Veteran’s Hospital in California.

Wikipedia

1963

President John F. Kennedy signs the Community Mental Health Act to provide federal funding for the construction of community-based preventive care and treatment facilities. Between the Vietnam War and an economic crisis, the program was never adequately funded.

1965

With the passage of Medicaid, states are incentivized to move patients out of state mental hospitals and into nursing homes and general hospitals because the program excludes coverage for people in “institutions for mental diseases.”

Dmitry Kalinovsky/Shutterstock

1967

The California Legislature passes the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, which makes involuntary hospitalization of mentally ill people vastly more difficult. One year after the law goes into effect, the number of mentally ill people in the criminal-justice system doubles.

1977

There are 650 community health facilities serving 1.9 million mentally ill patients a year.

1980

President Jimmy Carter signs the Mental Health Systems Act, which aims to restructure the community mental-health-center program and improve services for people with chronic mental illness.

President Jimmy Carter Library of Congress

1981

Under President Ronald Reagan, the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act repeals Carter’s community health legislation and establishes block grants for the states, ending the federal government’s role in providing services to the mentally ill.  Federal mental-health spending decreases by 30 percent.

President Ronald Reagan Library of Congress

1984

An Ohio-based study finds that up to 30 percent of homeless people are thought to suffer from serious mental illness.

1985

Federal funding drops to 11 percent of community mental-health agency budgets.

1990

Clozapine, the first “atypical” antipsychotic drug to be developed, is approved by the FDA as a treatment for schizophrenia.

2004

Studies suggest approximately 16 percent of prison and jail inmates are seriously mentally ill, roughly 320,000 people. This year, there are about 100,000 psychiatric beds in public and private hospitals. That means there are more three times as many seriously mentally ill people in jails and prisons than in hospitals.

BortN66/Shutterstock

2009

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, states are forced to cut $4.35 billion in public mental-health spending over the next three years, the largest reduction in funding since deinstitutionalization.

2010

There are 43,000 psychiatric beds in the United States, or about 14 beds per 100,000 people—the same ratio as in 1850.

VILevi/Shutterstock

https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/04/timeline-mental-health-america/

Story 3: Council of Economic Advisers Submits Economic Annual Report — Expects Real Gross Domestic Product To Grow at Annual Rate of  3% –Videos

White House Press Briefing February 22, 2018. White House Press Briefing with Raj Shah.

White House forecasts economic growth

Tax reform impact is gaining momentum: Hassett

Three percent growth is just getting back to normal: Hassett

A Summary of the Annual Report of the Council of Economic Advisers

11 minute read

The purpose of the Annual Report of the Council of Economic Advisers is to provide the public and the economic policy community with a detailed account of the performance of the U.S. economy in the preceding year and with an analysis of the Administration’s domestic and international economic policy priorities for the years ahead. In this Report, we thus review the salient policy developments of 2017 and preview policy aims for the coming years, in the context of the Administration’s unified agenda to expand our economy and the economic prosperity of all Americans.

The U.S. economy experienced strong and economically significant acceleration in 2017, with growth in real GDP exceeding expectations and increasing from 2.0 and 1.8 percent in 2015 and 2016 to 2.5 percent, including two successive quarters above 3.0 percent. The unemployment rate fell 0.6 percentage point, to 4.1 percent, its lowest level since December 2000, while the economy added 2.2 million jobs, an average of 181,000 per month. Notably, manufacturing and mining—having lost 9,000 and 98,000 jobs, respectively, in 2016—added 189,000 and 53,000 jobs during 2017. Labor productivity grew 1.1 percent, compared with a decline of –0.1 percent in 2016, and average hourly earnings of private employees rose 2.7 percent, compared with average growth of 2.1 percent during the preceding 7 years. Reflecting the economy’s outperformance of expectations, the January 2017 Blue Chip consensus forecast of 2.3 percent GDP growth in 2018 was revised upward in February 2018 to 2.7 percent.

The four quarters of 2017 thus marked a nontrivial trend shift. From 2010 through 2016, real output in the United States grew at an average annual rate of 2.1 percent, while labor productivity grew, on average, by less than 1 percent. The pace of economic recovery was slow by historical standards, particularly because recent research has confirmed Milton Friedman’s original observation that in the United States, deeper recessions are typically succeeded by steeper expansions, and that this correlation is in fact stronger when the contraction is accompanied by a financial crisis. Since the nineteenth century, the recent recovery was one of only three exceptions to this pattern.

In the Report, we provide evidence that the historically anemic recovery from the Great Recession was not independent of policy choices, and accordingly we proceed to identify the exacerbating factors in the weakness of the post-2009 recovery and the current Administration’s strategies and menu of policy options to address them.

First and foremost, on the historic Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), we find that investment and labor productivity have been inhibited in recent years by the coincidence of high and rising global capital mobility and an increasingly internationally uncompetitive U.S. corporate tax code and worldwide system of taxation. This combination had the effect of deterring U.S. domestic capital formation, thereby restraining capital deepening, productivity growth, and, ultimately, output and real wage growth, with the economic costs of corporate taxation thereby increasingly and disproportionately borne by the less mobile factor of production—namely, labor. Indeed, the five-year, centered-moving-average contribution of capital services per hour worked to labor productivity actually turned negative in 2012 and 2013 for the first time since World War II. We estimate that by lowering the cost of capital and reducing incentives for corporate entities to shift production and profits overseas, the corporate provisions of the TCJA will raise GDP by 2 to 4percent over the long run, and increase average annual household income by $4,000.

Similarly, we discuss a large body of academic literature indicating that an excessive regulatory burden can negatively affect productivity growth, and thus overall growth, by attenuating the flow of new firms’ entries and established firms’ exits, and also by amplifying the spatial misallocation of labor and creating employment barriers to entry. We furthermore highlight actions the Administration has already taken to eliminate inefficient and unnecessary regulations, with the effect of raising prospects for innovation, productivity, and economic growth.

On labor markets, we find considerable evidence suggesting, as with regulation, that postrecession efforts to strike a new optimum on the frontier of social protection and economic growth may have sacrificed too much of the latter in pursuit of the former. We also find that while demographic shifts owing to the retirement of aging Baby Boom cohorts exerted strong downward pressure on the labor force participation rate, factors other than demography accounted for one-third of the overall decline in participation during the recovery, and half the decline since the cyclical peak in the fourth quarter of 2007. For instance, we find that increases in fiscal transfers during the Great Recession intended to mitigate the demand-side effects of rising unemployment generated persistent negative effects on the prime-age labor supply. Meanwhile, structural unemployment coterminous with imperfect geographic mobility—exacerbated by regulatory restrictions, drug abuse, and inadequate investment in infrastructure—have similarly intensified downward trends in labor force participation among prime-age workers.

These challenges, however, particularly those of low labor productivity growth and declining labor force participation, are not policy-invariant. For example, policies that incentivize highly skilled and experienced older workers to defer retirement, such as the marginal income tax rate reductions enacted by the TCJA, can have important implications not only for labor force participation but also for productivity. Moreover, by raising the target capital stock, we expect the TCJA to result in capital deepening, again contributing to productivity growth and rising household earnings.

Relatedly, we document the deficiencies of our current public infrastructure, and investigate the adverse effects of these deficiencies on economic growth and consumer welfare, as well as potential remedial policy options. In particular, we examine how the fundamental mismatch between the demand for and supply of public infrastructure capital could be ameliorated by utilizing existing assets more efficiently and by adjusting longrun capacity to levels best matched with local needs, which would allow local governments more flexibility in giving prices a larger role in guiding consumption and investment decisions, and in streamlining environmental review and permitting processes. Moreover, addressing the current inadequacies of our public infrastructure would help to attenuate the coincidence of structural unemployment with imperfect geographic mobility—again, exacerbated by regulatory restrictions—that has been a factor in the decline of labor force participation.

We also look at issues in international trade policy and actions the Administration has taken and could take to generate positive-sum, reciprocal trade agreements with our trading partners. Specifically, in addition to reviewing the benefits of economic specialization and consequent gains from trade, we also demonstrate how instances of unfair trade practices by a subset of our partners have had the effect of limiting the potential gains from trade to the United States and the world, with particularly adverse consequences for the U.S. manufacturing sector. Addressing these issues would raise productivity by encouraging greater investment in sectors where the U.S. economy enjoys a comparative advantage, especially but not exclusively energy and agricultural products.

We then turn our attention to the health of the true catalyst of U.S. economic growth: the American worker. Although the Affordable Care Act (ACA) expanded insurance coverage to at most 6 percent of the U.S. population—through Medicaid, marketplaces, and the dependent coverage provision—we survey a large body of academic literature that estimates the effect of insurance coverage on health to be substantially smaller than commonly presumed. Indeed, for the first time in over 50 years, U.S. life expectancy declined in 2015 and 2016, suggesting that factors such as drug abuse, particularly of opioids, and obesity may have a larger impact than insurance coverage alone can redress. Instead, we find that increased choice and competition, along with a recognition by policymakers that the determinants of health are multidimensional, may constitute more efficient avenues for improving health outcomes, particularly among lower-income households. Fundamentally, it is the view of this Council that healthy people not only live longer, more enjoyable lives but are also an essential component of reversing recent trends in labor productivity and labor force participation.

We then consider the emerging challenge of cybersecurity, particularly in the context of our ongoing transition to an information economy. Malicious cyber activity presents new threats to the protection of property rights, including rights to intangible assets and even information itself, and thus imposes large and real costs on the U.S. economy. Given the existence of positive externalities from investing in cybersecurity, we discuss policy options that might shift this investment to its socially optimal level, including public-private partnerships that promote basic research, protecting critical infrastructure assets, disseminating new security standards, and expanding the cybersecurity workforce.

Finally, we examine the year in review and survey the years ahead. Acknowledging underlying strengths and challenges, the Administration’s November 2017 baseline forecast, which excludes the effects of the TCJA, projects that output will grow by an overall average annual rate of 2.2 percent through 2028. The policy-inclusive forecast, however, which assumes full implementation of the Administration’s agenda, is for average annual real GDP growth through 2028 of 3.0 percent. We expect growth to moderate slightly after 2020, as the capital-output ratio approaches its new steady state level and the pro-growth effect of the individual elements of the TCJA dissipate, though the level effect will be permanent. However, expected further deregulation and infrastructure investment will partly offset the declining contribution to growth of tax cuts and reforms toward the end of the budget window. The policy-inclusive forecast is conservative relative to those of previous Administrations, and in fact is slightly below the median of 3.1 percent. Moreover, the baseline forecast is precisely in line with the long-run outlook given in the 2017 Economic Report of the President, reflecting our view that nonimplementation of the current Administration’s policy objectives will imply a reversion to the lower growth trend of recent years.

Preliminary indicators suggest that markets indeed detect a trend shift. In the weeks immediately following the TCJA’s passage, over 300 companies announced wage and salary increases, as well as bonuses and supplementary 401(k) contributions of $2.4 billion affecting 4.2 million workers, citing the new law. In addition, by the end of January 2018, this Council tallied $190 billion in newly announced corporate investment projects that were publicly attributed to the TCJA, revealing that firms are responding to the TCJA as theory and empirical evidence predicted.

As a society, we hold many values and aspirations, including but not limited to expanding economic prosperity, that may not exist always and everywhere in complete harmony. It is the view of this Council that in recent years, the pursuit of alternative policy aspirations at the expense of growth has imposed real economic costs on the American people, in the form of diminished opportunity, security, equity, and even health. We therefore endorse an agenda for returning the American economy to its full growth potential.



Read Why Cutting Taxes is Good for American Workers

https://www.whitehouse.gov/articles/summary-annual-report-council-economic-advisers/

The Council of Economic Advisers was established by Congress in the Employment Act of 1946. The portion of the bill that authorizes the Council is presented below:

“There is hereby created in the Executive Office of the President a Council of Economic Advisers (hereinafter called the “Council”). The Council shall be composed of three members who shall be appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, and each of whom shall be a person who, as a result of his training, experience, and attainments, is exceptionally qualified to analyze and interpret economic developments, to appraise programs and activities of the Government in the light of the policy declared in section 2, and to formulate and recommend national economic policy to promote employment, production, and purchasing power under free competitive enterprise. The President shall designate one of the members of the Council as Chairman.

It shall be the duty and function of the Council–

  1. to assist and advise the President in the preparation of the Economic Report;
  2. to gather timely and authoritative information concerning economic developments and economic trends, both current and prospective, to analyze and interpret such information in the light of the policy declared in section 2 for the purpose of determining whether such developments and trends are interfering, or are likely to interfere, with the achievement of such policy, and to compile and submit to the President studies relating to such developments and trends;
  3. to appraise the various programs and activities of the Federal Government in the light of the policy declared in section 2 for the purpose of determining the extent to which such programs and activities are contributing, and the extent to which they are not contributing, to the achievement of such policy, and to make recommendations to the President with respect thereto;
  4. to develop and recommend to the President national economic policies to foster and promote free competitive enterprise, to avoid economic fluctuations or to diminish the effects thereof, and to maintain employment, production, and purchasing power;
  5. to make and furnish such studies, reports thereon, and recommendations with respect to matters of Federal economic policy and legislation as the President may request.”

https://www.whitehouse.gov/cea/

Trump’s team releases economic report, compares him to Reagan and Kennedy

Heather LongWashington Post

President Donald Trump‘s policies are driving an economic turnaround that puts him in the company of transformative presidents such as John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, White House economists said Wednesday as they unveiled their first “Economic Report of the President.”

The report presents a highly optimistic view of the economy’s current condition and future course, with growth predictions that exceed most nonpartisan economists’ expectations. Economists also caution the White House’s efforts to juice growth could cause the economy to overheat and then careen into a downturn.

But the White House argues Trump’s economy has already outperformed expectations, noting 2.3 percent growth in the U.S. gross domestic product last year. And it argues the administration’s efforts to cut taxes and strip regulations can push growth rates far beyond recent levels.

“The Trump Administration is the first since that of President Ronald Reagan to see positive economic growth exceed its first-year forecast,” the White House said when it released the 568-page report.

Going forward, Trump’s team predicts 3 percent GDP growth for years to come. That’s short of the 4 percent growth Trump promised while campaigning, but it would still be a marked improvement from former President Barack Obama‘s time in office.

“We’ve restored economic policies to where a sensible, rational country would put them,” said economist Kevin Hassett, head of Trump’s Council of Economic Advisers.

For now, however, the Trump economy is performing much as it did during Obama’s final years. Hiring during Trump’s first year in office was slower than the annual pace in Obama’s last several years, and the economic growth rate was similar in 2017 to what it was in 2014 and 2015. The one noticeable change has been a jump in business and consumer confidence since the election, according to nonpartisan surveys.

Trump’s report repeatedly casts the Obama economy as a period of “stagnation” where the former president “worsened the wound” of the crisis with his policies. In contrast, the Trump economy is described as “reinvigorating,” “pro-growth” and visionary.

Every president since Harry Truman in 1947 has put out an annual economic report laying out a vision for how to boost growth and lower unemployment and making projections of what’s ahead for the next decade.

Forecasting where the economy is headed is notoriously difficult, and both Republican and Democratic administrations have been way off. Predictions from George W. Bush and Obama proved too optimistic. In 2011, the Obama team predicted growth would soar to 4 percent a year in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Growth didn’t come close to that.

Most independent economists think Trump is also too rosy. The current expansion is already nine years old, making it one of the longest periods of growth in U.S. history. Trump is projecting he can beat the 1990s expansion to usher in the longest expansion ever.

Economists warn that there’s been a dramatic change since the 1990s: America’s population is a lot older now. Many baby boomers are retiring, which is dragging down growth. On top of that, Trump wants to restrict immigration. With fewer workers in the economy going forward, the United States could struggle to match past growth rates.

Macroeconomic Advisers, a top forecasting company, predicts 2.7 percent growth this year and 2.6 percent in 2019, but after that, growth is expected to fall back to 1.8 percent.

“The pretty solid growth we’re showing over the next couple of years is in part the result of the boost from the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, but that’s only a temporary boost in growth,” said Ben Herzon, senior economist at Macroeconomic Advisers. “The only way to get to 3 percent growth on a sustained basis is faster growth of the labor force or faster growth of productivity. I just don’t see that happening.”

Productivity has been stubbornly low in the United States since the dot-com era, and that slowdown has occurred in Europe and Japan as well. The Trump team forecasts a large jump in productivity as businesses use their tax savings to invest more in new equipment, factories and technology. Business capital spending did rise in 2017, but it’s still nowhere near where it was in the 1990s.

The Trump administration is relying on “faith-based economics,” said Ed Yardeni, head of Yardeni Research.

Trump says he’s just getting going. The report touts the benefits of the tax cuts. Based on the latest totals, White House economists note “over 300 companies” have announced bonuses, wage increases and extra contributions to retirement accounts. More than 4.2 million workers are enjoying the benefits right now, economists said, and Americans are starting to see the tax savings on their paychecks.

Trump’s team also said the economy could get a further boost from more favorable trade agreements and an infrastructure deal. The White House is pushing lawmakers to pass legislation that would revamp the country’s roads, waterways and other infrastructure, though it faces a difficult path through a divided Congress because there is no clear way to fund the plan, and deficits could hit $1 trillion as early as next year.

The White House continues to argue that the tax cut will pay for itself with faster growth, but nonpartisan economists disagree. Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation estimates the tax bill would add at least $1 trillion to the debt over the next decade, even after accounting for some extra growth.

A growing number of economists say a more likely course for the U.S. economy is a boom in the next year or two and then a bust. They foresee all the extra spending in Washington and the deficit-financed tax cuts to probably cause the U.S. economy to overheat.

“We are prepared to risk the whole economy for the sake of one point of extra GDP,” said economist Desmond Lachman at an event last week at the right-leaning American Enterprise Institute. He sees rising risks, especially if inflation starts to rise rapidly, forcing the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates sharply in the next two years.

The Trump administration pushes back on such grim forecasts, saying it thinks inflation will remain low – around the Fed’s 2 percent – for years to come, even with all the extra stimulus from the tax cuts and higher government spending.

Trump’s approach to the economy, much like Reagan’s, is meant to trigger businesses to spend and invest more, which his advisers say will cause wages to rise and growth to stay high for years to come.

“If you think about our policies, then they’re almost, across the board, supply-side policies,” Hassett said. “We think that the beneficial effects of the supply-side stimulus, especially that begin to accumulate after this year, take a lot of pressure off of inflation.”

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-white-house-us-gdp-growth-20180221-story.html

Council of Economic Advisers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Council of Economic Advisers
Council of Economic Advisers.png
Agency overview
Formed 1946; 72 years ago
Preceding agencies
Headquarters Eisenhower Executive Office Building
Employees About 35
Agency executive
Parent agency Executive Office of the President of the United States
Website Council of Economic Advisers

The Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) is a United States agency within the Executive Office of the President established in 1946, which advises the President of the United States on economic policy.[2] The CEA provides much of the objective empirical research for the White House and prepares the annual Economic Report of the President.

History, 1946-1978

The Truman administration established the Council of Economic Advisers via the Employment Act of 1946, to provide presidents with objective economic analysis and advice on the development and implementation of a wide range of domestic and international economic policy issues. It was a step from an “ad hoc style of economic policy making to a more institutionalized and focused process”. In 1949 Chairman Edwin Nourse and member Leon Keyserling argued about whether the advice should be private or public and about the role of government in economic stabilization.[3]

Nourse believed a choice had to be made between “guns or butter” but Keyserling argued for deficit spending, an expanding economy could afford large defense expenditures without sacrificing an increased standard of living. In 1949, Keyserling gained support from Truman advisors Dean Acheson and Clark Clifford. Nourse resigned as chairman, warning about the dangers of budget deficits and increased funding of “wasteful” defense costs. Keyserling succeeded to the chairmanship and influenced Truman’s Fair Deal proposals and the economic sections of National Security Council Resolution 68 that, in April 1950, asserted that the larger armed forces America needed would not affect living standards or risk the “transformation of the free character of our economy.”[4]

During the 1953–54 recession, the CEA, headed by Arthur Burns deployed non-traditional neo-keynesian interventions, which provided results later called the “steady fifties” wherein many families stayed in the economic “middleclass” with just one family wage-earner. The Eisenhower Administration supported an activist contracyclical approach that helped to establish Keynesianism as a possible bipartisan economic policy for the nation. Especially important in formulating the CEA response to the recession—accelerating public works programs, easing credit, and reducing taxes—were Arthur F. Burns and Neil H. Jacoby.[5]

Until 1963 -during its first seven years- the CEA made five technical advances in policy making, including the replacement of a “cyclical model” of the economy by a “growth model,” the setting of quantitative targets for the economy, use of the theories of fiscal drag and full-employment budget, recognition of the need for greater flexibility in taxation, and replacement of the notion of unemployment as a structural problem by a realization of a low aggregate demand.[6]

The 1978 Humphrey–Hawkins Full Employment Act required each administration to move toward full employment and reasonable price stability within a specific time period. It has made CEA’s annual economic report highly political in nature, as well as highly unreliable and inaccurate over the standard two or five year projection periods.[7]

History 1978-present

Since 1980, the CEA focused on sources of economic growth, the supply side of the economy and on international issues.[3]

Organization

The council’s chairman is nominated by the president and approved by the United States Senate. The members are appointed by the president. As of July 2017, the council´s 18 person staff consisted of a chief of staff (Director of Macroeconomic Forecasting), 15 economists (5 senior, 4 research, 4 staff economists, 2 economic statisticians) and 2 operations staff.[8]Many of the staff economists are academics on leave or government economists on temporary assignment from other agencies.[citation needed]

Chairmen and members

List of chairmen

Officeholder Term start Term end President
Edwin G. Nourse August 9, 1946 November 1, 1949 Harry Truman
Leon Keyserling
Acting: 1949–1950
November 2, 1949 January 20, 1953
Arthur F. Burns March 19, 1953 December 1, 1956 Dwight Eisenhower
Raymond J. Saulnier December 3, 1956 January 20, 1961
Walter Heller January 29, 1961 November 15, 1964 John F. Kennedy
Lyndon Johnson
Gardner Ackley November 16, 1964 February 15, 1968
Arthur M. Okun February 15, 1968 January 20, 1969
Paul W. McCracken February 4, 1969 December 31, 1971 Richard Nixon
Herbert Stein January 1, 1972 August 31, 1974
Gerald Ford
Alan Greenspan September 4, 1974 January 20, 1977
Charles Schultze January 22, 1977 January 20, 1981 Jimmy Carter
Murray Weidenbaum February 27, 1981 August 25, 1982 Ronald Reagan
Martin Feldstein October 14, 1982 July 10, 1984
Beryl W. Sprinkel April 18, 1985 January 20, 1989
Michael J. Boskin February 2, 1989 January 20, 1993 George H. W. Bush
Laura Tyson February 5, 1993 February 21, 1995 Bill Clinton
Joseph Stiglitz June 28, 1995 February 13, 1997
Janet Yellen February 18, 1997 August 3, 1999
Martin N. Baily August 12, 1999 January 20, 2001
Glenn Hubbard May 11, 2001 February 28, 2003 George W. Bush
Greg Mankiw May 29, 2003 February 18, 2005
Harvey S. Rosen February 23, 2005 June 10, 2005
Ben Bernanke June 21, 2005 January 31, 2006
Edward Lazear February 27, 2006 January 20, 2009
Christina Romer January 28, 2009 September 3, 2010 Barack Obama
Austan Goolsbee September 10, 2010 August 5, 2011
Alan Krueger November 7, 2011 August 2, 2013
Jason Furman[9] August 2, 2013 January 20, 2017
Kevin Hassett[10] September 13, 2017 Incumbent Donald Trump

List of members

References

Sources

  • Brazelton, W. Robert (2001), Designing U.S. Economic Policy: An Analytical Biography of Leon H. Keyserling, New York: Palgrave, ISBN 0-333-77575-9
  • Brazelton, W. Robert (1997), “The Economics of Leon Hirsch Keyserling”, Journal of Economic Perspectives11 (4): 189–197, doi:10.1257/jep.11.4.189ISSN 0895-3309
  • Brune, Lester H. (1989), “Guns and Butter: the Pre-Korean War Dispute over Budget Allocations: Nourse’s Conservative Keynesianism Loses Favor Against Keyserling’s Economic Expansion Plan”, The American Journal of Economics and Sociology48 (3): 357–371, doi:10.1111/j.1536-7150.1989.tb03189.xISSN 0002-9246
  • Cimbala, Stephen J.; Stout, Robert L. (1983), “The Economic Report of the President: Before and after the Full Employment and Balanced Growth Act of 1978”, Presidential Studies Quarterly13 (1): 50–61, ISSN 0360-4918
  • Eizenstat, Stuart E. (1992), “Economists and White House Decisions”, Journal of Economic Perspectives6 (3): 65–71, doi:10.1257/jep.6.3.65ISSN 0895-3309
  • Engelbourg, Saul (1980), “The Council of Economic Advisers and the Recession of 1953–1954”, Business History Review54 (2): 192–214, doi:10.2307/3114480ISSN 0007-6805JSTOR 3114480
  • Leeson, Robert (1997), “The Political Economy of the Inflation-unemployment Trade-off”, History of Political Economy29 (1): 117–156, doi:10.1215/00182702-29-1-117ISSN 0018-2702
  • McCaleb, Thomas S. (1986), “The Council of Economic Advisers after Forty Years”, Cato Journal6 (2): 685–693, ISSN 0273-3072
  • Norton, Hugh S. (1977), The Employment Act and the Council of Economic Advisers, 1946–1976, Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, ISBN 0-87249-296-6
  • Salant, Walter S. (1973), “Some Intellectual Contributions of the Truman Council of Economic Advisers to Policy-making”, History of Political Economy5 (1): 36–49, doi:10.1215/00182702-5-1-36ISSN 0018-2702
  • Sobel, Robert (1988), Biographical Directory of the Council of Economic A dvisers, New York: Greenwood Press, ISBN 0-313-22554-0
  • Tobin, James; Weidenbaum, Murray, eds. (1988), Two Revolutions in Economic Policy: The First Economic Reports of Presidents Kennedy and Reagan, Cambridge: MIT Press, ISBN 0-262-70034-4
  • Wehrle, Edmund F. (2004), “Guns, Butter, Leon Keyserling, the AFL-CIO, and the Fate of Full-employment Economics”, Historian66 (4): 730–748, doi:10.1111/j.1540-6563.2004.00094.xISSN 0018-2370

External links

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The Pronk Pops Show 1036, February 21, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Hosts a Listening Session with High School Students and Teachers at White House — Videos

Posted on February 21, 2018. Filed under: American History, Assault, Breaking News, College, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Employment, Former President Barack Obama, Freedom of Speech, Gangs, Government Dependency, Government Spending, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Law, Life, Lying, Media, Networking, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Rifles, Robert S. Mueller III, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Success, Surveillance/Spying, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Trump Surveillance/Spying, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1036, February 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1035, February 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1034, February 15, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1033, February 14, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1032, February 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1031, February 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1030, February 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1028, February 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1027, February 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1026, February 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1025, January 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1024, January 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1023, January 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1022, January 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1021, January 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1020, January 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1019, January 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1018, January 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1017, January 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1016, January 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1015, January 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1014, January 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1013, December 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1012, December 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1011, December 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1010, December 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1009, December 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1008, December 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1007, November 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1006, November 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1005, November 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1004, November 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1003, November 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1002, November 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1001, November 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1000, November 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 999, November 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 998, November 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 997, November 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 996, November 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 995, November 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 994, November 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 993, November 1, 2017

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Story 1: President Trump Hosts a Listening Session with High School Students and Teachers at White House — Videos

Trump hosts emotional listening session on school safety

President Trump Hosts a Listening Session with High School Students and Teachers. 2.21.18 — Videos

President Trump: “It’s called concealed carry.” (C-SPAN)

The Ingraham Angle 2/21/18 , The Ingraham Angle February 21. 2018

Tucker Carlson Tonight 2/21/18 | Fox News Today | February 21, 2018

Sean Hannity 2/21/18 – Fox News Today February 21, 2018

President Trump full statement on Parkland, Florida School Shooting (C-SPAN)

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

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

The Difference Between SEMI-AUTOMATIC and FULLY AUTOMATIC GUNS

Assault Rifle vs. Sporting Rifle

Published on Dec 30, 2012

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

Full Auto vs. Semi-Auto with an AK

Inside the AK-47

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

Rush Limbaugh: We Need Concealed Carry in Schools. “Bashing NRA Isn’t Going to Do it”

Texas school allows teachers to carry concealed weapons

Tx. Teachers To Carry Guns

Published on Aug 19, 2008
The Harrold, Texas school district calls for teachers to carry guns to prevent a future Columbine school incident. Harry Smith talks to the superintendent and a teacher’s federation representative.

The school where teachers are armed

The Safest School District In The USA! Shamrock ISD In Amarillo Texas

Marble Falls TX School Allows Teachers To Carry Guns On Campus

Published on Jan 31, 2013
Because it makes sense, that’s why!

Principals and Teachers Who Carry Guns at School

What It’s Like Inside a School Shooting Drill

Auburn University Active Shooter Response Training – ALICE

ALICE training

ALICE Training Video

Law to allow concealed carry guns on school campuses

John Lott: The War on Guns

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

John Lott: Why More Guns Equal Less Crime

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

Las Vegas Massacre: John Lott discusses gun laws and ownership

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

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

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

BBC This World – Norway’s Massacre

 

Florida Carry calls for emergency legislation to arm teachers in the classroom

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The pro-gun group “Florida Carry” is requesting the Florida Senate pass emergency legislation to allow all public school teachers to bring their concealed firearms to the classrooms to use in their defense.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The pro-gun group “Florida Carry” is requesting the Florida Senate pass emergency legislation to allow all public school teachers to bring their concealed firearms to the classrooms to use in their defense.

The idea is nothing new and, tragically, the timing of it isn’t either as gun legislation comes to the forefront of discussion following another mass shooting.

“I think what we have to consider is that the training to have a concealed weapons permit doesn’t really bring you to the level of law enforcement dealing with an active shooter situation,” said Shine.

He’s an instructor in shooting sports and a teacher of a local concealed weapons class.

“I’ve been doing this for about 15 years, even at my level I don’t feel comfortable confronting an active shooter in a school.”

He says change must happen after 17 innocent lives were taken in what’s supposed to be a safe setting.

“We are in a new reality so it wouldn’t be surprising if we saw that in the future

He says arming untrained teachers is too great a risk right now, but it’s something that should bve up for debate.

“How would a law enforcement office knows the teacher is not the shooter?”

On Saturday Shine sent a letter to Superintendent Patricia Willis offering alternative forms of security.

“Mace and pepper spray have a range of about 20 feet,” said Shine.

In his letter, he says:

One thing to consider is allowing trained members of a school staff to use/have access to non-lethal intervention tools — mace, bean bag, body armor, etc.. I understand it will be impossible to stop all events, but if we can minimize the event — or even more, create the perception among possible perpetrators that they will be less likely to be successful in consummating their crime — the deterrent factor could be of value.

He also says that Duval County’s aging buildings need to be updated with technology.

“For example, if a door is open that shouldn’t be a buzz will go off in the front office.”

Shine says Florida Concealed Weapons holders are restricted from carry in a number of locations, not just schools; among these “places of nuisance” are bars and commercial events that have alcohol.

In training for CCW, persons are instructed to avoid danger and generally move away from fire, says Shine.

“The proposal we talked about today would involve educators “moving into fire.” That is a radical departure from personal protection practices and training. However, Florida law does allow you to “stand in the shoes of another” regarding deadly force is the force is reasonable in protecting live or grievous bodily injury.”

Shine says the state publication that is sent to CCW permit holders when the license is granted, actually says “a CCW does not make you a free-lance policeman.”

“So, what we are talking about in the proposal to the state is very different the current CCW parameters.”

http://www.firstcoastnews.com/article/news/florida-carry-calls-for-emergency-legislation-to-arm-teachers-in-the-classroom/77-520002175

 

Guns in Schools

Schools should be a safe haven from the violence that touches so many Americans, yet many states lack proper legal protection against the presence of firearms in schools. Dangerous gaps in gun-free schools laws, like concealed carry exceptions, threaten the safety of children and increase the likelihood of tragic school shootings. Meanwhile, the gun lobby’s efforts to force colleges and universities to allow guns on campuses poses a threat to the safety of post-secondary students and educators.

BACKGROUND

Guns have no place in our nation’s schools. The tragedies that took place at Sandy Hook,1 Columbine,2 Virginia Tech,3 and other schools across the US4 demonstrate the devastating effect guns have on our school communities. Calls to arm teachers or to allow college students to carry guns will only lead to more gun deaths and injuries, not fewer. By contrast, laws that prohibit guns in schools and impose harsh penalties for gun possession help keep students and educators safe. The presence of guns in higher education classrooms also burdens the First Amendment right to academic freedom of speech — guns can impede the candid discourse that is critical to the collegiate experience. Allowing guns on campus poses a grave threat to people employed by schools, as well, making the workplace more dangerous for university staff and faculty.

REDUCING GUN VIOLENCE AT K–12 SCHOOLS

Shootings at K–12 schools shock us because schools are generally safe havens from the gun violence that is so prevalent elsewhere. A report issued by the US Departments of Education and Justice found that between 1992 and 2006, at least 50 times as many murders of young people ages 5–18 occurred away from school than at school.5 In addition, at least 140 times as many youth suicides were committed off school property than at school.6 During the 2010-11 school year, there was about one homicide or suicide of a school-age youth at school per 3.5 million enrolled students.7

Federal and state laws ensuring that schools are gun-free zones have helped make K–12 schools even safer, significantly reducing gun violence in these places. School-associated student homicide rates decreased after the federal laws restricting guns within 1,000 feet of schools were adopted in the early 1990s,8 and fewer students are carrying guns.9

Proposals offered by the gun lobby to arm teachers and repeal gun-free school zones laws are dangerous and counter-productive.10 There is no reason to believe such proposals will help curb those rare instances of gun violence at school. Teachers are not trained law enforcement officers — their purpose is to be educators and role models. Further, the gun lobby’s claim that “gun-free zones” invite mass shootings has been thoroughly debunked by research showing that the overwhelming majority—nearly 90%—of all high-fatality gun massacres since 1966 have occurred wholly or partly in locations where civilian guns were allowed or there was armed security or law enforcement present.11

Gun violence prevention measures for our schools should focus on educating kids and parents about the dangers of firearms and importance of safe storage, rather than on arming teachers. A study of 37 school shootings in 26 states found that in nearly two-thirds of the incidents, the attacker got the gun from his or her own home or that of a relative.12 For more information about the safe storage of firearms, see our summary on Safe Storage.

PROTECTING COLLEGE STUDENTS FROM GUN HOMICIDE AND SUICIDE

America’s college and university campuses are also generally safe havens from gun violence.13 As described below, in most states, legislators or the governing bodies of higher education institutions have prohibited or significantly restricted gun possession on most or all areas of public college and university campuses.14 Moreover, as described in the summary on the Minimum Age to Purchase & Possess, students under age 21 may not carry handguns on campus in many states because they are prohibited from possessing handguns.

As a result of these laws, few students have access to guns on campus, ensuring that colleges and universities remain safe learning environments:

  • Less than 2% of college students report being threatened with a gun while at school.15
  • There were 11,920 total gun homicides in the US in 2003,16 but only 10 total murders or non-negligent homicides on college campuses.17
  • Violent crime for college students age 18–24 declined significantly between 1995 and 2002.18
  • Students living on college campuses are less likely to be victimized than when living off-campus — over 90% of victimizations occur off-campus.19

Allowing guns on campus would likely lead to more campus homicides and suicides. Young adults between the ages of 18–25 experience the highest rate of serious mental illness.20 Between 9% and 11% of college students seriously considered suicide in the previous school year,21 and about 1,100 college students commit suicide each year.22 When a gun enters this mix, a suicide attempt becomes considerably more lethal, as 85% of gun suicide attempts are fatal.23

Gun-owning college students also have a greater propensity for engaging in risky, sometimes violent, behavior. A 2002 study from the Journal of American College Health found that students who owned guns were more likely than non-gun-owning students to binge drink and then engage in risky activities “such as driving when under the influence of alcohol, vandalizing property, and having unprotected intercourse.”24

These facts belie any need for students, faculty and visitors to carry guns on campus — for self-defense or any other reason.25 There is no credible statistical evidence to suggest that students carrying guns, particularly concealed handguns, will reduce violence on our college campuses. Instead, evidence suggests that permissive concealed gun carrying generally will increase crime and place students at risk.26Guns on campus pose additional concerns as well, including greater likelihood of gun thefts,27 and increased liability and public relations costs for schools.28 Forcing guns onto America’s college campuses also inhibits the free exchange of ideas in the classroom by making students and faculty feel less safe to express controversial views.29

In seeking to force higher education institutions to allow guns on campus, the gun lobby has recently argued that college-aged women should be able to carry concealed firearms to defend themselves against sexual assault. This position ignores clear evidence that “campus carry” laws will not make women safer from sexual violence.30To the contrary, after campus carry policies took effect in Utah and Colorado, crimes committed on or near college campuses in those states, including forcible rapes, increased (during a time period when the nationwide rate of sexual assaults decreased).31 As survivors of sexual assault and groups like the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence have observed, allowing guns on campus won’t make women safer, but will give women and other students more reason to fear potentially armed predators and rapists.32 And all students likewise would have good reason to fear that introducing guns onto college campuses will lead to more homicides, suicides, and gun accidents, decreasing campus safety overall.

SUMMARY OF FEDERAL LAW

No federal law restricts guns on college or university campuses. Two federal laws regulate the possession of firearms in or near K-12 schools:

1)   the Gun-Free Schools Act (which requires some K-12 schools to expel students found with guns); and

2)   the Gun-Free School Zones Act (which deems K-12 schools to be “gun-free zones”). However, the federal law deeming K-12 schools to be gun-free zones has a dangerous loopholeit doesn’t apply to individuals licensed by a state to possess or carry a handgun.

FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITS GUNS AT K-12 SCHOOLS – WITH DANGEROUS EXCEPTIONS

The Gun-Free School Zones Act (GFSZA) prohibits any person from knowingly possessing a firearm that has moved in or otherwise affects interstate or foreign commerce at a place the individual knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, is a school zone.33 The GFSZA defines “school zone” as:

1) In, or on the grounds of, a public, parochial or private school that provides elementary or secondary education; or

2) Within a distance of 1,000 feet from the grounds of a public, parochial or private school that provides elementary or secondary education.34

However, the federal prohibition against possessing a gun in a school zone does not apply to people licensed by a state or locality to possess a gun.35 This exception covers many people licensed to possess firearms or to carry concealed firearms.36 In addition, the federal GFSZA allows firearm possession in school zones if:

1) The firearm is unloaded and “in a locked container, or a locked firearms rack that is on a motor vehicle”;37 or

2) The firearm is possessed for use in a program approved by a school, or in accordance with a contract entered into between a school and the individual or an employer of the individual.38

FEDERAL LAW REQUIRES K-12 SCHOOLS TO EXPEL STUDENTS FOR GUN POSSESSION

The Gun-Free Schools Act (GFSA) was enacted in 1994 as a response to increasing levels of gun violence in schools.39 Unlike the GFSZA, which applies to any person possessing a firearm in the defined prohibited areas, the GFSA focuses on student behavior, penalizing students to deter them from bringing firearms to school.40

The current GFSA, effective as of 2002, requires that states receiving certain federal funds require local educational agencies to expel students from school for a minimum period of one year if they bring a firearm to school or possess one at school.41 The GFSA also requires that, in order to receive federal funds, each local educational agency must:

1) Refer any student who brings a firearm to a school served by the agency to the criminal justice or juvenile delinquency system;42

2) Annually provide an assurance that the local educational agency is in compliance with the state expulsion law;43 and

3) Annually provide a description of the circumstances surrounding any expulsions imposed under the state expulsion law.44

The GFSA expressly permits firearm possession if the gun is lawfully stored inside a locked vehicle on school property, or if the gun is possessed for a school activity approved and authorized by the local educational agency (if appropriate safeguards have been adopted to ensure student safety).45 The GFSA also allows states to permit the chief administering officer of a local educational agency to modify an expulsion for a student, in writing, on a case-by-case basis.46 To date, the GFSA has not been challenged.

EXECUTIVE ORDERS RESPONDING TO SHOOTINGS AT K-12 SCHOOLS

In the aftermath of the Newtown shootings, in 2013, President Obama issued a series of executive orders focusing on firearms and ammunition regulation, mental health issues, and school shootings. A few of these orders deal directly with safety in K-12 schools:

  • The Departments of Justice and Homeland Security have been directed to provide continuing training and security assessments for law enforcement, first responders, and school officials on active shooter situations.47
  • The Departments of Education, Justice, Homeland Security, and Health and Human Services have developed model emergency management planning guides to help schools prepare for shootings.48

The Department of Justice (DOJ) has made Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Hiring Grants available to fund school resource officers.49 In September 2013, DOJ announced the awarding of 263 COPS Hiring Grants totaling approximately $125 million, including around $45 million to fund 356 new school resource officer positions.50

SUMMARY OF STATE LAW

As described below, almost all states prohibit guns in K–12 schools, but only 40 states and Washington DC extend this prohibition to people who have been granted a permit to carry a concealed weapon (CCW permit holders). Two additional states allow individuals schools to decide to ban CCW permit holders from carrying guns, leaving eight states that either allow concealed carry of firearms at K–12 schools or have no relevant law prohibiting it.

Most states either prohibit or restrict firearms on college or university campuses, or allow those institutions to set their own rules banning firearms. Eighteen states, including DC, have laws prohibiting or restricting guns on higher education campuses, while 21 additional states leave the decision up to each campus. However, 12 states force public colleges or universities to allow concealed carry of guns in some or all areas of campus, or by some individuals (e.g., staff or faculty) anywhere on campus. In some states, state colleges and universities are also subject to state statutes limiting the authority of political subdivisions to regulate firearms.

State Guns in K–12 Schools CCW in K–12 Schools Guns on College and University Campuses CCW on College and University Campuses
AL Prohibited51 Allowed52 Schools may prohibit.53
AK Prohibited54 Allowed55 Schools may prohibit.
AZ Prohibited56 Prohibited in public schools; private schools may prohibit.57 Schools may prohibit.58
AR Prohibited59 Prohibited60 Prohibited for handguns.61 Public schools may not prohibit.62
CA Prohibited63 Prohibited64 Prohibited65 Prohibited66
CO Prohibited67 Prohibited68 Prohibited69 Public schools may not prohibit.70
CT Prohibited71 Prohibited72 Schools may prohibit.
DE Prohibited73 Prohibited74 Schools may prohibit.
DC Prohibited75 Prohibited76 Prohibited77 Prohibited78
FL Prohibited79 Prohibited80 Prohibited81 Prohibited, except in motor vehicles.82
GA Prohibited83 Prohibited84 Prohibited85 Public schools may not prohibit.86
HI87 No relevant statute. Schools may prohibit.
ID Prohibited88 Prohibited89 Schools may prohibit.90 Public schools may not prohibit.91
IL Prohibited92 Prohibited93 Prohibited94 Prohibited95
IN Prohibited96 Prohibited97 Schools may prohibit.
IA Prohibited98 Prohibited99 Schools may prohibit.100
KS Prohibited101 Schools may prohibit.102 Schools may prohibit. Public schools may not prohibit.103
KY Prohibited104 Prohibited105 Schools may prohibit.106
LA Prohibited107 Prohibited108 Prohibited109 Prohibited with vehicle and other exceptions.110
ME Prohibited111 Prohibited112 Schools may prohibit.113
MD Prohibited114 Prohibited115 Schools may prohibit.
MA Prohibited116 Prohibited117 Prohibited118 Prohibited119
MI Prohibited120 Prohibited121 Schools may prohibit. Prohibited in dorms and classrooms.122
MN Prohibited123 Prohibited124 Schools may prohibit.125
MS Prohibited126 Prohibited127 Prohibited128 Schools may not prohibit.129
MO Prohibited.130 Prohibited131 Schools may prohibit.132 Prohibited, except in motor vehicles.133
MT Prohibited134 Prohibited135 Schools may prohibit.
NE Prohibited136 Prohibited137 Prohibited138 Prohibited, except in motor vehicles.139
NV Prohibited140 Prohibited141 Prohibited142 Prohibited at public schools.143
NH Allowed144 Allowed145 Schools may prohibit.
NJ Prohibited146 Prohibited147 Prohibited148 Prohibited149
NM Prohibited150 Prohibited151 Prohibited152 Prohibited with vehicle and other exceptions.153
NY Prohibited154 Prohibited155 Prohibited156 Prohibited157
NC Prohibited158 Prohibited159 Prohibited.160 Prohibited, except in motor vehicles.161
ND Prohibited162 Prohibited163 Schools may prohibit.164
OH Prohibited165 Prohibited166 Schools may prohibit. Prohibited, except in motor vehicles.167
OK Prohibited168 Prohibited169 Prohibited170 Prohibited with vehicle and other exceptions.171
OR Prohibited172 Allowed173 Prohibited174 Public schools may not prohibit in open areas via formal rule.175
PA Prohibited176 Prohibited177 Schools may prohibit.
RI Prohibited178 Allowed179 Schools may prohibit.
SC Prohibited180 Prohibited181 Prohibited182 Prohibited with vehicle and other exceptions.183
SD Prohibited184 Prohibited185 Schools may prohibit.
TN Prohibited186 Prohibited187 Prohibited188 Public schools may not prohibit carry by employees.189
TX Prohibited190 Prohibited191 Prohibited192 Public schools may not prohibit.193
UT Prohibited194 Allowed195 Prohibited196 Public schools may not prohibit.197
VT Prohibited198 Prohibited199 Schools may prohibit.200
VA Prohibited201 Prohibited202 Schools may prohibit. Public schools may not prohibit in open areas.203
WA Prohibited204 Prohibited205 Schools may prohibit.206
WV Prohibited207 Prohibited208 Schools may prohibit.
WI Prohibited209 Prohibited210 Schools may prohibit.211 Public schools may not prohibit in open areas.212
WY No relevant statute. Allowed for school employees.213 Schools may prohibit. Prohibited.214

 

MOST STATES BAN GUNS AT K–12 SCHOOLS, BUT SOME ALLOW CONCEALED CARRY

The vast majority of states — 47 of them — and the District of Columbia prohibit carrying or possessing a firearm on K–12 school property, within safe school or gun-free school zones, on school-provided transportation, or at school-sponsored events. Only Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Wyoming do not generally prohibit people from bringing guns onto the property of K–12 schools.215

However, only 40 states and DC extend their laws prohibiting guns at K–12 schools to people who have a concealed weapons permit.216 Two additional states somewhat regulate concealed carry of firearms at K–12 schools: Kansas allows such schools to ban concealed carry, while Arizona requires public schools to prohibit all firearms unless the carrier has gotten specific authorization from school administrators, but allows private schools to decide whether or not to allow concealed carry of firearms on their property for approved events.217 The remaining eight states either allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry guns at K–12 schools, or have no law addressing the subject:

Alabama218
Alaska219
Hawaii220
New Hampshire221
Oregon222
Rhode Island223
Utah224
Wyoming225

Among the 40 states and DC that generally prohibit concealed carry permit holders from bringing firearms to K–12 schools, one notable exception common to these states’ laws is where an adult is in lawful possession of a firearm, and the firearm is within a vehicle when the adult is dropping off or picking up a student on school property. Other common exceptions include:

1) Guns locked in vehicles on school property;

2) Guns possessed for hunting or safety courses, school-authorized sports or recreation activities, or military or peace officer training;

3) Lawful possession of a gun within a residence, place of business, or other private property that lies within a school zone but is not part of the school grounds or property;

4) Guns possessed while hunting on school grounds or traversing school grounds to access hunting lands during hunting season; and

5) Where the possessor has obtained prior permission from the school or district.

ALMOST ALL STATES EXPEL STUDENTS FOR GUN POSSESSION

Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia require that any student possessing a firearm at an elementary or secondary school or on school property be expelled for not less than one year.226 Consistent with the federal Gun-Free Schools Act, these states commonly grant authority to the school to modify the expulsion of a particular student on a case-by-case basis. Most states authorize school districts to provide educational services to an expelled student in an alternative setting. Only Massachusetts does not require the expulsion of a student for possessing a gun at school.227

STATE LAWS ON GUNS AT COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITY CAMPUSES

States that Prohibit or Restrict Firearms on Campus

Eighteen states, including the District of Columbia, have a law or regulation that prohibits the possession of firearms on campuses of colleges, universities, and other institutions of higher education. Detailed information about each of the states that prohibit or restrict firearms on higher education campuses can be found in the above chart. Of those 18 states:

  • Seven (California, DC, Illinois, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, and New York) have banned both open and concealed carry of firearms on college and university campuses.
  • Seven (Florida, Louisiana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and South Carolina) have banned open and concealed carry in most campus locations, but allow loaded firearms to be carried inside motor vehicles on campus in specified circumstances (among certain other exceptions as well).
  • Four (Michigan, Missouri, Ohio, and Wyoming) restrict concealed carry, but do not actually ban open carry on public or private college or university campuses, though they may allow individual colleges and universities to exercise their own authority to ban open carry.

States that Let Schools Decide How to Regulate Guns on Campus

In 21 states, state law either expressly allows colleges and universities to regulate firearms, or is silent on the matter, leaving gun regulation decisions up to the governing bodies of colleges and universities in the state. These states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont,228 Washington and West Virginia.

Generally, in these 21 states, the absence of law addressing gun possession on college and university campuses gives the governing bodies of colleges and universities the authority to prohibit open and concealed carry of firearms. For example, in Iowa and Washington, the public higher education system has adopted an administrative rule prohibiting possession of firearms on campus.229 In three other states — Kentucky, Maine, and Minnesota — public and private colleges and universities are expressly permitted to pass their own rules concerning guns on campus.230 Similarly, in Delaware, public institutions of higher education are required to develop security policies that include “regulations governing the possession and use of firearms on campus by employees, students and visitors.”231

However, developments in some of these 21 states have caused colleges and universities to go in the other direction. For instance, in Pennsylvania, the Governor’s Office of General Counsel and the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education issued nonbinding guidance suggesting that an outright ban of firearms on campus would violate the state constitution, causing some colleges to change their policies to allow concealed carry in some campus locations.232 In Arizona, Kentucky, and Minnesota, state laws appear to prevent colleges and universities from restricting firearms inside private vehicles, even though guns may be prohibited elsewhere on campus.233

States with “Campus Carry” Policies that Force Guns onto Campus

The gun lobby continually pushes state legislators to adopt dangerous laws or policies requiring higher education institutions to allow the carry of concealed firearms on campus. A number of states have passed “Campus Carry” laws mandating that concealed firearms be permitted on some or all areas of college and university campuses, while in other states, judicial decisions interpreting state concealed carry laws have had the same effect. In all but one of these states, laws or court decisions allowing guns on campus have targeted public colleges and universities, reserving to private colleges and universities the authority to set their own rules for firearms on their property.234

The following states have “Campus Carry” laws or equivalent judicial decisions:

Arkansas

In 2017, Arkansas enacted a law greatly expanding the places where individuals with handgun-carry permits can carry concealed firearms if they complete just eight hours of additional training to obtain an enhanced permit. The new law allows individuals with enhanced permits to carry loaded, concealed firearms “in the buildings and on the grounds of a public university, public college, or community college.”235 Under the law, private colleges and universities may adopt a policy disallowing concealed handguns in buildings and on campus grounds if they post required signs.236

Colorado

Colorado courts have found that under the state’s concealed handgun licensing statute, any person licensed to carry a concealed handgun in Colorado may do so on the grounds of a college or university campus. Schools may institute policies regulating guns on campus, but do not have the authority to ban concealed handguns on campus.237

Georgia

In 2017, Georgia passed a law allowing concealed carry license-holders to carry concealed firearms while “in any building or on real property owned by or leased to any public technical school, vocational school, college, or university, or other public institution of postsecondary education.”238 There are certain exceptions to the law, mainly that it does not authorize carrying concealed firearms in student housing, fraternities or sororities, buildings using for athletic events, or faculty offices. Also exempt are spaces used for preschool, childcare, or classes where high school students are enrolled.

Idaho

In 2014, Idaho enacted a law removing the authority of the governing bodies of higher education institutions to regulate or prohibit the possession or carrying of firearms in classrooms and open areas of campus by individuals licensed to carry a concealed handgun. Concealed guns still may not be carried into a student dormitories or residence halls, or into a building of a public entertainment facility that has posted the proper sign prohibiting firearms.239

Kansas

In 2013, Kansas enacted a law requiring public colleges and universities to allow concealed firearms on campus, unless the campus posts “armed personnel at public entrances” and installs “electronic equipment” such as metal detectors, and such security measures are sufficient to ensure that no weapons are brought into campus buildings.240 The law goes into effect in July 2017. In response to the law, the Kansas Board of Regents, with authority over Kansas public universities, adopted a new weapons policy that allows concealed carry starting in July 2017.241

Mississippi

State law allows a person who has taken a voluntary course on the safe handling and use of firearms by a certified instructor to obtain an enhanced concealed carry permit, which authorizes them to carry a concealed weapon on the campuses of public and private colleges and universities in Mississippi.242 Applicants must be over age 21 and must pass a background check for the enhanced permit.

Oregon

In 2011, the Court of Appeals of Oregon invalidated an Oregon State Board of Higher Education rule imposing sanctions on people who possess or use firearms on university property. The court held that the regulation prohibiting gun possession was outside the Board’s authority and not expressly authorized by the legislative assembly, but also concluded that the Board’s authority to control and manage its properties includes the ability to adopt policies regarding the conduct of visitors or members of the public on institutional properties.243 In 2012, the Board, using its authority, banned guns, including concealed carry, from classrooms, buildings, dormitories, and sporting and entertainment events.244

Tennessee

In 2016, Tennessee enacted a law allowing full-time faculty, staff and other employees of public colleges and universities who have handgun-carry permits to carry concealed guns on campus, as long as they first notify the local law enforcement agency with responsibility for campus security, such as campus police.245 The University of Tennessee estimated that about 27,000 full-time employees are now eligible to carry guns.246

Texas

In 2015, Texas enacted a law allowing licensed individuals to carry concealed handguns on the campuses of public colleges and universities.247 The law authorizes public colleges and universities to establish reasonable rules regarding the carrying of concealed handguns, as long as those rules do not generally prohibit license holders from carrying concealed handguns. Private colleges and universities remain free to regulate or prohibit concealed carry after consulting with their students, staff, and faculty.248

Utah

The Utah State Legislature assumed jurisdiction of the state’s public universities in 2004. Universities now must permit the lawful possession or carrying of concealed firearms in most areas of their campuses, except in one area designated as a secure “hearing room.”249

Virginia

Colleges and universities may prohibit gun possession by the general public in the most vulnerable areas of campus (e.g., academic buildings, administrative offices, student residences, dining facilities, or places where sporting, entertainment or educational events are held).250 Colleges and universities may also regulate gun possession by students and employees.251 However, according to an opinion by the state Attorney General, public colleges and universities in Virginia must allow concealed carry permit holders who are members of the general public to possess guns on the open grounds of campus.252

Wisconsin

Colleges and universities must generally allow concealed carry permit holders to carry on campus grounds. Schools may, however, prohibit any person, including a concealed weapons permit holder, from entering or remaining in any privately or publicly owned building on the grounds of a university or college, if the university or college has notified the person that he or she may not enter or remain in the building while carrying a firearm.253

KEY LEGISLATIVE ELEMENTS

The features listed below are intended to provide a framework from which policy options may be considered. A jurisdiction considering new legislation should consult with counsel.

  • Establish a gun-free school zone that prohibits the possession or carrying, whether openly or concealed, of any firearm within an elementary or secondary school building, on school property, or within a set distance of school property (District of Columbia)
  • Prohibit the possession or carrying, whether openly or concealed, of any firearm within a school bus or other school-provided transportation
  • Prohibit concealed weapons permit holders from possessing in school buildings, on school property, or within a set distance from school property
  • Prohibit the possession or carrying, whether open or concealed, of any firearm on public and private college or university campuses, including in campus open areas, in parking lots and vehicles on campus, in buildings and residences, and at sporting events

http://lawcenter.giffords.org/gun-laws/policy-areas/guns-in-public/guns-in-schools/

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

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

troll farm

New Word Suggestion

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

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

Peggy Lee — Is That All There Is? 1969

Is That All There Is

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

If that’s all there is

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

Russian tactics to create discord during the 2016 election

Steyn: Trump elected because of careless Left demonization

Ingraham: New Russia indictments have White House cheering

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

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

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

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

Hannity: Examining key points from Russian indictments

White House reacts to Russia indictments

Tucker: Here’s what seems true about Russia indictments

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

Carter Page reacts to Russia meddling indictments

Tucker vs Rob Reiner

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

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

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

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

Special counsel indicts Russian nationals for meddling

Mueller Indicts 13 Russians, Three Entities for Election Meddling

Media find way to connect Trump to Mueller’s indictments

Doris Day – Dream A Little Dream of Me

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

 

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

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

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

The Oligarch: Yevgeny V. Prigozhin

Photo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Executive Director: Mikhail L. Burchik

Mikhail L. Burchik

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GRAPHIC

The Propaganda Tools Used by Russians to Influence the 2016 Election

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

OPEN GRAPHIC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The I.T. Expert: Sergey P. Polozov

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The America Specialist: Dzheykhun N. O. Aslanov

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Former FBI profiler analyzes Florida shooting suspect

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

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

The Difference Between SEMI-AUTOMATIC and FULLY AUTOMATIC GUNS

Assault Rifle vs. Sporting Rifle

Published on Dec 30, 2012

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

Full Auto vs. Semi-Auto with an AK

Inside the AK-47

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sessions called the review a “top priority.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I Dreamed a Dream

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

Susan Boyle performs Duet with Elaine Paige

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The Pronk Pops Show 1032, February 13, 2018, Story 1: General Flynn Did Not Lie To FBI According To Former FBI Director Comey — Department of Justice Railroaded General Flynn — Videos — Story 2: Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice Last Minute Inauguration Day CYA (Obama) Email On Russia That Obama Wants Investigations By The Book — No Not The Law — Yes The Book was Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky — Videos

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Story 1: General Flynn Did Not Lie To FBI According To Former FBI Director Comey — Department of Justice Railroaded General Flynn — Videos — 

JUST IN: MARK LEVIN Goes After Obama: Where is he? Has he gone into the witness protection?

Sean Hannity Feb 15, 2018 – Breaking News

BREAKING NEWS!!! RUSH LIMBAUGH: GEN. FLYNN INDICTMENT PART OF ‘ONE OF THE MOST GIGANTIC POLITICAL SCANDAL

NEW!!! Russian Collusion Proof Just Took Whole New Turn On Dems

Obama Holdouts at DOJ Railroaded Gen Michael Flynn

FBI director claims there is no bias in agency

Napolitano: Gen. Flynn – Why did he plead guilty to lying?

Why weren’t Hillary Clinton staffers investigated for lying to FBI?

Jason Chaffetz & Trey Gowdy Trust IG Horowitz, 2042

2-3-15 DOJ Inspector General Horowitz Testimony: Return to a “Culture of Openness”

IG Michael Horowitz Opening Statement Hearing Oversight Access Concerns

Clinton campaign looked to fire intel watchdog over email scandal

Joe diGenova describes “Brazen Plot To Exonerate Hillary Clinton”

Ex-inspector general: Blowback came from Clinton allies

Trey Gowdy States Michael Horowitz The I G Uncovered Peter Strzok In FBI Investigation

General Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI

Source: Flynn broken financially and emotionally

Jared Kushner directed Michael Flynn to contact Russian ambassador

Michael Flynn may have violated Logan Act: Chad Pergram

President Trump: Lying To The FBI ‘Destroyed’ Michael Flynn’s Life, But Not Hillary’s | NBC News

Flynn unlikely to face charges for lying to FBI, sources say

Meet the Inspector General

Photo of Michael E. Horowitz

Michael E. Horowitz was sworn in as the Inspector General of the Department of Justice (DOJ) on April 16, 2012, following his confirmation by the U.S. Senate.  Mr. Horowitz was previously confirmed by the Senate in 2003 to serve a six-year term as a Commissioner on the U.S. Sentencing Commission.

As Inspector General, Mr. Horowitz oversees a nationwide workforce of more than 450 special agents, auditors, inspectors, attorneys, and support staff whose mission is to detect and deter waste, fraud, abuse, and misconduct in DOJ programs and personnel, and to promote economy and efficiency in Department operations.  Since 2015, he has simultaneously served as the Chair of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), an organization comprised of all 73 federal Inspectors General.

Mr. Horowitz worked from 2002 to 2012 as a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham, & Taft LLP, where he focused his practice on white collar defense, internal investigations, and regulatory compliance.  He also was a board member of the Ethics Resource Center and the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics.

Prior to working in private practice, Mr. Horowitz worked in DOJ from 1991 to 2002.  He served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York from 1991 to 1999, where he was the Chief of the Public Corruption Unit and a Deputy Chief of the Criminal Division.  In 1995, he was awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for his work on a complex police corruption investigation.  Thereafter, he worked in the DOJ Criminal Division in Washington from 1999 to 2002, first as a Deputy Assistant Attorney General and then as Chief of Staff.  Mr. Horowitz began his legal career as a law clerk for Judge John G. Davies of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California and as an associate at Debevoise & Plimpton.

Mr. Horowitz earned his Juris Doctor, magna cum laude, from Harvard Law School and his Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, from Brandeis University.

https://oig.justice.gov/about/meet-ig.htm

Byron York: Comey told Congress FBI agents didn’t think Michael Flynn lied

Congressional investigators are baffled by the turn of events in the Michael Flynn case. But they know they find the Flynn case troubling, from start to finish. (AP)Congressional investigators are baffled by the turn of events in the Michael Flynn case. But they know they find the Flynn case troubling, from start to finish. (AP)

Jan. 23, the Washington Post reported that the FBI had reviewed the Flynn-Kislyak calls and “has not found any evidence of wrongdoing or illicit ties to the Russian government.” (The calls had been intercepted by U.S. intelligence because the U.S. monitored the Russian ambassador’s communications — something which Flynn, a former chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency, surely knew.)

Still, Flynn’s conversation had the attention of the Obama Justice Department, and in particular of deputy attorney general Sally Yates, who reportedly believed Flynn might have violated the Logan Act, a 218 year-old law under which no one had ever been successfully prosecuted. (Two people were charged in the 19th century, but the cases were dropped.)

Despite the high level of classification, word of the Justice Department’s concerns got to the press. On Jan. 12, Washington Post columnist David Ignatius reported that Flynn and Kislyak had talked. “What did Flynn say, and did it undercut U.S. sanctions?” Ignatius asked. “The Logan Act (though never enforced) bars U.S. citizens from correspondence intending to influence a foreign government about ‘disputes’ with the United States. Was its spirit violated?”

Three days later, on Jan. 15, Vice President-elect Mike Pence (remember, this was all happening before the Trump administration took office) denied that Flynn had discussed sanctions with the Russian ambassador. “They [Flynn and Kislyak] did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia,” Pence told CBS.

On Jan. 20, Donald Trump became president. On Jan. 22, the Wall Street Journal reported that “U.S. counterintelligence agents have investigated communications” between Flynn and Kislyak. The investigation “aimed to determine the nature of Mr. Flynn’s contact with Russian officials and whether such contacts may have violated laws.”

On Jan. 24, the Justice Department — the Obama holdover Yates had become the acting attorney general — sent two FBI agents to the White House to question Flynn, who talked to them without a lawyer present.

It has sometimes been asked why Flynn, a man long familiar with the ways of Washington, would talk to the FBI without a lawyer. There seems to be no clear answer. On the one hand, as national security adviser, Flynn had plenty of reasons to talk to the FBI, and he could have reasonably thought the meeting would be about a prosaic issue involved in getting the new Trump National Security Council up and running. On the other hand, the media was filled with talk about the investigation into his conversations with Kislyak, and he might just as reasonably have thought that’s what the agents wanted to discuss. In any event, Flynn went ahead without an attorney present.

In addition, it appears the FBI did not tell White House officials, including the National Security Council’s legal adviser or the White House counsel, that agents were coming to interview the national security adviser over a potentially criminal matter.

Two days later, on Jan. 26, Yates and a high-ranking colleague went to the White House to tell counsel Don McGahn about the Flynn situation. “The first thing we did was to explain to Mr. McGahn that the underlying conduct that Gen. Flynn had engaged in was problematic in and of itself,” Yates testified in a May 2017 appearance before a Senate Judiciary Committee subcommittee. That was an apparent reference to the Logan Act, although Yates never specifically said so. “We took him [McGahn] through in a fair amount of detail of the underlying conduct, what Gen. Flynn had done.”

Yates then explained to McGahn her theory that Flynn might be vulnerable to blackmail. The idea was that Flynn had discussed sanctions with Kislyak, which of course the Russians knew. And then if Flynn lied to Pence, and Pence made a public statement based on what Flynn had told him, then the Russians might be able to blackmail Flynn because they, the Russians, knew Flynn had not told the vice president the truth.

It was a pretty far-fetched notion, but, along with the never-successfully-prosecuted Logan Act, it was apparently the basis upon which the FBI went inside the White House to do an unannounced interview of a key member of the new administration.

In their discussion, McGahn asked Yates: Even if one White House official lied to another, what’s that to the Justice Department? “It was a whole lot more than one White House official lying to another,” Yates testified. “First of all, it was the vice president of the United States and the vice president had then gone out and provided that information to the American people who had then been misled and the Russians knew all of this, making Mike Flynn compromised now.”

Yates went to see McGahn twice, on Jan. 26 and Jan. 27. On Feb. 13, Flynn resigned. That same day, the Washington Post reported that the Justice Department had pursued Flynn on the grounds of a potential Logan Act violation.

“Yates, then the deputy attorney general, considered Flynn’s comments in the intercepted call to be ‘highly significant’ and ‘potentially illegal,’ according to an official familiar with her thinking,” the Post reported. “Yates and other intelligence officials suspected that Flynn could be in violation of an obscure U.S. statute known as the Logan Act, which bars U.S. citizens from interfering in diplomatic disputes with another country.”

On Feb. 14, the New York Times reported that, “Obama advisers grew suspicious that perhaps there had been a secret deal between the incoming [Trump] team and Moscow, which could violate the rarely enforced, two-century-old Logan Act barring private citizens from negotiating with foreign powers in disputes with the United States.” (The paper added that the Obama advisers asked the FBI if Flynn and Kislyak had discussed a quid pro quo, only to learn the answer was no.)

At that point, the public still did not know that the Jan. 24 FBI interview of Flynn had taken place. That report came on Feb. 17, when the Washington Post reported the interview in a story headlined, “Flynn told FBI he did not discuss sanctions.” That was the piece that noted Flynn was in legal jeopardy, and that, “Lying to the FBI is a felony offense.”

Congress, in the meantime, was in the dark about what was going on. Given the intense discussion of the Flynn case in the media, there was no doubt lawmakers were going to want to know what was happening in the Flynn matter, as well as other aspects of the Trump-Russia investigation. (At that point, the FBI had never even publicly acknowledged that there was an investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia.)

So Comey went to Capitol Hill in March to brief lawmakers privately. That is when he told them that the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn did not believe Flynn had lied, or that any inaccuracies in Flynn’s answers were intentional. And that is when some lawmakers got the impression that Flynn would not be charged with any crime pertaining to the Jan. 24 interview.

There was still the possibility Flynn could face legal trouble for something else, like failing to register his representation of Turkey. But as far as the question of a “1001 charge” — a charge of lying to investigators, known by its number in the federal code — some lawmakers took that as a sign that Flynn was out of the woods.

On the other hand, the FBI does not make prosecution decisions. (That was not true, of course, in the case of the Clinton email investigation, in which the attorney general effectively gave Comey the decision of whether or not to prosecute.) It could be that the FBI agents who did the questioning were overruled by Justice Department officials who came up with theories like Flynn’s alleged violation of the Logan Act or his alleged vulnerability to blackmail.

In any event, much happened after the FBI director’s March briefings of Congress. In May, the president fired Comey. The Justice Department, under Trump-appointed deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein, chose Robert Mueller to be the Trump-Russia special counsel. Mueller gathered a number of prosecutors known for tough, take-no-prisoners tactics. And on Dec. 1, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI.

Yates went on to become a heroine of the Trump resistance (and at least one of Mueller’s prosecutors) after she refused to enforce the president’s travel ban executive order, and Trump summarily fired her. Her legacy lives on in United States v. Michael T. Flynn.

But to outside observers, mystery still surrounds the case. To some Republicans, it appears the Justice Department used a never-enforced law and a convoluted theory as a pretext to question Flynn — and then, when FBI questioners came away believing Flynn had not lied to them, forged ahead with a false-statements prosecution anyway. The Flynn matter is at the very heart of the Trump-Russia affair, and there is still a lot to learn about it.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/byron-york-comey-told-congress-fbi-agents-didnt-think-michael-flynn-lied/article/2648896

 

Exclusive: CIA Ex-Director Brennan’s Perjury Peril

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes next plans to investigate the role former CIA Director John Brennan and other Obama intelligence officials played in promoting the salacious and unverified Steele dossier on Donald Trump — including whether Brennan perjured himself in public testimony about it.

In his May 2017 testimony before the intelligence panel, Brennan emphatically denied the dossier factored into the intelligence community’s publicly released conclusion last year that Russia meddled in the 2016 election “to help Trump’s chances of victory.”

Brennan also swore that he did not know who commissioned the anti-Trump research document (excerpt here), even though senior national security and counterintelligence officials at the Justice Department and FBI knew the previous year that the dossier was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Last week, Nunes (R-Calif.) released a declassified memo exposing surveillance “abuses” by the Obama DOJ and FBI in their investigation of Trump’s ties to Russia. It said the agencies relied heavily on the uncorroborated dossier to take out a warrant to secretly surveil a Trump adviser in the heat of the 2016 presidential election, even though they were aware the underlying “intelligence” supporting the wiretap order was political opposition research funded by Clinton allies — a material fact they concealed from FISA court judges in four separate applications.

 Rep. Devin Nunes.

Nunes plans to soon release a separate report detailing the Obama State Department’s role in creating and disseminating the dossier — which has emerged as the foundation of the Obama administration’s Russia “collusion” investigation. Among other things, the report will identify Obama-appointed diplomats who worked with partisan operatives close to Hillary Clinton to help ex-British spy Christopher Steele compile the dossier, sources say.

“Those are the first two phases” of Nunes’ multipart inquiry, a senior investigator said. “In phase three, the involvement of the intelligence community will come into sharper focus.”

The aide, who spoke only on condition of anonymity, said Nunes will focus on Brennan as well as President Obama’s first CIA director, Leon Panetta, along with the former president’s intelligence czar, James Clapper, and national security adviser, Susan Rice, and security adviser-turned U.N. ambassador Samantha Power, among other intelligence officials.

“John Brennan did more than anyone to promulgate the dirty dossier,” the investigator said. “He politicized and effectively weaponized what was false intelligence against Trump.”

Attempts to reach Brennan for comment were unsuccessful.

Several Capitol Hill sources say Brennan, a fiercely loyal Obama appointee, talked up the dossier to Democratic leaders, as well as the press, during the campaign. They say he also fed allegations about Trump-Russia contacts directly to the FBI, while pressuring the bureau to conduct an investigation of several Trump campaign figures starting in the summer of 2016.

Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort was wiretapped in addition to Trump adviser Carter Page during the campaign. (Page has not been charged with a crime. Manafort was recently indicted for financial crimes unrelated to the Moscow “collusion” activities alleged in the dossier.)

On Aug. 25, 2016, for example, the CIA chief gave an unusual private briefing to then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) in which he told Reid the Russians were backing Trump and that the FBI would have to take the lead in an investigation because the FBI is the federal agency in charge of domestic intelligence and, unlike the CIA, can spy on U.S. citizens.

Two days after Brennan’s special briefing, Reid fired off a letter to then-FBI Director James Comey demanding he open an investigation targeting “individuals tied to Trump” to determine if they coordinated with the Russian government “to influence our election.”

“The Trump campaign has employed a number of individuals with significant and disturbing ties to Russia and the Kremlin,” the then-top Democrat in the Senate added in his two-page letter.

Reid then alluded to Page as one of those compromised individuals and repeated an unproven charge from the dossier that Page had met with two Kremlin officials in Moscow in July 2016 to discuss removing U.S. sanctions on Russia. Page has repeatedly denied the allegation under oath, swearing he never even met the Russian officials named in the dossier.

“Any such meetings should be investigated,” Reid asserted.

Less than two months later, Comey signed an application for a surveillance warrant to monitor Page’s emails, text messages, phone conversations and residence.

Christopher Steele, former British spy.

Unsatisfied with the progress of Comey’s investigation, Reid released an open letter to the FBI chief in late October 2016 accusing him of sitting on evidence. Reid told Comey that from his communications with “other top officials in the national security community, it has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers and the Russian government — a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity.”

Congressional investigators say that the “explosive information” Reid referred to was the false or unverified claims in the Clinton-funded dossier — which the sources say were passed along by Brennan. They add that Brennan gave more than one briefing.

After Trump won the election, sources say, the CIA director sought to “weaponize” the dossier’s wild accusations against the president-elect.

In early January, just weeks before Trump was inaugurated, investigators say Brennan saw to it that the contents from the dossier were attached to an official daily intelligence briefing for Obama. The special classified briefing was then leaked to the major Washington media, allowing them to use the presidential briefing to justify the publication of claims they had up to that point not been able to substantiate and had been reluctant to run.

CNN broke the news that the dossier — described as “classified documents” — had been attached to the briefing report by the CIA, and had been given to the president. The top-level credence that the government was placing in the dossier gave prominent newspapers, including the Washington Post and New York Times, justification to follow suit.

In addition, BuzzFeed published 35 pages of the dossier in full. (The Internet news outlet was recently sued by Trump campaign lawyer Michael Cohen, whom the dossier accused of conspiring with the Kremlin to pay Russian hackers to steal Clinton campaign emails. It’s one of several libel and defamation lawsuits tied to the dossier.)

At the time, the Washington Post was assured by Obama intelligence officials that “the sources involved in the [dossier’s] reporting were credible enough to warrant inclusion of their claims in the highly classified [presidential] report.” Months later in public testimony, however, Brennan said the dossier and its sources were not credible enough to incorporate the information in a separate January 2017 intelligence report on Russian election interference publicly released by the administration. The published unclassified version of the report nonetheless echoes the dossier’s central assertion that Moscow meddled in the election to help Trump.

Brennan later swore the dossier did not “in any way” factor into the CIA’s assessment that Russia interfered in the election to help Trump. However, congressional investigators suggest a still-classified version of the January 2017 intelligence report contradicts his claim. Also in his May 2017 testimony, Brennan swore he had no idea who commissioned the dossier.

CIA veterans say Brennan was the most politicized director in the agency’s history and was responsible for much of the anti-Trump bias from the intelligence community during the campaign and transition period.

Former CIA field operations officer Gene Coyle, a 30-year agency veteran who served under Brennan, said he was “known as the greatest sycophant in the history of the CIA, and a supporter of Hillary Clinton before the election.”

“I find it hard to put any real credence in anything that the man says,” he added.

Coyle noted that Brennan broke with his predecessors who stayed out of elections. Several weeks before the vote, he said, “Brennan made it very clear that he was a supporter of candidate Clinton, hoping he would be rewarded with being kept on in her administration.” (Brennan is a liberal Democrat. In fact, at the height of the Cold War in 1976, he voted for a Communist Party candidate for president.)

What’s more, his former deputy at the CIA, Mike Morell, who formed a consulting firm with longtime Clinton aide and campaign adviser Philippe Reines, even came out in early August 2016 and publicly endorsed her in the New York Times, while claiming Trump was an “unwitting agent” of Moscow.

Former FBI Director James Comey.

“In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation,” he claimed. “My training as an intelligence officer taught me to call it as I see it. This is what I did for the CIA. This is what I am doing now. Our nation will be much safer with Hillary Clinton as president.”

Reid repeated Morell’s allegation against Trump in his August 2016 letter to Comey.

Career U.S. intelligence officials say Morell, like Brennan, was personally invested in a Clinton victory.

Morell “had aspirations of being CIA director if she had won,” said former FBI counterintelligence official I.C. Smith, whose service overlapped with Brennan’s.

Investigators are trying to learn if the Clinton campaign shared, through Reines, the early memos on the dossier it was paying for with Morrell before he wrote his Times op-ed.

Morell could not be reached for comment. But he pushed back hard last week against Nunes releasing his memo exposing the FBI’s reliance on the dossier for Trump wiretaps, which he argued “did not have to happen. It undermines the credibility of the FBI in the public’s eyes, and with no justification in my view.”

“What happened here underscores the partisanship and the dysfunction of a very important committee in Congress, and that does not serve Congress well. It doesn’t serve the intelligence community, and it doesn’t serve the country well,” Morell continued earlier this week in an interview with CBS News, where he now works as a “senior national security contributor.”

Sources say Brennan is aware that the House Intelligence Committee is targeting him in its wide-ranging investigation of the dossier and investigative and intelligence abuses related to it, and that Nunes plans to call him and other former Obama administration officials before the panel to question them based on newly obtained documents and information.

Last week, perhaps not coincidentally, Brennan signed a contract with NBC News and MSNBC to be their “senior national security and intelligence analyst.”

On Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” Brennan laced into Nunes for releasing the memo revealing FBI surveillance abuses related to the dossier, claiming the head of the intelligence panel has “abused the office of the chairmanship.”

“It really underscores just how partisan Mr. Nunes has been,” Brennan charged.

In the interview, Brennan claimed he first learned of the existence of the dossier “in late summer of 2016, when there were some individuals from the various U.S. news outlets who asked me about my familiarity with it. And I had heard just snippets about it.”

He further contended that he had neither seen nor read the dossier until a month after the election.

“I did not know what was in there,” Brennan said. “I did not see it until later in that year, I think it was in December.”

Brennan also insisted he did not know who was pulling the strings on the research that went into the dossier.

“I was unaware of the provenance of it as well as what was in it,” he said, and he reasserted that “it did not play any role whatsoever in the intelligence community assessment that was done.”

Obama’s director of national intelligence, James Clapper, is also coming under scrutiny for his role in the dossier.

He joined Brennan in giving Obama a two-page summary of the dossier memos during the presidential briefing in January 2017. Days later, Clapper expressed “profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press,” and misleadingly referred to the dossier as a “private security company document.”

James Clapper, former director of national intelligence.

The intelligence committee plans to press Clapper to find out if he knew at the time that, in fact, the document was political opposition research underwritten by the Clinton campaign, and whether any of the leaks to the media came from his office.

“I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC [intelligence community],” he maintained at the time, adding that “we did not rely upon [the dossier] in any way for our conclusion” on Russian interference.

In October 2016, during the heat of the campaign, Clapper issued a public report declaring that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime directed the cyberattacks on Clinton campaign emails, echoing memos Steele was delivering at the time to the Clinton campaign.

A year later, after it was finally revealed in the national media that the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded the research that went into the notorious dossier, Clapper insisted it “doesn’t matter who paid for it.”

“It’s what the dossier said and the extent to which it was — it’s corroborated or not. We had some concerns about it from the standpoint of its sourcing, which we couldn’t corroborate,” Clapper added last October in an interview with CNN.

He went on to strongly suggest that the intelligence assessment report he issued with Brennan, which concluded the Kremlin not only hacked the Democratic campaign but did so specifically to put Trump in the White House, was based on “some of the substantive content of the dossier.”

“But at the same time, some of the substantive content, not all of it, but some of the substantive content of the dossier, we were able to corroborate in our Intelligence Community Assessment from other sources, which we had very high confidence of,” Clapper said.

Investigators say Nunes intends to drill down on exactly who those “other sources” are now that his committee has learned that top officials at both the FBI and Justice Department relied on a Yahoo! News article as their additional sourcing to corroborate the dossier allegations they cited to obtain Trump campaign wiretap warrants — even though it turns out the main source for the Yahoo! story was merely the dossier’s author, Steele, who was disguised as “a Western intelligence source.”

Clapper, who recently signed his own media deal, joining CNN as a paid “contributor,” bashed Nunes on the network and suggested the release of future reports could endanger the intelligence community’s mission. He said his release of the FBI memo was “political” and an “egregious” betrayal of “others in the intelligence community who have a lot at stake here with the whole FISA [surveillance] process.”

https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2018/02/11/former_cia_director_john_brennan_investigated_for_perjury.html

Dossier’s 10 core collusion accusations remain unverified 20 months later

Christopher Steele, former British intelligence officer in London Tuesday March 7, 2017 where he has spoken to the media for the first time . Steele who compiled an explosive and unproven dossier on President Donald Trump’s purported activities in Russia …
 – The Washington Times – Monday, February 12, 2018

Christopher Steele’s unproven dossier is a mix of felony charges against President Trump and his people, as well as supposed gossip inside the Kremlin over computer hacking and personnel firings.

For the ongoing special counsel investigation into suspected TrumpRussia election coordination, it is helpful to separate what counts: Dust away the atmospherics — supposed Kremlin intrigue — and focus on the collusion charges brought by the former British spy based on his paid intermediaries and Moscow sources. None is identified.

Funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party, these specific dossier charges of secret spy missions and criminality are what came to permeate the FBI investigation. Republicans say the FBI abused the court process by using the partisan charges to obtain four wiretap warrants against the other campaign. They say the bureau has yet to confirm any charge.

As the dossier today takes on even more importance, The Washington Times identified Mr. Steele’s 10 core collusion accusations. The analysis includes the charges’ status, 20 months after Mr. Steele first contacted the FBI and urged the prosecution of President Trump.

• The Trump campaign launched an “extensive conspiracy” with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. To date, no public verification.

• Mr. Trump, for decades a developer of tall buildings, maintained an eight-year relationship of give-and-take with Russian intelligence. To date, no public verification.

Mr. Trump and senior campaign aides actively supported the Russia hacking of Democratic Party computers to steal and release stolen emails. To date, no public verification.

• Volunteer Carter Page and campaign manager Paul Manafort personally conspired with Moscow to hack the Democrats’ computers. When the hacking began in 2015, neither man was associated with the Trump campaign. Both deny the charge. Mr. Page testified under oath that he had never met or spoken with Mr. Manafort. To date, no public verification of this dossier part.

• Mr. Page, an Annapolis graduate, an energy investor and a former resident of Moscow, traveled to that city in early July 2016 to deliver a public speech at a university. The dossier says he met with two top Kremlin operatives and discussed bribes for working to lift economic sanctions. Mr. Page testified under oath that he had never met nor spoke with them. He has filed libel lawsuits.

• Mr. Trump engaged with Russian prostitutes during a trip to Moscow in 2013. Mr. Trump has denied this numerous times. To date, no public verification.

• Mr. Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, secretly traveled to Prague in August 2016. His supposed mission: to orchestrate payments with agents of Vladimir Putin to cover up the hacking. At that point, the hacking was known worldwide. Mr. Cohen repeatedly has denied under oath that he took such a trip and showed his passport. He has filed libel lawsuits, including against Fusion GPS. Fusion co-founder Glenn Simpson, who ordered the dossier, has suggested that Mr. Cohen took a private Russian plane and might have been on a yacht in the Adriatic Sea. To date, there has been no public verification of any of this.

• Russian tech entrepreneur Aleksej Gubarev, owner of XBT Holding, hacked the Democrat Party computers with spyware and pornography. He has denied this repeatedly. He sued Mr. Steele for libel in a London court, where the former spy said the information was raw call-in information and not verified.

• Three Russian oligarchs and shareholders in Alfa Bank were involved in Russian election interference and paid bribes to Mr. Putin. They deny the charges and have filed libel lawsuits.

• Mikhail Kalugin was chief of the economic section at the Russian Embassy in Washington. Mr. Steele accuses him of being a spy and of funding the hacking with skimmed-off pension funds. He was supposedly whisked out of Washington when the hacking scandal broke in August. Washington associates of Mr. Kalugin told The Washington Times that the diplomat announced his planned departure 10 months beforehand. He and his family returned to Moscow. He now works in the Foreign Ministry. A former senior U.S. government official told The Times that Mr. Kalugin was never internally identified as a spy.

Republicans and dossier targets uniformly deride the 35 pages as falsehoods and fabrications. Some Democrats have acknowledged that the collection of memos is flawed.

But there are steadfast dossier believers, such liberal Twitter brigades and Rep. Adam B. Schiff of California, the leading Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.

The FBI used the unverified dossier on Oct. 21, 2016, to obtain a court wiretap warrant on Mr. Page that lasted nearly a year.

Agents included dossier information in the application and three subsequent renewals. The filing was based on the pledge from Mr. Steele that he was not the source of a dossier-type report on Mr. Page that Michael Isikoff reported in Yahoo News in September 2016. But in the London court case, Mr. Steele acknowledged that he was the source.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, released a declassified referral last week that urges the Justice Department to open a criminal investigation of Mr. Steele for lying to the FBI.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the committee’s ranking Democrat, issued a rebuttal on Friday.

“Not a single revelation in the Steele dossier has been refuted,” she said, referring to the former MI-6 officer as a “respected and reliable expert on Russia.”

She said the Grassley-Graham referral “provides no evidence that Steele was ever asked about the Isikoff article or if asked that he lied.”

But the Republican senator’s referral said there is ample evidence that Mr. Steele lied.

“There is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one which bears on his credibility,” the referral said.

The next paragraph, which presumedly details that evidence, is completely redacted.

The two senators wrote, “The FBI already believed Mr. Steele was reliable, he had previously told the FBI he had not shared the information with the press — and lying to the FBI is a crime.”

Four targets of the dossier have filed seven libel lawsuits against Mr. Steele, Fusion GPS and BuzzFeed, which first posted it online on Jan. 10, 2017, during Mr. Trump’s presidential transition.

Then FBI-Director James B. Comey told Mr. Trump in a one-on-one meeting that month that the dossier was “salacious and unverified.”

At the same time, the FBI was citing dossier information before a judge to obtain a second 90-day wiretap warrant on Mr. Page. There would be two more, the last in June 2017.

J.D. Gordon, a former Pentagon spokesman and Trump campaign adviser, has suffered over a year of government, press and congressional scrutiny. All the negative attention is because he had brief encounters with the Russian ambassador at the Republican National Convention.

“At least four dozen Trump associates have reportedly been summoned before the various congressional committees and special counsel over anything and everything related to TrumpRussia,” Mr. Gordon told The Washington Times. “Apart from targeting the president with a high-tech coup, the Democrats and ‘Never Trump‘ Republicans are trying to destroy a large group of innocent people who were merely trying to serve their country in presidential politics.”

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/feb/12/trump-dossiers-10-core-collusion-accusations-unver/

The Ticking Memo

Victor Davis Hanson

The House Intelligence Committee memo is pretty simple. It should not have been classified and thus far withheld from the public. In fact, far more information now needs to be released.

Despite the outcry, as Chairman Devin Nunes clarified, the memo can easily be in the near future supported or refuted by adducing official documents. In other words, the memo makes a series of transparent statements and leaves it up to the criminal-justice system and the public to ascertain subsequent criminal liability.

It is likely that the basic accuracy of the document will not be questioned, but rather opponents, some of them mentioned in the memo, will either ask why the resulting embarrassing information needed to be aired or insist that there are only minor possible crimes in the events it narrates, or both. Remember, officials from the FBI supposedly read the memo before its release to ensure that there were not factual errors or misrepresentations.

In sum, on four occasions during and after the 2016 campaign, the FBI and DOJ approached a federal FISA court — established to allow monitoring of foreign nationals engaged in efforts to harm the U.S. or American citizens deliberately or inadvertently in their service — to surveil Carter Page, a sometime Trump adviser. These requests also mentioned George Papadopoulos, apparently as a preexisting target of an earlier investigation by FBI official Peter Strzok, but according to the memo mysteriously there was not adduced any direct connection between the two individuals’ activities.

The basis of the requests was an anti-Trump dossier that the FBI and DOJ had purchased from a private concern. At the time of their various requests, FBI director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe, apparently knew that the document was the work of an opposition-research team, hired and paid, through a series of intermediaries, by the Clinton campaign. The same knowledge supposedly was known to DOJ officials Sally Yates, Dana Boente, and Rod Rosenstein, who variously joined the FISA requests. The FBI and DOJ requests to the court were also apparently bolstered by citing news accounts in the popular media about possible Russian collusion, which in circular fashion had been the result of efforts by the authors and purveyors of the dossier to leak its contents to the media. On various later occasions, high FBI officials purportedly admitted to the congressional inquirers both that the FISA requests would not have been made without use of the dossier, and yet its contents could not be verified or in fact were scarcely yet scrutinized. Apparently, no FBI or DOJ officials informed the court over the duration of these various requests that a) the dossier was paid for by the Clinton campaign, b) the FBI in turn apparently paid to obtain it, c) supporting news stories used to substantiate the dossier were the result of deliberately leaking the same document to seed stories in media organizations, or d) a DOJ official both met the author of the dossier and informed the FBI that he was a biased source — but either did not inform other DOJ and FBI officials that his own spouse was a collaborator who worked on the dossier, or such knowledge was known to DOJ and FBI officials but not passed on at some point to the FISA judge, apparently because the court might not have otherwise approved of the request or might have acted to revoke prior requests.

What Is the Larger Context?

What does it all mean — both the memo itself and subsidiary public revelations about the Strzok-Page texts, and the circumstances around the firing or reassignments of several DOJ and FBI top officials?

I don’t think there is any more doubt that the candidacy of Donald Trump terrified top officials of the Obama DOJ and the FBI, James Comey especially. A few may have genuinely believed Trump was a beneficiary of Russian efforts at collusion; more likely, Comey, McCabe, and Strzok may have believed that such a charge was unlikely but still useful as a means to thwart the idea of a Trump presidency. Either way, the DOJ and the FBI deliberately distorted the nature of the FISA court process by either withholding information that they knew would likely negate their requests or misrepresenting the nature of the evidence they produced.

It is also clear from the contacts between Mr. Simpson, Mr. Steele, and representatives of the DOJ and FBI, and the employment of Ms. Ohr on the dossier team, that there were conflicts of interest at best, and, at worst, collusion between Obama DOJ and FBI officials and the de facto contractors hired by the Clinton team to find ways of disseminating supposedly embarrassing information before the November 2016 election.

The larger landscape around the memo’s revelations was not just that DOJ and FBI officials were disturbed by the Trump candidacy. They were also likely assuming that he would not be elected, and thus any questionable efforts to ensure that Trump was not elected might not be investigated in an incoming Clinton administration, but perhaps in some way even rewarded.

The Scope of the Memo

So far, none of the congressional committees have released information about the actual scope and effects of these and possible other FISA court orders — and to what degree, if any, other American citizens were surveilled and whether such resulting surveillance was used by the Mueller investigation to indict individuals, or whether the names of U.S. citizens in such reports were illegally unmasked by Obama officials and then leaked to the media. We are told such information is coming.

Would there ever have been a Mueller investigation without the DOJ and FBI efforts to persuade the FISA court? Would the prior investigations by Peter Strzok (who later expressed strong dislike of Donald Trump and worried over his candidacy to the point of meeting and commiserating with Andrew McCabe) into George Papadopoulos on their own have sustained a subsequent Mueller investigation, or was such a weak agenda to be resuscitated by the FISA surveillance? (I.e., was some impetus for the FISA warrant request an effort to find something that might energize the Strzok efforts?) And who was the FISA judge or judges, and are we to believe that he or they could not have asked a simple question concerning the nature and origins of the dossier? Was he incompetent, biased, or representative of the dangerous tendency of judges to rubber-stamp such FISA requests?

Is This a Scandal?

If all this is not a scandal — then the following protocols are now considered permissible in American electoral practice and constitutional jurisprudence: An incumbent administration can freely use the FBI and the DOJ to favor one side in a presidential election, by buying its opposition research against the other candidate, using its own prestige to authenticate such a third-party oppositional dossier, and then using it to obtain court-ordered wiretaps on American citizens employed by a candidate’s campaign — and do so by deliberately misleading the court about the origins and authors of the dossier that was used to obtain the warrants. Some Historical Context Watergate was about largely failed presidential cover-up attempts to enlist the CIA and FBI to squash an investigation into a politicized burglary. Iran-Contra was supposedly about rogue administration officials trying to circumvent the law by providing arms to a foreign government to release hostages and thereby obtain cash to help perceived friendly foreign agents without knowledge of and in contravention of Congress.

The current internal efforts in the middle of a campaign to weaponize the FBI and DOJ are something new. And it illustrates a larger effort of the prior administration to warp FBI investigations of Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized and illegal email server and other purported improper behavior, as well as efforts of Obama-administration officials to improperly request unmasking of improperly surveilled Americans for improperly political purposes. These efforts come on top of previous attempts to politicize the IRS in order to oppose perceived political opponents and to monitor journalists reporting stories deemed unfavorable to the administration. Finally, unlike past administration scandals, when the press posed as custodians of the public interest and demanded transparency from government agencies, this time around the media are arguing for secrecy and suppression of documents, and are unconcerned with likely violations of the civil liberties of American citizens by overzealous federal officials likely breaking the law.

What about the FBI?

There is much worry that the memo’s release will hurt the FBI. But such concern is predicated on the definition of the FBI.

If the agency is defined as its top echelon, then, yes, the FBI’s highest officials are discredited, the now-compulsive tweeter James Comey especially. But if the FBI is defined by thousands of rank-and-file professional agents, then the agency is not only not discredited, but empowered by a timely reminder that true patriots at the FBI never break federal law on the dubious rationale that their purportedly noble ends justify any means necessary to obtain them.

No one forced FBI director James Comey to withhold critical information from a FISA judge in order to surveil American citizens, or to purchase an opposition-research dossier from a political campaign in the middle of an election cycle. Nor did anyone force Comey to leak confidential notes of a meeting with the president of the United States to the media in a deliberate effort to force appointment of a special counsel. Comey swore that he did not write his letter of legal exoneration until after interviewing Hillary Clinton; we now know that was likely also a false statement. Comey also changed the wording of his original draft to ensure Hillary Clinton’s immunity from possible criminal liability.

No one forced the FBI’s top lawyer and recently reassigned general counsel, James Baker, to leak elements of the so-called Steele dossier to the media during the 2016 campaign

No one forced Peter Strzok and Lisa Page to conduct a romantic affair via FBI secure phones, a texting correspondence that revealed that they both were prejudicial to the object of their own then-current investigation, Donald Trump, or to meet with Andrew McCabe to commiserate about their mutual dislike of Donald Trump. Note that their departures from the Mueller collusion investigation were not immediately announced, but rather such news was released months later to suggest that the reassignments were neither connected nor out of the ordinary.

No one forced a compromised Andrew McCabe to continue with the Hillary Clinton email investigation, despite the fact that his wife had recently received several hundred thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from a Clinton-affiliated political-action committee. No one forced him to concede that without the use of the dossier, FISA warrants would have been unlikely. Who Will Be Held Accountable? Many of the those with possible criminal exposure have already either been fired (Comey, McCabe), reassigned (Page, Strzok, Ohr), or are considered sacrosanct (Obama, Loretta Lynch, etc.). Rod Rosenstein’s fate is, for now, largely a political matter, and only later a legal one.

Still, a special counsel might indict a number of officials for deliberately misleading a federal judge, or violating statutes prohibiting the surveillance of American citizens, or lying while under oath, or he might retract indictments and confessions based on deliberate misrepresentations to a federal judge.A bipartisan 9/11–like commission could at least issue a report and recommendations to ensure that the DOJ and FBI never again intervene in a U.S. election.

By all means, let us see the transcript of the McCabe interview, the Democratic minority memo, the actual FISA court requests, the complete text trove of Page and Strzok, the prior administration’s requests to unmask surveilled American citizens, Clinton-campaign communications about the procurement of the dossier, and the transcripts of those surveilled.

We need to find out whether Russian collusion and interference into the 2016 election was far more devious and complex than believed and whether it involved seeding the research behind the Clinton campaign’s purchased oppositional dossier in order to undermine a U.S. election, leading to the greatest irony of all: a special counsel investigating what likely did not happen while ignoring what likely did — perhaps the greatest political scandal of the modern age. At this point, the only cure for the wound is far more light. THE CORNER The one and only. FULL BLOG   SPONSORED CONTENT The

 http://www.nationalreview.com/corner/456084/nunes-memo-fbi-doj-corruption-ticking-memo

Office of Inspector General (United States)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Office of the Inspector General)

In the United States, the Office of Inspector General (OIG) is a generic term for the oversight division of a federal or state agency aimed at preventing inefficient or illegal operations within their parent agency. Such offices are attached to many federal executive departmentsindependent federal agencies, as well as state and local governments. Each office includes an Inspector General (or I.G.) and employees charged with identifying, auditing, and investigating fraud, waste, abuse, embezzlement and mismanagement of any kind within the executive department.

History

In the United States, other than the military departments, the first Office of Inspector General (OIG) was established by act of Congress in 1976[1] under the Department of Health and Human Services, to fight waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare, Medicaid, and more than 100 other HHS programs.[2] With approximately 1,600 employees, the OIG performs audits, investigations, and evaluations, to establish policy recommendations for decision-makers and the public.

Description

Federal offices of inspectors general

There are 73 federal offices of inspectors general,[3] a significant increase since the statutory creation of the initial 12 offices by the Inspector General Act of 1978.[4] The offices employ special agents (criminal investigators, often armed) and auditors. In addition, federal offices of inspectors general employ forensic auditors, or “audigators,” evaluators, inspectors, administrative investigators, and a variety of other specialists. Their activities include the detection and prevention of fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement of the government programs and operations within their parent organizations. Office investigations may be internal, targeting government employees, or external, targeting grant recipients, contractors, or recipients of the various loans and subsidies offered through the thousands of federal domestic and foreign assistance programs.[5] The Inspector General Reform Act of 2008[6] (IGRA) amended the 1978 act[4] by increasing pay and various powers and creating the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE).[7]

Example of an OIG report, from the DoD OIG[8]

Some inspectors general, the heads of the offices, are appointed by the president and confirmed by the senate.[9] For example, both the inspector general of the U.S. Department of Labor and the inspector general of the U.S. Agency for International Development are presidentially appointed. The remaining inspectors general are designated by their respective agency heads,[10] such as the U.S. Postal Service inspector general.[11]Presidentially appointed IGs can only be removed, or terminated, from their positions by the President of the United States, whereas designated inspectors general can be terminated by the agency head.[12] However, in both cases Congress must be notified of the termination, removal, or reassignment.

While the IG Act of 1978 requires that inspectors general be selected based upon their qualifications and not political affiliation, presidentially appointed inspectors general are considered political appointees and are often selected, if only in part and in addition to their qualifications, because of their political relationships and party affiliation. An example of the role political affiliation plays in the selection of an inspector general, and the resulting pitfalls, can be seen in the 2001 Republican appointment (and resignation under fire) of Janet Rehnquist[13] (daughter of former Chief Justice of the United StatesWilliam Rehnquist) to the post of inspector general for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.[14]

While all of the federal offices of inspector generals operate separately from one another, they share information and some coordination through the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE).[15] As of 2010, the CIGIE[16] comprised 68 offices. In addition to their inspector general members, CIGIE includes non-inspector general representatives from the federal executive branch, such as executives from the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Personnel Management, the Office of Government Ethics, the Office of Special Counsel, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. CIGIE also provides specialized training to the inspector general community.

Further evidence of coordination between federal offices of inspector generals can be seen by the public through the offices’ shared website,[17] and the use of shared training facilities and resources, such as the Inspector General Criminal Investigator Academy (IGCIA),[18] and their Inspector General Community Auditor Training Team (IGCATS),[19] which are hosted by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC).

Evidence of the offices’ return on investment to taxpayers can be seen through their semi-annual reports to Congress, most of which are available on each office’s website.[3]

Since the post-9/11 enactment of the Homeland Security Act of 2002,[20] resulting in the amendment of the IG Act of 1978, Section 6e, most presidentially appointed IG special agents have had full law enforcement authority to carry firearms, make arrests, and execute search warrants. Prior to this time, most presidentially appointed IG and some designated IG special agents had the equivalent law enforcement authorities as a result of other statutes or annually required deputation by the U.S. Marshals Service. The 2002 amendment to the IG Act of 1978 made most deputation of presidentially appointed IG special agents unnecessary. Some designated IG special agents, however, still have full law enforcement authority today by virtue of this continued deputation. Some OIGs employ no criminal investigators and rely solely on administrative investigators, auditors, and inspectors.

U.S. offices of inspector general

Presidentially appointed inspectors general

Designated federal entity inspectors general

Special inspectors general

Legislative agency inspectors general

Other federal inspectors general

U.S. military

Within the United States Armed Forces, the position of inspector general is normally part of the personal staff serving a general or flag officer in a command position. The inspector general’s office functions in two ways. To a certain degree they are ombudsmen for their branch of service. However, their primary function is to ensure the combat readiness of subordinate units in their command.

An armed services inspector general also investigate noncriminal allegations and some specific criminal allegations, to include determining if the matter should be referred for criminal investigation by the service’s criminal investigative agency.

The Air Force Inspector General Complaints Program was established to address the concerns of Air Force active duty, reserve, and Guard members, civilian employees, family members, and retirees, as well as the interest of the Air Force. One of the first responsibilities of the Air Force inspector general is to operate a credible complaints program that investigates personnel complaints: Fraud, Waste, and Abuse (FWA) allegations; congressional inquiries; and issues involving the Air Force mission. Personnel complaints and FWA disclosures to the IG help commanders correct problems that affect the productivity, mission accomplishment, and morale of assigned personnel, which are areas of high concern to Air Force leaders at all levels.[85]

See:

Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute Enforcement

The OIG develops and distributes resources to assist the health care industry in its efforts to comply with the Nation’s fraud and abuse laws and to educate the public about fraudulent schemes so they can protect themselves and report suspicious activities.[2]

In recent years, the OIG has made an effort to target hospitals and healthcare systems for Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute violations pertaining to the management of physician compensation arrangements.[86] In 2015, a fraud alert was issued to publicize the OIG’s intent to further regulate such non-compliance.[87] In light of such efforts and consequent record-breaking settlements, healthcare experts have begun to call for the transition from paper based physician time logging and contract management to automated solutions.[88]

Criticism

Inspectors General have also been criticized for being, rather than guardians of whistleblowers, instead, ineffective, inactive, or at worst, instruments by which whistleblowers are persecuted. One example is from the Securities and Exchange Commission OIG. In a 2011 article by Matt Taibbi, SEC whistleblowers said that complaining to the SEC OIG was “well-known to be a career-killer.”[89] Another example is from whistleblower Jesselyn Radack‘s book Canary in the Coalmine, in which she describes her experience complaining to the Department of Justice OIG; instead of helping her, the IG office helped the DOJ get her fired and restricted from practicing as a lawyer.[90] Another example is from the Thomas Andrews Drake case, in which several complainants to the Department of DefenseOIG over NSA’s Trailblazer Project were later raided by the FBI and some threatened with criminal prosecution.[91]

References

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

Story 2: Former National Security Adviser Susan Rice Last Minute CYA Email That Obama Wants Investigations By The Book — No Not The Law — Yes The Book was Rules for Radicals by Saul Alinsky — Videos

See the source imageSee the source image

Tucker Carlson Tonight 2/15/18 | Fox News Today

Susan Rice faces questions by senators over ‘unusual’ email

Sen. Graham details ‘odd’ Susan Rice email on Russia probe

Andy McCarthy explains significance of Susan Rice’s email

The Treasonous Deep State Conspiracy Hits Critical Mass — Lionel on “Real News With David Knight”

Rush Limbaugh: Susan Rice’s email & one of the most gigantic political scandals of our lifetime

Mark Levin Show 02-13-2018 Susan Rice’s email exposes Obama’s involvement in FISA abuse even more

Sekulow Discusses Susan Rice Inauguration Day Email on Russia

Sen. Chuck Grassley Questions Susan Rice About ‘Unusual’ Documentary Letter to Herself

Debate: Susan Rice’s email and what did Obama know about Russia probe?

GRASSLEY GRAHAM MEMO RELEASES SUSAN RICE EMAIL ON JAMES COMEY MEETING WITH OBAMA

Jim Jordan Reacts to Susan Rice’s Inauguration Day Email

Susan Rice email was an attempt to cover its track: Rep. Louie Gomert

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Obama knew about the Russian dossier: Tony Shaffer

Susan Rice FLIPS On Obama, Shocking ‘Secret Action’ She Took 15 Mins After Trump Sworn In

Why the Susan Rice Unmasking Case Is Important and What You Need to Know

Fmr. FBI agent defines the Susan Rice unmasking

  Your email continued:

President Obama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities “by the book”.  The President stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective.  He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.
From a national security perspective, however, President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.
The next part of your email remains classified.  After that, you wrote:
The President asked Comey to inform him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team.  Comey said he would.
It strikes us as odd that, among your activities in the final moments on the final day of the Obama administration, you would feel the need to send yourself such an unusual email purporting to document a conversation involving President Obama and his interactions with the FBI regarding the Trump/Russia investigation.  In addition, despite your claim that President Obama repeatedly told Mr. Comey to proceed “by the book,” substantial questions have arisen about whether officials at the FBI, as well as at the Justice Department and the State Department, actually did proceed “by the book.”
In order for the Committee to further assess the situation, please respond to the following by February 22, 2018:
 
  1. Did you send the email attached to this letter to yourself?  Do you have any reason to dispute the timestamp of the email?
 
  1. When did you first become aware of the FBI’s investigation into allegations of collusion between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia?
 
  1. When did you become aware of any surveillance activities, including FISA applications, undertaken by the FBI in conducting that investigation?  At the time you wrote this email to yourself, were you aware of either the October 2016 FISA application for surveillance of Carter Page or the January 2017 renewal?
 
  1. Did anyone instruct, request, suggest, or imply that you should send yourself the aforementioned Inauguration Day email memorializing President Obama’s meeting with Mr. Comey about the Trump/Russia investigation?  If so, who and why?
 
  1. Is the account of the January 5, 2017 meeting presented in your email accurate?  Did you omit any other portions of the conversation?
 
  1. Other than that email, did you document the January 5, 2017 meeting in any way, such as contemporaneous notes or a formal memo?  To the best of your knowledge, did anyone else at that meeting take notes or otherwise memorialize the meeting?
 
  1. During the meeting, did Mr. Comey or Ms. Yates mention potential press coverage of the Steele dossier?  If so, what did they say?
 
  1. During the meeting, did Mr. Comey describe the status of the FBI’s relationship with Mr. Steele, or the basis for that status?
 
  1. When and how did you first become aware of the allegations made by Christopher Steele?
 
  1. When and how did you first become aware that the Clinton Campaign and the Democratic National Committee funded Mr. Steele’s efforts?
 
  1. You wrote that President Obama stressed that he was “not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective.”  Did President Obama ask about, initiate, or instruct anything from any other perspective relating to the FBI’s investigation?
 
  1. Did President Obama have any other meetings with Mr. Comey, Ms. Yates, or other government officials about the FBI’s investigation of allegations of collusion between Trump associates and Russia?  If so, when did these occur, who participated, and what was discussed?
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.  Please contact Patrick Davis of Chairman Grassley’s staff at (202) 224-5225 or Lee Holmes of Chairman Graham’s staff at (202) 224-5972 if you have any questions.
Sincerely,
Charles E. Grassley                                                     Lindsey O. Graham
Chairman                                                                     Chairman
Committee on the Judiciary                                        Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism
                                                                                    Committee on the Judiciary
Enclosure: as stated.
cc:       The Honorable Dianne Feinstein
Ranking Member
Committee on the Judiciary
The Honorable Sheldon Whitehouse
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism
Committee on the Judiciary
-30-

 

 

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

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

Girls Don’t Poop – PooPourri.com

How to Poop at a Party – PooPourri.com

Paying for Trump’s infrastructure plan

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

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

Trump wants $1.5 tril. for infrastructure blueprint

Trump’s infrastructure plan is way too expensive: Kennedy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He resigned in November 2017.

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read the full text of Trump’s infrastructure plan

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

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

Trump talks up infrastructure plan with local and state officials  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Trump Proposes $4.4 Trillion Budget

Trump’s budget: Where are the spending cuts?

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

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

5 takeaways from Trump’s 2019 budget plan

Trump Proposes $4.4 Trillion Budget

Fiscal Year 2019 An American Budget

U.S. National Debt Clock

 

Heritage Experts Analyze President Trump’s FY 2019 Budget Proposal

Feb 12, 2018

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

 

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

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

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1030, February 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1029, February 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1028, February 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1027, February 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1026, February 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1025, January 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1024, January 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1023, January 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1022, January 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1021, January 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1020, January 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1019, January 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1018, January 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1017, January 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1016, January 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1015, January 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1014, January 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1013, December 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1012, December 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1011, December 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1010, December 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1009, December 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1008, December 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1007, November 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1006, November 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1005, November 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1004, November 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1003, November 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1002, November 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1001, November 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1000, November 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 999, November 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 998, November 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 997, November 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 996, November 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 995, November 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 994, November 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 993, November 1, 2017

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

 

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

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

President Trump Signs Spending Bill, Ending Second Shutdown

President Trump Signs Bill Ending Gov’t Shutdown

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

Ep. 329: Republican Hypocrites Embrace Debt to Avert Shutdown

Congress approves spending bill to end brief government shutdown

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

New spending bill raising concerns the tax cuts are unsustainable

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

 

Party Affiliation

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

After temporary shutdown, Congress passes two-year spending deal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Trump signs budget bill, ending overnight shutdown 4:04

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fiscal conservative Republicans decried the price tag.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See the source imageSee the source image

FBI informant speaks to Congress about the Uranium One deal

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

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

Clinton has lied repeatedly about funding the dossier: Kennedy

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

FBI takes its time with Clinton-Russia scandal?

Gorka: Uranium One scandal is absolutely massive

Comey hid the uranium deal from Congress: Gregg Jarrett

Hillary Clinton LYING THREE TIMES UNDER OATH Before Congress

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Special Counsel Q&A


 

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

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

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

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

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

Who appoints a special counsel?

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

Why was a special counsel appointed?

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

What is the scope of the investigation?

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

Whom does the special counsel report to?

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

Who is Robert Mueller?

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

Can Mueller be fired?

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

What authority does a special counsel have?

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

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

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

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

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

How will this affect the ongoing FBI and congressional investigations?

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

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

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

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

How common is the appointment of a special counsel?

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

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

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

Read the controversial Nunes memo and its key points