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Story 1: President Trump For Criminal Justice and Prison Reform — Good Policy and Fiscally Sound — Videos

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BREAKING 🔴 President Trump URGENT Speech at IMPORTANT Roundtable in Bedminster, NJ August 9, 2018

Pastor says he faced backlash over meeting with Trump

Published on Aug 3, 2018

Trump pushes for prison reform bill

Published on May 18, 2018

Trump takes on prison reform

Published on Jan 12, 2018

Van Jones is teaming up with the White House on prison reform

Trump, Congress try to breathe life into long-delayed criminal justice reform package

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The Pronk Pops Show 1117, July 31, 2018, Story 1: The 11 Year Old Tax Evasion Case of Paul Manafort Begins In Attempt By Special Counsel Mueller To Flip Manafort in Witch Hunt To Get Trump — Abuse of Power — Nothing To Do With Russian Collusion Delusion With Trump — There Was None Stupid — Videos — Story 2: Authoritarianism of Lying Lunatic Left Losers — Videos

Posted on August 1, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Banking System, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Climate Change, College, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Economics, Elections, Employment, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Food, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, Health Care Insurance, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Independence, Labor Economics, Law, Life, Lying, Media, National Interest, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Progressives, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Senate, Social Security, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Tax Policy, Taxes, Unemployment, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

 

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Story 1: The 11 Year Old Tax Evasion Case of Paul Manafort Begins In Attempt By Special Counsel Mueller To Flip Manafort in Witch Hunt — Abuse of Power — Nothing To Do With Russian Collusion Delusion With Trump — There Was None Stupid — Videos —

Why Mueller isn’t having success with Manafort

Potential impact of Manafort trial on Russia probe

Jury Selected In First Day Of Paul Manafort Trial | Katy Tur | MSNBC

Conway on Manafort trial, possible Iran meeting, immigration

Judge sends Manafort to jail, pending trial

Giuliani: Mueller probe not a legitimate investigation

 

Prosecutors’ opening statement: ‘Paul Manafort lied’

Jury seated in Paul Manafort trial 01:32

Alexandria, Virginia (CNN)Prosecutors accused former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of being a “shrewd” liar who orchestrated a global scheme to avoid paying taxes on millions of dollars, in opening statements that kicked off Manafort’s trial on Tuesday.

Manafort lived an “extravagant lifestyle” fueled by millions of dollars in “secret income” that he earned from his lobbying in Ukraine, said Uzo Asonye, a prosecutor working on the case with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team. Manafort became wealthy from the “cash spigot” that came from working for his “golden goose in Ukraine,” former President Viktor Yanukovych, Asonye said.
“All of these charges boil down to one simple issue: that Paul Manafort lied,” Asonye said. “Manafort placed himself and his money over the law.”
The case against Manafort outlined by prosecutors on Tuesday represents a new phase in Mueller’s investigation into Russian election meddling — the first jury trial stemming from the probe that President Donald Trump has repeatedly attacked as a “witch hunt.”

In opening statements for the defense, Manafort’s defense attorney Thomas Zehnle laid out the bare bones of his side of the case, shifting much of the blame to the Ukrainian oligarchs Manafort worked for and the business associates he worked with.
“This is the way that they required it to be done,” Zehnle said, arguing why oligarchs paid Manafort through secret foreign accounts. Prosecutors said Tuesday that Manafort hid 30 foreign bank accounts from US authorities.
Of Manafort’s associates, like longtime deputy Rick Gates, Zehnle said, “he trusted them to speak with one another and make sure things were done right.” Gates pleaded guilty earlier this year to participating in Manafort’s alleged financial conspiracy and is slated to testify against him.
Both men were top officials in Trump’s campaign, but that is not part of the criminal case against Manafort in this trial.
Zehnle specifically attacked Gates and called him “the prosecution’s star witness.”
Manafort is facing 18 charges, including accusations of filing false tax returns, failing to report foreign bank accounts and defrauding several banks. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 305 years in prison. He has denied all charges.
Manafort arrived at the courthouse Tuesday morning wearing a black suit, with his hair neatly parted.

Luxurious spending habits

To demonstrate Manafort’s lavish spending habits, Asonye told jurors that Manafort owned several homes, acquired real estate in New York and Virginia, bought expensive cars and watches, and even got a $15,000 jacket “made from an ostrich.”
As he started delivering his opening statement, Asonye earned a near-immediate rebuke from Judge T.S. Ellis, who told him not to tell jurors that “the evidence will show” that the allegations against Manafort are true.
During his preliminary instructions to the jury, Ellis reminded told jurors that “you and you alone are the sole judges to the facts in this case.”
The opening statements were delivered not long after the jury was selected and sworn in on Tuesday. The 12-person jury comprises six men and six women. There are also four alternates, three women and a man.
Ellis had given the pool of 65 potential jurors an overview of the charges against Manafort, though he reminded the group that the indictment “is not evidence of any guilt whatsoever.”
The pool was also nearly evenly split between men and women. The group was predominantly white, with fewer than a dozen nonwhite potential jurors. Most were comfortably middle-aged.
Nine potential jurors indicated they have connections to the Justice Department, including four who said they were current or former federal employees. Two joked that they were “recovering attorneys.” All affirmed that they could handle the case without any bias.
None said they knew Manafort, his lawyers or their law firms.
One younger woman said she knew Justice Department attorneys from her work at a Silicon Valley-based tech company. Another man brought a John Grisham novel into the courtroom.

‘Witch hunt’

The trial is expected to last several weeks.
Manafort was a senior Trump campaign aide and he led the campaign for several months, but the charges are not directly related to campaign activity, as the White House has repeatedly emphasized.
“The judge has very strictly instructed no mention of Paul Manafort’s role in the Trump campaign, no mention of Trump, Russia or collusion,” senior White House aide Kellyanne Conway said Tuesday morning on Fox News. “This trial obviously centers on matters that have nothing to do with the campaign.”
While Trump has repeatedly railed against Manafort and the “witch hunt” on Twitter in recent weeks, he has not tweeted about Manafort specifically in more than a month. He said June 15 that Manafort received a “tough sentence” after his bond was revoked over allegations of witness tampering.
Manafort faces a maximum of 305 years in prison if he is convicted on all charges. Prosecutors say he hid millions of dollars in income from lobbying for Ukrainian politicians, failed to pay taxes while spending the money on US real estate and luxury purchases, and lied to banks in order to take out more than $20 million in loans.
Before jury selection got underway, Ellis said he did not plan to offer decisions on Tuesday about all of the documents that Manafort’s team wants to keep out of the trial. They hope to prevent jurors from seeing some documents and photos from Manafort’s lobbying work in Ukraine.
Instead, the judge gave broad directions to the prosecutors: Try to reduce the number of Ukrainian documents given to the jury, use testimony to add context and don’t refer to individual documents in opening statements.
Ellis said he thinks “the government’s correct” in using the documents to broadly show how Manafort made his money. Prosecutors say Manafort made $60 million from his work.

Appeals court rejects request to be freed

Manafort appears likely to remain in jail throughout his trial after a federal appeals court on Tuesday rejected his request to overturn a lower court’s decision to send him to jail before trial.
Tuesday’s ruling from a three-judge panel on the DC Circuit Court of Appeals was unanimous.
Manafort’s bail was revoked in June while he was on house arrest, after prosecutors accused him of tampering with witnesses.
The appellate judges said Manafort was rightfully jailed because he had decided “to push the envelope by contributing to an op-ed in a foreign newspaper” while under a gag order, and also had “repeated communications with potential witnesses” for his upcoming trial. In addition to his Virginia case, Manafort faces lobbying-related charges in Washington.
The panel agreed with some of Manafort’s arguments, for instance that the gag order in his Virginia case was somewhat ambiguous. But it ultimately said this wasn’t enough to look past Manafort’s conduct and set him free from jail.

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Michael Parenti

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Michael Parenti
Michael Parenti.jpg

Michael Parenti
Born Michael John Parenti
New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Political scientisthistorianmedia critic
Nationality American
Education City College of New YorkB.A.
Brown UniversityM.A.
Yale UniversityPh.D.
Subject Historypoliticseconomics
Children Christian Parenti
Website
michaelparenti.org

Michael John Parenti (born 1933) is an American political scientist and cultural critic who writes on scholarly and popular subjects. He has taught at American and international universities and has been a guest lecturer before campus and community audiences.[1][2]

 

Education and personal life

Michael Parenti was raised in an Italian-American working-class family and neighborhood in New York City about which he has written.[3] He received a BA from City College of New York, an MA from Brown University, and his PhD in political science from Yale University. Parenti is the father of Christian Parenti, an author and contributor to The Nation magazine.

Career

For many years Parenti taught political and social science at various institutions of higher learning. Eventually he devoted himself full-time to writing, public speaking, and political activism.[4] He is the author of 23 books and many more articles. His works have been translated into at least eighteen languages.[5] Parenti lectures frequently throughout the United States and abroad.

Parenti’s writings cover a wide range of subjects: U.S. politics, culture, ideology, political economyimperialismfascismcommunismdemocratic socialismfree-market orthodoxies, conservative judicial activism, religionancient historymodern historyhistoriography, repression in academia, news and entertainment media, technology, environmentalismsexismracismVenezuela, the wars in Iraq and Yugoslavia, ethnicity, and his own early life.[6][7][8] His influential book Democracy for the Few,[9] now in its ninth edition, is a critical analysis of U.S. society, economy, and political institutions and a college-level political science textbook published by Wadsworth Publishing.[10] In recent years he has addressed such subjects as “Empires: Past and Present,” “US Interventionism: the Case of Iraq,” “Race, Gender, and Class Power,” “Ideology and History,” “The Collapse of Communism,” and “Terrorism and Globalization.”[5]

In 1974, Parenti ran in Vermont on the Liberty Union Party ticket for U.S. Congress and received 7% of the vote.[11]

In the 1980s, he was a Visiting Fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C. In Washington, D.C., in 2003, the Caucus for a New Political Science gave him a Career Achievement Award. In 2007, he received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition from U.S. Representative Barbara Lee and an award from New Jersey Peace Action.[citation needed]

He served for some 12 years as a judge for Project Censored. He also is on the advisory boards of Independent Progressive Politics Network, and Education Without Borders; as well as the advisory editorial boards of New Political Science and Nature, Society and Thought.[12]

Writings

To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia

In 2000, Verso Books published Parenti’s To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia.[13] According to Kirkus Reviews: “Parenti dissents from every piece of conventional wisdom about the former Yugoslavia’s breakup, the Kosovo crisis, and the NATO bombing campaign against the Serbian state in purported support of the Kosovar Albanians. Instead, he assembles an alternate history in which an American-led coalition backed by aggressive financial interests precipitated the civil war and the profoundly destructive air campaign that killed at least 3,000 civilians.”[13] Publishers Weekly’s review stated: “Parenti gives an unabashedly critical assessment of this intervention, based on a solid and passionate rejection of Western leaders’ ‘lies’ about events in the Balkans and Western interests in that part of the world. Readers not familiar with his leftist analysis may find Parenti’s dismissal of NATO’s justification for its 1999 bombing campaign shocking or silly; others may find it thought-provoking.”[14]

The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People’s History of Ancient Rome

External video
 Booknotes interview with Parenti on The Assassination of Julius Caesar, September 7, 2003C-SPAN

In 2003 The New Press published Parenti’s The Assassination of Julius Caesar: A People’s History of Ancient Rome.[15] PW said, “Parenti… narrates a provocative history of the late republic in Rome (100–33 B.C.) to demonstrate that Caesar’s death was the culmination of growing class conflict, economic disparity and political corruption.”[16] Kirkus Reviews wrote: “Populist historian Parenti… views ancient Rome’s most famous assassination not as a tyrannicide but as a sanguinary scene in the never-ending drama of class warfare.”[15] Kirkus Reviews described the book as “revisionist history at its most provocative.”[15] Political Affairs wrote: “This is an excellent book and a good read.”[17]

God and His Demons

Prometheus Books published Parenti’s 2010 book, God and His Demons.[18] Writing for the San Francisco ChronicleDon Lattin said: “God and his Demons is a depressing, mean-spirited book. Much of it is a recounting of the usual suspects we find in the new wave of atheist chic nonfiction – targets like Islamist extremists, TV preachers, child-molesting Catholic priests, Christian-right political operatives, creationists, cult leaders and, for historical context, a reminder that the Crusades and the Inquisition were no picnic either, along with a tired recounting of all those troublesome passages in the Hebrew Bible and the anti-Semitism in much New Testament translation.”[18] Calling it an “angry volume” that “makes no clear argument”, Publishers Weekly said: “His condescending tirade is directed not so much at religion as at human beings whom—one gets the impression—he can barely suffer.”[19]

Appearances in media

Apart from several recordings of some of his public speeches, Parenti has also appeared in the 1992 documentary Panama Deception, the 2004 Liberty Bound and 2013 Fall and Winter documentaries as an author and social commentator.

Parenti was interviewed in Boris Malagurski‘s documentary film The Weight of Chains 2 (2014). He was also interviewed for two episodes of the Showtime series Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, speaking briefly about the Dalai Lama (Episode 305 – Holier Than Thou) and patriotism (Episode 508 – Mount Rushmore).

New York City-based punk rock band Choking Victim use a number of samples from Michael Parenti’s lectures in their album, No Gods, No Managers.

Bibliography

References

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

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1109, Story 1: Trump’s Misspoke Clarification — Hate America Democrats (HAD) and Warmongering Neocons Hysterical Breakdown Over Trump/Putin Peace Summit Success — Peace Through Strength — The Trump Russian Collusion Lie Dead — Mueller is Done — Move Along — Getting to Know You —  Videos — Story 2: U.S. Economy and Employment Improving — Federal Reserve Will Increase Fed Funds Target Rate — Rising Interest Rates — Videos

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Story 1: Trump’s Misspoke Clarification — Hate America Democrats (HAD) and Warmongering Neocons Hysterical Breakdown Over Trump/Putin Peace Summit Success — Peace Through Strength — The Trump Russian Collusion Lie Dead — Mueller is Done — Move Along — Getting to Know You —  Videos —

Trump on election hacking: Don’t see why it would be Russia

Trump describes how he misspoke about Russian interference

Trump claims he misspoke about Russia, immediately contradicts himself

The Five Tackles Trump Russia Fallout:Saying Whether You Believe US Intel or Putin Not a Hard Answer

Gloria Borger: Trump looked like he was in a hostage tape

Ex-CIA chief Brennan: Trump’s comments nothing short of treasonous

‘Tucker’ preview: Trump on ‘bad people’ Brennan, FBI lovers

The world watches as Trump and Putin meet in Helsinki

Rand Paul sides with Trump over US intel

Trump on Putin summit: We came to a lot of good conclusions

Chris Wallace interviews Russian President Vladimir Putin

Chris Wallace confronts Putin with Mueller indictment

Getting to Know You from The King and I

Trump corrects his quote, says misspoke on Russian meddling

WASHINGTON (AP) — Blistered by bipartisan condemnation of his embrace of a longtime U.S. enemy, President Donald Trump sought Tuesday to “clarify” his public undermining of American intelligence agencies, saying he had misspoken when he said he saw no reason to believe Russia had interfered in the 2016 U.S. election.

“The sentence should have been, ’I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t, or why it wouldn’t be Russia” instead of “why it would,” Trump said, in a rare admission of error by the bombastic U.S. leader. His comment came — amid rising rebuke by his own party — about 27 hours after his original, widely reported statement, which he made at a Monday summit in Helsinki standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place,” Trump said Tuesday. But he added, as he usually does, “It could be other people also. A lot of people out there. There was no collusion at all.”

Moments earlier, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell issued a public reassurance to U.S. allies in NATO and Europe with whom Trump clashed during his frenzied Europe trip last week.

“The European countries are our friends, and the Russians are not,” McConnell said.

A day after U.S. President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Trump is going back on comments he made during their joint press conference. (July 17)

The scripted cleanup dealt with only the latest of Trump’s problematic statements during his week-long trip, in which he sent the NATO alliance into emergency session and assailed British Prime Minister Theresa May as she was hosting him for an official visit.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said Trump was trying to “squirm away” from his comments alongside Putin. “It’s 24 hours too late and in the wrong place,” he said.

Trump still maintained that his meetings with NATO allies went well and his summit with Putin “even better.”

This reference to diplomatic success carried an edge, too, since the barrage of criticism and insults he delivered in Brussels and London was hardly well-received.

And the reaction back home has been immediate and visceral, among fellow Republicans as well as usual Trump critics. “Shameful,” ″disgraceful,” ″weak,” were a few of the comments. Makes the U.S. “look like a pushover,” said GOP Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee.

On Capitol Hill, top Republican leaders said they were open to slapping fresh sanctions on Russia but showed no signs of acting any time soon.

In the Senate, Schumer called for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other top officials to appear before Congress and tell exactly what happened during Trump’s two-hour private session with Putin.

Schumer also urged the Senate to take up legislation to boost security for U.S. elections and to revive a measure passed earlier by the Judiciary Committee to protect Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election interference.

But minority Democrats have few tools to push their priorities.

In the House, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi planned a vote Tuesday in support of the intelligence committee’s findings that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.

Senators had floated a similar idea earlier, but The No. 2 Republican, Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, said sanctions may be preferable to a nonbinding resolution that amounts to “just some messaging exercise.”

Corker, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said the first step was to get Pompeo to appear, “hopefully” next week.

Trump’s meeting with Putin in Helsinki was his first time sharing the international stage with a man he has described as an important U.S. competitor — but whom he has also praised a strong, effective leader.

His remarks, siding with a foe on foreign soil over his own government, was a stark illustration of Trump’s willingness to upend decades of U.S. foreign policy and rattle Western allies in service of his political concerns. A wary and robust stance toward Russia has been a bedrock of his party’s world view. But Trump made clear he feels that any acknowledgement of Russia’s election involvement would undermine the legitimacy of his election.

Standing alongside Putin, Trump steered clear of any confrontation with the Russian, going so far as to question American intelligence and last week’s federal indictments that accused 12 Russians of hacking into Democratic email accounts to hurt Hillary Clinton in 2016.

“I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.

“He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be,” Trump said. That’s the part he corrected on Tuesday.

His Monday statement drew a quick rebuttal from his director of national Intelligence, Dan Coats.

“We have been clear in our assessments of Russian meddling in the 2016 election and their ongoing, pervasive efforts to undermine our democracy, and we will continue to provide unvarnished and objective intelligence in support of our national security,” Coats said.

After his walkback on Tuesday, Trump said his administration will “move aggressively” to repel efforts to interfere in American elections.

“We are doing everything in our power to prevent Russian interference in 2018,” he said. “And we have a lot of power.”

Fellow GOP politicians have generally stuck with Trump during a year and a half of turmoil, but he was assailed as seldom before as he returned home Monday night from what he had hoped would be a proud summit with Putin.

Sen. John McCain of Arizona was most outspoken, declaring that Trump made a “conscious choice to defend a tyrant” and achieved “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul emerged as one of the president’s few defenders from his own party. He defended Trump’s skepticism to CBS News Tuesday citing the president’s experience on the receiving end of “partisan investigations.”

Back at the White House, Paul’s comments drew a presidential tweet of gratitude. “Thank you @RandPaul, you really get it!” Trump tweeted.

In all, Trump’s remarks amounted to an unprecedented embrace of a man who for years has been isolated by the U.S. and Western allies for actions in Ukraine, Syria and beyond. And it came at the end of an extraordinary trip to Europe in which Trump had already berated allies, questioned the value of the NATO alliance and demeaned leaders including Germany’s Angela Merkel and Britain’s Theresa May.

In Helsinki, Putin said he had indeed wanted Trump to win the election — a revelation that might have made more headlines if not for Trump’s performance — but had taken no action to make it happen.

“Yes, I wanted him to win because he spoke of normalization of Russian-U.S. ties,” Putin said. “Isn’t it natural to feel sympathy to a person who wanted to develop relations with our country? It’s normal.”

___

Associated Press writers Ken Thomas and Darlene Superville in Washington, and Jill Colvin, Jonathan Lemire, and Vladimir Isachenkov in Helsinki contributed to this report.

https://apnews.com/bf62711854b6482c88a611391db05a7d/Trump-returns-from-summit-with-Putin-to-forceful-criticism

Video Montage: Cable News Sees the Apocalypse in Trump/Putin Summit

Within mere hours of President Trump’s press conference with Vladimir Putin concluding, cable news had worked themselves into a frenzy that suggested the sky itself must be falling.

CNN’s Anderson Cooper appeared hardest hit by the summit. While many of his colleagues were behaving as though a fire had been lit beneath their feet, Cooper spent the 2 p.m. Eastern hour sulking, sighing at length about how “disgraceful” the President’s performance had been. “I just personally think today is just an incredibly depressing moment in our time, in our history, as an American,” he huffed.

Insert laugh track here,” quipped CNN International anchor Christiane Amanpour, whose home country arrested over 3,000 people for offensive social media posts last year. “It is an absolute disgrace; it is a parody of a disgrace,” she added.

Over at MSNBC, Russia conspiracies were plentiful. LA Times White House Reporter Eli Stokols reflected that President Trump’s past week abroad in Europe had made “Hillary Clinton seem all the more prescient,” in regards to her criticism of Trump’s stance towards Russia during the 2016 election.

Former CIA Director and MSNBC contributor John Brennan called into Andrea Mitchell Reports shortly after the press conference had ended, to opine that Vladimir Putin had become “the master puppeteer of Donald Trump.” Deadline: White House host Nicolle Wallace echoed this sentiment when she asked panelists on her show, “If Vladimir Putin picked our president, does anything else matter?

It should go without saying that President Trump’s decision to send lethal ordinance to Ukraine back in 2017 was not a popular topic of discussion on afternoon cable news; nor were the new sanctions against Russia that the administration recently added on top of former President Obama’s existing measures.

The video montage below captures some of the most absurd hand-wringing that occurred on CNN and MSNBC in the hours following the summit:

Story 2:  Fed Chairman Powell Testifies Before Senate Banking Committee — U.S. Economy and Employment Improving — Federal Reserve Will Increase Fed Funds Target Rate — Rising Interest Rates — Uncertainty Increasing Over Trade War With China and European Union Impact on Economic Growth —  Videos —

LIVE: Jerome Powell testifies before Senate Banking Committee – July 17, 2018

Fed’s Powell Sees Gradual Rate Hikes as Best Path ‘For Now’

Analyst: Fed Chair Powell won’t deliver clear message on Capitol Hill | In The News

Yield Curve Inversion!? Flattening Yield Curve Explained

Introduction to the yield curve | Stocks and bonds | Finance & Capital Markets | Khan Academy

071818 — “Monetary Policy and the State of the Economy” (EventID=108580)

Powell backs more rate hikes as economy growing ‘considerably stronger’

Powell: Best way forward to gradually raise interest rates

Powell: Best way forward to gradually raise interest rates  

The U.S. economy is running at a fast enough pace to justify continued interest rate increases, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said Tuesday.

Powell is delivering his semiannual testimony to Congress this week, starting with an appearance Tuesday before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.

In remarks he provided ahead of a question-and-answer session, Powell painted a largely positive picture of the economy, which he said is expanding at an increasing pace and is being boosted by aggressive fiscal policy on Capitol Hill.

“Overall, we see the risk of the economy unexpectedly weakening as roughly balanced with the possibility of the economy growing faster than we currently anticipate,” Powell said.

“The unemployment rate is low and expected to fall further. Americans who want jobs have a good chance of finding them,” he added.

Powell spoke as the central bank is in the process of gradually raising interest rates. The policymaking Federal Open Market Committee has hiked the Fed’s benchmark rate twice this year in quarter-point increments, and is expected to approve two more increases before the end of the year.

Fed's Powell: Important to get housing finance off governmental balance sheet

Fed’s Powell: Important to get housing finance off governmental balance sheet  

Though the economy grew at just a 2 percent pace in the first quarter, Powell said growth in the second quarter was “considerably stronger than the first.”

“Robust job gains, rising after-tax incomes, and optimism among households have lifted consumer spending in recent months. Investment by businesses has continued to grow at a healthy rate,” he said. “Good economic performance in other countries has supported U.S. exports and manufacturing. And while housing construction has not increased this year, it is up noticeably from where it stood a few years ago.”

Inflation is running around the Fed’s 2 percent target for the first time in several years, while the unemployment rate is at 4 percent and consistent with a level that most economists consider near to full employment. Powell said wages are growing faster than a year ago but not enough to stoke inflation fears.

Powell made brief mention of the ongoing trade war between the U.S. and its global competitors, saying only that it is “difficult to predict” what the ramifications will be on the economy.

However, the “upbeat tone” from the testimony likely means the trade issues won’t keep the Fed from hiking rates, said Andrew Hunter, U.S. economist at Capital Economics.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/17/powell-backs-more-rate-hikes-as-economy-growing-considerably-stronger.html

July 17, 2018

Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress

Chairman Jerome H. Powell

Before the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C.

Chairman Powell submitted identical remarks to the Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives, on July 18, 2018.

Good morning. Chairman Crapo, Ranking Member Brown, and other members of the Committee, I am happy to present the Federal Reserve’s semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress.

Let me start by saying that my colleagues and I strongly support the goals the Congress has set for monetary policy–maximum employment and price stability. We also support clear and open communication about the policies we undertake to achieve these goals. We owe you, and the public in general, clear explanations of what we are doing and why we are doing it. Monetary policy affects everyone and should be a mystery to no one. For the past three years, we have been gradually returning interest rates and the Fed’s securities holdings to more normal levels as the economy strengthens. We believe this is the best way we can help set conditions in which Americans who want a job can find one, and in which inflation remains low and stable.

I will review the current economic situation and outlook and then turn to monetary policy.

Current Economic Situation and Outlook
Since I last testified here in February, the job market has continued to strengthen and inflation has moved up. In the most recent data, inflation was a little above 2 percent, the level that the Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, thinks will best achieve our price stability and employment objectives over the longer run. The latest figure was boosted by a significant increase in gasoline and other energy prices.

An average of 215,000 net new jobs were created each month in the first half of this year. That number is somewhat higher than the monthly average for 2017. It is also a good deal higher than the average number of people who enter the work force each month on net. The unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage point over the first half of the year to 4.0 percent in June, near the lowest level of the past two decades. In addition, the share of the population that either has a job or has looked for one in the past month–the labor force participation rate–has not changed much since late 2013. This development is another sign of labor market strength. Part of what has kept the participation rate stable is that more working-age people have started looking for a job, which has helped make up for the large number of baby boomers who are retiring and leaving the labor force.

Another piece of good news is that the robust conditions in the labor market are being felt by many different groups. For example, the unemployment rates for African Americans and Hispanics have fallen sharply over the past few years and are now near their lowest levels since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began reporting data for these groups in 1972. Groups with higher unemployment rates have tended to benefit the most as the job market has strengthened. But jobless rates for these groups are still higher than those for whites. And while three-fourths of whites responded in a recent Federal Reserve survey that they were doing at least okay financially in 2017, only two-thirds of African Americans and Hispanics responded that way.

Incoming data show that, alongside the strong job market, the U.S. economy has grown at a solid pace so far this year. The value of goods and services produced in the economy–or gross domestic product–rose at a moderate annual rate of 2 percent in the first quarter after adjusting for inflation. However, the latest data suggest that economic growth in the second quarter was considerably stronger than in the first. The solid pace of growth so far this year is based on several factors. Robust job gains, rising after-tax incomes, and optimism among households have lifted consumer spending in recent months. Investment by businesses has continued to grow at a healthy rate. Good economic performance in other countries has supported U.S. exports and manufacturing. And while housing construction has not increased this year, it is up noticeably from where it stood a few years ago.

I will turn now to inflation. After several years in which inflation ran below our 2 percent objective, the recent data are encouraging. The price index for personal consumption expenditures, which is an overall measure of prices paid by consumers, increased 2.3 percent over the 12 months ending in May. That number is up from 1.5 percent a year ago. Overall inflation increased partly because of higher oil prices, which caused a sharp rise in gasoline and other energy prices paid by consumers. Because energy prices move up and down a great deal, we also look at core inflation. Core inflation excludes energy and food prices and generally is a better indicator of future overall inflation. Core inflation was 2.0 percent for the 12 months ending in May, compared with 1.5 percent a year ago. We will continue to keep a close eye on inflation with the goal of keeping it near 2 percent.

Looking ahead, my colleagues on the FOMC and I expect that, with appropriate monetary policy, the job market will remain strong and inflation will stay near 2 percent over the next several years. This judgment reflects several factors. First, interest rates, and financial conditions more broadly, remain favorable to growth. Second, our financial system is much stronger than before the crisis and is in a good position to meet the credit needs of households and businesses. Third, federal tax and spending policies likely will continue to support the expansion. And, fourth, the outlook for economic growth abroad remains solid despite greater uncertainties in several parts of the world. What I have just described is what we see as the most likely path for the economy. Of course, the economic outcomes we experience often turn out to be a good deal stronger or weaker than our best forecast. For example, it is difficult to predict the ultimate outcome of current discussions over trade policy as well as the size and timing of the economic effects of the recent changes in fiscal policy. Overall, we see the risk of the economy unexpectedly weakening as roughly balanced with the possibility of the economy growing faster than we currently anticipate.

Monetary Policy
Over the first half of 2018 the FOMC has continued to gradually reduce monetary policy accommodation. In other words, we have continued to dial back the extra boost that was needed to help the economy recover from the financial crisis and recession. Specifically, we raised the target range for the federal funds rate by 1/4 percentage point at both our March and June meetings, bringing the target to its current range of 1-3/4 to 2 percent. In addition, last October we started gradually reducing the Federal Reserve’s holdings of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities. That process has been running smoothly. Our policies reflect the strong performance of the economy and are intended to help make sure that this trend continues. The payment of interest on balances held by banks in their accounts at the Federal Reserve has played a key role in carrying out these policies, as the current Monetary Policy Report explains. Payment of interest on these balances is our principal tool for keeping the federal funds rate in the FOMC’s target range. This tool has made it possible for us to gradually return interest rates to a more normal level without disrupting financial markets and the economy.

As I mentioned, after many years of running below our longer-run objective of 2 percent, inflation has recently moved close to that level. Our challenge will be to keep it there. Many factors affect inflation–some temporary and others longer lasting. Inflation will at times be above 2 percent and at other times below. We say that the 2 percent objective is “symmetric” because the FOMC would be concerned if inflation were running persistently above or below our objective.

The unemployment rate is low and expected to fall further. Americans who want jobs have a good chance of finding them. Moreover, wages are growing a little faster than they did a few years ago. That said, they still are not rising as fast as in the years before the crisis. One explanation could be that productivity growth has been low in recent years. On a brighter note, moderate wage growth also tells us that the job market is not causing high inflation.

With a strong job market, inflation close to our objective, and the risks to the outlook roughly balanced, the FOMC believes that–for now–the best way forward is to keep gradually raising the federal funds rate. We are aware that, on the one hand, raising interest rates too slowly may lead to high inflation or financial market excesses. On the other hand, if we raise rates too rapidly, the economy could weaken and inflation could run persistently below our objective. The Committee will continue to weigh a wide range of relevant information when deciding what monetary policy will be appropriate. As always, our actions will depend on the economic outlook, which may change as we receive new data.

For guideposts on appropriate policy, the FOMC routinely looks at monetary policy rules that recommend a level for the federal funds rate based on the current rates of inflation and unemployment. The July Monetary Policy Report gives an update on monetary policy rules and their role in our policy discussions. I continue to find these rules helpful, although using them requires careful judgment.

Thank you. I will now be happy to take your questions.

https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/testimony/powell20180717a.htm

ource: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US) 

Release: H.15 Selected Interest Rates 

Units:  Percent, Not Seasonally Adjusted

Frequency:  Monthly

Averages of daily figures.

The federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions trade federal funds (balances held at Federal Reserve Banks) with each other overnight. When a depository institution has surplus balances in its reserve account, it lends to other banks in need of larger balances. In simpler terms, a bank with excess cash, which is often referred to as liquidity, will lend to another bank that needs to quickly raise liquidity. (1) The rate that the borrowing institution pays to the lending institution is determined between the two banks; the weighted average rate for all of these types of negotiations is called the effective federal funds rate.(2) The effective federal funds rate is essentially determined by the market but is influenced by the Federal Reserve through open market operations to reach the federal funds rate target.(2)
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meets eight times a year to determine the federal funds target rate. As previously stated, this rate influences the effective federal funds rate through open market operations or by buying and selling of government bonds (government debt).(2) More specifically, the Federal Reserve decreases liquidity by selling government bonds, thereby raising the federal funds rate because banks have less liquidity to trade with other banks. Similarly, the Federal Reserve can increase liquidity by buying government bonds, decreasing the federal funds rate because banks have excess liquidity for trade. Whether the Federal Reserve wants to buy or sell bonds depends on the state of the economy. If the FOMC believes the economy is growing too fast and inflation pressures are inconsistent with the dual mandate of the Federal Reserve, the Committee may set a higher federal funds rate target to temper economic activity. In the opposing scenario, the FOMC may set a lower federal funds rate target to spur greater economic activity. Therefore, the FOMC must observe the current state of the economy to determine the best course of monetary policy that will maximize economic growth while adhering to the dual mandate set forth by Congress. In making its monetary policy decisions, the FOMC considers a wealth of economic data, such as: trends in prices and wages, employment, consumer spending and income, business investments, and foreign exchange markets.
The federal funds rate is the central interest rate in the U.S. financial market. It influences other interest rates such as the prime rate, which is the rate banks charge their customers with higher credit ratings. Additionally, the federal funds rate indirectly influences longer- term interest rates such as mortgages, loans, and savings, all of which are very important to consumer wealth and confidence.(2)
References
(1) Federal Reserve Bank of New York. “Federal funds.” Fedpoints, August 2007.
(2) Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. “Monetary Policy”. http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/default.htm.

Suggested Citation:

Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (US), Effective Federal Funds Rate [FEDFUNDS], retrieved from FRED, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FEDFUNDS, July 19, 2018.

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/FEDFUNDS

Federal funds rate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Federal Funds Rate compared to U.S. Treasury interest rates

Federal Funds Rate compared to inflation

Quarterly gross domestic product compared to Federal Funds Rate.

Federal funds rate and capacity utilization in manufacturing.

In the United States, the federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions (banks and credit unions) lend reserve balances to other depository institutions overnight, on an uncollateralized basis. Reserve balances are amounts held at the Federal Reserve to maintain depository institutions’ reserve requirements. Institutions with surplus balances in their accounts lend those balances to institutions in need of larger balances. The federal funds rate is an important benchmark in financial markets.[1][2]

The interest rate that the borrowing bank pays to the lending bank to borrow the funds is negotiated between the two banks, and the weighted average of this rate across all such transactions is the federal funds effective rate.

The federal funds target rate is determined by a meeting of the members of the Federal Open Market Committee which normally occurs eight times a year about seven weeks apart. The committee may also hold additional meetings and implement target rate changes outside of its normal schedule.

The Federal Reserve uses open market operations to influence the supply of money in the U.S. economy[3] to make the federal funds effective rate follow the federal funds target rate.

Mechanism

Financial Institutions are obligated by law to maintain certain levels of reserves, either as reserves with the Fed or as vault cash. The level of these reserves is determined by the outstanding assets and liabilities of each depository institution, as well as by the Fed itself, but is typically 10%[4] of the total value of the bank’s demand accounts (depending on bank size). In the range of $9.3 million to $43.9 million, for transaction deposits (checking accountsNOWs, and other deposits that can be used to make payments) the reserve requirement in 2007–2008 was 3 percent of the end-of-the-day daily average amount held over a two-week period. Transaction deposits over $43.9 million held at the same depository institution carried a 10 percent reserve requirement.

For example, assume a particular U.S. depository institution, in the normal course of business, issues a loan. This dispenses money and decreases the ratio of bank reserves to money loaned. If its reserve ratio drops below the legally required minimum, it must add to its reserves to remain compliant with Federal Reserve regulations. The bank can borrow the requisite funds from another bank that has a surplus in its account with the Fed. The interest rate that the borrowing bank pays to the lending bank to borrow the funds is negotiated between the two banks, and the weighted average of this rate across all such transactions is the federal funds effective rate.

The federal funds target rate is set by the governors of the Federal Reserve, which they enforce by open market operations and adjustments in the interest rate on reserves.[5] The target rate is almost always what is meant by the media referring to the Federal Reserve “changing interest rates.” The actual federal funds rate generally lies within a range of that target rate, as the Federal Reserve cannot set an exact value through open market operations.

Another way banks can borrow funds to keep up their required reserves is by taking a loan from the Federal Reserve itself at the discount window. These loans are subject to audit by the Fed, and the discount rate is usually higher than the federal funds rate. Confusion between these two kinds of loans often leads to confusion between the federal funds rate and the discount rate. Another difference is that while the Fed cannot set an exact federal funds rate, it does set the specific discount rate.

The federal funds rate target is decided by the governors at Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meetings. The FOMC members will either increase, decrease, or leave the rate unchanged depending on the meeting’s agenda and the economic conditions of the U.S. It is possible to infer the market expectations of the FOMC decisions at future meetings from the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) Fed Funds futures contracts, and these probabilities are widely reported in the financial media.

Applications

Interbank borrowing is essentially a way for banks to quickly raise money. For example, a bank may want to finance a major industrial effort but may not have the time to wait for deposits or interest (on loan payments) to come in. In such cases the bank will quickly raise this amount from other banks at an interest rate equal to or higher than the Federal funds rate.

Raising the federal funds rate will dissuade banks from taking out such inter-bank loans, which in turn will make cash that much harder to procure. Conversely, dropping the interest rates will encourage banks to borrow money and therefore invest more freely.[6] This interest rate is used as a regulatory tool to control how freely the U.S. economy operates.

By setting a higher discount rate the Federal Bank discourages banks from requisitioning funds from the Federal Bank, yet positions itself as a lender of last resort.

Comparison with LIBOR

Though the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) and the federal funds rate are concerned with the same action, i.e. interbank loans, they are distinct from one another, as follows:

  • The target federal funds rate is a target interest rate that is set by the FOMC for implementing U.S. monetary policies.
  • The (effective) federal funds rate is achieved through open market operations at the Domestic Trading Desk at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York which deals primarily in domestic securities (U.S. Treasury and federal agencies’ securities).[7]
  • LIBOR is based on a questionnaire where a selection of banks guess the rates at which they could borrow money from other banks.
  • LIBOR may or may not be used to derive business terms. It is not fixed beforehand and is not meant to have macroeconomic ramifications.[8]

Predictions by the market

Considering the wide impact a change in the federal funds rate can have on the value of the dollar and the amount of lending going to new economic activity, the Federal Reserve is closely watched by the market. The prices of Option contracts on fed funds futures (traded on the Chicago Board of Trade) can be used to infer the market’s expectations of future Fed policy changes. Based on CME Group 30-Day Fed Fund futures prices, which have long been used to express the market’s views on the likelihood of changes in U.S. monetary policy, the CME Group FedWatch tool allows market participants to view the probability of an upcoming Fed Rate hike. One set of such implied probabilities is published by the Cleveland Fed.

Historical rates

As of 21 March 2018 the target range for the Federal Funds Rate is 1.50–1.75%.[9] This represents the sixth increase in the target rate since tightening began in December 2015.[10]

The last full cycle of rate increases occurred between June 2004 and June 2006 as rates steadily rose from 1.00% to 5.25%. The target rate remained at 5.25% for over a year, until the Federal Reserve began lowering rates in September 2007. The last cycle of easing monetary policy through the rate was conducted from September 2007 to December 2008 as the target rate fell from 5.25% to a range of 0.00–0.25%. Between December 2008 and December 2015 the target rate remained at 0.00–0.25%, the lowest rate in the Federal Reserve’s history, as a reaction to the Financial crisis of 2007–2008 and its aftermath. According to Jack A. Ablin, chief investment officer at Harris Private Bank, one reason for this unprecedented move of having a range, rather than a specific rate, was because a rate of 0% could have had problematic implications for money market funds, whose fees could then outpace yields.[11]

Federal funds rate history and recessions.jpg

Explanation of federal funds rate decisions

When the Federal Open Market Committee wishes to reduce interest rates they will increase the supply of money by buying government securities. When additional supply is added and everything else remains constant, price normally falls. The price here is the interest rate (cost of money) and specifically refers to the Federal Funds Rate. Conversely, when the Committee wishes to increase the Fed Funds Rate, they will instruct the Desk Manager to sell government securities, thereby taking the money they earn on the proceeds of those sales out of circulation and reducing the money supply. When supply is taken away and everything else remains constant, price (or in this case interest rates) will normally rise.[12]

The Federal Reserve has responded to a potential slow-down by lowering the target federal funds rate during recessions and other periods of lower growth. In fact, the Committee’s lowering has recently predated recessions,[13] in order to stimulate the economy and cushion the fall. Reducing the Fed Funds Rate makes money cheaper, allowing an influx of credit into the economy through all types of loans.

The charts linked below show the relation between S&P 500 and interest rates.

  • July 13, 1990 — Sept 4, 1992: 8.00%–3.00% (Includes 1990–1991 recession)[14][15]
  • Feb 1, 1995 — Nov 17, 1998: 6.00–4.75 [16][17][18]
  • May 16, 2000 — June 25, 2003: 6.50–1.00 (Includes 2001 recession)[19][20][21]
  • June 29, 2006 — (Oct. 29 2008): 5.25–1.00[22]
  • Dec 16, 2008 — 0.0–0.25[23]
  • Dec 16, 2015 — 0.25–0.50[24]
  • Dec 14, 2016 — 0.50–0.75[25]
  • Mar 15, 2017 — 0.75–1.00[26]
  • Jun 14, 2017 — 1.00–1.25[27]
  • Dec 13, 2017 — 1.25–1.50[28]

Bill Gross of PIMCO suggested that in the prior 15 years ending in 2007, in each instance where the fed funds rate was higher than the nominal GDP growth rate, assets such as stocks and housing fell.[29]

International effects

A low federal funds rate makes investments in developing countries such as China or Mexico more attractive. A high federal funds rate makes investments outside the United States less attractive. The long period of a very low federal funds rate from 2009 forward resulted in an increase in investment in developing countries. As the United States began to return to a higher rate in 2013 investments in the United States became more attractive and the rate of investment in developing countries began to fall. The rate also affects the value of currency, a higher rate increasing the value of the U.S. dollar and decreasing the value of currencies such as the Mexican peso.[30]

See also

References

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

 

Federal Open Market Committee

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), a committee within the Federal Reserve System (the Fed), is charged under the United States law with overseeing the nation’s open market operations (e.g., the Fed’s buying and selling of United States Treasury securities).[1] This Federal Reserve committee makes key decisions about interest rates and the growth of the United States money supply.[2]

The FOMC is the principal organ of United States national monetary policy. The Committee sets monetary policy by specifying the short-term objective for the Fed’s open market operations, which is usually a target level for the federal funds rate (the rate that commercial banks charge between themselves for overnight loans).

The FOMC also directs operations undertaken by the Federal Reserve System in foreign exchange markets, although any intervention in foreign exchange markets is coordinated with the U.S. Treasury, which has responsibility for formulating U.S. policies regarding the exchange value of the dollar.

Membership

The Committee consists of the seven members of the Federal Reserve Board, the president of the New York Fed, and four of the other eleven regional Federal Reserve Bank presidents, serving one year terms. The Federal Open Market Committee was formed by the Banking Act of 1933 (codified at 12 U.S.C. § 263), and did not include voting rights for the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. The Banking Act of 1935 revised these protocols to include the Board of Governors and to closely resemble the present-day FOMC, and was amended in 1942 to give the current structure of twelve voting members.[3]

Four of the Federal Reserve Bank presidents serve one-year terms on a rotating basis. The rotating seats are filled from the following four groups of banks, one bank president from each group: Boston, Philadelphia, and Richmond; Cleveland and Chicago; Atlanta, St. Louis, and Dallas; and Minneapolis, Kansas City, and San Francisco. The New York President always has a voting membership.

All of the Reserve Bank presidents, even those who are not currently voting members of the FOMC, attend Committee meetings, participate in discussions, and contribute to the Committee’s assessment of the economy and policy options. The Committee meets eight times a year, approximately once every six weeks.

Meetings

Modern-day meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee at the Eccles Building, Washington, D.C.

By law, the FOMC must meet at least four times each year in Washington, D.C. Since 1981, eight regularly scheduled meetings have been held each year at intervals of five to eight weeks. If circumstances require consultation or consideration of an action between these regular meetings, members may be called on to participate in a special meeting or a telephone conference, or to vote on a proposed action by proxy. At each regularly scheduled meeting, the Committee votes on the policy to be carried out during the interval between meetings.

Attendance at meetings is restricted because of the confidential nature of the information discussed and is limited to Committee members, nonmember Reserve Bank presidents, staff officers, the Manager of the System Open Market Account, and a small number of Board and Reserve Bank staff.[4]

Decision-making process

Before each regularly scheduled meeting of the FOMC, System staff prepare written reports on past and prospective economic and financial developments that are sent to Committee members and to nonmember Reserve Bank presidents. Reports prepared by the Manager of the System Open Market Account on operations in the domestic open market and in foreign currencies since the last regular meeting are also distributed. At the meeting itself, staff officers present oral reports on the current and prospective business situation, on conditions in financial markets, and on international financial developments.

In its discussions, the Committee considers factors such as trends in prices and wages, employment and production, consumer income and spending, residential and commercial construction, business investment and inventories, foreign exchange markets, interest rates, money and credit aggregates, and fiscal policy. The Manager of the System Open Market Account also reports on account transactions since the previous meeting.

After these reports, the Committee members and other Reserve Bank presidents turn to policy. Typically, each participant expresses his or her own views on the state of the economy and prospects for the future and on the appropriate direction for monetary policy. Then each makes a more explicit recommendation on policy for the coming intermeeting period (and for the longer run, if under consideration).[4]

Consensus

Finally, the Committee must reach a consensus regarding the appropriate course for policy, which is incorporated in a directive to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York—the Bank that executes transactions for the System Open Market Account. The directive is cast in terms designed to provide guidance to the Manager in the conduct of day-to-day open market operations. The directive sets forth the Committee’s objectives for long-run growth of certain key monetary and credit aggregates.[4]

It also sets forth operating guidelines for the degree of ease or restraint to be sought in reserve conditions and expectations with regard to short-term rates of growth in the monetary aggregates. Policy is implemented with emphasis on supplying reserves in a manner consistent with these objectives and with the nation’s broader economic objectives.[4]

Congressional oversight

Under the Federal Reserve Act, the Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System must appear before Congressional hearings at least twice per year regarding “the efforts, activities, objectives and plans of the Board and the Federal Open Market Committee with respect to the conduct of monetary policy”. The statute requires that the Chairman appear before the House Committee on Financial Services in February and July of odd-numbered years, and before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs in February and July of even-numbered years.[5]

Interest rate targeting

The committee’s practice of interest rate targeting has been criticized by some commentators who argue that it may risk an inflationary bias.

Possible alternative rules that enjoy some support among economists include the traditional monetarist formula of targeting stable growth in an appropriately chosen monetary aggregate, and inflation targeting, now practiced by many central banks. Under inflationary pressure in 1979, the Fed temporarily abandoned interest rate targeting in favor of targeting non-borrowed reserves. It concluded, however, that this approach led to increased volatility in interest rates and monetary growth, and reversed itself in 1982.[6][7][8]

Former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke sympathetically as a Governor in 2003 of the inflation targeting approach. He explained that even a central bank like the Fed, which does not orient its monetary policies around an explicit, published inflation target, nonetheless takes account of its goal of low and stable inflation in formulating its interest rate targets. Bernanke summed up his overall assessment of inflation targeting as follows:

Inflation targeting, at least in its best-practice form, consists of two parts: a policy framework of constrained discretion and a communication strategy that attempts to focus expectations and explain the policy framework to the public. Together, these two elements promote both price stability and well-anchored inflation expectations; the latter in turn facilitates more effective stabilization of output and employment. Thus, a well-conceived and well-executed strategy of inflation targeting can deliver good results with respect to output and employment as well as inflation.

Although communication plays several important roles in inflation targeting, perhaps the most important is focusing and anchoring expectations. Clearly there are limits to what talk can achieve; ultimately, talk must be backed up by action, in the form of successful policies. Likewise, for a successful and credible central bank like the Federal Reserve, the immediate benefits of adopting a more explicit communication strategy may be modest. Nevertheless, making the investment now in greater transparency about the central bank’s objectives, plans, and assessments of the economy could pay increasing dividends in the future.[9]

In keeping with his 2003 speech as Governor, Bernanke as Chairman has attempted to promote greater transparency in Fed communications. The Fed now publicly indicates the range within which it would like to see future inflation.

Current members

The 2018 Members of the FOMC:[1]

Members
Alternate Members

Federal Reserve Bank Rotation on the FOMC
Committee membership changes at the first regularly scheduled meeting of the year.

2019 Members – New York, Chicago, Boston, St. Louis, Kansas City

2019 Alternate Members – New York†, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Dallas, Minneapolis

(Note: For the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the First Vice President is the alternate for the President.)

See also

References

  1. Jump up to:a b “What is the FOMC and when does it meet?”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 2015. Retrieved February 23, 2016.
  2. Jump up^ O’Sullivan, ArthurSheffrin, Steven M. (2003). Economics: Principles in Action. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall. p. 418. ISBN 0-13-063085-3.
  3. Jump up^ Arthur J. Rolnick; David E. Runkle (March 1, 1999). David Fettig, ed. “The Federal Reserve’s Beige Book: A better mirror than crystal ball – The Beige Book: An analysis of the purpose and value of the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book”. Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Jump up to:a b c d “The Federal Open Market Committee”. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. January 14, 2011.
  5. Jump up^ See 12 U.S.C. § 225b(a).
  6. Jump up^ Allen, Larry (October 15, 2009). The encyclopedia of money. ABC-CLIO. p. 242. ISBN 978-1-59884-251-7. Retrieved August 9, 2011.
  7. Jump up^ Thomas Mayer (1993). The Political Economy of American Monetary Policy. Cambridge University Press. p. 249. ISBN 978-0-521-44651-8. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
  8. Jump up^ Wood, John H. (2008). A History of Macroeconomic Policy in the United States. Taylor & Francis. p. 142. ISBN 978-0-415-77718-6. Retrieved August 11, 2011.
  9. Jump up^ Ben S. Bernanke (March 25, 2003). A Perspective on Inflation Targeting (Speech). Annual Washington Policy Conference of the National Association for Business Economics. Washington D.C.

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The Pronk Pops Show 1102, Story 1: Celebrate The Meaning of Independence Day on July 4, 2018 — Videos — Story 2: Baby Killers Fear Pro Life Supreme Court Majority Will Rule  Roe vs. Wade Was Wrongly Decided By Supreme Court and Unconstitutional — Babies In The Womb Are Denied Due Process In The Ending of Their Lives — Videos Story 3: Arrogant Abuse of Power Leads To Tyranny — The Surveillance of The American People By The Two Party Tyranny of United States Intelligence Community– Department of Justice and FBI Cover-up Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Videos

Posted on July 5, 2018. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Candidates, Abortion, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Books, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, College, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Eugenics, Extortion, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Communications Commission, Federal Government, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Gangs, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hardware, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Impeachment, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, IRS, Language, Law, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, National Interest, National Security Agency, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Privacy, Private Sector Unions, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Public Sector Unions, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Robert S. Mueller III, Russia, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Servers, Software, Spying, Spying on American People, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, Unions, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Pronk Pops Show 1102, JUly 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1101, July 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1100, June 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1099, June 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1098, June 25, 2018 

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Story 1: Celebrate The Meaning of Independence Day on July 4, 2018 — Videos —

The Meaning of Independence Day

John Adams – Writing the Declaration of Independence (with subs)

John Adams – A Case for Independence

 

Story 2: Baby Killers Fear Pro Life Supreme Court Majority Will Rule  Roe vs. Wade Was Wrongly Decided By Supreme Court and Unconstitutional — Babies In The Womb Are Denied Due Process In The Ending of Their Lives — Videos

See the source image

See the source imageSee the source image

See the source image

Justice Antonin Scalia talks about Roe v. Wade

Tears Of Abortion – Story of an aborted baby, This ProLife Video will make you cry your eyes out

Third Presidential Debate Highlights | Trump, Clinton on Abortion

Fertilization

0 to 9 Months Journey In The Womb

Incredible Real Photography of the journey from a sperm to human baby- Developing in the womb

Judge Napolitano: Roe v. Wade won’t be overturned

 

Jeffrey Toobin: Roe v. Wade is doomed

Collins: I wouldn’t vote for nominee hostile to Roe v. Wade

With Justice Anthony Kennedy’s Retirement, What’s The Fate Of Roe V Wade? | Hardball | MSNBC

 

Story 3: Arrogant Abuse of Power Leads To Tyranny — The Surveillance of The American People By The Two Party Tyranny of United States Intelligence Community– Department of Justice and FBI Cover-up Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy — Videos

Nunes tightens screws in his probe into surveillance abuses

Rep. Goodlatte Rips into Rod Rosenstein and Chris Wray in Opening Statement June 28, 2018

Goodlatte: We’re going to restore the reputation of the FBI

Gowdy to Rosenstein on Russia probe: ‘Finish it the hell up’

Jordan to Rosenstein: Why are you keeping info from us?

Levin: Left’s agenda is incompatible with constitutionalism

Tucker: IG report is catalog of bias, abuse of power

Tucker: What’s at stake in the Rosenstein battle

Meadows: DOJ, FBI can be part of the clean up or cover-up

FBI, DOJ investigation reaches deadline

Will the DOJ release spy documents?

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1093, June 14, 2018, Story 1: Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray Responds To Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) 568 Page Report — Videos — Story 2: American People Demand Appointment of Special Counsel To Prosecute The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspirators To Restore Public Confidence in Integrity of DOJ and FBI Employees — We Will Rock You — Deplorable POS – Videos — Story 3: Happy 72nd Birthday President Trump — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 1093, June 14, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1086, May 31, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1049, March 22, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1045, March 8, 2018

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Pronk Pops Show 1042, March 1, 2018

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Story 1: Federal Bureau of Investigation Director Christopher Wray Responds To Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) 568 Page Report- Videos —

 

Read IG Report

 

FBI employee calls Trump supporters “are all poor to middle class, uneducated, lazy POS …) (Piece of Shit)

“No documented political bias” — bureaucratic BS (bullshit)!

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Mark Levin: Not a single pro-Trump FBI agent in IG report

Horror show’: Trump hammers IG report findings

Giuliani on IG report: Mueller should suspend investigation

Giuliani: Time to investigate Mueller’s investigators

Nunes: IG report shows text messages were held from Congress

Gowdy, Goodlatte react to inspector general’s report on FBI

Sara Carter Reacts to Inspector General’s Report on FBI

Roger Stone, Dinesh D’Souza react to DOJ IG’s report

Steyn: IG report shows there is no rule book in the FBI

FBI director Christoper Wray reacts to the IG report on Clinton email investigation

Mark Levin: Not a single pro-Trump FBI agent in IG report

Sebastian Gorka: IG report is 560-page cover-up

‘Clinton Cash’ author reacts to IG report on email probe

Cuomo, congressman spar over DOJ report

Joe Arpaio: Why don’t we blame the adults?

Tucker: IG report is catalog of bias, abuse of power

Fitton: DOJ, FBI bent over backwards to protect Clinton

Steyn: IG report shows there is no rule book in the FBI

Gowdy, Goodlatte react to inspector general’s report on FBI

Three takeaways from IG report

IG Report shows foreign actors gained access to Clinton emails

IG report shows Comey broke FBI protocol

How will the FBI adjust after the Clinton email probe report?

Should Comey celebrate after release of IG report?

Napolitano: Very little in IG report we didn’t already know

IG Report: ‘We’ll stop’ Trump from becoming President

DOJ Inspector General report on Clinton email probe released

Tom Fitton: IG report will ‘destroy’ credibility of FBI, DOJ

 

Comey Was ‘Insubordinate’ in Clinton Probe, Inspector General Finds

 Updated on 

Former FBI Director James Comey was “insubordinate” in handling the probe into Hillary Clinton, damaging the bureau and the Justice Department’s image of impartiality even though he wasn’t motivated by politics, the department’s watchdog found.

Although the report issued Thursday by Inspector General Michael Horowitz doesn’t deal directly with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and possible collusion with those around Donald Trump, the president and his Republican allies in Congress were primed to seize on it as evidence of poor judgment and anti-Trump bias within the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Justice Department.

[Read the report here]

Horowitz said that five FBI officials expressed hostility toward Trump before his election as president and disclosed in his report to Congress that their actions have been referred to the bureau for possible disciplinary action.

“The president was briefed on the IG report earlier today, and it reaffirmed the president’s suspicions about Comey’s conduct and the political bias among some of the members of the FBI,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of the 500-page report.

One example cited in the new document is an exchange of texts between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page on Aug. 8, 2016. Page questioned whether Trump would become president. Strzok replied: “No. No he’s not. We’ll stop it.”

Under those circumstances, Horowitz said “we did not have confidence that Strzok’s decision to prioritize the Russia investigation over following up” on potential new evidence in the Clinton case “was free from bias.”

Zeroing in on the evidence of anti-Trump sentiment, Representative Darrell Issa of California said “it appears as though all or most of the 39 people who were tangentially involved had a bias toward believing they were going to work for Hillary Clinton — and as a result didn’t have the guts to take on wrongdoing.”

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal, a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a statement that “any effort to use this report as an excuse for shutting down Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation is both disingenuous and dangerous. Nothing in this report detracts from the credibility and critical importance of the Special Counsel’s investigation.”

Clinton Decision

Horowitz, whose office said it reviewed more than 1.2 million documents and interviewed more than 100 witnesses, didn’t challenge Comey’s fundamental decision against recommending prosecution of Clinton for mishandling classified information.

But the inspector general called it “extraordinary and insubordinate for Comey to conceal his intentions from his superiors, the Attorney General and Deputy Attorney General, for the admitted purpose of preventing them from telling him not to make the statement, and to instruct his subordinates in the FBI to do the same.”

Tracking Trump: Follow the Administration’s Every Move

He said that “we did not find that these decisions were the result of political bias on Comey’s part,” but “by departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice.”

The report also noted that Comey used personal email at times to conduct official business.

Comey’s Response

Comey said the report “found no evidence that bias or improper motivation affected the investigation, which I know was done competently, honestly and independently.” In an op-ed article for the New York Times, he said the report “also resoundingly demonstrates that there was no prosecutable case against Mrs. Clinton, as we had concluded.”

Horowitz examined actions taken by top officials before the 2016 election, including the handling of the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state. The inquiry expanded to touch on an array of politically sensitive decisions by officials including Comey and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement that John Huber, a U.S. attorney based in Utah who’s reviewing allegations of FBI bias and wrongdoing, “will provide recommendations as to whether any matter not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of Special Counsel.”

The FBI said in a statement included in the inspector general’s report that Comey’s handling of the Clinton findings may have violated regulations on releasing information and that his letter disclosing reopening of the inquiry shortly before the election “was a serious error in judgment.”

The bureau also said it accepts findings “that certain text messages, instant messages and statements, along with a failure to consistently apply DoJ and FBI interview policies, were inappropriate and created an appearance that political bias might have improperly influenced investigative actions or decisions.”

Why Mueller Is One Contestant Trump Can’t Easily Fire: A QuickTake

Some of what Horowitz discovered has already been made public, and Trump and Republican lawmakers have pounced on those findings in an effort to discredit Comey and, by extension, the investigation now being run by Mueller.

In tweets, Trump has called Comey’s investigation into Clinton “phony and dishonest” and said that Comey, who he fired on May 9, 2017, left the FBI’s reputation in tatters.

Trump’s Interest

Trump has expressed great interest in the inspector general’s report, as well as some skepticism it might not be as damning as he hoped.

“What is taking so long with the Inspector General’s Report on Crooked Hillary and Slippery James Comey,” Trump tweeted on June 5. “Numerous delays. Hope Report is not being changed and made weaker! There are so many horrible things to tell, the public has the right to know. Transparency!”

The inspector general reviewed Comey’s announcement in July 2016 that no prosecutor would find grounds to pursue criminal charges against Clinton for improperly handling classified information on her private email server. He also looked at Comey’s decision to inform Congress only days before the election that the Clinton investigation was being re-opened. Comey’s public announcement of findings angered Republicans, while his reopening of the inquiry outraged Democrats.

“This finding could have been reached the day of Comey’s press conference,” Brian Fallon, who was spokesman for Clinton’s presidential campaign, said Thursday. “It was obvious at the time that Comey was completely deviating from department protocols and it had a fateful impact on the 2016 campaign and the long-term reputation of the FBI.”

Anti-Trump Texts

Republican critics seized on previous revelations from the inspector general Strzok and Page, two of the FBI officials who worked on Mueller’s Russia investigation, exchanged text messages sharply critical of Trump. Mueller removed Strzok from the inquiry after the texts were discovered, and Page has since left the FBI.

But Horowitz said in the report to be issued Thursday that “we did not find documentary or testimonial evidence that improper considerations, including political bias, directly affected the specific investigative actions we reviewed.” Still, he wrote that “the conduct by these employees cast a cloud over the entire FBI investigation.”

Comey-Lynch Criticism

Horowitz found a “troubling lack of any direct, substantive communication” between Comey and Attorney General Lynch ahead of Comey’s July 5 press conference on Clinton and his October 28 letter to Congress.

“We found it extraordinary that, in advance of two such consequential decisions, the FBI director decided that the best course of conduct was to not speak directly and substantively with the attorney general about how best to navigate those decisions.”

Lynch had announced that she would go along with whatever Comey recommended with regard to the Clinton case, although she didn’t formally recuse herself. Lynch had come under heated criticism for agreeing to meet with former President Bill Clinton in June 2016 on her plane while it was sitting on a tarmac in Phoenix. The two sides have said they didn’t discuss anything related to the investigation.

The inspector general released a report in April finding that Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe lacked candor on four different occasions regarding interactions with the media, including providing information to a news reporter about the FBI’s investigation into the foundation created by Hillary and Bill Clinton. The inspector general has referred the matter to the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia for further investigation.

Attorney General Sessions relied on the report to fire McCabe only hours before he was set to retire and qualify for his full government pension. McCabe and his lawyer have adamantly contested the allegations.

The inspector general also has opened a separate review into whether the Justice Department and FBI followed appropriate procedures in obtaining a secret warrant to conduct surveillance on former Trump campaign aide Carter Page in late 2016 and early 2017.

— With assistance by Jennifer Epstein, Jennifer Jacobs, Billy House, Justin Sink, and Steven T. Dennis

(Updates with White House comment in fourth paragraph.)

 

The Latest: FBI attorney removed for anti-Trump messages

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on a report by the Justice Department’s internal watchdog on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation (all times local):

5:20 p.m.

An FBI attorney was removed from the special counsel’s Russia investigation in February after the Justice Department’s internal watchdog found he had written anti-Trump messages.

This was in addition to FBI agent Peter Strzok who was removed from the investigation last year after exchanging anti-Trump texts.

The reassignment of the FBI attorney was revealed in the report released Thursday by the Justice Department’s inspector general on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

It identifies the attorney as “FBI Attorney 2” and says he was assigned to the Clinton investigation and also to the investigation into Russian interference.

The report describes some of his messages, including one the day after the election in which he said he was “so stressed about what I could have done differently.” In another message, he called then-Vice President-elect Mike Pence “stupid.”

Strzok had exchanged his anti-Trump texts with another FBI attorney, Lisa Page, who had already left the special counsel’s team when he was reassigned.

4:30 p.m.

In a revelation some Democrats see as ironic, the Justice Department’s inspector general report about the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation says former Director James Comey occasionally used personal email for work.

In several instances Comey forwarded items to his personal account, including drafts of messages and other unclassified items.

When interviewed by the inspector general, Comey said he used it for word processing at home when he was writing something longer. He said it was “incidental” and he forwarded the emails to his government account.

Comey said he wasn’t sure if that was in accordance with FBI regulations, but had checked it with another official and he “had the sense that it was okay.”

The inspector general says he did not follow regulations.

__

4:15 p.m.

A lawyer for FBI agent Peter Strzok (struhk) says a watchdog’s report shows his politics did not affect an investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Strzok has come under fire for text messages critical of Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. He left special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the election after the Justice Department’s inspector general discovered the problematic texts in mid-2017.

On Thursday, a report by the inspector general revealed that Strzok had told an FBI lawyer “we’ll stop” Trump from becoming president.

Strzok was also involved in the probe of Clinton’s handling of classified emails that roiled the election.

Strzok’s lawyer, Aitan Goelman, says Thursday’s report reveals no evidence that the FBI agent’s political views affected the handling of the Clinton investigation.

___

3:20 p.m.

The White House says a report by the Justice Department’s watchdog on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation is reaffirming President Donald Trump’s “suspicions” about former FBI Director James Comey’s conduct.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the inspector general’s report is also reaffirming Trump’s suspicions about the “political bias among some of the members of the FBI.” She is deferring additional comments to FBI Director Christopher Wray.

The report says Comey was “insubordinate” in his conduct of the probe, but it didn’t find he was motivated by political bias.

Sanders says Trump was briefed on the report’s findings earlier in the day.

___

2:55 p.m.

Former FBI Director James Comey says he disagrees with some of the conclusions of the Justice Department’s inspector general about his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

But Comey says in a tweet that he respects the inspector general’s work and believes the conclusions are “reasonable.” He says “people of good faith” can see the “unprecedented situation differently.”

Comey’s comments come in response to the public release of a report that is heavily critical of his decisions in the probe. The report says Comey was insubordinate and departed from established protocol numerous times.

The report does find that Comey’s actions were not politically motivated to help either candidate.

Comey also wrote an opinion piece in The New York Times responding to the report’s findings.

__

2:40 p.m.

An FBI investigator who worked on probes into Hillary Clinton’s emails and into Russian interference in the 2016 election told an FBI lawyer “we’ll stop” Donald Trump from becoming president.

The inflammatory texts between Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page are highlighted in the report by the Justice Department’s inspector general, which is critical of former FBI director James Comey’s handling of the investigations.

According to the report, Page texted Strzok in August 2016: “(Trump’s) not ever going to become president, right? Right?!”

Strzok responded: “No. No he won’t. We’ll stop it.”

The report says the watchdog “did not find documentary or testimonial evidence” that political bias directly affected parts of the probe, it says Page and Strzok’s conduct “cast a cloud over the entire FBI investigation.”

__

2:05 p.m.

The Justice Department has issued a stinging rebuke to the FBI for its handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

The report released Thursday calls former FBI Director James Comey “insubordinate” and says his actions were “extraordinary.”

But the report, by the department’s watchdog, does not find evidence that Comey was motivated by political bias or preference in his decisions.

The report criticized Comey for publicly announcing his recommendation against criminal charges for Clinton. It also faulted him for alerting Congress days before the 2016 election that the investigation was being reopened because of newly discovered emails.

President Donald Trump has been eager for the report in hopes that it would vindicate his decision to fire Comey and undermine special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.

__

12:15 p.m.

The Justice Department’s watchdog faults former FBI Director James Comey for breaking with established protocol in his handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. But it found that his decisions were not driven by political bias.

The report also criticizes Comey for not keeping then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other Justice Department superiors properly informed about his handling of the investigation.

That’s according to a person familiar with the report’s conclusions who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The person was not authorized to speak on the record because the report is not yet public.

The report’s findings are set to be made public later Thursday. It represents the culmination of an 18-month review into one of the most consequential FBI investigations in recent history.

__ Chad Day in Washington

___

12:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump was expected to receive a briefing at the White House on a report from the Justice Department’s internal watchdog on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was spotted entering the West Wing on Thursday. White House officials have not yet confirmed that Rosenstein will be conducting the briefing.

The inspector general’s detailed report is set to be released later in the day. It will look at how the nonpartisan law enforcement agency became entangled in the 2016 presidential campaign. Trump is expected to use the report to renew his attack against two former top FBI officials — Director James Comey and his deputy, Andrew McCabe.

___

11:55 a.m.

President Donald Trump is bashing the special counsel investigation into Russian election meddling as a “pile of garbage” ahead of the release of a highly anticipated report looking into the Justice Department’s conduct during the 2016 election.

Trump says in a pair of tweets that now that he’s back from his summit with North Korea, “the thought process must sadly go back to the Witch Hunt.”

Trump is yet again insisting there was “No Collusion and No Obstruction of the fabricated No Crime” and is accusing Democrats of making up “a phony crime,” paying “a fortune to make the crime sound real,” and then “Collud(ing) to make this pile of garbage take on life in Fake News!”

The report by the Justice Department’s internal watchdog is being released Thursday afternoon and is expected to criticize the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

___

11:35 a.m.

Two Republican-led House committees say their own monthslong probe into the now-closed FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails has so far shown “questionable decision-making” by the agency.

A document listing preliminary conclusions was obtained by The Associated Press ahead of a separate report from the Justice Department’s internal watchdog. That much-anticipated report is due to be released Thursday afternoon. It is expected to criticize the FBI’s handling of the investigation.

Republicans on the House Judiciary and Oversight and Government Reform committees say they have “substantial questions about whether DOJ and FBI properly analyzed and interpreted the law surrounding mishandling of classified information.” They charge that the FBI did not follow legal precedent and treated the Clinton probe differently from other cases.

The Republicans allege bias against Donald Trump in his campaign against Clinton.

— Mary Clare Jalonick

___

1 a.m.

The Justice Department’s internal watchdog is releasing its much-anticipated report on the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

The report being issued Thursday afternoon is the culmination of an 18-month review of one of the most consequential FBI investigations in recent history.

Its findings will revive debate about whether FBI actions affected the outcome of the 2016 presidential election and contributed to Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump.

Trump’s supporters have eagerly awaited the report in hopes that it would skewer the judgment of James Comey, who was fired as FBI director last year.

Among the actions scrutinized is Comey’s decision to publicly announce his recommendation against prosecuting Clinton, and his disclosure to Congress days before the election that the investigation was being revived because of newly discovered emails.

https://www.apnews.com/99ed3059a42e4ed99e71d2486a18856c

Story 2: American People Demand Appointment of Special Counsel To Prosecute The Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspirators To Restore Public Confidence in Integrity of DOJ and FBI Employees — We Will Rock You — Deplorable POS – Videos –

Who’s Behind the FBI Cabal Breakup? Was This An Intel Inside Job? Cui Bono? Setups & Double Crosses

WATCH: House Republicans hold news briefing regarding special counsel

House Republicans demand second special counsel

Republican lawmakers introduce legislation targeting FBI, DOJ

Reps. Jordan, Gaetz on demand for second special counsel

Republicans ask for special counsel to probe Clinton, Obama

GOP lawmakers call for second special counsel to probe DOJ

Deep state will get a reckoning here: Mark Penn

Caputo: FBI not only the agency that came at Trump campaign

Why a second special counsel is needed to investigate DOJ, FBI

Trump calls on DOJ to investigate FBI

Republicans want second special counsel, Trump wants answers

Graham calls for a special counsel to investigate Dems

Hillary Clinton says half of Trump’s supporters are in a “basket of deplorables”

Barack Obama’s small town guns and religion comments

Victor D Hanson Explains The Complete Corruption of the Obama Administration helped Sabotage Hillary

Pepsi Commercial HD – We Will Rock You (feat. Britney Spears, Beyonce, Pink & Enrique Iglesias)

Charles Kesler Introduces Angelo Codevilla

1. America’s Ruling Class

3. What’s Wrong with the CIA?

The Revolution of America’s Regime

Angelo Codevilla – Does America Have a Ruling Class?

456. The Iron Fist of the Ruling Class | Angelo Codevilla

The Role of Intelligence in American National Security

Conservatism in the Trump Era: American Statecraft

See the source image

  • ANGELO M. CODEVILLA

July 16, 2010, 10:09 am

After the Republic

By: Angelo M. Codevilla 
September 27, 2016

In today’s America, a network of executive, judicial, bureaucratic, and social kinship channels bypasses the sovereignty of citizens. Our imperial regime, already in force, works on a simple principle: the president and the cronies who populate these channels may do whatever they like so long as the bureaucracy obeys and one third plus one of the Senate protects him from impeachment. If you are on the right side of that network, you can make up the rules as you go along, ignore or violate any number of laws, obfuscate or commit perjury about what you are doing (in the unlikely case they put you under oath), and be certain of your peers’ support. These cronies’ shared social and intellectual identity stems from the uniform education they have received in the universities. Because disdain for ordinary Americans is this ruling class’s chief feature, its members can be equally certain that all will join in celebrating each, and in demonizing their respective opponents.

And, because the ruling class blurs the distinction between public and private business, connection to that class has become the principal way of getting rich in America. Not so long ago, the way to make it here was to start a business that satisfied customers’ needs better than before. Nowadays, more businesses die each year than are started. In this century, all net additions in employment have come from the country’s 1,500 largest corporations. Rent-seeking through influence on regulations is the path to wealth. In the professions, competitive exams were the key to entry and advancement not so long ago. Now, you have to make yourself acceptable to your superiors. More important, judicial decisions and administrative practice have divided Americans into “protected classes”—possessed of special privileges and immunities—and everybody else. Equality before the law and equality of opportunity are memories. Co-option is the path to power. Ever wonder why the quality of our leaders has been declining with each successive generation?

Moreover, since the Kennedy reform of 1965, and with greater speed since 2009, the ruling class’s immigration policy has changed the regime by introducing some 60 million people—roughly a fifth of our population—from countries and traditions different from, if not hostile, to ours. Whereas earlier immigrants earned their way to prosperity, a disproportionate percentage of post-1965 arrivals have been encouraged to become dependents of the state. Equally important, the ruling class chose to reverse America’s historic practice of assimilating immigrants, emphasizing instead what divides them from other Americans. Whereas Lincoln spoke of binding immigrants by “the electric cord” of the founders’ principles, our ruling class treats these principles as hypocrisy. All this without votes or law; just power.

Foul is Fair and Fair is Foul

In short, precisely as the classics defined regime change, people and practices that had been at society’s margins have been brought to its center, while people and ideas that had been central have been marginalized.

Fifty years ago, prayer in the schools was near universal, but no one was punished for not praying. Nowadays, countless people are arrested or fired for praying on school property. West Point’s commanding general reprimanded the football coach for his team’s thanksgiving prayer. Fifty years ago, bringing sexually explicit stuff into schools was treated as a crime, as was “procuring abortion.” Nowadays, schools contract with Planned Parenthood to teach sex, and will not tell parents when they take girls to PP facilities for abortions. Back then, many schools worked with the National Rifle Association to teach gun handling and marksmanship. Now students are arrested and expelled merely for pointing their finger and saying “bang.” In those benighted times, boys who ventured into the girls’ bathroom were expelled as perverts. Now, girls are suspended for objecting to boys coming into the girls’ room under pretense of transgenderism. The mainstreaming of pornography, the invention of abortion as the most inalienable of human rights and, most recently, the designation of opposition to homosexual marriage as a culpable psychosis—none of which is dictated by law enacted by elected officials—is enforced as if it had been. No surprise that America has experienced a drastic drop in the formation of families, with the rise of rates of out-of-wedlock births among whites equal to the rates among blacks that was recognized as disastrous a half-century ago, the near-disappearance of two-parent families among blacks, and the social dislocations attendant to all that.

Ever since the middle of the 20th century our ruling class, pursuing hazy concepts of world order without declarations of war, has sacrificed American lives first in Korea, then in Vietnam, and now throughout the Muslim world. By denigrating Americans who call for peace, or for wars unto victory over America’s enemies; by excusing or glorifying those who take our enemies’ side or who disrespect the American flag; our rulers have drawn down the American regime’s credit and eroded the people’s patriotism.

As the ruling class destroyed its own authority, it wrecked the republic’s as well. This is no longer the “land where our fathers died,” nor even the country that won World War II. It would be surprising if any society, its identity altered and its most fundamental institutions diminished, had continued to function as before. Ours sure does not, and it is difficult to imagine how it can do so ever again. We can be sure only that the revolution underway among us, like all others, will run its unpredictable course.

All we know is the choice that faces us at this stage: either America continues in the same direction, but faster and without restraint, or there’s the hazy possibility of something else.

Imperial Alternatives

The consequences of empowering today’s Democratic Party are crystal clear. The Democratic Party—regardless of its standard bearer—would use its victory to drive the transformations that it has already wrought on America to quantitative and qualitative levels that not even its members can imagine. We can be sure of that because what it has done and is doing is rooted in a logic that has animated the ruling class for a century, and because that logic has shaped the minds and hearts of millions of this class’s members, supporters, and wannabes.

That logic’s essence, expressed variously by Herbert Croly and Woodrow Wilson, FDR’s brains trust, intellectuals of both the old and the new Left, choked back and blurted out by progressive politicians, is this: America’s constitutional republic had given the American people too much latitude to be who they are, that is: religiously and socially reactionary, ignorant, even pathological, barriers to Progress. Thankfully, an enlightened minority exists with the expertise and the duty to disperse the religious obscurantism, the hypocritical talk of piety, freedom, and equality, which excuses Americans’ racism, sexism, greed, and rape of the environment. As we progressives take up our proper responsibilities, Americans will no longer live politically according to their prejudices; they will be ruled administratively according to scientific knowledge.

Progressivism’s programs have changed over time. But its disdain for how other Americans live and think has remained fundamental. More than any commitment to principles, programs, or way of life, this is its paramount feature. The media reacted to Hillary Clinton’s remark that “half of Trump’s supporters could be put into a ‘basket of deplorables’” as if these sentiments were novel and peculiar to her. In fact, these are unremarkable restatements of our ruling class’s perennial creed.

The pseudo-intellectual argument for why these “deplorables” have no right to their opinions is that giving equal consideration to people and positions that stand in the way of Progress is “false equivalence,” as President Obama has put it. But the same idea has been expressed most recently and fully by New York TimesCEO Mark Thompson, as well as Times columnists Jim Rutenberg, Timothy Egan, and William Davies. In short, devotion to truth means not reporting on Donald Trump and people like him as if they or anything they say might be of value.

If trying to persuade irredeemable socio-political inferiors is no more appropriate than arguing with animals, why not just write them off by sticking dismissive names on them? Doing so is less challenging, and makes you feel superior. Why wrestle with the statistical questions implicit in Darwin when you can just dismiss Christians as Bible-thumpers? Why bother arguing for Progressivism’s superiority when you can construct “scientific” studies like Theodor Adorno’s, proving that your opponents suffer from degrees of “fascism” and other pathologies? This is a well-trod path. Why, to take an older example, should General Omar Bradley have bothered trying to refute Douglas MacArthur’s statement that in war there is no substitute for victory when calling MacArthur and his supporters “primitives” did the trick? Why wrestle with our climate’s complexities when you can make up your own “models,” being sure that your class will treat them as truth?

What priorities will the ruling class’s notion of scientific truth dictate to the next Democratic administration? Because rejecting that true and false, right and wrong are objectively ascertainable is part of this class’s DNA, no corpus of fact or canon of reason restrains it or defines its end-point. Its definition of “science” is neither more nor less than what “scientists say” at any given time. In practice, that means “Science R-Us,” now and always, exclusively. Thus has come to pass what President Dwight Eisenhower warned against in his 1960 Farewell address: “A steadily increasing share [of science] is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.… [T]he free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution…a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity.” Hence, said Ike, “The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present—and is gravely to be regarded.” The result has been that academics rise through government grants while the government exercises power by claiming to act on science’s behalf. If you don’t bow to the authority of the power that says what is and is not so, you are an obscurantist or worse.

Under our ruling class, “truth” has morphed from the reflection of objective reality to whatever has “normative pull”—i.e., to what furthers the ruling class’s agenda, whatever that might be at any given time. That is the meaning of the term “political correctness,” as opposed to factual correctness.

It’s the Contempt, Stupid!

Who, a generation ago, could have guessed that careers and social standing could be ruined by stating the fact that the paramount influence on the earth’s climate is the sun, that its output of energy varies and with it the climate? Who, a decade ago, could have predicted that stating that marriage is the union of a man and a woman would be treated as a culpable sociopathy, or just yesterday that refusing to let certifiably biological men into women’s bathrooms would disqualify you from mainstream society? Or that saying that the lives of white people “matter” as much as those of blacks is evidence of racism? These strictures came about quite simply because some sectors of the ruling class felt like inflicting them on the rest of America. Insulting presumed inferiors proved to be even more important to the ruling class than the inflictions’ substance.

How far will our rulers go? Because their network is mutually supporting, they will go as far as they want. Already, there is pressure from ruling class constituencies, as well as academic arguments, for morphing the concept of “hate crime” into the criminalization of “hate speech”—which means whatever these loving folks hate. Of course this is contrary to the First Amendment, and a wholesale negation of freedom. But it is no more so than the negation of freedom of association that is already eclipsing religious freedom in the name of anti-discrimination. It is difficult to imagine a Democratic president, Congress, and Supreme Court standing in the way.

Above all, these inflictions, as well as the ruling class’s acceptance of its own members’ misbehavior, came about because millions of its supporters were happy, or happy enough, to support them in the interest of maintaining their own status in a ruling coalition while discomfiting their socio-political opponents. Consider, for example, how republic-killing an event was the ruling class’s support of President Bill Clinton in the wake of his nationally televised perjury. Subsequently, as constituencies of supporters have effectively condoned officials’ abusive, self-serving, and even outright illegal behavior, they have encouraged more and more of it while inuring themselves to it. That is how republics turn into empires from the roots up.

But it is also true, as Mao Tse-Tung used to say, “a fish begins to rot at the head.” If you want to understand why any and all future Democratic Party administrations can only be empires dedicated to injuring and insulting their subjects, look first at their intellectual leaders’ rejection of the American republic’s most fundamental principles.

The Declaration of Independence says that all men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” among which are “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” These rights—codified in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights—are not civil rights that governments may define. The free exercise of religion, freedom of speech and assembly, keeping and bearing arms, freedom from warrantless searches, protection against double jeopardy and self-incrimination, trial by jury of one’s peers, etc., are natural rights that pertain to human beings as such. Securing them for Americans is what the United States is all about. But today’s U.S. Civil Rights Commission advocates truncating the foremost of these rights because, as it stated in a recent report, “Religious exemptions to the protections of civil rights based upon classifications such as race, color, national origin, sex, disability status, sexual orientation, and gender identity, when they are permissible, significantly infringe upon those civil rights.” The report explains why the rights enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights should not be permissible: “The phrases ‘religious liberty’ and ‘religious freedom’ will stand for nothing except hypocrisy so long as they remain code words for discrimination, intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, Christian supremacy, or any form of intolerance.”

Hillary Clinton’s attack on Trump supporters merely matched the ruling class’s current common sense. Why should government workers and all who wield the administrative state’s unaccountable powers not follow their leaders’ judgment, backed by the prestige press, about who are to be treated as citizens and who is to be handled as deplorable refuse? Hillary Clinton underlined once again how the ruling class regards us, and about what it has in store for us.

Electing Donald Trump would result in an administration far less predictable than any Democratic one. In fact, what Trump would or would not do, could or could not do, pales into insignificance next to the certainty of what any Democrat would do. That is what might elect Trump.

The character of an eventual Trump Administration is unpredictable because speculating about Trump’s mind is futile. It is equally futile to guess how he might react to the mixture of flattery and threats sure to be leveled against him. The entire ruling class—Democrats and Republicans, the bulk of the bureaucracy, the judiciary, and the press—would do everything possible to thwart him; and the constituencies that chose him as their candidate, and that might elect him, are surely not united and are by no means clear about the demands they would press. Moreover, it is anyone’s guess whom he would appoint and how he would balance his constituencies’ pressures against those of the ruling class.

Never before has such a large percentage of Americans expressed alienation from their leaders, resentment, even fear. Some two-thirds of Americans believe that elected and appointed officials—plus the courts, the justice system, business leaders, educators—are leading the country in the wrong direction: that they are corrupt, do more harm than good, make us poorer, get us into wars and lose them. Because this majority sees no one in the political mainstream who shares their concerns, because it lacks confidence that the system can be fixed, it is eager to empower whoever might flush the system and its denizens with something like an ungentle enema.

Yet the persons who express such revolutionary sentiments are not a majority ready to support a coherent imperial program to reverse the course of America’s past half-century. Temperamentally conservative, these constituencies had been most attached to the Constitution and been counted as the bedrock of stability. They are not yet wholly convinced that there is little left to conserve. What they want, beyond an end to the ruling class’s outrages, has never been clear. This is not surprising, given that the candidates who appeal to their concerns do so with mere sound bites. Hence they chose as the presidential candidate of the nominal opposition party the man who combined the most provocative anti-establishment sounds with reassurance that it won’t take much to bring back good old America: Donald Trump. But bringing back good old America would take an awful lot. What could he do to satisfy them?

Trump’s propensity for treating pronouncements on policy as flags to be run up and down the flagpole as he measures the volume of the applause does not deprive them of all significance—especially the ones that confirm his anti-establishment bona fides. These few policy items happen to be the ones by which he gained his anti-establishment reputation in the first place: 1) opposition to illegal immigration, especially the importation of Muslims whom Americans reasonably perceive as hostile to us; 2) law and order: stop excusing rioters and coddling criminals; 3) build a wall, throw out the illegals, let in only people who are vetted and certified as supporters of our way of life (that’s the way it was when I got my immigrant visa in 1955), and keep out anybody we can’t be sure isn’t a terrorist. Trump’s tentative, partial retreat from a bit of the latter nearly caused his political standing to implode, prompting the observation that doing something similar regarding abortion would end his political career. That is noteworthy because, although Trump’s support of the pro-life cause is lukewarm at best, it is the defining commitment for much of his constituency. The point here is that, regardless of his own sentiments, Trump cannot wholly discount his constituencies’ demands for a forceful turn away from the country’s current direction.

Trump’s slogan—“make America great again”—is the broadest, most unspecific, common denominator of non-ruling-class Americans’ diverse dissatisfaction with what has happened to the country. He talks about reasserting America’s identity, at least by controlling the borders; governing in America’s own interest rather than in pursuit of objectives of which the American people have not approved; stopping the export of jobs and removing barriers to business; and banishing political correctness’s insults and injuries. But all that together does not amount to making America great again. Nor does Trump begin to explain what it was that had made this country great to millions who have known only an America much diminished.

In fact, the United States of America was great because of a whole bunch of things that now are gone. Yes, the ruling class led the way in personal corruption, cheating on tests, lowering of professional standards, abandoning churches and synagogues for the Playboy Philosophy and lifestyle, disregarding law, basing economic life on gaming the administrative state, basing politics on conflicting identities, and much more. But much of the rest of the country followed. What would it take to make America great again—or indeed to make any of the changes that Trump’s voters demand? Replacing the current ruling class would be only the beginning.

Because it is difficult to imagine a Trump presidency even thinking about something so monumental as replacing an entire ruling elite, much less leading his constituency to accomplishing it, electing Trump is unlikely to result in a forceful turn away from the country’s current direction. Continuing pretty much on the current trajectory under the same class will further fuel revolutionary sentiments in the land all by itself. Inevitable disappointment with Trump is sure to add to them.

We have stepped over the threshold of a revolution. It is difficult to imagine how we might step back, and futile to speculate where it will end. Our ruling class’s malfeasance, combined with insult, brought it about. Donald Trump did not cause it and is by no means its ultimate manifestation. Regardless of who wins in 2016, this revolution’s sentiments will grow in volume and intensity, and are sure to empower politicians likely to make Americans nostalgic for Donald Trump’s moderation.

http://www.claremont.org/crb/basicpage/after-the-republic/

Senior Executive Service (United States)

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Senior Executive Service
SES Emblem.svg

Seal of the U.S. Senior Executive Service
Flag of the United States Senior Executive Service.svg

Flag of the U.S. Senior Executive Service

The Senior Executive Service (SES) is a position classification in the civil service of the United States federal government, somewhat analogous to general officer or flag officer ranks in the U.S. Armed Forces. It was created in 1979 when the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 went into effect under President Jimmy Carter.

Origin and attributes

According to the Office of Personnel Management, the SES was designed to be a corps of executives selected for their leadership qualifications, serving in key positions just below the top Presidential appointees as a link between them and the rest of the Federal (civil service) workforce. SES positions are considered to be above the GS-15 level of the General Schedule, and below Level III of the Executive Schedule. Career members of the SES ranks are eligible for the Presidential Rank Awards program.

Up to 10% of SES positions can be filled as political appointments rather than by career employees.[1] About half of the SES is designated “Career Reserved”, which can only be filled by career employees. The other half is designated “General”, which can be filled by either career employees or political appointments as desired by the administration. Due to the 10% limitation, most General positions are still filled by career appointees.[2]

Senior level employees of several agencies are exempt from the SES but have their own senior executive positions; these include the Federal Bureau of InvestigationCentral Intelligence AgencyDefense Intelligence AgencyNational Security AgencyTransportation Security AdministrationFederal Aviation AdministrationGovernment Accountability OfficeMembers of the Foreign Service, and government corporations.

Pay rates

(Effective on the first day of the first applicable pay period beginning on or after January 1, 2015)[3]
Minimum Maximum
Agencies with a Certified SES Performance Appraisal System $121,956 $183,300
Agencies without a Certified SES Performance Appraisal System $121,956 $168,700

Unlike the General Schedule (GS) grades, SES pay is determined at agency discretion within certain parameters, and there is no locality pay adjustment.

The minimum pay level for the SES is set at 120 percent of the basic pay for GS-15 Step 1 employees ($121,956 for 2015). The maximum pay level depends on whether or not the employing agency has a “certified” SES performance appraisal system:[4]

  • If the agency has a certified system, the maximum pay is set at Level II of the Executive Schedule ($183,300 for 2015).
  • If the agency does not have a certified system, the maximum pay is set at Level III of the Executive Schedule ($168,700 for 2015).

Total aggregate pay is limited to the salary of the Vice President of the United States ($230,700 for 2015).

Prior to 2004, the SES used a six-level system. It was replaced with the current open band system on January 1, 2014.[5]

See also

References

  1. Jump up^ Piaker, Zach (2016-03-16). “Help Wanted: 4,000 Presidential Appointees”Partnership for Public Service Center for Presidential Transition. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  2. Jump up^ “United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions (The Plum Book)” (PDF). U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. 2012-12-01. p. 201. Retrieved 2016-11-16.
  3. Jump up^ Obama, Barack (2014-12-19). “ADJUSTMENTS OF CERTAIN RATES OF PAY” (PDF). EXECUTIVE ORDER 13686. The White House. Retrieved 2015-09-18.
  4. Jump up^ “Performance & Compensation – Salary”U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Retrieved 2011-09-24.
  5. Jump up^ “Senior Executive Service Pay and Performance Awards”U.S. Office of Personnel Management. 2004. Retrieved 2018-03-31.

External links

House conservatives introduce resolution calling for second special counsel

House conservatives introduce resolution calling for second special counsel
© Greg Nash

House conservatives introduced a resolution on Tuesday calling for the appointment of a second special counsel to investigate possible misconduct by the Department of Justice and the FBI during the 2016 presidential race. 

“The Justice Department cannot be expected to investigate itself,” Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.), flanked by 11 other Republican lawmakers, said at a press conference announcing the measure. 

The Republicans also want a probe to look into the government’s decision to end the investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton‘s use of a private email server and the reasoning behind the government’s decision to launch a probe into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.

House Freedom Caucus Chairman Mark Meadows (N.C.) and Reps. Jim Jordan (Ohio), Matt Gaetz (Fla.), Louie Gohmert (Texas), Claudia Tenney (N.Y.) and Jody Hice (Ga.) were among the Republicans at the press conference.

The press conference came a day after an unusual meeting at the White House between President Trump and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees special counsel Robert Mueller‘s investigation into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election.

Rosenstein has agreed to have the Department of Justice inspector general review whether the FBI has done anything inappropriate in its investigation of the Trump campaign, which predated Mueller’s probe. Trump demanded action after reports that an FBI informant talked to three members of the Trump campaign team.

Sessions has declined requests for an additional special counsel but did tap John Huber, a federal prosecutor in Utah, to look into allegations last month.

The 12-page resolution lists a series of points that the lawmakers say warrant an investigation.

The document questions whether top FBI and Justice Department officials acted in a politically motivated way during the election, including how “insufficient intelligence and biased motivations” may have launched the counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference.

The resolution alleges that “deeply flawed and questionable” Foreign Surveillance Act warrant applications were obtained during the election by government officials to surveil Trump campaign aides. It says the warrants were obtained on the basis of “illicit sources and politically biased intelligence.”

Democrats have blasted the GOP calls for a second special counsel as an attempt to distract or even undermine Mueller’s investigation in order to shield Trump.

The lawmakers attending the press conference, when asked, said the president has not encouraged them to pursue this resolution.

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/388798-house-conservatives-introduce-resolution-calling-for-second-special

Demand Grows for Second Special Counsel from Senate

IG does not have the tools of a prosecutor, Senators say

 Sara Carter    March 17, 2018

Ranking Republican senators are calling on the Department of Justice to appoint a second special counsel to investigate potential abuses by FBI and Justice Department employees connected to their role in the investigation into President Trump.

Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-SC, Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas and Sen. Thom Tillis, R- N.C. officially joined other Congressional members in their call for a special counsel to work alongside DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz. Horowitz has been conducting an investigation into the matter for more than a year. Graham and Grassley joined Fox News Bret Baier on Thursday’s Special Report and stressed the urgency of getting a special counsel to investigate along side the Inspector General.

Graham told this reporter on Thursday that he believes a special counsel will be appointed to work along side Horowitz.

“It is troubling enough that the Clinton Campaign funded Mr. Steele’s work, but that these Clinton associates were contemporaneously feeding Mr. Steele allegations raises additional concerns about his credibility,” the criminal referral states.

In the document, Grassley and Graham noted that “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 pair of lawmakers also allege that Steele was compiling information on Trump and his campaign before being hired by now embattled research firm Fusion GPS, which was paid by the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton Campaign for his work.

“Pursuant to that business arrangement, Mr. Steele prepared a series of documents styled as intelligence reports, some of which were later compiled into a ‘dossier’ and published by Buzzfeed in January 2017,” the referral states. “On the face of the dossier, it appears that Mr. Steele gathered much of his information from Russian government sources inside Russia.”

The two senators had written to the Inspector General’s office in February, “requesting a broad review of more than 30 classified and unclassified questions related to the Trump-Russia probe” but were not able to obtain the information.

“…because the Inspector General lacks access to grand jury process and other prosecutorial tools, a special counsel with such authority may be necessary to compel the production of testimony and information that would otherwise be unobtainable,” a press release from Grassley and Graham issued Thursday stated.

The letter to Sessions and Rosenstein outlines the importance of appointing a special counsel to support Horowitz’s independent investigation.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein

The senators state that the appointment “should occur under the specific Justice Department regulations that govern special counsels and limit the scope of their authority. The senators further request that if the Attorney General or Deputy Attorney General determines a special counsel is not appropriate or necessary, then the Department designate a U.S. Attorney’s office or another prosecutor with no real or apparent conflict to work” with Horowitz on the case.

READ: The Case For and Against a Special Counsel Investigation

Earlier this month House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-VA, and House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-SC, sent a letter to Rosenstein and Sessions also urging them to appoint a special counsel to investigate the accumulation of evidence uncovered by the congressional committees and Inspector General.

Goodlatte and Gowdy sent a letter addressing evidence uncovered by the House Intelligence Committee that accused the FBI and Justice Department of failing to disclose to the secret FISA court that the Hillary Clinton Campaign and Democratic National Committee financed the dossier put together by former British spy Christopher Steele at the behest of embattled security firm Fusion GPS

https://saraacarter.com/demand-grows-for-second-special-counsel-from-senate/

The Case For and Against a Special Counsel Investigation of DOJ and FBI

Increasingly more Republicans are calling for special counsel, while DOJ argues for IG investigation

 March 6, 2018

Arguments Against a Special Counsel per DOJ:

  • Like a federal prosecutor, a special counsel in the Department of Justice can’t bring a case before a court unless its investigators find evidence of a crime.
  • Special counsel investigators are usually FBI.  If the special counsel agrees that there is a conflict of interest in bringing FBI investigators into the fold it would have to select a different team of investigators to aide in the case.
  • The special counsel could use the Post Master General or the DEA but those investigators would be far behind the DOJ’s Inspector General investigators, who have already been working on the cases.
  • Federal prosecutors, special counsels, and those attorneys working with them do not “conduct” investigations. DOJ officials told me that the process is much like the TV show law and order where law enforcement brings evidence of a crime and then the prosecutor puts together a case to be brought before the court.
  • The DOJ Inspector General is an independent office that investigates possible violations of criminal and civil law by employees of the FBI and its own department.
  • The Inspector General reports to the Attorney General and to Congress.
  • The IG’s Investigations Division Special Agents develop cases for criminal prosecution, civil or administrative action.
  • Inspector General’s office acts similar to the FBI in that it has the authority to investigate wrongdoing and collect evidence.
  • The Inspector General has the power to subpoena and present cases for criminal prosecution to the Attorney General.

Arguments For a Special Counsel, per Congressional Members:

  • An independent arbiter because the FBI and DOJ cannot investigate themselves.
  • Any criminal referral from the Inspector General will go to Attorney General Jeff Sessions for prosecution and he has not made clear the scope of his involvement in the cases.
  •  Republicans and some senior government officials say there is no rational argument for letting current Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who was the former head of the FBI, expand his special counsel investigation. It won’t work because of Mueller, as the former director of the FBI, is conflicted out.
  • Robert Mueller’s investigation crosses into the territory of the unsubstantiated and salacious dossier, he is after all supposed to be investigating alleged collusion between Russia and President Trump. And he’s reportedly using the unverified dossier crafted by former British spy Christopher Steele in his investigation. A dossier, which Steele, told the British courts is not verified.
  • Mueller has close previous working relationships with many of the same players he would be investigating. For example, former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI Director James Comey, to name two.
  • The American public won’t buy into an investigation by Mueller, the DOJ or FBI.
  • Attorney General Jeff Sessions has never clearly stated where his recusal begins and ends.
  • A second special counsel needs to come from outside Washington D.C. with its own team of impartial, hand selected investigators.

Asecond special counsel might investigate any or all of the following: possible criminal violations by senior FBI and DOJ officials in obtaining a warrant to spy on a former Trump campaign volunteer, the bureau’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server to send classified information and whether senior Obama administration officials, including the president, were aware of the use of the unverified dossier to open an investigation into the Trump campaign and possible Russian collusion.

“You need an independent arbiter, and the Department of Justice cannot investigate itself”

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC)

 

The investigations could also be conducted by DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who is expected to conclude his much-anticipated report into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton server investigation in the next several weeks and who Attorney General Jeff Sessions has asked to investigate possible FISA warrant abuse against Carter Page, who briefly volunteered for the Trump campaign in 2016.

Republicans, however, are not satisfied and are now pushing Sessions, who is recused from the Russia investigation, to appoint a special counsel. DOJ officials are arguing against it, telling this reporter that Horowitz and his team can conduct the unbiased investigation and refer potential people to the DOJ for criminal prosecution.

The situation can be confusing to anyone outside Washington D.C. One Republican congressional member, who spoke on background, questioned, “how long will it take for Horowitz to investigate and if he does make a criminal referral for prosecution, it will have to go back to Sessions, who apparently has recused himself from all matters Russia and apparently everything else. I don’t see how we have any choice but to get a second special counsel.”
AG Jeff Sessions

Rep. Jim Jordan, R- Ohio, who has proposed the idea for a special counsel since last year, said although he “wishes there was another way around it, there appears to be no other course of action.”

“I think Sessions needs to appoint a second special counsel and they need to be somebody from outside the swamp, like a retired judge, someone that can select his or her own team of investigators,” said Jordan. “I don’t see any other course of action that would be acceptable to anybody involved, including Republicans, Democrats and the American people.”

Five days ago, President Trump called out Sessions for his decision to turn over the investigation into possible abuse by the FBI when it sought a warrant to spy on Page from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the most secretive court in the United States with the authority to grant warrants to surveil Americans.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

Why is A.G. Jeff Sessions asking the Inspector General to investigate potentially massive FISA abuse. Will take forever, has no prosecutorial power and already late with reports on Comey etc. Isn’t the I.G. an Obama guy? Why not use Justice Department lawyers? DISGRACEFUL!

Sessions stated in a response to Trump, “we have initiated the appropriate process that will ensure complaints against this Department will be fully and fairly acted upon if necessary. As long as I am the Attorney General, I will continue to discharge my duties with integrity and honor, and this Department will continue to do its work in a fair and impartial manner according to the law and Constitution.

And it may be that there are already investigations ongoing inside the DOJ that the public is unaware of. Several

“The IG can only really investigate the people who are there (under his authority) but not the people who have left”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL)

government officials who have defended Sessions said that any ongoing investigations requested by Congress if they exist, would not be leaked or discussed publicly.

However, there may be clues. In a Nov. 13, 2017 letter to House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-VA, Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd told congressional members that the DOJ had appointed senior prosecutors who would report “directly to the Attorney General and the Deputy Attorney General, as appropriate, and will make recommendations as to whether any matters not currently under investigation should be opened, whether any matters currently under investigation, require further resources, or whether any matters merit the appointment of a Special Counsel.”

DOJ officials could not comment on whether or not these prosecutors assigned by Sessions last year have uncovered any wrongdoing or what specifically the prosecutors were currently investigating. Boyd’s letter did stress that all congressional requests from the approval to grant Russia the sale of the Canadian firm Uranium One, which at the time had access to 20 percent of American mining rights, and requests for investigations into FISA abuse were being looked into.

Trey Gowdy

But for Jordan and many other Republicans, the deafening silence out of DOJ is difficult to understand. And now many lawmakers are asking Sessions to do what he is apparently fighting against and appoint a new special counsel.

For the first time, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-SC, told Fox News “Sunday Morning Futures” with Maria  Bartiromo, “you need an independent arbiter, and the Department of Justice cannot investigate itself.”

 “Horowitz is a fair guy, but when there are two dozen witnesses that have left the department or worked for another agency, someone else has to do it and I am reluctant to call for special counsel, but I think it may be unavoidable in this fact pattern,” Gowdy said.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, is also calling for a second special counsel and echoed Gowdy in a call with this reporter Monday, saying “the IG can only really investigate the people who are there (under his authority) but not the people who have left.”

So far, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes, R-CA, has not weighed in on whether or not he believes the appointment of a special counsel is necessary to investigate many of the same issues his committee is looking into. Some congressional members, who spoke to this reporter, say it’s only a matter of time before Nunes joins the chorus of Republicans demanding the investigation.

https://saraacarter.com/the-case-for-and-against-a-special-counsel-investigation-of-doj-and-fbi/

 

Story 3: Happy 72nd Birthday President Trump — Videos

Jordan Peterson – How Alpha Males Present Themselves

4. What’s Wrong with America’s Men

Jordan Peterson on the meaning of life for men. MUST WATCH

Jordan Peterson – The Tragic Story of the Man-Child

Jordan Peterson on Trump’s Intelligence

Jordan Peterson “I’d Vote Donald Trump and Here’s Why”

One Big Reason Trump Won – Jordan peterson, Jon Haidt

Why the European State is Doomed (but Not the US) – Prof. Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson: Why Globalism Fails and Nationalism is Relatable

Victor Davis Hanson; Imagine How Successful Trump’s Admin Could Be If Dem’s Stopped Obstructing

People at center of Clinton investigation tried to ‘save country’ from Trump?

Happy 72nd Birthday To Our President Donald Trump

It’s President Donald Trump’s 72nd birthday

All The Unpresidential Ways Trump Celebrated His Birthday Before Becoming President (HBO)

Gen. Michael Flynn weighs in on FBI’s Clinton investigation

 

‘I love you very much!’ Ivanka and Eric lead tributes to their father Trump on his 72nd birthday with throwback photos from their childhood

  • Ivanka and Eric lead the 72nd birthday tributes for Donald Trump on Thursday
  • President’s eldest daughter Ivanka posted a series of photos of her and Trump when she was young, saying: ‘Wishing you your best year yet’
  • Trump’s son Eric also shared two childhood photos with his father, adding: ‘It is amazing how far we have all come!’ 
  • Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, also took to social media posting a screenshot of a Drudge Report headline declaring, ‘TRUMP’S BEST BIRTHDAY!’

Ivanka and Eric Trump have lead the tributes to President Donald Trump on his 72nd birthday by posting throwback photos from their childhood.

The President’s eldest daughter and senior adviser Ivanka took to social media on Thursday, saying ‘I love you very much. Wishing you your best year yet!!!’

Her birthday message included a series of photos of her as a small girl smiling with her father.

The President's eldest daughter and senior adviser Ivanka took to social media on Thursday, saying 'I love you very much' alongside a photo of her as a small girl

The President’s eldest daughter and senior adviser Ivanka took to social media on Thursday, saying ‘I love you very much’ alongside a photo of her as a small girl

Trump's son Eric also shared this childhood photo with his father, saying 'it is amazing how far we have all come!'
Trump’s son Eric also shared this childhood photo with his father, saying ‘it is amazing how far we have all come!’

Trump’s son Eric also shared two childhood photos with his father, as well as one of him walking at the White House and another of the President posing with his newest grandson Luke.

‘Happy Birthday Dad! It is amazing how far we have all come! We are very proud of you and everything you have accomplished!’ Eric posted alongside the photos.

Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, also celebrated the occasion on social media.

On Instagram, he posted a screenshot of a Drudge Report headline declaring, ‘TRUMP’S BEST BIRTHDAY!’ and citing the economy, North Korea, the World Cup and the jobless rate.

Ivanka's birthday message included a series of photos of her as a small girl smiling with her father

Ivanka’s birthday message included a series of photos of her as a small girl smiling with her father

Ivanka also posted this photo of her and her brothers Eric and Don Jr posing with their father

Ivanka also posted this photo of her and her brothers Eric and Don Jr posing with their father

'It is amazing how far we have all come!': Eric Trump praised his father's accomplishments in his birthday message that included a photo with Ivanka

‘It is amazing how far we have all come!’: Eric Trump praised his father’s accomplishments in his birthday message that included a photo with Ivanka

His daughter-in-law Lara Trump, who is married to Eric, also shared photos on social media of the President holding the couple’s baby.

‘Happy Birthday Mr. President/Grandpa! We love you and are so proud of you!’ she wrote.

First Lady Melania and Trump’s youngest daughter Tiffany are yet to post anything publicly for his birthday.

Trump is the oldest President to be sworn in for a first term. Prior to Trump, Ronald Reagan was the oldest to become Commander in Chief at age 69.

Trump's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, also celebrated the occasion on social media

Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr, also celebrated the occasion on social media

His daughter-in-law Lara Trump, who is married to Eric, also shared photos on social media of the President holding the couple's baby

His daughter-in-law Lara Trump, who is married to Eric, also shared photos on social media of the President holding the couple’s baby.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5845629/Ivanka-Eric-lead-tributes-Donald-Trump-72nd-birthday.html

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The Pronk Pops Show 1091, June 12, 2018, Story 1: Stopping A Nuclear Arms Race in Far East and Middle East By Starting The Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in The Korean Peninsula — Trump and Kim Momentous Beginning In Stopping Nuclear Proliferation and Terrorist Nuclear Attacks  — Videos — Story 2: U.S. Maximum Pressure on China’s Unfair Trade Barriers, Subsidies and Tariffs and Chinese Communist Maximum Pressure on North Korea To Dismantle Nuclear Weapons and Missiles — Videos

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Story 1: Stopping A Nuclear Arms Race in Far East and Middle East By Starting The Elimination of Nuclear Weapons in The Korean Peninsula — Trump and Kim Momentous Beginning In Stopping Nuclear Proliferation and Terrorist Nuclear Attack  — Videos

I’ve studied nuclear war for 35 years — you should be worried. | Brian Toon | TEDxMileHigh

Trump: We want to denuclearize the entire peninsula

Trump: Sometimes I felt foolish for North Korea rhetoric

Woolsey: Trump keeps the North Koreans off balance

Ingraham: Pride, bitterness, refusal to give peace a chance

What does “denuclearization” mean?

Gen. Jack Keane on Kim Jong Un’s denuclearization promise

Tucker Carlson Tonight 6.12 .2018 | Tucker Carlson Fox News June 12, 2018 Breaking News

Breaking down the fallout from the Trump-Kim summit

Trump Leaves Singapore After Summit with Kim

The historic Trump-Kim Singapore summit, in about 2 minutes

President Donald Trump Holds Press Conference After Historic Summit With Kim Jong Un | TIME

South Koreans weigh in on the Trump-Kim summit

Trump celebrates historic summit with NoKo’s Kim Jong Un

Trump celebrates historic summit with NoKo’s Kim Jong Un

Kim Jong Un commits to ‘complete denuclearization’

Gorka: Singapore summit went beyond all expectations

Trump and Kim hold surprise document signing during summit

Hannity: Obvious that White House felt good after Kim meeting

Hannity: Trump’s peace through strength strategy works

Dr. Sue Mi Terry on Trump, Kim signing historic document

Lt. Col. Davis: Great play by Trump to suspend SoKo drills

Amb. Vershbow: Summit won’t advance denuclearization process

Tara Maller on the problems with the Trump-Kim agreement

‘I do trust him’: Trump reflects on Kim meeting

Ben Shapiro criticizes Trump’s praise of Kim Jong Un

2018 United States–North Korea Singapore Summit: History Made, World Focus and Media Reaction

Gen. Keane: Summit is getting off on the right foot

Kurtz: The hypocrisy in the Trump-Kim coverage

Steyn: Kim-Trump meeting is ‘upside down summit’

This Video Will Change Your Perception of North Korea

Trump arrives in Singapore for summit with North Korea

What to know about North Korea and its weapons programs

With the Trump-Kim summit about to get underway in Singapore here is what we know about the country’s nuclear and ballistic missile weapons programs.

Who is in charge of North Korea’s military?
Kim Jong Un is the 33-year-old “Supreme Leader” of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, more commonly known as North Korea. He is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. He inherited his position as North Korea’s leader following the death of his father Kim Jong Il in December 2011. North Korea is the world’s only hereditary communist dictatorship: Kim Jong Un’s grandfather was the founder of North Korea.

How large is North Korea’s military?
The Pentagon estimates that North Korea’s army has more than 1 million soldiers, making it the fourth largest army in the world. Some 4 to 5 percent of North Korea’s 24 million people serve on active military duty and another 25 to 30 percent of the population serve in some reserve military capacity.

What is the DMZ?
DMZ stands for the Demilitarized Zone that divides North Korea and South Korea. The 2.5-mile-wide DMZ stretches for 160 miles along the Korean Peninsula and is a buffer zone created by the 1953 Armistice that halted the Korean War. While the zone itself is demilitarized, the areas beyond it on both sides of the border are some of the most militarized in the world. Panmunjom is the Joint Security Area where occasional meetings are held by representatives of North Korea and the United Nations Command.

Is the North Korean military a threat?
Most of North Korea’s military equipment dates to the Cold War-era and was obtained from the Soviet Union and China. But the large size of its military poses a continual standing threat to South Korea, since 70 percent of its ground forces half its air and navy forces are stationed within 60 miles of the DMZ. And North Korea has been working for the last decade to develop a nuclear weapons program and long-range ballistic missile program.

What is a ballistic missile?
A ballistic missile uses propulsion to launch it into an upward trajectory and then it falls to the earth on its own toward a target using gravity. The use of ballistic to describe these missiles comes from the physics term “ballistic trajectory” that describes the boosted launch and fall to earth by gravity.

What does ICBM stand for?
ICBM stands for intercontinental ballistic missile, a guided missile capable of traveling more than 3,418 miles to deliver a nuclear warhead. ICBMs are usually multi-stage rockets used to boost a payload into a sub-orbital trajectory. At that point, the nuclear warhead inside the payload would re-enter the atmosphere using a guidance system to strike its intended target.

Does North Korea have an ICBM?
Yes. In 2017 North Korea conducted three ICBM tests, the first time they had demonstrated that long range missile capability. The first two tests on July 4 and July 28 were carried out using a new two-stage missile similar to the KN-17 missile that had achieved a high altitude when tested in mid-May. prior to these launches there had been little indication that nation was close to testing this type of missile. The third missile test in November was with a new larger type of ICBM that North Korea called the Hwasong 15. That missile reached an altitude of 2,800 miles, the highest missile test to date, and traveled for 50 minutes, the longest duration flight ever conducted by North Korea.

How many missiles does North Korea possess?
The Pentagon estimates that North Korea has about 200 launchers that can be used to fire short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. It estimates North Korea has fewer than 100 launchers for various versions of the SCUD missile that can travel from 200 to 600 miles. And fewer than 50 launchers for its medium-range No Dong missile that can travel 800 miles. The Pentagon estimates North Korea also has fewer than 50 launchers for intermediate range missiles like the Musudan and KN-11 that can travel up to 2,000 miles.

Can North Korean missiles reach the United States?
Yes. According to the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff, North Korea’s recently tested ICBM can traveled 2,800 miles into space. Experts fear that if they angled the trajectory of that missile, it could potentially travel as far as Washington, D.C., or New York.

Why are North Korea’s missile launches a provocation?
Over the past decade North Korea has continued to conduct missile tests and launches in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions barring it from conducting a ballistic missile program.

Does North Korea have nuclear weapons?
Yes. North Korea has a small arsenal of small nuclear weapons as proven by its six nuclear tests. As of last summer, U.S. intelligence believes that North Korea has enough nuclear fissile material for as many as 60 nuclear weapons based on the amount of enriched uranium and separated plutonium it possesses.

Does North Korea have miniaturized nuclear warheads?
No, but it is working toward its stated goal of placing a nuclear warhead small enough to be placed atop an ICBM that could target the United States. In September, 2017 North Korea conducted it’s largest underground nuclear test to date that it claimed was a hydrogen bomb. U.S. intelligence later confirmed that was likely the case.

Where are the closest American troops?
There are 28,500 American troops permanently stationed in South Korea as part of the U.S. security commitment to South Korea after the Korean War. There are there also 54,000 American troops in Japan, the largest number of American forces in Japan are stationed on the island of Okinawa.

What other countries in the region have nuclear weapons?
North Korea is bordered by Russia and China, both which have nuclear weapons arsenals. Russia currently has 1,796 nuclear warheads, a legacy from the Soviet Union’s Cold War arsenal. China does not make available information about its nuclear weapons program, but various think tanks estimate it has 260 nuclear warheads. The Pentagon believes China has between 75 and 100 nuclear-capable ICBMs.

Can the United States defend against a North Korean missile attack?
The United States has a layered missile defense system designed to track and intercept a missile launch from North Korea. It includes missile interceptors aboard Navy ships in the Pacific and large ground-based interceptors located in Alaska and California. However, the viability of the large interceptors has been routinely questioned since they became operational nearly a decade ago. In late May, the Missile Defense Agency successfully tested an interceptor that targeted an ICBM test missile fired from Kwajalein Atoll in the South Pacific.

What is THAAD?
The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system is a missile defense shield designed to intercept short and medium range missiles. In April, the United States deployed THAAD to South Korea for the first time, a long-planned move agreed to last summer after a series of North Korean missile tests. The United States has also placed the THAAD system in Guam, which could be the maximum reach for some of North Korea’s long-range missiles.

ABC News’ Jack Arnholz and Elizabeth McLaughlin contributed to this report.

https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/north-korea-weapons-programs/story?id=45971921

BAN THE BOMB 

What nuclear weapons does North Korea have and has Kim Jong-un agreed to ‘complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula’?

In a joint text issued by Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader had committed to a ‘complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula’

KIM Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, had previously threatened to launch nuclear strikes on the West and its allies but has now committed to a denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula after the Singapore summit

The North Korean dictator had accelerated the country’s nuclear weapons programme under his rule but he has now met with US President Donald Trump and agreed to the removal of nuclear weapons in the Korean Peninsula.

 A North Korea test launch of a Hwasong-12 missile

REUTERS
6
A North Korea test launch of a Hwasong-12 missile

What is the latest on the nuclear situation in North Korea?

On April 21, 2018, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said the reclusive nation is suspending long-range nuclear missile tests and shutting its test site.

At the Singapore summit on June 11 between Trump and Kim the two leaders agreed to start the denuclearisation “very quickly”.

Trump said the meeting had gone “better than anyone could have expected”.

He told reporters: “It is a tremendous honour, and I have no doubt we will have a terrific relationship.”

Kim said: “The old prejudices and practices worked as obstacles on our way forward, but we’ve overcome all of them, and we are here today”, to which Trump replied “that’s true”.

Kim added: “There were moments when we covered our ears and eyes, but we have overcome them to arrive here.”

After a working lunch, the two leaders signed an unspecified agreement, with Trump promising they would start the denuclearisation process “very, very quickly”.

“We are going to sign this historic agreement,” says Kim. “The world will see a major change.”

In the agreement, Kim committed to “complete denuclearisation of Korean Peninsula”.

 Satellite images show activity at a North Korea nuke site

PLANET/ QUARTZ
6
Satellite images show activity at a North Korea nuke site

What nuclear weapons does North Korea have?

In July 2017, North Korea successfully launched the country’s first inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM), which had the capability of reaching US territory.

The Pentagon, the US military headquarters, believes North Korea has around 200 missile launchers across the country, which can be used to fire short and medium-range missiles.

The most likely target of such a missile launch would be South Korea, Japan, Australia and possibly US territories in the Pacific Ocean.

Revised estimates suggest the total number of missiles the rogue state has is believed to be between 13 and 21.

And the regime is estimated to have at least four nuclear warheads.

Satellite images of Jong-un’s main missile test site in August 2017 revealed North Korea’s weapons were more powerful than initially thought.

On November 28, 2017, North Korea launched ICBM Hwasong-15 – which is a new nuclear missile capable of hitting anywhere on the planet.

 Trump and Kim have agreed to the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula

AP:ASSOCIATED PRESS
6
Trump and Kim have agreed to the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula

READ MORE: Could World War 3 happen? How North Korea and Kim Jong-un could cause a nuclear apocalypse


Why have tensions between North Korea and the US escalated?

Here’s how the relationship between the US President and North Korean leader has changed since the beginning of 2017:

2018

2017

 North Korea parades nukes through the street at parades marking 105 years since the state’s founder Kim Il-sung was born

AP:ASSOCIATED PRESS
6
North Korea parades nukes through the street at parades marking 105 years since the state’s founder Kim Il-sung was born

Could North Korea launch a nuclear strike on the UK?

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said North Korea’s missiles can “threaten everywhere in the world”.

The pariah state claimed a nuclear test in September 2017 – its most powerful yet – was a sophisticated 120 kiloton hydrogen bomb small enough to be carried on a missile.

The regime has successfully tested two Hwasong-14 long-range rockets over the Pacific Ocean causing significant concern for Japan – a crucial American ally.

The intercontinental ballistic missile is said to have a potential range of more than 10,000 kilometres or 6,200 miles.

If that were true, London would fall within its strike zone. The UK capital is 5,388 miles from Pyongyang.

100 kiloton H-bomb blast on central London would dwarf the US nukes dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Experts say 130,000 people would be killed instantly and all brick and concrete buildings within a mile of the epicentre would be destroyed.

Former Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon had previously warned that Britain is at risk from North Korea’s long-range nuclear missile programme as some cities are closer than American targets.

 Relations are improving between the North and South

REUTERS
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Relations are improving between the North and Southhttps://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2497570/north-korea-nuclear-weapons-kim-jong-un-denuclearisation-trump-singapore/

Trump and Kim Jong-un sign ‘historic document’: What the joint statement says in full

  • The statement was signed by the two leaders after they met in Singapore 
  • In the document President Trump gave security guarantees to North Korea
  • Kim Jong-un committed to ‘complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula’

After their historic meeting in SingaporeDonald Trump and Kim Jong-un signed a ‘historic document’. 

In the statement, the US president committed to ‘provide security guarantees’ to North Korean while Kim Jong-un declared his ‘unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula’. 

Reaction to the joint statement was greeted with cheers by people in South Korea watching the events unfold.

China, North Korea’s backer, said the two nations were ‘creating a new history’.

Here is the full text of the statement the two leaders issued:

Joint Statement of President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at the Singapore Summit

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new US-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump sign the statement after their meeting in Singapore 

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump sign the statement after their meeting in Singapore

Convinced that the establishment of new US-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:

1. The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

2. The United States and DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

3. Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula

4. The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

President Trump shows off a signed copy of the statement with his and Kim Jong-un's signatures on the bottom

President Trump shows off a signed copy of the statement with his and Kim Jong-un’s signatures on the bottom

Having acknowledged that the US-DPRK summit – the first in history – was an epochal event of great significance in overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening up of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un commit to implement the stipulations in the joint statement fully and expeditiously. The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations, led by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the US-DPRK summit.

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new US-DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and the security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world.

DONALD J. TRUMP President of the United States of America

KIM JONG UN Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

June 12, 2018 Sentosa Island Singapore

How the world reacted to the historic meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un

The meeting and the joint statement issued by the two adversaries, who until recently were trading insults, has been warming welcomed around the world.

South Koreans watching on television at train stations and other public places broke out into applause while a one-page extra edition of a Japanese newspaper was snapped up commuters.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said: ‘Hopes for peace on the long-divided Korean Peninsula, however, remain tempered by the many failed attempts in the past.

‘The United States and North Korea have been in a state of antagonism for more than half a century.

South Koreans watching the summit on television begin clapping as they watch the meeting of the two leaders in Singapore 

South Koreans watching the summit on television begin clapping as they watch the meeting of the two leaders in Singapore

‘Today, that the two countries’ highest leaders can sit together and have equal talks, has important and positive meaning, and is creating a new history.’

An editorial in the official English-language China Daily emphasized China’s role in bringing Trump and Kim together. It called on them to maintain the positive momentum.

‘This would not only reward all those who have spared no efforts in their attempts to make their meeting a reality, it would also enable both to hail it as a success,’ the editorial read.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad says his country will reopen its embassy in Pyongyang.

The two countries were embroiled in a diplomatic row after the killing of Kim Jong-nam, Kim Jong-un’s half brother, in 2017.

At a train station in Seoul, the South Korean capital, people cheered and applauded as televisions screens broadcast the Trump-Kim handshake live.

Japan’s largest newspaper, the Yomiuri, printed a special edition in both Japanese and English that was distributed for free in major cities 90 minutes after the meeting began.

World reaction to the meeting of Trump and Kim has been warm, with China emphasising its role in bringing then together

Passers-by outside a Tokyo train station snapped up 500 copies in a flash, excited to have a souvenir of the historic event.

They generally welcomed the meeting as a good first step but wondered if any progress would be made on the fate of Japanese abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s.

‘My biggest concern is the abduction issue, then the nuclear and missile,’ said 70-year-old retiree Tomoaki Kenmotsu.

‘I have no idea how much the abduction issue is being taken up at the summit, but I hope it will be a good start for that issue too.’

The hard work remains to come, said Momoko Shimada, a 20-year-old student: ‘After the handshake and political show will be the real action. I believe that won’t be easy.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5833839/Trump-Kim-Jong-sign-historic-document-joint-statement-says-full.html

‘We’re ready to write a new chapter between our two nations’: Trump declares victory, boasting that he TRUSTS Kim Jong-un and persuaded him to sign a ‘very comprehensive’ agreement for ‘complete denuclearization’ after nearly 5 HOURS of meetings

  • Donald Trump told reporters in Singapore that he expects Kim Jong-un to uphold his part of a landmark agreement that requires him to destroy his entire nuclear weapons and missile programs
  • Trump said he addressed human rights with the North Korean dictator and said economic sanctions will remain as long as Pyongyang is a major abuser
  • Sanctions relief also depends on Kim’s follow-through on denuclearization
  • ‘Our eyes are wide open, but peace is always worth the effort, especially in this case,’ Trump declared, saying he had been up for more than 25 hours to oversee the negotiations
  • Trump said joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises will end and called them ‘provocative’ to the North, but hs spun that decision as an economic one, not as a negotiated concession
  • The press conference began with the playing of a video, first in Korean and then in English, that Trump said his delegation showed Kim on an iPad to encourage him to choose the right path 
  • Trump said he spotted inviting-looking beaches in the footage, and said: ‘Look at that beach, wouldn’t that make a great condo? … Think of it from a real estate perspective!’ 
  • Trump called Kim’s stockpile ‘a very substantial arsenal’ but predicted he would be tearing it up
  • He said ‘we’re much further along than I would have thought,’ and projected a time when the two nations have exchanged ambassadors and he has personally visited Pyongyang and invited Kim to the White House
  • In an interview taped before the summit, Trump told ABC News of his North Korean adversary that ‘I think he trusts me, and I trust him’

 

Trump, Kim claim big summit success, but details are scant

Claiming success at their whirlwind summit, President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un left Singapore Tuesday, praising their face-to-face progress toward ridding the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons. Yet Trump faced pointed questions at home about whether he got little and gave away much — including an agreement to halt U.S. military exercises with South Korea.

Meeting with staged ceremony on a Singapore island, Trump and Kim had come together for an unprecedented U.S.-North Korea meeting that seemed unthinkable months earlier when the two nations traded insults and nuclear threats. The gathering of the two unpredictable leaders marked a striking gamble by the American president to grant Kim long-sought recognition on the world stage in hopes of ending the North’s nuclear program.

Both leaders expressed optimism throughout roughly five hours of talks, with Trump thanking Kim afterward “for taking the first bold step toward a bright new future for his people.” Kim, for his part, said the leaders had “decided to leave the past behind” and promised: “The world will see a major change.”

Soon, Kim was on a plane headed home, while a clearly ebullient Trump held forth for more than an hour before the press on what he styled as a historic achievement to avert the prospect of nuclear war. Along the way, Trump tossed out pronouncements on U.S. alliances, human rights, and the nature of the accord that he and Kim had signed.

Then he was off to Guam on the way back to the U.S.

The details of how and when the North would denuclearize appear yet to be determined, as are the nature of the unspecified “protections” Trump is pledging to Kim and his government.

During his press conference, Trump acknowledged that denuclearization won’t happen overnight. But he contended, “Once you start the process it means it’s pretty much over,” an analysis that has proven faulty in the past despite inspection efforts.

Light on specifics, the Singapore accord largely amounts to an agreement to continue discussions, echoing previous public statements and commitments. It does not, for instance, include an agreement to take steps toward ending the technical state of warfare between the U.S. and North Korea.

Nor does it include a striking concession by Trump, who told reporters he would freeze U.S. military “war games” with ally South Korea while negotiations between the U.S. and the North continue. Trump cast that decision as a cost-saving measure, but also called the exercises “inappropriate” while talks continue. North Korea has long objected to the drills as a security threat.

It was unclear whether South Korea was aware of Trump’s decision before he announced it publicly. U.S. Forces Korea said in a statement Tuesday it was unaware of any policy change. Trump phoned South Korean President Moon Jae-in after leaving Singapore to brief him on the discussions.

Trump also said he’d obtained a separate concession from Kim to demolish a missile engine testing site, though it was just one site of many connected to the nuclear program.

As Trump took a victory lap on the world stage, experts and allies struggled to account for what Trump and Kim had agreed to — and whether this agreement could actually be the first of its kind not to be broken by the North Koreans.

North Korea is believed to possess more than 50 nuclear warheads, with its atomic program spread across more than 100 sites constructed over decades to evade international inspections. Trump insisted that strong verification of denuclearization would be included in a final agreement, saying it was a detail his team would begin sorting out with the North Koreans next week.

The agreement’s language on North Korea’s nuclear program was similar to what the leaders of North and South Korea came up with at their own summit in April. Trump and Kim referred back to the so-called Panmunjom Declaration, which contained a weak commitment to denuclearization but no specifics on how to achieve it.

Between handshakes, a White House invitation, and even an impromptu tour of “The Beast,” the famed U.S. presidential limousine known for its high-tech fortifications, Trump sought to build a personal connection with Kim and said they have a “very good” relationship.

The U.S. president brushed off questions about his public embrace of the autocrat whose people have been oppressed for decades. He added that Otto Warmbier, an American who died last year just days after his release from imprisonment in North Korea, “did not die in vain” because his death helped bring about the nuclear talks.

In the run-up to Tuesday’s historic face-to-face with Kim, Trump has appeared unconcerned about the implications of feting an authoritarian leader accused by the U.S. of ordering the public assassination of his half brother with a nerve agent, executing his uncle by firing squad and presiding over a notorious gulag estimated to hold 80,000 to 120,000 political prisoners.

In their joint statement, the two leaders promised to “build a lasting and stable peace regime” on the Korean Peninsula. Trump has dangled the prospect of economic investment in the North as a sweetener for giving up its nuclear weapons. The longtime property developer-turned-politician later mused about the potential value of condos on the country’s beachfront real estate.

The formal document-signing, which also included an agreement to work to repatriate remains of prisoners of war and those missing in action from the Korean War, followed a series of meetings at a luxury Singapore resort.

Ahead of the meeting Trump had predicted the two men might strike a nuclear deal or forge a formal end to the Korean War in the course of a single meeting or over several days. But in the hours before the summit, the White House unexpectedly announced Trump would depart Singapore earlier than expected — Tuesday evening — raising questions about whether his aspirations for an ambitious outcome had been scaled back.

Aware that the eyes of the world were on a moment many people never expected to see, Kim said many of those watching would think it was a scene from a “science fiction movie.”

Critics of the summit leapt at the leaders’ handshake and the moonlight stroll Kim took Monday night along the glittering Singapore waterfront, saying it was further evidence that Trump was helping legitimize Kim on the world stage.

“It’s a huge win for Kim Jong Un, who now — if nothing else — has the prestige and propaganda coup of meeting one on one with the president, while armed with a nuclear deterrent,” said Michael Kovrig, a northeast Asia specialist at the International Crisis Group in Washington.

Trump responded that he embracing diplomacy with Kim in hopes of saving as many as 30 million lives.

The North has faced crippling diplomatic and economic sanctions for years as it has advanced development of its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Pompeo held firm to Trump’s position that sanctions will remain in place until North Korea denuclearizes — and said they would even increase if diplomatic discussions did not progress positively.

https://apnews.com/2d80cb7d512c49978e69853a7daa4d5c/Trump,-Kim-claim-big-summit-success,-but-details-are-scant

Trump and Kim agree to more talks but fail to produce nuclear disarmament plan

Trump and Kim agree to more talks but fail to produce nuclear disarmament plan
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and President Trump sign an agreement resulting from their historic June 12 summit on Sentosa island in Singapore. (Handout / Getty Images)

President Trump wrapped up his improbable summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, vowing to “start a new history” with the nuclear-armed nation after signing a vaguely worded agreement that contained no concrete plan for disarmament.

Later, at a 65-minute news conference, Trump said he had agreed to North Korea’s longtime demands to stop joint U.S. military exercises with South Korea. The war games have been a mainstay of the U.S. alliance with Seoul for decades.

Trump said halting the drills would save “a lot of money” and he called them “provocative,” the complaint North Korea often made. He also said he hopes eventually to withdraw the 28,000 U.S. troops stationed in South Korea, although not as part of the current agreement with Kim.

In only the second full solo news conference of his presidency, Trump said he had been awake for 25 hours — he turns 72 on Thursday — but that he was bullish about his day of diplomacy with the young autocrat from Pyongyang.

He lavished praise on Kim as a “great talent,” denied concerns about treating him as an equal and painted a rosy picture of North Korea’s potential future — one laid out in a bizarre, propaganda-style video that the White House had prepared for the North Korean leader.

Asked why he trusted a ruler who had murdered family members and jailed thousands of political prisoners, Trump lauded Kim for taking over the regime at age 26, when his father died in 2011, and being “able to run it, and run it tough.”

While Trump repeatedly portrayed his two-page agreement with Kim as “comprehensive,” it contained little new except a commitment by both sides to continue diplomatic engagement, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo leading the U.S. side in future talks.
That is no small achievement considering that the two leaders were threatening each other with nuclear war last summer. But it was far less than the ambitious arms control deal Trump hoped to gain when he agreed to the summit in March.
The document instead reiterated the same vague North Korean commitment to denuclearize that Kim made after he met South Korea’s president in April, but it offered no specifics of how or when any disarmament might take place.
“We will do it as fast as it can mechanically and physically be done,” Trump said, adding it would “take a long time” to wind down the nuclear weapons program. Until recently, Trump had demanded Pyongyang quickly dismantle its vast nuclear infrastructure.
A person familiar with the working-level talks that set the final stage for Tuesday’s summit said the U.S. team had pushed for a commitment from Kim to denuclearize by 2020, when the next U.S. presidential election will be underway.
North Korea’s representatives balked at the demand for a deadline, the person said.
The signed agreement, which was released by the White House, says North Korea will “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” It does not offer the pledge of “complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization” that Pompeo had insisted was the U.S. objective.
A verifiable and permanent disarmament agreement would require North Korea to let international inspectors in to collect records, monitor sites and ensure it does not cheat. Pyongyang expelled United Nations nuclear inspectors nearly a decade ago and Tuesday’s agreement does not mention bringing them back.
The agreement was weaker than the pledge North Korea made in 2005, during an ultimately unsuccessful bout of nuclear diplomacy, when it committed itself to “abandoning all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs.”
The regime instead tested its first nuclear device the following year. It has conducted five underground tests since then, most recently in September. It is believed to have assembled at least two dozen warheads.
In a largely symbolic U.S. gain, North Korea committed itself to the “immediate repatriation” of any remains it had identified of U.S. soldiers and prisoners of war from the Korean War, which ended 65 years ago. Trump said families had implored him for help on that painful issue.
Tuesday’s agreement does not mention North Korea’s gruesome record of human rights abuses, including a vast internal gulag of prison camps. Asked if he had raised the problem with Kim, Trump said they had discussed it “relatively briefly” because their talks chiefly focused on nuclear weapons.
He suggested that human rights in North Korea, which the U.N. has accused of “systematic, widespread and gross human rights violations,” did not differ greatly from other nations.
“I believe it’s a rough situation over there, there’s no question about it,” he said. “It’s rough in a lot of places by the way.”

But Trump suggested that negative publicity about the death last year of Otto Warmbier, a college student from Ohio who was returned home in a coma from a North Korean prison, had helped pave the way for the diplomatic thaw.

“Otto did not die in vain,” Trump said. “He had a lot to do with us being here today.”

Trump denied that he was lending legitimacy to the oppressive leader of a long-marginalized regime by standing shoulder to shoulder with him. He said sitting at the table with Kim wasn’t a concession.

“I’ll do whatever it takes to make the world a safer place,” he said. “All I can say is they want to make a deal. That’s what I do. My whole life has been deals I’m great at it.”

In Seoul, South Korean President Moon Jae-in heralded the agreement, saying, “It will be recorded as a historic event that has helped break down the last remaining Cold War legacy on Earth.”

Moon’s statement did not address Trump’s decision to cancel joint military exercises, a crucial part of the close military alliance that emerged from the 1950-’53 Korean War. The exercises involve life-fire drills, bomber flyovers, computer simulations and other operations.

It was not clear if Trump had told Moon of his decision. A defense ministry spokesman said officials were still seeking the “exact meaning and intention” about the exercises, South Korean media reported.

Independent analysts praised the continued diplomacy with North Korea but most found little to like in the agreement and Trump’s concession on military exercises.

“It doesn’t say anything,” Joseph Yun, a former senior U.S. diplomat and special representative for North Korea policy, said on CNN.

Olivia Enos, a policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative Washington think tank, said the decision to suspend military exercises was “concerning” because they help project U.S. strength in the region.

“The joint military exercises … is about more than just countering the North Korean threat,” she said.

Ellen Tauscher, a former member of Congress from California who served as undersecretary of State for arms control in the Obama administration, tweeted that Trump was “conned” by Kim.

“China has to be thrilled with Kim’s haul in Singapore,” Tauscher said. She said Trump had agreed to end valuable military exercises in exchange “for promises by a lying despot of ‘denuclearization’ in [a] bilateral, unverifiable agreement.”

Abraham M. Denmark, former deputy assistant secretary of Defense for East Asia, said Trump gave up the exercises “for little new and nothing in return.”

“Kim got a huge propaganda win and a metric ton of legitimacy,” he said on Twitter. “The silver lining is that dialogue will continue, and where there is diplomacy there is hope.”

Others also expressed hope. Nuclear disarmament “can and will come, if we focus on transforming a relationship that has been deeply hostile, unremittingly hostile,” said John Delury, an associate professor at Yonsei University in Seoul and an expert on the Koreas and China.

To convince Kim to eventually give up his nuclear weapons, Trump said he played for him on an iPad a U.S. government-produced video that looked like a Hollywood movie trailer about an action hero.

“When a man is presented with a chance that may never be repeated, what will he choose?” a narrator said in the video, which was played at the press conference. “The world will be watching, listening, anticipating, hoping. Will this leader choose to advance his country … be the hero of his people?”

7:15 a.m.: This article was updated with quotes from analysts.

3:50 a.m.: This article was updated with additional details from the news conference.

3:34 a.m.: This article was updated with additional details from the news conference.

This article was originally published at 2:02 a.m.

http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-trump-summit-react-20180612-story.html

Today’s Nuclear North Korea Is Yesterday’s China: Lessons From History

North Korea’s recent successful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests have put Pyongyang on the cusp of having the means to credibly threaten the continental United States with a nuclear strike. The Trump administration has vowed to “not allow” North Korea to continue on its “destructive path” but so far has not put forth specific new policies to stop Pyongyang. Since the latest test, several senior administration officials have stepped up their rhetoric, labeling the DPRK as the most urgent threat facing the United States and stating that it is “unimaginable” to allow North Korea to have the capability to attack the U.S. mainland.

As U.S. policymakers ponder how to deal with North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, it is important to remember that we are not in uncharted territory. The United States found itself in a similar situation more than 50 years ago, when faced with the prospect of Maoist China going nuclear. Then as now, experts questioned if rational decision makers were behind the nuclear controls of a reclusive communist state and military options — no matter how risky — were seriously considered. Despite initially having great fears about the prospect of a nuclear China, both the Kennedy and the Johnson administrations came to realize that China’s modest nuclear arsenal failed to alter the underlying balance of power in East Asia or undermine the confidence of U.S. allies in the credibility of Washington’s security guarantees. And even though nuclear-armed China continued to champion global revolutionary causes and provide direct military assistance to North Vietnam against the United States, Chinese rhetoric on nuclear weapons gradually moderated and began to show evidence of calculated restraint vis-à-vis the United States.

A Rogue China   

n December of 1960, the U.S. National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) warned that, “[China’s] arrogant self-confidence, revolutionary fervor, and distorted view of the world may lead [Beijing] to miscalculate risks. This danger would be heightened if Communist China achieved a nuclear weapons capability.” Revolutionary fervor aside, the same assessment could be written about North Korea today. North Korea continues to be one of the most isolated regimes in the world, run by the mercurial Kim Jong-un. In addition, the country engages in kidnappings and assassinations, hurls utterly bizarre imprecations against the United States, and regularly threatens preemptive nuclear strikes against South Korea. When observing North Korea from afar it is easy to mistake it for an exceptional case of obdurate despotism.

As the NIE suggests, however, the same rogue state description fit the profile of China in the 1960s. Throughout the decade, Chinese leaders routinely dismissed the dangers of nuclear war and would stress the inevitable victory of the “people’s war” against U.S. imperialism and Soviet revisionism. At the same time, Chinese leaders greatly exaggerated the capabilities of their own nuclear program and downplayed the risks posed by potential counter force strikes against the Chinese mainland.

In reality, China’s belligerent rhetoric was a strategic bluff to compensate for the great disparity between China and the two superpowers in nuclear capabilities. When looking today at uncannily similar boasts by North Korean state press that their country is now “a strong nuclear power state” and has “a very powerful ICBM that can strike any place in the world” it is important to remember that North Korea continues to have a small nuclear arsenal, has no second strike capability, and will never be able to shift the military power balance in the region on its own. North Korean saber rattling is a screen to deflect from the regime’s weakness and fear of the future.

North Korea’s Nuclear Doctrine

The DPRK does not have a publicly available official nuclear doctrine, which leaves analysts the sole option of piecing together a strategy from open-source statements. Kim Jong-un has spoken about the importance of breaking the “nuclear monopoly” held by the United States. Pyongyang has stated that it has a “no first use” policy and that it is in favor of complete global disarmament. Despite the “no first use” language, North Korea has repeatedly threatened to use nuclear weapons in preventive strikes against either the United States or South Korea. Since pulling out of the Six Party Talks, North Korea has effectively rejected efforts to denuclearize the North Korean peninsula.

North Korea’s commentary on nuclear weapons closely parallels China’s official positions on nuclear weapons during the 1960s. Following China’s first nuclear test in 1964, Beijing also stressed three points: China’s goal for developing nuclear weapons was “to break the superpower monopoly;” China holds a “no first use” policy; and that China supports the complete elimination of nuclear weapons. Despite the cautious public stance, China was vehemently opposed to the Limited Test Ban Treaty (LTBT) and did not moderate its hostile position toward nonproliferation until its nuclear program reached a more mature stage in the 1970s. China’s record suggests that North Korea is purposely adopting a hostile stance to compensate for the overall weakness of the North Korean arsenal.

Dealing with North Korea Effectively  

As William Burr and Jeffrey T. Richelson document in Whether to “Strangle the Baby in the Cradle”: The United States and the Chinese Nuclear Program, 1960-64, John F. Kennedy viewed a potential Chinese nuclear test as “likely to be historically the most significant and worst event of the 1960s.” The Kennedy Administration was so concerned about the specter of a nuclear China that every measure from direct U.S. strikes to parachuting Chinese Nationalist commandos from Taiwan was considered. Kennedy even authorized officials to approach America’s archrival, the Soviet Union, regarding joint preventive action against China.

Kennedy was hardly alone in his fears that a nuclear China was the greatest threat to world peace. As the Cultural Revolution unfolded, the U.S. Navy was concerned that China would quickly gain submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) technology and would launch them in a way to fake a Soviet strike, triggering a global nuclear war. (See Lyle J. Goldstein in When China Was a ‘Rogue State’: The Impact of China’s Nuclear Weapons Program on US-China Relations during the 1960s.)  To counter this putative threat, the Navy recommended the sinking of China’s first missile-armed submarine on its maiden voyage. Not only did these fears border on paranoia, they greatly exaggerated China’s technological capabilities. In the case of SLBMs, China would not test its first submarine-launched missile until 1982. The press was also highly critical of Mao possessing nuclear weapons and called for military action to curtail Beijing’s nuclear ambitions.

Kennedy’s fears over the prospect of China going nuclear were not shared by everyone in government. The State Department’s Policy Planning Council produced an influential study that questioned the consequence of China’s nuclear test. The study argued that the Chinese nuclear arsenal could not pose a major threat to the United States and would hardly alter the balance of power in the region. Moreover, China’s nuclear arsenal was vulnerable to a U.S. counter force strike. Hence, a nuclear China would not feel emboldened to further challenge the United States. Although initially controversial, proponents of this view eventually won out in the Johnson administration.

The report acknowledged that there could be some adverse political ramifications of a Chinese nuclear test (i.e., proliferation), but they could be addressed by U.S. reassurances to its allies. Indeed, even though in the wake of China’s first nuclear test Japan expressed a strong desire to develop its own bomb, the Johnson administration was able to provide security reassurances combined with diplomatic pressure to dissuade Tokyo from going down the nuclear path. In the subsequent years, the United States applied similar pressure to block Taiwan and South Korea from going forward with their own nuclear weapons programs.

If China’s nuclear program did not pose a serious threat to the United States in the 1960s, then there is even less reason to fear North Korea’s today. Even with improvements in North Korean missile capabilities, the United States and its allies still enjoy an overwhelming military and economic advantage over the North. Just as during the 1960s, the United States simply needs to be public and credible in its reassurances to its regional allies and partners. Any North Korean effort to split the U.S.-ROK alliance will fail if the United States continues to provide a broad security guarantee to South Korea. As long as the Trump administration continues to offer its public support to Japan, Tokyo too will feel that there is no need for drastic action.

Lastly the United States needs to forcefully come out against the linkage of the North Korean nuclear question with unrelated issues in the U.S.-China relationship to address Taiwanese concerns that Washington will trade away the de facto independence of the island in exchange for Chinese assistance in reigning in North Korea. It has become clear that either due to a lack of leverage or deliberate unwillingness, Beijing will not apply the necessary level of pressure to compel Pyongyang to reverse course. The United States should not fall into the trap of expanding the scope of talks in the hope of eliciting additional Chinese cooperation on North Korea.

Conclusion

After the 1964 Chinese nuclear test, President Johnson used trade controls and extra intelligence monitoring to slow down the pace of China’s nuclear development. Despite continued apprehension, the U.S. learned to live with China’s nuclear program. This was made possible in large part due to swift and credible U.S. reassurances to key regional allies such as Japan. Over time, as Chinese leaders decided to shift strategies and pursue greater engagement with the Western world, China’s nuclear positions underwent a gradual evolution. North Korea is not China, but a similar policy of strategic patience combined with robust security assurances to South Korea and Japan is the best bet for getting North Korea back to the negotiating table. The alternative is untenable.

Yevgen Sautin is a Gates Scholar at Cambridge University working on a Ph.D. in modern Chinese history.

https://thediplomat.com/2017/08/todays-nuclear-north-korea-is-yesterdays-china-lessons-from-history/

 

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If we don’t do business in China our economy will get crushed: Gasparino

China will not be pushed around by the US: Ben Stein

Farmers in Iowa talk about fear factor of tariff threats from China

China’s tariffs will cost us 100K in revenue: Soybean farmer

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross Reacts To China’s New Tariffs | CNBC

Trump is defending America from China’s unfair trading practices: Peter Navarro

China pressures North Korea to hold summit

PROBLEMS IN CHINA

China Moves 300,000 Troops Closer to North Korean Border

What does China’s Congress think of Kim Jong-un? – BBC News

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1088, June 4, 2018, Story 1: News Fatigue or Progressive Propaganda — Do Not View Big Lie Media — Television Networks and Newspapers — Videos — Story 2: Seymour M. Hersh on Investigative Journalism — Videos — Story 3: Higher U.S. Tariffs or Taxes on Imports Could Decrease U.S. Growth in Real Gross Domestic Product — Story 4: President Trump to Sessions– Where Is The IG Report? — Videos

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Story 1: News Fatigue or Progressive Propaganda — Do Not View Big Lie Media — Television Networks and Newspapers — Videos —

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Shapiro: Media outlets acting as propaganda arm for Hamas

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GOP Calls Out Fox-So-Called-News As Propaganda

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Almost seven-in-ten Americans have news fatigue, more among Republicans

If you feel like there is too much news and you can’t keep up, you are not alone. A sizable portion of Americans are feeling overwhelmed by the amount of news there is, though the sentiment is more common on the right side of the political spectrum, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted from Feb. 22 to March 4, 2018.

Almost seven-in-ten Americans (68%) feel worn out by the amount of news there is these days, compared with only three-in-ten who say they like the amount of news they get. The portion expressing feelings of information overload is in line with how Americans felt during the 2016 presidential election, when a majority expressed feelings of exhaustion from election coverage.

While majorities of both Republicans and Democrats express news fatigue, Republicans are feeling it more. Roughly three-quarters (77%) of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents feel worn out over how much news there is, compared with about six-in-ten Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (61%). This elevated fatigue among Republicans tracks with them having less enthusiasm than Democrats for the 2018 elections. 

Feeling overwhelmed by the news is more common among those who follow the news less closely than among those who are avid consumers. While a majority of those who follow the news most of the time (62%) are feeling worn out by the news, a substantially higher portion (78%) of those who less frequently

get news say they are fatigued by the amount of it that they see. (Most Americans – 65% – say they follow the news most of time, whereas 34% say they follow only when something important is happening.)

Those less favorable toward the news media are also the most “worn out.” Eight-in-ten of those who think national news organizations do “not too” or “not at all well” in informing the public are feeling this exhaustion. This is somewhat higher than among those who say the news media do “fairly well” (69%), and much higher than for those who think news organizations do “very well” – of whom 48% say they are worn out by the news and 51% say they like the amount they see. This relationship between attitudes toward the news media and fatigue holds even after accounting for Americans’ political party affiliation.

(Overall, 17% of Americans say national news organizations are doing very well at keeping the public informed of the most important national stories of the day, while 24% say they do not too or not at all well; the largest portion, 58%, say the news media do fairly well.)

Some demographic groups – most notably white Americans – are more likely than others to feel exhausted by the news. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of white Americans express fatigue with the amount of news, much higher than among both Hispanic (55%) and black Americans (55%). Women are also somewhat more likely than men to feel worn out (71% vs. 64%, respectively). Those ages 65 and older are slightly less likely than those who are younger to express a sense of exhaustion with the news.

Note: The full methodology and topline can be found here (PDF).

TOPICS: NEWS AUDIENCE TRENDS AND ATTITUDESNEWS INTEREST

Propaganda

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Propaganda is information that is not objective and is used primarily to influence an audience and further an agenda, often by presenting facts selectively to encourage a particular synthesis or perception, or using loaded language to produce an emotional rather than a rational response to the information that is presented.[1] Propaganda is often associated with material prepared by governments, but activist groups, companies and the media can also produce propaganda.

In the twentieth century, the term propaganda has been associated with a manipulative approach, but propaganda historically was a neutral descriptive term.[1][2] A wide range of materials and media are used for conveying propaganda messages, which changed as new technologies were invented, including paintings, cartoons, posters, pamphlets, films, radio shows, TV shows, and websites.

In a 1929 literary debate with Edward BernaysEverett Dean Martin argues that, “Propaganda is making puppets of us. We are moved by hidden strings which the propagandist manipulates.”[3][4]

Etymology

Propaganda is a modern Latin word, the gerundive form of propagare, meaning to spread or to propagate, thus propaganda means that which is to be propagated.[5] Originally this word derived from a new administrative body of the Catholic church (congregation) created in 1622, called the Congregatio de Propaganda Fide (Congregation for Propagating the Faith), or informally simply Propaganda.[2][6] Its activity was aimed at “propagating” the Catholic faith in non-Catholic countries.[2]

From the 1790s, the term began being used also to refer to propaganda in secular activities.[2] The term began taking a pejorative or negative connotation in the mid-19th century, when it was used in the political sphere.[2]

History

Primitive forms of propaganda have been a human activity as far back as reliable recorded evidence exists. The Behistun Inscription (c. 515 BC) detailing the rise of Darius I to the Persian throne is viewed by most historians as an early example of propaganda.[7] Another striking example of propaganda during Ancient History is the last Roman civil wars (44-30 BC) during which Octavian and Mark Antony blame each other for obscure and degrading origins, cruelty, cowardice, oratorical and literary incompetence, debaucheries, luxury, drunkenness and other slanders.[8] This defamation took the form of uituperatio (Roman rhetorical genre of the invective) which was decisive for shaping the Roman public opinion at this time.

Propaganda during the Reformation, helped by the spread of the printing press throughout Europe, and in particular within Germany, caused new ideas, thoughts, and doctrine to be made available to the public in ways that had never been seen before the 16th century. During the era of the American Revolution, the American colonies had a flourishing network of newspapers and printers who specialized in the topic on behalf of the Patriots (and to a lesser extent on behalf of the Loyalists).[9]

A propaganda newspaper clipping that refers to the Bataan Death March in 1942

The first large-scale and organised propagation of government propaganda was occasioned by the outbreak of war in 1914. After the defeat of Germany in the First World War, military officials such as Erich Ludendorff suggested that British propaganda had been instrumental in their defeat. Adolf Hitler came to echo this view, believing that it had been a primary cause of the collapse of morale and the revolts in the German home front and Navy in 1918 (see also: Dolchstoßlegende). In Mein Kampf (1925) Hitler expounded his theory of propaganda, which provided a powerful base for his rise to power in 1933. Historian Robert Ensor explains that “Hitler…puts no limit on what can be done by propaganda; people will believe anything, provided they are told it often enough and emphatically enough, and that contradicters are either silenced or smothered in calumny.”[10] Most propaganda in Nazi Germany was produced by the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda under Joseph GoebbelsWorld War II saw continued use of propaganda as a weapon of war, building on the experience of WWI, by Goebbels and the British Political Warfare Executive, as well as the United States Office of War Information.[11]

Anti-religious Soviet propaganda poster, the Russian text reads “Ban Religious Holidays!”

In the early 20th century, the invention of motion pictures gave propaganda-creators a powerful tool for advancing political and military interests when it came to reaching a broad segment of the population and creating consent or encouraging rejection of the real or imagined enemy. In the years following the October Revolution of 1917, the Soviet government sponsored the Russian film industry with the purpose of making propaganda films (e.g. the