Benghazi

The Pronk Pops Show 1070, May 3, 2018, Story 1: White House National Day of Prayer — Faith, Family, Friends, Freedom ~ First — President Trump’s Address — “I’m praying for you.” — Videos — Story 2: The Great One Mark Levin Tells It Like It Is — Is Anyone In White House and Trump Legal Team Listening? — Videos — Story 3: National Security Agency (NSA) Continues Spying On American People — Secret Surveillance Spying Security State (S5) — Turnkey Tyranny — Videos

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Story 1: National Day of Prayer — Faith, Family, Friends, Freedom ~ First — President Trump’s Address — Videos

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President Trump Speaks at White House’s National Day of Prayer Event – May 3, 2018

President Trump Attends the National Day of Prayer

5/3/18: White House Press Briefing

2018 – Proclamation

NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER, 2018

– – – – – – –

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

On this National Day of Prayer, we join together to offer gratitude for our many blessings and to acknowledge our need for divine wisdom, guidance, and protection.  Prayer, by which we affirm our dependence on God, has long been fundamental to our pursuit of freedom, peace, unity, and prosperity.  Prayer sustains us and brings us comfort, hope, peace, and strength.  Therefore, we must cherish our spiritual foundation and uphold our legacy of faith.

Prayer has been a source of guidance, strength, and wisdom since the founding of our Republic.  When the Continental Congress gathered in Philadelphia to contemplate freedom from Great Britain, the delegates prayed daily for guidance.  Their efforts produced the Declaration of Independence and its enumeration of the self-evident truths that we all cherish today.  We believe that all men and women are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Prayer sustained us and gave us the strength to endure the sacrifices and suffering of the American Revolution and to temper the triumph of victory with humility and gratitude.  Notably, as one of its first acts, our newly formed Congress appointed chaplains of the House of Representatives and Senate so that all proceedings would begin with prayer.

As a Nation, we have continued to seek God in prayer, including in times of conflict and darkness.  At the height of World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called for prayer “for the vision to see our way clearly ‑‑ to see the way that leads to a better life for ourselves and for all our fellow men ‑‑ and to the achievement of His will to peace on earth.”  Decades later, following one of the darkest days in our Nation’s history, President George W. Bush offered this prayer for our heartbroken country, mourning the precious souls who perished in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001:  “We ask Almighty God to watch over our Nation, and grant us patience and resolve in all that is to come.  We pray that He will comfort and console those who now walk in sorrow.  We thank Him for each life we now must mourn, and the promise of a life to come.”

America has known peace, prosperity, war, and depression ‑‑ and prayer has sustained us through it all.  May our Nation and our people never forget the love, grace, and goodness of our Maker, and may our praise and gratitude never cease.  On this National Day of Prayer, let us come together, all according to their faiths, to thank God for His many blessings and ask for His continued guidance and strength.

In 1988, the Congress, by Public Law 100-307, as amended, called on the President to issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer, “on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim May 3 as a National Day of Prayer.  I encourage all Americans to observe this day, reflecting on the blessings our Nation has received and the importance of prayer, with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities in their houses of worship, communities, and places of work, schools, and homes.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this third day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand eighteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-second.

DONALD J. TRUMP

http://www.nationaldayofprayer.org/2018_proclamation

Story 2: The Great One Mark Levin Tells It Like It Is — Is Anyone In White House and Trump Legal Team Listening? — Videos —

Mark Levin: Legal precedent is on Trump’s side

Judge Napolitano: Trump can’t be indicted while president

Can a sitting president be prosecuted? Might Donald Trump, or any president, face the prospect of jail?

A memorandum of law, written in 1998 but released last week, concludes that the answer is a qualified “yes.” The memorandum was written by Chapman University law professor Ronald Rotunda, who was then at the University of Illinois, for Kenneth Starr, the independent counsel appointed to investigate President Bill Clinton.

Rotunda’s memorandum is learned, illuminating and impressively detailed. The issue is both tough and unsettled. But there’s a better answer: an unqualified “no.”

The drafters of the Constitution spent a lot of time on the question of how to respond to presidential wrongdoing. Their remedy was impeachment (by the House of Representatives) and then conviction (by the Senate), which could occur for “Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

But what happens if the president is convicted by the Senate? Here’s the constitutional answer:

Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

A reasonable interpretation of this provision is that it sets out a temporal sequence: Impeachment, then conviction and removal from office — and only after that, indictment, trial, judgment and punishment.

Alexander Hamilton seemed to read the provision exactly that way: “The President of the United States would be liable to be impeached, tried, and, upon conviction of treason, bribery, or other high crimes or misdemeanors, removed from office; and would afterwards be liable to prosecution and punishment in the ordinary course of law.”

That means you can’t indict and try a sitting president. He has to be removed first.

True, this interpretation isn’t inevitable. You could read the text to mean only that the consequence of conviction is removal from office, and that a convicted president can be prosecuted — but to be silent on, and so not to resolve, the question whether a president can be prosecuted for crimes while in office. On that interpretation, nothing in the Constitution rules out a prosecution of the president for (say) obstruction of justice or for perjury.

Rotunda also emphasizes that a president might commit crimes, such as battery, shoplifting and document destruction, that may not be “high” in the constitutional sense, and so not a legitimate basis for impeachment. If he’s immune from prosecution, does the president get a free ride? Since the founders believed no one should be above the law, Rotunda doesn’t think that makes a lot of sense.

Importantly, though, he does not contend that the president can be prosecuted for actions he undertakes in his official capacity. His conclusion that a sitting president can be prosecuted is strictly limited to actions committed before becoming president, and actions that a president does not undertake in his role as president, such as Clinton’s alleged perjury. (True, the line between the official and unofficial acts can be thin.)

The problem with Rotunda’s argument is that presidential immunity from criminal prosecution — while in office — is a pretty reasonable inference from the constitutional design. Whether or not you like the current occupant of the Oval Office, he has an awesome array of responsibilities. Even on a slow day, numerous decisions reach his desk. They might involve potential terrorist attacks, a looming epidemic, immigration or air pollution. Facing a criminal prosecution seems fatally incompatible with the president’s constitutional role.

Aware of this argument, Rotunda notes that the Supreme Court allowed Paula Jones’s sexual harassment suit to go forward against Bill Clinton, notwithstanding Clinton’s argument that to do his job, a sitting president needs to have immunity against such lawsuits. Among other things, the Supreme Court answered that trial judges could find ways to accommodate the president’s schedule. Why isn’t the same thing true for a criminal prosecution?

That’s a fair question, but a criminal proceeding is unique, and the problem isn’t really about scheduling. Realistically speaking, any White House would be pretty well disabled if the president is under a criminal indictment and faces the prospect of trial and imprisonment.

Rotunda is aware of the risk, and leaves open the possibility that imprisonment itself might be delayed, so that the prosecution would not compete with the impeachment mechanism. But that’s hardly sufficient. The question is whether the president’s ability to perform his constitutional functions would be impaired by the prosecution itself. There’s little doubt that it would.

Does this mean that the president is above the law? Not at all. In cases of serious wrongdoing, and breaches of public trust, the Constitution provides a remedy: impeachment.

Story 3: National Security Agency (NSA) Continues Spying On American People — Secret Surveillance Spying Security State (S5) — Turnkey Tyranny — Videos

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NSA collected 500 million U.S. call records in 2017

America’s Most Secret Agency Documentary | National Security Agency NSA History Documentary

NSA ‘spying’ on Americans with little impact on bad guys?

NSA Whistleblower: Everyone in US under virtual surveillance, all info stored, no matter the post

NSA violating the constitution, public trust by spying on citizens – veteran intel. officer

Why the US Government thinks spying on Americans without a warrant is OK

10 Ways You’re Being Watched by the Government

10 Surprising Ways the Government is Spying on You

Turnkey Tyranny

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden “My Greatest Fear … is turnkey tyranny”

You’re Being Watched”: Edward Snowden Emerges as Source Behind Explosive Revelations of NSA Spying

Is Snowden The Real Deal

NBC Censors Edward Snowden’s 9/11 Comments

Obama: Spying on Americans

How the NSA Spies on Americans (Jim Harper)

America’s Most Secret Agency Documentary | National Security Agency NSA History Documentary

Bill Binney: U.S. press and CIA are interlinked

Bill Binney: ThinThread dismantled weeks after 9/11

Bill Binney: Impossible to protect ourselves against NSA

Bill Binney: Trump was spied on before taking office

Bill Binney: NSA “drum up a new cold war”

Bill Binney: The constitution is being violated

NSA WHISTLEBLOWER BILL BINNEY: WE HAVE HILLARY’S EMAILS

NSA Whistleblower William Binney: The Future of FREEDOM

William Binney – The Government is Profiling You (The NSA is Spying on You)

Spy agency NSA triples collection of U.S. phone records: official report

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. National Security Agency collected 534 million records of phone calls and text messages of Americans last year, more than triple gathered in 2016, a U.S. intelligence agency report released on Friday said.

 

FILE PHOTO: The National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters is seen in Fort Meade, Maryland, U.S. February 14, 2018. REUTERS/Sait Serkan Gurbuz

The sharp increase from 151 million occurred during the second full year of a new surveillance system established at the spy agency after U.S. lawmakers passed a law in 2015 that sought to limit its ability to collect such records in bulk.

The spike in collection of call records coincided with an increase reported on Friday across other surveillance methods, raising questions from some privacy advocates who are concerned about potential government overreach and intrusion into the lives of U.S. citizens.

The 2017 call records tally remained far less than an estimated billions of records collected per day under the NSA’s old bulk surveillance system, which was exposed by former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden in 2013.

The records collected by the NSA include the numbers and time of a call or text message, but not their content.

Overall increases in surveillance hauls were both mystifying and alarming coming years after Snowden’s leaks, privacy advocates said.

“The intelligence community’s transparency has yet to extend to explaining dramatic increases in their collection,” said Robyn Greene, policy counsel at the Washington-based Open Technology Institute that focuses on digital issues.

The government “has not altered the manner in which it uses its authority to obtain call detail records,” Timothy Barrett, a spokesman at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which released the annual report, said in a statement.

The NSA has found that a number of factors may influence the amount of records collected, Barrett said. These included the number of court-approved selection terms, which could be a phone number of someone who is potentially the subject of an investigation, or the amount of historical information retained by phone service providers, Barrett said.

“We expect this number to fluctuate from year to year,” he said.

U.S. intelligence officials have said the number of records collected would include multiple calls made to or from the same phone numbers and involved a level of duplication when obtaining the same record of a call from two different companies.

Friday’s report also showed a rise in the number of foreigners living outside the United States who were targeted under a warrantless internet surveillance program, known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, that Congress renewed earlier this year.

That figure increased to 129,080 in 2017 from 106,469 in 2016, the report said, and is up from 89,138 targets in 2013, or a cumulative rise over five years of about 45 percent.

U.S. intelligence agencies consider Section 702 a vital tool to protect national security but privacy advocates say the program incidentally collects an unknown number of communications belonging to Americans.

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1058, April 10, 2018, Story 1: Facebook’s Founder Mark Zuckerberg Testifies Before Congress — Breach of Trust — Cruz Nails Facebook’s Pervasive Pattern of Political Bias — Is Self-Regulation Really The Answer — Did Facebook Make An Illegal Corporate Inkind Contribution to Assist Obama Campaign in 2012? — Videos — Story 2: Worried About Your Privacy Forget Facebook Worry About National Security Agency Having Most of Your Data And Spying on You? — Videos

Posted on April 11, 2018. Filed under: American History, Applications, Barack H. Obama, Benghazi, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Deep State, Defense Spending, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Education, Empires, Employment, European History, Extortion, Fast and Furious, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Gangs, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hardware, Hate Speech, Health, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, IRS, Islam, James Comey, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Middle East, Mike Pence, National Interest, Networking, News, Nuclear Weapons, Obama, People, Philosophy, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Privacy, Public Corruption, Radio, Rand Paul, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Religion, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Servers, Sexual Harrasment, Social Networking, Social Security, Software, Spying, Spying on American People, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Ted Cruz, Ted Cruz, Terror, Terrorism, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, U.S. Negotiations with Islamic Republic of Iran, Unions, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 1058, April 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1057, April 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1056, April 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1055, April 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1054, March 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1053, March 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1052, March 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1051, March 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1050, March 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1049, March 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1048, March 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1047, March 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1046, March 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1045, March 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1044, March 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1043, March 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1042, March 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1041, February 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1040, February 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1039, February 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1038, February 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1037, February 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1036, February 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1035, February 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1034, February 15, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1033, February 14, 2018  

Pronk Pops Show 1032, February 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1031, February 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1030, February 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1028, February 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1027, February 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1026, February 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1025, January 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1024, January 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1023, January 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1022, January 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1021, January 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1020, January 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1019, January 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1018, January 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1017, January 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1016, January 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1015, January 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1014, January 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1013, December 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1012, December 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1011, December 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1010, December 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1009, December 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1008, December 1, 2017

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Story 1: Facebook’s Founder Mark Zuckerberg Testifies Before Congress — Breach of Trust — Cruz Nails Facebook’s Pervasive Pattern of Political Bias — Is Self-Regulation Really The Answer — Did Facebook Make An Illegal Corporate Inkind Contribution to Assist Obama Campaign in 2012? — Videos —

Tucker REACTS to Mark Zuckerberg’s Testimony (Day 1)

Ted Cruz Grills Mark Zuckerberg

Senator Lee Questions Facebook’s Zuckerberg at Hearing April 10, 2018

Lindsey Graham Grills Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg on what Facebook is doing to prevent foreign actors from interfering in future elections

Senator Sasse Questions Facebook’s Zuckerberg at Hearing April 10, 2018

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg: We Should Have Checked Cambridge Analytica Data | CNBC

Mark Zuckerberg says data firm accessed 87 million Facebook users’ data

Did Facebook illegally assist the Obama campaign?

There Is No Way To Fix Facebook. So How Do We Protect Ourselves From It? | Think | NBC News

Data scandal the beginning of Facebook’s downfall?

Obama manipulated Facebook users to win elections | Trump Campaign Cambridge Analytica Fallout

The psychology behind Facebook data breach – BBC News

The Key to Understanding Facebook’s Current Crisis

Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica data scandal, explained

How Cambridge Analytica Exploited the Facebook Data of Millions | NYT

Former Facebook employee says “no one can fire” Mark Zuckerberg

Zuckerberg: “I started Facebook. I run it. And I’m responsible for what happens here.”

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg Senate Testimony On Company’s Data-Privacy Policies | LIVE | TIME

Will more Facebook users flee after Zuckerberg testimony?

Live Stream: #Qanon on Facebook, Class Actions and Justice

Mark Zuckerberg Responds To Apple’s Facebook Critique | CNBC

Apple CEO Tim Cook Slams Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg: I Wouldn’t Be In This Situation | MSNBC

Weekend Update: Mark Zuckerberg on Cambridge Analytica – SNL

Zuckerberg apologizes to Congress over massive Facebook breach

Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg apologized to US lawmakers Tuesday for the leak of personal data on tens of millions of users as he faced a day of reckoning before a Congress mulling regulation of the global social media giant.

In his first-ever US congressional appearance, the Facebook founder and chief executive sought to quell the storm over privacy and security lapses at the social network that have angered lawmakers and Facebook’s two billion users.

Swappping his customary tee-shirt for a business suit and tie, Zuckerberg faced tough questions over how a US-British political research firm, Cambridge Analytica, plundered detailed personal data on 87 million users to be used in the 2016 US presidential election.

Facebook also became the platform of choice for a stunning Russian campaign of online misinformation that US intelligence says was designed to tilt the 2016 vote toward Donald Trump.

“It was my mistake, and I’m sorry,” Zuckerberg said in prepared testimony. “I started Facebook, I run it, and I’m responsible for what happens here.”

“It’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm,” he said. “That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy.”

Lawmakers questioned whether the election meddling and poor controls on personal data requires the government to step in to regulate Facebook and other social media companies which generate revenue from user data.

“The tech industry has an obligation to respond to widespread and growing concerns over data privacy and security and to restore the public trust. The status quo no longer works,” said Senator Chuck Grassley, chair of one of the committees holding the hearing.

“Congress must determine if and how we need to strengthen privacy standards to ensure transparency and understanding for the billions of consumers who utilize these products.”

“You have a real opportunity this afternoon to lead the industry and demonstrate a meaningful commitment to protecting individual privacy,” Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein told Zuckerberg at the rare joint committee hearing, to be followed by a similar hearing in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

– ‘#DeleteFacebook’ protests –

Cardboard cutouts of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stand outside the US Capitol, placed by advocacy group Avaaz to call attention to what the group says are fake accounts still spreading disinformation on Facebook

Cardboard cutouts of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stand outside the US Capitol, placed by advocacy group Avaaz to call attention to what the group says are fake accounts still spreading disinformation on Facebook

Dozens of protestors gathered outside Congress before the hearing wearing Zuckerberg masks and #DeleteFacebook T-shirts.

Inside the jammed hearing room, activists from the Code Pink group wore oversized glasses with the words “STOP SPYING” written on the lenses, and waved signs that read “Stop corporate lying.”

Testifying was a new step forward for the 33-year-old Zuckerberg, who started Facebook as a Harvard dropout in 2004, and built it into the world’s largest social media company worth $470 billion.

In the past he has left it to top lieutenants to answer questions from legislators.

But after the largest scandal yet for Facebook, Zuckerberg has seen it as imperative to speak out himself and try to prevent the company from bogging down in questions about its core business model, which is to share user data with advertisers.

The lawmakers delivered plenty of warnings that Zuckerberg needs to take action — though they were thin on concrete proposals.

Exposed to Facebook

Exposed to Facebook

“If you and other social media companies do not get your act in order, none of us are going to have any privacy anymore,” said Senator Bill Nelson.

Zuckerberg called Facebook “an idealistic and optimistic company” and said: “We focused on all the good that connecting people can bring.”

But he acknowledged that “it’s clear now that we didn’t do enough to prevent these tools from being used for harm as well. That goes for fake news, foreign interference in elections, and hate speech, as well as developers and data privacy.”

Zuckerberg added: “I want to be clear about what our priority is: protecting our community is more important than maximizing our profit.”

– ‘Investigating every app’ –

The Facebook CEO recounted a list of steps aimed at averting improper use of data by third parties like Cambridge Analytica, and noted that other applications were being investigated to determine if they did anything wrong.

On Friday, Facebook sought to allay concerns over political manipulation of its platform by announcing support for the “Honest Ads Act” that requires election ad buyers to be identified, and to go further by verifying who sponsors ads on key public policy issues.

Zuckerberg vowed to “hire thousands of more people” to get the new system in place ahead of US midterm elections in November, starting the process in the United States and taking it global in the coming months.

My Facebook Was Breached by Cambridge Analytica. Was Yours?

How to find out if you are one of the 87 million victims

Cardboard cutouts of Mark Zuckerberg's face dominate the foreground, while the dome of the U.S. Capitol looms in the background.
Life-size cutouts of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg are displayed by a progressive advocacy group on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday.Carolyn Kaster / Reuters
Facebook has begun to notify users who were affected by the Cambridge Analytica data breach. If you or one of your friends installed the personality-quiz app “This Is Your Digital Life” prior to 2015, then some of your data illicitly made it to the servers of the voter-profiling company.If your data was ensnared in the breach, you’re not alone. I’m also one of Cambridge Analytica’s victims. (If you’re not sure whether you were affected, you can go to this Facebook page, which will tell you if your information was shared.)I know I was affected by the breach because I saw a big text box when I opened the Facebook app on my phone this morning. Under a bolded headline reading “Protecting Your Information,” the notice read:

We understand the importance of keeping your data safe.

We have banned the app “This Is Your Digital Life,” which one of your friends used Facebook to log into. We did this because the app may have misused some of your Facebook information by sharing it with a company called Cambridge Analytica. In most cases, the information was limited to public profile, Page likes, birthday, and current city.

You can learn more about what happened and how you can remove apps and websites anytime if you no longer want them to have access to your Facebook information.

There is more work to do, but we are committed to confronting abuse and to putting you in control of your privacy.

Contrary to some media reports, the message did not appear in the app’s “Notification” pane. The notice appeared only once: When I closed the app and reopened it, it disappeared.

Last week, Facebook revised its estimate of the size of the breach, saying that it affected about 87 million people. The company had originally estimated that only about 50 million people were affected. According to The InterceptCambridge Analytica used that harvested data to make about 30 million “psychographic” profiles of voters in total.While Facebook says that most users only had their public profile and a few other pieces of data disclosed to Cambridge Analytica, its notice suggests that the company does not know which users had more significant information, such as private status messages or wall posts, sucked up during the lapse.“A small number of people who logged into ‘This Is Your Digital Life’ also shared their own News Feed, timeline, posts, and messages, which may have included posts and messages from you. They may also have shared your hometown,” says Facebook’s help page for victims of the breach.There is not much you can do if you were affected by the breach—your data, after all, has already left Facebook’s control. Mark Zuckerberg, the company’s chief executive, is testifying to the Senate Judiciary and Commerce Committees at 2:15 p.m. on Tuesday in response to questions about this leak, larger privacy issues, and the platform’s role in the 2016 election.Lawyers in the United States and the United Kingdom have also launched a pair of class-action lawsuits against Facebook, Cambridge Analytica, and two other companies involved in the breach.
“Overall, this is a big breach of trust, and I’m sorry that it happened,” he told me.“The most important thing is to make sure that this doesn’t happen again going forward. So we’re taking a number of steps. We’re investigating every single app that had access to this data. We’re going to do audits on anyone who we find is doing something suspicious, and we’re going to tell people about that. We’ve taken steps to lock down the platform in the past, and we’re continuing to do that to just make sure it can’t happen again,” he said.If you’re having trouble understanding the Cambridge Analytica debacle, I wrote a brief summary of the story last month. In short, the voter-profiling firm harvested Facebook user data through “This Is Your Digital Life,” a third-party app that appeared to be a personality quiz. Cambridge Analytica later used this data to inform purchases made during the Brexit “Leave” campaign, Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign in the 2016 presidential primary, and President Trump’s campaign during the 2016 general election.

Cambridge Analytica’s chief executive, Alexander Nix, was later captured on a hidden camera offering to use Ukrainian sex workers to bribe and blackmail politicians in Sri Lanka. He has since been suspended. Cambridge Analytica also has close ties to key figures in Republican politics: Rebekah Mercer, a major GOP donor and a co-owner of Breitbart news, sits on its board. Her father, Robert Mercer, also invested $15 million in Cambridge Analytica.

Some conservatives have alleged that the official app of the 2012 Obama campaign scanned data from people’s friends in a manner similar to the app used by Cambridge Analytica. But people who installed the Obama app knew they were surrendering information to a political campaign, though their friends did not. Meanwhile, users who installed “This Is Your Digital Life,” the app used by Cambridge Analytica, had no idea that its aims were political.

Still, the ease with which the Obama app scanned users’ friend lists without their consent raises an important point. While the Cambridge Analytica scandal leads the news, experts do not believe it was alone in harvesting large amounts of Facebook data between 2008 and 2014.

Even the developers of rudimentary Facebook apps—like my colleague Ian Bogost, who built a satirical video game on the platform called Cow Clicker—accumulated a massive amount of information about their users, whether or not they intended to. “If you played Cow Clicker, even just once, I got enough of your personal data that, for years, I could have assembled a reasonably sophisticated profile of your interests and behavior,”

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/04/facebook-cambridge-analytica-victims/557648/

 

Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg Will Not Be Under Oath Before Senate Committee, But Compelled by Statute to Tell The Truth

When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg takes the stand before a joint congressional panel on Tuesday, he will not be under oath, Breitbart News has learned. But he will be required by federal statute to tell the truth, and if he lies he could face serious legal consequences.

A senior Senate GOP aide helping organize the joint Senate Judiciary Committee and Senate Commerce Committee hearing told Breitbart News that it is standard practice not to swear witnesses like this in under oath. But they are required by law to tell the truth, the aide says.

“He won’t be under oath, but he is under legal obligation to tell the truth,” the Senate aide told Breitbart News of Zuckerberg.

The Senate hearing, the first of two appearances Zuckerberg will make before Congress this week, begins at 2:15 p.m. ET on Capitol Hill. Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) will begin by explaining how the joint committee hearing will operate, then opening statements will be made by Senate Commerce Committee chairman Sen. John Thune (R-SD), Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Grassley, and Commerce Committee ranking member Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL).

Between the two committees, a whopping 44 senators will have the opportunity to question Zuckerberg on Tuesday afternoon.

This is just the first of two official testimony appearances Zuckerberg will make on Capitol Hill this week. After the Senate hearing on Tuesday, Zuckerberg will return to the Capitol on Wednesday for another hearing on the other side of Capitol Hill before the House Commtitee on Energy and Commerce.

http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/04/09/facebooks-mark-zuckerberg-will-not-be-under-oath-before-senate-committee-but-compelled-by-statute-to-tell-the-truth/

Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook didn’t notify FTC of leak: ‘We considered it a closed case’

  • Mark Zuckerberg is testifying at a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees Tuesday.
  • It’s the first of two congressional hearings for the Facebook founder and CEO.
  • Zuckerberg is likely to face tough questions on user privacy, foreign meddling on the site and abuse of social media tools.

Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook didn't notify FTC of leak: 'We considered it a closed case'

Mark Zuckerberg says Facebook didn’t notify FTC of leak: ‘We considered it a closed case’  

Mark Zuckerberg testified Facebook did not notify the FTC of the Cambridge Analytica data leak years ago because the social media giant “considered it a closed case.”

The Facebook founder and CEO spoke at a joint hearing of the Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees Tuesday, the first of two congressional hearings this week.

Watch the live stream of Zuckerberg’s testimony here.

The company is facing questions following reports that research firm Cambridge Analytica improperly gained access to the personal data of as many as 87 million Facebook users.

Facebook has said it first learned of the leak in 2015 and demanded Cambridge Analytica delete the data then. Executives have since said it was a mistake to trust that the research firm had done so.

“We considered it a closed case. In retrospect that was clearly a mistake. We shouldn’t have taken their word for it,” Zuckerberg said Tuesday.

Facebook did not notify the FTC — which signed a consent decree with the tech company in 2011 requiring that Facebook notify users if their personal data is shared beyond their specified privacy settings — Zuckerberg said, “for the same reason.”

“We considered it a closed case,” Zuckerberg said, adding that he would act differently were he to face that decision again.

The FTC last month said it was investigating whether Facebook had violated the 2011 decree — a rare confirmation of an ongoing probe.

Zuckerberg is likely to face more tough questions during his week on Capitol Hill on user privacy, foreign meddling on the site and abuse of social media tools.

The CEO said during Tuesday’s hearing that “there will always be a version of Facebook that is free,” clarifying recent comments by COO Sheryl Sandberg that an ad-free version of Facebook would have to be a paid product.

He also expressed confidence that Facebook would better tamp down meddling in 2018 elections.

Facebook is cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller while he investigates links between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election, Zuckerberg said.

He’s scheduled to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Committee Wednesday. His prepared remarks for that hearing were released Monday.

Facebook stock surged more than 4 percent Tuesday during Zuckerberg’s comments.

https://www.google.com/search?q=prevasive&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS774US774&oq=prevasive&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.3160j1j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Facebook

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Facebook, Inc.
Facebook New Logo (2015).svg

[show]

Screenshot
Type of business Public
Type of site
Social networking service
Available in Multilingual (140)
Traded as
Founded February 4, 2004; 14 years ago
Headquarters Menlo ParkCaliforniaUnited States of America
Coordinates 37.4848°N 122.1484°WCoordinates37.4848°N 122.1484°W
Area served United States (2004–2005)
Worldwide, except blocking countries (2005–present)
Founder(s)
Key people Mark Zuckerberg
(Chairman and CEO)
Sheryl Sandberg
(COO)
Industry Internet
Revenue IncreaseUS$40.653 billion (2017)[1]
Operating income Increase US$20.203 billion (2017)[1]
Net income Increase US$15.934 billion (2017)[1]
Total assets Increase US$84.524 billion (2017)[1]
Total equity Increase US$74.347 billion (2017)[1]
Employees 25,105 (December 31, 2017)[2]
Subsidiaries Instagram
Messenger
WhatsApp
Oculus VR
tbh
Watch
Website www.facebook.com or
www.fb.com
Alexa rank Steady 3 (January 2018)[3]
Registration Required
Users Increase 2.2 billion monthly active users (January 2018)
Current status Active
Written in C++PHP (as HHVM)[4] and D language[5]

Facebook is an American online social media and social networking service company based in Menlo Park, California. Its website was launched on February 4, 2004, by Mark Zuckerberg, along with fellow Harvard Collegestudents and roommates Eduardo SaverinAndrew McCollumDustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes.

The founders initially limited the website’s membership to Harvard students. Later they expanded it to higher education institutions in the Boston area, the Ivy League schools, and Stanford University. Facebook gradually added support for students at various other universities, and eventually to high school students. Since 2006, anyone who claims to be at least 13 years old has been allowed to become a registered user of Facebook, though variations exist in this requirement, depending on local laws. The name comes from the face book directories often given to American university students. Facebook held its initial public offering (IPO) in February 2012, and began selling stock to the public three months later, reaching an original peak market capitalization of $104 billion, a new record. Facebook makes most of its revenue from advertisements which appear onscreen.

Facebook can be accessed from a large range of devices with Internet connectivity, such as desktop computerslaptops and tablet computers, and smartphones. After registering, users can create a customized profile indicating their name, occupation, schools attended and so on. Users can add other users as “friends”, exchange messages, post status updates, share photos, videos and links, use various software applications (“apps”), and receive notifications of other users’ activity. Additionally, users may join common-interest user groups organized by workplace, school, hobbies or other topics, and categorize their friends into lists such as “People From Work” or “Close Friends”. Additionally, users can report or block unpleasant people.

Facebook has more than 2.2 billion monthly active users as of January 2018. Its popularity has led to prominent media coverage for the company, including significant scrutiny over privacy and the psychological effects it has on users. In recent years, the company has faced intense pressure over the amount of fake newshate speech and depictions of violence prevalent on its services, all of which it is attempting to counteract.

History

2003–2006: Thefacebook, Thiel investment, and name change

Zuckerberg wrote a program called “Facemash” in 2003 while attending Harvard University as a sophomore (second year student). According to The Harvard Crimson, the site was comparable to Hot or Not and used “photos compiled from the online facebooks of nine Houses, placing two next to each other at a time and asking users to choose the “hotter” person”.[6] Facemash attracted 450 visitors and 22,000 photo-views in its first four hours online.[7] The Facemash site was quickly forwarded to several campus group list-servers, but was shut down a few days later by the Harvard administration. Zuckerberg faced expulsion and was charged by the administration with breach of security, violating copyrights, and violating individual privacy. Ultimately, the charges were dropped.[6] Zuckerberg expanded on this initial project that semester by creating a social study tool ahead of an art history final exam. He uploaded all art images to a website, each of which was featured with a corresponding comments section, then shared the site with his classmates, and people started sharing notes.[8]

Original layout and name of Thefacebook, 2004

A “face book” is a student directory featuring photos and basic information.[7] In 2003, there were no universal online facebooks at Harvard, with only paper sheets distributed[9] and private online directories.[6][10] Zuckerberg told the Crimson that “Everyone’s been talking a lot about a universal face book within Harvard. […] I think it’s kind of silly that it would take the University a couple of years to get around to it. I can do it better than they can, and I can do it in a week.”[10] In January 2004, Zuckerberg began writing code for a new website, known as “TheFacebook”, with the inspiration coming from an editorial in the Crimson about Facemash, stating that “It is clear that the technology needed to create a centralized Website is readily available … the benefits are many.”[11] On February 4, 2004, Zuckerberg launched “TheFacebook”, originally located at thefacebook.com.[12]

Six days after the site launched, Harvard seniors Cameron WinklevossTyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra accused Zuckerberg of intentionally misleading them into believing that he would help them build a social network called HarvardConnection.com. They claimed that he was instead using their ideas to build a competing product.[13] The three complained to The Harvard Crimson and the newspaper began an investigation. They later filed a lawsuit against Zuckerberg, subsequently settling in 2008[14] for 1.2 million shares (worth $300 million at Facebook’s IPO).[15]

Membership was initially restricted to students of Harvard College; within the first month, more than half the undergraduates at Harvard were registered on the service.[16]Eduardo Saverin, Dustin Moskovitz, Andrew McCollum, and Chris Hughes joined Zuckerberg to help manage the growth of the website.[17] In March 2004, Facebook expanded to the universities of ColumbiaStanford, and Yale.[18] It later opened to all Ivy League colleges, Boston UniversityNew York UniversityMITWashington and gradually most universities in the United States and Canada.[19][20]

In mid-2004, entrepreneur Sean Parker—an informal advisor to Zuckerberg—became the company’s president.[21] In June 2004, Facebook moved its operations base to Palo Alto, California.[22] It received its first investment later that month from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.[23] In 2005, the company dropped “the” from its name after purchasing the domain name facebook.com for US$200,000.[24] The domain facebook.com belonged to AboutFace Corporation before the purchase. This website last appeared on April 8, 2005;[25] from April 10, 2005 to August 4, 2005, this domain gave a 403 error.[26]

Mark Zuckerberg, co-creator of Facebook, in his Harvard dorm room, 2005

In May 2005, Accel Partners invested $12.7 million in Facebook, and Jim Breyer[27] added $1 million of his own money. A high-school version of the site was launched in September 2005, which Zuckerberg called the next logical step.[28] (At the time, high-school networks required an invitation to join.)[29] Facebook also expanded membership eligibility to employees of several companies, including Apple Inc. and Microsoft.[30]

2006–2012: Public access, Microsoft alliance and rapid growth

On September 26, 2006, Facebook was opened to everyone at least 13 years old with a valid email address.[31][32][33] In late 2007, Facebook had 100,000 business pages (pages which allowed companies to promote themselves and attract customers). These started as group pages, but a new concept called company pages was planned.[34] Pages began rolling out for businesses in May 2009.[35] On October 24, 2007, Microsoft announced that it had purchased a 1.6% share of Facebook for $240 million, giving Facebook a total implied value of around $15 billion. Microsoft’s purchase included rights to place international advertisements on the social networking site.[36][37]

In October 2008, Facebook announced that it would set up its international headquarters in Dublin, Ireland.[38] Almost a year later, in September 2009, Facebook said that it had turned cash flow positive for the first time.[39] A January 2009 Compete.com study ranked Facebook the most used social networking service by worldwide monthly active users.[40]Entertainment Weekly included the site on its end-of-the-decade “best-of” list saying, “How on earth did we stalk our exes, remember our co-workers’ birthdays, bug our friends, and play a rousing game of Scrabulous before Facebook?”[41]

Traffic to Facebook increased steadily after 2009. The company announced 500 million users in July 2010,[42] and according to its data, half of the site’s membership used Facebook daily, for an average of 34 minutes, while 150 million users accessed the site by mobile. A company representative called the milestone a “quiet revolution.”[43] In November 2010, based on SecondMarket Inc. (an exchange for privately held companies’ shares), Facebook’s value was $41 billion. The company had slightly surpassed eBay to become the third largest American web company after Google and Amazon.com.[44][45]

In early 2011, Facebook announced plans to move its headquarters to the former Sun Microsystems campus in Menlo Park, California.[46][47] In March 2011, it was reported that Facebook was removing approximately 20,000 profiles every day for violations such as spam, graphic content, and underage use, as part of its efforts to boost cyber security.[48] Statistics by DoubleClick showed that Facebook reached one trillion page views in the month of June 2011, making it the most visited website tracked by DoubleClick.[49][50] According to a Nielsen study, Facebook had in 2011 become the second-most accessed website in the U.S. behind Google.[51][52]

2012–2013: IPO, lawsuits and one-billionth user

Facebook eventually filed for an initial public offering on February 1, 2012.[53] Facebook held an initial public offering on May 17, 2012, negotiating a share price of US$38. The company was valued at $104 billion, the largest valuation to date for a newly listed public company.[54][55][56] Facebook began selling stock to the public and trading on the NASDAQ on May 18, 2012.[57] Based on its 2012 income of $5 billion, Facebook joined the Fortune 500 list for the first time in May 2013, ranked in position 462.[58]

Facebook filed their S1 document with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 1, 2012. The company applied for a $5 billion IPO, one of the biggest offerings in the history of technology.[59] The IPO raised $16 billion, making it the third-largest in U.S. history.[60][61]

The shares began trading on May 18; the stock struggled to stay above the IPO price for most of the day, but set a record for the trading volume of an IPO (460 million shares).[62] The first day of trading was marred by technical glitches that prevented orders from going through;[63][64] only the technical problems and artificial support from underwriters prevented the stock price from falling below the IPO price on the day.[65] In March 2012, Facebook announced App Center, a store selling applications that operate via the website. The store was to be available on iPhonesAndroid devices, and mobile web users.[66]

Billboard on the Thomson Reutersbuilding welcomes Facebook to NASDAQ, 2012

On May 22, 2012, the Yahoo! Finance website reported that Facebook’s lead underwriters, Morgan Stanley (MS), JP Morgan (JPM), and Goldman Sachs (GS), cut their earnings forecasts for the company in the middle of the IPO process.[67] The stock had begun its freefall by this time, closing at 34.03 on May 21 and 31.00 on May 22. A “circuit breaker” trading curb was used in an attempt to slow down the stock price’s decline.[68] Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Mary Schapiro, and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Chairman Rick Ketchum, called for a review of the circumstances surrounding the IPO.[69]

Facebook’s IPO was consequently investigated, and was compared to a “pump and dump” scheme.[63][67][69][70] A class-action lawsuit was filed in May 2012 because of the trading glitches, which led to botched orders.[71][72]Lawsuits were filed, alleging that an underwriter for Morgan Stanley selectively revealed adjusted earnings estimates to preferred clients.[73]

The other underwriters (MS, JPM, GS), Facebook’s CEO and board, and NASDAQ also faced litigation after numerous lawsuits were filed, while SEC and FINRA both launched investigations.[74] It was believed that adjustments to earnings estimates were communicated to the underwriters by a Facebook financial officer, who used the information to cash out on their positions while leaving the general public with overpriced shares.[75] By the end of May 2012, Facebook’s stock lost over a quarter of its starting value, which led The Wall Street Journal to label the IPO a “fiasco”.[76] Zuckerberg announced to the media at the start of October 2012 that Facebook had passed the monthly active users mark of one billion.[77] The company’s data also revealed 600 million mobile users, 219 billion photo uploads, and 140 billion friend connections.[78]

2013–present: Site developments, A4AI and 10th anniversary

On January 15, 2013, Facebook announced Facebook Graph Search, which provides users with a “precise answer”, rather than a link to an answer by leveraging the data present on its site.[79] Facebook emphasized that the feature would be “privacy-aware,” returning only results from content already shared with the user.[80] On April 3, 2013, Facebook unveiled Facebook Home, a user-interface layer for Android devices offering greater integration with the site. HTC announced the HTC First, a smartphone with Home pre-loaded.[81]

On April 15, 2013, Facebook announced an alliance across 19 states with the National Association of Attorneys General, to provide teenagers and parents with information on tools to manage social networking profiles.[82] On April 19, 2013, Facebook officially modified its logo to remove the faint blue line at the bottom of the “F” icon. The letter F moved closer to the edge of the box.[83]

Following a campaign by 100 advocacy groups, Facebook agreed to update its policy on hate speech. The campaign highlighted content promoting domestic and sexual violence against women, and used over 57,000 tweets and more than 4,900 emails that caused withdrawal of advertising from the site by 15 companies, including Nissan UK, House of Burlesque and Nationwide UK. The social media website initially responded by stating that “while it may be vulgar and offensive, distasteful content on its own does not violate our policies”.[84] It decided to take action on May 29, 2013, after it “become clear that our systems to identify and remove hate speech have failed to work as effectively as we would like, particularly around issues of gender-based hate.”[85]

On June 12, 2013, Facebook announced on its newsroom that it was introducing clickable hashtags to help users follow trending discussions, or search what others are talking about on a topic.[86] A July 2013 Wall Street Journal article identified the Facebook IPO as the cause of a change in the U.S.’ national economic statistics, as the local government area of the company’s headquarters, San Mateo County, California, became the top wage-earning county in the country after the fourth quarter of 2012. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the average weekly wage in the county was US$3,240, 107% higher than the previous year. It noted the wages were “the equivalent of $168,000 a year, and more than 50% higher than the next-highest county, New York County (better known as Manhattan), at $2,107 a week, or roughly $110,000 a year.”[87]

Facebook was blocked by the Chinese government in 2009.[88] In September 2013, the South China Morning Post announced that the block would lifted in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone “to welcome foreign companies to invest and to let foreigners live and work happily in the free-trade zone.”[89][90] However, a few days later, the People’s Daily, the official newspaper of the Communist Party of China, dismissed the earlier report, reiterating the block on Facebook.[91]

Facebook was announced as a member of The Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI) in October 2013, when the A4AI was launched. The A4AI is a coalition of public and private organizations that includes GoogleIntel and Microsoft. Led by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the A4AI seeks to make Internet access more affordable so that access is broadened in the developing world, where only 31% of people are online. Google will help to decrease Internet access prices so that they fall below the UN Broadband Commission’s worldwide target of 5% of monthly income.[92] A Reuters report, published on December 11, 2013, stated that Standard & Poor’s announced the placement of Facebook on its S&P 500 index “after the close of trading on December 20”.[93] Facebook announced Q4 2013 earnings of $523 million (20 cents per share), an increase of $64 million from the previous year,[94] as well as 945 million mobile users.

In 2014, Facebook bought Oculus VR for $2.3 billion in stock and cash,[95] which released its first consumer virtual reality headset in 2016.

The company celebrated its 10th anniversary during the week of February 3, 2014.[96] In each of the first three months of 2014, over one billion users logged into their Facebook account on a mobile device.[97] As part of the company’s second quarter results, Facebook announced in late July 2014 that mobile accounted for 62% of its advertising revenue, which is an increase of 21% from the previous year.[98] By September 2014, Facebook’s market capitalization had risen to over $200 billion.[99][100][101]

Alongside other American technology figures like Jeff Bezos and Tim Cook, Zuckerberg hosted visiting Chinese politician Lu Wei, known as the “Internet czar” for his influence in the enforcement of China’s online policy, at Facebook’s headquarters on December 8, 2014. The meeting occurred after Zuckerberg participated in a Q&A session at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, on October 23, 2014, where he attempted to converse in Mandarin—although Facebook is banned in China, Zuckerberg is highly regarded among the people and was at the university to help fuel the nation’s burgeoning entrepreneur sector.[102] A book of Chinese president Xi Jinping found on Zuckerberg’s office desk attracted a great deal of attention in the media, after the Facebook founder explained to Lu, “I want them [Facebook staff] to understand socialism with Chinese characteristics.”[103]

As of January 21, 2015, Facebook’s algorithm is programmed to filter out false or misleading content, such as fake news stories and hoaxes, and will be supported by users who select the option to flag a story as “purposefully fake or deceitful news”. According to Reuters, such content is “being spread like a wildfire” on the social media platform. Facebook maintained that “satirical” content, “intended to be humorous, or content that is clearly labeled as satire,” will be taken into account and should not be intercepted.[104] The algorithm, however, has been accused of maintaining a “filter bubble“, where both material the user disagrees with[105] and posts with a low level of likes, will also not be seen.[106] In November 2015, Zuckerberg prolonged period of paternity leave from 4 weeks to 4 months.[107]

On April 12, 2016, Zuckerberg revealed a decade-long plan for Facebook in a keynote address. His speech outlined his vision, which rested on three main pillars: artificial intelligence, increased connectivity around the world and virtual and augmented reality.[108] In June 2016 Facebook announced Deep Text, a natural language processing AI which will learn user intent and context in 20 languages.[109]

In July 2016, a US$1 billion lawsuit was filed against the company alleging that it permitted the Hamas group to use it to perform assaults that ended the lives of four people.[110] Facebook released the blueprints of Surround 360 camera on GitHub under open-source license.[111] In September 2016, it won an Emmy for its Visual animated short “Henry”.[112]

In October 2016, Facebook announced a fee-based communications tool called Workplace that aims to “connect everyone” while at work. Users can create profiles, see updates from co-workers on their news feed, stream live video and participate in secure group chats.[113] Facebook annually has an Oculus Connect conference.[114] Following the 2016 presidential election, Facebook announced that it would further combat the spread of fake news by using fact checkers from sites like FactCheck.org and Associated Press (AP), making reporting hoaxes easier through crowdsourcing, and disrupting financial incentives for spammers.[115]

On January 17, 2017, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg planning to open Station F, a startup incubator campus in Paris, France.[116] On a six-monthly cycle, Facebook will work with ten to 15 data-driven startups in the location to help them develop their businesses.[117]On April 18, 2017, Facebook announced the beta launch of Facebook Spaces at Facebook’s annual F8 developer conference in San Francisco.[118] Facebook Spaces, a virtual reality app version of Facebook for the Facebook-owned Oculus VR goggles. In a virtual and shared space, users can access a curated selection of 360-degree photos and videos using their avatar, with the support of the controller. Users can also access their own photos and videos, and any media shared on their Facebook newsfeed.[119] The beta app is currently available in the Oculus Store.[120]

In September 2017, Facebook announced it would be spending up to US$1 billion on original shows for its Facebook Watch platform.[121] On October 16, 2017, Facebook acquired the anonymous compliment social media app tbh for an undisclosed amount, announcing intentions to leave the app independent, similar to Instagram and WhatsApp.[122][123][124][125](although it is not core or important as these other[126])

Corporate affairs

Management

Facebook’s key management personnel consists of Mark Zuckerberg (Chairman and Chief Executive Officer), Sheryl Sandberg (Chief Operating Officer), David Wehner (Chief Financial Officer), Mike Schroepfer (Chief Technology Officer), and Chris Cox (Chief Product Officer).[127] As of June 30, 2017, Facebook has 20,658 employees.[128]

Revenue

Revenues
(in millions US$)
Year Revenue Growth
2004 $0.4[129]
2005 $9[129] 2150%
2006 $48[129] 433%
2007 $153[129] 219%
2008 $280[130] 83%
2009 $775[131] 177%
2010 $2,000[132] 158%
2011 $3,711[133] 86%
2012 $5,089[134] 37%
2013 $7,872[134] 55%
2014 $12,466[135] 58%
2015 $17,928[136] 44%

Most of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertising.[137][138] Facebook generally has a lower clickthrough rate (CTR) for advertisements than most major websites. According to BusinessWeek.com, banner advertisements on Facebook have generally received one-fifth the number of clicks compared to those on the Web as a whole,[139] although specific comparisons can reveal a much larger disparity. For example, while Google users click on the first advertisement for search results an average of 8% of the time (80,000 clicks for every one million searches),[140] Facebook’s users click on advertisements an average of 0.04% of the time (400 clicks for every one million pages).[141]Successful advertising campaigns on the site can have clickthrough rates as low as 0.05% to 0.04%, and CTR for ads tend to fall within two weeks.[142]

The cause of Facebook’s low CTR has been attributed to younger users enabling ad blocking software and their adeptness at ignoring advertising messages, as well as the site’s primary purpose being social communication rather than content viewing.[143] According to digital consultancy iStrategy Labs in mid-January 2014, three million fewer users aged between 13 and 17 years were present on Facebook’s Social Advertising platform compared to 2011.[144]However, Time writer and reporter Christopher Matthews stated in the wake of the iStrategy Labs results:

A big part of Facebook’s pitch is that it has so much information about its users that it can more effectively target ads to those who will be responsive to the content. If Facebook can prove that theory to be true, then it may not worry so much about losing its cool cachet.[145][146]

A portion of Facebook revenue comes from the “firehose” access, bulk access to the social media data sold to the third parties.[147][148] In December 2014, a report from Frank N. Magid and Associates found that the percentage of teens aged 13 to 17 who used Facebook fell to 88% in 2014, down from 94% in 2013 and 95% in 2012.[149] Zuckerberg, alongside other Facebook executives, have questioned the data in such reports; although, a former Facebook senior employee has commented: “Mark [Zuckerberg] is very willing to recognize the strengths in other products and the flaws in Facebook.”[150]

On pages for brands and products, however, some companies have reported CTR as high as 6.49% for Wall posts.[151] A study found that, for video advertisements on Facebook, over 40% of users who viewed the videos viewed the entire video, while the industry average was 25% for in-banner video ads.[152]

Chart of Facebook’s stock

The company released its own set of revenue data at the end of January 2014 and claimed: Revenues of US$2.59 billion were generated for the three months ending December 31, 2013; earnings per share were 31 cents; revenues of US$7.87 billion were made for the entirety of 2013; and Facebook’s annual profit for 2013 was US$1.5 billion. During the same time, independent market research firm eMarketer released data in which Facebook accounted for 5.7 per cent of all global digital ad revenues in 2013 (Google’s share was 32.4 per cent).[96] Revenue for the June 2014 quarter rose to $2.68 billion, an increase of 67 per cent over the second quarter of 2013. Mobile advertising revenue accounted for around 62 per cent of advertising revenue, an increase of approximately 41 per cent over the comparable quarter of the previous year. In December 2017, the company announced that it would no longer route all of its revenues through its Ireland headquarters, but rather record revenue locally in each of the countries where it is generated.[153][154]

Number of advertisers

In February 2015, Facebook announced that it had reached two million active advertisers with most of the gain coming from small businesses. An active advertiser is an advertiser that has advertised on the Facebook platform in the last 28 days.[155] In March 2016, Facebook announced that it reached three million active advertisers with more than 70% from outside the US.[156]

Mergers and acquisitions

On November 15, 2010, Facebook announced it had acquired the domain name fb.com from the American Farm Bureau Federation for an undisclosed amount. On January 11, 2011, the Farm Bureau disclosed $8.5 million in “domain sales income”, making the acquisition of FB.com one of the ten highest domain sales in history.[157]

In February 2014, Facebook announced that it would be buying mobile messaging company WhatsApp for US$19 billion in cash and stock.[158][159]

In November 2016 Facebook acquired CrowdTangle, a social analytics company that tracks how content spreads online. CrowdTangle confirmed the acquisition in a message at their website, but company didn’t disclosed financial terms of the deal.[160]

Offices

In early 2011, Facebook announced plans to move to its new headquarters, the former Sun Microsystems campus in Menlo Park.[161] All users outside of the US and Canada have a contract with Facebook’s Irish subsidiary “Facebook Ireland Limited”. This allows Facebook to avoid US taxes for all users in Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa and South America. Facebook is making use of the Double Irish arrangement which allows it to pay just about 2–3% corporation tax on all international revenue.[162] In 2010, Facebook opened its fourth office, in Hyderabad[163][164][165] and the first in Asia.[166]

Facebook, which in 2010 had more than 750 million active users globally including over 23 million in India, announced that its Hyderabad center would house online advertising and developer support teams and provide round-the-clock, multilingual support to the social networking site’s users and advertisers globally.[167] With this, Facebook joins other giants like GoogleMicrosoftOracleDellIBM and Computer Associates that have already set up shop.[168] In Hyderabad, it is registered as ‘Facebook India Online Services Pvt Ltd’.[169][170][171]

Though Facebook did not specify its India investment or hiring figures, it said recruitment had already begun for a director of operations and other key positions at Hyderabad,[172] which would supplement its operations in CaliforniaDublin in Ireland as well as at AustinTexas. A custom-built data center with substantially reduced (“38% less”) power consumption compared to existing Facebook data centers opened in April 2011 in Prineville, Oregon.[173] In April 2012, Facebook opened a second data center in Forest City, North Carolina, US.[174] In June 2013, Facebook opened a third data center in Luleå, Sweden. In November 2014, Facebook opened a fourth data center in Altoona, Iowa, US.[175] In September 2016, Facebook announced a coming datacenter in Los Lunas, New Mexico in 2018 powered by renewable energy.[176][177]

On October 1, 2012, CEO Zuckerberg visited Moscow to stimulate social media innovation in Russia and to boost Facebook’s position in the Russian market.[178] Russia’s communications minister tweeted that Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev urged the social media giant’s founder to abandon plans to lure away Russian programmers and instead consider opening a research center in Moscow. Facebook has roughly 9 million users in Russia, while domestic analogue VK has around 34 million.[179]

The establishment of a woodworking facility on the Menlo Park campus was announced at the end of August 2013. The facility, opened in June 2013, provides equipment, safety courses and a woodworking learning course. Employees are required to purchase materials at the in-house store. A Facebook spokesperson explained that the intention of setting up the facility is to encourage employees to think in an innovative manner because of the different environment; it also serves as an attractive perk for prospective employees.[180] On November 21, 2016 Facebook announced that it will open its new London headquarters next year and create another 500 jobs in the UK. New headquarters will be in Fitzrovia in central London at a site that is currently undergoing redevelopment. Facebook’s London-based executive, Nicola Mendelsohn said “The UK remains one of the best places to be a tech company,”.[181] In August 2017, Facebook announced the opening of a new office in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2018. Facebook will occupy the top three floors of 100 Binney St in Kendall Square and share the building with the pharmaceutical employees from Bristol-Myers Squibb. The offices will be home to Facebook’s “Connectivity Lab”, a group focused on bringing Internet access and technology to 4 billion people who do not have access to the Internet.[182]

Website

Profile shown on Thefacebook in 2005

Previous Facebook logo in use from August 23, 2005 until July 1, 2015

Technical aspects

The website’s primary color is blue as Zuckerberg is red-green colorblind, a realization that occurred after a test undertaken around 2007; he explained in 2010: “blue is the richest color for me—I can see all of blue.”[183][184]Facebook is built in PHP which is compiled with HipHop for PHP, a ‘source code transformer’ built by Facebook engineers that turns PHP into C++.[185] The deployment of HipHop reportedly reduced average CPU consumption on Facebook servers by 50%.[186]

Facebook is developed as one monolithic application. According to an interview in 2012 with Chuck Rossi, a build engineer at Facebook, Facebook compiles into a 1.5 GB binary blob which is then distributed to the servers using a custom BitTorrent-based release system. Rossi stated that it takes approximately 15 minutes to build and 15 minutes to release to the servers. The build and release process is zero downtime and new changes to Facebook are rolled out daily.[186]

Facebook uses a combination platform based on HBase to store data across distributed machines. Using a tailing architecture, new events are stored in log files, and the logs are tailed. The system rolls these events up and writes them into storage. The user interface then pulls the data out and displays it to users. Facebook handles requests as AJAX behavior. These requests are written to a log file using Scribe (developed by Facebook).[187]

Data is read from these log files using Ptail, an internally built tool to aggregate data from multiple Scribe stores. It tails the log files and pulls data out (thus the name). Ptail data are separated out into three streams so they can eventually be sent to their own clusters in different data centers (Plugin impression, News feed impressions, Actions (plugin + news feed)). Puma is used to manage periods of high data flow (Input/Output or IO). Data is processed in batches to lessen the number of times needed to read and write under high demand periods (A hot article will generate a lot of impressions and news feed impressions which will cause huge data skews). Batches are taken every 1.5 seconds, limited by memory used when creating a hash table.[187]

After this, data is output in PHP format (compiled with HipHop for PHP). The backend is written in Java and Thrift is used as the messaging format so PHP programs can query Java services. Caching solutions are used to make the web pages display more quickly. The more and longer data is cached the less realtime it is. The data is then sent to MapReduce servers so it can be queried via Hive. This also serves as a backup plan as the data can be recovered from Hive. Raw logs are removed after a period of time.[187]

On March 20, 2014, Facebook announced a new open source programming language called Hack. Prior to public release, a large portion of Facebook was already running and “battle tested” using the new language.[188]

Facebook uses the Momentum platform from Message Systems to deliver the enormous volume of emails it sends to its users every day.[189]

History

On July 20, 2008, Facebook introduced “Facebook Beta”, a significant redesign of its user interface on selected networks. The Mini-Feed and Wall were consolidated, profiles were separated into tabbed sections, and an effort was made to create a “cleaner” look.[190]After initially giving users a choice to switch, Facebook began migrating all users to the new version starting in September 2008.[191] On December 11, 2008, it was announced that Facebook was testing a simpler signup process.[192]

User profile/personal timeline

Facebook login/signup screen

Each registered user on Facebook gets their own personal profile that shows their posts and content.[193] The format of individual user pages was revamped in September 2011 and became known as “Timeline”, a chronological feed of a user’s stories,[194][195] including status updates, photos, interactions with apps, and events.[196] The new layout also let users add a “cover photo”, a large header image at the top of the Timeline.[196] Along with the new layout, users were also given more privacy settings to control the content on the Timeline.[196] In 2007, Facebook launched Facebook Pages for brands and celebrities to interact with their fanbase,[197][198] with more 100,000 Pages launched in November.[199] In June 2009, Facebook introduced a “Usernames” feature, allowing users to choose a unique nickname used in the URL for their personal profile, for easier sharing.[200][201]

In February 2014, Facebook expanded the options for a user’s gender setting, adding a custom input field that allows users to choose from a wide range of gender identities. Users can also set which set of gender-specific pronoun should be used in reference to them throughout the site.[202][203][204] In May 2014, Facebook introduced a feature to allow users to ask for information not disclosed by other users on their profiles. If a user does not provide key information, such as location, hometown, or relationship status, other users can use a new “ask” button to send a message asking about that item to the user in a single click.[205][206]

News Feed

On September 6, 2006, News Feed was announced, which appears on every user’s homepage and highlights information including profile changes, upcoming events, and birthdays of the user’s friends.[207] This enabled spammers and other users to manipulate these features by creating illegitimate events or posting fake birthdays to attract attention to their profile or cause.[208] Initially, the News Feed caused dissatisfaction among Facebook users; some complained it was too cluttered and full of undesired information, others were concerned that it made it too easy for others to track individual activities (such as relationship status changes, events, and conversations with other users).[209] In response, Zuckerberg issued an apology for the site’s failure to include appropriate customizable privacy features. Since then, users have been able to control what types of information are shared automatically with friends. Users are now able to prevent user-set categories of friends from seeing updates about certain types of activities, including profile changes, Wall posts, and newly added friends.[210]

On February 23, 2010, Facebook was granted a patent[211] on certain aspects of its News Feed. The patent covers News Feeds in which links are provided so that one user can participate in the same activity of another user.[212] The patent may encourage Facebook to pursue action against websites that violate its patent, which may potentially include websites such as Twitter.[213] One of the most popular applications on Facebook is the Photos application, where users can upload albums and photos.[214] Facebook allows users to upload an unlimited number of photos, compared with other image hosting services such as Photobucket and Flickr, which apply limits to the number of photos that a user is allowed to upload. During the first years, Facebook users were limited to 60 photos per album. As of May 2009, this limit has been increased to 200 photos per album.[215][216][217][218]

Privacy settings can be set for individual albums, limiting the groups of users that can see an album. For example, the privacy of an album can be set so that only the user’s friends can see the album, while the privacy of another album can be set so that all Facebook users can see it. Another feature of the Photos application is the ability to “tag“, or label, users in a photo. For instance, if a photo contains a user’s friend, then the user can tag the friend in the photo. This sends a notification to the friend that she has been tagged, and provides a link to see the photo.[219] On June 7, 2012, Facebook launched its App Center to its users. It will help the users in finding games and other applications with ease.[220] Since the launch of the App Center, Facebook has seen 150M monthly users with 2.4 times the installation of apps.[221] The sorting and display of stories in a user’s News Feed is governed by the EdgeRank algorithm.[222]

On May 13, 2015, Facebook in association with major news portals launched a program “Instant Articles” to provide rich news experience. Instant articles provides users, access to articles on Facebook news feed without leaving the site.[223][224] According to the technology news web site Gizmodo on May 9, 2016, Facebook curators routinely suppress or promote news that is deemed to meet a political agenda. For example, articles about Black Lives Matter would be listed even if they did not meet the trending criteria of News Feed. Likewise positive news about conservative political figures were regularly excised from Facebook pages.[225] In January 2017, Facebook launched Facebook Stories for iOS and Android in Ireland. The feature, following the format of Snapchat and Instagram stories, allows users to upload photos and videos that appear above friends’ and followers’ News Feeds and disappear after 24 hours.[226]

On October 11, 2017, Facebook introduced the 3D Posts feature to allow for uploading interactive 3D assets in the News Feed.[227] On January 11, 2018, Facebook announced that it would be changing its News Feed algorithm to prioritize what friends and family share and de-emphasize content from media companies. The change was intended to maximize the “meaningful interactions” that people have with content on Facebook.[228]

Like button

The “like” button, stylized as a “thumbs up” icon, was first enabled on February 9, 2009,[229] and enables users to easily interact with status updates, comments, photos and videos, links shared by friends, and advertisements. Once clicked by a user, the designated content appears in the News Feeds of that user’s friends,[230][231] and the button also displays the number of other users who have liked the content, including a full or partial list of those users.[232] The like button was extended to comments in June 2010.[233] After extensive testing[234] and years of questions from the public about whether it had an intention to incorporate a “Dislike” button,[235] Facebook officially rolled out “Reactions” to users worldwide on February 24, 2016, letting users long-press on the like button for an option to use one of five pre-defined emotions, including “Love”, “Haha”, “Wow”, “Sad”, or “Angry”.[234][236] Reactions were also extended to comments in May 2017.[237][238]

Instant messaging

Facebook Messenger is an instant messaging service and software application. Originally developed as Facebook Chat in 2008,[239] the company revamped its messaging service in 2010,[240] and subsequently released standalone iOS and Android apps in August 2011.[241] Over the years, Facebook has released new apps on a variety of different operating systems,[242][243][244] launched a dedicated website interface,[245] and separated the messaging functionality from the main Facebook app, requiring users to download the standalone apps.[246]

Facebook Messenger lets Facebook users send messages to each other. Complementing regular conversations, Messenger lets users make voice calls[247] and video calls[248] both in one-to-one interactions[249] and in group conversations.[250] Its Android app has integrated support for SMS[251] and “Chat Heads”, which are round profile photo icons appearing on-screen regardless of what app is open,[252] while both apps support multiple accounts,[253] conversations with optional end-to-end encryption,[254] and playing “Instant Games”, which are select games built into Messenger.[255] Some features, including sending money[256] and requesting transportation,[257] are limited to the United States.[256] In 2017, Facebook has added “Messenger Day”, a feature that lets users share photos and videos in a story-format with all their friends with the content disappearing after 24 hours;[258] Reactions, which lets users tap and hold a message to add a reaction through an emoji;[259] and Mentions, which lets users in group conversations type @ to give a particular user a notification.[259]

In March 2015, Facebook announced that it would start letting businesses and users interact through Messenger with features such as tracking purchases and receiving notifications, and interacting with customer service representatives. It also announced that third-party developers could integrate their apps into Messenger, letting users enter an app while inside Messenger and optionally share details from the app into a chat.[260] In April 2016, it introduced an API for developers to build chatbots into Messenger, for uses such as news publishers building bots to give users news through the service,[261] and in April 2017, it enabled the M virtual assistant for users in the U.S., which scans chats for keywords and suggests relevant actions, such as its payments system for users mentioning money.[262][263]Additionally, Facebook expanded the use of bots, incorporating group chatbots into Messenger as “Chat Extensions”, adding a “Discovery” tab for finding bots, and enabling special, branded QR codes that, when scanned, take the user to a specific bot.[264]

Following

On September 14, 2011, Facebook added the ability for users to provide a “Subscribe” button on their page, which allows users to subscribe to public postings by the user without needing to add him or her as a friend.[265] In conjunction, Facebook also introduced a system in February 2012 to verify the identity of certain accounts.[266] In December 2012, Facebook announced that because of user confusion surrounding its function, the Subscribe button would be re-labeled as a “Follow” button—making it more similar to other social networks with similar functions.[267]

Comparison with Myspace

The media often compares Facebook to Myspace, but one significant difference between the two Web sites is the level of customization.[268] Another difference is Facebook’s requirement that users give their true identity, a demand that MySpace does not make.[269]MySpace allows users to decorate their profiles using HTML and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), while Facebook allows only plain text.[270] Facebook has a number of features with which users may interact. They include the Wall, a space on every user’s profile page that allows friends to post messages for the user to see;[271]Pokes, which allows users to send a virtual “poke” to each other (a notification then tells a user that he or she has been poked);[272]Photos, that allows users to upload albums and photos;[273] and Status, which allows users to inform their friends of their whereabouts and actions.[274] Facebook also allows users to tag various people in photographs. Depending on privacy settings, anyone who can see a user’s profile can also view that user’s Wall. In July 2007, Facebook began allowing users to post attachments to the Wall, whereas the Wall was previously limited to textual content only.[271] Facebook also differs from Myspace in the form of advertising used. Facebook uses advertising in the form of banner ads, referral marketing, and games. Myspace, on the other hand, uses Google and AdSense.[275] There is also a difference in the userbase of each site. MySpace, initially, was much more popular with high school students, while Facebook was more popular among college students. A study by the American firm Nielsen Claritas showed that Facebook users are more inclined to use other professional networking sites, such as LinkedIn, than Myspace users.[275]

Privacy

PRISM: a clandestinesurveillanceprogram under which the NSA collects user data from companies like Facebook and Yahoo!.[276]

Facebook enables users to choose their own privacy settings and choose who can see specific parts of their profile.[277] The website is free to its users and generates revenue from advertising, such as banner ads.[278] Facebook requires a user’s name and profile picture (if applicable) to be accessible by everyone. Users can control who sees other information they have shared, as well as who can find them in searches, through their privacy settings.[279]On November 6, 2007, Facebook launched Facebook Beacon, which was a part of Facebook’s advertisement system until it was discontinued in 2009. Its purpose was to allow targeted advertisements and allowing users to share their activities with their friends.

In 2010, Facebook’s security team began expanding its efforts to reduce the risks to users’ privacy,[280] but privacy concerns remain.[281] Since 2010, the US National Security Agency has been taking publicly posted profile information from Facebook, among other social media services, user profiles to discover who they interact with.[282]

On November 29, 2011, Facebook settled Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceived consumers by failing to keep privacy promises.[283] In August 2013 High-Tech Bridge published a study showing that links included in Facebook messaging service messages were being accessed by Facebook.[284] In January 2014 two users filed a lawsuit against Facebook alleging that their privacy had been violated by this practice.[285]

In April 2018, in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica data breach scandal, and refuting a report to the contrary by Reuters, Mark Zuckerburg announced that Facebook would implement additional privacy “controls and settings” worldwide. These settings were originally intended for deployment in Europe in order to comply with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which take effect in May.[286]

Facebook Bug Bounty Program

A Facebook “White Hat” debit card, given to researchers who report security bugs.

On July 29, 2011, Facebook announced its Bug Bounty Program in which security researchers will be paid a minimum of $500 for reporting security holes on Facebook’s website. Facebook’s Whitehat page for security researchers says: “If you give us a reasonable time to respond to your report before making any information public and make a good faith effort to avoid privacy violations, destruction of data, and interruption or degradation of our service during your research, we will not bring any lawsuit against you or ask law enforcement to investigate you.”[287][288]

Facebook started paying researchers who find and report security bugs by issuing them custom branded “White Hat” debit cards that can be reloaded with funds each time the researchers discover new flaws. “Researchers who find bugs and security improvements are rare, and we value them and have to find ways to reward them,” Ryan McGeehan, former manager of Facebook’s security response team, told CNET in an interview. “Having this exclusive black card is another way to recognize them. They can show up at a conference and show this card and say ‘I did special work for Facebook.'”[289]

India, which has the second largest number of bug hunters in the world,[290] tops the Facebook Bug Bounty Program with the largest number of valid bugs. “Researchers in Russia earned the highest amount per report in 2013, receiving an average of $3,961 for 38 bugs. India contributed the largest number of valid bugs at 136, with an average reward of $1,353. The U.S. reported 92 issues and averaged $2,272 in rewards. Brazil and the UK were third and fourth by volume, with 53 bugs and 40 bugs, respectively, and average rewards of $3,792 and $2,950”, Facebook quoted in a post.[291]

Reception

Most popular social networking sites by country
  Facebook
  Facenama
  no data

User growth

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced in August 2008 that Facebook had passed 100 million registered users.[292] This increased to 150 million “active” users in January 2009. Stan Schroeder of Mashable questioned how the measurement of “active” was made, though acknowledging that “it probably means that users who’ve just created an account which sits idle for a long period of time aren’t included”.[293] The number of users continued to grow, reaching 250 million in July 2009,[294] 300 million in September 2009,[295] 400 million in February 2010,[296] and 500 million in July 2010.[42] According to the company’s data at the July 2010 announcement, half of the site’s membership used Facebook daily, for an average of 34 minutes, while 150 million users accessed the site by mobile. A company representative called the milestone a “quiet revolution.”[43]

Mark Zuckerberg announced to the media at the start of October 2012 that Facebook had passed the monthly active users mark of one billion.[77][297] The company’s data also revealed 600 million mobile users, 219 billion photo uploads, and 140 billion friend connections.[78] This continued to grow, reaching 1.19 billion monthly active users in October 2013,[298] 1.44 billion users in April 2015, of which 1.25 billion were mobile users,[299] 1.71 billion users in July 2016,[300] 1.94 billion users in March 2017,[301] and ultimately 2 billion users in June 2017.[302][303]

Early in 2015, it was reported that teenagers preferred competing web sites such as Instagram and Snapchat. The estimated number of teens leaving Facebook was a million per year.[304]

In November 2015, after skepticism about the accuracy of its “monthly active users” measurement, Facebook changed its definition of an “active user”, now defining it as a logged-in member who visits the Facebook site through the web browser or mobile app, or uses the Facebook Messenger app, in the last 30 days of the date of measurement. This excludes the use of third-party services with Facebook integration, which was previously counted.[305]

Statistics

According to analytics firm comScore, Facebook is the leading social networking site based on monthly unique visitors, having overtaken main competitor MySpace in April 2008.[308][309] comScore reported that Facebook attracted over 130 million unique visitors in May 2010, an increase of 8.6 million people.[310] According to third-party web analytics providers, Alexa and SimilarWeb, Facebook is ranked second and first globally respectively, it is the highest-read social network on the Web, with over 20 billion visitors per month, as of 2015.[311][312][313]SimilarWebQuantcast, and Compete.com all rank the website 2nd in the U.S. in traffic.[312][314][315] The website is the most popular for uploading photos, cumulatively with 50 billion uploaded.[316] In 2010, Sophos‘s “Security Threat Report 2010” polled over 500 firms, 60% of which responded that they believed Facebook was the social network that “posed the biggest threat to security,” well ahead of MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn.[280]

Facebook is the most popular social networking site in several English-speaking countries, including Canada,[317] the United Kingdom,[318] and the United States.[319][320][321] However, Facebook still receives limited adoption in countries such as Japan, where domestically created social networks are still largely preferred.[322] In regional Internet markets, penetration on Facebook is highest in North America (69 percent), followed by Middle East-Africa (67 percent), Latin America (58 percent), Europe (57 percent), and Asia-Pacific (17 percent).[323] Some of the top competitors were listed in 2007 by Mashable.[324]

Awards and recognition

The website has won awards such as placement into the “Top 100 Classic Websites” by PC Magazine in 2007,[325] and winning the “People’s Voice Award” from the Webby Awards in 2008.[326] In a 2006 study conducted by Student Monitor, a company specializing in research concerning the college student market, Facebook was named the “second most popular thing among undergraduates,” tied with beer and only ranked lower than the iPod.[327]

In 2010, Facebook won the Crunchie “Best Overall Startup Or Product” award[328] for the third year in a row.[329] However, in a July 2010 survey performed by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Facebook received a score of 64 out of 100, placing it in the bottom 5% of all private-sector companies in terms of customer satisfaction, alongside industries such as the IRS e-file system, airlines, and cable companies. The reasons why Facebook scored so poorly include privacy problems, frequent changes to the website’s interface, the results returned by the News Feed, and spam.[330]

In December 2008, the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory ruled that Facebook is a valid protocol to serve court notices to defendants. It is believed to be the world’s first legal judgement that defines a summons posted on Facebook as legally binding.[331] In March 2009, the New Zealand High Court associate justice David Gendall allowed for the serving of legal papers on Craig Axe by the company Axe Market Garden via Facebook.[332][333] Employers have also used Facebook as a means to keep tabs on their employees and have even been known to fire them over posts they have made.[334]

By 2005, the use of Facebook had already become so ubiquitous that the generic verb “facebooking” had come into use to describe the process of browsing others’ profiles or updating one’s own.[335] In 2008, Collins English Dictionary declared “Facebook” as its new Word of the Year.[336] In December 2009, the New Oxford American Dictionary declared its word of the year to be the verb “unfriend“, defined as “To remove someone as a ‘friend‘ on a social networking site such as Facebook.[337]

Criticisms and controversies

Graffiti in Berlin of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. The caption is a reference to George Orwell‘s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Facebook’s market dominance has led to international media coverage and significant reporting of its shortcomings. Notable issues include Internet privacy, such as its widespread use of a “like” button on third-party websites tracking users,[338][339] possible indefinite records of user information,[340] automatic facial recognition software,[341][342] and its role in the workplace, including employer-employee account disclosure.[343] In a 2014 Huffington Post blog article entitled “Facebook: The World’s Biggest Waste of Time?”, Bill Robinson stated that going on Facebook was not a productive use of time and he raised concerns about its addictive qualities.[344] Timothy A Pychyl wrote in Psychology Todayabout his concerns that Facebook is leading to “technological time wasting” and procrastination.[345]

The use of Facebook can have psychological effects, including feelings of jealousy[346][347] and stress,[348][349] a lack of attention,[350] and social media addiction, in some cases comparable to drug addiction.[351][352]

Facebook’s company tactics have also received prominent coverage, including electricity usage,[353] tax avoidance,[354] real-name user requirement policies,[355] censorship,[356][357] and its involvement in the United States PRISM surveillance program.[358]

Due to allowing users to publish material by themselves, Facebook has come under scrutiny for the amount of freedom it gives users, including copyright and intellectual property infringement,[359]hate speech,[360][361] incitement of rape[362] and terrorism,[363][364]fake news,[365][366][367] and crimes, murders and violent incidents live-streamed through its Facebook Live functionality.[368][369][370]

Facebook worked on special censorship software so it could potentially accommodate censorship demands in Communist-controlled China.[371]

The company has also been subject to multiple litigation cases over the years,[372][373][374][375] with its most prominent case concerning allegations that CEO Mark Zuckerberg broke an oral contract with Cameron WinklevossTyler Winklevoss, and Divya Narendra to build the then-named “HarvardConnection” social network in 2004, instead allegedly opting to steal the idea and code to launch Facebook months before HarvardConnection began.[376][377][378] The original lawsuit was eventually settled in 2009, with Facebook paying approximately $20 million in cash and 1.25 million shares.[379][380] A new lawsuit in 2011 was dismissed.[381]

On November 5, 2017, the Paradise Papers, a set of confidential electronic documents relating to offshore investment, revealed that Russian state organizations with ties to Vladimir Putin pursued between 2009 and 2011 large investments in Facebook and Twitter via an intermediary—Russian-American entrepreneur Yuri Milner, who befriended Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg[382] and was a business associate of Jared KushnerPresidentDonald Trump‘s son-in-law.[383]According to The Express Tribune, Facebook is among the corporations that “avoided billions of dollars in tax using offshore companies.”[384] A subsidiary of the Kremlin-controlled Gazprom funded an investment company that partnered with DST Global, an investment firm part of Mail.ru, to buy shares in Facebook, reaping millions when the social media giant went public in 2012. Four days after the Facebook IPO, a DST Global subsidiary sold more than 27 million shares of Facebook for roughly $1 billion.[385]

On March 6, 2018, BlackBerry sued Facebook and its Instagram and WhatsApp subdivision for ripping off key features of its messaging app.[386] According to BlackBerry, it invented the core concepts in mobile messaging app which were copied by Facebook and its subsidiaries.[387] According to the Facebook Deputy General Counsel, Paul Grewal, BlackBerry abandoned its effort to innovate and it is now looking to tax the innovation of others.[388]

Cambridge Analytica

In March 2018, whistleblowers revealed that personal information from over 50 million Facebook users was sold to Cambridge Analytica, a political data analysis firm that had worked for Donald Trump‘s presidential campaign. The data was collected using an app created by Global Science Research.[389] While approximate 270,000 people volunteered to use the app, Facebook’s API also permitted data collection from the friends of app users.[390] When the information was first reported Facebook tried to downplay the significance of the breach, and attempted to suggest that the stolen data was no longer available to Cambridge Analytica. However, with increasing scrutiny, Facebook issued a statement expressing alarm and suspended Cambridge Analytica, while review of documents and interviews with former Facebook employees suggested that Cambridge Analytica was still in possession of the data.[391] This is a violation of the consent decree entered into law by Facebook with the Federal Trade Commission, and violations of the consent decree could carry a penalty of $40,000 per violation, meaning that if news reports that the data of 50 million people were shared proves true, the company’s possible exposure runs into the trillions of dollars.[392]

According to The Guardian reporter Carole Cadwalladr who broke the story, both Facebook and Cambridge Analytica threatened to sue the newspaper if it published the story and continually tried to prevent its publication. After the story was published anyway, Facebook claimed that it had been “lied to”. Cadwalladr said that Facebook was trying to shift the blame onto a third party. Nick Thompson of Wired and CBS News pointed out that Cambridge Analytica obtained all the personal data without having to “breach” Facebook, and that “It didn’t work because somebody hacked in and broke stuff, it worked because Facebook has built the craziest most invasive advertising model in the history of the world and someone took advantage of it.”[393] On March 23, 2018, The British High Court granted an application by the Information Commissioner’s Office for a warrant to search Cambridge Analytica’s London offices ending a standoff between Facebook’s data team and the Information Commissioner over who is responsible for the forensic searching of the company’s servers.[394]

On March 25, Zuckerberg placed a newspaper ad in UK and US newspapers apologising over a “breach of trust”, newspapers included Sunday TelegraphSunday TimesMail on SundayObserverSunday Mirror and Sunday Express.[395]

You may have heard about a quiz app built by a university researcher that leaked Facebook data of millions of people in 2014. This was a breach of trust, and I’m sorry we didn’t do more at the time. We’re now taking steps to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

We’ve already stopped apps like this from getting so much information. Now we’re limiting the data apps get when you sign in using Facebook.

We’re also investigating every single app that had access to large amounts of data before we fixed this. We expect there are others. And when we find them, we will ban them and tell everyone affected.

Finally, we’ll remind you which apps you’ve give access to your information – so you can shut off the ones you don’t want anymore.

Thank you for believing in this community. I promise to do better for you.

On March 26, the Federal Trade Commission opened an investigation into Facebook regarding the use of its data by Cambridge Analytica.[396]

Public Apologies

In early March of 2018, a U.K. based newspaper called The Observer reported that a “political consultancy” known as Cambridge Analytica had been provided access to the “personal data” of approximately 50 million Americans by Facebook. On March 21, 2018 Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg issued the company’s first public statement since this information was publicly disclosed. However, another article was published on April 4th by Wired that reports a statement made by Facebook regarding the number of people affected. Mike Schroepfer – Facebook’s chief technology officer – disclosed that the amount is closer to 87 million via a blog post.[397] The earlier announcement discussed modification to the way that “third-party applications” could access data from Facebook.[398] An app downloaded by 270,000 people has been claimed to have led to the crisis. When users downloaded this app – called “thisisyourdigitallife” – information regarding the users’ preferred Facebook content as well as their “home town” could then be accessed by the app. This was than used to acquire similar information of the user’s contacts and continued to affect approximately 50 million people in total.[399] It has also been claimed that pre-existing policies around access to personal information of Facebook users by “third-party app developers” are foundational to the “crisis”.[400] The company has received significant backlash following the disclosure of the use of private data by other entities. This backlash has also taken the form of demands for legal accountability, including the opening of an investigation into the company by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.[401] Others such as Elon Musk, who has deleted his Facebook pages for SpaceX and Tesla, have publicly expressed their decision to terminate their use of the media platform for their purposes.[402]

According to a study done by Jeffery Child and Shawn Starcher in 2015, Facebook is a social media platform where “both known and unknown audiences can gain access to posted context, increasing the possibility for privacy breakdowns”.[403] The company has a history of making efforts of rapprochement for such privacy crises. Past apologies of Facebook started in 2009, when Facebook first launched their site worldwide. In the hopes of making it easier for users to share or keep their information private, the company ended up modifying the entire site and publicizing a subsequent apology for the situation.[404] For years, Facebook has been giving advertisers the option of having targeted ads based on data collecting companies like Acxiom Corp and Experian PLC.[401] In March 2016, Facebook first acknowledged that user data had been mishandled back in 2014 when a third-party app was linked back to Cambridge Analytica.[401] This was the same company that was hired by the 2016 presidential campaign of Donald Trump. The media platform has also been accessed by individuals in addition to corporate entities for varying purposes. The site has been used to determine the eligibility for students to be employed or charged with a form of retribution in some cases, based on what they share or post.[405]

In response to criticism and outrage, different media outlets were used by the company to issue a public apology. On March 25, 2018 U.K. newspapers The ObserverThe Sunday TimesMail on SundaySunday MirrorSunday Express and Sunday Telegraph contained full-page ads depicting a personal apology from Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. In the United States, The New York TimesThe Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal also contained the same page-length ads. In addition to the use of newspaper outlets, Mark Zuckerberg issued a verbal apology on CNN.[406] and took part in interviews with other news organizations such as Recode.[407] Zuckerberg has also made multiple other apologies over the course of the years regarding Facebook. In May of 2010, Zuckerberg issued a public apology over discrepancies in the privacy settings in The Washington Post via an Op-Ed article.[408] Similarly, the CEO has also made apologies via blog posts as well as through the Facebook platform itself.[408]

In an effort to earn back public trust, Facebook ended its partnerships with several data brokers who aid advertisers in targeting people on the social network.[401] The company has also adjusted the privacy settings again for its user base as well.[401] Previously, Facebook had its privacy settings spread out over 20 pages, and has now put all of its privacy settings on one page, which makes it harder for third-party apps to access the user’s personal information.[401] In addition to publicly apologizing, Facebook has said that it will be reviewing and auditing thousands of apps that display “suspicious activities” in an effort to ensure that this breach of privacy doesn’t happen again.[399] In a 2010 report regarding privacy, a research project stated that not a lot of information is available regarding the consequences of what people disclose online so often what is available are just reports made available through popular media.[409] In 2017, a former Facebook executive went on the record to discuss how social media platforms have contributed to the unraveling of the “fabric of society”.[410]

Impact

Facebook on the ad:tech 2010

Media impact

In April 2011, Facebook launched a new portal for marketers and creative agencies to help them develop brand promotions on Facebook.[411] The company began its push by inviting a select group of British advertising leaders to meet Facebook’s top executives at an “influencers’ summit” in February 2010. Facebook has now been involved in campaigns for True BloodAmerican Idol, and Top Gear.[412] News and media outlets such as The Washington Post,[413]Financial Times[414] and ABC News[415] have used aggregated Facebook fan data to create various infographics and charts to accompany their articles. In 2012, beauty pageant Miss Sri Lanka Online was run exclusively using Facebook.[416]

Economic impact

Facebook, Inc. has utilized growing internet markets using a social media platform to expand its user base while generating billions of dollars in revenue from Facebook’s companies. Through empirical findings, economists have been able to identify key areas where Facebook has been able to stimulate economic activity by offering a free public good in that one user will not reduce the amount available to another, while also generating positive externalities. Thus, mobile phone manufactures and carriers have been beneficiaries of Facebook’s spillover effect. Three distinct areas have been found to add the most economic impact: platform competition, the marketing place, and user behavior data.[417]

Facebook’s platform is efficient because it lowers barriers to entry and lowers costs for businesses to rapidly innovate new ideas. Scalability is accomplished with less wasted resources and monetized by collecting user behavior and usage data for targeted advertising. Facebook advertising allows firms to reasonably scale up operations to reach Facebook users. Facebook’s daily active users have increased 18% year-over-year[418] and burgeoning from 1 million users in 2004, to over 1.9 billion in 2017. Facebook is a leader among tech companies who continues to improve their carbon impact through more efficient data centers and clean renewable energy.[419]

By the end of 2016, Facebook’s total revenue earnings were $27.638 billion, gross profit was $23.849 billion and a net income for the year was $10.188 billion.[420]

Facebook provides a development platform for many social gaming, communication, feedback, review, and other applications related to online activities. This open platform of Facebook has spawned many new businesses and added thousands of jobs to the economy. Zynga Inc., a leading company in social gaming app development, is an example of those businesses. An econometric analysis studied the impact of Facebook on the economy in terms of the number of jobs created and the economic value of those jobs. The conservative estimate was that the app development platform of Facebook added more than 182,000 jobs in the U.S. economy in 2011. The total economic value of the added employment was about $12 billion.[421]

Social impact

Facebook has affected the social life and activity of people in various ways. Facebook allows people using computers or mobile phones to continuously stay in touch with friends, relatives and other acquaintances wherever they are in the world, as long as there is access to the Internet. It has reunited lost family members and friends.[422][423] It allows users to trade ideas, stay informed with local or global developments, and unite people with common interests and/or beliefs through open, closed and private groups and other pages.[424][425]

Facebook’s social impact has also changed how people communicate. Rather than having to reply to others through email, Facebook allows users to broadcast or share content to others, and thereby to engage others or be engaged with others’ posts.[426]

Facebook has been successful and more socially impactful than many other social media sites. David Kirkpatrick, technology journalist and author of The Facebook Effect, believes that Facebook is structured in a way that is not easily replaceable. He challenges users to consider how difficult it would be to move all the relationships and photos to an alternative. Facebook has let people participate in an atmosphere with the “over the backyard fence quality” of a small town, despite the move to larger cities.[427] As per Pew Research Centersurvey, 44 percent of the overall US population gets news through Facebook.[428]

Emotional health impact

Facebook, and social media in general, has received significant media coverage for negative emotional health impacts.[429][430][431][432][433] Studies have shown that Facebook causes negative effects on self-esteem by triggering feelings of envy, with vacation and holiday photos proving to be the largest resentment triggers. Other prevalent causes of envy include posts by friends about family happiness and images of physical beauty—such envious feelings leave people lonely and dissatisfied with their own lives. A joint study by two German universities discovered that one out of three people were more dissatisfied with their lives after visiting Facebook,[434][435] and another study by Utah Valley University found that college students felt worse about their own lives following an increase in the amount of time spent on Facebook.[435][436][437]

In a presentation by California State University psychology professor Larry D. Rosen, he notes that teenagers using Facebook exhibit more narcissistic tendencies, while young adults show signs of antisocial behavior, mania, and aggressiveness. However, he also found positive effects from Facebook use, including signs of “virtual empathy” towards online friends and helping introverted persons learn social skills.[438] He said that “While nobody can deny that Facebook has altered the landscape of social interaction, particularly among young people, we are just now starting to see solid psychological research demonstrating both the positives and the negatives”.[439]

In a blog post in December 2017, the company pointed to research that has shown “passively consuming” the News Feed, as in reading but not interacting, does indeed leave users with negative feelings afterwards, whereas interacting with messages points to improvements in well-being.[440]TechCrunch noted that CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said in a recent earnings call that “Time spent is not a goal by itself. We want the time people spend on Facebook to encourage meaningful social interactions”.[441]

Political impact

A man during the 2011 Egyptian protests carrying a card saying “Facebook,#jan25, The Egyptian Social Network”

In February 2008, a Facebook group called “One Million Voices Against FARC” organized an event in which hundreds of thousands of Colombians marched in protest against the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, better known as the FARC (from the group’s Spanish name).[442] In August 2010, one of North Korea‘s official government websites and the official news agency of the country, Uriminzokkiri, joined Facebook.[443]

During the Arab Spring many journalists made claims that Facebook played a major role in generating the 2011 Egyptian revolution.[444][445] On January 14, the Facebook page of “We are all khaled Said” was started by Wael Ghoniem Create Event to invite the Egyptian people to “peaceful demonstrations” on January 25. According to Mashable,[unreliable source?] in Tunisia and Egypt, Facebook became the primary tool for connecting all protesters and led the Egyptian government of Prime Minister Nazif to ban Facebook, Twitter and another websites on January 26[446] then ban all mobile and Internet connections for all of Egypt at midnight January 28. After 18 days, the uprising forced President Mubarak to resign.

In Bahrain uprising which started on February 14, 2011, Facebook was utilized by the Bahraini regime as well as regime loyalists to identify, capture and prosecute citizens involved in the protests. A 20-year-old woman named Ayat Al Qurmezi was identified as a protester using Facebook, taken from her home by masked commandos and put in prison.[447]

In 2011, Facebook filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission to form a political action committee under the name FB PAC.[448] In an email to The Hill, a spokesman for Facebook said “Facebook Political Action Committee will give our employees a way to make their voice heard in the political process by supporting candidates who share our goals of promoting the value of innovation to our economy while giving people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.”[449]

During the Syrian civil war, the YPG, a libertarian army for Rojava has recruited westerners through Facebook in its fight against ISIL.[450][451] Dozens have joined its ranks for various reasons from religious to ideological. The Facebook page’s name “The Lions of Rojava” comes from a Kurdish saying which translates as “A lion is a lion, whether it’s a female or a male”, reflecting the organization’s feminist ideology.[452]

United States

Facebook’s role in the American political process was demonstrated in January 2008, shortly before the New Hampshire primary, when Facebook teamed up with ABC and Saint Anselm College to allow users to give live feedback about the “back to back” January 5 Republican and Democratic debates.[453][454][455] Facebook users took part in debate groups on specific topics, voter registration, and message questions.[456]

Over a million people installed the Facebook application “US Politics on Facebook” in order to take part, and the application measured users’ responses to specific comments made by the debating candidates.[457] This debate showed the broader community what many young students had already experienced: Facebook as a popular and powerful new way to interact and voice opinions. A poll by CBS NewsUWIRE and The Chronicle of Higher Education claimed to illustrate how the “Facebook effect” has affected youth voting rates, support by youth of political candidates, and general involvement by the youth population in the 2008 election.[458]

The new social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, made use first of the personal computer and the Internet, and after 2010 of the smart phones to connect hundreds of millions of people, especially those under age 35. By 2008, politicians and interest groups were experimenting with systematic use of social media to spread their message among much larger audiences than they had previously reached.[459][460]

Facebook is having an impact on local government as well. Justin Smith, a Colorado sheriff uses Facebook to disseminate his ideas on matters relating to local, state, and national concerns. He also publicizes crimes, particularly those that his department solves. He has seven thousand followers on the social medium, considered a large number. Smith said that he rarely goes out in public “when I don’t get feedback from folks. … Facebook is an interesting tool because I think it holds candidates and elected officials more accountable. Voters know where someone stands.”[461]

According to the Investor’s Business Daily, “In 2012, the Obama campaign encouraged supporters to download an Obama 2012 Facebook app that, when activated, let the campaign collect Facebook data both on users and their friends.”[462] Carol Davidsen, the Obama for America (OFA) former director of integration and media analytics, wrote that “Facebook was surprised we were able to suck out the whole social graph, but they didn’t stop us once they realised that was what we were doing.”[463][464]

As American political strategists turn their attention to the 2016 presidential contest, they identify Facebook as an increasingly important advertising tool. Recent technical innovations have made possible more advanced divisions and subdivisions of the electorate. Most important, Facebook can now deliver video ads to small, highly targeted subsets. Television, by contrast, shows the same commercials to all viewers, and so cannot be precisely tailored.[465]

2016 United States elections

A Russian company bought more than $100,000 worth of Facebook ads during the 2016 presidential election.[466] Special Council Robert Mueller, contacted Facebook subsequently to the company’s disclosure that it sold ads to a Russian Spy Agency-linked company (Internet Research Agency), and the Menlo Park-based company has pledged full cooperation in Mueller’s investigation, and began with providing all information about the advertisement buys by the Russian government, including the identities of the individuals and companies who made the purchases.[467]The Daily Beast reports that Russia Used Facebook Events to Organize Anti-Immigrant Rallies on U.S. Soil.[468] Facebook has concluded that a 225,000-member anti-immigrant group that attempted to organize anti-Clinton rallies in Texas during the 2016 presidential campaign was “likely operated out of Russia,” Business Insider reports.[469] Russians also staged anti-Trump rallies in November 2016[470] and bought a Black Lives Matter Facebook ad during the 2016 campaign.[471]Pro-Publicaalso reported on how Facebook Enabled Advertisers to Reach ‘Jew Haters.’ Facebook enabled advertisers to direct their pitches to the news feeds of almost 2,300 people who expressed interest in the topics of “Jew hater,” “How to burn jews,” or, “History of ‘why jews ruin the world.’”[472]

As of mid-September 2017 Facebook still does not know the extent of Russia’s advertisement purchases during the 2016 election — or whether these unidentified ad buys are still on the site. A Facebook spokesman told CNN that there was “no sales support.” A company representative would not elaborate when asked by Business Insider if it plans to change its ad sales policy.[473]

The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook shared copies of ads and account information related to the Russian ad purchases on its platform with Robert Mueller that go beyond what it shared with Congress last week. Facebook’s unusual compliance was in response to Search Warrants issued by Mueller’s Federal Grand Jury.[474] The Financial Times reports that United States Senate Intelligence committee seeks further information about Russia links with Facebook, and are stepping up the pressure on Facebook as concerns rise about the role the social media network played in Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.[475] CNN reports that Facebook handed Russia-linked ads over to Mueller under search warrant.[476]

Congressional Committees have said Facebook is withholding key information that could illuminate the shape and extent of a Russian propaganda campaign aimed at tilting the U.S. presidential election.[477] The Financial Times reports US lawmakers with access to sensitive intelligence have expressed fears that Russia’s campaign to influence US politics via Facebook is continuing today even as American investigators probe Moscow’s use of social media in the 2016 election.[478]

‘Being Patriotic,’ a Facebook group uncovered by The Daily Beast, is the first evidence of suspected Russian provocateurs explicitly mobilizing Trump supporters in real life.[479]The Washington Post reports Russian operatives used Facebook ads to exploit divisions over black political activism and Muslims. The Russians took advantage of Facebook’s ability to simultaneously send contrary messages to different groups of users based on their political and demographic characteristics and also sought to sow discord among religious groups. Other ads highlighted support for Democrat Hillary Clinton among Muslim women. The ads suggest that Russian operatives worked off of evolving lists of racial, religious, political and economic themes. They used these to create pages, write posts and craft ads that would appear in user’s news feeds—with the apparent goal of appealing to one audience and alienating another.[480] Mark Zuckerberg responds to Trump, regrets he dismissed election concerns.[481]The Daily Beast reports Russians Impersonated Real American Muslims to Stir Chaos on Facebook and Instagram.[482]The Daily Beast reports that Mark Zuckerberg Blew Off Russian Troll Warnings Before the Attack on America.[483]

On November 5, 2017, The New York Times reported that Russian-American Billionaire Yuri Milner, who befriended Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg[484] had between 2009 and 2011 strong Kremlin backing for his investments in Facebook and Twitter.[485]

On March 17, 2018, The New York Times and The Observer of London reported the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica data breach in which Cambridge Analytica collected personal information from Facebook users as a basis of crafting political campaigns for whomever purchased their services. As a result, Facebook banned Cambridge Analytica from advertising on its platform.[486][487]The Guardian reported further that Facebook has known about this security breach for two years, but has done nothing to protect its users.[488]

Bans and censorship

In many countries the social networking sites and mobile apps have been blocked temporarily or permanently, including ChinaIran, and North KoreaFacebook has been banned by Syria,[489]China,[490] and Iran.[491]

Scientific impact

In January 2018, Facebook launched a new unit of time, the flick, equivalent to 1/705600000 of a second, exactly.[492][493]

In popular culture

Facebook parade float in San Francisco Pride 2014

See also

References

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

Story 2: Worried About Your Privacy Forget Facebook Worry About National Security Agency Having Most of Your Data And Spying on You? — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show 1056, April 4, 2018, Story 1: Commander in Chief Trump Orders National Guard To Secure The Mexican/United States Border in 2018 As Bush Did In 2006 and Obama in 2010 — Election Year Politics? — Enforce Immigration Law By Deporting All 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens in U.S. — Videos — Story 2: Trump Is Not A Target But Subject of Mueller Investigation — No Evidence of Criminal Conspiracy — Videos — Story 3: When Should 4,000+ U.S. Troops/Advisers Be Withdrawn From Syria and Iraq? When ISIS Is Destroyed — Videos

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Story 1: Commander in Chief Trump Orders National Guard To Secure The Mexican/United States Border in 2018 As Bush Did In 2006 and Obama in 2010 — Election Year Politics? — Enforce Immigration Law By Deporting All 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens in U.S. — Videos —

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Trump signs proclamation sending National Guard to Mexico border immediately

By Adam Shaw | Fox News

President Trump signed a proclamation Wednesday night to send the National Guard to the southern border immediately, a senior White House official told Fox News, in response to what the administration described as an “unacceptable” flow of drugs, criminal activity and illegal immigrants.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said at the White House press briefing that the signing would be done in conjunction with governors and that the administration hoped the deployment would begin “immediately.”

“Despite a number of steps this administration has taken…we continue to see unacceptable levels of illegal drugs, dangerous gang activity transnational criminal organizations and illegal immigration flow across our border,” she said.

“The president has directed that the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security work together with our governors to deploy our National Guard to our southwest border  to assist the border patrol,” she said. “The president will be signing a proclamation to that effect today.”

Details about what the National Guard would do and how many would be deployed and for how long were not immediately disclosed.

Under the George W. Bush administration, deploying the National Guard to the border cost $415 million dollars.

Nielsen pointed to what she described as increasing fraud and exploited loopholes among arrivals on the southern border, saying traffickers have been advertising that if migrants have children with them, then they are more likely to be released into the U.S. She also said that almost 50 percent of arriving aliens are from Central America.

“Traffickers and smugglers know that these individuals cannot under U.S. law be easily removed in an expeditious way back to their country of origin and so they exploit the loophole,” she said, adding that the ability to game the system acts as a magnet for more migrants.

She said that the administration has drafted legislation and will ask Congress to provide legal authority and resources to address the problem.

“We will not allow illegal immigration levels to become the norm,” she said. “More than 1,000 people a day, 300,000 a year violating our sovereignty as a nation will never be acceptable to this president.”

Trump had tweeted earlier Wednesday that he would “be taking strong action today” on the Mexico border, a day after he said that he wants to send the military to secure it until a wall is built.

Trump pledges to send U.S. military to the southern border until wall is built. Border Angels director Enrique Morones and Fox News contributor Monica Crowley debate on 'The Ingraham Angle.'

Arguing that the U.S. border laws “are very weak” compared to Mexico and Canada, he accused Democrats of wanting immigrants “to pour into our country unchecked.”

Former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush had deployed the National Guard to the border in response to security issues.

The Associated Press reported that the White House was considering a model similar to a Bush-era operation, where in 2006 6,000 National Guard troops were sent to assist the border patrol with non-law enforcement duties while additional border agents were hired and trained.

Trump’s recent focus on illegal immigration appeared to have been partly motivated by a caravan of more than 1,000 Central American migrants heading toward the U.S. border.

Trump had threatened to end the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and to cut foreign aid to countries such as Honduras, from where many of the migrants originate, if the caravan was not stopped.

Trump said Tuesday that he believes the caravan is being broken up after he had a conversation with Mexican officials.

Nielsen said on Tuesday that she had been advised by Mexican officials that “the caravan is dissipating” and that several hundred migrants had been repatriated.

“We will not accept the lawlessness of these types of efforts and those who choose to violate our laws, and those who conspire to assist others to violate our laws, will face criminal prosecution,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said. “The Department of Justice fully supports the efforts of the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security announced today to secure our border. I will soon be announcing additional Department of Justice initiatives to restore legality to the southern border.”

Fox News’ Brooke Singman, Serafin Gomez, Jennifer Griffin, Jake Gibson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2018/04/04/trump-to-sign-proclamation-sending-national-guard-to-border-immediately.html

 

 

A ‘people without borders’ is a people without democracy

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1039, February 26, 2018, Story 1: Democrat Schiff Memo Confirms Once Again The FBI and Department of Justice Mislead Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court By Failing To Disclose The Steele Dossier Was Not An Intelligence Report But Clinton Campaign and Democratic Party Paid For Opposition Research Used To Smear Candidate and President Elect Donald J. Trump — Clinton Obama Democrat Conspiracy Aided and Abetted By Big Lie Media — When Will The Criminal Conspirators Be Prosecuted? — Videos

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Story 1: Democrat Schiff Memo Confirms Once Again The FBI and Department of Justice Mislead Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court By Failing To Disclose The Steele Dossier Was Not An Intelligence Report But Clinton Campaign and Democratic Party Paid For Opposition Research Used To Smear Candidate and President Elect Donald J. Trump — Clinton Obama Democrat Conspiracy Aided and Abetted By Big Lie Media — When Will The Criminal Conspirators Be Prosecuted? — Videos

See the source image

Rep. Nunes on the future of the FISA court

Andrew McCarthy: The Schiff memo actually bolsters the Nunes memo – 2/26/18

Trey Gowdy reacts to Democrats’ rebuttal of Nunes memo

Nunes memo vs. Schiff memo: What to know

 

Democrat FISA memo is out! Dossier was likely used to get the warrant

Devin Nunes Speaks on ‘Just Released’ Schiff Memo at CPAC 2018

Adam Schiff On Devin Nunes and Dems Newly Released Memo, “Devin Nunes is a LlAR”

Carter Page reacts to Democrats’ memo on ‘Hannity’

Debate: Was the Democratic memo a game changer?

Bolton Gets It: ‘This Is The 1st Attempted Coup D’etat in America’s History’ …Who’s Behind It?

John Brennan faces scrutiny over anti-Trump dossier

Lionel and Dr. Jerome Corsi on #QAnon, #DeepState Despotism, Russian Indictments, #MKUltra and FBI

Andrew McCarthy: DOJ hired Mueller to lay case for Democrats to impeach Trump… 2/20/18

Hannity sick to death of the corrupt, dishonest, LIBERAL, fake news media 2/19/18

Dan Bongino: Adam Schiff is a snake

Former US attorney: FBI officials will likely face charges

Joe diGenova describes “Brazen Plot To Exonerate Hillary Clinton”

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

[youtube3=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQ944x9xugI]

Dems play political chess with Russia memo

Joe diGenova Big Trouble for FBI and DOJ

DiGenova: There was brazen plot to frame Trump

diGenova: HILLARY CLINTON COMMITTED CRIMES

/Shes a CROOKED GARBAGE Judge Napolitano TRASHES Hillary Clinton over Russian Deal

#MemoDay Precedes #HRC’s Ultimate Downfall: Watch the Sunday Morning Apologists Schiff Their Pants

Gingrich: Schiff trying to cover up a ‘terrible situation’

Analyzing Laura Ingraham’s exclusive Carter Page interview

Lionel Interviews Dr. Jerome Corsi on #QAnon, The Spy Carter Page, FISA Abuse, Treason and Sedition

Former US attorney: FBI officials will likely face charges

FISA memo the first of many?

Memo: Clinton associates fed info to Trump dossier author

Carter Page on the revelations from the Nunes memo

How Did Carter Page Go From FBI Undercover Employee (UCE) to FISA Title I Foreign Agent Spy?

Hannity: The FBI purposefully deceived a federal court

Debate over FISA memo continues

Alan Dershowitz reacts to the FISA memo release

 Angry Matt Gaetz Reacts to the FISA MEMO Details to the Press

What we’ve learned from the infamous FISA memo

Ben Shapiro reacts to FBI text messages involving Obama

Tucker: FISA memo likely played role in McCabe ‘removal’

The Schiff Memo Harms Democrats More Than It Helps Them

House Intelligence Committee member Rep. Adam Schiff (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

It confirms that the FBI and the DOJ relied heavily on uncorroborated, third-hand, anonymous sources in their FISA application.Maybe Adam Schiff has more of a sense of humor than I’d have given him credit for. The House Intelligence Committee’s ranking Democrat begins his long-awaited memo — the minority response to the Nunes memo that was penned by staffers of the committee’s Republican majority — by slamming Chairman Devin Nunes’s unconscionable “risk of public exposure of sensitive sources and methods for no legitimate purpose.” The Schiff memo, which has been delayed for weeks because the FBI objected to its gratuitous effort to publicize highly classified intelligence, including methods and sources, then proceeds to tell its tale through what appear to be scores of blacked-out redactions of information Schiff pushed to expose.

Heavy Reliance on Steele Dossier Confirmed
The FBI and the Justice Department heavily relied on the Steele dossier’s uncorroborated allegations. You know this is true because, notwithstanding the claim that “only narrow use” was made “of information from Steele’s sources,” the Democrats end up acknowledging that “only narrow use” actually means significant use — as in, the dossier was the sine qua non of the warrant application. The memo concedes that the FISA-warrant application relied on allegations by Steele’s anonymous Russian hearsay sources that:

Page met separately while in Russia with Igor Sechin, a close associate of Vladimir Putin and executive chairman of Roseneft, Russia’s state-owned oil company, and Igor Divyekin, a senior Kremlin official. Sechin allegedly discussed the prospect of future U.S.-Russia energy cooperation and “an associated move to lift Ukraine-related western sanctions against Russia.” Divyekin allegedly disclosed to Page that the Kremlin possessed compromising information on Clinton (“kompromat”) and noted the possibility of its being released to Candidate #1’s [i.e., Donald Trump’s] campaign. . . . This closely tracks what other Russian contacts were informing another Trump foreign policy adviser, George Papadopoulos.

This passage puts the lie to two of the main Democratic talking points:

1) This was obviously the most critical allegation against Page. The Democrats attempt to make much of Page’s trip to Moscow in July 2016, but the uncorroborated Sechin and Divyekin meetings, which Page credibly denies, are the aspect of the Moscow trip that suggested a nefarious Trump–Russia conspiracy. That’s what the investigation was about. Far from clandestine, the rest of Page’s trip was well publicized and apparently anodyne. And saliently — for reasons we’ll get to in due course — Page was clearly prepared to talk to the FBI about the trip if the Bureau wanted to know what he was up to.

It is the Steele dossier that alleges Page was engaged in arguably criminal activity. The Democrats point to nothing else that does.

Moreover, because Page was an American citizen, FISA law required that the FBI and the DOJ show not only that he was acting as an agent of a foreign power (Russia), but also that his “clandestine” activities on behalf of Russia were a likely violation of federal criminal law. (See FISA, Section 1801(b)(2)(A) through (E), Title 50, U.S. Code.) It is the Steele dossier that alleges Page was engaged in arguably criminal activity. The Democrats point to nothing else that does.

2) Democrats implausibly insist that what “launched” the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation was not Steele’s allegations but intelligence from Australia about George Papadopoulos’s contact with what Democrats elusively describe as “individuals linked to Russia.” As we learned when Papadopoulos pled guilty, though, it is anything but clear that these “individuals linked to Russia” had much in the way of links to Putin’s regime: London-based academic Joseph Mifsud, who is from Malta and apparently does not speak Russian; an unidentified woman who falsely pretended to be Putin’s niece; and Ivan Timofeev, a program director at a Russian-government-funded think tank.

Even if we assume for argument’s sake that these characters had solid regime connections — rather than that they were boasting to impress the credulous young Papadopoulos — they were patently not in the same league as Sechin, a Putin crony, and Divyekin, a highly placed regime official. And that, manifestly, is how the FBI and the DOJ saw the matter: They sought a FISA warrant on Page, not Papadopoulos. And, as the above-excerpted passage shows, they highlighted the Steele dossier’s sensational allegations about Page and then feebly tried to corroborate those allegations with some Papadopoulos information, not the other way around. (More on that when we get to Schiff’s notion of “corroboration.”)

Concealing the Dossier’s Clinton-Campaign Origins
Another major takeaway from the Schiff memo is that the FBI and the DOJ withheld from the FISA court the fact that Steele’s work was a project of the Clinton campaign. Naturally, the reader must ferret this admission out of a couple of dense paragraphs, in which Democrats risibly claim that the “DOJ was transparent with the Court about Steele’s sourcing.”

How’s this for transparency? The FISA warrant application says that Steele, referred to as “Source #1,” was “approached by” Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, referred to as “an identified U.S. person,” who

indicated to Source #1 that a U.S.-based law firm had hired the identified U.S. Person to conduct research regarding Candidate #1’s [i.e., Trump’s] ties to Russia. (The identified U.S. Person and Source #1 have a longstanding business relationship.) The identified U.S. Person hired Source #1 to conduct this research. The identified U.S. Person never advised Source #1 as to the motivation behind the research into Candidate #1’s ties to Russia. The FBI speculates that the identified U.S. Person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s campaign. [Emphasis in Schiff memo, p. 5]

The first thing to notice here is the epistemological contortions by which the DOJ rationalized concealing that the Clinton campaign and the DNC paid for Steele’s reporting. They ooze consciousness of guilt. If you have to go through these kinds of mental gymnastics to avoid disclosing something, it’s because you know that being “transparent” demands disclosing it.

Next, Schiff — again, hilariously enough to make you wonder if it’s done tongue-in-cheek — accuses Nunes of hypocrisy for condemning the omission of Mrs. Clinton’s name after having rebuked the Obama administration’s “unmasking” of American names. Of course, the two things have nothing to do with each other.

“Unmasking” refers to the revelation of American identities in intelligence reports. These are Americans who, though not targeted as foreign agents, are incidentally intercepted in surveillance. In marked contrast, we are talking here about a FISA warrant application, not an intelligence report. In a warrant application, it is the DOJ’s honorable practice, and the judiciary’s expectation, that the court must be informed about the material biases of the sources of the factual allegations that the DOJ claims amount to probable cause.

As the Democrats’ own excerpt from the FISA application illustrates, unmasking has nothing to do with it, because there is no need to use names at all: Note that Simpson is referred to as “an identified U.S. person”; Perkins-Coie is referred to as “a U.S.-based law firm.” The dispute here is not about the failure to use the words “Hillary Clinton.” They could have referred to “Candidate #2.”To state that “Candidate #2” had commissioned Steele’s research would have been just as easy and every bit as appropriate as the DOJ’s reference to a “Candidate #1,” who might have “ties to Russia.” Had DOJ done the former, it would not have “unmasked” Hillary Clinton any more than Donald Trump was unmasked by DOJ’s description of him as “Candidate #1”; but it would have been being “transparent” with the FISA court. By omitting any reference to Clinton, the DOJ was being the opposite of transparent.

Two other things to notice here.

1) The DOJ’s application asserted: “The identified U.S. Person never advised Source #1 as to the motivation behind the research into Candidate #1’s ties to Russia.” There is only one reason to include such a statement: The DOJ well understood that the implied biases in the process of compiling the dossier’s allegations, including Steele’s implied biases, were material to the FISA court’s evaluation. A prosecutor does not get to tell a judge reasons that a source’s reports should be thought free of bias while leaving out why they should not be thought free of bias. If you know it’s necessary to disclose that “identified U.S. person” Simpson was being paid by “a U.S.-based law firm” (Perkins-Coie), then it is at least equally necessary to disclose that, in turn, the law firm was being paid by its clients: the Clinton campaign and the DNC. To tell half the story is patently misleading.

2) Schiff comically highlights this DOJ assertion as if it were his home run, when it is in fact damning: “The FBI speculates that the identified U.S. Person was likely looking for information that could be used to discredit Candidate #1’s campaign.” This is the vague reference that Democrats and Trump critics laughably say was adequate disclosure of the dossier’s political motivation. But why would the FBI “speculate” that a political motive was “likely” involved when, in reality, the FBI well knew that a very specific political motive was precisely involved?

There was no reason for supposition here. If the FBI had transparently disclosed that the dossier was a product of the Clinton campaign — oh, sorry, didn’t mean to unmask; if the FBI had transparently disclosed that the dossier was a product of “Candidate #2’s” campaign — then the court would have been informed about the apodictic certainty that the people behind the dossier were trying to discredit the campaign of Candidate #2’s opponent. It is disingenuous to tell a judge that something is “likely” when, in fact, it is beyond any doubt.

The Issue Is the Credibility of Steele’s Informants, Not of Steele Himself
When the Justice Department seeks a warrant from a court, the credibility that matters is not that of the agent who has assembled the information from the informants; it is that of the informants who observe the fact matters that are claimed to be a basis for finding probable cause. That is, what mattered was the credibility of Steele’s anonymous Russian sources, not the credibility of Steele himself. By dwelling on the countless reasons why Schiff is wrong about the adequacy of the disclosure of Steele’s biases, I am falling into the trap I have warned against (here, and in section C here).

The FBI and the DOJ relied vicariously on Steele’s credibility, as a substitute for their failure to corroborate his informants’ information. It was improper to do this.

To be clear, the only reason Steele’s own biases have any pertinence is that the FBI and the DOJ relied vicariously on Steele’s credibility, as a substitute for their failure to corroborate his informants’ information. It was improper to do this. Yet even if a prosecutor goes down a certain road wrongly, the duty to be candid with the tribunal still applies. The prosecutor is obliged to tell the whole story about potential bias, not a skewed version.

Schiff’s memo struggles mightily, and futilely, to demonstrate that Steele’s credibility issues were sufficiently disclosed. But that is a side issue. The question is whether Steele’s informants were credible. To the limited extent that committee Democrats grapple with this problem, they tell us that, after the first FISA application, the FBI and the DOJ provided additional information that corroborated Steele’s informants. There are four problems with this:

1) It would not justify using uncorroborated allegations in the first warrant.

2) The supposedly corroborative information is blacked out; while that may be an appropriate protection of sensitive intelligence, we are still left having to take Schiff’s word for it.

3) Taking Schiff’s word for it would be unwise given his memo’s warped conception of “corroboration.” Recall the Schiff memo passage excerpted in the first section above. In the last part, the Democrats argue that the dossier claim that Page met with Kremlin official Divyekin was somehow corroborated because it “closely tracked” what Papadopoulos was hearing from his dubious “Russian contacts.” But the supposed “Russian contacts” were telling Papadopoulos that the Kremlin had thousands of Clinton-related emails. That did nothing to confirm Steele’s claim that Page had met with Divyekin, a top regime official; nor did it corroborate that the “kompromat” Divyekin referred to was the same thing as the emails that Papadopoulos’s “Russian contacts” were talking about. (Of course, it may well be that Page never actually met with Divyekin and that Papadopoulos’s sources were wrong about emails; if so, committee Democrats are in the strange position of contending that the non-existent can corroborate the non-existent.)

4) Most significantly, Democrats seem not to grasp that the flaw here lies not merely in the failure to corroborate the information from Steele’s sources. There appears not even to be corroboration that these sources existed — i.e., that they are real people whose claims are accurately reported. Indeed, it is worse than that. Even if we stipulate for argument’s sake that Steele’s anonymous Russian informants are authentic, they are generally hearsay witnesses, one or more steps removed from the events they relate. The real question, then, is whether the informants’ sources are real, identifiable, reliable informants. Based on what has been disclosed, we must assume that the FBI did not know. That is why the DOJ inappropriately tried to rely on Steele’s credibility.

The FBI Interviews of Carter Page
In the course of providing a skewed portrait of Carter Page’s background, the Schiff memo unintentionally highlights another deep flaw in the warrant application.

The memo limns Page as a master spy with disturbing “connections to Russian Government and Intelligence Officials” — which will be amusing to anyone who has seen an interview of Page, now a ubiquitous oddball media presence. What Democrats conveniently omit is that (a) Page cooperated with the FBI and Justice Department in a prior investigation in which his information was used to prosecute Russian spies; (b) the Russian spies explicitly regarded him as an “idiot” (and they had not even seen him on cable TV); and (c) since Russian operatives can be as diabolical and sophisticated as the Democrats suggest, they would have known that Page did not have the kind of relationship with Trump that would have made Page a suitable conduit for proposing traitorous deals — and as we’ve seen, the Russians had far better ways to approach Trump (e.g., the Kremlin-connected oligarch Aras Agalarov, who had a personal relationship with Trump and orchestrated the infamous June 2016 Trump Tower meeting).

The memo does note that “the FBI also interviewed Page multiple times about his Russian intelligence contacts.” Apparently, these interviews stretch back to 2013. The memo also lets slip that there was at least one more interview with Page in March 2016, before the counterintelligence investigation began. We must assume that Page was a truthful informant since his information was used in a prosecution against Russian spies and Page himself has never been accused of lying to the FBI.

Why didn’t the FBI call Page in for an interview rather than subject him to FISA surveillance? It is a requirement of FISA law.

So . . . here’s the question: When Steele brought the FBI his unverified allegations that Page had met with Sechin and Divyekin, why didn’t the FBI call Page in for an interview rather than subject him to FISA surveillance? Lest you wonder, this is not an instance of me second-guessing the Bureau with an investigative plan I think would have been better. It is a requirement of FISA law.

When the FBI and DOJ apply for a FISA warrant, they must convince the court that surveillance — a highly intrusive tactic by which the government monitors all of an American citizen’s electronic communications — is necessary because the foreign-intelligence information the government seeks “cannot reasonably be obtained by normal investigative techniques.” (See FISA, Section 1804(a)(6)(C) of Title 50, U.S. Code.) Normal investigative techniques include interviewing the subject. There are, of course, situations in which such alternative investigative techniques would inevitably fail — a mafia don or a jihadist is not likely to sit down with FBI agents and tell them everything he knows. But Carter Page was not only likely to do so, he had a documented history of providing information to the FBI.

It would be very interesting to see what the DOJ told the FISA court about why normal investigative techniques would not suffice to pry information from Page. They certainly seem to work fine for Fox News.

The Page Surveillance Enabled Interception of Past Communications
The Schiff memo repeats the canard that the Obama administration was not really spying on the Trump campaign because the DOJ waited until the Trump campaign cut ties with Page before seeking a surveillance warrant. What Democrats fail to mention is that the surveillance enabled the FBI to intercept not only his forward-going communications but also any stored emails and texts he might have had. Clearly, they were hoping to find a motherlode of campaign communications. Remember, Page was merely the vehicle for surveillance; the objective was to probe Trump ties to Russia.

The “Closely Held Investigative Team”
Schiff is determined to run with the implausible story that George Papadopoulos is the face that launched a thousand ships — that Papadopoulos’s boozy conversation with an Australian diplomat, not the Steele dossier’s allegations of a traitorous Trump–Russia conspiracy, was the true impetus for the counterintelligence investigation. Schiff maintains that the FBI was therefore not even paying attention to Steele until long after the Papadopoulos information came in. That is, even though the Bureau started receiving Steele’s reports in July 2016, they did not make their way to the FBI’s “closely held investigative team” for some seven weeks — i.e., until mid September. This team is described elsewhere (p. 3) in the Schiff memo as “the counterintelligence team investigating Russia at FBI headquarters.” Of course, by mid September, Steele and Fusion GPS were leaking Steele’s allegations to many favored reporters, so perhaps Schiff is saying that the “closely held investigative team” read about them in the news.

It is, in any event, a frivolous point. The fact that the Bureau administratively opened a case on Papadopoulos does not mean that much of anything was done on it. As we know, investigators did not even interview Papadopoulos until late January 2017, after Trump had already taken office and about six months after they received the info about Papadopoulos. By contrast, once the “closely held investigative team” got the Steele dossier, the FBI and the DOJ were at the FISA court’s doorstep tout de suite. And to repeat, they got a surveillance warrant for Page, not Papadopoulos.

Meantime, Schiff needs to make up his mind about the significance of the “closely held investigative team.” Near the end of the memo, he raps Nunes for pointing to the anti-Trump animus evident in the texts of FBI agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page. These Bureau officials are not important, Schiff says, because neither of them was the “affiant” on any of the FISA warrant applications.

But wait: Strzok and Page were part of the “closely held investigative team,” which Schiff has only just told us are the only FBI personnel who matter. Anyway, though he is wont to remind us every few minutes that he is a former prosecutor, Schiff seems unfamiliar with how investigations work. The affiant on a warrant application aggregates the information of many agents and informants. A warrant is a team effort, which I had thought was why Schiff stressed the “closely held investigative team.” And Page was a lawyer, not an agent, so though she would presumably not be the affiant on a warrant application, she may well have participated in the FBI’s legal review of the applications, which occurs both in-house and in consultation with Justice Department lawyers.

Four Different FISA-Court Judges
Schiff makes much of the fact that the four FISA warrants (the original authorization and three renewals, at 90-day intervals) were signed by four different FISA-court judges — all apparently appointed to the federal district courts by Republican presidents. This hardly commends the validity of the warrants.

In criminal surveillance orders, for example, it is common for prosecutors to bring renewal applications back to the same judge who authorized the original surveillance. That judge presumably knows the case better and is thus in a superior position to detect any irregularities. If FISA surveillance works differently, that would be another reason for critics to fear that the court is merely a rubber stamp. (For what it’s worth, I don’t share the view that the FISA court merely rubber-stamps applications. The process is a give-and-take one, and though the FISA court rarely rejects warrants, the DOJ does modify many warrants in response to the court’s concerns. Moreover, since surveillance of foreign threats to the U.S. is an executive responsibility, the court should approve them unless it appears that the FBI and the DOJ are abusing the process.)

In any event, the issue here is failure to disclose information to the court. If a judge was not made aware of material facts, the judge’s authorization of a warrant does not validate the derelict application. (That said, it is difficult to understand why judges would not be troubled by the lack of corroboration of Steele’s unidentified Russian hearsay informants.)

The Basis for Steele’s Termination as an FBI Informant

The FISA judges were not told that Steele had lied to the FBI about contacts with the press.

The Schiff memo is disingenuous in claiming that the warrant applications were forthright with the FISA court about the reasons for Steele’s termination as an FBI source. The Grassley-Graham memoexplains (as I’ve previously detailed) that the court was apparently told that Steele was dismissed over contacts with the press. The FISA judges were not told that Steele had lied to the FBI about contacts with the press.

Papadopoulos and the Clinton Emails
Committee Democrats misrepresent a significant fact derived from Special Counsel Mueller’s statement of Papadopoulos’s offense (filed when the latter pled guilty). The Schiff memo states

We would later learn in Papadopoulos’s plea that the information the Russians could assist by anonymously releasing were thousands of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

What we actually learned in Papadopoulos’s plea was that his dubious Russian sources had heard that the Kremlin had the emails. There is no indication that the Kremlin in fact had the emails; the Kremlin apparently provided no emails to Papadopoulos (or anyone else in Trump’s orbit); and there is no evidence that the “Russia-linked” people to whom Papadopoulos spoke knew what they were talking about — it is at least as plausible that they were playing Papadopoulos.

The Use of a Media Report to ‘Corroborate’ Steele
Committee Democrats make a highly unlikely claim about the DOJ’s controversial use in the FISA warrant applications of a Yahoo News report by journalist Michael Isikoff. The claim appears to be contradicted by both the aforementioned Grassley-Graham memo and by the Isikoff article itself.

Specifically, the Schiff memo denies the Republican claim that the DOJ tried to corroborate Steele’s allegations by relying on Isikoff’s media story, dated September 23, 2016. Rather, Schiff says the Isikoff report was mentioned for a righteous purpose: “to inform the Court of Page’s public denial of his suspected meetings in Russia” (with Sechin and Divyekin). The memo further claims that the FISA application cited another news story along these lines, but that the Nunes memo withheld this detail.

Schiff’s version has two problems.

1) While it is true (as noted above) that Page denies meeting Sechin and Divyekin, it is not true that this denial is reported in Isikoff’s article. Instead, Isikoff reported that Page “declined repeated requests to comment for this story.” He added that, while in Moscow in July 2016, “Page declined to say whether he was meeting with Russian officials during his trip” — not that he denied doing so. Isikoff, who is a superb reporter, also took pains to explain that it was merely “alleged” that Page had met with high-ranking Russians — that is, the meetings had not been confirmed. But there is nothing in Isikoff’s article about Page himself denying that they occurred. It is therefore hard to understand why the DOJ would, as Schiff suggests, include the article as a way of informing the court that Page denied the meetings.

2) Schiff’s version is contradicted by the Grassley-Graham memo, which quotes the FISA warrant application. Senators Charles Grassley and Lindsey Graham recount (memo, p. 3) that “the FISA applications note the existence of” Isikoff’s article, “which in particular contained some of the same dossier information about Mr. Page compiled by Mr. Steele and on which the FBI relied in its application.” The senators then quote from the FISA application, which said:

Given that the information contained in the September 23rd news article generally matches the information about Page that [Steele] discovered during his/her research, [two lines redacted.] The FBI does not believe that [Steele] directly provided this information to the press. [Brackets in original]

The senators’ memo strongly suggests that Nunes is right and Schiff is wrong: The Isikoff article was used precisely because, to quote the DOJ again, it “generally matched” Steele’s allegations about Page. In effect, the DOJ was using Steele to corroborate Steele.

Schiff’s Defense of Bruce Ohr
Schiff’s attack on the Nunes memo for referring to top Justice Department official Bruce Ohr’s connections with Steele is utterly unpersuasive — a “How dare you” argument that rests on Schiff’s description of Ohr as “a well-respected career professional.”

Republicans did not attack Ohr personally or belittle his law-enforcement credentials. To the contrary, the Nunes memo argued that because Ohr was a high-ranking official — the right-hand of Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, who was effectively running DOJ — it should have been disclosed to the court that (a) Ohr was meeting with Steele about the anti-Trump project; (b) Steele had told Ohr in September (i.e., before the first FISA application) that he “was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president”; and (c) Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, was a Russia expert at Fusion who was collaborating with Steele on the dossier. If Schiff thinks that is unreasonable, I expect most people will disagree.

Conclusion
In sum, the Schiff memo does more to harm than to advance the Democrats’ defense of the Obama administration and the use of the FISA process by the FBI and the DOJ.

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

Democrat’s FISA memo doesn’t refute GOP charges

 

Democrat's FISA memo doesn’t refute GOP charges
© Getty

For all the hype and breathless commentary by Democrat cheerleaders in the media, the memo released on Friday by the House Intelligence Committee Democrats fails to live up to its key claims.

  1. It provides no information to disprove the Republican claim that the Department of Justice and the FBI relied heavily on the phony Steele Trump-Russia “dossier” to obtain the first of four FISA search warrants against Trump volunteer, Carter Page.
  2. It fails to establish that DoJ and the FBI properly informed the FISA court that the fake Steele dossier had been commissioned and paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign.
  3. It fails to counter the GOP claim that FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe admitted to the House Intelligence committee during his closed-door testimony on December 19, 2017 that without the dossier, the government never could have obtained a FISA court warrant to spy on U.S. citizen Carter Page.

And yet, the Democrats claim they accomplished all three in their 10 page counter-memo. They do so by throwing sand in the eyes of the American people, misrepresenting the facts and introducing alternate facts in an effort at misdirection.

For example, right on the first page, the Democrat memo introduces the first of a series of straw man arguments.“Christopher Steele’s raw intelligence reporting did not inform the FBI’s decision to initiate its counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016,” the Democrats claim.

But that’s not what the Nunes memo alleged. The original Republican memo focused almost exclusively on the procedures employed by the FBI and DoJ to obtain four FISA court warrants to spy on an American citizen, Carter Page. On page 4 of their memo, the GOP authors state that the initial FISA application “also mentions information regarding fellow Trump campaign advisor George Papadopoulos,” and that this information “triggered the opening of an FBI counterintelligence investigation in late July 2016 by FBI agent Peter Strzok.”

The Democrat memo uses heavy brush strokes to paint a picture of Carter Page as a likely Russian spy, noting that he “resided in Moscow from 2004-2007 and pursued business deals with Russia’s state-owned energy company Gazprom,” and that a “Russian intelligence officer (redacted) targeted Page for recruitment.”

Continuing in this vein, the Democrats note that in 2013, federal prosecutors “indicted three other Russian spies, two of whom targeted Page for recruitment,” and then give a dripping report of  “Page’s suspicious activity during the 2016 campaign.”

Frankly, if I were Carter Page I would consider suing Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Mass.), the Democrat ranking member of the House intelligence committee responsible for this scurrilous screed, for defamation.

The amount of misleading information about Page contained in these pages is extraordinary and amounts to character assassination.

For example, federal prosecutors have stated on the record that Page willingly came to the FBI in 2013 when individuals he suspected of working for Russian intelligence tried to recruit him at an energy conference.

Page’s willingness to work with federal law enforcement against suspected Russia agents in the United States led to a federal sealed indictment against three of those agents in January 2015. Page acknowledged his role in that case in 2017 interview with Buzzfeed.

The intent of the Democrats through these heady allegations is to focus attention on Carter Page, so we forget about the Steele dossier, which was the subject of the Nunes memo they claim to be “refuting.”

The Democrats next claim that DoJ “repeatedly informed the (FISA) Court about Steele’s background, credibility, and potential bias.”

The Nunes memo only differs with them on that final point, Steele’s bias. And this is precisely where DoJ and the FBI misled the FISA court.

“DoJ in fact informed the Court accurately that Steele was hired by politically-motivated U.S. persons and entities and that his research appeared intended for use ‘to discredit’ Trump’s campaign,” the Democrats assert.

That is true, and the Nunes memo never claims the contrary. But that is a far cry from telling the FISA judges that the Steele dossier was bought and paid for by the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign.

At the time of the FISA court application, in October 2016, Donald Trumphad enemies all across the political spectrum, so to inform the court that one of these sources had hired Steele would not have come as a surprise. But the fact Steele was hired by the DNC? Nowhere did that information appear in the FISA Court application, a fact that the Democrat memo does not — and cannot — deny.

Democrats were quick to claim that the Nunes memo misrepresented the Dec. 19, 2017 testimony by deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe before the Committee, and that McCabe never told them that without the Steele dossier, the FBI and DoJ could never have gotten the FISA warrants on Carter Page.

While McCabe is mentioned several times in the latest Democrat memo, its authors are presumably careful not to challenge a fact that could be corroborated in the transcript of McCabe’s testimony, which both Republicans and Democrats have now seen. Without the Steele dossier, McCabe said, FBI and DoJ could never have gotten the FISA warrant; indeed, an earlier effort without the dossier, failed. The Democratic memo doesn’t challenge this fact

The original Nunes memo revealed the scandalous politicization of our intelligence community in its efforts to mislead the American public with phony tales of Trump-Russia collusion. The Democrats memo just continues this politicization.

The intelligence community should not be in the business of peddling a narrative to the American people, let alone investigating the political opponents of the party in power.

That is the real story we have not gotten to the bottom of yet.

Kenneth R. Timmerman was the 2012 Republican Congressional nominee for MD-8 and is the author of “Deception: The Making of the YouTube Video Hillary & Obama Blamed for Benghazi,” published by Post Hill Press.

http://thehill.com/opinion/white-house/375560-democrats-fisa-memo-doesnt-refute-gop-charges

Carter Page

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Carter Page
Carter Page MSNBC June 2017 YouTube.png
Born Carter William Page
June 3, 1971 (age 46)
MinneapolisMinnesota, U.S.
Education United States Naval Academy(BS)
Georgetown University (MA)
New York University (MBA)
University of London (PhD)
Occupation Investment banker
foreign policy analyst
Political party Republican

Carter William Page (born June 3, 1971) is an American petroleum industry consultant and former foreign-policy adviser to Donald Trump during his 2016 Presidential election campaign.[1] Page is the founder and managing partner of Global Energy Capital, a one-man investment fund and consulting firm specializing in the Russian and Central Asian oil and gas business.[2][3][4] He has been a focus of the 2017 Special Counsel investigation into links between Trump associates and Russian officials and Russian interference on behalf of Trump during the 2016 Presidential election.[2]

Life and career

Carter Page was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on June 3, 1971,[5] the son of Allan Robert Page and Rachel (Greenstein) Page.[6][7] His father was from Galway, New York and his mother was from Minneapolis.[8] His father was a manager and executive with the Central Hudson Gas & Electric Company.[9] Page was raised in Poughkeepsie, New York, and graduated from Poughkeepsie’s Our Lady of Lourdes High School in 1989.[6]

Page graduated in 1993 from the United States Naval Academy; he was a Distinguished Graduate (top 10% of his class) and was chosen for the Navy’s Trident Scholar program, which gives selected officers the opportunity for independent academic research and study.[10][11][12] During his senior year at the Naval Academy, he worked in the office of Les Aspin as a researcher for the House Armed Services Committee.[13] He served in the U.S. Navy for five years, including a tour in western Morocco as an intelligence officer for a United Nations peacekeeping mission.[13] In 1994, he completed a Master of Arts degree in National Security Studies at Georgetown University.[13]

Education and business

After leaving the Navy, Page completed a fellowship at the Council on Foreign Relations and in 2001 he received a Master of Business Administration degree from New York University.[10][14] In 2000, he began work as an investment banker with Merrill Lynch in the firm’s London office, was a vice president in the company’s Moscow office,[3] and later served as COO for Merrill Lynch’s energy and power department in New York.[11] Page has stated that he worked on transactions involving Gazprom and other leading Russian energy companies. According to business people interviewed by Politico in 2016, Page’s work in Moscow was at a subordinate level, and he himself remained largely unknown to decision-makers.[3]

After leaving Merrill Lynch in 2008, Page founded his own investment fund, Global Energy Capital with partner James Richard and a former mid-level Gazprom executive, Sergei Yatsenko.[3][15] The fund operates out of a Manhattan co-working space shared with a booking agency for wedding bands, and as of late 2017, Page was the firm’s sole employee.[2] Other businesspeople working in the Russian energy sector said in 2016 that the fund had yet to actually realize a project.[2][3]

Page received his Ph.D. in 2012 from SOAS, University of London, where he was supervised by Shirin Akiner.[2][10] His doctoral dissertation on the transition of Asian countries from communism to capitalism was rejected twice before ultimately being accepted by new examiners. One of his original examiners later said Page “knew next to nothing” about the subject matter and was unfamiliar with “basic concepts” such as Marxism and state capitalism.[16] He sought unsuccessfully to publish his dissertation as a book; a reviewer described it as “very analytically confused, just throwing a lot of stuff out there without any real kind of argument.”[2] Page blamed the rejection on anti-Russian and anti-American bias.[16] He later ran an international affairs program at Bard College and taught a course on energy and politics at New York University.[17][18]

In more recent years Page has written columns in Global Policy Journal, a publication of Durham University in the UK.[3]

Foreign policy and links to Russia

In 1998, Page joined the Eurasia Group, a strategy consulting firm, but left three months later. In 2017, Eurasia Group president Ian Bremmer recalled on his Twitter feed that Page’s strong pro-Russian stance was “not a good fit” for the firm and that Page was its “most wackadoodle” alumnus.[19] Stephen Sestanovich later described Page’s foreign-policy views as having “an edgy Putinist resentment” and a sympathy to Russian leader Vladimir Putin‘s criticisms of the United States.[2] Over time, Page became increasingly critical of United States foreign policy toward Russia, and more supportive of Putin, with a United States official describing Page as “a brazen apologist for anything Moscow did”.[4] Page is frequently quoted by Russian state television, where he is presented as a “famous American economist”.[3] In 2013, Russian intelligence operatives attempted to recruit Page, and one described him as enthusiastic about business opportunities in Russia but an “idiot”.[2][20] News accounts in 2017 indicated that because of these ties to Russia, Page had been the subject of a warrant pursuant to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in 2014, at least two years earlier than was indicated in the stories concerning his role in the 2016 Presidential campaign of Donald Trump.[21][22]

Trump 2016 presidential campaign

Page served as a foreign policy adviser in Donald Trump‘s 2016 Presidential campaign.[23] In September 2016, U.S. intelligence officials investigated alleged contacts between Page and Russian officials subject to U.S. sanctions, including Igor Sechin, the president of state-run Russian oil conglomerate Rosneft.[4] After news reports began to appear describing Page’s links to Russia and Putin’s government, Page stepped down from his role in the Trump campaign.[1][24]

Shortly after Page resigned from the Trump campaign, the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained another warrant (he was subject to one in 2014) from the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) in October 2016 to surveil Page’s communications.[25] To issue the warrant, a federal judge concluded there was probable cause to believe that Page was a foreign agent knowingly engaging in clandestine intelligence for the Russian government.[26] Page was the only American who was directly targeted with a FISA warrant in 2016 as part of the Russia probe, and the initial 90-day warrant was subsequently renewed at least three times.[27]

In January 2017, Page’s name appeared repeatedly in the “Steele dossier” containing allegations of close interactions between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.[28][29][30][31] By the end of January 2017, Page was under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the Director of National Intelligence, and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network.[32] Page has not been accused of any wrongdoing.[33]

The Trump Administration attempted to distance itself from Page, saying that he had never met Mr. Trump or advised him about anything,[2] but a December 2016 Page press conference in Russia contradicts the claim that Page and Trump never met.[34] Page responded to a question on that topic with the reply “I’ve certainly been in a number of meetings with him and I’ve learned a tremendous amount from him.”[35] According to Page’s testimony before the intelligence committee, Page kept senior officials in the Trump campaign, such as Corey LewandowskiHope Hicks and JD Gordon, informed about his contacts with the Russians.[36]

In October 2017, Page said he would not cooperate with requests to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee and would assert his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.[37] He said this was because they were requesting documents dating back to 2010, and he did not want to be caught in a “perjury trap“. He expressed the wish to testify before the committee in an open setting.[38]

House Intelligence Committee testimony

On November 2, 2017, Page testified[39] to the House Intelligence Committee that he had informed Jeff SessionsCorey LewandowskiHope Hicks and other Trump campaign officials that he was traveling to Russia to give a speech in July 2016.[40][41][42]

Page testified that he had met with Russian government officials during this trip and had sent a post-meeting report via email to members of the Trump campaign.[43] He also indicated that campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis had asked him to sign a non-disclosure agreement about his trip.[44] Elements of Page’s testimony contradicted prior claims by Trump, Sessions, and others in the Trump administration.[40][43][45][46] Lewandowski, who had previously denied knowing Page or meeting him during the campaign, said after Page’s testimony that his memory was refreshed and acknowledged that he had been aware of Page’s trip to Russia.[47]

Page also testified that after delivering a commencement speech at the New Economic School in Moscow, he spoke briefly with one of the people in attendance, Arkady Dvorkovich, a Deputy Prime Minister in Dmitry Medvedev‘s cabinet, contradicting his previous statements not to have spoken to anyone connected with the Russian government.[48] In addition, while Page denied a meeting with Sechin as alleged in the Trump–Russia dossier, he did say he met with Andrey Baranov, Rosneft‘s head of investor relations.[49] The dossier alleges that Sechin offered Page a deal for Trump of a 19% privatized stake (ca. $11 billion) in Rosneft oil company in exchange for Trump lifting the sanctions imposed on Russia[50][51] after his election. It is also alleged that Page confirmed, on Trump’s “full authority”, that this was Trump’s intent.[52][53][54][49][55][56] Page testified that he did not “directly” express support for lifting the sanctions during the meeting with Baranov, but that he might have mentioned the proposed Rosneft transaction.[49]

See also

References

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

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Story 1: President Trump Unplugged At CPAC 2018 (Conservative Political Action Committee) — Conservatives Chant Lock Her Up — President Trump Delivers Remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference — Bald Bold Beautiful Barrier — Videos

President Donald Trump speaks at CPAC

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Sean Hannity 2/21/18 | Sean Hannity Fire Up CPAC 2018

 

Read the full text of Trump’s CPAC speech

The president used an old story about a snake to talk about immigrants in America.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Donald Trump delivered a speech Friday morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Here is a full rush transcript of his remarks.


Thank you, everybody. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, Matt, for that great introduction. And thank you for this big crowd. This is incredible. Really incredible. We have all come a long way together. We have come a long way together.

I’m thrilled to be back at CPAC, with so many of my wonderful friends and amazing supporters and proud conservatives. Remember when I first started running? Because I wasn’t a politician, fortunately, but do you remember I started running and people said, are you sure he’s a conservative? I think I proved I’m a conservative.

For more than four decades, this event has served as a forum for our nation’s top leaders, activists, writers, and thinkers.

Year after year, leaders have stood on this stage to discuss what we can do together to protect our heritage, to promote our culture, and to defend our freedom. CPAC has always been about big ideas, and it has also been about putting those ideas into action — and CPAC really has put a lot of ideas into action. We’ll talk about some of them this morning.

For the last year with your help, we have put more great conservative ideas into use than perhaps ever before in American history. What a nice picture that is. Look at that. I would love to watch that guy speak. Oh, boy. Oh, I try like hell to hide that bald spot, folks. I work hard at it. Doesn’t look bad. Hey, we’re hanging in. We’re hanging in. We’re hanging in there, right? Together we’re hanging in. We have confirmed a record number, so important, of circuit court judges and we’re going to be putting in a lot more.

And they will interpret the law as written and we have confirmed an incredible new Supreme Court justice, a great man, Neil Gorsuch. Right. We have passed massive, biggest in history, tax cuts and reforms. I don’t use the word reform, there was a lot of reform too, very positive — I don’t use it. And when we were first doing it I told everybody, everybody gathered, I said, just talk about tax cuts. People don’t know what reform means. They think reform might mean it is going up. And I said, do tax cuts.

Thank you. How did he get in here, Matt? Boy. Okay. Just for the media, the fake news back there, they took very good care of him. They were very gentle. He was very obnoxious. It was only one person. So we have thousands of people here. So, listen, tomorrow the headline will be protesters disturb the Trump — one person, folks. Doesn’t deserve a mention. Doesn’t deserve a headline. The headline tomorrow, disrupters of CPAC. One person. And he was very nice. We looked at him, he immediately left. Okay. Now, I’ve heard it too often.

You’ll have one person and you can hardly even hear. The biggest disturbance are you people. You know why? He’ll say something, nobody hears him, because — and then the crowd will start screaming at him and then all of a sudden we start — and that’s okay. You have to show your spirit, right? You have to show your spirit. It is true.

So we passed the biggest tax cuts in the history of our country and it was called tax cut and reform. And I said to our people, don’t use the word reform. Because we’re going to go with the tax reform act. I said no wonder for 45 years nothing has been passed. Because people want tax cuts. And they don’t know what reform means. Reform can mean you’re going to pay more tax.

So I convinced politicians who have done this all their lives, and they do a great job in many cases, this is — the tax reform act of whatever year we want to put, okay. So they have the tax reform act and that was it. And now it was called the tax act tax cut act and jobs, we had to add jobs into it, because we’re picking up a tremendous number of jobs. 2.7 million jobs. 2.7. So now people hear tax cuts, and it has been popular.

Remember, it started off a little slow. Then it got passed. We had some great help. I will say we had some great help in the Senate, and the House, we have guys here today, we have a lot of Congressmen, we have a lot of senators, we had a lot of help, and we got it passed, just — it was not easy.

We didn’t have one Democrat vote and I think that’s going to cost them in the midterms. I know that whoever wins the presidency has a disadvantage for whatever reason in the midterms. You know what happens? I’m trying to figure it out. Historically, if you win the presidency, you don’t do well two years later. And you know what, we can’t let that happen and I know what happens. Finally figured it out. Nobody has been able to explain it. It just happens.

Statistically, almost all of the time, for many years, what happens is you fight so hard to win the presidency. You fight, fight, fight. And now only two years, that’s a very short period and by the time you start campaigning, it is a year. And now you got to go and fight again. But you just won. So nobody has that same drive that they had. So you end up not doing that well, because the other side is going — they’re crazed, and, by the way, they’re crazed anyway, these people. They are really crazed. Right.

So I kept trying to say, why is this? But it is just there. So the great enthusiasm, you know, you’re sitting back, you’re watching television, maybe I don’t have to vote today, we just won the presidency, and then we get clobbered and we can’t let that happen. We get clobbered in ’18, and we can’t let that happen. Only because we are so happy, we pass so many things, honestly, and I’ll say — I’ll use the word, my administration as opposed to me, my administration, I think, has had the most successful first year in the history of the presidency.

I really believe that. I really believe it. I really believe it. So, I mean, judges, regulations, everything. And the beautiful thing, the beautiful thing about the tax cuts is nobody thought we could do it. Again, we had to get 100 percent of our vote. And nobody thought we could do it. And, frankly, to me, we got it, and it turned out to be one of the most popular things, and, by the way, for the Republicans in this room, of which I assume — would you say — is it 99 percent, Matt, or 100 percent? I would hope it is close to — you know what? We probably have some Democrats that want to come over.

We have a great governor from West Virginia that left the Democratic Party, big Jim, and he came over to the Republican Party. So people are sitting there, and they’re saying, we just had that great victory. Let’s in the vote, let’s go to a movie, the Republican Party, we’re going to do great, and then they end up losing. So you got to keep up the enthusiasm.

Now what happens, by the way, they lose, and then you have the presidential election coming up again, and you clobber them because everybody gets off their ass and they get out and they work. Right. And they work. And they work and work and work. And you end up winning the presidency again. And we should do that, hopefully, we’re going to do that very easily. But never, never — we have to worry, right now we have a big race coming up, you have to get out, you have to get that enthusiasm, keep it going.

See the word really is complacent. People get complacent. It is a natural instinct. You just won, and now you’re happy and you’re complacent. Don’t be complacent. Don’t be complacent. If they get in, they will repeal your tax cuts, they will put judges in that you wouldn’t believe, they’ll take away your Second Amendment, which we will never allow to happen, they’ll take away your Second Amendment. Remember that. They will take away — thank you.

They will take away those massive tax cuts, and they will take away your Second Amendment. By the way, if you only had a choice of one, what would you rather have, the second amendment or tax cuts? Second Amendment, tax cuts? Second Amendment? I’m going to leave it at the Second Amendment. I don’t want to get into that battle. All right.

We’re going to say you want — Matt, we’re going to say you want the Second Amendment the most. We’re going to get them all. And, remember this, remember this, we have gotten, you know, somebody got on television recently and said, actually, this is the first time I can remember, Trump made campaign promises. He may be the only person that actually fulfilled more promises that he made. I think that’s true. I fulfilled more promises. But we have a very crooked media. We had a crooked candidate too, by the way. But we have — we have a very — we have a very, very crooked media.

I will say this, folks, everything that is turning out now, it is amazing, it has come full circle, boy, have they committed a lot of atrocities when you look. When you look. Have they done things that are wrong?

But remember this, not only did we get the tax cuts, which everybody said we wouldn’t get, and, by the way, repealed in that tax cut the individual mandate, which is tremendous. This is where you’re forced to pay in order not to have health care. Is that great? You pay for the privilege of not having health care. So you subsidize lots of other people. That’s gone. I know people came up to me with tears in their eyes and saying, I’m forced to pay not to have health care. Very unfair.

And, by the way, we’re having tremendous plans coming out now, health care plans, at a fraction of the cost that are much better than Obamacare. And except for one senator, who came into a room at 3:00 in the morning, and went like that [thumbs down], we would have had health care, too. We would have had health care too. Think of that.

But I think we may be better off the way we’re doing it. Piece by piece by piece, Obamacare is just being wiped out. The individual mandate essentially wipes it out. I think we may be better off. And people are getting great health care plans and we’re not finished yet. But, remember, one person walked into a room, when he was supposed to go this way, and he said he was going this way, and he walked in and he went this way and everyone said, what happened? What was that all about? Boy, oh, boy, who was that? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t want to be controversial, so I won’t use his name. Okay. What a mess.

But, it is all happening anyway. It is all happening anyway. And we’ve, at the same time, eliminated a record number of job-killing regulations and people are going back to work. Alright. People are going back to work. So, you know, the fake news always — if I say something a little off, next day headline, he misrepresented — I have to be careful. But in the history of presidents, no president, and I’m saying no president, maybe they’ll find if I was off by two, but we’re here one year, no president, I read it in lots of good papers, actually, but they’ll change the story when I say it. No president has ever cut so many regulations in their entire term. Okay. As we have cut in less than a year. And it is my opinion that the regulations had as big an impact as these massive tax cuts that we have given. So I really believe it.

We have ended the war on American energy, we were in war. And we have ended the war on beautiful, clean, coal, one of our great natural resources. Very important for our defense, coal, very important for our defense, because we have it. We don’t have to send it through pipes, we don’t have to get it from foreign countries. We have more than anybody. And they wanted to end it, and our miners have been mistreated and are not being mistreated anymore. We’re doing tremendous business.

I was in Vietnam and the Prime Minister and the President of Vietnam were there. And we have a massive deficit with them like we do with everybody else because these presidents have just let it go to hell. We have the worst trade deals you’ve ever seen. So we’re changing it. So I said, we have too big a deficit with Vietnam, I’m not happy. He said, well, but we’re going to — I said my call. My call. He said, we have bought coal from West Virginia and other places, and it is the finest coal we have ever used, it is interesting. And West Virginia is doing great. You look at what is happening in West Virginia. You look at what’s happening in Pennsylvania. You look at what’s happening in Ohio. And you look at what’s happening in Wyoming. You look at what’s happening all over. It is like a different world.

And, remember this, virtually as soon as I got into office, we approved the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipelines which never would have been approved. And we announced our withdrawal from the totally disastrous job-killing, wealth-knocking out, you know, it knocked out our wealth, or it would have, they basically wanted to take our wealth away. They didn’t want us to use our wealth power. We knocked out the Paris Climate Accord. Would have been a disaster. Would have been a disaster for our country.

You know, basically it said you have a lot of oil and gas that we found, you know, technology has been amazing. And we found things that we never knew. But we have massive, just about the top in the world, we have massive energy reserves, we have coal, we have so much. And basically they said you can’t use it.

What it does is it makes us uncompetitive with other countries. It is not going to happen. I told him. Not going to happen. And, you know, China, their agreement didn’t kick in until 2030. Right. Our agreement kicks in immediately. Russia, they’re allowed to go back into the 1990s which was not a clean environmental time. Other countries, big countries, India, and others, we had to pay because they considered them a growing country. They were a growing country. I said, what are we, are we allowed to grow too? Are we allowed to grow? They called India a developing nation. They called China a developing nation. But the United States, we’re developed, we can pay.

So, folks, if you don’t mind, I’ll tell you what, it is amazing how many people understood the Paris accord because it sounds so good. It is like some of the environmental regulations that I cut. They have the most beautiful titles. And sometimes that’s — look, I’m going to close my eyes and sign this, because, you know what, I’m going to get killed on this one. I get so much thanks. The country knows what I’m doing.

We couldn’t build, we couldn’t farm. If you had a puddle on your land, they called it a lake for the purposes of environmentals. It is crazy. It is crazy. And I signed certain bills, I would have farmers behind me and have house builders, home builders behind me. And these are tough people. Strong people. They fought hard. They worked all their lives hard. And half of them would be crying. Because we gave them their property back. We gave them the right to earn a living. They couldn’t do it.

They couldn’t do what they had to do. We gave them their property back, we gave them their dignity back.

By the way, you don’t mind if I go off script a little bit? It is sort of boring. It is a little boring. Beautiful speech, everything is wonderful. But a little boring. We have to, you know — but we gave them their dignity back. And that’s why our country is doing record business. We’re doing record business. We’re doing business and you have to look at the fundamentals. Companies are pouring back into this country, pouring back. Not like — when did you hear about car companies coming back into Michigan and coming to Ohio and expanding? When do you — you never heard that. You hear they’re leaving.

I’ve been talking about it for 20 years. I was a private sector guy. For whatever reason, I always had these guys, always covered me much more than anybody else. I always got a lot of these characters. They used to treat me so good too until I ran for office. I used to get the greatest publicity. Friend of mine said, you used to be the king of getting great publicity. What happened? I said, well, I have some views that they’re opposed to for a lot of bad reasons. A lot of really bad reasons.

But, but, when you look at what is happening to our country, it is incredible. And the fundamentals are so strong. The stock market, I just see with all of the ups and downs, since election day, is up 37 percent from — 37 percent. Now, it did a little bit of a correction. In fact, I started to say, you know, in it for 13, 14 months from the election. I say, is this ever going down a little bit? This is a little embarrassing.

It was up 100, up 200, up 1,000, up 150. Up 90, up 63. I said, goodness, that’s better. Hey, we have got seven years to go, folks. We got a long time to go.

So, thank you, everybody. You’ve been amazing. You’ve been amazing. What Matt didn’t say, when I was here 2011, I made a speech. And I was received with such warmth and they give, you know, they used to give, I don’t know if Matt does that, he may not want to be controversial, but they used to give the best speech of CPAC. Do they still do that? You better pick me, or I’m not coming back.

But — and I got these — everybody, they loved that speech. That was, I think, Matt, I would say that might have been the first real political speech I made. It was a love fest, 2011, I believe the time was. And a lot of people remembered and they said, we want Trump, we want Trump.

And after a few years go by and say here I am, let’s see what I can do. They said, you need 270 votes. You need the electoral college, which, by the way, is much tougher than the popular vote. The popular vote would be so much easier. You go to three or four states and you just go and you just do a great job. Hillary forgot that, you know. She went to the states. What is she doing? Why does she keep going back to California? Crazy. Next time they’re going to remember Iowa, they’re going to remember Ohio, remember. They spent a lot of time in Pennsylvania to no avail.

They spent a lot of money, they spent a lot of money in North Carolina, the great state of North Carolina. We did very well there. We have a great person in the room, Mark Meadows, from North Carolina. Where is Mark? Where is Mark? And Deb. And we have Jim Jordan, warriors, warriors all.

We have a lot of great — we have a lot of great people here. But, you know, we’re just — we hit a chord and if you remember, 2011, probably that was the beginning of what we have done, and hopefully at the end of a period of time people are going to say, thank you, because it is not easy. We’re fighting a lot of forces. There are forces that are doing the wrong thing. They’re just doing the wrong thing. I don’t want to talk about what they have in mind. But they do the wrong thing. But we’re doing what is good for our country for the long-term, viability and survival.

Like for instance, $700 billion got approved for military. Our military was going to hell. We declined to certify the terrible one-sided Iran nuclear deal. It was a horrible deal. Whoever heard you give $150 billion to a nation that has no respect for you whatsoever? They’re saying death to America. Well, they’re signing the agreement. If somebody said death to America, while I’m signing an agreement, I say what’s going on, folks? I’m not signing.

They kept going. Kerry may be the worst negotiator I’ve ever seen. How about — how about this guy, how about Obama, of course, he’s the one, but how about $1.8 billion in cash? Did you ever see what a million dollars in 100 dollar bills, a lot of people do it as a promotion, it is big, it is big. Now take that, go to $1.8 billion in cash, $1.8 billion, for what? For what? Why did we do this? Why did we do it?

Anyway, we didn’t certify and lots of interesting things are happening with that whole mess. But we have to treat people that treat us well, we treat them well. People that treat us badly, we treat them much worse than they could ever imagine. That’s the way it has to be. That’s the way it has to be.

We officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Every president campaigned on we’re going to recognize Jerusalem as a capital of Israel. Everybody. For many presidents. You’ve been reading it. They never pulled it off. And I now know why. Because I put the word out that I may do it. Right. I said I’d do it in my campaign. That usually means, unless I find something, I’m going to do it.

I was hit by more countries and more pressure and more people calling, begging me, don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it, I said, we have to do it. It is the right thing to do. It is the right thing to do. We have to do it. And I did it. But every other president really lied because they campaigned on it. That was always a big part of the campaign. They got into office and they never did it.

So I understand why they didn’t do it. It was a tremendous campaign against it, so incredible. But, you know what, the campaign for it was also incredible. And we did the right thing. So we have kept our promises, I said, to rebuild our military. Eliminating the defense sequester, which is a disaster. And I don’t know if you saw the number $700 billion, you know ultimately that comes before everything else. We can talk about lots of things.

If we don’t have a strong military, you might be allowed into this room some day, okay. You may not have your houses, your homes, your beautiful communities, we better take care of our military, these are the greatest people and we’re going to take care of our veterans, we’re going to take care of the vets. We have been doing a good job on the vets. And after years of rebuilding, other nations, we rebuild other nations. We rebuild other nations, and give a lot of money. And we don’t ever say, hey, you got to help.

We’re finally rebuilding our nation, we’re rebuilding our nation. And we’re restoring our confidence and our pride, all of us here today are united by the same timeless values. We defend our constitution and we believe in the wisdom of our founders, our constitution is great. We support the incredible men and women of law enforcement. True. We know that a strong nation must have strong borders. We celebrate our history and our heroes and we believe young Americans should be taught to love their country, and to respect its traditions.

You’re getting the wall. Don’t worry. I heard some — getting the wall.

Had a couple of these characters in the back say, oh, he really doesn’t want the wall. He just used that for campaigning. I said, are you — can you believe it? You know, I say every time I hear that, the wall gets ten feet higher, you know that. Every single time. Okay. Now, we’re going to have the wall. Or they’re not going to have what they want. We have a problem. We need more Republicans. We have a group of people that vote against us in a bloc.

They’re good at two things. Resisting obstruction. Resisting obstruction. And they stick together. They do. They always vote in a bloc. It is very rare that you get your cuts. I mean, we’re going to be fighting these people in the ‘18 election, we’re going to be fighting people that voted against the tax cuts because the tax cuts are phenomenal and popular and helping people and helping our country.

You saw Apple just brought $350 billion in, Exxon brought in $50 billion. So we’re going to be fighting. We need more Republicans to vote. We want to get our agenda. Now what we have to do is in order to get a vote to fix our military, we have to give them $100 billion in stuff that nobody in this room including me wants in many cases. It is terrible. We need more Republicans. That’s why you have to get out and you have to fight for 18, you have to do it. We salute our great American flag, we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance. And we all proudly stand for the national anthem.

Above all else, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are at the center of American life. We know that. Because in America we don’t worship government, we worship God.

Our nation’s motto is “In God we trust.” This week, our nation lost an incredible leader. Who devoted his life to helping us understand what those words really mean. Leader. He was a leader, a great man. We will never forget the historic crowds, that voice, the energy, and the profound faith of a preacher named Billy Graham.

Great family. They were for us, I’ll tell you, they were for us. Right from the beginning they were for us. As a young man, Billy decided to devote his life to God. That choice not only changed his life, it changed our country and, indeed, it even changed the world.

Reverend Graham’s belief in the power of God’s word gave hope to millions and millions who listened to him with his very beautiful but very simple message, God loves you. And a very special tribute because it is almost never done. On Wednesday, we will celebrate Billy Graham’s life as he lies in honor in the rotunda of our capital.

One day, Wednesday until Thursday, about 11:00 on Wednesday, I bet those lines are going to be long and beautiful because he deserves it. Not everybody deserves it. But very few people, you look back, Ronald Reagan, so honored, very few people are so honored. That’s a big thing. And he really almost more than anybody you can think of, he deserves to be in the rotunda. That’s going to be very special.

Wednesday, at 11:00. And Paul and Mitch and the whole group, they worked very hard to make it all happen. So we want to thank them too. Everywhere you go, all over the country, and cities small and large, Americans of all faiths reach out to our creator for strength, for inspiration, and for healing. Great time for healing.

In times of grief and hardship, we turn to prayer for solace and comfort. In recent days our entire nation has been filled with terrible pain and sorrow over the evil massacre in a great community, Parkland, Florida. This senseless act of mass murder shocked our nation and broke our hearts.

This week, I had the honor of meeting with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, with families who have lost their children, in prior shootings, great families, great people.

With members of the local community, right here in Washington, D.C. Our whole nation was moved by their strength and by their courage. We listened to their heart-wrenching stories. We ask them for ideas and pledged to them and I can speak for all of the senators and Congressmen and Congresswomen, all the people in this room that are involved in this decision, that we will act, we will do something. We will act.

With us on Wednesday was one of the families whose daughter didn’t come home last week. A beautiful young woman named Meadow Pollack, incredible family, incredible people. You’ve probably seen her picture. She had a beautiful, beautiful smile. And a beautiful life. So full of promise. We wish there was something, anything we could do to bring Meadow and all of the others back. There are not enough tears in the world to express our sadness and anguish for her family, and for every family that has lost a precious loved one. No family should ever have to go in and suffer the way these families have suffered.

They have suffered beyond anything that I have ever witnessed. A father drops his daughter off at school, kisses her good-bye, waves to her, she’s walking up the path, and never sees her alive again. Gets a call, can’t believe it, thinks it is a nightmare, wants to wake up from the nightmare.

So we want to hear ideas from Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs about how we can improve security at our schools, tackle the issue of mental health because this was a sick person. Very sick. And we had a lot of warning about him being sick. This wasn’t a surprise. To the people that knew him, this wasn’t even a little bit. In fact, some said we’re surprised it took so long. So what are we doing? What are we doing?

We want to ensure that when there are warning signs, we can act and act very quickly. Why do we protect our airports and our banks, our government buildings, but not our schools. It is time to make our schools a much harder target for attackers. We don’t want them in our schools. We don’t want them. When we declare our schools to be gun-free zones, it just puts our students in far more danger. Far more danger.

Well trained, gun adept teachers and coaches and people that work in those buildings, people that were in the Marines for 20 years, and retired, people in the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Coast Guard, people that are adept, adept with weaponry, and with guns, they teach.

I mean, I don’t want to have 100 guards standing with rifles all over the school. You do a conceal carry permit. And this would be a major deterrent, because these people are inherently cowards. If they thought like if this guy thought that other people would be shooting bullets back at him, he wouldn’t have gone to that school. He wouldn’t have gone there. It is a gun-free zone. It says this is a gun-free zone. Please check your guns way far away. And what happens is they feel safe. There is nobody going to come at them. This way you may have — and, remember, if you use this school as an example, this is a very big school. With tremendous floor area and a lot of acreage, a big, big school, good school. A big, big school. You would have to have 150 real guns.

Look, you had one guard, he didn’t turn out to be too good, I will tell you that. He turned out to be not good. He was not a credit to law enforcement that I can tell you. That I can tell you. But as I have been talking about this idea, and I feel it is a great idea, but some people that are good people are opposed to it, don’t like the idea of teachers doing it, I’m not talking about teachers.

CNN went on, they said, Donald Trump wants all teachers, okay, fake news, folks. Fake news. News. I don’t want a person that has never handled a gun that wouldn’t know what a gun looks like to be armed.

But out of your teaching population, out of your teaching population, you have 10 percent, 20 percent, very gun adept people. Military people, law enforcement people, they teach. They teach. And something I thought of this morning, you know what else, I thought of it since I found and watched Peterson, the deputy who didn’t go into the school, because he didn’t want to go into the school, okay. He was tested under fire and that wasn’t a good result. But you know what I thought of, as soon as I saw that, these teachers, and I’ve seen them, and a lot of schools where they had problems, these teachers love their students and the students love their teachers in many cases. These teachers love their students. And these teachers are talented with weaponry and with guns. And that’s — they feel safe.

And I would rather have somebody that loves their students and wants to protect their students than somebody standing outside that doesn’t know anybody and doesn’t know the students, and frankly for whatever reason decided not to go in even though he heard lots of shots being fired inside. The teachers, and the coaches, and other people in the building, the Dean, the Assistant Dean, the Principal, they can — they love their people, they want to protect these kids. And I think we’re better with that and this may be 10 percent or 20 percent of the population of teachers, et cetera. It is not all of them. But you would have a lot and you would tell people that they’re inside, and the beauty is it is concealed. Nobody would ever see it. Unless they needed it. It is concealed.

So this crazy man, who walked in, wouldn’t even know who it is that has it. That’s good. That’s not bad. That’s good. And the teacher would have shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened. They love their students. They love those students, folks. Remember that. They love their students. And I’m telling you that would work because we need offensive capability. We can’t just say, it is a gun-free school, we’ll do it a little bit better. You say what happens outside. The students now leave school, and you got a thousand students, you got 3,500 at the school we’re talking about. But you have a thousand students standing outside, the teachers are out there also, if a madman comes along, we have the same problem, but it is outside of the school. Or they drive cars. There are a lot of things that can happen. I want to stop it.

And I know it is a little controversial to say, but I have to say since I started this two days ago, a lot of people were totally opposed to it and now agree. They love their students. They don’t want their students to be killed or to be hurt. So we have to do something that works. And one of the big measures that we will do and everybody in this room, I think, has to agree, and there is nobody that loves the Second Amendment more than I do, and there is nobody that respects the NRA, the friends of mine, they backed us all, great people, patriots, but great people. But we really do have to strengthen up, really strengthen up background checks. We have to do that. And we have to do it for the mentally ill, we have to do very, very — we don’t want people that are mentally ill to be having any form of weaponry. We have to be very strong on that.

So we’re going to do that and I really believe that Congress is going to get it through this time and they have a different leader. They have somebody that wants to get it through, not somebody that just all talk, no action, like so many of these folks. This is somebody that wants to get it through. But I also want to protect, we need a hardened sight. Has to be hardened. Can’t be soft. They’ll sneak if through a window, some way, and you are standing there, totally unprotected. You know the five great soldiers from three years ago, three of them were world-class marksmen, on a military base in a gun-free zone, asked to check their guns quite far away. And a maniac walked in, guns blazing, killed all five of them. He wouldn’t have had a chance if these world-class marksmen had, on a military base, access to their guns.

I’m going to look at that whole policy on military bases. If we can’t have — all five were killed. All five. The guy wouldn’t have had a chance. We’re going to look at that whole military base gun-free zone. If we can’t have our military holding guns, it is pretty bad. We had a number of instances on military bases. You know that. We want to protect our military. We want to make — we’re going to make our military stronger and better than it ever has been before. We also need to create a culture in our community that cherishes life and human dignity. That’s part of what we’re talking about. A culture that condemns violence and never glorifies violence. We need to force the real human connections and turn classmates and colleagues into friends and neighbors that want to fight for us.

We’re not just having a conversation about school safety. You’ve had conversations, in all fairness, I’m pretty new on this job, we’re here a little more than a year, I’ve been watching this stuff go on for 20 years. The president gets up, everybody is enthusiastic for the first couple of days, and it fades, fades, fades, nothing ever gets done. We want to see if we can get it done. Let’s get it done right. We really owe it to our country. I’ve been watching for a long time. Seen a lot of words. And I’ve seen very little action. And, you know, if you think about it, most of it is just common sense. It is not: Do you love guns? Do you hate guns? It is common sense. It is all common sense. And some of the strongest advocates about what I’m saying are the strongest advocates, I know them very well, political people, the strongest advocates for the Second Amendment.

But this is common sense. In addition to securing our schools, we’re also implementing a strategy to secure our streets. We want our kids to be safe everywhere they go, whether they’re in a classroom, walking home from school or just outside playing with their friends.

Every child deserves to grow up in a safe community surrounded by a loving family and to have a future filled with opportunity and with hope. Thank you. Thank you. Just not fair. Reducing violent crime in America is a top priority for my administration. And we will do whatever it takes to get it done. No talk. We’re going to do what it takes to get it done. As you’ve seen pretty well-reported that we’re significantly increasing gun prosecutions by tremendous percentages. And we’re working to get violent offenders off our streets and behind bars and get them behind bars quickly for a long time, or get them out of our country.

In 2017, we brought cases against more violent offenders than any administration in a quarter of a century, more than any administration and we’re just gearing up. We have tough people. I’ll tell you what, when you deal with ms-13, the only thing they understand is toughness. They don’t want anything. All they understand is toughness. If that ICE agent or border patrol agent is tougher than them, they respect him.

We have the toughest guys you’ve ever seen. We got tough. They don’t respect anything else. And they shouldn’t be in our country. They were let in for years, they shouldn’t be. And we’re getting them out. Our administration prosecuted more people for federal firearm charges than has been done in more than a decade. And, again, we’re just gearing up. We convicted 1,200 gang members and nearly 500 human traffickers. You know what human trafficking — who would think that we have this in this age? And with our foreign partners we have helped charge or arrest more than 4,000 members of the savage gang that we talked about, ms-13. They don’t like guns. You know why? They’re not painful enough.

These are animals. They cut people. They cut them. They cut them up in little pieces, and they want them to suffer. And we take them into our country. Because our immigration laws are so bad, and when we catch them, it is called catch and release. We have to, by law, catch them and then release them. Catch and release. And I can’t get the Democrats and nobody has been able to for years to approve common-sense measures that when we catch these animal killers, we can lock them up, and throw away the keys. In 2017, our brave ICE officers arrested more than 100,000 criminal aliens who have committed tens of thousands of crimes. And, believe me, these are great people. They cannot — the laws are just against us. They’re against — they’re against safety. They don’t make sense.

And you meet with Democrats and they’re always fighting for the criminal. They’re not fighting for law-abiding citizens. They’re always fighting for the criminal. Doesn’t make sense. Here are just some of the criminal charges and convictions for the aliens arrested by ice. 11,000 charges or convictions for sex crimes. 48,000 for assault. 13,000 for burglary. 1800 for killing people. We’re cracking down on sanctuary cities, can you believe this, where they protect. That’s another one.

Because we want our cities to be sanctuaries for law-abiding Americans. Not for criminals.

And, by the way, the Senate Democrats and the House Democrats have totally abandoned DACA. They don’t even talk to me about it. They have totally abandoned. We get the reputation like DACA, it is not Republican. Well, let me tell you, it is Republican. Because we want to do something about DACA, get it solved after all these years. The Democrats are being totally unresponsive, don’t want to do anything about DACA. I’m telling you. And it is very possible that DACA won’t happen and it is not because of the Republicans, it is because of the Democrats. And, frankly, you better elect more Republicans, folks, or it will never happen. The Democrats voted in favor of sanctuary cities. In other words, they voted to protect criminal aliens instead of voting to protect the American citizens.

To secure our country, we are calling on Congress to build a great border wall to stop dangerous drugs and criminals from pouring into our country. And now they’re willing to give us the wall. But they don’t want to give us any of the laws to keep these people out. So we’re going to get the wall. But they don’t want to give us all of the other, chain migration, lottery, think of a lottery. You have a country, they put names in, you think they’re giving us their good people? Not too many of you people are going to be lottery. So we pick out people. Then they turn out to be horrendous. And we don’t understand why. They’re not giving us their best people, folks. They’re not giving us — use your heads.

They’re giving us — it is a lottery. I don’t want people coming into this country with a lottery. I want people coming into this country based on merit, based on merit. I want people, and we all want to be admitting people, who have skills, who can support themselves financially, who can contribute to our economy, who will love our people and who will share our values, who will love our country. I don’t want people who drive a car at 100 miles an hour down the west side highway, and kill eight innocent victims and destroy the lives of 14 more.

Nobody talks about that. Nobody ever talks about the people that have been so horribly injured, who lose legs and arms in Manhattan where I used to spend my time. I know it very well, this stretch along the west side highway, people run in order to stay in shape, they want to — they want to be healthy, they want to look good, they run, they run, all the time, I see it. They run. We work in different ways. But they run. But think of this, they run. And they’re so —they want to be fit. They’re proud people. They want to be fit. And they’re running up and down West Side. It is beautiful. It is a beautiful thing. And this maniac takes a car going down the highway and just turns to the right and he kills eight. He really badly wounded 12 to 14 other people.

So somebody, think of it, runs to stay in shape, leaves the house, is jogging along, working hard, ends up going home, two months later with no leg or with no arm or with two legs missing. Nobody ever talks about them. They talk about the people rightfully that were killed. But they don’t talk about the people that — whose lives have just changed. Just changed. They don’t talk about that. This guy came in through chain migration. And a part of the lottery system. They say 22 people came in with him. In other words, an aunt, an uncle, a grandfather, a mother, a father, whoever came in. A lot of people came in. That’s chain migration. Let’s see how those people are doing, by the way. We have got to change our way. Merit system. I want merit system.

You know what is happening? All these companies are coming into our country, they’re all coming into our country, and when they come in, we need people that are going to work. I’m telling you, we need workers now. We need workers. But when I walked in today, did anyone ever hear me do the snake during the campaign? Because I had five people outside say, could you do the snake? I said, well, people have heard it. Who hasn’t heard the snake? You should read it anyway. Let’s do it anyway. I’ll do it. Okay. Should we do it? Now, this was a rock ‘N’ roll song, little amendments, a rock ‘N’ roll song, but every time I do it, people — and you have to think of this in terms of immigration. I want people to come into our country. And I want people that are going to help us.

I don’t want people that are going to come in and be accepting all of the gifts of our country for the next 50 years and contribute nothing. I don’t want that. You don’t want that. I want people that are going to help and people that are going to go to work for Chrysler, who is now moving from Mexico into Michigan. And so many others. And apple, by the way. And fox con in Wisconsin. They’re going to need 25,000 workers. I want people that can come in and get to work and work hard, even if it means a learning period that is fine. But I want people that are going to come in, and work. And I want people that love us, and look at security and they want you to be safe and they want to be safe. I want great people coming into this country. I don’t want people coming in the way they do now. Because I want people that contribute. So this is called — this is called the snake.

And think of it in terms of immigration and you may love it or you may say isn’t that terrible? Okay. If you say isn’t that terrible, who cares. Because the way they treat me, that’s peanuts compared to the way they treat me. Okay. Immigration.

On her way to work one morning, down the path along the lake,
a tender-hearted woman saw a poor, half-hearted frozen snake.
His pretty colored skin had been all frosted, with the dew.
Poor thing, she cried. I’ll take you in. And I’ll take care of you.
Take me in, oh tender woman, take me in for heaven’s sake,
take me in, oh tender woman, sighed the vicious snake.
She wrapped him up all cozy in a comforter of silk.
And laid him by her fire side with some honey and some milk.
She hurried home from work that night, and soon as she arrived
she found that pretty snake she had taken in had been revived.
Take me in, oh tender woman, take me in for heaven’s sake.
Take me in, oh tender woman, sighed the vicious snake.
She clutched him to her bosom. You’re so beautiful, she cried.
But if I hadn’t brought you in by now, surely you would have died.
She stroked his pretty skin again, and kissed and held him tight.
But instead of saying thank you, that snake gave her a vicious bite.
Take me in, oh tender woman. Take me in for heaven’s sake.
Take me in, oh tender woman. Sighed the vicious snake.
I saved you, cried the woman. And you’ve bitten me, heavens why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die.
Oh, shut up, silly woman, said the reptile with a grin.
You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.

And that’s what we’re doing with our country, folks. We’re letting people in. And it is going to be a lot of trouble. It is only getting worse. But we’re giving you protection like never before. Our law enforcement is doing a better job than we have ever done before. And we love our country. And we’re going to take care of our country. Okay. We’re going to take care of our country. So just in finishing, our country is starting to do very well. Our economy is blazing. Jobs are at a record level. Jobs are so good. 2.7 million jobs created since the election.

Unemployment claims have reached a 45-year low. African-American unemployment has reached the lowest level in our history. Hispanic unemployment has reached the lowest level in our history. Hispanic unemployment has reached the lowest level in our history. Women, women, unemployment is at the lowest level in 18 years. Wages are rising for the first time in many, many years. Small business confidence is at a record high.

And thanks to our massive tax cuts, millions of Americans are getting to keep a great percentage of their money instead of paying it to a government that throws it out the window.

So I just leave you with this. We have to fight Nancy Pelosi. Want to give your money away. They want to give your money away. They want to end your tax cuts. They want to do things that you wouldn’t even believe. Including taking your Second Amendment rights away. They will do that. They will do that. So we have to get out there and we have to fight in ‘18 like never before. Just the way you fought with us. Just the way you fought with us. You fought so hard and you were so tough and you were so smart, you were so smart.

And, you know what, I know for a fact you did the right thing, we’re looking at the numbers and the numbers, even they have to give credit for the kind of numbers that we’re producing.

Nobody has ever seen anything like it. Under my administration, the era of economic surrender is over. We’re renegotiating trade deals that are so bad, whether it is NAFTA, or whether it is world trade organizations, which created China, created — you look at China, it was going along like this, we opened stupidly this deal. And China has been like a rocket ship ever since. And now, last year, we had almost a $500 billion trade deficit with China. We can’t have that. We can’t have that. I have great respect for president XI, but we can’t have that. We have to do what we have to do.

We can’t just let countries, an example, Mexico, we have $100 billion trade deficit with Mexico. What does that tell you? You know what it tells you? NAFTA is no good. It never was any good. But for some reason nobody ever changed it.

They emptied our factories, you got to see the car plants and the auto plants in Mexico, like, you’ve never seen anything like it before. I want those companies and they’re starting, I want them back here. I want them back here. They’re going to come back here too. And we want to make our neighbors happy. But we can’t continuously have other nations taking advantage of the United States, like never before. This has gone on for a long time. This has gone on for longer than — the last administration was a disaster. But this has gone on for much longer than the last administration. And we have got to change it. We’re going to change it. So we’re renegotiating deals.

And hate to say it, but if we can’t make a fair deal for the United States, we will terminate the deal and we’ll start all over again. Going to have to do it. So under my administration and with my help, don’t forget, you, many of you, were the forgotten people. You were the people that when the polls came out, they didn’t know that you existed. The Democrats are trying to figure out who they are because they want to get you back. But you were people, we had people that never voted. But they’re great patriots, but they never saw anybody they wanted to vote for. Then they go to the election, they have trump, pence, trump, pence, hats, all sorts of things, trump over here. Make America great again, hats. So our country is starting to do well.

We are going to make it greater, better, safer, than it ever was before. The reason is you. This has been a great movement, they try like hell, they cannot stand what we have done. But we’re doing the right thing. We’re even doing the right thing for them. They just don’t know it yet. They just don’t know it yet. Even the media, the media will absolutely support me, sometime prior to the election. All those horrible people back there, they’re going to support me. You know why? Because if somebody else won, their ratings would go down, they all would be out of business. Nobody would watch. They all would be out of business. So I just want to tell you that we are going to win. I’d love you to get out there, work really hard for ‘18. We need more Republicans to keep the tax cuts, keep all of this going. And I love you, I respect you, I appreciate everything you’ve done for the country.

I appreciate everything you’ve done. I do want to say because people have asked, North Korea, we imposed today the heaviest sanctions ever imposed on a country before. And frankly hopefully something positive can happen. We will see. Hopefully something positive can happen. But that just was announced and I wanted to let you know. We have imposed the heaviest sanctions ever imposed. So ladies and gentlemen, thank you for everything. You’ve been incredible partners. Incredible partners. And I will let you know in the absolute strongest of terms, we’re going to make America great again and I will never, ever, ever let you down. Thank you very much. Thank you.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/2/23/17044760/transcript-trump-cpac-speech-snake-mccain

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 988, October 20, 2017, Story 1: Big Government Interventionist and Open Borders Advocate President George W. Bush Speech Insults American People Who Wanted Immigration Laws Fully Enforced By Both Him and Former President Obama By Calling American Citizens “Nativists” –While The United States Was Invaded By 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens — American Citizens First — Illegal Aliens Please Go Home — Videos — Story 2: Actual Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Deficits — $666 Billion — Big Government Two Party Tyranny — Spending Addiction Disorder Continues Until 2027! — Videos

Posted on October 25, 2017. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Barack H. Obama, Benghazi, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Fast and Furious, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, Health, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, James Comey, Killing, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Monetary Policy, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Pro Life, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Robert S. Mueller III, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Social Science, Social Security, Spying, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Tax Policy, Taxation, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Unemployment, United States Constitution, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 988, October 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 987, October 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 986, October 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 985, October 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 984, October 16, 2017 

Pronk Pops Show 983, October 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 982, October 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 981, October 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 980, October 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 979, October 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 978, October 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 977, October 4, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 976, October 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 975, September 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 974, September 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 973, September 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 972, September 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 971, September 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 970, September 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 969, September 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 968, September 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 967, September 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 966, September 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 965, September 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 964, September 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 963, September 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 962, September 12, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 960, September 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 959, September 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 958, September 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 957, September 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 956, August 31, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 954, August 29, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 950, August 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 949, August 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 948, August 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 947, August 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 946, August 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 945, August 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 944, August 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 943, August 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 942, August 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 941, August 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 940, August 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 939, August 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 938, August 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 937, July 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 936, July 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 935, July 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 934, July 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 934, July 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 933, July 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 932, July 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 931, July 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 930, July 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 929, July 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 928, July 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 927, July 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 926, July 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 925, July 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 924, July 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 923, July 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 922, July 3, 2017

Clause 8: Oath or affirmation

Presidential Oath of Office

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States,

and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

Clause 5: Caring for the faithful execution of the law

“take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

Article IV, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution

“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion;

and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.”

Bush warns of nationalism becoming nativism, people failing to see image of God in one another

George W. Bush: Nativism ‘Casual Cruelty’ Pulling Us Apart 10/19/17 FULL Speech

Karl Rove, With A Straight Face, Just Said George W. Bush’s Speech Was Not About Trump

Rush Limbaugh: What most troubles me about President Bush’s speech (audio from 10-20-2017)

Mark Levin Show: George W. Bush gave a speech criticizing Donald Trump and his policies (10-19-2017)

Laura Ingraham Reacts to George W. Bush Speech

LIMBAUGH: George W. Bush Is Calling Out Trump Voters With ‘Bush Version Of Hillary’s DEPLORABLES’

Michael Savage reacts to George W. Bush his attack on Trump

Steve Bannon: President George W. Bush ‘Embarrassed Himself’

Coulter Discusses George W. Bush Speech & Steve Bannon

President George W. Bush Jr betrays conservatives on immigration

George W. Bush on Immigration

GW Bush on immigration: 24 may07 @ 37th Press Conf.

Bush fields a question from the Wall St Journal on the pending immigration bill at his 37th Press Conference since comming into office in 2001 held at the White House Rose Garden May 24, 2007

George W Bush Takes a Shot at Trump, Nationalism

George W. Bush speech takes down Trump without even mentioning his name

George W. Bush Full Speech at the George W. Bush Institute in New York City (10 19 17)

George W. Bush Attacks Trump

State Of The Union Address 2007 on Illegal Immigration

Pres. Bush Pushes for Immigration Reform

From the Vault: President Bush pushes for immigration reform

Comprehensive immigration reform was a key issue for President George W. Bush during his second term. On May 15, 2006 President Bush laid out his vision for the country’s immigration law during a primetime address to the nation. Gwen Ifill explored the debate over comprehensive immigration reform, the ethnic tensions surrounding the issue and the pushback the president faced from some fellow Republicans with Gebe Martinez of the Houston Chronicle and John Harwood of The Wall Street Journal.

“100 Million Immigrants on the Way??” Tucker Reacts to Latest Projections

Tucker: Illegal immigration is literally costing US big-time

Rush Limbaugh on George W. Bush [11.12.2008]

Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts

A startling look at how U.S. immigration will add 300 million people to the country this century if immigration policies are not changed. This dramatic presentation of the latest Census data raises serious immigration questions about the ability of the country to achieve environmental sustainability and to meet the quality-of-life infrastructure needs of the national community considering current immigration policy. Presented by immigration author/journalist Roy Beck

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 1

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the United States? Presentation by James H. Walsh, Associate General Counsel of the former INS – part 1. Census Bureau estimates of the number of illegals in the U.S. are suspect and may represent significant undercounts. The studies presented by these authors show that the numbers of illegal aliens in the U.S. could range from 20 to 38 million. On October 3, 2007, a press conference and panel discussion was hosted by Californians for Population Stabilization (http://www.CAPSweb.org) and The Social Contract (http://www.TheSocialContract.com) to discuss alternative methodologies for estimating the true numbers of illegal aliens residing in the United States. This is a presentation of five panelists presenting at the National Press Club, Washington, D.C. on October 3, 2007. The presentations are broken into a series of video segments: Wayne Lutton, Introduction: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5KHQR… Diana Hull, part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6WvFW… Diana Hull, part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYuRNY… James H Walsh, part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MB0RkV… James H. Walsh, part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbmdun… Phil Romero: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_ohvJ… Fred Elbel: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNTJGf… For complete articles on the topic, see the Summer, 2007 issue of The Social Contract at

How Many Illegal Aliens Are in the US? – Walsh – 2

Immigration Crisis Exposes Failed Central America Program

Obama’s Amnesty & How Illegal Immigration Affects Us

President Trump statement on immigration, green card reform with Sen Tom Cotton, Sen David Perdue.

Immigrants! Don’t Vote for What You Fled

How to solve the illegal immigration problem

Ann Coulter On Illegal Immigrant Amnesty

Democrat vs. Republican is Outdated – Learn Liberty

Making Sense Of “Trumpism” – Learn Liberty

Exposing The Religion of Government

G. Edward Griffin: The Collectivist Conspiracy

G. Edward Griffin: Donald Trump is an Amazing Phenomenon

George W. Bush Breaks Silence With Stunning Confession About President Trump – Hot News

Media pressures Bush to attack Trump, backfires

Trump Won’t Win – Funniest before and after clips of Liberals getting it WRONG

The only 3 who predicted Trump would win!

Professor stands by prediction that Trump will win

Miller Time: Trump victory reaction

Dissecting Donald Trump’s win over Hillary Clinton

Judge Jeanine: This wasn’t an election, it was a revolution

Tucker Carlson: The point of Trump movement is democracy

Tucker Carlson: Trump owes nothing to lobbyist community

The people revolt, Trump wins

Hannity: The American people have finally been heard

Full text: George W. Bush speech on Trumpism

Below is a transcript of George W. Bush’s speech delivered Oct. 19, 2017 at the at the “Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In The World” event in New York.

Thank you all. Thank you. Ok, Padilla gracias. So, I painted Ramon. I wish you were still standing here. It’s a face only a mother could love – no, it’s a fabulous face. (Laughter.) I love you Ramon, thank you very much for being here.

I am thrilled that friends of ours from Afghanistan, China, North Korea, and Venezuela are here as well. These are people who have experienced the absence of freedom and they know what it’s like and they know there is a better alternative to tyranny.

Laura and I are thrilled that the Bush Center supporters are here. Bernie [Tom Bernstein], I want to thank you and your committee. I call him Bernie. (Laughter.)

It’s amazing to have Secretary Albright share the stage with Condi and Ambassador Haley. For those of you that kind of take things for granted, that’s a big deal. (Laughter and Applause.) Thank you.

We are gathered in the cause of liberty this is a unique moment. The great democracies face new and serious threats – yet seem to be losing confidence in their own calling and competence. Economic, political and national security challenges proliferate, and they are made worse by the tendency to turn inward. The health of the democratic spirit itself is at issue. And the renewal of that spirit is the urgent task at hand.

Since World War II, America has encouraged and benefited from the global advance of free markets, from the strength of democratic alliances, and from the advance of free societies. At one level, this has been a raw calculation of interest. The 20th century featured some of the worst horrors of history because dictators committed them. Free nations are less likely to threaten and fight each other.
And free trade helped make America into a global economic power.

For more than 70 years, the presidents of both parties believed that American security and prosperity were directly tied to the success of freedom in the world. And they knew that the success depended, in large part, on U.S. leadership. This mission came naturally, because it expressed the DNA of American idealism.

We know, deep down, that repression is not the wave of the future. We know that the desire for freedom is not confined to, or owned by, any culture; it is the inborn hope of our humanity. We know that free governments are the only way to ensure that the strong are just and the weak are valued. And we know that when we lose sight of our ideals, it is not democracy that has failed. It is the failure of those charged with preserving and protecting democracy.

This is not to underestimate the historical obstacles to the development of democratic institutions and a democratic culture. Such problems nearly destroyed our country – and that should encourage a spirit of humility and a patience with others. Freedom is not merely a political menu option, or a foreign policy fad; it should be the defining commitment of our country, and the hope of the world.

That appeal is proved not just by the content of people’s hopes, but a noteworthy hypocrisy: No democracy pretends to be a tyranny. Most tyrannies pretend they are democracies. Democracy remains the definition of political legitimacy. That has not changed, and that will not change.

Yet for years, challenges have been gathering to the principles we hold dear. And, we must take them seriously. Some of these problems are external and obvious. Here in New York City, you know the threat of terrorism all too well. It is being fought even now on distant frontiers and in the hidden world of intelligence and surveillance. There is the frightening, evolving threat of nuclear proliferation and outlaw regimes. And there is an aggressive challenge by Russia and China to the norms and rules of the global order – proposed revisions that always seem to involve less respect for the rights of free nations and less freedom for the individual.

These matters would be difficult under any circumstances. They are further complicated by a trend in western countries away from global engagement and democratic confidence. Parts of Europe have developed an identity crisis. We have seen insolvency, economic stagnation, youth unemployment, anger about immigration, resurgent ethno-nationalism, and deep questions about the meaning and durability of the European Union.

America is not immune from these trends. In recent decades, public confidence in our institutions has declined. Our governing class has often been paralyzed in the face of obvious and pressing needs. The American dream of upward mobility seems out of reach for some who feel left behind in a changing economy. Discontent deepened and sharpened partisan conflicts. Bigotry seems emboldened. Our politics seems more vulnerable to conspiracy theories and outright fabrication.

There are some signs that the intensity of support for democracy itself has waned, especially among the young, who never experienced the galvanizing moral clarity of the Cold War, or never focused on the ruin of entire nations by socialist central planning. Some have called this “democratic deconsolidation.” Really, it seems to be a combination of weariness, frayed tempers, and forgetfulness.

We have seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty. At times, it can seem like the forces pulling us apart are stronger than the forces binding us together. Argument turns too easily into animosity. Disagreement escalates into dehumanization. Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions – forgetting the image of God we should see in each other.

We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism – forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America. We see a fading confidence in the value of free markets and international trade – forgetting that conflict, instability, and poverty follow in the wake of protectionism.

We have seen the return of isolationist sentiments – forgetting that American security is directly threatened by the chaos and despair of distant places, where threats such as terrorism, infectious disease, criminal gangs and drug trafficking tend to emerge.

In all these ways, we need to recall and recover our own identity. Americans have a great advantage: To renew our country, we only need to remember our values.

This is part of the reason we meet here today. How do we begin to encourage a new, 21st century American consensus on behalf of democratic freedom and free markets? That’s the question I posed to scholars at the Bush Institute. That is what Pete Wehner and Tom Melia, who are with us today, have answered with “The Spirit of Liberty: At Home, In The World,” a Call to Action paper.

The recommendations come in broad categories. Here they are: First, America must harden its own defenses. Our country must show resolve and resilience in the face of external attacks on our democracy. And that begins with confronting a new era of cyber threats.

America is experiencing the sustained attempt by a hostile power to feed and exploit our country’s divisions. According to our intelligence services, the Russian government has made a project of turning Americans against each other. This effort is broad, systematic and stealthy, it’s conducted across a range of social media platforms. Ultimately, this assault won’t succeed. But foreign aggressions – including cyber-attacks, disinformation and financial influence – should not be downplayed or tolerated. This is a clear case where the strength of our democracy begins at home. We must secure our electoral infrastructure and protect our electoral system from subversion.

The second category of recommendations concerns the projection of American leadership – maintaining America’s role in sustaining and defending an international order rooted in freedom and free markets.

Our security and prosperity are only found in wise, sustained, global engagement: In the cultivation of new markets for American goods. In the confrontation of security challenges before they fully materialize and arrive on our shores. In the fostering of global health and development as alternatives to suffering and resentment. In the attraction of talent, energy and enterprise from all over the world. In serving as a shining hope for refugees and a voice for dissidents, human rights defenders, and the oppressed.

We should not be blind to the economic and social dislocations caused by globalization. People are hurting. They are angry. And, they are frustrated. We must hear them and help them. But we can’t wish globalization away, any more than we could wish away the agricultural revolution or the industrial revolution. One strength of free societies is their ability to adapt to economic and social disruptions.
And that should be our goal: to prepare American workers for new opportunities, to care in practical, empowering ways for those who may feel left behind. The first step should be to enact policies that encourage robust economic growth by unlocking the potential of the private sector, and for unleashing the creativity and compassion of this country.

A third focus of this document is strengthening democratic citizenship. And here we must put particular emphasis on the values and views of the young.

This means that people of every race, religion, and ethnicity can be fully and equally American. It means that bigotry or white supremacy in any form is blasphemy against the American creed. (Applause.)
And it means that the very identity of our nation depends on the passing of civic ideals to the next generation.

We need a renewed emphasis on civic learning in schools. And our young people need positive role models. Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry, and compromises the moral education of children. The only way to pass along civic values is to first live up to them.

Finally, the Call to Action calls on the major institutions of our democracy, public and private, to consciously and urgently attend to the problem of declining trust.

For example, our democracy needs a media that is transparent, accurate and fair. Our democracy needs religious institutions that demonstrate integrity and champion civil discourse. Our democracy needs institutions of higher learning that are examples of truth and free expression.

In short, it is time for American institutions to step up and provide cultural and moral leadership for this nation.

Ten years ago, I attended a Conference on Democracy and Security in Prague. The goal was to put human rights and human freedom at the center of our relationships with repressive governments. The Prague Charter, signed by champions of liberty Vaclav Havel, Natan Sharansky, Jose Maria Aznar, called for the isolation and ostracism of regimes that suppress peaceful opponents by threats or violence.

Little did we know that, a decade later, a crisis of confidence would be developing within the core democracies, making the message of freedom more inhibited and wavering. Little did we know that repressive governments would be undertaking a major effort to encourage division in western societies and to undermine the legitimacy of elections.

Repressive rivals, along with skeptics here at home, misunderstand something important. It is the great advantage of free societies that we creatively adapt to challenges, without the direction of some central authority. Self-correction is the secret strength of freedom. We are a nation with a history of resilience and a genius for renewal.

Right now, one of our worst national problems is a deficit of confidence. But the cause of freedom justifies all our faith and effort. It still inspires men and women in the darkest corners of the world, and it will inspire a rising generation. The American spirit does not say, “We shall manage,” or “We shall make the best of it.” It says, “We shall overcome.” And that is exactly what we will do, with the help of God and one another.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/10/19/full-text-george-w-bush-speech-trump-243947

 

What Is a Nativist?

And is Donald Trump one?

Carlo Allegri / Reuters 
To understand the ideas shaping the Trump administration, the political scientist Cas Mudde once told me, you have to understand populism, authoritarianism, and nativism, because Donald Trump “fires on all three cylinders.” I’ve previously explored the definitions of populism and authoritarianism. But what is nativism? How is it different from “nationalism” or “patriotism”—words that the alleged nativists themselves typically use to describe their ideology? Is Trump, the man who just ordered air strikes against a foreign leader for attacking people in a foreign country, really a nativist? And why, when it would seem to raise valid questions about the rights of natives versus non-natives, does nativism have such negative associations?

What is a nativist?

There’s a reason the word “nativism” appears regularly in the U.S. media and not elsewhere: According to Mudde, a professor at the University of Georgia, nativism is an almost exclusively American concept that is rarely discussed in Western Europe. The term’s origins lie with mid-19th century political movements in the United States—most famously the Know Nothing party—thatportrayed Catholic immigration from countries such as Germany and Ireland as a grave threat to native-born Protestant Americans. (Never mind that the Protestant “natives” were themselves migrants relative to another native population.) Nativism arose in a natural place: a nation constructed through waves of migration and backlashes to migration, where the meaning of “native” is always evolving.

Europeans tend to talk about “ultra-nationalism” or “xenophobia” or “racism” rather than nativism, said Mudde, who is Dutch. But this language, in his view, doesn’t fully capture the phenomenon, which “isn’t just a prejudice [against] non-natives” but also “a view on how a state should be structured.”

Nativism, Mudde told me, is “xenophobic nationalism.” It is “an ideology that wants congruence of state and nation—the political and the cultural unit. It wants one state for every nation and one nation for every state. It perceives all non-natives … as threatening. But the non-native is not only people. It can also be ideas.” Nativism is most appealing during periods when people feel the harmony between state and nation is disappearing.

Eric Kaufmann, a political scientist at the University of London’s Birkbeck College, calls nativism a “crude” term and prefers something more precise: “majority-ethnic nationalism,” which applies to people who consider themselves native to or settlers of a country and want to protect their “demographic predominance in that territory.”

Some types of nationalism are concerned with ideology (America as the leader of the free world) or status (American as the most powerful country in the world). But ethnic nationalism is “less concerned with getting to the moon and being number one,” Kaufmann said. It’s a “boundary-based nationalism.”

Nativists typically spend more time defining “them” (non-natives) than “us” (natives), Mudde added, because the more specific the “us,” the more it raises thorny questions of national identity and excludes segments of the population who might otherwise support the nativist politician. The native is often depicted as the unspoken inverse of The Other: “The other is barbarian, which makes you modern. The other is lazy, which makes you hardworking. The other is Godless, which makes you God-fearing.”

Long before Trump embraced the slogan “America First,” Elisabeth Ivarsflaten taught her students at the University of Bergen in Norway to think of nativist politicians as the “my-country-first party.” All political leaders should (theoretically) put their country’s interests first. But nativism goes beyond that logic. “The idea that these parties roughly engage is that too much emphasis is being put on internationalization and accommodating people who want to come into the country” but aren’t originally from there, Ivarsflaten said. Whether nativism involves opposing the European Union because Germans have to bail out Greeks, or opposing multiculturalism because it means accepting forms of Islamic dress, the idea is that “there is a native population or a native culture that should be given priority over other kinds of cultures.”Ivarsflaten places nativism in the broader category of right-wing populism, an ideology premised on representing the virtuous “people” against a corrupt “elite.” She has found that all the populist-right parties that performed well in Western European elections in the early 2000s had one thing in common: They tapped into people’s complaints about immigration. Other grievances—regarding the European Union, economic policy and the state of the economy, or political elitism and corruption—did not account for the success of these parties as consistently or powerfully as immigration issues did. “As immigration policy preferences become more restrictive, the probability of voting for the populist right increases dramatically,” she wrote at the time.

Is Donald Trump a nativist?

Mudde argues that nativism was one of the first features of Trump’s “core ideology” as a presidential candidate, though he acknowledges that Trump isn’t a consistent ideologue. (Mudde believes Trump adopted populism more recently, under the influence of White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.)

And Trump quickly learned that nativism was popular; Mudde notes that Trump’s campaign speeches were initially quite boring—with lengthy digressions about his real-estate deals—but that crowds erupted in applause when he spoke about building a border wall with Mexico or barring radical Islamic terrorists from the country.

Several top officials in the Trump administration, including Bannon and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, could be described as nativist, Mudde added, and a number of the administration’s early policies, including the travel ban and the creation of an office focused on crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, could be as well.

Asked whether Trump qualifies as a nativist, Kaufmann focused on Trump’s supporters rather than the man himself. He cited findings that Americans who were worried about immigrants threatening U.S. values and eroding the white majority in the United States were more likely to enthusiastically back Trump during the campaign. Kaufmann interprets Trump’s “Make America Great Again” nationalism as less about reasserting American power in the world than “about restoring a kind of cultural particularism and identity.” Trump’s core supporters, in Kaufmann’s view, are “people who feel that they’ve become disoriented culturally,” not people who are alarmed by a loss of American prestige overseas.

Still, Trump is the leader of the Republican Party, not some small, European-style nativist party, Ivarsflaten points out. “He can’t really reinvent the whole Republican ideology through a nativist lens.” She also suggested that Trump isn’t so much an ideologue as a blank canvas onto which others project ideologies. The president’s decision to bomb the Syrian military for using chemical weapons against civilians, for example, seems to represent a victory for traditional Republican internationalists over the Bannonite wing of the Trump administration, though the triumph might prove temporary. It’s also difficult to square Trump the America-First nativist with Trump the globe-trotting businessman.“I have no idea what the ideological lens of Donald Trump is actually,” Ivarsflaten said. “You tell me.”

So what if Trump is a nativist?

One reason Donald Trump’s presidency is so momentous is that, if he is indeed a nativist, he would be one of the first of his ilk to come to power in the West since 1980. In a 2012 paper on nativism in Europe and North America, Mudde observed that in the rare instances in which nativist parties had been part of government—in European countries such as Austria, Italy, and Switzerland—they had played a significant role in introducing restrictive immigration policies. But the story was different in the United States and Canada.

“In the United States,” Mudde wrote at the time, “nativist actors have had indirect effects on policy at best, as the nativist voices within the Republican Party, for example, have not made it into prominent positions in government.” The closest America had come to having a viable nativist party, Mudde noted, was with Pat Buchanan’s Reform Party in the 2000 presidential election. (Buchanan’s slogan? “America First!”)

Now nativism, conceived in the United States and revived in Europe, has returned with force to its native land.“Nativism is the core feature of the radical right today,” Mudde told me, and the other ideological dimensions of contemporary radical-right politicians—like populism and authoritarianism—tend to pass through a nativist filter. In terms of populism, he said, “the elite is considered to be corrupt because it works in the interest of the non-natives or it undermines the native group.” In terms of authoritarianism, which emphasizes the enforcement of law and order, “crime is almost always linked” to outsiders. While nativist movements have long argued that immigrants pose a multifaceted threat to the culture, security, and economic well-being of natives, Mudde writes in his 2012 paper, in the post-9/11 era the cultural and security threats have become intertwined with religion. “Increasingly the immigrant is seen as a Muslim, not a Turk or Moroccan,” he notes.Some studies indicate that as levels of immigration to a country rise, so does support for nativist, radical-right politicians. But Mudde contends that the connection is more complicated than that: It’s not sufficient for the ranks of the foreign-born in a nation to swell; immigration also has to be turned into a political issue. It has to be made visible to a large part of the population. He pointed out that labor-migration flows to Western Europe increased in the years before the 1973 oil crisis, but that immigration wasn’t politicized there until the 1980s and ’90s, when asylum-seekers flocked to the region, efforts to integrate immigrants and their children into society and the labor market sputtered, and radical-right parties like the National Front in France began achieving political success.
Trump, for his part, rose to power at a time when more Mexican immigrants were leaving than arriving in the United States, and when the number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. was flatlining. “This doesn’t mean that Trump [made] people xenophobic or nativist,” Mudde said. “A large portion of the population everywhere in the world is nativist.” But those people might have based their vote in previous elections on other issues. When a politician manages to shift the debate to matters of security and immigration, it can change how people vote.Nativists, like populists, “raise some important questions,” Mudde said. “The argument that borders should be controlled” shouldn’t be controversial, “and it’s definitely not undemocratic. It’s the democratic right of a state and its population to decide who can come in [to the country] and under which conditions.”But nativists, like populists, give “highly problematic” answers, according to Mudde. “Populism sees the people as one and pure. Nativism sees the people as one in a cultural, ethnic, predetermined sense. And that nation doesn’t exist. The nation is changing virtually on a daily basis.” This singular vision threatens a central component of liberal democracies like the United States: pluralism, which holds that society is composed of different groups with different interests that must all be considered legitimate.Yet what is also legitimate, according to Kaufmann, is for people to try and shore up their ethnic group’s culture and share of the population, so long as they are open to processes like assimilation and intermarriage. He cited the contrast that the Brookings scholar Shadi Hamid has made between racism and racial self-interest. “There is an important distinction between disliking other groups, treating them badly, or seeking some kind of racial purity, all of which would be dangerous and things that I think you’d call racism, from racial self-interest, which could be just trying to maintain the vitality of your group and even perhaps seeking for your group not to decline,” Kaufmann said. “If the majority feels that it can’t express those views without being tarred as racist, I’m not sure that’s a good state of affairs.”Kaufmann referenced a poll he helped conduct showing that 73 percent of white Hillary Clinton voters say a white American who wants to reduce immigration to maintain his or her group’s share of the population is being racist, while only 11 percent of white Trump voters agree. (A similar but narrower difference was observed between white British “Remain” and “Leave” voters in the United Kingdom’s recent referendum on the European Union.) “There’s a much wider definition of racism among Clinton voters and a much narrower definition among Trump voters,” Kaufmann told me.Nativism is currently gaining traction across the Western world because ethnic majorities are under demographic pressure, Kaufmann explained. Fertility rates are falling, which, in aging societies, creates a need for immigration. (This is the dynamic the Republican congressman Steve King recently referred to in his widely condemnedtweet that “culture and demographics are our destiny” and that “we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.”) And the message from political leaders, Kaufmann said, is often, “‘If you’re the majority, you’re kind of the past. And you’ve got to embrace diversity.’ The subtext of that is, ‘You’re shrinking.’”If politicians want to blunt the appeal of nativism, Kaufmann argued, they need to highlight the successes of assimilation—the signs of continuity and not just change—and tone down the diversity talk (he believes this rhetoric about multiculturalism is in part responsible for people overestimating the size of minority populations in their country). They need to reassure ethnic majorities that they have a future and offer a vision of what that future might look like.https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/04/what-is-nativist-trump/521355/

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GOP Congress Presides Over Highest Spending Since Obama’s Stimulus

By Terence P. Jeffrey | October 20, 2017 | 2:09 PM EDT

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(CNSNews.com) – Real federal spending in fiscal 2017, which ended on Sept. 30, was higher than in any year in the history of the United States other than fiscal 2009, which was the year that President Barack Obama’s $840 billion stimulus law was enacted.

Fiscal 2017 also saw the second highest real federal individual income tax totals of any year in U.S. history, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

Total federal tax revenues were the third highest in U.S. history.

While it was collecting the third highest total tax revenues in U.S. history, the federal government ran a deficit $665,712,000,000 because of its high total spending.

Republicans have controlled the House of Representatives since 2011, after winning a majority of seats in the 2010 election. They have controlled the Senate since 2015, after winning a majority in the 2014 election. In fiscal years 2016 and 2017, a Congress in which the Republican Party controls both houses was responsible for enacting all federal spending legislation.

Total federal spending in fiscal 2017, according to the Treasury, was $3,980,605,000,000. Total federal tax revenue was $3,314,893,000,000.

Prior to this year, the highest level of real federal spending was the $4,024,794,600,000 in constant 2017 dollars (adjusted using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator) that the Treasury spent in fiscal 2009.

In the years after 2009, real federal spenpding hit its lowest level ($3,633,572,490,000 in constant 2017 dollars) in fiscal 2014. In fiscal years 2015, 2016, and 2017 federal spending has been on the rise again—reaching $3,980,605,000,000 this year, the second highest spending level in the nation’s history.

On the tax side, federal individual income taxes hit their all-time peak in fiscal 2015, when the Treasury took in $1,598,265,180,000 in constant 2017 dollars in individual income taxes.

In fiscal 2016, individual income tax collections dropped to $1,580,598,300,000 in 2017 dollars.

Then, in fiscal 2017, individual income tax collections climbed back up to $1,587,119,000,000, the second largest sum in individual income taxes the federal government has ever collected.

Total federal tax revenue also peaked in 2015 at $3,369,881,960,000 in 2017 dollars. It then dropped to $3,339,631,960,000 in fiscal 2016, and dropped again to $3,314,894,000,000 in fiscal 2017.

According to a study by the Congressional Budget Office, the largest budgetary impact of President Obama’s 2009 stimulus law hit in fiscal 2010, which began on Oct. 1, 2009. The three first fiscal  years under the law–2009, 2010, 2011–saw the biggest spending increases from it. “By CBO’s estimate, close to half the impact occurred in fiscal 2010, and more than 95 percent of ARRA’s budgetary impact was realized by the end of December 2014,” said the CBO study.

According to the CBO, Obama’s stimulus increased federal spending by $114 billion in fiscal 2009, $235 billion in fiscal 2010, and $147 billion in fiscal 2011. In fiscal 2012, the spending increase caused by the stimulus dropped to $59 billion. The CBO estimates that in the four fiscal years from 2016 through 2019, the Obama stimulus will only add a total of $28 billion to federal spending.

[Correction: This story originally reported that real federal spending hit an all-time high in fiscal 2010, when spending from the Obama stimulus peaked. In fact, real federal spending hit an all-time high in fiscal 2009, the year that the Obama stimulus was enacted.]

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/gop-congress-presides-over-highest-spending-obamas-stimulus

 

The FY 2018 Senate Budget and Budget Gimmicks

OCT 18, 2017 |BUDGETS & PROJECTIONS

The Senate Budget Committee recently passed a Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 budget resolution that proposes a path to on-budget balance after ten years exclusively by cutting spending. Unfortunately, the budget relies on several gimmicks to achieve these savings.

Prior to the budget’s release, we warned of eight possible “budget gimmicks” that could be used to make the budget appear more responsible than it actually is. This budget unfortunately relies on a number of these gimmicks, including rosy growth assumptions and “magic asterisks” (unspecified savings). At the same time, the budget does include small positive steps to reduce the use of certain gimmicks.

The budget claims $4.7 trillion of on-budget savings over a decade versus its chosen baseline that assumes a quick drawdown in war spending, and $6 trillion of savings compared to current law (see our summary at Senate Budget Committee Releases FY 2018 Budget). As a result, debt would fall from 77 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) today to 70 percent by 2027. However, half of this $6 trillion in savings comes from budget gimmicks rather than real policy choices.

Without the budget’s rosy economic assumptions and unspecified savings, the debt would rise to 81 percent of GDP and roughly stabilize there, rather than falling to 70 percent. Making matters worse, the legitimate savings are not included in reconciliation. While the budget claims trillions of savings, its reconciliation instructions would actually facilitate a $1.5 trillion increase in deficits.

Specifically, the budget includes a large process gimmick by exempting a deficit-increasing reconciliation bill from the Senate Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) rule, while attempting to strengthen the rule otherwise. Though not a gimmick, the budget also creates some confusion by focusing on “on-budget” deficits instead of unified budget deficits.

The budget’s positive steps crack down on other gimmicks that would affect legislation, including by restricting the use of phony Changes in Mandatory Programs (CHIMPs) as offsets and creating a point of order against use of the Overseas Contingency Operations designation. These improvements would affect actual legislation and should be included in any future conferenced budget.

The budget’s gimmicks, however, should be removed.

Rosy Growth Assumptions ($1.2 trillion on-budget)

For the past 25 years, every budget resolution but one has based their assumptions for economic growth on the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO) projections. Given an aging population, CBO projects real economic growth will average a modest 1.8 percent over the decade, while other forecasters estimate growth rates between 1.6 and 2.1 percent per year.

In contrast, this resolution (like its <a< span=””></a<>< span=””> href=”http://www.crfb.org/papers/fy-2018-house-budget-and-budget-gimmicks”>House companion) assumes 2.6 percent average real GDP growth after its enacted policies, well outside of the mainstream and over 40 percent (0.8 percentage points) higher than CBO’s baseline. The budget does not include important details on tax, immigration, or regulatory reforms to explain its growth assumption. CBO estimated the growth from the budget’s deficit reduction, but it only explains less than one-tenth of the additional growth claimed by the budget. Actually getting to 2.6 percent sustained growth will require many pro-growth policy changes and significant luck.

These rosy assumptions make the budget’s deficit numbers look $1.2 trillion better by assuming higher revenue collection and GDP, thus decreasing debt and deficits as a share of the economy. The budget does not provide any information to support this large of an effect on growth or what effects that growth might have on the off-budget portions of revenue.

To be sure, a few previous budget resolutions have incorporated some economic feedback as do all President’s budgets. But this feedback has always been calculated by official scorekeepers at the CBO and generally been modest. Indeed, this budget also counts that feedback, resulting in a further $178 billion of deficit reduction on top of the $1.2 trillion.

Congress should not simply make a rosy economic growth assumption and build its budget based on that (nor should the President). To be credible, the Congressional budgets should instead rely on CBO’s growth assumptions and make the tough choices from there to achieve its fiscal goal.

Magic Asterisks and Unspecified Savings ($1.8 trillion)

We’ve warned about “magic asterisks” in the past, when a budget takes credit for savings without specifying the policies that produce them. Savings levels in each budget function (like defense, transportation, and education) should be backed up with specific policies that could legitimately be expected to produce those savings. More egregious in budget resolutions are undistributed cuts. Undistributed cuts should be used only sparingly to reflect policies that may cut across multiple functions or legitimate rescissions, not as a mechanism to make the numbers add up without providing substance behind them.

Unfortunately, the Senate budget contains $1.6 trillion in undistributed outlay savings (of which about $1 trillion are from mandatory spending and $600 billion are from discretionary spending). After accounting for the interest cost, the unspecified cuts account for $1.8 trillion over ten years.

Thought of another way, of the $6.2 trillion of spending cuts and related interest savings in the budget, only $4.4 trillion are specified in terms of where they would apply. Making matters worse, only a minimum of $1 billion need to be “reconciled,” suggesting the Senate may only intend to enact 0.02 percent of its claimed spending reductions.

Exempting Reconciliation from Senate PAYGO

The Senate budget resolution contains changes to the existing Senate PAYGO rules. Senate PAYGO is a Senate-only rule that provides for a 60-vote point of order against legislation that increases the deficit over the first five or ten years following a bill’s enactment. Senate PAYGO is in place to remind Senators that they should pay for legislation and to prohibit actions that do add to the debt unless they get 60 votes to waive the point of order.

The Senate budget in some ways strengthens PAYGO by adding a first-year test. But at the same time, it substantially weakens PAYGO by exempting a $1.5 trillion reconciliation package from enforcement.

The $1.5 trillion exemption from Senate PAYGO comes in the form of a reserve fund allowing the Chairman of the Senate Budget Committee to essentially clear PAYGO consideration for the bill. While this provision does not change the numbers in the budget itself, it allows policymakers to evade the rules that help ensure a bad debt situation does not continue to get worse.

Any positive gains from adding one-year PAYGO would be more than wiped out by clearly and blatantly avoiding PAYGO rules.

Other Issues and Improvements

Though the Senate budget resolution uses several gimmicks, it also contains a couple praiseworthy provisions to limit specific budget gimmicks in future legislation. If the proposed budget were to be adopted, these limits would restrict this year’s legislation from using these gimmicks. These provisions should be contained in a future concurrent budget resolution.

The budget resolution limits the use of two gimmicks. First, it continues to phase down the use of phony CHIMPs with no outlay savings as offsets for appropriations. The limits were originally in place for 2018 and 2019 and are now extended to 2020 as well. Limits were first established in the FY 2016 budget. Additionally, there is a separate point of order against CHIMPs in excess of $11.2 billion from the Crime Victims Fund in FY 2018.

Second, the budget adds a point of order against spending that is designated as war spending, also known as Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). While there are many legitimate uses of the OCO designation, in pastyears it has been abused as a way of backfilling capped defense and non-defense discretionary spending. The point of order applies to any designation of OCO and thus will force appropriators to take an extra look to evaluate how reasonable the OCO funding is. One such test might be to see if OCO funding is larger than the President’s request for that year.

On the other hand, the budget does make one internal change that – while not a gimmick – could create confusion. In the past, budgets have measured the “unified” budget deficit, which includes the “on-budget” deficit as well as “off-budget” deficits attributable to Social Security and the Post Office. This year, the budget switched to only focusing on the “on-budget” deficit. As a result, the budget claims to achieve balance but actually leaves a unified budget deficit of $149 billion. This level of deficit is not particularly problematic as a fiscal matter, but it does create some confusion and misperception.

Adding It All Up – How Much Does the Budget Really Reduce Deficits and Debt?

In total, gimmicks reduce the Senate budget resolution’s projected deficit reduction by half, from $6.0 trillion to $2.9 trillion. This means debt would rise to and then essentially stabilize at around 81 percent of GDP by 2027 rather than fall to 70 percent with all of the on-budget claimed savings. This would still be an improvement over CBO’s June projection that debt will rise to 91 percent of GDP by 2027.

It also means the budget would not reach on-budget balance in 2027, instead showing a $416 billion on-budget deficit. This translates to a $767 billion unified deficit at 2.7 percent of GDP. Still, this is a noticeable improvement over CBO’s projection of a $1.5 trillion deficit in 2027 (5.2 percent of GDP).