Taxes

The Pronk Pops Show 1187, December 12, 2018, Part 2 of 2 Story 1: Transparency in Oval Office Exposes Delusional Democrat Leaders — American People Are Demanding The Funding for Border Security and The Wall  — President Trump Promises to Shutdown The Government Should The Wall Not Be Funded — Make My Day — Walls Work — Fences Useless — Videos — Story 2: Balanced Budgets By Permanently Shutting Down Ten Federal Departments — Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Transportation, Veterans Affairs — End All Government Subsidies –Videos — Story 3: Back To The Free Enterprise Competitive Market Capital System — Videos —

Posted on December 13, 2018. Filed under: 2018 United States Elections, Addiction, American History, Banking System, Barack H. Obama, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Central Intelligence Agency, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Communications Commission, Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Investments, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Medicine, Mental Illness, Military Spending, Monetary Policy, National Interest, National Security Agency, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Social Networking, Social Security, Spying, Spying on American People, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP_, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Trade Policy, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Weather, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Pronk Pops Show 1187 December 12, 2018

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Story 1: Transparency in Oval Office Exposes Delusional Democrat Leaders — American People Are Demanding The Funding for Border Security and The Wall  — President Trump Promises to Shutdown The Government Should The Wall Not Be Funded — Make My Day — Walls Work — Fences Useless — Videos —

See the source image

See the source image

Tucker: Trump insists GOP Congress should fund wall

Body Language: Government Shutdown Trump, Pelosi & Schumer

Migrants Continue to Breach US Border Wall

Lying Politicians And Words

Trump, Nancy Pelosi, and Chuck Schumer get in fight over border wall: full video

Trump Outsmarts Pelosi, Reveals Unstoppable Plan To Build The Wall Without Democrat Support

Tucker Carlson Tonight 12/11/18 | Breaking Fox News December 11, 2018

Sean Hannity 12/11/18 | Hannity Breaking News | Fox News December 11 2018

Tucker: Schumer hated moment when Trump berated him

The Ingraham Angle 12/11/18 | Laura Ingraham Fox News Today December 11, 2018

George Carlin Politicians

George Carlin on Elections

George Carlin – Balance the Budget

George Carlin – Question Everything

Fact-checking Trump, Pelosi and Schumer’s White House fight over the border wall, shutdown

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence meet with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in the Oval Office on Dec. 11, 2018. (AP)
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence meet with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in the Oval Office on Dec. 11, 2018. (AP)

President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer sparred before news cameras over the effectiveness of a southern border wall, at times fact-checking and speaking over one another.

While all three leaders said they wanted border security, there was clearly no consensus over how much money they would set aside for Trump’s barrier. Trump said he would be “proud to shut down the government for border security.”

Vice President Mike Pence was there, too, looking on from his seat between Trump and Pelosi in silence.

Here’s a recap of what was said, fact-checked and with added context.

Trump: “A lot of the wall is built.”

While there have been improvements at the border, Trump so far isn’t getting the long, contiguous wall he promised on the campaign.

“Steel bollard wall” has been built at the southern border since Trump took office. But that’s not much different from what’s been built by other administrations. During the Obama administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection in a memo referred to bollard barriers as “fencing.” Under Trump, these similar barriers are considered “wall.”

Bollard barriers are hollow steel beams filled with concrete and rebar. None of the Trump administration’s wall prototypes have been constructed.

CBP said construction started for 40 miles of “steel bollard wall” along border areas in California and Texas, at a cost of $292 million. About 22 miles of bollards are completed, construction of four more miles started in September, and an additional 14 miles should be finished in May 2019, CBP said.

Appropriations from Congress so far have been far less than what Trump promised. Congress authorized $1.6 billion for established designs for new and replacement fencing, like the bollard system — and not the Trump’s administration’s prototypes.

Donald Trump
President of the United States
“A lot of the wall is built.”
Trump: “If you look at San Diego, illegal traffic dropped 92 percent once the wall was up. El Paso, illegal traffic dropped 72 percent, then ultimately 95 percent once the wall was up. In Tucson, Ariz., illegal traffic dropped 92 percent. Yuma, it dropped illegal traffic 95 to 96 percent.”

It’s unclear what specific construction Trump is talking about, and he did not define start and end points for measuring the effect on illegal migration. The White House did not respond to PolitiFact’s query. Here’s what we could gather from CBP announcements by region:

San Diego: CBP in June said it began replacing about 14 miles of “8-to-10 foot high scrap metal wall with an 18-to-30 foot bollard-style wall topped off with an anti-climbing plate.” In December, CBP told PolitiFact that a 14-mile San Diego project is expected to be completed in May 2019.

El Paso: CBP in September said it started construction on a new “steel bollard wall” to replace existing pedestrian fencing in El Paso. That four-mile project would be completed in late April 2019, the agency said. CBP in December also told PolitiFact that another 20-mile project in El Paso had been completed.

Tucson and Yuma: CBP in November said a contract had been awarded to build up to 32 miles of “primary pedestrian replacement wall” within the U.S. Border Patrol’s Yuma and Tucson sectors. Construction should begin in April 2019.

Schumer: “The experts say you can do this without a wall.”

This is consistent with previous reporting by us and other outlets.

Asked which experts Schumer had in mind, his staff directed us to a January New York Times article that said the Trump administration would cut or delay funding for security measures “that officials and experts have said are more effective than building a wall along the Mexican border.”

Adam Isaacson, director for defense oversight at the Washington Office on Latin America, told PolitiFact that the wall might not do much to bolster border security because there is already a wall at the points that are most densely populated, with the exception of southern Texas. Apprehensions are at their lowest point in decades. Most resources are instead needed at the legal ports of entry, Isaacson said.

Sanho Tree, director of the Drug Policy Project at the progressive think tank Institute for Policy Studies, told PolitiFact that while the vast majority of drugs are coming in through legal checkpoints or more advanced methods of catapults, drones, boats and tunnels.

“They’re not going where the wall isn’t, they’re going where the wall is, and they’re slipping right through,” Tree said.

Trump: “We caught 10 terrorists over the last very short period of time. 10. These are very serious people.”

We rated a similar claim by Pence as Pants on Fire, and experts remain dubious of Trump’s version.

“No matter what period of time Trump is talking about, there is no evidence to support his claim,” said Alex Nowrasteh, a senior immigration policy analyst at the Cato Institute. He counted fewer than 10 people who had crossed the southern border and were charged with terrorism-related crimes.

David Sterman, senior policy analyst at the New America International Security Program, said, “There are no cases that come to mind among the more than 400 people accused of jihadist terrorism crimes since 9/11 tracked by New America in which terrorists infiltrated across the southern border.”

Trump’s State Department in July 2017 reported there is “no credible information that any member of a terrorist group has traveled through Mexico to gain access to the United States.”

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen M. Nielsen reported in June her department “now blocks 10 known or suspected terrorists a day from traveling to or attempting to enter the United States.”

That’s across all ports of entry by land, air and sea, not just the Mexican border.

Donald Trump
President of the United States
“We caught 10 terrorists over the last very short period of time. 10. These are very serious people.”
Trump: “If you really want to find out how effective a wall is, just ask Israel. 99.9 percent effective. And our wall will be every bit as good as that, if not better.”

Israel has built multiple barriers along its borders with Egypt, Lebanon, Gaza Strip and West Bank. The 99-percent reduction comes from Israeli government data for the Israeli-Egyptian southern border, where there is a 143-mile fence. (See related fact-check.)

Border security experts said the fence alone was not responsible for the dramatic decrease in illegal immigration — policies also deterred illegal border crossings.

They also cautioned about comparing Israel with the United States’ southern borders. The U.S.-Mexico border is much longer than the Israel-Egypt border, terrain conditions are different and more agents would be needed to monitor the U.S. border, experts said.

Trump: “People with tremendous medical difficulty and medical problems are pouring in … and in many cases it’s contagious.”

We have found little evidence to support this periodic Trump claim. Recently, we rated a widespread claim that “2,267 caravan invaders have tuberculosis, HIV, chickenpox and other health issues” as Mostly False, because the number of individuals with such serious diseases was far lower.

The number of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in close proximity to each other does provide opportunities for diseases to spread, especially when migrants come from poor and under-vaccinated locations. For this reason, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and its Mexican counterpart have established disease-surveillance infrastructure on the border.

However, not many outbreaks are known to have occurred at the U.S. border, with the most common ones involving scabies, an easily treatable condition similar to lice.

Two dozen medical experts spent two years investigating the health impacts of migration. In the journal the Lancet, they concluded that the harsh journey to the U.S. could increase the risk of infectious disease, especially measles and food- and water-borne diseases.

“However,” the authors wrote, “despite the commonly held view of an association between migration and spread of infectious diseases, no systematic association has been shown with many of the infectious diseases of concern.”

Thomas Fekete, the section chief for infectious diseases at the Temple University School of Medicine, told PolitiFact that claims such as Trump’s involve more fear-mongering than sound science.

Assertions like Trump’s “are just ad hominem statements that have no epidemiologic basis,” he said. “One of the only potential contagious infections that would be potentially relevant is tuberculosis. But we currently have excellent tools to diagnose TB and to deal with it both in its latent stage and its active stage, so any concern about that is highly overblown.”\

https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2018/dec/11/fact-checking-trump-pelosi-and-schumers-public-whi/

Video shows border wall construction underway in Texas

 

Video released this week shows construction underway in El Paso, Texas, for a portion of a U.S.-Mexico border wall.

The video published by the El Paso Times shows construction beginning to replace existing fencing with a wall in Chihuahuita, El Paso’s oldest neighborhood.

The wall, construction for which began last Saturday, is set to run from Chihuahuita and continue east for four miles.

The 18-foot-tall steel bollard wall will replace the chain link and metal fence as part of President Trump’s executive order last year authorizing construction of his wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, the administration said.

The construction project is expected to be completed in late April 2019 and is estimated to cost $22 million.

https://uw-media.elpasotimes.com/embed/video/1437649002?placement=snow-embed

“El Paso Sector continues to experience a high number of apprehensions of illegal aliens and drug smuggling,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection said in a news release last Friday.

“In fiscal year 2017, El Paso Sector apprehended 25,193 illegal aliens, seized 34,189 pounds of marijuana and 140 pounds of cocaine,” the release continued. “Additionally during that fiscal year, there were 54 assaults against El Paso Sector agents.”

The agency said it contracted West Point Contractors of Tucson, Ariz., on June 1 to build the barrier.

Trump lashed out at Congress earlier this month over a lack of funding for his border wall in a recently passed spending bill.

“I want to know, where is the money for Border Security and the WALL in this ridiculous Spending Bill, and where will it come from after the Midterms?” Trump tweeted. “Dems are obstructing Law Enforcement and Border Security. REPUBLICANS MUST FINALLY GET TOUGH!”

On Friday, Trump signed an $854 billion spending package that funds most parts of the federal government through fiscal 2019, pushing off a deadline for a partial shutdown and a showdown over funding for his proposed border wall until December.

 

Story 2: Balanced Budgets By Permanently Shutting Down Ten Federal Departments — Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Energy, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Transportation, Veterans Affairs — End All Government Subsidies –Videos —

Milton Friedman: Why Government Started Growing

Published on Nov 23, 2017
Milton Friedman, recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize for Economic Science, was one of the most recognizable and influential proponents of liberty and markets in the 20th century, and the leader of the Chicago School of economics. In this video from 1999, he gives a history lesson on the 20th century and talks about the effects of intellectuals, the great depression and the 70s inflation and how they had an effect on government growth. Complete Video quoted under creative common licence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFqKA…

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John Stossel – Downsizing Government

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Marxism, Socialism, and Bernie Sanders (Brandon Turner Pt. 2)

Classical Liberals vs Libertarians, and Donald Trump’s Political Philosophy (Brandon Turner Pt. 3)

The Constitution, Classical Liberalism, and Libertarianism (Randy Barnett Interview)

Has Trump Crushed the Conservative Movement? (Randy Barnett Interview)

George Carlin’s Advice on Dealing with the 2016 Election

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

The Worst of Bernie Sanders

Why “Democratic” Socialism Doesn’t Work

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1185, December 10, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Stands Firm For Funding $5 Billion of $25 Billion Needed To Build The Wall or Shut Down The Government — Republicans Voters Stand Firmly Behind Trump Waiting To See 1700 Miles of New Wall– Videos — Story 2: Congress Will Never Impeach Nor Convict President Trump — Democrats Delusional — Please Try and Make Trump’s Day — Videos — Story 3: The Coming Investigation and Prosecution  of The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy —  President Trump Will Demand Attorney General Appoint Second Special Counsel To Investigate And Prosecute The Criminal Plotters  Including Those in Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency and Obama White House –Hysteria and Panic Spreads Among The Plotters — American People Demand Justice — Videos — Story 4: The Fixer Former FBI Director James Comey Stonewalls Congress By Not Remembering Many Many Things — Selective Amnesia — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump Stands Firm For Funding $5 Billion of $25 Billion Needed To Build The Wall or Shut Down The Government — Republicans Voters Stand Firmly Behind Trump — Videos —

See the source image

Trump should ‘stick to his guns’ on the wall: Matt Schlapp

The Wall: A 2,000-mile border journey

History of the U.S. – Mexico border

US Mexico Border Wall- America’s Wall (Compilation)

President Donald Trump’s border wall with Mexico takes shape

Construction for new Texas border wall begins

Life in the Shadow of US-Mexico border Wall – BBC News

Contractor explains what it will take to build a border wall

US Special Forces unable to scale border wall prototypes

On the U.S.-Mexico border, Trump supporters wait for the wall

United States Mexico Border Fence, 2017

Can Trump Supporters And Immigrants See Eye To Eye?

She thinks illegal immigrants are draining the system. What about the family next door?

9 Things That COULD Happen if Trump Builds “The Wall”!

US & the Wall: Deportees in Mexico unwanted by either side after decades in the US (RT Documentary)

Meet some of Donald Trump’s Latino supporters

Risk Takers – 109 – Border Patrol Agents | FULL LENGTH | MagellanTV

 

 

 

Trump-O-Meter

Build a wall, and make Mexico pay for it

“I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great great wall on our southern border and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall.”

Build a wall, and make Mexico pay for it

Trump-o-Meter: Build a Wall on the Mexican Border
Autoplay: On | Off
PolitiFact is tracking the promises of President Donald Trump. See them all at PolitiFact.com.

Updates

Donald Trump secures about $1.6 billion for border barriers

President Donald Trump has secured $1.57 billion for barriers along the southwest border — advancing his promise to secure the border but falling significantly short of his desired $25 billion for a wall.

“We funded the initial down payment of $1.6 billion,” Trump said March 23 after signing a $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill into law. “We are going to be starting work literally on Monday on not only on some new wall, not enough, but we are working on that very quickly. But also fixing existing walls and existing acceptable fences.”

The funds, however, won’t be used to construct any of the wall prototypes standing in California near the U.S.-Mexico border, which Trump toured earlier this month.

The designated funds, the bill said, “shall only be available for operationally effective designs deployed as of the date of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2017, (Public Law 115–31), such as currently deployed steel bollard designs, that prioritize agent safety.” U.S. Customs and Border Protection told PolitiFact on March 13, 2018, that the wall prototypes were still being evaluated.

The bill Trump signed specifically called for:

• $251 million for approximately 14 miles of secondary fencing along the southwest border in the San Diego sector;

• $445 million for 25 miles of primary pedestrian levee fencing along the southwest border in the Rio Grande Valley Sector;

• $196 million for primary pedestrian fencing along the southwest border in the Rio Grande Valley Sector;

• $445 million for replacement of existing primary pedestrian fencing along the southwest border;

• $38 million for border barrier planning and design; and

• $196 million for acquisition and deployment of border security technology

Earlier in the day, Trump threatened to veto the bill because it did not fully fund his long-promised border wall.

“I am considering a VETO of the Omnibus Spending Bill based on the fact that the 800,000 plus DACA recipients have been totally abandoned by the Democrats (not even mentioned in Bill) and the BORDER WALL, which is desperately needed for our National Defense, is not fully funded,” Trump tweeted.

Trump described the $1.6 billion as “a short-term funding.” The funds will be used to secure the border through fencing. It’s still unclear which wall prototype will be used for the wall, which Mexico still says it’s not paying for, despite Trump’s promise.

For now, we continue to rate Trump’s promise to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it as In the Works.

Sources:

House.gov, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2018

Twitter, @realdonaldtrump tweet, March 23, 2018

Donald Trump requests Congress $18 billion for border barriers

Donald Trump supporters chanted “build the wall” at his rallies, as he promised them an impenetrable, physical, tall and beautiful wall with Mexico. Not a fence.

But since the election, Trump has said parts of the wall will actually be see-through and that the barrier could also consist of fencing. His administration also seeks taxpayer money to cover the costs, though he pledged Mexico would pay for it.

Despite his post-election remarks and comments from his own staff, Trump claims that he plans to deliver what he promised.

“The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it. Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never intended to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water…..” he tweeted.

Trump also maintained that Mexico would pay for it — but did not offer concrete details on how or a clear timeframe — as he asked Congress for $18 billion.

“The Wall will be paid for, directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico, which has a ridiculous $71 billion dollar trade surplus with the U.S. The $20 billion dollar Wall is ‘peanuts’ compared to what Mexico makes from the U.S. NAFTA is a bad joke!” Trump tweeted.

(We’ve noted that the trade deficit has nothing to do with whether the Mexican government could afford to pay the wall.)

Trump gave varying figures for the cost of the wall during the campaign, from $8 billion to $12 billion.

But The Wall Street Journal reported on Jan. 5 that his administration outlined to a group of senators plans requesting nearly $18 billion to build new and replacement barriers along more than 700 miles of the nearly 2,000-mile long U.S.-Mexico border.

The administration’s document called for a barrier, referred to as a “wall system,” but officials did not specify where it would be constructed, The Wall Street Journalreported. Trump’s administration asked for $9.3 billion over the first five years and $8.7 billion over the next five years, the newspaper reported.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection would not confirm to PolitiFact the details reported by The Wall Street Journal, and the White House did not respond to requests for information.

At an immigration meeting between Trump and a group of bipartisan lawmakers on Jan. 9, Democratic Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, of Hawaii, asked Trump if it was still his position that he wanted $18 billion for a wall or there would be no deal for young immigrants who came to the United States as children and are now at risk of deportation.

“Yeah. I can build it for less, by the way,” Trump responded.

The $18 billion for the border barrier is part of a $33 billion package, which also requests $5.7 billion for towers, surveillance equipment and other technology; $1 billion for road construction and maintenance; and $8.5 billion for border security personnel, according to The Wall Street Journal.

A CBP spokesman told PolitiFact officials are still testing and evaluating wall prototypes built in California.

It’s unclear if lawmakers will approve Trump’s request for border barriers. A taxpayer-funded border wall would be a departure from Trump’s repeated promises of Mexico covering the costs.

Pending appropriations and construction, Trump’s border wall promise remains In the Works.

Sources:

Email interview, U.S. Customs and Border Protection press office, Jan. 10, 2018

The Wall Street Journal, Trump Administration Seeks $18 Billion Over Decade to Expand Border Wall, Jan. 5, 2018

The Washington Post, Trump says he will build ‘impenetrable, physical, tall, powerful, beautiful’ border, Aug. 31, 2016

PolitiFact, What happened at the immigration meeting between Trump, bipartisan lawmakers, Jan. 9, 2018

CQ, Transcript: President Donald Trump and Members of Congress Deliver Remarks in Meeting on Immigration, as Released by the White House, Jan. 9, 2018

Fox News, John Kelly suggests Trump wasn’t ‘fully informed’ when he promised wall across entire border, Jan. 17, 2017

PolitiFact, How Trump plans to build, and pay for, a wall along U.S.-Mexico border, July 26, 2016

Twitter, @realdonaldtrump tweettweet, Jan. 18, 2018

The Hill, Conway: Trump ‘discovered’ there doesn’t need to be ‘physical wall’ along entire border, Jan. 11, 2018

https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/trumpometer/promise/1397/build-wall-and-make-mexico-pay-it/

Story 2: Congress Will Never Impeach Nor Convict President Trump — Lying Lunatic Leftist Loser Democrats Delusional — Please Try and Make Trump’s Day — Videos

 

Tucker Carlson Tonight Fox News 12/10/18 Breaking Fox News December 10, 2018

Story 3: The Coming Investigation and Prosecution  of The Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy —  President Trump Will Demand Attorney General Appoint Second Special Counsel To Investigate And Prosecute The Criminal Plotters  Including Those in Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency and Obama White House –Hysteria and Panic Spreads Among The Plotters — American People Demand Justice — Videos

 

Sean Hannity 12/10/18 – Hannity Fox News December 10, 2018

Story 4: The Fixer Former FBI Director James Comey Stonewalls Congress By Not Remembering Many Many Things — Selective Amnesia — Videos

The Ingraham Angle 12/10/18 – Ingraham Angle Fox News December 10, 2018

 

Comey transcript released: Ex-FBI boss claims not to know, remember key details in Russia case

Former FBI Director James Comey claimed “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember” in response to dozens of questions concerning key details in the Russia probe, according to a lengthy transcript released Saturday of his closed-door interview with congressional lawmakers.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., and House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., published the 235-page transcript as a part of an agreement with Comey.

The former bureau boss frustrated GOP lawmakers during Friday’s session, in large part because his lawyers urged him not to answer numerous questions. Comey is expected to return later in the month for another round, though blasted Republicans on his way out for what he called a “desperate attempt to find anything that can be used to attack the institutions of justice investigating this president.”

READ THE COMEY TRANSCRIPT

But while Comey insisted in the interview that “we never investigated the Trump campaign for political purposes,” the transcript shows he claimed ignorance or memory lapses in response to questions concerning key details and events in the Russia investigation, which some GOP lawmakers continue to claim was improperly conducted.

The transcript reveals lawmakers’ frustration with his lack of specifics.

Asked if he recalled who drafted the FBI’s “initiation document” for the July 2016 Russia investigation, Comey said, “I do not.” He again claimed not to know when asked about the involvement in that initiation of Peter Strzok, whose anti-Trump texts later got him removed from the special counsel’s probe.

When asked if the FBI had any evidence that anyone in the Trump campaign conspired to hack the DNC server, Comey gave a lengthy answer referring to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation as to why he couldn’t answer.

“Did we have evidence in July of (2016) that anyone in the Trump campaign conspired to hack the DNC server?” Comey asked rhetorically. “I don’t think that the FBI and special counsel want me answering questions that may relate to their investigation of Russian interference during 2016. And I worry that that would cross that line.”

“I don’t think that the FBI and special counsel want me answering questions that may relate to their investigation of Russian interference during 2016. And I worry that that would cross that line,”

— Former FBI Director James Comey

When pressed further by Gowdy about what “factual predicate” the bureau had to launch a counterintelligence investigation, Comey again claimed that answering that question would be a “slope” that would ask him to reveal what the FBI “did or didn’t know about Russia activity” as it related to the 2016 election.

“You can’t tell us, or you won’t tell us?” Gowdy asks.

“Probably a combination of both … To the extent I recall facts developed during our investigation of Russian interference and the potential connection of Americans, I think that’s a question that the FBI doesn’t want me answering. So it’s both a can’t and a won’t,” Comey replied.

The former FBI director went on to say that anything related to Mueller’s investigation, to his understanding, would be “off limits” as it is an ongoing investigation.

Comey was also fuzzy on the eventual Democratic funding of the research that went into the controversial and unverified anti-Trump dossier.

Asked when he learned that the firm behind the dossier, Fusion GPS, was hired by law firm Perkins Coie – and when he learned that law firm was hired by the Democratic National Committee – Comey said “I never learned that” while director.

Comey also claimed not to know key details surrounding the involvement of Christopher Steele, the former British spy who authored the dossier.

Asked when Steele was “terminated” as an FBI source, Comey said he didn’t know.

Asked about Steele’s subsequent contact with Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, Comey said, “I don’t know anything about that.”

The Comey appearance comes as Republicans try to probe deeper into the FBI’s handling of both the Russia case and Hillary Clinton email investigation, before Democrats take control of the House in January and likely shut down these lines of inquiry.

Comey was asked numerous questions as well about the handling of the Clinton case, acknowledging at times that certain aspects of it were “unusual” while defending other actions.

Comey initially challenged the subpoena to appear before the committees and instead pressed for a public hearing out of concern his comments would be selectively leaked and taken out of context. He eventually agreed to appear, with an arrangement for the transcript to be made public.

Fox News’ Bill Mears, Jake Gibson, and Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/comey-transcript-released-ex-fbi-boss-claims-not-to-know-remember-key-details-in-russia-case

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Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy

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

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

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

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

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

12/5/2018

By John Solomon
Opinion Contributor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chuck Ross@ChuckRossDC

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

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

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

Paul Sperry@paulsperry_

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

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Chuck Ross@ChuckRossDC

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As Solomon bluntly puts it:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Reuters photo: Jonathan Ernst)

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

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

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

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

The answer is no.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Could the President Spy on His Political Opponents?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Section 702 of FISA

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

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

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

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

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

Executive Order (EO) 12333

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

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

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

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

“Traditional” FISA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

an hour ago
Nancy Pelosi

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

___

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

https://apnews.com/e3fd315c66554c22bfdf97710e0df711

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Trump eyeing Bush 41 attorney general to replace Sessions

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

William P. Barr

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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

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

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

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

 

Early life, education, and career

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

Barr with President Ronald Reaganin 1983

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

Department of Justice

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

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

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

Acting Attorney General of the United States

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

Nomination and confirmation

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

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

Attorney General of the United States

Tenure

Analysis

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

Subsequent career

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

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

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

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

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

Policy positions

Immigration

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

Crime and security

Social issues

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

Health care reform

Energy and environment

Executive power

Personal life

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

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

References … 

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

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

See the source image

See the source image

OPEC set to curb oil supply? | DW News

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

Study: US Could Be a Net Energy Exporter

Analysts: OPEC Meeting in Vienna to Result in Less Production

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

American Oil Renaissance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— With assistance by Jessica Summers

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

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1181, December 4, 2018, Story 1: Revolt of the Yellow Vests Against French Elites Carbon Tax — Political Climate Changing — Revolt of The People Against Their Political Elitist Establishment Controlled Governments — Videos — Story 2: People and Nationalism Against The Globalism New World Order– Revolt of The Masses — Story 3: German Elite’s Mass Immigration Crisis — German People Vs. Political Elites — Nationalism vs. Globalism — Freedom vs. Tyranny — Videos — Story 4: United Nation’s Panel Proposes That Criticisms of Mass Migration Policies  Will Be A Criminal Offense — Crushing Dissent — Migration is Not A Human Right — Video

Posted on December 4, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Climate Change, Coal, Coal, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Economics, Elections, Empires, Energy, European History, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, France, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), Lying, Media, Natural Gas, News, Nuclear, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Public Corruption, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Science, Senate, Tax Fraud, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, The 2013 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Unemployment, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Revolt and Riots of the Yellow Vests Against French Elite’s Carbon Tax — Political Climate Changing — Revolt of The People Against Their Political Elitist Establishment Controlled Governments — Videos

See the source imageclimatefactors

Anti-Macron riots in Paris turn deadly

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Manfred Mann – Blinded by the Light

Climate Change in 12 Minutes – The Skeptic’s Case

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Lord Christopher Monckton – Global Warming is a Hoax

How Climate Scientists Predict the Future

Can Climate Models Predict Climate Change?

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]

The Great Global Warming Swindle – Full Documentary HD

Richard Lindzen ICCC4

 

Alarming Global Warming: What Happens to Science in the Public Square. Richard S. Lindzen, Ph.D.

From DDP 30th Annual Meeting, July 2012. Professor Lindzen is a dynamical meteorologist with interests in the broad topics of climate, planetary waves, monsoon meteorology, planetary atmospheres, and hydrodynamic instability.

His research involves studies of the role of the tropics in mid-latitude weather and global heat transport, the moisture budget and its role in global change, the
origins of ice ages, seasonal effects in atmospheric transport, stratospheric waves, and the observational determination of climate sensitivity.

He has made major contributions to the development of the current theory for the Hadley Circulation, which dominates the atmospheric transport of heat and momentum from the tropics to higher latitudes, and has advanced the understanding of the role of small scale gravity waves in producing the reversal of global temperature gradients at the mesopause, and provided accepted explanations for atmospheric tides and the quasi-biennial oscillation of the tropical stratosphere. He pioneered the study of how ozone photochemistry, radiative transfer, and dynamics interact with each other. He is currently studying what determines the pole-to-equator temperature difference, the nonlinear equilibration of baroclinic instability, and the contribution of such instabilities to global heat transport.

He has also been developing a new approach to air-sea interaction in the tropics, and is actively involved in parameterizing the role of cumulus convection in heating and drying the atmosphere and in generating upper level cirrus clouds. He has developed models for the Earths climate with specific concern for the stability of the ice caps, the sensitivity to increases in CO2, the origin of the 100,000-year cycle in glaciation, and the maintenance of regional variations in climate. Prof. Lindzen is a recipient of the AMSs Meisinger and Charney Awards, the AGUs Macelwane Medal, and the Leo Huss Walin Prize. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society.

He is a corresponding member of the NAS Committee on Human Rights, and has been a member of the NRC Board on Atmospheric Sciences and Climate and the Council of the AMS. He has also been a consultant to the Global Modeling and Simulation Group at NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center, and a Distinguished Visiting Scientist at California Institute of Technologys Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He earned a Ph.D. at Harvard University.From DDP 30th Annual Meeting, July 2012. Professor Lindzen is a dynamical meteorologist with interests in the broad topics of climate, planetary waves, monsoon meteorology, planetary atmospheres, and hydrodynamic instability.

His research involves studies of the role of the tropics in mid-latitude weather and global heat transport, the moisture budget and its role in global change, the origins of ice ages, seasonal effects in atmospheric transport, stratospheric waves, and the observational determination of climate sensitivity. He has made major contributions to the development of the current theory for the Hadley Circulation, which dominates the atmospheric transport of heat and momentum from the tropics to higher latitudes, and has advanced the understanding of the role of small scale gravity waves in producing the reversal of global temperature gradients at the mesopause, and provided accepted explanations for atmospheric tides and the quasi-biennial oscillation of the tropical stratosphere. He pioneered the study of how ozone photochemistry, radiative transfer, and dynamics interact with each other. He is currently studying what determines the pole-to-equator temperature difference, the nonlinear equilibration of baroclinic instability, and the contribution of such instabilities to global heat transport.

He has also been developing a new approach to air-sea interaction in the tropics, and is actively involved in parameterizing the role of cumulus convection in heating and drying the atmosphere and in generating upper level cirrus clouds. He has developed models for the Earths climate with specific concern for the stability of the ice caps, the sensitivity to increases in CO2, the origin of the 100,000-year cycle in glaciation, and the maintenance of regional variations in climate.

Prof. Lindzen is a recipient of the AMSs Meisinger and Charney Awards, the AGUs Macelwane Medal, and the Leo Huss Walin Prize. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Meteorological Society. He is a corresponding member of the NAS Committee on Human Rights, and has been a member of the NRC B

 

Macron Blinks in Fuel-Tax Dispute With Yellow Vests

Grass-roots movement ‘gilets jaunes’ led violent protests in the heart of Paris, pressuring him to back down on key piece of his economic overhaul

Protesters wave flares and French flags near the Arc de Triomphe during a demonstration over high fuel prices on the Champs-Élysèe in Paris.
Protesters wave flares and French flags near the Arc de Triomphe during a demonstration over high fuel prices on the Champs-Élysèe in Paris.PHOTO: YOAN VALAT/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK/EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

PARIS—French President Emmanuel Macron suffered the first major setback in his push to overhaul the French economy, backing off a fuel-tax increase that enraged much of the nation and sparked a grass-roots protest movement against his government.

Faced with another weekend of destructive protests by the gilets jaunes—or yellow vests—Prime Minister Édouard Philippe told a press conference on Tuesday that the tax increase would be pushed back six months to allow for public discussion. The worst riots to hit Paris in decades erupted during antigovernment protests on Saturday, leaving the city’s shopping and tourist center dotted with burning cars and damaged storefronts. Protesters vandalized the Arc de Triomphe, rattling Mr. Macron’s administration and the country.

“No tax is worth threatening the unity of the nation,” Mr. Philippe said.

The protests have become a test of Mr. Macron’s resolve to forge ahead with his broader agenda, particularly his plans to make France more business-friendly. The concession marked the first time the Macron government has blinked since the former investment banker took office in the spring of 2017.

Mr. Macron won the presidency on a platform that promised to make the French economy more competitive while also cutting pollution and preserving the nation’s generous social protections. His proposals included reduced jobs protections for workers, higher fuel taxes, cutting red tape for businesses and a repeal of much of France’s wealth tax.

The French leader has eschewed the consensus-building approach of his predecessors. Instead, he wielded his executive powers and his large majority in Parliament to defy the political opposition, unions and other groups.

In recent months, however, Mr. Macron’s approval ratings have plummeted and lawmakers in his own party have urged him to offer concessions as the gilets jaunes protests have mounted. Polls show that more than 70% of the public supports the demonstrators.

It remained unclear whether the delay was enough to thaw tensions. On social media, gilets jaunes were preparing to protest for a fourth consecutive weekend.

“It’s a small victory because he is finally backing down,” said David Roig, a 29-year-old taxi driver. “But what we want isn’t a delay. It’s the cancellation of the planned tax increase.”

France’s ‘Yellow Vests’ Protests Rage at President Macron
France’s ‘Yellow Vests’ Protests Rage at President Macron
The gilets jaunes — or yellow vests — movement started as a protest against higher fuel taxes but it has become a rallying cry against President Emmanuel Macron’s economic policies. Their latest demonstration resulted in riots in Paris that led to hundreds of arrests and injuries. Image: AFP/Getty

Mr. Macron has much left to accomplish from his agenda. In a speech to his ministers in November, he set the goal of making France “an environmental power of the 21st century.” He is also planning overhauls of the country’s pension system and schools, along with the elimination of tens of thousands of civil-service posts.

Mr. Macron’s agenda also suffered a setback on Tuesday in Brussels, where eurozone finance ministers refused to back French proposals for a sweeping overhaul of the bloc. Mr. Macron made shoring up the currency area a centerpiece of his campaign to prevent a repeat of the crisis that nearly tore the eurozone apart several years ago.

The finance ministers agreed on several measures Mr. Macron backed, including using the eurozone’s bailout fund as a backstop to resolve failing banks and an easing of terms for governments to borrow from the fund.

But there was no deal on a common eurozone budget to fund government spending in nations hit with economic downturns, a goal of Mr. Macron’s. Nations such as the Netherlands and Finland oppose pooling their taxpayers’ money for such purposes. Ministers agreed only that work could start on designing a budget to improve the bloc’s competitiveness and to help poorer economies converge with wealthier ones. The size of that budget has yet to be discussed.

“We would have liked to go further,” said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, “but we knew that for certain governments, this wasn’t possible.”

The gilets jaunes movement largely has rebuffed the government’s appeals to negotiate, discouraging any representatives from sitting down with officials. A few gilets jaunes who were preparing to meet with Mr. Philippe on Tuesday canceled after receiving threats from more radical factions of the movement.

The protests have exposed the weakness hidden behind Mr. Macron’s large victory over far-right opponent Marine Le Pen. He assembled a winning coalition of centrist voters, but just 42% of registered voters backed Mr. Macron as unprecedented numbers of French left their ballots blank or abstained. Many gilets jaunes come from this segment of the French electorate, deeply skeptical of his centrist, business-friendly policies.

While the fuel-tax proposal spawned the gilets jaunes, the movement has since embraced a broader antigovernment agenda, accusing Mr. Macron of being a champion of the rich at the expense of the working class.

The tax proposal, aimed at simultaneously raising revenue and cutting automobile pollution, was a hallmark of Mr. Macron’s technocratic leadership style. Economists say such consumption taxes that reduce pollution and other harmful effects are an efficient way for the government to raise revenue.

That approach, however, alienated swaths of French people who live in rural and suburban areas and rely on their cars to reach their jobs in city centers. It also compounded the public’s perception that rural France has borne the brunt of globalization’s impact, as forces such as e-commerce and big-box retail have left villages and towns hollowed out.

The result: Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to Paris and other cities around France, blocking roads, clashing with police and demanding Mr. Macron’s resignation.

On Tuesday, Mr. Philippe called for a nationwide “consultation” to discuss fiscal policy and public services outside of major cities. He also said there wouldn’t be any increases in the price of natural gas and electricity over the same six-month period.

“The government has made proposals,” Mr. Philippe said. “Let’s talk about it. Let’s improve them, complete them, I am ready for it.”

https://www.wsj.com/articles/france-to-delay-fuel-tax-increase-after-violent-protests-1543925246

Story 2: People and Nationalism vs.  The Political Elites’  New World Order of Globalism — Revolt of The Masses — Videos

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Alex Jones SHOW MONDAY 12.3.18 | Alex Jones SHOW DECEMBER 3 2018

Story 3: German Elite’s Mass Immigration Crisis — German People Vs. Political Elites — Nationalism vs. Globalism — Freedom vs. Tyranny — Videos

The Suicide of Europe

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What Is a Globalist?

Who Are the Real Fascists?

Trump, Hitler, and the Millennial Hero Complex

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The Problem With Libertarians

Lauren Southern on Islam and Immigration in Europe (Pt. 2)

‘Why Would She Do THIS To Her Country??’ – Tucker Carlson Calls Out German Chancellor Angela Merkel

Volatile anti-migrant protests gripping Germany

Could Germany’s migration problem be Merkel’s downfall?

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‘Migration Is Not a Fundamental Human Right’ — Breitbart Interviews Hungarian FM Péter Szijjártó

Tommy Robinson: Germany Fights Back!

UK activist Tommy Robinson speaks out after prison release

Crime spike in Germany puts pressure on immigration policy

Published on Feb 7, 2018

How Muslim immigration has roiled Europe

Published on Dec 20, 2016

Alternative for Germany (German: Alternative für DeutschlandAfD) is a right-wing[18] to far-right[17] political party in Germany. Founded in April 2013, the AfD narrowly missed the 5% electoral threshold to sit in the Bundestag during the 2013 federal election. In 2014 the party won seven seats in the European election as a member of the European Conservatives and Reformists. After securing representation in 14 of the 16 German state parliaments by October 2017, the AfD became the third-largest party in Germany after the 2017 federal election, claiming 94 seats in the Bundestag, a major breakthrough for the party as it was the first time the AfD had won any seats in the Bundestag. The party is chaired by Jörg Meuthen; its lead candidates in the 2017 elections were AfD Co-Vice Chairman Alexander Gauland and Alice Weidel who now serves as the party group leader in the Bundestag. Since 2017, AfD is the largest opposition party in the Bundestag.

The party has been described as a German nationalist,[2][3][4] right-wing populist,[19] and Eurosceptic[6] party. Since about 2015, the AfD has been increasingly open to working with far-right extremist groups such as Pegida.[20] Parts of the AfD have racist,[21] Islamophobic,[22] anti-Semitic[23][24] and xenophobic[11][25][26] tendencies linked to far-right movements such as neo-Nazism[27][24] and identitarianism.[28][29]

Contents

History

Founding

In September 2012, Alexander GaulandBernd Lucke, and journalist Konrad Adam, founded the political group Electoral Alternative 2013 (GermanWahlalternative 2013) in Bad Nauheim, to oppose German federal policies concerning the eurozone crisis. Their manifesto was endorsed by several economists, journalists, and business leaders, and stated that the eurozone had proven to be “unsuitable” as a currency area and that southern European states were “sinking into poverty under the competitive pressure of the euro”.[30]

“Wahlalternative 2013” logo

Some candidates of what would become the AfD sought election in Lower Saxony as part of the Electoral Alternative 2013 in alliance with the Free Voters, an association participating in local elections without specific federal or foreign policies, and received 1% of the vote.[30][31] In February 2013 the group decided to found a new party to compete in the 2013 federal elections. The Free Voters leadership declined to join forces, according to a leaked email from Bernd Lucke.[32] Advocating the abolition of the Euro, Alternative for Germany (AfD) took a more radical stance than the Free Voters.[33] Likewise, the Pirate Party of Germany opposed any coalition with the AfD at their 2013 spring convention.[34]

Konrad Adam (left), Frauke Petry and Bernd Lucke during the first AfD convention on 14 April 2013 in Berlin

The AfD’s initial supporters were the same prominent economists, business leaders and journalists who had supported the Electoral Alternative 2013, including former members of the Christian Democratic Union, who had previously challenged the constitutionality of the German government’s eurozone policies at the Federal Constitutional Court.[35][36]

Second vote share percentage for AfD in the 2013 federal election in Germany, final results

On 14 April 2013, the AfD announced its presence to the wider public when it held its first convention in Berlin, elected the party leadership and adopted a party platform. Bernd Lucke,[37] entrepreneur Frauke Petry and Konrad Adam were elected as speakers.[38] The AfD federal board also chose three deputy speakers, Alexander Gauland, Roland Klaus and Patricia Casale. The party elected treasurer Norbert Stenzel and the three assessors Irina Smirnova, Beatrix Diefenbach and Wolf-Joachim Schünemann. The economist Joachim Starbatty, along with Jörn KruseHelga LuckenbachDirk Meyer and Roland Vaubel were elected to the party’s scientific advisory board. Between 31 March and 12 May 2013 the AfD founded affiliates in all 16 German states in order to participate in the federal elections. On 15 June 2013 the Young Alternative for Germany was founded in Darmstadt as the AfD’s youth organisation.[39] In April 2013, during David Cameron‘s visit to Germany, the British Conservative Party was reported to have contacted both AfD and the Free Voters to discuss possible cooperation, supported by the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group of the European Parliament.[40] In June 2013, Bernd Lucke gave a question and answer session organised by the Conservative Party-allied Bruges Group think tank in Portcullis House, London.[41] In a detailed report in the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in April 2013, the paper’s Berlin-based political correspondent Majid Sattar revealed that the SPD and CDU had conducted opposition research to blunt the growth and attraction of the AfD.[42]

The party was created by Bernd Lucke, Alexander Gauland, and Konrad Adam to confront German-supported bailouts for poorer southern European countries.[43]

2013 federal election

On 22 September 2013, the AfD won 4.7% of the votes in the 2013 federal election, missing the 5% barrier to enter the Bundestag. The party won about 2 million party list votes and 810,000 constituency votes, which was 1.9% of the total of these votes cast across Germany.[44]

2013 state elections

The AfD did not participate in the 2013 Bavaria state election held on 15 September 2013. The AfD gained its first representation in the state parliament of Hesse with the defection of Jochen Paulus from the Free Democratic Party (FDP) to the AfD in early May 2013,[45] who was not re-elected and left office in January 2014.[46] In the 2013 Hesse state election held on 22 September 2013, the same day as the 2013 federal election, the AfD failed to gain representation in the parliament with 4.0% of the vote.

2014 European Parliament election

Former “Courage [to stand up] for the truth! The euro is dividing Europe!” tagline on election placard 2013

In early 2014, the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany ruled the proposed 3% vote hurdle for representation in the European elections unconstitutional, and the 2014 European Parliament election became the first run in Germany without a barrier for representation.[47]

The AfD held a party conference on 25 January 2014 at Frankenstolz ArenaAschaffenburg, northwest Bavaria. The conference chose the slogan Mut zu Deutschland (“Courage [to stand up] for Germany”) to replace the former slogan Mut zur Wahrheit (lit. “Courage [to speak] the truth” or, more succinctly, “Telling it as it is”),[48] which prompted disagreement among the federal board that the party could be seen as too anti-European. Eventually a compromise was reached by using the slogan “MUT ZU D*EU*TSCHLAND, with the “EU” in “DEUTSCHLAND” encircled by the 12 stars of the European flag.[49] The conference elected the top six candidates for the European elections on 26 January 2014 and met again the following weekend to choose the remaining euro candidates.[48][49][50] Candidates from 7th–28th place on the party list were selected in Berlin on 1 February.[51] Party chairman Bernd Lucke was elected as lead candidate.

In February 2014, AfD officials said they had discussed alliances with Britain’s anti-EU UK Independence Party (UKIP), which Bernd Lucke and the federal board of AfD opposed, and also with the ECR group, to which the British Conservative Party belongs.[52] In April 2014 Hans-Olaf Henkel, AfD’s second candidate on the European election list, ruled out forming a group with UKIP after the 2014 European election.[53] stating that he saw the British Conservatives as the preferred partner in the European Parliament.[53] On 10 May 2014 Bernd Lucke had been in talks with the Czech and Polish member parties of ECR group.[54]

In the 25 May 2014 European election, the AfD came in fifth place in Germany, with 7.1% of the national vote (2,065,162 votes), and seven members of the EU parliament.[55] On 12 June 2014 it was announced that the AfD had been accepted into the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group in the European Parliament.[56] The official vote result was not released to the public, but figures of 29 votes for and 26 against were reported by the membership.[56]

2014 state elections

On 31 August 2014, the AfD scored 9.7% of the vote in the Saxony state election,[57] winning 14 seats in the Landtag of Saxony.[58] and on 14 September 2014 they obtained 10.6% of the vote in the Thuringian and 12.2% in the Brandenburg state election, winning 11 seats in both state parliaments.[59]

2015 state elections

On 15 February 2015 AfD won 6.1% of the vote in the 2015 Hamburg state election, gaining the mandate for eight seats in the Hamburg Parliament,[60] winning their first seats in a western German state.

On 10 May the AfD secured in the 5.5% of the vote in the Bremen state election, 2015 gaining representation in their 5th state parliament on a 50% turnout.[61]

Petry assumes leadership, Lucke quits

After months of factional infighting and a cancelled party gathering in June 2015, on 4 July 2015 Frauke Petry was elected as the de facto principal speaker of the party with 60% of the member votes ahead of Bernd Lucke at a party congress in Essen.[62] Petry was a member of the national-conservative faction of the AfD.[63] Her leadership was widely seen as heralding a shift of the party to the right, to focus more on issues such as migration, Islam and strengthening ties to Russia,[64] a shift which was claimed by Lucke as turning the party into a “Pegidaparty”.[65] In the following week, five MEPs exited the party on 7 July, the only remaining MEPs being Beatrix von Storch and Marcus Pretzell[66] and on 8 July 2015, Lucke announced that he was resigning from the AfD, citing the rise of xenophobic and pro-Russian sentiments in the party.[67] At a meeting of members of the Wake-up call (Weckruf 2015) group on 19 July 2015, the founder of the AfD Bernd Lucke and former AfD members announced they would form a new party, the Alliance for Progress and Renewal (ALFA), under the founding principles of the AfD.[68]

Co-operation with FPÖ and exclusion from ECR group

In February 2016, the AfD announced a cooperation pact with the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ).[69] On 8 March 2016, the bureau of the ECR Group began motions to exclude the AfD from their group due to its links with the far-right FPÖ,[70] inviting the two remaining AfD MEPs to leave the group by 31 March, with a motion of exclusion to be tabled on 12 April if they refuse to leave voluntarily.[71] While MEP Beatrix von Storch left the ECR group on 8 April to join the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group,[72][73] Marcus Pretzell let himself be expelled on 12 April 2016.[74]

2016 state elections

With the migrant debate remaining the dominant national issue, on 13 March 2016 elections held in the three states of Baden-WürttembergRhineland-Palatinate and Saxony-Anhalt saw the AfD receiving double-digit percentages of the vote in all three states.[75][76] In the 2016 Saxony-Anhalt state election, the AfD reached second place in the Landtag, receiving 24.2% of the vote. In the 2016 Baden-Württemberg state election, the AfD achieved third place with 15.1% of the vote. In the 2016 Rhineland-Palatinate state election, the AfD again reached third place with 12.6% of the vote. In Angela Merkel‘s home state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern her CDU was beaten into third place following a strong showing of the AfD who contested at state level for the first time, to claim the second-highest polling with 20.8% of the vote in the 2016 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state election.[77][78] However AfD voter support in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania appears to have come from both left and right wing parties with support for the SPD down 4.9%, CDU down 4.1%, The Leftdown 5.2%, Alliance ’90/The Greens down 3.9% and support for the National Democratic Party of Germany halved, dropping 3.0%. Rising support for the AfD meant that The Greens and the NDP failed to reach the 5% threshold to qualify for seats in the Landtag of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and consequently lost their seats. In the 2016 Berlin state election, which the AfD also contested for the first time,[79] they achieved a vote of 14.2%, making them the fifth largest party represented in the state assembly. Their vote seems to have come equally from the SPD and CDU, whose votes declined 6.7% and 5.7% respectively.[80]

2016 party congress

At the party congress held on 30 April to 1 May 2016, the AfD adopted a policy platform based upon opposition to Islam, calling for the ban of Islamic symbols including burkhasminarets and the call to prayer, using the slogan “Islam is not a part of Germany”.[81][82][83][84]

2017 federal election

Second vote share percentage for AfD in the 2017 federal election in Germany, final results

National party convention in Cologne in April 2017

At the party conference in April 2017, Frauke Petry announced that she would not run as the party’s main candidate for the 2017 federal election. This announcement grew out of internal power struggle as the party’s support had fallen in polls from 15% in the summer of 2016 to 7% just before the conference. Björn Höcke from the far-right wing of the party and Petry were attempting to push each other out of the party. Petry’s decision was partly seen as a step to avoid a vote at the conference on the issue of her standing.[85] The party chose Alexander Gauland, a stark conservative who worked as an editor and was a former member of the CDU,[86] to lead the party in the elections. Gauland supported the retention of Höcke’s party membership. Alice Weidel, who is perceived as more moderate and neoliberal, was elected as his running mate.[87] The party approved a platform that, according to The Wall Street Journal: “urges Germany to close its borders to asylum applicants, end sanctions on Russia and to leave the EU if Berlin fails to retrieve national sovereignty from Brussels, as well as to amend the country’s constitution to allow people born to non-German parents to have their German citizenship revoked if they commit serious crimes.[87]

In the 2017 German federal elections the AfD won 12.6% of the vote and received 94 seats; this was the first time it had won seats in the Bundestag.[88][89] At a press conference held by AfD the day after the election, Petry said that she would participate in the Bundestag as an independent; she said she did this because extremist statements by some members made it impossible for AfD to function as a constructive opposition, and to make clear to voters that there is internal dissent in the AfD. She also said that she would be leaving the party at some future date.[90][91] Four members of the AfD in the Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania legislature also left the AfD to form their own group.[90]

Ideology and policies

The AfD was founded as a centre-right conservative party of the middle class with a tendency toward ‘soft’ Euroscepticism, being generally supportive of Germany’s membership in the European Union but critical of further European integration, the existence of the euro currency, and the bailouts by the eurozone for countries such as Greece.[92][93][94] At that time, the party also advocated support for Swiss-style direct democracy, dissolution of the Eurozoneopposition to immigration, and opposed gay marriage.[15]

By May 2015, the party became polarised into two factions, one centred around Lucke and his core economic policies and another group led by Petry, which favoured an anti-immigration approach. The result was that Lucke’s faction left to found a new party: the Alliance for Progress and Renewal,[95] later renamed the Liberal Conservative Reformers in November 2016. AfD also supports the privatization of social programs and state owned enterprises.[96][97]

German nationalism

The party was founded on opposition to Germany’s financial support of other Eurozone states and the third main point of its initial platform called for Germany to cede no further elements of its sovereignty to the EU without approval via a referendum.[30] Over time, a focus on German nationalism, on reclaiming Germany’s sovereignty and national pride, especially in repudiation to Germany’s culture of shame with regard to its Nazi past, became more central in AfD’s ideology and a central plank in its populist appeals.[2][3][4] For example, Petry, who led the moderate wing of the party, said that Germany should reclaim the German word “völkisch” from its Nazi connotations,[98] while Höcke, who is an example of the more right-wing views, regularly speaks of the “Fatherland” and “Volk.”[2] In January 2017, Höcke drew heavy criticism for a speech in which he stated, in reference to the Berlin Holocaust Memorial, “Germans are the only people in the world who plant a monument of shame in the heart of the capital,” and criticized the “laughable policy of coming to terms with the past.”[99][100] Höcke continued that Germany should make a “180 degree” turn with regard to its sense of national pride.[2]

The party also describes German national identity as under threat both from European integration and from the presence and accommodation of immigrants and refugees within Germany; its anti-immigration message is often articulated in this way, especially with regard to Islam.[3][4]

Homosexuality and feminism

According to its interim electoral manifesto, the party is against same-sex marriage and favours civil unions. The party is also against adoption for same-sex couples.[101] The left-leaning newspaper Die Tageszeitung described the group as advocating ‘old gender roles’.[102] Wolfgang Gedeon, an elected AfD representative, has included feminism, along with “sexualism,” and “migrationism”, in an ideology he calls “green communism” that he opposes, and argues for family values as part of German identity.[103] As AfD has campaigned for traditional roles for women, it has aligned itself with groups opposed to modern feminism.[104] The youth wing of the party has used social media to campaign against aspects of modern feminism, with the support of party leadership.[105]

Environment

The party has a platform of climate change scepticism,[101][106] and therefore criticizes the energy transformation policies (Energiewende) that have promoted renewable energy. The party wants to restrict “uncontrolled expansion of wind energy”, for instance.[101]

Conscription

AfD wants a reinstatement of conscription, starting for men at the age of 18.[107][101]

Foreign policy

In foreign policy, as of 2015 the party platform was pro-NATO, pro-United States and largely pro-Israel,[10][108] but the party was significantly divided on whether to support Russia, and had opposed sanctions on Russia supported by NATO and the United States.[109] It is also divided on free trade agreements.[109]

Membership

membership numbers
2013 17,687[110]
2014 20,728[110]
2015 16,385[110]
2016 26,409[110]
2017 29,000[111]
2018 31,000[111]

Party finances

Because the 2013 federal election was the first attempt to join by the party, the AfD had not received any federal funds in the run-up to it,[112] but after receiving 2 million votes it crossed the threshold for party funding and was expected to receive an estimated 1.3 to 1.5 million Euros per year of state subsidies.[113] After joining the parliament after the election of 2017 with more than 90 representatives, the party received more than 70 million Euros per year. This will probably rise to more than 100 million Euros per year from 2019 onward. Further, the party has established and acknowledged a foundation for political education, and other purposes, close to the party but organized separately, which may be able to claim up to 80 million Euro per year.[114] This foundation would be need to be acknowledged by the federal parliament in Germany first, but it generally has a legal claim to these subsidies.

European affiliations

Following the 2014 European Parliament elections, on 12 June 2014 the AfD was accepted into the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group in the European Parliament.[56]

In February 2016, the AfD announced a closer cooperation with the right-wing populist party Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ), which is a member of the Europe of Nations and Freedom (ENF) group.[69] On 8 March 2016, the bureau of the ECR Group began motions to exclude AfD MEPs from their group due to the party’s links with the far-right FPÖ and controversial remarks by two party leader, about shooting immigrants.[70][71] MEP Beatrix von Storch pre-empted her imminent expulsion by leaving the ECR group to join the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group on 8 April,[72][73] and Marcus Pretzell was expelled from the ECR group on 12 April 2016.[74] During the AfD party convention on 30 April 2016, Pretzell announced his intention to join the Europe of Nations and Freedomgroup.[115][116]

Public image

Alternative for Germany in 2013

Alice Weidel and Alexander Gauland in April 2017

At the outset AfD presented itself as conservative and middle-class, catering to a well-educated demographic; around two-thirds of supporters listed on its website in the early days held doctorates, leading to AfD being nicknamed the “professors’ party” in those early days.[117][118][119] The party was described as professors and academics who dislike the compromises inflicted on their purist theories by German party politics.[120] 86% of the party’s initial supporters were male.[45]

Relationship with far-right groups

Outside the Berlin hotel where the party held its inaugural meeting, it has been alleged that copies of Junge Freiheit, a weekly that is also popular with the far-right were being handed out.[121] The Rheinische Post pointed out that some AfD members and supporters write for the conservative paper Junge Freiheit.[42][122] There was also a protest outside the venue of the party’s inaugural meeting by Andreas Storr, a National Democratic Party of Germany(NPD) representative in the Landtag of Saxony, as the NPD sees the AfD as a rival for Eurosceptic votes.[123]

In 2013 Alternative for Germany party organisers sent out the message that they are not trying to attract right-wing radicals, and toned down rhetoric on their Facebook page following media allegations that it too closely evoked the language of the far-right.[117][124] At that time the AfD checked applicants for membership to exclude far-right and former NPD members who support the anti-Euro policy (as other mainstream German political parties do).[117][118][125] The former party chairman Bernd Lucke initially defended the choice of words, citing freedom of opinion, and a right to use “strong words”, meanwhile he has also said that “The applause is coming from the wrong side” in regards to praise his party gained from the National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD).[117]

A 2013 investigation conducted by the internet social analytic company Linkfluence showed little to no similarities in Facebook likes of AfD followers and those of the NPD supporter base.[126] AfD members interests tended towards euroscepticism and direct democracy, while NPD supporters showed interests in anti-Islamification, right-wing rock bands and the German military.[126] An evaluation between the hyperlinks included on AFD local party websites also showed few similarities, with the company’s German chief-executive stating “The AfD supporter base and the right-wing extremist scene are digitally very far removed from one another”.[126] The analysis did point to AfD members favouring links with right-wing populist reactionary conservative content.[126] The AfD’s desire to break consensus-based politics and oppose political correctness as undermining freedom of speech, does lend it kudos as a legitimate mouthpiece for right-wing populism among some of the party membership and on regional AfD websites, which contrasts with the intellectual character of the party hierarchy.[126]

Left-wing criticism of the party took a more hardened tone over the late summer 2013,[citation needed] with an array of political activists from far-left anti-fascist anarchists to the mainstream Green Party accusing it of pandering to xenophobic and nationalistic sentiments.[127] This ultimately led to the AfD complaining over incidents of verbal abuse and violence to its campaigners in Berlin, LübeckNuremberg and the university city of Göttingen.[127] Incidents in Göttingen flared after a party conference on 1 August, with police intervening later in the month in an attempted garage arson attack (in which there was said to be a car filled with AfD campaign literature) and to break up a dispute between the AfD and members of the Green Youth.[127] Party leader Bernd Lucke described the events as a “slap in the face for every person who supports democracy” with the party in Lower Saxony left questioning whether to abandon their campaign in the state as local pub and restaurant owners denied the party access to their venues fearing for their businesses.[127]

On 24 August 2013, Lucke and 16 other party members were reported to have been attacked in Bremen by opponents who used pepper spray and pushed Lucke from the stage. Initial reports by party officials and the police suggested that they were left-wing extremists and that about eight out of 20–25 attackers had succeeded in getting onto the stage. It was reported that a campaign worker had been cut with a knife. Later the police indicated that the number of people was probably around 10, of whom only two were known to have gained access to the stage, that only one of the opponents was known to be a left wing activist, and that the minor cut sustained by a campaign worker was probably not caused by a knife and was incurred later when attempting to apprehend a fleeing attacker.[128]

Following the German Federal Election 2013 the anti-Islam party Die Freiheit unilaterally pledged to support Alternative for Germany in the 2014 elections and concentrate its efforts on local elections only.[129] Bernd Lucke responded by saying the recommendation was unwelcome and sent a letter to party associations recommending a hiring freeze.[130] Earlier in September, Lucke described the Freedom Party members as coming from two camps, one of extreme Islam critics and populists, the other, ordinary democrats who were joining the AfD.[129] Co-operation with the Freedom Party remains controversial within the ranks of the AfD,[130] with some German state associations conducting vetting interviews with former Freedom Party members.[129] Referring to an initiative for an LGBT specific sex education in elementary school, Petry had asked on her social media presence if homophobia was such a common prejudice among third and fourth grade children, that it would be necessary to confront them with it. An article in the German LGBT magazine Queerinterpreted her statement as a demand to protect ″normal” (allegedly referring to heterosexual) families in elementary school.[131]

AfD MEP Beatrix von Storch is a known opponent of same-sex marriage.[132] She has accused school gay youth networks of using “forced sexualization” on their students.

In November 2015, a leading Berlin theatre, the Schaubühne, was brought into legal conflict with members of the AfD over a piece, Falk Richter’s FEAR, that parodied them as zombies and mass murderers.[133] AfD vice-president Beatrix von Storch is depicted facing retribution for her maternal grandfather’s role as a minister in Hitler‘s government.[134] AfD Spokesperson, Christian Lüth, responded by interrupting a performance and filming it. Beatrix von Storch, and Conservative spokesperson Hedwig von Beverfoerde, then requested and obtained a preliminary injunction against the theatre, prohibiting it from using images of them in the production. They charged that the images’ use violated their human dignity protected under the Constitution.[135] On 15 December 2015, the court ruled against the complainants in favour of the theatre’s freedom of expression and lifted the injunctions against using the images. The judges commented that ‘any audience member can recognize that this is just a play’.[136]

In November 2015 Markus Pretzell said that German borders should be defended “with armed force as a measure of last resort,”[74] and in January 2016, Frauke Petry twice said similar things.[137] Petry told the regional newspaper Mannheimer Morgen in an interview, but she later denied this and claimed that the press lied about her statement. Rhein-Zeitung has offered the audio-recording of the interview in which she advocates firing on refugees.[138]

Stern reports that among 396 AfD candidates for the 2017 Bundestag, 47 candidates have not distanced themselves from right extremism. Although a large proportion of the candidates are not openly racist, some relativize Germany’s role in World War II or call for the recognition of a “Cult of Guilt”. 30 candidates tolerate right-wing friends in their profile or are themselves members of groups associated with such people. Others mourn the German Reich or use their symbols.[139]

Pegida

In response to the Pegida movement and demonstrations, members of AfD have expressed different views, with Lucke describing the movement as “a sign that these people do not feel their concerns are understood by politicians.”[140] In response to the CDU Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere alleging an “overlap” between Pegida rallies and the AfD, Alexander Gauland stated that the AfD are “natural allies of this movement”.[141] However, Hans-Olaf Henkel asked members of the party not to join the demonstrations, telling Der Tagesspiegel that he believed it could not be ruled out that they had “xenophobic or even racist connotations”.[140] A straw poll by The Economist found that nine out of ten Pegida protesters would back the AfD.[142]

Antisemitism

Björn Höcke, one of the founders of AfD,[143][144][145][146] gave a speech in Dresden in January 2017, in which, referring to the Holocaust memorial in Berlin, he stated that “we Germans are the only people in the world who have planted a memorial of shame in the heart of their capital”[147] and suggested that Germans “need to make a 180 degree change in their politics of commemoration.”[148]

The speech was widely criticized as antisemitic, among others by Jewish leaders in Germany.[147][149] Within the AfD, he was described by his party chairwoman, Frauke Petry, as a “burden to the party” while other members of the party, such as Alexander Gauland, said that they found no anti-semitism in the speech.[147]

As a result of his speech, the leaders of the AfD have asked in February 2017 that Björn Höcke be expelled from the party. The arbitration committee of the AfD in Thuringia is set to rule on the leaders’ request.[150] As of August 2017, Höcke remains “a part of the soul of the AfD”.[151]

Junge Alternative youth organisation

The Young Alternative for Germany (GermanJunge Alternative für Deutschland or JA), was founded in 2013 as the youth organisation of the AfD, while remaining legally independent from its mother party.[39]

In view of the JA’s independence it has been regarded by some in the AfD hierarchy as being somewhat wayward,[152] with the JA repeatedly accused of being “too far right,”[153] politically regressive and anti-feminist by the German mainstream media.[152][154][155]

Elections

Federal Parliament (Bundestag)

Election year Constituencyvotes Party listvotes % ofparty list votes Seats won +/– Status
2013[156] 810,915 2,056,985 4.7

0 / 631

0 Extra-parliamentary
2017[88][89] 5,316,095 5,877,094 12.6

94 / 709

+94 Opposition

European Parliament

Election year Votes % of vote Rank Seats won +/–
2014[157] 2,070,014 7.1 #5

7 / 96

+7

State Parliaments (Landtage)

State election, year Votes % ofvote Rank Seats won +/– Status
Saxony, 2014[158] 159,611 9.7 #4

14 / 126

+14 Opposition
Thuringia, 2014[159] 99,548 10.6 #4

11 / 91

+11 Opposition
Brandenburg, 2014[160] 119,989 12.2 #4

11 / 88

+11 Opposition
Hamburg, 2015[161] 214,833 6.1 #6

8 / 121

+8 Opposition
Bremen, 2015[162] 64,368 5.5 #6

5 / 83

+5 Opposition
Baden-Württemberg, 2016[163] 809,311 15.1 #3

23 / 143

+23 Opposition
Rhineland-Palatinate, 2016[164] 267,813 12.6 #3

14 / 101

+14 Opposition
Saxony-Anhalt, 2016[165] 271,646 24.4 #2

25 / 87

+25 Opposition
Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, 2016[166] 167,453 20.8 #2

18 / 71

+18 Opposition
Berlin, 2016[167] 231,325 14.2 #5

25 / 160

+25 Opposition
Saarland, 2017[168] 32,971 6.2 #4

3 / 51

+3 Opposition
Schleswig-Holstein, 2017[169] 86,275 5.9 #5

5 / 73

+5 Opposition
North Rhine-Westphalia, 2017[170] 624,552 7.4 #4

16 / 199

+16 Opposition
Lower Saxony, 2017[171] 235,840 6.2 #5

9 / 137

+9 Opposition
Bavaria, 2018[172] 1,383,866 10.2 #4

22 / 200

+22 Opposition
Hesse, 2018[173] 378,692 13.1 #4

19 / 110

+19 Opposition

See also

References …

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

Lauren Southern

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Lauren Southern
Lauren Southern.jpg

Southern in 2016
Born 16 June 1995 (age 23)[1]

Residence TorontoOntario, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Alma mater University of the Fraser Valley
(withdrew)
Occupation Political activist, internet personality[2]
Political party Libertarian
YouTube information
Nationality Canadian
Channel
Years active 2015–present
Subscribers 620 thousand
Total views 50 million
show

Subscriber and view counts updated as of August 2018.
Website laurensouthern.net

Lauren Cherie Southern (born 16 June[3] 1995) is a Canadian far-right political activist,[a] internet personality, writer and documentary film director. She has been described as alt-right,[b] though she has denied this. In 2015, Southern ran as a Libertarian Party candidate in the Canadian federal election. She worked for The Rebel Media until March 2017. In addition, she has written for Spiked,[4] the International Business Times, and The Libertarian Republic.[5] Southern continues to work independently and uploads videos on YouTube.

In 2017, Southern supported the white identitarian group Defend Europe opposing the action of non-governmental organizations involved in search-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean Sea. She was detained by the Italian Coast Guard for blocking a ship embarking on a search-and-rescue mission.[6] In March 2018, she was questioned under the UK Terrorism Act[7] and denied entry to Britain, because of her intentions during her March visit.[8] She said she was “permanently banned” from the UK,[9] though it was later confirmed she was refused entry for specific purposes only, not banned.[10]

In July 2018, she went on a speaking tour of Australia and jokingly called for the country to be bombed, quoting the Bible.[11] In August 2018, her attempted speaking tour of New Zealand was unsuccessful. Auckland Councilcancelled Southern’s booking and blocked her from using its venues to “stir up ethnic or religious tensions”.[12]

Education and personal life

Southern was born in Surrey, British Columbia.[13] She studied political science at the University of the Fraser Valley but completed only two years and did not receive a degree.[14][15][16] Regarding her reason for dropping out, Southern stated that it was a waste of money to pay for knowledge that she could get on her own.[14]

Political career

In 2015, Southern was a candidate in the 2015 Canadian federal election representing the Libertarian Party in the district of Langley—Aldergrove.[15] She was briefly removed by the party as a candidate, but was eventually reinstated with support from Breitbart News and The Rebel Media.[17] The election was eventually won by Conservative candidate Mark Warawa. Southern finished last, having received 535 votes, or 0.9% of the total.[18]

Activism

In June 2015 while reporting on the Vancouver SlutWalk for Rebel Media, Southern’s cameraman was shoved and Southern’s protest sign stating “There Is No Rape Culture In The West” was torn up.[19][20]

In March 2016, a protester in Vancouver poured a container of urine over Southern’s head while she was engaging with LGBTQ protesters at a rally in Vancouver, arguing for two human genders.[21][22][23]

Southern was mistakenly suspended from Facebook, having criticized the site for banning several conservative commentators. She later received an email apology from Facebook saying the suspension was an “error”.[24][25]

In October 2016, Southern had her gender legally changed to male as part of a video produced for Rebel Media to show the ease of Ontario’s new gender ID laws.[26][27]

In 2016, Southern authored and self-published Barbarians: How Baby Boomers, Immigrants, and Islam Screwed My Generation.[28][29]

In January 2017, Southern posted incorrect rumours from 4chan that the Quebec City mosque shooting had been carried out by Syrian refugees; she later deleted those tweets.[30] In March 2017, Southern announced she would be leaving Rebel Media to become an independent journalist.[31] In the same month, she gained access to White House press briefings.[32][33]

In April 2017, Southern was one of several scheduled speakers at a Patriots’ Day rally in Berkeley, California.[34] The rally led to a riot between pro-Trump demonstrators and anti-Trump counter-protesters.[35]

Support for the targetting of NGO ships

In May 2017, Southern took part in an attempt organized by the identitarian group Génération identitare to block the passage of an NGO ship, the Aquarius (co-owned by SOS Mediterranée and by Doctors without Borders), which was leaving Sicily to start a search-and-rescue mission for ship-wrecked migrants off the shores of Northern Africa. Claiming that the goal of the activists “was to stop an empty boat from going down to Libya and filling up with illegal migrants”, Southern was briefly detained by the Italian Coast Guard. NGO ships often rescue migrants and refugees, who disembark from Libyan shores on unsafe makeshift rafts, and bring them to Sicily.[36][37] With regard to her actions, Southern stated that “if the politicians won’t stop the boats, we’ll stop the boats.”[6]

Southern supported similar actions by identitarian group Defend Europe, which chartered a vessel in order to track and stop what it called collusion between NGOs and human traffickers. The group has been accused[by whom?] of intending to obstruct the rescue of migrants and refugees in distress at sea. In July 2017, Southern revealed that Patreon had deleted her account out of concerns about her “raising funds in order to take part in activities that are likely to cause loss of life”.[38] Southern denied these allegations, stating that Defend Europe’s actions were likely to save lives and that none of her funding went towards the group.[39]

United Kingdom-related events

In February 2018, Southern, along with Brittany Pettibone and Caolan Robertson, distributed flyers in the English town of Luton describing Allah as “gay”.[7]

In March 2018, Southern, Pettibone, and Pettibone’s boyfriend, Martin Sellner, were all denied entry to the United Kingdom.[40] Southern was also questioned under the Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000.[7] Her denial of entry was due to her intentions during her March visit[8] and on the same grounds as Pettibone and Sellner.[41]

She said she was “permanently banned” from the UK.[9][42] However, it was later confirmed she was instead refused entry for specific purposes only, and reports of her being banned were false.[10]

2018 Australian tour

Shortly before a planned speaking tour of Australia in July 2018, Australia’s Department of Home Affairs denied Lauren Southern an Electronic Travel Authority visa, saying it was “not a working visa”.[43] She intended to charge $79 for a basic ticket and up to $749 for an “intimate dinner”.[44] The Australian government allowed her to enter the country once she had the correct visa.[45] Arriving at Brisbane airport, she was wearing an “It’s OK to be white” shirt.[46][47]

When she asked people on the street in Melbourne “Should we kill Lauren Southern?”, many had never heard of her.[48] A speaking event in Melbourne was opposed by more than 100 protestors.[49]

There were no protestors at her event in Sydney, where ticket holders were notified of the venue by receiving a text on the day.[50] The Sydney event included a $200 meet-and-greet, a $500 VIP meet-and-greet and a $750 dinner.[51]

In Brisbane, Lauren Southern supported bombing the Australian city of Melbourne, quoting the Bible, as a joke.[11] She was opposed by around 60 protesters.[52]

2018 New Zealand tour

In August 2018, Southern’s attempted speaking tour of New Zealand was unsuccessful. Auckland Council cancelled her booking and blocked her from using its venues to “stir up ethnic or religious tensions”.[12] For agreeing with the cancellation, an MP received violent threats.[53]

The subsequent booking of a private venue was revoked by its owners, one of whom said “The minute I heard who it was I cancelled”.[54] In retaliation, their venue was vandalised.[55]

The failure to find a venue was celebrated by around 1,000 protestors, who said the planned event had nothing to do with freedom of speech. The Prime Minister said Southern’s views “are not those that are shared by this country”.[56]

Auckland Council venue cancellation

Southern and Canadian podcaster and YouTuber Stefan Molyneux were scheduled to speak in Auckland on 3 August 2018, at an Auckland Council-owned theatre. However, Auckland Live, the Council agency responsible for the theatre, cancelled the venue booking on the grounds of concerns around “the health and safety of the presenters, staff and patrons”. The Mayor of Auckland Phil Goff then tweeted that Council venues should not be used to “stir up ethnic or religious tensions”.[57] He later said “we’ve got no obligation at all” to provide a venue for “hate speech”.[53] In response, Southern denied assertions that her views were “hate speech” and warned about the danger of “progressivism”.[12][58]

New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and National Party leader Simon Bridges said they would have supported her right to speak, while Green Party co-leader Marama Davidson said she supported the ban.[59][60] For saying so, Davidson’s family was sent degrading messages of a sexual nature and death threats by supporters of Lauren Southern.[53] Human rights lawyer Craig Tuck criticized Mayor Goff’s decision as a violation of free speech, while the cancellation of Southern and Molyneux’s tour was welcomed by the Auckland Peace Action activist group and the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand (FIANZ).[12] By contrast, The Spinoff contributor Ali Shakir said that while he disagreed with many of Southern’s views, he thought she and Molyneux should be welcomed to New Zealand and said that barring them damaged the country’s commitment to freedom of expression and raised “serious concerns about the process.” Shakir also questioned FIANZ’s claim to speak for all Muslims.[61] A group called the Free Speech Coalition advocated for a judicial review of the cancellation and raised NZ$50,000 in less than 24 hours.[62] The group’s supporters included former Labour Party cabinet minister Michael Bassett, former National and ACT parties leader Don Brash, Property Institute chief executive Ashley Church, Auckland University of Technology historian Paul Moon, broadcaster Lindsay Perrigo, political commentator Chris Trotter, and New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union director Jordan Williams.[63]

Visa granted

On 20 July, Immigration New Zealand granted visas for Southern and Molyneux to visit New Zealand. While describing their views as “repugnant” and “counter to the kind and tolerant values of the vast majority of New Zealanders”, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Gallowaycleared their entry on the grounds that the duo had met immigration character requirements including not having prior criminal convictions. He added that they were never banned from Australia or the United Kingdom as previously reported.[64] Southern welcomed the news and tweeted that she hoped that she and Molyneux could be “unbarred” from their venue as well.[65][66]

Alistair McCylmont, a leading immigration lawyer, later said there were “plenty” of grounds to stop the two coming into the country. He cited the visa cancellation of a rapper in 2014 using a law usually reserved for white supremacists, and suggested the grounds of a risk to order or the public interest. “Considering the amount of information out there in the public forum about the views held by the different people and what they’ve been talking, they would be plenty of grounds that could have been applied to declining visas.” However, the minister took the view that denying entry would not be justified.[67]

Seeking a private venue

On 25 July, Southern and Molyneux cancelled their trip to New Zealand. The Free Speech Coalition said time had run out to find alternative arrangements for the pair, following the Auckland Council ban.[68] On 26 July, Southern and Molyneux’s promoter David Pellowe said that the duo would be speaking in Auckland after claiming that a new speaking venue had been found.[69][70]

On 2 August, Southern and Molyneux arrived in Auckland for their speaking event on the following day.[71] An email to attendees said the pair look forward to the day when “ideas right of Stalin are permitted equal rights to peaceful assembly”.[72][73] The speaking tour was booked at Auckland’s Powerstation theatre but was cancelled shortly after the venue was revealed on social media. Owner Peter Campbell rescinded the booking, citing disruption to neighbours.[74] Co-owner Gabrielle Mullins cited “humanitarian issues”,[72] adding “The minute I heard who it was I cancelled”,[54] “It goes against quite a lot of things that we say”[73] and “They can say whatever they want but personally I don’t want it in my venue”.[72] For refusing to host the speakers, their building was vandalised with graffiti.[55]

Response to private cancellation

Tāmaki Anti Fascist Action spokesperson Sina Brown-Davis said her group feared “dehumanising depictions of indigenous people” in New Zealand.[75] Molyneux had called Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people “the lowest rung of civilisation”.[76] Brown-Davis added “They’ve been quite clever framing this as a free speech issue, which they use as a smokescreen to introduce their politics of hate and division.”[72] In response to the cancellation, Southern blamed a “violent and scary minority willing to make threats and commit violence” for shutting down free speech.[77][78] Roughly 1000 protestors gathered in Auckland’s Aotea Square that night, celebrating the cancellation of the event, which they said had nothing to do with freedom of speech.[56]

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand is “hostile” to the views of the speakers and “I think you’ll see from the reaction they’ve had from New Zealanders that their views are not those that are shared by this country, and I’m quite proud of that”.[56] Green Partyco-leader Marama Davidson added “Aotearoa does not stand for your messages of racism, hatred and especially white supremacy”.[72] Justice Minister Andrew Little said the speakers “clearly have misled people” in trying to secure the venue.[79] TV personality Te Hamua Nikora said the pair were against multiculturalism, unlike New Zealand.[78] The minimum ticket price for the cancelled Auckland event was $99.[74]

Views

Southern has been widely described as alt-right,[b] far right[a] and right-wing.[c] She rejects the label “alt-right”. The Southern Poverty Law Center has described Southern’s videos as anti-feminist, xenophobic, Islamophobic, and borderline white nationalist.[80] She is anti-multiculturalism and has called the Black Lives Matter movement a “terrorist organisation”.[81]

Gender

Southern said transgender people have a “genuine delusion” adding “It’s body dysmorphia and that is a mental illness”.[82] She criticised legal recognition for changing one’s gender, because people doing so might be “dishonest”.[81]

Southern has spoken in opposition to feminism[83] and has said that women are “not psychologically developed to hold leadership positions”,[84] and “not going to be as great being CEOs”.[82] In 2015 she attended SlutWalk and held a sign that read, “There is no rape culture in the West.”[85] She also said that it was “insane” to focus on the issue.[86]

Multiculturalism

Southern is against multiculturalism.[87] She has asked whether a multicultural society would require “witch doctors” at medical conferences,[79] and has claimed that “multiculturalism will inevitably fail unless 50 per cent of the population believes in Western culture“.[88]New Matilda reported that the core message of her 2018 speaking tour of Australia was that “multiculturalism doesn’t work”.[89] On the tour, she caused controversy for publicly criticizing an “Asian only” room-share advert that she had photographed and published as evidence of the “extremely tribalistic” nature of immigrants;[90] attempting to highlight the supposed failure of multiculturalism, in that it produced a form of “segregation”.[91]

Race

Southern defended the American alt-right leader Richard Spencer, who said “Hail Trump” in a speech at a white nationalist gathering, and called for a “peaceful” ethnic cleansing of America. Southern said he “is not a white supremacist, he is a white nationalist. He believes in a white ethnostate.”[92][93][94]

“White genocide” conspiracy theory

Southern has promoted the white genocide conspiracy theory.[95][96][97][98] She has advocated for European countries to refuse refugees from Africa and Asia, saying that immigration would lead to white genocide,[97] and has been labelled in media as a “booster” for the conspiracy at large.[99] In 2018, Southern produced a documentary called Farmlands about the conspiracy theory in relation to post-Apartheid farm violence in South Africa.[100][84] Farmlands includes claims of an impending race war in South Africa, a common talking point for white nationalists.[101]

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

Story 4: United Nation’s Panel Proposes That Criticisms of Mass Migration Policies  Will Be A Criminal Offense — Crushing Dissent — Migration is Not A Human Right — Videos

Nigel Farage on the free speech fight in Europe

BREAKING – PC GONE MAD: Criticising migration could become CRIMINAL offence under new plan

Dispute over UN migration pact fractures Belgian government

Belgium’s center-right government is fighting for its survival this week after the largest coalition party broke away from its three partners and said it would not back a global U.N.-backed migration pact.

The right-wing N-VA party started a social media campaign against the migration pact Tuesday, more than two months after Prime Minister Charles Michel pledged he would sign the pact for Belgium at a meeting next week in Marrakech, Morocco.

Instead of a coalition breakup, Michel announced late Tuesday he would take the issue to parliament for vote in the days to come.

“I want parliament to have its say,” Michel said, staving off an immediate collapse of the government that has been in power for three years. “I have the intention to go to Marrakech and let the position of the parliament be known.”

Michel’s statement came at the end of a hectic day dominated by an anti-pact social media campaign by the N-VA, of the biggest coalition partner.

The in-your-face campaign featured pictures of Muslim women with their faces covered and stated the U.N. pact focused on enabling migrants to retain the cultural practices of their homelands.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, is greeted by Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel prior to a meeting in Brussels, Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Brussels to attend a two-day meeting of NATO foreign ministers. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, Pool)

The party quickly withdrew the materials after the campaign received widespread criticism.

“We made an error,” N-VA leader Bart De Wever told VRT network.

De Wever apologized for the pictures of women wearing face-covering niqab in western Europe, but immediately added “these pictures are not fake. You can take pictures like this every day in Brussels. It is the stark reality.”

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel pledged at United Nations headquarters in September that he would go to a meeting in Marrakech, Morocco where the U.N.’s Global Compact Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration is to be signed next week.

Amid the N-VA upheaval, a Cabinet meeting was canceled Tuesday afternoon and Michel resumed consultations with vice-premiers looking for a way out of the crisis.

Remarking on the party’s withdrawn campaign, Christian Democrat Vice Premier Kris Peeters said: “I only have one word for this – indecent.”

Even with the parliamentary vote, the options for ensuring the government’s survival were slimming down.

The United Nations says the compact will promote safe and orderly migration and reduce human smuggling and trafficking.

The N-VA said it would force Belgium into making immigration concessions. “In our democracy, we decide. The sovereignty is with the people,” the party said in a statement.

Many experts said the accord is non-binding, but the N-VA said it still went too far and would give even migrants who were in Belgium illegally many additional rights.

The U.N. compact was finalized in July with only the U.S. staying out. Several European nations have since pulled out of signing the accord during the Dec. 10-11 conference in Morocco.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-6458089/Belgian-government-fights-survival-UN-migrants-pact.html

 

MALCOLM: The UN migration compact spells radical change for Canada

A family from Haiti approach a tent in Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Que., stationed by Royal Canadian Mounted Police, as they haul their luggage down Roxham Rd. in Champlain, N.Y., Monday, Aug. 7, 2017. Charles Krupa / AP

The Trudeau government is cheerleading a controversial United Nations initiative that has the potential to fundamentally change Canada.

It’s called the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, and UN representatives are meeting in Morocco in December to discuss and adopt this global agreement.

It may sound like just another gathering of out-of-touch elites patting themselves on the back, and the compact’s text insists the agreement is non-binding. But the ideas proposed are not your run-of-the-mill aspirational pledges.

This UN compact is unprecedented and truly radical. It seeks to make immigration a universal human right.

“Refugees and migrants are entitled to the same universal human rights and fundamental freedoms, which must be respected, protected and fulfilled at all times,” reads the document’s preamble.

The agreement doesn’t simply apply to bona-fide refugees — those fleeing war and persecution whose government has failed to protect them. It applies to all migrants.

It seeks to change international law and norms on migration, and blur the distinction between refugees and migrants — the latter merely seeking more economic opportunity but failing to do so according to a country’s established immigration rules.

The compact stops just short of saying that every person from around the world has a right to live in Canada and become a Canadian citizen.

And it gets even worse. Alongside describing a world with no borders and no meaningful citizenship, the document includes a particularly disturbing section about the media.

One of the “guiding principles” is a “whole-of-society approach” to promoting mass migration, including the role of the media.

It calls upon governments to “promote independent, objective and quality reporting… and stopping allocation of public funding or material support to media outlets that systematically promote intolerance, xenophobia, racism and other forms of discrimination towards migrants.”

So much for a free press.

The UN wants governments to actively intervene in the media and pick and choose which journalists are worthy of promoting, based on a radical ideology and far-left worldview.

Is this what the Liberal government’s new $595-million media slush fund seeks to do?

The prime minister and his top officials are known for name-calling and attacking anyone who disagrees with their dogma on immigration, diversity and multiculturalism.

Liberal officials frequently accuse opponents of being intolerant, xenophobic and racist for raising legitimate concerns about illegal immigration, border security and terrorism.

Are these accusations going to be tied to funding decisions for the media?

Will recipients of Trudeau’s media fund be prohibited from criticizing open borders and mass migration?

Will funding be tied to an attestation to promote UN propaganda?

The Trudeau government has played a leading role in advancing this UN scheme; two Trudeau cabinet minister’s admitted so much in a September article in Maclean’s Magazine.

“The UN’s global compact on refugees could be a game-changer — and Canada is well-placed to make it a reality,” they argue.

This dystopian UN plan seeks to erase borders, destroy the concept of citizenship, undermine the rule of law and circumvent state sovereignty. It would change what it means to be Canadian and prevent the media from criticizing these fundamental changes.

Several of our allies, including Australia, the U.S. and Israel have already pulled out of this disastrous UN compact. Across the world, political leaders and respected journalists are ringing the alarm bell.

In Canada, however, the Trudeau government is welcoming this UN scheme, while most Canadian journalists are failing to inform Canadians about the radical changes on our doorstep.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIONOZl-6zo

Global Compact for Migration

The Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) is a politically binding “intergovernmentally negotiated agreement, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations, [that covers] all dimensions of international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner”.[1] The United Nations conference to adopt the compact will be held in Marrakesh, Morocco, on 10–11 December 2018.[1] Austria negotiated the GCM on behalf of the EU. The Global Compact is not an international treaty, and it will not be formally binding under international law.[2]

Contents

Background

On 19 September 2016, the nations of the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. The Declaration recognized a need for more cooperation between nations to manage migration effectively.[3]. The declaration set off a process leading to the negotiation of the Global Compact for Migration.

A resolution was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 6 April 2017, which decided on the modalities and timeline for the compact.[4] The agreed upon process consisted of the following three phases:

  1. Consultations (April—November 2017): six sessions in GenevaNew York and Vienna
  2. Stocktaking (December 2017—January 2018), leading to a first draft (“zero draft”)
  3. Intergovernmental negotiations (February—July 2018) at the UN Headquarters in New York

On 9 March 2017, Louise Arbour was appointed by Secretary-General Guterres as his Special Representative for International Migration and was thus tasked with working with the nations and stakeholders to develop the compact.

Substance of the agreement

There are 23 objectives listed in the draft agreement. These include collecting and using accurate and anonymized data to develop evidence-based migration policy, ensuring that all migrants have proof of identity, enhancing availability and flexibility for regular migration, encouraging cooperation for tracking missing migrants and saving lives, ensuring migrants can access basic services, and making provisions for both full inclusion of migrants and social cohesion.[5]

Countries’ positions

 Will sign the Compact
 Won’t sign the Compact
 Considering not signing[when?]
 (Data incomplete)

Austria,[6] Australia,[7] Bulgaria,[8]Croatia[9], the Czech Republic,[10]Dominican Republic,[11]Estonia,[12]HungaryItaly,[13] Israel,[14][15] Poland,[16]Slovakia[17] and Switzerland[18] won’t attend an international conference in Moroccan city of Marrakesh to sign the agreement. The United States did not participate in the negotiation of the agreement, at the behest of President Trump.[6]

Belgium: In Belgium, government party N-VA, including its Secretary of State for Migration Theo Francken, is against participating, while the three other government parties are in favour, creating a political deadlock.[19]

Denmark: On 27 November, the Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen stated that he was supportive of the agreement, but that his government would form a coalition of European countries to create an opt-out.[20]

Dominican Republic: On December 4th, the Dominican government set its position on the Global Migration Pact, stipulating that the Dominican state will not sign the agreement, as reported during a press conference by the legal consultant of the Executive Branch, Flavio Darío Espinal. He also spoke about the participation of the country in the Moroccan summit and announced that the President Danilo Medina will not be in the meeting.[21]

Estonia: The Government of Estonia remained divided on the issue[22] and the country’s position was to be decided by the Riigikogu.[23] On November 26, Riigikogu passed a declaration which supported the compact. According to the Estonian Prime Minister, the declaration would provide the basis for the Governments decision to support the Global Compact for Migration.[24] On 27 November 2018, it was announced, quoting foreign minister Sven Mikser, that Estonia would not attend the Marrakesh conference and would vote for the compact at the UN General Assembly in New York City on 19 December.[25]

Finland: In Finland, the opposition Finns Party opposes the treaty and demands a vote in parliament.[26] The provisions disputed by the Finns in parliament are that both legal and illegal immigrants would be bestowed many of the same rights such as rights to basic services, that the treaty would not allow categorical detention of illegal immigrants,[27] and that the treaty would make migration a human right.[28][29]

Germany: There has been some opposition in the German parliament, led by Alternative for Germany.[30] However, the parliament voted 372–153 in favour of the compact on 29 November.

Israel: Prime Minister of Israel Benjamin Netanyahu commented tersely: “We have a duty to protect our borders against illegal infiltrators. That’s what we’ve done, and that’s what we will continue to do”.[15]

Romania: On the 28 November 2018, the Romanian Foreign Minister was authorized by the Romanian president, Klaus Iohannis, to sign the Migration Pact. Sources say that secret negotiations were carried out long before the news broke out. [31] [32]

Slovakia: Slovak foreign minister Miroslav Lajčák had previously announced that he would step down from his position if the Slovak parliament, controlled by the coalition which he represented, were to reject the Compact.[33][34]

Switzerland: Switzerland will not attend the conference for the formal adoption of the framework in December 2018. The decision was made because the parliament demanded a final say on whether the country would approve the compact, which would require more time.[35]

Criticism

The Chancellor of Austria, Sebastian Kurz, stated that the compact would reduce Austria’s sovereignty and mix up the difference between illegal and legal immigration as well as that between economic and humanitarian immigration.[6]

The Australian government has criticized the agreement, claiming that it does not distinguish between legal and illegal migrants, particularly when it comes to welfare. They have also claimed that the compact could impose obligations to support migrants even when they have returned to their country of origin. The Australian government believes that the compact would undermine their current migration policies.[36][37][38][39]

Goal 17, which condemns discrimination against migrants, has been criticized due to measures for “shaping the perception of migration”. Dutch MEP Marcel de Graaff raised issues with the proposal to defund news outlets espousing anti-migration rhetoric and stated that the pact could be used to criminalize political criticism.[40][41]

See also

References …

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

Latest on the disputed election count for Georgia governor

Kemp says he won Georgia governor race

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

Abrams campaign responds to the legal drama unfolding post-election

Stacey Abrams refuses to concede in Georgia Gubernatorial defeat

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

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

Kemp pledges to put ‘divisive politics’ behind him

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Unchanged dynamics

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

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

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

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

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

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

Some pushback

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On Friday, Kemp struck a far more conciliatory tone.

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

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

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

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

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Hannity: FISA court was abused for political gain

Joe diGenova on Mueller Wrap Up

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

Trump legal team finalizing answers to Mueller questions

Lindsey Graham on Florida recount, Mueller probe

Sen. Mike Lee on Democrats’ objections to Matt Whitaker

Joe diGenova Talks About Jeff Sessions Replacement

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

Matthew Whitaker (attorney)

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

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

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

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

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

Early life and education

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

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

Career

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

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

Whitaker’s U.S. Attorney portrait

United States Attorney

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

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

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

Private practice and political activities

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

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

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

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

MEM Investment

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

World Patent Marketing

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

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

Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust

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

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

CNN contributor

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

Legal and policy views

Constitutional issues

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

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

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

Criticisms of 2017 Special Counsel investigation

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

Relationship with Donald Trump

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Other policy Issues

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

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

Department of Justice

Chief of Staff

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

Acting Attorney General

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

Supervision of the Special Counsel investigation

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

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

Legality and constitutionality of the appointment

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

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

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

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

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

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

Legal challenges

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

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

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

Personal life

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

Electoral history

2002 Iowa State Treasurer

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

2014 U.S. Senator for Iowa

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

See also

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

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The Pronk Pops Show 1171, November 8, 2018, — Breaking News– Story 1: Mass Shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, Country and Western Night Club with 12 Killed — Videos — Story 2: If You Cannot Win An Election — Steal It — Florida Fake Votes — Voter Fraud? — Videos — Story 3, Government Dependency Rising — Welfare Generation –Videos

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— Breaking News — Story 1: Mass Shooting in Thousand Oaks, California, Country and Western Night Club with 12 Killed — Videos —

 

Press conference on Thousand Oaks bar shooting

BREAKING NEWS: Sheriff confirms 12 shot dead in California bar

What we’re learning about gunman in Borderline Bar shooting

Father Remembers Son Who Survived Las Vegas Shooting, Killed In Thousand Oaks | NBC News

VIDEO: Thousand Oaks shooting survivor also survived Las Vegas shooting | ABC7

Special Report: Shooting in Thousand Oaks, California

Witnesses on “utter chaos” and escape from California bar shooting

Sheriff describes “horrific” scene inside California bar after mass shooting

Pictured: An aspiring soldier, two bouncers and multiple students are among the 12 killed after California bar mass shooting

  • Twelve were killed in the Borderline Bar in Thousand Oaks, California
  • They included a cop, college students, bouncers, and the niece of an actress
  • One had survived the Las Vegas shooting only to be gunned down in the bar 
  • Friends and family pour out grief at the loss of loved ones to tragic violence 

Eight of the 12 the victims shot dead in the crowded country music bar in California have now been identified.

Sean Adler, 48; Cody Coffman, 22; Blake Dingman, 23; Jake Dunham, 21; Justin Meek, 23; Daniel Manrique; Kristina Morisette; Telemachus Orfanos, 27; and Noel Sparks were among those killed in the massacre at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks on Wednesday night.

Alaina Housley, the 18-year-old niece of ‘Sister, Sister’ actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband Adam Housley, was also killed.

Ventura County Sheriff’s Sergeant Ron Helus, who was first on the scene, was killed after being shot multiple times when he exchanged fire with the 28-year-old gunman, Ian David Long.

Sergeant on Brink of Retirement

Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus was among those killed. He was shot multiple times by the gunman after responding to the first 911 calls and later died in hospital 

Ventura County Sheriff Sgt. Ron Helus was among those killed. He was shot multiple times by the gunman after responding to the first 911 calls and later died in hospital

Ron Helus, 54, was set to retire from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department next year after 29 years on the job.

He was among the first to respond to calls of a shooting at the Borderline Bar, and was shot multiple times as he and a California Highway Patrol officer exchanged fire with the gunman inside the bar. 

Helus was speaking to his wife Karen when he received the call about a mass shooting.

The last thing he said to her was: ‘Hon, I got to go, I love you. I gotta go on a call’.  

Devoted Son

Cody Coffman, 22, was killed in the massacre at the Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California on Wednesday night

Video playing bottom right…

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Cody Coffman’s father Jason sobbed as he confirmed that authorities had told him on Thursday that his oldest son had died.

‘Oh Cody, I love you son,’ he said. ‘This is a heart I will never get back.’

He said he spoke to his son just before he went to the bar Wednesday night.

‘The first thing I said was ‘Please don’t drink and drive.’ The last thing I said was ‘Son, I love you’,’ he said.

Cody had plans to go into the military and was speaking with U.S. Army recruiters.

His father Jason had earlier rushed to the bar after hearing news of the shooting and calls to his son’s cellphone went unanswered. He feared the worst when a tracking app on his son’s phone indicated the device was still inside the venue.

Jason said he was alerted to the shooting when several of Cody’s friends started banged on their front door after 1am.

‘Some of his girlfriends got out but they didn’t know where Cody was,’ Jason said.  

Barman Who Rushed to Save Others

Justin Meek, 23, (above) worked at the Borderline Bar as a bouncer and was the organizer of the bar's country music college night, which was taking place when the gunman struck

Justin Meek was identified as one of the slain victims by his family and his former college.

The 23-year-old, who was a recent graduate of California Lutheran University, worked at the bar where he was killed.

Meek is believed to have heroically saved lives as the shooting unfolded, according to university president Chris Kimball.

Justin was a criminal justice and criminology major who had a passion for doing what was right,’ Jenn Zimmerman, Cal Lutheran’s veterans coordinator, said in a statement.

‘I’m not shocked he took action to protect the people at Borderline.’

During college, he worked in the school’s veteran resource office and often worked with the Veterans Club to plan events and help veteran students.

Meek also loved singing in choir and took part in the school’s Kingsmen Quartet.

He planned to join the US Coast Guard.

Las Vegas Shooting Survivor

Borderline employee Telemachus Orfanos was also among those confirmed dead. He survived the mass shooting that killed 58 at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas last year

Borderline employee Telemachus Orfanos was also among those confirmed dead. He survived the mass shooting that killed 58 at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas last year

Borderline employee Telemachus Orfanos, 27, was also among those confirmed dead.

In a cruel twist of fate, Orfanos was a survivor of the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting massacre in Las Vegas last year.

An estimated 50 to 60 survivors of the Las Vegas shooting were at the Borderline Bar on Wednesday – they often met there for mutual support.

Orfanos was an Eagle Scout and served in the Navy.

His social media indicates he attended the local Thousand Oaks High School and Moorepark College.

Niece of Sitcom Actress

Alaina Housley, the 18-year-old niece of actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband Adam Housley, died in the shooting

Alaina Housley, the 18-year-old niece of actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband Adam Housley, died in the shooting

Actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband Adam Housley (left) issued a statement saying their hearts were broken following her death

‘Sister, Sister’ actress Tamera Mowry-Housley and her husband Adam Housley revealed that their 18-year-old niece had also been killed.

The couple issued a statement, saying: ‘Our hearts are broken’.

‘We just learned that our Alaina was one of the victims of last night’s shooting at Borderline Bar in Thousand Oaks.

‘Alaina was an incredible young woman with so much life ahead of her and we are devastated that her life was cut short in this manner.’

Mowry-Housley posted this tribute to her slain niece on Instagram after the shooting

Mowry-Housley posted this tribute to her slain niece on Instagram after the shooting

The teenager was a freshman at Pepperdine University and had been at the bar with several friends.

Her Apple Watch and iPhone showed her location as still inside the bar in the aftermath of the shooting.

Her uncle Adam, who is a former Fox News correspondent, had rushed to the hospital at 3.30am in search of his niece after hearing reports of the shooting.

‘My gut is saying she’s inside the bar, dead. I’m hoping I’m wrong,’ Adam had told the LA Times before her dead was confirmed.

Two of her friends jumped out of a broken window and ran for safety but say they lost Alaina in the mayhem. They are in hospital being treated for major injuries.

Waitress with Bright Smile

Kristina Kaylee Morisette, who worked as the cashier at Borderline Bar and Grill, was also confirmed dead in the shooting

Kristina Kaylee Morisette, who worked as the cashier at Borderline Bar and Grill, was also confirmed dead in the shooting

Kristina Kaylee Morisette, who worked at Borderline Bar and Grill, was also confirmed dead in the shooting.

She attended Simi Valley High School.

Morisette was reportedly working the cash register at the front of the bar when the gunman stormed in and began shooting.

‘The worst things happen to the best people,’ a friend wrote on Twitter. She was such a sweet girl and cared for everyone.

Churchgoing College Student

Noel Sparks, a 21-year-old student at Moorpark College, was also confirmed dead

Noel Sparks, a 21-year-old student at Moorpark College, was also confirmed dead

Noel Sparks' final Snapchat post

Noel Sparks’ final Snapchat post

Noel Sparks, a 21-year-old student at Moorpark College, was also confirmed dead.

The United Methodist Church in Westlake Village, of which she was a member, posted condolences to her parents on Facebook.

Sparks’ friends had been in tears throughout the day as they desperately searched for her in the aftermath of the shooting.

Her friend Madison Nenkervis posted a tribute to Sparks on Facebook, writing: ‘one of the Victims of the shooting was a dear Church friend of my families and Such a sweet Amazing soul.’

Nenkervis shared Sparks’ chilling final post on Snapchat from shortly before the shooting.

It showed the dance floor at Borderline half empty, with the caption ‘It’s quite [sic] tonight’.

Entrepreneurial Bouncer

A friend places his hand on a photo of Sean Adler during a vigil at the Rivalry Roasters coffee shop on Thursday. Adler had recently launched the business when he was killed

A friend places his hand on a photo of Sean Adler during a vigil at the Rivalry Roasters coffee shop on Thursday. Adler had recently launched the business when he was killed

Sean Adler, 48, was working as a bouncer at the Borderline Bar & Grill when he was killed.

He was a wrestling coach who had only recently opened a coffee shop in the local area.

The married father of two had big dreams for Rivalry Roasters, but stuck with his job working the door at Borderline to ensure he’d be able to support his family.

Adler had dreamed of becoming a police officer, and was training with the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department last year when a heart attack forced him to reconsider his career path.

He is survived by his wife and two sons, ages 12 and 17.

Motorsports Enthusiast

Blake Dingman, 21, was identified by his girlfriend as a victim of the mass shooting

Blake Dingman, 21, was identified by his girlfriend as a victim of the mass shooting

Blake Dingman, 21, was identified by his girlfriend as a victim of the mass shooting.

‘My sweet Blake… my heart is hurting more than words can say. I cannot believe you’re gone. I am so grateful for our little infinity and all of our deep talks, cuddles, late nights, and adventures,’ she wrote in a tribute.

‘I am so incredibly grateful for every moment we spent together. God brought us together for a reason and I will hold our memories in my heart forever. I love you with all of my heart my sweet boy and my angel.’

Dingman played high school baseball at Hillcrest Christian School in Thousand Oaks.

His Facebook page shows his enthusiasm for motorsports, including monster trucks and racing.

Jake Dunham, 21, was also killed

Jake Dunham, 21, was also killed

Loyal Friend

Jake Dunham, 21, was also among those killed in the shooting.

He had gone to the bar to play pool with his friends, his father Ken Dunham told NBC Los Angeles.

‘I keep calling it but there’s no answer,’ Ken said. ‘It just keeps ringing out… he always answers his phone.’

Some published reports said that Dunham was at Borderline with his friend, Blake Dingman, who also was among those killed.

Dunham and Dingham were known to be close friends.

Marine Veteran

Marine veteran Daniel Manrique, 33, was another victim confirmed killed in the shooting

Marine veteran Daniel Manrique, 33, was another victim confirmed killed in the shooting

Marine veteran Daniel Manrique, 33, was another victim confirmed killed in the shooting.

‘He had spent his entire adult life, post military service, helping veterans readjust to civilian life and had just recently accepted a position with Team RWB as the Pacific Regional Program Manager,’ family member Gladys Manrique Koscak wrote in a tribute on Facebook.

‘I have no doubt that he died a hero, shielding others from gunshots. He will forever be our hero, son, brother, and the best uncle anybody could ever ask for,’ she said.

Frantic Search for Survivors

A shirtless man and two others carry an injured person out of the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks, California, on Wednesday night after a gunman opened fire at 11.20pm

A number of parents rushed to the bar and used tracking devices to look up their children’s iPhones and iWatches.

Many of the devices were still located inside the bar as the parents said they hadn’t heard from their loved ones since the shooting happened.

There were roughly 100 people inside the bar when the gunman opened fire.

Many of those inside were students at Pepperdine University and others are thought to have gone to California Lutheran University – both are Christian schools.

The Ventura County Sheriff’s office said the victim notification process was ‘slow and methodical’. They said they were doing everything possible to notify relatives.

First responders and survivors tend to a wounded person after fleeing the Borderline Bar and Grill in Thousand Oaks on Wednesday night 

EMTs treat a victim from the shooting at Borderline Bar and Grill on Wednesday. In addition to the 12 innocent people who were killed, another 12 at least were injured

Authorities said Long was wearing a hood and dressed all in black when he used a smoke bomb and handgun to open fire at the bar.

Patrons screamed in fear, shouted ‘get down!’ and used barstools to smash second-floor windows and jump to safety as gunfire erupted at the bar, a hangout popular with students from nearby California Lutheran University.

Authorities said 21 people injured in the shooting had been released from various hospitals by Thursday morning.

‘It’s a horrific scene in there,’ Ventura County Sheriff Geoff Dean said. ‘There’s blood everywhere.’

The gunman, who was a former marine, deployed a smoke device and used a .45-caliber handgun in the attack.

He first fired on a person working the door and then appeared to shoot at random at people inside, according to witnesses.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6367867/Father-fears-son-12-dead-California-bar-mass-shooting.html

 

List of mass shootings in the United States

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Map of the United States showing the locations of mass shootings in 2018

List of mass shootings in the United States
List of mass shootings in the United States
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Mass shootings in the United States in 2018[1]

This is a list of known mass shootings that have occurred in the United States since 1966. Mass shootings are incidents involving multiple victims of firearm-related violence. The precise inclusion criteria are disputed, and there is no broadly accepted definition.[2][3]

The Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit research group that tracks shootings and their characteristics in the United States, defines a mass shooting as an incident in which four or more people, excluding the perpetrator(s), are shot in one location at roughly the same time.[4] The Congressional Research Service narrows that definition further, only considering what it defines as “public mass shootings”, and only considering victims as those who are killed, excluding any victims who survive.[3] The Washington Post and Mother Jones use similar definitions, with the latter acknowledging that their definition “is a conservative measure of the problem”, as many rampages with fewer fatalities occur.[5][6] The crowdsourced Mass Shooting Tracker project uses a definition even looser than the Gun Violence Archive’s definition: four people shot in one incident regardless of the circumstances.[7]

Larger documentation of mass shootings in the United States has occurred through independent and scholarly studies such as the Stanford University Mass Shootings of American Data Project.[5][8]

List of mass shootings (2013–present)[edit]

There are many definitions for what a mass shooting is:

Mass Shooting Tracker: 4+ shot in one incident, at one location, at roughly the same time.[7]
Gun Violence Archive: 4+ shot in one incident, excluding the perpetrator(s), at one location, at roughly the same time.[4]
Vox: 4+ shot in one incident, excluding the perpetrator(s), at one location, at roughly the same time.[9][10]
USA Today: 4+ shot and killed in one incident, at one location, at roughly the same time (same as the FBI‘s “mass killing” definition).[11]
Mother Jones: 3+ shot and killed in one incident, excluding the perpetrator(s), at a public place, excluding gang-related killings.