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The Pronk Pops Show 1309. August 20, 2019, Story 1: 23 Texas Towns Hit With Ransomware Attack — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Does Not Support Universal Background Checks But Does Support Meaningful Intelligent Background Checks  — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Looking At Payroll Tax Cuts — Videos — Story 4: Big Lie Media, Radical Extremist Democrat Socialists (REDS), and Trump Haters Hope The United States Economy Goes Into A Recession to Defeat Trump — Betrayal of The American People — Videos

Posted on August 22, 2019. Filed under: 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Applications, Assault, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Cruise Missiles, Culture, Cyber Warfare, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Education, Elections, Employment, Energy, European History, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, Hardware, Health, Health Care, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Killing, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), Lying, Media, Medicare, Mental Illness, Mike Pompeo, Military Spending, Monetary Policy, National Interest, Natural Gas, News, Nuclear, Nuclear, Nuclear Weapons, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Public Corruption, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Religion, Rule of Law, Scandals, Science, Senate, Servers, Sexual Harrasment, Social Security, Software, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Trade Policy, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1309 August 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1308 August 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1307 August 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1306 August 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1305 August 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1304 August 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1303 August 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1302 August 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1301 August 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1300 August 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1299 July 31, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1298 July 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1297 July 29, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1296 July 25, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1293 July 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1292 July 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1291 July 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1290 July 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1289 July 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1288 July 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1287 July 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1286 July 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1285 July 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1284 July 2, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1278 June 20, 2019 

Pronk Pops Show 1277 June 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1276 June 18, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1259 May 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1258 May 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1257 May 14, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1255 May 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1254 May 9, 2019

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Story 1: 23 Texas Towns Hit With Ransomware Attack — Videos

Ransomware As Fast As Possible

Officials Working To Help 23 Local Texas Governments After Ransomware Attack

Ransomware attack hits government computers in over 20 Texas towns

Texas government agencies hit by ransomware attack

Ransomware attack hits 23 Texas towns

Twenty-two Texas Towns Hit By Ransomware

Ransomware attack hits 23 Texas towns

23 local Texas governments hit with ransomware attack

How Ransomware Locks Your PC & Holds Your Data Hostage

How one ransomware attack cost £45m to fix – BBC News

What is ransomware and how can I protect myself?

Th

RANSOMWARE

Wana Decrypt0r (Wanacry Ransomware) – Computerphile

 

Texas is hit with ransomware attack as at least 20 local governments come under ‘coordinated’ cyber assault

  • Texas state government reports coordinated ransomware attacks in 20 cities
  • State Department of Information Resources is leading the response
  • Ransomware cripples computer infrastructure with demand for payment 

Texas has been hit with a wave of ransomware attacks targeting at least 20 local government entities.

The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) said late Friday that it is leading the response to a ‘coordinated ransomware attack’ that is crippling critical government infrastructure across the state.

Ransomware disables computer networks and holds them hostage in demand for payment.

Workers are seen inside the Texas Division of Emergency Management, State Operations Center in Austin in a file photo
‘Currently, DIR, the Texas Military Department, and the Texas A&M University System’s Cyberresponse and Security Operations Center teams are deploying resources to the most critically impacted jurisdictions,’ the department said in a statement.

WHAT IS RANSOMWARE?

Cybercriminals use ‘blockers’ to stop their victim accessing their device.

This may include a mesage telling them this is due to ‘illegal content’  such as porn being identified on their device.

Anyone who has accessed porn online is probably less likely to take the matter up with law enforcement.

Hackers then ask for money to be paid, often in the form of Bitcoins or other untraceable cryptocurrencies, for the block to be removed.

In May 2017, a massive ransomware virus attack called WannaCry spread to the computer systems of hundreds of private companies and public organisations across the globe.

The department urged local jurisdictions who have been impacted to contact their local TDEM Disaster District Coordinator.

‘DIR is fully committed to respond swiftly to this event and provide the necessary resources to bring these entities back online,’ the agency said.

It was not immediately clear which cities had been impacted by the attacks and what entity is suspected of perpetrating them.

A spokesman for DIR did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com on Saturday.

The attack came within hours of a massive failure of U.S. Customs and Border Protection computers that caused huge travel delays across the country – although the federal agency has insisted that the outage was not ‘malicious’ in nature. 

‘The affected systems are coming back online and travelers are being processed. CBP will continue to monitor the incident. There is no indication the disruption was malicious in nature at this time,’ CBP said in a statement at 6.30pm ET on Friday.

22 Texas Towns Hit With Ransomware Attack In ‘New Front’ Of Cyberassault

Texas state Capitol building in Austin. This week, state officials confirmed that 22 municipalities have been infiltrated and ransom demanded.

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images

Updated at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday ET

Texas is the latest state to be hit with a cyberattack, with state officials confirming this week that computer systems in 22 municipalities have been infiltrated by hackers demanding a ransom. A mayor of one of those cities said the attackers are asking for $2.5 million to unlock the files.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and state cybersecurity experts are examining the ongoing breach, which began Friday morning and has affected mostly smaller local governments. Officials have not disclosed which specific places are affected.

Investigators have also not yet identified who or what is behind the attack that took the systems offline, but the Texas Department of Information Resources says the evidence so far points to “one single threat actor.”

Elliott Sprehe, a spokesman for the department, said he was “not aware” of any of the cities having paid the undisclosed ransom sought by hackers. He said the areas impacted are predominantly rural. The department initially put the number of cities attacked at 23.

Two cities so far have come forward to say their computer systems were affected. Officials in Borger in the Texas Panhandle, said the attack has affected city business and financial operations. Birth and death certificates are not available online, and the city can’t accept utility payments from any of its 13,25o residents. “Responders have not yet established a time-frame for when full, normal operations will be restored,” city officials said.

Keene, Texas, a city of some 6,100 people outside Fort Worth, was also hit, officials announced. The city’s government is also unable to process utility payments.

Keene Mayor Gary Heinrich told NPR that the hackers broke into the information technology software used by the city and managed by an outsourced company, which he said also supports many of the other municipalities targeted.

“Well, just about everything we do at City Hall is impacted, Heinrich said.

Heinrich said the hackers want a collective ransom of $2.5 million.

“They got into our software provider, the guys who run our IT systems,” Heinrich said. “A lot of folks in Texas use providers to do that, because we don’t have a staff big enough to have IT in house.”

State officials would not comment on the nature of the attack or confirm the ransom amount. But Heinrich said there is no way his city will be coughing up anything for the hackers.

“Stupid people,” he said of the cyber-attackers. “You know, just no sense in this at all.”

Experts say that while government agencies have increasingly been hit by cyberattacks, simultaneously targeting nearly two dozen cities represents a new kind of digital assault.

“What’s unique about this attack and something we hadn’t seen before is how coordinated attack this attack is,” said threat intelligence analyst Allan Liska. “It does present a new front in the ransomware attack,” he said. “It absolutely is the largest coordinated attack we’ve seen.”

Liska’s research firm, Recorded Future, has found that ransomware attacks aimed at state and local government have been on the rise, finding at least 169 examples of hackers breaking into government computer systems since 2013. There have been more than 60 already this year, he said.

In recent months, the data networks of Baltimore, the Georgia courts system and a county in Utah have all been hit by ransomware.

The hacker bait tends to come in the form of a seemingly benign email with links or attachments that, once opened, can infect a system. There are other popular ways of tapping into government networks, Liska said, like through remote desktop systems, which can be vulnerable to hackers.

While the attackers tend to be anonymous and their locations undisclosed, Liska said his research has found that few are based in the U.S. Many, he said, are breaching local government computer systems from operations based in parts of Eastern Europe or Russia.

And sometimes local governments see no other option to restoring their crippled networks than paying a ransom demanded by hackers. In Lake City, Fla., a town of about 12,000 residents, officials paid $460,000 in the form of bitcoin, the preferred payment method among cybercriminals.

“They turned off the servers. They literally went room through room through city hall, unplugging people’s networks cables and turning off all the computers,” Mike Lee, a sergeant with the Lake City Police Department, told NPR in July.

The ransom was paid by insurance, but taxpayers were still on the hook for a $10,000 deductible.

The Recorded Future study found that about 17% of local agencies hit with ransomware viruses paid up, a practice federal law enforcement officials discourage, saying it incentivizes cybercriminals to keep engaging in the activity.

Liska said in cities he has worked with that have been preyed upon by hackers, there are instances in which ponying up for the return of data is the only viable option.

“Sometimes the reality of the situation may call for it,” he said. “If the backups aren’t working or if the bad guys have encrypted your backups, then unfortunately that’s what you’re left with.”

Individuals, businesses and institutions such as hospitals have been targeted by ransomware attacks for years. With the recent attacks on state and city government, local officials are rushing to secure their computer systems, holding new training and backing up their servers, Liska said. But in smaller, cash-strapped localities, there could be challenges to building a security defense.

Tad McGalliard studies local government cybersecurity at the Washington-based city manager group ICMA. He has been pushing for municipalities to find more funding to fight back against hackers.

“Somebody out there on the bad guy front is seeing an opportunity in local governments and we got to make a better job of making sure our employees are as well-trained and as well-equipped as possible,” McGalliard said.

McGalliard said the Texas case should be a wake-up call to cities in remote parts of the country.

“We might have thought this was a big city problem, or at least an affluent city or county problem, but I think what’s clear now is just about any local government is vulnerable,” he said.

In Texas, state authorities have not yet disclosed where exactly the attacks were based or how many computers have been swept up in the breach, meaning it is not yet known what services or data might have been compromised.

“Hitting 23 towns at once was bad, but we don’t know how much damage was done,” Liska said. “One computer in each town versus 100 computers in each town is a big difference.”

https://www.npr.org/2019/08/20/752695554/23-texas-towns-hit-with-ransomware-attack-in-new-front-of-cyberassault

Story 2: President Trump Does Not Support Universal Background Checks But Does Support Meaningful Intelligent Background Checks  — Videos

White House pushes back on background check claims

Lou Dobbs Tonight 8/20/19 | Breaking Fox News August 20, 2019

Story 3: President Trump Looking At Payroll Tax Cuts — Videos

Bank of America CEO Moynihan on the Economy, Recession Risks and Trade

What are the warning signs of a recession?

Are we heading for a global recession? – BBC Newsnight

The Point: Trump admits China war could bring economic recession

President Trump Wants To Cut Payroll Taxes

President Trump Says He’s Considering Payroll Tax Cut To Boost Economy | NBC Nightly News

President Trump may be considering options to prevent recession

Trump touts economy but payroll tax discussion reveals recession fears

Trump attacks Fed chair, pushes back on recession fears

Donald Trump says he will risk a ‘RECESSION for two months’ as a price for his China trade war saying only ‘dumb people’ don’t get what he us doing – and he admits he IS considering emergency tax cuts

  • Donald Trump spent morning retweeting aides and media allies to back his claim that recession warnings are a plot to unseat him in 2020
  • He retweeted a supporter who described him as having ‘super human energy,’ and a series of claims that the media is trying to crash the economy
  • ‘Somebody had to take China on,’ he argued. ‘China’s been grifting off this country for 25 years’ 
  • Told a reporter asking about a recession: ‘I am doing this whether it’s good or bad for your statement about, “Oh, will we fall into a recession for two months?” ‘
  • Trump declared, ‘The fact is, somebody had to take China on. My life would be a lot easier, if I didn’t take China on. But I like doing it, because I have to do it’
  • Also tweeted Mike Pence claiming Michigan’s economy is strong on day electorally-critical state was hit by U.S. Steel layoffs 
  • Admitted during an Oval Office meeting with Romania’s president that he’s considering a payroll tax cut and railed against the Federal Reserve and China
  • Dow closed 173.35 points down at 25,962.44 after rallying on Monday, in the latest market fluctuation. 

President Donald Trump says he’s willing to risk a ‘recession for two months’ to bring China to heel, declaring Tuesday that only ‘dumb people’ don’t understand his trade war and tariffs policies.

An angry Trump warned reporters that if he hadn’t challenged China, theft of intellectual property would hurt companies like Apple even more in the long term than his tariffs.

‘Somebody had to take China on,’ he argued. ‘China’s been grifting off this country for 25 years, but longer than that. And it’s about time, whether it’s good for our country, or bad for our country short term. Long term, it’s imperative that somebody does this because our country cannot continue to pay China $500 billion because stupid people are running it.’

He argued, ‘Whether its good or bad short term is irrelevant. We have to solve the problem with China.’

‘Whether it’s good or bad, the short term is irrelevant. We have to solve the problem with China because they’re taking out $500 billion a year plus. And that doesn’t include intellectual property theft and other things. And also, national security, so I am doing this whether it’s good or bad for your statement about, “Oh, will we fall into a recession for two months?” ‘ he told a journalist asking him about the possibility of a downturn.

Trump declared, ‘The fact is, somebody had to take China on. My life would be a lot easier, if I didn’t take China on. But I like doing it, because I have to do it. And we’re getting great help. China’s had the worst year they’ve had in 27 years, and a lot of people saying the worst year they’ve had in 54 years, OK?

President Donald Trump says he's willing to risk a 'recession for two months' to bring China to heel, declaring Tuesday that only 'dumb people' don't understand his trade war and tariffs policies

President Donald Trump says he’s willing to risk a ‘recession for two months’ to bring China to heel, declaring Tuesday that only ‘dumb people’ don’t understand his trade war and tariffs policies

Trump will risk recession as trade war with China ‘had to be done’

Fuming, the president insisted to journalists: ‘We’re winning big. I took it on.

‘And I’m happy to do it. Because it had to be done. And the smart people say, thank you very much. And the dumb people have no idea. And then you have the political people, and they go with the wind. But they all know.’

He defended his tariffs on China, arguing, ‘My trade deals aren’t causing a problem. This is something that had to be done.’ 

Trump also confirmed that he’s looking at a payroll tax cut, acknowledging that it’s ‘something we think about and a lot of people would like’ him to pursue to stimulate the economy.

Sitting next to Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, the president denied that the U.S. economy is in distress.

‘I think the word recession is a word that’s inappropriate,’ he asserted. ‘Certain people and the media are trying to build up, because they’d love to see a recession.’

He urged the Federal Reserve to cut rates again and said at a ‘minimum they should be doing nothing,’ as he lashed out against the financial institution.

Trump slams Fed, says US economy is ‘far from a recession’

Trump said it should not be decreasing the amount of money in circulation, a monetary policy known as quantitative tightening.

‘The fed is psychologically very important,’ he said in the Oval Office meeting, where he took half-an-hour of questions from gathered journalists.

The president offered up the EU and Germany as examples, saying, ‘You have to be proactive, and so we really need a fed cut rate because if you look what’s going on with the European Union, as an example, they’re cutting.

‘If you take a look at Germany, what they’re doing and what they’re doing, and what they’re paying, they’re actually doing something inverse, nobody’s ever seen it before, we have to at least keep up to an extent,’ he said. ‘So we’re looking for a rate cut.’

Trump’s remarks aired on television as Wall Street was winding down for the day.

It closed 173.35 points down at 25,962.44 after rallying on Monday, in the latest market fluctuation.

Trump accused Democrats Tuesday of running a strategy to drive the nation into recession, as he amplified claims from his allies that the economy is stronger under his leadership.

In a morning tweet storm which came as White House officials discussed how to stimulate the economy at the same time as Trump is denying a recession is looming, he retweeted Mike Pence, his campaign manager and three favored media allies – Geraldo Riviera and Jesse Watters of Fox News and Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business network.

One credited Trump with ‘super human energy,’ and pushed his own claim that Democrats are trying to drive the country into recession to beat him in 2020.

And GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel argued in tweets that manufacturing optimism is up and unemployment is down.

Trump seconded his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, who proclaimed in a message, ‘The liberal media is so deranged by President [Donald Trump] that they’re now cheering for the economy to tank – sorry to disappoint Democrats, but the economy has never been stronger!’

And the tweetstorm pointedly included praise for the economy in Michigan from vice president Mike Pence, who was traveling there Tuesday, on the day that U.S. Steel was revealed to be laying off hundreds and shuttering blast furnaces.

 

 

 

Tweet storm of praise: Trump turned to Twitter for backers of his claim that warnings of a recession are being driven by a desire to remove him from office

Tweet storm of praise: Trump turned to Twitter for backers of his claim that warnings of a recession are being driven by a desire to remove him from office

U.S. Steel –  a company whose renaissance has been a key part of the Trump narrative – said it would lay off 200 workers. It will also idle two blast furnaces for at least six months at Great Lakes and Gary Works plants, citing lower steel prices and softening demand.

The layoffs were characterized as temporary in filings,but the company admitted they could last longer than six months, in another indicator that the U.S. economy is slowing down.

Michigan is critical to Trump’s re-election prospects after the shock victory there played a key part in putting him in the White House.

In more bad news for Trump, a top lender, JP Morgan Chase assessed that Trump’s tariffs on China will cost American consumers $1,000 a household.

Despite Trump’s bravado on social media and previous bullish public comments, his  White House spokesman Hogan Gidley confirmed talks were under way on some form of stimulus.

He denied only a specific report that the measure bring considered a payroll tax cut and told Fox News: ‘It’s not being considered at this time but he’s looking at all options out there to try and give people back so much of the hard earned money they’ve made.’

A Washington Post report had cited sources at the White House said the administration was considering a temporary cut to the 6.2 percent tax to prevent a downturn.

The suggestion was modeled after a two percent slash Obama made in his first term, which expired in 2013 as job growth ticked up again.

On Monday night, a White House official told DailyMail.com that a payroll tax isn’t under discussion currently, although the person left the door open to future tax cuts to stimulate the economy.

‘As Larry Kudlow said yesterday, more tax cuts for the American people are certainly on the table, but cutting payroll taxes is not something under consideration at this time,’ the official said.

Kudlow had on Fox News Sunday said the president’s Oct. 2018 promise to pursue tax cuts for the middle class was still alive.

He denied that the nation was on the verge of a recession, however, after fill-in host Dana Perino asked about emergency action to counteract a recession.

‘Well, first of all I don’t see a recession at all. Second of all, the Trump pro-growth program, which I believe has been succeeding lower tax rates, bid rollback of regulations, energy opening, trade reform, we’re going to stay with that,’ he said. ‘We believe that’s the heart of the free enterprise. We want an incentive-oriented supply-side economy, providing opportunities for everybody across the board.’

He said, ‘That’s about as good as it gets and I notice, at the end of the week, a lot of the Wall Street firms have been marking up their economic growth forecasts. I think we’re in pretty good shape and I want to just say you know, we should not be afraid of optimism.’

Under questioning about a call that Trump had last Wednesday with JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon and the CEOs of two other leading lenders, he suggested the conversation was about the president’s tariffs on China.

The lender said Tuesday that the next round of tariffs, which were delayed until Dec. 15, are likely to bring the cost per household this year up to $1,000.

Trump and his aides have now spent days denying publicly that a recession is on the horizon and the U.S. needs to take action. The president said Sunday that he’s ‘prepared’ to counteract one, though, if a financial downturn takes the country by surprise.

Trump insisted that American consumers are ‘not paying for the tariffs’ that he has on $250 billion of Chinese goods, so far, and said he’s reconsidering a plan to put tariffs on laptops and cells phones in December, to protect American consumers and companies.

He accused his political opponents of trying to bring down the United States’ economy to hurt his reelection chances on Monday, as his administration tried to put out a wildfire of claims that a recession might be on the way.

Trump said Monday that economy is doing well despite ‘very selfish’ political angling of Democrats on a mission to oust him from the White House.

‘Our Economy is very strong, despite the horrendous lack of vision by Jay Powell and the Fed, but the Democrats are trying to “will” the Economy to be bad for purposes of the 2020 Election. Very Selfish! Our dollar is so strong that it is sadly hurting other parts of the world,’ he tweeted.

On the spot: Donald Trump and his aides have now spent days denying that a recession is looming

On the spot: Donald Trump and his aides have now spent days denying that a recession is looming

Trump said that economy is doing well despite 'very selfish' political angling of Democrats, who are on a mission to oust him from the White House

Trump said that economy is doing well despite ‘very selfish’ political angling of Democrats, who are on a mission to oust him from the White House

He added, ‘The Fed Rate, over a fairly short period of time, should be reduced by at least 100 basis points, with perhaps some quantitative easing as well. If that happened, our Economy would be even better, and the World Economy would be greatly and quickly enhanced-good for everyone!’

Last week, the president accused the media of ‘doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election.’

He blamed a wide array of third parties, including Joe Biden and the Hong Kong protesters, accusing them of scuttling a trade deal with Beijing that would help both countries’ economies.

Three-quarters of economists predict a U.S. recession by 2021 in survey – but number who say it will be after the presidential election rises

A number of U.S. business economists appear sufficiently concerned about the risks of some of President Donald Trump’s economic policies that they expect a recession in the U.S. by the end of 2021.

In total, 74% economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics, in a report being released Monday, said they believe a slowing economy will tip into recession by 2021.

However there is some good news in the survey for the president, with the number who see a recession in 2020 down from 42% to 38%, while the number predicting a 2021 recession is at 34%.  That’s up from 25% in a survey taken in February.

Only 2% of those polled expect a recession to begin this year, down from 10% in February. A slightly higher number than before – 14% – say it will be later than 2021.

Trump, however, has dismissed concerns about a recession, offering an optimistic outlook for the economy after last week’s steep drop in the financial markets and saying on Sunday, ‘I don’t think we’re having a recession.’ A strong economy is key to the Republican president’s 2020 reelection prospects.

The economists have previously expressed concern that Trump’s tariffs and higher budget deficits could eventually dampen the economy.

Response: What business economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics are saying about a downturn

Response: What business economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics are saying about a downturn

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on goods from many key U.S. trading partners, from China and Europe to Mexico and Canada.

Officials maintain that the tariffs, which are taxes on imports, will help the administration gain more favorable terms of trade. But U.S. trading partners have simply retaliated with tariffs of their own.

Trade between the U.S. and China, the two biggest global economies, has plunged. Trump decided last Wednesday to postpone until Dec. 15 tariffs on about 60% of an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports, granting a reprieve from a planned move that would have extended duties to nearly everything the U.S. buys from China.

The financial markets last week signaled the possibility of a U.S. recession, adding to concerns over the ongoing trade tensions and word from Britain and Germany that their economies are shrinking.

The economists surveyed by the NABE were skeptical about prospects for success of the latest round of U.S.-China trade negotiations. Only 5% predicted that a comprehensive trade deal would result, 64% suggested a superficial agreement was possible and nearly 25% expected nothing to be agreed upon by the two countries.

The 226 respondents, who work mainly for corporations and trade associations, were surveyed between July 14 and Aug. 1.

That was before the White House announced 10% tariffs on the additional $300 billion of Chinese imports, the Chinese currency dipped below the seven-yuan-to-$1 level for the first time in 11 years and the Trump administration formally labeled China a currency manipulator.

As a whole, the business economists’ recent responses have represented a rebuke of the Trump administration’s overall approach to the economy.

Still, for now, most economic signs appear solid. Employers are adding jobs at a steady pace, the unemployment rate remains near a 50-year low and consumers are optimistic. U.S. retail sales figures out last Thursday showed that they jumped in July by the most in four months.

The survey showed a steep decline in the percentage of economists who found the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade ‘too stimulative’ and likely to produce higher budget deficits that should be reduced, to 51% currently from 71% in August 2018.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7376495/Trump-says-hes-looking-payroll-tax-cut-pushes-recession-claims.html

 

Story 4: Big Lie Media. Radical Extremist Democrat Socialists (REDS), and Trump Haters Hope The United States Economy Goes Into A Recession to Defeat Trump — Betrayal of The American People — Videos

Are Trump’s media critics rooting for recession?

Bill Maher roots for recession to get Trump out of office

Bill Maher says recession is ‘worth it’ if Trump loses in 2020

Lou Dobbs Tonight 8/20/19 | Breaking Fox News August 20, 2019

Is the world heading for a recession? | FT

Trump Warns of Economic Downturn if He Loses Next Year

Trump’s Victory Shattered The Democrats, They’ve Been Struggling Ever Since

White House dismisses fears of a recession l ABC News

 

Recession is at the top of Trump haters’ wish list

I’m not saying they are just hoping for a recession. It’s obvious the haters would like that.

But are they trying to cause a recession?

Comedian and Trump ultra-hater Bill Maher has already spoken for his side. “We have survived many recessions. We can’t survive another Donald Trump term,” Maher is quoted as saying.

You know what: Trying to cause a recession would actually be the most rational thing the president’s opponents have tried. The trouble is, this strategy doesn’t seem to be working. Not yet, at least.

I’ll get to that in a bit.

But first let’s go over the more irrational solutions that the president’s opponents have considered or have actually acted upon.

Right after the election, the Trump haters floated these doozies: Get the Electoral College voters to go against the wishes of their states and keep Trump from the presidency. When that didn’t work, they tried — at least according to a wishful press — to get members of Trump’s own cabinet to decline him unfit for office.

Strike two.

And, of course, there was whatever was going on inside the FBI and other intelligence agencies that were spying on the Trump campaign and pulling dirty tricks before and after his election.

That didn’t work either and we will find out more about what was going on when a report concerning all this comes from Michael Horowitz, the inspector general of the Justice Department, sometime in the very near future.

So that brings us back to the possibility — and for the haters, the last hope — that there will be a recession and that it will affect the next presidential election, which is a little more than a year away.

As I said, this isn’t an irrational tactic to take against Trump.

Elections are mostly won or lost on how the economy is doing. And right now, while there is lots of talk about a 2020 recession that will hurt Trump, that’s really all it is — talk. And it’s mostly talk in the media and among Democrats.

But this chatter is causing Trump to bring up the issue of a recession regularly to defend himself — which publicizes the possibility of an economic downturn even more.

You have probably heard that consumers control about 80% of the US economy. Recessions happen for a lot of reasons — a mistake by the Federal Reserve, economic problems overseas, careless lending by banks, a stock market crash, trade wars and war wars.

Some of those things, and others, can lead to a recession. But most of the things I just mentioned have been going on at times over the past 10 years and still there hasn’t been a recession since the Great One of 2007 to 2009.

But the quickest way to cause a recession is to kill the confidence of consumers. Without the consumer being willing to spend, the economy will crap out.

That’s where all the talk of a recession comes in. If the Trump haters in and outside the media can convince consumers that the next recession is right around the corner, the next recession just might be right around the corner.

And with any luck, the recession will happen just in time to be on voters’ minds when they decide whether to keep President Trump in office or kick him to the cul-de-sac.

What the haters really need is for Americans to forget all the irrational stuff they’ve already failed at and just focus on the economy. “It’s the economy, stupid,” is a Bill Clinton campaign motto that would need to be revised.

But here’s the problem. While helping cause a recession might be the rational thing for the haters to do politically, it comes with many drawbacks.

The biggest is that voters might figure out what the haters are doing and be pissed.

A recession will bring job losses. Will the American public blame the president, or can Trump cast the blame on his opponents?

And if this tactic is perceived as just another dirty trick, it might take the Democrats a very long time to regain the public’s support.

Trump certainly isn’t getting the kind of economy he wanted and even predicted. But growth is still around 2% a year, about where it was during most of the Obama administration.

Unemployment for everyone is down. And people are still spending, as recent retail sales figure show.

And the stock market is doing just fine, despite the president’s panic every time if falls a few percentage points.

But US debt levels have skyrocketed as Trump tried to boost the economy through a tax cut. And a tricky thing is happening in the bond markets — yields of shorter maturity government securities are higher than long-maturity yields.

This yield “inversion,” the experts say, is an omen of a coming recession. And the haters hope they are right.

Maybe, maybe not.

The chaos in the world could be making the US bond market flaky as foreign investors try to get assets out of their own country and into ours. And that, or some other market quirk, could be causing the inversion.

This is all quite intriguing and will make a great movie one of these days. But right now, it’s just a drama that will end — thankfully — in November 2020.

https://nypost.com/2019/08/19/recession-is-at-the-top-of-trump-haters-wish-list/

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1307, August 15, 2019, Story 1: The Suicide or Homicide of Jeffrey Epstein — Looking Like Homicide With Broken Neck Bones Pending Final Report — UPDATED — Medical Examiner Finds Epstein Died By Suicide — Dead Child Molesters Tell No Tales — Videos — Story 2: Communist China Threatens United States Over The Proposed Sale of 66 Fighting Falcon F-16V Fighters to Republic of China (Taiwan) — Videos — Story 3: North Korea Fires Two More Missiles and Advances Missile Technology with Tests — Videos 

Posted on August 17, 2019. Filed under: 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, China, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Elections, Employment, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, Health Care, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Investments, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), Lying, Media, Mental Illness, Monetary Policy, National Interest, Natural Gas, North Korea, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Trump, Privacy, Private Sector Unions, Progressives, Public Sector Unions, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Senate, Sexual Harrasment, South Korea, Spying, Success, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Unemployment, Unions, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

 

 

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Story 1: The Suicide or Homicide of Jeffrey Epstein — Looking Like Homicide With Broken Neck Bones Pending Final Report — UPDATED — Medical Examiner Finds Epstein Died By Suicide — Dead Child Molesters Tell No Tales — Videos

See the source image

Report: Epstein signed will just two days before death

Autopsy results of Jeffrey Epstein revealed

Do Broken Bones in Jeffrey Epstein’s Neck Suggest Foul Play?

Medical examiner rules Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide

Broken neck bones raising questions surrounding Epstein’s death

Recordings Give Rare Glimpse Of Jeffrey Epstein In His Own Words | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Jeffrey Epstein’s Autopsy Reveals Multiple Breaks in Neck Bones

Two staffers assigned to watch Jeffrey Epstein placed on leave

Report: Epstein’s autopsy raises questions about his death

After autopsy, cause of Epstein’s death awaits ‘further information’

Jeffrey Epstein’s death and role in “Ponzi scheme” investigated

Jeffrey Epstein Autopsy Complete

Julie Brown: I Think Epstein Manipulated His Way Out Of Suicide Watch | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

FBI and Justice Department investigate Jeffrey Epstein’s death l ABC News

1992 Tape Of Trump And Epstein – The Day That Was | MSNBC

What Allegedly Went on Inside Jeffrey Epstein’s Jet

New York Magazine Studies Elite NYC Circle That Surrounded Epstein | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

The Mystery of Jeffery Epstein’s Fortune, Acosta Plea Deal

Where did Jeffrey Epstein’s money come from?

Drone Spies On Epstein Island DURING FBI Raid

Victoria’s Secret Has More Than Epstein Issues

L Brands founder’s ties to Epstein detailed in lawsuit

L Brands CEO: Epstein misappropriated family money

Police Find Epstein Passport With Different Name And Saudi Arabia Residence | Hallie Jackson | MSNBC

How Trump is fuelling the Epstein-Clinton con

James Patterson on his investigation into Jeffrey Epstein

Alex Jones On Jeffrey Epstein And Hillary Clinton

Bill Clinton Connection To Pedophile Jeffrey Epstein Exposed

Trump labor secretary Alex Acosta defends Epstein plea deal

Labor Secretary Alex Acosta resigns amid fallout over Jeffrey Epstein case

Jeffrey Epstein’s Multiple Prosecutions & The Fall of Alex Acosta (Real Law Review) // LegalEagle

NYT Details Epstein’s Deep Ties To Wall Street | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Blood vessels in Jeffrey Epstein’s eyes had popped and he had broken bones in his neck linked to hanging OR strangulation, autopsy reveals – as pedophile’s mystery ‘associate’ claims the body

  • Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy report reveals that the pedophile had broken bones in his neck, consistent with a hanging
  • Sources tell The Washington Post that he had a broken hyoid bone – a break seen in those who hang themselves but more common in strangulation victims
  • The blood vessels in the billionaire pedophile’s eyes had also popped when his air supply was cut off 
  • The autopsy was completed Sunday, but the New York City’s chief medical examiner listed the 66-year-old’s cause of death as pending and not a suicide 
  • A source says Epstein was in ‘great spirits’ before his death in jail Saturday
  • He met daily with lawyers at Metropolitan Correctional Center and believed his legal team would win an appeal to get him bail 
  • Epstein told his lawyer Friday, ‘I’ll see you Sunday’, but was found dead Saturday
  • He was taken off suicide watch and given his own cell after allegedly telling his lawyers that his cellmate Nicholas Tartaglione inflicted the neck injuries on him
  • It was reported Epstein may have tried to take his own life in July and Tartaglione’s lawyer claimed his client tried to save him by alerting guards

Jeffrey Epstein sustained multiple breaks in his neck and the blood vessels in his eyes had popped when he was found dead in his New York jail cell from an apparent suicide.

Epstein’s autopsy report found his neck had been broken in several places, including the hyoid bone located near the Adam’s apple, the Washington Post reports.

Breakages to that specific bone can occur when people hang themselves but are more commonly seen in victims who have been strangled, forensic experts say.

The blood vessels in the billionaire pedophile’s eyes also popped when his air supply was cut off, sources told TMZ.

Epstein is believed to have suffered petechial hemorrhaging, which is caused when someone hangs themselves or is strangled.

The grim details surrounding Epstein’s death have emerged after his autopsy was completed on Sunday. The office of New York City’s chief medical examiner Barbara Simpson has listed the 66-year-old’s cause of death as pending and not a suicide.

One of the billionaire pedophile’s ‘associates’ has also claimed the body from the New York City medical examiner’s office.

There is widespread speculation his real-estate magnate brother Mark Epstein who is a year-and-half younger than Jeffrey could be this ‘associate’. He previously offered up his Florida condo as security for Epstein’s bail bond last month, according to reports.

Jeffrey Epstein's autopsy report reveals that the pedophile had broken bones in his neck, consistent with a hanging

Epstein's hyoid bone - near a man's Adam's apple - was broken, a common break seen in those who hang themselves but even more common in victims of strangulation, according to forensic experts (Epstein's lifeless body is pictured being carried out on a stretcher)

Epstein’s hyoid bone – near a man’s Adam’s apple – was broken, a common break seen in those who hang themselves but even more common in victims of strangulation, according to forensic experts (Epstein’s lifeless body is pictured being carried out on a stretcher)

Multiple breaks to Epstein’s neck are the first details to emerge from Epstein’s autopsy as questions deepen around his apparent suicide by hanging while in federal custody Saturday.

The details come as it’s also revealed Epstein was in ‘great spirits’ before his death and even believed he would be bailed out in order to cooperate with authorities, according to a source.

The pedophile met daily with lawyers at Metropolitan Correctional Center at 8am for around 12 hours and believed his legal team would win an appeal to get him bail on charges of child sex trafficking, according to an insider.

Epstein was taken off suicide watch and given his own cell, allegedly telling his lawyers that his cellmate Nicholas Tartaglione (pictured) had inflicted the neck injuries that were suspected of being marks from a July suicide attempt

Epstein was taken off suicide watch and given his own cell, allegedly telling his lawyers that his cellmate Nicholas Tartaglione (pictured) had inflicted the neck injuries that were suspected of being marks from a July suicide attempt

Epstein was was taken off suicide watch and given his own cell after allegedly telling his lawyers that his accused murderer cellmate Nicholas Tartaglione was the one who inflicted the neck injuries that were suspected to be marks from a July suicide attempt.

A source close to Epstein told DailyMail.com that he appeared to be in good spirits.

‘There was no indication that he might try to take his own life,’ the source told DailyMail.com

‘From what I saw, he was finally starting to adjust to prison. I think he was comforted by the rigidity of his new life.’

A source later told the New York Postthat Epstein was ‘real positive’ the night before his body was found.   ‘He was in great spirits the night before.

‘He was like, ‘I’ll see you Sunday’,’ the source said.

But on Saturday at 6.30am he was discovered dead from an apparent hanging.

Epstein told his lawyers that former police officer Tartaglione ‘roughed him up, and that’s why they got him off suicide watch’.

While Epstein was in the Special Housing Unit (SHU) at the time of his reported first suicide attempt on July 23, he shared a cell with the former police officer who was under extra security.

Tartaglione was charged with kidnapping and murdering four people in a 2016 drug deal gone wrong.

‘I spoke to his lawyers and they never hinted at that to me, but he must have said something to get off suicide watch,’ Tartaglione’s attorney Bruce Barket told the New York Post on Wednesday.

The autopsy was completed Sunday, but the New York City's chief medical examiner listed the 66-year-old's cause of death as pending and not a suicide

His cell is seen above. Epstein was discovered in his cell with a bedsheet around his neck

His cell is seen above. Epstein was discovered in his cell with a bedsheet around his neck

THE HYOID BONE: STRANGULATION VS SUICIDE

The hyoid bone is a U-shaped bone that sits in the middle of the neck

The hyoid bone is a U-shaped bone that sits in the middle of the neck

Jeffrey Epstein’s autopsy has found that he had sustained multiple breaks in his neck bones. One of the bones that was broken was the hyoid bone.

That particular bone is a U-shaped bone that sits in the middle of the neck near the Adam’s apple.

Forensic experts say breaks to the hyoid bone can occur if someone hangs themselves but they are more common in strangulation.

Jonathan L. Arden, president of the National Association of Medical Examiners, told the Washington Post that hyoid breaks are more commonly linked to homicidal strangulation rather than suicide by hanging.

He said if a hyoid bone is broken, pathologists will most likely conduct further investigations.

The location and width the noose, as well as if the body dropped during the hanging, will be analyzed.

The age of the person will also be taken into account because the hyoid hardens as a person ages and is more susceptible to breaks.

The bone starts as three small bones with connections and eventually hardens into the U-shape.

‘If, hypothetically, the hyoid bone is broken, that would generally raise questions about strangulation, but it is not definitive and does not exclude suicidal hanging,’ Arden said.

Ronnie L. White, a teenager accused of killing a police officer, died of an apparent suicide in his Maryland prison cell in 2008. His cause of death was changed to a homicide two days later when his autopsy showed his hyoid bone was broken. Medical examiners found that he was likely strangled with a sheet but no one was ever charged in his death.

‘I do know that Nick was not brought up on any charges at all in the institution, so they cleared him. It’s simply, patently false to say that [Epstein] did anything other than try to kill himself at least twice, and succeeded when he succeeded.’

Barket previously claimed his client was being implicated because he had complained about the conditions at MCC.

He also claimed Tartaglione saved Epstein’s life in July by alerting guards.

But a source said Epstein ‘had hope of getting bail on appeal’.

The Post reported that Epstein’s legal team was planning to file a motion related to his 2008 conviction in Florida where after pleading guilty to two prostitution charges, he was sentenced to 18 months in a low-security prison in exchange for prosecutors ending their investigation into his sex acts with minors.

It also gave him immunity from future prosecution related to those charges and Epstein was able to work from his office six days a week while supposedly incarcerated.

‘What he really wanted to do was get bail so he could cooperate,’ the source told the Post. ‘He thought he was going to win the double-jeopardy motion.’

Epstein was transferred to the SHU when he was targeted for extortion, a source told The Daily Beast.

It was claimed last Saturday that the 66-year-old was constantly requesting toilet paper while he had his own cell and ‘lived like a pig in a sty’, eating his meals off the floor.

Barket added: ‘We were a little worried that he would make up something to get out of suicide watch or try and argue for bail, but it’s pretty clear what happened, given the end result here.’

West Palm Beach attorney Spencer Kuvin said he was skeptical of Epstein’s apparent suicide because he said the billionaire pedophile was too vain and always believed he was right.

Kuvin, who represented three of the women who sued Epstein in 2008 to 2009, told BBC Radio Wednesday that he had met Epstein at various settlement meetings.

‘I am still not convinced that ultimately he took his own life,’ he said.

‘I’m not convinced because I knew him as a vain man, a very intelligent man who was a person who always defended what he did, even in light of all the evidence against him.

‘He basically took the position, that no matter how old these young girls were, that they chose to be with him and he didn’t care (about) their age.

‘So someone like that, I just find it very hard to believe that he would take his own life.’

And last Saturday one of Epstein’s lawyers, Marc Fernich, partly blamed the judicial system for his client’s death and called out ‘jailers who appear to have recklessly put Mr. Epstein in harm’s way, heedlessly placing his life at risk and failing to protect him’.

Fernich expressed that his statement did not represent the views of everyone on Epstein’s defense team.

Fernich complained that his client was not a flight risk and was not being treated as innocent before proven guilty after authorities found child porn images during a raid at his home and dozens of women came forward with claims of abuse.

Attorney General William Barr has called for an investigation into the circumstances surrounding Epstein’s death. Barr said ‘it raises serious questions that must be answered’.

Fernich ended his statement: ‘The public needs to know exactly what happened and why – and how his custodians could have let it occur.’

The pedophile was in 'good spirits' ahead of his death, meeting daily with lawyers at Metropolitan Correctional Center and believed his legal team would win an appeal to get him bail on charges of child sex trafficking, according to an insider

The pedophile was in ‘good spirits’ ahead of his death, meeting daily with lawyers at Metropolitan Correctional Center and believed his legal team would win an appeal to get him bail on charges of child sex trafficking, according to an insider

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7359111/Autopsy-finds-Jeffrey-Epstein-broken-bones-neck-raising-questions-suicide.html

 

Jeffrey Epstein’s Death

Photo: New York State Sex Offender Registry

Jeffrey Epstein, the millionaire financier and convicted sex offender, was found dead by suicide in his jail cell on Saturday morning. Epstein was awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges in Manhattan’s Metropolitan Correctional Center. The 66-year-old’s death came less than a day after a trove of disturbing court documents was made public offering details about his alleged abuse of dozens of mostly underage girls, as well who assisted him with or participated in the abuse — documents that implicate many rich and powerful men from the elite circles Epstein was once a member of.

While conspiracy theories have run amok in the aftermath of Epstein’s death, new details emerged on Sunday indicating that Epstein’s death may have come as a result of multiple failures on the part of the MCC and its staff. Below is everything we know so far.

The details of his death

According to NBC News, Epstein hanged himself at some point overnight Friday in his cell and was taken to a local hospital from the MCC on Saturday morning. Per the Department of Justice’s official statement:

On Saturday, August 10, 2019, at approximately 6:30 a.m., inmate Jeffrey Edward Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell in the Special Housing Unit from an apparent suicide at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) in New York, New York. Life-saving measures were initiated immediately by responding staff. Staff requested emergency medical services (EMS) and life-saving efforts continued. Mr. Epstein was transported by EMS to a local hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries, and subsequently pronounced dead by hospital staff. The FBI is investigating the incident.

CBS News reported that there was shrieking and shouting when Epstein’s body was discovered the following day. Guards were heard attempting to revive him, saying, “Breathe, Epstein, breathe.”

BuzzFeed revealed on Tuesday that purported details about Epstein’s death were posted on 4Chan less than 40 minutes before ABC News broke the story on Saturday morning.

“[D]ont ask me how I know, but Epstein died an hour ago from hanging, cardiac arrest. Screencap this,” reads the post, which was published along with an image of Pepe, the mascot of right-wing trolls. When others said they did not believe the original poster, the person added additional information about procedures supposedly used in an effort to revive Epstein.

A FDNY representative said that if accurate, the disclosure would be a violation of multiple privacy laws. The department is investigating.

News of security failures continues to pile up: On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that two guards in Epstein’s jail unit fell asleep and failed to check on him for about three hours. In an apparent cover-up attempt, they falsified records to hide their mistake.

Epstein’s Autopsy

On Sunday evening, New York Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson announced that she had completed an autopsy of Epstein under the observation of a private pathologist, but that she needed more information before she could officially determine his cause of death (which is not abnormal):

Sampson said Epstein’s representatives hired celebrity pathologist Michael Baden — who conducted private autopsies of Michael Brown and former NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez — and that he was allowed to observe her autopsy.

The Metropolitan Correctional Facility, where Jeffrey Epstein was found dead in his jail cell, is seen on August 10, 2019 in New York City. Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

Epstein had been taken off suicide watch, then left alone and under-monitored

Three weeks before his death, on July 23, Epstein had been found semiconscious in his cell with marks on his neck — though it was not clear if he had tried to harm himself or had been attacked. Prison officials investigated the injury as a possible suicide attempt and put Epstein on suicide watch, which would entail placing him in a special cell where he could be constantly monitored by prison personnel and prevented from having access to any means by which he could take his own life. Epstein was also subject to a daily psychiatric evaluation during this time, according to the New York Times.

But Epstein was taken off of suicide watch on July 29 and returned to the MCC’s special housing unit after a psychiatric evaluation determined he was no longer at risk of harming himself. The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that Epstein’s lawyers had requested he be removed from suicide watch.

MCC personnel then failed to follow proper procedures, which MCC officials had apparently assured Justice Department personnel they would follow.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that it is standard practice at the facility for inmates who have been on suicide watch to then be housed with other inmates. Epstein was placed in a cell with another inmate at first, but that inmate was later transferred out of the special housing unit, leaving Epstein alone in the cell, which reportedly had a metal door and a small glass window. It is not clear why Epstein was not immediately assigned another cellmate.

In addition, MCC guards are supposed to check on inmates in the special housing unit every 30 minutes, but reportedly failed to do so on Friday night. It is not yet confirmed how that was allowed to happen either.

MCC’s failures may be linked to staffing shortage, overworked employees

A prison official who spoke with the Times said that the two guards who were on duty on Friday night were both working overtime, and one was working his fifth consecutive overtime shift. According to Serene Gregg, the president of the union that represents the MCC’s employees, the two guards do not normally work as correctional officers, though they were trained to do so. She told the Washington Post that many of the jail’s employees have been working mandatory overtime, including 60 to 70-hour workweeks, thanks to the MCC having less than 70 percent of the correctional officers it should have. According to the New York Times, one of the guards on watch when Epstein hanged himself was a substitute.

On Tuesday, the Justice Department announced that it had removed MCC’s warden and assigned a temporary replacement. It also placed two guards who had been assigned to Epstein on leave, pending the outcome of the investigation into Epstein’s death.

There had also been unconfirmed rumors that Epstein’s earlier injury had been the result of an attack, but he was reportedly found dead alone in his cell on Saturday morning.

The earlier possible suicide attempt, and what other inmates noticed about Epstein

Here is what the Daily Beast reported regarding the earlier possible suicide attempt and Epstein’s behavior in jail:

Epstein had initially been held in general population at MCC, where he’d been targeted for extortion as a wealthy pedophile, a source with knowledge of his circumstances told The Daily Beast, describing Epstein’s injuries from his prior alleged suicide attempt as small abrasions around his neck. …

At the time of [that] attempt, he shared a cell with Nicholas Tartaglione, a former police officer charged with kidnapping and murdering four people in 2016. …

Tartaglione’s lawyer, Bruce Barket, told authorities his client had saved Epstein’s life during the first suicide attempt by alerting corrections officers. He claimed Tartaglione was being implicated in the suicide attempt because he’d recently complained about conditions at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, saying in a statement at the time, “we warned the judge that officials at the jail would retaliate against Nick because we have been exposing the inhumane conditions at the facility.”

The Beast’s source said that Epstein “lived like a pig in a sty” after his first attempted suicide, eating meals off the floor and making frequent requests for toilet paper.

A New York Medical Examiner’s car is parked outside the Metropolitan Correctional Center where financier Jeffrey Epstein was being held, on August 10, 2019, in New York. Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

There is apparently no video footage of what happened

The New York Post reported on Sunday that no surveillance video exists of Epstein’s death. According to the Post’s sources, there are indeed video cameras in the section of the MCC where Epstein was housed on Friday night, but none target the inside or outside of the cells there.

Epstein’s death being investigated by the FBI, Justice Department, and New York Medical Examiner’s Office

The Department of Justice announced on Saturday that the FBI had opened an investigation into the circumstances of Epstein’s death — meaning that the FBI is looking to see whether or not a crime was committed. Attorney General William Barr additionally announced that the Justice Department’s inspector general would be conducting an investigation. Barr said he was “appalled to learn” that Epstein had taken his own life while in federal custody and that the incident “raises serious questions that must be answered.”

On Monday, he said the Justice Department had found “serious irregularities” at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, and that prison staff had “failed to adequately secure this prisoner,” but did not go into further detail.

Meanwhile, the New York Medical Examiner’s office investigated Epstein’s cause of death over the weekend, and had been expected to release the results on Epstein’s autopsy on Sunday, but instead announced that the medical examiner needed more information before making an official determination. (This is not unusual.)

It seems likely that there will also be some congressional inquiries into the matter.

The investigation into Epstein, his crimes, and his co-conspirators will continue

One major concern following Epstein’s death is the fate of the investigation into his abuse of countless underage girls, as well as the potential consequences for his accomplices. Federal prosecutors said on Saturday that the investigation will continue, but how that shapes up remains to be seen.

According to former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti, the criminal case against Epstein dies with him:

Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide ends the criminal case against him because no one else was charged in the indictment. … [It] means that there won’t be a public trial or other proceedings that could reveal evidence of his wrongdoing. Evidence collected via grand jury subpoena won’t be released to the public. It’s still likely that the public will learn additional information from civil cases by victims against his estate or non-criminal investigations (for example, the DOJ OIG investigation).

Saturday on the Cut, Matthew Schneier pointed out that Epstein’s death still meant that “thousands of questions may never have satisfactory answers, and focus is likely to intensify on his collaborators, co-conspirators, enablers, and friends.” Schneier then highlighted what a trove of newly unsealed court documents says about Ghislaine Maxwell, Epstein’s best friend and alleged accomplice.

Epstein’s associates may now receive the full brunt of prosecutors’ attention, according to the Miami Herald’s Julie K. Brown:

[With Epstein’s] death, prosecutors in the Southern District of New York will likely refocus their probe on Maxwell, Sarah Kellen Vickers, Adriana Ross and Lesley Groff — all of whom allegedly helped run Epstein’s operation in the mid- to late-2000s. Another woman, Nadia Marcinkova, who is now a commercial pilot, was accused of sexually abusing some of the underage girls.

The SDNY ultimately confirmed as much on Saturday:

But the result of that process is hard to predict, former U.S. attorney Barbara McQuade added in an interview with Intelligencer:

It may be that never pans out into any charges, for lots of reasons: A lack of evidence, evidence that’s unavailable because you needed Epstein. So it could be that we never hear anything more about it. But I think they’ll continue to investigate, and if they find evidence of a crime, that will become publicly known.

On Monday, at least a dozen FBI agents raided Epstein’s Little St. James residence. According to NBC News, the bureau was searching for evidence that could link co-conspirators to alleged crimes committed on the island.

Public pressure has increased on Epstein’s co-conspirators: Ghislaine Maxwell has been reportedly been found laying low in a colonial mansion in the seaside town of Manchester-by-the-Sea, north of Boston. And Prince Andrew, the royal who allegedly had sex with Epstein victim Virginia Roberts Giuffre, has reportedly retired from public life.

Two of Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged victims, Michelle Licata and Courtney Wild, exit the courthouse after a hearing about the billionaire financier on July 8, 2019 in New York City. Photo: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images

The response from Epstein’s victims

The Miami Herald’s Julie K. Brown passed along some reactions from Epstein’s stunned victims:

Jena-Lisa Jones, who was molested by him when she was 14, said that Epstein took the coward’s way out. “I just can’t believe it, we were finally feeling that we might have some justice after all these years,’’ she said, her voice cracking.

Eva Ford, the mother of victim Courtney Wild, was angry. “How does someone who is this high profile commit suicide? They had to have cameras on him! Someone must have been paid to look the other way,’’ Ford said.

“I just want wanted him to be held accountable for his actions. I would never wish that somebody would die but he took the easy way out,’’ said victim Michelle Licata.

Added Jack Scarola, an attorney representing several of Epstein’s victims:

It is inexplicable how such a high-profile person on suicide watch could commit suicide without help. … Epstein once again cheated his victims out of an opportunity for justice. While I’m sure none of them regret his death, all of them regret the information that died with him. The one expectation is that Epstein’s death not derail the investigation into others who participated in his criminal activities. There are named and unnamed co-conspirators who still need to be brought to justice.

Roberta Kaplan, who represents one of Epstein’s then-underage victims, said over the weekend that Epstein’s demise was “not only emotionally devastating but a real emotional roller coaster.”

Jennifer Araoz, one of Epstein’s accusers, forged ahead with plans to sue Epstein on Wednesday, filing a suit against his estate, his alleged madam, Ghislaine Maxwell, and three unnamed female household staffers. Arazoz, who was not named in the sex-trafficking indictment against Epstein, came forward last month, saying Epstein repeatedly sexually assaulted her when she was 14 and 15 years old, and forcibly raped her in 2002. The lawsuit was one of the first filed under New York’s Child Victims Act, which went into effect on Wednesday. It gives victims of child sexual abuse a chance to file civil cases against alleged abusers for the next year even if the statute of limitations has passed.

The inevitable suspicion and speculation

Considering Epstein’s extensive links to the rich and powerful — including presidents Trump and Clinton — Epstein’s death by post-suicide-watch suicide quickly led to suspicion and conspiracy theories from across the political spectrum. (Read our roundup of the top theories here.)

As tech and media commentator Charlie Warzel noted on Sunday, Epstein’s death is “in many ways, the post-truth nightmare scenario”:

The sordid story contains almost all the hallmarks of stereotypical conspiratorial fodder: child sex trafficking, powerful global political leaders, shadowy private jet flights, billionaires whose wealth cannot be explained. As a tale of corruption, it is so deeply intertwined with our current cultural and political rot that it feels, at times, almost too on-the-nose. The Epstein saga provides ammunition for everyone, leading one researcher to refer to Saturday’s news as the “Disinformation World Cup.”

Trump and allies push anti-Clinton conspiracy theory

Soon after the news broke, controversial Trump administration personality(and regional HUD director) Lynne Patton wrote on Instagram that Epstein had been “Hillary-d” — an attempt to promote a longstanding right-wing conspiracy theory falsely alleging that Bill and Hillary Clinton were responsible for the death of former White House lawyer Vince Foster.

Patton specifically referenced Foster, tagging the tabloid news post she shared about Epstein’s death “#VinceFosterPartTwo.”

She wasn’t the only one trying to connect Epstein’s death to the Clintons. Fox Business host Lou Dobbs tweeted a reference too, and #clintonbodycount began trending on Twitter on Saturday morning — a reference to a debunked conspiracy meme suggesting the Clintons had ordered dozens of people killed. Later, #trumpbodycount started trending in response, but it’s important to remember that both efforts may have been boosted by trollbots, and much of the conspiracy-minded response was based on the reportedly mistaken notion that Epstein died while on suicide watch.

By the early evening, the trending theory had attracted the attention-obsessed president of the United States, who himself retweeted two tweetslinking the Clintons to Epstein and his death. A senior White House official told Axios: “I think we’re beyond the point of trying to control these things.”

The non-Trump political response

Politicians on both sides of the aisle have been expressing their alarm over what happened. Senator Ben Sasse, the Nebraska Republican who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on Saturday that it was “inexcusable that this rapist was not under constant suicide watch,” and that by letting Epstein take his own life, the federal government had failed Epstein’s victims for the second time. “Obviously, heads must roll,” Sasse added in a letter to Attorney General William Barr:

Every single person in the Justice Department — from your Main Justice headquarters staff all the way to the night-shift jailer — knew that this man was a suicide risk, and that his dark secrets couldn’t be allowed to die with him. … It should have been abundantly clear that Epstein would go to any lengths to avoid being held accountable for his crimes, including by killing himself. Being responsible for Epstein’s custody and prosecution, the Department of Justice should not have allowed this to happen.

Sasse hasn’t said anything about the Senate Judiciary Committee investigating the matter yet. California Democrat Ted Lieu, meanwhile, has called for the House Judiciary Committee to launch an inquiry in Epstein’s death.

The home of Jeffrey Epstein has a large waterfront footprint in the Town of Palm Beach, not far from President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. Photo: Pedro Portal/TNS via Getty Images

Epstein’s finances, and the fate of his fortune

Another recurring question in light of Epstein’s demise is what will happen to his alleged fortune. Federal prosecutors have estimated Epstein’s wealth at over $500 million, but it still remains a mystery how much he really had — or how he earned it.

The New York Times reported on Sunday that two of the banks that did business with the shady financier, Deutsche Bank and JPMorgan, have been going through their records in order to determine what he used his accounts for. Deutsche Bank has already been sharing its Epstein records with authorities, while JPMorgan anticipates being asked to do the same.

Lisa Bloom, who is representing some of Epstein’s victims, said on Sundaythat she intends to sue Epstein’s estate on behalf of two clients. It is also possible that the SDNY could try to seize Epstein’s assets with a civil-forfeiture action.

Highlighting an epidemic

Reform advocates, academics, and others who are familiar with the prevalence of inadequate mental health care in America’s jails and prisons seem to be the least surprised by Epstein’s death by suicide.

The Miami Herald spoke with criminal justice professor Christine Tartaro, who has written a book about the issue of suicide behind bars. She explained that inmates often harm themselves at pretrial facilities (jails), where suicide is the leading cause of death. She said that Epstein being put on, and then taken off, suicide watch is not uncommon — nor is an inmate relapsing back into suicidal behavior afterward.

“The point of suicide watch is to get them through the initial suicide crisis, and then to work on helping the inmate navigate the correctional environment without attempting suicide,” she explained, adding, There are situations in which the inmate will feel better, and then regress and become suicidal again.”

The Human Rights Defense Center’s Deborah Golden told the Herald that the Bureau of Prisons, which runs federal facilities like the MCC, is known for providing inadequate mental health care and not employing enough psychiatrists. “They do a bad job at suicide prevention,” the reform advocate insisted, noting that suicide watch in federal facilities is typically more like special punishment than an intervention.

Inmate suicide expert Lindsay M. Hayes added that the punitive nature of suicide watch, which is highly restrictive and difficult to endure for inmates, leads many of them to fake feeling better when speaking with their evaluators. In addition, Hayes explained, assessing the suicide risk of inmates is a difficult process, and may have been even more challenging with an atypical inmate like Epstein.

This is a developing story and this post has been updated throughout. Please check back for more updates.

http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/08/jeffrey-epstein-dies-by-suicide-report.html

Alexander Acosta

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Alexander Acosta
Alexander Acosta official portrait.jpg
27th United States Secretary of Labor
In office
April 28, 2017 – July 19, 2019
President Donald Trump
Deputy Patrick Pizzella
Preceded by Tom Perez
Succeeded by Patrick Pizzella (acting)
Dean of the Florida International University College of Law
In office
July 1, 2009 – April 28, 2017
Preceded by Leonard Strickman
Succeeded by Antony Page
United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida
In office
June 11, 2005 – June 5, 2009
President George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Preceded by Marcos Jiménez
Succeeded by Wifredo A. Ferrer
United States Assistant Attorney Generalfor the Civil Rights Division
In office
August 22, 2003 – June 11, 2005
President George W. Bush
Preceded by Bradley Schlozman (acting)
Succeeded by Wan J. Kim
Member of the National Labor Relations Board
In office
December 17, 2002 – August 21, 2003
President George W. Bush
Preceded by William Cowen
Succeeded by Ronald Meisburg
Personal details
Born
Rene Alexander Acosta

January 16, 1969 (age 50)
Miami, Florida, U.S.

Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Jan Williams
Education Harvard University (BAJD)
Website Government website

Rene Alexander Acosta (born January 16, 1969)[1] is an American attorney and politician who served as the 27th United States secretary of labor from 2017 to 2019. President Donald Trump nominated Acosta to be Labor Secretary on February 16, 2017, and he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on April 27, 2017. Acosta is the only Hispanic person to have served in President Trump’s Cabinet.

A member of the Republican Party, he was appointed by President George W. Bush to the National Labor Relations Board and later served as Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights and U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. He is the former dean of Florida International University College of Law.

In 2007–2008, as U.S. Attorney, Acosta approved a plea deal that required Jeffrey Epstein to plead guilty to a state charge of solicitation for the purposes of prostitution involving a 14-year-old girl, a deal which required he register as a sex offender and pay restitution to victims as part of a federal non-prosecution agreement. The prosecutors had identified 36 victims of Epstein, most of them having no prior knowledge of the agreement and no opportunity to give input. The deal has been the subject of long-term criticism by the Miami Herald and others due to its leniency and secrecy. After Epstein’s arrest in July 2019 on sex trafficking charges, Acosta faced renewed and harsher criticism for his role in the 2008 non-prosecution agreement, as well as calls for his resignation; he resigned on July 19 and was replaced by Deputy Secretary Patrick Pizzella.

Background

Acosta is the only son of Cuban refugees.[2][3] He is a native of Miami, Florida, where he attended the Gulliver Schools. Acosta received a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Harvard College in 1990 and received a Juris Doctor degree cum laude from Harvard Law School 1994.[4] He is the first member of his family to graduate from college.[3]

Following law school, Acosta served as a law clerk to Samuel Alito, then a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, from 1994 to 1995.[5] Acosta then worked at the office of the law firm Kirkland & Ellisin Washington, D.C., where he specialized in employment and labor issues.[6] While in Washington, Acosta taught classes on employment lawdisability-based discrimination law, and civil rights law at the George Mason University School of Law.[7]

On December 31, 2013, Acosta became the new chairman of U.S. Century Bank,[8] the largest domestically owned Hispanic community bank in Florida and one of the 15 largest Hispanic community banks in the nation. During his tenure as chairman, U.S. Century Bank had its first year-end profit since the start of the Great Recession.[2] Acosta was a member of the Board of Trustees of Gulliver Schools, where he served a past term as board chairman.[9]

Bush administration

Acosta served in four presidentially appointed, U.S. Senate-confirmed positions in the George W. Bush administration. From December 2001 to December 2002, he served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice.[10] From December 2002 to August 2003, he was a member of the National Labor Relations Board for which he participated in or authored more than 125 opinions.[11]

Then, he became Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division on August 22, 2003,[12] where he was known for increasing federal prosecutions against human trafficking.[13] Acosta authorized federal intervention in an Oklahoma religious liberties case to help assure the right to wear hijab in public school,[14] and worked with Mississippi authorities to reopen the investigation of the 1955 death of Emmett Till, a 14-year-old black youth whose abduction and killing helped spark the civil rights movement.[15][16] He was the first Hispanic to serve as Assistant Attorney General.[17]

While leading the Civil Rights division, Acosta allowed his predecessor, Bradley Schlozman, to continue to make decisions on hiring.[18] A report by the inspector general and the Office of Professional Responsibility later found that Schlozman illegally gave preferential treatment to conservatives and made false statements to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Those findings were relayed to the office of the United States attorney for the District of Columbia,[10] but Schlozman was not prosecuted.[18] While it put the primary responsibility on Schlozman, the report also concluded that Acosta “did not sufficiently supervise Schlozman” and that “in light of indications [he and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Sheldon Bradshaw] had about Schlozman’s conduct and judgment, they failed to ensure that Schlozman’s hiring and personnel decisions were based on proper considerations.”[10][18]

U.S. attorney for Southern District of Florida[edit]

In 2005, Acosta was appointed as the U.S. attorney for Southern District of Florida, where his office successfully prosecuted the lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the terrorism suspect José Padilla, the founders of the Cali Cartel, and Charles McArther Emmanuel, the son of Liberia’s former leader.[10][19]

The district also targeted white collar crime, prosecuting several bank-related cases, including one against Swiss bank UBS. The case resulted in UBS paying $780 million in fines, and for the first time in history, the bank provided the United States with the names of individuals who were using secret Swiss bank accounts to avoid U.S. federal income taxes.[20]

Other notable cases during his tenure include the corruption prosecution of Palm Beach County Commission chairman Tony Masilotti, Palm Beach County commissioner Warren Newell, Palm Beach County commissioner Mary McCarty,[21] and Broward sheriff Ken Jenne; the conviction of Cali Cartel founders Miguel and Gilberto Rodríguez Orejuela, for the importation of 200,000 kilos of cocaine, which resulted in a $2.1 billion forfeiture; and the white-collar crime prosecutions of executives connected to Hamilton Bank.[22]

Acosta also emphasized health care fraud prosecutions. Under Acosta’s leadership the district prosecuted more than 700 individuals, responsible for a total of more than $2 billion in Medicare fraud.[23]

Prosecution of Jeffrey Epstein

In 2007–2008, while serving as the U.S. attorney for Southern Florida, Acosta approved a federal non-prosecution agreement[24] with Jeffrey Epstein, which has since been a subject of ongoing controversy. Epstein was a wealthy hedge fund manager with influential connections, including Prince AndrewTom BarrackLeon BlackBill ClintonAlan DershowitzWilbur Ross, and Donald Trump, among others. He was believed to have recruited minor girls for lewd massages and other paid sexual activities at his Florida mansion.[25][26]Under the agreement, Epstein, along with four co-conspirators and any unnamed “potential co-conspirators,” did not face federal criminal charges.[24] The agreement required Epstein to plead guilty to two state prostitution charges, serve jail time, register as a sex offender, and pay restitution to victims identified by the FBI.[24] Prosecutors had identified 36 victims of Epstein, most of whom had been inappropriately deprived of knowledge of the plea deal or opportunity to give input.[25]

The federal agreement with Epstein was not a typical criminal law plea bargain, but instead employed a structure commonly used in regulatory settlements with corporations.[24] In an op-ed, the approach was described by a member of the prosecution team as a method to address the state of Florida’s prior decision not to bring felony charges against Epstein for the same activities.[27]

The federal agreement and Epstein’s subsequent lenient treatment while incarcerated by the State of Florida have been the subject of criticism, with the Miami Herald calling the agreement “the deal of a lifetime.”[25] The fact that the agreement with Epstein also protected unnamed “potential co-conspirators” from federal prosecution drew speculation that perhaps the deal was intended to protect influential people in Epstein’s orbit.[25] However, others have described that clause as intended to protect those of Epstein’s victims who had been enticed to help him recruit other victims for abuse.[28]

Acosta has variously stated that he was not directly involved in the unusual agreement, that prosecutors determined it to be the best available solution, and that he “was unduly pressured by Epstein’s heavy-hitting lawyers.” He also has argued the prosecution team believed conviction by trial in federal court was unlikely and an agreement would therefore be the best way to put an end to Epstein’s exploitation of underage girls.[29][30][25]

Subsequent to the federal non-prosecution agreement of 2007–2008, claims were made in news reports, books,[28][31] and civil lawsuits that Epstein’s activities prior to his 2008 conviction may have been significantly more extensive than those known at the time of the agreement—perhaps affecting hundreds of minors, said to have been recruited from the U.S. and overseas to attend sex parties and perform sexual favors for Epstein and his guests at Epstein’s homes in Florida, New York, New Mexico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and aboard his private jet. None of the civil lawsuits related to these additional claims have gone to trial.

In late 2018, as rumors circulated that Acosta was being considered as a possible successor to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the Miami Herald published an investigation detailing Acosta’s role in the Epstein case. Among other revelations, the Herald reported that Acosta took the unusual step of meeting with Epstein’s attorney Jay Lefkowitz at the Marriott Hotel 70 miles from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Miami and that it was he who finalized the agreement. According to the article: “In email after email, Acosta and the lead federal prosecutor, A. Marie Villafaña, acquiesced to Epstein’s legal team’s demands, which often focused on ways to limit the scandal by shutting out his victims and the media, including suggesting that the charges be filed in Miami, instead of Palm Beach, where Epstein’s victims lived.”[25]

A key issue was that prosecutors agreed not to inform victims that the deal was in the works. The Herald describes an email from Epstein’s attorney after his off-site meeting with Acosta: “‘Thank you for the commitment you made to me during our Oct. 12 meeting,’ Lefkowitz wrote in a letter to Acosta after their breakfast meeting in West Palm Beach. He added that he was hopeful that Acosta would abide by a promise to keep the deal confidential. ‘You … assured me that your office would not … contact any of the identified individuals, potential witnesses or potential civil claimants and the respective counsel in this matter,’ Lefkowitz wrote.” The Herald article contended that certain aspects of Acosta’s non-prosecution agreement violated federal law. “As part of the arrangement, Acosta agreed, despite a federal law to the contrary, that the deal would be kept from the victims. As a result, the non-prosecution agreement was sealed until after it was approved by the judge, thereby averting any chance that the girls — or anyone else — might show up in court and try to derail it.” Victims, former prosecutors, and the retired Palm Beach police chief were among those quoted criticizing the agreement and Acosta’s role in it.[25]

Following the Herald investigation and related news coverage, members of Congress submitted a formal request to the U.S. Department of Justice for review of Acosta’s role in the Epstein deal,[32] and several editorials called for Acosta’s resignation or termination from his then-current position as U.S. Labor Secretary.[33][34]

Jeffrey Sloman, one of the prosecutors in the case, defended the agreement in a February 2019 op-ed piece in the Miami Herald: “Our priorities were to make sure Epstein could not hurt anyone else and to compensate Epstein’s victims without retraumatizing them. Our team worked diligently to build a federal case against Epstein. Throughout the investigation, we took care to be respectful of the pain Epstein’s victims had endured. As we continued, however, it became clear that most of Epstein’s victims were terrified to cooperate against him. Some hired lawyers to avoid appearing before a grand jury. One of the key witnesses moved to Australia and refused to return calls from us. We also researched and discussed significant legal impediments to prosecuting [in federal court] what was, at heart, a local sex abuse case. Given the obstacles we faced in fashioning a robust federal prosecution, we decided to negotiate a resolution. … You can disagree with the result we reached, but our whole team — from Alex [Acosta] on down the chain of command — always acted with integrity and in good faith.” [27]

In December 2018, a Labor Department spokesperson replied to questions about renewed interest in the Epstein case as follows: “For more than a decade, this prosecution has been reviewed in great detail by newspaper articles, television reports, books, and Congressional testimony, and has been defended by the Department of Justice in litigation across three administrations and several attorneys general. If the Department of Justice’s Office of the Inspector General chooses to review this matter, Secretary Acosta welcomes the opportunity to participate.”[35]

In February 2019, the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility notified Senator Ben Sasse that it had opened an investigation into Epstein’s prosecution.[36][37]

On February 21, 2019, a ruling in federal court returned Acosta’s role in the Epstein case to the headlines.[38] The decision to keep the deal with Epstein secret until after it was finalized has been considered by some to be a violation of the Crime Victims’ Rights Act of 2004 (CVRA), which requires notifying victims of the progress of federal criminal cases. The CVRA was new and relatively untested at the time of the Epstein non-prosecution agreement. In 2008, two of Epstein’s victims filed a lawsuit in federal court aiming to vacate the federal non-prosecution agreement on the grounds that it violated the CVRA.[25] For more than a decade, the U.S. Attorney’s office denied that it acted in violation of victims’ rights laws and argued that the CVRA did not apply in the Epstein case.[39] The government’s contention that the CVRA did not apply was based on questions of timing (whether or not CVRA applied prior to filing of federal charges), relevance (whether the CVRA applied to non-prosecution agreements), and jurisdiction (whether the case should be considered a federal case or a state case under the CVRA). The court rejected those arguments in the February 21, 2019, ruling, finding that the CVRA did apply and that victims should have been notified of the Epstein non-prosecution agreement in advance of its signing, to afford them the opportunity to influence its terms. At the conclusion of his ruling, the federal judge in the case noted that he was “not ruling that the decision not to prosecute was improper,” but was “simply ruling that, under the facts of this case, there was a violation of the victims rights [for reasonable, accurate, and timely notice] under the CVRA.”[40]

Because the CVRA does not specify penalties for failure to meet victims notification requirements, the judge offered both parties opportunities to suggest remedies—Epstein’s victims who were party to the suit asked for rescission of the federal non-prosecution agreement with Epstein, while the government suggested other approaches, maintaining that other victims were against rescinding the agreement due to privacy concerns and possible impacts to restitution paid under the agreement.[41]

On July 6, 2019, Epstein was arrested by the FBI-NYPD Crimes Against Children Task Force on sex trafficking charges stemming from activities alleged to have occurred in 2002–2005.[42]

Dean of the Florida International University College of Law

On July 1, 2009, Acosta became the second dean of Florida International University College of Law.[43] He spearheaded the effort to establish the Master of Studies in Law in banking compliance, Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money-laundering at FIU Law.[17]

Secretary of Labor

Nomination and confirmation

Acosta meeting with apprentice program participants as the secretary of labor.

President Donald Trump announced in a press conference on February 16, 2017, that he would nominate Acosta to fill the position of Secretary of Labor after the nomination of Andrew Puzder was withdrawn.[44][45][46][47][48] Acosta was recommended by White House counsel Don McGahn.[49] Acosta is the first, and – as of May 2019 – the only Hispanic person to serve in Trump’s cabinet.[50][51][52][53] Jovita Carranza was nominated to Trump’s cabinet on April 4, 2019, but not yet confirmed, to serve as the Administrator of the Small Business Administration.[54]

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions held confirmation hearings on March 22, 2017, and Acosta’s nomination was reported out of the committee on March 30, 2017. [55]

On April 27, 2017, Acosta was confirmed as Secretary of Labor by the U.S. Senate in a 60–38 vote. He received the support of eight Democratic Senators and all Republican senators except Senator Pat Toomey, who did not participate in the vote.[56] On April 28, 2017, Acosta was sworn in by Vice President Mike Pence.[57]

Tenure

In 2019, Acosta proposed cutting the funding of his department’s International Labor Affairs Bureau from $68 million in 2018 to under $20 million in 2020. That agency combats human trafficking (including child sex trafficking), child labor and forced labor internationally.[58][59]

During Acosta’s confirmation hearing, he discussed the need and his support of apprenticeship as a workforce development tool to close the skills gap.[30] On June 15, 2017, President Trump signed Executive Order 13801, “Presidential Executive Order Expanding Apprenticeships in America,” establishing the Task Force on Apprenticeship Expansion with Acosta serving as the chair.[60][61] The task force held five public meetings and issued their final report to President Trump on May 10, 2018.[62][61]

Following the task force final report, the U.S. Department of Labor announced the following initiatives to expand and promote apprenticeship opportunities:

Acosta announced that the Trump administration maintained a goal of one million new apprentices.[66]

Acosta resigned as Labor Secretary, effective July 19, 2019, following criticism of his role in the Epstein case.[67]

Recognition

Acosta has twice been named one of the nation’s 50 most influential Hispanics by Hispanic Business Magazine. He serves or served on the Florida Innocence Commission,[68] on the Florida Supreme Court’s Commission on Professionalism,[69] Florida Supreme Court’s Access to Justice Commission,[17] and on the Commission for Hispanic Rights and Responsibilities.[70] In 2008, Acosta was named as one of the 100 most influential people in business ethics by the Ethisphere Institute.[71]

References …

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

 

Story 2: Communist China Threatens United States Over The Proposed Sale of 66 Fighting Falcon F-16V Fighters to Republic of China (Taiwan) — Videos —

China urges U.S. to refrain from selling F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan

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U.S. State Dept. to sell 66 advanced F-16V fighter jets to Taiwan

CHINA FURY: TRUMP PUSHES FORWARD WITH SALE OF 66 F-16V FIGHTING FALCON TO TAIWAN

 

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China Threatens Trump Over F-16 Sale to Taiwan

The White House has been largely silent about the proposed controversial sale amid a perception that China’s crackdowns in Hong Kong portend broader ambitions.

U.S. News & World Report

China Threatens Trump for Taiwan F-16 Sale

FILE - In this Feb. 24, 2019, file photo, U.S. fighter aircraft F-16 perform aerobatic maneuvers on the last day of Aero India 2019 at Yelahanka air base in Bangalore, India. The Trump administration has informed Congress it plans to sell F-16 fighters worth $8 billion to Taiwan in a move that will inflame already high tensions with China. (AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi, File)

The Trump administration has informed Congress it plans to sell F-16 fighter jets to Taiwan in a move that will inflame already high tensions with China.(AIJAZ RAHI/AP-FILE)

CHINA ON FRIDAY threatened the U.S. with unspecified “countermeasures” if it follows through with a planned sale of F-16s fighter jets to Taiwan – the first of what will likely be many repercussions for the Trump administration’s military support for a country Beijing considers a renegade province.

 

News of the planned sale emerged early Friday after the State Department informed Congress Thursday evening of the administration’s intent to sell 66 of the Fighting Falcon jets to Taiwan. Leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations and House Foreign Affairs committees – which would need ultimately to approve the sale – issued statements of support shortly after. The chairman and ranking member of the House committee called the sale “a strong message about the U.S. commitment to security and democracy in the Indo-Pacific” against China’s “military aggression in the region.”

Beijing, however, blasted the move, saying through its state news service it opposes the sale and has lodged complaints to its American counterparts. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters that China would “take countermeasures and the U.S. will be responsible for all related consequences,” Xinhua news reported.

The White House has been largely silent about the sale. It comes at a particularly consequential time in U.S.-Chinese relations as a trade war looms with both sides threatening further economic punishments against the other. Chinese President Xi Jinping also faces domestic unrest over widespread pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong – a semi-autonomous state that came under Chinese control from the British in 1997 – and subsequent harsh crackdowns from Chinese authorities.

Despite taking a hard line against China’s policies, Trump has not openly criticized President Xi Jinping in recent weeks, despite continued crackdowns in Hong Kong, as he tries to maintain forward momentum in resolving the trade dispute.

“I know President Xi of China very well. He is a great leader who very much has the respect of his people. He is also a good man in a ‘tough business.’ I have ZERO doubt that if President Xi wants to quickly and humanely solve the Hong Kong problem, he can do it. Personal meeting?” Trump tweeted on Wednesday in what some feared could be interpreted as a tacit approval of China’s actions so far.

Many analysts believe China’s attempts to exert more control over Hong Kong’s administration portends an attempt to similarly attempt to annex Taiwan – a government only formally recognized by fewer than two dozen countries due to Chinese pressure. Taiwan is represented in the U.S., for example, through an economic and cultural representative office, not an embassy.

“The United States must make clear to China that it cannot achieve a fait accompli in Taiwan or elsewhere, nor can it escalate its way to victory through the use of force,” Christopher Dougherty, a senior fellow with the Center for a New American Security’s Defense Program, said in an analysis note earlier this week.

Containing China, and the likelihood it could escalate its use of military force, rests on defending U.S. interests and that of its allies, including Taiwan, Dougherty said.

Other analysts believe the sale represents more of a symbolic gesture to the island nation rather than genuinely bolstering the capabilities of its military against a potential conflict with China’s massive armed forces. Bonnie Glaser, a senior adviser with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told The Washington Post that China will oppose the sale but it won’t ultimately trigger any broader crises.

“This in and of itself is not going to derail progress on a trade agreement,” Glaser said.

She adds the new jets will be comparable in capability to upgrades to Taiwan’s existing fleet that the Obama administration oversaw. The U.S. hasn’t sold new F-16s to Taiwan since the George H.W. Bush administration.

Paul D. Shinkman, Senior National Security Writer

Paul D. Shinkman is a national security reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow   READ MORE

https://www.usnews.com/news/world-report/articles/2019-08-16/china-threatens-trump-over-f-16-sale-to-taiwan

China threatens a ‘PEOPLE’S WAR’ on US and blames the trade war on Trump’s ‘greed and arrogance’ as tensions escalate between Beijing and Washington

  • The mouthpiece of China’s ruling Communist Party blasted U.S. in a new column
  • Beijing called the ongoing trade war the creation of ‘one person’ and ‘one team’
  • The article from Monday also claimed that Washington has been ‘lying non-stop’ 
  • While Trump said this week that he would tolerate ‘no more’ abuses from Beijing  
  • Tensions are high as Trump and Xi are set to meet at G20 leaders’ summit in June

China has waged a ‘people’s war’ on the U.S. and blamed the intensified tariff war on Trump’s ‘greed and arrogance’.

In a new commentary published by Global Times, the mouthpiece of China’s ruling Communist Party, Beijing called the trade war the creation of just ‘one person’ and ‘one team’ – referring to Trump and his administration without naming names.

It said that the Trump administration hijacked the interests of all American people to fight the war with China.

The column, released on Monday, also claimed that Washington has been ‘lying non-stop throughout the war’ because otherwise Trump’s team ‘won’t feel motivated’.

In a new commentary published by Global Times, the mouthpiece of China's ruling Communist Party, Beijing calls the trade war the creation of just 'one person' and 'one team' - referring to Trump and his administration without naming names.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are set to meet at G20 leaders' summit next month in Japan

The commentary was written in response to the comment made by White House’s top economic adviser on Sunday regarding who would pay for the tariffs imposed by U.S. on Chinese goods.

Larry Kudlow has acknowledged that U.S. consumers and businesses will pay the tariffs that the Trump administration has imposed on billions of dollars of Chinese goods – even though President Trump himself insisted in a tweet, incorrectly, that China pays.

‘Washington originally hoped to finish [the trade war] quickly, and did not prepare to fight a long-lasting war psychologically. Now it is mobilizing [its team] last minute with baffling words that do not hold water,’ said the article which was re-published by Xinhua News Agency.

‘China is not a small country and does not earn our daily bread from U.S. only.

‘Particularly in today’s world, the Chinese market is huge and very close to the U.S. market in size, and the trend is [we] will overtake the U.S.,’ it added.

The column concluded by saying that ‘the U.S. side fights because of its greed and arrogance’ while China simply launched an counterattack ‘to protect our legitimate rights and interests’.

It continued: ‘The U.S. trade war is supported and fought by one person and one team and it hijacks the people of that country.

‘As for China, our entire country and all people are hijacked in the meantime. For us, this is a real “People’s War”.’

President Donald Trump (right) expanded his tariff regime to include practically everything China exports to the US; Chinese President Xi Jinping (left) retaliated Monday but said his own tariffs won't go into effect until June. The pair are pictured in November 2017

China announced Monday it would raise tariffs on $60 billion in US exports by next month, responding in kind to President Donald Trump's decision last week to hike duties on hundreds of billions of dollars in Chinese merchandise

A Chinese worker adjusts a hydraulic lift at a factory which produces construction machinery for export to many countries, including the US, in Jinan, in east China's Shandong province

A Chinese worker adjusts a hydraulic lift at a factory which produces construction machinery for export to many countries, including the US, in Jinan, in east China’s Shandong province

Donald Trump predicted Tuesday that the U.S. will notch a trade victory in what he described as ‘a little squabble with China.’

Speaking to reporters as he left the White House, the president grinned as he asked: ‘You want to know something? You want to know something? We always win.’

And Trump warned that he might stack even more tariffs on a growing pile of anti-China duties in order to put additional pressure on Beijing.

‘We’re looking at it very strongly,’ Trump said.

‘This has never happened to China before,’ he said of the already painful tariff regime that shows no sign of letting up.

And the president underscored that Americans who might find themselves saddled with the costs of his tariffs can take them out of the equation by freezing the Chinese out.

President Donald Trump said Tuesday of the trade 'squabble' with China that 'we always win'

Trump went all-in Tuesday on his China trade war, escalating the high-stakes poker game he's playing with Chinese President XiJinping

Trump went all-in Tuesday on his China trade war, escalating the high-stakes poker game he’s playing with Chinese President XiJinping

‘You have no tariff to pay whatsoever if you’re a business. All you have to do is build or make your product in the United States,’ he said.

He also suggested Americans buy products ‘from someplace else other than China.’

‘I think we’re winning it. We’re going to be collecting over $100 billion in tariffs,’ Trump said.

‘I think it’s going to turn out extremely well,’ he added, declaring that America is ‘in a very, very strong position.’

Trump began Tuesday with an extended Twitter rant directed squarely at Beijing, warning that he’s done making trade concessions to his Chinese rival Xi Jinping.

The president’s nine tweets blasted China for walking away from what had been a nearly finished deal, just hours after telling an audience at the White House that extended talks would be ‘very successful.’

He also pledged to bail out U.S. farmers who are feeling a financial pinch as China’s market tightens, saying he will use money collected through newly imposed tariffs on Chinese products at the border.

And throughout, Trump insisted America is powerful enough to outlast a great stonewall from China.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is emerging as Trump’s most potent economic adversary on the world stage as he works to protect China’s trade advantages – which Trump claims are the result of former presidents’ mishandling

Trump began Tuesday with an early-morning tweet-storm that showed no hint of hesitation about his aggressive posture

‘We are now a much bigger economy than China, and have substantially increased in size since the great 2016 Election. We are the ‘piggy bank’ that everyone wants to raid and take advantage of. NO MORE!’ he tweeted.

Trump wrote that America’s ‘great Patriot Farmers’ will ultimately benefit from a reoriented trans-Pacific trade balance, and ‘[h]opefully China will do us the honor of continuing to buy our great farm product, the best.’

But if not, he added, he will step in with subsidies: ‘This money will come from the massive Tariffs being paid to the United States for allowing China, and others, to do business with us.’

‘The Farmers have been ‘forgotten’ for many years. Their time is now!’ he concluded.

Trump called his friendship with Xi ‘unlimited’ in his tweet-storm, and suggested that his patience with China’s trade negotiators also has a distant expiration date.

‘When the time is right we will make a deal with China. My respect and friendship with President Xi is unlimited but, as I have told him many times before, this must be a great deal for the United States or it just doesn’t make any sense,’ he wrote.+18

The president has escalated his trade war this month with new tariffs and a take-no-prisoners approach to cutting a long-term deal with China

An hour after he tweeted his opening salvo on Tuesday, the president pledged to bail out U.S. farmers who have lost contracts with China

The president’s all-in move on trade comes a day after American stock markets plummeted by more than 600 points, and only stabilized after he told reporters he will personally meet with Xi next month in Japan.

CHINA’S NEW TARIFFS ON U.S. GOODS

China announced on May 13 that it will increase tariffs on 5,140 U.S. products, worth about $60 billion.

A higher 25% will be levied on 2,493 products including:

  • Liquefied natural gas
  • Soy oil
  • Peanut oil
  • Petrochemicals
  • Frozen minerals
  • Cosmetics

Other products will get tariffs of 5% to 20% including:

  • Soybeans
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Seafood
  • Vegetables
  • Whiskey
  • Ethanol

Some products remain tariff free such as:

  • Crude oil
  • Airplanes 

‘I’ll meet with him directly. Yes, I’ll be meeting with President Xi of China,’ he said reporters in the Oval Office, alongside Viktor Orbán, the right-wing prime minister of Hungary.

‘And that will be, I think, probably a very fruitful meeting,’ he added.

Trump’s annoucement briefly halted the market’s slide, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average ended the day down 617 points. Only one other day this year, January 3, has seen worse market losses.

Both leaders will be in Osaka, Japan for the annual G20 leaders’ summit June 28-29.

There had been some doubt inside the White House about whether Trump would make the trip at all. He is already going to Toyko this month for a separate trip related to the ascension of Japan’s new emperor.

China had Monday morning that it would hike import tariffs to as high as 25 per cent on U.S. goods, and bluntly told Trump it would ‘never surrender’ on trade.

Trump warned Xi Jinping on Monday that if he doesn’t make a trade deal, companies will flee China to avoid increasing their prices in the U.S. as a result of the president’s punishing new tariffs.

Trump levied new tariffs Friday on practically everything China exports to the United States in the hope of forcing Beijing to come back to the negotiating table for talks about a long list of what the White House sees as trade abuses.

‘I say openly to President Xi & all of my many friends in China that China will be hurt very badly if you don’t make a deal because companies will be forced to leave China for other countries. Too expensive to buy in China. You had a great deal, almost completed, & you backed out!’ Trump wrote on Twitter.

But China showed no sign of backing down.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted more than 700 points Monday before ending the day down 617 as traders reacted to an increasingly aggressive U.S.-China trade war; the bleeding temporarily stopped after Trump announced he will meet with Xi next month

A statement by the Tariff Policy Commission of the State Council, China’s cabinet, said: ‘China’s adjustment of tariff-adding measures is a response to US unilateralism and trade protectionism.’

It added that it hoped the U.S. would work with China towards a ‘win-win agreement.’ Despite the retaliation, Beijing appeared to give time to find a resolution by setting the June 1 date.

‘China will never surrender to external pressure,’ foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said during a regular press briefing on Monday.

Trump continues to insist the U.S. has the upper hand and will force China to give in on conditions for future trade in order to ink a stable deal.

‘We’re in a great position right now, no matter what we do,’ he said. ‘Yeah, I think China wants to have it, because companies are already announcing they are … leaving China and going to other countries so they don’t have to pay the [U.S.] tariff.’

A container ship sat docked at the Port of Oakland on Monday in California as China retaliated against Trump’s latest Tariffs by threatening their own – a 25 percent import tax on $60 billion of U.S. goods entering China

Trump spoke to reporters Monday in the Oval office alongside Viktor Orbán, the right-wing prime minister of Hungary

The Dow was down than 475 points when markets opened. That selloff came after China announced that its tariff increases would go into effect on June 1.

But Trump appeared to stop the bleeding temporarily by giving traders hope that the day’s uncertainties would have an expiration date.

The four worst single-day losses in the history of the Dow Jones average all came during the Trump presidency, in 2018. He also presided over the biggest-ever daily gain, and six of the top 10.

This year’s January 3 selloff, which dropped the Dow by 660 points, was immediately followed by a gain of nearly 747 points the next day – the fourth-largest gain ever.

 Monday’s fall in the Dow Jones index came after stocks weathered a pair of similar tumbles this month, losing value when President Donald Trump announced new tariffs on Chinese goods and then rebounding on the hope of a trade deal.

The result has been a volatile week-long roller coaster with no end in sight.

Last Thursday morning the Dow skidded 580 points, only to regain nearly 470 by close of trading on Friday.

The tech-heavy NADAQ stock index was down 1.7 per cent on Monday and the S&P 500 lost 2.1 per cent by midday.

The president insisted over the weekend that a robust 3.2 per cent growth in the American GDP is tied to his aggressive tariff policy, and suggested Monday that China has far more to lose than the U.S.

‘I say openly to President Xi & all of my many friends in China that China will be hurt very badly if you don’t make a deal because companies will be forced to leave China for other countries. Too expensive to buy in China. You had a great deal, almost completed, & you backed out!’ Trump wrote on Twitter.

:China threatens a ‘People’s War’ on US and blames the trade war on Trump’s ‘greed and arrogance’

General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon

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F-16 Fighting Falcon
Aerial view of jet aircraft, carrying cylindrical fuel tanks and ordnance, overflying desert
A USAF F-16C over Iraq in 2008
Role Multirole fighterair superiority fighter
National origin United States
Manufacturer General Dynamics
Lockheed Martin
First flight 20 January 1974; 45 years ago(unplanned)
2 February 1974; 45 years ago(official)
Introduction 17 August 1978; 41 years ago
Status In service
Primary users United States Air Force
25 other users (see operators page)
Produced 1973–2017, 2019–present[1]
Number built 4,604 (June 2018)[2][3]
Unit cost
F-16A/B: US$14.6 million (1998)[4]
F-16C/D: US$18.8 million (1998)[4]
Variants General Dynamics F-16 VISTA
Developed into Vought Model 1600
General Dynamics F-16XL
Mitsubishi F-2

The General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon is a single-engine supersonic multirole fighter aircraft originally developed by General Dynamics (now part of Lockheed Martin) for the United States Air Force (USAF). Designed as an air superiority day fighter, it evolved into a successful all-weather multirole aircraft. Over 4,600 aircraft have been built since production was approved in 1976.[5] Although no longer being purchased by the U.S. Air Force, improved versions are being built for export customers.[6] In 1993, General Dynamics sold its aircraft manufacturing business to the Lockheed Corporation,[7] which in turn became part of Lockheed Martin after a 1995 merger with Martin Marietta.[8]

The Fighting Falcon’s key features include a frameless bubble canopy for better visibility, side-mounted control stick to ease control while maneuvering, an ejection seat reclined 30 degrees from vertical to reduce the effect of g-forces on the pilot, and the first use of a relaxed static stability/fly-by-wire flight control system which helps to make it an agile aircraft. The F-16 has an internal M61 Vulcan cannon and 11 locations for mounting weapons and other mission equipment. The F-16’s official name is “Fighting Falcon”, but “Viper” is commonly used by its pilots and crews, due to a perceived resemblance to a viper snake as well as the Colonial Viper starfighter on Battlestar Galactica which aired at the time the F-16 entered service.[9][10]

In addition to active duty in the U.S. Air Force, Air Force Reserve Command, and Air National Guard units, the aircraft is also used by the USAF aerial demonstration team, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, and as an adversary/aggressor aircraft by the United States Navy. The F-16 has also been procured to serve in the air forces of 25 other nations.[11] As of 2015, it is the world’s most numerous fixed-wing aircraft in military service.[12]

Development

Lightweight Fighter program

Experiences in the Vietnam War revealed the need for air superiority fighters and better air-to-air training for fighter pilots.[13] Based on his experiences in the Korean War and as a fighter tactics instructor in the early 1960s, Colonel John Boyd with mathematician Thomas Christie developed the energy–maneuverability theory to model a fighter aircraft’s performance in combat. Boyd’s work called for a small, lightweight aircraft that could maneuver with the minimum possible energy loss and which also incorporated an increased thrust-to-weight ratio.[14][15] In the late 1960s, Boyd gathered a group of like-minded innovators who became known as the Fighter Mafia, and in 1969, they secured Department of Defense funding for General Dynamics and Northrop to study design concepts based on the theory.[16][17]

Air Force F-X proponents remained hostile to the concept because they perceived it as a threat to the F-15 program. However, the Air Force’s leadership understood that its budget would not allow it to purchase enough F-15 aircraft to satisfy all of its missions.[18] The Advanced Day Fighter concept, renamed F-XX, gained civilian political support under the reform-minded Deputy Secretary of Defense David Packard, who favored the idea of competitive prototyping. As a result, in May 1971, the Air Force Prototype Study Group was established, with Boyd a key member, and two of its six proposals would be funded, one being the Lightweight Fighter (LWF). The Request for Proposals issued on 6 January 1972 called for a 20,000-pound (9,100 kg) class air-to-air day fighter with a good turn rate, acceleration, and range, and optimized for combat at speeds of Mach 0.6–1.6 and altitudes of 30,000–40,000 feet (9,100–12,000 m). This was the region where USAF studies predicted most future air combat would occur. The anticipated average flyaway cost of a production version was $3 million. This production plan, though, was only notional, as the USAF had no firm plans to procure the winner.[19][20]

Selection of finalists and flyoff

Two jet aircraft flying together over mountain range and cloud

A right-side view of a YF-16 (foreground) and a Northrop YF-17, each armed with AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles

Five companies responded, and in 1972, the Air Staff selected General Dynamics’ Model 401 and Northrop’s P-600 for the follow-on prototype development and testing phase. GD and Northrop were awarded contracts worth $37.9 million and $39.8 million to produce the YF-16 and YF-17, respectively, with first flights of both prototypes planned for early 1974. To overcome resistance in the Air Force hierarchy, the Fighter Mafia and other LWF proponents successfully advocated the idea of complementary fighters in a high-cost/low-cost force mix. The “high/low mix” would allow the USAF to be able to afford sufficient fighters for its overall fighter force structure requirements. The mix gained broad acceptance by the time of the prototypes’ flyoff, defining the relationship of the LWF and the F-15.[21][22]

The YF-16 was developed by a team of General Dynamics engineers led by Robert H. Widmer.[23] The first YF-16 was rolled out on 13 December 1973. Its 90-minute maiden flight was made at the Air Force Flight Test Center (AFFTC) at Edwards AFB, California, on 2 February 1974. Its actual first flight occurred accidentally during a high-speed taxi test on 20 January 1974. While gathering speed, a roll-control oscillation caused a fin of the port-side wingtip-mounted missile and then the starboard stabilator to scrape the ground, and the aircraft then began to veer off the runway. The test pilot, Phil Oestricher, decided to lift off to avoid a potential crash, safely landing six minutes later. The slight damage was quickly repaired and the official first flight occurred on time. The YF-16’s first supersonic flight was accomplished on 5 February 1974, and the second YF-16 prototype first flew on 9 May 1974. This was followed by the first flights of Northrop’s YF-17 prototypes on 9 June and 21 August 1974, respectively. During the flyoff, the YF-16s completed 330 sorties for a total of 417 flight hours;[24] the YF-17s flew 288 sorties, covering 345 hours.[25]

Air Combat Fighter competition

Increased interest turned the LWF into a serious acquisition program. North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies BelgiumDenmark, the Netherlands, and Norway were seeking to replace their F-104G Starfighter fighter-bombers.[26] In early 1974, they reached an agreement with the U.S. that if the USAF ordered the LWF winner, they would consider ordering it as well. The USAF also needed to replace its F-105 Thunderchief and F-4 Phantom II fighter-bombers. The U.S. Congress sought greater commonality in fighter procurements by the Air Force and Navy, and in August 1974 redirected Navy funds to a new Navy Air Combat Fighter (NACF) program that would be a navalized fighter-bomber variant of the LWF. The four NATO allies had formed the “Multinational Fighter Program Group” (MFPG) and pressed for a U.S. decision by December 1974; thus, the USAF accelerated testing.[27][28][29]

YF-16 on display at the Virginia Air and Space Center

To reflect this serious intent to procure a new fighter-bomber, the LWF program was rolled into a new Air Combat Fighter (ACF) competition in an announcement by U.S. Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger in April 1974. The ACF would not be a pure fighter, but multi-role, and Schlesinger made it clear that any ACF order would be in addition to the F-15, which extinguished opposition to the LWF.[28][29][30] ACF also raised the stakes for GD and Northrop because it brought in competitors intent on securing what was touted at the time as “the arms deal of the century”.[31] These were Dassault-Breguet’s proposed Mirage F1M-53, the Anglo-French SEPECAT Jaguar, and the proposed Saab 37E “Eurofighter”. Northrop offered the P-530 Cobra, which was similar to the YF-17. The Jaguar and Cobra were dropped by the MFPG early on, leaving two European and the two U.S. candidates. On 11 September 1974, the U.S. Air Force confirmed plans to order the winning ACF design to equip five tactical fighter wings. Though computer modeling predicted a close contest, the YF-16 proved significantly quicker going from one maneuver to the next, and was the unanimous choice of those pilots that flew both aircraft.[32]

On 13 January 1975, Secretary of the Air Force John L. McLucas announced the YF-16 as the winner of the ACF competition.[33] The chief reasons given by the Secretary were the YF-16’s lower operating costs, greater range, and maneuver performance that was “significantly better” than that of the YF-17, especially at supersonic speeds. Another advantage of the YF-16 – unlike the YF-17 – was its use of the Pratt & Whitney F100 turbofan engine, the same powerplant used by the F-15; such commonality would lower the cost of engines for both programs.[34] Secretary McLucas announced that the USAF planned to order at least 650, possibly up to 1,400 production F-16s. In the Navy Air Combat Fighter (NACF) competition, on 2 May 1975 the Navy selected the YF-17 as the basis for what would become the McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet.[35][36]

Commencement of production

Upright aerial photo of gray jet aircraft flying above clouds.

An F-16C of the Colorado Air National Guard with AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, an Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation pod, and a centerline fuel tank (300 gal capacity).

The U.S. Air Force initially ordered 15 “Full-Scale Development” (FSD) aircraft (11 single-seat and four two-seat models) for its flight test program, but was reduced to eight (six F-16A single-seaters and two F-16B two-seaters).[37] The YF-16 design was altered for the production F-16. The fuselage was lengthened by 10.6 in (0.269 m), a larger nose radome was fitted for the AN/APG-66 radar, wing area was increased from 280 sq ft (26 m2) to 300 sq ft (28 m2), the tailfin height was decreased, the ventral fins were enlarged, two more stores stations were added, and a single door replaced the original nosewheel double doors. The F-16’s weight was increased by 25% over the YF-16 by these modifications.[38][39]

The FSD F-16s were manufactured by General Dynamics in Fort Worth, Texas at United States Air Force Plant 4 in late 1975; the first F-16A rolled out on 20 October 1976 and first flew on 8 December. The initial two-seat model achieved its first flight on 8 August 1977. The initial production-standard F-16A flew for the first time on 7 August 1978 and its delivery was accepted by the USAF on 6 January 1979. The F-16 was given its formal nickname of “Fighting Falcon” on 21 July 1980, entering USAF operational service with the 34th Tactical Fighter Squadron388th Tactical Fighter Wing at Hill AFB in Utah on 1 October 1980.[40]

On 7 June 1975, the four European partners, now known as the European Participation Group, signed up for 348 aircraft at the Paris Air Show. This was split among the European Participation Air Forces (EPAF) as 116 for Belgium, 58 for Denmark, 102 for the Netherlands, and 72 for Norway. Two European production lines, one in the Netherlands at Fokker‘s Schiphol-Oost facility and the other at SABCA’s Gosselies plant in Belgium, would produce 184 and 164 units respectively. Norway’s Kongsberg Vaapenfabrikk and Denmark’s Terma A/S also manufactured parts and subassemblies for EPAF aircraft. European co-production was officially launched on 1 July 1977 at the Fokker factory. Beginning in November 1977, Fokker-produced components were sent to Fort Worth for fuselage assembly, then shipped back to Europe for final assembly of EPAF aircraft at the Belgian plant on 15 February 1978; deliveries to the Belgian Air Forcebegan in January 1979. The first Royal Netherlands Air Force aircraft was delivered in June 1979. In 1980, the first aircraft were delivered to the Royal Norwegian Air Force by SABCA and to the Royal Danish Air Force by Fokker.[41][42]

During the late 1980s and 1990s, Turkish Aerospace Industries (TAI) produced 232 Block 30/40/50 F-16s on a production line in Ankara under license for the Turkish Air Force. TAI also produced 46 Block 40s for Egypt in the mid-1990s and 30 Block 50 from 2010. Korean Aerospace Industries opened a production line for the KF-16 program, producing 140 Block 52s from the mid-1990s to mid-2000s (decade). If India had selected the F-16IN for its Medium Multi-Role Combat Aircraft procurement, a sixth F-16 production line would have been built in India.[43] In May 2013, Lockheed Martin stated there were currently enough orders to keep producing the F-16 until 2017.[44]

Improvements and upgrades

One change made during production was augmented pitch control to avoid deep stall conditions at high angles of attack. The stall issue had been raised during development, but had originally been discounted. Model tests of the YF-16 conducted by the Langley Research Center revealed a potential problem, but no other laboratory was able to duplicate it. YF-16 flight tests were not sufficient to expose the issue; later flight testing on the FSD aircraft demonstrated there was a real concern. In response, the area of the horizontal stabilizer were increased by 25% on the Block 15 aircraft in 1981 and later retrofitted to earlier aircraft. In addition, a manual override switch to disable the horizontal stabilizer flight limiter was prominently placed on the control console, allowing the pilot to regain control of the horizontal stabilizers (which the flight limiters otherwise lock in place) and recover. Besides reducing the risk of deep stalls, the larger horizontal tail also improved stability and permitted faster takeoff rotation.[45][46]

In the 1980s, the Multinational Staged Improvement Program (MSIP) was conducted to evolve the F-16’s capabilities, mitigate risks during technology development, and ensure the aircraft’s worth. The program upgraded the F-16 in three stages. The MSIP process permitted the quick introduction of new capabilities, at lower costs and with reduced risks compared to traditional independent upgrade programs.[47] In 2012, the USAF had allocated $2.8 billion to upgrade 350 F-16s while waiting for the F-35 to enter service.[48] One key upgrade has been an auto-GCAS (Ground collision avoidance system) to reduce instances of controlled flight into terrain.[49] Onboard power and cooling capacities limit the scope of upgrades, which often involve the addition of more power-hungry avionics.[50]

Lockheed won many contracts to upgrade foreign operators’ F-16s. BAE Systems also offers various F-16 upgrades, receiving orders from South Korea, Oman, Turkey, and the US Air National Guard;[51][52][53] BAE lost the South Korean contract due to a price breach in November 2014.[54] In 2012, the USAF assigned the total upgrade contract to Lockheed Martin.[55] Upgrades include Raytheon’s Center Display Unit, which replaces several analog flight instruments with a single digital display.[56]

In 2013, sequestration budget cuts cast doubt on the USAF’s ability to complete the Combat Avionics Programmed Extension Suite (CAPES), a part of secondary programs such as Taiwan’s F-16 upgrade.[57] ACC‘s General Mike Hostage stated that if he only had money for SLEP (service life extension program) or CAPES, he would fund SLEP to keep the aircraft flying.[58] Lockheed Martin responded to talk of CAPES cancellation with a fixed-price upgrade package for foreign users.[59] CAPES was not included in the Pentagon’s 2015 budget request.[60] The USAF said that the upgrade package will still be offered to the Republic of China Air Force, and Lockheed said that some common elements with the F-35 will keep the radar’s unit costs down.[61] In 2014, the USAF issued a RFI to SLEP 300 F-16 C/Ds.[62]

Production relocation

To make more room for assembly of its newer F-35 Lightning II fighter aircraft, Lockheed Martin moved the F-16 production from Fort Worth, Texas to its plant in Greenville, South Carolina.[1] Lockheed delivered the last F-16 from Fort Worth to the Iraqi Air Force on 14 November 2017, ending forty years of F-16 production there. The company is hoping to finish the Greenville move and restart production in 2019, though engineering and modernization work will remain in Fort Worth.[63] A gap in orders made it possible to stop production during the move; after completing orders for the last Iraqi purchase,[64] the company was negotiating an F-16 sale to Bahrain that would be produced in Greenville. This contract was signed in June 2018.[3]

Design

Overview

Early
Late
Comparison between F-16’s inset cannon; early aircraft had four leading vents, a grille, and four trailing vents, while later aircraft had two trailing vents only.

The F-16 is a single-engine, highly maneuverable, supersonic, multi-role tactical fighter aircraft. It is much smaller and lighter than its predecessors, but uses advanced aerodynamics and avionics, including the first use of a relaxed static stability/fly-by-wire (RSS/FBW) flight control system, to achieve enhanced maneuver performance. Highly agile, the F-16 was the first fighter aircraft purpose-built to pull 9-g maneuvers and can reach a maximum speed of over Mach 2. Innovations include a frameless bubble canopy for better visibility, a side-mounted control stick, and a reclined seat to reduce g-force effects on the pilot. It is armed with an internal M61 Vulcan cannon in the left wing root and has multiple locations for mounting various missiles, bombs and pods. It has a thrust-to-weight ratio greater than one, providing power to climb and vertical acceleration.[4]

The F-16 was designed to be relatively inexpensive to build and simpler to maintain than earlier-generation fighters. The airframe is built with about 80% aviation-grade aluminum alloys, 8% steel, 3% composites, and 1.5% titanium. The leading-edge flaps, stabilators, and ventral fins make use of bonded aluminum honeycomb structures and graphite epoxy lamination coatings. The number of lubrication points, fuel line connections, and replaceable modules is significantly lower than preceding fighters; 80% of the access panels can be accessed without stands.[43] The air intake was placed so it was rearward of the nose but forward enough to minimize air flow losses and reduce aerodynamic drag.[65]

Although the LWF program called for a structural life of 4,000 flight hours, capable of achieving 7.33 g with 80% internal fuel; GD’s engineers decided to design the F-16’s airframe life for 8,000 hours and for 9-g maneuvers on full internal fuel. This proved advantageous when the aircraft’s mission changed from solely air-to-air combat to multi-role operations. Changes in operational use and additional systems have increased weight, necessitating multiple structural strengthening programs.[66]

General configuration

Jet heavily armed with weapons under wings taking off.

F-16CJ of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw AFBSouth Carolina, armed with a mix of air-to-air missilesanti-radiation missiles, external fuel tanks and support equipment

The F-16 has a cropped-delta wing incorporating wing-fuselage blending and forebody vortex-control strakes; a fixed-geometry, underslung air intake (with splitter plate[67]) to the single turbofan jet engine; a conventional tri-plane empennage arrangement with all-moving horizontal “stabilator” tailplanes; a pair of ventral fins beneath the fuselage aft of the wing’s trailing edge; and a tricycle landing gear configuration with the aft-retracting, steerable nose gear deploying a short distance behind the inlet lip. There is a boom-style aerial refueling receptacle located behind the single-piece “bubble” canopy of the cockpit. Split-flap speedbrakes are located at the aft end of the wing-body fairing, and a tailhook is mounted underneath the fuselage. A fairing beneath the rudder often houses ECM equipment or a drag chute. Later F-16 models feature a long dorsal fairing along the fuselage’s “spine”, housing additional equipment or fuel.[43][68]

Aerodynamic studies in the 1960s demonstrated that the “vortex lift” phenomenon could be harnessed by highly swept wing configurations to reach higher angles of attack, using leading edgevortex flow off a slender lifting surface. As the F-16 was being optimized for high combat agility, GD’s designers chose a slender cropped-delta wing with a leading edge sweep of 40° and a straight trailing edge. To improve maneuverability, a variable-camber wing with a NACA 64A-204 airfoil was selected; the camber is adjusted by leading-edge and trailing edge flaperons linked to a digital flight control system (FCS) regulating the flight envelope.[43][66] The F-16 has a moderate wing loading, reduced by fuselage lift.[69] The vortex lift effect is increased by leading edge extensions, known as strakes. Strakes act as additional short-span, triangular wings running from the wing root (the juncture with the fuselage) to a point further forward on the fuselage. Blended into the fuselage and along the wing root, the strake generates a high-speed vortex that remains attached to the top of the wing as the angle of attack increases, generating additional lift and allowing greater angles of attack without stalling. Strakes allow a smaller, lower-aspect-ratio wing, which increases roll rates and directional stability while decreasing weight. Deeper wingroots also increase structural strength and internal fuel volume.[66]

Armament

Early F-16s could be armed with up to six AIM-9 Sidewinder heat-seeking short-range air-to-air missiles (AAM) by employing rail launchers on each wingtip, as well as radar guided AIM-7 Sparrow medium-range AAMs in a weapons mix. More recent versions support the AIM-120 AMRAAM. The aircraft can carry various other AAMs, a wide variety of air-to-ground missiles, rockets or bombs; electronic countermeasures (ECM), navigation, targeting or weapons pods; and fuel tanks on 9 hardpoints – six under the wings, two on wingtips, and one under the fuselage. Two other locations under the fuselage are available for sensor or radar pods.[70] The F-16 carries a 20 mm (0.787 in) M61A1 Vulcan cannon for close range aerial combat and strafing. The 20mm cannon is mounted inside the fuselage to the left of the cockpit.

Negative stability and fly-by-wire

F-16C of the South Carolina Air National Guard in-flight over North Carolina equipped with air-to-air missiles, bomb rack, targeting pods and Electronic Counter Measures pods

The F-16 is the first production fighter aircraft intentionally designed to be slightly aerodynamically unstable, also known as “relaxed static stability” (RSS), to improve maneuverability.[71] Most aircraft are designed with positive static stability, which induces aircraft to return to straight and level flight attitude if the pilot releases the controls; this reduces maneuverability as the inherent stability has to be overcome. Aircraft with negative stability are designed to deviate from controlled flight and thus be more maneuverable. At supersonic speeds the F-16 gains stability (eventually positive) due to aerodynamic changes.[72][73]

To counter the tendency to depart from controlled flight—and avoid the need for constant trim inputs by the pilot, the F-16 has a quadruplex (four-channel) fly-by-wire (FBW) flight control system (FLCS). The flight control computer (FLCC) accepts pilot input from the stick and rudder controls, and manipulates the control surfaces in such a way as to produce the desired result without inducing control loss. The FLCC conducts thousands of measurements per second on the aircraft’s flight attitude to automatically counter deviations from the pilot-set flight path; leading to a common aphorism among pilots: “You don’t fly an F-16; it flies you.”[74]

The FLCC further incorporates limiters governing movement in the three main axes based on attitude, airspeed and angle of attack (AOA); these prevent control surfaces from inducing instability such as slips or skids, or a high AOA inducing a stall. The limiters also prevent maneuvers that would exert more than a 9 g load.[75] Flight testing has revealed that “assaulting” multiple limiters at high AOA and low speed can result in an AOA far exceeding the 25° limit, colloquially referred to as “departing”; this causes a deep stall; a near-freefall at 50° to 60° AOA, either upright or inverted. While at a very high AOA, the aircraft’s attitude is stable but control surfaces are ineffective; the pitch limiter locks the stabilators at an extreme pitch-up or pitch-down attempting to recover, this can be overridden so the pilot can “rock” the nose via pitch control to recover.[76]

Unlike the YF-17, which had hydromechanical controls serving as a backup to the FBW, General Dynamics took the innovative step of eliminating mechanical linkages between the control stick and rudder pedals, and the flight control surfaces. The F-16 is entirely reliant on its electrical systems to relay flight commands, instead of traditional mechanically-linked controls, leading to the early moniker of “the electric jet”. The quadruplex design permits “graceful degradation” in flight control response in that the loss of one channel renders the FLCS a “triplex” system.[77] The FLCC began as an analog system on the A/B variants, but has been supplanted by a digital computer system beginning with the F-16C/D Block 40.[78][79] The F-16’s controls suffered from a sensitivity to static electricity or electrostatic discharge (ESD). Up to 70–80% of the C/D models’ electronics were vulnerable to ESD.[80]

Cockpit and ergonomics

Bubble canopy, allowing all-round visibility

A key feature of the F-16’s cockpit is the exceptional field of view. The single-piece, bird-proof polycarbonate bubble canopy provides 360° all-round visibility, with a 40° look-down angle over the side of the aircraft, and 15° down over the nose (compared to the common 12–13° of preceding aircraft); the pilot’s seat is elevated for this purpose. Furthermore, the F-16’s canopy lacks the forward bow frame found on many fighters, which is an obstruction to a pilot’s forward vision.[43][81] The F-16’s ACES II zero/zero ejection seat is reclined at an unusual tilt-back angle of 30°; most fighters have a tilted seat at 13–15°. The tilted seat can accommodate taller pilots and increases G-force tolerance; however it has been associated with reports of neck ache, possibly caused by incorrect head-rest usage.[82] Subsequent U.S. fighters have adopted more modest tilt-back angles of 20°.[43][83] Due to the seat angle and the canopy’s thickness, the ejection seat lacks canopy-breakers for emergency egress; instead the entire canopy is jettisoned prior to the seat’s rocket firing.[84]

Cramped cockpit of jet trainer, showing dials and instruments

F-16 ground trainer cockpit (F-16 MLU)

The pilot flies primarily by means of an armrest-mounted side-stick controller (instead of a traditional center-mounted stick) and an engine throttle; conventional rudder pedals are also employed. To enhance the pilot’s degree of control of the aircraft during high-g combat maneuvers, various switches and function controls were moved to centralized “hands on throttle-and-stick (HOTAS)” controls upon both the controllers and the throttle. Hand pressure on the side-stick controller is transmitted by electrical signals via the FBW system to adjust various flight control surfaces to maneuver the F-16. Originally the side-stick controller was non-moving, but this proved uncomfortable and difficult for pilots to adjust to, sometimes resulting in a tendency to “over-rotate” during takeoffs, so the control stick was given a small amount of “play”. Since introduction on the F-16, HOTAS controls have become a standard feature on modern fighters.[85]

F-16 pilot with Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System and cockpit head-up display

The F-16 has a head-up display (HUD), which projects visual flight and combat information in front of the pilot without obstructing the view; being able to keep their head “out of the cockpit” improves a pilot’s situation awareness.[86] Further flight and systems information are displayed on multi-function displays (MFD). The left-hand MFD is the primary flight display (PFD), typically showing radar and moving-maps; the right-hand MFD is the system display (SD), presenting information about the engine, landing gear, slat and flap settings, and fuel and weapons status. Initially, the F-16A/B had monochrome cathode ray tube (CRT) displays; replaced by color liquid-crystal displays on the Block 50/52.[43][87] The MLU introduced compatibility with night-vision goggles (NVG). The Boeing Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing System (JHMCS) is available from Block 40 onwards, for targeting based on where the pilot’s head faces, unrestricted by the HUD, using high-off-boresight missiles like the AIM-9X.[88]

Fire-control radar

Westinghouse AN/APG-68 radar

The F-16A/B was originally equipped with the Westinghouse AN/APG-66 fire-control radar. Its slotted planar array antenna was designed to be compact to fit into the F-16’s relatively small nose. In uplook mode, the APG-66 uses a low pulse-repetition frequency (PRF) for medium- and high-altitude target detection in a low-clutter environment, and in look-down/shoot-down employs a medium PRF for heavy clutter environments. It has four operating frequencies within the X band, and provides four air-to-air and seven air-to-ground operating modes for combat, even at night or in bad weather. The Block 15’s APG-66(V)2 model added a more powerful signal processing, higher output power, improved reliability and increased range in cluttered or jamming environments. The Mid-Life Update (MLU) program introduced a new model, APG-66(V)2A, which features higher speed and more memory.[89]

AN-APG-68, as fitted to the nose

The AN/APG-68, an evolution of the APG-66, was introduced with the F-16C/D Block 25. The APG-68 has greater range and resolution, as well as 25 operating modes, including ground-mapping, Doppler beam-sharpening, ground moving target indication, sea target, and track while scan (TWS) for up to 10 targets. The Block 40/42’s APG-68(V)1 model added full compatibility with Lockheed Martin Low-Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infra-Red for Night (LANTIRN) pods, and a high-PRF pulse-Doppler track mode to provide continuous-wave radar(CW) target illumination for semi-active radar-homing (SARH) missiles like the AIM-7 Sparrow. Block 50/52 F-16s initially used the more reliable APG-68(V)5 which has a programmable signal processor employing Very-High-Speed Integrated Circuit (VHSIC) technology. The Advanced Block 50/52 (or 50+/52+) are equipped with the APG-68(V)9 radar, with a 30% greater air-to-air detection range and a synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mode for high-resolution mapping and target detection-recognition. In August 2004, Northrop Grumman were contracted to upgrade the APG-68 radars of Block 40/42/50/52 aircraft to the (V)10 standard, providing all-weather autonomous detection and targeting for Global Positioning System (GPS)-aided precision weapons, SAR mapping and terrain-following radar (TF) modes, as well as interleaving of all modes.[43]

The F-16E/F is outfitted with Northrop Grumman’s AN/APG-80 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar.[90] Northrop Grumman developed the latest AESA radar upgrade for the F-16 (selected for USAF and Republic of China Air Force F-16 upgrades), named the Scalable Agile Beam Radar (SABR).[91] In July 2007, Raytheon announced that it was developing a Next Generation Radar (RANGR) based on its earlier AN/APG-79 AESA radar as a competitor to Northrop Grumman’s AN/APG-68 and AN/APG-80 for the F-16.[43]

Propulsion

Afterburner – concentric ring structure inside the exhaust

The initial powerplant selected for the single-engined F-16 was the Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-200 afterburning turbofan, a modified version of the F-15’s F100-PW-100, rated at 23,830 lbf (106.0 kN) thrust. During testing, the engine was found to be prone to compressor stalls and “rollbacks”, wherein the engine’s thrust would spontaneously reduce to idle. Until resolved, the Air Force ordered F-16s to be operated within “dead-stick landing” distance of its bases.[92] It was the standard F-16 engine through the Block 25, except for the newly-built Block 15s with the Operational Capability Upgrade (OCU). The OCU introduced the 23,770 lbf (105.7 kN) F100-PW-220, later installed on Block 32 and 42 aircraft: the main advance being a Digital Electronic Engine Control (DEEC) unit, which improved reliability and reduced stall occurrence. Beginning production in 1988, the “-220” also supplanted the F-15’s “-100”, for commonality. Many of the “-220” engines on Block 25 and later aircraft were upgraded from 1997 onwards to the “-220E” standard, which enhanced reliability and maintainability; unscheduled engine removals were reduced by 35%.[93][94]

View of a jet engine being pulled out of an F-16

Mechanics removing an engine for maintenance

Adjustable exhaust nozzle in contracted position

The F100-PW-220/220E was the result of the USAF’s Alternate Fighter Engine (AFE) program (colloquially known as “the Great Engine War”), which also saw the entry of General Electric as an F-16 engine provider. Its F110-GE-100 turbofan was limited by the original inlet to thrust of 25,735 lbf (114.5 kN), the Modular Common Inlet Duct allowed the F110 to achieve its maximum thrust of 28,984 lbf (128.9 kN). (To distinguish between aircraft equipped with these two engines and inlets, from the Block 30 series on, blocks ending in “0” (e.g., Block 30) are powered by GE, and blocks ending in “2” (e.g., Block 32) are fitted with Pratt & Whitney engines.)[93][95]

The Increased Performance Engine (IPE) program led to the 29,588 lbf (131.6 kN) F110-GE-129 on the Block 50 and 29,160 lbf (129.4 kN) F100-PW-229 on the Block 52. F-16s began flying with these IPE engines in the early 1990s. Altogether, of the 1,446 F-16C/Ds ordered by the USAF, 556 were fitted with F100-series engines and 890 with F110s.[43] The United Arab Emirates’ Block 60 is powered by the General Electric F110-GE-132 turbofan with a maximum thrust of 32,500 lbf (144.6 kN), the highest thrust engine developed for the F-16.[96][97]

Operational history

F-16s have participated in numerous conflicts, most of them in the Middle East.

United States

Four jets flying right in formation over water. In the foreground are buildings erected on a narrow piece of land, with water on both sides

Wisconsin ANG F-16s over Madison, Wisconsin. The tail of the formation’s lead ship features a special 60th Anniversary scheme for the 115th Fighter Wing.

The F-16 is being used by the active duty USAF, Air Force Reserve, and Air National Guard units, the USAF aerial demonstration team, the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, and as an adversary-aggressor aircraft by the United States Navy at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center.

The U.S. Air Force, including the Air Force Reserve and the Air National Guard, flew the F-16 in combat during Operation Desert Storm in 1991 and in the Balkans later in the 1990s. F-16s also patrolled the no-fly zones in Iraq during Operations Northern Watch and Southern Watch and served during the wars in Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom) and Iraq (Operation Iraqi Freedom) from 2001 and 2003 respectively. In 2011, Air Force F-16s took part in the intervention in Libya.[98]

The F-16 had been scheduled to remain in service with the U.S. Air Force until 2025.[99] Its replacement was planned to be the F-35A variant of the Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II, which is expected to gradually begin replacing several multi-role aircraft among the program’s member nations. However, due to delays in the F-35 program, all USAF F-16s will receive service life extension upgrades.[100]

Israel

Israeli Air Force F-16A Netz 107with 6.5 kill marks of other aircraft and one kill mark of an Iraqi nuclear reactor, a world record for an F-16[101]

Israeli Air Force F-16I Sufa

The F-16’s first air-to-air combat success was achieved by the Israeli Air Force (IAF) over the Bekaa Valley on 28 April 1981, against a Syrian Mi-8 helicopter, which was downed with cannon fire.[102] On 7 June 1981, eight Israeli F-16s, escorted by six F-15s, executed Operation Opera, their first employment in a significant air-to-ground operation. This raid severely damaged Osirak, an Iraqi nuclear reactor under construction near Baghdad, to prevent the regime of Saddam Hussein from using the reactor for the creation of nuclear weapons.[103]

The following year, during the 1982 Lebanon War Israeli F-16s engaged Syrian aircraft in one of the largest air battles involving jet aircraft, which began on 9 June and continued for two more days. Israeli Air Force F-16s were credited with 44 air-to-air kills during the conflict.[102][104]

In January 2000, Israel completed a purchase of 102 new F-16I aircraft in a deal totaling $4.5 billion.[105] F-16s were also used in their ground-attack role for strikes against targets in Lebanon. IAF F-16s participated in the 2006 Lebanon War and the 2008–09 Gaza War.[106] During and after the 2006 Lebanon war, IAF F-16s shot down Iranian-made UAVs launched by Hezbollah, using Rafael Python 5 air-to-air missiles.[107][108][109]

On 10 February 2018, an Israeli Air Force F-16I was shot down in northern Israel when it was hit by a relatively old model S-200 (NATO name SA-5 Gammon) surface-to-air missile of the Syrian Air Defense Force.[110] The pilot and navigator ejected safely in Israeli territory. The F-16I was part of a bombing mission against Syrian and Iranian targets around Damascus after an Iranian drone entered Israeli air space and was shot down.[111] An Israel Air Force investigation determined on 27 February 2018 that the loss was due to pilot error since the IAF determined the air crew did not adequately defend themselves.[112]

Pakistan

Pakistan Air Force F-16 fighters

During the Soviet–Afghan War, between May 1986 and January 1989, Pakistan Air Force F-16s shot down at least eight intruders from Afghanistan. The first three of these (two Afghan Su-22s and one An-26) were shot down by two pilots. Pakistani pilots also downed five other intruders (two Su-22s, two MiG-23s, and one Su-25).[113] Most of these kills were by AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, but at least one, an Su-22, was destroyed by cannon fire. Flight Lieutenant Khalid Mahmoud is credited with three of these kills. One F-16 was lost in these battles during an encounter between two F-16s and four Soviet Air Force MiG-23s on 29 April 1987; the pilot ejected safely. The downed F-16 was likely hit accidentally by a Sidewinder fired by the other F-16.[114][115]

On 7 June 2002, a Pakistan Air Force F-16 shot down an Indian unmanned aerial vehicle, the Israeli-made Searcher II, near Lahore.[115]

The Pakistan Air Force has used its F-16s in various foreign and internal military exercises, such as the “Indus Vipers” exercise in 2008 conducted jointly with Turkey.[116]

Between May 2009 and November 2011, the PAF F-16 fleet flew more than 5,500 sorties[needs update] in support of the Pakistan Army‘s operations against the Taliban insurgency in the FATA region of North-West Pakistan. More than 80% of the dropped munitions were laser-guided bombs.[117][118]

Turkey

Turkish Air Force F-16D

The Turkish Air Force acquired its first F-16s in 1987. Turkish F-16s participated in the Bosnia Herzegovina and Kosovo since 1993 in support of United Nations resolutions.[119]

On 18 June 1992, a Greek Mirage F-1 crashed during a dogfight with a Turkish F-16.[120][121][122] On 8 February 1995, a Turkish F-16 crashed into the Aegean after being intercepted by Greek Mirage F1 fighters.[123][124]

On 8 October 1996, 7 months after the escalation over Imia a Greek Mirage 2000 reportedly fired an R.550 Magic II missile and shot down a Turkish F-16D[125][126] over the Aegean Sea. The Turkish pilot died, while the co-pilot ejected and was rescued by Greek forces.[122][127][128] In August 2012, after the downing of a RF-4E on the Syrian Coast, Turkish Defence Minister İsmet Yılmaz confirmed that the Turkish F-16D was shot down by a Greek Mirage 2000 with an R.550 Magic II in 1996 after violating Greek airspace near Chios island.[129] Greece denies that the F-16 was shot down.[130][131] Both Mirage 2000 pilots reported that the F-16 caught fire and they saw one parachute.[132]

On 23 May 2006, two Greek F-16s intercepted a Turkish RF-4 reconnaissance aircraft and two F-16 escorts off the coast of the Greek island of Karpathos, within the Athens FIR. A mock dogfight ensued between the two sides, resulting in a midair collision[133] between a Turkish F-16 and a Greek F-16. The Turkish pilot ejected safely, but the Greek pilot died due to damage caused by the collision.[134][135] Five days before the incident, a Turkish F-16 pilot was doing dangerous maneuvers, while being intercepted by Greek F-16 fighters, attempting to hit a Greek fighter.[136]

Turkey used its F-16s extensively in its conflict with separatist Kurds in southeastern parts of Turkey and Iraq. Turkey launched its first cross-border raid on 16 December 2007, a prelude to the 2008 Turkish incursion into northern Iraq, involving 50 fighters before Operation Sun. This was the first time Turkey had mounted a night-bombing operation on a massive scale, and also the largest operation conducted by Turkish Air Force.[137]

During the Syrian Civil War, Turkish F-16s were tasked with airspace protection on the Syrian border. After the RF-4 downing in June 2012 Turkey changed its rules of engagements against Syrian aircraft, resulting in scrambles and downings of Syrian combat aircraft.[138] On 16 September 2013, a Turkish Air Force F-16 shot down a Syrian Arab Air Force Mil Mi-17 helicopter in Latakia province near the Turkish border.[139] On 23 March 2014, a Turkish Air Force F-16 shot down a Syrian Arab Air Force Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-23 when it allegedly entered Turkish air space during a ground attack mission against Al Qaeda-linked insurgents.[140] On 16 May 2015, Two Turkish Air ForceF-16s shot down a Syrian Mohajer 4 UAV firing two AIM-9 missiles after it trespassed into Turkish airspace for 5 minutes.[141][142] A Turkish Air Force F-16 shot down a Russian Air Force Sukhoi Su-24 on the Turkey-Syria border on 24 November 2015.[143]

Egypt

On 16 February 2015, Egyptian F-16s struck jihadi weapons caches and training camps in Libya in retaliation for the murder of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christian construction workers by masked militants affiliated with the Islamic State (ISIS). The air strikes killed 64 ISIS fighters, including three leaders in Derna and Sirte on the coast.[144]

Others

Iraqi Air Force F-16IQ

The Royal Netherlands Air ForceBelgian Air ForceRoyal Danish Air ForceRoyal Norwegian Air Force, and Venezuela Air Force have flown the F-16 on combat missions.[145][146]

A Yugoslavian MiG-29 was shot down by a Dutch F-16AM during the Kosovo War in 1999.[147] Belgian and Danish F-16s also participated in joint operations over Kosovo during the war.[147] Dutch, Belgian, Danish, and Norwegian F-16s were deployed during the 2011 intervention in Libya and in Afghanistan.[148] In Libya, Norwegian F-16s dropped almost 550 bombs and flew 596 missions,[149] some 17% of the total strike missions[150] including the bombing of Muammar Gaddafi’s headquarters.[151]

The Royal Moroccan Air Force and the Royal Bahraini Air Force, each lost a single F-16C, both shot down by Houthis anti aircraft fire during the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen, respectively on 11 May 2015 and on 30 December 2015.[152]

In late March 2018, Croatia announced its intention to purchase 12 used Israeli F-16C/D “Barak”/”Brakeet” jets, pending U.S. approval.[153] Acquiring these F-16s would allow Croatia to retire its aging MiG-21s.[154]

On 11 July 2018, Slovakia’s government approved the purchase of 14 F-16s Block 70/72 to replace its aging fleet of Soviet-made MiG-29s.[155] A contract was signed on 12 December 2018 in Bratislava.[citation needed]

Variants

Testing of the F-35 diverterless supersonic inlet on an F-16 testbed. The original intake with Splitter plate is shown in the top image

Aircraft carrying missiles on tips of wings during flight over ocean. Under each wing is a cylindrical external fuel tank with pointed nose

Portuguese Air Force F-16A outfitted with AIM-9 Sidewinder missiles, AN/ALQ-131 ECM pod, and external fuel tanks.

F-16 models are denoted by increasing block numbers to denote upgrades. The blocks cover both single- and two-seat versions. A variety of software, hardware, systems, weapons compatibility, and structural enhancements have been instituted over the years to gradually upgrade production models and retrofit delivered aircraft.

While many F-16s were produced according to these block designs, there have been many other variants with significant changes, usually due to modification programs. Other changes have resulted in role-specialization, such as the close air support and reconnaissance variants. Several models were also developed to test new technology. The F-16 design also inspired the design of other aircraft, which are considered derivatives. Older F-16s are being converted into QF-16 drone targets.[156]

F-16A/B
The F-16A (single seat) and F-16B (two seat) were initial production variants. These variants include the Block 1, 5, 10 and 20 versions. Block 15 was the first major change to the F-16 with larger horizontal stabilizers. It is the most numerous of all F-16 variants with 475 produced.[157] Many F-16A and B aircraft have been upgraded to the Mid-Life Upgrade (MLU) Block 20 standard, becoming functionally equivalent to mid-production C/D models.[citation needed]

An Israeli F-16I (Block 52) with conformal fuel tanks (CFTs), internal/integrated Electronic countermeasures, and other external stores during a Red Flag exercise at Nellis AFB, NV, July 2009

F-16C/D
The F-16C (single seat) and F-16D (two seat) variants entered production in 1984. The first C/D version was the Block 25 with improved cockpit avionics and radar which added all-weather capability with beyond-visual-range(BVR) AIM-7 and AIM-120 air-air missiles. Block 30/32, 40/42, and 50/52 were later C/D versions.[158] The F-16C/D had a unit cost of US$18.8 million (1998).[4] Operational cost per flight hour has been estimated at $7,000[159]to $22,470[160] or $24,000, depending on calculation method.[161]
F-16E/F
The F-16E (single seat) and F-16F (two seat) are newer F-16 Block 60 variants based on the F-16C/D Block 50/52. The United Arab Emirates invested heavily in its development. It features improved AN/APG-80 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, avionics, conformal fuel tanks (CFTs), and the more powerful General Electric F110-GE-132 engine.[162][163][164]

United Arab Emirates Air Force F-16E Block 60 with the Northrop Grumman IFTS pod, Conformal Fuel Tanks, and various external armament taking off from the Lockheed Martinplant in Fort Worth, Texas.

F-16IN
For the Indian MRCA competition for the Indian Air Force, Lockheed Martin offered the F-16IN Super Viper.[165] The F-16IN is based on the F-16E/F Block 60 and features conformal fuel tanks; AN/APG-80 AESA radar, GE F110-GE-132A engine with FADEC controls; electronic warfare suite and Infra-red search and track (IRST) unit; updated glass cockpit; and a helmet-mounted cueing system.[166] As of 2011, the F-16IN is no longer in the competition.[167] In 2016, Lockheed Martin offered the new F-16 Block 70/72 version to India under the Make in India program.[168][169] In 2016, Indian government offered to purchase 200 (potentially up to 300) fighters in a deal worth $13–15bn.[170] As of 2017, Lockheed Martin has agreed to manufacture F-16 Block 70 fighters in India with the Indian defense firm Tata Advanced Systems Limited. The new production line could be used to build F-16s for India and for exports.[171] On 25 November 2017, Sputnik reported that the Indian government wanted to remove the single–engine criteria and focus on the fighter capabilities instead.[172]
F-16IQ
In September 2010, the Defense Security Cooperation Agency informed the United States Congress of a possible Foreign Military Sale of 18 F-16IQ aircraft along with the associated equipment and services to the newly reformed Iraqi Air Force. Total value of sale is estimated at US$4.2 billion.[173]
F-16N
The F-16N was an adversary aircraft operated by the U.S. Navy. It is based on the standard F-16C/D Block 30 and is powered by the General Electric F110-GE-100 engine, and is capable of supercruise.[174] The F-16N has a strengthened wing and is capable of carrying an Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation (ACMI) pod on the starboard wingtip. Although the single-seat F-16Ns and twin-seat (T)F-16Ns are based on the early-production small-inlet Block 30 F-16C/D airframe, they retain the APG-66 radar of the F-16A/B. In addition, the aircraft’s 20 mm cannon has been removed, as has the ASPJ, and they carry no missiles. Their EW fit consists of an ALR-69 radar warning receiver (RWR) and an ALE-40 chaff/flare dispenser. The F-16Ns and (T)F-16Ns have the standard Air Force tailhook and undercarriage and are not aircraft carrier capable. Production totaled 26 airframes, of which 22 are single-seat F-16Ns and four are twin-seat TF-16Ns. The initial batch of aircraft were in service between 1988 and 1998. At that time, hairline cracks were discovered in several bulkheads and the Navy did not have the resources to replace them, so the aircraft were eventually retired, with one aircraft sent to the collection of the National Naval Aviation Museum at NAS Pensacola, Florida, and the remainder placed in storage at Davis-Monthan AFB. These aircraft were later replaced by embargoed ex-Pakistani F-16s in 2003. The original inventory of F-16Ns were previously operated by adversary squadrons at NAS Oceana, Virginia; NAS Key West, Florida and the former NAS Miramar, California. The current F-16A/B aircraft are operated by the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center at NAS Fallon, Nevada.[175][176][177]

A USAF QF-16A, on its first unmanned test flight, over the Gulf of Mexico

F-16V
At the 2012 Singapore Air Show Lockheed Martin unveiled plans for the new F-16V variant with the V suffix for its Viper nickname. It features an AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, a new mission computer and electronic warfare suite, automated ground collision avoidance system, and various cockpit improvements; this package is an option on current production F-16s and can be retrofitted to most in service F-16s.[178][179] First flight took place 21 October 2015.[180] Lockheed and AIDC both invested in the development of the aircraft and will share revenue from all sales and upgrades.[181] Upgrades to Taiwan’s F-16 fleet began in January 2017.[182] The first country to confirm the purchase of 16 new F-16V Block 70/72 was Bahrain.[183][184] Slovakia announced on 11 July 2018 that it intends to purchase 14 F-16 Block 70/72 aircraft.[185][186] Lockheed Martin has redesignated the F-16V Block 70 as the “F-21” in its offering for India’s fighter requirement.[187] Taiwan’s Republic of China Air Force announced on 19 March 2019 that it formally requested the purchase of an additional 66 F-16V jets.[188] The sale was approved by the Trump administration on August 15, 2019.[189]
QF-16
In September 2013, Boeing and the U.S. Air Force tested an unmanned F-16, with two US Air Force pilots controlling the airplane from the ground as it flew from Tyndall AFB over the Gulf of Mexico.[190][191][192]

Related developments

Vought Model 1600
Proposed naval variant
General Dynamics F-16 VISTA
1990s experimental fighter
General Dynamics F-16XL
1980s technology demonstrator
Mitsubishi F-2
1990s Japanese multi-role fighter based on the F-16

Operators

Map with F-16 operators in blue with former operators in red

F-16C block 52 of the Hellenic Air Force with conformal fuel tanks and Advanced IFF (AIFF)

By July 2010 there had been 4,500 F-16s delivered.[193]

Former operators

Notable accidents and incidents

U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds pilot ejects from the F-16 just before impact at an air show in September 2003.

The F-16 has been involved in over 650 hull-loss accidents as of June 2016.[195][196]

  • On 8 May 1975, while practicing a 9-g aerial display maneuver with the second YF-16 (tail number 72-1568) at Fort Worth, Texas, prior to being sent to the Paris Air Show, one of the main landing gears jammed. The test pilot, Neil Anderson, had to perform an emergency gear-up landing and chose to do so in the grass, hoping to minimize damage and to avoid injuring any observers. The aircraft was only slightly damaged, but due to the mishap the first prototype was sent to the Paris Air Show in its place.[197]
  • On 15 November 1982, while on a training flight outside Kunsan Air Base in South Korea, USAF Captain Ted Harduvel died when he crashed inverted into a mountain ridge. In 1985, Harduvel’s widow filed a lawsuit against General Dynamics claiming an electrical malfunction, not pilot error, as the cause; a jury awarded the plaintiff $3.4 million in damages. However, in 1989, the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled the contractor had immunity to lawsuits, overturning the previous judgment. The court remanded the case to the trial court “for entry of judgment in favor of General Dynamics.”[198]The accident and subsequent trial was the subject of the 1992 film Afterburn.[199][200]
  • On 23 March 1994, during a joint Army-Air Force exercise at Pope AFB, North Carolina, F-16D (AF Serial No. 88-0171) of the 23d Fighter Wing / 74th Fighter Squadron was simulating an engine-out approach when it collided with a USAF C-130E. Both F-16 crew members ejected, but their aircraft, on full afterburner, continued on an arc towards Green Ramp and struck a USAF C-141 that was being boarded by US Army paratroopers. This accident resulted in 24 fatalities and at least 100 others injured.[201] It has since been known as the “Green Ramp disaster“.[202]
  • On 15 September 2003, a USAF Thunderbird F-16C crashed during an air show at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho. Captain Christopher Stricklin attempted a “Split S” maneuver based on an incorrect mean-sea-level altitude of the airfield. Climbing to only 1,670 ft (510 m) above ground level instead of 2,500 ft (760 m), Stricklin had insufficient altitude to complete the maneuver, but was able to guide the aircraft away from spectators and ejected less than one second before impact. Stricklin survived with only minor injuries; the aircraft was destroyed. USAF procedure for demonstration “Split-S” maneuvers was changed, requiring both pilots and controllers to use above-ground-level (AGL) altitudes.[203][204]
  • On 26 January 2015, a Greek F-16D crashed while performing a NATO training exercise in Albacete, Spain. Both crew members and nine French soldiers on the ground died when it crashed in the flight-line, destroying or damaging two Italian AMXs, two French Alpha jets, and one French Mirage 2000.[205][206]
  • On 7 July 2015, an F-16CJ collided with a Cessna 150M over Moncks Corner, South Carolina, U.S. The pilot of the F-16 ejected safely, but both people in the Cessna were killed.[207]
  • On 17 May 2019, a F-16 crashed into a warehouse near March Air Reserve Base in Perris, California. The pilot ejected before impact. A small fire broke out but was quickly suppressed.[208]

Aircraft on display

Belgium

F-16A

Germany

F-16A

Israel

F-16A

Japan

F-16A

Portuga

F-16A

The Netherlands

F-16A
  • J-215 of the RNLAF on display at the National Military museum at former airbase Soesterberg.[215]
  • J-228 of the RNLAF on pylon display at the Leeuwarden Airbase Main Gate entry road.[216]
  • J-240 of the RNLAF on pylon display past the Volkel Airbase Main Gate on the entry road.[217]
  • J-246 of the RNLAF on pylon display on the N264 / Zeelandsedijk roundabout near the Volkel Airbase Main Gate entry.[218]

Serbia

F-16CG

Turkey

F-16C

United States

The YF-16B at the Frontiers of Flight Museum

F-16A display at the Museum of AviationRobins AFB

An F-16B on display at the Aviation Challenge campus of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL; dorsal fin has an acknowledgment to Tuskegee Airmen.

YF-16
YF-16A (Full-Scale Development)
YF-16B (FSD)
F-16A
F-16B
F-16C
F-16N

Specifications (F-16C Block 50)

GENERAL DYNAMICS F-16 FIGHTING FALCON.svg

View of underside of F-16 during a vertical climb

Weapons Storage and Security System vault in raised position holding a B61 nuclear bomb, adjacent to an F-16. The vault is within a Protective Aircraft Shelter.

Data from USAF sheet,[4] International Directory of Military Aircraft[71]

General characteristics

  • Length: 49 ft 5 in (15.06 m)
  • Wingspan: 32 ft 8 in (9.96 m)
  • Height: 16 ft (4.9 m)
  • Wing area: 300 sq ft (28 m2)
  • Airfoil: NACA 64A204[282]
  • Empty weight: 18,900 lb (8,573 kg)
  • Gross weight: 26,500 lb (12,020 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 42,300 lb (19,187 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 7,000 pounds (3,200 kg) internals[4]
  • Powerplant: 1 × General Electric F110-GE-129 afterburning turbofan engine, 17,155 lbf (76.31 kN) thrust 29,588 lbf (132 kN) wet
or

1x Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-220 / 220E 29,160 lbf (130 kN) wet

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 795 kn (915 mph; 1,472 km/h) (M1.2) at sea level[71]
1,147 kn (1,320 mph; 2,124 km/h) (M2.0), clean configuration at altitude[4]
  • Combat range: 295 nmi (339 mi; 546 km) on a hi-lo-hi mission with 4x 1,000 lb (454 kg) bombs
  • Ferry range: 2,277 nmi (2,620 mi; 4,217 km) with drop-tanks
  • Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,000 m) plus
  • g limits: +9 (limited by Flying control system)
  • Rate of climb: 50,000 ft/min (250 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 88.3 lb/sq ft (431 kg/m2)
  • Thrust/weight: 1.095 (1.24 with loaded weight & 50% internal fuel)[283]

Armament

Avionics

Notable appearances in media

See also

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Dynamics_F-16_Fighting_Falcon

Story 3: North Korea Fires Two More Missiles and Advances Missile Technology with Tests — Videos 

See the source image

North Korea fires two more ‘nightmare’ missiles into the sea as expert warns of Kim’s ‘serious and impressive’ advancements in rocket power with latest tests

  • Two more missiles launched into the sea off North Korean coast in latest launch 
  • South Korean military claims the projectiles were launched from the North side
  • Rockets are sixth round since last month as Kim issues US a ‘solemn warning’
  • Experts warned Kim was making advances in missile technology with the tests 

North Korea fired two ‘unidentified projectiles’ into the sea today – the latest in a series of such launches by Pyongyang.

The South Korean military said the projectiles were fired from near the city of Tongchon of Kangwon Province into the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan.

It was the sixth round of launches since last month, with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un labelling them a ‘solemn warning’ over US-South Korean joint military drills that began earlier this month.

North Korea has always been infuriated by the war games, decrying them as rehearsals for invasion.

South Korea’s military said today that North Korea fired more projectiles into the sea to extend a recent streak of weapons tests believed to be aimed at pressuring Washington and Seoul over slow nuclear diplomacy.

Kim Jong-un watching a missile launch during a test last month. North Korea has sent up rockets on six different occasions since the start of July

A short-range ballistic missile launch from the east coast of North Korea can be seen pictured (above) last week

A short-range ballistic missile launch from the east coast of North Korea can be seen pictured (above) last week

Joint Chiefs of Staff in South Korea said projectiles were twice launched from an area on the North’s eastern coast.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff didn’t immediately say what the weapons were, how many were launched or how far they flew.

‘The military is monitoring the situation in case of additional launches while maintaining a readiness posture,’ the JCS said.

North Korea has conducted a slew of short-range ballistic tests in recent weeks while expressing frustration over stalemated nuclear negotiations with the United States and continuance of US-South Korea joint military drills that the North sees as an invasion rehearsal.

Earlier on Friday, the North’s Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country released a statement saying it rejected comments by South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Thursday that outlined his desire for unification, and said it had nothing else to discuss with South Korean authorities.

In a speech marking the anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japan’s 1910-45 rule, Moon outlined a goal of ‘achieving peace and unification by 2045’, although his single five-year term presidency ends in 2022.

President Donald Trump dismissed North Korea's missile test. He is pictured mocking former vice president Joe Biden at the SNHU Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire, last night

Visual timeline of North Korea’s missile programme

The North’s statement blamed the South for the deadlock of the ‘historic Panmunjom declaration’, adding: ‘We have nothing to talk any more with the south Korean authorities nor have any idea to sit with them again.’

The Joint Chiefs of Staff alerted reporters to the launches hours after the North issued a statement berating South Korea, saying it’s ‘senseless’ for Seoul to hope for a resumption of inter-Korean dialogue while it continues its military exercises with the United States.

Experts say President Donald Trump’s downplaying of the North’s launches allowed the country more room to intensify its testing activity while it seeks to build leverage ahead of a possible resumption of negotiations, which could happen sometime after the end of the allied drills later this month.

Vipin Narang, an associate professor of political science at MIT said the missiles posed a ‘nightmare’ for Washington.

He told the San Francisco Chronicle: ‘The three missiles have several things in common: they are solid fuel, they are mobile, they are fast, they fly low, and at least the KN-23 can manoeuvre in-flight, which is very impressive.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7362417/S-Korea-says-N-Korea-fired-projectiles-sea.html

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1306, August 14, 2019, Story 1: President Trump Delays Tariffs on Chinese Goods to After Christmas — Videos — Story 2: Normal Flight Operations Resume Again in Hong Kong — Videos — Story 3: Progressives Try To Panic American People Over Inverted Yield Curve Leading To Recession — U.S. Economy is Growing — Missy Higgins Singing — Videos — Story 4: President Trump Energy Speech at Shell Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex in Monaca, Pennsylvania 

Posted on August 15, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, China, Coal, Coal, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Currencies, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), Lying, Media, Monetary Policy, National Interest, Natural Gas, Natural Gas, News, Nuclear, Oil, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Private Sector Unions, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Sector Unions, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Resources, Rule of Law, Scandals, Security, Senate, Social Science, Social Sciences, Solar, Success, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Trade Policy, U.S. Dollar, Unemployment, Unions, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

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Story 1: President Trump Delays Tariffs on Chinese Goods to After Christmas — Americans Would Have Been Paying The Tariff or Tax — Videos —

Trump Blinked With China Tariff Delay, Exante Data’s Setser Says

Trump says China tariffs delayed for ‘Christmas season’

China Is Changing Strategy in Trade War, Says LSE’s Jin

 

Trump CAVES on China tariffs and puts off levies on laptops, cell phones and toys until after Christmas shopping season following ‘very good call’ with Beijing – in move set to boost faltering stock market

  • The Trump administration announced Tuesday morning that is delaying tariffs on Chinese-manufactured goods like laptops and cell phones until Dec. 15
  • Trump’s trade office says that certain products ‘will not face additional tariffs of 10 percent’ due to health, safety or national security concerns 
  • Some of e products it listed were cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, computer monitors, footwear and clothingth
  • USTR said it will post a list of items that are being excluded on its website
  • It announced the postponement shortly after the the stock market opened, and the Dow jumped nearly 500 points within minutes of the news
  • Donald Trump has not commented directly but hinted n a tweet that the action was intended to get China to move forward with large agricultural orders

The Trump administration announced Tuesday morning that is delaying tariffs on Chinese-manufactured goods like laptops and cell phones until Dec. 15, when price hikes from the penalties won’t drive up the price of popular Christmas presents.

Trump’s trade office says that certain products ‘will not face additional tariffs of 10 percent’ due to health, safety or national security concerns.

However, the categories of goods that are being protected suggest that Trump was concerned about the consumer pricing index and the billions of dollars in value of this month’s stock losses.

The U.S. trade office announced the postponement shortly after the the stock market opened in the United States, causing the Dow Jones Industrial Average jump nearly 500 points within minutes.

That excitement tempered off as the day wore on. The Dow leveled out at a 400-point rise that was close to 1,000 points off from where it was a month ago when it started to drop.

Speaking to reporters on the tarmac in New Jersey, before a day trip to Pennsylvania from his vacation, the president defended his tough-on-China stance, saying that other presidents should have tightened the screws on Beijing, too.

He said that he backed off on tariffs because he had a ‘very good call with China.

The Trump administration announced Tuesday morning that is delaying tariffs on Chinese-manufactured goods like laptops and cell phones until Dec. 15. Donald Trump is seen here at the White House the previous Friday

The Trump administration announced Tuesday morning that is delaying tariffs on Chinese-manufactured goods like laptops and cell phones until Dec. 15. Donald Trump is seen here at the White House the previous Friday

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped nearly 500 points within minutes of the statement

The Dow Jones Industrial Average jumped nearly 500 points within minutes of the statement

Donald Trump said he’d impose a 10 percent penalty on $300 billion in untaxed goods on Sept. 1, if China continued drag out trade talks. 

U.S. negotiators say a deal was nearly finished, when Beijing backed away from major provisions.

A new round of talks was scheduled for September, however Trump drove down skittish markets with claims last week that the meetings could be cancelled.

On Tuesday morning, USTR announced it was loosening the noose on China, specifically on items in the tech and and clothing manufacturing industries.

‘Products in this group include, for example, cell phones, laptop computers, video game consoles, certain toys, computer monitors, and certain items of footwear and clothing,’ according to a United States Trade Representative statement.

USTR said it will post a list of items that are being excluded on its website today.

The president continued to defend his position in a Tuesday morning in tweet that claimed consumers have not paid the price for the 25 percent tariffs on $250 billion of other Chinese items that he’s put in place.

Trump did not mention the policy shift in that tweet or one that he sent a half-hour after the the USTR announcement, however, he hinted that unfilled agricultural orders were part of the calculus.

He said of China’s retracted promises to purchase more American agricultural goods: ‘Maybe this will be different!’ 

Less than an hour prior, the president had been ripping China. He blasted Beijing for financial tinkering the U.S. has blasted as currency manipulation while promising American buyers that tariffs wouldn’t affect everyday product pricing.

‘Through massive devaluation of their currency and pumping vast sums of money into their system, the tens of billions of dollars that the U.S. is receiving is a gift from China. Prices not up, no inflation. Farmers getting more than China would be spending. Fake News won’t report!’ he said.

‘Later, at a manufacturing event in Pennsylvania, the president said in an extended riff on China that it had ‘ripped off our country for years’ and taken advantage of World Trade Organization rules that allow the nation to be classified as a developing economy.

‘And I’m being nice when I say took advantage,’ he argued.

He recounted his threat to leave the WTO, unless it started adjudicating cases in his favor.

‘And it’s only because of attitude,’ he said of a change in behavior. ‘Because we know that they have been screwing us for years.’

He added, ‘And I’d like to use a different word but there’s no word that’s quite as descriptive.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7352783/Trump-postpones-new-tariffs-China-months-stock-shares-lose-billions-value.html

 

Story 2: Normal Flight Operations Resume Again in Hong Kong — Videos

 

Normal operations resume at Hong Kong airport as city braces for more protests

Hong Kong’s Airport Authority said normal flight operations would resume on Thursday after pro-democracy protests forced the cancellation of nearly 1,000 flights this week, while the city braced for more mass protests through the weekend.

China reiterated on Wednesday that Hong Kong’s protest movement was “near terrorism” and more street clashes followed ugly and chaotic scenes at the airport on Tuesday, when protesters set upon two men they suspected of being government sympathisers.

Police and protesters faced off again on the streets of the financial hub overnight, with riot officers quickly firing tear gas as their response to demonstrators toughens .

Ten weeks of increasingly violent confrontations between police and protesters have plunged Hong Kong into its worst crisis since it reverted from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

Heightened security would remain at the city’s international airport and the Hong Kong Airport Authority said late on Wednesday an application for protests to be held in the terminal must be made in advance with a “Letter of No Objection” to be obtained from police.

More protests are planned on Friday and over the weekend in different areas of the Chinese-controlled territory.

Protesters have expressed remorse after a peaceful sit-in turned violent at one of the world’s busiest airports earlier this week.

It was not clear whether the violent clashes might have eroded the broad support the movement has so far attracted in Hong Kong. The protests have also hit the city’s faltering economy.

The United States said it was deeply concerned at news of Chinese police forces gathering near the border, urged Hong Kong’s government to respect freedom of speech, and issued a travel advisory urging caution when visiting the city. (Writing by Farah Master Editing by Paul Tait)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-7358413/Normal-operations-resume-Hong-Kong-airport-city-braces-protests.html

 

Story 3: Progressives Try To Panic American People Over Inverted Yield Curve Leading To Recession — U.S. Economy is Growing — Missy Higgins Singing — Videos

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Missy Higgins – Any Day Now (Live)

Any Day Now

Missy Higgins

How long, how long, how long will we take to come undone?
If you know the answer tell me now and I’ll write up a calendar for our count down.
‘Cause what if what we see is all, is all we’ve got?
Say you’ve kept some fire aside to set light to me some surprising night.
And say you’ve locked some fire away to set light to me some surprising day.
To me some surprising day, any day now
How come, how come, how come I’m now on a road holding out my thumb?
If you know my destination please buy me the fastest car and throw me the keys.
‘Cause what if what we see is all, is all we’ve got?
Say you’ve kept some fire aside to set light to me some surprising night.
And say you’ve locked some fire away to set light to me some surprising day.
‘Cause finger by finger we’re losing grasp and
I’m questioning the reason why nothing beautiful does last
Say you’ve kept some fire aside to set light to me some surprising night.
And say you’ve locked some fire away to set light to me some surprising day,
To me some surprising day any day now.
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Melissa Higgins
Any Day Now lyrics © Peermusic Publishing, Words & Music A Div Of Big Deal Music LLC

Why Investors Are Obsessed With the Inverted Yield Curve

Fed Must Act on Inverted Yield Curve, Credit Suisse’s Golub Says

What Is An Inverted Yield Curve And How Does It Affect The Stock Market? | NBC News Now

Yield curve inversion does not mean there will be a recession tomorrow, strategist says

Mohamed El-Erian talks yield curve, recession and global economy

President Trump calls Fed Chair Jerome Powell ‘clueless’ and inverted yield curve ‘crazy’

Missy Higgins (9-27-2008) Sugarcane

Sugarcane

Missy Higgins

Baby ballerina’s hiding
Somewhere in the corner
Where the shadow wraps around her
And our torches cannot find her
She will stay there till the morning
Crawl behind us as we are yawning
And she will leave our games
To never be the same
So grow tall, sugarcane
Eat that soil, drink the rain
But know they’ll chase you
If you play their little games
So run, run fast, sugarcane
You see my peep show booth is handy
There’s a one way only mirror
So I can dance here with my hair down
But I don’t see if you get bitter
And there’s a button right beside me
If I happen to want a wall to hide me
If only the ballerina had one too
So grow tall, sugarcane
Eat that soil, drink the rain
But know they’ll chase you
If you play their little games
So run, run fast, sugarcane
And she said, “Always be afraid”
Yes, she said, “Always be afraid”
So grow tall, sugarcane
Eat that soil, drink the rain
But know they’ll chase you
If you play their little games
So run, run fast, sugarcane
Yeah, you’d better run, run fast, sugarcane
Yeah, you’d better run, run fast sugarcane
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Melissa Higgins
Sugarcane lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

Missy Higgins – Where I Stood (Official Video)

Where I Stood

Missy Higgins

I don’t know what I’ve done
Or if I like what I’ve begun
But something told me to run
And honey, you know me, it’s all or none
There were sounds in my head
Little voices whispering
That I should go and this should end
Oh, and I found myself listening
‘Cause I don’t know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don’t know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
‘Cause she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood
See, I thought love was black and white
That it was wrong or it was right
But you aren’t leaving without a fight
And I think, I am just as torn inside
‘Cause I don’t know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don’t know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
‘Cause she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood
And I won’t be far from where you are if ever you should call
You meant more to me than any one I, I’ve ever loved at all
But you taught me how to trust myself
And so I say to you, this is what I have to do
‘Cause I don’t know who I am, who I am without you
All I know is that I should
And I don’t know if I could stand another hand upon you
All I know is that I should
‘Cause she will love you more than I could
She who dares to stand where I stood
She who dares to stand where I stood
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Melissa Higgins
Where I Stood lyrics © Peermusic Publishing

Kimberley Music – Missy Higgins

Missy Higgins on why she used to break into cemeteries | The Weekly

Missy Higgins & Friends Live

Dow plummets 800 points and 3% in a day amid fears of economic crisis as Treasury yields invert for the first time since the Great Recession

  • Dow Jones plunged more than 800 points on Wednesday on recession fears
  • Yield on the 10-year Treasury note briefly dipped below the two-year yield
  • Known as an ‘inverted yield curve,’ it is a sign investors fear a recession 
  • The past five inverted yield curves have all preceded a recession
  • Trump blasts Fed over rates and calls chairman Jerome Powell ‘clueless’ 

Stocks plunged on Wednesday after the bond market threw up one of its last remaining warning flags on the economy.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury briefly dropped below the two-year Treasury’s yield Wednesday morning, the first time those yields have flipped since 2007. The so-called inversion has correctly predicted many past recessions and is the loudest warning bell yet about a possible recession ahead.

Investors responded by dumping stocks, more than erasing gains from a rally the day before.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 801 points at 25,479, a loss of 3%, in the largest one-day point drop since October 2018,

A one-day view of the yield spread between the 10-year and two-year Treasury bond shows two brief yield curve inversions when the ratio drops below the red line on Wednesday

Based on the latest available data, the S&P 500 lost 85.72 points, or 2.93%, to 2,840.6, and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 242.42 points, or 3.02%, to 7,773.94.

While the market was falling Wednesday, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to again criticize the Federal Reserve for hampering the U.S. economy by raising rates “far too quickly” last year and not reversing its policy aggressively enough – the Fed cut its key rate by a quarter point last month. 

Trump blasted Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell as ‘clueless’. 

He also defended his trade policy, even though investors remain worried that the trade war between the world’s two largest economies may drag on through the 2020 U.S. election and cause more economic damage.

“We still see a substantial risk that the trade dispute will escalate further,” said Mark Haefele, global chief investment officer at UBS in a note to clients.

‘The relief rally inspired by the Trump administration delaying tariffs on some Chinese imports was short lived – blink and you missed it,’ said Fiona Cincotta, senior market analyst at City Index.

With bond yields falling, banks took heavy losses Wednesday. Lower bond yields are bad for banks because they force interest rates on mortgages and other loans lower, which results in lower profits for banks. Citigroup sank 5.1% and Bank of America gave up 5%.

Trump is seen at a White House meeting last month. He is relying upon a strong economy to bolster his reelection chances, and the latest economic signal is a worrying one

Trump is seen at a White House meeting last month. He is relying upon a strong economy to bolster his reelection chances, and the latest economic signal is a worrying one

Much of the market’s focus was on the U.S. yield curve, which has historically been one of the more reliable recession indicators.

If all this talk about yield curves sounds familiar, it should. Other parts of the curve have already inverted, beginning late last year. But each time, some market watchers cautioned not to make too much of it.

Academics tend to pay the most attention to the spread between the three-month Treasury and the 10-year Treasury, which inverted in the spring. Traders often pay more attention to the two-year and 10-year spread.

Each of the last five times the two-year and 10-year Treasury yields have inverted, a recession has followed.

The average amount of time is around 22 months, according to Raymond James’ Giddis.

The indicator isn’t perfect, though, and it’s given false signals in the past.

Some market watchers also say the yield curve may be a less reliable indicator this time because technical factors may be distorting longer-term yields, such as negative bond yields abroad and the Federal Reserve’s holdings of $3.8 trillion in Treasurys and other investments on its balance sheet.

What is a yield curve inversion?

The yield, or the effective interest rate paid, on a 10-year Treasury bond is usually higher than the yield on a two-year bond — because investors typically want to see a higher return for a longer-term investment.

However, bond yields move in the opposite direction of bond prices, which are driven by demand. When investors clamor for bonds, driving prices up, yields go down.

The inversion of the 10-year and two-year yield curves is a signal that investors are rushing money from stocks into bonds, depressing yields and flipping the return on long- and short-term bonds in a way that appears to make little economic sense.

Data from Credit Suisse going back to 1978 shows:

  • The last five 2-10 inversions have eventually led to recessions.
  • A recession occurs, on average, 22 months following a 2-10 inversion.
  • The S&P 500 is up, on average, 12% one year after a 2-10 inversion.
  • It’s not until about 18 months after an inversion when the stock market usually turns and posts negative returns.

This chart shows the spread between 10-year and two-year Treasury bonds since 1978. The portions below the black line represent yield inversions, and shaded areas are recessions

This chart shows the spread between 10-year and two-year Treasury bonds since 1978. The portions below the black line represent yield inversions, and shaded areas are recessions

Macy’s plunged 11.4%, the sharpest loss in the S&P 500, after it slashed its profit forecast for the year. The retailer’s profit for the latest quarter fell far short of analysts’ forecasts as it was forced to slash prices on unsold merchandise. The grim results from Macy’s sent other retailers sharply lower, too. Nordstrom sank 10% and Kohl’s dropped 11%.

Energy stocks also sank sharply, hurt by another drop in the price of crude oil on worries that a weakening global economy will drag down demand. National Oilwell Varco slumped 7.4% and Schlumberger skidded 6.5%. The price of benchmark U.S. crude slid 3.9% to $54.88 per barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, lost 3.7% to $59.04.

Gold gained $13.70 to $1,515.90 per ounce, close to a six-year high. Investors also bid up shares in mining company Newmont Goldcorp 1.8%.

Overseas, Germany’s DAX dropped 2.3% following the weak German economic data. France’s CAC 40 fell 2.2%, and the FTSE 100 in London lost 1.7%.

In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 rose 1%, the Kospi in South Korea gained 0.7% and the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 0.1%.

Trader Andrew Silverman works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. The threat of a recession doesn't seem so remote anymore, and stocks sank Wednesday

Trader Andrew Silverman works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. The threat of a recession doesn’t seem so remote anymore, and stocks sank Wednesday

Markets have largely been in a spin cycle since Trump announced on Aug. 1 that he would impose 10% tariffs on about $300 billion in Chinese imports, which would be on top of 25% tariffs already in place on $250 billion in imports.

On Tuesday, responding to pressure from businesses and growing fears that a trade war is threatening the U.S. economy, the Trump administration is delaying most of the import taxes it planned to impose on Chinese goods and is dropping others altogether.

Investors are still worried that the trade war between the world’s two largest economies may drag on through the 2020 U.S. election and cause more economic damage.

For all its whipsawing up and down, the S&P 500 remains within 5% of its record, which was set in late July.

A five-day view of the Dow shows a sharp drop at the open of trading on Wednesday

A five-day view of the Dow shows a sharp drop at the open of trading on Wednesday

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7356699/Warnings-economic-crisis-Treasury-yields-invert-time-Great-Recession.html

Federal funds rate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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

2 to 10 year treasury yield spread

Inflation (blue) compared to federal funds rate (red)

Quarterly gross domestic product compared to Federal Funds Rate.

Federal Funds Rate and Treasury interest rates from 2002-2019

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

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

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

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

Mechanism

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

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

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

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

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

Applications

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

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

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

Comparison with LIBOR

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

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

Predictions by the market

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

Historical rates

As of 19 December 2018 the target range for the Federal Funds Rate is 2.25–2.50%.[9] This represents the ninth increase in the target rate since tightening began in December 2015.[10]

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

Federal funds rate history and recessions.png

Explanation of federal funds rate decisions

When the Federal Open Market Committee wishes to reduce interest rates they will increase the supply of money by buying government securities. When additional supply is added and everything else remains constant, the price of borrowed funds – the federal funds rate – falls. Conversely, when the Committee wishes to increase the federal funds rate, they will instruct the Desk Manager to sell government securities, thereby taking the money they earn on the proceeds of those sales out of circulation and reducing the money supply. When supply is taken away and everything else remains constant, the interest rate will normally rise.[12]

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

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

  • July 13, 1990 — Sept 4, 1992: 8.00%–3.00% (Includes 1990–1991 recession)[14][15]
  • Feb 1, 1995 — Nov 17, 1998: 6.00–4.75 [16][17][18]
  • May 16, 2000 — June 25, 2003: 6.50–1.00 (Includes 2001 recession)[19][20][21]
  • June 29, 2006 — (Oct. 29 2008): 5.25–1.00[22]
  • Dec 16, 2008 — 0.0–0.25[23]
  • Dec 16, 2015 — 0.25–0.50[24]
  • Dec 14, 2016 — 0.50–0.75[25]
  • Mar 15, 2017 — 0.75–1.00[26]
  • Jun 14, 2017 — 1.00–1.25[27]
  • Dec 13, 2017 — 1.25–1.50[28]
  • Mar 21, 2018 — 1.50–1.75[29]
  • Jun 13, 2018 — 1.75–2.00[30]
  • Sep 26, 2018 — 2.00–2.25[9]
  • Dec 19, 2018 — 2.25–2.50[31]

Bill Gross of PIMCO suggested that in the prior 15 years ending in 2007, in each instance where the fed funds rate was higher than the nominal GDP growth rate, assets such as stocks and housing fell.[32]

International effects

A low federal funds rate makes investments in developing countries such as China or Mexico more attractive. A high federal funds rate makes investments outside the United States less attractive. The long period of a very low federal funds rate from 2009 forward resulted in an increase in investment in developing countries. As the United States began to return to a higher rate in 2013 investments in the United States became more attractive and the rate of investment in developing countries began to fall. The rate also affects the value of currency, a higher rate increasing the value of the U.S. dollar and decreasing the value of currencies such as the Mexican peso.[33]

See also

References

  1. ^ “Fedpoints: Federal Funds”Federal Reserve Bank of New York. August 2007. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  2. ^ “The Implementation of Monetary Policy”. The Federal Reserve System: Purposes & Functions (PDF). Washington, D.C.: Federal Reserve Board. August 24, 2011. p. 4. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  3. ^ “Monetary Policy, Open Market Operations”. Federal Reserve Bank. January 30, 2008. Archived from the original on April 13, 2001. Retrieved January 30, 2008.
  4. ^ “Reserve Requirements”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 16, 2015.
  5. ^ Stefan Homburg (2017) A Study in Monetary Macroeconomics, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-880753-7.
  6. ^ “Fed funds rate”. Bankrate, Inc. March 2016.
  7. ^ Cheryl L. Edwards (November 1997). Gerard Sinzdak. “Open Market Operations in the 1990s” (PDF)Federal Reserve Bulletin (PDF).
  8. ^ “BBA LIBOR – Frequently asked questions”. British Bankers’ Association. March 21, 2006. Archived from the original on February 16, 2007.
  9. Jump up to:a b “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement” (Press release). Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. December 19, 2018. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  10. ^ Tankersley, Jim (March 21, 2018). “Fed Raises Interest Rates for Sixth Time Since Financial Crisis”The New York Times. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  11. ^ “4:56 p.m. US-Closing Stocks”. Associated Press. December 16, 2008. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012.
  12. ^ David Waring (February 19, 2008). “An Explanation of How The Fed Moves Interest Rates”. InformedTrades.com. Archived from the original on May 5, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2009.
  13. ^ “Historical Changes of the Target Federal Funds and Discount Rates, 1971 to present”. New York Federal Reserve Branch. February 19, 2010. Archived from the original on December 21, 2008.
  14. ^ “$SPX 1990-06-12 1992-10-04 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  15. ^ “$SPX 1992-08-04 1995-03-01 (rate rise chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  16. ^ “$SPX 1995-01-01 1997-01-01 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  17. ^ “$SPX 1996-12-01 1998-10-17 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  18. ^ “$SPX 1998-09-17 2000-06-16 (rate rise chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  19. ^ “$SPX 2000-04-16 2002-01-01 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  20. ^ “$SPX 2002-01-01 2003-07-25 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  21. ^ “$SPX 2003-06-25 2006-06-29 (rate rise chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  22. ^ “$SPX 2006-06-29 2008-06-01 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  23. ^ “Press Release”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 16, 2008.
  24. ^ “Open Market Operations”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 16, 2015.
  25. ^ “Decisions Regarding Monetary Policy Implementation”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. Archived from the original on December 15, 2016.
  26. ^ Cox, Jeff (March 15, 2017). “Fed raises rates at March meeting”CNBC. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  27. ^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. June 14, 2017.
  28. ^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 13, 2017.
  29. ^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. March 21, 2018.
  30. ^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. June 13, 2018.
  31. ^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 19, 2018.
  32. ^ Shaw, Richard (January 7, 2007). “The Bond Yield Curve as an Economic Crystal Ball”. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
  33. ^ Peter S. Goodman, Keith Bradsher and Neil Gough (March 16, 2017). “The Fed Acts. Workers in Mexico and Merchants in Malaysia Suffer”The New York Times. Retrieved March 18,2017Rising interest rates in the United States are driving money out of many developing countries, straining governments and pinching consumers around the globe.

External links

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

Missy Higgins

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Missy Higgins
A woman in her twenties with short blonde hair, wearing a black jacket and grey shirt with black stripes.

Missy Higgins, ARIA No. 1 Chart Awards, 10 August 2012
Background information
Birth name Melissa Morrison Higgins
Born 19 August 1983 (age 36)
Origin MelbourneVictoria
Genres Pop rockindieacoustic
Occupation(s) Singer-songwritermusician
Instruments Vocalspianosynthesiserguitarmelodicaxylophonecowbellukulele
Years active 2001–present
Labels Eleven
Reprise
Warner Bros.
Associated acts
Website missyhiggins.com.au

Melissa Morrison Higgins (born 19 August 1983) is an Australian singer-songwriter, musician and actress. Her Australian number-one albums are The Sound of White (2004), On a Clear Night (2007) and The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle (2012), and her singles include “Scar“, “The Special Two“, “Steer” and “Where I Stood“. Higgins was nominated for five ARIA Music Awards in 2004 and won ‘Best Pop Release’ for “Scar”. In 2005, she was nominated for seven more awards and won five. Higgins won her seventh ARIA in 2007. Her third album, The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle, was released in Australia in June 2012 (July 2012 in the US). As of August 2014, Higgins’ first three studio albums had sold over one million units.[1]

Higgins’ fourth studio album, OZ, was released in September 2014 and consists of cover versions of Australian composers, as well as a book of related essays.

Alongside her music career, Higgins pursues interests in animal rights and the environment, endeavouring to make her tours carbon neutral. In 2010 she made her acting debut in the feature film Bran Nue Dae and also performed on its soundtrack.

Biography

Early life

Higgins was born in Melbourne, Victoria, to Gregory Higgins, an English-Australian Tipstave, and Margaret (née Morrison), an Australian childcare centre operator.[2][3] Her sister, Nicola, is seven years older and her brother, David, six years older.[3] Higgins learned to play classical piano from age six, following in the footsteps of Christopher and David, but realised she wanted to be a singer at about 12, when she appeared in an Armadale Primary School production of Andrew Lloyd Webber‘s musical Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.[4] Bored with practice, she gave up playing piano at that time.[5] Hoping for more freedom, she urged her parents to send her to Geelong Grammar School, an independent boarding school that her siblings attended. At Geelong, Higgins took up the piano again, this time playing jazz and performing with her brother David’s group on weekends.[6]Introverted by nature, Higgins found that piano practice helped her cope with living at boarding school.[5]

At 15, while attending Geelong Grammar’s Timbertop, she wrote “All for Believing” for a school music assignment, completing it just hours before the deadline.[7] The assignment earned an A and she performed her song in front of classmates. She approached a Melbourne record company and was told that they wanted more than one song.[5] She wrote more songs and worked with the Kool Skools project, which enables students to record music.[8] In 2001, Missy’s sister Nicola entered “All for Believing” on her behalf in Unearthed, radio station Triple J‘s competition for unsigned artists. The song won the competition and was added to the station’s play list.[9]

Two record companies showed an interest in Higgins—Sony and Eleven.[5] She signed with Eleven, partly because they agreed that she would not be “made into a pop star”[10] and partly because they were happy for her to take time off for a backpacking holiday.[5]Higgins’ manager is Eleven’s John Watson, who also manages rock band Silverchair.[2] Watson later disclosed that “Missy’s the only time in my career I knew after 90 seconds I really wanted to sign her.”[11] The backpacking trip had been planned with a friend for years and the pair spent most of 2002 in Europe; while Higgins was travelling, “All for Believing” started to receive airplay on Los Angeles radio station KCRW.[12] Such radio exposure attracted the attention of American record labels and, by year’s end, an international recording deal with Warner Bros. had been negotiated.[13]

2003–2005: The Sound of White

Higgins is seated. She sings into a microphone and plays a keyboard instrument. The lettering RD-300SX and Roland are visible across its front.

Higgins, San Francisco, 11 August 2005
Courtesy Nabeel Hyatt

Higgins was the support act on a 2003 Australian tour by folk rock band The Waifs and rock band george.[13] She travelled to the US to work with John Porter, who produced her first EPThe Missy Higgins EP,[14] which was released in November and entered the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) Singles Chart Top 50 in August 2004.[15]

She toured Australia, supporting Pete Murray and John Butler Trio.[16] Her four-track single “Scar'” was released in July 2004 and debuted at No. 1 on the ARIA Charts.[15][17] Her first album, The Sound of White, was released in September, and debuted at No. 1 on the ARIA Albums Chart.[15] Also produced by Porter, it sold over 500,000 copies.[18] She was nominated in five categories at the ARIA Music Awards of 2004 for “Scar”: Best Female Artist’, ‘Single of the Year’, ‘Best Pop Release’, ‘Breakthrough Artist – Single’ and ‘Best Video’ (directed by Squareyed Films).[19] At the awards ceremony on 17 October she received the award for Best Pop Release, beating Delta GoodremThe DissociativesKylie Minogue and Pete Murray.[19] This was followed by her first national headline tour.[20] Her second single “Ten Days” was co-written with Jay Clifford (guitarist in US band Jump, Little Children) and was inspired by Higgins’ 2002 break-up with her boyfriend before she travelled to Europe.[21] Released in November, it peaked at No. 12.[15]

On 29 January 2005 Higgins performed with other local musicians including Nick Cave and Powderfinger at the WaveAid fundraising concert in the Sydney Cricket Ground.[22] The concert raised A$2.3 million for four charities supporting the victims of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake.[23] In March Higgins performed at the MTV Australia Awards and won the prize for ‘Breakthrough Artist of the Year’.[24] The following month she released her third single, “The Special Two”, which was a radio hit and reached No. 2.[15] “The Special Two” was released on an EP which included her cover of the Skyhooks song, “You Just Like Me Cos I’m Good In Bed”, recorded for Triple J‘s 30th anniversary. The song had been the first track played on Triple J when it launched (as Double J) in 1975.[25] In May, Higgins won the ‘Song of the Year’ and ‘Breakthrough’ awards for “Scar” from the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA).[26] She continued touring in mid-2005 and released her fourth single, “The Sound of White”, in August.[15] In September she played a sold out performance at the Vanguard in Sydney with the proceeds going to charity.[27] She was nominated for seven more ARIAs and in October won ‘Album of the Year’, ‘Best Pop Release’, ‘Breakthrough Artist – Album’ and ‘Highest Selling Album’ (all for The Sound of White) and ‘Best Female Artist’ (for “Scar”).[28] She teamed up with fellow ARIA award-winning singer Ben Lee in late 2005 for a national tour.[29]

2006–2009: On a Clear Night

Higgins stands and plays an acoustic guitar with her left hand high on the fret board. She sings into a microphone. Her right arm and bottom of guitar are not in view. Background has large stage lights.

Higgins, Live Earth concert, Sydney, 7 July 2007
Courtesy Itapp

During 2006, Higgins lived in Broome, Western Australia for six months, away from the entertainment industry. The relaxed lifestyle helped her focus on writing new material.[30] The landscape made a big impression, “It was the first place I’d ever felt honestly connected with my country, with the physical land of my country” and inspired her to write “Going North”.[31] She then toured the United States and South Africa, writing more material on the road.[32] In September she based herself in Los Angeles to record her second album, On a Clear Night, with producer Mitchell Froom.[33][34] “Steer” was released as an EP, followed a fortnight later by its album on 28 April 2007, both debuted at No. 1 on their respective charts.[15]

In February, Higgins had contributed a tribute song to the album, Cannot Buy My Soul, for noted indigenous singer, Kev Carmody, singing “Droving Woman” with musician Paul Kelly and group Augie March.[35] On 7 July, she participated in the Live Earth concert in Sydney, performing her own set before joining Carmody, Kelly and vocalist John Butler on stage for the song “From Little Things Big Things Grow“.[36] Emily Dunn in The Sydney Morning Herald wrote “[the song] could have been the event’s anthem”.[37] Rolling Stone‘s Dan Lander pointed out a highlight, when the “whole crowd sung along – all eleven verses.”[38]

Higgins returned to Los Angeles to focus on the US market—she spent September and October touring—where she was still relatively unknown.[39] On 26 October, backed by the Sydney Youth Orchestra, she headlined the annual Legs 11 concert, a breast cancer benefit held in The DomainRoyal Botanic Gardens, Sydney.[40] Two days later Higgins performed at the 2007 ARIAs where she was nominated for ‘Best Pop Release’, ‘Highest Selling Album’ and ‘Highest Selling Single’ (for “Steer”) and won ‘Best Female Artist’ (for On a Clear Night)—her seventh ARIA Music Award.[41] On 31 October, she was a guest at television music channel MAX‘s inaugural Concert for the Cure, a private concert for people affected by breast cancer. She sang headline act Powderfinger’s “Sunsets” with front man Bernard Fanning and joined in with the encore of “These Days“.[42][43] She spent November and December on her For One Night Only Tour, taking in Cairns, Sydney and Perth. You Am I lead singer, Tim Rogers, joined her on some shows.[44]

On a Clear Night, was released in the US on 26 February 2008, supported by a tour in March. Her ten-month stay in Los Angeles during 2008 promoted her songs for films and television shows.[33][45] Her first US single “Where I Stood” was featured in US series including Grey’s AnatomyOne Tree Hill and So You Think You Can Dance.[46] During 2008, Higgins supported the Indigo Girls and then Ben Folds on their respective US tours.[47] February and March 2009 saw her co-headlining a US tour with Canadian Justin Nozuka.[48] On 31 March she released an EP, More Than This in Australia that features cover versions of “More Than This” by Roxy Music, “(I’m) In Love Again” by Peggy Lee, “Breakdown” by Tom Petty and “Moses” by Patty Griffin.[49] “Moses” had been included on Triple J’s 2005 compilation album Like a Version: Volume One and “More Than This” was recorded as part of Covered, A Revolution in Sound, a Warner Bros. tribute album also released in March 2009.[50]

2010–2013: The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle

Higgins performing live in December 2012

Higgins started writing music for her third album in 2009.[51] After about seven years of touring and recording she took a break from the music industry to pursue other interests.[52] In 2010 she enrolled in a course in indigenous studies at the University of Melbourne.[53] Her acting debut was as Annie in 2010 film Bran Nue Dae directed by Rachel Perkins. The film is an adaptation of the 1990 musical, Bran Nue Dae, “Australia’s first Aboriginalmusical”.[54] Although Higgins would consider future acting projects she has no plans to actively pursue it as a career.[51][55]

In July and August 2010, Higgins played several dates of Sarah McLachlan‘s Lilith Fair tour in the US.[56][57] At Lilith Fair, she met Australian musician Butterfly Boucher and they decided to work together. In 2011, Higgins travelled to where Boucher was living in Nashville to record her third album, which is co-produced by Boucher and Brad Jones.[58] Titled The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle, the album was released on 1 June 2012.[59] Its first single, “Unashamed Desire“, co-written with Boucher, was released on 23 April.[60] In November 2011, at the ARIA Music Awards, Higgins performed a duet of “Warwu”with Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, from his Rrakala album.[61]

“The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle” album debuted at #1 on the ARIA Albums Chart the week of 12 June 2012. It was Higgins’ 3rd straight number one album. As of January 2019, Higgins ties Olivia Newton-John for the 3rd highest tally of Australian Number One albums by an Australian female artist. Only Delta Goodrem (with four Number 1 ARIA albums) and Kylie Minogue and Kasey Chambers (with five each) have achieved more.

2014: Oz

In September 2014, Higgins released her fourth studio album, Oz, which features cover versions of Australian composers, including The Angels, Slim Dusty, Something For Kate, Warumpi Band, Paul Kelly and The Drones. The album is also accompanied by a book of related essays, in which Higgins uses each of the recordings to reflect upon subjects such as music and love.[62] Higgins collaborated with Dan Sultan for the recording of the Slim Dusty song “The Biggest Disappointment”.[63]

Higgins explained in an October 2014 interview that she experienced a significant bout of writer’s block following the completion of her second album and someone suggested an album of cover versions at the time, but she only revisited the idea during the conception of Oz. Higgins further explained:

I responded to all these songs on an emotional level, when I first heard them. I wanted songs I felt I could tell with my own voice, and interpret them authentically … But it was important to maintain the emotional integrity and the heart of the song. It was a high priority to keep true to the songs.[63]

The album was co-produced by Jherek Bischoff, who previously worked with David Byrne, formerly of Talking Heads, and Amanda Palmer.[1]

Oz debuted at number 3 on the ARIA Albums chart[64] and remained in the top five positions until 18 October 2014.[65]

The national Australian tour in support of Oz commenced on 20 September 2014 in Cairns, Queensland, and ended in Melbourne in October 2014. Higgins was accompanied by Bischoff, and Australian artist Dustin Tebbutt appeared as a special guest.[1]

2015–present: Solastalgia and The Special Ones

Higgins, performing live in Taronga Zoo, February 2016.

On 19 February 2016, Higgins released a new single titled, “Oh Canada“,[66] in her response to the Death of Alan Kurdi.

In May 2017, Higgins released “Torchlight“, for the Australian drama film, Don’t Tell.[67]

In October 2017, Higgins appeared in a revival of the 1996 musical Miracle City by Nick Enright and Max Lambert at the Sydney Opera House, playing the role of Bonnie Mae.[68]

In February 2018, Higgins released the single “Futon Couch“, the first single from her fifth studio album, called Solastalgia, released in May 2018.[69]

In February 2018, it was announced that Missy Higgins would support Ed Sheeran‘s tour around Australia.[70]

In November 2018, Higgins released her first greatest hits album titled The Special Ones.[71]

Musical influences and technique

Higgins grew up in the 1980s and 1990s listening to artists that her older siblings liked—Nicola played Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston, while David favoured Queen and Kiss.[72][73] Departing for boarding school at age 13, she was exposed to alternative artists like Nirvana and Hole and started teaching herself guitar and writing her own music.[73] She also began singing with David’s jazz group on weekends. As an adult she prefers Nina Simone and Ray Charles to “poppy dance music”.[73] She has cited Patty GriffinRon SexsmithRufus WainwrightPaul Kelly and Sarah McLachlan as influences.[5][51][74] Material from her third album is influenced by ambient music from LowJon Hopkins, Icelandic band Sigur Rós and Estonian classical composer Arvo Pärt.[51]

Higgins’ song writing grew out of a desire to express her emotions when she was at school and her lyrics describe her feelings about her own life and relationships.[75][76] The piano was the first instrument she learned to play, and she continues to use it as well as digital pianos including a Roland RD-300SX, RD-700 and KR-15.[77][78] She also uses guitars extensively in her music particularly when touring, due to their portable nature and favours the Australian brand, Maton.[78] On occasion she plays keytarxylophone and melodicaduring performances.[31][79]

On 7 September 2012, Higgins recorded a cover version of Gotye‘s “Heart’s A Mess” for the “Like a Version” segment on Australian radio station Triple J, explaining on-air that the song is her favourite Gotye composition. Higgins had travelled with Gotye previously and referred to him as “an incredible singer” in the interview prior to the rendition.[80]

Causes

As a vegetarian, Higgins promoted the health benefits of not eating meat in a 2005 advertising campaign by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA);[81] and has supported their anti-fur stance.[45] She is interested in environmental issues and is involved with the Sierra Club, a grassroots organisation based in California.[45] She has protested against the proposed industrialisation of the Kimberley region of Western Australia and donated the royalties from her 2009 EP More Than This.[49] Since early 2007, Higgins has tried to make her tours carbon neutral, she purchases green energy to power venues, uses hybrid cars where possible and purchases carbon offsets.[82]

On 5 October 2012, Higgins performed at two “Save the Kimberley” events held at Federation Square in Melbourne and The Esplanade in Fremantle, Western Australia.[83][84] A march to protest against the proposed gas refinery construction at James Price Point accompanied the free concert and campaign supporters were photographed with banners and placards.[85]

As of 2012, Higgins is one of numerous publicly known advocates for the ‘Oscar’s Law’ campaign. The campaign, launched in 2010, protests against the existence of “puppy factories” in Australia, whereby animals are factory farmed. One of the campaign’s slogans is “Break the Puppy Trade—Don’t buy puppies from pet shops” and the list of notable advocates includes Paul Dempsey (musician), Kate Ceberano (singer) and Mick Molloy (comedian).[86]

In response to the proposed dumping of around 3 million cubic metres (110 million cubic feet) of dredged seabed onto the Great Barrier Reef,[87] a legal fighting team was formed by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF)-Australia and the Australian Marine Conservation Society (AMCS) in late 2013/early 2014.[88] The legal team received further support in April 2014, following the release of the “Sounds For The Reef” musical fundraising project. Produced by Straightup, the digital album features Higgins, in addition to artists such as The HerdSiettaJohn ButlerThe Cat EmpireFat Freddys Drop, The Bamboos (featuring Kylie Auldist) and Resin Dogs. Released on 7 April, the album’s 21 songs were sold on the Bandcamp website.[89][90]

Personal life

Higgins has been a patron of multiple mental health charities since 2003. She described her younger self as “a bit of a depressed child” and “introverted”, and that she had “experienced various degrees of depression”.[14][91] Prescribed antidepressant medication while in high school, she learned to channel low moods into songwriting, calling music her “emotional outlet”.[3][72] In a 2006 interview she said that her songs were “coming from more of a happier place”.[92] While recording her second album she discovered a passion for rock climbing, as a “meditative pursuit”[93] and that, “It’s the first and last thing I’ve had — other than music — that I’m passionate about.”[72]

From 2004 to 2007, Higgins’ sexual orientation was the subject of media speculation based partly on interpretations of her lyrics and her interviews. In an October 2007 interview with Australian lesbian magazine Cherrie, she was asked if she fell under the moniker of “not-so-straight” girls. She replied “Um, yeah, definitely. … I think sexuality is a fluid thing and it’s becoming increasingly more acceptable to admit that you’re that way.”[94] In November her Myspace page reported, “I’ve been in relationships with both men and women so I guess I fall most easily under the category ‘Bisexual'”.[95][96]

In 2013, Higgins began a relationship with Broome playwright and comedian Dan Lee.[97][98] Higgins gave birth to her son named Samuel Arrow Lee, on 5 January 2015.[99] They got married in March 2016,[100][101] and she gave birth to daughter named Luna, on 13 August 2018.

Discography

Filmography

Awards and nominations

Higgins at the ARIA Awardsceremony, December 2013, Star Event Centre, Sydney

APRA Awards

The APRA Awards are presented annually from 1982 by the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA).[102] Higgins has won two awards from six nominations.[103][104]

 
Year Nominee / work Award Result
2005 Scar” (Missy Higgins, Kevin Griffin) – Missy Higgins Song of the Year[103] Won
Ten Days” (Missy Higgins, Jay Clifford) – Missy Higgins Song of the Year[105] Nominated
Missy Higgins Breakthrough Award[104] Won
2006 The Special Two” (Missy Higgins) – Missy Higgins Song of the Year[106] Nominated
Most Performed Australian Work[106] Nominated
“Ten Days” (Missy Higgins, Jay Clifford) Most Performed Australian Work[106] Nominated

ARIA Awards

The ARIA Music Awards are presented annually from 1987 by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA). Higgins has won nine awards from twenty-four nominations.[107][108]

 
Year Nominee / work Award Result
2004 Scar Single of the Year Nominated
Best Female Artist Nominated
Breakthrough Artist – Single Nominated
Best Pop Release Won
“Scar” – Squareyed Films Best Video Nominated
2005 The Sound of White Album of the Year Won
Best Female Artist Won
Highest Selling Album Won
Breakthrough Artist – Album Won
Best Pop Release Won
The Sound of White – Cathie Glassby Best Cover Art Nominated
The Special Two Single of the Year Nominated
Highest Selling Single Nominated
2006 If You Tell Me Yours, I’ll Tell You Mine Best Music DVD Nominated
2007 On a Clear Night Best Female Artist Won
Best Pop Release Nominated
Highest Selling Album Nominated
Steer Highest Selling Single Nominated
2008 Peachy Best Female Artist Nominated
2012 The Ol’ Razzle Dazzle Best Female Artist Nominated
Album of the Year Nominated
Best Adult Contemporary Artist Won
Everyone’s Waiting” – Natasha Pincus Best Video Won
2013 “Set Me on Fire” Best Female Artist Nominated
2018 Solastalgia Best Adult Contemporary Album Nominated

Other awards

She has won an MTV Australia Video Music Award.[24]

References …

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

 

 

Story 4: President Trump Energy Speech at Shell Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex in Monaca, Pennsylvania 

FULL SPEECH: President Trump speech on energy in Pennsylvania

Trump was supposed to give a speech on energy. He went way off script.

Updated 

President Donald Trump on Tuesday headed to a Shell petrochemicals plant being built outside Pittsburgh to give what was billed by the White House as a speech on “America’s Energy Dominance and Manufacturing Revival.”

But the hourlong address was light on energy policy and heavy on stump speech material and off-script riffs, as Trump touched on everything from his love of trucks to his assessment of his potential 2020 rivals. The meandering speech came on a day when the president had already attacked a CNN anchor, endorsed a controversial World Series hero’s potential congressional bid and defended his parroting of a conspiracy theory concerning the apparent suicide of his onetime friend Jeffrey Epstein.

Here are some of Trump’s most off-key comments:

On the supposed benefits of natural gas over renewable energy: “When the wind stops blowing, it doesn’t make any difference does it? Unlike those big windmills that destroy everybody’s property values, kill all the birds. One day the environmentalists are going to tell us what’s going on with that. And then all of a sudden it stops. The wind and the televisions go off. And your wives and husbands say: ‘Darling, I want to watch Donald Trump on television tonight. But the wind stopped blowing and I can’t watch. There’s no electricity in the house, darling.’”

On his construction chops: “I was a good builder. I built good. I love building; in fact, I’m going to take a tour of the site.”

On doing some campaigning: “I’m going to speak to some of your union leaders to say, ‘I hope you’re going to support Trump, OK?’ And if they don’t, vote ‘em the hell out of office because they’re not doing their job — it’s true.”

On his love of trucks: “I love cranes, I love trucks of all types. Even when I was a little boy at 4 years old, my mother would say, ‘You love trucks.’ I do, I always loved trucks, I still do. Nothing changes — sometimes you know you might become president, but nothing changes — I still love trucks. Especially when I look at the largest crane in the world, that’s very cool. You think I’ll get to operate it? We’ll put the media on it and I’ll give them a little ride, right?”

On pundits suggesting he might not leave office willingly: “Can you imagine if I got a fair press? I mean, we’re leading without it; can you imagine if these people treated me fairly? The election would be over. Have they ever called off an election before? Just said, ‘Look just let’s go, go on four more years.’ You want to really drive them crazy? Go to #ThirdTerm, #FourthTerm — you’ll drive them totally crazy.”

On what Trump perceives as a trade imbalance with Japan: “They send us thousands and thousands — millions of cars, we send them wheat. Wheat. That’s not a good deal. And they don’t even want our wheat. They do it because they want us to at least feel that we’re OK, you know, they do it to make us feel good.” This assertion is false.

On the price tag of the presidency: “This thing is costing me a fortune, being president. Somebody said, ‘Oh, he might have rented a room to a man from Saudi Arabia for $500.’ What about the $5 billion that I’ll lose — you know, it’s probably going to cost me, including, upside, downside, lawyers, because every day they sue me for something. These are the most litigious people. It’s probably costing me from $3 to $5 billion for the pleasure of being — and I couldn’t care less, I don’t care. You know if you’re wealthy, it doesn’t matter. I just want to do a great job.”

On his pledge to salvage manufacturing jobs: “You guys, I don’t know what the hell you’re going to do. You don’t want to make widgets, right? You don’t want to make — do you want to learn how to make a computer? A little tiny piece of stuff. … You put it with those big, beautiful hands of yours like … you’re going to take these big hands, going to take this little tiny part. You’re going to go home, ‘Alice this is a tough job.’ Nah, you want to make steel, and you want to dig coal — that’s what you want to do!”

On the number of members of the media at the event, at about 2:45 p.m.: “That’s a lot people back there for, like, an 11 o’clock speech. That’s a lot of people.”

On the Oscars: “Like the Academy Awards during the day, it used to be — you know the Academy Awards is on hard times now, you know that right? Nobody wants to watch it. You know why? Because they started taking us on, everyone got tired of it. It’s amazing. That used to be second after the Super Bowl, and then all of a sudden now it’s just another show because people got tired of people getting up and making fools of themselves and disrespecting the people in this room and the people that won the election in 2016.”

On attacking Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden, potential 2020 rivals: “I did it very early with Pocahontas, I should have probably waited. She’s staging a comeback on Sleepy Joe. I don’t know who’s going to win, but we’ll have to hit Pocahontas very hard again if she does win. But she’s staging a little bit of a comeback. What a group — Pocahontas and Sleepy Joe.”

On Mexico deploying soldiers to stem the flow of Central American migrants: “I want to thank Mexico, it’s incredible. We have close to 27,000, you think of that. We never had three — I think we had about 2½ soldiers, one was sitting down all the time. We had nobody.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/08/13/donald-trump-energy-speech-pittsburgh-1461337

 

Shell Pennsylvania Petrochemicals Complex
Monaca, Pennsylvania

2:06 P.M. EDT

AUDIENCE:  USA!  USA!  USA!

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much.  And thank you, Gretchen.  It’s great to be back in the incredible Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  Great place.  And this is my 13th visit to Pennsylvania during my administration, which is more than any other President to this point in the term.

And I really love Pennsylvania.  I went to school in Pennsylvania — Philadelphia.  So, we love this state.  And I love the unions and I love the workers.  And, you know, when I built buildings in New York — (applause) — I built them exclusively with unions.  People don’t understand that.  I was exclusive.

And, in the last really great election, our election of 2016, you know, we did great with the union workers.  Great.  But we didn’t do good with the leadership.  The leadership said, “Well, we’ve always gone Democrat.  Let’s keep going that way.”  That didn’t work out too well for some of them, I want to tell you.  (Applause.)  I’ll tell you.  And as Gretchen said, this would have never happened without me and us.  This would have never happened.  So, I’m with you.  I’m with you.  Remember that.
And remember that Pennsylvania — you know, Pennsylvania has the best numbers they’ve ever had in the history of the state.  And that’s for a very good reason.  And you know what that reason is.

(Audience member waves.)  Hello.  Here I am.  (Applause.)

And I’m truly honored to be here with the amazing energy workers and construction workers.  These are talented people.  The craft workers who make America run and who make America proud.  We’re proud again.  We’re proud again.  (Applause.)

And no one in the world does it better than you.  Nobody.  Nobody does it better.  There’s nobody in the world that does it.  And we’re unleashing that power again like we’ve never seen before, I will say.

And we are doing well and we’re fighting against a lot of countries that have taken advantage of us for many, many years.  But they’re not doing it so much anymore.  And in a little period of time, they won’t be doing it at all anymore.  They have taken advantage of this country.  (Applause.)

Today, we celebrate the revolution in American energy that’s helping make our economy the envy of the world.  This Shell petrochemical plant in Beaver County, Pennsylvania — I did very well here.  We did very well.  How many points did we win by?  Does anybody know?  I’ll tell you.  Isn’t it, I think, 28 points?  That’s a lot.  That’s against a Democrat — (laughter) — or whatever.

It’s one of the single-biggest construction projects in the nation.  And it made it possible and was possible by clean, affordable, all-American natural gas.  Powerful, clean, natural gas.  (Applause.)

And when the wind stops blowing, it doesn’t make any difference, does it?  Unlike those big windmills that destroy everybody’s property values, kill all the birds.  Someday, the environmentalists are going to tell us what’s going on with that.  And then, all of a sudden, it stops; the wind and the televisions go off.  And your wives and husbands say, “Darling, I want to watch Donald Trump on television tonight.”  (Laughter.)  “But the wind stopped blowing and I can’t watch.  There’s no electricity in the house, darling.”  No, we love natural gas and we love a lot of other things, too.

Each of you is taking part in the largest investment in Pennsylvania history.  It’s the largest investment in the history of Pennsylvania, in the history of our country — the money that’s being invested in your state right now.

With your help, we’re not only unleashing American energy, we’re restoring the glory of American manufacturing, and we are reclaiming our noble heritage as a nation of builders again.  (Applause.)  A nation of builders.

I was a good builder.  I built good.  I love building.  In fact, I’m going to take a tour of the site.  They said, “Sir, we were going to do it before the speech, but we’re waiting for it to stop raining.”  I said, “Don’t worry about the rain.  Do we have umbrellas?  Don’t worry about the rain.  Umbrellas work very well, especially when they’re made in America.”  (Laughs.)  (Applause.)  So, I don’t care.  But we’re going to take a tour afterwards.

I’m going to speak to some of your union leaders to say, “I hope you’re going to support Trump.”  Okay?  (Applause.)  And if they don’t, vote them the hell out of office because they’re not doing their job.  It’s true.  It’s true.  (Applause.)  Vote them out of office.

When completed, this facility will transform abundant natural gas — and we have a lot of it — fracked from Pennsylvania wells, which they never would have allowed you to take if I weren’t President.  If my opponent won, this would be a lot of nice, new structures outside.  I guess you would have stopped long ago.  You would have stopped construction before it started too much.

But I was talking to Gretchen.  They would have never gotten the approvals to do what’s needed to fuel these plants.  That wouldn’t have been good.  So, probably, they wouldn’t have started.  But if they would have started, it would have stopped.

But they put it into plastic through a process known as “cracking.”  That raw material will then be shipped all over the country and all over the world to be fashioned into more products stamped with that very beautiful phrase: “Made in the USA.”  Right?  “Made in the USA.”  (Applause.)  Beautiful.

AUDIENCE:  USA!  USA!  USA!

THE PRESIDENT:  That is a beautiful phrase.

Getting this massive job done right has required more than 1,500 pieces of heavy equipment; one of the largest cranes anywhere in the world — I look forward to seeing it.  I love cranes.  I loves trucks of all types.  Even when I was a little boy at four years old, my mother would say, “You love trucks.”  I do.  I always loved trucks.  I still do.  Nothing changes.  Sometimes, you know, you might become President but nothing changes.  I still love trucks, especially when I look at the largest crane in the world.  That’s very cool.  Do you think I’ll get to operate it?  I don’t know.  (Applause.)  We’ll put the media on it, and I’ll give them a little ride, right?   (Applause.)

And you have thousands of tons of concrete, aluminum and steel, and nearly 6,000 of the strongest, toughest, and most talented workers anywhere on Earth.  (Applause.)  True.  I know.  It was the Trump administration that made it possible.  No one else.  Without us, you would never have been able to do this.

I want to thank all of our great union members: the boilermakers, carpenters — (applause) — cement finishers — (applause) — electricians — (applause) — iron workers — (applause) — laborers — (applause) — millwrights — (applause) — operators — (applause) — plumbers — (applause) — painters — (applause) — steamfitters; I know them well.

And a group that I’ve used more than anybody that’s ever run for office times 1,000, because in New York City they would drive those cement trucks up to my building and those trucks were always on time, and sometimes they were lined up for six blocks when I was doing different things.  Even when I was doing the Wollman Rink, the city couldn’t build it.  Took them nine years.  They had no idea what they were doing.

And I had that whole big — about 70,000 feet — it’s like a massive office floor — bigger than an office floor.  We did it all in one day, and the trunks were lined up from Central Park all the way back into Harlem.  And they did it all in one day — that pour.  It was called a contiguous pour.  The city used to build little pieces.  A little piece here.  A little piece there.  A little piece here.  A little there.  (Laughter.)  A few years later: a little piece here.  Then they had pipes underneath and the pipes were made out of copper.

And during the evening, things would happen, like the copper would be stolen because it was very valuable.  (Laughter.)  So they’d have a little piece with copper, and then the rest of the pipe they’d lay.  And they’d get ready to pour, and they’d leave, and everybody would steal the copper.  So they — this took place for — I guess, from seven to nine years.  Nobody actually knows.  Nobody wants to talk about it.  (Laughter.)  But those trucks were operated incredibly well, and I never missed a delivery.  And it’s called the “Teamsters.”  (Applause.)

I also want to thank I also want to thank Bechtel, a real incredible company.  We talk about the great builders of the world: President Jack Futcher.  Where is he?  Where is he?  Jack.  Where is Jack?  (Applause.)  Jack.  What a great job you’ve done, Jack.  Some big ones.  Think of it this way, Jack.  If we don’t win, you won’t be doing anything in this country.  (Laughter.)  And, you know, the world follows us.  You see that.  The world follows us.  And it won’t be so good.  But you and I are friends, and you’re going to have a lot of work to do, I think, Jack.  A lot of work.  Thank you, Jack.  Great job.  (Applause.)  Jack has done an incredible job.  That’s an incredible company.  Incredible — they’re incredible builders.

And the Secretary-Treasurer of North America’s Building Trades Unions, Brent Booker.  Where’s Brent?  Brent.  Thank you.  Great job.  (Applause.)  Young guy.  You’re so young, Brent.  How the hell did you get that job?  (Laughter.)  Man.

We’re honored to be joined by two leaders who truly have the backs of American workers.  They’ve become friends of mine.  They do such an incredible job.  They break up the roadblocks.  We have a lot of roadblocks in this country, where you have — a little clause can stop a project.  A little clause can stop it for years.  And we break up those little clauses.  We break them up fast.  Energy Secretary Rick Perry.  Where’s Rick?  Rick?  (Applause.)  Thank you, Rick.  What a great guy.

I had to compete with him.  You know, he wanted to be President.  He was tough.  He was nasty.  Man.  (Laughter.)  He was nasty.  But then he said, “I want to do something great.”  And you have been incredible.  He ran Texas for like 14 years — (applause) — and he did it well.  And now he’s running a little thing called “Energy.”  And nobody has ever done it better.  Thank you, Rick, very much.  Great job.

And a man who has been incredible in every way.  You know, EPA — Environmental Protection Agency.  You’ve heard a lot of horror stories where nothing can get done, nothing gets passed.  It takes years and years and years to get a simple permit.  It can take 20, 21 years to get a road, before they reject it.  How about this?  They go 20 years — 21 years, in certain cases — for a highway or a road.  Not even a highway.  At the end of the 21st year, they vote to reject it.  How would you like to be — you’re a young person, you’re starting out, and you’re all excited about this project.  And it starts off as being a simple, straight road, and then it ends up being a total catastrophe because of nesting and lots of other things that we can take care of.  And it’s 20 years later, and then they reject it.  You’ve devote half of your working life to a rejection.  It happened to many people.

And we have a man that knows how to break it up but he’s also a great lover of the environment: EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.  He’s done an incredible job.  Andrew?  (Applause.)  Great job, Andrew.  Great.  Really great job.

And I also want to recognize some of my great friends that have helped me so much: Congressman John Joyce.  John?  (Applause.)  John.  Where is John?  John.  John, usually you’re in the front row.  I can’t believe this.  I guess you got shut out by the unions.  Look.  (Laughter.)  Thank you, John.  Fantastic job.  John Joyce.  Been a great friend — a great friend of all of us.

Speaker of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives Michael Turzai.  (Applause.)  Michael Turzai.  Thank you.  Michael, great job.  Thank you.  Good to see you, Michael.  Michael Turzai.  Great name in this state, I’ll tell you, for a long time.  How long has it been, Michael?  You’ve been there a long time.  How long?

SPEAKER TURZAI:  (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Okay.  Good luck.  (Laughter.)  It’s not that long.  Thank you, Mike.

And one of my good friends from Beaver County, David Urban.  David.  (Applause.)  David.  Where’s David?  David?  Thank you, David.  Great football player.  Great athlete.  And he was a Trump supporter.  He liked Trump.  And when he liked Trump, nobody was going to get in his way.  Right, David?

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love Trump!

THE PRESIDENT:  (Laughs.)  Thank you.  Thank you.
How are we doing in the state, David?  We looking good?

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Four more years!

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  I appreciate it.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

I think we’re looking very good.  I think we’re looking good all over: in Ohio, in North Carolina, in South Carolina, Florida.  We just got numbers in Florida.  We’re looking fantastically good.

Now, you know, sometimes — and they do.  They do.  They say, “Donald Trump…”  Can you imagine if I got a fair press?  I mean, we’re leading without it.  Can you imagine if these people treated me fairly?  (Applause.)  The election would be over.  Have they ever called off an election before?  Just said, “Look, just — let’s go.  Go on.  Four more years.”

Yeah.  And then, you want to really drive them crazy?  Go to “#thirdterm”; “#fourthterm.”  You’ll drive them totally crazy.  (Laughter.)  I mean, you have one guy on television: “I’m telling you, he’s not leaving.  He’s going to win and then he’s not leaving.  So, in 2024, he won’t leave.  I’m telling you…”  This is a serious person.  These people have gone stone-cold crazy.  (Laughter.)

And we’re grateful especially to the Chairman of Royal Dutch Shell.  That’s big stuff, folks.  You know, I’m a business guy.  When I hear “Royal Dutch Shell” — you know, until I became President, that was like a big deal, but now I don’t view it the same.  (Laughter.)  Once you’re President, nothing seems big.  Right?  Chad Holliday.  Where’s Chad?  (Applause.)  Chad understands it.  That’s a big deal, Chad.  But thank you for coming.  That’s a big deal.  You don’t get any bigger.  That’s an incredible company.

Shell’s U.S. President — you just met her and you know her; everybody knows her, and she’s got a lot of other things in store.  And she’s thanked me for what we’ve done here.  But I said, “Forget this.  We got a lot of jobs.  Let’s do a couple of more fast.  Do them fast.  We’ll get you fast approvals.”  And you may get rejected, you know, if it’s not going to be environmentally good, environmentally sound; if something is going to be wrong.  But we’re not going to take 20 years to reject you, like they did with the pipelines.  It didn’t matter; I approved them.  But that’s okay.

So we have pipelines — (applause) — oh — (applause) — we got plenty of pipeline folks here, don’t we?  Huh?  (Applause.)  I’ll tell you.  Hey, you know, that’s a bigger hand than we got from the Teamsters.  Do you believe that?  No, but, you know, they did that with the pipelines, right?  Keystone XL.  They did it with the pipelines.  Dakota Access Pipeline.  We’re building pipelines.  And if we get the pipelines approved, then you better work.  The EPA is working right now to get them approved in Texas.  And if we can do — we can increase our — we can increase.  We’re now the largest in the world in energy, by far.  But if we get those approved, Andrew — I hope Andrew is listening — EPA.  Andrew, you know what I’m saying, right?  If we get them approved in Texas fast — they said it will take 18 years.  I said, “Could you do it in about a month?”  (Applause.)  Right?

If we get, though — oh, look at those pipeline guys.  They’re so happy.  That’s a lot of jobs.  But, Andrew, if we get them approved fast, we can increase our entire output.  Texas is so big.  And it’s bigger — it turned out to be much bigger.

I also got you ANWR, in Alaska, which may be bigger than everything.  And they couldn’t get it.  Ronald Reagan couldn’t get it.  No President could get it.  And I got it approved, and we’re all set.  And so — (applause) — so we’re all set.

So, Andrew, in Texas, if you can get those pipelines going, you will be so happy.  We’ll have dinner with your family.  I’ll tell them how great you were.  (Laughter.)  Okay?  EPA.  Thank you, Andrew.

So I want to thank, though, Gretchen.  She’s been fantastic.  I also want to thank Vice President of Pennsylvania Chemicals Hilary Mercer.  I want to thank you very much for investing in the people of Pennsylvania.  (Applause.)  Hilary?  Where’s Hilary?  Thank you, Hilary.  (Applause.)  You’re investing in the people of Pennsylvania, so that’s a guarantee, as far as I’m concerned.

For generations, American greatness was forged, and fueled, and won by the extraordinary workers of this region.  This region is an incredible region.

Pennsylvania Steel raised the skyscrapers that built our cities.  And, by the way, steel — steel was dead.  Your business was dead.  Okay?  I don’t want to be overly crude.  Your business was dead.  And I put a little thing called “a 25 percent tariff” on all of the dumped steel all over the country.  And now your business is thriving.  Probably there’s few businesses that have gone proportionately up like steel and aluminum.
We did it with aluminum, too.  But they are doing well — 25 percent and 10 percent on aluminum.

And they still dump, but now the United States takes in billions of dollars and the dumping is much less, and the steel companies are thriving again.

We have to have a steel industry.  We can’t — (applause) — I mean, we need steel for defense.  We need steel — what are we going to do?  We have a little bit of a problem.  We have a little bit of a conflict.  We’ll say, “Listen, China, could you do us a favor?  We need help.  All our steel mills are closed.  Oh, damn it.  Could you send us some steel, please?  We don’t make steel anymore.”

Well, we make it now.  And I’ll tell you what: Those steel mills — U.S. Steel and all of them, all of them — they’re expanding all over the place.  New mills.  New expansions.  We hadn’t have — we didn’t have a new mill built in 30 years, and now we have many of them going up.

Many car plants — they’re coming in from Japan.  I told Prime Minister Abe — great guy.  I said, “Listen, we have a massive deficit with Japan.”  They send thousands and thousands — millions — of cars.  We send them wheat.  Wheat.  (Laughter.)  That’s not a good deal.  And they don’t even want our wheat.  They do it because they want us to at least feel that we’re okay.  You know, they do it to make us feel good.

But the deficit is massive, which — changing rapidly.  But what they’re doing is they’re buying a lot of our stuff, including our military equipment.  They’re building car plants now in the United States — in Michigan, in Pennsylvania.  Many, many of the Japanese car companies are coming over and building car plants in the United States.  It doesn’t fully do the trick, but it helps.  And those deficits will start coming down very substantially.

But we’re losing $78 billion.  For many years, we’re losing billions and billions with these countries.  And, frankly, the countries that we do the worst with are the allies — our allies.  Does that make sense to you?  Our allies take advantage of us far greater than our enemies.  And someday, I’m going to explain that to a lot of people.

Pennsylvania miners.  Do we love our miners?  (Applause.)  They lit up our towns and powered our industries.  And Pennsylvania factory workers made the American brand into the universal symbol of excellence all around the world — all over.

But, in recent decades, the loyalty of Pennsylvania workers was repaid only with betrayal.  They betrayed you.  They let your companies move to Mexico, to Canada, to China, to many other places.  We ended up with no income and massive unemployment.  Well, right now, our employment has reached the lowest level that it’s seen since the 1960s, and we’ll soon be breaking that record, I predict.  (Applause.)

And you’ve heard me say it, but now it’s even better.  Numbers just came out.  African American unemployment — lowest in history.  (Applause.)  Asian American, Hispanic American — lowest in the history of our country.  Women — lowest in 70 years.  (Applause.)  Sorry, women.  I let you down again.  Think of it: Lowest in 70 years, and I have to apologize to women.  But soon we’re going to have that — that will be a record very soon.  We’re very close to saying “lowest in history” for women — unemployment.

Today, we have more workers working in the United States than — almost 160 million — than at any time in the history of our country.  Think of that.  That’s a hell of a stat.  (Applause.)

The political class in Washington gutted your factories with horrendous trade deals — horrible.  NAFTA — one of the worst trade deals ever.  By the way, World Trade Organization, it made China.  China made themselves.  They did a good job.  But they ripped off our country for years, and with our money and World Trade Organization backing.  And then they took advantage of the rules of the World Trade Organization.  And I’m being nice when I say “took advantage.”  Much more than “took advantage.”  They went up like a rocket ship.  They were flat-lined for 100 years.  And then, one day, World Trade Organization — a terrible move.

And, you know, we were losing all our cases until I came along.  We were losing all our cases in the World Trade Organization.  Almost every case, we were — lost, lost, lost.  They thought we were stupid.  They were the ones ruling.

And then I came along.  Now we’re winning a lot of cases because they know that they’re not on very solid ground.  We will leave, if we have to.  And all of the sudden, we’re winning a lot of cases.  We’re winning most of our cases.  And it’s only because of attitude, because we know that they have been screwing us for years.  And it’s not going to happen any longer.  They get it.  They get it.  So they’re giving us victories.  They’re giving us victories.  (Applause.)

And I’d like to use a different word, but there’s no word that’s quite as —

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Right?  There’s no word that’s quite as descriptive.  I’d like to.  But that’s exactly what they were doing.  They were taking advantage of us for years and years.  And now they understand that if it’s not going to be fair, it’s not going to be at all.  We don’t need it.  We don’t need it.

So, a lot of good things.  And I think we will — I think they will treat us fairly.  I mean, the concept should work.  But people have taken advantage.

Like, for instance, they view certain countries — like China, India, many countries — for a long time, they viewed them as “they’re growing.”  Right?  They’re “growing nations.”  We’re a “mature nation.”  They’re growing.  These are “growing nations.”

Well, they’ve grown.  And they had tremendous advantages.  But we’re not letting that happen anymore, okay?  We’re not letting that happen anymore.  Everybody is growing but us.  You know, they’re all “growing nations.”  We have to work with them, but nobody ever wants to work with the United States.  It’s a disgrace.  But it’s changing, and it’s changing fast.

And I think it’s the primary reason, probably, that I ran for President.  (Applause.)  I’d see these factories all over the country, and I’d see them empty, and I’d see the jobs going to other countries.  And I just never understood why the politicians didn’t do anything about it.  But now we’re doing it.

And, by the way, the USMCA — that’s Mexico and Canada — that deal is a fantastic deal.  And it’s a great deal for your unions, too.  We have the farmers, the unions, the manufacturers.  It’s good for everybody.  We have to get the Democrats to put it up for a vote.  And most Democrats are going to vote for it, too.  They’re under a lot of pressure to vote for it.

But that replaces one of the worst trade deals ever made, which is NAFTA.

But I watched them crush your industries with taxes and regulations, and they targeted American energy for total destruction.  You weren’t going to be able to take anything out.  That’s our gold.  That’s gold underneath our feet.  And they weren’t going to allow it to happen.

The Paris Accord: The Paris Accord was good for other countries.  It wasn’t good for us.

All the while, they expected you to stay on the sidelines, silence your voices, and surrender the future of our nation.  And you didn’t do it, but you didn’t have the right people representing you, so it didn’t matter.  But when you finally had the right person — the person that really cared — because let me tell — this thing is costing me a fortune, being President.  Somebody said, “Oh, he might have rented a room for — to a man from Saudi Arabia for $500.”  What about the $5 billion that I’ll lose?  You know, it’s probably going to cost me — including upside, downside, lawyers — because every day, they sue me for something.  (Laughter.)  These are the most litigious people.  It’s probably costing me from 3 to 5 billion for the privilege of being — and I couldn’t care less.  I don’t care.  You know, if you’re wealthy, it doesn’t matter.  I just want to do a great job.  That’s why — I don’t care.  I want to do the right job.

When this great building company comes here and wants to build a plant, I want to make it easy for them, not hard for them.  I’m not jealous of them.  I couldn’t care less.  Bechtel.  (Applause.)  I’m not jealous of them.

I got sued on a thing called “emoluments.”  Emoluments.  You ever hear the word?  Nobody ever heard of it before.  They went back.  Now, nobody looks at Obama getting $60 million for a book.  That’s okay.  Even though nobody in history ever got that money for a book.  Obama got $60 million.  Think of it: $60 million for a book.  Nobody looks — nobody looks at any —

But with me, it’s everything.  Emoluments.  Nobody knows what it is.  Here’s the good news: Last month, I just won two cases on emoluments.  And the judge was scolding of the other side.  And what it is, is presidential harassment because this thing is costing me a fortune, and I love it, okay?  I love it because I’m making the lives of other people much, much better.  (Applause.)
And each of you here today is living proof that America never surrenders.  We don’t surrender.  And we were in bad shape.  This area was in really bad shape.  And now you look outside, and you say, “That’s like the eighth wonder of the world.”

Under my administration, we’re fighting back and we’re winning because we are truly and finally putting America first.  (Applause.)  After years of building up foreign countries, we are finally building up our country.  Think of it, we protect the border of South Korea, but we don’t protect our own border.  But now we are.

And the wall is being built.  We won that case two weeks ago.  (Applause.)  We won that case.  The wall is being — and we’re going to have a lot of it.  We’re going to have anywhere from 400 to 500 miles built by the end of next year.  We’re building a lot of wall and we need it.  We need it.  We want people to come into our country.  They have to come in legally and we want them to come in through merit.  (Applause.)

The last administration tried to shut down Pennsylvania coal and Pennsylvania fracking.  If they got in, your fracking is gone, your coal is gone, you guys — I don’t know what the hell you’re going to do.  You don’t want to make widgets, right?  (Laughter.)  You don’t want to make — do you want to learn how to make a computer?  A little tiny piece of stuff you put in with those big, beautiful hands of yours.  (Laughter.)  They’re going to take these big hands — he’s going to take this little tiny part.  (Laughter.)  He’s going to go home, “Alice, this is a tough job.”  (Laughter.)  No, you want to make steel and you want to dig coal, and that’s what you want to do.

I was in West Virginia when Hillary made that terrible statement that she wants to close up all of the coal.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  She forgot: In three weeks, she was going to West Virginia.  Remember, she wanted to close up all coal.  She was in an area where they didn’t do the coal.  And she said, “Well, I look forward to closing up all coal.  It’s going to be closed.  Steel — going to be in big trouble.”  She forgot: In three weeks, she was going to West Virginia.  That didn’t work out too well.  (Laughter.)  I won that one by 42 points.  Forty-two points.  West Virginia.  (Applause.)

And I actually think, this time, we have a good chance of winning Virginia, which is a tough one to win because, you know, you have some people there that maybe don’t agree with us.  But I think we have a really good chance of Virginia, too, which is something that hasn’t been won by a Republican in a long time.  But it’s common sense.  Some — a lot of this is — you know, they say, politics — politics — great politics is common sense.

But on my first day in office, I ended the war on American energy.  And that’s common sense, I think.  You know, that’s common sense.  (Applause.)

We’re lucky.  You go to places like China, they don’t have oil and gas.  They don’t have it under their — they have to go buy it and then they devalue their currency and manipulate their currency.  And that costs them a fortune to go out and buy it.  They hurt themselves in the long run.  But they’re devaluing all over the place, as others are.

But we have this unbelievable — the greatest in the world.  We have the greatest resources, which really came about over the last few years.  Nobody knew this.  Fracking made it possible.  Other new technologies made it possible.  And now we’re the number-one — think of it, as I said — the number-one energy producer in the world.

I’m so proud of that because we wouldn’t have been number five.  They were going to close it up.  They were going to close it up.  And it’s common sense.  They wanted to take away our wealth.

That’s what the Paris Accord would have done.  It would have taken away our wealth.  It wasn’t for us; it was good for others.  It wasn’t for us.  We had to pay money to other countries that are very substantial countries.  They wanted to take away your wealth.  They didn’t want you to drill.  They didn’t want you to frack.  They didn’t want you to do steel.  They wanted to take away your wealth.

Now, the press will try and spin that differently, but I’m right, okay?  The fake news.  (Applause.)  That’s a lot of people back there for a — like an 11 o’clock speech.  That’s a lot of people.  (Laughter.)  That’s a lot.  That’s like the Academy Awards during the day.  (Laughter.)

It used to be.  You know, the Academy Awards is on hard times now.  You know that.  Nobody wants to watch it.  You know, why?  Because they started taking us on.  Everyone got tired of it.  It’s amazing.  That used to be second after the Super Bowl, and then, all of a sudden, now it’s just another show because people got tired of people getting up and making fools of themselves and disrespecting the people in this room and the people that won the election in 2016 — (applause) — and the people that won the Senate, without me on the ticket, in 2018.

You know, they never say that.  We won the Senate.  That’s why we’ll have appointed, within two months, 179 federal judges and two Supreme Court judges.  Think of that: 179.  (Applause.)  But they don’t say we won the Senate; they say we lost the House.  And, you know, there were a lot of people running for the House; it’s hard for me to campaign.  But almost everybody I campaigned for won.  We had tremendous records in ’18 and I wasn’t running.  There’s a big difference.  In 2020, we’re running, so you better get out there and make sure we win.  (Applause.)

And we have a record that nobody’s ever had.  Remember, when I was running, I was saying, “We’re going to do this.  We’re going to create jobs.”  Everyone — you know, big yawn.  And, you know, we like — “Let’s give him a shot.  What do we have to lose, right?”

I said that with African Americans.  They had the worst crime rates, the worst education, the worst everything.  They had like 10 things — I’m reading it off a list.  I looked — I said, “What the hell do you have to lose?”

But I really sort of said the same thing to everybody because our country wasn’t doing well with Biden and Obama.  It wasn’t doing well.  And they were pouring money in — pouring, pouring money in.  And it wasn’t doing well.

Even now, you know, you see the interest rates.  I’m paying a normalized interest rate.  We should be paying less, frankly.  This guy has made a big mistake.  He’s made a big mistake — the head of the Fed.  That was another beauty that I chose.  But even with that, we’re paying a normalized interest rate.

The nice thing is you get some interest from the bank.  With President Obama, he was paying nothing.  It’s easy to make money when you you’re paying nothing; you’re paying zero.  Easy.  But even with that, our economy is roaring and his wasn’t.  It was the weakest economy since the Great Depression.  The weakest up.

So we have it going.  Our country now has the hottest economy anywhere in the world.  Every time a prime minister, president, king, queen, dictator, whatever they may be — some are sort of mutual.  Some you have presidents and prime ministers who are actually dictators.  But they come in and they see me at the Oval Office, they always say — almost everybody — “Congratulations on your incredible economy.  What you’ve done is incredible: the tax cuts, the regulation cuts, all of the things we’ve done.”

And they were all saying — and they want to try and copy us.  It’s not easy to copy us. And part of the reason it’s not easy is because of the people like this, all over the country — the people in this room.  You are incredible people.  That was an incredible win.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Incredible.  Incredible people.  Incredible people.

And here in the Appalachian region, where the Marcellus and Utica shale formations generate one-third of American natural gas — think of that.  You’ve been sitting on this for a long time, and yet, look at the numbers.  Look at the way you lived.  Because you never had anybody that wanted to take advantage of it, but now we’re taking advantage of it.  You’re sitting on gold, and we’re taking advantage of it.  And your future has never looked brighter or better.  It’s so great that you stayed, because you suffered.  This whole region — Appalachia.  The whole re- — it just suffered, this whole region, with great people — the greatest people.  And you suffered.

When this plant opens, 600 American workers will get the fulltime jobs, with quality healthcare, pensions, and great pay to support a family.  And you have — I said before — almost 2,000 construction workers.  And you’re going to another plant because we’re going to talk to Bechtel after this, and we’re talking to Shell.  I mean, you got the boss from Shell.  You people don’t realize, that’s a big deal.  I don’t know where the hell he comes from.  Where are you based?  It’s not in this country.  Hey, how about moving Shell to the United States?  (Applause.)  Well, we’re ready if you are.  Just let me know.  But they have their big USA division.  But that’s a great company.  It’s a big deal.  And that you’re here is a big deal.  That’s a big deal to me, and it’s a big deal to everybody in this room.  (Applause.)  You have the top man — top man at Shell.

But this is just the beginning.  My administration is clearing the way for other massive, multi-billion-dollar investments.  We just did one in Louisiana.  It’s a 10-billion-dollar plant.  There’s more pipes in that plant that I’ve ever seen in my life.  There’s more plant — you know that.  LNG.  It’s an LNG plant.  Ten billion dollars.  And we’re now — it’s totally sold out.  They sell it like you rent office space.  Can you believe it?  It’s all sold out.

All over the world, people have used it.  And you haven’t had a plant like that built in this country, really, ever, because there’s never been anything that big.  But you didn’t build plants like that because, environmentally, they weren’t letting you.  And yet, environmentally, it’s so good what they’ve done and what they can build today.

Investments that could bring more than 100,000 new jobs to this region are now being looked at very seriously.  And I think the hundred-thousand-doll- — I really do.  I feel the hundred thousand jobs, Andrew, is going to be a very low number.  I think you’re going to have many more.  This is an incredible region.  You’re sitting on top of something special.  It’s all fueled by the greatest treasure on the planet: American energy.  And we don’t want people taking that away from us.

Two more companies have recently proposed a 10-billion-dollar investment in the great state of Ohio.  Incredible state.  (Applause.)  We have tens of billions of dollars’ worth of investments, and this is really good stuff that we’re now negotiating.  But these two are in Ohio.  The energy revolution is also creating new jobs in West Virginia, [New] Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, all across our beautiful land.  You have no idea what’s going on, including, as I said before, car companies.  We didn’t make cars.  Look, we lost 32 percent of our car companies to Mexico — before I got there, by the way.  Now it’s very, very hard to do that anymore.  Nobody is going to be looking that way, I don’t think.

And I want to thank Mexico because the President now has been great, and he’s got 27,000 soldiers on our southern border and on his border with Guatemala, keeping our borders safe.  (Applause.)  Our numbers are plummeting — the people coming in — (applause) — all because the Democrats won’t approve fixing the loopholes and asylum.  So, I want to thank Mexico.  It’s incredible.  We have close to 27,000 — so, you think of that.  We never had three.  I think we had about two and a half soldiers.  One was sitting down all the time.  We had nobody.

And don’t forget, the southern border is 2,000 miles, from the Gulf to the Pacific.  We have 27,000, and they’re doing a great job.  And they’re helping themselves too because they’re disrupting and really hurting the cartels.  So much of that stuff is run illegally by the cartels: human trafficking, drugs, people.  It’s terrible.  And Mexico, I’ll tell you, they’re — so far.  I hope they’re going to keep it up.  I hope they’re going to keep it up.  But they’ve been great.  And 27,000 people.  They wouldn’t have done that for any other President, that I can tell you.  That I can tell you.

With us today are a few of the hardworking Pennsylvania patriots who are making this comeback possible.

Jason Eckhart is the third generation of his family to work on these grounds.  And he’s doing better than any of them.  His father and — by the way, three years ago, you wouldn’t have said that.  Three years ago, his father would say, “Hey, I had it made.”  His grandparents would say, “We had it made.”  Now he can look at them and say, “Dad, we have it made.”

His father and grandfather worked for the zinc smelting company previously housed at this site.  When that plant closed in 2014, 500 jobs disappeared — like magic.  Remember President Obama, “You need magic to bring back manufacturing jobs.  You need a magic wand.”  You remember?  “Not going to happen.”  Well, so far, we’ve brought back 600,000 manufacturing jobs.  (Applause.)

And Jason never imagined he would get the chance to carry on his family’s legacy. But now, he has.  He is carrying it on, and he’s carrying it on proudly.  He’s a great American.  Jason — where are you, Jason?  Jason.  Jason.  Come on up, Jason.  Come on.  Let’s get Jason up.  (Applause.)  Come on up.  Jason.  I’d like Jason to tell us what this great facility means to him and to his family.  Thank you.

Jason, come tell us what this facility means to you.

MR. ECKHART:  Thank you, Mr. President.  (Applause.)

It’s been amazing to see the transformation on this site, from a 100-year-old zinc smelter to a state-of-the-art petrochem facility.  I’m very proud to be part of Pennsylvania Chemicals, to redevelop this site, and create the jobs in Western Pennsylvania for all of you.  (Applause.)

And it’s very exciting to think about what we have to come, starting this place up and having jobs into the future for our families.

As a native from this area — I’m from right here in Center Township — I can appreciate how much this means to the area.  I’m really proud to be a part of this and be proud of all you guys.  Thanks.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Jason.  Great.  Did you enjoy doing that, Jason?  Huh?  I think so.  You had a big group of people back here that likes you a lot.  They’re giving him a hard time back there, right?  His friends.  Thanks, Jason.

Heather Michaux grew up here in Beaver County, and has been working for Shell in other states for several years.  Now she can raise her family right near her parents and loved ones, and actually be home, where she wants to be and where she belongs.

Heather, please come up and tell us about your journey.  (Applause.)

MS. MICHAUX:  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

MS. MICHAUX:  So, for me, when Shell announced that we were going to be building a facility in Beaver County, I was in Texas and I was so excited — but not just for me getting to further my career and move home; I was excited for all the possibilities that had opened up for my hometown.  I was excited because I recognized the potential that a place like this has, for us to be able to hone our existing skills and to gain new ones, too.

So I knew that we, the hardworking people of Western Pennsylvania — and other places in the U.S., too — would now have this fresh opportunity and would take advantage of it.  And that’s the opportunity that I see the thousands of you folks taking advantage of now — not only today, but we’re also creating something that is going to well outlive us by building this site.  And I am really proud to be a part of that legacy, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Great job.  Thank you.  She’ll be running for office soon.  (Laughter.)  Fantastic job.

Samantha Polizotto was a single mom working full-time when she learned about process technology training programs at the local community college, funded by Shell.  She became the first woman to graduate from that program, and she made the Dean’s List.  That’s pretty good.  Now she’s leading the way as one of the very first production operators hired here at Shell.

Samantha, please come up and say a few words.  Please.  (Applause.)

MS. POLIZOTTO:  Growing up in Beaver County, I can recall people talking of the “good old days,” when steel mills were running and, often, people were born and spent their whole lives in the same town.  Local families had multiple generations working the same industry and, in many cases, the same companies.

This was a fact for our parents.  But with the fall of the steel mills in this area, it began to see a period of stagnation.  Hardworking men and women in this area, full of pride, still lace up their work boots, driving by the vacant skeletons of the old mills and refineries, holding onto the hope that, one day, this area would see its former glory.

The announcement of Shell Pennsylvania Chemicals Plant seems to have kindled that spark within the community.  It has provided an opportunity for steady employment for many different skilled tradesmen, emptying many of the local union halls.

As a young woman, this has also afforded me an incredible opportunity to come into the ground floor of an unprecedented project.  In school, I chose a field far different than many of my female colleagues.  Process technology is a focused area of studies around production and operations.

Predominantly male-dominated careers, I knew there would be challenges as I entered the workforce.  Being a mother and a wife, I must balance my responsibilities at work and at home.  The challenges I have faced have been softened by a network of support that has been given to me not only by my family, but also through the Community College of Beaver County, my coworkers, and, now, the culture of care at Shell.  I am proud to play a role in this project, as it restores this area and makes Beaver County great again.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Samantha.  That was a great job.  Thank you.

To help create more opportunities for workers like Jason, Heather, and Samantha, my administration started the Pledge to America’s Workers.  Our partners are providing over 12 million training and enhanced career opportunities to American workers.  And my daughter, Ivanka, is working so hard on it.  She’s done a great job.  Twelve million people, so far, have been positively affected.

Today, I’m pleased to announce that Shell is signing the Pledge to America’s Workers to provide enhanced career opportunities.  By the way, Shell, thank you.  (Applause.)  They’re providing career opportunities to 3,300 workers over five years, right here in Western Pennsylvania.  That’s great.  Thank you, fellas.  Thank you very much.  And thank you, Hilary, for that tremendous commitment that you’ve made.  We really appreciate it.  Fantastic job.

Under this administration, we live by two very simple words: Buy American.  That’s what we want.  I’m going to add something: “Hire American.”  It’s about hiring American, buying American.  It’s about “America First.”  It’s about “Make America Great Again.”  It’s about “Keep America Great.”  (Applause.)

Despite all of this exceptional progress, however, some politicians in this country still want to keep America’s vast energy treasures buried deep underground and let other nations take advantage of our country.  Not happening anymore.

They see factories like this one not as a cause for celebration, but for condemnation.  Democrats in Congress are pushing hard for the Green New Deal.  How about that one?  Green New Deal.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Where it puts everybody in this room out of work — hate to tell you — and a lot more people.  Everybody out of work.  And other — but I don’t want to speak badly about it.  You know, you’ve heard me say this: I want to encourage them.  That should be their platform.  (Laughter.)  I don’t want to do it too early.  I did it very early, with Pocahontas; I should have probably waited.  She’s staging a comeback on Sleepy Joe.  (Laughter.)  I don’t know who’s going to win, but we’ll have to hit Pocahontas very hard again if she does win.  But she’s staging a little bit of a comeback.

What a group: Pocahontas and Sleepy Joe.  (Laughter.)  I don’t think they give a damn about Western Pennsylvania, do you?

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  I don’t think so.  And other radical plans to wipe out our coal.  That’s what they want.  They want to wipe out our oil.  They want to wipe out our natural gas industries, while allowing other countries to steal our jobs.

Virtually every leading Democrat has vowed to eliminate fossil fuels, obliterating millions of American jobs, devastating communities, and bankrupting factories, families, and senior citizens all across this region.

And, by the way, this is only fuel that has the power for plants.  When you have to steam up and you have to fuel up on these giant plants, these giant generators, these giant electrical factories, you need what you’re doing.  You need this.  It’s got the power.  The other doesn’t have the power; certainly not yet.  Probably never will.

And we’re not taking chances.  And we have the cleanest air and water we’ve ever had in our country right now.  The cleanest we’ve ever had.  And we’re going to keep it that way.  (Applause.)

But we’re never going to allow other countries and outside sources to take away our great wealth, because that’s what they want to do.  They want to take away our wealth, take away our jobs.  We’re not going to let it happen.

To see the destructive results of the far-left’s energy nightmare, just compare the enormous success here in Pennsylvania with the tremendous folly happening right across a line — a little line — ina New York.  Both states have vast energy reserves, but New York prohibits development while Pennsylvania welcomes it.

From 2010 to 2017, natural gas production plummeted by nearly 70 percent in New York, but it soared almost 1,000 percent in Pennsylvania.  And New York won’t allow us to build a pipeline across because New York is sort of a long state and we can’t have pipelines going across, helping a region that’s not a wealthy region at all.  They have a lot of economic problems.  People are leaving, left and right.

We want to get it over to the waters.  We want to get it over to the oceans.  We want to get it up to New England, where they have the highest energy costs anywhere in the United States.  We can’t get energy because New York doesn’t allow the pipelines to go through.  And that’s going to be very costly for New York, ultimately.

As a result, families in Pennsylvania shale country got more jobs, billions of dollars in royalty payments, and wages that are significantly higher compared to their neighbors just across the state line.

Meanwhile, families in New York — I love New York; that’s where I’m from.  Probably, most of you don’t know that.  (Laughter.)  That’s where I’m from.  They’re burdened with more power outages and electricity rates — you never saw anything like this — that are much, much higher than neighboring states and than your state.  New York energy rates are through the roof.  New England, through the roof.  A lot of it has to do with the fact that we can’t get pipelines through New York.  New York won’t let us.  They won’t let us.

All New York likes to do is sue me.  They like to sue me.  (Laughter.)  They’re always suing.  I said, “Which lawyer is handling that case?”  No, they sue me for everything so they can try to stop us by any means possible.  The radical Left wants to do to America what they’ve done to New York: raise prices, kill jobs, and leave our nation less independent and far less secure.

My vision is the exact opposite.  And we want to work with New York and we want to help New York.  They need jobs in New York so badly.

You know, they talk about the environment.  So you have the state line, and over here you have machinery fracking.  And over here you have nothing, except poverty.  Over here you have people driving new cars and nice cars.  And over here you have cars that are 40 years old.  Now, what does that have to do with the environment?  It’s the same.  It’s an artificial line.

And I wonder what happens when they get down there.  What happens?  I just wonder, is New York losing its wealth?  You know what I’m talking about, right?  What happens when those lines go down and they can go in any direction now?  The equipment is so incredible.

So, hopefully, we can help New York.  I want to help New York so much.  We will never allow ourselves to be at the mercy of foreign energy suppliers.  And that’s what’s fighting us.  They don’t want us to have great energy.  They’ve made a fortune selling us energy.

You probably saw the Straits the other day.  Very few American boats are there.  They capture — Iran, I broke up that deal.  That was a good thing to do.  It’s a whole different country right now.  (Applause.)

But they’re capturing boats from other countries.  They’re not taking our boats.  And one of the things that was brought up by the media, actually — and wisely and correctly brought out — we have very few boats going there anymore because we have our own oil and gas.  We don’t need it from the Middle East anymore.  (Applause.)

And that’s why we’re pursuing a future not only of energy independence — but not just words.  You know, you’ve been hearing “energy independence” for years and years, and you’d hear it.  We have real independence.  But what we want now is not independence; we want American energy dominance.  Dominance.  (Applause.)

Instead of relying on foreign countries, we are now relying on American producers.  And we are relying on American workers to build our own future right here on American soil.  It’s time.  (Applause.)

And together, we’re defending the oil and gas workers who light up our cities and uplift our communities.  We’re fighting for the technicians and construction workers here in Beaver County who are building a powerful engine of American commerce.  There’s no place like what you’re seeing right outside these doors.  There is no place like it.

We’re here once again to stand up for the engineers and the factory workers who will shape the work of your hands into American-made products sold all over the world.  That’s what’s going to happen.  That’s what you’re producing.

And everyday patriots who make this all possible, you are the backbone of America.  The absolute backbone.  And you haven’t been given the honor of having that said by other people.  But you are the backbone of this country.  (Applause.)  It’s true.  So true.

You are the ones who work hard, pay your taxes, build your neighborhoods, obey our laws, safeguard our values, raise up your children, make this land the greatest nation ever to exist on the face of the Earth.  You are the ones who do it.  We work with a lot of people, but you are there and you are doing it.  You’ve always been loyal to America, and now you finally have a President of the United States who is loyal to you.  (Applause.)

Our vision is pro-worker, pro-jobs, pro-family, pro-growth, pro-energy, and 100 percent pro-American.  (Applause.)

And we’re taking care of our military, and we’re taking care of our vets.  Veterans Choice: You’ve been hearing it about for 45 years.  I got it approved.  Veterans Choice.  We’re taking care of our veterans.  We’re taking care of our military like never, ever before.  (Applause.)

Because Americans can do anything, go anywhere, and outperform anyone.  Nobody can beat us.  Nothing can stop us because winning is what Americans do.  Winning is what we know best.  We will keep winning, wining, winning.

And I used to tell you the story about winning.  I used to say that your great leaders would come to Washington and they would say, “President, we’re winning too much.  We can’t take it anymore.  The people of Pennsylvania cannot stand winning.  We haven’t won for years and years and now we’re winning too much.  Mr. President, please, for the good of the people of Pennsylvania, stop winning.  Stop creating all these jobs.  Stop creating all this product.  Please, sir.  Please, stop winning.”

And I said to them, and I will say to them, “We’re never going to stop winning because nobody has ever won like what’s happened over the last couple of years.  Nobody has ever won like you’re winning.”  I’ve more than fulfilled my promises.  Even they said, “He promised things, and he actually produced more than he promised.”  That’s true.  But we’re going to produce more and more.

I just want to thank everybody.  With your help, factory floors across this land are once more crackling with life.  (Applause.)  Our steel mills are fired up and blazing bright.  The assembly lines are roaring.  Industry is booming.  And the hearts of our workers, the American spirit, is soaring higher, stronger, freer, and greater than ever before.

I want to thank you all for giving this nation your very best.  And your very best cannot be beaten.  I want to thank you for filling America with pride.  We are proud of you.  We think you are just incredible, incredible people.  And it’s an honor for me to be with you in Pennsylvania.

Thank you very much.  God bless you.  (Applause.)  God bless you.

END

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-american-energy-manufacturing-monaco-pa/

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The Pronk Pops Show 1305, August 12, 2019, Story 1: Just In Time — Incompetent Involuntary Government Assisted Suicide of Jeffrey Epstein — Let The Conspiracy Theories Flourish –Massive Corruption of Justice — Videos — Story 2: FBI Agents Raid Epstein’s Little St. James aka “Pedophile Island” in U.S. Virgin Island — Videos — Story 3: Police and Protesters At Hong Kong Airport Clash As Communist China Masses Troops For Possible Intervention To Restore Order and Stability in Hong Kong — Videos

Posted on August 14, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Business, Cartoons, China, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Disasters, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Foreign Policy, Freedom of Speech, History, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Investments, Language, Law, Legal Drugs, Life, Lying, Media, Mental Illness, National Interest, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Radio, Rape, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Rule of Law, Scandals, Senate, Sexual Harrasment, Social Networking, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1305 August 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1304 August 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1303 August 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1302 August 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1301 August 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1300 August 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1299 July 31, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1298 July 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1297 July 29, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1296 July 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1295 July 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1294 July 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1293 July 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1292 July 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1291 July 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1290 July 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1289 July 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1288 July 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1287 July 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1286 July 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1285 July 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1284 July 2, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1283 July 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1282 June 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1281 June 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1280 June 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1279 June 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1278 June 20, 2019 

Pronk Pops Show 1277 June 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1276 June 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1275 June 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1274 June 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1273 June 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1272 June 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1271 June 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1270 June 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1269 June 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1268 June 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1267 May 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1266 May 29, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1265 May 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1264 May 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1263 May 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1262 May 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1261 May 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1260 May 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1259 May 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1258 May 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1257 May 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1256 May 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1255 May 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1254 May 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1253 May 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1252 May 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1251 May 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1250 May 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1249 May 2, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1248 May 1, 2019

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Story 1: Just In Time — Incompetent Involuntary Government Assisted Suicide of Jeffrey Epstein — Let The Conspiracy Theories Flourish — Massive Corruption of Justice — Videos

See the source image

Rudy Giuliani on Epstein’s ‘mind-boggling’ death: It’s impossible

Jeffery Epstein dies by suicide at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan

Demands for justice after Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide

FBI and Justice Department investigate Jeffrey Epstein’s death l ABC News

Jeffrey Epstein’s apparent suicide leads to an FBI investigation

Bill Barr Says There Will Be Accountability For Epstein’s Death

Jeffrey Epstein’s death prompts conspiracy theories

Jeffrey Epstein’s death deepens multiple lingering mysteries

Conspiracy theories build after Jeffrey Epstein ‘suicide’

Matt Whitaker: ‘Serious questions’ raised by Epstein’s death

The Five 8/12/19 | Breaking Fox News August 12, 2019

The Years-Long Case Against Sex Offender Jeffrey Epstein | NBC News Now

Documentary: Who is Jeffrey Epstein, accused of sexually abusing teen girls?

Jeffrey Epstein Accuser Shares Story Of Alleged Rape For 1st Time | TODAY

How Trump is fuelling anger over Jeffrey Epstein’s death

 

The security lapses at the jail where Jeffrey Epstein killed himself: How a guard took a bribe from a Turkish gold dealer and how a Wikileaks leaker managed to share new information from phones smuggled into his cell

  • Jeffrey Epstein was found alone and unresponsive in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan early Saturday 
  • He w