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The Pronk Pops Show 1155, October 12, 2018, Breaking News — Story 1: Pastor Andrew Brunson After Two Years Held By Turkey For Alledgedly Abetting Terrorist Groups and Espionage,  Convicted, Sentence Commuted and Freed To Go Home — Videos — Story 2: Missing Journalist Presumed Killed By Saudi Government — Death To Dissenters — Videos — Story 3: Major Security Breach at Facebook — Videos — Story 4: President Trump Celebrates Columbus Day? — Happy Columbus Day — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1155 October 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1154 October 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1153 October 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1152 October 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1151 October 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1150 October 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1149, October 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1148, September 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1147, September 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1146, September 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1145, September 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1144, September 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1143, September 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1142, September 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1141, September 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1140, September 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1139, September 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1138, September 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1137, September 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1136, September 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1135, September 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1134, September 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1133, August 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1132, August 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1131, August 27, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1130, August 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1129, August 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1128, August 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1127, August 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1126, August 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1125, August 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1124, August 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1123, August 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1122, August 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1121, August 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1120, August 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1119, August 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1118, August 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1117, July 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1116, July 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1115, July 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1114, July 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1113, July 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1112, July 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1111, July 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1110, July 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1109, July 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1108, July 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1107, July 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1106, July 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1105, July 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1104, July 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1103, July 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1102, JUly 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1101, July 2, 2018

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Story 1: Pastor Andrew Brunson After Two Years Held By Turkey For Alledgedly Abetting Terrorist Groups and Espionage,  Convicted, Sentence Commuted and Freed To Go Home — Videos —

Special Report w/ Bret Baier 10/12/18 | Breaking Fox News Today | October 12, 2018

Turkish court releases Pastor Brunson from house arrest

Turkish court frees American pastor Andrew Brunson

Turkey: US pastor Andrew Brunson returns to house after release by court

US pastor Andrew Brunson leaves Turkey

Trump says freed Christian pastor Andrew Brunson could meet with him in the Oval Office as soon as TOMORROW after Turkish court freed him following ‘terrorism’ arrest

  • Andrew Brunson faced life in jail if convicted of terror charges and espionage
  • The pastor, originally from North Carolina, had lived in Turkey for 20 years
  • President Donald Trump has said on Twitter that Turkey must free Brunson, 50
  • Trump’s tariff on Turkish steel and aluminum imports triggered a currency crisis
  • President now says Brunson will meet him in the Oval Office, perhaps Saturday
  • He insisted no deal was struck for Brunson’s release 

Traveling in Ohio, President Donald Trump told reporters that it was ‘good news’ and he understands that Brunson is ‘in good shape.’  Trump has long pressed Turkey for the pastor’s release.

‘He’s going to be coming to the Oval Office, most likely on Saturday,’ the president said in Ohio. ‘But we’re very honored to have him back here with us. He suffered greatly but we’re very appreciative of a lot of people, a lot of people.’

US pastor Brunson arrives at Adnan Menderes airport in Izmir, after being freed

US pastor Brunson arrives at Adnan Menderes airport in Izmir, after being freed

US pastor Andrew Craig Brunson (down L), is escorted to his home in Izmir, Turkey, before heading to the airport to board a US military plane to begin his journey back to the United States after a court freed him

US pastor Andrew Craig Brunson (down L), is escorted to his home in Izmir, Turkey, before heading to the airport to board a US military plane to begin his journey back to the United States after a court freed him

‘We went through a system and we got him out. We tried to get him out for a long time. This has nothing to do with anything and there’s no deal there at all, there’s no deal,’ he insisted.

The White House said it was still ‘deeply concerned about the continued detention of other United States citizens in Turkey and around the world, and urge the resolution of all these cases in a transparent and fair manner.’

The Turkish court’s decision to lift judicial controls meant that evangelical pastor Brunson, at the heart of a diplomatic spat between the two countries, can leave Turkey and return to the United States.

The trial of pastor Andrew Craig Brunson (pictured), which has huge implications for U.S.-Turkey relations, ended Friday with an order to release him – a move that allows him to leave the country

President Donald Trump told reporters in Ohio that Brunson will soon meet with him in the Oval Office

The White House said that despite the release of Brunson (shown in the back seat) it was still 'deeply concerned about the continued detention of other United States citizens in Turkey and around the world, and urge the resolution of all these cases in a transparent and fair manner.'

Brunson’s arrest in 2016 sparked a diplomatic dispute between Turkey and the Trump administration, which had threatened new sanctions against the Erdogan government.

President Donald Trump tweeted – after international press reported the verdict – that he was ‘[w]orking very hard on Pastor Brunson!’

He later added in a second tweet: ‘My thoughts and prayers are with Pastor Brunson, and we hope to have him safely back home soon!’

And then a third hit Twitter: ‘PASTOR BRUNSON JUST RELEASED. WILL BE HOME SOON!’

Fahrettin Altun, communications director for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, insisted that Turkish courts are independent from governments, including Trump’s.

‘We would like to remind him once again that Turkey is a democratic country with the rule of law, and that Turkish courts are independent, he told reporters. ‘No body, authority, office or person may issue orders or instructions to the courts or to judges in the exercise of their powers.’

Pamela Brunson, 75, the mother of the pastor, was at her home in Black Mountain, a town in North Carolina near Asheville, when she learned of the news from a Reuters reporter calling about the court’s decision.

A U.S. embassy official escorted Norine Brunson, the wife of Andrew Brunson, before his trial in Izmir, Turkey, early Friday, October 12

US pastor Andrew Brunson (C) travels in a police vehicle escorted by Turkish police as he enters Aliaga Prison Court at Aliaga District in Izmir

‘They have?’ she said, her voice quavering. ‘Well, we were at an all-night prayer meeting during the trial and we got home and we fell asleep. We were up all night. Praise God! I’m so excited! Oh that’s wonderful! Thank you so much for letting us know. We’re so happy.’

She brought her husband, Ron, near the phone as the reporter read aloud some of a published Reuters report about the proceedings in Turkey.

‘We are overjoyed that God has answered the prayers of so many people around the world,’ she said.

In Turkey, witnesses said Brunson wept as the decision was announced. Before the judge’s ruling, the pastor told the court: ‘I am an innocent man. I love Jesus, I love Turkey.’

The fourth hearing of the case against Brunson took place in a prison complex near the western Turkish city of Izmir.

Brunson, an evangelical pastor accused of terror-related charges and espionage, arrived in a secured convoy before daybreak. He had faced up to 35 years in jail.

Brunson, 50, has lived in Turkey for more than two decades. He rejected the charges and strongly maintained his innocence.

 
President Donald Trump tweeted after international press reported Brunson's release that he was '[w]orking very hard on Partor Brunson, later adding his 'thoughts and prayers' and a prediction that he will have a safe return to the United States
President Donald Trump tweeted after international press reported Brunson’s release that he was ‘[w]orking very hard on Partor Brunson, later adding his ‘thoughts and prayers’ and a prediction that he will have a safe return to the United States

He is one of thousands caught up in the widespread government crackdown that followed a failed coup against the Turkish government in July 2016.

Prosecutors accuse Brunson of committing crimes on behalf of terror groups, linking him to outlawed Kurdish militants and a network led by a US-based Turkish cleric who is accused of orchestrating the coup attempt.

The U.S. maintained that he was being held unjustly, and repeatedly called for his release.

The new hearing came at a time of a new but growing alignment between the U.S. and Turkey over the suspected murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who lived in America and who is feared to have been killed inside the Gulf kingdom’s Istanbul consulate.

Turkish police sources have leaked information to a number of news outlets that the Turkish government believes that the Saudi Arabian government ordered Khashoggi’s murder.

Some commentators have suggested that in order to procure America intervention – particularly against the Saudis, who Trump considers a firm ally – Turkey should release all of its American hostages – starting with Pastor Brunson.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters Thursday that the US was hopeful he will soon go free, but said she was unaware of any agreement for his release.

A car carrying Norine Brunson, wife of pastor Andrew Brunson, arrives at the Aliaga Prison and Courthouse complex in Izmir

Turkish security officials stand outside a courthouse before a convoy with US pastor Andrew Brunson sitting inside a car arrives for his trial in Izmir

Norine Brunson wife of American pastor Andrew Brunson, departs for her husband's court hearing. Brunson has been under house arrest in Izmir, Turkey while awaiting trial

President Trump has posted a number of tweets about Brunson's case, demanding his release and threatening sanctions on Turkey 

President Trump has posted a number of tweets about Brunson’s case, demanding his release and threatening sanctions on Turkey

The pastor, who is originally from Black Mountain, North Carolina, was imprisoned for nearly two years – detained in October 2016 and formally arrested in December that year – before being placed under house arrest on July 25 for health reasons.

The court’s decision failed to improve tensions between the two NATO allies and Washington slapped sanctions on two Turkish officials and doubled tariff on Turkish steel and aluminum imports.

Those moves in August, coupled with concerns over the government’s economic management, helped trigger a Turkish currency crisis.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has resisted demands for Brunson’s release, insisting that the courts are independent.

But he had previously suggested a possible swap of Brunson and the Pennsylvania-resident Fethullah Gulen – the cleric accused of being behind the coup.

Turkish police officers stand near the residence of US pastor Andrew Brunson, who is being held under house arrest in Izmir

Official car of Charge d'Affaires of the U.S. Mission to Turkey Jeffrey M. Hovenier (not pictured) arrives to visit US pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been accused of abetting terrorist groups and supporting Fethullah Gulen, the cleric blamed for the failed coup attempt in 2016

Official car of Charge d’Affaires of the U.S. Mission to Turkey Jeffrey M. Hovenier (not pictured) arrives to visit US pastor Andrew Brunson, who has been accused of abetting terrorist groups and supporting Fethullah Gulen, the cleric blamed for the failed coup attempt in 2016

A person involved in efforts to free Andrew Brunson say the 50-year-old pastor from North Carolina could be freed at his next court appearance on Friday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because officials had not yet reached a final agreement on the release and it could still fall through

A person involved in efforts to free Andrew Brunson say the 50-year-old pastor from North Carolina could be freed at his next court appearance on Friday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because officials had not yet reached a final agreement on the release and it could still fall through

Brunson led a small congregation in the Izmir Resurrection Church. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom, with representatives monitoring the trial, has listed him as a ‘prisoner of conscience.’

William Devlin, an evangelical pastor from New York spoke to reporters outside the prison, saying hundreds of thousands of Christians are praying for Brunson’s release.

Brunson’s lawyer took the case to Turkey’s highest court last week seeking his release.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6268415/American-pastor-arrest-treason-enraged-Trump-court-released-TODAY.html

 

Story 2: Missing Journalist Presumed Killed By Saudi Government — Videos —

How the U.S. should respond to Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance

Turkey has video evidence of journalist’s killing in Saudi consulate, source says

What’s behind the Arab silence over Khashoggi fate? l Inside Story

Where is Jamal Khashoggi? Saudi Arabia denies abduction of missing journalist

Alleged Saudi Murder of Washington Post Columnist Prompts Calls to Halt U.S. Relations with Regime

Saudi Arabia’s missing princes – BBC Newsnight

How this young prince seized power in Saudi Arabia

‘He was interrogated, tortured and then murdered’: Arabic audio handed to the U.S. ‘proves Saudi critic WAS killed at consulate before 15-man assassination squad sneaked his body to consul general’s home’

  • The Washington Post reports journalist Jamal Khashoggi was beaten, killed and dismembered October 2 at the Saudi Arabia Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey
  • Audio recording reportedly lays out the story as voices are heard speaking Arabic but Turkish authorities are reluctant to release it
  • Sources believe the man who split his time between the US and Istanbul was victim of a plan to lure him to KSA for punishment after his critiques
  • John R. Bradley says Khashoggi ‘had dirt’ on Saudi ties to Osama bin Laden
  • He also says Crown Prince considered him a threat to his vision for the kingdom 

The government in Turkey claims to have evidence that US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered at the Saudi Arabia embassy after the critic of the country went to get a visa for his upcoming wedding.

He was captured on CCTV footage entering the building in Istanbul October 2 and a source has told The Washington Post he was killed and then dismembered by members of security.

‘The voice recording from inside the embassy lays out what happened to Jamal after he entered,’ the insider told the newspaper that Khashoggi, 59, worked for.

‘You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic … You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.’

The Washington Post reports journalist Jamal Khashoggi was beaten and killed October 2 at the Saudi Arabia Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey

1.14pm: Jamal Khashoggi, right, at Saudi consulate in Istanbul

One of them, a Mercedes Vito, stops for several hours at Saudi consul general's residence

On the move - 3.08pm: Vehicles with diplomatic plates leave the Istanbul consulate

On the move – 3.08pm: Vehicles with diplomatic plates leave the Istanbul consulate

The audio reportedly hold the key to the ‘gruesome’ goings on that day but the Post reports the Turkish officials have been reluctant to release the recording as it may give away how they spy on foreign entities that are based there.

Recordings allegedly are very ‘persuasive’ in revealing the journalist was ‘beaten’ before various other details that have been shared with American officials took place. It’s not clear if the US side has listened directly to the alleged evidence however.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia denied the claims something happened to the man – who has been known to critique KSA – inside the consulate and state he left unharmed.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has recently been promoted as the member of the royal family that has pushed forward for one of the strictest Middle Eastern countries to take a more liberal approach to culture.

Khashoggi wasn’t necessarily supportive of his vision however.

However, the Post reports that even before the journalist’s plan to go to Saudi, some people connected to the US government believed Salman was involved in a plan to lure him back.

Mr Khashoggi was critical of some of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's (above) policies

One official said there was no evidence to support that claim which included speculation the team of 15 men in the consulate planned to take him to Saudi Arabia initially and didn’t arrive with the intention to kill him.

The Washington Post was told the audio reveals the team went to the home of the Saudi consul general after the incident and staff were instructed to go home earlier than usual.

It is believed a car discreetly took the body of Khashoggi out of the consulate and to the property two hours after he went in.

The report also refers to at least one phone call from inside the consulate worth noting.

President Donald Trump had commented on the disappearance but stands by his decision to sell arms to the kingdom. The US leader had shared if he didn’t make the sale the wealthy country would simply buy from Russia instead.

Democrat Senator Bob Corker believes that as more of the story unfolds Trump may regret his decision.

‘I shared with him before this happened, please do not push to have any arms sales brought up right now because they will not pass. It will not happen. With this, I can assure it won’t happen for a while,’ he added to reporter Wednesday.

The Saudi ambassador in the United States is expected to answer to officials in the country when he returns from a trip, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said at a media briefing.

She said: ‘We have said to him that we expect information upon his return to the United States.’

Saudi Arabia targeted Jamal Khashoggi (pictured) because the journalist knew about the kingdom's ties to al-Qaeda in the run-up to 9/11, a former colleague has said

In an article called for The Spectator , Bradley, who worked alongside Mr Khashoggi at Saudi daily Arab News, reveals Mr Khashoggi 'had dirt' on the kingdom's links to al-Qaeda before the terror attacks on September 11, 2001

Further evidence that Mr Khashoggi never left the consulate include screen grabs from a WhatsApp chat showing he used his phone minutes before entering the building - and then never again

Mr Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile in the US since late 2017, fearing arrest back home.

John R. Bradley – who is also a former colleague of Mr Khashoggi’s – has revealed exactly why the kingdom wants him dead.

In an article called for The Spectator, Bradley, who worked alongside Mr Khashoggi at Saudi daily Arab News, reveals Khashoggi ‘had dirt’ on the kingdom’s links to al-Qaeda before the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. 

Bradley believes the Saudis may have also worried that he had become a US asset.

Earlier this year, Mr Khashoggi had established a new political party in the US called Democracy for the Arab World.

But Mr Khashoggi’s recent rejection of the offer to return to Saudi Arabia as an advisor – a snub to the Crown Prince – may have been the final straw.

Friends of Mr Khashoggi told the Washington Post that for several months, senior Saudi officials were offering him protection, ‘even a high-level job working for the government’ if the critic returned to the kingdom – but he was sceptical of such offers.

He was the most well-known political pundit in the Arab world with more than two million followers on Twitter.

In his columns, Bradley says, he urged Crown Prince Mohammed to embrace the rise of political Islam, rather than western-style democracy.

Last month, he criticized the Saudi war in Yemen, which is closely identified with Crown Prince Mohammed.

‘Saudi Arabia must face the damage from the past three-plus years of war in Yemen,’ he wrote in the Washington Post on September 11.

Hatice Cengiz, 36, who waited outside for hours for her fiance Khashoggi to return, has spoken of being left in a 'state of deep confusion and sadness'

Despite there being a number of visible CCTV cameras - ringed in red - Saudi Arabia claims none of them worked on the day in question

TIMELINE: WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN MR KHASHOGGI’S DISAPPEARANCE

OCTOBER 2

03:28: Gulf Stream IV private jet carrying suspected Saudi agents arrives at Istanbul airport.

05:05: The group checking into two hotels nearby to the Saudi consulate building.

12:13: Several diplomatic vehicles are filmed arriving at the consulate, allegedly carrying some of the Saudi agents.

13:06: Jamal Khashoggi is last seen on WhatsApp. He then hands his mobile to his fiancée Hatice Cengiz.

13:14: Khashoggi enters the consulate building.

13.24: A message is delivered to Khashoggi’s WhatsApp – but it is never read.

15:08: Vehicles leave the consulate and are filmed arriving at the nearby Saudi consul’s residence.

17:15: A second private jet carrying a number of suspected Saudi officials lands in Istanbul.

17:33: Khashoggi’s Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, is seen on CCTV waiting outside the consulate.

18:20: One of the private jets departs from Istanbul airport.

21:00: The final plane leaves Istanbul.

OCTOBER 3

The Washington Post, for whom Khashoggi writes opinion pieces, raises the alarm, saying Khashoggi has not been seen since he entered the consulate.

OCTOBER 4

After an initial period of silence, Saudi Arabia says Khashoggi had disappeared ‘after he left the consulate building’.

*All times in Istanbul time.

On Thursday, the chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee said sanctions would have to be imposed at the ‘highest levels’ of the Saudi government if it were found that the government was behind the disappearance and reported death of Mr Khashoggi.

It comes as Turkish investigators prepared to enter the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where he was last seen.

‘If it turns out to be what we all think it is today but don’t know, there will have to be significant sanctions placed at the highest levels,’ Republican Senator Bob Corker told reporters at the US Capitol.

Corker added: ‘You can´t go around killing journalists.’

Global pressure has mounted on Saudi Arabia, a close US ally, over the whereabouts of Mr Khashoggi, who entered the consulate to get documents for his planned marriage last week.

His Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside, said he never re-appeared.

‘I have to find out what happened … and we’re probably getting closer than you might think,’ President Trump said in an interview on Fox & Friends.

She also shared her heart-break in an opinion piece for the Post.

‘We were in the middle of making wedding plans, life plans. After the consulate, we were going to buy appliances for our new home and set a date. All we needed was a piece of paper,’ she wrote. ‘Jamal is a valuable person, an exemplary thinker and a courageous man who has been fighting for his principles. I don’t know how I can keep living if he was abducted or killed in Turkey.’

It comes as a witness claimed to have heard screams for help moments before Mr Khashoggi disappeared from the Saudi consulate.

The source, who was inside the consulate last Tuesday afternoon when Mr Khashoggi arrived to pick up official documents, has spoken to investigators.

They said they heard ‘sounds of loud screams and shouting, as well as calls for help and the sound of a struggle and then sudden silence,’ according to Al Jazeera.

Further evidence that Mr Khashoggi never left the consulate emerged, as screenshots of his WhatsApp account shows he last used his mobile phone minutes before entering the building – when he was sent a link to a MailOnline article regarding a prominent Saudi.

The screenshots, obtained by NBC News, show the WhatsApp conversation between Mr Khashoggi and a US friend, which indicated that the last time he was active on his phone was at 1.06pm Istanbul time.

Just eight minutes later, at 1.14pm, he was caught on CCTV as he entered the Saudi Arabian consulate.

The friend sent a message to Mr Khashoggi at 1.24pm – a message which was received, but never read.

Investigators are confident they may be able to discover Mr Khashoggi’s fate, using data collected from his Apple Watch – which was connected to the phone he left with Ms Cengiz.

Britain warned Saudi Arabia of ‘serious consequences’ if  it turns out Mr Khashoggi was murdered by his own people.

‘People who have long thought of themselves as Saudi’s friends are saying this is a very, very serious matter,’ Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan challenged Saudi Arabia to provide CCTV images to back up its version that Mr Khashoggi had left the consulate safely, indicating he did not find the current Saudi explanations sufficient.

‘It’s not possible for us [Turkey] to stay silent regarding an incident like this,’ Erdogan said.

‘Is it possible there were no camera systems in a consulate, in an embassy? Is it possible that there was no Saudi camera system where this incident took place?’

‘If a bird flew, or a fly or a mosquito appeared, the systems would capture this; they (Saudi Arabia) have the most cutting-edge systems,’ he was quoted as saying.

The identities of an alleged 15-member assassination squad surfaced.

The team is said to include a Saudi special forces officer, members of the royal guard and a senior forensics expert.

Police were seen entering the consulate this week but it is understood the Saudis rescinded an offer to allow forensic experts onto the premises after details of the Saudi identities emerged.

Riyadh has insisted Mr Khashoggi left the building alive and murder claims are ‘baseless’.

It says CCTV at the consulate were not working on the day in question.

Story 3: Major Security Breach at Facebook With — Facebook Changes The Lock — Videos —

Facebook says hackers accessed data of 29M users

Facebook Purges Accounts of Hundreds for Absolutely No Explicable or Cogent Reason

Former hacker weighs in on Facebook’s big security breach

Facebook security breach: How to know if you got hacked

Facebook security breach affects tens of millions of accounts

Facebook confirms 50m accounts were hacked

Real Future: What Happens When You Dare Expert Hackers To Hack You (Episode 8)

Hackers Reveal How They Make Money Breaking Into Companies | Inc.

21st Century Hackers – Documentary 2018

Inside Russia’s Hacker Underworld

10 Greatest Hackers Of All Time

How to Know If Your Facebook Account Has Been Hacked

How to Know If Your Facebook Account Has Been HackedFor the second time this year, hackers have attacked millions of Facebook accounts. The social network announced last week that about 50 million users were recently hacked.

The hacking occurred because of a flaw in Facebook’s “View As” feature, which allows you to see your profile as others do. Users can type in a person’s name to get an understanding of what can be seen when a particular person is viewing their page.

This feature has been susceptible to attack since an update that occurred in July 2017.

Affected access tokens, which are like digital keys that allow a person to access their account without having to log in each time, were reset, forcing 50 million users plus an additional 40 million users to manually log back into their accounts. So if you were automatically logged out on all of your devices on the morning of Friday, Sept. 28, then there’s reason to believe your account was susceptible to the vulnerability.

Facebook said it did this as a precautionary step, logging out anyone who used the “View As” feature whether their account was actually affected or not. Users who were logged out do not need to change their password to be protected. The rightful owners of affected accounts will be able to log in with their current username and password.

Currently, the “View As” feature is not available while Facebook works to rectify the problem, those who try to use this feature should see an error message.

When Facebook announced the attack on its blog last Friday, it said affected users would receive a notification at the top of their News Feed when logging back into their account explaining what happened and what steps to take moving forward.

If you received this notification, you can select “Learn More” to get an understanding of how this breach will affect you. If you did not receive a notification at the top of your News Feed, your account was probably not affected by this security issue.

If you want to be extra safe, go to Settings– Security and Login– Where You’re Logged In to see if there are any unfamiliar devices attached to your account.

Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company isn’t sure about the source of the attack; nor is it clear if this breach led to users’ information being stolen or misused. The investigation is ongoing and those affected will be updated accordingly as the tech company learns more about the hack and the motives behind it.

The full extent of the breach is not known, but the company has alerted law enforcement and is working with the FBI to get to the bottom of the issue.

https://blogdice.com/how-to-know-if-your-facebook-account-has-been-hacked/

Hackers accessed personal information of 30 million Facebook users

Almost 30 million Facebook users’ phone numbers and email addresses were accessed by hackers in the biggest security breach in the company’s history, Facebook said Friday. The attackers accessed even more details on 14 million of those users, including the area where they live, their relationship status, their religion, and part of their search history.

The FBI is “actively investigating” the breach, Guy Rosen, a Facebook vice-president, told reporters on a call Friday. He said the FBI has asked the company”not to discuss who may be behind this attack” or to share other details that could compromise its investigation.
The company said that it may still not know the full extent of the attack and wasn’t ruling out the possibility of other “smaller-scale attacks” linked to the breach. The company said it will continue to investigate “other ways the people behind this attack used Facebook.”
The new details come two weeks after Facebook first announced that attackers had access to 50 million users’ accounts — meaning they could have logged in as those users. Facebook said on Friday that, “We now know that fewer people were impacted than we originally thought,” and said that 30 million people had been impacted.
For the 14 million worst hit by the breach, the attackers were able to access the following information, Facebook said: “username, gender, locale/language, relationship status, religion, hometown, self-reported current city, birthdate, device types used to access Facebook, education, work, the last 10 places they checked into or were tagged in, website, people or Pages they follow, and the 15 most recent searches.”
Facebook said it will send a message to the 30 million users affected in the coming days and will be posting information to its help center.
Facebook is regulated by Irish authorities in Europe as its European headquarters is located there. A spokesperson for the Irish data regulator said of Friday’s announcement, “The update from Facebook today is significant now that Facebook has confirmed that the personal data of millions of users was taken by the perpetrators of the attack.”
The attack prompted Facebook to take the unprecedented step of logging out the 50 million users whose accounts were exposed and logged out another 40 million users as a precautionary measure.
The attackers exploited a series of bugs on Facebook’s platform. The vulnerability, Facebook said, had existed since July 2017. It wasn’t patched until last month, after the company’s engineers noticed some unusual activity that turned out to be the attack.
Despite Friday’s announcement, there are still many details about the hack that have not been made public, including who was behind it and if the attackers were targeting particular users or countries.

Was I hacked?

To find out if you are among the 30 million people whose information was accessed, you can click here to go to the Facebook help center. You need to be logged into Facebook. Scroll to the bottom of the page and you’ll find details about your account in a blue box titled, “Is my Facebook account impacted by this security issue?”

 

Facebook Hack Included Search History and Location Data of Millions

Facebook said Friday that a security breach had affected 30 million users, 20 million fewer than originally thought.CreditCreditWilfredo Lee/Associated Press

By Mike Isaac

SAN FRANCISCO — Facebook said Friday that an attack on its computer systems that was announced two weeks ago had affected 30 million users, about 20 million fewer than it estimated earlier.

But the personal information that was exposed was far more intimate than originally thought, adding to Facebook’s challenges as it investigates what was probably the most substantial breach of its network in the company’s 14-year history.

Detailed information was stolen from the Facebook profiles of about 14 million of the 30 million users. The data was as specific as the last 15 people or things they had searched for on Facebook and the last 10 physical locations they had “checked into.”

Other personal details were also exposed, like gender, religious affiliation, telephone number, email addresses and the types of computing devices used to reach Facebook.

The hackers did not gain access to account passwords or credit card information, Facebook said.

“We have been working around the clock to investigate the security issue we discovered and fixed two weeks ago so we can help people understand what information the attackers may have accessed,” Guy Rosen, vice president of product management, wrote in a blog post on Friday.

While Facebook has cautioned that the attack was not as large as it had originally anticipated — it forced 90 million users to log out so the security of their profiles would reset — the details of what was stolen worried security experts. The data can be used for all sorts of schemes by sophisticated hackers.

“Hackers have some sort of a goal,” said Oren J. Falkowitz, chief executive of the cybersecurity company Area 1 Security and a former National Security Agency official. “It’s not that their motivation is to attack Facebook, but to use Facebook as a lily pad to conduct other attacks.”

An attacker may use that information to conduct sophisticated “phishing attacks,” a method used to get into financial accounts, health records or other important personal databases, Mr. Falkowitz said.

“Once you’ve become a target, it never ends,” he said.

The breach was disclosed at the worst possible time for Facebook, which is grappling with a series of crises that have shaken user trust in the world’s largest social network.

Over the last year, Facebook has faced repeated criticism that it hasn’t been doing enough to protect the personal information of its more than two billion regular users.

In March, Facebook was hit by revelations that Cambridge Analytica, a British consulting firm that had worked for the Trump campaign, had gained access to the private information of up to 87 million users.

The company is also dealing with concerns that disinformation on its platforms has affected elections and has even led to deaths in several countries. On Thursday, Facebook disclosed that it had removed hundreds of accounts and pages used to spread disinformation in the United States. While Russian agents had used Facebook and other social media to incite conflict before the 2016 election, domestic sources of false or misleading posts have jumped into the fray, the company said.

Disinformation has had dire results outside the United States. In Sri Lanka, Myanmar and other countries, hundreds of people have been killed, partly because of the rampant spread of misinformation across social networks and other internet sites.

Former employees have also taken to criticizing Facebook. Brian Acton, a co-founder of the Facebook-owned smartphone application WhatsApp, has called for people to delete their Facebook accounts.

The breach could affect users’ willingness to use Facebook products. On Monday, Facebook debuted Portal, the company’s first hardware device built from the ground up, for high-definition video calls. The product asks users to install a camera in their living rooms.

Facebook first found hints of suspicious activity across its network in early September when security engineers noticed a flurry of activity around the “View As” feature, a way for users to check on what information other people can see about them. It was built to give users move control over their privacy.

More than a week later, Facebook determined that the activity was an attack on its systems, focused on three interconnected vulnerabilities in the company’s software.

Those flaws were compounded by a bug in Facebook’s video-uploading program for birthday celebrations, a software feature that was introduced in July 2017. The flaw allowed the attackers to steal so-called access tokens — digital keys that allow access to an account.

Facebook fixed the bugs and alerted users on Sept. 28 that the accounts of about 50 million users had been compromised.

In the days since, Facebook has scrambled to figure out how things went wrong, who could be responsible for the attack and what the attackers planned to do with the information.

In a conference call with reporters on Friday, Mr. Rosen declined to answer who might be responsible for the attack or how the information could be used.

Facebook engineers are working closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation on the hack. F.B.I. officials have asked Facebook not to share details on the suspected identities of the attackers for fear of compromising the investigation.

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Columbus Day

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Columbus Day
Desembarco de Colón de Dióscoro Puebla.jpg

First Landing of Columbus on the Shores of the New World; painting by Dióscoro Puebla(1862)
Observed by Various countries in the Americas, Spain, Italy, various Little Italys around the world.
Type Historical
Significance
Date October 12 (actual/traditional); second Monday in October (observed in the United States)
2017 date October 9
2018 date October 8
2019 date October 14
2020 date October 12
Frequency Annual

Columbus Day is a national holiday in many countries of the Americas and elsewhere which officially celebrates the anniversary of Christopher Columbus‘s arrival in the Americas on October 12, 1492. The landing is celebrated as “Columbus Day” in the United States, as “Día de la Raza” (“Day of the Race”) in some countries in Latin America, as “Día de la Hispanidad” and “Fiesta Nacional” in Spain, where it is also the religious festivity of la Virgen del Pilar, as Día de las Américas (Day of the Americas) in Belize and Uruguay, as Día del Respeto a la Diversidad Cultural(Day of Respect for Cultural Diversity) in Argentina, and as Giornata Nazionale di Cristoforo Colombo or Festa Nazionale di Cristoforo Colombo in Italy as well as in Little Italys around the world.[1][2] As the day of remembrance of Our Lady of the Pillar, 12 October had been declared a religious feast day throughout the Spanish Empire in 1730; the secular Fiesta de la Raza Española was first proposed by Faustino Rodríguez-San Pedro y Díaz-Argüelles in 1913. In recent years, celebration of the holiday has faced some opposition from various organizations.

United States observance

History

Stylized graphic from the United States Department of Defense

Celebration of Christopher Columbus’s voyage in the early United States is recorded from as early as 1792, when the Tammany Society in New York City[3] (for whom it became an annual tradition)[4][5] and also the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston celebrated the 300th anniversary of Columbus’ landing in the New World.[6][7] President Benjamin Harrison called upon the people of the United States to celebrate Columbus’s landing in the New World on the 400th anniversary of the event. During the anniversary in 1892, teachers, preachers, poets and politicians used rituals to teach ideals of patriotism. These rituals took themes such as citizenship boundaries, the importance of loyalty to the nation, and the celebration of social progress.[8][9][10]

Many Italian-Americans observe Columbus Day as a celebration of their heritage, and the first such celebration was held in New York City on October 12, 1866.[11] The day was first enshrined as a legal holiday in the United States through the lobbying of Angelo Noce, a first generation Italian, in Denver. The first statewide holiday was proclaimed by Colorado governor Jesse F. McDonald in 1905, and it was made a statutory holiday in 1907.[12] In April 1934, as a result of lobbying by the Knights of Columbus and New York City Italian leader Generoso Pope, Congress and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt proclaimed October 12 a federal holiday under the name Columbus Day.[12][13][14]

Since 1971 (Oct. 11), the holiday has been fixed to the second Monday in October,[15] coincidentally exactly the same day as Thanksgiving in neighboring Canada fixed since 1957. It is generally observed nowadays by banks, the bond market, the U.S. Postal Service, other federal agencies, most state government offices, many businesses, and most school districts. Some businesses and some stock exchanges remain open, and some states and municipalities abstain from observing the holiday.[16] The traditional date of the holiday also adjoins the anniversary of the United States Navy (founded October 13, 1775), and thus both occasions are customarily observed by the Navy (and usually the Marine Corps as well) with either a 72- or 96-hour liberty period.[citation needed]

Local observance of Columbus Day

Columbus Day in Salem, Massachusetts in 1892

Actual observance varies in different parts of the United States, ranging from large-scale parades and events to complete non-observance. Most states celebrate Columbus Day as an official state holiday, though many mark it as a “Day of Observance” or “Recognition” and at least four do not recognize it at all. Most states that celebrate Columbus Day will close state services, while others operate as normal.[17]

San Francisco claims the nation’s oldest continuously existing celebration with the Italian-American community’s annual Columbus Day Parade, which was established by Nicola Larco in 1868,[18] while New York City boasts the largest, with over 35,000 marchers and one million viewers.[19][20][21]

As in the mainland United States, Columbus Day is a legal holiday in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. In the United States Virgin Islands, the day is celebrated as both Columbus Day and “Puerto Rico Friendship Day.”[22]

Virginia also celebrates two legal holidays on the day, Columbus Day and Yorktown Victory Day, which honors the final victory at the Siege of Yorktown in the Revolutionary War.[23]

Non-observance

The celebration of Columbus Day in the United States began to decline at the end of the 20th century, although many Italian-Americans, and others, continue to champion it.[24] The states of AlaskaFloridaHawaiiOregonSouth Dakota, and Vermont do not recognize it and have each replaced it with celebrations of Indigenous People’s Day.[25][26][27][28][29][30][31]

Iowa and Nevada do not celebrate Columbus Day as an official holiday, but the states’ respective governors are “authorized and requested” by statute to proclaim the day each year.[32] Several states have removed the day as a paid holiday for state government workers, while still maintaining it—either as a day of recognition, or as a legal holiday for other purposes, including Californiaand Texas.[33][34][35][36][37]

U.S. cities that officially eschew Columbus Day to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day, began with Berkeley, California in 1992 and, as of 2018, include AustinBoiseCincinnatiDenverLos AngelesMankato, MinnesotaPortland, OregonSan FranciscoSanta Fe, New MexicoSeattleSt. Paul, MinnesotaTacoma, and “dozens of others.”[24][38][39][40][34][41][42][43][44][45][46]Columbus, Ohio has chosen to honor veterans instead of Christopher Columbus, and removed Columbus Day as a city holiday. Various tribal governments in Oklahoma designate the day as Native American Day, or name it after their own tribe.[47]

Latin American observance

Día de la Raza

Argentine government poster from 1947 including the concept of la Raza.

The date Columbus arrived in the Americas is celebrated in some countries of Latin America. The most common name for the celebration in Spanish (including some Latin American communities[48] in the United States) is the Día de la Raza (“day of the race” or the “day of the [Hispanic] people”), commemorating the first encounters of Europeans and the Native Americans. The day was first celebrated in Argentina in 1917, in Venezuela and Colombia in 1921, in Chile in 1922 and in Mexico it was first celebrated in 1928. The day was also celebrated under this title in Spain until 1957, when it was changed to the Día de la Hispanidad (“Hispanicity Day”), and in Venezuela it was celebrated under this title until 2002, when it was changed to the Día de la Resistencia Indígena (Day of Indigenous Resistance). Originally conceived of as a celebration of Hispanic influence in the Americas, as evidenced by the complementary celebrations in Spain and Latin America, Día de la Raza has come to be seen by nationalist activists throughout Latin America as a counter to Columbus Day; a celebration of the native races and cultures and their resistance to the arrival of Europeans in the Americas.[citation needed]

In the United States, Día de la Raza has served as a time of mobilization for pan-ethnic Latino activists, particularly since the 1960s. Since then, La Raza has served as a periodic rallying cry for Hispanic activists. The first Hispanic March on Washington occurred on Columbus Day in 1996. The name is still used by the largest Hispanic social justice organization in the nation, the National Council of La Raza.[8]

Argentina

The Day of the Race was established in Argentina in 1916 by a decree of President Hipólito Yrigoyen. The name was changed to “Day of Respect of Cultural Diversity” by a Decree of Necessity and Urgency 1584/2010 issued by President Cristina Kirchner. Under the likely influence of the Venezuelan government, the statue of Columbus was removed from its original position near the Casa Rosada and replaced by one of Juana Azurduy.

Colombia

Colombia, the only country in the world with a name originated from Columbus himself, celebrates El día de la Raza y de la Hispanidad and is taken as an opportunity to celebrate the encounter of “the two worlds” and to reflect on the richness that the racial diversity has brought to the culture.

Venezuela

Current state (June 6, 2006) of the Columbus Walk in Caracas. The statue was knocked down by activists after a “public trial” during the celebrations of the newly instituted “Day of the Indigenous Resistance” (October 12) in 2004.[49]

Between 1921 and 2002, Venezuela celebrated Día de la Raza along with many other Latin American nations. The original holiday was officially established in 1921 under President Juan Vicente Gómez. In 2002, under President Hugo Chávez, the holiday was changed to Día de la Resistencia Indígena (Day of Indigenous Resistance) to commemorate the Indigenous peoples’ resistance to European settlement. On October 12, 2004, a crowd of pro-government activists toppled the statue of Christopher Columbus in Caracas and sprayed allusive graffiti over its pedestal. The pro-Chávez website Aporrea wrote: “Just like the statue of Saddam in Baghdad, that of Columbus the tyrant also fell this October 12, 2004 in Caracas”.[50] The famous toppling of Saddam Hussein’s statue had occurred the previous year.

Costa Rica

On September 21, 1994, Costa Rica changed the official holiday from Día de la Raza to Día del Encuentro de las Culturas (Day of the Encounter of Cultures) to recognize the mix of European, Native American (autochthonous populations), African and Asian cultures that constitute modern Costa Rican (and Latin American) culture and ethnicity. In accordance to the Costa Rican labor law, the holiday is observed on October 12. However, should this date coincide with a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, the employer shall agree that said holiday be postponed to the following Monday. [51]

Brazil

In Brazil, Columbus Day is not celebrated. Instead, the country celebrates the arrival on the coast of present-day Brazil of the fleet led by Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral on April 22, 1500. This date is known in Brazil as “O Descobrimento do Brasil” (The Discovery of Brazil). The date began to be celebrated after the country’s independence from Portugal, when Brazilian Emperor Pedro II instituted the date as part of a plan to foster a sense of nationalism among Brazil’s diverse citizenry—giving them a common identity and history as residents of a unique Portuguese-speaking empire surrounded by Hispanic Republics of the Americas[52] The Discovery of Brazil was originally celebrated on May 3, but scholars in the nineteen century found definitive evidence proving April 22 to be the actual date of the arrival of Cabral’s fleet on South American shores. [53] In 2000, the government of Brazil used the date to celebrate 500 years of the existence of the country. The festivities, however, were met with protests by indigenous peoples who claimed it marked 500 years of genocide of indigenous Brazilians.[54] [55]

Caribbean observance

Only a handful of Caribbean countries still observe holidays related to Columbus Day. In Belize, October 12 is celebrated as Day of the Americas or Pan American Day.[56][57][58] In the Bahamas, it was formerly known as Discovery Day, until 2001 when it was replaced by National Heroes Day.

European observance

Italy

Monument to Christopher Columbus in Genoa, Italy

Since the 18th century, many Italian communities in the Americas have observed the Discovery of the New World as a celebration of their heritage; Christopher Columbus (whose original, Italian name is “Cristoforo Colombo”) was an Italian explorer, citizen of the Republic of Genoa.[11]

In Italy, Columbus Day has been officially celebrated since 2004.[2] It is officially named Giornata nazionale di Cristoforo Colombo.

The “Lega Navale Italiana” has created a Regata di Colombo as a celebration of the Columbus achievement.[59] Italians have celebrated their “Cristoforo Colombo” naming after him many civilian and military ships, like the ocean liner SS Cristoforo Colombo.

Spain

Since 1987, Spain has celebrated the anniversary of Columbus’s arrival in the Americas as its Fiesta Nacional or “National Day”.[60] Previously Spain had celebrated the day as Día de la Hispanidad, emphasizing Spain’s ties with the Hispanidad, the international Hispanic community.[60] In 1981 a royal decree established the Día de la Hispanidad as a national holiday.[60] However, in 1987 the name was changed to Fiesta Nacional, and October 12 became one of two national celebrations, along with Constitution Day on December 6.[61] Spain’s “national day” had moved around several times during the various regime changes of the 20th century; establishing it on the day of the international Columbus celebration was part of a compromise between conservatives, who wanted to emphasize the status of the monarchy and Spain’s history, and Republicans, who wanted to commemorate Spain’s burgeoning democracy with an official holiday.[61] Since 2000, October 12 has also been Spain’s Day of the Armed Forces, celebrated each year with a military parade in Madrid.[61] Other than this, however, the holiday is not widely or enthusiastically celebrated in Spain; there are no other large-scale patriotic parades, marches, or other events, and the observation is generally overshadowed by the feast day of Our Lady of the Pillar (Fiestas del Pilar).[61]

Opposition to Columbus celebrations

Engraving by Theodor de Brydepicting the controversial account by Bartolomé de las Casas regarding the Brevísima relación de la destrucción de las Indias, 1552. De Bry’s works are characteristic of the anti-Spanish propaganda that originated as a result of the Eighty Years’ War, known as the Black Legend.

Opposition to Columbus Day dates back to at least the 19th century, when anti-immigrant nativists (see Know Nothings) sought to eliminate its celebration because of its association with immigrants from the Catholic countries of Ireland and Italy, and the American Catholic fraternal organization, the Knights of Columbus.[62] Some anti-Catholics, notably including the Ku Klux Klan and the Women of the Ku Klux Klan, opposed celebrations of Columbus or monuments about him because they thought that it increased Catholic influence in the United States, which was largely a Protestant country.[62]

By far the more common opposition today, decrying both Columbus’ and other Europeans’ actions against the indigenous populations of the Americas, did not gain much traction until the latter half of the 20th century. This opposition was led by Native Americans and expanded upon by left-wing political parties,[63][64][65][66][67] though it has become more mainstream.[68] Surveys conducted in 2013 and 2015 found 26% to 38% of American adults not in favor of celebrating Columbus Day.[69][70]

There are many interrelated strands of criticism. One refers primarily to the treatment of the indigenous populations during the European colonization of the Americas which followed Columbus’s discovery. Some groups, such as the American Indian Movement, have argued that the ongoing actions and injustices against Native Americans are masked by Columbus myths and celebrations.[71] American anthropologist Jack Weatherford says that on Columbus Day, Americans celebrate the greatest waves of genocide of the American Indians known in history.[72]

A second strain of criticism of Columbus Day focuses on the character of Columbus himself. In time for the 2004 observation of the day, the final volume of a compendium of Columbus-era documents was published by the University of California, Los Angeles‘s Medieval and Renaissance Center. It stated that Columbus, while a brilliant mariner, exploited and enslaved the indigenous population.[73]

Spelman College historian Howard Zinn described some of the details of how Columbus personally ordered the enslavement and mutilation of the native Arawak people in a bid to repay his investors.[74]

Journalist and media critic Norman Solomon reflects, in Columbus Day: A Clash of Myth and History, that many people choose to hold on to the myths surrounding Columbus. He quotes from the logbook Columbus’s initial description of the American Indians: “They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance…. They would make fine servants…. With 50 men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want.” Solomon states that the most important contemporary documentary evidence is the multi-volume History of the Indies by the Catholic priest Bartolomé de las Casas, who observed the region where Columbus was governor. In contrast to “the myth,” Solomon quotes Las Casas, who describes Spaniards driven by “insatiable greed”—”killing, terrorizing, afflicting, and torturing the native peoples” with “the strangest and most varied new methods of cruelty” and how systematic violence was aimed at preventing “[American] Indians from daring to think of themselves as human beings.” The Spaniards “thought nothing of knifing [American] Indians by tens and twenties and of cutting slices off them to test the sharpness of their blades,” wrote Las Casas. “My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature, and now I tremble as I write.”[75]

In the summer of 1990, 350 representatives from American Indian groups from all over the hemisphere, met in Quito, Ecuador, at the first Intercontinental Gathering of Indigenous People in the Americas, to mobilize against the 500th anniversary (quin-centennial) celebration of Columbus Day planned for 1992. The following summer, in Davis, California, more than a hundred Native Americans gathered for a follow-up meeting to the Quito conference. They declared October 12, 1992 to be “International Day of Solidarity with Indigenous People.”[76]

See also

References …

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

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The Pronk Pops Show 1082, May 23, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Participates on Immigration Roundtable and Threat of MS-13 Gangs (Kill, Rape, Control) — Secure Our Borders and Protect Our Communities — Videos — Story 2: Governor Abbott Roundtable Meeting in Stopping Mass Shootings in Gun Free Zones Such As Texas Santa Fe High School Shootings With 10 Dead and 14 Wounded –Videos — Story 3: President Trump Delivers Keynote Address at Susan B. Anthony List 11th Annual Campaign for Life Gala — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump Participates on Immigration Roundtable and Threat of MS-13 Gangs (Kill, Rape, Control) — Videos —

What is MS-13?

President Trump participates in a roundtable on immigration. Bethpage, NY May 23, 2018

Trump administration goes after MS-13 gang

MS-13 Gang documentary / America’s Deadliest Gangs

National Geographic – MS13 [Mara Salvatrucha ] : America’s Deadliest Gang – full Documentary HD

Inside MS-13

Why MS-13 is more dangerous than ISIS

Inside Long Island’s war with MS-13

A firsthand look at how MS-13 terrorizes Suffolk County

ICE Chasing Down MS-13 Gang (Compilation)

Gangs of El Salvador (Full Length)

Gang World : MS13 (Full)

Border Patrol arrests MS 13 Gang Member

 

MS-13 spreads to 22 states, fed by 300,000 illegals, DACA recipients, tied to 207 murders

ms-13
In this April 19, 2017 file photo, the casket of Justin Llivicura is carried from St. Joseph the Worker Church after Llivicura’s funeral in East Patchogue, N.Y. Llivicura, 16, was one of four young men found slain in a suspected MS-13 gang killing in a park in Central Islip, N.Y., on April 12. The gang has been blamed for the deaths of nearly a dozen young people in blue-collar Brentwood and Central Islip since the school year began. (AP Photo/Frank Eltman, File)
Frank Eltman

Since 2012, 207 murders have been tied to the gang called “Mara Salvatrucha,” and there are over 500 cases nationwide of MS-13 members being charged in major crimes, according to the report from the Center for Immigration Studies.


But it can sometimes be hard to deport the illegals involved because about half of the crimes detailed in the report occurred in so-called “sanctuary cities” that do not cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

President Trump has pledged to crack down on the gang and deport those in the United States illegally, and report author Jessica M. Vaughan suggested that it can’t happen soon enough.

Detailing how the gang rebuilt itself under Obama’s open-border immigration policies, she said, “this resurgence represents a very serious threat to public safety in communities where MS-13 has rebuilt itself. The resurgence is directly connected to the illegal arrival and resettlement of more than 300,000 Central American youths and families that has continued unabated for six years, and to a de-prioritization of immigration enforcement in the interior of the country that occurred at the same time.”

The research she supervised at the immigration think tank found that MS-13 concentrations were in areas where so-called “unaccompanied alien children” were put under Obama, including Virginia, California, Maryland and New York. They included those participating in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals who Democrats in Congress are fighting for.

She cited an example of a Maryland DACA recipient charged with gang activity who urged pals in El Salvador to take advantage of Obama’s policies:

One MS-13 clique leader in Frederick, Md., who had received a DACA work permit and was employed as a custodian at a middle school in Frederick, Md., and who was recently incarcerated for various gang-related crimes, reportedly was told by gang leaders in El Salvador to take advantage of the lenient policies on UACs to bring in new recruits, knowing that they would be allowed to resettle in the area with few questions asked. Several of these unaccompanied minors now have been arrested and incarcerated for various crimes, including a vicious random attack on a sheriff’s deputy in 2015.

Crime, torture and theft are the trademarks of the gang.

“The MS-13 members identified in the cases we found were accused of very serious crimes, including 207 murders. More than 100 were accused of conspiracy/racketeering, and dozens of others were charged with drug trafficking, sex trafficking, attempted murder, sexual assaults, and extortion,” said the report. Vaughan is the center’s policy director.

The report noted the difficulty in seizing and deporting some of those involved because the crimes occurred in many of the 300 sanctuary regions in the nation that don’t cooperate with ICE.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/ms-13-spreads-to-22-states-fed-by-300-000-illegals-daca-recipients-tied-to-207-murders

 

Morrelly Homeland Security Center

Bethpage, New York

2:05 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, everybody.  Thank you.  Great to be here.  Oh, do I know this location well.  That beautiful Bethpage State Park.  I spent a lot of hours there.  Great place.  Thank you very much and good afternoon.

We’re here today to discuss the menace of MS-13.  It’s a menace.  A ruthless gang that has violated our borders and transformed once peaceful neighborhoods into bloodstained killing fields.  They’re horrible people, by the way.

Thank you very much to Secretary Nielsen; Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — Rod, thank you; Acting ICE Director Tom Homan, who is going to be — I hope you’re going to be with us for a long time.  I’m hearing he’s going to go into a little bit of an easier job, but you won’t be happy.  You won’t be happy.  What a job you’ve done.  Thank you very much, Tom.  And Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronan.  Thank you very much.  Thank you, John.

And we also have a couple of folks with us today — Laura Curran, Nassau County Executive.  Wherever Laura may be.  Hi, Laura.

CURRAN:  Hi.

THE PRESIDENT:  How are you, Laura?  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.

I want to thank a very good friend of mine for a long time that this area knows very well, the great Peter King.  Thank you, Peter.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Doing a good job.  And he’s fully got my endorsement, even though I assume he has no opponents.  I don’t know if he has any opponent.  Nobody would be that crazy to run against Peter.  (Laughter.)

Congressman Lee Zeldin.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Thank you, Lee.  Great job you’re doing.  Thank you for all your help.

And Congressman Daniel Donovan, really known as “Dan,” right?  Dan Donovan.  (Applause.)  He’s been a friend.

For their great leadership in combatting MS-13.  Also, Erin King — you know who I’m talking about — Sweeney.  Where’s Erin?  Where are you?  Where are you?  Hello, Erin.  How are you?  A little bit of a relationship.

REPRESENTATIVE KING:  That’s my wife, Rosemary, next to her.

THE PRESIDENT:  Oh, Rosemary.  Hi, Rosemary.  See, you say, “That’s my wife.”  I know that’s your wife.  (Laughter.)  Nice to see you.  Thanks, Rosemary.  Thanks for being here.  Thank you very much, Erin.  It’s a great honor to have you.

We’re also grateful to be joined by Commissioner Geri Hart of Suffolk County, and Commissioner Patrick Ryder.  Thank you very much.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.  And they know this threat probably as well as anybody.

We’re especially moved today to be joined by families who have suffered unthinkable heartbreak at the hands of the MS-13 gangs.  I’m truly honored to be joined again by the courageous families who were my guests at the State of the Union.  That was a special evening.  Elizabeth Alvarado, Robert Mickens, Evelyn Rodriguez, and Freddy Cuevas.  Thank you.  Thank you all.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

Their beautiful daughters, Kayla and Nisa, were murdered by MS-13 gang members, many of whom exploited glaring loopholes — and we have the biggest loopholes of any country anywhere in the world.  We have the worst immigration laws of any country anywhere in the world.  But they exploited the loopholes in our laws to enter the country as unaccompanied alien minors.  They look so innocent; they’re not innocent.

We are praying for these families with us today, and we pledge to honor the memory of those you lost with action and resolve — and I’ll just add another word — with great success.  And thank you very much for being here.  Thank you so much.  Really appreciate it.  (Applause.)  And they will not have passed in vain, that I can tell you.

MS-13 lives by the motto, “Kill, Rape, and Control.”  That’s actually their motto.  “Kill, Rape, and Control.”  Last month, MS-13 reportedly called for its members here on Long Island, where I essentially grew up.  You know Jamaica, right?  I always said, “Long Island.”  It’s very close.  To call and to see what happened is just incredible.

But they killed a cop for the sake of making a statement.  They wanted to make a statement, so they killed a cop, a policeman.  Here in Nassau County, MS-13 gang members were charged with killing and hacking up a teenager.  And police officers just told me four other young men were brutally murdered recently by MS-13 in Suffolk — Suffolk County.

In Maryland, MS-13 gang members are accused of stabbing a man 100 times, decapitating him, and ripping out his heart.  Police officers also believe the MS-13 members beat a sex-trafficked 15-year-old girl with a bat 28 times, totally disfiguring a beautiful young woman.

In Texas, two MS-13 gang members were charged after kidnapping, drugging, and raping a 14-year-old girl.  They then murdered her and somebody else.

Crippling loopholes in our laws have enabled MS-13 gang members and other criminals to infiltrate our communities, and Democrats in Congress refuse to close these loopholes, including the disgraceful practice known as catch and release.  That’s — you catch them, you write up a little piece of paper that’s meaningless, and then you release them.  And they go all through the country, and they’re supposed to come back for trials.  They never come back — or very rarely.  It’s the rare person that comes back.

Democrats have to abandon their resistance to border security so that we can support law enforcement and save innocent lives.  And I noticed recently, where Democrats — Nancy Pelosi, as an example — are trying to defend MS-13 gang members.  I called them “animals” the other day, and I was met with rebuke.  They said, “They are people.”  They’re not people.  These are animals, and we have to be very, very tough.  (Applause.)

So I’d now like to turn this over to a man — really, he has been a great friend of mine — a tremendous supporter — and I’ve always been a supporter of his, Peter King.  He does an incredible job, and nobody knows this situation and this horror show, and these laws — how bad they are — worst in the world — better than Peter King.  Peter.

REPRESENTATIVE KING:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Thank you very much.  And let me say what a — (applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.

REPRESENTATIVE KING:  Mr. President, what an honor it is to have you back here on Long Island.  As you say, you’re a neighbor.  You were in Suffolk County last year; Nassau County this year.  And you, more than anyone in the country, is highlighting the evil of MS-13.  So I congratulate you.  I thank you for leading this effort.  It’s a — they are horrible, vicious, rotten murderers.  And you are really leading the charge.  And thank you for doing this.  Thank you for assembling all of us here today.  And thank you for mobilizing all the efforts of the federal government behind this.  So thank you very much.

Also, on a somewhat jocular note, let me tell Laura Curran — I want to thank her — I’ll be giving visas to Donovan and Zeldin, to let them into Nassau County.  (Laughter.)  I promise you I’ll get them out of here as soon as I can.  Okay?  (Laughter.)

CURRAN:  They can stay as long as they want.

REPRESENTATIVE KING:  Okay.  This is a very serious issue.  To have these family members here.  I’ve worked with them; I know what they’ve gone through.

And for anyone who wants to minimize the danger of MS-13, just ask Commissioner Hart, Commissioner Ryder.  They know firsthand exactly what this is all about.

Let me also commend ICE for the great job that they do.  Tom is here and he’s done excellent work in Suffolk County and in Nassau County, working with our Nassau and Suffolk Country Police.

So, Mr. President, you have experts here that can talk.  I just want to, again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you’re doing.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much, Peter.  (Applause.)

I do want to say, and I have to pay great tribute to ICE and Border Patrol.  But ICE came in and they are doing a job.  We are taking them out by the thousands.

Now, if we had laws that were proper, they wouldn’t be coming back to the extent, but they’ve taken them out by the thousands.  And it’s way down, but it’s still far too much.  And it’s unacceptable.

So I thought maybe what we’ll do is we’ll go around the table, say a few words, if you might.  We’ll start right here.  You have done a fantastic job and we appreciate it.

Let’s go.  Why don’t we start?  Thank you, John.

CRONAN:  Thank you, Mr. President.  On the very day that Attorney General Jeff Sessions was sworn in, you signed an executive order with a very clear directive: reduce crime in America.

And it is my honor to support carrying out your mandate by helping to bring MS-13 to justice and by working to dismantle this gang that’s terrorizing our communities.  I know people in this room are very familiar with the horrifying stats, but MS-13 is one of the most violent and formidable threats that our country faces today.

MS-13 leaders may operate out of prisons in El Salvador but the gang is alive and well in our streets.  It is estimated there are 10,000 MS-13 members in the United States; 2,000 are estimated to be right here in Long Island.  And their ranks are continually being refilled with new emissaries from El Salvador.  MS-13 is infiltrating our high schools, our middle schools, even our elementary schools.

The gang’s brutality, as you alluded to, Mr. President, just cannot be captured by words.  You mentioned their motto, “Kill, Rape, Control.”  They live by that motto.  They kill — murdering their victims, murdering them with machetes, chains, knives, bats, firearms.  They rape — gang-raping young girls, selling them for sex.  They control — killing not just rival gang members but also fellow MS-13 members who are suspected of being cooperators with law enforcement or violated gang rules.

For example, in March, an MS-13 member named Elmer Lopez pled guilty to murdering a fellow gang member who was suspected of cooperating with law enforcement.  Lopez and his cohorts brought their victim to a secluded wooded area in Brentwood, maybe about 15 miles from here, where they took turns slashing and stabbing him to death.  Mr. President, the victim’s skeletal remains were discovered more than four months later.

A few months ago, an MS-13 member, Raul Landaverde-Giron, who also is facing federal charges for illegally — allegedly illegally reentering the company [sic] after he was deported.  Landaverde-Giron was convicted of murdering someone who had fled El Salvador, for Maryland, to avoid a kill order from MS-13.  Landaverde-Giron and his fellow thugs lured that victim to the woods, shot him in the head, and stabbed him in the face and neck.  For his role in the murder, Landaverde-Giron received a promotion from MS-13.

Well, Mr. President, thanks to our criminal justice system, he will also be receiving a mandatory life sentence.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Great.

CRONAN:  And to give one other example, Mr. President — last November, Yerwin Hernandez-Ordonez, a Honduran national, who was illegally in the United States, was sentenced for his role of an MS-13 murder in Virginia.  Hernandez-Ordonez oversaw two young MS-13 recruits.  They were tasked with murdering a rival gang member to gain admission into MS-13.

After two failed attempts to shoot the victim, the victim almost managed to flee.  But Hernandez-Ordonez made sure he didn’t get away.  He chased him down, caught him, and brought him back.  The two recruits then shot their victim in the head and were initiated into MS-13 later that same day.

Mr. President, these and the disgraceful examples that you mentioned in your opening remarks are just a small sample of the unspeakable violence of MS-13.  But we are hitting MS-13 hard, with targeted prosecutions across the country, including right here in Long Island.  We are surging federal prosecutors, surging them to the border to prosecute immigration offenses; surging them to U.S. attorneys’ offices around the country to prosecute violent crimes.  We are working with our partners in Central America — work that has resulted in thousands of arrests of MS-13 members.

We want these savages incapacitated before they can try to cross over our borders.  We cannot — and we will not — permit our country to be a playground for MS-13 to pursue its murderous mission.  Dismantling violent gangs is a top priority of this Department of Justice, under Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, and it will remain such as we continue to use all law enforcement tools at our disposal to rid our streets of the scourge of MS-13.

Thank you, Mr. President.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, John.  Great job.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Great job, John.

Tom?

HOMAN:  Mr. President, I want to — first of all, I want to thank you for your leadership on this issue.  I want to thank the Secretary.  I couldn’t ask for two better bosses that take border security and public safety more seriously than you all.

I also want to give a shout-out to law enforcement officers in this room, the ones that carry a badge and gun every day and put their lives on the line for the communities.  We got a President — unprecedented support for law enforcement, and I thank you guys.  As a 33-year veteran of law enforcement, you’re doing a tremendous job.  You got the backs of law enforcement.  You got their six recruits here.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.

HOMAN:  Now, I’m much older and blinder than John, so I got to wear my glasses, because there are some important numbers I want to read to back you up on the statements you made coming here, because a lot of times you’re questioned about it.  So I want to read some numbers.

I want to thank Rod and John for partnership.  They are stepping up.  We are prosecuting more MS-13 members and gang members in the history of ICE.  ICE is working hard to ensure the United States does not become a safe haven for these criminals.  HSI — our criminal investigators at HSI have continued to attack the efforts of MS-13 here, domestically and abroad, which I’ll speak to in a minute.

We have doubled our arrests of MS-13 members under your command, President Trump.  In FY17, the first year, HSI and ICE arrested 896 MS-13 leaders, members, and associates.  They totally arrested — they arrested another 4,800 total gang members throughout the United States, to include MS-13.

Since FY16, ICE has removed nearly 11,000 criminal gang members.  Specifically about New York — the target of MS-13 on Long Island is one of the primary goals of ICE because New York is under attack.  With a cooperative focus on sources and intelligence — our on ongoing initiative — we arrested, in the past year, 300 MS-13 criminal arrests here on Long Island, and more than 40 percent of those we have verified are unaccompanied alien children.  So it is a problem.  There is a connection.

MS-13 terrorizes communities and they commit violent crimes, as you said.  I know you’ve been taken a hit on your comments about animals and MS-13, but I think you’re being kind.  Animals kill for survival; MS-13 kills for sport.  They kill to terrorize, and there’s a big difference there.

We want to push our borders South, so we’re attacking MS-13 where the command and control is in El Salvador.  Our attaché offices in Central America are working very closely with the federal police in El Salvador, along with El Salvadorian prosecutors.  We have arrested and taken off the streets in El Salvador hundreds of MS-13 gang members.

We just did a trip down there.  We took local law enforcement and some prosecutors down there to meet with the federal police and the prosecutors who we’ve totally vetted, they are part of our vetted unit, and we trained them.  We went to one of the prisons down there, where 70 percent of the population in that prison is MS-13 gang members.  These are the worst of the worst.  And because of ICE’s work along the Bureau and Department of Justice, our intelligence and our evidence supplied to the officials in El Salvador put most of their people in that prison — which, if you think about it, we prevented many of these people from getting to the United States, and took them out right there in El Salvador.

We’ll continue to do that.  We’ll continue to work along our Salvadorian and Central American partners to play the away game, and stop most of them before they get there.  I can tell you that ICE is not going to stop making this a priority until we totally dismantle this organization.  We won’t rest until that’s happened.

So I want to thank you again for your leadership.  ICE is on the job.  ICE isn’t going away.  New York, despite your Governor’s comments about ICE, ICE has done a lot for this state, and we’ll continue doing a lot for this state.  We’ve taken nearly 5,000 criminal aliens off the street in New York, and we’re not going anywhere.  We’re going to be here and do our job, and try to make this the safest place that the community is going to have.

Thank you very much.  Appreciate it.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Tom.  (Applause.)  Thank you, Tom.  Great job.  Thank you.

Rod.  Thank you.

ROSENSTEIN:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Under your leadership, Attorney General Sessions has made violent crime and illegal immigration a top priority for the Department of Justice, and we’re making tremendous progress.  We’re working in coordination with Homeland Security and with our other federal partners, as well as state and local law enforcement.

The feedback that we’re getting, as Tom mentioned, around the country, is that state and local law enforcement appreciate their partnership.  It’s an unprecedented level of coordination with federal law enforcement around the country, particularly on this challenge of violent crime and MS-13.

John mentioned that some of the recent cases, the horrific cases we’ve handled in the Department of Justice.  I saw this firsthand when I was U.S. Attorney in Maryland in 2005.  We began using federal racketeering statutes to try and dismantle the MS-13 gang, and we had tremendous success for quite a few years.

What we found in recent years is a resurgence of MS-13 in Maryland, in the D.C. area, and it was fueled by illegal immigration and particularly by the challenge of unaccompanied minor children.  And there are several loopholes in federal law that facilitate this.  They create a particular problem for Homeland Security and for us, with regard to unaccompanied children who enter the United States illegally.

The first is that they are not eligible for expedited removal, which means that — you know, most aliens who enter the United States, if they’re caught within 14 days, within about 100 miles of the border, they can be removed in an expedited basis without needing to see an immigration judge.

But under federal law, all unaccompanied alien children, regardless of nationality, they have to go before a judge.  They cannot be subject to expedited removal proceedings.

The second challenge is that almost all unaccompanied children are released from custody, even if they want to go home.  And the reason for that is that there’s an exception for aliens from Mexico and Canada.  They’re permitted to withdraw their applications and return home.

But for other countries, even if those aliens request to go home, we’re not allowed to do it.  We’re required to put them in immigration proceedings.  And in addition to that, Homeland Security is required to turn them over to HHS within 72 hours, as a result of federal law.  It can take months and sometimes years to adjudicate those claims once they get into the federal immigration court system, and they often fail to appear for immigration proceedings.  In fact, approximately 6,000 unaccompanied children each year fail to appear when they’ve been summoned.  They’re released and they don’t show up again.

The third challenge is a consent decree entered by the government in 1997, which continues to burden our efforts to enforce immigration laws.  Under that consent decree, INS, at the time, agreed that illegal alien children would be subject to special rules, special judicial supervision that handicaps DHS’s ability to detain and promptly remove unaccompanied alien children.

And the fourth challenge that we face is that, once released, as you mention, many of them never come back again.  With very few exceptions, once those unaccompanied alien children are released into the community, even if they’re gang members, they will generally remain in the United States.  They frequently abscond and fail to appear for their removal hearings.  Approximately 90 percent of all removal orders each year result from a failure to appear at a hearing.

And according to Homeland Security statistics, less than 4 percent of illegal alien children are ultimately removed from the United States.  So most of them, once they’re released, they’re here to stay.

The consequence of these loopholes, Mr. President, is that, although we’re doing everything we can to combat crime in the United States, we’re letting people in who are creating problems.  We’re letting people in who are gang members.  We’re also letting people in who are vulnerable.  Many of these alien children, who have no parents, no family structure — we’re releasing them into communities where they’re vulnerable to recruitment by MS-13.

And so some of these kids who come in without any gang ties develop gang ties as a result of the pressure that they face from people that they confront in the communities.

So we’re hopeful, Mr. President, that we can get some assistance from the Congress in closing some of these loopholes so that our law enforcement officers won’t have to work so hard, and so we won’t have more victims like Kayla and Nisa.

Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  And I think that’s great, Rod.  And I think it’s happening.  I mean, I’m seeing a willingness, even, to a certain extent, by the Democrats.  They’re starting to come around, but it’s brutal.  It’s brutal.  As you know better than anybody, it’s a tough situation.  We need the laws enhanced very substantially and very quickly.

Thank you, Rod, very much.  Very nice.  (Applause.)

Patrick.

COMMISSIONER RYDER:  Mr. President, first of all, on behalf of all our Nassau County police officers — and I think I can speak for every officer in this room and in this country — we know we have a President that has our back and supports us every single day when we go out and do the mission that we are tasked to do.

We have about 500 identified MS-13 members in Nassau County.  About 250 of them are active.  And we do that through — everything is evidence-based and through intelligence-led policing.

Last year, in 2017, we had six kids that were murdered in Nassau County by MS-13.  Of those six, one was shot in the face, one was shot in the back of the head, four of them were violently butchered by machetes, and buried in shallow graves throughout our county.

Those victims, three of them were 15 years of age.  Two of them were 18.  Out of the six people that committed these murders, nine people were arrested last year.  Seven of the nine that were arrested were undocumented in this country.  So we have a population of 1.3 million people here in Nassau County; 17 percent Hispanic makeup.  I’ve been to these communities.  I’ve spoken to these people.  I’ve addressed them at town hall meetings.  And our pop cops have been there.  They’re good hard-working people in the community.

Ninety percent of the crime is done by ten percent of the population.  MS-13 is making up a good percent of that 10 percent in that community.  We need to go out at an intelligence way to attack it.  We need to go out with evidence-based approaches.

What I would like to see here in Nassau County — we have a great partnership with Homeland, we have a great partnership with ICE.  They’ve done nothing but support us.  Our U.S. Attorney’s Office and our District Attorney’s Office has been great in the prosecutions.

We need to get a little bit better on our intelligence sharing and information, and that starts at the border where that information can flow up into the states that we know who, why, when, how.  And again, that gives us a better way to approach it, so we don’t burn the bridges and the relationships with those communities that we spent so much time building, that we — they want to come to us and support us.

And the youth programs in those communities — whether it’s a police youth academy, a PAL program — they’re the kids that are being influenced and turned into the gangs, as you heard before.  They’re the kids that we need to reach now, not later — now — before some of these gang members push them into it.

Most of the murders that have occurred here in Nassau County were done because somebody wanted to get into the gang, and part of the initiation was to kill and take a body.  And these are innocent kids that we are out there, lured into these wooded areas with alcohol and the potential of sex and drugs.

If our intelligence is better, if our evidence-based approach is better, and our community relations stay strong, we can make a difference and turn the tide on that.

And we’re going to look to you for all that help, sir.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you very much, Patrick.  That’s great.  I appreciate it.  (Applause.)  Thank you.  Great job.  Really good.  You’ve done a fantastic job.

Robert and Elizabeth, we’re going to save you for a couple of minutes.  We want to hear from a couple of these politicians first.  Right?  (Laughter.)  And then we’re going to get to the real story.  We appreciate it.

Dan, go ahead.

REPRESENTATIVE DONOVAN:  Thank you, Mr. President.  And I’d remind you, we’re public servants; we’re not politicians.  (Laughter.)

But thank you for your leadership here.  This is our second visit.

THE PRESIDENT:  You are.  (Laughter.)

REPRESENTATIVE DONOVAN:  This is our second visit here to Nassau County.  This is the second time that, through your leadership, you came here — because this community is hurting.

Behind you is a sign that says, “Secure our borders, protect our communities.”  That’s one sentence with a comma in it.  If we do one, we achieve the other.  And it’s the one thing that you’ve been trying to do for the 15 months that you’ve led this nation.  We need border security.  We need tougher immigration laws.  We need to help communities like this.

The examples — I was a prosecutor for 20 years, Mr. President.  I was eight years in the Manhattan’s DA’s Office.  I was Deputy Chief of the Narcotics Bureau where we saw vicious gang assaults and murders.  I was 12 years as the Staten Island District Attorney, as you know.  I have never seen the viciousness like you just described in your opening remarks.

We’re here to help.  These brave people — Pat, John, Rod, the folks on the ground — they’re enforcing laws, but we have to make the laws.  And we learn a lot by listening.  That’s why I’m so grateful that you’re holding this roundtable because a lot of what Lee, Pete, and I will do when we go back to D.C. is take the information we learn here and implement them into our laws.

On the way up with you, the Secretary was describing to us how after someone, a criminal, is convicted and they’re illegal — if their home country doesn’t take them back in six months, we have to release them back in the community.  Well, what country would take back these people that our fellow crime fighters have just described?  Nobody would take them back.  We have to change those laws, Mr. President.

Thank you for your leadership.  Thank you for your commitment to protect our nation.  And thank you for your support of our law enforcement officers.

THE PRESIDENT:  Good.  Thank you very much, Dan.  (Applause.)

And just before — thank you, Dan — just before we get to the Secretary, I have to say that many of these countries we give tremendous amounts of aid to — tens of millions of dollars.  And we’re working on a plan to deduct a lot of the aid, because I happen to believe it’s not so hard.  You know, they’ll let you think that they’re trying to stop this.  They’re not trying to stop it.  I think they encourage people from leaving.  They don’t want the people.  They don’t want the people that we’re getting in that country.

So we’re going to work out something where every time somebody comes in from a certain country, we’re going to deduct a rather large amount of money from what we give them in aid — (applause) — if we give them aid at all, which we may not just give them aid at all.  Because despite all of the reports I hear, I don’t believe they’re helping us one bit.  And maybe that’s the way life is, but they’re not helping us a lot based on the fact that we know where these people are coming from.

So we’re looking at our whole aid structure, and it’s going to be changed very radically.  It’s already started.

All right.  Thank you very much, Dan.  Secretary Nielsen.  (Applause.)

SECRETARY NIELSEN:  Yes, sir.  Thank you.  I might just talk loudly, if that works.

So I just want to thank you, as always, for your leadership on behalf of the largest law enforcement agency in the federal government.  We so appreciate your leadership, your support.

I know Tom, and Tom’s folks do — I always tell them that I will always empower them and support them, but you enable me to do that.  So we thank you always for your leadership.

I want to thank the commissioners.  I want to thank the members of Congress here.  And most importantly, my thoughts and prayers continue to go out the families that are here today.  This obviously should never have happened, and we will leave no stone unturned until we combat it.

I do want to say, horrifyingly, to knit together everything that folks have said before: Seven of the thirteen gang members that murdered these lovely girls were unaccompanied alien children that came into the country.  And the problem with that is, is they come in, they’re recruited, as was described by the Commissioner, but they also come in and they pay a debt.  The smugglers require them to serve in the gangs to pay the debt for the smuggling.

So they’re either forced to join the gangs, or they’re tricked into joining the gangs, or they’re recruited to join the gangs.  So there absolutely is a tie between all the loopholes the Deputy Attorney General described and the resurgence of these gangs in our communities.

The other two loopholes I might have just mentioned; one was just mentioned.  The other one is that we still cannot bar known gang members from coming into our country.  We have to change the law.  We know who they are, we know what they do.  We do not, under the law, have the ability to make them inadmissible on the face of being a gang member.  So we have to change that.

So DHS, as the Director knows, we’re leaving no stone unturned, as I said.  We’re securing our borders.  We’re building your wall.  We’re increasing technology.  You’ve deployed the National Guard.  We have 3,000 apprehensions that are attributed in addition to the fact that the National Guard is there.  We’re enforcing the law.

I also would like to join the Director in thanking everyone here that represents law enforcement for putting your lives on the line every day to help our communities.  (Applause.)  You have tremendous thanks from all of us.

The arrests, under your leadership, are up 42 percent.  So the men and women that you have empowered are out there doing their job every day.  We’re cracking down on fraud.  We have a 315 percent increase in adults who are using children to pose as a family to come into this country illegally.  We cannot have that.  So we’re cracking down on fraud.  We’re cracking down on adults who pretend to be children to come in, because they know that’s a loophole.

And we’re certainly cracking down on the false asylum.  If you want to come here for family reunification, that’s not asylum.  If you’re coming here to seek a job, that’s not asylum.  Those are not legitimate reasons under the law of the United States.  We will not grant you asylum.

We are going after the gangs.  Director Homan talked a lot about that.  We’re protecting children.  We need to protect all the children that do come here.  So we’re increasing background checks to make sure that when we do, through HHS, hand over a child to a sponsor or alleged family member, that they are, in fact, either a family member or somebody who is not a convicted criminal, smuggler, or trafficker.

And finally, we’re pressing Congress, and I will continue to do that.  I had many conversations on the Hill this week.  I have made it my duty.  I appreciate the members being here for that reason.  But we will close these loopholes, and we will take our communities back under President Trump.

So thank you all for being here.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Kirstjen.  Thank you.  Great job.  Thank you.  And thank you for the really great job you’re doing.  I really appreciate it.  Not easy.  Not easy.

Lee?

REPRESENTATIVE ZELDIN:  Mr. President, thank you for coming back, again.  This is your second time in less than a year that you’re on Long Island for this purpose.  And the message that gets sent to the victims of MS-13 is certainly being heard and felt by them.  And the message is being heard and felt by the law enforcement officers here on Long Island, who MS-13 has been threatening.  It sends a strong message not only to Long Islanders who care about our community and our public safety, but it also sends a strong message all throughout our entire country.  It’s really important when you run for office that you’re able to keep your promises.  And the effort that you have been showing to ensure the defeat of MS-13 is incredibly important, and it’s recognized.

I was, last week, in Jerusalem, where we were moving an embassy and a promise was being kept.  I was in the Middle East last Christmas, visiting our troops, where ISIS is almost completely wiped off the map in Iraq and Syria.  It’s so important for us to keep our promises.

The message is being sent not to just Long Islanders, but all throughout the entire country.

You have to, when wanting to eliminate a threat, be willing to identify it.  And what we saw with the reaction to — the California sheriff asked you about MS-13, and you responded immediately to that remark and called them “animals.”  And as our Acting ICE Director said, that was a nice way of putting it.  But if you’re not willing to even identify the threat, you have no chance of eliminating it.  Same thing if you want to get rid of the heroin and opioid abuse epidemic — another promise that you’re keeping.

Locally, we have seen many indictments coming down from a great local U.S. attorney’s office.  There is a U.S. attorney here, Rich Donoghue, who I’m a little biased towards.  He’s a former 82nd Airborne Division Paratrooper.  But we’re seeing indictment after indictment come down here in the Eastern District, and it’s a product of all of the people who are here at this table, who work for them, working at every level of government.  And we’re about to hear from Ms. Hart, our new police commissioner in Suffolk.  Everyone working together to ensure that this is accomplished is critical.

This issue should transcend partisan politics.  And unfortunately, it’s not right now in Congress.  Nancy Pelosi recently took nine hours on the House floor to celebrate the humanity and the behavior that encompasses what has torn apart the hearts of our families who are here.  As far as sending messages, it’s also an important message to send to congressional Democrats.  You have shown a willingness to compromise on this issue, an uncomfortable — you have put your neck way out there.  And you’re — in a way, you end up negotiating against yourself when the congressional Democrats just refuse to work with you.  It’s obstructionism.

There are people who are in Congress who have pledged to oppose and obstruct everything and anything, saying they cannot work with you, because if they work with you, they’ll legitimize your Presidency.  You were elected President of the United States.  They were elected to serve in Congress.  They took an oath.  They need to protect our constituents here, and they need to protect their own.  They need to work with you, because you’re putting your neck out there on the line.  They need to do it, as well, even if they’re taking a tough vote from their constituency.  (Applause.)

As far as policy issues, we stand with you for stronger border security and interior enforcement.  We agree that there is a need to end catch and release, to end this use of visa lottery.  Beyond just the worst offenses that we’ve heard a lot about are all the other offenses that aren’t the high-profile incidents that we hear about in the national media.  It’s the drug trafficking that takes place here on Long Island and elsewhere.  It’s the sex trafficking that takes place on Long Island and everywhere all throughout our entire country.

So all these policy issues are really important.  Securing entryways is important not just to keep out people who shouldn’t be entering our country illegally, but also keeping things out of our country that should not be entering our country illegally.

And as you know well — and I appreciate your leadership on the heroin-opioid abuse epidemic — that is something that has been a huge impact on Long Island as well.

Finally, we discussed it once before, when you — also, and I like to report back to my constituents: This isn’t just something that we’re talking about while you’re able to come here to Long Island, but also meetings that have taken place at the White House and other efforts that are underway.

But there is a need to have a tool given to our Justice Department, in my opinion, to be able to end our Homeland Security, to be able to revoke the naturalization of someone who, it turns out that they were engaged in gang violence before they received their naturalization.

Or if it’s six months later or two years later, they engage in gang violence, they should have their naturalization revoked.  I introduced, after our last meeting, the Protecting Our Communities from Gang Violence Act, H.R. 5065.  I look forward to working with you on all of this, and I just really want to thank all of the fine, distinguished people who are here at this table.

And also, to everyone watching at home who is standing with our President, it’s an important message to send: Whether you vote for a President or not, his success is our success as Americans.  (Applause.)  And as Americans, you should be rooting for this man to be successful as President of the United States.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Lee.  Thank you.

And you bring up a name, U.S. Attorney Donoghue.  Where are you, please?  U.S. Attorney.

REPRESENTATIVE ZELDIN:  He’s out of the country.

THE PRESIDENT:  Oh, okay.

REPRESENTATIVE ZELDIN:  Otherwise he would be here.

THE PRESIDENT:  I was just trying to figure out why we didn’t introduce him — only because he’s not here.  But he’s doing a great job.

REPRESENTATIVE ZELDIN:  Yes, he is.

THE PRESIDENT:  Good.  Thank you very much.

Geri.

COMMISSIONER HART:  Thank you, Mr. President.  And thank you for this opportunity to speak with you today on this important topic.  I represent the hardworking men and women of the Suffolk County Police Department, and I echo my partner Patty (ph) Ryder’s sentiments to thank you for your leadership on this critical issue.

Just two years ago, in 2016, Suffolk County experienced some of the most devastating and tragic events in our county’s history.  On September 13th, 2016, Nisa Mickens and Kayla Cuevas, two beautiful young girls, were killed in a senseless, violent, and outrageous manner.  These high school students were murdered shortly after one of the girls had argued with an MS-13 member in school.

Days later, the skeletal remains of three young men were discovered in Brentwood, all of whom are believed to have been murdered by MS-13.  Over the next few months, the murders continued, and culminated, in April of 2017, with the quadruple homicide in Central Islip.

These killings shook our communities and sparked a commitment among the Suffolk County Police Department to form a gang eradication strategy to protect our residents and get these MS-13 members off our streets.

As a result, the Suffolk County Police Department has worked extensively with all our law enforcement partners to implement a multi-prong strategy: enhanced and targeted police presence; increased collaborative efforts to gather, collect, and share intelligence; relentless targeting and enforcement of known MS-13 gang members for arrest, prosecution, and removal; federal prosecutions of MS-13 gang members and its leadership, under the RICO Statute; a strong emphasis on community relations; and significant investments in gang prevention and intervention strategies, with a particular focus on unaccompanied alien children.

Since September of 2016, the Department’s multifaceted approach has resulted in 355 arrests of 235 MS-13 gang members.  There has not been an MS-13 murder in Suffolk County since April of 2017.  MS-13 sustains itself by constantly recruiting new members, and particularly minors.  MS-13 members recruit children placed in communities in Suffolk County through the UAC program.

Since 2014, 4,965 UACs have been placed in Suffolk County, making it the largest recipient of UACs in the nation.  While the vast majority of these children live law-abiding lives, many of them are susceptible to gang recruitment.  They are young, alone; adjusting to a new country, culture, and language; and are seeking a sense of belonging.

This is compounded by the fact that the sponsors of these children, in some cases, prove not to be suitable guardians.  The current vetting and screening system of sponsors is in dire need of improvement.  It’s vital that, if the federal government places UACs in our community, it’s only after proper screening of sponsors followed by measures to ensure proper guardian compliance.  Your assistance in this oversight would be crucial.

As I mentioned, the Suffolk County Police Department has enhanced and targeted police presence and patrols in affected areas in order to effectively destabilize this gang.  We will continue to utilize this strategy and assign manpower wherever it’s needed.  We will not let up.  The Department is committed to eradicating MS-13 from our community.

We are grateful for the commitment and support of the President and the federal government on this important matter.  Within the last year, the Suffolk County Police Department received a grant of $500,000, through the Project Safe Neighborhoods, and I thank you for that.

However, we could certainly use additional funding to assist in offsetting additional policing efforts and costs moving forward.  I can’t miss out on that opportunity.  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  You’re right.

COMMISSIONER HART:  Mr. President, we appreciate this opportunity to speak with you.  We are committed to having this dialogue further, in order to protect and serve all the residents of Suffolk County.  And I thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Well, thank you very much, Geri.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you very much.  And you’re right, and you should get more.

I think what we’ll do is we’ll close it out with Peter later.  But, Robert, I would love to hear from you.  Would love to hear from Elizabeth.  Maybe you go ahead.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

MICKENS:  I’d like to say thank you, Mr. President, for all the hard work that you’ve been doing since you got into office, with help eradicating this gang, help bringing some type of peace to our home — even though it’s still not going to be the same.

For those who don’t know, who haven’t been through this, we have to go through every day.  It’s an ongoing struggle.  It’s not easy for us, especially me, to wake up, look down the hallway, and not see my daughter laying in her bed or me waking her up for school in the morning.  It’s very difficult.

You know, we missed two birthdays of hers.  This would have been they’re graduating year, this year.  And it’s very sad that all these loopholes for all these past couple of years, decades that have been allowing these criminals to come into our country, into our towns, and into our states and do whatever they want, and they feel they could get away with it.

That’s why, Mr. President, I’m glad that you’re at the forefront of this fight and that you’re taking this very seriously.  This is a fight, in my opinion, that should have been happening a long time ago.  I don’t know why it hasn’t.  But thank you for doing what you’re doing right now.  And I do honor what you’re doing, and I believe that you are going to do your best to eradicate this gang and all other gangs.

You know, it’s one thing for children to have a little argument, a little fist fight — walk away the next day.  But to murder another student, your fellow classmate that you see every day, you’re not — in my opinion, you’re not an ordinary human.

You know, whatever they believe to make them do this, to make them gain recognition inside their gang, then come later on to find out that if they do something wrong they will be eliminated also by their own gang members.

These children are not using they head.  I’m not sure if it’s because they’re alone, they’re scared, they’re being pressured.  It’s a lot.  But these children, they really need to stop hurting each other.  Because if these children are our future, we’re not going to have a future.  We really won’t.

And I really do believe that, with the President’s help, and Nassau and Suffolk County Commissioner, and to the other 49 states, we will win this war against MS-13 and other gangs, because our streets should not have to be bloodshed.  Our streets should be filled with children riding bikes, playing kickball, basketball, baseball, whatever they love to do to make them happy.

Us, as parents, should not have to bury our child.  And it’s just hard.  It really is hard.  You know, there’s people every day who question what the President says, and I try to explain to them the best that I can, but they’re not seeing the bigger picture.  It hit home with him because he’s a fellow Long Islander.

And we can’t have children kill children anymore.  You know, we — it’s going to be a division amongst communities, eventually, if this doesn’t stop.  There’s already a division now between protestors and the ones who are sticking behind our President.

As far as the protestors, they’re not seeing the bigger picture because they’re not living the life that we have to go through every day.  If they were to see how we have to live every day, wake up — sometimes I forget and I feel that she is in her room, and I’m ready to go pick on her or do something that a father and daughter would normally do.  They don’t — they’re not living through that.  They’re not living through the pain where, okay, for a while we could be fine; the next thing you know, something that would spark a memory of our loved one, and it could bring us back to times and places that we try not to remember that’s still going to be in our mind until the — you know, until we rest in peace.

And what they have done to us — we have learned to take a tragedy into something positive.  We’re standing here — we’re sitting here, we’re giving speeches, we give comments, we give our concerns, we try to stay active in the community just to reach out to those who may be afraid to speak up or to say something.

And it’s very important for us people in the community to come together with our local law enforcement to help get rid of these members off our streets, out of our schools.  Put them where they belong: in prison.  (Applause.)

And I would like to say, thank you to everybody up here on the panel for all the hard work and the dedication that you’re putting forward to this.

Obviously, this is a very touching subject because there’s immigration involved, but they have to realize America is based off of immigration.  Everybody who came here as an immigrant wanted the American Dream.  The American Dream is still there.  But if you’re going to come here with acts of violence, you can stay in your own country with that, because we don’t need it here anymore.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Robert.  So beautiful.  Thank you, Robert.  Incredible.  That’s incredible.  Thanks.

And the American Dream is coming back bigger and better than ever.  You know that.

And I have to say, the protestors, they’re not so big anymore.  They’re dwindling.  They’re getting it.  Everyone is getting it.  And what you just said is beautiful, and we appreciate it.  Thank you.  Really nice.

Elizabeth, would you like to say something?  (Applause.)  And thank you, Robert.

ALVARADO:  Every day I wake up, I feel like she’s coming home.  But we have to help our children.  We have to educate them.  We have to, you know, look into the schools and make sure that your kids are okay.

My daughter was only 15 years old, and she act like a 30-year-old.  She already knew what she wanted in her life.  And at 5:23, every day of my life, I feel like she’s going to come through that door.  But I know she’s not.

And for her legacy, I will try to do the best I can to educate parents, children, little kids.  If you need to talk to me, and you’re scared, I’m here.  I will always be here, because my daughter wants me to be here.  And I miss her very much.  There’s not one day that goes by that I don’t think about her.

So I just hope that my message comes out, that we all need to be educated on how MS-13 is.  I appreciate everybody’s love and friendship, and meeting the President.  Who would ever thought that I would do that?  But I met remarkable people in my journey, and I hope they stick by me so that we can put a closure to this.  Thank you.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Elizabeth.  Beautiful.  Thank you, Elizabeth.  We will stick by you, too.  We will stick by you.  Thank you very much.

Freddy, do you want to start?  Evelyn, go ahead.

RODRIGUEZ:  I want to thank you for having us here today to discuss what’s been going on here on the Island and throughout the United States.

PARTICIPANT:  Check the mic.

RODRIGUEZ:  Sorry.  I want to thank everyone for being here.  And, Mr. President, thank you again for listening to us and our needs in eradicating these MS-13 individuals.

My daughter Kayla was a beautiful girl.  She had dreams, and they took that away from her.  That’s not right.  And how these kids were murdered, tortured, is unacceptable.  We should not be tolerating this behavior at all whatsoever.

Law enforcement, thank you so much for your hard work and dedication in keeping our kids safe, our communities, and working together as one and helping out each other with information that you guys receive.  And again, thank you, Donald Trump, for supporting our law enforcement to the fullest capacity that they need.

You said the other day that these individuals are animals.  You’re correct.  They are animals in how they kill, how they get these kids and they torture them.  No child should ever, ever have to suffer.  As parents, we have to endure that pain, that numbness every day of our lives.

My daughter, Nisa supposed to be graduating in a couple of weeks.  We’re supposed to be getting, you know, graduation outfits, having a party.  We’re unable to do that.  No parent should ever have to go through this, at all.  We have families here from the four boys from Central Islip: Jose Peña, Jorge (inaudible), Michael, and Jefferson.  Their families are suffering every day, but they thank you for your hard work in trying to make the situation a little bit better.

THE PRESIDENT:  Please stand.  Please.  Please.  (Applause.)

RODRIGUEZ:  People have to realize that these situations originate in school.  It plays out in school, and it comes out into the streets.  We need to focus on what’s happening in the schools.  We have to put in professional educators in there to help the teachers, the school administration how to handle this.  They say they know how to handle it; they really don’t.

Two years, as you’ve heard before, I was fighting with the school district — two years, for my daughter — and they did nothing.  In fact, they lied in my face.

So we can’t tolerate that behavior either, in the schools.  When there’s a problem, they need to notify.  When there’s a threat, they need to notify law enforcement immediately.  They need to get help.  And if they say they have it under control, they’re basically lying in your faces.  They do not have this under control.

These people, these individuals, they know what they’re doing.  They know how to work.  At one point they were called “organized crime.”  They know how to work it.  We need to stop it.

All originates in school, and it plays out in the streets.  And a lot of these kids are innocent.  They don’t know, they don’t have the guidance.  These kids are coming in unaccompanied.  They don’t know who to turn to.  They’re afraid.  They’re coming from a country that they were afraid with their law enforcement — people they couldn’t trust.

Here, we have to make sure that the resources and the programs are there for them.  And the ones that are coming in here unaccompanied, being sponsored, we need to investigate the sponsors to make sure they’re legit.  And that one phone call that they do for a follow up — has to be more than that.  Home visits — making sure that these kids are going in a straight line, they’re not going off of that straight line.  They need to follow rules.

Whether you’re black, white, Hispanic, green, purple, alien out of this space, there is a consequence.  When you do a crime, there’s a consequence.  You’re not going to get off easy.  And especially, especially when you murder a child.  That is unacceptable.  (Applause.)  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Freddy?  Please.

CUEVAS:  First and foremost, Mr. President and everybody on this panel — there’s too many names I can say at once — I would like to say, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.  This is the third time that you visit Long Island — second time, excuse me — and I appreciate everything and all the efforts that everybody is doing back in D.C. as well.

And also would like to thank Peter King as well, for giving us this privilege to have all the heads of the departments and states to come here and realize the problem that we’re enduring.

My daughter was a beautiful girl.  She was a person that was — had achievements, had goals.  And those were taken from her.  She’s not here no longer because of the situation that these individuals — like you said, I think that you used the correct word, “animals,” that they are — took her away from us and destroyed her dream.

We appreciate everything that’s being done, and we just need to tackle the issue stronger.  And hopefully we can eliminate them and make sure that it doesn’t happen again to any of the families or anybody else within our world.

Thank you once again everyone.  Appreciate it.  (Applause.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you.

Peter.

REPRESENTATIVE KING:  Thank you, Mr. President.  Again, let me thank you for doing this.  And let me also acknowledge our Town Supervisor Joe Saladino, who is here today and doing a great job.  (Applause.)

And, Mr. President, all I can say is, first of all, thank you for doing this.  It’s beyond description the good you’re doing by this.  I think this is one of the most important and significant events ever on Long Island because it addresses an issue which local people have been facing for a long time.  But for the first time, the federal government at your level — the U.S. Attorney has always been trying, and ICE, and others — but no one from your level has ever, ever given the attention you have.

So I want to thank you very much for what you’re doing.  Thank you for your dedication.  Thank you for always being there.  And they can protest all they want.  We’re with you.  Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you, Peter.  (Applause.)

Well, I just want to — I really want to thank all of the families.  And Robert, Elizabeth — so beautiful.  Thank you very much.  I really appreciate that.  That was incredible.  And Freddy, Evelyn, thank you very much.

CUEVAS:  Thank you.  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT:  Not much you can say other than we are really working hard on this problem.  This is a horrible problem.  We’re bringing them out, and our people are rougher than them.  That’s the only language they understand.  It would be wonderful if we could talk nicely and softly, but the only language they understand is that toughness.  And, Tom, you’ve displayed it; your people have displayed it.  Everybody up here has displayed it.  Everybody.

But the records are being set, but they still keep coming in.  We need immigration laws.  We need strong laws.  And we’re going to get them.  It’s moving.  It’s harder and harder for the Democrats to fight it.  Look, I’d like to say it’s just people doing it.  They happen to be Democrats.  They’re very well unified in this regard, but they’re starting to break up now.  Finally, they’re starting to break up.

And the other day was actually a great day, when they were coming to the defense of MS-13.  They’re coming to the defense, and that was the end of them because nobody, nobody understood it.  Nobody.  When they started rationalizing, and — maybe it was the way they grew up.  And maybe it was, but we’re stuck with a big problem.

Again, you heard the numbers.  You heard what a number of the folks have said.  We’re taking them out by the thousands, by the thousands.  And they’re being thrown out of the country.  They’re being put in jails.

When they’re put in jails, that costs us a fortune for years, and years, and years as a country.  But when we throw them out, they go back on the streets; they don’t go anywhere.  The countries don’t want them.  In some cases, the countries don’t take them.  But now, with us, they take them.  With the previous administration, they’d say, “No, we don’t want them.”  With us, it’s a much different deal.  They take them, but you don’t know what they do with them.  Do they let them out?  Do they put them in jail?  Are they incarcerated?  They’re murderers, in many cases.  Are they incarcerated?

So we’re very tough, but we’re getting a lot tougher.  But we do need law changes.  We need those laws to change.  Because we can be really smart and we can really know what we’re doing — which we do — these are all incredible professionals, every one up here; incredible professionals.  But when the laws are no good, the laws are horrible, there’s not much you can do beyond what we’re doing.

We’re down on immigration crossing the border — more than 40 percent.  We were actually down 77 percent.  Our economy is doing so well, people are coming across the border.  The economy is — it’s one bad thing about having a great economy, frankly.  But the economy is doing so well that people are crossing the border.  In many cases, they’re crossing for reasons of good, but in many cases they’re crossing for reasons of really, really bad.

But these people are incredible people.  And I want to thank you all for being here, too.  I know what you’ve gone through.  I just want to thank you very much for being here.

We are making tremendous strides.  We will continue.  And in a not-too-distant future, I feel totally confident that this product — this problem will be eradicated.  We’re not going to have this problem.  I essentially grew up on Long Island.  And when I hear Hempstead and Mineola and all of the places that I know so well, that you can’t walk outside — this used to be where you’d leave your doors unlocked, you’d leave your windows open, always.  And you have gang members now that are so rough, people are afraid to go outside.

We have these trucks coming in; they used to call them “paddy wagons.”  I don’t know what they call them anymore.  What do they call them, Tom?  But we have the ICE guys coming in, and I’ll tell you something — the ICE guys are a lot rougher than the MS-13 guys.  They’re rougher, they’re tougher, and they’re meaner.  (Applause.)  And they throw them into — I don’t want to mention the name of a town, but a town that I know very well.  They throw these guys into these wagons, these rolling jails.  And you have people applauding.  It’s almost like a war, where you’re getting rid of somebody that’s occupying your nation.

And for me to go through and be in this position, and see towns that I’ve known all my life — I grew up here; I know every one of the towns — and it’s unthinkable that it’s almost like an occupied territory, where your children are afraid to go out, and in many cases, if they go out, bad things happen.

But when you see the scene — and I saw it, Tom; I saw it — of guys being thrown right into these wagons, being taken away, and the crowd is cheering — cheering.  And in one way it’s beautiful, and another way it’s terrible that we’re having to even conceivably do that, especially in a place that you’ve known so well all your life that was safe.

I just want to thank the law enforcement, because what they go through and the restrictions that are put on them are incredible:  They got to be nice; they can’t be too tough.  They have to be gentle.  They can’t touch, they can’t do anything.  And they do an incredible job.  And people understand it.

And to law enforcement — I have to tell you, because I’ve gotten to know the heart of this country maybe better than anybody, and that’s why I’m here.  The people out there love you and respect you.  You may read a lot of stuff.  I will tell you, you are the most respected people there are.  (Applause.)  And on behalf of everybody, I want to thank you very much for what you do.  Thank you.  Thank you very much.

END

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-roundtable-discussion-immigration-bethpage-ny/

Story 2: Governor Abbott Roundtable Meeting in Stopping Mass Shootings in Gun Free Zones Such As Texas Santa Fe High School Shootings With 10 Dead and 14 Wounded –Videos

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

Second day of Santa Fe shooting roundtable covers mental health and gun regulation

Texas official on school shooting: ‘We cannot…say it’s the gun – it’s us as a nation’

Gov. Abbott leads roundtable discussion on school safety

Alerrt active shooter training may have saved lives in Santa Fe

 

Texas Lt. Governor: Need armed teachers, fewer school entrances

Word for Word: Texas Gov. Abbott: “We Need to Do More Than Just Pray” (C-SPAN)

WATCH: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott delivers remarks on Santa Fe school shooting

Police chief discusses school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas

Shooting survivor says shooting was inevitable

Lawyers for Texas shooting suspect speak out

Here are the Texas shooting victims’ stories

New details emerge on how the Texas school shooting was carried out

Pres. Donald Trump remarks on Santa Fe school shooting in speech at the Prison Reform Summit

 

Santa Fe High school shooter studied previous mass shootings and used tactics from them in his own massacre

  • Dimitrios Pagourtzis burst into an art classroom with shotgun, yelling ‘surprise’ 
  • The 17-year-old is in custody and investigators revealed he studied massacres 
  • Among those killed are an art teacher, investigators trying to work out motive
  • Pagourtzis acted alone, spared students he liked so they could tell his story

A teenager who opened fire in a Texas high school killing ten people studied previous mass shootings and used them when carrying out his own massacre, it was reported.

Dimitrios Pagourtzis, a 17-year-old Santa Fe High School junior, allegedly burst into an art classroom yelling ‘Surprise!’ while brandishing his father’s shotgun and pistol, before opening fire and gunning down students and teachers.

He was taken into custody Friday morning and two other ‘persons of interest’ have also been interviewed by investigators.

Dimitri Pagourtzis, 17, is being held without bond in Galveston County Jail in Texas

Dimitri Pagourtzis, 17, is being held without bond in Galveston County Jail in Texas

Memorials have sprung up around Santa Fe, Texas for those killed in the high school massacre

Two teachers and eight pupils were killed when Pagourtzis allegedly burst into a classroom and yelled ‘surprise’

A source told ABC News Pagourtzis ‘studied previous mass shootings and used aspects of those [attacks] in his own shooting’.

Investigators have also determined that they don’t expect to charge anyone else besides the alleged shooter, sources said.

Substitute teacher Ann Perkins, 64, art teacher Cynthia Tisdale and students Sabika Sheikh, Chris Stone, Kim Vaughan, Angelique Ramirez, Aaron Kyle McLeod, Christian Garcia and Shana Fisher have been confirmed dead.

Pagourtzis also said he spared the students he liked so he could ‘have his story told,’ according to court documents.

Police are now trying to piece together what motive ‘quiet’ Pagourtzis had for carrying out the shooting, the 22nd school shooting in 2018 alone.

A church service was held at Arcadia First Baptist Church near Santa Fe High School on Sunday to honor the lives lost

Angelique Ramirez

Angelique Ramirez (left) and Kim Vaughan (right) were confirmed dead by friends and family on Friday evening

Pagourtzis (circled) was a member of a traditional Greek dance group with a local church

Pagourtzis (circled) was a member of a traditional Greek dance group with a local church

Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Pagourtzis wrote about planning the attack in journals on his computer and in his cellphone that police obtained.

‘Not only did he want to commit the shooting but he wanted to commit suicide after the shooting,’ Abbott said, adding that Pagourtzis told authorities he ‘didn’t have the courage’ to take his own life.

How the Santa Fe High School shooting unfolded

7.32am – Law enforcement responded to reports of an active shooter

8.02am – Dimitrios Pagourtzis surrenders to cops

8.05am – President Donald Trump tweets ‘School shooting in Texas. Early reports not looking good. God bless all!’

8.13am –  Santa Fe Independent School District confirms there was an active shooter and the district has initiated a lockdown

8.30am – Santa Fe High School is evacuated

9am – Assistant Principal confirms the shooter had been arrested

9.15am – Suspected explosive devices are found

10am – Law enforcement confirms eight people are dead

10.45am – Death toll updated to between eight and 10

11.18am –  Santa Fe ISD says explosives were found at the high school

Pagourtzis played on the high school’s junior varsity football team and was a member of a traditional Greek dance group with a local Orthodox church.

Acquaintances described him as quiet and unassuming, an avid video game player who routinely wore a black trench coat and black boots to class.

Friends said he had been bullied, including by coaches who told him he ‘smelled bad’.

The other students detained have not been named.

Police were hunting for explosive devices in two homes after finding pipe bombs scattered around the school in the wake of the shooting.

Pagourtzis used his father’s legally owned shotgun and .38-revolver in the massacre, officials said. It’s not clear whether the father knew his son had taken them.

The suspect’s father Antonios Pagourtzis, 63, runs a ship repair and industrial cleaning firm.

He was born in Greece and ‘liked’ NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesh on Facebook.

As well as killing 10, the shooting spree also injured 10 more, including John Barnes, 49, a retired Houston police officer now working as the Santa Fe resource officer who was first to confront the shooter.

The hero cop was shot in the arm and was hospitalized in critical condition after losing significant amounts of blood.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5752409/Santa-Fe-High-school-shooter-studied-previous-mass-shootings-used-tactics-massacre.html#ixzz5GSXCp5IA

 

Mass shootings in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Total U.S. deaths by year in mass shootings: 1982 to 2016.[1]

Map of mass shootings in 2015.

There is no fixed definition of a mass shooting,[2] but a common definition is an act of violence — excluding gang killings, domestic violence, or terrorist acts sponsored by an organization — in which a gunman kills at least four victims. Using this definition, one study found that nearly one-third of the world’s public mass shootings between 1966 and 2012 (90 of 292 incidents) occurred in the United States,[3][4] which has more mass shootings than any other country.[5][6][7][8] Using the same definition, Gun Violence Archive records 152 mass shootings in the United States between 1967 and May 2018, averaging eight fatalities per incident when the perpetrator’s death is included.[9]

The overwhelming majority of perpetrators are male and act alone,[10] and they generally either commit suicide or are restrained or killed by law enforcement officers or civilians.[11]

Definition

There is no fixed definition of a mass shooting in the United States.[2] The Investigative Assistance for Violent Crimes Act of 2012, signed into law by Congress in January 2013, defines a “mass killing” as one resulting in at least 3 victims, excluding the perpetrator.[12][2][13][14] In 2015, the Congressional Research Service defined a mass shooting as “a multiple homicide incident in which four or more victims are murdered with firearms, within one event, and in one or more locations in close proximity”.[15] A broader definition, as used by the Gun Violence Archive, is that of “4 or more shot or killed, not including the shooter”.[16] This definition, of four people shot regardless of whether or not that results in injury or death, is often used by the press and non-profit organizations.[17][18][19][20][21]

Frequency

Memorial at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign following the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, which resulted in 59 deaths and 851 non-fatal injuries.

Studies indicate that the rate at which public mass shootings occur has tripled since 2011. Between 1982 and 2011, a mass shooting occurred roughly once every 200 days. However, between 2011 and 2014 that rate has accelerated greatly with at least one mass shooting occurring every 64 days in the United States.[22]

In recent years, the number of public mass shootings has increased substantially, although there has been an approximately 50% decrease in firearm homicides in the nation overall since 1993. The decrease in firearm homicides has been attributed to better policing, a better economy and environmental factors such as the removal of lead from gasoline.[23] However, this does not account for an increase in firearm injuries or suicides, nor explain the increase in mass shootings.

Differing sources

A comprehensive report by USA Today tracked all mass killings from 2006 through 2017 in which the perpetrator willfully killed 4 or more people. For mass killings by firearm for instance, it found 271 incidents with a total of 1,358 victims.[24] Mother Jones listed seven mass shootings, defined as indiscriminate rampages in public places resulting in four or more victims killed,[25] in the U.S. for 2015.[26] An analysis by Michael Bloomberg’s gun violence prevention group, Everytown for Gun Safety, identified 110 mass shootings, defined as shootings in which at least four people were murdered with a firearm, between January 2009 and July 2014; at least 57% were related to domestic or family violence.[27][28]

Other media outlets have reported that hundreds of mass shootings take place in the United States in a single calendar year, citing a crowd-funded website known as Shooting Tracker which defines a mass shooting as having four or more people injured or killed.[19] In December 2015, The Washington Post reported that there had been 355 mass shootings in the United States so far that year.[29] In August 2015, The Washington Post reported that the United States was averaging one mass shooting per day.[30] An earlier report had indicated that in 2015 alone, there had been 294 mass shootings that killed or injured 1,464 people.[31] Shooting Tracker and Mass Shooting Tracker, the two sites that the media have been citing, have been criticized for using a broader criteria — counting four victims injured as a mass shooting — thus producing much higher figures.[32][33]

Contributing factors

Several possible factors may work together to create a fertile environment for mass murder in the United States.[34] Most commonly suggested include:

  1. A history of adverse childhood experiences (e.g., abuse of children emotionally, physically, sexually) leading to adult criminality[35]
  2. The desire to seek revenge for a long history of being bullied.[36]
  3. Desire for fame and notoriety.[34][3]
  4. The copycat phenomenon.[3]
  5. Failure of government background checks due to incomplete databases and/or staff shortages.[37][38]
  6. Higher accessibility and ownership of guns.[34][3][39] The US has the highest per-capita gun ownership in the world with 88.8 firearms per 100 people; the second highest is Yemen with 54.8 firearms per 100 people.[34]
  7. The widespread chronic gap between people’s expectations for themselves and their actual achievement,[34] and individualistic culture.[40]
  8. Mental illness[41][42][43] and its treatment (or the lack thereof) with psychiatric drugs[44]. This is controversial. Many of the mass shooters in the U.S. suffered from mental illness, but the estimated number of mental illness cases has not increased as significantly as the number of mass shootings.[3]

Weapons used

Several types of weapons have been used in mass shootings in the United States including rifles, handguns, and shotguns. In contrast to the rest of the world, where the perpetrator typically has only one gun, more than half of US mass shootings are committed with multiple weapons.[3] While pistols are by far the most prevalent weapons in US mass shootings,[45] AR-15 style rifles have been used in a number of the deadliest incidents, and have come to be widely characterized in the mainstream media as the weapon of choice for perpetrators of these crimes.[46][47][48][49][50]

Deadliest mass shootings

The following mass shootings are the deadliest to have occurred in modern U.S. history (1949 to present). Only incidents with ten or more fatalities are included.[51]

dagger Was previously the deadliest mass shooting
Incident Year Deaths Injuries Type of firearm(s) used Ref(s)
1 Las Vegas shooting 2017 59 (inc. the perp.) 851 Semi-automatic rifles [52][53]
2 Orlando nightclub shooting dagger 2016 50 (inc. the perp.) 58 Semi-automatic rifle and pistol [52][53]
3 Virginia Tech shooting dagger 2007 33 (inc. the perp.) 23 Semi-automatic pistols [52]
4 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting 2012 28 (inc. the perp.) 2 Semi-automatic rifle and pistol [52]
5 Sutherland Springs church shooting 2017 27 (inc. the perp.)[nb 1] 20 Semi-automatic rifle [54][53]
6 Luby’s shooting dagger 1991 24 (inc. the perp.) 27 Semi-automatic pistols [52]
7 San Ysidro McDonald’s massacre dagger 1984 23 (inc. the perp.)[nb 2] 19 Multiple types of firearms [52]
8 University of Texas tower shooting dagger 1966 18 (inc. the perp.)[nb 3] 31 Multiple types of firearms [52]
9 Stoneman Douglas High School shooting 2018 17 17 Semi-automatic rifle [55]
10 San Bernardino attack 2015 16 (inc. both perps.) 24 Semi-automatic rifles [52][53]
11 Edmond post office shooting 1986 15 (inc. the perp.) 6 Semi-automatic pistols [52]
Columbine High School massacre 1999 15 (inc. both perps.) 24 Multiple types of firearms [56]
13 Binghamton shootings 2009 14 (inc. the perp.) 4 Semi-automatic pistols [56]
Fort Hood shooting 2009 14 [nb 4] 33 (inc. the perp.) Semi-automatic pistols [56]
15 Camden shootings dagger 1949 13 3 Semi-automatic pistol [56]
Wilkes-Barre shootings 1982 13 1 Semi-automatic rifle [56]
Wah Mee massacre 1983 13 1 Multiple types of firearms [57]
Washington Navy Yard shooting 2013 13 (inc. the perp.) 8 Semi-automatic pistol and shotgun [56]
19 Aurora shooting 2012 12 70 Multiple types of firearms [56][53]
20 Easter Sunday massacre 1975 11 0 Semi-automatic pistols and revolver [58]
Geneva County massacre 2009 11 (inc. the perp.) 6 Multiple types of firearms [56]
22 Palm Sunday massacre 1984 10 0 Handguns [59]
GMAC shootings 1990 10 (inc. the perp.) 6 Semi-automatic rifle [52]
Atlanta shootings 1999 10 (inc. the perp.) 13 Semi-automatic pistols and revolver [52]
Red Lake shootings 2005 10 (inc. the perp.) 5 Semi-automatic pistols and shotgun [56]
Umpqua Community College shooting 2015 10 (inc. the perp.) 8 Semi-automatic pistols and revolver [56]
Santa Fe High School shooting 2018 10 13 Shotgun and revolver [60]

See also

Notes

  1. Jump up^ The fatality total includes an unborn child.
  2. Jump up^ The fatality total includes an unborn child.
  3. Jump up^ The fatality total includes an unborn child.
  4. Jump up^ The fatality total includes an unborn child.

References

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

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott touts immediate plans to stop school shootings, but avoids talk of a special session

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott hosted his first of three roundtable discussions on gun violence at the Capitol Tuesday.

Gov. Greg Abbott (top center, in front of U.S. flag) held the first of three roundtable discussions on school safety in Austin on May 22, 2018, in the aftermath of the Santa Fe high school shooting.  Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

After a closed door meeting Tuesday on school safety and gun violence, Gov. Greg Abbott proposed a series of initiatives to prevent future school shootings, though he largely avoided talk of a special legislative session to immediately pass new laws.

The roundtable discussion was the first of three scheduled this week to discuss school safety and gun violence following a massacre at Santa Fe High School last week.

Abbott, a Republican, listed off numerous ideas and suggestions that came out of the three-hour meeting, but focused on four specific ideas that he said could be implemented before students come back to school next fall.

They included trying to provide a grant to the Texas School Safety Center to train local school districts and law enforcement agencies on collaboration, creating a statewide threat assessment system, expanding a Lubbock program aimed at preventing at-risk students from committing violent acts and creating a list of recommendations for all schools on how they can immediately make their schools safer, like re-evaluating entrances and exits and placing law enforcement inside schools.

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“They’re going to be some of the simplest but most effective strategies that can be employed to make sure that our schools are safer places when our kids walk into those schools next August,” Abbott told the press after the meeting.

Other ideas that Abbott mentioned were increasing the number of school counselors, creating incentives for students to share information about potential threats and evaluating an expansion of a state program that arms teachers. He also spoke of a vague idea of mandating parent training to prevent shootings and spoke at length about creating an app that would allow students, parents and law enforcement to monitor school security cameras.

The governor focused largely on what could be done without legislative approval. When asked if a special session was needed to combat the issue of school shootings, as several politicians have suggested, he brushed it off.

“That’s a process question,” he said. “Right now we’re focused on substance issues. We need solutions first.”

Attendees of Tuesday’s discussion included leaders from the Texas House and Senate and the heads of the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Department of Public Safety. There were also local law enforcement and school officials, including the district attorney who will lead the prosecution against 17-year-old Dimitrios Pagourtzis, the accused shooter in Friday’s killings.

Most of them expressed optimism after the meeting.

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Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick — who raised some eyebrows when he mentioned shortly after the shooting Friday that a possible solution could be to remodel Texas schools to limit the number of entrances and exits — said the meeting exceeded expectations.

“You could feel a unification of voices around the issues he discussed from various school districts and law enforcement,” he told The Texas Tribune.

State Sen. Joan Huffman, a Republican from Houston who leads the State Affairs Committee, and her colleague, Sen. John Whitmire, a Houston Democrat and chair of the Senate’s Criminal Justice Committee, both echoed Patrick’s optimism after the meeting and were happy with many of the proposals. But Whitmire said they’ll have to be careful to avoid a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.

He said that’s especially true when talking about parental involvement; one idea was mandating parental training. It’s important to understand Houston is different than Round Rock, Whitmire said.

“I know a school district in the Houston area that’s got 20,000 students who’ve got undocumented parents,” he said. “So when we try to incorporate parent involvement and hold parents accountable, you’ve got to face reality that some parents are not welcome to the school.”

Wednesday’s discussion will focus on gun regulations, mental health solutions and underlying causes of gun violence, Abbott said just before Tuesday’s meeting. It will include advocates both for and against further gun restrictions, mental health experts and social media experts, he said.

Thursday will be a day for the victims of mass shootings in Texas, including the school shooting in Santa Fe that killed 10 and one at a church in Sutherland Springs last fall that killed 26. The exact list of attendees for Thursday has not yet been released.

Democrats have largely welcomed a discussion on gun violence but criticized the effectiveness of any changes currently proposed by Republican leadership. State Rep. Chris Turner of Grand Prairie, chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, said Friday that the state should also pass universal background checks and require the reporting of stolen guns.

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And in a news release Tuesday morning, U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, said excluding several groups who want stricter gun regulation, including Moms Demand Action and March for Our Lives, will limit the potential for meaningful action. Texas Gun Sense, which advocates for further gun restrictions, is expected to attend Abbott’s discussion Wednesday.

After the meeting Tuesday, Abbott said the results of the roundtable shows that politician’s actions are already more than just talk.

“We came up with very solid solutions, and now it’s just a matter of implementing those solutions,” he said

Read related Tribune coverage:

https://www.texastribune.org/2018/05/22/texas-gov-greg-abbott-discusses-santa-fe-shooting-and-school-safety-be/

 

Story 3: President Trump Delivers Keynote Address at Susan B. Anthony List 11th Annual Campaign for Life Gala — Videos

President Trump delivers address at Campaign for Life Gala

Susan B. Anthony List’s 2018 Mission: Elections for Life

President Trump Delivers Remarks at the Susan B. Anthony List 11th Annual Campaign for Life Gala

 

President Trump Delivers Remarks at the Susan B. Anthony List 11th Annual Campaign for Life Gala

Susan B. Anthony List

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Susan B. Anthony List
SBAList.jpg
Founded February 4, 1993
Re-organized 1997
Founder Rachel MacNair[1][2]
Type 501(c)(4) non-profit
Focus Anti-abortion political advocacy
Location
Area served
United States
Members
c. 365,000
Key people
Marjorie Dannenfelser(President)
Emily Buchanan (Executive Director)
Website http://www.sba-list.org

The Susan B. Anthony List (SBA List) is a 501(c)(4) non-profit[3] organization that seeks to reduce and ultimately end abortion in the U.S.[4] by supporting anti-abortion politicians, primarily women,[5] through its SBA List Candidate Fund political action committee.[6][7] In 2011, it reported it had 333,000 members.[8]

Founded in 1993 by sociologist and psychologist Rachel MacNair, the SBA List was a response to the success of the pro-choice group EMILY’s List, which was partly responsible for bringing about the 1992 “Year of the Woman” in which a significant number of women, all pro-choice, were elected to Congress. MacNair wished to help anti-abortion women gain high public office. She recruited Marjorie Dannenfelser and Jane Abraham as the first experienced leaders of SBA List. Dannenfelser is now president of the organization and Abraham is chairwoman of the board. Named for suffragist Susan B. Anthony, SBA List identifies itself with Anthony and several 19th-century women’s rights activists; SBA List argues that Anthony and other early feminists were opposed to abortion. Regarding Anthony’s beliefs, the SBA List has been challenged by scholars and pro-choice activists. Anthony scholar Ann D. Gordon and Anthony biographer Lynn Sherr write that Anthony “spent no time on the politics of abortion”.[9]

Founding

The formation of the SBA List was catalyzed in March 1992 when Rachel MacNair, head of Feminists for Life, watched a 60 Minutes television documentary profiling IBM-heiress Ellen Malcolm and the successful campaign-funding activities of her Democratic pro-choice group EMILY’s List.[10][11] MacNair, a peace activist and anti-abortion Quaker, was motivated to organize the Susan B. Anthony List for the purpose of countering EMILY’s List by providing early campaign funds to anti-abortion women candidates.[1][10] Led by FFL and MacNair, 15 anti-abortion groups formed an umbrella organization, the National Women’s Coalition for Life (NWCL), which adopted a joint anti-abortion statement on April 3, 1992.[12]

Also inspired by EMILY’s List, in 1992, the WISH List was formed to promote pro-choice candidates who were members of the opposing Republican Party.[13] In November 1992 after many of the pro-choice candidates won their races to create what was termed the “Year of the Woman“, MacNair announced the formation of the SBA List, describing its purpose as endorsing and supporting women who held anti-abortion beliefs without regard to party affiliation.[14] MacNair determined to challenge the EMILY’s List and the WISH List notion that the top female politicians were primarily pro-choice.[15][16] She said the SBA List would not support right-wing political candidates. “We want good records on women’s rights – probably not Phyllis Schlafly“.[14] The NWCL sponsored the SBA List with $2,485 to create it as a political action committee (PAC)[17][18][19] on February 4, 1993, listing MacNair as the first secretary; the group operated out of MacNair’s office inside a crisis pregnancy center on East 47th Street in Kansas City, Missouri.[19][20][21] The first SBA List public event was held the same month at the Washington, D.C., headquarters of the National Woman’s Party.[22] Organized by founding board member Susan Gibbs, the “kickoff” event raised “more than $9000”.[23]

Susan B. Anthony and early feminist connection

MacNair named the SBA List after the famous suffragistSusan B. Anthony.[24][25] The leaders of the SBA List say that Anthony was “passionately pro-life”.[26][27] According to the SBA list, Susan B. Anthony “called abortion ‘child murder'”[28] This topic has been subject to a modern-day dispute about Anthony’s views on abortion, with scholars and pro-choice activists “concerned that their heroine is being appropriated”.[29] While Anthony deplored abortion, she never worked against it.[9][30] Anthony scholar Ann D. Gordon and Anthony biographer Lynn Sherr say the quotes SBA List cites are misattributed or taken out of context. Gordon said that Anthony “never voiced an opinion about the sanctity of fetal life … and she never voiced an opinion about using the power of the state to require that pregnancies be brought to term”.[29]

History

Early activities and re-organization[edit]

Founding board member Susan Gibbs, later the communications director for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, said, of the early years for the SBA List, “None of us had political experience. None of us had PAC experience. We just had a passion for being pro-life.”[22] Shortly after its founding, experienced political activists Marjorie Dannenfelser and then Jane Abraham were brought on board — Dannenfelser served as executive director, leading the organization from her home in Arlington, Virginia.[31] In 1994, the SBA List was successful in helping 8 of its 15 selected candidates gain office.[22] In 1996, only two challengers who were financially backed were elected, while five SBA-List-supported incumbents retained their positions; a disappointing election for the group.[10][22]

In 1997, the SBA List was re-organized by Dannenfelser and Abraham into its current form as a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization with a connected PAC, the SBA List Candidate Fund.[6] Abraham became president and Dannenfelser held the position of Chairwoman of the Board.[32] The rules for endorsing and financially supporting candidates were tightened: in addition to the politician having to be female, she must have demonstrated a pro-life record (a simple declaration was not enough), and she must be seen as likely to win her race.[10] In 1998, the SBA List began backing male pro-life candidates as well, endorsing three men in a pilot program.[22] One of the three won election to office: Republican Peter Fitzgerald who received $2,910 from the SBA List to assist him in his $12.3 million win over pro-choice Democrat Carol Moseley Braun in a battle for the U.S. Senate seat in Illinois.[33][34][35] Abraham served as president from 1997 until 2006 when Dannenfelser became president.

In 2000 the SBA List contributed $25,995 to pro-life candidates in contrast to the pro-choice candidates who received $608,273 from the WISH List or $20 million from EMILY’s List.[36][37]

Recent history

Contributions from supporters grew by 50% from 2007 to 2009.[38] As of December 2009, the SBA List had outspent one of its pro-choice counterparts, the National Organization for Women, in every election cycle since 1996.[39]

In April 2003, Representative Marilyn Musgrave (left) received an award from SBA List President Jane Abraham.

Former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave joined the SBA List in March 2009 and works as a project director and spokesperson.[40] Musgrave had previously been given a pro-life award in 2003 by the SBA List. The organization tried to keep abortion coverage out of any health care reform legislation in 2009 and 2010.[41] It had targeted Senator Bob Casey to ensure abortion was not covered in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA),[42][43]and lobbied for the Stupak-Pitts Amendment to H.R. 3962[44] The group criticized Senator Ben Nelson for what it called a “fake compromise” on abortion in the PPACA[45] and condemned the Christmas Eve passage of the Senate bill.[46]

The group had planned to honor Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI) at its March gala, but after Stupak’s deal with President Obama, in which Obama would issue an executive order banning federal funding for abortion under the bill,[47]Stupak was stripped of his “Defender of Life Award” three days before the gala because of the SBA List’s doubts, shared by the most prominent pro-life groups, about the effectiveness of the Executive Order.[48][49] Stupak had told Dannenfelser, “They [the Democratic leadership] know I won’t fold. There is no way.”[50] On the day of the vote, Dannenfelser said she promised Stupak that the SBA List was “going to be involved in your defeat”.[50] In a statement, Dannenfelser said, “We were planning to honor Congressman Stupak for his efforts to keep abortion-funding out of health care reform. We will no longer be doing so…Let me be clear: any representative, including Rep. Stupak, who votes for this health care bill can no longer call themselves ‘pro-life.'”[47] No one received the award in his place, and Dannenfelser instead used the occasion to condemn Stupak.[51] The group dropped its plans to help Stupak fend off a primary challenge[51] from Connie Saltonstall, who was running on a pro-choice platform.[52] Stupak later dropped out of the race, announcing his retirement from Congress.[53]

In 2010, the SBA List hosted events featuring prominent pro-life political figures as speakers, including Sarah Palin, Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and Rep. Michele Bachmann.[54][55]

In August 2010, to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote, the SBA List held a colloquium at the Yale Club of New York City, billed as “A Conversation on Pro-Life Feminism”.[56][57] The event featured a panel of five scholars in the fields of law, philosophy, history, political science and sociology, who discussed various concepts of feminism and the possibility of broadening the spectrum of pro-life political candidates to include those with more centrist fiscal views.[56][58]

An SBA List project, “Votes Have Consequences”, was headed by former Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave and was aimed at defeating vulnerable candidates in 2010 who did not vote pro-life on key issues, such as health care reform.[59] Under this project, the group endorsed Dan Coats of Indiana for Senate against Rep. Brad Ellsworth, who had voted for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[60] In January 2011, along with Americans for Tax Reform and The Daily Caller, the organization sponsored a debate between candidates for chair of the Republican National Committee.[61]

Peter Roff writing for U.S. News and World Report credited the SBA List for the passage in the House of an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood of federal dollars for fiscal year 2011.[62] Writing for In These Times, social media activist Sady Doyle wrote that in striving against Planned Parenthood, the SBA List registered its priority as ending abortion rather than helping women prevent unwanted pregnancies.[63]

In March 2011, the SBA List teamed with Live Action for a bus tour through 13 congressional districts either thanking or condemning their representatives for their votes to defund Planned Parenthood of tax dollars in the Pence Amendment. In response, Planned Parenthood launched its own tour to follow the SBA List bus.[64] The SBA List also bought $200,000 in radio and television ads backing six Republicans who voted to defund Planned Parenthood in response to a $200,000 ad buy by Planned Parenthood against the Pence Amendment.[65]

In July 2011, the SBA List held a rally in New Hampshire supporting the New Hampshire Executive Council‘s decision to cut off state funding for Planned Parenthood.[66] Spokeswoman Marilyn Musgrave, a former United States congresswoman, said the Council’s decision “really will save unborn lives”.[66] The SBA List has lobbied for passage of the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a federal bill which would ban abortions after 20 weeks.[67] Also in 2011, the SBA List founded the Charlotte Lozier Institute. Named after Charlotte Denman Lozier, the Institute has served as the SBA List’s research and education institute ever since.[68]

Strategies

The SBA List employs many strategies in order to attract the public to its mission. Lawyer and Scholar Tali Leinwand explains that the SBA List encourages Republicans not to endorse personhood amendments, and attempts to link the pro-life movement to less controversial causes like opposition to the Affordable Care Act.[69] These strategies, Leinwand argues, attempt to de-stigmatize the pro-life movement.[69]

Elections

The SBA List Candidate Fund primarily endorses pro-life women, and pro-life men running against pro-choice women.[70]

2006 elections

The 2006 midterm elections were very successful for the SBA list. They won 21 of the 38 contests that they endorsed.[71]

2008 presidential election

Sarah Palin on the campaign trail in 2008

The SBA List gained renewed attention during the 2008 presidential election following Sarah Palin‘s nomination for Vice President. They had endorsed her 2006 run for governor of Alaska.[72] In 2008, the SBA List also started a social networking site and blog called “Team Sarah”, which is “dedicated to advancing the values that Sarah Palin represents in the political process”.[73]

Palin headlined the organization’s 2010 “Celebration of Life” breakfast fundraiser, an event which got extensive media coverage and in which she coined the term “mama grizzly“.[74][75][76][77]

According to Politico, Palin’s criteria for endorsing candidates is whether they have the support of the Tea Party movement and whether they have the support of the SBA List.[78]

2009 elections

In September 2009, in a special election to fill an empty House seat in upstate New York, the group endorsed the pro-life third-party Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman over the pro-choice Republican candidate, Dede Scozzafava, on the stated basis that Scozzafava was an “abortion radical who does not represent the views of the growing majority of pro-life American women”.[79][80] The SBA List joined forces with the National Organization for Marriage in support of Hoffman, spending over $100,000[81] printing literature, making phone calls, and flooding the district with volunteers from across the country.[82]

2010 elections

For the 2010 elections, the SBA List planned to spend $6 million[83] (including $3 million solely on U.S. Senate races[84]) and endorsed several dozen candidates.[85] The SBA List spent nearly $1.7 million on independent expenditure campaigns for or against 50 candidates.[86]

The SBA List conducted a 23-city bus tour to the Congressional districts of self-described pro-life Democrats in OhioIndiana and Pennsylvania who voted for the health care reform bill and to rally supporters to vote them out.[87][88][89] The bus tour attracted counterprotests at some stops, such as one in Pennsylvania where a group called Catholics United accused the SBA List of lying about health care reform.[90]

The organization launched a “Life Speaking Out” petition to urge the Republican Party to include opposition to abortion in its Pledge to America.[91][92] The petition was sent with over 20,000 signatures on it.[93][94]

The organization especially focused on the California Senate race where Carly Fiorina challenged incumbent Senator Barbara Boxer.[95] The group spent $200,000 in support of Fiorina’s campaign during the Republican primary and expected to spend another $1 million for the general election campaign against Boxer.[96] The SBA List partnered with the National Organization for Marriage to air Spanish language TV commercials attacking Boxer’s positions on abortion and gay marriage.[97] The two groups bought $200,000 worth of airtime for the commercial to air in the markets of Los AngelesFresno, and San Diego.[98] However, Boxer prevailed over Fiorina in the November 2010 election.[99]

Other notable endorsements included Sharron Angle, who unsuccessfully[100] challenged incumbent Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada; the SBA List endorsed Angle despite having previously endorsed Angle’s primary opponent, Sue Lowden.[101][102] In September 2010, the SBA List launched a $150,000 campaign on behalf of New Hampshire Senate candidate Kelly Ayotte for the Republican primary.[103] Ayotte won the primary to become the nominee,[104] and later prevailed in the general election.[105] In October 2010, the SBA List endorsed Joe Miller, Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate in Alaska.[106] The SBA List endorsed Miller after Sen. Lisa Murkowski decided to stage a write-in campaign after losing the Republican primary to Miller, and they launched a $10,000 radio campaign to air ads attacking Murkowski for turning a “deaf ear” to the will of voters who voted her out in the primary.[107] Murkowski defeated Miller, who conceded after two months of court battles over contested ballots.[108] 36 of the SBA List’s 2010 endorsed candidates were elected.[109]

Driehaus political ad litigation

In the 2010 campaign, the organization purchased billboard advertisements in the district of Rep. Steve Driehaus of Ohio that showed a photo of Driehaus and intoned, “Shame on Steve Driehaus! Driehaus voted FOR taxpayer-funded abortion”[110] The advertisement referred to Driehaus’s vote in favor of the health care overhaul bill.[111][112] The SBA List has taken the position that the legislation in question allows for taxpayer-funded abortion, a claim which was ruled by a judge to be factually incorrect.[113]

In response, Driehaus, who represented Ohio’s heavily pro-life[110] 1st congressional district, filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission (OEC), claiming the advertisements were false and violated Ohio election law.[114] The OEC ruled in Driehaus’ favor in a probable cause hearing on October 14, 2010.[115] In response, the SBA List asked a federal judge to issue an injunction against the OEC on the grounds that the law at issue stifles free speech[114][116] and that its ads were based on the group’s own interpretation of the law.[113] The ACLU of Ohio filed an 18-page amicus brief on the SBA List’s behalf, arguing that the Ohio law in question is “unconstitutionally vague” and has a “chilling” effect on the SBA List’s right to freedom of speech.[117][118] A federal judge rejected the SBA List’s federal lawsuit on abstention grounds and allowed Driehaus’s OEC complaint to move forward.[111][119]

After the OEC complaint was filed, the SBA List began airing a radio ad in Driehaus’s district in which Dannenfelser stated that the group “[would] not be silenced or intimidated” by Driehaus’s legal action.[120] Driehaus persuaded the billboard company to withdraw the SBA List’s advertisement, which was never erected.[112] Driehaus lost the seat to Steve Chabot, the incumbent whom Driehaus had defeated two years earlier, in the November general election. Driehaus sued the SBA List in a second case on December 3, 2010, accusing the organization of defamation that caused him a “loss of livelihood”,[121] arguing the “First Amendment is not and never has been an invitation to concoct falsehoods aimed at depriving a person of his livelihood”.[112] The SBA List countered by stating the organization would “continue to defend the truth and the right to criticize our elected officials”.[112]

The List continued to seek to have the law in question overturned; the ACLU joined in the organization’s fight against the law.[122] On August 1, 2011, judge Timothy Black dismissed the SBA List’s challenge to the Ohio law, holding that the federal court lacked jurisdiction since the billboards were never erected and the OEC never made a final ruling[123] and denied a motion for summary judgment by the List in the defamation case, allowing Driehaus’s defamation claims regarding other SBA List statements to go forward.[124] Black also directed the SBA List to desist from claiming on its website that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) subsidized abortion as the law does not directly mention abortion.[125] SBA List argued that its statements were opinions and were thus protected, but the court rejected this argument given that SBA List itself had claimed that this was a “fact”.[126][127]

On August 19, 2011, the SBA List appealed the decision on the Ohio law to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.[128] In May 2013, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the SBA List could not challenge the law under the First Amendment.[129] On August 9, 2013, the SBA List petitioned the United States Supreme Court to review the law.[130][131] On January 10, 2014, the Supreme Court accepted the case. The Court heard the case on April 22, 2014.[132]

On June 16, 2014, the United States Supreme Court ruled 9-0 in SBA List’s favor, allowing them to proceed in challenging the constitutionality of the law.[133]

On September 11, 2014, Judge Timothy Black of the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio struck down the law as unconstitutional.[134] Black said in his ruling, “We do not want the government (i. e., the Ohio Elections Commission) deciding what is political truth — for fear that the government might persecute those who criticize it. Instead, in a democracy, the voters should decide.”[135]

2011 elections

In October 2011, the SBA List announced it would involve itself in the 2011 Virginia state Senate elections, endorsing challengers Bryce Reeves against Edd HouckCaren Merrick against Barbara Favola for an open seat, Patricia Phillips against Mark Herring, and incumbent Sen. Jill Vogel in an effort to give control of the Senate to pro-lifers to stop the state Senate from being a “graveyard for pro-life legislation”.[136] It also announced it was spending $25,000 against Sen. Edd Houck to expose his “extreme record on abortion”.[137]Merrick and Phillips lost, but Vogel won re-election and Reeves defeated Houck by just 222 votes.[138]

2012 presidential election

In June 2011, the SBA List unveiled a pro-life pledge for 2012 Republican presidential candidates in which signers commit to appointing only pro-life judicial nominees and cabinet members, preventing taxpayer funding of abortion, and supporting legislation to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy based on the fetal pain concept.[139] Candidates Rick PerryTim PawlentyMichele BachmannNewt GingrichRick SantorumThaddeus McCotterHerman Cain, and Ron Paul all signed the pledge, but Mitt RomneyJon Huntsman, Jr., and Gary Johnson declined. Romney’s refusal (he said the pledge might have “unintended consequences”) sparked heated criticism from the SBA List, some of the other candidates, and political observers given Romney’s past support for legalized abortion.[139][140][141] Huntsman said he would not sign any pledges from political groups during the campaign[142] and was criticized by the SBA List as well.[142] Cain initially said he agreed with the first three parts, but objected to the wording in the pledge which said he would have to “advance” the fetal pain bill; he said he would sign it but Congress would have to advance it.[143] Cain later signed the pledge in November 2011.[144] Johnson, who is pro-choice, declined.

The SBA List embarked on a Values Voter Bus Tour in Iowa with the Family Research Council and National Organization for Marriage from August 9–12, 2011, ending the day before the critical Iowa Straw Poll.[145] The tour visited 22 cities and was joined by Pawlenty, Bachmann, and Santorum as well as Iowa Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Reps. Steve King and Louie Gohmert, among other “state and national leaders”.[145][146]

The SBA supported Rick Santorum in the 2012 Republican Party Presidential Nomination by buying $150,000 of advertising for the candidate in Michigan, and organizing a bus tour for the Santorum and his campaign throughout Michigan.[147] After Mitt Romney became the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party, the SBA List declared that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was unqualified for Vice President due to her describing herself as “mildly pro-choice”.[148][149]

In August, SBA released an ad featuring pro-life activist Melissa Ohden who says she survived an abortion in 1977. The ad criticized Barack Obama, claiming that while serving in the Illinois Senate, he voted four times to deny medical care to infants born alive during failed abortion procedures.[150][151] In a 2008 analysis, FactCheck drew a mixed conclusion overall, finding both the SBA List and Obama had made misleading and/or inaccurate comments regarding Obama’s voting record on the topic in question while he served in the United States Senate.[150][152]

2013 Virginia gubernatorial election

The SBA List made the 2013 Virginia gubernatorial election a priority for 2013, endorsing Ken Cuccinelli and pledging to spend $1.5 million in the election through its Virginia PAC, Women Speak Out. Cuccinelli was defeated narrowly in the general election by the pro-choice Democrat, Terry McAuliffe.[153][154]

2014 elections

The SBA List is seeking to spend $8 million to $10 million on elections in 2014.[155]

2016 elections

The SBA List spent $18 million in the 2016 elections.[156]

2017 elections

The SBA List endorsed Greg Gianforte in the special election for Montana’s at-large congressional seat in May 2017, and knocked on 31,000 doors to drive voter turnout in the election.[157] SBAL also endorsed Karen Handel in the June 2017 special election for Georgia’s 6th congressional district, spending $90,000 to support Handel.[158]

2018 elections

The SBA List typically endorses Republicans, but in 2018 they endorsed Democrat Dan Lipinski in a primary election against a pro-choice woman named Marie Newman, spending six figures on advertising, direct mail, and a 70-person canvassing team to turn out voters for Lipinski in the primary in March 2018.[159][160] Lipinski is one of the few Democrats left that the group considers an ally, and Dannenfelser called him “a pro-life hero of legendary courage and integrity”.[161][159] According to an SBA List spokeswoman, the group told Lipinski after he voted against the Affordable Care Act due to concerns over taxpayer funding of abortion that they would always be there to fight for him if he ever came under fire,” and said Lipinski “is the model for how we want pro-life Democrats to act in Congress, to choose pro-life principles over party when those two things clash.”[161] Lipinski won the primary by roughly 2,000 votes, and the SBA List, which knocked on 17,000 doors in the district to support Lipinski,[162] was credited with helping to pull him across the finish line.[163][161]

See also

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Susan_B._Anthony_List

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1041, February 28, 2018, Story 1: Mr. Magoo aka Attorney General Jeff Sessions Gets A Clue from President Trump — Appoint Special Counsel to Prosecute FISA Abuses and Politically Corrupt Hillary Clinton Email Investigation Now! — Videos — Story 2: Trump Take Guns Before Due Process Comment Betrays Bill of Rights Voter Base — In Your Heart You Know He Is Nuts  — Never Mind — Governments Many Failures in Parkland Florida Shootings — American People Have The Absolute Right To Defend Themselves Against Tyrants, Criminals and Nuts —  Videos — Story 3: Hope Dumps Trump — Tired of Abuse? — Bridge over Troubled Water — Sounds of Silence — Videos

Posted on March 1, 2018. Filed under: Addiction, American History, Applications, Assault, Blogroll, Breaking News, Business, Cartoons, College, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Education, Elections, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, First Amendment, Foreign Policy, Fourth Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hate Speech, Health, Hillary Clinton, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Independence, Investments, Killing, Knifes, Language, Law, Life, Lying, Media, National Interest, Networking, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Rand Paul, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rifles, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Sexual Harrasment, Social Networking, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Taxation, Taxes, Ted Cruz, Terror, Terrorism, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Mr. Magoo aka Attorney General Jeff Sessions Gets A Clue from President Trump — Appoint Special Counsel to Prosecute FISA Abuses and Politically Corrupt Hillary Clinton Email Investigation Now! — Videos —

FBI withholds Obama, Comey secret meeting documents

DOJ should assign second special counsel to investigate FISA abuses: Rep. Jordan

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A group of 13 Republican lawmakers have signed on to a letter asking Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appoint a second special counsel to investigate concerns they have with the Justice Department and FBI.The lawmakers say this special counsel would look into agency leadership decisions to end the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s unauthorized private email server, the circumstances surrounding the genesis of the Trump-Russia investigation, and allegations in a recently released House Intelligence Committee memo regarding government surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
 “It’s simple: We’ve learned deeply concerning information on FISA abuses, the dossier, former high-level FBI officials, and more—and it stinks to high heaven. Americans deserve the truth,” tweeted Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., the chair of the House Freedom Caucus and one of the signees of the letter.

Many Republicans in recent months have sounded the alarm about potential bias in the DOJ and FBI.

Exacerbating those concerns, the House Intelligence Committee memo asserted that the “Trump dossier,” which contains salacious and unverified claims about Trump’s ties to Russia, was an “essential” part of the surveillance application to spy on Page. However, the Democratic rebuttal memo, released in redacted form over the weekend, said it “played no role” in the FBI launching its Russia probe, which is now led by special counsel Robert Mueller.

The Democratic memo, however, did leave some other concerns raised by the GOP memo, spearheaded by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., unanswered.

While the lawmakers who signed on to the letter say, on balance, the employees of the agencies do admirable work, a special counsel is needed to weed out the bad ones.

“We acknowledge with immense gratitude that nearly every single man and woman in the DOJ and FBI conducts themselves daily with integrity, independence, patriotism, objectivity and commitment to the rule of law,” the lawmakers wrote. “That is why this Special Counsel is of the utmost importance to ensure that these historic, legendary and necessary agencies move forward more respected and effective than ever before.”

 The letter comes one day after Sessions said that his Justice Department’s inspector general will investigate the alleged abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act — a move condemned by President Trump on Wednesday.

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

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, responded to that tweet, questioning why a FISA investigation is needed at all.

“More important question: Why is the AG asking for a FISA investigation at all? DOJ and FBI already said the Nunes memo was inaccurate, misleading and extraordinarily reckless. With no evidence of abuse, only explanation is political pressure,” Schiff

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/13-republicans-ask-jeff-sessions-to-appoint-second-special-counsel-to-investigate-fbi-doj/article/2650335

 

Sessions Has No Choice But To Appoint A Special Counsel To Investigate DOJ, FBI

Americans should be reassured that the federal law enforcement agencies are working to keep America safer rather than focused on revenge against political enemies.

By Mollie Hemingway

It is long past time for Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appoint a special counsel to investigate the possibility of widespread and systematic corruption, obstruction, leaking, and collusion within America’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies. The leadership of the FBI and Department of Justice have made clear, through their ongoing obstruction of congressional investigations and oversight, that these agencies simply can not be trusted to investigate or police themselves.

Robert S. Mueller III was appointed as a special counsel to make sure that any investigation into alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign was independent and impartial. In the same way, it is necessary for an independent special counsel to investigate alleged corruption at the FBI and Department of Justice, so the American public can once again be assured that the federal law enforcement agencies are in fact working to keep America safer rather than focused on getting revenge against political enemies.

To recap, we’ve seen the following startling developments in just the past few days:

  • The revelation that two key FBI agents, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, sent each other more than 50,000 texts about their work, including regarding the Clinton and Russia probes. Strzok, the former deputy assistant director of the Counterintelligence Division, ran the Clinton investigation and interviewed key witnesses. He was also involved in the Russia investigation.
  • That five months of texts between these agents are missing. The bureau claims, in the latest of strange coincidences affecting the investigation, that a technical error resulted in a failure to capture these important texts.
  • The suspicious timing of the missing texts — from shortly after the election to the day that Mueller was named special counsel. These months were full of leaks from intelligence officials about the Russia probe.
  • That these 50,000-plus texts aren’t even all of their texts, but just those related to the ongoing Office of Inspector General investigation. The FBI and DOJ are not sharing texts that are personal or about other cases. Since the Office of Inspector General hasn’t said it’s reviewing Russia or dossier-related cases, that leaves a lot of texts yet to be disclosed and examined by investigators.
  • Communications about not keeping texts.
  • A text from the day after the 2016 election suggesting the need for the first meeting of a “secret society.”
  • The revelation that a Senate committee has a whistleblower who has shared information about secret off-site meetings.
  • Political considerations in the timing and handling of the Clinton probe.
  • Political considerations in the handling of the Trump probe.
  • Strzok admitting before he joined the Mueller probe, but after he’d worked on the Russia probe for the better part of a year, that to his knowledge there was nothing there.
  • That the “professor” “friend” James Comey leaked classified information to, for the purpose of it being leaked to the media to spur a special counsel, is suddenly claiming to be Comey’s attorney, which can be used as a shield from releasing information.
  • That Comey’s implausible claim to have waited until after interviewing Hillary Clinton to decide to let her off the hook for mishandling classified information is contradicted by additional available evidence.
  • That Attorney General Loretta Lynch only made her claim that she would defer to the FBI on prosecuting Clinton because she knew Comey would let her off, according to Page.
  • The existence of a four-page memo compiled by the House Select Permanent Committee on Intelligence alleging surveillance abuse by the FBI against Trump affiliates.

These revelations are not wild speculation but based on concrete evidence that the FBI and DOJ fought tooth and nail against releasing.

Previous months saw startling allegations about the use of a scurrilous dossier to secure a wiretap against a Trump affiliate, the use of that dossier to brief congressional committees, the leaking of the existence of the dossier despite its lack of corroboration, statements that the FBI probe was an “insurance policy” because “we can’t take that risk” that Trump would be elected, and that the dossier itself was funded by Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. There were also criminal leaks of top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) communications. This to say nothing of the widespread unmasking, distribution, and illegal leaking of surveillance information.

It is vital to a democratic republic that the public have faith in their law enforcement institutions. All of these developments feed the perception that there are two different law enforcement regimes — one for friends, and one for enemies. There are clear signs that Clinton benefited from a different set of rules that applied to her that didn’t apply to anyone else. There are also signs that people in federal agencies improperly used spy powers to spin up investigations and special counsels to go after political enemies.

That can’t happen.

Why A Second Special Counsel?

The current special counsel probably should have been investigating the FBI and DOJ as part of his charge into the Russia probe. Mueller has been on the case since May, and should have seen enough shortly thereafter to be concerned about various agencies’ handling of the probes.

But it also shouldn’t be surprising that he has not done much, if anything, to probe the FBI and DOJ. Mueller is the former head of the FBI and very close to Comey. Nobody can be expected to investigate his own friends and family, and asking Mueller to seriously tackle the problems that have been revealed regarding his friends at his old agency is unrealistic.

Similarly, an investigation into all these allegations can’t be done by a U.S. attorney, because it has to be removed from the oversight of those who have run the department for the last several years, since they will be the ones being investigated.

Schiff’s Case For a Special Counsel

Even Democrats have been making a good case for a special counsel, however inadvertently. When asked on CNN why the American public couldn’t just see the House Intelligence Committee memo alleging surveillance abuses, Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said Americans couldn’t handle it without knowing the underlying information that was too sensitive to release. He also suggested that public demand to see the memo, which has been high, was actually just another Russian operation. That turned out to be false.

But if it’s true that controversial information about the FBI’s handling of the Russia probe is too sensitive and could be misconstrued — so sensitive that Schiff voted to keep the rest of Congress in the dark about it and is fighting to make sure the public doesn’t see this information — that means it’s important enough to demand a special prosecutor.

The Leakers’ Case For a Special Counsel

As damaging and discrediting news about “potential corruption at highest levels” came out this week, leaks about the Mueller investigation started coming out. These included that FBI Director Christopher Wray reportedly threatened to resign; that Sessions was interviewed by the Mueller probe, that Mueller is ready to interview Trump, that Russian bots are the real culprits behind public demand to see the surveillance memo, that Trump reportedly asked controversial FBI official Andrew McCabe who McCabe voted for, and various other items.

These leaks tend to happen when bad news threatens the Mueller probe. But they’re perhaps ill-advised, only suggesting all the more to the politicized nature of the current investigation. A special counsel should not be seen as a threat to the Mueller probe but as a necessary help.

An investigation into potential corruption will help preserve or restore confidence in the Mueller investigation. If the results of the Mueller investigation are to be taken seriously, these questions have to be addressed. High-ranking FBI agents are in their own words undermining the entire purpose of the Mueller investigation, such as when Strzok said there’s nothing to the Russia probe prior to joining the special counsel team. Or when he had to be kicked off the team because of how his texts pointed to corruption.

Because the Mueller investigation itself was brought about by a Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton-funded opposition research document, which the FBI used despite it not being verified, as well as Comey’s leaks of classified information in retaliation for being fired, the entire investigation has a cloud over it. A special counsel could clear the air or provide clarity regarding the trustworthiness of the Mueller probe. A failure to investigate these charges would damage the country’s ability to have any objective investigation into abuses of power in the future.

Does Sessions Care About Charges Of Corruption At DOJ?

Congressional investigators and concerned citizens are growing alarmed. Sen. Lindsey Graham, Sen. Ron Johnson, Rep. Ron DeSantis, Rep. Jim Jordan, Rep. Lee Zeldin, Rep. Mark Meadows, and many other informed members of Congress have called for a second special counsel to deal with allegations of corruption at the Department of Justice.

The political and media arms of the Democratic Party attempt to downplay the scandal, but it’s only getting worse with each new piece of information that is brought to light. The American people need to know that the attorney general cares about the charges, wants to get to the bottom of the problems, and will work to restore the integrity of this important department. The criminalization of politics in this country is undermining confidence in the republic itself.

If there are good explanations for all of these strange coincidences and lapses in judgment, the American people need to be told. If there is systematic corruption, that needs to be learned as well.

A special counsel who is not part of the current club at the top of these agencies should be appointed. The individual needs to be unimpeachable and a person of integrity who has the strength to take on an incalcitrant bureaucracy and establishment. He or she should have experience in investigating and rooting out corruption in bureaucratic agencies.

http://thefederalist.com/2018/01/24/sessions-has-no-choice-but-to-appoint-a-special-counsel-to-investigate-doj-fbi/

 

Story 2: Trump Take Guns Before Due Process Comment Betrays Bill of Rights Voter Base — In Your Heart You Know He Is Nuts  — Never Mind — Governments Many Failures in Parkland Florida Shootings — American People Have The Absolute Right To Defend Themselves Against Tyrants, Criminals and Nuts —  Videos

Gun control measures proposed by Trump

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Dan Bongino reacts to Trump’s ‘take the guns first’ comment

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Trump Suggest Taking Guns Before Due Process Of Law

Trump criticized for ‘take the firearms first’ comments

Trump: Take the guns first, go through due process second

Donald Trump supports right to own assault weapons (CNN interview with Chris Cuomo)

“Common Sense” Gun Control Debunked! (Man-On-Street)

 

NRA turns on Trump: Gun lobby says president’s meeting with lawmakers was ‘great TV but bad policy’ after he suggested taking guns before due process

  • National Rifle Association blasted President Donald Trump’s proposals for gun control during a bipartisan meeting at the White House on Wednesday 
  • Trump heard directly from lawmakers leading the charge for new gun violence prevention measures this afternoon at the White House
  • Wednesday’s session was attended by Reoublicans and Democrats, including Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California and Chris Murphy of Connecticut
  • Listening session is directly tied to a school shooting in Parkland, Florida two weeks ago today that resulted in 17 deaths  
  • Trump has been meeting with stakeholders in the gun control debate for a week 
  • White House says he will offer specific remedies to gun violence after today
  • Was already backing a background check bill in the Senate, as well as legislation that would provide schools with federal funding to conduct trainings 
  • Now says he wants a ‘comprehensive’ background check bill that closes the so-called gun-show loophole

The National Rifle Association on Wednesday blasted President Donald Trump for his proposal to take guns away from dangerous individual even if it violates constitutional rights to due process.

Trump made the remarks during a bipartisan meeting with lawmakers at the White House to discuss safety measures in the wake of last week’s mass shooting at a high school in Florida.

‘While today’s meeting made for great TV, the gun control proposals discussed would make for bad policy that would not keep our children safe,’ NRA spokeswoman Jennifer Baker said in a statement to The Hill.

‘Instead of punishing law-abiding gun owners for the acts of a deranged lunatic our leaders should pass meaningful reforms that would actually prevent future tragedies.’

The National Rifle Association on Wednesday blasted President Donald Trump for his proposal to take guns away from dangerous individual even if it violates constitutional rights to due process

The National Rifle Association on Wednesday blasted President Donald Trump for his proposal to take guns away from dangerous individual even if it violates constitutional rights to due process

Baker said that preventing mass shootings would best be done by addressing the country’s mental health system and boosting background checks so that psychologically ill people are prevented from obtaining a gun.

The NRA spokeswoman said that her organization has always supported policies that promote school safety.

‘Whether you love or hate firearms, we all want to send our children to safe schools and to live in safe communities,’ she said.

But Baker added that this can be done without ‘shifting the focus, blame or burden onto safe, law-abiding gun owners.’

‘Doing everything we can as a nation to address the problem of dangerous people committing heinous acts is not inconsistent with the Second Amendment – the systemic failures of government to keep us safe reinforces the need for the Second Amendment,’ she said.

‘We will continue to support legislative efforts to make our schools and communities safe and oppose gun control schemes that cannot keep us safe and only punish law-abiding Americans.’

Trump angered the NRA earlier on Wednesday, saying he will be giving ‘very serious thought’ to signing legislation that lifts the minimum age for purchasing certain firearms like the AR-15 to 21.

The position is a serious split from the organization, which has been a major backer of Trump’s and most Republicans.

In a listening session with lawmakers on Wednesday, the president acknowledged that his posture wouldn’t be popular with the gun group, but he’ll be ‘giving it a lot of consideration’ anyway.

Trump demanded to know why background check legislation that he wants to use as a vehicle for gun violence prevention measures doesn’t already contain the provision.

‘You know why? Because you’re afraid of the NRA!’ the president told Sen. Pat Toomey, the Republican author of the bipartisan bill, with a laugh.

President Donald Trump (seen right with Senator John Cornyn, the Republican from Texas) said he will be giving 'very serious thought' to signing legislation that lifts the minimum age for purchasing firearms like the AR-15 to 21

President Donald Trump (seen right with Senator John Cornyn, the Republican from Texas) said he will be giving ‘very serious thought’ to signing legislation that lifts the minimum age for purchasing firearms like the AR-15 to 21

'You know why? Because you're afraid of the NRA!' the president told Sen. Pat Toomey, the Republican author of the bipartisan bill, with a laugh

‘You know why? Because you’re afraid of the NRA!’ the president told Sen. Pat Toomey, the Republican author of the bipartisan bill, with a laugh

The Pennsylvania lawmaker explained that five years ago, when the legislation first came for a vote in the Senate, an age restriction never came up.

Toomey also argued that the ‘vast majority’ of teens in his state are non-violent.

‘I know where you’re coming from, and I understand that,’ Trump replied.

But the president made clear that he wants Toomey and cosponsor Joe Manchin, a West Virginia Democrat, to include the measure in the universal background check bill they plan to revive in the Senate.

The measure failed in a Democratically-controlled 2013, even though it had the backing of 54 senators, because it did not reach the upper chamber’s 60-vote threshhold.

That was roughly four months after the horrific slaughter of 20 elementary school children in Newtown, Connecticut.

One lawmaker told Trump on Wednesday not to underestimate the power of the gun lobby as the president said over and over again that he couldn’t understand why action was not taken under the previous administration.

‘They have great power over you people,’ Trump replied. ‘Some of you people are petrified of the NRA.’

The president said he told the Second Amendment group, ‘We have to do what’s right.’

Trump said that he truly believes that the NRA also wants to do ‘what’s right’ for Americans.

‘I’m a big fan of the NRA. These are great people. These are great patriots. They love our country. But that doesn’t mean we have to agree on everything,’ the president told legislators.

Earlier on in the session, Chris Murphy, a Democratic senator from the state that endured the horrible tragedy five years ago that inspired Toomey’s failed background check bill, informed Trump that he would have to take on the NRA if he wanted substantive legislation to pass.

‘There is no other issue out there with the American public like background checks. Ninety-seven percent of Americans want universal background checks. And yet we can’t get it done, there’s nothing else like that. Where it works, people want it and we can’t do it,’ Murphy told the president.

Video playing bottom right…

One lawmaker told Trump on Wednesday not to underestimate the power of the gun lobby as the president said over and over again that he couldn't understand why action was not taken under the previous administration

One lawmaker told Trump on Wednesday not to underestimate the power of the gun lobby as the president said over and over again that he couldn’t understand why action was not taken under the previous administration

Asked if he'd sign legislation making 21 the floor for buying certain firearms, Trump said,'I'll tell you what, I'm going to give it a lot of consideration, and I'm the one bringing it up, and a lot of people don't even want to bring it up because they're afraid to bring it up

Asked if he’d sign legislation making 21 the floor for buying certain firearms, Trump said,’I’ll tell you what, I’m going to give it a lot of consideration, and I’m the one bringing it up, and a lot of people don’t even want to bring it up because they’re afraid to bring it up

Trump rebutted, ‘But you have a different president now.’

To which Murphy said, ‘The reason that nothing has gotten done here is because the gun lobby has had veto power over any legislation that comes before Congress .

‘I wish that wasn’t the case, but it is. If all we end up doing is stuff the gun industry supports than this just isn’t worth it, we’re not going to make a difference,’ he told the Republican president, ‘so I’m glad that you sat down with the NRA, but we will get 60 votes on a bill that looks like the Manchin-Toomey compromise on background checks if you, Mr. President, support it.’

The Connecticut Democrat told Trump: ‘If you come to Congress, if you come to Republicans and say we’re going to do a Manchin-Toomey-like bill to get comprehensive background checks, it will pass.

‘But if this meeting ends up with just sort of vague notions of future compromise than nothing will happen.’

Murphy explained that comprehensive background check legislation would have to bar criminals, people who are very mentally ill and individuals on the terrorist watchlist from purchasing guns.

‘But Mr. President it’s going to have to be you that brings the Republicans to the table on this because, right now, the gun lobby would stop it in its tracks,’ he said.

Trump told him, ‘I like that responsibility Chris, I really do. I think it’s time, it’s time that a president stepped up. I’m talking Democrat and Republican presidents, they haven’t stepped up.’

The president urged lawmakers in the room to come up with compromise legislation that encapsulates universal background checks and strengthens the existing system.

He told them he’d like to see age limits included in the merger, as well.

Asked if he’d sign legislation making 21 the floor for buying certain firearms, Trump said,’I’ll tell you what, I’m going to give it a lot of consideration, and I’m the one bringing it up, and a lot of people don’t even want to bring it up because they’re afraid to bring it up.

‘But I will give very serious thought to it,’ he said.

The president said he wants lawmakers to put together ‘something great.’

The president urged lawmakers in the room to come up with compromise legislation that encapsulates universal background checks and strengthens the existing system

The president urged lawmakers in the room to come up with compromise legislation that encapsulates universal background checks and strengthens the existing system

Wednesday was the first time that Trump heard from federal lawmakers leading the charge for new gun violence prevention measures in person since the Parkland massacre

Wednesday was the first time that Trump heard from federal lawmakers leading the charge for new gun violence prevention measures in person since the Parkland massacre

At one point, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Democrat from California, was elated when it appeared that Trump expressed support for gun control measures for which she has long advocated.

During the meeting, Feinstein’s Democratic colleague, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, proposed expanded background checks aimed at reducing domestic violence.

Trump replied that Klobuchar’s suggestion should be added to the bipartisan Toomey-Manchin bill.

Then the president turned to Feinstein and said she ‘could add what you have also…into the bill.’

Feinstein then appeared giddy – nearly jumping out of her seat, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

‘Joe, are you ready?’ Feinstein then asked Manchin.

Then Trump chimed in to back up Feinstein.

‘Joe, can you do that? Can you add some of the things?’ Trump asked Manchin.

‘We’re going to get it passed,’ the president said.

During the meeting, Feinstein pressed Trump to endorse an assault weapons ban, but Trump told her she needed to work it out with her colleagues.

He would not go beyond his support for the age restrictions, background checks and concealed carry permits for teachers trained to wield firearms.

Making a reference to his proposal to allowed teachers to pack heat, Trump said, ‘To me something great, is where you stop it from happening, and I think there’s only one way.’

If lawmakers feel that’s the wrong way to attack the problem, Trump told them, ;I want a very strong counter punch.’

Trump predicted a ‘very successful vote’ this time around on gun control legislation.

‘Some people aren’t going to like that, but you’re going to have to look at that very seriously,’ he said, returning to age limits. ‘And I will sign it, and I will call whoever you want me to if I like what you’re doing, and I think I like what you’re doing already, but you can add to it.

‘But you have to be very, very powerful on background checks – don’t be shy – very strong on mentally ill, you have to be very very strong on that, and don’t worry about bump stock, we’re getting rid of it, I mean you don’t have to complicate the bill by adding another two paragraphs.’

The president claimed once again that his administration would be banning the firearms accessory that it plans to recategorize as a machine gun.

‘We’re getting rid of it. I’ll do that myself because I’m able to. Fortunately we’re able to do that without going through Congress,’ he asserted.

‘I DON’T KNOW WHY I WASN’T INVITED’: President Donald Trump will heard directly from lawmakers leading the charge for new gun violence prevention measures this afternoon at the White House…yet Florida’s Democratic senator, Bill Nelson, wasn’t invited

Wednesday was the first time that Trump heard from federal lawmakers leading the charge for new gun violence prevention measures in person since the Parkland massacre.

In addition to Machin, Toomey, Feinstein and Murphy, Sen. John Cornyn, the GOP whip in the Senate, and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio also attended.

Cornyn described President Trump’s meeting about guns today as ‘fascinating television’ and ‘surreal.’

‘My takeaway is that we like to start with background checks and build from there and see where we can get consensus,’ the Texas Republican said.

Cornyn, the Senate’s whip who was seated next to Trump during the meeting, added that rolling multiple gun bills into one was ‘easier said than done.’

The Sunshine State’s Democratic senator, Bill Nelson, says he was not invited.

A White House spokesperson did not respond to DailyMail.com’s request for comment on the snub. 

A chagrined Nelson told reporters Wednesday afternoon that he was not invited to the president’s chat today with legislators at the White House.

‘I don’t know why I wasn’t invited,’ he said, according to ABC News. ‘And of course that doesn’t foster bipartisanship when you’re trying to solve a problem.’

Trump has been holding listening sessions with parents, students, teachers, state and local officials, law enforcement officers and other stakeholders in the gun control debate, including the National Rifle Association, in the weeks since the Marjory Stoneman massacre.

Yesterday, the White House promised to unveil a set of ‘school safety’ recommendations later this week that will include specific policy initiatives.

The president was already supporting legislation that would incentivize states and agencies to fully comply with existing federal background check mandates. His White House also endorsed a bill this week that funds gun violence prevention training for teachers, law enforcement and students.

Trump last week directed his attorney general to find a way to regulate bump stocks, claiming this week that regardless of what Congress has to say about the matter he’s ‘getting rid’ of the accessory that manipulates semiautomatic rifles.

Other suggestions the president has made had been just that, with the White House pledging hardened stances on Tuesday by the end of the week.

Among those: the proposal to raise the minimum age for some gun purchases and a proposition to allow upwards of 700,000 teachers to carry concealed weapons.

Neither of the proposed remedies to gun violence was gaining traction on Capitol Hill this week as Congress returned from a week-long hiatus.

Sarah Sanders denies that Trump softened stance on gun age limit

A top GOP congressional aide told DailyMail.com on Tuesday that the prospects are ‘pretty dim,’ for age limits that could be why the president appeared to be backing away from it in remarks over the past few days.

‘That proposal won’t get a lot of traction in Congress,’ the source said.

Trump did not put forward the proposal during at Friday speech before conservative activists, and he did not bring it up Monday at a bipartisan meeting with governors at the White House, where gun violence was the top talker during a televised session.

Sources familiar with the White House’s discussions with leadership on Capitol Hill told CNN later that Trump was seemingly moving away from his position.

A senior congressional aide told DailyMail.com that discussions about the president’s proposals, like allowing teachers to pack heat, were still in their early stages, with Congress having been out of session last week and only just returning on Monday to Washington.

Furthermore, the House will be out from today on as the late evangelical pastor Billy Graham lies in honor in the U.S. Capitol.

The source said that the basic posture of the House is to see what can pass in the GOP-controlled Senate, which is focused this week on nominations.

House Republicans have already passed legislation to strengthen the existing background check system that it paired with a concealed carry provision. The Senate version of the background check bill has lingered in the Senate.

Trump informed GOP Rep. Steve Scalise, the Republican Party’s top vote counter in the House, on Wednesday that the measure permitting concealed carry reciprocity between states would have to be cut from the bill now in order to get the base background check bill through the more liberal Senate.

‘Let it be a separate bill,’ he warned the GOP leader. ‘If you add concealed carry to this, you’ll never get it passed.’

Trump’s administration had cautiously endorsed the Senate legislation that’s sponsored by Murphy and Cornyn.

On Monday the bill hit a roadblock in the upper chamber, though, as conservative senator Mike Lee opposed the measure and Democratic senators pushed for more aggressive gun control legislation.

The NRA does not support new age restrictions on firearms sales and its spokeswoman suggested Sunday that Trump was not firmly committed to his position

The NRA does not support new age restrictions on firearms sales and its spokeswoman suggested Sunday that Trump was not firmly committed to his position

Democrats want to Congress pass legislation requiring background checks on all firearms sales, eliminating the so-called gun show loophole.

Trump has said he favors comprehensive legislation, but the White House had refused to take a position on universal background checks prior to Trump’s assertion on Wednesday that he supports them.

‘We’d have to see what it looks like and review that before we make that determination,’ press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday.

Sanders was equally non-committal on Tuesday in her daily briefing when questioned about the president’s support for the bill put together by Manchin and Toomey.

‘The President, as I’ve said, expects to meet with a number of lawmakers tomorrow from both sides of the aisle, and we’ll have some more information about specifics after that,’ she asserted.

The Trump spokeswoman insisted Tuesday, as she did Monday, that the president remains supportive of the proposition to make sales of the AR-15 and other automatic rifles 21 and over, despite the National Rifle Association’s adamant opposition to the measure.

‘He knows that everybody doesn’t necessarily agree,’ Sanders explained. ‘We’re not going to get into the details on the specifics of what we will propose.’

On Monday, Sanders said that Trump had not ‘downgraded’ his proposal.

‘The president is still supportive of the concept,’ she said, as a weekend meeting with the National Rifle Association that was kept off Trump’s public schedule came to light.

The NRA does not support new age restrictions on firearms sales and its spokeswoman suggested Sunday that Trump was not firmly committed to his position.

‘These are just things that he’s discussing right now,’ spokesman Dana Loesch said during an appearance on ABC News.

Sanders told reporters on Monday that it ‘would be ridiculous’ to intimate that Trump had been influenced by the powerful gun group that opposes the restrictions ‘considering the number of individuals he’s met with that come from both the far left to the far right, and a lot of those in between.’

She said Trump plans to continue his talks with a lawmakers this week in meetings at the White House and would ultimately base his decision on what is outlined in legislative text.

‘In concept, the President still supports it, but in terms of legislation, we’d need to see what that looks like before we weigh in further,’ Sanders said.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5448253/NRA-war-Trump-bad-policy-guns.html#ixzz58YeICjKe

 

Story 3: Hope Dumps Trump — Tired of Abuse? — Bridge over Troubled Water — Sounds of Silence —  Videos

Who Is Hope Hicks, the White House Communications Director?

Hope Hicks to resign: President Trump losing trusted adviser

Hope Hicks resigning from White House

White House turmoil intensifies

What Hope Hicks’s departure says about the White House

Schiff: Hicks refused to discuss Trump administration

‘Javanka’ Faction Falling Apart As Hope Hicks, Others Quit W.H. | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

White House communications director Hope Hicks to resign

Hope Hicks To Resign As President Trump’s White House Communications Director | TIME

Why is Hope Hicks, Trump’s longest-serving aide, resigning?

Published on Feb 28, 2018

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks made the surprising announcement on Wednesday that she will leave the Trump administration in the coming weeks. The news comes a day after Hicks testifies for hours before the House Intelligence Committee as part of the Russia probe. Judy Woodruff learns more from Ashley Parker of The Washington Post.

Hope Hicks named most powerful person in Washington

Hope Hicks Now in Spotlight Surrounding White House Domestic Abuse Scandal

Lawrence: Hope Hicks’ Loyalty Tested As She Meets Mueller Team | The Last Word | MSNBC

Hope Hicks Is The New White House Communications Director

Simon & Garfunkel – The Sound of Silence – Madison Square Garden, NYC – 2009/10/29&30

Simon & Garfunkel – Bridge over Troubled Water (from The Concert in Central Park)

 

Why did Hope Hicks resign? Even the good option looks bad.

 March 1 at 6:30 AM 
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Officials announced on Feb. 28 that Hope Hicks will resign. She had been White House communications director since Sept. 2017. 

White House Communications Director Hope Hicks is resigning less than six months after officially taking that job on a permanent basis. And according to a timeline provided by the reporter who broke the story, the New York Times’s Maggie Haberman, Hicks spent a substantial portion of her tenure — perhaps as much as half of it — considering leaving.

Hope Hicks departure is NOT about yesterday’s hearing, per multiple sources. She had planned it before, had been thinking about it for months. She had informed a very small number of people prior to Hill hearing that she planned to leave.

It was tempting to draw a line — as Iand others speculated about — between Hicks’s exit and two controversies: Her involvement in the Rob Porter scandal as both communications director and his girlfriend, and her House Intelligence Committee testimony Tuesday in which she admitted to telling white lies for Trump. If nothing else, the timing is suspicious for a resignation to come so close in proximity to each of those two things.

But consider the alternative. The alternative is that someone who has been in the White House for 13 months started thinking about leaving well shy of a year on the staff — and shortly after rising to one of the top jobs. The point: Regardless of which one it was, it doesn’t portend good things or stability in the White House moving forward.

It’s no secret the White House has become something of a revolving door for staff. Hicks was the fifth person designated as communications director and the third to hold the job on a non-interim basis. Trump has also already parted ways with a press secretary, a national security adviser, a chief strategist, a chief of staff (with his second, John Kelly, apparently on thin ice) and plenty of others.

Hicks was supposed to be different. Perhaps his longest-serving aide — dating back to before the campaign — she was someone who understood Trump and seemed to command his implicit trust. The White House would be a stressful job for anyone, but Hicks at least benefited from the kind of strong working relationship with Trump that other figures — especially those from the GOP establishment — clearly did not have.

She was not as familiar with politics as others, but in a White House in which conflicts with the boss are often the cause for early departures, Hicks made sense as a potential long-termer. Like Reince Priebus, Stephen K. Bannon, Sean Spicer and the rest, though, she has now proven a short-timer. Even fellow Trump loyalists like Keith Schiller have found the White House to be tough long-term employment.

Whether it’s because of exhaustion in dealing with Trump or the exhaustion in dealing with Washington politics for outsiders like Hicks, or a combination, it seems Trump will have a difficult time maintaining anything resembling a core staff organization. And for a president who has struggled with consistency and is thought to be heavily reliant upon the last person he has spoken to, that’s likely to lead to even more volatility.

We may yet learn more about Hicks’s departure in the days to come. Nothing about it, though, suggests stability is over the horizon for the White House. If anything was stability for Trump, it was Hicks.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2018/03/01/why-did-hope-hicks-resign-even-the-good-option-looks-bad/?utm_term=.0f637e64c0dc

Turnover, investigations have Trump administration adrift

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rattled by two weeks of muddled messages, departures and spitting matches between the president and his own top officials, Donald Trump is facing a shrinking circle of trusted advisers and a staff that’s grim about any prospect of a reset.

Even by the standards of Trump’s often chaotic administration, the announcement of Hope Hicks’ imminent exit spread new levels of anxiety across the West Wing and cracked open disputes that had been building since the White House’s botched handling of domestic violence allegations against a senior aide late last month.

Hicks’ departure comes as special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation appears to be circling the Oval Office, with prosecutors questioning Trump associates about both his business dealings before he became president and his actions in office, according to people with knowledge of the interviews. Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, has also been weakened after being stripped of his high-level security clearance amid revelations about potential conflicts of interest.

Communications Director Hope Hicks, one of President Trump’s most trusted aides, abruptly announced her resignation Wednesday. Julie Pace says Hicks is under the political magnifying glass, which might have affected her decision. (Feb. 28)

The biggest unknown is how the mercurial Trump will respond to Hicks’ departure and Kushner’s more limited access, according to some of the 16 White House officials, congressional aides and outside advisers interviewed by The Associated Press, most of whom insisted on anonymity in order to disclose private conversations and meetings. Besides Kushner and his wife, presidential daughter Ivanka Trump, most remaining White House staffers were not part of Trump’s close-knit 2016 campaign. One person who speaks to Trump regularly said the president has become increasingly wistful about the camaraderie of that campaign.

Rarely has a modern president confronted so many crises and controversies across so many fronts at the same time. After 13 months in office, there’s little expectation among many White House aides and outside allies that Trump can quickly find his footing or attract new, top-flight talent to the West Wing. And some Republican lawmakers, who are eying a difficult political landscape in November’s midterm elections, have begun to let private frustrations ooze out in public.

“There is no standard operating practice with this administration,” said Sen. John Thune of South Dakota. “Every day is a new adventure for us.”

Thune’s comments described the White House’s peculiar rollout Thursday of controversial new aluminum and steel tariffs. White House aides spent Wednesday night and Thursday morning scrambling to steer the president away from an announcement on an unfinished policy, with even Kelly in the dark about Trump’s plans. Aides believed they had succeeded in getting Trump to back down and hoped to keep television cameras away from an event with industry executives so the president couldn’t make a surprise announcement. But Trump summoned reporters into the Cabinet Room anyway and declared that the U.S. would levy penalties of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports.

Some of Trump’s populist supporters cheered the move. The stock market, which Trump looks to for validation for his economic policies, plunged.

Some officials are bracing for more departures. On Thursday, NBC News reported that the White House was preparing to replace national security adviser H.R. McMaster as early as next month.

White House Sarah Huckabee Sanders told “Fox & Friends” on Friday that “Gen. McMaster isn’t going anywhere.”

As for talk of a White House in upheaval, Sanders pointed out the tax cuts passed late last year: “If they want to call it chaos, fine, but we call it success and productivity and we’re going to keep plugging along.”

For those remaining on the job, the turbulence has been relentless. Just two weeks ago, Kelly, the general brought in to bring order, was himself on the ropes for his handling of the domestic violence allegations against a close aide, Rob Porter. Trump was said to be deeply irritated by the negative press coverage of Kelly’s leadership during the controversy and considering firing him. But first, the president planned to give his chief of staff a chance to defend himself before reporters in the briefing room and gauge the reaction, according to two people with knowledge of the episode. The briefing, however, was canceled after the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Kelly’s standing has stabilized somewhat as media attention to the Porter issue has waned.

Graphic shows key departures from Trump administration.

One Kelly backer said the chief of staff’s standing remains tenuous, in part because of his clashes with Kushner over policy, personnel and White House structure. The tensions were exacerbated by Kelly’s decision to downgrade Kushner’s security clearance because the senior adviser had not been permanently approved for the highest level of access.

Kushner and Ivanka Trump, who also serves as a senior White House adviser, have been frustrated by Kelly’s attempt to restrict their access to the president, and they perceive his new crackdown on clearances as a direct shot at them, according to White House aides and outside advisers. Kelly, in turn, has grown frustrated with what he views as the couple’s freelancing. He blames them for changing Trump’s mind at the last minute and questions what exactly they do all day, according to one White House official and an outside ally.

The ethics questions dogging Kushner relate to both his personal financial interests and his dealings in office with foreign officials. Intelligence officials expressed concern that Kushner’s business dealings were a topic of discussion in conversations he was having with foreign officials about foreign policy issues of interest to the U.S. government, a former intelligence official said. Separately, The New York Times reported that two companies made loans worth more than half a billion dollars to Kushner’s family real estate firm after executives met with Kushner at the White House.

Allies of Kushner and Ivanka Trump insist they have no plans to leave the White House in the near future. As for Kelly, he appeared to hint at his tough spot during an event Thursday at the Department of Homeland Security, where he served as secretary before departing for the White House.

“The last thing I wanted to do was walk away from one of the great honors of my life, being the secretary of homeland security,” he said at the agency’s 15th anniversary celebration in Washington. “But I did something wrong and God punished me, I guess.”

___

Associated Press writers Kevin Freking and Catherine Lucey contributed to this report.

https://www.apnews.com/675dbc2801ca418a934f52b714d5e08b/Turnover,-investigations-have-Trump-administration-adrift

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1010, December 8, 2017, Story 1: Labor Participation Rate In November 2017 Remained At 62.7% with Over 95.4 Million Not in Labor Force With 160.5 Million In Labor Force –U-3 Unemployment Rate Hit Low 4.1% and U-6 Unemployment Rate Rose To 8.0% — Total Non-farm Payroll Jobs Added 228,000 — Videos — Story 2: Corporate Tax Cut Bill Will Pass By December 22, 2017 — Definitively Not Fundamental Tax Reform For The Middle Class — Replace Income Tax System with A Single Broad Based Consumption Tax Replacing All Federal Income Based Taxes — Videos — Story 3: Defeating The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria By Bombing Them To Death — ISIS Free? — Videos

Posted on December 11, 2017. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Bombs, Breaking News, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Cruise Missiles, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drones, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, European History, Federal Communications Commission, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Genocide, Government, Government Dependency, History, House of Representatives, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Iraq, Islam, Israel, Killing, Knifes, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Lying, Media, Middle East, MIssiles, National Interest, National Security Agency, Networking, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Religion, Rifles, Rule of Law, Scandals, Spying, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Syria, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Turkey, Unemployment, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Weapons, Weather, Wisdom, Yemen | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1010, December 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1009, December 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1008, December 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1007, November 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1006, November 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1005, November 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1004, November 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1003, November 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1002, November 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 1001, November 14, 2017 

Pronk Pops Show 1000, November 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 999, November 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 998, November 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 997, November 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 996, November 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 995, November 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 994, November 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 993, November 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 992, October 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 991, October 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 990, October 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 989, October 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 988, October 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 987, October 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 986, October 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 985, October 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 984, October 16, 2017 

Pronk Pops Show 983, October 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 982, October 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 981, October 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 980, October 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 979, October 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 978, October 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 977, October 4, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 976, October 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 975, September 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 974, September 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 973, September 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 972, September 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 971, September 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 970, September 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 969, September 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 968, September 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 967, September 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 966, September 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 965, September 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 964, September 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 963, September 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 962, September 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 961, September 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 960, September 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 959, September 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 958, September 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 957, September 5, 2017

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Story 1: Labor Participation Rate In November 2017 Remained At 62.7% with Over 95.4 Million Not in Labor Force With 160.5 Million In Labor Force –U-3 Unemployment Rate Hit Low 4.1% and U-6 Unemployment Rate Rose To 8.0% — Total Non-farm Payroll Jobs Added 228,000 — Videos —

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US economy adds 228K jobs in November

Analyzing The November Jobs Report Compared To Previous Years | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

U.S. economy continues its strong performance

National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn: Tax Reform Will Help Us Drive Real Wage Growth | CNBC

CNN’s Christine Romans Highlights November’s Really Good Jobs Numbers

Larry Kudlow: Jobs Report Shows We Are On Front End Of “Very, Very Strong Rebound In Manufacturing”

Panel on Strong November Jobs Report; 228K Jobs Added. #Economy #Jobs #Report #November

Stockman: Here’s Why Today’s Jobs Report Is Nothing to Celebrate

Alan Greenspan // We are about to go from stagnation to ‘stagflation’

Ep. 307: Trump Continues What He Once Called the Biggest Hoax in American Politics

The Reason Trump is President – Peter Schiff

 

Civilian Labor Force Level

160,529,000

 

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

 

Series Id:           LNS11000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Civilian Labor Force Level
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 142267(1) 142456 142434 142751 142388 142591 142278 142514 142518 142622 142962 143248
2001 143800 143701 143924 143569 143318 143357 143654 143284 143989 144086 144240 144305
2002 143883 144653 144481 144725 144938 144808 144803 145009 145552 145314 145041 145066
2003 145937(1) 146100 146022 146474 146500 147056 146485 146445 146530 146716 147000 146729
2004 146842(1) 146709 146944 146850 147065 147460 147692 147564 147415 147793 148162 148059
2005 148029(1) 148364 148391 148926 149261 149238 149432 149779 149954 150001 150065 150030
2006 150214(1) 150641 150813 150881 151069 151354 151377 151716 151662 152041 152406 152732
2007 153144(1) 152983 153051 152435 152670 153041 153054 152749 153414 153183 153835 153918
2008 154063(1) 153653 153908 153769 154303 154313 154469 154641 154570 154876 154639 154655
2009 154210(1) 154538 154133 154509 154747 154716 154502 154307 153827 153784 153878 153111
2010 153484(1) 153694 153954 154622 154091 153616 153691 154086 153975 153635 154125 153650
2011 153263(1) 153214 153376 153543 153479 153346 153288 153760 154131 153961 154128 153995
2012 154381(1) 154671 154749 154545 154866 155083 154948 154763 155160 155554 155338 155628
2013 155695(1) 155268 154990 155356 155514 155747 155669 155587 155731 154709 155328 155151
2014 155295(1) 155485 156115 155378 155559 155682 156098 156117 156100 156389 156421 156238
2015 157022(1) 156771 156781 157043 157447 156993 157125 157109 156809 157123 157358 157957
2016 158362(1) 158888 159278 158938 158510 158889 159295 159508 159830 159643 159456 159640
2017 159716(1) 160056 160201 160213 159784 160145 160494 160571 161146 160381 160529
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.

 

Labor Force Participation Rate

62.7%

Series Id:           LNS11300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force participation rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.1 67.1 66.9 66.9 66.9 66.8 66.9 67.0
2001 67.2 67.1 67.2 66.9 66.7 66.7 66.8 66.5 66.8 66.7 66.7 66.7
2002 66.5 66.8 66.6 66.7 66.7 66.6 66.5 66.6 66.7 66.6 66.4 66.3
2003 66.4 66.4 66.3 66.4 66.4 66.5 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 65.9
2004 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 66.0 66.1 66.1 66.0 65.8 65.9 66.0 65.9
2005 65.8 65.9 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0
2006 66.0 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.3 66.4
2007 66.4 66.3 66.2 65.9 66.0 66.0 66.0 65.8 66.0 65.8 66.0 66.0
2008 66.2 66.0 66.1 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 65.8
2009 65.7 65.8 65.6 65.7 65.7 65.7 65.5 65.4 65.1 65.0 65.0 64.6
2010 64.8 64.9 64.9 65.2 64.9 64.6 64.6 64.7 64.6 64.4 64.6 64.3
2011 64.2 64.1 64.2 64.2 64.1 64.0 64.0 64.1 64.2 64.1 64.1 64.0
2012 63.7 63.8 63.8 63.7 63.7 63.8 63.7 63.5 63.6 63.8 63.6 63.7
2013 63.6 63.4 63.3 63.4 63.4 63.4 63.3 63.3 63.3 62.8 63.0 62.9
2014 62.9 62.9 63.1 62.8 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.7
2015 62.9 62.7 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.6 62.6 62.6 62.4 62.5 62.5 62.7
2016 62.7 62.9 63.0 62.8 62.6 62.7 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.8 62.6 62.7
2017 62.9 63.0 63.0 62.9 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.9 63.1 62.7 62.7

Unemployment Level

6.6 Million

 

Series Id:           LNS13000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Level
Labor force status:  Unemployed
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 5708 5858 5733 5481 5758 5651 5747 5853 5625 5534 5639 5634
2001 6023 6089 6141 6271 6226 6484 6583 7042 7142 7694 8003 8258
2002 8182 8215 8304 8599 8399 8393 8390 8304 8251 8307 8520 8640
2003 8520 8618 8588 8842 8957 9266 9011 8896 8921 8732 8576 8317
2004 8370 8167 8491 8170 8212 8286 8136 7990 7927 8061 7932 7934
2005 7784 7980 7737 7672 7651 7524 7406 7345 7553 7453 7566 7279
2006 7064 7184 7072 7120 6980 7001 7175 7091 6847 6727 6872 6762
2007 7116 6927 6731 6850 6766 6979 7149 7067 7170 7237 7240 7645
2008 7685 7497 7822 7637 8395 8575 8937 9438 9494 10074 10538 11286
2009 12058 12898 13426 13853 14499 14707 14601 14814 15009 15352 15219 15098
2010 15046 15113 15202 15325 14849 14474 14512 14648 14579 14516 15081 14348
2011 14013 13820 13737 13957 13855 13962 13763 13818 13948 13594 13302 13093
2012 12797 12813 12713 12646 12660 12692 12656 12471 12115 12124 12005 12298
2013 12470 11954 11672 11752 11657 11741 11350 11284 11264 11133 10792 10410
2014 10240 10383 10400 9705 9740 9460 9637 9616 9255 8964 9060 8718
2015 8962 8663 8538 8521 8655 8251 8235 8017 7877 7869 7939 7927
2016 7829 7845 7977 7910 7451 7799 7749 7853 7904 7740 7409 7529
2017 7635 7528 7202 7056 6861 6977 6981 7132 6801 6520 6610

U-3 Unemployment Rate

4.1%

Series Id:           LNS14000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Rate
Labor force status:  Unemployment rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 4.0 4.1 4.0 3.8 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.1 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9
2001 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.5 4.6 4.9 5.0 5.3 5.5 5.7
2002 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 6.0
2003 5.8 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.1 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.1 6.0 5.8 5.7
2004 5.7 5.6 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.4
2005 5.3 5.4 5.2 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.9
2006 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4
2007 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4 4.6 4.7 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 5.0
2008 5.0 4.9 5.1 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.1 6.5 6.8 7.3
2009 7.8 8.3 8.7 9.0 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.8 10.0 9.9 9.9
2010 9.8 9.8 9.9 9.9 9.6 9.4 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.8 9.3
2011 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.0 8.8 8.6 8.5
2012 8.3 8.3 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.1 7.8 7.8 7.7 7.9
2013 8.0 7.7 7.5 7.6 7.5 7.5 7.3 7.3 7.2 7.2 6.9 6.7
2014 6.6 6.7 6.7 6.2 6.3 6.1 6.2 6.2 5.9 5.7 5.8 5.6
2015 5.7 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.3 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
2016 4.9 4.9 5.0 5.0 4.7 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.8 4.6 4.7
2017 4.8 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.4 4.2 4.1 4.1  U-3

U-6 Unemployment Rate

8.0%

 

Series Id:           LNS13327709
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (seas) Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers
Labor force status:  Aggregated totals unemployed
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over
Percent/rates:       Unemployed and mrg attached and pt for econ reas as percent of labor force plus marg attached

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 7.1 7.2 7.1 6.9 7.1 7.0 7.0 7.1 7.0 6.8 7.1 6.9
2001 7.3 7.4 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.9 7.8 8.1 8.7 9.3 9.4 9.6
2002 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.7 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.7 9.8
2003 10.0 10.2 10.0 10.2 10.1 10.3 10.3 10.1 10.4 10.2 10.0 9.8
2004 9.9 9.7 10.0 9.6 9.6 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.4 9.7 9.4 9.2
2005 9.3 9.3 9.1 8.9 8.9 9.0 8.8 8.9 9.0 8.7 8.7 8.6
2006 8.4 8.4 8.2 8.1 8.2 8.4 8.5 8.4 8.0 8.2 8.1 7.9
2007 8.4 8.2 8.0 8.2 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.8
2008 9.2 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.7 10.1 10.5 10.8 11.0 11.8 12.6 13.6
2009 14.2 15.2 15.8 15.9 16.5 16.5 16.4 16.7 16.7 17.1 17.1 17.1
2010 16.7 17.0 17.1 17.1 16.6 16.4 16.4 16.5 16.8 16.6 16.9 16.6
2011 16.2 16.0 15.9 16.1 15.8 16.1 15.9 16.1 16.4 15.8 15.5 15.2
2012 15.2 15.0 14.5 14.6 14.7 14.8 14.8 14.6 14.8 14.4 14.4 14.4
2013 14.5 14.4 13.8 14.0 13.8 14.2 13.8 13.6 13.7 13.6 13.1 13.1
2014 12.7 12.6 12.6 12.3 12.1 12.0 12.2 12.0 11.8 11.5 11.4 11.2
2015 11.3 11.0 10.9 10.8 10.7 10.5 10.3 10.2 10.0 9.8 9.9 9.9
2016 9.9 9.8 9.8 9.7 9.7 9.6 9.7 9.7 9.7 9.5 9.3 9.2
2017 9.4 9.2 8.9 8.6 8.4 8.6 8.6 8.6 8.3 7.9 8.0

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                  USDL-17-1616
8:30 a.m. (EST) Friday, December 8, 2017

Technical information:
 Household data:       (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
 Establishment data:   (202) 691-6555  *  cesinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:         (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


                         THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- NOVEMBER 2017


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 228,000 in November, and the unemployment 
rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. 
Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services, manufacturing, 
and health care.

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent in November, and the number of unemployed 
persons was essentially unchanged at 6.6 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate 
and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.5 percentage point and 799,000, 
respectively. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for teenagers increased to 15.9 
percent in November. The jobless rates for adult men (3.7 percent), adult women (3.7 
percent), Whites (3.6 percent), Blacks (7.3 percent), Asians (3.0 percent), and Hispanics 
(4.7 percent) showed little change. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially 
unchanged at 1.6 million in November and accounted for 23.8 percent of the unemployed. 
Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 275,000. (See table A-12.)

The labor force participation rate remained at 62.7 percent in November and has shown no 
clear trend over the past 12 months. The employment-population ratio, at 60.1 percent, 
changed little in November and has shown little movement, on net, since early this year. 
(See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as 
involuntary part-time workers), at 4.8 million, was essentially unchanged in November but 
was down by 858,000 over the year. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time 
employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they 
were unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)

In November, 1.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 
451,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals 
were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job 
sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not 
searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 469,000 discouraged workers in November, down by 
122,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers 
are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for 
them. The remaining 1.0 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in November 
had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. 
(See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 228,000 in November. Employment continued to 
trend up in professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care. Employment 
growth has averaged 174,000 per month thus far this year, compared with an average monthly 
gain of 187,000 in 2016. (See table B-1.)

Employment in professional and business services continued on an upward trend in November 
(+46,000). Over the past 12 months, the industry has added 548,000 jobs. 

In November, manufacturing added 31,000 jobs. Within the industry, employment rose in 
machinery (+8,000), fabricated metal products (+7,000), computer and electronic products 
(+4,000), and plastics and rubber products (+4,000). Since a recent low in November 2016, 
manufacturing employment has increased by 189,000.

Health care added 30,000 jobs in November. Most of the gain occurred in ambulatory health 
care services (+25,000), which includes offices of physicians and outpatient care centers. 
Monthly employment growth in health care has averaged 24,000 thus far in 2017, compared 
with an average increase of 32,000 per month in 2016. 

Within construction, employment among specialty trade contractors increased by 23,000 in 
November and by 132,000 over the year.  

Employment in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, retail trade, 
transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, 
and government, changed little over the month. 

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour 
to 34.5 hours in November. In manufacturing, the workweek was unchanged at 40.9 hours, and 
overtime remained at 3.5 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory 
employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.7 hours. (See tables B-2 and 
B-7.)

In November, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose 
by 5 cents to $26.55. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 64 cents, or 
2.5 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory 
employees rose by 5 cents to $22.24 in November. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised up from +18,000 
to +38,000, and the change for October was revised down from +261,000 to +244,000. With 
these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 3,000 more than 
previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from 
businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the 
recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 170,000 over 
the last 3 months. 

_____________
The Employment Situation for December is scheduled to be released on Friday, January 5, 
2018, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).


    ______________________________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                                      |
   |               Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Household Survey Data                  |
   |                                                                                      |
   | In accordance with usual practice, The Employment Situation news release for December|
   | 2017, scheduled for January 5, 2018, will incorporate annual revisions in seasonally |
   | adjusted household survey data. Seasonally adjusted data for the most recent 5       |
   | years are subject to revision.                                                       |
   |______________________________________________________________________________________|


    ______________________________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                                      |
   |        Conversion to the 2017 North American Industry Classification System          |
   |                                                                                      |
   | With the release of January 2018 data on February 2, 2018, the establishment survey  |
   | will revise the basis for industry classification from the 2012 North American       |
   | Industry Classification System (NAICS) to 2017 NAICS. The conversion to 2017 NAICS   |
   | will result in minor revisions reflecting content changes within the mining and      |
   | logging, retail trade, information, financial activities, and professional and       |
   | business services sectors. Additionally, some smaller industries will be combined    |
   | within the mining and logging, durable goods manufacturing, retail trade, and        |
   | information sectors. Several industry titles and descriptions also will be updated.  |
   |                                                                                      |
   | Approximately 4 percent of employment will be reclassified into different industries |
   | as a result of the revision. Details of new, discontinued, and combined industries   |
   | due to the 2017 NAICS update, as well as changes due to the annual benchmarking      |
   | process, will be available on January 5, 2018.                                       |
   |                                                                                      |
   | For more information on the 2017 NAICS update, visit www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/.  |
   |______________________________________________________________________________________|



 

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
[Numbers in thousands]
Category Nov.
2016
Sept.
2017
Oct.
2017
Nov.
2017
Change from:
Oct.
2017-
Nov.
2017

Employment status

Civilian noninstitutional population

254,540 255,562 255,766 255,949 183

Civilian labor force

159,456 161,146 160,381 160,529 148

Participation rate

62.6 63.1 62.7 62.7 0.0

Employed

152,048 154,345 153,861 153,918 57

Employment-population ratio

59.7 60.4 60.2 60.1 -0.1

Unemployed

7,409 6,801 6,520 6,610 90

Unemployment rate

4.6 4.2 4.1 4.1 0.0

Not in labor force

95,084 94,417 95,385 95,420 35

Unemployment rates

Total, 16 years and over

4.6 4.2 4.1 4.1 0.0

Adult men (20 years and over)

4.3 3.9 3.8 3.7 -0.1

Adult women (20 years and over)

4.2 3.9 3.6 3.7 0.1

Teenagers (16 to 19 years)

15.2 12.9 13.7 15.9 2.2

White

4.2 3.7 3.5 3.6 0.1

Black or African American

8.0 7.0 7.5 7.3 -0.2

Asian

3.0 3.7 3.1 3.0 -0.1

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

5.7 5.1 4.8 4.7 -0.1

Total, 25 years and over

3.9 3.5 3.3 3.3 0.0

Less than a high school diploma

7.9 6.5 5.7 5.2 -0.5

High school graduates, no college

4.9 4.3 4.3 4.3 0.0

Some college or associate degree

3.9 3.6 3.7 3.6 -0.1

Bachelor’s degree and higher

2.3 2.3 2.0 2.1 0.1

Reason for unemployment

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

3,542 3,359 3,227 3,159 -68

Job leavers

934 738 742 751 9

Reentrants

2,266 2,079 2,006 2,029 23

New entrants

728 669 629 691 62

Duration of unemployment

Less than 5 weeks

2,415 2,226 2,129 2,250 121

5 to 14 weeks

2,133 1,874 1,942 1,878 -64

15 to 26 weeks

1,073 963 853 927 74

27 weeks and over

1,856 1,733 1,621 1,581 -40

Employed persons at work part time

Part time for economic reasons

5,659 5,122 4,753 4,801 48

Slack work or business conditions

3,485 3,121 2,952 2,983 31

Could only find part-time work

1,902 1,733 1,629 1,559 -70

Part time for noneconomic reasons

21,059 21,011 20,923 21,018 95

Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

Marginally attached to the labor force

1,932 1,569 1,535 1,481

Discouraged workers

591 421 524 469

– Over-the-month changes are not displayed for not seasonally adjusted data.
NOTE: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown in this table will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

Employment Situation Summary Table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted

ESTABLISHMENT DATA
Summary table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
Category Nov.
2016
Sept.
2017
Oct.
2017(P)
Nov.
2017(P)

EMPLOYMENT BY SELECTED INDUSTRY
(Over-the-month change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

164 38 244 228

Total private

178 50 247 221

Goods-producing

35 26 34 62

Mining and logging

7 4 1 7

Construction

28 13 10 24

Manufacturing

0 9 23 31

Durable goods(1)

3 6 13 27

Motor vehicles and parts

1.4 -3.1 -0.8 1.7

Nondurable goods

-3 3 10 4

Private service-providing

143 24 213 159

Wholesale trade

5.6 7.3 8.0 3.4

Retail trade

-12.9 11.7 -2.2 18.7

Transportation and warehousing

21.8 18.3 7.6 10.5

Utilities

0.3 0.6 0.1 -0.2

Information

-12 -5 -8 -4

Financial activities

12 12 7 8

Professional and business services(1)

46 30 54 46

Temporary help services

25.5 10.1 17.9 18.3

Education and health services(1)

31 23 24 54

Health care and social assistance

28.2 8.3 34.6 40.5

Leisure and hospitality

44 -75 104 14

Other services

7 1 18 9

Government

-14 -12 -3 7

(3-month average change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

179 128 163 170

Total private

178 122 160 173

WOMEN AND PRODUCTION AND NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES
AS A PERCENT OF ALL EMPLOYEES(2)

Total nonfarm women employees

49.6 49.5 49.5 49.5

Total private women employees

48.2 48.1 48.1 48.1

Total private production and nonsupervisory employees

82.3 82.4 82.4 82.4

HOURS AND EARNINGS
ALL EMPLOYEES

Total private

Average weekly hours

34.3 34.4 34.4 34.5

Average hourly earnings

$25.91 $26.53 $26.50 $26.55

Average weekly earnings

$888.71 $912.63 $911.60 $915.98

Index of aggregate weekly hours (2007=100)(3)

105.8 107.4 107.7 108.2

Over-the-month percent change

-0.1 0.0 0.3 0.5

Index of aggregate weekly payrolls (2007=100)(4)

131.0 136.3 136.4 137.3

Over-the-month percent change

-0.2 0.5 0.1 0.7

DIFFUSION INDEX
(Over 1-month span)(5)

Total private (261 industries)

51.5 60.9 65.1 63.0

Manufacturing (78 industries)

48.7 59.0 62.2 59.0

Footnotes
(1) Includes other industries, not shown separately.
(2) Data relate to production employees in mining and logging and manufacturing, construction employees in construction, and nonsupervisory employees in the service-providing industries.
(3) The indexes of aggregate weekly hours are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate hours by the corresponding annual average aggregate hours.
(4) The indexes of aggregate weekly payrolls are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate weekly payrolls by the corresponding annual average aggregate weekly payrolls.
(5) Figures are the percent of industries with employment increasing plus one-half of the industries with unchanged employment, where 50 percent indicates an equal balance between industries with increasing and decreasing employment.
(P) Preliminary

NOTE: Data have been revised to reflect March 2016 benchmark levels and updated seasonal adjustment factors.

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Precision sacrificed for speed as GOP rushes ahead on taxes

5 tax issues Republicans need to resolve in conference

Now that the Senate and the House have passed two tax bills, there are some crucial differences they need to resolve in conference.

 December 10 at 6:42 PM
Republicans are moving their tax plan toward final passage at stunning speed, blowing past Democrats before they’ve had time to fully mobilize against it but leaving the measure vulnerable to the types of expensive problems popping up in their massive and complex plan.Questionable special-interest provisions have been stuffed in along the way, out of public view and in some cases literally in the dead of night. Drafting errors by exhausted staff are cropping up and need fixes, which must be tackled by congressional negotiators working to reconcile competing versions of the legislation passed separately by the House and the Senate.And the melding process underway has opened the door to another frenzy of 11th-hour lobbying as special interests, including President Trump’s rich friends, make one last dash for cash before the final bill speeds through both chambers of Congress and onto Trump’s desk. Passage is expected the week before Christmas.

Veterans of congressional tax overhauls, particularly the seminal revamp under President Ronald Reagan in 1986, have been stunned and in some cases outraged at how swiftly Republicans are moving on legislation that touches every corner of the economy and all Americans. And although GOP leaders make no apologies, some in their rank and file say that the process would have benefited from a more deliberate and open approach.

“I think it would have looked better if we had taken more time and had more transparency, had more open committee hearings,” said freshman Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.).

“Having said that, the goal that everybody had was to reduce the tax rates. . . . So at the end of the day the goal is going to be achieved, but we could have done it in a more transparent manner that probably would have given the voters that are being polled a little more confidence,” Comer said, referring to the effort’s poor showing in opinion surveys.

It has been a little more than a month since the $1.5 trillion legislation was introduced in the House, and in that short time it has cleared the two key committees in the House and Senate and won approval on the floors of both chambers, all without a single Democratic vote. If Trump signs the bill as planned before Christmas, that would mean a journey of less than two months between introduction and final passage.

The specific legislation that probably will become law, sold as a middle-class tax cut but featuring a massive corporate rate reduction at its center, is moving from release toward passage without any hearings, unusual for a bill of such magnitude. And as it tumbled along it picked up some startling new features, to the surprise of affected industries, Democrats and in some cases Republicans themselves.

Some of the most notable changes came in the hours before the Senate’s passage of its version of the plan, which happened about 1:50 a.m. Dec. 2.

The final vote was preceded by hours of inaction as Republicans fine-tuned their legislation behind closed doors, while fuming Democratic staffers ate Chinese food and pored over versions of the bill and lists of amendments that had been leaked by lobbyists on K Street before Republicans had made anything public.

As they got additional drafts of the bill, Democrats were incensed at some of what they found, including new breaks for the oil and gas industry, and a provision that appeared aimed specifically at helping Hillsdale College, a small liberal arts college in Michigan that doesn’t accept federal funding and has a large endowment funded by wealthy conservatives — including the family of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

An angry Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) stood on his chamber’s floor to declare that “the federal treasury is being looted.” In their one victory of the debate, Democrats offered an amendment to strike the Hillsdale provision, and with the help of four Republicans it passed.

Democrats weren’t the only ones surprised by what was in the bill. Republicans and the business community were stunned when the final Senate version restored the alternative minimum tax for corporations. The tax, aimed at keeping companies from shirking their tax duties entirely, had been repealed in the House bill and earlier versions of the Senate measure.

Restoring the corporate alternative minimum tax created $40 billion in revenue for the bill, which helped Republicans come in under complex budgetary guidelines saying the legislation can’t go over the $1.5 trillion the GOP has agreed to add to the deficit over the next decade. Still, some Republicans professed not to know how the change had come about.

And under the new tax code the GOP bill would create, including the alternative minimum tax could have the unintended consequence of preventing companies from using other deductions, including the popular research and development tax credit.

“I’m guessing they just needed something quick to make the bill work,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who is one of the conferees charged with blending the two bills together.

Now, as quickly as it reappeared, the corporate alternative minimum tax probably will disappear again. Republican lawmakers widely agree that it doesn’t work and can’t be included, but it remains a mystery where they’ll find revenue to offset that change and pay for others they’re looking to include in the final package.

There has been discussion of moving the corporate rate — slashed from 35 percent to 20 percent by the House and Senate — back up to 22 percent, but the backlash against that proposal has been intense and it probably will be dropped. But revenue must be found somewhere because there are some changes that look nearly certain, including adjusting the new limit on deducting state and local taxes. Both the House and Senate legislation would allow taxpayers to deduct only up to $10,000 in property taxes. Some of Trump’s New York friends have taken exception to that provision and have lobbied the president personally against it.

It’s all part of a breakneck pace of the tax plan that contrasts with the nearly a year-and-a-half that passed between when Reagan unveiled his initial version of the 1986 tax plan and its ultimate passage into law. The less far-ranging tax cuts that President George W. Bush signed in 2001 took four months to become law after the release of Bush’s initial blueprint. And the Affordable Care Act took nearly a year to complete, including a congressional summer recess featuring angry town hall meetings that turned public sentiment sharply against the bill.

Democrats accuse Republicans of whisking the legislation along to avoid extended public scrutiny and prevent them from mounting an offensive at public hearings or over lengthy congressional breaks. The GOP bills have endured neither.

“It’s clear that we could have defeated this bill had we gone through regular order and had any expert witness from any blue state or high-tax state come in,” said Rep. John B. Larson (Conn.), who was a member of Democratic leadership during the much lengthier and more open process of passing the ACA. The provision limiting taxpayers’ ability to deduct state and local taxes hits high-tax areas such as California, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut particularly hard.

“People would have said, ‘Well, wait a minute,’ ” Larson said.

Republican congressional leaders dispute such comparisons, saying that the process on taxes has been going on for years, given that the party has long been debating the idea and an early foundational bill was released by then-Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), former chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, nearly four years ago. House Republicans, led by Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), also campaigned last year on an agenda called “A Better Way,” which featured a tax plank similar in many respects to the bill the House ultimately passed, although it drew scant attention at the time.

“These are relatively small bills, 400 pages or so; they’re not hard to digest. The policy decisions, the thoughtfulness, a lot of these issues we’ve been debating together and apart for years,” said House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Tex.). “Bottom line is the American people have been waiting 30 years. So to paraphrase a hardware store: less talking, more doing.”

Even before the late-night Senate dramatics, the process offered surprises and sudden twists.

A provision repealing an Affordable Care Act requirement for most Americans to carry insurance or pay fines was added to the Senate bill with little warning over the course of an afternoon, a major health policy decision that is projected to leave 13 million more Americans uninsured in a decade but that would give Republicans $330 billion to pay for other things they want to do.

And the release of the House bill stunned manufacturers when they discovered it contained an “excise tax” on purchases from American companies’ foreign subsidiaries that some said could drive them out of business. The provision was watered down before passage by the Ways and Means Committee, but companies are still fighting to keep it out of the final bill, said Nancy McLernon, president of the Organization for International Investment, which represents global companies with U.S. operations. Despite the years-long focus on tax overhaul, such a provision had not been debated — even after companies beat back a different import tax, she said.

The Senate has a different provision that companies like better, but as far as the cost of going from one to the other or how it will all shake out, “It’s all a Rubik’s cube,” McLernon said.

Many lobbyists, Democrats and other observers expect to find the final version of the plan, which could be filed late this week, just as full of surprises as the various iterations that have appeared. But as they gun for a legislative win that has eluded them this year, Republicans show little interest in slowing down to take a closer look.

“The frenzy, and I would call it a frenzy, to get it done and have a Christmas present for America — number one, I think it’s unnecessary; it’s a self-imposed deadline, and number two, it makes the possibility for error much greater,” said Steve Bell, a senior adviser at the Bipartisan Policy Center who was staff director of the Senate Budget Committee during the 1986 tax effort. “This is a rush without a reason other than the political desire for a Rose Garden signing ceremony.”

Mike DeBonis contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/precision-sacrificed-for-speed-as-gop-rushes-ahead-on-taxes/2017/12/10/876ab274-dc62-11e7-b1a8-62589434a581_story.html?utm_term=.167e53dc0cba

 

The Taxman Cometh: Senate Bill’s Marginal Rates Could Top 100% for Some

Certain high-income business owners would face backwards incentives; lawmakers work to bridge gap

House and Senate Republicans are trying to reconcile their tax bills to get rid of the most contentious proposals.
House and Senate Republicans are trying to reconcile their tax bills to get rid of the most contentious proposals. PHOTO: DANIEL ACKER/BLOOMBERG NEWS

WASHINGTON—Some high-income business owners could face marginal tax rates exceeding 100% under the Senate’s tax bill, far beyond the listed rates in the Republican plan.

That means a business owner’s next $100 in earnings, under certain circumstances, would require paying more than $100 in additional federal and state taxes.

As lawmakers rush to write the final tax bill over the next week, they already are looking at changes to prevent this from happening. Broadly, House and Senate Republicans are trying to reconcile their bills, looking for ways to pay for eliminating the most contentious proposals. The formal House-Senate conference committee will meet on Wednesday, and GOP lawmakers may unveil an agreement by week’s end.

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The possible marginal tax rate of more than 100% results from the combination of tax policies designed to provide benefits to businesses and families but then deny them to the richest people. As income climbs and those breaks phase out, each dollar of income faces regular tax rates and a hidden marginal rate on top of that, in the form of vanishing tax breaks. That structure, if maintained in a final law, would create some of the disincentives to working and to earning business profit that Republicans have long complained about, while opening lucrative avenues for tax avoidance.

As a taxpayer’s income gets much higher and moves out of those phaseout ranges, the marginal tax rates would go down.

Consider, for example, a married, self-employed New Jersey lawyer with three children and earnings of about $615,000. Getting $100 more in business income would force the lawyer to pay $105.45 in federal and state taxes, according to calculations by the conservative-leaning Tax Foundation. That is more than double the marginal tax rate that household faces today.

If the New Jersey lawyer’s stay-at-home spouse wanted a job, the first $100 of the spouse’s wages would require $107.79 in taxes. And the tax rates for similarly situated residents of California and New York City would be even higher, the Tax Foundation found. Analyses by the Tax Policy Center, which is run by a former Obama administration official, find similar results, with federal marginal rates as high as 85%, and those don’t include items such as state taxes, self-employment taxes or the phase-out of child tax credits.

The bill as written would provide incentives for business owners to shift profit across calendar years, move personal expenses inside the business and engage in other economically unproductive maneuvers, said David Gamage, a tax-law professor at Indiana University.

“I would expect a huge tax-gaming response once people fully understand how it works,” said Mr. Gamage, a former Treasury Department official, who said business owners have an easier time engaging in such tax avoidance than salaried employees do. “The payoff for gaming is huge, within the set of people who both face these rates and have flexible enough business structures.”

The analyses “raise a valid concern” that lawmakers are examining, said Julia Lawless, a spokeswoman for the Senate Finance Committee.

“With any major reform, there will always be unusual hypotheticals delivering anomalous results,” she said. “The goal of Congress’s tax overhaul has been to lower taxes on the American people and by and large, according to a variety of analyses, we’re achieving that.”

Marginal tax rates are different from average tax rates. A marginal rate is the tax on the edge, or margin, of one’s earnings, and so it reflects what would be the next dollar of income. The average rate is a way of measuring a taxpayer’s total burden.

The Republican bills are trying to reduce both marginal and average tax rates, and for many taxpayers, they do. The marginal tax rates above 100% affect a small slice of households with very particular circumstances. Similar, though smaller, effects occur throughout the tax system.

“This is a big concern,” said Scott Greenberg, a Tax Foundation analyst. “It would be unfortunate if Congress passed a tax bill that had the effect of making additional work and additional income not worthwhile for any subgroup of households.”

Here’s how that New Jersey lawyer’s marginal rate adds up to more than 100%:

The household is paying the 35% marginal tax rate on their income range. Or, they are paying the alternative minimum tax, which operates at the same marginal rate in that income range.

The household is paying New Jersey’s highest income-tax rate, which is 8.97%, and now has to pay all of that because the Republican tax plan wouldn’t let such state or local taxes be deducted from federal income.

The household is also losing a deduction the Senate created for so-called pass-through businesses such as partnerships and S corporations. That 23% deduction is fully available to owners of service businesses like law firms, but only if income is below $500,000 for a married couple.

The deduction then phases out over $100,000 in income, according to a complex formula, disappearing entirely once income reaches $624,000. Up to that point, each additional dollar of business income faces progressively steeper tax rates because the deduction and its benefit are shrinking rapidly as income goes up.

The provisions also interact with each other in ways that drive up marginal rates. “The central problem here is that there is a large benefit phasing out over a short range,” Mr. Greenberg said.

The Republican bill doubles the child tax credit to $2,000 but phases it out beginning at $500,000 income for joint filers. The credit shrinks by $50 for every $1,000 in income above that, so a married couple with three children faces a higher marginal tax rate when they’re in that phase-out range.

The analysis assumes that the New Jersey lawyer is paying a 3.8% tax on self-employment income.

Pushing marginal rates lower on these households wouldn’t be easy and would require tradeoffs. Republicans could make the phaseout of the business deduction more gentle, spreading it over, say, $200,000, as opposed to $100,000, of income above $500,000. But that would make the tax cuts bigger, and Republicans are already looking for money to offset other changes they are planning.

They could lower the threshold for the child tax credit, but that would reduce tax cuts for households below $500,000.

Under current law, there are some high marginal tax rates for some lower-income households. Some families just above the poverty line can see their earned income tax credits and food stamps going down as their federal and state taxes go up. That combination can create marginal tax rates of around 75%, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Appeared in the December 11, 2017, print edition as ‘Taxman Cometh: Marginal Rates Could Top 100% for Some.’

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-taxman-cometh-senate-bills-marginal-rates-could-top-100-for-some-1512942118

Tax Reform Under History’s Light


Senior Vice President, Economic Policy Division, and Chief Economist

Former Democratic Senator John Breaux

Former Democratic Senator John Breaux.

[This is part of an ongoing series entitled “The Case for Tax Reform,” which examines the importance of reforming the outdated tax code, and how achieving that goal will advance economic growth, jobs, and prosperity.]

Tax reform’s chances are better in this Congress than at any time in the past 30 years. Thus, comparisons come naturally to the events leading up to the 1986 Tax Reform Act (TRA86). These comparisons are useful for the similarities and the differences, both of which provide insights as to how to assure success today.

One important similarity is TRA86 brought to conclusion a long and detailed debate about tax policy. Our current efforts also rest on a lengthy debate recently brought to the fore. An important difference, however, is TRA86 was enacted as a widely accepted “should do,” whereas tax reform in 2017 is much more of a “must do.”

‘86 tax reform in 30 seconds

TRA86 culminated as a complex debate starting about 10 years prior with the release of Treasury’s “Blueprints for Basic Tax Reform” in the waning hours of the Ford administration. Treasury’s “Blueprints” laid out a coherent approach to tax policy, emphasizing simplification and a reduction in tax distortions that were sapping economic growth.

Two years later, in response to a poorly performing economy, Congress adopted the Steiger Amendment, significantly cutting the capital gains tax rate as part of the 1978 Revenue Act. While often ignored, the Steiger Amendment marked the bi-partisan recognition of tax policy’s importance for economic growth. Pro-growth tax reform was not just for tax geeks anymore.

Federal tax policy debate took on new energy in 1981 with the passage of the landmark Reagan tax cuts, dominated by substantial rate reduction. Following legislation in 1982 and 1984 to readjust tax levels, the stage was set for fundamental tax reform.

A bipartisan consensus regarding sound tax policy evolved through the years leading up to TRA86. This consensus distilled down to the simple mantra of “lower the rates, broaden the base.”  Like the 1981 legislation, TRA86 would reduce tax rates substantially and install a less punitive system of capital consumption allowances. Unlike the 1981 legislation, however, the focus would also be on simplification, on the wide range of areas of the tax code reformed, and especially on revenue neutrality.

This consensus first took concrete form in two highly-detailed proposals out the Reagan Treasury Department, commonly dubbed Treasury I and its improved version, Treasury II, and released in 1984 and 1985 respectively. With these reports laying the groundwork, Congress then took over a year to legislate, finally producing TRA86.

The years between

TRA86 was the product of an extended period of consensus building and analysis. For those new to the debate, today’s strong momentum for comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform may seem to have arisen out of thin air, but, in fact, this debate has ebbed and flowed almost without pause since 1986.

The appetite for tax reform did not die following TRA86, and so consideration naturally moved on to the “next big thing.” For a period, the big thing seemed to be some kind of European-style Value Added Tax (VAT). The VAT momentum quickly petered out, however, and soon revenue pressures shifted the focus of tax policy once again to raising income tax rates, often with distinct “soak-the-rich” overtones. The VAT episode set tax reform’s pattern of ebb and flow for the following years.

Even as the debate toward TRA86 was underway, a very different approach to tax policy appeared in the Hall-Rabushka Flat Tax. Though the Flat Tax is best known for having a single rate of tax, hence the name, what really distinguishes the Flat Tax is its simplification, the elimination of all taxes on capital income and capital gains, and the adoption of a cash-flow tax on businesses centered on allowing capital purchases to be “expensed,” or deducted immediately.

In the 1990s, as the Flat Tax gained greater acceptance, tax reform topped the national agenda with Steve Forbes leading the charge. But this effort soon deflated along with Forbes’ 1996 presidential campaign.

Tax reform again gained traction briefly after the 2004 election with the release of the superb report of the presidential commission led by former Democratic Senator John Breaux and former Republican Senator Connie Mack. However, this effort, too, led to naught, a victim of competing priorities and a lack of consensus.

Income tax reform was pushed far onto the back burners during President Barack Obama’s tenure. Despite a historically weak economic recovery, the Obama administration expressed little interest in proposals to reduce the tax code’s drag on growth. The Obama administration contented itself with modest tweaks at the edges and otherwise dedicated its efforts to defending the status quo, especially in the area of international tax where global pressures were felt most profoundly.

Tax reform today

Even as years of inaction passed, pressure to reform the federal income tax code rose steadily from all sides. In part, this pressure arose because the U.S. economy was changing rapidly, and the tax code became an ever-worse fit for a modern economy.

In part, the pressure arose because even as America stood pat, America’s major trading partners did not. They were cutting business tax rates steadily and almost all were moving toward a territorial tax system to allow their businesses to compete more effectively in a global business climate of increasing intensity.

Though on the back burner, tax reform continued to simmer in backchannels. Then-House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) advanced a series of thoughtful tax reform proposals as part of his broader efforts to reform Federal tax policy. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) offered his variation on tax reform, differing from but along the same broad lines as the Ryan proposal. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) also introduced a major, comprehensive tax reform proposal with his own interpretations, and then released subsequent iterations as comments and critiques soon followed. In these years, though President Obama continued to block tax reform’s path, the debate remained alive and well.

In 2014, former Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Camp (R-MI) introduced a detailed tax reform proposal. As tax reform would originate in this committee, Camp’s proposal took on greater significance than most. The Camp proposal was intended to serve as a prototype for tax legislation and so offered much more detail and, in some cases, specific options for resolving some of the nagging technical issues in adopting a territorial tax system, for example. However, in the face of President Obama’s determined disinterest, few were willing to contemplate seriously the hard choices the Camp plan laid out and so, again, tax reform was left to simmer on the back burner.

Tax reform played a limited role in the 2016 presidential campaign, with the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, largely continuing the defense of the status quo established by President Obama. Meanwhile, the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, suggested a bold change of direction; though, he accompanied it by very few details. Trump’s election, combined with the strong Republican interest in tax reform, quickly moved the issue to the front burner.

The focus on growth

Tax reform today, like its 1986 predecessor, has a long history of debate, evolution, and refinement. TRA86 and the current effort also share an intense focus on improving economic growth, but with one important difference: TRA86 largely responded to a sense borne of the previous, deep recession that the economy needed to be both stronger and more resilient, and that sound tax policy could help. Tax reform was seen as something Congress and the president could and should accomplish.

Tax reform today shares a similar motivation, but with far greater urgency. Just as no business can compete for long if its cost structure substantially exceeds those of its competitors, American businesses cannot continue to compete effectively at home or abroad facing high tax rates, an inadequate capital cost recovery system, and an international tax system long abandoned by competing companies.

American companies are managing to compete successfully today but with ever greater difficulty under the federal tax system. Failure to reform the tax system would not result overnight in significant decline in Americans’ long-run economic prospects. But it would most assuredly do so over the next few years as both financial and human capital is driven overseas.

Tax reform is one task Congress and the president simply have to get right if America is to prosper.

https://www.uschamber.com/above-the-fold/tax-reform-under-history-s-light

What History Teaches Us About Tax Reform


Senior Vice President, Economic Policy Division, and Chief Economist
023275_taxreform_atf_08_22_reagan_getty471341025.jpg

[This is part of an ongoing series entitled “The Case for Tax Reform,” which examines the importance of reforming the outdated tax code, and how achieving that goal will advance economic growth, jobs, and prosperity.]

An underperforming economy and mounting international competition have propelled tax reform from topic of discussion to front-burner issue. There is no change in federal policy that offers greater potential to strengthen employment and increase wages for American workers than sound, comprehensive tax reform.

Reviewing and respecting the lessons from the last major tax reform over thirty years ago illuminates the road ahead, and provides lessons for how to raise our odds of success. Time provides a dimension worth exploring for similarities and contrasts between 1986 and today. Specifically, the time leading up to the effort, and the time needed for Congress to act.

The Historical On Ramp to Tax Reform

President John F. Kennedy understood the dampening economic effects of high tax rates. Though he died before seeing his program enacted, his successor, President Lyndon B. Johnson pushed the program through Congress and thus the 1964 tax bill is commonly referred to as the “Kennedy tax cuts.” The 1964 bill centered on significant tax rate reductions to achieve a substantially stronger economy.

Thereafter, budget pressures from the Vietnam War and Great Society programs reoriented tax policy once again toward ever-higher tax rates accompanied by a steady accretion of deductions and credits to blunt the effects of higher rates on politically favored constituencies. This process continued unabated into President Jimmy Carter’s administration and not surprisingly coinciding with a languishing economy.

Even as tax rates climbed and new distortions filled the tax code, a countermovement arose. In the final moments of the Ford Administration, Secretary William E. Simon released a landmark Treasury report directed by one of the era’s great economists, David Bradford, called “Blueprints for Basic Tax Reform,” guiding concepts of sound tax policy for years to come.

As the economy struggled and President Carter stood by, Congress took the initiative. With strong, bipartisan support over Carter’s objections, Congress substantially cut the capital gains tax rate as part of the 1978 Revenue Act, marking the first step in a change in tax philosophy culminating in the 1986 Tax Reform Act (TRA86).

Senator Bill Roth (R-DE) and Congressman Jack Kemp (R-NY) then picked up tax reform’s guidon, leading the charge for lower tax rates. At the same time, a second dimension in tax policy gained steam – the need for a less punitive capital cost recovery system. This debate was led largely outside Congress by the likes of Charls Walker and Ernie Christian, former Ford Administration Treasury hands, and Norman B. Ture, later Treasury undersecretary under Ronald Reagan.

Spurred by a recession wrought by a disinflationary monetary policy, the tax debate quickly came to a head in the 1981 “Reagan tax cuts.” The 1981 bill cut tax rates and instituted a vastly superior capital cost recovery system among other reforms. In the process, the bill cut revenues far more than Reagan proposed.

Though the 1981 bill was championed by a Republican president, it enjoyed widespread Democratic support. Rep. Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL), Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means introduced and pushed the legislation to passage, joined by almost half the House Democrats and almost a third of Senate Democrats.

The magnitude of the 1981 tax cuts proved politically unsustainable and were quickly followed by a series of tax hikes reversing some of the 1981 revenue reductions. Having settled the issue of how much to tax, the stage was now set for the 1986 reform and deciding who and how to tax.

Building Toward the 1986 Tax Reform Act

At about this time a fundamentally different approach to tax policy appeared: the Hall-Rabushka Flat Tax. The Flat Tax’s popularity often associates with the simplicity of imposing a single tax rate. However, the real revolution it offered was not the single tax rate,but  what is subject to tax. Despite appearing as a traditional income tax, the Flat Tax was something quite new as it explicitly eliminated tax on investment income and imposed a simple cash flow tax on all businesses, thus adopting the principle of expensing, or allowing a full and immediate deduction for capital purchases.

The Flat Tax was too radical to gain wide acceptance in the early 1980s, but a vigorous bipartisan debate harkening back to Bradford’s 1976 “Blueprints” continued nonetheless. The 1981 tax cuts worked as intended to launch a powerful economic recovery, but memories of poor economic performance under Carter still lingered. A broad, bipartisan consensus championed faster economic growth by reforming the tax code to reduce the distortions to economic decision making it caused and the resulting misallocation of basic resources.

The basic strategy was to lower rates as in the 1981 Act, only further, and to implement a sound cost recovery system as in the 1981 Act. In contrast to 1981, however, the new strategy included a determined effort to “broaden the tax base” by eliminating distorting loopholes and tax credits, thereby intending the overall bill to be revenue neutral. .

The Treasury Department under Secretary Don Regan took the first big step in 1984 with the release of a densely packed 275 page proposal for comprehensive tax reform, dubbed “Treasury I”. While many aspects were well-received, as with most prototypes, Treasury I contained flaws, some of which Treasury addressed in 1985 with “Treasury II”.

Tax reform was off and running in Congress with the release of Treasury II, but the road  was by no means easy. Time and again Reagan had to give Congress another not-always-gentle push. The greatest peril demanding Reagan’s firm hand came when Senate Finance Committee Chairman Bob Packwood (R-OR) realized he couldn’t pass tax reform on the path it was on. Ironically, the man who had repeatedly saved tax reform, President Reagan, was also now tax reform’s biggest obstacle.

The Price for Overcoming the Greatest Hurdle

Reagan was forced into pushing for the most rate reduction possible. Initially he drew the line at 25 percent for individuals and he held firm for much of the debate. Like most policy, tax reform involves trade-offs and Packwood just couldn’t find enough obvious base broadeners he could economically or politically trade off to hit a 25 percent rate.

Something had to give. At first the rate crept up to 26 and then to 28 percent. But at 28 percent, Reagan would go no further.

As Reagan urged Packwood to press on, Packwood had to get creative. He took fairly innocuous existing individual and corporate minimum taxes and expanded them into full-fledged parallel tax systems; voila, massive back-door base broadening. Packwood’s new Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), while a superb example of terrible tax policy, had as its one redeeming feature: it raised enough money in a sufficiently confusing manner to hit the 28 percent rate without creating too many political problems, at least not for the duration of the debate. Three months later, the final bill passed the Senate.

Packwood’s AMT offers an important lesson for tax reform today. As important as low tax rates are for economic growth, policy makers and the public need to be honest about the tradeoffs involved. The broadest possible tax base capable of garnering sufficient political support can only raise so much revenue at a targeted tax rate. Demand an even lower tax rate and something (or someone) else will have to give and very likely pro-growth tax policy will suffer as a consequence.

Back to the Present

With respect to time, the current tax reform debate parallels that of 1986 closely. TRA86 concluded a lengthy, evolutionary process regarding accepted beliefs about sound, pro-growth tax policy. That process distilled to the lowest possible rates and applied to a simple, broad tax base, while allowing for a depreciation system for capital costs minimizing the anti-investment aspects of an income tax.

Tax reform today shares these traits, both with respect to the substance of reform – low rates, broad base, and today, expensing – and with respect to time. Like the 1986 episode, tax reform today reflects the product of many years of debate regarding the design of pro-growth tax policy, an evolution that began in 1986.

In one other critical respect regarding time, TRA86 and the current effort offer stark contrasts. Where the legislative starting gun on TRA86 went off in 1984 and the effort then proceeded for over two years, Congress in 2017 will have only a handful of months from introduction to tax reform’s final passage. This difference in time will have significant implications for how Congress defines “comprehensive” as they work toward pro-growth tax reform.

Read Part 2: Tax Reform Under History’s Light

https://www.uschamber.com/above-the-fold/what-history-teaches-us-about-tax-reform

 

Story 3: Defeating The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria By Bombing Them To Death — ISIS Free? — Videos

ISIS defeated in Iraq, officials say

Eric Shawn reports: ISIS defeated, but will it last?

Iraq celebrates ISIS defeat, US claims fight isn’t over

 

Total victory over ISIS in Syria

ISIS Breaking news: No Islamic State has been defeated- BBC news Nov 2017

Iraqi military take part in spectacular parade celebrating victory over ISIS

Report: ISIS militants moving to remote deserts

Ralph Peters on the fight against ISIS and Iran’s influence

Trump WH announces shift in strategy to defeat ISIS

ISIS Surrounded: Trump’s Plan to ‘Annihilate’ the Islamic Caliphate

This Iran-backed militia helped save Iraq from ISIS. Now Washington wants them to disband

Iraqi Christian on life after ISIS destroyed his church

Trump WH announces shift in strategy to defeat ISIS

Peters: Fall of ISIS in Iraq is imminent, but what’s next?

Tillerson: ISIS will be defeated

Trump, Mattis turn military loose on ISIS, leaving terror caliphate in tatters

Hundreds of ISIS fighters had just been chased out of a northern Syrian city and were fleeing through the desert in long convoys, presenting an easy target to U.S. A-10 “warthogs.”

But the orders to bomb the black-clad jihadists never came, and the terrorists melted into their caliphate — living to fight another day. The events came in August 2016, even as then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was vowing on the campaign trail to let generals in his administration crush the organization that, under President Obama, had grown from the “jayvee team” to the world’s most feared terrorist organization.

OIR_CROFT

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Croft said the Trump administration has put a strong leadership team in place  (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Tracy McKithern)

“I will…quickly and decisively bomb the hell out of ISIS,” Trump, who would name legendary Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis as secretary of defense, promised. “We will not have to listen to the politicians who are losing the war on terrorism.”

ISIS CURSED, MOCKED IN MOSUL, WHERE OLD CITY REMAINS A HAUNTED WASTELAND

Just over a year later, ISIS has been routed from Iraq and Syria with an ease and speed that’s surprised even the men and women who carried out the mission. Experts say it’s a prime example of a campaign promise kept. President Trump scrapped his predecessor’s rules of engagement, which critics say hamstrung the military, and let battlefield decisions be made by the generals in the theater, and not bureaucrats in Washington.

“I felt quite liberated because we had a clear mandate and there was no questioning that.”

– U.S. Marine Col. Seth Folsom

At its peak, ISIS held land in Iraq and Syria that equaled the size of West Virginia, ruled over as many as 8 million people, controlled oilfields and refineries, agriculture, smuggling routes and vast arsenals. It ran a brutal, oppressive government, even printing its own currency.

OIR_FOLSOM

Lt. Col. Seth Folsom credits the cooperation between Iraqi Security Forces and the U.S-led coalition for the military defeat of ISIS in Iraq.  (Courtesy U.S Army)

The terror organization now controls just 3 percent of Iraq and less than 5 percent of Syria. Its self-styled “caliph,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is believed to be injured and holed up somewhere along the lawless border of Syria and Iraq.

ISIS remains a danger, as members who once ruled cities and villages like a quasi-government now live secretly among civilian populations in the region, in Europe and possibly in the U.S. These cells will likely present a terrorist threat for years. In addition, the terrorist organization is attempting to regroup in places such as the Philippines, Libya and the Sinai Peninsula.

But the military’s job — to take back the land ISIS claimed as its caliphate and liberate cities like Mosul, in Iraq, and Raqqa, in Syria, as well as countless smaller cities and villages, is largely done. And it has taken less than a year.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis waits to greet Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, upon his arrival at the Pentagon, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Mattis, a US Marine Corps general, said there would be no White House micromanaging on his watch  (Associated Press)

“The leadership team that is in place right now has certainly enabled us to succeed,” Brig. Gen. Andrew Croft, the ranking U.S. Air Force officer in Iraq, told Fox News. “I couldn’t ask for a better leadership team to work for, to enable the military to do what it does best.”

President Trump gave a free hand to Mattis, who in May stressed military commanders were no longer being slowed by Washington “decision cycles,” or by the White House micromanaging that existed President Obama. As a result of the new approach, the fall of ISIS in Iraq came even more swiftly than hardened U.S. military leaders expected.

“It moved more quickly than at least I had anticipated,” Croft said. “We and the Iraqi Security Forces were able to hunt down and target ISIS leadership, target their command and control.”

OIR_SOFGE1

U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Robert Sofge said the military now has a clear mandate  (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Cole Erickson)

IRAQI KURDS STILL LOVE US DESPITE ITS OPPOSITION TO KURDISH INDEPENDENCE, SAYS KURDISH LEADER

After the battle to liberate Mosul – ISIS’ Iraqi headquarters – was completed in July — the U.S.-led coalition retook Tel Afar in August, Hawija in early October and Rawa in Anbar province in November.

Marine Col. Seth Folsom, who oversaw fighting in Al Qaim near the Syrian border, agreed. He wasn’t expecting his part of the campaign against ISIS to get going until next spring and figured even then, it would then “take six months or more.”

Instead, ISIS was routed in Al Qaim in just a few days.

mosul

Mosul, and several other cities liberated by ISIS, were largely destroyed in the fighting.  (Fox News/Hollie McKay)

“We really had one mandate and that was enable the Iraqi Security Forces to defeat ISIS militarily here in Anbar. I feel that we have achieved that mission,” Folsom said. “I never felt constrained. In a lot of ways, I felt quite liberated because we had a clear mandate and there was no questioning that.”

Brig. Gen. Robert “G-Man” Sofge, the top U.S. Marine in Iraq, told Fox News his commanders have “enjoyed not having to deal with too many distractions and there was no question about what the mission here in Iraq was.”

OIR_

Iraqi Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool was skeptical of Trump at first, but says success on the ground has been swift  (Fox News/Hollie McKay )

“We were able to focus on what our job was without distraction and I think that goes a long way in what we are trying to accomplish here,” he said.

Sofge said criticism that loosening rules of engagement put civilians at risk is “absolutely not true.”

OIR_dillon

Col. Ryan Dillon. Combined Joint Task Force – Inherent Resolve Spokesman  (Photo by CJTFOIR)

“We used precision strikes, and completely in accordance with international standards,” he said. “We didn’t lower that standard, not one little bit. But we were able to exercise that precision capability without distraction and I think the results speak for themselves.”

The U.S.-led coalition said this week the Coalition Civilian Casualty Assessment Team has added 30 new staffers to travel throughout the region. It said military leaders continue to “hold themselves accountable for actions that may have caused unintentional injury or death to civilians.”

The coalition also said dozens of reports of civilian casualties have been determined to be “non-credible,” and just .35 percent of the almost 57,000 separate engagement carried out between August 2014 and October 2017 resulted in a credible report of a civilian casualty.

In addition to air support, the U.S.-led strategy also includes training and equipping Iraqi troops on the ground.

While the Trump administration’s success is often underplayed in the U.S. media, it is obvious on the ground in Iraq, according to a spokesman for Iraq’s Ministry of Defense, Yahya Rasool.

“I was not optimistic when Trump first came to the office,” Rasool said. “But after a while I started to see a new approach, the way the U.S. was dealing with arming and training. I saw how the coalition forces were all moving faster to help the Iraq side more than before. There seemed to be a lot of support, under Obama we did not get this.”

FILE - This file image made from video posted on a militant website July 5, 2014, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivering a sermon at a mosque in Iraq during his first public appearance. Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appears to be still alive, a top U.S. military commander said Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, contradicting Russia’s claims that it probably killed the top counterterror target months ago.(Militant video via AP, File)

Al-Baghdadi, who once ruled a caliphate the size of California, is now inn hiding and likely badly injured

Despite the victories on the battlefield, U.S. officials cautioned much work remains to be done.

“ISIS is very adaptive,” noted Col. Ryan Dillon, the U.S.-led coalition spokesman. “We are already seeing smaller cells and pockets that take more of an insurgent guerrilla type approach as opposed to an Islamic army or conventional type force. So we have got to be prepared for that.”

He said as a result the coalition is “adjusting some training efforts” so the Iraqi forces — upwards of 150,000 have already undergone training — are equipped to address such threats and ensure long-term stability.

Folsom said “the worst thing we could do” is not finish the job.

“If a country becomes a failed state, if it becomes a lawless region, you begin to set the conditions for what happened in the years before 9/11,” he said. “In those ungoverned spaces where we don’t know what is going on, that is where those seeds of extremism begin to blossom.”

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 978, October 5, 2017, Story 1: Steven Paddock — Medicated Mad Mass Murderer Acted Alone — Drug/Alcohol/Hooker Assisted Homicides and Suicide — Big Drinker, Gambler At Video Poker,  “Mental Health Symptoms” — Addicted To Risk Taking — Treat Mental Illness — Banning Bump Fire Stock Is Not Addressing The Problem of Mental Illness and Prescribed Drug Induced Suicides and Homicides — Common Sense Mental Illness Ban? — Nonsense — Videos — Story 2: House of Representatives Passed Budget Blueprint — $600 Billion Plus Budget Deficit and Unbalanced Budgets — A Blueprint of Financial Irresponsibility By Burdening Current and Future Generations With Massive Debt — Replace Big Government Two Party Tyranny, Oppression and Empire with A Limited Government Representative Republic As The Founders Envisioned Under The Constitution –Videos

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Story 1: Steven Paddock — Medicated Mad Mass Murderer Acted Alone — Drug/Alcohol/Hooker Assisted Homicides and Suicide — Big Drinker, Gambler At Video Poker,  “Mental Health Symptoms” — Addicted To Risk Taking — Treat Mental Illness — Banning Bump Fire Stock Is Not Addressing The Problem of Mental Illness and Prescribed Drug Induced Suicides and Homicides — Common Sense Mental Illness Ban? — Nonsense — Videos —

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EXCLUSIVE: Las Vegas shooter gambled $100,000 an hour in video poker with ‘constant stream of booze’ and was VIP guest at tournaments with free rooms and shopping sprees

  • Las Vegas shooter was so hooked on gambling he played up to 1,000 hands of video poker in a single hour – at a cost of $100,000
  • Stephen Paddock was well-enough known to be invited to $50,000 prize video poker tournaments but was not considered ‘a whale’, the biggest gamblers
  • He was not friendly or sociable and other players noticed he always had a drink with him 
  • Paddock would also play video poker by himself, betting five $125 hands similtaneously, moving so quickly that he could stake $100,000 in an hour
  • Experts say he could easily have been breaking even as video poker has the best odds of doing so but that in the long run casinos always win
  • Michael Shackleford, a casino analyst, said: ”I think he was a smart recreational gambler who saw it as a way to have a free vacation.’

The Las Vegas shooter was so hooked on gambling he played up to 1,000 hands of video poker in a single hour – at a cost of $100,000.

Stephen Paddock bet the colossal sums by playing $125 a time hands at ‘ferocious’ speeds for eight hour stints in casinos on The Strip and in Reno.

Top video poker players told DailyMail.com that players like Paddock look like ‘stenographers’ on the machines because their fingers move so fast.

They had seen Paddock at exclusive VIP tournaments in Las Vegas where he won and lost six-figure sums.

The players described him was a ‘low level high roller’ but he still would have got perks like free limousine rides and $10,000 of free money to play with.

Drinking concern: Gamblers say they saw Stephen Paddock playing video poker with a 'constant stream of booze' by his side when he was a guest at VIP tournaments

Drinking concern: Gamblers say they saw Stephen Paddock playing video poker with a ‘constant stream of booze’ by his side when he was a guest at VIP tournaments

Fast and furious: These are the video poker machines which allowed Paddock to gamble stakes of up to $100,000 in an hour by playing multiple hands at once