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Investigation — No Evidence of Criminal Conspiracy — Videos — Story 3: When Should 4,000+ U.S. Troops/Advisers Be Withdrawn From Syria and Iraq?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

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

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Where’s the Fence

Bush on border security

Obama Sends Troops to the Border

Texas Border Security

DHS Secretary Nielsen On Deploying National Guard To Mexico Border – Full Q & A

Kirstjen Nielsen is TOO SMART For White House Reporters

Trump ramps up illegal immigration fight

President Donald Trump To Send National Guard To U.S.-Mexico Border | NBC Nightly News

Analysis: Trump’s plan to send National Guard troops to secure the southern border

Tucker: Facts threaten immigration advocates’ fantasies

President Trump deploys National Guard to Mexican border

Tough on the Border and Slamming Joe Manchin

News Wrap: Trump moves to deploy National Guard to border

Trump isn’t the first President to deploy troops to the border

Donald Trump: National Guards will remain “UNTIL WE CAN HAVE A WALL”

Trump Calls up National Guard to Protect the Border

President Trump explains need to secure Mexican border

US Customs and Border Protection chief welcomes Nation Guard

Trump takes bow as migrant caravan ends before border

Trump signs order authorizing National Guard to protect border

President Trump Wants the National Guard to Protect the U.S. Border Wall

Caravan, Honduras, Mexico, Gorka, and Trump

Trump Warns Mexico to Stop Caravan of Immigrants Headed Toward US

Poverty in California: Liberalism is turning the state into a major nightmare

Steyn’s take: Immigration caravan and ‘offensive’ statues

Tucker: Will our leaders protect us from a caravan invasion?

Trump Threatens Honduras’ Foreign Aid Over Migrant Caravan

Caravan of Central Americans is bound for the US border

Retired Adm. Winnefeld on National Guard at border, U.S. troops in Syria

Hannity: President Trump takes bold action on the border

Tucker vs. Jorge Ramos: Caravan of migrants debate

 

Trump signs proclamation sending National Guard to Mexico border immediately

By Adam Shaw | Fox News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

A ‘people without borders’ is a people without democracy

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1044, March 7, 2018, Story 1: Attorney General Session To Sanctuary State California — Aiding and Abetting The Illegal Alien Invasion of United States Is A Crime — Obey The Law or Else — Videos — Story 2: Do The Right Thing — Restore The American’s People Confidence in The FBI and Department of Justice By Appointing A Second Special Counsel To Investigate and Prosecute The Crimes Committed By The Clinton Obama Democrat Conspiracy To Spy On American People — Videos —

Posted on March 8, 2018. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Campaign, 2016 Presidential Candidates, American History, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Business, Cartoons, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Gangs, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Illegal Immigration, James Comey, Jerry Brown, Labor Economics, Language, National Security Agency, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Presidential Appointments, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rifles, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Senator Jeff Sessions, Social Networking, Spying, Spying on American People, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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 Story 1: Attorney General Session To Sanctuary State California — Aiding and Abetting The Illegal Alien Invasion of United States — Obey The Law or Else — Videos –

Watch U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions take on California’s immigration policies

Sessions calls out California on immigration after announcing DOJ lawsuit

Tucker: Democrats have become the anti-border party

DOJ takes on California over sanctuary status

Hannity: California officials willing to risk American lives

Gov. Jerry Brown: Sessions ‘sowing discord’ instead of proposing immigration reform

California governor calls DOJ lawsuit a ‘political stunt’

1995: Barbara Jordan on “Immigration Reform”

President Trump says he shares immigration views with Barbara Jordan

WATCH: Atty. Gen. Sessions discusses sanctuary cities in Sacramento, CA

America’s Sources of Immigration (1850-Today)

Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts

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

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

President Trump’s ‘four pillars’ of new immigration plan

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

Trump Endorses Bill to Limit Green Card Immigration

Donald Trump explains his immigration plan

Trump: I want an immigration policy that benefits Americans

Trump on immigration: ‘We either have a country or we don’t’

2016 GOP contenders take different stances on immigration

Obama’s Amnesty & How Illegal Immigration Affects Us

President Obama’s Speech on Amnesty For Illegal Immigrants

The 2020 Census is at risk. Here are the major consequences

California leaders rebuke Sessions as ‘going to war’ over state immigration policy

He arrived a day after suing California over its laws to shield immigrants living in the state illegally  

A long-simmering battle between the Trump administration and California over immigration boiled over Wednesday, with Atty. Gen. Jeff Sessions deriding the state’s “irrational, unfair and unconstitutional policies” and Gov. Jerry Brown accusing the federal government of launching “a reign of terror.”

“This is basically going to war against the state of California,” Brown declared.

As the Justice Department formally filed a legal challenge to state immigration laws, Sessions told a gathering of law enforcement officers in Sacramento that California was attempting to keep federal immigration officials from doing their jobs, and he charged Democrats with advancing the political agendas of “radical extremists.”

He took particular aim at Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who had warned immigrant communities about recent federal raids in the Bay Area, and at Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, for praising her actions.

“So here’s my message to Mayor Schaaf: How dare you?” Sessions said of the Brown protege. “Contrary to what you may hear from open-borders radicals, we are not asking California, Oakland or anyone else to actively, effectively enforce immigration laws.”

The remarks drew protests and sharp rebukes from state leaders, underscoring huge rifts over the role of law enforcement in federal immigration policy.

President Trump has made restricting immigration a central focus of his agenda and has frequently criticized California for resistance to his calls to increase deportations. On Wednesday, the White House confirmed that Trump would make his first visit to California since becoming president next week, to assess prototypes for the border wall he wants built between California and Mexico and to attend a GOP fundraiser.

California Democratic leaders and the state’s top law enforcement officer responded with war talk of their own, describing Sessions’ actions as unprecedented. In fiery tweets, speeches and at a news conference at the Capitol, the Democrats said the Justice Department lawsuit is based on lies and challenges California’s sovereignty.

The governor called Sessions’ actions a political stunt, aimed at distracting the public from guilty pleas made by Trump’s advisors in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s ongoing investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“Let’s face it, the Trump White House is under siege,” Brown said. “Obviously, the attorney general has found it hard just to be a normal attorney general. He’s been caught up in the whirlwind of Trumpism … [and is] initiating a reign of terror.”

State Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles), author of one of the laws targeted by the legal challenge, accused Sessions of having ideology based on “white supremacy and white nationalism.”

De León said he is directing former U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., under contract to provide legal advice to the state Senate, to help formulate a response to submit in court. On a conference call with reporters, Holder said legal precedent makes clear that the federal government cannot insist that a state use its resources to enforce federal immigration law.

“From my perspective, the Trump administration’s lawsuit is really a political and unconstitutional attack on the state of California’s well-established rights under our system of government,” Holder said.

The three laws administration officials seek to challenge make it a crime for business ownersto voluntarily help federal agents find and detain undocumented workers, prohibit local law enforcement from alerting immigration agents when detainees are released from custody and create a state inspection program for federal immigration detention centers.

Administration officials allege the laws, passed by the Legislature last year and signed by Brown, blatantly obstruct federal immigration law and thus violate the Constitution’s supremacy clause, which gives federal law precedence over state enactments.

State Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra has pledged to defend the measures in court, saying they work in concert with federal laws. “Our teams work together to go after drug dealers, to combat gang violence, to take down sex-trafficking rings, and we have no intention of changing that,” he said Wednesday.

In his speech to more than 100 police chiefs, sheriffs and other law enforcement officers, Sessions argued that the Trump administration did not reject immigration, but said the U.S. should not reward those who unlawfully enter the country with benefits, such as legal status, food stamps and work permits.

He said the federal government sued California to invalidate and immediately freeze what he called unjust laws.

“We are going to fight these irrational, unfair and unconstitutional policies that have been imposed on you and our federal officers,” Sessions said as he finished his speech to the California Peace Officers Assn., and some officers stood in ovation. “You can be certain about this: We have your back, and you have our thanks.”

As the group welcomed Sessions with applause, a statewide coalition of immigrant rights groups gathered outside to protest his arrival.

The lawsuit and Sessions’ visit are the latest volley in an escalating battle between the Trump administration and Democratic leaders in California, where laws have been passed to extend healthcare, driver’s licenses and education to some of the more than 2.3 million immigrants living in the state illegally.

The event is usually a time for law enforcement officers to mingle with lawmakers, lobby for legislation and receive guidance from leaders on law enforcement priorities across the state. But Sessions’ appearance swept the attention away.

Police officers said the state’s immigration laws had not impeded their jobs so far, but the constant battles between state and federal leaders were affecting their relationships with federal partners.

Fairfield Police Chief Randy Fenn said the lawsuit raised concerns about whether law enforcement agencies would be caught in the middle of a larger immigration battle.

“We are waiting to see how this shakes out,” Fenn said.

Neil Gallucci, second vice president of the state peace officers group, said Sessions’ opinion was important to understand as the federal lawsuit had the potential to change California laws.

“Atty. Gen. Sessions is the top law enforcement officer in the United States of America,” Gallucci said. “It would be foolish for us not to listen to where we may be headed and to understand what all the issues are. That is what this forum is for.”

Though the state government’s foray into immigration issues has drawn criticism outside California in recent months, it has broad support within the state. A January poll by the nonpartisan Public Policy Institute of California found 58% of likely voters wanted state and local immigration action. Among all adults, support rose to 65% of those surveyed.

Law enforcement officials have been divided on the issue. The most contested of the statutes — the so-called sanctuary state law — limits state and local law enforcement agencies from using any resources to hold, question or share information about people with federal immigration agents, unless they have violent or serious criminal convictions.

For many officers across the state, that won’t change much of their daily work. Some police and sheriff’s agencies already have developed similar restrictions on working with immigration agents, either through their own policies or under local “sanctuary city” rules.

The California Police Chiefs Assn. moved its official position from opposed to neutral after final changes to the bill, but the California State Sheriffs’ Assn. remained opposed.

Outside Sessions’ speech Wednesday, a few hundred people gathered to protest. Right before the speech began, protesters spilled out onto a major street, blocking traffic, and then marched around the building.

Maria Isabel Serrano, 46, from Imperial County, said the attorney general should focus on violent crimes, not immigration.

“This is the only place where we have a sanctuary,” Serrano said in Spanish. “This lawsuit is uncalled for.”

The protests are perhaps just a preview of what’s to come. Trump will make his first trip to California on Tuesday, the White House announced. He will view border wall prototypes in San Diego and raise money at a high-dollar fundraiser in Beverly Hills.

Times staff writers John Myers and Seema Mehta contributed to this report.

http://www.latimes.com/politics/la-pol-ca-sanctuary-state-sessions-lawsuit-20180307-story.html

eff Sessions’s lawsuit against California’s “sanctuary” laws, explained

California tried to make it harder for ICE to round up immigrants. So the federal government is suing the state.

Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images

On Wednesday, Attorney General Jeff Sessions is visiting California to sue it.

The Department of Justice has just filed a lawsuit against the state over three laws it passed in 2017 that limit government officials’ and employers’ ability to help federal immigration agents, and that give California the power to review conditions in facilities where immigrants are being detained by the feds. Sessions, in a Wednesday speech to the California Peace Officers’ Association, a law enforcement union, is giving the message in person.

It’s a huge escalation of the Trump administration’s fight against “sanctuary cities” that limit local-federal cooperation on immigration enforcement. After a year of slow-moving or unsuccessful attempts to block “sanctuary” jurisdictions from getting federal grants, Sessions is moving to stop them from passing laws that limit cooperation to begin with. And he’s starting with a shot across the bow: targeting the bluest state in the union, whose 2017 bills represented a model for progressives to use federalism against the Trump administration’s immigration agenda.

California, like any other “sanctuary” jurisdiction, isn’t stopping Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents from being able to arrest, detain, or deport immigrants. In fact, ICE has already responded to the 2017 laws in its own way — by escalating raids in California and claiming that the state’s sanctuary laws force ICE to get more aggressive in its tactics.

Sessions’s lawsuit, legally speaking, is about ensuring that the feds can use any tool in the toolbox of federal immigration enforcement policy, without any restrictions from progressive cities and states. Politically speaking, it’s the next phase in a battle the Trump administration and California are equally enthusiastic about having: an ongoing culture war between progressive politicians who feel a duty to make their immigrant residents feel as safe as possible, and an administration (and its backers) whose stated policy is that no unauthorized immigrant should feel safe.

The lawsuit is mostly a fight to let government employees and business owners cooperate with ICE if they want

The administration’s new lawsuit doesn’t address all of California’s restrictions on cooperation — including some of the “sanctuary” policies that Sessions and other Trump administration officials have complained the most about (like limits on when local jail officials can agree to hold unauthorized immigrants for 48 hours after they’d otherwise be released so federal agents can pick them up).

Instead, it aims at pieces of three different laws California passed last year: one that strictly limits law enforcement cooperation with ICE, one restricting what employers can do when ICE engages in workplace raids, and one about reviews of immigration detention facilities.

Here’s the rundown:

SB 54 (California Values Act): the “sanctuary” law. The Trump administration is suing to allow local law enforcement officials in California to do two things that SB 54 now prevents them from doing: 1) tell federal agents when an immigrant will be released from jail or prison, or give them other “nonpublic” personal information other than the immigrant’s immigration status; and 2) transfer immigrants directly into federal custody from local jails without a warrant from a judge for their arrest (though local officials are allowed to do this if an immigrant has committed certain serious crimes).

The Trump administration argues that the restrictions on what local officials can tell federal ones about a detained immigrant violate federal law — specifically, a provision that bars local and state governments from telling their officials not to share information about “the immigration status … of any individual.” This is the same provision the Trump administration has been using in its attempts to block “sanctuary” jurisdictions from getting federal grants.

California argues that sharing information about when someone will be released from jail or prison is different from sharing information about their “immigration status” itself, so it’s legal for the state to put restrictions on the former. That argument has been upheld by a federal judge in the state — though, notably, not in the same district where the Justice Department is suing.

(Ironically, the ruling that refusing to share release dates didn’t violate federal law came in a civil lawsuit filed against the city of San Francisco by the parents of Kate Steinle, whose murder has become a cause célèbre for immigration hawks including President Trump himself.)

The Justice Department is also arguing that California is restricting federal immigration enforcement by requiring a warrant from a judge to take an immigrant into custody, claiming that federal immigration law was designed to use civil “warrants” from the executive branch (since being in the US without papers is a civil offense, and deportation is technically a civil punishment, rather than criminal).

AB 103: the detention review law. The DOJ is suing to strike down a law that requires the California attorney general to review any facility where immigrants are being detained by federal agents while waiting for an immigration court date or their deportation (or where unaccompanied minors are being held while waiting to be placed with a relative).

The lawsuit argues that where immigrants are detained is a “law-enforcement decision” and California is improperly interfering with it; it also complains that California isn’t placing these restrictions on any other local or federal agency and is targeting immigration enforcement.

AB 450: the workplace-raid law. Just like the DOJ is suing to let law enforcement cooperate more broadly with federal agents with its challenge to SB 54, it’s suing to let employers cooperate with federal agents during workplace raids or audits. The feds are suing to strike down provisions that prevent employers from letting ICE agents access “nonpublic areas” of the workplace during raids or giving ICE agents access to employee records without a judicial warrant. (Though ICE agents would still be allowed to look over an employer’s I-9 files, the form to verify an employee’s ability to work in the US legally.)

And it’s suing to stop employers from having to notify their employees within 72 hours of getting a notice of inspection of I-9 files from ICE and notify them again within 72 hours of getting the results if the employee has been flagged in the system as working illegally.

The DOJ argues that these restrictions “have the purpose and effect of interfering with the enforcement of the [federal] prohibition on working without authorization.”

In the federal government’s view, “California has no lawful interest in assisting removable aliens to evade federal law enforcement.” But California, of course, argues it does: that protecting the safety and well-being of California residents means forcing ICE to meet higher standards of due process before engaging in actions that can affect not only unauthorized immigrants but legal immigrants and US citizens. And this is where the real divide lies.

California’s laws haven’t kept out ICE. They’ve just made ICE officials angrier.

The term “sanctuary” gives the totally misleading impression that cities and states can stop ICE from entering, or from arresting immigrants. They can’t. The laws that immigration hawks have traditionally labeled “sanctuary” policies — a label that, in the wake of the 2016 election, some progressives and Democrats have embraced — are designed to make it harder for the federal government to use local governments as leverage in immigration enforcement.

So when those laws pass, ICE has to do things the hard way: tracking down immigrants after they’re released from jail, for example, instead of just picking them up directly.

That sort of ICE activity is more visible — and often more disruptive to immigrants’ daily lives. When the Trump administration has been criticized for its aggressive immigration tactics, like arresting immigrants in courthouses or in their driveways, it has blamed “sanctuary cities” for forcing them to.

But the Trump administration has also made a point to hype enforcement in “sanctuary” jurisdictions as a way to send a message that immigrants are not safe there. So even as the Justice Department sues California for making it too hard to enforce immigration law, ICE is as visible in the state as ever.

The workplace-raids law the DOJ is suing over didn’t stop ICE from raiding several 7-Eleven franchises in California in January, armed with notices to inspect their I-9 forms. Nor did California’s laws stop ICE from arresting more than 150 immigrants in a massive “sweep” in Northern California in February, including some who allege they were approached at random in public by an ICE agent and asked for their papers (something ICE generally denies it does).

The Trump administration has vocally criticized California officials for trying to impede ICE — it was furious with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf for alerting the public that the February sweep was coming, for example. But it’s important to understand that the lawsuit isn’t really about ICE’s abilities, but rather about making it easier for the agency to do its job — or, to put it another way, it’s about how many tools ICE has in its immigration enforcement toolbox.

And it’s also, just like the stepped-up raids, another way to remind immigrants that no matter who calls California a “sanctuary,” it can’t really protect immigrants from deportation.

This is a fight both sides are eager to have

Sessions isn’t just going to Sacramento at random. He’s announcing the lawsuit at the convention of the California Peace Officers’ Association — which lobbied against SB 54 and which, according to its executive director, invited Sessions to provide some “clarity” about how local police could work with federal agents in general in the wake of the law.

In reality, law enforcement agents and officials in California (like the rest of America) have been divided on local cooperation with immigration enforcement: Some of them oppose laws like California’s because they hinder officers’ power to decide how to do their jobs, while others want to make sure immigrants aren’t scared out of reporting crimes by worrying local police will turn them over to ICE.

But picking a fight with Democratic politicians — especially in liberal-caricature California — on behalf of cops is the best possible frame for the Trump administration politically. Ever since the presidential primary, Trump has gotten leverage out of attacking “sanctuary cities” for harboring criminals. It’s allowed him to use his favorite theme — that immigrants are criminal and dangerous — while attacking his political opponents.

The legal prospects of the new lawsuit aren’t very good in the short term. Even if the DOJ prevails in the district court, it’ll have to go through the liberal (and presidentially antagonized) Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Politically, though, it’s less important that the Trump administration wins this fight than that it’s picking it at all — it’s reminding its base who the good guys and bad guys are.

Of course, that’s also true for the California government — it’s just that the “good guy” and “bad guy” labels are reversed. California has all but courted a lawsuit from the Trump administration. Attorney General Xavier Becerra left a promising career in the House of Representatives to lead the legal resistance on the West Coast.

Officials have barely bothered to conceal their glee at the news that they’re being sued. “BRING IT ON!” wrote Kevin de León (the state legislator who wrote SB 54) in a Facebook post. Gov. Jerry Brown tweeted at the attorney general: “Jeff, these political stunts may be the norm in Washington, but they don’t work here. SAD!!!”

This isn’t just about the electoral optics for California Democrats in a majority-minority state, in a midterm that could finally push out some of the state’s remaining congressional Republicans. It’s also about the message being sent to immigrants — for Democrats and the administration alike.

The fight over “sanctuary” policies is ultimately a fight over whether fear is a useful tool in immigration enforcement or an evil that can poison whole communities. The official position of the Trump administration is that any unauthorized immigrant in the US should be “looking over [her] shoulder” and worried that ICE will come after her at any time. The biggest change to policy under Trump hasn’t been the scope of deportations or even of arrests — it’s been the aggressive messaging that anyone could be next.

Local and state officials who see unauthorized immigrants as part of their own communities, and who are concerned about the effects that targeting unauthorized immigrants will have on their legal immigrant neighbors and US citizen children, are trying to combat that fear. Laws that force ICE to put more effort into arresting and detaining immigrants are one way to do that. Simply sending the message that some politicians are looking out for immigrants and fighting for them is another — probably not as effective, but something nonetheless.

Fighting in court over California’s laws allows both sides to send the message they want. But in the meantime, ICE will keep working to make sure that its presence is felt in the state, “sanctuary” or no.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/3/7/17088144/california-lawsuit-sanctuary-immigration-law-doj

 

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Story 1: North Korea Willing To Talk To US And Freeze Nuclear and Missile Tests — Videos —

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North Korea says it’s willing to hold talks with US and halt nuclear pursuit while negotiations last: South Korea

  • North Korea is willing to hold talks with the U.S. on denuclearization and will suspend nuclear tests while those talks are under way, South Korea said.
  • The news comes after a delegation returned from the North where it met leader Kim Jong Un.
  • North and South Korea will also hold their first summit in more than a decade next month at the border village of Panmunjom.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attends a grand military parade celebrating the 70th founding anniversary of the Korean People's Army at the Kim Il Sung Square in Pyongyang.

North and South Korea agree to hold summit talks  

North Korea is willing to hold talks with the United States on denuclearization and will suspend nuclear tests while those talks are under way, the South said on Tuesday after a delegation returned from the North where it met leader Kim Jong Un.

North and South Korea, still technically at war but enjoying a sharp easing in tension since the Winter Olympics in the South last month, will also hold their first summit in more than a decade next month at the border village of Panmunjom, the head of the delegation, Chung Eui-yong, told a media briefing.

“North Korea made clear its willingness to denuclearize the Korean peninsula and the fact there is no reason for it to have a nuclear programme if military threats against the North are resolved and its regime is secure,” the head of the delegation, Chung Eui-yong, told a media briefing.

“The North also said it can have frank talks with the United States on denuclearization and the normalisation of ties between North Korea and the United States,” Chung added.

He cited the North as saying it would not carry out nuclear or missile tests while talks with the international community were under way. North Korea has not carried out any such tests since November last year.

Reacting to the news, President Donald Trump tweeted: “We will see what happens!”

Washington and Pyongyang have been at loggerheads for months over the North’s nuclear and missile programmes, with Trump and Kim Jong Un trading insults and threatening war. North Korea has regularly vowed never to give up its nuclear programme, which it sees as an essential deterrent and “treasured sword” against U.S. plans for invasion.

A photograph of a British nuclear weapons test over Christmas Island in the 1950s at the Imperial War Museum in London.

Who owns the world’s nuclear weapons?  

The United States, which stations 28,500 troops in the South, a legacy of the Korean War, denies any such plans.

To ensure close communication, the two Koreas, whose 1950-53 conflict ended in a mere truce, not a peace treaty, will set up a hotline between South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un, Chung said.

The last inter-Korean summit was in 2007 when late former president Roh Moo-hyun was in office.

The agreement came on the heels of a visit made by a 10-member South Korean delegation led by Chung to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, on Monday in hopes of encouraging North Korea and the United States to talk to one another.

Kim Jong Un met senior South Korean government officials for the first time and said it was his “firm will to vigorously advance” inter-Korean ties and pursue reunification, the North’s official news agency said.

“Through this delegation visit, the South Korean government created a very important opportunity to manage North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats, prevent war on the Korean peninsula and create military trust going forward,” said Cheong Seong-chang, a senior research fellow at the Sejong Institute.

Tensions between the two Koreas eased during the Olympics in South Korea, where Moon hosted a high-level North Korean delegation and the two sides presented a joint women’s ice hockey team. Kim Jong Un had invited Moon to North Korea for a summit, which was the first such request from a North Korean leader to a South Korean president.

US-South Korea drills to go on

North Korea has boasted of developing nuclear-tipped missiles capable of reaching the United States, in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions, but Pyongyang and Washington both say they want a diplomatic solution to the standoff.

The first inter-Korean talks in more than two years were held early this year to bring North Korea to the Winter Olympics, when South Korea and the United States also postponed an annual joint large-scale military exercise that North Korea views as a preparation for invasion.

During this week’s visit, a senior Blue House official said North Korea was informed it was not feasible to postpone the joint military drills between South Korea and the United States again and that Kim Jong Un acknowledged the situation.

Kim Jong Un said he understood the drills, expected in April, would be of a similar scale seen in previous years, the official said. The North Korean leader also had a request for the world: that he be seriously acknowledged as a dialogue counterpart, said the official.

The South’s delegation leader, Chung, said he would travel to the United States to explain the outcome of the visit to North Korea and that he had a message from North Korea he will deliver to Trump.

Chung will later visit China and Russia, while Suh Hoon, the head of South Korea’s spy agency and another member of the delegation, will head to Japan.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/06/south-north-korea-to-hold-summit-in-april-south-korea-says.html

 

U.S. Considers Broad Curbs on Chinese Imports, Takeovers

 Updated on 
  • USTR investigating China’s intellectual-property practices
  • Trump administration considering tariffs on consumer goods

The Trump administration is considering clamping down on Chinese investments in the U.S. and imposing tariffs on a broad range of its imports to punish Beijing for its alleged theft of intellectual property, according to people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. Trade Representative’s office last year began investigating China’s IP practices under a seldom-used trade law that gives President Donald Trump powers to impose trade restrictions to protect American commerce from unfair trading actions by foreign nations. An announcement about the investigation is anticipated in the coming weeks.

The move would escalate tensions already running hot over Trump’s plan to impose stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, risking retaliation from allies and major trading partners like China and rankling Republican lawmakers over the economic costs. Trump struck a defiant tone this week, tweeting that he’d welcome a trade war.

In a blow to the free-trade wing of Trump’s team, White House chief economic adviser Gary Cohn announced on Tuesday he is resigning. The dollar fell and an exchange-traded fund linked to U.S. stocks tumbled in after-hours trading.

Gary Cohn to Resign as Trump Adviser Amid Dispute Over Tariffs

Wide Tariffs

Under the most severe scenario being weighed, the U.S. could impose tariffs on a wide range of Chinese imports, from shoes and clothing to consumer electronics, according to two people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions aren’t public.

The Trump administration could combine the tariffs with restrictions on Chinese investments in the U.S., which are reviewed for national-security risks by Treasury’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., the people said. The new measures being considered by the administration could go beyond even domestic security considerations.

The U.S. has long been wary of China’s push to develop its own semiconductor industry that could compete with American firms. That concern was highlighted in a letter made public Tuesday, in which the Treasury Department said Singapore-based Broadcom Ltd.’s hostile takeover attempt of Qualcomm Inc. could pose a national security risk. The worry is Broadcom could harm Qualcomm’s innovation, allowing China to expand its influence in key wireless technology, according to the letter dated March 5.

Forced Reciprocity

With the probe into China, known as a Section 301 action, U.S. officials are also considering a more targeted approach that would seek to rein in Chinese investments, the people said. The administration is looking at ways to enforce reciprocity with China on foreign investment, meaning the U.S. would only allow takeovers in sectors that U.S. companies can access in China, according to the people.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has already urged closer vetting of foreign takeovers, and Republican lawmakers are pushing legislation aimed at curbing China’s influence.

U.S. officials are still examining various options, and USTR could decide to do nothing, the people said, adding that an announcement is expected next month. A White House spokesperson declined to comment on an ongoing process, adding that no final decisions have been made.

A senior Chinese official warned that potential tariffs could harm the global trading system, and the Chinese government has been studying curbs on U.S. products such as soybeans.

Trump has fanned the flames, declaring that “trade wars are good and easy to win.” Mnuchin, speaking before a congressional panel on Tuesday, said the administration’s objective is to achieve a “fair and balanced” trading relationship with China. America’s trade gap in goods with the Asian nation surged 8 percent last year to a record $375 billion.

Mnuchin said the U.S. isn’t trying to provoke a trade war with the tariffs, an action that he backed. “The good news” is that Chinese President Xi Jinping and Trump have a “very good relationship and communicate regularly,” said Mnuchin.

Trade Backlash

Wide-ranging tariffs on goods made in China may also provoke a backlash from U.S. retailers such as Walmart Inc. and Target Corp. The retail industry successfully pushed back last year against a proposal by Republican leaders in Congress to apply a border tax on imports.

USTR has argued in the past that Beijing uses a range of practices to force companies to transfer IP, and Chinese entities engage in widespread theft of U.S. trade secrets. U.S. businesses in China have long complained about being forced to hand over technology as the price of gaining access to the Asian market.

American officials are concerned China will piggyback off their nation’s technology as part of its strategy to become a leader in artificial intelligence and other advanced industries.

U.S. companies have been urging the Trump administration to negotiate with Beijing before imposing any penalties, according to industry lobbyists. That may be difficult, given that the main channel of economic dialogue between the two countries has broken down. However, Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui said this week that China will host talks on trade issues with U.S. officials.

Under the law, the U.S. can impose duties or other barriers on the goods and services of the foreign country that undermined American commerce. It can also negotiate agreements under which the foreign nation would commit to end the offending tactic.

The government is supposed to come up with a solution that impacts foreign goods and services at a level equivalent to the damage done to American industry. Last year, an independent commission on U.S. intellectual property estimated that the annual cost to the U.S. economy in counterfeit goods, pirated software, and theft of trade secrets from all sources exceeds $225 billion and could be as high as $600 billion. China is the world’s principal IP infringer, the commission said.

— With assistance by David McLaughlin

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-06/u-s-said-to-consider-broad-curbs-on-chinese-imports-takeovers

China Spends More on Domestic Security as Xi’s Powers Grow

Beijing invests in policing at home amid push by president to solidify authority

China has hired more police and invested in domestic surveillance technology; above, security personnel on duty in Beijing on Tuesday during the annual meeting of the national legislature.
China has hired more police and invested in domestic surveillance technology; above, security personnel on duty in Beijing on Tuesday during the annual meeting of the national legislature. PHOTO: NICOLAS ASFOURI/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

BEIJING—China has substantially increased spending on domestic security, official figures show, reflecting mounting concern about threats inside its borders as President Xi Jinping moves to acquire more power and reassert the authority of the Communist Party.

Beijing’s budgets for internal and external security have grown faster than the economy as a whole for several years, but domestic security spending has grown far faster—to where it exceeds the national defense budget by roughly 20%.

Home SecurityChina’s spending on domestic securityoutpaces military spending, driven in part byan increase in Xinjiang.National security spending
.trillion yuanMilitary*Domestic2008’10’12’14’160.000.250.500.751.001.251.50
Regional security spendingSources: China’s National Bureau of Statistics;Chinese regional finance departments (regions);Ministry of Finance (domestic, 2017); Adrian Zenz(estimates).Note: 1 yuan = $0.16 *2017 data are Adrian Zenz’sestimates
.yuan per personTibet*XinjiangBeijingAll provinces2008’10’12’14’1601,0002,0003,0004,000
China has turned the northwestern region of Xinjiang into a vast experiment in domestic surveillance. WSJ investigated what life is like in a place where one’s every move can be monitored with cutting-edge technology. Video: Clément Bürge/WSJ; Image: DeepGlint

Across China, domestic security accounted for 6.1% of government spending in 2017, the Ministry of Finance said. That translates into 1.24 trillion yuan ($196 billion) and compares with 1.02 trillion yuan in central-government funding for the military.

The numbers, revealed in an annual budget report released this week, help illustrate the scale of a recent intensification of security and surveillance across China, particularly in Xinjiang and Tibet, minority-heavy areas on the country’s periphery.

The spending numbers are “very consistent with the heavy securitization that’s going on,” said Adrian Zenz, a lecturer at the European School of Culture and Theology in Germany who discovered the numbers in Monday’s report and whose research into Chinese security spending is due to be published soon by the Jamestown Foundation.

In Xinjiang the government has woven a web of surveillance, with checkpoints, high-definition cameras, facial scanners and street patrols; the region spent $9.1 billion on domestic security in 2017, a 92% increase from 2016, according to local government budget data.

Spending across the country on domestic security rose 12.4% last year; in 2016, spending increased 17.6%, official data show.

The budget for domestic security covers regular and paramilitary police, courts, prosecutors and prisons. Chinese authorities are experimenting with cutting-edge tracking tools, tapping social-media accounts to punish politically incorrect speech and, in some places, trying to get residents to inform on each other using smartphone apps.

The Finance Ministry stopped including the domestic-security budget in its annual report in 2013, after media reports highlighted its growth. This year, the number appeared only as a percentage of the total budget in a graph and wasn’t mentioned in the text. It isn’t clear why the ministry decided to publish the number again.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, shown arriving for the opening session of the National People's Congress in Beijing on Monday, has moved to consolidate authority and boost the Communist Party.
Chinese President Xi Jinping, shown arriving for the opening session of the National People’s Congress in Beijing on Monday, has moved to consolidate authority and boost the Communist Party. PHOTO: DAMIR SAGOLJ/REUTERS

The budget report was released as China’s National People’s Congress convenes in Beijing, where delegates are set to approve changes to the country’s constitution that would permit Mr. Xi to remain president indefinitely.

Premier Li Keqiang, addressing the legislature on Monday in an annual government work report, highlighted a crime crackdown called the “Peaceful China initiative,” vowing to stamp out terrorism, violent crime, pornography, gambling and other ills.

“With these steps we will safeguard national and public security,” he said.

The security escalation is particularly striking in Xinjiang, in China’s far west, where the government has armed tens of thousands of police with the latest technology. Cameras and checkpoints blanket the region’s cities and villages, and street patrols use hand-held devices to scan ID cards and smartphones.

Authorities have invested in data platforms used to identify “unsafe” members of the region’s Uighur population, and in construction of a network of detention centers.

Xinjiang’s police are also engaged in a blood-collection effort designed to further expand China’s DNA database, already the world’s largest.

Per capita security spending in Xinjiang and the Tibetan Autonomous Region to the south are comparable to the national average in the U.S., with adjustments for differences in costs for personnel and equipment, said Mr. Zenz. The U.S. spends around $520 per person on policing and other forms of law enforcement, Mr. Zenz said.

Children and police watch passing Buddhist monks during a ceremony on March 1 in China’s Tibetan Autonomous Region, where authorities have invested in surveillance and policing.
Children and police watch passing Buddhist monks during a ceremony on March 1 in China’s Tibetan Autonomous Region, where authorities have invested in surveillance and policing. PHOTO: JOHANNES EISELE/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

Chinese officials say the increase in surveillance in Xinjiang and Tibet is necessary to snuff out separatist movements among minority groups they say are influenced by hostile forces abroad. Human-rights groups say discriminatory policies in both regions are partly to blame for ethnic strife and that the heavy security exacerbates the tension.

China’s military is also investing to develop its capabilities and this week unveiled its largest annual increase in outlay in three years—an 8.1% rise, after a 7% bump in 2017.

That pales with the ramp-up in policing at home.“Growth in China’s defense budget remains in the single digits, and broadly in line with economic conditions,” said William Choong, an Asian security specialist at the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London, a global affairs think tank.“A one-percentage-point increase isn’t much to shout about.”

In China, as in many other countries, actual spending on internal and external security is likely higher than official budget numbers suggest, according to Mr. Zenz and other analysts.

Chinese police in the old city of Kashgar, Xinjiang, where surveillance has escalated to monitor the local Uighur population.
Chinese police in the old city of Kashgar, Xinjiang, where surveillance has escalated to monitor the local Uighur population. PHOTO: GIULIA MARCHI FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

The Ministry of Finance said in its budget report that domestic security spending would decrease slightly as a proportion of total spending this year. That is based on the budget; last year domestic security agencies went 22.9% over budget, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.

Neither the Ministry of Finance nor the Ministry of Public Security responded to requests for comment.

A significant portion of this year’s expenses likely came from payments for infrastructure such as new police stations and big-data platforms, said Mr. Zenz.

His research into the growing security apparatus in Xinjiang and elsewhere has included the compiling of authorities’ advertising for new police positions. In Xinjiang, around 100,000 new positions were announced in a one-year period to September 2017, and the advertising for more police continues, he said.

Corrections & Amplifications 
The U.S. spends around $520 per person on policing and other forms of law enforcement, according to Adrian Zenz. An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that sum to be about $570 per person. (March 6)

https://www.wsj.com/articles/china-spends-more-on-domestic-security-as-xis-powers-grow-1520358522

 

Story 2: President Trump and Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven Joint Press Conference — Videos —

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Stefan Löfven

Kjell Stefan Löfven (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈsteːfan lœˈveːn]; born 21 July 1957) is a Swedish politician who has been the Prime Minister of Sweden since 2014 and the Leader of the Social Democrats since 2012.[1]

Prior to becoming Prime Minister and Leader of the Social Democrats, Löfven had worked as a welder before becoming an active trade unionist. He rose to become chairman of the trade union IF Metall from 2006 until being elected Leader of the Social Democrats in 2012.[2][3]

Early life and education

Löfven was born 21 July 1957 in Aspudden district, Stockholm. He was placed in an orphanage 10 months after his birth. Löfven was later looked after by a foster family from Sunnersta, Sollefteå. According to the agreement with this family, his birth mother would regain custody of him when she was able to; however, this did not happen. After meeting his brother, Stefan found out that his last name is Löfven, (spelled as Löfvén, in the Swedish population register).[4]

His foster father Ture Melander (1926–2003) was a lumberjack and then a factory worker, while his foster mother, Iris Melander (1929– ), worked as a health visitor.[5] He studied at Sollefteå High School before going on a welding course for 48 weeks at AMU in Kramfors. Löfven studied social work at Umeå University, but dropped out after a year and a half.[4]

Trade unionist

After completing his compulsory military service in the Swedish Air Force at the F 4 Frösön airbase 1976-77, Löfven began his career in 1978 as a welder at Hägglunds in Örnsköldsvik. Two years later he was chosen as the group’s union representative, and went on to hold a succession of union posts. In 1995 he started as an employed ombudsman in the Swedish Metalworkers’ Union, working in the areas of contract negotiations and international affairs. In 2001 he was elected vice-chairman of the Metalworkers’ Union, and in November 2005 was elected as the first chairman of the newly formed trade union IF Metall.[2]

Political career

Stefan Löfven elected to become the party’s new leader on 27 January 2012.

Löfven has been a member of the Social Democrats since the age of 13 and was active in SSU, the youth league, in his teens. Löfven was elected to the executive board of the Social Democrats in 2006, shortly after becoming chairman of trade union IF Metall.

Leader of the Social Democrats

In January 2012, following the resignation of Håkan Juholt, it was reported that Löfven was being considered as his successor. On 26 January 2012 the executive board nominated Löfven to become the party’s new leader[6][7][8] On 27 January 2012, Löfven was elected Leader in a party-room ballot.[9][10] Löfven was confirmed as party leader at the party’s bi-annual congress on 4 April 2013.[11]

Löfven led his party through the 2014 European Parliament election where the Social Democrats retained their position as the largest party from Sweden in the European Parliament. However, the election results at 24.19% was a slightly inferior than the result in 2009 European Parliament election, the party’s seats in the European Parliament was reduced from six to five[12] and the party’s results was the lowest in an election at the national level since universal suffrage was introduced in 1921.

Prime Minister

Main article: Premiership of Stefan Löfven

Stefan Löfven and his Cabinet on 3 October 2014.

Löfven led his party through the September 2014 general election, which resulted in a hung parliament.[13] The election result of 31.0% – up from 30.7% – was slightly better than the result in the 2010 general election but the result was also the party’s second worst result in a general election to the Riksdag since universal suffrage was introduced in 1921.

He announced that he would form a minority coalition government consisting his own party and the Green Party. On 2 October 2014, the Riksdag approved Löfven to become Prime Minister,[14] and he took office on 3 October 2014 alongside his Cabinet. The Social Democrats and the Green Party voted in favour of Löfven becoming Prime Minister, while close ally the Left Party abstained. The opposition Alliance-parties also abstained while the far-right Sweden Democrats voted against.

Löfven has also expressed a desire for bipartisan agreement between the Government and the opposition Alliance parties and together they have marked three areas where enhanced cooperation will be initiated. The three areas are the pension system, future energy development, and security and defence policy.

Domestic policy

The Stockholm Pride parade, 2 August 2014

2014 Government crisis

The Government is a minority coalition government and the Government’s budget was introduced to the Riksdag on 23 October 2014. The Left Party, which had been given influence over the budget, supported the budget. The non-socialist coalition, the Alliance, introduced a competing budget to the Riksdag on 10 November 2014, as promised prior to the 2014 general election, and the Sweden Democrats also introduced their own budget on 10 November 2014.

According to Riksdag practice the parties support their own budget and if the budget falls they abstains from voting. However, on 2 December 2014, the far-right Sweden Democrats announced that, after their own budget fell in the first voting round, they would support the Alliance parties’ budget in the second voting round, thus giving that budget a majority in the Riksdag.

On 3 December 2014, the Government’s budget was voted down by the Alliance parties and the Sweden Democrats and as a consequence, Löfven announced that he would call for a fresh election to be held on 22 March 2015.[15]

On 22 December 2014, sources within the Riksdag leaked information that the Government was negotiating with the Alliance parties (Moderate PartyCentre PartyLiberal People’s Party and the Christian Democrats) to find a solution and to avoid a fresh election.[16] On 27 December 2014, the Government and the Alliance parties held a joint press conference where they announced that the six major parties had reached an agreement designed to ensure that minority governments would be able to get their own budget through the Riksdag. The agreement, dubbed “Decemberöverenskommelsen” (December Agreement), was called historical by Löfven and will be in force until the 2022 general election, regardless of the results of the next general election due to be held in 2018.[17][not in citation given]Subsequently, Löfven announced that he no longer intended to call a snap election.[18] The centre-right Alliance withdrew from the agreements in 2015, but allowed the minority government to continue governing.

2015 European migrant crisis

In 2015, when a rising number of refugees and migrants[19] began to make the journey to the European Union to seek asylum, Europe was hit by a migrant crisis and Sweden allowed over 150,000 refugees to cross borders into the country in 2015.

During the autumn of 2015, the reception of refugees increased significantly to over 80,000 in two months and with terror group Islamic state rampage in the Middle East and the following attacks in Paris in November 2015, the cabinet of Löfven introduced revolutionary changes to Sweden’s migration policy. On 23 October 2015, a bipartisan migration agreement was signed between the cabinet parties and the oppositional Moderate Party, the Centre Party, the Liberals and the Christian Democrats which included, among many other changes, temporary residency permits, total supply requirements for family reunification and by law forcing municipalities to accept refugees, which is distributed, throughout Sweden.[20]

On 12 November 2015, the cabinet introduced temporary border controls with immediate effect. The cabinet also proposed identity checks for every individual passing the Danish-Swedish border and closing of the Öresund Bridge, giving up the latter on 8 December 2015 after severe criticism.[21] On 17 December 2015, the Riksdag passed legislation to introduce identity checks with the votes 175 in favor, 39 against and 135 abstained.[22] On 4 January 2016, the identity checks was introduced,[23] which means that people who can not show a valid identity card, license or passport are not allowed to cross the border into Sweden, breaking with the Nordic Passport Union for the first time since 1954. Only twelve hours later the Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen announced that Denmark will implement temporary border controls along the German-Danish border with immediate effect as a consequence of Sweden’s identity checks.[24]

2017 National Security crisis

In July 2017, it became known to the public that Maria Ågren, a former Director-General of the Swedish Transport Agency, had been investigated after having cleared confidential information threatening the security of the country. The act was made in connection with a procurement of IT services with a non-governmental company in 2015. Among the cleared data were wanted vehicles, armored vehicles, the entire Swedish vehicles register, Swedish company secrets, the Swedish police criminal record- and suspicion registers, the Swedish state’s internal security system and information about agents within the Swedish Military Intelligence and Security Service.[25]

Several days after it first became public, Löfven held a press conference on 24 July 2017 where he said that “there’s been an accident at the Transport Agency”.[26] Responsible cabinet minister Anna Johansson said she had been aware of the situation since January 2017 and blamed her former state secretary Erik Bromander for not having informed her earlier.[27] Cabinet ministers Anders Ygeman and Peter Hultqvist were reported to have been aware of the situation since the beginning of 2016, but chose not to inform the head of government.[28]

All parties within the Swedish opposition have opened up for a vote of confidence against cabinet ministers Anna JohanssonAnders Ygeman and Peter Hultqvist in order to remove them from office, with some parties calling for vote of confidence against Löfven as Prime Minister. Such a vote would, if supported by several parties, result in a removal of the Löfven cabinet.[29] In a press conference on 27 July Löfven announced a government reshuffling with Ygeman and Johansson resigning. He also stated that he would not resign himself over the incident.

Same-sex marriage

Löfven does not believe a priest working for the Church of Sweden should be allowed to refuse to wed same-sex couples. [30][31][32]

Foreign policy

Foreign trips made by Stefan Löfven as Prime Minister (as of 3 January 2015)

In his Policy Statement, introduced to the Riksdag on 3 October 2014, Löfven said that his Government would recognize the State of Palestine. On 30 October 2014 the Government, through Minister for Foreign Affairs Margot Wallström, announced that the Government had decided to officially recognize the State of Palestine and explained the recognition by saying that it is the only solution to get to a two-state solution between Israel and the State of Palestine. Sweden is the first country within the European Union to do so after gaining membership (with other members, such as Poland, withholding recognition previously issued under Communist rule).[33] Israel called the move unconsidered and Israel recalled its ambassador, Isaac Bachman, following the recognition. Bachman returned to Sweden on 29 November 2014.[34] In December 2015 Löfven caused an outrage in Israel by claiming that stabbing attacks are not considered terrorism by international standards. Later he reiterated himself, explaining that it is now known that the stabbing attacks are sanctioned by some terror organisations.[35]

Löfven with Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, 11 February 2017

Löfven has said that the ongoing negotiations of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) between the European Union and the United States are very important and that it is in Sweden’s interest that the managed trade agreement is implemented. However, he has said that the managed trade agreement shall not aggravate social conditions or human rights, which should be a high priority while negotiating.[36]

Löfven visited Iran in February 2017 and held talks with Ali Khamenei to improve economic relations.[37]

Personal life

Löfven enjoys sports and supports the ice hockey club Modo from Örnsköldsvik[38] and the football clubs Tottenham Hotspur[39] and GIF Sundsvall.[40]

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stefan_L%C3%B6fven

 

Story 3: Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn Resigns — Was Not Made Chairman of Federal Reserve — Video —

 

 

Gary Cohn (investment banker)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gary Cohn
Gary Cohn at Regional Media Day (cropped).png
11th Director of the National Economic Council
Assumed office
January 20, 2017
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Jeffrey Zients
Personal details
Born August 27, 1960 (age 57)
ClevelandOhio, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Lisa Pevaroff
Children 3
Education American University (BA)

Gary David Cohn (born August 27, 1960) is an American investment banker who serves as the 11th Director of the National Economic Council and is chief economic advisor to President Donald Trump.[1][2] He was formerly the president and chief operating officer of Goldman Sachs from 2006 to 2017. Cohn is a registered Democrat, but has donated extensively to Republican politicians as well.[3][4][5]

Cohn was considered one of the most influential voices in the Trump administration.[6] On March 6, 2018, it was reported that Cohn planned to resign his position in the coming weeks.[7]

Early life

Gary Cohn was born to an Eastern European Jewish family,[8][9] the son of Victor and Ellen Cohn;[10] and was raised in Shaker Heights, Ohio. His father was an electrician who later became a real estate developer.[11] Cohn was diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age and attended four schools by the time he reached the sixth grade.[12] Cohn studied at Gilmour Academy, and attended American University‘s Kogod School of Business between Fall 1979 and Spring 1982, graduating on 16 May 1982 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in Finance, Real Estate and Urban Development.

Business career

Cohn started his career at the U.S. Steel home products division in Cleveland, Ohio.[13] After a few months, he left U.S. Steel and became an options dealer in the New York Mercantile Exchange.[13] He taught himself the basics of options by reading about it in the days between meeting the hiring manager and joining the New York Mercantile Exchange.[14]

Goldman Sachs

Cohn was recruited by Goldman Sachs in 1990.[15] In 1996, he was named head of the commodities department and in 2002, he was named the head of the entire Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities (FICC) division. In 2003, he was named co-head of Equities and in January 2004, Cohn was named the co-head of global securities businesses.[16] He became President and Co-Chief Operating Officer and director in June 2006.[17]

In late 2009, Cohn led a delegation from Goldman Sachs to meetings with the government of Greece, which included proposals (that were not adopted) to push debt-due dates far into the future, “much as when strapped homeowners take out second mortgages to pay off their credit cards.”[18] Goldman Sachs had been scrutinized for creating or pitching products used by Greece to “obscure billions in debt from the budget overseers in Brussels”.[18]

Cohn at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in 2010

In 2010, Cohn testified to Congress on the role of Goldman Sachs in the financial crisis of 2007–2008.[19] Cohn testified: “During the two years of the financial crisis, Goldman Sachs lost $1.2 billion in its residential mortgage-related business. We did not ‘bet against our clients,’ and the numbers underscore this fact.”[20]

Compensation

Cohn’s salary at Goldman Sachs was US$22 million in 2014.[21] He received $21 million in 2015.[22]

He received a severance package worth around $285 million – mostly in stock – from Goldman Sachs upon leaving to join the administration of Donald Trump.[23] In the administration he took a salary of $30,000, considerably less than every other high ranking administration official.[24][25][26]

National Economic Council director

On January 20, 2017 Cohn took office as Director of the National Economic Council (NEC) in President Donald Trump‘s administration, a position which did not require Congressional confirmation. By February 11, 2017, The Wall Street Journal described Cohn as an “economic-policy powerhouse”[27][28] and The New York Times called him Trump’s “go-to figure on matters related to jobs, business and growth”.[29] With the confirmation of Trump’s December 12, 2016 nominee for Secretary of TreasurySteven Mnuchin, being held back by Congressional hearings, Cohn filled in the “personnel vacuum” and pushed “ahead on taxes, infrastructure, financial regulation and replacing health-care law”.[27]Had Cohn stayed at Goldman Sachs, some believed he would have become CEO when Lloyd Blankfein vacated that office.[27] His severance package at Goldman Sachs amounted to $285 million.[23] Additionally, Cohn sold a stake valued at $16 million in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world’s largest bank as of 2017.[30]

Cohn supports reinstating the Glass-Steagall legislation, which would separate commercial and investment banking.[31][32]

Under the Trump administration Cohn has been cited by the press as a supporter of globalism and has been given nicknames such as “Globalist Gary” and “Carbon Tax Cohn”.[33] Along with Jared KushnerIvanka Trump and Dina Powell they have been referred to by opponents as the “Wall Street-wing” of the Trump administration.[33] He was stated as being at odds with the populist faction that was led by Steven Bannon when Bannon was White House Chief Strategist.[33][34]

Cohn withstood pressure to resign from his job following President Trump’s speech blaming both sides for violence between white supremacists and groups such as ANTIFA protesting against them during the 2017 Charlottesville rally (Cohn was standing right behind President Trump as he made his controversial statement). He did not resign.[35]

Personality and work style

Critics of Cohn attribute to him an arrogant, aggressive, abrasive and risk-prone work style. They see his “6-foot 3-inch & 220lbs” as intimidating, as he might “sometimes hike up one leg, plant his foot on a trader’s desk, his thigh close to the employee’s face and ask how markets were doing.”[15] According to former Bear Stearns Asset Management CEO Richard Marin, Cohn’s arrogance is at the root of the problem. “When you become arrogant, in a trading sense, you begin to think that everybody’s a counterparty, not a customer, not a client.”[15]

Cohn’s supporters see these qualities as advantages. Michael Ovitz, co-founder and former chairman of Creative Artists Agency and former president of The Walt Disney Company, stated that he is impressed with Cohn. Ovitz said: “He’s a trader. He has that whole feel in his body and brain and fingertips.”[15] Ovitz sees Cohn’s toughness as a “positive” value, explaining that a high-ranking executive can’t be “all peaches and cream.”[11][15]

Donna Redel, who was Chairman of the Board of the New York Mercantile Exchange when Cohn worked there as a silver trader, remembers Cohn as “firm,” “strategic” and “driven.” Martin Greenberg, her predecessor, said Cohn “was tough,” and added that “Gary got in with the right people, worked his ass off and used his head.”[15]

Personal life

Cohn is married to Lisa A Pevaroff-Cohn.[36][37][38] They have three daughters and reside in New York City.[10][13]

Philanthropy

Cohn and his wife are founding board members of the New York University Child Study Center. The couple funded the Pevaroff Cohn Professorship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the New York University School of Medicine in 1999. He financed the Gary D. Cohn Endowed Research Professorship in Finance at American University, his alma mater.[39]

In 2009, the Hillel International building at Kent State University was named the Cohn Jewish Student Center in recognition of a gift from Cohn and his wife.[40] It is the first Hillel building built directly on the campus of a state university.[41]

Cohn has been a supporter of Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities and has supported Harlem RBI since 2011. At that time, Harlem RBI was given the chance to build its own charter school. Mark Teixeira of the New York Yankees and Harlem RBI director Rich Berlin asked Cohn if he could help them raise the capital they needed to build the school.[42]

Cohn is active as a trustee of his alma materAmerican University, and of his school, Gilmour Academy.[43]

In 2010, the Hospital for Joint Diseases at NYU Langone Medical Center named Cohn the chairman of the HJD Advisory Board.[44]

On June 17, 2013, Cohn was honored at the annual “Bid for Kids” gala in order to raise funds for Harlem RBI and the DREAM charter school. Cohn said in an interview that Harlem RBI is a project that is “very near and dear to his heart.”[42]

Memberships

Cohn is a member of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County.[45]

Cohn is a member of the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.[46]

Paradise Papers controversy

In November 2017 an investigation conducted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalism cited his name in the list of politicians named in “Paradise Papers” allegations.[47]

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gary_Cohn_(investment_banker)

Gary Cohn resigns as Trump’s top economic advisor

  • Gary Cohn has resigned as White House chief economic advisor.
  • Cohn’s planned departure comes on the heels of a decision by President Donald Trump to impose stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.
  • The former Goldman Sachs president had strongly opposed tariffs.

Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn listens during a meeting between President Donald Trump and congressional members in the Cabinet Room of the White House February 13, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Gary Cohn plans to resign  

White House chief economic advisor Gary Cohn has resigned from President Donald Trump’s administration.

The former Goldman Sachs president and free trade advocate Cohn, whose departure date will come in a few weeks, decided to quit after Trump announced he would impose stiff tariffs on steel and aluminum imports.

In a prepared statement, Cohn said, “It has been an honor to serve my country and enact pro-growth economic policies to benefit the American people, in particular the passage of historic tax reform.”

“I am grateful to the President for giving me this opportunity and wish him and the Administration great success in the future,” Cohn said.

In his own statement, Trump said, “Gary has been my chief economic advisor and did a superb job in driving our agenda, helping to deliver historic tax cuts and reforms and unleashing the American economy once again.

“He is a rare talent, and I thank him for his dedicated service to the American people.”

Cohn clashed with Trump’s protectionist advisors on the issue of tariffs.

Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn

Cohn’s departure strong indicator Trump will go through with tariffs  

At a meeting with steel and aluminum executives last Thursday where Trump announced the move, Cohn argued against it, warning about price increases for steel and aluminum products, according to a person in the room.

An Axios reporter Thursday reported via Twitter that last Thursday Trump canceled a meeting that Cohn arranged for him with companies that use steel and aluminum in their products, in an effort to dissuade the president from imposing the tariffs.

Am told Trump had cancelled the last-ditch meeting Gary had arranged on Thursday with the downstream steel and aluminum companies. https://twitter.com/jonathanvswan/status/971152098493632519 

However, White House officials told CNBC earlier Tuesday that if Cohn were to resign it would not be only due to the president’s decision on tariffs.

White House officials told me this afternoon that IF Gary Cohn leaves it won’t only be because of the tariff decision. They were clearly laying the groundwork for this news.

Market watchers saw Cohn’s potential departure as a bad omen for the White House’s economic policy. He helped to shepherd massive tax cuts, the Trump administration’s only major legislative achievement, which the president signed into law in December.

Gary Cohn deserves credit for serving his country in a first class way. I’m sure I join many others who are disappointed to see him leave.

Cohn also faced pressure to step down following Trump’s defiant response to violence at a white nationalist rally in August. In an FT interview published that month, Cohn said he faced pressure both to leave Trump’s White House and to stay in it. He even drafted a resignation letter, according to The New York Times.

The economic advisor told the FT that the White House “must do better” following Trump’s widely criticized response to violence at the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The interview may not have helped his case with the president.

The president’s chaotic Trump Tower press conference in which Trump appeared to equate torch-bearing white nationalists with the protesters who demonstrated against them also fueled the possibility of Cohn, who is Jewish, resigning. “Not all” the people participating in the rally were bad, the president told reporters three days after a counterprotester was killed in a car ramming, allegedly by a suspected white supremacist.

“Citizens standing up for equality and freedom can never be equated with white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the K.K.K.,” Cohn told the FT. “I believe this administration can and must do better in consistently and unequivocally condemning these groups and do everything we can to heal the deep divisions that exist in our communities.”

Cohn was Goldman’s no. 2 executive when Trump named him as his top economic advisor. Trump offered the former Goldman Sachs president the key economic post on Dec. 9, despite bashing the firm during the 2016 campaign. Cohn also had been seen as a possible chairman of the Federal Reserve.

CNBC’s Eamon Javers contributed to this report.

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/06/gary-cohn-plans-to-resign-as-trumps-top-economic-advisor-new-york-times.html

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The Pronk Pops Show 1042, March 1, 2018,  Story 1: Trump Declares Trade War With Huge Tax/Tariff Increase on Steel and Aluminum Imports — Government Intervention or Meddling Is Not The Answer — Currency Wars Lead To Trade Wars Lead To Real Wars — Competition and Consumer Sovereignty Is The Answer — Big Government Interventionist Trump The New Hoover/Roosevelt/Nixon Progressive Interventionist and Big Spender — Decline and Fall of The American Empire — QT — Quantitative Tightening and Inflation — Videos — Story 2: New Cold War and Arms Race Between United States and Russia — Targeting Trump in Florida — Videos

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 Story 1: Trump Declares Trade War With Huge Tax/Tariff Increase on Steel and Aluminum Imports — Government Intervention or Meddling Is Not The Answer — Currency Wars Lead To Trade Wars Lead To Real Wars — Competition and Consumer Sovereignty Is The Answer — Big Government Interventionist Trump The New Hoover/Roosevelt/Nixon Progressive Interventionist and Big Spender — Decline and Fall of The American Empire — QT — Quantitative Tightening and Inflation — Videos

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Republicans furious as Trump announces huge new tariffs: ‘A massive tax increase on American families’

President Donald Trump.

Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

  • President Donald Trump on Thursday announced new tariffs on imports of steel and aluminum, setting off a firestorm among Republicans.
  • Sen. Ben Sasse called the move “a massive tax increase on American families.”
  • Conservative policy groups also came out against the move.

Republicans and conservative groups were furious with President Donald Trump’s Thursday’s announcement that the US would impose new tariffs — taxes on imports — of 25% for steel and 10% for aluminum.

The move is designed to boost domestic production of US metals, but economists, lawmakers, and even many White House officials are worried it could lead to devastating consequences for the US economy.

In response, several Republicans painted Trump’s announcement as a grave mistake.

“Let’s be clear: The President is proposing a massive tax increase on American families,” Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska said in a statement. “Protectionism is weak, not strong. You’d expect a policy this bad from a leftist administration, not a supposedly Republican one.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, a key figure in the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement who supports free-trade policies, also urged Trump to reconsider.

“Tariffs on steel and aluminum are a tax hike the American people don’t need and can’t afford,” Hatch said in a statement. “I encourage the president to carefully consider all of the implications of raising the cost of steel and aluminum on American manufacturers and consumers.”

Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the second-highest-ranking member of the Republican Senate leadership, told Business Insider that the move was coming from a good place but could lead to negative outcomes such as a trade war.

“Obviously we don’t want to be taken advantage of by our trading partners, but then there is always a danger of retaliation and creating trade wars,” Cornyn said. “So it’s a very delicate balance.”

Cornyn also said that while senators knew the decision was “imminent,” the announcement on Thursday was unexpected.

Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas, the head of the agriculture committee, told CNN that the move would be likely to lead to retaliation against American farmers.

“Every time you do this, you get a retaliation, and agriculture is the No. 1 target,” Roberts said. “I think this is terribly counterproductive for the ag economy, and I’m not very happy.”

In addition to lawmakers, conservative action groups joined the pile-on. Adam Brandon, the president of FreedomWorks, said the decision could reverse economic gains from the new GOP tax law.

“The Trump administration would mar its otherwise strong economic record by imposing these tariffs,” Brandon said in a statement. “These could be a lethal blow to all the economic success this administration has ushered in. Higher costs to producers and distributors of goods always get passed on to us, the consumers.”

Joe Perticone contributed reporting.

http://www.businessinsider.com/donald-trump-tariff-on-steel-aluminum-imports-republicans-blast-2018-3

 

Trump’s steel and aluminum tariffs could rattle Canada’s economy and NAFTA

  • Canada’s weak economy had GDP growth of 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter, and its stock market is down 5 percent year-to-date.
  • Canada exports nearly 90 percent of its steel to the U.S., the most of any country.
  • Canada accounts for 41 percent of America’s aluminum imports.
  • Tariffs could impact the interconnected supply chain of many industries, including autos, and this could hurt NAFTA renegotiation talks.
  • On Monday Trump signaled he may drop tariffs if a ‘fair’ NAFTA agreement is signed.
Bryan Borzykowski, special to CNBC.com

Canada's Justin Trudeau: Tariffs 'absolutely unacceptable'

Canada’s Justin Trudeau: Tariffs ‘absolutely unacceptable’  

There’s never a good time for a trade war, but for Canada the announcement of possible tariffs on steel and aluminum imports comes at a particularly difficult moment for the country.

The Great White North is currently engaged in what’s become a bitter battle over NAFTA’s future, and it was announced Friday that its GDP grew at 1.7 percent in the fourth quarter, much slower than the 4 percent it was growing at previously. Its stock market is down about 5 percent year-to-date and was flat over the last 12 months.

On Monday, Trump tweeted that his hasty announcement may not be implemented for Canada and Mexico if a fair NAFTA agreement is negotiated. Canadian market watchers are hoping this will be the case.

After aerospace-related trade flare-ups, fights over softwood lumberand President Donald Trump’s continuous verbal jabs at the country, the last thing Canada needs now is to get into another cross-border brawl.

“Canada seems to get kicked when they’re down,” said Barry Schwartz, vice president and chief investment officer at Baskin Financial Services, a Toronto-based wealth management firm. “We’re dealing with so many things at the same time, and Canada hasn’t even done anything wrong.”

The hit on Canada’s economy

Imports on tariffs could hit the country particularly hard. Canadaexports nearly 90 percent of its steel to the United States, while it accounts for 16 percent of all U.S. steel imports, the most out of any country. It also accounts for 41 percent of America’s aluminum imports. Trump’s main target in this, China, barely exports any steel to the United States, with America ranking 26th as a destination for Chinese steel imports, according to the International Trade Administration.

While there aren’t publicly listed steel and aluminum companies in Canada of any significance anymore — they were all bought in the mid-2000s by larger international concerns when demand for commodities from China was soaring — putting a 25 percent tariff on steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminum should make goods in other sectors, such as auto, defense and aerospace, more expensive to produce and pricier to buy. If that happens, then people and companies may spend less in other areas, which could then impact a number of sectors.

Here’s how Trump’s tariffs could affect Canada

Here’s how Trump’s tariffs could affect Canada  

“Resources will be shifted toward these two sectors and away from everything else,” said John Curtis, a senior fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute and the founding chief economist at what used to be Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. “That means people will have to pay more, so they’ll buy less of everything else in the economy.”

Where a steel tariff might have the most impact, though, is on Canada and America’s interconnected supply chain, of which many companies big and small are a part of, Curtis said. For instance, cars assembled in Canada have parts made in the United States and vice versa. Cars are often being shipped back and forth between the two countries until final assembly.

“Parts move back and forth until it might finally get made in Canada,” said Patrick Leblond, a senior fellow the Ottawa’s Centre For International Governance Innovation. “Then that car will get exported back to the U.S. Is there going to be tax every time that happens?”

Trade war worries

Steel and aluminum tariffs should be worrisome for companies and investors alike, but the big question that everyone has on their minds now is, what does this mean for NAFTA?

That question likely won’t be answered anytime soon. In a tweet Monday morning, Trump called out Canada: “We have large trade deficits with Mexico and Canada. NAFTA, which is under renegotiation right now, has been a bad deal for U.S.A. Massive relocation of companies & jobs. Tariffs on Steel and Aluminum will only come off if new & fair NAFTA agreement is signed. Also, Canada must treat our farmers much better.”

Threatening to remove tariffs only if the administration gets what it thinks is a good deal from NAFTA surely won’t go over well with Canada and Mexico. (And the United States has a trade surplus with Canada, not a deficit, according to the Office of the United States Trade Representative.)

Still, Leblond doesn’t think these tariffs will impact discussions, as negotiators likely are focused more on technical and legal issues right now than steel. Also, when the U.S. slapped a 20.8 percent tariff on Canadian lumber producers for softwood lumber imports, NAFTA talkskept going. (Canada did take its fight with the United States to the World Trade Organization, though.)

However, it certainly doesn’t help things, Curtis said, and could make negotiations much more awkward and tense. Canadian foreign minister Chrystia Freeland, who is part of the negotiating team, said sternly that these tariffs were “absolutely unacceptable” and that Canada is prepared to “take responsive measures to defend its trade interests and workers.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau echoed Freeland’s comments, adding that “any disruption to this integrated market would be significant and serious.”

Some market analysts do foresee a grave threat to NAFTA in Trump’s tariff move. But if Canada and other countries do indeed retaliate with tariffs of their own and a trade war begins in earnest, then whether NAFTA stays or goes could ultimately be of lesser importance. It could upend global trade as we know it, Leblond said. He’s particularly concerned about Trump using a national security excuse to impose tariffs.

Avery Shenfeld, chief economist at CIBC Capital Markets, said it’s a double-edged sword in terms of the NAFTA negotiations. Unless Canada gains an exemption, a war of words and actions on trade isn’t a helpful backdrop for reasoned negotiations. But it also helps satisfy Trump’s protectionist voting bloc, perhaps easing the pressure on the White House to take a hard line on the NAFTA deal.

These sorts of disputes underscore why Canada believes that the appeal process under NAFTA is a critical piece of the puzzle. The Trump administration wants a deal that excludes that provision, but without it Canada can face spurious rulings against its exports even with a “free trade” agreement in force, Shenfeld said. “The latest claim, that U.S. national security is imperiled by the use of Canadian steel or aluminum in U.S. manufacturing, seems baseless, considering that Canada has been America’s steadfast ally,” he said.

“If everyone can now say we’re going to impose tariffs because we need to protect what’s important and use national security as a justification, then everyone will lose,” Leblond said. “[Canada] could put a ban on California wine; China could impose constraints on intellectual property rights or innovation. The fear is that it will undermine the WTO process, and for what? To protect a small portion of U.S. manufacturing jobs?”

Sagging stocks

While things could change between now and April 11, when Trump will decide whether to impose the steel tariff, and April 19, when he must make a decision on aluminum tariffs, stocks have taken a hit from the announcement.

The S&P/TSX Composite Index representing Canadian stocks hasn’t been hit as hard as the S&P 500 — the market is almost flat now since the announcement — but some companies have seen their share prices decline more significantly. Global auto parts supplier Magna, for example, is down 3.9 percent and shares of aerospace giant Bombardier fell by nearly 6 percent when the markets opened Friday but have regained some ground since.

More from Global Investing Hot Spots:

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Jeff Mills, managing director and co-chief investment strategist at Pittsburgh-based PNC Asset Management Group, isn’t surprised that stocks in the United States and elsewhere are selling off post-announcement, though U.S. stock did rebound on Friday afternoon.

“The policy change will very likely increase costs for all consumers, which means it will serve to reduce some of the benefit of the recently passed tax bill,” he said. “Markets are now worried about countermeasures from other countries, and investors are starting to wonder what other protectionist measures Trump could take.”

Baskin Financial’s Schwartz doesn’t think the Canadian stock market will take that much of a hit over these tariffs specially — the S&P/TSX is already underperforming other markets – but if a trade war heats up then stocks in Canada and around the globe will see big declines.

“Who knows what will happen, but I presume the direction would be negative,” he said. “The price of goods for everything around the world would go up, inflation would rise, and while companies ultimately adjust to inflation, stocks will be negative while that adjustment period happens.”

Global investors can’t do much now, added Mills, as the exact details are still largely unknown, though he does think, generally, people should be making sure they’re comfortable with the risk they’re taking in their portfolios. Any investors interested in Canada, though, should hope that Trump, at the very least, makes the country tariff-exempt.

“Canada is probably the most penalized as things stand today,” Mills said. “Perhaps cooler heads prevail over the weekend and the tariffs end up being less broad-based.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2018/03/02/trumps-steel-aluminum-tariffs-may-rattle-canadas-economy-and-nafta.html

 

‘Trade wars are good,’ Trump says, defying global concern over tariffs

The European Union raised the possibility of taking countermeasures, France said the duties would be unacceptable and China urged Trump to show restraint. Canada, the biggest supplier of steel and aluminum to the United States, said it would retaliate if hit by U.S. tariffs.

U.S. stock indexes recouped some losses on Friday, but were on track to end the week in the red as investors fretted over a possible global trade war. World equity markets slid further and the U.S. dollar dropped to its lowest point in more than two years against the yen.

Trump said on Thursday that a plan for tariffs of 25 percent on steel imports and 10 percent on aluminum products would be formally announced next week.

“When a country (USA) is losing many billions of dollars on trade with virtually every country it does business with, trade wars are good, and easy to win,” Trump said on Twitter on Friday.

In a later social media post, Trump said his aim was to protect U.S. jobs in the face of cheaper foreign products.

“We must protect our country and our workers. Our steel industry is in bad shape. IF YOU DON’T HAVE STEEL, YOU DON’T HAVE A COUNTRY!” he wrote.

Many economists say that instead of increasing employment, price increases for consumers of steel and aluminum such as the auto and oil industries will destroy more U.S. jobs than they create.

RETALIATION LIKELY

Major U.S. trade partners are likely to hit back.

Europe has drawn up a list of U.S. products on which to apply tariffs if Trump follows through on his plan.

“We will put tariffs on Harley-Davidson, on bourbon and on blue jeans – Levi’s,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker told German television.

Trump’s threats to unleash a trade war over steel crushed any hopes of substantial progress in current talks with Canada and Mexico to rework the North American Free Trade Agreement

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said any U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum imports would be“absolutely unacceptable” and vowed to continue to engage with U.S. officials on the issue.

The International Monetary Fund also expressed concern about the proposed tariffs and said they likely would damage the U.S. economy as well as the economies of other nations.

Trump’s announcement came after what one person with direct knowledge of the discussions described as a night of“chaos” in the White House due to frequent switching of positions in the administration.

While Trump often lays out stark policy positions which he later rolls back as part of a negotiating tactic, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the levels of the planned tariffs were not expected to change.

 

Capital Alpha Partners, a policy research group in Washington, said a quick reversal by Trump was highly unlikely.

“We also don’t see a chance for fine tuning, exceptions, carve outs, or a country-by-country policy” in the short term, the group said in a research note.“We would be hopeful that the policy could be modified in time.”

The United States is the world’s biggest steel importer, buying 35.6 million tonnes in 2017.

Peter Navarro, a White House adviser with largely protectionist views on trade, brushed off the negative effects of tariffs on U.S. industry.

    He said a 10 percent tariff on aluminum would add one cent to the cost of a can of beer, $45 to a car and $20,000 to a Boeing 727 Dreamliner.“Big price effects? Negligible price effects,” he told Fox News.

ELUXB.STSTOCKHOLM STOCK EXCHANGE
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But home appliance maker Electrolux (ELUXb.ST) said it was delaying a $250 million expansion of its plant in Tennessee as it was worried U.S. steel prices would rise and make manufacturing there less competitive.

Trump’s administration has imposed a series of trade duties on a range of goods from solar panels to washing machines.

It is even studying whether America’s rubber band makers need protection as he seeks to boost domestic manufacturing and employment. The decision on steel and aluminum was the most wide ranging and provocative to date and there is the prospect of more to come, with the government holding an investigation into alleged theft of U.S. intellectual property by China.

The EU, which sees itself as a global counterweight to a protectionist-leaning Trump, made no mention of retaliation but spoke of countermeasures that conform with World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

Safeguard measures, last deployed by Europe in 2002 after then-U.S. President George W. Bush imposed steel import duties, would be designed to guard against steel and aluminum being diverted to Europe from elsewhere if U.S. tariffs come in.

But to conform with WTO rules such measures would have to apply to imports from all countries and could also hit producers including China, India, Russia, South Korea and Turkey.

Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, a fellow Republican, urged Trump to rethink the tariffs.

“If the president wants to protect good-paying, family-supporting jobs in America, especially here in Wisconsin, then he should reconsider the administration’s position on these tariffs, particularly on ultra-thin aluminum,” Walker said in a statement.

China, which Trump frequently accuses of unfair trade practices, called for restraint from the United States.

“China urges the United States to show restraint in using protective trade measures, respect multilateral trade rules, and make a positive contribution to international trade order,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

Although China accounts for only 2 percent of U.S. steel imports, its massive industry expansion has helped produce a global steel glut that has driven down prices.

Economists say that Trump’s own expansionary budget policies will fuel ever larger trade deficits, essentially defeating his stated aim of having“balanced trade” with individual countries.

Additional reporting by Tom Westbrook in Sydney, Tom Daly in Beijing, Philip Blenkinsop and Robert-Jan Bartunek in Brussels, Doina Chiacu, Eric Walsh and Makini Brice in Washington, and Gertrude Chavez-Dreyfuss in New York; Writing by David Clarke and Alistair Bell; Editing by Paul Simao and James Dalgleish

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trade/trade-wars-are-good-trump-says-defying-global-concern-over-tariffs-idUSKCN1GE1PM

The White House’s war over steel tariffs, explained

The move sparked an internal feud at the White House. Then the stock market plunged.

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

The Trump administration may have finally launched the trade war many expected was coming.

President Trump announced plans to impose a 25 percent tariff on all steel imports and a 10 percent tariff on aluminum imports — a move that will likely anger US trading partners and American businesses that buy steel. Wall Street panned the move, with the Dow falling more than 500 points in the hours after Trump’s statement.

The announcement came amid a fierce fight within the White House over the proposed tariffs, according to CNBC. News reports Thursday morning said that Trump would disclose the new policy later in the day. Then the announcement was reportedly postponed. Finally, at a White House meeting with steel executives, Trump said that the tariffs would indeed be implemented. “We’ll be signing it next week,” he told the group, according to a pool report. “And you’ll have protection for a long time in a while.”

The dispute pitted free trade advocates, such as chief economic adviser Gary Cohn, against trade hawks like White House adviser Peter Navarro.

In the end, the trade hawks won. The Commerce Department will impose the tariffs under a rarely used law that allows emergency trade sanctions for “national security.”

Protecting the US steel industry from foreign competition has been a top priority for Trump’s trade team since day one. They’ve framed the issue as a fight to preserve jobs for American steelworkers, who have seen their jobs disappear as a result of automation and globalization.

Coincidentally (or not), Trump’s trade team has deep ties to the US steel industry, and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross made his fortune investing in distressed steel companies. (It’s also worth noting, as Vox’s Matthew Yglesias points out, that the Metals Service Center Institute, a trade group that favors anti-import measures, held last year’s annual conference at the Trump Doral resort in Miami.)

https://www.vox.com/2018/3/1/17066838/white-house-trump-steel-tariffs

What you need to know about the Trump steel tariffs US president chooses the most drastic option available to him Share on Twitter (opens new window)

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Shawn Donnan in Washington YESTERDAY

Donald Trump has said he will impose new tariffs on imports of steel and aluminium, fuelling fears that the US is about to start a trade war with China and other major trading partners.

The move triggered a sharp sell-off in financial markets, and prompted complaints from across the broader business community that US companies would be hit by higher prices.

Here are five things you need to know.

Mr Trump has chosen the most drastic option available The president said he would sign an order announcing 25 per cent tariffs on steel imports and 10 per cent tariffs on aluminium imports. The announcement followed investigations that Mr Trump ordered last year into whether a surge in imports undermined the US’s ability to source the steel and aluminium it needs to build military equipment such as tanks and warships, as well as the nation’s broader economic security. Last month, the commerce department recommended three separate options for each metal: a global tariff, tariffs targeted at China and other key countries mixed with quotas, and a universal quota. Mr Trump opted for the global tariff option, potentially subjecting imports from all countries to the hefty levy.  Question is whether this makes sense economically The US steel and aluminium industries argue that they have faced an existential assault for more than a decade from China, which has become the world’s largest producer of both metals and has flooded global markets with cheap products. The tariffs are intended to restrict imports and allow the US steel and aluminium industries to increase production and use idle capacity, as well as rehire workers.  But history shows that imposing tariffs to protect one industry often results in pain for another. According to industry groups, about 6.5m people are employed in the US in businesses that use steel and aluminium. After President George W Bush imposed tariffs on steel imports in 2002, a study found that the move had cost the US about 200,000 jobs.  As a result, many Republicans see tariffs as a mistake, and worry that such a broad move will undermine other efforts such as tax reform intended to boost economic growth.  “The president is right to target unfair trade, but blanket tariffs that sweep up fairly traded steel and aluminium can backfire and harm our businesses and workers,” said Kevin Brady, the Republican congressman who chairs the House ways and means committee. China is unlikely to suffer the consequences The US aluminium and steel industries have long been clamouring for protection from what they claim is unfair competition from China. But following a series of product and country-specific tariffs introduced in recent years, China now accounts for very little of the steel or aluminium imported into the US. Instead, the leading source for the US of both metals is Canada. Other major Nato members such as Germany are also major exporters of steel to the US.  Many trade experts expect there will be a process for countries and companies to apply to be exempted from the tariffs. For example, Canada has long been considered part of the US national security industrial base, which, lawyers say, means it has a strong case to be exempted. Mexico could also apply for an exception given its membership in the North American Free Trade Agreement, although that pact is now being renegotiated.  But such a process is also likely to lead to furious lobbying of the president by companies who will have to seek to curry favour with the administration, said Phil Levy, a former trade adviser to Mr Bush. “It is just about the polar opposite of draining the swamp,” Mr Levy said. China and the EU are likely to retaliate EU officials have made clear that they are prepared to retaliate against any US move to impose tariffs and challenge them in the World Trade Organization.

EU member states have already begun discussing possible targets for retaliation. In the EU’s line of fire are likely to be politically sensitive products such as Kentucky Bourbon — from top Republican senator Mitch McConnell’s home state — and cheese from Wisconsin, the home of House Speaker Paul Ryan.  Wendy Cutler, a former senior US trade official who heads the Asia Society Policy Institute, said China would also likely respond with “quick and proportional” trade measures.

Ending a longstanding ceasefire in the global trading system Ever since it was established following the second world war, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade has included a loophole that allows countries to invoke “national security” to impose tariffs and other trade barriers in the event of war or other national threats. But the US and other countries have studiously stayed away from using that loophole for decades, for fear that doing so would lead others to do the same.  By invoking national security in the steel and aluminium tariffs, Mr Trump is throwing out that decades-old gentleman’s agreement. Part of the problem is that the president has made his disdain for the WTO clear.

If the US is challenged at the WTO and a panel finds that Washington wrongly invoked national security, Mr Trump — if he is still president — could decide to ignore the finding, or even pull the US out of the body altogether. Others worry that it could also have the long-feared “domino effect”, with countries such as China using national security as an excuse for their own trade measures.

“This will either close the door on being able to self-define ‘national security’ or open the door on being able to block imports simply by waving the ‘national security’ flag,” said John Veroneau, who served as a senior trade official in the administration of Mr Bush and is now at law firm Covington & Burling.

Elsewhere, the proposed tariffs are unlikely to sway US monetary policy in the short term given the direct impact on America’s $19tn economy is likely to be modest.

Even if import prices are lifted by the amount of the tariff it would add a modest 5 basis points of price pressure – which may or many not be passed onto consumer prices, according to JP Morgan calculations. If the Trump administration’s approach, however, triggers retaliation and escalates into a broader trade war, the consequences would be more serious, adding to inflationary pressures in the US while damaging growth and complicating the policy outlook.

https://www.ft.com/content/d8c3812a-1d97-11e8-aaca-4574d7dabfb6

Trump Repeats Nixon’s Folly

This president isn’t the first to embrace a “trade war” to bolster his populist credentials—but in the end, it’s ordinary people who will bear its cost.

President Trump just raised the price of cars, beer, vacations, and apartment rentals.

That’s not what most headlines say. Those headlines say that Trump will raise tariffs on steel and aluminum. Higher tariffs mean higher prices for those inputs—and therefore for the products ultimately made from those outputs. Automotive and construction top the largest users of steel in the United States. Aluminum is heavily used to make airplanes, cars and trucks, and beverage containers, and also in construction.

The last time the U.S. imposed steel tariffs, back in 2002, the project was abandoned after 20 months. A 2003 report commissioned by industries that consumed steel estimated that the Bush steel tariffs cost in excess of 200,000 jobs—or more than the total number of people then employed in the entire steel industry at the time.

This time the cost-benefit ratio is likely to skew much worse. There are fewer steel jobs to protect this time. Auto sales growth has stalled. The first warnings of consumer price inflation are appearing.

But Trump wanted tariffs, and tariffs he has got. Even by Trump standards, the decision-making process was chaos. As late as 9 p.m. last night, it remained undecided whether there would be an announcement today at all—never mind what that announcement would be. Key congressional committee chairs were unconsulted and uninformed.

The president as so often relied on junk information. The advice of the economic populist Peter Navarro(previously best known for blood-curdling anti-China documentaries) was heeded over that of actual trade experts. Industries seeking protection reportedly bought commercials on Fox & Friends. Apparently a decisive event in the debate was the firing of staff secretary Rob Porter, after revelations that he had engaged in spousal abuse. Porter had also chaired the weekly trade debate, forcing the president to confront the costs and harms of protectionism. His removal also empowered Trump’s worst instincts.

The usual rules of trade policy were ignored. For authority, Trump invoked a trade law premised on protecting war-essential industries. Yet this authority is plainly a pretext. The Department of Defense intervention in the debate shredded the logic of protectionists like Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, himself a former steel man.

U.S. military requirements for steel and aluminum each only represent about 3 percent of U.S. production. Therefore, DoD does not believe that the findings in the reports [of harm to domestic steel and aluminum producers from foreign competition] impact the ability of DoD programs to acquire the steel or aluminum necessary to meet national defense requirements.

What did alarm the Department of Defense about proposed steel and aluminum tariffs was potential harm to vital U.S. alliances. China does not rank among the top 10 steel exporters to the United States. That list is topped by Canada, followed by Brazil. In third place is South Korea, an indispensable ally in the preemptive war the Trump administration is now contemplating against North Korea.

Canada also heads the list of aluminum exporters. For that reason, DoD pleaded for even more caution with regard to aluminum tariffs than steel. “[If] the Administration takes action on steel, DoD recommends waiting before taking further steps on aluminum.”

Trump announced simultaneous action on both—without itemizing which countries would be subject to the tariffs, and which exempt. Trump’s unpredictability and threatening language have not only jolted U.S. financial markets, but have done further damage to the U.S.-led alliance system. European Union trade ministers agreed earlier this week to retaliate if the U.S. imposes steel tariffs, further degrading a U.S.-EU relationship already badly damaged by Trump’s hostility to NATO and deference to Russia.

Donald Trump is often compared to Richard Nixon in his disdain for law and ethics. The parallel applies to economics too. Nixon in 1971 quit the Bretton Woods agreement and imposed a surtax on all imports. The “shock” disrupted the world economy and profoundly angered formerly trusting friends already uneasy over the war in Vietnam. But Nixon, who knew little and cared less about economics, had his eye fixed on one concern only: the 1972 election. His emergency economic measures—joined to a loosening of monetary policy and a big increase in Social Security payouts the next year—were selected with an eye to one concern only. In the words of Allen Matusow, the shrewdest student of Nixon’s economic policy, “Somehow he had to make the economy hum by 1972 or face likely defeat in his quest for reelection.” What that meant in practice, Matsuow wrote, was that Nixon governed not according to what would work in the long term, but according to “the prevailing mood of the two-thirds of the country he called the ‘constituency of uneducated people.’”

Nixon did indeed win in 1972. He also bequeathed his country not only the worst political scandal in its history to date, but a decade of stagflation that bore most heavily upon the very people Nixon claimed to champion. We’ve been there before; it looks like we’re returning there again.

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/03/steel-tariffs-consequences/554690/

Peter Navarro

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Peter Navarro
White House National Trade Council Director Peter Navarro in Orval Office in January 2017.jpg

Peter Navarro in the White HouseOval Officein January 2017
Director of the National Trade Council
Assumed office
January 20, 2017
President Donald Trump
Preceded by Position established
Personal details
Born July 15, 1949 (age 68)
Political party Democratic
Education Tufts University (BA)
Harvard University (MPAPhD)

Peter Navarro (born July 15, 1949) is an American economist who currently serves as the Assistant to the President, Director of Trade and Industrial Policy, and the Director of the White House National Trade Council, a newly created entity in the executive branch of the U.S. federal government.[1] A former professor of economics and public policy at the Paul Merage School of BusinessUniversity of California, Irvine, Navarro is the author of over a dozen books, including Death by China.

Navarro is known as a staunch critic of China and strong proponent of reducing U.S. trade deficits. He has accused Germany and China of currency manipulation. He has called for increasing the size of the American manufacturing sector, setting high tariffs, and repatriating global supply chains. He is also a strong opponent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership. His views on trade are widely considered unorthodox by other economists.

Early life and education

Navarro was born on July 15, 1949. Navarro’s father, a saxophonist and clarinetist, led a house band, which played summers in New Hampshire and winters in Florida.[2] His parents divorced when he was 9 or 10.[2]Subsequently, he lived with his mother, a Saks Fifth Avenue secretary, in Palm Beach, Florida.[2] He lived in Bethesda, Maryland, during his teenage years.[2]

Navarro graduated from Tufts University in 1972 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. He earned a Master of Public Administration from Harvard University‘s John F. Kennedy School of Government in 1979, and a PhD in Economics from Harvard in 1986.[3] Shortly after graduation from Tufts, Navarro spent three years in the U.S. Peace Corps, serving in Thailand.[3]

Career

Policy analysis

In the 1970s, Navarro served as a policy analyst for the Urban Services Group, the Massachusetts Energy Office, and the United States Department of Energy.[3]

Professor Peter Navarro talks his work Death by China and how China cheats in the world trade system at University of Michigan in 2012

Navarro’s work has appeared in Barron’sBloomberg BusinessweekLos Angeles TimesThe Boston Globe, the Chicago Tribune, the International Herald TribuneThe New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalHarvard Business ReviewMIT Sloan Management Review and The Journal of Business.[4] He has appeared on Bloomberg TV and radio, BBCCNNNPR, and Marketplace. He is a contributor to CNBC and has appeared on 60 Minutes.[4] He also writes investment articles for thestreet.com.[5] In 2012, Navarro directed and produced a poorly received[6]documentary film based on his book, Death by China.[7] The film was released under the same title and narrated by Martin Sheen.

Navarro’s policy prescriptions include that “U.S. should be tough on trade, crack down on intellectual property theft, tax Chinese exports, combat Chinese mercantilism, [and] bring jobs home.”[8]

Academics

professor of economics and public policy at University of California, Irvine for over 20 years, Navarro has worked on energy issues and the relationship between the United States and Asia.[9] He has received multiple teaching awards for MBA courses he has taught.[10] Before joining the UC Irvine faculty, Navarro worked as a research associate in Harvard University’s Energy and Environmental Policy Center from 1981 to 1985.

As a doctoral student in 1984 Nararro wrote a book titled, The Policy Game: How Special Interests and Ideologues are Stealing America, which discussed that special interest groups had led the United States to “a point in its history where it cannot grow and prosper.” In the book he also called for greater worker’s compensation by those that had lost jobs to trade and foreign competition. His doctoral thesis on why corporations donate to charity is one of his highest cited works. He has also done research in the topic of wind energy with Frank Harris, a former student of his.[11]

He then lectured at the University of California, San Diego, where he also served as an assistant professor, teaching courses in business and government.[3] Prior to teaching, Navarro worked in Washington, D.C. as an energy and environmental policy analyst.[12] Navarro has published peer-reviewed economics research on energy policy, charity, deregulation and the economics of trash collection.[8][13][14] According to the Economist, Navarro “is a prolific writer, but has no publications in top-tier academic journals.”[15]

Academic and research authorship

Navarro is a prolific author with nearly a dozen books written on various topics in economics and specializing in issues of balance of trade. The Coming China Wars: Where They Will Be Fought, How They Can Be Won is a book by published by FT Press in (2006). Navarro examines China as an emerging world power confronting challenges at home and abroad as it struggles to exert itself in the global market. He also investigates how China’s role in international commerce is creating conflicts with nations around the world over energynatural resources, the environment, intellectual property, and other issues. A review in Publishers Weekly describes the book as “comprehensive” and “contemporary” and concludes that it “will teach readers to understand the dragon, just not how to vanquish it”.[16]

Death by China: Confronting the Dragon – A Global Call to Action (2011) is a non-fiction book by Navarro and Greg Autry[17] that chronicles “from currency manipulation and abusive trade policies, to deadly consumer products,” the alleged threats to America’s economic dominance in the 21st century posed by China’s Communist Party. Navarro argues that China violates fair trade by “illegal export subsidies and currency manipulation, effectively flooding the U.S. markets” and unfairly making it “virtually impossible” for American companies to compete.[18] It is a critique of “global capitalism” including foreign labor practices and environmental protection.[19] Currency manipulation and subsidies are stated as reasons that “American companies cannot compete because they’re not competing with Chinese companies, they’re competing with the Chinese government.”[20] Ronnie Scheib, from Variety, says “One need not fully subscribe to Peter Navarro’s demonization to appreciate his lucid wake-up call to the imminent dangers of the huge U.S.-China trade imbalance and its disastrous impact on the American economy.”[18]

Politics

Navarro ran for office in San DiegoCalifornia three times as a Democrat. In 1992, he ran for mayor as an Independent, finishing first (38.2%) in the all-party primary, but losing (48.0%) to Republican Susan Golding in the runoff.[21] In 1996, he ran for the 49th Congressional District as the Democratic Party nominee (41.9%), but lost to Republican Brian Bilbray (52.7%).[22] In 2001, Navarro ran in a special election to fill the District 6 San Diego city council seat, but lost in the primary.[23]

President Trump’s chief trade advisor

Director Peter Navarro addresses President Donald Trump‘s promises to American people, workers, and domestic manufacturers (Declaring American Economic Independence on 6/28/2016) in the Oval Office with Vice PresidentMike Pence and Secretary of CommerceWilbur Ross before President Trump signs Executive Orders regarding trade in March 2017[24][25]

In 2016, Navarro served as a policy adviser to Donald Trump‘s 2016 presidential campaign.[1] Navarro and the international private equity investor Wilbur Ross authored an economic plan for the Donald Trump presidential campaign in September 2016.[26] Navarro was invited to be an adviser after Jared Kushner saw on Amazon that he co-wrote Death by China, while he was researching China for Trump.[27] When told that the Tax Policy Centerassessment of Trump’s economic plan would reduce federal revenues by $6 trillion and reduce economic growth in the long term, Navarro said that the analysis demonstrated “a high degree of analytical and political malfeasance”.[28] When the Peterson Institute for International Affairs estimated that Trump’s economic plan would cost millions of American their jobs, Navarro said that writers at the Peterson Institute “weave a false narrative and they come up with some phony numbers.”[29] According to MIT economist Simon Johnson, the economic plan essay authored by Navarro and Wilbur Ross for Donald Trump during the campaign had projections “based on assumptions so unrealistic that they seem to have come from a different planet. If the United States really did adopt Trump’s plan, the result would be an immediate and unmitigated disaster.”[30] When 370 economists, including nineteen Nobel laureates, signed a letter warning against Donald Trump’s stated economic policies in November 2016, Navarro said that the letter was “an embarrassment to the corporate offshoring wing of the economist profession who continues to insist bad trade deals are good for America.”[31][32]

In October 2016, with Wilbur Ross and Andy Puzder, Navarro coauthored the essay titled “Economic Analysis of Donald Trump’s Contract with the American Voter”.[33] On December 21, 2016, Navarro was selected by President-elect Donald Trump to head a newly created position, as director of the White House National Trade Council.[34] He outlines President Trump’s trade policy as aiming to create jobs, revive the manufacturing sector, and improve the country’s trade balance. He warned that trade deficits could jeopardize U.S. national security by allowing unfriendly nations to encroach on American supply chains. One of his main missions is to focus on behaviors by other countries that he considers abusive, cheating, illegal, and unfair against the U.S.[35][36][37]

By July 2017, Politico reported that Navarro’s influence within the White House was weak.[38]Axios reported the same in November 2017.[39] By July 2017, Navarro only had two staffers, and the National Trade Council had essentially become part of the Office of Trade and Manufacturing policy.[38] By September 2017, the Office of Trade and Manufacturing policy had been folded into the National Economic Council, which meant that Navarro would have to report to NEC Director Gary Cohn.[40] However, in February 2018, several media outlets reported that Navarro’s influence in the administration was rising again and that he would likely be promoted shortly.[41][42]Josh Rogin, writing for The Washington Post, reported that Navarro had used his time of lowered influence to lead several low-profile policy items, such as working to increase military funding, drafting Executive Order 13806, and leading the effort to solve a dispute between the United States and Qatar over the Open Skies Agreement between the two countries.[43]

Opinions and assessment of trade policy

Navarro has been a staunch critic of trade with China and strong proponent of reducing U.S. trade deficits. He has attacked Germany, Japan and China for currency manipulation. He has called for increasing the size of the American manufacturing sector, setting high tariffs, and repatriating global supply chains. He was a fierce opponent of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

According to Politico, Navarro’s economic theories are “considered fringe” by his fellow economists.[44] Al-Jazeera notes that “few other economists have endorsed Navarro’s ideas.”[45] A New Yorker reporter described Navarro’s views on trade and China as so radical “that, even with his assistance, I was unable to find another economist who fully agrees with them.”[46] The Economist described Navarro as having “oddball views”.[47] The George Mason University economist Tyler Cowen has praised him as “one of the most versatile and productive American economists of the last few decades”, but Cowen noted that he disagreed with his views on trade, which he claimed go “against a strong professional consensus.”[44] University of Michigan economist Justin Wolfers described Navarro’s views as “far outside the mainstream,” noting that “he endorses few of the key tenets of” the economics profession.[48] According to Lee Branstetter, economics professor at Carnegie Mellon and trade expert with the Peterson Institute for International Economics, Navarro “was never a part of the group of economists who ever studied the global free-trade system … He doesn’t publish in journals. What he’s writing and saying right now has nothing to do with what he got his Harvard Ph.D. in … he doesn’t do research that would meet the scientific standards of that community.”[49] Marcus Noland, an economist at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, described a tax and trade paper written by Navarro and Wilbur Ross for Trump as “a complete misunderstanding of international trade, on their part.”[28]

Border adjustment tax

Navarro supports a tax policy called “border adjustment”, which essentially taxes all imports.[49] In response to criticism that the border adjustment tax could hurt U.S. companies and put jobs at risk, Navarro called it “fake news.”[49]

Critic of China trade policy

According to Politico, “Navarro is perhaps the most extreme advocate in Washington, and maybe in all of economics, for an aggressive stance toward China.”[44] Navarro put his attention to China in the mid-2000s.[6] His first publication on the subject is the 2006 book The Coming China Wars: Where They Will Be Fought, How They Can Be Won.[50] Navarro has said that he started to examine China when he noticed that his former students were losing jobs, concluding that China was at fault.[6]

IPoliticos description of the book, “Navarro uses military language to refer to China’s trade policies, referring to its ‘conquest’ of the world’s export markets, which has ‘vaporized literally millions of manufacturing jobs and driven down wages.’ … China’s aspirations are so insatiable, he claims, that eventually there will be a clash over “our most basic of all needs—bread, water, and air.'”[50] Navarro has described the entry of China to the World Trade Organization as one of the United States’ biggest mistakes.[6] To respond to the Chinese threat, Navarro has advocated for 43% tariffs, the repudiation of trade pacts, major increases in military expenditures and strengthened military ties with Taiwan.[50][6] The New York Times notes that “a wide range of economists have warned that curtailing trade with China would damage the American economy, forcing consumers to pay higher prices for goods and services.”[51]Navarro has reportedly also encouraged President Trump to enact a 25-percent tariff on Chinese steel imports, something that “trade experts worry… would upend global trade practices and cause countries to retaliate, potentially leading to a trade war”.[52]

Navarro has said that a large part of China’s competitive advantage over the United States stems from unfair trade practices.[15] Navarro has criticized China for pollution, poor labor standards, government subsidies, producing “contaminated, defective and cancerous” exports, currency manipulation, and theft of US intellectual property.[15][45][53] In his poorly received 2012 documentary, Navarro said that China caused the loss of 57,000 US factories and 25 million jobs.[45] While Navarro maintains that China manipulates its currency, neither the U.S. Treasury nor most economists believe that it is the case.[49][6]

According to Foreign Policy, “well-regarded China analysts are almost universal in their derision of [Navarro’s] views.”[6] Of the more than dozen China specialists contacted by Foreign Policy, most either did not know of him or only interacted with him briefly.[6] Kenneth Pomeranz, University of Chicago professor of Chinese History, said that his “recollection is that [Navarro] generally avoided people who actually knew something about the country.”[6] Columnist Gordon G. Chang was the only China watcher contacted by Foreign Policywho defended Navarro, but even then noted that he disagreed with Navarro’s claims of currency manipulation, opposition to the TPP and calls for high tariffs.[6] Navarro does not appear to speak Chinese nor has he spent any time in the country.[6] James McGregor, a former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said that Navarro’s books and documentary on China “have close to zero credibility with people who know the country,” and are filled with “hyperbole, inaccuracies” and a “cartoonish caricature of China that he puts out.”[6]

Germany

Navarro drew controversy when he accused Germany of using a “grossly undervalued” euro to “exploit” the US and its EU partners.[54]Politico noted that Germany does not set the value of the euro.[50] Economists and commentators are divided on the accuracy of Navarro’s remarks.[55][56]Paul Krugman said that Navarro was right and wrong at the same time: “Yes, Germany in effect has an undervalued currency relative to what it would have without the euro… But does this mean that the euro as a whole is undervalued against the dollar? Probably not.”[57] Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff described Navarro’s accusation of Germany as a currency manipulator as “#stupideconomics”.[58]

Manufacturing

Navarro argues that the decline in US manufacturing jobs is chiefly due to “unfair trade practices and bad trade deals. And if you don’t believe that, just go to the booming factories in Germany, in Japan, in Korea, in China, in Malaysia, in Vietnam, in Indonesia, in Italy—every place that we’re running deficits with.”[59] However, many economists attribute the decline in manufacturing jobs chiefly to automation and other innovations that allow manufacturing firms to produce more goods with fewer workers, rather than trade.[59][60]

Navarro has been a proponent of strengthening the manufacturing sector’s role in the national economy: “We envision a more Germany-style economy, where 20 percent of our workforce is in manufacturing. … And we’re not talking about banging tin in the back room.”[49]The New York Times notes that “experts on manufacturing … doubt that the government can significantly increase factory employment, noting that mechanization is the major reason fewer people are working in factories.”[51]

Opposition to NAFTA

Navarro has called for the United States to leave NAFTA.[52]Politico reported that Navarro tried to convince President Trump of leaving NAFTA.[52]

Repatriation of global supply chains

Navarro has called for repatriating global supply chains.[50][53] According to Politico’s Jacob Heilbrunn, such a move “would be enormously costly and take years to execute”.[50]

Trade as a national security risk

Navarro has framed trade as a national security risk.[50][61][62] According to Politico, “he’s a hard-line mercantilist who insists that military confrontation with some trading partners is almost inevitable.”[50]

Navarro has characterized foreign purchases of U.S. companies as a threat to national security, but according to NPR, this is “a fringe view that puts him at odds with the vast majority of economists.”[63] Dartmouth economist Douglas Irwin noted that the US government already reviews foreign purchases of companies with military or strategic value, and has on occasion rejected such deals.[63] Irwin said that Navarro had not substantiated his claim with any evidence.[63]

Navarro has also said that the United States has “already begun to lose control of [its] food supply chain”, which according to NPR, “sounded pretty off-the-wall to a number of economists” who noted that the US is a massive exporter of food.[63] Dermot Hayes, an agribusiness economist at Iowa State University, described Navarro’s statement as “uninformed”.[63]

Trade deficits

Navarro is a proponent of the notion that trade deficits are bad in and of themselves, a view which is widely rejected by trade experts and economists across the political spectrum.[64][65][66][67][68][69][70][71][72][73][2][excessive citations] In a white paper co-authored with Wilbur Ross, Navarro stated, “when a country runs a trade deficit by importing more than it exports, this subtracts from growth.”[69][74] In a Wall Street Journal op-ed defending his views, Navarro stated, “If we are able to reduce our trade deficits through tough, smart negotiations, we should be able to increase our growth.”[75] Harvard University economics professor Gregory Mankiw has said that Navarro’s views on the trade deficit are based on the kind of mistakes that “even a freshman at the end of ec 10 knows.”[76][77] Tufts University professor Daniel W. Drezner said about Navarro’s op-ed, “as someone who’s written on this topic I could not for the life of me understand his reasoning”.[61] According to Tyler Cowen, “close to no one” in the economics profession agrees with Navarro’s idea that a trade deficit is bad in and of itself.[68] Nobel laureate Angus Deaton described Navarro’s attitude on trade deficits as “an old-fashioned mercantilist position.”[73]

The Economist magazine has described Navarro’s views on the trade deficit as “dodgy economics” and “fantasy”,[15] while the Financial Times has described them as “poor economics”.[78] Economists Noah Smith,[79]Scott Sumner,[80][81]Olivier Blanchard,[53] and Phil Levy[82] have also criticized Navarro’s views on the trade deficit.

Opposition to Trans-Pacific Partnership

Navarro opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership.[83] In an April 2015 op-ed, Navarro said, “To woo us, their spinmeisters boast the TPP will spur American exports to stimulate sorely needed economic growth. In truth, the American economy will suffer severely. This is because the TPP will hammer two main drivers of economic growth – domestic investment and ‘net exports.'”[83] Navarro said in March 2017 that TPP “would have been a “death knell” to America’s auto and vehicle parts industry that we “urgently need to bring back to full life.”[53]Politico‘s Jacob Heilbrunn and theEconomist argue that there may be a disconnect between Navarro’s policy on China and his opposition to the TPP, as scuttling the TPP will strengthen China’s hand.[50][15]

Personal life

Navarro is married to architect Leslie Lebon.[84] They live in Laguna Beach, California.[85]

Bibliography

References

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

Story 2: New Cold War and Arms Race Between United States and Russia — Targeting Trump in Florida — Videos

See the source image

See the source image

Putin touts nuclear-powered, intercontinental cruise missile

Russia unveils ‘invincible’ nuclear missile

Why Putin is unveiling ‘invincible’ nuclear weapons now

Target in Putin’s nuke video looks like Florida

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First President Trump, Now Vladimir Putin Brags About His Arsenal Size | The Last Word | MSNBC

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How Russia’s ‘invincible’ new weapons work

  • 05/03/2018
  • Dan Satherley

Vladimir Putin reveals the new weapons. Credits: APTN

Vladimir Putin’s claim Russia now has “invincible” weapons that can strike anywhere in the world is probably true, experts say.

On Friday (NZ time), the Russian President said Moscow’s new weapons could strike anywhere in the world, and evade missile defence shields.

“They need to take account of a new reality and understand that everything I have said today is not a bluff.”

But how? Missile defence expert Laura Grego explained to Livescience’s Rafi Letzterthat Russia’s new nuclear arsenal is largely not of the ballistic missile variety.

“Ballistic missiles, true to the name, go on a ballistic trajectory,” she told the site on Monday (NZ time). “They use these powerful engines to get themselves moving really fast, but after the engines burn out they’re just coasting.”

It’s not hard to figure out where a ballistic missile is going to land, she explains, so it’s not hard to shoot them out of the sky.

Russia’s new weapons evade defences in three ways. The first is by attaching nuclear warheads to cruise missiles, which don’t coast to their destination high up in the air – they fly close to the ground, out of radar’s sight.

“In theory, a cruise missile carrying a nuclear bomb could slip under American defenses and detection systems, and detonate before Americans could mobilise a response,” wrote Mr Letzter.

And being nuclear-powered, the missiles in theory have enough power to travel across the world.

Russian S-400 missile air defence systems in a military parade to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the battle of Stalingrad.
Russian S-400 missile air defence systems in a military parade to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the battle of Stalingrad. Photo credit: Reuters

The second method is a new nuclear torpedo, difficult to detect before it detonates on the coast.

“A missile that can deploy multiple warheads, all of which enter the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds – up to 20 times the speed of sound – and could perform evasive manoeuvres in flight before striking their targets,” writes Mr Letzter.

Multiple warheads bear down on Florida in an animation.
Multiple warheads bear down on Florida in an animation. Photo credit: Russia/APTN

Dr Grego said the escalation in missile technology is a partly a result of the US abandoning the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty in 2001 – part of which disallowed states from building missile defence shields for this very reason.

“By building a defence, rather than discourage your adversary, your adversary is likely to just build more so that they can get up and over your defence. And then you build more defence. So it’s an arms race cycle.”

Former adviser to US Presidents and nuclear weapons expert Philip Coyle told Livescience much the same thing.

“In 2004, Putin himself warned the United States that if we kept going the way we were going, this is what he was going to do. And he did it.”

Mr Putin’s US counterpart, Donald Trump, has called for the US to build more nuclear weapons.

In January, a group of scientists said the world was inching closer to ‘Doomsday’ thanks to North Korea’s nuclear programme and Mr Trump’s aggressive rhetoric.

Newshub.

http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/world/2018/03/how-russia-s-invincible-new-weapons-work.html

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1030, Story 1: Obama Destroyed The Democratic Party and Trump Destroying Republican Party with Out of Control Federal Government Spending By Signing $400 Billion Bipartisan Budget Busting Bill — Night of Financial Infamy and Flooding The Swamp — The Tea Party Movement Will Rise Again and Form A New Political Party — Independence Party — To Challenge Big Spending Democrats and Republicans In Primaries and General Elections — Videos — Breaking Story 2: Russian Conman Bilked U.S. Spy Agency of $100,000 for National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Hacking Tools and Trump Information/Video  — Videos — Story 3: Dueling Memo Madness On Abuse of Power By Obama’s FBI and Department of Justice In Misleading Foreign Intelligent Surveillance Act (FISA) Court — President Trump Blocks Democratic Ten Page Memo For Including Numerous Classified Intelligence Sources and Methods — Resubmit Without Compromising National Security — Appoint Special Counsel To Investigate DOJ and FBI Contempt of FISA Court and Abuse of Power By Obama Administration In Spying on Trump Campaign and American People By Intelligent Community Including FBI, NSA, and CIA — Clinton Obama Conspiracy Exposed — Videos

Posted on February 9, 2018. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, European History, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Insurance, Investments, Killing, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Monetary Policy, National Interest, National Security Agency, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Privacy, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Rule of Law, Scandals, Senate, Social Security, Spying, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Trade Policy, U.S. Dollar, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weather, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 1030, February 9, 2018

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 Story 1: Obama Destroyed The Democratic Party and Trump Destroying Republican Party with Out of Control of Federal Government Spending By Signing $400 Billion Bipartisan Budget Busting Bill — Night of Financial Infamy and Flooding The Swamp — The Tea Party Movement Will Rise Again and Form A New Political Party — Independence Party — To Challenge Big Spending Democrats and Republicans In Primaries and General Elections — Videos —

Mind blowing speech by Robert Welch in 1958 predicting Insiders plans to destroy America

President Trump Signs Spending Bill, Ending Second Shutdown

President Trump Signs Bill Ending Gov’t Shutdown

Stockman Trashes Budget Deal: ‘The Fulcrum Point,’ ‘A Night of Fiscal Infamy

Ep. 329: Republican Hypocrites Embrace Debt to Avert Shutdown

Congress approves spending bill to end brief government shutdown

BREAKING: Congress Votes to REOPEN Government After a Brief Shutdown – Trump Signs Budget

New spending bill raising concerns the tax cuts are unsustainable

Getting implausible that America can pay back debt: Gov. Bevin

 

Party Affiliation

 http://news.gallup.com/poll/15370/party-affiliation.aspx

After temporary shutdown, Congress passes two-year spending deal

WASHINGTON — After a temporary lapse in government funding that lasted through the night, Congress passed a pricey two-year spending deal early Friday that will also fund the government for an additional six weeks.

The government temporarily closed after Congress failed to pass a government funding bill before a midnight deadline due to the objections of one senator, shutting down non-essential government services.

In the end, a bipartisan cohort of lawmakers supported the $400 billion agreement. Shortly after 1:30 a.m. ET, the Senate voted, 71-28, to approve a two-year spending bill that would reopen the government, and the House passed it at 5:30 a.m. with the support of 240 members.

Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that he had signed the bill, officially ending the brief shutdown.

“Just signed Bill. Our Military will now be stronger than ever before. We love and need our Military and gave them everything — and more. First time this has happened in a long time. Also means JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!” he wrote. He followed the post with a call for Republicans to increase their majority in the midterm election.

“Without more Republicans in Congress, we were forced to increase spending on things we do not like or want in order to finally, after many years of depletion, take care of our Military. Sadly, we needed some Dem votes for passage. Must elect more Republicans in 2018 Election!” he tweeted.

Congress now has until March 23, the next funding deadline, to write the legislation to accompany the spending deal that will fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.

 

Trump signs budget bill, ending overnight shutdown 4:04

The overnight shutdown occurred because Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., used a procedural tactic to block the Senate from meeting its deadline.

To the ire of his colleagues, Paul protested the vote because of the large price tag of the two-year spending deal. The agreement is an attempt to end the repeated drama of short-term funding bills that have occupied Congress for much of the past five months. But it, too, was filled with drama until the end: Paul’s stunt forced government agencies to begin shutting down for the second time this year.

“I can’t, in all good honesty, in all good faith, just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits. But really who’s to blame? Both parties,” Paul said on the Senate floor.

In the House, the measure easily passed despite several days of outcry from Democrats over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program, or DACA. But 73 Democrats supported the measure, including many from districts ravaged by hurricanes that would benefit from $90 billion in disaster aid.

“There’s a considerable irony here that there’s so many good things in the bill and yet there’s an outstanding issue that’s very stubborn,” said Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., ranking member of the Appropriations Committee.

The spending deal was hammered out between the Republican and Democratic Senate leaders. It increases domestic spending by $131 billion and defense spending by $165 billion over the next two years and suspend the debt limit for one year — until well after the midterm elections.

Government shuts down overnight, but is back open again2:39

What it doesn’t address is DACA. Per an agreement to end the three-day government shutdown last month, the Senate will take up DACA next week. House Democrats sought a similar agreement from House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., who insisted that he will bring up DACA legislation.

“To anyone who doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill: Do not,” Ryan said at a news conference Thursday. “We will bring a solution to the floor, one that the president will sign. We must pass this budget agreement first, though, so that we can get onto that. So please know that we are committed to getting this done.”

But Ryan has not promised an open and neutral process that gives Democrats the opportunity to help craft the bill. And most notably, President Donald Trump’s support for a bill is a litmus test Democrats can’t accept.

“Sometimes I think the speaker thinks he is the speaker of the White House not the Speaker of the House of Representatives,” Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said just before the vote.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., said it’s time for Democrats to have “courage.”

“Anyone who votes for the Senate budget deal is colluding with this president and this administration to deport Dreamers. It is as simple as that,” Gutierrez said in a statement.

How Rand Paul’s shutdown stunt fits in history 6:27

Fiscal conservative Republicans decried the price tag.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas., who is chair of the House Financial Services Committee and is retiring at the end of his term, called the bill “a monumental mistake and a sad day.”

“With the passage of this spending package, I fear Republicans have ceded our moral authority to lead our nation away from eventual national insolvency. I cannot in good conscience support it,” he said in a statement.

Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, was one of 67 House Republicans, and 16 in the Senate, to vote against it.

“The more we read the text, the more surprises for green energy and some of those things that we’re adamantly against,” Walker said.

Some Republicans are praising the proposed increase in military spending, while Democrats are hailing an increase in domestic spending, a tonic that was enough, along with the desire to avoid a another government shutdown, to garner enough votes. But it’s wasn’t an easy vote for many.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., struggled with his vote but supported it.

“I think the military spending is incredibly important — probably a once-in-a-lifetime increase from my perspective — but the pay-fors are challenging,” Scott said, referring to about $100 billion of revenue-raising mechanisms.

One of those offsets would be to sell off 100 million barrels of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve from 2022 to 2027, which some House conservatives say should be saved for an emergency.

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., voted against the measure, pointing to the major increases to the deficit. “Anybody in the Milky Way concerned about the deficit has to be worried about this bill,” he told reporters.

There were enough sweeteners in the bill to entice enough members to support the measure’s passage. The addition of disaster relief brought Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who often votes against spending bills, on board.

“This latest disaster relief bill is the next step in our state’s road to recovery,” Cruz said in a statement. “And I am gratified that (Sen.) John Cornyn (R-Texas) and I have been able to build upon and improve the bill that was sent to us by the House of Representatives to give the state of Texas the resources it desperately needs.”

Breaking Story 2: Russian Conman Bilked U.S. Spy Agency of $100,000 for National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency Hacking Tools and Trump Information/Video  — Videos

See the source imageSee the source image

FBI informant speaks to Congress about the Uranium One deal

BREAKING NEWS!!! WOW! U.S. SPIES PAID $100,000 TO ‘SHADOWY’ RUSSIAN PROMISING DAMNING ‘KOMPROMAT’ ON

Uranium One Informant: ‘Moscow’ Paid Millions to Influence the Oven Mitt Fashionista HRC

Clinton has lied repeatedly about funding the dossier: Kennedy

Media’s handling of Clinton’s dirty dossier ‘absolutely shameful:’ Chaffetz

FBI takes its time with Clinton-Russia scandal?

Gorka: Uranium One scandal is absolutely massive

Comey hid the uranium deal from Congress: Gregg Jarrett

Hillary Clinton LYING THREE TIMES UNDER OATH Before Congress

The headquarters of the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Md. CreditJim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency

BERLIN — After months of secret negotiations, a shadowy Russian bilked American spies out of $100,000 last year, promising to deliver stolen National Security Agency cyberweapons in a deal that he insisted would also include compromising material on President Trump, according to American and European intelligence officials.

The cash, delivered in a suitcase to a Berlin hotel room in September, was intended as the first installment of a $1 million payout, according to American officials, the Russian and communications reviewed by The New York Times. The theft of the secret hacking tools had been devastating to the N.S.A., and the agency was struggling to get a full inventory of what was missing.

Several American intelligence officials said they made clear that they did not want the Trump material from the Russian — who was suspected of having murky ties to Russian intelligence and to Eastern European cybercriminals. He claimed the information would link the president and his associates to Russia. But instead of providing the hacking tools, the Russian produced unverified and possibly fabricated information involving Mr. Trump and others, including bank records, emails and purported Russian intelligence data.

The United States intelligence officials said they cut off the deal because they were wary of being entangled in a Russian operation to create discord inside the American government. They were also fearful of political fallout in Washington if they were seen to be buying scurrilous information on the president.

The Central Intelligence Agency declined to comment on the negotiations with the Russian seller. The N.S.A., which produced the bulk of the hacking tools that the Americans sought to recover, said only that “all N.S.A. employees have a lifetime obligation to protect classified information.” 

The negotiations in Europe last year were described by American and European intelligence officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a clandestine operation, and the Russian. The United States officials worked through an intermediary — an American businessman based in Germany — to preserve deniability. There were meetings in provincial German towns where John le Carré set his early spy novels, and data handoffs in five-star Berlin hotels. American intelligence agencies spent months tracking the Russian’s flights to Berlin, his rendezvous with a mistress in Vienna and his trips home to St. Petersburg, the officials said.

The N.S.A. even used its official Twitter account nearly a dozen times to send coded messages to the Russian.

The episode ended earlier this year with American spies chasing the Russian out of Western Europe, warning him not to return if he valued his freedom, the American businessman said. The alleged Trump material was left with the American, who has secured it in Europe.

The Russian claimed to have access to a staggering collection of secrets that included everything from the computer code for the cyberweapons stolen from the N.S.A. and C.I.A. to what he said was a video of Mr. Trump consorting with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room in 2013, according to American and European officials and the Russian, who agreed to be interviewed in Germany on the condition of anonymity. There remains no evidence that such a video exists.

The Russian was known to American and European officials for his ties to Russian intelligence and cyber criminals — two groups suspected in the theft of the N.S.A. and C.I.A. hacking tools.

But his apparent eagerness to sell the Trump “kompromat” — a Russian term for information used to gain leverage over someone — to American spies raised suspicions among officials that he was part of an operation to feed the information into United States intelligence agencies and pit them against Mr. Trump. Early in the negotiations, for instance, he dropped his asking price from about $10 million to just over $1 million. Then, a few months later, he showed the American businessman a 15-second clip of a video showing a man in a room talking to two women.

No audio could be heard on the video, and there was no way to verify if the man was Mr. Trump, as the Russian claimed. But the choice of venue for showing the clip heightened American suspicions of a Russian operation: The viewing took place at the Russian embassy in Berlin, the businessman said.

At the same time, there were questions about the Russian’s reliability. He had a history of money laundering and a laughably thin legitimate cover business — a nearly bankrupt company that sold portable grills for streetside sausage salesmen, according to British incorporation papers.

“The distinction between an organized criminal and a Russian intelligence officer and a Russian who knows some Russian intel guys — it all blurs together,” said Steven L. Hall, the former chief of Russia operations at the C.I.A. “This is the difficulty of trying to understand how Russia and Russians operate from the Western viewpoint.”

American intelligence officials were also wary of the purported kompromat the Russian wanted to sell. They saw the information, especially the video, as the stuff of tabloid gossip pages, not intelligence collection, American officials said.

But the Americans desperately wanted the hacking tools. The cyberweapons had been built to break into computer networks of Russia, China and other rival powers. Instead, they ended up in the hands of a mysterious group calling itself the Shadow Brokers, which has since provided hackers with tools that infected millions of computers around the world, crippling hospitals, factories and businesses.

No officials wanted to pass on information they thought might help determine what had happened.

“That’s one of the bedeviling things about counterintelligence and the wilderness that it is — nobody wants to be caught in a position of saying we wrote that off and then five years later saying, ‘Holy cow, it was actually a real guy,’” Mr. Hall said.

American intelligence agencies believe that Russia’s spy services see the deep political divisions in the United States as a fresh opportunity to inflame partisan tensions. Russian hackers are probing American voting databases ahead of the midterm election this year, they said, and using bot armies to promote partisan causes on social media. The Russians are also particularly eager to cast doubt on the federal and congressional investigations into the Russian meddling, American intelligence officials said.

Part of that effort, the officials said, appears to be trying to spread information that hews closely to unsubstantiated reports about Mr. Trump’s dealings in Russia, including the purported video, whose existence Mr. Trump has repeatedly dismissed.

Rumors that Russian intelligence possesses the video surfaced more than a year ago in an explosive and unverified dossier compiled by a former British spy, and paid for by Democrats. Since then, at least four Russians with espionage and underworld connections have appeared in Central and Eastern Europe, offering to sell kompromat that would corroborate the dossier to American political operatives, private investigators and spies, American and European intelligence officials said.

American officials suspect that at least some of the sellers are working for Russia’s spy services.

The Times obtained four of the documents that the Russian in Germany tried to pass to American intelligence (The Times did not pay for the material). All are purported to be Russian intelligence reports, and each focuses on associates of Mr. Trump. Carter Page, the former campaign adviser who has been the focus of F.B.I. investigators, features in one; Robert and Rebekah Mercer, the billionaire Republican donors, in another.

Yet all four appear to be drawn almost entirely from news reports, not secret intelligence. They all also contain stylistic and grammatical usages not typically seen in Russian intelligence reports, said Yuri Shvets, a former K.G.B. officer who spent years as a spy in Washington before defecting to the United States just before the end of the Cold War.

American spies are not the only ones who have dealt with Russians claiming to have secrets to sell. Cody Shearer, an American political operative with ties to the Democratic Party, has been crisscrossing Eastern Europe for more than six months to secure the purported kompromat from a different Russian, said people familiar with the efforts, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid damaging their relationship with him.

Reached by phone late last year, Mr. Shearer would say only that his work was “a big deal — you know what it is, and you shouldn’t be asking about it.” He then hung up.

Mr. Shearer’s efforts grew out of work he first began during the 2016 campaign, when he compiled a pair of reports that, like the dossier, also included talk of a video and Russian payoffs to Trump associates. It is not clear what, if anything, Mr. Shearer has been able to purchase.

Before the Americans were negotiating with the Russian, they were dealing with a hacker in Vienna known only to American intelligence officials as Carlo. In early 2017, he offered to provide them with a full set of hacking tools that were in the hands of the Shadow Brokers and the names of other people in his network, American officials said. All he wanted in exchange was immunity from prosecution in the United States.

But the immunity deal fell apart, so intelligence officials decided to do what spies do best: They offered to buy the data. That is when the Russian in Germany emerged, telling the Americans he would handle the sale.

Like Carlo, he had previously dealt with American intelligence operatives, American and European officials said. He served as a fixer, of sorts, brokering deals for Russia’s Federal Security Service, or F.S.B., which is the successor to the old Soviet K.G.B. American intelligence officials said that he had a direct link to Nikolai Patrushev, a former F.S.B. director, and that they knew of previous work he had done helping move illicit shipments of semiprecious metals for a Russian oligarch.

By last April it appeared that a deal was imminent. Several C.I.A. officers even traveled from the agency’s headquarters to help the agency’s Berlin station handle the operation.

At a small bar in the old heart of West Berlin, the Russian handed the American intermediary a thumb drive with a small cache of data that was intended to provide a sample of what was to come, American officials said.

Within days, though, the deal turned sour. American intelligence agencies determined that the data was genuinely from the Shadow Brokers, but was material the group had already made public. As a result, the C.I.A. said it would not pay for it, American officials said

The Russian was furious. But negotiations limped on until September, when the two sides agreed to try again.

Late that month, the American businessman delivered the $100,000 payment. Some officials said it was United States government money but routed through an indirect channel.

A few weeks later, the Russian began handing over data. But in multiple deliveries in October and December, almost all of what he delivered was related to 2016 election and alleged ties between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia, not the N.S.A. or C.I.A. hacking tools.

In December, the Russian said he told the American intermediary that he was providing the Trump material and holding out on the hacking tools at the orders of senior Russian intelligence officials.

Early this year, the Americans gave him one last chance. The Russian once again showed up with nothing more than excuses.

So the Americans offered him a choice: Start working for them and provide the names of everyone in his network — or go back to Russia and do not return.

The Russian did not give it much thought. He took a sip of the cranberry juice he was nursing, picked up his bag and said, “Thank you.” Then he walked out the door.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-10/here-full-35-page-report-alleging-trump-was-cultivated-supported-and-assisted-russia

 

Special Counsel Q&A


 

On May 17, the Justice Department announced the appointment of former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel to investigate any possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Trump responded by calling the investigation a “witch hunt.”

At a May 18 press conference, Trump said: “Well, I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt. And there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign — but I can always speak for myself — and the Russians, zero.”

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made the decision to appoint a special counsel just days after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Comey told Congress on March 20 that the FBI had opened an investigation last July into “the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

Amid ongoing investigations by the FBI and House and Senate intelligence committees, what exactly does the appointment of a special counsel mean? Here we answer some questions that readers may have.

Who appoints a special counsel?

The appointment of a special counsel typically is the decision of the U.S. attorney general. But in this case, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia inquiry after it was revealed that he had met twice with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential campaign and did not disclose the meetings during his Senate confirmation hearing. In such cases of recusal, the power to appoint a special counsel falls to the “acting attorney general,” in this case, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. According to the Code of Federal Regulations, a special counsel is appointed for an investigation into a matter that “would present a conflict of interest for the Department [of Justice] or other extraordinary circumstances” or in cases when it “would be in the public interest” to have an outside counsel.

Why was a special counsel appointed?

In a released statement, Rosenstein explained his decision: “In my capacity as acting attorney general I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter. My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination. What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.”

What is the scope of the investigation?

In his order appointing Mueller special counsel, Rosenstein wrote that his responsibility is to ensure a “full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.” As special counsel, Mueller is charged with investigating “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.” In addition, Mueller is to look into “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.” That would include any obstruction of the investigation or perjury related to it.

Whom does the special counsel report to?

Mueller will report to Rosenstein. But the special counsel is supposed to act independently, with some limits. As the federal code explains, a special counsel must consult the acting attorney general (Rosenstein) if he wishes to expand the inquiry beyond what was spelled out in Rosenstein’s order “or to investigate new matters that come to light in the course of his or her investigation.” In addition, Rosenstein can ask the special counsel to “provide an explanation for any investigative or prosecutorial step,” and if such step is deemed “inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices” the acting attorney general reserves the right to intervene, provided Congress is notified.

Who is Robert Mueller?

Mueller was director of the FBI for 12 years, from September 2001 to September 2013. His was the second longest tenure for an FBI director, behind only J. Edgar Hoover. Serving under both Democratic and Republican presidents, Mueller enjoyed wide, bipartisan support from the Senate, which initially confirmed him 98-0 in 2001, and then extended his term past 10 years by a vote of 100-0 in 2011. The New York Timesnoted that during his career, Mueller oversaw cases ranging from crime boss John J. Gotti to those responsible for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Mueller helped “transform the bureau from a crime-fighting organization into a central piece of the antiterrorism establishment,” the Times wrote. His independence and competence was praised by leaders on both sides of the political aisle.

Can Mueller be fired?

Yes, but not by the president, at least not directly. Only the acting attorney general — in this case, Rosenstein — can discipline or fire a special counsel, and then only for cause. According to the federal code, “The Attorney General may remove a Special Counsel for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies.” The president can, however, fire the deputy attorney general.

What authority does a special counsel have?

A special counsel has the same authority as any federal prosecutor, William Banks, a professor and the founding director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University, told us in a phone interview. That includes access to classified documents. It also includes the authority — if deemed appropriate — to subpoena, say, the president’s tax records.

How big of a staff will Mueller get, and who decides that? 

The federal code does not specify how large a staff the special counsel is afforded. It says only that a special counsel “shall be provided all appropriate resources by the Department of Justice.” The code notes that special counsels may request the assignment of Justice Department staff to assist them, and that such employees will be supervised by the special counsel. Special counsels also may request additional staff from outside the Justice Department, and “[a]ll personnel in the [Justice] Department shall cooperate to the fullest extent possible with the Special Counsel.” The special counsel’s proposed budget is subject to approval by the acting attorney general. The length of the investigation is not mandated, but federal code requires the special counsel to make a budget request each fiscal year, at which point the acting attorney general “shall determine whether the investigation should continue and, if so, establish the budget for the next year.”

What happens when the special counsel’s investigation is complete?

Rosenstein’s order notes that if Mueller deems it “necessary and appropriate,” he is “authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters.” The federal code states that at the conclusion of a special counsel’s investigation, he must provide the acting attorney general with a confidential report explaining decisions about whether or not prosecutions are warranted. The acting attorney general could decide to make that report public. According to the code, the “Attorney General may determine that public release of these reports would be in the public interest, to the extent that release would comply with applicable legal restrictions.”

How will this affect the ongoing FBI and congressional investigations?

According to NBC News, Mueller will oversee the prosecutors and FBI agents who are working on the Russia investigation. Sam Buell, a law professor at Duke University, told us via email that Mueller’s investigation and the FBI’s will essentially now be one in the same. “What we have now is a prosecutor paired with the agents who have been investigating this, which means, among other things, access to the grand jury and a greater degree of lawyerly advice and supervision over how the investigation is progressing,” said Buell, who was a former federal prosecutor for 10 years in New York, Boston, Washington and Houston.

The special counsel’s investigation does not preclude Congress’ investigations, and every indication is that those will continue. Buell told us Congress’ mandate is broader, “looking at questions of governance generally not just violations of criminal laws, which is the question to which Mueller is restricted.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham warned that Mueller’s investigation will “severely restrict” Congress’ ability to call witnesses and issue subpoenas, as some witnesses could argue they have a right not to incriminate themselves amid a criminal investigation. In order to compel witnesses to testify, Congress has to immunize their testimony, David Sklansky, a former assistant U.S. attorney who now teaches law at Stanford University, told us in an email. “Mueller — like any prosecutor conducting a criminal investigation — will be concerned about Congress granting immunity to any witnesses who might be implicated in criminal activity, because prosecuting someone whose congressional testimony has been immunized is very difficult,” Sklansky said. Of less concern to Mueller, he said, are those who testify voluntarily before Congress.

Buell told us fears about Mueller’s investigation in any way blocking Congress’ are an “overstatement” and that “legally, nothing prevents Congress from proceeding apace.” Congress could still set up an independent commission to investigate Russian influence in the election, but it has so far resisted calls for one.

How common is the appointment of a special counsel?

According to the Lawfare blog, this is only the second time a “special counsel” has been appointed under this specific regulation. The first was in 1999 when Attorney General Janet Reno appointed former Sen. John Danforth to lead an investigation into the federal law enforcement raid of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. But as Lawfare explained, past attorneys general have used “different authorities to appoint other special counsels — like Nora Dannehy, appointed in 2008 to investigate the firing of U.S. Attorneys, Patrick Fitzgerald, tasked with leading the investigation into the Valerie Plame affair, and John Durham, who investigated the alleged abuse of suspected terrorists by CIA interrogators.” Those are wholly different from “independent counsels” such as Kenneth Starr, who investigated the Whitewater scandal during Bill Clinton’s presidency. Starr’s investigations were carried out under the Ethics in Government Act, which was enacted in 1978 after the Watergate scandal. But that law expired in 1999.

Lawfare and a Congressional Research Service report go into some detail about the differences between the variations of special counsels, independent counsels and special prosecutors over the years. But Banks said they all have the same core function: to investigate and prosecute possible violations of criminal law by officials of the federal government. And they have been all too common in American history.

https://www.factcheck.org/2017/05/special-counsel-qa/

Read the controversial Nunes memo and its key points

FISA Court Finds “Serious Fourth Amendment Issue” In Obama’s “Widespread” Illegal Searches Of American Citizens

A newly released court order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) found that the National Security Agency, under former President Obama, routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall.  In describing the violations, the FISA court said the illegal searches conducted by the NSA under Obama were “widespread” and created a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”

These new discoveries come from a recently unsealed FISA court document dated April 26, 2017 and center around a hearing dated October 26, 2017, just days before the 2016 election, in which the FISA court apparently learned for the first time of “widespread” and illegal spying on American citizens by the NSA under the Obama administration.

“The October 26, 2016 Notice disclosed that an NSA Inspector General (IG) review…indicated that, with greater frequency than previously disclosed to the Court, NSA analysts had used U.S.-person identifiers to query the result of Internet “upstream” collection, even though NSA’s section 702 minimization procedures prohibited such queriesthis disclosure gave the Court substantial concern.”

FISA

 

The court order goes on to reveal that NSA analysts had been conducting illegal queries targeting American citizens “with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the Court”…an issue which the court described as a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”

“Since 2011, NSA’s minimization procedures have prohibited use of U.S.-person identifiers to query the results of upstream Internet collection under Section 702.  The October 26, 2016 Notice informed the Court that NSA analysts had been conducting such queries in violation of that prohibition, with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the Court.”

 

“At the October 26, 2016 hearing, the Court ascribed the government’s failure to disclose those IG and OCO reviews at the October 4, 2016 hearing to an institutional ‘lack of candor’ on NSA’s part and emphasized that ‘this is a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.'”

FISA

Of course, these discoveries and their timing, coming just before the 2016 election, are even more suspicious in light of the Obama administration’s efforts to ‘unmask’ intelligence on various Trump campaign officials shortly after the election.

As Circa noted, the American Civil Liberties Union said the newly disclosed violations are some of the most serious to ever be documented and strongly call into question the U.S. intelligence community’s ability to police itself and safeguard American’s privacy as guaranteed by the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure.

“I think what this emphasizes is the shocking lack of oversight of these programs,” said Neema Singh Guliani, the ACLU’s legislative counsel in Washington.

 

“You have these problems going on for years that only come to the attention of the court late in the game and then it takes additional years to change its practices.

 

“I think it does call into question all those defenses that we kept hearing, that we always have a robust oversight structure and we have culture of adherence to privacy standards,” she added. “And the headline now is they actually haven’t been in compliacne for years and the FISA court itself says in its opinion is that the NSA suffers from a culture of a lack of candor.”

Of course, we suspect that none of this will be reported by any of the mainstream media outlets who will undoubtedly overlook these very distburbing facts in their ongoing efforts to track down the latest anonymously-sourced ‘bombshell’ report about how Trump once sat across from a Russian boy at lunch in the 2nd grade.

 

The full FISA Court opinion can be read here:

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/349261099/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-OVHZTNMNxBIJRoX6Xh9t&show_recommendations=true

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-24/fisa-court-finds-very-serious-fourth-amendment-issue-obamas-widespread-illegal-searc

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1022, January 26, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Speech To World Economic Forum — “American Is Open For Business” — Videos — Story 2: The Coming St. Valentine’s Day Documents Memo Massacre of Obama Administration Abuse of Power and Criminal Use of Intelligence Community to Spy on Trump Campaign — Turnkey Tyranny Turned On American People – Videos

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Story 1: President Trump Speech To World Economic Forum — “American Is Open For Business” — Videos

FULL SPEECH: President Trump Addresses The World Economic Forum DAVOS 1/26/2018, Switzerland

President Trump’s Speech @ Davos b, 2001

Full text: Trump Davos speech transcript

It’s a privilege to be here at this forum an business and science diplomacy and people from world affairs gathered for many, many years to discuss how we can to advance prosperity and peace. I’m here to represent the interests of the America people and affirm America’s friendship and partnership in building a better world.

 Like all nations represented at this great forum, America hopes for a future which everyone can prosper and every child can grow up free from violence, poverty, and fear. Over the past year, we have made extraordinary strides in the U.S. We’re lifting up forgotten communities, creating exciting new opportunities, and helping every American find their path to the American dream. The dream of a great job, a safe home and a better life for their children.

After years stagnation the nights is once again experiencing strong economic growth. The stock market is smashing one record after another, and has added more than $7 trillion in new wealth since my election. Consumer confidence, business confidence, and manufacturing confidence are the highest that they have been in many decades.

Since my election we’ve created 2.4 million jobs and that number is going up very, very substantially. Small business optimism is at an all-time high. New unemployment claims are near the lowest we’ve seen in almost half a century. African-American unemployment reached the lowest rate ever recorded in the United States and so has unemployment among Hispanic-Americans.

The world is witnessing the resurgence of a strong and prosperous America. I’m here to deliver a simple message. There has never been a better time to hire, to build, to invest and to grow in the united States. America is open for business and we are competitive once again. The American economy is by far the largest in the world and we’ve just enacted the most significant tax cuts and reform in American history. We’ve massively cut taxes for the middle class, and small businesses to let working families keep more of their hard earned money.

We lowered our corporate tax rate from 35 percent all the way down to 21 percent. As a result, millions of workers have received tax cut bonuses from their employers in amounts as large as $3,000. The tax cut bill is expected to raise the average American’s household income by more than $4,000. The world’s largest company, apple, announced it plans to bring $245 billion in overseas profits home to America. Their total investment into the United States economy will be more than $350 billion over the next five years. Now is the perfect time to bring your business, your jobs, and your investments to the United States.

This is especially true because we have undertaken the most extensively regulatory reduction ever conceived. Regulation is stealth taxation. The U.S. Like many other countries unelected bureaucrats, we have, believe me, we have them all over the place, and they have imposed crushing and anti-business and anti-worker regulations on our citizens with no vote, no legislative debate, and no real accountability. In America those days are over. I pledged to eliminate two unnecessary regulations for everyone new regulation. We have succeeded beyond our highest expectations. Instead of two for one, we have cut 22 burdensome regulations for everyone new rule. We are freeing our businesses and workers so they can thrive and flourish as never before. We are creating an environment that attracts capital, invites investment, and rewards production. America is the place to do business, so come to America where you can innovate, create and build.

I believe in America. As president of the United States I will always put America first just like the leaders of other countries should put their country first also. But America first does not mean America alone. When the United States grows, so does the world. American prosperity has created countless jobs all around the globe and the drive for excellence, creativity, and innovation in the U.S. Has led to important discoveries that help people everywhere live more prosperous and far healthier lives.

As the United States pursues domestic reforms to unleash jobs and growth, we are also working to reform the international trading system so that it promotes broadly-shared prosperity and rewards to those who pray — play by the rules. We cannot have free and open trade if some countries exploit the system at the expense of others. We support free trade but it needs to be fair and it needs to be reciprocal because in the end unfair trade undermines us all. The United States will no longer turn a blind eye to unfair economic practices including massive intellectual property theft, industrial subsidies, and pervasive state-led economic planning.

These and other predatory behaviors are distorting the global markets and harming businesses and workers not just in the U.S. But around the globe. Just like we expect the leaders of other countries to protect their interests, as president of the United States, I will always protect the interests of our country, our companies, and our workers. We will enforce our trade laws and restore integrity to our trading system. Only by insisting on fair and reciprocal trade can we create a system that works not just for the U.S., but for all nations.

We have dramatically cut taxes it make America competitive. We are eliminating burdensome regulations at a record pace. We are reforming the bureaucracy to make it lean, responsive and accountable and we are insuring our laws are enforced fairly. We have the best colleges and universities in the world and we have the best workers in the world. Energy is an abundant and affordable. There is never been a better time to do business in America. We are also making historic investments in the American military because we cannot have prosperity without security. To make the world safer from rogue regimes, terrorism and revisionist powers, we’re asking our friend and allies to invest in their own defenses and to meet their financial obligations. Our common security requires everyone to contribute their fair share.

My administration is proud to have led historic efforts at the united nations security council and all around the world to unite all civilized nations in our campaign of maximum pressure to de-nuke the Korean peninsula. We continue to call on partners to confront Iran’s support for terrorists and block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon. We’re also working with allies and partners to destroy jihad it terrorist organizations such as ISIS and very successfully so. The nights is leading a very, very broad coalition to deny terrorists control of their territory and populations, to cut off their funding and to discredit their wicked ideology. I am pleased to the support that the coalition to defeat ISIS has retaken almost 100% of the territory once held by these killers in Iraq and Syria. There is still more fighting and worked to be done. And to consolidate our gains. We are committed to insuring that Afghanistan never again become as safe haven for terrorists who want to commit mass murder to our civilian populations.

I want to thank those nations represented here today that have joined in these crucial efforts. You are not just securing your own citizens but saving lives and restoring hope for millions and millions of people. When it comes to terrorism we will do whatever is necessary to protect our nation. We will defend our citizens and our borders. We are also securing our immigration system as a matter of both national and economic security. America is a cutting-edge economy but our immigration system is stuck in the past.

We must replace our current system of extended family chain migration with a merit-based system of admissions that selects new arrivals based on their ability to contribute to our economy, to support themselves financially, and to strengthen our country.

In rebuilding America we are also fully committed to developing our workforce. We are lifting people from dependence to Independence because we know the single-best anti-poverty program is a very simple and very beautiful paycheck. To be successful it is not enough to invest in our economy.

From my first international G-7 summit to the g20, to the U.N. General assembly, to APEC, to the world trade organization and today at the world economic forum my administration has not only been present but has driven our message that we are all stronger when free, sovereign nations cooperate towards shared goals and they cooperate toward shared dreams. Represented in this room are shared dreams.

Represented in this room are some of the remarkable citizens from all over the worlds. You are national leaders, business titans, industry giants and many of the brightest mind in many fields. Each of you has the power to change hearts transform lives and shape your country’s destinies. With this power comes an obligation however, a duty of loyalty to the people, workers, customers, who made you who you are.

Together let us resolve it use our power, our resources and our voices, not just for ourselves but for our people, to lift their burdens, to raise their hopes and to empower their dreams. To protect their families, their communities, their histories and their futures. That’s what we’re doing in America, and the results are totally unmistakable. It’s why new businesses and investment are flooding in. It’s why our unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been in so many decades. It’s why America’s future has negative been brighter.

Today, I am inviting all of you to become part of this incredible future we are building together. Thank you to our hosts, thank you to the leaders and innovators in the audience but most importantly, thank you, to all of the hard-working men and women who do their duty each and every day, making this a better world for everyone. Together let us send our love and our gratitude to make them because they really make our countries run. They make our countries great. Thank you and god bless you all. Thank you very much.

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/01/26/full-text-trump-davos-speech-transcript-370861

JANUARY 26, 2018 / 2:57 AM / UPDATED 5 HOURS AGO

Trump warns Davos on unfair trade, says U.S. ‘open for business’

DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump took his “America First” message to the world’s elite on Friday, telling a summit of business and political leaders that the United States would “no longer turn a blind eye” to what he described as unfair trade practices.

Trump became the first sitting U.S. President to address the annual conclave of the rich and powerful at the Swiss ski resort of Davos for 18 years, closing the summit with a mostly upbeat speech that declared the United States “open for business”.

“Now is the best time to bring your money, your jobs, your businesses to America,” he said, singling out tax cuts and curbs to regulation as boosting the investment climate. “The world is witnessing the resurgence of a strong and prosperous America.”

He said he would always promote “America First”, as he expected other world leaders to do on behalf of their own countries, but added: “America First does not mean America alone. When the United States grows so does the world.”

But he swiftly turned to a theme of demanding tougher enforcement of trade rules, accusing unidentified countries of unfair practices, including stealing intellectual property and providing state aid to industry.

“We will enforce our trade laws and restore integrity to the trading system. Only by insisting on fair and reciprocal trade can we create a system that works not just for the United States but for all nations,” Trump said.

“The United States will no longer turn a blind eye to unfair trade practices,” he said. “We cannot have free and open trade if some countries exploit the system at the expense of others.”

While he has a record of opposing trade agreements involving multiple countries, he said the United States would seek bilateral deals with individual states. That could include members of a Trans-Pacific trade agreement from which he has withdrawn, he said, adding he would consider negotiating with them collectively if it was in the U.S. interest.

Before his trip to Davos, Trump imposed 30 percent tariffs on imported solar panels, among the first unilateral trade restrictions made by the administration as part of a broader protectionist agenda.

President Donald Trump gestures as he delivers a speech during the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 26, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

The Trump administration’s debut at Davos also caused a storm because of comments by Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who said earlier this week the United States benefited from a lower dollar, which would make its exports cheaper.

Those remarks sent the U.S. currency tumbling and drew sharp rebukes from the European Central Bank chief and other figures, who view countries talking down their own currencies as a violation of unwritten rules to keep trade balanced.

Mnuchin told CNBC television on Friday he was “absolutely not trying to talk down the dollar” and that his remarks had been taken out of context. “What I said was actually very even-handed and consistent with what I said before.”

On Thursday, Trump said he ultimately wanted the dollar to be strong. U.S. officials said there was no disagreement between Trump and Mnuchin, and the Treasury Secretary had been making a factual observation about the impact of a lower dollar, not announcing a policy preference to drive it down.

U.S. President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during the World Economic Forum (WEF) annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland January 26, 2018. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Despite Trump’s tough trade talk, those in the audience mostly noted the upbeat tone of his speech.

“I think he came here to make not just American but global business comfortable about where America is now,” said IHS Markit’s chief economist, Nariman Behravesh. “He wasn’t trying to convert people to his own views, but saying we are a great economy, come and invest in the U.S.”

Andrei Guryev, chief executive of Russian fertilizer giant Phosagro, said Trump had spoken “how big business people should be speaking at important road shows of their own companies”.

That did not please everyone. Winnie Byanyima, director of Oxfam International, said: “Trump’s boastful sales pitch was a victory lap for the trillions of tax cuts that the wealthy elites and corporations have clamored for.”

Still, the reception was more polite than might have been expected, given the open anxiety with which the prospect of a Trump presidency was met at Davos a year ago.

Trump’s questioning of trade, withdrawal from the Paris climate treaty and nationalist rhetoric sit uneasily at the quintessentially globalist event. Throughout the week, European leaders spoke with worry about the rise of populism.

Without mentioning Trump by name, German Chancellor Angela Merkel evoked the build-up to the two world wars.

Trump hosted a dinner with business leaders on Thursday night. Two European executives told Reuters they stayed away because they did not want to shake his hand. One said he consulted his wife and children before deciding not to go.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-davos-meeting-trump-speech/trump-warns-davos-on-unfair-trade-says-u-s-open-for-business-idUSKBN1FF0X3

Story 2: The Coming St. Valentine’s Day Documents Memo Massacre of Obama Administration Abuse of Power and Criminal Use of Intelligence Community to Spy on Trump Campaign — Turnkey Tyranny Turned On American People – Videos

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See the source image

The Obama Administration’s ‘Brazen Plot To Exonerate Hillary Clinton’ Starting To Seep Out

Published on Jan 21, 2018
A former federal prosecutor says the truth is starting to seep out about the Obama Administration’s “brazen plot to exonerate Hillary Clinton” and “frame an incoming president with a false Russian conspiracy,” according to an exclusive interview with The Daily Caller News Foundation. Joe diGenova, a former federal prosecutor, connects the dots on former Obama administration Justice Department and FBI officials who may have “violated the law, perhaps committed crimes” to politicize law enforcement and surveillance against political opponents. He says former FBI Director James Comey conducted a fake criminal investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as they “followed none of the regular rules, gave her every break in the book, immunized all kinds of people, allowed the destruction of evidence, with no grand jury, no subpoenas, no search warrants. That’s not an investigation. That’s a Potemkin village. It’s a farce.” DiGenova condemned the FBI for working so closely with the controversial Fusion GPS, a political hit squad paid by the DNC and Clinton campaign to create and spread the discredited Steele dossier about President Donald Trump. Without a justifiable law enforcement or national security reason, he says, the FBI “created false facts so that they could get surveillance warrants. Those are all crimes.” He adds, using official FISA-702 “queries” and surveillance was done “to create a false case against a candidate, and then a president.” In this highly detailed video interview, he holds up an unreported April 2017 99-page FISA court opinion that “describes systematic and on-going violations of the law [by the FBI and their contractors using unauthorized disclosures of raw intelligence on Americans]. This is stunning stuff.” DiGenova thinks Fusion GPS and Crowdstrike, the DNC’s private security firm, were among the redacted contractors of the FBI. House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes, who knows who the redacted contractors were, may release more information. Was Fusion GPS pitching and funding journalists to run smear and propaganda campaigns for the Democrats? DiGenova says journalists were definitely paid by Fusion GPS. If it is true, he says, “it’s the complete antithesis of American journalism and the first amendment.” — “Law enforcement is being corrupted and media is being bought,” portends badly he says. Noting the elite media’s supposed outrage about governmental power and institutions during Watergate, diGenova says “the only thing the American journalism community seems to care about now is destroying Donald Trump.” In the interview, diGenova discusses the heroism of NSA Admiral Mike Rogers who briefed Trump when he was president-elect, on Nov. 17, 2016 about the controversial governmental surveillance. This resulted, he says, in Trump’s presidential transition being moving out of Trump Tower to Bedminster, N.J., until it could be debugged. The litigator also discusses the Uranium One scandal, the “tainted” Mueller special counsel investigation and the heroism of Nunes, who is under intense pressure from a united Democrat front. DiGenova has no doubt that if Democrats gain control in November, there will be an effort to impeachTrump. The Democrats are trying to delay any efforts by Republicans to find the truth. “It’s important for the House to complete its work now,” he says. ConservativeHQ: #ReleaseTheMemo http://www.conservativehq.com/article… Washington Examiner: Fusion GPS paid journalists, court papers confirm http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/fus… National Review: The Obama Administration’s Uranium One Scandal http://www.nationalreview.com/article… Daily Caller: The Obama Administration’s ‘Brazen Plot To Exonerate Hillary Clinton’ Starting To Leak Out, According To Former Fed Prosecutor http://dailycaller.com/2018/01/20/oba…

Hannity: The memo should be released next week!!! ( 1/26/18)

HANNITY: FISA MEMO RELEASE NEXT WEEK!

Rep. Issa: Memo is a ‘roadmap’ to what actually happened

The Lastest #QAnon Rips a New Hole in the Fabric of Vile #DeepState and #ShadowGovernment Sedition

Qanon – Obama Retains Counsel Pending Memo Release?, 1999

DOJ: “RECKLESS” for Nunes to Release Memo without Review. #DonaldTrump #Breaking #InsidePolitics

Hannity -Sara carter, Dan Bongino, SebGorka -1 -25

Sebastian Gorka: FISA memo is the tip of the iceberg

#TheStorm Explained: The Latest #QAnon and How #Trump Terrifies the #DeepState #ShadowGovernment

Lionel Interviews Dr. Jerome Corsi on the Significance and Criticality of #QAnon

Live Stream: All Right Already! When Are the Indictments Coming? Tick Tock, My Arse!

YES! Hillary clinton, Obama Hundreds FBI AGENTS To Go down for this!

Andrew Napolitano on FISA Memo

James Clapper on Chairman Nunes on FISA Abuses Memo | Jared Kushner Security Clearance. #Breaking

The FISA Abuse Memo is the smoking gun

FISA MEMO RELEASE!!! Multiple Felonies By Top Government Officials Exposed

Congress is treating Americans like children over FISA memo: Judge Napolitano

Rep. Lee Zeldin on FISA Memo (C-SPAN)

GOP demands release of House Intel FISA abuse memo

Rush Limbaugh: Bombshell House Intel report exposes massive FISA abuses (audio from 01-19-2018)

AWESOME!! Milo REACTS To FISA MEMO with Laura Ingraham

#DeepState Criminal Conspiracy Trifecta: FBI Secret Societies, Lost Text Messages and FISA Abuse

Full Show – Congress Set To Release FISA Memo Proving Illegal Surveillance of Trump and His Family!

Rep. Jim Jordan: American people need to see FISA memo

Republicans call for release of memo on FISA abuses

Kellyanne Conway: We should see the FISA memo

New memo reveals possible FISA abuse

[youtube-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhKsu1FGwTY]

US intelligence ‘spy on everybody,’ could well have wiretapped Trump – Ron Paul talks FISA memo

Mike Morell: CIA leak “an inside job”

Former CIA director speaks out against Russia-gate conspiracy

Former CIA deputy director on why he endorsed Clinton

Battle over secret Nunes memo could come to a head next week

January 26, 2018 07:10 PM

Updated 6 hours 8 minutes ago

ReleaseTheMemo

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The US Justice Department warned that the public release of a classified memo alleging abuses in FBI surveillance tactics would be “extraordinarily reckless”[1]

#ReleaseTheMemo is Russian supported social media campaign for the release of a document written by Rep. Devin Nunes that purports to show abuse by the Obama administration of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.[2][3][4]According to an unnamed source familiar with an internal analysis by Twitter, the accounts promoting the hashtag were mostly American, although a large number of Russian accounts were also involved.[5][6][7] The memo was produced by House Republicans and staff to explain the use of the Trump–Russia dossier by the FBI.[8] Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, led by Adam Schiff, drafted a document to counter the memo, which they claimed was to discredit the FBI probe into Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections. Schiff stated that “We need to produce our own memo that lays out the actual facts and show how the majority memo distorts the work of the FBI and the Department of Justice”.[9] The House Intelligence Committee has denied access to the memo by the Senate Intelligence Committee and to the FBI, who stated a desire to investigate any alleged wrongdoing.[10]The Justice Department sent a letter to Nunes and called the release of the memo reckless.[1]

References

  1. Jump up to:a b Jarrett, Laura. “Justice Dept.: ‘Reckless’ to release Nunes memo without review”CNN. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  2. Jump up^ O’Sullivan, Donie. “Hundreds of newly created Twitter accounts pushed #ReleaseTheMemo”CNNMoney. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  3. Jump up^ “Right’s push to release memo on FBI ‘abuses’ endorsed by Russian bots”NBC News. Retrieved 2018-01-26.
  4. Jump up^ “Russia-linked Twitter accounts are working overtime to help Devin Nunes and WikiLeaks”Business Insider. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  5. Jump up^ Ryan Sit (24 January 2018). “Russian Bots Might Be Behind Controversial #ReleaseTheMemo Campaign, Democrats Say”Newsweek. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  6. Jump up^ Eli Lake (25 January 2018). “Russian Bots Are Right: #Releasethememo”Bloomberg.com. Retrieved 26 January 2018.
  7. Jump up^ Collins, Ben; Ackerman, Spencer (2018-01-23). “Source: Twitter Pins #ReleaseTheMemo on Republicans, Not Russia”The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  8. Jump up^ “House Republicans quietly investigate perceived corruption at DOJ, FBI”POLITICO. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  9. Jump up^ Demirjian, Karoun (2018-01-24). “House Democrats plan memo to counter GOP’s, as calls to declassify files grow”Washington PostISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-01-25.
  10. Jump up^ CNN, Jeremy Herb and Manu Raju,. “Senate panel denied access to Nunes FISA memo”CNN. Retrieved 2018-01-25.

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

United States Intelligence Community

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
United States Intelligence Community
United States Intelligence Community Seal.svg

Seal of the United States Intelligence Community
Agency overview
Formed December 4, 1981
Agency executive

The United States Intelligence Community (IC)[1] is a federation of 16 separate United States government agencies that work separately and together to conduct intelligence activities to support the foreign policy and national security of the United States. Member organizations of the IC include intelligence agenciesmilitary intelligence, and civilian intelligence and analysis offices within federal executive departments. The IC is overseen by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which itself is headed by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), who reports to the President of the United States.

Among their varied responsibilities, the members of the Community collect and produce foreign and domestic intelligence, contribute to military planning, and perform espionage. The IC was established by Executive Order 12333, signed on December 4, 1981, by U.S. President Ronald Reagan.[2]

The Washington Post reported in 2010 that there were 1,271 government organizations and 1,931 private companies in 10,000 locations in the United States that were working on counterterrorism, homeland security, and intelligence, and that the intelligence community as a whole includes 854,000 people holding top-secret clearances.[3] According to a 2008 study by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, private contractors make up 29% of the workforce in the U.S. intelligence community and account for 49% of their personnel budgets.[4]

Etymology

The term “Intelligence Community” was first used during Lt. Gen. Walter Bedell Smith‘s tenure as Director of Central Intelligence (1950–1953).[5]

History

Intelligence is information that agencies collect, analyze, and distribute in response to government leaders’ questions and requirements. Intelligence is a broad term that entails:

Collection, analysis, and production of sensitive information to support national security leaders, including policymakers, military commanders, and Members of Congress. Safeguarding these processes and this information through counterintelligence activities. Execution of covert operations approved by the President. The IC strives to provide valuable insight on important issues by gathering raw intelligence, analyzing that data in context, and producing timely and relevant products for customers at all levels of national security—from the war-fighter on the ground to the President in Washington.[6]

Executive Order 12333 charged the IC with six primary objectives:[7]

  • Collection of information needed by the President, the National Security Council, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and other executive branch officials for the performance of their duties and responsibilities;
  • Production and dissemination of intelligence;
  • Collection of information concerning, and the conduct of activities to protect against, intelligence activities directed against the U.S., international terrorist and/or narcotics activities, and other hostile activities directed against the U.S. by foreign powers, organizations, persons and their agents;
  • Special activities (defined as activities conducted in support of U.S. foreign policy objectives abroad which are planned and executed so that the “role of the United States Government is not apparent or acknowledged publicly”, and functions in support of such activities, but which are not intended to influence United States political processes, public opinion, policies, or media and do not include diplomatic activities or the collection and production of intelligence or related support functions);
  • Administrative and support activities within the United States and abroad necessary for the performance of authorized activities and
  • Such other intelligence activities as the President may direct from time to time.

Organization

Members

The IC is headed by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), whose statutory leadership is exercised through the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI). The 16 members of the IC are:[8]

The official seals of U.S. Intelligence Community members.

Agency Parent Agency Federal Department Date est.
Twenty-Fifth Air Force United States Air Force Defense 1948
Intelligence and Security Command United States Army Defense 1977
Central Intelligence Agency none Independent agency 1947
Coast Guard Intelligence United States Coast Guard Homeland Security 1915
Defense Intelligence Agency none Defense 1961
Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence none Energy 1977
Office of Intelligence and Analysis none Homeland Security 2007
Bureau of Intelligence and Research none State 1945
Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence none Treasury 2004
Office of National Security Intelligence Drug Enforcement Administration Justice 2006
Intelligence Branch Federal Bureau of Investigation Justice 2005
Marine Corps Intelligence Activity United States Marine Corps Defense 1978
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency none Defense 1996
National Reconnaissance Office none Defense 1961
National Security Agency/Central Security Service none Defense 1952
Office of Naval Intelligence United States Navy Defense 1882

Programs

The IC performs under two separate programs:

  • The National Intelligence Program (NIP), formerly known as the National Foreign Intelligence Program as defined by the National Security Act of 1947 (as amended), “refers to all programs, projects, and activities of the intelligence community, as well as any other programs of the intelligence community designated jointly by the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) and the head of a United States department or agency or by the President. Such term does not include programs, projects, or activities of the military departments to acquire intelligence solely for the planning and conduct of tactical military operations by the United States Armed Forces”. Under the law, the DNI is responsible for directing and overseeing the NIP, though the ability to do so is limited (see the Organization structure and leadership section).
  • The Military Intelligence Program (MIP) refers to the programs, projects, or activities of the military departments to acquire intelligence solely for the planning and conduct of tactical military operations by the United States Armed Forces. The MIP is directed and controlled by the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. In 2005 the Department of Defense combined the Joint Military Intelligence Program and the Tactical Intelligence and Related Activities program to form the MIP.

Since the definitions of the NIP and MIP overlap when they address military intelligence, assignment of intelligence activities to the NIP and MIP sometimes proves problematic.

Organizational structure and leadership

IC Circle.jpg

The overall organization of the IC is primarily governed by the National Security Act of 1947 (as amended) and Executive Order 12333. The statutory organizational relationships were substantially revised with the 2004 Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act (IRTPA) amendments to the 1947 National Security Act.

Though the IC characterizes itself as a federation of its member elements, its overall structure is better characterized as a confederation due to its lack of a well-defined, unified leadership and governance structure. Prior to 2004, the Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) was the head of the IC, in addition to being the director of the CIA. A major criticism of this arrangement was that the DCI had little or no actual authority over the budgetary authorities of the other IC agencies and therefore had limited influence over their operations.

Following the passage of IRTPA in 2004, the head of the IC is the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). The DNI exerts leadership of the IC primarily through statutory authorities under which he or she:

  • controls the “National Intelligence Program” budget;
  • establishes objectives, priorities, and guidance for the IC; and
  • manages and directs the tasking of, collection, analysis, production, and dissemination of national intelligence by elements of the IC.

However, the DNI has no authority to direct and control any element of the IC except his own staff—the Office of the DNI—neither does the DNI have the authority to hire or fire personnel in the IC except those on his own staff. The member elements in the executive branch are directed and controlled by their respective department heads, all cabinet-level officials reporting to the President. By law, only the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency reports to the DNI.

In light of major intelligence failures in recent years that called into question how well Intelligence Community ensures U.S. national security, particularly those identified by the 9/11 Commission (National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States), and the “WMD Commission” (Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction), the authorities and powers of the DNI and the overall organizational structure of the IC have become subject of intense debate in the United States.

Interagency cooperation

Previously, interagency cooperation and the flow of information among the member agencies was hindered by policies that sought to limit the pooling of information out of privacy and security concerns. Attempts to modernize and facilitate interagency cooperation within the IC include technological, structural, procedural, and cultural dimensions. Examples include the Intellipedia wiki of encyclopedic security-related information; the creation of the Office of the Director of National IntelligenceNational Intelligence CentersProgram Manager Information Sharing Environment, and Information Sharing Council; legal and policy frameworks set by the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, information sharing Executive Orders 13354 and Executive Order 13388, and the 2005 National Intelligence Strategy.

Budget[edit]

Data visualization of U.S. intelligence black budget (2013)

The U.S. intelligence budget (excluding the Military Intelligence Program) in fiscal year 2013 was appropriated as $52.7 billion, and reduced by the amount sequestered to $49.0 billion.[9] In fiscal year 2012 it peaked at $53.9 billion, according to a disclosure required under a recent law implementing recommendations of the 9/11 Commission.[10] The 2012 figure was up from $53.1 billion in 2010,[11] $49.8 billion in 2009,[12] $47.5 billion in 2008,[13] $43.5 billion in 2007,[14] and $40.9 billion in 2006.[15]

About 70 percent of the intelligence budget went to contractors for the procurement of technology and services (including analysis), according to the May 2007 chart from the ODNI. Intelligence spending has increased by a third over ten years ago, in inflation-adjusted dollars, according to the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.