The Pronk Pops Show 1278, June 20, 2019, Part 1– Story 1: President Trump: “Iran made a very big mistake” — Option A: Strong Message and Done , Option B: One Missile Attack and Done, Option C: Total War With Iran and World Recession Due To Spike in Oil and Gas Prices — Videos — Story 2: Federal Reserve Board Votes To Keep Federal Funds Target Range of 2.25% to 2.5% Waiting For July 2019 Jobs Report and Second Quarter Real GDP Growth Rate Number — Videos — Story 3: Creepy, Sleepy, Dopey Joey Biden in Praise of Civility of Democrat Segregationist Senators — Radical Extremist Democrats (REDS) Attack Biden — Videos — Part 2– Story 4: President Trump Pushes All The Right Buttons in 2020 Stump Speech in Orlando, Florida — Boom Boom Boom — Send Them Home — MAGA MAGA MAGA — Lock Them Up — Four More Years — Keep America Great — Win Win Win — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1278 June 20, 2019 

Pronk Pops Show 1277 June 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1276 June 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1275 June 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1274 June 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1273 June 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1272 June 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1271 June 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1270 June 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1269 June 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1268 June 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1267 May 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1266 May 29, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1265 May 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1264 May 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1263 May 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1262 May 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1261 May 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1260 May 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1259 May 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1258 May 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1257 May 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1256 May 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1255 May 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1254 May 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1253 May 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1252 May 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1251 May 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1250 May 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1249 May 2, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1248 May 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1247 April 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1246 April 29, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1245 April 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1244 April 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1243 April 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1242 April 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1241 April 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1240 April 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1239 April 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1238 April 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1237 April 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1236 April 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1235 April 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1234 April 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1233 April 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

Pronk Pops Show 1232 March 29, 2019 Part 1

Pronk Pops Show 1231 March 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1230 March 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1229 March 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1228 March 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1227 March 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1226 March 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1225 March 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1224 March 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1223 March 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1222 March 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1221 March 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1220 March 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1219 March 4, 2019

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Story 1: President Trump: “Iran made a very big mistake” — Option A: Strong Message and Done, Option B: One Missile Attack and Done, Option C: Total War With Iran and World Recession Due To Spike in Oil and Gas Prices — Videos —

Tucker: Washington is war-hungry

Pentagon releases footage of US drone being shot down by Iran

LIVE: President Trump first comments after Iran shoots down US Drone | June 20th 2019

US is bringing the Iranian economy to its knees: Nile Gardiner

Oil prices rise after Iran shoots down US drone

40% Chance of 2020 U.S.-Iran Military Conflict: Eurasia CEO

Iran shoots down US drone as tensions escalate

Video shows Iran shooting down US drone

Iran says it shot down US drone ‘violating Iranian air space’ amid growing tensions

Iran Shot Down U.S. Drone to Disrupt Trade in Persian Gulf, Senior U.S. Military Official Says

President Trump makes first comments after Iran shoots down U.S. Drone | ABC News Special Report

Iran says it’s ‘ready for war’

Iran shoots down US military spy drone | DW News

Iran says it will breach nuclear deal ‘in days’ as its uranium stockpile limit nears

Is The U.S. Going To War With Iran? | AJ+

Iran’s foreign minister accuses US, Mideast of provoking conflict

Iran’s Zarif thrashes Trump, “US driven by pathological obsession” (Munich Security Conference 2019)

Can air strikes take out Iran’s nuclear facilities?

Did Trump Just Blink or Bluff in Standoff With Iran?

Anthony Halpin

Bloomberg

Was it all a bluff? After news leaked that President Donald Trump approved and then called off U.S. airstrikes on Iran last night, it emerged he’d warned Tehran about an imminent attack while insisting he was against a war.

Today, as airlines began re-routing flights away from the Strait of Hormuz, Iran’s Foreign Ministry called in the Swiss ambassador, who also represents U.S. interests, for talks.

Was the outreach why Trump abandoned the strikes? Or was this the latest example of the whipsaw approach from a president who’s twice attacked Syria but also backed away from using force after lashing out at Iran and North Korea?

The leak of Trump’s about-face also speaks volumes about the battle for influence in the White House. Hardliners clearly thought they’d convinced him to back a tough response to Iran’s downing of a U.S. Navy drone. Yet Trump was elected on a pledge to pull out of Middle East wars.

The president, who governs with the cliffhanger style of his Apprentice TV show, thrives on keeping supporters hooked on dramatic twists.

But as his 2020 re-election campaign gains steam, the stakes now include the prospect of armed conflict and instability in a region that supplies a third of the world’s oil.

Global Headlines

Biden’s burden | Democratic front-runner Joe Biden is encountering the same pitfalls as other seasoned politicians who’ve found their experience and record can be a liability. The former Delaware senator’s struggles to defend his remarks this week about finding common ground with two segregationists is an early sign of the trouble he could have explaining a complicated voting record and his nostalgia for a Washington collegiality that has steadily diminished since he was first elected in 1972.

Border control | Trump praised Mexico’s efforts to crack down on migrants crossing the border into the U.S. after the two countries entered an agreement aimed at stemming the flow of people entering Mexico from Central America. Mexico will take greater control of its southern border and ask foreigners to register their arrival.

Osaka drama | Before Trump, Group of 20 summits were dull if worthy affairs. This year’s gathering in Osaka, Japan next week promises to be anything but, as the U.S. president holds talks with China’s Xi Jinping after threatening to escalate their trade conflict. The best-case scenario would be a pause in new U.S. tariffs and a resumption of negotiations that broke down in May. The worst-case would be a new Cold War between the two largest economies.

Favorites flushed | European Union leaders cast aside the candidates who’ve dominated the race to head the next EU Commission and will start from scratch less than two weeks before a self-imposed deadline. The decision at a summit in Brussels extends gridlock that has left investors in the dark over a series of critical posts including the next president of the European Central Bank.

Bad air | As climate change tops political agendas from Washington to New Delhi, there’s no solution in sight for the bad air choking Europe’s poorest countries. While the EU has focused mostly on stability in the volatile Balkans, health problems and lost productivity from air pollution cost the continent more than 10 billion euros a year. Obsolete coal plants and cars spew smog and hundreds of thousands of people burn tires, wood and trash to stay warm.

What to Watch

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt will go head-to-head in the contest to become the U.K.’s next prime minister as they seek votes from the Conservative Party’s 160,000 grassroots members over the next month. Ukraine’s Constitutional Court threw out a challenge to a decree by President Volodymyr Zelenskiy ordering early parliamentary elections. The ruling confirmed a vote will take place next month and a new government should be in place by the fall. Turkey reruns the election for mayor of Istanbul on Sunday, pitting former prime minister and ruling AK Party candidate Binali Yildirim against opposition challenger Ekrem Imamoglu, who was stripped of his narrow victory in the March 31 ballot.

And finally…The U.K. is poised to generate more energy from low-carbon sources than from fossil fuels for the first time since the Industrial Revolution. Wind, solar, hydro and nuclear plants provided 48% of the nation’s power in the first five months of this year. The U.K. has gone without burning coal, the dirtiest fossil fuel, for the equivalent of 80 days so far in 2019, including one stretch of 18 days in a row.

–With assistance from Kathleen Hunter and Daniel Ten Kate.

https://news.yahoo.com/did-trump-just-blink-bluff-100815556.html

Trump says Iran made ‘big mistake’ by taking down US drone

today

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the Oval Office of the White House, Thursday, June 20, 2019, in Washington. Trump declared Thursday that “Iran made a very big mistake” in shooting down a U.S. drone but suggested it was an accident rather than a strategic error. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump declared Thursday that “Iran made a very big mistake” by shooting down a U.S. surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz but suggested it was a foolish error rather than an intentional escalation of the tensions that have led to rising fears of open military conflict.

Asked about a U.S. response, the president said pointedly, “You’ll soon find out.”

The downing of the huge, unmanned aircraft , which Iran portrayed as a deliberate defense of its territory rather than a mistake, was a stark reminder of the risk of military conflict between U.S. and Iranian forces as the Trump administration combines a “maximum pressure” campaign of economic sanctions against Iran with a buildup of American forces in the region.

The drone — which has a wingspan wider than a Boeing 737 — entered Iranian airspace “despite repeated radio warnings” and was shot down by Iran, acting under the U.N. Charter which allows self-defense action “if an armed attack occurs,” Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi said in a letter to the U.N. secretary-general.

Donald Trump is playing down Iran's downing of an American drone, saying that it might have been a mistake executed by someone just being "loose and stupid." He said it was a "new wrinkle" in escalating tensions between the U.S. and Iran. (June 20)

Trump, who has said he wants to avoid war and negotiate with Iran over its nuclear ambitions, appeared to play down the significance of the shootdown.

He cast it as “a new wrinkle … a new fly in the ointment.” Yet he also said that “this country will not stand for it, that I can tell you.”

Shortly before Trump spoke, Air Force Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, commander of U.S. Central Command air forces in the region, took a more pointed view of the shootdown in an area where Trump has blamed Iran for attacking shipping vessels.

“This attack is an attempt to disrupt our ability to monitor the area following recent threats to international shipping and free flow of commerce,” he said.

The Trump administration has been putting increasing economic pressure on Iran for more than a year. It reinstated punishing sanctions following Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of an international agreement intended to limit Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for relief from earlier sanctions.

The other world powers who remain signed on to the nuclear deal have set a meeting to discuss the U.S. withdrawal and Iran’s announced plans to increase its uranium stockpile for June 28, a date far enough in the future to perhaps allow tensions to cool.

Citing Iranian threats, the U.S. recently sent an aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf region and deployed additional troops alongside the tens of thousands already there. All this has raised fears that a miscalculation or further rise in tensions could push the U.S. and Iran into an open conflict 40 years after Tehran’s Islamic Revolution.

“We do not have any intention for war with any country, but we are fully ready for war,” Revolutionary Guard commander Gen. Hossein Salami said in a televised address.

The paramilitary Guard, which answers only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said it shot down the drone at 4:05 a.m. Thursday when it entered Iranian airspace near the Kouhmobarak district in southern Iran’s Hormozgan province. Kouhmobarak is about 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) southeast of Tehran.

The first U.S. reaction was Trump’s Thursday morning tweet of six forceful words: “Iran made a very big mistake.”

But later, while meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump said, “I would imagine it was a general or somebody that made a mistake in shooting that drone down.

He said the American drone was unarmed and unmanned and “clearly over international waters.” It would have “made a big, big difference” if someone had been inside, he said.

“I find it hard to believe it was intentional, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said. “I think that it could have been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it.”

Taking issue with the U.S. version of where the attack occurred, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted that his country had retrieved sections of the military drone “in OUR territorial waters where it was shot down.” He said, “We don’t seek war but will zealously defend our skies, land & waters.”

U.S. Gen. Guastella disputed that contention, telling reporters that the aircraft was 34 kilometers (21 miles) from the nearest Iranian territory and flying at high altitude when struck by a surface-to-air missile. The U.S. military has not commented on the mission of the remotely piloted aircraft that can fly higher than 10 miles in altitude and stay in the air for over 24 hours at a time.

One U.S. official said there was a second American aircraft in the area that was able to get video and imagery of the drone when it was shot down.

Congressional leaders came to the White House for an hour-long briefing in the Situation Room late Thursday with top national security officials including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, CIA Director Gina Haspel, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan and Army Secretary Mark Esper, whom Trump has said he’ll nominate as Pentagon chief.

The Senate’s top Democrat called the downing of the American drone “deeply concerning” and accused the administration of not having an Iran strategy and keeping Congress and the rest of the nation in the dark.

“The president needs to explain to the American people why he’s driving us toward another endless conflict in the Middle East,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she didn’t think Trump wanted war with Iran and the American people have “no appetite” for it either. She said the U.S. needs to be “strong and strategic” about protecting its interests but “cannot be reckless.”

Talking tougher, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina called Iran a “murderous regime” and said, “If they’re itching for a fight they’re going to get one.”

“We’re a lot closer today than we were yesterday, and only God knows what tomorrow brings,” said Graham, a Trump ally who talked with the president by telephone.

The senator also focused on the issue of Iran’s nuclear ambitions, saying its leaders have refused to negotiate after Trump withdrew the U.S. from the international agreement to limit Iranian development of nuclear weapons.

Graham said it’s imperative that the U.S. clearly tell the Iranians that any attempt to increase uranium enrichment will be seen as a “hostile act against the United States and our allies in Israel and will not go unanswered.”

Another factor: This all comes as Trump is launching his re-election campaign. He ran for president promising to bring American troops home from the Middle East and Afghanistan and has repeatedly said he wants to keep America out of “endless wars.”

Ari Fleischer, who was press secretary for President George W. Bush, cautioned against thinking about politics when weighing any response to Iran.

“I suspect a successful limited counter-strike, such as taking out the missile battery that fired at the drone or the sinking of an unmanned Iranian vessel, would be seen as a well-calibrated show of resolve and discipline,” Fleischer said in an interview. He added that “if we do nothing, Iran may strike again thinking it has impunity.”

https://apnews.com/84ad15edb7324472bb867852059a0a7a

Iran shoots down US surveillance drone, heightening tensions

29 minutes ago

In this Oct. 24, 2018, photo released by the U.S. Air Force, members of the 7th Reconnaissance Squadron prepare to launch an RQ-4 Global Hawk at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a U.S. RQ-4 Global Hawk on Thursday, June 20, 2019, amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington over its collapsing nuclear deal with world powers, American and Iranian officials said, though they disputed the circumstances of the incident. (Staff Sgt. Ramon A. Adelan/U.S. Air Force via AP)

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down a U.S. surveillance drone Thursday in the Strait of Hormuz, marking the first time the Islamic Republic directly attacked the American military amid tensions over Tehran’s unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.

The two countries disputed the circumstances leading up to an Iranian surface-to-air missile bringing down the U.S. Navy RQ-4A Global Hawk, an unmanned aircraft with a wingspan larger than a Boeing 737 jetliner and costing over $100 million.

Iran said the drone “violated” its territorial airspace, while the U.S. called the missile fire “an unprovoked attack” in international airspace over the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf and President Donald Trump tweeted that “Iran made a very big mistake!”

Trump later appeared to play down the incident, telling reporters in the Oval Office that he had a feeling that “a general or somebody” being “loose and stupid” made a mistake in shooting down the drone.

AP Graphic

The incident immediately heightened the crisis already gripping the wider region, which is rooted in Trump withdrawing the U.S. a year ago from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal and imposing crippling new sanctions on Tehran. Recently, Iran quadrupled its production of low-enriched uranium to be on pace to break one of the deal’s terms by next week while threatening to raise enrichment closer to weapons-grade levels on July 7 if Europe doesn’t offer it a new deal.

Citing unspecified Iranian threats, the U.S. has sent an aircraft carrier to the Middle East and deployed additional troops alongside the tens of thousands already there. All this has raised fears that a miscalculation or further rise in tensions could push the U.S. and Iran into an open conflict 40 years after Tehran’s Islamic Revolution.

“We do not have any intention for war with any country, but we are fully ready for war,” Revolutionary Guard commander Gen. Hossein Salami said in a televised address.

The paramilitary Guard, which answers only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said it shot down the drone at 4:05 a.m. Thursday when it entered Iranian airspace near the Kouhmobarak district in southern Iran’s Hormozgan province. Kouhmobarak is about 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) southeast of Tehran.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard commander Gen. Hossein Salami. (Sepahnews via AP)

The drone took off from the southern Persian Gulf and collected data from Iranian territory, including the southern port of Chahbahar near Iran’s border with Pakistan, the Guard said in comments that appeared aimed at showing it could track the aircraft.

The U.S. military has not commented on the mission of the remotely piloted aircraft that can fly higher than 10 miles in altitude and stay in the air for over 24 hours at a time.

Iran used its air defense system known as Third of Khordad to shoot down the drone — a truck-based missile system that can fire up to 18 miles (30 kilometers) into the sky, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

Iranian state TV later broadcast video it described as the moment the Guard launched the surface-to-air missile that struck the U.S. drone. Chants of “God is great!” could be heard as a fireball appeared in the darkened sky.

Typically, militaries worldwide call out to errant aircraft entering their airspace before firing. It’s unclear whether Iran gave any warning before opening fire. The U.S. military says Iran fired on and missed another drone last week near the Strait of Hormuz, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf through which 20% of all global oil moves.

The U.S. has been worried about international shipping through the strategic waterway since tankers were damaged in May and June in what Washington has blamed on limpet mines from Iran, although Tehran denied involvement.. On Wednesday in the United Arab Emirates, the U.S. Navy showed fragments of mines that it said bore “a striking resemblance” to those seen in Iran

The RQ-4 Global Hawk was at least 34 kilometers from Iranian territory when it was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile, said Air Force Lt. Gen. Joseph Guastella, commander of the U.S. Central Command. He said it was an attempt to disrupt U.S. efforts to monitor the Persian Gulf region.

But Salami, speaking to a crowd in the western city of Sanandaj, described the American drone as “violating our national security border.”

“Borders are our red line,” the Revolutionary Guard general said. “Any enemy that violates the borders will be annihilated.”

Iran’s Foreign Ministry also said the drone entered Iranian airspace, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif tweeted it would take its case to the U.N. He later tweeted that Iran retrieved parts of the drone in its territorial waters.

Russian President Vladimir Putin urged caution, warning any war between Iran and the U.S. would be a “catastrophe for the region as a minimum.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu urged support for U.S. efforts to halt what he called escalating Iranian provocations.

“In the last 24 hours, Iran has intensified its aggression against the United States and against all of us,” he said.

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed concern and urged all parties to “avoid any action that could inflame the situation,” said U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

America stations some RQ-4 Global Hawks at the Al-Dhafra Air Base in the UAE, near the capital of Abu Dhabi. Associated Press journalists saw the drones on the base’s tarmac during a March 2016 visit by then-Vice President Joe Biden. The U.S. military occasionally publishes images from there of the drones, which have a distinctive hump-shaped front and an engine atop the fuselage.

Iran has claimed to have shot down U.S. drones before. In the most famous incident, in December 2011, Iran seized an RQ-170 Sentinel flown by the CIA to monitor Iranian nuclear sites after it entered Iranian airspace from neighboring Afghanistan. Iran later reverse-engineered the drone to create their own variants.

Elsewhere in the region Thursday, Saudi Arabia said Yemen’s Iranian-backed Houthi rebels fired a rocket at a desalination plant in al-Shuqaiq, a city in the kingdom’s Jizan province. The state-run Saudi Press Agency quoted military spokesman Col. Turki al-Maliki as saying it caused no damage or casualties.

The Yemeni rebel Al-Masirah satellite news channel earlier said the Houthis targeted a power plant in Jizan, near the kingdom’s border with Yemen, with a cruise missile.

A coalition led by Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally, has been battling the Houthis since March 2015 in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest nation now pushed to the brink of famine by the conflict. In recent weeks, the Houthis have launched a new campaign sending missiles and bomb-laden drones into Saudi Arabia.

https://apnews.com/e4316eb989d5499c9828350de8524963

 

 

Story 2: Federal Reserve Board Votes To Keep Federal Funds Target Range of 2.25% to 2.5% Waiting For July 2019 Jobs Report and Second Quarter Real GDP Growth Rate Number — Videos

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Trump slams Fed over interest rate policy

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Trump expected Powell to be a ‘cheap-money’ Fed chairman

S&P 500 closes at new record as Wall Street bets Fed will lower rates, Dow surges nearly 250 points

VIDEO02:12
The S&P 500 just closed at a record high — Here’s what four experts say to watch

Stocks rallied on Thursday, led by strong gains in tech and energy shares, as Wall Street cheered the possibility that the Federal Reserve will cut interest rates next month.

The S&P 500 surged 1% to 2,954.18, a record close. The broad index also hit an intraday record of 2,958.06. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 249.17 points higher at 26,753.17. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.8% to end the day at 8,051.34.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell below 2% for the first time since November 2016. Investors cheered the decline in the benchmark for mortgage rates and corporate bonds.

The energy sector rose more than 2% to lead all 11 S&P 500 sectors higher as oil prices jumped. Tech gained 1.4% after shares of Oracle surged more than 8% on stronger-than-forecast earnings. General Electric’s 2.8% rise pushed the industrials sector up more than 1.6% on the day.

“Markets are based on numbers and perception. If the perception is rates are getting cut, that’s going to drive markets higher,” said Kathy Entwistle, senior vice president of wealth management at UBS. “UBS’ stance up until yesterday was we wouldn’t see any rate cuts this year. Now we see a much larger chance of a 50-basis-point cut.”

The Fed said Wednesday it stands ready to battle growing global and domestic economic risks as they took stock of intensifying trade tensions and growing concerns about inflation. Most Fed policymakers slashed their rate outlook for the rest of the calendar year by approximately half a percentage point in the previous session, while Chairman Jerome Powell said others agree the case for lower rates is building.

Policymakers also dropped “patient” from the Fed’s statement and acknowledged that inflation is “running below” its 2% objective.

Market participants viewed the overall tone from the U.S. central bank as more dovish than expected. Traders are now pricing in a 100% chance of a rate cutnext month, according to the CME FedWatch tool.

With Thursday’s gains, the market has now erased the steep losses recorded by the major indexes in May, which were sparked by trade fears. The S&P 500 and Dow both fell more than 6% while the Nasdaq lost 7.9% last month. The three indexes were up more than 7% for June.

China and the U.S. hiked tariffs on billions of dollars worth of their goods in May. Stocks turned around this month as traders bet the rising trade tensions, coupled with weaker economic data, would lead the Fed to ease its monetary policy stance.

The Fed’s message on Wednesday sent the 10-year Treasury yield to as low as 1.974% before ending the day around 2.02%. The yield stood at 2.8% in January.

“The FOMC reinforced the market’s conviction,” said Steve Blitz, chief U.S. economist at TS Lombard, in a note. “Barring a dramatic turnaround in the data, the next move is a cut – perhaps even a 50bp reduction.”

The dollar also took a hit against other major currencies. The dollar index dropped 0.5% to 96.65, led by a 0.6% slide in the euro. The yen and Canadian dollar also rose against the U.S. currency.

Energy shares got a boost from higher oil prices. The Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund (XLE) climbed 2.2% as shares of Exxon Mobil gained 1.7%. Oil prices surged 5.4% after a U.S. official said a drone was shot down over Iranian airspace.

Meanwhile, Slack shares surged more than 40% in their first day of trading. The stock closed above $38 after setting a reference price of $26.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/20/stock-market-dow-futures-higher-after-fed-raises-rate-cut-hopes.html

Federal Open Market Committee

About the FOMC

Recent FOMC press conference

June 19, 2019

FOMC Transcripts and other historical materials

The term “monetary policy” refers to the actions undertaken by a central bank, such as the Federal Reserve, to influence the availability and cost of money and credit to help promote national economic goals. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 gave the Federal Reserve responsibility for setting monetary policy.

The Federal Reserve controls the three tools of monetary policy–open market operationsthe discount rate, and reserve requirements. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is responsible for the discount rate and reserve requirements, and the Federal Open Market Committee is responsible for open market operations. Using the three tools, the Federal Reserve influences the demand for, and supply of, balances that depository institutions hold at Federal Reserve Banks and in this way alters the federal funds rate. The federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions lend balances at the Federal Reserve to other depository institutions overnight.

Changes in the federal funds rate trigger a chain of events that affect other short-term interest rates, foreign exchange rates, long-term interest rates, the amount of money and credit, and, ultimately, a range of economic variables, including employment, output, and prices of goods and services.

Structure of the FOMC

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) consists of twelve members–the seven members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; and four of the remaining eleven Reserve Bank presidents, who serve one-year terms on a rotating basis. The rotating seats are filled from the following four groups of Banks, one Bank president from each group: Boston, Philadelphia, and Richmond; Cleveland and Chicago; Atlanta, St. Louis, and Dallas; and Minneapolis, Kansas City, and San Francisco. Nonvoting Reserve Bank presidents attend the meetings of the Committee, participate in the discussions, and contribute to the Committee’s assessment of the economy and policy options.

The FOMC holds eight regularly scheduled meetings per year. At these meetings, the Committee reviews economic and financial conditions, determines the appropriate stance of monetary policy, and assesses the risks to its long-run goals of price stability and sustainable economic growth.

For more detail on the FOMC and monetary policy, see section 2 of the brochure on the structure of the Federal Reserve Systemand chapter 2 of Purposes & Functions of the Federal Reserve System. FOMC Rules and Authorizations are also available online.

2019 Committee Members

Alternate Members

Federal Reserve Bank Rotation on the FOMC

Committee membership changes at the first regularly scheduled meeting of the year.

2020 2021 2022
Members New York
Cleveland
Philadelphia
Dallas
Minneapolis
New York
Chicago
Richmond
Atlanta
San Francisco
New York
Cleveland
Boston
St. Louis
Kansas City
Alternate
Members
New York
Chicago
Richmond
Atlanta
San Francisco
New York
Cleveland
Boston
St. Louis
Kansas City
New York
Chicago
Philadelphia
Dallas
Minneapolis

 †For the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the First Vice President is the alternate for the President. Return to table

For additional information, please use the FOMC FOIA request form.

https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/fomc.htm

 

Fed holds rates steady, but opens the door for a rate cut in the future

The action sets up a possible confrontation between Fed Chairman Jerome Powell and President Donald Trump, who has been pressuring the Fed to cut rates. Just Tuesday, Trump said “let’s see what he does” at the Fed meeting when asked if he still wants to demote Powell.

At the post-statement news conference, Powell was asked about his future as chairman. “I think the law is clear that I have a four year term, and I fully intend to serve it,” he said.

The strong majority for this month’s decision contrasted with a sharp difference of opinion on what happens next.

The committee provided an important nod to those worried about slower growth: It dropped the word “patient” in  describing its approach to policy. The characterization was a key part of the Fed “pivot” earlier this year that signaled to the market a more dovish approach to rates.

“The Fed didn’t surprise investors with the decision to maintain rates, but the split vote tells us that a cut is on the way and it’s increasingly likely that will be in July, as bond markets have been hoping,” said Neil Birrell, chief investment officer at Premier Asset Management.

“This was probably the compromise decision — it wasn’t shocking and should offer some reassurance,” Steve Rick, chief economist at CUNA Mutual Group, said in a note. “The FOMC will still want to closely monitor the stress fractures from the bond market, middling housing and auto sales numbers, and an increasingly uncertain global economic landscape in the coming months.”

The statement also changed wording to concede that inflation is “running below” the Fed’s 2% objective. In their forecast for headline inflation this year, officials slashed the estimate to 1.5% from March’s 1.8%. Core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, is likely now to be 1.8% from March’s 2%, according to the quarterly summary of economic projections also released Wednesday.

‘In light of these uncertainties’

The committee changed language from its May statement to indicate that economic activity is “rising at a moderate rate,” a downgrade from “solid.”

In their baseline scenario, FOMC members said they still expect “sustained expansion of economic activity” and a move toward 2% inflation, but realize that “uncertainties about this outlook have increased.”

“In light of these uncertainties and muted inflation pressures, the Committee will closely monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion, with a strong labor market and inflation near its symmetric 2 percent objective,” the statement said. The “act as appropriate to sustain the expansion” language mirrors a statement from Powell in early June.

Very reasonable to think Fed will cut rates twice this year: Strategist

The committee characterized the labor market as “strong” with “solid” jobs growth, despite May’s disappointing nonfarm payrolls growth of 75,000. The statement further said that household spending “appears to have picked up from earlier in the year.”

The changes came amid what appeared to be little consensus among the committee about where rates go next.

Divided Fed

According to the “dot plot” of individual members’ expectations, eight members favor one cut this year while the same number voted in favor of the status quo and one still wants a rate hike. Bullard and Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari have led the public discussion about the potential for rate cuts, while other members have been less firm.

Into 2020, the Fed consensus was a bit stronger, with nine members wanting a cut to a funds rate around 2.1%. The direction changes, though, in 2021, with indications of an increase of about a quarter-point, culminating in an expected long-run value of 2.5%. The funds rate most recently was trading at 2.37%.

Traders in the thin and volatile funds market had been pricing in a 26% chance of a cut at this week’s meeting. Later in the year, though, the probability for a July easing rose to 82.5% and the chances of a second cut in December were most recently at 60.4%. The market expects a third cut to come around March of 2020.

While the statement language offered some significant changes, estimates in the summary of economic projections, other than inflation, moved little from March. GDP growth is still expected to be 2.1% for the year – it was 3.1% in the first quarter, and the Atlanta Fed is forecasting a 2% gain in the second quarter. The unemployment rate is now expected to hold at a 50-year low of 3.6%, against the March forecast of 3.7%.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/19/fed-decision-fed-leaves-rates-unchanged.html

10-year Treasury yield drops below 2% for first time since November 2016

Federal funds rate

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

2 to 10 year treasury yield spread

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

Quarterly gross domestic product compared to Federal Funds Rate.

Federal Funds Rate and Treasury interest rates from 2002-2019

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

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

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

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

Contents

Mechanism

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

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

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

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

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

Applications

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

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

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

Comparison with LIBOR

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

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

Predictions by the market

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

Historical rates

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

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

Federal funds rate history and recessions.png

Explanation of federal funds rate decisions

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

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

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

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

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

International effects

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

See also

References

  1. ^ “Fedpoints: Federal Funds”Federal Reserve Bank of New York. August 2007. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  2. ^ “The Implementation of Monetary Policy”. The Federal Reserve System: Purposes & Functions(PDF). Washington, D.C.: Federal Reserve Board. August 24, 2011. p. 4. Retrieved October 2, 2011.
  3. ^ “Monetary Policy, Open Market Operations”. Federal Reserve Bank. January 30, 2008. Archived from the original on April 13, 2001. Retrieved January 30, 2008.
  4. ^ “Reserve Requirements”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 16, 2015.
  5. ^ Stefan Homburg (2017) A Study in Monetary Macroeconomics, Oxford University Press, ISBN978-0-19-880753-7.
  6. ^ “Fed funds rate”. Bankrate, Inc. March 2016.
  7. ^ Cheryl L. Edwards (November 1997). Gerard Sinzdak. “Open Market Operations in the 1990s”(PDF)Federal Reserve Bulletin (PDF).
  8. ^ “BBA LIBOR – Frequently asked questions”. British Bankers’ Association. March 21, 2006. Archived from the original on February 16, 2007.
  9. Jump up to:ab “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement” (Press release). Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. December 19, 2018. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
  10. ^ Tankersley, Jim (March 21, 2018). “Fed Raises Interest Rates for Sixth Time Since Financial Crisis”The New York Times. Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  11. ^ “4:56 p.m. US-Closing Stocks”. Associated Press. December 16, 2008. Archived from the original on July 18, 2012.
  12. ^ David Waring (February 19, 2008). “An Explanation of How The Fed Moves Interest Rates”. InformedTrades.com. Archived from the original on May 5, 2015. Retrieved July 20, 2009.
  13. ^ “Historical Changes of the Target Federal Funds and Discount Rates, 1971 to present”. New York Federal Reserve Branch. February 19, 2010. Archived from the original on December 21, 2008.
  14. ^ “$SPX 1990-06-12 1992-10-04 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  15. ^ “$SPX 1992-08-04 1995-03-01 (rate rise chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  16. ^ “$SPX 1995-01-01 1997-01-01 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  17. ^ “$SPX 1996-12-01 1998-10-17 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  18. ^ “$SPX 1998-09-17 2000-06-16 (rate rise chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  19. ^ “$SPX 2000-04-16 2002-01-01 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  20. ^ “$SPX 2002-01-01 2003-07-25 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  21. ^ “$SPX 2003-06-25 2006-06-29 (rate rise chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  22. ^ “$SPX 2006-06-29 2008-06-01 (rate drop chart)”. StockCharts.com.
  23. ^ “Press Release”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 16, 2008.
  24. ^ “Open Market Operations”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 16, 2015.
  25. ^ “Decisions Regarding Monetary Policy Implementation”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. Archived from the original on December 15, 2016.
  26. ^ Cox, Jeff (March 15, 2017). “Fed raises rates at March meeting”CNBC. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  27. ^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. June 14, 2017.
  28. ^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 13, 2017.
  29. ^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. March 21, 2018.
  30. ^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. June 13, 2018.
  31. ^ “Federal Reserve issues FOMC statement”. Board of Governors of The Federal Reserve System. December 19, 2018.
  32. ^ Shaw, Richard (January 7, 2007). “The Bond Yield Curve as an Economic Crystal Ball”. Retrieved April 3, 2011.
  33. ^ Peter S. Goodman, Keith Bradsher and Neil Gough (March 16, 2017). “The Fed Acts. Workers in Mexico and Merchants in Malaysia Suffer”The New York Times. Retrieved March 18,2017Rising interest rates in the United States are driving money out of many developing countries, straining governments and pinching consumers around the globe.

External links

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

The Impact of an Inverted Yield Curve

The term yield curve refers to the relationship between the short- and long-term interest rates of fixed-income securities issued by the U.S. Treasury. An inverted yield curve occurs when short-term interest rates exceed long-term rates.

From an economic perspective, an inverted yield curve is a noteworthy event. Below, we explain this rare phenomenon, discuss its impact on consumers and investors, and tell you how to adjust your portfolio to account for it.

Interest Rates and Yield Curves

Typically, short-term interest rates are lower than long-term rates, so the yield curve slopes upwards, reflecting higher yields for longer-term investments. This is referred to as a normal yield curve. When the spread between short-term and long-term interest rates narrows, the yield curve begins to flatten. A flat yield curve is often seen during the transition from a normal yield curve to an inverted one.

Normal Yield Curve

Figure 1 – A normal yield curve

What Does an Inverted Yield Curve Suggest?

Historically, an inverted yield curve has been viewed as an indicator of a pending economic recession. When short-term interest rates exceed long-term rates, market sentiment suggests that the long-term outlook is poor and that the yields offered by long-term fixed income will continue to fall.

More recently, this viewpoint has been called into question, as foreign purchases of securities issued by the U.S. Treasury have created a high and sustained level of demand for products backed by U.S. government debt. When investors are aggressively seeking debt instruments, the debtor can offer lower interest rates. When this occurs, many argue that it is the laws of supply and demand, rather than impending economic doom and gloom, that enable lenders to attract buyers without having to pay higher interest rates.

Inverted Yield Curve

Figure 2 – An inverted yield curve: note the inverse relationship between yield and maturity

Inverted yield curves have been relatively rare, due in large part to longer-than-average periods between recessions since the early 1990s. For example, the economic expansions that began in March 1991, November 2001 and June 2009 were three of the four longest economic expansions since World War II. During these long periods, the question often arises as to whether an inverted yield curve can happen again.

Economic cycles, regardless of their length, have historically transitioned from growth to recession and back again. Inverted yield curves are an essential element of these cycles, preceding every recession since 1956. Considering the consistency of this pattern, an inverted yield will likely form again if the current expansion fades to recession.

Upward sloping yield curves are a natural extension of the higher risks associated with long maturities. In a growing economy, investors also demand higher yields at the long end of the curve to compensate for the opportunity cost of investing in bonds versus other asset classes, and to maintain an acceptable spread over inflation rates.

As the economic cycle begins to slow, perhaps due to interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve Bank, the upward slope of the yield curve tends to flatten as short-term rates increase and longer yields stay stable or decline slightly. In this environment, investors see long-term yields as an acceptable substitute for the potential of lower returns in equities and other asset classes, which tend to increase bond prices and reduce yields.

Inverted Yield Curve Impact on Consumers

In addition to its impact on investors, an inverted yield curve also has an impact on consumers. For example, homebuyers financing their properties with adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) have interest-rate schedules that are periodically updated based on short-term interest rates. When short-term rates are higher than long-term rates, payments on ARMs tend to rise. When this occurs, fixed-rate loans may be more attractive than adjustable-rate loans.

Lines of credit are affected in a similar manner. In both cases, consumers must dedicate a larger portion of their incomes toward servicing existing debt. This reduces expendable income and has a negative effect on the economy as a whole.

The Formation of an Inverted Yield Curve

As concerns of an impending recession increase, investors tend to buy long Treasury bonds based on the premise that they offer a safe harbor from falling equities markets, provide preservation of capital and have potential for appreciation in value as interest rates decline. As a result of the rotation to long maturities, yields can fall below short-term rates, forming an inverted yield curve. Since 1956, equities have peaked six times after the start of an inversion, and the economy has fallen into recession within seven to 24 months.

As of 2017, the most recent inverted yield curve first appeared in August 2006, as the Fed raised short-term interest rates in response to overheating equity, real estate and mortgage markets. The inversion of the yield curve preceded the peak of the Standard & Poor’s 500 in October 2007 by 14 months and the official start of the recession in December 2007 by 16 months. However, a growing number of 2018 economic outlooks from investment firms are suggesting that an inverted yield curve could be on the horizon, citing the narrowing spread between short- and long-dated Treasuries.

If history is any precedent, the current business cycle will progress, and slowing in the economy may eventually become evident. If concerns of the next recession rise to the point where investors see the purchase of long-dated Treasuries as the best option for their portfolios, there is a high likelihood that the next inverted yield curve will take shape.

Inverted Yield Curve Impact on Fixed-Income Investors

A yield curve inversion has the greatest impact on fixed-income investors. In normal circumstances, long-term investments have higher yields; because investors are risking their money for longer periods of time, they are rewarded with higher payouts. An inverted curve eliminates the risk premium for long-term investments, allowing investors to get better returns with short-term investments.

When the spread between U.S. Treasuries (a risk-free investment) and higher-risk corporate alternatives is at historical lows, it is often an easy decision to invest in lower-risk vehicles. In such cases, purchasing a Treasury-backed security provides a yield similar to the yield on junk bondscorporate bondsreal estate investment trusts (REITs) and other debt instruments, but without the risk inherent in these vehicles. Money market funds and certificates of deposit (CDs) may also be attractive – particularly when a one-year CD is paying yields comparable to those on a 10-year Treasury bond.

Inverted Yield Curve Impact on Equity Investors

When the yield curve becomes inverted, profit margins fall for companies that borrow cash at short-term rates and lend at long-term rates, such as community banks. Likewise, hedge funds are often forced to take on increased risk in order to achieve their desired level of returns.

In fact, a bad bet on Russian interest rates is largely credited for the demise of Long-Term Capital Management, a well-known hedge fund run by bond trader John Meriwether.

Despite their consequences for some parties, yield-curve inversions tend to have less impact on consumer staples and healthcare companies, which are not interest-rate dependent. This relationship becomes clear when an inverted yield curve precedes a recession. When this occurs, investors tend to turn to defensive stocks, such as those in the food, oil and tobacco industries, which are often less affected by downturns in the economy.

The Bottom Line

While experts question whether or not an inverted yield curve remains a strong indicator of pending economic recession, keep in mind that history is littered with portfolios that were devastated when investors blindly followed predictions about how “it’s different this time.” Most recently, shortsighted equity investors spouting this mantra participated in the “tech wreck,” snapping up shares in tech companies at inflated prices even though these firms had no hope of ever making a profit.

If you want to be a smart investor, ignore the noise. Instead of spending time and effort trying to figure out what the future will bring, construct your portfolio based on long-term thinking and long-term convictions – not short-term market movements.

For your short-term income needs, do the obvious: choose the investment with the highest yield, but keep in mind that inversions are an anomaly and they don’t last forever. When the inversion ends, adjust your portfolio accordingly.

Story 3: Creepy, Sleepy, Dopey, Joey Biden in Praise of Civility of Democrat Segregationist Senators Eastland (Mississippi) and Talmadge (Georgia) Who Got Things Done — Radical Extremist Democrats (REDS) Attack Biden — Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers and Big Lie Media Playing Identity Politics and Divide and Conquer — Videos —

Biden’s ties to segregationist senator spark campaign tension

Biden’s ties to segregationist senator spark campaign tension

SUSAN WALSH / AP

Joe Biden was a freshman senator, the youngest member of the august body, when he reached out to an older colleague for help on one of his early legislative proposals: The courts were ordering racially segregated school districts to bus children to create more integrated classrooms, a practice Biden opposed and wanted to change.

“I want you to know that I very much appreciate your help during this week’s Committee meeting in attemptingto bring my antibusing legislation to a vote,” Biden wrote on June 30, 1977.

The recipient of Biden’s entreaty was Sen. James Eastland, at the time a well-known segregationist who had called blacks “an inferior race” and once vowed to prevent blacks and whites from eating together in Washington. The exchange, revealed in a series of letters, offers a new glimpse into an old relationship that erupted this week as a major controversy for Biden’s presidential campaign.Biden on Wednesday night described his relationship with Eastland as one he “had to put up with.” He said of his relationships with Eastland and another staunch segregationist and southern Democrat, Sen. Herman Talmadge of Georgia, that “the fact of the matter is that we were able to do it because we were able to win — we were able to beat them on everything they stood for.”

But the letters show a different type of relationship, one in which they were aligned on a legislative issue. Biden said at the time that he did not think that busing was the best way to integrate schools in Delaware and that systemic racism should be dealt with by investing in schools and improving housing policies.

The letters were provided Thursday to the Washington Post by the University of Mississippi, which houses Eastland’s archived papers. They were reported in April by CNN.

Biden’s campaign late Thursday issued a statement saying that “the insinuation that Joe Biden shared the same views as Eastland on segregation is a lie.”

“Plain and simple. Joe Biden has dedicated his career to fighting for civil rights,” the statement said.

The controversy over Biden’s comments this week have continued to reverberate at a crucial time in the campaign, with matters of race dominating the political discussion ahead of several prominent gatherings, including the first presidential debate next week and a multicandidate event before black voters in South Carolina on Friday. It has emerged as a complex political problem for Biden, who has been trying to campaign as a civil rights champion while explaining past views that are out of step with today’s Democratic base.

Biden’s Wednesday remarks sparked one of the sharpest intra-Democrat exchanges of the campaign, when Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, one of his black 2020 rivals, criticized both Biden’s work with segregationists and the language that he used in describing it.

On Wednesday, Biden called Booker. Biden’s campaign also distributed talking points to supporters, emphasizing that Eastland and Talmadge “were people who he fundamentally disagreed with on the issue of civil rights.”

Late Thursday, the former vice president met with a small group that included black members of Congress, one of the participants said.

Divisions also emerged in Biden’s campaign over how he should handle such situations. Aides alternately argued that he simply misspoke in telling the anecdote, that he shouldn’t be telling it at all or that his remarks demonstrate his ability to work with those with whom he disagrees and the words were being purposefully twisted for political gain.

The letters show that Biden’s courtship of Eastland started in 1972, before he had taken office, and that he wrote to the older senator listing his top six committee assignment requests, with Foreign Relations and Judiciary at the top. A few weeks later, Biden thanked Eastland, writing that he was “flattered and grateful” for his help. He also referred to the December 1972 car crash that killed his wife and daughter and injured his two sons.

“Despite my preoccupation with family matters at this time, I intend to place the highest priority on attending to my committee responsibilities,” Biden wrote.

Biden supporters have repeatedly pointed to his efforts on civil rights issues to cast him as a champion of equality. Not only did he share an eight-year partnership with the first black president, he also worked alongside black leaders throughout his career on extending the Voting Rights Act, amending the Fair Housing Act and creating the holiday honoring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.et in the debate over the merits of busing as a solution to greater integration, Biden’s avowed stance against it put him at odds with some civil rights leaders.

 

 

It was in that context that he courted the support of Eastland — at the time the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee — as well as other senators.

In one letter, on March 2, 1977, Biden outlined legislation he was filing to restrict busing practices.

“My bill strikes at the heart of the injustice of court ordered busing,” he wrote to Eastland. “It prohibits the federal courts from disrupting our educational system in the name of the constitution where there is no evidence that the governmental officials intended to discriminate.”

“I believe there is growing sentiment in the Congress to curb unnecessary busing,” he added. The Senate two years earlier had passed a Biden amendment that prohibited the federal Department of Health, Education and Welfare from ordering busing to achieve school integration.

 

“That was the first time the U.S. Senate took a firm stand in opposition to busing,” Biden wrote. “The Supreme Court seems to have recognized that busing simply cannot be justified in cases where state and local officials intended no discrimination.”

In later letters to Eastland, Biden continued pushing his legislation.

“I want you to know that I very much appreciate your help during this week’s Committee meeting in attempting to bring my antibusing legislation to a vote,” Biden wrote on June 30, 1977.

The next year, he continued to push for antibusing legislation and again wrote to Eastland.

“Since your support was essential to having our bill reported out by the Judiciary Committee, I want to personally ask your continued support and alert you to our intentions,” Biden wrote on Aug 22, 1978. “Your participation in floor debate would be welcomed.”

After Biden’s remarks at the Wednesday night fund-raiser, advisers played down his comments about Eastland as a garbled rendition of a familiar Biden anecdote. In particular, they sought to excuse Biden for saying that Eastland didn’t refer to him as “boy” — an insult leveled at black men — but as “son.”

“He just misspoke,” said one Biden adviser. “The way Biden usually tells the story, he says Eastland didn’t call him ‘senator,’ he called him ‘son,’ ” the adviser said. “Eastland called him ‘boy’ and ‘son’ also. This was Eastland’s way of diminishing young senators.”

In the campaign statement Thursday, Biden’s national press secretary, Jamal Brown, said Biden’s “strong support for equal housing, equal education and equal job opportunities were clear to all Delawareans in the 1970s.”

Biden sought to ensure that black students received “the resources necessary to deliver the quality education they deserved,” he said.

Brown added that throughout his public life, Biden “fought the institutional problems that created de facto segregated school systems and neighborhoods in the first place: redlining, school lines drawn to keep races and classes separate and housing patterns and discrimination.”

Almost the entire Democratic field is set to attend a fish fry Friday night hosted by House Majority Whip James Clyburn, a leading black figure in the state and one who has remained supportive of Biden.

It would be the first public appearance Biden is making with the same Democratic presidential hopefuls who have heaped criticism on him for the comment.

In demanding an apology, Booker said Wednesday that Biden’s “relationships with proud segregationists are not the model for how we make America a safer and more inclusive place for black people, and for everyone.”

Asked about Booker’s remarks by reporters, Biden declined to offer an apology and instead demanded one from Booker. The two men later spoke privately.

“Cory shared directly what he said publicly — including helping Vice President Biden understand why the word ‘boy’ is painful to so many,” said Sabrina Singh, a Booker campaign spokeswoman. “Cory believes that Vice President Biden should take responsibility for what he said and apologize to those who were hurt.”

Biden’s campaign would not elaborate on the call, but it is clear the topic could linger over the coming days.

Biden has scheduled a sit-down interview with MSNBC, his campaign has been sending out talking points to surrogates, and some black supporters are eager to hear the former vice president offer a fuller explanation.

“I think he’s got to address it head on and show people what his line of thinking was,” said Antjuan Seawright, a Democratic strategist in South Carolina who is close with Biden’s team. “I don’t think they need to get off course with their strategy. I just think they have to address it as it comes up and move on.”

Other Biden supporters, however, think he’s taking just the right approach and standing by his long-held beliefs.

I encouraged campaign staff that I know to say: ‘Don’t back off on this. This is precisely why you’re the right guy in the right place at the right time.’ And I was glad to see that he didn’t,” said Dave O’Brien, a longtime Biden supporter in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

“You know that some of the other issues, he’s got to evolve with the times, which he has,” O’Brien added. “But there are points where you need to make a stand, so I was very glad to see him not back off on this issue.”

https://www.inquirer.com/politics/nation/joe-biden-james-eastland-segregation-democratic-primary-20190621.htmlPosted: June 20, 2019 – 10:59 PM

Biden not apologizing for remarks on segregationist senators

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Democratic presidential candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, speaks at the Poor People’s Moral Action Congress presidential forum in Washington, Monday, June 17, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Joe Biden refused calls to apologize Wednesday for saying that the Senate “got things done” with “civility” even when the body included segregationists with whom he disagreed.

His rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination, including the two major black candidates in the contest, roundly criticized Biden’s comments. But Biden didn’t back down and was particularly defiant in the face of criticism from New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, who said the former vice president should apologize for his remarks.

Biden countered that it was Booker who should apologize because the senator “should know better” than to question his commitment to civil rights.

“There’s not a racist bone in my body,” Biden said. “I’ve been involved in civil rights my whole career.”

Speaking on CNN, Booker responded: “I was raised to speak truth to power and that I shall never apologize for doing that. And Vice President Biden shouldn’t need this lesson.”

The firestorm is quickly becoming one of the most intense disputes of the Democratic presidential primary, underscoring the hazards for Biden as he tries to turn his decades of Washington experience into an advantage. Instead, he’s infuriating Democrats who say he’s out of step with the diverse party of the 21st century and potentially undermining his argument that he’s the most electable candidate in the race.

The controversy began at a New York fundraiser Tuesday when Biden pointed to long-dead segregationist senators James Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia to argue that Washington functioned more smoothly a generation ago than under today’s “broken” hyperpartisanship.

“We didn’t agree on much of anything,” Biden said of the two men, who were prominent senators when Biden was elected in 1972. Biden described Talmadge as “one of the meanest guys I ever knew” and said Eastland called him “son,” though not “boy,” a reference to the racist way many whites addressed black men at the time.

Yet even in that Senate, Biden said, “At least there was some civility. We got things done.”

A pile on from Biden’s rivals quickly ensued. Booker said he was disappointed by Biden’s remarks.

“I have to tell Vice President Biden, as someone I respect, that he is wrong for using his relationships with Eastland and Talmadge as examples of how to bring our country together,” said Booker, who is African American.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a fellow Democratic presidential candidate and a white man who is married to a black woman, tweeted: “It’s 2019 & @JoeBiden is longing for the good old days of ‘civility’ typified by James Eastland. Eastland thought my multiracial family should be illegal.”

California Sen. Kamala Harris, a black presidential candidate, said Biden was “coddling” segregationists in a way that “suggests to me that he doesn’t understand … the dark history of our country” — a characterization Biden’s campaign rejects.

Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, another 2020 candidate, said, “For the vice president to somehow say that what we’re seeing in this country today is a function of partisanship or a lack of bipartisanship completely ignores the legacy of slavery and the active suppression of African Americans and communities of color right now.”

The tumult comes at a crucial point in the campaign. Biden is still recovering from controversy he sparked earlier this month when he angered many Democrats by saying he didn’t support federal taxpayer money supporting abortion. He later reversed his position.

He’s among the more than 20 candidates who will descend on South Carolina this weekend to make their case to black voters at a series of Democratic events.

Meanwhile, most Democratic White House hopefuls will again gather in Miami next week for the first presidential debate of the primary season. Biden will almost certainly come under fire there for his comments this week.

He sought to defuse the tension on Wednesday by saying he was trying to argue that leaders sometimes have to work with people they disagree with to achieve goals, such as renewing the Voting Rights Act.

“The point I’m making is you don’t have to agree. You don’t have to like the people in terms of their views,” he said Wednesday. “But you just simply make the case and you beat them without changing the system.”

He has received support from some black leaders. Cedric Richmond, Biden’s campaign co-chairman and former Congressional Black Caucus chairman, said Biden’s opponents deliberately ignored the full context of his argument for a more functional government.

“Maybe there’s a better way to say it, but we have to work with people, and that’s a fact,” Richmond said, noting he dealt recently with President Donald Trump to pass a long-sought criminal justice overhaul. “I question (Trump’s) racial sensitivity, a whole bunch of things about his character … but we worked together.”

Likewise, Richmond said, Biden mentioned Jim Crow-era senators to emphasize the depths of disagreements elected officials sometimes navigate. “If he gets elected president, we don’t have 60 votes in the Senate” to overcome filibusters, Richmond noted. “He could be less genuine and say, ‘We’re just going to do all these things.’ But we already have a president like that. (Biden) knows we have to build consensus.”

Biden also drew a qualified defense from Republican Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only black senator from his party. Scott said that Biden “should have used a different group of senators” to make his point but that his remarks “have nothing to do with his position on race” issues. Scott said the reaction reflects an intense environment for Democrats in which the desire to defeat Trump means “anything the front-runner says that is off by a little bit” will be magnified.

https://apnews.com/5b57473cfcda44e4b35c8a40759a26fc

The gloves come off in the Democratic primary

This was the week that the battle for the nomination got real.

The tenor of the Democratic presidential primary has verged on courteous from the start: To the extent that Democrats went after Joe Biden, it was usually not by name. And Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren kept their rivalry decidedly civil.

This week, with the first debates of the election season days away, the gentility came to an end.

Biden’s remarks at a New York fundraiser that “at least there was some civility” when he worked with segregationists in the Senate unleashed a torrent of criticism from his rivals and the left. And a story in POLITICO about centrists coming around to Warren as an “anybody but Bernie” alternative set off Sanders and his allies.

“We knew the primary wouldn’t be all puppies and rainbows forever,” said Ben LaBolt, a former adviser to Barack Obama. “And as the debates approach you can see a new dynamic emerging.”

The reaction from Biden’s rivals to his comments was fierce.

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, whose wife is African American, noted that one of the segregationists Biden invoked, James Eastland of Mississippi, would have outlawed his marriage. Sen. Cory Booker, who is black, took offense that Biden seemed to make light of Eastland calling him “son” but not “boy.”

“You don’t joke about calling black men ‘boys’,” Booker said.

Booker called on Biden to apologize but Biden took a different path. Outside a fundraiser Wednesday night, a defiant Biden said he had nothing to be sorry for and that it’s Booker who should apologize for questioning someone without “a racist bone in my body.”

“He knows better,” Biden said.

The crossfire marked some of the most direct and intense exchanges so far of the 2020 primary campaign. And it signals that with less than a week until the first televised debate, the field is done tiptoeing around.

“Running for president is no tea party. It’s a battle. And it is customary for candidates to begin to engage at this stage. The polite preliminaries are over,” said Democratic strategist and former Obama hand David Axelrod. “And since there is generally broad agreement on issues, if not solutions, the disputes necessarily turn on other things.”

In a separate episode, Sanders dispatched a tweet that was viewed as a sideswipe of Warren.

“The cat is out of the bag. The corporate wing of the Democratic Party is publicly ‘anybody but Bernie,’” Sanders wrote on Twitter, sharing a POLITICO storyheadlined: “Warren emerges as potential compromise nominee.”

Sanders faced his own backlash over the remark.

“If we had a multi-party parliament, it’d be pretty normal for Sanders and Warren to campaign against each other for leadership in a Social Democratic Party. That said, I still find this move pretty dissapointing [sic] and unnecessary. Draw contrasts if you want, but not like this,” tweeted Waleed Shadid, communications director of the progressive group Justice Democrats.

Shadid later noted that Sanders on CNN said his remark was targeted at the moderate think tank Third Way, and not Warren.

Still, the escalating tensions come as Warren is gaining on Sanders in polls. She leapfrogged him in recent surveys in Nevada and California. And a Monmouth University poll released Wednesday showed Warren and Sanders virtually tied for second, with Warren, at 15 percent, gaining five points in one month. Biden still led the field at 32 percent.

“Biden’s numbers have held up higher than expected and a number of challengers are going after his gaffes more aggressively than before,” LaBolt said. “Warren has begun eating into Bernie’s numbers and he is trying to fend her off.”

Still, one Democratic veteran of the 2016 campaign, ex-Sanders adviser Mark Longabaugh, said the current tangles are nothing like what he experienced in that campaign. There’s plenty of time for it to get there, but it hasn’t happened yet.

“I don’t know if the gloves are off. I think the gloves may be getting a little loose — pulling out the fingertips to take the gloves off.” Longabaugh said. “Having been through the 2015-16 experience, I gotta tell ya, that was much more combative than anything you’ve seen in this race — not anything close.”

Not far from anyone’s mind are the first debates in Miami on Wednesday and Thursday next week.

“While this type of engagement is expected,” LaBolt said, “candidates should be careful not to cross any lines that could significantly damage potential nominees for the general.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2019/06/20/2020-election-democratic-primary-1373202

 

 

Part 2– Story 4: President Trump Pushes All The Right Buttons in 2020 Stump Speech in Orlando, Florida –Send Them Home — Lock Them Up — Four More Years — Videos

TRUMP 2020: President Trump Re-Election Campaign Rally – FULL SPEECH

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With Florida rally, Trump aims for a 2020 campaign ‘reset’

Trump to launch 2020 re-election bid in Florida

Orlando preps for huge crowds for Trump rally

Crowds grow for Trump rally in Orlando

People are lining up for President Trump’s event on Tuesday

THE PRESIDENT IS BACK: President Trump Returns From MASSIVE Orlando Rally

The Memo: Can Trump run as an outsider?

President Trump is running for reelection as an outsider candidate. But it’s a knotty challenge for someone who holds the world’s most powerful office.

Trump’s speech in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday, which officially launched his 2020 bid, was rife with rhetoric portraying himself — and by extension his supporters — as victims of nefarious elites.

The president said that he and his allies were besieged by a “permanent political class” and “an unholy alliance of lobbyists and donors and special interests.”

“Our patriotic movement has been under assault from the very first day,” Trump insisted at one point. Moments before, he told the crowd, “the swamp is fighting back so viciously and violently.”

It’s the kind of language that makes Democrats roll their eyes. Trump, they note, is a billionaire property developer, born into wealth, who won the presidency on his first attempt — yet he portrays himself as the tribune of “the forgotten men and women of our country” whom he invoked in his January 2017 inaugural address.

But Trump’s unconventionality might, in itself, help him retain some kind of outsider cachet in a way that is unusual for an incumbent president.

“For any other president, yes, it is a challenge,” said Alex Conant, a Republican strategist who worked for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) in the 2016 presidential primaries.

“But Trump is unlike any other president. Trump has been at war with the establishment since the moment he set foot in the White House,” he said.

It is certainly true that Trump was viewed with suspicion by the Republican Party from the time he began his presidential run — and that his language and attitudes are viewed with distaste by much of the Beltway political class.

But dislike for Trump’s personal antics is hardly confined to D.C. elites.

A Pew Research Center poll in March showed pluralities of the public believing that he was not “trustworthy,” “even-tempered” or “well-informed.”

For all Trump’s supposed concern with less affluent Americans, 56 percent of the respondents in the Pew poll said they did not believe he cared about “people like me,” whereas just 40 percent said he did care.

The GOP has largely made peace with him, with former rivals including Sens. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) and Rand Paul (Ky.) becoming enthusiastic supporters, congressional dissenters such as former Rep. Mark Sanford(R-S.C.) having been defeated in primaries and Trump now in firm control of the party apparatus.

Skeptics also point to both policies and personnel — from the steep cut in the corporate tax rate in 2017 to the 16-month run of the ethically challenged Scott Pruitt as head of the Environmental Protection Agency — as evidence that the swamp has remained undrained under Trump.

But Trump allies are insistent that the president’s feel for the cultural mores of blue-collar America remains a potent and underrated political weapon.

“He is certainly an outsider to the political establishment. They still don’t get him and he is not coming around to their way of thinking,” said Barry Bennett, who worked as a senior adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign. “He may live inside the gates but he does not live inside the establishment. … I don’t know anyone who believes he has become some kind of Georgetown socialite.”

Michael Caputo, a longtime Trump friend, insisted, “I have never ever met anyone, any Trump supporter, who believes anything else besides the fact that he’s an outsider.”

There is clearly a political dividend to be gained if Trump can hold onto his outsider image.

In the recent past, voters in presidential elections have often chosen the candidate seen as less steeped in the ways of Washington.

Former President Obama won election twice as a change agent, initially winning the White House as the first black president and then securing a second term over GOP nominee Mitt Romney, the personification of a genteel Republican establishment.

Former President George W. Bush had only a tenuous claim to outsider status, given he was the son of a president — yet his campaign was able to paint then-Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) as a creature of Washington in the 2004 presidential election.

Before that, former President Clinton used his down-home Arkansas image as a weapon against an incumbent president, Bush’s father, George H.W Bush, and then won a second term over another GOP establishment favorite, then-Sen. Bob Dole (Kan.).

Independent observers acknowledge that Trump’s style, divisive though it is, could help him be seen as much more of a disruptor even than these recent predecessors.

“It’s almost impossible for an incumbent to run as an outsider, but Trump has held onto that credential,” said Tobe Berkovitz, a Boston University professor who specializes in political communications. “He is parlaying that into how he sees himself — running against the Democrats, the media, the elites.”

Republicans, meanwhile, argue that Trump’s outsider image could be especially useful if Democrats pick former Vice President Joe Biden as their nominee.

Biden, in their telling, is much easier to brand as a creature of Washington given his decades in the Senate. There will be a different challenge if Democrats instead choose one of Biden’s rivals who is a fresher face on the national political scene, such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) or Sen Kamala Harris (D-Calif.); or more radical, such as Sen. Bernie Sanders(I-Vt.).

Trump, billionaire Manhattanite though he may be, has long used the idea that he is sneered at by a snobbish elite to his own advantage.

On Tuesday, he told his supporters that Democrats “want to destroy you.”

It was a stark and visceral remark even by Trump’s standards.

But, after his 2016 victory, even his critics can’t be so sure it won’t work.

https://thehill.com/homenews/the-memo/449436-the-memo-can-trump-run-as-an-outsider

A Second Term for What?

Trump can’t win by relitigating 2016 and playing only to his base.

President Donald Trump looks on during a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida to officially launch his 2020 campaign on June 18.PHOTO: MANDEL NGAN/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

President Trump announced his campaign for a second term at a rally in Orlando on Tuesday evening that recounted his first-term record and 2016 victory before thousands of rapturous supporters. The only thing missing was an agenda for 2020.

The most striking fact of his speech was how backward looking it was. Every incumbent needs to remind voters of his record, Mr. Trump more than most because the media are so hostile.

Donald Trump Launches Campaign

The President is also right that his opponents have refused to recognize the legitimacy of his election. House Democrats may still try to impeach him for not obstructing an investigation into what wasn’t a conspiracy with Russia. His sense of “grievance,” to quote the media meme about his speech, on that point is entirely justified.

Yet Mr. Trump is asking for four more years, and his preoccupation with vindicating 2016 won’t resonate much beyond his core supporters. Most voters have moved on from 2016, which is why a majority opposes impeachment in every poll. They don’t much care about Mr. Trump’s greatest hits about Hillary Clinton, who alas for the President will not be on the ballot in 2020. They want to know why they should take a risk on Mr. Trump and his volatile character for another term.

This is all the more important given the way his first term has evolved on policy. One paradox is that his main policy successes have come from pursuing a conventional conservative agenda. The failures have been on the issues like trade and immigration that are the most identified with Trumpian disruption.

The economy’s renewed growth spurt came from tax reform, deregulation, liberating energy production and ending the anti-business harassment of the Obama years. His remaking of the judiciary and rebuilding of the military unite Republicans of all stripes. Criminal justice reform was the result of years of spade work on the right and left.

Mr. Trump deserves credit for pursuing all of this despite often ferocious opposition that might have intimidated a different GOP President. That’s true in particular of his withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the Paris climate accord, where U.S. Democratic and media opinion is aligned with Europe’s elites.

On immigration, however, the President missed a chance to strike a deal trading more border security (including his wall) for legalizing Dreamers. He must now confront the asylum crisis at the border with no help from Democrats. On trade, Mr. Trump has disrupted global rules but has put nothing new and stable in their place. Asking voters to believe he’ll do better on these issues in a second term isn’t likely to turn many swing voters his way.

The other paradox of the Trump Presidency is his low approval rating despite a stronger economy. The polls show his approval rating on the economy is above 50% but his overall approval is 44.3% in the Real Clear Politics average. The difference is best explained by Mr. Trump’s polarizing behavior, which has alienated in particular college-educated voters and Republican women. In the latest Wall Street Journal-NBC poll, Mr. Trump is underwater with white college-educated women by a remarkable 20 percentage points.

Mr. Trump may figure he can persuade some of those skeptics by making the Democratic nominee even more unpopular than he is. If the Democrats oblige by nominating Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren, that might be possible. But that is making a bet on the other party’s mistake, and a re-election campaign is typically a referendum on the incumbent.

Which is all the more reason to offer voters something more for a second term. He could put Democrats on the spot for high housing prices and homelessness by talking about restrictive zoning for elites and high property taxes. He could offer to reform higher education by making schools responsible for some of the debt of students who can’t repay loans, or invigorate vocational education to help young people who can’t go to college.

He could package health-care proposals to expand choice, reduce prices and make insurance portable; his administration has already proposed some of them. He could advance his theme of “draining the swamp” by offering ideas to reform the civil service. We’d include entitlement reform, but then Mr. Trump has shown no interest and we don’t believe in political miracles.

This is far from an exhaustive list, and Mr. Trump won’t win as a policy wonk in any case. But Mr. Trump also won’t win by relitigating the 2016 election or playing only to his political base. He needs more than he offered voters on Tuesday night.

Opinion: Countering Trump With Reliability, Not Bold Agenda

Opinion: Countering Trump With Reliability, Not Bold Agenda
A Fox News poll has found that Democrats prefer a “steady” candidate to a “big agenda” candidate. But going up against the scale of Donald Trump will be tough, so how do frontrunners Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren compare? Image: Getty

‘This election is about you. Your family, your future & the fate of YOUR country’: Trump lays it on the line at 20,000-strong Orlando rally as he kicks off 2020 re-election campaign with his entire family and obligatory digs at ‘Crooked Hillary’

  • The president spent the first half-hour of a Tuesday night rally hammering his old foe Hillary Clinton 
  • Trump said his team wondered if it should hold the rally in a venue which can hold 20,000 people
  • ‘Not only did we fill it up, but we had 120,000 requests… Congratulations!’ the president said to cheers
  • The president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, invited the criticism when she wound up an arena of supporters
  • Husband Eric, who spoke after her, had a crowd of more than 20,000 screaming, ‘CNN Sucks!’ 
  • ‘He loves this country and we, as a family, love this country. We’re going to fight like hell,’ Eric said 
  •  Donald Trump Jr. mocked Joe Biden before the rowdy crowd that waited in the heat and rain for hours
  • ‘He gets up on the stump. It’s so stupid,’ he said, claiming the ex-VP has four-person crowds 

President Trump spent a Tuesday night rally he’d advertised as a 2020 kickoff hammering his old foe Hillary Clinton for acid washing her emails and failing to deliver on her pledge to beat him, while Democrats vying for the party’s nomination now escaped his wrath.

Noting that he’s under constant media scrutiny, Trump said that he’d be sent to the slammer if he ordered aides to destroy potential evidence.

‘But, can you imagine if I got a subpoena, think of this, if I got a subpoena for emails, if I deleted one email like a love note to Melania, it’s the electric chair for Trump,’ he claimed in a campaign speech in Orlando.

Trump said subpoenas he’s receiving are not about Democratic claims that his campaign may have colluded with Russia.

‘The Democrats don’t care about Russia, they only care about their own political power. They went after my family, my business, my finances, my employees, almost everyone that I’ve ever known or worked with,’ he argued. ‘But they are really going after you. That’s what it’s all about. It’s not about us, it’s about you. They tried to erase your vote, erase your legacy of the greatest campaign and the greatest election probably in the history of our country.’

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive on stage to formally kick off his re-election bid with a campaign rally in Orlando. He kicked off first official 2020 rally by claiming 120,000 people submitted requests to attend

U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive on stage to formally kick off his re-election bid with a campaign rally in Orlando. He kicked off first official 2020 rally by claiming 120,000 people submitted requests to attend
First lady Melania Trump speaks as Trump looks on. Trump's first official campaign rally of 2020 opened much the way his 2016 candidacy ended - with his audience chanting 'Lock her Up!' in a slam on former Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton

First lady Melania Trump speaks as Trump looks on. Trump’s first official campaign rally of 2020 opened much the way his 2016 candidacy ended – with his audience chanting ‘Lock her Up!’ in a slam on former Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton

Trump's campaign turned the area outside the arena that can seat 20,000 people into a festival-like atmosphere with music and food trucks to help supporters pass the time

Trump’s campaign turned the area outside the arena that can seat 20,000 people into a festival-like atmosphere with music and food trucks to help supporters pass the time

Michael Boulos, Tiffany Trump, Lara Trump, Eric Trump, Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump, Kimberly Guilfoyle, and Donald Trump Jr. arrive at a rally for US President Donald Trump

FLOTUS Melania introduces her husband at Trump 2020 rally

The president said, ‘They wanted to deny you the future you demanded and the future that America deserved and that now America is getting. Our radical Democrat opponents are driven by hatred, prejudice and rage. They want to destroy you, and they want to destroy our country as we know it. Not acceptable, it’s not going to happen. Not gonna happen.’

Trump claimed that Democrats as a party would use the ‘power of the law to punish their opponents’ if they’re handed the reigns to the country.

‘Imagine if we had a Democrat president and a Democrat Congress in 2020. They would shut down your free speech, use the power of the law to punish their opponents – which they’re trying to do now anyway – they’ll always be trying to shield themselves,’ he claimed. ‘They will strip Americans of their Constitutional rights while flooding the country with illegal immigrants in the hopes it will expand their political base and they’ll get votes someplace down the future. That’s what it’s about.’

Broad attacks on the Democratic Party and ‘radical socialism’ were the most stringent assaults that Trump would levy all night.

He said, ‘More than 120 Democrats in Congress have also signed up to support “Crazy Bernie Sanders” socialist government takeover of health care.

‘He seems not to be doing too well lately,’ the president said as an aside. ‘They want to end Medicare as we know it and terminate the private health insurance of 180 million Americans who love their health insurance. America will never be a socialist country.’

It was his only mention at the rally of one of his most formidable opponents. Former Democratic President Joe Biden was also a footnote in the speech, earning two mentions, as a part of the ‘Obama-Biden’ duo that Trump said ruined American foreign policy and drove down the nation’s economy.

‘Remember the statement from the previous administration? Would need a magic wand to bring back manufacturing? Well, tell “Sleepy Joe” that we found the magic wand. That’s a sleepy guy,’ the president added.

Trump outlined his vision tweeting: ‘Don’t ever forget – this election is about YOU. It is about YOUR family, YOUR future, & the fate of YOUR COUNTRY. We begin our campaign with the best record, the best results, the best agenda, & the only positive VISION for our Country’s future! #Trump2020’

The Trumps said their family has been under attack since the family patriarch declared his candidacy for president in 2015. Jared Kushner, left, Ivanka Trump arrive for the official launch of the Trump 2020 campaign

The Trumps said their family has been under attack since the family patriarch declared his candidacy for president in 2015. Jared Kushner, left, Ivanka Trump arrive for the official launch of the Trump 2020 campaign

Donald Trump Jr. channeled his attacks to his father’s current opponents, mocking leading Democratic candidate Joe Biden before the rowdy crowd that waited in the heat and rain for hours, and days in some cases, to see the sitting president. Kimberly Guilfoyle, left, and Donald Trump Jr. pictured

Donald Trump Jr. channeled his attacks to his father’s current opponents, mocking leading Democratic candidate Joe Biden before the rowdy crowd that waited in the heat and rain for hours, and days in some cases, to see the sitting president. Kimberly Guilfoyle, left, and Donald Trump Jr. pictured

Senior adviser Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle, watch as President Donald Trump speaks at his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center

Senior adviser Jared Kushner, Ivanka Trump and Kimberly Guilfoyle, watch as President Donald Trump speaks at his re-election kickoff rally at the Amway Center

Trump rails against Democrats, Mueller and ‘fake news’ at 2020 rally
Trump’s first official campaign rally of 2020 opened much the way his 2016 candidacy ended – with his audience chanting ‘Lock her Up!’ in a slam on former Democratic opponent Clinton.

The president’s daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, invited the criticism first. She wound up an arena of supporters with a claim that the media was saying Clinton was going to be the 45th President of the United States days before the election. ‘They have always been wrong,’ she declared.

Attacks on the media as ‘fake news’ and ‘dishonest’ from Lara and her husband Eric, who spoke after her, had a crowd of more than 20,000 screaming ‘CNN Sucks!’ minutes later.

The Trumps said their family has been under attack from one group or another since the family patriarch declared his candidacy for president in 2015.

‘He loves this country and we, as a family, love this country. And guys we are going to fight like hell – our family is going to fight like hell for this country. We will never ever stop fighting, and we will never ever, ever stop winning,’ the president’s son said. ‘And guys, we love you very much. We’re all going to be spending a lot of time in Florida. We’re going to be spending a lot of time in Florida. So we’re going to see you.’

Donald Trump Jr. channeled his attacks to his father’s current opponents, mocking Biden before the rowdy crowd that waited in the heat and rain for hours, and days in some cases, to see the sitting president.

‘I don’t know about you, but I look around this room and when Joe Biden’s putting about seven people in an audience, I’m saying, “I think they may be a little wrong with the polling.” But what they hell do I know?’ he said.

National polls show Biden beating Trump in a general election. A Quinnipiac University survey that came out Tuesday found that the former vice president would beat Trump by nine points, 50 – 41, the newly-released poll showed.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders would win by a similar margin, 48 – 42, while other top Democrats would perform in the poll’s margin of error.

Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale told DailyMail.com inside the rally that Quinnipiac is ‘c**p’ in response to the latest poll showing bad news in a critical swing state for the controversial president.

Trump had already warned the public that this official launch of 2020 campaign would be 'wild,' after supporters camped out in tents for more than 30 hours to save their places at the front of a massive line that would ensure them floor seats

US First Lady Melania Trump greets US Vice President Mike Pence. Trump set the tone for the monster rally in a morning tweet that bashed the media and compared the scene outside the Amway Center to a rock tour

US First Lady Melania Trump greets US Vice President Mike Pence. Trump set the tone for the monster rally in a morning tweet that bashed the media and compared the scene outside the Amway Center to a rock tour

Lara Trump takes to the stage before her father-in-law United States President Donald Trump arrives on stage to announce his candidacy for a second presidential term at the Amway Center

Lara Trump takes to the stage before her father-in-law United States President Donald Trump arrives on stage to announce his candidacy for a second presidential term at the Amway Center

Donald Trump Jr. throws hats to supporters at the rally. He mocked Joe Biden before the rowdy crowd that waited for hours

Donald Trump Jr. throws hats to supporters at the rally. He mocked Joe Biden before the rowdy crowd that waited for hours

Trump attacks Democrats at his Orlando rally
Don Jr. brushed off the threat from Biden, 76, as he campaigned for his father, 73, on Tuesday in Orlando. He called Biden and his competitors a ‘clown show’ and gave the Democrat a new nickname. ‘Sloppy Joe,’ he called him, as he hit Biden for flip-flopping.

‘He gets up on the stump. It’s so stupid,’ he said. ‘To his group of about four people in the audience, “Government has failed you.” Usually, as he’s groping someone. It ain’t pretty, but there’s something off with that guy.’

The president’s son said he agrees that government is broken and it’s a problem. ‘The problem is Joe, you’ve been in government for almost 50 years. If government failed you, maybe you’re the problem Joe Biden,’ he said. ‘It’s not rocket science.’

Trump warned the public that the campaign rally would be ‘wild,’ and Don Jr. helped him deliver on the pledge.

He mocked Biden’s pledge to cure cancer, asking, ‘Why the hell didn’t you do that over the last 50 years, Joe?’

Don Jr. blamed the media for giving Biden a pass. ‘Why did not one of them say, “Well, Joe, how exactly are you going to do that?” And why didn’t you do that in the last eight years as vice president and the prior 40 years in government and the Senate?’

His father later claimed that he’d cure cancer in remarks that followed. ‘We will push onward with new medical frontiers. We will come up with the cures to many, many problems, to many, many diseases, including cancer and others and we’re getting closer all the time,’ he said.

Attacks on Clinton and media were a common theme throughout the night, with Trump pausing and waiting for his supporters to cheer, ‘CNN SUCKS!’ and ‘Lock her Up!’ as he talked about the former secretary of state’s acid-washed emails and her loss to him in the last election.

‘It was all an illegal attempt to overturn the results of our election, spy on our campaign, which is what they did,’ he complained.

Trump meets fans after stepping off Air Force One upon arrival at Miami International Airport in Miami

Trump meets fans after stepping off Air Force One upon arrival at Miami International Airport in Miami

Vice President Mike Pence, escorted in by Karen Pence, speaks before Trump takes the stage on Tuesday evening

A man holds up a sign as the crowd waits for US President Donald Trump to arrive at a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida to officially launch his 2020 campaign

A man holds up a sign as the crowd waits for US President Donald Trump to arrive at a rally at the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida to officially launch his 2020 campaign

Melania's spokesperson Stephanie Grisham speaks with White House senior advisor Kellyanne Conway at the campaign rally

Melania’s spokesperson Stephanie Grisham speaks with White House senior advisor Kellyanne Conway at the campaign rally

President Trump said as he opened the event that he could feel the ‘magic’ in Orlando – a play on the name of the city’s professional basketball team.

He spoke to supporters in the same arena that the team plays in, which is a venue that can hold roughly 20,000 people.

‘You know, I said, “This is a very big arena for a Tuesday night.” I said, “You know, if we have about three or four empty seats, the fake news will say – headlines: he didn’t fill up the arena.” So I said maybe we shouldn’t take the chance, maybe we shouldn’t go to Orlando, maybe we should go someplace else,’ Trump said in his opening remarks. ‘I said, “No, I think we’ll go to Orlando.” And, not only did we fill it up, but we had 120,000 requests. That means you folks have come out very, very good.’

Supporters camped out in tents for more than 30 hours to save their places at the front of a massive line that would ensure them floor seats at Tuesday evening’s show.

Saundra Kiczenski, a Michigan native who works in retail, waited from 7am on Monday. She said she’d been to rallies in support of the president in 15 states. She spent Monday night on the pavement in a sleeping bag.

‘I took the hotel pillow and slept on the ground,’ she told DailyMail.com on Tuesday afternoon as she waited to get in.

The Republican incumbent set the tone for the monster rally in Florida he’d be appearing at in the evening in a morning tweet that bashed the media and compared the scene outside the Amway Center to a rock tour.

‘The Fake News doesn’t report it, but Republican enthusiasm is at an all time high. Look what is going on in Orlando, Florida, right now! People have never seen anything like it (unless you play a guitar). Going to be wild – See you later!’ he tweeted on Tuesday morning.

A cover band with aging rockers who call themselves ‘The Guzzlers’ revved up the crowd under a beating sun at a ‘festival’ the campaign held in an outdoor parking lot, where vendors sold a captive and cramped group sodas, snow cones and Trump umbrellas.

Sweltering heat that topped 87 degrees soon turned to pouring rain, giving the umbrellas a dual purpose for supporters like Richard Snowden who chose to remain.

A resident of Las Vegas, Nevada, Snowden said he’d be ‘remiss’ to have skipped the kickoff. He told DailyMail.com from the comfort of a party-style tent his group had pitched that he’d attended 54 rallies since Trump announced his candidacy for office in 2015.

But even Snowden called himself a pragmatist and said of the president’s reelection odds, ‘I don’t think it’s going to be a cakewalk.’

‘The incumbency will help. He won’t catch them flat-footed this time,’ he observed, as he waited for the rally to begin. ‘And he won’t have the dislike of Hillary working in his favor,’ he said in remarks that proved to prescient.

The Republican incumbent set the tone for the monster rally in Florida he'd be appearing at in the evening in a morning tweet that bashed the media and compared the scene outside the Amway Center to a rock tour

 

The US President and First Lady Melania Trump are pictured stepping off Air Force One upon arrival at Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Florida Tuesday

The US President and First Lady Melania Trump are pictured stepping off Air Force One upon arrival at Orlando International Airport in Orlando, Florida Tuesday

Special advisor to the US president Jared Kushner and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wait for the arrival of US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at Orlando International Airport

Michael Boulos and Tiffany Trump wait for the arrival of US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at Orlando International Airport in Orlando

Special advisor to the US president Jared Kushner and White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, left, and Michael Boulos and Tiffany Trump, right, wait for the arrival of US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at Orlando International Airport on Tuesday

Donald Trump is putting an advisory on his Orlando rally, saying the official launch of 2020 campaign will be 'wild,' after supporters camped out in tents to save their places in line like they were waiting in line for a free concert with Rihanna

Donald Trump is putting an advisory on his Orlando rally, saying the official launch of 2020 campaign will be ‘wild,’ after supporters camped out in tents to save their places in line like they were waiting in line for a free concert with Rihanna

Supporters of President Donald Trump wait in line hours before the arena doors open for a campaign rally Tuesday

Supporters of President Donald Trump wait in line hours before the arena doors open for a campaign rally Tuesday

Patriotic colors: Trump supporters came in red white and blue for the campaign kick-off

Patriotic colors: Trump supporters came in red white and blue for the campaign kick-off

Determined: The early start was an attempt by the fanatical Trump backers to be at the front of the crowd for the campaign kick-off

Determined: The early start was an attempt by the fanatical Trump backers to be at the front of the crowd for the campaign kick-off

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7156179/Trumps-2020-kickoff-features-media-bashing-attacks-Joe-Biden-old-foe-Hillary-Clinton.html

 

Trump, in 2020 campaign mode, calls Democrats ‘radical’

today

President Donald Trump jabbed at the press and poked the political establishment he ran against in 2016 as he kicked off his reelection campaign with a grievance-filled rally focused more on settling scores than laying out his agenda for a possible second term.

Addressing a crowd of thousands at Orlando’s Amway Center on Tuesday night, Trump complained he was “under assault from the very first day” of his presidency by a “fake news media” and an “illegal witch hunt” that had tried to keep him and his supporters down.

He painted a disturbing picture of what life would look like if he loses in 2020, accusing his critics of “un-American conduct” and saying Democrats “want to destroy you and they want to destroy our country as we know it.”

“A vote for any Democrat in 2020 is a vote for the rise of radical socialism and the destruction of the American dream,” he said. Trump made only passing mention of any of the Democrats running to replace him even as he tossed out “radical” and “unhinged” to describe the rival party.

Trump has long railed against the special counsel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and the ongoing probes by House Democrats in the aftermath of Robert Mueller’s report .

President Donald Trump officially kicked off his re-election campaign Tuesday with a grievance-filled Florida rally. "We're going to keep it better than ever before," he declared. (June 18)

The apocalyptic language and finger-pointing made clear that Trump’s 2020 campaign will probably look a whole lot like his run three years ago. Even after two-and-a-half years in the Oval Office, Trump remains focused on energizing his base and offering himself as a political outsider running against Washington.

Republican Party Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted Wednesday morning that Trump had raised $24.8 million in less than 24 hours for his reelection.

In his speech, Trump spent considerably more time focused on former Democratic rival Hillary Clinton than on his current 2020 challengers, even though she is not on the ballot.

Thousands of Trump supporters began gathering outside the arena on Monday.

“Trump has been the best president we’ve ever had,” said Ron Freitas, a retired Merchant Marine and registered Democrat from Orlando.

Hundreds of anti-Trump protesters clapped and took photos when a 20-foot (6-meter) blimp of a snarling Trump baby in a diaper was inflated. Some members of the far-right hate group Proud Boys were also spotted marching outside the rally.

Trump aides scheduled the kickoff near the four-year anniversary of the day when the former reality television star and New York tabloid fixture launched his longshot campaign for president with a famous escalator ride in front of a crowd that included paid actors.

Trump spoke fondly of his 2016 race, calling it “a defining moment in American history.” He said that in the years since, he had upended Washington, staring down “a corrupt and broken political establishment” and restoring a government “of, for and by the people.”

He never has really stopped running. He filed for reelection on Jan. 20, 2017, the day of his inauguration, and held his first 2020 rally in February, 2017, in nearby Melbourne. He has continued holding his signature “Make America Great Again” rallies in the months since.

Trump asked the crowd whether he should stick with “Make America Great Again” or upgrade his slogan. His new one — “Keep America Great” — was greeted with boisterous cheers.

Trump is hoping to replicate the dynamics that allowed him to take charge of the Republican Party and then the presidency as an insurgent intent on disrupting the status quo. In 2016, he successfully appealed to disaffected voters who felt left behind by economic dislocation and demographic shifts. He has no intention of abandoning that mantle, even if he is the face of the institutions he looks to disrupt.

The president underscored that on the eve of the rally in must-win Florida, returning to the hardline immigration themes of his first campaign by tweeting that next week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement “will begin the process of removing the millions of illegal aliens who have illicitly found their way into the United States.”

That promise, which came with no details and sparked Democratic condemnation, seemed to offer a peek into a campaign that will largely be fought along the same lines as his first bid, with very few new policy proposals for a second term.

Early Democratic front-runner Joe Biden said Trump’s politics are “all about dividing us” in ways that are “dangerous — truly, truly dangerous.”

Another leading Democratic contender, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, said Trump had delivered “an hour-and-a-half speech of lies, distortions and total, absolute nonsense.”

But those involved in the president’s reelection effort believe his version of populism, combined with his mantra to “Drain the Swamp,” still resonates, despite his administration’s ties with lobbyists and corporations and the Trump family’s apparent efforts to profit off the presidency.Critics have pointed out his constant promotion for his golf courses, both at home and abroad, and note that this daughter, White House senior aide Ivanka Trump, made $4 million last year from her stake in the president’s Washington hotel, which has become a favored destination for foreign nationals looking to curry favor with the administration.

Advisers believe that, in an age of extreme polarization, many Trump backers view their support for the president as part of their identity, one not easily shaken. They point to his seemingly unmovable support with his base supporters as evidence that he is still viewed the same way he was as a candidate: a political rebel.

Trump tried to make the case that he had made good on his 2016 promises, including cracking down on illegal immigration and boosting jobs.

Near the rally’s end, Trump ran through a list of promises for a second term, pledging a new immigration system, new trade deals, a health care overhaul and a cure for cancer and “many diseases,” including eradicating AIDS in America.

https://apnews.com/947182a691e6498ca4488e9fc8f9e4b5

President Trump spent a Tuesday night rally he’d advertised as a 2020 kickoff hammering his old foe Hillary Clinton for acid washing her emails and failing to deliver on her pledge to beat him, while Democrats vying for the party’s nomination now escaped his wrath.

Noting that he’s under constant media scrutiny, Trump said that he’d be sent to the slammer if he ordered aides to destroy potential evidence.

‘But, can you imagine if I got a subpoena, think of this, if I got a subpoena for emails, if I deleted one email like a love note to Melania, it’s the electric chair for Trump,’ he claimed in a campaign speech in Orlando.

Trump said subpoenas he’s receiving are not about Democratic claims that his campaign may have colluded with Russia.

 

A sunshine state of mind! Melania and Donald Trump gaze lovingly at one another as they leave the White House hand-in-hand and head to Florida for the president’s 2020 rally

  • Trump, 73, and Melania, 49, departed the White House together on Tuesday to fly to Florida
  • The President will be officially launching his 2020 campaign with a rally at the Amway Center
  • The first lady wore a summery $2,290 white eyelet Andrew Gin dress with a pair of red and white polka-dot heels
  • She grinned at her husband as they walked hand-in-hand to Marine One
  • Melania is not expected to speak at the event, which will include an estimated 20,000 people

Donald and Melania Trump had a rare romantic public moment on Tuesday as the two left the White House for Orlando, Florida.

The President and first lady walked hand-in-hand across the South Lawn of the White House before boarding Marine One on their way to Trump’s 2020 campaign kickoff rally.

Cameras caught the couple sharing a warm smile as they held onto each other, Trump, 73, dressed in a navy suit and red tie and his 49-year-old wife took advantage of the June heat in a $2,290 summery white eyelet dress from Andrew Gin, and red polka-dot heels.

All smiles: Donald and Melania Trump held hands and beamed at one another as they walked across the White House lawn to begin their trip to Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday

All smiles: Donald and Melania Trump held hands and beamed at one another as they walked across the White House lawn to begin their trip to Orlando, Florida, on Tuesday

Ready to get away! The 49-year-old first lady couldn't wipe the smile off her face as she and the president strolled across the South Lawn

Ready to get away! The 49-year-old first lady couldn’t wipe the smile off her face as she and the president strolled across the South Lawn

On their way: They appeared to be in good spirits as they set out for Orlando, Florida+19

On their way: They appeared to be in good spirits as they set out for Orlando, Florida

Hands on: At one point, Trump clasped one of Melania's hands in both of his own+19

Hands on: At one point, Trump clasped one of Melania’s hands in both of his own

The couple isn’t typically much for PDA but shared an intimate smile as they walked passed photographers.

They held each other’s hands, with Trump stopping at one point in order to clasp Melania’s left hand in both of his own.

Melania beat the heat, which is hovering in the mid-to-high 80s in Washington, D.C. today, in a breezy but figure-flaunting white sleeveless dress, which featured a seasonally appropriate eyelet patter with floral cutouts on the top.

She accessorized with a pair of dark sunglasses and red and white pointy-toe pumps. while wearing her brown hair blown out around her shoulders.

The couple, who married in 2005, celebrated their 14th wedding anniversary in January, just one year less than he was married to his first wife Ivana.

The couple grinned as they boarded Marine One and then switched planes for Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.

Hot out here: Melania wore a summery white eyelet dress for the occasion, as temperatures soared into the high 80s+19

Hot out here: Melania wore a summery white eyelet dress for the occasion, as temperatures soared into the high 80s

Protection: She shielded her eyes behind a pair of sunglasses+19

Protection: She shielded her eyes behind a pair of sunglasses

High heels: On her feet were a pair of red polka dot pointy-toe pumps+19

High heels: On her feet were a pair of red polka dot pointy-toe pumps

Ready to go: The well-coiffed first lady had her hair and nails done+19

Ready to go: The well-coiffed first lady had her hair and nails done

They’re flying down not to Mar-a-Lago but Orlando, where Trump is kicking off his 2020 presidential campaign at the Amway Center in front of an estimated 20,000 people.

Trump’s campaign is transforming the area outside the arena to have a festival-like atmosphere, with music and food trucks to help supporters pass the time.

The most coveted positions are not seats at all, but standing positions near the front of the stage. Backers of the president in that area are likely to get a handshake, a selfie or Trump’s autograph at the event that formally marks the beginning of his campaign for a second term.

All of Trump’s children and his wife Melania will be with him at the event, sources told DailyMail.com, as will the Mike Pence, the president’s running mate and the nation’s vice president.

The first lady does not plan to make formal remarks on Tuesday night, her office said, but given the president’s tendency to call on people to speak, she could end up addressing the crowd.

Donald Trump, Jr., on the other hand is expected to give remarks before the rally.

Beat the heat: Melania kept breezy in the lightweight dress+19

It will likely also serve her well in the Florida heat+19

Beat the heat: Melania kept breezy in the lightweight dress, which will likely also serve her well in the Florida heat

Staying behind: The first lady does not plan to make formal remarks on Tuesday night, her office said+19

Staying behind: The first lady does not plan to make formal remarks on Tuesday night, her office said

Change of plan? The couple's 13-year-old son Barron is also expected to be at the rally, but was not seen traveling with them+19

Change of plan? The couple’s 13-year-old son Barron is also expected to be at the rally, but was not seen traveling with them

Family affair: Trump's adult children — Ivanka, Don Jr., Eric, and Tiffany — are also expected to be there+19

Family affair: Trump’s adult children — Ivanka, Don Jr., Eric, and Tiffany — are also expected to be there

Melania continued to smile at her husband as they switched planes at Joint Base Andrews+19

Melania continued to smile at her husband as they switched planes at Joint Base Andrews

See ya! Trump waved goodbye as they boarded the plane together+19

See ya! Trump waved goodbye as they boarded the plane together

The president’s eldest son is a frequent presence at campaign events — with and without his father — and often serves as a warm-up act for the president’s supporters. He’s also campaigned and raised money for other Republican candidates since his father entered politics.

His girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle, a former Fox News personality, is also scheduled to be at the rally. She serves as a senior adviser to the president’s reelection campaign.

Senior advisers and family members to the president Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are also expected to be at the rally.

It’s unclear if Lara Trump, wife of Eric Trump, will be in Orlando. She serves as a senior adviser to the president’s campaign, but is also pregnant with the couple’s second child. She made a state trip to the UK in early June.

It will be 13-year-old Barron Trump’s first appearance at a campaign rally since his father took office.

Trump’s youngest daughter Tiffany, who has been less involved than her older siblings in her father’s campaigns and administration, will also be there.

Orlando Trump supporters stakeout spots ahead of rally

Waiting for him: The rally will mark the official launch of 2020 campaign+19

Waiting for him: The rally will mark the official launch of 2020 campaign

Patience: Supporters waited in line hours before the arena doors opened on Tuesday+19

Patience: Supporters waited in line hours before the arena doors opened on Tuesday

Patriotic colors: Trump supporters came in red white and blue for the campaign kick-off

Wild: The Republican incumbent set the tone in a morning tweet that bashed the media and compared the scene outside the Amway Center to a rock tour

President Trump release his 2020 campaign ad for re-election

The Republican incumbent set the tone for the monster rally in Florida he’d be appearing at this evening in a morning tweet that bashed the media and compared the scene outside the Amway Center to a rock tour.

‘The Fake News doesn’t report it, but Republican enthusiasm is at an all time high. Look what is going on in Orlando, Florida, right now! People have never seen anything like it (unless you play a guitar). Going to be wild – See you later!’ he said.

Trump had apparently dropped a claim that ‘thousands’ turned up on Monday, with about 250 people camping overnight. But the numbers grew steadily as temperatures soared in Orlando Tuesday, reaching 87 degrees before an hour-long downpour that soaked a waiting crowd.

A new Quinnipiac poll showed Trump losing Florida to Democratic nemesis Joe Biden. The former vice president would beat Trump by nine points, 50 – 41 per cent, the newly-released survey showed.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders would win by a similar margin, 48 – 42, while other top Democrats would perform in the poll’s margin of error

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-7155853/Melania-Trump-smiles-warmly-husband-depart-Orlando-campaign-kickoff-rally.html

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1274, June 13, 2019, Story 1: Two Tankers Transitioning The Strait of Hormus  in Gulf of Oman Shelled, Torpedoed and On Fire — Videos — Story 2: Totally Fiscally Irresponsible Democrat and Republican Parties: U.S. Federal Government Spending Totally Out-of-Control Should Exceed $4,000 Billion With $1,000 Billion Deficits For Fiscal Year 2019 and Forever! — National Debt Approaching 100% of Gross Domestic Product By 2020 — Spending Addiction Disorder (SAD) — Entitlement, Welfare and Tax Reform Absolutely Must Happen To Avoid Massive Increases in Interest Rates — Videos — Story 3: United States Government To Purchase 478 New Joint Strike Fighter F-35s Lightning II for the Air Force, Navy and Marines and Allied Militaries From and Lockheed Martin for About $34 Billion — Videos — Story 4: What Will Cause The Next Recession In United States — Videos

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Story 1: Two Tankers Transitioning The Strait of Hormus  in Gulf of Oman Shelled, Torpedoed and On Fire — Videos —

Why isn’t the oil market reacting to the oil tanker attacks?

Iran responsible for attack on two tankers: Pompeo

US has video of Iran removing unexploded mine from oil tanker: Report

Iran rejects US accusation of involvement in tanker attacks

U.S. officials: Iran likely behind new tanker attacks

BREAKING – 2 Oil Tankers in Gulf of Oman (straight of Hormuz) on fire

Crew have been rescued after abandoning two oil tankers hit by explosions in the Gulf of Oman

US Navy Heads for Oil Tanker Incident in Gulf of Oman

 

Two Oil Tankers Attacked Near Straight of Hormuz

Tanker Attacks In Gulf of Oman Fuel Security, Oil Supply Fears

 

Oil tanker attacks echo Persian Gulf’s 1980s ‘Tanker War’

 Mysterious attacks on oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz this week show how one of the world’s crucial chokepoints for global energy supplies can be easily targeted, 30 years after the U.S. Navy and Iran were entangled in a similarly shadowy conflict called the “Tanker War.”

While the current tensions are nowhere near the damage done then, it underscores how dangerous the situation is and how explosive it can become.

The so-called “Tanker War” involved American naval ships escorting reflagged Kuwaiti oil tankers through the Persian Gulf and the strait after Iranian mines damaged vessels in the region. It culminated in a one-day naval battle between Washington and Tehran, and also saw America accidentally shoot down an Iranian passenger jet, killing 290 people.

U.S. estimates suggest Iran attacked over 160 ships in the late 1980s confrontation.

“We need to remember that some 30% of the world’s crude oil passes through the straits,” said Paolo d’Amico, the chairman of the oil tanker association INTERTANKO. “If the waters are becoming unsafe, the supply to the entire Western world could be at risk.”

So far, six oil tankers have been damaged in suspected limpet mine attacks, explosives that can be magnetically stuck to the side of a ship. The first attack happened May 12 off the coast of the Emirati port city of Fujairah and targeted four tankers. Thursday’s apparent attack damaged two other tankers.

The U.S. has blamed Iran for both incidents, offering a video on Friday it said showed Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces spirit away one mine stuck to a tanker that didn’t explode in Thursday’s assault. For its part, Iran denies being involved and calls the allegations part of America’s “Iranophobic campaign” against it.

Meanwhile, the owner of the tanker Kokuka Courageous said its sailors saw “flying objects” before the attack, suggesting it wasn’t damaged by mines and contradicting the U.S. military.

Confusion pervaded the start of the “Tanker War” as well.

That conflict grew out of the bloody eight-year war between Iraq and Iran in the 1980s, which began when Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Iran. The war killed 1 million people. The U.S. supported Saddam by providing intelligence, weaponry and other aid.

Iraq first targeted Iran’s shipping and by 1984 attacked Kharg Island, a crucial oil-tanker-loading terminal for Iran. Its air force also attacked ships in the Persian Gulf. After the Kharg attack, Iran began a concerted campaign to attack shipping in the region.

Iraq ultimately would attack over 280 vessels to Iran’s 168, according to the U.S. Naval Institute.

The Iran’s mining campaign began in earnest in 1987. At night, the Revolutionary Guard would drop mines from vessels disguised as traditional dhows, which ferry cargo around the waters of the Persian Gulf.

As attacks targeted Kuwaiti oil tankers, the U.S. ultimately stepped in to protect them. The Soviet Union also volunteered.

https://www.newsday.com/news/world/oil-tanker-attacks-echo-persian-gulf-s-1980s-tanker-war-1.32361954

 

MISCHIEVOUS PLOT’

Iran accuses the US of LYING about the ‘suspicious’ attack on American-linked oil tanker and denies ordering ‘torpedo’ assault

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the “blatant” attacks on two tankers which burst into flames in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday.

 A huge fire rages on board the Front Altair after it was reportedly hit by a torpedo in the Gulf of Oman

A huge fire rages on board the Front Altair after it was reportedly hit by a torpedo in the Gulf of Oman

 The tanker was one of two ships attacked today sparking an evacuation of all crew members

The tanker was one of two ships attacked today sparking an evacuation of all crew members

 The Pentagon released this image which is says shows Iranian involvement in the oil tanker attacks

The Pentagon released this image which is says shows Iranian involvement in the oil tanker attacks

But Iran has hit back at the “unfounded and reckless” claims and accused the US of “warmongering” as part of a “disinformation campaign”.

“The US and its regional allies must stop warmongering and put an end to mischievous plots and false flag operations in the region,” Iran’s mission to the United Nations said.

“Warning, once again, about all of the US coercion, intimidation and malign behaviour, Iran expresses concern over suspicious incidents for the oil tankers that occurred today.”

It came after Pompeo pointed the finger at Iran and the Pentagon released images and footage as “proof” of Iranian involvement.


What we know so far:

  • Two oil tankers were seriously damaged in the suspected torpedo attack
  • The US believes Iran is definitely to blame for the shocking attacks
  • Tehran has accused America of ‘Iranophobia’ and says it is innocent
  • Almost 50 sailors had to be rescued from the stricken tankers in the Gulf
  • Oil prices surged by 3.5 per cent after today’s suspected terror attack
  • Iran’s foreign minister has branded the explosions as “suspicious”
  • The US Navy’s 5th Fleet is now investigating the suspected torpedo attack

Pompeo said the attacks were part of a “campaign” of “escalating tension” by Iran which posed a threat to international peace and security.

Iran blasted his “inflammatory remarks” and said they amounted to “another Iranophobic campaign”.

“Iran categorically rejects the U.S. unfounded claim with regard to 13 June oil tanker incidents and condemns it in the strongest possible terms,” the Iranian mission said in a statement.

The hardline Islamic nation added that the US poses the “most significant threat” to the peace and security of the Persian Gulf region.

“The US economic war and terrorism against the Iranian people as well as the massive military presence in the region have been and continue to be the main sources of insecurity and instability in the wider Persian Gulf region and the most significant threat to its peace and security,” the statement said.

Iran’s foreign minister later dismissed the US accusations as “sabotage diplomacy”.

 The Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous is believed to have been targeted by a magnetic mine

The Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous is believed to have been targeted by a magnetic mine

 An aerial picture showing the huge blaze raging on the oil tanker after the attack this morning

An aerial picture showing the huge blaze raging on the oil tanker after the attack this morningCredit: AP:Associated Press

 US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the blatant attacks

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for the blatant attacksCredit: Getty Images – Getty

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blames Iran for attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman in blast at the Islamic state

Both the Front Altair and the Panama-flagged Kokuka Courageous burst into flames and were forced to evacuate in the troubled region on Thursday.

Reports suggested the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous may have been targeted by a magnetic mine causing a series of massive explosions on board.

The Pentagon released a video that it said showed Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded limpet mine from the tanker.

This suggests the Islamic Republic may have sought to remove evidence of its involvement from the scene.

SMOKING GUN?

The black-and-white footage, as well as still photographs released by the US military’s Central Command, appeared to show the limpet mine on the Kokuka Courageous.

But the owner has since said the tanker crew saw “flying objects” before the attack, suggesting the ship was not damaged by mines, according to AP.

Pompeo said the US will defend its forces and interests in the region but gave no specifics about any plans and he took no questions.

Hours later it was revealed the US Navy is sending the guided missile destroyer USS Mason to the scene of the attacks.

The USS Bainbridge rescued 21 of the 44 stricken sailors involved in the incident near the Strait of Hormuz.

BRITAIN BLASTS ‘DEEPLY UNWISE’ ATTACKS

Britain is working on the basis that Iran is responsible for the attacks and warned Iran that these actions were “deeply unwise”.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: “This is deeply worrying and comes at a time of already huge tension.

“I have been in contact with Pompeo and, while we will be making our own assessment soberly and carefully, our starting point is obviously to believe our U.S. allies.

“We are taking this extremely seriously and my message to Iran is that if they have been involved it is a deeply unwise escalation which poses a real danger to the prospects of peace and stability in the region.”

Norwegian shipping firm Frontline, which owns the Altair, has denied Iranian reports that the tanker had sunk.

The ship was built in 2016 and is flagged to the Marshall Islands – a US associated state in the Pacific Ocean.

Chartered by Taiwan’s state oil refiner CPC Corp, the huge vessel set sail from the UAE port of Ruwais on Tuesday and was due to arrive in Kaohsiung on June 30.

Speaking to Reuters, the CEO of CPC’s petrochemical division Wu I-Fang said the tanker was “suspected of being hit by a torpedo.”

He said it was carrying 75,000 tonnes of naphtha, a petrochemical feedstock, which trade sources estimate to be worth more than $30 million.

Gulf of Oman attack- 23 oil tanker crew members filmed safe in Jask after suspected attack

Paolo d’Amico, chairman of the tanker association, Intertanko, said concern was rising for other crews braving the powder keg shipping lanes.

He said: “If the waters are becoming unsafe, the oil supply to the entire Western world could be at risk.”

It comes as tensions in the Persian Gulf between the United States and Iran are threatening to reach boiling point.

A Saudi-led coalition has described the attack as a “major escalation”.

In recent weeks, Washington has sent a number of battleships to the region in response to what it says are Iranian threats against American interests and its allies in the region.

The Kokuka Courageous – which is owned by Japanese firm Kokuka Sangyohad – set sail from Al Jubail in Saudi Arabia on June 10 and was due to reach Singapore by June 22.

Oil prices rose by 3.5 per cent following news of the explosions, according to reports.

Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif branded the explosions as “suspicious” calling them “reported attacks on Japan-related oil tankers.”

He said the incident had happened as Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei was meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a close American ally.

The US Navy’s 5th Fleet said it is aware of a “reported attack” in the area and is investigating.

A statement said: “US naval forces in the region received two separate distress calls at 6.12 am local time and a second one at 7.00 am.

“US Navy ships are in the area and are rendering assistance.”

 The incident reportedly happened in the Gulf of Oman this morning

12
The incident reportedly happened in the Gulf of Oman this morning

Speaking about the attacks, White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders said: “The President has been briefed on the attack on ships in the Gulf of Oman.

“The US Government is providing assistance and will continue to assess the situation.”

The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations, which is run by the British Navy, urged “extreme caution” and said it was investigating the incident.

“We are deeply concerned by reports of explosions and fires on vessels in the Gulf of Oman. We are in contact with local authorities and partners in the region.”

Authorities do not believe that any British nationals were on the two ships.

A UK Foreign Office spokesperson said: “We are deeply concerned by reports of explosions and fires on vessels in the Gulf of Oman. We are in contact with local authorities and partners in the region.”

This comes after the US claimed Iran used explosives to blow huge holes in four ships – including two Saudi oil tankers – anchored in the Persian Gulf last month.

The ships reportedly had ruptures measuring up to ten foot across  in their hulls as a result of the May 12 sabotage attacks.

Recent US and Iran tensions

  • May 5: USS Abraham Lincoln carrier strike group and a bomber task force is deployed in Middle East in response to ‘a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings’ by Iran.
  • May 8: Iran vows to enrich its uranium stockpile if world powers fail to negotiate new terms for its nuclear deal. The US responds by imposing sanctions on Iran’s metals industry.
  • May 10: The US says it will move a Patriot missile battery into the Middle East to counter threats from Iran.
  • May 24: President Trump says the US will bolster its military presence in the Middle East with an additional 1,500 troops.
  • May 12: The UAE says four commercial ships off its eastern coast “were subjected to sabotage operations,” just hours after Iranian and Lebanese media outlets air false reports of explosions at a nearby Emirati port.

 Huge plumes of thick black smoke billow from the massive tanker in the Gulf of Oman following a suspected torpedo attack

Huge plumes of thick black smoke billow from the massive tanker in the Gulf of Oman following a suspected torpedo attackCredit: AP:Associated Press

 One of the tankers on fire in the Gulf of Oman following the suspected torpedo attack

One of the tankers on fire in the Gulf of Oman following the suspected torpedo attackCredit: AFP or licensors

 The Front Altair, from the US-linked Marshall Islands, was one of the ships reportedly attacked today near Iran

The Front Altair, from the US-linked Marshall Islands, was one of the ships reportedly attacked today near IranCredit: Shipspotting.com

Two tankers: all you need to know

  • Front Altair was built in 2016 and is flagged to the Marshall Islands
  • It is owned by Norwegian company Frontline and is operated by Dubai-based International Tanker Management
  • The ship was carrying 75,000 tonnes of naphtha, a petrochemical product, worth $30m when it was attacked
  • It was carrying 23 crew members who were all rescued
  • The vessel can carry up to 62,849 tonnes of cargo
  • It weighs a staggering 109,894 tonnes
  • Kokuka Courageous was built in 2010 and is flagged to Panama
  • It is owned by Japanese firm Kokuka Sangyo and is operated by BSM Ship Management
  • The ship was carrying 25,000 tonnes of methanol when it was attacked
  • 21 sailors on board were rescued. One suffered minor injuries

They were targeted near the port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates – with one of the tankers due to be loaded with Saudi crude oil bound for the US.

A Washington-based official told the Associated Press that an American military team’s initial assessment indicated Iran or its allies used explosives to blow holes in the ships.

A huge US naval presence has built up in the Gulf over recent weeks amid a fevered standoff between Washington and Tehran.

US intelligence revealed Iran was on the verge of carrying out offensive action to disrupt and attack American and partner interests in the region.

It led to the deployment of US aircraft carriers, Patriot missiles and B52 bombers over recent days.

The general-secretary of the Gulf Cooperation Council described the sabotage as a “serious escalation” in an overnight statement.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman called the incidents near the coast of Fujairah on May 12 “worrisome and dreadful” and asked for an investigation into the matter.

US and Iran – a troubled history

  • Before the 1979 Iranian revolution, Iran was one of America’s biggest allies in the Middle East and was led by the US-backed Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi.
  • However, since the seismic revolt, Iran has been led by murderous Islamic fundamentalists and tensions with Washington have remained ever since.
  • On November 4, 1979, the Iranian regime took 52 US diplomats hostage in response to President Carter’s administration allowing Iran’s deposed former leader into America.
  • The hostage crisis lasted for 444 days and also included a failed rescue mission which cost the lives of eight US soldiers.
  • In April 1980, the US ended diplomatic relations with Iran – a break which lasted for more than 30 years.
  • In April 1983, Washington blamed the Iranian-funded terror group Hezbollah for carrying out a bombing attack on the American embassy in Beirut, Lebanon.
  • The assault, carried out amid a brutal civil war in Lebanon, killed 17 Americans.
  • In November of that year, two truck bombs in Beruit killed 241 US peace keepers. The US again blamed Hezbollah for the incident.
  • The Clinton White House, in 1995, placed a total embargo on Iran meaning US companies could not trade with the country.
  • And in 2002, George W Bush included the Islamic Republic in his famous “Axis of evil” speech along with North Korea and Iraq.

 The latest explosions in the region come after four ships were attacked with explosives last month in the Persian Gulf

The latest explosions in the region come after four ships were attacked with explosives last month in the Persian GulfCredit: Reuters
 The United States deployed an additional warship to the Gulf
The United States deployed an additional warship to the GulfCredit: AFP

What is the Iran nuclear deal?

The deal is an agreement between the Islamic Republic and a group of world powers aimed at scrapping the Middle Eastern country’s nuclear weapons programme.

It saw Iran agree to eliminate its stockpile of medium-enriched uranium by 98 per cent.

According to the deal, Iran would receive relief from the US, the European Union and the United Nations Security Council on all nuclear-related economic sanctions.

The agreement was reached on July 14, 2015, and was signed by world powers in Vienna, Austria.

However,  on May 8, 2018, President Trump announced the US would withdraw from the agreement – which he has repeatedly called “insane” and ridiculous”.

America’s withdrawal from the deal mean crippling economic sanctions will once again be placed on Iran – further heightening tensions between the two countries.

https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/9292305/iran-oil-tanker-attack-gulf-of-oman/

 

Tankers ablaze in suspected attacks near Gulf oil chokepoint

A picture obtained by AFP from Iranian News Agency ISNA on June 13, 2019 reportedly shows fire and smoke billowing from the Norwegian-owned Front Altair tanker, one of two vessels hit by suspected attacks in the waters of the Gulf of Oman

A picture obtained by AFP from Iranian News Agency ISNA on June 13, 2019 reportedly shows fire and smoke billowing from the Norwegian-owned Front Altair tanker, one of two vessels hit by suspected attacks in the waters of the Gulf of Oman

Suspected attacks left two tankers ablaze in the waters of the Gulf of Oman on Thursday, sparking fears of a broader conflict and sending world oil prices soaring.

The mysterious incident came amid spiralling tensions between Iran and the US, which pointed the finger at the Islamic republic last month over similar attacks in the strategic sea lane.

The UN Security Council is to hold a closed-door meeting later on Thursday at the request of the United States to discuss the suspected attacks.

The Norwegian Maritime Authority said three explosions were reported on board the Norwegian-owned tanker Front Altair after it was “attacked” along with the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous.

Iran said its navy rescued 44 crew members after the two vessels, which were carrying highly inflammable material, caught fire.

Footage aired on television showed thick, black plumes of smoke and flames billowing from one of the tankers as it lay out to sea.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the timing of the “reported attacks” was “suspicious”, coming as Japan’s prime minister held talks in Iran.

Suspected attacks involving tankers in Gulf

Suspected attacks involving tankers in Gulf

The US Fifth Fleet, based in the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain, said its warships had received separate distress calls from each vessel.

The White House said US President Donald Trump was briefed on the suspected attacks and the government was assessing the situation.

UN chief Antonio Guterres condemned the “security incidents” and warned the world cannot afford a major confrontation in the Gulf, while the European Union called for “maximum restraint”.

State media in Iran said the incidents happened one hour apart in the early morning.

The Front Altair, a 111,000-tonne vessel carrying ethanol from Qatar to Taiwan, caught fire first off Bandar-e-Jask in southern Iran, the official IRNA news agency said.

“As the ship caught fire, 23 of the crew jumped into the water and were saved by a passing ship and handed over to the Iranian rescue unit,” it said.

Robert Hvide Macleo, chief executive for the ship’s owner Frontline, wrote in a text message to AFP: “I can confirm that the vessel has NOT sunk” and the crew were “all safe”.

– ‘Security incident’ –

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the "reported attacks" on two tankers in the Gulf were "suspicious" as it happened while the Japanese prime minister was having talks in Tehran

The Kokuka Courageous was headed to Singapore from Saudi Arabia with a cargo of methanol, IRNA said.

Singapore-based BSM Ship Management said it had “launched a full-scale emergency response following a security incident” involving the Kokuka.

“The 21 crew of the vessel abandoned ship after the incident on board which resulted in damage to the ship’s hull starboard side,” it said of the vessel owned by Japanese company Kokuka Sangyo Ltd.

“One crew man from the Kokuka Courageous was slightly injured… and is receiving first aid.”

In Tokyo, Japan’s Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Hiroshige Seko said: “A tanker carrying Japan-related goods was attacked. There were no injuries among the crew members. They got off the tanker. There were no Japanese members.”

Front Altair was reportedly still burning late Thursday, but the fire aboard the Kokuka Courageous was under control extinguished, said an Iranian official involved in the rescue operation.

The incident came as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was on an unprecedented visit to Iran, seeking to defuse tensions between Tokyo’s ally Washington and the Islamic republic.

– Oil price spike –

World oil prices surged following reports of the suspected attacks, exacerbating tensions in the crude-rich Middle East, analysts said.

“Tension across the Middle East is high — and the attacks on two tankers has further exacerbated the situation, even though there does not appear to have been any damage to the cargos,” said John Hall, chairman of British-based consultancy Alfa Energy.

London’s Brent North Sea oil jumped more than four percent in morning deals before trimming gains.

The strategic Strait of Hormuz

In afternoon trading, Brent for August delivery stood at $61.99 per barrel, up $2.02, or nearly 3.4 percent from Wednesday.

New York’s West Texas Intermediate was up $1.60 or around 3.1 percent at $52.74 per barrel.

The Gulf of Oman lies at the other end of the strategic Strait of Hormuz from the Gulf, part of a vital chokepoint through which at least 15 million barrels of crude oil and hundreds of millions of dollars of non-oil imports pass.

On May 12, four oil tankers — two Saudi, one Norwegian and one Emirati — were damaged in still unexplained attacks off the port of Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates.

US national security adviser John Bolton said Iranian naval mines were almost certainly behind those attacks without providing any evidence.

The UAE said initial findings of a five-nation investigation delivered to the UN pointed to the likelihood a state was involved.

King Salman of Saudi Arabia warned this month that “terrorist” attacks in the Gulf could imperil global oil supplies, as he sought to galvanise support against arch-rival Iran.

The kingdom, the world’s top oil exporter, ratcheted up tensions with Iran after the attacks off Fujairah, which were followed by a drone strike on a key Saudi oil pipeline claimed by Yemen’s Iran-aligned Huthi rebels.

“We are in a dangerous moment in the region with this emerging pattern of attacks,” said Elizabeth Dickinson, senior analyst with International Crisis Group.

“Any miscalculation or misunderstanding risks a spiral toward more direct confrontation,” she told AFP.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/afp/article-7136677/Two-oil-tankers-evacuated-new-incident-Gulf-Oman.html

Iran Has Little to Gain From Oman Tanker Attacks

Julian Lee,
Bloomberg

Two oil tankers have been damaged in a suspected attack in the waters between the United Arab Emirates and Iran as they were leaving the Persian Gulf. This is the second incident in four weeks, and raises the question of who gains what from them.

Fingers will certainly be pointed at Iran as the mastermind behind these events. But the potential benefits to the Persian Gulf nation are outweighed by the risks. And even if Tehran isn’t responsible, it will still suffer the consequences.

The first tanker to report a problem was the Front Altair. It was reported to be carrying 75,000 tons of naphtha, loaded in Abu Dhabi, to Japan, although it was signaling a destination of Kaosiung in Taiwan when it was damaged. The second vessel was the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous, which was sailing from Saudi Arabia to Singapore with a cargo of methanol.

A person who’s heard local radio transmissions between ships in the region told Bloomberg that a torpedo attack is suspected to have caused an explosion and fire on the Front Altair. The managers of the Kokuka Courageous said in a statement that “the 21 crew of the vessel abandoned ship after the incident on board which resulted in damage to the ship’s hull starboard side.”

Who gains from these attacks?

The obvious answer is Iran. If Tehran is attacking tankers leaving the Persian Gulf – either directly, or through proxies – it sends a message that transit through the world’s most important choke point for global oil flows is not safe without its consent. If Iran is pushed to the brink economically by sanctions, it will not go quietly. Other nations in the region will bear the cost of disruptions to their own oil exports, while America and its allies will have to cope with higher crude prices and disruptions to supplies.

Not since 2005 have the world’s insurers considered shipping in the Persian Gulf so dangerous for oil tankers. Nevertheless, we are still far from the level of tension that existed during the so-called Tanker War of the 1980s, when 451 vessels (259 of them oil or refined petroleum product tankers) suffered some sort of attack in the region, according to a report from the U.S. Naval Institute. The incidents took place during the Iran-Iraq war, and the culprits were forces from both countries.

Then, the U.S. navy resorted to escorting vessels through the Persian Gulf. That would be an expensive operation to repeat and would tie up a large part of the U.S. and allied fleets in the region. It would also raise the cost of the U.S. drive against Iran, which began with President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Iran nuclear deal in May 2018.

Brent crude was up by as much as 4.45% on Thursday, shortly after news of the attacks broke, although it has since lost some of those gains. The nation’s oil exports have been seriously curtailed by U.S. sanctions, and higher prices are its only route to increasing revenues. But the benefits are likely to be relatively small, given the dwindling volumes and steep discounts that the country probably has to offer to shift its oil.

There is another group that will benefit from the incident – the people who want to see the U.S. step up its campaign against Iran and move from an economic war to a military one. There are plenty of those, both in the U.S. and among its allies in the Persian Gulf and wider Middle East regions.

The timing of the attacks also raises questions.

They come as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is visiting Tehran, with the blessing of President Trump. On Wednesday Abe urged Tehran to avoid conflict at all costs and pledged to do his utmost to ease tensions. The tankers damaged on Thursday were carrying cargoes related to Japan,  Hiroshige Seko, minister of Economy, Trade and Industry, said on the ministry’s Twitter feed.

A day earlier, Iran freed a U.S. resident imprisoned on espionage charges.

This would seem very clumsy timing from a country seeing the first tangible signs of any easing of the crippling sanctions imposed by the Americans. But it is absolutely understandable if you’re someone whose ultimate goal is to derail any easing of tensions between the two nations, and to effect regime change in Tehran. Whoever is behind the attacks is no friend of Iran.

–With assistance from Elaine He.

Oil rallies after apparent attack on tankers near Strait of Hormuz, but finish off session high

Oil futures rallied Thursday, as an attack on two oil tankers near the Strait of Hormuz raised fears of a potential disruption to the global flow of oil, but failed to recoup the previous days losses by the close.

“Supply concern flare-ups are not infrequent occurrences in crude markets,” said Ryan Giannotto, director of research at GraniteShares.

“The nature of these events is that the outcomes are quite binary: either a major supply disruption event transpires or it does not,” he said. “This lack of a middle ground in outcomes stokes fear in commodities markets, but the added risk premium tends to abate rapidly.”

West Texas Intermediate crude for July delivery CLN19, -0.33%  rose $1.14, or 2.2%, to end at $52.28 a barrel after tapping an intraday high of $53.45. The gains contrasted with a 4% drop that took the U.S. benchmark down to $51.14 Wednesday, the lowest front-month contract finish since Jan. 14, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-rebound-from-five-month-lows-on-reports-of-gulf-of-oman-tanker-fire-2019-06-13

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Federal Spending Tops $3 Trillion Through May for First Time; Deficit Hits $738 Billion

By Terence P. Jeffrey | June 12, 2019 | 2:25 PM EDT

(Getty Images/Win McNamee)

(CNSNews.com) – For the first time in the history of the United States, the federal government has spent more than $3 trillion in the first eight months of the fiscal year, according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released today.

The record $3,013,541,000,000 that the federal government spent in October through May of fiscal 2019 was $181,157,920,000 more than the previous record of $2,832,383,080,000 (in constant May 2019 dollars) that the federal government spent in October through May of fiscal 2009.

Total federal tax revenues in the first eight months of fiscal 2019 hit $2,274,902,000,000, which fell $5,612,990,000 short of the record $2,280,514,990,000 (in constant May 2019 dollars) that the Treasury collected in total tax revenues in the first eight months of fiscal 2016.

Even with the second highest tax revenues ever collected in the first eight months of the fiscal year, the federal government still ran a deficit for those eight months of $738,639,000,000.

Table 3 of the Monthly Treasury Statement, which summarizes federal receipts and outlays for the current fiscal year to date, indicated the Department of Health and Human Services cost the most money, accounting for $834,346,000,000 in federal spending in the first eight months of the fiscal year. The Social Security Administration cost the second most, accounting for $730,000,000,000 in federal spending during the period.

The Department of Defense was third, accounting for $439,289,000,000 in federal spending.

The combined $1,564,346,000,000 the federal government spent on HHS and the Social Security Administration during the first eight months of the fiscal year equaled 51.9 percent of the record total of $3,013,541,000,000 in federal spending during the period.

The combined $1,564,346,000,000 spent on HHS and Social Security was 3.56 times as much as the $439,289,000,000 spent on the Defense Department.

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Pentagon, Lockheed Martin Reach ‘Handshake’ Deal For Hundreds Of F-35s

If the deal goes through, the company will produce a whopping 478 F-35s. That’s the largest procurement in the Pentagon’s history.

The Defense Department and Lockheed Martin have reached a “handshake” agreement on a $34 billion contract to make hundreds of new F-35 fighter jets.

According to a press release from Lockheed Martin, if the deal goes through, the company will produce a whopping 478 F-35s. That’s the largest procurement in the Pentagon’s history.

As a Pentagon spokesperson told The Washington Post, buying the jets in large quantities should allow the Defense Department to lower the average unit cost per plane significantly.

The F-35 program has been repeatedly criticized for its hefty price tag. After all, the estimated lifetime cost of the program is more than $1 trillion.

https://www.newsy.com/stories/dod-lockheed-martin-reach-tentative-deal-for-f-35-jets/

 

Pentagon and Lockheed Martin reach tentative $34 billion deal for hundreds of F-35 fighter jets

One Pentagon official described it as the largest procurement in the history of the Defense Department.


A Lockheed Martin F-35 aircraft in Berlin. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt (Axel Schmidt/Reuters)

June 11 at 5:22 PM

The Pentagon and Lockheed Martin have reached a tentative agreement to procure 470 new F-35 fighter jets for the Air Force, Navy and Marines and allied militaries, the Defense Department announced Tuesday. A finalized contract award is expected in August, officials said.

If the massive order for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighters is finalized, it will be the largest procurement in the history of the Defense Department. Its value is estimated at $34 billion.

The $34 billion agreement “marks the largest procurement in the history of the Department and provides a best value for our warfighter and taxpayer, incentivizes industry to continuously improve their performance and achieves the lowest F-35 unit prices per aircraft to date,” Vice Adm. Mathias Winter, F-35 program executive, said in an email to reporters.

Buying the jets in bulk should allow the Pentagon to decrease the average unit cost of the plane by about 15 percent, a Pentagon spokeswoman said. And it should bring the cost of the most common F-35 variant below $80 million one year ahead of schedule.

Lockheed Martin program general manager Greg Ulmer touted the company’s cost savings in the most recent contract, which he chalked up to “smart acquisition strategies and a relentless focus on cost reduction.”

“Beating our long-stated goal and delivering an F-35A below $80 million … is a testament to our joint government and industry team ― and we look forward to working with the Joint Program Office to finalize the agreement,” Ulmer wrote in an email.

Both Lockheed and the Defense Department are trying to address decades of criticism from congressional hawks and doves alike, who have characterized the F-35 program as too costly.

Almost since its inception, the F-35 has been a lighting rod for criticism around wasteful defense spending. And it has been a financial bedrock for Lockheed, propelling the Bethesda-based manufacturer to a dominant position atop the defense contracting hierarchy.

Proponents argue that the plane’s stealthiness, advanced sensors, targeting capabilities and extended flying range would make it an important asset in a war against a so-called “near-peer” competitor such as Russia or China.

But it is also the single most expensive military program in U.S. history by a wide margin, leading some to worry it will starve the Pentagon of resources it needs for other missions. The late senator John McCain called the F-35 a “poster child for acquisition malpractice” a “scandal” and a “tragedy” at different points during his tenure as Senate Armed Services Committee chairman.

President Trump also took an interest in the plane early in his presidency when he criticized its “tremendous cost and cost overruns,” and asked the Pentagon to consider buying one of Boeing’s F-18 jets instead. In early 2017, the Pentagon awarded Lockheed a contract that shaved roughly $728 million in costs ― an amount roughly equivalent to cost reductions already in place during the Obama administration.

Even Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing executive who is the acting defense secretary, has criticized the plane.

“The F-35, unequivocally, I can say, has a lot of opportunity for more performance,” Shanahan said in response to questions about whether he is biased toward his former employer.

Teal Group aerospace analyst Richard Aboulafia said the contract announced Tuesday draws attention to the sheer size of the program. The agreement means Lockheed Martin will benefit from years of taxpayer-funded military contracts, and will be able to confidently plan for the future.

“With contracts you recognize the sheer enormity of the [F-35] program,” Aboulafia said. “We could still see four or five more of these [multiyear production] contracts.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2019/06/11/pentagon-lockheed-martin-reach-tentative-billion-deal-hundreds-f-fighter-jets/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.ae8a8f28df8e

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The Pronk Pops Show 1244 April 25, 2019, Story 1: Obama Sock Puppet Corrupt Creepy Sleepy Joe Biden Running For President For Fourth Time — World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Iraq War Are All Liberal Progressive Democratic and Republican Wars — Big Government Parties Kill People And Steal Their Wealth — Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers — We Gotta Get Out Of This Place — Eve of Destruction — War What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing — Videos — Story 2: Crazy Communist Bernie Sanders Trying To Turn Texas Radical Extremist Democratic Socialists (REDS) — Socialist Justice Junkie — Videos — Story 3: A Very Crowded Democratic Party Candidates for President — Followers Yes — Leaders No — Videos — Story 4: Trump — Capitalist vs. Sanders — Socialist — The Winner Is? — That Guy With The Tinted Hair! — Meant to Be — I’m Gonna Show You Crazy — I’m A Mess — Last Hurrah — Videos — Story 5: Deep Sleep vs. Big Lie Media’s Epic Progressive Propaganda Failure — No Contest — Get A Good Night’s Sleep — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 1193 January 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1192 January 8, 2019

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Story 1: Obama Sock Puppet Corrupt Creepy Sleepy Joe Biden Running For President For Fourth Time — World War I, World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Iraq War Are All Liberal Progressive Democratic and Republican Wars — Big Government Parties Kill People And Steal Their Wealth — Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers — We Gotta Get Out Of This Place — Eve of Destruction — War What Is It Good For? Absolutely Nothing — Videos —

Joe Biden Runs For President…Again

Hannity: Democrats’ crazy train has another passenger

How will Joe Biden’s past record affect his 2020 chances?

2020 Democrats Weigh In On Allegations Against Joe Biden | NBC News

Joe Biden’s son’s firm linked to Chinese government: New book

Joe Biden Chalkboard Exposé Part 1: Underhanded Deals with Ukraine

Joe Biden Chalkboard Exposé Part 2: The Chinese Connection

Has Joe Biden’s Ukrainian nightmare just begun?

Peter Schweizer: Joe Biden is the most corrupt vice president of our lifetime

Joe Biden: The Progressive Democratic World Order Is At Risk Of Collapse | CNBC

#MAGA2020: Trump Must Push Invading Illegals and #CreepyUncleJoe As Obama Sockpuppet and Proxy

Left or Liberal?

The Left Ruins Everything

The Animals – We Gotta Get Out Of This Place

Barry McGuire – Eve of Destruction

Creedence Clearwater Revival – “Fortunate Son”

Country Joe’s Anti Vietnam War Song Woodstock

Edwin Starr – War (What Is It Good For?)

Pete Seeger: Where Have All the Flowers Gone?

I’ll win this on my own! Joe Biden says he asked Obama NOT to endorse him as he finally throws himself into 2020 race by taking fight to Trump for ‘the soul of this nation’ – who hits back by saying: ‘Welcome to the race Sleepy Joe!’

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden formally announced his presidential bid
  • ‘We are in the battle for the soul of this nation,’ he said in his announcement
  • He said he asked former President Obama not to endorse his campaign 
  • ‘Whoever wins the nomination should win it on their own merits,’ he told reporters in the Wilmington, Delaware, Amtrak train station 
  • Obama put out a statement Thursday praising Biden but not endorsing him 
  • Biden struck directly at President Donald Trump in his announcement video 
  • ‘If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation,’ he said 
  • Trump wasted no time hitting back and gave Biden the moniker ‘Sleepy Joe’ 
  • Biden faces a crowded field of 20 contenders for the Democratic nomination 
  • A poll released Wednesday had Biden eight points ahead of President Trump
  • The poll has the 76-year-old leading a crowded field of Democrat candidates 
  • Republicans are already attacking the former vice president hard 

Joe Biden said Thursday he asked former President Barack Obama not to endorse his presidential campaign, saying whoever won the Democratic nomination should do so ‘on their own merits.’

‘I asked President Obama not to endorse. Whoever wins the nomination should win it on their own merits,’ the former vice president told reporters in the Wilmington, Delaware, Amtrak train station.

Obama released a statement Thursday that praised Biden but stopped short of endorsing his presidential bid, raising questions about how much the former president would be willing to do to help his former running mate win the Democratic nomination.

Former Vice President Joe Biden said he asked former President Obama not to endorse his campaign

Former Vice President Joe Biden said he asked former President Obama not to endorse his campaign

Biden was spotted hugging a cop+18

Biden was spotted hugging a cop

Biden stopped at Gianni's pizza in Wilmington

Biden also declined to answer a question on why he’s the best choice for Democrats in 2020, saying: ‘That will be for the Democrats to decide.’

He had a brief exchange with reporters in the Amtrak station in Wilmington, Delaware, that bears his name: The Joseph R. Biden Jr. Railroad Station.

He was also spotted hugging a cop in the station and he stopped by his favorite pizza place – Gianni’s pizza – for lunch.

Biden was casually dressed in a blue-button down shirt and made small talk with people in the pizza parlor.

‘America is coming back to like we used to be, ethical, straight, telling the truth, supporting our allies, all those good things,’ he told reporters outside the restaurant.

The first images – in his home town where he’s very popular – show the former vice president glad handling, posing for pictures and being a regular Joe.  He called people by name and asked about their families as he left the pizza place. He got a pizza and soda to go, signature aviator sunglasses on as he departed.

The former vice president ended months of speculation Thursday when he formally entered the race for the Democratic presidential nomination in an announcement that struck directly at President Donald Trump and laid out the former vice president’s vision to led the nation.

‘We are in the battle for the soul of this nation,’ Biden declared in his announcement video. ‘The core values are standing in the world. Everything that has made America America is at stake. That’s why today I’m announcing my candidacy for president of the United States.’

Joe Biden greets people during a stop at Gianni's Pizza in Wilmington, Del.

Joe Biden greets people during a stop at Gianni’s Pizza in Wilmington, Del.

Former Vice President Joe Biden formally announced his presidential bid in a video

Former Vice President Joe Biden formally announced his presidential bid in a video

Trump wasted no time hitting back and dubbed Biden with the moniker ‘Sleepy Joe,’ mocking him with a nickname as he has done with other political rivals in the past.

‘Welcome to the race Sleepy Joe. I only hope you have the intelligence, long in doubt, to wage a successful primary campaign. It will be nasty – you will be dealing with people who truly have some very sick & demented ideas. But if you make it, I will see you at the Starting Gate!,’ Trump wrote on Twitter Thursday morning.

Biden, 76, will share the primary field with at least 20 other candidates, a record for a major U.S. political party.

His entry comes as new poll shows he would defeat President Trump if the general election were held today.

Biden struck hard and direct at Trump in his three-and-a-half minute announcement video.

‘If we give Donald Trump eight years in the White House, he will forever and fundamentally alter the character of this nation. Who we are. And I cannot stand by and watch that happen,’ he said.

The former vice president cited the white supremacist march through Charlottesville, Va., in 2017, and President Trump’s response to it as the reason behind his decision to make a third bid for the White House.

‘I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I had seen in my lifetime,’ he noted.

He particularly pointed to Trump’s line that there are ‘very fine people on both sides.’

‘Some very fine people on both sides, very fine people on both sides? With those words, the president of the United States assigned a moral equivalency between those spreading hate and those with the courage to stand against it. And in that moment I knew the threat to this nation was unlike any I had ever seen in my lifetime,’ Biden said.

Biden

Trump

Democrat Joe Biden leads President Donald Trump by eight points in a hypothetical 2020 matchup, according to a new poll

The poll of 1,992 registered voters was conducted between April 19 and 21

The poll of 1,992 registered voters was conducted between April 19 and 21

The former vice president has a long, strong legislative record as a moderate but he will face more progressive rivals in the battle for the nomination.

And that is the internecine battle Democrats are facing among themselves: the more moderate, blue-collar voters (who swung to Trump in 2016 and put him in the White House) versus the younger, more progressive and diverse generation.

Biden Campaign Staff

Greg Schultz, Campaign Manager

Kate Bedingfield, Deputy Campaign Manager and Communications Director

Pete Kavanaugh, Deputy Campaign Manager

Anthony Bernal, Deputy Campaign Manager and Chief of Staff to Dr. Jill Biden

Symone Sanders, Senior Advisor

Cristobal Alex, Senior Advisor

Brandon English, Senior Advisor

Daniel McCarthy, Chief Operations Officer and Chief Financial Officer

Dana Remus, General Counsel

Erin Wilson, National Political Director

Vanessa Cardenas, National Coalitions Director

Michelle Kwan, Surrogates Director

Kurt Bagley, National Organizing Director

Katie Petrelius, National Finance Director

PJ Alampi, Director of Digital Content

Becca Siegel, Chief Analytics Officer

Ashley Williams, Trip Director

Kate Berner, Deputy Communications Director for Messaging

Meghan Hays, Deputy Communications Director for Strategic Planning

Bill Russo, Deputy Communications Director for Press

Jamal Brown, National Press Secretary

TJ Ducklo, National Press Secretary

Remi Yamamoto, Traveling National Press Secretary

Sherice Perry, Communications Director for Dr. Jill Biden

Andrew Bates, Director of Rapid Response

Kamau Marshall, Director of Strategic Communications

The president labeled those liberal left candidates as people with ‘some very sick & demented ideas,’ in his tweet Thursday.

A prominent liberal group has already disavowed the former vice president.

Justice Democrats, the group that helped progressives like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez take office, slammed Biden in a statement Thursday.

‘The old guard of the Democratic Party failed to stop Trump, and they can’t be counted on to lead the fight against his divide-and-conquer politics today. The party needs new leadership with a bold vision capable of energizing voters in the Democratic base who stayed home in 2016,’ the group said.

Biden’s entry into the race Thursday follows a shock poll released on Wednesday, which put him eight points ahead of Trump and had the 76-year-old leading a packed Democrat primary field.

The Morning Consult/Politico poll shows Biden leading Trump 42 per cent to 34 per cent in a general election matchup.

The poll of 1,992 registered voters was conducted between April 19 and 21.

It showed Biden with a strong lead over Trump among women, whom he led by 17 points, millennials with a 22-point lead and independents, up 10 points.

The former vice president also announced his campaign staff on Thursday including campaign manager Greg Schultz, who ran Biden’s PAC American Possibilities and served as his political director in the White House; Symone Sanders, a prominent African American political strategist who served as Bernie Sanders press secretary for his 2016 campaign, as a senior adviser; and Michelle Kwan, a two-Olympic medal winning figure skater, as his surrogates director.

Biden’s announcement video also touched on issues important to Democrats – striking at the moral character of President Trump while highlighting the racial issues that have caused concern.

‘I don’t see how you could do anything that goes more directly at some of the constituencies of the Democratic Party than putting Charlottesville front and center,’ former Obama campaign manager David Axelrod said on CNN Thursday.

The former vice president enters the race as the pejorative front runner.

Even before he pulled the trigger on his campaign, his strong national name recognition has made him the odds-on favorite to square off against PresidentTrump next year.

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, the only declared candidate who is older than Biden, is running in second place with 23 per cent average backing. No other potential Democratic nominee is polling in double digits.

Biden’s task will be to grow his natural base faster than his competitors can catch up to him and to dispel the party’s fear that a series of sexual harassment allegations have saddled him with a ceiling that no amount of joshing and grinning can break through.

Biden, seen here with wife Jill at the 2013 inaugural ball, will appear with her on ABC's 'Good Morning America' next week+18

Biden, seen here with wife Jill at the 2013 inaugural ball, will appear with her on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’ next week

Former President Barack Obama praised Biden in a statement Thursday but did not formally endorse his presidential bid+18

Former President Barack Obama praised Biden in a statement Thursday but did not formally endorse his presidential bid

Biden waves to the crowd after he stopped for pizza on Thursday+18

Biden waves to the crowd after he stopped for pizza on Thursday

He will position himself as a level headed statesman and highlight his roots as a blue-collar man from Scranton, Pennsylvania, who never lost touch with his hardscrabble beginnings.

It’s those middle class roots and appeal to Midwest voters in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Ohio and Michigan that are said to worry Republicans as those are the states that helped put Trump in the White House.

Pennsylvania is getting a heavy focus from Biden from the start. He’ll hold rally with Teamsters in Pittsburgh on Monday and then, on May 18, he’ll hold a rally in Philadelphia.

Trump won the state in 2018, the first time in over 20 years a Republican captured it, helping hand him the Oval Office.

Biden’s first high-profile endorsements on Thursday came from Democratic U.S. senators who hail from his native Pennsylvania and his childhood state of Delaware.

Chris Coons, who holds the Delaware seat Biden once occupied, called the former vice president ‘better prepared than anyone to lead America on the world stage at a time when our commitments to our allies and our values are being questioned like never before.’

‘Joe knows what it means to strengthen our alliances, stare down our adversaries, and represent the best of America abroad,’ Coons said in a statement.

Biden Campaign Schedule

April 26: Appears on ABC’s ‘The View’

April 29: Speech to union members in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

April 30: Biden and Jill Biden appear on ABC’s ‘Good Morning America’

May 18: Rally in Philadelphia

Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania said America is at a ‘make-or-break moment for the middle class, our children and our workers,’ and that ‘America needs Vice President Joe Biden to be its next President.’

Former President Barack Obama did not leap up to support his two-time running-mate.

A person familiar with Obama’s thinking said Thursday that the 44th president is ‘excited by the extraordinary and diverse talent exhibited in the growing lineup of Democratic primary candidates.’

But ‘it’s unlikely that he will throw his support behind a specific candidate this early in the primary process — preferring instead to let the candidates make their cases directly to the voters,’ the source said.

In public, Obama spokeswoman Katie Hill told reporters: ‘President Obama has long said that selecting Joe Biden as his running mate in 2008 was one of the best decisions he ever made.’

‘He relied on the Vice President’s knowledge, insight, and judgment throughout both campaigns and the entire presidency,’ said Hill. ‘The two forged a special bond over the last 10 years and remain close today.’

The former Vice President said in the video: 'We are in the battle for the soul of this nation'

The former Vice President said in the video: ‘We are in the battle for the soul of this nation’

Biden talks with officials after speaking at a rally in support of striking Stop & Shop workers in Boston on April 18

Biden talks with officials after speaking at a rally in support of striking Stop & Shop workers in Boston on April 18

The Republican National Committee leaped to mock Biden for failing to lock his former boss into a Day One endorsement.

‘Joe Biden has been running for president and losing since the ‘80s. 2020 won’t be any different. Biden’s fingerprints are all over foreign policy blunders and the weakest economic recovery since World War II,’ said RNC Communications Director Michael Ahrens.

‘We don’t need eight more years of Biden. Just ask President Obama, who isn’t even endorsing his right-hand man.’

And RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel tweeted Thursday morning: ‘If Joe Biden wants to keep score: In 8 years, Biden & Obama had a net loss of 193,000 manufacturing jobs. In just over 2 years, @realDonaldTrump has created 453,000 manufacturing jobs. Don’t let Biden take us backwards!’

Meanwhile, Biden’s team worries about his fundraising ability and his tendency to commit gaffes.

Money is said to be one of the campaign’s biggest worries.

Although Biden has long standing ties to the party’s elders and a long list of wealthy supporters he can call at a moment’s notice, he’ll face questions if he can harness the social media and small donor power that Beto O’Rourke and Bernie Sanders have used to fuel their candidacy.

Highlighting his campaign’s concern about cash, his first post-presidential stop will be a fundraiser.

On Thursday, a group of Philadelphia-based Democratic insiders with ties to Obama and Hillary Clinton are planning a fundraiser at the home of David L. Cohen, executive senior vice president of Comcast. The former vice president will attend, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported, and is aiming to raise $500,000 at the event.

On Friday, Biden will appear on ABC’s ‘The View,’ followed by a rally in Pittsburgh on Monday. He and wife Jill will sit down with ABC’s Robin Roberts for Tuesday’s ‘Good Morning America.’

Sandwiched in between and throughout the next few weeks will be visits to the early voting states in the Democratic primary process.

Four years Trump’s senior, Biden would be the oldest person ever elected president should he win.

He is expected to campaign as an ‘Obama-Biden Democrat,’ who is as pragmatic as he is progressive, in a move to appeal to those nostalgic for the former president.

He’ll also have to balance the working-class voters who are his strength with the younger, more diverse crowd who came out for Obama in historic numbers but stayed home for Hillary Clinton.

Biden speaks at the IBEW Construction and Maintenance Conference in Washington earlier this month+18

Biden speaks at the IBEW Construction and Maintenance Conference in Washington earlier this month

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Biden Courage Awards in New York last month

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Biden Courage Awards in New York last month

With a public record that stretches back a half a century, Biden’s challenges are easy to find.

First and foremost were the recent allegations stemmed from years of Biden’s hugs and kisses to women, some of whom said the touching was inappropriate and unwelcome.

Biden is known for demonstrating affection in public. It was often the subject of jokes while others labeled him ‘Creepy Uncle Joe.’

The recent scandal, however, found the former vice president staring down a wave of allegations from women, whose fury against Trump’s election and leadership in the #MeToo movement have made them a force in the 2020 contest.

It’s also left the Democratic Party in the awkward position of watching one of its favorite sons try to calm a storm that has engulfed other politicians.

Biden, trying to stem the tide ahead of his expected announcement, broke his silence on the scandal in early April, saying he ‘tried to make a human connection’ with his actions but ‘will be more mindful and respectful of people’s personal space’ in the future.

‘I always try to be in my career, always tried to make a human connection. That’s my responsibility, I think. I shake hands, I hug people. I grab men and women by the shoulders and say you can do this, whether they’re women, men, young, old. It’s the way I’ve always been and tried to show that I care about them and I’m listening,’ he said in a video posted to his Twitter account.

The scandal began when former Nevada politician Lucy Flores accused him of making her uncomfortable during a 2014 campaign appearance when he kissed the back of her head.

Since she spoke, three additional women have come forward.

But other women defended the former vice president, saying they found comfort in his hugs.

The scandal will likely be one of the first items he’ll have to address in his upcoming set of interviews on ABC.

Biden’s first White House bid in 1988 ended after a plagiarism scandal.

In 2008, he dropped out after less than 1 per cent of the vote in the Iowa caucuses, a fact Trump has mocked him for.

‘He ran two or three times, he never got about one percent. And then [Barack] Obama came along and took him off the trash heap, and he became a vice president, and now he’s leading,’ Trump told Fox News in January.

Later in 2008, Obama named Biden his running mate, in part to use Biden’s elder statesman experience to balance out his lack of time on the national political scene.

Additionally, Biden’s willingness to work with Republicans has caused him political headaches.

He was forced to walk back a comment last month that Vice President Mike Pence is ‘a decent guy’ after intense blowback from liberal activists upset with Pence’s opposition to gay rights.

Biden was also a close friend of the late Sen. John McCain and spoke at one of of his memorial services.

Biden's first accuser, former Nevada politician Lucy Flores, said she was 'mortified' when Biden planted a 'big, slow kiss' on the back of her head as she waited to take the stage at a campaign rally five years ago

Biden’s first accuser, former Nevada politician Lucy Flores, said she was ‘mortified’ when Biden planted a ‘big, slow kiss’ on the back of her head as she waited to take the stage at a campaign rally five years ago

Biden speaks at a rally in support of striking Stop & Shop workers in Boston last week

Biden speaks at a rally in support of striking Stop & Shop workers in Boston last week

First elected to the Senate in 1972, Biden has a long record in Congress that he will have to defend.

The most prominent has been the 1991 confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Clarance Thomas. As chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Biden allowed Anita Hill, who had accused Thomas of sexual harassment, to face harsh questions form an all-male panel. Thomas was later confirmed to the court.

Biden has since apologized for his role in the hearing.

His deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield said on CNN Thursday that Biden and Hill have spoken but she declined to give any details on the timing or nature of the conversation.

‘I’m not going to get into their private discussions, but they have spoken,’ Bedingfield said.

But in the #MeToo era, particularly after the contentious confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, his apology may not be enough to silence the issue.

The former vice president also has a compelling personal story to back up his professional experience.

A a son of Scranton, Pa., his wife Neilia and daughter Naomi were killed in a car crash in December 1972, shortly after he was first elected to the Senate.

Sons Beau and Hunter survived. Biden went on to marry Jill Jacobs in 1977 and have another daughter.

But Beau died in May 2015 of brain cancer. Biden opted not to run in 2016, in part because of Beau’s death, despite his dying son asking him go for it.

Biden reflected on that in a book he wrote about his conversations with Beau.

‘He was worried that what I’d worked on my whole life, the things that mattered to me the most since I was a kid, that I’d walk away,’ Biden said.

WHO ARE THE 20 DEMOCRATS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020?

JOE BIDEN

Age on Inauguration Day 2021: 78

Entered race: April 25, 2019

Career: No current role. A University of Delaware and Syracuse Law graduate, he was first elected to Newcastle City Council in 1969, then won upset election to Senate in 1972, aged 29. Was talked out of quitting before being sworn in when his wife and daughter died in a car crash and served total of six terms. Chaired Judiciary Committee’s notorious Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings. Ran for president in 1988, pulled out after plagiarism scandal, ran again in 2008, withdrew after placing fifth in the Iowa Caucuses. Tapped by Obama as his running mate and served two terms as vice president. Contemplated third run in 2016 but decided against it after his son died of brain cancer.

Family: Eldest of four siblings born to Joe Biden Sr. and Catherine Finnegan. First wife Neilia Hunter and their one-year-old daughter Naomi died in car crash which their two sons, Joseph ‘Beau’ and Robert Hunter survived. Married Jill Jacobs in 1976, with whom he has daughter Ashley. Beau died of brain cancer in 2015. Hunter’s marriage to Kathleen Buhle, with whom he has three children, ended in 2016 when it emerged Hunter was in a relationship with Beau’s widow Hallie, mother of their two children. Hunter admitted cocaine use; his estranged wife accused him of blowing their savings on drugs and prostitutes

Religion: Catholic

Views on key issues: Ultra-moderate who will emphasize bipartisan record. Will come under fire over record, having voted: to stop desegregation bussing in 1975; to overturn Roe v Wade in 1981; for now controversial 1994 Violent Crime Act; for 2003 Iraq War; and for banking deregulation. Says he is ‘most progressive’ Democrat. New positions include free college, tax reform, $15 minimum wage. No public position yet on Green New Deal and healthcare. Pro-gun control. Has already apologized to women who say he touched them inappropriately

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president

Slogan: To be announced

CORY BOOKER

Age on Inauguration Day: 51

Entered race: February 1, 2019

Career: Currently New Jersey senator. High school football star who went to Stanford or undergraduate and masters degrees before studying in Oxford as a Rhodes scholar and Yale Law School. Worked for advocacy and youth projects and successfully ran for Newark, New Jersey, city council in 1998. Narrowly lost mayoral election in 2002 facing claims he was ‘suburban’ and ‘not black enough.’ Ran again in 2006 and won landslide on radical reform platform for troubled city, including being tough on crime, cutting budget deficit, increasing affordable housing and tackling failing schools – controversially taking a huge donation from Mark Zuckerberg for the city. Ran for New Jersey senate seat in 2013 special election and won; won full term in 2014

Family: Unmarried but dating actress Rosario Dawson. Parents Cary and Carolyn were among IBM’s first black executives. Brother Cary Jr. is education adviser to New Jersey’s Democratic governor

Religion: Baptist

Views on key issues: Self-proclaimed liberal. Endorses abortion rights; affirmative action; single-payer health care; criminal justice reform; path to citizenship for ‘dreamers; federal marijuana decriminalization; $15 minimum wage; but has also spoken against tech regulation and for long-term deficit reduction

Would make history as: First unmarried president since Grover Cleveland in 1886

Slogan: Together, America, We Will Rise

PETE BUTTIGIEG

Age on Inauguration Day: 39

Entered race: Announced formation of exploratory committee January 23, 2019. Formally entered race April 14, 2019

Career: Currently mayor of Sound Bend, Indiana. Harvard grad and Rhodes scholar who got a second degree from Oxford before working as a McKinsey management consultant and being commissioned as a Navy Reserve intelligence officer. Elected South Bend mayor in 2011 and served in combat in 2013, won re-election in 2015

Family: Came out as gay during second mayoral run and married husband Chasten Glezman, a middle school teacher in 2018. Parents were University of Notre Dame academics. Surname is pronounced BOOT-edge-edge. Would be first combat veteran since George H.W. Bush

Religion: Raised as a Catholic, now Episcopalian

Views on key issues: Has said Democratic party needs a ‘fresh start’; wrote an essay in praise of Bernie Sanders aged 17; backed paid parental leave for city employees; other policies unknown 

Would make history as: First openly gay and youngest-ever president

Slogan: To be announced

JULIAN CASTRO 

Age on Inauguration Day: 46

Entered race: January 12, 2018, at rally in his native San Antonio, TX. Had formed exploratory committee two months previously

Career: No current job. Stanford and Harvard graduate who was a San Antonio, Texas, councilman at 26 and became mayor of the city in 2009. Was Obama’s Housing and Urban Development secretary from 2014 to 2016

Family: Married with nine-year-old daughter, Carina, and four-year-old son, Cristian. His identical twin Joaquin, who is a minute younger, is Democratic congressman. Mother Maria del Rosario Castro was part of ‘radical’ third party for Mexican-Americans; father left his wife and five children for her but they never married. Would be first Hispanic-American president – announced his run in English and Spanish – and first-ever U.S. president with a twin

Religion:  Catholic

Views on key issues: Wants medicare for all; universal pre-K; action on affordable housing; will not take money from political action committees (PACs) tied to corporations or unions. Other views still to be announced

Would make history as: First Hispanic president, first to be a twin  

Slogan: One Nation, One Destiny

JOHN DELANEY

Age on Inauguration Day: 57

Entered race: Filed papers July 28, 2017

Career: No current job. Three-time Maryland congressman, first winning election in 2012. Previously set up publicly-traded companies lending capital to healthcare and mid-size businesses and was youngest CEO at the time of a New York Stock Exchange-listed firm

Family: Married father of four; wife April works for children’s issues nonprofit 

Religion: Catholic 

Views on key issues: Social liberal in favor of legalized pot and gun control but not single-payer healthcare; fiscally conservative

Would make history as: First president from Marlyand 

Slogan: Focus on the Future

TULSI GABBARD

Age on Inauguration Day: 39

Entered race: Still to formally file any papers but said she would run on January 11 2019

Career: Currently Hawaii congresswoman. Born on American Samoa, a territory, and therefore may be subject to questions over whether she is natural-born. Raised largely in Hawaii, she co-founded an environmental non-profit with her father as a teenager and was elected to the State Legislature aged 21, its youngest member in history. Enlisted in the National Guard and served two tours, one in Iraq 2004-2006, then as an officer in Kuwait in 2009. Ran for Honolulu City Council in 2011, and House of Representatives in 2012

Family: Married to her second husband, Abraham Williams, a cinematographer since 2015. First marriage to childhood sweetheart Eduardo Tamayo in 2002 ended in 2006. Father Mike Gabbard is a Democratic Hawaii state senator, mother Carol Porter runs a non-profit.

Religion: Hindu

Views on key issues: Has apologized for anti-abortion and anti-gay marriage views; wants marijuana federally legalized; opposed to most U.S. foreign interventions; backs $15 minimum wage and universal health care; was the second elected Democrat to meet Trump after his 2016 victory

Would make history as: First female, Hindu and Samoan-American president; youngest president ever

Slogan: Lead with Love

KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND

Age on Inauguration Day: 54

Entered race: Announced exploratory committee on Stephen Colbert’s CBS show on January 16, 2019. Formal launch in front of Trump International Hotel and Tower, New York, March 24, 2019

Career: Currently New York senator. Dartmouth and UCLA law grad who was a high-flying Manhattan attorney representing big businesses. Says she was inspired to enter politics by hearing Hillary Clinton speak, although she is also scion of a prominent New York Democratic political family. Won New York’s 20th district, centered on Albany in 2004; appointed to Hillary Clinton’s senate seat in 2008 and won it in 2010 special election 63-35; won first full term 2012 and re-elected 67-33 in 2018

Family: Married to British venture capitalist Jonathan Gillibrand with two sons, Theodore, 15, and Henry, ten. Father Douglas Lutnik was Democratic lobbyist; grandmother Polly Noonan was at center of Albany Democratic politics

Religion: Catholic

Views on key issues: Initially pro-gun as Congresswoman, has since reversed herself to be pro-gun control and also pro-immigration; said Bill Clinton should have resigned over Monica Lewinsky and helped force Al Franken out of Senate over groping allegations; in favor of single-payer healthcare and Medicare for all

Would make history as: First female president 

Slogan: Brave wins

KAMALA HARRIS 

Age on Inauguration Day: 56 

Entered race: Announced she was running January 21, 2018 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day – on Good Morning America. Formally entered race January 27

Career: Currently California senator. Howard and U.C. Hunter law school grad who worked as assistant district attorney in Alameda County, CA, then in San Francisco’s DA’s office before being elected San Francisco DA in 2003 and used it as springboard to run successfully for California attorney general in 2010. Won again in 2014 and was at center of U.S. attorney general and Supreme Court speculation but also endured a series of controversies, including over police brutality allegations. Ran for Senate in 2016 and established herself on liberal wing of party

Family: Born in Berkeley, CA, to immigrant Indian Tamil mother and Jamaican father who were both academics and brought up from seven to 18  in Montreal, Canada. Dated married San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, when he was 60 and she was 29. Married attorney Douglas Emhoff in 2014 and has two stepchildren; Cole, an aspiring actor, and Ella, an art and design student. Sister Maya was a Hillary Clinton adviser and brother-in-law Tony West is Uber’s chief legal counsel

Views on key issues: Social ultra-liberal who has rejected criticisms of ‘identity politics’ and is running without a political action committee, which will make her reliant on small donors. Has shifted left on criminal justice reform; supports Medicare for all;  pro-gun control and anti-death penalty; says illegal immigration is a civil not a criminal offense

Religion: Has said she was brought up in both Baptist and Hindu tradition

Would make history as: First female and first Indian-American president

Slogan: For The People 

JOHN HICKENLOOPER

Age on Inauguration Day: 68

Entered race: March 4, 2019 with Good Morning America interview

Career: No current job. Wesleyan University-educated geologist who moved to Colorado to work in petroleum industry but was laid off and started Wynkoop Brewing Company, the first craft brewpub in 1988 in Denver’s LoDo (lower downtown) area. Ran for mayor of Denver as an outsider in 2003 and won, then won a second term in 2007. Ran for Colorado governor in 2010 and won 51 per cent of the vote; his nearest rival took 36.5 per cent. Won re-election 49.3 to 46 in 2014, but was term limited and ended his second term in January 2019

Family: Married to second wife Robin Pringle, 40, a vice president at LibertyMedia Corp., owners of Sirius XM. Divorced first wife Helen Thorpe in 2012 after 10 years of marriage; ex-couple have son Teddy, a high school student. Born and brought up in Narbeth, in the Main Line of Philadelphia, his father’s ancestors include Civil War Union general Andrew Hickenlooper

Religion: Quaker

Views on key issues: Voiced support for Green New Deal but has also been in favor of fracking; has not embraced single-payer healthcare but expanded Medicaid in Colorado; long record of being pro-gun control; pro-choice but has gone out of his way to talk about reducing unplanned teenage pregnancies ; opposed to the death penalty; advocated for gay marriage

Would make history as: First Colorado president

Slogan:  To be announced     

JAY INSLEE

Age on Inauguration Day: 69

Entered race: March 1, 2019

Career: Currently Washington governor. Stanford drop-out who graduated from University of Washington and Williamette University School of Law before working as a city prosecutor in Selah, WA. First elected to Washington House of Representatives in 1989 and again in 1990; won Congressional seat in 1992 elections but lost in 1994 and then had failed 1996 gubernatorial run. Returned to Congress in 1998 elections and stayed until 2012 to run for governor. Won first term 51.5 to 48.5; re-elected in 2016 by 54.4 to 45.6

Family: Born in Seattle to late parents Frank, a Navy veteran and high school teacher and coach, and Adele, a Sears sales clerk. Married high school and college sweetheart Trudi since 1972. Three adult sons Jack, a radio producer in Washington D.C.; Connor, director of a Washington state non-profit for the disabled; and Joe, who works for King County, WA’s department of natural resources and parks. Grandfather of three 

Religion: Non-denominational Protestant 

Views on key issues: Running to combat climate change with praise for  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal – his record in Washington D.C. including aspiring to ‘zero emissions’ buildings and largely eliminate fossil fuel use; vocal gun control advocate; fought Trump’s ban on entry to people from seven Muslim-majority countries; called moratorium on death penalty in Washington; supported marijuana legalization in Washington and expected to do so federally; will not take money from political action committees; healthcare position still unclear

Would make history as: First Washington state president 

Slogan: Our moment 

AMY KLOBUCHAR

Age on Inauguration Day: 60

Entered race: Announced candidacy February 10, 2019 at snow-drenched rally in her native Minneapolis

Career: Currently Minnesota senator. Yale and University of Chicago law graduate who became a corporate lawyer. First ran unsuccessfully for office in 1994 as Hennepin, MI, county attorney, and won same race in 1998, then in 2002, without opposition. Ran for Senate in 2006 and won 58-38; re-elected in 2012 and 2018

Family: Married to John Bessler, law professor at University of Baltimore and expert on capital punishment. Daughter Abigail Bessler, 23, works fora Democratic member of New York City council. Father Jim, 90, was a veteran newspaper columnist who has written a memoir of how his alcoholism hurt his family; mom Rose is a retired grade school teacher

Religion: Congregationalist (United Church of Christ)

Views on key issues: Seen as a mainstream liberal: says she wants ‘universal health care’ but has not spelled out how; pro-gun control; pro-choice; backs $15 minimum wage; no public statements on federal marijuana legalization; has backed pro-Israel law banning the ‘boycott, divestment and sanctions’ movement; spoke out against abolishing ICE

Would make history as: First female president

Slogan: To be announced

WAYNE MESSAM

Age on Inauguration day: 46

Entered race: Announced March 28, 2019, formal launch March 30, 2019

Career: Currently mayor of Miramar, Florida. Florida State University football star who played starting wide receiver, and graduated in 1997. Worked in construction industry as contractor and started his own company in 2007. Ran for City of Miramar Commission in 2011 and mayor in 2015, defeating 16-year Democratic incumbent and becoming first black mayor of the city. Won second term March 2019, days before announcing presidential bid

Family: Married to college sweetheart Angela Sands, 44, who is also his business partner. Three college-age children: son Wayne Jr. and twin daughters Kayla and Kyla. Fourth child and first American-born child of Jamaican immigrants Hubert , a sugar-cane cutter, and his wife Delsey, who are both deceased. Was president of the National Black Caucus of Local Elected Officials in 2018

Religion: Worships at the Fountain of New Life Church in Miami Gardens where he is a deacon

Views on key issues: Says he is staunch advocate of gun control. Wants action on climate change and is opposed to off-shore oil drilling. Opposes Trump immigration policies and proposed forcing immigration officials to get a warrant before entering city property. Yet to state position on health care and foreign policy

Would make history as: First Jamaican-American and first Florida president 

Slogan: Your Champion

SETH MOULTON

Age on Inauguration Day: 42

Entered race: April 22, 2019

Career: Currently Massachusetts Congressman. Educated at elite Phillips Academy Andover – like both Bush presidents – and Harvard, he joined the Marines early in 2001. Was commissioned in 2002, then saw combat in invasion of Iraq and four total tours of duty, rising to captain and winning a Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and a Bronze Star. Attended graduate school, worked for a high-speed rail project in Texas and ran against incumbent Democrat and then Republican in 2014 to take his hometown district of Marblehead, which he has held since.  Would be only second sitting congressman elected president – first was James Garfield in 1880

Family: Married wife Liz Moulton, a divorcee, in 2017. Couple had a daughter, Emmy, in October 2018. Parents Tom and Lynn, a real estate attorney and a secretary, campaigned against Vietnam as students

Religion: United Church of Christ

Views on key issues: Democratic moderate who campaigned on opposition to Iraq War which he served in. Wants a Pacific NATO and radical change to military, with concentration on new technology. Pro-gun control. Healthcare views unclear. Announced support for  Green New Deal. Has compared Trump’s rise to Hitler’s 

Would make history as: Youngest ever president, beating Theodore Roosevelt by 234 days 

Slogan:  To be announced

BETO O’ROURKE

Age on Inauguration Day: 47

Entered race: March 14, 2019

Career: No current job. Born Robert Francis O’Rourke. Boarding-school educated Columbia grad who lived in a New York loft, playing in a punk band and doing desultory jobs and setting up an internet firm. Ran for El Paso city council in 2005, winning re-election and serving until 2012. Ran for Congress in 2012, defeating eight-term Democratic incumbent in primary. Gave up seat to run for Senate against Ted Cruz in 2018, losing 51-48

Family: Married to wife Amy Sanders, nine years his junior, with sons Ulysses and Henry, and daughter Molly. Father Pat was long-time El Paso politician who switched from Democrat to Republican; mom Melissa ran family-owned store in city until selling it after IRS probe. Melissa’s stepfather Fred Korth was one of JFK’s secretaries of the Navy. Father-in-law William Saunders is real estate developer estimated to be worth $500 million

Religion: Catholic

Views on key issues: Wants comprehensive immigration reform to give citizenship to ‘dreamers’ and a path to it for their parents, and vehemently opposes Trump’s wall. Supports federal marijuana legalization. Pro-gun control including an assault rifle ban and universal background checks. Supports single-payer health care but with co-pays and has backed Medicaid expansion. Strongly pro-choice. Has hinted at backing breaking up tech giants. Said he would have voted for impeachment in Congress if he had had the chance

Would make history as: No clear claims 

Slogan: To be announced

TIM RYAN

Age on Inauguration Day: 46

Entered race: April 4, 2019

Career: Currently Ohio congressman. High school football star who got a scholarship to Youngstown State, Ohio, but transferred to nearby Bowling Green University when his career ended in injury. Became a congressional aide, picked up a law degree, then served in the Ohio Senate and when his former House boss Jim Traficant went to prison for fraud ran for his seat in 2002 and won. Has held district – first Ohio 13th then the 17th when Youngstown was redistricted – since with little opposition since. Released book on meditation in 2012 and considered running against Nancy Pelosi for minority leader

Family: Married first grade schoolteacher Andrea Zetts in 2013. Couple had a son, Brady, the following year. Zetts has a daughter, Bella, and a son, Mason, from her first marriage who Ryan says he ‘loves like his own.’ Ryan’s first marriage ended in divorce. He was brought up by his mom Rochelle after she and his father Allen divorced when he was seven

Religion: Catholic

Views on key issues: Moderate who backs Medicare for all. Flipped from anti-abortion to pro-choice in dramatic fashion in 2015. Does not appear to back the Green New Deal but suggests a carbon tax. Spoken up for capitalism but is also pro-union. Advocated for mindfulness teaching in classrooms. Also flipped on gun control from A rating by NRA to strong support of anti-gun measures

Would make history as: Only second sitting congressman elected president – first was James Garfield, also from Ohio, in 1880 

Slogan: To be announced

BERNIE SANDERS

Age on Inauguration Day: 79

Entered race: Sources said on January 25, 2019, that he would form exploratory committee. Officially announced February 19

Career: Currently Vermont senator. Student civil rights and anti-Vietnam activist who moved to Vermont and worked as a carpenter and radical film-maker. Serial failed political candidate in the 1970s, he ran as a socialist for mayor of Burlington in 1980 and served two terms ending in 1989, and win a seat in Congress as an independent in 1990. Ran for Senate in 2006 elections as an independent with Democratic endorsement and won third term in 2018. Challenged Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in 2016 but lost. Campaign has since been hit by allegations of sexual harassment  – for which he has apologized – and criticized for its ‘Bernie bro’ culture

Family: Born to a Jewish immigrant father and the daughter of Jewish immigrant parents in Brooklyn, New York. First marriage to college sweetheart Deboarah Shiling Messing in 1964 ended in divorce in 1966; had son Levi in 1969 with then girlfriend Susan Cambell Mott. Married Jone O’Meara in 1988 and considers her three children, all adults, his own. The couple have seven grandchildren. His older brother Larry is a former Green Party councilor in Oxfordshire, England. Would be first Jewish president

Religion: Secular Jewish 

Views on key issues: Openly socialist and standard bearer for the Democratic party’s left-turn. Wants federal $15 minimum wage; banks broken up; union membership encouraged; free college tuition; universal health care; re-distributive taxation; he opposed Iraq War and also U.S. leading the fight against ISIS and wants troops largely out of Afghanistan and the Middle East

Would make history as: Oldest person elected president

Slogan: Not me. Us.

ERIC SWALWELL

Age on Inauguration Day: 39

Entered race: Announced on the Stephen Colbert Show, April 8, 2019

Career: College soccer scholar whose sporting career was ended by injury who was a Capitol Hill intern in the building on 9/11. University of Maryland law graduate, served as a prosecutor in Alameda County, CA – where Kamala Harris worked in earlier years. He was elected to Dublin City Council, CA, in 2010 and ran for Congress in California’s 15th District the following year, unseating 20-seat Democrat incumbent through California’s ‘top-two’ system. Number 6 on The Hill’s 50 Most Beautiful List in 2014. Won fourth term 73-27 in 2018. Would be only second sitting congressman elected president – first was James Garfield in 1880

Family: Married second wife Brittany Ann Watts, a Ritz-Carlton sales director in 2016, and has a son Nelson and daughter Kathryn. First marriage to Melissa Maranda ended in divorce. Born in Iowa where his father was a police chief who was fired for being too hardline, and brought up in California where the family moved in search of work

Religion: Christian

Views on key issues: Socially-ultra liberal. Has called for mandatory buyback of ‘military-style semi-automatic assault weapons’ and other gun control measures. Supportive of the green new deal but with new jobs guarantee for fossil fuel workers. Wants ‘health-care guarantee’ rather than Medicare for all. Aggressive voice for investigation of Trump

Would make history as: Youngest president ever 

Slogan: Go big. Be bold. Do good.

ELIZABETH WARREN

Age on Inauguration Day: 71

Entered race:  Set up exploratory committee December 31, 2018

Career: Currently Massachusetts senator. Law lecturer and academic who became an expert on bankruptcy law and tenured Harvard professor. Ran for Senate and won in 2012, defeating sitting Republican Scott Brown, held it in 2018 60% to 36%. Was short-listed to be Hillary’s running mate and campaigned hard for her in 2016

Family: Twice-married mother of two and grandmother of three. First husband and father of her children was her high-school sweetheart. Second husband Bruce Mann is Harvard law professor. Daughter Amelia Tyagi and son Alex Warren have both been involved in her campaigns. Has controversially claimed Native American roots; DNA test suggested she is as little as 1,064th Native American

Religion: Raised Methodist, now described as Christian with no fixed church

Views on key issues: Was a registered Republican who voted for the party but registered as a Democrat in 1996. Pro: higher taxes on rich; banking regulation; Dream Act path to citizenship for ‘dreamers’; abortion and gay rights; campaign finance restrictions; and expansion of public provision of healthcare – although still to spell out exactly how that would happen. Against: U.S. presence in Afghanistan and Syria; liberalization of gambling

Would make history as: First female president 

Slogan: To be announced 

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON

Age on Inauguration Day: 68

Entered race: Announced exploratory committee November 15, 2018. Formally entered January 28, 2019

Career: Currently an author, Dropped out of Pomona College, California, became part of the counter culture and anti-war movement and ran a ‘metaphysical bookstore’ before publishing spiritual guide A Return to Love and being praised by Oprah, sending it to number one. Published series of follow-ups and founded AIDS charity and subsequently more non-profits including a peace movement. Ran for Congress in 2014 and lost

Family: Born to immigration attorney father Sam and housewife mother Sophie in Houston, Texas. Married for ‘a minute and a half’ to unnamed man; daughter India was born in 1990 but Williamson declines to name her father

Religion: Jewish

Views on key issues: Wants vast expansion of physical and mental healthcare; and nutrition and lifestyle reforms including ban on marketing processed and sugary foods to children; universal pre-K; much of the Green New Deal’s proposals including a de-carbonized economy, electric cars and rebuilding mass transit; gun control through licensing; wants more vacation time; pro decriminalizing all drugs

Would make history as: First female president 

Slogan: Join the Evolution

ANDREW YANG

Age on Inauguration Day: 46

Entered race: Filed papers November 6, 2018

Career: No current job. Started a dotcom flop then become healthcare and education tech executive who set up nonprofit Venture for America

Family: Married father of two. His parents were both immigrants from Taiwan who met at the University of California, Berkeley, as grad students

Religion: Reformed Church

Views on key issues: Warns of rise of robots and artificial intelligence, wants $1,000 a month universal basic income and social media regulated. Spoke out against male circumcision. Wants a state monitor to crack down on ‘fake news.’

Would make history as: First Asian-American president 

Slogan: Humanity First

AND THOSE WHO’VE ALREADY WITHDRAWN 

RICHARD OJEDA. West Virginia ex- state senator and paratrooper veteran

Entered race: November 12, 2018. Quit: January 25, 2019

 

Country Joe and the Fish

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Country Joe and the Fish
Country Joe and the Fish.png

Country Joe and the Fish in 1967
Background information
Origin Berkeley, California, United States
Genres
Years active 1965–70, sporadically thereafter
Labels
Website well.com/~cjfish
Past members Country Joe McDonald
Barry “The Fish” Melton
Gary “Chicken” Hirsh
David Bennett Cohen
Bruce Barthol
David Getz
Peter Albin
John Francis Gunning
Paul Armstrong
Mark Ryan
Gregory Leroy Dewey
Mark Kapner
Doug Metzler

Country Joe and the Fish was an American psychedelic rock band formed in Berkeley, California, in 1965. The band was among the influential groups in the San Francisco music scene during the mid- to late 1960s. Much of the band’s music was written by founding members Country Joe McDonald and Barry “The Fish” Melton, with lyrics pointedly addressing issues of importance to the counterculture, such as anti-war protestsfree love, and recreational drug use. Through a combination of psychedelia and electronic music, the band’s sound was marked by innovative guitar melodies and distorted organ-driven instrumentals which were significant to the development of acid rock.

The band self-produced two EPs that drew attention on the underground circuit before signing to Vanguard Records in 1966. Their debut albumElectric Music for the Mind and Body, followed in 1967. It contained their only nationally charting single, “Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine”, and their most experimental arrangements. Their second album, I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die, was released in late 1967; its title track, with its dark humor and satire, became their signature tune and is among the era’s most recognizable protest songs. Further success followed, including McDonald’s appearance at Woodstock, but the group’s lineup underwent changes until its disbandment in 1970. Members of the band continue in the music industry as solo recording artists and sporadically reconvene.

 

History

Formation (1965)

The first lineup of Country Joe and the Fish formed in mid-1965, when Country Joe McDonald (vocalsacoustic guitar) and Barry “The Fish” Melton (lead guitar, vocals) came together as a duo.[1] The two musicians had a background rooted in folk music, were enamored with the recordings of Woody Guthrie, and worked on the local acoustic coffeehouse circuit in the early 1960s.[1] Melton honed his political protest prowess as a guitarist in Los Angeles, at venues such as the Ash Grove, before relocating to Berkeley, California, where he was a regular at the Jabberwock cafe.[2] Prior to the group, McDonald set up two folk and jug bands, the Berkeley String Quartet and the Instant Jug Band, both of which served as outlets for his original material, and with the latter group including Melton.[3] In addition, McDonald was a publisher of the left-wing underground magazine Et Tu Brute, which later became Rag Baby, containing poetry, drawings, and political messages.[4] By early 1965, McDonald had become involved in the burgeoning folk scene in Berkeley, and the Free Speech Movement that was organizing demonstrations in University of California, Berkeley, which opposed the war in Vietnam. Not long afterwards, McDonald was inspired to record a “talking issue” of his magazine, and organized Country Joe and the Fish with Melton and fellow musicians Carl Schrager (washboardkazoo), Bill Steele (bass guitar), and Mike Beardslee (vocals), out of both necessity of a recording alias and political device, to self-produce an extended play.[5][6]

ED Denson, the co-publisher of Rag Baby, introduced McDonald to Chris Strachwitz, who owned Arhoolie Recording Studios, to self-produce the EP.[7] Sensing the band’s potential, Denson assumed management control, and was responsible for coining the group’s name—a reference to Josef Stalin and to Mao Zedong‘s description of revolutionaries as “the fish who swim in the sea of the people”.[2] McDonald, who had recording experience, began utilizing Arhoolie Recording Studios to record four songs split equally between the band and a local folk musician, Peter Krug. It was during this time at Arhoolie Records that Country Joe and the Fish’s folk sound and political protest prowess—an amalgam of their own Guthrie-influenced material and their folk music roots—began to emerge. The band’s side of the EP featured two originals by McDonald, an acoustic version of “I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag“, and “Superbird”.[5][8] According to McDonald, “The Fish Cheer” was written in 30 minutes, with a purpose of expressing satiric and dark commentary on the US’s involvement in the Vietnam War.[9] In October 1965, 100 copies of the EP, titled Rag Baby Talking Issue No. 1, were distributed on McDonald’s independent label at a Teach-in in UC Berkeley and underground shops selling Rag Baby magazine.[10]

For a brief period, McDonald and Melton performed together as a duo at college campuses in the Northwest on behalf of Students for a Democratic Society before returning as regulars at the Jabberwock cafe.[11] The two were joined by local jug band musicians, including Melton’s roommates, bass player Bruce Barthol and guitarist Paul Armstrong, and bluegrass guitarist David Bennett Cohen, with whom Melton played in another jug band. The addition of drummer John Francis-Gunning rounded out the six-piece ensemble.[12] It was during their residency at the Jabberwock that Country Joe and the Fish learned to play as a group and expand their repertoire. Within months, based on McDonald and Melton’s interest in the live performances of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, the recordings on Bob Dylan‘s albumHighway 61 Revisited, and their use of the mind-altering drug LSD, the group began equipping themselves with electric instruments and delving more into psychedelia.[13] As a result, Cohen was moved over to the organ. Cohen’s experience with keyboardswas limited to having played piano at a semiprofessional capacity at the Jabberwock, but, nonetheless, he quickly adapted to the qualities of the instrument.[14] Melton describes the change of the group: “Once we hit into the electric medium and into the rock medium, we were pandering to the public taste. We became extraordinarily popular. The little folk club where we used to play once every two weeks, we played every single night for a month, or something like that, and filled it. And after a while we filled two shows every single night”.[13]

Electric music (1966–68)

As Country Joe and the Fish’s popularity grew, the band relocated to San Francisco in early 1966 and became popular fixtures at the Avalon and the Filmore Auditorium. On June 6, 1966, the band recorded a second self-produced EP, which was packaged separately from the Rag Baby magazine and, upon its release, debuted the new psychedelic rock incarnation of the group.[15] The EP fulfilled the band’s ambitions to incorporate electric instruments into their music, effectively melding the instrumentals and pioneering an early template for the musical subgenre of acid rock. It included McDonald’s compositions “(Thing Called) Love” and “Bass Strings” on the A-side and the six-minute “Section 43” on the B-side.[16] Music historian Richie Unterberger praised “Section 43”, saying its “Asiatic guitar, tribal maracas, devious organ, floating harmonica, and ethereal mid-sections of delicate koto-like guitar picking rivaled the Paul Butterfield Blues Band’s East West as the finest psychedelic instrumental ever”.[13] Within three months, airplay of the EP spread across the new so-called progressive radio stations, reaching as far as New York City, and establishing Country Joe and the Fish as a nationally relevant musical act.[17]

Through connections that Cohen had with record producer Samuel Charters, the group signed a recording contract with Vanguard Records in December 1966, just as the label, which had primarily released folk music, was attempting to branch out into the growing psychedelic rock scene.[14] While the band waited to record their debut album, they were present at the Human Be-In, along with other influential San Francisco musical acts, including Jefferson AirplaneBig Brother and the Holding Company, and Quicksilver Messenger Service. The event was a prelude to the Summer of Love and helped publicize counterculture ideals such as ecologyfree-love and the use of illicit drugs.[18]

In February 1967, Country Joe and the Fish entered Sierra Sound Laboratories to record their debut album, Electric Music for the Mind and Body, with Charters and Denson overseeing the process. Prior to their studio work, Armstrong left the group and began a two-year alternative assignment as a conscientious objector, driving a truck for Goodwill Industries.[12] Francis-Gunning was involved in the beginnings of the album’s development but left when the rest of the band complained about his drumming technique. He was replaced by Gary “Chicken” Hirsh. The next recording session was postponed for three days as the most recognizable lineup of Country Joe and the Fish rehearsed with their new drummer at the Barn, in Santa Cruz.[19] Hirsh’s abilities were immediately distinguishable on the album, as he demonstrated an acute and articulate drum beat that music critic Bruce Eder praised as “some of the best drumming on a psychedelic record this side of the late Spencer Dryden“.[20]

Electric Music for the Mind and Body was released on May 11, 1967. Much of the album’s material continued to expand upon the band’s new psychedelic medium, with it embracing all facets of the members’ influences, which ranged from their folk roots, bluesraga rockand hard rock.[21] The album also saw Cohen coming forward in a larger role with inventive distorted-organ melodies.[22] In addition, McDonald’s lyrical content, which brazenly pronounced topics of political protestrecreational drug use, and love, augmented by satirical humor, clearly introduced the band’s orientation and message. The compositional structures followed discrete movement patterns emulating the style of John Fahey, whom McDonald admired.[21] Though Electric Music for the Mind and Body was among the most complex works to date, it possessed the quality that several other San Francisco acts shared of being recorded mostly live, with only the vocals being overdubbed after the instrumentals were completed.[23]

Electric Music for the Mind and Body was a success upon release, charting at number 39 on the Billboard 200, and remains one of the most enduring psychedelic works of the counterculture era. A single, “Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine”, was distributed a month prior to the release of the album and became the only Country Joe and the Fish single to chart, peaking at number 98 on the Billboard Hot 100, in large part a culmination of its airplay on FM broadcasting and college stations.[24] A reworked version of “The Fish Cheer” was intended to be released as a track on the album. However, Charters vetoed the decision to see whether the controversial song “Superbird” would face a radio ban.[25] Nonetheless, the band was considered a forerunner in the emerging music scene in San Francisco, exhibiting one of the more polished debuts, just as its contemporaries were still refining their own sound.[21][26] Melton attributes the album’s success, particularly in San Francisco, to the band’s appearance at the Monterey Pop Festival in June 1967. Subsequently, the group toured the East Coast with an elaborate psychedelic light show.[27]

The band returned to the studio, this time at Vanguard Studios in New York City, between July and September 1967. When “Superbird”, a tune mocking President Lyndon Johnson, was not banned from radio promotion, the band was given the go-ahead to record “The Fish Cheer”, which saw the group moving away from the original folk composition toward electric instrumentals more synthesized toward psychedelia. The song became the title track of the band’s second album, I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-to-Die, released in November 1967. The album was not as successful as its predecessor, but still charted at number 67.[28] The composition represented growing anti-war sentiment expressed by those opposing the Vietnam War, and is often considered one of the most recognized and celebrated protest songs of the era.[29][30] “The Fish Cheer” was also pivotal in communicating the attitude against the war, but was set apart from other anti-war songs for its use of sarcastic humor and satire on the controversial conflict.[31] Writer Lee Andresen reflects on the song’s meaning, saying, “the happy beat and insouciance of the vocalist are in odd juxtaposition to the lyrics that reinforce the sad fact that the American public was being forced into realizing that Vietnam was no longer a remote place on the other side of the world, and the damage it was doing to the country could no longer be considered collateral, involving someone else.”[32]

The song met unprecedented exposure among the band’s young audience after a performance at the Schaefer Music Festival in New York City, in the summer of 1968.[20] Hirsh suggested that instead of the opening chorus spelling “fish”, it would spell “fuck“, giving birth to the infamous “Fuck Cheer”.[20] The crowd of young teenagers and college students applauded the act; however executives from The Ed Sullivan Show barred Country Joe and the Fish from their scheduled appearance on the program, and any other possible events.[25]Hirsh has never explained why he recommended the change in lyrics, but the act is seen as a social and political statement advocating free speech.[29] The recorded version of “The Fish Cheer” received airplay, even on mainstream radio stations, which contributed to the success of the band’s third album, Together, its most commercially successful. The album, released in August 1968, featured songwriting by all of the band members and charted at number 23 nationally.[33]

Lineup changes and Woodstock (1969–70)

In September 1968, Barthol left the band, just prior to their fourth album. His departure was due to the rest of the band’s unwillingness to partake in the Festival for Life, an event established by the Youth International Party in Chicago that was intended to have the participation of several well-known musicians attract thousands of spectators for the 1968 Democratic National Convention.[12] However, the city refused to issue any permits, and the band members, by majority vote, decided to withdraw out of fear that their equipment would be damaged.[34] After the festival resulted in riots and violent clashes between demonstrators and the police, Barthol’s conviction that Country Joe and the Fish should have held a larger role precipitated his departure from the group and move to England.[12]

Between January 9 and 11, 1969, the band performed at the Fillmore West as a farewell to the group’s most famous lineup, with Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane standing in as the bass player. The band was joined by Jerry GarciaJorma KaukonenSteve Miller, and Mickey Hart for the 38-minute finale, “Donavan’s Reef Jam”. Recordings from the concerts were later assembled on the live album Live! Fillmore West 1969, released on March 12, 1996.[35] Hirsh and Cohen left soon after recording the group’s next album, Here We Are Again, and a new lineup was configured with Casady and David Getz, who formerly played drums with Big Brother and the Holding Company. The group released Here We Are Again in July 1969. It charted at number 48, and saw Country Joe and the Fish moving to a pop-oriented approach. Country Joe and the Fish’s personnel remained relatively stable for the next six months, though Peter S. Albin, also an alumnus of Big Brother and the Holding Company, replaced Casady at bass.[2]

However, when McDonald reassembled the band for a last-minute scheduling at the Woodstock Festival, another personnel change resulted in the group’s final lineup, which included recruits Mark Kapner on keyboards, Doug Metzner on bass, and Greg Dewey on drums. Among the festival’s most memorable moments was McDonald’s unexpected solo performance on August 16, 1969, which included “The Fuck Cheer” as a finale.[36] The audience receptively responded by chanting along with McDonald. McDonald’s rendition of “The Fuck Cheer” propelled the song into the mainstream culture in the U.S., and was featured on the Woodstock film, which was released on March 26, 1970. Radio stations regularly played both versions of the cheer, though the opposition to “The Fuck Cheer” limited its exposure to underground stations.[37] In December 1969, McDonald began his own career outside the band, releasing cover versions of Guthrie-penned songs on Thinking of Woody Guthrie, and country standards on Tonight I’m Singing Just For You.[38] All the while, the group looked to capitalize on the momentum from Woodstock and their appearance in the film, Zachariah, by releasing their fifth album, CJ Fish, in May 1970. The album was a moderate success, reaching number 111 nationally. However the band members lacked the motivation for touring and recording, which led to their disbandment in mid-1970.[17]

Aftermath and reunions

McDonald pursued his solo recording career, which spans over 30 albums, and remains an active anti-war campaigner. He has also appeared in every Woodstock reunion festival since 1979.[39] Melton performed solo as well, under the moniker “The Fish”, and later became a member of the Bay Area supergroupthe Dinosaurs, in the 1980s. Since 1982, Melton was able to practice law in California and became a Public Defender of Yolo County, California until his retirement in June 2009.[40] Country Joe and the Fish members sporadically reconvene, most notably when the classic 1967 lineup recorded Reunion in 1977.[41] The lineup, except Melton, came together again as the Country Joe Band in 2004. In the same year, the group resumed touring, released the Barthol-penned single, “Cakewalk to Baghdad”, and the live album Live in Berkeley. Though the Country Joe Band disbanded in 2006, some of the members still occasionally tour together.[42]

Discography

Singles

  • “Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine” b/w “Masked Marauder” (1967) (#98 Billboard Hot 100)
  • “Janis” b/w “Janis” (instrumental) (1967)
  • “Who Am I?” b/w “Thursday” (1968)
  • “Rock and Soul Music Part 1” b/w “Rock and Soul Music Part 2” (1968)
  • “Here I Go Again” b/w “Baby You’re Driving Me Crazy” (1969)
  • I Feel Like I’m Fixin’ to Die Rag” b/w “Janis” (1969)
  • “Hang On” b/w “Hand of Man” (1971)

EPs

  • Talking Issue #1, Rag Baby (1965)
  • Country Joe and the Fish, Rag Baby (1966)

Studio albums

Live album

  • Live! Fillmore West 1969 (1994)

Compilations

References …

External links

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Bebe Rexha – Meant to Be (feat. Florida Georgia Line) [Official Music Video]

Bebe Rexha – I’m Gonna Show You Crazy (Official Music Video)

I’m Gonna Show You Crazy – Bebe Rexha (Lyric Video) *Explicit

Bebe Rexha – I’m A Mess

Bebe Rexha – Last Hurrah (Official Music Video)

Bebe Rexha

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Bebe Rexha
Bebe Rexha live at Staples Center, Los Angeles 15 (cropped).jpg

Rexha performing in 2016
Background information
Birth name Bleta Rexha
Born August 30, 1989 (age 29)
New York CityNew York, U.S.
Genres PopR&BEDM
Occupation(s)
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active 2010–present
Labels
Associated acts
Website beberexha.com

Bleta “Bebe” Rexha (/ˈbbi ˈrɛksə/Albanian pronunciation: [bɛbɛ rɛdʒa]; born August 30, 1989) is an American singer and songwriter.[1] After signing with Warner Bros. Records in 2013, Rexha received songwriting credits on Eminem and Rihanna‘s single “The Monster” (which later received the Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Performance) and has also contributed songwriting to songs recorded by Shinee,[2] Selena Gomez and Nick Jonas.[1][3][4][5] Rexha released her debut extended play in 2015, I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, which saw the moderate commercial success of the single “I’m Gonna Show You Crazy“.

Rexha released two additional extended plays in 2017, All Your Fault: Pt. 1 and All Your Fault: Pt. 2, which again saw the moderate success of the singles “I Got You” and “The Way I Are (Dance With Somebody)“. Rexha has also seen success with several collaborations including “Me, Myself & I” with G-Eazy, “In the Name of Love” with Martin Garrix, and “Meant to Be” with Florida Georgia Line, the latter of which seeing large success as a country crossover single, peaking at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. Rexha’s debut studio album Expectations (2018) reached number 13 on the Billboard 200 chart in the United States and saw the success of its lead single “I’m a Mess“, and brought Rexha two nominations for Best New Artist and Best Country Duo/Group Performance at the 61st Grammy Awards.[6][7]

Early life[edit]

Rexha was born on August 30, 1989, in BrooklynNew York,[8] to ethnic Albanian parents.[9] Her father, Flamur Rexha, is an Albanian born in Debar when it was part of Yugoslavia. He immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 21, and her mother, Bukurije Rexha, was born in the U.S. to an Albanian family with roots in Gostivar (which, like Debar, is now part of North Macedonia).[10][11] In the Albanian languagebletë means “bee“; and she explained “My parents are Albanian, and people started calling me ‘Bebe’ for short.”[1] Bleta and her family moved to nearby Staten Island when she was six.[9]

Rexha played trumpet and taught herself to play guitar and piano.[12][13] Rexha attended Tottenville High School on Staten Island,[14] where she took part in a variety of musicals.[4][11] She also joined the choir, while still in high school.[13] After joining the choir, she discovered that her voice was a coloratura soprano.[15][16] Rexha lists Coldplaythe CranberriesLauryn HillAlanis Morissette, and Kanye West as musical influences.[17][18]

As a teenager, Rexha submitted a song to be performed at the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences‘ annual “Grammy Day” event. Rexha earned the “Best Teen Songwriter” award, beating around 700 other entrants.[9][19][20] As a result, she signed a contract with talent scout Samantha Cox, who encouraged Rexha to enroll in songwriting classes in Manhattan.[12][21]

Career

2010–2012: Career beginnings with Black Cards

Rexha with Pete Wentz on September 1, 2011, at the Rumsey Playfield

In 2010, Rexha met Fall Out Boy‘s bassist Pete Wentz with whom she began working at a recording studio in New York City.[13][22] She became a member and a lead vocalist of Wentz’s new experimental project of a band, called Black Cards. The band played a variety of live shows and released several singles and remixes. However, in January 2012, Wentz announced that Rexha had left the band to pursue other endeavors.[23] Bebe Rexha was awarded the Able Olman Scholarship for her contributions as a songwriter later that year.[24]

2013–2015: Solo debut and I Don’t Wanna Grow Up

In 2013, Rexha signed with Warner Bros. Records as a solo artist.[25] Rexha had begun writing several songs, including Selena Gomez‘s “Like a Champion” and Nikki Williams‘s “Glowing”.[3] Her most prominent songwriting effort of 2013 was Eminem’s and Rihanna’s “The Monster“, which was released as the fourth single from Eminem’s album The Marshall Mathers LP 2. The song went on to top the charts for the US Billboard Hot 100 and Billboard‘s Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and won a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Performance at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards ceremony.[26] That same year, Rexha also wrote and was featured on Cash Cash‘s single “Take Me Home“.[25][17]

On March 21, 2014, Rexha released her debut single, “I Can’t Stop Drinking About You“.[17] The song peaked at number 22 on BillboardTop Heatseekers chart.[27] The music video was released on August 12, 2014. The video was inspired by imagery from films such as Girl, Interrupted and Melancholia.[28] In November 2014, Rexha was featured on rapper Pitbull‘s song “This Is Not a Drill”.[29] and in September 2014, she was picked as Elvis Duran‘s Artist of the Month and was featured on NBC‘s Today show hosted by Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb, where she performed live her single “I Can’t Stop Drinking About You”.

In December 2014, Rexha released two more singles, “I’m Gonna Show You Crazy” and “Gone“.[30][31] On May 12, 2015, she released her debut EP, I Don’t Wanna Grow Up, through Warner Bros. Records.[32] She also co-wrote and was featured on David Guetta’s single “Hey Mama“, alongside Nicki Minaj and Afrojack.[3] The song peaked at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 and received 1.1 million downloads as of June 2015. The song did not originally credit Rexha, despite the fact that she sings the chorus and is featured on background vocals. Eventually, in June 2015, she was given a credit for her work.[32][33]

2015–2017: Collaborations and All Your Fault series

In January 2015, Rexha co-wrote and was featured on G-Eazy’s “Me, Myself & I”. The song peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100[34] and at number one on Billboard Pop Songs.[35] The song was originally titled “I Don’t Need Anything” and was intended as a song for Rexha herself. Instead, she brought the song idea to G-Eazy and was featured during the chorus.[36]

Rexha met Nicki Minaj’s manager, Gee Roberson, and asked if Minaj would contribute to a new song. In March 2016, Rexha released her single, called “No Broken Hearts” featuring Nicki Minaj.[37][21] In April 2016, the music video was released, directed by Dave Meyer.[38] The video accumulated over 240 million views on YouTube.[39]

On July 29, 2016, Rexha and Dutch DJ and record producer Martin Garrix released their single, “In the Name of Love“. It peaked at number 24 on the US Billboard Hot 100, at number four on US Hot Dance/Electronic Songs and entered the top 10 in several countries, including the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Italy, and New Zealand. The music video was released on August 23, 2016, on Martin Garrix’s YouTube channel.[40]

On November 6, 2016, Rexha hosted the 2016 MTV Europe Music Awards, at Rotterdam, Netherlands and performed multiple songs throughout the night, such as her single, “I Got You“.[41]

On October 28, 2016, Rexha released “I Got You“. Both “No Broken Hearts” and “I Got You” were originally intended for the All Your Fault album.[42] The latter peaked at number 17 on US Billboard Pop Songs[43] and at number 43 on US Billboard Hot 100.[44] The music video was released on January 6, 2017 and reached over 50 million views in four weeks, and accumulated 250 million views on YouTube. Direction changed from a full studio album to a multi EP project and “No Broken Hearts” was scrapped, making “I Got You” the first and only single from All Your Fault: Pt. 1, released on February 17, 2017. The EP peaked at number 51 on the Billboard 200.[45] In March 2017 in Dallas, Rexha began her first solo headlining tour, promoting the EP across North America and Europe, named the All Your Fault Tour, with a total of 29 dates.[46]

Rexha performing in London, 2017.

In May 2017, Bebe Rexha: The Ride aired on MTV—a documentary which explores the moments which changed Rexha’s life and journey to stardom.[47]

On July 21, 2017, One Direction member Louis Tomlinson released the single “Back to You“, with Rexha and Digital Farm Animals as featured artists. The song peaked at number 40 on Billboard Hot 100.

The Way I Are (Dance with Somebody)” featuring Lil Wayne was released as the first single from All Your Fault: Pt. 2 on May 19, 2017.[48] On June 12, Rexha performed the song at the Ubisoft E3 press conference, before announcing Just Dance 2018, on which the song appears.[49] The second EP as part of the project was released on August 11, 2017. In support of the EP and American singer and songwriter Marc E. Bassy‘s debut album, Rexha planned to go on a co-headlining tour across the United States: the Bebe & Bassy Tour, in October 2017. The tour was short-lived due to an infection putting Rexha on strict vocal rest, with Marc E. Bassy eventually going on a solo US tour in March 2018.[50][51]

On October 24, 2017, “Meant to Be” was released as the second single from Pt. 2, with the music video premiering a day earlier.[52][53] The song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100[54] and as of November 17, 2018, has spent 50 weeks at number one on the Hot Country Songs chart,[55] breaking the record for most weeks atop the chart previously held by “Body Like a Back Road” by Sam Hunt.

2017–present: Expectations

In September 2017, Rexha began teasing new songs for a third installment in the All Your Fault series, with her manager going on record about its release.[56] However, it appeared plans had changed, as Bebe revealed through a tweet in November 2017 that her next project would be called Expectations.[57] Rexha revealed the cover art for this debut studio album on April 8, 2018, and the album was released on June 22, 2018.[6] Previous singles from All Your Fault, “I Got You” and “Meant to Be” appear on Expectations as well.

On April 13, 2018, “Ferrari” and “2 Souls on Fire”, the latter of which features Quavo of Migos, were released as promotional singles along with the pre-order.[58]

On June 15, 2018, “I’m a Mess” was released as the first single from the album.[59]

On November 20, 2018, “Say My Name” was released which featured David Guetta and J Bavin.[citation needed]

In December 2018, Rexha was nominated for Best New Artist at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards.[citation needed]

On February 21, 2019, Bebe Rexha released her new single “Last Hurrah.”[citation needed]

On February 25, 2019, it was announced that Rexha will be the fifth coach for The Voice’s Comeback Stage for season 16.

Artistry

Rexha’s musical style has switched with each album,[60] but she has been labeled as a pop artist.[61][62] Her songs span a wide range of genres, including hip hopalternative rockEDMR&B and country.[61]

She was mainly influenced by Lauryn Hill whom she calls the “Queen of R&B“.[63] She was also influenced by other artists such as Bob MarleyMadonnaBlondieAlanis Morissette and Coldplay.[64]

Personal life

Rexha is a vocal supporter of the LGBTQ+ community,[65] and has described her own sexuality as “fluid”.[66] On April 15, 2019 Rexha revealed she is bipolar on Twitter in a personal note to her fans.[67]

Discography

Studio albums

Extended plays

Television

Year Title Role Notes
2016 MTV Europe Music Awards[68] Host Event presented by MTV Networks Europe which awards prizes to musicians and performers
2017 Bebe Rexha: The Ride[69] Herself Documentary which explores the moments that changed Rexha’s life
2017 Pitch Battle[70] Guest Judge Contest show which sees musical groups facing-off against each other, inspired by Pitch Perfect
2017 A Christmas Story Live![71] Performer A live musical television program inspired by the film of the same name and A Christmas Story: The Musical
2018 American Idol[72][73] Herself Contestant mentor and celebrity duet singer
2019 The Voice Herself/Coach The Comeback Stage
2019 Celebrity Juice Panelist 18th April 2019

Awards and nominations

Tours

Headlining

Co-headlining

Opening act

References …

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The Pronk Pops Show 1223, March 8, 2019, Story 1: U-3 Unemployment Rate Declines To 3.8% With Labor Participation Rate of 63.2% — Total Non-farm Payroll Jobs Increased By 20,000 — Annual Wages Up 3.4% Best Post Recession — Videos — Story 2: House Votes To Give Illegal Aliens The Right To Vote — What is Next? — Citizenship For The 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens In The United States — American People Will Throw These Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) Out of Office For Betraying American Workers — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Needs A 2020 Fundamental Tax Reform Proposal To Get Up To A 4% Economic Growth Rate And Near Full Employment — FairTax or Better Yet Fair Tax Less — Time To Fire UP The Economic Engine of United States — Incentives Matter — Videos

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Story 1: U-3 Unemployment Rate Declines To 3.8% With Labor Participation Rate of 63.2% — Total Non-farm Payroll Jobs Increased By 20,000 — Annual Wages Up 3.4% Best Post Recession — Videos —

Take the February jobs report with a grain of salt: Economy experts

How Wall Street Views the U.S. February Jobs Report

U.S. Jobs Report Mainly a ‘Shutdown Effect,’ Economist Gapen Says

Take jobs report with grain of salt: Grant Thornton economist

February Jobs Report: U.S. Adds 20,000 Jobs, Below Expectations | Morning Joe | MSNBC

Understanding BLS Unemployment Statistics

 

Alternate Unemployment Charts

The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers.

The U-3 unemployment rate is the monthly headline number. The U-6 unemployment rate is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) broadest unemployment measure, including short-term discouraged and other marginally-attached workers as well as those forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment.

 

Public Commentary on Unemployment

Unemployment Data Series   subcription required(Subscription required.)  View  Download Excel CSV File   Last Updated: March 8th, 2019

The ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment Rate for February 2019 is 21.1%.

Republishing our charts:  Permission, Restrictions and Instructions (includes important requirements for successful hot-linking)

http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts

 

 

Economic News Release

U.S. adds meager 20,000 jobs in February to mark smallest increase in 17 months

Published: Mar 8, 2019 2:01 p.m. ET

Unemployment rate drops to 3.8% from 4%, wages grow faster

By JEFFRYBARTASH

REPORTER
Getty Images
The U.S. economy added just 20,000 new jobs in February after big gains in the prior two months, but the unemployment rate fell again and wages rose sharply.

The numbers: American businesses and other employers created the fewest new jobs in February in 17 months, the latest sign of a broader slowdown in the U.S. economy.

The economy added just 20,000 new jobs last month, the smallest gain since September 2017, the government said Friday.

The number of new nonfarm jobs created last month was well below the 172,000 MarketWatch forecast, but the slowdown was probably exaggerated by heavy snow and other seasonal oddities that are unlikely to persist. The U.S. has been adding more than 200,000 new jobs a month for the past year.

Hiring sputtered in February in construction, retail and shipping and was muted in most other industries.

The pace of hiring is still strong enough, however, to keep downward pressure on the nation’s unemployment rate, especially in a tight labor market in which good help is hard to find.

The jobless rate slipped to 3.8% from 4%, aided by the return of government workers after the end of the partial federal shutdown in January. Last year unemployment fell to a half-century low of 3.7%.

An ultra-tight labor market, what’s more, is forcing companies to offer better pay and benefits to attract or retain workers. The amount of money the average worker earns jumped 11 cents an hour to $27.66 last month.

The increase in pay in the past 12 months climbed to 3.4%, the biggest gain since the end of the last recession in 2009. While faster pay might spark fresh worries about inflation, so far there’s little sign that higher labor costs have done much if any harm.

Read: Fed’s pause now extends through September in wake of weak jobs report

What happened: The biggest dropoff in hiring in February took place in construction, where employment fell 31,000 after a 53,000 increase in January. The sharp swing in construction employment is likely evidence that government statisticians had trouble with seasonal adjustments.

A similarly large swing took place among hotels and restaurants, whose employment was flat in February after an outsized 89,000 increase in January that was the second largest in the past 20 years.

Retailers and shippers also cut jobs.

Hiring was strongest among professional firms and health-care companies. Professional firms created 42,000 new jobs and health providers added 21,000 jobs. Those have been the fastest growing industries through the nearly 10-year-old expansion.

Economists figure the U.S. needs to add about 100,000 jobs a month to absorb the number of people entering the labor force — immigrants, high school and college grads, moms or retirees going back to work. The labor force has been growing more slowly because of an aging population and tighter immigration restrictions, among other things.

Read: Trade deficit soars to 10-year high, foiling Trump White House efforts to rein it in

Also Read: Don’t blame oil for surging trade deficit – it’s all the other stuff Americans buy

Big picture: The U.S. is not growing as fast as it was last summer and companies might be more cautious about hiring, but the economy is not about to fall into a ditch despite what the February jobs report seems to indicate.

Read: ‘Don’t hit panic’ — economists say jobs report wasn’t as bad as it looked

A chief reason is the strong labor market: Wages are rising, unemployment and layoffs remain near a half-century low and job openings are at a record high.

So long as consumers are working and spending, companies are unlikely to see the kind of hiccup in sales that would force them to slash jobs. Their biggest worry right now is a slowing global economy that’s crimped exports, but if the U.S. and China strike a deal and end a damaging dispute over trade, it could go a long way in easing some of those worries.

Read: The rise of the robots and decline of inflation: How AI is keeping prices low

What they are saying: “Bizarre swings in the economic data have become routine since the end of the government shutdown and today was no exception,” said Thomas Simons, senior money market economist at Jefferies LLC. He said the 166,000 average of job gains in the first two months of 2019 are a more accurate reflection of underlying hiring trends.

“One poor report should not set off alarm bells, but given that the labor market is the linchpin for the entire economy, it does add to existing concerns and raises the stakes for next month’s report,” said Curt Long, chief economist at National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions.

Market reaction: The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.09% and S&P 500SPX, -0.21% fell sharply in Friday trades.

The 10-year Treasury yield TMUBMUSD10Y, -0.31% fell several basis points to 2.65%. Many loans such as mortgages and auto loans are tied to changes in the 10-year note, whose yield has fallen from a seven-year high of 3.23% in October.

https://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-adds-meager-20000-jobs-in-february-to-mark-smallest-increase-in-17-months-2019-03-08

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this news release is embargoed until		USDL-19-0360
8:30 a.m. (EST) Friday, March 8, 2019

Technical information: 
 Household data:       (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
 Establishment data:   (202) 691-6555  *  cesinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:	       (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov
	

                   THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- FEBRUARY 2019


Total nonfarm payroll employment changed little in February (+20,000), and the
unemployment rate declined to 3.8 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
reported today. Employment in professional and business services, health care, and
wholesale trade continued to trend up, while construction employment decreased.  

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate declined by 0.2 percentage point to 3.8 percent in February,
and the number of unemployed persons decreased by 300,000 to 6.2 million. Among the
unemployed, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs
(including people on temporary layoff) declined by 225,000. This decline reflects,
in part, the return of federal workers who were furloughed in January due to the
partial government shutdown. (See tables A-1 and A-11.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.5 percent),
Whites (3.3 percent), and Hispanics (4.3 percent) decreased in February. The jobless
rates for adult women (3.4 percent), teenagers (13.4 percent), Blacks (7.0 percent),
and Asians (3.1 percent) showed little or no change over the month. (See tables A-1,
A-2, and A-3.)

In February, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more)
was essentially unchanged at 1.3 million and accounted for 20.4 percent of the
unemployed. (See table A-12.) 

The labor force participation rate held at 63.2 percent in February and has changed
little over the year. The employment-population ratio, at 60.7 percent, was unchanged
over the month but was up by 0.3 percentage point over the year. (See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to
as involuntary part-time workers) decreased by 837,000 to 4.3 million in February.
This decline follows a sharp increase in January that may have resulted from the
partial federal government shutdown. (Persons employed part time for economic reasons
would have preferred full-time employment but were working part time because their
hours had been reduced or they were unable to find full-time jobs.) (See table A-8.)

In February, 1.4 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, a
decrease of 178,000 from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) These
individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had
looked for a job sometime in the last 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed
because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See
table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 428,000 discouraged workers in February,
little changed from a year earlier. (Data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged
workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are
available for them. The remaining 1.0 million persons marginally attached to the
labor force in February had not searched for work for reasons such as school
attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.)	

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment was little changed in February (+20,000), after
increasing by 311,000 in January. In 2018, job growth averaged 223,000 per month.
In February, employment continued to trend up in professional and business services,
health care, and wholesale trade, while construction employment declined. (See table
B-1.)

In February, employment in professional and business services continued to trend
up (+42,000), in line with its average monthly gain over the prior 12 months. 

Health care added 21,000 jobs in February and 361,000 jobs over the year. Employment
in ambulatory health care services edged up over the month (+16,000). 

In February, wholesale trade employment continued its upward trend (+11,000). The
industry has added 95,000 jobs over the year, largely among durable goods wholesalers. 

Employment in construction declined by 31,000 in February, partially offsetting an
increase of 53,000 in January. In February, employment declined in heavy and civil
engineering construction (-13,000). Over the year, construction has added 223,000 jobs.

Manufacturing employment changed little in February (+4,000), after increasing by an
average of 22,000 per month over the prior 12 months.

In February, employment in leisure and hospitality was unchanged, after posting job
gains of 89,000 and 65,000 in January and December, respectively. Over the year,
leisure and hospitality has added 410,000 jobs.

Employment in other major industries, including mining, retail trade, transportation
and warehousing, information, financial activities, and government, showed little
or no change over the month.

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls decreased by 0.1
hour to 34.4 hours in February. In manufacturing, the average workweek declined 0.1
hour to 40.7 hours, while overtime was unchanged at 3.5 hours. The average workweek
for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls fell by 0.2
hour to 33.6 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

In February, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls
rose by 11 cents to $27.66, following a 2-cent gain in January. Over the year, average
hourly earnings have increased by 3.4 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector
production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 8 cents to $23.18 in February.
(See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for December was revised up from +222,000
to +227,000, and the change for January was revised up from +304,000 to +311,000. With
these revisions, employment gains in December and January combined were 12,000 more than
previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from
businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the
recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 186,000
per month over the last 3 months. 

_____________
The Employment Situation for March is scheduled to be released on Friday, April 5, 2019,
at 8:30 a.m. (EDT).



The PDF version of the news release

News release charts

Supplemental Files Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Last Modified Date: March 08, 2019

Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
[Numbers in thousands]
Category Feb.
2018
Dec.
2018
Jan.
2019
Feb.
2019
Change from:
Jan.
2019-
Feb.
2019

Employment status

Civilian noninstitutional population

256,934 258,888 258,239 258,392 153

Civilian labor force

161,900 163,240 163,229 163,184 -45

Participation rate

63.0 63.1 63.2 63.2 0.0

Employed

155,213 156,945 156,694 156,949 255

Employment-population ratio

60.4 60.6 60.7 60.7 0.0

Unemployed

6,687 6,294 6,535 6,235 -300

Unemployment rate

4.1 3.9 4.0 3.8 -0.2

Not in labor force

95,033 95,649 95,010 95,208 198

Unemployment rates

Total, 16 years and over

4.1 3.9 4.0 3.8 -0.2

Adult men (20 years and over)

3.7 3.6 3.7 3.5 -0.2

Adult women (20 years and over)

3.8 3.5 3.6 3.4 -0.2

Teenagers (16 to 19 years)

14.4 12.5 12.9 13.4 0.5

White

3.7 3.4 3.5 3.3 -0.2

Black or African American

6.8 6.6 6.8 7.0 0.2

Asian

3.0 3.3 3.1 3.1 0.0

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

4.9 4.4 4.9 4.3 -0.6

Total, 25 years and over

3.4 3.1 3.3 3.1 -0.2

Less than a high school diploma

5.6 5.8 5.7 5.3 -0.4

High school graduates, no college

4.4 3.8 3.8 3.8 0.0

Some college or associate degree

3.5 3.3 3.4 3.2 -0.2

Bachelor’s degree and higher

2.2 2.1 2.4 2.2 -0.2

Reason for unemployment

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

3,227 2,903 3,082 2,857 -225

Job leavers

784 839 805 840 35

Reentrants

1,954 1,958 1,945 1,905 -40

New entrants

703 588 606 623 17

Duration of unemployment

Less than 5 weeks

2,458 2,126 2,325 2,194 -131

5 to 14 weeks

1,900 2,027 2,013 1,810 -203

15 to 26 weeks

933 897 902 942 40

27 weeks and over

1,403 1,306 1,252 1,271 19

Employed persons at work part time

Part time for economic reasons

5,115 4,657 5,147 4,310 -837

Slack work or business conditions

3,293 2,891 3,451 2,792 -659

Could only find part-time work

1,537 1,496 1,419 1,347 -72

Part time for noneconomic reasons

21,120 21,234 20,949 21,153 204

Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

Marginally attached to the labor force

1,602 1,556 1,614 1,424

Discouraged workers

373 375 426 428

– Over-the-month changes are not displayed for not seasonally adjusted data.
NOTE: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown in this table will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

 

Table A-2. Employment status of the civilian population by race, sex, and age

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Table A-2. Employment status of the civilian population by race, sex, and age
[Numbers in thousands]
Employment status, race, sex, and age Not seasonally adjusted Seasonally adjusted(1)
Feb.
2018
Jan.
2019
Feb.
2019
Feb.
2018
Oct.
2018
Nov.
2018
Dec.
2018
Jan.
2019
Feb.
2019

WHITE

Civilian noninstitutional population

199,799 200,382 200,447 199,799 200,596 200,690 200,774 200,382 200,447

Civilian labor force

125,658 125,516 126,102 125,862 126,100 126,334 126,680 126,351 126,313

Participation rate

62.9 62.6 62.9 63.0 62.9 63.0 63.1 63.1 63.0

Employed

120,646 120,542 121,628 121,241 121,923 122,036 122,318 121,880 122,168

Employment-population ratio

60.4 60.2 60.7 60.7 60.8 60.8 60.9 60.8 60.9

Unemployed

5,012 4,974 4,475 4,621 4,177 4,299 4,362 4,471 4,144

Unemployment rate

4.0 4.0 3.5 3.7 3.3 3.4 3.4 3.5 3.3

Not in labor force

74,141 74,866 74,345 73,937 74,496 74,355 74,094 74,030 74,134

Men, 20 years and over

Civilian labor force

65,802 65,684 65,925 65,887 65,771 65,961 66,110 66,051 66,052

Participation rate

72.0 71.6 71.8 72.1 71.6 71.8 71.9 72.0 72.0

Employed

63,185 63,112 63,636 63,651 63,785 63,960 64,046 63,890 64,088

Employment-population ratio

69.1 68.8 69.3 69.6 69.4 69.6 69.6 69.6 69.8

Unemployed

2,617 2,572 2,289 2,236 1,986 2,000 2,064 2,161 1,964

Unemployment rate

4.0 3.9 3.5 3.4 3.0 3.0 3.1 3.3 3.0

Women, 20 years and over

Civilian labor force

55,465 55,612 56,042 55,254 55,778 55,819 55,995 55,740 55,814

Participation rate

57.8 57.7 58.1 57.5 57.8 57.9 58.0 57.8 57.9

Employed

53,640 53,733 54,365 53,456 54,062 54,023 54,226 53,959 54,151

Employment-population ratio

55.9 55.8 56.4 55.7 56.1 56.0 56.2 56.0 56.2

Unemployed

1,825 1,879 1,677 1,798 1,716 1,796 1,769 1,781 1,663

Unemployment rate

3.3 3.4 3.0 3.3 3.1 3.2 3.2 3.2 3.0

Both sexes, 16 to 19 years

Civilian labor force

4,392 4,219 4,135 4,721 4,551 4,554 4,575 4,560 4,447

Participation rate

35.6 34.4 33.7 38.3 37.0 37.0 37.2 37.2 36.3

Employed

3,822 3,697 3,627 4,134 4,076 4,052 4,047 4,031 3,929

Employment-population ratio

31.0 30.1 29.6 33.5 33.1 32.9 32.9 32.9 32.0

Unemployed

570 523 508 587 476 502 528 530 518

Unemployment rate

13.0 12.4 12.3 12.4 10.5 11.0 11.6 11.6 11.6

BLACK OR AFRICAN AMERICAN

Civilian noninstitutional population

32,607 32,868 32,897 32,607 32,887 32,923 32,956 32,868 32,897

Civilian labor force

20,360 20,549 20,441 20,518 20,564 20,451 20,460 20,628 20,575

Participation rate

62.4 62.5 62.1 62.9 62.5 62.1 62.1 62.8 62.5

Employed

18,928 19,033 18,944 19,118 19,290 19,232 19,107 19,220 19,137

Employment-population ratio

58.1 57.9 57.6 58.6 58.7 58.4 58.0 58.5 58.2

Unemployed

1,432 1,516 1,497 1,399 1,274 1,219 1,353 1,408 1,437

Unemployment rate

7.0 7.4 7.3 6.8 6.2 6.0 6.6 6.8 7.0

Not in labor force

12,246 12,318 12,457 12,089 12,323 12,472 12,496 12,240 12,322

Men, 20 years and over

Civilian labor force

9,339 9,320 9,333 9,448 9,400 9,310 9,284 9,367 9,414

Participation rate

68.5 67.6 67.6 69.3 68.2 67.4 67.2 67.9 68.2

Employed

8,744 8,584 8,595 8,889 8,814 8,771 8,709 8,705 8,734

Employment-population ratio

64.1 62.2 62.3 65.2 63.9 63.5 63.0 63.1 63.3

Unemployed

595 736 738 559 586 539 575 662 680

Unemployment rate

6.4 7.9 7.9 5.9 6.2 5.8 6.2 7.1 7.2

Women, 20 years and over

Civilian labor force

10,261 10,433 10,358 10,264 10,327 10,303 10,359 10,419 10,366

Participation rate

62.4 62.8 62.3 62.4 62.2 62.0 62.2 62.8 62.4

Employed

9,615 9,820 9,793 9,642 9,825 9,789 9,749 9,847 9,822

Employment-population ratio

58.4 59.2 58.9 58.6 59.2 58.9 58.6 59.3 59.1

Unemployed

646 613 565 621 501 515 611 572 544

Unemployment rate

6.3 5.9 5.5 6.1 4.9 5.0 5.9 5.5 5.3

Both sexes, 16 to 19 years

Civilian labor force

760 797 750 806 837 837 817 842 795

Participation rate

30.3 32.2 30.3 32.1 33.6 33.6 32.8 34.0 32.1

Employed

569 629 556 587 650 672 650 669 582

Employment-population ratio

22.7 25.4 22.5 23.4 26.1 27.0 26.1 27.0 23.5

Unemployed

191 168 194 219 187 165 167 173 213

Unemployment rate

25.2 21.0 25.9 27.1 22.4 19.7 20.5 20.6 26.8

ASIAN

Civilian noninstitutional population

15,792 16,034 16,055 15,792 16,030 16,096 16,138 16,034 16,055

Civilian labor force

9,934 10,264 10,383 9,925 10,280 10,334 10,262 10,298 10,369

Participation rate

62.9 64.0 64.7 62.8 64.1 64.2 63.6 64.2 64.6

Employed

9,635 9,938 10,053 9,630 9,956 10,050 9,929 9,978 10,045

Employment-population ratio

61.0 62.0 62.6 61.0 62.1 62.4 61.5 62.2 62.6

Unemployed

299 326 329 294 324 284 334 321 324

Unemployment rate

3.0 3.2 3.2 3.0 3.1 2.7 3.3 3.1 3.1

Not in labor force

5,858 5,770 5,672 5,868 5,750 5,762 5,876 5,736 5,686

Footnotes
(1) The population figures are not adjusted for seasonal variation; therefore, identical numbers appear in the unadjusted and seasonally adjusted columns.

NOTE: Estimates for the above race groups will not sum to totals shown in table A-1 because data are not presented for all races. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t02.htm

Story 2: House Votes To Give Illegal Aliens The Right To Vote — What is Next? — Citizenship For The 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens In The United States — American People Will Throw These Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) Out of Office For Betraying American Workers — Videos —

House Democrats push for Illegals & Non citizens to Vote!!!

House votes in favor of illegal immigrant voting

Voters packed the Vigo County Annex in Terre Haute, Ind., on Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, during the final day of early voting. (Austen Leake/Tribune-Star via AP) ** FILE **

 

– The Washington Times – Friday, March 8, 2019

House Democrats voted Friday to defend localities that allow illegal immigrants to vote in their elections, turning back a GOP attempt to discourage the practice.

The vote marks a stunning reversal from just six months ago, when the chamber — then under GOP control — voted to decry illegal immigrant voting.

“We are prepared to open up the political process and let all of the people come in,” Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia Democrat and hero of the civil rights movement, told colleagues as he led opposition to the GOP measure.

The 228-197 vote came as part of a broader debate on Democrats’ major legislative priority this year, HR 1, the “For the People Act,” which includes historic expansions of voter registration and access, as well as a major rewrite of campaign finance laws.

The measure would have had no practical effect even if it had passed. Illegal immigrants — and indeed noncitizens as a whole — are not legally able to participate in federal elections.

But Republicans had hoped to send a message to localities such as San Francisco, where noncitizens are now allowed to vote in school board elections.

https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/mar/8/house-votes-favor-illegal-immigrant-voting/

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