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Story 1: Partisan CIA “Whistle-blower” Betrays President Trump with Allegations Based on Secondhand Hearsay — This Is Not Covered Under Intelligence Whistle-blower Law — Democrat Organized Smear Campaign and Coup Against Trump Falling Apart! — Videos —

Acting DNI Joseph Maguire delivers his opening statement

WATCH: Rep. Devin Nunes’ full opening statement on whistleblower complaint | DNI hearing

WATCH: Rep. Devin Nunes’ full questioning of acting intel chief Joseph Maguire | DNI hearing

WATCH: Rep. Schiff’s full 2nd round of questioning of acting intel chief Maguire | DNI hearing

Sekulow: Whistleblower complaint form used to require firsthand information

Cuomo to Trump attorney: Quid pro quo isn’t necessary for impeachment

Meadows: The foundation of the whistleblower complaint is falling apart

Conway rips Ukraine report: ‘More blowhard than whistleblower’

Gowdy believes House Dems want to punt impeachment to the Senate

Former CIA leader on the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower complaint

Former intelligence counsel discusses Maguire hearing, whistleblower complaint

Whistleblower driven by political motives: former CIA analyst

EXCLUSIVE: Trump Attacks Whistle-Blower in Private Meeting

Trump slams whistleblower as ‘almost a spy’

Gingrich: Pelosi’s impeachment push ‘makes no sense at all’

Nunes: Ukrainian whistleblower is no different than Russia hoax

Donald Trump warned not to retaliate against whistleblower amid impeachment probe| ITV News

Dems threaten to sue White House over access to whistleblower complaint

Tucker: Impeachment seemed like a fleeting prospect

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

Swamp Watch: The Biden family

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

Ted Koppel calls out liberal media bias against Trump

UNCLASSIFIED

August 12, 2019

The Honorable Richard Burr
Chairman
Select Committee on Intelligence
United States Senate
The Honorable Adam Schiff
Chairman
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence
United States House of Representatives

Dear Chairman Burr and Chairman Schiff:

I am reporting an “urgent concern” in accordance with the procedures outlined in 50 U.S.C. §3033(k)(5)(A). This letter is UNCLASSIFIED when separated from the attachment.

In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election. 1This interference includes, among other things, pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the President’s main domestic political rivals. The President’s personal lawyer, Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, is a central figure in this effort. Attorney General Barr appears to be involved as well.

  • Over the past four months, more than half a dozen U.S. officials have informed me of various facts related to this effort. The information provided herein was relayed to me in the course of official interagency business. It is routine for U.S. officials with responsibility for a particular regional or functional portfolio to share such information with one another in order to inform policymaking and analysis.
  • I was not a direct witness to most of the events described. However, I found my colleagues’ accounts of these events to be credible because, in almost all cases, multiple officials recounted fact patterns that were consistent with one another. In addition, a variety of information consistent with these private accounts has been reported publicly.

I am deeply concerned that the actions described below constitute “a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, or violation of law or Executive Order” that “does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters,” consistent with the definition of an “urgent concern” in 50 U.S.C. §3033(k)(5)(G). I am therefore fulfilling my duty to report this information, through proper legal channels, to the relevant authorities.

  • I am also concerned that these actions pose risks to U.S. national security and undermine the U.S. Government’s efforts to deter and counter foreign interference in U.S. elections.

1
UNCLASSIFIED

The Whistle-Blower Complaint: Page 1

  • 1 In the complaint, the whistle-blower said he had heard from other officials that Mr. Trump, in his July 25 call, urged the Ukrainian president to work with Attorney General William P. Barr in investigating the Bidens.

UNCLASSIFIED

To the best of my knowledge, the entirety of this statement is unclassified when separated from the classified enclosure. I have endeavored to apply the classification standards outlined in Executive Order (EO) 13526 and to separate out information that I know or have reason to believe is classified for national security purposes.1

  • If a classification marking is applied retroactively, I believe it is incumbent upon the classifying authority to explain why such a marking was applied, and to which specific information it pertains.

I. The 25 July Presidential phone call

Early in the morning of 25 July, the President spoke by telephone with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. I do not know which side initiated the call. This was the first publicly acknowledged call between the two leaders since a brief congratulatory call after Mr. Zelenskyy won the presidency on 21 April.

Multiple White House officials with direct knowledge of the call informed me that, after an initial exchange of pleasantries, the President used the remainder of the call to advance his personal interests. Namely, he sought to pressure the Ukrainian leader to take actions to help the President’s 2020 reelection bid. According to the White House officials who had direct knowledge of the call, the President pressured Mr. Zelenskyy to, inter alia:

  • initiate or continue an investigation2 into the activities of former Vice President Joseph Biden and his son, Hunter Biden;
  • assist in purportedly uncovering that allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election originated in Ukraine, with a specific request that the Ukrainian leader locate and turn over servers used by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and examined by the U.S. cyber security firm Crowdstrike,3 which initially reported that Russian hackers had penetrated the DNC’s networks in 2016; and
  • meet or speak with two people the President named explicitly as his personal envoys on these matters, Mr. Giuliani and Attorney General Barr, to whom the President referred multiple times in tandem.

1 Apart from the information in the Enclosure, it is my belief that none of the information contained herein meets the definition of “classified information” outlined in EO 13526, Part 1, Section 1.1. There is ample open-source information about the efforts I describe below, including statements by the President and Mr. Giuliani. In addition, based on my personal observations, there is discretion with respect to the classification of private comments by or instructions from the President, including his communications with foreign leaders; information that is not related to U.S. foreign policy or national security—such as the information contained in this document, when separated from the Enclosure—is generally treated as unclassified. I also believe that applying a classification marking to this information would violate EO 13526, Part 1, Section 1.7, which states: “In no case shall information be classified, continue to be maintained as classified, or fail to be declassified in order to: (1) conceal violations of law, inefficiency, or administrative error; [or] (2) prevent embarrassment to a person, organization, or agency.”

2 It is unclear whether such a Ukrainian investigation exists. See Footnote #7 for additional information.

3 I do not know why the President associates these servers with Ukraine. (See, for example, his comments to Fox News on 20 July: “And Ukraine. Take a look at Ukraine. How come the FBI didn’t take this server? Podesta told them to get out. He said, get out. So, how come the FBI didn’t take the server from the DNC?”)

2
UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED

The President also praised Ukraine’s Prosecutor General, Mr. Yuriy Lutsenko, and suggested that Mr. Zelenskyy might want to keep him in his position. (Note: Starting in March 2019, Mr. Lutsenko made a series of public allegations—many of which he later walked back—about the Biden family’s activities in Ukraine, Ukrainian officials’ purported involvement in the 2016 U.S. election, and the activities of the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv. See Part IV for additional context.)

The White House officials who told me this information were deeply disturbed by what had transpired in the phone call.2 They told me that there was already a “discussion ongoing” with White House lawyers about how to treat the call because of the likelihood, in the officials’ retelling, that they had witnessed the President abuse his office for personal gain.

The Ukrainian side was the first to publicly acknowledge the phone call. On the evening of 25 July, a readout was posted on the website of the Ukrainian President that contained the following line (translation from original Russian-language readout):

  • “Donald Trump expressed his conviction that the new Ukrainian government will be able to quickly improve Ukraine’s image and complete the investigation of corruption cases that have held back cooperation between Ukraine and the United States.”

Aside from the above-mentioned “cases” purportedly dealing with the Biden family and the 2016 U.S. election, I was told by White House officials that no other “cases” were discussed.

Based on my understanding, there were approximately a dozen White House officials who listened to the call — a mixture of policy officials and duty officers in the White House Situation Room, as is customary. The officials I spoke with told me that participation in the call had not been restricted in advance because everyone expected it would be a “routine” call with a foreign leader. I do not know whether anyone was physically present with the President during the call.

  • In addition to White House personnel, I was told that a State Department official, Mr. T. Ulrich Brechbuhl, also listened in on the call.
  • I was not the only non-White House official to receive a readout of the call. Based on my understanding, multiple State Department and Intelligence Community officials were also briefed on the contents of the call as outlined above.

II. Efforts to restrict access to records related to the call

In the days following the phone call, I learned from multiple U.S. officials that senior White House officials had intervened to “lock down” all records of the phone call, especially the official word-for-word transcript of the call that was produced—as is customary—by the White House Situation Room.3 This set of actions underscored to me that White House officials understood the gravity of what had transpired in the call.

  • White House officials told me that they were “directed” by White House lawyers to remove the electronic transcript from the computer system in which such transcripts are typically stored for coordination, finalization, and distribution to Cabinet-level officials.

3
UNCLASSIFIED

Page 3

  • 2 In a July 25 phone call with the Ukrainian president, Mr. Trump brought up American aid to that country — without explicitly mentioning that he had just frozen a military aid package of hundreds of millions of dollars — and then pressed the Ukrainian leader to investigate Mr. Biden. White House officials believed they had witnessed Trump abuse his power for personal political gain.
  • 3 The whistle-blower writes that White House lawyers “directed” White House officials to remove records of the July 25 call from the system where such documents are normally stored and place it instead in a system for storing highly classified information, like files related to covert actions, even though it did not meet the criteria, in order to limit the number of officials who could see it.

UNCLASSIFIED

  • Instead, the transcript was loaded into a separate electronic system that is otherwise used to store and handle classified information of an especially sensitive nature. One White House official described this act as an abuse of this electronic system because the call did not contain anything remotely sensitive from a national security perspective.

I do not know whether similar measures were taken to restrict access to other records of the call, such as contemporaneous handwritten notes taken by those who listened in.

III. Ongoing concerns

On 26 July, a day after the call, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker visited Kyiv and met with President Zelenskyy and a variety of Ukrainian political figures. Ambassador Volker was accompanied in his meetings by U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland. Based on multiple readouts of these meetings recounted to me by various U.S. officials, Ambassadors Volker and Sondland reportedly provided advice to the Ukrainian leadership about how to “navigate” the demands that the President had made of Mr. Zelenskyy.

I also learned from multiple U.S. officials that, on or about 2 August, Mr. Giuliani reportedly traveled to Madrid to meet with one of President Zelenskyy’s advisers, Andriy Yermak. The U.S. officials characterized this meeting, which was not reported publicly at the time, as a “direct follow-up” to the President’s call with Mr. Zelenskyy about the “cases” they had discussed.

  • Separately, multiple U.S. officials told me that Mr. Giuliani had reportedly privately reached out to a variety of other Zelenskyy advisers, including Chief of Staff Andriy Bohdan and Acting Chairman of the Security Service of Ukraine Ivan Bakanov.4
  • I do not know whether those officials met or spoke with Mr. Giuliani, but I was told separately by multiple U.S. officials that Mr. Yermak and Mr. Bakanov intended to travel to Washington in mid-August.

On 9 August, the President told reporters: “I think [President Zelenskyy] is going to make a deal with President Putin, and he will be invited to the White House. And we look forward to seeing him. He’s already been invited to the White House, and he wants to come. And I think he will. He’s a very reasonable guy. He wants to see peace in Ukraine, and I think he will be coming very soon, actually.”

IV. Circumstances leading up to the 25 July Presidential phone call

Beginning in late March 2019, a series of articles appeared in an online publication called The Hill. In these articles, several Ukrainian officials — most notably, Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko — made a series of allegations against other Ukrainian officials and current and former U.S. officials. Mr. Lutsenko and his colleagues alleged, inter alia:

4 In a report published by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) on 22 July, two associates of Mr. Giuliani reportedly traveled to Kyiv in May 2019, and met with Mr. Bakanov and another close Zelenskyy adviser, Mr. Serhiy Shefir.

4
UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED

  • that they possessed evidence that Ukrainian officials — namely, Head of the National Anticorruption Bureau of Ukraine Artem Sytnyk and Member of Parliament Serhiy Leshchenko — had “interfered” in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, allegedly in collaboration with the DNC and the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv5;
  • that the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv — specifically, U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, who had criticized Mr. Lutsenko’s organization for its poor record on fighting corruption — had allegedly obstructed Ukrainian law enforcement agencies’ pursuit of corruption cases, including by providing a “do not prosecute” list, and had blocked Ukrainian prosecutors from traveling to the United States expressly to prevent them from delivering their “evidence” about the 2016 U.S. election;6 and
  • that former Vice President Biden had pressured former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in 2016 to fire then Ukrainian Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin in order to quash a purported criminal probe into Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian energy company on whose board the former Vice President’s son, Hunter, sat.7

In several public comments,8 Mr. Lutsenko also stated that he wished to communicate directly with Attorney General Barr on these matters.9

The allegations by Mr. Lutsenko came on the eve of the first round of Ukraine’s presidential election on 31 March. By that time, Mr. Lutsenko’s political patron, President Poroshenko, was trailing Mr. Zelenskyy in the polls and appeared likely to be defeated. Mr. Zelenskyy had made known his desire to replace Mr. Lutsenko as Prosecutor General.4 On 21 April, Mr. Poroshenko lost the runoff to Mr. Zelenskyy by a landslide. See Enclosure for additional information.

5 Mr. Sytnyk and Mr. Leshchenko are two of Mr. Lutsenko’s main domestic rivals. Mr. Lutsenko has no legal training and has been widely criticized in Ukraine for politicizing criminal probes and using his tenure as Prosecutor General to protect corrupt Ukrainian officials. He has publicly feuded with Mr. Sytnyk, who heads Ukraine’s only competent anticorruption body, and with Mr. Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist who has repeatedly criticized Mr. Lutsenko’s record. In December 2018, a Ukrainian court upheld a complaint by a Member of Parliament, Mr. Boryslav Rozenblat, who alleged that Mr. Sytnyk and Mr. Leshchenko had “interfered” in the 2016 U.S. election by publicizing a document detailing corrupt payments made by former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych before his ouster in 2014. Mr. Rozenblat had originally filed the motion in late 2017 after attempting to flee Ukraine amid an investigation into his taking of a large bribe. On 16 July 2019, Mr. Leshchenko publicly stated that a Ukrainian court had overturned the lower court’s decision.

6 Mr. Lutsenko later told Ukrainian news outlet The Babel on 17 April that Ambassador Yovanovitch had never provided such a list, and that he was, in fact, the one who requested such a list.

7 Mr. Lutsenko later told Bloomberg on 16 May that former Vice President Biden and his son were not subject to any current Ukrainian investigations, and that he had no evidence against them. Other senior Ukrainian officials also contested his original allegations; one former senior Ukrainian prosecutor told Bloomberg on 7 May that Mr. Shokin in fact was not investigating Burisma at the time of his removal in 2016.

8 See, for example, Mr. Lutsenko’s comments to The Hill on 1 and 7 April and his interview with The Babel on 17 April, in which he stated that he had spoken with Mr. Giuliani about arranging contact with Attorney General Barr.

9 In May, Attorney General Barr announced that he was initiating a probe into the “origins” of the Russia investigation. According to the above-referenced OCCRP report (22 July), two associates of Mr. Giuliani claimed to be working with Ukrainian officials to uncover information that would become part of this inquiry. In an interview with Fox News on 8 August, Mr. Giuliani claimed that Mr. John Durham, whom Attorney General Barr designated to lead this probe, was “spending a lot of time in Europe” because he was “investigating Ukraine.” I do not know the extent to which, if at all, Mr. Giuliani is directly coordinating his efforts on Ukraine with Attorney General Barr or Mr. Durham.

5
UNCLASSIFIED

Page 5

  • 4 A widely criticized Ukrainian prosecutor piqued Mr. Trump’s and Mr. Giuliani’s interest by floating allegations to The Hill — but then backtracked. In the July 25 phone call, Mr. Trump was apparently referring to Mr. Lutsenko when he told the Ukrainian president that, “I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that’s really unfair.”

UNCLASSIFIED

  • It was also publicly reported that Mr. Giuliani had met on at least two occasions with Mr. Lutsenko: once in New York in late January and again in Warsaw in mid-February. In addition, it was publicly reported that Mr. Giuliani had spoken in late 2018 to former Prosecutor General Shokin, in a Skype call arranged by two associates of Mr. Giuliani.10
  • On 25 April in an interview with Fox News, the President called Mr. Lutsenko’s claims “big” and “incredible” and stated that the Attorney General “would want to see this.”

On or about 29 April, I learned from U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the situation that Ambassador Yovanovitch had been suddenly recalled to Washington by senior State Department officials for “consultations” and would most likely be removed from her position.

  • Around the same time, I also learned from a U.S. official that “associates” of Mr. Giuliani were trying to make contact with the incoming Zelenskyy team.11
  • On 6 May, the State Department announced that Ambassador Yovanovitch would be ending her assignment in Kyiv “as planned.”
  • However, several U.S. officials told me that, in fact, her tour was curtailed because of pressure stemming from Mr. Lutsenko’s allegations. Mr. Giuliani subsequently stated in an interview with a Ukrainian journalist published on 14 May that Ambassador Yovanovitch was “removed…because she was part of the efforts against the President.”

On 9 May, The New York Times reported that Mr. Giuliani planned to travel to Ukraine to press the Ukrainian government to pursue investigations that would help the President in his 2020 reelection bid.

  • In his multitude of public statements leading up to and in the wake of the publication of this article, Mr. Giuliani confirmed that he was focused on encouraging Ukrainian authorities to pursue investigations into alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and alleged wrongdoing by the Biden family.12
  • On the afternoon of 10 May, the President stated in an interview with Politico that he planned to speak with Mr. Giuliani about the trip.
  • A few hours later, Mr. Giuliani publicly canceled his trip, claiming that Mr. Zelenskyy was “surrounded by enemies of the [U.S.] President…and of the United States.”

On 11 May, Mr. Lutsenko met for two hours with President-elect Zelenskyy, according to a public account given several days later by Mr. Lutsenko. Mr. Lutsenko publicly stated that he had told Mr. Zelenskyy that he wished to remain as Prosecutor General.

10 See, for example, the above-referenced articles in Bloomberg (16 May) and OCCRP (22 July).

11 I do not know whether these associates of Mr. Giuliani were the same individuals named in the 22 July report by OCCRP, referenced above.

12 See, for example, Mr. Giuliani’s appearance on Fox News on 6 April and his tweets on 23 April and 10 May. In his interview with The New York Times, Mr. Giuliani stated that the President “basically knows what I’m doing, sure, as his lawyer.” Mr. Giuliani also stated: “We’re not meddling in an election, we’re meddling in an investigation, which we have a right to do… There’s nothing illegal about it… Somebody could say it’s improper. And this isn’t foreign policy – I’m asking them to do an investigation that they’re doing already and that other people are telling them to stop. And I’m going to give them reasons why they shouldn’t stop it because that information will be very, very helpful to my client, and may turn out to be helpful to my government.”

6
UNCLASSIFIED

UNCLASSIFIED

Starting in mid-May, I heard from multiple U.S. officials that they were deeply concerned by what they viewed as Mr. Giuliani’s circumvention of national security decisionmaking processes to engage with Ukrainian officials and relay messages back and forth between Kyiv and the President.5 These officials also told me:

  • that State Department officials, including Ambassadors Volker and Sondland, had spoken with Mr. Giuliani in an attempt to “contain the damage” to U.S. national security; and
  • that Ambassadors Volker and Sondland during this time period met with members of the new Ukrainian administration and, in addition to discussing policy matters, sought to help Ukrainian leaders understand and respond to the differing messages they were receiving from official U.S. channels on the one hand, and from Mr. Giuliani on the other.

During this same timeframe, multiple U.S. officials told me that the Ukrainian leadership was led to believe that a meeting or phone call between the President and President Zelenskyy would depend on whether Zelenskyy showed willingness to “play ball” on the issues that had been publicly aired by Mr. Lutsenko and Mr. Giuliani. (Note: This was the general understanding of the state of affairs as conveyed to me by U.S. officials from late May into early July. I do not know who delivered this message to the Ukrainian leadership, or when.) See Enclosure for additional information.

Shortly after President Zelenskyy’s inauguration, it was publicly reported that Mr. Giuliani met with two other Ukrainian officials: Ukraine’s Special Anticorruption Prosecutor, Mr. Nazar Kholodnytskyy, and a former Ukrainian diplomat named Andriy Telizhenko. Both Mr. Kholodnytskyy and Mr. Telizhenko are allies of Mr. Lutsenko and made similar allegations in the above-mentioned series of articles in The Hill.

On 13 June, the President told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that he would accept damaging information on his political rivals from a foreign government.

On 21 June, Mr. Giuliani tweeted: “New Pres of Ukraine still silent on investigation of Ukrainian interference in 2016 and alleged Biden bribery of Poroshenko. Time for leadership and investigate both if you want to purge how Ukraine was abused by Hillary and Clinton people.”

In mid-July, I learned of a sudden change of policy with respect to U.S. assistance for Ukraine. See Enclosure for additional information.

ENCLOSURE: Classified appendix

7
UNCLASSIFIED

Page 7

  • 5 The State Department saw Mr. Giuliani’s rogue outreach to Ukraine for Trump as a threat to national security. The whistle-blower recounts the struggles by the senior United States diplomats to deal with the confusion created by the president dispatching his personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, to pressure Ukrainian officials to develop dirt against the Bidens, both in the run-up to the July 25 call and its aftermath.

TOP SECRET/■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■■

August 12, 2019

(U) CLASSIFIED APPENDIX

(U) Supplementary classified information is provided as follows:

(U) Additional information related to Section II

(TS/■■■■■■■■■) According to multiple White House officials I spoke with, the transcript of the President’s call with President Zelenskyy was placed into a computer system managed directly by the National Security Council (NSC) Directorate for Intelligence Programs. This is a standalone computer system reserved for codeword-level intelligence information, such as covert action. According to information I received from White House officials, some officials voiced concerns internally that this would be an abuse of the system and was not consistent with the responsibilities of the Directorate for Intelligence Programs. According to White House officials I spoke with, this was “not the first time” under this Administration that a Presidential transcript was placed into this codeword-level system solely for the purpose of protecting politically sensitive—rather than national security sensitive—information.

(U) Additional information related to Section IV

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(S/■■■■■■■■■) I would like to expand upon two issues mentioned in Section IV that might have a connection with the overall effort to pressure the Ukrainian leadership. As I do not know definitively whether the below-mentioned decisions are connected to the broader efforts I describe, I have chosen to include them in the classified annex. If they indeed represent genuine policy deliberations and decisions formulated to advance U.S. foreign policy and national security, one might be able to make a reasonable case that the facts are classified.

  • (S/■■■■■■■■■) I learned from U.S. officials that, on or around 14 May, the President instructed Vice President Pence to cancel his planned travel to Ukraine to attend President

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  • Zelenskyy’s inauguration on 20 May; Secretary of Energy Rick Perry led the delegation instead. According to these officials, it was also “made clear” to them that the President did not want to meet with Mr. Zelenskyy until he saw how Zelenskyy “chose to act” in office. I do not know how this guidance was communicated, or by whom. I also do not know whether this action was connected with the broader understanding, described in the unclassified letter, that a meeting or phone call between the President and President Zelenskyy would depend on whether Zelenskyy showed willingness to “play ball” on the issues that had been publicly aired by Mr. Lutsenko and Mr. Giuliani.
  • ( S/■■■■■■■■■) On 18 July, an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) official informed Departments and Agencies that the President “earlier that month” had issued instructions to suspend all U.S. security assistance to Ukraine. Neither OMB nor the NSC staff knew why this instruction had been issued. During interagency meetings on 23 July and 26 July, OMB officials again stated explicitly that the instruction to suspend this assistance had come directly from the President, but they still were unaware of a policy rationale. As of early August, I heard from U.S. officials that some Ukrainian officials were aware that U.S. aid might be in jeopardy, but I do not know how or when they learned of it.

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Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act

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The Intelligence Community Whistleblower Protection Act of 1998,[1] amending the Central Intelligence Agency Act of 1949 and the Inspector General Act of 1978, sets forth a procedure for employees and contractors of specified federal intelligence agencies to report complaints or information to Congress about serious problems involving intelligence activities.

Under the ICWPA, an intelligence employee or contractor who intends to report to Congress a complaint or information of “urgent concern” involving an intelligence activity may report the complaint or information to their agency’s inspector general or the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community (ICIG). Within a 14-day period, the IG must determine “whether the complaint or information appears credible,” and upon finding the information to be credible, thereafter transfer the information to the head of the agency. The law then requires the DNI (or the relevant agency head) to forward the complaint to the congressional intelligence committees, along with any comments he wishes to make about the complaint, within seven days. If the IG does not deem the complaint or information to be credible or does not transmit the information to the head of the agency, the employee may provide the information directly to the House and Senate Intelligence Committees. However, the employee must first inform the IG of his or her intention to contact the intelligence committees directly and must follow the procedures specified in the Act.

The Act defines a matter of “urgent concern” as:[2]

  1. a serious or flagrant problem, abuse, violation of law or Executive order, or deficiency relating to the funding, administration, or operations of an intelligence activity involving classified information, but does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters;
  2. A false statement to Congress, or a willful withholding from Congress, on an issue of material fact relating to the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity; or
  3. An action constituting reprisal or threat of reprisal in response to an employee’s reporting an urgent concern.

ICWPA doesn’t prohibit employment-related retaliation and it provides no mechanism, such as access to a court or administrative body, for challenging retaliation that may occur as a result of having made a disclosure.[3] In 2006 Thomas Gimble, Acting Inspector General, Department of Defense, stated before the House Committee on Government Reform that the ICWPA is a ‘misnomer‘ and that more properly the Act protects the communication of classified information to Congress.[4] According to Michael German with the Brennan Center for Justice, the ICWPA, “provides a right to report internally but no remedy when that right is infringed, which means that there is no right at all.”[3]

According to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, from 1999-2009, 10 complaints/disclosures were filed under this law, four of which were found to be credible by the relevant Inspector General. In three of these ten cases the whistleblower claimed that s/he was retaliated against: two CIA cases and one DOJ case. Subsequent investigations by the CIA and DOJ failed to find evidence of retaliation in any of these cases.[3][5]

Additional protections for national security whistleblowers are provided through Presidential Policy Directive 19 and the Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014.[3] For more information about whistleblowers protections that apply to the intelligence community see the “national security protections” subheading under Whistleblower protection in the United States.

References

  1. ^ Title VII of Public Law No: 105-272
  2. ^ Goss, Porter J. (1998-10-20). “Text – H.R.3694 – 105th Congress (1997-1998): Intelligence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1999”http://www.congress.gov. Retrieved 2019-09-20.  This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
  3. Jump up to:a b c d “Secret Sources: Whistleblowers, National Security and Free Expression” (PDF). PEN America. November 10, 2015. p. 13. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 14, 2015. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
  4. ^ “Statement on National Security Whistleblower Protection” (PDF)Federation of American Scientists. Retrieved December 21, 2010.
  5. ^ “Letter from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence” (PDF). Federation of American Scientists. March 8, 2014. Retrieved November 25, 2015.

 

Story 2:  Unbelievable Adam Schiff: Pathological Prevaricator Pervert Parody of Whistle-blower Blow Job Does Not Come Out As Expected — Videos —

Schiff slammed for ‘parody’ of Trump call transcript

Jeanine Pirro: Dems don’t have a case for impeachment

WATCH: Rep. Adam Schiff’s full opening statement on whistleblower complaint | DNI hearing

Fmr. Intel Official: Trump Aides Could Face Criminal Exposure | The Beat With Ari Melber | MSNBC

Gowdy goes after Schiff for ‘making stuff up’ at DNI hearing

Adam Schiff Makes Up His Own Version of the Trump Transcript I White House Brief

Donald Trump rages against Adam Schiff reading a parody version of his Ukraine phone call demanding he resign for ‘fraud’ – and accuses CNN of dropping the ‘hyphen’ from insulting Schiff as ‘Liddle’ Adam’

  • Donald Trump erupted on House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff for reading a ‘parody’ of the president’s call with Ukraine at a Capitol Hill hearing
  • Schiff did not characterize it as such at the time of the reading
  • Trump said that Schiff should resign from the House of Representatives  
  • Still raging against Schiff some two hours later, he said Schiff ‘totally made up my conversation with Ukraine President and read it to Congress and Millions’
  • ‘He must resign and be investigated,’ Trump tweeted. ‘He is a sick man!’
  • The president was on the warpath against Schiff and CNN, which he accused of dropping the ‘hyphen’ in his attack on ‘Liddle’ Adam Schiff
  • ‘I used the word Liddle’, not Liddle, in discribing Corrupt Congressman Liddle’ Adam Schiff,’ he argued in a tweet in which he misspelled ‘describing’
  • His assault immediately trended on Twitter as users pointed out that he meant to claim the network had dropped his apostrophe in the nickname not a hyphen
  • Schiff told Trump in a response tweet that he that the president was the one who got caught – caught engaging in a ‘shakedown’ and a ‘cover up’ of the call
  • ‘But you’re right about one thing — your words need no mockery. Your own words and deeds mock themselves,’ the Democratic lawmaker charged

Donald Trump erupted on House Intel Chairman Adam Schiff on Friday for reading what the congressman later described as a ‘parody’ of the president’s call with Ukraine at a Capitol Hill hearing without characterizing it as such at the time.

Trump said that Schiff should resign from his California seat in the House of Representatives.

He wrote: ‘HE WAS DESPERATE AND HE GOT CAUGHT. Adam Schiff therefore lied to Congress and attempted to defraud the American Public. He has been doing this for two years. I am calling for him to immediately resign from Congress based on this fraud!’

Still raging against Schiff some two hours later, the president claimed the Democratic congressman is deranged.

‘Rep. Adam Schiff totally made up my conversation with Ukraine President and read it to Congress and Millions. He must resign and be investigated. He has been doing this for two years. He is a sick man!’ he said.

The president was on the warpath against Schiff and CNN, which he accused of dropping the ‘hyphen’ in his attack on ‘Liddle’ Adam Schiff.

‘I used the word Liddle’, not Liddle, in discribing Corrupt Congressman Liddle’ Adam Schiff,’ he argued.

The president is on the warpath against House Intel Chair Adam Schiff and CNN, which he accused of dropping the 'hyphen' in his attack on 'Liddle' Adam Schiff.

The president is on the warpath against House Intel Chair Adam Schiff and CNN, which he accused of dropping the ‘hyphen’ in his attack on ‘Liddle’ Adam Schiff.

Trump said that Schiff should resign from his California seat in the House of Representatives

Trump said that Schiff should resign from his California seat in the House of Representatives

Schiff also told Trump in a response tweet that he that the president was the one who got caught – caught engaging in a ‘shakedown’ and a ‘cover up’ of what happened in his call with Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelensky.

‘You engaged in a shakedown to get election dirt from a foreign country. And then you tried to cover it up. But you’re right about one thing — your words need no mockery. Your own words and deeds mock themselves. But most importantly here, they endanger our country,’ he stated.

Schiff angered Trump during a Thursday hearing where lawmakers pressed the acting Director of National Intelligence to explain why the administration attempted to ‘lock down’ the transcript of a call between Trump and the Ukranian president, according to a whistleblower complaint.

‘I have a favor I want from you,’ Schiff read aloud without disclosing that he was about to read from a parody of the call. ‘And I’m going to say this only seven times, so you better listen good. I want you to make up dirt on my political opponent, understand? Lots of it, on this and on that.’

Trump did ask for a favor but he did not use the phrasing in a rough transcript the White House released that Schiff went on to use as he mocked him while reading from a piece of paper that led some to believe he was sharing verified information.

‘Rep. Adam Schiff fraudulently read to Congress, with millions of people watching, a version of my conversation with the President of Ukraine that doesn’t exist. He was supposedly reading the exact transcribed version of the call, but he completely changed the words to make it sound horrible, and me sound guilty,’ the president on Friday morning charged.

He said at another point his assault on Schiff that he intentionally calls him ‘Liddle’ instead of ‘Little’ as he responded to commentary he’d apparently been watching on CNN.

‘To show you how dishonest the LameStream Media is, I used the word Liddle’, not Liddle, in discribing Corrupt Congressman Liddle’ Adam Schiff. Low ratings CNN purposely took the hyphen out and said I spelled the word little wrong. A small but never ending situation with CNN!’ he stated.

Schiff told Trump in a tweet that he that the president was the one who got caught - caught engaging in a 'shakedown' and a 'cover up'

Schiff told Trump in a tweet that he that the president was the one who got caught – caught engaging in a ‘shakedown’ and a ‘cover up’

Trump zeroed in on Schiff on Thursday after the president's acting Director of National Intelligence testified at an open hearing on Capitol Hill. He's seen making a statement at a photo op where he delcined to take questions on the White House's South Lawn

Trump zeroed in on Schiff on Thursday after the president’s acting Director of National Intelligence testified at an open hearing on Capitol Hill. He’s seen making a statement at a photo op where he delcined to take questions on the White House’s South Lawn

In that tweet, he did spell a word wrong – ‘describing’ – leaving out the e and replacing it with an errant i.

He sent out corrected versions of his Schiff tweets as Twitter users ribbed him for mistakes while complaining about his coverage.

Trump zeroed in on Schiff on Thursday after the president’s acting Director of National Intelligence testified at an open hearing on Capitol Hill. The president told traveling press that he caught some of the hearing before he left his New York City penthouse.

‘We’ve done so many things that are so incredible with tax cuts and regulations. And I have to put up with Adam Schiff on a per- — on an absolutely perfect phone call to the new President of Ukraine. That was a perfect call,’ the president said on the tarmac at Joint Base Andrews after landing near Washington.

The president declined to take reporters questions – he only wanted to rail against his Capitol Hill nemesis.

Trump said that Schiff should be investigating payments that former Vice President Joe Biden’s son received from a Ukrainian company while it was under investigation.

‘But Adam Schiff doesn’t talk about Joe Biden and his son walking away with millions of dollars from Ukraine, and then millions of dollars from China. Walking away — in a quick meeting, walking away with millions of dollars,’ he fumed.

‘He doesn’t talk about Joe Biden firing a prosecutor, and if that prosecutor is not fired, he’s not going to give him money from the United States of America. They don’t talk about that.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7512109/Donald-Trump-demands-Adam-Schiff-resign-fraud-revives-Liddle-attack.html

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1320, September 16, 2019, Story 1: Oil Prices Spike After Iran Backed Houthi Rebel Drone Strike on Saudi Arabia’s Biggest Oil Refinery and Shut Down of Oil Production– United States Accuses Iran For The Drone Attack With Evidence — Videos — Story 2: Morally Bankrupt New York Times Smear Campaign of Lies Against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh — No Victim and No Witnesses — Big Lie Media — Junk Journalism — Videos — Story 3: U.S. Federal Government Record Government Spending Exceeds $4 Trillion and Rising — Videos —

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Tensions are running high in the region after attacks in June and July on oil tankers in Gulf waters that Riyadh and Washington blamed on IranSee the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

 

Story 1: Oil Prices Spike After Iran Backed Houthi Rebel Drone Strike on Saudi Arabia’s Biggest Oil Refinery and Oil Field and Shut Down of Oil Production– Videos

UPDATED: September 18, 2019

Senior U.S. official says missiles fired on Saudi oil plant were launched from Iran

President Trump: Looks like Iran was responsible for Saudi oil attack

US says Iran attacked Saudi oil refineries, Yemen rebels say they did – so who was it? | ABC News

Yemeni rebel drones spark fires at two Saudi Aramco oil facilities

Saudi Arabia slashing oil output after drone strikes: Report

Fears for global oil prices after drone attack on Saudi refineries | Nine News Australia

Drones hit 2 Saudi Aramco oil facilities, causes fires

Saudi Arabia’s oil output decimated by drone attack

Trump points finger at Iran for Saudi oil attacks

Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa visits the White House amid Trump’s push for an international pressure campaign against Iran.

Gidley on Iran agenda, Kavanaugh attacks, Lewandowski testimony

Questions raised about whether Iran is to blame for Saudi Arabia attack

 

Pompeo: Iran to blame for Houthi attack on Saudi oil facilities

Houthi rebels claim drone attack on Saudi Arabia oil facility

Yemen’s Houthi group vows to strike 300 targets in Saudi Arabia, UAE

Saudi Arabia: major fire at world’s largest oil refinery after drone attack

History of US-Iran Conflict Explained

The Middle East’s cold war, explained

Why are Iran and Saudi Arabia enemies?

Why Are Saudi Arabia And The U.S. Allies?

Israel and the Gulf: an unholy alliance?

Why the US and Iran are fighting over this tiny waterway

Can Iran Stop the US? A look at Irans Defenses

Iran vs Saudi Arabia – Who Would Win? (Military / Army Comparison)

Saudi Arabia’s Emergency Arab Summit

How the Saudis ended up with so many American weapons

UNITED STATES vs ARAB LEAGUE – Military Power Comparison ✪ 2018

Crucifixion, beheading: Saudi Arabia carries out executions

Arab League States [Population/Economic/Military] Comparison (1960~2018)

 

Attack on Saudi oil plant WAS launched from Iranian base near Iraq, US investigators conclude – as experts study images of missile wreckage and video of ‘drones flying south towards their target’

  • Saudi Arabian oil supply blown up in what Yemen’s Houthis called a drone attack 
  • US investigators have concluded that drones and missiles were fired from an Iranian air base near the border with Iraq, source said
  • Officials believe the missiles flew over southern Iraq and Kuwaiti airspace to avoid powerful radar in Persian Gulf, before striking their targets 
  • Experts are studying video from Kuwait which seems to record sound of missiles overhead, and image of what appears to be missile wreck in Saudi desert  
  • Analysts say the missile appears to be a Quds-1, which would rule out Yemen as a launch site and strongly suggest Iraq, Iran or a boat in the Persian Gulf
  • Saudi has also blamed Iran, and says it is ready to ‘forcefully respond’ to attack
  • Iran’s foreign minister said that Washington was ‘in denial’ by blaming Tehran 

America has concluded that weekend attacks on two Saudi oil facilities were launched from Iranian soil and cruise missiles were involved, an official said today.

The official, who declined to be identified, said the United States was gathering evidence about the attack to present to the international community, notably European allies, at the UN General Assembly next week.

Another source, who spoke to CNN, said the attack involved a mixture of drones and missiles launched from an Iranian base near Iraq, flying at low altitude through Iraqi and Kuwaiti airspace to avoid radar detection, before striking the Abqaiq refinery and Khurais oil field in Saudi Arabia.

Kuwaiti officials have already launched an investigation into two videos that seemed to record the sound of projectiles flying over their territory shortly before the Saudi targets were struck.

The source also told CNN that investigators are studying wreckage of at least one missile that failed to hit its target that was recovered from the Saudi desert.

An image which appears to show that missile has been circulating on Saudi social media, and has been examined by weapon analysts who say its design could rule out Yemen as a launch site, with either Iraq or Iran as more likely possibilities. 

If it can be proven that the attack originated in Iran, there are fears it could spark a new Gulf War. 

Donald Trump has refused to rule out military action once the source of the attack has been proven, while Saudi Arabia has said it is ready to ‘forcefully respond’.

US investigators say they have concluded that an attack on Saudi oil facilities was launched from Iran. As part of their investigation, they have been studying the wreckage of a missile recovered from the desert that failed to hit its target. Pictured is the wreckage of a missile that was posted on Saudi social media shortly after the attack

An image of the Quds-1 missile which was released by the Houthi group in July, when they unveiled the weapon. It is similar to two Iranian designs - the Soumar and Ya Ali

An image of the Quds-1 missile which was released by the Houthi group in July, when they unveiled the weapon. It is similar to two Iranian designs – the Soumar and Ya Ali

Vice President Mike Pence said Tuesday that the United States is evaluating evidence on the attacks on Saudi oil facilities and stands read to defend its interests and allies in the Middle East.

In other developments…

  • The Saudi ministry of foreign affairs insisted it ‘has the capability and resolve to defend its land and people, and to forcefully respond to these aggressions’ 
  • Saudi Arabia also called on nations to ‘shoulder their responsibility in condemning the perpetrators’ and ‘clearly confronting’ those behind an attack 
  • The kingdom said its oil production could be fully online again within two to three weeks 
  • Trump said it ‘looks like’ Iran was behind the attacks but stressed that military retaliation was not yet on the table 
  • Washington confirmed it is exchanging intelligence with Saudi Arabia which it says points to Iran being responsible 
  • Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tehran will never hold talks with US, killing off hopes of discussions between Trump and Hassan Rouhani
  • The chair of the UN Security Council said the attack was ‘unanimously and unequivocally condemned’ by all 15 members
  • Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani said the attack was a ‘legitimate defense and counterattack’ against the Saudi-led war in Yemen
  • The Islamic Republic’s foreign minister said Washington was ‘in denial’ by pointing the finger of blame at Tehran.  

Officially, Iran-backed Houthi rebels fighting against Saudi Arabia in Yemen have claimed responsibility for the blasts – which knocked out 5 per cent of the world’s oil supply – saying they used drones.

But Fabian Hinz, of the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, analysed an image of the wreckage and says it clearly shows a cruise missile, not a drone.

He added that the weapon shown is likely a short-range Quds-1 missile, a Houthi weapon which was unveiled by the group in July this year.

The missile is based on the Iranian Soumar design, which has a range of some 840 miles, but the Houthi version has a smaller body – meaning less space for fuel – and is fitted with a less-efficient engine.

Because of this, Mr Hinz writes, it is unlikely the missile could have reached either the Abqaiq refinery or the Khurais oil field if it had been fired from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen.

However, he stressed that information around the attack is still emerging, that the image has not been independently verified, and his analysis is purely speculation based on that image.

He did say that the image appears to be new and does not appear to have been digitally altered.

When a Quds-1 was used to attack Saudi Arabia’s Abha Airport in June, the Saudis  initially mistook it for an Iranian Ya Ali cruise missile, suggesting it could have similar specifications. 

The Ya Ali missile has a estimated range of 435 miles, which would also rule out Yemen as a launch site, with Iran and Iraq also likely launch sites. 

Washington has released satellite images which it claims shows damage on the Saudi oil refinery which is consistent with an attack from the north or northwest, in the direction of Iran and Iraq, rather than Yemen to the south

Analysts also said that the pattern of precision damage on the facility is consistent with guided missile attacks, rather than drones

Damage is shown at the Khurais oil field, which was also struck in Saturday's attacks

Damage is shown at the Khurais oil field, which was also struck in Saturday’s attacks

He also notes that, while the Quds-1 is thought to have been developed with help from Iran, it is a Houthi weapon and has never be seen in Iran itself, raising doubts over whether it could have been fired from there.

The Houthis have used the Quds-1 in combat themselves, most recently in an attack on Abha Airport in southern Saudi Arabia which wounded 26.

In that instance, the Houthis claimed responsibility and admitted using the missile, begging the question of why they would omit that detail this time around.

Quds-1 missile 

Unveiled by Houthi rebels in July, the Quds-1 is a cruise missile which appears to be based on the Iranian Soumar design.

While we know nothing of its specifications, we do know it was used in an attack on Saudi Arabia’s Abha Airport in June.

Pieces of the missile recovered by Saudi Arabia showed it uses a TJ-100 jet engine or near-replica, which uses up more fuel than its Iranian equivalent.

The Quds-1 fuselage is also significantly smaller than the Iranian Soumar missile, meaning it has less space for fuel.

Because of this, it almost certainly has a smaller range, though how much smaller is unclear.

But even a small reduction in the Soumar’s 840mile range would put the Saudi oil facilities attacked at the weekend outside of its capabilities, meaning – if the image is genuine – then the launch site would have to be outside Yemen.

On Monday, the White House released satellite imagery which it said indicated the attack came from either Iran or Iraq – where Iran has been training militia groups – because the position of blast marks was located on the north or northwest of the structures, in the direction of those two countries and away from Yemen.

American officials also told the Wall Street Journal that they have shared intelligence with Riyadh indicating that Iran was the staging ground for devastating drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil installations.

The US assessment determined that ‘Iran launched more than 20 drones and at least a dozen missiles,’ according to unnamed sources.

‘But Saudi officials said the US didn’t provide enough to conclude that the attack was launched from Iran, indicating the US information wasn’t definitive,’ the WSJ added.

‘US officials said they planned to share more information with the Saudis in the coming days.’

However, an analysis by the New York Times shows at least some of the blast marks faced west, which is not in the direction of any of those countries.

Experts also said cruise missiles and drones can be directed to turn around on their targets, hitting them in the opposite direction from which they were fired.

The near-symmetrical pattern of blast-marks on the buildings do appear consistent with guided missiles rather than drones, they noted, which tallies with Washington’s account of the attacks.

Meanwhile, a former US diplomat said Saudi Arabia has ‘great deal of explaining to do’ over how its oilfields were hit, disrupting global supplies, despite it possessing state-of-the-art military technology, much of it bought from America.

The attacks have knocked out half of Saudi Arabia's oil supply and 5 per cent of global supplies, leading to fear of fuel price rises

Donald Trump tweeted Sunday to say that US is 'locked and loaded depending on verification', suggesting he was waiting for Riyadh's confirmation before acting

 

Donald Trump tweeted Sunday to say that US is ‘locked and loaded depending on verification’, suggesting he was waiting for Riyadh’s confirmation before acting

Gary Grappo, former US ambassador to Oman, told CNBC: I think the Saudi leadership has a great deal of explaining to do.

‘A country that ranks third in terms of total defence spending… was not able to defend its most critical oil facility from these kinds of attacks.

‘They had to be able to see that this was a strong possibility given the previous attacks they’ve experienced in previous oil facility, airports and elsewhere.’

Saudi Arabia says its initial investigations indicate that Iranian weapons were used in attacks on key oil installations and it ‘will invite U.N. and international experts to view the situation on the ground and to participate in the investigations.’

A statement from the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday says, ‘The kingdom will take the appropriate measures based on the results of the investigation, to ensure its security and stability.’

Saudi Arabia's Colonel Turki al-Malki said drone strikes against two of his country's oil facilities at the weekend did not come from Yemen, and pointed the finger directly at Tehran

Saudi Arabia’s Colonel Turki al-Malki said drone strikes against two of his country’s oil facilities at the weekend did not come from Yemen, and pointed the finger directly at Tehran

Russia’s U.N. ambassador, who currently chairs the U.N. Security Council, says the attacks on key Saudi oil installations were ‘unanimously and unequivocally condemned’ by all 15 council members.

Vassily Nebenzia said after a council meeting on Yemen on Monday that ‘it is inadmissible that civil objects and socio-economic infrastructure are being targeted.’Iran’s president says weekend drone attacks claimed by Yemeni rebels on major oil sites in Saudi Arabia were a ‘legitimate defense and counterattack’ against the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Iranian state TV broadcast Hassan Rouhani’s comments to reporters Monday during a summit in Turkey to discuss the war in Syria with the Russian and Turkish leaders.

Rouhani said: ‘Regarding the drones attack, this problem has its root in invading Yemen. They (the Saudi-led coalition) are bombing Yemen on a daily basis.’

The attack has led to fears that action on any side could rapidly escalate a confrontation that has been raging just below the surface in the wider Persian Gulf in recent months.

Just last week there were hopes of deescalation following the departure of National Security Adviser John Bolton and the suggestion of talks between Trump and Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of an upcoming UN summit.

But Washington has now rubbished the idea of talks and put the option of military action firmly back on the table.

It comes after a summer which saw attacks on oil tankers that Washington blames on Tehran, at least one suspected Israeli strike on Shiite forces in Iraq, and the downing of a US military surveillance drone by Iran.

Stalling 5.7million barrels of oil per day marks the single largest disruption to global oil supplies in history, topping the start of the Iranian revolution in 1979

Stalling 5.7million barrels of oil per day marks the single largest disruption to global oil supplies in history, topping the start of the Iranian revolution in 1979

Those tensions have increased ever since Mr Trump pulled the US out of Iran’s 2015 agreement with world powers that curtailed its nuclear activities and the US re-imposed sanctions on the country that sent its economy into freefall.

Benchmark Brent crude gained nearly 20 per cent in the first moments of trading Monday before settling down to over 10 per cent higher as trading continued.

That spike represented the biggest percentage value jump in Brent crude since the run-up to the 1991 Gulf War that saw a US-led coalition expel Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s forces from Kuwait.

The attack halted production of 5.7 million barrels of crude a day, more than half of Saudi Arabia’s global daily exports and more than 5% of the world’s daily crude oil production. Most of that output goes to Asia.

At 5.7 million barrels of crude oil a day, the Saudi disruption would be the greatest on record for world markets, according to figures from the Paris-based International Energy Agency (IEA).

It just edges out the 5.6 million-barrels-a-day disruption around the time of Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, according to the IEA.

Saudi Arabia has pledged that its stockpiles would keep global markets supplied as it rushes to repair damage at the Abqaiq facility and its Khurais oil field.

However, Saudi Aramco has not responded publicly to questions about its facilities.

Yemen’s Houthi rebels, who have been targeted by a Saudi-led coalition since March 2015 in a vicious war in the Arab world’s poorest country, maintain they launched 10 drones that caused the extensive damage.

Iraqi premier Adel Abdel-Mahdi said he received a call on Monday from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who confirmed that the attack did not come from Iraq.

The State Department did not immediately acknowledge what was discussed.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi again denied the US claims on Monday, telling journalists the accusation was ‘condemned, unacceptable and categorically baseless’.

Saudi Oil Attack Is the Big One

The technological sophistication and audacity of Saturday’s attack will linger over the energy market

Smoke billowed from an Aramco oil facility in Abqaiq, in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province, where attacks sparked fires Saturday. PHOTO:-/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

Saturday’s attack on a critical Saudi oil facility will almost certainly rock the world energy market in the short term, but it also carries disturbing long-term implications.

Ever since the dual 1970s oil crises, energy security officials have fretted about a deliberate strike on one of the critical choke points of energy production and transport. Sea lanes such as the Strait of Hormuz usually feature in such speculation. The facility in question at Abqaiq is perhaps more critical and vulnerable. The Wall Street Journal reported that 5.7 million barrels a day of output, or some 5% of world supply, had been taken offline as a result.

To illustrate the importance of Abqaiq in the oil market’s consciousness, an unsuccessful terrorist attack in 2006 using explosive-laden vehicles sent oil prices more than $2.00 a barrel higher. Saudi Arabia is known to spend billions of dollars annually protecting ports, pipelines and processing facilities, and it is the only major oil producer to maintain some spare output. Yet the nature of the attack, which Iranian-supported Houthi fighters from Yemen claimed was the result of an attack by their forces, shows that protecting such facilities may be far more difficult today. U.S. officials blamed Iran and U.S. and Saudi officials were investigating the possibility that another Iranian-backed group carried out all or part of the attack using cruise missiles launched from Iraq. Iranian officials on Sunday denied responsibility for the attacks.

There are countries that even today see their output ebb and flow as a result of militant activity, most notably Nigeria and Libya. Others, such as Venezuela, are in chronic decline due to political turmoil. Such news affects the oil price at the margin but is hardly shocking.

Deliberate attacks by actual military forces have been far rarer, with the exception of the 1980s “Tanker War” involving Iraq, Iran and the vessels of other regional producers such as Kuwait. When Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi forces invaded Kuwait in 1990, removing its production from the market and putting Saudi Arabia’s massive crude output under threat, prices more than doubled over two months.

Yet Saturday’s attack could be more significant than that. Technology from drones to cyberattacks are available to groups like the Houthis, possibly with support from Saudi Arabia’s regional rival Iran. That major energy producer, facing sanctions but still shipping some oil, has both a political and financial incentive to weaken Saudi Arabia. The fact that the actions ostensibly were taken by a nonstate actor, though, limits the response that the U.S. or Saudi Arabia can take. Attempting to further punish Iran is a double-edged sword, given that pinching its main source of revenue, also oil, would further inflame prices.

While the redundancies in Saudi oil infrastructure mean that output may be restored as soon as Monday, the attack could build in a premium to oil prices that has long been absent due to complacency. Indeed, traders may now need to factor in new risks that threaten to take not hundreds of thousands but millions of barrels off the market at a time. U.S. shale production may have upended the world energy market with nimble output, but the market’s reaction time is several months, not days or weeks, and nowhere near enough to replace several million barrels.

After the smoke clears and markets calm down, the technological sophistication and audacity of Saturday’s attack will linger over the energy market.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/saudi-oil-attack-this-is-the-big-one-11568480576

Iran-backed militants admit drone swarm strike on world’s largest oil processing plant in Saudi and at second nearby facility sparking huge fires as tensions reach boiling point following tanker attacks

  • Drone attacks sparked fires at Aramco oil facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia today
  • Attacks took place at 4:00am at world’s largest oil processing plant Abqaiq
  • The Saudi interior ministry said the fires have now been brought under control 
  • Iran-backed Houthis claimed responsibility for attacks in Buqyaq and Khurais 
  • Tensions are running high in the region after attacks in June and July on oil tankers in Gulf waters that Riyadh and Washington blamed on Iran

Ten drones launched by Iran-backed militants sparked a huge fire at the world’s largest oil processing facility and a major oilfield in Saudi Arabia in the early hours of this morning.

The fires at Abqaiq in Buqayq, which contains the world’s largest oil processing plant, and Khurais, which contains the country’s second largest oilfield, have now been brought under control since the drone attacks at 4.00am local time.

Tensions are running high in the region after attacks in June and July on oil tankers in Gulf waters that Riyadh and Washington blamed on Iran.

A military spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi rebels, considered an Iranian proxy force in the region, has claimed responsibility for today’s attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais, two major facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia run by state-owned oil giant Aramco.

Houthi fighters in Yemen have previously launched attacks over the border, hitting Shaybah oilfield with drones last month and two oil pumping stations in May. Both attacks caused fires but did not disrupt production.

Ten drones launched by Iran-backed militants sparked a huge fire at the world’s largest oil processing facility and a major oilfield in Saudi Arabia in the early hours of this morning.

The fires at Abqaiq in Buqayq, which contains the world’s largest oil processing plant, and Khurais, which contains the country’s second largest oilfield, have now been brought under control since the drone attacks at 4.00am local time.

Tensions are running high in the region after attacks in June and July on oil tankers in Gulf waters that Riyadh and Washington blamed on Iran.

A military spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi rebels, considered an Iranian proxy force in the region, has claimed responsibility for today’s attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais, two major facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia run by state-owned oil giant Aramco.

Houthi fighters in Yemen have previously launched attacks over the border, hitting Shaybah oilfield with drones last month and two oil pumping stations in May. Both attacks caused fires but did not disrupt production.

Abqaiq facility, located 37 miles southwest of Aramco's Dhahran headquarters, is home to the company's largest oil processing plant, according to its website (pictured: Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq)

Abqaiq facility, located 37 miles southwest of Aramco’s Dhahran headquarters, is home to the company’s largest oil processing plant, according to its website (pictured: Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq)

Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 14

Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 14

Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 14+26

Smoke is seen following a fire at an Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, September 14

A satellite image provided by NASA Worldview shows fires following Yemen's Houthi rebels claiming a drone attack on two major oil installations in eastern Saudi Arabia

A satellite image provided by NASA Worldview shows fires following Yemen’s Houthi rebels claiming a drone attack on two major oil installations in eastern Saudi Arabia

Tensions are running high in the region after attacks in June and July on oil tankers in Gulf waters that Riyadh and Washington blamed on Iran

Yahia Sarie announced that the Houthi’s were taking responsibility for the attacks on Saturday in a televised address carried by the Houthi’s Al-Masirah satellite news channel.

He said the Houthis sent 10 drones to attack an oil processing facility in Buqyaq and the Khurais oil field, warning that attacks by the rebels against the kingdom would only get worse if the war in Yemen continues.

Sarie said: ‘The only option for the Saudi government is to stop attacking us.’

Iran denies supplying the Houthis with weapons, although the U.N., the West and Gulf Arab nations say Tehran does. Drone models nearly identical to those used by Iran have been used in the conflict in Yemen.

The attacks highlight how the increasingly advanced weaponry of the Iran-linked Huthi rebels – from ballistic missiles to unmanned drones – poses a serious threat to oil installations in Saudi Arabia, the world’s top crude exporter.

A military spokesman for Yemen's Houthi rebels has claimed responsibility for today's attacks on Abqaiq (pictured) and Khurais

A military spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi rebels has claimed responsibility for today’s attacks on Abqaiq (pictured) and Khurais

The Abqaiq facility (pictured), which processes sour crude oil into sweet crude, then later transports onto transshipment points on the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, has been targeted in the past by militants

The Abqaiq facility (pictured), which processes sour crude oil into sweet crude, then later transports onto transshipment points on the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, has been targeted in the past by militants

Saudi Arabia’s oil production and exports have been disrupted, three sources familiar with the matter have said.

One of the sources said the attacks have impacted 5 million barrels per day of oil production – almost half the kingdom’s current output. The source did not elaborate.

Saudi Aramco operates the world’s largest oil processing facility and crude oil stabilisation plant in the world at Abqaiq, in eastern Saudi Arabia. The plant has a crude oil processing capacity of more than 7 million barrels per day.

Authorities have not reported on casualties. A witness nearby said at least 15 ambulances were seen in the area and there was a heavy security presence around Abqaiq.

The attack will likely heighten tensions further across the wider Persian Gulf amid a confrontation between the U.S. and Iran over its unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.

Saudi Aramco describes its Abqaiq oil processing facility in Buqyaq as ‘the largest crude oil stabilisation plant in the world.’

The facility, which processes sour crude oil into sweet crude, then later transports onto transshipment points on the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea, has been targeted in the past by militants.

The fires at Abqaiq, which contains the world's largest oil processing plant, and Khurais, which contains the country's second largest oilfield, have now been brought under control+26

The fires at Abqaiq, which contains the world's largest oil processing plant, and Khurais, which contains the country's second largest oilfield, have now been brought under control

The fires at Abqaiq, which contains the world’s largest oil processing plant, and Khurais, which contains the country’s second largest oilfield, have now been brought under control

Yemen's Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais, two major Aramco facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia (pictured: Abqaiq)

Yemen’s Houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais, two major Aramco facilities in eastern Saudi Arabia (pictured: Abqaiq)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7463189/Drone-attacks-spark-huge-fires-two-Saudi-oil-refineries.html

Saudi Arabia Shuts Down About Half Its Oil Output After Drone Strikes

Shutdown amounts to a loss of some five million barrels a day, roughly 5% of the world’s daily production of crude

Smoke billowing after a fire at a Saudi Aramco factory in Abqaiq, Saudi Arabia, on Saturday. PHOTO: VIDEOS OBTAINED BY REUTERS/REUTERS

Coordinated drone strikes on the heart of the Saudi oil industry forced the kingdom to shut down half its crude production on Saturday, people familiar with the matter said, potentially roiling petroleum prices and demonstrating the power of Iran’s proxies.

Yemen’s Iranian-aligned Houthi rebels claimed credit for the attack, saying they sent 10 drones to strike at important facilities in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province. The production shutdown amounts to a loss of about five million barrels a day, the people said, roughly 5% of the world’s daily production of crude oil.

Officials said they hoped to restore production to its regular level of 9.8 million barrels a day by Monday.

The strikes mark the latest in a series of attacks on the country’s petroleum assets in recent months, as tensions rise among Iran and its proxies like the Houthis, and the U.S. and partners like Saudi Arabia. The attacks could drive up oil prices if the Saudis can’t turn production back on quickly and potentially rattle investor confidence in an initial public offering of the kingdom’s national oil company.

President Trump called Saudi Arabia’s day-to-day ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, on Saturday and said the U.S. was ready to “cooperate with the kingdom in supporting its security and stability,” according to the Saudi Press Agency, the official news service.

Prince Mohammed told Mr. Trump that Saudi Arabia “is willing and able to confront and deal with this terrorist aggression,” according to the agency.

The attacks happened a few days before world leaders are set to gather in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, where President Trump has said he is interested in meeting Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to defuse tensions. Iran didn’t react to the attacks on Saturday, and officials have said Mr. Rouhani won’t meet with Mr. Trump until the U.S. lifts sanctions imposed after the president pulled out of the 2015 international nuclear deal.

Saturday’s attack was the largest yet claimed by the Houthis in terms of its overall impact on the Saudi economy, thrusting the petroleum industry into crisis in the world’s largest exporter of oil. The attack hit hundreds of miles away from their Yemen stronghold.

“The attack has been quite surprising for the mere amount of damage it caused,” said Fabian Hinz, an arms researcher at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, Calif.

“We have seen quite a few drone and missile attacks against Saudi infrastructure, but in most cases the actual damage caused has been quite minimal,” said Mr. Hinz.

The Saudi government called the strikes a terrorist attack and said it was investigating.

Armed Drones Are a Growing Threat From Rebels in Yemen

Armed Drones Are a Growing Threat From Rebels in Yemen
Yemen’s Houthi rebels are using armed drones with startling success. WSJ reporters describe their increasing sophistication and recent confirmed attacks. Illustration: Laura Kammermann

Analysts cautioned against accepting the Houthi claim of responsibility at face value. An attack in May on a Saudi oil-pumping station, which Saudi officials initially blamed on the Houthis and Iran, later turned out to have been launched by an Iranian-backed militia in Iraq, according to U.S. officials.

Saudi officials aren’t sure the attack emanated from Yemen and were discussing on Saturday the possibility that the attack came from the north, according to people familiar with the matter.

Saudi oil officials said they were rushing to contain the damage as fires raged in two major oil facilities. Saudi Aramco, the national oil company, held an emergency board meeting on Saturday to manage the unfolding crisis, the people familiar with the matter said.

Disruptions in Saudi oil production could have ripple effects through the global economy, as the kingdom exports more crude petroleum than any other country.

Saudi officials are discussing drawing down their oil stocks to sell to foreign customers to ensure that world oil supplies aren’t disrupted, the people familiar with the matter said. The people said Saudi officials were trying to restore the production soon but gave no firm timetable.

The attacks hit Hijra Khurais, one of Saudi Arabia’s largest oil fields, which produces about 1.5 million barrels a day. They also hit Abqaiq, the world’s biggest crude stabilization facility, processing seven million barrels of Saudi oil a day, about 8% of the world’s total.

The damage at Abqaiq has knock-on effects throughout the kingdom’s oil fields because it is a collection point for much of its industry, turning crude oil into specific grades requested by customers. The Ghawar field, the world’s largest, and Shaybah, which produces one million barrels a day, also reported disruptions because of Abqaiq’s problems, said the people familiar with the matter.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The Houthis took control of Yemen’s capital, San’a, in 2014 during a civil war. Since then, a Saudi-led coalition has fought a war to unseat the Houthis and reinstate a government supported by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other regional powers.

In recent months the Houthis, along with Iranian-backed armed groups in Iraq, have intensified a campaign of missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, launching more than a dozen attacks at Saudi airports, a desalination plant and oil infrastructure. Suspected Houthi ordnance originating from the Yemeni border is launched at Saudi Arabia several times a week, a U.S. official said.

The strikes have put pressure on Saudi Arabia’s air defenses, as the Saudi government says it has shot down multiple drones and missiles.

Big OilKhurais, which was disrupted in a drone strike,is one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest oil fields.Oil field productionSource: International Energy Agency
GhawarSafaniyaKhuraisShaybahManifa0 million barrels a day2468

The increasing sophistication of the drone and missile attacks this year have shown deepening cooperation between the Houthis and Iran as Tehran has sought ways to apply pressure on their Saudi and American adversaries, according to U.S. officials and analysts. The Iranian government denies controlling the Houthi movement.

A U.N. panel last year said there were “strong indications” that Iran was the source of Houthi missile and drone technology but didn’t directly accuse the Tehran government of providing the weaponry itself. It said Iran has failed to take the necessary measures to prevent such transfers.

Saturday’s attack also came amid a sharp escalation of hostilities in neighboring Yemen after a Saudi airstrike killed more than 100 people at a detention center on Sept. 1.

“We promise the Saudi regime that our future operations will expand and be more painful as long as its aggression and siege continue,” a Houthi spokesman said Saturday.

The strikes complicate U.N. and U.S. efforts to negotiate an end to the conflict, which has killed more than 10,000 people over the last four years. U.S. officials had quietly attempted to launch a back channel to the Houthis.

A conservative kingdom with a Sunni Muslim majority, Saudi Arabia has been an opponent of Iran in a struggle for power across the broader Middle East since the 1979 revolution that toppled Iran’s monarchy.

The drone attacks on Aramco’s facilities are poorly timed for Aramco’s coming IPO and pose a challenge to oil officials after a changing of the guard in their leadership. The country’s rulers recently replaced Aramco’s chairman and the kingdom’s oil minister.

Aramco last week picked seven international banks to help it list on Saudi Arabia’s domestic exchange, an IPO that could value the company at about $2 trillion dollars and come before the end of the year.

The damage to Aramco facilities could affect investor appetite to buy into the company and its ultimate valuation, said John Sfakianakis, chief economist at the Gulf Research Center in Riyadh, a privately funded think tank.

But Aramco, the world’s most profitable firm, could also use this crisis to demonstrate its growing push for transparency and keep potential investors abreast of developments, said Mr. Sfakianakis, a former adviser to the kingdom’s finance ministry.

“There will be short term concern…The latest IPO announcement is being watched by all,” he said.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/drone-strikes-spark-fires-at-saudi-oil-facilities-11568443375

Country comparison Iran vs Saudi Arabia

Gouvernement
Annual GDP [+] 2018 452,275M.$ chart 782,483M.$ 2018 Annual GDP [+]
GDP per capita [+] 2018 5,529$ chart 23,219$ 2018 GDP per capita [+]
Debt [+] 2017 170,342 chart 149,279 2018 Debt [+]
Debt (%GDP) [+] 2017 39.53% chart 19.08% 2018 Debt (%GDP) [+]
Debt Per Capita [+] 2017 2,092$ chart 4,430$ 2018 Debt Per Capita [+]
Deficit (M.$) [+] 2017 -7,828 chart -36,267 2018 Deficit (M.$) [+]
Deficit (%GDP) [+] 2017 -1.82% chart -4.64% 2018 Deficit (%GDP) [+]
Expenditure (M.$) [+] 2017 83,377.9 chart 274,773.5 2018 Expenditure (M.$) [+]
Education Expenditure (M.$) [+] 2017 16,325.6 chart 26,706.2 2008 Education Expenditure (M.$) [+]
Education Expenditure (%Bud.) [+] 2017 20.04% chart 19.26% 2008 Education Expenditure (%Bud.) [+]
Gov. Health Exp.(M.$) [+] 2016 17,868.7 chart 25,107.5 2016 Gov. Health Exp.(M.$) [+]
Gov. Health Exp. (%Bud.) [+] 2016 22.60% chart 10.06% 2016 Gov. Health Exp. (%Bud.) [+]
Defence Expenditure (M.$) [+] 2018 12,064.5 chart 68,660.7 2018 Defence Expenditure (M.$) [+]
Defence Expenditure (%Bud.) [+] 2018 15.78% chart 24.59% 2018 Defence Expenditure (%Bud.) [+]
Expenditure (%GDP) [+] 2017 19.35% chart 35.12% 2018 Expenditure (%GDP) [+]
Expenditure Per Capita [+] 2017 1,024$ chart 8,154$ 2018 Expenditure Per Capita [+]
Education Expenditure P.C [+] 2017 201$ chart 1,036$ 2008 Education Expenditure P.C [+]
Gov. Health Exp. P.C. [+] 2016 226$ chart 778$ 2016 Gov. Health Exp. P.C. [+]
Defence Expenditure P.C. [+] 2018 147$ chart 2,037$ 2018 Defence Expenditure P.C. [+]
A1 04/13/2018 Moody’s Rating [+]
A- 02/17/2016 S&P Rating [+]
Fitch Rating [+] 04/24/2006 B+ A+ 04/30/2019 Fitch Rating [+]
Corruption Index [+] 2018 28 chart 49 2018 Corruption Index [+]
Competitiveness Ranking [+] 2018 89º chart 39º 2018 Competitiveness Ranking [+]
Fragile States Index [+] 2018 84.3 chart 70.2 2018 Fragile States Index [+]
RTI Raking [+] 09/28/2018 99º
Innovation Ranking [+] 2018 65º chart 61º 2018 Innovation Ranking [+]
Labour
Unemployment rate [+] 2017Q1 12.5% chart 5.6% 2016Q2 Unemployment rate [+]
Unemployed [+] 2017Q1 3,199 m. chart 699 m. 2016Q2 Unemployed [+]
NMW [+] 2011 319.0 $ chart 800.0 $ 2013 NMW [+]
Human Capital Ranking [+] 2017 104º chart 82º 2017 Human Capital Ranking [+]
Markets
US Dollar exchange rate [+] 05/14/2018 42,000.0000 chart 3.7500 05/14/2018 US Dollar exchange rate [+]
1.28% 09/19/2019 Stock ExchangeYTD % [+]
Business
Doing Business [+] 2019 128º chart 92º 2019 Doing Business [+]
Passengers vehicles Year [+] December 2017 1,592,282 chart 438,421 December 2017 Passengers vehicles Year [+]
Annual Vehicles/ 1,000 p. [+] December 2017 21.11 chart 16.84 December 2017 Annual Vehicles/ 1,000 p. [+]
Motor vehicle production [+] 2018 1,342,000
Vehicles / 1,000 people [+] 2015 177.79 chart 212.79 2015 Vehicles / 1,000 people [+]
Taxes
5.00% 01/01/2018 Standard VAT [+]
0% 2018 Top tax rate + SSC [+]
Trade
Exports [+] 2017 91,000.0 M.$ chart 218,374.0 M.$ 2017 Exports [+]
Exports % GDP [+] 2017 21.13% chart 31.71% 2017 Exports % GDP [+]
Imports [+] 2017 49,000.0 M.$ chart 134,520.0 M.$ 2017 Imports [+]
Imports % GDP [+] 2017 11.38% chart 19.54% 2017 Imports % GDP [+]
Trade balance [+] 2017 42,000.0 M.$ chart 83,854.0 M.$ 2017 Trade balance [+]
Trade balance % GDP [+] 2017 9.75% chart 12.18% 2017 Trade balance % GDP [+]
Socio-Demography
Density [+] 2018 47 chart 16 2018 Density [+]
Global Peace Ranking [+] 2019 139º chart 129º 2019 Global Peace Ranking [+]
Remittance received (M.$) [+] 2017 1,378.8 chart 286.5 2017 Remittance received (M.$) [+]
% Immigrant [+] 2017 3.31% chart 37.43% 2017 % Immigrant [+]
% Emigrant [+] 2017 1.44% chart 0.86% 2017 % Emigrant [+]
Birth Rate [+] 2017 15.92‰ chart 19.19‰ 2017 Birth Rate [+]
Remittance sent (M.$) [+] 2017 296.0 chart 46,724.6 2017 Remittance sent (M.$) [+]
Crude death rate [+] 2017 4.49‰ chart 3.58‰ 2017 Crude death rate [+]
Fertility Rate [+] 2017 1.64 chart 2.49 2017 Fertility Rate [+]
Rate Homicides per 100.000 [+] 2015 4.12 chart 1.50 2015 Rate Homicides per 100.000 [+]
Population [+] 2018 81,800,269 chart 33,699,947 2018 Population [+]
Immigrant stock [+] 2017 2,699,155 chart 12,185,284 2017 Immigrant stock [+]
Emigrant stock [+] 2017 1,170,491 chart 278,912 2017 Emigrant stock [+]
HDI [+] 2017 0.798 chart 0.853 2017 HDI [+]
Gender Gap Ranking [+] 2018 142º chart 141º 2018 Gender Gap Ranking [+]
Life expectancy [+] 2017 76.15 chart 74.72 2017 Life expectancy [+]
Number of homicides [+] 2015 3,259 chart 472 2015 Number of homicides [+]
Energy and Environment
CO2 Tons per capita [+] 2017 8.27 chart 19.39 2017 CO2 Tons per capita [+]

196519651970197019751975198019801985198519901990199519952000200020052005201020102015201520,000,00020,000,00040,000,00040,000,00060,000,00060,000,00080,000,00080,000,000IranIranSaudi ArabiaSaudi Arabia

Iran Saudi Arabia
1960 21,906,914 4,086,539
1961 22,480,372 4,218,853
1962 23,071,315 4,362,786
1963 23,680,258 4,516,533
1964 24,307,860 4,677,298
1965 24,954,873 4,843,635
1966 25,624,373 5,015,357
1967 26,317,783 5,195,135
1968 27,032,571 5,387,828
1969 27,764,924 5,599,904
1970 28,513,866 5,836,389
1971 29,281,591 6,100,626
1972 30,075,297 6,392,970
1973 30,905,707 6,711,923
1974 31,786,471 7,054,532
1975 32,729,772 7,419,493
1976 33,733,961 7,802,926
1977 34,803,045 8,207,697
1978 35,960,805 8,646,845
1979 37,237,137 9,137,927
1980 39,291,000 9,320,000
1981 40,826,000 9,786,000
1982 42,420,000 10,276,000
1983 44,077,000 10,790,000
1984 45,798,000 11,330,000
1985 47,587,000 11,897,000
1986 49,445,000 12,492,000
1987 50,662,000 13,118,000
1988 51,909,000 13,774,000
1989 53,187,000 14,463,000
1990 54,496,000 15,187,000
1991 55,837,000 15,947,000
1992 56,656,000 16,948,000
1993 57,488,000 17,277,000
1994 58,331,000 17,701,000
1995 59,187,000 18,136,000
1996 60,055,000 18,581,000
1997 61,070,000 19,037,000
1998 62,103,000 19,504,000
1999 63,152,000 19,983,000
2000 64,219,000 20,474,000
2001 65,301,000 20,976,000
2002 66,300,000 21,491,000
2003 67,315,000 22,020,000
2004 68,345,000 22,564,000
2005 69,390,000 23,330,000
2006 70,496,000 24,122,000
2007 71,366,000 24,941,000
2008 72,266,000 25,787,000
2009 73,196,000 26,661,000
2010 74,157,000 27,563,000
2011 75,150,000 28,376,000
2012 76,038,000 29,196,000
2013 76,942,000 29,994,000
2014 78,470,000 30,770,000
2015 79,476,000 31,016,000
2016 80,460,000 31,743,000
2017 81,423,000 32,552,000
2018 81,800,269 33,699,947
CountrySubcontinentContinentWorld
CountrySubcontinentContinentWorld
Saudi Arabia

 

 

 

 

 

Story 2: Morally Bankrupt New York Time Smear Campaign of Lies Against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh — No Victim and No Witnesses — Big Lie Media — Junk Journalism — — Videos —

See the source image

Trump Urgest Kavanaugh To Sue New York Times For Libel

Hemingway accuses NYT of hiding facts, using ‘gossip’ to smear Kavanaugh

Trump calls for NY Times staff to resign over Kavanaugh story

Sen. Tillis on New York Times Kavanaugh report

New York Times faces intense scrutiny over Kavanaugh article

Tucker: New York Times revives attacks on Kavanaugh

Ingraham: Democrats’ smash and smear campaign

Bongino blasts NYT’s ‘disgraceful’ reporting on Kavanaugh

Ben Shapiro blasts The New York Times’ reporting on Kavanaugh

Gowdy compares impeaching Kavanaugh to ‘political death penalty’

Gutfeld on the latest New York Times scandal

Trump demands DOJ ‘rescue’ Kavanaugh as fresh allegations emerge

Napolitano on new questions surrounding Kavanaugh accuser’s motivation

New video raises questions about Kavanaugh accuser’s testimony

Graham: Kavanaugh impeachment based on this is ‘dead on arrival’

‘Squad’ member to introduce Kavanaugh impeachment resolution

Why the Times bungled so badly in its latest Kavanaugh smear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I wrote a column Sunday torching The New York Times for its latest attempt to attack Justice Brett Kavanaugh, I had no idea how quickly its story would fall apart. Explaining how and why is now in order.

The primary reason is that the anti-conservative bias within the Times organization is now so overwhelming that, at least on the continually troubled opinion side, there is simply no one in the loop who isn’t already positive Kavanaugh is a sexual predator — no one both able and willing (which, given today’s culture of fear regarding the #MeToo subject matter, may have been the more daunting hurdle) to express skepticism about a story that seeks to prove what everyone there already “knows” to be true.

I saw an obvious red flag before I even read the story. Liberals on Twitter were immediately excited by these “bombshell” revelations about Kavanaugh in an article that was innocuously titled as a piece on Yale University’s culture at the time when he and his “accuser” went there. That is obviously not how a story with legitimate new damning information would have been framed, even on a weekend.

As it turns out, there was very good reason why the two Times reporters, who are promoting a book about Kavanaugh’s past, were forced to go that very circuitous route to sneak in their extremely flimsy allegations.

It turns out the Times’ news editors had reportedly declined to run their “revelations” as a news story due to lack of evidence, just like The Washington Post had done, correctly, a year ago.

Then comes the issue of the “country club” aspect of an exclusive place like the Times filled with alleged journalistic elites. These two reporters are obviously respected colleagues of everyone in the decision-making roles, and they are naturally going to be given far wider latitude and trust than an outside author.

Surely that had to be part of the reason the Times somehow allowed one of the book’s authors to write a totally outrageous tweet for the outlet about her own story, which the paper had to then delete. That tweet, on its own, should discredit the book’s co-author, as it could not be more obvious evidence of someone who already had her conclusion about the case and simply went about desperately — and mostly unsuccessfully — trying to find some actual evidence to substantiate it.

Connected to this is the extraordinary arrogance of people who work at the Times. In my direct experience, they truly believe that if a story comes from a Times reporter that it must be the gospel truth, unless God herself declares it not to be, and even then they will only send it out for a quick fact-check.

Then there is the increasing challenge that, thanks to having gone to a subscription model and with the advent of Twitter, the Times is becoming beholden to its very liberal base of most passionate customers.

As several recent episodes have shown, the Times is now often edited by the whims of liberal Twitter, and surely anxiety over potentially pissing off this group by either censoring potentially negative Kavanaugh information, or, even worse, making him seem potentially innocent, had to play at least a subconscious role here.

This last point is likely the cause of one of the many egregious mistakes in the piece. While it has still not gotten widespread news media coverage, the Times absurdly censored its own story by omitting what is very likely the most substantive nugget of new information in their book.

It turns out that Leland Keyser, friend of Christine Ford (Kavanaugh’s first and primary accuser) — whom Ford claimed was the only other girl at the infamous pool party — gave the authors her first major interview.

Keyser, who was once married to Democratic operative Bob Beckel, told them that Ford’s story “makes no sense,” that she doesn’t have “any confidence” in the allegation and that she was targeted by Ford allies in an effort to get her to lie by backing up Ford’s uncorroborated account.

Now THAT is a real bombshell but one that clearly conflicts with the preferred liberal narrative of this entire fiasco in which both the Times and the two reporters are invested.

All of this has backfired spectacularly, and has given President Donald Trump yet another data point in his quest to paint every negative report about him and his administration “Fake News!”

Unless the culture at the Times and other mainstream outlets dramatically changes (spoiler alert: It will not), this kind of thing is only going to continue.

John Ziegler is a senior columnist for Mediaite.com, from which this was adapted.

https://nypost.com/2019/09/17/why-the-times-bungled-so-badly-in-its-latest-kavanaugh-smear/

Alleged Victim In New York Times Kavanaugh Story Denies Any Recollection Of Incident

New York Times reporters Robin Pogebrin and Kate Kelly are out with a new book that attempts to buttress the unsubstantiated claims deployed last year against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

“The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation” is neither a look at the education of Brett Kavanaugh nor an investigation. They admit they found no evidence to support the claims made by Christine Blasey Ford or Debbie Ramirez, although they say their “gut reaction” to the allegations is that they are true. They generously concede that their “gut” tells them that Michael Avenatti client Julie Swetnick’s claims are not true, citing the lack of corroboration.

The “lack of corroboration” standard was unevenly held to by the authors. Blasey Ford’s four witnesses all denied knowledge of the party at which her alleged assault took place. Ramirez went from telling Ronan Farrow “I don’t have any stories about Brett Kavanaugh and sexual misconduct,” to telling friends of an incident for which she “couldn’t be sure” Kavanaugh was involved, to now being the centerpiece of the Pogebrin and Kelly book. Ramirez also had no eyewitness support for her story that allegedly took place at a well-attended party, even after friendly media outlets contacted some 75 classmates trying to find corroboration. Both women had the support of many friends and activists, however.

The only supposedly new claim made in the book isn’t new and comes from Democrat attorney Max Stier, a Yale classmate of Kavanaugh’s with whom he has a long and contentious history. In the words of the Yale Daily News, they were “pitted” against each other during the Whitewater investigation in the 1990s when Kavanaugh worked for Independent Counsel Ken Starr. Stier defended President Bill Clinton, whose legal troubles began when a woman accused him of exposing himself to her in hotel room she had been brought to. Clinton later settled with the woman for $850,000 and, due to a contempt of court citation for misleading testimony, ended up losing his law license for five years. Stier worked closely with David Kendall, who went on to defend Hillary Clinton against allegations of illegally handling classified information. Kavanaugh’s reference to his opponents being motivated by “revenge on behalf of the Clintons” met with befuddlement by liberal media, despite the surprisingly large number of Clinton-affiliated attorneys who kept popping up during his confirmation hearings.

In any case, Stier’s claim, which even two Democratic senators’ offices didn’t find particularly worthwhile, was that he had seen an inebriated Kavanaugh, pants-down, at a freshman-year party. Stier’s claim to the staffers, we’re told, was that other people at the party put Kavanaugh’s genitalia into the hands of a classmate. Another unnamed person alleged said that he or she might have remembered hearing that the female student had transferred out of her college because of Kavanaugh, “though exactly why was unclear.”

The reporters, who describe Democrats in glowing terms and Republicans otherwise, say that Stier is a “respected thought leader” in the defense of the federal bureaucracy. They don’t mention his history of working for the Clintons. As for the victim? They say she “has refused to discuss the incident, though several of her friends said she does not recall it.”

To repeat: Several of her friends said she does not recall it.

So to summarize, the only new claim in the new book is that a Democratic attorney told two senators that he saw an incident where a third party allegedly did something to Kavanaugh and the young woman. In their book, the authors are upset that this claim didn’t lead to a massive FBI investigation, although they don’t explain why they think it should have.

Pogebrin and Kelly left the victim’s denial out of their New York Times story. It is unclear why the reporters and editors allowed the story to be published without this salient fact that they conceded, albeit briefly, in their own book.

Mollie Ziegler Hemingway is a senior editor at The Federalist. She is Senior Journalism Fellow at Hillsdale College and a Fox News contributor.

The Ongoing Smear Campaign against Brett Kavanaugh

Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh at his Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing, September 4, 2018. (Chris Wattie/Reuters)

The New York Times had a significant story to tell about Brett Kavanaugh. It’s this: In a new book, the Times reporters produced new evidence that profoundly undermined the central claims against Kavanaugh. Leland Keyser — Christine Blasey Ford’s friend and the person Ford herself testified was also at the party where Ford claimed Kavanaugh assaulted her — has stated on the record that she doesn’t have “any confidence” in Ford’s story.

Not only does she not recall the specific party at issue, she doesn’t recall “any others like it.” Moreover, Keyser maintains this recollection in spite of a determined effort by old friends to get her to change her testimony — a pressure campaign that Keyser admirably resisted.

In other words, “Never mind.” But even that editor’s note is incomplete. It turns out that Max Stier served as one of Bill Clinton’s lawyers during the Starr investigation, a fact that’s at least relevant to the existence of partisan bias.

But for sheer malice nothing can match the speed and ferocity with which reporters accepted the facially ludicrous rape story pushed by Michael Avenatti client Julie Swetnick. She claimed that she saw Kavanaugh “waiting his turn” for a gang rape and spiking punch to facilitate gang rapes. The story was never remotely plausible, but that didn’t stop media figures from shaming anyone who expressed public doubts on Twitter.

Trump Urges Kavanaugh To Sue New York Times For Libel

Perhaps the nadir of the whole affair is when Vox helped “explain the news” by publishing a piece arguing that the John Hughes movie Sixteen Candles provided “important context” for the Kavanaugh allegations. In the 1980s, you see, there was a different “cultural understanding” about gang rape.

Against this backdrop, the Democrats calling for impeaching Kavanaugh — including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Kamala Harris — are disgracing themselves. The claims against Kavanaugh never stood up to scrutiny, and the evidence that has emerged since the hearings last fall has only served to undercut further the claims against him.

In a speech earlier this year, Ford’s attorney Debra Katz admitted to the partisanship that at least in part motivated her client: They wanted to put an “asterisk” next to his name. “When he takes a scalpel to Roe v. Wade,” she said, “we will know who he is, we know his character, and we know what motivates him, and that is important; it is important that we know, and that is part of what motivated Christine.”

2020 Dems Assail Kavanaugh Despite NYT Story Correction

By Susan Crabtree – RCP Staff

September 17, 2019

2020 Dems Assail Kavanaugh Despite NYT Story Correction

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

On Sunday, the New York Times walked back and significantly revised the latest incendiary allegation against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, but the unusual correction to a central part of its bombshell story seemed to mean little to the field of 2020 Democratic presidential contenders.

Sen. Kamala Harris had “pinned” her weekend reaction to the story — a call for Kavanaugh’s impeachment — to the top of her Twitter page, the social media equivalent of running a banner headline about a position on a high-priority issue.

Harris’ Tweet was still there by Monday night, without qualification, despite a fierce bipartisan backlash against the Times’ initial reporting of the uncorroborated sexual misconduct allegation, and the Gray Lady’s clumsy efforts to correct its original reporting about it.

The controversy began Saturday when the Times ran a “news analysis” piece by Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, adapted from their forthcoming book, “The Education of Brett Kavanaugh.”

The wide-ranging story included a seemingly new allegation — that a Kavanaugh classmate at Yale, nonprofit CEO Max Stier, “saw Kavanaugh with his pants down at a drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student.”

Late Sunday, the Times updated the Kavanaugh story with an “editor’s note” acknowledging that the alleged victim of the incident had declined to be interviewed and several friends had said she did not recall the alleged misconduct.

The Times only added that note after The Federalist’s Mollie Hemmingway, who had an advance copy of the book, flagged the glaring omission in the Times reporting.

Pogrebin and Kelly on Monday night blamed their editors for cutting the critical pieces of exculpatory information from the story. They said they had included the details about the victim declining to be interviewed for the story and her friends saying she didn’t recall the incident, along with the woman’s name. Pogrebin said their editors decided against using the woman’s name and in “the haste” of trying to close the editorial process edited out all of the information about the woman, instead of just her name. The pair did not say why they didn’t object.

Pogrebin and Kelly are hardly new to the editing process. Pogrebin has been a Times reporter since 1995, and her mother, Letty Cottin Pogrebin, is a founding editor of Ms. magazine, a liberal feminist publication created in the early 1970s. Kelly has been covering business and finance for 20 years, including a decade at the Wall Street Journal.

“We certainly never intended to mislead in any way. We wanted to give as full a story as possible,” Pogrebin told MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell Monday evening.

But that wasn’t the only hole in the story. The piece also omitted relevant information about Stier’s work during the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal as a member of Bill Clinton’s defense team at the law firm Williams & Connolly.

And it included a strangely constructed attribution that wouldn’t pass most major newsrooms’ standards when reporting on a sexual assault allegation against a major public figure. In the piece, the reporters wrote: “We corroborated the story with two officials who have communicated with Mr. Stier.” But they did not indicate what type of “officials,” government or otherwise, those sources are.

Several liberal commentators across a variety of media, from MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to National Public Radio and at least one host on “The View,” spent Monday blasting the Times’ report as a particularly egregious example of journalistic malfeasance.

Despite the widespread criticism of the piece, Harris and other 2020 Democrats who spent the weekend calling for Kavanaugh’s impeachment based on the new report, aren’t dialing back their demands or even acknowledging the Times’ correction of the very story that sparked those demands.

In fact, billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer jumped into the fray to call for Kavanaugh’s impeachment on Monday after the Times issued the correction.

“The @GOP is so hell bent on guaranteeing a conservative court, they are willing to overlook serious allegations on sexual misconduct and perjury,” he tweeted Monday. “The system is broken.”

RealClearPolitics reached out to spokespersons for Harris, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, all of whom called for Kavanaugh’s impeachment over the weekend after the Times’ story broke. None of the campaigns responded.

In fact, Harris continued to attack Kavanaugh’s confirmation on Twitter Monday morning, the day after the Times issued its correction.

The Times also did not respond to an RCP inquiry on how it planned to restore its credibility, whether any reporter or editor would be fired over the failings and where the breakdown in journalistic standards occurred that allowed the seemingly new but uncorroborated allegation to be published.

Since the Times’ corrected the piece, President Trump has lambasted the paper, firing off multiple tweets calling the new efforts to force Kavanaugh off the court “lies and fake news,” and encouraging lawsuits against the paper.

At a campaign rally in New Mexico Monday night, he assailed the paper once again, calling for the resignation of “everybody at the New York Times involved in the Kavanaugh smear story.”

The president was in the rare position of following a bipartisan outpouring of outrage over the story, as well as the correction, which for some journalists raised more questions about the process that led to the material’s publication than it answered.

Early Monday, MSNBC’s anti-Trump host Joe Scarborough said it was a “stunning decision to leave that central [lack of corroboration] fact out of an article filled with damning accusations.”

Liberal Yale law professor Scott Shapiro called it an “outrageous omission” and appeared to promote a boycott of the paper over the issue.

“Would love to see my fellow liberals who routinely threaten to unsubscribe to the NYT to make the same threat now,” he tweeted.

NPR media correspondent David Folkenflik asserted that having the alleged victim corroborate the story was a central and necessary part of any reporting on the incident.

“One can argue that the failure to remember, given her intoxication, is not dispositive,” he tweeted. “One can’t argue, however, that that fact didn’t need to be in the Kavanaugh story from the outset.”

“The View’s” self-described moderate, Abby Huntsman, denounced the Times’ report as “sloppy and lazy” and congratulated the paper for helping Trump get re-elected.

Conservative media critics cited the Times’ reporting as proof that the media is working hand-in-glove with Democrats to relentlessly and falsely attack Republicans.

“Omitting these facts from the @nytimes story is one of the worst cases of journalistic malpractice I can recall,” tweeted National Review’s John McCormack.

The controversy also played into the hands of some of Kavanaugh’s staunchest supporters. Carrie Severino, the chief counsel and policy director for the Judicial Crisis Network, a conservative group that reportedly spent $10 million backing the Supreme Court nominee last year, called the Times’ reporting of uncorroborated accusations a part of several “shameful attempts to reignite baseless smears about Kavanaugh.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley, who ran Kavanaugh’s tumultuous Judiciary Committee confirmation process last year, on Twitter pointed out that no one from the Times’ had reached out to his office for the story and his office had not received an allegation against Kavanaugh “like the one referenced over the weekend.”

The Iowa Republican later Monday disputed the references to the alleged incident as a “new allegation.” Instead, during a speech on the Senate floor he said the report amounts to “barely a third-hand rumor” and the type of reckless, uncorroborated reporting that is having a corrosive impact on the country’s democratic process.

“These writers – can you believe this? – these writers didn’t even speak to the man whom they claim originally recounted this rumor. What’s left are only layers and layers of decades-old hearsay. No more corroboration, no more verification, not even anything from the accuser himself.”

Referencing the New York Times’ slogan, “All the News That’s Fit to Print,” Grassley said journalism has hit a new, Trump-era low.

“When did this stuff I described become something fit to print by the supposed American paper of record?” he asked. “The sad consequences of this article are a misinformed public, a greater divide in our own discourse, and a deeper lack of faith in our news media.”

Susan Crabtree is RealClearPolitics’ White House/national political correspondent.

https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2019/09/17/2020_dems_assail_kavanaugh_despite_nyt_story_correction__141272.html

 

Story 3: U.S. Federal Government Record Spending Exceeds $4 Trillion and Rising — Videos

$4,155,323,000,000: Federal Spending Sets Record Through August

By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 13, 2019 | 12:48 PM EDT

(Getty Images/Win McNamee)

(CNSNews.com) – The federal government spent a record $4,155,323,000,000 in the first eleven months of fiscal 2019 (October through August), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement released Thursday.

While spending a record $4,155,323,000,000, the government ran a deficit of $1,067,156,000,000.

The most the federal government had ever spent in the first eleven months of a fiscal year before this one was in fiscal 2018 when the Treasury spent $3,951,247,170,000 (in constant August 2019 dollars, adjusted using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator).

Total federal tax revenues in the first eleven months of fiscal 2019 equaled $3,088,167,000,00. That was more than the $3,037,420,180,000 (in constant August 2019 dollars) that the Treasury collected in total taxes in the first eleven months of fiscal 2018, but less than the $3,099,536,720,000 in total taxes (in constant August 2019 dollars) that the Treasury collected in the first eleven months of fiscal 2017.

The Treasury also collected less in individual income taxes in the first eleven months of this year ($1,534,886,000,000) than it did in the first eleven months of fiscal 2018 ($1,548,213,460,000 in constant August 2019 dollars).

According to Table 3 in the Monthly Treasury Statement, the Department of Health and Human Services spent the most of any federal agency in the first eleven months of fiscal 2019 ($1,138,456,000,000), the Social Security Administration spent the second most ($1,013,175,000,000), and the Department of Defense-Military Programs spent the third most ($601,137,000,000).

The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.

https://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/4155323000000-federal-spending-sets-record-through-august

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

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

 

 

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

Ransomware As Fast As Possible

Officials Working To Help 23 Local Texas Governments After Ransomware Attack

Ransomware attack hits government computers in over 20 Texas towns

Texas government agencies hit by ransomware attack

Ransomware attack hits 23 Texas towns

Twenty-two Texas Towns Hit By Ransomware

Ransomware attack hits 23 Texas towns

23 local Texas governments hit with ransomware attack

How Ransomware Locks Your PC & Holds Your Data Hostage

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

What is ransomware and how can I protect myself?

Th

RANSOMWARE

Wana Decrypt0r (Wanacry Ransomware) – Computerphile

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

WHAT IS RANSOMWARE?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images

Updated at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday ET

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

White House pushes back on background check claims

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

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

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

What are the warning signs of a recession?

Are we heading for a global recession? – BBC Newsnight

The Point: Trump admits China war could bring economic recession

President Trump Wants To Cut Payroll Taxes

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

President Trump may be considering options to prevent recession

Trump touts economy but payroll tax discussion reveals recession fears

Trump attacks Fed chair, pushes back on recession fears

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Are Trump’s media critics rooting for recession?

Bill Maher roots for recession to get Trump out of office

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

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

Is the world heading for a recession? | FT

Trump Warns of Economic Downturn if He Loses Next Year

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

White House dismisses fears of a recession l ABC News

 

Recession is at the top of Trump haters’ wish list

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

But are they trying to cause a recession?

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

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

I’ll get to that in a bit.

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

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

Strike two.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe, maybe not.

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

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

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

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1302, August 6, 2019, Story 1: Big Lie Media and Big Government Have Lost The Trust of The American People — Junk Journalism Is Progressive Propaganda or The Democrat Party Line — Trust No-one — Videos –Story 2: The Rhetoric of Robert F. Kennedy, Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, Mike Pence and Donald Trump — Radical Extremist Democrats Socialist Flaming Hatred And Demonizing American People — Betrayal of American People — Videos 

Posted on August 7, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, American History, Assault, Bernie Sanders, Blogroll, Breaking News, Cartoons, Communications, Congress, Corey Booker, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Education, Elections, Elizabeth Warren, Empires, Employment, Federal Government, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Fourth Amendment, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hate Speech, Health, Homicide, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Language, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Military Spending, News, Overweight, Pete Buttigieg, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Rifles, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Spying, Terror, Terrorism, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: Big Lie Media and Big Government Have Lost The Trust of The American People — Junk Journalism Is Progressive Propaganda or The Democrat Party Line — Trust No-one — Videos —

As People Lose Trust in Media Outlets, More People Turn Away from TV News | Subverse

News

Here’s Why Americans Don’t Trust Government, Tech, and Media

Gallup poll reveals Americans are losing trust in government

Elaine Kamarck on why Americans’ low trust in government

Whether you trust scientists may depend on your political party, survey says

Trust in the Media Hits Rock Bottom

Can You Trust The Press?

Gallup poll: Americans’ trust in media reaches record low

Americans trust business more than government?

Jordan Peterson – The Economy Runs on Trust

Jordan Peterson – Trust, betrayal and the underworld

Jordan Peterson on Trust ,Naivety

Trust: The Most Important Natural Resource – Dr. Jordan B Peterson

The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die

 

Trust no one? Americans lack faith in the government, the media and each other, survey finds

A study recently published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health found those who showed higher signs of trust lived longer than those who didn’t. Buzz60’s Mercer Morrison has the story. Buzz60

Three-quarters of Americans believe trust in the federal government is shrinking, and more than two-thirds say the same for personal trust, according to a study released Monday by the Pew Research Center. 

The survey of 10,618 U.S. adults found those who tend to be less trustful in their personal lives also tend to be less trustful of institutions, which includes elected officials, the military, religious leaders and the media.

“Many people no longer think the federal government can actually be a force for good or change in their lives. This kind of apathy and disengagement will lead to an even worse and less representative government,” one survey respondent said.

Analysis: People trust science. So why don’t they believe it?

Gallup: The public institution Americans trust more than any other

Despite the current outlook, Americans are hopeful declining trust is a solvable problem. The survey found 84% believe confidence in the federal government can be improved, and 86% think the same of confidence in one another.

Other key findings:

  • 69% say the federal government withholds important information from the public
  • 61% say the news media ignores important stories
  • 58% of adults are not confident people can hold civil conversations with those who have different views
  • 57% are not confident people will cast informed votes in elections
  • Young adults are about half as hopeful as older Americans when asked how confident they are that Americans respect the rights of those who are not like them
  • The share of whites who show high levels of trust (27%) is twice as high as the share of blacks (13%) and Hispanics (12%).

Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say trust in the federal government is shrinking (82% vs. 66%) and that makes it harder to solve many of the country’s problems (70% vs. 57%). 

But there is one thing Americans agree on regardless of politics: Trust in both the federal government and in one another must improve. Among the solutions respondents provided: less political partisanship, tribalism and sensationalist stories, and more empathy all around. 

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/07/23/pew-study-american-trust-declines-government-media-and-each-other/1798963001/

 

Most Americans say they have lost trust in the media

THE RESULTS OF A NEW Knight Foundation and Gallup poll released on Tuesday won’t come as a huge surprise to most journalists: Trust in the media is down. Again.

A majority of those who were surveyed said they had lost trust in the media in recent years, and more than 30 percent of those who identified themselves as being on the conservative end of the spectrum said they had not only lost faith in the media, but they “expect that change to be permanent.” According to a separate Gallup poll from earlier this year that tracked trust in major institutions, newspapers and television news were among the lowest, exceeded only by Congress.

Is this decline in trust related to the repeated attacks on “the lying media” by President Trump and his supporters, who like to describe the press as “the enemy of the people?” That kind of analysis is beyond the scope of the latest Knight/Gallup study, but it has to be part of the backdrop. Respondents who said they paid the least amount of attention to the news were among those who mistrusted the media the most—is that because all they hear about the media is that it makes things up and is out to get the president?

When people were asked why they don’t trust the media, about 45 percent referred to things like inaccuracy, bias, “fake news,” and “alternative facts,” the latter two being common descriptions given by Donald Trump and members of his administration. A general lack of credibility and the fact that reports are “based on opinions or emotions” are two of the other reasons given for a loss of trust. About 10 percent of those surveyed also mentioned sensationalism, “clickbait,” or hype as a negative factor. Interestingly, twice as many young adults (18 to 34) as older respondents said politically focused coverage or partisan bias was a factor in their lack of trust.

The study did try to come up with a few rays of light. For example, the survey asked people whether they thought their trust in media might be restored somehow, and almost 70 percent of them said yes—60 percent of those who identified themselves as Republicans and 86 percent of those who said they were Democrats. And what might restore that lost trust? Respondents chose a variety of factors such as accuracy (including “not reporting stories before [a news outlet] verifies all the facts and being willing to correct mistakes it makes”), as well as lack of bias, and transparency (including “providing fact-checking resources and providing links to research and facts that back up [the news outlet’s] reporting”).

As the study’s authors admit, however, these proposed solutions aren’t as straightforward as they might appear. Whether a news outlet is being accurate when reporting the facts of a story, for example, is something different readers are going to come to different conclusions on, depending in some cases on their political views. If an outlet reports that Donald Trump is under suspicion for influence peddling with the Russians, to take just one hypothetical example, those who are inclined to believe this may see it as accurate, while those who vehemently disagree will see it as inaccurate and therefore untrustworthy. Trust, as an earlier Knight/Gallup poll suggests, is a slippery topic when it comes to the media.Here are some more links about the complex relationship between trust and the media:

  • The rebound effect: Both Twitter and Facebook have talked about trying to expose users to a broader range of views to burst their filter bubbles, but a sociologist writing in The New York Times says his research shows that doing this causes people to become more entrenched in their views, not less.
  • What about trust ratings? Another experiment by Knight and Gallup using the same testing platform looked at whether crowdsourced ratings of trust or accuracy changed people’s expectations about a news article, and it turns out they do—stories that have trust ratings are actually trusted less than those that don’t.
  • A culture of listening: The American Press Institute recently held a symposium on ways that media organizations can help to build or regain the trust of their readers, and those who participated came up with a number of recommendations, including talking with “ex-fans” to see why they left, and also not being an “ask-hole.”
  • Optimizing for trust: New York University journalism professor Jay Rosen has written about what it means when a media outlet “optimizes for trust,” a recipe that includes transparency about potential conflicts, a commitment to accuracy, and a view of readers that sees them more as contributors rather than just consumers of content.

Other notable stories:

  • Brazilian fact-checkers working with Facebook to flag fake news stories in the run-up to elections in that country next month say they have been harassed and even subjected to death threats for their work, according to a report from Poynter.
  • Cory Doctorow writes about why European authors, journalists, and publishers need to fight the European Union’s newly proposed copyright laws, which could forceonline services and publishers to remove content if it matches an index of copyrighted works, and could also impose a tax for linking to external articles.
  • Bryan Goldberg, the founder and CEO of Bustle, plans to re-launch Gawker, the flagship site of the former Gawker Media, which filed for bankruptcy after a lawsuit launched by former wrestler Hulk Hogan. Goldberg acquired the domain name and archives of Gawker for $1.3 million in an auction in July.
  • Facebook is testing a new feature in its CrowdTangle service for journalists that would allow them to flag a news story as inaccurate from inside the service. CrowdTangle, which Facebook acquired in 2016, allows journalists and other users of the tool to see what stories, photos and videos are trending on the network.
  • Twitter and Facebook may get most of the attention when it comes to news, but a Pew Research Center study seems to show that Reddit is the most news-centric social service of them all. According to the survey, 73 percent of Reddit users say they get their news there, compared with 71 percent for Twitter and 67 percent for Facebook.
  • Nick Diakopoulos writes for CJR about an emerging category of social-media “bots” or automated accounts that actually help rather than cause harm, by aggregating or distributing information that has public value, including automated accounts that track changes in New York Times articles or Wikipedia entries.
  • Left-leaning news site ThinkProgress has complained that one of its articles was improperly flagged as inaccurate by The Weekly Standard, a conservative site that is a member of Facebook’s fact-checking program. Alexios Mantzarlis, who runs the International Fact-Checking Network, wrote on Twitter about some of the problems raised by the case, which he says were exacerbated by the post’s headline.

 

 

Trust and Mistrust in Americans’ Views of Scientific Experts

More Americans have confidence in scientists, but there are political divides over the role of scientific experts in policy issues

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Americans' confidence that scientists act in the public interest is up since 2016

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In an era when science and politics often appear to collide, public confidence in scientists is on the upswing, and six-in-ten Americans say scientists should play an active role in policy debates about scientific issues, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

The survey finds public confidence in scientists on par with confidence in the military. It also exceeds the levels of public confidence in other groups and institutions, including the media, business leaders and elected officials.

At the same time, Americans are divided along party lines in terms of how they view the value and objectivity of scientists and their ability to act in the public interest. And, while political divides do not carry over to views of all scientists and scientific issues, there are particularly sizable gaps between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to trust in scientists whose work is related to the environment.

Higher levels of familiarity with the work of scientists are associated with more positive and more trusting views of scientists regarding their competence, credibility and commitment to the public, the survey shows.

Overall, 86% of Americans say they have at least “a fair amount” of confidence in scientists to act in the public interest. This includes 35% who have “a great deal” of confidence, up from 21% in 2016.

But a partisan divide persists. More Democrats (43%) than Republicans (27%) have “a great deal” of confidence in scientists – a difference of 16 percentage points. The gap between the two parties on this issue (including independents who identify with each party, respectively) was 11 percentage points in 2016 and has remained at least that large since.

There are also clear political divisions over the role of scientific experts in policy matters, with Democrats more likely to want experts involved and to trust their judgment. Most Democrats (73%) believe scientists should take an active role in scientific policy debates. By contrast, a majority of Republicans (56%) say scientists should focus on establishing sound scientific facts and stay out of such policy debates. The two political groups also differ over whether scientific experts are generally better at making decisions about scientific policy issues than other people: 54% of Democrats say they are, while 66% of Republicans think scientists’ decisions are no different from or worse than other people’s. Finally, Democrats and Republicans have different degrees of faith in scientists’ ability to be unbiased; 62% of Democrats say scientists’ judgments are based solely on facts, while 55% of Republicans say scientists’ judgments are just as likely to be biased as other people’s.

Political differences over scientific experts

 

 

Confidence in scientists is stronger among those with high science knowledge and among Democrats

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Center’s new survey highlights the degree to which the public values scientific expertise and how those perceptions are sometimes shaped by the crosscurrents of politics as well as familiarity with scientists and their work. More specifically, it shines a spotlight on trust and potential sources of mistrust connected with scientists who work in three fields: medicine, nutrition and the environment. They include medical research scientists, medical doctors, nutrition research scientists, dietitians, environmental research scientists and environmental health specialists.

The survey of 4,464 adults was conducted in January 2019 using Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel, a nationally repr

esentative panel of randomly selected U.S. adults.

The survey probed for people’s trust in scientists, along with potential sources of mistrust. To capture trust, the survey asked respondents how often they can count on scientists to perform their jobs with competence, to show care or concern for the public and to present their findings or recommendations in a fair and accurate way. The survey also asked for views about scientific integrity, including the extent to which misconduct is a problem, the degree to which scientists are open about potential conflicts of interest, and whether they accept accountability for mistakes.

Among other important findings:

  • Despite generally positive views about scientists across all six specialties, most Americans are skeptical about key areas of scientific integrity. No more than two-in-ten Americans believe scientists across these groups are transparent about potential conflicts of interest with industry all or most of the time. Similarly, minorities (ranging from 11% to 18%) say scientists regularly admit their mistakes and take responsibility for them. Between about a quarter and half of Americans consider misconduct a “very big” or “moderately big” problem, with the public generally skeptical that those engaged in misconduct routinely face serious consequences.
  • Americans tend to trust science practitioners, who directly provide treatments and recommendations to the public, more than researchers working in the same areas. For example, 47% say dietitians provide fair and accurate information about their recommendations all or most of the time, compared with 24% for nutrition scientists discussing their research. There is a similar gap when it comes to information from medical doctors and medical research scientists (48% and 32%, respectively, say they provide fair and accurate information all or most of the time). However, trust in environmental health specialists – practitioners who offer recommendations to organizations and community groups – is about the same as that for environmental research scientists.
  • When Americans gauge the kinds of things that would influence their faith in scientific findings, their verdict is clear: Open public access to data and independent committee reviews inspire the most confidence in scientists and boost their trust in research findings.
  • A majority of U.S. adults (54%, including equal shares of Democrats and Republicans) believe the public should play an important role in guiding policy decisions on scientific issues; 44% say public opinion should not play an important role because the issues are too complex for the average person to understand.
  • Public confidence in medical scientists is similar to that for scientists overall; 87% report either a great deal (35%) or a fair amount (52%) of confidence in medical scientists to act in the best interests of the public.
  • Americans with more factual science knowledge have greater confidence than those with less science knowledge that scientists act in the public interest. (For more information about the science knowledge index, see “What Americans Know About Science.”)
  • Black and Hispanic adults are more likely than whites to see professional or research misconduct as a very or moderately big problem. For doctors, for example, 71% of blacks and 63% of Hispanics say misconduct is at least a moderately big problem, compared with 43% of whites. A larger percentage of blacks (59%) and Hispanics (60%) than whites (42%) say misconduct by medical research scientists is a very big or moderately big problem.
1. Partisanship influences views on the role and value of scientific experts in policy debates

Six-in-ten in U.S. say scientists should take an active role in policy debatesA majority of U.S. adults support the participation of scientific experts in policy debates, but Democrats are more likely than Republicans to think scientists should be involved and are more likely to value their decisions. Partisan divisions also arise in beliefs about the value of the scientific method and the likelihood of bias in scientists’ judgments.

Overall, 60% of Americans say scientists should play an active role in policy debates about scientific issues, the Center’s new survey shows. A smaller share (39%) says scientists should “focus on establishing sound scientific facts and stay out of public policy debates.”

More Democrats than Republicans say scientific experts make better science-related policy decisions But there are dueling perspectives along party lines about the role and value of scientific experts in science-related policy debates, with most Democrats (73%, including leaners) saying scientists should take an active role. In contrast, a majority of Republicans (56%, including leaners) say scientists should focus on their research and stay out of policy debates, while a smaller percentage (43%) say scientists should play an active role in such debates.

Democrats also are more inclined than Republicans to value the opinions of scientific experts in policy matters. Some 54% of Democrats think scientific experts are usually better at making decisions about scientific issues than other people. In contrast, 34% of Republicans say the same.

How much people know about science can also impact their perspectives on these topics, but the findings show the influence of people’s science knowledge on their views depends on their partisan lens. For example, 84% of Democrats with high science knowledge say scientists should play an active role in science policy debates, compared with 58% of Democrats with low science knowledge. No such pattern exists among Republicans. Four-in-ten Republicans with high science knowledge (40%) – and 52% of those with low science knowledge – say scientists should play an active role in science policy debates. Past Pew Research Center surveys have found a similar pattern on a range of views related to climate and energy issues.

More Democrats than Republicans trust the objectivity of scientists and the scientific method

Roughly six-in-ten Americans trust the scientific methodMost Americans believe the processes of science – namely, the scientific method of observing and collecting empirical evidence – are fundamentally sound.

Overall, 63% of Americans say the scientific method generally produces accurate conclusions, while a smaller share (35%) says it can be manipulated to produce a desired conclusion.

Further, a majority of U.S. adults (55%) believe scientists’ judgments are “based solely on the facts,” as opposed to scientists being “just as likely to be biased” in their judgments as other people (44%).

On average, however, more Democrats than Republicans (including independents who identify with each party) are inclined to express confidence in both the scientific method and scientists’ conclusions.

More Democrats than Republicans say the scientific method produces accurate conclusionsSeven-in-ten Democrats (70%) say the scientific method generally produces accurate conclusions. Opinion among Republicans is more divided, with 55% saying the scientific method produces accurate conclusions and 44% saying the scientific method can be manipulated by researchers to produce desired results.

Republicans are more likely than Democrats to view scientists as susceptible to biasAbout six-in-ten Democrats (62%) say scientists make judgments based solely on the facts. By comparison, 44% of Republicans say scientists’ judgments are based on facts, while 55% say scientists’ opinions are just as likely to be biased as other people’s.

Science knowledge levels also influence people’s views on these issues, but the correlation depends on their partisanship.

Democrats with high science knowledge have more confidence in the scientific methodAmong Democrats, an overwhelming majority of those with high science knowledge (86%) think the scientific method generally produces accurate conclusions. In contrast, about half of Democrats with low science knowledge (52%) say the scientific method produces accurate conclusions. Differences are modest by comparison among Republicans with high, medium and low science knowledge levels.

Republicans with high science knowledge are particularly likely to see scientists as open to biasBut when it comes to questions of susceptibility to bias, 64% of Republicans with high science knowledge say scientists are just as likely to be biased as other people, while 42% of Republicans with low science knowledge agree. Democrats with low, medium and high science knowledge are all about equally likely (in the 34% to 39% range) to view scientists as susceptible to bias.

Thus, knowledge and information can influence beliefs about these matters, but it does so through the lens of partisanship, a tendency known as motivated reasoning.

Public trust in scientists is only sometimes correlated with political party

Despite political differences over the role and value of scientific experts, public support for and trust in scientists is not uniformly connected with politics, but rather differs depending on the field of scientific study. The Center’s survey looks at public trust in scientists specializing in the environment, medicine and nutrition. Democrats have more trust than Republicans in environmental scientists – whether researchers or environmental health specialists – to perform their jobs with competence, to show concern for the public interest and to present their findings or recommendations in a fair and accurate way. There are also some partisan differences in views of nutrition researchers, but there are no such differences when it comes to medical doctors, medical researchers or dietitians. For details, see “Partisan differences in overall views of and trust in scientists occur primarily for environmental scientists.

Prior Pew Research Center studies have shown wide political divides on public attitudes related to climate, energy and the environment but no differences or only modest ones when it comes to a host of other science-related issues, including beliefs about the safety of childhood vaccines and the health risks of eating genetically modified foods.

Trust and Mistrust in Americans’ Views of Scientific Experts

 

Story 2: The Rhetoric of Robert F. Kennedy, Robert Francis “Beto” O’Rourke, Mike Pence and Donald J. Trump — Radical Extremist Democrats Socialist Flaming Hatred And Demonizing American People — Lack Credibility — Videos 

RFK Speaks After MLK Killed | Flashback | History

Beto O’Rourke says Trump, Fox News fueled El Paso shooting

Trump: We must condemn white supremacy

Vice President Pence: “What happened this weekend were acts of pure evil.”

Democrats blame President Trump for mass shootings

Published on Aug 5, 2019

Following tragic shootings in El Paso and Dayton over the weekend, some on the left as well as some media outlets were quick to turn the events into a political debate. One America’s Chanel Rion has more from the White House.

The Ingraham Angle 8/6/19 | Laura Ingraham Fox News August 6, 2019

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The Pronk Pops Show 1297, July 29, 2019, Story 1: Mass Shooting in California at Gilroy Garlic Festival with 4 Dead including 19-Year Old Shooter and 15 Injured — Videos — Story 2: Spending Addiction Disorder (SAD) Still Alive and Well in Both Democrat and Republican Parties — Send Them All Home — Tax –Spend –Borrow Binges — Inflation and Rising Interest Will Return With A Vengeance — Federal Reserve Will Cut Federal Funds Rate — Videos — Story 3: Top Three Lies of Big Lie Media: Trump Colluded With The Russians, Trump is A Racist, Trump Will Lose The Election — The Invincible Ignorance of Lying Leftist Lunatic Losers — Whites Moved to The Suburbs from Cities with Crime, Drug, Gang and Rat Infestations Controlled and Run by Corrupt Democrats — Albuquerque, Baltimore, Birmingham, Chicago, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Detroit, Kansas City, Louisville, Memphis, Milwaukee, Newark, New Orleans, Oakland, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Washington D.C. — Videos —

Posted on July 30, 2019. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Blogroll, Breaking News, Business, Cartoons, Communications, Congress, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Elections, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, First Amendment, Genocide, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hate Speech, Hillary Clinton, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Killing, Language, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicine, Mental Illness, National Interest, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Second Amendment, Senate, Success, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Worst US Cities for gun murders

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Story 1: Mass Shooting in California at Gilroy Garlic Festival with 4 Dead including 19-Year Old Shooter and 15 Injured — Videos

3 fatally shot at garlic festival identified by authorities

Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting leaves at least 4 dead

6-year-old boy among those killed in Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting

How and Where the Shooter Got Into the Gilroy Garlic Festival

Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting: Police Chief Scot Smithee takes questions on the investigation

People Flee Following Shooting at California Garlic Festival

The War on Guns: Arming Yourself Against Gun Control Lies – John Lott

 

Gilroy Garlic festival shooting: Gunman is identified as teenager, 19, who opened fire on crowds with an assault rifle because he was ‘really angry’, killing three including a six-year-old boy, before being shot dead as police hunt for his ‘accomplice’

  • The gunman was named on Monday as Santino William Legan, a 19-year-old 
  • He was shot dead at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California at 5.41pm Sunday 
  • Witnesses say he was dressed in army fatigues, had a handkerchief around his neck and had an assault rifle 
  • When asked why he was firing into the crowd, witnesses say he replied: ‘Because I’m really angry’ 
  • Police say he got into the festival by using bolt cutters to get through the metal fences surrounding it
  • The event, which attracts 100,000 every year to Gilroy (the garlic capital of the world), had metal detectors
  • Authorities believe the gunman had help and they are searching for his ‘accomplice’ 
  • One of the three people killed was six-year-old Steven Romero of San Jose, California  
  • Fifteen people were also injured and many remain in various hospitals in the area 

The gunman from a shooting at a garlic festival in California on Sunday where three people, including a six-year-old boy, were killed has been identified as 19-year-old Santino William Legan.

He was named on Monday as police in Gilroy, where the shooting happened, continued to hunt for his accomplice.

An Instagram account that was registered under his name had been deleted by the time he was named on Monday.

Officers from the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Bureau were seen searching a home in Gilroy overnight but they have not confirmed if it is Legan’s.

Legan was shot dead by police after firing his semi-automatic assault rifle into crowds at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, an annual event which attracts 100,000 people to the small town.

President Trump called him a ‘wicked murderer’ on Monday during a bill signing ceremony at the White House.

Among those killed was six-year-old Stephen Romero. Two others died who are yet to be named  publicly.

Survivors said Legan told them he was ‘really angry’ when they asked him why he wanted to kill them.

Authorities believe he gained access to the festival, which was protected with metal detectors, by using bolt cutters to get through a fence.

They believe he had an accomplice and police are still looking for that person.

Other survivors have told how he was silent as he marched through the crowds.

‘He didn’t say anything, nothing. He did not even look from side to side. He just kept looking forward,’ Cheryl Low, who was working at the festival, told ABC.

Fifteen people, including a 12-year-old girl, were injured.

The two suspects are believed to have entered the festival via a creek on the north side, where they used a tool to cut through a fence in order to avoid strict security at official entrances.

Legan then fired his semi-automatic, stopping to reload at one point, and did not flinch as his bullets his children. Some witnesses say he moved ‘like a police officer’ because he was so efficient.

‘He shot one child and then he put the clip in and he just started moving back and forth walking toward the tents because that’s where most of the people were in that area and he started shooting,’ Cheryl Low, who was working at the festival, said.

A gunman who opened fire on the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California Sunday evening was shot dead by police. Witness video appears to show officers surrounding the suspect after they took him town within seconds of when he started shooting

Police are seen standing over a person believed to be the suspect shot dead in the confrontation

Police are seen standing over a person believed to be the suspect shot dead in the confrontation

Police searched this home on Monday which is thought to be where some of Legan's relatives live. It is near the festival

Police searched this home on Monday which is thought to be where some of Legan’s relatives live. It is near the festival

The shooting happened at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday at around 6pm local time. The house searched nearby is less than two miles away

The shooting happened at the annual Gilroy Garlic Festival on Sunday at around 6pm local time. The house searched nearby is less than two miles away

‘He was reloading his gun, he was putting another magazine in and he just opened fire.

‘He just started walking towards our booth.

‘We just ran. It was so fast,’ she said.

Several witnesses reported hearing popping noises and then seeing a white male in his 30s wearing military fatigues ‘indiscriminately’ spraying the crowd with bullets from a semi-automatic weapon for several minutes.

Candice Marquez, 51, a honey vendor at the festival, said she was just 10 feet from the shooter when he opened fire, and saw him reload a clip of ammunition.

 He was walking like a police officer. Like he wanted to get stuff done
Festival worker who witnessed the shooting

She told Fox News that he was a white man, aged between 20 and 35, and that he seemed very calm and didn’t say anything during his attack.

Candice said he was wearing a green vest and khaki pants, was ‘very quiet’ and didn’t call attention to himself before he started spraying the crowd with bullets.

She described the shooter’s actions as ‘very deliberate’ but said he didn’t seem to be targeting anyone.

Two of her colleagues were shot in the attack, she added.

Another festival worker told NBC Bay Area: ‘He was walking like a police officer. Like he wanted to get stuff done.’

The shooting is the 246th mass shooting in the US this year.

‘HE HAD HIS WHOLE LIFE AHEAD OF HIM’

Alberto Romero, the boy's father, speaking on Sunday

Alberto Romero, the boy’s father, speaking on Sunday

The grieving family of the six-year-old boy shot dead at the Gilroy Garlic festival on Sunday have told how he was a ‘happy’ child with his ‘whole life’ ahead of him.

Stephen Romero attended the festival with his mother and grandmother when he was shot dead. His father, Alberto, told on Sunday of the moment his wife phoned him to tell him what had happened.

‘I couldn’t believe what was happening, that what she was saying was a lie, that maybe I was dreaming,’ he told Mercury News.

The boy was taken to the hospital where his father met him.

He hoped he would recover but doctors quickly revealed how grave the boy’s condition was.

‘They said they were working on him and five minutes later they told me he was dead,’ his father said.

He said his son was a happy child.

‘He was joyful, always wanted to play, always positive,’ he added.

Multiple videos posted on social media show panicked attendees fleeing the park as gunshots ring out in the background.

‘What’s going on?’ a woman can be heard asking in a clip. ‘Who’d shoot up a garlic festival?’

One video shows two bloodied victims lying on the ground, while another showed victims being treated inside a trailer.

On Sunday, Stephen’s grieving father Alberto shared photographs of him on social media on Sunday night and also gave interviews where he said he had his ‘whole life ahead of him’.

‘I want to be with him until I can put him in his resting spot, wherever that is. My son had his whole life to live, he was only six, that’s all I can say,’ he said.

Stephen’s other grandmother, who was not at the festival, told KRON: ‘This is really hard. There are no words to describe [it].

‘Because he was such a happy kid, you know. I don’t think it’s fair.’

One witness told NBC Bay Area he was headed out of the event when he felt a bullet wiz by his head and saw everyone running behind him.

A woman told the outlet she heard popping noises and then turned around to see a man who appeared to be reloading a semi-automatic weapon.

Another witness said the shooting took place between food tents and from a child’s play area.

‘We were just leaving and we saw a guy with a bandana wrapped around his leg because he got shot,’ Evenny Reyes, 13, told the San Jose Mercury News.

‘There was a little kid hurt on the ground.

‘People were throwing tables and cutting fences to get out.’

A spokeswoman for Santa Clara Valley Medical Center said at least five gunshot victims have been taken to the hospital. Their conditions were unknown.

A spokeswoman for Stanford Medical Center said two patients were being treated there as well. At the press conference, Gilroy Mayor Roland Velasco said ‘the situation is still fluid, active’.

Police have yet to confirm the number of victims shot or otherwise injured in the mayhem

Police have yet to confirm the number of victims shot or otherwise injured in the mayhem

Heavily-armed officers are pictured at the scene as a suspect is believed to still be at large near Christmas Hill Park

Heavily-armed officers are pictured at the scene as a suspect is believed to still be at large near Christmas Hill Park

Multiple local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and ATF, responded to the scene (pictured)+24

 

Multiple local, state and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and ATF, responded to the scene (pictured)

Armed officers escort people from Christmas Hill Park following the shooting. Police say the scene is still active because one suspect remains at large

Armed officers escort people from Christmas Hill Park following the shooting. Police say the scene is still active because one suspect remains at large

Officers have told people not to come to the festival site, describing it as an 'active scene' where there is still a heavy police presence which will continue overnight Sunday

Officers have told people not to come to the festival site, describing it as an ‘active scene’ where there is still a heavy police presence which will continue overnight Sunday

Attendees are escorted out of the festival under armed police guard after the shooting

Police officers arrive on the scene of the investigation following a deadly shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival

Police officers arrive on the scene of the investigation following a deadly shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival

An emergency responder stands watch at Gilroy High School following a deadly shooting during the Gilroy Garlic Festival

Cheryl Low and Candice Marquez who run The Honey Ladies, a tent at the festival, said the gunman said nothing and shot indiscriminately into the crowds. They fled and survived

Cheryl Low and Candice Marquez who run The Honey Ladies, a tent at the festival, said the gunman said nothing and shot indiscriminately into the crowds. They fled and survived

President Donald Trump tweeted about the shooting

President Donald Trump tweeted about the shooting

‘I want to express my extreme shock and sadness over what has happened today. I would ask for the thoughts and prayers of the community. We plan on being out here all night,’ Velasco said.

California Governor Gavin Newsom also tweeted about the horror situation in his state

California Governor Gavin Newsom also tweeted about the horror situation in his state

Police Chief Smithee said: ‘It’s just incredibly sad and disheartening that at an event that does so much good the community had to suffer from a tragedy like this.’

‘The hearts of Gilroy PD and entire community go out to the victims of today’s shooting at the Garlic Festival. The scene is still active. If you are looking for a loved one, please go to the reunification center at Gavilan College at parking lot B,’ the Gilroy Police Department wrote on Twitter.

President Donald Trump tweeted: ‘Law Enforcement is at the scene of shootings in Gilroy, California. Reports are that shooter has not yet been apprehended. Be careful and safe!’

Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, a headliner at the festival, also tweeted

Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, a headliner at the festival, also tweeted

California Governor Gavin Newsom tweeted: ‘This is nothing short of horrific. Tonight, CA stands with the Gilroy community.

‘My office is monitoring the situation closely. Grateful for the law enforcement’s efforts and their continued work as this situation develops.’

Teresa Giudice, who was also an attendee at the festival yesterday, tweeted her support and thoughts to victims

Teresa Giudice, who was also an attendee at the festival yesterday, tweeted her support and thoughts to victims

Celebrity chef Tom Colicchio, a headliner at the festival, also tweeted: ‘I was in Gilroy at the Garlic Festival yesterday. Really great community. Prayers go out to all’.

Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice. who was also an attendee at the festival on Saturday, tweeted: ‘I am so sad hearing about the shooting tonight at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, I was there yesterday and just got back to New Jersey.

‘I am praying for everyone there.’

Emergency personnel stand outside Gilroy High School following the deadly shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival

Emergency personnel stand outside Gilroy High School following the deadly shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival

Armed officers are seen above responding to the scene. A woman told the outlet she heard popping noises and then turned around to see a man who appeared to be reloading a semi-automatic weapon

Armed officers are seen above responding to the scene. A woman told the outlet she heard popping noises and then turned around to see a man who appeared to be reloading a semi-automatic weapon

Gilroy Garlic festival volunteer Denise Buessing, left, embraces fellow volunteer Marsha Struzik at a reunification center

Gilroy Garlic festival volunteer Denise Buessing, left, embraces fellow volunteer Marsha Struzik at a reunification center

Gavilan College, located 3.2 miles from the park, was set up as a reunification site for festival attendees who were reportedly transported there by bus and in civilian vehicles.

The public was urged to stay away from the festival area and from Gavilan College if they were not immediately affected by the incident.

The three-day event is officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the World’s Largest Garlic Festival, attracting thousands of visitors each summer.

The festival is considered a ‘gun free zone’, and attendees say they were searched thoroughly before entering the park. Money raised during the event is donated to charity.

This year’s 41st annual festival featured a giant outdoor kitchen and ‘Pyro Chefs’ creating flame shows while cooking garlic calamari and scampi alongside booths serving pasta, pepper steak sandwiches at ‘Gourmet Alley’, the main food area.

There were also three stages with live entertainment, a wine garden, a cocktail booth and a children’s play area.

Singer Colbie Caillat and her band Gone West headlined the festival on Saturday.

Another highlight was a Garli-Que BBQ Challenge and the Great Garlic Cook-Off hosted by Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio.

Another witness said the shooting took place between food tents and from a child’s play area

People look on from near the scene of a mass shooting during the Gilroy Garlic Festival

People look on from near the scene of a mass shooting during the Gilroy Garlic Festival

The three-day event is officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the World's Largest Garlic Festival, attracting thousands of visitors each summer+24

The three-day event is officially recognized by Guinness World Records as the World’s Largest Garlic Festival, attracting thousands of visitors each summer

One witness told NBC Bay Area he was headed out of the event when he felt a bullet whiz by his head and saw everyone running behind him

One witness told NBC Bay Area he was headed out of the event when he felt a bullet whiz by his head and saw everyone running behind him

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7295959/Eleven-people-injured-shooting-Gilroy-Garlic-Festival-California-police-say.html

 

6-year-old who ‘always wanted to have fun’ among three killed at Gilroy Garlic Festival

“There’s nothing I really can do besides try to be with him until I can put him in his resting spot, wherever that is,” said his father.
By Rachel Elbaum and Elizabeth Chuck

A six-year-old boy, a 13-year-old girl and a man in his 20s were killed during a shooting rampage at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in Northern California on Sunday, according to authorities.

The youngest victim, Stephen Romero, had just celebrated his sixth birthday last month at Legoland in California, his father, Alberto Romero, told NBC Bay Area on Sunday evening.

“My son had his whole life to live and he was only six. That’s all I can say,” Romero said.

The shooting happened at about 5:40 p.m. local time Sunday at the bustling food festival, one of the largest in the country. In total, three people were killed and 15 injured.

Authorities on Monday released the ages of the other two victims, but said they were withholding their names pending notification of their relatives. They said they did not yet know the motive of the shooting.

In a press conference, Gilroy police chief Scot Smithee held back tears describing how the shooting “could have gone so much worse, so fast” had it not been for police officers, who were stationed throughout the festival, quickly moving to fatally shoot the suspect when he opened fire.

Still, Smithee said later, choking up again, “any time a life is lost, it’s a tragedy, but when it’s young people, it’s even worse.”

“It’s very difficult,” Smithee said, adding that it appeared the shots were fired randomly.

Romero was at home with his 9-year-old daughter when he heard about the shooting. He said Stephen had gone to the festival with his mother and grandmother, who were also injured in the shooting.

“There’s nothing I really can do besides try to be with him until I can put him in his resting spot, wherever that is,” Romero told NBC Bay Area.

Romero said that Stephen’s mother had been shot in the hand twice, and he believes his grandmother was shot in the leg.

Steven Romero was shot and killed on Sunday at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.
Stephen Romero was shot and killed at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California.Alberto Romero

Officials said the suspect was carrying an assault-type rifle and entered the packed festival by cutting through a fence, circumventing the tight security at the festival’s entrance. Initially, authorities believed a second suspect may have been involved, but on Monday, said they had not confirmed that.

Romero described his son as an energetic boy who had just graduated from kindergarten and was weeks away from entering first grade.

He was “always happy and always wanting to have fun,” Romero said, as he showed off photos of his son.

The Gilroy Garlic Festival has taken place annually since 1979 to celebrate the local garlic industry. With food and live music, the festival in Gilroy, about 30 miles south of San Jose, attracts tens of thousands of fairgoers each year.

CORRECTION (July 29, 2019, 1:40 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article misspelled the first name of the 6-year-old victim. He was Stephen Romero, not Steven.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/six-year-old-who-always-wanted-have-fun-killed-garlic-n1035571

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Trump’s Debt Binge Puts Treasury Auctions on Path to New Highs

View photos

(Bloomberg) — The Treasury Department is expected to hold its quarterly note and bond sales at record levels for the third straight time as Washington’s latest budget deal shows that the U.S.’s debt binge will continue.

President Donald Trump once said he would eliminate the national debt, but now he’s set to approve a budget that will help usher in trillion-dollar annual deficits. In part because of that, Wall Street securities firms predict that a boost in Treasury issuance may be coming in a year’s time.

Bond dealers see the status quo prevailing at Wednesday’s quarterly refunding announcement. Forecasts are coalescing around the view that the Treasury will keep auction sizes of 3-, 10- and 30-year debt unchanged at a record total of $84 billion, in sales scheduled from Aug. 6-8. To put it in perspective, the tally was $62 billion at the time of the 2016 U.S. election.

But there’s general agreement among analysts that the plateau in issuance can last only so long. The bipartisan deal to suspend the debt limit for two years also paves the way for a $324 billion increase in government spending over the period above existing budget caps. That’s emboldening most dealers to pencil in increases in debt sales by fiscal 2021, which starts in October 2020.

“The deficit is rising and the impetus toward higher spending is very strong,” said Stephen Stanley, chief economist at Amherst Pierpont Securities. “By the second half of next year Treasury will have to raise coupon sizes again.”

With the president shoving aside past Republican orthodoxy on fiscal restraint and the issue not prominent among Democrats campaigning to take his job, Washington is showing no signs of slowing spending.

The House passed the debt-ceiling expansion and budget bill on July 25 and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he expects his chamber to clear it this week for Trump’s signature.

No Cuts

Ahead of Wednesday’s refunding announcement, the Treasury will unveil its quarterly borrowing projections at 3 p.m. New York time Monday.

Yet even with the expansion of supply over recent years, the benchmark 10-year yield is hovering close to record lows amid expectations for central bank easing and lackluster inflation. The benchmark dipped 2 basis points Monday to 2.05%.

Three months ago, some dealers saw the possibility that the Treasury could temporarily cut note and bond sales this year, amid the Federal Reserve’s plans to halt the run-off of debt from its portfolio and the Treasury’s push to boost bill issuance. The more the Fed reinvests its debt instead of letting it run off, the less the Treasury has to borrow from the public.

But the prospect of an imminent reprieve in long-term debt issuance dimmed in May after the Treasury and its borrowing committee of investors and dealers signaled that it wasn’t ideal to make temporary changes in coupon sizes. The committee indicated that shifting issuance too far toward bills could add “rollover risk.” That message upended prospects for coupon cuts, said Mark Cabana, head of U.S. rate strategy at Bank of America Corp.

More TIPS

Dealers do expect the government to keep boosting auctions of Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities.

Net Treasury issuance to the public will amount to $1.2 trillion in 2019, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. That follows a net $1.34 trillion sold last year, more than double the 2017 level.

Dealers predict bill sales will pick up in the coming weeks as the Treasury replenishes its cash balance, which it trimmed to stay under the debt limit. The Treasury will sell about $220 billion of bills through Sept. 15, according to Blake Gwinn at NatWest Markets.

“The coupon sizes Treasury currently has in place still make sense, as they have room to largely make needed changes with bills or through the already-announced increases to come in TIPS,” said Praveen Korapaty, chief global rates strategist at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

The debt-limit and spending bill, along with forecasts for economic growth and interest costs, put the deficit on course to surpass $1 trillion by fiscal 2021, so Treasury will need to boost note and bond sales, according to Bank of America.

Even amid healthy economic growth, the deficit for this fiscal year widened to $747 billion in the first nine months, 23% higher than the same period a year earlier.

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/trump-debt-binge-puts-treasury-210000543.html

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‘Everybody is called a racist now!’ Donald Trump shrugs off racially-charged attacks on Elijah Cummings and says even Nancy Pelosi was accused of racism ‘by her own party’

  • Donald Trump uses interview with C-Span to dismiss accusations he is a racist after four days of attack on black Baltimore Democrat Elijah Cummings
  • He said the word had lost its meaning, saying Democrats – he meant Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – had accused Nancy Pelosi being a racist
  • ‘I can tell you I’m the least racist person in the world, as far as I’m concerned,’ he told C-Span 
  • A Quinnipiac poll found 51 per cent of voters believe him to be racist compared with 46 per cent who did not
  • Trump earlier claimed White House phone lines are lighting up with residents of Baltimore who agree with him and insisted he’s not a racist 
  • He claimed Baltimore is ‘filthy dirty’ and and ‘so horrible’ because corrupt politicians have been mishandling their tax money  

Donald Trump dismissed charges of racism over his charged attacks on black Baltimore Democrat Elijah Cummings on Tuesday, saying: ‘Everybody is called a racist now.’

The president used an interview with C-Span to brush aside accusations he is a racist and concern from his own aides about his rhetoric, saying that ‘the word is so overused, it’s a disgrace.’

‘I think the word has really gone down a long way, because everybody is called a racist now,’ he told the broadcaster.

‘I can tell you I’m the least racist person in the world, as far as I’m concerned.

‘They use it almost when they run out of things to criticize you, they say “He’s a racist, he’s a racist.”‘

Trump also argued that ‘her own party called Nancy Pelosi a racist two weeks ago’ – a reference to Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez saying that the Speaker’s attacks on her and her ‘squad’ was speaking against people of color.

However the charges of racism against Trump began with his tweet that Hispanic-American Ocasio-Cortez and her three allies – Somali-born Ilhan Omar; African-American Pressley; and Palestinian-American Rashida Taliba – should ‘go back to where they come from.’

Dismissal: Trump said of the charge of racism: 'They use it almost when they run out of things to criticize you, they say "He's a racist, he's a racist."'

Dismissal: Trump said of the charge of racism: ‘They use it almost when they run out of things to criticize you, they say “He’s a racist, he’s a racist.”‘

Democratic anger: Trump claimed Nancy Pelosi - seen in Ghana on a Congressional visit Tuesday - had been accused of racism as he fought off accusations he is a racist on his fourth day of attacks on Elijah Cummings, the Baltimore Democrat who chairs the House Oversight committee
Democratic anger: Trump claimed Nancy Pelosi - seen in Ghana on a Congressional visit Tuesday - had been accused of racism as he fought off accusations he is a racist on his fourth day of attacks on Elijah Cummings, the Baltimore Democrat who chairs the House Oversight committee

Democratic anger: Trump claimed Nancy Pelosi – seen in Ghana on a Congressional visit Tuesday – had been accused of racism as he fought off accusations he is a racist on his fourth day of attacks on Elijah Cummings, the Baltimore Democrat who chairs the House Oversight committee

Trump threw fuel on the fire on Saturday by beginning four days of attacks on Cummings, chair of the House Oversight Committee, which he continued on Tuesday, claiming that residents of Baltimore are lighting up the White House switchboard to thank him for saying the city is a ‘living hell.’

Speaking to C-Span Tuesday, Trump continued his claim that he has done more for African-Americans than previous presidents, citing criminal justice reform and his opportunity zones initiatives and lowest historical unemployment levels for African-Americans.

He claimed it was ‘fake news’ failing to credit him for these achievements which were fueling claims he was racist.

Shortly before the interview began to be aired, a Quinnipiac poll said that 51 per cent of voters believed him to be a racist, compared to 45 per cent

Trump said earlier in the day that blacks who live in the city have been calling the White House to say he was right about the city he claimed is ‘filthy dirty,’ ‘infested,’ and ‘so horrible,’ because corrupt politicians have been mishandling their tax money.

He claimed them that the city’s money has been ‘stolen and wasted by people like Elijah Cummings’ before declaring that his assault on the black congressman is not related to the color of his skin.

‘I am the least racist person there is anywhere in the world,’ he said on the South Lawn of the White House as he departed.

Trump said MSNBC host and activist Al Sharpton, who has claimed that Trump has a ‘particular venom’ for persons of color, is the one with racial blinders on.

‘Now he’s a racist. He’s a racist!’ the president told reporters on the South Lawn.

Sharpton made the remarks at a press conference Monday in Baltimore – a city that Trump say he’ll go to ‘at the right time’ as he prepared to leave the White House for West Virginia.

The president said he’d liked to see Cummings bring the Capitol Hill committee he chairs to Baltimore for a field trip.

‘He should take his oversight committee, bring them down to Baltimore and study billions stolen,’ the president charged, as he dug into the Democrat.

Polling suggests the attacks could hurt Trump with suburban voters – and especially women – whom he may need to win next year. Trump in recent days, however, has expressed to advisers on his reelection team that he believes his broadsides against the minority Democrats will help excite his core supporters.

‘I think I’m helping myself because I’m pointing out the tremendous corruption that’s taking place in Baltimore and other Democratic run cities,’ he said Tuesday, as he continued to hammer his criticism.

He added, ‘Those people are living in hell in Baltimore.’ He said he was open to some kind of unspecified federal involvement. ‘If they ask me,’ he said, ‘We will get involved.’

Later, as he came back to the White House from West Virginia, the president repeated his earlier remarks and laced into Cummings for his attack on

‘Elijah Cummings it was a horrible thing the way he spoke to the head of Homeland Security the other day. These people are working very hard. They’re getting no support from the Democrats,’ he claimed.

Asked if he has a strategy when attacking Cummings, he said, ‘All it is is I’m pointing out facts. The most unsafe city in the country – in our country – is Baltimore. It receives billions of dollars.’

‘All of this money goes there and take a look at it, I don’t have to describe it. Take a look at it. So there’s no strategy, it’s very simple. And Elijah Cummings is in charge of it. And he ought ought to take his House Oversight Committee and he ought to park them in Baltimore and find out what happen to $15 billion and a lot of other money.’

Trump suggested that Cummings – a longtime lawmakers from Maryland – is directly responsible for the community’s problems.

‘No. Baltimore has been very badly mishandled for many years. As you know, Congressman Cummings has been there for a long time. He’s had a very iron hand on it,’ he said. ‘It’s a corrupt city; there’s no question about it. All you have to do is look at the facts.’

He claimed, ‘The government has pumped in, over the years, billions and billions of dollars to no avail — to absolutely no avail.’

‘It’s been misspent. It’s been missing. It’s been stolen with a lot of corrupt government. And as you know, Cummings has been in charge,’ he claimed of the congressman who has no role in the city’s management efforts.

Trump offered his Opportunity Zones, criminal justice reform and economic policies as examples of the steps he’s taken to aide African Americans living in the area.

‘But they’re so happy that I pointed out the corrupt politics of Baltimore. It’s filthy dirty. It’s so horrible. And they are happy as hell,’ he said.

The vice president was also traveling on Tuesday, to a separate event in Ohio.

‘Well, look, in the campaign in 2016, President Trump said memorably that our commitment was we — he was going to be a President, ours was going to be an administration, for all Americans. And I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve been able to do for the African American community in this country,’ he said.

Mike Pence also brought up black unemployment, the billions of dollars the administration is investing in troubled neighborhoods and bipartisan legislation Trump signed to lower the incarceration rate.

‘That being said, President Trump is someone who — you know, he calls it like he sees it. And to have Congressman Elijah Cummings berating Department of Homeland Security personnel at committees and denouncing our Border Patrol agents — making accusations that I know are not based in fact, while at the same time people in his city are struggling in neighborhoods with abject poverty — is something that the President was just going to call out.

Defending Trump on Tuesday in Ohio, Vice President Mike Pence said: 'President Trump is someone who -- you know, he calls it like he sees it'

Defending Trump on Tuesday in Ohio, Vice President Mike Pence said: ‘President Trump is someone who — you know, he calls it like he sees it’

‘And he will continue to do that not just with regard to Baltimore, but anywhere,’ he added. ‘Part of that, President Trump believes, is being able to say when things are not what they should be, to call on local leadership, to call on state leadership, to say, “You have to do better.” ‘

Pence said, ‘That’s what animated his comments about Baltimore.’

Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece, Alveda King, also defended Trump in a television appearance on Tuesday and in remarks to reporters on Monday.

Outside the White House after a meeting there with inner city pastors that an attendee said was on the agenda before the president’s comments about Baltimore and crime, she said, ‘The president is concerned about the whole nation. About everybody in the nation.

‘So I want us to remember, that we’ve been designed to be brothers and sisters. One member of the human race. Not separate races. The same blood,’ she added.

King told reporters after the closed-door event that Sharpton and the Rev. Jesse Jackson were once friends of Trump’s and they’d only recently changed their stripes.

‘And at one time in their lives, they highly regarded the president. And, so I’m thinking about a scripture: If it had been my enemy, I could have understood, I could have known what to do, but you were my friends and my brothers,’ she said. ‘So these are his brothers.’

Alveda King, second from right, niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. together with other religious leaders, from left, Rev. Bill Owens, Rev. Dean Nelson and Bishop Harry Jackson, speaks to reporters following a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House

Alveda King, second from right, niece of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. together with other religious leaders, from left, Rev. Bill Owens, Rev. Dean Nelson and Bishop Harry Jackson, speaks to reporters following a meeting with President Donald Trump at the White House

King said she had, then tweeted, an old photo of Trump and the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton

King said she had, then tweeted, an old photo of Trump and the Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton

King did not say whether she was personally troubled by Trump’s comments that a majority-black district in Maryland that’s represented by African-American Congressman Elijah Cummings were inappropriate.

Instead, she said in brief remarks, ‘Well you know, America is troubled. And if we say we’re color-blind, we need to put on our glasses.’

‘We can see. We can see a troubled America, but we can see a blessed America. The employment rates are up in every community, including the black community,’ she said. ‘The Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) under this president are being blessed. The babies in the womb, the sick and poor and elderly are being blessed.’

King added,’We have an opportunity to continue to be blessed, and we have a president’s whose listening. And I was glad to pray with him today. Now that’s it.’

Bill Owens, the founder and President of the Coalition of African American Pastors, picked up where King left off after she walked away, denying that Trump is a racist and arguing that the president has worked to improve conditions in African-American communities.

‘I find it hard to believe,’ he said of the charges against Trump.

He said that Trump can ‘of course’ do more and should go to Baltimore himself.

‘I think he should. It would be good,’ he told DailyMail.com.

He would not delve into Trump’s comments about Cummings’ district, including a claim that it is infested.

‘Well, those are his words. I don’t want to second-guess what he says, because I hear a lot of things. I see also people pandering to black people, to get them on board with some of their agenda,’ he said during the question and answer session.

Trump had claimed earlier that morning in new tweets on the subject that he’d be happy to help leaders of the urban area clean the city up, if they requested his assistance.

‘The fact is, Baltimore can be brought back, maybe even to new heights of success and glory, but not with King Elijah and that crew. When the leaders of Baltimore want to see the City rise again, I am in a very beautiful oval shaped office waiting for your call! he tweeted.

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan later called Trump’s comments ‘outrageous and inappropriate’ and asked what Trump is doing about the city’s problems.

Trump further claimed that he’d be happy to assist leaders of the urban area clean the city up, if they requested his assistance

Trump has also opened up on activist and MSNBC host Sharpton in Monday morning tweets, in which he also claimed that the Democratic congressman is responsible for crime in Baltimore.

‘Baltimore, under the leadership of Elijah Cummings, has the worst Crime Statistics in the Nation. 25 years of all talk, no action! So tired of listening to the same old Bull…Next, Reverend Al will show up to complain & protest. Nothing will get done for the people in need. Sad!’ he wrote.

He added: ‘If the Democrats are going to defend the Radical Left ‘Squad’ and King Elijah’s Baltimore Fail, it will be a long road to 2020. The good news for the Dems is that they have the Fake News Media in their pocket!’

Trump charged Sharpton with hating ‘whites & cops’ in an early Monday morning Twitter rant.

Sharpton tweeted that he was on his way to defend Baltimore and the Democratic lawmaker after Trump attacked both, causing the president to fire back at the prominent African American civil rights activist.

‘I have known Al for 25 years. Went to fights with him & Don King, always got along well. He ‘loved Trump!’ He would ask me for favors often. Al is a con man, a troublemaker, always looking for a score. Just doing his thing. Must have intimidated Comcast/NBC. Hates Whites & Cops!,’ the president tweeted.

His attack came shortly before Sharpton hosted a press conference in Baltimore with former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, who served as lieutenant governor of Maryland.

‘He attacks everybody. I know Donald Trump. He’s not mature enough to take criticism. He’s like a child,’ Sharpton said at the event.

‘But he has a particular venom for blacks and people of color. He doesn’t refer to any of his other opponents or critics as ‘infested.’ He does not attack their districts. He attacks Nancy Pelosi. He attacks Chuck Schumer. He attacks other whites but never said their districts or states are places no human being wants to live,’ he added.

Al Sharpton

Donald Trump attacked the Rev. Al Sharpton in an early morning Tweet storm

 

 

 

Sharpton responded to the early morning attack with a tweet of his own, sharing a photo from 2006 featuring him, Trump, the Rev. Jesse Jackson and singer James Brown.

‘Trump at NAN Convention 2006 telling James Brown and Jesse Jackson why he respects my work. Different tune now,’ he wrote.

He later tweeted: ‘Trump says I’m a troublemaker & con man. I do make trouble for bigots. If he really thought I was a con man he would want me in his cabinet.’

And Sharpton told MSNBC Monday morning, ‘I intend to make trouble every time racists and bigots move around in any way shape or form, including the president.’

The two men, both prominent New Yorkers, became acquainted in the 1980s.

Sharpton has grown increasingly critical of Trump throughout his presidency and slammed Trump’s attacks on the ‘squad’ – four minority lawmakers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib – as ‘racist.’

Al Sharpton said a Baltimore press conference Monday that Trump has a 'particular venom for blacks and people of color'

Al Sharpton said a Baltimore press conference Monday that Trump has a ‘particular venom for blacks and people of color’

 

Sharpton and Trump were friends in the 1980s but their friendship ended when Trump embraced the 'birther' controversy surrounding then-President Obama

In response to claims his comments were racist, Trump tweeted he was just 'stating plainly what most people already know'

In response to claims his comments were racist, Trump tweeted he was just ‘stating plainly what most people already know’

He said Cummings needs to focus on 'fixing the mess' in Baltimore instead of seeking impeachment investigations on the House Oversight Committee or criticizing the conditions at the border

He said Cummings needs to focus on ‘fixing the mess’ in Baltimore instead of seeking impeachment investigations on the House Oversight Committee or criticizing the conditions at the border

Trump first launched his Twitter attack on Cummings on Saturday after the Oversight Committee chairman criticized conditions at the Southern border.

The outraged president defended the border detention centers as ‘clean, efficient and well run, just very crowded’, and then claimed the facilities are superior to Cummings’ own district in Maryland.

‘Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place,’ Trump tweeted Saturday.

‘Why is so much money sent to the Elijah Cummings district when it is considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States,’ Trump wondered in another tweet. ‘No human being would want to live there. Where is all this money going? How much is stolen? Investigate this corrupt mess immediately!’

Critics said Trump was taking a dig at Baltimore residents, who are more than 60 per cent black and African American, and suggesting they were not humans.

Cummings last responded to Trump’s insults on Sunday saying, ‘Mr. President, I go home to my district daily. Each morning, I wake up, and I go and fight for my neighbors.’

‘It is my constitutional duty to conduct oversight of the Executive Branch. But, it is,’ he said.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7303579/Everybody-called-racist-Donald-Trump-shrugs-attacks-Elijah-Cummings.html

Democrats Control America’s Most Dangerous Cities. So Why Do They Keep Passing the Buck on Gun Crime?

Progressives and conservatives traditionally have exhibited different attitudes to the lessons of history. While conservatives have tended to take cues from the past as they build measured hopes for the future, progressives have urged that we break free from tradition in order to create bold and ambitious blueprints for a society they consider to be more just. In the United States, however, this pattern appears to be breaking down, as it is now progressives who tend to embrace a more rigid, backward-looking approach, especially on issues tied to identity. Unlike conservatives, progressives aren’t looking to revive a better, sometimes idealized version of their country. But they have become bogged down in the politics of historical redress, at the expense of forward-looking policies that would actually improve people’s lives.

A microcosm of this larger tendency was put on display during last month’s Democratic primary debates, which touched on the issue of urban gun violence. No Democratic presidential candidate expressed a sense of responsibility for the plague of violent crime in America’s cities, even though the largest urban areas are almost all controlled by Democratic politicians.

The issue first came up during questions posed to Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana. NBC’s moderators challenged Buttigieg by bringing up a recent incident in which a white police officer killed a 54-year-old black man. While that episode nominally relates to the issue of urban gun violence, it also allows Democrats to dwell in ideologically comfortable territory, since progressives have been drawing attention to police-involved shootings for years. (Indeed, it would be far more useful—and revealing—if it were instead conservative Republicans who were being pressed on this problem). Moreover, the preferred Democrat approach—tracing the problem to the country’s original sin of racism—isn’t especially helpful.

In answer to the question, Buttigieg dutifully offered a look back to history, noting “there’s a wall of mistrust put up one racist act at a time.” A question about the othershootings in South Bend—the vast majority of which are not committed by police officers—would have been far more illuminating. South Bend is one of the 30 most dangerous cities in America, with a per-capita homicide rate (16.8 per 100,000) comparable to that of Chicago (17.5 per 100,000). And this rate has remained virtually unchanged since Buttigieg became mayor in 2012, despite the seven years he’s had to address the problem.

At one point, the mayor did acknowledge the high death toll. “The worst part of the job is dealing with violence,” Buttigieg confessed. “We lose as many as were lost at Parkland [referring to the 2018 Parkland, Florida school shooting] every two or three years in my city alone. And this is tearing communities apart.” No doubt, this is absolutely true. But there is something oddly passive about the tone of such pronouncements, as if Buttigieg and other politicians were talking about a natural disaster. In truth, this ongoing tragedy is an indictment of American political leadership, including at the local level. If you can’t adequately fight crime as a mayor, why would one imagine you are fit to run a whole country?

Like both men, I’ve seen the consequences of gun violence up close. The Toronto area, where I grew up, isn’t plagued by homicide rates comparable to those of large American cities. But we still lose dozens of young lives each year to guns. The level of fear I have felt upon getting a text about a shooting in front of my mother’s home, or hearing gunshots outside my own apartment, is only a fraction of that suffered by American families I’ve met in Newark, NJ, and Columbus, OH (a few hours southeast of South Bend). One thing I’ve learned through my work is that it’s hard for people of any age to move on from losing loved ones to violence. As author and journalist Alex Kotlowitz has explained, “[a] single act of violence—it shapes who people are. It gets in their bones.”

In keeping with their preference to remain on safe progressive turf, Democratic presidential candidates typically have limited their policy proposals in this area to gun-control measures—such as universal background checks (mentioned by Buttigieg during the primary debate) and a national buyback program (which is included in Booker’s platform). Yes, such top-down measures would be helpful, as most Americans agree, but they won’t fix the problem. A lot more can be done to make American cities safer, including local actions taken by Democrat-controlled city governments. And given the large number of Democratic presidential candidates, hailing from different parts of the country, this is an opportunity for a discussion of such policy ideas to take place on the national stage.

As mayor of Newark, for example, Booker himself saw double-digit reductions in shootings over the course of his first term (2006-2010). This is to his credit. And at the end of those four years, Booker credited a variety of city government initiativesfor increasing community safety: more police officers, security cameras, gunshot-detection systems, services for ex-offenders, fatherhood support programs and an illegal-gun tip line. As mayor, Booker wasn’t waiting for either George W. Bush or Barack Obama to enact national gun-control measures. Booker took responsibility. Unfortunately, the positive changes didn’t last. After 2010, the Newark police budget was cut and targeted community programs started to lose funding. Newark’s homicide rate went back up to previous levels, further underscoring how local policies can make a meaningful difference. It would be nice to hear Booker talk more about this, rather than generic Democrat talking points.

The Democrats like to suggest that the problem of gun crime can’t ever be fully tackled until their party controls the White House and both houses of Congress, at which point they might pass aggressive gun-control legislation at the national level. But the University of Chicago’s Crime Lab has identified a meaningful role for city government initiatives in improving community safety. A 2014 empirical study of a summer-job program found that even part-time, minimum wage jobs can help reduce violent crime among youth in high-crime areas of Chicago by more than 40 percent. The study’s authors speculate that the program’s success is less attributable to poverty alleviation than to the social, psychological and cultural benefits of having a job. The City of Chicago has since implemented the findings by introducing summer job programs in local communities. And this might well be a factor in the decline in Chicago’s homicide rate since 2016.

More than 14,000 Americans died in firearm homicides in 2017, with most of the victims dying in cities. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, just over half of Americans consider gun violence, and violent crime more generally, to be “very big” problems. When you disaggregate the Pew survey responses by race, it’s clear that Democratic politicians have ample motivation to talk about these problems in a meaningful way. Among black respondents—a target group for any Democratic presidential candidate—82 percent identified gun violence as a “very big” problem. And twice as many black American respondents identified crime as a “major” problem in their local community, as compared to white Americans.

The small subset of killings that involve police officers is, of course, an important issue—especially since distrust of the police can make it harder for police to secure public co-operation in their investigations. Still, the Democrats’ disproportionate focus on this subset also seems influenced by political convenience. When white police are involved in the killing of a black man, it naturally invokes America’s horrific history of lynchings, Jim Crow segregation, slavery and other forms of state violence against black men and women—familiar territory for any Democrat on the hustings. Or, to use Buttigieg’s language, a significant part of progressive concern can be rooted in “what’s happened in the past.” The day-to-day violence within American cities, much of it involving young men as both victim and perpetrator, makes for a more awkward conversation—though it is a conversation that many black communities are willing to have.

The Democratic primary debates further spotlighted the party’s backward-looking disposition on race issues, through a particularly acute exchange in which Senator Kamala Harris attacked former Vice President Joe Biden’s decades-old opposition to federally-enforced school desegregation, or “busing.” But perhaps the best recent example of this larger trend within progressive circles emerged from last month’s U.S. congressional hearing on slavery reparations, which featured testimony from The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates and Quillette’s Coleman Hughes. As Hughes emphasized in a subsequent Quillette interview, there is literally “nothing” that can make up for the horror of slavery (not to mention convict leasing, vagrancy laws, debt peonage, redlining, racist GI bills and poll taxes). Those days are gone, as are its primary victims. And so it makes far more sense to work hard to address modern-day inequalities through improved public education, criminal justice reform and affordable healthcare. Unfortunately, this policy-oriented approach does not carry the same emotional (and political) resonance of a broad, dramatic call to remedy the ills of the past in one fell swoop.

Progressives, who have long branded themselves as forward-looking policy innovators challenging the hidebound dogmas of conservatism, would benefit from challenging their own fixation on history’s rearview mirror. A good start would come from engaging in an honest discussion of the daily criminal carnage playing out in the cities controlled by their own party. Preventing the deaths of today’s black youth would do a lot more good than dwelling on a racist past whose evils can never be undone.

Democrats Control America’s Most Dangerous Cities. So Why Do They Keep Passing the Buck on Gun Crime?

List of cities by murder rate

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The following 50 cities have the highest murder rates in the world of all cities not at war, with a population of at least 300,000 people, and all relevant data available online.[1][2]

Rank City Country Homicides
(2017)
Population
(2017)
Homicides
per 100,000
per year
1 Los Cabos  Mexico 365 328,245 111.33
2 Caracas  Venezuela 3,387 3,046,104 111.19
3 Acapulco  Mexico 910 853,646 106.63
4 Natal  Brazil 1,378 1,343,573 102.56
5 Tijuana  Mexico 1,897 1,882,492 100.77
6 La Paz  Mexico 259 305,455 84.79
7 Fortaleza  Brazil 3,270 3,917,279 83.48
8 Ciudad Victoria  Mexico 301 361,078 83.32
9 Ciudad Guayana  Venezuela 728 906,879 80.28
10 Belém  Brazil 1,743 2,441,761 71.38
11 Vitória da Conquista  Brazil 245 348,718 70.26
12 Culiacán  Mexico 671 957,613 70.10
13 St. Louis  United States 205 311,404 65.83
14 Maceió  Brazil 658 1,029,129 63.94
15 Cape Town  South Africa 2,493 4,004,793 62.25
16 Kingston  Jamaica 705 1,180,771 59.71
17 San Salvador  El Salvador 1,057 1,789,588 59.06
18 Aracaju  Brazil 560 951,073 58.88
19 Feira de Santana  Brazil 369 627,477 58.81
20 Ciudad Juárez  Mexico 814 1,448,859 56.16
21 Baltimore  United States 341 614,664 55.48
22 Recife  Brazil 2,180 3,965,699 54.96
23 Maturín  Venezuela 327 600,722 54.43
24 Guatemala City  Guatemala 1,705 3,187,293 53.49
25 Salvador  Brazil 2,071 4,015,205 51.58
26 San Pedro Sula  Honduras 392 765,864 51.18
27 Valencia  Venezuela 784 1,576,071 49.74
28 Cali  Colombia 1,261 2,542,876 49.59
29 Chihuahua  Mexico 460 929,884 49.48
30 João Pessoa  Brazil 554 1,126,613 49.17
31 Obregón  Mexico 166 339,000 48.96
32 San Juan  Puerto Rico 169 347,052 48.70
33 Barquisimeto  Venezuela 644 1,335,348 48.23
34 Manaus  Brazil 1,024 2,130,264 48.07
35 Distrito Central (Tegucigalpa)  Honduras 588 1,224,897 48.00
36 Tepic  Mexico 237 503,330 47.09
37 Palmira  Colombia 144 308,669 46.65
38 Reynosa  Mexico 294 701,525 41.95
39 Porto Alegre  Brazil 1,748 4,268,083 40.96
40 Macapá  Brazil 191 474,706 40.24
41 New Orleans  United States 157 391,495 40.10
42 Detroit  United States 267 672,795 39.69
43 Mazatlán  Mexico 192 488,281 39.32
44 Durban  South Africa 1,396 3,661,911 38.12
45 Campos dos Goytacazes  Brazil 184 490,288 37.53
46 Nelson Mandela Bay (Port Elizabeth)  South Africa 474 1,263,051 37.53
47 Campina Grande  Brazil 153 410,332 37.29
48 Teresina  Brazil 315 850,198 37.05
49 Vitoria  Brazil 707 1,960,213 36.07
50 Cúcuta  Colombia 290 833,743 34.78

By country

Number of cities by country represented in the table
Country No. of cities
 Brazil 17
 Mexico 12
 Venezuela 5
 United States 4
 South Africa 3
 Colombia 3
 Honduras 2
 Puerto Rico 1
 Jamaica 1
 El Salvador 1
 Guatemala 1

See also

Sources

Elijah Cummings

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Elijah Cummings
Elijah E. Cummings official photo.jpg
Chair of the House Oversight Committee
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded by Trey Gowdy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Maryland‘s 7th district
Assumed office
April 16, 1996
Preceded by Kweisi Mfume
Member of the Maryland House of Delegates
from the 39th district
In office
January 12, 1983 – January 10, 1996
Preceded by Lena King Lee
Succeeded by Sterling Page
Personal details
Born
Elijah Eugene Cummings

January 18, 1951 (age 68)
Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.

Political party Democratic
Spouse(s)
Maya Rockeymoore (m. 2008)
Residence Baltimore, Maryland
Education Baltimore City College
Howard University (BA)
University of Maryland, Baltimore (JD)
Signature
Website House website

Elijah Eugene Cummings (born January 18, 1951) is an American politician and the member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Maryland’s 7th congressional district.[1] The district includes just over half of Baltimore City, most of the majority-black precincts of Baltimore County, as well as most of Howard County. He previously served in the Maryland House of Delegates. He is a member of the Democratic Party and chair of the Committee on Oversight and Reform.

Contents

Early life, education, and career

Cummings was born on January 18, 1951 in Baltimore, the son of Ruth Elma (née Cochran) and Robert Cummings.[2] He was the third child of seven. Cummings graduated with honors from the Baltimore City College high school in 1969.[3][4] He later attended Howard University in Washington, D.C.,[4] where he served in the student government as sophomore class president, student government treasurer and later student government president. He became a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society[5] and graduated in 1973 with a Bachelor‘s degree in Political Science.[4][6]

Cummings graduated from law school at the University of Maryland School of Law, receiving his J.D. in 1976, and was admitted to the Maryland Bar later that year.[7] He practiced law for 19 years before first being elected to the House in the 1996 elections.[8]

Cummings has received 12 honorary doctoral degrees from universities across America, most recently an honorary doctorate of public service from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2017.[9][10]

For 14 years, Cummings served in the Maryland House of Delegates. His predecessor, Lena King Lee, raised funds and campaigned for him; years later, Cummings credited her with launching his political career.[11][12] In the Maryland General Assembly, he served as Chairman of the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland and was the first African American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tempore,[13] the second highest position in the House of Delegates.

Cummings also serves on several boards and commissions, both in and out of Baltimore. Those include SEED Schools of Maryland Board of Directors and the University of Maryland Board of Advisors.

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee assignments

In December 2010 Edolphus Towns announced that he would not seek the position of ranking minority member of the Oversight Committee in the next Congress, even though his seniority and service as chair would typically result in him filling this post. Reportedly, Towns withdrew because of a lack of support from Nancy Pelosi who feared that he would not be a sufficiently aggressive leader of Democrats in an anticipated struggle with incoming committee chair Republican Darrell Issa.[14] Reportedly, the White House also wanted Towns to be replaced.[15] Cummings defeated Carolyn Maloney in a vote of the House Democratic Caucus.[14]

In his role as chair of the “Oversight Committee” he presided over the first public testimony by President Trump’s former lawyer, Michael Cohen.[16][17][18]

Caucus memberships

Cummings is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.[21] He served as chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus[22] during the 108th United States Congress.

Cummings received praise following the congressional panel hearings on steroids in 2008. While investigating the use of steroids in sports, the panel called numerous baseball players to testify, including former single season home run record holder Mark McGwire. After McGwire answered many questions in a vague fashion, Cummings demanded to know if he was “taking the Fifth”, referring to the Fifth Amendment. McGwire responded by saying, “I am here to talk about the future, not about the past.” The exchange came to epitomize the entire inquiry.[23]

Legislation

Cummings introduced the Presidential and Federal Records Act Amendments of 2014, a bipartisan bill signed into law by President Barack Obama in December 2014. The bill, which Cummings cosponsored with Representative Darrell Issa, Republican of California, is a set of amendments to the Federal Records Act and Presidential Records Act. Among other provisions, the bill modernizes the definition of a federal record to expressly include electronic documents.[24][25]

Cummings supported the Smart Savings Act, a bill that would make the default investment in the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) an age-appropriate target date asset allocation investment fund (L Fund) instead of the Government Securities Investment Fund (G Fund).[26]Cummings called the bill a “commonsense change” and argued that the bill “will enable workers to take full advantage of a diversified fund designed to yield higher returns”.[27]

Cummings introduced the All Circuit Review Extension Act, a bill that would extend for three years the authority for federal employees who appeal a judgment of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) to file their appeal at any federal court, instead of only the U.S. Court of Appeals.[28] Cummings said that this program is important to extend because it “allows whistleblowers to file appeals where they live rather than being limited to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals”.[29] He also said that the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals has “an abysmal track record in whistleblower cases”.[29]

In remarks at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Cumming declared: “Our party does not just believe, but understands, that Black Lives Matter. But we also recognize that our community and our law enforcement work best when they work together.”[30][31]

Political campaigns

Cummings speaking at the 2008 Democratic National Convention

Five-term Congressman for Maryland’s 7th congressional district, Kweisi Mfume resigned in February 1996 to take the presidency of the NAACP. Cummings won a crowded[32] seven-way Democratic primary—the real contest in this heavily Democratic, black-majority district—with 37.5% of the vote. In the special election, he defeated Republican Kenneth Kondner with over 80 percent of the vote. He defeated Kondner again in November by a similar margin to win the seat in his own right.

He has been reelected 11 more times since then, never dropping below 69 percent of the vote, and even running unopposed in 2006.

Electoral history

Maryland’s 7th congressional district: Results 1996–2016[33][34]

Election Winner Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
1996 Special Green tick Elijah Cummings Democratic 18,870 80.9% Kenneth Kondner Republican 4,449 19.1%
1996 General Green tick Elijah Cummings Democratic 115,764 83.5% Kenneth Kondner Republican 22,929 16.5%
1998 General Green tick Elijah Cummings Democratic 112,699 85.7% Kenneth Kondner Republican 18,742 14.3%
2000 General Green tick Elijah Cummings Democratic 134,066 87.0% Kenneth Kondner Republican 19,773 12.8%
2002 General Green tick Elijah Cummings Democratic 137,047 73.5% Joseph E. Ward Republican 49,172 26.4%
2004 General Green tick Elijah Cummings Democratic 179,189 73.4% Tony Salazar Republican 60,102 24.6% Virginia Rodino Green 4,727 1.9%
2006 General Green tick Elijah Cummings Democratic 158,830 98.1% Write-in candidates 3,147 1.9%
2008 General Green tick Elijah Cummings Democratic 227,379 79.5% Michael Hargadon Republican 53,147 18.6% Ronald Owens-Bey Libertarian 5,214 1.8%
2010 General Green tick Elijah Cummings Democratic 152,669 75.2% Frank Mirabile Republican 46,375 22.8% Scott Spencer Libertarian 3,814 1.9%
2012 General Green tick Elijah Cummings Democratic 247,770 76.5% Frank Mirabile Republican 67,405 20.8% Ronald Owens-Bey Libertarian 8,211 2.5%
2014 General Green tick Elijah Cummings Democratic 144,639 69.9% Corrogan Vaughn Republican 55,860 27.0% Scott Soffen Libertarian 6,103 3.0%
2016 General Green tick Elijah Cummings Democratic 238,838 74.9% Corrogan Vaughn Republican 69,556 21.8% Miles B. Hoenig Green 9,715 3.0%
2018 General Green tick Elijah Cummings Democratic 202,345 76.4% Richmond Davis Republican 56,266 21.3% David Griggs Libertarian 5,827 2.2%

Personal life

Cummings serves on numerous Maryland boards and commissions including the Board of Visitors to the United States Naval Academy and the Elijah Cummings Youth Program in Israel. He is an honorary member of the Baltimore Zoo Board of Trustees.[35]

In addition to his many speaking engagements, he writes a biweekly column for the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper. He currently lives in the Madison Park community in Baltimore and is an active member of the New Psalmist Baptist Church.

He is married to Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, who was elected chairwoman of the Maryland Democratic Party in December 2018.[36] They have three children.[37]

In June 2011, his nephew Christopher Cummings, son of his brother James, was murdered at his off-campus house near Old Dominion University in NorfolkVirginia, where he was a student.[38]

Cummings underwent surgery to repair his aortic valve in May 2017 and was absent from Capitol Hill for two months. In July, he developed a surgery-related infection but returned to work.[39]

See also

References …

External links

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

Baltimore

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Baltimore, Maryland
City of Baltimore
Downtown, Emerson Bromo-Seltzer Tower, Pennsylvania Station, M&T Bank Stadium, Inner Harbor and the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Baltimore City Hall, Washington Monument

Nickname(s):

Charm City;[1] B’more;[2]
Motto(s):

“The Greatest City in America”,[1] “Get in on it.”,[1] “Believe”[3]
Location within Maryland

Location within Maryland

Baltimore is located in Maryland

Baltimore
Baltimore
Location within Maryland

Show map of MarylandShow map of the United StatesShow map of North AmericaShow all

Coordinates: 39°17′N 76°37′WCoordinates39°17′N 76°37′W
Country United States
State Maryland
City Baltimore
Historic colony Province of Maryland
County None (Independent city)
Founded 1729
Incorporated 1796–1797
Independent city 1851
Named for Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore (1605–1675)
Government

 • Type Mayor–council
 • Body Baltimore City Council
 • Mayor Jack Young (D)
 • City Council
 • Houses of Delegates
 • State Senate
 • U.S. House
Area

 • Independent city 92.05 sq mi(238.41 km2)
 • Land 80.95 sq mi (209.65 km2)
 • Water 11.10 sq mi (28.76 km2)  12.1%
Elevation

0–480 ft (0–150 m)
Population

 • Independent city 620,961
 • Estimate

(2018)[7]
602,495
 • Density 7,556.25/sq mi (2,917.48/km2)
 • Urban

2,203,663 (US: 19th)
 • Metro

2,802,789 (US: 21st)
 • CSA

9,797,063 (US: 4th)
 • Demonym

Baltimorean
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
Area codes 410, 443, and 667
FIPS code 24-04000
GNIS feature ID 0597040
Primary Airport Baltimore-Washington International Airport
BWI (Major/International)
Interstates I-83.svg I-95.svg I-97.svg I-195 (MD).svg I-395 (MD).svg I-695 (MD).svg I-795 (MD).svg I-895 (MD).svg
U.S. Routes US 1.svg US 40.svg
Website City of Baltimore

Baltimore (