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Story 1: Radical Islamic Suicide Bomber Failure in Port Authority Bus Terminal Subway Station — Videos —

TERRORIST ATTACK NEW YORK Shows PIPE BOMB Malfunctions & Explodes ISIS Man Wearing A Suicide Vest

Explosion at New York bus terminal ( 2017 bomb terrorist attack underattack )

Pipe Bomb of Peace: Bangladesh Strikes New York City Subway During Morning Rush Hour

New York explosion suspect identified

New York City subway bomb attack details released by officials

Report: NYC bomb suspect a Brooklyn resident

Explosion Takes Place Near New York City Port Authority | TODAY

Suicide bomber strikes New York City at rush hour

 

 

 

 

An ISIS-inspired would-be suicide bomber set off a homemade explosive device at the Port Authority Bus Terminal subway station Monday morning, seriously wounding himself and injuring three others, law enforcement sources said.

The man — a 27-year-old Brooklyn man identified by high ranking police sources as Akayed Ullah — had wires attached to him and a 5-inch metal pipe bomb and battery pack strapped to his midsection as he walked through the Manhattan transit hub.

The man partially detonated the device, which he was carrying under the right side of his jacket, prematurely inside the passageway to the A, C and E trains at Eighth Avenue and West 42nd Street around 7:40 a.m., sources said.

Police quickly took the man into custody.

Former NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that the man was inspired by ISIS and possibly born in Bangladesh.

Bratton, who said the man had been living in the US for seven years, “was supposedly setting the device off in the name of ISIS.”

“So, definitely a terrorist attack, definitely intended,” Bratton said.

Akayed Ullah

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The man, who suffered the most serious injuries, was taken to Bellevue Hospital.

Three others suffered non-life-threatening injuries, police said. One person was taken to St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital, another to Mount Sinai and another person was treated at the scene, officials said.

Investigators briefly spoke to the alleged bomber, who told them he made the explosive device at the electrical company where he works.

Emergency personnel flooded the scene following the incident.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has been briefed on the incident.

The incident sent commuters into a frenzy.

A 911 caller, who would only identify herself as Carmen, told The Post: “I didn’t see anything, I just heard an explosion and I ran out like everyone did to look for the nearest exit.”

“I had like a panic attack, I couldn’t breathe. My stomach started hurting,” the witness said. “I’m doing better — I’m just trying to catch a train to go back home to College Point.”

Designer Chelsea LaSalle tweeted: “holy f–k. just was stuck in a running stampede at port authority bus terminal due to bomb scare. cops EVERYWHERE.”

LaSalle followed up her tweet with another that read: “not a scare. actual explosion moments before i was about to get on the subway.”

Commuter Keith Woodfin tweeted: “I was exiting the Port Authority and the National Guard was running towards something shouting ‘Go, Go, Go.’”

The FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force also is investigating the incident.

All MTA trains were bypassing Port Authority-42nd Street as police investigated the incident.

All New Jersey Transit buses were not stopping at Port Authority. NY Waterway was also running extra ferries.

Additional reporting by Lorena Mongelli and Max Jaeger

https://nypost.com/2017/12/11/explosion-reported-at-port-authority-bus-terminal/

Botched Suicide Bombing Jolts New York Rush Hour, Injures Four

Police say 27-year-old Akayed Ullah detonated a low-tech explosive device near the Port Authority Bus Terminal


Trains bypassed the Times Square and Bryant Park stops after a failed bomb attempt. The platform where the 1,2,3 trains usually stop at Times Square was empty during rush hour.
Police respond to a report of an explosion near Times Square on Monday morning in New York. Police said the suspect was a Bangladeshi man, identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, who tried to set off an explosive device he was wearing near the transit hub. He has been placed in custody.
Authorities investigate the explosion at the Port Authority. John Miller, the NYPD’s deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, described the device the suspect used as a pipe bomb.
Helicopters hover over the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Police recovered surveillance video of the incident. “It could’ve been much, much worse,” an official said.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, center, and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speak at a news conference as police respond to a reported explosion at the Port Authority Bus Terminal. “This was an attempted terrorist attack,” Mr. de Blasio said. “All we know is one individual who was thank god unsuccessful in his aims.”
A New York Fire Department vehicle arrives at the Port Authority. Fire Department commissioner Dan Nigro said the suspect detonated the explosive device, causing burns to his hands and abdomen. Three civilians in proximity of the explosion suffered minor injuries.
Police at Port Authority Bus Terminal watch as people evacuate after the explosion near the facility. By midmorning, some subway service remained suspended.
The explosion disrupted thousands of commuters at the Port Authority terminal during the morning rush hour. Multiple subway lines were evacuated, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey closed the entire Port Authority bus station temporarily.
Akayed Ullah, a Bangladeshi man who attempted to detonate a homemade bomb, is seen in this handout photo. The New York City Taxi &amp; Limousine Commission confirmed that Mr. Ullah was licensed to drive a black or livery car from March 2012 to March 2015. The license lapsed in 2015 and wasn’t renewed, according to a TLC spokesman. Although Mr. Ullah obtained a license, he may never have actually worked as a driver, the spokesman said.<br>
Police respond to a report of an explosion near Times Square on Monday morning in New York. Police said the suspect was a Bangladeshi man, identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah, who tried to set off an explosive device he was wearing near the transit hub. He has been placed in custody.
CHARLES ZOELLER/ASSOCIATED PRESS
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A bomber tried to set off an explosive device he had strapped to his body near one of New York City’s busiest transit hubs in an attempted terrorist attack that injured three bystanders, authorities said.

The suspect—a Bangladeshi immigrant identified as 27-year-old Akayed Ullah—was quickly apprehended and was transported to Bellevue Hospital for burns to his hands and abdomen, according to police and fire officials. Three civilians in proximity of the explosion suffered minor injuries and were treated at local hospitals, officials said.

“This was an attempted terrorist attack,” New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters. There are no other known incidents or specific threats to NYC, but there will be an expanded police presence, he said.

 New York Gov. Cuomo described the suspect as a disgruntled “lone wolf,” who had been influenced by extremist groups online. Mr. Cuomo said the suspect downloaded information from the internet on how to make a low-tech, homemade bomb but noted that the device didn’t explode as planned.

“This is one of my worst nightmares—a terrorist attack in the subway system,” Mr. Cuomo said in an interview on CNN.

The explosion disrupted thousands of commuters during the morning rush hour. Multiple subway lines were evacuated, and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey closed the entire bus station temporarily. Emergency personnel responded in force to the scene. By midmorning, some subway and bus service had been restored. An estimated 220,000 people pass through the transit hub each day.

“The choice of New York is for a reason. We are a beacon to the world and we actually show that a society of many faiths and many backgrounds can work,” said Mr. de Blasio. “The terrorists want to undermine that. So they yearn to attack New York City.”

“As New Yorkers our lives revolve around the subways. When we hear of an attack on the subways, it’s incredibly unsettling,” Mr. de Blasio said.

Botched Suicide Bombing in New York City Injures Four
A bomber partially detonated a home-made explosive at a Manhattan subway terminal Monday in an attempted terrorist attack. The suspect suffered severe burns and was taken into custody by the police. Photo: Twitter/@Breaking911

The suspect was walking in a crowd of commuters when the device was detonated, according to a Port Authority surveillance camera video that was confirmed by a federal law-enforcement official. The incident occurred around 7:20 a.m. ET while the suspect was walking eastbound in the underground corridor under 42nd Street, between Seventh and Eighth avenues, according to police. After the detonation, the suspect is surrounded in smoke, before dropping to the ground, based on the video footage.

But the device—which authorities described as a pipe bomb that was affixed to the suspect with Velcro and zip ties—only partially detonated, limiting the damage, according to officials. Mr. Cuomo said the explosive chemical in the bomb went off as planned, but the pipe didn’t explode.

When police officers arrived on the scene, they saw wires trailing between Mr. Ullah’s jacket and pants, according to a law-enforcement official. When they searched him, they found that he was carrying a nine-volt battery.

“It could’ve been much, much worse,” the official said. Police have recovered surveillance video of the incident.

Chelsea LaSalle, a 28-year-old graphic designer, was in Port Authority heading into the A, C, E subway when she heard screaming and more than 30 people started rushing at her.

Busy StationsFive busiest subway stations in New York City, by average weekday ridershipTHE WALL STREET JOURNALSource: Metropolitan Transportation Authority
42nd St. (Times Sq./PortAuthority)Grand CentralHerald SquareUnion SquarePenn Station (1, 2, 3)0 riders100,000200,00025,00050,00075,000125,000150,000175,000225,000

“People were screaming ‘Get out, get out’ and some were yelling ‘Bomb!’” she said.

Ms. LaSalle said everyone was running as fast as they could and pushed past her. “People wanted to get out and didn’t care what was in their way,” she said. “A lot of people looked really worried. Some people looked more confused than anything else.”

Hanan Kolko, a 57-year-old labor lawyer who lives in Montclair, N.J., said his NJ Transit bus from Clifton to the Port Authority crawled slowly through the Lincoln Tunnel. It took him 2 hours and 20 minutes to get to work, more than double the usual commute.

When his bus arrived around 9:40 a.m., he saw scores of law enforcement officers in the terminal, and his group was ushered out the Ninth Avenue exit because the Eighth Avenue side was blocked off.

“It was eerie because the Port Authority was empty except for people being escorted out,” he said. “It was a moment when I was proud to be a New Yorker,” he said. “We were going to carry on our day, regardless of whether some guy tried to plant a bomb. Law enforcement did a great job, and we got to go on and do our thing.”

In Washington, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said it was aware of the explosion in New York and coordinating with the New York City Police Department. The investigation into the incident is being led by the Joint Terrorism Task Force, a law enforcement group formed in 1980 that includes members of the NYPD and the FBI. The attack came just weeks after an ISIS-influenced immigrant from Uzbekistan drove a rented truck down a Manhattan bike lane killing eight others and injuring 12 more.

Terrorist Attacks in the U.S. After 9/11

Here’s a look at Islamist-related deadly assaults across the country since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, as compiled by the CATO Institute.


2000
2010
2020
July 4, 2002

An Egyptian man opens fire at the El Al Israel Airlines ticket counter at Los Angeles International Airport, killing two people before he was shot dead by an airline guard. PHOTO: KRISTA NILES/ASSOCIATED PRESS

A gunman kills one woman and wounds five others at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle.PHOTO: KEVIN P. CASEY/ASSOCIATED PRESS

A U.S.-born self-described jihad warrior shoots two soldiers, one fatally, outside an Army recruiting station in Arkansas.

Army psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan opens fire at Fort Hood, Texas, killing 13 people and wounding more than 30 others.PHOTO: DONNA MCWILLIAM/ASSOCIATED PRESS

Two crude bombs explode near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring more than 175. Bomber, and older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, is killed in a shootout with police; younger brother Dzhokhar is later captured alive.PHOTO: THE BOSTON GLOBE/GETTY IMAGES

College student Brendan Tevlin is shot eight times while waiting at a traffic light in New Jersey. Authorities find links to three earlier killings in Seattle—of 30-year-old Leroy Henderson, shot 10 times and left to die on a road on April 27, and Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young, killed outside a gay club on June 1—and charge Ali Muhammad Brown with all four.
John Bailey Clarke of North Carolina, 74 years old, is shot three times by a teenage neighbor who had converted online to Islam three months earlier and would plead guilty both to state murder charges and to federal charges of planning a terrorist act.
A 24-year-old Kuwaiti-born man opens fire at two military facilities in Tennessee, killing four Marines and a sailor and injuring three other people before dying from a gunshot wound.

Pakistani immigrant Tashfeen Malik, who had just pledged allegiance to the leader of Islamic State, and her American-born husband open fire on an office party in San Bernardino, Calif., killing 14 people and wounding 21. PHOTO: DAVID BAUMAN/PRESS-ENTERPRISE/ZUMA PRESS

Omar Mateen kills 49 people and wounds 53 more at Orlando gay nightclub Pulse before police fatally shoot him after an hourslong standoff.PHOTO: PHELEN M. EBENHACK/ASSOCIATED PRESS

A Denver transit guard is shot and killed; the man charged with the murder tells the Associated Press he had pledged his allegiance to Islamic State.

Eight people are killed and at least a dozen injured when a truck mows down pedestrians and cyclists on a lower Manhattan bike path.PHOTO: ANDREW KELLY/REUTERS

A Bangladeshi man tried to set off an explosive device he was wearing near New York City’s Port Authority Bus Terminal and Times Square. Three civilians in proximity of the explosion were injured.PHOTO: BRYAN R. SMITH/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE/GETTY IMAGES

Source: CATO Institute

Mr. Ullah has been living in the U.S. for seven years and had worked as a driver for a car service, officials said. He has been residing in a two-story colonial home on a tree-lined block in Old Mill Basin, Brooklyn, a multiethnic neighborhood. His block was cordoned off Monday morning as groups of New York Police Department officers milled outside the home.

Alan Butrico, who owns the house next door to Mr. Ullah’s home, described the suspect as “unfriendly.” Mr. Butrico, who also owns a hardware store on the corner of the block, said Mr. Ullah never said hello and “would have an attitude” if he was asked to move his car because it was blocking the neighboring driveway.

Mr. Butrico’s cousin, Ross Faillace, who runs a part-time car detailing shop in the back of Mr. Butrico’s property, said of Mr. Ullah: “He was always on edge.”

Both men said that Mr. Ullah was usually clean cut and wore regular clothes, but that lately Mr. Ullah had grown a beard.

Kisslya Joseph of Grenada has been staying with her brother who lives next door to Mr. Ullah. “This has shaken me up and my family because it’s like you never know who your neighbor is,” Ms. Joseph said.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/explosion-reported-at-new-yorks-port-authority-1512997695

New York City explosion: Live updates

What you should know

  • What happened: A man wearing a homemade device set it off at Port Authority bus terminal near Times Square.
  • The suspect: Police named 27-year-old Akayed Ullah. He is of Bangladeshi descent and lives in Brooklyn.
  • Injuries: Four people, including the suspect, were injured. None of those injuries are life-threatening, according to FDNY.

Suspect pledged allegiance to ISIS

From CNN’s Brynn Gingras

While talking with authorities, Port Authority bus terminal explosion suspect Akayed Ullah pledged allegiance to ISIS, according to one law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation. Authorities now have to investigate that claim.

Ullah most recently did electrical work close to Port Authority along with his brother. That brother lives in the same apartment building as Ullah, according to law enforcement.

As part of the normal course of an investigation, authorities want to speak with the brother and other family members.

Another law enforcement source tells CNN that screws were found at the scene.

December 11, 2017 2:54pm EST

The Bangladesh Embassy in Washington DC condemned today’s terror attack in New York City.

Suspect Akayed Ullah, 27, is a lawful permanent resident from Bangladesh, who arrived in the US in 2011.

Here’s the embassy’s statement:

“Government of Bangladesh is committed to its declared policy of ‘Zero Tolerance’ against terrorism, and condemns terrorism and violent extremism in all forms or manifestations anywhere in the world, including Monday morning’s incident in New York City.”

A terrorist is a terrorist irrespective of his or her ethnicity or religion, and must be brought to justice.

Homeland Security: “We urge the public to remain vigilant”

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen, in the job for less than a week, is in touch with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and local officials about this morning’s attack, the department said in a statement.

“The Department of Homeland Security is taking appropriate action to protect our people and our country in the wake of today’s attempted terrorist attack in New York City,” the statement read.

“We will continue to assist New York authorities with the response and investigation and we urge the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity.”

 

Story 2: Fabricated Trump Dossier Was Opposition Research/Russian Disinformation — Democratic Party and Obama Administration Used Fabricated Trump Dossier To Justify Spying on Americans and Opposition Republican Party Using Intelligence Community — Conspiracy Not Collusion — Federal Crimes — A New Special Counsel Should Investigate Together With DOJ and FBI Investigations of Clinton Charitable Foundation, Email Server and Mishandling of Classified Documents — Videos —

Demoted top DoJ official Bruce Ohr’s wife worked for Fusion GPS of dossier fame

Jordan: We need to depose Peter Strzok, talk to Bruce Ohr

Congressman Jim Jordan Sends CNN Anchor Packing During a Heated Conversation

Robert Mueller Finally CONFESSES to What He Did To The FBI and Why He Did It

Rep. Jim Jordan To Jeff Sessions: Appoint New Special Counsel Or Step Down

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Hannity Connects ALL the Dots in Mueller’s Trump-Russia Investigation

Judge Napolitano: Enough evidence to prosecute Clinton for espionage

Special counsel needed to probe DOJ-Fusion GPS?

Rep. Jim Jordan reacts to FBI Director Wray hearing

Gaetz Demands FBI Director Explain “Special” Treatment of Clinton During Investigation – 12/7/17

Jim Jordan: Robert Mueller ‘Inherently Compromised’

New allegations of bias dog Mueller Russia probe

Gingrich: Investigators need to be questioned under oath

Gingrich: Appalling level of FBI corruption coming to light

Judicial Watch Dir says no chance FBI will root out corruption in their ranks

Trey Gowdy Unleashes His Anger On New FBI Director

FBI director defends agency amid allegations of political bias

Trump legal team calls for new special counsel

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Trey Gowdy Confronts Loretta Lynch! “Did You Send Classified Info on A Personal Email Like Hillary?”

Napolitano: ‘Lynch Should be Under a Criminal Investigation’

Judge Napolitano on AG Lynch’s secret NSA deal

Napolitano on bias at the FBI, obstruction of justice debate

FBI agent operated as a Clinton mole: Michelle Malkin

Robert Ray on FBI agent removed from Mueller investigation over texts

Why weren’t Hillary Clinton staffers investigated for lying to FBI?

Rep. Jordan presses Jeff Sessions to appoint special counsel

WOW: Trey Gowdy to AG Jeff Sessions: Its NOT Appropriate for Trump to speaks on a Open Investigation

Watch What Trey Gowdy Has To Say On Jeff Sessions Hearing Today 11/14/2017

BREAKING: FBI Official Unloads On Hillary Clinton This Is Devastating(VIDEO)!!!

The FBI Just Blew The Hillary Clinton Case Wide Open She Could Literally Be Going to Jail!!

Trey Gowdy Votes To Appoint A Second Special Counsel To Investigate James Comey And Hillary Clinton

Journalism for rent’: Inside the secretive firm behind the Trump dossier

 December 11 at 12:50 PM
8:20
Fusion GPS founder explains why he started the research firm

Glenn Simpson, founder of Fusion GPS, spoke at the 2016 Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival and Symposium, an event conducted by 100Reporters.

Fusion GPS bills itself as a corporate research firm, but in many ways it operates with the secrecy of a spy agency. No sign marks its headquarters above a coffee shop in Northwest Washington. Its website consists of two sentences and an email address. Its client list is closely held.

The small firm has been under intense public scrutiny for producing the 35-page document known as the Trump dossier. Senior executives summoned to testify before Congress in October invoked their Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination, and the firm is resisting a congressional subpoena for bank records that would reveal who has paid for its services.

But hundreds of internal company documents obtained by The Washington Post reveal how Fusion, a firm led by former journalists, has used investigative reporting techniques and media connections to advance the interests of an eclectic range of clients on Wall Street, in Silicon Valley and in the nation’s capital. The firm has played an unseen role in stories that dominated headlines in recent years.

In the years before it produced the dossier, records show, Fusion worked to blunt aggressive reporting on the medical-device company Theranos, which was later found to have problems with its novel blood-testing technology. It was also hired to ward off scrutiny of the nutritional supplement company Herbalife, which ultimately paid $200 million to distributors to settle claims by regulators.

In another case, the firm sought to expose what it called “slimy dealings” by a competitor of a San Francisco museum proposed by filmmaker and “Star Wars” director George Lucas. And it dug up information about domestic disputes involving a former mayor of Beverly Hills, Calif., as part of an investigation into a proposed real estate development that the mayor supported.

Fusion’s other past research targets, documents show, included tech giants Google and Amazon; 2012 presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Barack Obama; and Republican Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Bob Corker of Tennessee. (Amazon chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

Fusion assigned code names to the projects — many of them after cities in Texas and Maine — and avoided identifying its clients in internal documents, making it difficult to determine who was paying for the research. The firm also minimized its public footprints by paying outside contractors to collect public records from courthouses, police stations and federal agencies.

The Post’s review provides a glimpse at the tactics that have fueled Fusion’s rise in the growing and secretive industry of opposition research and corporate intelligence. The review represents the most comprehensive look at the firm’s work at a time when it is being examined by those who seek to gauge the veracity of the dossier, and it reveals methods that have drawn criticism from the targets of the company’s research, including President Trump.

Fusion’s work on the dossier went beyond ordinary opposition research, the kind that might explore a candidate’s past legislative history or embarrassing gaffes — known in the industry as “votes and quotes.” Instead, it paid a former British spy to compile intelligence from unnamed Russian sources.

Only a handful of internal documents obtained by The Post relate to the examination of Trump during the 2016 election, a project that was code-named “Bangor” and was financed in part by Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Fusion declined to comment on specific cases or identify clients, but said in a statement that it is “proud of our methodology and the rigor of our research, amply demonstrated by the records cited by The Washington Post. They show what we’ve always stated: Our secret sauce is diligent and exhaustive analysis of public information.”

It continued: “The reason we are so effective is that we unearth facts that stand up to scrutiny — presumably why we are still talking about our work detailing the connections between the Trump campaign and Russia more than a year later.”

Exposing ‘slimy dealings’

Fusion founder Glenn Simpson, an accomplished former investigative reporter with expertise digging into financial crimes and corruption in Russia and elsewhere, left the Wall Street Journal in 2009 to start a research firm with Susan Schmidt, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winner from The Post. Without Schmidt, Simpson created Fusion GPS the following year, teaming up with former Wall Street Journal editor Peter Fritsch and a former Treasury official.

“I call it journalism for rent,” Simpson, 53, said in August of last year at the Double Exposure Investigative Film Festival and Symposium in the District, where he described Fusion’s work on a panel titled, “Investigations With an Agenda.”

Fusion has about 10 employees, he said. It has worked on a broad array of cases, including matters related to marijuana dispensaries, health-care workers, a state insurance official and even a Florida homeowner’s association, internal documents show.

Fusion has also quietly advocated causes and pet projects dear to wealthy and famous clients.

In April 2014, Lucas wanted to build a cultural arts museum on federal land at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, a site known as the Presidio. The museum was one of three proposals under consideration by a federal agency called the Presidio Trust.

A Fusion client — who is not identified in the documents obtained by The Post — suspected the agency was trying to block the Lucas museum, records show.

“We want to understand where this resistance is coming from and why,” Fritsch wrote in an email to his Fusion colleagues. Fritsch added that the “client would like to expose the slimy dealings” of a nonprofit competing with Lucas for the right to build on the land. The investigation was code named “Tyler.”

Ron Conway, one of Silicon Valley’s most prolific start-up investors and an outspoken supporter of the Lucas museum, was copied on subsequent emails about the cost of the research. “I don’t have any comment,” Conway said by phone when asked if he had hired Fusion.

Over the next nine months, a contractor hired by Fusion blanketed the Presidio Trust and another federal agency with dozens of requests for a range of documents related to board members and a consultant who were judging the proposals — expense reports, ethics forms, employment contracts and other records.

In February 2015, with Fusion still waiting for the documents, Conway sent an email to Fritsch with a link to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle. It was about a petition, signed by celebrities such as Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana and hip-hop artist MC Hammer, calling on the Presidio Trust to release some of the same records Fusion had requested.

“WE ARE OFF AND RUNNING !!” Conway wrote. Fritsch forwarded the email to other Fusion executives and said, “GLORIOUS!!!”

It’s not clear whether the effort had the desired effect. The Presidio Trust ultimately rejected all three proposals. A spokeswoman for Lucas told The Post in a statement that Lucas was “unaware of any research undertaken by Fusion GPS.” A Presidio Trust spokesman did not respond to messages from The Post seeking comment.

Fusion has at times used hardball tactics, the documents show.

Last year, Fusion’s sleuths targeted a controversial proposal for a $1.2 billion hotel and condo project in Beverly Hills, in the heart of one of the nation’s wealthiest areas, records show. The investigation was code named “Gray.”

Fusion’s client is not identified in the records reviewed by The Post, but the documents show that Fusion investigated the activities of the Chinese developer behind the project, Wanda Group, there and in other U.S. cities.

As part of its research, Fusion took aim at a vocal supporter of the Beverly Hills project, then-mayor John Mirisch, records show. Fusion sought police reports from the city related to domestic disputes involving the mayor and his ex-wife that had occurred between 2008 and 2010, records show.

Former Beverly Hills mayor John Mirisch at City Hall in August 2016. (Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times)

When city police balked at releasing some of the police reports, a Fusion contractor sued the city. Neither the public-records requests nor the legal complaint mentions Fusion. The suit was filed by former journalist Russell Carollo, who is described in court records as a public records consultant.

Fusion executive Jason Felch, a former investigative reporter with the Los Angeles Times, emailed Carollo on July 21, 2016, with a statement he could give reporters inquiring about the lawsuit. The statement suggested that the mayor might be supporting the Wanda Group project because he owed a favor to a retired police chief who worked for a firm that was lobbying the city on behalf of the hotel, records show. The statement also argued that the public had a right to see the records involving the mayor.

Two weeks later, Carollo was quoted in the local newspaper, the Beverly Hills Courier, under a story headlined: “Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist Petitions Court For Public Information On Mayor’s Domestic Disputes With Ex-Wife.”

In an interview, Mirisch said he had no idea that Fusion was behind the renewed scrutiny of the years-old domestic disputes. “It was dirty politics and misinformation,” said Mirisch, now a city council member.

Carollo said in an interview that he worked for Fusion and was asked by the firm to file the lawsuit. In a statement, Fusion wrote: “Our policy prohibits any employees or contractors from misrepresenting themselves as journalists or anything else.”

A spokesman for the Beverly Hills hotel project, which remains in planning stages, declined to comment. The retired police chief, Dave Snowden, said in an interview, “Hearing this, that the mayor owed me a favor, is absurd on its face.”

Behind-the-scenes player

Fusion insists that the firm does not engage in public relations work or advertise its media connections to prospective clients. But Fusion executives have interceded with former colleagues in media when their clients came under scrutiny, records and interviews show.

In mid-2015, Fusion was conducting research on two competitors of Theranos, a Silicon Valley start-up that had created buzz in the health-technology industry. Around the same time, the Wall Street Journal was pursuing its own Theranos reporting, which ultimately raised doubts about the accuracy of the company’s revolutionary lab-testing technology. Fusion, working on behalf of Theranos, tried to influence the Journal’s early reporting, according to records and interviews.

Fusion called the case “Ferris.”

A few weeks after Journal reporter John Carreyrou approached Theranos about his investigation into the company, Fritsch contacted him to create a back channel, according to documents and a person familiar with the Journal’s reporting who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Fritsch advised the reporter that his approach with Theranos up to that point had been too blunt and aggressive, and he encouraged him to soften it, the person said. Fritsch also accompanied a Theranos delegation that went to the Journal’s newsroom in June 2015 to discuss the story with Carreyrou and his editor. The delegation, made up mostly of lawyers, was headed by prominent attorney David Boies.

Over the ensuing years, Theranos — once valued at $9 billion — faced regulatory actions, including in 2016 losing its certificate to operate a blood-testing lab in California and its eligibility to receive Medicare and Medicaid payments. The company reached a settlement in April with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, agreeing not to operate a lab for two years in exchange for the restoration of its certificate.

“The Wall Street Journal published its award-winning series on Theranos despite legal threats and strenuous objections from the company and its representatives,” a spokeswoman for the paper said in a statement.

A representative of Boies’s law firm, Boies Schiller and Flexner, referred comment to Theranos. A Theranos representative declined to comment.

Fusion was also a behind-the-scenes player in a Wall Street battle between billionaire investor William Ackman and the supplement company Herbalife, records show.

Ackman had a huge financial stake in Herbalife’s fate. He had taken a short position in the company — meaning if the company failed, his investment would pay off big. Ackman held news conferences calling for regulatory and criminal investigations into Herbalife, alleging that the company’s network of distributors was effectively a pyramid scheme.

Herbalife had Fusion working on its side in a project that carried the code name “Rice,” documents show. Fusion launched investigations into Ackman and his hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital Management, according to emails and internal documents.

Herbalife’s attorney and outside publicist are copied on some emails that discussed strategy for uncovering public records that would expose whether Ackman was paying nonprofit groups to criticize Herbalife. Fusion’s contractors were looking for information that would spark government investigations into Ackman, documents show.

In June 2014, Richard Hynes, a contractor for Fusion, noted that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Attorney General’s Office had previously conducted investigations that touched on Ackman, emails show.

“Nothing seems to have come from them,” he wrote. “I wonder what the SEC and NY AG DIDN’T have to make their cases. What else could we provide them this time to effect a different outcome,” he asked. Simpson soon instructed a Fusion contractor to request the SEC’s case file on closed investigations into Ackman or his firm, Pershing Square, documents show.

It was Herbalife that fell under investigation. In 2016, it agreed to a $200 million settlement with the Federal Trade Commission over allegations that it deceived buyers and sellers of its products. Herbalife did not respond to a request for comment, and Hynes did not respond to messages.

A ‘no-stones-unturned’ approach

As Fusion has been thrust into the spotlight because of the Trump dossier, it has been forced to reveal details of its operations in court proceedings.

Over objections from Democrats, the Republican leader of the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Devin Nunes (Calif.), subpoenaed Fusion’s bank records to try to identify the then-mystery client who paid for the dossier. In October, Fusion executives invoked their constitutional right not to answer questions from the committee.

Fusion founder Glenn Simpson, left, arrives for an appearance before a closed House Intelligence Committee hearing in Washington on Nov. 14. (Associated Press)

Simpson had previously sat for a 10-hour closed-door interview with members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is also looking into allegations of foreign influence in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. He has also testified before the House committee behind closed doors.

For its investigation into Trump, Fusion was initially hired in the fall of 2015 by the conservative Washington Free Beacon website. The publication is backed by billionaire GOP donor Paul Singer, who was then supporting Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) in the GOP primary.

The Post revealed in October that Fusion was paid, via a law firm, by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee for its work on the dossier.

After Trump won the primary, Fusion approached Marc Elias, a partner at the law firm Perkins Coie who represented the Democratic Party during the 2016 election. Perkins Coie decided the party needed to go deeper than traditional, issue-oriented opposition research groups — a “no-stones-unturned approach,” according to a person familiar with the arrangement who was not authorized to speak publicly.

A spokeswoman for Perkins Coie said Trump “was unvetted by the political process — a businessman with significant real estate holdings both in the United States and around the globe, a history of litigation, financial problems and bankruptcies, and of a decidedly litigious nature,” adding that “the challenge of reviewing public-record information alone on his candidacy necessitated additional research.”

Simpson and Fritsch had worked on stories involving money laundering and Russian government officials while based in Brussels for the Journal. They knew how to pull documents around the world — a skill that had earned them work from top law firms.

“I’ve known Glenn for a long time,” said John W. Moscow, a former prosecutor and now a lawyer with the firm BakerHostetler, which hired Fusion to assist in defending the Russian company Prevezon in a civil money-laundering case. “When we need information from various parts of the world, he can go get it. We hire him on a per-case basis because he’s good.”

Earlier this year, Prevezon settled the suit, brought by the Justice Department, for $5.9 million without admitting guilt.

For its work on the dossier, Fusion hired Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer who had worked extensively in Russia. In a statement, Fusion said Perkins Coie paid it $1.02 million for work in 2016, and it said Fusion paid Steele’s firm, Orbis Business Intelligence, $168,000.

The dossier alleged that the Russian government had collected compromising information on Trump and that the Kremlin was trying to assist his campaign. Officials have said that the FBI has confirmed some of the information in the dossier but the most sensational details have not been verified and may never be.

As the dossier circulated among Washington journalists late last year, senior U.S. officials viewed the matter as serious enough to brief then-President-elect Donald Trump on its existence. And when BuzzFeed published the document online in early January, the dossier — particularly its more salacious claims — gripped the nation.

In recent weeks, Trump and congressional Republicans have seized on the Clinton campaign’s role in the dossier to try to discredit suggestions that his campaign colluded with Russia.

At the August conference last year, Simpson said his firm upholds strict standards developed in his years as a journalist.

“You can’t just say what you know. You have to say how you know it. And you have to be able to prove it,” he said. “That imposes a sort of discipline to the investigative process that people in other fields don’t really absorb.”

He was candid about the money involved. Explaining why he left journalism, he joked: “We don’t use the word ‘sold out.’ We use the word ‘cashed in.’ ”

Matt Zapotosky and Ellen Nakashima contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/journalism-for-rent-inside-the-secretive-firm-behind-the-trump-dossier/2017/12/11/8d5428d4-bd89-11e7-af84-d3e2ee4b2af1_story.html?utm_term=.dcc6a59b2320

Story 3: People of Alabama Will Elect Roy Moore on Tuesday To Fill Senate Seat Vacated By Now Attorney General Jeff Sessions — Moore Is Right On The Issues — Videos

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Roy Moore, Doug Jones and the issues: A voter’s guide to the Alabama Senate election

Things seem to be going Roy Moore’s way. President Trump endorsed him. The Republican National Committee is back to supporting him. And Moore, who has been accused of sexual contact with women when they were underaged, has led by an average of 3 percentage points in polls taken within 21 days of the Dec. 12 […] Wochit

Alabama voters will go to the polls Tuesday for the third time in four months to decide who will be the state’s junior U.S. senator.

Where the primaries — and later the GOP runoff — featured candidates who largely agreed on policy, there are notable contrasts between Democratic Senate nominee Doug Jones and Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore.

The two candidates have sharply different views on health care, the environment, and social issues. Those differences has been overshadowed as Moore has dealt with accusations — most stemming from his time as a prosecutor in Etowah County in the late 1970s and early 1980s — that he pursued relationships with teenaged girls, and engaged in conduct ranging from unwanted attention to assault.  Moore denies the allegations.

The candidates have tried — to varying degrees — to discuss other issues as well. Moore in his public appearances has gone back to the religiously conservative, anti-LGBT message that has defined his political career.

“The transgenders don’t have rights,” Moore said at a news conference in Montgomery Nov. 8, which was as of Friday his last public appearance in the county before the election. “They’ve never been denominated as having rights by the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Jones, meanwhile, has emphasized jobs and health care, in particular his support of Medicaid, Medicare and renewal of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). In recent days, Jones has amped up his attacks on Moore over the accusations.

“I believe women are every bit as capable as men, that they deserve to be elected to public office, and I damn sure believe and have done my part to ensure that men who hurt little girls should go to jail, not to the U.S. Senate,” Jones said in remarks in Birmingham on Tuesday.

Whatever else can be said about Tuesday election, it is certain that the candidates present contrasting visions for the state of Alabama.

The candidates

Doug Jones

Age: 63

Residence: Birmingham

Party: Democratic

Family: Married; three children, two grandchildren

Profession: Attorney

Education: B.A., University of Alabama, 1975; J.D., Cumberland School of Law, 1979

Offices held/offices sought: U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Alabama, 1997-2001

ProfileThe fights of his life: Doug Jones’ journey from Fairfield to the U.S. Senate race

Finances: Despite a slow start over the summertime, Jones has pulled in more than $10 million since the start of October.

Themes: Jones has pitched a mainstream Democratic platform with an emphasis on job creation and access to health care. He has also discussed his time as U.S. attorney, in particular his prosecution of two men responsible for the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham in 1963.

Roy Moore

Age: 70

Residence: Gallant

Party: Republican

Profession: Attorney

Family: Married; four children; five grandchildren

Offices held/Offices sought: Alabama chief justice, 2013-2016 and 2001-03; Republican candidate for governor, 2010 and 2006; Etowah County circuit judge, 1992-2001; Democratic candidate for Etowah County district attorney, 1986; Democratic candidate for Etowah County circuit judge, 1982.

ProfileLife in wartime: Roy Moore fights battles – and often goes looking for them

Education: B.S., United States Military Academy, 1969; J.D., University of Alabama School of Law, 1977

Finances: Moore historically lags opponents in fundraising (even in races he’s won), and the Senate race has followed that pattern. While Moore started the general election campaign ahead of Jones overall in fundraising, he raised just $1.7 million between October and the end of November.

Themes: Although Moore has tied himself with President Donald Trump and spent time denouncing his accusers, his Senate campaign is otherwise much like previous campaigns he’s waged in the past 17 years, with strong appeals to religious conservativism and denunciations of abortion and LGBT rights.

Issues

Health care

Jones: Says health care is a right and supports the Affordable Care Act — which covered 178,000 Alabamians last winter — but says he wants to “bring both sides together” in Washington to address issues like premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Has called for renewal of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, which covers about 150,000 children in Alabama. Says he will support Medicare and Medicaid, which combined cover nearly 2 million Alabamians, in their current forms. Has been open to a public option for Medicare.

Moore: Has called for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the sale of health insurance policies across state lines and tax credits to businesses for employee health care coverage, while broadly calling for government to get out of health care. Has not committed to renewal of the CHIP program.

Economy and taxes

Jones: Says he supports simplification of business and corporate taxes to create jobs, but says the tax bill before Congress “can’t be a giveaway to the richest Americans paid for by working families.” Supports a “living wage” for workers, streamlining regulations and extending the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to ensure equal pay for men and women.

Moore: Says he “supports any kind of tax cut” and would replace the current progressive income tax system — where the wealthy pay a higher share of their income in taxes — with a 15 percent flat tax or a 23 percent national sales tax, offset in part by monthly stipends. Calls for cuts to the budget deficit.

Immigration

Jones: Says he supports border security and “maintaining the integrity of our borders against all threats” with “the most advanced technology possible.”  Has supported efforts to find status for those covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, also known as Dreamers, who were brought to the United States by their parents when they were children.

Moore: Says he would support a border wall if needed to address undocumented immigration, but has also called for the deployment of the U.S. military to the Mexican border. Has called DACA a “permanent evil” created by former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

Trade

Jones: Says trade agreements should create jobs in Alabama and prevent barriers for Alabama companies for selling their goods, such as high tariffs.

Moore: Has expressed support for renegotiating the North American Free Trade and Central American Free Trade agreements (NAFTA and CAFTA) and says he supports some tariffs to address “unbalanced” trade.

Abortion

Jones: Supports abortion rights and current laws governing abortion. The Moore campaign has accused Jones of supporting “late-term abortion;” Jones has said he only supports abortion after 20 weeks in cases of medical emergency. Says the way to reduce unwanted pregnancies is “education and access to health care and contraception.”

Moore: Supports abortion restrictions and has called himself “the exact opposite” of Jones on the issue. The campaign did not respond to questions as to whether Moore supports exceptions to an abortion ban, such as rape, incest or the life of the mother.

LGBT rights

Jones: Supports same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.

Moore: Strongly opposes same-sex marriage and LGBT rights, and in a 2002 judicial opinion called homosexuality “abhorrent, immoral, detestable, a crime against nature and a violation of the law of Nature.”

Guns

Jones: Has called himself “a Second Amendment guy” and highlighted his love of hunting. Says gun laws as they stand should be enforced, but supports efforts to improve background checks, both to allow law-abiding citizens to obtain firearms and prevent criminals from getting them.

Moore: Says he believes in the Second Amendment and pulled out a gun at a rally before the Sept. 26 GOP runoff. In a summer Facebook posting, Moore said he would ensure gun rights “are never, ever infringed upon.”

Environment & energy

Jones: Says he “believes in science and that climate change is occurring.” Supports investments in renewable energy and conservation, particularly for their economic impact and says those working in the coal industry need a “safety net” of job retraining and health care benefits.

Moore: Has declined to answer questions about climate change. Website suggests an energy policy consisting of coal and oil drilling, along with “development” of nuclear, solar and wind energy.

http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/politics/southunionstreet/2017/12/10/roy-moore-doug-jones-and-issues-voters-guide-alabama-senate-election/934965001/

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

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Pronk Pops Show 999, November 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 998, November 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 997, November 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 996, November 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 995, November 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 994, November 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 993, November 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 992, October 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 991, October 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 990, October 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 989, October 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 988, October 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 987, October 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 986, October 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 985, October 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 984, October 16, 2017 

Pronk Pops Show 983, October 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 982, October 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 981, October 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 980, October 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 979, October 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 978, October 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 977, October 4, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 976, October 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 975, September 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 974, September 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 973, September 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 972, September 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 971, September 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 970, September 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 969, September 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 968, September 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 967, September 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 966, September 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 965, September 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 964, September 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 963, September 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 962, September 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 961, September 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 960, September 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 959, September 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 958, September 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 957, September 5, 2017

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

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US economy adds 228K jobs in November

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

U.S. economy continues its strong performance

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

CNN’s Christine Romans Highlights November’s Really Good Jobs Numbers

Larry Kudlow: Jobs Report Shows We Are On Front End Of “Very, Very Strong Rebound In Manufacturing”

Panel on Strong November Jobs Report; 228K Jobs Added. #Economy #Jobs #Report #November

Stockman: Here’s Why Today’s Jobs Report Is Nothing to Celebrate

Alan Greenspan // We are about to go from stagnation to ‘stagflation’

Ep. 307: Trump Continues What He Once Called the Biggest Hoax in American Politics

The Reason Trump is President – Peter Schiff

 

Civilian Labor Force Level

160,529,000

 

Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survey

 

Series Id:           LNS11000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Civilian Labor Force Level
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 142267(1) 142456 142434 142751 142388 142591 142278 142514 142518 142622 142962 143248
2001 143800 143701 143924 143569 143318 143357 143654 143284 143989 144086 144240 144305
2002 143883 144653 144481 144725 144938 144808 144803 145009 145552 145314 145041 145066
2003 145937(1) 146100 146022 146474 146500 147056 146485 146445 146530 146716 147000 146729
2004 146842(1) 146709 146944 146850 147065 147460 147692 147564 147415 147793 148162 148059
2005 148029(1) 148364 148391 148926 149261 149238 149432 149779 149954 150001 150065 150030
2006 150214(1) 150641 150813 150881 151069 151354 151377 151716 151662 152041 152406 152732
2007 153144(1) 152983 153051 152435 152670 153041 153054 152749 153414 153183 153835 153918
2008 154063(1) 153653 153908 153769 154303 154313 154469 154641 154570 154876 154639 154655
2009 154210(1) 154538 154133 154509 154747 154716 154502 154307 153827 153784 153878 153111
2010 153484(1) 153694 153954 154622 154091 153616 153691 154086 153975 153635 154125 153650
2011 153263(1) 153214 153376 153543 153479 153346 153288 153760 154131 153961 154128 153995
2012 154381(1) 154671 154749 154545 154866 155083 154948 154763 155160 155554 155338 155628
2013 155695(1) 155268 154990 155356 155514 155747 155669 155587 155731 154709 155328 155151
2014 155295(1) 155485 156115 155378 155559 155682 156098 156117 156100 156389 156421 156238
2015 157022(1) 156771 156781 157043 157447 156993 157125 157109 156809 157123 157358 157957
2016 158362(1) 158888 159278 158938 158510 158889 159295 159508 159830 159643 159456 159640
2017 159716(1) 160056 160201 160213 159784 160145 160494 160571 161146 160381 160529
1 : Data affected by changes in population controls.

 

Labor Force Participation Rate

62.7%

Series Id:           LNS11300000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Labor Force Participation Rate
Labor force status:  Civilian labor force participation rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.3 67.1 67.1 66.9 66.9 66.9 66.8 66.9 67.0
2001 67.2 67.1 67.2 66.9 66.7 66.7 66.8 66.5 66.8 66.7 66.7 66.7
2002 66.5 66.8 66.6 66.7 66.7 66.6 66.5 66.6 66.7 66.6 66.4 66.3
2003 66.4 66.4 66.3 66.4 66.4 66.5 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 65.9
2004 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 66.0 66.1 66.1 66.0 65.8 65.9 66.0 65.9
2005 65.8 65.9 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0
2006 66.0 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.1 66.2 66.3 66.4
2007 66.4 66.3 66.2 65.9 66.0 66.0 66.0 65.8 66.0 65.8 66.0 66.0
2008 66.2 66.0 66.1 65.9 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.1 66.0 66.0 65.9 65.8
2009 65.7 65.8 65.6 65.7 65.7 65.7 65.5 65.4 65.1 65.0 65.0 64.6
2010 64.8 64.9 64.9 65.2 64.9 64.6 64.6 64.7 64.6 64.4 64.6 64.3
2011 64.2 64.1 64.2 64.2 64.1 64.0 64.0 64.1 64.2 64.1 64.1 64.0
2012 63.7 63.8 63.8 63.7 63.7 63.8 63.7 63.5 63.6 63.8 63.6 63.7
2013 63.6 63.4 63.3 63.4 63.4 63.4 63.3 63.3 63.3 62.8 63.0 62.9
2014 62.9 62.9 63.1 62.8 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.8 62.9 62.9 62.7
2015 62.9 62.7 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.6 62.6 62.6 62.4 62.5 62.5 62.7
2016 62.7 62.9 63.0 62.8 62.6 62.7 62.8 62.8 62.9 62.8 62.6 62.7
2017 62.9 63.0 63.0 62.9 62.7 62.8 62.9 62.9 63.1 62.7 62.7

Unemployment Level

6.6 Million

 

Series Id:           LNS13000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Level
Labor force status:  Unemployed
Type of data:        Number in thousands
Age:                 16 years and over

Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 5708 5858 5733 5481 5758 5651 5747 5853 5625 5534 5639 5634
2001 6023 6089 6141 6271 6226 6484 6583 7042 7142 7694 8003 8258
2002 8182 8215 8304 8599 8399 8393 8390 8304 8251 8307 8520 8640
2003 8520 8618 8588 8842 8957 9266 9011 8896 8921 8732 8576 8317
2004 8370 8167 8491 8170 8212 8286 8136 7990 7927 8061 7932 7934
2005 7784 7980 7737 7672 7651 7524 7406 7345 7553 7453 7566 7279
2006 7064 7184 7072 7120 6980 7001 7175 7091 6847 6727 6872 6762
2007 7116 6927 6731 6850 6766 6979 7149 7067 7170 7237 7240 7645
2008 7685 7497 7822 7637 8395 8575 8937 9438 9494 10074 10538 11286
2009 12058 12898 13426 13853 14499 14707 14601 14814 15009 15352 15219 15098
2010 15046 15113 15202 15325 14849 14474 14512 14648 14579 14516 15081 14348
2011 14013 13820 13737 13957 13855 13962 13763 13818 13948 13594 13302 13093
2012 12797 12813 12713 12646 12660 12692 12656 12471 12115 12124 12005 12298
2013 12470 11954 11672 11752 11657 11741 11350 11284 11264 11133 10792 10410
2014 10240 10383 10400 9705 9740 9460 9637 9616 9255 8964 9060 8718
2015 8962 8663 8538 8521 8655 8251 8235 8017 7877 7869 7939 7927
2016 7829 7845 7977 7910 7451 7799 7749 7853 7904 7740 7409 7529
2017 7635 7528 7202 7056 6861 6977 6981 7132 6801 6520 6610

U-3 Unemployment Rate

4.1%

Series Id:           LNS14000000
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (Seas) Unemployment Rate
Labor force status:  Unemployment rate
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 4.0 4.1 4.0 3.8 4.0 4.0 4.0 4.1 3.9 3.9 3.9 3.9
2001 4.2 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.5 4.6 4.9 5.0 5.3 5.5 5.7
2002 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 5.8 5.8 5.8 5.7 5.7 5.7 5.9 6.0
2003 5.8 5.9 5.9 6.0 6.1 6.3 6.2 6.1 6.1 6.0 5.8 5.7
2004 5.7 5.6 5.8 5.6 5.6 5.6 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.4 5.4
2005 5.3 5.4 5.2 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 4.9 5.0 5.0 5.0 4.9
2006 4.7 4.8 4.7 4.7 4.6 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4
2007 4.6 4.5 4.4 4.5 4.4 4.6 4.7 4.6 4.7 4.7 4.7 5.0
2008 5.0 4.9 5.1 5.0 5.4 5.6 5.8 6.1 6.1 6.5 6.8 7.3
2009 7.8 8.3 8.7 9.0 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.8 10.0 9.9 9.9
2010 9.8 9.8 9.9 9.9 9.6 9.4 9.4 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.8 9.3
2011 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.1 9.0 9.0 9.0 8.8 8.6 8.5
2012 8.3 8.3 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.2 8.1 7.8 7.8 7.7 7.9
2013 8.0 7.7 7.5 7.6 7.5 7.5 7.3 7.3 7.2 7.2 6.9 6.7
2014 6.6 6.7 6.7 6.2 6.3 6.1 6.2 6.2 5.9 5.7 5.8 5.6
2015 5.7 5.5 5.4 5.4 5.5 5.3 5.2 5.1 5.0 5.0 5.0 5.0
2016 4.9 4.9 5.0 5.0 4.7 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.9 4.8 4.6 4.7
2017 4.8 4.7 4.5 4.4 4.3 4.4 4.3 4.4 4.2 4.1 4.1  U-3

U-6 Unemployment Rate

8.0%

 

Series Id:           LNS13327709
Seasonally Adjusted
Series title:        (seas) Total unemployed, plus all marginally attached workers plus total employed part time for economic reasons, as a percent of all civilian labor force plus all marginally attached workers
Labor force status:  Aggregated totals unemployed
Type of data:        Percent or rate
Age:                 16 years and over
Percent/rates:       Unemployed and mrg attached and pt for econ reas as percent of labor force plus marg attached

Download:
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Annual
2000 7.1 7.2 7.1 6.9 7.1 7.0 7.0 7.1 7.0 6.8 7.1 6.9
2001 7.3 7.4 7.3 7.4 7.5 7.9 7.8 8.1 8.7 9.3 9.4 9.6
2002 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.7 9.5 9.5 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.6 9.7 9.8
2003 10.0 10.2 10.0 10.2 10.1 10.3 10.3 10.1 10.4 10.2 10.0 9.8
2004 9.9 9.7 10.0 9.6 9.6 9.5 9.5 9.4 9.4 9.7 9.4 9.2
2005 9.3 9.3 9.1 8.9 8.9 9.0 8.8 8.9 9.0 8.7 8.7 8.6
2006 8.4 8.4 8.2 8.1 8.2 8.4 8.5 8.4 8.0 8.2 8.1 7.9
2007 8.4 8.2 8.0 8.2 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.4 8.8
2008 9.2 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.7 10.1 10.5 10.8 11.0 11.8 12.6 13.6
2009 14.2 15.2 15.8 15.9 16.5 16.5 16.4 16.7 16.7 17.1 17.1 17.1
2010 16.7 17.0 17.1 17.1 16.6 16.4 16.4 16.5 16.8 16.6 16.9 16.6
2011 16.2 16.0 15.9 16.1 15.8 16.1 15.9 16.1 16.4 15.8 15.5 15.2
2012 15.2 15.0 14.5 14.6 14.7 14.8 14.8 14.6 14.8 14.4 14.4 14.4
2013 14.5 14.4 13.8 14.0 13.8 14.2 13.8 13.6 13.7 13.6 13.1 13.1
2014 12.7 12.6 12.6 12.3 12.1 12.0 12.2 12.0 11.8 11.5 11.4 11.2
2015 11.3 11.0 10.9 10.8 10.7 10.5 10.3 10.2 10.0 9.8 9.9 9.9
2016 9.9 9.8 9.8 9.7 9.7 9.6 9.7 9.7 9.7 9.5 9.3 9.2
2017 9.4 9.2 8.9 8.6 8.4 8.6 8.6 8.6 8.3 7.9 8.0

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this release is embargoed until                  USDL-17-1616
8:30 a.m. (EST) Friday, December 8, 2017

Technical information:
 Household data:       (202) 691-6378  *  cpsinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/cps
 Establishment data:   (202) 691-6555  *  cesinfo@bls.gov  *  www.bls.gov/ces

Media contact:         (202) 691-5902  *  PressOffice@bls.gov


                         THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- NOVEMBER 2017


Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 228,000 in November, and the unemployment 
rate was unchanged at 4.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. 
Employment continued to trend up in professional and business services, manufacturing, 
and health care.

Household Survey Data

The unemployment rate held at 4.1 percent in November, and the number of unemployed 
persons was essentially unchanged at 6.6 million. Over the year, the unemployment rate 
and the number of unemployed persons were down by 0.5 percentage point and 799,000, 
respectively. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rate for teenagers increased to 15.9 
percent in November. The jobless rates for adult men (3.7 percent), adult women (3.7 
percent), Whites (3.6 percent), Blacks (7.3 percent), Asians (3.0 percent), and Hispanics 
(4.7 percent) showed little change. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was essentially 
unchanged at 1.6 million in November and accounted for 23.8 percent of the unemployed. 
Over the year, the number of long-term unemployed was down by 275,000. (See table A-12.)

The labor force participation rate remained at 62.7 percent in November and has shown no 
clear trend over the past 12 months. The employment-population ratio, at 60.1 percent, 
changed little in November and has shown little movement, on net, since early this year. 
(See table A-1.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as 
involuntary part-time workers), at 4.8 million, was essentially unchanged in November but 
was down by 858,000 over the year. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time 
employment, were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they 
were unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)

In November, 1.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, down by 
451,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals 
were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job 
sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not 
searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.)

Among the marginally attached, there were 469,000 discouraged workers in November, down by 
122,000 from a year earlier. (The data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers 
are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for 
them. The remaining 1.0 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in November 
had not searched for work for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. 
(See table A-16.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 228,000 in November. Employment continued to 
trend up in professional and business services, manufacturing, and health care. Employment 
growth has averaged 174,000 per month thus far this year, compared with an average monthly 
gain of 187,000 in 2016. (See table B-1.)

Employment in professional and business services continued on an upward trend in November 
(+46,000). Over the past 12 months, the industry has added 548,000 jobs. 

In November, manufacturing added 31,000 jobs. Within the industry, employment rose in 
machinery (+8,000), fabricated metal products (+7,000), computer and electronic products 
(+4,000), and plastics and rubber products (+4,000). Since a recent low in November 2016, 
manufacturing employment has increased by 189,000.

Health care added 30,000 jobs in November. Most of the gain occurred in ambulatory health 
care services (+25,000), which includes offices of physicians and outpatient care centers. 
Monthly employment growth in health care has averaged 24,000 thus far in 2017, compared 
with an average increase of 32,000 per month in 2016. 

Within construction, employment among specialty trade contractors increased by 23,000 in 
November and by 132,000 over the year.  

Employment in other major industries, including mining, wholesale trade, retail trade, 
transportation and warehousing, information, financial activities, leisure and hospitality, 
and government, changed little over the month. 

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls increased by 0.1 hour 
to 34.5 hours in November. In manufacturing, the workweek was unchanged at 40.9 hours, and 
overtime remained at 3.5 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory 
employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.7 hours. (See tables B-2 and 
B-7.)

In November, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose 
by 5 cents to $26.55. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 64 cents, or 
2.5 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory 
employees rose by 5 cents to $22.24 in November. (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for September was revised up from +18,000 
to +38,000, and the change for October was revised down from +261,000 to +244,000. With 
these revisions, employment gains in September and October combined were 3,000 more than 
previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports received from 
businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from the 
recalculation of seasonal factors.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 170,000 over 
the last 3 months. 

_____________
The Employment Situation for December is scheduled to be released on Friday, January 5, 
2018, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).


    ______________________________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                                      |
   |               Revision of Seasonally Adjusted Household Survey Data                  |
   |                                                                                      |
   | In accordance with usual practice, The Employment Situation news release for December|
   | 2017, scheduled for January 5, 2018, will incorporate annual revisions in seasonally |
   | adjusted household survey data. Seasonally adjusted data for the most recent 5       |
   | years are subject to revision.                                                       |
   |______________________________________________________________________________________|


    ______________________________________________________________________________________
   |                                                                                      |
   |        Conversion to the 2017 North American Industry Classification System          |
   |                                                                                      |
   | With the release of January 2018 data on February 2, 2018, the establishment survey  |
   | will revise the basis for industry classification from the 2012 North American       |
   | Industry Classification System (NAICS) to 2017 NAICS. The conversion to 2017 NAICS   |
   | will result in minor revisions reflecting content changes within the mining and      |
   | logging, retail trade, information, financial activities, and professional and       |
   | business services sectors. Additionally, some smaller industries will be combined    |
   | within the mining and logging, durable goods manufacturing, retail trade, and        |
   | information sectors. Several industry titles and descriptions also will be updated.  |
   |                                                                                      |
   | Approximately 4 percent of employment will be reclassified into different industries |
   | as a result of the revision. Details of new, discontinued, and combined industries   |
   | due to the 2017 NAICS update, as well as changes due to the annual benchmarking      |
   | process, will be available on January 5, 2018.                                       |
   |                                                                                      |
   | For more information on the 2017 NAICS update, visit www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/.  |
   |______________________________________________________________________________________|



 

https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.nr0.htm

Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
[Numbers in thousands]
Category Nov.
2016
Sept.
2017
Oct.
2017
Nov.
2017
Change from:
Oct.
2017-
Nov.
2017

Employment status

Civilian noninstitutional population

254,540 255,562 255,766 255,949 183

Civilian labor force

159,456 161,146 160,381 160,529 148

Participation rate

62.6 63.1 62.7 62.7 0.0

Employed

152,048 154,345 153,861 153,918 57

Employment-population ratio

59.7 60.4 60.2 60.1 -0.1

Unemployed

7,409 6,801 6,520 6,610 90

Unemployment rate

4.6 4.2 4.1 4.1 0.0

Not in labor force

95,084 94,417 95,385 95,420 35

Unemployment rates

Total, 16 years and over

4.6 4.2 4.1 4.1 0.0

Adult men (20 years and over)

4.3 3.9 3.8 3.7 -0.1

Adult women (20 years and over)

4.2 3.9 3.6 3.7 0.1

Teenagers (16 to 19 years)

15.2 12.9 13.7 15.9 2.2

White

4.2 3.7 3.5 3.6 0.1

Black or African American

8.0 7.0 7.5 7.3 -0.2

Asian

3.0 3.7 3.1 3.0 -0.1

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

5.7 5.1 4.8 4.7 -0.1

Total, 25 years and over

3.9 3.5 3.3 3.3 0.0

Less than a high school diploma

7.9 6.5 5.7 5.2 -0.5

High school graduates, no college

4.9 4.3 4.3 4.3 0.0

Some college or associate degree

3.9 3.6 3.7 3.6 -0.1

Bachelor’s degree and higher

2.3 2.3 2.0 2.1 0.1

Reason for unemployment

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

3,542 3,359 3,227 3,159 -68

Job leavers

934 738 742 751 9

Reentrants

2,266 2,079 2,006 2,029 23

New entrants

728 669 629 691 62

Duration of unemployment

Less than 5 weeks

2,415 2,226 2,129 2,250 121

5 to 14 weeks

2,133 1,874 1,942 1,878 -64

15 to 26 weeks

1,073 963 853 927 74

27 weeks and over

1,856 1,733 1,621 1,581 -40

Employed persons at work part time

Part time for economic reasons

5,659 5,122 4,753 4,801 48

Slack work or business conditions

3,485 3,121 2,952 2,983 31

Could only find part-time work

1,902 1,733 1,629 1,559 -70

Part time for noneconomic reasons

21,059 21,011 20,923 21,018 95

Persons not in the labor force (not seasonally adjusted)

Marginally attached to the labor force

1,932 1,569 1,535 1,481

Discouraged workers

591 421 524 469

– Over-the-month changes are not displayed for not seasonally adjusted data.
NOTE: Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race. Detail for the seasonally adjusted data shown in this table will not necessarily add to totals because of the independent seasonal adjustment of the various series. Updated population controls are introduced annually with the release of January data.

Employment Situation Summary Table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted

ESTABLISHMENT DATA
Summary table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
Category Nov.
2016
Sept.
2017
Oct.
2017(P)
Nov.
2017(P)

EMPLOYMENT BY SELECTED INDUSTRY
(Over-the-month change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

164 38 244 228

Total private

178 50 247 221

Goods-producing

35 26 34 62

Mining and logging

7 4 1 7

Construction

28 13 10 24

Manufacturing

0 9 23 31

Durable goods(1)

3 6 13 27

Motor vehicles and parts

1.4 -3.1 -0.8 1.7

Nondurable goods

-3 3 10 4

Private service-providing

143 24 213 159

Wholesale trade

5.6 7.3 8.0 3.4

Retail trade

-12.9 11.7 -2.2 18.7

Transportation and warehousing

21.8 18.3 7.6 10.5

Utilities

0.3 0.6 0.1 -0.2

Information

-12 -5 -8 -4

Financial activities

12 12 7 8

Professional and business services(1)

46 30 54 46

Temporary help services

25.5 10.1 17.9 18.3

Education and health services(1)

31 23 24 54

Health care and social assistance

28.2 8.3 34.6 40.5

Leisure and hospitality

44 -75 104 14

Other services

7 1 18 9

Government

-14 -12 -3 7

(3-month average change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

179 128 163 170

Total private

178 122 160 173

WOMEN AND PRODUCTION AND NONSUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES
AS A PERCENT OF ALL EMPLOYEES(2)

Total nonfarm women employees

49.6 49.5 49.5 49.5

Total private women employees

48.2 48.1 48.1 48.1

Total private production and nonsupervisory employees

82.3 82.4 82.4 82.4

HOURS AND EARNINGS
ALL EMPLOYEES

Total private

Average weekly hours

34.3 34.4 34.4 34.5

Average hourly earnings

$25.91 $26.53 $26.50 $26.55

Average weekly earnings

$888.71 $912.63 $911.60 $915.98

Index of aggregate weekly hours (2007=100)(3)

105.8 107.4 107.7 108.2

Over-the-month percent change

-0.1 0.0 0.3 0.5

Index of aggregate weekly payrolls (2007=100)(4)

131.0 136.3 136.4 137.3

Over-the-month percent change

-0.2 0.5 0.1 0.7

DIFFUSION INDEX
(Over 1-month span)(5)

Total private (261 industries)

51.5 60.9 65.1 63.0

Manufacturing (78 industries)

48.7 59.0 62.2 59.0

Footnotes
(1) Includes other industries, not shown separately.
(2) Data relate to production employees in mining and logging and manufacturing, construction employees in construction, and nonsupervisory employees in the service-providing industries.
(3) The indexes of aggregate weekly hours are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate hours by the corresponding annual average aggregate hours.
(4) The indexes of aggregate weekly payrolls are calculated by dividing the current month’s estimates of aggregate weekly payrolls by the corresponding annual average aggregate weekly payrolls.
(5) Figures are the percent of industries with employment increasing plus one-half of the industries with unchanged employment, where 50 percent indicates an equal balance between industries with increasing and decreasing employment.
(P) Preliminary

NOTE: Data have been revised to reflect March 2016 benchmark levels and updated seasonal adjustment factors.

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Precision sacrificed for speed as GOP rushes ahead on taxes

5 tax issues Republicans need to resolve in conference

Now that the Senate and the House have passed two tax bills, there are some crucial differences they need to resolve in conference.

 December 10 at 6:42 PM
Republicans are moving their tax plan toward final passage at stunning speed, blowing past Democrats before they’ve had time to fully mobilize against it but leaving the measure vulnerable to the types of expensive problems popping up in their massive and complex plan.Questionable special-interest provisions have been stuffed in along the way, out of public view and in some cases literally in the dead of night. Drafting errors by exhausted staff are cropping up and need fixes, which must be tackled by congressional negotiators working to reconcile competing versions of the legislation passed separately by the House and the Senate.And the melding process underway has opened the door to another frenzy of 11th-hour lobbying as special interests, including President Trump’s rich friends, make one last dash for cash before the final bill speeds through both chambers of Congress and onto Trump’s desk. Passage is expected the week before Christmas.

Veterans of congressional tax overhauls, particularly the seminal revamp under President Ronald Reagan in 1986, have been stunned and in some cases outraged at how swiftly Republicans are moving on legislation that touches every corner of the economy and all Americans. And although GOP leaders make no apologies, some in their rank and file say that the process would have benefited from a more deliberate and open approach.

“I think it would have looked better if we had taken more time and had more transparency, had more open committee hearings,” said freshman Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.).

“Having said that, the goal that everybody had was to reduce the tax rates. . . . So at the end of the day the goal is going to be achieved, but we could have done it in a more transparent manner that probably would have given the voters that are being polled a little more confidence,” Comer said, referring to the effort’s poor showing in opinion surveys.

It has been a little more than a month since the $1.5 trillion legislation was introduced in the House, and in that short time it has cleared the two key committees in the House and Senate and won approval on the floors of both chambers, all without a single Democratic vote. If Trump signs the bill as planned before Christmas, that would mean a journey of less than two months between introduction and final passage.

The specific legislation that probably will become law, sold as a middle-class tax cut but featuring a massive corporate rate reduction at its center, is moving from release toward passage without any hearings, unusual for a bill of such magnitude. And as it tumbled along it picked up some startling new features, to the surprise of affected industries, Democrats and in some cases Republicans themselves.

Some of the most notable changes came in the hours before the Senate’s passage of its version of the plan, which happened about 1:50 a.m. Dec. 2.

The final vote was preceded by hours of inaction as Republicans fine-tuned their legislation behind closed doors, while fuming Democratic staffers ate Chinese food and pored over versions of the bill and lists of amendments that had been leaked by lobbyists on K Street before Republicans had made anything public.

As they got additional drafts of the bill, Democrats were incensed at some of what they found, including new breaks for the oil and gas industry, and a provision that appeared aimed specifically at helping Hillsdale College, a small liberal arts college in Michigan that doesn’t accept federal funding and has a large endowment funded by wealthy conservatives — including the family of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

An angry Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) stood on his chamber’s floor to declare that “the federal treasury is being looted.” In their one victory of the debate, Democrats offered an amendment to strike the Hillsdale provision, and with the help of four Republicans it passed.

Democrats weren’t the only ones surprised by what was in the bill. Republicans and the business community were stunned when the final Senate version restored the alternative minimum tax for corporations. The tax, aimed at keeping companies from shirking their tax duties entirely, had been repealed in the House bill and earlier versions of the Senate measure.

Restoring the corporate alternative minimum tax created $40 billion in revenue for the bill, which helped Republicans come in under complex budgetary guidelines saying the legislation can’t go over the $1.5 trillion the GOP has agreed to add to the deficit over the next decade. Still, some Republicans professed not to know how the change had come about.

And under the new tax code the GOP bill would create, including the alternative minimum tax could have the unintended consequence of preventing companies from using other deductions, including the popular research and development tax credit.

“I’m guessing they just needed something quick to make the bill work,” said Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who is one of the conferees charged with blending the two bills together.

Now, as quickly as it reappeared, the corporate alternative minimum tax probably will disappear again. Republican lawmakers widely agree that it doesn’t work and can’t be included, but it remains a mystery where they’ll find revenue to offset that change and pay for others they’re looking to include in the final package.

There has been discussion of moving the corporate rate — slashed from 35 percent to 20 percent by the House and Senate — back up to 22 percent, but the backlash against that proposal has been intense and it probably will be dropped. But revenue must be found somewhere because there are some changes that look nearly certain, including adjusting the new limit on deducting state and local taxes. Both the House and Senate legislation would allow taxpayers to deduct only up to $10,000 in property taxes. Some of Trump’s New York friends have taken exception to that provision and have lobbied the president personally against it.

It’s all part of a breakneck pace of the tax plan that contrasts with the nearly a year-and-a-half that passed between when Reagan unveiled his initial version of the 1986 tax plan and its ultimate passage into law. The less far-ranging tax cuts that President George W. Bush signed in 2001 took four months to become law after the release of Bush’s initial blueprint. And the Affordable Care Act took nearly a year to complete, including a congressional summer recess featuring angry town hall meetings that turned public sentiment sharply against the bill.

Democrats accuse Republicans of whisking the legislation along to avoid extended public scrutiny and prevent them from mounting an offensive at public hearings or over lengthy congressional breaks. The GOP bills have endured neither.

“It’s clear that we could have defeated this bill had we gone through regular order and had any expert witness from any blue state or high-tax state come in,” said Rep. John B. Larson (Conn.), who was a member of Democratic leadership during the much lengthier and more open process of passing the ACA. The provision limiting taxpayers’ ability to deduct state and local taxes hits high-tax areas such as California, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut particularly hard.

“People would have said, ‘Well, wait a minute,’ ” Larson said.

Republican congressional leaders dispute such comparisons, saying that the process on taxes has been going on for years, given that the party has long been debating the idea and an early foundational bill was released by then-Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), former chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, nearly four years ago. House Republicans, led by Speaker Paul D. Ryan (Wis.), also campaigned last year on an agenda called “A Better Way,” which featured a tax plank similar in many respects to the bill the House ultimately passed, although it drew scant attention at the time.

“These are relatively small bills, 400 pages or so; they’re not hard to digest. The policy decisions, the thoughtfulness, a lot of these issues we’ve been debating together and apart for years,” said House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Tex.). “Bottom line is the American people have been waiting 30 years. So to paraphrase a hardware store: less talking, more doing.”

Even before the late-night Senate dramatics, the process offered surprises and sudden twists.

A provision repealing an Affordable Care Act requirement for most Americans to carry insurance or pay fines was added to the Senate bill with little warning over the course of an afternoon, a major health policy decision that is projected to leave 13 million more Americans uninsured in a decade but that would give Republicans $330 billion to pay for other things they want to do.

And the release of the House bill stunned manufacturers when they discovered it contained an “excise tax” on purchases from American companies’ foreign subsidiaries that some said could drive them out of business. The provision was watered down before passage by the Ways and Means Committee, but companies are still fighting to keep it out of the final bill, said Nancy McLernon, president of the Organization for International Investment, which represents global companies with U.S. operations. Despite the years-long focus on tax overhaul, such a provision had not been debated — even after companies beat back a different import tax, she said.

The Senate has a different provision that companies like better, but as far as the cost of going from one to the other or how it will all shake out, “It’s all a Rubik’s cube,” McLernon said.

Many lobbyists, Democrats and other observers expect to find the final version of the plan, which could be filed late this week, just as full of surprises as the various iterations that have appeared. But as they gun for a legislative win that has eluded them this year, Republicans show little interest in slowing down to take a closer look.

“The frenzy, and I would call it a frenzy, to get it done and have a Christmas present for America — number one, I think it’s unnecessary; it’s a self-imposed deadline, and number two, it makes the possibility for error much greater,” said Steve Bell, a senior adviser at the Bipartisan Policy Center who was staff director of the Senate Budget Committee during the 1986 tax effort. “This is a rush without a reason other than the political desire for a Rose Garden signing ceremony.”

Mike DeBonis contributed to this report.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/precision-sacrificed-for-speed-as-gop-rushes-ahead-on-taxes/2017/12/10/876ab274-dc62-11e7-b1a8-62589434a581_story.html?utm_term=.167e53dc0cba

 

The Taxman Cometh: Senate Bill’s Marginal Rates Could Top 100% for Some

Certain high-income business owners would face backwards incentives; lawmakers work to bridge gap

House and Senate Republicans are trying to reconcile their tax bills to get rid of the most contentious proposals.
House and Senate Republicans are trying to reconcile their tax bills to get rid of the most contentious proposals. PHOTO: DANIEL ACKER/BLOOMBERG NEWS

WASHINGTON—Some high-income business owners could face marginal tax rates exceeding 100% under the Senate’s tax bill, far beyond the listed rates in the Republican plan.

That means a business owner’s next $100 in earnings, under certain circumstances, would require paying more than $100 in additional federal and state taxes.

As lawmakers rush to write the final tax bill over the next week, they already are looking at changes to prevent this from happening. Broadly, House and Senate Republicans are trying to reconcile their bills, looking for ways to pay for eliminating the most contentious proposals. The formal House-Senate conference committee will meet on Wednesday, and GOP lawmakers may unveil an agreement by week’s end.

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The possible marginal tax rate of more than 100% results from the combination of tax policies designed to provide benefits to businesses and families but then deny them to the richest people. As income climbs and those breaks phase out, each dollar of income faces regular tax rates and a hidden marginal rate on top of that, in the form of vanishing tax breaks. That structure, if maintained in a final law, would create some of the disincentives to working and to earning business profit that Republicans have long complained about, while opening lucrative avenues for tax avoidance.

As a taxpayer’s income gets much higher and moves out of those phaseout ranges, the marginal tax rates would go down.

Consider, for example, a married, self-employed New Jersey lawyer with three children and earnings of about $615,000. Getting $100 more in business income would force the lawyer to pay $105.45 in federal and state taxes, according to calculations by the conservative-leaning Tax Foundation. That is more than double the marginal tax rate that household faces today.

If the New Jersey lawyer’s stay-at-home spouse wanted a job, the first $100 of the spouse’s wages would require $107.79 in taxes. And the tax rates for similarly situated residents of California and New York City would be even higher, the Tax Foundation found. Analyses by the Tax Policy Center, which is run by a former Obama administration official, find similar results, with federal marginal rates as high as 85%, and those don’t include items such as state taxes, self-employment taxes or the phase-out of child tax credits.

The bill as written would provide incentives for business owners to shift profit across calendar years, move personal expenses inside the business and engage in other economically unproductive maneuvers, said David Gamage, a tax-law professor at Indiana University.

“I would expect a huge tax-gaming response once people fully understand how it works,” said Mr. Gamage, a former Treasury Department official, who said business owners have an easier time engaging in such tax avoidance than salaried employees do. “The payoff for gaming is huge, within the set of people who both face these rates and have flexible enough business structures.”

The analyses “raise a valid concern” that lawmakers are examining, said Julia Lawless, a spokeswoman for the Senate Finance Committee.

“With any major reform, there will always be unusual hypotheticals delivering anomalous results,” she said. “The goal of Congress’s tax overhaul has been to lower taxes on the American people and by and large, according to a variety of analyses, we’re achieving that.”

Marginal tax rates are different from average tax rates. A marginal rate is the tax on the edge, or margin, of one’s earnings, and so it reflects what would be the next dollar of income. The average rate is a way of measuring a taxpayer’s total burden.

The Republican bills are trying to reduce both marginal and average tax rates, and for many taxpayers, they do. The marginal tax rates above 100% affect a small slice of households with very particular circumstances. Similar, though smaller, effects occur throughout the tax system.

“This is a big concern,” said Scott Greenberg, a Tax Foundation analyst. “It would be unfortunate if Congress passed a tax bill that had the effect of making additional work and additional income not worthwhile for any subgroup of households.”

Here’s how that New Jersey lawyer’s marginal rate adds up to more than 100%:

The household is paying the 35% marginal tax rate on their income range. Or, they are paying the alternative minimum tax, which operates at the same marginal rate in that income range.

The household is paying New Jersey’s highest income-tax rate, which is 8.97%, and now has to pay all of that because the Republican tax plan wouldn’t let such state or local taxes be deducted from federal income.

The household is also losing a deduction the Senate created for so-called pass-through businesses such as partnerships and S corporations. That 23% deduction is fully available to owners of service businesses like law firms, but only if income is below $500,000 for a married couple.

The deduction then phases out over $100,000 in income, according to a complex formula, disappearing entirely once income reaches $624,000. Up to that point, each additional dollar of business income faces progressively steeper tax rates because the deduction and its benefit are shrinking rapidly as income goes up.

The provisions also interact with each other in ways that drive up marginal rates. “The central problem here is that there is a large benefit phasing out over a short range,” Mr. Greenberg said.

The Republican bill doubles the child tax credit to $2,000 but phases it out beginning at $500,000 income for joint filers. The credit shrinks by $50 for every $1,000 in income above that, so a married couple with three children faces a higher marginal tax rate when they’re in that phase-out range.

The analysis assumes that the New Jersey lawyer is paying a 3.8% tax on self-employment income.

Pushing marginal rates lower on these households wouldn’t be easy and would require tradeoffs. Republicans could make the phaseout of the business deduction more gentle, spreading it over, say, $200,000, as opposed to $100,000, of income above $500,000. But that would make the tax cuts bigger, and Republicans are already looking for money to offset other changes they are planning.

They could lower the threshold for the child tax credit, but that would reduce tax cuts for households below $500,000.

Under current law, there are some high marginal tax rates for some lower-income households. Some families just above the poverty line can see their earned income tax credits and food stamps going down as their federal and state taxes go up. That combination can create marginal tax rates of around 75%, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Appeared in the December 11, 2017, print edition as ‘Taxman Cometh: Marginal Rates Could Top 100% for Some.’

https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-taxman-cometh-senate-bills-marginal-rates-could-top-100-for-some-1512942118

Tax Reform Under History’s Light


Senior Vice President, Economic Policy Division, and Chief Economist

Former Democratic Senator John Breaux

Former Democratic Senator John Breaux.

[This is part of an ongoing series entitled “The Case for Tax Reform,” which examines the importance of reforming the outdated tax code, and how achieving that goal will advance economic growth, jobs, and prosperity.]

Tax reform’s chances are better in this Congress than at any time in the past 30 years. Thus, comparisons come naturally to the events leading up to the 1986 Tax Reform Act (TRA86). These comparisons are useful for the similarities and the differences, both of which provide insights as to how to assure success today.

One important similarity is TRA86 brought to conclusion a long and detailed debate about tax policy. Our current efforts also rest on a lengthy debate recently brought to the fore. An important difference, however, is TRA86 was enacted as a widely accepted “should do,” whereas tax reform in 2017 is much more of a “must do.”

‘86 tax reform in 30 seconds

TRA86 culminated as a complex debate starting about 10 years prior with the release of Treasury’s “Blueprints for Basic Tax Reform” in the waning hours of the Ford administration. Treasury’s “Blueprints” laid out a coherent approach to tax policy, emphasizing simplification and a reduction in tax distortions that were sapping economic growth.

Two years later, in response to a poorly performing economy, Congress adopted the Steiger Amendment, significantly cutting the capital gains tax rate as part of the 1978 Revenue Act. While often ignored, the Steiger Amendment marked the bi-partisan recognition of tax policy’s importance for economic growth. Pro-growth tax reform was not just for tax geeks anymore.

Federal tax policy debate took on new energy in 1981 with the passage of the landmark Reagan tax cuts, dominated by substantial rate reduction. Following legislation in 1982 and 1984 to readjust tax levels, the stage was set for fundamental tax reform.

A bipartisan consensus regarding sound tax policy evolved through the years leading up to TRA86. This consensus distilled down to the simple mantra of “lower the rates, broaden the base.”  Like the 1981 legislation, TRA86 would reduce tax rates substantially and install a less punitive system of capital consumption allowances. Unlike the 1981 legislation, however, the focus would also be on simplification, on the wide range of areas of the tax code reformed, and especially on revenue neutrality.

This consensus first took concrete form in two highly-detailed proposals out the Reagan Treasury Department, commonly dubbed Treasury I and its improved version, Treasury II, and released in 1984 and 1985 respectively. With these reports laying the groundwork, Congress then took over a year to legislate, finally producing TRA86.

The years between

TRA86 was the product of an extended period of consensus building and analysis. For those new to the debate, today’s strong momentum for comprehensive, pro-growth tax reform may seem to have arisen out of thin air, but, in fact, this debate has ebbed and flowed almost without pause since 1986.

The appetite for tax reform did not die following TRA86, and so consideration naturally moved on to the “next big thing.” For a period, the big thing seemed to be some kind of European-style Value Added Tax (VAT). The VAT momentum quickly petered out, however, and soon revenue pressures shifted the focus of tax policy once again to raising income tax rates, often with distinct “soak-the-rich” overtones. The VAT episode set tax reform’s pattern of ebb and flow for the following years.

Even as the debate toward TRA86 was underway, a very different approach to tax policy appeared in the Hall-Rabushka Flat Tax. Though the Flat Tax is best known for having a single rate of tax, hence the name, what really distinguishes the Flat Tax is its simplification, the elimination of all taxes on capital income and capital gains, and the adoption of a cash-flow tax on businesses centered on allowing capital purchases to be “expensed,” or deducted immediately.

In the 1990s, as the Flat Tax gained greater acceptance, tax reform topped the national agenda with Steve Forbes leading the charge. But this effort soon deflated along with Forbes’ 1996 presidential campaign.

Tax reform again gained traction briefly after the 2004 election with the release of the superb report of the presidential commission led by former Democratic Senator John Breaux and former Republican Senator Connie Mack. However, this effort, too, led to naught, a victim of competing priorities and a lack of consensus.

Income tax reform was pushed far onto the back burners during President Barack Obama’s tenure. Despite a historically weak economic recovery, the Obama administration expressed little interest in proposals to reduce the tax code’s drag on growth. The Obama administration contented itself with modest tweaks at the edges and otherwise dedicated its efforts to defending the status quo, especially in the area of international tax where global pressures were felt most profoundly.

Tax reform today

Even as years of inaction passed, pressure to reform the federal income tax code rose steadily from all sides. In part, this pressure arose because the U.S. economy was changing rapidly, and the tax code became an ever-worse fit for a modern economy.

In part, the pressure arose because even as America stood pat, America’s major trading partners did not. They were cutting business tax rates steadily and almost all were moving toward a territorial tax system to allow their businesses to compete more effectively in a global business climate of increasing intensity.

Though on the back burner, tax reform continued to simmer in backchannels. Then-House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) advanced a series of thoughtful tax reform proposals as part of his broader efforts to reform Federal tax policy. Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) offered his variation on tax reform, differing from but along the same broad lines as the Ryan proposal. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) also introduced a major, comprehensive tax reform proposal with his own interpretations, and then released subsequent iterations as comments and critiques soon followed. In these years, though President Obama continued to block tax reform’s path, the debate remained alive and well.

In 2014, former Ways and Means Committee Chairman David Camp (R-MI) introduced a detailed tax reform proposal. As tax reform would originate in this committee, Camp’s proposal took on greater significance than most. The Camp proposal was intended to serve as a prototype for tax legislation and so offered much more detail and, in some cases, specific options for resolving some of the nagging technical issues in adopting a territorial tax system, for example. However, in the face of President Obama’s determined disinterest, few were willing to contemplate seriously the hard choices the Camp plan laid out and so, again, tax reform was left to simmer on the back burner.

Tax reform played a limited role in the 2016 presidential campaign, with the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, largely continuing the defense of the status quo established by President Obama. Meanwhile, the Republican nominee, Donald Trump, suggested a bold change of direction; though, he accompanied it by very few details. Trump’s election, combined with the strong Republican interest in tax reform, quickly moved the issue to the front burner.

The focus on growth

Tax reform today, like its 1986 predecessor, has a long history of debate, evolution, and refinement. TRA86 and the current effort also share an intense focus on improving economic growth, but with one important difference: TRA86 largely responded to a sense borne of the previous, deep recession that the economy needed to be both stronger and more resilient, and that sound tax policy could help. Tax reform was seen as something Congress and the president could and should accomplish.

Tax reform today shares a similar motivation, but with far greater urgency. Just as no business can compete for long if its cost structure substantially exceeds those of its competitors, American businesses cannot continue to compete effectively at home or abroad facing high tax rates, an inadequate capital cost recovery system, and an international tax system long abandoned by competing companies.

American companies are managing to compete successfully today but with ever greater difficulty under the federal tax system. Failure to reform the tax system would not result overnight in significant decline in Americans’ long-run economic prospects. But it would most assuredly do so over the next few years as both financial and human capital is driven overseas.

Tax reform is one task Congress and the president simply have to get right if America is to prosper.

https://www.uschamber.com/above-the-fold/tax-reform-under-history-s-light

What History Teaches Us About Tax Reform


Senior Vice President, Economic Policy Division, and Chief Economist
023275_taxreform_atf_08_22_reagan_getty471341025.jpg

[This is part of an ongoing series entitled “The Case for Tax Reform,” which examines the importance of reforming the outdated tax code, and how achieving that goal will advance economic growth, jobs, and prosperity.]

An underperforming economy and mounting international competition have propelled tax reform from topic of discussion to front-burner issue. There is no change in federal policy that offers greater potential to strengthen employment and increase wages for American workers than sound, comprehensive tax reform.

Reviewing and respecting the lessons from the last major tax reform over thirty years ago illuminates the road ahead, and provides lessons for how to raise our odds of success. Time provides a dimension worth exploring for similarities and contrasts between 1986 and today. Specifically, the time leading up to the effort, and the time needed for Congress to act.

The Historical On Ramp to Tax Reform

President John F. Kennedy understood the dampening economic effects of high tax rates. Though he died before seeing his program enacted, his successor, President Lyndon B. Johnson pushed the program through Congress and thus the 1964 tax bill is commonly referred to as the “Kennedy tax cuts.” The 1964 bill centered on significant tax rate reductions to achieve a substantially stronger economy.

Thereafter, budget pressures from the Vietnam War and Great Society programs reoriented tax policy once again toward ever-higher tax rates accompanied by a steady accretion of deductions and credits to blunt the effects of higher rates on politically favored constituencies. This process continued unabated into President Jimmy Carter’s administration and not surprisingly coinciding with a languishing economy.

Even as tax rates climbed and new distortions filled the tax code, a countermovement arose. In the final moments of the Ford Administration, Secretary William E. Simon released a landmark Treasury report directed by one of the era’s great economists, David Bradford, called “Blueprints for Basic Tax Reform,” guiding concepts of sound tax policy for years to come.

As the economy struggled and President Carter stood by, Congress took the initiative. With strong, bipartisan support over Carter’s objections, Congress substantially cut the capital gains tax rate as part of the 1978 Revenue Act, marking the first step in a change in tax philosophy culminating in the 1986 Tax Reform Act (TRA86).

Senator Bill Roth (R-DE) and Congressman Jack Kemp (R-NY) then picked up tax reform’s guidon, leading the charge for lower tax rates. At the same time, a second dimension in tax policy gained steam – the need for a less punitive capital cost recovery system. This debate was led largely outside Congress by the likes of Charls Walker and Ernie Christian, former Ford Administration Treasury hands, and Norman B. Ture, later Treasury undersecretary under Ronald Reagan.

Spurred by a recession wrought by a disinflationary monetary policy, the tax debate quickly came to a head in the 1981 “Reagan tax cuts.” The 1981 bill cut tax rates and instituted a vastly superior capital cost recovery system among other reforms. In the process, the bill cut revenues far more than Reagan proposed.

Though the 1981 bill was championed by a Republican president, it enjoyed widespread Democratic support. Rep. Dan Rostenkowski (D-IL), Chairman of the House Committee on Ways and Means introduced and pushed the legislation to passage, joined by almost half the House Democrats and almost a third of Senate Democrats.

The magnitude of the 1981 tax cuts proved politically unsustainable and were quickly followed by a series of tax hikes reversing some of the 1981 revenue reductions. Having settled the issue of how much to tax, the stage was now set for the 1986 reform and deciding who and how to tax.

Building Toward the 1986 Tax Reform Act

At about this time a fundamentally different approach to tax policy appeared: the Hall-Rabushka Flat Tax. The Flat Tax’s popularity often associates with the simplicity of imposing a single tax rate. However, the real revolution it offered was not the single tax rate,but  what is subject to tax. Despite appearing as a traditional income tax, the Flat Tax was something quite new as it explicitly eliminated tax on investment income and imposed a simple cash flow tax on all businesses, thus adopting the principle of expensing, or allowing a full and immediate deduction for capital purchases.

The Flat Tax was too radical to gain wide acceptance in the early 1980s, but a vigorous bipartisan debate harkening back to Bradford’s 1976 “Blueprints” continued nonetheless. The 1981 tax cuts worked as intended to launch a powerful economic recovery, but memories of poor economic performance under Carter still lingered. A broad, bipartisan consensus championed faster economic growth by reforming the tax code to reduce the distortions to economic decision making it caused and the resulting misallocation of basic resources.

The basic strategy was to lower rates as in the 1981 Act, only further, and to implement a sound cost recovery system as in the 1981 Act. In contrast to 1981, however, the new strategy included a determined effort to “broaden the tax base” by eliminating distorting loopholes and tax credits, thereby intending the overall bill to be revenue neutral. .

The Treasury Department under Secretary Don Regan took the first big step in 1984 with the release of a densely packed 275 page proposal for comprehensive tax reform, dubbed “Treasury I”. While many aspects were well-received, as with most prototypes, Treasury I contained flaws, some of which Treasury addressed in 1985 with “Treasury II”.

Tax reform was off and running in Congress with the release of Treasury II, but the road  was by no means easy. Time and again Reagan had to give Congress another not-always-gentle push. The greatest peril demanding Reagan’s firm hand came when Senate Finance Committee Chairman Bob Packwood (R-OR) realized he couldn’t pass tax reform on the path it was on. Ironically, the man who had repeatedly saved tax reform, President Reagan, was also now tax reform’s biggest obstacle.

The Price for Overcoming the Greatest Hurdle

Reagan was forced into pushing for the most rate reduction possible. Initially he drew the line at 25 percent for individuals and he held firm for much of the debate. Like most policy, tax reform involves trade-offs and Packwood just couldn’t find enough obvious base broadeners he could economically or politically trade off to hit a 25 percent rate.

Something had to give. At first the rate crept up to 26 and then to 28 percent. But at 28 percent, Reagan would go no further.

As Reagan urged Packwood to press on, Packwood had to get creative. He took fairly innocuous existing individual and corporate minimum taxes and expanded them into full-fledged parallel tax systems; voila, massive back-door base broadening. Packwood’s new Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), while a superb example of terrible tax policy, had as its one redeeming feature: it raised enough money in a sufficiently confusing manner to hit the 28 percent rate without creating too many political problems, at least not for the duration of the debate. Three months later, the final bill passed the Senate.

Packwood’s AMT offers an important lesson for tax reform today. As important as low tax rates are for economic growth, policy makers and the public need to be honest about the tradeoffs involved. The broadest possible tax base capable of garnering sufficient political support can only raise so much revenue at a targeted tax rate. Demand an even lower tax rate and something (or someone) else will have to give and very likely pro-growth tax policy will suffer as a consequence.

Back to the Present

With respect to time, the current tax reform debate parallels that of 1986 closely. TRA86 concluded a lengthy, evolutionary process regarding accepted beliefs about sound, pro-growth tax policy. That process distilled to the lowest possible rates and applied to a simple, broad tax base, while allowing for a depreciation system for capital costs minimizing the anti-investment aspects of an income tax.

Tax reform today shares these traits, both with respect to the substance of reform – low rates, broad base, and today, expensing – and with respect to time. Like the 1986 episode, tax reform today reflects the product of many years of debate regarding the design of pro-growth tax policy, an evolution that began in 1986.

In one other critical respect regarding time, TRA86 and the current effort offer stark contrasts. Where the legislative starting gun on TRA86 went off in 1984 and the effort then proceeded for over two years, Congress in 2017 will have only a handful of months from introduction to tax reform’s final passage. This difference in time will have significant implications for how Congress defines “comprehensive” as they work toward pro-growth tax reform.

Read Part 2: Tax Reform Under History’s Light

https://www.uschamber.com/above-the-fold/what-history-teaches-us-about-tax-reform

 

Story 3: Defeating The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria By Bombing Them To Death — ISIS Free? — Videos

ISIS defeated in Iraq, officials say

Eric Shawn reports: ISIS defeated, but will it last?

Iraq celebrates ISIS defeat, US claims fight isn’t over

 

Total victory over ISIS in Syria

ISIS Breaking news: No Islamic State has been defeated- BBC news Nov 2017

Iraqi military take part in spectacular parade celebrating victory over ISIS

Report: ISIS militants moving to remote deserts

Ralph Peters on the fight against ISIS and Iran’s influence

Trump WH announces shift in strategy to defeat ISIS

ISIS Surrounded: Trump’s Plan to ‘Annihilate’ the Islamic Caliphate

This Iran-backed militia helped save Iraq from ISIS. Now Washington wants them to disband

Iraqi Christian on life after ISIS destroyed his church

Trump WH announces shift in strategy to defeat ISIS

Peters: Fall of ISIS in Iraq is imminent, but what’s next?

Tillerson: ISIS will be defeated

Trump, Mattis turn military loose on ISIS, leaving terror caliphate in tatters

Hundreds of ISIS fighters had just been chased out of a northern Syrian city and were fleeing through the desert in long convoys, presenting an easy target to U.S. A-10 “warthogs.”

But the orders to bomb the black-clad jihadists never came, and the terrorists melted into their caliphate — living to fight another day. The events came in August 2016, even as then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump was vowing on the campaign trail to let generals in his administration crush the organization that, under President Obama, had grown from the “jayvee team” to the world’s most feared terrorist organization.

OIR_CROFT

U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Andrew Croft said the Trump administration has put a strong leadership team in place  (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Tracy McKithern)

“I will…quickly and decisively bomb the hell out of ISIS,” Trump, who would name legendary Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis as secretary of defense, promised. “We will not have to listen to the politicians who are losing the war on terrorism.”

ISIS CURSED, MOCKED IN MOSUL, WHERE OLD CITY REMAINS A HAUNTED WASTELAND

Just over a year later, ISIS has been routed from Iraq and Syria with an ease and speed that’s surprised even the men and women who carried out the mission. Experts say it’s a prime example of a campaign promise kept. President Trump scrapped his predecessor’s rules of engagement, which critics say hamstrung the military, and let battlefield decisions be made by the generals in the theater, and not bureaucrats in Washington.

“I felt quite liberated because we had a clear mandate and there was no questioning that.”

– U.S. Marine Col. Seth Folsom

At its peak, ISIS held land in Iraq and Syria that equaled the size of West Virginia, ruled over as many as 8 million people, controlled oilfields and refineries, agriculture, smuggling routes and vast arsenals. It ran a brutal, oppressive government, even printing its own currency.

OIR_FOLSOM

Lt. Col. Seth Folsom credits the cooperation between Iraqi Security Forces and the U.S-led coalition for the military defeat of ISIS in Iraq.  (Courtesy U.S Army)

The terror organization now controls just 3 percent of Iraq and less than 5 percent of Syria. Its self-styled “caliph,” Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is believed to be injured and holed up somewhere along the lawless border of Syria and Iraq.

ISIS remains a danger, as members who once ruled cities and villages like a quasi-government now live secretly among civilian populations in the region, in Europe and possibly in the U.S. These cells will likely present a terrorist threat for years. In addition, the terrorist organization is attempting to regroup in places such as the Philippines, Libya and the Sinai Peninsula.

But the military’s job — to take back the land ISIS claimed as its caliphate and liberate cities like Mosul, in Iraq, and Raqqa, in Syria, as well as countless smaller cities and villages, is largely done. And it has taken less than a year.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis waits to greet Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz, upon his arrival at the Pentagon, Thursday, Sept. 21, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Mattis, a US Marine Corps general, said there would be no White House micromanaging on his watch  (Associated Press)

“The leadership team that is in place right now has certainly enabled us to succeed,” Brig. Gen. Andrew Croft, the ranking U.S. Air Force officer in Iraq, told Fox News. “I couldn’t ask for a better leadership team to work for, to enable the military to do what it does best.”

President Trump gave a free hand to Mattis, who in May stressed military commanders were no longer being slowed by Washington “decision cycles,” or by the White House micromanaging that existed President Obama. As a result of the new approach, the fall of ISIS in Iraq came even more swiftly than hardened U.S. military leaders expected.

“It moved more quickly than at least I had anticipated,” Croft said. “We and the Iraqi Security Forces were able to hunt down and target ISIS leadership, target their command and control.”

OIR_SOFGE1

U.S. Marine Corps Brig. Gen. Robert Sofge said the military now has a clear mandate  (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Cole Erickson)

IRAQI KURDS STILL LOVE US DESPITE ITS OPPOSITION TO KURDISH INDEPENDENCE, SAYS KURDISH LEADER

After the battle to liberate Mosul – ISIS’ Iraqi headquarters – was completed in July — the U.S.-led coalition retook Tel Afar in August, Hawija in early October and Rawa in Anbar province in November.

Marine Col. Seth Folsom, who oversaw fighting in Al Qaim near the Syrian border, agreed. He wasn’t expecting his part of the campaign against ISIS to get going until next spring and figured even then, it would then “take six months or more.”

Instead, ISIS was routed in Al Qaim in just a few days.

mosul

Mosul, and several other cities liberated by ISIS, were largely destroyed in the fighting.  (Fox News/Hollie McKay)

“We really had one mandate and that was enable the Iraqi Security Forces to defeat ISIS militarily here in Anbar. I feel that we have achieved that mission,” Folsom said. “I never felt constrained. In a lot of ways, I felt quite liberated because we had a clear mandate and there was no questioning that.”

Brig. Gen. Robert “G-Man” Sofge, the top U.S. Marine in Iraq, told Fox News his commanders have “enjoyed not having to deal with too many distractions and there was no question about what the mission here in Iraq was.”

OIR_

Iraqi Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool was skeptical of Trump at first, but says success on the ground has been swift  (Fox News/Hollie McKay )

“We were able to focus on what our job was without distraction and I think that goes a long way in what we are trying to accomplish here,” he said.

Sofge said criticism that loosening rules of engagement put civilians at risk is “absolutely not true.”

OIR_dillon

Col. Ryan Dillon. Combined Joint Task Force – Inherent Resolve Spokesman  (Photo by CJTFOIR)

“We used precision strikes, and completely in accordance with international standards,” he said. “We didn’t lower that standard, not one little bit. But we were able to exercise that precision capability without distraction and I think the results speak for themselves.”

The U.S.-led coalition said this week the Coalition Civilian Casualty Assessment Team has added 30 new staffers to travel throughout the region. It said military leaders continue to “hold themselves accountable for actions that may have caused unintentional injury or death to civilians.”

The coalition also said dozens of reports of civilian casualties have been determined to be “non-credible,” and just .35 percent of the almost 57,000 separate engagement carried out between August 2014 and October 2017 resulted in a credible report of a civilian casualty.

In addition to air support, the U.S.-led strategy also includes training and equipping Iraqi troops on the ground.

While the Trump administration’s success is often underplayed in the U.S. media, it is obvious on the ground in Iraq, according to a spokesman for Iraq’s Ministry of Defense, Yahya Rasool.

“I was not optimistic when Trump first came to the office,” Rasool said. “But after a while I started to see a new approach, the way the U.S. was dealing with arming and training. I saw how the coalition forces were all moving faster to help the Iraq side more than before. There seemed to be a lot of support, under Obama we did not get this.”

FILE - This file image made from video posted on a militant website July 5, 2014, purports to show the leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, delivering a sermon at a mosque in Iraq during his first public appearance. Islamic State group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appears to be still alive, a top U.S. military commander said Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, contradicting Russia’s claims that it probably killed the top counterterror target months ago.(Militant video via AP, File)

Al-Baghdadi, who once ruled a caliphate the size of California, is now inn hiding and likely badly injured

Despite the victories on the battlefield, U.S. officials cautioned much work remains to be done.

“ISIS is very adaptive,” noted Col. Ryan Dillon, the U.S.-led coalition spokesman. “We are already seeing smaller cells and pockets that take more of an insurgent guerrilla type approach as opposed to an Islamic army or conventional type force. So we have got to be prepared for that.”

He said as a result the coalition is “adjusting some training efforts” so the Iraqi forces — upwards of 150,000 have already undergone training — are equipped to address such threats and ensure long-term stability.

Folsom said “the worst thing we could do” is not finish the job.

“If a country becomes a failed state, if it becomes a lawless region, you begin to set the conditions for what happened in the years before 9/11,” he said. “In those ungoverned spaces where we don’t know what is going on, that is where those seeds of extremism begin to blossom.”

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1006, November 27, 2017, Story 1: Downsizing Big Government By Abolishing The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Reserve, Internal Revenue Service, Fannie May & Freddie Mac, and Departments of Agriculture, Education, Commerce, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, and Transportation For Starters — Neither Big Government Democratic or Republican Parties  Will Do This — Two Party Tyranny —  Time for New Political Party — Repeal Dodd-Frank Law — Videos — Story 2: Competition Lowers Prices and Provides Greater Choice and Quality — Net Neutrality Is Government Controlling, Licensing, Regulating, and Taxing of The Internet Including Prices and Content — Repeal Net Neutrality In December 2017 — Let Consumer Sovereignty with Free Enterprise Market Capitalism Reign –Videos

Posted on November 27, 2017. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Countries, Culture, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Employment, Fiscal Policy, Freedom of Speech, Government Spending, History, House of Representatives, Human, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Insurance, Investments, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Media, Medicare, Monetary Policy, News, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Scandals, Security, Senate, Social Security, Success, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, United States of America, Videos, War, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Story 1: Downsizing Big Government By Abolishing The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Reserve, Internal Revenue Service, Fannie May &amp; Freddie Mac, and Departments of Agriculture, Education, Commerce, Energy, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Labor, and Transportation For Starters — Neither Big Government Democratic or Republican Parties  Will Do This — Two Party Tyranny —  Time for New Political Party — Repeal Dodd-Frank Law — Videos —

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Peter J. Wallison

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Peter Wallison
Peter Wallison 1986.jpg
White House Counsel
In office
May 23, 1986 – March 20, 1987
President Ronald Reagan
Preceded by Fred Fielding
Succeeded by Arthur Culvahouse
Personal details
Born June 6, 1941 (age 76)
New York CityNew YorkU.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Frieda Wallison
Children 3
Education Harvard University(BALLB)
[1]

Peter J. Wallison (born June 6, 1941) is a lawyer and the Arthur F. Burns Fellow in Financial Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. He specializes in financial markets deregulation. He was White House Counselduring the Tower Commission‘s inquiry into the Iran Contra Affair.[1] He was a dissenting member of the 2010 Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, frequent commentator in the mass media on the federal takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the financial crisis of 2007–2008 and wrote Hidden in Plain Sight (2015) about the crisis and its legacy.

Personal

Wallison was born in New York City, and educated at the Capitol Page School and Harvard University (A.B. 1963, LL.B. 1966), where he was President of the Young Republicans.[2] He was admitted to the bar of New York state in 1967.[3][4]

Emanuel Celler appointed him a United States House of Representatives Page when he was about 14, and he served for most of his high school years. The Democrats controlled the patronage, but assigned some pages, such as Wallison, to the minority party. This experience helped him become a Republican.[2]

He was a Rockefeller Republican before becoming a Reagan Republican.

On November 24, 1966, he married the former Frieda Koslow (born in New York January 15, 1943, A.B. Smith College 1963, LL.B. Harvard Law School 1966 admitted to New York bar in 1967, D.C. bar 1982). They have three children, Ethan S., Jeremy L., Rebecca K. Mrs. Wallison develops real estate in Snowmass, Colorado.[5][6][7][8][9]

They split their time between homes in Colorado and in Washington, D.C.

Career

Other

In 1999, Wallison told New York Times reporter Steven A. Holmes that the expansion of mortgage loans by reducing the amount borrowers have to put down and extending loans to so-called subprime borrowers was creating a situation where Fannie Mae was taking on significantly more risk. “From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,” he said. “If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.”[10] The article pointed out that the Clinton Administration had put pressure on Fannie Mae to lower standards “to expand loans among low and moderate income people.”

Wallison gave a eulogy at a memorial service for Don Regan in June 2003.[2]

Wallison’s writing on the cause of the Financial crisis of 2007–08 have brought much comment. In December, 2011, the New York Times financial columnist Joe Nocera stated that Wallison had “almost single-handedly created the myth that Fannie Mae and Freddie Maccaused the financial crisis.” [11] Calling it “a big lie,” Nocera suggested that Wallison had engaged in a deliberate deception. Economist Paul Krugman has also accused Wallison of deception,[12] criticizing him for—among other things—attacking Fannie and Freddie in a magazine article just a year before the subprime mortgage collapse for not doing a “better job of providing affordable home financing to a neglected portion of the mortgage market.” This neglected portion consisted of “African-American … Hispanic”, and “low-income borrowers”.[13][14][15] Wallison cites New York Times columnist Gretchen Morgenson exposing how “Democratic political operative Jim Johnson turned Fannie Mae into a political machine”, and dismisses the exoneration of the GSEs as “the big lie.”[16]

Memberships

Writings

“Elitist Protection Consumers Don’t Need”The Washington Post. 2009-07-13. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
“Obama Voted ‘Present’ on Mortgage Reform. The only banking ‘deregulation’ in recent years was that of Fan and Fred”Opinion Journal. 2008-10-15. Archived from the original on 2008-10-15. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
“How Paulson Would Save Fannie Mae”The Wall Street Journal. 2008-09-12. Archived from the original on 2008-09-14. Retrieved 2009-07-14.
“Reagan and McCain”American Spectator. 2008-01-08. Archived from the original on 2008-10-24. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
“What We Pre-Empted – Today’s world would be far worse if Saddam were still in power”Opinion JournalWall Street Journal. 2007-07-11. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
“Reagan, Iraq, and Neoconservatism”American Spectator. 2004-04-16. Archived from the original on 2008-10-23. Retrieved 2008-01-30.
“Bush’s Reagan Moment”The New York Times. 2003-10-26. Archived from the original on January 19, 2011. Retrieved 2009-07-13.

References

Story 2: Competition Lowers Prices and Provides Greater Choice and Quality — Net Neutrality Is Government Controlling, Licensing, Regulating, and Taxing of The Internet Including Prices and Content — Repeal Net Neutrality In December 2017 — Let Consumer Sovereignty with Free Enterprise Market Capitalism Reign –Videos

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The Truth About ‘Net Neutrality,’ The Left, And Google

I play in the intersection of law and technology.  Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

As soon as FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced his intention to roll back Obama’s net neutrality rules, the Left’s net neutrality faithful began chanting their well-worn mantras about “big corporations” taking over the internet. Their mantras are based on fear mongering, not fact.

Shutterstock

In their net neutrality fairy tale, internet service providers (ISPs) are the ‘big bad wolf,’ bent on creating paid ‘fast lanes’ and blocking the websites of entrepreneurs (who invariably work out of their garages). It sounds like a frightful tale, except that ISPs have never offered paid fast lanes or blocked small business owners’ web sites (run out of garages or otherwise). Meanwhile, the biggest baddest wolf the world has ever known — Google — swallowed the internet ecosystem whole and spit out its bones.

According to Democratic leaders in the Senate, net neutrality is the principle that “what you read, see or watch online shouldn’t be favored, blocked or slowed down based on where that content is coming from.” Google became the world’s largest corporation by trampling on this principle while the Left cheered (or turned a blind eye) .

For one, Google uses its monopoly position in internet search markets to systematically favor its own products in its search results. People might think that Google’s search service uses an objective algorithm that gives them the most relevant responses to their search inquiries. What really happens is that Google shows its own products in the most prominent positions on the screen in order to artificially divert traffic from rival services to Google’s own. As former Google designer Tristan Harris describes it, “if you control the menu, you control the choices.”

Second, Google uses its monopoly position in mobile operating systems (Android is dominant worldwide) to preserve and strengthen its dominance in general internet search and over consumer data collection by:

  • Forcing manufacturers to pre-install Google Search and Google’s Chrome browser and set Google Search as the default search service on their devices as a condition to licensing Google’s proprietary apps,
  • Blocking manufacturers from selling mobile devices that use competing operating systems that are based on Android’s supposedly “open source” code (like Amazon’s Kindle Fire), and
  • Giving financial incentives to manufacturers and mobile network operators on condition that they exclusively pre-install Google Search on their devices (a form of paid prioritization).

Google uses these tactics to ‘control the menu’ on the vast majority of the world’s mobile devices like Google controls the menu on its search products themselves.

Third, Google uses its dominant position in internet advertising to favor its own search and advertising services. A substantial portion of Google’s revenue from search advertising comes from a limited number of third-parties with whom Google has exclusive deals. For a decade, these deals required third-parties to:

  • Refuse to source search ads from Google’s competitors,
  • Take a minimum number of ads from Google and reserve premium space for Google search ads, and
  • Obtain approval from Google before making any changes to the display of competing search ads.

None of these Google practices are consistent with the Left’s net neutrality principles or fair competition. In 2012, staff at the Federal Trade Commission concluded that Google’s anticompetitive conduct had strengthened its monopolies and caused “real harm to consumers and to innovation” that “will have lasting negative effects on consumer welfare.” Yet the Obama administration decided to focus its energy on ISPs while letting Google run wild. Obama appointees at the FTC gave short shrift to the findings of the agency’s professional staff while the Obama-led Federal Communications Commission exempted Google’s monopolies from the current net neutrality rules.

The results were predictable: Google is now the largest company in the world and has unprecedented power to control what we read, see, or watch online. Rather than reign Google in, the net neutrality rules the Left wants to preserve have served to strengthen Google’s control over the media.

The current net neutrality debate is just “fighting the last war.” It’s time to have an honest conversation about today’s real internet monopolies and the future of a free media in this country.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/fredcampbell/2017/05/03/the-truth-about-net-neutrality-the-left-and-google/#40c2c6583745

Q&A-Explaining the fight over U.S. ‘net neutrality’ regulations

WASHINGTON, Nov 22 (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is poised to vote on Dec. 14 to rescind the so-called net neutrality rules championed by former President Barack Obama.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s proposal would repeal rules that bar internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking, slowing access to or charging more for certain content.

Here are some questions and answers about net neutrality and the FCC’s plans.

What is in the proposal and what happens next?

The FCC, an independent U.S. government agency that regulates interstate and international communications by radio, TV, wire, satellite and cable, has three Republican commissioners including Pai and two Democrats and is all but certain to approve Pai’s proposal. That would undo regulations put in place in 2015 at Democrat Obama’s urging that treat ISPs like public utilities to guarantee the open nature of the internet. It would also roll back the FCC’s significant oversight over the providers and their conduct.

Pai’s proposal would require ISPs to disclose if they allow content blocking, slowing though so-called throttling, or paid prioritization in which a third-party owner pays an ISP to have their content move more quickly. It would also eliminate the internet conduct standard that gives the FCC broad discretion to bar ISP practices it deems improper.

The new rules could into effect as early as January, although a court challenge is expected.

What does this mean for consumers?

Consumers could see changes, but any shift would likely take a long time. A major concern raised by consumer advocates is that ISPs could block or slow traffic to websites or services of their choosing, playing an outsized role in what users can and cannot access. Providers could also give preferential treatment to their own content or websites that pay extra fees, consumer advocates said.

ISPs could impede video streaming services and consumers’ ability to make free or inexpensive phone calls over the internet, advocates said.

The nonprofit Consumers Union said a repeal could lead to higher consumer prices for existing internet access and speeds. The telecommunications industry trade group USTelecom, which represents some leading ISPs, disputed that idea and said broadband prices in the United States had been trending downward before the Obama-era rules, and repealing the regulations would allow that to continue.

What businesses support the repeal?

ISPs including AT&amp;T Inc, Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc favored a repeal.

USTelecom said Pai’s move would boost broadband network investment, expansion and upgrades. It said the 2015 rules applied utility-style regulations designed for the 1930s telephone system to ISPs but no other internet companies. It said repealing the rules would strengthen consumer protections by giving authority regarding the internet to a single U.S. regulator, the Federal Trade Commission.

What businesses oppose the repeal?

The Internet Association, representing major technology firms, had urged the FCC to retain the 2015 regulations. The group includes Google parent Alphabet Inc, Facebook Inc, Amazon.com Inc, video streaming service Netflix Inc, Microsoft Corp, ride-hailing company Uber, reviews business Yelp Inc, payments company PayPal Holdings Inc and others.

The group said the 2015 rules protect a “virtuous circle” of innovation that helps the broader U.S. economy as businesses turn to cloud-based technology. It added that Pai’s plan would subject startups to discrimination from ISP-owned or preferred content.

The group said paid prioritization would cause a “cable-ization” of the internet in which businesses that provide content, application or services would have to negotiate carriage deals on ISP networks.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/reuters/article-5109217/Q-A-Explaining-fight-U-S-net-neutrality-regulations.html#ixzz4zg9qbV1G

 

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The Great Unwind: What Happens to the Markets When the Economy Stumbles Again

Published on Jul 21, 2015

Stock market returns and economic forecasts are being distorted by a few big myths that are likely to be proven wrong in the near future. It is widely believed that the American economy has fully recovered and has reached escape velocity where it will be able to sustain momentum without stimulus. This belief has led the majority of forecasters to conclude that the Federal Reserve will begin raising rates this year and will continue hiking through the end of 2016. At the same time they believe that foreign central banks will fight slowing growth abroad with unlimited U.S. style quantitative easing, thereby pushing the U.S. dollar to new heights, and gold and oil to new lows. Their conclusion: U.S. stock markets will continue to lead the world. But what if these assumptions are dead wrong? What if the signs of growth were really just the direct result of Fed stimulus, which will disappear if the Fed raises rates? Recent economic data has been so dismal that savvy economists are drawing parallels with 2008, the year of the last crash. What if it’s not just the weather? If the Fed shocks the markets by keeping rates at zero for far longer than expected, the markets will unwind trades based on these false assumptions. This is where Peter Schiff and Euro Pacific Capital have ideas that you need to hear. Peter Schiff is a world renown investor and author who has made his reputation by seeing things that few other analysts can. He sees huge problems ahead for the U.S. economy and potentially a reversal of the U.S. dollar rally of the past year. He will discuss the inability for the Fed to dispose of its gargantuan $4 trillion balance sheet without sparking a financial collapse. He will also discuss opportunities in foreign, non-dollar, and precious metals investing. Ignore his advice at your own peril.

How Will the Fed Reduce Its Balance Sheet?

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Milton Friedman – The role of government in a free society

 

Fed officials fear financial market ‘imbalances’ and possibility of ‘sharp reversal’ in prices

  • Minutes from the Oct. 31-Nov. 1 Federal Open Market Committee meeting indicate some worry about rising financial markets.
  • The meeting minutes also included a discussion about possibly changing the central bank’s approach to addressing inflation.

Janet Yellen, chair of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Fed: Rate increase likely warrented soon

Federal Reserve officials expressed largely optimistic views of economic growth at their most recent meeting but also started to worry that financial market prices are getting out of hand and posing a danger to the economy.

Minutes from the Oct. 31-Nov. 1 Federal Open Market Committee meeting indicate members with almost universally positive views on growth — the labor market, consumer spending and manufacturing all were showing solid gains. While there were disagreements on the pace of inflation, and even a discussion about changing the Fed’s approach to price stability, the sentiment otherwise was largely positive.

Moreover, they said the picture could get even better if Congress lowers corporate taxes as part of the reform plan making its way through the Senate.

“In their discussion of the economic situation and the outlook, meeting participants agreed that information received since the FOMC met in September indicated that the labor market had continued to strengthen and that economic activity had been rising at a solid rate despite hurricane-related disruptions,” the minutes stated.

However, when it came to evaluating market conditions, the talk took a more cautious tone.

Stocks have been on a tear throughout 2017, setting a series of record highs and adding trillions in value. That’s come both on the heels of stronger corporate earnings and hopes that the tax reform plan, which would take the corporate rate from 35 percent to 20 percent, becomes a reality.

Some members feared what would happen if the market suddenly took a hit.

“In light of elevated asset valuations and low financial market volatility, several participants expressed concerns about a potential buildup of financial imbalances,” the minutes said. “They worried that a sharp reversal in asset prices could have damaging effects on the economy.”

Concerns about the surge in stocks are not new at the Fed, but most officials have downplayed the idea that the market is in a bubble. Wall Street also has been at odds about the market, with Bank of America Merrill Lynch warning of a market top coming in 2018 though Goldman Sachs has predicted another big year.

Some members said the bull market was justified by a continued low “neutral” rate of interest that is neither overly restrictive nor accommodative to growth.

And there also was mention of “regulatory changes” that had helped “an appreciable strengthening of capital and liquidity positions in the financial sector over recent years,” which made the system less prone to shocks or sudden market drops.

President Donald Trump has taken a three-pronged approach to economic growth and frequently boasts of the stock market gains. In addition to tax reform, he has cut business regulations and is expected in the coming months to unveil a plan to boost infrastructure spending.

During the year, economic growth has increased, with GDP gaining 3.1 percent and 3 percent the past two quarters and on track to be around the same level in the fourth quarter.

FOMC members noted multiple areas of positive developments. The labor market is “operating at or above full employment,” GDP is likely to “grow at a pace exceeding that of potential output,” and even inflation has been slowed only by “temporary or idiosyncratic factors.”

But on inflation, the consensus was weaker, with some members disagreeing with the notion that all the softness was due to issues that would fade.

Other members, though, thought the Fed could be in danger of waiting too long for inflation to rise and could risk further instability in the financial markets. Several members said the upcoming data would be critical in determining whether they felt the Fed was close to meeting its 2 percent inflation goal.

A “couple” members even suggested the Fed tweak its approach to inflation, moving away from the 2 percent goal and toward a more nebulous “gradually rising path” in prices instead.

As a matter of policy, the committee chose not to hike rates at the meeting, as expected, but members indicated that gradual rate hikes are likely in the future. Markets are assigning a nearly 100 percent probability to a December rate hike, though only factoring in one or two so far for 2018.

Also at the meeting, members discussed the well-publicized reduction of the Fed’s $4.5 trillion balance sheet. Under the plan, the central bank is letting a capped level of proceeds from the bonds it owns run off each month. Fed officials agreed the program thus far has run smoothly.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/22/fomc-minutes–fed-officials-fear-market-imbalances-possible-effects-of-sharp-reversal-in-prices.html

It’s begun: Fed’s unwinding of its epic balance sheet officially showing up in the data

  • Thursday’s Federal Reserve report on its portfolio holdings shows a near $6 billion decline in its holdings of Treasury securities.
  • That’s the biggest outright weekly decline since 2012.

Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen testifies before the Joint Economic Committee on Capitol Hill November 17, 2016 in Washington, DC.

Win McNamee | Getty Images
Federal Reserve Board Chairwoman Janet Yellen testifies before the Joint Economic Committee on Capitol Hill November 17, 2016 in Washington, DC.

The Fed’s campaign to reduce its $4.4 trillion balance sheet is now taking effect and showing up in the data.

Thursday’s Federal Reserve report on its portfolio holdings shows a near $6 billion decline in its holdings of Treasury securities. It’s the biggest outright weekly decline since 2012.

It’s just the leading edge of more to come as the Fed gradually ramps up its effort to “normalize” its balance sheet. The Fed hasn’t explicitly said what level it’s aiming for, only that it will ramp up its sales of Treasurys and mortgage-backed securities to a point where it eventually is reducing them at a clip of $50 billion a month.

The decline in mortgage-backed securities, which is already taking place, should begin showing up in the data next month.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/03/its-begun-feds-unwinding-of-its-epic-balance-sheet-officially-showing-up-in-the-data.html

 

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Bank of America sees end of bull market coming in 2018: Here’s how it will happen

  • Bank of America Merrill Lynch predicts “capitulation” for the bull market in 2018, with the S&P 500 peaking at 2,863.
  • Strategist Michael Hartnett said the firm is prepared to “downgrade risk aggressively” once it sees the triggers in place.
  • A shift from passive to active in investor allocations would be one of the signs that the rally is about over.

A pedestrian passes in front of a statue of a bull in the Wall Street area in New York City.

Doug Kantor | AFP | Getty Images

A pedestrian passes in front of a statue of a bull in the Wall Street area in New York City.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch sees a scary good news-bad news scenario unfolding in 2018: A solid push higher in the first half followed by all sorts of potential trouble after.

The S&P 500 would peak out around 2,863 in the scenario, or about 11 percent higher than Monday’s close. Bond yields are expected to rise, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury note hitting 2.75 percent as global GDP growth reaches 3.8 percent.

That setting assumes three things: the “last vestiges” of stimulus from the Fed and other central banks, the passage of tax reform in Congress, and “full investor capitulation into risk assets” on better-than-expected corporate earnings.

After that, though, things get considerably sketchier as the second-longest bull market in history runs into trouble.

Real battle for leadership in this market: State Street's Michael Arone

Real battle for leadership in this market: State Street’s Michael Arone  

“We believe the air in risk assets is getting thinner and thinner, but the Big Top in price is still ahead of us,” Michael Hartnett, chief investment strategist at BofAML, said in a report for clients. “We will downgrade risk aggressively once we see excess positioning, profits and policy.”

Indicators that market positioning has gotten out of hand and signaling a fall would include active funds attracting more money than passive (there’s a $476 billion gap this year in favor of passive), and portfolio allocation for equities exceeding 63 percent, a level currently at 61 percent.

Hartnett pointed out that the current bull will be the longest in history if it continues to Aug. 22, 2018, while the outperformance of stocks versus bonds, at seven years running, would be the longest streak since 1929.

The forecast is predicated on three core beliefs: The first is the aforementioned capitulation; the second an expectation of “peak positioning, profits and policy” that “will engender peak asset price returns” and a low in volatility; and, finally, an expectation that higher inflation and corporate debt along with tighter monetary policy will roil the corporate bond market, a critical prong of the risk asset rally.

“The game changer is wage inflation, which on our forecasts is likely to become more visible,” said Hartnett, who projects that salaries could rise 3.5 percent and push the consumer price index up 2.5 percent and convince the Fed that it’s close to meeting its 2 percent inflation goal.

However, that cuts both ways: Should wage inflation again fail to materialize, Hartnett said “the era of excess liquidity” continues, bond yields would fall and the Nasdaq tech barometer would go “exponential.” That would signal a bubble that might not end until 2019, when a bear market would be triggered by “hostile Fed hiking, Occupy Silicon Valley and War on Inequality politics.”

“Big Top” trades favor technology, homebuilders, Japanese banks and the dollar against the Swiss franc.

BofAML’s forecast comes as Goldman Sachs released a price target of 2,850 for the S&P 500, after a comparatively bearish 2016 call for 2,400 that was passed six months ago.

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/21/bank-of-america-bull-market-ending-in-2018-how-it-will-happen.html

Will Donald Trump be Herbert Hoover all over again?


President-elect Donald Trump. (Mike Segar/Reuters)
 Opinion writer November 11, 2016

As a Donald Trump victory became clear Tuesday night, the ghost of Herbert Hoover paid a visit to Trump’s election night party in New York.

In the Fox News coverage playing on screens in the ballroom, Megyn Kelly turned to Karl Rove. “It didn’t happen under Reagan or the Bushes. When was the last time a Republican president had a Republican Congress?”

“1928,” Rove answered.

“Incredible,” Kelly said.

Yes, quite: Republicans actually had unified control for four years under George W. Bush, and for two years under Dwight Eisenhower, as Rove amended when I followed up with him.

Expecting a celebration, The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank wrote a letter to his daughter to help her cope with Hillary Clinton’s electoral loss.

But the 1928 comparison is instructive. It’s the last time a Republican president enjoyed anything like the majority Trump will have, particularly in the House.

And how did that work out for them?

Hoover took over in a time of general prosperity but stagnant wages and vast income inequality. Populists in Congress proposed dramatic increases in tariffs to help the struggling agricultural sector, the equivalent of today’s beleaguered blue-collar workers.

The proposal divided Republicans in Congress and Hoover before they produced the 1930 Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act, setting off retaliation, freezing international trade, contributing to the Great Depression and accelerating a ruinous cycle of nationalism around the world.

Hoover’s ghost should haunt the GOP right now. A populist, protectionist president has come to power at a time of long-depressed wages and vast inequality. He threatens to implement tariffs of 45 percent against China and 35 percent against Mexico, and he’s about to collide with free-traders and pro-business interests in his own party.

If they jettison Trump’s agenda and proceed with business as usual, they risk inflaming Trump’s already-furious followers. If they do what Trump has promised, there will be chaos as they pursue what amounts to a mission impossible: enacting a huge tax cut, making enormous spending increases on infrastructure and the military and cutting the debt in half — all without touching Social Security and Medicare.

And they’ll be without a mutual foil to unite them. President Obama will be out of office, Hillary Clinton defeated, Harry Reid retired. With unified control, Republicans now own every issue — health care, the economy, national security — and Democrats, who narrowly won the popular vote and are supported by exit polls showing tepid support for many of Trump’s policy priorities, have little incentive to cooperate.

 Some early signs show Trump won’t hesitate to disappoint supporters, including his statement Friday that, after talking with Obama, he no longer favors repealing all of Obamacare.

Drain the swamp? Trump has packed his transition team with a who’s who of the K Street lobbying trade, according to Politico. Among those in charge of staffing the new administration are people who have lobbied for or represented Altria, Visa, Anthem, Coca-Cola, General Electric, HSBC, Pfizer, PhRMA, United Airlines, Southern Company, Dow Chemical, Rosemont Copper Company, Boeing, Duke Energy and Nucor.

My colleague Catherine Ho reports that Trump’s win “is likely to be a boon to the lobbying business,” as businesses try to counteract the uncertainty with more lobbyists.

The Trump-proposed ban on Muslims entering the country? As The Post’s Jose A. DelReal reported, the Trump campaign removed that policy’s web page Thursday, then restored it after the reporter’s inquiries.

That wall on the Mexican border? “Going to take a while,” Trump lieutenant Rudy Giuliani said Thursday, suggesting “he can do it by executive order by just reprogramming money within the immigration service.”

“Reprogramming” money away from . . . deportation? Truly building the wall would cost hundreds of billions of dollars and require approval from Congress.

The “lock her up” crowd may also be disappointed. Chris Christie said “politics are over now.”

On that same question, however, Giuliani said prosecuting Clinton would be “a presidential decision” — an extraordinary departure from the American tradition of removing the president from prosecutorial decisions, particularly since President Nixon tried to block the Justice Department’s Watergate probe in 1973.

The Trump transition sounded another Nixonian note when Trump surrogate Omarosa Manigault told a conservative website that Trump is keeping an enemies list.

The conflicting signals suggest Trump himself hasn’t settled on his course. His gracious victory speech was about reaching out to the opposition, but Breitbart News, whose once and future leader ran the campaign, has been whipping up racial fears (“Shock Video Shows White Man Viciously Beaten in Chicago After Election”).

On Thursday night, the president-elect tweeted that “professional protesters, incited by the media, are protesting. Very unfair!” Friday morning he reconsidered: “Love the fact that the small groups of protesters last night have passion for our great country. We will all come together and be proud!”

Trump’s internal tension is understandable. He can leave supporters disillusioned, or he can keep his promises — and send us all back to 1928.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/will-donald-trump-be-herbert-hoover-all-over-again/2016/11/11/8e533600-a820-11e6-8042-f4d111c862d1_story.html?utm_term=.15c6a091b1f6

Jamie Dimon says he would bet on Trump being a one-term president

  • The JPMorgan CEO said he’d bet on Trump being a one-term president.
  • That said, he thinks a “pro-free enterprise” agenda for jobs and economic growth.
  • Dimon has described himself as “barely” a Democrat, but has been more active on range of business and economic issues.

Jamie Dimon speaking at the 2017 Delivering Alpha conference in New York on Sept. 12, 2017.

David A. Grogan | CNBC
Jamie Dimon speaking at the 2017 Delivering Alpha conference in New York on Sept. 12, 2017.

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, on Wednesday said he expects to see a new U.S. president in 2021 and advised Democrats to come up with a “pro-free enterprise” agenda for jobs and economic growth.

Asked at a luncheon hosted by The Economic Club of Chicago how many years President Donald Trump will be in office, Dimon said, “If I had to bet, I’d bet three and half. But the Democrats have to come up with a reasonable candidate … or Trump will win again” and have second four-year term.

Dimon, who in the past has described himself as “barely” a Democrat, has been going to Washington more often since the November 2016 election of Trump to lobby lawmakers on range of business and economic issues, including changes in corporate taxes, immigration policies and mortgage finance.

Jamie Dimon: There's a huge vaccuum if business isn't involved in policy

Jamie Dimon: There’s a huge vacuum if business isn’t involved in policy  

In December, Dimon became chairman of the Business Roundtable, an association of CEOs who take their views to government policy makers.

Dimon, 61, touched briefly on range of topics, from Americas political climate and tax system to discrimination in the workplace and against black people.

He also commented on foreign affairs, saying, for example, “We should never be rude to a neighbor like Mexico.”

He also cautioned that the political weakness of German Chancellor Angela Merkel is bad for all of us. Talks on forming a governing coalition including Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union collapsed earlier this week, casting doubt on her future after 12 years in power.

Dimon is in his 12th year as CEO of JPMorgan, which is the biggest bank in the U.S. by assets

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/22/jamie-dimon-says-he-would-bet-on-trump-being-a-one-term-president.html

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The Pronk Pops Show 1004, November 21, 2017, Story 1: The Illegal Alien Family That Is Deported Together Stays Together — Let The “Dreamers” Go Back To Their Country of Origin With Families– Enforce All Immigration Laws — Remove and Deport The 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens Who Invaded The United States in Last 20 Years — No DACA Fix Needed — Trump Will Lose Many of His Supporters If He Gives Amnesty or Citizenship To Dreamers — Video — Story 2: Feral Hog Invasion of America — Hogs Eat Everything — Kill The Hogs — Boar Busters — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 996, November 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 995, November 3, 2017

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Image result for deport dreamersImage result for illegal alien invasion of united States

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Story 1: The Illegal Alien Family That Is Deported Together Stays Together — Let The “Dreamers” Go Back To Their Country of Origin With Families– Enforce All Immigration Laws — Remove and Deport The 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens Who Invaded The United States in Last 20 Years — No DACA Fix Needed — Trump Will Lose Many of His Supporters If He Gives Amnesty or Citizenship or Pathway To Citizenship To Dreamers — Videos —

Milton Friedman – Illegal Immigration only helps when its Illegal

Milton Friedman proves why welfare can’t work

Tucker: Illegal immigration is literally costing US big-time

“U.S. Citizens DON’T Deserve Priority??” Tucker vs Delusional DACA Supporters

“Are You a CITIZEN, Cesar??” Tucker DESTROYS Illegal NY Lawyer

Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts

Amnesty Should Not Be Part of Any ‘Deal’ on DACA | The Daily Signal

Why Ending DACA Will Save America: Deport Illegal Immigrants

Build the Wall

 

DACA

Congress barreling toward explosive immigration fight
BY MIKE LILLIS – 11/21/17 06:00 AM EST

 

The fight over “Dreamers” is heating up as the legislative calendar winds down, setting the stage for a year-end clash that’s heightening the odds of a government shutdown.

Lawmakers headed into the long Thanksgiving recess are in stark disagreement over how, and when, to provide legal cover for undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children — legislation both parties say they want after President Trump rescinded the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in September.

Behind Trump, GOP leaders are opposed to attaching any DACA provisions to legislation extending government funding, which expires Dec. 8. But Democratic leaders, pressured by their activist base and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, are insisting that the DACA protections be finalized before year’s end. Many Democrats are threatening to withhold support for an omnibus spending bill if the immigration language isn’t included.

With just 12 legislative days left on the calendar — and the Republicans laser-focused on enacting a tax overhaul before Christmas — GOP leaders have some tough decisions ahead. And the question of timing on DACA is becoming every bit as sticky as the substance of the bill.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has repeatedly noted that Trump, in dismantling the Obama-era program, gave Congress until March 5 to come up with a legislative fix. With that in mind, the Speaker has suggested Republicans would be fine addressing the issue early next year.

“I don’t think we should put artificial deadlines in front of the one we already have,” Ryan told reporters this month.

But a number of Republicans, moderates and conservatives alike, want to move more quickly.

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), one of 10 Republicans Ryan appointed to a task force charged with crafting a DACA fix, said the threat to DACA-eligible residents is growing by the day, particularly for those who are falling out of the program without the option to re-enroll.

“There’s a lot of other things I want to do dealing with that subject matter, but the urgency is dealing with these DACA individuals whose lives are about to be just destroyed if we don’t do something soon,” Diaz-Balart said. “That deadline is the legal deadline for when [DACA] expires, but the consequences have started happening already.”

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas), another member of the Republicans’ DACA task force, said a vote this year “would be the ideal scenario.” And Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), chairman of the House Rules Committee, said he also favors action next month.

“We’ve got to get it done because we said we would,” Session said. “I’ve never been one to wait.”

If the Democrats have any say — and they likely will — Ryan and the Republicans may not have a choice.

Members of the Hispanic Caucus were furious when Democratic leaders cut a temporary budget deal with Trump in September that excluded the DACA protections. They’ve vowed to oppose any year-end spending bill unless it includes that language — or unless GOP leaders find another legislative vehicle to move in December. And House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has embraced their message unswervingly.

“Kicking the can to next year is just to say ‘We’re not doing this.’ That’s how we see that,” Pelosi said Thursday. “If [Ryan] wants to take it up as a free-standing [bill], or whatever vehicle is leaving the station, we’ll make some judgments as we go along.”

Although they’re the minority in both chambers, the Democrats will have leverage in December’s spending fight, given the Senate filibuster and the historic struggle of House Republicans to find 218 Republican votes to pass budget bills on their own.

Republicans could try to move a DACA fix through the House on a partisan vote, but they’d still need Democratic support in the Senate to avoid the filibuster.

“Anything we’re going to do is going to have to be bipartisan,” Diaz-Balart said.

Kicking DACA to 2018 could complicate passage for another reason: It would force Republicans to vote on a divisive issue in an election year.

“If they think this is going to get easier for them as we get closer to the midterms, they’re fooling themselves,” Rep. Ron Kind (D-Wis.) said.

The contours of a DACA deal seemed to be decided in September, just days after Trump rescinded the program, during a White House meeting between the president, Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.). The three agreed to a package that included legal protection for Dreamers, coupled with new border security measures. The Democrats insisted that the enforcement provisions must not include new border wall funding or heightened interior enforcement. They said Trump agreed to those terms.

But in the wake of that agreement, the White House released a lengthy list of demands for an immigration deal that are mostly non-starters with Democrats.

Ryan’s DACA task force, meanwhile, has yet to produce a proposal. And while McCaul said he’s optimistic the group will unite behind a package, others on the panel aren’t so sure.

“I don’t know if there’s going to be a final product or not, no, coming from that group,” said Diaz-Balart.

Given the membership of the task force — a mix of moderate immigration reformers like Diaz-Balart and conservative hard-liners like Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) — Democrats are skeptical the group was ever serious about drafting a DACA fix.

“Frankly, we don’t think the task force was designed to reach a compromise. There are no Democrats on that task force, all Republicans, and, very frankly, an awful lot of Republicans who have no intention of voting for DACA,” Rep. Steny Hoyer (Md.), the Democratic whip, said last week.

“So I don’t think they are really looking for a solution. I think they’re wasting time.”

The delay has encouraged other lawmakers to jump into the fray. Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), chairman of the far-right Freedom Caucus, said he’s working with moderate Republicans to find a compromise, the details of which he hopes to unveil when Congress returns to Washington.

“We’re getting real close. We should have some real progress to report, hopefully the first week back in December,” Meadows said. “I probably have been approached more on DACA, by some of our more moderate members looking for compromise, in the last 72 hours than I can remember. Based on that, I think there is a deal there to be made in some shape, form or fashion that would potentially even get bipartisan support here in the House.”

Like Ryan, Meadows said attaching a DACA fix to an omnibus spending bill “would be a problem.” And he’s also not feeling any urgency to move long before the March deadline.

“I don’t know of any other impending deadline that would make us have to move sooner than that,” he said.

Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.), another Freedom Caucus member, outlined a package this month he said would win the support of the conservative group. It couples DACA protections with new efforts to end chain migration, install a mandatory E-Verify program and eliminate diversity visas. In the eyes of liberal Hispanic Caucus members like Rep. Luis Gutiérrez (D-Ill.), however, the proposal is unworkable.

Kind, a member of the New Democrats Coalition that has been meeting with the GOP’s Tuesday Group in search of a compromise, said both sides would ultimately have to give ground.

“There’s got to be some reasonable middle ground here to fix this,” he said.

“We know what the landmines are. It’s just: What’s the path forward?”

http://thehill.com/homenews/house/361266-congress-barreling-toward-explosive-immigration-fight

 

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was an Americanimmigration policy that allowed some individuals who entered the country as minors, and had either entered or remained in the country illegally, to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation and to be eligible for a work permit. As of 2017, approximately 800,000 individuals—referred to as Dreamers after the DREAM Act bill—were enrolled in the program created by DACA. The policy was established by the Obama administration in June 2012 and rescinded by the Trump administration in September 2017.[1]

In November 2014 President Barack Obama announced his intention to expand DACA to cover additional illegal immigrants. But multiple states immediately sued to prevent the expansion, which was ultimately blocked by the courts. The United States Department of Homeland Security rescinded the expansion on June 16, 2017, while continuing to review the existence of the DACA program as a whole. The DACA policy was rescinded by the Trump administration on September 5, 2017, but full implementation of the rescission was delayed six months to give Congress time to decide how to deal with the population that was previously eligible under the policy.[2]

Research shows that DACA increased the wages and labor force participation of DACA-eligible immigrants,[3][4][5] and reduced the number of unauthorized immigrant households living in poverty.[6] Studies have shown that DACA increased the mental health outcomes for DACA-eligible immigrants and their children.[7][8][9] There are no known major adverse impacts from DACA on native-born workers’ employment while most economists say that DACA benefits the U.S. economy.[10][11][12][13] To be eligible for the program, recipients may not have felonies or serious misdemeanors on their records. There is no evidence that DACA-eligible individuals are more likely to commit crimes than any other person within the US.[14]

Background

The policy was created after acknowledgment that DREAMer students had been largely raised in the United States, and was seen as a way to remove immigration enforcement attention from “low priority” individuals with good behavior.[15][16] The illegal immigrant student population was rapidly increasing; approximately 65,000 illegal immigrant students graduate from U.S. high schools on a yearly basis.[17]

The DREAM Act bill, which would have provided a pathway to permanent residency for unauthorized immigrants brought to the United States upon meeting certain qualifications, was considered by Congress in 2007. It failed to overcome a bipartisan filibuster in the Senate.[18] It was considered again in 2011. The bill passed the House, but did not get the 60 votes needed to overcome a Republican filibuster in the Senate.[19][18] In 2013, legislation that would have comprehensively reformed the immigration system, including allowing Dreamers permission to stay in the country, work and attend school, passed the Senate but was not brought up for a vote in the House.[18] The New York Times credits the failure of Congress to pass the DREAM Act bill as the driver behind Obama’s decision to sign DACA.[18]

Establishment

President Barack Obama announced the policy with a speech in the Rose Garden of the White House on June 15, 2012.[20] The date was chosen as the 30th anniversary of Plyler v. Doe, a Supreme Court decision barring public schools from charging illegal immigrant children tuition. The policy was officially established by a memorandum from the Secretary of Homeland Security titled “Exercising Prosecutorial Discretion with Respect to Individuals Who Came to the United States as Children”.[21] The policy allowed certain immigrants to escape deportation and obtain work permits for a period of two years, renewable upon good behavior. To apply, immigrants had to be younger than 31 on June 15, 2012, must have come to the U.S. when they were younger than 16, and must have lived in the U.S. since 2007. In August 2012, the Pew Research Center estimated that up to 1.7 million people might be eligible.[22]

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began accepting applications for the program on August 15, 2012.[22] As of June 2016, USCIS had received 844,931 initial applications for DACA status, of which 741,546 (88%) were approved, 60,269 (7%) were denied, and 43,121 (5%) were pending. Over half of those accepted reside in California and Texas.[23] According to an August 2017 survey, most current registrants (called “Dreamers” in a reference to the DREAM Act bill) are in their 20s, and about 80% arrived in the United States when they were 10 or younger.[24]

In November 2014, Obama announced his intention to expand DACA to make more people eligible.[25][26] However, in December 2014, Texas and 25 other states, all with Republican governors, sued in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas asking the court to enjoin implementation of both the DACA expansion and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (a similar program).[27][28][29] In February 2015, Judge Andrew S. Hanen issued a preliminary injunction blocking the expansion from going into effect while the case, Texas v. United States, proceeds.[30][31] After progressing through the court system, an equally divided (4–4) Supreme Court left the injunction in place, without setting any precedent.[32]

Reaction

Republican Party leaders denounced the DACA program as an abuse of executive power.[33]

Nearly all Republicans in the House of Representatives (along with three Democrats) voted 224–201 to defund DACA in June 2013.[34] Lead author of the amendment Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) stated, “The point here is…the President does not have the authority to waive immigration law, nor does he have the authority to create it out of thin air, and he’s done both with these Morton memos in this respect.”[35] However, in practice Congress does not have the ability to defund DACA since the program is almost entirely funded by its own application fees rather than congressional appropriations.[36]

Although politicians are divided on immigration issues related to DACA, former presidential candidate Mitt Romney stated that he would honor the grants of deferred action approved under DACA until a more permanent legislation was put into place.[37]

Implementation

DACA approved requests by state[a]
California 424,995
Texas 234,350
New York 95,663
Illinois 79,415
Florida 74,321
Arizona 51,503

DACA was formally initiated by a policy memorandum sent from Secretary of Homeland SecurityJanet Napolitano to the heads of U.S. Customs and Border Protection(CBP), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The memo formally directed them to exercise their enforcement discretion on behalf of individuals who met the requirements.[39]

To apply for DACA, illegal immigrants must pay a $495 application fee, submit several forms, and produce documents showing they meet the requirements. They do not need legal representation.

Eligibility

To be eligible, illegal immigrants must have entered the United States before their 16th birthday and prior to June 2007, be currently in school, a high school graduate or be honorably discharged from the military, be under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, and not have been convicted of a felony, significant misdemeanor or three other misdemeanors, or otherwise pose a threat to national security. The program does not provide lawful status or a path to citizenship,[40] nor does it provide eligibility for federal welfare or student aid.[3]

In August 2012, the Migration Policy Institute estimated that as many as 1.76 million people could be eligible for DACA. Of those, 28% were under 15 and would have to wait until reaching that age to apply. In addition, roughly 20% did not meet any of the education criteria, but could become eligible by enrolling in a program before submitting their application. 74% of the eligible population was born in Mexico or Central America. Smaller proportions came from Caribbean and South America (11%), Asia (9%), and the rest of the world (6%).[41]

To qualify for DACA, applicants must meet the following major requirements, although meeting them does not guarantee approval:[40]

  • Came to the United States before their 16th birthday
  • Have lived continuously in the United States since June 15, 2007
  • Were under age 31 on June 15, 2012 (i.e., born on June 16, 1981 or after)
  • Were physically present in the United States on June 15, 2012, and at the time of making their request for consideration of deferred action with USCIS
  • Had no lawful status on June 15, 2012
  • Have completed high school or a GED, have been honorably discharged from the armed forces, or are enrolled in school
  • Have not been convicted of a felony or serious misdemeanors, or three or more other misdemeanors, and do not otherwise pose a threat to national security or public safety

To show proof of qualification (verify these requirements), applicants must submit three forms; I-821D, Consideration of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; I-765, Application for Employment Authorization; and I-765WS, Worksheet, as well as supporting documentation.[40]

Travel eligibility

In addition to the $495 application fee, if a DACA qualifying illegal immigrant wants to travel abroad there is an additional fee and application requirement.

Form I-131 Application Type D*, with a fee of $575 needs to be submitted to USCIS.[42]

(It should be noted Form I-131 must also be submitted by anyone that applies for a “Green Card” or other residency option regardless of how they arrived upon US soil).

To receive advance parole one must travel abroad for the sole purpose of an educational, employment, or humanitarian purposes. This must be indicated on the Form I-131 as described below:

  • Educational purposes, such as studying abroad;
  • Employment purposes, such as overseas positions, interviews, training, or meetings with clients; or
  • Humanitarian purposes, such as travel for medical reasons, attend funeral services for a family member, or visit a sick relative.

Travel for leisure is not a valid purpose.[42]

Renewals

USCIS released the process for DACA renewals in June 2014 and directed applicants to file their documents during a 30-day window starting 150 days before the expiration of their previous DACA status. Renewing requires an additional $495 fee.[43]

As of June 2016, there had been 606,264 renewal cases, with 526,288 approved, 4,703 denied and 75,205 renewals pending.[23]

Expansion

In November 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama announced changes to DACA which would expand it to include illegal immigrants who entered the country prior to 2010, eliminate the requirement that applicants be younger than 31 years old, and lengthen the renewable deferral period to two years. The Pew Research Center estimated that this would increase the number of eligible people by about 330,000.[26]

However, in December 2014, Texas and 25 other states, all with Republican governors, sued in the District Court for the Southern District of Texas asking the court to enjoin implementation of both the DACA expansion and Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (a similar program).[27][28][29] In February 2015, Judge Andrew S. Hanen issued a preliminary injunction blocking the expansion from going into effect while the case, Texas v. United States, proceeds.[30][31] After progressing through the court system, the appeals court ruled 2–1 in favor of enjoining the DACA expansion. When the Obama administration appealed to the Supreme Court, Justice Antonin Scalia’s untimely death left an 8 justice court, which then ruled equally divided (4–4) for and against the injunction. Procedural rules of the Court in the case of a tie would mean that no opinion would be written, no precedent would be set by the Supreme Court in the case, and that the appellate court’s ruling would stand.[32]

The court’s temporary injunction does not affect the existing DACA. Individuals may continue to come forward and request an initial grant of DACA or renewal of DACA under the guidelines established in 2012.[40]

Impact

Crime

According to FactCheck.org, “there is no evidence that DACA holders are more likely to commit crimes than U.S. citizens.”[13] Factcheck.Org noted that “numerous studies have found that immigrants do not commit crimes at a higher rate than non-immigrants.”[13]

Economy

Fact-checkers note that, on a large scale or in the long run, there is no reason to believe that DACA recipients have a major deleterious effect on American workers’ employment chances; to the contrary, some economists say that DACA benefits the overall U.S. economy.[10][12][11][44][45] Economists have warned that ending DACA could adversely affect the U.S. economy, and that “most economists see immigration generally as an economic boon.”[11][45] Almost all economists reject Jeff Sessions‘ claim that DACA “denied jobs to hundreds of thousands of Americans by allowing those same jobs to go to illegal aliens.”[11] Sessions’ claim is rooted in what economists call the “lump of labor fallacy” (i.e., the idea that there is a limit to amount of work force available in any economy).[10][46]

A 2016 study in the Journal of Public Economics found that DACA increased labor force participation and decreased the unemployment rate for DACA-eligible immigrants. DACA also increased the income of illegal immigrants in the bottom of the income distribution.[3]The study estimates that DACA moved 50,000 to 75,000 unauthorized immigrants into employment.[3] According to University of California, Davis economist Giovanni Peri, DACA consequently “increases consumption and overall demand for U.S. services, products, and jobs where the DACA recipients live and spend. Economists have shown that highly skilled workers increase local productivity and create opportunities for the other workers too”.[47] A 2016 study in Economics Letters found that DACA-eligible households were 38% less likely than non-eligible unauthorized immigrant households to live in poverty.[6] Furthermore, DACA-eligible workers tend to have higher-skilled, higher-paying jobs than undocumented immigrants.[48]

According to Giovanni Peri, ending DACA would bring a net loss in productivity, given that, as of 2017, the U.S. economy is close to full employment.[10][49] Ike Brannon and Logan Albright of the CATO Institute wrote in a 2017 that ending DACA would have an adverse economic and fiscal impact, estimating that the cost of immediately eliminating DACA and deporting those who received deferred action would be $283 billion over a decade (representing an economic loss of $215 billion, a fiscal loss of $60 billion (from lower net tax revenue), and $7.5 billion in deportation costs).[50] Brannon and Albright wrote that their projections were “a conservative estimate due to the fact that many DACA immigrants are young and still acquiring education credentials that will boost wages later.” [50] The Immigrant Legal Resource Center estimated that deporting DACA-eligible individuals would reduce Social Security and Medicare tax revenue by $24.6 billion over a decade.[11] Peri argues that that DACA recipients likely have a significant net positive fiscal impact given that DACA-eligible individuals have similar characteristics as second-generation immigrants, and that research shows that second-generation immigrants have a net positive fiscal impact of $173,000 to $259,000 per immigrant.[47] Peri also notes that the U.S. public school system has already invested in educating these individuals, and they are at the point at which they can start contributing to the U.S. economy and public coffers; deporting them or increasing the likelihood that they be deported is economically counterproductive.[47]A 2017 study by the Center for American Progress estimated that that the loss of all DACA-eligible workers would reduce U.S. GDP by $433 billion over the next 10 years.[51][52]

According to Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas economist Pia Orrenius, due to their risk of deportation, it is likely that previously DACA-protected individuals will slip into the shadow economy or take low-profile jobs that pay less.[45]

Education

The 2016 study in the Journal of Public Economics found that DACA had no significant effects on the likelihood of attending school.[3] The study only found “suggestive evidence that DACA pushed over 25,000 DACA-eligible individuals into obtaining their GED certificate in order to be eligible for DACA.”[3] Research by Roberto G. Gonzales, professor of education at Harvard University, shows that DACA led to increased educational attainment.[53]

Health

A 2017 study published in the journal Science found that DACA led to improved mental health outcomes for the children of DACA-eligible mothers.[7] A 2017 Lancet Public Health study found that DACA-eligible individuals had better mental health outcomes as a result of their DACA-eligibility.[8]

FiveThirtyEight, summarizing the findings of past research, wrote that “the threat of deportation alone would likely have a negative impact on families. Immigration-related stress and anxiety have been shown to have negative health effects… Generally, researchers believe the stress that stems from the fear of having a parent deported has far-reaching, negative effects on the health of children.”[54] In an editorial for the New England Journal of Medicine, Atheendar S. Venkataramani, professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, and Alexander C. Tsai, professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, write “The evidence clearly indicates that rescinding DACA will have profound adverse population-level effects on mental health… DACA was never intended to be a public health program, but its population-level consequences for mental health have been significant and rival those of any large-scale health or social policies in recent history. Rescinding DACA therefore represents a threat to public mental health.”[55]

21 percent of DACA-protected immigrants work in education and health services.[45] The American Medical Association has estimated that under DACA or similar legislation, 5,400 additional physicians would work in the United States in coming decades, alleviating a projected shortage of primary care physicians.[45]

Migration flows

A 2016 study published in the journal International Migration found that DACA did not significantly impact the number of apprehensions of unaccompanied minors from Central America.[56] A 2015 Government Accountability Office (GAO) report assessing the reasons behind the surge in unaccompanied minors from Central America did not mention DACA, and cited crime and lack of economic opportunity as the main reasons behind the surge.[12]

Legal challenges

The legality of DACA and its proposed expansions were challenged in court. But only the expansions were halted under a preliminary injunction. Legal experts are divided as to the constitutionality of DACA, but no court has yet to rule it unconstitutional.[57].

One of challenges against DACA was filed in August 2012 by ten agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).[58] The plaintiffs claimed that following the new lenient deportation policies established by DACA required them to violate the law. Almost a year later, Judge Reed O’Connor from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas dismissed the lawsuit, ruling that the court lacked jurisdiction to decide on what essentially was a dispute between federal employees and their employer, the U.S. government.[59] Nonetheless, in his decision to dismiss the case, the judge reiterated his view that DACA was inherently unlawful.[59] The plaintiffs then filed an appeal but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the dismissal on procedural grounds.

The first challenge against the DACA expansions was filed by Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona, in November 2014. In the lawsuit, Arpaio claimed that DACA and its expansions were “unconstitutional, arbitrary and capricious, and invalid under the Administrative Procedure Act as, in effect, regulations that have been promulgated without the requisite opportunity for public notice and comment.”[60] The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia promptly dismissed the lawsuit ruling that Arpaio did not have standing. That decision was upheld unanimously by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on August 14, 2015. Arpaio then asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case, but on January 19, 2016, the court denied that request.[61]

The challenge that was granted a preliminary injunction was filed on December 2014 by Texas and 25 other states—all with Republican governors. The group of states sued to enjoin the implementation of the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans (DAPA)—another immigration policy—and the DACA expansions announced by the Obama administration.[62][63][64] In the lawsuit, the states claimed that, by expanding DACA, the president failed to enforce the nation’s immigration laws in contravention to Article Two of the U.S. Constitution.[65][b] Moreover, the states claimed that the president unilaterally rewrote the law through his actions.[66] As part of the judicial process, in February 2015, Judge Andrew S. Hanen issued a preliminary injunction blocking the expansion from going into effect while the case, Texas v. United States, proceeded.[30][31] After progressing through the court system, an equally divided (4–4) Supreme Court left the injunction in place, without setting any precedent.[32] The court’s temporary injunction did not affect the existing DACA. At the time, individuals were allowed to continue to come forward and request an initial grant of DACA or renewal of DACA under the guidelines established in 2012.[40]

Regardless of the outcome of the preliminary injunction, legal opinions on the lawfulness of DACA are divided. In United States v. Texas, for instance, the Obama administration argued that the policy was a lawful exercise of the enforcement discretion that Congress delegated to the executive branch in the Immigration and Nationality Act, which charges the executive with the administration and enforcement of the country’s immigration laws.[67] Conversely, Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, opined that DACA was unlawful by asserting that it unconstitutionally usurped Congress’ role over immigration by illegally allowing certain classes of illegal aliens to violate U.S. immigration law with impunity.[68]

State and city responses

State-level government officials are also divided on the issue. Those that support DACA claim that the government does not have the resources to target all undocumented immigrants and that the policy thus helps federal agencies in exerting prosecutorial discretion—that is, in enforcing the law selectively by focusing limited resources on criminal immigrants rather than on non-criminal ones such as those eligible for DACA.[69][70] Those that oppose the policy, however, claim that states would be forced to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on health care, education, law enforcement, and other public benefits associated with the immigrants receiving relief.[65] For instance, DACA opponents claim that Texas could assume up to $500 million in administrative costs for issuing new driver’s licenses.[65]

Arizona

Arizona became the first state to oppose President Obama’s order for DACA when Governor Jan Brewer issued an order blocking those with deferred status from receiving any state benefits.[71] This caused controversy,[72] as eligible and approved applicants would still be unable to obtain a driver’s license.[73] In May 2013, a federal district court held that this policy was likely unconstitutional. In 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a preliminary injunction against Brewer’s ban, and in November 2014 held this ban was in violation of the law.[74]

California

To assist those eligible under the program,[75] the state of California has agreed to support those who receive a DACA grant by allowing access to a state driver’s license,[76] provided that such individuals participate in specific state guidelines (such as paying income taxes). The state of California also allows DACA holding individuals to qualify for Medi-Cal.[77]

Illinois

Mayor of ChicagoRahm Emanuel has stated that he wants to make Chicago the “most immigrant-friendly city in the country”.[78] In addition to offering in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, he has also made plans for a city ordinance that would prevent illegal immigrants with no criminal background from being turned over to immigration enforcement agencies.[78]

Iowa

In 2012, the then-director of the Iowa Department of Transportation, Paul Trombino III (now nominee for Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration), announced a policy to deny driver licenses to Iowa residents who were part of the DACA program. The policy was reversed several weeks later.[79][80]

Maryland

In 2016, mayor of BaltimoreStephanie Rawlings-Blake stated that Baltimore police would not check the citizenship status of people with whom they interact.[81]

Maryland residents are eligible for in-state public tuition rates regardless of immigration status under certain conditions. A Maryland resident is eligible if they attended Maryland high schools for at least three of the previous twelve years and they graduated from a Maryland high school or received a Maryland GED within the previous ten years. They must have registered at a Maryland public college within four years of high school graduation or receiving a Maryland GED. They must have registered for Selective Service if male, and they must have filed Maryland income tax returns.[82]

Michigan

In October 2012, the Michigan Secretary of State, Ruth Johnson, announced that Michigan will not issue drivers licenses or state identification of any kind to beneficiaries of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.[83] In making this decision, it was clear that the Secretary of State erroneously conflated the notion of “lawful presence,” which is required under Michigan Law to issue a driver’s license, and “lawful status,” a different legal concept entirely.[84] USCIS has made it clear that DACA beneficiaries do not possess legal status, but does not state that DACA beneficiaries are unlawfully present; in fact, it states that DACA beneficiaries will not accrue unlawful presence time here while they are in this deferred action status.[85] The Secretary of State relied upon USCIS’ own explanation, which discusses legal status, not lawful presence.[85] In response to this policy, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against Johnson, alleging that the policy violated both Michigan law and the U.S. Constitution.[86] On January 18, 2013, USCIS updated their “Frequently Asked Questions” page about DACA, clarifying, among other things, that DACA beneficiaries are, in fact, lawfully present in the United States.[87] On February 1, 2013, Johnson reversed her policy and began issuing driver’s licenses to DACA beneficiaries on February 19, 2013.[88]

Nebraska

Governor Dave Heineman opposed DACA and in 2012 directed the Nebraska Department of Motor Vehicles to not issue driver’s licenses to people who received deferred action under DACA. Heineman ” argued that it violated state law to provide benefits to illegal immigrants.”[89] In 2015, however, the unicameral Nebraska Legislature voted to change state law to allow qualified DACA recipients to receive licenses. Governor Pete Ricketts vetoed the bill, but the legislature voted 34-10 to override the veto. Nebraska was the last of the 50 states to allow deferred-action recipients to obtain licenses.[89]

North Carolina

North Carolina briefly suspended giving out driver’s licenses to DACA grantees while waiting for the state attorney general’s opinion. The attorney general decided that even without formal immigration status the DACA grantees were to be granted legal presence. After that, the state once again continued to give out drivers licenses and allowed the DACA grantees to become legal members of North Carolina.[90]

Texas

Although in-state tuition is still offered, Governor Rick Perry announced his opposition to DACA by distributing a letter to all state agencies, meant “to ensure that all Texas agencies understand that Secretary Napolitano’s guidelines confer absolutely no legal status whatsoever to any illegal immigrant who qualifies for the federal ‘deferred action’ designation.”[91]

Virginia

In April 2014, Virginia Attorney GeneralMark Herring sent a letter to the director of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV), the presidents of Virginia public colleges and universities, and the chancellor of the Virginia Community College System, in response to inquiries from public institutions of higher education on whether DACA students are eligible for in-state tuition. The attorney general advised these institutions that under Virginia law, DACA students who meet Virginia’s domicile requirements are eligible for in-state tuition.[92][93]

Rescission

While running for president, Donald Trump said that he intended to repeal DACA on “day one” of his presidency.[94]

On February 14, 2017, a CNN report on the detention of 23-year-old Daniel Ramirez Medina in Northwest Detention Center,[95]Tacoma, Washington following his arrest in his father’s Des Moines, Washington home, observed that “The case raises questions about what it could mean” for the 750,000 Dreamers, who had “received permission to stay under DACA.”[95][96] On March 7, 22-year-old Daniela Vargas of Jackson, Mississippi, another DACA recipient was detained by ICE, further raising speculation about President Trump’s commitment to Dreamers and questioning whether immigrants who speak out against the administration’s policies should fear retaliation.[97] Vargas was released from LaSalle Detention Center on March 10, 2017,[98] and Ramirez Medina’s release followed on March 29.[99]

On June 16, 2017, the United States Department of Homeland Security announced that it intended to repeal the executive order by the Barack Obama administration that expanded the DACA program, though the DACA program’s overall existence would continue to be reviewed.[100]

On September 5, 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the program is being repealed. Sessions said that the DACA-eligible individuals were lawbreakers who adversely impacted the wages and employment of native-born Americans.[101] Sessions also attributed DACA as a leading cause behind the surge in unaccompanied minors coming to the United States from Central America.[101] Trump said that “virtually all” “top legal experts” believed that DACA was unconstitutional.[101] Fact-checkers have said that only a few economists believe that DACA adversely affects native-born workers, that there is scant evidence that DACA caused the surge in unaccompanied minors, and that it is false that all “top legal experts” believe DACA to be unconstitutional.[12][13]

Sessions added that implementation would be suspended for six months; DACA status and Employment Authorization Documents (“EAD”) that expire during the next six months would continue to be renewed. DACA recipients with a work permit set to expire on or before March 5, 2018 would have the opportunity to apply for a two-year renewal if their application was received by USCIS by October 5, 2017.[102] In a follow-up statement, Trump said “It is now time for Congress to act!”[2] The approximately 800,000 immigrants who qualified enrolled in DACA will become eligible for deportation by the end of those six months.[101] A White House memo said that DACA recipients should “use the time remaining on their work authorizations to prepare for and arrange their departure from the United States.”[103]

Reaction

Protesters outside Trump Tower in New York City, September 5, 2017

Protesters in San Francisco, September 5, 2017

According to the New York Times, “Democrats and some Republicans, business executives, college presidents and immigration activists condemned the repeal as a coldhearted and shortsighted effort that was unfair to the young immigrants and could harm the economy.”[101] President Obama condemned the repeal as “cruel” and wrote:[104]

They were brought to this country by their parents, sometimes even as infants. They may not know a country besides ours. They may not even know a language besides English. They often have no idea they’re undocumented until they apply for a job, or college, or a driver’s license… Whatever concerns or complaints Americans may have about immigration in general, we shouldn’t threaten the future of this group of young people who are here through no fault of their own, who pose no threat, who are not taking away anything from the rest of us… Kicking them out won’t lower the unemployment rate, or lighten anyone’s taxes, or raise anybody’s wages.

The reaction was mixed among Republicans.[105] Several senior Republicans praised Trump’s action, such as House Speaker Paul Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Senator Ron Johnson, chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.[106]

Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties UnionAnti-Defamation League, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce condemned the repeal.[107] A number of religious organizations condemned the repeal, with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops describing it as “reprehensible”. The Catholic University of Notre Dame also urged the president to not resciend DACA and announced it would stand by those affected.[108]The United Methodist Church said it was “not only unconscionable, but contrary to moral work and witness,” and the Evangelical Lutheran Church called on its members to “pray today for those that will suffer undue repercussions due to the end of this program.”[109]Asked about Trump’s decision to rescind DACA, Pope Francis said that if Trump is truly “pro-life”, he “he will understand that the family is the cradle of life and that it must be defended as a unit.”[110]Ralph Reed, chairman of the Faith and Freedom Coalition, endorsed Trump’s repeal.[109]

The September 2017 announcement sparked protests in many cities including Washington, D.C.Chicago, and Los Angeles. At a September 5 protest in New York outside of Trump Tower, more than 30 protesters were arrested.[111] On September 19, more protesters were arrested outside Trump Tower, including Democratic congressmen Raúl Grijalva of Arizona, Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois, and Adriano Espaillat of New York.[112]

Legal challenges

The rescission was challenged in court by different entities. On September 6, 2017, for instance, fifteen states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit, titled New York v. Trump, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York seeking to stop the repeal.[113] A few days later, the California attorney generalXavier Becerra, filed a separate lawsuit, which was joined by the states of Maine, Minnesota, and Maryland. Becerra stated that that, as a quarter of the people in the DACA program live in California, he thinks that “everyone recognizes the scope and breadth of the Trump decision to terminate DACA hits hardest here.”[114]

Proposed Responses to the DACA repeal

DREAM Act

Proposed by Sens. Graham and Durbin, the DREAM Act offers protections to illegal immigrants similar to DACA, as well as offering a path to citizenship.[115]

Recognizing America’s Children Act

Proposed by Rep. Curbelo, RAC offers a pathway to legalization through education, military service, or work authorization. After 10 years in this program, immigrants could apply for citizenship.[116]

The American Hope Act

Proposed by Rep. Gutierrez, this act offers an expedited path to citizenship that is attainable in eight years, but the immigrant must have entered the US before the age of eighteen.[117]

BRIDGE Act

Proposed by Rep. Coffman, this bill extends the DACA program by three years, allowing more time to discuss comprehensive immigration reform.[118]

See also

Notes

  1. Jump up^ As of March 31, 2017.[38]
  2. Jump up^ Texas v. United States (2016) “The Court has federal question jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331 because this action arises under the U.S. Constitution, art. II, § 3, cl. 5 [.]”[66]

References

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

Feral hogs (Sus scrofa) are an old world species belonging to the family Suidae, and in Texas include European wild hogsferal hogs, and European-feralcrossbreeds. Feral hogs are domestic hogs that either escaped or were released for hunting purposes.

Trap size should be matched to feral hog soundersize. A sounder is a herd of feral hogs primarily comprised of one or more adult sows and one or multiple generations of offspring. A sounder is the primary social unit among feral hogs.Jan 1, 2015

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With ‘Hog Apocalypse’ on hold, what do we do about the pesky wild pigs taking over Texas?

Mike Brewer has tried all kinds of corn bait to lure feral hogs into a $1,000 trap at his Sunnyvale pecan orchard. He even mixed the corn with strawberry gelatin because the pigs love strawberries.

Nothing.

The hogs dig around the trees and trample the earth. They eat his pecan harvest off the ground. It costs Brewer and his wife, Kathy, weeks and weeks of labor to patch up the soil around the trees.

“It’s a constant battle,” Brewer said this month.

<br>

Wild pigs may not look like much, but they’re among the most intelligent animals in the United States, which makes them formidable adversaries. And they’ve taken over Texas and have been documented in every county, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife.

“If you’re not already dealing with pigs, you’re going to,” said Brett Johnson, an urban biologist for the city of Dallas.

The pigs cost Texans about $52 million in agricultural damage every year.

Even if you’re not a farmer, here’s why you should be concerned: Feral hogs tear up lawns, parks and golf courses; they skulk around highways and train tracks; and they poop in our water supply. Estimates peg the number of wild pigs in the U.S. at 4 million or more—  and somewhere between 2 million to 3 million are in our state.

Sure, Texas is a gun-friendly state, but don’t assume that getting rid of wild pigs is as easy as shooting or poisoning them. Population control is far more complicated than the state agriculture commissioner’s stalled plans for a “Hog Apocalypse.”

Here’s what Texas wildlife experts say about feral hog management, including speakers at a recent conference hosted by the North Texas Municipal Water District and other agencies:

What do I need to know about feral hogs?

  • Wild pigs can have two litters a year, typically giving birth to three to eight piglets per litter. Texans would have to remove two-thirds of the feral hog population every year to keep the number of pigs stable. Right now, the state is removing 29 percent of the population.
  • They are mostly nocturnal, seeking cover near water and eating both plants and other animals. About 79 percent of the land mass in Texas is considered suitable environment for wild pigs, which descended from hogs brought in by European settlers in the 1500s.
  • Adult feral hogs don’t have many natural predators and are highly adaptable. Tepid efforts to capture them may result in “trap-smart” pigs. Unprovoked attacks against humans are rare.
  • Some cities have taken up abatement efforts. Earlier this year, Dallas leaders approved a three-year $347,000 contract with a trapping company that corrals pigs on city-owned land and sells them to a meat-processing plant in Fort Worth.

What are my options?

  • Traps: Box traps are usually good for one or two pigs, or small herds of swine, called sounders. The bigger corral traps catch many hogs at once. The automated kind use video to allow you to monitor the trap and its gate from your computer or cellphone but can set you back thousands of dollars in equipment. Check whether your city has any rules against the trapping of wildlife.
  • Fences: Any type of fence can help keep pigs away from your lawn and flower beds in urban and suburban areas. Electric fences are one choice, but some homeowners are reluctant to use them because of children. Some homeowner associations and cities might also prohibit their use, so do your homework.
  • Guns: Texas law requires a hunting license and the landowner’s permission to shoot wild pigs. If you are the landowner or a designated agent, however, you don’t need a hunting license to dispatch a hog causing damage on your property. But who is a “designated agent” is fuzzy, so check with your local game warden. In the end, you may not be able to shoot at all: It’s illegal to discharge a gun in some cities, including Dallas. 
  • Choppers:  Helicopters, that is. Texas law allows landowners to contract with gunners to take out hogs from above. There are rules, of course. The hunter must file paperwork with Texas Parks and Wildlife. Some helicopter operators charge landowners for the service, while others do for it free because they make money by selling seats to hunters. However, this tactic likely won’t be an option for landowners in urban and suburban areas.
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  • Local trappers: You may find leads in Texas hunting magazines and newspaper classifieds, or by asking employees of chambers of commerce, feed stores and swine-holding facilities. A group called Texas Hog Hunters Association keeps an online list of hog trappers. Vet the service provider’s credentials before doing business with the person or group.

What should I avoid?

  • Setting off traps without doing reconnaissance: Get a rough head-count. Johnson, the city of Dallas biologist, suggests that you wait to trap the sounder instead of individual pigs so that other pigs don’t become aware of the trap. But sometimes you need to catch one pig to start on the others because one aggressive hog may be keeping the rest away, said Randy Smith, supervisor of the Fort Worth district of the Texas Wildlife Services program. He recommended using trail cameras — weatherproof, camouflaged devices that can take nighttime photos — to estimate the number of pigs roaming your land.
  • Poison, at least for now: Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller spoke enthusiastically about a “Hog Apocalypse” earlier this year when he approved the use of a controversial poison called Kaput Feral Hog Bait. The poison contains a chemical called warfarin, an anticoagulant that makes pigs bleed internally, ending in slow, painful deaths. Some people voiced concerns about the unknown effect on the food chain, and the manufacturer withdrew its state registration for the poison. Because it was classified as a state limited-use pesticide, Texas can no longer license people to use the bait. 

How do I get help?

  • Contact your city or county to find out whether they have hog control programs or referrals.
  • Check official resources for instructions on how to build a trap and other abatement measures, such as this website on “coping with feral hogs” by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, this guide by Texas Parks and Wildlife or this guide shared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
  • Contact your local district of Texas Wildlife Services, a program that combines federal and state resources and that is authorized by law to control feral hogs and other animals. The Fort Worth district, which covers North Texas, can be reached at 817-978-3146.

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/animals/2017/11/21/hog-apocalypse-hold-pesky-wild-pigs-taking-texas

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The Pronk Pops Show 1002, November 15, 2017, Story 1: More on Moore: Roy Moore’s Attorney News Briefing — She Said Vs. He Said — Faulty Memory of Witnesses Leading To Wrongful Conviction — Sexual Abuse — Who Do You Believe? — The Voters of Alabama Must Answer This Question on December 12 — Videos — Story 2: Will The Senate Pass A Tax Reform Bill?– NO — Tax Cut Bill — Yes — Videos — Story 3: Who is on the Congressional CREEP List of Sexual Harassers in Congress and Their Staffs ? — Who is next to be outed? — Shout Animal House — Intimacy — Getting To Know You– Dance With Me –Videos 

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Story 1: More on Moore: Roy Moore’s Attorney News Briefing — She Said Vs. He Said — Faulty Memory of Witnesses Leading To Wrongful Conviction — Sexual Abuse — Who Do You Believe? — The Voters of Alabama Must Answer This Question on December 12 — Videos —

Roy Moore & Jeff Sessions Cold Open – SNL

RUSH: Roy Moore Accuser Claims She Was Locked In Car In 1977; Child Locks Not Required Till 1980s

WATCH: Roy Moore’s attorney holds news briefing

Streamed live on Nov 15, 2017
The attorney for Roy Moore, the candidate for the Alabama seat vacated by now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, holds a press conference following multiple allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Moore.

Alabama seniors say Roy Moore’s alleged actions were normal back then (HBO)

Mark Levin: People of Alabama should decide if they believe the accusations against Roy Moore

Ben Shapiro: Roy Moore needs to go

What Pisses Me Off About Roy Moore and Stupid F&%king Republicans

Judge Roy Moore Sexual Misconduct Allegations | True News

On The Sean Hannity Show, Newt Gingrich says a “lynch mob” is after Roy Moore

Live Stream: #Pedowood Predators, Pervs, Pedophiles and Pederasts Are Tolerated But Trump’s Reviled

How reliable is your memory? | Elizabeth Loftus

TED

Published on Sep 23, 2013

Psychologist Elizabeth Loftus studies memories. More precisely, she studies false memories, when people either remember things that didn’t happen or remember them differently from the way they really were. It’s more common than you might think, and Loftus shares some startling stories and statistics, and raises some important ethical questions we should all remember to consider. TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world’s leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes (or less). Look for talks on Technology, Entertainment and Design — plus science, business, global issues, the arts and much more.

Mother Of Roy Moore Accuser Spills The HOAX By Accident! – Several Facts Turned Out To Be FAKED

WaPo REPORTER Beth SECRETLY RECORDED OFFERING WOMAN $1000 TO ACCUSE ROY MOORE

Mark Levin REVEALS The Truth About Judge Roy Moore Allegations! You Will Cheer!

As McCain Leads The Charge Against Moore, LOOK What SICKENING Secret From His Past EXPOSED

Mitch McConnell Handling Of Past Sex Scandal A Warning For Roy Moore | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

USA: SENATOR BOB PACKWOOD SCANDAL UPDATE

Bob Packwood Resigns from Senate

Woman Explains Why She Falsely Accused Her Dad Of Sexual Assault As A Child

Dr. Drew: Child abuse at the core of virtually all societies’ problems

Dr. Drew on staggering impact of sexual abuse

Tom Arnold talks about his childhood of abuse

CNN: CNN anchor Don Lemon talks coming out, abuse

Candace Conti: Former Jehovah’s Witness Takes on Church over Sex Abuse Allegations

What happens to a child after he/she suffers sexual abuse?

Roy Moore maintains lead in another new Senate poll

Roy Moore, left, and Doug Jones. (AL.com file photos)
Roy Moore, left, and Doug Jones. (AL.com file photos)
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Fox 10/Strategy Research poll released Tuesday night showed Moore with a six-point lead over Democrat Doug Jones.

The poll, according to Fox 10, sampled 3,000 likely voters on Monday with Moore getting 49 percent of the vote, Jones 43 percent and 8 percent undecided. The poll has a margin of error of 2 percent.

Even with that edge, the poll indicated Moore has lost almost half of his support. A Fox 10 poll two weeks ago showed Moore with an 11-point lead. Moore’s support among Republicans also dropped 8 percent.

The poll also said that 11 percent of participants said they were less likely to vote for Moore because of the allegations made against him while 35 percent said it made them more likely to vote for him.

The allegations also did not alter the thinking of a majority of the undecided voters. Of those who have not made up their mind, 51 percent said that the allegations would not be a deciding factor while 44 percent said it made them less likely to vote for Moore.

An Emerson College poll, released Monday, had Moore with a 10-point lead. Five other polls conducted since the allegations were publishedlast week either had Jones winning or within the margin of error.

One other poll, conducted by an official from earlier Moore campaigns and presented exclusively to Moore-favoring Breitbart News, had the former Alabama chief justice leading by 11 points.

http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2017/11/roy_moore_maintains_lead_in_an.html

Women supporting Roy Moore not concerned whether he dated teens

Dean Young and other Roy Moore supporters appear at a press conference in Montgomery on Nov. 16, 2017. (Mike Cason/mcason@al.com)

Two women who joined longtime Roy Moore ally Dean Young at a press conference today said they aren’t concerned whether Moore sought dates with teenage girls when he was a county prosecutor in his early 30s, some four decades ago.

Moore has strongly denied the two most serious allegations against him – a sexual encounter with a 14-year-old and an assault on a 16-year-old.

But Moore did not clearly deny dating teenage girls when he was in his early 30s in an interview on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program. Moore did, in an open letter to Hannity, say that he did not date “underage” girls.

AL.com and the Washington Post have published stories about women who said Moore dated them or asked them on dates when they were ages 16-18 and he was in his 30s.

Click here for AL.com’s coverage of Roy Moore.

Kay Day, 69, of Theodore, who joined Young at today’s news conference, said that doesn’t necessarily bother her and won’t affect her support for Moore, who faces Democratic nominee Doug Jones in the Dec. 12 in the U.S. Senate election.

Day said she was 18 when she began dating her husband, who was 32 at the time. They got married in 1963.

“My mother married at 15 and married a man 14 years older than her,” Day said. “In that day, if you married someone that was 15 years older, it was common.”

“Even if it were so, that would not make me not vote for Judge Moore. That is just not something that would make me discredit and ruin a man for the rest of his life.”

Day, who grew up in Tennessee, said she began following Moore’s career during his legal battles over displays of the Ten Commandments.

“And I continue to follow him and have for 20 years, and devastated by what they would say about Judge Moore because I’ve known him for so long and been with him,” Day said. “Gentleman. Never heard anything come out of his mouth that would even give me an inkling. Never crossed my mind. Perfect gentleman.”

Dee Owens, 75, who came to Montgomery from Mobile today to join Young for the press conference, said she would not be bothered to learn that Moore dated teenage girls in his early 30s.

“Not in the least because that’s all right with me,” Owens said. “When I was young I dated a gentleman that was 22 years older than me and my parents didn’t have a problem with it. And mothers back then actually wanted their daughters to marry men that were older. They felt they would be taken care of.”

“I believe like he does,” Owens said. “And like the Ten Commandments, he stood up. He will stand for what’s right. Not like the RINOs we have in Washington. And definitely I’ll vote for him. And everybody I know, all my friends are voting for him.”

Young, who ran for a Congress last year and in 2013, is a regular presence at Moore rallies and press conferences and has known Moore since the early 1990s.

Moore said the campaign is working to debunk allegations against the candidate and will prevail against what he called the fake news media, elitist Republican establishment in Washington and the Democrats.

“Now they have all this endless parade of people who have never said anything for 40 years say that a man that you, Alabamians have watched for 25 years,” Young said. “You’ve watched him stand for what’s right, for what’s good and what’s just and what’s fair.”

Young aimed much of his criticism at Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, who backed Sen. Luther Strange in his primary loss to Moore and has said he believes Moore’s accusers and that Moore should get out of the race.

Young also criticized attorney Gloria Allred, who represents Beverly Young Nelson, 56, who accused Moore of assaulting her in his car outside the Gadsden restaurant where she worked when she was 16. Moore has strongly denied the allegation.

Moore’s attorney, Phillip Jauregui, has challenged Allred to submit Nelson’s high school yearbook for examination by handwriting analysts. Nelson claims Moore signed the yearbook.

Allred said they would only allow the yearbook to be examined if the Senate Judiciary Committee or Select Committee on Ethics conducts a hearing on Nelson’s allegation. She said Nelson is willing to give testimony under oath and Moore should do the same.

Young pointed out that Allred declined to answer directly when asked by Wolf Blitzer on CNN if the yearbook signature was a forgery.

“Is this a real signature?” Young said. “She won’t even answer that question.”

Owens said efforts by the national Republican establishment to derail Moore’s campaign in Alabama have made her more determined than ever to support him.

“I would like to go to Washington with a big stick,” Owens said.

http://www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2017/11/women_supporting_roy_moore_not.html

The Neuroscience of Memory: Implications for the Courtroom

Joyce W. Lacy#1 and Craig E. L. Stark#2

Abstract

Although memory can be hazy at times, it is often assumed that memories of violent or otherwise stressful events are so well-encoded that they are largely indelible and that confidently retrieved memories are likely to be accurate. However, findings from basic psychological research and neuroscience studies indicate that memory is a reconstructive process that is susceptible to distortion. In the courtroom, even minor memory distortions can have severe consequences that are in part driven by common misunderstandings about memory, e.g. expecting memory to be more veridical than it may actually be.

Introduction

Pioneers in neuroscience such as Ramón y Cajal, Hebb, and Marr introduced the idea that memory is encoded in the patterns of synaptic connectivity between neurons. Increases in the strengths of these synapses encode our experiences and thereby shape our future behavior. Our understanding of the complex mechanisms that underlie learning and memory has progressed dramatically in recent decades, and studies have not provided evidence that memories are indelible. Quite the contrary, it is becoming clear that there are several ways through which memories can change.

The ‘imperfection’ of memory has been known since the first empirical memory experiments by Ebbinghaus1, whose famous ‘forgetting curve’ revealed that people are unable to retrieve roughly 50% of information one hour after encoding. In addition to simple forgetting, memories routinely become distorted27. The public perception of memory, however, is typically that memory is akin to a video recorder8 (Box 1). This distinction between the perception and reality of memory has important consequences in the context of the courtroom. In the legal system, like among the general public, it is generally assumed that memory is highly accurate and largely indelible, at least in the case of ‘strong’ memories.

Recently, some regional jurisdictions, such as New Jersey10,11, Massachusetts12, Texas13, and North Carolina14 have implemented procedural changes designed to mitigate effects of memory biases and to best preserve accurate memories of eyewitnesses. However, the legal system writ large has been slow to adapt to research findings on memory, even though these findings have implications not only for eyewitness testimony, but also for how jurors remember and weigh evidence. Interest in the research of memory processes and their relevance to the courtroom has increased since the advent of DNA evidence, which has exonerated hundreds of individuals who were falsely convicted on the basis of eyewitness testimony. …

Conclusions

Memory is imperfect and is susceptible to distortion and loss. There are adaptive reasons for generalization and forgetting7. Indeed, Luria’s famous report of the mnemonist S.85 readily shows how an inability to forget can severely impair normal functioning. In addition, the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie the occurrence of distortions in memory also allow memories to be updated and strengthened. Unfortunately, in the courtroom ‘memory’ is often misunderstood and undue assumptions are made about its veridicality.

Thus, there needs to be greater education and awareness of memory processes in judicial settings and in daily life. Society would benefit from a better understanding of what factors affect memory accuracy and of their complexity and potentially counter-intuitive nature. Secondly, the legal system needs to reevaluate the probative value of memory. Witnessing a potentially traumatic event does not produce an unbiased, indelible memory of the event. Memory is an adaptive process based on reconstruction. It works well for what it is intended — guiding current and future behaviour. However, it is not infallible, and therefore should not be treated as such. For these reasons, some have argued that the legal system should not convict individuals on eyewitness testimony alone, but rather should require corroborative evidence83,86. Lastly, more research ought to be carried out on the complex mechanisms that underlie memory so that we can better understand its limits, improve its reliability, and detect when it has gone awry.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4183265/

Eyewitness memory

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Eyewitness memory is a person’s episodic memory for a crime or other dramatic event that he or she has witnessed.[1] Eyewitness testimony is often relied upon in the judicial system. It can also refer to an individual’s memory for a face, where they are required to remember the face of their perpetrator, for example.[2] However, the accuracy of eyewitness memories is sometimes questioned because there are many factors that can act during encoding and retrieval of the witnessed event which may adversely affect the creation and maintenance of the memory for the event. Experts have found evidence to suggest that eyewitness memory is fallible.[1] It has long been speculated that mistaken eyewitness identification plays a major role in the wrongful conviction of innocent individuals. A growing body of research now supports this speculation, indicating that mistaken eyewitness identification is responsible for more convictions of the innocent than all other factors combined.[3][4][5] The Innocence Project determined that 75% of the 239 DNA exoneration cases had occurred due to inaccurate eyewitness testimony. It is important to inform the public about the flawed nature of eyewitness memory and the difficulties relating to its use in the criminal justice system so that eyewitness accounts are not viewed as the absolute truth.[6]

Encoding

During the event

Challenges of identifying faces

People struggle to identify faces in person or from photos, a difficulty arising from the encoding of faces.[7] When participants were given a basic memory test from an array of photos or a lineup, they struggled to accurately identify the images and had low recognition. This finding provides a starting point for estimating the accuracy of eyewitnesses’ identification of others involved in a traumatic event. It can only get more challenging for a person to accurately encode a face when they are experiencing a traumatic event.[7] Because courts rely on eyewitness facial recognition, it is important to acknowledge that identification is not always accurate.[8] Face-specific cognitive and neural processes show contributions to holistic processing and recognition in the episodic memories of eyewitnesses.[9] Unreliability of eyewitness identifications may be a result of mismatching between how faces are holistically processed and how composite systems retrieve features in faces during an event.[10]

Other-race effect

The other-race effect (i.e. the own-race bias, cross-race effect, other-ethnicity effect, same-race advantage) is one factor thought to impact the accuracy of facial recognition. Studies investigating this effect have shown that a person is better able to recognize faces that match their own race but are less reliable at identifying other more unfamiliar races, thus inhibiting encoding.[11] Various explanations for this effect have been proposed. The perceptual expertise account suggests that with an increase of exposure to one’s own race, perceptual mechanisms develop which allow people to be more proficient at remembering faces of their own race.[12] The socio-cognitive account predicts that motivational and/or attentional components over focus on the race of a person.[12] Another hypothesis is that each race pays attention to certain facial details to differentiate between faces.[13] However, other races might not encode these same features. A final suggestion is that faces of the same race are encoded more deeply, leading a witness to have a more detailed memory for those faces; but there has not been much research to support this hypothesis. Research on the other race effect has mainly focused on the African American and Caucasian races. Most research has shown that white eyewitnesses exhibit the other-race effect, however this effect does extend to other races too.[13] In general, memory is an individual process and that conceptualization of race causes racial ambiguity in facial recognition. Mono-racial eyewitnesses may depend on categorization more than multiracial eyewitnesses, who develop a more fluid concept of race.[14] Perception may affect the immediate encoding of these unreliable notions due to prejudices, which can influence the speed of processing and classification of racially ambiguous targets. The ambiguity in eyewitness memory facial recognition can be attributed to the divergent strategies that are used when under the influence of racial bias. It should be noted this phenomenon is not limited to race. Stereotypes of any kind (whether they be related to age, gender, etc.) can affect the encoding of information at the time of the event. For example, if one is held at gunpoint by two individuals, one of whom is a man and the other is a woman wearing a hat, the victim may quickly fall back on the belief that men are more likely to be aggressors. Consequently, the victim may encode the situation as involving two male assailants, yielding problematic effects in the process of identifying the assailants later on.

Stress and trauma

Stress or trauma during an event can affect the encoding of the memory.[15] Traumatic events may cause memory to be repressed out of conscious awareness.[16] An inability to access the repressed memory is argued to occur in cases involving child sexual abuse. Another way encoding a memory can be affected is when the person involved in a traumatic event experiences dissociation; he or she mentally removes themselves from the situation, which may serve as a coping mechanism. Lastly, trauma may induce a flashbulb effect; the witness believes they vividly remember significant details of a salient event, although accuracy must be determined of such memories .[15] In legal settings the mental state of an individual at both witnessing a crime and in testimony can affect the success of their memory retrieval. Stress in small amounts is thought to aid memory, whereby stress hormones released by the amygdala promote the consolidation of emotional memories.[17] Nevertheless, stress in high amounts may hinder memory performance. Witnesses of severe crimes or trauma can suffer from further implications, such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)[18] or even Psychogenic Amnesia.[19]

Post traumatic stress disorder

Explicit memory (used in legal testimony) is affected by post traumatic stress disorder(PTSD); individuals diagnosed with PTSD can struggle to recall explicit events from their memory, usually those which are especially traumatic events. This may be due to the individual preferring not to think about the unpleasant memory, which they may rather forget. Implicit memory, on the other hand, does not seem to be affected in the same way that explicit memory does, rather some individuals with PTSD may score higher on implicit memory tests than non-PTSD individuals.[18]

Psychogenic amnesia

Psychogenic amnesia (or dissociative amnesia) can affect explicit memory for a particular event.[19] Most often cases of psychogenic amnesia occur after witnessing an extremely violent crime or trauma, such as war.[20]

Mood-congruency effect

Everyday memory can be affected by factors such as stress or mood. The ‘mood congruency’ effect refers to memory being aided by a matching of mood at the encoding/learning stage to the retrieval stage. If a memory is encoded under stressfull conditions it may be more likely that the memory is better recalled if stress levels at retrieval are congruent to stress levels at encoding. Mood congruency may affect a witnesses ability to recall a highly stressful crime, if conditions of encoding and retrieval are different.[20] Moderate amounts of stress may be beneficial to memory by the release of corticosteroids. Conversely, too much stress (and therefore an extreme influx of corticosteroids) can affect function of the hippocampus and therefore hinder memory. Very high levels of corticosteroid release may be very detrimental for memory.[21]

Weapon focus

The weapon focus effect suggests that the presence of a weapon narrows a person’s attention, thus affects eyewitness memory.[22] A person focuses on the central detail (for example, the weapon) and loses focus on the peripheral details (for example, the perpetrator’s characteristics). While the weapon is remembered clearly, the memories of the other details of the scene suffer.[22] The weapon focus effect occurs because additional items require more visual attention, therefore they are frequently not processed. This increased focus of attention on central aspects takes away attentional resources from peripheral details. For example, if a gun was brought into a school, it would attract significant amount of attention, because students are not used to seeing that item. When participants were watching a slideshow, and were seeing an unusual stimulus item, their reaction times were slower (regardless whether the stimulus was dangerous) in comparison to reaction times for more frequent stimulus. When the item was dangerous (i.e. a weapon), participants had a lower accuracy and confidence than the control group’s.[23] Another hypothesis is that seeing a weapon might cause an aroused state. In an aroused state, people focus on central details instead of peripheral ones.[24]

Interference

The testimony of a witness can lose validity due to too many external stimuli, that may affect what was witnessed during the crime, and therefore obstruct memory. For example, if an individual witnesses a car accident on a very public street, there may be too many cues distracting the witness from the main focus. Numerous interfering stimulus inputs may suppress the importance of the stimulus of focus, the accident. This can degrade the memory traces of the event, and diminish the representation of those memories. This is known as the cue-overload principle.[25]

After the event

Because memory is subject to contamination, the most reliable test of a memory is the initial test.[26] Police procedures can reduce the effects of contamination on memory with proper testing protocols.[26]

Misinformation effect

Witnesses can be subject to memory distortions that can alter their account of events. It is of particular interest that the memory of an eyewitness can become compromised by other information, such that an individual’s memory becomes biased. This can increase eyewitnesses sensitivity to the misinformation effect. Individuals report what they believe to have witnessed at the time of the crime, even though this may be the result of a false memory. These effects can be a result of post-event information.[27] It is very important to provide witnesses with helpful response options on memory tests and to be warned of misleading influences that might affect how the memory of the event is recalled at a later time.[28] Many employees, police force workers, and others are trained in post-warning in order to reduce influences on the misinformation effect, which can be predicted before crime. In their studies, many researchers use eyewitnesses to study retrieval-blocking effects, which interfere with a witness’ ability to recall information.[29] Misleading information prior to the event can also influence misinformation effects. Other studies also address how the misinformation effect seems to amplify over increasing recall.[30] Discussing events and being questioned multiple times may cause various versions of the testimonies. However, the earliest records prove to be the most accurate due to a minimized misinformation effect.

Unconscious transference

Many mistaken identifications are the result of unconscious transference, or the inability to distinguish between the perpetrator and another person who was encountered in a different context.[31] In many of these cases, the culprit is confused with a different person who was present at the crime scene. Implicit processing takes place during the event, in which the witness encodes the general features of innocent bystanders, creating a sense of familiarity. At retrieval, this familiarity could cause people who were merely present in the crime scene to be confused with the culprit.[31] After viewing a video of a crime involving a thief and two innocent bystanders, participants were asked to identify the perpetrator from a lineup including the three persons present in the video and three other people never before encountered. Most participants falsely identified an innocent person from the lineup. Furthermore, participants were more likely to misidentify one of the two innocent confederates in the video than one of the three unfamiliar people.[31] Unconscious transference occurs in this instance when the witness misattributes his or her sense of familiarity of the perpetrator to a bystander.[32] This confusing effect of familiarity is found in the mug shot procedure as well.[33] The presentation of mug shot arrays alone does not seem to influence identification accuracy. However, this presentation can be influential if the police lineups include individuals who were earlier featured in the mug shot array. Individuals appearing in police lineups that also appeared in previous photo arrays may be identified as quickly as identifying the actual target. Therefore, in cases where a suspect is identified from mug shots following a line-up, it is uncertain whether the line-up identification is a result of the recognition of the perpetrator or of the detection of a person seen previously in mug shots.[33]

Retrieval

Lineups

police lineup is a method for an eyewitness to identify a perpetrator by viewing a series of photos, or a live group of suspects.[22] One possible outcome of a lineup is that the eyewitness can correctly identify the criminal. Another outcome is that the eyewitness can correctly state that the criminal is not in the lineup. A third option is that the eyewitness can fail to recognize that the culprit is present. Lastly, the eyewitness can incorrectly select another suspect. The ideal result is to correctly identify the offender, and the worst outcome is to mistakenly identify an innocent.[22]

Police role in lineup

There are specific guidelines for police to follow when administering a lineup, to reduce bias in the lineup and increase the accuracy of eyewitness judgements.[22] Police must reduce the pressure that eyewitnesses feel to select a criminal from an array of photos or persons. They should make sure that the eyewitness is aware that the perpetrator might not be in the lineup. Also, police should conduct a double blind procedure that does not allow them to see the lineup. This prevents police from giving the eyewitness any information, intentional or not, about who in the lineup is a police suspect. It also prevents the police from giving any feedback to the eyewitness. Feedback can produce a false confidence in the witness’ selection. When overseeing a lineup, the police can use speed of recognition to determine the validity of the identification. If the witness quickly identifies the perpetrator, then the selection is more likely to be correct.[22]

Style of lineup

sequential lineup presents a witness with a series of photos one at a time, requiring the participant to identify if each photo matches his/her memory before moving forward.[34] The witness does not know how many photos are in the group. In a simultaneous lineup, the photos or suspects are viewed together. Sequential lineups produce fewer identifications, since they are more challenging, and require absolute judgement. This means that the decision regarding the matching of the memory to the photo is independently made. On the other hand, a simultaneous lineup requires relative judgement, as the decision is not independent of the other possibilities. An absolute judgment is a judgment that requires the person to be 100 percent certain in their choice where a relative judgment is when someone makes up their mind based on what looks the closest. However, researchers such as Dr. Gary Wells from Iowa State University claim “during simultaneous lineups, witnesses use relative judgment, meaning that they compare lineup photographs or members to each other, rather than to their memory of the offender.”[35] Sequential lineups have been preferred historically, seeing as they do not rely on relative judgment. However, recent data suggests the preference for sequential lineups over simultaneous lineups may not be empirically supported. Individuals who participate in sequential lineups are less likely to make a selection at all, regardless if the selection is accurate or not. This suggests the sequential lineup fosters a more conservative shift in criterion to make a selection rather than an increased ability to pick the true perpetrator. Consequently, further research is needed before offering recommendations to police departments.[36]

Size of lineup

Lineup members should have diverse characteristics so that lineups are not biased toward or against the suspect. If the appearance of a person stands out amongst the otherwise indistinctive crowd, then an eyewitness is more likely to select that person regardless of their own recollection of the criminal. According to Schuster (2007), the suspect, if he is in the in person lineup or in a picture lineup, should not stand out from the others in the lineup. People’s eyes are drawn to what is different. If you make sure that all the men or women in the pictures have a similar appearance, have the same background in their picture, race, age, and are wearing the same or similar clothing, just to name a few, then the risk of getting a false positive will decrease. Thus, this lineup is suggestive.[37] Fillers should be added to the lineup in order to depict a broad spectrum of characteristics,[38] but must match any known description of the offender. If lineup members do not all match the known description of the offender then the lineup is biased toward the suspect.[39] Biased lineups have been shown to increase misidentifications, particularly in target-absent lineups.[40] Increasing the nominal size of a lineup (the actual number of suspects that are compiled) often decreases the potential for a wrong selection. Functional size also plays a role in lineup bias. Functional size is the reciprocal of the fraction of mock witnesses that choose the suspect from a lineup.[41] For example, in a lineup of nominal size 5, if 15 out of 30 mock witnesses (randomly chosen individuals that did not experience the offence) choose the suspect, the functional size of the lineup is the reciprocal of 15/30, which is 30/15, or 2. So although the lineup has 5 members, functionally it only has 2. Effective size is the number of probable suspects. Police use these three numbers to evaluate a lineup.[38]

Viewpoints

Many studies, as well as police procedures, are dependent on photo lineups or police lineups where the eyewitness views the suspects from a distance. This procedure is done in an attempt to eliminate suspects and identify the perpetrator. These types of lineups allow only small degrees of visual information for the eyewitness, such as limited viewing angles, which restrict the level of detail compared to a computerized virtual lineup where witnesses can see the targets from multiple angles and distances. One might anticipate that examination of the suspects from unlimited viewpoints would allow for better recognition cues, than when compared to limited views. However, unlimited visual information may be disadvantageous and counterproductive if the information offered at the time of retrieval was not actually present at the time of memory encoding.[42] For example, if an eyewitness only saw the face of the perpetrator from one angle, seeing the lineup participants from other viewpoints might be distracting. Other studies have demonstrated that unlimited viewpoints do improve accuracy in police lineups.[42] It should also be noted that the eyewitness accuracy improves when the distance between the suspect and witness matches the distance during the initial witnessing of the crime.[43]

Retroactive interference

Another phenomenon that may interfere with an eyewitness’ memory is retroactive interference. This occurs when new information is processed that obstructs the retrieval of old information.[44] A common source of interference that may occur after the event of a crime is the reporting of the crime. Police investigations include questioning that is often suggestive. The processing of new information may disrupt or entirely replace old information.[45] If a police officer has reason to believe that a suspect is guilty the interrogator’s bias can influence the eyewitness’ memory. The interrogators can also put pressure on witnesses causing them to want to select a perpetrator from a police lineup. Eyewitnesses are often unsuspecting of the interrogator bias and believe their memories to be uncontaminated.[46]

Co-witness contamination

The presence of a co-witness can often contaminate memories.[47] When witnesses confer about an event they can end up agreeing on an incorrect narrative. Research has found that 71% of witnesses changed their eyewitness accounts to include false components that their co-witnesses remembered.[48] This makes it very difficult to reconstruct the actual account of an event. To prevent this effect, police should separate witnesses as early as possible before the reporting of the event. Unfortunately this is difficult, especially if the police do not get involved immediately after the event. Police should inform witnesses of the possibility of contamination as soon as possible. Witnesses should be interviewed as soon as possible with police noting if the witnesses have compared accounts. Once the accounts have been recorded, police should make notes of similarities or differences that could point to contaminated details or facts. [49]

Confidence

A witness identifying a suspect can make a decision with little or great confidence. Level of confidence varies between different witnesses and situations. There are two types of confidence: confidence in a witness’ own ability to make an identification (prior to viewing a police lineup) and confidence in having made an accurate identification or accurate rejection. It must be considered that memories are normally vulnerable to multiple influences and prone to distortions and deceptions: “they are never constant and never result in fully accurate representations [and] these changes occur without us being aware of them.”[50] As a consequence, the witness’ confidence in his/her ability to make a correct identification should not be used to assess the accuracy of identification. Witnesses should be asked to attempt identifications even if their confidence is low. Confidence ratings after identification of a suspect is a better ( but not perfect) predictor.[51]

In many experiments, witnesses are asked to rate their confidence in their decision after making an identification from a lineup. A number of psychologists have investigated factors that might affect the confidence accuracy relationship. In a recent review of 15 experiments, suspect identifications made with high confidence were, on average, 97 percent accurate.[26] On the other hand, witnesses who report low confidence are highly suggestive of inaccurate identification. University of Virginia law professor Brandon Garrett analyzed trial materials for 161 DNA exonerated individuals and found that in 57 percent of those cases, it was possible to determine that, in the initial (uncontaminated) memory test, the eyewitnesses were, at best, uncertain.[26]

The optimality hypothesis states that factors influencing the optimality of information processing also influence the reliability of the confidence estimate. During situations in which information processing conditions are less than optimal (e.g. the perpetrator is disguised or duration of exposure is brief) witnesses’ performance during identification decreases and they are less confident in their decision. The confidence accuracy correlation is thus estimated to be stronger in situations of optimal information processing such as longer exposure time, and weaker under conditions that are not optimal.[52]

Certain factors affect identification accuracy without influencing confidence whereas other factors influence confidence without having an effect on identification accuracy. Reconstructive processes in memory (i.e. the influence of post-event information on stored memories) can influence identification accuracy while not necessarily affecting confidence. Social influence processes (i.e. committing to a decision) might have an effect on confidence judgements while having little to no effect on the accuracy of the identification.[53]

Interviews

The method of conducting an interview has great implication on the accuracy of the testimony. When the person being interviewed is forced to provide more information, he/she is more likely to engage in confabulation.[54] For example, when participants were shown a video and instructed to answer all questions (answerable and unanswerable) about its content, they often fabricated information.[54] When prodded too much to remember something, people often fall upon false memories. This effect is also seen in hypnosis: when people intensely try and are guided to remember something, they may end up mistaking a vivid imagination as a memory.[55]

Cognitive interview technique

Researchers have developed a strategy, entitled the cognitive interview technique, to elicit the most accurate eyewitness memory.[56] In this preferred protocol for conducting interviews, the interrogator should make the witness feel comfortable, ask open-ended questions, and grant the witness freedom in describing the event.[22] In addition, the interviewer should encourage the witness to exhaust his/her memory by reinstating the context of the event, recalling the events in different orders, and viewing the event scene from different perspectives.[22]

Suggestibility

Distortions in a witness’s memory can be induced by suggestive questioning procedures.[57] Asking eyewitnesses to repeatedly retrieve information in multiple interviews may enhance memory because the event is being rehearsed many times or, as in many cases, increase suggestibility. Misleading information offered by the investigators may attract more attention than the originally encoded information, so the witness’ memory of the event is altered to include erroneous details suggested during the interview.[57] In addition, repeating questions could make the witness feel pressured to change his or her answer or elaborate on an already-given response with fabricated details.[58] Open-ended questioning can reduce the level of retrieval-enhanced suggestibility because the witness is not subjected to testing manipulation by the interviewer.[57]

Contextual reinstatement

Contextual reinstatement is a common technique used to help eyewitnesses remember details about a specific environment– reviewing the initial environment in which the original information was encoded. Taking a witness back to the scene where the event occurred, for example, will help facilitate the accuracy in identifying perpetrators. Reinstatement is thought to improve recall as it provides memory retrieval cues. Research has demonstrated that pairing faces of suspects or words with contextual cues at the scene of the crime will enhance performance on recognition tasks.[59][60] Therefore, it seems practical that these results can be applied to eyewitness identification. Methods commonly used to examine context reinstatement include photographs of the environment/scene, mental contextual reinstatement cues, and guided recollection. Studies show that re-exposing participants to the crime scene does enhance performance in facial recognition.[61] There were also notable effects for context reinstatement where improvement on correct identifications while increasing false alarms. Reports also show that the magnitude of improvement via context reinstatement increased in lifelike situations compared to laboratory studies.[62]

Experimental context

An alteration of context was found to be one of the most important predictors of recognition accuracy. Such changes in experimental context have been shown to have effects similar to transformations in appearance, such as disguises. Criminal identifications can be influenced by a change in context. Investigators must account for the fact that encountering an acquaintance that we usually see in one context, such as work place, alters memory generalizability when compared to encountering the same acquaintance in another environment that acts like an unassociated context, such as a grocery store. The changes in environment make it difficult to identify this acquaintance.[62] Initially, the individual might seem familiar but because this person is not in the normal context, it might be difficult to place the face and recall the name. Researchers have begun to implement procedures for reinstating the context surrounding a specific event in an attempt to improve identification accuracy. Reinstating the crime scene is often not possible. Sometimes, however it is possible to have eyewitnesses imagine and thus mentally reinstate the surroundings with imagery instructions and other mnemonic devices.[62] In some instances, objects from the crime scene such as guns or clothing can be used additionally to help reinstate the context. Such methods have successfully shown to improve reliability and accuracy of eyewitness recall.

Verbal overshadowing effect

The process of describing a face entails thinking about its features independently, but people process faces configurally (as a whole, encoding the features in relation to one another).[63] So, the process of describing the face often impairs the memory of it—this is the verbal overshadowing effect. A verbal overshadowing effect typically refers to the negative effect on memory recall as a result of giving a verbal description of a visual object. For example, a witness who gives a verbal description of a face is likely to have subsequent impaired recognition for that face.[64] However, Perfect et al. (2002) predicted that the verbal overshadowing effect would also be seen in voice recognition; that is that verbally describing a voice should also impair subsequent recognition of that voice. They predicted this because they argued that voices were difficult to articulate and so it is likely they would be vulnerable to the verbal overshadowing effect. This was found to be the case. Moreover, a dissociation between accuracy and confidence was observed. Participants’ confidence that they had identified the correct voice in the audio-lineup was not influenced by the verbal overshadowing effect; in other words, verbal overshadowing had the effect of decreasing earwitnesses’ recognition ability but without their knowledge.[65]

Child testimony

Most of the research on eyewitness memory has involved adults, despite the fact that it is not uncommon for children to have been involved in a crime or to have been the central witness of a crime. Statistics from the Crown Prosecution Service[66] revealed that 1,116 children under the age of 10 were witnesses to a crime in England and Wales in 2008/9.

Children’s testimony refers to when children are required to testify in court after witnessing or being involved in a crime. In situations where a child is the main witness of a crime, the result of the hearing is dependent on the child’s memory of the event. And there are several important issues associated with eyewitness memory of children. For example, the accuracy of the child’s explanation, in such situations, coupled with how well the child can identify the setting of the crime and the individuals involved in the crime, influence the credibility of the child’s testimony. Whilst research shows that it is possible for children to provide relevant and accurate forensic information, they appear less reliable than adult witnesses and like all witnesses, can create false memories.[67][68]

Moreover, children often have a limited vocabulary, a desire to please the officer, or difficulty answering questions because of trauma.[68] Using early childhood memories in eyewitness testimony can also be challenging because for the first 1–2 years of life, brain structures such as the limbic system, which holds the hippocampus and the amygdala and is involved in memory storage,[69] are not yet fully developed.[70] Research has demonstrated that children can remember events from before the age of 3–4 years, but that these memories decline as children get older (see childhood amnesia).[71][72]

Children can be involved in testimony not only when they are witnesses, but also when they are victims. There have been several cases of children recovering false memories of childhood abuse.[73] Children as especially suggestible[74] and in cases of recovered memories, is hard to determine whether the recovered memory is accurate or imagined. Due to the sensitivity of these cases, strategic interviewing is implemented for children, which may result in the validity of the memory to suffer. Strategic interviewing must be assessed with sensitivity on an individual bases and without leading questions, as they may influence the child’s answer.[75] Additional influences may include individuals surrounding the child prior to, and during the hearing. If children hear new information from such individuals, studies show that children will more than likely agree with what the others said – regardless of the child’s initial opinion.[76]

Studies on children show that the average child is at greater risk for memory loss, due to the brain’s immaturity and plasticity, when compared to an average adult.[21] Poorer memory performance in young kids was shown when youth of different ages were asked to recall a doctor’s visit.[15] Children aged 3–5 answered with much less accuracy than individuals aged 6–15, indicating developmental differences in memory capacity. Furthermore, it has been shown that information encoded and stored in memory is dependent on the extent of knowledge regarding the event. That is, if a child is exposed to an event that he or she knows little about, their memory of the event will not be as accurate when compared to a child who is more knowledgeable on event-related topics.[77] These results of increased sensitivity, suggestibility and memory loss in children lead one to question the competency of a child to serve as an eyewitness. Researchers have determined that a child should be considered a competent witness if he or she has the capacity to observe, communicate, produce sufficient memories, differentiate truth from lies, and understand the obligation to tell the truth.[15] However, the same caution that is taken with all eyewitnesses should be taken with child testimony, as all eyewitness testimonies are prone to inaccuracies.[3][4][5]

Intellectual ability and testimony

Individuals with intellectual disabilities are at a higher risk for sexual abuse and exploitation because they are often dependent on others and uneducated or physically incompetent in ways of self-protection.[78] Therefore, much research has been devoted to investigating the accountability of these individuals in eyewitness testimonies. When a group of adults chosen by the Developmental Disabilities Association was compared to a control group of college students, they performed equally well when a target was absent from a lineup. However, the control group were better at recognizing when a target was present in a lineup, leading to the determination that people with intellectual disabilities are more suggestible and likely to confabulate.[78] Children with intellectual disabilities show similar patterns in their eyewitness accounts. After watching a video of a crime, children with these disabilities performed worse than non-disabled kids of the same age on free recall, open-ended questions, and both general and specific misleading questions.[79] These children performed better than the age-matched control group only on leading questions with yes or no answers, suggesting that they are more likely to acquiesce in the interview.[79] These findings indicate that individuals with intellectual disabilities could be considered competent witnesses if interrogated in a non-leading manner.

Eidetic memory

Individuals who are said to possess eidetic memories are thought to hold to an image in mind for longer and with more accuracy than the average individual.[80] But evidence for eidetic memory is limited, and there is no evidence for photographic memory or a memory being an exact replica of an event. The memories of those who claim to have superior eidetic memories are just as flawed as the memories of individuals who have normal mnemonic abilities;[81] people who claim to have photographic memories are not immune to flawed eyewitness testimony. Witnesses who believe that they are able to retrieve an accurate mental photograph will also be much more confident in their account of the event and may influence the trial outcome.[80] Accuracy recall of such visual scenes is a controversial issue. In the past, eidetikers were believed to have extremely accurate recall for visual displays, but modern research findings might reveal a different story. Some research demonstrates that eidetic children have greater recall accuracy for visual details compared to non-eidetic children. Other researchers have failed to find any advantage between the two groups. It is also hypothesized that eidetic imagery is not exactly related to memory and improves recall for visual details. As such, photographic memory is not useful in the courtroom.[82]

The frequency of eidetic imagery is low in adults and shows greatest frequency in early child development.[83] In fact, it is almost non-existent past the age of 7. When procedures are used to classify eidetic memory separate from the characteristic of afterimage and memory image, a small number of children are classified as true eidetikers. These children are still suggestible; their eyewitness testimonies may still have error.

Earwitness memory

Research investigating earwitness memory has only recently emerged from the shadow of the extensively investigated phenomena of eyewitness memory and eyewitness testimony, despite having been in use within the English justice system since the 1660s.[84][85]Earwitness memory refers to a person’s auditory memory for a crime or incriminatory information they have heard.[86] Much of the research which has been conducted on earwitness memory focuses on speaker recognition, otherwise known as voice recognition, whilst there is less research which investigates memory for environmental sounds.[87] The majority of the literature on voice and face recognition finds a robust face advantage; compared to voice recognition, face recognition appears to be the stronger pathway, with most individuals finding it much more difficult to recall a voice compared to recalling a face.[88][89][90]

Eyewitness vs. earwitness accuracy

A substantial proportion of the literature into witness testimony finds a robust recall advantage for visual stimuli compared to auditory stimuli. We seem to have a profound memory advantage for visual objects and scenes whilst being poorer at remembering auditory information.[91] This therefore has clear implications for eyewitness and earwitness memory; what is seen should be more likely to be remembered than what is heard by a witness. This finding can be extended to faces and voices; within the person recognition literature, it has been found that individuals are far better at identifying a person by their face as opposed to their voice.[92][93][94]

Non-verbal memory: environmental sound

Researchers define environmental sounds as those that are either animate, inanimate, artificial or natural; sounds produced by real events as opposed to machine-generated sounds; sounds that are more complex than laboratory-produced sounds and those that are dynamic and convey a sense of activity.[95][96] Examples include the ring of a doorbell, coughing, rain, a car engine, a railroad crossing signal, and so on. Such environmental sounds are important sources of information and provide us with knowledge of our surroundings.

Research has found that recall for environmental sounds can be dependent upon the storage and retrieval of verbalizable interpretations. In one study, individuals heard a selection of ambiguous environmental sounds and attempted to label each sound as they were presented. A week later, individuals labelled the sounds again and it was found that re-labelling the sounds subsequently caused individuals to perform much better in the recognition test. Recognition of environmental sounds therefore appears dependent upon labeling both at input and in the test phase, either when labels are created by subjects as they hear the sounds, or when labels are generated by the experimenter and presented to subjects.[97] More recent research has found that it is possible to memorize the loudness of an environmental sound.[98] However it is important to remember that a lot of research investigating environmental sound and memory recall is conducted in a laboratory setting and so has limited ecological validity and generalizability.

Verbal memory: voice recognition

Compared to memory recall for faces, voice recall appears to be significantly more vulnerable to interference.[94][99] These consistent findings suggest that earwitness memory is far more vulnerable to the effects of interference compared to eyewitness memory;[100]although the weight placed on eyewitness memory in court should also be carefully considered as there is much evidence to suggest its fallibility.[101][102] For example, some studies have found that eyewitness identification can be impaired by effects such as the weapon focus effect or verbal overshadowing.[103][104] Nevertheless, voice recognition appears to be the pathway most significantly impaired by interfering factors.

Face overshadowing effect

A face overshadowing effect is often found to occur, whereby individuals’ voice recognition performance is impaired with the co-presentation of a face.[105] Visual information therefore appears to have the ability to significantly interfere with the recall of auditory information. However, research has investigated whether earwitness memory is impaired to the same extent when the face of the one speaking is concealed in some way. Research shows that when a face is covered, with a balaclava for instance, accuracy for voice identification slightly improves; however a face overshadowing effect still exists despite the earwitness being able to see fewer facial features.[106]

Pitch of voice

Voice pitch has also been identified as a factor that can affect voice recognition performance. Individuals are likely to exaggerate their memory for pitch; upon hearing a high pitched voice in an initial presentation (such as the perpetrator’s voice in a crime), individuals are likely to choose an even higher-pitched voice in the test phase (audio line-up). Similarly, upon hearing a low-pitched voice, they are likely to remember the voice as being even lower in pitch when voices are presented in an audio line-up.[107] Comparable cognitive functions seem to operate when individuals attempt to remember faces; ambiguity surrounding the ethnicity or gender of faces is likely to result in the individual’s recall of faces to be exaggerated with regards to ethnic and gender-related features. Researchers call this the accentuation effect.[108] It is suggested that voice pitch, alongside other ‘surface properties’ of speech such as speech content,[109] are instantaneously encoded into memory.[110] This contrasts with auditory features such as amplitude and speaking rate, of which there is contrary evidence about whether they are automatically encoded into memory.[111]

Other-accent effect

There is evidence to suggest that witnesses may find it harder to identify a perpetrator’s voice if the perpetrator speaks the witness’s native language with an accent compared to without one. It is thought that more cognitive effort is required to process a non-native speaker’s voice. This is because a ‘cost’ is placed on the listener, with accented voices violating the ‘speech schema’ the listener is familiar with in their own geographic region. Therefore, listeners may be required to expend more effort in order to recognize and distinguish the non-native speaker’s phonetic segments and words.[112][113]

An accent also has the potential to interfere with the witness’s ability to recognize the perpetrator’s appearance. It has been found that when witnesses are asked to recall a perpetrator, the perpetrator’s physical appearance is remembered less well when they have an accent compared to when they do not. This appears the case with different accents, speech content and how long a listener is exposed to the speaker. One proposed explanation for why accents can negatively affect the recall of visual information and eyewitness memory draws from Wickens’ (2002; 2008) multiple resource theory.[114][115] Wickens’ theory suggests that attentional resources are separated into distinct ‘pools’. Only visual and auditory tasks have access to visual and auditory attentional resources, respectively. However, when a task arises which requires the use of attentional resources from both modalities, this leads to competition for resources, in turn leading the inability to accomplish one or both tasks or resulting in poorer performance. Therefore, fewer general resources may have been available in order to encode and remember the perpetrator’s appearance after witnesses had used attentional resources for the processing of the accented voice and speech content.[113]

Direct hearing vs. devices

Whilst many earwitness accounts are attained directly and ‘in-the-moment’, many will be acquired over a telephone or over other communication devices. Whether the earwitness hears a conversation or other auditory information in person or hears it over a communication device could impact their rate of accuracy. However, contrary to this prediction, research has found no significant differences between the accuracy of voice identification when the voice was heard directly or over a mobile phone, despite the sound quality seeming poorer in the latter.[116]

Emotion

Researchers have also investigated to what extent the distinctiveness of a voice, such as heightened emotion, can aid or impair an individual’s recollection of it. There is evidence that faces are better remembered if they display emotion compared to when they appear neutral; in one study healthy control participants remembered more accurately happy faces than they did neutral faces.[117] Likewise, a host of studies have found that memories that are more emotional in nature are more complex and are less likely to be forgotten compared to memories that are more neutral.[118][119] It therefore seems logical for researchers to explore whether auditory material which is emotional in nature is also remembered better. Research has produced conflicting results. Bradley and Lang (2000) found that there was a memory advantage for auditory material when it was more emotional compared to when it was more neutral.[120] The authors also found that participants’ physiological activity when they listened to emotionally arousing sounds was very similar to the physiological arousal produced when they were shown emotional images. However, studies investigating emotion in voices have found no significant differences between recall rates for emotional voices and neutral voices, with some research even demonstrating that emotion can impair memory recall for the voice. For instance, it was found that angry voices were recalled to a lesser extent compared to if they were neutral in tone.[121] This finding has been supported by other studies which have also found that rather than enhancing voice identification, emotion may significantly interfere with it.[122] However it is important to remember that ethical guidelines will confine the levels of emotionality that are appropriate to be induced in participants in a laboratory study environment.

Time-delay

The amount of time between when an individual hears incriminatory information or the voice of their perpetrator, for instance, and the time they are required to recall the auditory information as an earwitness can affect their recall accuracy rate. Memory for auditory information including voice recognition appears to decline over time; studies have found that participants can recall more correct auditory information immediately after the initial presentation than after a four-day time interval, supporting several other studies finding similar results. Furthermore, the extent to which the time-interval affects memory recall for auditory information depends upon whether the witness just heard the auditory information of whether it was accompanied by visual information too, such as the face of the perpetrator. One study has found that recall is enhanced when both auditory information is heard and visual information is seen, as opposed to just hearing auditory information. Still, when individuals are asked to remember the voice and the speech content, they are only likely to have remembered the gist of what has been said as opposed to remembering verbatim.[123][124] This clearly has implications for the amount of weight that is placed upon earwitness testimony in court. Earwitnesses are not typically required to give statements or recall a voice or auditory information immediately after an event has occurred, but instead are required to recall information after a time-delay. This could significantly impair the accuracy of their recall. The testimonies of those w