The Pronk Pops Show 1362, November 19, 2019, Story 1: Coup Cover-up Campaign Continues — Big Lie Media Continues Peddling Progressive Propaganda Lies — Both Phony Whistle Blower and Trump DNC Dirt Digger Must Testify — Democrat Operative Activist and CIA Analyst Eric A. Ciaramella Is The Whistle Blower — Democrat National Committee (DNC) Ukraine Trump Dirt Digger — Alexandra Chalupa — Both Must Testify In Public or Impeachment Fails — Videos — Story 2: Illegal Alien Invasion Continues and Democrats Continue To Support Open Borders and Citizenship For All 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens Now In The United States — Democrats More Concerned With Illegal Aliens Than Welfare of American People — The Great Betrayal of The American People By The Political Elitist Establishment of Both Big Government Parties — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1362 November 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1361 November 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1360 November 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1359 November 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1358 November 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1357 November 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1356 November 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1355 November 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1354 November 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1353 November 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1352 November 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1351 November 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1350 November 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1349 October 31, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1348 October 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1347 October 29, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1346 October 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1345 October 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1344 October 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1343 October 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1342 October 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1341 October 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1340 October 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1339 October 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1338 October 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1337 October 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1336 October 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1335 October 7, 2019

 Pronk Pops Show 1334 October 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1333 October 3, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1332 October 2, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1331 October 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1330 September 30, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1329 September 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1328 September 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1327 September 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1326 September 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1325 September 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1324 September 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1323 September 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1322 September 18 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1321 September 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1320 September 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1319 September 13, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1318 September 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1317 September 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1316 September 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1315 September 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1314 September 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1313 August 28, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1312 August 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1311 August 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1310 August 21, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1309 August 20, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1308 August 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1307 August 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1306 August 14, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1305 August 12, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1304 August 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1303 August 7, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1302 August 6, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1301 August 5, 2019

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Story 1: Coup Cover-up Campaign Continues — Big Lie Media Continues Peddling Progressive Propaganda Lies — Both Phony Whistle Blower and Trump Dirt Digger Must Testify — Democrat Operative Activist and CIA Analyst Eric A. Ciaramella Is The Whistleblower — Democrat National Committee (DNC) Ukraine Trump Dirt Digger –Alexandra Chalupa — Both Must Testify In Public or Impeachment Fails — Videos — 

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House Impeachment Inquiry Hearing – Vindman & Williams Testimony

Impeachment Inquiry Hearing with Lt. Col. Vindman and Vice President Pence Aide Jennifer Williams. Hearing begins with gavel at 31:40. https://cs.pn/377wOPm

Rep. Devin Nunes Opening Statement

WATCH: Rep. Nunes’ full opening statement in Volker and Morrison hearing

WATCH: Rep. Elise Stefanik’s full questioning of Vindman and Williams | Trump impeachment hearings

WATCH: Rep. Michael Turner’s full questioning of Vindman and Williams | Trump impeachment hearings

WATCH: Rep. Jordan criticizes Vindman for discussing Trump Ukraine call | Trump impeachment inquiry

WATCH: Rep. Jim Jordan’s full questioning of Vindman and Williams | Trump impeachment hearings

WATCH: Schiff’s full questioning of Vindman and Williams | Trump impeachment hearings

WATCH: Democratic counsel’s full questioning of Vindman and Williams | Trump impeachment hearings

WATCH: Rep. Nunes’ full opening statement in Volker and Morrison hearing

Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said there has been in a “disconnect” between what’s been seen and heard in the public impeachment hearings so far, and what’s been reported by media. Repeating a GOP argument in the hearings, Nunes raised questions about Democrats’ “prior coordination” with the whistleblower. Rep. Adam Schiff, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, has previously said he doesn’t know the identity of the whistleblower or communicated with them. Nunes spoke ahead of testimony from Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an Army officer who works for the National Security Council, on Nov. 19, in a public hearing as part of the impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump. The impeachment inquiry has focused on a July 25 phone call in which Trump asked the president of Ukraine to investigate former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter. For more on who’s who in the Trump impeachment inquiry, read: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/politics…

Day 3, Part 13: Devin Nunes and Steve Castor question Kurt Volker and Tim Morrison

WATCH: Rep. Jim Jordan’s full questioning of Volker and Morrison | Trump impeachment hearings

WATCH: Republican counsel’s full questioning of Volker and Morrison | Trump impeachment hearings

WATCH: Rep. Michael Turner’s full questioning of Volker and Morrison | Trump impeachment hearings

WATCH: Democratic counsel’s full questioning of Volker and Morrison | Trump impeachment hearings

Watch Live: Trump Impeachment Inquiry Hearings – November 19, 2019 (Day 3) | NBC News

House Impeachment Inquiry Hearing – Vindman & Williams Testimony

George Soros, Marie Yovanovitch, Democrats & Ukraine: How the DEEP STATE Takes Control

Glenn breaks down the several steps our shadow government, or deep state, uses to take control of both domestic and foreign policy, allowing them to gain power and shape the world into their socialistic viewpoint. Several sources claim former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, instructed Ukraine officials to keep their hands off investigating the NGO in Ukraine founded by George Soros. Why? George Soros is working with the State Department on the two final steps to take power there: training activists to go into action when cued, and actively supporting that opposition.

Debunking some of the Ukraine scandal myths about Biden and election interference

There is a long way to go in the impeachment process, and there are some very important issues still to be resolved. But as the process marches on, a growing number of myths and falsehoods are being spread by partisans and their allies in the news media.

The early pattern of misinformation about Ukraine, Joe Biden and election interference mirrors closely the tactics used in late 2016 and early 2017 to build the false and now-debunked narrative that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin colluded to hijack the 2016 election.

Facts do matter. And they prove to be stubborn evidence, even in the midst of a political firestorm. So here are the facts (complete with links to the original materials) debunking some of the bigger fables in the Ukraine scandal.

Myth: There is no evidence the Democratic National Committee sought Ukraine’s assistance during the 2016 election.

The Facts: The Ukrainian embassy in Washington confirmed to me this past April that a Democratic National Committee contractor named Alexandra Chalupa did, in fact, solicit dirt on Donald Trump and Paul Manafort during the spring of 2016 in hopes of spurring a pre-election congressional hearing into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia. The embassy also stated Chalupa tried to get Ukraine’s president at the time, Petro Poroshenko, to do an interview on Manafort with an American investigative reporter working on the issue. The embassy said it turned down both requests.

You can read the Ukraine embassy’s statement here. The statement essentially confirmed a January 2017 investigative article in Politico that first raised concerns about Chalupa’s contacts with the embassy.

Chalupa’s activities involving Ukraine were further detailed in a May 2016 email published by WikiLeaks in which she reported to DNC officials on her efforts to dig up dirt on Manafort and Trump. You can read that email here.  Myth: There is no evidence that Ukrainian government officials tried to influence the American presidential election in 2016.

The Facts: There are two documented episodes involving Ukrainian government officials’ efforts to influence the 2016 American presidential election. The first occurred in Ukraine, where a court last December ruled that a Parliamentary member and a senior Ukrainian law enforcement official improperly tried to influence the U.S. election by releasing financial records in spring and summer 2016 from an investigation into Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s lobbying activities. The publicity from the release of the so-called Black Ledger documents forced Manafort to resign. You can read that ruling here.  While that court ruling since has been set aside on a jurisdiction technicality, the facts of the released information are not in dispute.

The second episode occurred on U.S. soil back in August 2016 when Ukraine’s then-ambassador to Washington, Valeriy Chaly, took the extraordinary step of writing an OpEd in The Hill criticizing GOP nominee Donald Trump and his views on Russia just three months before Election Day. You can read that OpEd here.

Chaly later told me through his spokeswoman that he wasn’t writing the OpEd for political purposes but rather to address his country’s geopolitical interests. But his article, nonetheless, was viewed by many in career diplomatic circles as running contrary to the Geneva Convention’s rules barring diplomats from becoming embroiled in the host country’s political affairs. And it clearly adds to the public perception that Ukraine’s government at the time preferred Hillary Clinton over Trump in the 2016 election.

Myth: The allegation that Joe Biden tried to fire the Ukrainian prosecutor investigating his son Hunter Biden’s Ukrainian gas firm employer has been debunked, and there is no evidence the ex-vice president did anything improper.

The Facts: Joe Biden is captured on  videotape bragging about his effort to strong-arm Ukraine’s president into firing Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin. Biden told a foreign policy group in early 2018 that he used the threat of withholding $1 billion in U.S. aid to Kiev to successfully force Shokin’s firing. You can watch Biden’s statement here.

It also is not in dispute that at the time he forced the firing, the vice president’s office knew Shokin was investigating Burisma Holdings, the company where Hunter Biden worked as a board member and consultant. Team Biden was alerted to the investigation in a December 2015 New York Times article. You can read that article here.

The unresolved question is what motivated Joe Biden to seek Shokin’s ouster. Biden says he took the action solely because the U.S. and Western allies believed Shokin was ineffective in fighting corruption. Shokin told me, ABC News and others that he was fired because Joe Biden was unhappy that the Burisma investigation was not shut down. He made similar statements in an affidavit prepared to be filed in an European court. You can read that affidavit here.

In the end, though, whether Joe Biden had good or bad intentions in getting Shokin fired is somewhat irrelevant to the question of the vice president’s ethical obligation.

U.S. ethics rules require all government officials to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest in taking official actions. Ethics experts I talked with say Biden should have recused himself from the Shokin matter once he learned about the Burisma investigation to avoid the appearance issue.

And a senior U.S. diplomat was quoted in testimony reported by The Washington Post earlier this month that he tried to raise warnings with Biden’s VP office in 2015 that Hunter Biden’s role at the Ukrainian firm raised the potential issue of conflicts of interest.

Myth: Ukraine’s investigation into Burisma Holdings was no longer active when Joe Biden forced Shokin’s firing in March 2016.

The Facts: This is one of the most egregiously false statements spread by the media. Ukraine’s official case file for Burisma Holdings, provided to me by prosecutors, shows there were two active investigations into the gas firm and its founder Mykola Zlochevsky in early 2016, one involving corruption allegations and the other involving unpaid taxes.

In fact, Shokin told me in an interview he was making plans to interview Burisma board members, including Hunter Biden, at the time he was fired. And it was publicly reported that in February 2016, a month before Shokin was fired, that Ukrainian prosecutors raided one of Zlochevsky’s homes and seized expensive items like a luxury car as part of the corruption probe. You can read a contemporaneous news report about the seizure here.

Burisma’s own legal activities also clearly show the investigations were active at the time Shokin was fired. Internal emails I obtained from the American legal team representing Burisma show that on March 29, 2016 – the very day Shokin was fired – Burisma lawyer John Buretta was seeking a meeting with Shokin’s temporary replacement in hopes of settling the open cases.

In May 2016 when new Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko was appointed, Buretta then sent a letter to the new prosecutor seeking to resolve the investigations of Burisma  and Zlochevsky. You can read that letter here.

Buretta eventually gave a February 2017 interview to the Kiev Post in which he divulged that the corruption probe was resolved in fall 2016 and the tax case by early January 2017.  You can read Buretta’s interview here.

In another words, the Burisma investigations were active at the time Vice President Biden forced Shokin’s firing, and any suggestion to the contrary is pure misinformation.

Myth: There is no evidence Vice President Joe Biden did anything to encourage Burisma’s hiring of his son Hunter.

The Facts: This is another area where the public facts cry out for more investigation and raise a question in some minds about another appearance of a conflict of interest.

Hunter Biden’s business partner, Devon Archer, was appointed to Burisma’s board in mid-April 2014 and the firm Rosemont Seneca Bohai — jointly owned by Hunter Biden and Devon Archer — received its first payments from the Ukrainian gas company on April 15, 2014, according to the company’s ledgers. That very same day as the first Burisma payment, Devon Archer met with Joe Biden at the White House, according to White House visitor logs. It is not known what the two discussed.

A week later, Joe Biden traveled to Ukraine and met with then-Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. During that meeting, the American vice president urged Ukraine to ramp up energy production to free itself from its Russian natural gas dependence. Biden even boasted that “an American team is currently in the region working with Ukraine and its neighbors to increase Ukraine’s short-term energy supply.” Yatsenyuk welcomed the help from American “investors” in modernizing natural gas supply lines in Ukraine. You can read the Biden-Yatsenyuk transcript here.

Less than three weeks later, Burisma added Hunter Biden to its board to join Archer. To some, the sequence of events creates the appearance that Joe Biden’s pressure to increase Ukrainian gas supply and to urge Kiev to rely on Americans might have led Burisma to hire his son. More investigation needs to be done to determine exactly what happened. And until that occurs, the appearance issue will likely linger over this episode.

Myth: Hunter Biden’s firm only received $50,000 a month for his work as a board member and consultant for Burisma Holdings.

The Facts: This figure frequently cited by Biden defenders and the media significantly understates what Burisma was paying Hunter Biden’s Rosemont Seneca Bohai firm for his and Devon Archer’s services. Bank records obtained by the FBI in an unrelated case show that between May 2014 and the end of 2015, Hunter Biden’s and Archer’s firm received monthly consulting payments totaling $166,666, or three times the amount cited by the media. In some months, there was even more money than that paid. You can review those bank records here.

The monthly payments figures are confirmed by the accounting ledger that Burisma turned over to Ukrainian prosecutors. That ledger, which you can read here, also shows that in spring and summer of 2014 Burisma paid more than $283,000 to the American law firm of Boies Schiller, where Hunter Biden also worked as an attorney.

Myth: President Trump was trying to force Ukraine to reopen a probe into Burisma Holdings and its founder Mykola Zlochevsky when he talked to Ukraine’s new president, Volodymyr Zelensky, in July of this year.

The Facts: Trump could not have forced the Ukrainians into opening a new Burisma investigation in July because the Ukrainian Prosecutor General’s office had already done so on March 28, 2019, or three months before the call.

The prosecutors filed this notice of suspicion in Ukraine announcing the re-opening of the investigation. The revival of the case was even widely reported in the Ukrainian press, something U.S. intelligence and diplomats who are now testifying to Congress behind closed doors should have known. Here’s an example of one such Ukrainian media report at the time.

Myth: Former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko retracted or recanted his claim that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch in 2016 identified people and entities she did not what to see prosecuted in Ukraine.

The Facts: In a March interview with me at Hill.TV captured on videotape, Lutsenko stated that during his first meeting with Yovanovitch in summer 2016, the American diplomat rattled off a list of names of Ukrainian individuals and entities she did not want to see investigated or prosecuted. Lutsenko called it a “do not prosecute” list. You can watch that video here. The State Department disputed his characterization as a fabrication, which Hill.TV reported in its original report.

A few weeks later, a Ukrainian news outlet claimed it interviewed Lutsenko and he backed off his assertion about the list. Several American outlets have since picked up that same language.

There is just one problem. I re-interviewed Lutsenko after the Ukrainian report suggesting he recanted. He adamantly denied recanting, retracting or changing his story, and said the Ukrainian newspaper simply misunderstood that the list of names were conveyed orally during the meeting and not in writing, just like he said in the original Hill.TV interview.

Here is Lutsenko’s full explanation to me back last spring: “At no time since our interview have I ever retracted the statement I made about the U.S. ambassador providing me a list of names of people and organizations she did not want my office to prosecute. Shortly after my televised interview with your news organization I was asked by a Ukraine reporter if I had a copy of the letter that Ambassador Yovanovitch provided me with the names of those she did not want prosecuted. The reporter misunderstood how the names were transmitted to me. I explained to the reporter that the Ambassador did not hand me a written list but rather provided the list of names orally over the course of a meeting.” Lutsenko reaffirmed he stood by his statements again in September.

It is important to note Lutsenko’s story was also backed up by State Department officials and contemporaneous memos before his interview was ever aired. For instance, a senior U.S. official I interviewed for the Lutsenko story reviewed the list of names that Lutsenko recalled being on the so-called do-not-prosecute list.

That official stated during the interview: ““I can confirm to you that at least some of those names are names that U.S. embassy Kiev raised with the Prosecutor General’s office because we were concerned about retribution and unfair treatment of Ukrainians viewed as favorable to the United States.”

Separately, both U.S. and Ukrainian official confirmed to me a letter written by then-U.S. embassy official George Kent in April 2016 in which U.S. officials pointedly (and in writing) demanded that Ukrainian prosecutors stand down an investigation into several Ukrainian nonprofit groups suspected of misspending U.S. foreign aid. The letter even named one of the groups, the AntiCorruption Action Centre, a nonprofit funded jointly by the State Department and liberal megadonor George Soros.

“We are gravely concerned about this investigation, for which we see no basis,” Kent wrote the Ukrainian prosecutor’s office in April 2016. You can read the letter here.

So even without Lutsenko’s claim, there is substantial evidence that the U.S. embassy in Kiev applied pressure on Ukrainian prosecutors not to pursue certain investigations in 2016.

Myth: The narratives about Biden, the U.S. embassy and Ukrainian election interference are conspiracy theories invented by Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani, to impact the 2020 election.

The Facts: Giuliani began investigating matters in Ukraine in late fall 2018 as a personal lawyer to the president. But months before his quest began, Ukrainian prosecutors believed they possessed evidence about Burisma, the Bidens and 2016 election interference that might interest the U.S. Justice Department. It is the same evidence that came to light this spring and summer and that is now a focus of the impeachment proceedings.

Originally, one of Ukraine’s senior prosecutors tried to secure a visa to come to the United States to deliver that evidence. But when the U.S. embassy in Kiev did not fulfill his travel request, the group of Ukrainian prosecutors used an intermediary to hire a former U.S. attorney in America to reach out to the U.S. attorney office in New York and try to arrange a transfer of the evidence. The Ukrainian prosecutors’ story about making the overture to the DOJ was independently verified by the American lawyer they hired.

So the activities and allegation now at the heart of impeachment actually pre-date Giuliani starting work on Ukraine. You can read the prosecutors’ account of their 2018 effort to get this information to Americans here.

Debunking some of the Ukraine scandal myths about Biden and election interference

John Solomon (political commentator)

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Solomon speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, D.C.

John F. Solomon is an American media executive, and a conservative political commentator. He was an editorialist and executive vice president of digital video for The Hill[1] and as of October 2019, is a contributor to Fox News.[2] He was formerly employed as an executive and as editor-in-chief at The Washington Times.[3]

While he won a number of prestigious awards for his investigative journalism in the 1990s and 2000s,[4][5] he has also been accused of magnifying small scandals and creating fake controversy.[6][7][8] During Donald Trump’s presidency, he has been known for advancing Trump-friendly stories. He played a role in advancing conspiracy theories about wrongdoing involving Joe Biden, his son Hunter Biden and Ukraine; Solomon’s stories about the Bidens influenced President Trump to request that the Ukrainian president launch an investigation into 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, which led to an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.[2]

Contents

Career

Solomon graduated from Marquette University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and sociology.[9]

From May 1987 to December 2006, Solomon worked at the Associated Press, where he became the assistant bureau chief in Washington, helping to develop some of the organization’s first digital products, such as its online elections offering.

In 2007, he served as The Washington Post’s national investigative correspondent.

The Washington Times

Executive Editor

In February 2008, Solomon became editor-in-chief of The Washington Times.[10] During this time, Solomon made a mission to make the paper’s coverage more objective while expanding its reach. Under Solomon, the Times changed some of its style guide to conform to more mainstream media usage. The Times announced that it would no longer use words like “illegal aliens” and “homosexual,” and instead opt for “more neutral terminology” such as “illegal immigrants” and “gay,” respectively. The paper also decided to stop using “Hillary” when referring to Senator Hillary Clinton, and to stop putting the word “marriage” in the expression “gay marriage” in quotes.[11] He also oversaw the redesign of the paper’s website and the launch of the paper’s national weekly edition. A new television studio was built in the paper’s Washington DC headquarters, and the paper also launched a syndicated three-hour morning-drive radio news program.[8]

Solomon left the paper in November 2009 after internal shakeups and financial uncertainty among the paper’s ownership.[12]

Return

After a three-and-a-half-year hiatus, most of which was spent at Circa News, Solomon returned to the paper in July 2013 to oversee the newspaper’s content, digital and business strategies.[13] He helped to craft digital strategies to expand online traffic, created new products and partnerships, and led a reorganization of the company’s advertising and sales team. He also helped launch a new subscription-only national edition targeted for tablets, cellphones and other mobile devices, and helped push a redesign of the paper’s website.

Solomon left the paper in December 2015 to serve as chief creative officer of the mobile news application Circa, which was relaunching at that time.[3]

Packard Media Group

Solomon was president of Packard Media Group from November 2009 to December 2015.[14] Solomon also served as journalist in residence at the Center for Public Integrity, a non-profit organization that specializes in investigative journalism, from March 2010 to June 2011.[8] He was also named executive editor of the Center for Public Integrity in November 2010 and helped oversee the launch of iWatch News, but resigned quickly after to join Newsweek/The Daily Beast in May 2011.[15][16][8]

Washington Guardian

In 2012, Solomon and former Associated Press executives Jim Williams and Brad Kalbfeld created the Washington Guardian, an online investigative news portal. It was acquired by The Washington Times when Solomon returned to the paper in July 2013.[3]

Circa

After leaving The Washington Times, Solomon became chief creative officer for Circa News. Circa is a mobile news application founded in 2011 that streams updates on big news events to users. In June 2015, it shut down, but its relaunch was announced after its acquisition by Sinclair Broadcast Group.[3]

As chief of Circa, he wrote and published a number of political articles, often defending the Trump administration[17] and Michael Flynn.[18] He left in July 2017.

The Hill

Upon leaving Circa, Solomon became executive vice president of digital video for The Hill.[1][19] Until May 2018, he worked on news and investigative pieces for The Hill.[19] According to the New York Times, Solomon tended to push narratives about alleged misdeeds by Trump’s political enemies.[20]

In October 2017, Solomon published an article in The Hill about the Uranium One controversy where he insinuated that Russia made payments to the Clinton Foundation at the time when the Obama administration approved the sale of Uranium One to Rosatom.[21] Solomon’s story also focused on the alleged failures of the Department of Justice to investigate and report on the controversy, suggesting a cover-up.[21] Subsequent to Solomon’s reporting, the story “took off like wildfire in the right-wing media ecosystem,” according to a 2018 study by scholars at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & SocietyHarvard University.[21] No evidence of any quid pro quo or other wrongdoing has surfaced.[21]

In January 2018, it was reported that newsroom staffers at The Hill had complained about Solomon’s reporting for the publication.[22][23][24] The staffers reportedly criticized Solomon’s reporting as having a conservative bias and missing important context, and that this undermined The Hill‘s reputation.[22][23] They also expressed concerns over Solomon’s close relationship with Sean Hannity, whose TV show he appeared on more than a dozen times over a span of three months.[22] In May 2018, the editor-in-chief of The Hill announced that Solomon would become an “opinion contributor” at The Hill while remaining executive vice president of digital video.[19] He frequently appeared on Fox News, which continued to describe him as an investigative reporter, even after he became an opinion contributor for the Hill.[24]

Pro-Donald Trump opinion pieces

Solomon published a story alleging that women who had accused Trump of sexual assault had sought payments from partisan donors and tabloids.[24]

On June 19, 2019, The Hill published an opinion piece written by Solomon alleging that the FBI and Robert Mueller disregarded warnings that evidence used against Paul Manafort may have been faked.[25] His source was Nazar Kholodnytsky, a disgraced Ukrainian prosecutor, and Konstantin Kilimnik, who has been linked to Russian intelligence and who happens to be Paul Manafort’s former business partner.[26]

Solomon’s part in the Trump–Ukraine scandal

In April 2019, The Hill published two opinion pieces by Solomon regarding allegations by Ukrainian officials that “American Democrats” and particularly former Vice-President Joe Biden of collaborating with “their allies in Kiev” in “wrongdoing…ranging from 2016 election interference to obstructing criminal probes.”[27][28] Solomon’s stories attracted attention in conservative media.[23] Fox News frequently covered Solomon’s claims;[29] Solomon also promoted these allegations on Sean Heannity’s Fox News show.[23] According to The Washington Post Solomon’s pieces “played an important role in advancing a flawed, Trump-friendly tale of corruption in Ukraine, particularly involving Biden and his son Hunter”, and inspired “the alleged effort by Trump and his allies to pressure Ukraine’s government into digging up dirt on Trump’s Democratic rivals.”[23] On the same day that The Washington Post published its article, The Hill published another opinion piece by Solomon in which Solomon states that there are “(h)undreds of pages of never-released memos and documents…(that) conflict with Biden’s narrative.”[30]

Solomon’s stories had significant flaws.[23][20] Not only had the State Department dismissed the allegations presented by Solomon as “an outright fabrication”, but the Ukrainian prosecutor who Solomon claimed made the allegations to him is not supporting Solomon’s claim.[23][20] Foreign Policy noted that anti-corrupton activists in Ukraine had characterized the source behind Solomon’s claims as an unreliable narrator who had hindered anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine.[31] Solomon pushed allegations that Biden wanted to remove a Ukrainian prosecutor in order to prevent an investigation of a Ukrainian company that his son, Hunter Biden, served on; however, Western governments and anti-corruption activist wanted the prosecutor removed because he was reluctant to pursue corruption investigations.[20] By September 2019, Solomon said he still stood 100% by his stories.[23] There is no evidence of wrong-doing by Joe Biden and Hunter Biden, and no evidence that Hunter Biden was ever under investigation by Ukrainian authorities.[32] WNYC characterized Solomon’s Ukraine stories as laundering of foreign propaganda.[33]

Prior to the publication of a story where Solomon alleged that the Obama administration had pressured the Ukrainian government to stop investigating a group funded by George Soros, Solomon sent the full text of his report to Ukrainian-American businessman Lev Parnas and the two pro-Trump lawyers and conspiracy theorists Joseph diGenova and Victoria Toensing.[34] Solomon said he did so for fact-checking, but Parnas, DiGenova and Toensing were not mentioned in the text, nor did Solomon send individual items of the draft for vetting (but rather the whole draft).[34]

During October 2019 hearings for the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump, two government officials experienced in Ukraine matters — Alexander Vindman and George Kent — testified that Ukraine-related articles Solomon had written and that were featured in conservative media circles contained a “false narrative” and in some cases were “entirely made up in full cloth.”[35][36]

Solomon worked closely with Lev Parnas, an associate of Rudy Giuliani – the personal attorney of President Trump – who was indicted for funneling foreign money into American political campaigns, to promote stories that Democrats colluded with a foreign power in the 2016 election (the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment is that Russia interfered in the 2016 election to aid Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump). Parnas worked with Solomon on interviews and translation. Solomon defended his work with Parnas, “No one knew there was anything wrong with Lev Parnas at the time. Everybody who approaches me has an angle.” Parnas helped to set Solomon up with the Ukrainian prosecutor who accused the Bidens of wrong-doing (before later retracting the claim).[2]

Advertising controversy

Solomon was accused of breaking the traditional ethical “wall” that separated news stories from advertising at The Hill. In October 2017, Solomon negotiated a $160,000 deal with a conservative group called Job Creators Network to target ads in The Hill to business owners in Maine. He then had a quote from the group’s director inserted into a news story about a Maine senator’s key role in an upcoming vote on the Trump administration’s tax bill. Solomon “pops by the advertising bullpen almost daily to discuss big deals he’s about to close,” Johanna Derlega, then The Hill’s publisher, wrote in an internal memo at the time, according to Pro Publica. “If a media reporter gets ahold of this story, it could destroy us.”[2]

Departure

In September 2019, the Washington Examiner reported that Solomon would leave The Hill at the end of the month to start his own media firm.[37] In October 2019, it was reported he was joining Fox News as an opinion contributor.[38]

Reception

Paul McCleary, writing for the Columbia Journalism Review in 2007, wrote that Solomon had earned a reputation for hyping stories without solid foundation.[7] In 2012, Mariah Blake, writing for the Columbia Journalism Review, wrote that Solomon “has a history of bending the truth to his storyline,” and that he “was notorious for massaging facts to conjure phantom scandals.”[8][23] During the 2004 presidential election between George W. Bush and John Kerry, Thomas Lang wrote for the Columbia Journalism Review that a Solomon story for the Associated Press covered criticism of John Kerry’s record on national security appeared to mirror a research report released by the Republican National Committee. Lang wrote that Solomon’s story was “a clear demonstration of the influence opposition research is already having on coverage of the [presidential] campaign.”[39][40]

The Washington Post wrote in September 2019 that Solomon’s “recent work has been trailed by claims that it is biased and lacks rigor.”[23] The Post noted that Solomon had done award-winning investigative work during his early career, but that his work had taken a pronounced conservative bent from the late 2000s and onwards.[23] According to Foreign Policy magazine, Solomon had “grown into a prominent conservative political commentator with a somewhat controversial track record.”[31]

In 2007, Deborah Howell, then-ombudsman at The Washington Post criticized a story that Solomon wrote for The Post which had suggested impropriety by Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards in a real estate purchase; Solomon’s reporting omitted context which would have made clear that there was no impropriety.[6] Progressive news outlets ThinkProgressMedia Matters for America and Crooked Media have argued that Solomon’s reporting has a conservative bias and that there are multiple instances of inaccuracies.[41][42][43] According to The InterceptJust Security and The Daily Beast, Solomon helps to advance right-wing and pro-Trump conspiracy theories.[26][24][44] The New Republic described Solomon’s columns for the Hill as “right-wing fever dreams.”[45] Independent journalist Marcy Wheeler accused Solomon of manufacturing fake scandals which suggested wrongdoing by those conducting probes into Russian interference in the 2016 election.[46] Reporters who worked under Solomon as an editor have said that he encouraged them to bend the truth to fit a pre-existing narrative.[8]

In January 2018, Solomon published a report for The Hill suggesting that Peter Strzok and Lisa Page had foreknowledge of a Wall Street Journal article and that they themselves had leaked to the Wall Street Journal.[47] According to the Huffington Post, Solomon’s reporting omitted that the Wall Street Journal article Strzok and Page were discussing was critical of Hillary Clinton and the FBI, Strzok and Page expressed dismay at the fallout from the article, and Strzok and Page criticized unauthorized leaks from the FBI. According to the Huffington Post, “Solomon told HuffPost he was not authorized to speak and does not comment on his reporting. He may simply have been unaware of these three facts when he published his story. But they provide crucial context to an incomplete narrative that has been bouncing around the right-wing echo chamber all week.”[47]

Awards

Solomon has received a number of prestigious awards for investigative journalism, among them the 2008 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award and the Society of Professional Journalists’ National Investigative Award together with CBS News’ 60 Minutes for Evidence of Injustice;[5][48] in 2002, the Associated Press’s Managing Editors Enterprise Reporting Award for What The FBI Knew Before September 11, 2001, and the Gramling Journalism Achievement Award for his coverage of the war on terrorism;[48] in 1992, the White House Correspondents’ Association’s Raymond Clapper Memorial Award for an investigative series on Ross Perot.[49]

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Solomon_(political_commentator)

Story 2: Illegal Alien Invasion Continues and Democrats Continue To Support Open Borders and Citizenship For All 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens Now In The United States — Democrats More Concerned With Illegal Aliens Than Welfare of American People — The Great Betrayal of The American People By The Political Elitist Establishment of Both Big Government Parties —  Videos

Former ICE Director Has to Explain to Democrat That Crossing the Border Illegally is a Crime

Homan slams Dems, says Americans need to hear the truth about border

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The Pronk Pops Show 1292, July 18, 2019, Part 2 of 2 — Story 1: Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Big Tech Censorship of Conservative Content — Dennis Praeger Testifies Before U.S. Senate Committee — Videos — Story 2: House of Representatives Bipartisan Vote of 332 to 94 Not To Impeach President Trump — Videos –Story 3: President Trump Rally in North Carolina — New Politically Correct Chant — Send Them All Home — Open Border or Citizenship for Illegal Alien Democrats, Republicans and All Illegal Aliens — All 30 to 60 Million Illegal Aliens In The United States — Videos

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Story 1: Google, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Big Tech Censorship of Conservative Content — Dennis Praeger Testifies Before U.S. Senate Committee — Videos —

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GOOGLE CLASSIFIES CONSERVATIVE CONTENT AS PORNOGRAPHY, CLAIMS FOX NEWS GUEST DENNIS PRAGER

The founder of Prager University, an unaccredited conservative media organization, appeared on Fox & Friends Tuesday claiming Google equates conservative video content to pornography.

Right-wing radio host Dennis Prager appeared on Fox News Tuesday morning just hours before he is set to accuse Google of political bias in testimony before members of Congress in Washington. Prager claims the Silicon Valley tech giants, but specifically Google, are gaming their algorithms against conservative content. He said dozens of PragerU’s 5-minute videos on topics ranging from Abraham Lincoln to the founding of Israel have been banned by the search giant and YouTube parent company as “pornography.” Prager claimed the group’s 300-plus videos get more than one billion views annually, but that about 60 of the wide variety of right-wing, historical videos are on Google’s “restricted” list.

“That means, if you block pornography you cannot see a discussion of Lincoln’s address at Gettysburg,” Prager told the Fox & Friends hosts Tuesday morning as an example of a topic in which he will testify. “It’s beyond belief.”

“Google classifies that as porno?” co-host Steve Doocy asked.

“Yes, yes, that is correct,” Prager said. “Why?” replied a stunned Ainsley Earhardt.

“Because we’re conservative,” Prager replied.

Prager University is not an accredited academic institution and offers no diplomas or certifications. It is, despite its name, a non-profit organization that creates frequently provocative political videos and advertisements from a conservative viewpoint.

Prager said a video describing how “human beings are even more precious than animals” was also placed on Google’s restricted list. “If you block pornography in your home you can’t see my video on why human life is precious. I’m not even talking about abortion, although that obviously should be allowed as well,” he said.

Another video featuring Fox News contributor Alan Dershowitz on the founding of Israel is also on the restricted list, Prager added.

The 70-year-old Prager discussed freedom of speech more broadly, saying he is old enough to remember when “liberals were defending real Nazis,” citing the Supreme Court ruling between the heavily Jewish Illinois village of Skokie and the National Socialist Party of America in the 1970s. Prager said the U.S. is currently engaged in a “non-violent civil war … between the left and the rest of the country.”

“Liberals and the left have almost nothing in common but liberals are cowed by the left and that’s the tragedy,” he noted.

Fox & Friends co-hosts Steve Doocy and Brian Kilmeade both predicted how they think this week’s Big Tech “conservative bias” hearings will go, with Kilmeade warning Prager they’re bringing out the “big guns” in terms of legal teams. Doocy predicted, “You know what they’re going to say: the algorithm.”

“That’s fine, then you have a terrible algorithm, I mean that is hilarious,” Prager replied. He then compared that defense to the driver of an automatic transmission vehicle running over children and blaming the car. “It’s an absurdity if they say it’s the algorithm, they created the algorithm let them reveal the algorithm to the public.”

dennis prager university google pornography
The founder of the conservative, unaccredited Prager University organization appeared on Fox & Friends Tuesday claiming Google equates conservative video content to pornography.SCREENSHOT: FOX NEWS

Ted Cruz Presses Executive on Why Google Disbanded Panel Rather Than Include Conservative Leader

vative Leader

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, wants Google to explain why it disbanded an advisory council after Google employees objected to including the president of The Heritage Foundation. Pictured: Cruz speaks Tuesday during his subcommittee hearing on Google and censorship. (Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, called out a Google vice president Tuesday afternoon for the tech giant’s decision to dissolve an advisory council on artificial intelligence after inviting Heritage Foundation President Kay Coles James to join the panel.

Cruz asked Karan Bhatia, Google’s vice president of government affairs and public policy, about the worldwide internet company’s disbanding of the advisory council after Google employees objected to including the head of the leading conservative think tank.

“You worked at The Heritage Foundation, I believe you said,” Cruz told Bhatia during a hearing held by the Judiciary subcommittee on the Constitution. “Do you consider The Heritage Foundation to be some fringe organization?”

Bhatia replied that he considered Heritage to be a conservative organization.

The liberal Left continue to push their radical agenda against American values. The good news is there is a solution. Find out more >>

“So 2,500 Google employees signed a petition to have Ms. James removed from the council and they said, quote, ‘By appointing James to the ATEAC, Google elevates and endorses her views implying that hers is a valid perspective worthy of its inclusion in this decision making, this is unacceptable,’” Cruz said.

The formal name of Google’s short-lived panel was the Advanced Technology External Advisory Council.

The petition accused James of being “vocally anti-trans, anti-LGBTQ, and anti-immigrant,” and said, “In selecting James, Google is making clear that its version of ‘ethics’ values proximity to power over the wellbeing of trans people, other LGBTQ people, and immigrants.”

“Google, in response to this, dissolved the entire committee,” Cruz said to Bhatia. “Do you understand when you see that kind of bias, saying, ‘A conservative African-American woman’s views are not valid and not worthy of inclusion,’ that the American people would say, ‘These guys are silencing voices they disagree with’?”

James, who is black, overcame racial discrimination in Virginia as a girl and eventually became an educator and top state and federal government official before being named president of The Heritage Foundation, where she had been a trustee for more than a decade.

Bhatia told Cruz, chairman of the subcommittee, that the 2,500 employees who objected to James did not make up a large percentage of the Google workforce.

“Senator, the 2,500 amounts to something around 2% of the Google employees,” Bhatia said.

“But Google acted on their recommendation. You dissolved the committee,” Cruz replied.

>>> Commentary: Google Caves to the Intolerant Left, Betraying Its Own Ideals

Bhatia disagreed.

“No, Senator, we did not,” he said. “What happened in that situation is that it’s a committee that consisted of a number of members; as time progressed, a number of members of the committee other than Ms. James decided to fall off the committee, to withdraw from the committee.”

Cruz continued to press the issue.

“Is this your testimony, Mr. Bhatia? Because I’m finding this difficult to credit. Is it your testimony that Google did not dissolve the committee because your employees were mad that anyone right of center was included?”

The Google vice president answered Cruz by saying the company pulled the plug on the advisory council because executives didn’t see it going anywhere.

“We dissolved the committee, Senator. I think we were clear at the end of the day that it was not going to be viable to continue the council given what we were seeing happen with other members of the committee,” Bhatia said.

Heritage’s James discussed the experience in an April op-ed for The Washington Post, writing that “the Google employees didn’t just attempt to remove me; they greeted the news of my appointment to the council with name-calling and character assassination.”

“They called me anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ and a bigot. That was an odd one, because I’m a 69-year-old black woman who grew up fighting segregation,” James added.

Referring to Google’s decision to end the panel, James wrote, “The company has given in to the mentality of a rage mob.”

Ted Cruz Presses Executive on Why Google Disbanded Panel Rather Than Include Conservative Leader

2 Senators Call for Investigation Into Big Tech’s Censorship

Two of the country’s staunchest big tech critics are asking the Federal Trade Commission to investigate social media companies’ perceived censorship practices.

Facebook, Google, and Twitter exercise lots of influence on Americans and they also use their tools to censor some content while amplifying others, Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Josh Hawley of Missouri wrote in a letter Monday to the Federal Trade Commission. They are asking the agency to open a public probe into the impact such policies have on people.

dailycallerlogo“Companies that are this big and that have the potential to threaten democracy this much should not be allowed to curate content entirely without any transparency,” they wrote. “These companies can greatly influence democratic outcomes, yet they have not accountability to voters.”

They added: “They are not even accountable to their own customers because nobody knows how these companies curate content.” Cruz and Hawley are two of the biggest Republican critics of Google and Facebook, both of which are consistently accused of discriminating against conservative content.

The liberal Left continue to push their radical agenda against American values. The good news is there is a solution. Find out more >>

Hawley, for his part, introduced the Ending Support for Internet Censorship Act in June that aims to amend Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which gives online companies immunity only if they can show they are politically neutral. Section 230 was passed in 1996, when the internet was in its infancy.

Other Republicans are taking a more critical stance against big tech companies as well. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, for one, is dinging Google for not doing enough to protect children.

“Things would change tomorrow if you could get sued,” Graham said during a congressional hearing on July 9 dealing with online dangers to kids. YouTube is under pressure to turn off its recommendation systems for videos featuring kids after reports showed potential predators were abusing the feature.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities for this original content, email licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

 

Story 3: President Trump Rally in Greenville, North Carolina — New Improved Politically Correct Chant — “Send Them All Home” — Open Border or Citizenship for Illegal Alien Democrats, Republicans and All Illegal Aliens — All 30 to 60 Million Illegal Aliens In The United States — Videos

Speech: Donald Trump Holds a Political Rally in Greenville, North Carolina – July 17, 2019

FULL RALLY: President Trump Rally in Greenville, North Carolina

President Trump delivers remarks on immigration, “The Squad,” during campaign rally

President Trump Talks About Antifa & Andy Ngo at NC Rally

WATCH LIVE: Trump holds campaign rally in North Carolina amid racist tweets controversy

Trump disavows ‘send her back’ chant at North Carolina rally

Trump rally in Greenville comes amid controversy

[youtube3=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIDK7pwzTgE]

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1287, July 10, 2019, Part 1: Story 1: Federal Reserve Will Cut the Federal Funds Target Rate Range in July By .25% or 25 Basis Points If Second Quarter Real Gross Domestic Product Rate of Growth Falls Below 3% — Otherwise No Change in Federal Funds Rate Target Range — Huge Uncertainty Generated By Rapidly Growing Annual Deficits in Federal Government Spending Resulting in Rising National Debt Approaching $23,000,000,000,000 and Unfunded Liabilities and and Obligations Over $230,000,000,000,000! — Bubbles Bubbles Everywhere — Beyond Bubbles — U.S. Government Bankrupt Now! — Make It Rain on The Blockchain — Trust and Truth — Videos

Posted on July 12, 2019. Filed under: 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, Addiction, Bank Fraud, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, City, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Diet, Disasters, Diseases, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Exercise, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Investments, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Media, Medicare, Mental Illness, Monetary Policy, Movies, National Interest, News, Obesity, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Trump, Progressives, Public Corruption, Public Relations, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Securities and Exchange Commission, Senate, Social Security, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Wall Street Journal, Wealth, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Story 1: Federal Reserve Will Cut the Federal Funds Target Rate Range in July By .25% or 25 Basis Points If Second Quarter Real Gross Domestic Product Rate of Growth Falls Below 3% — Otherwise No Change in Federal Funds Rate Target Range — Huge Uncertainty Generated By Rapidly Growing Annual Deficits in Federal Government Spending Resulting in Rising National Debt Approaching $23,000,000,000,000 and Unfunded Liabilities and and Obligations Over $230,000,000,000,000! — Bubbles Bubbles Everywhere — Beyond Bubbles — Make It Rain on The Blockchain — Trust and Truth — Videos

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Fed Chair Jerome Powell testifies before Congress

Streamed live on Jul 10, 2019

House Financial Services Committee holds hearing on “Monetary Policy & the State of the Economy.” Fed Chair Powell testifies. All eyes will be on Powell when he testifies before a House panel on monetary policy in the first of his 2-day semiannual testimony to Congress. Investors are looking to Powell for what to expect at the next policy meeting at the end of July. FOX Business Network (FBN) is a financial news channel delivering real-time information across all platforms that impact both Main Street and Wall Street. Headquartered in New York — the business capital of the world — FBN launched in October 2007 and is the leading business network on television, topping CNBC in Business Day viewers for the second consecutive year. T he network is available in more than 80 million homes in all markets across the United States. Owned by FOX, FBN has bureaus in Chicago, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and London.

 

Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s Senate testimony on monetary policy – 07/11/2019

Streamed live on Jul 11, 2019

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Streamed live on Jun 19, 2019

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Published on May 10, 2010

Huge budget deficits and record levels of national debt are getting a lot of attention, but this video explains that unfunded liabilities for entitlement programs are Americas real red-ink challenge. More important, this CF&P mini-documentary reveals that deficits and debt are symptoms of the real problem of an excessive burden of government spending. http://www.freedomandprosperity.org

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Bitcoin: Beyond The Bubble – Full Documentary

Scott Adams’ Guide To Blockchain: The Technology That Will Change Everything

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How the blockchain is changing money and business | Don Tapscott

TED

Published on Sep 16, 2016

What is the blockchain? If you don’t know, you should; if you do, chances are you still need some clarification on how it actually works. Don Tapscott is here to help, demystifying this world-changing, trust-building technology which, he says, represents nothing less than the second generation of the internet and holds the potential to transform money, business, government and society. 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. Find closed captions and translated subtitles in many languages at http://www.ted.com/translate

What is Blockchain

Published on Jun 9, 2016

Blockchain explained. Shai Rubin, CTO of Citi Innovation Lab, explains in an easy and simple way the basics of blockchain.

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By appearing to buckle to Trump on rates, is the Fed chief creating problems down the road?

By appearing to buckle to Trump on rates, is the Fed chief creating problems down the road?
Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at a news conference in Washington on June 19. (Nicholas Kamm / AFP/Getty Images)

In signaling that the Federal Reserve is almost certain to cut interest rates at the end of this month, Fed Chairman Jerome H. Powell may have given President Trump what he wants.

But the central bank now looks more vulnerable to criticism that it is caving to political pressures that will only grow as the election cycle heats up.

Powell, in testimony to lawmakers Wednesday, essentially argued that heightened uncertainty, from trade tensions and slowing global economic growth, along with low inflation, was enough to justify a cut in interest rates.

Historically, the Fed has lowered rates to ward off recession or when it sees substantial risks of a downturn.

The U.S. economy expanded at a nearly 3% pace last year and, although it has slowed in recent months, the Fed and most private forecasters see growth continuing at a decent rate. The latest jobs report for June showed hiring remains strong, and Trump recently agreed to a ceasefire in the trade war with China, tenuous as it may be.For those reasons, Powell’s remarks Wednesday came as a pleasant surprise to financial markets. Stocks rose to record highs.

Lowering the rate by a quarter point later this month may help borrowers a little. The Fed’s main rate is a benchmark for credit cards, auto loans and other short-term consumer lending, but long-term rates such as mortgages already have dropped in anticipation of a Fed rate cut, meaning it’s unlikely to provide much of a boost to the housing market or the broader economy.

“We’ve already gotten 90% of the benefit; it’s already priced into the market,” said Dean Baker, senior economist at the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

Investors are expecting at least one more quarter-point rate cut after July, and some even two. Powell and his colleagues at the Fed will have their hands full managing investors’ expectations on future rate reductions, so they don’t set themselves up for a sharp fall.

“The issue that the Fed is going to run into … is just like parenting,” said Ryan Sweet, an economist at Moody’s Analytics. “They can’t bend every time the markets throw a tantrum. At some point, you’ve got to put your foot down.”

Market expectations aside, Powell’s bigger challenge is likely to come from Trump. The president has been publicly hammering Powell to lower interest rates. Trump has criticized the Fed for raising rates four times last year, and no one thinks he will be satisfied if the Fed drops its benchmark rate by a quarter point on July 31, as it’s now expected to do.

Trump and his economic team have pressed the Fed to slash rates by a full point, and Trump isn’t likely to stop jawboning the Fed in the coming months.

Some economic experts say Trump already has succeeded in getting into the heads of Fed decision makers.

“Powell does seem to be going a little bit out of his way to reverse the rate hikes made last year,” said Chris Rupkey, managing director and chief economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York. “The president’s like another active member of the Fed board in the room. I wouldn’t tell him no, would you?”

Rupkey and some other Fed watchers say Powell is moving a bit too early in readying rate cuts, especially with job growth still running very strong. Only a few months ago, the Fed’s stance on interest rates was to wait and see.

“Should they cut rates at this time? Absolutely not!” said Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist at Economic Outlook Group. “There is no economic justification to take that step now.

“For one, there is little to suggest this business cycle [is] struggling. The softness we see in some data points have little to do with economic fundamentals. The trade war with China and the havoc it has caused to global supply chain are the primary reasons those sectors have weakened.”

But other analysts argue that there’s good reason for the shift in the Fed’s posture. According to minutes from their last meeting in June, released Wednesday, Fed policymakers were feeling that the downside risks to the economy “had increased significantly over recent weeks.”

And in his testimony Wednesday to the House Financial Services Committee, Powell said that since May, crosscurrents that seemed to moderate earlier in the year “have reemerged, creating greater uncertainty.” Among other concerns, he said, business spending, trade and manufacturing activity have slowed.

“The issue really is more now on the business side where we see business confidence and business investment weakening a bit,” he told lawmakers, adding that there’s rising risk as well to consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of U.S. economic activity. “Household confidence has remained high, but over time uncertainty can cause households to hold back as well.”

Powell, sensitive to the political pressures bearing on the Fed, took pains in his prepared remarks to defend the integrity of the central bank and the basis for its policymaking.

“Congress has given us an important degree of independence so that we can effectively pursue our statutory goals based on objective analysis and data,” Powell said as he began his testimony.

Trump has reportedly considered firing Powell or demoting him, although it’s not clear whether the president has the legal authority to do so. Powell reiterated Wednesday that the law is on his side and that he intends to serve the full four-year term as Fed chair, which he assumed in February 2018.

Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have cautioned Trump against taking steps to remove Powell as Fed leader. And on Wednesday, Democratic lawmakers sought to drive home that point.

“Mr. Chairman, if you got a call from the president today or tomorrow, and he said, ‘I’m firing you. Pack up. It’s time to go,’ what would you do?” asked Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), chair of the Financial Services Committee.

“Well, of course I would not do that,” Powell responded, to which Waters added, “I can’t hear you,” eliciting laughter.

But the president’s unusually persistent and heavy pressure on the Fed is anything but a laughing matter.

Alan Blinder, a Fed vice chairman in the mid-1990s, said the concern about the bank’s independence stemming from the president’s attacks was such that it could legitimately be a factor in a Fed decision not to raise rates.

Apart from the potential harm to its credibility, a more immediate risk for the Fed in cutting rates is that it could limit the central bank’s arsenal in fighting the next recession. The Fed’s main benchmark rate is less than 2.5%, low by historical standards.

In response to lawmakers’ questioning, Powell said the resumption of trade talks between the United States and China was a “constructive step” but that doesn’t really change the outlook.

“I would say that the bottom line for me is that the uncertainties around global growth and trade continue to weigh on the outlook.”

https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-jerome-powell-interest-rates-20190710-story.html

July 10, 2019

Semiannual Monetary Policy Report to the Congress

Chair Jerome H. Powell

Before the Committee on Financial Services, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington, D.C.

 

Chair Powell submitted identical remarks to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, U.S. Senate, on July 11, 2019.

Chairwoman Waters, Ranking Member McHenry, and other members of the Committee, I am pleased to present the Federal Reserve’s semiannual Monetary Policy Report to Congress.

Let me start by saying that my colleagues and I strongly support the goals of maximum employment and price stability that Congress has set for monetary policy. We are committed to providing clear explanations about our policies and activities. Congress has given us an important degree of independence so that we can effectively pursue our statutory goals based on objective analysis and data. We appreciate that our independence brings with it an obligation for transparency so that you and the public can hold us accountable.

Today I will review the current economic situation and outlook before turning to monetary policy. I will also provide an update of our ongoing public review of our framework for setting monetary policy.

Current Economic Situation and Outlook 
The economy performed reasonably well over the first half of 2019, and the current expansion is now in its 11th year. However, inflation has been running below the Federal Open Market Committee’s (FOMC) symmetric 2 percent objective, and crosscurrents, such as trade tensions and concerns about global growth, have been weighing on economic activity and the outlook.

The labor market remains healthy. Job gains averaged 172,000 per month from January through June. This number is lower than the average of 223,000 a month last year but above the pace needed to provide jobs for new workers entering the labor force. Consequently, the unemployment rate moved down from 3.9 percent in December to 3.7 percent in June, close to its lowest level in 50 years. Job openings remain plentiful, and employers are increasingly willing to hire workers with fewer skills and train them. As a result, the benefits of a strong job market have been more widely shared in recent years. Indeed, wage gains have been greater for lower-skilled workers. That said, individuals in some demographic groups and in certain parts of the country continue to face challenges. For example, unemployment rates for African Americans and Hispanics remain well above the rates for whites and Asians. Likewise, the share of the population with a job is higher in urban areas than in rural communities, and this gap widened over the past decade. A box in the July Monetary Policy Report provides a comparison of employment and wage gains over the current expansion for individuals with different levels of education.

Gross domestic product increased at an annual rate of 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2019, similar to last year’s pace. This strong reading was driven largely by net exports and inventories—components that are not generally reliable indicators of ongoing momentum. The more reliable drivers of growth in the economy are consumer spending and business investment. While growth in consumer spending was weak in the first quarter, incoming data show that it has bounced back and is now running at a solid pace. However, growth in business investment seems to have slowed notably, and overall growth in the second quarter appears to have moderated. The slowdown in business fixed investment may reflect concerns about trade tensions and slower growth in the global economy. In addition, housing investment and manufacturing output declined in the first quarter and appear to have decreased again in the second quarter.

After running close to our 2 percent objective over much of last year, overall consumer price inflation, measured by the 12-month change in the price index for personal consumption expenditures (PCE), declined earlier this year and stood at 1.5 percent in May. The 12-month change in core PCE inflation, which excludes food and energy prices and tends to be a better indicator of future inflation, has also come down this year and was 1.6 percent in May.

Our baseline outlook is for economic growth to remain solid, labor markets to stay strong, and inflation to move back up over time to the Committee’s 2 percent objective. However, uncertainties about the outlook have increased in recent months. In particular, economic momentum appears to have slowed in some major foreign economies, and that weakness could affect the U.S. economy. Moreover, a number of government policy issues have yet to be resolved, including trade developments, the federal debt ceiling, and Brexit. And there is a risk that weak inflation will be even more persistent than we currently anticipate. We are carefully monitoring these developments, and we will continue to assess their implications for the U.S economic outlook and inflation.

The nation also continues to confront important longer-run challenges. Labor force participation by those in their prime working years is now lower in the United States than in most other nations with comparable economies. As I mentioned, there are troubling labor market disparities across demographic groups and different parts of the country. The relative stagnation of middle and lower incomes and low levels of upward mobility for lower-income families are also ongoing concerns. In addition, finding ways to boost productivity growth, which leads to rising wages and living standards over the longer term, should remain a high national priority. And I remain concerned about the longer-term effects of high and rising federal debt, which can restrain private investment and, in turn, reduce productivity and overall economic growth. The longer-run vitality of the U.S. economy would benefit from efforts to address these issues.

Monetary Policy 
Against this backdrop, the FOMC maintained the target range for the federal funds rate at 2‑1/4 to 2-1/2 percent in the first half of this year. At our January, March, and May meetings, we stated that we would be patient as we determined what future adjustments to the federal funds rate might be appropriate to support our goals of maximum employment and price stability.

At the time of our May meeting, we were mindful of the ongoing crosscurrents from global growth and trade, but there was tentative evidence that these crosscurrents were moderating. The latest data from China and Europe were encouraging, and there were reports of progress in trade negotiations with China. Our continued patient stance seemed appropriate, and the Committee saw no strong case for adjusting our policy rate.

Since our May meeting, however, these crosscurrents have reemerged, creating greater uncertainty. Apparent progress on trade turned to greater uncertainty, and our contacts in business and agriculture report heightened concerns over trade developments. Growth indicators from around the world have disappointed on net, raising concerns that weakness in the global economy will continue to affect the U.S. economy. These concerns may have contributed to the drop in business confidence in some recent surveys and may have started to show through to incoming data.

In our June meeting statement, we indicated that, in light of increased uncertainties about the economic outlook and muted inflation pressures, we would closely monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and would act as appropriate to sustain the expansion. Many FOMC participants saw that the case for a somewhat more accommodative monetary policy had strengthened. Since then, based on incoming data and other developments, it appears that uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the U.S. economic outlook. Inflation pressures remain muted.

The FOMC has made a number of important decisions this year about our framework for implementing monetary policy and our plans for completing the reduction of the Fed’s securities holdings. At our January meeting, we decided to continue to implement monetary policy using our current policy regime with ample reserves, and emphasized that we are prepared to adjust any of the details for completing balance sheet normalization in light of economic and financial developments. At our March meeting, we communicated our intention to slow, starting in May, the decline in the Fed’s aggregate securities holdings and to end the reduction in these holdings in September. The July Monetary Policy Report provides details on these decisions.

The July Monetary Policy Report also includes an update on monetary policy rules. The FOMC routinely looks at monetary policy rules that recommend a level for the federal funds rate based on inflation and unemployment rates. I continue to find these rules helpful, although using these rules requires careful judgment.

We are conducting a public review of our monetary policy strategy, tools, and communications—the first review of its kind for the FOMC. Our motivation is to consider ways to improve the Committee’s current policy framework and to best position the Fed to achieve maximum employment and price stability. The review has started with outreach to and consultation with a broad range of people and groups through a series of Fed Listens events. The FOMC will consider questions related to the review at upcoming meetings. We will publicly report the outcome of our discussions.

Thank you. I am happy to respond to your questions.

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Last Update: July 10, 2019

Blockchain

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Blockchain formation. The main chain (black) consists of the longest series of blocks from the genesis block (green) to the current block. Orphan blocks (purple) exist outside of the main chain.

blockchain,[1][2][3] originally block chain,[4][5] is a growing list of records, called blocks, that are linked using cryptography.[1][6] Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block,[6] a timestamp, and transaction data (generally represented as a Merkle tree).

By design, a blockchain is resistant to modification of the data. It is “an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way”.[7] For use as a distributed ledger, a blockchain is typically managed by a peer-to-peer network collectively adhering to a protocol for inter-node communication and validating new blocks. Once recorded, the data in any given block cannot be altered retroactively without alteration of all subsequent blocks, which requires consensus of the network majority. Although blockchain records are not unalterable, blockchains may be considered secure by design and exemplify a distributed computing system with high Byzantine fault toleranceDecentralized consensus has therefore been claimed with a blockchain.[8]

Blockchain was invented by a person (or group of people) using the name Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008 to serve as the public transaction ledger of the cryptocurrency bitcoin.[1] The identity of Satoshi Nakamoto is unknown. The invention of the blockchain for bitcoin made it the first digital currency to solve the double-spending problem without the need of a trusted authority or central server. The bitcoin design has inspired other applications,[1][3] and blockchains that are readable by the public are widely used by cryptocurrencies. Blockchain is considered a type of payment rail.[9] Private blockchains have been proposed for business use. Sources such as Computerworld called the marketing of such blockchains without a proper security model “snake oil“.[10]

Contents

History

Bitcoin transactions (January 2009 – September 2017)

The first work on a cryptographically secured chain of blocks was described in 1991 by Stuart Haber and W. Scott Stornetta.[6][11] They wanted to implement a system where document timestamps could not be tampered with. In 1992, Bayer, Haber and Stornetta incorporated Merkle trees to the design, which improved its efficiency by allowing several document certificates to be collected into one block.[6][12]

The first blockchain was conceptualized by a person (or group of people) known as Satoshi Nakamoto in 2008. Nakamoto improved the design in an important way using a Hashcash-like method to add blocks to the chain without requiring them to be signed by a trusted party.[6] The design was implemented the following year by Nakamoto as a core component of the cryptocurrency bitcoin, where it serves as the public ledger for all transactions on the network.[1]

In August 2014, the bitcoin blockchain file size, containing records of all transactions that have occurred on the network, reached 20 GB (gigabytes).[13] In January 2015, the size had grown to almost 30 GB, and from January 2016 to January 2017, the bitcoin blockchain grew from 50 GB to 100 GB in size.

The words block and chain were used separately in Satoshi Nakamoto’s original paper, but were eventually popularized as a single word, blockchain, by 2016.

Smart contracts that run on a blockchain, for example ones that “creat[e] invoices that pay themselves when a shipment arrives or share certificates that automatically send their owners dividends if profits reach a certain level.”[1] require an off-chain oracle to access any “external data or events based on time or market conditions [that need] to interact with the blockchain.”[14]

According to Accenture, an application of the diffusion of innovations theory suggests that blockchains attained a 13.5% adoption rate within financial services in 2016, therefore reaching the early adopters phase.[15] Industry trade groups joined to create the Global Blockchain Forum in 2016, an initiative of the Chamber of Digital Commerce.

In May 2018, Gartner found that only 1% of CIOs indicated any kind of blockchain adoption within their organisations, and only 8% of CIOs were in the short-term ‘planning or [looking at] active experimentation with blockchain’.[16]

Structure

A blockchain is a decentralizeddistributed and public digital ledger that is used to record transactions across many computers so that any involved record cannot be altered retroactively, without the alteration of all subsequent blocks.[1][17] This allows the participants to verify and audit transactions independently and relatively inexpensively.[18] A blockchain database is managed autonomously using a peer-to-peer network and a distributed timestamping server. They are authenticated by mass collaboration powered by collective self-interests.[19] Such a design facilitates robust workflow where participants’ uncertainty regarding data security is marginal. The use of a blockchain removes the characteristic of infinite reproducibility from a digital asset. It confirms that each unit of value was transferred only once, solving the long-standing problem of double spending. A blockchain has been described as a value-exchange protocol.[20] A blockchain can maintain title rights because, when properly set up to detail the exchange agreement, it provides a record that compels offer and acceptance.

Blocks

Blocks hold batches of valid transactions that are hashed and encoded into a Merkle tree.[1] Each block includes the cryptographic hash of the prior block in the blockchain, linking the two. The linked blocks form a chain.[1] This iterative process confirms the integrity of the previous block, all the way back to the original genesis block.[21]

Sometimes separate blocks can be produced concurrently, creating a temporary fork. In addition to a secure hash-based history, any blockchain has a specified algorithm for scoring different versions of the history so that one with a higher score can be selected over others. Blocks not selected for inclusion in the chain are called orphan blocks.[21] Peers supporting the database have different versions of the history from time to time. They keep only the highest-scoring version of the database known to them. Whenever a peer receives a higher-scoring version (usually the old version with a single new block added) they extend or overwrite their own database and retransmit the improvement to their peers. There is never an absolute guarantee that any particular entry will remain in the best version of the history forever. Blockchains are typically built to add the score of new blocks onto old blocks and are given incentives to extend with new blocks rather than overwrite old blocks. Therefore, the probability of an entry becoming superseded decreases exponentially[22] as more blocks are built on top of it, eventually becoming very low.[1][23]:ch. 08[24] For example, bitcoin uses a proof-of-work system, where the chain with the most cumulative proof-of-work is considered the valid one by the network. There are a number of methods that can be used to demonstrate a sufficient level of computation. Within a blockchain the computation is carried out redundantly rather than in the traditional segregated and parallel manner.[25]

Block time

The block time is the average time it takes for the network to generate one extra block in the blockchain. Some blockchains create a new block as frequently as every five seconds. By the time of block completion, the included data becomes verifiable. In cryptocurrency, this is practically when the transaction takes place, so a shorter block time means faster transactions. The block time for Ethereum is set to between 14 and 15 seconds, while for bitcoin it is 10 minutes.[citation needed]

Hard forks

hard fork is a rule change such that the software validating according to the old rules will see the blocks produced according to the new rules as invalid. In case of a hard fork, all nodes meant to work in accordance with the new rules need to upgrade their software.

If one group of nodes continues to use the old software while the other nodes use the new software, a split can occur. For example, Ethereum has hard-forked to “make whole” the investors in The DAO, which had been hacked by exploiting a vulnerability in its code. In this case, the fork resulted in a split creating Ethereum and Ethereum Classic chains. In 2014 the Nxt community was asked to consider a hard fork that would have led to a rollback of the blockchain records to mitigate the effects of a theft of 50 million NXT from a major cryptocurrency exchange. The hard fork proposal was rejected, and some of the funds were recovered after negotiations and ransom payment. Alternatively, to prevent a permanent split, a majority of nodes using the new software may return to the old rules, as was the case of bitcoin split on 12 March 2013.[26]

Decentralization

By storing data across its peer-to-peer network, the blockchain eliminates a number of risks that come with data being held centrally.[1] The decentralized blockchain may use ad-hoc message passing and distributed networking.

Peer-to-peer blockchain networks lack centralized points of vulnerability that computer crackers can exploit; likewise, it has no central point of failure. Blockchain security methods include the use of public-key cryptography.[4]:5 A public key (a long, random-looking string of numbers) is an address on the blockchain. Value tokens sent across the network are recorded as belonging to that address. A private key is like a password that gives its owner access to their digital assets or the means to otherwise interact with the various capabilities that blockchains now support. Data stored on the blockchain is generally considered incorruptible.[1]

Every node in a decentralized system has a copy of the blockchain. Data quality is maintained by massive database replication[8] and computational trust. No centralized “official” copy exists and no user is “trusted” more than any other.[4] Transactions are broadcast to the network using software. Messages are delivered on a best-effort basis. Mining nodes validate transactions,[21] add them to the block they are building, and then broadcast the completed block to other nodes.[23]:ch. 08 Blockchains use various time-stamping schemes, such as proof-of-work, to serialize changes.[27] Alternative consensus methods include proof-of-stake.[21] Growth of a decentralized blockchain is accompanied by the risk of centralization because the computer resources required to process larger amounts of data become more expensive.[28]

Openness

Open blockchains are more user-friendly than some traditional ownership records, which, while open to the public, still require physical access to view. Because all early blockchains were permissionless, controversy has arisen over the blockchain definition. An issue in this ongoing debate is whether a private system with verifiers tasked and authorized (permissioned) by a central authority should be considered a blockchain.[29][30][31][32][33] Proponents of permissioned or private chains argue that the term “blockchain” may be applied to any data structure that batches data into time-stamped blocks. These blockchains serve as a distributed version of multiversion concurrency control (MVCC) in databases.[34] Just as MVCC prevents two transactions from concurrently modifying a single object in a database, blockchains prevent two transactions from spending the same single output in a blockchain.[35]:30–31 Opponents say that permissioned systems resemble traditional corporate databases, not supporting decentralized data verification, and that such systems are not hardened against operator tampering and revision.[29][31] Nikolai Hampton of Computerworld said that “many in-house blockchain solutions will be nothing more than cumbersome databases,” and “without a clear security model, proprietary blockchains should be eyed with suspicion.”[10][36]

Permissionless

The great advantage to an open, permissionless, or public, blockchain network is that guarding against bad actors is not required and no access control is needed.[22] This means that applications can be added to the network without the approval or trust of others, using the blockchain as a transport layer.[22]

Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies currently secure their blockchain by requiring new entries to include a proof of work. To prolong the blockchain, bitcoin uses Hashcash puzzles. While Hashcash was designed in 1997 by Adam Back, the original idea was first proposed by Cynthia Dwork and Moni Naor and Eli Ponyatovski in their 1992 paper “Pricing via Processing or Combatting Junk Mail”.

Financial companies have not prioritised decentralized blockchains.[citation needed]

In 2016, venture capital investment for blockchain-related projects was weakening in the USA but increasing in China.[37] Bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies use open (public) blockchains. As of April 2018, bitcoin has the highest market capitalization.

Permissioned (private) blockchain

Permissioned blockchains use an access control layer to govern who has access to the network.[38] In contrast to public blockchain networks, validators on private blockchain networks are vetted by the network owner. They do not rely on anonymous nodes to validate transactions nor do they benefit from the network effect.[citation needed] Permissioned blockchains can also go by the name of ‘consortium’ blockchains.[39][better source needed]

Disadvantages of private blockchain

Nikolai Hampton pointed out in Computerworld that “There is also no need for a ’51 percent’ attack on a private blockchain, as the private blockchain (most likely) already controls 100 percent of all block creation resources. If you could attack or damage the blockchain creation tools on a private corporate server, you could effectively control 100 percent of their network and alter transactions however you wished.”[10] This has a set of particularly profound adverse implications during a financial crisis or debt crisis like the financial crisis of 2007–08, where politically powerful actors may make decisions that favor some groups at the expense of others,[40][41] and “the bitcoin blockchain is protected by the massive group mining effort. It’s unlikely that any private blockchain will try to protect records using gigawatts of computing power — it’s time consuming and expensive.”[10] He also said, “Within a private blockchain there is also no ‘race’; there’s no incentive to use more power or discover blocks faster than competitors. This means that many in-house blockchain solutions will be nothing more than cumbersome databases.”[10]

Blockchain analysis

The analysis of public blockchains has become increasingly important with the popularity of bitcoinEthereumlitecoin and other cryptocurrencies.[42] A blockchain, if it is public, provides anyone who wants access to observe and analyse the chain data, given one has the know-how. The process of understanding and accessing the flow of crypto has been an issue for many cryptocurrencies, crypto-exchanges and banks.[43][44] The reason for this is accusations of blockchain enabled cryptocurrencies enabling illicit dark market trade of drugs, weapons, money laundering etc.[45] A common belief has been that cryptocurrency is private and untraceable, thus leading many actors to use it for illegal purposes. This is changing and now specialised tech-companies provide blockchain tracking services, making crypto exchanges, law-enforcement and banks more aware of what is happening with crypto funds and fiat crypto exchanges. The development, some argue, has led criminals to prioritise use of new cryptos such as Monero.[46][47][48] The question is about public accessibility of blockchain data and the personal privacy of the very same data. It is a key debate in cryptocurrency and ultimately in blockchain.[49]

Uses

Blockchain technology can be integrated into multiple areas. The primary use of blockchains today is as a distributed ledger for cryptocurrencies, most notably bitcoin. There are a few operational products maturing from proof of concept by late 2016.[37] Businesses have been thus far reluctant to place blockchain at the core of the business structure.[50]

Cryptocurrencies

Most cryptocurrencies use blockchain technology to record transactions. For example, the bitcoin network and Ethereum network are both based on blockchain. On 8 May 2018 Facebook confirmed that it is opening a new blockchain group[51] which will be headed by David Marcus who previously was in charge of Messenger. According to The Verge Facebook is planning to launch its own cryptocurrency for facilitating payments on the platform.[52]

Smart contracts

Blockchain-based smart contracts are proposed contracts that could be partially or fully executed or enforced without human interaction.[53] One of the main objectives of a smart contract is automated escrow. An IMF staff discussion reported that smart contracts based on blockchain technology might reduce moral hazards and optimize the use of contracts in general. But “no viable smart contract systems have yet emerged.” Due to the lack of widespread use their legal status is unclear.[54]

Financial services

Major portions of the financial industry are implementing distributed ledgers for use in banking,[55][56][57] and according to a September 2016 IBM study, this is occurring faster than expected.[58]

Banks are interested in this technology because it has potential to speed up back office settlement systems.[59]

Banks such as UBS are opening new research labs dedicated to blockchain technology in order to explore how blockchain can be used in financial services to increase efficiency and reduce costs.[60][61]

Berenberg, a German bank, believes that blockchain is an “overhyped technology” that has had a large number of “proofs of concept”, but still has major challenges, and very few success stories.[62]

Video games

A blockchain game CryptoKitties, launched in November 2017.[63] The game made headlines in December 2017 when a cryptokitty character – an in-game virtual pet – was sold for more than US$100,000.[64] CryptoKitties illustrated scalability problems for games on Ethereum when it created significant congestion on the Ethereum network with about 30% of all Ethereum transactions being for the game.[65]

Cryptokitties also demonstrated how blockchains can be used to catalog game assets (digital assets).[66]

Supply chain

There are a number of efforts and industry organizations working to employ blockchains in supply chain logistics and supply chain management.

The Blockchain in Transport Alliance (BiTA) works to develop open standards for supply chains.[citation needed]

Everledger is one of the inaugural clients of IBM’s blockchain-based tracking service.[67]

Walmart and IBM are running a trial to use a blockchain-backed system for supply chain monitoring — all nodes of the blockchain are administered by Walmart and are located on the IBM cloud.[68]

Hyperledger Grid develops open components for blockchain supply chain solutions.[69][70]

Other uses

Blockchain technology can be used to create a permanent, public, transparent ledger system for compiling data on sales, tracking digital use and payments to content creators, such as wireless users[71] or musicians.[72] In 2017, IBM partnered with ASCAP and PRS for Music to adopt blockchain technology in music distribution.[73] Imogen Heap‘s Mycelia service has also been proposed as blockchain-based alternative “that gives artists more control over how their songs and associated data circulate among fans and other musicians.”[74][75]

New distribution methods are available for the insurance industry such as peer-to-peer insuranceparametric insurance and microinsurance following the adoption of blockchain.[76][77] The sharing economy and IoT are also set to benefit from blockchains because they involve many collaborating peers.[78] Online voting is another application of the blockchain.[79][80]

Other designs include:

  • Hyperledger is a cross-industry collaborative effort from the Linux Foundation to support blockchain-based distributed ledgers, with projects under this initiative including Hyperledger Burrow (by Monax) and Hyperledger Fabric (spearheaded by IBM)[81]
  • Quorum – a permissionable private blockchain by JPMorgan Chase with private storage, used for contract applications[82]
  • Tezos, decentralized voting.[35]:94
  • Proof of Existence is an online service that verifies the existence of computer files as of a specific time[83]

Types

Currently, there are at least four types of blockchain networks — public blockchains, private blockchains, consortium blockchains and hybrid blockchains.

Public blockchains

A public blockchain has absolutely no access restrictions. Anyone with an Internet connection can send transactions to it as well as become a validator (i.e., participate in the execution of a consensus protocol).[84][self-published source?] Usually, such networks offer economic incentives for those who secure them and utilize some type of a Proof of Stake or Proof of Work algorithm.

Some of the largest, most known public blockchains are the bitcoin blockchain and the Ethereum blockchain.

Private blockchains

A private blockchain is permissioned.[38] One cannot join it unless invited by the network administrators. Participant and validator access is restricted.

This type of blockchains can be considered a middle-ground for companies that are interested in the blockchain technology in general but are not comfortable with a level of control offered by public networks. Typically, they seek to incorporate blockchain into their accounting and record-keeping procedures without sacrificing autonomy and running the risk of exposing sensitive data to the public internet.[citation needed]

Hybrid blockchains

A hybrid blockchain[85] simply explained is a combination between different characteristics both public and private blockchains have by design. It allows to determine what information stays private and what information is made public. Further decentralization in relation to primarily centralized private blockchains can be achieved in various ways. Instead of keeping transactions inside their own network of community run or private nodes, the hash (with or without payload) can be posted on completely decentralized blockchains such as bitcoin. Dragonchain uses Interchain[86] to host transactions on other blockchains. This allows users to operate on different blockchains, where they can selectively share data or business logic. Other blockchains like Wanchain use interoperability mechanisms such as bridges.[87][88] By submitting the hash of a transaction (with or without the sensitive business logic) on public blockchains like bitcoin or Ethereum, some of the privacy and blockchain concerns are resolved, as no personal identifiable information is stored on a public blockchain. Depending on the hybrid blockchain its architecture, multicloud solutions allow to store data in compliance with General Data Protection Regulation and other geographical limitations while also leveraging bitcoin’s global hashpower to decentralize transactions.

Academic research

Blockchain panel discussion at the first IEEE Computer Society TechIgnite conference

In October 2014, the MIT Bitcoin Club, with funding from MIT alumni, provided undergraduate students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology access to $100 of bitcoin. The adoption rates, as studied by Catalini and Tucker (2016), revealed that when people who typically adopt technologies early are given delayed access, they tend to reject the technology.[89]

Energy use of proof-of-work blockchains

External video
 Cryptocurrencies: looking beyond the hypeHyun Song ShinBank for International Settlements, 2:48[90]
 Blockchains and Cryptocurrencies: Burn It With Fire, Nicholas Weaver, Berkeley School of Information, 49:47, lecture begins at 3:05[91]

The Bank for International Settlements has criticized the public proof-of-work blockchains for high energy consumption.[92][90][93]

Nicholas Weaver, of the International Computer Science Institute at the University of California, Berkeley examines blockchain’s online security, and the energy efficiency of proof-of-work public blockchains, and in both cases finds it grossly inadequate.[91][94]

Journals

In September 2015, the first peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to cryptocurrency and blockchain technology research, Ledger, was announced. The inaugural issue was published in December 2016.[95] The journal covers aspects of mathematicscomputer scienceengineeringlaweconomics and philosophy that relate to cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.[96][97]

The journal encourages authors to digitally sign a file hash of submitted papers, which will then be timestamped into the bitcoin blockchain. Authors are also asked to include a personal bitcoin address in the first page of their papers.[98]

See also

References …

Further reading

  •  Media related to Blockchain at Wikimedia Commons

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

What is Blockchain Technology? A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners

Ameer Rosic

3 years ago
Was ist Blockchain-Technologie

What is Blockchain Technology? A Step-by-Step Guide For Beginners

[Updated – Mar 01 2019]

Is Blockchain Technology the New Internet?

The blockchain is an undeniably ingenious invention – the brainchild of a person or group of people known by the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto. But since then, it has evolved into something greater, and the main question every single person is asking is: What is Blockchain?

By allowing digital information to be distributed but not copied, blockchain technology created the backbone of a new type of internet. Originally devised for the digital currencyBitcoin, (Buy Bitcoin) the tech community has now found other potential uses for the technology.

In thisguide, we are going to explain to you what the blockchain technology is, and what its properties are that make it so unique. So, we hope you enjoy this, What Is Blockchain Guide. And if you already know what blockchain is and want to become a blockchain developer please check out our in-depth blockchain tutorial and create your very first blockchain.

What is Blockchain Technology?

What is Blockchain Technology? A step-by-step guide than anyone can understand“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.” – Don & Alex Tapscott, authors Blockchain Revolution (2016).

A blockchain is, in the simplest of terms, a time-stamped series of immutable record of data that is managed by cluster of computers not owned by any single entity. Each of these blocks of data (i.e. block) are secured and bound to each other using cryptographic principles (i.e. chain).

So, what is so special about it and why are we saying that it has industry disrupting capabilities?

The blockchain network has no central authority — it is the very definition of a democratized system. Since it is a shared and immutable ledger, the information in it is open for anyone and everyone to see. Hence, anything that is built on the blockchain is by its very nature transparent and everyone involved is accountable for their actions.

Blockchain Explained

A blockchain carries no transaction cost. (An infrastructure cost yes, but no transaction cost.) The blockchain is a simple yet ingenious way of passing information from A to B in a fully automated and safe manner. One party to a transaction initiates the process by creating a block. This block is verified by thousands, perhaps millions of computers distributed around the net. The verified block is added to a chain, which is stored across the net, creating not just a unique record, but a unique record with a unique history. Falsifying a single record would mean falsifying the entire chain in millions of instances. That is virtually impossible. Bitcoin uses this model for monetary transactions, but it can be deployed in many others ways.

Blockchain is the most disruptive invention since the Internet itself

Think of a railway company. We buy tickets on an app or the web. The credit card company takes a cut for processing the transaction. With blockchain, not only can the railway operator save on credit card processing fees, it can move the entire ticketing process to the blockchain. The two parties in the transaction are the railway company and the passenger. The ticket is a block, which will be added to a ticket blockchain. Just as a monetary transaction on blockchain is a unique, independently verifiable and unfalsifiable record (like Bitcoin), so can your ticket be. Incidentally, the final ticket blockchain is also a record of all transactions for, say, a certain train route, or even the entire train network, comprising every ticket ever sold, every journey ever taken.

But the key here is this: it’s free. Not only can the blockchain transfer and store money, but it can also replace all processes and business models which rely on charging a small fee for a transaction. Or any other transaction between two parties.

Here is another example. The gig economy hub Fivver charges 0.5 dollars on a 5 transaction between individuals buying and selling services. Using blockchain technology the transaction is free. Ergo, Fivver will cease to exist. So will auction houses and any other business entity based on the market-maker principle.

Even recent entrants like Uber and AirBnB are threatened by blockchain technology. All you need to do is encode the transactional information for a car ride or an overnight stay, and again you have a perfectly safe way that disrupts the business model of the companies which have just begun to challenge the traditional economy. We are not just cutting out the fee-processing middle man, we are also eliminating the need for the match-making platform.

Because blockchain transactions are free, you can charge minuscule amounts, say 1/100 of a cent for a video view or article read. Why should I pay The Economist or National Geographic an annual subscription fee if I can pay per article on Facebook or my favorite chat app. Again, remember that blockchain transactions carry no transaction cost. You can charge for anything in any amount without worrying about third parties cutting into your profits.

Blockchain may make selling recorded music profitable again for artists by cutting out music companies and distributors like Apple or Spotify. The music you buy could even be encoded in the blockchain itself, making it a cloud archive for any song purchased. Because the amounts charged can be so small, subscription and streaming services will become irrelevant.

It goes further. Ebooks could be fitted with blockchain code. Instead of Amazon taking a cut, and the credit card company earning money on the sale, the books would circulate in encoded form and a successful blockchain transaction would transfer money to the author and unlock the book. Transfer ALL the money to the author, not just meager royalties. You could do this on a book review website like Goodreads, or on your own website. The marketplace Amazon is then unnecessary. Successful iterations could even include reviews and other third-party information about the book.

In the financial world the applications are more obvious and the revolutionary changes more imminent. Blockchains will change the way stock exchanges work, loans are bundled, and insurances contracted. They will eliminate bank accounts and practically all services offered by banks. Almost every financial institution will go bankrupt or be forced to change fundamentally, once the advantages of a safe ledger without transaction fees is widely understood and implemented. After all, the financial system is built on taking a small cut of your money for the privilege of facilitating a transaction. Bankers will become mere advisers, not gatekeepers of money. Stockbrokers will no longer be able to earn commissions and the buy/sell spread will disappear.

How Does Blockchain Work?

Picture a spreadsheet that is duplicated thousands of times across a network of computers. Then imagine that this network is designed to regularly update this spreadsheet and you have a basic understanding of the blockchain.

Information held on a blockchain exists as a shared — and continually reconciled — database. This is a way of using the network that has obvious benefits. The blockchain database isn’t stored in any single location, meaning the records it keeps are truly public and easily verifiable. No centralized version of this information exists for a hacker to corrupt. Hosted by millions of computers simultaneously, its data is accessible to anyone on the internet.

To go in deeper with the Google spreadsheet analogy, I would like you to read this piece from a blockchain specialist.


What is Blockchain Technology? A step-by-step guide than anyone can understand“The traditional way of sharing documents with collaboration is to send a Microsoft Word document to another recipient, and ask them to make revisions to it. The problem with that scenario is that you need to wait until receiving a return copy before you can see or make other changes because you are locked out of editing it until the other person is done with it. That’s how databases work today. Two owners can’t be messing with the same record at once.That’s how banks maintain money balances and transfers; they briefly lock access (or decrease the balance) while they make a transfer, then update the other side, then re-open access (or update again).With Google Docs (or Google Sheets), both parties have access to the same document at the same time, and the single version of that document is always visible to both of them. It is like a shared ledger, but it is a shared document. The distributed part comes into play when sharing involves a number of people.

Imagine the number of legal documents that should be used that way. Instead of passing them to each other, losing track of versions, and not being in sync with the other version, why can’t *all* business documents become shared instead of transferred back and forth? So many types of legal contracts would be ideal for that kind of workflow. You don’t need a blockchain to share documents, but the shared documents analogy is a powerful one.” – William Mougayar, Venture advisor, 4x entrepreneur, marketer, strategist and blockchain specialist

The reason why the blockchain has gained so much admiration is that:

  • It is not owned by a single entity, hence it is decentralized
  • The data is cryptographically stored inside
  • The blockchain is immutable, so no one can tamper with the data that is inside the blockchain
  • The blockchain is transparent so one can track the data if they want to

The Three Pillars of Blockchain Technology

The three main properties of Blockchain Technology which has helped it gain widespread acclaim are as follows:

  • Decentralization
  • Transparency
  • Immutability

Pillar #1: Decentralization

Before Bitcoin and BitTorrent came along, we were more used to centralized services. The idea is very simple. You have a centralized entity which stored all the data and you’d have to interact solely with this entity to get whatever information you required.

Another example of a centralized system is banks. They store all your money, and the only way that you can pay someone is by going through the bank.

The traditional client-server model is a perfect example of this:

What is Blockchain

When you google search for something, you send a query to the server who then gets back at you with the relevant information. That is simple client-server.

Now, centralized systems have treated us well for many years, however, they have several vulnerabilities.

  • Firstly, because they are centralized, all the data is stored in one spot. This makes them easy target spots for potential hackers.
  • If the centralized system were to go through a software upgrade, it would halt the entire system
  • What if the centralized entity somehow shut down for whatever reason? That way nobody will be able to access the information that it possesses
  • Worst case scenario, what if this entity gets corrupted and malicious? If that happens then all the data that is inside the blockchain will be compromised.

So, what happens if we just take this centralized entity away?

In a decentralized system, the information is not stored by one single entity. In fact, everyone in the network owns the information.

In a decentralized network, if you wanted to interact with your friend then you can do so directly without going through a third party. That was the main ideology behind Bitcoins. You and only you alone are in charge of your money. You can send your money to anyone you want without having to go through a bank.

blockchain

Pillar #2: Transparency

One of the most interesting and misunderstood concepts in blockchain technology is “transparency.” Some people say that blockchain gives you privacy while some say that it is transparent. Why do you think that happens?

Well… a person’s identity is hidden via complex cryptography and represented only by their public address. So, if you were to look up a person’s transaction history, you will not see “Bob sent 1 BTC” instead you will see “1MF1bhsFLkBzzz9vpFYEmvwT2TbyCt7NZJ sent 1 BTC”.

The following snapshot of Ethereum transactions will show you what we mean:

Ethereum transactions

So, while the person’s real identity is secure, you will still see all the transactions that were done by their public address. This level of transparency has never existed before within a financial system. It adds that extra, and much needed, level of accountability which is required by some of these biggest institutions.

Speaking purely from the point of view of cryptocurrency, if you know the public address of one of these big companies, you can simply pop it in an explorer and look at all the transactions that they have engaged in. This forces them to be honest, something that they have never had to deal with before.

However, that’s not the best use-case. We are pretty sure that most of these companies won’t transact using cryptocurrencies, and even if they do, they won’t do ALL their transactions using cryptocurrencies. However, what if the blockchain technology was integrated…say in their supply chain?

You can see why something like this can be very helpful for the finance industry right?

Pillar #3: Immutability

Immutability, in the context of the blockchain, means that once something has been entered into the blockchain, it cannot be tampered with.

Can you imagine how valuable this will be for financial institutes?

Imagine how many embezzlement cases can be nipped in the bud if people know that they can’t “work the books” and fiddle around with company accounts.

The reason why the blockchain gets this property is that of cryptographic hash function.

In simple terms, hashing means taking an input string of any length and giving out an output of a fixed length. In the context of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin, the transactions are taken as an input and run through a hashing algorithm (bitcoin uses SHA-256) which gives an output of a fixed length.

Let’s see how the hashing process works. We are going to put in certain inputs. For this exercise, we are going to use the SHA-256 (Secure Hashing Algorithm 256).

hashing

As you can see, in the case of SHA-256, no matter how big or small your input is, the output will always have a fixed 256-bits length. This becomes critical when you are dealing with a huge amount of data and transactions. So basically, instead of remembering the input data which could be huge, you can just remember the hash and keep track.

A cryptographic hash function is a special class of hash functions which has various properties making it ideal for cryptography. There are certain properties that a cryptographic hash function needs to have in order to be considered secure. You can read about those in detail in our guide on hashing.

There is just one property that we want you to focus on today. It is called the “Avalanche Effect.”

What does that mean?

Even if you make a small change in your input, the changes that will be reflected in the hash will be huge. Let’s test it out using SHA-256:

blockchain hashing

You see that? Even though you just changed the case of the first alphabet of the input, look at how much that has affected the output hash. Now, let’s go back to our previous point when we were looking at blockchain architecture. What we said was:

The blockchain is a linked list which contains data and a hash pointer which points to its previous block, hence creating the chain. What is a hash pointer? A hash pointer is similar to a pointer, but instead of just containing the address of the previous block it also contains the hash of the data inside the previous block.

This one small tweak is what makes blockchains so amazingly reliable and trailblazing.

Imagine this for a second, a hacker attacks block 3 and tries to change the data. Because of the properties of hash functions, a slight change in data will change the hash drastically. This means that any slight changes made in block 3, will change the hash which is stored in block 2, now that in turn will change the data and the hash of block 2 which will result in changes in block 1 and so on and so forth. This will completely change the chain, which is impossible. This is exactly how blockchains attain immutability.

Maintaining the Blockchain – Network and Nodes

The blockchain is maintained by a peer-to-peer network. The network is a collection of nodes which are interconnected to one another. Nodes are individual computers which take in input and performs a function on them and gives an output. The blockchain uses a special kind of network called “peer-to-peer network” which partitions its entire workload between participants, who are all equally privileged, called “peers”. There is no longer one central server, now there are several distributed and decentralized peers.

Why do people use the peer-to-peer network?

One of the main uses of the peer-to-peer network is file sharing, also called torrenting. If you are to use a client-server model for downloading, then it is usually extremely slow and entirely dependent on the health of the server. Plus, like we said, it is prone to censorship.

However, in a peer-to-peer system, there is no central authority, and hence if even one of the peers in the network goes out of the race, you still have more peers to download from. Plus, it is not subject to the idealistic standards of a central system, hence it is not prone to censorship.

If we were to compare the two:

Image courtesy: Quora

The decentralized nature of a peer-to-peer system becomes critical as we move on to the next section. How critical? Well, the simple (at least on paper) idea of combining this peer-to-peer network with a payment system has completely revolutionized the finance industry by giving birth to cryptocurrency.

The use of networks and nodes in cryptocurrencies.

The peer-to-peer network structure in cryptocurrencies is structured according to the consensus mechanism that they are utilizing. For cryptos like Bitcoin and Ethereum which uses a normal proof-of-work consensus mechanism (Ethereum will eventually move on to Proof of Stake), all the nodes have the same privilege. The idea is to create an egalitarian network. The nodes are not given any special privileges, however, their functions and degree of participation may differ. There is no centralized server/entity, nor is there any hierarchy. It is a flat topology.

These decentralized cryptocurrencies are structured like that is because of a simple reason, to stay true to their philosophy. The idea is to have a currency system, where everyone is treated as an equal and there is no governing body, which can determine the value of the currency based on a whim. This is true for both bitcoin and Ethereum.

Now, if there is no central system, how would everyone in the system get to know that a certain transaction has happened? The network follows the gossip protocol. Think of how gossip spreads. Suppose Alice sent 3 ETH to Bob. The nodes nearest to her will get to know of this, and then they will tell the nodes closest to them, and then they will tell their neighbors, and this will keep on spreading out until everyone knows. Nodes are basically your nosy, annoying relatives.

What is Blockchain Technology? A step-by-step guide than anyone can understand
So, what is a node in the context of Ethereum? A node is simply a computer that participates in the Ethereum network. This participation can be in three ways

  • By keeping a shallow-copy of the blockchain aka a Light Client
  • By keeping a full-copy of the blockchain aka a Full Node
  • By verifying the transactions aka Mining

 

However, the problem with this design is that it is not really that scalable. Which is why, a lot of new generation cryptocurrencies adopt a leader-based consensus mechanism. In EOS, Cardano, Neo etc. the nodes elect leader nodes or “super nodes” who are in charge of the consensus and overall network health. These cryptos are a lot faster but they are not the most decentralized of systems.

So, in a way, cryptos have to make the trade-off between speed and decentralization.

Who Will Use The Blockchain?

As web infrastructure, you don’t need to know about the blockchain for it to be useful in your life.

Currently, finance offers the strongest use cases for the technology. International remittances, for instance. The World Bank estimates that over $430 billion US in money transfers were sent in 2015. And at the moment there is a high demand for blockchain developers.

The blockchain potentially cuts out the middleman for these types of transactions. Personal computing became accessible to the general public with the invention of the Graphical User Interface (GUI), which took the form of a “desktop”. Similarly, the most common GUI devised for the blockchain are the so-called “wallet” applications, which people use to buy things with Bitcoin, and store it along with other cryptocurrencies.

Transactions online are closely connected to the processes of identity verification. It is easy to imagine that wallet apps will transform in the coming years to include other types of identity management.

What is Blockchain? And What New Applications Will It Bring Us?

The blockchain gives internet users the ability to create value and authenticates digital information. What new business applications will result from this?

#1 Smart contracts

Distributed ledgers enable the coding of simple contracts that will execute when specified conditions are met. Ethereum is an open source blockchain project that was built specifically to realize this possibility. Still, in its early stages, Ethereum has the potential to leverage the usefulness of blockchains on a truly world-changing scale.

At the technology’s current level of development, smart contracts can be programmed to perform simple functions. For instance, a derivative could be paid out when a financial instrument meets certain benchmark, with the use of blockchain technology and Bitcoin enabling the payout to be automated.

#2 The sharing economy

With companies like Uber and Airbnb flourishing, the sharing economy is already a proven success. Currently, however, users who want to hail a ride-sharing service have to rely on an intermediary like Uber. By enabling peer-to-peer payments, the blockchain opens the door to direct interaction between parties — a truly decentralized sharing economy results.

An early example, OpenBazaar uses the blockchain to create a peer-to-peer eBay. Download the app onto your computing device, and you can transact with OpenBazzar vendors without paying transaction fees. The “no rules” ethos of the protocol means that personal reputation will be even more important to business interactions than it currently is on eBay.

#3 Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding initiatives like Kickstarter and Gofundme are doing the advance work for the emerging peer-to-peer economy. The popularity of these sites suggests people want to have a direct say in product development. Blockchains take this interest to the next level, potentially creating crowd-sourced venture capital funds.

In 2016, one such experiment, the Ethereum-based DAO (Decentralized Autonomous Organization), raised an astonishing $200 million USD in just over two months. Participants purchased “DAO tokens” allowing them to vote on smart contract venture capital investments (voting power was proportionate to the number of DAO they were holding). A subsequent hack of project funds proved that the project was launched without proper due diligence, with disastrous consequences. Regardless, the DAO experiment suggests the blockchain has the potential to usher in “a new paradigm of economic cooperation.”

#4 Governance

By making the results fully transparent and publicly accessible, distributed database technology could bring full transparency to elections or any other kind of poll taking. Ethereum-based smart contracts help to automate the process.

The app, Boardroom, enables organizational decision-making to happen on the blockchain. In practice, this means company governance becomes fully transparent and verifiable when managing digital assets, equity or information.

#5 Supply chain auditing

Consumers increasingly want to know that the ethical claims companies make about their products are real. Distributed ledgers provide an easy way to certify that the backstories of the things we buy are genuine. Transparency comes with blockchain-based timestamping of a date and location — on ethical diamonds, for instance — that corresponds to a product number.

The UK-based Provenance offers supply chain auditing for a range of consumer goods. Making use of the Ethereum blockchain, a Provenance pilot project ensures that fish sold in Sushi restaurants in Japan has been sustainably harvested by its suppliers in Indonesia.

#6 File storage

Decentralizing file storage on the internet brings clear benefits. Distributing data throughout the network protects files from getting hacked or lost.

Inter Planetary File System (IPFS) makes it easy to conceptualize how a distributed web might operate. Similar to the way a BitTorrent moves data around the internet, IPFS gets rid of the need for centralized client-server relationships (i.e., the current web). An internet made up of completely decentralized websites has the potential to speed up file transfer and streaming times. Such an improvement is not only convenient. It’s a necessary upgrade to the web’s currently overloaded content-delivery systems.

#7 Prediction markets

The crowdsourcing of predictions on event probability is proven to have a high degree of accuracy. Averaging opinions cancels out the unexamined biases that distort judgment. Prediction markets that payout according to event outcomes are already active. Blockchains are a “wisdom of the crowd” technology that will no doubt find other applications in the years to come.

The prediction market application Augur makes share offerings on the outcome of real-world events. Participants can earn money by buying into the correct prediction. The more shares purchased in the correct outcome, the higher the payout will be. With a small commitment of funds (less than a dollar), anyone can ask a question, create a market based on a predicted outcome, and collect half of all transaction fees the market generates.

#8 Protection of intellectual property

As is well known, digital information can be infinitely reproduced — and distributed widely thanks to the internet. This has given web users globally a goldmine of free content. However, copyright holders have not been so lucky, losing control over their intellectual property and suffering financially as a consequence. Smart contracts can protect copyright and automate the sale of creative works online, eliminating the risk of file copying and redistribution.

Mycelia uses the blockchain to create a peer-to-peer music distribution system. Founded by the UK singer-songwriter Imogen Heap, Mycelia enables musicians to sell songs directly to audiences, as well as license samples to producers and divvy up royalties to songwriters and musicians — all of these functions being automated by smart contracts. The capacity of blockchains to issue payments in fractional cryptocurrency amounts (micropayments) suggests this use case for the blockchain has a strong chance of success.

#9 Internet of Things (IoT)

What is the IoT? The network-controlled management of certain types of electronic devices — for instance, the monitoring of air temperature in a storage facility. Smart contracts make the automation of remote systems management possible. A combination of software, sensors, and the network facilitates an exchange of data between objects and mechanisms. The result increases system efficiency and improves cost monitoring.

The biggest players in manufacturing, tech and telecommunications are all vying for IoT dominance. Think Samsung, IBM and AT&T. A natural extension of existing infrastructure controlled by incumbents, IoT applications will run the gamut from predictive maintenance of mechanical parts to data analytics, and mass-scale automated systems management.

#10 Neighbourhood Microgrids

Blockchain technology enables the buying and selling of the renewable energy generated by neighborhood microgrids. When solar panels make excess energy, Ethereum-based smart contracts automatically redistribute it. Similar types of smart contract automation will have many other applications as the IoT becomes a reality.

Located in Brooklyn, Consensys is one of the foremost companies globally that is developing a range of applications for Ethereum. One project they are partnering on is Transactive Grid, working with the distributed energy outfit, LO3. A prototype project currently up and running uses Ethereum smart contracts to automate the monitoring and redistribution of microgrid energy. This so-called “intelligent grid” is an early example of IoT functionality.

#11 Identity management

There is a definite need for better identity management on the web. The ability to verify your identity is the lynchpin of financial transactions that happen online. However, remedies for the security risks that come with web commerce are imperfect at best. Distributed ledgers offer enhanced methods for proving who you are, along with the possibility to digitize personal documents. Having a secure identity will also be important for online interactions — for instance, in the sharing economy. A good reputation, after all, is the most important condition for conducting transactions online.

Developing digital identity standards is proving to be a highly complex process. Technical challenges aside, a universal online identity solution requires cooperation between private entities and government. Add to that the need to navigate legal systems in different countries and the problem becomes exponentially difficult. E-Commerce on the internet currently relies on the SSL certificate (the little green lock) for secure transactions on the web. Netki is a startup that aspires to create an SSL standard for the blockchain. Having recently announced a $3.5 million seed round, Netki expects a product launch in early 2017.

#12 AML and KYC

Anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) practices have a strong potential for being adapted to the blockchain. Currently, financial institutions must perform a labour intensive multi-step process for each new customer. KYC costs could be reduced through cross-institution client verification, and at the same time increase monitoring and analysis effectiveness.

Startup Polycoin has an AML/KYC solution that involves analysing transactions. Those transactions identified as being suspicious are forwarded on to compliance officers. Another startup Tradle is developing an application called Trust in Motion (TiM). Characterized as an “Instagram for KYC”, TiM allows customers to take a snapshot of key documents (passport, utility bill, etc.). Once verified by the bank, this data is cryptographically stored on the blockchain.

#13 Data management

Today, in exchange for their personal data people can use social media platforms like Facebook for free. In future, users will have the ability to manage and sell the data their online activity generates. Because it can be easily distributed in small fractional amounts, Bitcoin — or something like it — will most likely be the currency that gets used for this type of transaction.

The MIT project Enigma understands that user privacy is the key precondition for creating of a personal data marketplace. Enigma uses cryptographic techniques to allow individual data sets to be split between nodes, and at the same time run bulk computations over the data group as a whole. Fragmenting the data also makes Enigma scalable (unlike those blockchain solutions where data gets replicated on every node). A Beta launch is promised within the next six months.

#14 Land title registration

As Publicly-accessible ledgers, blockchains can make all kinds of record-keeping more efficient. Property titles are a case in point. They tend to be susceptible to fraud, as well as costly and labour intensive to administer.

A number of countries are undertaking blockchain-based land registry projects. Honduras was the first government to announce such an initiative in 2015, although the current status of that project is unclear. This year, the Republic of Georgia cemented a deal with the Bitfury Group to develop a blockchain system for property titles. Reportedly, Hernando de Soto, the high-profile economist and property rights advocate, will be advising on the project. Most recently, Sweden announced it was experimenting with a blockchain application for property titles.

#15 Stock trading

The potential for added efficiency in share settlement makes a strong use case for blockchains in stock trading. When executed peer-to-peer, trade confirmations become almost instantaneous (as opposed to taking three days for clearance). Potentially, this means intermediaries — such as the clearing house, auditors and custodians — get removed from the process.

Numerous stock and commodities exchanges are prototyping blockchain applications for the services they offer, including the ASX (Australian Securities Exchange), the Deutsche Börse (Frankfurt’s stock exchange) and the JPX (Japan Exchange Group). Most high profile because the acknowledged first mover in the area, is the Nasdaq’s Linq, a platform for private market trading (typically between pre-IPO startups and investors). A partnership with the blockchain tech company Chain, Linq announced the completion of it its first share trade in 2015. More recently, Nasdaq announced the development of a trial blockchain project for proxy voting on the Estonian Stock Market.

Ian Khan, TEDx SpeakerAs revolutionary as it sounds, Blockchain truly is a mechanism to bring everyone to the highest degree of accountability. No more missed transactions, human or machine errors, or even an exchange that was not done with the consent of the parties involved. Above anything else, the most critical area where Blockchain helps is to guarantee the validity of a transaction by recording it not only on a main register but a connected distributed system of registers, all of which are connected through a secure validation mechanism.” – Ian Khan, TEDx Speaker | Author | Technology Futurist

https://blockgeeks.com/guides/what-is-blockchain-technology/

Making sense of bitcoin, cryptocurrency and blockchain

Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, blockchain… So what does it all mean?

Some of the noise is hype, but some of it points to important forces in the financial services industry. To help you make sense of it, we’ve pulled together content explaining why a lot of industry observers are paying close attention.

Let’s start with some quick definitions. Blockchain is the technology that enables the existence of cryptocurrency (among other things). Bitcoin is the name of the best-known cryptocurrency, the one for which blockchain technology was invented. A cryptocurrency is a medium of exchange, such as the US dollar, but is digital and uses encryption techniques to control the creation of monetary units and to verify the transfer of funds.

A look at blockchain technology

What is it?

The blockchain is a decentralized ledger of all transactions across a peer-to-peer network. Using this technology, participants can confirm transactions without a need for a central clearing authority. Potential applications can include fund transfers, settling trades, voting and many other issues.

blockchain how it works
blockchain cyrptocurrency
blockchain benefits

 

Blockchain also has potential applications far beyond bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

Blockchain is, quite simply, a digital, decentralized ledger that keeps a record of all transactions that take place across a peer-to-peer network. The major innovation is that the technology allows market participants to transfer assets across the internet without the need for a centralized third party.

From a business perspective, it’s helpful to think of blockchain technology as a type of next-generation business process improvement software. Collaborative technology, such as blockchain, promises the ability to improve the business processes that occur between companies, radically lowering the “cost of trust.” For this reason, it may offer significantly higher returns for each investment dollar spent than most traditional internal investments.

Financial institutions are exploring how they could also use blockchain technology to upend everything from clearing and settlement to insurance.

For an overview of cryptocurrency, start with “Money is no object.” This paper, from PwC’s Financial Services Institute, focuses on cryptocurrency. We explain where it came from, how much consumers know about it and use it, what it will take for the market to grow and what the regulators think. We also look at how market participants, such as investors, technology providers and financial institutions, will be affected.

For some quick background on blockchain, take a look at our Top Trends in Financial Services page on Blockchain, where we discuss some of the ways FS firms are using blockchain, and how we expect the blockchain technology to develop in the future.

For a deeper dive into blockchain’s implications, read “A strategist’s guide to blockchain.” This article, from strategy+business, examines the potential benefits of this important innovation—and also suggests a way forward for financial institutions. Put simply, proceed deliberately. Explore how others might try to disrupt your business with blockchain technology and how your company could use it to leap ahead instead. In all cases, link your investments to your value proposition and give your business partners and your customers what they want most: speed, convenience and control over their transactions.

For a peek into the application of blockchains for smart contracts, check out “Blockchain and smart contract automation”. This short series of articles explore how blockchains, both public and private, have triggered a global hunt for ways to remove friction from transaction-related processes, including the process of reaching contractual agreements. Learn about the precursors, challenges and future outlook of implementing smart contracts. We also chat with Gideon Greenspan of Coin Sciences to learn about his views on the legal ramifications of public blockchains and why companies are seeking alternatives.

When a technology moves so quickly, it’s dangerous to sit on the sidelines. We’re watching blockchain move from a startup idea to an established technology in a tiny fraction of the time it took for the internet or even the PC to be accepted as a standard tool. Blockchain technology could result in a radically different competitive future for the financial services industry. These articles will help you understand these changes—and what you should do about them.

https://www.pwc.com/us/en/industries/financial-services/fintech/bitcoin-blockchain-cryptocurrency.html

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The Pronk Pops Show 1220, March 5, 2019, Story 1: Washington Witch Hunters Reign of Revenge — Trump Haters Show Trials — Trump Mocks Them All — Videos — Story 2: 2020 Democratic Party Ticket Joe Biden For President and Michelle Obama for Vice President — Videos — Story 3:  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) In Trouble Using Campaign Slush Fund — AOC Denies Violation — Videos

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Story 1: Washington Witch Hunters Reign of Revenge — Trump Haters Show Trials — Trump Mocks Them All — Videos —

 

See the source image

Gowdy: New House investigations of Trump are ‘all about 2020’

 

Adam Schiff Hires a Former Prosecutor to Lead the Trump Investigation

Representative Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, has hired a veteran prosecutor with experience fighting Russian organized crime to lead his investigation of the Trump Administration. Last month, according to a committee source, Daniel Goldman, who served as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Southern District of New York from 2007 to 2017, joined the committee’s staff as a senior adviser and the director of investigations.

The hiring of Goldman, who will be joined by two other former federal prosecutors on Schiff’s staff, underlines Schiff’s decision to conduct an aggressive investigation of the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia during the 2016 Presidential campaign. In the rough division of labor among the various committees in the House of Representatives, Schiff’s panel is tackling the most provocative and, so far, most elusive subject related to the President: whether so-called collusion occurred between the Trump campaign and Moscow. In public comments, Schiff has suggested that Trump’s interest as a private citizen in building a tower in Moscow led him to curry favor with Vladimir Putin, the Russian President. American intelligence agencies long ago concluded that the Russian government made significant efforts, through the hacking of e-mails and use of social media, to help elect Trump over Hillary Clinton. The question of whether the Trump campaign facilitated, assisted, or knew about these efforts has been at the heart of the investigation by the special counsel, Robert Mueller—and will also be central to Schiff’s inquiry.

Goldman seems well suited to lead this effort. As deputy chief of the organized-crime section of the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s office, Goldman supervised the prosecution of more than thirty defendants accused of racketeering, gambling, and money laundering. During his decade in the office, Goldman convicted individuals associated with Russian organized crime of securities fraud and health-care fraud, and convicted leading figures in the Genovese crime family of racketeering and murder.

One of Schiff’s previous committee hires drew a critical comment from the President. Last month, Schiff hired Abigail C. Grace, who served as an Asia-policy staffer on the National Security Council during the early part of the Trump Administration. In response, President Trump tweeted that the Democrats were going “nuts” and that Schiff was “stealing people who work at the White House.” In response, Schiff pointed out that congressional committees often employ individuals with experience in the executive branch.

The conflict between Trump and Schiff dates back to well before the Democrat took over as the chair of the Intelligence Committee, after the midterm elections. In a tweet, Trump once rendered Schiff’s name as “Schitt,” and, in his recent speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference, the President bestowed the congressman with the nickname Shifty Schiff.

Goldman’s hiring comes amid a flurry of investigative activity by Democrats on Capitol Hill. Schiff and Representative Maxine Waters, the chair of the House Financial Services Committee, have agreed to coördinate an investigation of Trump’s long-standing ties to Deutsche Bank, which has paid multimillion-dollar penalties for facilitating the work of Russian money launderers. On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee, led by Representative Jerrold Nadler, revealed that it had demanded testimony and documents from eighty-one people and entities close to Trump relating to the issues of obstruction of justice and abuse of power. And, of course, Michael Cohen, Trump’s former personal attorney, gave damning testimony to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform last week. All of these investigations appear to be much closer to the beginnings of their efforts than their ends.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/adam-schiff-hires-a-former-prosecutor-to-lead-the-trump-investigation

President Trump attacks Democrats, socialism and Mueller probe in fiery CPAC speech

Story 2: 2020 Democratic Party Ticker Joe Biden For President and Michelle Obama for Vice President — Videos —

Biden: My family wants me to run in 2020

 

ThumbnailImage result for joe biden and michelle obama presidential ticket in 2020

 

CNN focus group rejects Biden

A CNN focus group comprised of Democratic voters has rejected former Vice President Joe Biden as their presidential nominee.

The focus group’s dismissal of Biden is notable since the former vice president, who is expected to join the Democratic primary soon, has been leading a number of public opinion polls and is seen as the potential front-runner.

The Democrats gathered by CNN, however, said they weren’t interested in Biden. Some said they wanted a candidate who was further to the left.

“I think we need a bold, strong leadership, and you’ll find that in the progressives,” Democratic voter Carol Evans said.

“We had the standard-bearer for the kind of pragmatic centrist candidate in Hillary Clinton in 2016 and Donald Trump is now president. He is not your average political candidate, so we really need to try to think outside the box because, you know, it seems like the dude is made of rubber. Anything you throw at him just bounces off, there’s nothing that sticks,” said focus group member Michael Milisits.

Several progressives, including Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), have entered the race.

The focus group was moderated by “New Day” co-anchor Alisyn Camerota at CNN’s New York City bureau.

When she asked if any of the focus group members would like Biden to enter the race, none of the six people raised their hands.

“His time is done,” Evans said.

“I will be honest. He was riding the Obama wave and I thought he was a person that would unite the party, but to be honest, Sen. Biden really comes from kind of the good old boy politics of the past,” Democrat Russel Banks said.

“I don’t think Joe Biden represents that new thing that we need. We need a new economy, we need new politics and we need someone different,” Democrat Owen Evans added.

Biden currently leads most early polls over the other 13 declared candidates in the field, with political pollsters citing name recognition as the primary reason due to his long tenure in the Senate and eight years as President Obama’s vice president.

CNN has made the 2020 campaign one of its top priorities and has already featured several candidates in prime-time town hall events, including Sens. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Sanders, as well as former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who is considering an independent run for president.

The network is set to host a town hall this Sunday night with three more Democratic presidential hopefuls — former Rep. John Delaney (Md.), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg — at the South by Southwest conference in Texas.

The event will be moderated by “The Lead” host Jake Tapper and CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash in Austin, Texas.

https://thehill.com/homenews/media/432611-cnn-focus-group-rejects-biden

Michelle Obama talks 2020 Trump challengers, gives update on Malia and Sasha

On Tuesday, former first lady Michelle Obama officially became a published author with the release of her memoir “Becoming.” But one thing she has no interest in becoming is a presidential candidate.

“No, no, no,” Obama told “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts during a live interview Tuesday morning in Chicago.

Roberts acknowledged that the Princeton and Harvard Law grad has no interest in “returning to public service like that,” but she did want to know whether Obama thinks Hillary Clinton should run again and if not, who she believes is capable of challenging the Trump.

“I think, at this point, everybody’s qualified and everyone should run,” the former first lady said to peals of laughter. “I might even tap (her younger daughter) Sasha!” 

Embedded video

Good Morning America

@GMA

.@MichelleObama on whether Hillary Clinton should run for president in 2020: “I think at this point everybody is qualified and everybody should run. I might even tap Sasha!” http://gma.abc/2Tc7FMi 

When Roberts tried to goad her into saying she was trying to say that anybody would be better than Trump, Obama laughed and said, “You went there!”

Michelle Obama:  How to succeed in politics, even if you don’t really like it

Turning a bit more serious, Obama explained, “Where I’m at right now is that we should see anybody who feels the passion to get in this race, we need them in there. I think the process will play itself out. I haven’t really been paying attention and looking at the candidates. I think there’s just a lot of noise and talk, but it’s still pretty early. Let’s see who wants to roll up their sleeves and get in the race. That’s what the primary process is for.”

Michelle Obama talking on a cell phone: Michelle Obama says at this point, she's interested in a respectful challenger to President Trump than a flashy one.© Provided by USA TODAY, a division of Gannett Satellite Information Network, Inc. Michelle Obama says at this point, she’s interested in a respectful challenger to President Trump than a flashy one.But Obama did express a wish that the presidential candidates “treat each other respectfully. That’s the thing that I’m going to be looking out for. I don’t want people in either party tearing each other up to get to the nomination. I’m going to be looking to see who handles themselves and each other with dignity and respect so that by the time people get to the general (election), people aren’t beat up and battered.”

Obama’s bottom line? “I think this (Democratic nomination) is open to any and everybody who has the courage to step up and serve.”

She also provided an update on daughters Malia, a sophomore at Harvard, and Sasha, who will graduate from high school this spring.

“They are thriving,” Obama told Roberts. “I am so proud of those little girls. They have managed the situation with poise and grace. They are normal, kind, smart, friendly and open. Gosh, and it could have gone so wrong.”

Embedded video

Good Morning America

@GMA

.@MichelleObama on Sasha and Malia: “They had support from a lot of the other first kids – Jenna and Barbara and Chelsea. I love those girls. I will love them forever for what kind of support they provided to my daughters. They always had their back.” https://gma.abc/2PShoZC 

She extended her enduring gratitude to former first daughters Jenna and Barbara Bush and Chelsea Clinton for having her daughters’ backs throughout their time in the White House.

“I love those girls,” Obama gushed. “I will love them forever for the kind of support they provided to my daughters … If someone went after them in the press, Jenna would get in there and say something and Chelsea would send a tweet out. That made a big, big difference.”

Sitting next to her older brother, New York Knicks executive Craig Robinson, Obama also dished on her mom Marian, who lived with the family in the White House but is still very much a Chicagoan at heart.

“My mom is a South Side mother,” she said, noting she is still a bit stuck in her ways. “It was like, ‘Mom, you want to go to China with us?’ She’d be like, ‘Why do I want to go to China?’ Then she’d go to China and be like, ‘China’s great!’ But you have to push. These black mothers on the South Side, you gotta push ’em to try some new stuff!”  

‘Becoming Michelle Obama’:  What we learned from her ABC News interview

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/michelle-obama-talks-2020-trump-challengers-gives-update-on-malia-and-sasha/ar-BBPF9sL

Story 3:  Ocasio-Cortex AOC In Trouble Using Campaign Slush Fund — AOC Denies Violation  — Videos

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Campaign Finance Law Primer with Walter Olsen, Part 1 of 2

Campaign Finance Law Primer with Walter Olsen, Part 2 of 2

‘There is no violation!’ Ocasio-Cortez denies watchdog’s complaint to the FEC that her chief of staff funneled campaign cash to his own firm

  • The National Legal and Policy Center watchdog filed the complaint 
  •  It accuses top aide Saikat Chakrabarti of funeling contributions to his own companies
  • The former Sanders aide funded the Brand New Congress PAC 
  • Complaint claims reporting requirements and contribution limits may have been skirted 
  • AOC denied any violation 

Rep. Alexanadria Ocasio-Cortez is denying any violation in campaign finance law after a conservative watchdog group filed a complaint charging that her top aide funneled $1 million in contributions from a PAC he controlled to his own companies.

‘There is no violation,’ the first-term lawmaker told Fox News as she arrived in Washington, D.C. for a day when votes in the House are scheduled.

She also denied that the Federal Election complaint, filed against her and her chief of staff, connected her to ‘dark money’ in her campaign. ‘No, no,’ she responded.

Ocasio-Cortez responded after the National Legal and Policy Center’s Government Integrity Project filed an FEC complaint saying her top aide shifted the funds in what it argued could have been a bid to avoid disclosure.

The aide, chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti, set up the Brand New Congress PAC as a way to collect contributions to boost new members of Congress.

Rep. Alexanadria Ocasio-Cortez's chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti set up the Brand New Congress PAC as a way to collect contributions to boost new members of Congress

Rep. Alexanadria Ocasio-Cortez’s chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti set up the Brand New Congress PAC as a way to collect contributions to boost new members of Congress

PACs face disclosure requirements beyond what a company would be required to reveal about how funds get spent.

Chakrabarti tweeted about the unusual arrangement in response to media reports Monday. ‘We were doing something totally new, which meant a new setup. So, we were transparent about it from the start,’ he said.

Conservative watchdog group National Legal and Policy Center, which previously had researchers investigating longtime New York Rep. Charles Rangel – a senior lawmaker like the one Ocasio-Cortez knocked off in a primary in her Queens district – named both Ocasio-Cortez and her top aide in the complaint.

A watchdog group claims in a new Federal Elections Commission complaint that the top aide to AOC funneled $1 million in contributions from a PAC he controlled to his own companies +4

A watchdog group claims in a new Federal Elections Commission complaint that the top aide to AOC funneled $1 million in contributions from a PAC he controlled to his own companies

Chakrabarti’s campaigns raised $3.3 million and diverted more than $1 million to his companies, the Washington Examiner reported.

He helped found both Brand New Congress PAC and Justice Democrats, with the goal of bringing new and progressive members like Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described Democratic socialist, to Congress.

After starting Brand New Congress, he formed a Delaware-based LLC, Brand New Campaign LLC. Shifting the funds avoided detailed disclosure requirements of itemized expenses.

‘None of that makes any sense,’ former FEC lawyer Adav Noti of the Campaign Legal Center told the publication. ‘I can’t even begin to disentangle that. They’re either confused or they’re trying to conceal something.’

Chakrabarti’s campaigns raised $3.3 million and diverted more than $1 million to his companies, the Washington Examiner reported

Brand New Congress congratulated AOC after she was elected to in November 2018

Brand New Congress congratulated AOC after she was elected to in November 2018

Ocasio-Cortez responded to the Washington Times Monday saying: ‘He’s not on my payroll. They were not working for me and they are two separate entities here.’ She added: ‘This is the difference between an LLC and a PAC.’

Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign also paid the LLC for ‘strategic consulting.’

Justice Democrats responded to questions about the arrangement in a May 2018 post titled: ‘When I look at the FEC report for Justice Democrats in 2017, why are there so many expenditures to ‘Brand New Congress’?

The statement says organizers, including Chakrabarti, concluded ‘this PAC would be necessary to do the work of policy development and candidate recruiting. So we created Brand New Congress as a PAC. But actually running the campaigns — meaning doing direct work for campaigns — is not something a PAC can do for a candidate for free.’

For that reason, they set up an LLC that served as the vehicle to pay staff and bill campaigns for services. The goal was ‘to essentially run the full campaigns’ and act as a vendor.

Chakrabarti, 33, is a Harvard-educated tech millionaire.

The complaint argues that the arrangement was illegal and skirted a $5,000 PAC contribution requirement.

Read more:

New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez denied violating campaign finance laws Tuesday in response to a Federal Election Commission (FEC) complaint alleging she and her chief of staff set up a million-dollar private slush fund.

“There is no violation,” Ocasio-Cortez told Fox News.

The National Legal and Policy Center (NLPC), a conservative government watchdog, accused Ocasio-Cortez and Saikat Chakrabarti, her chief of staff, of illegally funneling money between political action committees (PACs) and private companies that were both controlled by Chakrabarti.

The NLPC claims that the transfers from the PACs to the LLCs were part of an “extensive” plan to avoid reporting campaign expenditures to the FEC.

Fox also asked Ocasio-Cortez if she is connected to “dark money,” to which she replied, “No, no.”

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a news conference at the East Front of the U.S. Capitol February 7, 2019 in Washington, DC ... (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a news conference at the East Front of the U.S. Capitol February 7, 2019 in Washington, DC … (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Ocasio-Cortez has not responded, however, to other alleged campaign finance violations as reported by The Daily Caller News Foundation. (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez And Her Chief Of Staff ‘Could Be Facing Jail Time’ If Control Over PAC Was Intentionally Hidden)

Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti obtained majority control over the Justice Democrats PAC in December 2017, despite the fact that the PAC was credited with being the central force behind Ocasio-Cortez’s primary victory against incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley.

Ocasio-Cortez never disclosed her control over the PAC while it was supporting her primary campaign, an arrangement that could open the Democrat up to massive campaign finance violations. The pair could face prison time if it is found that they intentionally withheld the ties between the campaign and the PAC from the FEC.

“If the facts as alleged are true, and a candidate had control over a PAC that was working to get that candidate elected, then that candidate is potentially in very big trouble and may have engaged in multiple violations of federal campaign finance law, including receiving excessive contributions,” former Republican FEC commissioner Hans von Spakovsky told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6767303/Alexandria-Ocasio-Cortezs-chief-staff-accused-skirting-campaign-finance-laws.html

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1188, December 13, 2018, Story 1: Democrats Keep Banging The Impeachment Drums and President Trump Will Win In A Landslide in 2020 — Videos — Story 2: The FBI Entrapment of Retired Lt. General Flynn — Videos — Story 3: American People Demand Appointment of Second Special Counsel to Investigate The Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation Handling of The Clinton Email and Clinton Foundation Investigations and Failure To Verify The Christopher Steele Dossier and Disclose It Was Paid For By Clinton Campaign and Democrat National Committee to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court — Investigate and Prosecute The Clinton Obama Criminal Conspiracy — Videos

Posted on December 15, 2018. Filed under: 2018 United States Elections, American History, Breaking News, Business, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Fourth Amendment, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Iran Nuclear Weapons Deal, James Comey, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, National Interest, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, President Trump, Progressives, Public Corruption, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Scandals, Second Amendment, Senate, Spying on American People, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Trump Surveillance/Spying, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

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See the source image

Image result for general michael flynnSee the source image

Story 1: Democrats Keep Banging The Impeachment Drums and President Trump Will Win In A Landslide in 2020 — Videos —

Dershowitz: Trump Won’t Be Impeached Unless ‘Massive New Information’ Comes Out

Trump will benefit if Democrats try to impeach him: Dennis Miller

Trump pushes back against Democrats’ impeachment threats

Exclusive interview: Trump sits down with Harris Faulkner

BREAKING: Trump Reveals Exactly Why He’s Not Afraid of Impeachment

Story 2: The FBI Entrapment of Retired Lt. General Flynn — Judge Emmett Sullivan Orders Mueller To Turn Over All FBI Summaries of Interviews with General Flynn (302s) — Videos

 

See the source imageSee the source imageSee the source image

Did James Comey set up Michael Flynn?

Comey admits to sending FBI agents to interview Flynn without telling White House

Gowdy blasts Comey: An ‘amnesiac with incredible hubris’

Devin Nunes – How Gen Flynn Was Framed, 2477

Comey Admits FBI Flubbed Standard Protocol During Flynn’s Interview

James Comey in Conversation with Nicolle Wallace

Comey Quietly Admits: “Trump Did Not Collude With Russia”

Mueller says ex-Trump adviser Michael Flynn cooperated in Russia probe

Sean Hannity Fox News 12/13/18 Breaking Fox News December 13, 2018

Michael Flynn’s lawyers request no prison time

Flynn’s Claim Catches Judge’s Eye, Demands All FBI Documents Related to Case by Friday

Tucker Carlson Tonight 12/13/18 | Breaking Fox News | December 13, 2018

The Federal Judge Overseeing Michael Flynn’s Sentencing Just Dropped A Major Bombshell

The sentencing memorandum reveals for the first time concrete evidence that the FBI created multiple summaries of Michael Flynn’s questioning, which may indicate they’re hiding the truth.

By Margot Cleveland

On Tuesday, attorneys for Michael Flynn filed a sentencing memorandum and letters of support for the former Army lieutenant general in federal court. The sentencing memorandum reveals for the first time concrete evidence that the FBI created multiple 302 interview summaries of Flynn’s questioning by now-former FBI agent Peter Strzok and a second unnamed agent, reported to be FBI Special Agent Joe Pientka.

Further revelations may be forthcoming soon following an order entered late yesterday by presiding judge Emmet Sullivan, directing the special counsel’s office to file with the court any 302s or memorandum relevant to Flynn’s interview.

Flynn, who served briefly as President Donald Trump’s national security advisor, pleaded guilty more than a year ago to making false statements to federal investigators during a January 24, 2017 interview. During that interview, Strzok and (presumably) Pientka questioned Flynn about a telephone conversation the Trump advisor had with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

While Flynn’s sentencing memorandum methodically laid out the case for a low-level sentence of one-year probation, footnote 23 dropped a bomb, revealing that the agents’ 302 summary of his interview was dated August 22, 2017. As others have already noted, the August 22, 2017 date is a “striking detail” because that puts the 302 report “nearly seven months after the Flynn interview.” When added to facts already known, this revelation takes on a much greater significance.

First, text messages between Strzok and former FBI Attorney Lisa Page indicate that Strzok wrote his notes from the Flynn interview shortly after he questioned the national security advisor on January 24, 2017. Specifically, on February 14, 2017, Strzok texted Page, “Also, is Andy good with F 302?” Page responded, “Launch on f 302.” Given Strzok’s role in the questioning Flynn, the date (three weeks from the interview), the notation “F 302,” and Page’s position as special counsel to Andrew McCabe, it seems extremely likely that these text exchanges concerned a February 2017, 302 summary of the Flynn interview.

Additionally, now that we know from the sentencing memorandum that the special counsel’s office has tendered a 302 interview summary dated August 22, 2017, we can deduce that an earlier 302 form existed from James Comey’s Friday testimony before the House judiciary and oversight committees.

During the day-long questioning of the former FBI Director, Rep. Trey Gowdy asked Comey whether the agents who interviewed Flynn had indicated that Flynn did not intend to deceive them during the interview. After Comey replied “No,” Gowdy pushed him, asking “Have you ever testified differently?” Comey again responded, “No.”

But when asked whether he recalled being asked that question doing an earlier House hearing, Comey countered: “No. I recall — I don’t remember what question I was asked. I recall saying the agents observed no indicia of deception, physical manifestations, shiftiness, that sort of thing.” (More on that testimony shortly.) This exchange then followed:

Mr. Gowdy: “Who would you have gotten that from if you were not present for the interview?”

Mr. Comey: “From someone at the FBI, who either spoke to — I don’t think I spoke to the interviewing agents but got the report from the interviewing agents.”

Mr. Gowdy: “All right. So you would have, what, read the 302 or had a conversation with someone who read the 302?”

Mr. Comey: “I don’t remember for sure. I think I may have done both, that is, read the 302 and then investigators directly. I just don’t remember that.”

President Trump fired Comey on May 9, 2017, so the 302 of the Flynn interview Comey read must have been written before then. Why then was a new 302 drafted on August 22, 2017? And by whom?

The timing of the re-write—shortly after then-FBI Agent Strzok was removed from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team after his anti-Trump text messages came to light—raises the possibility that Mueller wanted to scrub the evidence of Strzok’s taint. Having the second agent involved in questioning Flynn draft a new 302 summary would eliminate attacks premised on Strzok’s bias against the president.

But was that the only reason the FBI issued a new 302? Were there any differences in the versions?

Congress has been trying to get to the bottom of this question for months upon months. In February, senators Charles Grassley and Lindsey Graham requested the DOJ inspector general, Michael Horowitz, conduct a comprehensive review of potential misconduct in the Russia investigation and specifically asked Horowitz to answer these questions about the Flynn interview and the 302s:

“Did the FBI agents document their interview with Lt. Gen. Flynn in one or more FD-302s? What were the FBI agents’ conclusions about Lt. Gen. Flynn’s truthfulness, as reflected in the FD-302s? Were the FD-302s ever edited? If so, by whom? At who’s direction? How many drafts were there? Are there material differences between the final draft and the initial draft(s) or the agent’s testimony about the interview?”

Horowitz has yet to answer these questions, but the special counsel’s office now has federal judge Sullivan inquiring as well. Sullivan made history a decade ago when he ordered an independent investigation into “the systemic concealment of significant exculpatory evidence,” he discovered during the government’s prosecution of the now-deceased Ted Stevens, then the senior senator from Alaska. The DOJ’s misconduct in the Stevens’ case led Sullivan to enter a standing order in all criminal cases on his docket.

The most recent iteration of Sullivan’s standing entered in the Flynn case required Mueller’s office to produce “any evidence in its possession that is favorable to defendant and material either to defendant’s guilt or punishment.” The order further required the government to submit to the court any information “which is favorable to the defendant but which the government believes not to be material.”

Flynn referenced some of these materials in his sentencing memorandum, specifically the FR-302 from August 22, 2017 and a memorandum apparently written by McCabe and dated January 24, 2017—the same day as Flynn’s interview. Now Sullivan wants to see those documents and ordered Mueller by Friday afternoon “to file on the docket FORTHWITH the cited Memorandum and FD-302.” Sullivan further ordered “the government to file on the docket any 302s or memoranda relevant to [Flynn’s interview.]”

What motivated Sullivan is unclear, but his experience in the Stevens’ case was a likely trigger. In that case, the government withheld 302s, didn’t include exculpatory statements in the 302s, and did not create a 302 for an interview that “didn’t go very well,” from the prosecution’s standpoint. Sullivan likely wants to assure himself that the Flynn case isn’t a copycat of the political targeting of Stevens from a decade ago.

Once the government dockets the evidence, Sullivan should be able to resolve two outstanding questions: First, what, if any, changes were made to the 302s? Second, did Strzok and his fellow FBI agent express a view on whether Flynn was lying?

Here, we return to Comey’s testimony from Friday referenced above, that “the agents observed no indicia of deception, physical manifestations, shiftiness, that sort of thing.” Comey further explained, though, that his “recollection was [Flynn] was — the conclusion of the investigators was he was obviously lying, but they saw none of the normal common indicia of deception: that is, hesitancy to answer, shifting in seat, sweating, all the things that you might associate with someone who is conscious and manifesting that they are being — they’re telling falsehoods. There’s no doubt he was lying, but that those indicators weren’t there.”

The earlier version(s) of the 302s will either support or contradict Comey’s testimony. Same with McCabe’s January 24, 2017 memorandum. The latter will prove particularly interesting given the conflict between Comey’s latest testimony and that of McCabe, who served as deputy director of the FBI at the time. In an executive session of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, McCabe acknowledged “the two people who interviewed [Flynn] didn’t think he was lying, . . .”

Of course, this all assumes that the special counsel’s office still has copies of the initial 302s created, which might not be the case given that when Mueller’s “pitbull,” Andrew Weissmann, led the Enron Task Force, his team, among other things, systematically destroyed draft 302s.

Margot Cleveland is a senior contributor to The Federalist. Cleveland served nearly 25 years as a permanent law clerk to a federal appellate judge and is a former full-time faculty member and current adjunct instructor at the college of business at the University of Notre Dame. The views expressed here are those of Cleveland in her private capacity.
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FBI’s entrapment of General Flynn was despicable

Investigators into Russian attempts to subvert American democracy grievously mistreated Gen. Michael Flynn, now convicted of perjury related to the investigation. Some of the prosecutors should themselves face professional punishment for their misbehavior.

As this site’s resident defender of special counsel Robert Mueller, I am obligated to insist that the investigators themselves uphold the same standards they would apply to others. Without excusing Flynn’s lies to investigators, a fair-minded observer can call foul on an obviously unfair, and perhaps unlawful, perjury trap.

Federal district judge Emmet Sullivan likewise seems quite perturbed by the latest information about the Flynn case. With Flynn’s sentencing imminent, Sullivan suddenly ordered prosecutors to produce any existent memoranda regarding their conduct of the interview in which Flynn lied.

And for good reason. The investigators’ treatment of Flynn, as described in a memo filed with the court by Flynn’s lawyers, looks like a textbook case of unethical entrapment.

The interview was set up directly via a phone call to Flynn from Andrew McCabe, who then was deputy director of the FBI. McCabe, by his own account, made it sound like an ordinary national-security-related briefing of the sort Flynn was accustomed to giving the FBI. Even though McCabe clearly knew that Flynn was a potential subject of investigation, he deliberately dissuaded Flynn from having attorneys present.

Moreover, when the agents arrived, they and Flynn both treated the meeting as rather informal, even “jocular,” and “the agents did not provide General Flynn with a warning of the penalties for making a false statement … before, during, or after the interview.” The agents’ decision not to so inform Flynn was made at the direct behest of McCabe because “they wanted Flynn to be relaxed.”

This is an absolute outrage.

Granted, it’s not certain that the ordinary requirement for a “ Miranda warning” were applicable in this situation because Flynn had not been detained by, nor was in the custody of, law enforcement. Yet in commonsense terms, what McCabe and his agents did was obviously entrapment. It may even have crossed the official legal line of entrapment to the effect that Flynn’s conviction might be thrown out. At first perusal, it appears to have done so.

Let’s be clear what this FBI perfidy does and doesn’t mean. First, it does not have any bearing on Mueller’s conduct of the investigation: The interview with Flynn occurred months before Mueller was appointed. And Mueller, pleased with Flynn’s cooperation, has recommended no jail time for the general. Flynn’s case is only a small part of Mueller’s overall investigation, which has been conducted “by the book” (as the expression goes). Second, it does nothing to invalidate, or make legally unusable, any other information Flynn provided Mueller’s team while cooperating. If Flynn provided evidence implicating others in misdeeds, that evidence is still good.

Third, though, this entrapment provides even more reason for McCabe himself to be investigated for wrongdoing. Again and again, it has been shown that McCabe acted not as the impartial enforcer of justice that a top FBI official should be, but rather as a partisan or ideological hack against conservatives in general or against Trump’s team in particular.

Fourth and finally, this might remove the status of “felon” from Flynn’s permanent record. A man with a distinguished military career, whose lie did not involve conduct that in itself was criminal and was less self-protective than it was a matter of political ham-handedness, perhaps merits some slack anyway. His reputation already has suffered; must his legal status also be permanently scarred?

Either way, McCabe’s behavior here appears shameful, well deserving of fierce condemnation.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/fbis-entrapment-of-general-flynn-was-despicable

Story 3: American People Demand Appointment of Second Special Counsel to Investigate The Department of Justice and Federal Bureau of Investigation Handling of The Clinton Email and Clinton Foundation Investigations and Failure To Verify The Christopher Steele Dossier and Disclose It Was Paid For By Clinton Campaign and Democrat National Committee to Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court — Investigate and Prosecute The Clinton Obama Criminal Conspiracy — Videos

Hannity 12/13/18 9PM | December 13, 2018 Breaking News

 

UNBELIEVABLE! Trey Gowdy Makes Huge Announcement Immediately After James Comey Does This To Him

BREAKING: After Federal Judge Issues Demand Entire Flynn Case About To COLLAPSE – Mueller Finished!

Why a second special counsel is needed to investigate DOJ, FBI

WATCH: House Republicans hold news briefing regarding special counsel

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1167, November 1, 2018, Story 1: President Trump’s Tough Speech On The Illegal Alien Invasion of The United States Over Last 30 Years By 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens — Videos

Posted on November 2, 2018. Filed under: 2016 Presidential Campaign, 2016 Presidential Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Canada, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, China, Climate, College, Communications, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Defense Spending, Diseases, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Eating, Economics, Elections, Empires, Employment, European Union, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Department of Justice (DOJ), Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, IRS, Killing, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Mexico, Middle East, Military Spending, National Interest, National Security Agency, People, Philosophy, Photos, Pistols, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Regulation, Rifles, Rule of Law, Scandals, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Spying, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Terror, Terrorism, Trump Surveillance/Spying, U.S. Dollar, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, United States Supreme Court, Videos, Violence, Wall Street Journal, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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Trump speaks on illegal immigration, border security

Trump speaks on immigration, separating parents and children at border

President Trump to make remarks on immigration

Mark Levin on what’s at stake in the midterm elections

Ingraham: Democrats’ race to the bottom

Monica Crowley Reacts to Trump’s Immigration Speech

Trump said troops might shoot immigrants if they throw rocks

Tucker: Election Day becoming referendum on immigration

Tucker: What are the Democrats running on?

Ingraham: When birthright goes wrong

President Trump ignites birthright citizenship battle

 

BREAKING NEWS: We will open fire on the immigrant caravan if they throw stones says Trump as he promises to end to catch and release of illegals and put families in ‘tent cities’

  • The president unloaded on illegal immigration in a White House speech 
  • Said he was ‘finalizing a plan to end the rampant abuse of our asylum system’ 
  • He said asylum seekers ‘never show up’ for trial 
  • He said caravan members were not ‘legitimate asylum seekers’  
  • He made the announcement in the Roosevelt Room of the White House
  • He’s promptly left for a rally in Columbia, Missouri
  • Anybody throwing stones, rocks … we will consider that a firearm

Trump has already ordered thousands of troops to the southern border, and was asked after delivering a fiery speech at the White House whether he envisioned them firing on the people making there way approaching the border on foot.

‘I hope not. I hope not. It’s the military. I hope there won’t be that. But I will tell you this: Anybody throwing stones, rocks, like they did to Mexico and the Mexican military, Mexican police – where they badly hurt police and soldiers of Mexico – we will consider that a firearm,’ Trump warned.

'Anybody throwing stones, rocks ... we will consider that a firearm,' President Donald Trump warned at the White House Thursday

‘Anybody throwing stones, rocks … we will consider that a firearm,’ President Donald Trump warned at the White House Thursday

Video playing bottom right…

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‘Because there’s not much difference. When you get hit in the face with a rock. Which, as you know, it was very violent a few days ago. Very, very violent,’ he added.

The president evoked a potentially violent confrontation at the border, and referenced clashes that have occurred in Mexico with Mexican authorities.

‘This is an invasion and nobody’s really questioning that,’ the president added.

Trump spoke from the Roosevelt Room of the White House

Trump spoke from the Roosevelt Room of the White House

Trump issued the threat after he delivered a long rant about illegal immigration from the White House on Thursday, blasting a clogged court system, called out people who jump the line of legal immigrants, and blasted what he called ‘endemic abuse of the asylum system.’

The White House had touted the policy change, but the president was unable to deliver any new executive order, legislation, or other formal action.

A 4,000-strong caravan set out before dawn from Juchitan to Matias Romero, at La Ventosa, Oaxaca State, Mexico, after being denied buses 

A 4,000-strong caravan set out before dawn from Juchitan to Matias Romero, at La Ventosa, Oaxaca State, Mexico, after being denied buses

Asked at one point about current obligations via U.S. law and treaties to consider asylum claims, the president curtly responded: ‘They’re going to court, as crazy as it sounds.’

The president once again said the U.S. would build tent cities to manage the problem of would-be asylum seekers, and said: ‘We’ll be holding the family and the children together’ in the tents.

‘We have other facilities also. But what’s happened is, we are holding so many facilities, so many people that our facilities are overrun. They’re being overrun. And we are putting up temporary facilities. Eventually people will not be coming here anymore when they realize they cannot get through,’ Trump said.

Trump spoke about how troops would respond to any rock-throwing during back-and-forth with reporters

Trump spoke about how troops would respond to any rock-throwing during back-and-forth with reporters

The migrants were hoping to compel Mexican authorities to provide transportation for them to Mexico City, but it did not happen, prompting them to continue walking 

The migrants were hoping to compel Mexican authorities to provide transportation for them to Mexico City, but it did not happen, prompting them to continue walking

TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION STEMWINDER: HIS GREATEST HITS

Some of the more memorable moments from the president’s November 1, 2018 immigration speech and the Q&A with reporters that followed:

ON WHETHER THE MILITARY WILL FIRE ON MIGRANT CARAVANS AT THE BORDER: 

‘I hope not. I hope not. It’s the military. I hope there won’t be that. But I will tell you this: Anybody throwing stones, rocks, like they did to Mexico and the Mexican military, Mexican police – where they badly hurt police and soldiers of Mexico – we will consider that a firearm. Because there’s not much difference. When you get hit in the face with a rock. Which, as you know, it was very violent a few days ago. Very, very violent.’

(AND LATER) 

‘We will consider that the maximum that we can consider that. Because they’re throwing rocks viciously and violently. You saw that three days ago, really hurting the military. We’re not going to put up with that. They want to throw rocks at our military? Our military fights back. We’re going to consider it – I told them, “Consider it a rifle.” When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military and police, I say, “Consider it a rifle”.’

ON WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO MIGRANTS’ CHILDREN WHEN THEIR PARENTS ARE HELD IN ‘TENT CITIES’: 

‘We’re working on a system where they stay together. But I will say that by doing that, tremendous numbers – you know, under the Obama plan you could separate children. They never did anything about that. Nobody talks about that. But under President Obama they separated children from the parents. We actually put it so that didn’t happen. But what happens when you do is you get tremendous numbers of people coming. It’s almost like an incentive to – when they hear they’re not going to be separated, they come many, many times over. But President Obama separated the children from the parents and nobody complained. When we continued the exact same law, this country went crazy.’

ON WHETHER FAMILY UNITS WIL BE KEPT TOGETHER IN TENTS:

‘We will be holding the family and the children together. Remember this: President Obama separated children from families. And all I did was take the same law, and then I softened the law. But by softening the law, many people come up that would not have come up if there was separation.’

ON WHETHER A HARD LINE ON IMMIGRATION IS A PRE-ELECTION PLOY: 

‘There’s nothing political about a caravan of thousands of people, and now others forming, pouring up into our country. We have no idea who they are. All we know is they’re pretty tough people when they can blast through the Mexican military and Mexican police. They’re pretty tough people. Even Mexico said, “Wow. These are tough people.” I don’t want them in our country. And women do not want them in our country. Women want security. Men don’t want them in our country. But the women don’t want them. Women want security. You look at what the women are looking for. They want to have security. They don’t want these people in our country, and they’re not going to be in our country. It’s a very big thing.’

ON WHETHER THE CARAVANS ARE BEING ORGANIZED FROM THE OUTSIDE:

‘They understand the law better than the lawyers understand the law. You have a lot of professionalism there, you have a lot of professionalism involved with setting up the caravans. You take a look at the way that’s happening. Even the countries – you look at Honduras and El Salvador. And you look at what’s happening at the different levels and different countries, or what’s happening on the streets. There’s a lot of professionalism taking place. And there seems to be a lot of money passing. And then all of a sudden, out of the blue, these big caravans are formed and they start marching up. They’ve got a long way to go.’

Asked if the children will be held in tent cities, Trump responded: ‘We will be holding the family and the children together. Remember this: President Obama separated children from families. And all I did was take the same law, and then I softened the law. But by softening the law, many people come up that would not have come up if there was separation.’

Asked what would happen to the children, Trump gave a lengthy answer where he mentioned President Barack Obama three times.

‘We’re working on a system where they stay together. But I will say that by doing that, tremendous numbers – you know, under the Obama plan you could separate children. They never did anything about that. Nobody talks about that. But under President Obama they separated children from the parents. We actually put it so that didn’t happen. But what happens when you do is you get tremendous numbers of people coming. It’s almost like an incentive to – when they hear they’re not going to be separated, they come many, many times over. But President Obama separated the children from the parents and nobody complained. When we continued the exact same law, this country went crazy. So we are going to continue and try to continue what we’re doing. But it is a tremendous incentive for people to try. But it’s going to be very, very hard for people to come into out country.’

With the election just days away, the president complained about a ‘catch and release’ immigration system he said failed because people are choosing not to show up for their court appearances.

‘They never show up at the trials. They never come back, they’re never seen again,’ the president vented.

President Donald Trump blasted 'catch and release' during a speech from the White House that was broadcast on cable networks+17

President Donald Trump blasted ‘catch and release’ during a speech from the White House that was broadcast on cable networks

The president vowed to ‘take every lawful action at my disposal to address this crisis,’ and emphasized asylum in particular. But he was vague on providing any details.

He said he was ‘finalizing a plan to end the rampant abuse of our asylum system.’

He complained about drugs, crime, and a caravan of immigrants making its way toward the border.

‘We’re not releasing them into our country any longer. They’ll wait long periods of time.’

In one of many tangents, he vented: ‘Fentanyl is killing our youth.’

The president said members of the caravan would not be getting asylum.

‘We will be doing an executive order some time next week … it’ll be quite comprehensive.’

Honduran girls hug while waiting in line for a chance to play on the playground at a camp set up by a caravan of thousands of Central American migrants in Juchitan, Mexico, Wednesday

Honduran girls hug while waiting in line for a chance to play on the playground at a camp set up by a caravan of thousands of Central American migrants in Juchitan, Mexico, Wednesday

‘These migrants are not legitimate asylum seekers. They’re not looking for protection because if they were, they’d be able to get it from Mexico.’

He called human traffickers ‘The lowest scum on earth.’

Trump once again went after the people comprising the caravan.

‘These are tough people in many cases. A lot of young men, strong men. And a lot of men that maybe we don’t want in our country,’ Trump said.

But he also acknowledged that many of those drawn to the U.S. were coming to reap the benefits of the U.S. economy.

‘We right now have the hottest economy anywhere in the world,’ Trump said. ‘In some cases they want to take advantage of that,’ he allowed.

 In give-and-take with reporters, Trump rejected the suggestion he was just making a political move for the elections. Early voting has already begun and Election Day is Tuesday.

‘There’s nothing political about a caravan of thousands of people, and now others forming, pouring up into our country. We have no idea who they are,’ Trump said.

‘All we know is they’re pretty tough people when they can blast through the Mexican military and Mexican police. They’re pretty tough people. Even Mexico said, ‘Wow. These are tough people.’ I don’t want them in our country.’

With the views of female voters holding a potentially decisive role in control of the House with multiple toss-up suburban races, Trump said:  ‘And women do not want them in our country. Women want security. Men don’t want them in our country. But the women don’t want them. Women want security. You look at what the women are looking for. They want to have security. They don’t want these people in our country, and they’re not going to be in our country. It’s a very big thing.’

In one of many odd features of his remarks, Trump appeared to thank the crowd when he first entered the Roosevelt Room, even though only reporters and photographers and a few aides were there, and no one had applauded him, which would have been out of the ordinary if it did happen.

This map shows the latest positions of the four Central American caravans making their way to the US border 

This map shows the latest positions of the four Central American caravans making their way to the US border

‘Thank you very much everyone. Appreciate it,’ Trump said to the silent room.

The White House in advance touted a coming directive denying asylum to migrants who try to enter the country illegally this afternoon as he takes action to thwart migrant caravans heading toward the United States’ southern border.

Trump also said this week that he wants to get rid of birthright citizenship to discourage migrants from coming to America to giving birth to children who will automatically become United States citizens.

‘Birthright citizenship’ is derived from the 14th Amendment.  Trump says that wording of the amendment leaves room for him to exercise his authority as the nation’s executive to keep children born to illegal immigrants for immediately becoming citizens.

The Immigration and Nationality Act similarly requires the federal government to follow asylum laws. However, Trump is expected to push the boundaries of his authority on immigration anyway, just like he did with extreme vetting.

It took him three tries, but the proposal was eventually held up by the Supreme Court. Trump said he barred legal residents of countries with ties to terror from temporarily coming to America, because their entry was a national security threat, not because they were from majority-Muslim nations.

This week, as he plotted executive actions that would make massive changes to the immigration system days before the mid-term elections, he pointed to Barack Obama’s 2012 decree that illegal immigrants who were brought to the country as children could stat in the U.S. indefinitely through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Trump made his most audacious attempt yet on Wednesday night to turn a sea of approaching Central American migrants into a midterm voting issue, tweeting a video linking them to a death row inmate who killed two Sacramento, California police officers after being deported twice from the United States and returning each time.

Convicted cop killer Luis Bracamontes famously grinned and swore his way through his trial and sentencing this year, vowing to escape and kill more police officers.

He screamed ‘F*** you, judge!’ during a late January hearing and was banned from attending the rest of his trial in person, watching the remaining days on video monitors.

Trump’s 55.5 million Twitter followers saw his own take on the case, a recap of the trial’s most shocking moments titled: ‘Illegal immigrant Luis Bracamontes killed our people!’

CNN editorialized through its website: ‘Trump campaign releases racist ad.’

Network host Don Lemon, under fire for declaring that ‘white men’ are the greatest threat to the United States, complained Wednesday night during his show about ‘how the ad depicts Latinos and immigrants generally. Why is this blatantly racist ad his closing argument before the midterms?’

This Oct. 29, 2018 photo provided by the U.S. Air Force shows a military vehicle loading into the cargo compartment of a C-17 Globemaster III at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The aircrews provided strategic airlift to Headquarters Company, 89th Military Police Brigade, Task Force Griffin, which is deploying to the Southwest border region

This Oct. 29, 2018 photo provided by the U.S. Air Force shows a military vehicle loading into the cargo compartment of a C-17 Globemaster III at Fort Knox, Kentucky. The aircrews provided strategic airlift to Headquarters Company, 89th Military Police Brigade, Task Force Griffin, which is deploying to the Southwest border region

Trump supporters with red 'Make America Great Again' hats cheer the President during the rally in Estero, Florida on Wednesday

Trump supporters with red ‘Make America Great Again’ hats cheer the President during the rally in Estero, Florida on Wednesday

Salvadoran migrants embark on a journey in caravan to the United States. They are pictured in San Salvador on Wednesday+17

Salvadoran migrants embark on a journey in caravan to the United States. They are pictured in San Salvador on Wednesday

A migrant boy, traveling with a caravan of thousands from Central America en route to the United States, cries while walking along the highway to Juchitan from Santiago Niltepec, Mexico, on Tuesday

A migrant boy, traveling with a caravan of thousands from Central America en route to the United States, cries while walking along the highway to Juchitan from Santiago Niltepec, Mexico, on Tuesday

Eight-month-old Hennessy Naomi, part of a caravan of migrants from Central America en route to the United States, is held by her mother Maria Jose Sevilla as they walk to Huixtla from Tapachula, in Viva Mexico, on Wednesday

Eight-month-old Hennessy Naomi, part of a caravan of migrants from Central America en route to the United States, is held by her mother Maria Jose Sevilla as they walk to Huixtla from Tapachula, in Viva Mexico, on Wednesday

Trump insisted at his Wednesday evening rally that the U.S. Constitution does not protect birthright citizenship for the children of illegal immigrants.

‘Congress has never passed a law requiring birthright citizenship for illegal aliens, and the Constitution does not —I say that to the media — does not [cover it] because illegal aliens are not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States.’

It’s the 14th Amendment that legal scholars say protects birthright citizenship for everyone born in America.

But there is now a debate as to whether illegal immigrants are indeed covered under the equal protection clause. They are foreign nationals who may not fall under the ‘jurisdiction of the United States’ for protection because they are in the country illegally, the president and his advisers have said.

U.S. soldiers from the 541st Sapper Company are shown transported in an Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft in Fort Knox, Kentucky on Tuesday. The troops are being sent to areas along the southwest border to assist the Department of Homeland Security

U.S. soldiers from the 541st Sapper Company are shown transported in an Air Force C-130J Super Hercules aircraft in Fort Knox, Kentucky on Tuesday. The troops are being sent to areas along the southwest border to assist the Department of Homeland Security

Trump told ABC News in an interview just before he took the stage that based on his experience judging crowd sizes, the caravans are larger than most people realize.

He claimed that there are mostly ‘young men’ traveling in the group that ‘almost looks like an invasion’ and asserted his broad authority to send in the military by deeming the border crisis a national emergency.

‘It’s a lot of young people, lot of young men – they are pushing the women right up to the front – not good – and the kids right up to the front,’ he told the network, without providing evidence.

Trump, who famously instructed former press secretary Sean Spicer to tell reporters his inaugural crowd bested Barack Obama‘s, made the claim after days of media reports on the substantial masses of people making their way toward the border.

A caravan that reached Oaxaca in Mexico was around 4,000 people, a drop from an earlier count of 5,000, and still 900 miles away from the U.S.

‘You have caravans coming up that look a lot larger than it’s reported, actually,’ Trump told ABC News. And I’ll tell you they look a lot bigger than people would think.’

He defended his decision to send up to 15,000 active military troops to the border, and compared them to a ‘wall’ – although his plan to construct a wall on the border is not yet complete, having received $1.6 billion in funding despite his proposal to spend many times that amount.

‘We have to have a wall of people,’ Trump said.

Interviewer Jonathan Karl asked about the need for the force, noting that many caravan members are women in children.

‘It’s a lot of young people, lot of young men — they are pushing the women right up to the front. Not good – and the kids right up to the front,’ Trump said.

Trump also pushed back when his interviewer said the military was restricted in the duties it can perform and that members could not make arrests. The Posse Comitatus Act proscribes what activities the military can carry out on U.S. soil.

‘Well, it depends,’ Trump responded. ‘National emergency covers a lot of terri–,’ Trump said,’ cutting off his thought.

‘I think it could be considered an invasion of our country, we can’t have it,’ Trump added.

Trump said women and children were being moved to the front of the caravan

He said caravans are 'a lot' larger than is reported

He said caravans are ‘a lot’ larger than is reported

Trump cited his own expertise in counting crowds. Pictures is a view of the crowd at Trump's inauguration

Trump cited his own expertise in counting crowds. Pictures is a view of the crowd at Trump’s inauguration

Trump said Wednesday he may triple the U.S. military contingent being sent to the southern border to 15,000, as he once again pointed to migrant caravans and what he called ‘roughness’ among its members.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6343295/Sources-Trump-eyes-asylum-restrictions-caravans.html

 

First 100 troops arrive at US-Mexico border and start erecting tents after Trump threatens that they will SHOOT migrants, as he warns Missouri rally ‘these are not angels and we are not letting them in’

  • Some 7,000 military personnel will arrive at the border through the weekend ahead of the caravan’s arrival 
  • Trump has promised to build a ‘tent city’ to house the migrants – but the troops are also building their own 
  • Hundreds are flying to Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, Arizona, and Lackland Air Force Base in McAllen, Texas 
  • The president issued a dire warning on Wednesday that migrants will be shot if they throw rocks at soldiers
  • He said he would end catch and release, warning: ‘We’re going to catch, we’re not going to release’ 
  • The 4,000-strong caravan will depart from Matias Romero, Mexico, early Friday and make its way toward Veracruz, stopping in Donaji or Sayula de Aleman
  • Two more are behind it which have another 1,500 people in them  

The first 100 troops have arrived at the US-Mexico border to await the arrival of the migrant caravan slowly making its way north from Central America.

On Thursday, 109 troops from the 591st Military Police Company were taken from Fort Hood, Texas, to to Lackland Air Force Base to help with operations there.

Separately, troops stationed at the Fort Huachuca base in Sierra Vista in Arizona were seen setting up tents for comrades who are due to arrive over the weekend and in the coming weeks.

President Trump has vowed to send as many as 15,000 troops to tackle the three migrant caravans which are snaking their way through Mexico towards the U.S.

He said he will make ‘tent cities’ to keep migrants once they are detained but it is not yet clear where those will be.

The plan, he said, is to ‘end catch and release’ by keeping the migrants there to face trial once they are caught.

‘We’re going to catch, we’re not going to release,’ he said on Wednesday in a lengthy speech where he also threatened that any migrants who throw stones at soldiers will be shot.

They are still 900 miles away and weeks from getting close but the president has bolstered his promise to stop them.

Scroll down for video 

Troops unravel barbed wire at the border in Hidalgo, Texas, as Trump ramps up his rhetoric on stopping migrants from entering the US 

Troops unravel barbed wire at the border in Hidalgo, Texas, as Trump ramps up his rhetoric on stopping migrants from entering the US

US troops prepare to install barbed wire on the border in Hidalgo, Texas, on Friday 

US troops prepare to install barbed wire on the border in Hidalgo, Texas, on Friday

US Army soldiers from the 309th Military Intelligence Battalion and the 305th Military Intelligence Batallion positions their tents at Fort Huachuca in Arizona on November 1 

US Army soldiers from the 309th Military Intelligence Battalion and the 305th Military Intelligence Batallion positions their tents at Fort Huachuca in Arizona on November 1

Soldiers erect tents at Fort Huachuca in Arizona during Operation Faithful Patriot. They will sleep there during the operation. These tents are separate to the 'tent city' Trump has said he will build to house migrants while they search for political asylum

Soldiers erect tents at Fort Huachuca in Arizona during Operation Faithful Patriot. They will sleep there during the operation. These tents are separate to the ‘tent city’ Trump has said he will build to house migrants while they search for political asylum

Members of the 309th Military Intelligence Battalion and the 305th Military Intelligence Battallion erect a tent at Fort Huachuca in Arizona 

Members of the 309th Military Intelligence Battalion and the 305th Military Intelligence Battallion erect a tent at Fort Huachuca in Arizona

A US Army soldier helps build a tent at the Fort Huachuca base in Arizona. They are a tiny fraction of the 15,000 soldiers Trump has threatened to send to meet the migrants when they eventually get to the border, if they do 

A US Army soldier helps build a tent at the Fort Huachuca base in Arizona. They are a tiny fraction of the 15,000 soldiers Trump has threatened to send to meet the migrants when they eventually get to the border, if they do

Some 7,000 military members will be arriving at the border through the weekend as President Donald Trump has said he’s willing to send as many as 15,000 troops to provide support to Border Patrol agents.

The migrants, of which there are now are still at least 900 miles away.

Trump issued a dire warning to the would-be immigrants with the caravan in a fiery speech at the White House on Thursday, saying that the troops would return fire if rocks are thrown at them.

With their eyes set on Texas, the 4,000-strong caravan will depart from Matias Romero, Mexico, early Friday and make their way up the Gulf coast toward Veracruz, likely stopping in Donaji or Sayula de Aleman.

Salvadorean migrants cross the Suchiate River from Guatemala to Mexico on Friday 

Thousands are making their way to the US border despite Trump's promises that they will not be allowed in 

Thousands are making their way to the US border despite Trump’s promises that they will not be allowed in

Meanwhile, Mexican federal police have been fairly tame in their efforts to stop the determined group.

The first group of troops to arrive at the port of entry in McAllen, Texas, have begun initial assessments, a Department of Defense official told Fox News on Thursday evening.

The official confirmed there are some 2,600 troops now at staging bases, largely in Texas, as several thousand more are expected to arrive through the weekend, moving into California and Arizona.

When asked at the White House if he envisioned the military personnel opening fire on the caravan, Trump replied: ‘I hope not. I hope not. It’s the military. I hope there won’t be that.

‘But I will tell you this: Anybody throwing stones, rocks, like they did to Mexico and the Mexican military, Mexican police – where they badly hurt police and soldiers of Mexico – we will consider that a firearm.’

Troops at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texasm are briefed on how they will support Operation Faithful Patriot on Wednesday October 31st 

Soldiers from the 89th Military Police Brigade, the 41st Engineering Company and the 19th Engineering Battalion make their way to the border 

An Army HMMWV is loaded onto a C-17 Globemaster at Fort Knox, Kentucky, to be taken to the border on Wednesday October 31stAn Army HMMWV is loaded onto a C-17 Globemaster at Fort Knox, Kentucky, to be taken to the border on Wednesday October 31st

Troops board a plane at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, to be taken to the southwest border on Tuesday 

TRUMP’S BORDER ARMY

POLICE AND INTELLIGENCE  

309th Military Intelligence Battalion and 305th Military Intelligence Battalion

Two battalions from the military’s intelligence branch have been sent to the border to assist with Operation Faithful Patriot. They are often the first boots on the ground and are tasked with training other officers later once they arrive. They are stationed out of Fort Huachuca in Arizona. 

89th Military Police Brigade 

The brigade was activated during the Vietnam war. Its troops have provided assistance during disaster relief and at Guantanamo Bay. Its soldiers operate out of Fort Hood, Texas.

591st Military Police Company

The 591st Military Police Company are also known as the Iron Spartans. They operate out of Fort Bliss in El Paso, Texas.  They are already perfectly positioned near the border for Operation Faithful Patriot. Officers from the company served in the Iraq war. 

ENGINEERS 

41st Engineering Company

The 41st Engineer Company is a Route Clearance Company. Its soldiers have previously been deployed to Afghanistan to clear routes for bridge combat teams. They are stationed in Fort Riley, Kansas.

19th Engineering Battalion

The 19th Engineer Battalion O/O deploys engineer forces in order to provide mission command and general engineer support to decisive action in support of Expeditionary, Army, Joint, or Combined Military Operations world-wide.

They operate out of Fort Knox in Kentucky.

541st Sapper Company 

The 541st Sapper Company performs a variety of military engineering operations; such as bridge-building, laying or clearing minefields, demolitions, field defenses and general construction, as well as road and airfield construction and repair. They are also trained to serve as infantry personnel in defensive and offensive operations.

They operate out of Fort Knox in Kentucky.

‘Because there’s not much difference. When you get hit in the face with a rock. Which, as you know, it was very violent a few days ago. Very, very violent,’ he added.

The president evoked a potentially violent confrontation at the border, and referenced clashes that have occurred in Mexico with Mexican authorities.

‘This is an invasion and nobody’s really questioning that,’ the president added.

Trump issued the threat after he delivered a long rant about illegal immigration from the White House on Thursday, blasting a clogged court system, calling out people who jump the line of legal immigrants, and blasting what he called ‘endemic abuse of the asylum system.’

The White House had touted the policy change, but the president was unable to deliver any new executive order, legislation, or other formal action.

Asked at one point about current obligations via U.S. law and treaties to consider asylum claims, the president curtly responded: ‘They’re going to court, as crazy as it sounds.’

The president once again said the US would build tent cities to manage the problem of would-be asylum seekers, and said: ‘We’ll be holding the family and the children together’ in the tents.

Troops from the 541st Sapper Company, an engineering battalion stationed out of Fort Knox, Kentucky, board a plane to take them to the border on Wednesday, October 30th

Army Lt Ge. Jeffrey Buchanan briefs Joint Forces Land Component personnel and Air Force attorneys at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas on Thursday 

Army Lt Ge. Jeffrey Buchanan briefs Joint Forces Land Component personnel and Air Force attorneys at Lackland Air Force Base in Texas on Thursday

The first 100 troops have arrived at the US-Mexico border to await the arrival of the migrant caravan slowly making its way north from Central America, according to the Department of Defense. Pictured: Members of the Air Force unload in Harlingen, Texas, on Thursday

‘We have other facilities also. But what’s happened is, we are holding so many facilities, so many people that our facilities are overrun.

‘They’re being overrun. And we are putting up temporary facilities. Eventually people will not be coming here anymore when they realize they cannot get through,’ Trump said.

Asked if the children will be held in tent cities, Trump responded: ‘We will be holding the family and the children together. Remember this: President Obama separated children from families. And all I did was take the same law, and then I softened the law. But by softening the law, many people come up that would not have come up if there was separation.’

In the caravan on Friday, migrants were giving each other tattoos to commemorate the journey 

In the caravan on Friday, migrants were giving each other tattoos to commemorate the journey

Asked what would happen to the children, Trump gave a lengthy answer where he mentioned President Barack Obama three times.

‘We’re working on a system where they stay together. But I will say that by doing that, tremendous numbers – you know, under the Obama plan you could separate children.

‘They never did anything about that. Nobody talks about that. But under President Obama they separated children from the parents.

We actually put it so that didn’t happen. But what happens when you do is you get tremendous numbers of people coming. It’s almost like an incentive to – when they hear they’re not going to be separated, they come many, many times over.

Members of the first caravan board a truck in Matias Romero, Mexico, before sunrise to get to their next stop. They are still 900 miles at least from where the troops are setting up . On Friday, they will trek 30 miles, to the town of Donaji 

Members of the first caravan board a truck in Matias Romero, Mexico, before sunrise to get to their next stop. They are still 900 miles at least from where the troops are setting up . On Friday, they will trek 30 miles, to the town of Donaji

El Salvadorian migrants walk towards the border of Guatemala and Mexico. They are far behind the first group 

Migrant children hug while playing in a playground in Juchitan, Mexico, on Wednesday. There are more than 5,000 migrants making their way to the US. Most are from Honduras 

Migrant children hug while playing in a playground in Juchitan, Mexico, on Wednesday. There are more than 5,000 migrants making their way to the US. Most are from Honduras

A 4,000-strong caravan set out before dawn from Juchitan to Matias Romero, at La Ventosa, Oaxaca State, Mexico, after being denied buses on November 1 

A 4,000-strong caravan set out before dawn from Juchitan to Matias Romero, at La Ventosa, Oaxaca State, Mexico, after being denied buses on November 1

The migrants were hoping to compel Mexican authorities to provide transportation for them to Mexico City, but it did not happen, prompting them to continue walking 

The migrants were hoping to compel Mexican authorities to provide transportation for them to Mexico City, but it did not happen, prompting them to continue walking

‘But President Obama separated the children from the parents and nobody complained. When we continued the exact same law, this country went crazy. So we are going to continue and try to continue what we’re doing. But it is a tremendous incentive for people to try. But it’s going to be very, very hard for people to come into out country.’

With the election just days away, the president complained about a ‘catch and release’ immigration system he said failed because people are choosing not to show up for their court appearances.

‘We’re going to catch, we’re not going to release,’ he said.  ‘They never show up at the trials. They never come back, they’re never seen again,’ the president vented.

The president vowed to ‘take every lawful action at my disposal to address this crisis,’ and emphasized asylum in particular. But he was vague on providing any details.

He said he was ‘finalizing a plan to end the rampant abuse of our asylum system.’ He complained about drugs, crime, and a caravan of immigrants making its way toward the border.

‘We’re not releasing them into our country any longer. They’ll wait long periods of time.’ In one of many tangents, he vented: ‘Fentanyl is killing our youth.’

The president said members of the caravan would not be getting asylum. ‘We will be doing an executive order some time next week … it’ll be quite comprehensive.’

TRUMP’S IMMIGRATION STEMWINDER: HIS GREATEST HITS

Some of the more memorable moments from the president’s November 1, 2018 immigration speech and the Q&A with reporters that followed:

 

ON WHETHER THE MILITARY WILL FIRE ON MIGRANT CARAVANS AT THE BORDER: 

‘I hope not. I hope not. It’s the military. I hope there won’t be that. But I will tell you this: Anybody throwing stones, rocks, like they did to Mexico and the Mexican military, Mexican police – where they badly hurt police and soldiers of Mexico – we will consider that a firearm. Because there’s not much difference. When you get hit in the face with a rock. Which, as you know, it was very violent a few days ago. Very, very violent.’

(AND LATER) 

‘We will consider that the maximum that we can consider that. Because they’re throwing rocks viciously and violently. You saw that three days ago, really hurting the military. We’re not going to put up with that. They want to throw rocks at our military? Our military fights back. We’re going to consider it – I told them, “Consider it a rifle.” When they throw rocks like they did at the Mexico military and police, I say, “Consider it a rifle”.’

ON WHAT WOULD HAPPEN TO MIGRANTS’ CHILDREN WHEN THEIR PARENTS ARE HELD IN ‘TENT CITIES’: 

‘We’re working on a system where they stay together. But I will say that by doing that, tremendous numbers – you know, under the Obama plan you could separate children. They never did anything about that. Nobody talks about that. But under President Obama they separated children from the parents. We actually put it so that didn’t happen. But what happens when you do is you get tremendous numbers of people coming. It’s almost like an incentive to – when they hear they’re not going to be separated, they come many, many times over. But President Obama separated the children from the parents and nobody complained. When we continued the exact same law, this country went crazy.’

ON WHETHER FAMILY UNITS WIL BE KEPT TOGETHER IN TENTS:

‘We will be holding the family and the children together. Remember this: President Obama separated children from families. And all I did was take the same law, and then I softened the law. But by softening the law, many people come up that would not have come up if there was separation.’

ON WHETHER A HARD LINE ON IMMIGRATION IS A PRE-ELECTION PLOY: 

‘There’s nothing political about a caravan of thousands of people, and now others forming, pouring up into our country. We have no idea who they are. All we know is they’re pretty tough people when they can blast through the Mexican military and Mexican police. They’re pretty tough people. Even Mexico said, “Wow. These are tough people.” I don’t want them in our country. And women do not want them in our country. Women want security. Men don’t want them in our country. But the women don’t want them. Women want security. You look at what the women are looking for. They want to have security. They don’t want these people in our country, and they’re not going to be in our country. It’s a very big thing.’

ON WHETHER THE CARAVANS ARE BEING ORGANIZED FROM THE OUTSIDE:

‘They understand the law better than the lawyers understand the law. You have a lot of professionalism there, you have a lot of professionalism involved with setting up the caravans. You take a look at the way that’s happening. Even the countries – you look at Honduras and El Salvador. And you look at what’s happening at the different levels and different countries, or what’s happening on the streets. There’s a lot of professionalism taking place. And there seems to be a lot of money passing. And then all of a sudden, out of the blue, these big caravans are formed and they start marching up. They’ve got a long way to go.’

‘These migrants are not legitimate asylum seekers. They’re not looking for protection because if they were, they’d be able to get it from Mexico.’

He called human traffickers ‘The lowest scum on earth.’

Trump once again went after the people comprising the caravan.

‘These are tough people in many cases. A lot of young men, strong men. And a lot of men that maybe we don’t want in our country,’ Trump said.

But he also acknowledged that many of those drawn to the U.S. were coming to reap the benefits of the U.S. economy.

‘We right now have the hottest economy anywhere in the world,’ Trump said. ‘In some cases they want to take advantage of that,’ he allowed.

 In give-and-take with reporters, Trump rejected the suggestion he was just making a political move for the elections. Early voting has already begun and Election Day is Tuesday.

‘There’s nothing political about a caravan of thousands of people, and now others forming, pouring up into our country. We have no idea who they are,’ Trump said.

‘All we know is they’re pretty tough people when they can blast through the Mexican military and Mexican police. They’re pretty tough people. Even Mexico said, ‘Wow. These are tough people.’ I don’t want them in our country.’

With the views of female voters holding a potentially decisive role in control of the House with multiple toss-up suburban races, Trump said:  ‘And women do not want them in our country. Women want security. Men don’t want them in our country. But the women don’t want them. Women want security. You look at what the women are looking for. They want to have security. They don’t want these people in our country, and they’re not going to be in our country. It’s a very big thing.’

In one of many odd features of his remarks, Trump appeared to thank the crowd when he first entered the Roosevelt Room, even though only reporters and photographers and a few aides were there, and no one had applauded him, which would have been out of the ordinary if it did happen.

‘Thank you very much everyone. Appreciate it,’ Trump said to the silent room.

The White House in advance touted a coming directive denying asylum to migrants who try to enter the country illegally this afternoon as he takes action to thwart migrant caravans heading toward the United States’ southern border.

Trump also said this week that he wants to get rid of birthright citizenship to discourage migrants from coming to America to giving birth to children who will automatically become United States citizens.

‘Birthright citizenship’ is derived from the 14th Amendment.  Trump says that wording of the amendment leaves room for him to exercise his authority as the nation’s executive to keep children born to illegal immigrants for immediately becoming citizens.

The Immigration and Nationality Act similarly requires the federal government to follow asylum laws. However, Trump is expected to push the boundaries of his authority on immigration anyway, just like he did with extreme vetting.

It took him three tries, but the proposal was eventually held up in a watered-down form by the Supreme Court. Trump said he barred legal residents of countries with ties to terror from temporarily coming to America, because their entry was a national security threat, not because they were from majority-Muslim nations.

This week, as he plotted executive actions that would make massive changes to the immigration system days before the mid-term elections, he pointed to Barack Obama’s 2012 decree that illegal immigrants who were brought to the country as children could stat in the U.S. indefinitely through the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Trump made his most audacious attempt yet on Wednesday night to turn a sea of approaching Central American migrants into a midterm voting issue, tweeting a video linking them to a death row inmate who killed two Sacramento, California police officers after being deported twice from the United States and returning each time.

Convicted cop killer Luis Bracamontes famously grinned and swore his way through his trial and sentencing this year, vowing to escape and kill more police officers.

He screamed ‘F*** you, judge!’ during a late January hearing and was banned from attending the rest of his trial in person, watching the remaining days on video monitors.

Trump’s 55.5 million Twitter followers saw his own take on the case, a recap of the trial’s most shocking moments titled: ‘Illegal immigrant Luis Bracamontes killed our people!’

CNN editorialized through its website: ‘Trump campaign releases racist ad.’

ASYLUM, THE MEXICAN BORDER AND DONALD TRUMP: WHAT TO KNOW

WHAT IS ASYLUM?  

Asylum is a protection and status granted to foreign nationals who fit the criteria of a refugee as defined by international law.

Once granted, asylum status allows that person to live and work in this country and apply for a green card after one year of residence.

HOW DO YOU GET ASYLUM? 

Many people apply for asylum when they first arrive at the U.S. border – where it is legal to seek the protected status.

People already living in the country may also be able to successfully pursue asylum after their arrival – typically if they apply within one year of arrival.

People are considered eligible for asylum when they are unable or unwilling to return to his or her home country because they can’t obtain protection in that country due to past persecution or a well-founded fear of future persecution based on their ‘race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion,’ according to the Refugee Act of 1980.

IS THE MEXICAN BORDER ANY DIFFERENT?

Trump said that he will only accept asylum applications from people who have crossed at legal crossing points on the Mexican border.

It is unclear if he can do this and it will likely be for courts to decide if that is possible.

In theory his powers are at their apex at the border and the government can reject anyone trying to enter.

But asylum is covered by international treaties enacted into U.S. laws which do not contain limits on where it is possible to claim asylum. So he is likely to face

HOW THE PROCESS WORKS 

Applying for asylum can take years. In order to pursue a claim, immigrants must first pass a test known as the credible fear review before they are allowed to make their case before an immigration judge.

That review allows them to say why they are fleeing their country and establishes whether they have a legitimate fear of persecution or torture. Individuals who don’t pass the credible fear review can request a hearing to reconsider their plea, but many are quickly deported to their home countries.

In 2017, 60,566 people were found to have credible fear – meaning their cases could go to a full court hearing.

That year, 28,408 asylum cases reached a final decision in U.S. immigration courts. Of those, 10,697 applications were granted and the remaining 17,711 applicants were denied and slated for deportation. But how many leave voluntarily, and how many are deported is not clear. Immigration and Customs Enforcement do not publish a number of failed asylum seekers it has removed.  

HOW IT’S CHANGED ALREADY UNDER TRUMP 

It has gotten got harder to gain credible fear status under the Trump administration: in June, Attorney General Jeff Sessions made a decision that reversed previous guidelines that domestic violence and gangs were reasons to have ‘credible fear’ – which means that anyone now claiming asylum has a higher bar to cross.

The Trump administration has said that to be applied correctly, asylum must be granted to people who are seeking to escape persecution by a government – not from a violent family member or gang, as had widely been accepted after a 2014 immigration court ruling found those applicants were eligible for asylum.

While some legal experts believe it is still possible to argue cases on behalf of the immigrants affected by Sessions’ decision, that will be impossible if they don’t make it past their credible fear review.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6344681/First-100-troops-arrive-border-meet-migrant-caravan-Trump-approves-use-deadly-force.html

 

 

Roosevelt Room

4:19 P.M. EDT

THE PRESIDENT: Well, thank you very much, everyone. Appreciate it. And good afternoon. I would like to provide an update to the American people regarding the crisis on our southern border — and crisis it is.

Illegal immigration affects the lives of all Americans. Illegal immigration hurts American workers; burdens American taxpayers; and undermines public safety; and places enormous strain on local schools, hospitals, and communities in general, taking precious resources away from the poorest Americans who need them most. Illegal immigration costs our country billions and billions of dollars each year.

America is a welcoming country. And under my leadership, it’s a welcoming country. We lead the world in humanitarian protection and assistance, by far. There’s nobody even close. We have the largest and most expansive immigration programs anywhere on the planet.

We’ve issued 40 million green cards since 1970, which means the permanent residency and a path to citizenship for many, many people. But we will not allow our generosity to be abused by those who would break our laws, defy our rules, violate our borders, break into our country illegally. We won’t allow it.

Mass, uncontrolled immigration is especially unfair to the many wonderful, law-abiding immigrants already living here who followed the rules and waited their turn. Some have been waiting for many years. Some have been waiting for a long time. They’ve done everything perfectly. And they’re going to come in. At some point, they’re going to come in. In many cases, very soon. We need them to come in, because we have companies coming into our country; they need workers. But they have to come in on a merit basis, and they will come in on a merit basis.

The communities are often left to bear the cost and the influx of people that come in illegally. We can’t allow that.

There’s a limit to how many people a nation can responsibly absorb into their societies. Every day, above and beyond our existing lawful admission programs, roughly 1,500 to 2,000 people try crossing our borders illegally. We do a very good job considering the laws are so bad. They’re not archaic; they’re incompetent. It’s not that they’re old; they’re just bad. And we can’t get any Democrat votes to change them. It’s only the Republicans that are — in unison, they want to change them. They want to make strong borders, want to get rid of any crime because of the borders, of which there’s a lot.

And we’ve done a great job with the laws that we have. We’re moving in tremendous numbers of people to get out the MS-13 gangs and others gangs that illegally come into our country. And we’re getting them out by the thousands.

But this is a perilous situation, and it threatens to become even more hazardous as our economy gets better and better. A lot of the cause of this problem is the fact that we right now have the hottest economy anywhere in the world. It’s doing better than any economy in the world. Jobs, unemployment — you look at any number.

Right now, we have more workers than any time in the history of our country. We have more people working, which is a tremendous statement. More people working than at any time in the history of our country. And people want to come in, and in some cases, they want to take advantage of that, and that’s okay. And we want them to come in, but they have to come in through merit. They have to come in legally.

At this very moment, large, well-organized caravans of migrants are marching towards our southern border. Some people call it an “invasion.” It’s like an invasion. They have violently overrun the Mexican border. You saw that two days ago. These are tough people, in many cases. A lot of young men, strong men. And a lot of men that maybe we don’t want in our country. But again, we’ll find that out through the legal process.

But they’ve overrun the Mexican police, and they’ve overrun and hurt badly Mexican soldiers. So this isn’t an innocent group of people. It’s a large number of people that are tough. They’ve injured, they’ve attacked, and the Mexican police and military has actually suffered. And I appreciate what Mexico is trying to do.

So let me begin by stating that these illegal caravans will not be allowed into the United States, and they should turn back now, because they’re wasting their time. They should apply to come into our country. We want them to come into our country very much. We need people to help us, with all of these companies that are coming in. We’ve never had anything like this. We have car companies coming in. We have Foxconn — so involved with the manufacturing of Apple products — coming in in Wisconsin. We have a lot of companies coming in, but they have to apply, and they have to be wonderful people that are going to love our country and work hard.

And we’ve already dispatched, for the border, the United States military. And they will do the job. They are setting up right now, and they’re preparing. We hope nothing happens. But if it does, we are totally prepared. Greatest military anywhere in the world, and it’s going to be, and is now, in great shape. No longer depleted like it was when I took over as the President of the United States.

The government of Mexico has generously offered asylum, jobs, education, and medical care for people within the caravan, but many members of the caravan have refused these offers, which demonstrate that these migrants are not legitimate asylum-seekers. They’re not looking for protection. Because if they were, they’d be able to get it from Mexico. Mexico has agreed to take them in and encouraged them to stay. But they don’t want to stay; they want to come into the United States. So this is no longer safety, and asylum is about safety.

Asylum is not a program for those living in poverty. There are billions of people in the world living at the poverty level. The United States cannot possibly absorb them all. Asylum is a very special protection intended only for those fleeing government persecution based on race, religion, and other protected status.

These caravans and illegal migrants are drawn to our country by Democrat-backed laws and left-wing judicial rulings. We’re getting rulings that are so ridiculous, so bad. They’re writing the laws. Can’t do that. Collectively known as — as an example, catch-and-release. It’s a disgrace that we have to put up with it.

These policies lead to the release of illegal aliens into our communities after they’ve been apprehended. But we’re not releasing anymore. Big change, as of a couple of days ago. We’re going to no longer release. We’re going to catch; we’re not going to release. They’re going to stay with us until the deportation hearing or the asylum hearing takes place. So we’re not releasing them into the community.

We have millions of people that, over the years, have been released into the community. They never show up for the trials. They never come back. They’re never seen again. And those people, they know who they are. And we know a lot of where they are, who they are. And those people will be deported, directly deported.

The biggest loophole drawing illegal aliens to our borders is the use of fraudulent or meritless asylum claims to gain entry into our great country. An alien simply crosses the border illegally, finds a Border Patrol agent, and using well-coached language — by lawyers and others that stand there trying to get fees or whatever they can get — they’re given a phrase to read. They never heard of the phrase before. They don’t believe in the phrase. But they’re given a little legal statement to read, and they read it. And now, all of a sudden, they’re supposed to qualify. But that’s not the reason they’re here.

This merely asserts the need for asylum, and then often released into the United States, and they await a lengthy court process. The court process will takes years sometimes for them to attend. Well, we’re not releasing them into our country any longer. They’ll wait for long periods of time. We’re putting up massive cities of tents. The military is helping us incredibly well.

I want to thank the Army Corps of Engineers. They’ve been so efficient, so good, so talented. And we have thousands of tents. We have a lot of tents; we have a lot of everything. We’re going to hold them right there. We’re not letting them into our country. And then they never show up — almost. It’s like a level of 3 percent. They never show up for the trial. So by the time their trial comes, they’re gone. Nobody knows where they are. But we know where a lot of them are, and they’re going to be deported.

There are now nearly 700,000 aliens inside the United States awaiting adjudication of their claims. Most of these people we have no idea how they got there, why they got there. And the number is actually going to be a much larger number as we look at all of the data. So if you look at just at a minimal number, it’s the size of Vermont, or bigger. And the overall number could be 10 million people; it could be 12 million people; it could be 20 million people. The record keeping from past administrations has not exactly been very good.

As human smugglers and traffickers have learned how the game is played and how to game t