The Pronk Pops Show 1394, February 7, 2020, Story 1: Solid January 2020 Jobs Report: 225,000 New Non-farm Payroll Jobs Created in January and Labor Participation Rate Increased to 63.4% with Over 729,000 New Participants in Labor Force! — Videos — Story 2: U.S. Federal Budgetary Deficits, The National Debt and The Big Four Federal Spending: Social Security, Medicare, Defense and Medicaid — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Answers Big Lie Media Mob Question on Way To North Carolina  — Trump Derangement Syndrome of REDS (Radical Extremist Democratic Socialists) in Congress — Videos

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Story 1: Solid January 2020 Jobs Report: 225,000 New Non-farm Payroll Jobs Created in January and Labor Participation Rate Increased to 63.4% with Over 729,000 New Participants in Labor Force! — Videos —

Alternate Unemployment Charts

The seasonally-adjusted SGS Alternate Unemployment Rate reflects current unemployment reporting methodology adjusted for SGS-estimated long-term discouraged workers, who were defined out of official existence in 1994. That estimate is added to the BLS estimate of U-6 unemployment, which includes short-term discouraged workers.

The U-3 unemployment rate is the monthly headline number. The U-6 unemployment rate is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) broadest unemployment measure, including short-term discouraged and other marginally-attached workers as well as those forced to work part-time because they cannot find full-time employment.

 

Public Commentary on Unemployment

Unemployment Data Series   subcription required(Subscription required.)  View  Download Excel CSV File   Last Updated: February 7th, 2020

The ShadowStats Alternate Unemployment Rate for January 2020 is 21.0%.

http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts

Watch five experts break down the January jobs report

Outstanding January job report exceeds expectations with 225K jobs added

Kudlow: The economy is booming and jobs are booming

US economy adds 225,000 jobs in January

Mnuchin: We need to grow the economy faster than government spending

U.S. National Debt Clock

https://www.usdebtclock.org/

Will our national debt doom America?

Keiser Report: Economic Ghouls and Predators (E1498)

Keiser Report: All Rescue Roads Lead to the Elite (E1492)

US budget deficit tops $1 trillion as government spending increasesUS budget deficit tops $1 trillion as government spending increases

]

U.S. CBO Doesn’t Expect Economic Growth to Solve Deficit ‘Problem’

Deficits & Debts: Crash Course Economics #9

Deficits and debt | AP Macroeconomics | Khan Academy

63.4%: Labor Force Participation at Trump-Era High As Labor Force Grows by 574,000

By Susan Jones | February 7, 2020 | 8:03am EST

President Donald Trump never misses an opportunity to plug the strong employment picture for which he takes credit, and today he earned more bragging rights:

The Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy created 225,000 in January, well above estimates. BLS says notable job gains occurred in construction, in health care, and in transportation and warehousing.

The number of employed Americans dipped in January to 158,714,000 — down 89,000 from December’s record high.

The unemployment rate ticked up a tenth of a point to 3.6 percent in January.

But the labor force participation rate reached a Trump-era high of 63.4 percent, up from 63.2 percent in December, because the civilian labor force increased by 574,000 in January, after accounting for annual adjustments to population controls, BLS said.*

In January, the civilian non-institutional population in the United States was 259,502,000. That included all people 16 and older who did not live in an institution (such as a prison, nursing home or long-term care facility).

Of that civilian non-institutional population, 164,606,000 were participating in the labor force, meaning that they either had a job or were actively seeking one during the last month. This resulted in a labor force participation rate of 63.4 percent, the highest it’s been since June 2013.

The number of Americans counted as not in the labor force — meaning they did not have a job and were not looking for one — dropped by 442,000 in January (after population control adjustments). This number hovers around 95,000,000, partly because of retiring baby boomers.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.3 percent), adult women (3.2 percent), teenagers (12.2 percent), Whites (3.1 percent), Blacks (6.0 percent), Asians (3.0 percent), and Hispanics (4.3 percent) showed little or no change over the month.

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised up by 5,000 from +256,000 to +261,000, and the change for December was revised up by 2,000 from +145,000 to +147,000. With these revisions, employment gains in November and December combined were 7,000 higher than previously reported.

In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 7 cents to $28.44. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by 3.1 percent.

The current economic expansion, now in its 11th year, became the longest in U.S. history on July 1, 2019, beating the previous record that lasted from March 1991 through March 2001.

President Trump bragged about the economy Tuesday night in his State of the Union speech:

In just over two years since the election, we have launched an unprecedented economic boom — a boom that has rarely been seen before.  There’s been nothing like it.  We have created 5.3 million new jobs and, importantly, added 600,000 new manufacturing jobs — something which almost everyone said was impossible to do.  But the fact is, we are just getting started.

Wages are rising at the fastest pace in decades and growing for blue-collar workers, who I promised to fight for.  They’re growing faster than anyone else thought possible.  Nearly 5 million Americans have been lifted off food stamps. The U.S. economy is growing almost twice as fast today as when I took office.  And we are considered, far and away, the hottest economy anywhere in the world.  Not even close.

Unemployment has reached the lowest rate in over half a century. African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American unemployment have all reached their lowest levels ever recorded. Unemployment for Americans with disabilities has also reached an all-time low. More people are working now than at any time in the history of our country — 157 million people at work.

*(BLS explained that the January 2020 data includes updated population estimates developed by the Census Bureau’s household survey. “Each year,” BLS said, “the Census Bureau updates the estimates to reflect new information and assumptions about the growth of the population since the previous decennial census. The change in population reflected in the new estimates results from adjustments for net international migration, updated vital statistics, and estimation methodology improvements.”)

https://cnsnews.com/article/national/susan-jones/634-labor-force-participation-trump-era-high

 

Employment Situation Summary

Transmission of material in this news release is embargoed until		USDL-20-0180
8:30 a.m. (EST) Friday, February 7, 2020

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

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


		        THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- JANUARY 2020


Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 225,000 in January, and the unemployment rate
was little changed at 3.6 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today.
Notable job gains occurred in construction, in health care, and in transportation and
warehousing. 

This news release presents statistics from two monthly surveys. The household survey
measures labor force status, including unemployment, by demographic characteristics.
The establishment survey measures nonfarm employment, hours, and earnings by industry.
For more information about the concepts and statistical methodology used in these two
surveys, see the Technical Note.
		 
 ___________________________________________________________________________________
| 									            |
|                Changes to The Employment Situation Data		            |
|									            |
|   Establishment survey data have been revised as a result of the annual           |
|   benchmarking process and the updating of seasonal adjustment factors. In        |
|   addition, several changes have been made to household survey data, including    |
|   the annual update of population estimates. See the notes at the end of the      |
|   news release for more information.                                              |
|___________________________________________________________________________________|


Household Survey Data

Both the unemployment rate, at 3.6 percent, and the number of unemployed persons, at
5.9 million, changed little in January. (See table A-1. For information about annual
population adjustments to the household survey estimates, see the note at the end of
the news release and tables B and C.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (3.3 percent), 
adult women (3.2 percent), teenagers (12.2 percent), Whites (3.1 percent), Blacks
(6.0 percent), Asians (3.0 percent), and Hispanics (4.3 percent) showed little or
no change over the month. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

Among the unemployed, the number of reentrants to the labor force increased by
183,000 in January to 1.8 million but was little changed over the year. (Reentrants
are persons who previously worked but were not in the labor force prior to beginning
their job search.) (See table A-11.)

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more), at 1.2 million,
was unchanged in January. These individuals accounted for 19.9 percent of the unemployed.
(See table A-12.)

After accounting for the annual adjustments to the population controls, the civilian
labor force rose by 574,000 in January, and the labor force participation rate edged 
up by 0.2 percentage point to 63.4 percent. The employment-population ratio, at 61.2
percent, changed little over the month but was up by 0.5 percentage point over the year.
(See table A-1. For additional information about the effects of the population adjustments,
see table C.)

The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons, at 4.2 million, was
essentially unchanged in January. These individuals, who would have preferred full-time
employment, were working part time because their hours had been reduced or they were
unable to find full-time jobs. (See table A-8.)

The number of persons marginally attached to the labor force, at 1.3 million, changed
little in January. These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available
for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted
as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey
for a variety of reasons, such as belief that no jobs are available for them (referred
to as discouraged workers), school attendance, or family responsibilities. Discouraged
workers numbered 337,000 in January, little changed over the month. (See Summary table A.)

Establishment Survey Data

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 225,000 in January, compared with an
average monthly gain of 175,000 in 2019. Notable job gains occurred in construction,
in health care, and in transportation and warehousing. (See table B-1. For information
about the annual benchmark process, see the note at the end of the news release and table A.)

In January, construction employment rose by 44,000. Most of the gain occurred in specialty
trade contractors, with increases in both the residential (+18,000) and nonresidential
(+17,000) components. Construction added an average of 12,000 jobs per month in 2019. 

Health care added 36,000 jobs in January, with gains in ambulatory health care services
(+23,000) and hospitals (+10,000). Health care has added 361,000 jobs over the past 12 months. 

Employment in transportation and warehousing increased by 28,000 in January. Job gains
occurred in couriers and messengers (+14,000) and in warehousing and storage (+6,000).
Over the year, employment in transportation and warehousing has increased by 106,000. 

Employment in leisure and hospitality continued to trend up in January (+36,000). Over
the past 6 months, the industry has added 288,000 jobs. 

Employment continued on an upward trend in professional and business services in January
(+21,000), increasing by 390,000 over the past 12 months. 

Manufacturing employment changed little in January (-12,000) and has shown little movement,
on net, over the past 12 months. Motor vehicles and parts lost 11,000 jobs over the month. 

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

In January, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by
7 cents to $28.44. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have increased by
3.1 percent. Average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees
were $23.87 in January, little changed over the month (+3 cents). (See tables B-3 and B-8.)

The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 34.3
hours in January. In manufacturing, the average workweek remained at 40.4 hours, while
overtime edged down 0.1 hour to 3.1 hours. The average workweek of private-sector production
and nonsupervisory employees edged up by 0.1 hour to 33.6 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.)

The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for November was revised up by 5,000 from
+256,000 to +261,000, and the change for December was revised up by 2,000 from +145,000 to
+147,000. With these revisions, employment gains in November and December combined were
7,000 higher than previously reported. (Monthly revisions result from additional reports
received from businesses and government agencies since the last published estimates and from
the recalculation of seasonal factors. The annual benchmark process also contributed to the
November and December revisions.) After revisions, job gains have averaged 211,000 over the
last 3 months. 

_____________
The Employment Situation for February is scheduled to be released on
Friday, March 6, 2020, at 8:30 a.m. (EST).


 ____________________________________________________________________________________
|										     |
|                     Changes to Household Survey Data 				     |
|										     |
|   Effective with this news release, two not seasonally adjusted series previously  |
|   displayed in Summary table A--persons marginally attached to the labor force and |
|   discouraged workers--have been replaced with new seasonally adjusted series. The |
|   new seasonally adjusted series are available in the BLS online database back to  |
|   1994. Not seasonally adjusted data for persons marginally attached to the labor  |
|   force and for discouraged workers will continue to be published in table A-16.   |
|   These series are also available in the BLS online database back to 1994.         |
|                                                                                    |
|   Persons marginally attached to the labor force and discouraged workers are       |
|   inputs into three alternative measures of labor underutilization displayed in    |
|   table A-15. Effective with this news release, data for U-4, U-5, and U-6 in      |
|   table A-15 reflect the new seasonally adjusted series. Changes to historical     |
|   data were negligible. Revised data back to 1994 are available in the BLS online  |
|   database. Not seasonally adjusted series for the alternative measures are        |
|   unaffected.									     |
|										     |
|   Effective with data for January 2020, occupation estimates in table A-13         |
|   reflect the introduction of the 2018 Census occupation classification system     |
|   into the household survey. This occupation classification system is derived      |
|   from the 2018 Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) system. Historical      |
|   data have not been revised. Beginning with data for January 2020, occupation     |
|   estimates are not strictly comparable with earlier years.                        |
|                                                                                    |
|   In addition, industry estimates in table A-14 reflect the introduction of the    |
|   2017 Census industry classification system, which is derived from the 2017       | 
|   North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). The classification        |
|   changes are minor and do not involve re-classification of industries between     |
|   the broader industry sectors.                                                    |
|										     |
|   Beginning with data for January 2020, marital status estimates are not strictly  |
|   comparable with earlier years. Estimates of married persons now refer to those   |
|   in opposite-sex and same-sex marriages. Prior to January 2020, these estimates   |
|   referred only to those in opposite-sex marriages. Persons with a same-sex	     |
|   spouse were previously classified in other marital status categories, such as    |
|   "women who maintain families." These changes affect marital status estimates in  |
|   tables A-9 and A-10. (Note that not all marital status categories are presented  |
|   in these tables. BLS has not separately tabulated estimates for persons with an  |
|   opposite-sex spouse and persons with a same-sex spouse.) Historical data have    |
|   not been revised.						                     |
|____________________________________________________________________________________|


                     Revisions to Establishment Survey Data


In accordance with annual practice, the establishment survey data released today
have been benchmarked to reflect comprehensive counts of payroll jobs for March 2019.
These counts are derived principally from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages
(QCEW), which counts jobs covered by the Unemployment Insurance (UI) tax system. The
benchmark process results in revisions to not seasonally adjusted data from April 2018
forward. BLS revised seasonally adjusted data from January 2015 forward. In addition,
both seasonally adjusted and unadjusted data for some series incorporate other
revisions prior to 2015.  

The total nonfarm employment level for March 2019 was revised downward by 514,000
(-505,000 on a not seasonally adjusted basis), or -0.3 percent. The absolute average
benchmark revision over the past 10 years is 0.2 percent. 

The over-the-year change in total nonfarm employment for 2019 was revised from 
+2,108,000 to +2,096,000 (seasonally adjusted). Table A presents revised total nonfarm
employment data on a seasonally adjusted basis from January to December 2019.

All revised historical establishment survey data are available on the BLS website at
www.bls.gov/ces/data/home.htm. In addition, an article that discusses the benchmark
and post-benchmark revisions and other technical issues is available at
www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cesbmart.htm.


Table A. Revisions to total nonfarm employment, January to December 2019, seasonally
adjusted
(Numbers in thousands)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 |                                   |                                
                 |                Level              |      Over-the-month change     
                 |---------------------------------------------------------------------
 Year and month  |           |    As     |           |           |    As    |           
                 |    As     |previously | Difference|    As     |previously| Difference
                 |  revised  |published  |           |  revised  |published |           
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                 |           |           |           |           |          |           
       2019      |           |           |           |           |          |           
                 |           |           |           |           |          |           
January......... |  150,134  |  150,587  |    -453   |    269    |    312   |   -43
February........ |  150,135  |  150,643  |    -508   |      1    |     56   |   -55
March........... |  150,282  |  150,796  |    -514   |    147    |    153   |    -6
April........... |  150,492  |  151,012  |    -520   |    210    |    216   |    -6
May............. |  150,577  |  151,074  |    -497   |     85    |     62   |    23
June............ |  150,759  |  151,252  |    -493   |    182    |    178   |     4
July............ |  150,953  |  151,418  |    -465   |    194    |    166   |    28
August.......... |  151,160  |  151,637  |    -477   |    207    |    219   |   -12
September....... |  151,368  |  151,830  |    -462   |    208    |    193   |    15
October......... |  151,553  |  151,982  |    -429   |    185    |    152   |    33
November........ |  151,814  |  152,238  |    -424   |    261    |    256   |     5
December(p)..... |  151,961  |  152,383  |    -422   |    147    |    145   |     2 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
   (p) = preliminary.


                Adjustments to Population Estimates for the Household Survey


Effective with data for January 2020, updated population estimates were incorporated into
the household survey. Population estimates for the household survey are developed by the
U.S. Census Bureau. Each year, the Census Bureau updates the estimates to reflect new
information and assumptions about the growth of the population since the previous decennial
census. The change in population reflected in the new estimates results from adjustments
for net international migration, updated vital statistics, and estimation methodology
improvements. 

In accordance with usual practice, BLS will not revise the official household survey estimates
for December 2019 and earlier months. To show the impact of the population adjustments,
however, differences in selected December 2019 labor force series based on the old and new
population estimates are shown in table B.

The adjustments decreased the estimated size of the civilian noninstitutional population in
December by 811,000, the civilian labor force by 524,000, employment by 507,000, and
unemployment by 17,000. The number of persons not in the labor force was decreased by 287,000.
The total unemployment rate, employment-population ratio, and labor force participation rate
were unaffected.

Data users are cautioned that these annual population adjustments can affect the comparability
of household data series over time. Table C shows the effect of the introduction of new
population estimates on the comparison of selected labor force measures between December 2019
and January 2020. Additional information on the population adjustments and their effect on
national labor force estimates is available at
www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cps-pop-control-adjustments.pdf. 

Population controls for veterans, which are derived from a Department of Veterans Affairs' 
population model and are updated periodically, have also been updated with the release of
data for January 2020. Historical data have not been revised.
Table B. Effect of the updated population controls on December 2019 estimates by sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, not seasonally adjusted
(Numbers in thousands)
Category Total Men Women White Black or
African
Ameri-
can
Asian Hispanic or
Latino
ethnicity

Civilian noninstitutional population

-811 -403 -408 -461 -59 -273 -323

Civilian labor force

-524 -289 -235 -297 -41 -171 -219

Participation rate

0 0 0 0 0 0 -0.1

Employed

-507 -279 -227 -287 -39 -167 -210

Employment-population ratio

0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Unemployed

-17 -10 -9 -10 -2 -4 -9

Unemployment rate

0 0 0 0 0 0 0

Not in labor force

-287 -115 -172 -164 -18 -102 -104

NOTE: Detail may not sum to totals because of rounding. Estimates for the above race groups (White, Black or African American, and Asian) do not sum to totals because data are not presented for all races. Persons whose ethnicity is identified as Hispanic or Latino may be of any race.

Table C. December 2019-January 2020 changes in selected labor force measures, with adjustments for population control effects
(Numbers in thousands)
Category Dec.-Jan.
change, as
published
2020
population
control effect
Dec.-Jan. change, after
removing the
population control
effect(1)

Civilian noninstitutional population

-679 -811 132

Civilian labor force

50 -524 574

Participation rate

0.2 0 0.2

Employed

-89 -507 418

Employment-population ratio

0.2 0 0.2

Unemployed

139 -17 156

Unemployment rate

0.1 0 0.1

Not in labor force

-729 -287 -442

(1) This Dec.-Jan. change is calculated by subtracting the population control effect from the over-the-month change in the published seasonally adjusted estimates.

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

 

Employment Situation Summary Table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted

HOUSEHOLD DATA
Summary table A. Household data, seasonally adjusted
[Numbers in thousands]
Category Jan.
2019
Nov.
2019
Dec.
2019
Jan.
2020
Change from:
Dec.
2019-
Jan.
2020

Employment status

Civilian noninstitutional population

258,239 260,020 260,181 259,502

Civilian labor force

163,142 164,347 164,556 164,606

Participation rate

63.2 63.2 63.2 63.4

Employed

156,627 158,536 158,803 158,714

Employment-population ratio

60.7 61.0 61.0 61.2

Unemployed

6,516 5,811 5,753 5,892

Unemployment rate

4.0 3.5 3.5 3.6

Not in labor force

95,097 95,673 95,625 94,896

Unemployment rates

Total, 16 years and over

4.0 3.5 3.5 3.6

Adult men (20 years and over)

3.7 3.2 3.1 3.3

Adult women (20 years and over)

3.6 3.2 3.2 3.2

Teenagers (16 to 19 years)

12.9 12.0 12.6 12.2

White

3.5 3.2 3.2 3.1

Black or African American

6.8 5.6 5.9 6.0

Asian

3.1 2.6 2.5 3.0

Hispanic or Latino ethnicity

4.8 4.2 4.2 4.3

Total, 25 years and over

3.2 2.9 2.8 2.9

Less than a high school diploma

5.7 5.3 5.2 5.5

High school graduates, no college

3.7 3.7 3.7 3.8

Some college or associate degree

3.4 2.9 2.7 2.8

Bachelor’s degree and higher

2.4 2.0 1.9 2.0

Reason for unemployment

Job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs

3,060 2,804 2,686 2,665

Job leavers

816 776 829 836

Reentrants

1,944 1,663 1,655 1,838

New entrants

607 581 551 557

Duration of unemployment

Less than 5 weeks

2,319 2,026 2,065 2,059

5 to 14 weeks

1,999 1,753 1,730 1,755

15 to 26 weeks

898 865 812 887

27 weeks and over

1,259 1,219 1,186 1,166

Employed persons at work part time

Part time for economic reasons

5,105 4,288 4,148 4,182

Slack work or business conditions

3,402 2,634 2,657 2,655

Could only find part-time work

1,413 1,259 1,215 1,294

Part time for noneconomic reasons

20,984 21,532 21,586 22,154

Persons not in the labor force

Marginally attached to the labor force

1,498 1,244 1,230 1,342

Discouraged workers

418 316 289 337

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

 

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

Employment Situation Summary Table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted

ESTABLISHMENT DATA
Summary table B. Establishment data, seasonally adjusted
Category Jan.
2019
Nov.
2019
Dec.
2019(P)
Jan.
2020(P)

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

Total nonfarm

269 261 147 225

Total private

258 247 142 206

Goods-producing

75 45 -5 32

Mining and logging

5 -11 -11 0

Construction

50 -2 11 44

Manufacturing

20 58 -5 -12

Durable goods(1)

21 45 -1 -11

Motor vehicles and parts

-0.3 40.5 1.3 -10.6

Nondurable goods

-1 13 -4 -1

Private service-providing

183 202 147 174

Wholesale trade

6.3 3.0 9.5 8.4

Retail trade

-7.9 -13.9 44.9 -8.3

Transportation and warehousing

46.8 22.6 3.9 28.3

Utilities

0.1 1.0 0.7 -1.4

Information

-11 9 8 5

Financial activities

11 12 5 -1

Professional and business services(1)

-2 37 14 21

Temporary help services

-28.2 2.6 5.9 -1.5

Education and health services(1)

56 73 22 72

Health care and social assistance

37.6 56.7 25.0 47.2

Leisure and hospitality

81 43 36 36

Other services

3 16 3 14

Government

11 14 5 19

(3-month average change, in thousands)

Total nonfarm

195 218 198 211

Total private

188 211 193 198

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

Total nonfarm women employees

49.7 50.0 50.0 50.0

Total private women employees

48.3 48.6 48.7 48.7

Total private production and nonsupervisory employees

82.4 82.2 82.2 82.2

HOURS AND EARNINGS
ALL EMPLOYEES

Total private

Average weekly hours

34.5 34.3 34.3 34.3

Average hourly earnings

$27.58 $28.34 $28.37 $28.44

Average weekly earnings

$951.51 $972.06 $973.09 $975.49

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

110.5 111.2 111.3 111.5

Over-the-month percent change

0.2 -0.1 0.1 0.2

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

145.8 150.7 151.0 151.6

Over-the-month percent change

0.4 0.3 0.2 0.4

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

Total private (258 industries)

62.2 63.4 55.6 59.7

Manufacturing (76 industries)

59.2 61.8 46.1 46.7

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

NOTE: Data have been revised to reflect March 2019 benchmark levels and updated seasonal adjustment factors.

 

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

Story 2: U.S. Federal Budgetary Deficits, The National Debt and The Big Four Federal Spending: Social Security, Medicare, Defense and Medicaid — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show 1393, February 6, 2020, Story 1: President Trump Speaks At National Prayer Breakfast — Slams Pelosi and Romney For Using Their Faith To Justify Their Actions — Faith Based Adoption — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Acquitted Forever By Senate Takes A Well Deserved Victory Lap Over Failed Coup Attempts By Clinton Obama Democratic Criminal Conspiracy — Nobody Including Democrats Are Above The Law — American People Demanding The Indictments of The Conspirators — The Trump Way — Videos — Story 3: DNC Chair Demands Iowa Recheck The Vote Count and Bernie Sanders Won By More Than 8,000 — Videos

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President Trump Delivers Remarks

President Trump delivers remarks at White House | USA TODAY

‘The Five’ on Trump taking marathon victory lap after his acquittal

 

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Triumphant Trump lashes out ‘horrible person’ Pelosi and attacks ‘dirty cops’ in wild post-acquittal speech as he slams ‘Mueller top scum’ Russia probe and ‘evil’ impeachment as ‘all bulls**t’

  • President Trump gathered his political allies in the White House’s East Room Thursday to celebrate being acquitted on impeachment charges
  • Trump held up a copy of the Washington Post that said ‘Trump Acquitted’ in large font, saying it’s the ‘only good headline I’ve ever had in the Washington Post’ 
  • At the top of his speech, Trump called out the ‘leakers and liars’ and then name-dropped former FBI Director James Comey 
  • He bad-mouthed a number of individuals including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, GOP Sen. Mitt Romney and Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff 
  • He again went after FBI lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, while also slamming Hunter Biden and former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe
  • Then Trump went around the room and complimented the Republicans who supported him, giving brief remarks about each one 
  • Trump spoke for more than an hour and didn’t use a teleprompter, though used swear words more than once 
  • ‘This is a day of celebration because we went through hell,’ Trump told the crowd, who gave him a standing ovation 

President Trump celebrated his Senate acquittal on Thursday with a freewheeling speech at the White House where he blasted the ‘vicious and mean’ Democrats, attacked ‘evil and dirty’ cops, thanked his ‘very good friends’ for their support and apologized to his family for what he put them through.

‘This is a day of celebration because we went through hell,’ he told a packed room of about 200 supporters in the East Room of the White House.

The president spoke – without the use of a teleprompter – for a little more than hour that veered back and forth between thanking his allies and blasting his enemies.

He began his remarks with his favorite hit term on the investigations into him and his presidency: ‘witch hunt.’

‘We’ve been going through this now for over three years. It was evil, it was corrupt, it was dirty cops. It was a leakers and lawyers. This should never happen to another president, ever. I don’t know that other presidents would have been able to take it,’ he said.

And he ended with an apology to his family, including young son Barron.

‘I want to apologize to my family for having them have to go through a phony, rotten deal by some very evil and sick people,’ he said. ‘And Ivanka is here, my sons, my whole family. And that includes Barron. He’s up there, he’s a young boy.’

Ivanka left her seat in the audience to come up to the podium and hug her father after his apology. First lady Melania Trump did the same.

‘I just want to thank my family for sticking through it. This was not part of the deal,’ the president said.

Trump also name-dropped those he blamed for impeaching him, re-upping his litany of attacks against the same people he has blamed since the first investigation of his presidency started.

Former FBI Director James Comey was the first opponent who came up.

‘Had I not fired James Comey – who was a disaster, by the way – it’s possible I may not have even been standing here right now,’ Trump said. ‘When I fired that sleazebag, all hell broke out,’ he later added.

He blamed the top FBI officials for his problems. ‘It was the top scum, and the FBI people don’t like the top scum,’ he said.

The president also had choice words for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, House Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff, Sen. Mitt Romney, Hunter Biden, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe – and the FBI lovers, Peter Strzok and Lisa Page.

SCROLL DOWN TO READ TRUMP’S FREEWHEELING SPEECH IN FULL 

President Trump hoisted up a copy of the Washington Post in the East Room Thursday, marveling at the paper's good headline

President Trump hugs his daughter Ivanka Trump at his victory speech in the White House's East Room Thursday

President Trump hugs his daughter Ivanka Trump at his victory speech in the White House’s East Room Thursday

First lady Melania Trump (left) kisses President Trump (right) at the end of his speech Thursday in the East Room

First lady Melania Trump (left) kisses President Trump (right) at the end of his speech Thursday in the East Room

The president, showing off the 'Trump acquitted' headline, said he might even frame this copy of the Washington Post

President Trump addressed a crowd of allies at the White House Thursday after being acquitted by the U.S. Senate

President Trump was surrounded by his political allies at the White House Thursday as he took a victory lap on being acquitted on impeachment charges by the GOP-led Senate

President Trump went around the room and complimented his political allies, while describing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as 'vicious' and 'horrible' x

President Trump (left) had first lady Melania Trump (right) come onstage at the conclusion of his hour-long, free-wheeling speech where he talked about impeachment

Ivanka Trump (right) listens to her father President Trump (left) speak a day after the conclusion of the Senate's impeachment trial

Comey’s May 2017 firing led to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller who took over the Russian interference probe.

The president referred to the Russia probe as ‘all bulls***’ to the East Room crowd.

That investigation wasn’t directly related to why Trump was impeached – over a scheme to hold up around $400 million in military aid to Ukraine in order to pressure the president to announce investigations into Joe and Hunter Biden.

Trump attacked the former vice president’s son for his work on the board of a Ukrainian gas company and for a Chinese hedge fund. He also reiterated his argument his July 25 phone call with newly-elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was perfect.

‘He’s a new president, seems like a very nice person, by the way. His whole thing was corruption. He’s going to stop corruption. We have a treaty, a signed treaty that we will work together to root out corruption in Ukraine. I probably have a legal obligation … to report corruption. They don’t even think a corrupt way son who made no money, that got thrown out of the military, that had no money at all, is working for $3 million upfront, $83,000 a month. And that’s only Ukraine. Then goes to China, picks up $1.5 billion. Then goes to Romania, I hear, and many other countries. They think that’s okay. Because, if it is, Ivanka in the audience? Boy, my kids could make a fortune,’ he said.

The East Room was filled with the president’s Republican Congressional and political allies. Lawmakers like Doug Collins, Jim Jordan, Elise Stefanik and Matt Gaetz, who all vocally defended the president during the House impeachment investigation. GOP senators who voted to acquit him were there too, including Chuck Grassley, Mike Lee and, of course, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Trump had personalized shout outs for many of them:

  • Mitch McConnell: ‘Great guy. Great guy. He’s a tough guy to read. I’m good at reading people. A tough guy to read.’
  • Jim Jordan: ‘When I first got to know Jim I said, “Huh, never wears a jacket. What the hell is going on?” He’s obviously very proud of his body. And they say where he works out with the congressmen, senators, they say when Jim works out, even though he’s not as young as he was, when he works out, the machine starts burning.’
  • Steve Scalise: ‘He got whacked, my Steve. Right? I went to the hospital with our great first lady that night. Right, honey? We saw a man who was not going to make it. He was not going to make it. The doctor — I told him, his wife, I said, “She loves you.” “Why did you say that?” Because she was devastated. A lot of wives wouldn’t give a damn.’ 
  • Elise Stefanik: ‘I didn’t realize, when she opens that mouth, you were killing them, Elise! You were killing them!’
  • John Ratcliffe: ‘If we were doing a remake of “Perry Mason,” the man I get — there is nobody in Hollywood like this.’ 
  • Matt Gaetz: ‘Sometimes controversial, but actually he’s not controversial. He’s solid as a rock and a friend of mine.’ 

The president’s impeachment legal team came in the room before Trump and was greeted with a standing ovation from the audience and shouts of ‘Bravo!’ 

Trump, too, was greeted by a crowd on its feet.

He held up a copy of the Washington Post in triumph as his supporters cheered him on.

‘It was the only good headline I’ve ever had in the Washington Post,’ Trump said, showing off a newspaper with the words ‘Trump acquitted’ in large typeface across the front. Trump said he might even frame it.

President Trump and Melania Trump leaving after his remarks

IN THE AUDIENCE: Reps. Doug Collins (center) and Elise Stefanik (right) were invited to attend Thursday's White House address by President Trump. Both lawmakers defended him during the impeachement saga

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell arrives at President Trump's East Room address Thursday

During the speech, the president praised certain Republican lawmakers who defended him, including Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York

Rep. Matt Gaetz is seen entering the Whtie House's East Room Thursday prior to President Trump addressing the nation on his impeachment acquittal

Rep. Matt Gaetz stands as he is acknowledged by President Trump during a speech that lasted longer than an hour

Rep. Matt Gaetz stands as he is acknowledged by President Trump during a speech that lasted longer than an hour

White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham (center) greets Rep. Matt Gaetz (left) in the White House's East Room on Thursday

Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee who loudly defended President Trump during the impeachment hearings, wore a 'Quit, Mitt' button to the White House Thursday

Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway chats with White House guests before President Trump appeared in the East Room Thursday

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney is photographed in the East Room before the president delivered remarks

Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney is photographed in the East Room before the president delivered remarks

Republican political allies filed the White House's audience Thursday including (from left) Rep. Mark Meadows, Sen. Bill Cassidy, Sen. Mike Lee, Sen. Chuck Grassley and Rep. Devin Nunes. Nunes is Rep. Adam Schiff's GOP counterpart in the House Intelligence Committee

First daughter and White House senior adviser Ivanka Trump reacts to her father's speech in the White House's East Room Thursday

Attendees of President Trump's East Room speech included (from left) second lady Karen Pence, Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Attorney General Bill Barr

Attendees of President Trump’s East Room speech included (from left) second lady Karen Pence, Vice President Mike Pence, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Attorney General Bill Barr

 

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham previewed the president's remarks on Fox News Channel Thursday morning

He had nicer things to say about those in the room.

TRUMP SHOUT OUTS

The president offered his thanks to many people during his remarks:

Melania Trump

Ivanka Trump

His sons and specifically Barron

Attorneys Pat Cipollone and Jay Sekulow

Sen. Tim Scott

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell

Rep. Jim Jordan

Rep. Elise Stefanik

Rep. Mark Meadows

Rep. Doug Collins

Sen. Kelly Loeffler

Sen. Josh Hawley

Sen. Chuck Grassley

Rep. Louie Gohmert

Sen. Mike Braun

Sen. Bill Cassidy

Sen. John Barasso

Sen. Mike Lee

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy

Sen. Kelly Armstrong

Rep. Jim Banks

Rep. Andy Biggs

Abraham Lincoln

Rep. Matt Gaetz

Rep. Debbie Lesko

Gov. Ron DeSantis

Rep. Mike Johnson

Rep. Devin Nunes

Rep. John Ratliffe

Rep. Steve Scalise

Matt Schlapp

Rep. Bradley Byrne

Rep. Scott Perry

Lee, a Republican senator from Utah, got some attention from the president, in part because Lee’s counterpart, Sen. Mitt Romney, had voted alongside Democrats on voting in support of one article of impeachment.

Trump told Lee to deliver a message to the people of Utah: ‘Tell them I’m sorry about Mitt Romney.’

‘We can say, by far, Mike Lee is the most popular senator in the state,’ Trump said.

Rep. Louie Gohmert, a Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee who also loudly backed the president during impeachment hearings, was spotted wearing a ‘quit Mitt’ button to the White House event.

Trump complimented another Judiciary Committee member, Rep. John Ratcliffe, for being straight out of Central Casting.

‘If we’re doing a remake of Perry Mason,’ he said, nodding at Ratcliffe. ‘There’s nobody in Hollywood like this.’

The president also suggested that Rep. Steve Scalise became more attractive after recovering from a gun shot wound.

‘You weren’t that good looking,’ Trump said. ‘You look good now.’

The president also talked of Scalise’s wife’s devotion to the Louisiana Republican, as Trump had met her when her husband was in the emergency room.

‘A lot of wives wouldn’t give a damn,’ Trump remarked.

Trump also made colorful comments about Rep. Jim Jordan, another prominent defender.

‘When I first got to know Jim I said, heh, he never wears a jacket, he’s obviously very proud of his body,’ the president said.

Jordan was a collegiate wrestling champion and later a college-level coach.

The Ohio Republican did wear a jacket to Trump’s speech Thursday.

Trump also asked lawmakers to stand up if they had something to say.

That prompted retiring Rep. Mark Meadows, a North Carolina Republican, to briefly stand and say, ‘This reflection today is a small reflection of the support you have.’

‘We got your back,’ Meadows said.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham told a Fox News Channel audience Thursday what to expect from his remarks – that the president had previewed himself when he slammed Pelosi and Romney at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning.

‘He is going to be honest,’ Grisham told Fox News, ‘going to speak with honesty and with humility and he and the family went through a lot. I think he’s also going to talk about just how horribly he was treated and, you know, that maybe people should pay for that.’

PEOPLE DONALD TRUMP CRITICIZED

The president also criticized many people in his speech:

Sen. Mitt Romney

Speaker Nancy Pelosi

Rep. Adam Schiff

Rep. Jerry Nadler

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

Former FBI director James Comey

Former Sen. Claire McCaskill

Hunter Biden

Lisa Page

Peter Strzok

Andrew McCabe

Christopher Steele

Bob Mueller

Sen. Chuck Schumer

Hillary Clinton

‘People should be held accountable,’ she added.

The president went after Pelosi and Romney for using their faith to justify their actions in the impeachment process during his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast.

And, in his remarks later that day in the East Wing, he stood by what he said at the breakfast.

‘I had Nancy Pelosi sitting four seats away and I’m saying things that a lot of people wouldn’t have said, but I meant everything. I meant every word of it,’ he said.

At the breakfast, the president did not mention the two by name but his meaning was clear.

‘I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong. Nor do I like people who say I pray for you when they know that’s not so. So many people have been hurt, and we can’t let that go on. I will be discussing that a little bit later at the White House,’ he said.

Romney was the lone Republican to find Trump guilty on one article of impeachment: abuse of power. He said in his remarks on the Senate floor Wednesday that it was his faith – Romney is a devout Mormon – that led him to that decision.

Pelosi, a devout Catholic, has repeatedly said she prays for the president. She was seated at the head table during Trump’s remarks and shook her head at one point during them. She pursed her lips a few times as he spoke. The speaker launched the impeachment inquiry into the president in September.

Back at the White House, Trump had no problem uttering Pelosi’s name. He called her a ‘vicious horrible person’ and said that Rep. Adam Schiff, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and one of the Democrats’ House impeachment managers, was a ‘horrible person.’

‘She may pray, but she prays for the opposite,’ Trump said of the speaker.

At the prayer breakfast, the president admitted he was having trouble liking his political enemies now that his impeachment trial is over.

‘We are grateful to the people of this room for the lovely show to religion, not one religion, but many religions. They are brave, they are brilliant, they are fighters, they like people and sometimes they hate people. I’m sorry. I apologize. I am trying to learn. Not easy. It’s not easy. When they impeach you for nothing, and you’re supposed to like them, it’s not easy, folks. I do my best,’ he said.

Donald Trump slammed Nancy Pelosi and Mitt Romney for using their faith to justify their actions in the impeachment trial and inquiry

Donald Trump slammed Nancy Pelosi and Mitt Romney for using their faith to justify their actions in the impeachment trial and inquiry

Speaker Nancy Pelosi sat on the opposite of the head table from President Trump

Speaker Nancy Pelosi sat on the opposite of the head table from President Trump

Speaker Pelosi sat grimed during President Trump's remarks

Speaker Pelosi sat grimed during President Trump’s remarks

President Trump addressed impeachment at the top of his remarks

Trump was acquitted on both articles of impeachment by the Senate on Wednesday, bringing to a close the fourth month, contentious process that led to a new level of bitter relations between the White House and congressional Democrats.

Harvard professor Arthur Brooks, in his key note address at the breakfast, urged those present not to hold political enemies in contempt, but to do as Jesus preached and ‘love your enemies.

‘I don’t know if I agree with you,’ Trump said to Brooks when it was his turn to speak. And then he proceeded to launch his attacks on Pelosi and Romney.

The president addressed the impeachment inquiry at the top of his remarks and, earlier, had triumphantly held up newspaper headlines announcing his acquittal. The audience cheered his move.

‘My family, our great country and your president has been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people. They have done everything possible to destroy us and by so doing, very badly hurt our nation,’ Trump said.

‘They know what they are doing is wrong but they put themselves far ahead of our great country. Weeks ago and again yesterday, courageous Republican politicians and leaders had the wisdom, fortitude, and strength to do what everyone knows was right,’ he added.

The president and the speaker were meeting for the first time since the impeachment verdict at the National Prayer Breakfast Thursday morning.

Trump walked to the head table to applause and held up the front pages of USA Today and The Washington Post with their oversized headlines proclaiming his acquittal by the Senate.

‘Acquitted’ read USA Today. ‘Trump Acquitted’ was the Washington Post’s headline.

Pelosi stood and clapped as President Trump entered the room. She simply looked on as he displayed the newspapers declaring him acquitted.

President Trump waved around a USA Today headline proclaiming his acquittal on impeachment

President Trump waved around a USA Today headline proclaiming his acquittal on impeachment

He also waved the Washington Post front page

Speaker Pelosi spoke before President Trump at the breakfast

Speaker Pelosi led a prayer for the poor

Both the president and the speaker were seated at the head table but on opposite sides of the podium.

They did not interact.

Trump shook hands with his side of the head table when he entered the 68th Annual National Prayer Breakfast and did not walk over to the other side of the podium, where the vice president and the speaker were seated.

Pelosi spoke first, leading a prayer for the poor. The president head bowed during her prayer. He did not applaud when she was done.

Vice President Mike Pence, when he arrived ahead of the president, shook hands with the speaker and sat a few chairs down from her.

Several members of Congress and members of the president’s Cabinet attended the annual breakfast.

‘The lord works in mysterious ways. I do not think he could have picked a better day to bring us all together,’ House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy said in his prayer.

The president thanked McCarthy and the breakfast hosts in his opening remarks.

Mitt Romney cited his faith as the reason for his guilty vote on Trump

‘Had failed presidential candidate @MittRomney devoted the same energy and anger to defeating a faltering Barack Obama as he sanctimoniously does to me, he could have won the election,’ the president tweeted.

Romney cited his faith as one of the reasons for his guilty vote. He voted to acquit the president on the second charge: obstruction of Congress.

‘The allegations made in the articles of impeachment are very serious. As a senator juror, I swore an oath before god to exercise impartial justice. I am profoundly religious. My faith is at the heart of who I am. I take an oath before god as enormously consequential. I knew from the outset that being tasked with judging the president, the leader of my own party would be the most difficult decision I have ever faced,’ Romney said.

And the Republican senator from Utah acknowledged he expected to feel the president’s wrath for his decision.

‘I’m aware that there are people in my party and in my state who will strenuously disapprove of my decision, and in some quarters I will be vehemently denounced. I’m sure to hear abuse from the president and his supporters. Does anyone seriously believe that I would consent to these consequences other than from an inescapable conviction that my oath before god demanded it of me?,’ he said.

It was also the first time Trump and Pelosi met since Tuesday’s State of the Union address when Trump refused to shake her hand at its beginning and she ripped up the text of his remarks at its conclusion.

After the president finished giving his annual address Tuesday night, Pelosi stood up and ripped the pages in half, dropping them on her desk.

The extraordinary clash between the two started when with Trump snubbed Pelosi’s outstretched hand after he came into the House chamber.

Trump handed Pelosi a copy of his speech when he reached the speaker’s dais – the same place she presided over his impeachment vote two months ago – but simply turned away as the Speaker took her copy of his speech, then stood in front of a chamber which echoed with cries of ‘four more years’ from Republicans – and where Democrats sat stone-faced.

Pelosi was visibly taken aback after Trump turned away from her offer.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripped apart her copy of President Trump's State of the Union address after he finished speaking on Tuesday night

Earlier, Trump delivered an astonishing snub to Nancy Pelosi as he started his State of the Union speech Tuesday, ignoring her as she offered him a handshake

Earlier, Trump delivered an astonishing snub to Nancy Pelosi as he started his State of the Union speech Tuesday, ignoring her as she offered him a handshake

After the Senate acquitted the president on Wednesday, Pelosi said after the vote that the president remains a ‘threat’ that the House will continue to combat through its lawsuits against the administration and with the public.

‘Sadly, because of the Republican Senate’s betrayal of the Constitution, the President remains an ongoing threat to American democracy, with his insistence that he is above the law and that he can corrupt the elections if he wants to. The House will continue to protect and defend the checks and balances in the Constitution that safeguard our Republic, both in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion,’ she said in a statement.

DONALD TRUMP REMARKS ON IMPEACHMENT ACQUITTAL

Well, thank you very much.

Thank you. Thank you.

Wow.

Well, thank you very much, everybody. Wow. We’ve all been through a lot together. And we probably deserved that hand for all of us, because it’s been a very unfair situation. I invited some of our very good friends, and we have limited room, but everybody wanted to come. Kept it down to a minimum. Believe it or not, this is a minimum. But a tremendous thing was done over the last number of months. Really, if you go back to it, over the last number of years. We had the witch hunt, it started from the day we came down the elevator. Myself and our future first lady, who is with us right now.

Thank you, Melania.

And it never really stopped. We’ve been going through this now for over three years. It was evil, it was corrupt, it was dirty cops. It was a leakers and lawyers. This should never happen to another president, ever. I don’t know that other presidents would have been able to take it. Some people said no, they wouldn’t have. But I can tell you, at a minimum, you have to focus on this because it can get away very quickly, no matter who you have with you. It can get away very quickly. It was a disgrace. Had I not fired James Comey, who was a disaster, by the way, it’s possible I wouldn’t even be standing here right now. We caught him in the act. Dirty cops. Bad people. If this happened to President Obama, a lot of people would have been in jail for a long time already. Many, many years. I want to start by thanking some of — I call them friends because, you know, you develop friendships and relationships when you are in battle and in war, much more so than, “Gee, let’s have a normal situation.” With all we’ve gone through, I think we’ve done more than any president in any administration. Really, I say, for the most part, Republican congressmen and congresswomen and Republican senators — we’ve done more than any administration in the first few years. You look at all the things we’ve done. I watched this morning as they tried to take credit for the stock market.

Think of that. Let me tell you, if we didn’t win, the stock market would have crashed. The market was going up a lot before the election because it was looking like we had a good chance to win. It went up tremendously from the time we won the election to the time we took office, which was November 8th until January 20th. That’s our credit, that’s all our credit. Leading up to that point was our credit, because there was hope. One of the reasons the stock market has gone up so much in the last few days is people think we are doing so well. They liked the state of the union speech.

It really is, it’s a true honor. Making the state of the union speech, I was with some people who have been around. They’ve been all over the world. One of them is a highly sophisticated person. They said, “You know, no matter where you go in the world, it doesn’t make any difference. There is nothing like what I witnessed tonight. The beauty, the majesty of the chamber. The power of the United States. The power of the people in this room.” Really, amazing. I don’t think there’s anything like that anywhere in the world. You can go to any other country, any other location, any other place. It’s the beauty of everything. It’s what it represents, and how it represents our country. I want to start by introducing some of the people that are here. I know some are going to be left out, but they work so hard. And this is really not a news conference, it’s not a speech. It’s not anything, it’s just — we are sort of — it’s a celebration. Because we have something that just worked out. I mean, it worked out. We went through hell unfairly, did nothing wrong.

Did nothing wrong. I’ve done things wrong in my life, I will admit.

Not purposely, but I’ve done things wrong. This is what the end result is.

So… [holds up front page of The Washington Post] You can take that home. Honey, maybe we’ll frame it. The only good headline I’ve ever had on “The Washington post.”

But every paper is the same. Does anybody have those papers does anybody have them? They are like that. So I appreciate that. But some of the people here have been incredible warriors. They are warriors. There’s nothing from a legal standpoint — this is a political thing. Every time I say, “This is unfair, let’s go to court,” they say, “Sir, you can’t go to court, this is politics.” We were treated unbelievably unfairly. You have to understand, we first went through “Russia, Russia, Russia.” It was all bullshit.

We then went through the Mueller report. And they should have come back one day later. They didn’t, they came back two years later after lives were ruined. After people went bankrupt. After people lost all their money. People went to Washington to help other people. Bright eyed and bushy tail, they say they came, one or two or three people in particular. But many people, we had a rough campaign.

It was nasty. One of the nastiest, they say. They say Andrew Jackson was always the nastiest campaign. They actually said we topped it. It was nasty both in the primaries and in the election. But you see, we thought after the election it would stop. But it didn’t stop, it just started. Tremendous corruption. Tremendous corruption. So, we had a campaign — little did we know we were running against some very, very bad and evil people with fake dossiers, with all of these horrible, dirty cops that took these dossiers and did bad things. They knew all about it. The FISA courts, should be ashamed of themselves. It’s a very tough thing. And we ended up winning on the “Russia, Russia, Russia.” It should have taken the one day, it took years. Then Bob Mueller testified. That didn’t work out so well for the oversight.

But they should have said that first week, because it came out. Is that right, Jim Jordan? They knew the first two days, actually. Is that right? They knew we were totally innocent. But they kept it going, mark. The kept it going forever. Because they wanted to inflict political pain on somebody that — I had just won an election, a lot of people were surprised. We had polls that said we were going to win. We have the “Los Angeles times” were going to win. But it was going to be close. We did win. It was one of the greatest wins of all time. And they said, “Okay, he won.” I wrote this down because that was where a thing called an insurance policy — to me, when I saw the insurance policy, and that was done long before the election.

It was done when we thought Hillary Clinton was going to win. By the way, Hillary Clinton and the DNC paid for millions. Millions of dollars, the fake dossier. Now Christopher Steele admits that it’s a fake. Because he got sued by rich people. I should have sued him, too. But when you are president, people don’t like suing. I want to thank my legal team, by the way.

Not for that advice, but for other.

Pat, Jay, you guys, stand up.

Great job. Right at the beginning, they said, “Sir, you have nothing to worry about. All of the facts on your side.” I said, “You don’t understand, that doesn’t matter. That doesn’t matter.” And that was really true. They made up facts. A corrupt politician named Adam Schiff made up my statement to the Ukrainian president. He brought it out of thin air, just made it up. They say he’s a screenwriter, a failed screenwriter. Unfortunately he went into politics after that.

Remember, he said the statement? “Don’t call me, I’ll call you.” I didn’t say that. Fortunately for all of us here today and for our country, we had transcripts. We had transcribers, professional transcribers. Then they said, “Oh, well, maybe the transcription is not correct.” But Lieutenant Colonel Vindman and his twin brother, right? We had some people, really amazing. But we did everything. We said, “What’s wrong with that,” they didn’t at this word or that word. It didn’t matter. “At it.

They’re probably wrong, but added ” now everybody agrees they were perfectly accurate. Tim Scott — I don’t know if Tim is here, but he said, “Are –” he was the first want to call me. “Sir, I read the transcript. You did nothing wrong.” And, Mitch, he stayed there right from the beginning. He never changed. Mitch Mcconnell, I want to tell you. You did a fantastic job.

Somebody said, “You know, Mitch is quiet.” I said, “He’s not quiet. He’s not quite.”

He doesn’t want people to know him. And they said, “Is Mitch smart?” And I said, “Well, let’s put it this way. For many, many years, a lot of very smart — bad, in many cases, sometimes good — people have been trying to take his place. To the best of my knowledge, I’ve never even heard the subject come up, because they’ve been wiped out so fast.”

This guy is great and I appreciate Mitch. He has also given us 191, now. 191 federal judges. Two supreme court judges. Up to 191. Great guy. Great guy. He’s a tough guy to read. I’m good at reading people. A tough guy to read. I told him – my wife would say, “How do you do with Mitch?” And I’d say, “Uh, I don’t know.”

That’s what makes them good, when you can read somebody. Fantastic job. He understood right from the beginning this was crooked politics. This was crooked politics. How about all these people? They are running for office. They are saying the worst things about me, like eight senators on the democratic side. Most of them got wiped out. They got 1% or less. Most of them got less. They decided to go home. “Let’s go back to California. Let’s go back to –” wherever they came from. “Go back to New York.” How about that? Our New York Senator, Gillibrand. “Let’s go back to New York.” After they get nothing. Then they take an oath that they will be fair, that they will be reasonable come all the different things. They are not fair. But here’s the beauty, we have four left. They are saying the most horrendous things about me. It’s okay, it’s politics. And then they are supposed to vote! On me! They are trying to replace me, and then they are supposed to be voting. So I think — I mean, I think it’s incredible. So, Mitch, I want to thank you very much. Incredible. We have some of your folks here, they are incredible people. They’ve been great from the beginning. Again, you are out of session, unfortunately. I only told these folks, “Let’s do this today.” We did a prayer breakfast this morning. I thought that was really good. In fact, it was so good, it wiped us out. By the time we finished, this will wipe that one outcome of those statements.

I had Nancy Pelosi sitting four seats away and I’m saying things that a lot of people wouldn’t have said, but I meant everything.

I meant every word of it. We have some of the folks that are going to be leaving right after this. They work hard, and they did work hard. Though Bill Cassidy, senator, stand up, Bill. What a guy.

Great man. When I need to know about health insurance and pre-existing conditions and individual mandates, I called Bill.

Or I call Barrasso. Those two guys, they know more than anybody. A man who just became a senator. He’s a little bit like me. We have a couple of them. Very successful guy in business, and he said, “What the hell? I’ll run for the senate,” from Indiana. And he ran. I saw him on television, destroying his opponent in a debate. I said, “This guy could win.” I got behind him, and Mike Braun, you have done some great job. Thank you very much.

Tough! A man who got James Comey to choke. And he was just talking in his regular voice. He’s the roughest man — she’s actually an unbelievable — and I appreciate the letter you sent me today. I just got it. He’s got this voice that scares people.

You know, people from Iowa can be very tough. We are doing very well in Iowa, but I tell you, Chuck Grassley. “You tell me, what did you say,” he wasn’t being rough, that’s just the way he talked.

That’s when — I think that’s when Comey announced he was leaking, lying and everything else. He choked! Because he never heard anybody talk like that. I wish you got angry, you could have gotten the whole ball game. He would have said, “I give up!” Chuck Grassley is an incredible guy.

And a man who — you know, he was running against a tough, smart campaigner. We learned how good she was, right? She was a great campaigner. In fact, by the end of the campaign, I thought she was more for me than you were, Josh.

I was worried. She was saying the greatest things about me. You know I’m talking about I went to a great place, Missouri. And I said, “Who do you have to beat her?” And they said, “Well, we have four people.” I said, “Let me see them.” Can you imagine can make I’m interviewing people for the United States senate, this is what I do. Where have I gone? But I love it. We get great people. The first when I met with Josh Hawley. After about 10 minutes and said to the people, “Don’t show me anybody else, this is the guy.” He was the attorney general, ditto phenomenal job in the state. Highly respected. And Claire Mccaskill. The theory was you couldn’t beat her. Great campaign-the art. Remember last campaign, she was always going be taken up. People say, “How did that happen chemicals go it didn’t happen with him. I’m putting this in the archives is 1 of the best ads I’ve ever made. She tried to convince people we are best friends, but Josh ended up winning by five or six points. You are unbelievable, you were tough, and you are something. One of the greatest supporters of the impeachment hoax with Josh Hawley. He was incensed, actually. He was incensed at what they were doing and what they were doing. I had some who said, “I wish you didn’t make a call,” and that’s okay. If they need that. It’s incorrect. It’s totally incorrect. And you have some who used religion as a crutch. They never used it before… An article written today, “Never heard him use it before.” But today, it’s one of those things. It’s a failed presidential candidate, so things can happen when you fail so badly running for president.

But Josh Hawley, I want to thank you. You were right from the beginning. Man, did I make a good choice. Thank you, Josh. Tremendous future. A man who is brilliant, and who actually was deceived, to an extent. Comes from a great state, Utah, where my poll numbers have gone through the roof. And one of the senators’ poll numbers — not this one — went down big.

You saw that, Mike? Mike Lee is a brilliant guy. He’s difficult.

Whenever — we do sign a lot of legislation, it’s big and it’s powerful, but it sort of — everybody has to approve it. I see 99 to one. 99 to one. I say, “Don’t tell me who’s the one.”

“Is it Mike?” “Yes.”

And he always has a good reason for it, too come by the way but he is, he’s incredible. Right at the beginning, he knew we were right, Mike. I appreciate it very much. Fantastic. Say hello to the people of Utah, and tell them I’m sorry about Mitt Romney. I’m sorry. Okay?

We can say that Mike Lee is by far the most popular senator from the state. But you’ve done a fantastic job, Mike. In many ways. In many ways. A young woman who I didn’t know at all, but she has been so supportive. And I’ve had great support from other people in that state. She has been so supportive, and she has been downright nasty and mean about the unfairness to the president. Kelly Loeffler, I appreciate it very much. Thank you.

She started very early on. We have — I don’t know if we have other senators here, but we’ve got a hell of a lot of congressmen. I will go over them quickly. They’ve also been — it helped when we won, 197 to nothing. That’s got to be a first, Kevin, right? Is that, like, a first? Republicans have this image. I say Democrats are lousy politicians because they have lousy policy. Open borders, sanctuary cities. They have horrible policy. Who the hell can — oh, the new policy is raise taxes. They want to raise taxes. All my life, I wasn’t in politics, but I would say if you are a politician you say you want to lower taxes. They want to raise taxes. They have open borders, sanctuary cities, Reeser and Brady’s taxes, get rid of everybody’s health care, 180 million people in the United States — and they are really happy. And we are going to give you health care the cost more money if the country could make in 30 years if it does really well. That’s one year. I always said, they are. They do two things. They are vicious and mean. Vicious. These people are vicious. Adam Schiff is a vicious, horrible person. Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person. And she wanted to impeach a long time ago. When she said, “I pray for the president, I prefer the president.” She doesn’t pray. She may pray, but pray for the opposite.

They don’t pray at all. They do vicious — they stick to give it prehistorically. I’m not talking about now. They stick together like glue. That’s how they impeached, because they had whatever the numbers — 220 people. So they don’t lose anybody. They will be able to impeach anybody. You could be George Washington, you could have just won the war, and they would say, “Let’s get him out of office.

“They stuck together and they are vicious as hell. And they will probably come back for more, but they may not, because the Republican party’s poll numbers, Mitch, have now gone up more than any time, I think, since 2004 or 2005. You know what happened then. But in normal times, decades, you would call it — that was an unusual time. It was for a very short period. The Republican party’s poll numbers — and Donald Trump’s poll numbers of the highest I’ve ever had.

It’s no way to get your poll numbers up. Because from my family’s standpoint, it’s been very unfair for my family. It’s been very unfair to the country. Think of it. A phone call. A very good phone call. I know bad phone calls. This is a phone call where Merritt don’t like many people

— I think Mike Pompeo was probably on the call. Many people were on the call. They even have “Apprenti come” bring up a favorite word of my current apprentice. They have apprenti on this call. There many people. In the case of Ukraine, he’s a new president, seems like a very nice person, by the way. His whole thing was corruption. He’s going to stop corruption. We have a treaty, a signed treaty that we will work together to root out corruption in Ukraine. I probably have a legal obligation, Mr. Attorney, to report corruption. They don’t even think a corrupt way son who made no money, that got thrown out of the military, that had no money at all, is working for $3 million upfront, $83,000 a month. And that’s only Ukraine.

Then goes to China, picks up $1.5 billion. Then goes to Romania, I hear, and many other countries. They think that’s okay. Because, if it is, Ivanka in the audience? Boy, my kids could make a fortune.

It’s corrupt. But it’s not even that, it’s just general corruption. The other thing is mentioned in the call. Something I’ve told Mike Pence, our great vice president. I would tell him all the time, and I told him when he went on the trip. Because he was over there. He never mentioned anything about this, when you hide your meeting. It’s a terrible thing. I told Mike, I said, “Mike, we are giving them money, and you are always torn about that because we have our country to build. We have our cities to build and our roads to fix. But we are giving the money. Tell me, why isn’t Germany paying money? Why isn’t Frantz? Why isn’t the United Kingdom paying money? What aren’t they paying money? Why are we paying money? Is that the correct statement to find out what the hell is going on.” I told that all my people come on B. Asked that question. Why isn’t Germany paying? Why is the United States always the sucker?” Because we are a bunch of suckers. But that’s turning around fast. But it makes it harder when stuff like this happens. Because you want to focus, and you want to focus perfectly. Think we could have done, if the same energy was put into infrastructure, prescription drug prices. Think of what we could have done. And I’m now talking both sides. Think of what we could have done if we had the same genus. Because it’s genius. I will say, it’s genius on the other side. Maybe even more so, because they took nothing and brought me to a final vote of impeachment.

That’s a very ugly word to me. It’s a very dark word, very ugly. They took nothing. They took that phone call that was a totally appropriate call — I call it a perfect call, because it was — and they brought me to the final stages of impeachment. But now we have that gorgeous word. I never thought a word would sound so good. It’s called, “Total acquittal.” Total acquittal.

So, I want to come if I could real fast , just introduce a few of the people. I have to start with Kevin. Man, did you do a job. Lucky you are there. It wouldn’t have worked out. If you don’t have the right people, I tell you, Kevin McCarthy has done an incredible job. He loves his job, he loves his country. I’ll tell you what, Mitch and Kevin, they love what they do. Mitch wouldn’t even tell you he liked it.

Mitch, do you like it? “I don’t know.”

He’s the greatest poker player, right? And Kevin would say, “I love it.” Right? And I will say, you are going to be Speake of the house because of this impeachment hoax. And I’m going to work hard on it.

I’m going to try to get out to those trump areas that we won by a lot. You know, in ’18, we didn’t win back. We just won two seats in North Carolina. Two wonderful seats in North Carolina that were not supposed to be won. But I went and I made speeches, and we had rallies, and we did a great job and we won. We took two seats, nobody writes about that.

If we had lost them they would have been the biggest stories of the year. We are going to go, we are going to do a job, and we are going to enact a lot of seats. People are very angry that Nancy Pelosi and all of these guys — Nadler, I’ve known and much of my life. He has fought me in New York for 25 years. I always beat him. I had to beat him another time, and I will probably have to beat him again. If they find I happened to walk across the street and maybe go against the light or something, “Let’s impeach him!”

So I’ll probably have to do it again, because these people have gone stone cold crazy. But I’ve beaten him all my life and I will beat him again if I have to.

But what they are doing is very unfair. Very unfair. So, Kevin McCarthy has been great. So, a few names, right? If you want, you can raise and I will say, “Great, love to have you, wonderful.” But we will do the best we can. I have Mike evident but my cabin is different, I appoint them. I didn’t see all of them helping so much. They were running there, various bureaucracies. My cabinet is great and they are all here, but today is the day to celebrate these great warriors. They are great warriors, they really fought hard with us. Kelly Armstrong, North Dakota. Kelly, thank you, great job.

Jim Banks of Indiana. Jim, thank you, great job.

Andy Biggs. Where is Andy? Boy, oh, boy, Andy.

There’s a guy. He’s tough. I hear we are doing well in Arizona, huh? Going good, yeah? I saw a poll that was very good. For me. I think Martha is going to do — we have some states that are going to be not easy, but Arizona has been great and we are stopping illegal aliens from coming in.

We are putting up walls. New Mexico, too, the state that’s never been in play for Republicans, is totally in play. Nevada is really looking good. We are doing well. We are going to have a great — there is more spirit. I will say this, there is more spirit now for the Republican Party, by far, than the Democrats. Mike pence just got back from a place, a beautiful place that Chuck Grassley knows well. Iowa. And he was talking about this fiasco, the Democrats — they can’t count some simple votes, and yet they want to take over your health care system. Think of that. We also had an election out there, we got 98% of the vote. Have two people running, you know. I guess to consider them nonpeople, but they are running. One of them was the governor. One was a congressman. They are running. We’ve got 98% of the vote, and everybody from the media was saying, “Who are those crowds over there?” They expected to be competitive for everybody’s running because they want to enact. And it was Trump. Right, Mark Meadows? It was Trump. This was the trump crowd. Actually, a lot of my guys went there. They went to Iowa, and a lot of friends went there. They say the spirit for the Republican party right now is stronger, I think, than it’s ever been in the history of our country.

I think it’s stronger than it’s ever been. And that includes honest Abe Lincoln. A lot of people forget, Abe Lincoln — I wish you were here, I give him one hell of an introduction.

But he was a Republican. Abe Lincoln, honest Abe. Bradley Byrne, Alabama. What a great place.

Thank you, Bradley. A man who has been an unbelievable friend of mine and spokesman, and somebody who I really like.

And I know, Kelly, you are going to end up liking him a lot. Something’s going to happen that’s very good, I don’t know. I haven’t figured out yet. But Doug Collins. Where is he?

You have been so great. Thank you very much. Thank you very much. Thank you. Really, an amazing job. A young man who is born with a great gene, because I know his father and how great a politician he was. He’s from Florida. Sometimes controversial, but actually he’s not controversial. He’s solid as a rock and a friend of mine, Matt Gaetz. Thank you, Matt.

Great job. All right. This guy. So, he is the NCAA wrestling champion when he was in college a couple years ago. That’s a big deal. That means in all of college, you are a champ. You the best. His record was ridiculous, nobody could beat him. I see it, every time I see it. When I first get to know him, Jim Jordan, when I first got to know Jim I said, “Huh, never wears a jacket. What the hell is going on?”

He’s obviously very proud of his body.

And they say where he works out with the congressmen, senators, they say when Jim works out, even though he’s not as young as he was, when he works out, the machine starts burning. It’s a different form of a workout event us, right, sonny? There he is, look at that guy. One day and looking, he looks tough. I’m looking at those years. And I say, “Those years have something going on there.” I said, “Did you ever wrestle?” “I did.” He doesn’t talk, but I checked. This guy was a champion top wrestler.

When I had the top — I had all of the teams. By the way, your super bowl champions are coming. I think next week, or soon. Very soon. Every one of them want to be here. The coach loves us. The coach is great. Andy Reid.

Every one of them want to be here. People love it. But we had all of the NCAA championship teams here. They had the golf, the basketball, they had every team here. And one of the teams was wrestling. The wrestling team. Was that Penn state? And Penn state won the title, they have a great team. I walked up with Jim, and it’s like I didn’t exist.

Those wrestlers, they grabbed him, they love Jim Jordan, and we love you, too. Because you are some warrior.

A woman who became — we have a couple of women that became stars. You two. I always like the name, Lesko.” I so that face, I had the cards, seven opponents. You have no idea how much the public appreciates how smart, how sharp you are. This, I can’t tell. They just said, “You know, she’s really good, she’s really talented.” I said, “Let’s go.” We worked with her, she won her race. Tough race. It’s no longer tough. What she does out there is incredible. Arizona loves her. But you are so incredible, representing — I don’t see me, representing our country and getting us out of this impeachment hoax. We did was incredible. So, Debbie, please stand up. Debbie Lesko.

A man who I became very friendly with. I don’t know why. You ever have it where — I’ll ask the media. Certain people call, you take the calls. Other people call, if they don’t have information, they won’t take anybody’s call. Both are people call, and this is a guy who — he’s just a very special guy. His wife, I actually like better than him, to be honest.

Because he doesn’t know that I know that he didn’t actually support me right from the beginning, but she did.

And on my worst day — right? On my worst day, my worst, I won’t tell you why it’s my worst day, she got a bus, got many of the buses, and women all over well, Mark was sort of semi-supporting another candidate. Which he ended up leaving very quickly. I don’t think he had a choice, because of your wife. So thank her. Mark Meadows is an extra ordinary guy. The only problem is I guess he’s announcing that she would only win by 40 points, but he is announcing that he is not running this time. You have somebody good to run? Is somebody going to win your district by at least 20 points, please? Okay. But he’s a tremendously talented man. Not just as a politician, as a human being is incredible. And during these horrible times

— the way he worked, and Jim, and all of you guys, the way they worked was so — it was like their life was at stake. So many. Ron DeSantis is another one. He worked so hard. He called me, he said, “Sir, I would like to run for governor.” I said, “Governor? I don’t want you to run. I like you –” “No, I want to run for governor.” I said, “Well, if I have to. How can I support you, you are at three.” He had no money. Somebody else had $22 million in cash. I said, “If it’s important, I’ll do it.” These and great warrior. By the way, he ran, I endorsed him, his numbers went through the roof. The men who he beat, who was expected to win back easily, called me after the race. He said, “You endorsed him and it was like a nuclear bomb went off. There was nothing I could do.” He never even spent his money, he saved it. But Ron DeSantis is another one. And now he’s the governor of Florida. By the way, he’s a great governor. He is a very popular governor. His numbers are in the 70s, and he’s done a great job. But, mark, I want to thank you very much.

Fantastic job, thank you very much. Mark Meadows.

And Mike Johnson of Louisiana. Where’s Mike? Central casting, what a job. You can represent me any time. You can represent me anytime. Thank you. What a job you’ve done. Thank you, Mike. And a man nobody’s ever heard of except the other side. He’s the other side’s worst nightmare. This guy goes down into dungeons and basements, he will find a document no matter what. He’s the most legitimate human being, he’s the hardest worker. He’s unbelievable. He took tremendous abuse. The media, and the other side, the bad ones, the leakers, the liars, the dirty cops they, they want to destroy him. They tried, but he wouldn’t let it happen. In a certain way, he was the first one. Wouldn’t you say? This was the first guide. Came out of nowhere. He’s saying, “These people are corrupt.” He is still saying it. He was unbelievable. Devin Nunes. Unbelievable.

That’s so true, Devin. He would come in and say — I didn’t even know them. I just heard there was this congressman who just kept going into a basement come into files. He knew something was wrong. You felt it, right? Now we know a lot more than we knew then, right? You never thought it was as bad as it is, and hopefully we are going to take care of things, because we can never, ever allow this to happen again.

Scott Perry of Pennsylvania. Scott, thank you. Thank you, Scott. Really great. I’m doing very well over there, by the way. Just so you — a man who is — central casting, if I’m going to pick Perry mason, I’m going to do a remake of “Perry mason.” Other than Bill Barr, I would pick the sky. But I would pick Barr first. John Ratcliffe. If we were doing a remake of “Perry mason,” the man I get — there is nobody in Hollywood like this. John Ratcliff.

Such a great lawyer. Incredible guy, incredible talent. Just a great lawyer. We appreciate it. He gets on that screen and everybody says, “I agree.” The other side folds up so fast, we’ll probably be using a lot of you in the next year. We’ve been fantastic, John. We appreciate it. Thank you very much. I meant it was braver than me and braver than all of us in this room. He got whacked. He got whacked, my Steve. Right? I went to the hospital with our great first lady that night. Right, honey? We saw a man who was not going to make it. He was not going to make it. The doctor — I told him, his wife, I said, “She loves you.” “Why did you say that?” Because she was devastated. A lot of wives wouldn’t give a damn.

I would say, “How is he doing?” ?” She couldn’t even talk, she was inconsolable. “Not good.” “I’m going home now.”

She was a total mess. She was really devastated. It really looked like he had a 20, 25% chance — I think you set a record for blood loss. And Steve Scalise, actually — honestly, I think you’re a better looking, more handsome now. You weren’t that good looking, you look good now

He looks better now, can you believe it? I don’t know what the hell that is.

Better now.

What a guy. And he was practicing for the baseball game against the Democrats, right? And this whack job started shooting. Hurt Roger. I don’t know if Roger is here. Heard a heard a number of people. Steve was the second baseman. He went down, and it was terrible. I mean, I saw the whole thing, and it was terrible. Fortunately, you had to cope brave policeman with you because of your high position in congress. You had to policeman and they were amazing. A man and woman. They came in, they didn’t have rifles. They were supposedly against a pretty good sharpshooter with rifles, good equipment. All they had was a gun. They started coming in from the outfield, shooting. They are so far away, that a handgun is not preferred. This guy has a rifle, he’s hitting people, and he was going to move up, and there was no out. If he had been able to move up, there was no way to get out. The entrance was a single entrance way on the other side where he was. So everyone went into the dugout, ran into the dugout. But Steve was really hit badly in the stomach. With a bullet that rips you apart. It was supposed to do that, it rips you apart. These two people came, charging forward. Boom, boom, boom. And one of them — you know who? One of them, him, got the shooter. Hit him. And then got him.

Killed him. From long distance. It was amazing. If you didn’t have those two people, you could imagine. Right? You could imagine what would happen. Melania and I went to the hospital that night, and he was in such bad shape. He’s been working ever since, so hard. Six months ago, they had a baseball game at the national — I’m watching. It’s on television. It’s just. It’s a game, you want to win it. Right? Steve is second base. The poor guy can’t even walk. Do you remember Bobby Richardson for the New York Yankees? He was known for range, Louis. He had the greatest range. If the ball at the shortstop, Bobby Richardson is the second baseman. Bobby Richardson would feel the ball. If it went to first base, he was sure which first base and paint had unbelievable range. This was not Steve Scalise.

Steve had no range.

1 foot, and he has to fall down. Right? He was trying to get better. I don’t know who the hell put you on the field.

And this is a true story. The game starts, and the first pitch, Steve is standing there at second base and the guy is really in bad shape. And I said, “This is terrible.” A ground ball, shot, is hit to second. And Steve, I didn’t have time to think through much, but I said, “This is not good. That ball is going toward him.” And this guy stopped that ball, caught the ball. He’s now laying down. He throws the ball to first base, he gets them out. I said — it’s the most incredible thing. I’ve never seen it. I’ve never seen anything like it.

Right? And he gets him out, and they then took him out of the game. Which was a very wise thing.

Because you could ever do that again in a million years.

But you aren’t going to let that all go through — I don’t care if it was hit by the greatest of all time. Right? That ball is not going through you, because you are a warrior. Steve is fantastic. You are fantastic. You and Liz, Kevin, what a group. I mean, what a group. I got lucky. Because you need the right people. I fired the wrong people, it may be a different story. Maybe we’d be celebrating something else. But I really want to thank you. Steve Scalise. And Elise, you — I just read this story. Most incredible, what’s going on with you, Elise. I even said — I was up campaigning, helping. I thought, “She looks good, she looks like good talent.” But I didn’t realize, when she opens that mouth, you were killing them, Elise! You were killing them!

Elise, and there’s a big story in “The New York Post.” I love “The New York Post.” They treat me well. There aren’t many of you do, but today they are treating you well. I even had a great headline. “New York Times,” “Washington post.” I had all these great headlines. Maybe we should just send it right there. We had a great story yesterday in the post that people from all over the country are contributing to her campaign. They were so enthralled with the way you handled yourself. What you said, the way you said it. I’ll always be your friend. It’s really an amazing story. What a great future you have. What a great future, thank you.

The first lady agrees, by the way. The first lady agrees. And Michael turner, you can represent me any time. Where is Michael? Where is he? You can represent me. How good were you?

There’s another “Perry mason” type, I think.

What do you think, John? Michael, you are fantastic, and we appreciate it. Brad Wenstrup. Where is Brad?

Brad. Great, great job. It’s a big day. All the lawyers stayed behind. Lee Zeldin, how good are you?

How good are you? Man. And Louis, your name — they didn’t give me your name. If I didn’t announce Louie — whoever the hill made this list, I’ve got to get rid of them. If I wouldn’t have announced Louie, it might have been the end of the presidency. Louie, you have been so great. So tough and so smart. I got it. But Louie has been amazing. He’s a tough guy, a smart guy. He’s streetwise like crazy. We love Texas. We are with you all the way, Louie. We are with you all the way. Thank you very much.

So that’s the story. We have a great group of warriors, and there are others left. I guess, probably — I’m sure I didn’t mention a few. I apologize if that’s the case. How is CPAC doing, good? Stand up, will you? He’s the one who said, “You should run.”

Right? Matt said — it’s like five years ago, six years ago. I made a speech, and then they do some kind of a straw poll. Who made the best speech? And he said I made the best speech, out of all these professionals — I hate to say this, with all these professional politicians, they voted that by far the best speech was trump. He calls me and said, “We should run for politics.” I said, what do I know about politics,” we learned quickly at our country has ever done better than it’s doing right now.

But thank you, Matt.

So that’s the story. Even treated very unfairly. Fortunately we have great men and women that came to our defense. If we didn’t, this would have been a horrific incident for our country. When you have Lisa and Peter, the lovers, the FBI lovers.

I want to believe the path you threw out for deputy director Andrew McCabe. That’s the office. There’s no way he gets elected, meaning me. “There’s no way he gets elected.” This is Peter to Lisa. He’s probably trying to impress her, for obvious reasons.

“There’s no way he gets elected. But I’m afraid we can’t take the risk.” Think of this. In other words, if I get elected, they can’t — they, two lowlifes, they can’t take the risk. Think of it. That’s where it came up. The greatest word of all, “Insurance policy.” But he says, “I’m afraid we can’t take the risk. She may lose.” “It’s like an insurance policy, in the unlikely event you die before your 40. In other words, if I won, they were going to do exactly what they did to us. They were going to try and overthrow the government of the United States. A duly elected president. If I didn’t fire James Comey, we would have never found this stuff. Because when I fired that sleazebag, all hell broke out. They were ratting on each other, they were running for the hills. Let’s see what happens. Let’s see what happens. It’s in the hands of some very talented people. We are going to have to see what happens.

But I can tell you, in my opinion, these are the crooked-est, most dishonest, dirtiest people, I’ve seen. They said — this is Strzok — “God, who were he should win, 100 million to one.” This is about me. This is an agent from the FBI. Look how they let her off. 33,000 emails, deleted. Nothing happens to her. Nothing happens. It’s unbelievable. But think of that read “God, Hillary should win.” These guys are investigating Hillary. They go to work for Mueller, the two of them. And when Mueller found out that everybody knew that they were 100% this way, he let them go. But they deleted all of their emails and text messages. So when we got the phone, they were all deleted. Could you imagine the treasure trove? Of the illegally deleted so they left, Bob Mueller, he had to look but he didn’t have a lot of other things. Always had to look. Mr. G-man. I love the FBI and the FBI loves me, 100%. It was the top scum, and the FBI people don’t like the top scum. So think of that, 100 million, he’s investigating me. And then, “God, trump is a loathsome human being, isn’t he?” These are the people looking at me. I’m really not a bad person. And Page said , “Yes, he’s awful.” How would you like to have that? This is the good stuff. This stuff, there’s stuff 100 times worse than that. These are all dirty people. And now I just heard that they are suing the United States of America. Because they were interfered with.

Just not going to let it happen “We cannot let this happen to our country.

So, I’m going to leave now. I don’t know if any of you have anything to say. You could say it, but this is sort of a day of celebration, because we went through hell. I’m sure that Pelosi and Crying Chuck — the only time I ever saw him cry was when it was appropriate. I’ve known them for a long time. Crying Chuck. I’m sure they will try and cook up other things that go through the state of New York. Other places. They will do whatever they can. Instead of wanting to heal our country and fix our country, all they want to do, in my opinion, it’s almost like they want to destroy our country. We can’t let it happen. Jim Jordan, did you want to say something cannot go ahead. Mark Meadows? Huh? My?

[Mark Meadows comment: I just want to say that this reflection today is a small reflection of the kind of support you have all across the country.]

This was a highly partisan situation. Pelosi said — I copied it down exactly. Before the impeachment. She wanted to impeach from day one, by the way. Don’t let it fool you. “No, impeachment is a very serious thing.” I said, “She wants to impeach, watch.” “The impeachment is so divisive to the country that unless there is something so compelling and so overwhelming and bipartisan.” Bipartisan? It was 170 to nothing. The one failed presidential candidate, and I call that half of the vote because he actually voted for us on the other one.

But we had one failed presidential candidate. That’s the only half of what we lost. So, we had almost 53 to nothing. We had 197 to nothing. And the only one that voted against was a guy that can’t stand the fact that he ran one of the worst campaigns in the history of the presidency. But she said, “It has to be something so compelling and so overwhelming and bipartisan.” “I don’t think we should go down that path, because it divides the country.” She was right about that. “And it’s just not worth it.” That was Nancy Pelosi a year ago. I think it’s a shame. I think it’s a shame. As I said, if we can put this genius to work on roads and highways and bridges and all of the things we can do, prescription drugs. You know, we had — secretary Azar is here, and I want to thank you for this — we had the first time in 51 years where drug prices actually came down last year. First time in 51 years. We can do working with both parties in congress would be unbelievable. It would be unbelievable. All we can do. I know Chuck Grassley is working very hard on it, and Mitch is working very hard on it. We can do is incredible. What we can do just generally. We’ve done so much without it. We rebuilt our military, we’ve cut regulations at a level that nobody thought possible. We will always protect our second amendment, we all know that. I just want to tell you that it’s an honor to be with you all.

I want to apologize to my family for having them have to go through a phony, rotten deal by some very evil and sick people. And Ivanka is here, my sons, my whole family. And that includes Barron. He’s up there, he’s a young boy. Stand up, honey. Ivanka, thank you, honey.

I just want to thank my family for sticking through it. This was not part of the deal. I was going to run for president, and if I won, I was going to do a great job. I didn’t know I was going to run and then when I got in I was going to have to run again and again and again. Every week, I had to run again. That wasn’t the deal, but they stuck with me. I’m so glad I did it, because we are making progress and doing things for our great people that everybody said couldn’t be done. Our country is thriving, our country is just respected again. And it’s an honor to be with the people in this room. Thank you very much, everybody. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7974859/Trump-goes-leakers-liars-acquitted.html

Story 3: DNC Chair Demands Iowa Recheck The Vote Count and Bernie Sanders Won By More Than 8,000 — Videos

DNC chair calls for Iowa to recanvass caucus vote, says ‘enough is enough’

The results of Monday’s Iowa caucuses were delayed after there were problems with a smartphone app.
Image: Tom Perez

Tom Perez, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, speaks on stage ahead of the fourth Democratic primary debate at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, on Oct. 15, 2019. Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images file.Saul Loeb / AFP via Getty Images file

By Phil Helsel

Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez is calling on Iowa Democratic officials to immediately recanvass Monday’s caucus vote after days of uncertainty and growing concerns about “inconsistencies” found in the data.

“Enough is enough,” Perez said in a tweet. “In light of the problems that have emerged in the implementation of the delegate selection plan and in order to assure public confidence in the results, I am calling on the Iowa Democratic Party to immediately begin a recanvass.”

A recanvass is essentially a double-checking of the vote. Iowa officials would have to hand -audit the caucus worksheets and reporting forms to ensure that they were correctly calculated and reported.

In a statement released later Thursday, Iowa Democratic Party Chair Troy Price did not address the request from Perez and instead said that the party would take on a recanvass if any of the presidential campaigns request it.

“We owe it to the thousands of Iowa Democratic volunteers and caucusgoers to remain focused on collecting and reviewing incoming results,” Price said, noting that officials “identified inconsistencies in the data and used our redundant paper records to promptly correct those errors. This is an ongoing process in close coordination with precinct chairs, and we are working diligently to report the final 54 precincts to get as close to final reporting as possible.”

As of Thursday morning, former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg was clinging to the narrowest of leads in Iowa over Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., with 97 percent of the caucus vote released.

Buttigieg was at 26.2 percent and Sanders had 26 percent, with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., running behind the pair of leaders at 18.2 percent. Former Vice President Joe Biden had 15.8 percent, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., at 12.2 percent and other candidates were in low single digits.

Sanders told reporters Thursday that he is not concerned about the DNC’s call for a recanvassing.

“We won an 8-person election by some 6,000 votes,” Sanders said. “That is not going to change.”

Klobuchar told NBC News on Thursday that she supported the process.

“You have to make sure that every single vote was counted,” she said. “Sometimes in caucuses things can be close.”

Iowa Democratic caucus results are not actual votes cast. The percentages, based on partial returns of the estimated number of state convention delegates won by each candidate through the caucus process, are known as state delegate equivalents, or SDEs.

The totals were put out by the Iowa Democratic Party over the past two days after chaos over the caucuses Monday night. More data may be released Thursday.

NBC News has not called a winner in the first-in-the-nation contest.

In addition to the estimates of convention delegates, the Iowa Democratic Party also released two other numbers:

In voters’ initial candidate preference at the caucuses, Sanders had 24.7 percent, or 42,672 votes, and Buttigieg took 21.3 percent, or 36,718 votes.

In voters’ reallocated preference, Sanders had 26.5 percent, or 44,753 votes, and Buttigieg had 25 percent, or 42,235 votes. The reallocated preference is the raw tally taken after the caucus process known as realignment. If a caucusgoer’s initial candidate preference did not receive enough support to meet the precinct location’s viability threshold (15 percent in most caucus locations), the caucusgoer is allowed to shift his or her support — or realign — to another candidate who did attain viability.

Results from the contest were delayed by what organizers said was a problem with a smartphone app. Final tallies had been expected that evening, but instead, partial results were released Tuesday and the remainder Wednesday.

Nevada’s Democratic Party, which had planned to use the app for its Feb. 22 caucus, said a day after the fiasco in Iowa that it would not use the app after all. The state’s Democratic Party said Tuesday that it had previously developed backup plans for its reporting systems and was in the process of “evaluating the best path forward.”

Cybersecurity experts who examined a public version of the smartphone app told NBC News it contained technical and design flaws and appeared to have been rushed into use.

Caucusgoers gathered Monday at nearly 1,700 sites across Iowa to tally support for their preferred candidates. As the delay stretched on into Tuesday, candidates came out to give speeches that sounded a lot like declarations of victory despite no numbers to support or refute them.

The state has 41 pledged delegates up for grabs, and the high-stakes contest traditionally plays a major role in determining who is a legitimate contender in the race.

Even with only a little more than 90 percent reporting in Iowa, Buttigieg on Wednesday night continued to tout the caucus as a win, telling a New York fundraiser that “we remain in the lead.”

“There is just no question that Monday in Iowa represents an astonishing victory for our vision, for our candidacy and for this country,” the former South Bend, Indiana, mayor said according to a pool report.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2020-election/buttigieg-sanders-neck-neck-iowa-nearly-all-votes-reported-n1131261

Story 4: Americans Satifaction With Life Highest in Forty Years and With Economy Highest in 20 Years — Gallup Poll — Videos

New High of 90% of Americans Satisfied With Personal Life

New High of 90% of Americans Satisfied With Personal Life

STORY HIGHLIGHTS

  • Americans’ satisfaction with personal life highest in four-decade trend
  • Two in three Americans say they are very satisfied, also a new high
  • High-income households, Republicans, married adults the most satisfied

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Nine in 10 Americans are satisfied with the way things are going in their personal life, a new high in Gallup’s four-decade trend. The latest figure bests the previous high of 88% recorded in 2003.

Line graph. Americans’ satisfaction with their personal lives, 1979-2020.

These results are from Gallup’s Mood of the Nation poll, conducted Jan. 2-15, which also recorded a 20-year high in Americans’ confidence in the U.S. economy. The percentage of Americans who report being satisfied with their personal life is similar to the 86% who said in December that they were very or fairly happy — though the happiness figure, while high, is on the low end of what Gallup has measured historically for that question.

Despite some variation, solid majorities of Americans have reported being satisfied with their personal life over the past few decades, with an average of 83% satisfied since 1979. The historical low of 73% was recorded in July 1979, as the effects of that year’s oil crisis took a toll on U.S. motorists. During that poll’s fielding dates, then-President Jimmy Carter delivered his “malaise speech,” which was interpreted by some as placing blame on Americans themselves for the rough economic spot the country was in.

2019 survey on 10 aspects of Americans’ lives found that they are most satisfied with their family life, their education and the way they spend their leisure time — and least satisfied with the amount of leisure time they have, their household income and their job.

Two in Three ‘Very’ Satisfied With Direction of Personal Life

Gallup has asked a follow-up question since 2001 to measure the extent to which Americans are satisfied or dissatisfied with their personal life. The 65% of U.S. adults who are currently “very satisfied” marks a new high in the two-decade trend.

The more nuanced satisfaction ratings reveal that the relatively small four-percentage-point drop in personal satisfaction from 2007 to 2008 — as the global economic crisis unfolded — obscured greater movement (12 points) in the percentage “very” versus “somewhat” satisfied.

Line graph. Americans’ level of satisfaction with their personal life, 2001-2020.

Income, Political Party, Marital Status the Biggest Factors in Satisfaction

Household income, political party affiliation and marital status are associated with the largest subgroup differences in Americans’ satisfaction with their personal life.

Roughly 95% of Americans who live in high-income households, who identify as Republicans and who are married say they are satisfied with their personal life — and about three in four among each of these groups are very satisfied.

Meanwhile, adults in low-income households are the least likely to say they are satisfied with their life, followed by Democrats and unmarried adults. Among each of these groups, small majorities report being very satisfied. Low-income Americans hold the distinction of having the lowest percentage very satisfied.

Smaller differences in personal satisfaction are seen by race and gender. Whites are a bit more likely than nonwhites to say they are satisfied (92% vs. 86%, respectively) or very satisfied (67% vs. 59%) with their personal life. And men report slightly higher levels of satisfaction than do women.

U.S. Satisfaction With Personal Life, by Subgroup
Ranked by % Satisfied
Satisfied Very satisfied
% %
$100,000+ 96 76
Republicans 93 80
Married 93 74
College graduate only 93 71
Men 92 67
Postgraduate 92 66
Age 18-34 92 62
$40,000-<$100,000 92 66
Whites 92 67
Age 55+ 90 67
Have children under 18 90 68
Have no children under 18 89 64
Some college 89 63
Independents 89 60
Age 35-54 87 63
High school or less 87 62
Women 87 63
Nonwhites 86 59
Unmarried 86 56
Democrats 86 56
<$40,000 80 54
GALLUP, JAN. 2-15, 2020

Bottom Line

It’s likely no coincidence that Americans’ heightened satisfaction with their personal life comes as confidence in the U.S. economy and their personal finances are also at long-term or record highs. That two in three Americans are very satisfied is reflective of this upbeat moment in time, and whether these sentiments carry through the coming decade will be something to watch.

The vast majority of Americans in all major demographic and political subgroups are content with the way their lives are going, but the additional question on how satisfied they are provides more insight. Some groups — wealthier households, Republicans, married people — report especially high levels of satisfaction, while lower-income Americans, Democrats and those who are unmarried report more tepid satisfaction.

View complete question responses and trends.

https://news.gallup.com/poll/284285/new-high-americans-satisfied-personal-life.aspx

 

 

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

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

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

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

UPDATED: September 18, 2019

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In other developments…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Quds-1 missile 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The State Department did not immediately acknowledge what was discussed.

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

Saudi Oil Attack Is the Big One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Armed Drones Are a Growing Threat From Rebels in Yemen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Country comparison Iran vs Saudi Arabia

Gouvernement
Annual GDP [+] 2018 452,275M.$ chart 782,483M.$ 2018 Annual GDP [+]
GDP per capita [+] 2018 5,529$ chart 23,219$ 2018 GDP per capita [+]
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Remittance sent (M.$) [+] 2017 296.0 chart 46,724.6 2017 Remittance sent (M.$) [+]
Crude death rate [+] 2017 4.49‰ chart 3.58‰ 2017 Crude death rate [+]
Fertility Rate [+] 2017 1.64 chart 2.49 2017 Fertility Rate [+]
Rate Homicides per 100.000 [+] 2015 4.12 chart 1.50 2015 Rate Homicides per 100.000 [+]
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1960 21,906,914 4,086,539
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1966 25,624,373 5,015,357
1967 26,317,783 5,195,135
1968 27,032,571 5,387,828
1969 27,764,924 5,599,904
1970 28,513,866 5,836,389
1971 29,281,591 6,100,626
1972 30,075,297 6,392,970
1973 30,905,707 6,711,923
1974 31,786,471 7,054,532
1975 32,729,772 7,419,493
1976 33,733,961 7,802,926
1977 34,803,045 8,207,697
1978 35,960,805 8,646,845
1979 37,237,137 9,137,927
1980 39,291,000 9,320,000
1981 40,826,000 9,786,000
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Saudi Arabia

 

 

 

 

 

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

See the source image

Trump Urgest Kavanaugh To Sue New York Times For Libel

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

Trump calls for NY Times staff to resign over Kavanaugh story

Sen. Tillis on New York Times Kavanaugh report

New York Times faces intense scrutiny over Kavanaugh article

Tucker: New York Times revives attacks on Kavanaugh

Ingraham: Democrats’ smash and smear campaign

Bongino blasts NYT’s ‘disgraceful’ reporting on Kavanaugh

Ben Shapiro blasts The New York Times’ reporting on Kavanaugh

Gowdy compares impeaching Kavanaugh to ‘political death penalty’

Gutfeld on the latest New York Times scandal

Trump demands DOJ ‘rescue’ Kavanaugh as fresh allegations emerge

Napolitano on new questions surrounding Kavanaugh accuser’s motivation

New video raises questions about Kavanaugh accuser’s testimony

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

‘Squad’ member to introduce Kavanaugh impeachment resolution

Why the Times bungled so badly in its latest Kavanaugh smear

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Ongoing Smear Campaign against Brett Kavanaugh

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

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

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

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

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

Trump Urges Kavanaugh To Sue New York Times For Libel

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

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

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

2020 Dems Assail Kavanaugh Despite NYT Story Correction

By Susan Crabtree – RCP Staff

September 17, 2019

2020 Dems Assail Kavanaugh Despite NYT Story Correction

AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

(Getty Images/Win McNamee)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Pronk Pops Show 1294, July 23, 2019, Story 1: Spending Beyond The Means of The American People and Burdening Future Generations — Shame on Democrat and Republican Politicians For Out-of Control Government Spending or Spending Addiction Disorder (SAD) — They Have No Shame —  Betrayal of American People By Their Elected Representatives — Two Party Tyranny — Tea Party 2.0 Time To Stand-up A New Political Party — American Independence Party — to Challenge Both Democrats and Republicans — Send Them All Home — To Save The American Constitutional Representative Republic From Bankruptcy, Default, Socialism, and Budget Busting  Warfare and Welfare Statists — President Trump Either Vetoes This Bill or Faces The Dump The Two Party Tyranny Movement — Videos — Story 2: United States and Israel Joint Strike Targeting Iran’s Nuclear and Missile Weapon System Programs Deep Underground in Mountains will Require Low Yield Nuclear Weapons To Be Successful — Waiting For Trump To Start World War 3 To Stop Nuclear Proliferation in The Middle East and Far East — Videos

Posted on July 24, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Applications, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, China, Coal, Communications, Computers, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Disasters, Diseases, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Energy, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom of Speech, Genocide, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Great Britain, Hardware, Hate Speech, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Liquid Natural Gas (LNG), Media, Medicare, Military Spending, Monetary Policy, National Security Agency, Natural Gas, North Korea, Nuclear, Nuclear, Nuclear Weapons, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Progressives, Public Relations, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Senate, Servers, Social Security, Spying, Success, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP_, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, United Kingdom, United States of America, Videos, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1294 July 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1293 July 22, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1292 July 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1291 July 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1290 July 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1289 July 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1288 July 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1287 July 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1286 July 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1285 July 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1284 July 2, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1283 July 1, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1282 June 27, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1281 June 26, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1280 June 25, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1279 June 24, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1278 June 20, 2019 

Pronk Pops Show 1277 June 19, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1276 June 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1275 June 17, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1274 June 13, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1259 May 16, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1256 May 13, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1250 May 3, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1247 April 30, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1242 April 23, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1241 April 18, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1240 April 16, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1239 April 15, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1238 April 11, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1237 April 10, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1236 April 9, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1235 April 8, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1234 April 5, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1233 April 4, 2019

Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

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Story 1: Spending Beyond The Means of The American People and Burdening Future Generations — Shame on Democrat and Republican Politicians For Out-of Control Government Spending or Spending Addiction Disorder (SAD) — They Have No Shame —  Betrayal of American People By Their Elected Representatives — Two Party Tyranny — Tea Party 2.0 Time To Stand-up A New Political Party — American Independence Party — to Challenge Both Democrats and Republicans — Send Them All Home — To Save The American Constitutional Representative Republic From Bankruptcy, Default, Socialism, and Budget Busting  Warfare and Welfare Statists — President Trump Either Vetoes This Bill or Faces The Dump The Two Party Tyranny Movement — Videos — 

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Big Spender

Hey Big Spender

The minute you walked in the joint,
I could see you were a man of distinction,
A real big spender,
Good looking, so refined.
Say, wouldn’t you like to know
What’s going on in my mind?
So, let me get right to the point,
I don’t pop my cork for every guy I see.
Hey, big spender, spend,
A little time with, me, me, me!
Do you wanna have fun?
How’s about a few laughs?
I can show you a, good time,
Do you wanna have fun, fun, fun?
How’s about a few laughs
Laughs laughs
(I can show you a good time)
(Good time)
(Good time)
(Good time)
What did you say you are?
How’s about a ,
I could give you some,
Are you ready for,
How would you like a,
Let me show you a, (good time)
Hey, big spender,
Hey, big spender,
The minute you walked in the joint,
I could see you were a man of distinction,
A real big spender.
Good looking, so refined.
Say wouldn’t you like to know
What’s going on in my mind?
So, let me get right to the point,
I don’t pop my cork for every guy I see.
Hey, big spender,
Hey, big spender!
Hey, big spender!
Spend a little time with me!
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Fields Coleman
Hey Big Spender lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing LLC

 

Fiscal Conservatism Dead: Trump’s Deal with Democrats Unleashes Spending, Uncaps Debt

David Stockman And Peter Schiff Address Trump – Mr. President, if you watch this-Stop

GOP repeals the entire legacy of the Tea Party in one fell swoop

· July 23, 2019
    Font Size A A A

Franklin with debt

DNY59 | Getty Images

All Republicans had to do when they won the election in 2016 was to hold the line on the budget bill they helped pass in 2011 with control of just one branch of government. Instead, first with control of all three branches and now with control of two of the three, they are about to undo the one spending success of the past decade, and with it, pre-empt any leverage they have to pressure Democrats on a single issue.

Why is it that not a single mile of new fencing has been constructed for Trump’s entire term? Why is it that we’ve spent billions taking 21,000 sick illegal aliens to the hospital, chewing up 250,000 man-hours of Border Patrol at hospitals and away from patrolling, yet not a penny more was spent on Border Patrol or the military holding the line against the cartel smuggling?

Look no further than the budget deals Trump signed over and over again, which collectively increased discretionary spending by 16 percent but not a dime for new border walls or deportations. He gave away his leverage for free. Now, with Trump agreeing to the deal Senate Republicans and his treasury secretary just forged, the total spending binge will rise to 20 percent above fiscal year 2017 levels and will still not include a dime for the border.

Here are the toplines of the deal:

  • The debt ceiling will once again be suspended until July 31, 2021, with zero reforms or spending cuts. We will likely accrue over $2 trillion in additional debt over that time. And that is if Congress holds the line one any new “supplemental” or “emergency” spending over the next two years, which is next to impossible.
  • By canceling the budget caps for the final two years of the Budget Control Act (FY 2020 and FY 2021), Trump will seal our fiscal ruin. All they had to do was simply pass a clean continuing resolution, and the automatic spending cuts would kick back in. Now that leverage is gone.
  • The total cost of erasing the spending cuts plus adding new spending will be $321 billion over two years.
  • What Republicans accomplished with one branch of government was erased when their power grew. After winning back control of the Senate, noted fiscal “conservative” Paul Ryan forged a deal to bust the caps by a total of $80 billion in FY 2016 and FY 2017. When Republicans won the White House, they agreed to another budget-busting bill of $296 billion for FY 2018 and FY 2019. Now they will add another $320 billion. In other words, by simply coasting with the status quo baseline, Republicans could have pocketed nearly $700 billion in less spending, yet they chose to use their power to spend everything Democrats wanted.
  • Making this deal the new baseline for the next two years will lead to nearly $2 trillion in more spending over 10 years.
  • Crafters of the deal are claiming that there are $77.4 billion in spending offsets, but the majority of it is scandalous. It’s from what’s called CHIMPs. No, it’s not chimpanzee-style math, but it as may as well be so. Changes IMandatory Programs means that they just write a line in the bill saying, “In 10 years from now we will spend less on entitlement programs, and that will free up immediate increases for spending on discretionary programs.” They’ve been doing this for decades, and of course the cuts never happen. Imagine if you had a credit card limit and you got to say, “Hey, in 10 years I will find some funding to pay for the extra $100,000 I want to spend today, so here it is, fully offset.” Real monkey business.
  • Consider that revenue is now $1.5 trillion higher than in 2009-2010 – during the Great Recession – yet the emerging deficits will rival those of the Obama stimulus era.

Republicans and even the Trump administration will once again hide behind military spending as excuse for this deal. But the entire point of the 2018 deal was to secure that spending. We already paid the price. Why does military spending have to be increased yet again, especially when we won’t even properly counter the Mexican cartels or Iran?

Even if Trump were inclined to agree with this madness, at least make the Senate work through the August recess on sovereignty and border security issues and build the case for a better budget deal in September. Why give away all your leverage at once on both the debt ceiling and spending caps?


 

There’s only one reason why Congress is doing this so quickly and rushing it before the August recess. They know the president is influenced by his conservative base and will reject this plan if it’s allowed to be exposed to the sunlight of the August townhalls held by members of Congress. Where is the outrage from media members who claim the mantle of conservatism? At the precise moment when their voice needs to be heard, they remain silent.

When spending and illegal immigration numbers were not nearly as bad as they are today, Trump was very clear about what should be done with debt ceiling negotiations:

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

The Republicans must use the debt ceiling as leverage to make a great deal!

400 people are talking about this

Yet almost seven years later and $6 trillion deeper into the abyss of debt, Trump as president is now agreeing to a blank check, which will in turn preclude any leverage to deal with illegal immigration, which is about three times as large as it was at the time of that tweet.

 

 

White House, congressional leaders work to sell two-year budget deal


Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi holds a news conference on Capitol Hill on Wednesday. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

July 23 at 2:20 PM

White House officials and congressional leaders defended a controversial budget deal on Tuesday, hoping to assuage concerns from conservatives and liberals ahead of a crucial House vote this week.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin met with Senate Republicans at a lunch on Capitol Hill, conveying that President Trump fully supported the deal and would sign it into law. Republicans felt burned by Trump last year after they voted on a budget deal they thought he supported, only to have the White House withdraw its backing at the last minute.

“The four (congressional) leaders and the president are fully on board with this,” Mnuchin told reporters as he left the meeting.

Still, the effort to whip up political support showed signs of strain.

A number of conservative Senate Republicans announced their opposition to the two-year, $320 billion deal, complaining it adds to the ballooning deficit while doing nothing to constrain spending. Mnuchin defended the agreement, saying it was crucial to increase military spending and suspend the debt ceiling through July 2021, lifting the prospect of a full-blown financial crisis later this year.

But Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said he’d told Mnuchin the deal should have included changes to take the threat of future government shutdowns off the table.

“If we don’t get a structural reform in exchange for an increase the debt ceiling, I don’t see how I can support this thing,” Johnson said.

Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) said he declared his opposition to the deal during the lunch with Mnuchin. And while some senators said Mnuchin had effectively conveyed the stakes for the Pentagon budget and looming debt crisis absent a deal, others left the lunch with the treasury secretary unpersuaded.

Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.) said Mnuchin’s message to senators amounted to, “’Yippee yippee yay, I made a deal.’”

“I didn’t learn anything. … It was more of a rah, rah session,” Kennedy said, adding he was undecided how he’d vote. “I think it says about the United States Congress, both sides, that we really don’t have a commitment to getting control of the credit card.”

On the Democratic side, some liberals including Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) expressed consternation about a side agreement struck by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to keep controversial policy provisions off spending bills. This would include agreeing not to limit Trump’s ability to transfer money to build his border wall. The practical implication of the agreement seems limited, since any such changes would require bipartisan support anyway, but White House officials were touting it as an important win.

Despite the complaints from rank-and-file lawmakers of both parties, White House officials and Democratic and Republican leaders all argued that the deal was the best they could get in divided government, and blamed their political opponents if it wasn’t any better.

“I make no apologies for this two-year caps deal,” said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “I think we’ve done the best we can with this divided government.”

Sen. Richard J. Durbin (Ill.), the No. 2 Senate Democrat and vote-counter, said the deal was better than any of the alternatives.

“The notion of shutting down the government or defaulting on the America debt — those are unacceptable,” Durbin said.

Exiting the GOP lunch, Mnuchin was asked how he would defend the deal against its GOP critics. “Well we needed a debt ceiling increase, that was incredibly important,” Mnuchin replied. “And again we couldn’t get a deal without getting bipartisan support, so the Democrats, they compromised on a lot of things along the way, and we had to make certain compromises.”

The budget deal, announced Monday, would suspend the debt ceiling through July 2021 and raise the budget for the military and many other programs for two years. Lawmakers will still need to approve individual spending bills, but the agreement is expected to make it much less likely that there will be a government shutdown when existing agency budgets run out Oct. 1. But the budget also appears to lock in a large gap between tax revenue and government spending, which could breach $1 trillion this year and continue in perpetuity if changes aren’t made.

The government must borrow money to finance that gap and pay interest on the growing debt.

Lawmakers were rushing to cut the deal because Mnuchin had warned the Treasury could run out of money by early September to pay all of the government’s bills if the debt ceiling wasn’t raised by then. Congress is set to go on a lengthy August recess soon, leaving legislators little time to maneuver.

The House is expected to vote on the deal this week, with the Senate voting next week.

Pelosi released a letter to House Democrats touting what she described as wins in the deal, including extending the debt limit, obtaining increased domestic nondefense spending, avoiding onerous budget caps known as “sequestration,” and staving off the administration’s demands for spending cuts to accompany the budget increases.

But reaction from lawmakers in the House made clear the speaker will have to navigate opposition from liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans to pass the deal with the votes of more moderate-leaning lawmakers in both parties.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) complained about a double standard that prioritized tax cuts and spending that Republicans favored but refused to extend money for things she advocates for, like college education.

And Rep. Mark Walker (R-N.C.) posted a video on Twitter of the comic book figure the “Joker” standing in front of an inferno, and labeled it “Budget deal.”

Acting White House budget director Russ Vought, who had fought largely unsuccessfully to secure large spending cuts as part of the agreement, acknowledged the GOP frustration and promised to push for spending reductions in the future.

“Look, I love the concern of the conservatives who are bringing attention to the problems that we have with fiscal responsibility in this town,” Vought said on Fox News.

The budget has grown markedly since Trump took office, even though he campaigned on a promise to eliminate the now-$22 trillion debt by the time he left the White House after eight years.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/white-house-congressional-leaders-work-to-sell-two-year-budget-deal/2019/07/23/fb2fe29a-ad55-11e9-a0c9-6d2d7818f3da_story.html?utm_term=.a1a4223b2b69

Deal sealed on federal budget ensures no shutdown, default

President Donald Trump and congressional leaders have announced a critical debt and budget agreement that’s an against-the-odds victory for Washington pragmatists seeking to avoid political and economic tumult over the possibility of a government shutdown or first federal default.

The deal, announced Monday by Trump on Twitter and in a statement by Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, will restore the government’s ability to borrow to pay its bills past next year’s elections and build upon recent large budget gains for both the Pentagon and domestic agencies.

“I am pleased to announce that a deal has been struck,” Trump tweeted, saying there will be no “poison pills” added to follow-up legislation. “This was a real compromise in order to give another big victory to our Great Military and Vets!”

The agreement is on a broad outline for $1.37 trillion in agency spending next year and slightly more in fiscal 2021. It would mean a win for lawmakers eager to return Washington to a more predictable path amid political turmoil and polarization, defense hawks determined to cement big military increases and Democrats seeking to protect domestic programs.

Nobody notched a big win, but both sides view it as better than a protracted battle this fall.

Pelosi and Schumer said the deal “will enhance our national security and invest in middle class priorities that advance the health, financial security and well-being of the American people.” Top congressional GOP leaders issued more restrained statements stressing that the deal is a flawed but achievable outcome of a government in which Pelosi wields considerable power.

“While this deal is not perfect, compromise is necessary in divided government,” said House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

However, it also comes as budget deficits are rising to $1 trillion levels — requiring the government to borrow a quarter for every dollar the government spends — despite the thriving economy and three rounds of annual Trump budget proposals promising to crack down on the domestic programs that Pelosi is successfully defending now. It ignores warnings from deficit and debt scolds who say the nation’s fiscal future is unsustainable and will eventually drag down the economy.

“This agreement is a total abdication of fiscal responsibility by Congress and the president,” said Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, a Washington advocacy group. “It may end up being the worst budget agreement in our nation’s history, proposed at a time when our fiscal conditions are already precarious.”

A push by the White House and House GOP forces for new offsetting spending cuts was largely jettisoned, though Pelosi, D-Calif., gave assurances about not seeking to use the follow-up spending bills as vehicles for aggressively liberal policy initiatives.

The head of a large group of House GOP conservatives swung against the deal.

“No new controls are put in place to constrain runaway spending, and a two-year suspension on the debt limit simply adds fuel to the fire,” said Republican Study Committee Chairman Mike Johnson, R-La. “With more than $22 trillion in debt, we simply cannot afford deals like this one.”

Fights over Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall, other immigration-related issues and spending priorities will be rejoined on spending bills this fall that are likely to produce much the same result as current law. The House has passed most of its bills, using far higher levels for domestic spending. Senate measures will follow this fall, with levels reflecting the accord.

At issue are two separate but pressing items on Washington’s must-do agenda: increasing the debt limit to avert a first-ever default on U.S. payments and acting to set overall spending limits and prevent $125 billion in automatic spending cuts from hitting the Pentagon and domestic agencies with 10 percent cuts starting in January.

The threat of the automatic cuts represents the last gasp of a failed 2011 budget and debt pact between former President Barack Obama and then-Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, that promised future spending and deficit cuts to cover a $2 trillion increase in the debt. But a bipartisan deficit “supercommittee” failed to deliver, and lawmakers were unwilling to live with the follow-up cuts to defense and domestic accounts. This is the fourth deal since 2013 to reverse those cuts.

Prospects for an agreement, a months-long priority of top Senate Republican Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., became far brighter when Pelosi returned to Washington this month and aggressively pursued the pact with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin , who was anointed lead negotiator instead of more conservative options like acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney or hardline Budget Director Russell Vought.

Mnuchin was eager to avert a crisis over the government’s debt limit. There’s some risk of a first-ever U.S. default in September, and that added urgency to the negotiations.

The pact would defuse the debt limit issue for two years, meaning that Trump or his Democratic successor would not have to confront the politically difficult issue until well into 2021.

Washington’s arcane budget rules give each side a way to paint the numbers favorably. Generally speaking, the deal would lock in place big increases won by both sides in a 2018 pact driven by the demands of GOP defense hawks and award future increases consistent with low inflation.

Pelosi and Schumer claimed rough parity between increases for defense and nondefense programs, but the veteran negotiator retreated on her push for a special carve-out for a newly reauthorized program for veterans utilizing private sector health care providers. Instead non-defense spending increases would exceed increases for the military by $10 billion over the deal’s two-year duration.

In the end, non-defense appropriations would increase by $56.5 billion over two years, giving domestic programs 4% increases on average in the first year of the pact, with a big chunk of those gains eaten up by veterans increases and an unavoidable surge for the U.S. Census. Defense would increase by $46.5 billion over those two years, with the defense budget hitting $738 billion next year, a 3% hike, followed by only a further $2.5 billion increase in 2021.

Trump retains flexibility to transfer money between accounts, which raises the possibility of attempted transfers for building border barriers. That concession angered the Senate’s top Appropriations Committee Democrat, Patrick Leahy of Vermont, who said he has “many concerns” with a memorandum outlining the agreement that promised there will also be no “poison pills,” new policy “riders,” or bookkeeping tricks to add to the deal’s spending levels.

The results are likely to displease some on both sides, especially Washington’s weakening deficit hawks and liberals demanding greater spending for progressive priorities. But Pelosi and McConnell have longtime histories with the Capitol’s appropriations process and have forged a powerful alliance to deliver prior spending and debt deals.

The measure would first advance through the House this week and win the Senate’s endorsement next week before Congress takes its annual August recess. Legislation to prevent a government shutdown will follow in September.

https://apnews.com/b72be6c420bb478ea469da72c73065e2

The US national debt just pushed past $22 trillion — here’s how Trump’s $2 trillion in debt compares with Obama, Bush, and Clinton

donald trump chart debt obamaJoe Raedle/Getty Images
  • On February 11, the US national debt eclipsed $22 trillion for the first time.
  • Since President Donald Trump took office, the US has added over $2 trillion in new federal debt.
  • See how Trump’s debt accumulation — and projected debt accumulation — stacks up to that of recent presidents including Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.

The US national debt passed $22 trillion on February 11, the first time the federal debt had breached that threshold.

The landmark came just over two years after President Donald Trump, who once promised to eliminate the federal debt in eight years, took over the Oval Office.

But compared with some other recent presidents’, Trump’s debt accumulation is not as stunning as it first appears.

Read more: The US national debt just topped $22 trillion for the first time

The US Treasury has been tracking day-by-day debt accumulationsince the start of 1993, meaning daily debt figures are available for the presidencies of Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Trump.

In raw terms, Trump added the second-most debt of any recent president. According to the Treasury data, the US added $2.07 trillion — $2,065,536,336,472.90 to be exact — in new debt between Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2017, and February 11, when the country pushed past $22 trillion. (The US added another $2.8 billion through February 15, the latest daily figures available.)

That is less than the $3.46 trillion added between Obama’s inauguration in January 2009 and February 11, 2011, but it is more than the $676 billion added under Bush and the $617 billion added under Clinton in their first 752 days as president.

One important difference between Trump’s debt figures and Obama’s is that Trump has added a massive amount of debt while the US economy has been strong, whereas Obama took over during the depths of the financial crisis.

Economists typically recommend that the federal government increase spending, and thus add more debt, during times of economic struggles and then pay down that debt when the economy recovers. So while economic theory would support Obama’s spending to help support the economy, Trump’s recent debt binge has less support among economists.

Looking ahead, recent legislative changes are expected to help Trump catch up to some of his predecessors in the debt-accumulation department.

The combination of the new GOP tax law and the recent bipartisan spending deal are projected to increase the speed of debt accumulation over the rest of Trump’s presidency.

According to the Congressional Budget Office, the annual deficit — the shortfall of federal revenue compared with spending in a given fiscal year — will soon push past $1 trillion. 2018’s budget deficit was the largest since 2012, when the US was still dealing with the fallout from the recession.

Based on the CBO’s projections, Trump will have accumulated $3.73 trillion in new debt by the end of the 2020 fiscal year, which, because of federal budget rules, actually runs until the end of September 2020. And by the end of fiscal 2024, the last year of Trump’s second term if he wins reelection, the total debt added is projected to come in at $8.78 trillion.

A lot could change over that time period — adjustments to the tax code that increase revenue or spending cuts would alter the CBO’s projections. But as it stands, Trump could add roughly the same amount of debt as Obama over two terms.

total debt accumulated by president v2Andy Kiersz/Business Insider

But while the raw debt figures are astonishing, putting the accumulation in percentage terms provides a somewhat different picture. Based on Treasury data and CBO projections:

  • The national debt grew by 15% through February 11 of Clinton’sfirst term and ended up growing by 36% by the end of the 2000 fiscal year, the final full fiscal year of his presidency.
  • The debt grew by 12% during Bush’s first 752 days and grew by 75% when the 2008 fiscal year came to a close.
  • Under Obama’s first two years and change, the national debt grew by 33%, and it grew by 84% by the end of the 2016 fiscal year.
  • The debt grew 10% in Trump’s first 752 days and is projected to grow by 44% by the end of the 2024 fiscal year.
percent change though feb 11Andy Kiersz/Business Insider

https://www.businessinsider.com/trump-national-debt-deficit-compared-to-obama-bush-clinton-2019-2

Story 2: United States and Israel Joint Strike Targeting Iran’s Nuclear and Missile Weapon System Programs Deep Underground in Mountains will Require Nuclear Weapons To Be Successful — Waiting For Trump To Start World War 3 — Videos —

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Dr. Strangelove – Ending

We’ll Meet Again
We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day
Keep smiling through
Just like you always do
‘Till the blue skies drive the dark clouds far away
So will you please say hello
To the folks that I know
Tell them I won’t be long
They’ll be happy to know
That as you saw me go
I was singing this song
We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day
We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day
Keep smiling through
Just like you always do
‘Til the blue skies
Drive the dark clouds far away
So will you please say hello
To the folks that I know
Tell them it won’t be long
They’ll be happy to know
That as you saw me go
I was singin’ this song
We’ll meet again
Don’t know where
Don’t know when
But I know we’ll meet again some sunny day
Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Hughie Charles / Ross Parker
We’ll Meet Again lyrics © Music Sales Corporation, Universal Music Publishing Group

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Nuclear Weapons: Who Has What at a Glance
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ContactKelsey DavenportDirector for Nonproliferation Policy, (202) 463-8270 x102; Kingston ReifDirector for Disarmament and Threat Reduction Policy, (202) 463-8270 x104

Updated: July 2019

At the dawn of the nuclear age, the United States hoped to maintain a monopoly on its new weapon, but the secrets and the technology for making nuclear weapons soon spread. The United States conducted its first nuclear test explosion in July 1945 and dropped two atomic bombs on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Just four years later, the Soviet Union conducted its first nuclear test explosion. The United Kingdom (1952), France (1960), and China (1964) followed. Seeking to prevent the nuclear weapon ranks from expanding further, the United States and other like-minded states negotiated the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT) in 1968 and the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) in 1996.

India, Israel, and Pakistan never signed the NPT and possess nuclear arsenals. Iraq initiated a secret nuclear program under Saddam Hussein before the 1991 Persian Gulf War. North Korea announced its withdrawal from the NPT in January 2003 and has tested nuclear devices since that time. Iran and Libya have pursued secret nuclear activities in violation of the treaty’s terms, and Syria is suspected of having done the same. Still, nuclear nonproliferation successes outnumber failures and dire forecasts decades ago that the world would be home to dozens of states armed with nuclear weapons have not come to pass.

At the time the NPT was concluded, the nuclear stockpiles of both the United States and the Soviet Union/Russia numbered in the tens of thousands. Beginning in the 1970s, U.S. and Soviet/Russian leaders negotiated a series of bilateral arms control agreements and initiatives that limited, and later helped to reduce, the size of their nuclear arsenals. Today, the United States and Russia each deploy roughly 1,400 strategic warheads on several hundred bombers and missiles, and are modernizing their nuclear delivery systems.

China, India, and Pakistan are all pursuing new ballistic missile, cruise missile, and sea-based nuclear delivery systems. In addition, Pakistan has lowered the threshold for nuclear weapons use by developing tactical nuclear weapons capabilities to counter perceived Indian conventional military threats. North Korea continues its nuclear pursuits in violation of its earlier denuclearization pledges.

Nuclear-Weapon States:

The nuclear-weapon states (NWS) are the five states—China, France, Russia, United Kingdom, and the United States—officially recognized as possessing nuclear weapons by the NPT. The treaty legitimizes these states’ nuclear arsenals, but establishes they are not supposed to build and maintain such weapons in perpetuity. In 2000, the NWS committed themselves to an “unequivocal undertaking…to accomplish the total elimination of their nuclear arsenals.” Because of the secretive nature with which most governments treat information about their nuclear arsenals, most of the figures below are best estimates of each nuclear-weapon state’s nuclear holdings, including both strategic warheads and lower-yield devices referred to as tactical weapons.

China

  • About 290 total warheads.

France

  • About 300 total warheads.

Russia

  • March 2019 New START declaration: 1,461 strategic warheads deployed on 524 intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and strategic bombers.
  • The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) estimates approximately 4,490 stockpiled warheads and 2,000 retired warheads for a total of roughly 6,490 warheads, as of early 2019.

United Kingdom

  • About 120 strategic warheads, of which no more than 40 are deployed at sea on a nuclear ballistic missile submarine at any given time. The United Kingdom possesses a total of four ballistic missile submarines.
  • Total stockpile is estimated up to 200 warheads.

United States:

  • March 2019 New START declaration: 1,365 strategic nuclear warheads deployed on 656 intercontinental ballistic missiles, submarine-launched ballistic missiles, and strategic bombers.
  • FAS estimates approximately 3,800 stockpiled warheads and 2,385 retired warheads for a total of 6,185 warheads as of early 2019.

Non-NPT Nuclear Weapons Possessors:

  • India, Israel, and Pakistan never joined the NPT and are known to possess nuclear weapons.
  • India first tested a nuclear explosive device in 1974. That test spurred Pakistan to ramp up work on its secret nuclear weapons program.
  • India and Pakistan both publicly demonstrated their nuclear weapon capabilities with a round of tit-for-tat nuclear tests in May 1998.
  • Israel has not publicly conducted a nuclear test, does not admit or deny having nuclear weapons, and states that it will not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons in the Middle East. Nevertheless, Israel is universally believed to possess nuclear arms, although it is unclear exactly how many.

The following arsenal estimates are based on the amount of fissile material—highly enriched uranium and plutonium—that each of the states is estimated to have produced. Fissile material is the key element for making nuclear weapons. India and Israel are believed to use plutonium in their weapons, while Pakistan is thought to use highly enriched uranium.

IndiaBetween 130-140 nuclear warheads.
IsraelAn estimated 80-90 nuclear warheads, with fissile material for up to 200.
PakistanBetween 150-160 nuclear warheads.


States of Immediate Proliferation Concern:

Prior to the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, Iran pursued a uranium-enrichment program and other projects that provided it with the capability to produce bomb-grade fissile material and develop nuclear weapons, if it chose to do so. Iran’s uranium enrichment program continues, but it is restricted and monitored by the nuclear deal. North Korea announced its withdrawal from the NPT in 2003 and tested nuclear devices and nuclear-capable ballistic missiles. Uncertainty persists about how many nuclear devices North Korea has assembled. In 2007, Israel bombed a site in Syria that was widely assessed to be a nuclear reactor being constructed with North Korea’s assistance. Syria has refused to cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s attempts to investigate.

Iran:

  • No known weapons or sufficient fissile material stockpiles to build weapons.
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the institution charged with verifying that states are not illicitly building nuclear weapons, concluded in 2003 that Iran had undertaken covert nuclear activities to establish the capacity to indigenously produce fissile material.
  • July 2015: Iran and six world powers negotiated a long-term agreement to verify and significantly reduce Iran’s capacity to produce material for nuclear weapons.
  • As part of this agreement, the IAEA and Iran concluded an investigation into Iran’s past nuclear weapons-related activities. The agency concluded that Iran had an organized program to pursue nuclear weapons prior to 2003. Some of these activities continued through 2009, but there were no indications of weaponization activities taking place after that date.

North Korea:

  • Estimated as of June 2019 to have approximately 20-30 warheads and the fissile material for 30-60 nuclear weapons.
  • While there is a high degree of uncertainty surrounding North Korea’s fissile material stockpile and production, particularly on the uranium enrichment side, North Korea is estimated to have 20-40 kilograms of plutonium and 250-500 kilograms of highly enriched uranium. The estimated annual production of fissile material is enough for 6-7 weapons.
  • North Korea operates its 5-megawatt heavy-water graphite-moderated reactor used to extract plutonium in the past for nuclear warheads on an intermittent basis since August 2013. There has also been intermittent activity at North Korea’s reprocessing facility since 2016, indicating that Pyongyang has likely separated plutonium from the reactor’s spent fuel.
  • North Korea unveiled a centrifuge facility in 2010. It is likely that Pyongyang is using the facility to produce highly-enriched uranium for weapons. U.S. intelligence suggests that there are several additional centrifuge facilities in North Korea.
  • By 2020, experts estimate that North Korea could have anywhere between 20-100 nuclear warheads based on the rate of its stockpile growth and technological improvements.

Syria:

  • September 2007: Israel conducted an airstrike on what U.S. officials alleged was the construction site of a nuclear research reactor similar to North Korea’s Yongbyon reactor.
  • The extent of Syrian-North Korean nuclear cooperation is unclear, but is believed to have begun in 1997.
  • Investigations into U.S. claims uncovered traces of undeclared man-made uranium particles at both the site of the destroyed facility and Syria’s declared research reactor.
  • Syria has not adequately cooperated with the IAEA to clarify the nature of the destroyed facility and procurement efforts that could be related to a nuclear program.

States That Had Nuclear Weapons or Nuclear Weapons Programs at One Time:

  • Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine inherited nuclear weapons following the Soviet Union’s 1991 collapse, but returned them to Russia and joined the NPT as non-nuclear-weapon states.
  • South Africa secretly developed but subsequently dismantled its small number of nuclear warheads and also joined the NPT in 1991.
  • Iraq had an active nuclear weapons program prior to the 1991 Persian Gulf War, but was forced to verifiably dismantle it under the supervision of UN inspectors. The U.S.-led March 2003 invasion of Iraq and subsequent capture of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein definitively ended his regime’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.
  • Libya voluntarily renounced its secret nuclear weapons efforts in December 2003.
  • Argentina, Brazil, South Korea, and Taiwan also shelved nuclear weapons programs.

Sources: Arms Control Association, Federation of American Scientists, International Panel on Fissile Materials, U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Department of State and Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/Nuclearweaponswhohaswhat

The F-35 has already freaked out Iran and changed everything in the Middle East

Jake Novak
CC: Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II
Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Lightning II
Robert Sullivan | FlickrCC

No conversation about the world’s massive political and economic changes since 2015 is complete without mentioning the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, developed by Lockheed Martin.

That became even clearer this week thanks to a somewhat cheeky statement by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response to Iran’s provocative moves in the Persian Gulf and other threats from Tehran. Standing in front of an F-35 jet parked at an Israeli Air Force base, Netanyahu barely held back a smile as he said that Israel can reach Iran, but Iran cannot reach Israel.

He didn’t add the words “undetected by radar,” but it was surely implied.

To understand why that soundbite with the visual backdrop was more than just bluster, you have trace the F-35′s incredible history in the Middle East over the past four years.

We hopped into a F-35 simulator. Here’s what it’s like

You don’t have to be a military genius to know that a supersonic jet that can fly undetected by radar for hundreds of miles will make a difference anywhere in the world. But the F-35′s already powerful impact in the Middle East was multiplied extensively during the months leading up to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. That was still more than a year before the jet was put into service anywhere in the world.

But it was late summer 2015 when reports in the Israeli news media surfaced about how Israelis working on F-35 prototypes had managed to double the jet’s flight and stealth capacity. It wasn’t lost on anyone that the extension meant Israeli Air Force pilots could use the F-35 to fly from Israel to Tehran and back without detection — and without having to refuel at U.S. air bases in Saudi Arabia or Iraq.

Suddenly, U.S.-Israeli air superiority in the region had risen to a new level. Saudi Arabia had already begun the process of cooperating more with Israel on defense and security matters for some time, something Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted at during a “60 Minutes” interview after President Trump’s election. But the idea of letting Israeli jets land and refuel in that Arab country was still a stretch in 2015. Iraqi leaders were also not receptive to the idea. But the new technology was now rendering the objections moot.

The move only acted to bring the Saudis and the Israelis closer. It was one thing for the two countries to have a common enemy in Iran that was on the verge of getting billions of dollars and a clear, if supposedly delayed, path to a nuclear weapon. But with the new F-35 and its expanded capacities in the picture, there was something more tangible than political promises and intelligence sharing to hang their hopes on.

Israel says it’s the first country to use F-35 fighter jet in combat

All of that made it easier for King Salman to shake up his regime and name Mohammed bin Salman the new crown prince. Mohammad, who is aggressive on defense, wasted little time enhancing military ties with Israel and the U.S. There was even an unconfirmed report that he visited Israel secretly in September 2017.

Yet the most direct effects of the F-35 were still to come. In July 2018, a Kuwaiti newspaper reported that Israel had flown a test mission of at least three F-35 jets to Tehran and back from an airbase near Tel Aviv. While never confirmed publicly, a good number of military and political leaders in the region believed and still believe the story. The long-rumored threat the F-35 posed to Iran now seemed like a reality.

Earlier this month, reports in the same Kuwaiti newspaper said that Iran’s military leadership panicked enough over the purported stealth mission that it kept news of it from reaching Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

But when Khamenei found out about the mission, he reportedly moved to fire not only Iran’s air force chief but also the long-serving and powerful commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. That’s major impact without even firing a shot.

All of this comes as Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan has decided to choose procuring Russia’s S-400 missile program at the expense of getting promised F-35s from the U.S. Judging by how much his neighbors in the region fear and revere the F-35, this appears to be a ruinous choice.

US halts delivery of F-35 equipment to Turkey

The impact of the F-35′s development has had a major financial impact, as well. Since reports of the Israeli stealth enhancement first surfaced, Lockheed Martin shares are up more the 75%. The F-35 program is also the most expensive defense project in U.S. history, and it has faced a long history of criticism for that cost.

But considering how much the very existence of the jet has already achieved in Israel, Saudi Arabia and Iran, it may already be more than worth it.

Jake Novak is a political and economic analyst at Jake Novak News and former CNBC TV producer. You can follow him on Twitter @jakejakeny.

For more insight from CNBC contributors, follow @CNBCopinion on Twitter.

https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/18/f-35-has-freaked-out-iran-and-changed-everything-in-the-middle-east.html

Arms Control and Proliferation Profile: The United States
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Updated: July 2019

According to the Federation of the American Scientists, as of April 2019, the United States possesses 3,800 stockpiled strategic and non-strategic nuclear warheads and an additional 2,385 retired warheads awaiting dismantlement, for a total of 6,185 nuclear warheads. On Feb. 2, 2018, the Trump administration released its Nuclear Posture Review, detailing its strategy for the role of U.S. nuclear forces. The United States has destroyed about 90.6% of its chemical weapons arsenal as of 2017 and is due to complete destruction by September 2023. It is party to the Biological Weapons Convention and has destroyed its biological weapons arsenal, although Russia alleges that U.S. biodefense research violates the BWC.

Contents

Major Multilateral Arms Control Agreements and Treaties

Export Control Regimes, Nonproliferation Initiatives, and Safeguards

Nuclear Weapons Programs, Policies, and Practices

  • The Nuclear Arsenal, an Overview
  • Delivery Systems
  • Ballistic Missile Defense Systems
  • Fissile Material
  • Proliferation Record
  • Nuclear Doctrine

Biological Weapons

Chemical Weapons

Other Arms Control and Nonproliferation Activities

  • The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty
  • New START
  • Nuclear Reductions Beyond New START
  • Conference on Disarmament (CD)
  • Nuclear Weapons Free Zones
  • Nuclear Security Summits
  • Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)
  • Syrian Chemical Weapons

 

Major Multilateral Arms Control Agreements and Treaties

Signed

Ratified

Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty

1968

1970

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

1996

– – –

Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material (CPPNM)

1980

1982

CPPNM 2005 Amendment

– – –

2015

Chemical Weapons Convention

1993

1997

Biological Weapons Convention

1972

1975

International Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism

2005

2015

Back to Top

Export Control Regimes, Nonproliferation Initiatives, and Safeguards

Group Status
Australia Group Member
Missile Technology Control Regime Member
Nuclear Suppliers Group Member
Wassenaar Arrangement Member
International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Additional Protocol Signed in 1998, entered into force January, 2009.
Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism Co-founder with Russia
Hague Code of Conduct against Ballistic Missile Proliferation Participant
Proliferation Security Initiative Founder
UN Security Council Resolutions1540 and 1673 The United States has filed reports on its activities to fulfill the resolutions and volunteered to provide assistance to other states.

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Nuclear Weapons Programs, Policies, and Practices

The Nuclear Arsenal, an Overview

According to the Federation of the American Scientists, as of April 2019, the United States possesses 3,800 stockpiled strategic and non-strategic nuclear warheads and an additional 2,385 retired warheads awaiting dismantlement, for a total arsenal of 6,185 warheads. In April 2019, the Defense Department stated it would no longer declassify the number of U.S. nuclear warheads.

Under the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), the United States can deploy no more than 1,550 treaty accountable strategic warheads on 700 deployed delivery systems until February 2021 when the treaty expires. According to the March 2019 New START data exchange, the United States deploys 1,365 strategic nuclear warheads on 656 strategic delivery systems.

The United States also deploys an additional 150 tactical (non-strategic) nuclear warheads based in Europe. While the United States and Russia maintain similarly sized total arsenals, the United States possesses a much larger number of strategic warheads and delivery systems while Russia possesses a much larger number of non-strategic (or tactical) nuclear warheads.

The United States is the only nation to have used nuclear weapons against another country, dropping two bombs (one apiece) on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945.

Delivery Systems

(For a detailed overview of current and planned U.S. nuclear modernization programs, see our fact sheet here.)

Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBM)

  •  As of April 2019, the United States Air Force deploys 400 LGM-30G Minuteman III ICBMs.
    • The Minuteman III has a range of over 6,000 miles (9,650-13,000 km).
    • Each missile is equipped with either one 300 kt W87 warhead or one 335 kt W78 warhead.
  • Under New START, the United States reduced the number of deployed ICBMs from 450 to 400. 50 excess silos have not been destroyed but have been kept in a “warm” operational status and can be loaded with missiles relatively quickly if necessary.
  • In 2015, the United States concluded a multibillion dollar, decade-long modernization program that will extend the service life of the Minuteman III to beyond 2030.
  • The U.S. Air Force is also developing a new ICBM, known as the ground-based strategic deterrent (GBSD), which is intended to replace the Minuteman III between 2029 and 2035.

Submarines and Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missile (SLBM)

Submarines:

  • The U.S. Navy operates 14 Ohio-class SSBNs submarines, two of which are undergoing overhaul of their nuclear reactors at any given time. The remaining 12 are available for deployment. However, since some operational SSBNs also undergo minor repairs at any given time the actual number of SSBNs at sea usually numbers at around 10.
  • 7 submarines are based out of Bangor, Washington and 5 submarines are based out of Kings Bay, Georgia.
  • The submarines originally had 24 missile tubes for Trident II D5 SLBMs, but under New START, the Navy deactivated 4 tubes on each submarine, finishing this process in 2017.
  • The Ohio-class submarines have a life-span of 42 years.

Submarine-Launched Ballistic Missiles (SLBMs):

  • The Trident II D5 was first deployed in 1990 and has an operational range of 7,400-12,000 km.
  • The Trident II D5 missile can hold up to eight warheads (but usually holds an average of four to five) and carries 3 variants:
    • the W88—a 475 kt Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicle (MIRV) warhead.
    • the W76-0—a 100 kt MIRV warhead.
    • the W76-1—a 100 kt MIRV warhead.
  • To comply with New START, the Navy will not deploy more than 240 missiles. As of February 2018, 203 submarine-launched ballistic missiles were deployed.
  • An ongoing life extension program is expected to keep the Trident II D5 in service until  2042.
  • The Trident II D5 is the only MIRV’ed (multiple independently targetable reentry vehicle) strategic missile remaining in the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Bombers

  • As of April 2019, the Air Force deploys 46 nuclear-capable B-52H Stratofortress bombers and 20 nuclear-capable B-2A Spirit bombers.
  • The Air Force plans to deploy no more than 60 nuclear-capable strategic bombers under New START.
  • An estimated 850 nuclear warheads are assigned to the strategic bombers, but only about 300 are typically deployed at bomber bases.
    • B-52H Stratofortress bombers: dual-capable; can carry 20 AGM-86B cruise missiles. The AGM-86B has a range of 2,500 km and is equipped with a 5-150 kt W80-1 warhead
    • B-2A Spirit bombers: dual capable; can carry 16 B61-7, B61-11, or B83-1 gravity bombs.
  • The United States also maintains several fighter-aircraft that serve in a dual-capable role. The F-15E and F-16C have been the cornerstone of this aspect of nuclear deterrence, carrying the B61 gravity bomb. The new stealth F-35 Lightning II, also known as the Joint Strike Fighter, will replace the F-16 as the U.S. Air Force’s primary nuclear capable fighter-aircraft.

Ballistic Missile Defense Systems

The United States develops and deploys several ballistic missile defense systems around the world. To learn more, see: “U.S. Missile Defense Programs at a Glance.”

Fissile Material

Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU)

  • The United States has publicly declared that it no longer produces fissile material for weapons purposes. It stopped production of HEU in 1992.
  • In March 2016, the United States announced the declassification of its national inventory of highly enriched uranium (HEU) of 585.6 tons, as of September 30, 2013.
  • The United States halted the production of HEU for weapons in 1964 and ceased plutonium separation for weapons in 1992.
  • Estimates from 2016 place the U.S. HEU stockpile at around 600 metric tons, including 253 metric tons of military HEU and 264 metric tons of fresh and spent naval HEU.
  • According to the 2015 Global Fissile Material Report, the United States has about 40 metric tons of HEU remaining to be downblended of the 187 metric tons it declared as excess to defense requirements and has committed to dispose.

Plutonium

  • The United States ended production of separated plutonium in 1988.
  • At the end of 2014, U.S. military plutonium stockpiles amounted to a total of 87.6 declared metric tons (49.3 metric tons of which are declared as excess military plutonium).
  • In October 2016, citing U.S. failure to meet its obligations under the agreement, Russia suspended its own implementation of the deal. Russia refuses to resume the agreement’s implementation until U.S. sanctions against Russia are lifted and NATO forces in Europe are reorganized along lines favorable to Russia. Russia contends that U.S. plans to abandon the conversion of plutonium into MOX fuel in favor of a cheaper and faster downblending method does not meet the terms of the deal because doing so would fail to change the composition of the plutonium from weapons-grade to reactor grade.
  • The United States possesses no separated civilian plutonium but at the end of 2014, an estimated 625 metric tons of plutonium were contained in spent fuel stored at civilian reactor sites.
  • Under the Plutonium Management and Disposition Agreement (PMDA), finalized with Russia in 2000, the United States committed to disposing of 34 metric tons of excess weapons-grade plutonium beginning in 2018. The agreement was amended in 2010 to change the agreed disposition methods in which Russia abandoned using mixed-oxide (MOX) fuel in light-water reactors in favor or irradiating plutonium in its fast-neutron reactors. The amendment also expressed renewed U.S. commitment to provide $400 million towards the Russian disposition program. Russia suspended cooperation with the agreement in November 2016.

 Proliferation Record

  • A close relationship exists between U.S. and British nuclear weapons programs. The United States supplies the United Kingdom with the Trident II D5 SLBM.
  • Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, and Turkey all host U.S. tactical nuclear gravity bombs as part of NATO nuclear sharing agreements. The estimated 180 weapons remain under U.S. custody during peacetime, but some may be released to U.S. allies for delivery in times of war.
  • Beginning with President Dwight Eisenhower’s 1953 “Atoms for Peace” initiative, the United States has engaged in extensive worldwide trading and exchanging of fissile materials and technical information for nuclear science research and the peaceful use of nuclear technology. In 1954, an amendment to the Atomic Energy Act allowed bilateral nuclear agreements with U.S. allies to proceed, with the intent of exporting only low enriched uranium (LEU) fuel; however, this soon expanded to include HEU.
  • Under the “Atoms for Peace” program a number of former, aspiring, and current nuclear-weapon states such as South Africa, Iran, India, Pakistan, and Israel all received, directly or indirectly, training and technology transfers utilized in their nuclear weapons programs. For example, in 1967, the United States supplied Iran with a 5 megawatt nuclear research reactor along with HEU fuel. Iran admitted to using the reactor in the early 1990s for the production of small amounts of Polonium-210, a radioactive substance capable of starting a chain reaction inside a nuclear weapon.
  • Since the end of the Cold War the United States has tried to mitigate the adverse effects of the “Atoms for Peace” initiative and returned exported HEU and plutonium to the United States.

Nuclear Doctrine

Then-Deputy Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan, in a Feb. 2, 2018 press briefing, claimed that the 2018 NPR “reaffirms that the fundamental role of U.S. nuclear policy is deterrence.” Critics of the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) argue that the NPR reverses previous policy to reduce the role and number of U.S. nuclear weapons.

Declaratory Policy

The NPR dictates that the use of nuclear weapons will only be considered under “extreme circumstances” to defend the “vital interests” of the United States and its allies. It defines “extreme circumstances,” which the 2010 NPR did not, to include “significant non-nuclear strategic attacks” against “U.S., allied or partner civilian population or infrastructure, and attacks on U.S. or allied nuclear forces, their command and control, or warning and attack assessment capabilities.” For more on declaratory policy, see: Nuclear Declaratory Policy and Negative Security Assurances.

Negative Security Assurance

The NPR also includes a negative security assurance that the United States will not use nuclear weapons against non-nuclear-weapons states that are “party to the nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and are in compliance with their nuclear nonproliferation obligations.” The review caveats this negative security assurance by retaining “the right to make any adjustment in the assurance that may be warranted by the evolution and proliferation of non-nuclear strategic attack technologies and U.S. capabilities to counter that threat.” For more on negative security assurances, see: U.S. Negative Security Assurances at a Glance.

Testing
The United States has conducted 1,030 nuclear weapons tests. The first test was conducted on July 16, 1945 and the last test occurred on Sept. 23, 1992. The United States was the first country to conduct a nuclear test.

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Biological Weapons

  • In the early 1970s, the United States destroyed its entire stockpile of biological weapons, which had been developed between 1943 and 1969.
  • The United States ratified the Biological Weapons Convention in 1975.  However, in 2001, the Bush administration opposed and killed an effort dating back to 1995 to augment the Biological Weapons Convention with a legally binding verification protocol. U.S. officials said the protocol would be too burdensome on legitimate governments and private biodefense programs, while at the same time failing to deter cheaters.
  • According to a 2016 State Department report, “In December 2015 at the annual Meeting of States Parties to the BWC, the delegation of the Russian Federation asserted that the United States had knowingly transferred live anthrax spores to a foreign country for use in open-air testing, and that this constituted a ‘grave violation’ of Articles III and IV of the BWC [Biological Weapons Convention].”
  • The United States maintains that these transfers were a blunder. The report also notes that, “All U.S. activities during the reporting period were consistent with the obligations set forth in the BWC. The United States continues to work toward enhancing transparency of biological defense work using the BWC confidence-building measures.”

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Chemical Weapons

  • Behind Russia, the United States has declared the second-largest stockpile of chemical agents.
  • As of 2017, the United States had destroyed about 25,154 metric tons, or about 90.6 percent, of its declared Category 1 chemical weapons stockpile. The United States has completed destruction of all its Category 2 and 3 chemical weapons.
  • The United States received several extensions on its initial deadline for chemical weapons destruction under the Chemical Weapons Convention, and it now due to destroy its chemical weapons arsenal by September 2023.
  • Destruction of the United States’ largest remaining stockpile of chemical weapons began in 2016 at Colorado’s Pueblo Chemical Depot. Upon completion, the Blue Grass Army Depot in Richmond, Kentucky will have the last remaining chemical agent stockpile in the United States.

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Other Arms Control and Nonproliferation Activities  

Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty
The 1987 INF Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union requires the United States and Russia to eliminate and permanently forswear all of their nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers. The treaty resulted in the United States and the Soviet Union destroying a total of 2,692 short-, medium-, and intermediate-range missiles by the treaty’s implementation deadline of June 1, 1991.
However, in July 2014 the U.S. State Department officially assessed Russia to be in violation of the agreement citing Russian production and testing of an illegal ground-launched cruise missile. The State Department reiterated this conclusion in 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018. In February 2019 the United States announced its intention to suspend its obligations and withdraw from the treaty, beginning a six-month withdrawal period that will end in August.  For more information on the INF Treaty visit our “INF Treaty at a Glance” fact sheet.

New START
In April 2010, the United States and Russia signed a successor agreement to the original Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) accord. The 2010 agreement, known as New START, commenced on Feb. 5, 2011. It requires that both sides reduce their arsenals to 1,550 deployed strategic nuclear weapons on no more than 700 ICBMs, SLMBs, and bombers by Feb. 5, 2018 and both sides met the limits by the deadline. In addition, it contains rigorous monitoring and verification provisions to ensure compliance with the agreement. President Donald Trump has repeatedly questioned the value of New START, calling it a “one-sided” agreement.

New START allows for a five-year extension subject to the agreement of both parties. The Trump administration has begun an interagency review on whether to extend the treaty and is weighing several factors, including the lack of China’s participation in the agreement, Russia’s new and developing strategic systems, and Russian tactical delivery systems currently not covered by the treaty. Though no official decision has been made yet regarding the Trump administration’s decision to extend, National Security Advisor John Bolton called it“unlikely” in June 2019.

Nuclear Reduction Beyond New START
In February 2013, President Obama announced that the United States intended to engage with Russia to further reduce deployed strategic warheads by one-third below the New START limit to around 1,100 to 1,000 deployed warheads. However, there has been little progress toward achieving such reductions due to the deterioration of U.S.-Russia relations in the aftermath of Russia’s annexation of Crimea and Russia’s insistence that other issues, such as limits on U.S. missile defenses, be part of negotiations on further reductions. In the spring of 2019, the White House told reporters that the administration is seeking a new trilateral arms control agreement that limits all types of nuclear weapons and includes China in addition to the United States and Russia.

Conference on Disarmament (CD)
The Conference on Disarmament was established in 1979 as a multilateral disarmament negotiating forum by the international community. At the 65-member CD, the United States has expressed support for continuing discussions on the CD’s core issues: nuclear disarmament, a fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT), prevention of an arms race in outer space (PAROS), and negative security assurances. The United States has been a prominent supporter of a proposed FMCT.

In March 1995, the CD took up The Shannon Mandate which established an ad hoc committee directed to negotiate an FMCT by the end of the 1995 session. A lack of consensus over verification provisions, as well as desires to hold parallel negotiations on outer space arms control issues, prevented negotiations from getting underway. Later, in May 2006, the United States introduced a draft FMCT along with a draft mandate for its negotiations. However, following an impasse in negotiations on a FMCT in 2010, the United States (and others) signaled its desire to look at alternative approaches outside the CD and called for negotiations to be moved to the United Nations General Assembly where the agreement could be endorsed by a majority vote. However, the United States no longer makes comments to this effect.

The United States does not support negotiations on PAROS, deeming it unnecessary because there are no weapons yet deployed in outer space. China and Russia continue to articulate a desire to hold parallel negotiations, a point which has further stalled efforts to begin FMCT negotiations.

Nuclear Weapons Free Zones
The United States has ratified a protocol to the Latin America and the Caribbean Nuclear Weapons Free Zone (NWFZ) treaty pledging not to use or threaten to use nuclear weapons against the contracting parties. The U.S. has declined to ratify similar additional protocols to any of the remaining NWFZ treaties for Africa, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and the South Pacific.

Nuclear Security Summits
In April 2010, the United States hosted the first Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) in Washington, DC. Participants included 47 countries, 38 of which were represented at the head of state or head of government level, and the heads of the United Nations, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the European Union. At the summit, the participants unanimously adopted the goal of securing all vulnerable nuclear material in the next four years. The United States also attended the NSS in Seoul, South Korea, on March 26-27, 2012 and the third NSS on Mar. 24-25, 2014. Washington hosted a fourth summit in the Spring of 2016 where attendees developed action plansfor five global organizations to continue the work of the summits.

Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)
Under the Obama administration the United States played the central role in the brokering of the July 2015 JCPOA, better known as the “Iran deal,” which limits and rolls back Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for lifting economic sanctions. Congress in September 2015 debated a resolution that would have blocked implementation of the accord, but it failed to receive enough votes to pass the Senate. In January 2016, sanctions on Iran, including those targeting the financial and oil sectors, were lifted and $100 billion worth of frozen Iranian assets were released after international inspectors confirmed that Iran had rolled back large sections of its nuclear program and met more intrusive monitoring requirements.

On May 8, 2018 President Trump violated the JCPOA by reimposing sanctions on Iran that were lifted by the agreement, despite the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Iran was adhering to its commitments under the deal and over objections from the remaining parties to the agreement. Since the U.S. decision to withdraw, the remaining parties to the deal have reiterated their commitment to the JCPOA and taken steps to bypass U.S. sanctions and preserve legitimate trade with Iran.

Syrian Chemical Weapons
In September 2013, in the aftermath of the large-scale use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government, United States reached an agreement with Russia to account, inspect, control, and eliminate Syria’s chemical weapons. Before the deal was reached, the United States was planning to use airstrikes to punish the perpetrators of the attack, which the United States blamed on the Syrian government. By July 2014, Syria’s declared chemical weapons stockpile had been successfully removed from the country and flagged for destruction following a broad multilateral operation. However, the United States has raised concerns about the accuracy of Syria’s declaration.

In September 2014, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) confirmed that chlorine gas was being used in Syria. The UN Security Council adopted a resolution on Mar. 6, 2015 condemning the use of chlorine gas in Syria. Secretary of State John Kerry was quick to suggest that the Assad regime was the likely perpetrator of the chlorine gas attacks; Russia, however, was hesitant to assign blame. In August 2016, the third report of the OPCW-UN Joint Investigative Mechanism was released, finding that the Syrian government was responsible for chemical weapons attacks.

In April 2017, another chemical weapon attack was carried out in the Syrian town of Khan Shaykhun where Syrian government warplanes were accused of spreading a nerve agent via bombs, killing dozens. U.S. President Donald Trump responded by immediately blaming the regime of Bashar Assad and launching 59 Tomahawk missiles targeting the airfield that had allegedly launched the attack. Following the launches, Trump stated that “It is in this vital national security of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons.” As a justification for the U.S. response, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated that “If you violate international agreements, if you fail to live up to commitments, if you become a threat to others, at some point a response is likely to be undertaken.”

(For a detailed timeline on Syrian chemical weapons, see our fact sheet here.)

https://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/unitedstatesprofile

9 questions about the US-Iran standoff you were too embarrassed to ask

Will the US and Iran go to war?

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefs reporters on the suspected attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman at the State Department on June 13, 2019, in Washington, DC.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo briefs reporters on the suspected attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman at the State Department on June 13, 2019, in Washington, DC.
 Win McNamee/Getty Images

For the past month and a half, the US and much of the world has been consumed by a terrifying question: Is America going to war with Iran?

It’s an understandable question. The Trump administration says an Iranian strike on Americans in the Middle East remains “imminent” and has blamed Tehran for attacks on oil tankers in a vital waterway. Iran, meanwhile, has told its proxies to prepare for war and indicated it may stop abiding by the 2015 nuclear deal within just a matter of days (though it hasn’t said that it plans to pursue a nuclear weapon).

Those developments, combined with the rise of Iran hawks in the administration like National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, have led to widespreadfear that some sort of conflict between Washington and Tehran is imminent.

Here’s the good news: Right now it seems fairly unlikely that a full-blown war is on the horizon — even though a limited strike was considered this week — mostly because President Donald Trump and American allies don’t want one. Nor does Iran, it seems.

But the situation is still very tense, and the room for error and miscalculation on both sides remains high.

So what exactly is going on? How did we get here? Why did this escalation happen so suddenly? And what would a conflict with Iran even look like, anyway?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. What follows are answers to some of the most pressing questions about the latest US-Iran standoff; hopefully they’ll allow you to breathe just a little easier.

1) What is actually going on?

The current crisis started on May 5, when National Security Adviser John Bolton announced the US was deploying an aircraft carrier and bomber planes to the Persian Gulf in response to “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” of threats from Iran.

This move, Bolton said, was meant “to send a clear and unmistakable message to the Iranian regime that any attack on United States interests or on those of our allies will be met with unrelenting force.” He said that the US “is not seeking war with the Iranian regime,” but added, “we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, or regular Iranian forces.”

At the time, it was unclear exactly what that intelligence said, but reports over the following days provided a bit more clarity. Iran apparently intended to target US troops in Iraq and Syria, or even use drones against Americans in a key waterway near Yemen. There was also information that Iran put cruise missiles on ships, heightening fears that it might attack US Navy vessels with them.

The severity of the intelligence remains in dispute, and some say Bolton and others have inflated the threat. What isn’t in dispute is that America’s response dramatically raised the tension between the two countries — and a series of subsequent events only made things worse.

On May 8, three days after Bolton’s statement, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced that his country would no longer comply with parts of the 2015 nuclear deal if European signatories to the deal didn’t provide Iran with financial relief within 60 days.

Specifically, Rouhani said Iran would start stockpiling extra low-enriched uranium and heavy water, the kind used in nuclear reactors that could be used to produce a nuclear weapon, and would enrich uranium to previously banned levels.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations on September 26, 2018.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations on September 26, 2018.
 Spencer Platt/Getty Images

All those actions remain banned by the agreement, which Iran, as well as some European powers, Russia, and China, is still party to. But Tehran’s decision, which it telegraphed days in advance, came exactly one year after Trump ended the US’s commitment to the accord.

Rouhani made sure all of that wasn’t an escalation. “The path we have chosen today is not the path of war,” he said, “it is the path of diplomacy.”

Still, that set the stage for a potential confrontation: The Trump administration doesn’t want Iran to get a nuclear weapon, and while Rouhani’s announcement still wouldn’t put Tehran anywhere near obtaining the bomb, it inched a little closer. And with the threat of a military fight hanging over it all, the chance for miscalculation grew.

But it didn’t stop there. A few days later, four oil tankers were damaged in attacks near the Strait of Hormuz, a vital waterway aggressively patrolled by Iran through which a third of the world’s liquefied natural gas and almost 20 percent of the world’s oil production flows.

Two of the oil tankers belonged to Saudi Arabia and one belonged to the United Arab Emirates — both staunch enemies of Iran and friends to the US. (The fourth was owned by a Norwegian company.) United Nations ambassadors from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Norway said two weeks ago that the damages came after a country used divers to place mines on the large ships. The diplomats didn’t specifically name Iran as the culprit, but the US had already blamed Tehranfor the sabotage.

Iran denied any involvement. But one day after the suspected attack, Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen launched an assault on a Saudi oil pipeline. And one of Iran’s top military leaders reportedly told militias in Iraq to prepare for a war, prompting the US to remove some staff from the embassy in Baghdad and its consulate in Erbil last month.

Then, last week, two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman — just east of the Strait of Hormuz — were damaged in suspected attacks. The Trump administration said Iran was responsible.

That was followed by an Iranian official on Monday saying his country would stockpile enough low-enriched uranium that it would blow through the limits imposed in the 2015 nuclear deal, the same one the US withdrew from last year. The US soon after responded y saying it would send 1,000 more troops to the Middle East to counter Iran.

And then on Wednesday night or Thursday morning (the timing is still unclear), Iran shot down a US military drone (no one was hurt). That’s by far the biggest provocation yet in the weeks-long standoff, and could cause the tensions to skyrocket.

Trump authorized a limited strike on Iran to retaliate for the downing, but suddenly reversed himself, he said on Friday morning, worried that potentially killing Iranians wouldn’t be a proportionate response.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….On Monday they shot down an unmanned drone flying in International Waters. We were cocked & loaded to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not….

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

….proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone. I am in no hurry, our Military is rebuilt, new, and ready to go, by far the best in the world. Sanctions are biting & more added last night. Iran can NEVER have Nuclear Weapons, not against the USA, and not against the WORLD!

52K people are talking about this

Put together, it’s a fraught, delicate, and dangerous situation that could spiral out of control if not carefully managed by both countries. Worries of a larger war are widespread, and it’s not clear how the US and Iran will walk back from the brink.

2) Why is all of this happening right now?

The US and Iran have been at odds for decades. Since a 1979 revolution in Iran that overthrew the American-backed and installed leader, both countries have held aggressive stances toward the other.

Over the years, Iranian-backed groups have fought and attacked US forces, leaving hundreds of American troops dead in total. The US has also launched assaults of its own, including a devastating cyberattack, a naval campaign to sink Iranian ships, and mistakenly downing an Iranian commercial airliner.

First, the US withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal last year, reimposing sanctions on the country and compelling European allies to stop importing Iranian oil. That has started to tank Iran’s economy.

Second is how the intelligence and military actions have been perceived over the past few weeks. According to the Wall Street Journal, Iran may have feared an American attack was imminent and is taking action to dissuade the US from doing so.

That view would make sense, according to some Iran experts. “To counterattack in response to pressure is a standard part of the Iranian playbook,” Suzanne Maloney, an Iran expert at the Brookings Institution think tank in Washington, tweeted on May 6.

The Iranian Islamic Republic Army demonstrates in solidarity with people in the street during the 1979 Iranian Revolution. They are carrying posters of the Ayatollah Khomeini, the Iranian religious and political leader.
The Iranian Islamic Republic Army demonstrates in solidarity with people in the street during the 1979 Iranian Revolution. They are carrying posters of the Ayatollah Khomeini, the Iranian religious and political leader.
 Keystone/Getty Images

Misperception and miscalculation are always worrisome in situations like this. One wrong move by the US, for example, could lead Iran to think war is afoot, thereby compelling Tehran to make aggressive countermoves or even launch assaults of its own. The same is true if Tehran startles Washington with some action, leading the White House to authorize a strike.

Which takes us to the third “push”: the Iran hawks in the Trump administration who are itching for a fight.

John Bolton, Trump’s top national security aide, has long argued for regime change in Iran and advocated for bombing the country to stop it from obtaining a nuclear weapon. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has also pushed the US to confront the Iranian regime.

In May 2018, he gave a speech outlining 12 ways the clerical government must change — including stopping its support for proxy groups and halting its missile program — before the US lifts any financial and diplomatic pressure off Tehran.

Together, they have made the Trump administration a lot more antagonistic toward the Islamic Republic. It’s a stark difference from when Trump was flanked by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. While they both expressed deep distrust of Iran, they didn’t make maximalist demands or threaten conflict so brazenly.

It’s important to note that Trump says he doesn’t want a war with Iran, but the problem is that he’s effectively outsourced his Iran policy to the hawks. That means that at a time when cooler heads should prevail, there aren’t many cool heads to be found.

“Moments like these are when institutions should matter: leadership at the cabinet level, a serious policy-making process, intelligence standards, professional ethics. All those have been eroded by the Trump administration,” Maloney tweeted.

3) Wait, why do Bolton and Pompeo hate Iran so much?

It’s hard to find two more anti-Iran figures in Washington than the national security adviser and the secretary of state.

Let’s start with Bolton: The longtime Republican official and operative rarely has found an authoritarian regime he hasn’t wanted to punish in some way, but Iran seems to hold a special place in his heart.

In 2015, he wrote an op-ed for the New York Times making the case that the US should bomb Iran to keep it from getting a nuclear weapon. “Iran will not negotiate away its nuclear program,” Bolton wrote, slamming the Obama administration’s efforts to strike a diplomatic agreement with Tehran. “The inconvenient truth is that only military action … can accomplish what is required. Time is terribly short, but a strike can still succeed.”

And in 2017, just eight months before becoming Trump’s third national security adviser, Bolton gave a paid speech to an Iranian exile group that wants to overthrow the country’s leadership.

Clearly, he agrees with them: “The declared policy of the United States should be the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime in Tehran,” he said. “The behavior and the objectives of the regime are not going to change and, therefore, the only solution is to change the regime itself.”

“Before 2019, we here will celebrate in Tehran,” he concluded. Well, it’s 2019 now, so perhaps Bolton hopes to make up for lost time.

Where Bolton’s animus seems driven by Cold War-era thinking, Pompeo’s seems to come from something much deeper.

The nation’s chief diplomat has made no secret of his evangelical Christian faith, which he admits guides his policy views. That holds true for world affairs, where his religious beliefs have partly led him to offer unqualified support for Israel, a key American ally — and for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who sees Iran as an existential threat to his country.

During a March 20 visit to Jerusalem, for example, Pompeo and Netanyahu both vowed to continue their joint pressure on Iran. Five days later, the secretary gave a speech to the pro-Israel lobby group American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) to show his support for the US ally and disdain for Iran.

“We’ve enacted the strongest pressure campaign in history against Iran and its proxies, and they are feeling the pain,” Pompeo said to applause. He added: “Anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism, and any nation that espouses anti-Zionism, like Iran, must be confronted. We must defend the rightful homeland of the Jewish people.”

Pompeo, then, has expressly linked America’s combative stance against Iran to support for Israel. While he has also said Iran deserves pushback for its pursuit of a nuclear program and its support for terrorists and dictators like Bashar al-Assad in Syria, it’s clear Pompeo views Iran as a threat to a country important to his Christian faith.

Which means Bolton and Pompeo are unlikely to tamp down growing tensions with Iran. If anything, they will want to escalate matters now that they have the chance.

4) Are the US and Iran going to war?

Breathe easy: It doesn’t look like the US will go to war with Iran anytime soon, although that possibility can’t be fully counted out. But there are three main reasons for optimism (or just not outright pessimism).

First some experts say the US military deployments to the Middle East aren’t so out of the ordinary.

Sure, the US moved an anti-missile battery to the region last month, but it removed four of them months earlier, Ilan Goldenberg, an Iran expert at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, tweeted on May 11. He added that the aircraft carrier sent to the Middle East to deter an Iranian attack was previously scheduled to be in the region.

“So what is actually happening? Someone in the administration has decided to dramatically increase the media posture of the US government around these deployments to apply pressure on Iran,” Goldenberg continued. The reason for the exaggeration, though, is not entirely clear.

Second, Trump doesn’t seem to want a war with Iran. He campaigned on not getting the US further involved in wars abroad, particularly in the Middle East. While Trump is no dove on Iran and seems to relish the US-led pressure on it, he’s not aching for a fight like some around him. He reportedly told his acting Pentagon chief in May that he doesn’t want to get into a skirmish with Iran right now.

And when Trump was asked on May 16 if the US was going to war Iran, he simply responded: “Hope not.”

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President Trump: “Hope not.”

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Third, it actually seems like tensions may be fairly low in the grand scheme of things. For example, Pompeo is leaning on European allies to compel Iran to “de-escalate” the tensions, the New York Times reported in May. It’s unclear if he’s doing this under Trump’s orders or if he’s decided to tamp down his typical hawkish Iran policies for the time being.

However, the recent attacks on oil tankers, Iran’s statement that it won’t abide by a crucial part of the nuclear deal, and the downing of the drone means problems might mount in the days ahead.

Donald J. Trump

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Iran made a very big mistake!

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Still, the US-Iran standoff isn’t quite as dire as it seems and may settle down. That’s not guaranteed, of course, as there’s always room for error. But for now, it doesn’t look like the US and Iran are going to war.

5) If the US did decide to go to war with Iran, what would be the rationale?

Based on the Trump administration’s statements and past US policy, America might choose to go to war for three reasons: 1) Iran gets close to obtaining a nuclear weapon, 2) the US decides to overthrow the regime, or 3) Iran launches a massive attack on Americans requiring an even bigger response in return.

Let’s start with the nuclear issue. US policy in this and previous administrations is that Iran should not have a nuclear weapon. That’s why President Barack Obama signed the Iran nuclear deal — to delay Tehran’s path to the bomb. Trump pulled out of the deal for a variety of reasons, but one was that he claimed it made Iran’s ability to get a nuke more likely, even though most experts disagree.

As of today, Iran is still far away from having a reliable nuclear arsenal at its disposal — and it has never officially said it is even seeking the bomb in the first place. But if it starts to move seriously in that direction, one could imagine folks like Bolton and Netanyahu pushing for a military strike on its nuclear facilities. As a sign of Israel’s seriousness on this issue, it has reportedly even killed nuclear scientists working for the Iranian regime.

Iran’s armed forces during an April 17, 2008 military parade.
Iran’s armed forces during an April 17, 2008, military parade.
 Majid/Getty Images

But what would that actually accomplish in the long run? Would we be able to stop Iran from ever getting a bomb if it really wanted to?

“We can probably destroy the existing program” with limited strikes, Richard Nephew, an architect of the Iran nuclear deal, told me last month. But “we cannot prevent Iran from reconstituting that program. So we would then have to either attack again in the future to deal with a reconstituted nuclear program or acquiesce to Iran having a nuclear weapon.”

Attacking Iran, he added, could actually compel the country to pursue the bomb in earnest in order to deter more US strikes.

Okay, so what about starting a war to overthrow the regime? That’s even less likely to happen, as it would take a colossal military effort. Right now the administration is reportedly considering sending 6,000 more troops to the gulf region, far below what would be required to carry out a major war against Iran.

That’s a far cry from previous considerations. In May administration weighed one plan which included sending 120,000 US troops to the Middle East — a plan Trump denied was ever in the works. Colin Kahl, who oversaw the Pentagon’s Iran planning from 2009 to 2011, tweeted on May 13 that the US would only deploy that many service members if regime change was the goal, although he noted it’s still too small of a force for a full-scale invasion.

By comparison, the US sent around 150,000 troops in the initial phase of the 2003 invasion of Iraq — and Iran is a much bigger country than Iraq.

If the White House aims to remove Iran’s leadership permanently, then, it would need to launch an invasion on a scale even bigger than the one in Iraq — starting what would be one of the most horrific wars in recent memory and leading to hundreds of thousands dead.

It’s hard to imagine Trump would find much love for a full-scale war. “Almost nobody would support an Iraq-like ground invasion for regime change under current circumstances,” Eric Brewer, who worked on Iran in Trump’s National Security Council, told me last month. “It’s hard to over-emphasize how costly such a conflict would be.”

Finally, war could break out if Iran were to attack American forces. Iran’s military leadershipdoes have its troops and proxies on high alert, but that doesn’t mean Tehran plans to imminently attack Americans.

The Islamic Republic is almost certainly aware that any action that puts US troops, diplomats, or private citizens in mortal danger will provide Trump advisers like Bolton or Pompeo with the ammunition needed to push harder for war.

The pressure will also be on Trump to respond in kind — if not more forcefully — if Iran kills Americans during this tense time. That pressure actually already exists, with some saying the attacks on two oil tankers last week requires a US military response.

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That therefore incentivizes Tehran not to make overly provocative moves right now.

Luckily, then, none of these main pathways to war seem particularly open. And while it’s unlikely they will be, that’s not a certainty either.

6) What would a war with Iran look like?

That really comes down to what the US wants to accomplish, experts say. As noted above, war could take the form of targeted US military strikes against Iranian nuclear facilities, or it could look like a full-scale invasion of Iran by the US.

But it’s worth noting that there are lower-level ways the US and Iran could fight each other.

US Army soldiers take part in a joint Israeli-American military exercise at a Patriot missile battery site October 27, 2009, in Tel Aviv, Israel.
US Army soldiers take part in a joint Israeli-American military exercise at a Patriot missile battery site on October 27, 2009, in Tel Aviv, Israel.
 Ziv Koren-Pool/Getty Images

For example, the US could launch cyberattacks on Iran’s infrastructure and power grid, a plan the military has already named “Nitro Zeus.” The Obama administration used this method to bring down part of Iran’s nuclear program. However, Iran has cyber capabilities of its own that it could use to target important American companies or even the government.

What’s more, Iran’s proxies across the Middle East could target Americans in Iraq, Syria, or elsewhere in the Middle East. Perhaps worried about that possibility, the US removed staff from two of its missions in Iraq last month.

Importantly, Iran doesn’t have nuclear weapons, so the worst attack imaginable is off the table. Still, it’s possible that Tehran could use its growing missile program to target American ships and troops in the area.

It therefore wouldn’t take a full-on fight for things to get really, really bad between the US and Iran pretty quickly. Let’s hope we don’t find out.

7) Does anyone outside the US want an Iran war?

Mainly no, but there are some out there who do.

Israel, which in the past has advocated for strikes on Iran, is actively trying to stay out of the fray. The main reason is that a major war with Tehran would certainly involve Israel, most likely pitting it against Hezbollah, Iran’s ally and proxy in Lebanon.

Axios reported in May that Netanyahu has told his top defense and intelligence leadership that his country should “make every effort not to get dragged into the escalation in the Gulf and would not interfere directly in the situation.” So Israel, along with the United Arab Emirates, has backed off its openly hawkish Iran stances so as not to spark a war right now.

Russia and European countries, especially those still party to the Iran nuclear deal, are also working as go-betweens to end the standoff. Experts also say that European nations worry greatly about millions of refugees streaming into the continent if a war with Iran breaks out, which would put immense pressure on governments already dealing with the fallout of the Syrian refugee crisis.

That’s bad news for Bolton and others who might want a full-on war with Iran. For the US to be successful, it will need political and military support from Israel and Europeans. Without them, the US would struggle to have the international legitimacy and help it needs not only to win the fight but also to deal with the immense fallout.

But the US does have some support for a fight. Most of it comes from Saudi Arabia, which has been locked in a decades-long cold war of sorts with Iran for control in the Middle East. Arab News, a Riyadh-aligned newspaper, called for the US to launch a “surgical strike” on Iran in May.

That said, Riyadh doesn’t seem to want a war right now. Saudi Foreign Affairs Minister Adel al-Jubeir told reporters last month that “the kingdom of Saudi Arabia does not want war in the region and does not strive for that.” He added: “if the other side chooses war, the kingdom will fight this with all force and determination and it will defend itself, its citizens and its interests.”

Still, it seems that if the US decided to launch a war with Iran, it would mostly do so alone. That must surely give even those itching for a fight in the Trump administration some pause.

8) This feels like the runup to the Iraq War. Is it similar?

Not really, no. “There are valid concerns that some in the administration are casting intelligence in a certain light to further their goals of regime change, but I think there are more differences than similarities to Iraq,” says Brewer, who is now at the Center for a New American Security in Washington.

In the runup to the Iraq War, George W. Bush’s administration made a clear and repeated case that Saddam Hussein, the country’s brutal dictator, had weapons of mass destruction. The problem is that it was based on cherry-picked intelligence that proved not to be credible, leading the US to launch a war based on faulty information and a misleading public pitch.

“There was a serious, coordinated effort by the Bush administration — via major speeches, interviews, etc. — to lay out its case for war. None of that appears to be happening now,” Brewer told me.

Still, there’s a good reason some compare the current Iran moment to the previous Iraq one. You have a Republican administration, featuring some of the same figures who pushed the US to war in Iraq (namely, Bolton), saying it has intelligence showing an imminent threat against Americans.

So let’s be clear about what we actually know — that is, what reports say the US has found:

  • Iran had plans to target US troops in Iraq and Syria, and a top Iranian military leader told the nation’s proxies to prepare for war.
  • Iran has placed missiles on ships that it could use to attack the US Navy, and could use drones against Americans in a key waterway near Yemen.
  • The US military released video the US claims shows Iranians removing an unexploded limpet mine from the side of one of the oil tankers attacked last week.

Experts are mostly unanimous in believing that intelligence like this exists and is credible. Where they differ is on just how much it clearly shows a new level of Iranian aggression.

Phillip Smyth, an Iran expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, told me in May that major threats from Tehran’s proxies have continued since early 2018. “There have been maneuvers in the past that sent a signal to the Americans” of a worsening regional situation, he said.

But he noted that just because there are indications that an attack could happen doesn’t mean an Iranian proxy will launch one soon. “These guys are very smart and very patient with how they plan and execute,” he said.

Others, like Brookings’s Maloney, have said that people shouldn’t assume the intelligence is bogus, mainly because Iran would likely retaliate forcefully to the Trump administration’s antagonism.

President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on May 13, 2019 in Washington, DC.
President Donald Trump in the Oval Office on May 13, 2019, in Washington, DC.
 Mark Wilson/Getty Images

What gives many pause, though, is that there seems to be a difference in what the US and its allies glean from the intelligence. For example, a top British military official involved in the coalition fight against ISIS in Iraq told Pentagon reporters last month that the threats weren’t extraordinary.

Meanwhile, senators from both parties in Congress have been briefed on the Iran intelligence — and both came away with completely different reads.

After a May briefing with National Security Adviser John Bolton on Monday, administration ally Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) tweeted, “It is clear that over the last several weeks Iran has attacked pipelines and ships of other nations and created threat streams against American interests in Iraq. … If the Iranian threats against American personnel and interests are activated we must deliver an overwhelming military response.”

Meanwhile Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), an outspoken critic of Trump’s foreign policy and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also tweeted his take. “I‘m listening to Republicans twist the Iran intel to make it sound like Iran is taking unprovoked, offensive measures against the US and our allies. Like it just came out of nowhere,” he said. “I’ve read the intel too. And let me be clear: That’s not what the intel says.”

US defense and intelligence officials familiar with the information wouldn’t provide me with any more information than is already public.

But what makes all this different from the Iraq War is that both Congress and the press are refusing to take the administration’s claims at face value, and instead are pushing the Trump administration to back up those claims with actual proof.

9) Does the US-Iran standoff have anything to do with oil?

Pretty much anytime talk of America going to war in the Middle East comes up, people wonder if it’s merely a quest to control more oil. That’s fair to an extent, as the US and other world powers have launched wars to take charge of energy sources.

That’s not really the case here. What the US does care about, though, is ensuring that vessels are allowed to sail freely through the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial maritime passage aggressively patrolled by Iran where a third of the world’s liquefied natural gas and almost 20 percent of the world’s oil production flows. When US-Iran tensions spike, Iran typically threatens to shut down the strait.

Doing so would send the global energy market into a tailspin and cause a worldwide crisis.

But Iran doesn’t usually follow through with its bluster, surely aware of the fury it would face from the United States and others. So when news of the mystery attacks on oil tankers surfaced twice in two months, it raised worries that Tehran may have found a way to send a message.

“By signaling that this supply is not safe and can be disrupted, Tehran is letting the world know it has escalation options,” Behnam Ben Taleblu, an Iran expert at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, told me last month.

But while the continued supply of cheap oil is definitely important to the US, it’s not really the reason some in the Trump administration are pushing for an Iran fight today. That really comes down to this: Bolton, Pompeo, and others want regime change in Iran, and are using intelligence that shows Tehran doing provocative things to advocate for a more combative stance.

But Trump is still the boss, and so far he’s expressed no real appetite for war with Iran. Which means that a major, bloody conflict remains an unlikely possibility — at least for now.

https://www.vox.com/2019/5/20/18628977/us-iran-war-trump-oil-tanker-attacks-nuclear-program-pompeo-bolton-irgc

 

Iran and weapons of mass destruction

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Iran, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is not known to currently possess weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and has signed treaties repudiating the possession of weapons of mass destruction including the Biological Weapons Convention,[1] the Chemical Weapons Convention,[2] and the Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).[3] The country has first-hand knowledge of WMD effects—over 100,000 Iranian troops and civilians were victims of chemical weapons during the 1980s Iran–Iraq War.[4][5]

On ideological grounds, a public and categorical religious decree (fatwa) against the development, production, stockpiling and use of nuclear weapons has been issued by the Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khameneialong with other clerics,[6][7] though it is approved by some relatively minor clerics.[8] Later versions of this fatwa forbid only the “use” of nuclear weapons, but said nothing about their production.[9] Iran has stated its uranium enrichment program is exclusively for peaceful purposes.[10][11] The IAEA has confirmed the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran but has also said it “needs to have confidence in the absence of possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.”[12][13]

In December 2014, a Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control report by Lincy and Milhollin based on International Atomic Energy Agency data concluded that Iran could produce enough weapons-grade uranium for one nuclear warhead in 1.7 months [14] In 2012, sixteen U.S. intelligence agencies, including the CIA, reported that Iran was pursuing research that could enable it to produce nuclear weapons, but was not attempting to do so.[15]The senior officers of all of the major American intelligence agencies stated that there was no conclusive evidence that Iran has made any attempt to produce nuclear weapons since 2003.[16] In a 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, the United States Intelligence Community assessed that Iran had ended all “nuclear weapon design and weaponization work” in 2003.[17] U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta stated in January 2012 that Iran was pursuing a nuclear weapons capability, but was not attempting to produce nuclear weapons.[18] In 2009, U.S. intelligence assessed that Iranian intentions were unknown.[19][20] Some European intelligence believe Iran has resumed its alleged nuclear weapons design work.[21] Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said he had seen no evidence of any nuclear weapons program in Iran,[22] while Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Iran was close to having the capability to produce nuclear weapons.[23][24] Iran has called for nuclear weapons states to disarm and for the Middle East to be a nuclear weapon free zone.[25]

After the IAEA voted in a rare non-consensus decision to find Iran in non-compliance with its NPT Safeguards Agreement and to report that non-compliance to the UN Security Council,[26][27] the Council demanded that Iran suspend its nuclear enrichment activities[28][29] and imposed sanctions against Iran[30][31][32][33] when Iran refused to do so.[34] Former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad argued that the sanctions were illegal.[35] The IAEA has been able to verify the non-diversion of declared nuclear material in Iran, but not the absence of undeclared activities.[36] The Non-Aligned Movement has called on both sides to work through the IAEA for a solution.[37]

In November 2009, the IAEA Board of Governors adopted[38] a resolution against Iran which urged Iran to apply the modified Code 3.1 to its Safeguard Agreement,[39] urged Iran to implement and ratify the Additional Protocol,[39] and expressed “serious concern” that Iran had not cooperated on issues that needed “to be clarified to exclude the possibility of military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program.”[40] Iran said the “hasty and undue” resolution would “jeopardize the conducive environment vitally needed” for successful negotiations[40] and lead to cooperation not exceeding its “legal obligations to the body”.[41]

Contents

Nuclear weapons

Overview

In September 2005, the IAEA Board of Governors, in a rare non-consensus decision with 12 abstentions,[42] recalled a previous Iranian “policy of concealment” regarding its enrichment program[43] and found that Iran had violated its NPT Safeguards Agreement.[44] Another IAEA report stated “there is no evidence that the previously undeclared nuclear material and activities … were related to a nuclear weapons program.”[43] Iran has claimed that the military threat posed by Israel and the United States is forcing it to restrict the release of information on its nuclear program.[45] Gawdat Bahgat of the National Defense University speculates that Iran may have a lack of confidence in the international community which was reinforced when many nations, under pressure from the United States, rejected or withdrew from signed commercial deals with the Iranian nuclear authority.[46]

On 31 July 2006, the Security Council passed a resolution demanding Iran suspend its enrichment program.[34] On 23 December 2006, the UN Security Council imposed sanctions against Iran,[30] which were later tightened on 24 March 2007,[31] because Iran refused to suspend enrichment. Iran’s representative to the UN argued that the sanctions compelled Iran to abandon its rights under the NPT to peaceful nuclear technology.[30] The Non-Aligned Movement called on both sides to work through the IAEA for a solution.[37]

US intelligence predicted in August 2005 that Iran could have the key ingredients for a nuclear weapon by 2015.[47] On 25 October 2007, the United States declared the Revolutionary Guards a “proliferator of weapons of mass destruction”, and the Quds Force a “supporter of terrorism”.[48] Iran responded that “it is incongruent for a country [US] who itself is a producer of weapons of mass destruction to take such a decision.”[48] Mohamed ElBaradei, director of the IAEA at the time, said he had no evidence Iran was building nuclear weapons and accused US leaders of adding “fuel to the fire” with their rhetoric.[49] Speaking in Washington in November 2007, days before the IAEA was to publish its latest report, Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz called for ElBaradei to be sacked, saying: “The policies followed by ElBaradei endanger world peace. His irresponsible attitude of sticking his head in the sand over Iran’s nuclear programme should lead to his impeachment.” Israel and some western governments fear Iran is using its nuclear programme as a covert means to develop weapons, while Iran says it is aimed solely at producing electricity. For its part in the conflict-ridden Middle East, Israel is a member of the IAEA, but it is not itself a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and is widely believed to currently be the only nuclear-armed state in the region.[50]

History

Iran’s nuclear program began as a result of the Cold War alliance between the United States and the shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, who emerged as an important American ally in the Persian Gulf.[51] Under the Atoms for Peace program, Iran received basic nuclear research facilities from the United States. In return, Tehran signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in 1968. Fueled by high oil prices in the 1970s, Iran sought to purchase large-scale nuclear facilities from Western suppliers in order to develop nuclear power and fuel-cycle facilities with both civilian and potential military applications.[51] In March 1974, the shah established the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI).[52] Sensing a heightened risk of nuclear proliferation, the United States convinced western allies to limit the export of nuclear fuel-cycle facilities to Iran. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, whose revolution displaced the shah’s monarchy in 1979 and ruled the newly established Islamic Republic of Iran until his death in 1989, placed little emphasis on nuclear weapons development because it was viewed as a suspicious western innovation.[53] During that time, many of Iran’s top scientists fled the country while the United States organized an international campaign to block any nuclear assistance to Iran.

Following the death of Ayotollah Khomeini, the leadership of President Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and Supreme Leader Ali Hosseini Khamenei sought to revive Iran’s overt nuclear civilian program and expand undeclared nuclear activities during the 1990s.[54] According to a strategic dossier from International Institute for Strategic Studies, Iran turned away from Western suppliers and obtained nuclear assistance from Russia and China in a number of key areas, including uranium mining, milling and conversion, as well as technology for heavy-water research reactors.[51] However, Washington intervened with Moscow and Beijing to prevent Iran from fully acquiring its list of nuclear power and fuel-cycle facilities. The 1990s also saw Iran expand its furtive nuclear research into conversion, enrichment and plutonium separation. “Most importantly, on the basis of additional centrifuge assistance from the A.Q. Khan network, Iran was able to begin the construction of pilot-scale and industrial-scale enrichment facilities at Natanz around 2000.”[51] Full exposure of Iran’s nuclear activities came in 2002, when an Iranian exiled opposition group, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) declared the Natanz project in August of that year. Since that time, international pressure on Iran has remained steady, hampering but not halting the country’s nuclear development.[51] Iran remains legally bound to the NPT and states its support for the treaty.

There are various estimates of when Iran might be able to produce a nuclear weapon, should it choose to do so:

  • A 2005 assessment by the International Institute for Strategic Studies concluded “if Iran threw caution to the wind, and sought a nuclear weapon capability as quickly as possible without regard for international reaction, it might be able to produce enough HEU for a single nuclear weapon by the end of this decade”, assuming no technical problems. The report concludes, however, that it is unlikely that Iran would flatly ignore international reactions and develop nuclear weapons anyway.[55]
  • A 2005 US National Intelligence Estimate stated that Iran was ten years from making a nuclear weapon.[56]
  • In 2006 Ernst Uhrlau, the head of German intelligence service, said Tehran would not be able to produce enough material for a nuclear bomb before 2010 and would only be able to make it into a weapon by about 2015.[57]
  • A 2007 annual review the International Institute for Strategic Studies in London stated that “If and when Iran does have 3,000 centrifuges operating smoothly, the IISS estimates it would take an additional 9-11 months to produce 25 kg of highly enriched uranium, enough for one implosion-type weapon. That day is still 2–3 years away at the earliest.”[58]
  • The former head of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, said on 24 May 2007 that Iran could take between 3 and 8 years to make a bomb if it went down that route.[58]
  • On 22 October 2007, Mohamed ElBaradei repeated that, even assuming Iran was trying to develop a nuclear bomb, they would require “between another three and eight years to succeed”, an assessment shared by “all the intelligence services”.[59]
  • In December 2007, the United States National Intelligence Estimate (representing the consensus view of all 16 American intelligence agencies) concluded with a “high level of confidence” that Iran had halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and “with moderate confidence” that the program remains frozen as of mid-2007. The new estimate says that the enrichment program could still provide Iran with enough raw material to produce a nuclear weapon sometime by the middle of next decade, but that intelligence agencies “do not know whether it currently intends to develop nuclear weapons” at some future date.[60][61] Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said 70 percent of the U.S. report was “true and positive,” but denied its allegations of Iran having had a nuclear weapons program before 2003. Russia has said there was no proof Iran has ever run a nuclear weapons program.[62] The former head of the IAEA, Mohamed ElBaradei, stated that he had seen “maybe some studies about possible weaponization”, but “no evidence” of “an active weaponization program” as of October 2007.[63] Thomas Fingar, former Chairman of the National Intelligence Council until December 2008, in reference to the 2007 Iran NIE and using intelligence to anticipate opportunities and shape the future, said intelligence has a “recently reinforced propensity to underscore, overstate, or ‘hype’ the findings in order to get people to pay attention” and that the 2007 NIE was intended to send the message “you do not have a lot of time but you appear to have a diplomatic or non-military option”.[64] A National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) is the most authoritative written judgment concerning a national security issue prepared by the Director of Central Intelligence.[65]
  • The U.S. Director of National Intelligence said in February 2009 that Iran would not realistically be able to a get a nuclear weapon until 2013, if it chose to develop one.,[66] and that US intelligence does not know whether Iran intends to develop nuclear weapons, but believes Iran could at least be keeping the option to develop them open.[67] Mossad Chief Meir Dagan was more cautious, saying recently that it would take the Iranians until 2014. German, French, and British intelligence say that under a worst-case scenario it would take Iran a minimum of 18 months to develop a nuclear weapon if it chose to build one, and it would have to first purify its uranium and weaponize its uranium.