The Pronk Pops Show 1121, August 8, 2018, Story 1: Republican Red Wave Rising Along With Massive Budget Deficits and National Debt — King of Debt Trump 5 for 5 as Fiscal Year 2018 Deficit Breaking Over 800 Billion and FY 2019 Over 1,000 Billion — Giving Obama A Run For Record Deficits and National Debt — Drowning in Debt — Videos –Story 2: Corporate Conspiracy to Censor Conservatives Based On Communist China Censorship — Apple, Facebook, Google, YouTube, Spotify, Twitter, and Big Lie Media — ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and CNN –NYT, LA Times, WP — Progressive Propaganda — Videos — Story 3: United States Reimposes Sanctions on Iran Now and More in November — Videos — Story 4: Poor Trucker Driver Retention Results in Need For More New Drivers — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1121, August 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1120, August 6, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1119, August 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1118, August 1, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1117, July 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1116, July 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1115, July 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1114, July 25, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1113, July 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1112, July 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1111, July 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1110, July 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1109, July 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1108, July 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1107, July 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1106, July 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1105, July 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1104, July 9, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1103, July 5, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1102, JUly 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1101, July 2, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1100, June 28, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1099, June 26, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1098, June 25, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1097, June 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1096, June 20, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1095, June 19, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1094, June 18, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1093, June 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1092, June 13, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1091, June 12, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1090, June 11, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1089, June 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1088, June 6, 2018 

Pronk Pops Show 1087, June 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1086, May 31, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1085, May 30, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1084, May 29, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1083, May 24, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1082, May 23, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1081, May 22, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1080, May 21, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1079, May 17, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1078, May 16, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1077, May 15, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1076, May 14, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1075, May 10, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1073, May 8, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1072, May 7, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1071, May 4, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1070, May 3, 2018

Pronk Pops Show 1069, May 2, 2018

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Story 1: Republican Red Wave Rising Along With Massive Budget Deficits and National Debt — King of Debt Trump 5 for 5 as Fiscal Year 2018 Deficit Breaking Over 800 Billion and FY 2019 Over 1,000 Billion — Giving Obama A Run For Record Deficits and National Debt — Drowning in Debt —

Image result for branco cartoons red wave

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See the source image

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U.S. Debt Clock Real Time

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

 

Dubious milestone: US national debt exceeds $21 trillion

Published on Mar 19, 2018

Milton Friedman – Deficits and Government Spending

Milton Friedman – The Path Toward Economic Sanity

PAY IT BACKWARDS: The Federal Budget Surplus with Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman – Collectivism

Milton Friedman – Socialism is Force

Milton Friedman – Is Capitalism Humane? (Q&A)

Professor Laurence Kotlikoff Amerika is Bankrupt

$20,000,000,000,000 in Debt and Rising

America’s Debt Crisis Explained

Published on Feb 24, 2014

How to Solve America’s Spending Problem

Published on Sep 29, 2014

THIS is How the U.S. Accumulated $21 Trillion in Debt Without COLLAPSING!

THIS is Why You Will NEVER Be Able to Retire and All of Your Money Is Gone!

The Global Economic Collapse: An Asynchronous Systemic Meltdown Has Already Begun!

Is DEBT Threatening the USA’s Future? – VisualPolitik EN

Why red means Republican and blue means Democrat

New focus on federal deficit as Trump touts shrinking trade deficit

What Would Happen If USA Stopped Paying Its Debt?

Why the U.S. deficit continues to expand

Kudlow: We don’t believe US debt projection

John James: President Trump’s support was icing on the cake

Troy Balderson claims victory in Ohio special election

Trump boasts he went ‘5 for 5’ in Tuesday’s elections

President Trump on Wednesday boasted that all five candidates he endorsed in this week’s elections won their races, even as contests in Ohio and Kansas were too close to call.

The president declared victory in a brief tweet: “5 for 5!”

Trump in a second tweet accused the media of downplaying the Republican Party’s record of success in special elections.

“The Republicans have now won 8 out of 9 House Seats, yet if you listen to the Fake News Media you would think we are being clobbered. Why can’t they play it straight, so unfair to the Republican Party and in particular, your favorite President!” he wrote.

The president left out a special election in Southern California to replace former Rep. Xavier Becerra (D) in which no major Republican candidate ran.

Trump also claimed that “as long as I campaign and/or support Senate and House candidates (within reason), they will win!” and said Republicans will “have a giant Red Wave” in November’s midterms “if I find the time” to hit the campaign trail.

Trump sent the messages from his New Jersey golf club, where he is spending the week on vacation.

Troy Balderson, a Trump-backed Republican running in a House special election in Ohio, held a narrow lead over his upstart Democratic challenger after Tuesday night’s voting.The same goes for Republican Kris Kobach, who was less than 200 votes ahead of incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer (R) in Kansas’s GOP gubernatorial primary.

Even if both candidates pull out victories, the close results are not encouraging for Trump and the Republican Party.

Balderson’s district is solidly Republican and has been in the GOP’s hands since 1983. But Republican groups were forced to spend millions of dollars to fend off Democrat Danny O’Connor, and Trump made a last-minute stop in the district to stage a rally for Balderson.

In Kansas, Trump’s endorsement did not give Kobach a decisive edge like it did in Georgia’s gubernatorial primary or in a South Carolina House primary, where it propelled his hand-picked candidates to victory.

Still, Trump’s team sought to portray the results as clear-cut wins.

“Clearly, the president’s support was pivotal in GOP primaries yesterday,” Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said in a statement. “President Trump is delivering the right kind of leadership, results, and inspiration to unify our party at just the right time to keep America winning.”

Trump-backed candidates pulled off two wins in Michigan, where John James won the GOP Senate primary and Bill Schuette won the party’s nod for governor. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley (R) won the state’s Senate primary.

–This report was updated at 11:22 a.m.

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/400881-trump-boasts-he-went-5-for-5-in-tuesdays-elections

Election results in Ohio, Kansas too close to call — live updates

  • Tuesday ended without a clear winner in the final special election before Election Day in Ohio, where provisional and absentee ballots may determine the race’s outcome. The race for Kansas governor also remains too close to call. Four other states, meanwhile — Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, and Washington — held primary elections.

    • In Ohio, the race remains extremely close in the special election to replace Rep. Pat Tiberi in Ohio’s 12th District. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Balderson has 50.1 percent of the vote to O’Connor’s 49.3 percent. The result may rely on provisional and absentee ballots.
    • The contest between Trump ally and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach and incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer is even tighter. Kobach has a margin of under 200 votes Wednesday morning. This race may not be called for several days.

    Follow live updates of 2018 primary election results below


  • Trump takes credit for victories

    Mr. Trump on Wednesday morning took credit for Republican victories overnight, claiming the media is muting those victories.

    “The Republicans have now won 8 out of 9 House Seats, yet if you listen to the Fake News Media you would think we are being clobbered,” the president tweeted. “Why can’t they play it straight, so unfair to the Republican Party and in particular, your favorite President!”

    Donald J. Trump

    @realDonaldTrump

    The Republicans have now won 8 out of 9 House Seats, yet if you listen to the Fake News Media you would think we are being clobbered. Why can’t they play it straight, so unfair to the Republican Party and in particular, your favorite President!

    The president again predicted a “red wave” in November.

    Donald J. Trump

    @realDonaldTrump

    As long as I campaign and/or support Senate and House candidates (within reason), they will win! I LOVE the people, & they certainly seem to like the job I’m doing. If I find the time, in between China, Iran, the Economy and much more, which I must, we will have a giant Red Wave!

  • Congress set for first Muslim woman

    Rashida Tlaib is set to become the first Muslim woman to be elected to Congress after securing the Democratic primary in Michigan’s 13th congressional district. Tlaib’s grassroots campaign for the House seat long held by former Rep. John Conyers raised more than $1 million.

    She previously told CBSN‘s “Red and Blue” back in May that her background will give her the kind of lens that is currently lacking in the U.S. Congress now.

    “Me being elected is a big message to the whole country that we are part of the got we are part of society and we want to give back just like anyone else,” said Tlaib.

    She’ll be unopposed on the November general election ballot.

  • Ohio special election — too close to call

    The race is extremely close in Ohio’s 12th Congressional District, where Democrat Danny O’Connor is facing off against Republican state Senator Troy Balderson. The winner will take over the term of Pat Tiberi, who resigned to work for a business group earlier this year.

    With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Balderson has 50.1 percent of the vote, to O’Connor’s 49.3 percent. The vote may come down to counting provisional and absentee ballots — but that could take days. County boards of elections reported that 3,435 provisional ballots were cast and there were 5,048 outstanding absentee ballots. State law dictates election officials cannot begin counting these ballots until the 11th day after the election, which would be Aug. 18.

    Balderson appeared to claim victory, saying in a statement, “THANK YOU #OH12! I am honored for the opportunity to represent Ohio’s 12th Congressional District. I will work relentlessly for everyone in this district. Congratulations to Danny O’Connor on running a hard-fought race.”

    The NRCC claimed victory for Balderson, although no major news outlet has called the race, and Mr. Trump took credit for Balderson’s edge.

    Donald J. Trump

    @realDonaldTrump

    When I decided to go to Ohio for Troy Balderson, he was down in early voting 64 to 36. That was not good. After my speech on Saturday night, there was a big turn for the better. Now Troy wins a great victory during a very tough time of the year for voting. He will win BIG in Nov.

    If the vote margin is ultimately within half a point, an automatic recount would be triggered.

    Speaking to supporters late Tuesday night, O’Connor thanked his family and those who came out to vote for him. He did not concede.

    “Tomorrow we rest and then we keep fighting through to November,” O’Connor told supporters.

    Whatever the outcome of the special election race, the two could be running against each other again in just a few months. Both Balderson and O’Connor are the candidates for the November election as well.

    This central Ohio district isn’t a place where Democrats should be competitive, CBS News correspondent Ed O’Keefe points out. Mr. Trump won the 12th District by 11 points in 2016. Now, 31-year-old O’Connor tightened the race for an open House seat that the GOP has held since the early 1980s.

    GOP Senate Candidate Troy Balderson Campaigns At Local Ohio Fair

HARTFORD, OH – AUGUST 06: Ohio Republican congressional candidate Troy Balderson makes a campaign stop at the Licking County Hartford Fair on August 6, 2018 in Hartford, Ohio.

 SCOTT OLSON / GETTY IMAGES

Mr. Trump stumped in Ohio last week before heading to New Jersey for a working vacation, where he told the state’s supporters that they’re the “real elite.”

To date, O’Connor has raised more money than Balderson this election cycle, CBS News’ Caitlin Conant points out. The Congressional Leadership Fund has spent $2.6 million in the race and the NRCC and DCCC have both invested money as well, with the NRCC spending almost $600,000 so far.

Democratic Congressional Candidate Danny O'Connor Campaigns Before OH Special Election

MANSFIELD, OH – AUGUST 05: Ohio Democratic congressional candidate Danny O’Connor greets worshipers during a campaign stop at Oasis Church on August 5, 2018 in Mansfield, Ohio.

 SCOTT OLSON / GETTY IMAGES

Balderson insults part of his district

At a campaign event in Zanesville on Monday evening, Balderson attempted to gin up support in his hometown by disparaging Franklin County.

“My opponent is from Franklin County, and Franklin County has been challenging. We don’t want somebody from Franklin County representing us,” Balderson said. Franklin County encompasses a relatively small portion of the district, on the outskirts of Columbus. It is one of the most populous areas of the district, and less Republican than the other, rural counties. Around a third of the vote is expected to come from Franklin County on Tuesday.

O’Connor quickly seized upon Balderson’s comments. “Our district deserves someone who is going to represent all of us,” O’Connor wrote on Twitter, adding that Balderson “just made it crystal clear that’s not him.”

  • Chair of Ohio Democratic Party says there’s a lot of energy

    David Pepper, chair of the Ohio Democratic Party, said there’s a lot of energy on the Democratic side Tuesday night, evidenced by how close the race is in a traditionally red district.

    “This district is gerrymandered for an easy win, no competition … this is Republican Ohio,” Pepper told CBS News correspondent Ed O’Keefe.

    Pepper said there are a number of races Democrats in Ohio are looking forward to. They key, he said, is to bring in great candidates and talk about issues that matter to to swing voters.

    Pepper said Balderson’s comment disparaging Franklin County will “haunt” him for the next 90 days.

  • Kansas primary results — Kobach, Colyer race too close to call

    Kansas Secretary of State and Trump ally Kris Kobach is hoping to defeat incumbent Gov. Jeff Colyer in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

    But with 87 percent reporting at 1 a.m. Wednesday, the race was too close to call. The two remained deadlocked with Kobach leading Colyer by a few hundred votes. That race may not be called until later Wednesday.

    Mr. Trump has voiced his support for Kobach, a firebrand who concerns many Republicans.

    Kris Kobach Campaigns

    American politician Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach as he speaks during a fundraiser for his gubernatorial campaign at an unidentified senior citizens center, Emporia, Kansas, October 28, 2017.

     / GETTY IMAGES

    Kobach previously served as the the vice chair of the president’s controversial “voter fraud” commission, which has since been disbanded over states’ concerns that the commission was demanding states hand over voter data, leading to several lawsuits against the panel. Kobach was endorsed by Mr. Trump on Monday ahead of Tuesday’s election, calling him a “fantastic guy” who will be “strong on crime, border and military.”

    Moderate State Senator Laura Kelly is the likely Democratic nominee for governor.

    CBS News rates Kansas’ 2nd and 3rd congressional districts as “very likely” or “probably” competitive in November.

    Polling places open at 8:00 a.m. ET and close at 8:00 p.m. ET.

  • Michigan primary results

    In Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer is projected to win the Democratic nomination for governor, besting Abdul El-Sayed, who was backed by rising Democratic Party star Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

    The AP also projected State Attorney General Bill Schuette won the GOP primary, advancing in the race to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Rick Snyder. Mr. Trump had endorsed Schuette via tweet, saying he will be a “fantastic” governor.

    In the Senate race, incumbent Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow is running for re-election. She is expected to run against Iraq veteran John James, who was leading in his primary race Tuesday night. Mr. Trump congratulated James late Tuesday night, calling him a “future star” of the party.

    Donald J. Trump

    @realDonaldTrump

    Congratulations to a future STAR of the Republican Party, future Senator John James. A big and bold victory tonight in the Great State of Michigan – the first of many. November can’t come fast enough!

    CBS News also rates Michigan’s 8th and 11th congressional districts as “very likely” or “probably” competitive in November’s midterm elections.

    Hillary Clinton recorded a robocall ahead of Tuesday for Haley Stevens in Michigan’s 11th, endorsing Stevens’ experience as chief of staff for the auto bailout during the Obama administration.

    Polls are open from 7 a.m. ET to 8 p.m. ET in Michigan

  • Missouri primary results — voters strike down right-to-work law

    Missouri has a Senate primary election on Tuesday night — incumbent Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill is expected to run against Republican State Attorney General Josh Hawley. Mr. Trump stumped for Hawley late last month, calling him a “great young man” and urging supporters that Missouri needed him in the Senate “badly.”

    McCaskill is the clear leader in the Democratic primary, and the AP projected that Hawley would win his race. Mr. Trump tweeted to congratulate Hawley early Wednesday.

    Donald J. Trump

    @realDonaldTrump

    Congratulations to Josh Hawley on your big Senate Primary win in Missouri. I look forward to working with you toward a big win in November. We need you in Washington!

    McCaskill meanwhile is one of 10 Democratic U.S. senators trying to defend their seats in states that Mr. Trump won in 2016.

    Missouri voters also overwhelmingly struck down the state’s right-to-work law through a referendum.

     

  • Washington primary — results coming in

    In Washington, incumbent Democratic Senator Maria Cantwell is expected to easily win re-election in the fall.

    Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers was roughly tied for votes with Democrat Lisa Brown in Washington’s 5th Congressional District. That’s not great for Republicans, who generally perform well in that district. In Washington, the top two vote-getters proceed to November.

    Washington Senator Maria Cantwell Holds Town Hall In Seattle

    SEATTLE, WA – JULY 8: Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) speaks during a town hall at Evergreen High School, on July 8, 2017 in Seattle, Washington.

     STEPHEN BRASHEAR / GETTY IMAGES

    CBS News rates Washington’s 8th Congressional District as “very likely” or “probably” competitive in the November midterms.

    Like California, Washington uses a top-two jungle primary system — regardless of party affiliation, the top two candidates move on to the general election.

    Washington state votes by mail-in ballot with drop boxes and voting centers closing at 11 p.m. ET

  • Which states still have primaries after today?

    Although the majority of states have voted in primary elections, several have yet to pick their nominees. Most of the states hold federal and state primaries on the same day, although New York has its state primary in September, three months after the federal primary.

    Here are the remaining primary elections after today’s primaries in Ohio, Missouri, Michigan, Kansas and Washington:

    August 11 – Hawaii; August 14 – Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont; August 21 – Alaska, Wyoming; August 28 – Arizona, Florida; September 4 – Massachusetts; September 6 – Delaware; September 11 – New Hampshire; September 12 – Rhode Island; September 13 – New York (statewide offices only); November 6 – Louisiana.

  • Salvanto: No “bellwether” out of special election

    CBS News’ Elections and Surveys Director Anthony Salvanto reports that no single district on Tuesday is considered a “bellwether” – whatever ultimately happens on election night will not foretell November.

    He adds that there’s already been a string of special elections in which Democrats have over-performed. Ohio’s 12th district shares a lot of the characteristics of places that are competitive in November, so it will be widely and correctly seen as a test case if it is close, or if the Democrat manages to pull an upset win.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/live-news/primary-election-2018-08-07-kansas-michigan-missouri-washington-ohio-special-election/

     

    Trump saved Balderson in Ohio, but he can’t carry the midterms by himself

    Chris Pandolfo
     · August 8, 2018

    Troy Balderson and Donald Trump at rally

    Maddie McGarvey | Getty Images

    President Donald Trump is getting credit for saving the Republican Party from a major embarrassment in Tuesday’s primaries.

    Republican Troy Balderson’s narrow victory over Democrat Danny  O’Connor in a heavily Republican district that Trump won by 11 points in 2016 is a troubling sign for Republicans. A Democrat should not have come within 2,000 votes of beating a Republican in a district Democrats haven’t held since 1983. But were it not for the “shot in the arm to base Republicans across the district” given by Trump’s Saturday rally for Balderson, it’s likely the Democrats might have pulled off another upset victory. Balderson’s pollsters admitted as much to Politico, and “senior Republicans” are panning Balderson as a “poor candidate.”

    The story seems to be that Trump saved an establishment candidate running a milquetoast campaign from disaster. And make no mistake, Balderson was the establishment candidate. He was backed by the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership and endorsed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich, R-NeverTrump, who featured prominently in Balderson’s closing ads. Balderson favors keeping Obamacare’s pre-existing conditions regulations, and he wants a special pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrant so-called “Dreamers.”

    Balderson ran as a pro-Trump Republican in favor of repealing Obamacare and building a border wall, but his reputation as a moderate in that district and Kasich’s support did not match his campaign rhetoric. That was a recipe to suppress rural voter turnout among Trump’s base in rural portions of the congressional district. Turnout was higher in areas with educated suburbanites, a demographic that is more likely to support Democrats, and at the end of the day a Trump +11 district became a nail-biter on election day.

    If Balderson’s pollsters are right and Trump was the deciding factor in turning out enough of his base on election day to win, then this should show Republicans that the Balderson/Kasich moderate Main Street playbook is a loser in the midterms. That’s not what Trump’s base wants, and those voters won’t turn out to vote for Republicans who aren’t offering them anything unless the president himself intervenes.

    Folks, Trump cannot intervene for every single vulnerable House Republican between now and November. If Republicans want to win, they need to follow the president’s instincts and fight on the issues Trump talks about. If Trump talks about having a shutdown fight before the election on funding a border wall as a great campaign issue, Republicans in Congress ought to listen to him. The duck-and-cover, punt-on-tough-votes strategy is not generating enough enthusiasm to win the midterms.

    If Republicans want to win, they need to follow Trump’s lead and fight.

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Twitter REFUSES to block Alex Jones and InfoWars because they have ‘not violated its hate policies’ despite calls for it to follow sweeping bans from Apple, YouTube, Facebook and Spotify

  • Twitter had come under fire for leaving the conspiracy theorist’s accounts active
  • But it claims the podcast host and his site InfoWars have not broken its rules 
  • YouTube joined Facebook, Spotify and Apple in banning Alex Jones’ personal accounts from its platform Monday

Twitter has revealed it will not block controversial conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from its site, despite recent bans from competitors Apple, YouTube and Facebook.

A spokesperson said accounts run by the podcast host and his media platform InfoWars will be spared the ban as they have not violated Twitter’s policies.

Users of the microblogging site have criticised the decision, arguing that Twitter is ‘protecting the hate, violence and bigotry’ of Jones and his associated accounts.

The 44-year-old saw his personal and InfoWars content removed from a host of the internet’s biggest sites in an unprecedented series of bans this week.

Apple, YouTube, Spotify and Facebook all announced blocks of the conspiracy theorist’s accounts and content within hours of one another on Monday, citing hate policy violations.

InfoWars, Jones’s right-wing conspiracy website, branded the ‘coordinated effort’ a ‘purge’ designed to censor the site’s provocative messages.

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Twitter has revealed it will not block controversial conspiracy theorist Alex Jones from its site, despite recent bans from competitors Apple, YouTube and Facebook (file photo)

Following calls for similar restrictions on Twitter, a spokesperson for the site revealed Jones and his affiliated accounts would remain active.

They told MailOnline that InfoWars and its associated accounts were not currently in violation of Twitter’s rules.

Content that is posted by InfoWars to other social media sites is often not also published to Twitter, they added.

Its policies on hate speech state that it does not tolerate users who harass, intimidate, or use fear to silence other social network users.

Twitter users that violate these rules could find their content deleted, or their access to the account suspended, according to the social network.

But the site has come under fire in recent months over the way it handles accounts that post abusive and threatening tweets – particularly those based on gender and religion – despite last year claiming it would crack down on abusive content.

The site suspended the accounts of several leaders of the far-right group Britain First in December for breaking its rules on hate speech.

It claims to have removed tens of thousands of accounts – many of them affiliated with neo-nazi groups – since it pledged to make Twitter a ‘safer environment’ in November 2017.

Twitter users criticised the microblogging site this week for its failure to take a harder stance on Jones and InfoWars.

Shaun King wrote: ‘OK, @Twitter the ball is in your court. Every other major platform stepped up. Why are you protecting the hate and violence and bigotry of Alex Jones?’

Twitter users criticised the microblogging site for its failure to take a harder stance on Jones and InfoWars

Twitter users criticised the microblogging site for its failure to take a harder stance on Jones and InfoWars

Janice Leonard tweeted: '@Twitter please ban @realalexjones. We do not need to be subjected to his lies. Please'

Janice Leonard tweeted: ‘@Twitter please ban @realalexjones. We do not need to be subjected to his lies. Please’

Following bans from Facebook, Spotify and Apple, pornographic website YouPorn announced yesterday that it would remove any videos featuring Jones from its site. Twitter user Joyce Bolton criticised the microblogging site for failing to follow suit

Following bans from Facebook, Spotify and Apple, pornographic website YouPorn announced yesterday that it would remove any videos featuring Jones from its site. Twitter user Joyce Bolton criticised the microblogging site for failing to follow suit

Ed Krassenstein tweeted: ‘Why isn’t Twitter banning Alex Jones and his InfoWars propaganda? Everyone else is!’

Janice Leonard wrote: ‘@Twitter please ban @realalexjones. We do not need to be subjected to his lies. Please.’

Jones, a right-wing radio host based in Austin, Texas, frequently lands in hot water for inciting harassment against the targets of his political rants.

He claims his shows reach at least 70 million people a week.

WHO HAS TWITTER BANNED IN THE PAST?

Twitter announced in November 2017 it would begin banning accounts affiliated with ‘hate groups’.

In March, former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson was banned for violating hate speech rules

In March, former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson was banned for violating hate speech rules

The news followed years of criticism from users that the site allowed neo-nazi, white supremacist and other extremist groups to spread abusive messages.

Twitter suspended the accounts of several leaders of the far-right group Britain First in December for breaking its rules on hate speech.

In March, former English Defence League leader Tommy Robinson was banned for violating rules governing ‘hateful conduct’.

The site announced it would soon undertake stronger measures to crack down on online trolls in May.

Despite sweeping bans, the site has come under criticism for not doing enough to purge itself of abusive users.

Last month, actor Seth Rogan lashed out at Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for continuing to verify the accounts of white supremacists.

He tweeted: ‘I’ve been DMing with @Jack about his bizarre need to verify white supremacists on his platform for the last 8 months or so, and after all the exchanges, I’ve reached a conclusion: the dude simply does not seem to give a f**k.’

The theories he has promoted include that the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington were staged by the US government.

He has also promoted a theory that the 2012 Sandy Hook school massacre was faked.

The shooting left 26 children and adults dead at a Connecticut elementary school.

Jones currently faces five lawsuits, including three fronted by parents of children killed in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre – which Jones claimed was a hoax run by left-wing forces to promote gun control.

Alex Jones, a right-wing radio host based in Austin, Texas, frequently lands in hot water for inciting the harassment of targets of his political rants. He claims his shows reach at least 70 million people a week 

A number of platforms have recently suspended or removed content posted by Jones and pages tied to Inforwars for violating hate content policies.

Facebook announced Monday that it removed four pages belonging to Jones for posting content that violated its policies around hate speech and violence.

It came just hours after Apple revealed it removed the entire iTunes library for five of Jones’s six Infowars podcasts, including the shows ‘War Room’ and the daily ‘The Alex Jones Show.’

Not long after Facebook and Apple took action, YouTube removed The Alex Jones Channel, which counts close to 2.5 million subscribers.

A twitter spokesperson said accounts run by the podcast host and his media platform InfoWars will be spared the ban hammer as they have not violated the site's policies (stock image)

A twitter spokesperson said accounts run by the podcast host and his media platform InfoWars will be spared the ban hammer as they have not violated the site’s policies (stock image)

WHAT IS TWITTER’S POLICY ON HATE SPEECH?

Twitter says it does not tolerate behaviour that harasses, intimidates, or uses fear to silence other social network users.

Twitter users that violate these rules could find their content deleted, or their access to the account suspended by the social network.

What does Twitter forbid?

According to the company, it will remove any tweets that do the following —

  • Threaten physical violence
  • Promote attacks on the basis of their race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease
  • References to mass murder, violent events, or specific means of violence in which such groups are the primary targets or victims
  • Incites fear about a certain protected group
  • Repeated use of non-consensual slurs, epithets, racist and sexist tropes
  • Content designed to degrade a specific user

Twitter users can target individuals or specific groups in a number of manners, for example using the @ mention feature, or tagging a photo.

How does Twitter enforce these rules?

According to the company, the first thing it does whenever an account or tweet is flagged as inappropriate is check the context.

Twitter says: ‘some Tweets may seem to be abusive when viewed in isolation, but may not be when viewed in the context of a larger conversation.

‘While we accept reports of violations from anyone, sometimes we also need to hear directly from the target to ensure that we have proper context.’

Twitter says the total number of reports received around an individual post or account does not impact whether or not something will be removed.

However, it could help Twitter prioritise the order in which it looks through flagged tweets and accounts.

What happens if you violate Twitter’s policy?

The consequences for violating our rules will vary depending on the severity of the violation and the person’s previous record of violations, Twitter says.

The penalties range from requesting a user voluntarily remove an offending tweet, to suspending an entire account.

Spotify also announced Monday it was taking further action against Jones, removing every episode of the Alex Jones Show from the streaming site.

Prior to this, Spotify had only gotten rid of specific episodes of the show, leaving most of the library up on its platform.

Even pornographic website YouPorn announced yesterday that it would remove any videos featuring Jones from its site.

People often post non-pornographic content to porn websites due to their relatively relaxed copyright rules.

Facebook announced Monday that it removed four pages belonging to Jones for posting content that violated its policies around hate speech and violence. It marks an about face for Facebook, which had earlier refused to take down Infowars' content on grounds of free speech

In recent weeks, Facebook and other tech giants have faced repeated backlash over its inaction against the US conspiracy theorist.

However, YouTube, Facebook and Apple all chose to take sweeping action against Jones on the same day, effectively removing his content from their platforms.

A notice on the Alex Jones Channel said the account had been ‘terminated for violating YouTube’s Community Guidelines.’

‘All users agree to comply with our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines when they sign up to use YouTube,’ a YouTube spokesperson said in a statement.

WHO IS ALEX JONES?

Alex Jones is a controversial radio and podcast host based in Austin, Texas.

Jones says his ‘InfoWars’ shows, which are broadcast on radio, YouTube and other platforms, reach at least 70 million people a week.

Among other claims, he has called the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting a hoax.

He was sued for defamation by families of some of the children killed in that attack, which left 20 children and six adults dead.

Among other claims, Alex Jones (file photo) has called the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting a hoax. He was sued for defamation by families of some of the children killed in that attack, which left 20 children and six adults dead 

Among other claims, Alex Jones (file photo) has called the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting a hoax. He was sued for defamation by families of some of the children killed in that attack, which left 20 children and six adults dead

He now admits the shooting occurred but says his claims were free speech. He has sought to have the lawsuit dismissed.

Jones has also claimed that the September 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington were staged by the US government.

While he began broadcasting his shows in 1999, Jones’ profile has spread from the far-right fringe in recent years.

While running for president in 2015, Donald Trump told Jones his reputation was ‘amazing.’

‘When users violate these policies repeatedly, like our policies against hate speech and harassment or our terms prohibiting circumvention of our enforcement measures, we terminate their accounts.’

YouTube had pulled four down videos hosted by Jones last month for violating its policies around hate speech and child endangerment.

The firm became aware that Jones was continuing to violate its policies and took further action as a result.

YouTube’s initial actions had triggered similar moves by Spotify, Facebook and Apple.

Apple announced its decision on Sunday night. Only one programme provided by InfoWars, ‘RealNews with David Knight’ remained on Apple’s platforms at the time of publication.

In a statement to BuzzFeed, Apple confirmed it had also removed Jones’ podcast for violating its guidelines on hate speech.

Just hours later, Facebook said it had ‘unpublished’ the Alex Jones Channel Page, the Alex Jones Page, the Infowars Page and the Infowars Nightly News Page.

Many have pointed out that the timing of Facebook’s ban was peculiar, with the social media firm posting the announcement to its site at about 3 a.m. (PT), according to the Guardian.

It marks a major about face for Facebook, which had said in recent weeks that it refused to ban Infowars on the grounds of protecting free speech on its platform.

Facebook in July banned Jones personally from posting on the platform for 30 days and removed four videos for violating its rules.

At the time, Facebook had warned that it would ban Jones and Infowars’ accounts should they continue to post content violating the company’s standards.

‘As a result of reports we received, last week, we removed four videos on four Facebook Pages for violating our hate speech and bullying policies,’ Facebook wrote in a blog post.

‘Since then, more content from the same Pages has been reported to us — upon review, we have taken it down for glorifying violence, which violates our graphic violence policy, and using dehumanizing language to describe people who are transgender, Muslims and immigrants, which violates our hate speech policies.’

Facebook added that while many have criticized Infowars for posting fake news on the site, such as conspiracy theories related to 9/11 and the Sandy Hook shooting, the actions it took were not related to that.

While Jones and Infowars are technically unable to access the site, Facebook said they still have the right to ‘appeal’ the company’s decision.

If neither party appeals or their appeal fails, Facebook will remove the Pages indefinitely.

Facebook said in a tweet last month that banning Infowars’ Pages ‘would be contrary to the basic principles of free speech’ after a CNN reporter asked why the firm had allowed Infowars, which had more than 900,000 followers, to continue to operate on its site.

In July, YouTube slapped Jones’ channel with a ‘community strike,’ blocking him from broadcasting live on the site for 90 days.

Spotify, a music and podcast streaming company, followed suit last week when it removed some specific episodes of Jones’s programmes.

It’s unclear exactly how many episodes were ditched, although the vast majority of content created by Jones remains available to Spotify users.

‘Spotify can confirm it has removed specific episodes of `The Alex Jones Show´ podcast for violating our hate content policy,’ a spokesperson said late Sunday.

‘We take reports of hate content seriously and review any podcast episode or song that is flagged by our community.’

 

85% of Conservatives Believe Social Networks Censor Political Speech, According to Pew Study

Tech companies are seen as supporting liberal views

He may like Trump, but he probably doesn’t trust social networks.
Getty Images

Do technology companies lean liberal when it comes to supporting political views? Respondents to a recent study by Pew Research Center seemed to think so, with 72 percent going as far as to say that they believe social media companies actively censor political views that clash with their own.

Pew surveyed 4,594 U.S. adults between May 29 and June 11, and it found that 43 percent of them believe tech companies support liberal views over conservative views, while just 11 percent felt the opposite and 43 percent saw no bias.

This comes on the heels of Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey “breaking bread” with conservative leaders this week. The Washington Post reported that Twitter’s chief “convened a rare private dinner with Republican leaders and conservative commentators in Washington” last week to “build ‘trust’ among conservatives who have long chastised the company … He defended Twitter against accusations that it targeted right-leaning users unfairly but still admitted that the company has room for improvement, according to the attendees.”

Republicans and Republican-leaning independents were much more likely to accuse social networks of censoring political speech than Democrats were—85 percent believe it is likely that social media companies engage in this behavior, and 54 percent consider it very likely, while 64 percent believe tech companies more broadly support liberal views. Meanwhile, 53 percent of Democrats feel that tech companies support both sides equally.

Josh Nanberg, president of political and media consultancy Ampersand Strategies, wasn’t surprised by Pew’s findings, although he did say, “85 percent is high, for sure.”

Nanberg said of the distrust by conservatives, “It builds on a decades-long narrative that’s been pushed first through conservative talk radio, and then Fox News. Social media becomes an echo chamber, where you get most of your news from people who believe what you believe. You’re going to get that message reinforced a lot: If you see it everywhere you go, it must be true.”

Eric Schiffer, chairman and CEO of digital marketing solutions provider DigitalMarketing.com and Reputation Management Consultants, added, “Conservatives see the decisions that are made publicly on silencing leading conservatives’ voices or choices that are made that make them feel like they are not respected. Conservatives feel backstabbed. They look at big tech as devastatingly unfair.”

To say that President Donald Trump uses social media—particularly Twitter—far more aggressively than his predecessors would be an obvious understatement, and that Twitter activity plays a role in firing up Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.

“Trump has created a level of distrust for media in general and a groundswell of skepticism from the start,” Schiffer said. “The areas of tech that contain media—Facebook, Google—already start out at a deficit.”

Nanberg added, “It’s not like [Trump] says something on Tuesday that garners a lot of attention: He says something at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Tuesday that garners a lot of attention. He’s like a tornado. I think the people who orchestrated the strategy have lost control of it. This is not an overnight sensation.”

The differences were not as drastic when comparing gender instead of politics: 58 percent of respondents believe tech companies support the views of men and women equally, with 33 percent saying they are slanted toward males, with just 8 percent saying they support women over men.

In a more general look at the perception of major technology companies, Pew found that 74 percent of respondents believe their impact has been more good than bad, and 63 percent see that impact as a net positive.

However, just 3 percent believe those companies can be trusted to do the right thing “just about always” and 25 percent “most of the time.” Sixty-nine percent believe tech companies are no more or less ethical than their counterparts in other industries, while 22 percent felt that they are less ethical.

https://www.adweek.com/digital/85-of-conservatives-believe-social-networks-censor-political-speech-according-to-pew-study/

Half of college students aren’t sure protecting free speech is important. That’s bad news

New Poll: 43% of Republicans Want to Give Trump the Power to Shut Down Media

The “enemy of the people” talk is working. A plurality of self-identified Republicans say they want Trump to have the power to take “bad” media outlets out.

Freedom of the press may be guaranteed in the Constitution. But a plurality of Republicans want to give President Trump the authority to close down certain news outlets, according to a new public opinion survey conducted by Ipsosand provided exclusively to The Daily Beast.

The findings present a sobering picture for the fourth estate, with respondents showing diminished trust in the media and increased support for punitive measures against its members. They also illustrate the extent to which Trump’s anti-press drumbeat has shaped public opinion about the role the media plays in covering his administration.

All told, 43 percent of self-identified Republicans said that they believed “the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior.” Only 36 percent disagreed with that statement. When asked if Trump should close down specific outlets, including CNN, The Washington Post, and The New York Times, nearly a quarter of Republicans (23 percent) agreed and 49 percent disagreed.

Republicans were far more likely to take a negative view of the media. Forty-eight percent of them said they believed “the news media is the enemy of the American people” (just 28 percent disagreed) while nearly four out of every five (79 percent) said that they believed “the mainstream media treats President Trump unfairly.”

“Swaths of self-identified Democrats and Independents supported anti-press positions as well.”

But swaths of self-identified Democrats and Independents supported anti-press positions as well. According to the survey, 12 percent of Democrats and 21 percent of Independents agreed that “the president should have the authority to close news outlets engaged in bad behavior” (74 percent and 55 percent, respectively, disagreed). Additionally, 12 percent of Democrats and 26 percent of Independents agreed that “the news media is the enemy of the American people” (74 percent and 50 percent, respectively, disagreed)

The concept of an enemy press corps has become a staple of Trump’s tweets and public utterances in recent months. Much of it appears prompted by stories about internal frictions within the White House and a growing fear over the state of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 campaign.

Members of the press, as well as top officials at some of the nation’s leading publications, have objected to the phrase, arguing that it is both wildly inaccurate and deeply dangerous. They have pointed to mob-like treatment of the media by Trump supporters at various rallies as evidence for their fears. Offered the opportunity, Trump’s spokesperson, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, declined to denounce the phrase. Other Trump supports have insisted that he was merely referring to those outlets that spread false information.

But Trump’s daughter Ivanka and his top adviser Kellyanne Conway have both recently said they do not agree that the press is the enemy, while adding that the media plays an important socio-political role.

Respondents to the Ipsos survey seemed to generally share that belief as well. In one of the poll’s few silver linings for the press, 57 percent of all respondents said that they believed news and reporters were “necessary to keep the Trump administration honest” including a plurality of Republicans (39 percent agreeing with that statement compared to 35 percent disagreeing). A slightly less robust 46 percent of respondents said they agreed that “most news outlets try their best to produce honest reporting” (compared to 35 percent who disagreed). And virtually everyone (85 percent of respondents) believed that “freedom of the press is essential for American democracy” (compared to 4 percent opposed to that statement).

But despite support for journalistic principles in the abstract, respondents also seemed inclined to believe that reporters had too much professional protection. According to the survey, 72 percent of all respondents agree it should be easier to sue reporters who knowingly publish false information, including 85 percent of Republicans and 63 percent of Democrats.

https://www.thedailybeast.com/new-poll-43-of-republicans-want-to-give-trump-the-power-to-shut-down-media

Story 3: United States Reimposes Sanctions on Iran Now and More in November — Videos

Trump imposes “most biting sanctions ever” on Iran

Will sanctions change Iran’s behavior?

Iranian protesters angry at worsening economy | Al Jazeera English

Trump says anyone trading with Iran will not trade with US

Max Boot: Trump’s Iran policy not thought out

Iranian president: US must pull ‘knife’ out before talks

John Bolton on Iran sanctions: Economic consequences already being felt

The sanctions on Iran won’t work: Paul Bonicelli

US sanctions are already being felt by Iran: John Bolton

Why Trump’s Iran sanctions will hurt Airbus more than Boeing

Trump hits Iran with return to ‘biting sanctions’ as Tehran accuses him of ‘psychological warfare’ but president says he’s willing to negotiate a nuclear new deal to replace Obama’s

  • The U.S. brought back into effect sanctions that were lifted under nuclear deal
  • President Trump signed an executive order authorizing the harsh penalties
  • Trump trashed the Iran nuclear pact as a ‘horrible’ and ‘one-sided’ agreement
  • But he said he was open to reaching a more comprehensive deal with Iran 
  • Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani blasted the sanctions as ‘psychological warfare’

‘The Iran sanctions have officially been cast. These are the most biting sanctions ever imposed, and in November they ratchet up to yet another level,’ the president tweeted.

‘Anyone doing business with Iran will NOT be doing business with the United States. I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less!’ he added.

Iran’s president slammed the United States after the White House re-imposed a wave of tough, unilateral sanctions at midnight.

The U.S. brought back into effect harsh penalties that had been lifted under Barack Obama’s multi-party nuclear agreement that Trump abandoned in May.

Scroll down for video 

Donald Trump snapped bace unilateral sanctions against Iran at midnight, and tweeted that nations will have to choose between doing business with the Islamist nation and trading with the United States

Donald Trump snapped bace unilateral sanctions against Iran at midnight, and tweeted that nations will have to choose between doing business with the Islamist nation and trading with the United States

President Hassan Rouhani described the measures as 'psychological warfare' aimed at sowing division among Iranians

President Hassan Rouhani described the measures as ‘psychological warfare’ aimed at sowing division among Iranians

'I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less!' Trump tweeted

‘I am asking for WORLD PEACE, nothing less!’ Trump tweeted

Trump said he was open to reaching a more comprehensive deal with Iran ‘that addresses the full range of the regime’s malign activities, including its ballistic missile program and its support for terrorism.’

But Iranian President Hassan Rouhani described the measures as ‘psychological warfare’ aimed at sowing division among Iranians.

‘If you’re an enemy and you stab the other person with a knife, and then you say you want negotiations, then the first thing you have to do is remove the knife,’ the Iranian leader said in an interview on state television.

‘They want to launch psychological warfare against the Iranian nation,’ Rouhani said.  ‘Negotiations with sanctions doesn’t make sense.’

The first of two rounds of US sanctions kicked in overnight, targeting Iran’s access to US banknotes and key industries, including cars and carpets.

Iranians are already seeing the effects of the sanctions, with Iran’s rial currency losing around half its value since Trump announced the US would withdraw from the 2015 nuclear accord.

Many large European firms are leaving Iran for fear of US penalties, and Trump warned of ‘severe consequences’ against firms and individuals that continued to do business with Iran.

The impact of the return of sanctions has ramped up tensions inside Iran, which has seen days of protests and strikes in multiple towns and cities over water shortages, high prices and wider anger at the political system.

Severe reporting restrictions have made it impossible to verify the swirl of claims coming through social media.

Trump’s contempt for the nuclear deal dates back to his time as presidential candidate and on May 8, he made good on a pledge to pull America out of the international agreement.

President Trump said Monday that he will fully enforce sanctions due to be reimposed against Iran as he signed an executive order announcing his intent. Pictured, Trump signing a proclamation withdrawing the US from the Iran nuclear agreement in May at the White House

President Trump said Monday that he will fully enforce sanctions due to be reimposed against Iran as he signed an executive order announcing his intent. Pictured, Trump signing a proclamation withdrawing the US from the Iran nuclear agreement in May at the White House

He blasted the agreement yet again Monday, calling it a ‘horrible, one-sided deal (that) failed to achieve the fundamental objective of blocking all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb.’

The unilateral withdrawal came despite other parties to the agreement – Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the EU – pleading with Trump not to abandon the pact.

Washington’s so-called ‘snapback’ sanctions were reinstated against Tehran at 12.01am EDT on Tuesday. A second wave will go into effect on November 4.

In an executive order Monday, Trump said the sanctions seek to pile financial pressure on Tehran to force a ‘comprehensive and lasting solution’ to Iranian threats, including its development of missiles and regional ‘malign’ activities.

‘The United States is fully committed to enforcing all of our sanctions, and we will work closely with nations conducting business with Iran to ensure complete compliance,’ Trump said in a statement that trashed the Iran nuclear pact as a ‘horrible’ and ‘one-sided’ agreement.

‘Individuals or entities that fail to wind down activities with Iran risk severe consequences.’

The president signed the executive order from his Bedminster, New Jersey, property.

 He did so behind closed doors with reporters miles away after the White House told journalists covering him that he would not make any public appearances that day.

Instead, the president issued a statement that labeled the Iran nuclear pact ‘a horrible, one-sided deal, failed to achieve the fundamental objective of blocking all paths to an Iranian nuclear bomb, and it threw a lifeline of cash to a murderous dictatorship that has continued to spread bloodshed, violence, and chaos.’

Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, on May 8, starting a ticking clock for the sanctions on Tehran to be reimposed.

He has repeatedly denounced the deal reached under his White House predecessor, Barack Obama, as one-sided in Iran’s favor. He promised as a candidate to tear it up.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, speaking with reporters returning with him from an Asian trip, said Monday morning that sanctions are ‘an important part of our efforts to push back against Iranian malign activity’ and the U.S. would enforce the restrictions on certain Iranian goods.

Starting this week, Washington will bring back sanctions on Iran’s purchases of U.S. dollars, its trade in gold and precious metals, and its dealings with metals, coal and industrial-related software.

The United States has told other countries they must halt imports of Iranian oil starting in early November or face U.S. financial measures.

Video playing bottom right…

President Trump urged all nations and corporations ‘to take such steps to make clear that the Iranian regime faces a choice: either change its threatening, destabilizing behavior and reintegrate with the global economy, or continue down a path of economic isolation’ in the statement that served as a substitute for on-camera remarks.

His executive order immediately targets Iran’s automotive, energy, shipbuilding and precious metals industries and begins a wind-down period for the acquisition, sale and transport of petroleum and petrochemical products.

The directive states that the punishments are intended to ‘advance the goal of applying financial pressure on the Iranian regime in pursuit of a comprehensive and lasting solution to the full range of the threats posed by Iran’ which include its missile development and support for terror groups as well as a ‘network and campaign of regional aggression’ and ‘malign activities of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and its surrogates.’

Trump has forcefully denounced Iran’s ‘DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH’ toward the U.S. and at the end of July warned Iran not to threaten the United States or plan to ‘SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKE OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE.’

That was after Rouhani warned the US that war with Iran ‘is the mother of all wars’ and said Trump stop ‘playing with the lion’s tail,’ with the stark pledge of or ‘else you will regret it.’

Still, the Trump administration has said the president would be willing to negotiate a new deal with Tehran under the right conditions. However, Iran should not expect relief sanctions in the interim.

The president said in a weekend tweet that the ball is in Tehran’s court.

‘I will meet, or not meet, it doesn’t matter – it is up to them!’ he said of a potential meeting with Rouhani.

National Security Advisor John Bolton said Monday that Trump stands by his offer and it is Tehran that is refusing to meet with the American president.

‘I think he was very serious about it. If the Ayatollah’s want to get out from under the squeeze, they should come and sit down. The pressure will not relent while the negotiations go on, much as in the case of the maximum pressure campaign against North Korea,’ Bolton said.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Monday that Trump has ‘isolated’ America with his position on sanctions. The United States’ other negotiating partners, including France and Germany, remain in the deal.

‘Of course, American bullying and political pressures may cause some disruption, but the fact is that in the current world, America is isolated,’ said Zarif, who played a lead role in 2015 talks, as he downplayed the hit his country will endure as a result of the sanctions.

EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini in a statement jointly signed with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, shared her dismay at Trump’s order that will seal the break down of the deal on Monday.

‘We deeply regret the re-imposition of sanctions by the U.S.’ the statement said. ‘We are determined to protect European economic operators engaged in legitimate business with Iran.’

Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (pictured) said it was hard to imagine negotiating with the man who tore up an agreement on which Iran and world powers had spent the 'longest hours in negotiating history' as he claimed that America is 'isolated' as a result of the sanctions implimentation

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (pictured) said it was hard to imagine negotiating with the man who tore up an agreement on which Iran and world powers had spent the ‘longest hours in negotiating history’ as he claimed that America is ‘isolated’ as a result of the sanctions implimentation

Rouhani said last week that Trump’s repudiation of the deal was illegal and Iran would not yield to Washington’s renewed campaign to strangle Iran’s vital oil exports.

Iran will ease foreign exchange rules, state TV reported on Sunday, in a bid to halt a collapse of the rial currency, which has lost half its value since April due to fears about the return of the sanctions.

Iran has seen days of protests and strikes directed at the country’s iron-fisted rulers.

A senior administration official told reporters during a Monday morning call that the blame ‘lies with the Iranian regime’ that has squandered the country’s’ resources and oppressed its people.

Officials on the call would not endorse regime change in Tehran and refused to say that the inherent purpose of the United States’ punishing actions was to force the collapse the Iranian economy.

A senior official hinted at the end game, however, telling press: ‘We are very intent on using these financial sanctions to great economic leverage.’

Referring to the sporadic protests in Iranian cities in his Monday avail, Pompeo said: ‘The Iranian people are not happy – not with the Americans but with their own leadership. They’re unhappy with the failure of their own leadership to deliver the economic promises that their leadership promised them.’

Pompeo said the United States wants ‘the Iranian people to have a strong voice of who their leadership will be,’ although he stopped short of calling for regime change in Tehran.

He later said in a message on Twitter that the United States was ‘deeply concerned about reports of Iranian regime´s violence against unarmed citizens’ and urged respect for human rights.

Protests broke out on Sunday for a sixth night in Iranian cities, including Kazeroon in the south, according to social media. Authorities reported the first fatality among protesters, with the shooting of a man in Karaj, west of Tehran. But they denied security forces were involved, Iranian news agencies reported

The protests have often begun with slogans against the high cost of living and alleged financial corruption but quickly turned into anti-government rallies.

Pompeo said it would require ‘enormous change’ by Iran to get out from under renewed U.S. sanctions. ‘They have got to behave like a normal country,’ he said, describing Iranian leaders as ‘bad actors.’

He alluded to Trump’s suggestion last week of the potential for future negotiations with Tehran, a notion that senior Iranian officials quickly rejected.

‘We are happy to talk if there’s an arrangement that is appropriate, that could lead to a good outcome,’ he said. ‘Perhaps that will be the path the Iranians choose to move down with. There´s no evidence to date of their desire to change to change their behavior.’

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6034339/Iranian-president-accuses-Trump-psychological-warfare.html

Story 4: Poor Trucker Driver Retention Issues Due To Pay, Benefits and Over-Regulation Results in Need For More New Truck Drivers — Videos

Trucking Companies Are Hiking Wages Amid Driver Shortage | CNBC

GOP lawmaker proposes solution to truck driver shortage

Truck driver shortage is really about retention issues: Todd Spencer

Is the trucker shortage a myth?

Truck driver pay plummeted in last 30 years: Drivers association president

Driver shortage is the fault of carrier pay/load rate per mile.

Is there a driver shortage? Let’s find out.

Why is there Truck drivers shortage in the US

THERE IS NO TRUCK DRIVER SHORTAGE!!! STOP SAYING THERE IS!!!!

Truck driver: Government decides when I work, eat and sleep

Truck Driver Salary Pay Packages Just Don’t Cut It

Published on May 6, 2014

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The Pronk Pops Show 1105, Story 1: President Trump Chooses An Outstanding Nominee for Supreme Court Justice — Brett Kavanaugh — Hate America Democrats (HAD) and Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers Had Nervous Breakdown Over Right-Wing Extremist?– Videos — Story 2: President Trump Flies To Europe for 7 Days for NATO Summit in Brussells and Meeting With Prime Minister May in England and Russian President Putin — Time To Step Up Military Spending of NATO Member Countries — Videos — Story 3: Will Prime Minister May Remain in Office? Brixit Breaks May — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump Chooses An Outstanding Nominee for Supreme Court Justice — Brett Kavanaugh — Hate America Democrats (HAD) and Lying Lunatic Leftist Losers Had Hysterical Nervous Breakdown — Panicking Petulent Progressive Propaganda of Big Lie Media — Videos

Trump names Brett Kavanaugh as Supreme Court pick

Outside Supreme Court, senators and activists react to Trump pick

Chuck Schumer RAILS Against Judge Brett Kavanaugh as Supreme Court Justice Nominee

President Trump announces Brett Kavanaugh as Supreme Court nominee

Hannity: Left will take extreme measures to malign Kavanaugh

Who is Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s SCOTUS pick?

“They’re PANICKING over Brett Kavanaugh??” Ben REACTS to the Left’s SCOTUS Meltdown

Chuck Schumer’s Reaction To Trump’s Supreme Court Pick Will Have You Speechless

How will Democrats and Republicans react to Trump’s SCOTUS nominee?

‘There is no one more qualified or deserving’: Trump picks federal judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill Anthony Kennedy’s Supreme Court seat, setting up ferocious battle with Dems to get him nominated

  • Trump: ‘Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law’ 
  • Kavanaugh, 53, was a front-runner for the nomination ever since Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement on June 27
  • He served as staff secretary to President George W. Bush at the White House
  • Also played a leading role in drafting Ken Starr’s report on President Bill Clinton
  • Served 10 years on the federal bench, giving Democrats ample material to sift throuh for a deep look into his written opinions
  • Kavanaugh and wife Ashely have two daughters; his all-American look was said to appeal to Trump
  • Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is said to be worried Kavanaugh will be tough to confirm because of his voluminous paper trail

President Donald Trump named Washington, D.C. federal judge Brett Kavanaugh on Monday to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

‘Judge Kavanaugh has impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law,’ Trump said in his announcement.

‘There is no one in America more qualified for this position, and no one more deserving,’ the president added.

Video playing bottom right…

President Trump named Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

Trump called Brett Kavanaugh 'one of the sharpest legal minds of our time.' Kavanaugh was joined by his family, wife Ashley, and daughters Margaret and Liza, at the announcement

Melania Trump sat next to Judge Kavanaugh's parents during the announcement

Judge Kavanaugh watches with his family as Trump signs a document confirming him as his nominee for the bench

Judge Kavanaugh watches with his family as Trump signs a document confirming him as his nominee for the bench

Judge Kavanaugh's parents sitting next to first lady Melania Trump

He called Kavanaugh ‘one of the sharpest legal minds of our time’ and urged the Senate to confirm his pick quickly.

The announcement was a family affair. Kavanaugh was joined by his wife Ashley, and daughters Margaret and Liza. His parents were at the White House, seated in the audience next to first lady Melania Trump.

‘Mr. President, I am grateful to you, and I’m humbled by your confidence in me,’ Kavanaugh said. ‘Justice Kennedy devoted his career to securing liberty. I am deeply honored to be nominated to fill his seat on the Supreme Court.’

In his remarks, Kavanaugh touted his strong record with women throughout his career, noting he’s hired a majority of female law clerks and that Elena Kagan, who is now on the Supreme Court, hired him to teach at Harvard.

Kavanaugh also paid tribute to his parents, who were both lawyers.

‘My mom was a trail blazer,’ he said, noting she went to law school when he was 10 years old and became a prosecutor. ‘The president introduced me tonight as Judge Kavanaugh but, to me, that title will always belong to my mom.’

His remarks were filled with stories about his family and his appreciation of them.

He noted both is daughters love sports and joked his young daughter Liza ‘loves sports and she loves to talk.’ He then gave her a high five.

He added that he’s coached both of his daughters’ basketball teams, where he’s called ‘Coach K.’

He and his wife met when they both worked at the Bush White House and their first date was September 10, 2001 – the night before the terrorist attacks.

‘Ashley was a source of strength for President Bush and everyone in this building,’ he said of the aftermath. ‘I thank God every day for my family.’

Kavanaugh’s remarks were filled with light-hearted stories like the above, making the audience laugh and showing his all-American appeal that Trump was said to be looking for his pick. His talk was focused on the personable with little conversation on his judicial record.

Judge Kavanaugh's remarks were filled with light-hearted stories about his family

Judge Kavanaugh will replace Anthony Kennedy on the Supreme Court

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh speaks after his nomination

But he did make an appeal to the Senate that will confirm him.

‘I will tell each Senator that I revere the constitution,’ he said.

‘My judicial philosophy is straight forward – a judge must be independent and interpret the law, not make the law,’ he said. ‘A judge must interpret the constitution as written.’

‘If confirmed by the Senate I will strive to keep an open mind in every case,’ Kavanaugh noted. ‘And I will always strive to preserve the constitution in the United States.’

Kavanaugh was a front-runner for the nomination ever since Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement on June 27.

Trump, in his announcement, indicated he wanted a judge that followed his successful first Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch.

The president noted Kavanaugh, like Gorsuch, clerked for Kennedy. Gorsuch and Kavanaugh also went to the same high school.

Gorsuch’s confirmation is considered one of the major successes of the Trump administration.

But Kavanaugh’s long record – 12 years as a judge, nearly 300 written opinions, a multitude of scholarly articles, a paperwork trail from his time in the Bush White House, and thousands of documents from when he served on the Starr investigation – has raised concerns Democrats will have an embarrassment of riches to use in questions during confirmation hearings, leading to a lengthened process and a tough confirmation vote.

As he did with Gorsuch barely 10 days after taking office last year, the president introduced Kavanaugh to a packed East Room at the White House and challenged the U.S. Senate to confirm his nominee without delay.

The Gorsuch nomination was seen as an even political swap for the deceased Justice Antonin Scalia, one rock-ribbed conservative for another.

Replacing Kennedy, often seen as a ‘swing vote’ on tight 5-4 decisions with enormous societal implications, with a conservative nominee is a far weightier exercise.

President Donald Trump is naming Washington D.C. federal judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

President Donald Trump is naming Washington D.C. federal judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

This is Trump's second nomination to the Supreme Court since he became president

Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy. Seated (L-R): Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anthony Kennedy, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justices Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer. Standing (L-R): Associate Justices Elena Kagan, Samuel Alito Jr., Sonia Sotomayor and Neil Gorsuch

Brett Kavanaugh was nominated to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy. Seated (L-R): Associate Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Anthony Kennedy, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Justices Clarence Thomas and Stephen Breyer. Standing (L-R): Associate Justices Elena Kagan, Samuel Alito Jr., Sonia Sotomayor and Neil Gorsuch

The Daily 202: Kavanaugh’s paper trail makes his confirmation harder but ensures he’ll be reliably conservative

July 10 at 9:45 AM

With Breanne Deppisch and Joanie Greve

THE BIG IDEA: Brett Kavanaugh is no David Souter.

President Trump’s nominee to replace Justice Anthony M. Kennedy on the Supreme Court made a name for himself as a partisan warrior when he worked for Ken Starr and has proved his reliability as a consistently conservative judge over a dozen years on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell reportedly told Trump that Kavanaugh’s lengthy paper trail over a quarter of a century in the public arena would make it harder to confirm him through the narrowly divided Senate than two of the other finalists being considered.

But the same track record that could cause headaches in the next several weeks is exactly what made Kavanaugh so appealing to leaders of the Republican legal establishment, including Federalist Society chief Leonard Leo and White House counsel Don McGahn, who wanted someone they feel confident they can count on for the next generation.

Kavanaugh, who has long been active in the Federalist Society, fits that bill. He was one of Starr’s top bulldogs as the independent counsel investigated Bill Clinton and at times advocated internally for an even more aggressive approach against the Democratic president. Kavanaugh was a lead author of the Starr Report and has acknowledged writing portions that laid out grounds for  impeachment.

He was deeply involved in the exploration of Clinton White House lawyer Vince Foster’s suicide, which Trump suggested in 2016 might have been a murder. Kavanaugh even appeared before the Supreme Court in a bid to subpoena notes taken by a lawyer whom Foster spoke with shortly before he died.

Kavanaugh represented the American relatives of Elián González pro bono as they tried to prevent the boy from being sent back to Cuba, a cause celebre on the right in 1999 and 2000.

He helped defend Jeb Bush’s school voucher plan in the Florida courts and then worked on George W. Bush’s legal team during the 2000 recount. Then he got a job in the White House Counsel’s Office under Alberto Gonzales, helping pick Bush’s judicial nominees. From there, he was promoted to staff secretary, which gave him more direct access to the president and control of the paper flow into the Oval Office.

Bush nominated Kavanaugh to the appeals court in 2003, but Democrats held up his confirmation for three years because of his polarizing work for Starr. At the time, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) called him the “Forrest Gump of Republican politics” because he seemed to be in the thick of every controversial legal fight that gripped the capital. Kavanaugh was eventually confirmed in 2006 as part of a larger deal on nominations by a vote of 57 to 36.

Since joining the court, Kavanaugh has written about 300 opinions —  including key decisions on guns, abortion and regulation. He ruled that the way the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is structured makes it unconstitutional, for instance, and has routinely taken the side of big business in disputes with government.

George H.W. Bush nominated Souter for the Supreme Court in 1990 at the recommendation of then-White House Chief of Staff John H. Sununu. Souter was on the New Hampshire Supreme Court but hadn’t ruled on hot-button issues, so he emerged as a consistently liberal vote once on the high court. No one who knows Kavanaugh doubts that he will pull the court to the right if confirmed.

Based on Kavanaugh’s votes on the D.C. Circuit, a political scientist at Emory University calculates that there is a 55 percent chance that he will be further to the right than Clarence Thomas and an 81 percent chance that he will be to the right of Chief Justice John Roberts:

Tom Clark@tom_s_clark

Wondering how is? I just estimated preferences from all voting by DC Circuit judges on en banc cases Ih/t Mike Giles). I estimate he is the fifth most conservative of the 47 judges for whom I have data.

McConnell recognizes that Kavanaugh’s nomination presents a target-rich environment for Democrats, who have dozens of potential avenues of attack because there are so many cases and episodes to choose from. Even though Kavanaugh is likely to ultimately make it through the Senate, there are enough unpopular positions he has staked out that most of the Democrats from red states should not have that hard of a time finding palatable justifications to oppose his nomination. (It’s always possible they’ll vote for him anyway if he already has the votes to get confirmed.)

Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings also ensure that some of the darkest chapters of the Bush era will be re-litigated, including the use of enhanced interrogation techniques.

— Importantly for Trump, though, Kavanaugh’s views on executive power have evolved significantly since he worked for Starr. In a 2009 article for the Minnesota Law Review, Kavanaugh noted that the Starr team he worked on operated under a “badly flawed” law, “particularly the extent to which it allowed civil suits against presidents to proceed while the President is in office.”

More recently, Kavanaugh has argued that presidents should not be distracted by civil lawsuits, criminal investigations, or even questions from a prosecutor or defense attorney while in office, Michael Kranish and Ann E. Marimow report. “Having observed the weighty issues that can consume a president, Kavanaugh wrote, the nation’s chief executive should be exempt from ‘time-consuming and distracting’ lawsuits and investigations, which ‘would ill serve the public interest, especially in times of financial or national security crisis.’ If a president were truly malevolent, Kavanaugh wrote, he could always be impeached.”

— Neil Gorsuch, who also served in the Bush administration, was pushed by legal activists on the right last year because he too was a known commodity and had been consistently conservative as a circuit court judge. He helped the Bush-Cheney reelection campaign in 2004 as a volunteer lawyer in Ohio. When he was interviewing for a senior job at the Justice Department, then-Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman emailed a top White House official to put in a good word. “He is a true loyalist,” Mehlman wrote of his former roommate.

Meet Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s Supreme Court nominee

President Trump announced July 9 that Brett M. Kavanaugh will be the Supreme Court nominee to fill Justice Kennedy’s vacant seat.

GET TO KNOW KAVANAUGH:

— He is just 53 years old. An avid runner, Kavanaugh could realistically spend four decades on the Supreme Court. He finished the Boston Marathon in 3:59:45 in 2010 and 4:08:36 in 2015.

— He has an elite pedigree. His father ran a cosmetics trade association here for decades. His mother was a high school teacher who became a lawyer and then a judge. Kavanaugh attended Yale for both undergrad and law school after attending Georgetown Preparatory School. Gorsuch, whose mom ran the Environmental Protection Agency, was a classmate at the elite private high school in Washington. The two then clerked for Kennedy at the same time.

Kavanaugh also clerked in San Francisco for Judge Alex Kozinski on the Ninth Circuit, who retired in December after 15 women alleged that he had subjected them to inappropriate sexual behavior.

The D.C. Circuit, where he serves now, is considered the second most important court in the land, only after the Supreme Court. Current justices John Roberts, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Clarence Thomas were each elevated from there.

— Kavanaugh identifies as an originalist. “A judge must interpret the Constitution as written, informed by history and tradition and precedent,” he said last night. (Note the difference between being “informed” by precedent and being bound by it. Those are two very different things.)

— Trump called Kavanaugh to tell him on Sunday night and informed Kennedy of his decision on Monday, per a senior White House official. “Kavanaugh’s link to the Bush political dynasty gave Trump pause during the search process, and he peppered associates with questions about whether ‘my base’ would embrace him,” Robert Costa, Robert Barnes and Felicia Sonmez report. “But ultimately, prodded by top advisers and veteran Republicans, Trump decided that Kavanaugh’s lengthy conservative judicial record made up for any lingering concerns about how some of his core supporters would view the pick.”

— As Kavanaugh praised the president during his speech in the East Room, you could see why he fared so well during his interview with Trump. “No president has ever consulted more widely or talked with more people from more backgrounds to seek input about a Supreme Court nomination,” Kavanaugh said, as the president smiled.

— With Roe v. Wade hanging in the balance, Kavanaugh went out of his way to emphasize his relationships with women. He laid it on thick: “My mom was a trailblazer,” he said. “When I was 10, she went to law school and became a prosecutor. My introduction to law came at our dinner table when she practiced her closing arguments. Her trademark line was ‘Use your common sense. What rings true, what rings false?’ That’s good advice for a juror — and for a son.”

  • “For the past 11 years, I have taught hundreds of students, primarily at Harvard Law School. … I remain grateful to the dean who hired me, Justice Elena Kagan.”
  • “I am proud that a majority of my law clerks have been women.”
  • “I have two spirited daughters, Margaret and Liza. Margaret loves sports, and she loves to read. Liza loves sports, and she loves to talk. I have tried to create bonds with my daughters like my dad created with me. … For the past seven years, I have coached my daughters’ basketball teams. The girls on the team call me Coach K.”
  • Kavanaugh’s wife, Ashley, was Bush 43’s longtime personal secretary: “Our first date was on September 10, 2001. The next morning I was a few steps behind her as the Secret Service shouted at all of us to sprint out the front gates of the White House, because there was an inbound plane. In the difficult weeks that followed, Ashley was a source of strength for President Bush and for everyone in this building.”

— Fun fact: The president’s big reveal preempted another reality TV show: “The Bachelorette” paused during Trump’s speech for a special report, and then ABC went back after Trump gave a metaphorical rose to Kavanaugh.

 “Not since Warren Harding in 1921 nominated former President William Howard Taft to be chief justice has the country been presented with a high court nominee so completely shaped by the needs and mores of the executive branch as Brett Kavanaugh,” Garrett Epps, who teaches constitutional law at the University of Baltimore, notes in The Atlantic. “Though Kavanaugh served as Kennedy’s law clerk during the October 1993 term, the contrast between the two men could hardly be more complete. Kennedy’s roots lay in his days of small-town private practice; he made his way to the bench from private practice, and, as a judge, he was conservative but independent. Kavanaugh has been the creature and servant of political power all his days. It would be the height of folly to expect that, having attained his lifetime’s ambition of a seat on the Supreme Court, he will become anything else.”

As President Trump announced his nominee for the Supreme Court, senators and activists demonstrated outside the Supreme Court building in Washington.

THE CONFIRMATION BATTLE AHEAD:

— Because Kavanaugh is already so well known on Capitol Hill, the partisan battle lines are mostly drawn:

  • Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah): “I will lift heaven and Earth to see that he is confirmed.”
  • Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.): “I will oppose Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination with everything I have.”

— Every Democratic senator who was invited to attend the announcement at the White House declined, including Joe Manchin III (W.Va.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Doug Jones (Ala.) and Joe Donnelly (Ind.). Incidentally, so did Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), who says she supports abortion rights and could be pivotal. On the other side, Nevada Sen. Dean Heller — the most vulnerable Republican up for reelection in 2018 — proudly sat in the front row.

— Americans for Prosperity, which is part of the Koch network, announced plans to spend “seven figures” on paid advertising and “grassroots engagement” in support of Kavanaugh’s confirmation. The GOP-aligned Judicial Crisis Network separately says it will spend $1.4 million on TV ads in the next week touting Kavanaugh in Alabama, Indiana, North Dakota and West Virginia.

— A good illustration of how Republicans are likely to fall in line: Kavanaugh ruled in 2015 that “the Government’s metadata collection program is entirely consistent with the Fourth Amendment.” If a Democratic nominee wrote that, there is no doubt that the libertarian-minded Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) would come out swinging against his or her nomination. Instead, Rand tweeted last night he has an “open mind,” and GOP aides say privately that they don’t think he’ll pose any kind of a problem.

Watch Brett Kavanaugh’s full acceptance speech after Trump nomination

 

Story 2: President Trump Flies To Europe for 7 Days for NATO Summit in Brussells and Meeting With Prime Minister May in England and Russian President Putin — Time To Step Up Military Spending of NATO Member Countries — Videos

See the source image

See the source image

See the source image

Trump pushes NATO allies to keep spending commitments

Trump to NATO members: Pay up

NATO contributions country-by-country

Trump takes on NATO over defense spending

President Trump Pressure NATO Allies Ahead of Summit – ENN 2018-07-10

NATO vs BRICS – What’s The Difference & How Do They Compare?

How many NATO member states are there?

 

Trump takes shots at NATO, May but praises Putin as he prepares to meet with alliance leaders

Philip Rucker, Michael Birnbaum and William BoothWashington Post

President Donald Trump signaled he was ready for a transatlantic brawl Tuesday as he embarked on a consequential week of international diplomacy, taking aim at vulnerable British Prime Minister Theresa May and suggesting that meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin might be easier than talking with Western allies at the NATO summit here.

Leaders converged on Brussels fearful of what the combative U.S. president might say or do to rupture the liberal world order, with some European diplomats privately predicting calamity.

As he departed Washington on Tuesday, Trump stoked the deep divisions in May’s government to undermine the leader of America’s closest historic ally on the eve of the NATO meeting. Asked if May should remain in power, Trump said, “That’s up to the people,” while also complimenting her top rival, Boris Johnson.

Some of Europe’s counters to Trump, including May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, arrive with heavy domestic political baggage of their own, making them vulnerable in negotiations with Trump as they seek to protect the Western alliance from his impulses on defense spending and trade.

Trump has long prized his instincts for taking advantage of an adversary’s weaknesses, and referred to the “turmoil” confronting May at home in remarks to reporters.

The prime minister faces a rebellion from advocates of a hard break from the European Union, who say she has been waffling, and is in danger of losing control. Johnson, a potential successor to May, resigned Monday as foreign secretary and reportedly savaged her Brexit plan as “a big turd.”

Trump praised him in personal terms: “Boris Johnson is a friend of mine. He’s been very, very nice to me and very supportive. And maybe we’ll speak to him when I get over there. I like Boris Johnson. I’ve always liked him.”

Trump’s seven-day journey begins in Brussels and will take him to England for his first visit there as president, to Scotland for a weekend respite at his private golf course and finally to Helsinki for his tête-à-tête with Putin. European leaders are as concerned about what concessions he might make to Putin – such as recognizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine – as they are about the chaos he could create at the NATO summit.

May plans to roll out the red carpet for Trump and first lady Melania Trump at a gala supper Thursday at Blenheim Palace, former prime minister Winston’s Churchill’s boyhood home, and at a luncheon Friday at Chequers, the prime minister’s country estate. She also secured him an audience with Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle.

It was a startling gambit for Trump to risk offending his host by showering Johnson with praise while May faces threats of a revolt – even a no-confidence vote – by her own Conservative party over how she is handling Brexit.

“Trump goes after the weak people. He smells who is weak and who is strong, and he gets on well with the strong ones,” said Robin Niblett, director of the Chatham House, a prominent think tank in London.

To her critics, May is forever making compromises to carry out Brexit, even though she herself voted against leaving the European bloc. She has not helped her image by endlessly kicking the can down the road and delaying decisions.

Alternatively, Johnson could be seen as strong by Trump because he pushed for Brexit, he won – and when he didn’t get what he wanted, he quit. In a leaked audiotape, Johnson also praised Trump as the consummate dealmaker. “Imagine Trump doing Brexit. He’d go in bloody hard,” Johnson said. “There’d be all sorts of breakdowns, all sorts of chaos. Everyone would think he’d gone mad. But actually you might get somewhere.”

Trump seizing on perceptions of weakness in the diplomatic arena is in keeping with how he dealt with rival developers and other adversaries in real estate deals, according to Trump biographer Michael D’Antonio.

“There are certain fail-safe bully tactics that can be employed when you’re the stronger, bigger kid,” D’Antonio said. “He is willing to be extreme and seek the upper hand, especially with people that he perceives to be polite and well-mannered.”

That impulse may be strongest this week with Merkel, who has been a stalwart against Trump’s disruptions in Europe but whose standing took a blow last month when she confronted the most serious leadership challenge in her 13-year rule of Germany.

Trump loathes Germany’s trade imbalance with the United States and feels the country is free-riding off the U.S. security umbrella. He also has long criticized Merkel for her 2015 decision to admit more than 1 million asylum seekers from Syria and elsewhere, warning that they were a proverbial Trojan horse who could destroy Europe’s way of life.

Trump has tried to spotlight any signs of Merkel’s political troubles, tweeting last month that “the people of Germany are turning against their leadership as migration is rocking the already tenuous Berlin coalition.”

In Brussels, Merkel will defend her decision to raise defense spending more slowly than Trump’s goal and seek to maintain the 35,000 U.S. troops deployed to Germany, which Trump has threatened to pull back.

But Merkel has actually benefited at home from Trump’s attacks, since the U.S. president is deeply unpopular among the German electorate, as he is with voters across much of western Europe.

Other sometimes-adversaries of Trump will be in Brussels as well, including French President Emmanuel Macron and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, creating the potential to extend disagreements that upended last month’s Group of Seven leaders summit in Quebec. Trump left that gathering without signing the perfunctory joint statement among the leaders that his aides had endorsed, and he proceeded to trash its host, Trudeau, as “weak” and “dishonest.”

Ahead of the NATO meetings that begin here Wednesday, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg tried to strike an optimistic note and play down the simmering disputes.

“Our summit comes at a time when some are questioning the strength of the transatlantic bond and I would not be surprised if we have robust discussions at the summit, including on defense spending,” Stoltenberg told reporters Tuesday. “Different views are normal among friends and allies, but I am confident that we will agree on the fundamentals.”

But European Council President Donald Tusk was more direct in anticipating that Trump may have designs on sowing discord, delivering a stinging warning to the visiting Americans president.

“Dear America, appreciate your allies,” Tusk said. “After all, you don’t have that many.”

As he departed the White House, Trump offered a rebuttal.

“Well, we do have a lot of allies,” he told reporters before boarding Marine One. “But we cannot be taken advantage of. We’re being taken advantage of by the European Union. We lost $151 billion last year on trade. And on top of that, we spend at least 70 percent for NATO. And, frankly, it helps them a lot more than it helps us. So we’ll see what happens. We have a long, beautiful week.”

This story first appeared in the Washington Post.

Story 3: Will Prime Minister May Remain in Office? Brixit Breaks May — Videos

Try not to smirk too much, Boris: Johnson poses for picture of himself signing his lengthy resignation letter as he accuses May of letting ‘Brexit dream die’… and Jacob Rees-Mogg says he will make a ‘brilliant’ Prime Minister

  • Boris Johnson accused Theresa May of ‘suffocating’ Brexit as he sensationally resigned as Foreign Secretary
  • He declared war on the PM’s Chequers’s plan and said negotiators had ‘white flags fluttering above them’
  • But he came under fire after posing up for resignation photos which showed him signing the letter to the PM
  • Lib Dem MP Layla Moran called him a ‘poundshop Churchill impressionist’ and accused him of ‘running away’ 
  • Tory backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg backed Mr Johnson and said he would make a ‘brilliant’ Prime Minister  

Theresa May is fighting for her political life today after Boris Johnson accused her of killing Brexit and his allies backed him to be a ‘brilliant’ PM.

Mr Johnson used his decision to quit as Foreign Secretary to declare war on her Chequers plan for leaving the EU.

Warning that the UK was heading for colonial status, he said the Brexit dream was ‘dying – suffocated by self-doubt’.

He claimed Mrs May was sending negotiators ‘into battle with the white flags fluttering above them’ and surrendering control to Brussels. Following a chaotic day of resignations and rumours, Downing Street is now braced for a potential leadership challenge.

Boris also faced criticism in many quarters for taking the time to stage the photos of himself signing the resignation letter and was branded a ‘poundshop Churchill’.

In a reference to his decision to resign only after David Davis had quit as Brexit Secretary on Sunday night, one May loyalist said: ‘There’s not much honour in being second over the top.’

Mrs May also swiftly reshuffled her cabinet, bringing in Jeremy Hunt from Health to replace Boris as Foreign Secretary and Dominic Raab to replace Mr Davis.

But, in a significant intervention, Jacob Rees-Mogg last night backed Mr Johnson, saying he would make a ‘brilliant’ prime minister. 

The former Foreign Secretary declared war on the PM's Chequers plan, but came under fire after he posed up for resignation photos as he sensationally quit the CabinetThe former Foreign Secretary declared war on the PM’s Chequers plan, but came under fire after he posed up for resignation photos as he sensationally quit the Cabinet

Theresa May was fighting for her political life last night after Boris Johnson said the Brexit dream was ‘dying – suffocated by self-doubt’ in his resignation letter

Boris Johnson writing his resignation letter

Who’s in and who’s out of PM’s cabinet after the Chequers rebellion

  • Jeremy Hunt leaves Health to replace Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary.
  • Matt Hancock promoted from Culture to be Health Secretary.
  • Dominic Raab leaves Housing to replace David Davis as Brexit Secretary.
  • Chris Heaton-Harris promoted to junior Brexit minister, replacing Steve Baker who followed his bossDavid Davis out of the door.
  • Kit Malthouse, an ally of Boris’ when he was Mayor of London, becomes Housing Minister.
  • Attorney General Jeremy Wright replaces Matt Hancock at Culture.
  • Barrister Geoffrey Cox replaces Wright as Attorney General.

Slamming the photos, Ms Moran, a leading member of the anti-Brexit group Best for Britain, said: ‘This staged resignation photograph is pathetic. This man is a poundshop Churchill impressionist. Its just very sad.

‘But Boris is doing what he does best: when the going gets tough he runs away like a coward.

‘He did it over Heathrow and he’s done it today. Rather than fight for the country he yet again cares only for his own self interest.

‘But at least he will have a little memento of the day his dreams came crashing down around him.’

Labour’s David Lammy said: ‘The fact that Boris Johnson arranged for a photoshoot of himself signing his resignation letter for the front pages tells us everything we need to know about him.

‘Self-obsessed, vain egomaniac devoid of substance caring only about himself and advancing his career. Good riddance.’

Sam Macrory, an ally of Nick Clegg, said: ‘We all know that Boris Johnson’s decision to quit is absolutely not about one man and his personal ambitions, but I’m struggling to think of another time where a Secretary of State called in the photographers to record the moment a resignation letter was signed.’

Gavin Sinclair said: ‘This sums up Boris – has a senior minister ever called in a photographer before resigning…and just before the PM’s statement to the Commons?!’

And Jon David Ellis criticised Mr Johnson’s behaviour in the aftermath of the Novichok poisonings, saying: ‘Boris literally posed with his resignation letter. Hours after a British citizen died from a foreign agent he chooses self image over basic dignity.’

More than 80 MPs attended a meeting of the pro-Brexit European Research Group, which Mr Rees-Mogg leads, in order to attack Mrs May’s Chequers plan. ‘This has got to be killed and it’s got to be killed before recess [in two weeks’ time],’ said one attendee.

Another Eurosceptic confirmed MPs were writing to the Tory 1922 Committee backbench group to trigger a no- confidence motion.

Boris Johnson's resignation letter to Mrs May in which he said the Brexit 'dream' was being 'suffocated by needless self-doubt'

Boris Johnson’s resignation letter to Mrs May in which he said the Brexit ‘dream’ was being ‘suffocated by needless self-doubt’

Boris Johnson leaves Carlton Gardens after his resignation
Mr Johnson (pictured) claimed Mrs May was sending negotiators ‘into battle with the white flags fluttering above them’Mr Johnson (pictured) claimed Mrs May was sending negotiators ‘into battle with the white flags fluttering above them’
The departed Foreign Secretary came under fire after he posed for pictures while signing his resignation letter 

Two more MPs quit top team in anger over Brexit

Two more Conservative MPs resigned from the Government last night.

Both parliamentary private secretaries, they said they were stepping down because of their concern over the direction of Brexit negotiations.

Chris Green, PPS to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, announced his departure from the position following last night’s 1922 Committee meeting with the Prime Minister.

Conor Burns, who was Boris Johnson’s PPS at the Foreign Office, also announced his resignation.

Mr Green’s constituency Bolton West voted 55.6 per cent Leave in the 2016 referendum and Mr Burns’ constituency Bournemouth West voted 57.7 per cent Leave.

Although the role of a PPS is often described as a ministerial ‘bag carrier’, it shows growing discontent within the Party and heightens speculation of a challenge to Theresa May’s leadership.

One said: ‘It’s over now. She’s done. It would be good if it were done quickly. I want to know who will be standing against her. We need to establish a new government because this offer is indefensible’.

One MP told the 1922 Committee that Mrs May had orchestrated a ‘Remain coup’ at Chequers on Friday. All four ‘great offices of state’ are now held by those who campaigned for Remain.

Friends of Mr Johnson, whose aide Conor Burns also resigned, were tight-lipped last night about his next move. But his resignation letter offered no support for Mrs May and, unlike Mr Davis, he did not urge MPs to back her.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid was among those to praise Mr Johnson yesterday, saying he would miss his ‘Reaganesque optimism and passion for global Britain’. On a day of turmoil at Westminster:

  • Eurosceptic MPs said more ministers would resign unless Mrs May backs down and abandons her Chequers plan;
  • It was rumoured the Eurosceptics are close to gathering the 48 names needed to force a vote of confidence in Mrs May;
  • Mr Davis stepped up his attack on Mrs May’s tactics, saying ‘we are giving too much away too easily – and that is a dangerous strategy’;
  • Steve Baker, who quit as Brexit minister, said the Establishment was trying to block Brexit;
  • Jeremy Hunt took over as Foreign Secretary, while Matt Hancock succeeded him as Health and Social Care Secretary;
  • Mr Davis’s former chief of staff Dominic Raab replaced him as Brexit Secretary;
  • Downing Street was forced to deny that Mrs May will offer ‘preferential’ access to the UK jobs market to EU citizens;
  • No 10 admitted that the customs arrangements signed off at Chequers may not be fully ready before the next election in 2022;
  • Mrs May told Tory MPs they had a duty to stick together to keep Jeremy Corbyn out of Downing Street.

In the Commons yesterday Mrs May paid tribute to both Mr Davis and Mr Johnson, who she said had displayed ‘passion’ for the Brexit cause. But in her reply to Mr Johnson’s attack last night, the PM noted that he had initially backed the plan at Chequers last week, reportedly choosing to toast her success with champagne.

Mrs May said she was ‘sorry – and a little surprised’ to receive his resignation ‘after the productive discussion we had at Chequers’.

One of her allies said: ‘For all the flowery language in his letter, what is conspicuous by its absence is anything resembling an alternative plan.

‘He moans about all these things but there is no sense of how he might achieve a different outcome. That is the difference.’

Jacob Rees-Mogg has said Mr Johnson will make an excellent Prime Minister after more than 80 MPs attended a meeting of the pro-Brexit European Research Group that he leads

How could Theresa May be ousted as Tory leader?

Theresa May faces a mortal threat to her leadership of the Conservative Party and Government.

A Tory leadership contest can be called in one of two ways – if Mrs May resigns or if MPs force and win a vote of no confidence in her.

Calling votes of no confidence is the responsibility of the chairman of the 1922 Committee, which includes all backbench Tory MPs.

Chairman Graham Brady is obliged to call a vote if 15 per cent of Tory MPs write to him calling for one – currently 48 MPs.

The process is secret and only Mr Brady knows how many letters he has received.

The procedure was last used in 2003 when Iain Duncan Smith was ousted as Tory leader.

If Mrs May is ousted, any MP is eligible to stand.

Conservative MPs will then hold a series of ballots to whittle the list of contenders down to two, with the last place candidate dropping out in each round.

The final two candidates are then offered to the Tory membership at large for an election.

Addressing the 1922 Committee, the Prime Minister acknowledged the controversy the Chequers deal had caused, but told MPs: ‘To lead is to decide.’ Outside the meeting, her supporters claimed she was in a better position following the resignations.

‘She is strengthened by all of this – it helps her,’ said Solicitor General Robert Buckland. ‘She has made decisions and the consequences are that some people feel they cannot be bound by collective responsibility, respect to them for resigning, but she has shown leadership.

‘This idea she is some sort of vacillator who cannot make her mind up and wants to keep everybody in the tent – no – she is showing leadership.’

Tory MP James Heappey said there was ‘huge support’ for Mrs May at the 1922 Committee. He said Brexiteers seeking to depose her ‘can do their worst, but it won’t be enough’.

In the Commons pro-Remain Tories, including Anna Soubry and Nicky Morgan, backed Mrs May. But the Prime Minister faced direct challenges from a string of Eurosceptic Tories.

Mr Rees-Mogg said her Brexit promises ‘have been watered down to the point that we are, or would be, in a semi-suspended state of membership of the European Union’.

He said the Cabinet resignations ‘really undermine the credibility of what was agreed at Chequers’.

Andrea Jenkyns, who quit the government to speak out on Brexit last month, said she would be writing a letter of no-confidence in Mrs May.

She said Mrs May’s premiership ‘is over… there’s a feeling we need a PM who believes in Brexit’.

Senior Conservative Sir Bernard Jenkin warned there had been a ‘massive haemorrhage of trust’ as a result of the direction the PM was taking and said it ‘may well come’ to a vote over her leadership.

In the Commons, Peter Bone accused Mrs May of betrayal. Mr Bone, who faced cries of ‘shame’, told the PM that activists in his Wellingborough constituency were questioning why they were still campaigning for the party.

Mrs May replied: ‘This is not a betrayal. We will end free movement. We will end the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice.

‘We will stop sending vast sums of money to the European Union every year.’

In full: Boris Johnson’s damning resignation letter to Theresa May

Dear Theresa

It is more than two years since the British people voted to leave the European Union on an unambiguous and categorical promise that if they did so they would be taking back control of their democracy.

They were told that they would be able to manage their own immigration policy, repatriate the sums of UK cash currently spent by the EU, and, above all, that they would be able to pass laws independently and in the interests of the people of this country.

Brexit should be about opportunity and hope. It should be a chance to do things differently, to be more nimble and dynamic, and to maximise the particular advantages of the UK as an open, outward-looking global economy.

That dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt.

We have postponed crucial decisions – including the preparations for no deal, as I argued in my letter to you of last November – with the result that we appear to be heading for a semi-Brexit, with large parts of the economy still locked in the EU system, but with no UK control over that system.

It now seems that the opening bid of our negotiations involves accepting that we are not actually going to be able to make our own laws. Indeed we seem to have gone backwards since the last Chequers meeting in February, when I described my frustrations, as Mayor of London, in trying to protect cyclists from juggernauts. We had wanted to lower the cabin windows to improve visibility; and even though such designs were already on the market, and even though there had been a horrific spate of deaths, mainly of female cyclists, we were told that we had to wait for the EU to legislate on the matter.

So at the previous Chequers session, we thrashed out an elaborate procedure for divergence from EU rules. But even that seems to have been taken of the table and there is in fact no easy UK right of initiative. Yet if Brexit is to mean anything, it must surely give ministers and Parliament the chance to do things differently to protect the public. If a country cannot pass a law to save the lives of female cyclists – when that proposal is supported at every level of UK Government – then I don’t see how that country can truly be called independent.

It is also also clear that by surrendering control over our rulebook for goods and agrifoods (and much else besides) we will make it much more difficult to do free trade deals. And then there is the further impediment of having to argue for an impractical and undeliverable customs arrangement unlike any other in existence

Conversely, the British Government has spent decades arguing against this or that EU directive, on the grounds that it was too burdensome or ill-thought out. We are now in the ludicrous position of asserting that we must accept huge amounts of precisely such EU law, without changing an iota, because it is essential for our economic health – and when we no longer have any ability to influence these laws as they are made.

In that respect we are truly headed for the status of colony – and many will struggle to see the economic or political advantages of that particular arrangement.

It is also clear that by surrendering control over our rulebook for goods and agrifoods (and much else besides) we will make it much more difficult to do free trade deals. And then there is the further impediment of having to argue for an impractical and undeliverable customs arrangement unlike any other in existence.

What is even more disturbing is that this is our opening bid. This is already how we see the end state for the UK – before the other side has made its counter-offer. It is as though we are sending our vanguard into battle with the white flags fluttering above them. Indeed, I was concerned, looking at Friday’s document, that there might be further concessions on immigration, or that we might end up effectively paying for access to the single market.

On Friday I acknowledged that my side of the argument were too few to prevail, and congratulated you on at least reaching a Cabinet decision on the way forward. As I said then, the Government now has a song to sing. The trouble is that I have practised the words over the weekend and find that they stick in the throat. We must have collective responsibility. Since I cannot in all conscience champion these proposals, I have sadly concluded that I must go.

I am proud to have served as Foreign Secretary in your Government. As I step down I would like first to thank the patient officers of the Metropolitan Police who have looked after me and my family, at times in demanding circumstances.

I am proud too of the extraordinary men and women of our diplomatic service. Over the last few months they have shown how many friends this country has around the world, as 28 governments expelled Russian spies in an unprecedented protest at the attempted assassination of the Skripals. They have organised a highly successful Commonwealth summit and secured record international support for this Government’s campaign for 12 years of quality education for every girl, and much more besides. As I leave office, the FCO now has the largest and by far the most effective diplomatic network of any country in Europe – a continent which we will never leave.

THE RT HON BORIS JOHNSON MP

In full: Theresa May’s withering reply to Boris Johnson’s resignation letter

Dear Boris,

Thank you for your letter relinquishing the office of Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs.

I am sorry – and a little surprised – to receive it after the productive discussions we had at Chequers on Friday, and the comprehensive and detailed proposal which we agreed as a Cabinet. It is a proposal which will honour the result of the referendum and the commitments we made in our general election manifesto to leave the single market and the customs union. It will mean that we take back control of our borders, our laws, and our money – ending the freedom of movement, ending the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in the United Kingdom, and ending the days of sending vast sums of taxpayers’ money to the European Union. We will be able to spend that money on our priorities instead – such as the £20 billion increase we have announced for the NHS budget, which means that we will soon be spending an extra £394 million a week on our National Health Service.

As I outlined at Chequers, the agreement we reached requires the full, collective support of Her Majesty’s Government. During the EU referendum campaign, collective responsibility on EU policy was temporarily suspended. As we developed our policy on Brexit, I have allowed Cabinet colleagues considerable latitude to express their individual views. But the agreement we reached on Friday marks the point where that is no longer the case, and if you are not able to provide the support we need to secure this deal in the interests of the United Kingdom, it is right that you should step down.

As you do so, I would like to place on record my appreciation of the service you have given to our country, and to the Conservative Party, as Mayor of London and as Foreign Secretary – not least for the passion that you have demonstrated in promoting a Global Britain to the world as we leave the European Union.

Yours ever,

Theresa May

May makes Jeremy Hunt Foreign Secretary after facing down rebel MPs and telling them they’ll make CORBYN PM as she AVOIDS a no confidence vote

Jeremy Hunt – Britain’s longest ever serving Health Secretary – was promoted to head the Foreign Office after Boris Johnson’s shock resignation.

Theresa May moved to reshuffle her frontbench team after a day of high political drama which threatened to bring her premiership crashing down.

Earlier she faced down her critics at a crunch meeting with her MPs – known as the 1922 committee – in Parliament, warning them they risk handing the keys of No10 to Jeremy Corbyn if they oust her.

Mr Johnson’s departure fuelled feverish discussion about whether mutinous Tory MPs will move to topple Mrs May by sending in letters of no confidence.

Jeremy Hunt is the new Foreign Secretary

Matt Hancock is the new Health Secretary

Jeremy Hunt (left) has been appointed Foreign Secretary while Matt Hancock (right) replaces him as Health Secretary

Theresa May is battling to hang on as PM

Theresa May is battling to hang on as PM

Theresa May’s premiership is hanging in the balance after David Davis and Boris Johnson quit in a shock double cabinet resignation.

Here are the odds, via bookmakers Ladbrokes, on who will be the next PM:

Michael Gove (Environment Secretary) – 9/2

Has buried the hatchet with Mr Johnson after brutally ending his Tory leadership campaign in the wake of David Cameron’s resignation.

Thought to be less concerned with short term concessions that Mr Johnson, but focused on ensuring the UK is free from Brussels rules in the longer term.

Jeremy Corbyn (Labour leader) – 5/1

The labour leader will be hoping to capitalise on Brexit disarray in the Cabinet to seize power himself in an election

Sajid Javid (Home Secretary) – 5/1

Brought in to replace Amber Rudd after she resigned amid the Windrush scandal, Mr Javid was seen as a reluctant Remainer in the referendum.

Many thought the former high-flying banker would plump for the Leave campaign, but he eventually claimed to have been won over by the economic case. He is likely to focus be guided by evidence about trade calculations in discussions over how closely aligned the UK should be with the EU.

Jacob Rees-Mogg (Tory backbencher) – 6/1

A leading Tory backbencher, he is chairman of the European Research Group – the powerful group of backbench Brexit backing Tory MPs.

Boris Johnson (ex Foreign Secretary)- 8/1

The Brexit champion in the Cabinet until today, has been agitating for a more robust approach and previously played down the problems of leaving with no deal.

He is unhappy with plans for a tight customs arrangement with Brussels – warning that it could effectively mean being lashed to the EU indefinitely. Said to have bluntly dismissed concerns from pro-EU companies by saying ‘f*** business’.

Andrea Leadsom (Commons leader) – 12/1

A leading Brexiteer who ran for the leadership last year before pulling out allowing Theresa May to be crowned.

Jeremy Hunt (Health Secretary)  – 14/1

A Remainer in the referendum campaign, Mr Hunt has since embraced the Brexiteer arguments – with speculation that he is positioning for a tilt at the top job should Mrs May be abruptly ousted. He has been heavily

Dominic Raab (Brexit Secretary) – 16/1

The new Brexit Secretary, Mr Raab is a leading Brexiteer who has been brought into the Cabinet after David Davis’ shock resignation.

David Davis (ex Brexit Secretary) – 25/1

A long-time Eurosceptic and veteran of the 1990s Maastricht battles, brought back by Mrs May in 2016 to oversee the day-to-day negotiations.

He has plunged her Government into chaos after sensationally quitting last night.

He has said the government will be seeking a ‘Canada plus plus plus’ deal from the EU.

But the PM has insisted that she will stay on and fight if a leadership contest is triggered.

The promotion of Mr Hunt – a Remainer who now says he would back Brexit – comes weeks after he secured a £20billion a year funding boost for the NHS to mark its 70th birthday.

Culture Secretary Matt Hancock will move to head up the health service, attorney general Jeremy Wright has become the new Culture Secretary while Brexiteer Geoffrey Cox is being made Attorney General in the shake-up.

Earlier this year Mr Hunt fended off efforts by the PM to move him from the health brief to become Business Secretary – telling her he was determined to stay on and finish the job he had set himself as Health Secretary.

It came hours after Mrs May promoted Brexiteer Tory MP Dominic Raab to the post of Brexit Secretary as Mr Davis’ replacement.

Unlike his predecessor, Mr Hunt backed Remain in the EU referendum – but he has said he would now vote for Brexit because he has grown fed up with the ‘arrogance’ of Brussels.

The PM moved to shore up her support among the Tory backbenches by defending her Brexit plans in the Commons chamber and a packed meeting of the parliamentary party which took place immediately afterwards.

She warned mutinous Tories threatening to mount a revolt to out her that they risk letting a hard left Corbyn- led Government.

And she was given a reprieve tonight with news she will not face an immediate vote of no confidence.

The rare bright spot for the PM came as she issued a defiant message at a stormy session of the Tory 1922 committee in Parliament, with her premiership hanging by a thread.

Mrs May told the gathering that ‘to lead is to decide’ and raised the prospect of the Labour leader imposing a left-wing revolution on the country.

And in a boost for the embattled PM, the chairman of the powerful 1922, Sir Graham Brady, is said to have confirmed at the session tonight that currently he has not received the 48 letters from MPs that would trigger a no-confidence vote.

After the meeting, solicitor general Robert Buckland told journalists that Mrs May had received strong support from the party rank-and-file.

He said: ‘She talked about Jeremy Corbyn, she talked about the alternative being to deliver the country to the sort of Government people didn’t vote for and any Conservative voter would be repelled by.’

Mr Buckland insisted Mrs May could emerge strengthened from the furore, comparing the turbulent events to the crises which faced German Chancellor Angela Merkel in her early years in office.

He said: ‘I think she is strengthened by all of this, I think it helps her.

‘The most striking remark she said was “to lead is to decide”.’

Tory MP Geoffrey Cox – a Brexiteer who has been promoted to Attorney General in today’s reshuffle  – said many Eurosceptics inside the meeting urged the PM to stay on and lead them through Brexit.

He said: ‘I regret Boris and David have gone, but I think they were wrong – they should have stuck in and make this deal successful.’

He said the third way deal Mrs May has put forward represents a ‘giant step’ on the road to Brexit.’

But Jacob Rees-Mogg, a Tory MP and leader of the European Research Group – the powerful group of backbench Tory MPs – said the PM must ditch her Chequers plan.

He said: ‘You see that those supporting Remain two years ago are supporting quasi Remain now…the key question for today is does the rather bad Chequers deal go ahead.’

And he warned that if the Tory party splits along the two wings of Brexiteers vs Remainers – the fault will lie squarely with Downing Street.

He said: ‘If the Government plans to get the Chequers deal through on the back of Labour Party votes then that would be the most divisive thing it could do.

‘And it would be a split coming from the top, not from the members of Conservative party across the country.’

‘I can’t put my name to this’: How Boris finally quit after being asked to put his name to article DEFENDING Chequers Brexit summit deal

Boris Johnson’s dramatic resignation came after he refused to put his name to a Downing Street-drafted article supporting the Chequers agreement, it emerged last night.

Mr Johnson, who quit the Government yesterday, had appeared to have fallen into the line with the negotiating strategy announced on Friday evening – despite apparently referring to it as a ‘t**d’.

He was even said to have congratulated the PM at dinner for securing Cabinet agreement. But on Saturday he refused to sign off a joint newspaper article with the Remain-backing Chancellor Philip Hammond – a long term Remainer – supporting the deal.

A friend said Mr Johnson took one look at the article and said: ‘I can’t put my name to this.’ A text drafted by No 10 was passed to the Treasury, then sent on to the FCO on Saturday. But seeing the consequences of the deal in black and white made him realise he would have to quit, allies revealed.

Boris Johnson refused to put his name to a Downing Street-drafted article with Chancellor Philip Hammond supporting the Chequers agreement

‘At that point he knew it was indefensible,’ the friend said.

On Sunday a series of articles purporting to be written by Cabinet ministers supporting the deal were placed in newspapers. Both Mr Johnson and Brexit Secretary David Davis were conspicuous by their absence.

By yesterday, according to allies, Mr Johnson was ‘racked with doubt’ about whether to stay in the Cabinet at all and concluded he simply couldn’t improve the deal from inside government.

He telephoned Downing Street yesterday lunchtime and told them he planned to announce his resignation in the evening.

But No 10 refused to allow him that luxury and – in a clear attempt to spike his guns – made the unusual decision to announce his departure in a short statement at 3pm, before Mr Johnson had even finished composing his resignation letter.

It emerged hours later, warning that the UK was heading for a ‘Semi-Brexit’ as a ‘colony’ of Brussels and that the dream of the Leave campaign – to take back control of our democracy – was ‘dying’.

In her icy reply last night, the Prime Minister said she was ‘a little surprised’ to see Mr Johnson departing the Government after the Cabinet signed off on her deal at Chequers on Friday. She suggested he was going back on his word.

But after Mr Davis quit the Government at midnight, speculation quickly swirled around Westminster that Mr Johnson would follow. The rumours soon reached fever pitch when he failed to attend a meeting of the Government’s emergency Cobra committee at 1pm to discuss the Salisbury poisonings.

He had also been expected to host, but was notably absent from, the Western Balkans Summit in London’s Docklands yesterday afternoon, involving ministers from several EU states.

Allies of the Foreign Secretary insisted last night that neither this, nor leadership ambitions, was ultimately a factor in his decision to leave Indeed, when his resignation letter was finally released, it was a vivid deconstruction of the Prime Minister’s Brexit strategy. Savaging the PM’s Chequers deal, he said vast swathes of the economy would be ‘locked in’ to Brussels rules but with no influence over them.

He also launched a scathing attack on the PM personally, accusing her of being ‘suffocated by needless self doubt’ and of running up the white flag to Brussels.

And he warned this ‘disturbing’ opening bid could be followed by further concessions on immigration and money ‘for access to the single market’.

Unlike Mr Davis – who notably backed Mrs May staying in office in interviews yesterday – Mr Johnson made no such offers of support.

Mr Johnson wrote: ‘Brexit should be about opportunity and hope. It should be a chance to do things differently, to be more nimble and dynamic, and to maximise the particular advantages of the UK as an open, outward-looking global economy. That dream is dying, suffocated by needless self-doubt.’

Mr Johnson said the failure to prepare for ‘no deal’ means ‘we appear to be heading for a semi-Brexit, with large parts of the economy still locked in the EU system, but with no UK control over that system.’

And he condemned Mrs May’s customs proposals, the Facilitated Customs Arrangement, calling it an ‘impractical and undeliverable customs arrangement unlike any other in existence.’ In his letter, Mr Johnson accepted that on Friday he had congratulated the PM on ‘at least reaching a Cabinet decision on the way forward’. He then added: ‘As I said then, the Government now has a song to sing. The trouble is I have practised the words over the weekend and find that they stick in the throat.’

Last Thursday night, David Cameron made an extraordinary appeal to Mr Johnson not to resign.

The former prime minister, acting with the blessing of Mrs May, met for drinks with his fellow Old Etonian at a London club just hours before the make-or-break summit.

Last Wednesday other pro-Leave cabinet ministers met Mr Johnson in the Foreign Office as details of Mrs May’s proposals leaked out. Penny Mordaunt, Andrea Leadsom, Esther McVey, Liam Fox, Chris Grayling, Michael Gove and David Davis – as well as Gavin Williamson discussed the plan. A similar group met the next day to plan tactics for Chequers in an attempt to push an alternative plan.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5935751/Jacob-Rees-Mogg-says-former-Foreign-Secretary-make-excellent-Prime-Minister.html

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1038, February 23, 2018, Story 1: President Trump Unplugged At CPAC 2018 (Conservative Political Action Committee) — Conservatives Chant Lock Her Up — President Trump Delivers Remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference — Bald Bold Beautiful Barrier — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump Unplugged At CPAC 2018 (Conservative Political Action Committee) — Conservatives Chant Lock Her Up — President Trump Delivers Remarks at the Conservative Political Action Conference — Bald Bold Beautiful Barrier — Videos

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Read the full text of Trump’s CPAC speech

The president used an old story about a snake to talk about immigrants in America.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Donald Trump delivered a speech Friday morning at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Here is a full rush transcript of his remarks.


Thank you, everybody. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you, Matt, for that great introduction. And thank you for this big crowd. This is incredible. Really incredible. We have all come a long way together. We have come a long way together.

I’m thrilled to be back at CPAC, with so many of my wonderful friends and amazing supporters and proud conservatives. Remember when I first started running? Because I wasn’t a politician, fortunately, but do you remember I started running and people said, are you sure he’s a conservative? I think I proved I’m a conservative.

For more than four decades, this event has served as a forum for our nation’s top leaders, activists, writers, and thinkers.

Year after year, leaders have stood on this stage to discuss what we can do together to protect our heritage, to promote our culture, and to defend our freedom. CPAC has always been about big ideas, and it has also been about putting those ideas into action — and CPAC really has put a lot of ideas into action. We’ll talk about some of them this morning.

For the last year with your help, we have put more great conservative ideas into use than perhaps ever before in American history. What a nice picture that is. Look at that. I would love to watch that guy speak. Oh, boy. Oh, I try like hell to hide that bald spot, folks. I work hard at it. Doesn’t look bad. Hey, we’re hanging in. We’re hanging in. We’re hanging in there, right? Together we’re hanging in. We have confirmed a record number, so important, of circuit court judges and we’re going to be putting in a lot more.

And they will interpret the law as written and we have confirmed an incredible new Supreme Court justice, a great man, Neil Gorsuch. Right. We have passed massive, biggest in history, tax cuts and reforms. I don’t use the word reform, there was a lot of reform too, very positive — I don’t use it. And when we were first doing it I told everybody, everybody gathered, I said, just talk about tax cuts. People don’t know what reform means. They think reform might mean it is going up. And I said, do tax cuts.

Thank you. How did he get in here, Matt? Boy. Okay. Just for the media, the fake news back there, they took very good care of him. They were very gentle. He was very obnoxious. It was only one person. So we have thousands of people here. So, listen, tomorrow the headline will be protesters disturb the Trump — one person, folks. Doesn’t deserve a mention. Doesn’t deserve a headline. The headline tomorrow, disrupters of CPAC. One person. And he was very nice. We looked at him, he immediately left. Okay. Now, I’ve heard it too often.

You’ll have one person and you can hardly even hear. The biggest disturbance are you people. You know why? He’ll say something, nobody hears him, because — and then the crowd will start screaming at him and then all of a sudden we start — and that’s okay. You have to show your spirit, right? You have to show your spirit. It is true.

So we passed the biggest tax cuts in the history of our country and it was called tax cut and reform. And I said to our people, don’t use the word reform. Because we’re going to go with the tax reform act. I said no wonder for 45 years nothing has been passed. Because people want tax cuts. And they don’t know what reform means. Reform can mean you’re going to pay more tax.

So I convinced politicians who have done this all their lives, and they do a great job in many cases, this is — the tax reform act of whatever year we want to put, okay. So they have the tax reform act and that was it. And now it was called the tax act tax cut act and jobs, we had to add jobs into it, because we’re picking up a tremendous number of jobs. 2.7 million jobs. 2.7. So now people hear tax cuts, and it has been popular.

Remember, it started off a little slow. Then it got passed. We had some great help. I will say we had some great help in the Senate, and the House, we have guys here today, we have a lot of Congressmen, we have a lot of senators, we had a lot of help, and we got it passed, just — it was not easy.

We didn’t have one Democrat vote and I think that’s going to cost them in the midterms. I know that whoever wins the presidency has a disadvantage for whatever reason in the midterms. You know what happens? I’m trying to figure it out. Historically, if you win the presidency, you don’t do well two years later. And you know what, we can’t let that happen and I know what happens. Finally figured it out. Nobody has been able to explain it. It just happens.

Statistically, almost all of the time, for many years, what happens is you fight so hard to win the presidency. You fight, fight, fight. And now only two years, that’s a very short period and by the time you start campaigning, it is a year. And now you got to go and fight again. But you just won. So nobody has that same drive that they had. So you end up not doing that well, because the other side is going — they’re crazed, and, by the way, they’re crazed anyway, these people. They are really crazed. Right.

So I kept trying to say, why is this? But it is just there. So the great enthusiasm, you know, you’re sitting back, you’re watching television, maybe I don’t have to vote today, we just won the presidency, and then we get clobbered and we can’t let that happen. We get clobbered in ’18, and we can’t let that happen. Only because we are so happy, we pass so many things, honestly, and I’ll say — I’ll use the word, my administration as opposed to me, my administration, I think, has had the most successful first year in the history of the presidency.

I really believe that. I really believe it. I really believe it. So, I mean, judges, regulations, everything. And the beautiful thing, the beautiful thing about the tax cuts is nobody thought we could do it. Again, we had to get 100 percent of our vote. And nobody thought we could do it. And, frankly, to me, we got it, and it turned out to be one of the most popular things, and, by the way, for the Republicans in this room, of which I assume — would you say — is it 99 percent, Matt, or 100 percent? I would hope it is close to — you know what? We probably have some Democrats that want to come over.

We have a great governor from West Virginia that left the Democratic Party, big Jim, and he came over to the Republican Party. So people are sitting there, and they’re saying, we just had that great victory. Let’s in the vote, let’s go to a movie, the Republican Party, we’re going to do great, and then they end up losing. So you got to keep up the enthusiasm.

Now what happens, by the way, they lose, and then you have the presidential election coming up again, and you clobber them because everybody gets off their ass and they get out and they work. Right. And they work. And they work and work and work. And you end up winning the presidency again. And we should do that, hopefully, we’re going to do that very easily. But never, never — we have to worry, right now we have a big race coming up, you have to get out, you have to get that enthusiasm, keep it going.

See the word really is complacent. People get complacent. It is a natural instinct. You just won, and now you’re happy and you’re complacent. Don’t be complacent. Don’t be complacent. If they get in, they will repeal your tax cuts, they will put judges in that you wouldn’t believe, they’ll take away your Second Amendment, which we will never allow to happen, they’ll take away your Second Amendment. Remember that. They will take away — thank you.

They will take away those massive tax cuts, and they will take away your Second Amendment. By the way, if you only had a choice of one, what would you rather have, the second amendment or tax cuts? Second Amendment, tax cuts? Second Amendment? I’m going to leave it at the Second Amendment. I don’t want to get into that battle. All right.

We’re going to say you want — Matt, we’re going to say you want the Second Amendment the most. We’re going to get them all. And, remember this, remember this, we have gotten, you know, somebody got on television recently and said, actually, this is the first time I can remember, Trump made campaign promises. He may be the only person that actually fulfilled more promises that he made. I think that’s true. I fulfilled more promises. But we have a very crooked media. We had a crooked candidate too, by the way. But we have — we have a very — we have a very, very crooked media.

I will say this, folks, everything that is turning out now, it is amazing, it has come full circle, boy, have they committed a lot of atrocities when you look. When you look. Have they done things that are wrong?

But remember this, not only did we get the tax cuts, which everybody said we wouldn’t get, and, by the way, repealed in that tax cut the individual mandate, which is tremendous. This is where you’re forced to pay in order not to have health care. Is that great? You pay for the privilege of not having health care. So you subsidize lots of other people. That’s gone. I know people came up to me with tears in their eyes and saying, I’m forced to pay not to have health care. Very unfair.

And, by the way, we’re having tremendous plans coming out now, health care plans, at a fraction of the cost that are much better than Obamacare. And except for one senator, who came into a room at 3:00 in the morning, and went like that [thumbs down], we would have had health care, too. We would have had health care too. Think of that.

But I think we may be better off the way we’re doing it. Piece by piece by piece, Obamacare is just being wiped out. The individual mandate essentially wipes it out. I think we may be better off. And people are getting great health care plans and we’re not finished yet. But, remember, one person walked into a room, when he was supposed to go this way, and he said he was going this way, and he walked in and he went this way and everyone said, what happened? What was that all about? Boy, oh, boy, who was that? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t want to be controversial, so I won’t use his name. Okay. What a mess.

But, it is all happening anyway. It is all happening anyway. And we’ve, at the same time, eliminated a record number of job-killing regulations and people are going back to work. Alright. People are going back to work. So, you know, the fake news always — if I say something a little off, next day headline, he misrepresented — I have to be careful. But in the history of presidents, no president, and I’m saying no president, maybe they’ll find if I was off by two, but we’re here one year, no president, I read it in lots of good papers, actually, but they’ll change the story when I say it. No president has ever cut so many regulations in their entire term. Okay. As we have cut in less than a year. And it is my opinion that the regulations had as big an impact as these massive tax cuts that we have given. So I really believe it.

We have ended the war on American energy, we were in war. And we have ended the war on beautiful, clean, coal, one of our great natural resources. Very important for our defense, coal, very important for our defense, because we have it. We don’t have to send it through pipes, we don’t have to get it from foreign countries. We have more than anybody. And they wanted to end it, and our miners have been mistreated and are not being mistreated anymore. We’re doing tremendous business.

I was in Vietnam and the Prime Minister and the President of Vietnam were there. And we have a massive deficit with them like we do with everybody else because these presidents have just let it go to hell. We have the worst trade deals you’ve ever seen. So we’re changing it. So I said, we have too big a deficit with Vietnam, I’m not happy. He said, well, but we’re going to — I said my call. My call. He said, we have bought coal from West Virginia and other places, and it is the finest coal we have ever used, it is interesting. And West Virginia is doing great. You look at what is happening in West Virginia. You look at what’s happening in Pennsylvania. You look at what’s happening in Ohio. And you look at what’s happening in Wyoming. You look at what’s happening all over. It is like a different world.

And, remember this, virtually as soon as I got into office, we approved the Keystone XL Pipeline and the Dakota Access Pipelines which never would have been approved. And we announced our withdrawal from the totally disastrous job-killing, wealth-knocking out, you know, it knocked out our wealth, or it would have, they basically wanted to take our wealth away. They didn’t want us to use our wealth power. We knocked out the Paris Climate Accord. Would have been a disaster. Would have been a disaster for our country.

You know, basically it said you have a lot of oil and gas that we found, you know, technology has been amazing. And we found things that we never knew. But we have massive, just about the top in the world, we have massive energy reserves, we have coal, we have so much. And basically they said you can’t use it.

What it does is it makes us uncompetitive with other countries. It is not going to happen. I told him. Not going to happen. And, you know, China, their agreement didn’t kick in until 2030. Right. Our agreement kicks in immediately. Russia, they’re allowed to go back into the 1990s which was not a clean environmental time. Other countries, big countries, India, and others, we had to pay because they considered them a growing country. They were a growing country. I said, what are we, are we allowed to grow too? Are we allowed to grow? They called India a developing nation. They called China a developing nation. But the United States, we’re developed, we can pay.

So, folks, if you don’t mind, I’ll tell you what, it is amazing how many people understood the Paris accord because it sounds so good. It is like some of the environmental regulations that I cut. They have the most beautiful titles. And sometimes that’s — look, I’m going to close my eyes and sign this, because, you know what, I’m going to get killed on this one. I get so much thanks. The country knows what I’m doing.

We couldn’t build, we couldn’t farm. If you had a puddle on your land, they called it a lake for the purposes of environmentals. It is crazy. It is crazy. And I signed certain bills, I would have farmers behind me and have house builders, home builders behind me. And these are tough people. Strong people. They fought hard. They worked all their lives hard. And half of them would be crying. Because we gave them their property back. We gave them the right to earn a living. They couldn’t do it.

They couldn’t do what they had to do. We gave them their property back, we gave them their dignity back.

By the way, you don’t mind if I go off script a little bit? It is sort of boring. It is a little boring. Beautiful speech, everything is wonderful. But a little boring. We have to, you know — but we gave them their dignity back. And that’s why our country is doing record business. We’re doing record business. We’re doing business and you have to look at the fundamentals. Companies are pouring back into this country, pouring back. Not like — when did you hear about car companies coming back into Michigan and coming to Ohio and expanding? When do you — you never heard that. You hear they’re leaving.

I’ve been talking about it for 20 years. I was a private sector guy. For whatever reason, I always had these guys, always covered me much more than anybody else. I always got a lot of these characters. They used to treat me so good too until I ran for office. I used to get the greatest publicity. Friend of mine said, you used to be the king of getting great publicity. What happened? I said, well, I have some views that they’re opposed to for a lot of bad reasons. A lot of really bad reasons.

But, but, when you look at what is happening to our country, it is incredible. And the fundamentals are so strong. The stock market, I just see with all of the ups and downs, since election day, is up 37 percent from — 37 percent. Now, it did a little bit of a correction. In fact, I started to say, you know, in it for 13, 14 months from the election. I say, is this ever going down a little bit? This is a little embarrassing.

It was up 100, up 200, up 1,000, up 150. Up 90, up 63. I said, goodness, that’s better. Hey, we have got seven years to go, folks. We got a long time to go.

So, thank you, everybody. You’ve been amazing. You’ve been amazing. What Matt didn’t say, when I was here 2011, I made a speech. And I was received with such warmth and they give, you know, they used to give, I don’t know if Matt does that, he may not want to be controversial, but they used to give the best speech of CPAC. Do they still do that? You better pick me, or I’m not coming back.

But — and I got these — everybody, they loved that speech. That was, I think, Matt, I would say that might have been the first real political speech I made. It was a love fest, 2011, I believe the time was. And a lot of people remembered and they said, we want Trump, we want Trump.

And after a few years go by and say here I am, let’s see what I can do. They said, you need 270 votes. You need the electoral college, which, by the way, is much tougher than the popular vote. The popular vote would be so much easier. You go to three or four states and you just go and you just do a great job. Hillary forgot that, you know. She went to the states. What is she doing? Why does she keep going back to California? Crazy. Next time they’re going to remember Iowa, they’re going to remember Ohio, remember. They spent a lot of time in Pennsylvania to no avail.

They spent a lot of money, they spent a lot of money in North Carolina, the great state of North Carolina. We did very well there. We have a great person in the room, Mark Meadows, from North Carolina. Where is Mark? Where is Mark? And Deb. And we have Jim Jordan, warriors, warriors all.

We have a lot of great — we have a lot of great people here. But, you know, we’re just — we hit a chord and if you remember, 2011, probably that was the beginning of what we have done, and hopefully at the end of a period of time people are going to say, thank you, because it is not easy. We’re fighting a lot of forces. There are forces that are doing the wrong thing. They’re just doing the wrong thing. I don’t want to talk about what they have in mind. But they do the wrong thing. But we’re doing what is good for our country for the long-term, viability and survival.

Like for instance, $700 billion got approved for military. Our military was going to hell. We declined to certify the terrible one-sided Iran nuclear deal. It was a horrible deal. Whoever heard you give $150 billion to a nation that has no respect for you whatsoever? They’re saying death to America. Well, they’re signing the agreement. If somebody said death to America, while I’m signing an agreement, I say what’s going on, folks? I’m not signing.

They kept going. Kerry may be the worst negotiator I’ve ever seen. How about — how about this guy, how about Obama, of course, he’s the one, but how about $1.8 billion in cash? Did you ever see what a million dollars in 100 dollar bills, a lot of people do it as a promotion, it is big, it is big. Now take that, go to $1.8 billion in cash, $1.8 billion, for what? For what? Why did we do this? Why did we do it?

Anyway, we didn’t certify and lots of interesting things are happening with that whole mess. But we have to treat people that treat us well, we treat them well. People that treat us badly, we treat them much worse than they could ever imagine. That’s the way it has to be. That’s the way it has to be.

We officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Every president campaigned on we’re going to recognize Jerusalem as a capital of Israel. Everybody. For many presidents. You’ve been reading it. They never pulled it off. And I now know why. Because I put the word out that I may do it. Right. I said I’d do it in my campaign. That usually means, unless I find something, I’m going to do it.

I was hit by more countries and more pressure and more people calling, begging me, don’t do it, don’t do it, don’t do it, I said, we have to do it. It is the right thing to do. It is the right thing to do. We have to do it. And I did it. But every other president really lied because they campaigned on it. That was always a big part of the campaign. They got into office and they never did it.

So I understand why they didn’t do it. It was a tremendous campaign against it, so incredible. But, you know what, the campaign for it was also incredible. And we did the right thing. So we have kept our promises, I said, to rebuild our military. Eliminating the defense sequester, which is a disaster. And I don’t know if you saw the number $700 billion, you know ultimately that comes before everything else. We can talk about lots of things.

If we don’t have a strong military, you might be allowed into this room some day, okay. You may not have your houses, your homes, your beautiful communities, we better take care of our military, these are the greatest people and we’re going to take care of our veterans, we’re going to take care of the vets. We have been doing a good job on the vets. And after years of rebuilding, other nations, we rebuild other nations. We rebuild other nations, and give a lot of money. And we don’t ever say, hey, you got to help.

We’re finally rebuilding our nation, we’re rebuilding our nation. And we’re restoring our confidence and our pride, all of us here today are united by the same timeless values. We defend our constitution and we believe in the wisdom of our founders, our constitution is great. We support the incredible men and women of law enforcement. True. We know that a strong nation must have strong borders. We celebrate our history and our heroes and we believe young Americans should be taught to love their country, and to respect its traditions.

You’re getting the wall. Don’t worry. I heard some — getting the wall.

Had a couple of these characters in the back say, oh, he really doesn’t want the wall. He just used that for campaigning. I said, are you — can you believe it? You know, I say every time I hear that, the wall gets ten feet higher, you know that. Every single time. Okay. Now, we’re going to have the wall. Or they’re not going to have what they want. We have a problem. We need more Republicans. We have a group of people that vote against us in a bloc.

They’re good at two things. Resisting obstruction. Resisting obstruction. And they stick together. They do. They always vote in a bloc. It is very rare that you get your cuts. I mean, we’re going to be fighting these people in the ‘18 election, we’re going to be fighting people that voted against the tax cuts because the tax cuts are phenomenal and popular and helping people and helping our country.

You saw Apple just brought $350 billion in, Exxon brought in $50 billion. So we’re going to be fighting. We need more Republicans to vote. We want to get our agenda. Now what we have to do is in order to get a vote to fix our military, we have to give them $100 billion in stuff that nobody in this room including me wants in many cases. It is terrible. We need more Republicans. That’s why you have to get out and you have to fight for 18, you have to do it. We salute our great American flag, we put our hands on our hearts for the pledge of allegiance. And we all proudly stand for the national anthem.

Above all else, we know that faith and family, not government and bureaucracy, are at the center of American life. We know that. Because in America we don’t worship government, we worship God.

Our nation’s motto is “In God we trust.” This week, our nation lost an incredible leader. Who devoted his life to helping us understand what those words really mean. Leader. He was a leader, a great man. We will never forget the historic crowds, that voice, the energy, and the profound faith of a preacher named Billy Graham.

Great family. They were for us, I’ll tell you, they were for us. Right from the beginning they were for us. As a young man, Billy decided to devote his life to God. That choice not only changed his life, it changed our country and, indeed, it even changed the world.

Reverend Graham’s belief in the power of God’s word gave hope to millions and millions who listened to him with his very beautiful but very simple message, God loves you. And a very special tribute because it is almost never done. On Wednesday, we will celebrate Billy Graham’s life as he lies in honor in the rotunda of our capital.

One day, Wednesday until Thursday, about 11:00 on Wednesday, I bet those lines are going to be long and beautiful because he deserves it. Not everybody deserves it. But very few people, you look back, Ronald Reagan, so honored, very few people are so honored. That’s a big thing. And he really almost more than anybody you can think of, he deserves to be in the rotunda. That’s going to be very special.

Wednesday, at 11:00. And Paul and Mitch and the whole group, they worked very hard to make it all happen. So we want to thank them too. Everywhere you go, all over the country, and cities small and large, Americans of all faiths reach out to our creator for strength, for inspiration, and for healing. Great time for healing.

In times of grief and hardship, we turn to prayer for solace and comfort. In recent days our entire nation has been filled with terrible pain and sorrow over the evil massacre in a great community, Parkland, Florida. This senseless act of mass murder shocked our nation and broke our hearts.

This week, I had the honor of meeting with students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, with families who have lost their children, in prior shootings, great families, great people.

With members of the local community, right here in Washington, D.C. Our whole nation was moved by their strength and by their courage. We listened to their heart-wrenching stories. We ask them for ideas and pledged to them and I can speak for all of the senators and Congressmen and Congresswomen, all the people in this room that are involved in this decision, that we will act, we will do something. We will act.

With us on Wednesday was one of the families whose daughter didn’t come home last week. A beautiful young woman named Meadow Pollack, incredible family, incredible people. You’ve probably seen her picture. She had a beautiful, beautiful smile. And a beautiful life. So full of promise. We wish there was something, anything we could do to bring Meadow and all of the others back. There are not enough tears in the world to express our sadness and anguish for her family, and for every family that has lost a precious loved one. No family should ever have to go in and suffer the way these families have suffered.

They have suffered beyond anything that I have ever witnessed. A father drops his daughter off at school, kisses her good-bye, waves to her, she’s walking up the path, and never sees her alive again. Gets a call, can’t believe it, thinks it is a nightmare, wants to wake up from the nightmare.

So we want to hear ideas from Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs about how we can improve security at our schools, tackle the issue of mental health because this was a sick person. Very sick. And we had a lot of warning about him being sick. This wasn’t a surprise. To the people that knew him, this wasn’t even a little bit. In fact, some said we’re surprised it took so long. So what are we doing? What are we doing?

We want to ensure that when there are warning signs, we can act and act very quickly. Why do we protect our airports and our banks, our government buildings, but not our schools. It is time to make our schools a much harder target for attackers. We don’t want them in our schools. We don’t want them. When we declare our schools to be gun-free zones, it just puts our students in far more danger. Far more danger.

Well trained, gun adept teachers and coaches and people that work in those buildings, people that were in the Marines for 20 years, and retired, people in the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Coast Guard, people that are adept, adept with weaponry, and with guns, they teach.

I mean, I don’t want to have 100 guards standing with rifles all over the school. You do a conceal carry permit. And this would be a major deterrent, because these people are inherently cowards. If they thought like if this guy thought that other people would be shooting bullets back at him, he wouldn’t have gone to that school. He wouldn’t have gone there. It is a gun-free zone. It says this is a gun-free zone. Please check your guns way far away. And what happens is they feel safe. There is nobody going to come at them. This way you may have — and, remember, if you use this school as an example, this is a very big school. With tremendous floor area and a lot of acreage, a big, big school, good school. A big, big school. You would have to have 150 real guns.

Look, you had one guard, he didn’t turn out to be too good, I will tell you that. He turned out to be not good. He was not a credit to law enforcement that I can tell you. That I can tell you. But as I have been talking about this idea, and I feel it is a great idea, but some people that are good people are opposed to it, don’t like the idea of teachers doing it, I’m not talking about teachers.

CNN went on, they said, Donald Trump wants all teachers, okay, fake news, folks. Fake news. News. I don’t want a person that has never handled a gun that wouldn’t know what a gun looks like to be armed.

But out of your teaching population, out of your teaching population, you have 10 percent, 20 percent, very gun adept people. Military people, law enforcement people, they teach. They teach. And something I thought of this morning, you know what else, I thought of it since I found and watched Peterson, the deputy who didn’t go into the school, because he didn’t want to go into the school, okay. He was tested under fire and that wasn’t a good result. But you know what I thought of, as soon as I saw that, these teachers, and I’ve seen them, and a lot of schools where they had problems, these teachers love their students and the students love their teachers in many cases. These teachers love their students. And these teachers are talented with weaponry and with guns. And that’s — they feel safe.

And I would rather have somebody that loves their students and wants to protect their students than somebody standing outside that doesn’t know anybody and doesn’t know the students, and frankly for whatever reason decided not to go in even though he heard lots of shots being fired inside. The teachers, and the coaches, and other people in the building, the Dean, the Assistant Dean, the Principal, they can — they love their people, they want to protect these kids. And I think we’re better with that and this may be 10 percent or 20 percent of the population of teachers, et cetera. It is not all of them. But you would have a lot and you would tell people that they’re inside, and the beauty is it is concealed. Nobody would ever see it. Unless they needed it. It is concealed.

So this crazy man, who walked in, wouldn’t even know who it is that has it. That’s good. That’s not bad. That’s good. And the teacher would have shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened. They love their students. They love those students, folks. Remember that. They love their students. And I’m telling you that would work because we need offensive capability. We can’t just say, it is a gun-free school, we’ll do it a little bit better. You say what happens outside. The students now leave school, and you got a thousand students, you got 3,500 at the school we’re talking about. But you have a thousand students standing outside, the teachers are out there also, if a madman comes along, we have the same problem, but it is outside of the school. Or they drive cars. There are a lot of things that can happen. I want to stop it.

And I know it is a little controversial to say, but I have to say since I started this two days ago, a lot of people were totally opposed to it and now agree. They love their students. They don’t want their students to be killed or to be hurt. So we have to do something that works. And one of the big measures that we will do and everybody in this room, I think, has to agree, and there is nobody that loves the Second Amendment more than I do, and there is nobody that respects the NRA, the friends of mine, they backed us all, great people, patriots, but great people. But we really do have to strengthen up, really strengthen up background checks. We have to do that. And we have to do it for the mentally ill, we have to do very, very — we don’t want people that are mentally ill to be having any form of weaponry. We have to be very strong on that.

So we’re going to do that and I really believe that Congress is going to get it through this time and they have a different leader. They have somebody that wants to get it through, not somebody that just all talk, no action, like so many of these folks. This is somebody that wants to get it through. But I also want to protect, we need a hardened sight. Has to be hardened. Can’t be soft. They’ll sneak if through a window, some way, and you are standing there, totally unprotected. You know the five great soldiers from three years ago, three of them were world-class marksmen, on a military base in a gun-free zone, asked to check their guns quite far away. And a maniac walked in, guns blazing, killed all five of them. He wouldn’t have had a chance if these world-class marksmen had, on a military base, access to their guns.

I’m going to look at that whole policy on military bases. If we can’t have — all five were killed. All five. The guy wouldn’t have had a chance. We’re going to look at that whole military base gun-free zone. If we can’t have our military holding guns, it is pretty bad. We had a number of instances on military bases. You know that. We want to protect our military. We want to make — we’re going to make our military stronger and better than it ever has been before. We also need to create a culture in our community that cherishes life and human dignity. That’s part of what we’re talking about. A culture that condemns violence and never glorifies violence. We need to force the real human connections and turn classmates and colleagues into friends and neighbors that want to fight for us.

We’re not just having a conversation about school safety. You’ve had conversations, in all fairness, I’m pretty new on this job, we’re here a little more than a year, I’ve been watching this stuff go on for 20 years. The president gets up, everybody is enthusiastic for the first couple of days, and it fades, fades, fades, nothing ever gets done. We want to see if we can get it done. Let’s get it done right. We really owe it to our country. I’ve been watching for a long time. Seen a lot of words. And I’ve seen very little action. And, you know, if you think about it, most of it is just common sense. It is not: Do you love guns? Do you hate guns? It is common sense. It is all common sense. And some of the strongest advocates about what I’m saying are the strongest advocates, I know them very well, political people, the strongest advocates for the Second Amendment.

But this is common sense. In addition to securing our schools, we’re also implementing a strategy to secure our streets. We want our kids to be safe everywhere they go, whether they’re in a classroom, walking home from school or just outside playing with their friends.

Every child deserves to grow up in a safe community surrounded by a loving family and to have a future filled with opportunity and with hope. Thank you. Thank you. Just not fair. Reducing violent crime in America is a top priority for my administration. And we will do whatever it takes to get it done. No talk. We’re going to do what it takes to get it done. As you’ve seen pretty well-reported that we’re significantly increasing gun prosecutions by tremendous percentages. And we’re working to get violent offenders off our streets and behind bars and get them behind bars quickly for a long time, or get them out of our country.

In 2017, we brought cases against more violent offenders than any administration in a quarter of a century, more than any administration and we’re just gearing up. We have tough people. I’ll tell you what, when you deal with ms-13, the only thing they understand is toughness. They don’t want anything. All they understand is toughness. If that ICE agent or border patrol agent is tougher than them, they respect him.

We have the toughest guys you’ve ever seen. We got tough. They don’t respect anything else. And they shouldn’t be in our country. They were let in for years, they shouldn’t be. And we’re getting them out. Our administration prosecuted more people for federal firearm charges than has been done in more than a decade. And, again, we’re just gearing up. We convicted 1,200 gang members and nearly 500 human traffickers. You know what human trafficking — who would think that we have this in this age? And with our foreign partners we have helped charge or arrest more than 4,000 members of the savage gang that we talked about, ms-13. They don’t like guns. You know why? They’re not painful enough.

These are animals. They cut people. They cut them. They cut them up in little pieces, and they want them to suffer. And we take them into our country. Because our immigration laws are so bad, and when we catch them, it is called catch and release. We have to, by law, catch them and then release them. Catch and release. And I can’t get the Democrats and nobody has been able to for years to approve common-sense measures that when we catch these animal killers, we can lock them up, and throw away the keys. In 2017, our brave ICE officers arrested more than 100,000 criminal aliens who have committed tens of thousands of crimes. And, believe me, these are great people. They cannot — the laws are just against us. They’re against — they’re against safety. They don’t make sense.

And you meet with Democrats and they’re always fighting for the criminal. They’re not fighting for law-abiding citizens. They’re always fighting for the criminal. Doesn’t make sense. Here are just some of the criminal charges and convictions for the aliens arrested by ice. 11,000 charges or convictions for sex crimes. 48,000 for assault. 13,000 for burglary. 1800 for killing people. We’re cracking down on sanctuary cities, can you believe this, where they protect. That’s another one.

Because we want our cities to be sanctuaries for law-abiding Americans. Not for criminals.

And, by the way, the Senate Democrats and the House Democrats have totally abandoned DACA. They don’t even talk to me about it. They have totally abandoned. We get the reputation like DACA, it is not Republican. Well, let me tell you, it is Republican. Because we want to do something about DACA, get it solved after all these years. The Democrats are being totally unresponsive, don’t want to do anything about DACA. I’m telling you. And it is very possible that DACA won’t happen and it is not because of the Republicans, it is because of the Democrats. And, frankly, you better elect more Republicans, folks, or it will never happen. The Democrats voted in favor of sanctuary cities. In other words, they voted to protect criminal aliens instead of voting to protect the American citizens.

To secure our country, we are calling on Congress to build a great border wall to stop dangerous drugs and criminals from pouring into our country. And now they’re willing to give us the wall. But they don’t want to give us any of the laws to keep these people out. So we’re going to get the wall. But they don’t want to give us all of the other, chain migration, lottery, think of a lottery. You have a country, they put names in, you think they’re giving us their good people? Not too many of you people are going to be lottery. So we pick out people. Then they turn out to be horrendous. And we don’t understand why. They’re not giving us their best people, folks. They’re not giving us — use your heads.

They’re giving us — it is a lottery. I don’t want people coming into this country with a lottery. I want people coming into this country based on merit, based on merit. I want people, and we all want to be admitting people, who have skills, who can support themselves financially, who can contribute to our economy, who will love our people and who will share our values, who will love our country. I don’t want people who drive a car at 100 miles an hour down the west side highway, and kill eight innocent victims and destroy the lives of 14 more.

Nobody talks about that. Nobody ever talks about the people that have been so horribly injured, who lose legs and arms in Manhattan where I used to spend my time. I know it very well, this stretch along the west side highway, people run in order to stay in shape, they want to — they want to be healthy, they want to look good, they run, they run, all the time, I see it. They run. We work in different ways. But they run. But think of this, they run. And they’re so —they want to be fit. They’re proud people. They want to be fit. And they’re running up and down West Side. It is beautiful. It is a beautiful thing. And this maniac takes a car going down the highway and just turns to the right and he kills eight. He really badly wounded 12 to 14 other people.

So somebody, think of it, runs to stay in shape, leaves the house, is jogging along, working hard, ends up going home, two months later with no leg or with no arm or with two legs missing. Nobody ever talks about them. They talk about the people rightfully that were killed. But they don’t talk about the people that — whose lives have just changed. Just changed. They don’t talk about that. This guy came in through chain migration. And a part of the lottery system. They say 22 people came in with him. In other words, an aunt, an uncle, a grandfather, a mother, a father, whoever came in. A lot of people came in. That’s chain migration. Let’s see how those people are doing, by the way. We have got to change our way. Merit system. I want merit system.

You know what is happening? All these companies are coming into our country, they’re all coming into our country, and when they come in, we need people that are going to work. I’m telling you, we need workers now. We need workers. But when I walked in today, did anyone ever hear me do the snake during the campaign? Because I had five people outside say, could you do the snake? I said, well, people have heard it. Who hasn’t heard the snake? You should read it anyway. Let’s do it anyway. I’ll do it. Okay. Should we do it? Now, this was a rock ‘N’ roll song, little amendments, a rock ‘N’ roll song, but every time I do it, people — and you have to think of this in terms of immigration. I want people to come into our country. And I want people that are going to help us.

I don’t want people that are going to come in and be accepting all of the gifts of our country for the next 50 years and contribute nothing. I don’t want that. You don’t want that. I want people that are going to help and people that are going to go to work for Chrysler, who is now moving from Mexico into Michigan. And so many others. And apple, by the way. And fox con in Wisconsin. They’re going to need 25,000 workers. I want people that can come in and get to work and work hard, even if it means a learning period that is fine. But I want people that are going to come in, and work. And I want people that love us, and look at security and they want you to be safe and they want to be safe. I want great people coming into this country. I don’t want people coming in the way they do now. Because I want people that contribute. So this is called — this is called the snake.

And think of it in terms of immigration and you may love it or you may say isn’t that terrible? Okay. If you say isn’t that terrible, who cares. Because the way they treat me, that’s peanuts compared to the way they treat me. Okay. Immigration.

On her way to work one morning, down the path along the lake,
a tender-hearted woman saw a poor, half-hearted frozen snake.
His pretty colored skin had been all frosted, with the dew.
Poor thing, she cried. I’ll take you in. And I’ll take care of you.
Take me in, oh tender woman, take me in for heaven’s sake,
take me in, oh tender woman, sighed the vicious snake.
She wrapped him up all cozy in a comforter of silk.
And laid him by her fire side with some honey and some milk.
She hurried home from work that night, and soon as she arrived
she found that pretty snake she had taken in had been revived.
Take me in, oh tender woman, take me in for heaven’s sake.
Take me in, oh tender woman, sighed the vicious snake.
She clutched him to her bosom. You’re so beautiful, she cried.
But if I hadn’t brought you in by now, surely you would have died.
She stroked his pretty skin again, and kissed and held him tight.
But instead of saying thank you, that snake gave her a vicious bite.
Take me in, oh tender woman. Take me in for heaven’s sake.
Take me in, oh tender woman. Sighed the vicious snake.
I saved you, cried the woman. And you’ve bitten me, heavens why?
You know your bite is poisonous and now I’m going to die.
Oh, shut up, silly woman, said the reptile with a grin.
You knew damn well I was a snake before you took me in.

And that’s what we’re doing with our country, folks. We’re letting people in. And it is going to be a lot of trouble. It is only getting worse. But we’re giving you protection like never before. Our law enforcement is doing a better job than we have ever done before. And we love our country. And we’re going to take care of our country. Okay. We’re going to take care of our country. So just in finishing, our country is starting to do very well. Our economy is blazing. Jobs are at a record level. Jobs are so good. 2.7 million jobs created since the election.

Unemployment claims have reached a 45-year low. African-American unemployment has reached the lowest level in our history. Hispanic unemployment has reached the lowest level in our history. Hispanic unemployment has reached the lowest level in our history. Women, women, unemployment is at the lowest level in 18 years. Wages are rising for the first time in many, many years. Small business confidence is at a record high.

And thanks to our massive tax cuts, millions of Americans are getting to keep a great percentage of their money instead of paying it to a government that throws it out the window.

So I just leave you with this. We have to fight Nancy Pelosi. Want to give your money away. They want to give your money away. They want to end your tax cuts. They want to do things that you wouldn’t even believe. Including taking your Second Amendment rights away. They will do that. They will do that. So we have to get out there and we have to fight in ‘18 like never before. Just the way you fought with us. Just the way you fought with us. You fought so hard and you were so tough and you were so smart, you were so smart.

And, you know what, I know for a fact you did the right thing, we’re looking at the numbers and the numbers, even they have to give credit for the kind of numbers that we’re producing.

Nobody has ever seen anything like it. Under my administration, the era of economic surrender is over. We’re renegotiating trade deals that are so bad, whether it is NAFTA, or whether it is world trade organizations, which created China, created — you look at China, it was going along like this, we opened stupidly this deal. And China has been like a rocket ship ever since. And now, last year, we had almost a $500 billion trade deficit with China. We can’t have that. We can’t have that. I have great respect for president XI, but we can’t have that. We have to do what we have to do.

We can’t just let countries, an example, Mexico, we have $100 billion trade deficit with Mexico. What does that tell you? You know what it tells you? NAFTA is no good. It never was any good. But for some reason nobody ever changed it.

They emptied our factories, you got to see the car plants and the auto plants in Mexico, like, you’ve never seen anything like it before. I want those companies and they’re starting, I want them back here. I want them back here. They’re going to come back here too. And we want to make our neighbors happy. But we can’t continuously have other nations taking advantage of the United States, like never before. This has gone on for a long time. This has gone on for longer than — the last administration was a disaster. But this has gone on for much longer than the last administration. And we have got to change it. We’re going to change it. So we’re renegotiating deals.

And hate to say it, but if we can’t make a fair deal for the United States, we will terminate the deal and we’ll start all over again. Going to have to do it. So under my administration and with my help, don’t forget, you, many of you, were the forgotten people. You were the people that when the polls came out, they didn’t know that you existed. The Democrats are trying to figure out who they are because they want to get you back. But you were people, we had people that never voted. But they’re great patriots, but they never saw anybody they wanted to vote for. Then they go to the election, they have trump, pence, trump, pence, hats, all sorts of things, trump over here. Make America great again, hats. So our country is starting to do well.

We are going to make it greater, better, safer, than it ever was before. The reason is you. This has been a great movement, they try like hell, they cannot stand what we have done. But we’re doing the right thing. We’re even doing the right thing for them. They just don’t know it yet. They just don’t know it yet. Even the media, the media will absolutely support me, sometime prior to the election. All those horrible people back there, they’re going to support me. You know why? Because if somebody else won, their ratings would go down, they all would be out of business. Nobody would watch. They all would be out of business. So I just want to tell you that we are going to win. I’d love you to get out there, work really hard for ‘18. We need more Republicans to keep the tax cuts, keep all of this going. And I love you, I respect you, I appreciate everything you’ve done for the country.

I appreciate everything you’ve done. I do want to say because people have asked, North Korea, we imposed today the heaviest sanctions ever imposed on a country before. And frankly hopefully something positive can happen. We will see. Hopefully something positive can happen. But that just was announced and I wanted to let you know. We have imposed the heaviest sanctions ever imposed. So ladies and gentlemen, thank you for everything. You’ve been incredible partners. Incredible partners. And I will let you know in the absolute strongest of terms, we’re going to make America great again and I will never, ever, ever let you down. Thank you very much. Thank you.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/2/23/17044760/transcript-trump-cpac-speech-snake-mccain

 

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1030, Story 1: Obama Destroyed The Democratic Party and Trump Destroying Republican Party with Out of Control Federal Government Spending By Signing $400 Billion Bipartisan Budget Busting Bill — Night of Financial Infamy and Flooding The Swamp — The Tea Party Movement Will Rise Again and Form A New Political Party — Independence Party — To Challenge Big Spending Democrats and Republicans In Primaries and General Elections — Videos — Breaking Story 2: Russian Conman Bilked U.S. Spy Agency of $100,000 for National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Hacking Tools and Trump Information/Video  — Videos — Story 3: Dueling Memo Madness On Abuse of Power By Obama’s FBI and Department of Justice In Misleading Foreign Intelligent Surveillance Act (FISA) Court — President Trump Blocks Democratic Ten Page Memo For Including Numerous Classified Intelligence Sources and Methods — Resubmit Without Compromising National Security — Appoint Special Counsel To Investigate DOJ and FBI Contempt of FISA Court and Abuse of Power By Obama Administration In Spying on Trump Campaign and American People By Intelligent Community Including FBI, NSA, and CIA — Clinton Obama Conspiracy Exposed — Videos

Posted on February 9, 2018. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Barack H. Obama, Bill Clinton, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, Central Intelligence Agency, Communications, Congress, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, European History, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, High Crimes, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Independence, Insurance, Investments, Killing, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Monetary Policy, National Interest, National Security Agency, News, Obama, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Privacy, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Resources, Rule of Law, Scandals, Senate, Social Security, Spying, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes, Trade Policy, U.S. Dollar, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Weather, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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 Story 1: Obama Destroyed The Democratic Party and Trump Destroying Republican Party with Out of Control of Federal Government Spending By Signing $400 Billion Bipartisan Budget Busting Bill — Night of Financial Infamy and Flooding The Swamp — The Tea Party Movement Will Rise Again and Form A New Political Party — Independence Party — To Challenge Big Spending Democrats and Republicans In Primaries and General Elections — Videos —

Mind blowing speech by Robert Welch in 1958 predicting Insiders plans to destroy America

President Trump Signs Spending Bill, Ending Second Shutdown

President Trump Signs Bill Ending Gov’t Shutdown

Stockman Trashes Budget Deal: ‘The Fulcrum Point,’ ‘A Night of Fiscal Infamy

Ep. 329: Republican Hypocrites Embrace Debt to Avert Shutdown

Congress approves spending bill to end brief government shutdown

BREAKING: Congress Votes to REOPEN Government After a Brief Shutdown – Trump Signs Budget

New spending bill raising concerns the tax cuts are unsustainable

Getting implausible that America can pay back debt: Gov. Bevin

 

Party Affiliation

 http://news.gallup.com/poll/15370/party-affiliation.aspx

After temporary shutdown, Congress passes two-year spending deal

WASHINGTON — After a temporary lapse in government funding that lasted through the night, Congress passed a pricey two-year spending deal early Friday that will also fund the government for an additional six weeks.

The government temporarily closed after Congress failed to pass a government funding bill before a midnight deadline due to the objections of one senator, shutting down non-essential government services.

In the end, a bipartisan cohort of lawmakers supported the $400 billion agreement. Shortly after 1:30 a.m. ET, the Senate voted, 71-28, to approve a two-year spending bill that would reopen the government, and the House passed it at 5:30 a.m. with the support of 240 members.

Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that he had signed the bill, officially ending the brief shutdown.

“Just signed Bill. Our Military will now be stronger than ever before. We love and need our Military and gave them everything — and more. First time this has happened in a long time. Also means JOBS, JOBS, JOBS!” he wrote. He followed the post with a call for Republicans to increase their majority in the midterm election.

“Without more Republicans in Congress, we were forced to increase spending on things we do not like or want in order to finally, after many years of depletion, take care of our Military. Sadly, we needed some Dem votes for passage. Must elect more Republicans in 2018 Election!” he tweeted.

Congress now has until March 23, the next funding deadline, to write the legislation to accompany the spending deal that will fund the government for the remainder of the fiscal year.

 

Trump signs budget bill, ending overnight shutdown 4:04

The overnight shutdown occurred because Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., used a procedural tactic to block the Senate from meeting its deadline.

To the ire of his colleagues, Paul protested the vote because of the large price tag of the two-year spending deal. The agreement is an attempt to end the repeated drama of short-term funding bills that have occupied Congress for much of the past five months. But it, too, was filled with drama until the end: Paul’s stunt forced government agencies to begin shutting down for the second time this year.

“I can’t, in all good honesty, in all good faith, just look the other way because my party is now complicit in the deficits. But really who’s to blame? Both parties,” Paul said on the Senate floor.

In the House, the measure easily passed despite several days of outcry from Democrats over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program, or DACA. But 73 Democrats supported the measure, including many from districts ravaged by hurricanes that would benefit from $90 billion in disaster aid.

“There’s a considerable irony here that there’s so many good things in the bill and yet there’s an outstanding issue that’s very stubborn,” said Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., ranking member of the Appropriations Committee.

The spending deal was hammered out between the Republican and Democratic Senate leaders. It increases domestic spending by $131 billion and defense spending by $165 billion over the next two years and suspend the debt limit for one year — until well after the midterm elections.

Government shuts down overnight, but is back open again2:39

What it doesn’t address is DACA. Per an agreement to end the three-day government shutdown last month, the Senate will take up DACA next week. House Democrats sought a similar agreement from House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., who insisted that he will bring up DACA legislation.

“To anyone who doubts my intention to solve this problem and bring up a DACA and immigration reform bill: Do not,” Ryan said at a news conference Thursday. “We will bring a solution to the floor, one that the president will sign. We must pass this budget agreement first, though, so that we can get onto that. So please know that we are committed to getting this done.”

But Ryan has not promised an open and neutral process that gives Democrats the opportunity to help craft the bill. And most notably, President Donald Trump’s support for a bill is a litmus test Democrats can’t accept.

“Sometimes I think the speaker thinks he is the speaker of the White House not the Speaker of the House of Representatives,” Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said just before the vote.

Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill., said it’s time for Democrats to have “courage.”

“Anyone who votes for the Senate budget deal is colluding with this president and this administration to deport Dreamers. It is as simple as that,” Gutierrez said in a statement.

How Rand Paul’s shutdown stunt fits in history 6:27

Fiscal conservative Republicans decried the price tag.

Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas., who is chair of the House Financial Services Committee and is retiring at the end of his term, called the bill “a monumental mistake and a sad day.”

“With the passage of this spending package, I fear Republicans have ceded our moral authority to lead our nation away from eventual national insolvency. I cannot in good conscience support it,” he said in a statement.

Rep. Mark Walker of North Carolina, chairman of the conservative Republican Study Committee, was one of 67 House Republicans, and 16 in the Senate, to vote against it.

“The more we read the text, the more surprises for green energy and some of those things that we’re adamantly against,” Walker said.

Some Republicans are praising the proposed increase in military spending, while Democrats are hailing an increase in domestic spending, a tonic that was enough, along with the desire to avoid a another government shutdown, to garner enough votes. But it’s wasn’t an easy vote for many.

Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., struggled with his vote but supported it.

“I think the military spending is incredibly important — probably a once-in-a-lifetime increase from my perspective — but the pay-fors are challenging,” Scott said, referring to about $100 billion of revenue-raising mechanisms.

One of those offsets would be to sell off 100 million barrels of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve from 2022 to 2027, which some House conservatives say should be saved for an emergency.

Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., voted against the measure, pointing to the major increases to the deficit. “Anybody in the Milky Way concerned about the deficit has to be worried about this bill,” he told reporters.

There were enough sweeteners in the bill to entice enough members to support the measure’s passage. The addition of disaster relief brought Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who often votes against spending bills, on board.

“This latest disaster relief bill is the next step in our state’s road to recovery,” Cruz said in a statement. “And I am gratified that (Sen.) John Cornyn (R-Texas) and I have been able to build upon and improve the bill that was sent to us by the House of Representatives to give the state of Texas the resources it desperately needs.”

Breaking Story 2: Russian Conman Bilked U.S. Spy Agency of $100,000 for National Security Agency and Central Intelligence Agency Hacking Tools and Trump Information/Video  — Videos

See the source imageSee the source image

FBI informant speaks to Congress about the Uranium One deal

BREAKING NEWS!!! WOW! U.S. SPIES PAID $100,000 TO ‘SHADOWY’ RUSSIAN PROMISING DAMNING ‘KOMPROMAT’ ON

Uranium One Informant: ‘Moscow’ Paid Millions to Influence the Oven Mitt Fashionista HRC

Clinton has lied repeatedly about funding the dossier: Kennedy

Media’s handling of Clinton’s dirty dossier ‘absolutely shameful:’ Chaffetz

FBI takes its time with Clinton-Russia scandal?

Gorka: Uranium One scandal is absolutely massive

Comey hid the uranium deal from Congress: Gregg Jarrett

Hillary Clinton LYING THREE TIMES UNDER OATH Before Congress

The headquarters of the National Security Agency in Fort Meade, Md. CreditJim Lo Scalzo/European Pressphoto Agency

BERLIN — After months of secret negotiations, a shadowy Russian bilked American spies out of $100,000 last year, promising to deliver stolen National Security Agency cyberweapons in a deal that he insisted would also include compromising material on President Trump, according to American and European intelligence officials.

The cash, delivered in a suitcase to a Berlin hotel room in September, was intended as the first installment of a $1 million payout, according to American officials, the Russian and communications reviewed by The New York Times. The theft of the secret hacking tools had been devastating to the N.S.A., and the agency was struggling to get a full inventory of what was missing.

Several American intelligence officials said they made clear that they did not want the Trump material from the Russian — who was suspected of having murky ties to Russian intelligence and to Eastern European cybercriminals. He claimed the information would link the president and his associates to Russia. But instead of providing the hacking tools, the Russian produced unverified and possibly fabricated information involving Mr. Trump and others, including bank records, emails and purported Russian intelligence data.

The United States intelligence officials said they cut off the deal because they were wary of being entangled in a Russian operation to create discord inside the American government. They were also fearful of political fallout in Washington if they were seen to be buying scurrilous information on the president.

The Central Intelligence Agency declined to comment on the negotiations with the Russian seller. The N.S.A., which produced the bulk of the hacking tools that the Americans sought to recover, said only that “all N.S.A. employees have a lifetime obligation to protect classified information.” 

The negotiations in Europe last year were described by American and European intelligence officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a clandestine operation, and the Russian. The United States officials worked through an intermediary — an American businessman based in Germany — to preserve deniability. There were meetings in provincial German towns where John le Carré set his early spy novels, and data handoffs in five-star Berlin hotels. American intelligence agencies spent months tracking the Russian’s flights to Berlin, his rendezvous with a mistress in Vienna and his trips home to St. Petersburg, the officials said.

The N.S.A. even used its official Twitter account nearly a dozen times to send coded messages to the Russian.

The episode ended earlier this year with American spies chasing the Russian out of Western Europe, warning him not to return if he valued his freedom, the American businessman said. The alleged Trump material was left with the American, who has secured it in Europe.

The Russian claimed to have access to a staggering collection of secrets that included everything from the computer code for the cyberweapons stolen from the N.S.A. and C.I.A. to what he said was a video of Mr. Trump consorting with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room in 2013, according to American and European officials and the Russian, who agreed to be interviewed in Germany on the condition of anonymity. There remains no evidence that such a video exists.

The Russian was known to American and European officials for his ties to Russian intelligence and cyber criminals — two groups suspected in the theft of the N.S.A. and C.I.A. hacking tools.

But his apparent eagerness to sell the Trump “kompromat” — a Russian term for information used to gain leverage over someone — to American spies raised suspicions among officials that he was part of an operation to feed the information into United States intelligence agencies and pit them against Mr. Trump. Early in the negotiations, for instance, he dropped his asking price from about $10 million to just over $1 million. Then, a few months later, he showed the American businessman a 15-second clip of a video showing a man in a room talking to two women.

No audio could be heard on the video, and there was no way to verify if the man was Mr. Trump, as the Russian claimed. But the choice of venue for showing the clip heightened American suspicions of a Russian operation: The viewing took place at the Russian embassy in Berlin, the businessman said.

At the same time, there were questions about the Russian’s reliability. He had a history of money laundering and a laughably thin legitimate cover business — a nearly bankrupt company that sold portable grills for streetside sausage salesmen, according to British incorporation papers.

“The distinction between an organized criminal and a Russian intelligence officer and a Russian who knows some Russian intel guys — it all blurs together,” said Steven L. Hall, the former chief of Russia operations at the C.I.A. “This is the difficulty of trying to understand how Russia and Russians operate from the Western viewpoint.”

American intelligence officials were also wary of the purported kompromat the Russian wanted to sell. They saw the information, especially the video, as the stuff of tabloid gossip pages, not intelligence collection, American officials said.

But the Americans desperately wanted the hacking tools. The cyberweapons had been built to break into computer networks of Russia, China and other rival powers. Instead, they ended up in the hands of a mysterious group calling itself the Shadow Brokers, which has since provided hackers with tools that infected millions of computers around the world, crippling hospitals, factories and businesses.

No officials wanted to pass on information they thought might help determine what had happened.

“That’s one of the bedeviling things about counterintelligence and the wilderness that it is — nobody wants to be caught in a position of saying we wrote that off and then five years later saying, ‘Holy cow, it was actually a real guy,’” Mr. Hall said.

American intelligence agencies believe that Russia’s spy services see the deep political divisions in the United States as a fresh opportunity to inflame partisan tensions. Russian hackers are probing American voting databases ahead of the midterm election this year, they said, and using bot armies to promote partisan causes on social media. The Russians are also particularly eager to cast doubt on the federal and congressional investigations into the Russian meddling, American intelligence officials said.

Part of that effort, the officials said, appears to be trying to spread information that hews closely to unsubstantiated reports about Mr. Trump’s dealings in Russia, including the purported video, whose existence Mr. Trump has repeatedly dismissed.

Rumors that Russian intelligence possesses the video surfaced more than a year ago in an explosive and unverified dossier compiled by a former British spy, and paid for by Democrats. Since then, at least four Russians with espionage and underworld connections have appeared in Central and Eastern Europe, offering to sell kompromat that would corroborate the dossier to American political operatives, private investigators and spies, American and European intelligence officials said.

American officials suspect that at least some of the sellers are working for Russia’s spy services.

The Times obtained four of the documents that the Russian in Germany tried to pass to American intelligence (The Times did not pay for the material). All are purported to be Russian intelligence reports, and each focuses on associates of Mr. Trump. Carter Page, the former campaign adviser who has been the focus of F.B.I. investigators, features in one; Robert and Rebekah Mercer, the billionaire Republican donors, in another.

Yet all four appear to be drawn almost entirely from news reports, not secret intelligence. They all also contain stylistic and grammatical usages not typically seen in Russian intelligence reports, said Yuri Shvets, a former K.G.B. officer who spent years as a spy in Washington before defecting to the United States just before the end of the Cold War.

American spies are not the only ones who have dealt with Russians claiming to have secrets to sell. Cody Shearer, an American political operative with ties to the Democratic Party, has been crisscrossing Eastern Europe for more than six months to secure the purported kompromat from a different Russian, said people familiar with the efforts, speaking on the condition of anonymity to avoid damaging their relationship with him.

Reached by phone late last year, Mr. Shearer would say only that his work was “a big deal — you know what it is, and you shouldn’t be asking about it.” He then hung up.

Mr. Shearer’s efforts grew out of work he first began during the 2016 campaign, when he compiled a pair of reports that, like the dossier, also included talk of a video and Russian payoffs to Trump associates. It is not clear what, if anything, Mr. Shearer has been able to purchase.

Before the Americans were negotiating with the Russian, they were dealing with a hacker in Vienna known only to American intelligence officials as Carlo. In early 2017, he offered to provide them with a full set of hacking tools that were in the hands of the Shadow Brokers and the names of other people in his network, American officials said. All he wanted in exchange was immunity from prosecution in the United States.

But the immunity deal fell apart, so intelligence officials decided to do what spies do best: They offered to buy the data. That is when the Russian in Germany emerged, telling the Americans he would handle the sale.

Like Carlo, he had previously dealt with American intelligence operatives, American and European officials said. He served as a fixer, of sorts, brokering deals for Russia’s Federal Security Service, or F.S.B., which is the successor to the old Soviet K.G.B. American intelligence officials said that he had a direct link to Nikolai Patrushev, a former F.S.B. director, and that they knew of previous work he had done helping move illicit shipments of semiprecious metals for a Russian oligarch.

By last April it appeared that a deal was imminent. Several C.I.A. officers even traveled from the agency’s headquarters to help the agency’s Berlin station handle the operation.

At a small bar in the old heart of West Berlin, the Russian handed the American intermediary a thumb drive with a small cache of data that was intended to provide a sample of what was to come, American officials said.

Within days, though, the deal turned sour. American intelligence agencies determined that the data was genuinely from the Shadow Brokers, but was material the group had already made public. As a result, the C.I.A. said it would not pay for it, American officials said

The Russian was furious. But negotiations limped on until September, when the two sides agreed to try again.

Late that month, the American businessman delivered the $100,000 payment. Some officials said it was United States government money but routed through an indirect channel.

A few weeks later, the Russian began handing over data. But in multiple deliveries in October and December, almost all of what he delivered was related to 2016 election and alleged ties between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia, not the N.S.A. or C.I.A. hacking tools.

In December, the Russian said he told the American intermediary that he was providing the Trump material and holding out on the hacking tools at the orders of senior Russian intelligence officials.

Early this year, the Americans gave him one last chance. The Russian once again showed up with nothing more than excuses.

So the Americans offered him a choice: Start working for them and provide the names of everyone in his network — or go back to Russia and do not return.

The Russian did not give it much thought. He took a sip of the cranberry juice he was nursing, picked up his bag and said, “Thank you.” Then he walked out the door.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-10/here-full-35-page-report-alleging-trump-was-cultivated-supported-and-assisted-russia

 

Special Counsel Q&A


 

On May 17, the Justice Department announced the appointment of former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel to investigate any possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election.

Trump responded by calling the investigation a “witch hunt.”

At a May 18 press conference, Trump said: “Well, I respect the move, but the entire thing has been a witch hunt. And there is no collusion between certainly myself and my campaign — but I can always speak for myself — and the Russians, zero.”

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein made the decision to appoint a special counsel just days after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Comey told Congress on March 20 that the FBI had opened an investigation last July into “the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election, and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.”

Amid ongoing investigations by the FBI and House and Senate intelligence committees, what exactly does the appointment of a special counsel mean? Here we answer some questions that readers may have.

Who appoints a special counsel?

The appointment of a special counsel typically is the decision of the U.S. attorney general. But in this case, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia inquiry after it was revealed that he had met twice with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential campaign and did not disclose the meetings during his Senate confirmation hearing. In such cases of recusal, the power to appoint a special counsel falls to the “acting attorney general,” in this case, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. According to the Code of Federal Regulations, a special counsel is appointed for an investigation into a matter that “would present a conflict of interest for the Department [of Justice] or other extraordinary circumstances” or in cases when it “would be in the public interest” to have an outside counsel.

Why was a special counsel appointed?

In a released statement, Rosenstein explained his decision: “In my capacity as acting attorney general I determined that it is in the public interest for me to exercise my authority and appoint a special counsel to assume responsibility for this matter. My decision is not a finding that crimes have been committed or that any prosecution is warranted. I have made no such determination. What I have determined is that based upon the unique circumstances, the public interest requires me to place this investigation under the authority of a person who exercises a degree of independence from the normal chain of command.”

What is the scope of the investigation?

In his order appointing Mueller special counsel, Rosenstein wrote that his responsibility is to ensure a “full and thorough investigation of the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 election.” As special counsel, Mueller is charged with investigating “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.” In addition, Mueller is to look into “any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation.” That would include any obstruction of the investigation or perjury related to it.

Whom does the special counsel report to?

Mueller will report to Rosenstein. But the special counsel is supposed to act independently, with some limits. As the federal code explains, a special counsel must consult the acting attorney general (Rosenstein) if he wishes to expand the inquiry beyond what was spelled out in Rosenstein’s order “or to investigate new matters that come to light in the course of his or her investigation.” In addition, Rosenstein can ask the special counsel to “provide an explanation for any investigative or prosecutorial step,” and if such step is deemed “inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices” the acting attorney general reserves the right to intervene, provided Congress is notified.

Who is Robert Mueller?

Mueller was director of the FBI for 12 years, from September 2001 to September 2013. His was the second longest tenure for an FBI director, behind only J. Edgar Hoover. Serving under both Democratic and Republican presidents, Mueller enjoyed wide, bipartisan support from the Senate, which initially confirmed him 98-0 in 2001, and then extended his term past 10 years by a vote of 100-0 in 2011. The New York Timesnoted that during his career, Mueller oversaw cases ranging from crime boss John J. Gotti to those responsible for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Scotland. After the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Mueller helped “transform the bureau from a crime-fighting organization into a central piece of the antiterrorism establishment,” the Times wrote. His independence and competence was praised by leaders on both sides of the political aisle.

Can Mueller be fired?

Yes, but not by the president, at least not directly. Only the acting attorney general — in this case, Rosenstein — can discipline or fire a special counsel, and then only for cause. According to the federal code, “The Attorney General may remove a Special Counsel for misconduct, dereliction of duty, incapacity, conflict of interest, or for other good cause, including violation of Departmental policies.” The president can, however, fire the deputy attorney general.

What authority does a special counsel have?

A special counsel has the same authority as any federal prosecutor, William Banks, a professor and the founding director of the Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism at Syracuse University, told us in a phone interview. That includes access to classified documents. It also includes the authority — if deemed appropriate — to subpoena, say, the president’s tax records.

How big of a staff will Mueller get, and who decides that? 

The federal code does not specify how large a staff the special counsel is afforded. It says only that a special counsel “shall be provided all appropriate resources by the Department of Justice.” The code notes that special counsels may request the assignment of Justice Department staff to assist them, and that such employees will be supervised by the special counsel. Special counsels also may request additional staff from outside the Justice Department, and “[a]ll personnel in the [Justice] Department shall cooperate to the fullest extent possible with the Special Counsel.” The special counsel’s proposed budget is subject to approval by the acting attorney general. The length of the investigation is not mandated, but federal code requires the special counsel to make a budget request each fiscal year, at which point the acting attorney general “shall determine whether the investigation should continue and, if so, establish the budget for the next year.”

What happens when the special counsel’s investigation is complete?

Rosenstein’s order notes that if Mueller deems it “necessary and appropriate,” he is “authorized to prosecute federal crimes arising from the investigation of these matters.” The federal code states that at the conclusion of a special counsel’s investigation, he must provide the acting attorney general with a confidential report explaining decisions about whether or not prosecutions are warranted. The acting attorney general could decide to make that report public. According to the code, the “Attorney General may determine that public release of these reports would be in the public interest, to the extent that release would comply with applicable legal restrictions.”

How will this affect the ongoing FBI and congressional investigations?

According to NBC News, Mueller will oversee the prosecutors and FBI agents who are working on the Russia investigation. Sam Buell, a law professor at Duke University, told us via email that Mueller’s investigation and the FBI’s will essentially now be one in the same. “What we have now is a prosecutor paired with the agents who have been investigating this, which means, among other things, access to the grand jury and a greater degree of lawyerly advice and supervision over how the investigation is progressing,” said Buell, who was a former federal prosecutor for 10 years in New York, Boston, Washington and Houston.

The special counsel’s investigation does not preclude Congress’ investigations, and every indication is that those will continue. Buell told us Congress’ mandate is broader, “looking at questions of governance generally not just violations of criminal laws, which is the question to which Mueller is restricted.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham warned that Mueller’s investigation will “severely restrict” Congress’ ability to call witnesses and issue subpoenas, as some witnesses could argue they have a right not to incriminate themselves amid a criminal investigation. In order to compel witnesses to testify, Congress has to immunize their testimony, David Sklansky, a former assistant U.S. attorney who now teaches law at Stanford University, told us in an email. “Mueller — like any prosecutor conducting a criminal investigation — will be concerned about Congress granting immunity to any witnesses who might be implicated in criminal activity, because prosecuting someone whose congressional testimony has been immunized is very difficult,” Sklansky said. Of less concern to Mueller, he said, are those who testify voluntarily before Congress.

Buell told us fears about Mueller’s investigation in any way blocking Congress’ are an “overstatement” and that “legally, nothing prevents Congress from proceeding apace.” Congress could still set up an independent commission to investigate Russian influence in the election, but it has so far resisted calls for one.

How common is the appointment of a special counsel?

According to the Lawfare blog, this is only the second time a “special counsel” has been appointed under this specific regulation. The first was in 1999 when Attorney General Janet Reno appointed former Sen. John Danforth to lead an investigation into the federal law enforcement raid of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. But as Lawfare explained, past attorneys general have used “different authorities to appoint other special counsels — like Nora Dannehy, appointed in 2008 to investigate the firing of U.S. Attorneys, Patrick Fitzgerald, tasked with leading the investigation into the Valerie Plame affair, and John Durham, who investigated the alleged abuse of suspected terrorists by CIA interrogators.” Those are wholly different from “independent counsels” such as Kenneth Starr, who investigated the Whitewater scandal during Bill Clinton’s presidency. Starr’s investigations were carried out under the Ethics in Government Act, which was enacted in 1978 after the Watergate scandal. But that law expired in 1999.

Lawfare and a Congressional Research Service report go into some detail about the differences between the variations of special counsels, independent counsels and special prosecutors over the years. But Banks said they all have the same core function: to investigate and prosecute possible violations of criminal law by officials of the federal government. And they have been all too common in American history.

https://www.factcheck.org/2017/05/special-counsel-qa/

Read the controversial Nunes memo and its key points

FISA Court Finds “Serious Fourth Amendment Issue” In Obama’s “Widespread” Illegal Searches Of American Citizens

A newly released court order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) found that the National Security Agency, under former President Obama, routinely violated American privacy protections while scouring through overseas intercepts and failed to disclose the extent of the problems until the final days before Donald Trump was elected president last fall.  In describing the violations, the FISA court said the illegal searches conducted by the NSA under Obama were “widespread” and created a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”

These new discoveries come from a recently unsealed FISA court document dated April 26, 2017 and center around a hearing dated October 26, 2017, just days before the 2016 election, in which the FISA court apparently learned for the first time of “widespread” and illegal spying on American citizens by the NSA under the Obama administration.

“The October 26, 2016 Notice disclosed that an NSA Inspector General (IG) review…indicated that, with greater frequency than previously disclosed to the Court, NSA analysts had used U.S.-person identifiers to query the result of Internet “upstream” collection, even though NSA’s section 702 minimization procedures prohibited such queriesthis disclosure gave the Court substantial concern.”

FISA

 

The court order goes on to reveal that NSA analysts had been conducting illegal queries targeting American citizens “with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the Court”…an issue which the court described as a “very serious Fourth Amendment issue.”

“Since 2011, NSA’s minimization procedures have prohibited use of U.S.-person identifiers to query the results of upstream Internet collection under Section 702.  The October 26, 2016 Notice informed the Court that NSA analysts had been conducting such queries in violation of that prohibition, with much greater frequency than had previously been disclosed to the Court.”

 

“At the October 26, 2016 hearing, the Court ascribed the government’s failure to disclose those IG and OCO reviews at the October 4, 2016 hearing to an institutional ‘lack of candor’ on NSA’s part and emphasized that ‘this is a very serious Fourth Amendment issue.'”

FISA

Of course, these discoveries and their timing, coming just before the 2016 election, are even more suspicious in light of the Obama administration’s efforts to ‘unmask’ intelligence on various Trump campaign officials shortly after the election.

As Circa noted, the American Civil Liberties Union said the newly disclosed violations are some of the most serious to ever be documented and strongly call into question the U.S. intelligence community’s ability to police itself and safeguard American’s privacy as guaranteed by the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment protections against unlawful search and seizure.

“I think what this emphasizes is the shocking lack of oversight of these programs,” said Neema Singh Guliani, the ACLU’s legislative counsel in Washington.

 

“You have these problems going on for years that only come to the attention of the court late in the game and then it takes additional years to change its practices.

 

“I think it does call into question all those defenses that we kept hearing, that we always have a robust oversight structure and we have culture of adherence to privacy standards,” she added. “And the headline now is they actually haven’t been in compliacne for years and the FISA court itself says in its opinion is that the NSA suffers from a culture of a lack of candor.”

Of course, we suspect that none of this will be reported by any of the mainstream media outlets who will undoubtedly overlook these very distburbing facts in their ongoing efforts to track down the latest anonymously-sourced ‘bombshell’ report about how Trump once sat across from a Russian boy at lunch in the 2nd grade.

 

The full FISA Court opinion can be read here:

https://www.scribd.com/embeds/349261099/content?start_page=1&view_mode=scroll&access_key=key-OVHZTNMNxBIJRoX6Xh9t&show_recommendations=true

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-05-24/fisa-court-finds-very-serious-fourth-amendment-issue-obamas-widespread-illegal-searc

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 400, January 21, 2015, Story 2: Obama Wants $320 Billion in New Taxes — Dead On Arrival In Republican Controlled Congress — Videos

Posted on January 21, 2015. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Budgetary Policy, Business, Communications, Constitutional Law, Economics, Education, Employment, Fiscal Policy, Government, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, Insurance, Language, Law, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Regulation, Tax Policy, Taxation, Taxes | Tags: , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 400: January 21, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 399: January 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 398: January 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 397: January 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 396: January 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 395: January 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 394: January 7, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 393: January 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 392: December 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 391: December 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 390: December 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 389: December 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 388: December 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 387: December 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 386: December 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 385: December 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 384: December 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 383: December 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 382: December 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 381: December 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 380: December 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 379: November 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 378: November 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 377: November 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 376: November 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 375: November 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 374: November 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 373: November 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 372: November 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 371: November 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 370: November 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 369: November 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 368: November 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 367: November 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 366: November 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 365: November 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 364: November 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 363: November 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 362: November 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 361: October 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 360: October 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 359: October 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 358: October 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 357: October 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 356: October 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 355: October 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 354: October 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 353: October 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 352: October 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 351: October 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 350: October 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 349: October 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 348: October 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 347: October 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 346: October 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 345: October 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 344: October 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 343: October 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 342: October 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 341: October 1, 2014

Story 2: Obama Wants $320 Billion in New Taxes — Dead On Arrival In Republican Controlled Congress — Videos

Grover Norquist on President Obama’s call for $320 Billion in Higher Taxes

Obama To Call For $320 Billion Tax Hike On Wealthy In SOTU – Making Money

Rep. Jason Chaffetz: Obama’s Tax-Hike Plan A ‘Non-Starter’

 

Obama Calls for $320 Billion in New Taxes


Posted by Ryan Ellis on Saturday, January 17th, 2015, 10:59 PM PERMALINK


On Saturday night the White House leaked the major tax hike details of the president’s upcoming budget. The common theme is higher taxes on savings and investment, totaling $320 billion over the next ten years.

“Democrats are demanding, yet again, tax increases on America. This never ends. When it comes to tax hikes Democrats are like a teenage boy on a prom date: they keep asking the same question different ways but always to the same point,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

Here are the major tax increases in the President’s upcoming budget:

​1. Capital Gains Rate Hike: raises capital gains and dividends tax rate from 23.8% today (20% plus 3.8% Obamacare surtax) to 28% (including the Obamacare surtax).

The capital gains tax has not been that high since President Clinton signed a rate cut in 1997.

It would represent a massive hike in the rate since Obama took office. When he was sworn in, the rate was 15%. He proposes to nearly double it to 28% in the twilight of his administration.

2. Stealth increase in the death tax rate from 40% to nearly 60%.

Under current law, when you inherit an asset your basis in the asset is the higher of the fair market value at the time of death or the decedent’s original basis. Almost always, the fair market value is higher.

Under the Obama proposal, when you inherit an asset your basis will simply be the decedent’s original basis.

Example: Dad buys a house for $10,000.  He dies and leaves it to you. The fair market value on the date of death is $100,000. You sell it for $120,000. Under current law, you have a capital gain of $20,000 (sales price of $120,000 less step up in basis of $100,000). Under the Obama plan, you have a capital gain of $110,000 (sales price of $120,000 less original basis of $10,000).

There are exemptions for most households, but this misses the larger point: the whole reason we have step up in basis is because we have a death tax. If you are going to hold an estate liable for tax, you can’t then hold the estate liable for tax again when the inheritor sells it. This adds yet another redundant layer of tax on savings and investment. It’s a huge tax hike on family farms and small businesses.

It’s like a second death tax (the first one has a top tax rate of 40% and a standard deduction of $5.3 million/$10.6 million for surviving spouses). Conceivably, an accumulated capital gain could face a 40% death tax levy and then a 28% capital gains tax on what is left. Do the math, and that’s an integrated federal tax of just under 60% on inherited capital gains.

3. “Bank Tax”

A new 7 basis point (0.07%) tax on the liabilities (not assets) of the 100 or so U.S. firms with assets over $50 billion. This will obviously be passed along to these firms’ customers and employees, since businesses don’t pay taxes–people do.

4. Tax Increase on Families Saving for College

Under current law, 529 plans work like Roth IRAs: you put money in, and the money grows tax-free for college. Distributions are tax-free provided they are to pay for college.

Under the Obama plan, earnings growth in a 529 plan would no longer be tax-free. Instead, earnings would face taxation upon withdrawal, even if the withdrawal is to pay for college. This was the law prior to 2001.

5. Tax Increases in Retirement Plans and a New Employer Mandate

There would be a new cap in the amount one could accumulate in the aggregate in all IRA and 401(k) type accounts of $3.4 million. After that, you can’t save any more new dollars. The idea is that this is enough to secure a $210,000 annual distribution in retirement, which the government apparently deems “enough” for a retiree.

In addition, all employers with more than 10 workers and who do not have a 401(k) type plan would be mandated to set up payroll deduction Traditional IRAs for their employees. Also, part-time workers would have to be covered under retirement plans if they have been working someplace long enough. These two things are a new kind of employer mandate from Obama.

Read more: http://www.atr.org/obama-calls-320-billion-new-taxes#ixzz3PUbHrVhZ
Follow us: @taxreformer on Twitter

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts Portfolio

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 400

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 391-399

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 383-390

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 376-382

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 369-375

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 360-368

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 354-359

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 346-353

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 338-345

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 328-337

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 319-327

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 307-318

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 296-306

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 287-295

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 277-286

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 264-276

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 250-263

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 236-249

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 222-235

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 211-221

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 202-210

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 194-201

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 184-193

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 174-183

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 165-173

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 158-164

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 151-157

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 143-150

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 135-142

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 131-134

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 124-130

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 121-123

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 118-120

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 113 -117

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Show 112

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 108-111

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 106-108

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 104-105

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 101-103

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 98-100

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The Pronk Pops Show 270, May 30, 2014, Story 1: The Economic Consequences of Out-of-Control Government Spending — The Warfare and Welfare State — High Unemployment and Low Economic Growth — The Obama Recession — Stagflation — Videos

Posted on May 30, 2014. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Blogroll, Books, Budgetary Policy, Business, College, Communications, Computers, Constitutional Law, Culture, Disasters, Economics, Education, Employment, Energy, Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, Gangs, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Investments, Labor Economics, Law, Legal Immigration, Media, Monetary Policy, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Private Sector Unions, Public Sector Unions, Radio, Regulation, Resources, Security, Social Science, Success, Tax Policy, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Unemployment, Unions, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

Project_1

The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 270: May 30, 2014 

Pronk Pops Show 269: May 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 268: May 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 267: May 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 266: May 23, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 265: May 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 264: May 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 263: May 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 262: May 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 261: May 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 260: May 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 259: May 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 258: May 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 257: May 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 256: May 5, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 255: May 2, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 254: May 1, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 253: April 30, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 252: April 29, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 251: April 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 250: April 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 249: April 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 248: April 22, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 247: April 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 246: April 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 245: April 16, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 244: April 15, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 243: April 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 242: April 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 241: April 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 240: April 9, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 239: April 8, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 238: April 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 237: April 4, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 236: April 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 235: March 31, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 234: March 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 233: March 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 232: March 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 231: March 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 230: March 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 229: March 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 228: March 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 227: March 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 226: March 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 225: March 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 224: March 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 223: March 6, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 222: March 3, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 221: February 28, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 220: February 27, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 219: February 26, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 218: February 25, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 217: February 24, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 216: February 21, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 215: February 20, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 214: February 19, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 213: February 18, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 212: February 17, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 211: February 14, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 210: February 13, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 209: February 12, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 208: February 11, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 207: February 10, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 206: February 7, 2014

Pronk Pops Show 205: February 5, 2014

gdp_largehow congress spends money

he bar chart comes directly from the Monthly Treasury Statement published by the U. S. Treasury Department. <<< Click on the chart for more info.The “Debt Total” bar chart is generated from the Treasury Department’s “Debt Report” found on the Treasury Direct web site. It has links to search the debt for any given date range, and access to debt interest information. It is a direct source to government provided budget information.

— “Deficit” vs. “Debt”—Suppose you spend more money this month than your income. This situation is called a “budget deficit”. So you borrow (ie; use your credit card). The amount you borrowed (and now owe) is called your debt. You have to pay interest on your debt. If next month you spend more than your income, another deficit, you must borrow some more, and you’ll still have to pay the interest on your debt (now larger). If you have a deficit every month, you keep borrowing and your debt grows. Soon the interest payment on your loan is bigger than any other item in your budget. Eventually, all you can do is pay the interest payment, and you don’t have any money left over for anything else. This situation is known as bankruptcy.

“Reducing the deficit” is a meaningless soundbite. If theDEFICIT is any amount more than ZERO, we have to borrow more and the DEBT grows.

Each year since 1969, Congress has spent more money than its income. The Treasury Department has to borrow money to meet Congress’s appropriations. Here is a direct link to theCongressional Budget Office web site’s deficit analysis. We have to pay interest* on that huge, growing debt; and it cuts into our budget big time.

http://federalbudget.com/chartinfo.html


BUREAU OF THE FISCAL SERVICE
                                                  STAR - TREASURY FINANCIAL DATABASE
             TABLE 1.  SUMMARY OF RECEIPTS, OUTLAYS AND THE DEFICIT/SURPLUS BY MONTH OF THE U.S. GOVERNMENT (IN MILLIONS)

                                                        ACCOUNTING DATE:  04/14

   PERIOD                                                                     RECEIPTS                OUTLAYS    DEFICIT/SURPLUS (-)
+  ____________________________________________________________  _____________________  _____________________  _____________________
   PRIOR YEAR

     OCTOBER                                                                   184,316                304,311                119,995
     NOVEMBER                                                                  161,730                333,841                172,112
     DECEMBER                                                                  269,508                270,699                  1,191
     JANUARY                                                                   272,225                269,340                 -2,886
     FEBRUARY                                                                  122,815                326,354                203,539
     MARCH                                                                     186,018                292,548                106,530
     APRIL                                                                     406,723                293,834               -112,889
     MAY                                                                       197,182                335,914                138,732
     JUNE                                                                      286,627                170,126               -116,501
     JULY                                                                      200,030                297,627                 97,597
     AUGUST                                                                    185,370                333,293                147,923
     SEPTEMBER                                                                 301,469                226,355                -75,114

       YEAR-TO-DATE                                                          2,774,011              3,454,241                680,229

   CURRENT YEAR

     OCTOBER                                                                   198,927                289,511                 90,584
     NOVEMBER                                                                  182,453                317,679                135,226
     DECEMBER                                                                  283,221                230,001                -53,220
     JANUARY                                                                   295,997                306,247                 10,250
     FEBRUARY                                                                  144,349                337,880                193,532
     MARCH                                                                     215,846                252,739                 36,893
     APRIL                                                                     414,237                307,383               -106,853

       YEAR-TO-DATE                                                          1,735,030              2,041,440                306,411

 

alt-cpi-home2

sgs-cpi

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

CPI Glossary

Notes on Different Measures of the Consumer Price Index.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the broadest inflation measure published by U.S. Government, through the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Department of Labor:

The CPI-U (Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers) is the monthly headline inflation number (seasonally adjusted) and is the broadest in its coverage, representing the buying patterns of all urban consumers. Its standard measure is not seasonally adjusted, and it never is revised on that basis except for outright errors,

The CPI-W (CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers) covers the more-narrow universe of urban wage earners and clerical workers and is used in determining cost of living adjustments in government programs such as Social Security. Otherwise its background is the same as the CPI-U.

The C-CPI-U (Chain-Weighted CPI-U) is an experimental measure, where the weighting of components is fully substitution based. It generally shows lower annual inflation rate than the CPI-U and CPI-W. The latter two measures once had fixed weightings — so as to measure the cost of living of maintaining a constant standard of living — but now are quasi-substitution-based.

The ShadowStats Alternative CPI-U measures are attempts at adjusting reported CPI-U inflation for the impact of methodological change of recent decades designed to move the concept of the CPI away from being a measure of the cost of living needed to maintain a constant standard of living.

U.S. Debt Clock

http://www.usdebtclock.org/

US economy contracted in first quarter of 2014

Real Conversations: Peter Schiff Talks Bubbles, Roubini, Bailouts & More

U.S. Economy Contracts In First-quarter On Inventories, Trade

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EMBARGOED UNTIL RELEASE AT 8:30 A.M. EDT, THURSDAY, MAY 29, 2014
BEA 14-21

* See the navigation bar at the right side of the news release text for links to data tables,
contact personnel and their telephone numbers, and supplementary materials.

Lisa S. Mataloni: (202) 606-5304 (GDP) gdpniwd@bea.gov
Kate Shoemaker: (202) 606-5564 (Profits) cpniwd@bea.gov
Jeannine Aversa: (202) 606-2649 (News Media)
National Income and Product Accounts
Gross Domestic Product: First Quarter 2014 (Second Estimate)
Corporate Profits: First Quarter 2014 (Preliminary Estimate)
      Real gross domestic product -- the output of goods and services produced by labor and property
located in the United States -- decreased at an annual rate of 1.0 percent in the first quarter according to
the "second" estimate released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis.  In the fourth quarter, real GDP
increased 2.6 percent.

      The GDP estimate released today is based on more complete source data than were available for
the "advance" estimate issued last month.  In the advance estimate, real GDP was estimated to have
increased 0.1 percent.  With this second estimate for the first quarter, the decline in private inventory
investment was larger than previously estimated (see "Revisions" on page 3).

      The decrease in real GDP in the first quarter primarily reflected negative contributions from
private inventory investment, exports, nonresidential fixed investment, state and local government
spending, and residential fixed investment that were partly offset by a positive contribution from
personal consumption expenditures.  Imports, which are a subtraction in the calculation of GDP,
increased.

BOX.___________

                    Annual Revision of the National Income and Product Accounts

      The annual revision of the national income and product accounts will be released along with the
"advance" estimate of GDP for the second quarter of 2014 on July 30.  In addition to the regular revision
of estimates for the most recent 3 years and for the first quarter of 2014, GDP and select components
will be revised back to the first quarter of 1999 (see "Preview of Upcoming NIPA Revision" in the May
Survey of Current Business).  The August Survey will contain an article describing the annual revision
in detail.

FOOTNOTE.______

      NOTE.  Quarterly estimates are expressed at seasonally adjusted annual rates, unless otherwise
specified.  Quarter-to-quarter dollar changes are differences between these published estimates.  Percent
changes are calculated from unrounded data and are annualized.  "Real" estimates are in chained (2009)
dollars.  Price indexes are chain-type measures.

This news release is available on BEA’s Web site at www.bea.gov along with the Technical Note and
Highlights related to this release.  For information on revisions, see "Revisions to GDP, GDI, and
Their Major Components".
_______________


      The downturn in the percent change in real GDP primarily reflected a downturn in exports, a
larger decrease in private inventory investment, and downturns in nonresidential fixed investment and in
state and local government spending that were partly offset by an upturn in federal government
spending.

      The price index for gross domestic purchases, which measures prices paid by U.S. residents,
increased 1.3 percent in the first quarter, 0.1 percentage point less than in the advance estimate; this
index increased 1.5 percent in the fourth quarter.  Excluding food and energy prices, the price index for
gross domestic purchases increased 1.3 percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 1.8
percent in the fourth.

      Real personal consumption expenditures increased 3.1 percent in the first quarter, compared with
an increase of 3.3 percent in the fourth.  Durable goods increased 1.4 percent, compared with an increase
of 2.8 percent.  Nondurable goods increased 0.4 percent, compared with an increase of 2.9 percent.
Services increased 4.3 percent, compared with an increase of 3.5 percent.

      Real nonresidential fixed investment decreased 1.6 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to an
increase of 5.7 percent in the fourth.  Investment in nonresidential structures decreased 7.5 percent,
compared with a decrease of 1.8 percent.  Investment in equipment decreased 3.1 percent, in contrast to
an increase of 10.9 percent.  Investment in intellectual property products increased 5.1 percent,
compared with an increase of 4.0 percent.  Real residential fixed investment decreased 5.0 percent,
compared with a decrease of 7.9 percent.

      Real exports of goods and services decreased 6.0 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to an
increase of 9.5 percent in the fourth.  Real imports of goods and services increased 0.7 percent,
compared with an increase of 1.5 percent.

      Real federal government consumption expenditures and gross investment increased 0.7 percent
in the first quarter, in contrast to a decrease of 12.8 percent in the fourth.  National defense decreased 2.4
percent, compared with a decrease of 14.4 percent.  Nondefense increased 5.9 percent, in contrast to a
decrease of 10.0 percent.  Real state and local government consumption expenditures and gross
investment decreased 1.8 percent in the first quarter; it was unchanged in the fourth.

      The change in real private inventories subtracted 1.62 percentage points from the first-quarter
change in real GDP, after subtracting 0.02 percentage point from the fourth-quarter change.  Private
businesses increased inventories $49.0 billion in the first quarter, following increases of $111.7 billion
in the fourth quarter and $115.7 billion in the third.

      Real final sales of domestic product -- GDP less change in private inventories -- increased 0.6
percent in the first quarter, compared with an increase of 2.7 percent in the fourth.


Gross domestic purchases

      Real gross domestic purchases -- purchases by U.S. residents of goods and services wherever
produced -- was unchanged in the first quarter, following an increase of 1.6 percent in the fourth.


Gross national product

      Real gross national product -- the goods and services produced by the labor and property
supplied by U.S. residents -- decreased 2.1 percent in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of 3.1
percent in the fourth.  GNP includes, and GDP excludes, net receipts of income from the rest of the
world, which decreased $42.4 billion in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of $17.0 billion in the
fourth; in the first quarter, receipts decreased $29.0 billion, and payments increased $13.4 billion.


Current-dollar GDP

      Current-dollar GDP -- the market value of the nation's output of goods and services -- increased
0.3 percent, or $11.7 billion, in the first quarter to a level of $17,101.3 billion.  In the fourth quarter,
current-dollar GDP increased 4.2 percent, or $176.7 billion.


Gross domestic income

      Real gross domestic income (GDI), which measures the output of the economy as the costs
incurred and the incomes earned in the production of GDP, decreased 2.3 percent in the first quarter, in
contrast to an increase of 2.6 percent (revised) in the fourth.  For a given quarter, the estimates of GDP
and GDI may differ for a variety of reasons, including the incorporation of largely independent source
data.  However, over longer time spans, the estimates of GDP and GDI tend to follow similar patterns of
change.


Revisions

      The second estimate of the first-quarter percent change in real GDP was revised down 1.1
percentage points, or $43.7 billion, from the advance estimate issued last month, primarily reflecting a
downward revision to private inventory investment and an upward revision to imports that were partly
offset by an upward revision to exports.


                                     Advance Estimate    Second Estimate
			           Percent change from preceding quarter)

Real GDP...............................     0.1              -1.0
Current-dollar GDP.....................     1.4               0.3
Real GDI...............................     ---              -2.3
Gross domestic purchases price index...     1.4               1.3



                                          Corporate Profits


Profits from current production

      Profits from current production (corporate profits with inventory valuation adjustment (IVA) and
capital consumption adjustment (CCAdj)) decreased $213.4 billion in the first quarter, in contrast to an
increase of $47.1 billion in the fourth.  The IVA decreased $32.3 billion, compared with a decrease of
$0.5 billion.  The CCAdj decreased $182.5 billion, compared with a decrease of $1.5 billion.  The IVA
and CCAdj convert inventory withdrawals and depreciation of fixed assets reported on a tax-return,
historical-cost basis to the current-cost economic measures used in the NIPAs.

      Taxes on corporate income increased $26.2 billion in the first quarter, compared with an increase
of $13.3 billion in the fourth.  Profits after tax with IVA and CCAdj decreased $239.5 billion, in contrast
to an increase of $33.8 billion.  The first-quarter changes in taxes on corporate income and in CCAdj
mainly reflect the expiration of bonus depreciation provisions.  For further explanation, see the box
below.

      Dividends decreased $89.0 billion in the first quarter, in contrast to an increase of $90.5 billion
in the fourth.  Undistributed profits decreased $150.6 billion, compared with a decrease of $56.7 billion.
Net cash flow with IVA -- the internal funds available to corporations for investment -- decreased
$131.6 billion, compared with a decrease of $43.0 billion.


BOX. _____

                       Impacts of Bonus Depreciation on the First Quarter of 2014

      The first-quarter changes in taxes on corporate income and in capital consumption adjustment
(CCAdj) mainly reflect the expiration of both the 50-percent bonus depreciation provision and increased
Section 179 expensing limits claimed under the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.  For detailed
data, see the table "Net Effects of the Tax Acts of 2002, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2012 on Selected
Measures of Corporate Profits".

             Bonus depreciation does not affect profits from current production.  Profits from current
production are based on consistent depreciation profiles of fixed assets valued at current cost, not on the
depreciation-accounting practices used for federal income tax returns. For a discussion on the effect of
tax act provisions on the CCAdj, see FAQ 999, "Why does the capital consumption adjustment for
domestic business decline so much in the first quarter of 2012?".

__________

      Domestic profits of financial corporations decreased $70.6 billion in the first quarter, in contrast
to an increase of $6.1 billion in the fourth.  Domestic profits of nonfinancial corporations decreased
$102.3 billion, in contrast to an increase of $18.1 billion.

      The rest-of-the-world component of profits decreased $40.4 billion in the first quarter, in contrast
to an increase of $22.9 billion in the fourth.  This measure is calculated as the difference between
receipts from rest of the world and payments to rest of the world.  In the first quarter, receipts decreased
$32.3 billion, and payments increased $8.2 billion.

Gross value added of nonfinancial domestic corporate business

      Real gross value added of nonfinancial corporations decreased 2.2 percent in the first quarter.
Profits per unit of real value added decreased, reflecting increases in the unit labor and nonlabor costs
incurred by corporations that were partly offset by an increase in unit prices.


                                            *          *          *


      BEA's national, international, regional, and industry estimates; the Survey of Current Business;
and BEA news releases are available without charge on BEA's Web site at www.bea.gov.  By visiting
the site, you can also subscribe to receive free e-mail summaries of BEA releases and announcements.


                                            *          *          *


                                Next release -- June 25, 2014 at 8:30 A.M. EDT for:
                            Gross Domestic Product:  First Quarter 2014 (Third Estimate)
                              Corporate Profits:  First Quarter 2014 (Revised Estimate)

1 in 6 American Men Between Ages 25-54 Are Not Working

9:39 AM, MAY 30, 2014 • BY DANIEL HALPER

Startling charts from the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee about male participation in the labor force, particularly men between the ages of 25-54:

“There are currently 61.1 million American men in their prime working years, age 25–54. A staggering 1 in 8 such men are not in the labor force at all, meaning they are neither working nor looking for work. This is an all-time high dating back to when records were first kept in 1955. An additional 2.9 million men are in the labor force but not employed (i.e., they would work if they could find a job). A total of 10.2 million individuals in this cohort, therefore, are not holding jobs in the U.S. economy today. There are also nearly 3 million more men in this age group not working today than there were before the recession began,” the Republicans on the Senate Budget Committee claim.

“Although defenders of the current economy attribute shrinking labor force participation to the increasing pace of retirement of the Baby Boomer generation, these new statistics above confirm a trend that Barron’s recently diagnosed: ‘The ratio of those over 55 in the workforce actually ticked up’—in other words, older Americans are being forced to return to work in a poor economy to make ends meet while many younger Americans simply aren’t working at all. In short, there is an unprecedented supply of working-age Americans who do not hold jobs.”

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/1-8-american-men-between-ages-25-54-are-not-working_793938.html

 

 

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