The Pronk Pops Show 1300, August 1, 2019, Story 1: Story 1: Democrat Destruction Derby Debate 2 — Santa Claus Socialism — Vote Me and I Will Give You Free Stuff — Take Away Your Employer and Union Provided Health Care Insurance and Replace It With Socialized Medicine — Medicare For All — Give All 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens in U.S. Citizenship and Free Health Insurance and Open Borders With No Border Barrier and Abolish ICE or Immigration and Customs Enforcement — American People Betrayed By Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) — Result: Trump Wins in A Landslide With A Message That Resonates With American People — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Comments To Big Lie Media — Videos — Student 3: Federal Reserve As Expected Reduces Federal Funds Rate By 25 Basis Points to 2.0-2.25% –Videos

Posted on August 2, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Addiction, Addiction, American History, Anthropology, Banking System, Blogroll, Breaking News, Bribery, Bribes, Budgetary Policy, Cartoons, City, Clinton Obama Democrat Criminal Conspiracy, Comedy, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corey Booker, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Currencies, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Federal Government, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Spending, Health Care Insurance, High Crimes, History, House of Representatives, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Insurance, Investments, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Killing, Kirsten Gillibrand, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Drugs, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medicare, Mental Illness, Military Spending, Monetary Policy, National Interest, News, People, Pete Buttigieg, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Progressives, Psychology, Public Corruption, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Scandals, Science, Second Amendment, Security, Senate, Social Science, Social Sciences, Social Security, Sociology, Spying on American People, Subversion, Success, Surveillance and Spying On American People, Surveillance/Spying, Tax Fraud, Tax Policy, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Treason, Trump Surveillance/Spying, Tulsi Gabbard, U.S. Dollar, Unemployment, United States Constitution, United States of America, Videos, Violence, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare Spending, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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See the source image

Economic indicators: Interest rates remain at historically low levels, while unemployment is at the lowest point since Nixon was president.

See the source image

Story 1: Democrat Destruction Derby Debate 2, Day 2 — Santa Claus Socialism — Vote Me and I Will Give You Free Stuff — Take Away Your Employer and Union Provided Health Care Insurance and Replace It With Socialized Medicine — Medicare For All — Give All 30-60 Million Illegal Aliens in U.S. Citizenship and Free Health Insurance and Open Borders With No Border Barrier and Abolish ICE or Immigration and Customs Enforcement — American People Betrayed By Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) — Result: Trump Wins in A Landslide With A Message That Resonates With American People — Videos

Watch Democratic Debate Highlights In Detroit 2019 Night 2 | Second Half

Democratic Presidential Debate Round 2 Day 1 Highlights | NBC New York

Watch the 9 minutes that has America searching Tulsi Gabbard

Tulsi Gabbard rips Kamala Harris’ record on criminal prosecutions

Cory Booker to Biden: You’re dipping into the Kool-Aid and don’t even know the flavor

Ari Fleischer: Democrat debates have been a display of losing ideas

CNN Democratic debate night 2

a sign on a table: It will be twice as hard for the 2020 Democrats to qualify for the next debate. In addition to the seven who already have, three are within striking distance.© Erin Schaff/The New York Times It will be twice as hard for the 2020 Democrats to qualify for the next debate. In addition to the seven who already have, three are within striking distance.The Democratic National Committee has set stricter criteria for the third set of debates, which will be held on Sept. 12 and Sept. 13 in Houston. If 10 or fewer candidates qualify, the debate will take place on only one night.

[The race is fluid, and other things we learned from the July Democratic debates.]

Candidates will need to have 130,000 unique donors and register at least 2 percent support in four polls. They have until Aug. 28 to reach those benchmarks.

 

These criteria could easily halve the field: The first two sets of debates included 20 of the 24 candidates, but a New York Times analysis of polls and donor numbers shows that only 10 to 12 candidates are likely to make the third round.

Seven candidates have already met both qualification thresholds and are guaranteed a spot on stage. They are:

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr.

■ Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey

■ Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

■ Senator Kamala Harris of California

■ Former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas

■ Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont

■ Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts

Three other candidates are very close: The former housing secretary Julián Castro and the entrepreneur Andrew Yang have surpassed 130,000 donations and each have three of the four qualifying polls they need, while Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota has met the polling threshold and has about 120,000 donors.

Beyond them, only three candidates have even a single qualifying poll to their name: the impeachment activist Tom Steyer (2 polls), Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii (1) and former Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado (1).

We asked all three of their campaigns to provide donor numbers so we could assess where they stood. Ms. Gabbard had just under 114,000 donors as of Wednesday night. A spokesman for Mr. Steyer said he was “on track to collect the required number of donors to make the September debate stage” but did not give a number. Mr. Hickenlooper’s campaign did not respond, but Politico reported a month ago that he had only 13,000 donors.

The other 11 candidates in the race have no qualifying polls to their name, and they all went into this week’s debates seeking a viral moment that would attract new donors and lift them, even briefly, in the polls.

The qualification rules do not require enduring support. Even a small post-debate surge could push a 1 percent candidate up to 2 percent in the small handful of polls he or she needs.

But for those who have not qualified, the Aug. 28 deadline is an existential threat. Candidates like Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York or Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington could be washed out of the race if they don’t get momentum from this week’s debates. And if you’re wondering whether they’re anxious, the answer is yes.

Ms. Gabbard’s campaign calculated at one point that she needed a new donor every minute to reach 130,000 by the Aug. 28 deadline, so if you go to her website, a timer next to the donation button begins counting down 60 seconds. Then the text changes.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/only-7-candidates-have-qualified-for-the-next-democratic-debate/ar-AAFbiYl

Story 2: President Trump Comments To Big Lie Media — Videos

Trump comments on US-China tensions, upcoming Ohio rally

 

Student 3: Federal Reserve As Expected Reduces Federal Funds Rate By 25 Basis Points to 2.00%-2.25% As Economic Growth Slows Down – -Videos

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell holds news conference on interest rates | USA TODAY

Federal Reserve Lowers Interest Rates

Federal Reserve lowers interest rates

The Federal Reserve cuts rates by a quarter point

What the Fed interest rate cut means for your wallet

Fed cuts interest rates for first time since financial crisis

Trump tariffs torpedo stock market

Donald Trump rages against the Federal Reserve as it cuts interests rates by 0.25% but signals it WON’T slash them more as he has demanded – in move which sends shares plunging

  • Key interest set by the Federal Reserve is cut by 0.25 per cent for the first time since 2008, the year of the financial crisis
  • The central bank moved the target range for the federal funds rate to 2 to 2-1/4 percent, from 2 1/5 to 2 3/4
  • Move is a departure from its previous policy and comes after Trump heaped pressure on its chairman Jerome Powell to reduce cost of borrowing
  • But reserve’s committee said in statement it was acting over fears of a worldwide slowdown

Donald Trump unleashed on the Federal Reserve Wednesday afternoon after it made its first interest rate cut in more than a decade saying it was not ‘much help’ after the bank’s chairman signaled the move was a one-off reduction.

Jerome Powell sent share prices plunging as he called the 0.25 per cent cut in the key interest rate a ‘mid-cycle adjustment’ and talked down the chances of more cuts following.

The Dow Jones fell by 400 points as Powell signaled at a press conference in Washington D.C. that the cut was a one-off.

The Dow  closed down 333 points and both the NASDAQ and S&P 500 lost 1% of their value.

Donald Trump unleashed on the Federal Reserve Wednesday afternoon after it made its first interest rate cut in more than a decade saying it was not ‘much help’ after the bank’s chairman signaled the move was a one-off reduction.

Jerome Powell sent share prices plunging as he called the 0.25 per cent cut in the key interest rate a ‘mid-cycle adjustment’ and talked down the chances of more cuts following.

The Dow Jones fell by 400 points as Powell signaled at a press conference in Washington D.C. that the cut was a one-off.

The Dow  closed down 333 points and both the NASDAQ and S&P 500 lost 1% of their value.

Donald Trump unleashed on the Federal Reserve Wednesday afternoon after it made its first interest rate cut in more than a decade saying it was not ‘much help’ after the bank’s chairman signaled the move was a one-off reduction.

Jerome Powell sent share prices plunging as he called the 0.25 per cent cut in the key interest rate a ‘mid-cycle adjustment’ and talked down the chances of more cuts following.

The Dow Jones fell by 400 points as Powell signaled at a press conference in Washington D.C. that the cut was a one-off.

The Dow  closed down 333 points and both the NASDAQ and S&P 500 lost 1% of their value.

Trump used the market fall to make his case that Powell and his board should have started an ‘agressive’ series of rate cuts.

‘What the Market wanted to hear from Jay Powell and the Federal Reserve was that this was the beginning of a lengthy and aggressive rate-cutting cycle which would keep pace with China, The European Union and other countries around the world.

‘As usual, Powell let us down, but at least he is ending quantitative tightening, which shouldn’t have started in the first place – no inflation. We are winning anyway, but I am certainly not getting much help from the Federal Reserve!’

Trump had gone all-in on a call for a 0.5 per cent reduction to stimulate the U.S. economy. ‘The Fed has made all of the wrong moves. A small rate cut is not enough, but we will win anyway!’ he had tweeted on Monday.

Explanation time: Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, outlined why it had cut interest rates - as the markets reacted in real time with a sell-off which reached as much as 400 points wiped off the Dow in the course of his press conference

Explanation time: Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, outlined why it had cut interest rates – as the markets reacted in real time with a sell-off which reached as much as 400 points wiped off the Dow in the course of his press conference

How markets reacted: The Dow Jones closed 333 points down in a sign of concern that the rate cut was effectively a one-off - not the stimulus Trump has demanded

How markets reacted: The Dow Jones closed 333 points down in a sign of concern that the rate cut was effectively a one-off – not the stimulus Trump has demanded

President Donald Trump had all but demanded a rate-slashing, but predicted that the Fed wouldn't do 'enough' to stimulate the U.S. economy. He had heaped pressure on Jerome Powell, his own appointment as chairman, to cut the cost of borrowing.
President Donald Trump had all but demanded a rate-slashing, but predicted that the Fed wouldn't do 'enough' to stimulate the U.S. economy. He had heaped pressure on Jerome Powell, his own appointment as chairman, to cut the cost of borrowing.

President Donald Trump had all but demanded a rate-slashing, but predicted that the Fed wouldn’t do ‘enough’ to stimulate the U.S. economy. He had heaped pressure on Jerome Powell, his own appointment as chairman, to cut the cost of borrowing.

Powell and the reserve, however, defied him.

It voted that the new benchmark interest rate will fall between 2 per cent and 2.25 per cent. The Fed’s board had voted nine times since 2015 to increase it.

Eight of the Fed’s 10 board members voted to trim the short-term benchmark rate. The other two argued for leaving it as-is.

Powell, speaking in a news conference after the release of the Fed statement, characterized the rate cut as ‘a mid-cycle adjustment to policy,’ comments that do not imply sharp further cuts are on the way.

Among his messages at the press conference in Washington D.C. were that job growth was slowing and that trade tensions were bad for the economy’s outlook – but he repeatedly talked up the strength of the economy.

Explaining the cut, Powell cited global weakness and a desire to boost too-low inflation in explaining the central bank’s decision to lower borrowing costs for the first time since 2008 and move up plans to stop winnowing its massive bond holdings.

Financial markets had widely expected the Fed to reduce its key overnight lending rate by a quarter of a percentage point to a target range of 2.00% to 2.25%, but many traders expected a clearer confirmation of forthcoming rate cuts.

Instead Powell’s message was taken to mean that rates will stay where they are, prompting shares to fall.

And the value of the dollar up against other currencies, which will further anger Trump who had wanted it to fall to boost exports.

The rate cut means that consumers will find in the coming months that interest rates will fall for long-term fixed mortgages, auto loans and credit cards.

That can mean significant household savings, which Americans typically pour back into the U.S. economy through higher spending.

For those few who save their winnings in the periodic Fed lottery, however, interest rates for bank savings accounts will also likely fall.

Mortgage rates were already sliding downward before the Fed met, due to other economic factors.

Even with Wednesday’s cut, the Fed’s principal interest rate is the highest in years. But by historical standards it’s still low.

A policy statement appeared to leave the door open for the Fed to cut rates again in September as it ‘contemplates the future path of the target range for the federal funds rate.’

‘In light of the implications of global developments for the economic outlook as well as muted inflation pressures, the committee decided to lower the target range for the federal funds rate,’ the U.S. central bank said.

But Powell’s lengthy press conference appeared to close the door on that.

Wednesday’s cut is seen as an early bid to prevent a downturn in the U.S. economy that forecasters say will result from Trump’s trade war with China.

Economic indicators: Interest rates remain at historically low levels, while unemployment is at the lowest point since Nixon was president.

Economic indicators: Interest rates remain at historically low levels, while unemployment is at the lowest point since Nixon was president.

Uncertainties in global markets have paralyzed some businesses, starting what could soon be a global slowdown.

The Fed’s statement said that the U.S. labor market ‘remains strong,’ and that the domestic economy is continuing to grow ‘at a moderate rate.’ Overall inflation is running below 2 per cent.

Trump griped on July 22 that the federal funds rate, which determines how much banks – and, by extension, consumers – pay to borrow money, continued to be too high.

‘With almost no inflation, our Country is needlessly being forced to pay a MUCH higher interest rate than other countries only because of a very misguided Federal Reserve,’ he wrote then in a tweet.

On Monday he added that the Fed had previously hiked rates ‘way too early and way too much.’

Trump believes that other countries are more adept at managing the money supplies that move in and out of their financial systems, and in keeping the interest rates that drive borrowing and bond trading flexible.

He has grown increasingly impatient with Fed chairman Jerome Powell, who he believes he can replace at will.

‘I have the right to demote him. I have the right to fire him,’ the president said last month, cautioning that he had ‘never suggested’ doing so.

Any move to oust Powell would likely touch off a legal fight with major repercussions in financial markets as greater uncertainties spook traders.

U.S. economic data continues to be mixed, despite Trump’s frequent claims that he presides over a miraculous resurgence.

The unemployment rate is nearing a low point not seen in America since Richard Nixon was president and stock markets have hit repeated new records

But the nation’s manufacturing economy, which Trump promised to revitalize, has stalled in the past two quarters, and the growth of America’s economy is growing at 2.1 per cent per year – slower than the president has predicted.

The move is seen as an early bid to prevent a downturn in the U.S. economy that forecasters say will result from Trump’s trade war with China.

Uncertainties in global markets have paralyzed some businesses, starting what could soon be a global slowdown.

The Fed’s statement said that the U.S. labor market ‘remains strong,’ and that the domestic economy is continuing to grow ‘at a moderate rate.’ Overall inflation is running below 2 per cent.

Trump griped on July 22 that the federal funds rate, which determines how much banks – and, by extension, consumers – pay to borrow money, continued to be too high.

‘With almost no inflation, our Country is needlessly being forced to pay a MUCH higher interest rate than other countries only because of a very misguided Federal Reserve,’ he wrote then in a tweet.

On Monday he added that the Fed had previously hiked rates ‘way too early and way too much.’

Trump believes that other countries are more adept at managing the money supplies that move in and out of their financial systems, and in keeping the interest rates that drive borrowing and bond trading flexible.

He has grown increasingly impatient with Fed chairman Powell, who he believes he can replace at will.

‘I have the right to demote him. I have the right to fire him,’ the president said last month, cautioning that he had ‘never suggested’ doing so.

Any move to oust Powell would likely touch off a legal fight with major repercussions in financial markets as greater uncertainties spook traders.

WHY WE CUT INTEREST RATES FOR FIRST TIME IN A DECADE: WHAT THE FED SAID IN FULL TO EXPLAIN ITS MOVE

Information received since the Federal Open Market Committee met in June indicates that the labor market remains strong and that economic activity has been rising at a moderate rate. 

Job gains have been solid, on average, in recent months, and the unemployment rate has remained low. 

Although growth of household spending has picked up from earlier in the year, growth of business fixed investment has been soft. 

On a 12-month basis, overall inflation and inflation for items other than food and energy are running below 2 percent. 

Market-based measures of inflation compensation remain low; survey-based measures of longer-term inflation expectations are little changed.

Consistent with its statutory mandate, the Committee seeks to foster maximum employment and price stability. 

In light of the implications of global developments for the economic outlook as well as muted inflation pressures, the Committee decided to lower the target range for the federal funds rate to 2 to 2-1/4 percent. 

This action supports the Committee’s view that sustained expansion of economic activity, strong labor market conditions, and inflation near the Committee’s symmetric 2 percent objective are the most likely outcomes, but uncertainties about this outlook remain. 

As the Committee contemplates the future path of the target range for the federal funds rate, it will continue to monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion, with a strong labor market and inflation near its symmetric 2 percent objective.

In determining the timing and size of future adjustments to the target range for the federal funds rate, the Committee will assess realized and expected economic conditions relative to its maximum employment objective and its symmetric 2 percent inflation objective. 

This assessment will take into account a wide range of information, including measures of labor market conditions, indicators of inflation pressures and inflation expectations, and readings on financial and international developments.

The Committee will conclude the reduction of its aggregate securities holdings in the System Open Market Account in August, two months earlier than previously indicated.

Voting for the monetary policy action were Jerome H. Powell, Chair; John C. Williams, Vice Chair; Michelle W. Bowman; Lael Brainard; James Bullard; Richard H. Clarida; Charles L. Evans; and Randal K. Quarles. 

Voting against the action were Esther L. George and Eric S. Rosengren, who preferred at this meeting to maintain the target range for the federal funds rate at 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 percent.

Federal Open Market Committee

About the FOMC

Recent FOMC press conference

July 31, 2019

FOMC Press Conference July 31, 2019

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FOMC Transcripts and other historical materials

The term “monetary policy” refers to the actions undertaken by a central bank, such as the Federal Reserve, to influence the availability and cost of money and credit to help promote national economic goals. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 gave the Federal Reserve responsibility for setting monetary policy.

The Federal Reserve controls the three tools of monetary policy–open market operationsthe discount rate, and reserve requirements. The Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System is responsible for the discount rate and reserve requirements, and the Federal Open Market Committee is responsible for open market operations. Using the three tools, the Federal Reserve influences the demand for, and supply of, balances that depository institutions hold at Federal Reserve Banks and in this way alters the federal funds rate. The federal funds rate is the interest rate at which depository institutions lend balances at the Federal Reserve to other depository institutions overnight.

Changes in the federal funds rate trigger a chain of events that affect other short-term interest rates, foreign exchange rates, long-term interest rates, the amount of money and credit, and, ultimately, a range of economic variables, including employment, output, and prices of goods and services.

Structure of the FOMC

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) consists of twelve members–the seven members of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System; the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York; and four of the remaining eleven Reserve Bank presidents, who serve one-year terms on a rotating basis. The rotating seats are filled from the following four groups of Banks, one Bank president from each group: Boston, Philadelphia, and Richmond; Cleveland and Chicago; Atlanta, St. Louis, and Dallas; and Minneapolis, Kansas City, and San Francisco. Nonvoting Reserve Bank presidents attend the meetings of the Committee, participate in the discussions, and contribute to the Committee’s assessment of the economy and policy options.

The FOMC holds eight regularly scheduled meetings per year. At these meetings, the Committee reviews economic and financial conditions, determines the appropriate stance of monetary policy, and assesses the risks to its long-run goals of price stability and sustainable economic growth.

For more detail on the FOMC and monetary policy, see section 2 of the brochure on the structure of the Federal Reserve Systemand chapter 2 of Purposes & Functions of the Federal Reserve System. FOMC Rules and Authorizations are also available online.

2019 Committee Members

Alternate Members

Federal Reserve Bank Rotation on the FOMC

Committee membership changes at the first regularly scheduled meeting of the year.

2020 2021 2022
Members New York
Cleveland
Philadelphia
Dallas
Minneapolis
New York
Chicago
Richmond
Atlanta
San Francisco
New York
Cleveland
Boston
St. Louis
Kansas City
Alternate
Members
New York
Chicago
Richmond
Atlanta
San Francisco
New York
Cleveland
Boston
St. Louis
Kansas City
New York
Chicago
Philadelphia
Dallas
Minneapolis

 †For the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, the First Vice President is the alternate for the President. Return to table

For additional information, please use the FOMC FOIA request form.

https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/fomc.htm

Federal Open Market Committee

Meeting calendars, statements, and minutes (2014-2019)

The FOMC holds eight regularly scheduled meetings during the year and other meetings as needed. Links to policy statements and minutes are in the calendars below. The minutes of regularly scheduled meetings are released three weeks after the date of the policy decision. Committee membership changes at the first regularly scheduled meeting of the year.

FOIA
The FOMC makes an annual report pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act. The FOMC FOIA Service Center provides information about the status of FOIA requests and the FOIA process.

2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Next year: 2020

2019 FOMC Meetings

March
19-20*
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released April 10, 2019)
April/May
30-1
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released May 22, 2019)
June
18-19*
Press Conference
Projection Materials
PDF | HTML
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released July 10, 2019)
July
30-31
September
17-18*
October
29-30
December
10-11*

2018 FOMC Meetings

January
30-31
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released February 21, 2018)
March
20-21*
Press Conference
Projection Materials
PDF | HTML
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released April 11, 2018)
May
1-2
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released May 23, 2018)
June
12-13*
Press Conference
Projection Materials
PDF | HTML
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released July 05, 2018)
Jul/Aug
31-1
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released August 22, 2018)
September
25-26*
Press Conference
Projection Materials
PDF | HTML
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released October 17, 2018)
November
7-8
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released November 29, 2018)
December
18-19*
Press Conference
Projection Materials
PDF | HTML
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released January 09, 2019)

2017 FOMC Meetings

Jan/Feb
31-1
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released February 22, 2017)
March
14-15*
Press Conference
Projection Materials
PDF | HTML
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released April 05, 2017)
May
2-3
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released May 24, 2017)
June
13-14*
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released July 05, 2017)
July
25-26
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released August 16, 2017)
September
19-20*
Press Conference
Projection Materials
PDF | HTML
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released October 11, 2017)
Oct/Nov
31-1
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released November 22, 2017)
December
12-13*
Press Conference
Projection Materials
PDF | HTML
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released January 03, 2018)

2016 FOMC Meetings

January
26-27
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released February 17, 2016)
March
15-16*
Press Conference
Projection Materials
PDF | HTML
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released April 06, 2016)
April
26-27
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released May 18, 2016)
June
14-15*
Press Conference
Projection Materials
PDF | HTML
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released July 06, 2016)
July
26-27
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released August 17, 2016)
September
20-21*
Press Conference
Projection Materials
PDF | HTML
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released October 12, 2016)
November
1-2
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released November 23, 2016)
December
13-14*
Press Conference
Projection Materials
PDF | HTML
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released January 04, 2017)

2015 FOMC Meetings

January
27-28
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released February 18, 2015)
March
17-18*
Press Conference
Projection Materials
PDF | HTML
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released April 08, 2015)
April
28-29
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released May 20, 2015)
June
16-17*
Press Conference
Projection Materials
PDF | HTML
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released July 08, 2015)
July
28-29
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released August 19, 2015)
September
16-17*
Press Conference
Projection Materials
PDF | HTML
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released October 08, 2015)
October
27-28
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released November 18, 2015)
December
15-16*
Press Conference
Projection Materials
PDF | HTML
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released January 06, 2016)

2014 FOMC Meetings

January
28-29
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released February 19, 2014)
March
4 (unscheduled)

Minutes: See end of minutes of March 18-19 meeting

March
18-19*
Press Conference
Projection Materials
PDF | HTML
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released April 09, 2014)
April
29-30
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released May 21, 2014)
June
17-18*
Press Conference
Projection Materials
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Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released July 09, 2014)
July
29-30
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released August 20, 2014)
September
16-17*
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released October 08, 2014)
October
28-29
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released November 19, 2014)
December
16-17*
Press Conference
Projection Materials
PDF | HTML
Minutes:
PDF | HTML
(Released January 07, 2015)

2020 FOMC Meetings

January
28-29
March
17-18*
April
28-29
June
9-10*
July
28-29
September
15-16*
November
4-5
December
15-16*

Note: A two-day meeting is scheduled for January 26-27, 2021. Each meeting date is tentative until confirmed at the meeting immediately preceding it.

https://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypolicy/fomccalendars.htm

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The Pronk Pops Show 1290, July 16, 2019, Part 2: Story 1: President Trump Goes On Offense Against America and Trump Haters — Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) Squad — Fresh Fascist Faces — Women of Color — RED — Videos — Story 2: Democrat Controlled House of Representatives Condemns Trump’s Tweets As Racist — Human Racist?  — 240 (Democrats Plus 4 Republicans) vs. 187(Republicans) — Love America or Leave America — Videos — Story 3: ANTIFA (Anti-fascist) 69-Year Old Man With Rifle Who Threw Incendiary Device at Northwest Detention Center Shot Dead By Tacoma Police — Videos — Story 4: Establishment Democrats Support Creepy Sleepy Dopey Joey Biden — Videos– Story 5: European Union’s Galileo Global Positioning Satellites Down For Four Days — Videos — Story 6: Manhattan Lights Go Out with Electrical Outage — Celebrating 42th Anniversary of Great Blackout — Videos

Posted on July 18, 2019. Filed under: 2020 Democrat Candidates, 2020 President Candidates, 2020 Republican Candidates, Abortion, Addiction, Addiction, Agenda 21, American History, Banking System, Bernie Sanders, Blogroll, Breaking News, Budgetary Policy, Business, Cartoons, China, Climate, Coal, Communications, Computers, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Crime, Culture, Deep State, Defense Spending, Diet, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Drugs, Economics, Education, Empires, Employment, Energy, Environment, European History, European Union, Exercise, Fifth Amendment, First Amendment, Fiscal Policy, Food, Foreign Policy, Fourth Amendment, Free Trade, Freedom of Speech, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Hate Speech, Health, Health Care, Health Care Insurance, History, Homicide, House of Representatives, Housing, Human, Human Behavior, Illegal Drugs, Illegal Immigration, Immigration, Impeachment, Independence, Insurance, Investments, Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Labor Economics, Language, Law, Legal Immigration, Life, Lying, Media, Medical, Medicare, Monetary Policy, National Interest, Natural Gas, Nuclear Weapons, Obesity, Oil, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, Privacy, Pro Abortion, Pro Life, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Rule of Law, Scandals, Science, Senate, Social Networking, Social Security, Somalia, Spying, Subversion, Success, Tax Policy, Terror, Terrorism, The 2013 Agenda for Sustainable Development, Trade Policy, U.S. Dollar, Unemployment, United Kingdom, United Nations, United States of America, Videos, Violence, Water, Wealth, Weather, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

 

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 1290 July 16, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1278 June 20, 2019 

Pronk Pops Show 1277 June 19, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1232 April 1, 2019 Part 2

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Story 1: President Trump Goes On Offense Against America and Trump Haters — Radical Extremist Democrat Socialist (REDS) Squad — Fresh Fascist Faces — Women of Color — RED — Videos —

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Tucker Carlson Tonight 7/15/19 | URGENT!TRUMP BREAKING News July 15, 2019

Trump’s tweets at Democratic women of color denounced as racist

Trump: If you want to leave America, you can leave America

Donald Trump: AOC, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Ayanna Pressley “hate our country”

Reps. Ocasio-Cortez, Omar, Tlaib, Pressley condemn Trump in explosive press conference

Radical Democrats demonize Border Patrol and ICE

Pelosi under fire for urging Dems to stand against ICE

Trump: If You’re Not Happy Here, You Can Leave

President Trump Takes His Attacks On Four Congresswomen To A New Low | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Omar Cites Corruption, Ineptitude Among Reasons To Impeach Donald Trump | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

AOC and Ilhan Omar Fire Back at Trump’s Racist Tweets | NowThis

‘The Five’ react to The Squad’s fiery presser on Trump’s tweets

President Donald Trump Ramps Up Attacks On Democrats Congresswomen | Velshi & Ruhle | MSNBC

Trump Tells Democratic Congresswomen To “Go Back” Where They Came From

Trumps tweets ARE NOT racist

Dr. Qanta Ahmed: Rep. Omar is a disgrace to Islam

Ilhan Omar faces more anti-semitic controversy over Israel

‘These Are Her Beliefs’: Scalise Says Omar Must Be Removed From Committee Over Anti-Semitic Comments

Ilhan Omar’s Disgusting Attack: ‘This is Un-American’

Pelosi condemns ‘anti-Semitic’ comments by Rep. Omar

Tucker: Radical Democrats turn on Nancy Pelosi

 

‘The agenda of white nationalists’: AOC, other congresswomen respond to Trump’s attacks

The foursome of minority lawmakers were responding to the president’s “openly racist comments attacking the duly elected members of Congress,” they said in a statement.
By Dareh Gregorian and Adam Edelman

The four progressive congresswomen of color attacked by President Donald Trump responded on Monday afternoon at a joint news conference, saying his “blatantly racist” assault on them is nothing more than an effort to distract from his corrupt administration and inhumane policies.

The Democratic lawmakers, Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, portrayed Trump as lawless and condemned his treatment of migrants on the border and deportations.

“This is the agenda of white nationalists, whether it is happening in chat rooms or happening in national TV. And now it’s reached the White House garden,” Omar said of what she called Trump’s “blatantly racist attack.”

AOC on Trump’s comments, tweets: ‘This is all a distraction’

JULY 15, 201903:07

“This president operates in complete bad faith,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “He does not know how to defend his policies, so instead he attacks us personally. That’s what this is all about”

She added that she and her colleagues aren’t going anywhere.

“We don’t leave the things we love,” Ocasio-Cortez said, and “we love all people in this country.”

Omar called it a “pivotal moment in our country,” with Trump “openly violating the oath he took” with “human rights abuses” involving the conditions in which migrants are being detained at the border. She called for his impeachment and accused him of “colluding with a foreign government” in the 2016 presidential election, a charge he’s repeatedly denied.

The congresswoman said she would not respond to Trump’s “ridiculous” claims earlier Monday that she supports al Qaeda.

“It’s beyond time to ask Muslims to condemn terrorists,” she said.

Omar also ripped Trump as a hypocrite for saying that she should leave the country if she’s not happy with the government, noting his campaign was all about what terrible shape the United States was in.

Pressley urged Americans to not “take the bait” from the “occupant” in the White House.

“This is a disruptive distraction from the issues of care, concern and consequence to the American people” they were sent to Washington to work on, she said.

 

Tlaib again called for her colleagues to begin impeachment proceedings.

“Sadly, this is not the first, nor will it be the last time that we hear disgusting, bigoted language from the president. We know this is who he is,” she said.

Trump started tweeting about the four again shortly after their press conference was scheduled to start.

“IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY HERE, YOU CAN LEAVE!” he wrote in the first of three tweets, which were posted before the four took to the podium.

Earlier Monday, Trump escalated his attacks on the congresswomen, accusing them of loving terrorists, “hating” the United States and Israel and saying they should feel free to leave the country if they’re not happy here.

Trump first went after the quartet over the weekend, tweeting that they should “go back” to the countries they “originally came from” — even though three of them are from the United States — and has repeatedly doubled down since.

His incessant lashing-out prompted lawmakers of both parties to condemn his remarks.

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/politics-news/aoc-other-congresswomen-hold-news-conference-answer-trump-attacks-n1030141

Trump steps up attacks on Democratic congresswomen: “They hate our country”

A White House event quickly spiraled into chaos on Monday as President Trump launched into a defiant defense of his earlier racist tweets suggesting Democratic congresswomen of color should “go back” to their countries.

A reporter asked, “Does it concern you that many people saw that tweet as racist and that white nationalist groups are finding common cause with you on that point?”

The president responded, “It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me. And all I’m saying, they want to leave, they can leave.”

On Sunday, the president sparked a firestorm with a series of tweets seemingly targeting freshmen Democratic Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar that were immediately and widely condemned as racist. He wrote that the representatives — three of whom were born in the U.S., and all American citizens — should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

At Monday’s event, the president repeatedly insisted that people who don’t love America should leave, as reporters — positioned far from the president during the event — continued to lob questions.

“If you’re not happy in the U.S., if you’re complaining all the time, very simply, you can leave. You can leave right now. Come back if you want, don’t come back, it’s OK too. But if you’re not happy, you can leave,” he said. The audience applauded many of the president’s remarks.

When a reporter pointed out that many of the congresswomen the president appears to be criticizing were born in America and all are citizens, Mr. Trump responded that, “All they do is complain.”

Mr. Trump’s tweets on Sunday prompted intense criticism from Democrats but very little criticism from Republicans. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced the House will vote on a resolution to condemn the president’s statement about her colleagues.

But Mr. Trump tweeted Monday morning that the people he offended should apologize to him, not the other way around.

“When will the Radical Left Congresswomen apologize to our Country, the people of Israel and even to the Office of the President, for the foul language they have used, and the terrible things they have said. So many people are angry at them & their horrible & disgusting actions!” Mr. Trump tweeted Monday morning.

The president’s remarks at the event come the same morning his administration has announced it’s moving to end asylum protections for migrants coming from Central American countries, a step that’s all but certain to face challenges in the courts. The American Civil Liberties Union has already announced its intention to sue.

During Monday’s “Made in America” event, the president insisted the U.S. has to defend its borders, and will do so and build a wall, despite any legal challenges.

“The philosophy of my administration is simple if we can build it grow it or make it in the United States, we will,” the president said.

The executive order the president signed towards the end of the event, increasing requirements for the government’s purchase of products made in the U.S., was overshadowed.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-hosts-made-in-america-event-at-white-house-today-2019-07-15-live-updates/

Trump digs in on racist tweets: ‘Many people agree with me’

11 minutes ago

1 of 10
President Donald Trump speaks during a Made in America showcase event on the South Lawn of the White House, Monday, July 15, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defiant in the face of widespread criticism, President Donald Trump renewed his belligerent call on Monday for four Democratic congresswomen of color to get out of the U.S. “right now,” cementing his position as the most willing U.S. leader in generations to stoke the discord that helped send him to the White House.

Content to gamble that a sizeable chunk of the electorate embraces his tweets that have been widely denounced as racist, the president made clear that he has no qualms about exploiting racial divisions once again.

“It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me,” Trump said at the White House. “A lot of people love it, by the way.”

The episode served notice that Trump is willing to again rely on incendiary rhetoric on issues of race and immigration to preserve his political base in the leadup to the 2020 election.

There was near unanimous condemnation from Democrats for Trump’s comments and a rumble of discontent from a subset of Republicans — but notably not from the party’s congressional leaders.

Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah, the GOP White House nominee in 2012 and now one of the president’s most vocal GOP critics, said Trump’s comments were “destructive, demeaning, and disunifying.”

Far from backing down, Trump on Monday dug in on comments he had initially made a day earlier on Twitter that if lawmakers “hate our country,” they can go back to their “broken and crime-infested” countries. His remarks were directed at four congresswomen: Reps. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan. All are American citizens and three of the four were born in the U.S.

“If you’re not happy in the U.S., if you’re complaining all the time, you can leave, you can leave right now,” he said.

The president’s words, which evoked the trope of telling black people to go back to Africa, may have been partly meant to widen the divides within the House Democratic caucus, which has been riven by internal debate over how best to oppose his policies. And while Trump’s attacks brought Democrats together in defense of their colleagues, his allies noted he was also having some success in making the controversial progressive lawmakers the face of their party.

The president questioned whether Democrats should “want to wrap” themselves around this group of four people as he recited a list of the quartet’s most controversial statements.

The four themselves fired back late Monday, condemning what they called “xenophobic bigoted remarks” from the president and renewing calls for their party to begin impeachment proceedings.

Trump “does not know how to defend his policies and so what he does is attack us personally,” said Ocasio-Cortez.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said Trump’s campaign slogan truly means he wants to “make America white again,” announced Monday that the House would vote on a resolution condemning his new comments. The Senate’s top Democrat, Chuck Schumer of New York, said his party would also try to force a vote in the GOP-controlled chamber.

Trump, who won the presidency in 2016 in part by energizing disaffected voters with inflammatory racial rhetoric, made clear he has no intention of backing away from that strategy in 2020.

“The Dems were trying to distance themselves from the four ‘progressives,’ but now they are forced to embrace them,” he tweeted Monday afternoon. “That means they are endorsing Socialism, hate of Israel and the USA! Not good for the Democrats!”

Trump has faced few consequences for such attacks in the past. They typically earn him cycles of wall-to-wall media attention. He is wagering that his most steadfast supporters will be energized by the controversy as much, or if not more so, than the opposition.

“It’s possible I’m wrong,” Trump allowed Monday. “The voters will decide.”

The president has told aides that he was giving voice what many of his supporters believe — that they are tired of people, including immigrants, disrespecting their country, according to three Republicans close to the White House who were not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations.

Trump on Monday singled out Omar, in particular, accusing her of having “hatred” for Israel, and expressing “love” for “enemies like al-Qaida.”

“These are people that, in my opinion, hate our country,” he said.

Omar, in an interview, once laughed about how a college professor had spoken of al-Qaida with an intensity she said was not used to describe “America,” ″England” or “The Army.”

She addressed herself directly to Trump in a tweet, writing: “You are stoking white nationalism (because) you are angry that people like us are serving in Congress and fighting against your hate-filled agenda.”

Republicans, for their part, largely trod carefully with their responses.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close ally of the president who golfed with him over the weekend, advised him to “aim higher” during an appearance on “Fox and Friends,” even as he accused the four Democrats of being “anti-Semitic” and “anti-American.”

Marc Short, chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, said “I don’t think that the president’s intent in any way is racist,” pointing to Trump’s decision to choose Elaine Chao, who was born outside the country, as his transportation secretary.

Chao is one of the few minorities among the largely white and male aides in high-profile roles in Trump’s administration. She is the wife of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, who declined comment on Trump’s attacks on Monday.

The latest provocation came just two days after Trump inserted himself further into a rift between Pelosi and Ocasio-Cortez, offering an unsolicited defense of the Democratic speaker. Pelosi has been seeking to minimize Ocasio-Cortez’s influence in the House Democratic caucus in recent days, prompting the freshman lawmaker to accuse Pelosi of trying to marginalize women of color.

Trump told advisers later that he was pleased with his meddling, believing that dividing Democrats would be helpful to him, as would elevating any self-proclaimed socialists as a way to frighten voters to steer clear of their liberal politics, the Republicans said.

Among the few GOP lawmakers commenting on Monday, Rep. Pete Olson of Texas said Trump’s tweets were “not reflective of the values of the 1,000,000+ people” in his district. “We are proud to be the most diverse Congressional district in America. I urge our President immediately disavow his comments,” he wrote.

Several other Republicans went out of their way to say they were not condoning the views of the Democrats, while encouraging Trump to retract his comments.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who is up for re-election next year, said Trump’s tweet was “way over the line and he should take that down.”

Sen. Patrick Toomey of Pennsylvania said of the Democrats: “We should defeat their ideas on the merits, not on the basis of their ancestry.”

In an Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll from February 2017, half of Americans said the mixing of culture and values from around the world is an important part of America’s identity as a nation. Fewer — about a third — said the same of a culture established by early European immigrants.

But partisans in that poll were divided over these aspects of America’s identity. About two-thirds of Democrats but only about a third of Republicans thought the mixing of world cultures was important to the country’s identity. By comparison, nearly half of Republicans but just about a quarter of Democrats saw the culture of early European immigrants as important to the nation.

___

AP writer Hannah Fingerhut contributed from Washington.

https://apnews.com/9924c846abf84cfeabb76e6045190b42

Trump under fire for attacks on Democratic congresswomen

Jerome CARTILLIER
AFP News

View photos

 

US President Donald Trump stepped up his attack on four Democratic lawmakers, saying if they are not happy in the United States, “they can leave”
More

US President Donald Trump came under fire from Democrats and even some members of his own Republican Party on Monday after launching an extraordinary xenophobic attack on four progressive Democratic congresswomen.

“All they do is complain,” Trump told reporters at a White House event featuring products “Made in America.”

“These are people that hate our country,” he said of the four Democratic lawmakers. “If you’re not happy here, you can leave.”

Trump also accused the four first-term Democratic congresswomen — who are of Hispanic, Arab, Somali and African-American origin — of having “love” for US “enemies like Al-Qaeda.”

Asked by a reporter whether he was concerned that many people saw his comments as racist, Trump said: “It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me.”

Several hours after his remarks, the four — Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, who is of Puerto Rico origin, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, who is of Somali origin, Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, the first Palestinian-American woman elected to Congress, and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, who is African-American — hit back at a news conference.

Pressley condemned Trump’s “xenophobic and bigoted” comments and said “we will not be silenced.”

Omar said Trump made a “blatantly racist attack” on four lawmakers “of color.” “This is the agenda of white nationalists,” she said.

Omar and Tlaib repeated calls for Trump to be impeached.

– ‘Destructive’ –

The president first attacked the lawmakers with a series of tweets on Sunday, saying they should “go back” to their countries of origin if they didn’t like the United States.

His comments prompted outrage from Democrats — and, initially, silence from Republicans.

On Monday, several of his party faithful began to speak up.

“My view is that what was said and what was tweeted was destructive, was demeaning, was disunifying, and frankly it was very wrong,” said Senator Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah.

“There is no excuse for the president’s spiteful comments -– they were absolutely unacceptable and this needs to stop,” said Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican from Alaska. “We must demand a higher standard of decorum and decency.”

Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine said she disagreed with the policies espoused by the “far-left” Democratic lawmakers but Trump was “way over the line.”

For Republican Senator Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, “the citizenship of all four is as valid as mine.” “They are entitled to their opinions, however misguided they may be,” he said.

Texan Will Hurd, the only black Republican in the House of Representatives, told CNN that Trump’s behavior was “unbecoming of the leader of the free world.”

And Senator Tim Scott, a black Republican from South Carolina, criticized the president for using “unacceptable personal attacks and racially offensive language.”

– ‘Cold, hard strategy’ –

Trump’s comments appear to be aimed at galvanizing his mostly white electoral base ahead of the 2020 presidential vote — while also stoking racial tensions and divisions among his political opponents.

“With his deliberate, racist outburst, @realDonaldTrump wants to raise the profile of his targets, drive Dems to defend them and make them emblematic of the entire party,” said David Axelrod, who served as chief strategist for Barack Obama’s two White House campaigns.

“It’s a cold, hard strategy,” Axelrod said on Twitter. “Fasten your seatbelts, it will only get worse as the election approaches.”

“The voters will decide,” Trump told reporters.

“If (the Democrats) want to gear their wagons around these four people, I think they’re going to have a very tough election, because I don’t think the people of the United States will stand for it.”

In his initial Twitter attack on Sunday, Trump — who before becoming president pushed the racist “birther” conspiracy theory that Obama was not born on US soil — said the congresswomen came from corrupt, poorly managed countries to which they should return.

Ocasio-Cortez, Tlaib and Pressley were all born in the United States while Omar arrived from war-torn Somalia when she was a child.

Former vice president Joe Biden, who is seeking the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, denounced Trump as the most “openly racist and divisive” president in US history.

https://sg.news.yahoo.com/eyeing-2020-election-trump-doubles-down-xenophobic-tweets-163003718.html

Rashida Tlaib

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Rashida Tlaib
Rashida Tlaib, official portrait, 116th Congress (cropped 2).jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Michigan‘s 13th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded by Brenda Jones
Member of the Michigan House of Representatives
from the 6th district
12th district (2009–2012)
In office
January 1, 2009 – December 31, 2014
Preceded by Steve Tobocman
Succeeded by Stephanie Chang
Personal details
Born
Rashida Harbi

July 24, 1976 (age 42)
DetroitMichigan, U.S.

Political party Democratic
Other political
affiliations
Democratic Socialist
Spouse(s)
Fayez Tlaib
(m. 1998; div. 2015)
Children 2
Education Wayne State University (BA)
Thomas M. Cooley Law School (JD)
Website House website

Rashida Harbi Tlaib (/təˈlb/;[1] born July 24, 1976) is an American politician and lawyer serving as the U.S. Representative for Michigan’s 13th congressional district since 2019.[2] The district includes the western half of Detroit, along with several of its western suburbs and much of the Downriver area. A member of the Democratic Party, Tlaib represented the 6th and 12th districts of the Michigan House of Representatives before her election to Congress.[3] She was the first Muslim woman to serve in the Michigan legislature.[4]

In 2018 Tlaib won the Democratic nomination for the United States House of Representatives seat from Michigan’s 13th congressional district. She ran unopposed in the general election and became the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress and, with Ilhan Omar (D-MN), one of the first two Muslim women elected to Congress.[5][6]

Tlaib is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). She and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez are the third and fourth DSA members to serve in Congress; and they are the first female DSA members to serve in Congress. Tlaib is the first DSA member from a Mid-West district elected to the U.S. House.[7][8] Tlaib has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration and advocated impeachment of the President. On foreign affairs, she has sharply criticized the Israeli government, called for an end to U.S. aid to Israel, and expressed support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign. Tlaib is a member of the informal group known as “The Squad“, whose members form a unified front to push for progressive changes such as the Green New Deal and Medicare-for-all. The other members of “The Squad” are Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) [9].

 

Contents

Early life and education

The eldest of 14 children, Rashida Tlaib (née Harbi) was born on July 24, 1976, to working-class Palestinian immigrants in Detroit. Her mother was born in Beit Ur El Foka, near the West Bank city of Ramallah. Her father was born in Beit Hanina, a neighborhood in East Jerusalem. He moved first to Nicaragua, then to Detroit. He worked on an assembly line in a Ford Motor Company plant. As the eldest, Tlaib played a role in raising her siblings while her parents worked, but the family sometimes had to rely on welfare for support.[10]

Rashida Tlaib attended elementary school at Harms, Bennett Elementary, and Phoenix Academy. She graduated from Southwestern High School in Detroit in 1994. She completed a Bachelor of Arts in political science in 1998 from Wayne State University. She earned a Juris Doctor from Western Michigan University Cooley Law School in 2004.[11]

Earlier political career

Tlaib began her political career in 2004 when she interned with State Representative Steve Tobocman. When Tobocman became Majority Floor Leader in 2007, he hired Tlaib to his staff.[12][13]

Michigan House of Representatives

In 2008 Tobocman encouraged Tlaib to run for his seat, which he was vacating due to term limits. The urban district is 40% Hispanic, 25% African-American, 30% non-Hispanic white, and 2% Arab American. Tlaib faced a crowded primary that included several Latinos, including former State Representative Belda Garza. She emerged victorious, carrying 44% of the vote in the eight-way Democratic primary and winning the general election with over 90% of the vote.[14]

In 2010 Tlaib faced a primary election challenge from Jim Czachorowski in his first bid for office.[15] Tlaib picked up 85% of the vote to Czachorowski’s 15%, and won the general election with 92% of the vote against Republican challenger Darrin Daigle.

In 2012 Tlaib won reelection again to the Michigan House in the newly redrawn 6th District against fellow incumbent Maureen Stapleton. She could not run for the Michigan House a fourth time in 2014 because of term limits and ran for the Michigan Senate, losing to incumbent Senator Virgil Smith Jr. in the Democratic primary in August 2014.

During her tenure as a legislator, Tlaib was one of ten Muslims serving in state legislatures across the United States. She is the second Muslim to serve in the Michigan State House of Representatives, after James Karoub. Tlaib is the second Muslim woman to serve in a state legislature nationwide, after Jamilah Nasheed of Missouri.[16] She and Justin Amash, a Republican who was also elected in 2008, were the first two Palestinian-American members of the Michigan legislature.

After leaving the state legislature, Tlaib worked at Sugar Law Center, a Detroit nonprofit that provides free legal representation for workers.[17]

U.S. House of Representatives

Rashida Tlaib at her campaign headquarters in 2018

2018 Special Election

In 2018 Tlaib announced her intention to run for John Conyers‘s seat in Congress. She filed in both the Democratic primary in the special election for the balance of Conyers’s 27th term, and in the general election for a full two-year term. Both elections were to be held the same day. No Republican qualified for either primary, but the 13th is so heavily Democratic that any Republican would have faced nearly impossible odds. With a Cook Partisan Voting Indexof D+33, the 13th is the most Democratic district in Michigan and tied for the 20th-most Democratic district in the nation. Conyers held the seat without serious difficulty from 1965 until his resignation in 2017 (it was numbered as the 1st from 1965 to 1993 and as the 14th from 1993 to 2013), and never won with less than 77 percent of the vote.

As of July 16, 2018, Tlaib had raised $893,030 in funds, more than her five opponents in the August 7 Democratic primary.[18]

In the Democratic primary for the special election, Tlaib finished second to Detroit City Council president Brenda Jones, who received 32,727 votes (37.7% of the total) to Tlaib’s 31,084 (35.9%). Bill Wild, mayor of Westland, received 13,152 votes (15.2%) and Ian Conyers, the great-nephew of former Congressman Conyers, took fourth with 9,740 (11.2%).[19] Jones faced no major-party opposition in the special election.

2018 general election

In the Democratic primary for the general election, Tlaib defeated Jones and Wild, among others.[20] She received 27,803 votes, or 31.2%. She faced no major-party opposition in November 2018, though Jones mounted an eleventh-hour independent bid.

Tlaib became the first Palestinian-American woman in Congress and simultaneously one of the first two Muslim women in Congress, along with fellow Democrat Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.[5] She took the congressional oath of office on January 3, 2019, swearing in on an English-language translation of the Quran.[21][22] She wore a thawb (thobe), a traditional embroidered Palestinian dress, to the swearing-in ceremony. This inspired a number of Palestinian and Palestinian-American women to share pictures on social media with the hashtag #TweetYourThobe.[23]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Political positions

Israeli–Palestinian conflict

Tlaib has said she opposed providing aid to a “Netanyahu Israel” and supported the Palestinian right of return and a one-state solution.[24][25][26][27] Tlaib is one of the few members of Congress who openly support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. In January 2019, she criticized anti-BDS legislation proposed by Senators Marco Rubio and Jim Risch. Tlaib argued that boycotting is a right and said that Rubio and Risch “forgot what country they represent”. Tlaib’s comments were criticized by several Jewish groups, including the Anti-Defamation League, which said, “Though the legislation discussed is sponsored by four non-Jewish Senators, any charge of dual loyalty has special sensitivity and resonance for Jews, particularly in an environment of rising anti-Semitism.”[28][29][30][31][32] In response Tlaib said that her comments were directed at Rubio and Risch.[33]

Saudi Arabia

Tlaib has criticized Saudi Arabia‘s human rights violations and the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.[34][35]

Trump administration

Tlaib supports efforts to impeach President Trump. In August 2016 she protested a speech Trump gave at Cobo Center and was ejected from the venue.[36] On her first day in Congress, January 3, 2019, she called for the impeachment of Trump in an op-ed article co-authored with John Bonifaz for the Detroit Free Press.[37] In the op-ed Tlaib differs from top Democratic leaders on how to move forward with impeachment: “Those who say we must wait for Special Counsel Mueller to complete his criminal investigation before Congress can start any impeachment proceedings ignore this crucial distinction [referring to Congressional powers of impeachment].”[37]

Later that day Tlaib attended a reception for the MoveOn campaign and spoke on stage. She ended the speech recounting a conversation she had with her son, him saying: “Look, mama, you won. Bullies don’t win.” Tlaib replied to him, she recounted, “Baby, they don’t, because we’re gonna go in there and impeach the motherfucker.”[38] The next day at a White House press conference, Trump said, “Well, you can’t impeach somebody that’s doing a great job…I think she dishonored herself and I think she dishonored her family. I thought it was highly disrespectful to the United States of America.”[39][40]

In a radio interview with Mehdi Hasan of The Intercept, Tlaib reiterated her frequent call for Trump’s impeachment, saying, “Look, it’s not a waste of time to hold the president of the United States accountable … We need to understand our duties as members of Congress and I believe looking at even Nixon’s impeachment, or his—literally, his resignation, it was Republicans and Democrats coming together and putting country first, coming together and putting our values first. You’re seeing it now more and more. Even now, they’re standing up to Steve King.”[41]

Other issues

  • Democratic party: Tlaib, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, aligns politically with the left wing of the Democratic Party.[42][43]
  • Domestic policy: She supports domestic reforms, including “Medicare For All” (single-payer healthcare) and a $15 hourly minimum wage.[44]
  • Immigration: Tlaib was an early supporter of the movement to abolish the Immigration Customs Enforcement agency.[42] In June 2019 she was one of four Democratic representatives to vote against the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act, a $4.5 billion border funding bill that required Customs and Border Protection enact health standards for individuals in custody such as forming standards for individuals for “medical emergencies; nutrition, hygiene, and facilities; and personnel training.”[45][46]

Personal life

In 1998, at the age of 22, Tlaib married Fayez Tlaib. They have two sons, Adam and Yousif. The couple have since divorced. In 2018 a campaign spokesperson called Tlaib a single mother.[47]

In September 2018 The New York Times reported that Tlaib walked into her family’s mosque to express her gratitude for the opportunity to run for Congress by saying “Today I was being thankful, embracing how incredibly blessed I am to grow up here, to have this tremendous opportunity…Sometimes I say ‘Thank her’ because my Allah is She.”[48] The Detroit Free Press reported that, although she recognizes that some in her faith community consider her not “Muslim enough”,[49] she believes that “Allah [. . .] understands”[49] and “knows that I am [. . .] giving back and doing things that I think are reflective of Islam”.[49]

Electoral history

  • 2008 campaign for State House
    • Rashida Tlaib (D), 90%
    • Darrin Daigle (R), 10%
  • 2008 campaign for State House, Democratic Primary
    • Rashida Tlaib (D), 44%
    • Carl Ramsey (D), 26%
    • Belda Garza (D), 9%
    • Daniel Solano (D), 7%
    • Lisa Randon (D), 7%
    • Denise Hearn (D), 5%
    • Rochelle Smith (D), 1%
    • Nellie Saenz (D), 1%
  • 2010 campaign for State House, Democratic Primary
    • Rashida Tlaib (D), 85%
    • Jim Czachorowski (D), 15%
  • 2010 campaign for State House
    • Rashida Tlaib (D), 92%
    • Darrin Daigle (R), 8%
  • 2014 campaign for State Senate, Democratic Primary
    • Virgil Smith (D), 50%
    • Rashida Tlaib (D), 42%
    • Howard Worthy (D), 8%
Democratic primary results, 2018 Michigan’s 13th congressional district special election
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Brenda Jones 32,727 37.7
Democratic Rashida Tlaib 31,084 35.9
Democratic Bill Wild 13,152 15.2
Democratic Ian Conyers 9,740 11.2
Total votes 86,703 100.0
Democratic primary results, 2018 United States House of Representatives elections in Michigan § District 13
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Rashida Tlaib 27,803 31.2
Democratic Brenda Jones 26,916 30.2
Democratic Bill Wild 12,589 14.1
Democratic Coleman Young II 11,162 12.5
Democratic Ian Conyers 5,861 6.6
Democratic Shanelle Jackson 4,848 5.3
Total votes 89,179 100.0

See also

References …

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

Ilhan Omar

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Ilhan Omar
Ilhan Omar, official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Minnesota‘s 5th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded by Keith Ellison
Member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
from the 60B district
In office
January 2, 2017 – January 3, 2019
Preceded by Phyllis Kahn
Succeeded by Mohamud Noor
Personal details
Born
Ilhan Abdullahi Omar

October 4, 1982 (age 36)
MogadishuSomalia

Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Ahmed Nur Said Elmi (m. 2009, div. 2011 [within Muslim faith], 2017 [civilly])[1]

Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi
(m. 2002 [faith-based], div. 2008; 2nd m. 2018)[1]

See Personal life section below

Children 3
Education North Dakota State University(BA)
Website House website

Ilhan Abdullahi Omar (born October 4, 1982) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Minnesota’s 5th congressional district since 2019. The district includes all of Minneapolis and some of its suburbs.

Omar was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016 on the Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party line. In 2018 she was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, marking a number of historic electoral firsts: she is the first Somali-American, the first naturalized citizen from Africa, and the first non-white woman elected from Minnesota, and one of the first two Muslim women (along with Rashida Tlaib of Michigan) to serve in Congress.[2][3][4]

Omar is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus and has advocated for a living wageaffordable housing and healthcarestudent loan debt forgiveness, the protection of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). She has strongly opposed the immigration policies of the Trump administration, including the Trump travel ban. She has been the subject of several conspiracy theories, death threats, and other harassment by political opponents.

A frequent critic of Israel, Omar has denounced its settlement policy and military campaigns in the occupied Palestinian territories, and what she describes as the influence of pro-Israel lobbies such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). In early 2019 Omar was criticized by a number of Democrats, Republicans and Jewish civil rights groups for comments about American support for Israel that they said drew on anti-Semitic tropes. Omar apologized for some of the remarks.

Contents

Early life and education

Omar was born in Mogadishu on October 4, 1982,[5][6] and spent her early years in BaidoaSomalia.[7][8] She was the youngest of seven siblings, including Sahra Noor. Her father Nur Omar Mohamed, an ethnic Somali, worked as a teacher trainer,[9] and her mother, Fadhuma Abukar Haji Hussein, a Benadiri (a community of partial Yemeni descent), died when Ilhan was two.[10][11][12][13] She was raised by her father and grandfather thereafter.[14] Her grandfather Abukar was the director of Somalia’s National Marine Transport and some of Omar’s uncles and aunts also worked as civil servants and educators.[9] She and her family fled Somalia to escape the war and spent four years in a Dadaab refugee camp in Garissa County, Kenya, near the Somali border.[15][16][17]

After first arriving in New York in 1992,[18] Omar’s family finally secured asylum in the U.S. in 1995 and lived for a time in Arlington, Virginia,[12] before moving to and settling in Minneapolis,[12] where her father worked first as a taxi driver and later for the post office.[12] Her father and grandfather emphasized the importance of democracy during her upbringing, and at age 14 she accompanied her grandfather to caucus meetings, serving as his interpreter.[14][19] Omar became a U.S. citizen in 2000 when she was 17 years old.[20][12] She has spoken about being bullied for wearing a hijab during her time in Virginia, recalling classmates sticking gum on it, pushing her down stairs, and jumping her when changing for gym class.[12] Omar remembers her father’s reaction to these incidents: “They are doing something to you because they feel threatened in some way by your existence.”[12]

Omar attended Edison High School and volunteered there as a student organizer.[21] She graduated from North Dakota State University[19] with bachelor’s degrees in political science and international studies in 2011.[22] Omar was a Policy Fellow at the University of Minnesota‘s Humphrey School of Public Affairs.[23]

Early career

Omar with John Sullivan in Paris as part of Minnesota’s World’s Fair Bid Committee

Omar began her professional career as a community nutrition educator at the University of Minnesota, working in that capacity from 2006 to 2009 in the Greater Minneapolis–Saint Paul area. In 2012 she served as campaign manager for Kari Dziedzic‘s reelection campaign for the Minnesota State Senate. Between 2012 and 2013 she was a child nutrition outreach coordinator at the Minnesota Department of Education.[24]

In 2013, Omar managed Andrew Johnson‘s campaign for Minneapolis City Council. After Johnson was elected, she served as his Senior Policy Aide from 2013 to 2015.[23] During a contentious precinct caucus that turned violent in February 2014, she was attacked by five people and was injured.[9] According to MinnPost, the day before the caucus, Minneapolis city councilmember Abdi Warsame had told Johnson to warn Omar not to attend the meeting.[25]

As of September 2015 Omar was the Director of Policy Initiatives of the Women Organizing Women Network, advocating for women from East Africa to take on civic and political leadership roles.[23] In September 2018, Jeff Cirillo of Roll Call called her a “progressive rising star.”[26]

Minnesota House of Representatives

Elections

Omar, then a candidate for the Minnesota House of Representatives, speaks at a Hillary for Minnesota event at the University of Minnesota in October 2016

Omar at the Twin Cities PrideParade in 2018

In 2016 Omar ran on the Democratic–Farmer–Labor (DFL) ticket for the Minnesota House of Representatives in District 60B, which includes part of northeast Minneapolis. On August 9 Omar defeated Mohamud Noor and incumbent Phyllis Kahn in the DFL primary.[27] Her chief opponent in the general election was Republican nominee Abdimalik Askar, another activist in the Somali American community. In late August, Askar announced his withdrawal from the campaign.[28] In November 2016 Omar won the general election, becoming the first Somali American legislator in the United States.[29] Her term began on January 3, 2017.[30]

Tenure and activity

During her tenure as state Representative for District 60B, Omar was an Assistant Minority Leader for the DFL caucus.[31][32] She authored or co-authored at least 266 bills during the 2017–2018 legislative session.[33][non-primary source needed]

Committee assignments

  • Civil Law & Data Practices Policy
  • Higher Education & Career Readiness Policy & Finance
  • State Government Finance[34]

Financial transparency issues

In 2018 Republican state representative Steve Drazkowski publicly accused Omar of campaign finance violations,[6] claiming that she used campaign funds to pay a divorce lawyer, and that her acceptance of speaking fees from public colleges violated Minnesota House rules. Omar responded that the attorney’s fees were not personal but campaign-related; she offered to return the speaking fees.[35][36] Drazkowski later accused Omar of improperly using campaign funds for personal travel to Estonia and locations in the U.S.[6][37][20]

Omar’s campaign dismissed the accusations as politically motivated and accused Drazkowski of using public funds to harass a Muslim candidate.[20][38] In response to an editorial in the Minneapolis Star Tribune arguing that Omar should be more transparent about her use of campaign funds, she said: “these people are part of systems that have historically been disturbingly motivated to silence, discredit and dehumanize influencers who threaten the establishment.”[20]

In June 2019, Minnesota campaign finance officials ruled that Omar had to pay back $3,500 that she had spent on out-of-state travel and tax filing in violation of state law. She was also ordered to pay a $500 fine.[39]

U.S. House of Representatives

Elections

Welcoming several of the new female Congressional Black Caucusmembers in January 2019

On June 5, 2018, Omar filed to run for the United States House of Representatives from Minnesota’s 5th congressional district after six-term incumbent Keith Ellison announced he would not seek reelection to that office.[40] On June 17 she was endorsed by the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party after two rounds of voting.[41] Omar won the August 14 primary with 48.2% of the vote.[42] The 5th district is the most Democratic district in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, (it has a Cook Partisan Voting Index of D+26) and the DFL has held it without interruption since 1963. She faced health care worker and conservative activist Jennifer Zielinski in the November 6 general election[43] and won with 78.0% of the vote, becoming the first Somali American elected to the U.S. Congress, the first woman of color to serve as a U.S. Representative from Minnesota,[3] and (alongside former Michigan state representative Rashida Tlaib) one of the first Muslim women elected to the Congress.[44][45][46]

Omar received the largest percentage of the vote of any female candidate for U.S. House in state history,[47] as well as the largest percentage of the vote for a non-incumbent candidate for U.S. House (excluding those running against only non-major-party candidates) in state history.[47] She was sworn in on a copy of the Quran owned by her grandfather.[48][49]

After her election, the ban on head coverings in the U.S. House was modified, and Omar became the first woman to wear a hijab on the House floor.[12]

Omar is a member of the informal group known as “The Squad“, whose members form a unified front to push for progressive changes such as the Green New Deal and Medicare-for-all. The other members of “The Squad” are Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) [50].

Minnesota’s 5th congressional district, 2018[51]
Party Candidate Votes %
DFL Ilhan Omar 267,703 77.97
Republican Jennifer Zielinski 74,440 21.68
n/a Write-ins 1,215 0.35
Total votes 343,358 100.0
DFL hold
Committee assignments
116th Congress (2019–21)[52][53][54]
Party leadership and caucus memberships

Congressional committee assignments

Caucuses

Political positions

Omar speaking at worker protest against Amazon, December 2018

Education

Omar supports broader access to student loan forgiveness programs as well as free tuition for college students whose family income is below $125,000.[57] Omar supports Bernie Sanders‘s plan to eliminate all $1.6 trillion in outstanding student debt, funded by an 0.5% tax on stock transactions and an 0.1% tax on bond transactions.[58] She will introduce a companion bill in the House of Representatives.[59] In June 2019 Omar and Senator Tina Smith(D-MN) introduced the bill No Shame at School to end marking of and punishments for students with school meal debts.[60]

Health care

She supports Medicare for All as proposed in the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act.[12][61]

Immigration

Omar has said she is in favor of the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.[62] She supports prosecuting federal officials who have been accused of physical and sexual assault of people in their detention.[63] She supports the protection of sanctuary cities and a path to permanent status for DREAMers and their families.[62] She opposes efforts to seal the border, calling Donald Trump‘s border wall plan “racist and sinful.”[64] In March 2019 Politico reported that Omar criticized Barack Obama‘s “caging of kids” along the Mexican border.[65][66] Omar accused Politico of distorting her comments and said that she had been “saying how [President] Trump is different from Obama, and why we should focus on policy not politics,” adding, “One is human, the other is really not.”[67]

In June 2019 Omar was one of four Democratic representatives to vote against the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Humanitarian Assistance and Security at the Southern Border Act, a $4.5 billion border funding bill that required Customs and Border Protection to enact health standards for individuals in custody such as standards for “medical emergencies; nutrition, hygiene, and facilities; and personnel training.” “Throwing more money at the very organizations committing human rights abuses—and the very Administration directing these human rights abuses—is not a solution. This is a humanitarian crisis … inflicted by our own leadership,” she said.[68][69]

Military policy

Omar has been critical of U.S. foreign policy, and has called for reduced funding for “perpetual war and military aggression,”[70] saying, “knowing my tax dollars pay for bombs killing children in Yemen makes my heart break,” with “everyone in Washington saying we don’t have enough money in the budget for universal health care, we don’t have enough money in the budget to guarantee college education for everyone.”[70] She has also said, “By principle, I’m anti-war because I survived a war. I’m also anti-intervention. I don’t think it ever makes sense for any country to intervene in a war zone with the fallacy of saving lives when we know they are going to cause more deaths. I also don’t believe in forced regime change. Change needs to come from within.”[71] Omar has criticized the U.S. government’s drone assassination program, citing the Obama administration’s policy of “droning of countries around the world.”[65][66] She has said, “we don’t need nearly 800 military bases outside the United States to keep our country safe.”[72]

In 2019 Omar signed a letter led by Representative Ro Khanna and Senator Rand Paul to President Trump asserting that it is “long past time to rein in the use of force that goes beyond congressional authorization” and that they hoped this would “serve as a model for ending hostilities in the future—in particular, as you and your administration seek a political solution to our involvement in Afghanistan.”[73][74]

Human rights

Omar has criticized Saudi Arabia‘s human rights abuses and the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.[75][76] In October 2018 she tweeted: “The Saudi government might have been strategic at covering up the daily atrocities carried out against minorities, women, activists and even the #YemenGenocide, but the murder of #JamalKhashoggi should be the last evil act they are allowed to commit.”[76] She also called for a boycott of Saudi Arabia’s regime, tweeting: “#BDSSaudi.”[77] The Saudi Arabian government responded by having dozens of anonymous Twitter troll accounts it controlled post tweets critical of Omar.[75]

Omar condemned China‘s treatment of its Muslim ethnic Uyghur people.[78] In a Washington Post op-ed, Omar wrote, “Our criticisms of oppression and regional instability caused by Iran are not legitimate if we do not hold Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to the same standards. And we cannot continue to turn a blind eye to repression in Saudi Arabia—a country that is consistently ranked among the worst of the worst human rights offenders.”[72] She also condemned the Assad regime in Syria.[79]

Omar condemned the 2019 Sri Lanka Easter bombings, tweeting, “No person, of any faith, should be fearful in their house of worship.”[80]

Israeli–Palestinian conflict

Criticism of the Israeli government

While she was in the Minnesota legislature, Omar was critical of the Israeli government and opposed a law intended to restrict the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.[81] She compared the movement to people who “engage[d] in boycotts” of apartheid in South Africa.[77] During her House campaign she said she did not support the BDS movement, describing it as counterproductive to peace.[82][83] After the election her position changed, as her campaign office told Muslim Girl that she supports the BDS movement despite “reservations on the effectiveness of the movement in accomplishing a lasting solution.”[84][85][82] Omar has voiced support for a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.[77][72] She criticized Israel’s settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territories in the West Bank.[86]

In 2018 Omar came under criticism for statements she made about Israel before she was in the Minnesota legislature.[81][83] In a 2012 tweet she wrote, “Israel has hypnotized the world, may Allah awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”[81][87] The comment, particularly the notion that Israel had “hypnotized the world,” was criticized as drawing on anti-Semitic tropes.[81] The New York Times columnist Bari Weiss wrote that Omar’s statement tied into a millennia-old “conspiracy theory of the Jew as the hypnotic conspirator.”[88] When asked in an interview how she would respond to American Jews who found the remark offensive, Omar replied, “I don’t know how my comments would be offensive to Jewish Americans. My comments precisely are addressing what was happening during the Gaza War and I’m clearly speaking about the way the Israeli regime was conducting itself in that war.”[87] After reading Weiss’s commentary, Omar apologized for not “disavowing the anti-Semitic trope I unknowingly used.”[89]

Remarks on AIPAC and American support for Israel

In an exchange with the journalist Glenn Greenwald in February 2019, Omar tweeted, “It’s all about the Benjamins baby” in reference to American politicians’ support for Israel and invoked the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). A number of Democratic leaders—including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and Majority Whip Jim Clyburn—condemned the tweet, which was interpreted as implying that money was fueling American politicians’ support of Israel.[90] The Democratic House leadership released a statement accusing Omar of “engaging in ‘deeply offensive’ anti-Semitic tropes.”[91] The Jewish Democratic Council of America (JDCA) also denounced her statements.[92] Omar issued an apology the next day, saying, “I am grateful for Jewish allies and colleagues who are educating me on the painful history of anti-Semitic tropes,” and adding, “I reaffirm the problematic role of lobbyists in our politics, whether it be AIPAC, the NRA or the fossil fuel industry.”[91]

On February 27, 2019, Omar spoke at a bookstore and said of her critics: “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country.” The statements were quickly criticized as allegedly drawing on anti-Semitic tropes of dual loyalty. House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman Eliot Engel said it was “deeply offensive to call into question the loyalty of fellow American citizens” and asked Omar to retract her statement.[93] House Appropriations Committee chairwoman Nita Lowey also called for an apology and criticized the statements in a March 3 tweet, which led to an online exchange between the two. In response, Omar reaffirmed her remarks, insisting that she “should not be expected to have allegiance/pledge support to a foreign country in order to serve my country in Congress or serve on committee.”[94][95] Omar said she was simply criticizing Israel, drawing a distinction between criticism of Benjamin Netanyahu and being anti-Semitic.[96][97] Omar’s spokesman, Jeremy Slevin, said Omar was speaking out about “the undue influence of lobbying groups for foreign interests.”[98]

Reaction among Democratic presidential candidates was mixed. Senators Elizabeth WarrenKamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders defended Omar.[99] Senators Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio regarded her statements as disturbing.[100][101] According to The Guardian, election records archived by OpenSecrets “suggest a correlation between pro-Israel lobby campaign contributions and Democratic presidential candidates’ position on the controversy.”[102] Some members of the Black Caucus believed Omar was unfairly targeted because she is a black Muslim, noting that “the Democratic leadership did not draft a resolution condemning Donald Trump or other white male Republicans over their antisemitic remarks.”[102] The second round of remarks prompted the Democratic leadership to introduce a resolution condemning antisemitism but without naming Omar. Following objections from a number of congressional progressive Democrats, the resolution was amended to include Islamophobia, racism, and homophobia,[103] and on March 7 the House passed the amended resolution. Omar called the resolution “historic on many fronts,” and said, “We are tremendously proud to be part of a body that has put forth a condemnation of all forms of bigotry including anti-Semitism, racism, and white supremacy.”[104] Some Minnesota Jewish and Muslim community leaders subsequently expressed continued concern over Omar’s rhetoric and language and indicated that the issue remained divisive with Omar’s district.[105]

On May 20, 2019, protesters gathered in Times Square in New York City to call for Omar’s removal from the House Foreign Affairs Committee. “In my lifetime, I cannot think of any other politician who presents a bigger threat to the alliance between the US and Israel and to America’s Jews,” “Ilhan Must Go” founder and rally organizer Joe Diamond told The Jerusalem Post ahead of the protest.[106] Across the street, a smaller group of counter-protesters organized by progressive Jewish organization IfNotNow supported Omar; “I’m just sick and tired of seeing this one part of the Jewish community try to silence those who criticize Israel,” one said.[107]

LGBT rights

Omar was endorsed in 2018 by the Human Rights Campaign, a major LGBT civil rights advocacy group. In response to the endorsement, Omar stated, “I will fight for LGBTQIA+ rights in Washington D.C.”[108]

In March 2019 Omar addressed a rally in support of a Minnesota bill that would ban gay conversion therapy in the state. She co-sponsored a similar bill when she was a member of the Minnesota House.[109] In May 2019 Omar introduced legislation that would sanction Brunei over a recently introduced law that would make homosexual sex and adultery punishable by death.[110]

Minimum wage

Omar supports a $15 hourly minimum wage.[111][12]

Venezuela crisis

In January 2019, amid the 2019 Venezuelan presidential crisis, Omar joined Democrats Ro Khanna and Tulsi Gabbard in denouncing the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Juan Guaidó, the president of the Venezuelan National Assembly, as Venezuela’s interim president.[112] She described Trump’s action as a “U.S. backed coup” to “install a far right opposition”. Omar added that the U.S. should not “hand pick” foreign leaders[113] and should support “Mexico, Uruguay & the Vatican’s efforts to facilitate a peaceful dialogue.”[112]

In February 2019 Omar questioned whether Elliott Abrams, whom Trump appointed as Special Representative for Venezuela in January 2019, was the correct choice given his past support of right-wing authoritarian regimes in El Salvador and Guatemala, his initial doubts about the number of reported deaths in the El Mozote massacre in 1982, and his two 1991 misdemeanor convictions for withholding information from Congress about the Iran–Contra affair, for which he was later pardoned by George H. W. Bush.[114][115]

In May 2019, Omar said in an interview on Democracy Now! that U.S. foreign policy and economic sanctions are aimed at regime change and have contributed to the “devastation in Venezuela.”[116]

Threats, conspiracy theories and harassment

Assassination plot

In February 2019 the FBI arrested United States Coast Guard Lieutenant Christopher Hasson, who was allegedly plotting to assassinate various journalists and left-of-center political figures in the United States, including Omar. According to prosecutors, Hasson is a self-described “long time White Nationalist” and former skinhead who wanted to use violence to “establish a white homeland.” Prosecutors also alleged that Hasson was in contact with an American neo-Nazi leader, stockpiled weapons, and compiled a hit list. Prosecutors allege that Hasson’s plans to commit domestic terrorism were inspired by Norwegian far-right terrorist Anders Behring Breivik‘s 2011 domestic terrorist attacks.[117][118][119]

False connection to 9/11

On March 1, 2019, the West Virginia Republican Party held “WV GOP Day,” an event to celebrate the Republican Party, at the West Virginia Capitol. An exhibitor, not associated with the GOP, displayed a poster at the event falsely connecting Omar to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, along with Islamophobic flyers. State delegate Mike Pushkin, in attendance at the event, said that no Republican delegates condemned the poster. The poster was condemned the following day by the WV GOP party, which said, “The West Virginia Republican Party does not approve, condone, or support hate speech.” Omar pointed to the poster as an example of why she is targeted with violence, also citing white nationalist domestic terrorist Christopher Hasson placing her on his hit list and “Assassinate Ilhan Omar” being written in a Minnesota gas station.[120][121][122][123][124][120]

Jeanine Pirro’s hijab comments

On March 9, 2019, Fox News host Jeanine Pirro made what were widely condemned as prejudiced[125] and Islamophobic comments on her show when she questioned Omar’s loyalty to the United States because she wears a hijab.[126][127][128] Fox also condemned the remarks and Pirro’s show was not aired the following week.[127][129][130]

Death threats

On or before February 22, 2019, “Assassinate Ilhan Omar” was graffitied in a Rogers, Minnesota Holiday gas station restroom, prompting an FBI investigation.[131]

On April 7, 2019, Patrick Carlineo Jr., an ardent supporter of President Trump, was arrested for threatening to assault and violently murder Omar. The threats were made in a phone call to Omar’s office.[132][133] In May 2019 Carlineo was released from custody and placed on house arrest.[134]

9/11 comments and World Trade Center cover

On April 11, 2019, the front page of The New York Post carried an image of the World Trade Center burning following the September 11 terrorist attacks and a quotation from a speech Omar gave the previous month. The headline read, “REP. ILHAN OMAR: 9/11 WAS ‘SOME PEOPLE DID SOMETHING'”, and a caption underneath added, “Here’s your something … 2,977 people dead by terrorism.”[135] The Post was quoting a speech Omar had given at a recent Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) meeting. In the speech Omar said, “CAIR was founded after 9/11 because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us [Muslims in the U.S.] were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”[136][137][138][139] (In fact CAIR was founded in 1994, but many new members joined after the 9/11 attacks in 2001.)[139][140]

On April 12, President Donald Trump retweeted an altered video that selectively edited Omar’s remarks to remove context, showing her saying, “Some people did something.”[141][142][143] Her remarks were first criticized by fellow representative Dan Crenshaw of Texas.[144] Some Democratic representatives condemned Trump’s retweet, predicting that it would incite violence and hatred. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called on Trump to “take down his disrespectful and dangerous video” and asked the U.S. Capitol Police to increase its protection of Omar.[145][140]

On April 30, 100 black women activists held a demonstration in support of Omar in Washington in response to Trump’s comments, urging Democratic leaders to formally censure the president.[146] Speaking at the event, Omar blamed Trump and his allies for inciting Americans against both Jews and Muslims.[147]

Awards and honors

In 2014 Omar was named a rising star in the Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party’s Women’s Hall of Fame.[148]

She received the 2015 Community Leadership Award from Mshale, an African immigrant media outlet based in Minneapolis. The prize is awarded annually on a readership basis.[149]

In 2017 Time magazine named Omar among its “Firsts: Women who are changing the world,” a special report on 46 women who broke barriers in their respective disciplines, and featured her on the cover of its September 18 issue.[150] Her family was named one of the “five families who are changing the world as we know it” by Vogue in their February 2018 issue featuring photographs by Annie Leibovitz.[151]

Media appearances

In 2018 Omar was featured in the video for Maroon 5‘s “Girls Like You.”[152]

The 2018 documentary film Time for Ilhan, directed by Norah Shapiro, chronicles Omar’s political campaign.[153] It was selected to show at the Tribeca Film Festival and the Mill Valley Film Festival.

Personal life

Omar is Muslim and belongs to the Majeerteen clan from Northeastern Somalia.

In 2002 she became engaged to Ahmed Abdisalan Hirsi (né Aden). The couple applied for a marriage license, but the application was not finalized. They did, however, have a faith-based marriage.[1] The couple had two children together before separating in 2008. The next year Omar married Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, a British citizen.[1] In 2011 she and Elmi had a faith-based divorce,[154] and that year she reconciled with Hirsi, with whom she had a third child in 2012. In 2017 Elmi and Omar were legally divorced,[36] and in 2018 Omar and Hirsi were legally married.[20] They and their three children live in Minneapolis.[23] Her daughter, Isra Hirsi, is one of the three principal organizers of the school strike for climate.[155]

See also

References …

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

Story 2: Democrat Controlled House of Representatives Condemns Trump’s Tweets As Racist — Human Racist?  — 240 (Democrats Plus 4 Republicans) vs. 187(Republicans) — Love America or Leave America — Videos —

WATCH: Pelosi calls Trump’s tweets about congresswomen ‘racist’ in House speech

US house condemns Trump over racist comments

House’s condemnation of Trump may just be the beginning

Now the debate is over push by some Democrats for impeachment

Speaker Nancy Pelosi and senior aide Wendell Primus leave the House floor on Tuesday as turmoil gripped the chamber. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Although Tuesday’s long day of heated debate ended with the House voting to condemn President Donald Trump for racist tweets, the chamber’s brawl over the president’s behavior may be just beginning.

The House voted, 240-187, to approve a nonbinding resolution that says the chamber “strongly condemns” Trump’s “racist comments that have legitimized and increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color.”

[‘I abandon the chair’: House floor in chaos over Pelosi speech on Trump tweets]

The House’s majority Democratic leadership went forward with the resolution after Trump’s comments from Sunday, when he tweeted that Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna S. Pressley of Massachusetts and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.” (Only Omar, a refugee from Somalia, was born outside the United States.) 

“I am a proud naturalized citizen born in India, a proud patriot, a proud person who belongs in this country. And it’s not the first time I’ve heard, ‘Go back to your own country.’ But it is the first time I have heard it coming from the White House,” Washington Democrat Pramila Jayapal said shortly before the vote on the resolution.

The hours before the vote, though, were tumultuous.

During the debate, with Cleaver presiding, Jayapal made a request that comments from Wisconsin Republican Sean P. Duffy calling some fellow members of Congress “un-American” be taken down.

Cleaver ruled that her request was out of order. And then Pelosi came to the well to deliver remarks.

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“Every member of this institution, Democratic and Republican, should join us to condemn the president’s racist tweets,” the California Democrat said.

[With racist tweets and comments, Trump signals bare-knuckle reelection fight]

Georgia Republican Doug Collins interjected unsuccessfully, but once Pelosi was finished speaking, he made the Californian an offer.

“I was just going to give the gentle speaker of the House, if she would like to rephrase that comment?” he asked.

Pelosi responded that she cleared her remarks with the parliamentarian before she read them on the floor.

Collins then took the procedural step to “take down” the comments by Pelosi, saying they violated rules of decorum for the House, which forbid accusing the president of racism.

That led to a lengthy standoff on the floor and widespread confusion as to what was going on.

Stalemate on the floor

Finally, after a staffer could be heard saying to Cleaver that it was time to make his ruling and read a prepared statement, the onetime minister instead said he would make a statement of his own, casting aside the printed remarks handed to him.

“I came in here to try to do this in a fair way. I kept warning both sides let’s not do this, hoping we could get through,” the Missouri Democrat said.

“We don’t ever, ever, want to pass up an opportunity, it seems, to escalate. And that’s what this is,” Cleaver said. “I dare anybody to look at any of the footage and see if there was any unfairness, but unfairness is not enough, because we want to just fight.”

Adding a bit of dramatic flair, Cleaver dropped the gavel and declared simply, “I abandon the chair.” Then he walked off the rostrum.

“I’ve not seen it before,” said House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer before taking the gavel himself to resume proceedings at Pelosi’s request.

The Maryland Democrat announced the parliamentarian’s ruling against the speaker that “the words should not be used in debate,” according to a precedent from May 15, 1984.

Collins then moved to strike Pelosi’s words from the record, leading to a series of votes on the matter before finally getting to the resolution itself. In the end, four Republicans — Susan W. Brooks of Indiana, Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania, Will Hurd of Texas and Fred Upton of Michigan — and independent Justin Amash of Michigan voted with all 235 Democrats in favor of the resolution.

Far enough?

For all the drama over condemnation, at least a few dozen Democrats think that censuring or impeaching the president would be a more appropriate response to what they describe as a pattern of racist and xenophobic rhetoric.

“This sends a very, very clear message,” New Jersey Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. said of the condemnation resolution. “But a censure … is more forceful.”

Tennessee Rep. Steve Cohen on Monday introduced a resolution to censure Trump with nine co-sponsors, including the four progressive Democrats who were the targets of the president’s attacks. He said seven or eight other Democrats told him Tuesday they want to sign on to the resolution, but it’s been hard to rally support for it because Pelosi is opposed.

Some Democrats want to go even further and impeach the president or at least open an impeachment inquiry. Omar and Tlaib both reiterated their calls for impeachment during a press conference Monday evening.

Texas Rep. Al Green told reporters on Wednesday morning a vote on articles of impeachment he introduced would come in the afternoon. Several other members, however, said they expected leadership to move to refer the measure to the Judiciary Committee or to table it, standard procedure to dispense with such measures.

On Tuesday, Green did just that, right after the vote on the condemnation resolution, reading his privileged articles of impeachment on the floor. The move, called giving notice, triggers a two-day clock in which leadership must consider or dispense with the resolution by tabling it or referring it to the Judiciary Committee.

“It just seems to me that these things are in tandem with each other,” Green said. “I believe that condemnation is appropriate. But I also believe that it won’t be enough to deter or to put guardrails up for this president, who seems to have little respect for the courts, little respect for committees that are performing proper oversight. At some point, we have to develop the wherewithal to say to this president, enough is enough. I think this is an enough is enough resolution.”

Twice in the last Congress, Green brought privileged articles of impeachment to the floor, but Republican leaders — then in the majority— successfully moved to table them.

Green had long decided that he would force a third vote on impeaching Trump sometime this year, but it was the president’s Sunday tweet telling members of color to go back to their countries that pushed him to bring it up now.

“I’m 71. And I remember the ‘go back to Africa language’ that was commonplace in this country,” he said. “I’m a son of the segregated South. I had to go to back doors, drink out of colored water fountains, sit in the back of the movie, back of the bus. And that was all a part of it.”

“When I hark back and I hear that language, I remember all of these things. This was not a good time in the history of the country for persons of African ancestry,” he continued. “So I, at that point, I really felt that it was necessary to send to this president the message that there are some of us who believe that you are so unfit that you should be removed from office. And he is unfit, because he’s tried to infuse his bigotry into policy.”

Green offered the articles of impeachment a week before former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is scheduled to testify before two House panels — a point that several members have said they wanted to get to before deciding whether it was appropriate to open an impeachment inquiry.

“The Mueller testimony will have no impact on this, and this will have no impact on the Mueller testimony,” Green said. “They’re totally separate issues. … They’re both about impeachment, but they’re for different reasons.”

Green said the articles of impeachment focus more on Trump’s “bigotry” than obstruction of justice, even though he thinks Trump is guilty of that.

Democratic leaders have yet to decide how to handle Green’s resolution, Hoyer told CQ Roll Call Tuesday evening after he left the floor after listening to Green introduce his measure.

Earlier in the day, Hoyer told reporters he would not try to talk Green out of offering it.

“He has to do what he thinks is right,” the majority leader said.

And with Trump unlikely to temper his language any time soon, the debate about what to do about that will continue, regardless of votes to condemn his language or how Democratic leaders eventually deal with actions by members like Green.

https://www.rollcall.com/news/congress/long-day-partisan-warfare-house-just-beginning

 

 

Story 3: ANTIFA (Anti-facist) 69-Year Old Man With Rifle Who Threw Incendiary Device at Northwest Detention Center Shot Dead By Tacoma Police — Videos

Tucker: Antifa has the support of the ‘respectable’ left

Man shot and killed after attacking ICE facility

AOC, Ilhan Omar repeatedly REFUSE to condemn Antifa attack on ICE! | Keean Bexte

Man throwing ‘incendiary devices’ fatally shot by police at Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma

ANTIFA DOMESTIC TERRORIST ATTACK!

Far Left Publishes Praise Of Antifa Terrorist Who Attacked ICE, Possible Motivations Revealed

Man shot and killed in police confrontation outside Tacoma ICE detention facility

Anarchist Who Firebombed A Detention Center is Being Called a Hero

The Firebomber’s Manifesto: Inside the Mind of Willem Van Spronsen

Antifa lauds ‘martyr’ who attacked ICE detention center as manifesto circulates

– The Washington Times – Monday, July 15, 2019

The rifle-wielding attacker who tried to burn an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Washington over the weekend wrote a self-justifying manifesto repeating many standard Democratic talking points about the border crisis and other issues.

In a three-page document posted on Seattle TV station KIRO’s website, Willem Van Spronsen cited popular left-wing historian Howard Zinn, said that “i am antifa,” criticized the Electoral College and accused the U.S. of running “concentration camps” on the border.

Willem Van Spronsen, 69, declares early on in his manifesto that “evil says concentration camps for folks deemed lesser are necessary. the handmaid of evil says the concentration camps should be more humane,” using a term usually reserved for Nazi Germany’s death camps, but introduced in the border-security debate last month by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York.

He also mocked people criticizing Ms. Ocasio-Cortez for intellectual sloppiness, referring to “these days of highly profitable detention/concentration camps and a battle over the semantics.”

Van Spronsen, armed with an AR-15 assault weapon that his manifesto encouraged others to acquire to bring about a revolution, attacked the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma around 4 a.m. Saturday. He threw “incendiary devices” and set vehicles before officers shot him to death as he was trying to ignite a propane tank.

In his manifesto, he called the detention facility “an abomination” and that he was “not standing by” as it operated.

“i really shouldn’t have to say any more than this. i set aside my broken heart and i heal the only way i know how- by being useful. i efficiently compartmentalize my pain… and i joyfully go about this work,” he wrote.

He indicated that he intended the attack as a suicide mission, writing that “i regret that i will miss the rest of the revolution. thank you for the honor of having me in your midst. giving me space to be useful.”

Antifa activists declared him useful, too.

Seattle Antifascist Action called him “our good friend and comrade Willem Van Spronsen” and said he “became a martyr who gave his life to the struggle against fascism.”

The group went on to call for more such attacks in memory of Van Spronsen.

We cannot let his death go unanswered … May his death serve as a call to protest and direct action,” the group wrote on its Facebook page.

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was asked Monday by the Daily Wire whether she would denounce antifa and whether she was to any degree responsible for the attack, since Van Spronsen repeatedly used her “concentration camp” language.

She ignored the reporter.

Rifle-toting man who threw incendiary devices at a Washington state immigration jail killed after four police officers opened fire at him

  • A man with a rifle threw incendiary devices at a Washington immigration jail 
  • The incident took place at 4am, six hours after a peaceful rally was held there 
  • Four police officers responded, warned the man and opened fire at him
  • The man was later found dead at the scene after having been shot
  • The officers were not wearing body cameras, but there is surveillance footage
  • It’s unclear what the man’s motives were for attacking the immigration center 

Antifa (United States)

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An antifa sticker

The antifa (/ænˈtfəˈæntiˌfɑː/)[1] movement is a conglomeration of left-wing autonomous, militant anti-fascist[7] groups in the United States.[11] The principal feature of antifa groups is their use of direct action,[12] with conflicts occurring both online and in real life.[13] They engage in varied protest tactics, which include digital activism, property damage, physical violence, and harassment against those whom they identify as fascist, racist, or on the far-right.[18]

Activists involved in the movement tend to be anti-capitalists[19] and subscribe to a range of ideologies, typically on the left. They include anarchistssocialists and communists along with some liberals and social democrats.[25] Their stated focus is on fighting far-right and white supremacist ideologies directly, rather than through electoral means.[12]

Contents

History

Logo of Antifaschistische Aktion, the militant anti-fascist network in 1930s Germany that inspired the Antifa movement
The logo as it appears on a flag held by an antifa member in Cologne, Germany in 2008

When Italian dictator Benito Mussolini consolidated power under his National Fascist Party in the mid-1920s, an oppositional anti-fascist movement surfaced both in Italy and countries such as the United States. Many anti-fascist leaders in the United States were syndicalist, anarchist, and socialist émigrés from Italy with experience in labor organizing and militancy.[26]

Although there is no organizational connection, the lineage of antifa in America can be traced to Weimar Germany,[27] where the first group described as “antifa” was Antifaschistische Aktion, formed in 1932 with the involvement of the Communist Party of Germany.[28]

After World War II, but prior to the development of the modern antifa movement, violent confrontations with fascist elements continued sporadically.[29]

Modern antifa politics can be traced to opposition to the infiltration of Britain’s punk scene by white power skinheads in the 1970s and 1980s, and the emergence of neo-Nazism in Germany following the fall of the Berlin Wall.[24] In Germany, young leftists, including anarchists and punk fans, renewed the practice of street-level anti-fascism.[24] Columnist Peter Beinart writes that “in the late ’80s, left-wing punk fans in the United States began following suit, though they initially called their groups Anti-Racist Action (ARA) on the theory that Americans would be more familiar with fighting racism than they would be with fighting fascism.”[24]

Dartmouth College historian Mark Bray, author of Antifa:The Anti-Fascist Handbook, credits ARA as the precursor of the modern US antifa groups in the United States and Canada.[30] In the late 1980s and 1990s, ARA activists toured with popular punk rock and skinhead bands in order to prevent Klansmen, neo-Nazis and other assorted white supremacists from recruiting.[24][31][32] Their motto was “We go where they go” by which they meant that they would confront far-right activists in concerts and actively remove their materials from public places.[33] In 2002, the ARA disrupted a speech in Pennsylvania by Matthew F. Hale, the head of the white supremacist group World Church of the Creator, resulting in a fight and twenty-five arrests.[24] One of the earliest Antifa groups in the U.S. was Rose City Antifa, which was formed in Portland, Oregon in 2007.[34]

Other antifa groups in the U.S. have other genealogies, for example in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where a group called the Baldies was formed in 1987 with the intent to fight neo-Nazi groups directly.[19]

Terminology

Although various antifascist movements have existed in the United States since the beginning of fascism, the word antifa, adopted from German usage,[27][35][36] only came into prominence as an umbrella term in English in 2017.[37][38]The ADL makes a point that the label “antifa” should be limited to “those who proactively seek physical confrontations with their perceived fascist adversaries,” and not be misapplied to include all counter-protesters.[13]

Ideology and activities

Antifa is not an interconnected or unified organization, but rather a movement without a leadership structure, comprising multiple autonomous groups and individuals.[13][21][33] Since it is composed of autonomous groups, and thus has no formal organization or membership,[24][39] it is impossible to know how many groups are active. Activists typically organize protests via social media and through websites and email lists.[24][39] Some activists have built peer-to-peer networks, or use encrypted-texting services like Signal.[40] According to Salon, it is an organizing strategy, not a group of people.[41] While its numbers cannot be estimated accurately, the movement has grown since the 2016 presidential election and approximately 200 groups currently exist in the US, of varying sizes and levels of engagement.[27] The activists involved subscribe to a range of ideologies, typically on the left and they include anarchists, socialists and communists along with some liberals and social democrats.[20][22]

According to Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at the California State University, San Bernardino, antifa activists participate in violent actions because “they believe that elites are controlling the government and the media. So they need to make a statement head-on against the people who they regard as racist”.[8] According to Mark Bray, the adherents “reject turning to the police or the state to halt the advance of white supremacy. Instead they advocate popular opposition to fascism as we witnessed in Charlottesville”.[21]

The idea of direct action is central to the antifa movement. Antifa organizer Scott Crow told an interviewer:

“The idea in Antifa is that we go where they [right-wingers] go. That hate speech is not free speech. That if you are endangering people with what you say and the actions that are behind them, then you do not have the right to do that. And so we go to cause conflict, to shut them down where they are, because we don’t believe that Nazis or fascists of any stripe should have a mouthpiece.”[8]

A manual posted on It’s Going Down, an anarchist website, warns against accepting “people who just want to fight”. It furthermore notes that “physically confronting and defending against fascists is a necessary part of anti-fascist work, but is not the only or even necessarily the most important part”.[42]

Rose City Antifa activists with modified anarchist red and black flagand transgender pride flag in a protest against Patriot Prayer in 2017

According to Beinart, antifa activists “try to publicly identify white supremacists and get them fired from their jobs and evicted from their apartments”, in addition to “disrupt(ing) [sic] white-supremacist rallies, including by force”.[43]According to a Washington Post book review, antifa tactics include “no platforming“, i.e. denying their targets platforms from which to speak; obstructing their events and defacing their propaganda; and when antifa activists deem it necessary, deploying violence to deter them.[22] According to National Public Radio, “people who speak for the Antifa movement acknowledge they sometimes carry clubs and sticks” and their “approach is confrontational”.[44] CNNdescribes antifa as “known for causing damage to property during protests”.[8] Scott Crow, described by CNN as “a longtime Antifa organizer”, argues that destroying property is not a form of violence.[8] The groups have been associated with physical violence in public against police[45] and against people whose political views its activists deem repugnant.[46] Antifa activists used clubs and dyed liquids against the white supremacists in Charlottesville[47]and caused property damage.[8] In one incident, an apparent antifa supporter punched white supremacist Richard Spencer in the face as he was giving an impromptu street interview,[48][49] and on another occasion, some threw Molotov cocktails in Berkeley, California.[8]

Apart from the other activities, antifa activists engage in mutual aid, such as disaster response in the case of Hurricane Harvey.[50][51][52] According to Natasha Lennard in The Nation, as of January 2017 antifa groups were working with interfaith groups and churches “to create a New Sanctuary Movement, continuing and expanding a 40-year-old practice of providing spaces for refugees and immigrants”.[53] Antifa activists also do research to monitor and track the “methods and movements of far-right leaders”, hold conferences and workshops on anti-fascist activism, and advocate ways of “fostering sustainable, peaceful communities”, such as “tending neighborhood gardens and setting up booths at book fairs and film festivals” where they provide printed materials.[54]

In June 2017, the antifa movement was linked to “anarchist extremism” by the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.[55] In September 2017 Politico obtained confidential documents and interviews indicating that in April 2016, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation believed that “anarchist extremists” were the primary instigators of violence at public rallies against a range of targets. Politicointerviewed law enforcement officials who noted a rise in activity since the beginning of the Trump administration, particularly a rise in recruitment (and on the part of the far right as well) since the Charlottesville Unite the Right rally. One internal assessment acknowledged an inability to penetrate the groups’ “diffuse and decentralized organizational structure”. By 2017, the FBI and DHS reported that they were monitoring suspicious Antifa activity in relation to terrorism.[56] In August 2017 a petition was lodged with the White House petitioning system “We the People” calling upon the government to formally classify “AntiFa” as terrorist. The White House responded in 2018 that federal law does not have a mechanism for formally designating domestic terrorist organizations.[57][58][59] The writer of the petition later said he had created it to “bring our broken right side together,” and to “prop up antifa as a punching bag.”[60]

In June 2018, a Nebraska antifa group published a list of names and photographs of 1,595 U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, drawn from LinkedIn profiles.[61]

Antifa activists often use the black bloc tactic, in which people dress all in black and cover their faces, in order to thwart surveillance, and create a sense of equality and solidarity among participants.[62] Antifa activists wear masks to hide their “…identity from protestors on the other side (who might dox people they disagree with) or from police and cameras” and for philosophical reasons, such as the beliefs that “hierarchies are bad and that remaining anonymous helps keep one’s ego in check.”[63]

Notable activism

Antifa groups, along with black bloc activists, were among those who protested the 2016 election of Donald Trump.[24][53] They also participated in the February 2017 Berkeley protests against alt-right[64][65][66] speaker Milo Yiannopoulos, where they gained mainstream attention,[39] with media reporting them “throwing Molotov cocktails and smashing windows”[8] and causing $100,000 worth of damage.[67]

In April 2017, two groups described as “anti-fascist/anarchist”, including the socialist/environmentalist Direct Action Alliance, threatened to disrupt the 82nd Avenue of Roses Parade after hearing the Multnomah County Republican Party would participate. The parade organizers also received an anonymous email, saying: “You have seen how much power we have downtown and that the police cannot stop us from shutting down roads so please consider your decision wisely”. The two groups denied having anything to do with the email. The parade was ultimately canceled by the organizers due to safety concerns.[68][69]

On June 15, 2017, some antifa groups joined protestors at Evergreen State College to oppose the far-right group Patriot Prayer‘s event. Patriot Prayer was supporting biology professor Bret Weinstein who became the central figure in a controversy after he criticized changes to one of the college’s events. In addition to peaceful antifa activists who held up a “community love” sign, USA Today reported that one slashed the tires of far-right activist Joey Gibson and another was wrestled to the ground by Patriot Prayer activists after being seen with a knife.[70]

Antifa counter-protesters at the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in August 2017 “certainly used clubs and dyed liquids against the white supremacists”.[47] Journalist Adele Stan interviewed an antifa protester at the rally who said the sticks carried by the protesters are a justifiable countermeasure to the fact that “the right has a goon squad”.[71] Some antifa participants at the Charlottesville rally chanted that counter-protesters should “punch a Nazi in the mouth”.[44] Antifa participants also protected Cornel West and various clergy from attack by white supremacists, with West stating he felt that antifa had “saved his life”.[72][73] Antifa activists also defended the First United Methodist Church, where the Charlottesville Clergy Collective provided refreshments, music and training to the counter-protesters and, according to a local rabbi, “chased [the white supremacists] off with sticks”.[72][74]

Antifa protesters during a Trump rally in Phoenix, Arizona, August 22, 2017

Groups that had been preparing to protest the Boston Free Speech Rally saw their plans become viral following the violence in Charlottesville. The event drew a largely peaceful crowd of 40,000 counter-protestors. In The AtlanticMcKay Coppins stated that the 33 people arrested for violent incidents were “mostly egged on by the minority of ‘Antifa’ agitators in the crowd”.[75] President Trump described the protestors outside his August 2017 rally in Phoenix, Arizona as “Antifa”.[76]

During a Berkeley protest on August 27, 2017, an estimated one hundred antifa protesters joined a crowd of 2,000–4,000 counter-protesters to confront alt-right demonstrators and Trump supporters who showed up for a “Say No to Marxism” rally that had been cancelled by organizers due to security concerns.[67][77] Protestors threatened to smash the cameras of anyone who filmed them.[78] Jesse Arreguin, the mayor of Berkeley, suggested classifying the city’s antifa as a gang.[79] The far-right group Patriot Prayer cancelled an event in San Francisco the same day following counter protests. Joey Gibson, the founder of Patriot Prayer, blamed antifa, along with By Any Means Necessary (BAMN), for breaking up the event.[80]

In November 2018, police investigated the antifa group Smash Racism D.C. following a protest outside the home of The Daily Caller founder Tucker Carlson.[81] Activists of the group said through a bullhorn that Carlson was promoting hate and chanted, “We will fight, we know where you sleep at night!” and defaced the driveway of Carlsons’ property by spray-painting an anarchist symbol onto it[82] Twitter suspended the group’s account for violation of Twitter rules by posting Carlson’s home addresses. The group also posted addresses of Carlson’s brother and a friend who co-founded The Daily Caller.[83][84][85][86][87][88]

In February 2019, anti-fascist activists marched in celebration through Stone Mountain, Georgia as a white supremacist, neo-confederate rally planned to be held at the adjacent Stone Mountain Park was cancelled due to infighting and fear of personal safety. White supremacist groups originally sought to attract attention by marching at the Stone Mountain, a Confederate landmark carving, during the Super Bowl weekend. The groups ignored the park’s denial of permit due to “clear and present danger to the public health or safety”, but was thwarted when Facebook and Twitter terminated their organizing accounts and pages, and one group leader’s retreat due to “fears of violence from counter-protesters”. In their absence, more than 100 antifa activists marched peacefully through the adjacent village, burned a Klansman effigy and chanted slogans such as “Good night, alt right” and “Death to the Klan”, before joining another civil rights rally at Piedmont Park held by the NAACP and the SPLC.[89][90][91]

Response

Antifa actions have been subject to criticism from Republicans, Democrats and political commentators in the U.S. media.[92][93][94] House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi condemned the violence of antifa activists in Berkeley on August 29, 2017.[95] Conservative talk show host and Fox News contributor Laura Ingraham suggested labeling antifa as a terrorist organization.[96] Noam Chomsky described them as “a major gift to the right”.[97] Other “anti-anti-fascists” on the left have argued that antifa attack a symptom of liberal democracyrather than combating structural racism itself, and in doing so distance themselves from revolutionary politics.[98] Dissent editor Michael Kazin stated “Non-leftists often see the left as a disruptive, lawless force. Violence tends to confirm that view.”[99] The historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat said in July 2019 that “Throwing a milkshake is not equivalent to killing someone, but because the people in power are allied with the right, any provocation, any dissent against right-wing violence, backfires”, with the effect that “[m]ilitancy on the left” can “become a justification for those in power and allies on the right to crack down” on the left.[34]

On the other hand, historian and political organizer Mark Bray has said “Given the historical and current threat that white supremacist and fascist groups pose, it’s clear to me that organized, collective self-defense is not only a legitimate response, but lamentably an all-too-necessary response to this threat on too many occasions.”[100] Alexander Reid Ross, a lecturer in geography and an author on the contemporary right, has said that antifa groups represented “one of the best models for channeling the popular reflexes and spontaneous movements towards confronting fascism in organized and focused ways.”[101] Eleanor Penny, an author on fascism and the far-right, argues against Chomsky that “physical resistance has time and again protected local populations from racist violence, and prevented a gathering caucus of fascists from making further inroads into mainstream politics.”[97] Cornel West, who attended a counter-protest to the Unite the Right rally, said in an interview, “we would have been crushed like cockroaches if it were not for the anarchists and the anti-fascists,” describing a situation where a group of 20 counter-protesters were surrounded by marchers who he described as, “neofascists.”[102]

The Anti-Defamation League stated that “All forms of antifa violence are problematic. Images of these ‘free speech’ protesters being beaten by black-clad and bandana-masked antifa provide right wing extremists with a powerful propaganda tool” but goes on to state “that said, it is important to reject attempts to claim equivalence between the antifa and the white supremacist groups they oppose.” They also mention that “most established civil rights organizations criticize antifa tactics as dangerous and counterproductive.”[13]

Hoaxes

There have been multiple efforts to discredit antifa groups via hoaxes on social media, many of them false flag attacks originating from members of the alt-right and 4chan posing as members of antifa groups on Twitter. Some of these hoaxes have been picked up and reported as fact by right-leaning media.[103]

These include an August 2017 “#PunchWhiteWomen” photo hoax campaign spread by fake antifa twitter accounts.[104] In one such instance, Bellingcat researcher Eliot Higgins discovered an image of British actress Anna Friel portraying a battered woman in a 2007 Women’s Aid anti-domestic violence campaign that had been re-purposed using fake antifa Twitter accounts organized by way of 4chan. The image is captioned “53% of white women voted for Trump, 53% of white women should look like this” and includes an antifa flag. Another image featuring an injured woman is captioned “She chose to be a Nazi. Choices have consequences” and includes the hashtag #PunchANazi. Higgins remarked to the BBC that “[t]his was a transparent and quite pathetic attempt, but I wouldn’t be surprised if white nationalist groups try to mount more sophisticated attacks in the future”.[105] A similar fake image circulated on social media after the Unite the Right rally; the doctored image, actually from a 2009 riot in Athens, was altered to make it look like someone wearing an antifa symbol attacking a member of the police with a flag.[106] After the 2017 Las Vegas shooting, similar hoaxes falsely claimed that the shooter was an antifa “member”; another such hoax involved a fake antifa twitter account praising the shooting.[107][108] Another high-profile fake antifa account was banned from Twitter after it posted with a geotag originating in Russia.[109] Such fake antifa accounts have been repeatedly reported on as real by right-leaning media outlets.[103]

Some of the opposition to antifa activism has also been artificial in nature; Nafeesa Syeed of Bloomberg reported that “[t]he most-tweeted link in the Russian-linked network followed by the researchers was a petition to declare Antifa a terrorist group”.[110]

See also

References …

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antifa_(United_States)

 

Story 4: Establishment Democrats Support Creepy Sleepy Dopey Joey Biden — Videos

Biden support slips below 30 percent in new poll

Former Vice President Joe Biden‘s support in the latest Hill-HarrisX poll of Democratic voters has fallen below 30 percent, his lowest mark in the survey so far.

The poll, released on Monday, found that 29 percent of likely Democratic primary voters support Biden as their first choice for president, while 16 percent back Sen. Bernie Sanders(I-Vt.).

This marks a 4-point drop for Biden from an identical poll conducted two weeks ago and immediately following the first 2020 Democratic debates. It also represents a 17-point drop from when same poll was first conducted in May, a month after Biden formally launched his campaign bid.

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) retained their spots, with Harris getting 11 percent and Warren trailing close behind at 9 percent.

South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who ranked as high as third place at one earlier poll, slipped to sixth place, garnering just 1 percent of support.

Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke, who has been lagging in national polls over the last few months, notched up 2 points to 3 percent.

A large number of respondents, 17 percent, were undecided.

The poll can be viewed as another setback for Biden, whose campaign has been grappling with attacks on his civil rights record in recent weeks.

Harris and Biden went head-to-head last month on the second night of the first Democratic presidential debates, where she confronted him on his past comments about working with segregationists senators and his past opposition to school busing.

The California senator saw a bump in a number of polls — including the Hill’s own Hill-HarrisX survey — following the confrontation.

Yet the poll continues to show Biden with a double digit lead over Sanders, and he has more than twice the support of Harris and more than three times the support of Warren to this point.

The Hill-HarrisX poll surveyed 1,003 voters between July 12 and July 13. The sampling margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

—Tess Bonn

https://thehill.com/hilltv/what-americas-thinking/453142-biden-slips-below-30-percent-among-2020-democrats

Biden: If You Like Your Health Care Plan, You Can Keep It

Repeats Obama pledge about Affordable Care Act

Former Vice President Joe Biden repeated one of his old boss’s most infamous pledges on Monday, saying under his proposal, “if you like your health care plan … you can keep it.”

The 2020 Democratic frontrunner released a health care plan Monday that would seek to build upon the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which included subsidies to lower prices on the exchanges and also allowing for a “public option” his campaign called similar to Medicare.

“I give people the option. If you like your health care plan, your employer-based plan, you can keep it,” Biden told an audience at an AARP-sponsored forum. “If in fact you have private insurance, you can keep it.”

Some of his 2020 rivals, including Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), and Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Calif.) are pushing for some form of a single-payer “Medicare for All” program. Some versions would completely eliminate private health insurance. Biden warned the crowd of that possible outcome if they liked the plans they have and said the transition would be difficult.

With his, Biden said, “you get a choice.”

“You get full coverage, and you can stay with your plan if you like it,” Biden said. “You can stay with your employer-based plan, or you can move on. I think it’s the quickest, most reasonable, rational and best way to get to universal coverage.”

His use of the phrase “you can keep it” created a stir, given how much it hurt President Barack Obama politically.

Obama pledged dozens of times during and after the passage of the Affordable Care Act that Americans who liked their current health care policies would be able to keep them, even punctuating his promise at times with an emphatic “period.” However, millions of cancellation notices went out upon the law’s implementation for not meeting Obamacare standards, leading him to get hit by PolitiFact with the 2013 “Lie of the Year.”

Biden has criticized his rivals for wanting to scrap Obamacare, one of the Obama administration’s main domestic accomplishments.

“Medicare goes away as you know it,” he said of his rivals’ proposals. “But the transition of dropping 300 million people on a new plan is, I think, kind of a little risky at this point.”

Story 3: European Union’s Galileo Global Positioning Statellites Down For Four Days — Videos

See the source image

First Blackouts, now EU GPS satellites down – what the heck is going on?

EU’s GPS satellites have been down for four days in mysterious outage

What is the UK-EU fight over Galileo all about?

Galileo goes live: Europe’s long-delayed satellite navigation service starts service

What is Galileo?

Coffee & a Chat #5 European GPS system is DOWN!

Why The US Military Made GPS Free-To-Use

Europe’s New GPS System Is Already Broken!… Can We Fix It?

How does GPS work?

Europe’s Galileo sat-nav satellites are OFFLINE: EU is forced to rely on American GPS after system suffers a FOUR DAY outage

  • EU’s Galileo satellite navigation system has been down for four days
  • Majority of satellites in the Galileo constellation have suffered a service outage 
  • Galileo system is an alternative to the US-made GPS system and is free to use
  • European services have been relying on the US alternative since issues started  

The EU’s Galileo satellite navigation system has been knocked offline for four days following a ground-based technical incident.

Most of the satellites in the Galileo constellation have suffered a service outage since Friday as the official status of all its crafts as currently ‘Not Usable’.

Two of the 26 are said to be ‘testing’ while two others have long been out of service due to unrelated issues.

It is believed the ability to locate and help people in distress situations is unaffected.

Experts are working to restore operations of the multibillion euro programme, the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) said.

The system is provided for free and is used by private firms, government agencies, academics and the tech sector.

Scroll down for video

The EU's Galileo satellite navigation system has been down for four days as a result of a technical incident on the ground. The majority of satellites in the Galileo constellation have suffered a service outage (stock)

The EU’s Galileo satellite navigation system has been down for four days as a result of a technical incident on the ground. The majority of satellites in the Galileo constellation have suffered a service outage (stock)

Issues have persisted the duration of the weekend and it means satellites cannot currently give locations or times to smartphones or other devices.

The majority of popular handsets in use around Europe are reliant on Galileo – including all iPhones released since 2017.

It is still in its earl stages as a project and is therefore not trusted with vital systems, with crucial services using other means.

It operates independently of the US system as well as not relying on Russia’s GLONASS or China’s Beidou networks.

Galileo began testing in December 2016 as an alternative to the US-made Global Positioning System (GPS), designed to provide an exact location to commercial and government customers, with a full deployment expected in 2020.

Experts are working to restore operations of the multibillion euro programme, the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) said on Sunday. The system is provided under both free and commercial ventures and is used by both private firms, government agencies, academics and the tech sector

Experts are working to restore operations of the multibillion euro programme, the European Global Navigation Satellite Systems Agency (GSA) said on Sunday. The system is provided under both free and commercial ventures and is used by both private firms, government agencies, academics and the tech sector

The cause of the technical incident is identified and recovery actions are implemented to ensure that the nominal service is resumed as soon as possible while safeguarding quality of the services,’ the GSA said.

In November, Britain gave up on efforts to gain access to the EU’s Galileo satellite navigation system for defence and critical national infrastructure purposes, after being frozen out by Brussels because of Brexit.

It is unclear whether the UK will get back the £1.2 billion it sank into Galileo.

Instead, it is aiming to build its own Global Navigation Satellite System, at a cost estimated by independent experts at £3 billion to £5 billion.

WHAT IS THE GALILEO SATELLITE CONSTELLATION?

An artist's impression of one of the satellites in the Galileo constellation

An artist’s impression of one of the satellites in the Galileo constellation

Galileo is a global navigation satellite system created by the European Union which was brought online in 2016.

The project was built to provide a high-precision global positioning system for the use of European nations that was independent of the US’ GPS and Russia’s GLONASS systems.

The setup can provide horizontal and vertical position measurements to a precision of within 1 metre.

It also provides a better service for users in higher latitudes than alternative systems.

Galileo’s low-precision services are free to use and open to everyone, while paying commercial customers can access the system’s higher-precision capabilities.

 The first test satellite for the project was launched in December 2005, while the first working satellite was put into orbit in October 2011.

The constellation is comprised of 26 satellites — two of which are being tested and 2 of which are non-functional. Another four are planned for launch by 2020, after which new satellites will be launched to replace older ones.

The whole project is estimated to have cost around €10 billion (£9 billion / $11.3 billion)

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-7248655/Europes-sat-nav-satellites-OFFLINE.html

EU’s GPS satellites have been down for four days in mysterious outage

EU’s Galileo global navigation satellite system nears 100 hours of downtime.

a satellite orbiting the earth with illuminated cities at night
3D rendering of a satellite orbiting the earth with illuminated cities at night. Map From: http://planetpixelemporium.com/earth.html Software for rendering: https://www.blender.orgGetty Images/iStockphoto

Galileo, the EU’s global navigation satellite system, has been down for four days, since July 11, following a mysterious outage. All Galileo satellites are still non-operational, at the time of writing.

According to a service status page, 24 of the 26 Galileo satellites are listed as “not usable,” while the other two are listing a status of “testing,” which also means they’re not ready for real-world usage.

The European GNSS Agency (GSA), the organization in charge of Galileo, has not published any information in regards to the root of the outage, which began four days ago, on Thursday, July 11.

On that day, the GSA published an advisory on its website alerting companies and government agencies employing the Galileo system that satellite signals have degraded and they “may not be available nor meet the minimum performance levels.”

The agency warned that the Galileo system “should be employed at users’ own risk.”

The GSA published a more dire warning on Saturday, July 13, when it said that Galileo was experiencing a full-service outage and that “signals are not to be used.”

At the time of writing, the service is nearing 100 hours of downtime.

The system going down forced the Galileo’s userbase (government agencies and private companies) to switch to alternatives.

The Galileo satellite system was launched in 2016 and was funded by the EU as an alternative to the US Air Force’s Global Position System (GPS) and the Russian government’s GLONASS.

It is provided under both free and commercial offerings and is widely used by governments agencies and private companies for navigation and search and rescue operations.

Because it’s provided for free, it is also widely used by the private tech sector and by most of the world’s academia.

The downtime also comes after widespread GPS outages were reported across Israel, Iran, Iraq, and Syria at the end of June. Israeli media blamed the downtime on Russian interference, rather than a technical problem.

Updated on July 15, 5:30am ET: In a statement published after this article’s publication, the GSA blamed the Galileo outage on “a technical incident related to its ground infrastructure.” The agency said that the search and rescue (SAR) feature — used for locating and helping people in distress situations for example at sea or mountains — remained operational during the outage, which impacted only navigational and satellite-based timing services.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/european-gps-satellites-have-been-down-for-four-days-in-mysterious-outage/

Story 6: Manhattan Lights Go Out with Electrical Outage — Celebrating 42th Anniversary of Great Blackout — Videos

Power outage strikes Manhattan on the same day of the 1977 NYC blackout

Breaking “Massive BLACKOUT Cripples New York City (Manhattan)

Parts of New York City go dark after power cut – BBC News

Documentary | What Happened When The Lights Went Out on July 13, 1977

Blackout, Chapter 1

NYC Blackout: What It Was Like When the City Lost Power in 1977 | NBC New York

Preliminary report shows faulty relay protection system caused NYC power outage

People wait in a Manhattan diner during a massive power outage that hit parts of New York City on July 13, 2019.

(CNN)Con Edison blamed their relay protection system Monday for the weekend power outage in New York City, saying the system didn’t operate as designed, according to preliminary findings from the company.

“That system detects electrical faults and directs circuit breakers to isolate and de-energize those faults,” the company said in a statement. “The relay protection system is designed with redundancies to provide high levels of reliability. In this case, primary and backup relay systems did not isolate a faulted 13,000-volt distribution cable at West 64th Street and West End Avenue.”
“Our analysis of data and testing of the relay protection equipment is continuing, and will provide more insight into why the system, and its multiple redundancies, did not operate as designed,” the company added.
Both New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for a full investigation.
“This could have been much worse,” said Governor Cuomo early Sunday morning. “When you’re talking about a city like New York, with a significant piece of the city basically suffering a blackout, that could be a very chaotic situation. We saw the exact opposite, actually. We saw New Yorkers at their best.”
It could take months to investigate why the outage happened, Con Edison President Timothy Cawley told reporters Sunday.
The outage started Saturday at 6:47 p.m., and the lights were back on shortly after midnight, officials said. It mostly affected midtown Manhattan and parts of the Upper West Side. No injuries or hospitalizations were reported.
At the height of the outage, 72,000 customers were in the dark, utility company Con Edison said. It had given a preliminary number of 73,000 — but lowered it early Sunday.

Revenge of the Power Grid

Radio City Music Hall sits dark during the 2019 Manhattan blackout.
DAVID DEE DELGADO / GETTY

Until they break. Then everyone notices.

That’s what happened Saturday night in New York City when a power outage struck Midtown Manhattan, from Hell’s Kitchen north to Lincoln Center and from Fifth Avenue west to the Hudson River. The blackout darkened the huge, electric billboards of Times Square, forced Broadway shows to cancel performances, and even disabled some subway lines.

A quick primer on how electricity works: First, power plants create it, mostly by burning fuel (or smashing atoms) that heats water to make steam that spins a turbine. (Hydroelectric generators harness the flow of water to spin turbines directly.) Those turbines move a generator, which produces electricity from the resulting kinetic energy. Plants then use transformers to step up the voltage of generated electricity and send it down high-voltage lines, which lose less energy in transit. Once it reaches its destination, other transformers step the voltage down to deliver it to substations, and eventually directly to customers.Saturday’s blackout was most likely caused by a disabled transformer at an area substation. There are at least 50 of those in New York City, which are fed in turn by at least 24, higher-voltage transmission substations. When it comes to power, New York is unusual because of the city’s age and the density of its population, both residential and commercial. That produces different risks and consequences.

In Atlanta, where I live, storms often down trees, which take out aboveground power lines. In the West, where wildfires are becoming more common, flames frequently dismantle power infrastructure (sometimes the power lines themselves cause the fires). But across the whole of New York City—not just Manhattan—more than 80 percent of both customers and the electrical load are serviced by underground distribution from area substations. That makes smaller problems less frequent, but bigger issues more severe.

When a transformer goes down in a populous place like Manhattan, it has a greater impact than it would on Long Island, say, or in Westchester County, where density is lower. The amount of power that central Manhattan uses on a regular basis also contributes to that impact. Times Square, the theater district, hundreds of skyscrapers—it’s a substantial load. In New York’s case, supplying that load is not usually the problem. Generating facilities can be located near or far away from where their power is used, and New York City draws power from a couple dozen plants. Some of it is imported from upstate.

But much of New York’s power is still generated locally, in large part at plants along the waterfront of Queens. Those plants are older, and more susceptible to disruption from local calamities, especially severe weather. When peak demand surges—most common during heat waves, such as the ones that struck the region in 2006 and 2011—the older, less efficient generating stations have a harder time keeping up, and brownouts or blackouts become more likely.

Superstorms can also disrupt Manhattan’s delivery infrastructure, despite the fact that it’s underground. In 2011, Hurricane Irene threatened to flood traffic and subway tunnels, also putting underground delivery at risk. The next year, Hurricane Sandy disrupted a third of the city’s electrical capacity. Flooding shut down five transmission substations. Other infrastructure was affected too, including natural gas and steam services (the latter provide heat and hot water, crucial during winter and for emergency facilities such as hospitals).

Sandy inundated the subway tunnels, which rely on pumps to bilge out the water. Electrical failures can disrupt the cleanup process as much as flooding can. And once a subway station gets incapacitated, the impact cascades throughout the system. On Saturday night, when the Midtown blackout occurred, the MTA was forced to cut service on some lines affected by signal or station outages.Failure, fire, and flood aren’t the only dangers that can befall transformer substations. Power infrastructure can be an appealing target for terrorism because the sites are poorly protected and the economic impact of a successful attack can be high—particularly in a city like New York. Cyberattacks are also possible. This March, a denial of service attack affected electrical systems in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, two major population centers. Intelligence suggests that the risk of similar foreign attacks is currently elevated. A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee discussed those risks in a hearing the day before the Midtown Manhattan blackout.

One way to mitigate these dangers is to make utility infrastructure less susceptible to single points of failure. Underground distribution tends to make it easier to reach electrical customers via multiple paths. Regulatory agencies such as the New York State Reliability Council also impose requirements on utility service. Con Edison, which powers almost all of New York City, is expected to design its network to operate even if some of its components fail or are lost to disaster. But new risks associated with climate change, cyberwarfare, and other factors haven’t necessarily been accounted for in the design and operation of utility infrastructure.

The perils build on one another. Climate change amplifies the frequency of heat waves, which increases electrical load, which puts greater pressure on infrastructure. At the same time, it increases the likelihood of superstorms that can cause flooding, fire, and other disasters that might disrupt nodes in the network. When utility operators designed their equipment years or decades ago, they made assumptions about load, storm surge, and other factors. Those estimates might no longer apply.

Worse, planning and implementing updates to those systems is often stymied by paltry funding, strained political will, or other accidents. The utility industries are pushing for transformation, as it were, in infrastructure design, including efforts to make the “edges” of the grid more resilient and redundant. But those plans are similarly snared in the traps of outdated investment and regulation. Worse still, the same climatological, economic, and political instabilities that help increase the likelihood of electrical-grid collapse might also increase the risk of deliberate attacks to the grid, or reduce the agility of emergency response when accidents like this weekend’s Manhattan transformer fire occur.

None of these factors wafted up to street level Saturday night, as New Yorkers muddled through the inconvenience of a few hours without power. If anything, the scenes aboveground seemed inspiring, delightful even. Broadway-musical casts and Carnegie concert musicians hosted impromptu sidewalk performances for disappointed theatergoers. Citizens took it upon themselves to direct traffic in chaotic intersections. As New Yorkers are wont to do, city dwellers celebrated these and similar acts as telltale signs of the city’s vibrancy and resilience. When the power came back on, the horde of shadows cheered in unison as electric lamps fueled by burning coal miles away restored them to the technicolor of modern, artificial light. No injuries were reported during the blackout.

But such a generous response is only possible because power disruptions are still rare, especially absent the forewarning that accompanies a major hurricane or a serious thunderstorm. The chaos caused by similar, more frequent events would quickly snuff out the surprise and delight of unelectrified life. The theater performers would sneak home out the back, wondering whether the union would consider yet another disrupted performance complete. The citizen constables would spare their bodies, out of fear or boredom. The cheers would turn to groans, as the uncertainty and nuisance of the city’s physical caprices would wear thin.

Worsening political and economic circumstances would only fuel this fire. The July 13, 1977, blackout came amid a widespread economic crisis, the Son of Sam serial killings, a heat wave, and other social stressors. The looting and vandalism that accompanied that blackout 42 years ago were surely underwritten by the increased crime of the age and the totality of the blackout, which wiped out power to the whole city for two days. But those and worse effects are still possible. If you didn’t notice, things aren’t so great in 2019, either.

The blackout is a warning that infrastructure doesn’t only exist when it breaks. That’s true not just for New Yorkers, but for most of the U.S. population, which is scattered across regions with lower density, reduced wealth, and a more fickle public-service response. Whether it sleeps or not, a city is like an iceberg: You only see the smallest bit of it aboveground, but all of it is melting.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.

IAN BOGOST is a contributing editor at The Atlantic and the Ivan Allen College Distinguished Chair in Media Studies at the Georgia Institute of Technology. His latest book is Play Anything.

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 1272, June 11, 2019, Story 1: President Trump vs. Creepy Sleepy Dummy 1% Biden vs. Radical Extremist Democrats (REDS) (Booker, Buttigieg, Gillibrand, Harris, Klbuchar, O’Rourke, Sanders, Warren) — Videos — Story 2: Trump’s Political Pander to Corn Farmers With Enthanol Policy — Videos — Story 3: Stock Market Heading For Historic High — Videos

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Story 1: President Trump vs. Creepy Sleepy 1% Biden vs. Radical Extremist Democrats (REDS) (Booker, Buttigieg, Gillibrand, Harris, Klbuchar, O’Rourke, Sanders, Warren) — Videos —

 

MENTALLY WEAK: President Trump SLAMS Joe Biden in BLISTERING News Conference

Trump calls Biden a ‘dummy’ as he heads to Iowa

Trump takes aim at Biden ahead of dueling Iowa rallies

Daily Presidential Tracking Poll

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Tuesday shows that 49% of Likely U.S. Voters approve of President Trump’s job performance. Forty-nine percent (49%) disapprove.

The latest figures include 36% who Strongly Approve of the job Trump is doing and 40% who Strongly Disapprove. This gives him a Presidential Approval Index rating of -4. (see trends).

Regular updates are posted Monday through Friday at 9:30 a.m. Eastern (sign up for free daily email update).

Now that Gallup has quit the field, Rasmussen Reports is the only nationally recognized public opinion firm that still tracks President Trump’s job approval ratings on a daily basis. If your organization is interested in a weekly or longer sponsorship of Rasmussen Reports’ Daily Presidential Tracking Poll, please send e-mail to beth@rasmussenreports.com.

20-Jan-1705-May-1721-Aug-1706-Dec-1727-Mar-1812-Jul-1825-Oct-1819-Feb-1911-Jun-190%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%www.RasmussenReports.comTotal Approve (Trump)Total Approve (Obama)

-420-Jan-1705-May-1721-Aug-1706-Dec-1727-Mar-1812-Jul-1825-Oct-1819-Feb-1911-Jun-1910%20%30%40%50%60%www.RasmussenReports.comStrongly DisapproveStrongly Approve

Some readers wonder how we come up with our job approval ratings for the president since they often don’t show as dramatic a change as some other pollsters do. It depends on how you ask the question and whom you ask.

To get a sense of longer-term job approval trends for the president, Rasmussen Reports compiles our tracking data on a full month-by-month basis.

Rasmussen Reports has been a pioneer in the use of automated telephone polling techniques, but many other firms still utilize their own operator-assisted technology (see methodology).

Daily tracking results are collected via telephone surveys of 500 likely voters per night and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. To reach those who have abandoned traditional landline telephones, Rasmussen Reports uses an online survey tool to interview randomly selected participants from a demographically diverse panel. The margin of sampling error for the full sample of 1,500 Likely Voters is +/- 2.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Results are also compiled on a full-week basis and crosstabs for full-week results are available for Platinum Members.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/prez_track_jun11

 

Right Direction or Wrong Track

40% Say U.S. Heading in Right Direction

Monday, June 10, 2019

Forty percent (40%) of Likely U.S. Voters think the country is heading in the right direction, according to a new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey for the week ending June 6.

This week’s finding remains unchanged from a week ago. Prior to this, that number had been on the decline week-over-week from 43% in early December to 31% by the end of January. It ran in the mid- to upper 20s for much of 2016, President Obama’s last full year in office.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it’s in the news, it’s in our polls). Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

The national telephone survey of 2,500 Likely Voters was conducted by Rasmussen Reports from June 2-6, 2019. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 2 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/right_direction_wrong_track_jun10

 

Tldr: Biden leads in Iowa, but Buttigieg and Warren show strength

Our new CNN/Des Moines Register/Mediacom’s new Iowa caucuses poll conducted by Selzer and Co. shows Joe Biden at 24%, Bernie Sanders at 16%, Elizabeth Warren at 15%, Pete Buttigieg at 14% and Kamala Harris at 7% among likely caucusgoers.

It’s the first high quality Iowa poll conducted since Biden entered the race and shows him in a tenuous position. Buttigieg and Warren are doing better than other polls in the state have suggested.

Sanders is not in great shape for someone with near universal name recognition.

Here are a few other takeaways from the poll:

  • This is our first poll taken that weighs in-person and virtual caucusgoers as 90% and 10% of the total respectively. This follows a rule change that allows for caucusgoers to vote virtually.
  • No candidate greatly seems to benefit from this change, though virtual caucusgoers are allotted fewer delegates (10%) than the expected percentage of caucusgoers who say they will virtually caucus at this point (28%).
  • It’s not just the topline that’s good for Buttigieg and Warren. Among those who can form an opinion of a given candidate, both are tied for the best very favorable rating among in-person caucusgoers.
  • Biden’s very favorable rating among caucusgoers is 34% among in-person caucusgoers, which actually trails Warren’s 38%.
  • A look back previous Democratic caucuses (1988, 2004 and 2008) with polling at this point similar to what it is now shows the eventual winner was ahead one of three times. This suggests we have a long way to go.

https://www.cnn.com/politics/live-news/cnn-poll-iowa-joe-biden-2020-democrats/index.html

 

Story 2: Trump’s Political Pander to Corn Farmers With Enthanol Subsidies and Mandates — End All Subsidies and Mandates — Videos

See the source image

President Trump visiting Iowa ethanol plant

Trump Speaks At An Ethanol Production Plant In Iowa | NowThis

After Corn Ethanol’s Crushing Defeat, Will Congress Repeal Mandate?

Can you afford the Ethanol Tax?

Ethanol Pig

Can 100% renewable energy power the world? – Federico Rosei and Renzo Rosei

Renewable Energy Explained in 2 1/2 Minutes

The Renewable Fuel Standard – What is it?

What can we do to fight the ethanol mandate?

Farm State Senators Questioning the White House RFS Strategy

The RFS Hurts Small Businesses

Small Retailers Coalition – RINs, the RFS, and EPA

An Update on the Renewable Fuel Standard

Ten years of the Renewable Fuel Standard

Why We Need The Renewable Fuel Standard, In 60 Seconds

President Trump promised to protect the Renewable Fuel Standard

Is the Renewable Fuel Standard working for America?

Repeal the RFS

WDBJ7: Goodlatte calls for repeal of Renewable Fuel Standard

AMERICA FIRST DINNER: President Trump Full Remarks in West Des Moines, IA

For farmers, record flooding and a wet spring mean many fields can’t be planted

ETHANOL – GOOD OR BAD? – How it Works | SCIENCE GARAGE

Trump’s New $12 Billion Farm Subsidies and My Thoughts

Farmers in Trump country protest Pruitt’s ethanol policies

Clearing the Air on the Ethanol Mandates

Pros and Cons of Ethanol in Motor Vehicle Gas Explored

Inconvenient Fact: Support for Ethanol Mandates Crumbling

Who Gets More Subsidies? | The Ethanol Effect

Ethanol vs Gasoline – Which Type of Fuel is Best for Your Car

Never Go to This Gas Station

The Ethanol Effect

Trump’s ethanol moves: good policy or corn country politics?

Why Ethanol Is Worse Than Gasoline

Is Ethanol Bad For Your Car’s Engine?

Trump Hearts Ethanol | The Ethanol Effect

 

Trump’s ethanol move delivers gift to corn country

Updated 

President Donald Trump ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to expand sales of corn ethanol on Tuesday, delivering a gift to farm state Republicans a month before the midterm elections.

The move ends months of bitter behind-the-scenes fighting between corn backers and the oil industry over Trump’s calls to increase ethanol sales, and it could benefit Iowa’s Republican governor, who is trailing her Democratic challenger in the polls, as well as at least two Iowa House incumbents who are also vulnerable. But the oil industry’s most powerful trade group immediately said it will fight to block the action.

“We want to get more fuel into the system,” Trump told reporters before boarding Marine One to travel to a rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa. “This is great for our farmers, and it’s a promise I made during the campaign, and as you know I keep my promises.”

EPA expects to finish a rule by the beginning of June to allow year-round sales of gasoline with 15 percent ethanol content, an increase over the 10 percent blends that are sold at most gas stations around the nation. The sale of the blends, known as “E15,” is currently prohibited during the summer months in several states because of Clean Air Act restrictions, and corn growers have long sought to expand sales of the higher concentrations.

“This is a big deal,” said Jeff Navin, a Democratic former aide to ex-Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle of South Dakota and former chief of staff in the Obama administration’s Energy Department. “It’s not something that makes a front page of East and West Coast newspapers, but it’s something that farmers watch closely. I’m sure the political team and elected officials in Iowa told [Trump] he has to do something to staunch bleeding.”

Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and John Thune (R-S.D.), along with Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue and Rep. David Young (R-Iowa) joined Trump in the Oval Office for his announcement, which the White House did not publicly broadcast.

“This is a very good victory for agriculture, a very good victory for workers at our 50 ethanol plants in Iowa and other states. it’s a very good victory for the environment and everything about this is good, good, good,” Grassley said in a video posted on Instagram.

Trump has previously called for increased sales of ethanol, which consumes about 40 percent of the U.S. corn crop. He strongly backed the biofuel during the 2016 campaign, a stance that appealed to Midwestern farmers who helped carry him to victory but who have been battered by his trade war and retaliatory tariffs from countries angry over his steel and aluminum tariffs.

But the U.S. oil industry has staunchly opposed increasing ethanol sales, and it has pressed for EPA and Congress to overhaul the federal biofuels mandate that Congress first created in 2005 to help reduce U.S. dependence on imported oil. The mandate requires oil refiners to blend specified volumes of biofuels into the nation’s gasoline supply, and to purchase biofuels credits that are traded in a market that has been plagued by fraud.

Trump has personally sought to mediate the dispute, which has pitted ethanol backers like Iowa Republican Sens. Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst against Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who has pressed the president to grant concessions to the oil industry. But despite a half dozen Oval Office meetings with Trump and several months of study by EPA and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, oil refiners will receive only modest changes in how regulators handle the biofuel credits.

“The president has repeatedly stated his support for the [ethanol program],” the White House official told reporters Monday. “He thinks that it’s good to have domestically produced energy here and he thinks it will be good for the agriculture industry as well as the economy overall.”

The oil industry had benefited from the more than two dozen waivers that former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt granted to refineries that allowed them to ignore the mandate that they blend the corn-based fuel with gasoline. But that angered farm groups, who said it reduced the requirement for ethanol by billions of gallons.

Now, Trump may be trying to make it up to Iowans and come to the aid of a friendly governor before the 2020 Iowa caucuses. Gov. Kim Reynolds, who took the post after Gov. Terry Branstad became Trump’s ambassador to China, is currently trailing her Democratic challenger, businessman Fred Hubbell, by 3.5 points, according to the RealClearPolitics polling average.

Trump has twice before promised to expand E15 sales, most recently in July, and Tuesday’s move was warmly welcomed by the industry.

“It’s hard to find the proper adjectives to describe how exciting it is to see year-round E15 move forward,” said Monte Shaw, executive director of the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. “We have worked non-stop on this issue for seven years while the unjustified restrictions hampered retailers from offering E15.”

Most U.S. gasoline sold in the U.S. is E10, meaning it contains 10 percent ethanol, though the 15 percent ethanol is sold by many retailers, particularly in big corn-producing states. Trump, who cannot change the policy through an executive order, has now ordered acting EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler to issue a waiver to the rules specifically for E15 to allow year-round sales.

The White House sought to mollify refiners by ordering Wheeler to alter the trade of biofuels credits, called Renewable Identification Numbers, that oil processors must purchase to show they are complying with the law. Independent refiners have long looked for ways to lower the cost of compliance and to increase transparency in that market. The new measures include limiting the credit purchases to refiners and ethanol importers, as well as requiring individuals holding more than a certain number of credits to disclose their holdings publicly.

Refiners will also now have to prove compliance with the program quarterly rather than annually, and EPA will limit how long companies other than refiners and importers can hold credits.

“President Trump has made strengthening the Renewable Fuel Standard an important priority of this administration,” EPA spokesman John Konkus said in a statement, referring to the ethanol program by its formal name. “He is fulfilling his promise by providing clear policy direction that will expand opportunities for our nation’s farmers, provide certainty to our refiners and bolster the United States’ role as a biofuels powerhouse. EPA will follow the president’s direction and proceed as expeditiously as practicable.”

Ethanol proponents say the rule will give gas station owners the incentive to install the equipment to sell the higher biofuel blends, which would increase sales of ethanol.

“We’re very excited to hear the president’s upcoming announcement,” Emily Skor, CEO of Growth Energy, an ethanol trade association, said in a statement. “He knows farmers are hurting and they want action on E15 in time for the next summer driving season. Year-round sales of E15 nationwide could deliver demand for two billion bushels of American corn and help restore growth in rural communities.”

Oil companies, who would prefer to see congressional efforts led by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) develop a comprehensive legislative overhaul to the mandate, believe Trump’s new policy is “wrongheaded” and the transparency policies don’t compensate them enough.

“We just don’t think it rises to the significance of issuing the E15 waiver, and therefore it’s no deal at all, from our standpoint,” said Frank Macchiarola, vice president of downstream and operations for the American Petroleum Institute. “From a legal standpoint, we don’t think EPA has the authority to issue the E15 waiver, [and] we will aggressively be looking at all of our potential options moving forward with respect to challenging this decision.”

https://www.politico.com/story/2018/10/08/trump-ethanol-corn-831493

 

 

Time to Repeal Ethanol Subsidies

The federal government provides an array of subsidies to increase the consumption of biofuels such as corn ethanol. The subsidies include tax breaks, grants, loans, and loan guarantees. The government also imposes a mandate to blend biofuels into gasoline and diesel fuels.

A new study at DownsizingGovernment.org describes the damage caused by these policies. Subsidies and the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) harm taxpayers, motorists, consumers, and the environment.

The study by Nicolas Loris argues that Congress should end its intervention in the biofuels industry. It should terminate subsidies and repeal the RFS. Individuals and markets can make more efficient and environmentally sound decisions regarding biofuels without subsidies and mandates.

Investor Carl Icahn said that the RFS has created a bureaucratic market in tradable credits full of “manipulation, speculation and fraud” with the potential to “destroy America’s oil refineries, send gasoline prices skyward and devastate the U.S. economy.”

That language is probably too strong, but federal ethanol policies really are stupid. President Trump says that he wants to cut unneeded regulations and wasteful subsidies. The RFS and biofuel hand-outs would be good policies to target.

So for an interesting read illustrating the craziness of special-interest policies in Washington, check out “Ethanol and Biofuel Policies.” The next time you are at the gas station and see that “E10” sticker on the pump, remember that a tag team of D.C. politicians and corn farmers are picking your pocket.

https://www.cato.org/blog/time-repeal-ethanol-subsidies

Downsizing the Federal Government

YOUR GUIDE TO CUTTING FEDERAL SPENDING

Ethanol and Biofuel Policies

  • Nicolas Loris
February 9, 2017

The federal government provides an array of subsidies to increase the consumption of biofuels such as corn ethanol. The subsidies include tax breaks, grants, loans, and loan guarantees. The government also imposes a mandate to blend biofuels into gasoline and diesel fuels. Biofuel supporters said that these policies would reduce gas prices, strengthen the economy, and benefit the environment, but none of those promises have turned out to be true.

The problem is not with the voluntary use of biofuels in the marketplace, but rather policies that mandate and subsidize biofuels. That top-down approach has harmed consumers, damaged the economy, and produced negative environmental effects. Even within the agricultural community, federal biofuel policies have adversely affected livestock producers and other businesses.

Congress should end its intervention in the biofuels industry. It should terminate subsidies and repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard. Individuals and markets can make more efficient and environmentally sound decisions regarding biofuels without subsidies and mandates.

What Are Biofuels?

Biofuels are derived from biological matter. Producers ferment sugar (sugarcane and sugar beets) and starch products (corn and potatoes) to create bioalcohols, and they ferment oilseed crops (soybeans and sunflower seeds) and animal fats to create biodiesel.

Ethanol, the most common biofuel, is mainly made from corn in the United States. Before federal subsidies and mandates were put in place, ethanol was already used as an additive to gasoline, allowing it to burn cleaner and more efficiently. The use of biofuels is not new, and it did not originally stem from government policies. A century ago, Henry Ford had planned for the Model T to run on ethanol, and Rudolf Diesel showcased a diesel engine that ran on peanut oil.1

Today, fuel suppliers mix biofuels into gasoline and diesel at blending stations. Most vehicles can handle gasoline blended with at most 10 percent ethanol (E10). In 2011 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved a blend of up to 15 percent ethanol (E15) for vehicles in model year 2001 and newer, but that mix is damaging to engines in older vehicles.2 Possible engine harm, automobile warranty concerns, and a lack of infrastructure have delayed adoption of E15.3 A further concern is that higher ethanol blends are harmful to the smaller engines in lawnmowers, motorcycles, and boats.4Another fuel blend is E85, which contains from 51 percent to 83 percent ethanol and is used in flexible-fuel vehicles.5

The federal government distinguishes between conventional (first-generation) biofuels and advanced (second-generation) biofuels, including cellulosic ethanol. Producers create advanced biofuels from nonfood parts of crops and other biomass such as leaves, switchgrass, algae, and woodchips. However, developing commercially viable fuel from these sources has proven to be very difficult.

Federal Biofuel Policies

The federal government has supported biofuels for decades. Republican and Democratic administrations and congresses have put in place a variety of subsidies—including tax credits, import tariffs, grants, loans, and mandates—to increase the production, sale, and use of biofuels.

In response to the oil crisis of the 1970s, Congress passed the first ethanol tax credit in the Energy Tax Act of 1978. Later legislation, including the Biomass Research and Development Act of 2000, the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003, and the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, introduced or expanded subsidies for biofuels. Farm bills in 2002, 2008, and 2014 also added and expanded biofuel programs. Today, there are at least 11 different federal subsidy programs for biofuels providing loans, grants, and other benefits.6

However, the most important component of federal biofuel policy is the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). It mandates that billions of gallons of ethanol be blended into gasoline and diesel fuel each year. The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 mandated the sale of oxygenated fuels in some regions of the country, and that “kicked off the modern U.S. ethanol industry growth.”7 Then the Energy Policy Act of 2005 mandated that increasing amounts of renewable fuels be mixed into America’s fuel supplies over time, primarily corn-based ethanol. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 greatly increased the mandated quantities.

Under the 2007 law, there must be 36 billion gallons of biofuels blended into the nation’s fuel supplies by 2022. No more than 15 billion gallons of that can be corn-based ethanol, and 21 billion gallons must be from advanced biofuels. After 2022 the EPA is granted authority to set annual targets.

The RFS is causing major economic and compliance problems. One problem is that cellulosic biofuel is supposed to be 44 percent of the total mandate by 2022, but actual production of these advanced fuels is far below expectations and running into major technical setbacks.8 In 2017 production of cellulosic biofuel will be just 1.6 percent of the 19 billion gallons of the overall biofuels mandated under the RFS.9

A broad range of groups oppose the RFS mandate, including environmental groups, anti-poverty groups, most economists, energy companies, and many farm groups. The RFS is opposed by the National Chicken Council, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, National Pork Producers Council, National Turkey Federation, Milk Producers Council, and others.10It is also opposed by the American Petroleum Institute, National Resource Defense Council, American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, Environmental Working Group, and Oxfam.11

Despite the opposition, the biofuel lobbies have so far held sway in Congress. Over time, however, opposition to the RFS has increased as the negative economic, technical, and environmental effects have become more obvious. The RFS is a failed experiment. Congress should recognize its mistake before more damage is done and repeal the mandate.

Such a reform would not end the biofuels industry. Some biofuels are cost competitive with traditional fuels and make a useful addition to gasoline mixed in at small levels. In the year before the government mandated ethanol use, American companies produced more than 81 million barrels of ethanol.12 Used at a modest level, ethanol is a cost-effective oxygenate for gasoline, meaning an additive that improves efficiency and helps meet fuel emissions requirements. A study by the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture estimated that with no RFS and no ethanol tax credit, demand for corn ethanol would have been 4.3 billion gallons in 2014, or about 30 percent of actual corn ethanol production that year.13

By ending federal subsidies and mandates, biofuels use would decline to efficient levels that maximized consumer benefits. Agriculture and food markets would benefit from the elimination of distortions that biofuel mandates are creating. The most competitive elements of the biofuels industry would survive and thrive in a free market.

The following sections discuss how current biofuels policies increase costs for drivers, raise food prices, and harm the environment.

Increase Costs for Drivers

Ethanol is not a good substitute for regular gasoline because it contains less energy. Ethanol has only two-thirds the energy content of regular gasoline.14 Drivers get fewer miles per gallon the higher the share of ethanol and other biofuels mixed into their tanks.

During times of high gas prices, ethanol may appear less expensive. But after adjusting for the energy content difference, higher concentrations of ethanol in fuel costs more. As an example, the national average price of regular gasoline in February 2016 was $1.71 per gallon and E85 was $1.52 per gallon.15 But adjusting for E85’s lower energy content pushed the price up to the equivalent of $1.99 per gallon at the time. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that the overall energy content of fuel at the pump fell 3 percent between 1993 and 2013 as mandated ethanol use increased.16

The additional cost of ethanol varies depending on current ethanol and gasoline prices. But, in general, the higher the ethanol content, the lower is gas mileage, and the more drivers must spend to go the same distance. Motorists can spend hundreds of dollars more per year running common flexible-fuel vehicles on E85 instead of regular gasoline blended with E10.17

Raise Food Prices

Ethanol production uses a large share of America’s corn crop and diverts valuable crop land away from food production. The resulting increases in food prices have hurt both urban and rural families. Families with moderate incomes are particularly burdened by the higher food prices created by federal biofuel policies. Higher corn prices also hurt farmers and ranchers who use corn for animal feed. Higher food prices caused by biofuel policies also hurt low-income families in other countries that rely on U.S. food imports. U.S. corn accounts for more than half of the world’s corn exports.18

Almost 40 percent of the entire U.S. corn crop has been used for ethanol in recent years, up from about 13 percent when Congress mandated the original quota in 2005.19 The remaining 60 percent is used for food, animal feed, and exports. In 2012 the amount of corn used to produce ethanol in the United States exceeded the entire corn consumption of the continent of Africa and of any single country except China.20

The U.S. Department of Agriculture noted that “increased corn prices draw land away from competing crops, raise input prices for livestock producers, and put moderate upward pressure on retail food prices.”21 These negative effects were particularly apparent during the 2012 drought in the United States, which destroyed crops, drove corn prices up 33 percent, and heightened concerns that the RFS was diverting food to fuel.22Since corn is an ingredient in many foods, and an important feedstock for animals, many in the food industry (from cattle and chicken farmers to restaurant associations) complained about the mandate’s effect on food prices.

In 2012 the governors of Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Mexico, North Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wyoming petitioned the EPA for a waiver of the RFS in order to reduce corn prices, but the EPA denied the request.23 Yet according to a study by economists at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, the drought’s impact on corn prices could have been “fully negated” by reducing the RFS by 23 percent that year.24

A number of studies have examined the link between biofuels policies and global food prices, as well as the adverse consequences on the world’s poorest citizens. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, ActionAid, World Resources Institute, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, and the World Bank have all identified higher food prices as a negative effect of biofuel policies.25

The magnitude of the RFS’s effect on the prices of corn and other farm products is difficult to determine precisely, but the direction of the impact is clear. The RFS has increased demand for corn and pushed up prices. One study by University of California at Davis economists found that the RFS increases corn prices by 30 percent, while a Heritage Foundation study found the increase to be 68 percent.26 The Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports that economists “are nearly universally agreed that the strong, steady growth in ethanol demand for corn has had an important and sustained upward price effect, not just on the price of corn, but in other agricultural markets including food, feed, fuel, and land.”27

Proponents of the RFS and biofuel subsidies argue that the policies support economic growth in rural communities. Actually, the policies support corn growers at the expense of other rural industries such as livestock production, which use corn as animal feed.

In the future, biofuels may make more economic sense than they do today and become a preferred fuel choice by Americans in open markets. But current policies that mandate the increasing use of biofuels are imposing large costs on motorists, harming food consumers and livestock producers, and damaging the overall economy.

Harm the Environment

Supporters of biofuel subsidies and the RFS claim that the policies create environmental benefits, including a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. But most evidence now indicates that biofuel policies do not reduce such emissions or benefit the environment overall.

Here are some of the factors to consider regarding biofuels and the environment:

  • Biofuel policies draw additional land into agricultural production. After accounting for this land-use conversion, the additional use of fertilizers, insecticides, and pesticides, as well as the fossil fuels used for production and distribution, biofuel production is quite carbon intensive.28
  • The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization found that converting noncropland to production of corn ethanol released at least 17 times more emissions than the amount of reduced carbon dioxide emissions by the use of biofuels.29
  • University of Michigan Professor John DeCicco found that even without accounting for indirect land use changes, biofuels increase the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere compared to regular gasoline.30
  • Despite once hailing biofuels as a tool to mitigate climate change, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now acknowledges that biofuels policies negatively affect the lives of the poor, distort land use, and may have negative environmental consequences.31
  • A study by Iowa State University researchers concluded that the increased production of biofuels generated by government policies has led to environmental harm from the use of fertilizers and land-use conversion for agricultural production, which can result in increased soil erosion, sedimentation, and nitrogen and phosphorous runoff into lakes and streams.32

Ethanol does have benefits as a fuel additive to help gasoline burn more cleanly and efficiently. However, in a report to Congress on the issue, the EPA projected that nitrous oxides, hydrocarbons, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter, ground-level ozone, and ethanol-vapor emissions, among other pollutants, would increase at different points in the production and use of ethanol.33

Many types of agricultural production affect the natural environment, both positively and negatively. Almost all industrial output has some unwanted effects, whether air pollutants or discharges into water systems. But those effects are not a reason to eliminate market activities that generate net value overall. The problem with biofuel policies is that they are both harmful to the economy and they have negative environmental effects. Biofuel policies were sold as being “green,” but today’s high levels of subsidized biofuel use does not benefit the environment.

Renewable Fuel Standard

The RFS illustrates the folly of trying to centrally plan energy markets. Current rules require a steadily increasing share of biofuels in gasoline until 2022. In 2016 ethanol exceeded 10 percent of all U.S. gasoline sales for the first time. Petroleum refiners are now coming up against a “blend wall” such that further biofuel increases will begin causing harm to vehicle performance and damage to engines and catalytic converters.

The RFS is also a bureaucratic nightmare. The 2007 law created separate requirements for different classes of biofuels, including conventional, advanced, cellulosic, and biomass. It also created a greenhouse gas accounting system because each fuel generates different lifecycle emission amounts. There are special rules for crops on forested areas and federal land, and there are complex procedures for the EPA to follow in setting each year’s mandated amounts.

For fuel refiners, the RFS has created a complicated system of credits and credit trading. Each refiner in the United States must have a certain percentage of its domestic sales contain blended ethanol, called a renewable volume obligation (RVO).34 But refiners have an option to meet part of their requirement by buying credits rather than blending more ethanol. In order to track this, the EPA requires a renewable identification number (RIN) to account for the amount of biofuel reaching the market and to make sure refiners blend enough ethanol. Refiners can hold on to these credits to meet their RFS requirement or they can purchase RIN credits from other refiners. Different RIN prices exist for different forms of biofuels.

Since refineries now face the blend wall, increased trading for RIN credits has caused the price of the credits to spike from pennies previously to more than a dollar in 2013 and then back up to nearly a dollar in 2016.35 The system also generates abuse as refineries buy fake credits with made-up RINs. Investor Carl Icahn says that “RINs have turned into a $15 billion market full of manipulation, speculation and fraud.”36 A report by a former head of EPA’s criminal investigations, Doug Parker, found that fraud in the RINs market could be as high as $1 billion.37 Parker concluded that the RFS program was “a ripe target for massive fraud and illicit gain.”38

Overmandating—requiring the use of more ethanol than can be blended—and forcing the purchase of RINs, could cost consumers billions of dollars at the pump.39 The consulting firm NERA warned that attempting to hit the original RFS targets in 2022 would result in severe economic harm:

When the required biofuel volume standards are too severe, as with the statute scenario, the market becomes disrupted because there are an insufficient number of RINs to allow compliance. “Forcing” additional volumes of biofuels into the market beyond those that would be “absorbed” by the market based on economics alone at the levels required by the statute scenario will result in severe economic harm.40

Federal mandates to continually increase biofuel use make no sense partly because we do not know the overall level of fuel demand in the future. If fuel demand is flat due to higher vehicle fuel efficiency, the blend wall problem will persist. Flexible-fuel vehicles capable of using E85 offer little economic relief for the blend wall. Demand for these vehicles is very low, and drivers who own flexible-fuel vehicles often fill their tanks with E10 because the energy content is higher than E85.

Proponents of the RFS pointed to oil price volatility as a reason to support federal policies. But in free markets there is nothing wrong with energy price changes, which work to balance supplies and demands. Besides, the passage of the RFS has done little to curb the effects of oil price volatility. And furthermore, ethanol is subject to its own price volatility. As CRS noted of a 2008 price spike, “The experience of $7.00-per-bushel corn, albeit temporary, shattered the idea that biofuels were a panacea for solving the nation’s energy security problems and left concerns about the potential for unintended consequences from future biofuels expansion.”41

While corn-based ethanol has kept up with mandates so far, the production of other biofuels has not. The production of cellulosic ethanol, made from nonfood sources, is nowhere near meeting targets, even though the RFS mandates 16 billion gallons to be used by 2022. High capital costs and difficulty in scaling up cellulosic biofuel conversion plants have prevented advanced biofuels from becoming economically viable.

The EPA has had to reduce Congress’s original annual quotas for cellulosic ethanol because not enough was available on the market. The EPA adjusted Congress’s first cellulosic target from 100 million gallons in 2010 to just 6.5 million. However, even the adjusted mandate was a stretch compared with reality; in fact, zero gallons were produced that year and the following one.42 For 2017 the EPA has set the target for cellulosic ethanol at 311 million gallons and total advanced biofuels at 4.28 billion gallons.43

Refiners have had to pay millions of dollars in waiver credits or surcharges for failure to comply with the EPA’s minimum volume requirements. Refiners pass these costs onto consumers. In January 2013 the Washington, D.C., Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the EPA “let its aspirations for a self-fulfilling prophecy divert it from a neutral methodology,” and that the RFS target was an “unreasonable exercise of agency discretion.”44 It vacated the cellulosic ethanol requirement required by the RFS for the year 2012. The EPA has since proposed future cellulosic mandates that are equally out of touch with market realities.

The Wall Street Journal reported in 2016 that the RFS was creating big winners and big losers among companies because of the buying and selling of RINs:

Environmental regulations designed to boost the amount of ethanol blended into the U.S. gasoline supply have inadvertently become a multibillion-dollar windfall for some of the world’s biggest oil companies.

Companies including Chevron Corp., Royal Dutch Shell PLC, and BP PLC could reap a total of more than $1 billion this year by selling the renewable fuel credits associated with the ethanol program…

For other companies, especially smaller refiners, the rules have had the opposite effect, forcing them to spend hundreds of millions to buy credits to comply.45

Carl Icahn, who is a part owner of a refinery that is bearing heavy costs, complained that “a shadowy, unregulated trade in electronic credits called Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) threatens to destroy America’s oil refineries, send gasoline prices skyward and devastate the U.S. economy.”46 Icahn wants policymakers to reform the RFS, but for all the reasons discussed here, it should be completely repealed.

Policy Reforms  

The political tide is turning against ethanol and biofuels as more experts and policymakers are recognizing the shortcomings of federal policies. Biofuel policies promised a lot of benefits, but they have delivered more harm than good. While some farmers and agribusinesses gained, taxpayers, motorists, food consumers, livestock producers, and the environment have been harmed. Furthermore, the federal mandate is generating vast bureaucracy, imposing major losses on some refiners, and generating widespread fraud and abuse.

The administration should work with Congress to:

  • Repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard. Biofuels existed before the RFS, and biofuels would remain after repealing it to the extent that they were economically viable. Repealing the mandate would create a more efficient biofuels market based on entrepreneurial initiative rather than government dependence.
  • Eliminate biofuels subsidy programs. Congress should repeal all the biofuels spending programs that have been included in farm bills and other bills, including grant and loan programs.
  • Allow producers and consumers to drive innovation. Make broad reforms to the energy sector to level the playing field between producers, fuels, and technologies. Congress should allow consumers to choose their favored fuels for transportation and other uses within open and competitive markets.

 


Nicolas Loris is an economist at the Heritage Foundation.

https://www.downsizinggovernment.org/ethanol-and-biofuel-policies

Ethanol fuel in the United States

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Blender fuels pump in 2012 selling the standard E10 ethanol blend together with E15, E30 and E85 in East Lansing, Michigan

Ethanol fuel production by state

The United States became the world’s largest producer of ethanol fuel in 2005. The U.S. produced 13.9 billion U.S. liquid gallons (52.6 billion liters) of ethanol fuel in 2011,[1] an increase from 13.2 billion U.S. liquid gallons (49.2 billion liters) in 2010, and up from 1.63 billion gallons in 2000.[2] Brazil and U.S. production accounted for 87.1% of global production in 2011.[1] In the U.S, ethanol fuel is mainly used as an oxygenate in gasoline in the form of low-level blends up to 10 percent, and to an increasing extent, as E85 fuel for flex-fuel vehicles.[3]

The ethanol market share in the U.S. gasoline supply grew by volume from just over 1 percent in 2000 to more than 3 percent in 2006 to 10 percent in 2011.[1][4][5] Domestic production capacity increased fifteen times after 1990, from 900 million US gallons to 1.63 billion US gal in 2000, to 13.5 billion US gallons in 2010.[4][6] The Renewable Fuels Association reported 209 ethanol distilleries in operation located in 29 states in 2011, and 140 under construction or expansion as of December 2011, that upon completion, would bring U.S. total installed capacity to 15.0 billion US gallons. Most expansion projects are aimed to update the refinery’s technology to improve ethanol production, energy efficiency, and the quality of the livestock feed they produce.[1]

By 2011 most cars on U.S. roads could run on blends of up to 10% ethanol(E10), and manufacturers had begun producing vehicles designed for much higher percentages. However, the fuel systems of cars, trucks, and motorcycles sold before the ethanol mandate may suffer substantial damage from the use of 10% ethanol blends. Flexible-fuel cars, trucks, and minivans use gasoline/ethanol blends ranging from pure gasoline up to 85% ethanol (E85). By early 2013 there were around 11 million E85-capable vehicles on U.S. roads.[7][8] Regular use of E85 is low due to lack of fueling infrastructure, but is common in the Midwest.[9][10] In January 2011 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) granted a waiver to allow up to 15% of ethanol blended with gasoline (E15) to be sold only for cars and light pickup trucks with a model year of 2001 or later. The EPA waiver authorizes, but does not require stations to offer E15. Like the limitations suffered by sales of E85, commercialization of E15 is constrained by the lack of infrastructure as most fuel stations do not have enough pumps to offer the new E15 blend, few existing pumps are certified to dispense E15, and no dedicated tanks are readily available to store E15.[11][12][13]

Ethanol production was expected to continue to grow over the next several years, since the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 required 36 billion US gallons of renewable fuel use by 2022. The target for ethanol production from cellulosic feedstocks was 16 billion US gallons a year. The corn ethanol target was 15 billion US gallons by 2015.[14][15] Ethanol industries provided jobs in agriculture, construction, operations and maintenance, mostly in rural communities.[16]

In early 2009 the industry experienced financial stress due to the effects of the economic crisis of 2008. Motorists drove less, gasoline prices dropped sharply, capacity rose and less financing was available.[17][18][19]

Historically most U.S. ethanol has come from corn and the required electricity for many distilleries came mainly from coal. Debate ensued about ethanol’s sustainability. The primary issues related to the large amount of arable land required for crops and ethanol production’s impact on grain supplyindirect land use change (ILUC) effects, as well as issues regarding its energy balance and carbon intensity considering its full life cycle.[20][21][22][23][24][25] Recent developments with cellulosic ethanol production and commercialization may allay some of these concerns.[26]

Contents

History

Typical label at the gas pumps warning drivers of ethanol content up to 10%, used as oxygenate additive instead of MTBEMiamiFlorida.

In 1826 Samuel Morey experimented with an internal combustion chemical mixture that used ethanol (combined with turpentine and ambient air then vaporized) as fuel. At the time, his discovery was overlooked, mostly due to the success of steam power. Ethanol fuel received little attention until 1860 when Nicholas Otto began experimenting with internal combustion engines. In 1859, oil was found in Pennsylvania, which decades later provided a new kind of fuel. A popular fuel in the U.S. before petroleum was a blend of alcohol and turpentine called “camphene“, also known as “burning fluid.”[citation needed] The discovery of a ready supply of oil and unfavorable taxation on burning fluid made kerosene a more popular fuel.

In 1896, Henry Ford designed his first car, the “Quadricycle” to run on pure ethanol.[27] In 1908, the revolutionary Ford Model T was capable of running on gasolineethanol or a combination.[27][28][29] Ford continued to advocate for ethanol fuel even during the prohibition, but lower prices caused gasoline to prevail.[27]

Typical manufacture’s warning placed in the fuel filler of U.S. vehicles regarding the capability of using up to E10, and warning against the use of blends between E20 and E85.

Gasoline containing up to 10% ethanol began a decades-long growth in the United States in the late 1970s. The demand for ethanol produced from field corn was spurred by the discovery that methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) was contaminating groundwater.[27][30] MTBE’s use as an oxygenate additive was widespread due to mandates in the Clean Air Act amendments of 1992 to reduce carbon monoxide emissions. MTBE in gasoline had been banned in almost 20 states by 2006. Suppliers were concerned about potential litigation and a 2005 court decision denying legal protection for MTBE.[citation needed] MTBE’s fall from grace opened a new market for ethanol, its primary substitute.[27] Corn prices at the time were around US$2 a bushel.[citation needed] Farmers saw a new market and increased production. This demand shift took place at a time when oil prices were rising.

The steep growth in twenty-first century ethanol consumption was driven by federal legislation aimed to reduce oil consumption and enhance energy security. The Energy Policy Act of 2005required use of 7.5×109 US gal (28×106 m3) of renewable fuel by 2012, and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 raised the standard, to 36×109 US gal (140×106 m3) of annual renewable fuel use by 2022. Of this requirement, 21×109 US gal (79×106 m3) had to be advanced biofuels, defined as renewable fuels that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50%.[15][31][32]

Recent trends

U.S. fuel ethanol
production and imports
(2000–2011)[1][33]
(Millions of U.S. liquid gallons)
Year Production Imports Demand
2000 1,630 n/a n/a
2001 1,770 n/a n/a
2002 2,130 46 2,085
2003 2,800 61 2,900
2004 3,400 161 3,530
2005 3,904 135 4,049
2006 4,855 653 5,377
2007 6,500 450 6,847
2008 9,000 556 9,637
2009 10,600 193 10,940
2010 13,230 10 13,184
2011 13,900 160 n/a(1)
Note: Demand figures includes stocks change and
small exports in 2005.
(1) Exports in 2011 reached a record 1,100 billion gal.[1]

Graph of monthly production and net imports of fuel ethanol in the U.S. 1993–2012. Data from EIA

The world’s top ethanol fuel producer in 2010 was the United States with 13.2 billion U.S. gallons (49.95 billion liters) representing 57.5% of global production, followed by Brazil with 6.92 billion U.S. gallons (26.19 billion liters), and together both countries accounted for 88% of the world production of 22.95 billion U.S. gallons (86.85 billion liters).[2] By December 2010 the U.S. ethanol production industry consisted of 204 plants operating in 29 states,[4][6] and 9 plants under construction or expansion, adding 560 million gallons of new capacity and bringing total U.S. installed capacity to 14.6 billion U.S. gallons (55.25 billion liters).[6] At the end of 2010 over 90 percent of all gasoline sold in the U.S. was blended with ethanol.[4]

Production[edit]

Most of the ethanol consumed in the US is in the form of low blends with gasoline up to 10%. Shown a fuel pump in Maryland selling mandatory E10.

Beginning in late 2008 and early 2009, the industry came under financial stress due to that year’s economic crisis. Motorists drove less and gasoline prices dropped sharply, while bank financing shrank.[17][18][19] As a result, some plants operated below capacity, several firms closed plants, others laid off staff, some firms went bankrupt, plant projects were suspended and market prices declined.[17][18][19] The Energy Information Administration raised concerns that the industry would not meet the legislated targets.[17][34]

As of 2011, most of the U.S. car fleet was able to run on blends of up to 10% ethanol, and motor vehicle manufacturers produced vehicles designed to run on more concentrated blends. As of 2015, seven states – MissouriMinnesotaLouisianaMontanaOregonPennsylvania, and Washington – required ethanol to be blended with gasoline in motor fuels.[35] These states, particularly Minnesota, had more ethanol usage, and according to a source at Washington University, these states accumulated substantial environmental and economic benefits as a result.[36] Florida required ethanol blends as of the end of 2010,[37] but has since repealed it. Many cities had separate ethanol requirements due to non-attainment of federal air quality standards.[38] In 2007, Portland, Oregon, became the first U.S. city to require all gasoline sold within city limits to contain at least 10% ethanol.[39][40] Chicago has proposed the idea of mandating E15 in the city limits, while some area gas stations have already begun offering it.[41][42]

Expanding ethanol (and biodiesel) industries provided jobs in plant construction, operations, and maintenance, mostly in rural communities. According to RFA the ethanol industry created almost 154,000 U.S. jobs in 2005, boosting household income by $5.7 billion. It also contributed about $3.5 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues.[16]

The return on investment (ROI) to upgrade a service station to sell E15 is quick given today’s markets. Given ethanol’s discount to gasoline and the current value of RINs, retailers offering mid-level ethanol blends like E15 can quickly recoup their investments in infrastructure. Federal, state and local incentives and grant programs are available in most areas, and would further help reduce the cost of equipment and installation. E15 is a higher octane fuel, it is currently available in 29 states at retail fueling stations. E15 was approved for use in model year 2001 and newer cars, light-duty trucks, medium-duty passenger vehicles (SUVs), and all flex-fuel vehicles (FFVs) by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2012.

E85 vehicles

Typical labeling used in the US to identifyE85 flexible-fuel vehicles. Top left: a small sticker in the back of the fuel filler door. Bottom left: the bright yellow gas cap used in newer models. E85 Flexfuel badging used in newer models from Chrysler (top right), Ford(middle right) and GM (bottom right).

E85 fuel dispenser at a regular gasoline station, Washington, D.C..

FordChrysler, and GM are among many automobile companies that sell flexible-fuel vehicles that can run blends ranging from pure gasoline to 85% ethanol (E85), and beginning in 2008 almost any type of automobile and light duty vehicle was available with the flex-fuel option, including sedansvansSUVs and pickup trucks. By early 2013, about 11 million E85 flex-fuel cars and light trucks were in operation,[7][8] though actual use of E85 fuel was limited, because the ethanol fueling infrastructure was limited.[43]

As of 2005, 68% of American flex-fuel car owners were not aware they owned an E85 flex.[9][10] Flex and non-flex vehicles looked the same. There was no price difference. American automakers did not label these vehicles.[10][44] In contrast, all Brazilian automakers clearly labeled FFVs with text that was some variant of the word Flex. Beginning in 2007 many new FFV models in the US featured a yellow gas cap to remind drivers of the E85 capabilities.[45][46] As of 2008, GM badged its vehicles with the text “Flexfuel/E85 Ethanol”.[47][48] Nevertheless, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimated that in 2009 only 504,297 flex-fuel vehicles were regularly fueled with E85, and these were primarily fleet-operated vehicles.[49] As a result, only 712 million gallons were used for E85, representing just 1% of that year’s ethanol consumption.[50]

During the decade following 2000, E85 vehicles became increasingly common in the Midwest, where corn was a major crop.

Fueling infrastructure has been a major restriction hampering E85 sales.[43] As of March 2013, there were 3,028 fueling stations selling E85 in the U.S.[14] Most stations were in the Corn Belt states. As of 2008 the leading state was Minnesota with 353 stations, followed by Illinois with 181, and Wisconsin with 114. About another 200 stations that dispensed ethanol were restricted to city, state and federal government vehicles.[43]

E15 blend[edit]

E15 warning sticker required to be displayed in all fuel dispensers selling that blend in the U.S.

2012 Toyota Camry Hybrid fuel filler cap showing a warning regarding the maximum ethanol blend allowed by the carmaker, up to E10 gasoline. The warning label indicates that ethanol blends between E15 to E85 shall not be used in this vehicle.

In March 2009 Growth Energy, a lobbying group for the ethanol industry, formally requested the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to allow the ethanol content in gasoline to be increased to 15%, from 10%.[51] In October 2010, the EPA granted a waiver to allow up to 15% blends to be sold for cars and trucks with a model year of 2007 or later, representing about 15% of vehicles on the roads.[11][12] In January 2011 the waiver was expanded to authorize use of E15 to include model year 2001 through 2006 passenger vehicles. The EPA also decided not to grant any waiver for E15 use in any motorcycles, heavy-duty vehicles, or non-road engines because current testing data does not support such a waiver. According to the Renewable Fuels Association the E15 waivers now cover 62% of vehicles on the road in the country.[13][52] In December 2010 several groups, including the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the American Petroleum Institute, the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, and the Grocery Manufacturers Association, filed suit against the EPA in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.[53] In August 2012 the federal appeals court rejected the suit against the EPA ruling that the groups did not have legal standing to challenge EPA’s decision to issue the waiver for E15.[54][55] In June 2013 the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal from industry groups opposed to the EPA ruling about E15, and let the 2012 federal appeals court ruling stand.[56]

According to a survey conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA) in 2012, only about 12 million out of the more than 240 million light-duty vehicles on the U.S. roads in 2012 are approved by manufacturers are fully compliant with E15 gasoline. According with the Association, BMWChryslerNissanToyota, and Volkswagen warned that their warranties will not cover E15-related damage.[57] Despite the controversy, in order to adjust to EPA regulations, 2012 and 2013 model year vehicles manufactured by General Motors can use fuel containing up to 15 percent ethanol, as indicated in the vehicle owners’ manuals. However, the carmaker warned that for model year 2011 or earlier vehicles, they “strongly recommend that GM customers refer to their owners manuals for the proper fuel designation for their vehicles.” Ford Motor Company also is manufacturing all of its 2013 vehicles E15 compatible, including hybrid electrics and vehicles with Ecoboost engines.[8] Also Porsches built since 2001 are approved by its manufacturer to use E15.[57] Volkswagen announced that for the 2014 model year, its entire lineup will be E15 capable.[58] Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced in August 2015 that all 2016 model year Chrysler/FiatJeepDodge and Ram vehicles will be E15 compatible.[59]

Despite EPA’s waiver, there is a practical barrier to the commercialization of the higher blend due to the lack of infrastructure, similar to the limitations suffered by sales of E85, as most fuel stations do not have enough pumps to offer the new blend, few existing pumps are certified to dispense E15, and there are no dedicated tanks readily available to store E15.[11][12] In July 2012 a fueling station in Lawrence, Kansas became the first in the U.S. to sell the E15 blend. The fuel is sold through a blender pump that allows customers to choose between E10, E15, E30 or E85, with the latter blends sold only to flexible-fuel vehicles.[60] This station was followed by a Marathon fueling station in East Lansing, Michigan.[citation needed] As of June 2013, there are about 24 fueling stations selling E15 out of 180,000 stations operating across the U.S.[56]

As of November 2012, sales of E15 are not authorized in California, and according to the California Air Resources Board (CARB), the blend is still awaiting approval, and in a public statement the agency said that “it would take several years to complete the vehicle testing and rule development necessary to introduce a new transportation fuel into California’s market.”[61]

Legislation and regulations

The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, directed DOE to assess the feasibility of using intermediate ethanol blends in the existing vehicle fleet.[62] The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) evaluated the potential impacts on legacy vehicles and other engines.[62] In a preliminary report released in October 2008, NREL described the effects of E10, E15 and E20 on tailpipe and evaporative emissions, catalyst and engine durability, vehicle driveability, engine operability, and vehicle and engine materials.[62][63] This preliminary report found that none of the vehicles displayed a malfunction indicator light; no fuel filter plugging symptoms were observed; no cold start problems were observed at 24 °C (75 °F) and 10 °C (50 °F) under laboratory conditions; and all test vehicles exhibited a loss in fuel economy proportional to ethanol’s lower energy density. For example, E20 reduced average fuel economy by 7.7% when compared to gas-only (E0) test vehicles.[62]

The Obama Administration set the goal of installing 10,000 blender pumps nationwide by 2015. These pumps can dispense multiple blends including E85, E50, E30 and E20 that can be used by E85 vehicles. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a rule in May 2011 to include flexible fuel pumps in the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). This ruling provided financial assistance, via grants and loan guarantees, to fuel station owners to install E85 and blender pumps.[64][65]

In May 2011 the Open Fuel Standard Act (OFS) was introduced to Congress with bipartisan support. The bill required that 50 percent of automobiles made in 2014, 80 percent in 2016, and 95 percent in 2017, be manufactured and warrantied to operate on non-petroleum-based fuels, which included existing technologies such as flex-fuel, natural gashydrogenbiodieselplug-in electric and fuel cell. Considering the rapid adoption of flexible-fuel vehicles in Brazil and the fact that the cost of making flex-fuel vehicles was approximately $100 per car, the bill’s primary objective was to promote a massive adoption of flex-fuel vehicles capable of running on ethanol or methanol fuel.[66][67][68]

In November 2013, the Environmental Protection Agency opened for public comment its proposal to reduce the amount of ethanol required in the US gasoline supply as mandated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. The agency cited problems with increasing the blend of ethanol above 10%. This limit, known as the “blend wall,” refers to the practical difficulty in incorporating increasing amounts of ethanol into the transportation fuel supply at volumes exceeding those achieved by the sale of nearly all gasoline as E10.[69][70]

Contractual restrictions

Gasoline distribution contracts in the United States generally have provisions that make offering E15 and E85 difficult, expensive, or even impossible. Such provisions include requirements that no E85 be sold under the gas station canopy, labeling requirements, minimum sales volumes, and exclusivity provisions. Penalties for breach are severe and often allow immediate termination of the agreement, cutting off supplies to retailers. Repayment of franchise royalties and other incentives is often required.[71]

Energy security

Ethanol fuel plant in West Burlington, Iowa.

One rationale for ethanol production in the U.S. is increased energy security, from shifting supply from oil imports to domestic sources.[31][72] Ethanol production requires significant energy, and current U.S. production derives most of that energy from domestic coal, natural gas and other non-oil sources.[73] Because in 2006, 66% of U.S. oil consumption was imported, compared to a net surplus of coal and just 16% of natural gas (2006 figures),[74] the displacement of oil-based fuels to ethanol produced a net shift from foreign to domestic U.S. energy sources.

Effect on gasoline prices

The effect of ethanol use on gasoline prices is the source of conflicting opinion from economic studies, further complicated by the non-market forces of tax credits, met and unmet government quotas, and the dramatic recent increase in domestic oil production.[75] According to a 2012 Massachusetts Institute of Technology analysis, ethanol, and biofuel in general, does not materially influence the price of gasoline,[76] while a runup in the price of government mandated Renewable Identification Number credits has driven up the price of gasoline.[77] These in contrast to a May, 2012, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development study which showed a $0.29 to $1.09 reduction in per gallon gasoline price from ethanol use.[78]

The U.S. consumed 138.2×109 US gal (523×106 m3) of gasoline in 2008, blended with about 9.6×109 US gal (36×106 m3) of ethanol, representing a market share of almost 7% of supply by volume. Given its lower energy content, ethanol fuel displaced about 6.4×109 US gal (24×106 m3) of gasoline, representing 4.6 percent in equivalent energy units.[15]

The EPA announced in November, 2013, a reduction in mandated U.S. 2014 ethanol production, due to “market conditions.” [79][80]

Tariffs and tax credits

Since the 1980s until 2011, domestic ethanol producers were protected by a 54-cent per gallon import tariff, mainly intended to curb Brazilian sugarcane ethanol imports. Beginning in 2004 blenders of transportation fuel received a tax credit for each gallon of ethanol they mix with gasoline.[81][82] Historically, the tariff was intended to offset the federal tax credit that applied to ethanol regardless of country of origin.[83][84] Several countries in the Caribbean Basin imported and reprocessed Brazilian ethanol, usually converting hydrated ethanol into anhydrous ethanol, for re-export to the United States. They avoided the 2.5% duty and the tariff, thanks to the Caribbean Basin Initiative (CBI) and free trade agreements. This process was limited to 7% of U.S. ethanol consumption.[85]

As of 2011, blenders received a US$0.45 per gallon tax credit, regardless of feedstock; small producers received an additional US$0.10 on the first 15 million US gallons; and producers of cellulosic ethanol received credits up to US$1.01. Tax credits to promote the production and consumption of biofuels date to the 1970s. For 2011, credits were based on the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008, and the Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008.[31]

A 2010 study by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that in fiscal year 2009, biofuel tax credits reduced federal revenues by around US$6 billion, of which corn and cellulosic ethanol accounted for US$5.16 billion and US$50 million, respectively.

In 2010, CBO estimated that taxpayer costs to reduce gasoline consumption by one gallon were $1.78 for corn ethanol and $3.00 for cellulosic ethanol. In a similar way, and without considering potential indirect land use effects, the costs to taxpayers of reducing greenhouse gas emissions through tax credits were about $750 per metric ton of CO2-equivalent for ethanol and around $275 per metric ton for cellulosic ethanol.[31]

On June 16, 2011, the U.S. Congress approved an amendment to an economic development bill to repeal both the tax credit and the tariff, but this bill did not move forward.[81][82] Nevertheless, the U.S. Congress did not extend the tariff and the tax credit, allowing both to end on December 31, 2011.[86][87] Since 1980 the ethanol industry was awarded an estimated US$45 billion in subsidies.[86]

Feedstocks

Corn

Corn is the main feedstock used for producing ethanol fuel in the United States.[27][88] Most of the controversies surrounding U.S. ethanol fuel production and use is related to corn ethanol’s energy balance and its social and environmental impacts.[citation needed]

Cellulose

Cellulosic sources have the potential to produce a renewable, cleaner-burning, and carbon-neutral alternative to gasoline.[citation needed] In his State of the Union Address on January 31, 2006, President George W. Bush stated, “We’ll also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn, but from wood chips and stalks or switchgrass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years.”

On July 7, 2006, DOE announced a new research agenda for cellulosic ethanol. The 200-page scientific roadmap cited recent advances in biotechnology that could aid use of cellulosic sources. The report outlined a detailed research plan for additional technologies to improve production efficiency. The roadmap acknowledged the need for substantial federal loan guarantees for biorefineries.

The 2007 federal budget earmarked $150 million for the research effort – more than doubling the 2006 budget. DOE invested in enzymaticthermochemicalacid hydrolysis, hybrid hydrolysis/enzymatic, and other research approaches targeting more efficient and lower–cost conversion of cellulose to ethanol.

The first materials considered for cellulosic biofuel included plant matter from agricultural waste, yard waste, sawdust and paper. Professors R. Malcolm Brown Jr. and David Nobles, Jr. of the University of Texas at Austin developed cyanobacteria that had the potential to produce cellulose, glucose and sucrose, the latter two easily converted into ethanol. This offers the potential to create ethanol without plant matter.[citation needed]

Sugar

United States fuel ethanol
imports by country (2002–2007)[89]
(Millions of U.S. liquid gallons)
Country 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003
Brazil 188.8 433.7 31.2 90.3 0
Jamaica 75.2 66.8 36.3 36.6 39.3
El Salvador 73.3 38.5 23.7 5.7 6.9
Trinidad and Tobago 42.7 24.8 10.0 0 0
Costa Rica 39.3 35.9 33.4 25.4 14.7

Producing ethanol from sugar is simpler than converting corn into ethanol. Converting sugar requires only a yeast fermentation process. Converting corn requires additional cooking and the application of enzymes. The energy requirement for sugar conversion is about half that for corn.[citation needed] Sugarcane produces more than enough energy to do the conversion with energy left over. A 2006 U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report found that at market prices for ethanol, converting sugarcane, sugar beets and molasses to ethanol would be profitable.[90] As of 2008 researchers were attempting to breed new varieties adapted to U.S. soil and weather conditions, as well as to take advantage of cellulosic ethanol technologies to also convert sugarcane bagasse.[91][92]

U.S. sugarcane production occurs in FloridaLouisianaHawaii, and Texas. The first three plants to produce sugarcane-based ethanol were expected to go online in Louisiana by mid-2009. Sugar mills in LacassineSt. James and Bunkie were converted to sugarcane ethanol production using Colombian technology to enable profitable ethanol production. These three plants planned to produce 100×106 US gal (380×103 m3) of ethanol per year within five years.[92][93][94]

By 2009 two other sugarcane ethanol production projects were being developed in Kauai, Hawaii and Imperial Valley, California. The Hawaiian plant was projected to have a capacity of between 12–15 million US gallons (45×103–57×103 m3) a year and to supply local markets only, as shipping costs made competing in the continental US impractical. This plant was expected to go on line by 2010. The California plant was expected to produce 60×106 US gal (230×103 m3) a year and it was expected in 2011.[91]

Presidents George W. Bush and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva during Bush’s visit to Brazil, March 2007.

In March 2007, “ethanol diplomacy” was the focus of President George W. Bush’s Latin American tour, in which he and Brazil’s president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, promoted the production and use of sugarcane ethanol throughout the Caribbean Basin. The two countries agreed to share technology and set international biofuel standards.[95] Brazilian sugarcane technology transfer was intended to permit various Central American, such as HondurasEl SalvadorNicaraguaCosta Rica and Panama, several Caribbean countries, and various Andean Countries tariff-free trade with the U.S., thanks to existing trade agreements. The expectation was that such countries would export to the United States in the short-term using Brazilian technology.[96]

In 2007, combined exports from Jamaica, El Salvador, Trinidad & Tobago and Costa Rica to the U.S. reached a total of 230.5×106 US gal (873×103 m3) of sugarcane ethanol, representing 54.1% of imports. Brazil began exporting ethanol to the U.S. in 2004 and exported 188.8×106 US gal (715×103 m3) representing 44.3% of U.S. ethanol imports in 2007. The remaining imports that year came from Canada and China.[89]

Other feedstocks

Cheese wheybarleypotato waste, beverage waste, and brewery and beer waste have been used as feedstocks for ethanol fuel, but at a far smaller scale than corn and sugarcane ethanol, as plants using these feedstocks have the capacity to produce only 3 to 5 million US gallons (11×103 to 19×103 m3) per year.[88]

Comparison with Brazilian ethanol

Sugarcane ethanol has an energy balance 7 times greater than corn ethanol.[97] As of 2007, Brazilian distiller production costs were 22 cents per liter, compared with 30 cents per liter for corn-based ethanol.[98] Corn-derived ethanol costs 30% more because the corn starch must first be converted to sugar before distillation into alcohol.[83] However, corn-derived ethanol offers the ability to return 1/3 of the feedstock to the market as a replacement for the corn used in the form of Distillers Dried Grain.[27] Sugarcane ethanol production is seasonal: unlike corn, sugarcane must be processed into ethanol almost immediately after harvest.[99]

Comparison of key characteristics between
the ethanol industries in the United States and Brazil
Characteristic Brazil U.S. Units/comments
Main feedstock Sugar cane Corn Main cash crop for ethanol production, the US has less than 2% from other crops.
Total ethanol fuel production (2011)[1] 5,573 13,900 Million U.S. liquid gallons
Total arable land[100] 355 270 Million hectares. Only contiguous U.S., excludes Alaska.
Total area used for ethanol crop (2006)[27][100] 3.6
(1%)
10
(3.7%)
Million hectares (% total arable)
Productivity[27][97][100][101] 6,800–8,000 3,800–4,000 Ethanol yield (liter/hectare). Brazil is 727 to 870 gal/acre (2006), US is 321 to 424 gal/acre (2003–05)
Energy balance (input energy productivity)[27][27][83][102] 8.3 to 10.2 1.3 to 1.6 Ratio of the energy obtained from ethanol/energy expended in its production
Estimated greenhouse gas emission reduction[20][24][27] 86–90%(1) 10–30%(1)  % GHGs avoided by using ethanol instead of gasoline, using existing crop land, without ILUC effects.
EPA‘s estimated 2022 GHG reduction for RFS2.[103] 61%(2) 21% Average % GHGs change as compared to gasoline and considering direct and indirect land use change effects.
CARB‘s full life-cycle carbon intensity[21][104] 73.40 105.10(3) Grams of CO2 equivalent released per MJ of energy produced, includes indirect land use changes.[24]
Estimated payback time for greenhouse gas emission[22] 17 years(4) 93 years(4) Brazilian cerrado for sugar cane and US grassland for corn. Land use change scenarios by Fargione et al.[23]
Flexible-fuel vehicles produced/sold
(includes autos, light trucks and motorcycles)[105][106][107]
16.3 million 10 million All fleets as of December 2011. The Brazilian fleet includes 1.5 million flex fuel motorcycles.[108][109][110]
USDOE estimates that in 2009 only 504,297 flex-fuel vehicles were regularly fueled with E85 in the US.[49]
Ethanol fueling stations in the country 35,017
(100%)
2,749
(1.6%)
As % of total gas stations in the country. Brazil by December 2007,[111] U.S. by May 2011.[14] (170,000 total.[44])
Ethanol’s share within the gasoline market[5][112][113][114] 50%(5) 10% As % of total consumption on a volumetric basis. Brazil as of April 2008. U.S. as of December 2010.
Cost of production (USD/US gallon)[97] 0.83 1.14 2006/2007 for Brazil (22¢/liter), 2004 for U.S. (35¢/liter)
Notes: (1) Assuming no land use change.[24] (2) Estimate is for U.S. consumption and sugarcane ethanol is imported from Brazil. Emissions from sea transport are included. Both estimates include land transport within the U.S.[103] (3) CARB estimate for Midwest corn ethanol. California‘s gasoline carbon intensity is 95.86 blended with 10% ethanol.[21][104] (4) Assuming direct land use change.[23] (5) If diesel-powered vehicles are included and due to ethanol’s lower energy content by volume, bioethanol represented 16.9% of the road sector energy consumption in 2007.[115]

Environmental and social impact

Environmental effects

Energy balance and carbon intensity

Until 2008, several full life cycle (“Well to Wheels” or WTW) studies had found that corn ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions as compared to gasoline. In 2007 a team led by Farrel from the University of California, Berkeley evaluated six previous studies and concluded corn ethanol reduces greenhouse gas emissions by only 13 percent.[116][117][118] However, a more commonly cited figure is 20 to 30 percent, and an 85 to 85 percent reduction for cellulosic ethanol.[117][119] Both figures were estimated by Wang from Argonne National Laboratory, based on a comprehensive review of 22 studies conducted between 1979 and 2005, and simulations with Argonne’s GREET model. All of these studies included direct land use changes.[118][120]

The reduction estimates on carbon intensity for a given biofuel depend on the assumptions regarding several variables, including crop productivity, agricultural practices, and distillery power source and energy efficiency. None of these studies considered the effects of indirect land-use changes, and though their impact was recognized, its estimation was considered too complex and more difficult to model than direct land use changes.[117][121]

Effects of land use change

Summary of Searchinger et al.
comparison of corn ethanol and gasoline GHG emissions
with and without land use change
(CO2 release rate (g/MJ))[24][122]
Fuel type
(U.S.)
Carbon
intensity
Reduction
GHG
Carbon
intensity
ILUC
Reduction
GHG
Gasoline 92 92
Corn ethanol 74 -20% 177 +93%
Cellulosic ethanol 28 -70% 138 +50%
Notes: Calculated using default assumptions for 2015 scenario for ethanol in E85.
Gasoline is a combination of conventional and reformulated gasoline.[122]

Two 2008 studies, both published in the same issue of Scienceexpress, questioned the previous assessments.[23][24][123] A team led by Searchinger from Princeton University concluded that once direct and indirect effect of land use changes (ILUC) are considered, both corn and cellulosic ethanol increased carbon emissions as compared to gasoline by 93 and 50 percent respectively.[24] The study limited the analysis to a 30-year time horizon, assuming that land conversion emitted 25 percent of the carbon stored in soils and all carbon in plants cleared for cultivation. Brazil, China and India were considered among the overseas locations where land use change would occur as a result of diverting U.S. corn cropland, and it was assumed that new cropland in each of these regions correspond to different types of forestsavanna or grassland based on the historical proportion of each natural land converted to cultivation in these countries during the 1990s.[24]

A team led by Fargione from The Nature Conservancy found that clearing natural lands for use as agricultural land to produce biofuel feedstock creates a carbon debt. Therefore, this carbon debt applies to both direct and indirect land use changes. The study examined six scenarios of wilderness conversion, Brazilian Amazon to soybean biodiesel, Brazilian Cerrado to soybean biodiesel, Brazilian Cerrado to sugarcane ethanol, Indonesian or Malaysian lowland tropical rainforest to palm biodiesel, Indonesian or Malaysian peatland tropical rainforest to oil palm forest, and U.S. Central grassland to corn ethanol.[23]

Low-carbon fuel standards

On April 23, 2009, the California Air Resources Board approved specific rules and carbon intensity reference values for the California Low-Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) that was to go into effect on January 1, 2011.[124][125][126] The consultation process produced controversy regarding the inclusion and modeling of indirect land use change effects.[127][128][129][130][131] After the CARB’s ruling, among other criticisms, representatives of the ethanol industry complained that the standard overstated the negative environmental effects of corn ethanol, and also criticized the inclusion of indirect effects of land-use changes as an unfair penalty to home-made corn ethanol because deforestation in the developing world had been tied to US ethanol production.[125][132][133][134][135][136][137] The emissions standard for 2011 for LCFS meant that Midwest corn ethanol would not meet the California standard unless current carbon intensity is reduced.[124][135][137][138]

A similar controversy arose after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published on May 5, 2009, its notice of proposed rulemaking for the new Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).[139][140][141] EPA’s proposal included the carbon footprint from indirect land-use changes.[142][143] On the same day, President Barack Obama signed a Presidential Directive with the aim to advance biofuel research and commercialization. The Directive asked a new Biofuels Interagency Working Group comprising the Department of Agriculture, EPA, and DOE,[144][145] to develop a plan to increase flexible fuel vehicle use, assist in retail marketing and to coordinate infrastructure policies.

The group also was tasked to develop policy ideas for increasing investment in next-generation fuels, and for reducing biofuels’ environmental footprint.[144][145][146]

In December 2009 two lobbying groups, the Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) and Growth Energy, filed a lawsuit challenging LCFS’ constitutionality. The two organizations argued that LCFS violates both the Supremacy Clause and the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution, and “jeopardizes the nationwide market for ethanol.”[147][148] In a press release the associations announced that “If the United States is going to have a low carbon fuel standard, it must be based on sound science and it must be consistent with the U.S. Constitution…”[149]

On February 3, 2010, EPA finalized the Renewable Fuel Standard Program (RFS2) for 2010 and beyond.[150] EPA incorporated direct emissions and significant indirect emissions such as emissions from land use changes along with comments and data from new studies.[151] Adopting a 30-year time horizon and a 0% discount rate[103] EPA declared that ethanol produced from corn starch at a new (or expanded capacity from an existing) natural gas-fired facility using approved technologies would be considered to comply with the 20% GHG emission reduction threshold.[151] Given average production conditions it expected for 2022, EPA estimated that corn ethanol would reduce GHGs an average of 21% compared to the 2005 gasoline baseline. A 95% confidence interval spans a 7-32% range reflecting uncertainty in the land use change assumptions.[103]

The following table summarizes the mean GHG emissions for ethanol using different feedstocks estimated by EPA modelling and the range of variations considering that the main source of uncertainty in the life cycle analysis is the GHG emissions related to international land use change.[152]

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Life cycle year 2022 GHG emissions reduction results for RFS2 final rule[152]
(includes direct and indirect land use change effects and a 30-year payback period at a 0% discount rate)
Renewable fuel pathway
(for U.S. consumption)
Mean
GHG emission
reduction(1)
GHG emission
reduction
95% confidence
interval(2)
Assumptions/comments
Corn ethanol 21% 7–32% New or expanded natural gas fired dry mill plant, 37% wet and 63% dry DGS it produces, and employing corn oil fractionation technology.
Corn biobutanol 31% 20–40% Natural gas fired dry mill plant, 37% wet and 63% dry DGS it produces, and employing corn oil fractionation technology.
Cellulosic ethanol from switchgrass 110% 102–117% Ethanol produced using the biochemical process.
Cellulosic ethanol from corn stover 129% No ILUC Ethanol produced using the biochemical process. Ethanol produced from agricultural residues does not have any indirect land use emissions.
Notes: (1) Percent reduction in lifecycle GHG emissions compared to the average lifecycle GHG for gasoline or diesel sold or distributed as transportation fuel in 2005.
(2) Confidence range accounts for uncertainty in the types of land use change assumptions and the magnitude of resulting GHG emissions.

Water footprint

Water-related concerns relate to water supply and quality, and include availability and potential overuse, pollution, and possible contamination by fertilizers and pesticides. Several studies concluded that increased ethanol production was likely to result in a substantial increase in water pollution by fertilizers and pesticides, with the potential to exacerbate eutrophication and hypoxia, particularly in the Chesapeake Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.[153][154][155][156]

Growing feedstocks consumes most of the water associated with ethanol production. Corn consumes from 500–2,000 litres (110–440 imp gal; 130–530 US gal) of water per liter of ethanol, mostly for evapotranspiration.[153] In general terms, both corn and switchgrass require less irrigation than other fuel crops. Corn is grown mainly in regions with adequate rainfall. However, corn usually needs to be irrigated in the drier climates of Nebraska and eastern Colorado. Further, corn production for ethanol is increasingly taking place in areas requiring irrigation.[153] A 2008 study by the National Research Council concluded that “in the longer term, the likely expansion of cellulosic biofuel production has the potential to further increase the demand for water resources in many parts of the United States. Biofuels expansion beyond current irrigated agriculture, especially in dry western areas, has the potential to greatly increase pressure on water resources in some areas.[154]

A 2009 study estimated that irrigated corn ethanol implied water consumption at between 50 US gal/mi (120 L/km) and 100 US gal/mi (240 L/km) for U.S. vehicles. This figure increased to 90 US gal/mi (210 L/km) for sorghum ethanol from Nebraska, and 115 US gal/mi (270 L/km) for Texas sorghum. By contrast, an average U.S. car effectively consumes between 0.2 US gal/mi (0.47 L/km) to 0.5 US gal/mi (1.2 L/km) running on gasoline, including extraction and refining.[155]

In 2010 RFA argued that more efficient water technologies and pre-treated water could reduce consumption.[88] It further claimed that non-conventional oil “sources, such as tar sands and oil shale, require far more water than conventional petroleum extraction and refining.[88]

Dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico.

U.S. standard agricultural practices for most crops employ fertilizers that provide nitrogen and phosphorus along with herbicidesfungicidesinsecticides, and other pesticides.

Some part of these chemicals leaves the field. Nitrogen in forms such as nitrate (NO3) is highly soluble, and along with some pesticides infiltrates downwards toward the water table, where it can migrate to water wells, rivers and streams. A 2008 National Research Council study found that regionally the highest stream concentrations occur where the rates of application were highest, and that these rates were highest in the Corn Belt. These flows mainly stem from corn, which as of 2010 was the major source of total nitrogen loading to the Mississippi River.[154]

Several studies found that corn ethanol production contributed to the worsening of the Gulf of Mexico dead zone. The nitrogen leached into the Mississippi River and out into the Gulf, where it fed giant algae blooms. As the algaedied, it settled to the ocean floor and decayed, consuming oxygen and suffocating marine life, causing hypoxia. This oxygen depletion killed shrimpcrabsworms and anything else that could not escape, and affected important shrimp fishing grounds.[153][154][156]

Social implications

Effect on food prices

Some environmentalists, such as George Monbiot, expressed fears that the marketplace would convert crops to fuel for the rich, while the poor starved and biofuels caused environmental problems.[123][157][158][159][160] The food vs fuel debate grew in 2008 as a result of the international community‘s concerns regarding the steep increase in food prices. On April 2008, Jean Ziegler, back then United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, repeated his claim that biofuels were a “crime against humanity“,[161][162] echoing his October 2007 call for a 5-year ban for the conversion of land for the production of biofuels.[163][164] Also in April 2008, World Bank President Robert Zoellick stated that “While many worry about filling their gas tanks, many others around the world are struggling to fill their stomachs. And it’s getting more and more difficult every day.[165][166][167]

Corn is the main feedstock for the production of ethanol fuel in the U.S.

A July 2008 World Bank report[168] found that from June 2002 to June 2008 “biofuels and the related consequences of low grain stocks, large land use shifts, speculative activity and export bans” accounted for 70–75% of total price rises. The study found that higher oil prices and a weak dollar explain 25–30% of total price rise. The study said that “…large increases in biofuels production in the United States and Europe are the main reason behind the steep rise in global food prices.”[169][170] The report argued that increased production of biofuels in these developed regions was supported by subsidies and tariffs, and claimed that without such policies, food price increases worldwide would have been smaller. It also concluded that Brazil’s sugarcane ethanol had not raised sugar prices significantly, and recommended that both the U.S. and E.U. remove tariffs, including on many African countries.[168]

An RFA rebuttal said that the World Bank analysis was highly subjective and that the author considered only “the impact of global food prices from the weak dollar and the direct and indirect effect of high petroleum prices and attribute[d] everything else to biofuels.”[171]

A 2010 World Bank study concluded that its previous study may have overestimated the impact, as “the effect of biofuels on food prices has not been as large as originally thought, but that the use of commodities by financial investors (the so-called ”financialization of commodities”) may have been partly responsible for the 2007/08 spike.”[172]

A July 2008 OECD economic assessment[173] agreed about the negative effects of subsidies and trade restrictions, but found that the impact of biofuels on food prices was much smaller. The OECD study found that existing biofuel support policies would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by no more than 0.8 percent by 2015. It called for more open markets in biofuels and feedstocks to improve efficiency and lower costs. The OECD study concluded that “…current biofuel support measures alone are estimated to increase average wheat prices by about 5 percent, maize by around 7 percent and vegetable oil by about 19 percent over the next 10 years.[174]

The 2008 financial crisis illustrated corn ethanol’s limited impact on corn prices, which fell 50% from their July 2008 high by October 2008, in tandem with other commodities, including oil, while corn ethanol production continued unabated. “Analysts, including some in the ethanol sector, say ethanol demand adds about 75 cents to $1.00 per bushel to the price of corn, as a rule of thumb. Other analysts say it adds around 20 percent, or just under 80 cents per bushel at current prices. Those estimates hint that $4 per bushel corn might be priced at only $3 without demand for ethanol fuel.“.[175]

See also

Further reading

  • Duffield, James A., Irene M. Xiarchos, and Steve A. Halbrook, “Ethanol Policy: Past, Present, and Future,” South Dakota Law Review, 53 (no. 3, 2008), 425–53.

References …

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

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Story 1: As Expected President Trump Vetoes Dangerous Congressional Resolution — Videos —

FIRST VETO: President Trump issues first veto after rebuke of border order (FNN)

Trump issues his first veto on Congress’ resolution blocking emergency order to build border wall

Trump signs first veto over national emergency declaration
March 15, 2019 at 12:39 PM CDT – Updated March 15 at 6:29 PM

By JILL COLVIN, LISA MASCARO and ALAN FRAM Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump issued the first veto of his presidency on Friday, overruling Congress to protect his emergency declaration for border wall funding.

Flanked by law enforcement officials as well as the parents of children killed by people in the country illegally, Trump maintained that he is not through fighting for his signature campaign promise, which stands largely unfulfilled 18 months before voters decide whether to grant him another term.

Trump said: “It is a tremendous national emergency,” adding, “our immigration system is stretched beyond the breaking point.”

A dozen defecting Republicans joined Senate Democrats in approving the joint resolution on Thursday, which capped a week of confrontation with the White House as both parties in Congress strained to exert their power in new ways. It is unlikely that Congress will have the two-thirds majority required to override Trump’s veto, though House Democrats have suggested they would try nonetheless.

Trump wants to use the emergency order to divert billions of federal dollars earmarked for defense spending toward the southern border wall. It still faces several legal challenges in federal court.

Trump is expected to issue his second veto in the coming weeks over a congressional resolution seeking to end U.S. backing for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition fighting in Yemen. The resolution was approved in the aftermath of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

The 59-41 tally on Thursday, and the Senate’s vote a day earlier to end U.S. involvement in the war in Yemen, promised to force Trump into the first vetoes of his presidency as he faces a now-divided Congress. The House is planning a vote to override the expected veto on the national emergency, which is likely to occur on March 26 following next week’s recess. But it is unlikely that Congress will have the votes to override it.

Trump says protecting the U.S. is his highest duty

Two years into the Trump era, a dozen Republicans, pushed along by Democrats, showed a willingness to take the political risk of defecting. The 12 GOP senators, including the party’s 2012 presidential nominee, Mitt Romney of Utah, joined the dissent over the emergency declaration order that would enable the president to seize for the wall billions of dollars Congress intended to be spent elsewhere.

“The Senate’s waking up a little bit to our responsibilities,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who said the chamber had become “a little lazy” as an equal branch of government. “I think the value of these last few weeks is to remind the Senate of our constitutional place.”

Many senators said the vote was not necessarily a rejection of the president or the wall, but protections against future presidents — namely a Democrat who might want to declare an emergency on climate change, gun control or any number of other issues.

“This is constitutional question, it’s a question about the balance of power that is core to our constitution,” Romney said. “This is not about the president.”

Thursday’s vote was the first direct challenge to the 1976 National Emergencies Act, just as Wednesday’s on Yemen was the first time Congress invoked the decades-old War Powers Act to try to rein in a president. Seven Republicans joined Democrats in calling for an end to U.S. backing for the Saudi Arabian-led coalition in the aftermath of the kingdom’s role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Even without the numbers needed to override a veto, the twin votes nevertheless sent a message from Capitol Hill.

“Today’s votes cap a week of something the American people haven’t seen enough of in the last two years,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, “both parties in the United States Congress standing up to Donald Trump.”

The result is a role-reversal for Republicans who have been reluctant to take on Trump, bracing against his high-profile tweets and public attacks of reprimand. But now they are facing challenges from voters — in some states where senators face stiff elections — who are expecting more from Congress.

Centrist Maine GOP Sen. Susan Collins, who’s among those most vulnerable in 2020, said she’s sure the president “will not be happy with my vote. But I’m a United States senator and I feel my job is to stand up for the Constitution, so let the chips fall where they may.”

Trump’s grip on the party, though, remains strong and the White House made it clear that Republicans resisting Trump could face political consequences. Ahead of the voting, Trump framed the issue as with-him-or-against-him on border security, a powerful argument with many.

“A vote for today’s resolution by Republican Senators is a vote for Nancy Pelosi, Crime, and the Open Border Democrats!” Trump tweeted. “Don’t vote with Pelosi!” he said in another, referring to the speaker of the House.

A White House official said Trump won’t forget when senators who oppose him want him to attend fundraisers or provide other help. The official was not authorized to speak publicly on internal deliberations so spoke on condition of anonymity.

Trump brought on the challenge months ago when he all but dared Congress not to give him the $5.7 billion he was demanding to build the U.S.-Mexico wall, threatening a federal government shutdown.

Congress declined and the result was the longest shutdown in U.S. history. Against the advice of GOP leaders, Trump invoked the national emergency declaration last month, allowing him to try to tap about $3.6 billion for the wall by shuffling money from military projects, and that drew outrage from many lawmakers. Trump had campaigned for president promising Mexico would pay for the wall.

The Constitution gives Congress the power of the purse, and lawmakers seethed as they worried about losing money for military projects that had already been approved for bases at home and abroad. The Democratic-led House swiftly voted to terminate Trump’s order.

Senate Republicans spent weeks trying to avoid this outcome, up until the night before the vote, in a script that was familiar — up until the gavel.

http://www.kcbd.com/2019/03/15/trump-poised-veto-border-emergency-rebuke/

 

Story 2: National Emergency At United States/Mexico Border — First and Foremost The Safety and Security of American People Should Be Top Priority of Congress —

Pence to Congress: Back Trump’s border emergency

Vice President Mike Pence visited the Customs and Border Protection Advanced Training Facility in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, Wednesday. Pence got a first hand look at the facility’s live combat training, border wall training exercises and watched a life-size simulator with a series of border security scenarios. The vice president was joined on the tour by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen. In remarks following the tour, Pence thanked the Customs and Border Protection agents for their hard work and pledged the administration’s support, telling the crowd, “under this president, we will always have your back.” He told those gathered that the president’s budget proposal released this week calls for half a billion dollars to hire additional Customs and Border Protection and ICE agents, to add more than 1,700 personnel to the front lines of the border fight. Pence also called on Congress to support President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration at the southern border, saying, “A vote against the president’s emergency declaration is a vote against border security.”

Definitive and Resounding’: DHS Sec’y Nielsen Says Country Faces Emergency at Southern Border

 

Story 3:Biden Running For President Will Michelle Obama Agree To Be His Vice President Candidate? — Videos

 

Joe Biden’s verbal slip in speech suggests he might run for president

 

Biden Edges Closer to Presidential Run

The burden of a 40-year career: Some of Joe Biden’s record doesn’t age well

The burden of a 40-year career: Some of Joe Biden’s record doesn’t age well
Joe Biden speaks during the First State Democratic Dinner in Dover, Delaware, on March 16. 2019. (Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images)

Joe Biden is carrying a 20th century voting record into a 21st century political dogfight.

During more than 40 years in public life, Biden has taken an array of stances at odds with today’s Democratic Party consensus. As he now prepares for his third presidential campaign, that record could hamper him in a big field of mostly younger, more liberal primary rivals.

A review of Biden’s record — which spans 36 years as a U.S. senator and eight as vice president — is, in part, a reminder of how much the Democratic Party itself and the U.S. political system have changed over the last half a century.

Biden opposed school busing for desegregation in the 1970s. He voted for a measure aimed at outlawing gay marriage in the 1990s. He was an ally of the banking and credit card industries.

He chaired the 1991 Clarence Thomas hearings that gave short shrift to the sexual harassment allegations raised by Anita Hill. He backed crime legislation that many blamed for helping fuel an explosion in prison populations. He eulogized Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.), who rose to prominence as a segregationist. He backed the Iraq war.

Many of Biden’s positions were well within the mainstream of the Democratic Party at the time he took them.

But the party is now far more sensitive to discrimination against gays, sexual harassment and racial inequality than when Biden first came to Washington.

The capital has changed, too. The Senate Biden entered as a 30-year-old in 1973 was still a bastion of bipartisan backslapping, where compromise was not a dirty word. The Democratic Party was a coalition of Southern conservatives and Northern liberals. Liberal Republicans were still a thriving political faction.

Biden’s record, even though he has reversed himself on some issues, provides ammunition to skeptics who see him as a politician of another era — a beloved figure, but one whose time has come and gone.

“I worry whether he is ready for the times,” said Chris Schwartz, a Black Hawk County supervisor in Iowa who says Biden is not in his top five choices among the candidates but is prepared to support whoever is nominated. “He has just gotten too many big issues wrong over the years.”

But most Democratic voters put their top priority on beating President Trump, and Biden allies say he is the best equipped to win. Polls show Democrats are still fond of Biden and seem more willing to forgive him for his past than they ever were for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

“I’ve seen Biden change; all of us have seen our parents, our aunts and uncles change,’’ said Jane Kleeb, chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party who is neutral in the 2020 race but supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary.

“I don’t think it says who he is today,” Kleeb said of some of the flashpoints in Biden’s voting record.

If Biden, 76, formally enters the race — he has strongly hinted he will do so in a matter of weeks — the question will be which of those attitudes will prevail.

Speaking at a dinner of the Delaware Democratic Party in Dover on Saturday night, Biden responded to criticism of him from what he called “the new left.”

“I have the most progressive record of anybody running,” said Biden, who quickly revised his words when the audience reacted as if he were announcing his candidacy. “Anybody who would run. I didn’t mean it.”

But his speech sounded like a campaign stump speech, and other Democrats treated his eventual entry into the race as a foregone conclusion.

“If you ask me he doesn’t just look like he’s back,” Delaware Gov. John Carney said of Biden. “He looks like he’s ready for a fight.”

Biden would join a big field of Democratic candidates that spans four generations, from millennials including South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, 37, to Silent Generation member Bernie Sanders, 77. The latest entrant to the field, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, is a Gen Xer 30 years younger than Biden.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said he hoped that scrutiny of Biden’s Senate record would not distract from Biden’s core 2020 message.

“I think that getting down in the weeds of things he might have said literally 40 years ago misses the point that Donald Trump literally yesterday said something about white nationalism that is gravely concerning,” Coons said in an interview before the Dover dinner. “I am happy to defend his record in detail, but as a candidate he should and will focus on how his experience combined with his heart and character make him the right person for leading us.”

If rivals do criticize his past record, Biden allies say context will be important to understanding it. A majority of Democrats in the Senate voted for the anti-gay-marriage bill, the Iraq war and the 1994 crime bill. The banking and credit card industry is important to the economy of Biden’s home state of Delaware.

Ed Rendell, a Biden supporter who is former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, says the former vice president’s campaign should address questions about his past positions in a simple stroke.

“He should say, ‘Look, those were the beliefs that were commonly held, even among progressive people, back 30 years ago,’ ” Rendell said. “‘In retrospect they were clearly wrong. My views on those subjects have evolved. Period.’”

That is an easy argument to make on the matter of gay rights. In 1996, Biden was one of 32 Senate Democrats to vote for the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. In 2012, as vice president, he stepped out in favor of same-sex marriage even before President Obama did. He has taken other steps since then to advance gay and transgender rights that have made him something of a hero to the LGBTQ community.

Danny Barefoot, a Democratic political consultant who is not affiliated with any 2020 presidential candidate, recently conducted a focus group with black women in South Carolina and found that negative messaging about Biden’s record did not ring true to these loyal Democrats, especially on questions related to his commitment to civil rights.

Presented with reports about his opposition to school busing in Delaware in the 1970s, one woman asked “if we’re honestly asking her to believe he is a segregationist,” Barefoot wrote.

But he found Biden might have more work to do putting to rest questions about his handling of Hill’s sexual harassment claims against Thomas.

The focus group unanimously said Biden needed to personally apologize to Hill. As chairman of the all-male Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991, he was criticized for not pursuing more aggressively the sexual harassment allegations Hill raised.

That is one of several areas where Biden has already taken some steps to make amends.

“Anita Hill was vilified, when she came forward, by a lot of my colleagues, character assassination,” Biden said on the “Today” show in September 2018, around the time the Senate was grappling with sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh.

“I wish I could have done more to prevent those questions and the way they asked them.”

But Hill, who declined a request for an interview, said in a December 2018 interview with Elle magazine that Biden had not apologized to her directly.

“It’s become sort of a running joke in the household when someone rings the doorbell, and we’re not expecting company,” she told Elle. “ ‘Oh,’ we say, ‘is that Joe Biden coming to apologize?’ ”

Biden has also revised his thinking on some tough-on-crime and anti-drug measures of the 1980s and 1990s. At a Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast in January, he expressed particular regret for a bill that created different legal standards for powdered cocaine and street crack cocaine.

“It was a big mistake that was made,” Biden said of the disparity, which the Obama administration worked to reduce. “We were told by the experts that crack, you never go back, that the two were somehow fundamentally different. It’s not different. But it’s trapped an entire generation.”

He makes no apologies for his good old-fashioned willingness to work with Republicans — a trait that could endear him to many voters impatient with partisan stalemate in Washington.

When he was asked to deliver the eulogy for former Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond in 2003, Biden joked about their implausible relationship and called the late senator’s request for him to speak “his last laugh.”

“I disagreed deeply with Strom on the issue of civil rights, and on many other issues, but I watched him change,” he said in the eulogy.

More recently, he drew fire from the left for referring to Vice President Mike Pence as a “decent guy.” And during the 2018 midterm campaign, he publicly praised a House Republican, Fred Upton, for his work on a cancer research bill dear to Biden, whose son died in 2015 of brain cancer. The praise of Upton troubled some Democrats because they were trying to defeat him, and he cited Biden’s words in debate with his Democratic opponent.

Biden bridles at criticism of his bipartisan gestures. “We don’t treat the opposition as the enemy,” Biden said in the Dover speech. “We might even say a nice word every once in a while about a Republican when they do something good.”

But paeans to bipartisanship can be like fingernails on a blackboard to the combative Democratic left — especially among voters too young to have known a less polarized political environment who are gravitating to the party’s more liberal candidates.

Kristina Hughes, 30, an Omaha voter who is attracted to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren said, “Anybody who says Mike Pence is a decent guy doesn’t get my vote in 2020.”

The burden of a 40-year career: Some of Joe Biden’s record doesn’t age well

The burden of a 40-year career: Some of Joe Biden’s record doesn’t age well
Joe Biden speaks during the First State Democratic Dinner in Dover, Delaware, on March 16. 2019. (Saul Loeb / AFP/Getty Images)

Joe Biden is carrying a 20th century voting record into a 21st century political dogfight.

During more than 40 years in public life, Biden has taken an array of stances at odds with today’s Democratic Party consensus. As he now prepares for his third presidential campaign, that record could hamper him in a big field of mostly younger, more liberal primary rivals.

A review of Biden’s record — which spans 36 years as a U.S. senator and eight as vice president — is, in part, a reminder of how much the Democratic Party itself and the U.S. political system have changed over the last half a century.

Biden opposed school busing for desegregation in the 1970s. He voted for a measure aimed at outlawing gay marriage in the 1990s. He was an ally of the banking and credit card industries.

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He chaired the 1991 Clarence Thomas hearings that gave short shrift to the sexual harassment allegations raised by Anita Hill. He backed crime legislation that many blamed for helping fuel an explosion in prison populations. He eulogized Sen. Strom Thurmond (R-S.C.), who rose to prominence as a segregationist. He backed the Iraq war.

Many of Biden’s positions were well within the mainstream of the Democratic Party at the time he took them.

But the party is now far more sensitive to discrimination against gays, sexual harassment and racial inequality than when Biden first came to Washington.

The capital has changed, too. The Senate Biden entered as a 30-year-old in 1973 was still a bastion of bipartisan backslapping, where compromise was not a dirty word. The Democratic Party was a coalition of Southern conservatives and Northern liberals. Liberal Republicans were still a thriving political faction.

Biden’s record, even though he has reversed himself on some issues, provides ammunition to skeptics who see him as a politician of another era — a beloved figure, but one whose time has come and gone.

“I worry whether he is ready for the times,” said Chris Schwartz, a Black Hawk County supervisor in Iowa who says Biden is not in his top five choices among the candidates but is prepared to support whoever is nominated. “He has just gotten too many big issues wrong over the years.”

But most Democratic voters put their top priority on beating President Trump, and Biden allies say he is the best equipped to win. Polls show Democrats are still fond of Biden and seem more willing to forgive him for his past than they ever were for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

“I’ve seen Biden change; all of us have seen our parents, our aunts and uncles change,’’ said Jane Kleeb, chair of the Nebraska Democratic Party who is neutral in the 2020 race but supported Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary.

“I don’t think it says who he is today,” Kleeb said of some of the flashpoints in Biden’s voting record.

If Biden, 76, formally enters the race — he has strongly hinted he will do so in a matter of weeks — the question will be which of those attitudes will prevail.

Speaking at a dinner of the Delaware Democratic Party in Dover on Saturday night, Biden responded to criticism of him from what he called “the new left.”

“I have the most progressive record of anybody running,” said Biden, who quickly revised his words when the audience reacted as if he were announcing his candidacy. “Anybody who would run. I didn’t mean it.”

But his speech sounded like a campaign stump speech, and other Democrats treated his eventual entry into the race as a foregone conclusion.

“If you ask me he doesn’t just look like he’s back,” Delaware Gov. John Carney said of Biden. “He looks like he’s ready for a fight.”

Biden would join a big field of Democratic candidates that spans four generations, from millennials including South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, 37, to Silent Generation member Bernie Sanders, 77. The latest entrant to the field, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, is a Gen Xer 30 years younger than Biden.

Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) said he hoped that scrutiny of Biden’s Senate record would not distract from Biden’s core 2020 message.

“I think that getting down in the weeds of things he might have said literally 40 years ago misses the point that Donald Trump literally yesterday said something about white nationalism that is gravely concerning,” Coons said in an interview before the Dover dinner. “I am happy to defend his record in detail, but as a candidate he should and will focus on how his experience combined with his heart and character make him the right person for leading us.”

If rivals do criticize his past record, Biden allies say context will be important to understanding it. A majority of Democrats in the Senate voted for the anti-gay-marriage bill, the Iraq war and the 1994 crime bill. The banking and credit card industry is important to the economy of Biden’s home state of Delaware.

Ed Rendell, a Biden supporter who is former chairman of the Democratic National Committee, says the former vice president’s campaign should address questions about his past positions in a simple stroke.

“He should say, ‘Look, those were the beliefs that were commonly held, even among progressive people, back 30 years ago,’ ” Rendell said. “‘In retrospect they were clearly wrong. My views on those subjects have evolved. Period.’”

That is an easy argument to make on the matter of gay rights. In 1996, Biden was one of 32 Senate Democrats to vote for the Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. In 2012, as vice president, he stepped out in favor of same-sex marriage even before President Obama did. He has taken other steps since then to advance gay and transgender rights that have made him something of a hero to the LGBTQ community.

Danny Barefoot, a Democratic political consultant who is not affiliated with any 2020 presidential candidate, recently conducted a focus group with black women in South Carolina and found that negative messaging about Biden’s record did not ring true to these loyal Democrats, especially on questions related to his commitment to civil rights.

Presented with reports about his opposition to school busing in Delaware in the 1970s, one woman asked “if we’re honestly asking her to believe he is a segregationist,” Barefoot wrote.

But he found Biden might have more work to do putting to rest questions about his handling of Hill’s sexual harassment claims against Thomas.

The focus group unanimously said Biden needed to personally apologize to Hill. As chairman of the all-male Senate Judiciary Committee in 1991, he was criticized for not pursuing more aggressively the sexual harassment allegations Hill raised.

That is one of several areas where Biden has already taken some steps to make amends.

“Anita Hill was vilified, when she came forward, by a lot of my colleagues, character assassination,” Biden said on the “Today” show in September 2018, around the time the Senate was grappling with sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh.

“I wish I could have done more to prevent those questions and the way they asked them.”

But Hill, who declined a request for an interview, said in a December 2018 interview with Elle magazine that Biden had not apologized to her directly.

“It’s become sort of a running joke in the household when someone rings the doorbell, and we’re not expecting company,” she told Elle. “ ‘Oh,’ we say, ‘is that Joe Biden coming to apologize?’ ”

Biden has also revised his thinking on some tough-on-crime and anti-drug measures of the 1980s and 1990s. At a Martin Luther King Jr. Day breakfast in January, he expressed particular regret for a bill that created different legal standards for powdered cocaine and street crack cocaine.

“It was a big mistake that was made,” Biden said of the disparity, which the Obama administration worked to reduce. “We were told by the experts that crack, you never go back, that the two were somehow fundamentally different. It’s not different. But it’s trapped an entire generation.”

He makes no apologies for his good old-fashioned willingness to work with Republicans — a trait that could endear him to many voters impatient with partisan stalemate in Washington.

When he was asked to deliver the eulogy for former Dixiecrat Strom Thurmond in 2003, Biden joked about their implausible relationship and called the late senator’s request for him to speak “his last laugh.”

“I disagreed deeply with Strom on the issue of civil rights, and on many other issues, but I watched him change,” he said in the eulogy.

More recently, he drew fire from the left for referring to Vice President Mike Pence as a “decent guy.” And during the 2018 midterm campaign, he publicly praised a House Republican, Fred Upton, for his work on a cancer research bill dear to Biden, whose son died in 2015 of brain cancer. The praise of Upton troubled some Democrats because they were trying to defeat him, and he cited Biden’s words in debate with his Democratic opponent.

Biden bridles at criticism of his bipartisan gestures. “We don’t treat the opposition as the enemy,” Biden said in the Dover speech. “We might even say a nice word every once in a while about a Republican when they do something good.”

But paeans to bipartisanship can be like fingernails on a blackboard to the combative Democratic left — especially among voters too young to have known a less polarized political environment who are gravitating to the party’s more liberal candidates.

Kristina Hughes, 30, an Omaha voter who is attracted to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren said, “Anybody who says Mike Pence is a decent guy doesn’t get my vote in 2020.”

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 993-1000

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 800-805

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 727-731

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 713-719

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 617-628

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 585- 589

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 473-479

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 391-399

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 376-382