Story 1: Made In America Terrorist Tested In Afghanistan — Mother of All Bombs — Who is Next? North Korea, Syria, Iran — Videos —
OFFICIAL M.O.A.B FOOTAGE RELEASED (Afghans React to M.O.A.B Bomb) *Compilation 2017 HD*
OFFICIAL M.O.A.B FOOTAGE RELEASED (Afghans React to M.O.A.B Bomb) *Compilation 2017 HD*
Former UN Amb. Bolton on Afghanistan bombing: Magnitude roughly equivalent to small nuclear weapon
Lt. Col. Peters on Afghanistan bombing: A message to North Koreans
President Trump Statement on Dropping MOAB on ISIS 4/13/17
Breaking! U.S. Drops Largest Non-Nuclear Bomb on Afghanistan! “Mother of All Bombs”!
Trump Drops the ”Mother of All Bombs” in Afghanistan
WORLDS LARGEST Non-Nuclear Bomb GBU-43 B Massive Ordnance Air Blast
Published on Apr 13, 2017
Mother of all bombs GBU-43 B Massive Ordnance Air Blast.
U.S. on 04.11.2017 dropped the most powerful conventional bomb in its arsenal on Nangarhar, Afghanistan.
The bomb, known in military ranks as “MOAB,” or the “mother of all bombs,” was used Thursday for the first time in combat, though it was developed in the early 2000s.
Dr. Steve Pieczenik: Syria Strike Was A Message To China And North Korea
Can the U.S. handle the North Korea threat without China?
Children of Mother of All Bomb
Boeing Delivers Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) 37,000 LB Bombs To The USAF – GBU-57
PUBLISHED: 12:52 EDT, 13 April 2017 | UPDATED: 16:50 EDT, 13 April 2017
The United States has dropped its largest non-nuclear weapon after it targeted ISIS a network of caves and tunnels in eastern Afghanistan.
U.S. forces used a GPS-guided GBU-43 bomb, which is 30 feet long and weighs a staggering 21,600 pounds.
It is known as the ‘Mother Of All Bombs’ – a play on ‘MOAB,’ an acronym that stands for ‘Massive Ordnance Air Burst.’
A crater left by the blast is believed to be more than 300 meters wide after it exploded six feet above the ground. Anyone at the blast site was vaporized.
President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House that he was ‘very, very proud’ and called the operation ‘really another successful job. We’re very, very proud of our military.’
The Pentagon is denying that the attack was a revenge strike despite the fact that it came in the same area of Afghanistan where a Green Beret soldier was killed on Saturday.
Staff Sgt. Mark De Alencar, of 7th Special Forces Group, was cut down by enemy small arms fire while his unit was conducting counter-ISIS operations.
The military used a GBU-43 (pictured), which weighs a staggering 21,600 pounds, and has earned the moniker ‘Mother Of All Bombs
That MOAB’s first practical test was carried out on March 11, 2003 at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida
President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House that he had authorized his military commanders to take actions like the one put into play on Thursday
Trump suggested he had not personally ordered the bomb strike but delegated authority to commanders in the field.
‘Everybody knows exactly what happened. So, what I do is I authorize my military … We have given them total authorization,’ he said.
The move marks the fulfilment of a 17-month-old campaign promise Trump delivered in Iowa, when he scoffed at ISIS terror forces and said he ‘would bomb the s**t out of them’ if he became president.
It also comes at a moment in the young Trump presidency when tensions are rising with Russia over its role in Syria, where ISIS has its headquarters.
Huge: The MOAB test fired in 2003 shortly before final preparations for it to be loaded onto an MC-130 attack aircraft
Then-candidate Donald Trump told an Iowa audience in November 2015 that he would fight ISIS from the air as president: ‘I would bomb the s**t out of them’
The explosion will also send a saber-rattling message to North Korea and Iran that rogue states’ nuclear-weapons ambitions could be met with brute force.
Trump said of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un: ‘I don’t know if this sends a message. It doesn’t make any difference if it does or not.’
‘North Korea’s a problem. The problem will be taken care of.’
The Department of Defense is denying that Thursday’s attack was revenge for Saturday’s death of Green Beret sergeant Mark De Alencar in the same region of Afghanistan
White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters that MOAB is ‘a large, powerful and accurately delivered weapon’ whose use was intended to collapse underground spaces used by ISIS terrorists to move freely and attack U.S. and allied troops.
‘The United States takes the fight against ISIS seriously, and in order to defeat the group we must deny them operational space – which we did,’ Spicer said.
He referred reporters’ questions to the Pentagon and ignored a shouted question about whether Trump had been aware the bomb was dropped before or during the military operation.
Trump said during a November 2015 campaign rally in Fort Dodge, Iowa that ISIS was ‘making a tremendous amount of money’ because of ‘certain areas of oil that they took away’ after the Obama administration withdrew U.S. troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.
‘They have some in Syria, some in Iraq. I would bomb the s**t out of them,’ he said to wild cheers. ‘I would just bomb those suckers. That’s right. I’d blow up the pipes. … I’d blow up every single inch. There would be nothing left.’
Trump said in 2015 that he would ‘Bomb the sh*t out of ISIS’
Preparations: This was the scene as the only other MOAB to be exploded was readied for action in 2003 in Florida. The tail rotor is part of the guidance system for it to exploded over a specified target
Mushroom cloud: This was the aftermath of the test explosion seen outside Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida
The MOAB was pushed out the back door of a giant cargo plane on Thursday, flying to its target with GPS guidance. A MOAB has only been exploded once before – in a 2003 test
A specialized MC-130 ‘Hercules’ cargo aircraft released the weapon at 7:00 p.m. local time.
It was too big to drop from a traditional bomb-bay door or release from an aircraft wing, so ‘we kicked it out the back door,’ a U.S. official told Fox News.
The weapon’s sheer power produces a blast that can be felt miles away, largely because of its construction.
Engineers used an unusually thin aluminum skin to encase MOAB’s payload, in order to avoid a thicker steel frame interfering with the impact on a target.
The U.S. fast-tracked the MOAB in 2003 for use in Operation Iraqi Freedom, but the Defense Department later decided that the enemy provided too little resistance to justify its deployment.
It was available to the Obama administration throughout the former president’s entire two terms, but he never deployed it in combat.
Its first practical test was carried out on March 11, 2003 at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
Sean Spicer announces dropping of GBU-43 bomb in Afghanistan
HOW ‘MOAB’ WORKS
Known as the ‘Mother Of All Bombs’
The U.S. military’s largest non-nuclear weapon
Each bomb costs around $16 million (£12.8 million)
Its explosion is equivalent to 11 tons of TNT and the blast radius is a mile wide
First tested by US forces in 2003
It is designed to destroy heavily reinforced targets or to shatter ground forces and armour across a large area
30 feet (9 meters) long and 40 inches (1 meter) wide
Weighs 21,000lbs (9,500kg) – heavier than the Hiroshima nuclear bomb
Leaves no lasting radiation effect
How it’s deployed:
The bomb has ‘grid’ fins that fold into the body and then open up in flight to help control its descent
It can only be deployed out of the back of a large cargo plane due to its size
The bomb rides on a pallet, a parachute pulls the pallet and bomb out of the plane
The pallet then separates so that the bomb can fall to its target
It accelerates rapidly to its terminal velocity and is partially guided to its target via satellite
It explodes six feet (1.8 meters) above the ground
The idea behind this ‘airburst’ mechanism is to spread its destructive range
The Pentagon confirmed Thursday that the explosive colossus was dropped in Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, making it the first time America’s largest non-nuclear weapon has been used in a combat situation.
Pentagon spokesman Adam Stump said it was the first ever combat use of the bomb, which contains 11 tons of explosives.
Stump said the bomb was dropped on a cave complex believed to be used by ISIS fighters in the Achin district of Nangarhar province, very close to the border with Pakistan.
Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said in a statement about ISIS that ‘as ISIS-K’s losses have mounted, they are using IEDs, bunkers and tunnels to thicken their defense.’
‘This is the right munition to reduce these obstacles and maintain the momentum of our offensive against [ISIS-K].’
News reports suggest Nicholson made the decision to drop it from the sky.
He added that ‘[t]he strike was designed to minimize the risk to Afghan and U.S. Forces conducting clearing operations in the area while maximizing the destruction of ISIS-K fighters and facilities.’
The ISIS faction in Afghanistan is known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria-Khorasan province, or ISIS-K.
Story 2: Trump To NATO Members: Pay You Bills (2% of GDP For Military Spending) — NATO Not Obsolete — Videos —
Donald Trump “NATO is Largely Obsolete, It’s Got To Be Changed”
President Trump: I will work to enhance NATO
President Trump Holds a Joint Press Conference with Secretary General Stoltenberg
How Powerful Is NATO?
What is NATO?
Story 3: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov To United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson — Show Us The Evidence of Chemical Gas Attack in Syria — Assad –“100% Fabrication” — Not Enough Evidence — Videos —
Rex Tillerson holds joint news conference with Russian Foreign Minister after meeting Vladimir Putin…
Sec. Tillerson, Russian Minister Lavrov. News conference in Moscow. Syria. April 12. 2017
Russian President Vladimir Putin: US strike on Syria an act of war against Russia – LoneWolf
Gen. Jack Keane on Secretary Tillerson’s meeting with Putin
BREAKING NEWS 4/13/17: Assad Gives First Interview
Bashar al-Assad First Interview after chemical attack in syria: chemical attack was 100% fabrication
Ron Paul on Syria gas attack: ‘It doesn’t make sense. Zero chance Assad did this.’
What You Need to Know About Assad, Syria, Chemical Attacks and Potential Military Action
Evidence Suggests S-Y-R-I-A G-A-S ATTACK Is False Flag
Trump Orders Attack On Syria! Will Russia Respond? Is Trump Wrong?
TRUMP’S ATTACK ON SYRIA PART OF MUCH LARGER GLOBAL POLICY SHIFT
PUTIN SAYS SYRIA ATTACK IS A FALSE FLAG
BREAKING NEWS TRUMP 04/13/17: FOX NEWS SHOW THURSDAY
Story 4: Trump Will Not Name Communist China As Currency Manipulator –United States Is A Currency Manipulator — Video —
A New Approach to Currency Manipulation?
How China’s devaluation impacts the U.S.
How Does China Manipulate Its Currency?
China’s Currency Manipulation
Donald Trump Economic Speech | Calls China as a Currency Manipulator | Monessen, PA | Mango News
Trump Tv | Japanese reporter asks Trump about China currency Manipulation | February 10 2017
Why Trump Should Stop Accusing China of Yuan Manipulation
Chinese Yuan Devaluation is an Act of War
C. Fred Bergsten on Currency Wars and US Economy
China’s Upward Currency Manipulation Might Have To End – FX Reserves Are Falling
Tim Worstall , CONTRIBUTOR
It is a standard belief of many in the US, including the new President, Donald Trump, that China is a currency manipulator. This is true, China has indeed been manipulating the value of the yuan. However, contrary to popular belief it has, at least recently, been manipulating that value up against the American dollar, not down. This of course makes Chinese exports to America more expensive and reduces the trade deficit between the two countries. Not that simple facts tend to change many peoples’ beliefs about the economy of course.
However, this all might come to an end soon enough because China’s foreign currency reserves are falling as a result of their interventions. In fact, that those reserves are falling is the very evidence we need to show that they are intervening up, not down:
China’s foreign exchange reserves unexpectedly fell below the closely watched $3 trillion level in January for the first time in nearly six years, though tighter regulatory controls appeared to making some progress in slowing capital outflows. China has taken a raft of steps in recent months to make it harder to move money out of the country and to reassert a grip on its faltering currency, even as U.S. President Donald Trump steps up accusations that Beijing is keeping the yuan too cheap.
As we can see the general assumption in the financial markets, and the correct assumption too, is that China has been intervening to keep the value of the yuan up, not down. The major way it has been doing this being by limiting the amount that Chinese citizens can move out of the country:
Further erosion of the world’s largest stockpile may prompt policy makers again to tighten measures for controlling outflows and on companies transferring money to other countries. Authorities recently rolled out stricter requirements for citizens converting yuan into foreign currencies as the annual $50,000 foreign exchange quota for individuals reset Jan. 1.
For a capital outflow does indeed reduce the value of a currency:
China’s foreign exchange reserves fell below the $3 trillion mark for the first time in almost six years as capital continued to flow out of the world’s second-largest economy, data from the People’s Bank of China showed Tuesday.
The reserves fell by $12.31 billion from the previous month to $2.998 trillion, following a drop of $41.08 billion in December. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had expected a $1 billion decrease in January.
The reason a capital outflow does this should be obvious. Yuan work only in China. Thus, to take money out of China you must sell yuan and buy some other form of money. That sale reduces the value of the yuan (more of something for sale does usually mean a price fall) against those other currencies. And thus the truth of those accusations of currency manipulation. As we can see the Chinese government is placing restrictions on peoples’ ability to sell yuan. This is thus manipulation which keeps the value up, not such that pushes it down.
All of which leaves us with an interesting point. The general demand is that China stop manipulating the value of its currency. OK, so, let’s insist upon that. The value of the yuan will fall, Chinese exports to America will be cheaper and we might well then see an increase in the US trade deficit. Which isn’t really what the people complaining about manipulation want, is it? But it may well be what they’re about to get.
Trump says he will not label China currency manipulator, reversing campaign promise
By Ana Swanson and Damian PalettaApril 12
During his presidential campaign Trump talked tough on China, accusing them of undervaluing the yuan. The International Monetary Fund has said that Chinese currency is “no longer undervalued”. Does China still deserve to be called a “currency manipulator”?(Daron Taylor/The Washington Post)
President Trump on Wednesday said he would not label China a currency manipulator, contradicting one of the biggest economic promises he made on the campaign trail.
Trump told the Wall Street Journal that he had changed his mind because China is not currently manipulating its currency, adding that he hoped to enlist China’s help on containing the nuclear threat from North Korea.
Trump also indicated that he might be open to keeping Janet L. Yellen as Federal Reserve chair after her term expires. “I like her, I respect her. … It’s very early,” he said when asking about her reappointment.
Trump was highly critical of Yellen during the campaign. He accused her of keeping interest rates low to benefit the Obama administration and said she should be ashamed of herself. But Yellen has a reputation for being slow to raise interest rates, and Trump had also professed his preference for low interest rates in the past.
“I do like a low-interest rate policy, I must be honest with you,” he told the Journal, when asked about Yellen.
The president is also “very close” to naming a vice chair and filling another open seat that governs community banking on the Federal Reserve Board, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said during the interview.
In the interview, Trump also inveighed against the strong U.S. dollar, saying that the strength of the currency stemmed partially from people’s confidence in him, but that it was also hurting the economy.
“It’s very, very hard to compete when you have a strong dollar and other countries are devaluing their currency,” he said.
Eswar Prasad, a professor of international trade at Cornell University, said it was striking that a sitting president would comment so directly on the value of the dollar.
“It could also be taken as an implicit threat to other countries that if the dollar stays strong and if U.S. bilateral trade imbalances with its major trading partners stay high or continue to expand, that he will take some sort of action,” Prasad said.
The judgment on currency manipulation was scheduled to be released in a semiannual report from the Treasury Department that is due this week.
China defies international trade rules in some respects, economists say, but devaluing its currency is not currently one of them. While China suppressed the value of its currency for years to make its products cheaper abroad and boost its exports, for the past several years it has been intervening in currency markets to prop the yuan up, which actually benefits American exporters.
Your daily policy cheat sheet from Wonkblog.
“Certainly for the past six months, which is the period notionally covered by the April 15 report, China has been intervening to raise the value of its currency, not to suppress it,” said Matthew Goodman, a former Treasury official who helped to label China a currency manipulator during the Clinton administration.
China was a favored target of Trump’s on the campaign trail. He often said the world’s second-largest economy was taking advantage of the U.S., and that he would respond on his first day in office by labeling China a currency manipulator. He has also said he would impose tariffs of up to 45 percent on China if the country does not negotiate better trade terms with the United States.
Labeling a country a currency manipulator triggers an investigation and can eventually lead to tariffs or other economically punitive measures.
But when Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago last week, the conversation was much more genial. The outcome of the talks was a 100-day plan to reevaluate the countries’ trading relationship, including trying to boost American exports to China.
President Trump met with China’s president on April 6, after months of criticizing China and promising big trade changes. From blasting China for currency manipulation to accusing them of “raping our economy,” here are some of his biggest blusters from the campaign trail. (Jenny Starrs/The Washington Post)
President Trump and the Chinese leader Xi Jinping at Mr. Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida last week. Mr. Trump has promised to take action on Chinese trade and currency issues.CreditDoug Mills/The New York Times
Has the United States mismanaged the ascent of China?
By April 15, the Treasury Department is required to present to Congress a report on the exchange rate policies of the country’s major trading partners, intended to identify manipulators that cheapen their currency to make their exports more attractive and gain market share in the United States, a designation that could eventually lead to retaliation.
It would be hard, these days, to find an economist who feels China fits the bill. Under a trade law passed in 2015, a country must meet three criteria: It would have to have a “material” trade surplus with the rest of the world, have a “significant” surplus with the United States, and intervene persistently in foreign exchange markets to push its currency in one direction.
While China’s surplus with the United States is pretty big — almost $350 billion — its global surplus is modest, at 2.4 percent of its gross domestic product last year. Most significant, it has been pushing its currency up, not down. Since the middle of 2014 it has sold over $1 trillion from its reserves to prop up the renminbi, under pressure from capital flight by Chinese companies and savers.
Even President Trump — who as a candidate promised to label China a currency manipulator on Day 1 and put a 45 percent tariff on imports of Chinese goods — seems to be backing away from broad, immediate retaliation.
And yet the temptation remains. “When you talk about currency manipulation, when you talk about devaluations,” the Chinese “are world champions,” Mr. Trump told The Financial Times, ahead of the state visit of the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, to the United States last week.
For all Mr. Trump’s random impulsiveness and bluster — and despite his lack of a coherent strategy to engage with what is likely soon to become the world’s biggest economy — he is not entirely alone with his views.
Many learned economists and policy experts ruefully acknowledge that the president’s intuition is broadly right: While labeling China a currency manipulator now would look ridiculous, the United States should have done it a long time ago.
“With the benefit of hindsight, China should have been named,” said Brad Setser, an expert on international economics and finance who worked in the Obama administration and is now at the Council on Foreign Relations.
There were reasonable arguments against putting China on the spot and starting a process that could eventually lead to American retaliation.
Yet by not pushing back against China’s currency manipulation, and allowing China to deploy an arsenal of trade tactics of dubious legality to increase exports to the United States, successive administrations — Republican and Democratic — arguably contributed to the economic dislocations that pummeled so many American workers over more than a decade. Those dislocations helped propel Mr. Trump to power.
From 2000 to 2014 China definitely suppressed the rise of the renminbi to maintain a competitive advantage for its exports, buying dollars hand over fist and adding $4 trillion to its foreign reserves over the period. Until 2005, the Chinese government kept the renminbi pegged to the dollar, following it down as the greenback slid against other major currencies starting in 2003.
American multinationals were flocking into China, taking advantage of its entry into the World Trade Organization in December 2001, which guaranteed access to the American and other world markets for its exports. By 2007, China’s broad trade surplus hit 10 percent of its gross domestic product — an unheard-of imbalance for an economy this large. And its surplus with the United States amounted to a full third of the American deficit with the world.
Though the requirement that the Treasury identify currency manipulators “gaining unfair competitive advantage in international trade” dates back to the Omnibus Trade and Competitiveness Act of 1988, China was never called out.
There were good reasons. Or at least they seemed so at the time. For one, China hands in the administration of George W. Bush argued that putting China on the spot would make negotiations more difficult, because even Chinese leaders who understood the need to allow their currency to rise could not be seen to bow to American pressure.
Labeling China a manipulator could have severely hindered progress in other areas of a complex bilateral economic relationship. And the United States had bigger fish to fry.
“There were other dimensions of China’s economic policies that were seen as more important to U.S. economic and business interests,” Eswar Prasad, who headed the China desk at the International Monetary Fund and is now a professor at Cornell, told me. These included “greater market access, better intellectual property rights protection, easier access to investment opportunities, etc.”
At the end of the day, economists argued at the time, Chinese exchange rate policies didn’t cost the United States much. After all, in 2007 the United States was operating at full employment. The trade deficit was because of Americans’ dismal savings rate and supercharged consumption, not a cheap renminbi. After all, if Americans wanted to consume more than they created, they had to get it somewhere.
And the United States had a stake in China’s rise. A crucial strategic goal of American foreign policy since Mao’s death had been how to peacefully incorporate China into the existing order of free-market economies, bound by international law into the fabric of the postwar multilateral institutions.
And the strategy even worked — a little bit. China did allow its currency to rise a little from 2005 to 2008. And when the financial crisis hit, it took the foot off the export pedal and deployed a giant fiscal stimulus, which bolstered internal demand.
Yet though these arguments may all be true, they omitted an important consideration: The overhaul of the world economy imposed by China’s global rise also created losers.
In a set of influential papers that have come to inform the thinking about the United States’ relations with China, David Autor, Daron Acemoglu and Brendan Price from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Gordon Hanson from the University of California, San Diego; and David Dorn from the University of Zurich concluded that lots of American workers, in many communities, suffered a blow from which they never recovered.
Rising Chinese imports from 1999 to 2011 cost up to 2.4 million American jobs, one paper estimated. Another found that sagging wages in local labor markets exposed to Chinese competition reduced earnings by $213 per adult per year.
Economic theory posited that a developed country like the United States would adjust to import competition by moving workers into more advanced industries that competed successfully in global markets. In the real world of American workers exposed to the rush of imports after China erupted onto world markets, the adjustment didn’t happen.
If mediocre job prospects and low wages didn’t stop American families from consuming, it was because the American financial system was flush with Chinese cash and willing to lend, financing their homes and refinancing them to buy the furniture. But that equilibrium didn’t end well either, did it?
What it left was a lot of betrayed anger floating around among many Americans on the wrong end of these dynamics. “By not following the law, the administration sent a political signal that the U.S. wouldn’t stand up to Chinese cheating,” said Edward Alden, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “As we can see now, that hurt in terms of maintaining political support for open trade.”
If there was a winner from this dynamic, it was Mr. Trump.
Will Mr. Trump really go after China? In addition to an expected executive order to retaliate against the dumping of Chinese steel, he has promised more. He could tinker with the definitions of “material” and “significant” trade surpluses to justify a manipulation charge.
And yet a charge of manipulation would add irony upon irony. “It would be incredibly ironic not to have named China a manipulator when it was manipulating, and name it when it is not,” Mr. Setser told me. And Mr. Trump would be retaliating against the economic dynamic that handed him the presidency.
China is No Longer Manipulating its Currency
C. Fred Bergsten (PIIE)
November 18, 2016 9:45 AM
US President-elect Donald Trump has vowed to instruct his Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator on his first day in office, just as Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney did in 2012. He would then presumably seek to negotiate with the Chinese to reduce their large trade surplus, which equals roughly half the total US trade deficit of about $500 billion, under the threat of limiting imports unilaterally if they failed to cooperate (and risking retaliation against US exports). A declining US trade deficit, if it could be achieved, would increase US economic growth. But China has not manipulated its currency, the renminbi, for the past two years, and even an erroneous designation would not enable the new president to take any retaliatory trade actions.
China was the champion currency manipulator of all time from 2003 through 2014. During this “decade of manipulation,” China bought more than $300 billion annually to resist upward movement of its currency by artificially keeping the exchange rate of the dollar strong and the renminbi’s exchange rate weak. China’s competitive position was thus strengthened by as much as 30 to 40 percent at the peak of the intervention. Currency manipulation explained most of China’s large trade surpluses, which reached a staggering 10 percent of its entire GDP in 2007.
China was not the only manipulator. A number of other Asian economies, including Taiwan and Hong Kong, also intervened regularly to keep from losing their competitive position to China (and thus to the United States as well). A few others, including Japan and Korea, intervened occasionally as well.
Naming a country a manipulator, however, has no significant operational consequences (which is one of the reasons it has not been done in recent years). The relevant US law, dating from 1988, requires only that the Secretary of the Treasury launch a negotiation with the indicted countries in an effort to rectify the situation. Trump and his advisors have suggested they would use a designation to impose new import restrictions against China, up to the level of the renminbi undervaluation that resulted, but they would have to invoke other US statutes to justify such action. (Regardless of manipulation, the administration might authorize the Commerce Department to apply countervailing duties against imports that were subsidized by undervalued exchange rates in China and elsewhere; this would probably run afoul of US obligations in the World Trade Organization, however, and might also be challenged domestically unless Congress explicitly authorized such treatment.)
I was among the first to call attention to the manipulation by the Chinese and others and to advocate strong action to counter it, but it must be recognized that the situation has changed dramatically over the past two years. China has experienced large outflows of private capital that have driven its exchange rate down and indeed sparked market fears of disorderly renminbi devaluations. To their credit, the Chinese have intervened heavily on the opposite side of the market: Instead of buying dollars to keep the renminbi weak, they have sold large amounts of dollars to prevent it from sliding further. Their recent intervention has promoted US competitiveness rather than undermined it. Manipulation (including by other countries) has passed largely into remission.
It would thus be factually incorrect, as well as ineffectual, for the new Trump administration to label China a currency manipulator (and the Chinese might well refuse to negotiate under such circumstances). Indeed, the White House would be running counter to the thrust of the new US currency law (although it could still label a country as a “manipulator,” even if it did not meet the terms of that law). The Trade Facilitation and Trade Enforcement Act of 2015 spells out three criteria for identifying a country for currency misbehavior:
a large bilateral trade surplus with the United States, which China has;
a material global current account surplus, which the Treasury Department interprets as meaning more than 3 percent of a country’s GDP, a bit more than China is now running; and
“persistent one-sided intervention” in the currency markets, to keep its exchange rate from rising, which China is clearly not conducting.
These tests would have caught China for eight consecutive years, from 2003 through 2010, but Treasury currently has placed China only on a “monitoring list” along with five others that meet at least two of the criteria or have met them in the recent past. There is always a possibility that China (and others) could resume the competitive nonappreciation of the earlier period if market pressure again pushed the renminbi upward, especially if China’s economic reforms faltered and its growth rate sank below the new target of 7 percent. So we cannot be confident that the problem has been definitively resolved.
Indeed, it would be desirable for the Trump administration to add a new tool to the US policy arsenal, to ensure the problem will not resurface, by announcing that the United States will counter any future manipulation by others with offsetting intervention of its own. If China buys $1 billion in an effort to keep the dollar artificially strong, the United States could buy $1 billion worth of renminbi to neutralize any impact of the Chinese action on the exchange rate between the two currencies. The Chinese currency and bond markets are now large enough to permit any foreseeable level of US intervention that might be needed. But simply the announcement of a policy of such “countervailing currency intervention” would almost surely deter future manipulation efforts, requiring very little if any actual activity. It should thus prolong the current remission of manipulation indefinitely. The Senate passed a bill authorizing “remedial currency intervention” in 2011, but the policy could be adopted under current law.
Trump’s economic team may decide to address a number of Chinese policies that support its exports and impede its imports, in an effort to reduce the Chinese surplus and the US deficit, as its predecessors have done for many years. There are several US statutes that provide a basis for doing so. Currency manipulation is not one of these, however, especially at the present time. The new administration should look for alternative paths to any immediate action while shoring up the country’s defenses against possible recrudescence of currency aggression in the future.
C. Fred Bergsten is senior fellow and director emeritus of the Peterson Institute for International Economics. He was the founding director of the Institute from 1981 through 2012. He was previously assistant secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs and is coauthor, with Joseph E. Gagnon, of the forthcoming Institute book Currency Conflict and Trade Policy: A New Strategy for the United States.
Story 5: Trump Favors Fed Chair Yellen’s Unconventional Accommodating Easy Money Policy — Government Intervention in Money Markets — Financial Repression of American Savers — Videos
Trump Says Dollar ‘getting too strong’
Trump: Fed’s Yellen Keeps Rates Low for Political Reasons
Published on Oct 16, 2015
Oct. 16 — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump sits down with Stephanie Ruhle about the state of the US economy and whether or not he shares the view of Carl Icahn who says we are headed for financial disaster. They speak on “Bloomberg ‹GO›.”
Donald Trump Says The Dollar’s Too Strong, And It’s Partially His Fault | The 11th Hour | MSNBC
Yellen, Trump actually on the same page on fiscal policy?
President Donald Trump’s Hint Targets Janet Yellen’s Future | Squawk Box | CNBC
Battle brewing between Yellen, Trump?
Yellen’s Fed Bad For America but will be Good For My Investments
Story 6: Trump Supporters and Talk Radio Will Dump Trump Should He Continue Flip Flopping and Listening To Liberal Democrat/Moderate Advisers — Videos
RUSH: It’s Clear That The Democrats Are SCARED TO DEATH Of Bannon
LIMBAUGH: The WORLD Was SPYING On Trump To IMPRESS Hillary
Rush Limbaugh 04/14/2017 | Judge Napolitano Was Right! The World Was Spying on Donald Trump
Roger Stone Explains Why Steve Bannon Was Removed From National Security Council
Dr. Jerome Corsi About Syria And White House Internal Struggle
What would happen if Trump fired Steve Bannon?
Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner are tearing the White House apart
Roger Stone About Steve Bannon And Jared Kushner
Cohn: Trump pushing us hard on tax cuts
Cohn: We are very, very concerned about economic growth
Trump advisor Cohn: We can absolutely get to 3% growth this
Trump’s base turns on him
Steve Bannon’s downgrade is just one of many complaints. ‘We expect him to keep his word, and right now he’s not keeping his word,’ says one campaign supporter.
Donald Trump’s true believers are losing the faith.
As Trump struggles to keep his campaign promises and flirts with political moderation, his most steadfast supporters — from veteran advisers to anti-immigration activists to the volunteers who dropped their jobs to help elect him — are increasingly dismayed by the direction of his presidency.
Their complaints range from Trump’s embrace of an interventionist foreign policy to his less hawkish tone on China to, most recently, his marginalization of his nationalist chief strategist, Steve Bannon. But the crux of their disillusionment, interviews with nearly two dozen Trump loyalists reveal, is a belief that Trump the candidate bears little resemblance to Trump the president. He’s failing, in their view, to deliver on his promise of a transformative “America First” agenda driven by hard-edged populism.
“Donald Trump dropped an emotional anchor. He captured how Americans feel,” said Tania Vojvodic, a fervent Trump supporter who founded one of his first campaign volunteer networks. “We expect him to keep his word, and right now he’s not keeping his word.”
Earlier this week, Vojvodic launched a Facebook group called, “The concerned support base of President Trump,” which quickly drew several dozen sign-ups. She also changed the banner on her Facebook page to a picture of Bannon accompanied by the declaration: “Mr. President: I stand with Steve Bannon.”
“I’m not so infatuated with Trump that I can’t see the facts,” she said. “People’s belief, their trust in him, it’s declining.”
The swiftness and abruptness of Trump’s shift from bomb-throwing populist outsider to a more mainstream brand of Republican has taken the president’s stalwarts by surprise.
“It was like, here’s the chance to do something different. And that’s why people’s hopes are dashed,” said Lee Stranahan, who, as a former writer at Breitbart News, once worked with Bannon. “There was always the question of, ‘Did he really believe this stuff?’ Apparently, the answer is, ‘Not as much as you’d like.’”
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
The deflation of Trump’s base threatens to further weaken a president who’s already seen his public support drop to historic lows. Frustration among the president’s allies has intensified in recent days, with many expressing worry that Bannon, the intellectual pillar of the nationalist movement that catapulted Trump to the presidency, is being pushed out.
As Bannon’s influence wanes, on the rise is a small group of Wall Street-connected advisers whose politically moderate and globalist views are anathema to the populist cause.
The palace intrigue intensified this week after Trump refused to say he still had confidence in Bannon and downplayed the former Breitbart chairman’s role in his campaign victory. And it’s feeding suspicions that the president is changing his priorities.
Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa), one of the president’s most vocal backers on Capitol Hill, said he’s been disheartened by the chief strategist’s isolation.
“A lot of us look at Steve Bannon as the voice of conservatism in the White House,” said King, who has known Bannon for years.
The displeasure over Bannon’s reduced status has trickled down to Trump’s grass-roots army of volunteers. Among those unsettled is Shane Bouvet, a 24-year-old campaign volunteer and blue-collar single father from Illinois who became something of a hero in the Trump movement. On the eve of the inauguration, Trump, who had read about how Bouvet trekked across the country by car so he could watch the swearing-in, gave him a check for $10,000.
Bouvet later said the gift saved the life of his father, who was battling cancer and needed the money to cover medical costs.
That day, Bouvet also was introduced to Bannon. The two spoke briefly, and Bouvet came to identify with the adviser who, like him, represented a “forgotten America” that Trump had appealed to with his blue-collar pitch. He said in an interview that he still supports the president, but is troubled by reports that Bannon is on the outs and that senior adviser Jared Kushner, a New York City real estate scion, is accumulating influence.
“I see a lot of people upset about his role,” Bouvet said of Bannon.
“I love our president,” he added. “I would tell him, follow his heart instead of whispers in his ears.”
On his South Florida-based radio show, Trump backer John Cardillo has begun to hear from listeners who are disillusioned with the rising influence of moderate staffers like Kushner and Gary Cohn, the Goldman Sachs executive-turned-Trump economic adviser.
For Cardillo, too, it’s been a letdown. During the 2016 Republican primary, he was attracted to Trump because of his insurgent streak. As a former New York City police officer, Cardillo identified with the candidate’s blue-collar style. He fell hard and got aboard the Trump train early, backing the insurgent candidate over home-state favorite Marco Rubio.
Trump voters “felt like they were voting for an anti-establishment candidate — and they’re terrified, they’re losing faith,” Cardillo said. “They’re saying, ‘Why does he have these people around him?’”
The gripes go beyond Bannon’s apparent downgrade. Many of Trump’s most stalwart supporters, including radio show hosts Michael Savage and Laura Ingraham, called last week’s bombing of Syria a betrayal of Trump’s pledge to be an “America First” commander in chief who would avoid unnecessary conflicts overseas.
Concerns about Trump’s foreign policy approach intensified on Wednesday when he backed away from his oft-repeated campaign line that NATO is “obsolete.” Instead, during an appearance with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump called the organization a “great alliance.”
Howie Carr, an influential Boston radio show host and a vocal Trump backer, said he’s been mostly satisfied with the president’s tenure so far. But he said he and his listeners weren’t on board with the Syria bombing and warned against a U.S.-led push to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad.
“People are concerned because it’s such a morass over there,” Carr said. “I don’t think any of my listeners have any great stomach for overthrowing Assad, as odious as he is.”
Other Trump boosters worry that he’s ditching his economic agenda. They wonder why he backed off his vow to label
China a currency manipulator, and are chagrined by his reversal on his position to eliminate the Export-Import Bank.
On Thursday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer took issue with the premise that Trump’s switch on labeling China a currency manipulator amounted to abandoning a campaign promise.
“The president’s tough talk … on a variety of subjects was to get results for the American people. That’s what he has pledged to do, to get more jobs here, to grow more manufacturing, to keep our country safe,” Spicer told reporters. “At the end of the day, this is always about developing a better situation for the American people, and I think he’s done that.”
Still others are concerned about Trump’s lack of progress on reforming the tax code.
Larry Kudlow, a veteran economist who advised Trump’s campaign, expressed dismay that the president hadn’t yet released a tax plan. He said he was beginning to wonder whether the president is about to walk back his pledge to cut taxes.
“What is their product?” Kudlow asked. “It doesn’t make any sense to me. I’m not giving up hope. But it’s looking very shaky to me.”
Conservative economist Stephen Moore, who also advised the Trump campaign, said he’s reached out to the White House about the lack of a tax package.
“They’re all over the map,” he said. “I don’t know if they’re listening or not.”
Then there’s immigration, the issue that catapulted Trump to front-runner status. Activists are increasingly alarmed that the president has yet to follow through on his pledge to rescind protections for undocumented parents and children put in place under former President Barack Obama.
Brenda Sparks, an “angel mom” whose son was killed by an illegal immigrant, appeared onstage with Trump at an August campaign event in Phoenix. She said he promised her that he would overturn the program known Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, in short order.
While Sparks said she didn’t think it would be done immediately, “I had expected it before now.”
“I still support Trump, but I’m going to hold his feet to the fire,” she said. “He has not lived up to that promise.”
Michelle Dallacroce, an anti-immigration activist, is more pointed. Immigration is “why we voted for Donald Trump,” she said. “This could be the most elaborate reality show. I’m wondering, was this all an illusion for us, using our movement so he could get in there?”
Trump is hardly the first president to get crosswise with his supporters. After running on a promise to infuse Washington with change, Barack Obama faced sharp accusations from backers that he was moving too slowly to change the culture of the capitol. Governing, Obama learned, is a lot different than campaigning.
Not all of the president’s backers are disappointed. They point to his successful nomination of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch and his rollback of environmental regulations as early wins.
“There’s always going to be things that aren’t perfect, but it’s exciting,” said Ed Martin, a conservative leader in Missouri.
But as Trump evolves, some of his loyalists are beginning to compare him to another Republican who lost the support of the party’s base: Arnold Schwarzenegger. After being elected California governor in 2003, the former movie star took on entrenched Democratic interests, lost badly, then tacked sharply to the left.
This week, some Trump die-hards passed around a column by conservative commentator Kurt Schlichter headlined: “Trump Can’t Let His Real or His Fake Friends Turn Him into Schwarzenegger Part 2.”
Schlichter, in an interview, said conservatives are fundamentally distrustful of Republican politicians who had often misled them. He urged the president to take some immediate actions, however small, to put his supporters at ease.
“You’ve got to understand the base. It’s like dating a girl whose father cheated on her mother. She’s always going to be suspicious,” he said. “He’s got to constantly provide wins because he’s got an emotionally damaged base that’s been abused.”
Within Trump’s inner circle, a moderate voice captures the president’s ear
Gary Cohn, director of the National Economic Council, has found an edge within the Trump administration by hiring two dozen policy experts, most with government experience. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
As power struggles and ideological battles engulfed the White House, an unlikely player is exercising new influence on the direction of President Trump’s administration.Gary Cohn, a former Goldman Sachs president, is capitalizing on his new position as director of Trump’s National Economic Council to push a centrist vision and court bipartisan support on some of Trump’s top agenda items such as tax reform and a $1 trillion infrastructure plan.The growing strength of Cohn and like-minded moderates was on display this week as Trump reversed himself on several high-profile issues — including a less confrontational approach to China, an endorsement of government subsidies for exports and the current leadership of the Federal Reserve. The president’s new positions move him much closer to the views of Cohn and others on Wall Street, not to mention mainstream Republicans and Democrats.It was the clearest sign yet that an alliance of moderates in the White House — including Cohn; senior adviser Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law; and another influential Goldman Sachs alumna, Dina Powell — is racking up successes in a battle over ideology and control with hardcore conservatives led by chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, who held sway at the start of the administration.In a White House short on experienced personnel, Cohn has found an edge by hiring two dozen policy experts, most with government experience. His team produced detailed proposals on overhauling the tax code, rebuilding infrastructure, cutting back financial regulations and restructuring international trade deals. He is widely considered a future candidate to be chief of staff.
From left, National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn, White House press secretary Sean Spicer and Dan Scavino, assistant to the president and director of White House social media, listen during a news conference this week at the White House. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)
“Cohn might be a newbie to policy and Washington, but you have to give him credit for one thing,” said Gene Sperling, who held Cohn’s job during the Obama administration. “While others seemed engaged in ideological and ‘House of Cards’-like staff warfare, he quietly and quickly focused on the first rule of governing: He hired some competent, professional staff at the NEC, and it has paid off for him.”
Cohn now finds himself in the awkward — and politically risky — position of being praised by Democrats but shunned by conservative allies of Trump who see the former Goldman Sachs executive as anathema to the values that got Trump elected.
“From a pure political perspective, I do not know if the White House appreciates how Gary Cohn is a liability with the Republican and conservative base, as well as the Republican Congress,” said Sam Nunberg, a strategist on Trump’s 2016 campaign. “The Trump White House will always be held in suspicion when you have someone who’s consolidated full economic power in the White House who is also a liberal, New York Democrat.”
Cohn has been getting flak in the conservative media as he has risen in profile. Rush Limbaugh last week called him “a very ideological liberal Democrat” and a “trader at Goldman Sachs.” He expressed concern that Cohn and his allies in the White House “are starting to have sway” at Bannon’s expense.
Cohn, who declined to comment for this article, has given thousands of dollars to candidates from both parties, including President Barack Obama and former candidate Hillary Clinton.
White House aides say Cohn has done well because Trump sees him, more than anything else, as a dealmaker. Cohn represents a bloc of White House officials who are working harder than before to court Democratic support for key parts of Trump’s agenda, having seen the Republican Party splinter during the health-care debate.
“I’m not a Democrat, and I’m not a Republican,” Cohn often says in meetings with business executives, according to two people familiar with his exchanges. “I just want to get things done.”
People who have met with Cohn in his new role said they weren’t aware of what his ideology was. He just seemed driven to forge agreements.
That philosophy has led Cohn to show enthusiasm for ideas such as a new tax on carbon — a Democrat-friendly idea which would raise revenue to ease tax reform, a top presidential priority, while also helping to curb carbon emissions. The idea is ridiculed by many conservatives on Capitol Hill, and the White House rapidly distanced itself last week after word leaked that senior officials were studying the concept.
“I think the National Economic Council has done a terrible job,” said Larry Kudlow, who was one of Trump’s top economic advisers during the campaign. “It’s the NEC’s job to put a plan together and show the president options and make decisions. So far, I would say they are way behind the eight ball.”
But even as the legislative agenda struggles to gain momentum, Cohn and his allies are having a clear impact on the president’s thinking. In the past week, Trump reversed his earlier statements and said he supported the Export-Import Bank, would not declare China a “currency manipulator” and said flattering things about Federal Reserve Board Chair Janet L. Yellen.
Conservatives took aim at the Ex-Im Bank and the Fed throughout much of Obama’s term, while Trump, as part of his tough trade rhetoric, promised to go after China’s currency practices on Day One of his administration.
Cohn’s stature among the top advisers is notable because he is one of the few who played no role in the campaign. Cohn, who grew up in a middle-class family and struggled in a number of schools because of dyslexia, graduated from American University and took a job with U.S. Steel in Ohio. During a trip to New York, he coaxed a well-dressed senior Wall Street executive into sharing a cab with him to the airport, acting as if he knew financial markets (he knew virtually nothing), according to an interview he gave author Malcolm Gladwell. Cohn schmoozed his way into his first Wall Street job and then climbed the ranks, eventually becoming Goldman’s president and chief operating officer.
While friends say he loves his new job, they say Cohn also holds the traditions of Washington in low regard.
At a recent dinner with friends in New York, he called Washington a “s—show,” according to a person familiar with the exchange.
Cohn has not tried to shirk his past at Goldman Sachs or hide his lavish lifestyle. He recently had drinks at the Four Seasons with Goldman Sachs chief executive Lloyd Blankfein, and shortly after the failure of the House GOP health-care legislation, he went on vacation in the Bahamas.
If he is able to deflect the growing criticism from hardcore conservatives, White House officials say Cohn will have a strong future as a Trump adviser given his experience and the deep bench of experts he has established.
This includes DJ Gribbin, an infrastructure expert, and Shahira Knight, a former congressional aide on tax policy who joined the White House from Fidelity Investments.
Other top members of the team include Kenneth Juster, who is slated to play a top White House role in international negotiations; Jeremy Katz, a former White House official in the George W. Bush administration; and Ray Starling, who works on agriculture issues and was formerly the general counsel for the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
While Cohn has met with lawmakers from both parties and executives from numerous companies in his role, he rarely telegraphs what the White House plans to do.
One exception came last week, when — during a gathering of chief executives — he went into great detail about how the U.S. air-traffic-control system needed to be reworked.
He quickly moved through a technical discussion on why the United States should scrap its land-based radar system and adopt a global-positioning system, suggesting he had already devoted time to the topic. He said their approach would save 25 percent of the jet fuel consumed each year.
“We are going to cut flight times down fairly dramatically,” he told the executives. “We are going to cut the experience down. We are going to cut tarmac time down.”
His penchant for dealmaking has even attracted the admiration of Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, a tough fiscal conservative and longtime critic of government spending. Cohn, working to fulfill Trump’s pledge to spend billions to rebuild infrastructure, has toyed with an idea that would pair $200 billion in taxpayer money with $800 billion in additional funds, mostly from private investors.
“You’ve got to give these Goldman Sachs guys credit,” Mulvaney said this week on CNBC about Cohn’s plan. “They know how to lever up.”
Bannon was previously a US Navy officer, a Goldman Sachs banker, a radio host, a research director, a film producer and then a media executive. He was an officer in the United States Navy for seven years in the late 1970s and early 1980s, serving on the destroyerUSS Paul F. Foster as well as at the Pentagon. After his military service, he worked at Goldman Sachs as an investment banker in the Mergers and Acquisitions Department. When he left the company, Bannon held the position of vice president. In 1993, he was made acting director of the Earth-science research project Biosphere 2. In the 1990s, he became an executive producer in the Hollywood film and media industry and has produced 18 films since 1991.
In 1990, Bannon and several colleagues from Goldman Sachs launched Bannon & Co., a boutique investment bank specializing in media. In one of Bannon & Co.’s transactions, the firm represented Westinghouse Electric which wanted to sell Castle Rock Entertainment. Bannon negotiated a sale of Castle Rock to CNN, which was owned by Ted Turner at the time.Instead of a full adviser’s fee, Bannon & Co. accepted a financial stake in five television shows, including Seinfeld, which was in its third season. Bannon still receives cash residuals each time Seinfeld is aired.Société Générale purchased Bannon & Co. in 1998.
In 1993, while still managing Bannon & Co., Bannon was made acting director of the Earth-science research project Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona. Under Bannon, the closed-system experiment project shifted emphasis from researching human space exploration and colonization toward the scientific study of earth’s environment, pollution and climate change. He left the project in 1995.
Bannon persuaded Goldman Sachs to invest, in 2006, in a company known as Internet Gaming Entertainment. Following a lawsuit, the company rebranded as Affinity Media and Bannon took over as CEO. From 2007 through 2011, Bannon was the chair and CEO of Affinity Media.
Bannon was a founding member of the board of Breitbart News, an online far-right news, opinion and commentary website which, according to Philip Elliott and Zeke J. Miller of Time, has “pushed racist, sexist, xenophobic and anti-Semitic material into the vein of the alternative right“.
In March 2012, after founder Andrew Breitbart‘s death, Bannon became executive chair of Breitbart News LLC, the parent company of Breitbart News. Under his leadership, Breitbart took a more alt-right and nationalistic approach toward its agenda. Bannon declared the website “the platform for the alt-right” in 2016. Bannon identifies as a conservative. Speaking about his role at Breitbart, Bannon said: “We think of ourselves as virulently anti-establishment, particularly ‘anti-‘ the permanent political class.”
In 2016, Ronald Radosh claimed in The Daily Beast that Bannon had told him earlier, in a book party on November 12, 2013, that he was a Leninist, in that “Lenin wanted to destroy the state, and that’s my goal too. I want to bring everything crashing down, and destroy all of today’s establishment”. While Snopes considers this claim unproven, other media such as Time magazine and The Guardian have reported or discussed it.
In a 2014 speech to a Vatican conference, Bannon made a passing reference to Julius Evola, a twentieth-century, Nazi-linked Italian writer who influenced Mussolini‘s Italian Fascism and promoted the Traditionalist School, described by a New York Times writer as “a worldview popular in far-right and alternative religious circles that believes progress and equality are poisonous illusions.” In referring to the associated views of Vladimir Putin, who is influenced by Evola follower Aleksandr Dugin, Bannon stated “We, the Judeo-Christian West, really have to look at what he’s talking about as far as Traditionalism goes — particularly the sense of where it supports the underpinnings of nationalism.” He has likewise quoted French anti-Enlightenment writer Charles Maurras approvingly to a French diplomat.
On November 15, 2016, U.S. Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island released a letter to Trump signed by 169 Democratic House Representatives urging him to rescind his appointment of Bannon. The letter stated that appointing Bannon “sends a disturbing message about what kind of president Donald Trump wants to be”, because his “ties to the White Nationalist movement have been well documented”; it went on to present several examples of Breitbart News’ alleged xenophobia. Bannon denied being a white nationalist and claimed, rather, that he is an “economic nationalist.”
On November 18, during his first interview not conducted by Breitbart Media since the 2016 presidential election, Bannon remarked on some criticisms made about him stating that “Darkness is good: Dick Cheney. Darth Vader. Satan. That’s power. It only helps us when they get it wrong. When they’re blind to who we are and what we’re doing.” The quote was published widely in the media.
Trump responded to the ongoing controversy over Bannon’s appointment in an interview with The New York Times by saying “I’ve known Steve Bannon a long time. If I thought he was a racist, or alt-right, or any of the things that we can, you know, the terms we can use, I wouldn’t even think about hiring him.”
Bannon and other advisors watching Trump sign an executive order.
White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon shake hands with WH Chief of Staff Reince Priebus at 2017 CPAC
Several days after Donald Trump’s inauguration, Bannon told an American newspaper, “The media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while. I want you to quote this: the media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country. They still do not understand why Donald Trump is the president of the United States.”
At the end of January 2017, in a departure from the previous format of the National Security Council (NSC), the holder of Bannon’s position, along with that of the Chief of Staff, were designated by presidential memorandum as regular attendees to the NSC’s Principals Committee, a Cabinet-level senior interagency forum for considering national security issues. The enacted arrangement was criticised by several members of previous administrations and was called “stone cold crazy” by Susan E. Rice, Barack Obama’s last national security adviser. In response, White House spokesman Sean Spicer pointed to Bannon’s seven years experience as a Navy officer in justifying his presence on the Committee.
In February 2017, Bannon appeared on the cover of Time, on which he was labeled “the Great Manipulator”. The headline used for the associated article was “Is Steve Bannon the Second Most Powerful Man in the World?”, alluding to Bannon’s perceived influence in the White House. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in the aftermath of the 2016 election, Bannon analogized his influence to that of “Thomas Cromwell in the court of the Tudors“.
Bannon was removed from his NSC role in early April 2017 in a reorganization by National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster, who Bannon had helped select. Some White House officials said Bannon’s main purpose of serving on the committee was as a check against former National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn, who had resigned in February 2017 for misleading the vice president about a conversation with the Russian operatives. Hence, with Flynn gone, Bannon was no longer needed. Bannon reportedly opposed his removal from the council and threatened to quit if president Trump went forward with it, although Republican megadonor Rebekah Mercer urged him to stay. The White House said Bannon had not attempted to leave, and Bannon said any indication that he threatened resignation was “total nonsense”. Bannon had only attended one NSC meeting.
Bannon has been married and divorced three times. He has three adult daughters.
His first marriage was to Cathleen Suzanne Houff. Bannon and Houff had a daughter, Maureen, in 1988 and subsequently divorced.
Bannon’s second marriage was to Mary Louise Piccard, a former investment banker, in April 1995. Their twin daughters were born three days after the wedding. Piccard filed for dissolution of their marriage in 1997.
Bannon was charged with misdemeanor domestic violence, battery and dissuading a witness in early January 1996 after Piccard accused Bannon of domestic abuse. The charges were later dropped when his now ex-wife did not appear in court. In an article in The New York Times Piccard stated her absence was due to threats made to her by Bannon and his lawyer:
Mr. Bannon, she said, told her that “if I went to court he and his attorney would make sure that I would be the one who was guilty” … Mr. Bannon’s lawyer, she said, “threatened me,” telling her that if Mr. Bannon went to jail, she “would have no money and no way to support the children.” … Mr. Bannon’s lawyer … denied pressuring her not to testify.
Piccard and Bannon divorced in 1997. During the divorce proceedings, Piccard alleged that Bannon had made antisemitic remarks about choice of schools, saying that he did not want to send his children to The Archer School for Girls because there were too many Jews at the school and Jews raise their children to be “whiny brats”. Bannon’s spokesperson denied the accusation noting that he had chosen to send both his children to the Archer School.
Bannon’s third marriage was to Diane Clohesy; they divorced in 2009.
Jared Corey Kushner (born January 10, 1981) is an American real estate investor and developer, publisher, and senior advisor to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump. Together with Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and Chief Strategist Steve Bannon he formed Trump’s leadership team. Kushner is said to be President Trump’s most trusted advisor, showing “unwavering loyalty” to his father-in-law.
He was principal owner of the real estate holding and development company Kushner Companies and of Observer Media, publisher of the weekly, on-line New York Observer. On January 9, 2017, Kushner was named to be a Senior White House Adviser to his father-in-law, President Donald Trump. As a result, Kushner resigned as CEO of his family’s real estate company and as publisher of the Observer. He also divested “substantial assets”.
Kushner was raised in a Modern Orthodox Jewish family in New Jersey. He graduated from the Frisch School, a private, coed yeshiva high school, in 1999. According to a spokeswoman for Kushner Companies, he was an honors student and a member of the debate, hockey, and basketball teams while at Frisch.
According to Forbes, in 2017 Jared Kushner and his parents had a personal fortune of around $1.8 billion. Kushner is a real estate investor, and has increased the Kushner Companies’ presence in the New York City real estate market as a principal in his family’s real estate company. His father, Charles Kushner, was arrested on charges of tax evasion, illegal campaign donations, and witness tampering in 2004, and was eventually convicted on all charges (by the then U.S. Attorney Chris Christie) and sentenced to two years in federal prison.
Kushner Companies purchased the office building at 666 Fifth Avenue in 2007, for a then-record price of $1.8 billion, most of it borrowed. However, following the property crash in 2008, the cash flow generated by the property was insufficient to cover its debt service, and the Kushners were forced to sell the retail portion in the building to Stanley Chera for more than $1 billion and bring in Vornado Realty Trust as a 50% equity partner in the ownership of the building.
In 2015, Kushner scored spot No. 25 on Fortune Magazine’s 40 under 40 list ranking the most influential young people in business.
At age 25, Kushner purchased the New York Observer, a weekly New York City newspaper, for $10 million, using money he says he earned during his college years by closing deals on residential buildings in Somerville, Massachusetts, with family members providing the backing for his investments.
After purchasing the Observer, Kushner published it in tabloid format. Since then, he has been credited with increasing the Observer‘s online presence and expanding the Observer Media Group. With no substantial experience in journalism, Kushner could not establish a good relationship with the newspaper’s veteran editor-in-chief, Peter W. Kaplan. “This guy doesn’t know what he doesn’t know,” Kaplan remarked about Kushner, to colleagues, at the time.  As a result of his differences with Kushner, Kaplan quit his position. Kaplan was followed by a series of short-lived successors until Kushner hired Elizabeth Spiers in 2011. In December 2011, the New York Post reported that the Observer expected to become profitable for the first time. Spiers left the newspaper in 2012. In January 2013, Kushner hired a new editor-in-chief, Ken Kurson. Kurson had been a consultant to Republican political candidates in New Jersey and one-time member of Rudy Giuliani‘s unsuccessful 2008 presidential primary campaign.
According to Vanity Fair, under Kushner, the “Observer has lost virtually all of its cultural currency among New York’s elite, but the paper is now profitable and reporting traffic growth … [it] boasts 6 million unique visitors per month, up from 1.3 million in January 2013″. In April 2016, the New York Observer became one of only a handful of newspapers to officially endorse United States presidential candidate Donald Trump in the Republican primary, but the paper ended the campaign period by choosing not to back any presidential candidate at all.
Kushner stepped down from his newspaper role in January 2017 to pursue a role in President Donald Trump’s administration. He was replaced by his brother-in-law, Joseph Meyer.
Jared Kushner had been a life-long Democrat and had made major donations to its candidates for years before reportedly undergoing an “ideological conversion” and supporting the 2015–16 Trump campaign. Kushner has had no prior involvement in campaign politics or in government before his father-in-law, Trump’s, campaign.
Trump presidential campaign
From the outset of the presidential campaign of his father-in-law Donald Trump, Kushner was the architect of Trump’s digital, online and social media campaigns, enlisting talent from Silicon Valley to run a 100-person social-media team dubbed “Project Alamo”. Kushner has also helped as a speechwriter and was tasked with working to establish a plan for Trump’s White House transition team should he be elected. He was for a time seen as Trump’s de factocampaign manager, succeeding Corey Lewandowski, who was fired in part on Kushner’s recommendation in June 2016. He has been intimately involved with campaign strategy, coordinating Trump’s visit in late August to Mexico and he was believed to be responsible for the choice of Mike Pence as Trump’s running mate. Kushner’s “sprawling digital fundraising database and social media campaign” has been described as “the locus of his father-in-law’s presidential bid”.
According to Eric Schmidt, “Jared Kushner is the biggest surprise of the 2016 election, Best I can tell, he actually ran the campaign and did it with essentially no resources.” Eric Schmidt said, “Jared understood the online world in a way the traditional media folks didn’t. He managed to assemble a presidential campaign on a shoestring using new technology and won. That’s a big deal. Remember all those articles about how they had no money, no people, organizational structure? Well, they won, and Jared ran it.”Peter Thiel said “If Trump was the CEO, Jared was effectively the chief operating officer.”
On July 5, 2016, Kushner wrote an open letter in the New York Observer addressing the controversy around a tweet from the Trump campaign containing allegedly antisemitic imagery. He was responding to his own paper’s editorial by Dana Schwartz criticizing Kushner’s involvement with the Trump campaign. In the letter, Kushner wrote, “In my opinion, accusations like “racist” and “anti-Semite” are being thrown around with a carelessness that risks rendering these words meaningless.”
The Washington Post, New York Times and numerous other national news authorities explain Kushner was an influential factor behind the firing of New Jersey governor Chris Christie as head of the transition team, as well as the dismissal from the Donald Trump transition team of anyone connected to Christie. A source familiar with the Trump campaign explained that “Jared doesn’t like Christie. He’s always held [the prosecution of his father, Charles Kushner] against Christie.” Kushner told Forbes that the reports that he was involved in Christie’s dismissal were false: “Six months ago Governor Christie and I decided this election was much bigger than any differences we may have had in the past, and we worked very well together. The media has speculated on a lot of different things, and since I don’t talk to the press, they go as they go, but I was not behind pushing out him or his people.”
Senior Advisor to President Trump
Japanese PM Shinzō Abe, Jared Kushner, Ivanka, and President Trump, November 17, 2016
Trump put Kushner in charge of brokering peace in Israeli–Palestinian conflict as well as making deals with foreign countries, although in what way he is in charge is unclear. Furthermore, after Donald Trump became President-elect, Kushner and his wife met with Japanese Prime Minister and other Japanese officials while his wife was conducting a licensing deal between her namesake clothing brand and a Japanese government-owned company. His wife sat in on a meeting between her father, then President-elect Donald Trump and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. In February 2017, his wife Ivanka Trump was a surprise attendee at the Chinese Embassy’s New Year’s party. In late March 2017 he was also given the new role of leading the “White House Office of American Innovation”.
On January 20, 2017 Cohn took office as Director of the National Economic Council (NEC) in President Donald Trump‘s administration, a position which did not require Congressional confirmation. By February 11, 2017, The Wall Street Journal described Cohn as an “economic-policy powerhouse” and The New York Times called him Trump’s “go-to figure on matters related to jobs, business and growth”. With the confirmation of Trump’s December 12, 2016 nominee for Secretary of Treasury, Steven Mnuchin, being held back by Congressional hearings, Cohn filled in the “personnel vacuum” and pushed “ahead on taxes, infrastructure, financial regulation and replacing health-care law”. Had Cohn stayed at Goldman Sachs, some believed he would have become CEO when Lloyd Blankfein vacated that office. His severance package at Goldman Sachs amounted to $285 million. Additionally, Cohn sold a stake valued at $16 million in the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, the world’s largest bank as of 2017.
Cohn supports reinstating the Glass-Steagall legislation, which would separate commercial and investment banking.
Cohn started his career at the U.S. Steel home products division in Cleveland, Ohio. After a few months, he left U.S. Steel and started his career as an options dealer in the New York Mercantile Exchange. He taught himself the basics of options by reading about it in the days between meeting the hiring manager and joining the New York Mercantile Exchange.
Cohn was recruited by Goldman Sachs in 1990. In 1996, he was named head of the commodities department and in 2002, he was named the head of the entire Fixed Income, Currency and Commodities Division (FICC) division. In 2003, he was named co-head of Equities and in January 2004, Cohn was named the co-head of global securities businesses . He became President and Co-Chief Operating Officer and director in June 2006.
In late 2009, Cohn led a delegation from Goldman Sachs to meetings with the government of Greece, which included proposals (that were not adopted) to push debt-due dates far into the future, “much as when strapped homeowners take out second mortgages to pay off their credit cards.” Goldman Sachs had been scrutinized for creating or pitching products used by Greece to “obscure billions in debt from the budget overseers in Brussels”.
In 2010, Cohn testified to Congress on the role of Goldman Sachs in the 2007-2008 financial crisis. Cohn testified: “During the two years of the financial crisis, Goldman Sachs lost $1.2 billion in its residential mortgage-related business. We did not ‘bet against our clients,’ and the numbers underscore this fact.”
In February 2015, Cohn hosted the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference in San Francisco. As host, Cohn asked questions of Tim Cook, CEO of Apple Inc., while Cook was on stage.
Cohn’s salary at Goldman Sachs was US$22 million in 2014. He received $21 million in 2015.
He received a severance package worth around $285 million – mostly in stock – from Goldman Sachs upon leaving to join the administration of Donald Trump.
Personality and work style
Critics of Cohn attribute to him an arrogant, aggressive, abrasive and risk-prone work style. They see his “6-foot 3-inch & 220lbs” as intimidating, as he might “sometimes hike up one leg, plant his foot on a trader’s desk, his thigh close to the employee’s face and ask how markets were doing” According to former Bear Stearns Asset Management CEO Richard Marin, Cohn’s arrogance is at the root of the problem.
When you become arrogant, in a trading sense, you begin to think that everybody’s a counterparty, not a customer, not a client.
“He’s a trader. He has that whole feel in his body and brain and fingertips.”
Ovitz sees Cohn’s toughness as a “positive” value, explaining that a high ranking executive can’t be “all peaches and cream.”
Donna Redel, who was Chairman of the Board of the New York Mercantile Exchange when Cohn worked there as a silver trader, remembers Cohn as “firm,” “strategic” and “driven.” Martin Greenberg, her predecessor, said Cohn “was tough,” and added that “Gary got in with the right people, worked his ass off and used his head.”
In 2009, the Hillel International building at Kent State University was named the Cohn Jewish Student Center in recognition of a gift from Cohn and his wife. It is the first Hillel building built directly on the campus of a state university.
Cohn has been a supporter of Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities and has supported Harlem RBI since 2011. At that time, Harlem RBI was given the chance to build its own charter school. Mark Teixeira of the New York Yankees and Harlem RBI director Rich Berlin asked Cohn if he could help them raise the capital they needed to build the school.
In December 2012, Cohn attended the 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief which raised money for the Robin Hood Relief fund to help victims of Hurricane Sandy.
On June 17, 2013, Cohn was honored at the annual “Bid for Kids” gala in order to raise funds for Harlem RBI and the DREAM charter school. Cohn said in an interview that Harlem RBI is a project that is “very near and dear to his heart.”
Cohn has written editorials in prestigious journals and newspapers. In March 2014, he wrote an opinion piece for the Wall Street Journal, discussing “The Responsible Way to Rein in Super-Fast Trading.”
Story 1: North Korean Nuclear Weapons Threat Becoming A Reality — The End of North Korea As We Know It — Massive Retaliation? — Videos
North Korea Claims 5th Successful Nuclear Test : September 9, 2016
North Korea conducts ‘biggest ever’ nuclear test
How America Would Crush North Korea
Yikes! TRUMP Advocates NUCLEAR Weapons for Korea, Japan, Saudi Arabia???
North Korean nuclear test reverberates on the campaign trail
Why North Korea Thinks Donald Trump is a “Wise Leader”
Should You Be Afraid of a North Korean Nuke? | TIME
North Korea vs The United States – Who Would Win The War?
South Korea vs North Korea – WATCH OUT North Korea, THIS is South Korea Military Power
North Korea nuclear EARTH SURFACE detonation PART1 Breaking News September 8 2016
EARLY EDITION 18:00 N. Korea “successfully” carried out nuclear warhead test: KCTV
North Korea conducts fifth nuclear test: S. Korea defense ministry
North Korea’s Largest Nuclear Test: “Maniacal Recklessness”
North Korean Threat U.S. Pentagon Beefing Up Missile Defense in Response – Kim Jong-un
Published on Mar 16, 2013
The Pentagon is beefing up the nation’s missile defense in the wake of provocative nuclear threats from North Korea and is set to deploy 14 additional ground-based interceptors at missile silos in Alaska and California, congressional and U.S. officials tell Fox News.
The extra interceptors on the West Coast, designed to counter attacks from an intercontinental ballistic missile, would bring the total number of interceptors to 44, a plan originally proposed by the Bush administration. President Obama stopped the deployment of the additional interceptors when he took office in 2009, leaving the total number at 30.
Congressional sources claim that by stalling the original plan and forcing the military to bring back on line silos that otherwise would have been operational, the Obama administration has effectively wasted millions in taxpayer’s dollars.
It’s a sentiment that is not likely to sit well with conservative lawmakers when the plan is announced on Monday, particularly as they seek new austerity measures.
A senior Pentagon official hinted at the decision Tuesday in a speech to the Atlantic Council in Washington just days after Pyongyang threatened a “pre-emptive” nuclear strike on the United States.
“North Korea’s shrill public pronouncements underscore the need for the U.S. to continue to take prudent steps to defeat any future North Korean ICBM,” James Miller, undersecretary of Defense for policy, said.
Upon completion of Missile Field Number One at Fort Greely, Alaska, Miller said, “we have the ability to swiftly deploy up to 14 additional ground-based interceptors if needed.” In addition to Fort Greely, current interceptors are set up at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.
Missile Field Number One was one of the areas where the Obama administration stopped construction in 2009. Congressional sources say it will cost at least $205 million to bring that missile field up to speed, more than it would have cost four years ago. These officials say the price of the missiles themselves also has increased.
An Obama administration official tells Fox News that the increase in interceptors is a logical response to an evolving threat from North Korea and that “anyone who suggests we should have stayed the course” with the Bush administration’s plan is engaging in “Monday morning quarterbacking.”
This official says the North Korean threat is much different from what it was in 2009. Along with the continued testing of nuclear weapons and longer-range delivery systems, the North Koreans have advanced their mobile missile capability, even within the last six to eight months.
“What we were defending against (from North Korea) four years ago was a single rogue missile, now with the mobile missile developing you have got to be able to counter multiple missile threats … so you have to expand your capability.”
Whether intentional or not, the announcement also coincides with 30th anniversary of President Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative speech. The nation’s first ground-based interceptors were set up in 2002 under President George W. Bush.
Money & Power in North Korea. The Hidden Economy Documentary
North Korea Military Parade, 70th Anniversary of Workers’ Party
35 ILLEGAL PHOTOS THAT WERE SECRETLY SMUGGLED OUT OF NORTH KOREA
North Korea Documentary – Why Invading North Korea Would be Insane – Secret State of North
101 Facts About North Korea
North Korean prisoner escaped after 23 brutal years
North Korea Through the Eyes of Witnesses
ALERT: Kim Jong Un Orders Nukes to be Readied for Use After UN Toughest Sanctions on North Korea
Published on Mar 3, 2016
North Korean state media is reporting that Kim Jong Un has ordered nuclear weapons to be readied for use “at any time.” Leader reportedly tells military to adopt ‘pre-emptive’ posture after imposition of toughest UN sanctions to date
The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, has ordered his country to be ready to use nuclear weapons “at any time” in the face of a growing threat from enemies, according to official media.
Kim also said the North should turn its military posture to a “pre-emptive basis” because enemies were threatening the state’s survival, the regime’s KCNA news agency announced on Friday.
According to the agency, Kim made his comments while monitoring the test firing of a new large-calibre multiple rocket launcher on Thursday, just hours after the UN security council unanimously adopted a resolution penalising the North for its recent nuclear test and long-range rocket launch.
South Korea’s defence ministry said the North fired half a dozen rockets about 100-150km (60-90 miles) into the sea off its eastern coast on Thursday.
In a clear threat to neighbouring South Korea, Kim said the new rocket launcher should be “promptly deployed” along with other newly developed weaponry.
“At an extreme time when the Americans … are urging war and disaster on other countries and people, the only way to defend our sovereignty and right to live is to bolster our nuclear capability,” Kim said.
The US-drafted UN resolution adopted by the security council late on Wednesday laid out the toughest sanctions imposed on Pyongyang to date over its nuclear weapons programme and will, if implemented effectively, apply significant economic pressure to Kim’s regime.
North Korea’s Nuclear Threat: VICE News Interviews Victor Cha
Published on Mar 9, 2016
Victor Cha was President George W. Bush’s top advisor on North Korea and participated in the Six-Party Talks, in which the US, Russia, China, Japan and South Korea tried to negotiate with the regime of late leader Kim Jong-il to halt North Korea’s nuclear program. The talks were unsuccessful, and North Korea’s nuclear capabilities have never been greater.
In January, North Korea conducted a nuclear test for the fourth time since 2009, successfully detonating what it claimed was a hydrogen bomb. A month later, North Korea launched a satellite into orbit, violating an international ban on ballistic missile testing. The UN Security Council recently voted to enact harsh new sanctions, which prompted young leader Kim Jong-un to publicly order his military to ready their nukes for use at any time.
VICE News sat down with Cha, now a senior adviser and the Korea Chair at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, to talk about North Korea’s nuclear threats, Pyongyang’s uneasy alliance with China, and the state of the Kim regime.
North Korea’s Nuclear Blasts Keep Getting Stronger
By MICHAEL FORSYTHE SEPT. 9, 2016
Researchers at the Earthquake and Volcano Monitoring Division, in Seoul, the South Korean capital, checking the seismic waves that were measured on Friday.CreditWoohae Cho/Getty Images
The device detonated on Friday looks to have had a force equivalent of 10 kilotons of TNT, according to the South’s Defense Ministry. In contrast, the last device tested by the North, in January, had a force equivalent of six kilotons of TNT, the South’s intelligence agency said. The aboveground Trinity Test in New Mexico in July 1945, which ushered in the nuclear age, had a yield of 20 kilotons.
But power is not the only measure of a device’s lethality. The weapon must also have a way to be delivered. South Korean, American and Japanese officials want to determine whether the North Koreans are capable of building a miniaturized nuclear device that can be mounted on a ballistic missile and successfully detonated at a target hundreds, if not thousands, of miles from the launch site. In the past decade, South Korean and American experts have said that the North appears to be closer to achieving that goal.
Here is a timeline of how North Korea built up the capability of its nuclear weapons. The earthquake magnitudes are from the United States Geological Survey, which differ from those measured by the South Korean authorities. They may also be slightly revised from numbers reported immediately after the events.
Oct. 8, 2006: 9:35 p.m. E.T.
Magnitude of Earthquake: 4.3
Device: United States officials said at the time that the weapon usedplutonium and had a yield of less than one kiloton.
Missiles: Three months before the nuclear test, North Korea fired a barrage of missiles into the Sea of Japan, including a Taepodong 2 intercontinental missile designed to be capable of reaching Alaska. The Taepodong 2 test was a failure, with the missile falling into the sea before its first stage burned out.
May 24, 2009: 8:54 p.m. E.T.
Magnitude of Earthquake: 4.7
Device: Chinese scientists estimated that this bomb had a yield of 2.35 kilotons.
Missiles: A failed satellite launch using a Taepodong 2 missile in April 2009 sent its payload into the Pacific Ocean. On July 4, 2009, North Korea launched three missiles into the sea, with none apparently flying more than 300 miles.
Feb 12, 2013: 9:57 p.m. E.T.
Magnitude of Earthquake: 5.1
Device: North Korea said this bomb, stronger than the first two tests, was miniaturized. After the launch, the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agencyestimated with “moderate confidence” that North Korea had learned how to make a miniaturized nuclear weapon capable of being delivered by a ballistic missile. But the report said the weapon’s “reliability will be low.” Military officials in the United States and South Korea publicly expressed doubt that North Korea had actually developed such a warhead.
Device: North Korea claimed this device was a hydrogen bomb. In May, American and South Korean intelligence officials concluded that North Korea was now able to mount nuclear warheads on short- and medium-range missiles that would be capable of hitting Japan and South Korea.
Device: South Korean officials said this was North Korea’s most powerful device to date.
Missiles: In June, North Korea successfully launched an intermediate-range ballistic missile into high altitude after five consecutive failures. The missile may be capable of reaching American forces based on Guam, in the Pacific Ocean.
Story 2: Trump Speech To Values Voter Summit in DC — Videos
NEW YORK — With Election Day less than two months away, Democrats are increasingly worried that Hillary Clinton has not built a formidable lead against Donald Trump despite his historic weaknesses as a national party candidate.
Even the Democratic nominee’s advisers acknowledge that she must make changes, and quickly. Clinton leads Trump by three percentage points, having fallen from her high of nine points in August, according to the latest RealClearPolitics average. That tightening has frustrated many Clinton allies and operatives, who are astonished that she isn’t running away with this race, given Trump’s deep unpopularity and his continuing stream of controversial comments.
“Generally, I’m concerned, frankly,” said former Democratic Senate leader Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.). “It still looks positive, and I think if you look at the swing states and where she is right now, she’s got a lead. But it’s certainly not in the bag. We have two months to go, and I think it’s going to be a competitive race all the way through. I would say she’s got at least a 60 percent chance of winning.”
At the same time, Daschle said, “all the things that Trump has done, the numbers should be far more explicitly in her favor, but they’re not.”
Among Democrats’ concerns is the fact that Clinton spent a great deal of time over the summer raising millions of dollars in private fundraisers while Trump was devoting much of his schedule to rallies, speeches and TV appearances — although many of those didn’t go as well as his campaign may have hoped.
Clinton has focused more heavily on fundraising than Democratic strategists had hoped would be necessary at this stage, partly to help Democrats running for Congress and state offices who would be useful to Clinton if she is president and partly to hold off further erosion in the polls.
One new goal for Clinton now, aides said, is to spend more time trying to connect directly with voters by sharing a more personal side of herself — and by telling them where she wants to take the country.
Trump closes in on Clinton’s projected electoral lead: Reuters/Ipsos Poll
By Chris Kahn
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Republican Donald Trump appears to have carved out a wider path to the White House as a number of states including Florida and Ohio are no longer considered likely wins for Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, according to the latest Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation project released on Saturday.
The project, which combines opinion polls with an analysis of voting patterns under different election scenarios, still shows Clinton would have the best chance of winning the presidency if the Nov. 8 election were held today. Yet Trump has caught up to her level of support in several states.
Clinton now has an 83 percent chance of winning the election by an average of 47 votes in the Electoral College, the body that ultimately selects the president. In late August, the States of the Nation estimated that Clinton had a 95 percent chance of winning by an average of 108 electoral votes.
Over the past few weeks, Clinton’s lead in the national polls has slipped considerably. Polls tend to narrow as Election Day nears, and the Clinton campaign has struggled to overcome controversy about how she handled classified information while serving assecretary of state.
A separate Reuters/Ipsos poll of likely voters showed an 8-point lead for Clinton has vanished since the last week of August.
Clinton is still favored to win 17 states, including many with large, urban populations such as New York, New Jersey and California that heavily influence the outcome of the election. Trump would likely win 23 states, many of them with smaller populations.
The number of states projected for Clinton has dropped over the past few weeks. Two of those states, Ohio and Florida, were considered likely wins for Clinton in late August. Now the candidates are about even in support. Five more states, including Michigan and North Carolina are also up for grabs.
The sample size was insufficient to determine the outcome in Wyoming, Vermont, Alaska and the District of Columbia, though Alaska usually votes Republican and Washington D.C. for the Democratic Party candidate.
The Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation project is driven by an online survey that gathers responses from about 15,000 people per week. Their responses are weighted according to the latest population estimates, and each respondent is ranked according to their likelihood to vote.
Once the poll is complete, the project tallies the levels of support and estimated error for both candidates, and then runs multiple election simulations given their respective support.
Part 2: Story 1: Trump Gives Outstanding Economic Policy Speech Using Teleprompter and Before Clinton and Big Lie Media Crushed Trash As Backdrop –How To Make America Wealthy Again — The American Worker vs. Global Elitists — Free Fair Trade and Fair Tax Less — Landslide Victory For Trump in November — Videos
Donald Trump Monessen Pennsylvania Alumisource Policy Speech Economy FULL STREAM HD [AMAZING]
FULL Donald Trump Delivers Economy Policy Speech! June 28th 2016 Part 1
Published on Jun 28, 2016
Tuesday, June 28, 2016: Live streaming coverage of Donald J. Trump’s policy speech in Monessen, PA at Alumisource. Coverage begins at 2:30 PM EDT.
– TUESDAY, JUNE 28, 2016 –
Donald J. Trump for President Policy Speech
Donald John Trump (born June 14, 1946) is an American businessman, television personality, author, and politician. He is chairman of The Trump Organization, which is the principal holding company for his real estate ventures and other business interests. He is also the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump graduated from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania in 1968. Having worked in his father Fred Trump’s real estate and construction firm while attending college, he assumed control of that family business in 1973, later renaming it The Trump Organization. During his career, Trump has built hotels, casinos, golf courses, the Manhattan neighborhood Riverside South and numerous other developments, many of which bear his name, including Trump Entertainment Resorts (now owned by Carl Icahn). He has made the Trump name a valuable and distinct brand, licensing it to numerous enterprises in which he has minimal or no stake. He briefly sought the Reform Party’s nomination in the 2000 presidential election, withdrawing prior to any primary contests, although he won two primaries after his withdrawal. Listed by Forbes among the wealthiest 400 of The World’s Billionaires, Trump and his businesses, as well as his three marriages, have for decades received prominent media exposure. He hosted The Apprentice, a popular reality television show on NBC, from 2004 to 2015.
On June 16, 2015, Trump announced his candidacy for president as a Republican, and quickly emerged as the front-runner for his party’s nomination. His platform includes measures to combat illegal immigration, opposition to many free-trade agreements that he regards as unfair, often non-interventionist views on foreign policy, and a proposal to temporarily ban immigration to the United States from countries with a proven history of terrorism against the United States, until the government has perfected its ability to screen out potential terrorists. His statements in interviews and at campaign rallies have often been controversial, with the rallies sometimes accompanied by protests or riots.
FULL Donald Trump Delivers Economy Policy Speech! June 28th 2016 Part 2
FULL Donald Trump Delivers Economy Policy Speech! June 28th 2016 Part 3
Donald Trump’s 7-point trade plan: No TPP, renegotiate NAFTA
Conversation: The Strategy Behind China’s Currency Devaluation
The Bears Talk China’s Manipulated Currency
US trade deficit with China
Marc Faber On Yuan Devaluation, Fed Rate, Indian Economy & More
China’s Currency Manipulation is Harming America. Fair Trade Would Restore US Jobs and Prosperity
How Does China Manipulate Its Currency?
Keiser Report: Trump-Addicted America (E889)
FairTax: Fire Up Our Economic Engine (Official HD)
The FairTax: It’s Time
What is the FairTax legislation?
What is the impact of the FairTax on business?
How is the FairTax different from a Value Added Tax (VAT)?
Congressman Woodall Discusses the FairTax
Dave Ramsey Supports the Fair Tax
Neal Boortz responds to White House re FAIRtax
Mike Huckabee – What is the “Fair Tax?”
FairTax explained – a 2 minute introduction
The Case for the Fair Tax
How will Social Security payments be calculated under the FairTax?
Freedom from the IRS! – FairTax Explained in Detail
Is NAFTA a success story or damaging policy?
Obama calls out Trump trade rhetoric
Obama On Trump’s Anti-Mexican Rhetoric
Gorka: Trump’s Populism ‘Is A Direct Response To Obama’s Divisive Presidency’
Milton Friedman – Deficits and Government Spending
Milton Friedman – A Limit On Spending
TAKE IT TO THE LIMITS: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism
Milton Friedman on the Dangers of Protectionism (Obama’s recent tariff on Chinese imports
Gerald Celente 2016 Currency War, Trade War, Oil Prices & Bankism
The Legacy of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act
Lessons from the Great Depression
Lincoln’s Tariff War | by Thomas J. DiLorenzo
An In Depth Look at Southern Secession and American Principles part 4
An In Depth Look at Southern Secession and American Principles part 5
Tariffs: The Road to Civil War Part 1
Published on Jul 12, 2015
The South was 25% of the population and they were paying 80% of the taxes in the US which were being used to subsidize Northern industries. There is no way around that.
The declaration of secession included language from every faction including minority factions like slave owners who had a lot of money. Slavery wasn’t originally part of it. They pissed and moaned until they got everything included in it. These people were not the driving force of secession as secession and nullification movements started 30 years before the Civil War when slavery wasn’t even on the table. Furthermore slavery WASN’T on the table in the Civil War either. The North via New York and Ohio introduced a constitutional amendment, the Corwin Amendment which forbid the interference in slavery. Congress passed it too. It read : “No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which will authorize or give to Congress the power to abolish or interfere, within any State, with the domestic institutions thereof, including that of persons held to labor or service by the laws of said State.” It was not ratified because the South seceded anyway the two largest states did so AFTER Lincoln put a naval blockade on his own country to collect the import and export taxes.
The CSA constitution changed things that we accept today a) it gave term limits b)it gave a line item veto and c) section 8 (I) was changed to
“The Congress shall have power – To lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts, and excises for revenue, necessary to pay the debts, provide for the common defense, and carry on the Government of the Confederate States; but no bounties shall be granted from the Treasury; nor shall any duties or taxes on importations from foreign nations be laid to promote or foster any branch of industry; and all duties, imposts, and excises shall be uniform throughout the Confederate States”
. I will remind you that 5 Northern states also had slaves, actually they all allowed slaves just not as to scale as the south. Other Northern States forbid foreign blacks from even entering the state such as Lincolns home state and the black code laws. And the 13th amendment which freed the slaves was rejected by 3 northern states and only 1 southern state. Let’s think they just lost 400,000 people to free the slaves then vote against freeing the slaves? It was never about slavery. It was about as Lincoln said “preserving the union” Lincoln didn’t even bring up the issue of slaves until the middle of the war.
Lincoln said “There is a natural disgust in the minds of nearly all white people to the idea of indiscriminate amalgamation of the white and black races … A separation of the races is the only perfect preventive of amalgamation, but as an immediate separation is impossible, the next best thing is to keep them apart where they are not already together. If white and black people never get together in Kansas, they will never mix blood in Kansas …”
He also said “I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is physical difference between the two which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together upon the footing of perfect equality, and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position.”
And he said “Our republican system was meant for a homogeneous people. As long as blacks continue to live with the whites they constitute a threat to the national life. Family life may also collapse and the increase of mixed breed bastards may some day challenge the supremacy of the white man.”
And pay attention to this Lincoln said ” I HAVE NO PURPOSE DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY TO INTERFERE WITH THE INSTITUTION OF SLAVERY IN THE STATES WHERE IT EXIST. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do so.”
And “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy Slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves, I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone, I would also do that.” -Abe Lincoln your white separatist hero.
Tariffs: The Road to Civil War Part 2
Real Causes of “The Civil War”– Morrill tariff
Donald J. Trump Address: Declaring American Economic Independence
Today, Donald J. Trump spoke at the Alumisource Factory in Monessen, Pennsylvania. Mr. Trump’s speech focused on how to rebuild the American economy by fighting for fair trade. The middle class has collapsed because of the failed policies from Washington, D.C. that benefit the politicians, but not the American people. The all talk, no action politicians have promoted globalization at the expense of American workers. Mr. Trump will fight to put the country and its workers first in order to Make America Great Again. A transcript of the remarks can be viewed via the link below:
Today, Donald J. Trump announced the expansion of his campaign team making several appointments as he continues to build his operations in advance of the general elections.
Jason Miller will serve as Senior Communications Advisor, where he will work with the existing team to build out a full Communications Department to deliver victory this November. Mr. Miller will work with several areas of the campaign to ensure messaging coordination and implementation. Mr. Miller has managed campaigns and shaped messages for successful House, Senate and gubernatorial races in addition to serving on the senior staffs of two presidential campaigns.
Michael Abboud is joining the Trump Campaign as a Communications Coordinator. Formerly with the RNC Communications Department, Mr. Abboud will work to execute the campaign’s rapid response and daily messaging, as well as providing candidate briefings on daily news and breaking stories.
Alan Cobb will serve as the Director of Coalitions for the campaign, organizing and managing the numerous coalition groups that currently support, and will support, Mr. Trump for president. Previously, Mr. Cobb served in several roles for the Trump Campaign including as a Senior Advisor. Mr. Cobb managed statewide, political and issue campaigns, served as the Deputy State Director for U.S. Senators Bob Dole and U.S. Senator Sheila Frahm and served as a Campaign Advisor to the 2014 campaigns of Congressman Mike Pompeo and Senator Pat Roberts.
On the appointments, Mr. Trump stated, “As we continue to work to defeat Hillary Clinton this November, I am constantly building a superior political team. After winning the most votes in the history of a Republican primary contest, we are taking our messages to the people so that we can Make American Great Again.”
Donald Trump starts a trade war — with the Republican Party
By Sean Sullivan and Jenna JohnsonJune 30
The unusual battle between Donald Trump and much of the Republican establishment on international trade is rapidly escalating, as the presumptive GOP nominee rails against business groups and members of his own party while defenders of sweeping free-trade pacts rebuke him.The rift deepened on Thursday when Trump called out the U.S. Chamber of Commerce by name for the second straight day and pilloried the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, two landmark trade agreements broadly supported by Republicans.“I’m messing with bad deals that we could make good,” Trump said in his speech at a shuttered manufacturing plant in Manchester, N.H. “I could make good deals. Why would somebody fight that? I mean, the U.S. Chamber fights. They said, ‘Oh, Trump wants to stop free trade.’ I don’t want to stop free trade. I love free trade, but I want to make great deals.”
The mogul’s comments followed a flurry of insults throughout the week aimed at advocates of broad trade accords, which have been championed by Republican leaders for decades as crucial engines of capitalism. Trump accused TPP backers, for example, of wanting to “rape” the United States.
For Trump, feuding with powerful business interests makes him an attractive candidate for many disaffected working-class voters, including some who have supported Democrats in the past.
But the loud dispute also risks alienating many of the Republican Party’s wealthy benefactors at a time when he is struggling to kick his long-dormant fundraising operation into gear. A stridently protectionist message could also push some moderate Main Street Republicans to support Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, in much the same way that many Republicans in the foreign policy world have done.
Many business groups, which generally favor looser trade restrictions and are traditional Republican allies, have taken sharp issue with Trump’s latest comments and appear determined to rebut them.
“While we never endorse in the presidential race, we do plan to be aggressive in presidential policy with both major party nominees,” said Scott Reed, the senior political strategist at the Chamber of Commerce. The group repudiated Trump in real time on Tuesday in a series of tweets as he delivered an address threatening to tear up trade accords and impose tariffs.
Trump has long blamed broad trade agreements for harming U.S. workers. But this week has marked a rhetorical shift as he aggressively casts members of both parties who have supported trade deals as anti-American and in league with “special interests.” For many Republicans in particular, the rhetoric amounts to an assault on core ideological beliefs that have undergirded conservative economic policy for generations.
The candidate’s arguments have also left an opening for sharp attacks by Clinton and other Democrats accusing him of hypocrisy. Trump in the past has talked favorably about outsourcing jobs overseas, and much of his Trump-branded apparel line and other products are manufactured in low-cost Asian countries.
“Donald Trump is running as an anti-Republican Republican in many ways,” said David French, senior vice president of government relations at the National Retail Federation, which like the Chamber of Commerce is not taking sides in the presidential contest. French said Trump’s commentary on trade has been disappointing.
Some business leaders are privately pessimistic that publicly fighting Trump hard on trade will be a winning proposition. His access to free media coverage through television and radio interviews presents a big obstacle to anyone standing in his way.
It also remains to be seen how and if these groups will escalate their fight beyond social media and chastising in the news media. The Chamber of Commerce, for example, is focused heavily on down-ballot contests and, given that the group primarily supports Republicans, could end up helping Trump regardless.
As Trump spoke Thursday, he stood in front of a manufacturing facility that closed in 2014, causing more than 130 workers to lose their jobs. He continued to tout his protectionist economic policies, which he has underscored since the day he launched his campaign more than a year ago and which stand at odds with many pro-free-trade statements in his past.
Trump’s repeated needling of the Chamber of Commerce, which is the nation’s largest business lobby, signaled that he has found a new favorite target. During a rally in Maine on Wednesday, Trump accused the organization of being “totally controlled by the special-interest groups.”
The mogul continued his assault on social media a few hours later, tweeting, “For reasons only they can explain, the @USChamber wants to continue our bad trade deals rather than renegotiating and making them better.”
Trump has repeatedly blamed outsourcing and big trade agreements for domestic economic decline. He has vowed to renegotiate NAFTA as president and withdraw the United States from TPP — promises many experts in both parties call unrealistic and highly risky.
But such talk has won Trump legions of fans in the economically depressed Rust Belt and other areas suffering from the effects of globalization. His allies hope it will help him compete in Ohio and Pennsylvania, two key swing states.
Trump’s repeated talk about trade is aimed in large part at undermining Clinton, whose husband signed NAFTA as president. Trump also accuses Clinton of waffling on TPP, which she praised as secretary of state but then opposed during her hard-fought primary contest with Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.
“The trade policies of Hillary Clinton, global financiers — and they’re all controlling her, they have 100 percent, they might as well stamp Hillary Clinton on their forehead,” he said Thursday.
Clinton and other Democrats have pushed back by pointing to the ways that Trump has benefited from the policies he now condemns. On Thursday, Clinton issued a tweet listing the countries, from Mexico to Bangladesh, where Trump-branded ties and shirts were made.
While Trump insists he is not trying to challenge free-trade principles, he has repeatedly argued that it is more important for the United States to have “fair trade” agreements. He has said that he would prefer to negotiate deals one-on-one with countries rather than enter into multi-national settlements.
Trump has repeatedly vowed to impose high tariffs — or the threat of high tariffs — to bully American companies into keeping jobs in the United States. His favorite example is Ford Motor Co., which plans to build a massive plant in Mexico. Trump has said that before he takes office he will persuade Ford to change course by threatening to charge the company a 35 percent tax on cars imported back into the United States.
Trump took a handful of questions from the audience Thursday, including one from a man who used to work at a factory that made police badges but lost that business when departments started ordering from overseas.
“What are you going to do for us?” the man asked, as the small crowd applauded.
“First of all, your story is common to thousands and thousands of companies throughout this country,” Trump said, before promising to fight currency manipulation, which he says makes it impossible for U.S. companies to compete with those based in China and elsewhere.
Trump repeatedly said that while making products within the United States might be a bit more expensive, it’s worth the cost to have more jobs based here.
Another man asked Trump how he will respond to the corporate backlash to his trade policies.
“Corporations? I’m not worried about it,” Trump said, pointing out that his tax plan is “cutting business taxes way down” and that he will make it less expensive for companies to temporarily bring their money back from overseas.
“We will do things that are going to be so miraculous — and it’ll be fast. It won’t take a long period of time,” Trump said.
The Morrill Tariff of 1861 was an increased import tariff in the United States, adopted on March 2, 1861, during the administration of President James Buchanan, a Democrat. It was the twelfth of seventeen planks in the platform of the incoming Republican Party, which had not yet been inaugurated, and it appealed to industrialists and factory workers as a way to foster rapid industrial growth.
It was named for its sponsor, Representative Justin Smith Morrill of Vermont, who drafted it with the advice of Pennsylvania economist Henry Charles Carey. The passage of the tariff was possible because many tariff-averse Southerners had resigned from Congress after their states declared their secession. The Morrill Tariff raised rates to encourage industry and to foster high wages for industrial workers. It replaced the low Tariff of 1857, which was written to benefit the South. Two additional tariffs sponsored by Morrill, each one higher, were passed during Abraham Lincoln‘s administration to raise urgently needed revenue during the Civil War.
The Morrill tariff inaugurated a period of continuous trade protection in the United States, a policy that remained until the adoption of the Revenue Act of 1913 (the Underwood tariff). The schedule of the Morrill Tariff and its two successor bills were retained long after the end of the Civil War.
A high tariff to encourage the development of domestic industry had been advocated for many years, especially by the Whig Party and its long-time leader Henry Clay. They enacted such a tariff in 1842, but in 1846 the Democrats enacted the Walker Tariff, cutting tariff rates substantially. The Democrats cut rates even further in the Tariff of 1857, which was highly favorable to the South.
Meanwhile, the Whig Party broke up, and this element of the Whig program was taken up by the new Republican Party, which ran its first national ticket in 1856. Some former Whigs from the Border States and upper South remained in Congress as “Opposition”, “Unionist”, or “American” (Know Nothing) members; they also supported higher tariffs.
The Panic of 1857 led to calls for protectionist tariff revision. Well-known economist Henry C. Carey blamed the Panic on the Tariff of 1857. His opinion was widely circulated in the high tariff (or “protectionist”) media.
Minority Ways and Means members Morrill and Henry Winter Davis (a Maryland “American”) produced the Republican proposal, an upward revision of the tariff schedule. It replaced the existing ad valorem tariff schedule with specific duties and drastically increased tariff rates on goods produced by popular “protected” industries, such as iron, textiles, and other manufactured goods. Economic historian Frank Taussig argued that in many cases, the substitution of specific duties was used to disguise the extent of the rate increases. Supporters of the specific rates argued that they were necessary, though, because European exporters were routinely providing their American customers with phony invoices showing lower prices for goods than were actually paid. Specific rates made such subterfuge pointless.
However, the House took no action on either tariff bill during the 35th Congress.
The Morrill bill was passed out of committee and brought up for a floor vote near the end of first session of the Congress (December 1859 – June 1860).
The vote was on May 10, 1860; the bill passed by a vote of 105 to 64.
The vote was largely but not entirely sectional. Republicans, all from the northern states, voted 89–2 for the bill. They were joined by 7 northern Democrats from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. Five of these were “anti-Lecompton Democrats” (dissident Democrats who opposed the pro-slavery Lecompton constitution for Kansas).
14 northern Democrats voted against the bill.
In the Border States, 4 “Opposition” Representatives from Kentucky voted for it, as did its co-sponsor Winter of Maryland, a Maryland “Unionist”, and a Democrat from Delaware. 8 Border state Democrats and an “American” from Missouri voted no.
35 southern Democrats and 3 Oppositionists voted against it; one Oppositionist from Tennessee voted for it.
Thus the sectional breakdown was 96–15 in the north, 7–9 in the Border, and 1–39 in the south.
There were 55 abstentions, including 13 Republicans, 12 northern Democrats, 13 southern Democrats, and 8 southern “Oppositionists” and “Americans”. (The remaining Representatives were mostly “paired” with opposing Representatives who could not be present.
The Morrill bill was sent on to the Senate. However, the Senate was controlled by Democrats, and so the bill was bottled up in the Finance Committee, chaired by Robert M. T. Hunter of Virginia.
This insured that the Senate vote would be put off till the second session in December. It also meant that the tariff would be a prominent issue in the 1860 election.
The Republican party included a strong pro-tariff plank in its 1860 platform. They also sent prominent tariff advocates such as Morrill and Sherman to campaign in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where the tariff was popular, by touting the Morrill bill. Both Democratic candidates, John C. Breckinridge and Stephen Douglas, opposed all high tariffs and protectionism in general.
Historian Reinhard H. Luthin documents the importance of the Morrill Tariff to the Republicans in the 1860 presidential election. Abraham Lincoln’s record as a protectionist and support for the Morrill Tariff bill, he notes, helped him to secure support in the important electoral college state of Pennsylvania, as well as neighboring New Jersey. Lincoln carried Pennsylvania handily in November, as part of his sweep of the North.
On February 14, 1861, President-elect Lincoln told an audience in Pittsburgh that he would make a new tariff his priority in the next session if the bill did not pass by inauguration day on March 4.
Renewed Senate action
The second session of the 36th Congress began in December 1860. At first it appeared that Hunter would keep the Morrill bill tabled until the end of the term in March.
However, in December 1860 and January 1861, seven southern states declared secession, and their low-tariff Senators withdrew. Republicans took control of the Senate in February, and Hunter lost his hold on the Finance Committee.
Meanwhile, the Treasury was in financial crisis, with less than $500,000 on hand and millions in unpaid bills. The Union urgently needed new revenue. A recent historian concludes, “the impetus for revising the tariff arose as an attempt to augment revenue, stave off ‘ruin,’ and address the accumulating debt.”
The Morrill bill was brought to the Senate floor for a vote on February 20, and passed 25 to 14. The vote was split almost completely down party lines. It was supported by 24 Republicans and Democrat William Bigler of Pennsylvania. It was opposed by 10 Southern Democrats, 2 Northern Democrats, and 2 Far West Democrats. 12 Senators abstained, including 3 Northern Democrats, 1 California Democrat, 5 Southern Democrats, 2 Republicans, and 1 Unionist from Maryland.
There were some minor amendments related to the tariffs on tea and coffee, which required a conference committee with the House, but these were resolved and the final bill was approved by unanimous consent on March 2.
Though a Democrat himself, outgoing President James Buchanan favored the bill because of the interests of his home state, Pennsylvania. He signed the bill into law as one of his last acts in office.
Adoption and amendments
The Morrill Tariff took effect one month after it was signed into law. Besides setting tariff rates, the bill altered and restricted the Warehousing Act of 1846.
The Morrill Tariff was drafted and passed the House before the Civil War began or was even expected, and was passed by the Senate almost unchanged. Thus it should not be considered “Civil War” legislation.
In fact, the Tariff proved to be too low for the revenue needs of the Civil War, and was quickly supplanted by the Second Morrill Tariff, or Revenue Act of 1861, later that fall.
In its first year of operation, the Morrill Tariff increased the effective rate collected on dutiable imports by approximately 70%. In 1860 American tariff rates were among the lowest in the world and also at historical lows by 19th century standards, the average rate for 1857 through 1860 being around 17% overall (ad valorem), or 21% on dutiable items only. The Morrill Tariff immediately raised these averages to about 26% overall or 36% on dutiable items, and further increases by 1865 left the comparable rates at 38% and 48%. Although higher than in the immediate antebellum period, these rates were still significantly lower than between 1825 and 1830, when rates had sometimes been over 50%.
The United States needed $3 billion to pay for the immense armies and fleets raised to fight the Civil War — over $400 million just in 1862. The chief source of Federal revenue had been the tariff revenues. Therefore, Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, though a long-time free-trader, worked with Morrill to pass a second tariff bill in summer 1861, raising rates another 10 points in order to generate more revenues. These subsequent bills were primarily revenue driven to meet the war’s needs, though they enjoyed the support of protectionists such as Carey, who again assisted Morrill in the bill’s drafting.
However, the tariff played only a modest role in financing the war. It was far less important than other measures, such as $2.8 billion in bond sales and some printing of Greenbacks. Customs revenue from tariffs totaled $345 million from 1861 through 1865, or 43% of all federal tax revenue, while military spending totalled $3,065 million.
The Morrill Tariff was met with intense hostility in Britain, where the free trade movement dominated public opinion. Southern diplomats and agents sought to use British ire towards the Morrill Tariff in order to garner sympathy, with the aim of obtaining British recognition for the Confederacy. The new tariff schedule heavily penalized British iron, clothing, and manufactured exports with new taxes and sparked public outcry from many British politicians. The expectation of high tax rates probably caused British shippers to hasten their deliveries before the new rates took effect in the early summer of 1861. When complaints were heard from London, Congress counterattacked. The Senate Finance Committee chairman snapped, “What right has a foreign country to make any question about what we choose to do?”
When the American Civil War broke out in 1861, British public opinion was sympathetic to the Confederacy, in part because of lingering agitation over the tariff. As one diplomatic historian has explained, the Morrill Tariff:
“Not unnaturally gave great displeasure to England. It greatly lessened the profits of the American markets to English manufacturers and merchants, to a degree which caused serious mercantile distress in that country. Moreover, the British nation was then in the first flush of enthusiasm over free trade, and, under the lead of extremists like Cobden and Gladstone, was inclined to regard a protective tariff as essentially and intrinsically immoral, scarcely less so than larceny or murder. Indeed, the tariff was seriously regarded as comparable in offensiveness with slavery itself, and Englishmen were inclined to condemn the North for the one as much as the South for the other. “We do not like slavery,” said Palmerston to Adams, “but we want cotton, and we dislike very much your Morrill tariff.”
If it be not slavery, where lies the partition of the interests that has led at last to actual separation of the Southern from the Northern States? …Every year, for some years back, this or that Southern state had declared that it would submit to this extortion only while it had not the strength for resistance. With the election of Lincoln and an exclusive Northern party taking over the federal government, the time for withdrawal had arrived … The conflict is between semi-independent communities [in which] every feeling and interest [in the South] calls for political partition, and every pocket interest [in the North] calls for union … So the case stands, and under all the passion of the parties and the cries of battle lie the two chief moving causes of the struggle. Union means so many millions a year lost to the South; secession means the loss of the same millions to the North. The love of money is the root of this, as of many other evils… [T]he quarrel between the North and South is, as it stands, solely a fiscal quarrel.
Communist philosopher Karl Marx was among the few writers in Britain who saw slavery as the major cause of the war. Marx wrote extensively in the British press and served as a London correspondent for several North American newspapers including Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune. Marx reacted to those who blamed the war on Morrill’s bill, arguing instead that slavery had induced secession and that the tariff was just a pretext. Marx wrote, in October 1861:
Naturally, in America everyone knew that from 1846 to 1861 a free trade system prevailed, and that Representative Morrill carried his protectionist tariff through Congress only in 1861, after the rebellion had already broken out. Secession, therefore, did not take place because the Morrill tariff had gone through Congress, but, at most, the Morrill tariff went through Congress because secession had taken place.
According to historian Heather Cox Richardson, Morrill intended to offer protection to both the usual manufacturing recipients and a broad group of agricultural interests. The purpose was to appease interests beyond the northeast, which traditionally supported protection. For the first time protection was extended to every major farm product.
Planning to distribute the benefits of a tariff to all sectors of the economy, and also hoping to broaden support for his party, Morrill rejected the traditional system of protection by proposing tariff duties on agricultural, mining, and fishing products, as well as on manufactures. Sugar, wool, flaxseed, hides, beef, pork, corn, grain, hemp, wool, and minerals would all be protected by the Morrill Tariff. The duty on sugar might well be expected to appease Southerners opposed to tariffs, and, notably, wool and flaxseed production were growing industries in the West. The new tariff bill also would protect coal, lead, copper, zinc, and other minerals, all of which the new northwestern states were beginning to produce. The Eastern fishing industry would receive a duty on dried, pickled, and salted fish. “In adjusting the details of a tariff,” Morrill explained with a rhetorical flourish in his introduction of the bill, “I would treat agriculture, manufactures, mining, and commerce, as I would our whole people—as members of one family, all entitled to equal favor, and no one to be made the beast of burden to carry the packs of others.”
According to Taussig, “Morrill and the other supporters of the act of 1861 declared that their intention was simply to restore the rates of 1846.” However, he also gives reason to suspect that the bill’s motives were intended to put high rates of protection on iron and wool to attract states in the West and in Pennsylvania:
“The important change which they (the sponsors) proposed to make from the provisions of the tariff of 1846 was to substitute specific for ad-valorem duties. Such a change from ad-valorem to specific duties is in itself by no means objectionable; but it has usually been made a pretext on the part of protectionists for a considerable increase in the actual duties paid. When protectionists make a change of this kind, they almost invariably make the specific duties higher than the ad-valorem duties for which they are supposed to be an equivalent…The Morrill tariff formed no exception to the usual course of things in this respect. The specific duties which it established were in many cases considerably above the ad-valorem duties of 1846. The most important direct changes made by the act of 1861 were in the increased duties on iron and on wool, by which it was hoped to attach to the Republican party Pennsylvania and some of the Western States”
Henry Carey, who assisted Morrill while drafting the bill and was one of its most vocal supporters, strongly emphasized its importance to the Republican Party in his January 2, 1861 letter to Lincoln. Carey told the President-Elect “the success of your administration is wholly dependent upon the passage of the Morrill bill at the present session.” According to Carey:
“With it, the people will be relieved — your term will commence with a rising wave of prosperity — the Treasury will be filled and the party that elected you will be increased and strengthened. Without it, there will be much suffering among the people — much dissatisfaction with their duties — much borrowing on the part of the Government — & very much trouble among the Republican Party when the people shall come to vote two years hence. There is but one way to make the Party a permanent one, & that is, by the prompt repudiation to the free trade system.”
The Morrill tariff bill came nearer than any other to meeting the double requirement of providing ample revenue for the support of the government and of rendering the proper protection to home industries. No national taxes, except duties on imported goods, were imposed at the time of its passage. The Civil War changed all this, reducing importations and adding tenfold to the revenue required. The government was justified in increasing existing rates of duty, and in adding to the dutiable list all articles imported, thus including articles of prime necessity and of universal use. In addition to these duties, it was compelled to add taxes on all articles of home production, on incomes not required for the supply of actual wants, and, especially, on articles of doubtful necessity, such as spirits, tobacco and beer. These taxes were absolutely required to meet expenditures for the army and navy, for the interest on the war debts and just pensions to those who were disabled by the war, and to their widows and orphans.
Secession and tariffs
The Morrill Tariff and the secession movement
The Morrill tariff was adopted against the backdrop of the secession movement, and provided an issue for secessionist agitation in some southern states. The law’s critics compared it to the 1828 Tariff of Abominations that sparked the Nullification Crisis, although its average rate was significantly lower.
Slavery dominated the secession debate in the southern states, but the Morrill Tariff was addressed in the conventions of Georgia and South Carolina.
Robert Barnwell Rhett similarly railed against the then-pending Morrill Tariff before the South Carolina convention. Rhett included a lengthy attack on tariffs in the Address of South Carolina to Slaveholding State19s, which the convention adopted on December 25, 1860 to accompany its secession ordinance.
And so with the Southern States, towards the Northern States, in the vital matter of taxation. They are in a minority in Congress. Their representation in Congress, is useless to protect them against unjust taxation; and they are taxed by the people of the North for their benefit, exactly as the people of Great Britain taxed our ancestors in the British parliament for their benefit. For the last forty years, the taxes laid by the Congress of the United States have been laid with a view of subserving the interests of the North. The people of the South have been taxed by duties on imports, not for revenue, but for an object inconsistent with revenue— to promote, by prohibitions, Northern interests in the productions of their mines and manufactures.
The Morrill Tariff played less prominently elsewhere in the South. In some portions of Virginia, secessionists promised a new protective tariff to assist the state’s fledgling industries.
In the North, enforcement of the Morrill Tariff contributed to support for the Union cause among industrialists and merchant interests. Speaking of this class, the abolitionist Orestes Brownson derisively remarked that “the Morrill Tariff moved them more than the fall of Sumter.” In one such example the New York Times, which had previously opposed Morrill’s bill on free trade grounds, editorialized that the tariff imbalance would bring commercial ruin to the North and urged its suspension until the secession crisis passed. “We have imposed high duties on our commerce at the very moment the seceding states are inviting commerce to their ports by low duties.” As secession became more evident and the fledgling Confederacy adopted a much lower tariff of its own, the paper urged military action to enforce the Morrill Tariff in the Southern states.
Historians, James Huston notes, have been baffled by the role of high tariffs in general and have offered multiple conflicting interpretations over the years. (Low tariffs, all historians agree, were noncontroversial and were needed to fund the federal government.) One school of thought says the Republicans were the willing tools of would-be monopolists. A second schools says the Republicans truly believed tariffs would promote nationalism and prosperity for everyone along with balanced growth in every region (as opposed to growth only in the cotton South). A third school emphasizes the undeniable importance of the tariff in cementing party loyalty, especially in industrial states. Another approach emphasizes that factory workers were eager for high tariffs because it protected their high wages from European competition.
Charles A. Beard argued in the 1920s that very long-term economic issues were critical, with the pro-tariff industrial Northeast forming a coalition with the anti-tariff agrarian Midwest against the plantation South. According to Luthin in the 1940s, “Historians are not unanimous as to the relative importance which Southern fear and hatred of a high tariff had in causing the secession of the slave states.” However, none of the statesmen seeking a compromise in 1860-61 that would avert the war ever suggested the tariff might be the key to a solution, or might be a cause of the secession. Beginning in the 1950s, historians moved away from the Beard thesis of economic causality. In its place, historians led by Richard Hofstadter began to emphasize the social causes of the war, centered around the issue of slavery. The Beard thesis has enjoyed a recent revival among economists, pro-Confederate historians, and neo-Beardian scholars. A 2002 study by economists Robert McGuire and T. Norman Van Cott concluded:
A de facto constitutional mandate that tariffs lie on the lower end of the Laffer relationship means that the Confederacy went beyond simply observing that a given tax revenue is obtainable with a “high” and “low” tax rate, a la Alexander Hamilton and others. Indeed, the constitutional action suggests that the tariff issue may in fact have been even more important in the North–South tensions that led to the Civil War than many economists and historians currently believe.”
Rather than contributing to secession, Marc-William Palen notes how the tariff was only able to pass through Congress following the secession of Southern states. Thus, secession itself allowed for the bill’s passage, rather than the other way around.Allan Nevinsand James M. McPherson downplay the significance of the tariff, arguing that it was peripheral to the issue of slavery. They note that slavery dominated the secessionist declarations, speeches, and pamphlets. Nevins also points to the argument of Alexander Stephens, who disputed Toombs’ claims about the severity of the Morrill tariff. Though initially a unionist, Stephens would later cite slavery as the “cornerstone” reason behind his support of the secessionist cause.