The Pronk Pops Show 1309. August 20, 2019, Story 1: 23 Texas Towns Hit With Ransomware Attack — Videos — Story 2: President Trump Does Not Support Universal Background Checks But Does Support Meaningful Intelligent Background Checks  — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Looking At Payroll Tax Cuts — Videos — Story 4: Big Lie Media, Radical Extremist Democrat Socialists (REDS), and Trump Haters Hope The United States Economy Goes Into A Recession to Defeat Trump — Betrayal of The American People — Videos

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Pronk Pops Show 1309 August 20, 2019

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Pronk Pops Show 1304 August 8, 2019

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Story 1: 23 Texas Towns Hit With Ransomware Attack — Videos

Ransomware As Fast As Possible

Officials Working To Help 23 Local Texas Governments After Ransomware Attack

Ransomware attack hits government computers in over 20 Texas towns

Texas government agencies hit by ransomware attack

Ransomware attack hits 23 Texas towns

Twenty-two Texas Towns Hit By Ransomware

Ransomware attack hits 23 Texas towns

23 local Texas governments hit with ransomware attack

How Ransomware Locks Your PC & Holds Your Data Hostage

How one ransomware attack cost £45m to fix – BBC News

What is ransomware and how can I protect myself?

Th

RANSOMWARE

Wana Decrypt0r (Wanacry Ransomware) – Computerphile

 

Texas is hit with ransomware attack as at least 20 local governments come under ‘coordinated’ cyber assault

  • Texas state government reports coordinated ransomware attacks in 20 cities
  • State Department of Information Resources is leading the response
  • Ransomware cripples computer infrastructure with demand for payment 

Texas has been hit with a wave of ransomware attacks targeting at least 20 local government entities.

The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) said late Friday that it is leading the response to a ‘coordinated ransomware attack’ that is crippling critical government infrastructure across the state.

Ransomware disables computer networks and holds them hostage in demand for payment.

Workers are seen inside the Texas Division of Emergency Management, State Operations Center in Austin in a file photo
‘Currently, DIR, the Texas Military Department, and the Texas A&M University System’s Cyberresponse and Security Operations Center teams are deploying resources to the most critically impacted jurisdictions,’ the department said in a statement.

WHAT IS RANSOMWARE?

Cybercriminals use ‘blockers’ to stop their victim accessing their device.

This may include a mesage telling them this is due to ‘illegal content’  such as porn being identified on their device.

Anyone who has accessed porn online is probably less likely to take the matter up with law enforcement.

Hackers then ask for money to be paid, often in the form of Bitcoins or other untraceable cryptocurrencies, for the block to be removed.

In May 2017, a massive ransomware virus attack called WannaCry spread to the computer systems of hundreds of private companies and public organisations across the globe.

The department urged local jurisdictions who have been impacted to contact their local TDEM Disaster District Coordinator.

‘DIR is fully committed to respond swiftly to this event and provide the necessary resources to bring these entities back online,’ the agency said.

It was not immediately clear which cities had been impacted by the attacks and what entity is suspected of perpetrating them.

A spokesman for DIR did not immediately respond to a request for comment from DailyMail.com on Saturday.

The attack came within hours of a massive failure of U.S. Customs and Border Protection computers that caused huge travel delays across the country – although the federal agency has insisted that the outage was not ‘malicious’ in nature. 

‘The affected systems are coming back online and travelers are being processed. CBP will continue to monitor the incident. There is no indication the disruption was malicious in nature at this time,’ CBP said in a statement at 6.30pm ET on Friday.

22 Texas Towns Hit With Ransomware Attack In ‘New Front’ Of Cyberassault

Texas state Capitol building in Austin. This week, state officials confirmed that 22 municipalities have been infiltrated and ransom demanded.

Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call/Getty Images

Updated at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday ET

Texas is the latest state to be hit with a cyberattack, with state officials confirming this week that computer systems in 22 municipalities have been infiltrated by hackers demanding a ransom. A mayor of one of those cities said the attackers are asking for $2.5 million to unlock the files.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and state cybersecurity experts are examining the ongoing breach, which began Friday morning and has affected mostly smaller local governments. Officials have not disclosed which specific places are affected.

Investigators have also not yet identified who or what is behind the attack that took the systems offline, but the Texas Department of Information Resources says the evidence so far points to “one single threat actor.”

Elliott Sprehe, a spokesman for the department, said he was “not aware” of any of the cities having paid the undisclosed ransom sought by hackers. He said the areas impacted are predominantly rural. The department initially put the number of cities attacked at 23.

Two cities so far have come forward to say their computer systems were affected. Officials in Borger in the Texas Panhandle, said the attack has affected city business and financial operations. Birth and death certificates are not available online, and the city can’t accept utility payments from any of its 13,25o residents. “Responders have not yet established a time-frame for when full, normal operations will be restored,” city officials said.

Keene, Texas, a city of some 6,100 people outside Fort Worth, was also hit, officials announced. The city’s government is also unable to process utility payments.

Keene Mayor Gary Heinrich told NPR that the hackers broke into the information technology software used by the city and managed by an outsourced company, which he said also supports many of the other municipalities targeted.

“Well, just about everything we do at City Hall is impacted, Heinrich said.

Heinrich said the hackers want a collective ransom of $2.5 million.

“They got into our software provider, the guys who run our IT systems,” Heinrich said. “A lot of folks in Texas use providers to do that, because we don’t have a staff big enough to have IT in house.”

State officials would not comment on the nature of the attack or confirm the ransom amount. But Heinrich said there is no way his city will be coughing up anything for the hackers.

“Stupid people,” he said of the cyber-attackers. “You know, just no sense in this at all.”

Experts say that while government agencies have increasingly been hit by cyberattacks, simultaneously targeting nearly two dozen cities represents a new kind of digital assault.

“What’s unique about this attack and something we hadn’t seen before is how coordinated attack this attack is,” said threat intelligence analyst Allan Liska. “It does present a new front in the ransomware attack,” he said. “It absolutely is the largest coordinated attack we’ve seen.”

Liska’s research firm, Recorded Future, has found that ransomware attacks aimed at state and local government have been on the rise, finding at least 169 examples of hackers breaking into government computer systems since 2013. There have been more than 60 already this year, he said.

In recent months, the data networks of Baltimore, the Georgia courts system and a county in Utah have all been hit by ransomware.

The hacker bait tends to come in the form of a seemingly benign email with links or attachments that, once opened, can infect a system. There are other popular ways of tapping into government networks, Liska said, like through remote desktop systems, which can be vulnerable to hackers.

While the attackers tend to be anonymous and their locations undisclosed, Liska said his research has found that few are based in the U.S. Many, he said, are breaching local government computer systems from operations based in parts of Eastern Europe or Russia.

And sometimes local governments see no other option to restoring their crippled networks than paying a ransom demanded by hackers. In Lake City, Fla., a town of about 12,000 residents, officials paid $460,000 in the form of bitcoin, the preferred payment method among cybercriminals.

“They turned off the servers. They literally went room through room through city hall, unplugging people’s networks cables and turning off all the computers,” Mike Lee, a sergeant with the Lake City Police Department, told NPR in July.

The ransom was paid by insurance, but taxpayers were still on the hook for a $10,000 deductible.

The Recorded Future study found that about 17% of local agencies hit with ransomware viruses paid up, a practice federal law enforcement officials discourage, saying it incentivizes cybercriminals to keep engaging in the activity.

Liska said in cities he has worked with that have been preyed upon by hackers, there are instances in which ponying up for the return of data is the only viable option.

“Sometimes the reality of the situation may call for it,” he said. “If the backups aren’t working or if the bad guys have encrypted your backups, then unfortunately that’s what you’re left with.”

Individuals, businesses and institutions such as hospitals have been targeted by ransomware attacks for years. With the recent attacks on state and city government, local officials are rushing to secure their computer systems, holding new training and backing up their servers, Liska said. But in smaller, cash-strapped localities, there could be challenges to building a security defense.

Tad McGalliard studies local government cybersecurity at the Washington-based city manager group ICMA. He has been pushing for municipalities to find more funding to fight back against hackers.

“Somebody out there on the bad guy front is seeing an opportunity in local governments and we got to make a better job of making sure our employees are as well-trained and as well-equipped as possible,” McGalliard said.

McGalliard said the Texas case should be a wake-up call to cities in remote parts of the country.

“We might have thought this was a big city problem, or at least an affluent city or county problem, but I think what’s clear now is just about any local government is vulnerable,” he said.

In Texas, state authorities have not yet disclosed where exactly the attacks were based or how many computers have been swept up in the breach, meaning it is not yet known what services or data might have been compromised.

“Hitting 23 towns at once was bad, but we don’t know how much damage was done,” Liska said. “One computer in each town versus 100 computers in each town is a big difference.”

https://www.npr.org/2019/08/20/752695554/23-texas-towns-hit-with-ransomware-attack-in-new-front-of-cyberassault

Story 2: President Trump Does Not Support Universal Background Checks But Does Support Meaningful Intelligent Background Checks  — Videos

White House pushes back on background check claims

Lou Dobbs Tonight 8/20/19 | Breaking Fox News August 20, 2019

Story 3: President Trump Looking At Payroll Tax Cuts — Videos

Bank of America CEO Moynihan on the Economy, Recession Risks and Trade

What are the warning signs of a recession?

Are we heading for a global recession? – BBC Newsnight

The Point: Trump admits China war could bring economic recession

President Trump Wants To Cut Payroll Taxes

President Trump Says He’s Considering Payroll Tax Cut To Boost Economy | NBC Nightly News

President Trump may be considering options to prevent recession

Trump touts economy but payroll tax discussion reveals recession fears

Trump attacks Fed chair, pushes back on recession fears

Donald Trump says he will risk a ‘RECESSION for two months’ as a price for his China trade war saying only ‘dumb people’ don’t get what he us doing – and he admits he IS considering emergency tax cuts

  • Donald Trump spent morning retweeting aides and media allies to back his claim that recession warnings are a plot to unseat him in 2020
  • He retweeted a supporter who described him as having ‘super human energy,’ and a series of claims that the media is trying to crash the economy
  • ‘Somebody had to take China on,’ he argued. ‘China’s been grifting off this country for 25 years’ 
  • Told a reporter asking about a recession: ‘I am doing this whether it’s good or bad for your statement about, “Oh, will we fall into a recession for two months?” ‘
  • Trump declared, ‘The fact is, somebody had to take China on. My life would be a lot easier, if I didn’t take China on. But I like doing it, because I have to do it’
  • Also tweeted Mike Pence claiming Michigan’s economy is strong on day electorally-critical state was hit by U.S. Steel layoffs 
  • Admitted during an Oval Office meeting with Romania’s president that he’s considering a payroll tax cut and railed against the Federal Reserve and China
  • Dow closed 173.35 points down at 25,962.44 after rallying on Monday, in the latest market fluctuation. 

President Donald Trump says he’s willing to risk a ‘recession for two months’ to bring China to heel, declaring Tuesday that only ‘dumb people’ don’t understand his trade war and tariffs policies.

An angry Trump warned reporters that if he hadn’t challenged China, theft of intellectual property would hurt companies like Apple even more in the long term than his tariffs.

‘Somebody had to take China on,’ he argued. ‘China’s been grifting off this country for 25 years, but longer than that. And it’s about time, whether it’s good for our country, or bad for our country short term. Long term, it’s imperative that somebody does this because our country cannot continue to pay China $500 billion because stupid people are running it.’

He argued, ‘Whether its good or bad short term is irrelevant. We have to solve the problem with China.’

‘Whether it’s good or bad, the short term is irrelevant. We have to solve the problem with China because they’re taking out $500 billion a year plus. And that doesn’t include intellectual property theft and other things. And also, national security, so I am doing this whether it’s good or bad for your statement about, “Oh, will we fall into a recession for two months?” ‘ he told a journalist asking him about the possibility of a downturn.

Trump declared, ‘The fact is, somebody had to take China on. My life would be a lot easier, if I didn’t take China on. But I like doing it, because I have to do it. And we’re getting great help. China’s had the worst year they’ve had in 27 years, and a lot of people saying the worst year they’ve had in 54 years, OK?

President Donald Trump says he's willing to risk a 'recession for two months' to bring China to heel, declaring Tuesday that only 'dumb people' don't understand his trade war and tariffs policies

President Donald Trump says he’s willing to risk a ‘recession for two months’ to bring China to heel, declaring Tuesday that only ‘dumb people’ don’t understand his trade war and tariffs policies

Trump will risk recession as trade war with China ‘had to be done’

Fuming, the president insisted to journalists: ‘We’re winning big. I took it on.

‘And I’m happy to do it. Because it had to be done. And the smart people say, thank you very much. And the dumb people have no idea. And then you have the political people, and they go with the wind. But they all know.’

He defended his tariffs on China, arguing, ‘My trade deals aren’t causing a problem. This is something that had to be done.’ 

Trump also confirmed that he’s looking at a payroll tax cut, acknowledging that it’s ‘something we think about and a lot of people would like’ him to pursue to stimulate the economy.

Sitting next to Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, the president denied that the U.S. economy is in distress.

‘I think the word recession is a word that’s inappropriate,’ he asserted. ‘Certain people and the media are trying to build up, because they’d love to see a recession.’

He urged the Federal Reserve to cut rates again and said at a ‘minimum they should be doing nothing,’ as he lashed out against the financial institution.

Trump slams Fed, says US economy is ‘far from a recession’

Trump said it should not be decreasing the amount of money in circulation, a monetary policy known as quantitative tightening.

‘The fed is psychologically very important,’ he said in the Oval Office meeting, where he took half-an-hour of questions from gathered journalists.

The president offered up the EU and Germany as examples, saying, ‘You have to be proactive, and so we really need a fed cut rate because if you look what’s going on with the European Union, as an example, they’re cutting.

‘If you take a look at Germany, what they’re doing and what they’re doing, and what they’re paying, they’re actually doing something inverse, nobody’s ever seen it before, we have to at least keep up to an extent,’ he said. ‘So we’re looking for a rate cut.’

Trump’s remarks aired on television as Wall Street was winding down for the day.

It closed 173.35 points down at 25,962.44 after rallying on Monday, in the latest market fluctuation.

Trump accused Democrats Tuesday of running a strategy to drive the nation into recession, as he amplified claims from his allies that the economy is stronger under his leadership.

In a morning tweet storm which came as White House officials discussed how to stimulate the economy at the same time as Trump is denying a recession is looming, he retweeted Mike Pence, his campaign manager and three favored media allies – Geraldo Riviera and Jesse Watters of Fox News and Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business network.

One credited Trump with ‘super human energy,’ and pushed his own claim that Democrats are trying to drive the country into recession to beat him in 2020.

And GOP chairwoman Ronna McDaniel argued in tweets that manufacturing optimism is up and unemployment is down.

Trump seconded his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, who proclaimed in a message, ‘The liberal media is so deranged by President [Donald Trump] that they’re now cheering for the economy to tank – sorry to disappoint Democrats, but the economy has never been stronger!’

And the tweetstorm pointedly included praise for the economy in Michigan from vice president Mike Pence, who was traveling there Tuesday, on the day that U.S. Steel was revealed to be laying off hundreds and shuttering blast furnaces.

 

 

 

Tweet storm of praise: Trump turned to Twitter for backers of his claim that warnings of a recession are being driven by a desire to remove him from office

Tweet storm of praise: Trump turned to Twitter for backers of his claim that warnings of a recession are being driven by a desire to remove him from office

U.S. Steel –  a company whose renaissance has been a key part of the Trump narrative – said it would lay off 200 workers. It will also idle two blast furnaces for at least six months at Great Lakes and Gary Works plants, citing lower steel prices and softening demand.

The layoffs were characterized as temporary in filings,but the company admitted they could last longer than six months, in another indicator that the U.S. economy is slowing down.

Michigan is critical to Trump’s re-election prospects after the shock victory there played a key part in putting him in the White House.

In more bad news for Trump, a top lender, JP Morgan Chase assessed that Trump’s tariffs on China will cost American consumers $1,000 a household.

Despite Trump’s bravado on social media and previous bullish public comments, his  White House spokesman Hogan Gidley confirmed talks were under way on some form of stimulus.

He denied only a specific report that the measure bring considered a payroll tax cut and told Fox News: ‘It’s not being considered at this time but he’s looking at all options out there to try and give people back so much of the hard earned money they’ve made.’

A Washington Post report had cited sources at the White House said the administration was considering a temporary cut to the 6.2 percent tax to prevent a downturn.

The suggestion was modeled after a two percent slash Obama made in his first term, which expired in 2013 as job growth ticked up again.

On Monday night, a White House official told DailyMail.com that a payroll tax isn’t under discussion currently, although the person left the door open to future tax cuts to stimulate the economy.

‘As Larry Kudlow said yesterday, more tax cuts for the American people are certainly on the table, but cutting payroll taxes is not something under consideration at this time,’ the official said.

Kudlow had on Fox News Sunday said the president’s Oct. 2018 promise to pursue tax cuts for the middle class was still alive.

He denied that the nation was on the verge of a recession, however, after fill-in host Dana Perino asked about emergency action to counteract a recession.

‘Well, first of all I don’t see a recession at all. Second of all, the Trump pro-growth program, which I believe has been succeeding lower tax rates, bid rollback of regulations, energy opening, trade reform, we’re going to stay with that,’ he said. ‘We believe that’s the heart of the free enterprise. We want an incentive-oriented supply-side economy, providing opportunities for everybody across the board.’

He said, ‘That’s about as good as it gets and I notice, at the end of the week, a lot of the Wall Street firms have been marking up their economic growth forecasts. I think we’re in pretty good shape and I want to just say you know, we should not be afraid of optimism.’

Under questioning about a call that Trump had last Wednesday with JP Morgan’s Jamie Dimon and the CEOs of two other leading lenders, he suggested the conversation was about the president’s tariffs on China.

The lender said Tuesday that the next round of tariffs, which were delayed until Dec. 15, are likely to bring the cost per household this year up to $1,000.

Trump and his aides have now spent days denying publicly that a recession is on the horizon and the U.S. needs to take action. The president said Sunday that he’s ‘prepared’ to counteract one, though, if a financial downturn takes the country by surprise.

Trump insisted that American consumers are ‘not paying for the tariffs’ that he has on $250 billion of Chinese goods, so far, and said he’s reconsidering a plan to put tariffs on laptops and cells phones in December, to protect American consumers and companies.

He accused his political opponents of trying to bring down the United States’ economy to hurt his reelection chances on Monday, as his administration tried to put out a wildfire of claims that a recession might be on the way.

Trump said Monday that economy is doing well despite ‘very selfish’ political angling of Democrats on a mission to oust him from the White House.

‘Our Economy is very strong, despite the horrendous lack of vision by Jay Powell and the Fed, but the Democrats are trying to “will” the Economy to be bad for purposes of the 2020 Election. Very Selfish! Our dollar is so strong that it is sadly hurting other parts of the world,’ he tweeted.

On the spot: Donald Trump and his aides have now spent days denying that a recession is looming

On the spot: Donald Trump and his aides have now spent days denying that a recession is looming

Trump said that economy is doing well despite 'very selfish' political angling of Democrats, who are on a mission to oust him from the White House

Trump said that economy is doing well despite ‘very selfish’ political angling of Democrats, who are on a mission to oust him from the White House

He added, ‘The Fed Rate, over a fairly short period of time, should be reduced by at least 100 basis points, with perhaps some quantitative easing as well. If that happened, our Economy would be even better, and the World Economy would be greatly and quickly enhanced-good for everyone!’

Last week, the president accused the media of ‘doing everything they can to crash the economy because they think that will be bad for me and my re-election.’

He blamed a wide array of third parties, including Joe Biden and the Hong Kong protesters, accusing them of scuttling a trade deal with Beijing that would help both countries’ economies.

Three-quarters of economists predict a U.S. recession by 2021 in survey – but number who say it will be after the presidential election rises

A number of U.S. business economists appear sufficiently concerned about the risks of some of President Donald Trump’s economic policies that they expect a recession in the U.S. by the end of 2021.

In total, 74% economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics, in a report being released Monday, said they believe a slowing economy will tip into recession by 2021.

However there is some good news in the survey for the president, with the number who see a recession in 2020 down from 42% to 38%, while the number predicting a 2021 recession is at 34%.  That’s up from 25% in a survey taken in February.

Only 2% of those polled expect a recession to begin this year, down from 10% in February. A slightly higher number than before – 14% – say it will be later than 2021.

Trump, however, has dismissed concerns about a recession, offering an optimistic outlook for the economy after last week’s steep drop in the financial markets and saying on Sunday, ‘I don’t think we’re having a recession.’ A strong economy is key to the Republican president’s 2020 reelection prospects.

The economists have previously expressed concern that Trump’s tariffs and higher budget deficits could eventually dampen the economy.

Response: What business economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics are saying about a downturn

Response: What business economists surveyed by the National Association for Business Economics are saying about a downturn

The Trump administration has imposed tariffs on goods from many key U.S. trading partners, from China and Europe to Mexico and Canada.

Officials maintain that the tariffs, which are taxes on imports, will help the administration gain more favorable terms of trade. But U.S. trading partners have simply retaliated with tariffs of their own.

Trade between the U.S. and China, the two biggest global economies, has plunged. Trump decided last Wednesday to postpone until Dec. 15 tariffs on about 60% of an additional $300 billion of Chinese imports, granting a reprieve from a planned move that would have extended duties to nearly everything the U.S. buys from China.

The financial markets last week signaled the possibility of a U.S. recession, adding to concerns over the ongoing trade tensions and word from Britain and Germany that their economies are shrinking.

The economists surveyed by the NABE were skeptical about prospects for success of the latest round of U.S.-China trade negotiations. Only 5% predicted that a comprehensive trade deal would result, 64% suggested a superficial agreement was possible and nearly 25% expected nothing to be agreed upon by the two countries.

The 226 respondents, who work mainly for corporations and trade associations, were surveyed between July 14 and Aug. 1.

That was before the White House announced 10% tariffs on the additional $300 billion of Chinese imports, the Chinese currency dipped below the seven-yuan-to-$1 level for the first time in 11 years and the Trump administration formally labeled China a currency manipulator.

As a whole, the business economists’ recent responses have represented a rebuke of the Trump administration’s overall approach to the economy.

Still, for now, most economic signs appear solid. Employers are adding jobs at a steady pace, the unemployment rate remains near a 50-year low and consumers are optimistic. U.S. retail sales figures out last Thursday showed that they jumped in July by the most in four months.

The survey showed a steep decline in the percentage of economists who found the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts over the next decade ‘too stimulative’ and likely to produce higher budget deficits that should be reduced, to 51% currently from 71% in August 2018.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7376495/Trump-says-hes-looking-payroll-tax-cut-pushes-recession-claims.html

 

Story 4: Big Lie Media. Radical Extremist Democrat Socialists (REDS), and Trump Haters Hope The United States Economy Goes Into A Recession to Defeat Trump — Betrayal of The American People — Videos

Are Trump’s media critics rooting for recession?

Bill Maher roots for recession to get Trump out of office

Bill Maher says recession is ‘worth it’ if Trump loses in 2020

Lou Dobbs Tonight 8/20/19 | Breaking Fox News August 20, 2019

Is the world heading for a recession? | FT

Trump Warns of Economic Downturn if He Loses Next Year

Trump’s Victory Shattered The Democrats, They’ve Been Struggling Ever Since

White House dismisses fears of a recession l ABC News

 

Recession is at the top of Trump haters’ wish list

I’m not saying they are just hoping for a recession. It’s obvious the haters would like that.

But are they trying to cause a recession?

Comedian and Trump ultra-hater Bill Maher has already spoken for his side. “We have survived many recessions. We can’t survive another Donald Trump term,” Maher is quoted as saying.

You know what: Trying to cause a recession would actually be the most rational thing the president’s opponents have tried. The trouble is, this strategy doesn’t seem to be working. Not yet, at least.

I’ll get to that in a bit.

But first let’s go over the more irrational solutions that the president’s opponents have considered or have actually acted upon.

Right after the election, the Trump haters floated these doozies: Get the Electoral College voters to go against the wishes of their states and keep Trump from the presidency. When that didn’t work, they tried — at least according to a wishful press — to get members of Trump’s own cabinet to decline him unfit for office.

Strike two.

And, of course, there was whatever was going on inside the FBI and other intelligence agencies that were spying on the Trump campaign and pulling dirty tricks before and after his election.

That didn’t work either and we will find out more about what was going on when a report concerning all this comes from Michael Horowitz, the inspector general of the Justice Department, sometime in the very near future.

So that brings us back to the possibility — and for the haters, the last hope — that there will be a recession and that it will affect the next presidential election, which is a little more than a year away.

As I said, this isn’t an irrational tactic to take against Trump.

Elections are mostly won or lost on how the economy is doing. And right now, while there is lots of talk about a 2020 recession that will hurt Trump, that’s really all it is — talk. And it’s mostly talk in the media and among Democrats.

But this chatter is causing Trump to bring up the issue of a recession regularly to defend himself — which publicizes the possibility of an economic downturn even more.

You have probably heard that consumers control about 80% of the US economy. Recessions happen for a lot of reasons — a mistake by the Federal Reserve, economic problems overseas, careless lending by banks, a stock market crash, trade wars and war wars.

Some of those things, and others, can lead to a recession. But most of the things I just mentioned have been going on at times over the past 10 years and still there hasn’t been a recession since the Great One of 2007 to 2009.

But the quickest way to cause a recession is to kill the confidence of consumers. Without the consumer being willing to spend, the economy will crap out.

That’s where all the talk of a recession comes in. If the Trump haters in and outside the media can convince consumers that the next recession is right around the corner, the next recession just might be right around the corner.

And with any luck, the recession will happen just in time to be on voters’ minds when they decide whether to keep President Trump in office or kick him to the cul-de-sac.

What the haters really need is for Americans to forget all the irrational stuff they’ve already failed at and just focus on the economy. “It’s the economy, stupid,” is a Bill Clinton campaign motto that would need to be revised.

But here’s the problem. While helping cause a recession might be the rational thing for the haters to do politically, it comes with many drawbacks.

The biggest is that voters might figure out what the haters are doing and be pissed.

A recession will bring job losses. Will the American public blame the president, or can Trump cast the blame on his opponents?

And if this tactic is perceived as just another dirty trick, it might take the Democrats a very long time to regain the public’s support.

Trump certainly isn’t getting the kind of economy he wanted and even predicted. But growth is still around 2% a year, about where it was during most of the Obama administration.

Unemployment for everyone is down. And people are still spending, as recent retail sales figure show.

And the stock market is doing just fine, despite the president’s panic every time if falls a few percentage points.

But US debt levels have skyrocketed as Trump tried to boost the economy through a tax cut. And a tricky thing is happening in the bond markets — yields of shorter maturity government securities are higher than long-maturity yields.

This yield “inversion,” the experts say, is an omen of a coming recession. And the haters hope they are right.

Maybe, maybe not.

The chaos in the world could be making the US bond market flaky as foreign investors try to get assets out of their own country and into ours. And that, or some other market quirk, could be causing the inversion.

This is all quite intriguing and will make a great movie one of these days. But right now, it’s just a drama that will end — thankfully — in November 2020.

https://nypost.com/2019/08/19/recession-is-at-the-top-of-trump-haters-wish-list/

 

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