The Pronk Pops Show 941, August 7, 2017, Story 1: The United Nations Security Council Vote Was Unanimous (15-0) Including China and Russia Imposing Sanctions on North Korea — Videos — Story 2: Will American People Form A New Political Party ? Yes — American Independence Party? When? — 2024 When Over 50% Are Independents — No Longer Believe Democratic or Republican Parties Represent Their Interests/Concerns — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Takes 17 Day Working Vacation While White House Undergoes Needed Repairs — Videos — Story 4: Seymour Hersh Exposes The DNC Leaker — Seth Rich — Not The Russians — DNC Obstruction of Trust — Videos

Posted on August 7, 2017. Filed under: American History, Banking System, Budgetary Policy, Central Intelligence Agency, Congress, Constitutional Law, Corruption, Countries, Deep State, Defense Spending, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Economics, Education, Elections, Empires, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Federal Government, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Former President Barack Obama, Freedom of Speech, Government, Government Dependency, Government Spending, Health, Hillary Clinton, History, House of Representatives, Independence, Insurance, Investments, Labor Economics, Law, Life, Media, Monetary Policy, National Interest, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Barack Obama, President Trump, Progressives, Radio, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Russia, Scandals, Security, Senate, Social Science, Spying, Taxation, Taxes, Technology, Terror, Terrorism, Trade Policy, Unemployment, United States of America, Videos, War, Wealth, Weapons, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 941, August 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 940, August 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 939,  August 2, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 938, August 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 937, July 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 936, July 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 935, July 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 934, July 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 934, July 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 933, July 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 932, July 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 931, July 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 930, July 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 929, July 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 928, July 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 927, July 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 926, July 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 925, July 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 924, July 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 923, July 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 922, July 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 921, June 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 920, June 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 919, June 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 918, June 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 917, June 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 916, June 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 915, June 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 914, June 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 913, June 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 912, June 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 911, June 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 910, June 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 909, June 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 908, June 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 907, June 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 906, June 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 905, June 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 904, June 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 903, June 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 902, May 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 901, May 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 900, May 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 899, May 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 898, May 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 897, May 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 896, May 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 895, May 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 894, May 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 893, May 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 892, May 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 891, May 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 890, May 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 889, May 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 888, May 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 887, May 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 886, May 4, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 885, May 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 884, May 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 883 April 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 882: April 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 881: April 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 880: April 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 879: April 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 878: April 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 877: April 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 876: April 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 875: April 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 874: April 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 873: April 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 872: April 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 871: April 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 870: April 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 869: April 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 868: April 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 867: April 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 866: April 3, 2017

Image result for cartoons more sanctions on north koreaImage result for cartoons on 2020 presidential electionsImage result for seymour hersh seth rich murder source of wikileaks DNCImage result for seymour hersh seth rich murder source of wikileaks DNCImage result for cartoons 2020 presidential raceImage result for o cartoons 2020 presidential race

 

Story 1: The United Nations Security Council Vote Was Unanimous (15-0) Including China and Russia Imposing Sanctions on North Korea — Videos —

Image result for branco cartoons more sanctions on north korea

United Nations bans key North Korea exports over missile tests

Gen. Keane on new US sanctions for North Korea

Will tougher sanctions have any effect on North Korea?

North Korea hit with unprecedented economic sanctions

Amb. Nikki Haley: Sanctions are a ‘gut punch’ to North Korea

North Korea vows retaliation against the United States

Expert: Pyongyang believes only nukes ensure regime survival

Sen. Lindsay Graham: Time for new approach on North Korea

Former UN Ambassador John Bolton Calls For Military Option On North Korea

John Bolton: We’re running out of time on North Korea

Is America prepared for a confrontation with North Korea?

GETTING READY TO INVADE NORTH KOREA!! ~ WW3 IS ABOUT TO START ⚠️

WHY NORTH KOREA WON’T LAST EVEN FEW DAYS IN A WAR WITH U.S?

Experts Agree: Trump Is Planning Limited North Korean Strike Next Month

Does US have a ‘real’ military option with North Korea?

WHY U.S IS NOT USING MILITARY OPTION AGAINST NORTH KOREA?

How Big of a Threat is North Korea?

 

U.N. Security Council Approves New Sanctions on North Korea

By Chas Danner

Image
The unanimous vote on Saturday. Photo: Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/AFP/Getty Images

The United Nations Security Council has approved a U.S.-drafted resolution to strengthen sanctions on North Korea, in response to its escalating nuclear- and ballistic-missile weapons programs. The new sanctions, which received unanimous support from the council on Saturday, will impose a full ban on roughly a third of North Korean exports, denying them more than $1 billion in annual revenue.

The sanctions are the seventh set to be imposed on North Korea since its first nuclear-weapon test in 2006, but the first international measure to be taken against the regime since President Trump took office. The resolution comes a little more than a week after North Korea successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that was capable of reaching the mainland U.S. It also received the crucial support of China, North Korea’s most important ally and trading partner, and one of the countries that can veto any U.N. Security Council resolution.

In fact, Politico reports that the sanctions negotiations with China, which started following North Korea’s first successful test of an ICBM on July 4, succeeded in derailing a Trump-administration plan to open a trade investigation targeting China. That plan, which Trump and White House officials hinted at last weekend, was apparently due to be announced on Friday. Assuming the Politico report is accurate, staving off the White House represents a rare win for the State Department against other factions in the Trump administration. It also, for now, denies the White House a chance to test whether or not a trade war with China would be a smart way to protect the U.S. from a North Korean nuclear missile.

“This is the most stringent set of sanctions on any country in a generation,” U.S. ambassador Nikki Haley declared before the U.N. Security Council vote on Saturday. Per the resolution, North Korea can no longer export coal, iron, lead, seafood, and a few other materials. New joint ventures with the country are also prohibited, as are new investments in existing ventures, and more North Korean individuals and entities have been added to the preexisting U.N. sanctions blacklist, which freezes assets and travel.

China’s U.N. ambassador, Liu Jieyi, declared on Saturday that the new resolution demonstrates that the world is “united in its position regarding the nuclear position on the Korean peninsula,” and said that China was glad that the U.S. said it was not seeking regime change in Pyongyang or reunification of the two Koreas. North Korea’s denuclearization (which is not very likely) is still a top U.S. priority, however. The U.S. will also continue to conduct its annual military exercises with South Korea, while both China and Russia reiterated their opposition to the deployment of the U.S. THAAD missile-defense system in South Korea, though that issue did not prevent them from supporting the final resolution.

The resolution does not, as the U.S. originally had sought, cut the amount of oil being delivered to North Korea, but the U.S. was apparently able to overcome the initial objections of China and Russia. All involved stressed that they saw the sanctions as a way to force North Korea to the negotiating table over its nuclear- and ballistic-missile weapons programs, but the successful implementation of this — or any — new sanctions on the country will rely almost exclusively on China following through on its end.

Sanctions against North Korea

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sanctions against North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, have been imposed by various countries and international bodies. The current sanctions are largely concerned with North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and were imposed after its first nuclear test in 2006.

United Nations sanctions

A North Korea cargo ship at the dock in Nampo

The UN Security Council has passed a number of resolutions since North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006.[1]

Resolution 1718 in 2006 demanded that North Korea cease nuclear testing and prohibited the export to North Korea of some military supplies and luxury goods.[2][3] A Sanctions Committee is established, supported by a Panel of Experts that issue annual reports.[4][5][6]

Resolution 1874, passed after the second nuclear test in 2009, broadened the arms embargo. Member states were encouraged to inspect ships and destroy any cargo suspected being related to the nuclear weapons program.[3][1]

Resolution 2087, passed in January 2013 after a satellite launch, strengthened previous sanctions by clarifying a state’s right to seize and destroy cargo suspected of heading to or from North Korea for purposes of military research and development.[3][1]

Resolution 2094 was passed in March 2013 after the third nuclear test. It imposed sanctions on money transfers and aimed to shut North Korea out of the international financial system.[3][1]

Resolution 2270, passed in March 2016 after the fourth nuclear test, further strengthened sanctions.[7] It banned the export of gold, vanadium, titanium, and rare earth metals. The export of coal and iron were also banned, with an exemption for transactions that were purely for “livelihood purposes”.[8][1]

Resolution 2321, passed in November 2016, capped North Korea’s coal exports and banned exports of copper, nickel, zinc, and silver.[9][10] In February 2017, a UN panel said that 116 of 193 member states had yet not submitted a report on their implementation of these sanctions, though China had.[11] Also in February 2017, China announced it would ban all imports of coal for the rest of the year.[12]

United States sanctions

In February 2016, President Obama enacted the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016, which passed the House of Representatives and the Senate with nearly unanimous support.[3] This law:

  • requires the President to sanction entities found to have contributed to North Korea’s weapons of mass destruction program, arms trade, human rights abuses or other illegal activities.[3]
  • imposes mandatory sanctions for entities involved in North Korea’s mineral or metal trades, which comprise a large part of North Korea’s foreign exports.[3]
  • requires the US Treasury Department to determine whether North Korea should be listed as a “primary money laundering concern,” which would trigger tough new financial restrictions.[3]
  • imposes new sanctions authorities related to North Korean human rights abuses and violations of cybersecurity.[3]

This followed the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2013 which the Senate failed to pass.

South Korean sanctions

South Korea imposed sanctions against North Korea following the 2010 sinking of the South Korean naval ship, the Cheonan. These sanctions, known as the May 24 measures, included:[3]

  • banning North Korean ships from South Korean territorial waters.[3]
  • suspending inter-Korean trade except at the Kaesong Industrial Zone.[3]
  • banning most cultural exchanges.[3]

In 2016 President Park Geun-hye ordered the Kaesong complex shut in retaliation for the nuclear test in January and the rocket launch in February.[3]

Japanese sanctions

In 2016, Japan’s sanctions against North Korea included:[3]

  • banning remittances, except those made for humanitarian purposes and less than 100,000 yen in value.[3]
  • freezing assets of suspect individuals and organisations in Japan.
  • prohibiting North Korean citizens from entering Japan.[3]
  • renewing the ban on North Korean ships entering Japanese ports and extending it to include other ships that have visited North Korea.[3]
  • banning nuclear and missile technicians who have been to North Korea from entering Japan.[13]

European Union

The European Union has imposed a series of sanctions against North Korea since 2006. These include:[3]

  • an embargo on arms and related materiel.[3]
  • banning the export of aviation and rocket fuel to North Korea.
  • banning the trade in gold, precious metals and diamonds with the North Korean government.[3]
  • banning the import of minerals from North Korea, with some exemptions for coal and iron ore.
  • banning exports of luxury goods.[3]
  • restrictions on financial support for trade with North Korea.[3]
  • restrictions on investment and financial activities.[3]
  • inspections and monitoring of cargoes imported to and exported from North Korea.[3]
  • prohibiting certain North Korean individuals from entering the EU.[14]

Assessment

A report by the United Nations Panel of Experts stated that North Korea was covertly trading in arms and minerals in defiance of the sanctions.[15]

The academic John Delury has described the sanctions as futile and counterproductive. He has argued that they are unenforceable and unlikely to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.[16]

On the other hand, Sung-Yoon Lee, Professor in Korean Studies at the Fletcher School, and Joshua Stanton, advocate continued tightening of sanctions, targeting Pyongyang’s systemic vulnerabilities, including blocking the regime’s “offshore hard currency reserves and income with financial sanctions, including secondary sanctions against its foreign enablers. This would significantly diminish, if not altogether deny, Kim the means to pay his military, security forces and elites that repress the North Korean public”.[17][18]

References

Story 2: Will American People Form A New Political Party? Yes — American Independence Party? When? — 2024 When Over 50% of American Voters Are Independents — No Longer Believe Democratic and/or Republican Parties Represent Their Interests/Concerns — Videos

Pence denies NYT report on 2020 presidential run

Mike Pence And Kellyanne Just Announced The BEST News About What Trump Just Decided To Do For Americ

Tucker Carlson Tonight 8/7/17 – Tucker Carlson Fox News August 7, 2017 TRUMP’S FIRST 200 DAYS

A Milestone For Women In Politics: Libertarians Reflect on Hillary’s Nomination

Richard Epstein Enriches Us with His Ideas on Inequality, Taxes, Politics, and Health Care

Richard Epstein: Obamacare’s Collapse, the 2016 Election, & More

What Is Libertarianism?

WOW! Hillary Wants To Run In 2020 (Will She Ever Learn)

What It Will Finally Take to Put Hillary Clinton Behind Bars

From white supremacy to Barack Obama: The history of the Democratic Party

The Inconvenient Truth About the Democratic Party

Why Did the Democratic South Become Republican?

How the Republican Party went from Lincoln to Trump

My Red Pill Moment: The Awakening

 

More Voters Voting Independent, Want Competitive Third-Party

Monday, August 07, 2017

Voters are more receptive to a political third party than they have been in recent years, and more than half now say they have voted for a candidate independent of the two major parties. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

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

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on August 1-2, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

Questions – Third Party – August 1-2, 2017

See Toplines
See Crosstabs
Platinum Page

National Survey of 1,000 U.S. Likely Voters

Conducted August 1-2, 2017
By Rasmussen Reports

 

1* Would it be good or bad for the United States if there was a truly competitive third political party? Or would it make no political difference?

 

2* Have you ever voted for an independent candidate not affiliated with either major party?

 

NOTE: Margin of Sampling Error, +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/questions/pt_survey_questions/august_2017/questions_third_party_august_1_2_2017

 

Voters See Republicans As Bigger Roadblock Than Democrats For Trump

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Voters are now more likely to believe Republicans in Congress are the bigger problem for President Trump than Democrats are.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 43% of Likely U.S. Voters believe congressional Republicans are a bigger problem for the president, while 36% believe Democrats are the bigger problem. A sizable 22% are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

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

The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on July 20 & 23, 2017 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/trump_administration/july_2017/voters_see_republicans_as_bigger_roadblock_than_democrats_for_trump

 

Story 3: President Trump Takes 17 Day Working Vacation While White House Undergoes Needed Repairs — Videos —

Trump’s vacation looks a lot like those of modern presidents

2 Days Into White House Renovation Contractors Uncover Sick Find Trumps Were Forced To Live With 

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What Are Donald Trump’s Goals For His Working Vacation? | Morning Joe | MSNBC

White House renovations begin as Trump starts 17-day working vacation in New Jersey

PODS are loaded from the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. The West Wing is getting a renovation while President Donald Trump is away on vacation. (AP Photo/Laurie Kellman)
PODS are loaded from the West Wing of the White House in Washington, Friday, Aug. 4, 2017. The West Wing is getting a renovation while President Donald Trump is away on vacation. (AP Photo/Laurie Kellman) 
 – The Washington Times – Saturday, August 5, 2017

White House renovators didn’t waste any time overhauling the West Wing once President Trump left for a 17-day vacation Friday.

Renovations at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue began hardly an hour after Mr. Trump boarded Air Force One en route to Bedminster, New Jersey, according to his social media manager, Dan Scavino. The president is scheduled to spend the next two and a half weeks at his golf resort there as the White House receives a well deserved makeover.

Mr. Scavino tweeted a picture of the Oval Office being emptied hardly an hour after Air Force One left Joint Base Andrews on Friday, and on Saturday he shared a photograph of the White House’s historic Resolute desk being removed for renovation.

The White House announced earlier in the week that the West Wing will undergo extensive renovations in Mr. Trump’s absence, including upgrades to the facility’s 27-year-old air-conditioning and heating systems, as well as the installation of new wiring, paint and carpets.

“Due to the 24/7, 365-day use a year, the estimated age of the system based off of usage is 81 years old,” deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters told reporters Thursday.

“I doubt that you would want to come to work on a hot summer day when the air-conditioning wasn’t working,” she said Friday.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/aug/5/white-house-renovations-begin-trump-starts-17-day-/

Now that President Trump has left the White House and kicked off his 17-day getaway to his golf course in New Jersey, renovations at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue are going full-steam ahead.

Dan Scavino Jr., the president’s director of social media, tweeted on Friday a photo of an empty Oval Office with a step ladder near the fireplace.

“Renovations underway at the @WhiteHouse,” he captioned the photo. “One hour after Air Force One is wheels up??the Oval Office is empty. West Wing is clearing out now.”

Renovations underway at the @WhiteHouse. One hour after Air Force One is wheels up🛫the Oval Office is empty. West Wing is clearing out now.

White House set for renovations as Trump takes first vacation

Trump denies he called White House a ‘dump’

As ABC News previously reported, the West Wing will be cleared out for several weeks for much-needed repairs.

Work has already begun on White House grounds to replace the 27-year-old heating and cooling system, the second stage of a renovation that started under the Obama administration.

Other work includes painting and new carpeting in the West Wing and refurbishments in the Oval Office. All of the renovations will be conducted by General Service Administration designers.

Trump took to Twitter Wednesday night to deny a golf.com report that while speaking with members at the Trump National Golf Club, he said the White House is a “dump.”

“I love the White House, one of the most beautiful buildings (homes) I have ever seen,” he tweeted. “But Fake News said I called it a dump – TOTALLY UNTRUE.”

I love the White House, one of the most beautiful buildings (homes) I have ever seen. But Fake News said I called it a dump – TOTALLY UNTRUE

ABC News’ Benjamin Siegel contributed to this report.

https://www.yahoo.com/gma/trump-staffer-tweets-photo-white-house-renovations-kicking-053405552–abc-news-topstories.html

 

Story 4 Seymour Hersh Exposes The DNC Leaker — Seth Rich — Not The Russians — DNC Obstruction of Trust — Videos

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Seymour Hersh Bombshell: Seth Rich Leaked DNC Emails to WikiLeaks and Russian Hacking Story Is False

Seymour Hersh States Seth Rich Was WikiLeaks Source

Seymour Hersh: Seth Rich Indeed Leaked DNC Emails to Wikileaks (Confirmed by Wikileaks Itself)

SEYMOUR HERSH CONFIRMS KIM DOT COM STORY. SETH RICH WIKILEAKS LEAKER

Roger Stone – DNC and Seth Rich Murder Developments

The Truth About Seth Rich & The DNC⁄Wikileaks Scandal | Stefan Molyneux

The Seth Rich Story Changes Once Again

The Truth About Seth Rich & The DNC⁄Wikileaks Scandal | Stefan Molyneux

Seth Rich Just Latest Media Obfuscation in Grip of Mass Delusion

Unless Alternative Media Sees its Own Blindspots, We Won’t Be Effective With Change

Seth Rich Transferred 44,054 Emails to Wikileaks Per Federal Investigator

 

SEYMOUR HERSH: SPY CHIEFS INVENTED RUSSIA-COLLUSION STORY

Famous journalist claims they lied to Obama and lied about Trump

GARTH KANT

 

The entire Russia collusion story was a fiction made up by intelligence chiefs who lied about President Trump, and lied to President Obama and the media, according to a person on a just-released audio recording who is almost certainly legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh.

Further, the person who recorded the audio is almost certainly financier Ed Butowsky, who hired private investigator Rod Wheeler to investigate the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich last July.

Wheeler filed a defamation lawsuit against Butowsky and Fox News on Tuesday over a story the network retracted about the investigation.

 

WND did some digging and discovered those identical words appear on the audio recording, apparently verifying they were spoken by Hersh and taped by Butowsky. Judging by a report in the Washington Post, the conversation happened during, or before, February.

The audio was first posted late Tuesday afternoon on a site called Big League Politics then went viral after it was linked on Twitter by WikiLeaks.

Hersh, himself, acknowledged speaking with Butkowsy, during an NPR interview Monday in which he referred to the Seth Rich angle as gossip and said Butowsky “took two and two and made 45 out of it.”

But Hersh did not disavow what he said about the Russia collusion narrative.

On the recording, the reporter called the entire story that the Trump presidential campaign and transition team colluded with Russia “a Brennan operation.”

Hersh accused former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and current NSA Director Michael Rogers of peddling “disinformation” and misleading Obama and the press.

And he dded, “Trump’s not wrong to think they all f—ing lied about him.”

Hersh suggested Rogers falsely told the press that American intelligence agencies even knew who in the Russian military intelligence service “leaked it,” in apparent reference to the hacked Democratic emails that embarrassed the Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign.

He also dismissively called Brennan an “a—hole,” Rogers a “f—ing moron” and Clapper “sort of a better guy but not a rocket scientist.”

Hersh ascribed a simple motive to the subterfuge by the top spies: They wanted to keep their jobs by assuring Clinton won the presidential election.

“With Trump they’re gone. You know, they’re done – they’re going to live on their pensions, they’re not going to make it.”

Hersh also explained why the story came to dominate the news cycle, portraying his colleagues in the establishment media as, essentially, too gullible.

“I worked at the New York Times for years and they have smart guys but they are totally beholden on sources. If the president or the head of the (unintelligible) tells them something they actually believe it,” he said.

And, speaking of those highly placed sources, he said, “These guys run the f—ing Times.”

Hersh won the Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for exposing the My Lai massacre and has become one of the nation’s best-known and most-accomplished investigative reporters.

According to his biography in the New Yorker, in addition to Hersh’s Pulitzer, his journalism and publishing awards include five George Polk Awards, two National Magazine Awards, and more than a dozen other prizes for investigative reporting.

Hersh made on-the-record comments critical of the Russia collusion story to The Intercept on Jan. 25, flatly saying he did not believe the assessment by the intelligence community that Russian President Vladimir Putin orchestrated a hacking campaign designed to elect Trump.

He also blasted the major media for uncritically accepting the claims by Obama’s intelligence officials as facts.

“The way they (the media) behaved on the Russia stuff was outrageous,” Hersh said two days after Trump was inaugurated. “They were just so willing to believe stuff.”

Hersh told the Intercept that if he had been covering the story, “I would have made Brennan into a buffoon. A yapping buffoon in the last few days. Instead, everything is reported seriously.”

The reporter zeroed in on questionable aspects of the intelligence assessment that would become highly relevant when Brennan and Clapper finally testified before congressional committees months after the inauguration of Trump.

“What does an assessment mean?,” asked Hersh. “It’s not a national intelligence estimate. If you had a real estimate, you would have five or six dissents. One time they said 17 agencies all agreed. Oh really? The Coast Guard and the Air Force — they all agreed on it?”

He continued, “And it was outrageous and nobody did that story. An assessment is simply an opinion. If they had a fact, they’d give it to you. An assessment is just that. It’s a belief.”

Hersh’s critique of the flimsiness of the intelligent assessment parallels the analysis made by a prominent former CIA analyst after Clapper revealed during a Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing on May 8, that it was not true that all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies had compiled, and agreed with, the findings.

As WND reported, Clapper not only revealed that just three agencies, the NSA, FBI and CIA, were involved in the assessment.

He also revealed that those agencies did not do the assessment themselves.

The analysis and conclusion were made by an irregular and hand-picked panel of what were called experts, who actually may have been, according to former CIA officer Fred Fleitz, highly politicized.

Fleitz served in U.S. national security positions for 25 years at the CIA, DIA, Department of State and the House Intelligence Committee staff.

As someone intimately familiar with the inner workings of the intelligence community, Fleitz penned an article for Fox News on May 12, that spelled out what really happened.

He had written previously that when the U.S. Intelligence Community issued an ‘Intelligence Community Assessment’ (ICA) on January 6, 2017, that found Russia deliberately interfered in the 2016 presidential election to benefit Trump’s candidacy, he “was suspicious because it reached unusually clear judgments on a politically explosive issue with no dissenting views.”

Fleitz was then surprised to hear Clapper explain in his May testimony that two dozen or so “seasoned experts” were “handpicked” from the contributing agencies and drafted the ICA “under the aegis of his former office” (the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.)

Wrote Fleitz, “This process drastically differed from the Intelligence Community’s normal procedures.”

Describing just how unusual that was, he said, “Hand-picking a handful of analysts from just three intelligence agencies to write such a controversial assessment went against standing rules to vet such analyses throughout the Intelligence Community within its existing structure.”

Furthermore, “The idea of using hand-picked intelligence analysts selected through some unknown process to write an assessment on such a politically sensitive topic carries a strong stench of politicization.”

Fleitz also noted that former FBI Director James Comey had testified that the report’s conclusion of Russian interference was based on logic, not evidence.

“So we now know,” surmised the former CIA officer, “this was a subjective judgment made by a hand-picked group of intelligence analysts.”

“One has to ask how these hand-picked analysts were picked. Who picked them? Who was excluded?”

Fleitz called it a major problem that “the process gave John Brennan, CIA’s hyper-partisan former director, enormous influence over the drafting of the ICA.”

“Given Brennan’s scathing criticism of Mr. Trump before and after the election, he should have had no role whatsoever in the drafting of this assessment. Instead, Brennan probably selected the CIA analysts who worked on the ICA and reviewed and approved their conclusions.”

In other words, it seems Fleitz thought it not impossible that Brennan rigged the report to arrive at the conclusion he wanted.

Which makes Brennan’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee on May 24, all the more relevant, because even though he testified he saw no evidence of collusion, the former CIA director admitted it was he who set in motion the FBI’s investigation into whether the Trump team colluded with the Russians.

Fleitz wants Congress to investigate the spies. He wrote:

“The unusual way that the January 6, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment was drafted raises major questions as to whether it was rigged by the Obama administration to produce conclusions that would discredit the election outcome and Mr. Trump’s presidency. The House and Senate Intelligence Committees therefore should add investigations of whether this ICA was politicized to their investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.”

http://www.wnd.com/2017/08/seymour-hersh-spy-chiefs-invented-russia-collusion-story/#GCyp3JGqpJvbUcrE.99

 

Seymour Hersh audio transcript revealing Seth Rich leaked the DNC emails to Wikileaks.

As reported by many alternative news websites, and as ignored by many corrupt mainstream media news outlets, audio recently emerged of award winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh stating that Seth Rich leaked the DNC emails to Wikileaks.

You can listen to the audio here, or the transcript of the audio is provided below:

“I’ll tell you what I know. All I know comes off an FBI report. Don’t ask me how – you can figure out – you’ve been around long enough. I don’t think he was murdered because of what he knew. The kid was not an IT expert, but he learned stuff. He was a data programmer, but he learned stuff.

He’s living in a very rough neighborhood, and in the exact area where he lives – I’m sure you know – there’s been about 8 or 9 or 10 violent robberies, most of them with somebody brandishing a gun. And the kid’s hands – I’m sure you know – his hands are marked up, the cops included he fought off the people, tried to run and they shot him twice in the back with a .22 small caliber, and then the kids that did it ran – they got scared – didn’t take his wallet.

Okay, so what the cops do then, and here’s what nobody knows, what I’m telling you – or maybe you know something about it – when you have a death like that, DC cops, you have to get to the kid’s apartment and see what you can find. If he’s dead you don’t need a warrant, but most cops get a warrant because they don’t know if the guy has a room-mate. You need a warrant, so they get a warrant.

They go in the house, and they can’t do much with his computer, it’s password. The cops don’t know much about it. So the DC cops, they have a cyber unit in DC and they’re more sophisticated. They come and look at it. The idea is maybe he’s had a series of exchanges with somebody who says ‘I’m going to kill you, you mother ****er over a girl’ or… And they can’t get in. The cyber guys are a little better, but they can’t make sense of it, so they call the FBI cyber unit. The DC unit, the Washington field office is a hot s*** unit. The guy running the Washington field office, he’s like a three star at an army base. he’s ready for four. You know what I mean – he’s gong to go for a top job. There’s a cyber unit there that’s excellent.

What you get in a warrant – the public information you get in a warrant – doesn’t include the affidavit underlying why you’re going in – what the reason was. That’s almost never available. I can tell you that. The existence of a warrant is a public document 99% of the time.

So, and the same morning they call in the feds. The feds get through and here’s what they find. This is according to the FBI report. What they find is he makes contact.

First of all, you have to know some basic facts. One of the basic facts is that there are no DNC or Podesta emails that exist beyond May 21st or 22nd, the last email from either one of those groups.

And so what the report says is that sometime in late spring/early summer, he makes contact with Wikileaks. That’s in his computer, and he makes contact. Now, I have to be careful because I met Julian ten twelve years… I stay the f*** away from people like that. You know, he’s invited me, when I’m in London I always get a message, “Come see me at the Ecuadorian embassy.” F*** you, I ain’t going there. I got enough trouble without getting photographed. He’s under total surveillance by everybody.

Anyway, they found what he had done. He had submitted a series of documents, of emails, some juicy emails from the DNC. And you know, by the way all this s*** about the DNC, you know, whatever happened the democrats themselves wrote this s***, you know what I mean. All I know is that he offered a sample, an extensive sample, I’m sure dozens of emails, and said, “I want money.”

Then later Wikileaks did get the password. He had a DropBox – a protected DropBox – which isn’t hard to do. I mean you don’t have to be an IT wizard. He was certainly, he was not a dumb kid.

They got access to the DropBox. He also – this is also in the FBI report – he also let people know with whom he was dealing. I don’t know how he dealt with the Wikileaks and the mechanism but he also… The word was passed according to the NSA report, “I also shared this box with a couple of friends so if anything happens to me it’s not going to solve your problems.” Okay. I don’t know what that means. I don’t know whether he…

Anyway, Wikileaks got access, and before he was killed. I can tell you right now. Brennan’s1 an asshole. I’ve known all these people for years. Clapper2 sort of a (illegible) guy but not a rocket scientist. The NSA guy’s a f***ing moron. And the trouble with all those guys is the only way they’re going to make it to, you know, get hired by SAI (illegible) and delivered some fat cat contract is if Hillary stayed in. With Trump they’re gone. They’re done. They’re going to live on they’re pension. They’re not going to make it. And I got to tell you, guys in that job, they don’t want to live on their pension. They want to be on boards making six hundred thousand bucks.

I have somebody on the inside. I’ve been around a long time and I write a lot of stuff. I have somebody on the inside who will go and read a file for me. This person is unbelievably accurate and careful. He’s a very high level guy. He’ll do a favor. You’re just going to have to trust me. I have what they call in my business, long form journalism, I have a narrative of how that whole f***king thing began.

It’s a Brennan operation. It was an American disinformation operation f***ing the f***ing president. And at one point they even started telling the press, they were back-briefing the press, the head of the NSA was going and telling the press – f***ing c***sucker Rogers3 – was telling the press that we even know who in the Russian military intelligence service leaked it. I mean all bulls***.

I worked for the New York Times for f***ing years. The trouble with the New York Times is they have smart guys but they’re totally beholden on sources. If the president or the head of the (illegible) told them something, they actually believe it. I was hired by the Times to write about, go after the war, the Vietnam war in 72, because they were just locked in, so that’s what the Times is. These guys run the f***ing Times.

And Trump’s not willing to… I mean I wish he would calm down and had a better Press Secretary. Trump’s not willing to think they all f***ing lied about him.”

– – – – – – – – – –

This is arguably the biggest scandal in decades, and yet despite the magnitude of the scandal, it’s a sad reflection on just how corrupt and anti-American the mainstream media has become that the majority of them will attempt to cover this story up.

Everyone needs to share this story far and wide. Tell your friends. Tell everyone you know. Sydney Hersh, arguably the greatest investigative journalist of the last five decades, has stated:

* Seth Rich leaked the DNC emails to Wikileaks.
* Obama’s intelligence chiefs, led by John Brennan, ran a disinformation campaign to mislead the American public.

#DrainTheSwamp

 

Murder of Seth Rich

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Murder of Seth Rich
Date July 10, 2016
Time 4:20 a.m. EST (approximate)
Location Bloomingdale neighborhood
(Ward 5Washington, D.C.)
Cause Shooting
Outcome Under investigation by D.C. police
Inquiries Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia
Coroner Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, Washington D.C.

Seth Conrad Rich (January 3, 1989 – July 10, 2016) was an American employee for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) who was fatally shot in the Bloomingdaleneighborhood of Washington, D.C.[1][2][3] As of May 2017 the shooting is still under investigation by the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department.[4]

The murder spawned several right-wingconspiracy theories about the crime, including the claim that Rich had been involved with the leaked DNC emails in 2016, which runs contrary to U.S. intelligence that concluded the leaked DNC emails were part of 2016 U.S. elections interference.[5][6][7] These theories were debunked by law enforcement,[5][6] as well as by fact-checking websites like PolitiFact.com,[6][8]Snopes.com,[9] and FactCheck.org.[5] The fabrications were described as fake news and falsehoods by The New York Times,[10]Los Angeles Times,[11] and The Washington Post.[12]

Rich’s parents condemned the conspiracy theorists and said that these individuals were exploiting their son’s death for political gain, with their spokesperson calling them “sociopaths” and “disgusting”.[13][14][15] They requested a retraction and apology from Fox News,[16] and sent a cease and desist letter to the investigator Fox News used.[6][15][16] The investigator admitted he had no evidence to back up his claims, and Fox News issued a retraction.[5][6][17]

Seth Rich’s early life and career

Rich grew up in a Jewish family, in Omaha, Nebraska.[18][19][20] He volunteered for the Nebraska Democratic Party, interned for Senator Ben Nelson, was active in Jewish outreach,[21] and worked with the United States Census Bureau.[22][23] In 2011, he graduated from Creighton University with a degree in political science.[24][23] He moved to Washington, D.C. to work for pollster, Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.[23] In 2014 he began working for the Democratic National Committee (DNC) as the Voter Expansion Data Director. One of his tasks at the DNC was the development of a computer application to help voters locate polling stations.[2][25][26]

Shooting and death

On Sunday, July 10, 2016, Rich was shot about a block from his apartment in the Bloomingdale neighborhood of Washington, D.C.[27][28][29]

Earlier that night he had been at Lou’s City Bar, a sports pub 1.8 miles from his apartment, in Columbia Heights, where he was a regular customer. He left when the bar was closing, at about 1:30 or 1:45 a.m.[30][31] Police were alerted to gunfire at 4:20 a.m. by an automated gunfire locator.[29][32] Within approximately one minute after the gun shots, police officers found Rich with multiple gunshot wounds, in a conscious and breathing state.[33] He was transported to a nearby hospital, where he later died.[34][35][36] According to police, he died from two shots to the back[27][28] and may have been killed in an attempted robbery, noting that the neighborhood had recently been plagued by robberies.[27] Rich’s mother told NBC‘s Washington affiliate WRC-TV, “There had been a struggle. His hands were bruised, his knees are bruised, his face is bruised, and yet he had two shots to his back, and yet they never took anything… They didn’t finish robbing him, they just took his life.”[37] The police told the family they had found a surveillance videotape showing a glimpse of the legs of two people who could possibly be the killers.[30]

Aftermath

On the day after the shooting, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz issued a statement mourning his loss and praising Rich’s work to support voter rights.[32][38] Two days after the shooting, Hillary Clinton spoke of his death during a speech advocating limiting the availability of guns.[2][19]

Bike rack and plaque outside the DNC headquaters

In October 2016, a plaque and bike rack outside the DNC headquarters were dedicated to Rich’s memory.[38] In September 2016, Rich’s parents and girlfriend appeared on the syndicatedtelevision show Crime Watch Daily to speak about the murder case.[39][40] In February 2017, the Beth El Synagogue in Omaha named after Rich an existing scholarship that helps Jewish children attend summer camps.[41]

The Rich family accepted the pro bono public relations services of Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman in September 2016.[11] The Rich family and Burkman held a joint press conference on the murder in November 2016.[11][42] In January 2017, Burkman launched an advertising campaign in Northwest D.C. searching for information regarding Seth Rich’s death. This included billboard advertisements and canvassing with flyers.[43][44] In late February, Burkman told media outlets he had a lead that the Russian government was involved in Rich’s death,[45] and the Rich family distanced itself from Burkman.[46] On March 19, 2017, Rich’s brother, Aaron, started a GoFundMe campaign to try to raise $200,000 for private investigation, public outreach activities, and a reward fund.[47] On March 24, Burkman started “The Profiling Project” with some forensics students at George Washington University, an independent investigative attempt to solve the murder of Seth Rich.[48][49] On June 20, 2017, the Profiling Project said that the conspiracy theories surrounding the death were unfounded, and published a report which speculated that the murder was caused by a serial killer.[50]

According to the Rich family spokesman, a Fox News contributor and financial adviser Ed Butowsky contacted the Rich family and recommended having former homicide detective and Fox News contributor Rod Wheeler investigate Seth Rich’s murder. The family gave Wheeler permission to investigate, though they did not hire him.[15][51] Instead, Wheeler’s investigation was financed by Butowsky himself.[52] NBC News reported that Butowsky initially denied involvement in the case, though he later told CNN he was involved in Wheeler’s investigation by offering financial support.[53][54] Butowsky told Dallas News that he advised the Rich family to hire a private investigator, and that they then chose to hire Wheeler.[53] After Wheeler asserted links between Rich and Wikileaks in a Fox affiliate interview on May 15, 2017—an assertion he later backpedaled from[55]—the family spokesman said that the family regretted working with Wheeler.[4] Wheeler then sued Fox News on August 1, 2017, for mental anguish and emotional distress, alleging that he had been misquoted in a story that was then published on the urging of President Donald J. Trump[56]

Rewards

The Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPDC) posted its customary reward of $25,000 for information about the death.[2][33]

On August 9, 2016, WikiLeaks announced a $20,000 reward for information about Rich’s murder leading to a conviction,[57][58][59] although Rich’s family said they were unable to verify this reward offer.[60] When making the offer for the reward, WikiLeaks said their offer should not be taken as implying Rich had been involved in leaking information to them.[2]

In November 2016, Republican lobbyist Jack Burkman stated he was personally offering a $100,000 reward in addition to those announced by the police department and WikiLeaks, and he added another $5,000 to his offer in December and another $25,000 in January.[60][61][30] Burkman said he hoped the money would help “get to the truth of what happened here and will either debunk the conspiracy theories or validate them”.[62]

American businessman and investor, Martin Shkreli offered $100,000 for information leading to the murderer.[63]

Conspiracy theories

Origins

Genesis

The murder stoked right-wingconspiracy theories that arose days after Rich’s death,[64][65][66] including an unsubstantiated claim that his murder was connected to the DNC email leak of 2016.[4] A post on Twitter before Rich’s memorial service originated the idea that he was killed related to a political assassination.[64] Subsequently the conspiracy theory was publicized on Reddit and then on the website Heat Street, later popularized by Donald Trump political adviser Roger Stone via his Twitter account.[64] Reddit users attempted to tie the homicide to prior “Clinton Body Count” conspiracy theories.[65] On July 13, 2016, conspiracy website WhatDoesItMean.com promoted a similar conspiracy theory.[66]

WikiLeaks statements

Assistant Police Chief Peter Newsham said the police had no information suggesting a connection between Rich’s death and data obtained by WikLeaks.[2]Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, fueled speculation of a connection when, unbidden, he brought up the case.[30][67] People who worked with Rich said he was not an expert computer hacker helping to leak information to foreigners. Andrew Therriault, a data scientist who had mentored Rich, said although he had recently been working as a programmer, this “wasn’t his background”, and another co-worker said Rich was very upset when he heard hackers associated with Russian intelligence services had broken into the DNC computers and could be interfering with the election.[30]

Spread by social media and right wing

These conspiracy theories were promoted by Mike CernovichSean HannityGeraldo RiveraKim DotcomPaul Joseph WatsonNewt GingrichJack Posobiec, and others.[68][69][70]

The same venues that fomented the false Pizzagate conspiracy theory helped to promulgate the Seth Rich murder conspiracy theories,[71][72][11] and each shared similar features.[73][74][75] Both were promoted by individuals subcribing to far-right politics,[76] and by campaign officials and individuals appointed to senior-level national security roles by Donald Trump.[77][78][79] After prior coordination on Facebook, each theory was spread on Twitter by automated bots using a branded hashtag, with the goal of becoming a trending topic.[71] Both the Pizzagate conspiracy theory and the Seth Rich murder conspiracy theory were spread in the sub reddit forum promoting Donald Trump, called “The Donald”.[80] In both conspiracy theories, the promoters attempted to shift the burden of proof — asking others to attempt to disprove their claims, without citing substantiated evidence.[52]Slate called the claims about Seth Rich a “PizzaGate-like conspiracy theory surrounding Rich’s death”,[81]The Huffington Post described it as “the ‘alt-right’ idiocy of Pizzagate all over again”,[75]NPR‘s David Folkenflik said Fox News coverage of it “evokes the pizza-gate terrible allegations utterly unfounded”,[82] and Margaret Sullivan wrote for The Washington Post: “The Seth Rich lie has become the new Comet Ping Pong … Crazy, baseless and dangerous.”[83]

Debunking

The conspiracy theories have been debunked by law enforcement,[5][6] as well as by fact-checking websites like PolitiFact.com,[6][8]Snopes.com,[9] and FactCheck.org.[5]

The Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia described the murder as related to a bungled attempted at theft.[5] Police further debunked claims by Rod Wheeler, and made a statement saying: “the assertions put forward by Mr. Wheeler are unfounded.”[5] The FBI told PolitiFact.com that the MPD was investigating the homicide.[8]

A representative of the Rich’s family members, Brad Bauman, disputed the notion of conspiracy theorists that the Federal Bureau of Investigation was involved in looking into the homicide.[5] Bauman stated: “The FBI is not now and has never been a party to this investigation.”[5]

FactCheck.org analyzed statements by Newt Gingrich related to the conspiracy theory, where Gingrich said Rich “apparently was assassinated” subsequent to “having given WikiLeaks something like … 53,000 [DNC] emails and 17,000 attachments”.[5] FactCheck.org determined this claim was “unsupported” and determined “there’s no evidence for his claim.”[5]

PolitiFact.com rated the assertion Rich gave emails to WikiLeaks as a “baseless claim”.[6] They called the claim “an unfounded conspiracy theory”.[6] PolitiFact.com analyzed the claims by Gingrich and rated their false nature as “Pants on Fire!”[6] PolitiFact.com concluded: “Gingrich and others are talking about an unfounded conspiracy theory as if it’s a matter of fact. It is far from it. We rate his claim Pants on Fire.”[6] In a separate analysis, PolitiFact.com concluded: “There’s no evidence there’s any link between Rich and WikiLeaks. The FBI has indirectly denied investigating the case, which Washington police consider a robbery gone wrong.”[8]

Snopes.com looked into the matter and stated: “We were able to confirm the FBI is not investigating Rich’s murder — it is an MPD investigation… All claims made by Mr. Wheeler are false and take fake news to a whole new level. The family deserves better and everyday MPD continues to work diligently to solve this case.”[9] Snopes rated the claim “DNC staffer Seth Rich sent ‘thousands of leaked e-mails’ to WikiLeaks before he was murdered.” as “False”.[9]

The fabrications were described as fake news and falsehoods by The New York Times.[10]The New York Times cited the conspiracy theories as an example of the persistence of false claims, concluding: “fake news dies hard”.[10]The Los Angeles Times called the conspiracy theories “unsubstantiated rumors”.[11]

The Washington Post cited the conspiracy theories as an example of the power of fake news to spread virally online.[12] The paper used the example as a case study of the persistence of fake news, and found that television news media can be a soft target for such false stories.[12]The Washington Post further found that the proliferation of fake news via Facebook had decreased, but remained powerful on Twitter due to spread via online bots.[12] They found that the conspiracy theories with the largest potential to spread on the Internet were those that held attraction for both the alt-right movements and the political left wing.[12]The Washington Post concluded that even if a particular false story had been sufficiently debunked, such fact-checking was unable to stop the spread of the falsehoods online.[12]

Fox News retracted reporting

Uncorroborated story

On May 15, 2017, Fox 5 DC (WTTG) reported the uncorroborated and later largely retracted[84] claims by Rod Wheeler, a Fox News contributor and former homicide detective, that there was evidence Seth Rich had contacted WikiLeaks and that law enforcement were covering this up;[85][84] claims that were never independently verified by Fox.[86] The next day, Fox News published a lead story on its website and provided extensive coverage on its cable news channel about what it later said were Wheeler’s uncorroborated claims about the murder of Seth Rich;[87][88][89] in the lead story Fox News removed from their website a few days later, they stated that Wheeler’s claims had been “corroborated by a federal investigator who spoke to Fox News.”[90][91][92] In reporting these claims, the Fox News report re-ignited conspiracy theories about the killing.[73][93][94] According to NPR, within a day of the original Fox report, “Google searches for Rich had overtaken searches for James Comey, even amid continuous news about the former FBI director’s conversations with Trump.”[52]The Washington Post noted Fox News chose to lead with this story at a time when most other media outlets were covering Donald Trump’s disclosure of classified information to Russia.[88]

Other news organizations revealed Wheeler was a Donald Trump supporter, a paid Fox News contributor, and according to NBC News had “developed a reputation for making outlandish claims, such as one appearance on Fox News in 2007 in which he warned that underground networks of pink pistol-toting lesbian gangs were raping young women”.[93][95][4]The Washington Post noted it is “rare for a news organization to have such a close relationship with the people it is covering”, as Wheeler was “playing three roles at once: as a Fox source, as a paid contributor to the network and as a supposedly independent investigator of the murder”.[73] When Wheeler appeared on Sean Hannity‘s Fox News shows, these multiple roles were not disclosed to viewers.[73] Seth Rich’s family had hired Wheeler to investigate Rich’s death; after Wheeler’s Fox News interview on May 15, 2017, Brad Bauman, a communications professional and pro bono spokesman for the Rich family, said the family was asking Fox News and the Fox affiliate to retract their reports and apologize for damaging their son’s legacy.[4]

The family spokesperson, the Washington, D.C. police department, the Washington, D.C. mayor’s office, the FBI, and law enforcement sources familiar with the case all disputed Wheeler’s claims.[93][96] The family said, “We are a family who is committed to facts, not fake evidence that surfaces every few months to fill the void and distract law enforcement and the general public from finding Seth’s murderers.”[93] Bauman criticized Fox News for its reporting, saying he believed that the outlet was motivated by a desire to deflect attention from the Trump-Russia story: “I think there’s a very special place in hell for people that would use the memory of a murder victim in order to pursue a political agenda.”[9]

Later that day, Wheeler told CNN he had no evidence that Rich had contacted Wikileaks.[84] Wheeler claimed that Fox had presented his quotes misleadingly and that he only learned about the possible existence of the evidence from a Fox News reporter.[84][52] Despite this, Sean Hannity’s show and Fox & Friends continued to promote the conspiracy theory for the remainder of the week.[97][98] Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Geraldo Rivera took part in spreading the conspiracy.[98][99][100] Hannity had on his program Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, who said the organization filed Freedom of Information Act requests for documents from Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser, and from the Metropolitan Police.[101] Sean Hannity furthermore promoted the uncorroborated claims of Kim Dotcom, a New Zealand resident sought by the United States on fraud charges who claimed without evidence that Rich had been in contact with him before his death.[102] Fox News host Julie Roginsky was critical of the conspiracy theory peddlers, stating on Twitter and on her television show: “The exploitation of a dead man whose family has begged conspiracy theorists to stop is really egregious. Please stop.”[103] Fox News was also criticized by conservative outlets, such as the Weekly Standard,[104]National Review,[105][106] and Red State,[107][108][109] and conservative columnists, such as Jennifer Rubin,[110] Michael Gerson,[111] and John Podhoretz.[112]

Cease and desist letter and retraction

On May 19, 2017, an attorney for the Rich family sent a cease and desist letter to Wheeler.[16]

Fox News issued a retraction of the story on May 23, 2017 and removed the original article, and did not apologize or specify what went wrong or how it did so.[17][113][114] Despite this, Hannity, who pushed the theory, remained unapologetic, saying “I retracted nothing” and “I am not going to stop trying to find the truth.”[115][102][114] In their May 23 statement, Fox News said,

The article was not initially subjected to the high degree of editorial scrutiny we require for all our reporting. Upon appropriate review, the article was found not to meet those standards and has since been removed.[115]

The Poynter Institute said that the retraction was “woefully inadequate”, noting that,

The two-paragraph statement, published under the “politics” category on the network’s website, doesn’t say what about Fox News’ reporting was inaccurate (that its original source backed away from his claim that he had information showing Rich was in touch with Wikileaks). It doesn’t replace the bad information with accurate information (that police believe Rich was murdered during a robbery). It doesn’t specify who in the organization is being held accountable. And the correction doesn’t appear on the original story to explain why it was removed, nor has it been shared in the on-air forums where the inaccurate story was promoted. As of this writing, the original URL displays a 404 error. Fox News isn’t even acknowledging to people who click the link to the original story that it’s been retracted.[116]

On May 23, 2017, Sean Hannity stated on his television program that he would cease discussing the issue.[117] Hannity said his decision to cease commenting on the matter was related to the family of the murder victim: “Out of respect for the family’s wishes, for now, I am not discussing the matter at this time.”[117] In the same statement wherein he promised to cease discussion of the topic, he vowed to pursue facts in the future: “I promise you I am not going to stop trying to find the truth.”[117] Several advertisers including Crowne Plaza HotelsCars.comLeesa MattressUSAAPeloton and Casper Sleep pulled their marketing from his program on Fox News.[118][119][120] Crowne Plaza Hotels later said that it was not their policy to advertise on political commentary shows, and had not been aware of their sponsorship of the show.[121] USAA soon returned to advertising on Fox News after receiving customer input.[122]

Wheeler lawsuit

On August 1, 2017, Rod Wheeler, the private investigator hired by Butowsky who was the first to claim links between Seth Rich’s murder and the DNC hack on Fox, but who later appeared to retract his claims, filed a lawsuit (Case 1:17-cv-05807 Southern District of New York), in which 21st Century Fox, the Fox News Channel, Fox News reporter Malia Zimmerman and Ed Butowsky are named as defendants, stating that quotes attributed to him in the original Fox News piece were fabricated. The lawsuit also alleges that the fabricated quotes were included in the Fox News story at the urging of the Trump White House.[123][124]

Text messages and audio apparently supporting this assertion were included in the filing of the lawsuit. About a month before the story was aired on Fox News, Wheeler and Butowsky met at the White House with the White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer to review the planned story on Seth Rich’s murder. After talking to Wheeler and Butowsky, Zimmerman sent Wheeler a draft of a story without any quotes from Wheeler on May 11th. On May 14th Butowsky texted Wheeler saying “Not to add any more pressure but the president just read the article. He wants the article out immediately. It’s now all up to you. But don’t feel the pressure.” Butowsky also left a voicemail for Wheeler which said “We have the full, uh, attention of the White House on this. And tomorrow, let’s close this deal, whatever we’ve got to do.”[124] Butowsky said Seymour Hersch confirmed a link between Rich and the FBI. Hersch confirmed the conversation with Butowsky but told NPR the link was “gossip” and that Butowsky exaggerated its significance.[125]

In an email to Fox News Bukowsky also wrote about the purpose behind the Seth Rich story: “One of the big conclusions we need to draw from this is that the Russians did not hack our computer systems and ste[a]l emails and there was no collusion (between) Trump and the Russians.” He also instructed Wheeler that “[T]he narrative in the interviews you might use is that you and [Zimmerman’s] work prove that the Russians didn’t hack into the DNC and steal the emails and impact our elections (…) If you can, try to highlight this puts the Russian hacking story to rest.”[124]

When the story aired on Fox News, it included supposed quotes from Wheeler and was written as if the accusations against the DNC came from him. Wheeler alleges that the quotes were fabricated and should not have been attributed to him.[123]

In later recordings Butowsky admits to Wheeler that the claims being attributed to him were false but says that “One day you’re going to win an award for having said those things you didn’t say.” He also says “I know that’s not true, if I’m under oath, I would say I never heard him say that.”[124]

Family’s reaction

In May 2017, Aaron issued a statement saying “We simply want to find his killers and grieve. Instead, we are stuck having to constantly fight against non-facts, baseless allegations, and general stupidity to defend my brother’s name and legacy.”[4]

The family spokesperson said “At this point, only people with transparent political agendas or sociopaths are still perpetuating Seth Rich conspiracies.”[126]

His parents authored a piece in The Washington Post on May 23, 2017 titled: “We’re Seth Rich’s parents. Stop politicizing our son’s murder,” in which they wrote:

We are asking you to please consider our feelings and words. There are people who are using our beloved Seth’s memory and legacy for their own political goals, and they are using your outrage to perpetuate our nightmare. We ask those purveying falsehoods to give us peace, and to give law enforcement the time and space to do the investigation they need to solve our son’s murder.[13]

See also

References

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

Seymour Myron “Sy” Hersh (born April 8, 1937) is an American investigative journalist and political writer based in Washington, D.C. He is a longtime contributor to The New Yorkermagazine on national security matters and has also written for the London Review of Books since 2013.[5][6]

Hersh first gained recognition in 1969 for exposing the My Lai Massacre and its cover-up during the Vietnam War, for which he received the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. In 2004, he notably reported on the US military‘s mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison. He has also won two National Magazine Awards and five George Polk Awards. In 2004, he received the George Orwell Award.[7]

Early years

Hersh was born on April 8, 1937[8] in Chicago to Yiddish-speaking Lithuanian Jewish parents who emigrated to the US from Lithuania and Poland and ran a dry-cleaning shop in Chicago’s Austin neighborhood. After graduating from the University of Chicago with a history degree, Hersh found himself struggling to find a job. He began working at Walgreens before being accepted into University of Chicago Law School but was soon expelled for poor grades.[9]After returning for a short time to Walgreens, Hersh began his career in journalism as a police reporter for the City News Bureau in 1959. He later became a correspondent for United Press International in South Dakota. In 1963, he went on to become a Chicago and Washington correspondent for the Associated Press. While working in Washington Hersh first met and befriended I. F. Stone, whose I. F. Stone’s Weekly would serve as an initial inspiration for Hersh’s later work. It was during this time that Hersh began to form his investigative style, often walking out of regimented press briefings at the Pentagon and seeking out one-on-one interviews with high-ranking officers. After a falling out with the editors at the AP when they insisted on watering down a story about the US government’s work on biological and chemical weapons, Hersh left the AP and sold his story to The New Republic. During the 1968 presidential election, he served as press secretary for the campaign of Senator Eugene McCarthy.

After leaving the McCarthy campaign, Hersh returned to journalism as a freelancer covering the Vietnam War. In 1969, Hersh received a tip from Geoffrey Cowan of The Village Voice regarding an Army lieutenant being court-martialled for killing civilians in Vietnam. His subsequent investigation, sold to the Dispatch News Service, was run in thirty-three newspapers and exposed the My Lai massacre, winning him the Pulitzer Prize in 1970.[9][10]

In 1972, Hersh was hired as a reporter for the Washington bureau of The New York Times, where he served from 1972 to 1975 and again in 1979. Hersh reported on the Watergate scandal, though most of the credit for that story went to Carl Bernstein and Hersh’s longtime rival Bob Woodward. Nonetheless, Hersh’s Watergate investigations led him in 1983 to the publication of The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House, a damning portrait of Henry Kissinger that won the National Book Critics Circle Award.

In 1975, Hersh was active in the investigation and reporting of Project Azorian (which he called Project Jennifer), the CIA‘s clandestine effort to raise a Soviet submarine using the Howard Hughes‘ Glomar Explorer. This was one of the most complex, expensive, and secretive intelligence operations of the Cold War at a cost of about $800 million ($3.8 billion in 2015) dollars.

After the New York Times

His 1983 book The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House won him the National Book Critics Circle Award and the Los Angeles Times book prize in biography. In 1985, Hersh contributed to the PBS television documentary Buying the Bomb. In 1993 Hersh became a regular contributor to The New Yorker.[11]

Hersh has appeared regularly on the syndicated television news program Democracy Now![12]

Selected stories

My Lai Massacre

On November 12, 1969, Hersh reported the story of the My Lai Massacre, in which hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese civilians were murdered by US soldiers in March 1968.[13] The report prompted widespread condemnation around the world and reduced public support for the Vietnam War in the United States. The explosive news of the massacre fueled the outrage of the US peace movement, which demanded the withdrawal of US troops from Vietnam. Hersh wrote about the massacre and its cover-up in My Lai 4: A Report on the Massacre and Its Aftermath (1970) and Cover-up: The Army’s Secret Investigation of the Massacre at My Lai 4 (1972). For My Lai 4, Hersh traveled across the United States and interviewed nearly 50 members of the Charlie Company.[14]A movie called “Interviews with My Lai Veterans” won an Oscar for Best Documentary, Short Subjects in 1971. A movie was also produced, based on this book, by Italian director Paolo Bertola in 2009.[15]

Project Jennifer

In early 1974, Hersh had planned to publish a story on “Project Jennifer” (later revealed to be named Project Azorian and Operation Matador), a covert CIA project to recover a sunken Soviet navy submarine from the floor of the Pacific Ocean. CIA director William Colby discussed the operation with Hersh in 1974, but obtained his promise not to publish while the operation was active. Bill KovachThe New York Times Washington, D.C. bureau chief at the time, said in 2005 that the government offered a convincing argument to delay publication in early 1974—exposure at that time, while the project was ongoing, “would have caused an international incident”. The NYT eventually published Hersh’s account on March 19, 1975, after a story appeared in the Los Angeles Times, and included a five-paragraph explanation of the many twists and turns in the path to publication. It is unclear what, if any, action was taken by the Soviet Union after learning of the story. It was later revealed that the leaks prevented a second recovery attempt of the submarine after a small portion of it was raised in the summer of 1974.[16]

Korean Air Flight 007

In The Target Is Destroyed (1986), Hersh alleged that the shooting down of Korean Air Flight 007 in September 1983 by the Soviet Union was due to a combination of Soviet incompetence and United States intelligence operations intended to confuse Soviet responses.

Later releases of government information confirmed that there was a PSYOPS campaign against the Soviet Union that had been in place from the first few months of the Reagan administration. This campaign included the largest US Pacific Fleet exercise ever held, in April to May 1983.

Mordechai Vanunu and Robert Maxwell

In The Samson Option: Israel’s Nuclear Arsenal and American Foreign Policy (1991), Hersh wrote that Nicholas Davies, the foreign editor of The Daily Mirror, had tipped off the Israeli embassy in London about Mordechai Vanunu. Vanunu had given information about Israel’s nuclear weapons program first to The Sunday Times and later to the Sunday Mirror. At the time, the Sunday Mirror and its sibling newspaper, the Daily Mirror were owned by media magnate Robert Maxwell who was alleged to have had contacts with Israel’s intelligence services. According to Hersh, Davies had also worked for the Mossad. Vanunu was later lured by Mossad from London to Rome, kidnapped, returned to Israel, and sentenced to 18 years in jail. Davies and Maxwell published an anti-Vanunu story that was claimed by critics to be part of a disinformation campaign on behalf of the Israeli government.[17]

Hersh repeated the allegations during a press conference held in London to publicize his book. No British newspaper would publish the allegations because of Maxwell’s famed litigiousness. However, two British MPs raised the matter in the House of Commons, which meant that British newspapers were able to report what had been said without fear of being sued for libel. Maxwell called the claims “ludicrous, a total invention”. He fired Davies shortly thereafter.[18]

Attack on pharmaceutical factory in Sudan

Hersh strongly criticized Bill Clinton‘s decision to destroy, on August 20, 1998, the Al-Shifa pharmaceutical factory in Sudan. Al-Shifa, the largest pharmaceutical factory in Sudan, accounted for half the country’s domestically produced medicines.[19]

Iraq

Hersh has written a series of articles for The New Yorker magazine detailing military and security matters surrounding the US-led invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq. In March 2002, he described the planning process for a new invasion of Iraq that he alleged had been on-going since the end of the First Gulf War, under the leadership of Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, Fried and other neo-conservatives. In a 2004 article, he alleged that Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld circumvented the normal intelligence analysis function of the CIA in their quest to make the case for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Another article, “Lunch with the Chairman”, led Richard Perle, a subject of the article, to call Hersh the “closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist.”[20]

A March 7, 2007, article entitled, “The Redirection” described a recent shift in the George W. Bush administration‘s Iraq policy, the goal of which Hersh said was to “contain” Iran. Hersh asserted that “a by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.”[21]

In May 2004, Hersh published a series of articles which described the treatment of detainees by US military police at Abu Ghraib prison near BaghdadIraq.[22] The articles included allegations that private military contractorscontributed to prisoner mistreatment and that intelligence agencies such as the CIA ordered torture in order to break prisoners for interrogations. They also alleged that torture was a usual practice in other US-run prisons as well, e.g., in Bagram Theater Internment Facility and Guantanamo. In subsequent articles, Hersh wrote that the abuses were part of a secret interrogation program, known as “Copper Green“. According to Hersh’s sources, the program was expanded to Iraq with the direct approval of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, both in an attempt to deal with the growing insurgency there and as part of “Rumsfeld’s long-standing desire to wrest control of America’s clandestine and paramilitary operations from the C.I.A.”[23] Much of his material for these articles was based on the Army’s own internal investigations.[24]

Scott Ritter, a disaffected former arms inspector, asserted in his October 19, 2005 interview with Seymour Hersh that the US policy to remove Iraqi president Saddam Hussein from power started with US president George H. W. Bushin August 1990. Ritter concluded from public remarks by President Bush and Secretary of State James Baker that the Iraq sanctions would only be lifted when Hussein was removed from power. The justification for sanctions was disarmament. The CIA offered the opinion that containing Hussein for six months would result in the collapse of his regime. According to Hersh, this policy resulted in the invasion and occupation of Iraq.[25]

Iran

In January 2005, Hersh alleged that the US was conducting covert operations in Iran to identify targets for possible strikes. Hersh also wrote that Pakistan and the United States had struck a “Khan-for-Iran” deal in which Washingtonwould look the other way at Pakistan’s nuclear transgressions and not demand handing over of its infamous nuclear scientist A. Q. Khan, in return for Islamabad‘s cooperation in neutralizing Iran’s nuclear plans. This was also denied by officials of the governments of the US and Pakistan.

In the April 17, 2006 issue of The New Yorker,[26] Hersh wrote that the Bush administration had plans for an air strike on Iran. Of particular note in his article was that a US nuclear first strike (possibly using the B61-11 bunker-busternuclear weapon) is under consideration to eliminate underground Iranian uranium enrichment facilities. In response, President Bush cited Hersh’s reportage as “wild speculation.” [27]

When, in October 2007, he was asked about presidential candidate Hillary Clinton‘s hawkish views on Iran, Hersh stated that Jewish donations were the main reason for these:

During one journalism conference, Hersh stated that after the Strait of Hormuz incident, members of the Bush administration met in vice president Dick Cheney‘s office to consider methods of initiating a war with Iran. One idea considered was staging a false flag operation involving the use of Navy SEALs dressed as Iranian PT boaters who would engage in a firefight with US ships. According to Hersh this proposed provocation was rejected. Hersh’s allegation has not been verified.[29]

Lebanon

In August 2006, in an article in The New Yorker, Hersh wrote that the White House gave the green light for the Israeli government to execute an attack on Hezbollah in Lebanon. Supposedly, communication between the Israeligovernment and the US government about this came as early as two months in advance of the capture of two Israeli soldiers and the killing of eight others by Hezbollah prior to the 2006 Lebanon War in July 2006.[30] The US government denied these allegations.[31]

Killing of Osama bin Laden 

In September 2013, during an interview with The Guardian, Hersh commented that the 2011 raid that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden was “one big lie, not one word of it is true”. He said that the Obama administration lies systematically, and that American media outlets are reluctant to challenge the administration, saying “It’s pathetic, they are more than obsequious, they are afraid to pick on this guy [Obama]”.[32] Hersh later clarified that he didn’t dispute Bin Laden’s death in Pakistan, and rather meant that the lying began in the aftermath of bin Laden’s death.[33]

On May 10, 2015, Hersh published the 10,000-word article “The Killing of Osama bin Laden” in the London Review of Books (LRB) on the fourth anniversary of the Abbottabad raid that killed bin Laden (Operation Neptune Spear). It immediately went viral, crashing the LRB website.[34] Hersh outlined with extensive quoting of both named and unnamed sources the background to how bin Laden’s presence in Abbotabad came to be known to the U.S. government and how the SEAL raid was in fact known to the Pakistanis and had ISI cooperation. Hersh alleges the U.S. government’s narrative was in fact an elaborate cover story meant to conceal Pakistan’s relationship with the Al Qaeda leader and to yield maximum political payoff for President Barack Obama in the runup to the 2012 election season:

The killing was the high point of Obama’s first term, and a major factor in his re-election. The White House still maintains that the mission was an all-American affair, and that the senior generals of Pakistan’s army and Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) were not told of the raid in advance. This is false, as are many other elements of the Obama administration’s account.[35]

Operation Neptune Spear is often contrasted[citation needed] with a low point—Operation Eagle Claw, the botched 1980 attempt to rescue American hostages in Iran ordered by President Jimmy Carter that killed eight troops and freed no captured Americans.

The official U.S. version is that bin Laden’s location at Abbottabad was identified by the CIA by tracking an al-Qaeda courier, Abu Ahmed al-Kuwaiti. Hersh reports that in August 2010 a former senior Pakistani intelligence officer walked into the office of Jonathan Bank, the CIA station chief at the US embassy in Islamabad and betrayed the secret of bin Laden’s whereabouts in return for part of the $25 million reward, and has since been relocated with his family to Washington and is a consultant to the CIA. The ISI had captured bin Laden in 2006; he had lived undetected from 2001 to 2006 with some of his wives and children in the Hindu Kush mountains. The ISI got to him by paying some of the local tribal people to betray him. Bin Laden was very ill and was living as prisoner under ISI control in the garrison town of Abbottabad less than two miles from Pakistan’s National Military Academy at Kakul (equivalent of United States Military Academy at West Point). The Saudi government also knew about Osama’s presence in Abbottabad and had advised the Pakistanis to keep him as a prisoner and gave financial assistance. Major Amir Aziz, a Pakistani Army doctor, was ordered to move near his compound to provide treatment. Aziz was also given a share of the $25 million reward because he got the DNA sample which conclusively proved that it was bin Laden. A real casualty in the whole affair was the doctor named Shakil Afridi. His perfectly legitimate hepatitis B vaccination programme was claimed to be the way the US obtained bin Laden’s DNA. Afridi became the sacrificial lamb because the US wanted to protect its real CIA informant, Amir Aziz, who had been held by the Pakistanis. Afridi was sentenced to 33 years by the Pakistanis. Other vaccination programmes were canceled once this lie was put forth.[35]

Hersh writes that the Pakistan Army and intelligence service was warned about the U.S. Navy SEALs’ raid and made sure that the two helicopters carrying the SEALs to Abbottabad crossed Pakistani airspace without triggering an alarm: “The most blatant lie was that Pakistan’s two most senior military leaders—General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, chief of the army staff, and General Ahmed Shuja Pasha, director general of the ISI—were never informed of the US mission.”[35] The report also states that Pakistani officials knew about the raid before it happened in May 2011 and instructed those monitoring bin Laden’s compound to allow the SEALs to conduct the operation unobstructed.

Since his killing in 2011, the U.S. media has reported that bin Laden was given a perfunctory naval funeral off the deck of an aircraft carrier, to prevent any gravesite from becoming a symbol of martyrdom. According to Hersh’s account of the assassination, bin Laden’s corpse never made it to the USS Carl Vinson, because it had been torn apart by automatic fire at point-blank range before the CIA took whatever shreds were left: “Some members of the SEAL team had bragged to colleagues and others that they had torn bin Laden’s body to pieces with rifle fire. The remains, including his head, which had only a few bullet holes in it, were thrown into a body bag and, during the helicopter flight back to Jalalabad, some body parts were tossed out over the Hindu Kush mountains.” And bin Laden’s wives and children were never turned over to the Americans for questioning.

Hersh’s story drew harsh criticism from media commentators and officials. Peter Bergen disputed Hersh’s contentions, saying they “defy common sense”;[36] Hersh responded that Bergen simply “views himself as the trustee of all things Bin Laden”.[37] A similar dismissal of Hersh’s account came from former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell.[38] A former intelligence official who had direct knowledge of the operation speculated that the Pakistanis, who were furious that the operation took place without being detected by them, were behind the false story as a way to save face.[39]

Others criticized the press response. In an article for the Columbia Journalism ReviewTrevor Timm wrote that “barely any follow-up reporting has been done to corroborate or refute his [Hersh’s] claims”, and observed that Slate, for example, “ran five hit jobs on Hersh within 36 hours”.[40]

On May 12, the Pakistan-based journalist Amir Mir disclosed that the “walk-in” who had provided the CIA with the information about bin Laden’s whereabouts was Brigadier Usman Khalid of ISI.[41][42]

On May 20, a former CIA officer, Philip Giraldi, opined in The American Conservative that he found Hersh’s story credible:

Syrian Civil War

During the Syrian Civil War US President Obama argued in a 2012 speech that a chemical attack in Syria would constitute crossing a “red line” and that this would trigger a US military intervention against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.[44]

After this speech, and prior to the chemical attacks in Ghoutachemical weapons were suspected to have been used in at least four attacks in the country.[45] On 23 March 2013, the Syrian government requested the UN to send inspectors in order to investigate an incident in the town of Khan al-Assal, where it said opposition forces had used chlorine-filled rockets.[46] However, on 25 April US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel stated that US intelligence showed the Assad government was likely to have used chemical weapons – specifically sarin gas.[47]

On 8 December 2013, the London Review of Books published “Whose Sarin?”, in which Hersh argued that President Obama had “omitted important intelligence, and in others he presented assumptions as facts” in his assertion during his televised speech of 10 September that the Syrian government had been responsible for the use of sarin gas in the Ghouta chemical attack of 21 August 2013 against a rebel-held district of Damascus.[48] In particular, Hersh wrote of anonymous intelligence sources telling him that the Syrian army was not the only agency with access to sarin, referring to the Al-Nusra Front Jihadist group, and that, during the period before the Ghouta attack, secretly implanted sensors at the country’s known bases had not detected suspicious movements suggesting a forthcoming chemical attack in the period.[48]

On 22 December 2015, the London Review of Books published Hersh’s article “Military to Military”[49] in which he exposed the divide between the US top brass and the politicians in the White House when it came to dealing with Islamic extremists in Syria and Iraq. Hersh reported that the Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) of the United States Department of Defense has indirectly supported Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad with quality intelligence in an effort to help him defeat jihadist groups, providing said intelligence via GermanyIsrael and Russia – to help Assad push back Jabhat al-Nusra and the Islamic State. Hersh also writes the military even undermined a US effort to arm Syrian rebels in a bid to prove it was serious about helping Assad fight their common enemies. Hersh says the Joint Chiefs’ maneuvering was rooted in several concerns, including the US arming of unvetted Syrian rebels with jihadist ties, a belief the administration was overly focused on confronting Assad’s ally Russia, and anger the White House was unwilling to challenge Saudi ArabiaQatar and Turkey over their support of extremist groups in Syria. These countries had armed extremists with modern weapons – which gave them the upper hand in subduing the Syrian Army – and resulted in huge territorial losses by 2013. Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish government supported Jabhat al-Nusra. The US JCS reported the Erdogan government were “doing the same for Islamic State” in order to disrupt the balance in the Middle East. The Turkish government refused to halt the flow of foreign militants going through Turkey.[50][51]

On 25 June 2017, Welt am Sonntag published Hersh’s article “Trump’s Red Line”[52] in which he claimed to expose the divide between the US ‘intelligence community’ and Donald Trump, the President of the United States, over the alleged ‘sarin attack’ at the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib on 4 April 2017 … ‘Trump issued the order despite having been warned by the U.S. intelligence community that it had found no evidence that the Syrians had used a chemical weapon.’ A chat conversation delivered to Hersh by his informants and published by Welt am Sonntag, “We got a fuckin‘ problem”[53] seems to evidence much upset on the part of at least one ‘American soldier’ in Syria in conversations with an American ‘security advisor’ as well. However, at least one journalist accused Hersh of sloppy journalism: “Hersh based his case on a tiny number of anonymous sources, presented no other evidence to support his case, and ignored or dismissed evidence that countered the alternative narrative he was trying to build.”[54]

Criticism

Kennedy research

Hersh’s 1997 book about John F. KennedyThe Dark Side of Camelot, made a number of controversial assertions about the former president, including that he had had a “first marriage” to a woman named Durie Malcolm that was never terminated, that he had been a semi-regular narcotics user, and that he had a close working relationship with mob boss Sam Giancana which supposedly included vote fraud in one or two crucial states in the 1960 presidential election. For many of these allegations, Hersh relied only on hearsay collected decades after the event. In a Los Angeles Times review, Edward Jay Epstein cast doubt on these and other assertions, writing, “this book turns out to be, alas, more about the deficiencies of investigative journalism than about the deficiencies of John F. Kennedy.”[55] Responding to the book, historian and former Kennedy aide Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. called Hersh “the most gullible investigative reporter I’ve ever encountered.”[56]

A month before the publication of The Dark Side of Camelot, newspapers, including USA Today, reported Hersh’s announcement that he had removed from the galleys, at the last minute, a segment about legal documents allegedly containing JFK’s signature.[57] The documents signed by “John F. Kennedy” included a provision, in 1960, for a trust fund to be set up for the institutionalized mother of Marilyn Monroe.[58][59] A paralegal named Lawrence Cusack had shared them with Hersh and encouraged the author to discuss them in the book.[58] Shortly before Hersh’s publicized announcement, federal investigators began probing Cusack’s sale of the documents at auction.[58] After The Dark Side of Camelot became a bestseller, Cusack was convicted by a federal jury in Manhattan of forging the documents and sentenced to a long prison term.[60] In 1997 the Kennedy family denied Cusack’s claim that his late father had been an attorney who had represented JFK in 1960.[58]

Use of anonymous sources

There has been sustained criticism of Hersh’s use of anonymous sources.[55][61][62] Critics, including Edward Jay Epstein and Amir Taheri, say he is over-reliant on them.[55][61][62] Taheri, for example, when reviewing Hersh’s Chain of Command (2004), complained:

As soon as he has made an assertion he cites a ‘source’ to back it. In every case this is either an un-named former official or an unidentified secret document passed to Hersh in unknown circumstances. […] By my count Hersh has anonymous ‘sources’ inside 30 foreign governments and virtually every department of the U.S. government.[61]

In response to an article in The New Yorker in which Hersh alleged that the U.S. government was planning a strike on IranU.S. Defense Department spokesman Bryan G. Whitman said, “This reporter has a solid and well-earned reputation for making dramatic assertions based on thinly sourced, unverifiable anonymous sources.”[63]

David Remnick, the editor of The New Yorker, maintains that he is aware of the identity of all of Hersh’s unnamed sources, telling the Columbia Journalism Review that “I know every single source that is in his pieces. … Every ‘retired intelligence officer,’ every general with reason to know, and all those phrases that one has to use, alas, by necessity, I say, ‘Who is it? What’s his interest?’ We talk it through.”[64]

Speeches

In an interview with New York magazine, Hersh made a distinction between the standards of strict factual accuracy for his print reporting and the leeway he allows himself in speeches, in which he may talk informally about stories still being worked on or blur information to protect his sources. “Sometimes I change events, dates, and places in a certain way to protect people. … I can’t fudge what I write. But I can certainly fudge what I say.”[62]

Some of Hersh’s speeches concerning the Iraq War have described violent incidents involving U.S. troops in Iraq. In July 2004, during the height of the Abu Ghraib scandal, he alleged that American troops sexually assaulted young boys:

Basically what happened is that those women who were arrested with young boys, children, in cases that have been recorded, the boys were sodomized, with the cameras rolling, and the worst above all of them is the soundtrack of the boys shrieking. That your government has. They’re in total terror it’s going to come out.[62]

In a subsequent interview with New York magazine, Hersh regretted that “I actually didn’t quite say what I wanted to say correctly. … It wasn’t that inaccurate, but it was misstated. The next thing I know, it was all over the blogs. And I just realized then, the power of—and so you have to try and be more careful.”[62] In Chain of Command, he wrote that one of the witness statements he had read described the rape of a boy by a foreign contract interpreter at Abu Ghraib, during which a woman took pictures.[62]

Link between the US government and Fatah al-Islam

In March 2007, Hersh asserted in a New Yorker piece that the United States and Saudi governments were funding the terrorist organization Fatah al-Islam through aid to Lebanese Sunni Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.[65] Following the publication of the story, journalist Emmanuel Sivan in Beirut wrote that Hersh put forth the allegation without any reliable sources.[66][67]

Morarji Desai libel suit

Hersh wrote in his 1983 book The Price of Power that former Indian Prime Minister Morarji Desai had been paid $20,000 a year by the CIA during the Johnson and Nixon administrations. Desai called the allegation “a scandalous and malicious lie” and filed a $50 million libel suit against Hersh. By the time the case went to trial Desai, by then 93, was too ill to attend. CIA director Richard Helms and Henry Kissinger testified under oath that at no time did Desai act in any capacity for the CIA, paid or otherwise. A Chicago jury ruled in favor of Hersh, saying Desai did not provide sufficient evidence that Hersh had published the information with intent to do harm or with reckless disregard for the truth, either of which must be proven in a libel suit.[68][69]

Controversy

On August 1, 2017, Hersh was interviewed by National Public Radio for a story on a lawsuit related to an investigation into the 2016 death of former Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich. In the interview, Hersh denied a claim by investigator Ed Butowsky that Hersh had said he’d spoken to a Federal Bureau of Investigation source who confirmed the existence of information on Rich’s laptop computer showing he had been in contact with Wikileaks prior to his death. In the NPR interview, Hersh dismissed the claim as “gossip.”[70]

Later that same day, a purported audio recording of Hersh was made public, in which he states that his “high level” and “unbelievably accurate” source provided him with information from an FBI report confirming Rich had been in contact with Wikileaks prior to his death. Hersh has not publicly denied the authenticity of the recording, nor his alleged statements on it.[71]

Awards, honors and associations

His journalism and publishing awards include the 1970 Pulitzer Prize, the 2004 National Council of Teachers of English George Orwell Award for Distinguished Contribution to Honesty and Clarity in Public Language, two National Magazine Awards, 5 George Polk Awards – making him that award’s most honored laureate – and more than a dozen other prizes for investigative reporting:

  • 1969: George Polk Special Award (for his My Lai reporting)
  • 1970: Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting
  • 1973: George Polk Award for Investigative Reporting; Scripps-Howard Public Service Award; Sidney Hillman Award
  • 1974: George Polk Award for National Reporting
  • 1981: George Polk Award for National Reporting
  • 1983: National Book Critics Circle Award and Los Angeles Times Book Prize for The Price of Power: Kissinger in the Nixon White House.
  • 2003: National Magazine Award for Public Interest for his articles “Lunch with the Chairman”, “Selective Intelligence”, and “The Stovepipe”.
  • 2004: following Hersh’s 2004 articles in the New Yorker magazine exposing the Abu Ghraib scandal: National Magazine Award for Public Interest, Overseas Press Club Award, National Press Foundation’s Kiplinger Distinguished Contributions to Journalism Award, and his fifth George Polk Award.

Publications

Books

Articles and reportage

Forewords

  • Hersh, Seymour M. (foreword) (2005) in Scott RitterIraq Confidential: The Untold Story of the Intelligence Conspiracy to Undermine the UN and Overthrow Saddam Hussein (Hardcover), Nation Books, ISBN 1-56025-852-7

See also

References

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

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 932, Story 1: O.J. Simpson Granted Parole When Eligible — The Juice Will Soon Be Loose — Videos — Story 2: President Trump’s First Six Months — Videos — Story 3: President Trump Will Keep Attorney General Sessions For Now — Videos

Posted on July 20, 2017. Filed under: Blogroll, Breaking News, Congress, Constitutional Law, Countries, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald J. Trump, Donald Trump, Donald Trump, Elections, Employment, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Freedom of Speech, Government Dependency, Government Spending, History, House of Representatives, Human, Independence, Insurance, Investments, Language, Law, Life, Media, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Polls, President Trump, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Robert S. Mueller III, Rule of Law, Security, Senate, Success, United States of America, Videos, Wealth, Wisdom | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 932,  July 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 931,  July 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 930,  July 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 929,  July 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 928,  July 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 927,  July 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 926,  July 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 925,  July 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 924,  July 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 923,  July 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 922,  July 3, 2017 

Pronk Pops Show 921,  June 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 920,  June 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 919,  June 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 918,  June 26, 2017 

Pronk Pops Show 917,  June 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 916,  June 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 915,  June 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 914,  June 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 913,  June 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 912,  June 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 911,  June 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 910,  June 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 909,  June 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 908,  June 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 907,  June 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 906,  June 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 905,  June 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 904,  June 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 903,  June 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 902,  May 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 901,  May 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 900,  May 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 899,  May 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 898,  May 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 897,  May 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 896,  May 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 895,  May 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 894,  May 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 893,  May 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 892,  May 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 891,  May 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 890,  May 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 889,  May 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 888,  May 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 887,  May 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 886,  May 4, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 885,  May 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 884,  May 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 883 April 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 882: April 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 881: April 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 880: April 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 879: April 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 878: April 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 877: April 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 876: April 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 875: April 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 874: April 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 873: April 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 872: April 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 871: April 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 870: April 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 869: April 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 868: April 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 867: April 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 866: April 3, 2017

 

Story 1: O.J. Simpson Granted Parole When Eligible — The Juice Will Soon Be Loose — Videos

Image result for o j simpson paroled today

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Image result for trump first six months list of achievements

Image result for trump first six months list of achievements

O.J. Simpson granted parole

Nevada Board Grants OJ Simpson Parole

OJ Simpson’s parole hearing decision

BBC – OJ Simpson the Untold Story

Alan Dershowitz on OJ trial: We didn’t win, they lost

Will OJ Simpson see financial windfall if paroled?

What to know about O.J. Simpson’s parole hearing

Why Psychopath Double Murderer O.J. Simpson Was Paroled to No One’s Surprise

O.J. Simpson is granted parole after serving 9 years for Vegas robbery

By David Montero and Matt PearceContact Reporter

O.J. Simpson was granted parole Thursday for convictions connected to a robbery in Las Vegas about a decade ago. He could be out of jail as early as October.

The moment the former football star received his fourth and final vote from the Nevada Board of Parole recommending release, Simpson dropped his head before responding, “Thank you.”

He didn’t look at his attorney or his daughter Arnelle Simpson, who had come to argue for his release. After nine years in prison, Simpson, 70, instead bowed his head again and placed his hands on the simple wooden table; once again, his every movement was broadcast to millions of people on national television who were curious to see his fate.

On social media, a familiar cry rang out: “The Juice is loose.”

The ruling came after a hearing in which Simpson testified that he longed to be reunited with his family and children and that he has no interest in returning to the media spotlight following his conviction for the armed robbery of two memorabilia dealers.

Prison had separated the Hall of Fame running back from the glitzy lifestyle he once led, Simpson testified at the hearing. He hasn’t drunk alcohol in nine years and said he didn’t miss it. He has been the commissioner of an 18-team prison softball league. He took a prison computer class not because he was interested in computers, but so he could exchange electronic messages with his four children, because, he said, his kids were less responsive to phone calls.

“Are you humbled by this incarceration?” parole commissioner Susan Jackson asked.

“Oh, yes, sure,” Simpson responded. “I wish this would have never happened. … If I would have made a better judgment back then, none of this would have happened.”

Simpson expressed some regret but did not appear overly apologetic during the hearing. Remorse, however, is not a requirement for parole under Nevada law. “The board does not require that an inmate state or indicate that they are remorseful,” Board of Parole spokesman David M. Smith said.

During the hearing, Simpson was assured by one of his victims that the former football star and actor already has a ride waiting for him when he gets out.

“I feel that it’s time to give him a second chance; it’s time for him to go home to his family, his friends,” Bruce Fromong, a sports memorabilia dealer and a friend of Simpson’s, told the Nevada Board of Parole.

Fromong was threatened and robbed by Simpson and some of his associates in a Las Vegas hotel room in 2007, and his testimony in that case led to Simpson’s imprisonment. But, Fromong told the board, “if he called me tomorrow and said, ‘Bruce I’m getting out, would you pick me up?….’ ” At that point, Fromong paused, turned to Simpson and addressed the former USC gridiron star by his nickname: “Juice, I’d be here tomorrow. I mean that, buddy.”

The board recessed late Thursday morning after hearing more than an hour of testimony from Simpson; Arnelle Simpson, his oldest daughter; and Fromong. The panel returned about a half-hour later and unanimously voted to grant parole.

Arnelle Simpson became emotional shortly after beginning her testimony, sometimes stopping to shake her head.

“No one really knows how much we have been through, this ordeal the last nine years,” she said. She stopped and exhaled deeply, excusing herself before putting her fist up to her mouth to steady herself. “My experience with him — is that he’s like my best friend, my rock.”

She added: “As a family, we recognize he is not a perfect man. … But he has done his best.”

Simpson looked upbeat during his first public appearance in years, smiling and nodding to parole commissioners through a video link.

But while the parole hearing was specific to the 2008 robbery conviction, many of his answers to the four commissioners brought back memories of his acquittal in the 1995 double-murder of Ron Goldman and Simpson’s ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.

“I’m in no danger to pull a gun on anybody. I’ve never been accused of it,” he said. “Nobody has ever accused me of pulling any weapon on them.”

Goldman and Brown were killed with a knife.

Simpson lawyer Malcolm LaVergne noted the murders — and how they played no part in Thursday’s proceedings — during a televised news conference in Lovelock, Nev., after the board’s decision.

“Obviously, there’s a 10,000-pound elephant in that room, and I think we were very successful in making sure that that elephant was sleeping and that it was washed and very clean and that it never started to rear its head,” LaVergne said.

Simpson, who turned 70 this month, only barely resembles the athletic younger man who was tried and acquitted of the murder of his ex-wife and her friend in 1994.

Wearing standard-issue blue jeans, a blue button-down shirt and a white T-shirt, Simpson appeared with close-cropped gray hair, and he looked slightly stiff as he sat at a plain wooden table inside a prison five miles outside Lovelock, where he has served nine years in prison for a robbery and kidnapping conviction in 2008.

Through a slight delay, Simpson blinked rapidly and blew out a deep breath at one point as he listened to state parole chairwoman Connie Bisbee read off the list of charges that landed him a sentence of nine to 33 years in prison.

“Mr. Simpson, you are getting the same hearing everyone else gets,” Bisbee said, then acknowledging the media firestorm that Simpson’s hearing has generated — one of the few news events to edge President Trump off the national news broadcasts. “Thank you, ma’am,” Simpson replied, laughing.

This was Simpson’s second parole hearing. His last one in 2013 resulted in parole on one of the charges stemming from the robbery and kidnapping conviction in 2008.

The commissioners asked Simpson a series of questions about how he had conducted himself in prison, what he thought his life would be like outside prison and whether he felt humbled by his convictions.

Simpson said on several occasions he was “a good guy” and indicated that he mostly wanted to spend time with his family in Florida — bemoaning missed graduations and birthdays — and that the state of Nevada might be glad to be rid of him.

“No comment,” one of the commissioners said to some laughter.

He expressed regret at being involved with the crime, but drew some pushback from commissioners who took issue with his version of events, in which he said he didn’t know a gun had been brandished in the hotel room during the robbery.

But Simpson held to his version, repeatedly apologizing and expressing regret that he had left a wedding in Las Vegas to go recover memorabilia he said was his.

“I am sorry things turned out the way they did,” Simpson said. “I had no intent to commit a crime.”

At one point, Simpson said he had not made any excuses for what he did during the years he’d spent in prison, but in the same sentence, he turned the blame toward the men who had joined him in intimidating the memorabilia dealers.

“I never should have allowed these alleged security guys to help me,” Simpson said. “These guys took over.”

Because it’s Simpson, there was high interest. On Wednesday night, media satellite trucks already were camped in the dusty parking lot facing the fences and guard towers of the prison. In Carson City, where the parole board met 100 miles to the southwest, trucks were lined up in a business park. The commissioners received hundreds of letters from members of the public, either urging them to release Simpson or keep him in prison, with many of them referencing the 1994 case.

In his testimony, Simpson referred to the effect of the incident on Fromong. “Bruce was traumatized by it,” Simpson said, adding, “He accepted my apology.” Another victim of the robbery, Alfred Beardsley, died in November.

Simpson has tangled with the legal system over the last three decades — most famously in 1995 when he was acquitted of charges that he murdered Ron Goldman and Nicole Brown Simpson. His robbery conviction in 2008 was for his attempt at the Palace Station Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas to steal memorabilia he said belonged to him.

The same four board members who granted Simpson parole four years ago were at Thursday’s hearing: Bisbee, Jackson, Tony Corda and Adam Endel.

http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-oj-simpson-parole-board-20170720-story.html

Story 2: President Trump’s First Six Months — Videos

Donald Trump’s first six months as US President in 90 seconds

Summary Video of President Donald Trump’s First Six Months

President Trump’s Six Months of America First

Victory After Victory In Trump’s First 6 Months

Panel Discuss Surprises from Trump’s First Six Months in Office. #POTUS #Presidency

President Trump’s first six months: by the numbers

Donald Trump’s 6 Month Report Card: 991 Tweets, 836 Lies, 0 Legislative Accomplishments

Pros and Cons: Trump’s First Six Months in Office

2 Million Illegals Just Got SERVED By Trump’s DHS Sec Who Issued Sudden Shock Announcement

Trump sent over 1,000 tweets in first six months as president

President Trump has tweeted more than 1,000 times since taking office six months ago, and more than 9,000 times since launching his campaign in 2015.

Trump has tweeted 1,002 times since taking office, a 45 percent drop in activity from the same length of time before his January inauguration, according to a Mashable report released Thursday.

Since he announced his campaign on June 16, 2015, Trump has tweeted 9,146 times.

The president’s six-month Twitter milestone was also captured by a CNN news alert, which cited a slightly lower number of tweets. It’s unclear exactly which dates CNN used to count Trump’s tweets.

“In 6 months, Pres. Trump has tweeted 991 times, spent 40 days at Trump golf properties, and passed 0 pieces of major legislation,” CNN’s news alert reads.

According to Mashable, if Trump keeps his Twitter habit up at its current levels, he will tweet more than 8,000 times before the end of his first term.

Last month, top White House aides advised Trump to dial back his use of the social media platform, warning him that his unvetted tweets could “paint him into a corner” and staging a Twitter “intervention.”

Shortly after his victory over Hillary Clinton but prior to taking office, the president suggested he would be more restrained as president on Twitter.

“I’m going to do very restrained. If I use it at all, I’m going to be very restrained,” Trump said in a November interview with “60 Minutes.”

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/342979-trump-sent-over-a-thousand-tweets-in-first-six-months-as-president

 

Story 3: President Trump Will Keep Attorney General Sessions For Now — Videos

Trump: ‘I Would Have Picked Somebody Else’ If I Knew Sessions Would Recuse Himself from Russia Probe

TRUMP NOT HAPPY WITH SESSIONS RECUSAL

President Trump Criticizes AG Sessions’ Handling Of Russia Investigation

President Trump Criticizes AG Sessions’ Handling Of Russia Investigation

 

Trump: ‘Sessions should have never recused himself’ from Russia investigation

President Trump criticized Attorney General Jeff Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation Wednesday and warned special counselor Robert Mueller over alleged conflicts of interest in a New York Times interview published Wednesday.

In a remarkable denunciation of one of his earliest and most powerful supporters, Trump slammed Sessions’ recusal as “very unfair to the president” and said he would have never appointed Sessions attorney general if he had known he would do so.

“How do you take a job and then recuse yourself?” Trump asked rhetorically. “If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.'”

There was no immediate comment from Sessions, who announced March 2 that he would recuse himself from overseeing the FBI’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling into the 2016 presidential election campaign. Sessions stepped aside after media reports that he had two conversations with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. and failed to disclose them to Congress during his confirmation process.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is overseeing Mueller’s investigation. In his interview, Trump told the Times that he had interviewed Mueller to replace the fired James Comey as FBI Director before Rosenstein appointed him special counsel.

He was up here and he wanted the job,” Trump said of Mueller. “Talk about conflicts. But he was interviewing for the job. There were many other conflicts that I haven’t said, but I will at some point.”

The president lobbed similar conflict of interest charges at Rosenstein and acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. He also accused Comey of briefing him on a dossier of unverified, incriminating information in an effort to gain leverage over the soon-to-be president.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the interview.

Trump also addressed a newly disclosed conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-20 summit earlier this month. Trump said the pair spoke for about 15 minutes at the dinner and said the conversation consisted of “pleasantries more than anything else” — though he said he and Putin also discussed adoption.

Russia had banned Americans from adopting Russian children in response to the Magnitsky Act, passed by Congress in 2012, which allowed the U.S. to impose sanctions on Russians deemed as human rights violators.

It’s the same topic Trump’s oldest son, Donald Trump Jr., says he discussed with a Russian lawyer at a meeting that has drawn intense scrutiny — a coincidence Trump described in the interview as “interesting.”

According to the Times, the 50-minute interview with Trump took place Wednesday afternoon, following a lunch with Republican senators during which he told them not to go on their August recess until they presented him with a bill repealing ObamaCare

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2017/07/19/trump-sessions-should-have-never-recused-himself-from-russia-investigation.html

In a remarkable public break with one of his earliest political supporters, Mr. Trump complained that Mr. Sessions’s decision ultimately led to the appointment of a special counsel that should not have happened. “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job and I would have picked somebody else,” Mr. Trump said.

In a wide-ranging interview with The New York Times, the president also accused James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director he fired in May, of trying to leverage a dossier of compromising material to keep his job. Mr. Trump criticized both the acting F.B.I. director who has been filling in since Mr. Comey’s dismissal and the deputy attorney general who recommended it. And he took on Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel now leading the investigation into Russian meddling in last year’s election.

Mr. Trump said Mr. Mueller was running an office rife with conflicts of interest and warned investigators against delving into matters too far afield from Russia. Mr. Trump never said he would order the Justice Department to fire Mr. Mueller, nor would he outline circumstances under which he might do so. But he left open the possibility as he expressed deep grievance over an investigation that has taken a political toll in the six months since he took office.

Asked if Mr. Mueller’s investigation would cross a red line if it expanded to look at his family’s finances beyond any relationship to Russia, Mr. Trump said, “I would say yes.” He would not say what he would do about it. “I think that’s a violation. Look, this is about Russia.”

While the interview touched on an array of issues, including health care, foreign affairs and politics, the investigation dominated the conversation. He said that as far as he knew, he was not under investigation himself, despite reports that Mr. Mueller is looking at whether the president obstructed justice by firing Mr. Comey.

“I don’t think we’re under investigation,” he said. “I’m not under investigation. For what? I didn’t do anything wrong.”

Describing a newly disclosed informal conversation he had with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia during a dinner of world leaders in Germany this month, Mr. Trump said they talked for about 15 minutes, mostly about “pleasantries.” But Mr. Trump did say that they talked “about adoption.” Mr. Putin banned American adoptions of Russian children in 2012 after the United States enacted sanctions on Russians accused of human rights abuses, an issue that remains a sore point in relations with Moscow.

Photo

Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee in June.CreditEric Thayer for The New York Times

Mr. Trump acknowledged that it was “interesting” that adoptions came up since his son, Donald Trump Jr., said that was the topic of a meeting he had with several Russians with ties to the Kremlin during last year’s campaign. Even though emails show that the session had been set up to pass along incriminating information about Hillary Clinton, the president said he did not need such material from Russia about Mrs. Clinton last year because he already had more than enough.

The interview came as the White House was trying to regain momentum after the collapse of health care legislation even while the president’s son, son-in-law and former campaign chairman were being asked to talk with Senate investigators. Relaxed and engaged, the president sat at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, with only one aide, Hope Hicks, sitting in on the interview. The session was sandwiched between a White House lunch with Republican senators and an event promoting “Made in America” week.

Over the course of 50 minutes, the often-fiery Mr. Trump demonstrated his more amiable side, joking about holding hands with the president of France and musing about having a military parade down a main avenue in Washington. He took satisfaction that unemployment has fallen and stock markets have risen to record highs on his watch.

At one point, his daughter Ivanka arrived at the doorway with her daughter, Arabella, who ran to her grandfather and gave him a kiss. He greeted the 6-year-old girl as “baby,” then urged her to show the reporters her ability to speak Chinese. She obliged.

But Mr. Trump left little doubt during the interview that the Russia investigation remained a sore point. His pique at Mr. Sessions, in particular, seemed fresh even months after the attorney general’s recusal. Mr. Sessions was the first senator to endorse Mr. Trump’s candidacy and was rewarded with a key cabinet slot, but has been more distant from the president lately.

“Jeff Sessions takes the job, gets into the job, recuses himself, which frankly I think is very unfair to the president,” he added. “How do you take a job and then recuse yourself? If he would have recused himself before the job, I would have said, ‘Thanks, Jeff, but I’m not going to take you.’ It’s extremely unfair — and that’s a mild word — to the president.”

Mr. Trump also faulted Mr. Sessions for his testimony during Senate confirmation hearings when Mr. Sessions said he had not had “communications with the Russians” even though he had met at least twice with Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak. “Jeff Sessions gave some bad answers,” the president said. “He gave some answers that were simple questions and should have been simple answers, but they weren’t.”

A spokesman for Mr. Sessions declined to comment on Wednesday.

The president added a new allegation against Mr. Comey, whose dismissal has become a central issue for critics who said it amounted to an attempt to obstruct the investigation into Russian meddling in the election and any possible collusion with Mr. Trump’s team.

Mr. Trump recalled that a little more than two weeks before his inauguration, Mr. Comey and other intelligence officials briefed him at Trump Tower on Russian meddling. Mr. Comey afterward pulled Mr. Trump aside and told him about a dossier that had been assembled by a former British spy filled with salacious allegations against the incoming president, including supposed sexual escapades in Moscow. The F.B.I. has not corroborated the most sensational assertions in the dossier.

In the interview, Mr. Trump said he believed Mr. Comey told him about the dossier to implicitly make clear he had something to hold over the president. “In my opinion, he shared it so that I would think he had it out there,” Mr. Trump said. As leverage? “Yeah, I think so,” Mr. Trump said. “In retrospect.”

The president dismissed the assertions in the dossier: “When he brought it to me, I said this is really made-up junk. I didn’t think about any of it. I just thought about, man, this is such a phony deal.”

Mr. Comey declined to comment on Wednesday.

But Mr. Comey and other intelligence officials decided it was best for him to raise the subject with Mr. Trump alone because he was going to remain as F.B.I. director. Mr. Comey testified before Congress that he disclosed the details of the dossier to Mr. Trump because he thought that the news media would soon be publishing details from it and that Mr. Trump had a right to know what information was out there about him. A two-page summary about the dossier was widely reported the week before Mr. Trump’s inauguration, including by The Times.

Mr. Trump rebutted Mr. Comey’s claim that in a one-on-one meeting in the Oval Office on Feb. 14, the president asked him to end the investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn. Mr. Comey testified before Congress that Mr. Trump kicked the vice president, attorney general and several other senior administration officials out of the room before having the discussion with Mr. Comey.

“I don’t remember even talking to him about any of this stuff,” Mr. Trump said. “He said I asked people to go. Look, you look at his testimony. His testimony is loaded up with lies, O.K.?”

He expressed no second thoughts about firing Mr. Comey, saying, “I did a great thing for the American people.”

Mr. Trump was also critical of Mr. Mueller, a former F.B.I. director, reprising some of his past complaints that lawyers in his office contributed money to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. He noted that he actually interviewed Mr. Mueller to replace Mr. Comey just before his appointment as special counsel.

“He was up here and he wanted the job,” Mr. Trump said. After he was named special counsel, “I said, ‘What the hell is this all about?’ Talk about conflicts. But he was interviewing for the job. There were many other conflicts that I haven’t said, but I will at some point.”

The president also expressed discontent with Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, a former federal prosecutor from Baltimore. When Mr. Sessions recused himself, the president said he was irritated to learn where his deputy was from. “There are very few Republicans in Baltimore, if any,” he said of the predominantly Democratic city.

He complained that Mr. Rosenstein had in effect been on both sides when it came to Mr. Comey. The deputy attorney general recommended Mr. Comey be fired but then appointed Mr. Mueller, who may be investigating whether the dismissal was an obstruction of justice. “Well, that’s a conflict of interest,” Mr. Trump said. “Do you know how many conflicts of interests there are?”

In an interview with Fox News before Mr. Trump’s comments were published, Mr. Rosenstein said he was confident Mr. Mueller could avoid any conflict of interests. “We have a process with the department to take care of that,” he said.

As for Andrew G. McCabe, the acting F.B.I. director, the president suggested that he, too, had a conflict. Mr. McCabe’s wife, Jill McCabe, received nearly $500,000 in 2015 during a losing campaign for the Virginia Senate from a political action committee affiliated with Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who is close friends with Hillary and Bill Clinton.

In his first description of his dinnertime conversation with Mr. Putin at the Group of 20 summit meeting in Hamburg, Germany, Mr. Trump played down its significance. He said his wife, Melania, was seated next to Mr. Putin at the other end of a table filled with world leaders.

“The meal was going toward dessert,” he said. “I went down just to say hello to Melania, and while I was there I said hello to Putin. Really, pleasantries more than anything else. It was not a long conversation, but it was, you know, could be 15 minutes. Just talked about things. Actually, it was very interesting, we talked about adoption.”

He noted the adoption issue came up in the June 2016 meeting between his son and Russian visitors. “I actually talked about Russian adoption with him,” he said, meaning Mr. Putin. “Which is interesting because it was a part of the conversation that Don had in that meeting.”

But the president repeated that he did not know about his son’s meeting at the time and added that he did not need the Russians to provide damaging information about Mrs. Clinton.

“There wasn’t much I could say about Hillary Clinton that was worse than what I was already saying,” he said. “Unless somebody said that she shot somebody in the back, there wasn’t much I could add to my repertoire.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/19/us/politics/trump-interview-sessions-russia.html?referer=&_r=0

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The Pronk Pops Show 931, July 19, 2017, Story 1: “Obamacare Failed” Says President Trump — Wants Obamacare Completely  Repealed and Replaced Sooner or Later — Obama Lied To American People — Does President Trump Understand The Relationship Between Pre-existing Conditions, Guaranteed Issue, Community Rating and Adverse Selection — Many Doubt Trump Really Understands The Relationship That Is The Real Reason Obamacare Was Designed To Fail From The Beginning So It Could Be Replaced By Single Payer Government Health Care — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 931,  July 19, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 927,  July 12, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 924,  July 6, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 918,  June 26, 2017 

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Pronk Pops Show 911,  June 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 910,  June 13, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 883 April 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 882: April 27, 2017

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Pronk Pops Show 876: April 19, 2017

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Image result for cartoons trump on obamacare failure

Image result for cartoons trump on obamacare failure

Image result for cartoons Obamacare has failed

Image result for cartoons trump on obamacare failure

Image result for cartoons trump on obamacare failure

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Image result for cartoons trump on obamacare failure

 

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Image result for cartoons trump on obamacare failure

Story 1: “Obamacare Failed” Says President Trump — Wants Obamacare Completely  Repealed and Replaced Sooner or Later — Obama Lied To American People — Does President Trump Understand The Relationship Between Pre-existing Conditions, Guaranteed Issue, Community Rating and Adverse Selection — Many Doubt Trump Really Understands The Relationship That Is The Real Reason Obamacare Was Designed To Fail From The Beginning So It Could Be Replaced By Single Payer Government Health Care — Videos

Trump Warns GOP Senators; 7-19-2017

MUST WATCH: President Trump Reacts to GOP Healthcare Bill Collapse – “Let ObamaCare Fail” (FNN)

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Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 10-15

Listen To Pronk Pops Podcast or Download Shows 1-9

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 929, July 17, 2017, Story 1: Downsizing The Federal Government or Draining The Swap: Trump Should Permanently Close 8 Departments Not Appoint People To Run Them — Cut All Other Department Budgets by 20% — Video — Story 2: Federal Spending Breaks $4 Trillion for Fiscal Year 2017 — Story 3: The American People and President Trump Vs. Political Elitist Establishment of The Big Government Democratic and Republican Parties — Videos

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The Pronk Pops Show Podcasts

Pronk Pops Show 929,  July 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 928,  July 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 927,  July 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 926,  July 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 925,  July 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 924,  July 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 923,  July 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 922,  July 3, 2017 

Pronk Pops Show 921,  June 29, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 920,  June 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 919,  June 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 918,  June 26, 2017 

Pronk Pops Show 917,  June 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 916,  June 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 915,  June 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 914,  June 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 913,  June 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 912,  June 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 911,  June 14, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 910,  June 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 909,  June 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 908,  June 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 907,  June 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 906,  June 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 905,  June 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 904,  June 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 903,  June 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 902,  May 31, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 901,  May 30, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 900,  May 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 899,  May 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 898,  May 23, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 897,  May 22, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 896,  May 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 895,  May 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 894,  May 16, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 893,  May 15, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 892,  May 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 891,  May 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 890,  May 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 889,  May 9, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 888,  May 8, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 887,  May 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 886,  May 4, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 885,  May 3, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 884,  May 1, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 883 April 28, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 882: April 27, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 881: April 26, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 880: April 25, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 879: April 24, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 878: April 21, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 877: April 20, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 876: April 19, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 875: April 18, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 874: April 17, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 873: April 13, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 872: April 12, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 871: April 11, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 870: April 10, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 869: April 7, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 868: April 6, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 867: April 5, 2017

Pronk Pops Show 866: April 3, 2017

Image result for cartoons on big government democratic and republican partiesImage result for cartoons on big fat governmentBar Chart of Government Spending by AgencyImage result for cartoons on big government democratic and republican parties

Image result for cartoons the american people and trump vs washington establishment

 

Story 1: Downsizing The Federal Government or Draining The Swap: Trump Should Permanently Close 8 Departments Not Appoint People To Run Them — Cut All Other Department Budgets by 20% — Video

Order of Establishment of the Executive Departments

Rank*
Year
Executive Departments
1
1789
2
1789
3
1789
1947
Department of War
Department of Defense (merger of War and Navy departments)
4
1789
1870
Attorney General
Department of Justice
1798
Department of the Navy
(merged with War Department in 1947)
1829
Postmaster General
(Post Office privatized in 1970)
5
1849
6
1862
1903
Department of Commerce and Labor
(Departments split in 1913)
7
1913
8
1913
9
1953
1980
10
1965
11
1966
12
1977
13
1979
14
1989
15
2002

Close Permanently The Following Federal Departments

1. Department of Agriculture

2. Department of Commerce

3. Department of Education

4. Department of Energy

5. Department of Housing and Urban Development

6. Department of Interior

7. Department of Labor

8. Department of Transportation

Keep Open The Following Federal Departments 

But Cut Budgets By 20 Percent

1. Department of Defense

2. Department of State

3. Department of Treasury

4. Department of Justice

5. Department of Veterans’ Affairs

6. Department of Health and Human Services

7. Department of Homeland Security

How to Solve America’s Spending Problem

Government: Is it Ever Big Enough?

The Bigger the Government…

The War on Work

What Creates Wealth?

The Promise of Free Enterprise

Why Capitalism Works

What is Crony Capitalism?

WH Website Asks Americans to Suggest Ways to Reorganize, Eliminate Federal Gov’t

Trump signs order to cut government costs

President Trump Signs Executive Order to Cut Government Costs

Trump orders a total examination and reorganization of federal agencies.

Downsizing the Federal Government

Dan Mitchell Commenting on Downsizing Government and Federal Bureaucracy

TAKE IT TO THE LIMITS: Milton Friedman on Libertarianism

Bureaucracy Basics: Crash Course Government and Politics #15

Types of Bureaucracies: Crash Course Government and Politics #16

Controlling Bureaucracies: Crash Course Government and Politics #17

Can the United States Reform its Way to Financial Security?

 

President Trump has filled far fewer top jobs in cabinet or cabinet-level agencies than President Barack Obama had at this point in his presidency.

The status of top jobs
25 weeks into each administration:

Confirmed
by Senate
Nominated or
Announced
Empty
Trump 33 57 120
Obama 126 43 41

Story 2: Federal Spending Breaks $4 Trillion for Fiscal Year 2017 — Videos

Bar Chart of Government Spending by Agency

The bar chart comes directly from the Monthly Treasury Statement published by the U. S. Treasury Department. <—- Click on the chart for more info.

The “Debt Total” bar chart is generated from the Treasury Department’s “Debt Report” found on the Treasury Direct web site. It has links to search the debt for any given date range, and access to debt interest information. It is a direct source to government provided budget information.

$$$ — “Deficit” vs. “Debt”— $$$

Suppose you spend more money this month than your income. This situation is called a “budget deficit”. So you borrow (ie; use your credit card). The amount you borrowed (and now owe) is called your debt. You have to pay interest on your debt. If next month you spend more than your income, another deficit, you must borrow some more, and you’ll still have to pay the interest on your debt (now larger). If you have a deficit every month, you keep borrowing and your debt grows. Soon the interest payment on your loan is bigger than any other item in your budget. Eventually, all you can do is pay the interest payment, and you don’t have any money left over for anything else. This situation is known as bankruptcy.

“Reducing the deficit” is a meaningless soundbite. If the DEFICIT is any amount more than ZERO, we have to borrow more and the DEBT grows.

Each year since 1969, Congress has spent more money than its income. The Treasury Department has to borrow money to meet Congress’s appropriations. Here is a direct link to the Congressional Budget Office web site. Check out the CBO’s assessment of the Debt. We have to pay interest* on that huge, growing debt; and it dramatically cuts into our budget.

Huge Mistake! White House Reveals Budget Deficit Will Be $250 BILLION Greater

Federal Spending to Top a Record $4 Trillion in FY2017

1. June Unemployment Report Was Better Than Expected
2. Federal Spending to Blow Through $4 Trillion in FY2017
3. What Does the Government Spend Our Tax Dollars On?
4.Even President Trump’s Federal Budget Increases Spending

Overview

Both the Congressional Budget Office and the White House Office of Management and Budget announced last week that federal spending will top $4 trillion for the first time ever in fiscal 2017, which began on October 1, 2016 and ends on September 30.

The Congressional Budget Office released its annual “Budget and Economic Outlook: 2017 to 2027” last week in which it projected that total federal spending in fiscal 2017 will hit a record $4,008,000,000,000. That’s up from the previous record of $3.853 trillion spent in fiscal 2016.

While most Americans have no idea how much our out-of-control government spends each year, much less what our enormous annual federal budget deficits are, long-time clients and readers, know this is a topic I focus on and warn about each and every year – and will again today. This is something every American voter should absolutely know about!

Yet before we get to those discussions, I will summarize last Friday’s better than expected unemployment report for June. The strong jobs report had several significant implications for the economy going forward as I will discuss below. Let’s get started.

June Unemployment Report Was Better Than Expected

Friday’s unemployment report for June was a welcome surprise, especially following the weaker than expected report for May. The Labor Department reported at the end of last week that the economy created 222,000 new jobs in June, up from only 152,000 in May – and well above the pre-report expectation of 179,000.

The increase in new jobs in June was the largest in four months and the second highest of the year. Hiring was also revised higher for May and April than previously reported. The pickup in hiring in the spring coincides with a fresh spurt of growth in the economy after a slow start to the year.

Monthly change in nonfarm payrolls

The headline unemployment rate rose slightly from 4.3% in May to 4.4% in June, but that was largely because more jobless Americans rejoined the labor force by actively looking for work last month. That’s a good thing.

Hourly pay rose 0.2% to $26.25 an hour in June, the government said. Over the last 12 months, wages have only advanced a modest 2.5% — up slightly from the rate reported for May, but still well below the usual gains at this late stage of an economic expansion.

Underemployment, which measures people who want to be working full-time but are not, rose to 8.6% in June from 8.4% in May. It‘s still far lower than in prior years but it’s never a good sign to see this measure tick up.

The number of Americans who work part-time but want a full-time job also rose a notch to 5.3 million in June. Part-time employment has been a persistent problem for job seekers since the recession ended, as many companies try to limit increases in full-time workers.

Overall, economists say the strong job gains in June reflect a healthy labor market. Some believe we are approaching the level of “full employment.”

Federal Spending to Blow Through $4 Trillion in FY2017

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) reported last week that federal spending will top $4 trillion for the first time ever in fiscal 2017, which ends on September 30.

The CBO released its annual “Budget and Economic Outlook: 2017 to 2027” last week in which it projected that total federal spending in fiscal 2017 will hit a record $4.008 trillion. That’s up from the previous record of $3.853 trillion spent in fiscal 2016.

Federal spending to top $4 trillion

The record $4.008 trillion the CBO estimates the federal government will spend this fiscal year equals $33,805 for each of the 118,562,000 households the Census Bureau estimated were in the United States as of March.

I should note for the record that while federal spending will top $4 trillion for the first time this year while Donald Trump is president, this year’s spending is actually tied to Barack Obama’s budget passed in his last year in office. So don’t blame President Trump… yet.

The federal budget goes up every single year, no matter which party is in office, and no matter that our national debt will top $20 trillion later this year. Clearly, federal spending is out of control, and no one in Washington, DC has the will to stop it – including President Trump (more on this below).

Apparently, leaders in both parties no longer believe there is a limit to how much our country can borrow and spend. There is no longer any sense that our ballooning national debt will at some point trigger a new financial crisis much worse than what we experienced in late 2007-early 2009.

Worst of all, WE keep electing and re-electing these people. In that sense, it’s our own fault.

What Does the Government Spend Our Tax Dollars On?

Many (if not most) Americans don’t understand how and where the government spends our tax dollars and the tens of billions it borrows each and every year. That’s what we will take a look at in the discussion just below. Let’s start with this graphic for an overview.

Government spending

Pew Research had an excellent analysis on how the federal government spends our money (and what it borrows) earlier this year. I’ll reprint the highlights for you below (emphasis mine).

“When thinking about federal spending, it’s worth remembering that, as former Treasury official Peter Fisher once said, the federal government is basically ‘a gigantic insurance company,’ albeit one with ‘a sideline business in national defense and homeland security.’

In fiscal year 2016, which ended this past September 30, the federal government spent just under $4 trillion, and about $2.7 trillion – more than two-thirds of the total – went for various kinds of social insurance (Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, unemployment compensation, Veterans benefits and the like).

Another $604 billion, or 15.3% of total spending, went for national defense; net interest payments on government debt was about $240 billion, or 6.1%. Education aid and related social services were about$114 billion, or less than 3% of all federal spending. Everything else – crop subsidies, space travel, highway repairs, national parks, foreign aid and much, much more – accounted for the remaining 6%.

It can be helpful to look at federal spending as a share of the overall US economy, which provides a consistent frame of reference over long periods. In fiscal 2016, total federal outlays were 21.5% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). For most of the past several decades, federal spending has hovered within a few percentage points above or below 20%.

The biggest recent exception came in the wake of the 2008 mortgage crash: In fiscal 2009, a surge in federal relief spending combined with a shrinking economy to push federal outlays to 24.4% of GDP, the highest level since World War II — when federal spending peaked at nearly 43% of GDP.

Social security, Medicare, human services a growing share of spendingMeasured as a share of GDP, the biggest long-term growth in federal spending has come in human services, a broad category that includes various kinds of social insurance, other health programs, education aid and veterans benefits.

From less than 1% of GDP during World War II (when many Depression-era aid programs were either ended or shifted to the war effort), federal spending on human services now amounts to 15.5% of GDP.

It actually was higher – 16.1% – in fiscal 2010, largely due to greater spending on unemployment compensation, food assistance and other forms of aid during the Great Recession. Now, the main growth drivers of human-services spending are Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security.

While spending on human services has grown to represent a greater share of GDP over time, the defense share has become smaller: It was 3.3% in fiscal 2016, versus 4.7% as recently as fiscal 2010. In general, and perhaps not surprisingly, defense spending consumes more of GDP during wartime (well over a third at the height of World War II) and less during peacetime.

The major exception was the Reagan-era military buildup… From a post-Vietnam low of 4.5% of GDP in fiscal 1979, defense spending eventually peaked at 6% of GDP in fiscal 1986.

Besides human services and national defense, the next-biggest category of federal spending is interest on public debt. Excluding interest paid to government trust funds (such as the Social Security and military-retirement trust funds) and various other small government loanprograms, the $240 billion in net interest paid on federal debt in fiscal 2016 represented 1.3% of GDP. [Remember that interest rates are near historic lows today.]

Even though total public debt has continued to grow (it stood at nearly $19.96 trillion in February, hitting the statutory debt limit), the dollar amount of actual interest paid fluctuates with the general interest rate environment. Rates are quite low now, but they were much higher in the 1980s and 1990s; in those decades, net interest payments often approached or exceeded 3% of GDP. END QUOTE

Even President Trump’s Federal Budget Increases Spending

Back in March, President Trump unveiled a controversial new federal budget proposal for fiscal year 2018, which begins on October 1st. The budget was a shocker in that it proposed cutting spending in every federal agency except Defense, Homeland Security and Veterans Affairs.

The new budget would slash Environmental Protection Agency spending by over 31% next year and cut State Department spending by over 28%, all in one fell swoop. It is by far the most conservative, smaller government budget we have seen in my adult lifetime.

Trump proposals for government agency budget changes

Yet as I wrote on March 21, Mr. Trump’s so-called “skinny budget” has no chance of becoming law. I bring it back up today only to point out that even with Trump’s massive government agency cuts (which will never pass), federal spending still increases in FY2018.

As noted above, the CBO and the OMB now agree that federal spending in FY2017 will be apprx. $4.008 trillion. In Trump’s proposed budget, federal spending would reach apprx. $4.094 trillion. And it goes up each year thereafter, soaring to $5.7 trillion by 2027 – even under Trump’s skinny budget.

The sad reality is that our politicians will not take definitive actions to slow the rise in our national debt. Perhaps that’s because half of American households receive direct benefits from government programs like Medicare, Social Security, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), nutrition programs for mothers and children, subsidized housing and unemployment assistance, to name just a few.

That’s another topic for another day. The point is, federal spending is out of control, and our leaders have no intention of stopping or reversing this dangerous trend. What this means is that we are destined for another serious financial crisis at some point. The markets and our creditors will decide when and it won’t be pretty!

Wishing you well,
Gary D. Halbert

Forecasts & Trends E-Letter is published by Halbert Wealth Management, Inc. Gary D. Halbert is the president and CEO of Halbert Wealth Management, Inc. and is the editor of this publication. Information contained herein is taken from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed as to its accuracy. Opinions and recommendations herein generally reflect the judgement of Gary D. Halbert (or another named author) and may change at any time without written notice. Market opinions contained herein are intended as general observations and are not intended as specific investment advice. Readers are urged to check with their investment counselors before making any investment decisions. This electronic newsletter does not constitute an offer of sale of any securities. Gary D. Halbert, Halbert Wealth Management, Inc., and its affiliated companies, its officers, directors and/or employees may or may not have investments in markets or programs mentioned herein. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. Reprinting for family or friends is allowed with proper credit. However, republishing (written or electronically) in its entirety or through the use of extensive quotes is prohibited without prior written consent.

https://www.advisorperspectives.com/commentaries/2017/07/11/federal-spending-to-top-a-record-4-trillion-in-fy2017?channel=Economic%20Insights

Social Security Will Be Paying Out More Than It Receives In Just Five Years

Tyler Durden's picture

Authored by Mac Slavo via SHTFplan.com,

When social security was first implemented in the 1930’s, America was a very different country. Especially in regards to demographics. The average life expectancy was roughly 18 years younger than it is now, and birth rates were a bit higher than they are now. By the 1950’s, the fertility rate was twice as high as it is in the 21st century.

In other words, for the first few decades, social security seemed very sustainable. Most people would only live long enough to benefit from it for a few years, and there was an abundance of young workers who could pay into the system.

Those days are long gone. As birth rates plummet and people live longer, (which otherwise should be considered a positive development) social security’s future is looking more and more bleak.

No matter how you slice it, it doesn’t seem possible to keep social security funded. In fact, social security is going to start paying out more money than it receives in just a few short years. It may even be insolvent before the baby boomer generation dies off.

According to the Social Security Board of Trustees, the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds will be depleted in 2034.

When this happens, only 77 percent of benefits will be payable. That estimate is no change from last year’s estimate.

In addition, the Disability Insurance trust fund will be depleted in 2028, which is an improvement from last year’s estimate of 2023. Once that fund is depleted, 93 percent of benefits will be paid.

Right now, Social Security continues to take in through revenue more than it pays it through benefits, which is expected to continue until 2022. Once Social Security begins to pay out more than it takes in, it will be forced to liquidate the assets held by the trust funds.

In 2016, Social Security generated $957 billion in income. It only paid out $922 billion including $911 billion in benefits to 61 million beneficiaries.

But the solutions that have been proposed for this problem don’t hold much promise. For instance, we know that simply raising taxes won’t work.

But increasing the payroll tax is not a good long-term solution to fixing Social Security. For example a higher payroll tax would have negative economic effects. In addition, it’s not even clear that raising the payroll tax would even generate enough revenue.

“Some claim that the solution to preserving Social Security is to raise more taxes, but history shows that doesn’t work,” said David Barnes who is the director of policy engagement for Generation Opportunity in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. “In fact, since Social Security was created, payroll taxes have been raised more than 20 times. Twenty times! Yet, the program is still headed towards insolvency.”

This is one reason why so many Western countries, almost all of which are suffering from declining birth rates, have been so eager to open their borders to more immigrants. They’re trying to bring in as many young workers as they can.

But that’s not going to work either. Forget about the high crime rates, terrorist attacks, and social disintegration that Europe is facing now after bringing in millions of immigrants. Even if those problems didn’t exist, immigration isn’t the solution. The West has had wide open borders for decades, and it hasn’t made a dent in the liabilities faced by social security programs (perhaps these immigrants aren’t paying as many taxes as these governments had hoped).

We could let younger generations opt out of social security to stave off future obligations, but that wouldn’t help fund the current generation of retirees. Social security is already on the path to being underfunded for them, and letting young people opt out would obviously make things worst for current retirees.

There isn’t really any viable solution for paying off the future liabilities of social security, aside from cutting the benefits or increasing the retirement age. Otherwise it’s going to run out of money eventually, which is the same story with private and public pensions. We are all paying for our retirements in one form or another, but few of us living right now are going to fully benefit from it.

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-19/social-security-will-be-paying-out-more-it-receives-just-five-years

Story 3: The American People and President Trump Vs. Political Elitist Establishment of The Big Government Democratic and Republican Parties — Videos

Ronald Reagan .. “Government is the problem”

The Bigger the Government…

Government: Is it Ever Big Enough?

How Big Should Government Be? Left vs. Right #1

Big Government Kills Small Businesses

Socialist explains why we need big government and more freebies

 

Why universal basic income is gaining support, critics

July 15, 2017 Updated: July 17, 2017 11:49am

The idea of government giving every person a universal basic income has been gaining traction thanks in part to endorsements from some Silicon Valley celebs. Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and others want to explore the idea.

The idea of government giving every person a universal basic income has been gaining traction thanks in part to endorsements from some Silicon Valley celebs. Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and others want to explore the idea.

The idea of a universal basic income — monthly cash payments from the government to every individual, working or not, with no strings attached — is gaining traction, thanks in part to endorsements from Silicon Valley celebs.

Some see it as a way to compensate for the traditional jobs with benefits that will be wiped out by robotics, artificial intelligence, self-driving vehicles, globalization and the gig economy. Others see it as a way to reduce income inequality or to create a more efficient, less stigmatizing safety net than our current mishmash of welfare benefits.

“I think ultimately we will have to have some kind of universal basic income, I don’t think we are going to have a choice,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said at the World Government Summit in Dubai in February.

In a commencement speech at Harvard University in May, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said, “We should explore ideas like universal basic income to give everyone a cushion to try new things.” And in a July 4 blog post,Zuckerberg praised Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend, the nearest thing to universal income in this or any country. Since 1982, Alaska has been distributing some of its oil revenue as an annual payment, ranging from about $1,000 to $3,000, to every resident including children.

Facebook co-founder Chris Hughes, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and Y Combinator president Sam Altman have all said it’s worth exploring. Y Combinator’s nonprofit research lab started a basic income pilot with fewer than 100 people in Oakland last fall with the goal of gathering information to structure a larger research proposal, its director, Elizabeth Rhodes, said.

The concept has been around, with different names and in different countries, for centuries, said Karl Widerquist, co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network.

It enjoyed a wave of U.S. popularity in the 1910s and ’20s and again in the ’60s and ’70s when it was championed by free-market economist Milton Friedman, Martin Luther King and, for a while, Richard Nixon.

It resurfaced again after the 2008 financial crisis, when soaring unemployment and corporate bailouts focused attention on the “99 percent.” The concept picked up steam in recent years as studies started predicting widespread unemployment because of automation.

Basic income has fans across the political spectrum, but for very different reasons. Libertarian backers would replace all or most welfare programs with a monthly cash payment as a way to prevent poverty, reduce government bureaucracy and let people decide for themselves how to use the money.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (right), shown in May receiving an honorary degree from Harvard, also supports the universal income concept. Photo: Paul Marotta, Getty Images

Photo: Paul Marotta, Getty Images

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg (right), shown in May receiving an honorary degree from Harvard, also supports the universal income concept.

By contrast, “those left of center like the idea of using (basic income) as a supplement to the existing safety net,” said Natalie Foster, co-chairwoman of the Economic Security Project, a two-year fund devoted to researching and promoting the idea of unconditional cash.

In a “utopian version,” the money would “sit alongside existing programs” and go to every man, woman and child, Foster said. But if you made it enough to keep people above poverty — $1,000 a month is a popular number — “it starts to add up to a very significant portion of the GDP,” Foster said.

That’s why some proposals would reduce or eliminate payments to children or to adults over 65 if they are getting Social Security and Medicare. Some would limit the benefits going to high-income people, either directly or indirectly by raising their tax.

“In the simple model, everyone in the lower half (of the income distribution) would be a net beneficiary, everyone in the upper half would be net payers,” Widerquist said.

Charles Murray, a libertarian political scientist with the American Enterprise Institute, has proposed a basic income plan that would replace all transfer payments including welfare, food stamps, housing subsidies, the earned income tax credit, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. It would also eliminate farm subsidies and “corporate welfare.”

In exchange, each American older than 21 would get a monthly payment totaling $13,000 a year, of which $3,000 would go to health insurance. After $30,000 in earned income, a graduated tax would “reimburse” some of the grant until it dropped to $6,500 at $60,000 in income. However, the grant would never drop below $6,500 to compensate for the loss of Social Security and Medicare.

Murray admitted that many seniors get more than $6,500 worth of benefits a year from those two programs, which is why it would have to be phased in.

“What I’m proposing would actually be cheaper than the current system,” Murray said. It would give adults a “living income” and “liberate people” who are tied to a job or welfare program in a particular city because they can’t risk leaving to pursue a new opportunity.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk favors universal basic income to compensate workers displaced by automation. "I don’t think we are going to have a choice," he said at a February event in Dubai. Photo: KARIM SAHIB, AFP/Getty Images

Photo: KARIM SAHIB, AFP/Getty Images

Tesla CEO Elon Musk favors universal basic income to compensate workers displaced by automation. “I don’t think we are going to have a choice,” he said at a February event in Dubai.

Andy Stern, a senior fellow at the Economic Security Project, has proposed a “left-of-center” plan that would give every adult 18 to 64 a monthly cash payment of $1,000. It would replace welfare programs such as food stamps, the earned income tax credit, unemployment and Supplemental Security Income. But it would keep Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security disability.

He figures the plan would cost about $1.75 trillion a year. Ending welfare programs would save about a third of that. Another third could come from ending the tax deduction for mortgage interest and other write-offs. The remaining third could come from new sources such as a tax on carbon emissions or financial transactions.

Stern would not reduce payments to the rich or raise their taxes because that would bring back the problem he is trying to eliminate — determining who is “worthy and unworthy” to receive benefits. But many of the tax increases he envisions “would have a disproportionate effect on higher-income people,” he said.

Some opponents of guaranteed income say it will encourage laziness. Proponents say the current system discourages work by taking away some benefits as income goes up.

Zipcar founder Robin Chase, now a speaker and author, said universal income would encourage and reward important work that “does not get monetized,” such as child care and volunteer work. It would also spur business creation. “I had the luxury of taking risks because I had a husband who had a full-time job with health care. A majority of the population cannot take any risks in pursuing innovation or higher-value, non-remunerative things.”

Some believe the answer to income inequality and automation is not guaranteed income but a guaranteed job. Jared Bernstein, a senior fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, has said the federal government should provide a job with benefits to anyone who wants one and can’t get one. “A job guarantee could simultaneously lower un- and underemployment while providing critically needed labor in fields ranging from infrastructure to education to child and elder care,” Bernstein, who was an economist in President Barack Obama’s administration, wrote in the American Prospect.

Jason Furman, who chaired Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers, doesn’t like guaranteed jobs or guaranteed income. Furman, now a professor at the Harvard Kennedy School, said universal income suffers from three problems.

“One is that it’s very hard to make the numbers add up. To get to (incomes) like $12,000, you need huge increases in taxes. Two, there are a lot of benefits to targeting. You only get unemployment if you don’t have a job and are looking for a new job. If anything, I might toughen the work search requirement” to receive unemployment.

Finally, he said, “I believe there is no reason that people can’t be employed in the future. We have thousands of years of experience of technological progress not leading” to mass unemployment. He pointed out that technologically advanced countries do not have higher unemployment rates than those that are less advanced.

“We should put more effort into how to create jobs and prepare people for jobs in the future,” he said. Universal basic income “is giving up on work and giving up on people. I’m not prepared to do that.”

Kathleen Pender is a San Francisco Chronicle columnist. 

http://www.sfchronicle.com/aboutsfgate/article/Why-universal-basic-income-is-gaining-support-11290211.php

 

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The Pronk Pops Show 770, October 6, 2016, Part 2 of 2: Story 1: Leader and Winner Mild Mannered Mike Pence vs. Follower and Loser Crude Rude Tim Kaine — Videos

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Part 2 of 2: Story 1: Leader and Winner Mild Mannered Mike Pence vs. Follower and Loser Crude Rude Tim Kaine — Videos

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VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE SPLIT SCREEN (C-SPAN)

VICE PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE 2016 (FULL !!)• PENCE VS KAINE !! #debate

Pence edges Kaine in VP debate instant poll

Mike Pence scored a narrow win over Tim Kaine in the vice presidential debate Tuesday night,according to a CNN/ORC instant poll, with 48% of voters who watched the debate saying Pence did the better job while 42% think Kaine had the best night.

With two relatively unknown politicians taking the stage, those watching seemed more impressed by Pence than Kaine. About two-thirds of debate-watchers said Pence’s performance was better than they expected, just 14% said he did worse than they thought he would. Reviews of Kaine tilted toward the negative, with 43% saying he did worse than they expected and 38% saying he outperformed their expectations.
The debate itself focused more on the candidates at the top of the ticket than the two men on stage. Most debate watchers said Kaine did the better job defending Hillary Clinton, 58%, while just 35% thought Pence better defended Donald Trump.
Still, 29% of debate watchers said what they saw Tuesday made them more apt to vote for Trump, compared with 18% who said it made them more likely to back Clinton. Most debate watchers, 53%, said their vote was not swayed by Tuesday’s face off. After the first Clinton-Trump debate last week, 34% said it made them more apt to vote Clinton, 18% Trump.
Kaine’s performance fell short of Clinton’s on several other measures in the poll as well. Tuesday’s debate watchers were split on which candidate expressed his views more clearly, 47% named each, a metric on which Clinton soundly beat Trump in last week’s presidential debate.
And 48% said Kaine had a better understanding of the issues, edging out Pence at 41%. Clinton topped Trump by a better than 2-to-1 margin on that score after their first debate.
Kaine and Pence emerge from the debate with near identical and net-positive favorability ratings, but Kaine appears to have taken a hit among those who watched. Pence, meanwhile, boosted his numbers somewhat.
Pence was largely seen as the more likeable candidate on the stage, 53% to 37%, and nearly all of the movement in Kaine’s favorability rating post-debate was toward the negative side: His unfavorable rating rose from 28% among this same group of debate watchers when they were interviewed pre-debate to 40% after, while his favorability number held about even at 55%. For Pence, his favorability rating bumped up 7 points to 57%, from 50% pre-debate. His unfavorable numbers held about even 40%.
Both men are broadly judged qualified to take over the office of president if needed, 77% say Pence is qualified, 70% that Kaine is. Most voters who watched Tuesday night said Kaine’s positions on the issues are about right ideologically (57%) while 36% see him as too liberal and 5% too conservative. Assessing Pence’s positions, about half, 49%, think he’s about right, 46% too conservative and just 3% too liberal.
The CNN/ORC post-debate poll includes interviews with 472 registered voters who watched the October 4 vice presidential debate. Results among debate-watchers have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points. Respondents were originally interviewed as part of a September 28-October 2 telephone survey of a random sample of Americans, and indicated they planned to watch the debate and would be willing to be re-interviewed when it was over.

Mike Pence

Michael RichardMikePence (born June 7, 1959) is an American politician, attorney, and the 50th Governor of Indiana. He is the Republican Party nominee for Vice President of the United States in the 2016 presidential election.

After losing two bids for a U.S. congressional seat in 1988 and 1990, he became a conservative radio and television talk show host from 1994 to 1999. Pence successfully ran for Congress in 2000 and represented Indiana’s 2nd congressional district and Indiana’s 6th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 2001 to 2013, rising to the position of chairman of the House Republican Conference from 2009 to 2011.[1]

In 2012 Pence was elected the 50th Governor of Indiana. In the midst of a re-election campaign for governor, he dropped out in July 2016 to become the vice presidential running mate for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Pence is a conservative and a supporter of the Tea Party movement.[2][3]

Early life and career

Pence, born in Columbus, Indiana, was one of six children of Nancy Jane (née Cawley) and Edward J. Pence, Jr., who ran a string of gas stations.[4][5] His family were Irish Catholic Democrats.[6] He was named after his grandfather, Richard Michael Cawley, a Chicago bus driver and Irish immigrant, who came from County Sligo to the United States through Ellis Island.[7] His maternal grandmother’s parents were from Doonbeg, County Clare.[8][9]

Pence graduated from Columbus North High School in 1977. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from Hanover College in 1981, and a Juris Doctor from the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law in Indianapolis, Indiana in 1986. While at Hanover, Pence joined the Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, serving as his chapter’s president.[10] After graduating from Hanover, Pence was an admissions counselor at the college, from 1981 to 1983.[11]

After graduating from law school in 1986, Pence was an attorney in private practice.[12] After running unsuccessfully for a congressional seat in 1988 and 1990, he returned to his law practice. In 1991, he became the president of the Indiana Policy Review Foundation, a self-described free-market think tank and a member of the State Policy Network.[13]

Pence left the Indiana Policy Review Foundation in 1993, a year after beginning to host The Mike Pence Show, a talk radio program based in WRCR-FM in Rushville, Indiana.[14][15] Pence called himself “Rush Limbaugh on decaf” since he considered himself politically conservative while not as outspoken as Limbaugh.[16] The show was syndicated by Network Indiana and aired weekdays 9 a.m. to noon (ET) on 18 stations throughout the state, including WIBC in Indianapolis.[14] From 1995 to 1999, Pence also hosted a weekend political talk show out of Indianapolis.[17][18]

U.S. House of Representatives

Pence as a U.S. Congressman

In 1988, Pence ran for Congress against Democratic incumbent Phil Sharp, but lost the election.[19] Pence ran against Sharp again in 1990, quitting his job in order to work full-time in the campaign, but once again lost the election.[19] During the race, Pence used “political donations to pay the mortgage on his house, his personal credit card bill, groceries, golf tournament fees and car payments for his wife.”[20] While the spending was not illegal at the time, it reportedly undermined his campaign.[20]

During the 1990 campaign, Pence ran a television advertisement in which an actor, dressed in a robe and headdress and speaking in a thick Middle Eastern accent, thanked his opponent, Sharp, for doing nothing to wean the United States off imported oil as chairman of a House subcommittee on energy and power.[20][21] In response to criticism, Pence’s campaign responded that the ad was not about Arabs; rather, it concerned Sharp’s lack of leadership.[20][21] In 1991, Pence wrote an essay, “Confessions of a Negative Campaigner”, published in the Indiana Policy Review, in which he apologized for running negative ads against Sharp.[16][20][22]

Mike Pence rejuvinated his political career by running for the U.S. House of Representatives again in 2000, this time winning the seat in Indiana’s 2nd congressional district after six-year incumbent David M. McIntosh opted to run for governor of Indiana. The district (renumbered as Indiana’s 6th congressional district beginning in 2002) comprises all or portions of 19 counties in eastern Indiana. As a Congressman, Pence adopted the slogan he had used frequently on the radio, describing himself as “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order.”[23]

In his first year in office Pence established a reputation as one with strong convictions willing to go his own way. He opposed President George W. Bush‘s No Child Left Behind Act in 2001,[24] as well as President Bush’s Medicare prescription drug expansion the following year.[25] Pence was re-elected four more times by comfortable margins. In the 2006 and 2008House elections, he defeated Democrat Barry Welsh.

Pence began to climb the party leadership structure and from 2005 to 2007 served as chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservative House Republicans.[26] In November 2006, Pence announced his candidacy for leader of the Republican Party (minority leader) in the United States House of Representatives.[27] Pence’s release announcing his run for minority leader focused on a “return to the values” of the 1994 Republican Revolution.[28] However, he lost the bid to Representative John Boehner of Ohio by a vote of 168 for Boehner, 27 for Pence, and one for Representative Joe Barton of Texas).[29] In January 2009, Pence was elected as the Republican Conference Chairman, the third-highest-ranking Republican leadership position. He ran unopposed and was elected unanimously. He was the first representative from Indiana to hold a House leadership position since 1981.[1]

In 2008, Esquire magazine listed Pence as one of the ten best members of Congress, writing that Pence’s “unalloyed traditional conservatism has repeatedly pitted him against his party elders.”[30] Pence was mentioned as a possible Republican candidate for president in 2008[2] and 2012.[31] In September 2010, he was the top choice for president in a straw poll conducted by the Values Voter Summit.[32][33] That same year he was encouraged to run against incumbent Democratic Senator Evan Bayh,[34][35][36] but opted not to enter the race,[37] even after Bayh unexpectedly announced that he would retire.[38]

Governor of Indiana

2012 election

Governor Mike Pence speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland on February 27, 2015

In May 2011, Mike Pence announced that he would be seeking the Republican nomination for governor of Indiana in 2012.[39] Incumbent Republican Governor Mitch Danielswas term-limited. Despite strong name recognition and a popular outgoing governor of the same party, Pence found himself in a heated race, eventually pulling out a close win with just under 50 percent of the vote against Democrat John R. Gregg and Libertarian nominee Rupert Boneham.[40] Pence was sworn in as the 50th governor of Indiana on January 14, 2013.[41]

Fiscal and economic policy initiatives

Pence “inherited a $2 billion budget reserve from his predecessor, Mitch Daniels, and the state has added to that reserve under his watch, though not before requiring state agencies, including public universities, to reduce funding in years in which revenue fell below projections.”[42] The state finished fiscal year 2014 with a reserve of $2 billion; budget cuts ordered by Pence for the $14 billion annual state budget include $24 million cut from colleges and universities; $27 million cut from the Family and Social Services Administration; and $12 million cut from the Department of Correction.[43] During Pence’s term as governor, the unemployment rate reflected the national average.[44] Indiana’s job growth lagged slightly behind the national trend.[45] In 2014, Indiana’s economy was among the slowest-growing in the U.S., with 0.4% GDP growth, compared to the national average of 2.2%; this was attributed in part to sluggish manufacturing sector.[46] Carrier Corp. and United Technologies Electronic Controls (UTEC) announced in 2016 that they would be closing two facilities in Indiana, sending 2,100 jobs to Mexico; Pence expressed “deep disappointment” with the moves.[47][48] Pence was unsuccessful in his efforts to persuade the companies to stay in the state, although the companies agreed to reimburse local and state governments for certain tax incentives that they had received.[48][49]

In 2013, Pence signed a law blocking local governments in Indiana from requiring businesses to offer higher wages or benefits beyond those required by federal law. In 2015, Pence also repealed an Indiana law that required construction companies working on publicly funded projects to pay a prevailing wage.[50][51][52][53] Indiana enacted right-to-work legislation under Pence’s predecessor, Republican governor Mitch Daniels. Under Pence, the state successfully defended this legislation against a labor challenge.[51]

Pence made tax reform, namely a 10% income-tax rate cut, a priority for 2013.[54][55] While he did not get the 10% cut he advocated, Pence did accomplish his goal of cutting state taxes.[54] Legislators cut the income tax by 5% and also killed the inheritance tax.[54] Speaker of the House Brian Bosma said that the legislative package was the “largest tax cut in our state’s history, about $1.1 billion dollars.”[56] By signing Senate Bill 1, the state corporate income tax would be dropped from 6.5% to 4.9% by 2021, which would be the second-lowest corporate income tax in the nation[57]

On June 12, 2013, the Indiana Legislature overrode Pence’s veto of a bill to retroactively authorize a local tax. Lawmakers overrode Pence’s veto in a 68–23 vote in the House and a 34–12 one in the Senate.[58] With an interesting twist, Republican legislators overwhelmingly voted against Pence, while most Democrats supported his veto.[59] The Jackson–Pulaski tax fix, one of three bills vetoed by Pence during the session, addressed a 15-year-old county income tax which had been imposed to fund the construction of jail facilities with the stipulation that the tax be lowered by 1% after the first several years. The reduction was not implemented and thus county residents paid an additional 1% tax that they were legally not required to pay. The bill, which was passed by a huge majority of legislators and subsequently vetoed by Pence, allowed money to be kept and not returned to the tax payers as would have otherwise been necessary.[60][59]

As governor, Pence pressed for a balanced budget amendment to the state’s constitution. He initially proposed the initiative in his State of the State address in January 2015. The legislation passed the state Senate and is progressing through the House.[61] Indiana has had AAA credit ratings with the three major credit-rating agencies since 2010, before Pence took office; these ratings have been maintained throughout Pence’s tenure.[62]

In 2014, Pence supported the Indiana Gateway project, a $71.4 million passenger and freight rail improvement initiative paid for by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the federal stimulus package), which Pence had voted against while a congressman.[63] In October 2015, Pence “announced plans to pay off a $250 million federal loan” to cover unemployment insurance payments that spiked during the recession.[42] In March 2016, Pence signed legislation to fund a $230 million two-year road-funding package.[42]

Education policies

During his tenure as governor, Pence supported significant increases in education funding to pre-schools, voucher programs, and charter schools, but frequently clashed with supporters of traditional public schools.[64][65] In 2014, a little over one year after taking office, Pence helped establish a $10 million state preschool pilot program in Indiana and testified personally before the state Senate Education Committee in favor of the program to convince fellow Republicans (several of whom opposed the proposal) to approve the plan.[64][65] Although the plan was initially defeated, Pence successfully managed to revive it, “getting Indiana off the list of just 10 U.S. states that spent no direct state funds to help poor children attend preschool.”[65] Demand for enrollment in the program “far outstripped” capacity, and Pence at first refused to apply for up to $80 million in federal Health and Human Services Preschool Development Grant program funding,[64] arguing that “Indiana must develop our own pre-K program without federal intrusion.”[66] After coming under sustained criticism for this position, Pence reversed course and sought to apply for the funds.[64][67]

In 2015, Pence secured significant increases in charter-school funding from the Legislation, although he did not get everything he had proposed.[65] Legislation signed into law by Pence in 2013 greatly increased the number of students in Indiana who qualify for school vouchers, making it one of the largest voucher programs in the United States.[68][69] [70][71] The annual cost of the program is estimated to be $53 million for the 2015-16 school year.[70][71]

Pence opposed the Common Core State Standards, calling for the repeal of the standards in his 2014 State of the State address. The Indiana General Assembly then passed a bill to repeal the standards, becoming the first state to do so.[64][65]

Despite successful advocacy for more funding for pre-schools, voucher programs, and charter schools, Pence has frequently clashed with teachers unions and supporters of public schooling.[64][65] In one of his first acts as governor, Pence removed control of the Educational Employment Relations Board, which is in charge of handling conflicts between unions and school boards, from Glenda Ritz, a Democrat who is the Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction (a separately elected position in the state).[72] Pence created a new “Center for Education and Career Innovation” (CECI) to coordinate efforts between schools and the private sector; Ritz opposed the Center, viewing it as a “power grab” and encroachment on her own duties. Pence eventually disestablished the Center in order to help defuse the conflict.[64][65] In May 2015, Pence signed a bill stripping Ritz of much of her authority over standardized testing and other education issues, and reconstituting the State Board of Education dominated by Pence appointees.[73] The bill also allowed the board to appoint a chairman other than the Superintendent of Public Instruction starting in 2017, and added the State Board of Education (controlled by Pence) as a “state educational authority” along with the Department of Education (controlled by Ritz) for purposes of accessing sensitive student data.[73] Pence and Ritz also clashed over non-binding federal guidelines that advised Indiana public schools must treat transgender students in a way that corresponds to their gender identity, even if their education files indicate a different gender.[74]

Energy and environment

During Pence’s term in office, the Republican-controlled Indiana General Assembly has “repeatedly tried to roll back renewable energy standards and successfully ended Indiana’s energy efficiency efforts.”[75] Pence is an outspoken supporter of the coal industry, declaring in his 2015 State of the State address that “Indiana is a pro-coal state,” expressing support for an “all-of-the-above energy strategy,” and stating: “we must continue to oppose the overreaching schemes of the EPA until we bring their war on coal to end.”[75][76] In 2015, Pence sent a letter to President Obama denouncing the EPA’s Clean Power Plan (which would regulate carbon emissions from existing power plans) and stating that Indiana would refuse to comply with the plan.[75][77] Indiana joined other states in a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the plan.[75] In 2016, Pence stated that even if legal challenges failed, Indiana would continue to defy the rule and would not come up with its own plan to reduce emissions.[78]

Gun policy

In 2014, over the opposition of Indiana school organizations, Pence signed a bill which allows firearms to be kept in vehicles on school property.[79] In 2015, following a shooting in Chattanooga, Pence recruited theNRA to train the Indiana National Guard on concealed carry. Some National Guard officials from other states questioned why a civilian organization would be involved in a military issue.[80] In May 2015, Pence signed into law Senate Bill 98, which limited lawsuits against gun and ammunition manufacturers and sellers and retroactively terminated the City of Gary‘s still-pending 1999 lawsuit against gun manufacturers and retailers that allegedly made illegal sales of handguns.[81][82] The bill was supported by Republicans such as state Senator Jim Tomes, who hoped that the measure would attract more gun-related businesses to Indiana, but opposed by Gary mayor and former Indiana attorney general Karen Freeman-Wilson, who viewed the measure as “an unprecedented violation of the separation of powers between the legislative and judicial branches of state government.”[82] In 2016, Pence signed Senate Bill 109 into law, legalizing the captive hunting of farm-raised deer in Indiana.[83]

Public health issues

Beginning in December 2014, there was an HIV outbreak in Southern Indiana.[84] In 2011, Planned Parenthood ran five rural clinics in Indiana. They tested for HIV and offered prevention, intervention and counseling for better health. The one in Scott County performed no abortions.[85] The Republican controlled legislature and Pence defunded Planned Parenthood.[86] Scott County has been without an HIV testing center for two years.[85] Pence had long been a vocal opponent of needle exchange programs, which allow drug users to trade in used syringes for sterile ones in order to stop the spread of diseases, despite evidence that such programs prevent the spread of AIDS and hepatitis C, and do not increase drug abuse.[84]

In March 2015, after the outbreak began, Pence allowed at least five counties to open needle exchanges, but has not moved to lift the state ban on funding for needle exchanges.[84] Critics say Pence’s compromise has been ineffective because counties had no way to pay for needle exchanges themselves. Indiana State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams defended Pence, saying that publicly-funded needle exchange programs are controversial in many conservative communities. In middle America, Adams said, you can’t “just point your finger at folks and say, ‘You need to have a syringe exchange and we’re going to pay for it with your tax dollars.’”[87]

In 2015, Pence and the Obama administration agreed to expand Medicaid in Indiana, in accordance with the Affordable Care Act.[88][89] As part of the expansion, Pence negotiated modifications to the program for Indiana that included co-payments by participants. The co-payments are linked to healthy behaviors on the part of the participants, so that, for example, a participant who quit smoking would receive a lower co-payment. Participants can lose benefits for failing to make the payments.[90]

Controversies

See also: Indiana SB 101

Mike Pence addressing supporters at a church service at the Living Word Bible Church.

Despite several successful policy initiatives, Pence found himself in several high profile controversies, including some that brought national attention. On March 26, 2015, Pence signed Indiana Senate Bill 101, also known as the Indiana “religious objections” bill (Religious Freedom Restoration Act, or RFRA), into law.[91] The law’s signing was met with widespread criticism by people and groups who felt the law was carefully worded in a way that would permit discrimination against LGBT persons.[92][93][94][95] Such organizations as the NCAA, the gamer convention Gen Con, and the Disciples of Christ spoke out against the law. Apple CEO Tim Cook and Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff condemned the law, with Salesforce.com saying it would halt its plans to expand in the state.[96][97] Angie’s List announced that they would cancel a $40 million expansion of their Indianapolis based headquarters due to concerns over the law. The expansion would have moved 1000 jobs into the state. The mayors of San Francisco and Seattle banned official travel to Indiana.[98] Thousands protested against the policy.[92] Five GOP state representatives voted against the bill, and Greg Ballard, the Republican mayor of Indianapolis, criticized it as sending the “wrong signal” about the state.[99]

Pence defended the law, stating that it was not about discrimination. In an appearance on the ABC News program This Week with George Stephanopoulos,[100] Pence stated, “We are not going to change this law”, while refusing to answer whether examples of discrimination against LGBT people given by Eric Miller of anti-LGBT group Advance America would be legal under the law.[101] Pence denied the law permitted discrimination and wrote in a March 31, 2015, Wall Street Journal op-ed, “If I saw a restaurant owner refuse to serve a gay couple, I wouldn’t eat there anymore. As governor of Indiana, if I were presented a bill that legalized discrimination against any person or group, I would veto it.”[102] In the wake of the backlash against the RFRA, on April 2, 2015, Pence signed legislation revising the law to prevent potential discrimination.[103]

Another controversy arose in March 2016 when Pence signed into law H.B. 1337, a controversial bill that both banned certain abortion procedures and placed new restrictions on abortion providers. The bill banned abortion if the reason for the procedure given by the pregnant person was the fetus‘ race or gender or a fetal abnormality. In addition, the bill required that all fetal remains from abortions or miscarriages at any stage of pregnancy be buried or cremated, which according to the Guttmacher Institute is not currently required in any other state.[104][105][106] The law was described as “exceptional for its breadth”; if implemented, it would have made Indiana “the first state to have a blanket ban on abortions based solely on race, sex or suspected disabilities, including evidence of Down syndrome.”[105] Days after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt, a federal court issued a preliminary injunction blocking the bill from taking effect, with U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt determining that the bill was likely to be unconstitutional and that the State of Indiana would be unlikely to prevail at trial.[105]

In June 2013, Pence was criticized for deleting comments of others posted on his official government Facebook page; he apologized.[107]

Pence at the 500 Festival Parade in Indianapolis, 2015

On January 26, 2015 it was widely reported that Pence had planned to launch a state-run, taxpayer-funded news service for Indiana.[108] The service, called “JustIN”, was to be overseen by a former reporter for The Indianapolis Star, and would feature breaking news, stories written by press secretaries, and light features.[108] At the time, it was reported that the two employees who would run the news service would be paid a combined $100,000 yearly salary.[108] The target audience was small newspapers that had limited staff, but the site would also serve to communicate directly with the public. The publisher of the Commercial Review of Portland, Indiana, said, “I think it’s a ludicrous idea … the notion of elected officials presenting material that will inevitably have a pro-administration point of view is antithetical to the idea of an independent press.”[108] There was speculation that the news service would publish pro-administration stories that would make Pence look good in the event of a presidential run.[109]

According to the Associated Press, the idea “of stories prewritten for the media set off a wave of criticism from journalists around the country, who likened the Indiana endeavor to state-run media in Russia and China. Headlines like ‘Pravda in the Plains’ accompanied calls for Pence to scrap the idea.”[110] David A. Graham of The Atlantic regarded the announcement of JustIN as evidence of a disturbing changing trend in how the public gets news.[111] After a week or so of controversy about the idea, Pence scrapped the idea saying, “However well-intentioned, after thorough review of the preliminary planning and careful consideration of the concerns expressed, I am writing you to inform you that I have made a decision to terminate development of the JustIN website immediately.”[112]

As governor, Pence attempted unsuccessfully to prevent Syrian refugees from being resettled in Indiana.[113] In February 2016, a federal judge ruled that Pence’s order to cut off federal funds for a local non-profit refugee resettlement agency was unconstitutional; Pence has appealed.[113] In December 2015, Pence stated that “calls to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. are offensive and unconstitutional”.[114]

Re-election campaign and withdrawal

Pence ran for a second term as governor. He was unopposed in the May 3, 2016, Republican primary for governor. He was to face Democrat John R. Gregg, former speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives, in a rematch of the 2012 race. However, Pence filed paperwork ending his campaign on July 15, 2016, as Trump announced his selection of Pence as his vice presidential running mate.[115]

2016 vice presidential campaign

Pence at a town hall and campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona.

Pence endorsed Senator Ted Cruz of Texas in the 2016 Republican presidential primaries.[2]

Donald Trump considered naming Pence as his vice presidential running mate along with other finalists including New Jersey governor Chris Christie and former House speaker Newt Gingrich. The Indianapolis Star reported July 14 that Pence would end his re-election campaign and accept the Republican vice presidential nomination instead.[116] This was widely reported on July 14, 2016. The following day, Trump officially announced on Twitter that Pence would be his running mate.[117][118][119]

Immediately after the announcement, Pence said that he was “very supportive of Donald Trump’s call to temporarily suspend immigration from countries where terrorist influence and impact represents a threat to the United States”.[120] Pence said that he was “absolutely” in sync with Trump’s Mexican wall proposal, stating that Mexico is “absolutely” going to pay for it.[121]

According to a FiveThirtyEight rating of candidates’ ideology, Pence is the most conservative vice-presidential candidate in the last forty years.[122]

Pence has stated that his role model as vice president would be Dick Cheney.[123]

During Pence’s preparations for the vice presidential debate in October 2016, Scott Walker played the role of Tim Kaine.[124] (In Kaine’s own debate prep, Robert Barnett was selected to play Pence).[125]

Issues

Pence was the chairman of the Republican Study Committee, a group of conservative House Republicans, from 2005 to 2007.[126]

His committee assignments in the House were the following:

While in Congress, Pence belonged to the Tea Party Caucus.[133]

During Pence’s twelve years in the House, he introduced 90 bills and resolutions; none became law.[134]

Abortion and Planned Parenthood

Pence began seeking to defund Planned Parenthood in 2007,[135] by introducing legislation aimed at preventing any organization that provides abortion services from receiving Title X funding.[136]

Birthright citizenship

In 2009, Pence opposed birthright citizenship (the legal principle set forth by the Citizenship Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution that “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside”). He co-sponsored a bill that would have limited citizenship to children born to at least one parent who is a citizen, immigrants living permanently in the U.S. or non-citizens performing active service in the U.S. Armed Forces.[137]

Campaign finance

Pence praised the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission when it was announced. Pence said:

Freedom won today in the Supreme Court. Today’s ruling in the Citizens United case takes us one step closer to the Founding Fathers’ vision of free speech, a vision that is cherished by all Americans and one Congress has a responsibility to protect. If the freedom of speech means anything, it means protecting the right of private citizens to voice opposition or support for their elected representatives. The fact that the court overturned a 20-year precedent speaks volumes about the importance of this issue.[138]

Pence described the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, known as McCain–Feingold, which regulates the financing of political campaigns, as “oppressive restrictions on free speech.”[139]

Earmarks

Then-U.S. Representative Pence (third from left) standing behind then-governor Mitch Daniels at a 2008 press conference in Martinsville, Indiana

Pence was a supporter of earmark reform. He voted against the $139.7 billion Transportation-Treasury spending bill in June 2006, and in favor of a series of amendments proposed that same month by Jeff Flake which would strip other members’ earmarks from the federal budget.[140] On occasion, however, Pence secured earmarks for projects in his district.[140]

Economy

Pence was a co-sponsor of H.J.Res.73, a 2011 spending limit amendment to the U.S. Constitution. This amendment would limit federal spending to “the average annual revenue collected in the three prior years, adjusted in proportion to changes in population and inflation.”[141] In regards to adopting the gold standard, Pence stated in 2011, “the time has come to have a debate over gold and the proper role it should play in our nation’s monetary affairs”.[142] Pence proposed legislation to end the dual mandate of the Federal Reserve (maximizing employment and stabilizing prices), requiring the Fed to just focus on price stability and not full employment.[143][144]

He has been a proponent of a flat federal tax rate.[145] Pence opposed the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) (the “Wall Street bailout”) of 2008.[145] Pence also opposed the auto industry rescue package of 2008–09, which guided General Motors and Chrysler through bankruptcy.[146]

In 2007, Pence voted against the raising of the federal minimum wage to $7.25 (from $5.15) an hour over two years, stating that it would “hurt the working poor.”[50]

While in the House, Pence voted against the Employee Free Choice Act (“card check“).[51]

He voted against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.[147] He had publicly opposed the bill[148] denouncing it as a failure, and called for a federal spending freeze.[149] Nevertheless, several months after voting against the bill, Pence privately sought $6 million in stimulus funds for projects in his district,[150] and in 2010, hosted a job fair for stimulus-backed employers.[151] A Pence spokesperson stated “… once it became law, he had a responsibility to support local efforts to secure funding for projects that could benefit people in his district.”[150]

Pence voted against the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.[152]

Education

Pence voted against the No Child Left Behind Act.[153]

Energy and environment

While in the House, Pence “voted to eliminate funding for climate education programs and to prohibit the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.”[75] Pence also “repeatedly voted against energy efficiency and renewable energy funding and rules” and voted “for several bills that supported fossil fuel development, including legislation promoting offshore drilling.”[75] The League of Conservation Voters, an environmentalist group, gave Pence a lifetime rating of 4 percent.[75]

Climate change

Pence “does not accept the scientific consensus that human activity is the primary driver of climate change.”[154] In 2001, Pence wrote in an op-ed that “Global warming is a myth,”[155] saying that “the earth is actually cooler today than it was about 50 years ago”.[156] In 2006 and 2009, Pence expressed the view that it was unclear whether climate change was driven by human activity, and in 2009 he told political commentator Chris Matthews that there was a “growing skepticism in the scientific community about global warming”.[157][158]

In 2009, Pence led the Republican effort to defeat the American Clean Energy and Security Act (Waxman-Markey), a Democratic-backed bill to cut greenhouse gas emissions (and therefore combat climate change) through a cap-and-trade system.[154]

On September 27, 2016, however, Pence said “there’s no question” that human activity affects both the climate and the environment,[159][160] while defending Trump’s position on the matter.[161]

Crime and drug policy

Pence has questioned proposals to decrease penalties for low-level marijuana offenses in Indiana, saying that the state should focus “on reducing crime, not reducing penalties.”[162] In 2013, Pence expressed concern that a then-pending bill to revise the state’s criminal code was not tough enough on drug crimes, and successfully lobbied to limit the reduction in sentencing of marijuana offenses.[163]

In 2016, Pence signed into law a measure that reinstated a ten-year mandatory minimum prison sentence for certain drug offenders.[164][165]

During 2014, Governor Pence sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder which said that Indiana would not comply with federal prison rape elimination standards because they were too expensive. According to the Indiana Department of Corrections, it would cost the state $15–20 million annually to comply with the guidelines. Pence said that a number of rape prevention measures had already been implemented.[166]

In 2015, Pence signed Senate Bill 94, which lengthened the statute of limitations for rape — continuing for five years after sufficient DNA evidence is uncovered, enough recorded evidence is brought forth or discovered, or the offender confesses to the crime.[167] Pence also signed Senate Bill 8, allowing the death penalty for beheadings was allowed if the victim was alive at the time of the offense.[167]

Foreign policy

Pence supported the Iraq War Resolution, which authorized military action against Iraq.[168]

During the Iraq War, Pence opposed setting a public withdrawal date from Iraq. During an April 2007 visit to Baghdad, Pence and John McCain visited Shorja market, the site of a deadly attack in February 2007, that claimed the lives of 61 people. Pence and McCain described the visit as evidence that the security situation in Iraqi markets had improved.[169] The visit to the market took place under tight security, including helicopters overhead, and the New York Times reported that the visit gave a false indication of how secure the area was because of the extremely heavy security forces protecting McCain.[170]

Pence chaired the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East and was a prominent supporter of George W. Bush’s Iraq War troop surge of 2007. At the time, Pence stated that “the surge is working” and defended the initial decision to invade in 2003.[168]

Pence has opposed closing the Guantanamo Bay detention camp and trying the suspected terrorists in the U.S.[171] As an alternative, Pence has said that the “enemy combatants” should be tried in a military tribunal.[171]

Pence has stated his support of Israel and its right to attack facilities in Iran to prevent the Iranians from developing nuclear weapons, has defended the actions of Israel in its use of deadly force in enforcing the blockade of Gaza, and has referred to Israel as “America’s most cherished ally”.[172] He visited Israel in 2014 to express his support, and in 2016 signed into law a bill which would ban Indiana from having any commercial dealings with a company that boycotts Israel.[173]

Two weeks prior to the NATO intervention in Libya, Pence thanked the Obama administration and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for their efforts to isolate the Gaddafi regime.[174][175][176] Pence expressed support for “a no-fly zone” and stated that “Gaddafi must go.”[174][175][176]

Gambling

Pence is an advocate of federal restrictions of online gambling. In 2006, he was one of 35 cosponsors of H.R. 4411, the Goodlatte–Leach Internet Gambling Prohibition Act,[177] and H.R. 4777, the Internet Gambling Prohibition Act.[178]

Health care

Pence voted against the act that created Medicare Part D, a Medicare prescription-drug benefit.[179]

Pence voted against the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[180] In June 2012, after the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act in NFIB v. Sebelius, Pence likened the ruling to the September 11 terrorist attacks in a closed-door meeting of the House Republican Conference. He immediately apologized for making the statement.[181]

Homosexuality

In 2000, Pence stated “Congress should oppose any effort to recognize homosexuals as a ‘discrete and insular minority‘ entitled to the protection of anti-discrimination laws similar to those extended to women and ethnic minorities.”[182] He called for “an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus” and instead advocated for resources to be directed toward conversion therapy programs, “[for] those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”[183][184][185][186]

Pence has said that homosexuals should not serve in the military, saying, “Homosexuality is incompatible with military service because the presence of homosexuals in the ranks weakens unit cohesion.”[187] Pence opposed the repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell, saying in 2010 that allowing gays and lesbians to openly serve in the military would “have an impact on unit cohesion.”[187][188]

In 2007, Pence voted against the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would have banned workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.[189]

Pence opposed the 2009 Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act,[190] saying that Barack Obama wanted to “advance a radical social agenda”[191] and said that pastors “could be charged or be subject to intimidation for simply expressing a Biblical worldview on the issue of homosexual behavior.”[192]

Pence opposes both same-sex marriage and civil unions.[193] While in the House, he said that “societal collapse was always brought about following an advent of the deterioration of marriage and family”.[194] He has advocated a constitutional same-sex marriage ban but did not champion such a proposed ban for his first year as governor.[195]

Immigration

In June 2006, Pence unveiled an immigration plan (which he described as “No Amnesty Immigration reform”) that would include increased border security, followed by strict enforcement of laws against hiring illegal aliens, and a guest worker program. This guest worker program would have required participants to apply from their home country to government-approved job placement agencies that match workers with employers who cannot find Americans for the job.[196] The plan received support from conservatives such as Dick Armey,[197] but attracted criticism from other conservatives such as Phyllis Schlafly, Richard A. Viguerie, and Pat Buchanan, who viewed Pence as lending “his conservative prestige to a form of liberal amnesty.”[7][198]

In 2010, Pence voted against the DREAM Act, which would grant the undocumented children of illegal immigrants conditional non-immigrant status if they met certain requirements.[199] In 2010, Pence stated thatArizona S.B. 1070, which at the time of passage in 2010 was the U.S.’s broadest and strictest anti-illegal immigration legislation, was “a good faith to try and restore order to their communities”.[200]

Patriot Act

Further information: History of the Patriot Act

Pence supported the USA Patriot Act on its passage in 2001,[201] and in 2005 called the act “essential to our continued success in the war on terror here at home.”[202] Pence was a sponsor of legislation in 2009 to extend three expiring provisions of the Patriot Act (the library records provision, the roving-wiretap provision, and the lone-wolf provision) for an additional ten years.[203]

Science

Embryonic stem cell research

Pence opposed President Obama’s executive order eliminating restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research. Pence stated, “I believe it is morally wrong to create human life to destroy it for research… I believe it is morally wrong to take the tax dollars of millions of pro-life Americans.”[204][205] He asserted that “scientific breakthroughs have rendered embryonic stem-cell research obsolete”.[204][205]

Evolution

When asked if he accepts evolution, Pence answered “I believe with all my heart that God created the heavens and the earth, the seas and all that’s in them. How he did that I’ll ask him about some day.”[158][205] In a 2002 statement on the floor of the House (reported in the Congressional Record), Pence told his colleagues “… I also believe that someday scientists will come to see that only the theory of intelligent design provides even a remotely rational explanation for the known universe.”[206]

Tobacco

In 2001, Pence wrote an op-ed arguing against the tobacco settlement and tobacco regulation, saying that they would create “new government bureaucracies” and encroach on private lives. He stated that “despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill.”[84][207] Pence asserted, “2 out of every three smokers does not die from a smoking related illness and 9 out of ten smokers do not contract lung cancer,” while acknowledging that “smoking isn’t good for you” and people who smoke should quit.[84][207]

In 2009, Pence voted against the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which allows the FDA to regulate tobacco products.[208] According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pence’s state of Indiana has one of the worst smoking problems in America.[205]

Sex education

In 2002, Pence criticized a speech by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell where Powell stated that it was “important for young people… to protect themselves from the possibility of acquiring any sexually transmitted disease” through the use of condoms.[209][210] Pence called Powell’s comments a “sad day” and expressed his support for abstinence education.[209][210] Pence asserted that “condoms are a very, very poor protection against sexually transmitted diseases” and that Powell was “maybe inadvertently misleading millions of young people and endangering lives”.[209][210]

Social Security

Pence supported President George W. Bush’s unsuccessful 2005 proposal to partially privatize Social Security[211] by allowing workers to invest part of their Social Security payroll taxes in private investment accounts and reduce the increase in benefits for high-income participants.[212] Pence had previously proposed a similar but more aggressive reform plan than Bush’s.[212]

When asked in 2010 if he would be willing to make cuts to Social Security, Pence answered, “I think everything has to be on the table.”[212] When asked if he would raise the retirement age, he said, “I’m an all-of-the-above guy. We need look at everything on the menu.”[212]

Trade deals

Pence “has been a longtime, aggressive advocate of trade deals” between the U.S. and foreign countries.[213] Pence is a supporter of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA),[213] and during his tenure in the House, he voted for every free-trade agreement that came before him.[214] Pence voted in favor of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA); in favor of keeping the U.S. in the World Trade Organization; and in favor of permanent normal trade relations with China.[214] Pence also supported bilateral free-trade agreements with Colombia, South Korea, Panama, Peru, Oman, Chile and Singapore.[214]Pence’s strong stance in favor of free trade sharply differs from the stance of his running mate Trump, who has condemned globalization and the liberalization of trade.[213][214]

Pence voted against the Trade and Globalization Act of 2007, which would have expanded trade adjustment assistance to American workers adversely affected by globalization.[215] However, in 2014 Pence called for the “swift adoption” of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), urging Indiana’s congressional delegation to support the trade deal.[213]

Personal life

Pence, and his wife, Karen, speaking at CPAC 2015 in Washington, D.C.

Pence and his wife Karen Pence have been married since 1985. They have three children: Michael, Charlotte, and Audrey.[216][217] During his service in the U.S. House, the Pence family lived in Arlington, Virginia, when Congress was in session.[5] Michael Pence’s son is a second lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps.[218]

Pence was raised in a Catholic family, serving as an altar boy and attending parochial school.[23][219] Pence became a born-again Christian in college, while a member of anondenominational Christian student group in college, identifying his freshman year—and specifically “a Christian music festival in Asbury, Ky., in the spring of 1978″[220]—as the moment he made a “commitment to Christ.”[23][219] After that point, however, Pence continued to attend Mass (where he met his wife) and was a Catholic youth minister.[219]Pence called himself Catholic in a 1994 news piece, although by 1995, Pence and his family had joined an evangelical megachurch, the Grace Evangelical Church.[23][219] In 2013, Pence said that his family was “kind of looking for a church.”[23] Pence has described himself as “a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order,” and as “a born-again, evangelical Catholic.”[23][219]

Electoral history

U.S. House of Representatives

1988

Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District Election (1988)
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Philip R. Sharp 116, 915 53.20
Republican Mike Pence 102, 846 46.80
Total votes 219, 761 100.00
Voter turnout  %

[221]

1990

Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District Election (1990)
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Philip R. Sharp 93,495 59.37
Republican Mike Pence 63,980 40.63
Total votes 157,475 100.00
Voter turnout  %

[222]

2000

Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District Election (2000)[223]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence 106,023 50.87
Democratic Robert Rock 80,885 38.81
Independent William “Bill” Frazier 19,077 9.15
Libertarian Michael E. Anderson 2,422 1.16
Total votes 208,407 100.00
Voter turnout  %

2002

Indiana’s 6th Congressional District Election (2002)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence 118,436 63.79
Democratic Melina Ann Fox 63,871 34.40
Libertarian Doris Robertson 3,346 1.80
Total votes 185,653 100.00
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold

2004

Indiana’s 6th Congressional District Election (2004)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence* 182,529 67.09
Democratic Melina Ann Fox 85,123 31.29
Libertarian Chad (Wick) Roots 4,397 1.62
Total votes 272,049 100.00
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold

2006

Indiana’s 6th Congressional District Republican Primary Election (2006)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence 52,188 86.13
Republican George Holland 8,406 13.87
Total votes 60,594 100.00
Voter turnout  %
Indiana’s 6th Congressional District Election (2006)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence 115,266 60.01
Democratic Barry A. Welsh 76,812 39.99
Total votes 192,078 100.00
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold

2008

Indiana’s 6th Congressional District Election (2008)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence* 180,549 63.96
Democratic Barry A. Welsh 94,223 33.38
Libertarian George T. Holland 7,534 2.67
Total votes 282,306 100.00
Voter turnout  %
Republican hold

2010

Indiana’s 6th Congressional District Election (2010)
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence* 126,027 66.57
Democratic Barry A. Welsh 56,647 29.92
Libertarian Talmage “T.J.” Thompson, Jr. 6,635 3.51
Total votes 189,309 100.00
Voter turnout 41%
Republican hold

Governor of Indiana

2012

Republican Indiana gubernatorial election primary in Indiana, 2012[224]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Mike Pence 554,412 100.00
Total votes 554,412 100.00
2012 Indiana gubernatorial election[225]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Mike Pence / Sue Ellspermann 1,264,877 49.62% -8.22%
Democratic John Gregg / Vi Simpson 1,183,213 46.42% +6.38%
Libertarian Rupert Boneham / Brad Klopfenstein 101,028 3.96% +1.84%
No party Donnie Harold Harris / George Fish (write-in) 34 0%
Margin of victory 81,664 3.20% -14.61%
Turnout 2,549,152 57.81% -2.08%
Republican hold Swing

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

Conservative Review – Scorecard

Senator Tim Kaine D VA F 0% 4 2018

https://www.conservativereview.com/scorecard?MyMembers=false&state=VA&party=D&sort=Score&order=Descending&page=1&pageSize=50

Tim Kaine

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not to be confused with Tim Kane.
Tim Kaine
Tim Kaine, official 113th Congress photo portrait.jpg
United States Senator
from Virginia
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Serving with Mark Warner
Preceded by Jim Webb
Chairman of the Democratic National Committee
In office
January 21, 2009 – April 5, 2011
Preceded by Howard Dean
Succeeded by Donna Brazile (interim)[1]
70th Governor of Virginia
In office
January 14, 2006 – January 16, 2010
Lieutenant Bill Bolling
Preceded by Mark Warner
Succeeded by Bob McDonnell
38th Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
In office
January 12, 2002 – January 14, 2006
Governor Mark Warner
Preceded by John Hager
Succeeded by Bill Bolling
76th Mayor of Richmond
In office
July 1, 1998 – September 10, 2001
Preceded by Larry Chavis
Succeeded by Rudy McCollum
Member of the Richmond City Council
from the 2nd District
In office
July 1, 1994 – September 10, 2001
Preceded by Benjamin P.A. Warthen
Succeeded by William J. Pantele
Personal details
Born Timothy Michael Kaine
February 26, 1958 (age 58)
Saint Paul, Minnesota, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Anne Holton (m. 1984)
Children 3
Residence Richmond, Virginia
Alma mater
Signature
Website kaine.senate.gov

Timothy MichaelTimKaine (born February 26, 1958) is an American attorney and politician serving as the junior United States Senator from Virginia. A Democrat, Kaine was elected to the Senate in 2012 and is the nominee of his party for Vice President of the United States in the 2016 election.

Born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Kaine grew up in Overland Park, Kansas, graduated from the University of Missouri, and earned a law degree from Harvard Law Schoolbefore entering private practice and becoming a lecturer at the University of Richmond School of Law. He was first elected to public office in 1994, when he won a seat on the Richmond, Virginia, City Council. He was then elected Mayor of Richmond in 1998, serving in that position until being elected Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2001. Kaine was elected Governor of Virginia in 2005, serving from 2006 to 2010. He was chairman of the Democratic National Committee from 2009 to 2011.

On July 22, 2016, Hillary Clinton announced that she had selected Kaine to be her vice presidential running mate in the 2016 presidential election, and the 2016 Democratic National Convention nominated him on July 27.

Early life

Kaine was born at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He is the eldest of three sons[2][3] born to Mary Kathleen (née Burns), a home economics teacher, and Albert Alexander Kaine, Jr., a welder and the owner of a small iron-working shop.[3][4][5] He was raised Catholic.[3] One of Kaine’s great-grandparents was Scottish and the other seven were Irish.[4][6][7] Kaine’s family moved to Overland Park, Kansas, when Kaine was two years old, and he grew up in the Kansas City area.[8] In 1976, he graduated from Rockhurst High School, a Jesuit all-boys preparatory school in Kansas City, Missouri.[2][9] At Rockhurst, Kaine joined the debate team and was elected student body president.[3]

Kaine received his B.A. in economics from the University of Missouri in 1979, completing his degree in three years and graduating summa cum laude.[2][3] He was a Coro Foundation fellow in Kansas City in 1978.[10] He entered Harvard Law School in 1979, interrupting his law studies after his first year to work in Honduras[11][12][a] for nine months from 1980 to 1981, helping Jesuit missionaries who ran a Catholic school in El Progreso.[8][15] While running a vocational center that taught carpentry and welding, he also helped increase the school’s enrollment by recruiting local villagers.[3] Kaine is fluent in Spanish as a result of his year in Honduras.[15]

After returning from Honduras, Kaine met his future wife, first-year Harvard Law student, Anne Holton.[3] He graduated from Harvard Law School with a J.D. degree in 1983.[16] Kaine and Holton moved to Holton’s hometown of Richmond, Virginia, after graduation,[3] and Kaine was admitted to the Virginia Bar in 1984.[9]

Legal career and Richmond City Council

After graduating from law school, Kaine served as law clerk to Judge R. Lanier Anderson III of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, in Macon, Georgia.[9] Kaine then joined the Richmond law firm of Little, Parsley & Cluverius, P.C.[9] In 1987, Kaine became a director with the law firm of Mezzullo & McCandlish, P.C.[9]Kaine practiced law in Richmond for 17 years, specializing in fair housing law and representing clients discriminated against on the basis of race or disability.[17] He was a board member of the Virginia chapter of Housing Opportunities Made Equal, which he represented in a landmark redlining discrimination lawsuit against Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. arising from the company’s practices in Richmond.[18][19] Kaine won a $100.5 million verdict in the case; the judgment was overturned on appeal, and Kaine and his colleagues negotiated a $17.5 million settlement.[19]

Kaine did regular pro bono work.[18] In 1988, Kaine started teaching legal ethics as an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond School of Law.[9][17] Kaine taught at the University of Richmond for six years, and his students included future Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring.[17][20] He was a founding member of the Virginia Coalition to End Homelessness.[18]

Kaine had a largely apolitical childhood, but became interested in politics in part due to the influence of his wife’s family and his experience attending Richmond city council meetings.[8] In May 1994, Kaine was elected to the city council of the independent city of Richmond,[17] from the City’s 2nd District.[21][22] He defeated incumbent city councilman Benjamin P.A. Warthen[9] by 97 votes.[23] Kaine served four terms on the council, the latter two as mayor.[17][24]

Mayor of Richmond (1998–2001)

On July 1, 1998, Kaine was elected mayor of Richmond, succeeding Larry Chavis.[25][26] He was chosen by an 8-1 vote[23] on the majority-black City Council,[b] becoming the city’s first white mayor in more than ten years,[22][24] which was viewed as a surprise.[25] Rudy McCollum, an African-American city councilor also interested in the position of mayor, decided to back Kaine after a private meeting between the two, clearing the way for Kaine to win election.[23] Previous mayors had treated the role as primarily a ceremonial one,[27] with the city manager effectively operating the city; Kaine treated the office as a full-time job, taking a more hands-on role.[25]

As mayor, Kaine used a sale-leaseback arrangement to obtain funds to renovate the historic Maggie L. Walker High School and reopen it in 2000 as a magnet governor’s school, the Maggie L. Walker Governor’s School for Government and International Studies, which “now serves the top students in Central Virginia.”[28] Three elementary schools and one middle school were also built in Richmond under Kaine.[29]

Along with Commonwealth’s Attorney David Hicks, U.S. Attorney James Comey, and Police Chief Jerry Oliver, Kaine was a support of Project Exile, which a reporter described as a “controversial but effective program,” that shifted gun crimes to federal court, where armed defendants faced harsher sentences.[25] The effort “won broad political support” and the city’s homicide rate fell by 55% over Kaine’s tenure in office.[30] Kaine later touted Project Exile during his campaign for lieutenant governor in 2001.[29][30]

On several occasions, Kaine voted in opposition to tax increases, and supported a tax abatement program for renovated buildings, which was credited for a housing renovation boom in the city.[25] Richmond was named one of “the 10 best cities in America to do business” by Forbes magazine during Kaine’s term.[31]

According to John Moeser, a professor emeritus of urban studies and planning at Virginia Commonwealth University and later a visiting fellow at the University of Richmond‘s Center for Civic Engagement, during his time as mayor Kaine “was energetic, charismatic and, most important, spoke openly about his commitment to racial reconciliation in Richmond.”[25] The New York Times wrote that Kaine “was by all accounts instrumental in bridging the city’s racial divide.”[19] In the early part of his term, Kaine issued an apology for the city’s role in slavery;[29][32] the apology was generally well received as “a genuine, heartfelt expression.”[29] In the latter part of his term, a contentious debate took place in the city over the inclusion of a portrait of Confederate general Robert E. Lee in a set of historic murals to be placed on city floodwalls.[23][26] Many African-Americans were outraged that Lee would appear on city walls, while Southern heritage groups demanded that Lee’s picture remain.[23] Kaine proposed a compromise in which Lee would appear as part of a series of murals that also included figures like Abraham Lincoln and Powhatan Beaty.[23] Kaine’s stance drew criticism from the NAACP; Kaine argued that placing Lee on the floodwall made sense in context, and that “Much of our history is not pleasant; you can’t whitewash it.”[19][26] Kaine’s compromise proposal passed the council on a 6-3 vote.[23]

During his tenure as mayor, Kaine drew criticism for spending $6,000 in public funds on buses to the Million Mom March, an anti-gun-violence rally in Washington, D.C.; after a backlash, Kaine raised the money privately and reimbursed the city.[33]

Lieutenant governor of Virginia (2002–2005)

Kaine in an F-14 Tomcat while touring a naval base in 2003

Kaine ran for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia in 2001. Kaine joined the race after state senator Emily Couric dropped out due to pancreatic cancer and endorsed Kaine as her replacement.[34] In the Democratic primary election, Kaine ran against state Delegate Alan A. Diamonstein of Newport News, and state Delegate Jerrauld C. Jones of Norfolk.[35]Kaine won the nomination, garnering 39.7% of the vote to Diamonstein’s 31.4% and Jones’ 28.9%.[36]

In the general election, Kaine won with 925,974 votes (50.35%), of the vote, edging out his Republican opponent, state Delegate Jay Katzen, who received 883,886 votes (48.06%).[37] Libertarian Gary Reams received 28,783 votes (1.57%).[37]

Kaine was inaugurated on January 12, 2002, and was sworn in by his wife Anne Holton, a state judge.[38]

2005 gubernatorial election

Kaine at the Covington
Labor Day Parade in Virginia, September 4, 2006

In 2005, Kaine ran for governor of Virginia against Republican candidate Jerry W. Kilgore, a former state attorney general. Kaine was considered an underdog for most of the race,[39] trailing in polls for most of the election.[40] Two polls released in September 2005 showed Kaine trailing Kilgore—by four percentage points in a Washington Post poll and by one percentage point in a Mason-Dixon/Roanoke Times poll.[41][42] The final opinion polls of the race before the November election showed Kaine slightly edging ahead of Kilgore.[40][43]

Kaine ultimately prevailed, winning 1,025,942 votes (51.7%) to Kilgore’s 912,327 (46.0%).[44] (A third candidate—independent state Senator H. Russell Potts Jr., who ran as an “independent Republican[45][46]—received 43,953 votes (2.2%)[44]).

Kaine emphasized fiscal responsibility and a centrist message.[42][45] He expressed support for controlling sprawl and tackling longstanding traffic issues, an issue that resonated in the exurbs of northern Virginia.[47] He benefited from his association with the popular outgoing Democratic governor, Mark Warner, who had performed well in traditionally Republican areas of the state.[41] On the campaign trail, Kaine referred to the “Warner-Kaine administration” in speeches and received the strong backing of Warner.[45][48] Kilgore later attributed his defeat to Warner’s high popularity and the “plummeting popularity” of Republican President George W. Bush, who held one rally with Kilgore on the campaign’s final day.[43]

The campaign turned sharply negative in its final weeks, with Kilgore running television attack ads that claimed, incorrectly, that Kaine believed that “Hitler doesn’t qualify for the death penalty.”[49] The ads also attacked Kaine for his service ten years earlier as a court-appointed attorney for a death-row inmate.[50] The Republican ad was denounced by the editorial boards of the Washington Post and a number of Virginia newspapers as a “smear” and “dishonest.”[49][50][51] Kaine responded with an ad “in which he told voters that he opposes capital punishment but would take an oath and enforce the death penalty. In later polls, voters said they believed Kaine’s response and were angered by Kilgore’s negative ads.”[52]

In the election, Kaine won by large margins in the Democratic strongholds such as Richmond and Northern Virginia’s inner suburbs (such as Alexandria and Arlington), as well as in the Democratic-trending Fairfax County.[53][54] Kaine also won Republican-leaning areas in Northern Virginia’s outer suburbs, including Prince William County and Loudoun County, where George W. Bush had beat John Kerry in the previous year’s presidential election,[53] and performed “surprisingly well in Republican strongholds like Virginia Beach and Chesapeake.”[54] Kaine also defeated Kilgore in the burgeoning Richmond suburbs.[53] Kilgore led insouthwest Virginia and in the Shenandoah Valley.[53]

Governor of Virginia (2006–2010)

Kaine was sworn in as governor at the colonial Capitol at Williamsburg, on January 14, 2006, the first governor since Thomas Jefferson to be inaugurated there.[17]

Kaine was chairman of the Southern Governors’ Association from 2008 to 2009.[55]

Democratic response to State of the Union address

On January 31, 2006, Kaine gave the Democratic response to President George W. Bush‘s 2006 State of the Union address. In it, Kaine criticized the Bush administration’s No Child Left Behind Act for “wreaking havoc on local school districts”; criticized congressional Republicans for cutting student loan programs; and condemned as “reckless” Bush’s spending increases and tax cuts.[56] Kaine praised bipartisan initiatives in Virginia “to make record investments in education” and to improve veterans’ access to veterans’ benefits.[56] Kaine criticized the Bush administration’s conduct of the Iraq War and treatment of U.S. soldiers; saying that “the American people were given inaccurate information about reasons for invading Iraq”; “our troops in Iraq were not given the best body armor or the best intelligence”; and “the administration wants to further reduce military and veterans’ benefits.”[56]

Energy, the environment, and conservation

As governor, Kaine successfully protected 400,000 acres (1,600 km2) of Virginia land from development, fulfilling a promise that he made in 2005.[57][58] Kaine’s conservation efforts focused on conservation easements (voluntary easements that preserve the private ownership of a piece of land while also permanently protecting it from development); a substantial Virginia land preservation tax credit encouraged easements.[59] From 2004 to 2009, the Virginia Outdoors Foundation (a quasi-governmental entity set up in 1966 to preserve open land in the state) protected more land than it had in the previous forty years, a fact touted by Kaine as his term drew to a close.[59]

As governor, Kaine established the Climate Change Commission, a bipartisan panel to study climate change issues.[60] The panel was shuttered under Kaine’s Republican successor, Governor Robert F. McDonnell, but was revived (as the Governor’s Climate Change and Resiliency Update Commission) under his successor, Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe.[60][61]

Kaine supported a coal-fired power plant project in Wise County, clashing with environmentalists who opposed the project.[62][63]

In 2009, Kaine expressed support for tighter restrictions on mountaintop removal coal mining imposed by the Obama administration.[64]

Healthcare and public health

In October 2006, Kaine signed an executive order banning smoking in all government buildings and state-owned cars as of January 1, 2007.[65] He signed legislation banning smoking in restaurants and bars, with some exceptions, in March 2009, making Virginia the first Southern state to do so.[66]

In 2007, the Republican-controlled Virginia General Assembly passed legislation, with “overwhelming bipartisan support,” to require girls to receive the HPV vaccine (which immunizes recipients against a virus that causes cervical cancer) before entering high school.[67][68] Kaine expressed “some qualms” about the legislation and pushed for a strong opt-out provision,[67] ultimately signing a bill that included a provision allowing parents to opt out of the requirement without citing a reason.[68]

In 2007, Kaine secured increases in state funding for nursing in the Virginia General Assembly and announced a 10% salary increase for nursing faculty above the normal salary increase for state employees, plus additional funds for scholarships for nursing master’s programs. The initiatives were aimed at addressing a shortage of practicing nurses.[69]

Virginia Tech shooting

Following the 2007 Virginia Tech shooting, in which 32 people were killed by Seung-Hui Cho, Kaine appointed an eight-member Virginia Tech Review Panel,[70] chaired by retired Virginia State Police superintendent W. Gerald Massengill, to probe the event.[71][72] The commission members included specialists in psychology, law, forensics and higher education as well as former Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge.[71] The commission first met in May 2007,[71] and issued its findings and recommendations in August 2007.[70] Among other recommendations, the panel proposed many mental health reforms. Based on the panel’s recommendations, Kaine proposed $42 million of investment in mental health programs and reforms, included “boosting access to outpatient and emergency mental health services, increasing the number of case managers and improving monitoring of community-based providers.”[73] In April 2007, Kaine signed an executive order instructing state agencies to step up efforts to block gun sales to people involuntarily committed to inpatient and outpatient mental health treatment centers.[74] Kaine, who had been in Japan on a trade mission at the time of the shootings, received widespread praise for his quick return to the state and his handling of the issue .[75]

Budget and economy

Among Kaine’s greatest challenges as governor came during the 2008–09 economic crisis; the Washington Post wrote that “perhaps his greatest success was keeping the state running despite [the crisis].”[75] In the midst of the Great Recession, unemployment in Virginia remained lower than the national average.[76] During Kaine’s tenure as governor, the unemployment rate in Virginia rose from 3.2% to 7.4%, a smaller increase than the national unemployment rate which rose from 4.7% to 9.9% during the same period.[76]

As governor, Kaine approved about $3.31 billion in general fund spending cuts, and after the end of Kaine’s term in office, the Virginia General Assembly adopted about $1.33 billion in additional budget cuts that Kaine had recommended, for a total of $4.64 billion in cuts.[77] The Washington Post noted: “Unable to raise taxes and required by law to balance the budget, he was forced to make unpopular cuts that led to such things as shuttered highway rest stops and higher public university tuition.”[75] Virginia was one of three states to earn the highest grade in terms of management in a report by the non-partisan Pew Center on the States.[78] Virginia took first place each year from 2006 to 2009 in the “Best States For Business” rankings published by Forbes magazine.[78]

Infrastructure and transportation

Governor Kaine with U.S. Senators
John Warner and George Allen

In July 2007, during the debate on the Silver Line of the Washington Metro through Tysons Corner, Kaine supported an elevated track solution in preference to a tunnel, citing costs and potential delays that would put federal funding at risk.[79]

In 2006, early in his term, Kaine pressed the General Assembly to support a legislative package to ease severe traffic congestion by spending about $1 billion annually forhighway construction, repairs to aging roads, mass transit, and other transportation projects. The money would raised through increases in taxes and fees that would have raised an estimated $4 billion in revenue over four years.[80][81][82] The Democratic-controlled Senate supported the plan, but the Republican-controlled House was ultimately unwilling to approve the taxes necessary to carry out the project, however, and the effort failed even after a special session of the Legislature was called over the transportation-funding stalemate.[83][84][85]

In 2007, Republicans in the General Assembly passed their own transportation-funding bill. Rather than a statewide tax increase to finance the transportation improvements, as Kaine and most legislative Democrats favored, the Republican bill called for transportation funding “to come from borrowing $2.5 billion and paying the debt costs out of the general fund”; authorized local tax increase in Northern Virginia; increased fees and taxes on rental cars, commercial real estate, and hotels; and increased traffic infractionfines and driver’s licenses fees.[86][87]

Kaine and most legislative Democrats opposed the Republican legislation, stating that it was inadequate to address traffic congestion and that the withdrawal of funds from the general fund would affect core services such as health care, law enforcement, and education.[87][88] Kaine ultimately signed a bill with amendments reflecting “concerns by local government officials and a bipartisan group of lawmakers who were concerned that the plan took too much money from the state’s general fund.”[89]

Education

In 2008, Kaine backed a $22 million proposal in the Virginia General Assembly to make pre-kindergarten education more accessible to at-risk four-year-olds.[90] Virginia was rated as the best state to raise a child in a 2007 report by Education Week and the Pew Center on the States.[78]

Cabinet and appointments

Kaine made the following appointments to his Virginia Governor’s Cabinet:[91]

  • Chief of Staff — William Leighty (2006–2007), Wayne Turnage (2007–2010)
  • Secretary of Administration – Viola Baskerville (2006–2010)
  • Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry – Robert Bloxom (2006–2010)
  • Secretary of Commerce and Trade – Patrick Gottschalk (2006–2010)
  • Secretary of the CommonwealthKatherine Hanley (2006–2010)
  • Secretary of Education – Thomas Morris (2006–2010)
  • Secretary of Finance – Jody Wagner (2006–2008), Richard D. Brown (2008–2010)
  • Secretary of Health and Human Resources – Marilyn Tavenner (2006–2010)
  • Secretary of Natural Resources – Preston Bryant (2006–2010)
  • Secretary of Public Safety – John W. Marshall (2006–2010)
  • Secretary of Technology – Aneesh Chopra (2006–2009), Leonard M. Pomata (2009–2010)
  • Secretary of Transportation – Pierce Homer (2006–2010)
  • Assistant for Commonwealth Preparedness – Robert P. Crouch (2006–2010)
  • Senior Advisor for Workforce – Daniel G. LeBlanc (2006–2010)

As governor, Kaine made a number of appointments to the Virginia state courts. Kaine made two appointments[c] to the Supreme Court of Virginia,[93] naming Chesapeake Circuit Judge S. Bernard Goodwyn to the Court in 2007[95] and Virginia Court of Appeals Judge LeRoy F. Millette, Jr. to the Court in 2008.[92][d]

On September 27, 2007, just weeks after appointing Esam Omeish to the 20-member Virginia Commission on Immigration, Kaine learned that Omeish had made videos accusing Israel of genocide and calling for the impeachment of President Bush.[96] Kaine immediately requested and received Omeish’s resignation and said that background checks would be more thorough in the future.[97]

2008 vice presidential speculation

Barack Obama campaigned for
Tim Kaine in 2005 for the
gubernatorial election
.

Kaine announced his support for Senator Obama’s presidential bid in February 2007. It was maintained that Kaine’s endorsement was the first from a statewide elected official outside of Illinois.[98] Because Kaine was a relatively popular governor of a Southern state, there was media speculation that he was a potential nominee for vice president.[99]Obama had supported Kaine in his campaign for governor and had said about him: “Tim Kaine has a message of fiscal responsibility and generosity of spirit. That kind of message can sell anywhere.”[100] On July 28, 2008, Politico reported that Kaine was “very, very high” on Obama’s shortlist for vice president,[101] a list which also included then Senator Hillary Clinton of New York, Governor Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas, Senator Evan Bayh of Indiana, and Senator Joe Biden of Delaware.[102] Obama ultimately selected Biden to become the vice-presidential nominee.[103]

Democratic National Committee chairman (2009–2011)

In January 2009, Kaine became the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee.[104][e] Kaine had turned down the position the first time it was offered to him, expressing misgivings about accepting a partisan position,[24] but nonetheless took the job at the request of President Obama.[105] During his tenure, he oversaw a significant expansion of the party’s grassroots focus through Organizing for America, the political operation for the White House. In February 2011, after Kaine spoke to union leaders in Madison, Organizing for America got involved in Wisconsin’s budget battle and opposed Republican-sponsored anti-union legislation. They made phone calls, sent emails, and distributed messages via Facebook and Twitter to build crowds for rallies.[106]

After completing his term as governor in January 2010, Kaine taught part-time at the University of Richmond, teaching a course in spring 2010 at the Jepson School of Leadership Studies and another in fall 2010 at the University of Richmond School of Law.[107][108] Kaine explained that he had chosen to teach at a private university, rather than a public university, “because it would not have been right for a sitting governor to be seeking employment at an institution when he writes the budget and appoints the board of the institution.”[109]

United States Senate

2012 election

After Senator Jim Webb‘s decision not to seek reelection, Kaine announced on April 5, 2011, that he would run for Webb’s seat. He was initially reluctant to return to public office, but Webb, Senator Mark Warner, and other Virginia Democrats saw Kaine as the strongest potential Democratic candidate and convinced him to run.[34] Mike Henry was chosen as Kaine’s campaign manager.[110] Kaine filmed announcement videos in English and Spanish[111][112] and was unopposed for the Democratic nomination.[113] He defeated former Senator and Governor George Allen in the general election.[114][115]

Tenure

Kaine was sworn in for a six-year term on January 3, 2013, reuniting him with Mark Warner, the senior senator. Kaine was lieutenant governor when Warner was governor of Virginia.

On June 11, 2013, Kaine delivered a speech on the Senate floor in support of the bipartisan “Gang of Eight” immigration bill. The speech was entirely in Spanish, marking the first time a senator had ever made a speech on the Senate floor in a language other than English.[116]

Kaine speaking in 2016

As a member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Kaine pushed for a new Congressional authorization of military force for the American operations against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).[117] Kaine supported the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran, though he also helped Republican Senator Bob Corker hold a vote on a resolution of disapproval on the deal.[117] Kaine has taken several trips throughout the Middle East, meeting with the leaders of states such as Turkey and Israel.[117]

While in the Senate, Kaine has continued to teach part-time at the University of Richmond, receiving a salary of $16,000 per year.[118]

Kaine voted with his party more than 90% of the time.[119][120] According to the Washington Post, Kaine has “crafted a largely progressive record as a senator.”[121] He reportedly has good relations with both Democratic and Republican senators.[122][123][124][125]

Committee assignments and caucuses

In the 113th Congress (2013–15), Kaine was on the Committee on Armed Services, the Committee on the Budget, and the Committee on Foreign Relations.[126] In the current (114th) Congress, Kaine serves on the same three committees, plus the Special Committee on Aging.[127][128] In July 2013, Kaine was named chairman of the United States Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism.[129]

Within the Senate Armed Services Committee, Kaine serves on the Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities, the Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support (for which he is the ranking member), and the Subcommittee on Seapower.[130]

Within the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, Kaine serves on the Subcommittee on State Department and USAID Management, International Operations, and Bilateral International Development (for which he is the ranking member), the Subcommittee on Europe and Regional Security Cooperation, the Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia, and Counterterrorism, and the Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women’s Issues.[131]

In January 2014, Kaine, with Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, established the bipartisan Senate Career and Technical Education Caucus (CTE Caucus), which focuses on vocational education and technical education.[132] Kaine and Portman co-chair the caucus.[133][134] In 2014, Kaine and Portman introduced the CTE Excellence and Equity Act to the Senate; the legislation would provide $500 million in federal funding, distributed by competitive grants, to high schools to further CTE programs.[135] The legislation, introduced as an amendment to the omnibus Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act of 2006, would promote apprenticeships and similar initiatives.[135]

2016 vice presidential campaign

Clinton/Kaine logo

Kaine endorsed Hillary Clinton‘s presidential bid in 2016 and campaigned actively for Clinton in seven states during the primaries. He had been the subject of considerable speculation as a possible running mate for Clinton, with several news reports indicating that he was at or near the top of Clinton’s list of people under consideration alongside figures such as Elizabeth Warren and Julian Castro.[136][137]

The New York Times reported that Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, privately backed Kaine as his wife’s vice-presidential selection, noting his domestic and national security résumé.[138] On July 22, 2016, she picked Kaine to be her running mate in the election.[139] Clinton introduced Kaine as her choice in a joint appearance at a rally at Florida International University in Miami the following day.[140] The 2016 Democratic National Convention nominated him their vice presidential candidate on July 27, 2016.[141]

Kaine is the first Virginian since Woodrow Wilson to be on a major party’s ticket,[142] and is the first Virginian to run for vice president on a major party’s ticket since John Tyler in 1840; he is also the first Senator or former Senator from Virginia to be on a major party’s ticket since Tyler.[143]

In accordance with longstanding political custom in the U.S., upon being nominated for vice president Kaine publicly released his full tax returns for the last ten years.[144][145] Kaine also publicly released medical records; his physician, Dr. Brian P. Monahan, the Attending Physician of the United States Congress, wrote in a letter that Kaine was “in overall excellent health.”[146][147] In September he published a campaign book co-authored with Clinton, Stronger Together.[148]

In Kaine’s preparations for the vice presidential debate in October 2016, lawyer Robert Barnett played the role of Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence.[149] (During Pence’s own debate preparations,Wisconsin governor Scott Walker played the role of Kaine.)[150]

Personality and leadership style

About 145,000 emails from Kaine and his staff during his term as governor are publicly accessible from the Library of Virginia. Politico conducted an analysis of the correspondence and wrote that the messages show Kaine to be a “media-savvy” and detail-oriented “micro-manager” who is also a policy “wonk“.[151]

According to the New York Times, Kaine “is widely described by people in his political orbit as a likable if less than charismatic figure…guided by moral convictions that flow from his deep Christian faith.”[19] Kaine described himself on Meet the Press as “boring.”[19][152]

Political positions

In terms of political ideology, FiveThirtyEight gives Kaine an average score of −37 (−100 is the most liberal, and 100 is the most conservative).[153] FiveThirtyEight characterizes him as a “mainstream Democrat” and notes that his ideology score is very similar to that of Vice President Joe Biden.[153] Three conservative groups—the American Conservative Union, the Club for Growth, and Heritage Action—gave Kaine zero percent ratings in the few years before 2016,[154] while the liberal group Americans for Democratic Action gave Kaine a 90% rating in 2014.[155] The New York Times wrote that “in hyperpartisan Washington, he is often seen as a centrist” while also describing him as an “old-fashioned liberal…driven by Jesuit ideals.”[19]

Abortion, birth control, and sex education

Kaine, a Roman Catholic, is personally against abortion,[156][157] but is “largely inclined to keep the law out of women’s reproductive decisions.”[156] Kaine has said: “I’m a strong supporter of Roe v. Wade and women being able to make these decisions. In government, we have enough things to worry about. We don’t need to make people’s reproductive decisions for them.”[158] Kaine supports some legal restrictions on abortion, such as requiring parental consent for minors (with a judicial bypass procedure) and banning late-term abortions in cases where the woman’s life is not at risk.[159]

In 2009, Kaine signed a bill to create a “Choose Life” license plate, among the more than 200 Virginia specialty plates already offered, the proceeds of which would partly go to Heartbeat International, a Christian organization that operates anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers.[160] Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America expressed disappointment in Kaine’s decision.[160] Kaine considered such license plate messages a matter of free speech and added that the move was “in keeping with the commonwealth’s longtime practice of approving specialty plates with all manner of political and social messages.”[160]

Kaine previously criticized the Obama administration for “not providing a ‘broad enough religious employer exemption'” in the contraceptive mandate of the Affordable Care Act, but praised a 2012 amendment to the regulations that allowed insurers to provide birth control to employees when an employer was an objecting religious organization.[161]

In 2005, when running for governor, Kaine said he favored reducing abortions by: (1) “Enforcing the current Virginia restrictions on abortion and passing an enforceable ban on partial birth abortion that protects the life and health of the mother”; (2) “Fighting teen pregnancy through abstinence-focused education”; (3) “Ensuring women’s access to health care (including legal contraception) and economic opportunity”; and (4) “Promoting adoption as an alternative for women facing unwanted pregnancies.”[162]

In 2007, as governor, Kaine cut off state funding for abstinence-only sex education programs, citing studies which showed that such programs were ineffective, while comprehensive sex education programs were more effective.[163] Kaine believes that both abstinence and contraceptives must be taught, and that education should be evidence-based.[163]

As a senator, he has received perfect scores from Planned Parenthood and the abortion-rights advocacy group NARAL.[119][164] He has received a score of zero from the anti-abortion National Right to Life Committee.[164]

Campaign finance

Kaine “strongly disagrees” with the ruling in Citizens United v. FEC (2010).[165] In 2015, Kaine joined a group of Senate Democrats in a letter to Securities and Exchange Commission Chairwoman Mary Jo White that said the ruling “reversed long-standing precedent and has moved our country in a different and disturbing direction when it comes to corporate influence in politics.” They urged the SEC to require publicly traded companies to disclose political spending to their shareholders to “increase transparency in the U.S. political process” following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United.[165]

Capital punishment

Kaine personally opposes capital punishment, but presided over eleven executions while governor.[166] Kaine said: “I really struggled with [capital punishment] as governor. I have a moral position against the death penalty. But I took an oath of office to uphold it. Following an oath of office is also a moral obligation.”[34] During his time in office he commuted one death sentence in June 2008, that of Percy Levar Walton to life imprisonment without parole on grounds of mental incompetence, writing that “one cannot reasonably conclude that Walton is fully aware of the punishment he is about to suffer and why he is to suffer it” and thus executing him would be unconstitutional.[167] Kaine vetoed a number of bills to expand the death sentence to more crimes, saying: “I do not believe that further expansion of the death penalty is necessary to protect human life or provide for public safety needs.”[168][169] Some of the vetoes were overridden, while others were sustained.[170][f]

Environment, energy, and climate change

Kaine acknowledges the scientific consensus on climate change, and in a 2014 Senate speech criticized climate change deniers, as well as those who “may not deny the climate science, but … deny that the U.S. can or should be a leader in taking any steps” to address the issue.[171]

Kaine has expressed concern about sea level rise (a major consequence of climate change),[134] and in particular its effect on coastal Virginia.[171] In 2014, he partnered with two Virginia Republicans—U.S. Representatives Rob Wittman and Scott Rigell—to hold a conference on sea-level rise and “local adaptation efforts to protect military installations in the Hampton Roads area.”[134]

Kaine endorses making coal energy production cleaner saying that it is imperative “to convert coal to electricity with less pollution than we do today.”[171] He has criticized those who “frame the debate as a conflict between an economy and the environment,” saying that “protecting the environment is good for the economy.”[171] Kaine co-sponsored the Advanced Clean Coal Technology Investment in Our Nation (ACCTION) Act, legislation to increase investment in clean coal technologies.[172] He voted against passage of legislation to approve the Keystone XL pipeline.[173] Kaine supports the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to harvest natural gas from shale formations. He believes this will reduce carbon pollution.[172] Kaine voted against an amendment, introduced by Sen. Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), that would have repealed a provision in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that exempts hydraulic fracturing from the underground injection control provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act. As a result, regulation of hydraulic fracturing remains in the hands of state agencies; the U.S. EPA cannot regulate hydraulic fracturing nor require a federal permit.[174][175] Kaine supports exporting liquid natural gas (LNG) to other countries.[176]

Like his fellow senator from Virginia, Mark Warner, Kaine applauded the U.S. Forest Service‘s plan to close most, but not all, of the George Washington National Forest to hydraulic fracturing and other horizontal drilling activities.[177]

In 2013, Kaine supported oil and gas exploration off the coast of Virginia, saying, “I have long believed that the moratorium on offshore drilling, based on a cost-benefit calculation performed decades ago, should be re-examined.”[178][179] In April 2015, Kaine reiterated his opposition to the moratorium on offshore drilling.[180] In March 2016, Kaine signaled that his position was softening, saying he was “particularly struck by the material objections of the Department of Defense to the incompatibility of drilling with naval operations off Virginia’s coast… I have participated in this debate for over a decade as a governor and member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. The DOD has been relatively quiet during this public debate and has never shared their objections with me before.”[180] By August 2016, Kaine stated his support for a ban on offshore drilling, bringing his position in line with of Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration.[180]

Kaine supports the development of solar energy and offshore wind turbines.[172]

Based on his votes on environmental issues in the Senate, the League of Conservation Voters has given Kaine a 88% score for 2015, and a 91% lifetime score.[134][175]

Financial regulation

Kaine has said that he is “strongly for the regulation of the financial industry,” and he supports the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.[154] In July 2016, Kaine signed a bipartisan letter that “urged the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to ‘carefully tailor its rulemaking’ [under Dodd-Frank] regarding community banks and credit unions so as not to ‘unduly burden’ these institutions with regulations aimed at commercial banks.”[154] The letter prompted criticism from progressives who viewed it as anti-regulation.[154][181] Charles Chamberlain, executive director of Democracy for America, called the letter “a lobbyist-driven effort to help banks dodge consumer protection standards and regulations designed to prevent banks from destroying our economy.” Kaine responded to the criticism by saying, “it’s important you don’t treat every financial institution the same. It wasn’t credit unions that tanked the economy, it wasn’t local community banks that tanked the economy, generally wasn’t regional banks that did things that tanked the economy.”[154] Kaine also signed a letter urging that a requirement that regional banks report liquidity levels on a daily basis be loosened.[182]

Foreign and defense policy

In the Senate, Kaine has supported the normalization of U.S.–Cuban relations and the international nuclear agreement with Iran.[183]

Kained expressed support for Israel‘s right to defend itself during the 2014 Israel–Gaza conflict.[184] Kaine also supported the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.[185]

Afghanistan

On the issue of the war in Afghanistan, Kaine’s website states “The main mission in Afghanistan—destroying Al Qaeda—is nearly complete and we should bring our troops home as quickly as we can, consistent with the need to make sure that Afghanistan poses no danger in the broader region.”[186]

War powers

Kaine and Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona introduced the War Powers Consultation Act of 2014,[187] which would replace the War Powers Act of 1973, bringing the Congress back into decisions on the deployment of U.S. military forces.[187] The bill would establish a Congressional Consultation Committee, with which the President would be required to consult regularly regarding significant foreign policy matters; before ordering the deployment of the Armed Forces into a significant armed conflict; and at least every two months for the duration of any significant armed conflict.[187][188] Kaine argued for the bill by citing his “frustration” over the sloppiness of “process and communication over decisions of war”, noting that “Presidents tend to overreach and Congress sometimes willingly ducks tough votes and decisions. We all have to do better.”[187] Kaine has stated that “war powers questions” are a “personal obsession” of his.[189][190]

Syria, Iraq, and ISIL

In 2014, Kaine argued that the U.S. military intervention against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), undertaken by President Obama, was unconstitutional without a new congressional authorization for the use of military force against ISIL.[191] In November 2014, at the Halifax International Security Forum, Kaine, together with Senator John McCain, emphasized the necessity of such a congressional authorization, saying: “You just can’t have a war without Congress. You can’t ask people to risk their lives, risk getting killed, seeing other folks getting killed or injured if Congress isn’t willing to do the job to put their thumbprint on this and say, this is a national mission and worth it.”[192]

On December 11, 2014, after a five-month campaign by Kaine, the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved by 10–8 (straight party lines) a measure authorizing military force against ISIL, but barring the use of ground troops.[193][194] In 2015, Kaine criticized Obama’s approach to the Syrian civil war, saying that the establishment of humanitarian no-fly zones would have alleviated the humanitarian crisis in Syria.[195][196]

Guns

Kaine is a gun owner.[183] He has supported expanded background checks for weapons purchases as well as “restrictions on the sale of combat-style weapons and high-capacity magazines.”[183][197] As governor, Kaine oversaw the closing of loopholes in Virginia law that allowed some who had failed background checks to purchase guns.[183] In the Senate, Kaine has supported legislation which would require background checks to be performed for weapons sold via gun shows and via the internet.[183] He also supports legislation to bar weapons sales to suspected terrorists on the No Fly List.[183]

Kaine has a 100% rating from the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence[198] and an “F” rating from the NRA.[199]

Healthcare

Kaine supported passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2009 (“Obamacare”), saying in 2012: “I was a supporter and remain a supporter of the Affordable Care Act. I felt like it was a statement that we were going to put some things in the rear-view mirror.”[200] In 2013, Kaine said that he agreed that changes to the ACA should be debated, but criticized Republicans for “wrapping them up with the threat” of afederal government shutdown.[201]

Immigration

Kaine supports President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and Deferred Action for Parental Accountability (DAPA) programs,[202] which would allow up to five million undocumented immigrants to gain deferral of deportation and authorization to legally work in the United States.[183] Alongside fellow Virginia senator Mark Warner and many other members of Congress, Kaine signed on to an amicus brief in support of the program in the Supreme Court case of United States v. Texas.[203][204]

Kaine also supports comprehensive immigration reform, which would allow persons illegally present in the U.S. to earn legal status by paying a fine and taxes.[183]

LGBT rights

In 2006, Kaine campaigned against an amendment to the Virginia State Constitution to bar same-sex marriage,[205] and in March 2013, Kaine announced his support of same-sex marriage.[206][207]

In the Senate, Kaine co-sponsored the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would bar employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.[208]

In 2005, Kaine said: “No couples in Virginia can adopt other than a married couple — that’s the right policy.”[209] In 2011, however, Kaine shifted his position.[210] In 2012, he stated that “there should be a license that would entitle a committed couple to the same rights as a married couple.”[211]

During the 2016 presidential campaign, Kaine noted that his position on same-sex marriage was “at odds with the current doctrine of the church that I still attend.” He predicted that the Roman Catholic Church would someday adopt his view.[212] In response, two bishops heading the doctrine and marriage committees of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops said that the church’s position “cannot change” and reaffirmed their opposition to same-sex marriage.[213]

Taxes

Kaine supports allowing the Bush tax cuts to expire for those with incomes above $500,000.[214]

In 2012, Kaine supported raising the cap on income subject for the FICA (Social Security) payroll tax “so that it covers a similar percentage of income as it did in the 1980s under President Reagan, which would greatly extend the solvency of the (Social Security) program.”[215]

In the Senate, Kaine has supported the Marketplace Fairness Act, which would allow states to require online retailers to collect sales taxes in the same manner as traditional brick-and-mortar retailers.[216][217][218]

Trade

Kaine supported granting President Obama Trade Promotion Authority (TPA or “fast track”) to allow him to negotiate free trade agreements.[219] Kaine stated that the goal should be to “negotiate deals that protect workers’ rights, environmental standards and intellectual property, while knocking down tariffs and other barriers that some countries erect to keep American products out.”[219]

In July 2016, Kaine said that the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement was “an improvement of the status quo” in terms of it being an “upgrade of labor standards… environmental standards… intellectual property protections”, but maintained that he had not yet decided how to vote on final approval of the agreement, citing “significant concerns” over TPP’s dispute resolution mechanism.[220] Later that July, Kaine said that he could not support the TPP in its current form.[221]

Kaine has been a proponent of NAFTA.[222]

Transportation and growth

Kaine supports some smart growth-style policies (which Kaine calls “a balanced approach to growth”) to control sprawl and improve transportation.[223] He favors a transportation policy that includes public transit, bicycles, and pedestrians.[224] As governor, Kaine pushed through a $100 million open-space acquisition initiative.[224] Under Kaine, Amtrak service in Virginia was expanded.[225][226][227] Kaine also participated in a White House roundtable discussion on high-speed rail in 2009.[225]

Workers’ rights and gender equality

Kaine is “generally pro-union” and has received a 96 percent lifetime Senate voting rating from the AFL-CIO,[134] which praised his selection as vice presidential nominee.[228] However, Kaine supports Virginia’s longstanding “right-to-work” law, which “frees union nonmembers from any legal obligation to pay fees to a union that bargains collectively on their behalf”.[134]

Kaine supports the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which expands the cases in which worker can sue against gender pay discrimination.[229] Following his selection by Clinton as a running mate in 2016, Kaine was praised by the National Organization for Women.[228][230]

Kaine favors an increase in the minimum wage.[134]

Electoral history

Virginia Senate Election 2012[231]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Tim Kaine 2,010,067 52.9
Republican George Allen 1,785,542 47.0
Virginia Gubernatorial Election 2005
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Tim Kaine 1,025,942 51.7
Republican Jerry Kilgore 912,327 46.0
Virginia Lieutenant Governor Election 2001
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Tim Kaine 925,974 50.4
Republican Jay K. Katzen 883,886 48.0
Libertarian Gary Reams 28,783 1.6
Virginia Lieutenant Governor Democratic Primary Election 2001
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Tim Kaine 64,008 39.7
Democratic Alan Diamonstein 50,753 31.5
Democratic Jerrauld C. Jones 46,640 28.9

Personal life

Anne Holton in 2016

In November 1984, Kaine married Anne Bright Holton, the daughter of A. Linwood Holton Jr., who was the Republican governor of Virginia from 1970 to 1974.[5][232] The couple met while they were both students at Harvard Law School.[16] Holton has been a judge for the Virginia Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court in Richmond.[233] After serving as first lady of Virginia during her husband’s term, she was appointed by Governor Terry McAuliffe in January 2014 to be Virginia’s secretary of education,[233][234] and held that position until July 2016, when she stepped down after her husband was named as the Democratic vice presidential candidate.[235] The couple has three children:[17] Nat (b. 1990), Woody (b. 1992), and Annella (b. 1995).[9] Nat, the eldest son, is a United States Marine.[19][236] Kaine and his wife have been congregants of the St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Richmond, a mostly black congregation, for 30 years.[236][237]

He has played the harmonica for over twenty years,[238][239] and often travels with several.[19]

Kaine is fluent in Spanish as a result of his year in Honduras.[15]

Awards and honors

Kaine has received the Humanitarian Award from the Virginia Center for Inclusive Communities, then the Virginia Region of the National Conference for Community and Justice(2000),[240] the Virginia Council of Churches’ Faith in Action Award (2009),[241] the University of Richmond School of Law‘s William Green Award for Professional Excellence (2012),[242]the Appalachian Trail Conservancy‘s Congressional Award (2015),[243] and the Center for the National Interest‘s Distinguished Service Award (2016).[244]

Notes

  1. Jump up^ Many news reports say that Kaine worked in Honduras as part of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps,[11][13] a U.S.-based organization that did not sponsor overseas programs until 1984.[14] By his own account, while a high school student in 1974 Kaine visited a Jesuit mission in Honduras that had ties to his Jesuit high school. In 1980, after completing his first year of law school and without the support of any organization, he contacted that mission and arranged to work at its vocational training school as a volunteer teacher.[12]
  2. Jump up^ Until 2004, the mayor of Richmond was chosen by the city council from among its membership; under the present system, the mayor is chosen by popular vote.[22]
  3. Jump up^ The Virginia Constitution gives the Virginia General Assembly the power to appoint state judges, but gives the governor of Virginia to power to make judicial appointments when the General Assembly is out of session.[92][93]Once the General Assembly convenes, it has thirty days to confirm the appointments; if it does not, the seats become vacant.[94] The General Assembly typically confirms the governor’s choices, as it did with both of Kaine’s appointments.[92][93]
  4. Jump up^ Millette was formerly a Prince William County Circuit Judge whom Kaine had previously elevated to the Court of Appeals of Virginia via an interim appointment. Nine months later, Kaine elevated Millette to the Supreme Court via an interim appointment.[92][93]
  5. Jump up^ Introducing Kaine, President Obama refers repeatedly to the “chairman”, not “chair”, of the Democratic National Committee.
  6. Jump up^ Virginia remains second only to Texas in the number of executions since capital punishment was reinstated in 1976.[34]

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

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