‘THE TRUMP EFFECT’: JOB GROWTH IN MAY SURPASSES STOCK MARKET EXPECTATIONS

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump’s campaign promise to “make America great again” certainly seems to be one he’s keeping, at least when it comes to jobs.

According to the May National Jobs Report by ADP (http://adpemploymentreport.com/2017/May/NER/NER-May-2017.aspx), the private sector added 253,000 jobs last month, nearly Wall Street’s expectation of 185,000 jobs.

“Job growth is rip-roaring,” Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, said in a statement. “The current pace of job growth is nearly three times the rate necessary to absorb growth in the labor force. Increasingly, businesses’ number one challenge will be a shortage of labor.”

Service jobs led the way adding 205,000 new jobs, with professional and business services contributing 88,000 — its best month in about three years — and education and health services added 54,000 more.

To put the totals in context, it was the fourth time this year and the sixth time in the last seven months that the ADP count put total job creation above 200,000, a phenomenon that industry analysts have dubbed “the Trump effect”.

The stock market was quick to respond as the market pushed into record territory on Thursday in light of the report.

As reported by Marketwatch (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-stocks-on-track-to-edge-higher-rebounding-from-two-day-dip-2017-06-01), the S&P 500 index SPX, +0.56% gained 13 points, or 0.6%, to 2,425, trading near its intraday record of 2,426.08. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.47% rose 112 points, or 0.5%, to 21,120, near its high of the session. The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.60% climbed 31 points, or 0.5%, to 6,229, hovering around its intraday all-time high of 6,233.42.

“I can’t predict the future but this is not a bad environment we are in. The Fed is going to raise rates but they are going to do it in a way to encourage growth. Earnings expectations are rising and the economy is rising,” John Manley, chief equity strategist at Wells Fargo Funds told the financial news agency.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics is expected to release its own report on job numbers this Friday. It’s numbers are expected to mirror those of the ADP report.

trumpeffect

‘WE SUPPORT FREE SPEECH’: SCHOOL PUBLISHES STUDENT’S THREAT TO ‘BEHEAD TRUMP’ IN HIGH SCHOOL YEARBOOK

BRAINERD, MINNESOTA — A Minnesota school district is under fire since a statement permitted to be published in a high school year year book has gone viral.

In a page dedicated to president Donald Trump, Brainerd High School students were asked to share their thoughts on their new president to be published in the school’s 2017 yearbook. Each student’s answer was to appear in a quote next to their photo.

One student, who’s name is being withheld due to her being under age, wrote, “I would like to behead him. I do not like him.”

Some local parents, outraged after viewing their child’s yearbook, uploaded the page to social media and the story quickly went viral.

After being bombarded with complaints and calls for explanation, the director of Brainerd Public Schools on Friday issued a statement (http://isd181.org/#article1) in which it said while the comment should have been removed, the school board does recognize their students’ rights to free speech.

“While the District supports Free Speech, the disrespectful statements in the yearbook are contrary to the basic educational mission of the District and should not have been included in a school sponsored publication,” the statement said.

Conservative actor Scott Baio, best known for his television roles in “Happy Days” and “Charles in Charge” shared the photo on his Twitter page (https://twitter.com/ScottBaio?lang=en) , tagging the president, the FBI, Sean Hannity and Kellyanne Conway, to alert them of the situation.

So far, there is no word on whether or not the student will face criminal charges in regard to the threat against the president.

brainerd-hs-yearbook2

IS SPICER NEXT TO GO? WHITE HOUSE SOURCES SAY PRESS SECRETARY PRESIDENT’S LATEST TARGET AS TRUMP ATTEMPTS TO DRAIN THE SWAMP

WASHINGTON, D.C. — White House press secretary Sean Spicer may be the next to go as president Donald Trump attempts to rid his cabinet of “establishment” high rollers.

According to a report published by Infowars on Thursday, Spicer could be fired as early as next week as Trump carries out his campaign promise to “drain the swamp”.

The report comes just days after the ultra conservative White House spokesman was reportedly sent to the sidelines amid concerns by Trump that he had become overwhelmed by his high pressure role.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, daughter of former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee, has been called in to step in for Spicer as the president is said to be contemplating his next move. Officially, the White House says Spicer is absent due to a previously scheduled assignment related to his Navy Reserve duty at the Pentagon (http://www.thewrap.com/sean-spicer-skip-comey-press-briefing-sarah-huckabee-sanders-white-house/), but sources say the interim departure couldn’t have come at a better time.

Spicer has come under fire in recent weeks after a series of contentious encounters with members of the left leaning press press left him shaken and visibly angry. During one occasion in early May, the press secretary made headlines after walking out on a scheduled press conference where he refused to answer, or even acknowledge, certain members of the media (http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/reporters-erupt-when-spicer-ends-press-conference-without-taking-questions/article/2621911).

On other occasions, Spicer allowed his anger to get the best of him and engaged in a series of back and forth banters with members of the White House press corps. During one heated exchange in March with American Urban Radio Networks reporter April Ryan, Spicer, borrowing from his Trump’s attack on “fake news”, quipped “I appreciate your agenda here. … At some point, report the facts”. The blow up came after Ryan attempted to corner Spicer on the ongoing allegations of Russian interference with the 2016 election.

According to the Infowars report, Fox News host Kimberly Guilfoyle, who Trump previously considered for the role as White House spokesperson, is among Trump’s top picks to replace Spicer.

Despite the innuendo that Spicer’s career may be the next to follow the fate of former FBI director James Comey, who was fired by Trump earlier this week, a White House spokesperson says the recent speculation about Spicer’s future is baseless.

“Sean has always taken his Navy duties very seriously,” said a White House spokesperson when reached for comment. “So when he says he’s on duty, he’s on duty. There’s nothing more to it than that.”

seanspicer

REPUBLICANS PASS EMBATTLED HEALTH CARE BILL BY NARROW VOTE

WASHINGTON, D.C. — House Republicans on Thursday narrowly passed their beleaguered health care bill by a 217-213 vote not six weeks after a similar bill was defeated for lack of support.

The revised American Health Care Act heads next to the Senate where, if approved, it will replace the Affordable Care Act put into law by the previous Obama administration.

In the end, 20 Republicans voted against the bill, as did all Democrats on record Thursday afternoon. As voting came to an end, House Democrats broke out into a chorus of “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye”, but Republicans eventually got their way.

Upon hearing the news of the vote, President Trump invited Republican lawmakers to the White House for a celebratory press conference.

“Welcome to the beginning of the end of Obamacare,” said Vice President Mike Pence, who credited “the determination, the perseverance and the leadership of Donald Trump” for the passage of the bill.

“What a great group of people, and they’re not even doing it for the party, they’re doing it for the country,” president Trump said as he stood with fellow Republicans in the Rose Garden. “Yes, premiums will be coming down, deductibles will be coming down.”

As Republicans cheered, the pharmaceutical industry’s top lobbying group was more aloof in their response to the House’s passage of the bill.

“Ensuring patients have access to the medicines they need is our top priority. As Congress considers reforms to our health care system, we look forward to continuing to work with them to enhance the competitive market, ensure patients have access to affordable health care and foster the continued development of new innovative medicines,” the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, or PhRMA, said in a statement.

Democrats, however, were quick to berate the Republicans’ triumph.

“The “health care” bill that Republicans passed today is an absolute disaster,” former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders tweeted after the announcement of the bill’s passage.

“Here are the white men who just made domestic violence, sexual assault, C-sections and postpartum depression pre-existing conditions. #AHCA,” tweeted Amy Siskind, President and Co-Founder of The New Agenda, an advocacy group for women’s and LGBTQ rights.

“This disastrous bill has been condemned by almost everyone,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said Thursday during a press conference after the vote. Pelosi said latest version is “worse” than the original and scoffed at claims that it would protect those with pre-existing conditions.

“This is a scar that they will carry,” she said of those who voted yes to pass the bill.

But Republicans seemed unfettered by their Democratic colleagues’ bitter response.
“We want to brag about the plan,” Trump said during the post-vote celebration. “Hey, I’m president!”

The bill effectively eliminates tax penalties put into place by ObamaCare, and removes tax increases that higher income earners health industries were hit with under the Affordable Care Act. The bill also allows states to impose work requirements on Medicaid recipients.

If passed into law, the bill will also retain the ObamaCare mandate that family policies cover grown children until the age of 26.

Critics say states could get federal waivers freeing insurers from other Obama coverage requirements and, with waivers, insurers could charge people with pre-existing illnesses at higher rates than healthy customers, boost prices for older consumers to whatever they determine to be fair and ignore the mandate that they cover specified services such as obstetrics and mental health care.

The bill would block federal funding to Planned Parenthood for a period of at least 12 months, a fact that is considered in and of itself a victory by many pro-life Republicans.

passthebill

EMAILGATE EXPLODES: FBI DIRECTOR CONFIRMS CLINTON FORWARDED CLASSIFIED EMAILS TO ANTHONY WEINER

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who was the subject of an FBI probe amid reports that she stored and sent classified emails from her home computer, allegedly sent some of the highly sensitive emails in question to Anthony Weiner, FBI director James Comey testified on Wednesday.

Clinton, who served as Secretary of State at the time, allegedly stored thousands of government emails and documents on a secret server kept on site at her upstate New York home. How these documents wound up on Weiner’s computer remains a subject of debate, said Comey. The receipt of these emails is of major concern because Weiner, who was married to vice chair of Clinton’s campaign at the time, Huma Abedin, did not have classified clearance to receive such information.

“Somehow, her emails were being forwarded to Anthony Weiner, including classified information,” Comey said. “His then-spouse Huma Abedin appears to have had a regular practice of forwarding emails to him for him to print out for her so she could deliver them to the Secretary of State.”

“Really the central problem we had with the whole email investigation was proving people… had some sense they were doing something unlawful. That was our burden and we were unable to meet it,’’ he said of the FBI’s decision not to charge Clinton in the matter.

“Why did you conclude that neither of them committed a crime?” Sen. John Kennedy, (R)-La., asked Comey during his testimony Wednesday at a Senate judiciary committee hearing.

“Because with respect to Ms. Abedin in particular, we didn’t have any indication that she had a sense that what she was doing was in violation of the law, couldn’t prove any sort of criminal intent,” Comey answered.

Comey also defended his decision to announce that he had reopened the investigation into the Clinton email scandal just days before the election, saying he was forced to choose “between really bad and catastrophic.’’

“The team also told me we cannot finish this work before the election and then they worked night after night after night and they found thousands of new emails, they found classified info on Anthony Weiner,” Comey said while responding to a question from Sen. Dianne Feinstein on Capitol Hill. “Having repeatedly told this Congress we are done and there’s nothing there … To re-start in a hugely significant way, potentially finding the emails that would reflect on her intent from the beginning, and not speak about it would require an act of concealment in my view.”

Meanwhile, as a result of a Freedom of Information request, 29 previously undisclosed email exchanges including classified information were released, part of a total of 317 emails that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton failed to turn over to the State Department, The Washington Free Beacon reported on Tuesday (http://freebeacon.com/national-security/comey-thousands-clinton-emails-forwarded-anthony-weiner/).

“These new emails show Hillary Clinton is a serial violator of various laws concerning the handling of classified material,” said Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch told the Beacon in response to the revelation.

Clinton, speaking at a Womens’ conference on Tuesday, blamed Comey, among others, for her loss to Donald Trump, her Republican rival in the 2016 presidential election. “If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president,” she told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.

Huma-Abedin-Hillary-Clinton-Anthony-Weiner-Getty-640x480

PUTIN STEPS IN: U.S. AND RUSSIA PLEDGE TO ‘WORK TOGETHER’ TO STOP NORTH KOREA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After weeks of escalating tensions between the United States and Russia, president Donald Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin have agreed to put their differences aside to work on a much bigger issue; North Korea.

In a statement on Tuesday, the White House confirmed that the two leaders had spoken by phone and agreed they must work together to help quash the “very dangerous” situation in North Korea.

The Kremlin also confirmed the call, and announced that Putin and Trump have agreed to schedule a face-to-face meeting in Germany in July – possibly coinciding with the upcoming G20 summit in Hamburg.

Although they did not elaborate on the exact details, the Kremlin also confirmed that the pair discussed the ongoing crisis in Syria, which has been a sore spot in U.S., Russia relations since a chemical attack took the lives of dozens of Syrian civilians last month. The White House said that the two leaders are in agreement that “all parties must do all they can to end the violence” in the war torn country, which is in it’s sixth year of a civil war.

“The conversation was a very good one, and included the discussion of safe, or de-escalation, zones to achieve lasting peace for humanitarian and many other reasons” said a White House spokesperson.

The phone conference was the first known discussion between the two leaders since Trump ordered US missile strikes against a Syrian government, who counts Russia as one of it’s staunchest allies.

Meanwhile, China, who has pledged to help play mediator between president Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung Un, on Tuesday urged the United States and North Korea to make contact “as soon as possible” in an effort to cool nuclear tensions.

The plea came from Geng Shuang, spokesperson for China’s Foreign Ministry in response to Trump’s comments this week that he would be willing to meet with Jong Un to discuss their differences “if appropriate.”

“Both sides should reach a political resolution as soon as possible,” Mr Geng said. “The most effective way of attaining an improvement is to seek ways to re- establish dialogue and contact.”

Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea again reached a fever pitch this week after North Korean military officials threatened to sink a US nuclear submarine deployed in South Korean waters.

“The moment the USS Michigan tries to budge even a little, it will be doomed to face the miserable fate of becoming an underwater ghost without being able to come to the surface,” read a statement from the North’s propaganda website Urminzokkiri.
“The urgent fielding of the nuclear submarine in the waters off the Korean Peninsula, timed to coincide with the deployment of the super aircraft carrier strike group, is intended to further intensify military threats toward our republic. Whether it’s a nuclear aircraft carrier or a nuclear submarine, they will be turned into a mass of scrap metal in front of our invincible military power centred on the self-defence nuclear deterrence.”

putintrumpnorthkorea

‘FIX THIS MESS!’ TRUMP DEFENDS SPENDING BILL AS REPUBLICANS BALK

WASHINGTON, D.C. — President Donald Trump on Tuesday defended a $1.1 trillion deal as Republicans lashed back over some of the bill’s most controversial compromises.

The bill, which affords funding to Democratic sponsored programs such as Planned Parenthood, does not include funding to programs deemed priorities by Republicans, such as financing to begin construction of a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, a promise that Trump famously campaigned upon. The bill also provides continued federal funding to so called “sanctuary cities”, a fact that has conservatives outraged.

The president took to Twitter to defend the spending bill, claiming that compromises were necessary in order to avert a government shutdown.

“The reason for the plan negotiated between the Republicans and Democrats is that we need 60 votes in the Senate which are not there!” Trump tweeted, calling for voters to elect more Republican senators in 2018 “or change the rules” of the Senate filibuster. “Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix mess!” he added.

Heritage Action, an organization that promotes conservative causes, blasted the spending bill on Tuesday (https://heritageaction.com/sentinel-professionals/massive-spending-bill-fails-meet-conservative-priorities-2/), claiming the bill “woefully fails the test of fiscal responsibility and does not advance important conservative policies.”

Even mega Trump supporter Rush Limbaugh slammed the proposed legislation during his radio show on Monday, calling out the priorities of the Trump administration in the process.

“Sanctuary cities are continually funded,” said Limbaugh. “Obamacare is not repealed nor is it replaced….Obamacare gets funded. Sanctuary cities get funded. The EPA gets funded through September. Planned Parenthood gets funded. The wall does not. So if you’re asking yourself, ‘Why am I voting Republican?,’ you have a good question.”

“Why is anybody voting Republican, if this is what happens when we win?” Limbaugh added.

Conservative commentator Charles Krauthammer echoed Limbaugh’s sentiments during an interview on Monday’s Fox News. “This is a total loss,” Krauthammer said of the bill.

However, backers of the bill say the president has done his best to compromise in an effort to avoid a government blackout, arguing the deal provides an additional $15 billion for defense spending and a $1.5 billion spending increase for border security.

“The hard fact is in the Senate, Trump is going to have to eight votes from the Democrats to bring this spending bill across the finish line,” Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) of the Ways and Means Committee told Fox News. Rice also noted that the border adjustment tax, which the Trump administration has deemed a priority, remains “on the table.”

A final vote on the bill is expected later this week.

trumpbudgetbill

NOT BACKING DOWN: KIM JUNG-UN WARNS PREEMPTIVE NUCLEAR STRIKE COULD COME ‘AT ANY TIME’ DESPITE TRUMP’S OFFER TO ‘TALK’

PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA — North Korean leader Kim Jong-un announced on Monday that a nuclear launch could come “at any time and at any location” in response to what it called acts of aggression by the United States.

The rogue leader’s comment comes on the same day that U.S. president Donald Trump said he would be willing to sit down with Jong-un to discuss their countries’ differences if the “circumstances were right” (https://rebekahworsham.org/2017/05/01/peace-talks-trump-says-he-would-absolutely-meet-with-north-korean-leader-kim-jung-un-as-world-braces-for-war/).

Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea have been at an all time high for the past several weeks, since the communist country claimed that it has developed nuclear weapons that have the capacity to reach the U.S. mainland.

A spokesman for Jung-un’s military said Pyongyang was “fully ready to respond to any option taken by the US” and that it will “continue bolstering its preemptive nuclear attack” capabilities until Washington refrained from its “hostile policies”.

“The DPRK’s measures for bolstering the nuclear force to the maximum will be taken in a consecutive and successive way at any moment and any place decided by its supreme leadership,” a statement from the state-run KCNA news agency read.

Last week, both Washington, D.C. and Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital city, carried out joint exercises to prepare for the impact of nuclear war. Further, in a nearly unprecedented event, all members of the U.S. Senate were called to the White House to be briefed on the escalating conflict.

The U.S. emergency drills have ended, but naval exercises are continuing in the Sea of Japan (East Sea) with a US strike group led by the aircraft carrier the USS Carl Vinson.

During the past week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called upon the UN Security Council to do more to stop North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and warned of “catastrophic consequences” if the world does not act.

Asked during a Reuters interview on Saturday if a North Korea nuclear test would prompt U.S. military action, Trump replied: “You’ll soon find out.”

kimjongun

YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK: SEATTLE CITY WORKERS GIVEN TIME OFF TO ATTEND ANTI-TRUMP RALLIES

SEATTLE, WA — The city of Seattle has passed a resolution that permits city workers time off to attend anti-Trump protests.

The resolution, which passed unanimously this week (https://seattle.legistar.com/LegislationDetail.aspx?ID=3029606&GUID=632BC851-1321-4A05-865F-48335990330C&Options=Advanced&Search=&FullText=1), declares May 1 a “Day of Action” in which all city employees are encouraged to attend a series of anti-Trump protests instead of reporting to work.

Drafted by Council member Kshama Sawant, a member of the Socialist Alternative party, the mandate orders supervisors of city government departments to remind city workers that they can utilize the two days they receive per year for “days of faith and conscience,” to attend the planned event.

A statement released by Sawant’s office just before the vote read:

“I urge council members to approve this May Day resolution, which explicitly recognizes the right of city workers to take the day off and provides protection to city workers who may otherwise worry about retaliation. May Day has historically been an important day of action for worker and immigrant rights. It’s especially significant this year, with immigrants, working people, labor unions, women, and the LGBTQ community under attack from Donald Trump. If Seattle is truly a Sanctuary City that supports immigrants and working people, then it should lead the way by enabling City employees to stand in solidarity with immigrants and all workers on May 1.

Further, I call on everyone who opposes Trump’s bigoted, anti-worker agenda to participate in peaceful May Day activities, particularly the official May 1 Action Coalition march. Join our growing Resist Trump Coalition to actively organize and build the fightback against the billionaire class. Without workers’ mental and physical labor no business can make profits and none of the productive forces of the world can be harnessed.”

“It’s clear when we organize, mobilize and fight, and when we strike together we can win,” Sawant told her fellow members of city council just before voting took place.

“If we truly want to build a summer of resistance against Trump and the billionaire class,” Sawant told Seattle’s King5, an NBC affiliate, “then we will need disruptive action like shutting down airports, and shutting down highways.”

When reached for comment, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said he supports the idea of Seattle city workers attending the May Day protests, but criticized Sawant’s calls to “fight”.

“I think it would be unfortunate and perhaps even tragic for an elected official to encourage people to confront and engage in confrontation with the police department,” Murray said of Sawant’s comments during a press conference.

Washington State Patrol Captain Ron Mead took it a step further, calling Sawant’s rhetoric “reckless and irresponsible.”

“It’s unsafe for both protesters and motorists alike, and we are simply not going to tolerate that unlawful behavior of trying to shut down the interstate or state highway systems,” he told local radio station KIRO.

While all city employees are eligible for the day off and encouraged to attend, the time taken off for the event will reportedly be unpaid. When asked who will cover the needs of the city as employees attend the protest, a spokesperson for city council replied, “no comment”.

seattleprotest

PREPPING FOR WAR: NORTH KOREA HOLDS ‘LIVE FIRE’ DRILLS AS U.S. BATTLE SHIP DRAWS NEAR

PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA — North Korea on Tuesday conducted a mass live-fire drill that reportedly involved up to 400 artillery pieces under the supervision of leader, Kim Jong Un. The drill is just the latest indication that the rogue state is preparing to launch a preemptive strike against the U.S., say military experts.

The drill comes on the heels of the approach of a nuclear-powered American submarine that is currently barreling toward the region.

As reported on Monday, the entire U.S. Senate has been called to the White House for an emergency briefing of the conflict (https://rebekahworsham.org/2017/04/24/brink-of-war-entire-senate-called-to-white-house-for-briefing-on-north-korea-as-rogue-state-warns-of-preemptive-strike/).

According to White House press secretary Sean Spicer, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats are have cleared their schedule in order to update members of the Senate on the latest developments.

Meanwhile, China president Xi Jinping has warned Kim Jong Un that should war break out between the United States and North Korea, it will be Korea that suffers most.

In an editorial piece for the Global Times, a publication that is widely regarded as the official news source of the Communist Party, Chinese government officials wrote: “The game of chicken between Washington and Pyongyang has come to a breaking point.”

The warning continued that “it is more likely than ever that the situation will cross the point of no return” and that “all stakeholders will bear the consequences, with Pyongyang sure to suffer the greatest losses.”

Lu Kang, spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry, urged Kim Jung un to find a peaceful solution to the conflict before “it is too late”.

“The current situation on the Korean Peninsula is complicated and sensitive and the tension is high,” said Kang.“We urge all sides concerned to keep restrained and calm and refrain from taking actions that could escalate tensions.”

The aid of the Chinese government comes just weeks after president Donald Trump met with Xi Jinping and essentially told him that destruction of the United States was not in China’s best interests. “If we go down, our debt to you and the trillions that you make from us in foreign trade goes down with us,” Trump reportedly told Jinping.

Despite warnings from their Chinese neighbors, North Korea has seemingly remained defiant.

“There is no limit to the strike power of the People’s Army armed with our style of cutting-edge military equipment including various precision and miniaturised nuclear weapons and submarine-launched ballistic missiles,” a government spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday to a Pyongyang-based newspaper (https://www.rte.ie/news/2017/0425/870024-donald-trump-wants-tougher-new-sanctions-on-north-korea/).

Trump on Tuesday said that “one way or another” North Korea’s nuclear weapons program must be stopped.

“North Korea is a big world problem,” said the president, “and it’s a problem we have to finally solve.”

warwithkorea