Who is to blame for this awful US election?Yesterday
Fox News? The four horsemen of the Republican apocalypse? The FBI? Whatever the outcome, historians will judge harshly those who did not stop Trump when they could
The US election might not aim tomorrow. Anyone who lived through the photo-finish of 2000, when it took until mid-December for a win to be declared and only then by a ruling of the supreme court will know that a presidential competition does not always make a chairwoman, at the least not right away. But one thing will certainly be over and that is the dizzying, sometimes nauseating, 18 -month-long saga that has been the 2016 campaign.
It is standard to describe a US presidential tournament as bitternes and divisive. In 2012, the Protector front-page tale branded the combat of Barack Obama v Mitt Romney one of the most closely opposed and polarised in recent history. Appearing back, that race looks like a veritable doctrine seminar, exemplary in its civility and decorum, compared with this one.
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No, Mr Trump, we’re not the same as the neo-Nazis | Emily Gorcenski2 days ago
In Charlottesville I faced off with men bearing torches and swastikas hollering Jews will not replace us. Yet the president guess both sides are to blame
The president of the United States called a mob of people marching with torches and chanting Nazi mottoes very fine people. Fine people dont chant Nazi slogans. Fine people dont surround and attack college student. And fine people dont stand with those who do.
I was there that night in Charlottesville. I can say with certainty that the only fine people I ensure were the young students who stood outnumbered and ready to defend their campus and their beliefs against an onslaught of demagoguery.
I know some of those students. They were ready to die for what they believed in. I was prepared to die, too. A man wearing a swastika pin shouted transphobic and racist vitriol at me, inches from my face.
The only fine people that night were those sprayed with mace and doused with lighter fluid from the torches that they were beaten with, afraid of being burned alive. Fine people dont wear swastikas. Yet President Trump blamed both sides, despite the fact that merely one side was run down by a terrorist.
I was there when the attack happened. Despite the president deeming me a transgender girl unfit for military service, I operated toward the attacker with a weapon. I was ready to engage him if he tried to hurt more people.
I reached out to groups attending this event from the left, right and center to advise nonviolence. Meanwhile, the unite the right marchers told things like well fucking kill them if we have to on camera.
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What happens when the super-rich write the tax rules? They fail | David Cay Johnston3 days ago
The Paradise Papers reveal how dark fund regulations the world. We cant let this conduct put our liberties, and our fortunes, in jeopardy
The Paradise Papers, the internal documents of a Bermuda law firm, reveal a problem far more pernicious than the unethical conduct by thousands and thousands of wealthy individuals around the world.
Humans will always have to be dealt with personal dishonesty. What the Paradise Papers show is how dishonesty is being promoted on a mass scale and how corruption is being institutionalized. The 13. 4m files show that what are supposed to be windows of revealing into the finances of high officials are easily covered with blinds made by piecing together business statutes from multiple jurisdictions.
As the super-rich increasingly hold the reins of governments in the US and other countries, the rules to make sure they act with integrity and in the public interest fail. That’s because the rules were written to guard against petty corruption among people of little to no wealth.
None other than Donald Trump told us this. In July 2015, a few weeks after launching his presidential campaign, Trump filed his first fiscal disclosure statement and then belittled the requirements.” This report was not designed for a man of Mr. Trump’s massive wealth ,” he wrote in a statement.
Conflict of interest, ethics and fiscal revealing regulations conceived in earlier hours to reveal bribes and favors are of little use when the elected or appointed officials are already rich- especially should they seek to escape disclosure of their holds, hide their unsavory associations and avoid taxes, whether through dubious business structures or outright fraud.
Wilbur Ross, Trump’s commerce secretary, is revealed in the Paradise Papers to do business with the family of Vladimir Putin.
This is astonishing given the insistence by Trump and his administration that merely” fake news” connects his administration, his campaign and him personally to the Kremlin, which clearly sought to influence the 2016 general elections on Trump’s behalf.
Ross defends his investment in the shipping company Navigator Keeps by noting he is not the majority shareholder. True, but misleading. Ross was in control before becoming commerce secretary, his private equity firm still owns almost a one-third of the company and his personal fiscal revealing indicates he owns a stake worth up to $10 m. That is a tiny share of the billionaire’s wealth, but it is not, as the tax lawyers like to say, de minimis.
In all, the Paradise Papers present, Ross is involved with 50 Cayman Islands companies and partnerships administered by Appleby, the law firm whose files were obtained by the German newspaper Suddeutsche Zeitung and shared by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists with partners including the Guardian. The ICIJ is the same organization that last year brought forth the Panama Papers, files from the law firm Mossack Fonseca.
Offshore business entities can have legitimate purposes, as the journalist group was careful to note. But the Appleby files, like those from Mossack Fonseca, make clear that plenty of dubious and probably illegal conduct was taking place, too.
The law firm Appleby, with its home in Bermuda and satellite offices in nine other taxation havens, says it has done nothing incorrect. Appleby says it that it is the victim of criminals hacking into its computers. It also says “its not” perfect, so if illegal conduct is discovered it was because of what it characterizes as mistakes that all humans make.
Appleby’s attitude toward integrity in foreign jurisdictions is hinted at in a PowerPoint presentation about anti-money laundering. One slide says:” Some of the crap we are adopting is astonishing, altogether amazing .”
That it does not violate the law in a country where Appleby has offices to facilitate taxation cheating by citizens of some other countries is a solid legal defense. It is not, however, an ethical defense.
The virtually 13.4 m Appleby files demonstrate systematic undermining of not only taxation regimes, but of ethical conduct by public officials. And that is where the real damage lies, in chipping away at one of the pillars of liberty and self-governance: integrity and the expectation that elected and appointed officials will act solely in the public interest, never against it.
Appleby clients get away with their misconduct because rules governing finance and money motions have not caught up with the realities of the modern financial systems.
We need a robust public debate about the need for rigorous rules on conflicts of interest, corruption and disclosure. Without it, dark fund will rule the world and set our autonomies, and our fortunes, in jeopardy. Tell your lawmakers to act in the public interest- or you’ll vote for someone who will.
David Cay Johnston is a Pulitzer prize-winning investigative reporter specializing in taxes
She could have been a top US soccer player. Problem was, she was undocumented3 days ago
Allyson Duarte was good, worked hard, and dreamed of playing soccer at a top US college. But she soon learned talent means nothing when you dont have papers
She came to America to chase a soccer career only to learn that talent means nothing here when you are undocumented. Now 25 -year-old Allyson Duarte sits inside an airport named Reagan, gazing at a city called Washington, and wonders which politicians will ruin their own lives next.
Through a giant window at Reagan national airport she can see the US Capitol gleaming in the late-day sun. The day before she had been inside under its dome with 1,000 other Dreamer- undocumented high school graduates brought here as children like her- asking Congress to pass a Dream Act that protects high school and college graduates without criminal records.
But as she waits for a flight back to Texas, where she has lived since eighth grade, she worries that supportive words from representatives and senators might not be enough, a legislative solution won’t be reached for Dreamer and he will be shipped back to Mexico.
What is the American Dream any more? Once she thought she knew. That was back when she was 13 in Veracruz, Mexico, wanted nothing more than to access the US soccer system, go to college and play professionally. She believed the American Dream all the way through high school in McAllen, Texas, where she had a 3.8 grade point average and an ability to play almost stanceon the field. She thought those things alone would get her into almost any top soccer school, until she realise those colleges sometimes flew to away matches and because she had no government ID she wouldn’t be able to get on the planes. If she couldn’t fly, she couldn’t play college soccer.
By the time Barack Obama generated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in 2012 letting her to procure a work permit( that lets her fly) her chance to play college football had passed.
” I was this close ,” she says, leaning forward in her seat, pinching her thumb and index fingers virtually together.” That’s how I started questioning meritocracy and the American Dream. I had to grapple with their own problems of not having access to the American Dream .”
Then she slumps back in the chair, sighs heavily and gazes in silence at the city that has reduced people like her to a television talking point.
As a child, Duarte loved soccer, playing it every day on the street outside her mothers’ home in Veracruz. She didn’t care the other players were all boys. She could play rough. She could play fast. When she was 12 she joined a local women’s club. The players were all 18 and essentially adults. But playing with them stimulated her realize how good she could be. She was convinced she could play professionally.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
Dallas grieves at first funerals after shooting: ‘Hate has constructed us stronger’4 days ago
Services were held on Wednesday for Brent Thompson, who served in the citys transit system police department, Sgt Michael Smith and Sr Cpl Lorne Ahrens
Services were also held on Wednesday for Dallas police Sgt Michael Smith and Dallas police Sr Cpl Lorne Ahrens. Dallas police officer Michael Krols funeral is set for Friday, and Dallas police officer Patrick Zamarripas funeral will be held on Saturday. All five were killed by a sniper during a march to protest recent fatal shootings of black men in Minnesota and Louisiana by police.
Thompsons death marked the first killing of a Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer since its inception in 1989.
We grieve his loss, we honor his gallantry, the Dart chief, James Spiller, told a crowd of hundreds of officers from departments around the city and as far as Canada and England, at the Potters House church.
The Dart department has received much less attention than the far larger Dallas city police department, in the aftermath of the shooting. It is one of the largest police departments in the state, though, with a mandate to protect the citys rail and bus system.
Forty-three-year-old Thompsons life and death personified the capricious nature of violence and murder.
He was a US marine, and served in the most hazardous parts of Afghanistan and Iraq, where he survived a bombing that left him deaf in his right ear.
He returned to Dallas where he settled into a life of law enforcement, working his way up from a local jail to a school police department to the Dart force. Just two weeks before the shooting, he married a fellow Dart officer, Emily. She filed their matrimony certification at the district clerks office the morning Thompson died.
The funeral was simple. Thompsons casket lay at the front of the sanctuary, draped in an American flag and accompanied by a photo of the officer.
His wife approached the rostrum with her police partner at her side, just in case I cant make it through and need backup, she told.
Yes, this act of violence hurt law enforcement, she told the crowd. But to the coward who tried to break me and my brothers and sisters know that your abhor has constructed us stronger.
Gunman Micah Johnson was killed when authorities used a robot to explode an explosive as negotiations faltered. Nine officers and two civilians were injured in the attack.
In an emotional moment, Thompsons six children from a previous marriage, all young adults, took the stage. They spoke of how hard their parent worked, often at two jobs, to support them.
One of his four daughters, Sandy, recurred the line she had told him each day for years as he left home for work: Goodbye Daddy, we love you. Be safe.
After the service, officers from throughout Texas, Tennessee, Illinois, perimeter patrol and elsewhere stood and saluted as Thompsons casket left the church, and headed toward his burial site in Corsicana, Texas, an hour south of Dallas.
Also on Wednesday, a few hundred mourners gathered for a Catholic funeral service in the suburb of Farmers Branch for Smith, a former US army ranger known for his upbeat attitude and compassionate approach to others.
Smith joined the Dallas police force in 1989. He once received a Cops Cop award from the Dallas Police Association.
A public service was scheduled on Thursday for Smith at a Dallas church where he worked security.
In the Dallas suburb of Plano, mourners were told of Ahrens work with the Los Angeles county sheriffs department and day as semi-pro football player before moving to Texas and to intervene in the Dallas police force. Ahrens was known as a gentle giant and a voracious reader, whose intelligence was equal to his size.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
Read more: www.theguardian.com
Women’s rights are on the retreat yet again. Why? | Barbara Ellen5 days ago
Donald Trumps ruling attaining it easier for companies to opt out of providing free family planning highlightings the need for vigilance
When modern females are ultimately fitted with their regulation compulsory chastity belts, dare one dream that they’ll come in a range of fairly colours, delightful the documentation and snazzy designs? Or would it simply be the old-school medieval iron trad models? Hey, little ladies, do you think we’d be allowed to choose?
I muse facetiously because, in the US, President Trump has issued a ruling that makes it far easier for companies and insurers to opt out of free birth control to employees on the grounds of religious and moral beliefs, rolling back a key feature of Obamacare. Now that it will become easier to opt out, many more will do so, with the health risks to affect 55 million females. The American Civil Liberties Union( ACLU) and the National Women’s Law Center have announced that they will sue the government over the decision.
Obamacare provisions also encompassed treatment for gynaecological conditions such as endometriosis and polycystic ovarian syndrome. Now, many girls will be worried about being able to afford such therapies. However, these unfortunate girls probably just count as collateral injury. Apart from the huge amount of money that big business will save, the real target there are sexual autonomy, doubtless all sexual independence, but specifically the female kind that a certain mindset have all along wanted to control.
Contraception, though imperfect, was one of the chief liberators of women, taking much of the dread out of sex. Thus, this removal of free family planning could only be about putting the dread back into sexuality. At the least, putting an end to the corporate bankrolling of the more liberal, humanist, proactive and protective approaches to sex.
It should come as no surprise that among the reasons cited for the change were findings that access to contraception incited” risky sex behaviour “. Eh? One would have thought that reduced access to contraception was far riskier and that, for both sexualities, access to barrier contraception would be the least “risky” of all?
However, even believing like this is to participate in the delusion that this is about people enjoying themselves safely. Take away the figleaf of social responsibility and this becomes about stopping people being able to enjoy sexuality when they want, with whom they want, without anxiety of the results of unwanted pregnancy. And when I say ” people”, I mainly mean women.
Not that things are so peachy for reproductive rights back in Europe. Even as an Irish abortion reform referendum is under discussion for next year, a poll has revealed that only 24% of Irish people are in favour of legalising terminations in nearly all cases. Meanwhile, Prof Lesley Regan, the president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, has argued that parts of the 1967 Abortion Act are outdated and that females need faster, safer access to abortion, without the necessity of achieving the approval of two separate physicians- thus far to no avail. The lesson seems to be that it will never be over- there will always be laws that need to be updated and, where needed, protected. Where the Trump contraceptive ruling is concerned, it’s scary enough that it’s such a backward step- yet scarier that it has been so slyly done.
It’s an example of how a quite subtle shifting of legislative emphasis- simply making something easy( the opt-out) that had previously been difficult- could be enough to undermine, or even destroy, major sociopolitical progress, with far-reaching repercussions for women. The imminence of chastity belts or not, this appears to be an era when there’s a real need for women to stay alert- when hard-fought gains could be eroded in an instant with the quiet swish of a departmental pen.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
Ted Cruz Twitter account ‘likes’ pornographic tweet8 days ago
Married Texas senator, who once defended a ban on sex dolls, asked to explain how his account came to like the graphic post
Texas senator Ted Cruz has been asked to explain himself after his official account “liked” a pornographic tweet.
Although liking a Twitter post does not necessarily share it, the tweet became available to view on Cruz’s confirmed profile, leading to series of awkward screenshots.
Kenneth Starr’s job in peril for handled in Baylor University sex assault occurrences9 days ago
Starr, a key figure in the Whitewater dispute , now faces a possible ousting as president of the Texas school for mishandling reports of rape by football players
He was a leading casting member in that seemingly remote drama of Whitewater, Monica Lewinsky and the impeachment of Bill Clinton. Now Kenneth Starr, bete noire of liberals in America, is making a comeback, though not entirely of his choosing.
Starr, the president of Baylor University in Waco, Texas, is facing mounting pressure over how the university has handled reports of rape and assault by football players. The university says its governing board is still studying the results of an internal investigation and has refused to confirm speculation that Starr will be ousted.
The scandal comes merely a week after the 69 -year-old caused a stir by heaping kudo on Clinton, his one-time nemesis as a special prosecutor. There are certain tragic dimensions which we all lament, he said during a panel discussion in Philadelphia, referring obliquely to the unpleasantness of that time and lauding Clinton as the most gifted politician of the baby boomer generation.
The remarks were timely as the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump seeks to revive sordid tales of the former chairpeople indiscretions, as weapons in his election campaign against Hillary Clinton. But they also came as no surprise to friends of Starr who say he has been incorrectly demonised and should not be hurriedly judged in the Baylor case.
Im a Clinton person and I hold Ken Starr in the highest regard, said his close friend Akhil Reed Amar, Sterling professor of statute and political science at Yale University, who had a three-hour lunch with him last Sunday. If he believed there was wrongdoing at Baylor, he would never want to cover it up; he would want to get to the bottom of it.
Starr, who was born in Vernon, Texas, and grew up in San Antonio, was a high-flying lawyer before he was Clintons widely despised tormentor. He taught at New York University School of Law, George Mason University School of Law in Fairfax, Virginia and Chapman Law School in Orange, California.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
‘No Fascist USA! ‘: how hardcore punk gas the Antifa movement13 days ago
The anti-fascist motion describe on punks political awareness and network for activism and right now may be its most crucial moment
” No Trump! No KKK! No Fascist USA !”
When Green Day chanted the repurposed lyrics from Texan punk trailblazers MDC’s 1981 sung Born to Die during the 2016 American Music Awards, it dedicated the burgeoning anti-Trump, anti-fascist motion the slogan it needed- and it would soon appear on placards, T-shirts and be chanted by protesters in their thousands in months to arrived.
It was a tiny piece of punk history writ big on American cultural life- but it only devoted the merest hint of US hardcore punk’s influence on the current political landscape.
As political commentators struggle to nail down the exact nature of Antifa‘s masked legions, they’ve overlooked one thing: Antifa has been critically influenced by hardcore punk for nearly four decades.
From on the collectivist principles of anarchist punk bands such as Crass and Conflict, the political outrage of groups such as the Dead Kennedys, MDC and Discharge, Antifa depicts on decades of protest, self-protection and informal networks under the auspices of a musical motion.
Mark Bray, author of The Antifa Handbook, says that” in many cases, the North American modern Antifa movement grew up as a route to defend the punk scene from the neo-Nazi skinhead movement, and the founding fathers of the original Anti-Racist Action network in North America were anti-racist skinheads. The fascist/ anti-fascist struggle was essentially a fight for control of the punk scene[ during the 1980 s ], and that was true across of much of north America and in parts of Europe in this epoch .”
” There’s a huge overlap between revolutionary left politics and the punk scene, and there’s a stereotype about dirty anarchists and punks, which is an oversimplification but grounded in a certain amount of truth .”
Drawing influence from anti-fascist groups in 1930 s Germany, the UK-based Anti-Fascist Action formed in the late 70 s in reaction the growing popularity of rightwing political parties such as the National Front and the British Movement. They would shut down extreme-right meetings at every opportunity, whether it be a procession or a gathering in a room above a pub. Inspired by this, anti-racist skinheads in Minneapolis formed Anti-Racist Action, which soon gained traction in punk scenes across the US. Meanwhile, in New York, a movement called Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice jumped up.
The term ” Antifa” was adopted by German antifascists in the 80 s, accompanied by the twin-flag logo, which then spread around Europe, and finally pitched up in the US after being adopted by an anarchist collective in Portland, Oregon.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
When Nigel Farage met Julian Assange14 days ago
Why did Ukips ex-leader want to slip in unnoticed to satisfy the WikiLeaks chief at the Ecuadorian embassy?
On 9 March 2017, an ordinary Thursday morning, Ian Stubbings, a 35 -year-old Londoner, was walking down the street near its term of office in South Kensington when he spotted a familiar face. He turned and saw a human entering the redbrick terrace which houses the Ecuadorian embassy, where the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been holed up since 2012. And the familiar face? It was Nigel Farage, the person who is spearheaded Britains exit from the European Union.
I thought hang in a moment, Stubbings says. That appears a little bit dodgy. I knew the building was the embassy because I often ensure camera crews outside. But there was no one else around. I was the only person whod seen him. And I didnt know what the significance was and I still dont actually but I thought: thats got to be worth telling and I was the only person whod witnessed it.
So, at 11.22 am, he tweeted it. His handle is @custardgannet and he wrote: Genuine scoop: merely saw Nigel Farage enter the Ecuadorian embassy. Moments later, a reporter from BuzzFeed, who happened to follow him on Twitter, picked it up and tweeted him back, and Stubbings told her: No press or cameras around.
No press or cameras around, that is, until BuzzFeed turned up just in time to catch Farage leaving, 40 minutes later. Nigel Farage Just Visited the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, the headline said. Asked by BuzzFeed News if hed been visiting Julian Assange, the former Ukip leader said he could not remember what he had been doing in the building.
And that was how the world found out, by collision, that the founder of WikiLeaks, the organisation which published Hillary Clintons leaked emails a decisive advantage for Donald Trumps campaign and Farage, a friend of Donald Trump, were mutually acquainted.
In Britain, we routinely treat Farage as if he were Widow Twankey in “the member states national” pantomime that is Ukip politics. And Widow Twankey dropping by on the man who lives in the Ecuadorian embassy broom cupboard seemed just one more weird moment in the weird times in which we now live; six weeks on, it had faded into yet another episode in the surreality show that now passes for normality.
But in a week that find two major developments on either side of the Atlantic regarding the respective roles that Assange and Farage played in the US election and the EU referendum the same week in which a UK general election was announced it is an attitude that needs urgent re-examination.
For if you were to pick three the persons who have the most decisive impact on that most decisive of years, 2016, it would be hard to see beyond Trump, Assange and Farage. What was not known until Ian Stubbings decided to go for an early lunch is that there is a channel of communication between them.
Last week brought this more clearly into focus. Because in a shock developing last Thursday, the US justice department announced it had prepared charges with a view to arresting Assange. A day subsequently, the Electoral Commission announced it was investigating Leave.EU the Brexit campaign Farage headed.
Significantly, the commission said its investigation was focused on whether one or more gifts including of services accepted by Leave.EU was impermissible.
One of the grounds on which a gift can be deemed impermissible is that it comes from abroad. A fundamental principle of British democracy and our elections law is that foreign citizens and foreign companies cannot buy influence in British elections via campaign donations.
Read more: www.theguardian.com