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.
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.
‘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
Trump in Moscow: what happened at Miss Universe in 201318 days ago
The pageant and the presidents attempts to get close to Putin have become a focus of the investigation into Trumps links to Russian interference in the US election
Sitting in a makeshift studio overlooking the Moscow river on a crisp day in November 2013, Donald Trump pouted, stared down the lens of a television camera and said something he would come to regret.
Asked by an interviewer whether he had a relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin, the brash New York businessman could not resist boasting.” I do have a relationship with him ,” Trump said.
Russia’s strongman had” done a rather brilliant task “, Trump told MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts, before declaring that Putin had bested Barack Obama.” He’s done an amazing undertaking- he’s put himself actually at the forefront of the world as a leader in a short period of time .”
Trump, a teetotaler, seemed intoxicated by the buzz surrounding the glitzy event that had brought him back to Moscow: that year’s instalment of the Miss Universe contest that he then owned.
Four years later, he is struggling to shake off the hangover.
The 2013 pageant has become a focal point for the simultaneous investigations, led by special counsel Robert Mueller and congressional committees, into whether associates of Trump colluded with Russian officials to help them win the 2016 US presidential election.
Investigators are examining closely endeavours apparently made by the Russian government to pass Trump’s team damaging information on Hillary Clinton, using Trump’s politically connected Miss Universe business partners as couriers.
They are also looking into the $20 m fee that Trump collected for putting on the pageantry from those same business partners- along with extraordinary allegations about Trump’s private conduct behind closed doors at the Ritz-Carlton hotel during his 2013 stay in Moscow.
The Guardian has learned of additional, previously unreported, the linkages between Trump’s business partners on the pageantry and Russia’s government. The ties are likely to attract further scrutiny by researchers who are already biting at the heels of Trump associates.
A full accounting of Trump’s actions in the Russian capital as that autumn turned to winter may be critical to resolving a controversy that has already devoured the first eight months of his presidency.
” Our committee’s investigation will not be complete unless we fully understand who President Trump met with when he was over in Russia for Miss Universe, and what follow-up contacts resulted ,” Eric Swalwell, a California Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said in an interview.
Trump’s attorney, John Dowd, declined to answer when asked whether the president’s team accepts that the Miss Universe contest is a legitimate area of inquiry for investigators.” Fake news ,” Dowd said in an email.
A weak and paranoid chairwoman leads rapidly to a weak and paranoid government | Richard Wolffe1 month, 8 days ago
Donald Trump and his dishonesty ooze everywhere in Washington, and it is taking a toll on Americas claim to moral leadership and harming its economy
In Donald Trumps Washington, the first casualty is truth. His dishonesty seeps across the city until it poisons whats left of anyones reputation. Congressional leaders, administration officials, ethics lawyers, Americas moral leadership: it has taken less than 3 months to undermine them all.
Take the case of the hapless Andrew Bowen, a grasping Republican foreign policy blowhard who should be entering a bumper labour markets. Bowen has a couple of thinktank gigs and a column at the august Arab News, where he perpetrated the cardinal sin of praising Hillary Clinton.
There he also took a clear-eyed view of one Donald Trump, which is where his shame begins. Bowen called the 45 th chairwoman boorish and predatory and accused him of whipping xenophobia and anti-Muslim sentiments. All of which is beyond reasonable doubt to any jury of 12 good humen, and true.
Not so much in Trumpworld, where Bowen is now hoping to get a job in an administration that values loyalty tests above competence, public service, patriotism or the the effective functioning of government. So Bowen demanded that the editors of Arab News delete all evidence of his previous good judgment, because as those editors put it in a public note this is needed for him to be cleared for what he claims to be a possible job with the new Donald Trump administrations State Department.
The editors refused to take down his work and wished him the best of luck in his task application.
Dont bother looking for the columns: they are mysteriously no longer available on the website of Arab News.
This is how dishonesty infects a government and the nation it seeks to lead. Loyalty tests are not just confined to junior jobseekers. They can be extended to all visitors to the United States, in what the Trumpsters are calling extreme vetting.
If the plans move forward, homeland security officials will be able to demand access to social media accounts and cellphones from any guest at the border.
As Gene Hamilton, senior counselor to the homeland security secretary, John Kelly, explained to the Wall Street Journal: If there is any doubt about a persons intentions coming to the United States, they should have to overcome really and truly prove to our satisfaction that they are coming for legitimate reasons.
When your Muslim travel ban fails in the courts, repeatedly, you can always cook up some arbitrary border rules that make a mock of American values.
Who could have predicted that America First would set American values last? How could anyone know that treating vast swathes of guests like terrorist suspects might actually harm the American economy?
The Trump effect is already leading to 40% of colleges reporting fewer applications from international students, depriving the US of one of its greatest resources the best of the worlds brainpower.
And analysts estimate that Trump has cost the US travel industry more than $185 m in lost business since the start of his presidency. Which more than outweighs all that Oval Office bluster about job creation.
It turns out thata weak and paranoid chairperson leads very rapidly to a weak and paranoid government. It also turns out theres a difference between playing the role of a business exec on reality Tv and actually knowing something about the economy.
Tourism and academia can rebound, once Trump abandons his silliness or simply leaves office. It will take far longer to restore trust in the principles of American leadership.
Truth-telling used to be so easy for previous occupants of the White House that honesty was itself a forceful measure of American influence. Behind that truth-telling lay the implicit power of the worlds greatest armed forces, the worlds biggest and most expert diplomatic corps, and the worlds richest economy.
So when a foreign tyrant engaged in mass murder utilizing chemical weapons that threaten global security, it used to be a simple reaction for any presidential personnel: is the truth, with moral clarity.
Instead, we have a White House that witnesses the horror of a chemical attack on Syrian civilians and contrives first to condemn its predecessors more than the perpetrators. With as many as 100 dead and the smell of toxic chemicals lingering in the air of northern Syria, the White House laid the blamed on Barack Obama.
These heinous actions by the Bashar al-Assad regime are a consequence of the past administrations weakness and irresolution, Trump declared in the second sentence of a brief written statement.
No, Donald. The heinous actions are the consequence of a heinous leader, supported by your heinous friend Vladimir Putin. But you always find it difficult to tell the truth about Vladimir, dont you?
In his joint press conference with King Abdullah of Jordan on Wednesday, Trump said hed changed his mind about Assad after the chemical assaults. Its already happened that my posture toward Syria and Assad has changed very much, he said.
But that was only after he made it clear that he had not changed his attitude at all to Obama. I believe the Obama administration had a great opportunity to solve this crisis a long time ago when he said the red line in the sand, he said.
And when he didnt cross that line after attaining the threat, I think that set us back a long ways , not only in Syria, but in many other parts of the world, because it was a blank menace. I think it was something that was not one of our better days as a country.
For a chairman famous for his hype and less famous for his delivery, this is what New Yorkers call a high degree of chutzpah.
Trumps words dont only represent a break with protocol. They represent a massive breach with decades of Republican and Democratic foreign policy: human rights abuses are war crimes with no excuse. Not even if you really dislike your predecessor.
The statement is a permanent stain on the rsums of everyone working on the Trump national security squad. Then again, we should be grateful there was a statement of different kinds. Over at the state department, poor Rex Tillerson is struggling to get his head around this whole diplomacy thing. The secretary of state discovers it hard to be diplomatic to his own staff and press, issuing the worlds greatest non-statement on the otherwise clearcut issue of North Koreas rocket tests.
North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile, said the man who used to run one of the largest multinational corporations in the world. The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment.
Andrew Bowen should consider himself lucky that his chore application is going nowhere. We have yet to reach the 100 -day mark, but the course is already situated: a weak chairman who cannot( or will not) is the truth is resulting a weak administration that looks and sounds an awful plenty like himself.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
20 Dems for 2020: who might the Democrat field next time around?1 month, 12 days ago
As Trump celebrates his first anniversary and Democratic thinks turn to the next election, we run down the contenders, from big names to dark horses
Democrats had thought they would be celebrating the one-year anniversary of Hillary Clinton being elected the first female president in American history, at long last transgres that” highest, hardest glass ceiling “.
The Democratic party has instead been relegated to watching from the sidelines as Donald Trump continues to flout institutional norms, often choosing to govern in 140 characters or less.
In an ordinary political climate, Democrats would seem well positioned to attain Trump a one-term president. And yet one year after the election, the party remains in search of a leader.
But that’s not to say Democrat are without options as they look ahead to 2020. While there’s no clear frontrunner to claim the mantle- and responsibility- of the next presidential nominee, a long list of potential competitors is emerging as the Democratic party seeks to dethrone Trump.
Imagine there’s no Sgt Pepper. It’s all too easy in the era of Trump and May | John Harris1 month, 27 days ago
This great Beatles album is as thrilling a listen as ever on its 50 th anniversary: but its a melancholy day for the one-world counterculture the record soundtracked
At the time Sgt Pepper was released, the American writer Langdon Winner once recalled, I happened to be driving across the country on Interstate 80. In each city where I stopped for gas or food Laramie, Ogallala, Moline, South Bend the tunes wafted in from some far-off transistor radio or portable hi-fi For a brief while, the irreparably fragmented consciousness of the west was unified, at the least in the minds of the young.
How far away it all seems. On 26 May the 50th anniversary of the Beatles Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band( it actually falls on 1 June) is likely to be marked by the release of remixed and repackaged versions of the original album. With his characteristically jolly meeknes, Paul McCartney insists in the latest issue of Mojo magazine that its only a record but its gained in notoriety over the years. The truth is that Sgt Pepper might be the most confident, boundary-pushing record British rock musicians had already been generated, and it is worth revisiting again.
We might also think about the era the album crystallised, and its long legacy. Sgt Pepper is not quite the quintessentially psychedelic, love-and-peace artefact of historical cliche: streaked through its multicoloured astonish is a very Beatle-ish various kinds of melancholy, partly rooted in the bands decidedly unpsychedelic postwar childhoods. But the wider culture moment, and the Beatles place at its heart, were indeed replete with beads, buzzers and a wide-eyed optimism.
Three weeks after the album came out, the band were the biggest attraction in the worlds first global satellite TV demonstrate, singing All You Need Is Love to an audience of as many as 350 million. Meanwhile, on both the US west coast and in swinging London, young people on the cutting edge genuinely were trying to push into a future very different from the one their parents had envisaged.
The so-called counterculture may not initially have reached much beyond its urban nerve centres and campuses. But the basic ideas Sgt Pepper soundtracked soon acquired enough influence to begin no end of social revolutions. A new emphasis on self-expression was manifested in the decisive arrival of feminism and gay liberation. Countries and borders came a distant second to the idea of one world.
Such shibboleths as matrimony until death and a job for life were quickly weakened. Once the leftist unrest of 1968 was out of the way, the shift continued away from the old-fashioned politics of systems and social structures towards the idea of freeing ones mind everything coloured with an essentially optimistic position of the future.
Two years after Sgt Peppers release, a young alumnu at Wellesley College, a women-only institution in Massachusetts, dedicated a speech. Our persisting acquisitive and competitive corporate life, including tragically the universities, is not the way of life for us, she said. Were searching for more immediate, ecstatic, and penetrating modes of living. And so our topics, our questions about our institutions, about our colleges, about our churches, about our government continue.
Her name was Hillary Rodham, and her journey says a lot about where 1960 s values eventually resulted us. To quote the music novelist Charles Shaar Murray, the line from hippy to yuppie was not nearly as convoluted as some people subsequently liked to believe and once the love decades more ambitious alumni reached positions of power, the origin of many of their notions was as clear as day.
Their professed distaste for corporate values fell away, but the hippy individualism summed up in the future Hillary Clintons insistence on immediate and ecstatic ways of life lived on, as did a questioning attitude to tradition, and to the stifling the limit of the old-fashioned nation state.
After the anti-6 0s backlash symbolised by Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan, by the mid-9 0s such notions were shaping a new political establishment, exemplified by Bill Clinton, and Blair and Browns New Labour. I am a modern man, from the rocknroll generation. The Beatles, colour TV, thats my generation, said Blair. Clinton honked away at his saxophone and ended his rallies with a song by Fleetwood Mac.
It is not hard to read across from these legislators ideals to what they soaked up in their formative years. In 2005 Blair, who fronted a long-haired band while at Oxford University, told the Labour party conference that people should be swift to adapt, slow to complain open, willing and able to change. Collectivity was yesterdays thing; against a background of globalisation and all-enveloping liberalism, governments task was to encourage people to be as flexible and self-questioning as possible.
Barack Obama says Donald Trump may have ‘enough craziness’ to be president2 months, 4 days ago
In a wide-ranging interview, the US president tells ABC he thinks Obamacare will survive Republican repeal attempts
Barack Obama believes Donald Trump is very engage and gregarious and not lacking in confidence, to the point where he may have enough craziness to think[ he] can do the job. But he wont say if he likes him.
The US president spoke to ABC This Week host George Stephanopoulos, in a wide-ranging interview that was recorded on Friday.
The conversation included reflections on Obamas time in the White House, which ends with Trumps inauguration on 20 January, his achievements and letdowns in domestic and foreign policy and his expectations regarding his legacy.
Asked if he guesses his Obamacare health reform, his chief domestic accomplishment, will survive a Trump presidency and a Republican-controlled Congress, he said: I think it will.
Questioned about the president-elects controversial stance to intelligence agencies faith that Russia intervened in the US election on his behalf, and favourable statements about Russia and its president, Obama counselled trust in such agencies.
We have to remind ourselves were on the same squad, he said. Vladimir Putins not on our team.
Stephanopoulos asked Obama what he had tried to impress on Trump since the Republican victory over Hillary Clinton in November.
The conversations have been cordial, Obama said. He has been open to suggestions, and the main thing that Ive tried to transmit is that theres a difference between governing and campaigning.
Trump has spoken favourably of such conversations with Obama, although he just said, in a typically incautious tweet, that he was trying to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks. Thought it was going to be a smooth transition – NOT!
Obama, spoke of his familiar measured tones, said Trump would soon be in charge of the largest organisation on earth which he would not be able to manage[ in] the style you would manage a family business.
Trump is due to hold a press conference his first since July on Wednesday, to outline routes in which he intends to lessen or avoid conflicts of interest between his business empire, members of his family and his new political role.
Stephanopoulos asked how Trump had impressed Obama so far.
You know, the president said, he is somebody who I think is very engaging and gregarious.
Do you like him, Stephanopoulos asked.
You know, Ive enjoyed the conversations that weve had, Obama said. He is somebody who I think is not lacking in confidence, which is probably a prerequisite for the job, or at the least you have to have enough craziness to think that you can do the job.
I is considered that he has not spent a lot of time sweating a detailed description of, you know, all the policies
Asked if that fretted him, Obama said he saw himself more at the policy wonk end of the spectrum, and said a lack of familiarity with policy details could be both a strength and a weakness for Trump.
I think its fair to say that he and I are sort of opposites in some ways, he added.
Read more: www.theguardian.com
On final Ukraine trip, Biden urges Trump administration to keep Russia sanctions2 months, 8 days ago
Comments while meeting with Ukraines president came after Trump indicated he could aim Crimea-related sanctions in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal
Vice-president Joe Biden, on a last foreign journey before leaving office, fulfilled Ukraines president on Monday and called on the incoming Donald Trump administration to retain Ukraine-related sanctions against Russia.
Bidens comments at a briefing with Petro Poroshenko came after Trump indicated in an interview with the Times and Bild that he could aim sanctions imposed in the aftermath Russias 2014 annexation of Crimea, in return for a nuclear arms reduction bargain.
Trumps attitude to Russia and praise for Vladimir Putin has been a consistently controversial feature of his rise to the White House, which will be completed with his inauguration in Washington on Friday.
US intelligence agencies believe Russia sought to covertly influence the US election in Trumps favour and against the Democratic nominee, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Trump has recently admitted that he believes Russia did orchestrate such hackers, but has nonetheless fuelled a bitter feud with intelligence officials over the issue.
The international community must continue to stand as one against Russian coercion and aggression, Biden told reporters, standing alongside Poroshenko, in remarks which did not include reference to Trump by name.
The Crimea-related sanctions against Russia must remain in place until Russia returns full control to the people of Ukraine.
Together with our EU and G7 partners, Biden said, we made it clear that sanctions should remain in place until Russia fully, emphasise fully, enforces its commitments under the Minsk agreement.
Poroshenko said Ukraine believed in good cooperation with the new US administration and urged sanctions to stay, without mentioning Trumps statements on a deal with Russia.
Andy Hunder, the head of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine, said Kiev would have to put much time and resources into dealing with the new US administration.
On 20 January Ukraine will be waking up to a new reality, he told Reuters. There is a concern in Kiev about how the new relationship will develop. It will require constructing new bridges to the influencers, the gatekeepers and decision-makers.
Kiev has taken steps to win the very best favour of the those calling the shoots in the Trump administration. Days after the election in November, Poroshenkos office started planning an official visit to Washington in early 2017.
Read more: www.theguardian.com