Trump attacks San Juan mayor over hurricane response – Trending Stuff

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump launched an attack on San Juan Mayor Carmen Yuln Cruz on Saturday for criticizing the White House’s hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico, accusing her of “poor leadership” and suggesting that the island’s residents are not doing enough to help themselves.

“The Mayor of San Juan, who was very complimentary only a few days ago, has now been told by the Democrats that you must be nasty to Trump,” the President tweeted from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, where he is spending the weekend. “Such poor leadership ability by the Mayor of San Juan, and others in Puerto Rico, who are not able to get their workers to help. They want everything to be done for them when it should be a community effort.”

The spectacle of Trump’s comments slamming Cruz and others on their own response efforts as Puerto Rico struggles to deal with disaster that left millions without power and with limited access to water — and as Trump comes under fire for what some have called a slow federal reaction — sparked a firestorm of reaction online, including from the creator of the Broadway musical “Hamilton,” Lin-Manuel Miranda, who said that Trump was going “straight to hell.”

“You’re going straight to hell, @realDonald Trump. No long lines for you,” tweeted Miranda, who is of Puerto Rican descent. “Someone will say, ‘Right this way, sir.’ They’ll clear a path.”

Later Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence defended the President’s remarks in an interview with Orlando television station WKMG.

“Well, it is frustrating, I expect, to millions of Americans to hear rhetoric coming out from some in Puerto Rico, particularly the mayor of San Juan, instead of focusing on results,” Pence said.

Pence said he learned that “while our joint field operation at the convention center in San Juan has more than 1,000 personnel working out in a football field environment, the mayor of San Juan has only visited our joint field operation once.” He added that he would encourage her to come alongside Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and other officials “who are focusing on continuing to make the steady progress that we are making in Puerto Rico.”

In the series of early-morning tweets, Trump also lauded the federal government’s response on the island, which is still grappling with the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria. The President said that the 10,000 federal workers there are doing a “fantastic job.”

“The military and first responders, despite no electric, roads, phones etc., have done an amazing job,” he wrote. “Puerto Rico was totally destroyed.”

Trump’s early praise of relief efforts, however, does not appear to match the reality on the ground. Puerto Rico, which is home to 3.4 million people, is facing a humanitarian crisis, and many of its people remain without power and water. Sixteen people have died, according to government officials, but that number could well rise with the full range of devastation not yet known.

In an interview with MSNBC, Cruz said she wasn’t making “nasty comments” about Trump in remarks earlier this week criticizing the administration’s statements lauding the response, adding that her only goal was to save lives.

“I was asking for help,” she said. “I wasn’t saying anything nasty about the President.”

Trump’s comments come ahead of a planned visit to Puerto Rico on Tuesday. The President is scheduled to speak with Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long, Rosselló and other Puerto Rican officials later Saturday.

Rosselló said Saturday morning that his previous conversations with Trump didn’t square up with the President’s tweets and that Trump had “reiterated his commitment with this effort.”

“I do reiterate that the only way for this to work is for us to have collaboration,” Rosselló said. “And let me stress this, I am committed to collaborating with everybody. This is a point where we can’t look at small differences. We can’t establish differences based on politics.”

While Trump and other administration officials have repeatedly lauded the federal government’s response to Maria, some have said that the administration has moved more slowly than it did in responding to the recent storms that battered Texas and Florida.

Other critics have drawn comparisons to President George W. Bush’s handling of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, particularly given the race and class of most victims in both disasters. Katrina, of course, became a political disaster for the Bush presidency.

When asked for his reaction to President Trump’s tweets, Russel Honoré, the retired general appointed by Bush to take over the federal response to Katrina in 2005, said he had none.

“I have no reaction. The mayor’s living on a cot, and I hope the President has a good day of golf,” he told CNN.

Earlier this week, Honoré told CNN that the President’s response to Maria shows that he doesn’t care about the poor or people of color.

“The President has shown again he don’t give a damn about poor people,” Honoré told CNN’s Erin Burnett. “He doesn’t give a damn about people of color. And the SOB that rides around in Air Force One is denying services needed by the people of Puerto Rico. I hate to say it that way but there’s no other way to say it.”

In his interview Saturday with WKMG, Pence took issue with Honore’s characterization.

“Well, I would suggest, with great respect to that retired general and respect for the work he’s done in the past, that the Department of Defense — 16 different Navy ships in the region, the USS Comfort will be there in a matter of days,” Pence said. “I was able to inform Governor Rosselló the USS Wasp will be arriving with 16 helicopters tomorrow. We have literally 10,000 federal officials on the ground, 4,500 National Guard have been there from early on, more are on the way.”

A ‘good news story’

Thursday, acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke also stirred controversy after she told reporters she was “very satisfied” with the federal response since Maria made landfall, calling it a “good news story.”

“I know it is really a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people and the limited number of deaths that have taken place in such a devastating hurricane,” Duke said.

That prompted a sharp retort from San Juan’s mayor in a CNN interview.

“This is, damn it, this is not a good news story,” Mayor Cruz said. “This is a ‘people are dying’ story. This is a ‘life-or-death’ story. This is, ‘there’s a truckload of stuff that cannot be taken to people’ story. This is a story of a devastation that continues to worsen.”

Dan Scavino, the White House social media director, tweeted on Saturday that Cruz “has been hating on @realDonaldTrump long before he was our President.”

In a separate tweet, Scavino described San Juan’s mayor as “the perfect example of an opportunistic politician.”

In his own Saturday morning tweets, Trump also lashed out at the media for what he said was biased coverage, saying that the “Fake News Networks are working overtime in Puerto Rico.”

“Fake News CNN and NBC are going out of their way to disparage our great First Responders as a way to ‘get Trump,’” he tweeted. “Not fair to FR or effort!”

Democratic lawmakers react

Trump’s comments were criticized by a number of Democrats, who took issue with the President’s rhetoric in the middle of a domestic disaster.

Rep. Al Green of Texas told CNN’s Ana Cabrera on Saturday afternoon that he thought Trump’s comments showed he cared less about Puerto Rico because it was unimportant to his reelection and added that he saw racial undertones in the President’s remarks.

“If they were all Anglos, I don’t believe the President would have the attitude that he has, because you don’t hear that kind of dog whistle, of people not wanting to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, when the people are Anglos,” Green said. “That’s something reserved for people of color.”

Sen. Ed Markey of Massachusetts, meanwhile, called for an apology from the President.

“First thing Trump should do on Tues when he visits #PuertoRico for the first time since #HurricaneMaria devastated the island is apologize,” Markey tweeted.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York called Trump’s remarks “offensive.”

“When millions in Puerto Rico are in crisis, the president should be better than this,” she tweeted.

Sen. Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat facing trial for federal bribery charges, tweeted that Trump should be doing more to help the territory, suggesting his response might be slower because Puerto Rico has no electoral votes.

“I know Puerto Rico doesn’t get Electoral College votes, Mr. President, but there are real Americans there suffering. Time to do more,” he wrote.

In another tweet, Menendez declared the situation in Puerto Rico “worse” than Hurricane Katrina.

Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts said Puerto Rico was in “crisis” and Trump should “stop playing politics with their lives.”

“The definition of ‘poor leadership’ is sitting at your golf club while millions of US citizens beg for your help, @realDonaldTrump,” she tweeted.

Don Beyer, a Democratic representative from Virginia, noted in a series of tweets that the President had ignored the people of Puerto Rico for days, instead “picking a fight with athletes while a humanitarian crisis grew in Puerto Rico.”

“You focused on aid efforts in TX & FL but ignored Puerto Rico. Now you attack San Juan’s mayor for saying ‘people are dying.’ THEY ARE DYING,” he wrote.

Amid the criticisms, Trump took to Twitter later Saturday afternoon to praise several Puerto Rican officials, including Rosselló; US Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp, an independent; and Republican Congresswoman Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon.

“#FakeNews critics are working overtime, but we’re getting great marks from the people that truly matter! #PRStrong” Trump wrote.

Trump continued to fault the news coverage of his administration’s response in tweets Saturday night.

“Because of #FakeNews my people are not getting the credit they deserve for doing a great job,” he wrote. “As seen here, they are ALL doing a GREAT JOB!”

At a news conference Saturday afternoon, Mapp said the vice president and his wife, Karen Pence, would arrive in St. Croix on Friday to assess the hurricane damage. He also said Trump did not rule out a visit to the territory during a phone call Saturday, but the President was trying to visit both Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands in one day, which posed logistical challenges.

Administration update

FEMA said in a news release Saturday that urban search-and-rescue teams, working alongside local law enforcement, have scoured the island and rescued 843 people. In addition, 11 highways have been cleared, 70% of ports and 60% of gas stations are operating, and half of the grocery and big box stores are open, the release said.

While the release said power has been restored to 59 hospitals, FEMA official Alejandro de la Campa told reporters only 5% of electricity had been restored in the island as of Saturday.

The president of the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority, Elí Díaz Atienza, gave a breakdown of the water service restoration effort to San Juan radio station WIPR, saying water is running to about 55% of the city.

Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/

Categories CNN

Trump Launches Into Political Tirade at Boy Scouts Jamboree – Trending Stuff

U.S. President Donald Trump delivered a meandering political speech to thousands of Boy Scouts on Monday evening, including a rip at former President Barack Obama.

“Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts,’’ Trump asked as he took the stage in front of a boisterous crowd of about 40,000 scouts in West Virginia. But he then launched into a speech attacking the news media and reminiscing about his election victory over Hillary Clinton.

Trump throughout the National Boy Scout Jamboree on July 24.

Photographer: Saul Loeb/AFP through Getty Images

He spent a few minutes talking about the Republican health-care bill, which is scheduled for a vote tomorrow in the Senate despite uncertainty about whether enough Republicans will support it.

“Hopefully he’s going to get the votes tomorrow to start our path toward killing this dreadful thing called Obamacare,’’ Trump said after introducing Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price.

Trump’s assault on the Affordable Care Act — among Obama’s signature domestic policy achievements — was met with boisterous applause.

“By the way? ” Trump said to Price. “He better get them. He better get them. Otherwise, I’ll state ‘Tom, you’re fired. ’’’

Trump also singled out West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito, a Republican who has voiced concern about the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“You better get Senator Capito to vote for it,’’ Trump said.

Throughout the speech, Trump regularly alternated to inspire partisan attacks on his political opponents, and young boys’ group.

The Boy Scouts of America said in a statement that the invitation for the sitting U.S. president to go to the National Jamboree is a long-standing tradition and is in no way an endorsement of any political party or specific policies.

He mentioned the importance of devotion to the Boy Scouts, before lamenting the lack of devotion in Washington. Trump has complained lately about Republicans not doing enough to support and protect him.

“By the way, we can use some more devotion,’’ he told the Scouts.

Trump spent a few minutes reminiscing about his electoral victory, recounting the night of Nov. 8, as several states were being called for him. He said Clinton didn’as the group of boys responded with a hail of boos, t work hard enough, and paused.

“Do we remember that day? What a beautiful day,” Trump said, adding that it was difficult for a Republican to win the Electoral College and attacking the media for ignoring his chances.

“These dishonest people, they said, ‘There is no path to victory for Donald Trump,’’&#x2019. “They forgot about the forgotten people. ’’

Trump also took the opportunity to attack his predecessor.

“By the way, only a question. Did President Obama ever come to a jamboree? ’’ Trump asked the crowd. “The answer is no, but we’ll be back. ’’

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/

Trump Claims Millions Voted Illegally, Without Giving Evidence

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump claimed without providing evidence that he would have won the popular vote if millions of illegal votes were excluded, hours after criticizing an effort to recount votes in three battleground states.

In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally, Trump, a Republican, told his 16 million Twitter followers Sunday. In a subsequent tweet, he claimed the media wasnt reporting serious voter fraud in the Democratic-leaning states of California, New Hampshire and Virginia.

Trump offered nothing to back up his allegations of wrongdoing in the Nov. 8 election — one that returned to his pre-election mantra of a rigged result. Although Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton 306-232 in the state-by-state Electoral College, the former secretary of state leads Trump by more than 2.2 million votes in the nationwide popular vote, according to a running tally by the non-partisan Cook Political Report. A Trump spokesman didnt immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cook shows Clinton with 64.65 million total votes to Trumps 62.42 million, or a lead of 48.2 percent to 46.5 percent. Third-party and other candidates received 7.19 million votes, or about 5.4 percent. In 13 swing states, Trump won 48.4 percent of the vote to Clintons 46.6 percent.

Earlier on Sunday, Trump had criticized recounts proposed for Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which are being spearheaded by Green Party candidate Jill Stein — an effort that Clintons campaign said Saturday it would join.

Efforts Sad

In seven early-morning Twitter posts, Trump recounted previous comments by Clinton on the need to accept the election results, culminating in her concession speech on Nov. 9. So much time and money will be spent — same result! Sad, Trump concluded. On Saturday, he called the Green Partys recount efforts a scam to fill up their coffers.

The president-elect spent the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, and returned to New York late Sunday. Several potential hires are due to visit Trump Tower in midtown Manhattan on Monday to interview for administration posts, including John Allison, a former chief executive of BB&T Corp.; Paul Atkins, a former Securities and Exchange commissioner; and David Clarke, the sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin.

Trump aides on Sunday fanned out across political talk shows to cast cold water on the recount efforts.

Millions Raised

Reince Priebus, the incoming White House chief of staff, said on Fox News Sunday that the planned recount would serve only to divide this country when we need to come together.

The effort was confounding and disappointing, Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said on NBCs Meet the Press. It turns out Team Hillary and their new BFF Jill Stein cant accept reality, Conway said Saturday in a statement.

Stein has raised more than $6.1 million for her recount effort, with a $7 million goal, according to a running tally on her website.

Clintons campaign will participate in the recount in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides, Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias said Saturday.

Elias, in a post on the blogging website Medium, added that he doesnt expect the action to overturn Trumps election. He also detailed exhaustive efforts already undertaken by the Democrats team to assure the validity of the vote.

Clintons campaign hadnt planned to initiate the recounts on its own because it hasnt found any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, Elias wrote.

A senior administration official, meanwhile, said in a statement that the government didnt observe any increased level of malicious cyber-activity aimed at disrupting the election on election day and believes the elections were free and fair from a cyber-security perspective.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-27/trump-suggesting-voter-fraud-says-he-won-the-popular-vote

Trump Claims Millions Voted Illegally, Without Giving Proof

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump claimed without providing evidence that he would have won the popular vote if millions of illegal votes were excluded, hours after criticizing an effort to recount votes in three battleground states.

In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally, Trump, a Republican, told his 16 million Twitter followers Sunday. In a subsequent tweet, he claimed the media wasnt reporting serious voter fraud in the Democratic-leaning states of California, New Hampshire and Virginia.

Twitter: Donald J. Trump on Twitter

Twitter: Donald J. Trump on Twitter

Trump offered nothing to back up his allegations of wrongdoing in the Nov. 8 election — one that returned to his pre-election mantra of a rigged result. Although Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton 306-232 in the decisive state-by-state Electoral College, the former secretary of state leads Trump by more than 2.2 million votes in the nationwide popular vote, according to a running tally by the non-partisan Cook Political Report.

It appears that Mr. Trump is troubled by the fact that a growing majority of Americans did not vote for him, Alex Padilla, Californias secretary of state, said on Twitter. His unsubstantiated allegations of voter fraud in California and elsewhere are absurd. His reckless tweets are inappropriate and unbecoming of a President-elect.

Election officials in New Hampshire and Virginia also said there wasnt evidence for Trumps claim.

No Credible Evidence

Cook shows Clinton with 64.66 million total votes to Trumps 62.43 million, or a lead of 48.1 percent to 46.5 percent. Third-party and other candidates received 7.24 million votes, or about 5.4 percent. In 13 swing states, Trump won 48.4 percent of the vote to Clintons 46.6 percent.

There is no credible evidence I have seen to show large numbers of noncitizens voting in U.S. elections anywhere, Rick Hasen, a political science professor at University of California, Irvine, told PolitiFact in its Nov. 18 fact-check debunking claims similar to Trumps, which have spread on conspiracy-theory websites. The idea that 3 million noncitizens could have illegally voted in our elections without being detected is obscenely ludicrous.

Pressed for evidence for Trumps claims, spokesman Jason Miller told reporters Monday that the media should give the appropriate level of attention to vote integrity concerns as opposed to just chasing the shiny object of the Jill Stein recount effort, which he said has no chance of overturning the elections outcome. He referred to disputed research by two political scientists published by the Washington Post in 2014, and to a 2012 Pew Center on the States report calling for error-plagued and inefficient voter-registration systems to be modernized.

Stein Recount

Earlier on Sunday, Trump had criticized recounts proposed for Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which are being spearheaded by Green Party candidate Jill Stein — an effort that Clintons campaign said Saturday it would join.

Jill Stein
Photographer: Win McNamee/Getty Images

In seven early-morning Twitter posts, Trump recounted previous comments by Clinton on the need to accept the election results, culminating in her concession speech on Nov. 9. So much time and money will be spent — same result! Sad, Trump concluded. On Saturday, he called the Green Partys recount efforts a scam to fill up their coffers.

Michigans Board of State Canvassers certified Trumps 10,704-vote winning margin there on Monday, and Stein has until Wednesday to ask for a recount, the Associated Press reported.

Millions Raised

Trump aides on Sunday fanned out across political talk shows to cast cold water on the recount efforts.

Reince Priebus, the incoming White House chief of staff, said on Fox News Sunday that the planned recount would serve only to divide this country when we need to come together.

The effort was confounding and disappointing, Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway said on NBCs Meet the Press. It turns out Team Hillary and their new BFF Jill Stein cant accept reality, Conway said Saturday in a statement.

Stein has raised more than $6.3 million for her recount effort, with a $7 million goal, according to a running tally on her website.

Clinton Support

Clintons campaign will participate in the recount in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides, Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias said Saturday.

Elias, in a post on the blogging website Medium, added that he doesnt expect the action to overturn Trumps election. He also detailed exhaustive efforts already undertaken by the Democrats team to assure the validity of the vote.

Clintons campaign hadnt planned to initiate the recounts on its own because it hasnt found any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, Elias wrote.

A senior administration official, meanwhile, said in a statement that the government didnt observe any increased level of malicious cyber-activity aimed at disrupting the election on election day and believes the elections were free and fair from a cybersecurity perspective.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com//news/articles/2016-11-27/trump-suggesting-voter-fraud-says-he-won-the-popular-vote

Why would Acosta join the Trump team?

(CNN.com)On Thursday, President Donald Trump held a weird news meeting in which he railed from the media, Senate Democrats, as well as the intelligence community. He insisted his former national-security advisor, Michael T. Flynn, had done nothing wrong. He falsely claimed that he’d “the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan.” Oh, and he named his new nominee for secretary of labor, Alexander Acosta. For holding the news conference, that was allegedly his reason, yet it required just several sentences out of around 80 minutes.

An

On the good side, Alexander Acosta doesn’t have any partisan or especially scandalous positions in his private history. He’s gained support from a wide selection of Latino advocacy teams, both now as well as in days gone by.
The US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce called him an “outstanding choice” for labour secretary. The Hispanic National Bar Association congratulated Acosta on his nomination, noting that he “understands that our nation’s diversity is our strength.”
Back when he was named to head the Civil Rights Division in the Department of Justice, the National Council of La Raza called him a “bridge-builder” and “someone who will listen and act in a fair manner.” With schooling qualifications and his powerful work and possible support from Latino civil groups, Democratic senators could be set by Acosta’s nomination in the uncomfortable position of voting against an experienced nominee that is Hispanic — to reveal their resistance to Trump.
True, Acosta isn’t perfect. His time at Justice was marked by a politicization of the Civil Rights Division. In 2007, McClatchy DC noted that, while serving as assistant attorney-general, Acosta didn’t take issue with Ohio Republicans challenging 23,000 mostly African American voter registrations. We increasing the minimum wage, or don’t understand his views on equal pay for equivalent work. And he’s seemingly ready to step in to an administration which is broadly viewed as hostile to immigrants and Latinos — not to mention reality it self.

Join us on Twitter and Facebook

There’s absolutely no doubt that Acosta will be of support to the state as well as Trump. He can be a vital voice for Latinos in the Cabinet. It remains to be noticed, yet, if he can provide some integrity for this , disorderly management that is flailing.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/02/16/opinions/acosta-nomination-trump-flailing-reyes-opinion/index.html

Categories CNN

Our democracy is broken, debased and distrusted but there are ways to fix it | George Monbiot

Trump and Brexit are actions to a political system thats imploding. Could an extreme redesign wrest it from the phonies?

D De-based and #seeeeebased: thats the condition of our political systems. Damaged, they not satisfy their democratic capacity. They have actually likewise lost their base: the politically engaged population from which democracy is expected to grow. The sense of ownership has actually been worn down to such a degree that, for countless Americans, Donald Trump seemed the very best the system needed to use.

I do not blame individuals for electing him, or for Brexit: these are reactions to a twisted, distrusted system. Elections recorded by cash, lobbyists and the media; policy merging amongst the significant celebrations, squashing genuine option; the burrowing of parliaments and other political organizations and the transfer of their powers to unaccountable bodies: these are an ideal formula for disenfranchisement and disillusion. The international increase of demagogues and straight-out phonies recommends that a system nominally developed on authorization and involvement is imploding.

So could we do much better? Could a straighter system be made from the misaligned lumber of humankind? This is the second of my periodic series on possible options to the several crises we face. It checks out a few of the ways by which democracy might be enhanced. Over the previous couple of months, Ive checked out lots of propositions, some transparently horrible, others respectable. The general outcome up until now is this: there is no magic formula, no single strategy that might resolve our democratic issues without producing even worse ones. There are plenty of concepts, simply a few of which I will discuss, that might boost our politics.

The very first required shift is an extreme reform of project financing (political financing). The power of loan in politics toxins whatever actually in many cases. In my column recently, I pointed out the contamination paradox: the dirtiest business need to invest the most on politics if they are not to be controlled from presence, so politics becomes controlled by the dirtiest business. It uses throughout the board. Banks developing dodgy monetary instruments; pharmaceutical business offering out-of-date drugs; betting business looking for to suppress controls; food business offering obesogenic scrap; retail business exploiting their employees; accounting professionals creating tax-avoidance bundles: all have actually a boosted reward to purchase political area, as all, in a reasonable system, would discover themselves under pressure. The system buckles to accommodate their needs.

My proposition for reforming project financing is extremely basic. Every celebration would be entitled to charge the very same little cost for subscription (maybe 50 or $50), which would then be matched by the state, with a repaired multiple. Other political financing, indirect or direct, would be prohibited. This would likewise require celebrations to re-engage with citizens. Too costly? Not in the least. The corruption of our politics by personal loan costs us numerous times more than a financing system for which we would pay straight. That corruption has actually resulted in monetary crises triggered by political leaders failure to control the banks, ecological crises brought on by the political power of the dirtiest business, and financially rewarding agreements for political funders; and overcharging by well-connected drugs business.

The next important reform is to assist citizens make notified options. Germany supplies a dazzling example of how this might be done: its federal firm for civic education releases available however reliable overviews of the essential political problems, arranges movie and theatre celebrations, research study trips and competitors, and aims to engage with groups that turn their backs on democratic politics. It is relied on and sought advice from by millions.

Switzerland provides the very best example of the next action : its Smartvote system provides a list of policy options with which you can disagree or concur, then compares your responses with the policies of the prospects and celebrations objecting to the election. It produces a graphic proving whose position most carefully matches your interests. There is some outstanding civic innovation produced by voluntary groups somewhere else (such as Democracy Club , Crowdpac and mySociety in the UK). Without the financing and capability of the state, it has a hard time to reach individuals who are not currently well notified.

Once these reforms remain in location, the next action is to alter the architecture. As both United States governmental elections (misshaped by the electoral college system ) and UK basic elections (enabling a minority of the electorate to determine to the bulk) recommend, this need to begin with a switch to proportional representation. Preferably, in parliamentary elections this would blend the nationwide with the regional by keeping constituency links, such as the single transferable vote or the extra member system .

There are lots of propositions to change representative democracy with either sortition (arbitrarily choosing delegates) or direct democracy (people and referendums efforts). Such systems may have worked well in little city states with a minimal franchise (sortition was utilized in ancient Athens and middle ages Venice and Florence). In populations as intricate and big as ours, these propositions are a formula for catastrophe. Its difficult to see how we can get away the requirement for expert, full-time political leaders. (Perhaps, in a responsible and reasonable system, we might learn how to like them.)

But I think that both methods might be utilized to temper representative democracy. Sortition can be viewed as political jury service, where people picked by lot exist with professional statement then asked to make a choice. As an advisory tool, it might keep representative politics grounded in the real life. It might be utilized to develop constitutional conventions , at which propositions for much better political systems are whipped out. There may even be some virtue in the concept of a 2nd parliamentary chamber (such as your home of Lords or the United States Senate) being selected by lot.

But we must understand the threats. The Westminster federal governments initially explore residents juries (Gordon Browns effort to figure out whether medical professionals surgical treatments ought to be changed with huge centers) was damaged from birth . Jurors were carefully picked and provided with one-sided proof, then the outcomes were buried when they came out incorrect. No system is unsusceptible to scams.

Once political financing has actually been reformed, tally efforts of the kind extensively utilized in US mentions if you collect enough signatures you can require a vote end up being an effective political instrument, making it possible for individuals to propose legislation without waiting on their agents (without reform they are another method by which billionaires rig the system). Referendums on substantial concerns, such as our subscription of the EU, struggle with an imbalance in between the intricacy of the problem and the simpleness of the tool: they require difficult levels of political understanding. For particular basic, particularly regional, problems should a brand-new roadway be constructed?, should a tower block be destroyed? they can, if thoroughly created, boost political openness.

Also at the regional level, a technique called sociocracy might improve democracy. This is a system created to produce consentaneous however inclusive choices, by motivating members of a group to keep challenging a proposition up until, in between them, they produce a response all them can deal with. A variation created by the Endenburg Electronics company in the Netherlands is commonly utilized in cooperatives and business . Its not difficult to see it producing much better choices than the typical regional authority conference. It is challenging to envision how it might be scaled up without losing intelligibility.

Making any of this take place well, theres the difficulty. Ill choose it up in future columns. Modification takes place when we choose exactly what we desire, rather than exactly what we believe we may get. Is an operating democracy an outrageous need?

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/25/democracy-broken-distrusted-trump-brexit-political-system

We couldve avoided President Donald Trump. Now, we must learn the lessons | Rebecca Solnit

There were numerous chances to stop the Republican demagogue. That need to focus our minds as he takes the oath of workplace

T he roadway to President Trump was rough and long. There were lots of turns not taken, numerous alternative paths that would have spared us this result. Rather, we kept going, corruption, infighting and large obliviousness stopping us altering course.

What could have been various? There are a thousand possibilities. You might begin with the long decay of the United States news media into a branch of the show business, primed to take on Trumps star. A smarter society would have required much better, withstood more vocally, criticised more wisely.

Or the increase of Silicon Valley, its hypercapitalist, libertarian principles assisting to damage standard sources of info. We now suffer pandemic attention deficit condition, phony news , hackable whatever, cyberwar, and social networks bullies, of whom Trump is bully-in-chief. A web run as a public commons instead of an ad-driven free-for-all would have had really various social repercussions. We missed out on that turning long back.

Or the disintegration of civil liberties. Individuals of colour have actually been methodically disenfranchised by a series of interventions, consisting of the gutting of the Voting Rights Act in 2013. Millions were successfully eliminated of the election. Their complete involvement would have made Trump difficult. A restored voting-rights motion will become part of how we crawl out of the hole we discover ourselves in. That will need to consist of much better ballot systems and nationwide voting-rights requirements. The abolition of the electoral college likewise is long past due; its strange systems eked out a meagre success for the loser of the popular vote. And we need to reverse the gerrymandering that so drastically favours the Republicans.

Or you might backtrack about 90 exits: picture we had actually taken the threats of environment modification so seriously that, I do not know, we had an entirely various election about entirely various problems, or the a number of such elections our ecological crisis in fact benefits.

<img class="gu-image"itemprop="contentUrl"alt="Many"progressives
got stuck in the main phase, battling hillary clinton as though she were running versus bernie sanders, instead of trump, all the method to november.”src=”https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/9428c32ee10fff4c51f90e72f15b3a35db901115/0_179_3500_2100/master/3500.jpg?w=300&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=91a52adcac624f56eba0798bd680e7c1″/> <path d= "M4.6"12l -.4 1.4 c -.7.2 -1.9.6 -3.6 -.7 0-1.2 -.2 -1.2 -.9 0 -.2 0 -.3.1 -.5 l2-6.7 h.7l.4-1.5 4.2 -.6 h. 2l3 12h1.6 zm -.3 -9.2 c -.9 0-1.4 -.5 -1.4 -1.3 c2.9.5 3.7 0 4.6 0 5.4 0 6.5
6 1.3 c0 1 -.8 1.5-1.7 1.5 z”/> Many progressives got stuck in the main phase, combating Hillary Clinton as though she were running versus Bernie Sanders, instead of Trump, all the method to November. Picture: Yuri Gripas/Reuters

The roadway is maybe too quite a metaphor call it a highway to hell and begin searching for the off-ramps. Weve missed out on enough currently. This year, youd be forgiven for believing left was brief for left. Numerous progressives got stuck in the main phase, battling Hillary Clinton as though she were running versus Bernie Sanders , instead of Trump, all the method to November. Those who ought to have understood much better appeared not able to think of that anything might be even worse than neoliberalism.

The Democrats bear obligation for many years of compromise and muddle; they went to pieces ineffectually while their competitors strategised with luster. They can do much better a few of them have and will. The management revealed this month by John Lewis and Barbara Lee , inauguration refuseniks, has actually been brave, and the election of the Senates very first Latina and 2nd African-American female were peaks in an election that plumbed the depths.

But more effective Democrats might have worked more difficult to stop Trump, beginning with the outbound president of the United States. Barack Obama had all the intelligence info that was belatedly shown us. He even utilized the so-called nuclear phone to call Vladimir Putin in October and inform him to stop intervening in the election. He had power over the FBI, and may have set up senior personnel who were more faithful to the nation than the Republican celebration. As it was, the FBI smeared Clinton and secured Trump. The latters victory was enabled a minimum of in part by our present presidents commitment to placing himself above the fray, forecasting Olympian calm. This was a season throughout which he ought to have been asking himself exactly what Lyndon Baines Johnson would have done, back when the Democrats were intense fighters.

<img class="gu-image"itemprop="contentUrl"alt="Kamala"harris: the election of the senates 2nd african-american lady was a peak
in an election that plumbed the depths.”src=”https://i.guim.co.uk/img/media/637f19ce55f05dc1e45d3344a782abb423bb606e/0_61_5127_3076/master/5127.jpg?w=300&q=55&auto=format&usm=12&fit=max&s=6f95e9348bbc15193c87111cf5cc366f”/> Kamala Harris: The election of the Senates 2nd African-American female was a peak in an election that plumbed the depths. Picture: ddp USA/REX/Shutterstock

I shut off the radio after Obama stated, in his last speech: In 10 days, the world will witness a trademark of our democracy, the serene transfer of power from one easily chosen president to the next. I desired a leader who would state something like: Hey, there was foreign intervention in this election, in addition to citizen disenfranchisement, so perhaps it wasnt reasonable and totally free. If there was collusion on Trumps part, thats treason, so were putting all of it on hold and asking the supreme court exactly what they think of all these extraordinary issues. Obamas statesmanly grace was, in reality, needless submission.

Other political leaders, along with regular residents, attempted to get the juggernaut to stop. Even Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham required an examination of the Russian service prior to the election, and numerous of the Democrats on the Senate intelligence committee asked Obama to launch the categorized details he was keeping. It ends up that a great deal of individuals had product which they might have utilized to make a hassle prior to the election on 8 November, or prior to the electoral college fulfilled on 19 December, or prior to the joint session of Congress licensed the outcome on 6 January. That day, 7 Democratic congresspeople withstood object, however no senator would stand with them.

Later, Senator Dianne Feinstein stated she thought that Russian intervention and James Comey s sabotage altered the result of the election (and surveys practically validate that Comey provided the coup de grce). We didnt have to understand the minutiae of the Russian intervention; we currently understood that it raised concerns so severe that the entire transfer of power must have been stopped while it was examined. As it is, we now have an inbound president whose biggest dedication appears to be to Russian interests, consisting of weakening the EU and Nato , and full-steam-ahead pursuit of nonrenewable fuel sources .

Now weve reached the inauguration, in an Oldsmobile with 4 flat tires and a boiling radiator, a few of us are looking ahead, to where the U-turn alternatives are. That civil society has actually been galvanised readies news, though its difficult to expect exactly what the battles will appear like: standard rights are at danger and basically the most harmful prospects possible for each cabinet position, from education to the environment, are most likely to be validated. We require electoral reform to re-enfranchise individuals of colour and the bad. We require the wild-eyed young radicals to take control of the Democratic celebration and make it show their dreams and hopes. We require wise strategists to make one of the most of the really appealing rifts in the Republican celebration.

We have to inform our stories much better and discover how to affect exactly what stories get informed. We require an unlimited series of reforms, from media and innovation to education and health care. Theres ample work for everybody. There will be excessive, and each people will need to discover a piece of the issue where we can be reliable and stay with it. Were going to need to construct alliances that implies working together with individuals with whom you concur about the huge things and not quibbling about the youngsters. Were going to need to remember exactly what type of power civil society has and ways to utilize it. Were going to need to be remarkably arranged.

Millions were asleep at the wheel; the shock has actually jolted us awake. What lies ahead is unmapped however a minimum of we are lastly focusing.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jan/20/president-trump-learn-lessons-republican

Trump Claims Millions Voted Illegally, Without Giving Proof

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump declared without offering proof that he would have won the popular vote if countless prohibited votes were left out, hours after slamming an effort to state votes in 3 battlefield states.

In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you subtract the countless individuals who voted unlawfully, Trump, a Republican, informed his 16 million Twitter fans Sunday. In a subsequent tweet, he declared the media wasnt reporting major citizen scams in the Democratic-leaning states of California, New Hampshire and Virginia.

Twitter: Donald J. Trump on Twitter

Twitter: Donald J. Trump on Twitter

Trump used absolutely nothing to support his accusations of misdeed in the Nov. 8 election– one that went back to his pre-election mantra of a rigged outcome. Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton 306-232 in the definitive state-by-state Electoral College, the previous secretary of state leads Trump by more than 2.2 million votes in the across the country popular vote, according to a running tally by the non-partisan Cook Political Report.

It appears that Mr. Trump is bothered by the reality that a growing bulk of Americans did not elect him, Alex Padilla, Californias secretary of state, stated on Twitter. His unverified accusations of citizen scams in California and somewhere else are unreasonable. His negligent tweets are unbecoming and unsuitable of a President-elect.

Election authorities in New Hampshire and Virginia likewise stated there wasnt proof for Trumps claim.

No Credible Evidence

Cook programs Clinton with 64.66 million overall votes to Trumps 62.43 million, or a lead of 48.1 percent to 46.5 percent. Third-party and other prospects got 7.24 million votes, or about 5.4 percent. In 13 swing states, Trump won 48.4 percent of the vote to Clintons 46.6 percent.

There is no reputable proof I have actually seen to reveal great deals of noncitizens enacting U.S. elections anywhere, Rick Hasen, a government teacher at University of California, Irvine, informed PolitiFact in its Nov. 18 fact-check exposing claims just like Trumps, which have actually spread out on conspiracy-theory sites. The concept that 3 million noncitizens might have unlawfully enacted our elections without being identified is obscenely ridiculous.

Pressed for proof for Trumps claims, representative Jason Miller informed press reporters Monday that the media ought to offer the suitable level of focus on vote stability issues rather than simply chasing after the glossy things of the Jill Stein recount effort, which he stated has no opportunity of reversing the elections result. He described disputed research study by 2 political researchers released by the Washington Post in 2014, and to a 2012 Pew Center on the States report requiring ineffective and error-plagued voter-registration systems to be improved.

Stein Recount

Earlier on Sunday, Trump had actually slammed states proposed for Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which are being led by Green Party prospect Jill Stein– an effort that Clintons project stated Saturday it would sign up with.

Jill
Jill Stein
Photographer: Win McNamee/Getty Images

In 7 early-morning Twitter posts, Trump stated previous remarks by Clinton on the have to accept the election results, culminating in her concession speech on Nov. 9. Much time and loan will be invested– very same outcome! Unfortunate, Trump concluded. On Saturday, he called the Green Partys recount efforts a fraud to fill their coffers.

Michigans Board of State Canvassers licensed Trumps 10,704-vote winning margin there on Monday, and Stein has up until Wednesday to request for a recount, the Associated Press reported.

Millions Raised

Trump assistants on Sunday fanned out throughout political talk reveals to cast cold water on the recount efforts.

Reince Priebus, the inbound White House chief of personnel, stated on Fox News Sunday that the prepared recount would serve just to divide this nation when we have to come together.

The effort was frustrating and confounding, Trump senior consultant Kellyanne Conway stated on NBCs Meet journalism. It ends up Team Hillary and their brand-new BFF Jill Stein cant accept truth, Conway stated Saturday in a declaration.

Stein has actually raised more than $6.3 million for her recount effort, with a $7 million objective, inning accordance with a running tally on her site.

Clinton Support

Clintons project will take part in the recount in order to guarantee the procedure continues in a way that is reasonable to all sides, Clinton project legal representative Marc Elias stated Saturday.

Elias, in a post on the blogging site Medium, included that he does not anticipate the action to reverse Trumps election. He likewise comprehensive extensive efforts currently carried out by the Democrats group to ensure the credibility of the vote.

Clintons project hadnt prepared to start the states by itself due to the fact that it hasn’t discovered any actionable proof of hacking or outdoors efforts to modify the ballot innovation, Elias composed.

A senior administration authorities, on the other hand, stated in a declaration that the federal government didnt observe any increased level of destructive cyber-activity targeted at interfering with the election on election day and thinks the elections were reasonable and totally free from a cybersecurity viewpoint.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com//news/articles/2016-11-27/trump-suggesting-voter-fraud-says-he-won-the-popular-vote

Unpredictable Trump could prove a game changer for Africa

(CNN)With his win of the White House, president-elect Trump has actually made no trick that his electoral college required to “make America fantastic once again” must use to United States foreign policy.

During the project and after his triumph, Trump has unabashedly and unexpectedly turned United States policy on its head with a waterfall of jaw-dropping declarations about Mexico, China, Russia and Putin, ISIS, Muslims, NATO, Israel and more.
There is, nevertheless, one location of the world Trump appears to have actually shunned entirely, a location where his skittishness might show a benefit.

    Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/19/africa/trump-africa-gondola-oped/index.html

    Categories CNN

    Tariffs: Donald Trump’s trust in trade war tactic is big electoral gamble

    Tariffs: Donald Trumps trust in trade war tactic is big electoral gamble

    Following his instincts, the president has slapped tariffs on $200bn of Chinese imports but the consequences are unpredictable

    Donald Trumps obsession with tariffs may be based on one of his few core beliefs. Or it may be part of a grand strategy to win votes. Either way, triggering a trade war between the worlds two biggest economies represents a huge gamble ahead of next years US presidential election.

    The US has raised tariffs on $200bn in imports from China to 25% from 10%, with another round in the offing. Beijing vowed to retaliate but Trump, ever the salesman, claimed on Twitter that the new tariffs will bring FAR MORE wealth to America.

    Trump is notoriously a non-ideological pragmatist who has switched parties and positions on countless issues, but for four decades he has taken a tough line on trade. Dan DiMicco, the former chief executive of the steel company Nucor, told the Washington Post in 2018: People think he just came to this issue last year, but he came to it on his own, decades ago, seeing what was going on in the 70s and 80s with job losses and manufacturing in decline.

    Sign up for the US morning briefing

    Defying Republican party free market orthodoxy, Trump talked about trade relentlessly during the 2016 election campaign and it worked with enough people to help win the electoral college. He therefore sees no reason not to pursue the same course while in office and in the 2020 election.

    Indeed, Trump and allies insist that the current trade policy has helped generate positive economic growth 3.2% in the first quarter though most experts contend that tariffs reduce economic activity by raising prices for consumers.

    Politically, however, Trump senses an opportunity to divide his opponents and put Democrats in an awkward spot. Chuck Schumer, the minority leader in the Senate, has repeatedly praised him for taking a harder line on China than either Barack Obama or George W Bush.

    But other Democrats, Trump believes, are vulnerable to the accusation of weak on China while he plays strongman putting America first. Former vice-president Joe Biden, currently leading the primary polls, raised eyebrows last week by downplaying the threat of Beijing.

    At a rally this week in Panama City, Florida, Trump cast doubt on whether another contender, the South Bend mayor, Pete Buttigieg, 37, is up to the job. We have a young man, Buttigieg Hes got a great chance, doesnt he? Hell be great, representing us against President Xi of China thatll be great. I want to be in that room. I want to watch that one.

    But there are clear political perils. One of Trumps favourite applause lines at rallies is the health of the stock market and the stalled talks threaten that run. Studies also show consumers and companies are already paying billions more in higher taxes and lost efficiency.

    And farmers are especially vulnerable from lost sales to China, an issue on which the president seems to be in denial. He tweeted on Friday: Your all time favorite President got tired of waiting for China to help out and start buying from our FARMERS, the greatest anywhere in the World!

    In fact China is the fourth biggest export market for US agriculture. It bought $9.3bn in American agricultural products last year, according to the US agriculture department. Losing farmers votes could prove costly to Trump at the ballot box. And if his tariffs tunnel vision brings about an economic slowdown or worse, his central argument for re-election will be lost.

     

    Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us