It was the Democrats’ embrace of neoliberalism that won it for Trump | Naomi Klein

People have lost their sense of security, status and even identity. Trumps victory is the scream of an America desperate for radical change

They will blame James Comey and the FBI. They will blame voter suppression and racism. They will blame Bernie or bust and misogyny. They will blame third parties and independent nominees. They will blame the corporate media for dedicating him the platform, social media for being a bullhorn, and WikiLeaks for airing the laundry.

But this leaves out the force most responsible for creating the nightmare in which we now find ourselves wide awake: neoliberalism. That worldview fully represented by Hillary Clinton and her machine is no match for Trump-style extremism. The decision to run one against the other is what sealed our fate. If we learn nothing else, can we please learn from that mistake?

Here is what we need to understand: a hell of a lot of people are in pain. Under neoliberal policies of deregulation, privatisation, austerity and corporate trade, their living criteria have declined precipitously. They have lost jobs. They have lost pensions. They have lost much of the safety net that used to make these losses less frightening. They ensure a future for their children even worse than their precarious present.

At the same time, they have witnessed the rise of the Davos class, a hyper-connected network of banking and tech billionaires, elected leaders who are awfully cosy with those interests, and Hollywood celebrities who construct the whole thing seem unbearably glamorous. Success is a party to which they were not invited, and they know in their hearts that this rising wealth and power is somehow directly connected to their grow debts and powerlessness.

For the people who saw security and status as their birthright and that means white humen most of all these losses are unbearable.

Donald Trump speaks directly to that ache. The Brexit campaign spoke to that ache. So do all of the rising far-right parties in Europe. They answer it with nostalgic nationalism and indignation at remote economic bureaucracies whether Washington, the North American free trade agreement the World Trade Organisation or the EU. And of course, they answer it by bashing migrants and people of colour, vilifying Muslims, and degrading females. Elite neoliberalism has nothing to offer that pain, because neoliberalism unleashed the Davos class. People such as Hillary and Bill Clinton are the toast of the Davos party. In truth, they hurled the party.

Trumps message was: All is hell. Clinton answered: All is well. But its not well far from it.

Neo-fascist responses to rampant insecurity and inequality are not going to go away. But what we know from the 1930 s is that what it takes to do battle with fascism is a real left. A good chunk of Trumps support could be peeled away if there were a genuine redistributive agenda on the table. An agenda to take on the billionaire class with more than rhetoric, and use the money for a green new deal. Such a plan could create a tidal wave of well-paying unionised chores, bringing seriously needed resources and opportunities to communities of colour, and insist that polluters should pay for workers to be retrained and fully included in this future.

It could way public policies that fight institutionalised racism, economic inequality and climate change at the same time. It could take on bad trade bargains and police violence, and honour indigenous people as the original defenders of the land, water and air.

How the 2016 US election night unfolded

People have a right to be angry, and a powerful, intersectional left agenda can direct that anger where it belongs, while fighting for holistic answers that will bring a frayed society together.

Such a coalition is possible. In Canada, we have begun to cobble it together under the banner of a people agenda called The Leap Manifesto, endorsed by more than 220 organisations from Greenpeace Canada to Black Lives Matter Toronto, and some of our largest trade unions.

Bernie Sanders astonishing campaign went a long way towards building this sort of alliance, and demonstrated that the craving for democratic socialism is out there. But early on, there was a failing in the campaign to connect with older black and Latino voters who are the demographic most abused by our current economic model. That failure prevented the campaign from reaching its full potential. Those mistakes can be corrected and a bold, transformative coalition is there to be built on.

That is the task ahead. The Democratic party needs to be either decisively wrested from pro-corporate neoliberals, or it needs to be abandoned. From Elizabeth Warren to Nina Turner, to the Occupy graduates who took the Bernie campaign supernova, there is a stronger field of coalition-inspiring progressive leaders out there than at any point in my lifetime. We are leaderful, as many in the Movement for Black Lives say.

So lets get out of shock as fast as we can and construct the kind of revolutionary motion that has a genuine answer to the dislike and dread represented by the Trumps of this world. Lets set aside whatever is keeping us apart and start right now.

Make sure to visit:

Four more journalists get felony charges after covering inauguration unrest

A documentary producer, a photojournalist, a live-streamer and a freelance reporter facing up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted

Four more journalists have been charged with misdemeanours after being arrested while encompassing the unrest around Donald Trumps inauguration, means that at least six media workers are facing up to 10 years in prison and a $25,000 fine if convicted.

Matt Hopard. Photo: Handout

A documentary producer, a photojournalist, a live-streamer and a freelance reporter were each charged with the most serious level of offense under Washington DCs law against rioting, after being caught up in the police action against demonstrators.

The Guardian learned of their arrests after reporting on Monday that the journalists Evan Engel of Vocativ and Alex Rubinstein of RT America had also been arrested and charged with felonies while covering the same unrest on Friday morning.

All six others were arraigned in superior court on Saturday and released to await farther hearings in February and March, according to court filings. The Committee to Protect Journalists( CPJ) told late on Tuesday that charges against journalists who were covering the protests should be dropped.

These charges are clearly inappropriate, and we are concerned that they could send a chilling message to journalists covering future protests, said Carlos Laura, the CPJs senior Americas program coordinator. We call on authorities in Washington to drop these charges immediately.

Jack Keller, a producer for the web documentary series Story of America, said he was charged and detained for about 36 hours after being kettled by police at 12 th and L streets on Friday morning and arrested despite telling officers that he was encompassing the demoes as a journalist.

The way we were treated was an absolute travesty, said Keller, whose cellphone has been kept by the authorities. Kellers editor, Annabel Park, told: It is a maddening and frustrating situation. These are people who were there observe and documenting.

Matt Hopard, an independent journalist who was live-streaming the Friday protests, was arrested at the same site as Keller, Engel and Rubinstein, according to metropolitan police records. He said in a message that he denied the charge against him.

Journalist records inauguration protest moments before arrest

Also apprehended while encompassing the demoes at 12 th and L streets and later charged were Shay Horse, an independent photojournalist and activist, and Aaron Cant, a freelance journalist and activist, who has written for outlets including the Baffler, the Washington Spectator and the New Inquiry. Both deny wrongdoing.

In all, more than 200 people were arrested on Friday, after property was vandalized in the US capital in the hours around Trumps swearing-in as chairperson. Police said that six officers suffered minor injuries.

The National Lawyers Guild accused Washington DCs metropolitan police department of having indiscriminately targeted people for arrest en masse based on locating alone and said they unlawfully used teargas and other weapons.

These illegal acts are clearly designed to chill the speech of protesters engaging in First Amendment activity, Maggie Ellinger-Locke, of the guilds DC branch, said in a statement.

None of the arrest reports for the six journalists makes any specific accusations about what any of them are supposed to have done wrong. Kellers report, which also covers the arrests of an unknown number of unidentified other people, includes a note that a police vehicle was vandalized. I had absolutely nothing to do with the vandalism, told Keller.

Shay Horse. Photograph: Handout

Reports on the arrests of five of the six journalists contain identical language alleging that numerous crimes were occurring in police presence. They state that windows were violated, flames were lit and vehicles were damaged. The crowd was observed tempting a riot by organizing, promoting, fostering and participating in acts of violence in furtherance of the riot, the police reports said.

The US lawyers office for Washington DC, which is prosecuting those arrested, declined to comment on the journalists particular case but said it was continuing to review evidence from the day with the police.

Based on the facts and circumstances, we determined that probable cause existed to support the filing of felony rioting charges, William Miller, a spokesman for the office, said in a statement. As in all of our examples, we are always willing to consider additional information that people bring forward.

Preliminary hearings for Cant, Hopard, Horse, and Keller were defined for mid-March. Hearings for Engel and Rubinstein were scheduled for mid-February.

Make sure to visit:

This is the most dangerous time for our planet | Stephen Hawking

We cant go on ignoring inequality, because we have the means to destroy our world but not to escape it

As a theoretical physicist are stationed in Cambridge, I have lived my life in an extraordinarily privileged bubble. Cambridge is an unusual town, centred around one of the worlds great universities. Within that town, the scientific community that I became part of in my 20 s is even more rarefied.

And within that scientific community, the smaller group of international theoretical physicists with whom I have spent my working life might sometimes be seduced to regard themselves as the spire. In addition to this, with the celebrity that has come with my volumes, and the isolation imposed by my illness, I feel as though my ivory tower is get taller.

So the recent apparent rejection of the elites in both America and Britain is surely is targeted at me, as much as anyone. Whatever we might think about the decision by the British electorate to reject membership of the European union and by the American public to embracing Donald Trump as their next chairman, there is no doubt in the minds of commentators that this was a sob of indignation by people who felt they had been abandoned by their leaders.

It was, everyone seems to agree, the moment when the forgotten speak, procuring their voices to reject the advice and guidance of experts and the elite everywhere.

I am no exception to this rule. I warned before the Brexit vote that it would damage scientific research in Britain, that a election to leave would be a step backward, and the electorate or at least a sufficiently significant proportion of it took no more notice of me than any of the other political leaders, trade unionists, artists, scientists, businessmen and celebrities who all gave the same unheeded advice to the rest of the country.

What matters now, far more than the choices made by these two electorates, is how the elites react. Should we, in turn, reject these referendums as outpourings of crude populism that fail to be given to the fact, and attempt to circumvent or circumscribe the choices that they represent? I would argue that this would be a terrible mistake.

The concerns underlying these referendums about the economic consequences of globalisation and accelerating technological change are utterly understandable. The automation of mills has already decimated employment opportunities in traditional manufacturing, and the rise of artificial intelligence is likely to extend this job demolition deep into the middle classes, with only the most caring, creative or supervisory roles remaining.

This in turn will accelerate the already widening economic inequality around the world. The internet and the platforms that it makes possible allow very small groups of individuals to make enormous earnings while hiring very few people. This is inevitable, it is progress, but it is also socially destructive.

We need to put this alongside the financial crash, which brought home to people that a very few someones working in the financial sector can accrue huge rewards and that the rest of us underwrite that success and pick up the bill when their avarice leads us astray. So taken together “were living in” a world of widening , not diminishing, financial inequality, in which many people can see not just their the living standards, but their ability to earn a living at all, disappearing. It is no wonder then that they are searching for a new deal, which Trump and Brexit might have appeared to represent.

In sub-Saharan Africa there are more people with a telephone than access to clean water. Photo: Andy Hall for the Observer

It is also the example that another unintended outcome of the global spread of the internet and social media is that the stark nature of these inequalities is far more apparent than it has been in the past. For me, the ability to use technology to communicate has been a liberating and positive experience. Without it, I would not have been able to continue working these many years past.

But it also means that the lives of the richest people in the most prosperous parts of the world are agonisingly visible to anyone, however poor, who has access to a phone. And since there are now more people with a telephone than access to clean water in sub-Saharan Africa, this will shortly entails nearly everyone on our increasingly mobbed planet will be unable to escape the inequality.

The consequences of this are plain to see: the rural poor flock to cities, to shanty towns, driven by hope. And then often, detecting that the Instagram nirvana was not possible there, they seek it overseas, joining the ever greater numbers of economic migrants in search of a better life. These migrants in turn place new demands on the infrastructures and economies of the countries in which they arrive, undermining tolerance and further fuelling political populism.

For me, the really concerning facet of this is that now, more than at any time in our history, our species needs to work together. We face awesome environmental challenges: climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic illnes, acidification of the oceans.

Together, they are a reminder that we are at the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity. We now have the technology to destroy countries around the world on which we live, but have not yet developed the ability to escape it. Perhaps in a few hundred years, we will have established human colonies amid the stars, but right now we only have one planet, and we need to work together to protect it.

To do that, we need to break down , not build up, roadblocks within and between nations. If we are to stand a chance of doing that, the worlds leaders need to acknowledge that they have failed and are failing the many. With resources increasingly concentrated in the hands of a few, we are going to have to learn to share far more than at present.

With not only chores but entire industries disappearing, we must help people to retrain for a new world and support them financially while they do so. If communities and economies cannot cope with current levels of migration, we must do more to promote global growth, as that is the only way that the migratory millions will be persuaded to seek their own future at home.

We can do this, I am an enormous optimist for my species; but it will require the elites, from London to Harvard, from Cambridge to Hollywood, to learn the lessons of the past year. To learn above all a measure of humility.

The novelist launched earlier this year

Make sure to visit:

Trump threatens ‘military option’ in Venezuela as crisis escalates

In a surprise intervention, Donald Trump said he would not rule in employing military force as the country descends further into civil unrest

Donald Trump threatened a US military intervention in Venezuela on Friday, a dramatic escalation in his administrations stance toward the Latin American country which is descending into political chaos.

Trump stimulated the statements in response to questions from reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

Asked what options were available for the US in dealing with Venezuela, which has descended into civil unrest under the direction of chairwoman Nichols Maduro, Trump responded by explicitly not ruling out military force.

We have many options for Venezuela and by the way, Im not going to rule out a military alternative, he said.

We have many options for Venezuela, this is our neighbour, Trump added. Were all over the world and we have troops all over the world in places that are very very far away, Venezuela is not very far away and the people are suffering and succumbing. We have many options for Venezuela including a possible military alternative if necessary.

Vladimir Padrino, Venezuelas defence minister, said on Friday night that Trumps threat was an act of craziness and supreme extremism.

General Vladimir Padrino, a close ally of Maduro, said: With this radical upper-class thats in charge in the US, who knows what will happen to the world?

Jose Miguel Vivanco, the Americas director for Human Rights Watch, tweeted: Perhaps since[ Hugo] Chvez named him his successor , no one had helped Maduro as much as Trump and this nonsense he said today.

The White House released a statement saying it had repudiated a request from Maduro to speak by phone with Trump. The statement said: Trump will gladly speak with the leader of Venezuela as soon as republic is restored in that country.

The surprise intervention caps a week of increasingly bellicose rhetoric directed at North Korea.

Venezuela has appeared to slide toward a more volatile stage of unrest in recent days, with anti-government forces-out looting weapons from the military after the installation of an all-powerful new legislative body.

Donald Trump speaks to the press from his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey. Photograph: Jim Watson/ AFP/ Getty Images

When a reporter followed up to ask Trump if this military alternative would be US led, the president responded: We dont talking here it. A military operation, a military option is surely something that we could pursue.

The remarks come as Maduro has convened a constituent assembly, in an electoral widely denounced by international observers, to amend the countrys constitution to cement his grip on power. Maduro has also forced the countrys chief prosecutor from office, while the United Nation has condemned the governmental forces employ of excessive force against protestors.

Although Venezuela has the worlds largest proven oil reserves, its economy has collapsed in recent years as the country led first by the late Hugo Chvez and then by his successor, Maduro, has resorted to increasingly authoritarian measures to consolidate power.

Peru expelled Venezuelas ambassador on Friday as regional pressure built on Maduros government. Venezuela retaliated by ordering the head of Perus embassy in Caracas to leave and called Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski an enemy of Venezuela and of Latin American unity.

Trumps remarks come in the shadow of a 2002 coup try against Chvez that he blamed on the US. The coup was launched after a violent showdown between marchers in support of a general strike clashed with government forces.

Associated Press contributed to this report .

Make sure to visit:

Trump blasts Russia investigation as ‘fake story’ at West Virginia rally

Rally for thousands of diehard advocates held on same day Robert Mueller reportedly convened grand jury as part of investigation into alleged collusion

Donald Trump rallied thousands of diehard supporters against the investigation into his election campaigns alleged collusion with Russia, cautioning on Thursday: Theyre trying to cheat you out of the leadership that you want with a fake story.

In what might be seen as a bid to weaponise his populist base, the US president sought to discredit the allegations as a total fabrication on the same day it was reported that special advise Robert Mueller has convened a grand jury in Washington, a sign that his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election is escalating.

Most people know there were no Russians in our campaign; there never were, Trump told a rally in Huntington, West Virginia, a coal country stronghold where Trump beat Democrat Hillary Clinton by 42 percentage points. We didnt win because of Russia. We won because of you.

The crowd, many with Make America great again hats or signs, erupted in vociferous cheers. Trump continued: We won because we wholly outworked the other side. We won because of millions of patriotic Americans voted to take back their country.

The president asked mockingly: Have you assured any Russians in West Virginia or Ohio or Pennsylvania? Are there any Russians here tonight, any Russians? They cant beat us at the voting kiosks so theyre trying to cheat you out of the future and the future that you want. Theyre trying to cheat you out of the leadership that you want with a fake narrative that is demeaning to all of us and most importantly demeaning to our country and demeaning to our constitution.

Trumps rhetoric at a 9,000 -person capacity arena on Thursday echoed rallies during the election campaign where he claimed the system was rigged against him. This time he appeared to be scattering seeds of doubts concerning the investigations by Mueller and two congressional committees into whether there was collusion between Russia and Trumps presidential campaign.

I just hope the final determination is a truly honest one which is what the millions of people who gave us our big win in November deserve and what all Americans who want a better future wishing and deserve, the president added ominously. Democrat lawmakers will have to decide. They can continue their obsession with the Russian hoax or they can serve the interests of the American people. Try winning at the voter kiosk. Not going to be easy, but thats the way youre supposed to do it.

The pledge of allegiance during Donald Trumps rally in West Virginia. Photo: Justin Merriman/ Getty Images

Trump spared the media his usual broadsides and instead focused on Democrats, whom he claimed were trying to find an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of American politics. Prosecutors should be looking for former secretary of state Hillary Clintons 33,000 emails, he added, prompting thunderous cheers and chants of Lock her up! some nine months after the election.

The prolonged refusal of links to Moscow signalled a shift in strategy for Trump, who rarely dwells on such issues during rallies, where few supporters seem concerned. His daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, also brought it up during a short speech, calling it a crazy narrative about Russia. And West Virginia governor Jim Justice, announcing his defection from the Democrat to the Republicans, told the crowd: Have we not heard enough about the Russians? I mean, to our God in heaven, think about it: the stock markets at 22,000 and this country has hope and were on our way.

The concerted endeavour could be a sign that the White House is realising the full gravitation of the situation. Mueller, appointed special counsel in May following the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey, has recruited more than a dozen investigators, including current and former justice department attorneys with experience in international bribery, organised crime and fiscal fraud.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Mueller is utilizing a grand jury in Washington, meaning he could subpoena witnesses and records in the coming weeks and months.

Why the poorest district in West Virginia has faith in Trump

Defense attorney John Dowd told the Associated Press( AP ): With regards the news of the federal grand jury, I have no reason to believe that the president is under investigation.

Ty Cobb, special advise to the president, said he was not aware Mueller had started use a new grand jury. Grand jury matters are typically secret, Cobb told the AP. The White House favours anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work somewhat … The White House is committed to fully cooperating with Mr Mueller.

It was unclear how the Washington grand jury was connected to the work of a separate grand jury in Alexandria, Virginia, that has been used to gather information on Trumps former national security consultant Michael Flynn, who is under scrutiny over his ties to Moscow.

Steve Williams, the mayor of Huntington, criticised Trumps claim that the Russia story was a hoax. It plainly isnt because Mueller is announcing today that a grand jury has been impaneled. Methinks he does protest too much.

Trumps speech in the city was a wasted opportunity, Williams added. I thought it was a 2016 campaign rally. I expected some discussion about the opioid crisis, particularly since the presidents commissions report came out a couple of days ago. I was hoping he would declare a national emergency.

Make sure to visit:

Trump interview: golf, Brexit and why you don’t hear about Britain any more

Full transcript of last weeks Wall Street Journal interview shows Trump seemed more keen to discuss golf than specifics of post-Brexit trade deal

For Britain it seems to be a occurrence of hes only not that into you. Except when it comes to golf.

Donald Trump seemed less than awestruck when talking about his late mothers homeland in an interview with the Wall Street Journal, find: You dont hear the word Britain any more.

Whereas American anglophiles are stereotypically enamoured of the Beatles, Downton Abbey and the royal family, the US presidents most urgent concern appears to be the implications of Scottish independence for the Open golf championship.

Trump spoke last week to Gerard Baker, the British-born editor of the Journal, which published excerpts of the interview, but the full transcript was merely subsequently obtained by the Politico website and released on Tuesday.

After a discursive debate about healthcare, jobs and their respective households, Baker noted that Trump had tweeted that morning about trade talks with Britain and would like to know whether could provide more details.

The president replied: No, but I can say that were going to be very involved with the UK. I entail, you dont hear the word Britain any more. Its very interesting. Its like , nope.

Brexit-besieged Downing Street will presumably be hoping that Trump meant that the word Britain has lost out to the UK in common usage, rather than that the country itself has fallen into obscurity.

The conversation moved on. Baker remarked that he is English. It was Trumps turn to ask a question about Scottish independence: Is Scotland going to go for the vote, by the way? You dont see it. It would be terrible. They merely went through hell.

Baker indicated that he did not think there would be another freedom referendum. The chairperson, whose mother was from the Hebridean island of Lewis, seemed to dreaded the dissolution of the 310 -year-old union, but not for the usual reasons.

One little thing, he said. What would they do with the British Open if they ever got out? Theyd no longer have the British Open.

The No campaign never thought of that one.

Trump added: Scotland. Maintain it in Scotland.

He and Baker then conversed about golf and the American star Jordan Spieth, whom Trump ranked alongside greats Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus.

The Wall Street Journal editor eventually interjected: Anyway, are you looking forward to doing a trade deal with the UK?

Trump responded: Yeah. I have a great relationship …

When Baker reminded him of the ticking clock of Brexit, the president told: We have a very good relationship. I have a very good relationship with the “ministers “. And we are absolutely looking to do a major trade deal.

Baker followed up: Would the idea be that the trade deal will kick in pretty much as soon as Brexit happens?

Trump said: As soon as its appropriate to have it kick in, utterly. And itll be a big trade bargain much, much more business than we do right now, many, many times.

He went on to criticise the European union as very, very protectionist but ducked a question about doing an agriculture deal with the UK by changing the subject to China. He did indicate he could do a services deal with the UK but again seemed anxious to avoid details.

Baker has denied devoting Trump an easy ride in the Wall Street Journals coverage of his presidency. A spokesperson for the paper told Politico: We published the noteworthy excerpts from the interview. We watched no reason to publish the crosstalk that inevitably accompanies any conversation.

Trump expends numerous weekends playing golf despite previously criticising Barack Obamas similar outings. A new article in Sports Illustrated offers an insight into why.

It reports: Chatting with some members before a recent round of golf, he explained his frequent appearances: That White House is a real dump. Trump is often at his most unguarded among the people who pay for their close proximity to him.

Make sure to visit:

Republicans urge Trump to keep critical health subsidies for low-income people

Donald Trump has threatened to stop payments that help millions to afford insurance, amid frustration over his partys failure to repeal Obamacare

Republicans lawmakers are recommending Donald Trump to continue paying critical health insurance subsidies that help lower-income people afford it, amid growing concern that the president will follow through on his menace to cancel them.

Frustrated by his partys failure to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Trump has hung the possibility that he would stop the payments a move that experts tell would send insurance marketplaces into turmoil and cause premiums to rise dramatically.

Democrats have called the threat an attempt to sabotage the Affordable Care Act, often referred to as Obamacare.

Senator Lamar Alexander, the chairman of the Senate health, education, labor and pensions Committee, announced on Tuesday that his committee would begin holding hearings after Labor Day to discuss bipartisan legislation to stabilize and strengthen the individual health insurance marketplace in 2018.

There are a number of issues with the American healthcare system but if your home is on fire you want to put out the fire, Alexander said in introductory remarks at the start of a committee hearing on Tuesday afternoon. And the fire in this case is the individual health insurance marketplace. Both Republican and Democrat agree on this.

Alexander publicly called on the president to continue the payments to insurance companies, knowns as expense sharing reduction( CSR) subsidies. The payments help insurance companies off-set low-income clients out-of-pocket medical expenditures such as deductibles and co-payments.

Without payment of these cost-sharing reductions Americans will be hurt, he said.

He described potential impacts of cutting off the payments, which total an estimated$ 7bn in 2017 and encompass approximately 7 million people. Without the funding, he told, the insurance marketplaces would unravel and insurers would likely leave the marketplaces leaving consumers with few, or possibly no, coverage alternatives to buy insurance through the marketplace exchanges.

The insurers that stay will likely have to raise insurance premiums in order to offset the loss of the payments. He cited an analysis by the Americas Health Insurance Plans that found insurance premiums would increase by roughly 20%. Middle-class Americans would largely bear the brunt of the projected increase, as poorer clients could still access the subsidies.

Play Video

Chuck Schumer praises John McCain for rejecting healthcare bill video

The announcement was the first attempt by senators of both parties to cooperate on healthcare after a Republican plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act collapsed in dramatic fashion on the chamber floor. On Monday, the Problem Solvers Caucus, a bipartisan group of House members, unveiled a suite of fixes to the healthcare law to stabilize the insurance marketplaces. The most significant of their five proposals would appropriate funding for the laws cost-sharing subsidies.

Trump has repeatedly raised the possibility that he might cancel the payments to insurance companies in an attempt to undermine the Affordable Care Act.

If ObamaCare is hurting people,& it is, why shouldnt it hurt the insurance companies& why should Congress not be paying what public pays? Trump tweeted on Monday.

Democrats have accused the management of its trying to inject uncertainty into the insurance market.

The American people need a chairwoman who puts their interests first, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer said in a floor speech on Tuesday , not someone who plays political games with their healthcare.

On Tuesday, several Republican senators joined Democrats in exhorting the president to continue pays.

Just thinking about those households that would be hurt were they not[ continued ], I think it would be better to continue them, said Senator Bill Cassidy, a Republican from Louisiana. And I think it would be better then for Congress to do the constitutional thing and get it appropriated for a year or two.

Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine who helped thwart their attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, said it was absolutely essential that the president continue funding for the subsidies.

Republican senator Susan Collins on Capitol hill in Washington. Photograph: J. Scott Applewhite/ AP

When I hear them described as insurance company bailouts, that is just not an accurate description, she told. The reason that we have CSRs is to help low-income people who earn only between 100% and 250% of the poverty rate afford their out-of-pocket expenses. That seems to be lost in the debate.

Trump has referred to the payments as bailouts for the insurance companies, implying that the subsidies are compensation for business failings. Rather they help repay insurance companies for the money they lose.

But not all Republicans concur. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, a fierce critic of the healthcare statute who pushed for its full repeal, agreed with Trump: We need to honor our promise to repeal Obamacare and billions for the insurance companies isnt doing that, Cruz said.

During the committee hearing, Alexander told reducing the uncertainty about whether the payments will be continued should bring down premiums in 2018.

If the president were to approve continuation of cost-sharing subsidies for August and September, and if Congress in September should pass a stabilization plan that includes cost-sharing for one year … it is reasonable to expect that the insurance companies in 2018 would then lower their rates, he said.

Though Republicans were not able to dismantle the healthcare statute this year, its immediate fate lies largely in the hands of the chairman.

Beyond canceling subsidies, the administration could also refuse to enforce the individual mandate, which requires Americans to purchase healthcare or face a penalty. It could also refuse to help customers sign up for insurance coverage on the marketplace when enrollment opens in November.

The ball is in the presidents tribunal, Schumer told. He can construct the payments as the law requires and needs, or he can sabotage our healthcare system.

Make sure to visit:

Who’d want Scaramucci’s job now? In Trump’s White House, no one comes out alive | Lucia Graves

Whoever fills Scaramuccis shoes will continue the circus anew before being sacrificed, in an oft-repeated rite, on Trumps altar

Its been a very bad week for Anthony Scaramucci, who, after getting sacked from his wedding, got sacked from his job.

Hes dead even to his alma mater Harvard law schools alumni directory, in an erroneous report, apparently declared him deceased.

That his stint in the public eye lasted less than 2 week, though, should be less a punchline than it is edifying. The lesson: there is no worse undertaking than trying to speak for Trump.

Though his entire White House has been full of political upheaval, with tasks changing over and postures going unfilled, its not by chance the the role of spokesperson is most fraught.

Under any president its a task that requires answering to the public, and if you work for Trump, that means obfuscating all the time. It also entails, more than any other single person, and there are plenty within the White House, youre the fallguy to assimilate Trumps hit.

If anyone could have succeeded in this line of thankless work, it should have been Scaramucci. After all he was in many ways the spitting image of his boss: petty and vain, if endlessly entertaining, a human who loves above all the sight of his own face on TV.

Most tellingly, perhaps, hes loyalty-obsessed but disloyal himself. A strange distinction indeed for a guy who backed any candidate other than Trump as recently as last year, and fundraised for Obama in 2008.

His disloyalty was perhaps on display last week when his wife reportedly left him for being so hell-bent on the White House, relentlessly and opportunistically courting Trump after his presidential rise. In January he sold his $11 m stake in SkyBridge Capital in anticipation of a White House job.

Whether the details of the divorce report are true, whats clear is he was willing to sacrifice everything: family, finance, reputation. Its the same win-at-all-costs drive weve assured displayed repeatedly in Trump.

Then Trump turned around and sacrificed him.

He had been hired, its “re saying”, as an instrument to hasten the deviation of Reince Priebus. And here, the allegiance flip again: though Scaramucci had once described his relationship with Priebus as one of brothers, upon arriving in the White House, he went on the attack.

Later he sought to clarify that he and Priebus were like feuding biblical friends Cain and Abel but as we now assure, in the Trump White House version of the narrative , no one comes out alive.

The move was said to come at the request of Trumps new joint chiefs of staff John F Kelly, the latest dummy to buy into Trumps game. Mr Scaramucci felt it was best to give chief of staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own squad, read a statement from the White House. Whether it was issued by axed spokesman Sean Spicer or current deputy, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, was somewhat comically unclear.

What isnt is that there will be no clean slates, as the White House seeks to pivot away from turmoil and toward passing its taxation cut package: whoever fills his shoes will continue the circus anew before being sacrificed, in an oft-repeated rite, on Trumps altar.

For the president has always been willing to betray his political allies without a second thought, even as he demands comic levels of fealty from his underlings.

And having watched the rapid unraveling of the former family man known as Scaramucci , no person in their right mind would take the job now.

Make sure to visit:

Gianforte to volunteer with children’s group after assaulting Guardian reporter

Republican congressman, ordered to perform 40 hours of community service, to work off sentence with organization that constructs wheelchairs for children

The Montana Republican Greg Gianforte will work off his sentence for assaulting a Guardian reporter by volunteering for an organization that constructs custom wheelchairs for children.

Gianforte assaulted Ben Jacobs the day before a 25 May special congressional election. Before pleading guilty to misdemeanor assault, in June, he agreed to donate $50,000 to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

In his statement to the court, Jacobs told: I asked Mr Gianforte a question in the same manner I have asked questions of hundreds of legislators: congressmen, senators and even the man who is now our chairman.

Mr Gianfortes response was to slam me to the floor and start punching me. He injured my elbow, violated my glasses and thrust me into their own nationals spotlight I did not seek or desire.

Gianforte was fined $385, told to complete 20 hours of anger-management therapy and ordered to perform 40 hours of community service.

The Gallatin County court services director, Steve Ette, told the Bozeman Daily Chronicle the congressman is collaborating with ROC Wheels, a Bozeman-based not-for-profit group, to determine when and how his community service will be completed. He has until 28 November to do so.

Gianforte told the court he will be seeing a therapist are stationed in Bozeman.

Gianforte won his election against the Democrat Rob Quist and was sworn in as his countries sole US representative in June. It emerged that he attracted more than $116,000 in campaign gifts after he assaulted a journalist.

Jacobs broken glass are now on display at the Newseum in Washington DC.

Make sure to visit:

Is the American republic built to withstand a malevolent president? | Michael Goldfarb

The principle of common good underpins the constitution. Donald Trump is joyfully shredding that ideal

The Trump administration, having passed the six-month milestone in office, kicked off the next phase of his presidency with an explosion of crazy, spread over the past seven days. Like sweeps week on The Apprentice , every day find some headline-grabbing event to garner ratings. It started with leaks against his former bosom buddy, us attorney general, Jeff Sessions. President Trump, sources told, was planning to fire him. It moved on to a speech to the Boy Scouts of America jamboree, where Trump told the story of a real estate developers who lost a luck and was lurking at a New York party with the hottest people. Afterward, there was a tweet announcement banning transgender people from the military.

This explosion of crazy concluded with his new White House chief of communications, Anthony Scaramucci, calling the New Yorker s political correspondent Ryan Lizza to junk virtually everyone in the White House. He compared himself positively to the presidents dark lord and special adviser, Stephen Bannon: Im not Steve Bannon, Im not trying to suck my own cock. Im not trying to build my own brand off the fucking strength of the president.

Doesnt Scaramucci, or the Mooch, as he was known on Wall Street, have a mother? Wont she be ashamed to find him talking like that in public? The week conclude with a big name fired: White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus.

And up on Capitol Hill things werent a lot less calm. There was the closed-door interrogation of Jared Kushner, the presidents son-in-law, on Russian connections to the Trump campaign. Then arrived the Republican Senate majoritys inability to repeal the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, featuring John McCain voting yes, to debate the bill, then no, to kill it stone dead until The Apprentice goes into reruns.

All of these events, and a dozen more I dont have space to mention, create a picture of utter chaos across the American administration. Trump has ridden roughshod over not only the customs and norms of presidential behaviour but also basic standards of human decency.

Anthony Scaramucci: foul-mouthed defender of Donald Trump. Photo: Pablo Martinez Monsivais/ AP

In doing so, he has forced journalists and the institutions they write for to change their basic standards of acceptable language. We use the words crazy and stupid now in our reports because some of the behaviour and actions of Trump and his team are crazy and stupid. We debate whether to refer to the Trump administration or the Trump regime , with all the pejorative connotations that word carries. The New York Times is still the Grey Lady, but it has to publish sucking his own cock, because thats what the presidents top communications official said.

People on the outside wonder where the famous checks and balances are that have constructed American democracy function for more than 230 years? They are still there and, up to a point, still running. For instance, presidential power was checked when Trumps ban on travellers from seven Muslim nations was halted by the courts. The prohibit is now mired in a legal process.

However, what the madness, abnormality or whatever you want to call it emanating from the White House does draw attention to is the real problem in American politics the Republicans are no longer a political party but a political faction, a much more dangerous thing.

The danger of cliques was recognised at the foundation of the United States. In The Federalist Number 10, a highly influential essay on political theory published in 1787, James Madison defined clique as a number of citizens, whether amounting to a minority or majority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.

Madison understood the most dangerous thing that can happen in a society is for a group and its political representatives to act as if their view alone represent the nation. This leads them to think that they alone are the nation and the views of the individuals who disagree with them not worthy of consideration.

Republican factionalism has led their elected representatives in Congress to upend existing constitutional customs as thoroughly as Trump has destroyed the existing norms of presidential conduct. They have defamed the design of Madison and Thomas Jefferson by refusing to co-operate with the Democrat in any meaningful style. In fact, the idea of a pluralist society is anathema to them and they have been trying to crush it for decades.

The design of the Founders balanced the inevitable vying points of view that would grow in a society where people were free to follow different religions and debate ideas openly. It was for a society that encompassed the vying world views of urban dwellers and farmers. Without respect for these rules the system cannot work.

The result is that the US has, over the past quarter of a century, become ungovernable at the national level. Sadly, Madison, having identified the threat in the 18 th century that either a minority or a majority might become a faction, was unable to think of a solution to the problem that might work in the 21 st. The minority in the country the Republican faction is now the majority in both houses of Congress and in the state governments. It holds the White House, although neither of the last two Republican chairpeople gained office while winning a majority of the popular vote.

Trumps overall acceptance ratings may be historically low but his support in the Republican faction remains remarkably high. And for a reason Trump has delivered for them. He appointed Neil Gorsuch, a hard-right judge, to the seat on the supreme court the Republican faction wouldnt let President Obama to fill. Immigration from Mexico has slackened dramatically. And in a wave of executive orders, he overturned many Obama-era environmental the regulation and reinstated the Dakota pipeline project. Whats more, Trump daily drives liberals absolutely crazy with his politically incorrect tweets. The base of the Republican faction, approximately 36% of the population, will stay loyal to him.

Ultimately, the supreme constitutional checks on presidential behaviour remain article 1, section 3: impeachment, or the 25 th Amendment( which deals with succession ). If the Republicans were a political party as they were at the time of Watergate, that would have to be a consideration for Trump and his team. It might moderate the administrations behaviour if there were a genuine threat of being constitutionally collected from office. But there isnt. The Republican are a clique and the president is one of them.

So Trump carries on in office, unchecked and unbalanced. A majority of Americans, and most of the planet, watch and tell, this cant go on. But it can. For a while, at least.

Michael Goldfarb hosts the FRDH podcast

Make sure to visit: