A day that underscored the corruption swamping the Trump presidency

(CNN)A fateful convergence of events Friday reflected a culture of corruption and intimidation endemic to the circle of a President who vowed to drain the swamp but instead became its incarnation. As she spoke, and less than a mile away across Washington’s mall, Roger Stone became the latest associate who will pay for his loyalty to the President. The Nixon-era political trickster was found guilty of lying to Congress and witness tampering, apparently motivated by a desire to protect Trump from embarrassment over the Russia scandal. “Truth matters. Truth still matters, OK?” prosecutor Michael Marando had told the jury on Wednesday. “In our institutions of self-governance, committee hearings, courts of law … truth still matters.” All this came during a …

Four takeaways from Tom Steyer’s CNN town hall

(CNN)Businessman Tom Steyer began his Sunday CNN night town hall in Iowa by challenging fellow billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who appears poised to join the Democratic presidential primary, to support a wealth tax. Steyer puts Bloomberg on the spot Steyer took early aim at Bloomberg, saying the former New York City mayor should either get on board with a wealth tax or think twice about pursuing the Democratic nomination. “Unless Mr. Bloomberg is willing to accept a wealth tax, I don’t believe he can be an appropriate nominee for the Democratic Party,” Steyer, who supports the policy, said early on in the evening. He also pledged to “undo” all of the tax cuts given to the wealthiest Americans and corporations over …

Tom Watson quits as Labour deputy leader and steps down as MP

Move will reopen debate about partys direction under Jeremy Corbyn Tom Watson is quitting parliament and stepping down as Labours deputy leader, reopening the debate about the partys direction under Jeremy Corbyn. Watson, who is one of Labours best-known figures, has represented the constituency of West Bromwich East since 2001. In a letter to Corbyn released by Labour, he said his decision to step down was personal, not political. Tom Watson (@tom_watson) After 35 years in full-time politics, I’ve decided to step down and will be campaigning to overcome the Tory-fuelled public health crisis. I’m as committed to Labour as ever. I will spend this election fighting for brilliant Labour candidates and a better future for our country. November 6, …

Esper to urge Trump not to intervene in cases of service members facing war crimes allegations

Washington (CNN)Defense Secretary Mark Esper will urge President Donald Trump not to dismiss or change the sentences of service members facing war crimes allegations, CNN has learned. The Defense Department will send an information package to the White House as soon as it can get the material together, according to three defense officials. Esper is expected to discuss the cases with the President before the Nov. 11 Veterans Day holiday, administration officials directly familiar with the developments tell CNN. Esper and senior military officials want to get to Trump before he makes a decision and ensure he understands the gravity of what these soldiers have been found guilty of or, in the case of Goldsteyn, the pending charges. Administration officials …

Trust is becoming the principal casualty of Britains raging political war | Nick Cohen

The electorate is fast losing trust in leaders happy to abuse our democratic heritage Britain is in a revolutionary crisis. Its economy, constitution, place in the international order and sense of who it is and what it can become will be battlefields at the next election. The high stakes alone will ensure that a red mist descends. To heighten the rage, the wilful failure of the Conservative government to prevent the corruptions of the electoral process brought by the age of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin will sharpen every grievance. Put yourself in the place of Britains competing factions and you get a fair idea of how angry and desperate all sides will become. The leaders of the Brexit movement …

Why booing Donald Trump doesn’t mean what you think it means

(CNN)On Sunday night, President Donald Trump went to the World Series in Washington. And got booed. Loudly. And even was subject to a “lock him up!” chant. Which is, well, true. Trump very rarely appears in public at anything other than campaign rallies and official events. In both of those situations, he is lauded. There are just very few occasions — except maybe, when his motorcade passes protesters — where Trump comes face-to-face (or close) with people who really, really don’t approve of how he is handling his job. But what the booing and chants on Sunday proved isn’t that lots of people don’t like Trump. We already knew that. What it proved is just how much he has changed …

Beach towels and Brexit: how Germans really see the Brits

Exhibition at Bonns House of History documents unrequited love of all things British The strategy that Germanys diplomatic corps proposed to keep Britain in the European community was unconventional and bold. In November 1974, the then German chancellor Helmut Schmidt was desperately searching for the right words to convince British Eurosceptics to vote to remain a member of the European Economic Community. Schmidt had been offered a generous slot of 10 to 15 minutes at the Labour party conference, but a number of leftwing MPs had already announced they would walk out on his speech if he tried to lecture them. Katharina Focke, the German federal minister for youth, family and health, had some ingenious advice to offer after an …

New Kavanaugh claims detonate in heat of 2020 election

(CNN)President Donald Trump and Democratic White House hopefuls have plunged into a new battle over Justice Brett Kavanaugh because they have strong incentives to put the Supreme Court at the epicenter of the election. Trump barged into the fray in Kavanaugh’s defense, relishing the opening to revive one of the most emotional and GOP-unifying chapters of his presidency. “Brett Kavanaugh should start suing people for libel, or the Justice Department should come to his rescue. The lies being told about him are unbelievable,” Trump tweeted Sunday morning. The eagerness of both sides to engage reflects the confrontation’s potential to fire up base activists and an understanding that the fate of the Supreme Court has rarely been more important to the …

RIP GOP review: how Democrats can usher fall of the house of Trump

Stanley Greenberg makes key points about Republican decline but the presidents opponents face tough challenges too Nearly 35 years ago, the pollster Stanley Greenberg took a hard look at Macomb county, Michigan, wanting to better understand the political DNA of He concluded: These white Democratic defectors express a profound distaste for blacks, a sentiment that pervades almost everything they think about government and politics. A supporter of Robert Kennedy in 1968, Greenberg saw class, not race, as the lever of choice in wooing Democratic voters. A quarter-century later, he was Bill Clintons pollster in his victorious 1992 presidential bid. Now Greenberg delivers RIP GOP, in which he predicts that the rage engendered by Donald Trump will lead to his defeat …

Trump’s warning to Iran raises fears of war — and confusion

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump’s amped up rhetoric that the US is “locked and loaded” sparked new fears of war with Iran but also confusion about his true intentions following an attack on a Saudi oil field that rocked global oil markets. In fresh sign of the administration’s incoherent messaging on a war-or-peace issue, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff Marc Short appeared to try to draw the US back from the brink on Monday morning. “I think that ‘locked and loaded’ is a broad term and talks about the realities that we’re all far safer and more secure domestically from energy independence,” he told reporters. But Trump’s aggressive response already has raised the possibility that the US could become …

The racial politics of gun control

Washington (CNN)When Americans talk about guns, what’s arguably most interesting isn’t what we say about the devices themselves. It’s what we betray about whose voices — and lives — matter when it comes to our country’s virulent gun culture. “Shooting up schools is a white kid’s game. I hated school, too. It never occurred to me — kill everybody in school? It’s f***ing crazy,” Chappelle says. Decades ago, when Congress actually passed an assault weapons ban (that, notably, was allowed to expire in 2004), the broad concern was around guns in the hands of minorities — black Americans, specifically. Our modern Congress finds itself paralyzed now that we’re increasingly facing a different dimension of the issue: white people’s guns and …

Johnson thinks a culture war will win crucial working-class votes. Hes wrong | Lynsey Hanley

Most leave supporters are not pining for a mythical lost community. They just want a better quality of life, says writer Lynsey Hanley Not long after the referendum in 2016, some neighbours suddenly erected a big wooden fence around their front garden. Well, it seemed sudden. Our postman jokingly called it the Brexit wall, and although the two events may have been entirely unconnected, the fence took on a symbolism it was probably never intended to have. Whether it was there for reasons of privacy, security, or simply to have something for the ivy to grow on, well never know. I dont like to ask. But the fence reinforced my belief that community life has never been, and never will …

The Trump administration has taken its war on climate crisis action to a new level

(CNN)On Wednesday, CNN hosted a multi-hour town hall with leading Democratic presidential candidates about how they would deal with the climate crisis, which many people feel is an existential threat to humankind. You see where this is going. The Trump administration is actively looking for new ways to show its disdain for the issue of climate change. It’s not denial of climate change, though Trump has done that, calling it a hoax and a concept created by the Chinese. It’s not mockery of climate change, which he does whenever there is cold weather. It’s not a suggestion that clean energy causes cancer. It’s not trolling climate change activists and environmentalists, as his campaign is doing by peddling ocean-polluting plastic straws …

Why The Third Man is an essential primer for no-deal Brexit

As the classic noir gets a 70th anniversary re-release, its hard to ignore the parallels between a shattered postwar Vienna teeming with spivs and the future the Brexiters have in mind What perfect timing for The Third Man to step back out of the shadows. Often hailed as the finest film Britain ever made, a 70th anniversary re-release will see it return to cinemas with the government much in the market for symbols of national grandeur. While Boris Johnson has named his favourite film as Dodgeball for once, eerily believable as the great British breakdown goes on it is easy to imagine him waving a tiny Union Jack at Carol Reeds majestic noir. It is true, of course, that there …

Plastic straws are the subject of the latest 2020 culture war

New York (CNN)There’s a new cultural flashpoint in the 2020 presidential race: plastic straws. The elevation of an issue that is on the far margins of the climate challenge, but is tangible to people across the country, captures the tension between tackling the crisis and the changes that doing so would bring to Americans’ everyday lives. The cultural clash comes in part because, on broader policy matters, there is no middle ground to be found between Democrats advocating urgent action to address the climate crisis and Trump, a climate science denier. The President has repeatedly said he doesn’t believe humans play a role in global warming. Last year, he dismissed a study by his own administration warning of the potential …

Depth of Field: The Movie Poster Brexit Deserves

Photographs, Susan Sontag once famously wrote, “fiddle with the scale of the world.” They tell us only a distortion. They are incomplete, even as they strive to render the frame whole and exact. That does not make them false. Exactly the opposite. Photographs invite meaning, possibility. The best photos, thick with narrative, sweat. It is true that a picture is worth a thousand words. It is also true that a picture is worth a thousand more pictures. One image gives way to another. What are photographs but gateways into parallel realms, memories resurrected, passageways into the familiar? What we see, we have already seen. John MacDougall’s portrait-style capture of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson—taken during …