Archive for the ‘American current affairs’ Category


A guide to the mid-term elections in the US Congress

September 11th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I’ve never been so interested in – and concerned about – the mid-term elections in the United States which will be held on Tuesday 6 November 2018. All the seats in the House of Representatives (435) and a third of the seats in the Senate (35)  are up for election. The Democrats should win the House […]

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Is the current political crisis in the United States as bad as Watergate?

August 13th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

According to Carl Bernstein – one of the two “Washington Post” reporters who broke the Watergate story 44 years ago – it’s worse: “Obviously there are similarities, not least of which is part of the story is about undermining the electoral process. You’re also dealing with cover-ups in both instances and special prosecutors.” “This is […]

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After the (welcome) departure of Scott Pruett, just how many resignations and dismissals have there been from the Trump administration?

July 6th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

The Trump administration has from the beginning looked like a modern-day version of “Game Of Throne” with bodies everywhere. The latest fall from power is Scott Pruett from the environment brief, but there have now been so many departures that it’s impossible to recall them all in a record-breaking series of resignations and dismissals. Fortunately, […]

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Why does the health service in the United States cost so much and deliver so little?

July 5th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I was born in Britain on 25 June 1948 so, except for 10 days of my life, I have benefited from a National Health Service – which is 70 years old today – that is publicly-funded and free at the point of use.  But the health model in the USA is very different, as I […]

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How many states should there be in California?

June 14th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I first heard about it on the American programme “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah”; now it’s been picked up by the British media including this item on the BBC website. It’s a proposal to divided the current US state of California into three and the proposition will appear on the ballot paper in November. […]

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What are the chances of the Democrats winning the House and the Senate?

May 4th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

In the United States, this November sees what are called the mid-term elections when we are half way through the current presidential term of of office and all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and 33 of the seats in the Senate are up for election. The Democrats will do well, but can they […]

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You’ve heard about Mount Rushmore – but what about Stone Mountain?

May 2nd, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Most Americans will have heard of Stone Mountain, but most non-Americans will not. I confess that I’d never heard of the location until watching the ninth and final part of the impressive BBC2  series “Civilisations” when the presenter Simon Schama highlighted its controversial role in the American psyche. Stone Mountain is a quartz monzonite dome […]

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Why is the death penalty still in force in the United States and why is its use there in decline?

April 22nd, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I’m currently reading a fascinating book called “Enlightenment Now” by the American professor of psychology Steven Pinker. In the chapter on Democracy, he explores the odd position of the United States in relation to the use of capital punishment. Over 100 countries have now abolished the use of the death penalty (including all European nations […]

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What proportion of Americans have a passport?

March 30th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

We know that it is low compared to most other developed countries – but how low? and is it still that low? I found myself asking these questions when, earlier this week, the actor and activist Sean Penn was interviewed by Trevor Noah on “The Daily Show”. He quoted a figure of 28% for the […]

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All the president’s men and women who have resigned or been fired

March 7th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Gary Cohn, Donald Trump’s Chief Economic Adviser, has quit, the latest in a series of high-profile departures from the Trump administration His decision to go comes after Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a move he and the Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, have reportedly vehemently opposed. Cohn was a registered Democrat […]

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