Archive for the ‘American current affairs’ Category


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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A media lesson on the 25th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution

February 27th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

I’ve watched every episode of the American television series “Madam Secretary” which is now half way through its fourth series, but I’ve only just caught up with the latest episode, partly because it was broadcast later in the UK than in the US and partly because I’ve been away in China. This episode explores the […]

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As Trump prepares to give his first State of the Union address, a reminder of his dire and unprecedented approval ratings

January 30th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

With an approval rating after a year in office at least 10 points lower than that of any other US president in modern history, Donald Trump is planning in his first State of the Union address to Congress to claim success in his 12 months in Oval Office. According to the latest polling by both […]

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Who will be the Democratic Party candidate in the presidential election of 2020?

January 27th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

Donald Trump has only been in the White House for a year and we are still nine months away from the mid-term congressional elections in November. But already there is speculation about who the Democrats will field in 2020 to take back the Oval Office from the Republicans. During his time as president, Trump has […]

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Michael Wolff on Donald Trump in “Guardian” interview

January 15th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

“I don’t know if the president is clinically off his rocker. I do know, from what I saw and what I heard from people around him, that Donald Trump is deeply unpredictable, irrational, at times bordering on incoherent, self-obsessed in a disconcerting way, and displays all those kinds of traits that anyone would reasonably say, […]

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What do the British think of America’s president Donald Trump?

January 14th, 2018 by Roger Darlington

An opinion poll conducted for the “Observer” newspaper by Opinium has found that: 71% believe that he is untrustworthy 44% believe that he is less intelligent than the average person 18% believe he is a friend of Britain 72% believe that he is a risk to international stability The newspaper has major leader column assessing […]

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