Archive for the ‘American current affairs’ Category


Some (brief) personal views on THAT interview

March 9th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

In my 72 years, I’ve never met a member of the British Royal Family and have never had any wish to do so. I don’t read the tabloid press so I’ve missed most of the gossip around the various royal personages. I’ve not seen one episode of “The Crown”. But I did watch the interview […]

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A review of the new book “Joe Biden” by Evan Osnos

February 12th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

This is not so much a biography as an extended profile written by a staff writer on the “New Yorker” and adapted from an occasional series of articles written by the author for the magazine. It was rushed out for publication the week before the presidential election of November 2020 on the assumption that Biden […]

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“A Promised Land” by Barack Obama (6)

February 6th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Large sections of the last 250 pages of the book are devoted to different areas and aspects of foreign policy. In so far as it is fair to summarise Obama’s approach in a single sentence, that would be his assertion that: “I was determined to shift a certain mindset that had gripped not just the […]

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In the United States, voter suppression is even higher on the Republican agenda

January 29th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

What most non-Americans do not appreciate is that, in the United States, entitlement to vote and the mechanisms for voting are matters for each of the 50 individual states with therefore substantial variation across the country and a constant tussle to change the rules to favour the political party in state control. After an election […]

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“A Promised Land” by Barack Obama (4)

January 22nd, 2021 by Roger Darlington

There is a famous quote, usually – but wrongly – attributed to the German politician Otto von Bismarck, which was in fact written by the American poet John Godfrey Saxe: “Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made”. This observation was in my mind as I read […]

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What are the 17 executive orders signed by newly-inaugurated President Joe Biden?

January 21st, 2021 by Roger Darlington

A couple of months ago, I did a posting explaining the role of executive orders in the American political system and suggesting that, once in the Oval Office, Joe Biden would enact a slew of such orders to undo some of the worst features of the Trump presidency. So it has proved to be. But […]

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A review of the 2019 documentary “Knock Down The House”

January 20th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

This documentary looks at a little-covered feature of American politics – primaries for the House of Representatives – from an unusual viewpoint – that of four progressive female candidates challenging the establishment incumbents. Directed by Rachel Lears, it follows the 2018 insurgency campaigns of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) of New York, Amy Vilela of Nevada, Cori […]

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“A Promised Land” by Barack Obama (3)

January 15th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Barack Obama’s presidency began at the height of the subprime mortgage fiasco in the housing market which occasioned a triple economic crisis: the worst recession since the Great Depression, a near collapse of the banking system, and an impending bankruptcy of America’s leading car manufacturers. The stock market had lost 40% of its value and […]

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How do the political systems of the United States and the United Kingdom compare with one another?

January 13th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

As the US House of Representatives considers a (second) impeachment of President Donald Trump, many are observing the procedures of the US Congressional system. The majority of visitors to this blog are British or American. So how do the political systems of the two nations compare? You can check out my comparison here. Elsewhere on […]

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“A Promised Land” by Barack Obama (2)

January 11th, 2021 by Roger Darlington

Each time we go into lockdown, I find a really long book to read. In this third lockdown, I’m working my way through the first volume of Barack Obama’s presidential memoirs. In fact, it is 200 pages into the 700 page text before he wins the presidency. First, he tells us about his time at […]

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