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US politics

Sweet Jones Alabama?

December 10, 2017

This Tuesday sees the state of Alabama go to the polls to elect a new senator. But can Democrat Doug Jones really have  a chance in this deeply Republican state? The accession of Jeff Sessions – Alabama’s former senator who Donald Trump picked as his Attorney General – created a need for an election that […]

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Speeding Down To Trump-ton

December 3, 2016

We are only 48 days away from the beginning of the Presidency of Donald Trump. For me the very idea still seems so absurd as to be almost conceptually impossible. How could any electorate vote for someone so singularly ill-suited for office? But as every day goes by with more freak show appointments from the […]

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Cine-East Film Club Presents #48: 1993, The War Room (Chris Hegedus and DA Pannebaker)

August 5, 2014

‘Change vs more of the same The economy, stupid Don’t forget healthcare’ (Clinton/Gore ’92 Campaign HQ Whiteboard, Little Rock, Arkansas)   The idea for this week’s Cine-East Film Club presentation came from a couple of recent posts here at allthatsleft.  Following the European elections in May I wrote a post which seemed to strike a […]

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2016 US Presidential Runners and Riders – Part 2: the Republicans

April 23, 2014

Earlier this year, I posted on the potential Democrat candidates for the 2016 US presidential elections. Clearly, that race currently looks as it is odds on for Hillary Clinton, but it is worth looking at the options in case health prevents her running. That is as true now as when I wrote the piece back […]

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Republican Insanity: US Debt Default Goes Down To The Wire

October 16, 2013

I wrote a week ago today about the government shut down and how it raised serious questions about the governability of the United States.  At that point there were 10 days to go before the US government runs out of borrowing authority and potentially starts to default on its debts.  A week later, we have no […]

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Fox News – Fear, Loathing and The Five

March 7, 2013

I have a confession to make – I watch Fox News. There, I feel better now. I would however like to point out that I watch it from behind the sofa – as it leaves me afraid, very very afraid. Fox News gives me the heebie-jeebies, but I just cannot stop feeding my dirty habit. […]

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Barack Obama the Progressive: The Second Inaugural

January 21, 2013

‘We the people declare today that most evident of truth that all of us are created equal — is the star that guides us still; just as it guided our forebears through Seneca Falls and Selma and Stonewall’ I am writing this having just watched Barack Obama’s inauguration.  I haven’t yet fully digested the contents […]

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US Elections Wash-Up #2: The House

November 11, 2012

I promised yesterday to pick up on the results of the House of Representatives elections.  As you know the Republicans, as predicted, held on with a fairly sizable majority. As I explained last week, this is in part because the Republicans got to draw up the district boundaries in many states.  These boundaries are now […]

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US elections: The Wash Up

November 10, 2012

President Today, the result of the presidential election in Florida was officially confirmed, bringing Obama’s total electoral college vote to 332, against Romney’s 206. If the four days it took to announce this seems a long time, it is worth remembering that it took eight days in 2008 to finalise the outcome in Missouri. Whilst […]

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The one the Democrats definitely should win: The Senate

October 14, 2012

In August, before the party conventions, it looked as if Obama was ahead in the presidential race, but that the Republicans were posed to take control of the Senate and could increase their hold on the House of Representatives, thanks to district boundary changes. Since then, we have been on a roller-coaster with Obama: at […]

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Where’s Mitt’s 47 percent?

September 20, 2012

Mitt Romney’s gaffe about writing off 47% of the electorate because they don’t pay income tax got me digging around for figures.  As we all now know, Mitt called them “victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to healthcare, to food, to housing, to […]

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Guide to the US elections #4: The West

September 16, 2012

For the final post in our series running through how each of the US states are likely to vote in November, we take a look at the West. In 2008, the West and the Midwest both had 124 votes (EVs) in electoral college.  But as the Midwest has lost EVs this time around, the West’s […]

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Guide to the US elections #1: The North East

September 12, 2012

With the party conventions out of the way, polls currently show a narrow but consistent lead for Barack Obama.  FiveThirtyEight put his chances of re-election at around 80%. For the first time since the month following Bin Laden’s death, Obama is now registering a 50% approval rating in Gallup’s weekly polls. Perhaps as impressively, it […]

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USA Journal 2012 #13: Texas

September 1, 2012

Houston Texas’ 18th congressional district This is the final entry in my 2012 USA journal, as I sit in the departure lounge of the George HW Bush International airport (how on earth did a failed president get such a huge airport named after him?). There is not much of note in today’s Houston Chronicle, other […]

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USA Journal 2012 #10: We’re goin’ to Jackson…

August 27, 2012

… look out Jackson town! Jackson Mississippi’s 2nd 3rd congressional district A briefer entry in our journal today, from Mississippi’s capital. Jackson is a weirdly empty place at the weekend, and seems a lot smaller than its 230,000 inhabitants would suggest: walking down the main road in downtown felt post-apocalyptically deserted.  The late, great Johnny […]

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USA Journal 2012 #7: Louisville

August 21, 2012

Louisville Kentucky’s 3rd congressional district Leaving Lexington, I have travelled west through the horse-breeding hills and bourbon stills of central Kentucky to the state’s largest city, on the banks of the Ohio.  I’m in Louisville. Not Louie-ville, and certainly not Lewis-ville.  It’s pronounced ‘Luhr-vul’.  When I got of the train in Cincinnati all bleary-eyed in […]

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USA Journal 2012 #6: Kentucky

August 20, 2012

Lexington Kentucky’s 6th congressional district For the sixth installment in my travel journal around the States, I have crossed the River Ohio to travel on to Kentucky’s Bluegrass region. Lexington, the state’s second largest city, is an affluent place which in England would be thought of as a medium-large town rather than a city.  As […]

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USA Journal 2012 #3: Virginia

August 17, 2012

Richmond Virginia’s 3rd congressional district For the third installment in my reports from the USA, I have travelled south to the state capital of Virginia. First, a quote: “I have a dream that one day … little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as […]

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USA Journal 2012 #1

August 15, 2012

Washington DC Last year, I posted from my travels across the North West USA, in the run-up to the presidential primary season.  Well, I’m now back in the States and plan to do the same as we approach the party conventions. Much of the media attention has been on trying to evaluate the impact of […]

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A Glance Forward to November’s Presidential Election

April 16, 2012

Now that the Republican nomination has been sewn up, if not confirmed, we are turning our attention to how the November presidential election itself will turn out.  As a reminder, the map below shows the 2008 result, with the numbers indicating the electoral college votes garnered by Barack Obama and John McCain. Just to recap […]

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Week 45: Heroes – The Voters of Mississippi (well, 58% of them)

November 13, 2011

This Week’s Heroes of the Week are the good voters of Mississippi who on Tuesday voted to reject Proposition 26. Even more than Alabama, Mississippi is the very image of the ultra-conservative,  socially backward,  god bothering deep south state.  It is the last state to still have the confederate battle flag in its state flag […]

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Off The Rails #5: the view from South Dakota

August 11, 2011

A brief update from Rapid City today, with the continual roar of Harleys in the background… First, the Democrats have now chosen their House representatives for the debt panel. Nancy Pelosi appears to have responded by the right-wing choices of the Republicans by showing a bit more steel than Harry Reed has in the Senate: […]

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Sub-Standard and Poor

August 7, 2011

Mr South: Guv, I’m off on holiday. Mr East: You what?!?! Who said you could have that? Where on earth do you think you’re you gallivanting off to? Mr South: The States, Guv. Mr East: Fine – just as long as you don’t stop blogging like Ray did.  A bit of coverage of stuff out […]

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US Budget Crisis Has No Winners

July 30, 2011

It is difficult to see who comes out of the US budget mess without a tarnished reputation. It has damaged the reputations of Obama, the Republican House majority and the Tea Party, although the last of these will probably not care much about that. President Obama The damage to Obama has been twofold: first, he […]

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California Special Election update

July 13, 2011

I wrote earlier this week about the Democrats’ concern that they might lose a usually safe congressional House seat in a special election held yesterday. As you can see below, the Democrat Janice Hahn held California’s 36th congressional district, but by a far smaller margin than the Democrats had hoped going into the contest. This compares […]

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Tea Party hope to surf the wave win safe Dem seat

July 11, 2011

On Tuesday, there is a special election (the American term for a by-election) to replace congresswoman Jane Harman in the US House of Representatives, who has resigned to become president of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. This ought to be a pretty safe bet for the Democrats. California’s Thirty-Sixth district takes in Los Angeles’ Beach […]

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Should we celebrate Ronnie Reagan’s centenary?

July 4, 2011

This year marks the centenary of Ronald Reagan’s birth. Today, 4th July, a statue was unveiled to mark the centenary outside the American Embassy in Mayfair. As the curtain was drawn, unveiling a rather cold bronze likeness, various doyens of the British and American right-wing cooed and collectively declared that Ronald Reagan was a philosopher […]

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Mittens Finally Throws Down The Guantlet

June 2, 2011

After the exit from the field of a number of his potential opponents for the Republican nomination for the 2012 presidential elections, Mitt Romney has finally announced his candidacy today.  Romney is currently seen as the favourite. There are five other serious candidates who have announced so far, along with three marginal single-issue candidates that […]

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Some Encouraging Signs For Obama

May 25, 2011

As Barack Obama tours Europe, there are some encouraging signs back home for his re-election, albeit that both have important caveats. Upstate New York The more significant is the result yesterday of the special election (the US term for a by-election) in New York state’s 26th congressional district.  This district has been Republican since its […]

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Obama’s Threat From The West

May 21, 2011

Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign was extremely successful in the western states.  He secured 56% of the vote there, making it his second best region in vote terms after the Democrat stronghold of the North East states. As I stated in my last post, things may well be different in 2012 and this could help the […]

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