Blog Profile / Democracy in America

Filed Under:Politics / US Politics
Posts on Regator:2397
Posts / Week:8
Archived Since:April 18, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Free expression v offensive speech at the Supreme Court

AMERICA protects the freedom of expression about as robustly as anybody. The courts that police this First-Amendment guarantee, though, often face dilemmas.

Why James Mattis is a popular choice for defence secretary

JAMES MATTIS, Donald Trump’s choice for secretary of defence, has held many titles in his long career in the American military. He has commanded front-line troops in Afghanistan, run a major NATO command, and overseen all American military personnel in the Middle East.

Chicago’s police regularly use excessive force, says the Department of Justice

AFTER Ferguson, Cleveland, Newark and Baltimore it is now Chicago’s turn to be confronted with the grim conclusions of an investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) into its police force.

The Supreme Court considers what states owe to disabled students

UNTIL about forty years ago, America’s public schools were no haven for children with disabilities. A child who was blind, deaf or cognitively impaired would often be roped out of regular classrooms and relegated to segregated programmes or state institutions where he or she would learn little.

A breakdown of trust between Donald Trump and America’s spy chiefs

“I WON”. It is hard to overstate the psychological weight carried by those two words, offered by President-elect Donald Trump as evidence that “the American public” does not care that he has not released his tax returns.

Barack Obama bows out reflecting on the fragility of democracy

PRESIDENT Barack Obama did not disappoint. As one of the most gifted orators ever to have led America, expectations were high for his farewell speech on January 11th.

Donald Trump and weed

THERE are still a few quirks at The Farm, a cannabis shop in Boulder, Colorado, that recall the back-alleys from which its industry sprang. It only accepts cash, because banks and other credit card providers are forbidden by federal law to accept drug money.

Donald Trump taps his son-in-law for a job as senior adviser

DONALD TRUMP would not the first president to give a family member an important job. John F Kennedy appointed his brother, Bobby Kennedy, as attorney-general, a job for which he was almost universally considered to be too young and inexperienced.

Texas unveils its “bathroom bill"

“THE PHANTOM MENACE”, the Star Wars film made in 1999, would be an apt title for a documentary exploring a 21st-century phenomenon in a galaxy far closer: the legislature of the State of Texas. In recent years, Texas passed a voter-ID law that would have disenfranchised hundreds of thousands of its residents.

Intelligence report says Putin ordered a campaign to help Trump

AMERICAN democracy has suffered a grave assault—yet political leaders from its two main parties cannot agree on how or even whether to investigate.

Joe Arpaio is no longer “America’s toughest sheriff”

IT IS hard to imagine Maricopa County, Arizona, without Joe Arpaio. The flamboyant, tough-talking sheriff reigned over the county, which includes the sprawling Phoenix metropolitan area, for 24 years.

The spectre of slavery haunts George Washington’s house

IN 1982 Dorothy Gilliam was walking down an overgrown path close to Mount Vernon, George Washington’s lovely house on the Potomac River in Virginia, when she glimpsed a flash of white stone.

How to lose votes and irritate people

SLYLY and without warning, on January 2nd Republican congressmen announced as their first major initiative of the new year a scheme so crassly self-interested as to suggest they had learned nothing from the old one.

Donald Trump is poised to paint America’s judiciary red

PERHAPS the biggest decision Donald Trump faces in January is his choice of nominee for the Supreme Court. But the president-elect will have many more opportunities to make his mark on the judiciary.

The far right’s new fascination with the Middle Ages

UNTIL fairly recently, it was rare to find Americans who were passionate about both medieval history and contemporary politics.

Virginia’s governor race could be a referendum on Donald Trump’s politics

VIRGINIA, the one state in the old confederacy carried by Hillary Clinton in 2016, chooses a new governor next year. Ditto New Jersey, another blue state, where the departing Republican governor, Chris Christie, is an on-again, off-again—but these days, mostly off-again—adviser to Donald Trump, the president-elect.

Stephen Breyer urges a review of the death penalty

THIS year marks the 40th anniversary of Gregg v Georgia, the Supreme Court case that reintroduced the death penalty to America. Capital punishment had been halted in 1972 when five justices determined it to be “arbitrary and capricious” in violation of the bar on “cruel and unusual punishments” in the eighth amendment.

The failed electoral-college rebellion bodes ill for future elections

THE last-ditch effort by some Democrats to thwart a Donald Trump presidency ended in a fizzle on December 19th.

Donald Trump picks a hardliner as ambassador to Israel

FOR a new American president to pick an ambassador with no experience in trade, cultural or any other form of diplomacy is not particularly remarkable. These appointments tend to be rewards for loyalty, friendship and financial backing during the campaign.

Republican legislators in North Carolina curb the powers of the incoming Democratic governor

WHEN, last week, Pat McCrory finally admitted defeat in North Carolina’s governor’s contest, belatedly abandoning his graceless demand for a recount, it looked as if Republican efforts to sway the state’s elections had finally been exhausted.

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