Blog Profile / Democracy in America


URL :http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica
Filed Under:Politics / US Politics
Posts on Regator:1885
Posts / Week:9.3
Archived Since:April 18, 2011

Blog Post Archive

The People v the Constitution

IS AMERICA a democracy? It’s a favourite trick question posed by high-school history teachers. The official answer is no: in America the people do not themselves make, enforce or interpret the laws. Instead, they elect representatives to govern in their name. Show More Summary

Shot in the right direction

DID the recent outbreak of measles in California encourage more parents to vaccinate their children? Scientists have worried that the opposite may be true. This is because media coverage of the vaccination debate tends to lend credibility...Show More Summary

Lofty ideas, low politics

BINYAMIN NETANYAHU'S speech to Congress on Tuesday will tackle some large questions of foreign policy: how to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and how to manage the American-Israeli security alliance when the two countries’ governments disagree on strategies to keep Israel safe. Show More Summary

Brinkmanship

THE countdown was a nail-biter. At midnight tonight, barring any sort of last-minute deal, around 30,000 employees of the Department of Homeland Security were going to be furloughed. Some 170,000 essential workers were nearly doomed to chug along without pay. Show More Summary

Rahm, round two

“THANK you, Chicago. We have come a long way, and we have a little bit further to go,” said Rahm Emanuel at around 9:30pm last night. The results of Chicago’s mayoral election on Tuesday had indicated that he will be forced into a run-off with Jesus Garcia, a Cook County commissioner, to keep his job. Show More Summary

Fuelling anger

BARACK OBAMA has vetoed only three bills in his time in the Oval Office: less than almost any president in recent history. His veto of a bill authorising the Keystone Pipeline yesterday suggests that number will be rising fairly swiftly. Show More Summary

Baked Alaska

SMOKING cannabis becomes legal today in Alaska, the latest state to lift its prohibition of the drug after Colorado and Washington, which took the plunge last year. Alaskans over 21 can now grow up to six of their own plants, share up to an ounce (28g) of harvested pot, and smoke as much as they like in private without breaking the law. Show More Summary

Failing the children

“CLEARLY, this is a situation that is unacceptable,” says George Sheldon, the brand new director of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). He was referring to the scandalous treatment of children by the institutions and people paid by the agency to look after them. Show More Summary

It's complicated

RUDY GIULIANI, a former mayor of New York City and failed presidential candidate, has caused a little stir by questioning Barack Obama's love of country. "I do not believe—and I know this is a horrible thing to say—but I do not believe...Show More Summary

When ambiguity is a saving grace

ON MARCH 4th the Supreme Court will hear arguments in a case targeting the Affordable Care Act (ACA), otherwise known as Obamacare. The legal challenge against the law hinges on four words, as I explored in detail last week. Here I discuss...Show More Summary

Media matters

“CHANGE comes very slowly, but then happens all at once,” observed David Carr, the New York Times’ media reporter, about the television business last year. As usual, his words proved prescient, capturing not only the upheavals that are now typical of this trade, but also the turn of his own life, and the paper he now leaves behind. Show More Summary

A reprieve

DOES the death penalty deter crime? Benjamin Rush, one of America's founding fathers, did not think so. Alongside Benjamin Franklin he helped reform Pennsylvania’s harsh penal code. By 1794 Pennsylvania limited the death penalty to cases of first-degree murder; in 1834 the state led the nascent nation in ending public executions. Show More Summary

It's rather fun, actually

SHOOTING a handgun at a target is a thrill; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. You load bullets into a clip, push it up into the gun, turn off the safety catch, take careful hold of the gun with two hands, aim and shoot. The thing jumps in your hand and you see the bullet knock a hole in the target and spark off the floor at the back of the range. Show More Summary

Hillary Clinton's suffocating presence

THE field of Republican presidential contenders may be limited to a narrow range of conservative fellows in mid- to late-middle age, but at least there are a lot of them. The Democratic field is, for all practical purposes, Hillary Clinton. Show More Summary

Anxious sensitivity

AT A National Prayer Breakfast last Thursday, Barack Obama made the point that Islam is hardly the first religion to be hijacked and perverted by murderous extremists. Indeed, groups have been distorting religious faith for nihilistic ends for centuries. Show More Summary

Hearts of Dixie

“REMEMBER Sodom and Gomorrah!” warned a protest sign on a five-foot wooden cross. “Keep marriage traditional!” demanded a lady in a dark quilted jacket, one of several protesters outside Jefferson County courthouse in Birmingham. But their protest was in vain. Show More Summary

How four words could bring the whole law down

ON MARCH 4th the Supreme Court will hear arguments in King v Burwell, a case that could gut the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Barack Obama’s signature health-care law. It is the third legal challenge to Obamacare in four years to reach America’s highest court. Show More Summary

Ahead of the game

BRIAN KEMP, Georgia’s secretary of state (pictured), has a scheme to bring his state into the political spotlight. He wants Georgia to hold a presidential primary on March 1st 2016. Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Tennessee, Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia are scheming to join in. Show More Summary

The melting pot works

THE tired, poor, huddled masses who arrive on America's shores yearning to breathe free actually bring talent, youth and global connections. They create jobs and do the work most natives shun. And they prosper. Just look at German-Americans,...Show More Summary

Mixed messages

AS THE media continues to feast on the politics of vaccines, health officials are likely worrying over the effect the coverage will have vaccinations. The issue has become so fraught that the President has found it necessary to declare...Show More Summary

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