Leo goes to Washington

The Taoiseach. Leo Varadkar, and his ministerial colleagues landed into the United States this week as the Trump White House is embroiled in turmoil. This St. Patrick’s week isn’t at all that strange, however, in the new, unprecedented political reality ushered in when the American people chose the bombastic billionaire over Hillary Clinton nearly a year and a half ago now. The dismissal of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, though it seemed to happen suddenly, has been in the works … Read more

Donald Trump and the pathology of leadership…

Dame Iris Murdoch, the Dublin born novelist, won the Booker prize for fiction in 1978 for The Sea, The Sea. Her final novel, Jackson’s Dilemma, was published in 1995 and was met with a muted response from the critics. She was subsequently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease which was confirmed on post-mortem after her death in 1999. Subsequently, a textual examination of The Sea, The Sea, Jackson’s Dilemma and her first novel, Under The Net, showed that her vocabulary was considerably reduced and ‘commonplace’ in her final novel, but extensive … Read more

Trump’s Election Victory One year on…

A year ago, I took a little flak in a Slugger article for suggesting Trump’s surprise victory in the 2016 election might not have been won fairly and squarely. It was pointed out that Trump scored a decisive victory by the Electoral College rules, and it is fair to say, (as he did), he would have fought the campaign differently had it depended on winning the popular vote. While the story as yet to fully unravel, we know much more … Read more

Did ‘moron’ Trump suggest a ten fold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal?

Things just seem to go from bad to worse for the beleaguered leader of the free world. This week’s omnishambles is the revelation that the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a moron. NBC news reports: President Donald Trump said he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during a gathering this past summer of the nation’s highest-ranking national security leaders, according to three officials who were in the room. Trump’s comments, the officials … Read more

‘The Germans are bad, very bad’ – President Trump…

As part of his continuing programme of How to lose friends and alienate people, German magazine Der Spiegel quoted Trump at the G7 meeting as saying: “The Germans are bad, very bad. Look at the millions of cars they’re selling in the U.S. We will stop that.” A particular target seems to be BMW, from CNN: Trump has taken aim at German carmakers before. In an interview in January, he said Germany’s BMW (BMWYY) should reconsider building a plant in … Read more

Fake news didn’t make Trump president – there is just as much junk on the left as the right

As the world reacts to the news that Donald Trump has been elected the 45th President of the United States, the role of social media in general and Facebook in particular has come under close scrutiny for the role it plays in disseminating news and opinion.  Social media is used as a news source by 62% of US adults, and Facebook is by far the most widely used social network, used by over two thirds of the adult population. From … Read more

So is liberal capitalism dead?

Sure enough, the columnists are having a field day. If tweets are narrow- focus and the medium of choice for Trump and the alt-right, ( I don’t mean you dear),  those prophetic souls who are favoured with space are laying it on thick with the broadest of  brushes. Right now  this is preferable  to the pointillism  of shifting policy. Hillary was always yesterday’s woman ; the Donald, monster that he is, tapped into reality. Oh,  and “liberal capitalism” is dead. … Read more

Eastwood to boycott the Trump White House

This statement was released yesterday by the SDLP Leader, Colum Eastwood on the election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States. Both Martin McGuinness and Arlene Foster have pledged to continue on engagement with the Trump administration. He says; “As things fall apart, the centre ground is struggling to know what is worth holding on to. Mainstream politics remains uneasy and unsure as to its place, its power and its purpose. “Donald Trump has swept in … Read more

“Maybe it’s time to consider whether there’s something about shrill self-righteousness…”

At the Guardian, Thomas Frank offers some home truths to a self-styled liberal media [including bloggers! – Ed] in the aftermath of Donald Trump’s victory.  From the Guardian Comment is Free article How did the journalists’ crusade fail? The fourth estate came together in an unprecedented professional consensus. They chose insulting the other side over trying to understand what motivated them. They transformed opinion writing into a vehicle for high moral boasting. What could possibly have gone wrong with such … Read more

In a state of shock, an early verdict. Trump has no baggage. He starts with a clean sheet

I went to bed confident of victory. I came to in shock.  That was on 24 June. Last night it happened all over again. Trump was right about something. The  establishment keep getting it wrong.  With the election of a defiant anarchic outsider, it  surely marks the end of  dynastic politics in America. And yet there’s life in the establishment yet. So it was Brexit plus, plus, plus after all.  While the world is not going through a repeat of … Read more

Echoes of Brexit in the US presidential campaign give no cause for comfort

I doubt if I’m alone in feeling as dissatisfied with the coverage of the US election as I am on tenterhooks about the outcome. One problem has been the requirement of the media I respect to preserve some sense of balance amid the horrors the campaign. It is not true that each candidate is as bad as the other, whatever is going on in American society. Whoever wins the presidency, the political fulcrum has shifted further to the right and … Read more

Q. How to get away with inciting violence? A. Have plenty of flags and friends in high places

We’re exactly two weeks away from the United States’ latest presidential elections. It has become a quadrennial tradition in and of itself to call the elections The Most Important in America’s History, but for once the hyperbole really is justified. The 2016 presidential poll will surely go down in history as America’s most rancorous and divisive – certainly the most violent, if the scenes at some of Donald Trump’s bigotry-flecked rallies have been anything to go by. Trump himself has … Read more

Vote Nobody 2016!

Ahead of the third, and final [thankfully! – Ed], televised debate between the Republican and Democratic parties candidates for US President, BBC Trending reports on the campaigns for the best person for the job – none of the above! Survey show that dissatisfaction with the two major party candidates is particularly acute amongst young people. According to one survey released Tuesday, nearly a quarter of voters under 35 would prefer to see a giant meteor hit Earth rather than have either … Read more

Mr Trump: What you are talking about is assault, it is a crime, and it is not okay.

It’s no secret that Trump is fond of using shocking language when talking about women. Between saying about his daughter “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her.” And bragging – which he is remarkably good at doing – that “All of the women on The Apprentice flirted with me – consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.” I was beginning to think that nothing Trump said could shock me. Last week, however, a recording has emerged that … Read more

#Trump v #Redacted: The Donald attacks The Denis

As if the never-ending US Presidential election campaign was not surreal enough, yesterday Donald Trump issued a statement attacking Hillary Clinton, entitled: Follow The Money: Denis O’Brien – Another Corrupt Clinton Friend. And it’s only ‘semi-exact‘ to call it a statement. It’s actually a set of news clippings all studiously referenced and hyperlinked back to their original source, each prefaced with a heading. The first half details a series of articles establishing the (not exactly secret) links between the Clintons and O’Brien. … Read more

Fuelling ignorance – the key to success in modern politics?

We can’t say that we weren’t warned. In his 1928 book Propaganda, the pioneering Austrian-American publicist Edward Bernays unblushingly wrote: The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government, which is the true ruling power of our country. Bernays also coined the term “public relations”, and among his most lucrative coups as a publicist was his … Read more

Watch Hillary Clinton’s very funny Trump attack ad…

As the Donald becomes the last Republican presidential candidate standing, the Clinton camp put out this very effective attack video. The video features clips of every major Republican figure slatting Trump. "Donald Trump says he's a ""unifier."" He's not wrong.https://t.co/lEN8VDfa6r — The Briefing (@TheBriefing2016) May 5, 2016 Trump was once a joke but now he just got very serious. Do you think he has a chance of winning the Whitehouse? Or will Hillary be the first female US President? Brian O'NeillI help … Read more

This time next year we could have Trump in the White House, Boris in Downing Street and be on our way out of the EU…

Closer to home, the border could be reinvigorated providing a bonanza for ‘good’ Republicans to make fortunes out of fuel-smuggling and dumping toxic waste, while not-so good Republicans will celebrate the centenary of the Easter Rising by blowing up as many people as possible. Some of these nightmare scenarios may be the result of self-inflicted wounds. In America, Trump has made racism respectable again. He gets an endorsement from a Kl Klux Klan leader and goes UP (yes, up) in … Read more