“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

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

#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

What’s the matter with Hillary?

At last two pieces which go to the heart of why Donald Trump is rampant and Hillary Clinton is faltering. The plain fact is that people like their politicians to inspire or at least identify with their problem and fears.  Mrs Clinton is a poor speaker and comes across as an over-calculating policy wonk who does neither. Remember  those visits to Belfast showing support for the peace process  which continued even after we were thrown off the international news agenda? … Read more

#DemDebate Live Blog – (Kicking off at 2am BST)

My good friend Ollie has been kind enough to offer to live-blog this evening’s US Democratic debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernard Sanders, from New York City where he will be attending it for us. The debate starts at 9 pm, 2 am for many of our British and Irish readers. He’ll introduce himself here in a little bit, but I’d just wanted to say a warm word of welcome, and to tip off all of you who might happen to … 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

Quote of the day: Having your future now *and* eating it later?

Just this from John Stewart on the Today Programme on BBC Radio Four this morning when questioned about Hillary Clinton running for the Whitehouse: I don’t think anybody knows who’s going to win. Wait. Do you know? Are you from the future? If so, I would like to bet on some games. What happens with these conversations is that it goes into speculation, and no one knows. [Ah well yes, but we know a man who does – Ed] Do … Read more

Will Hillary Clinton be the first female US President?

After years of teasing and speculation, Hillary Clinton yesterday announced her bid for the White House. Barack Obama was the first black president, will Hillary be the first female? On the face of it the omens look good. Demographic changes of an increasing Hispanic vote mean many Republicans fear they may never reclaim the White House. Hillary has an impressive CV – from First Lady to New York Senator, to Secretary of State. On the negative side it really does … Read more

An open briefing for US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

First of all, welcome back Madam Secretary and thanks for calling. Second, despite all the nasty headlines, do not panic! It’s not a patch on what was going on when your husband was last in charge. We’ve stopped burning Catholics and isolated Protestants. We’re just after liberals now. What follows is not necessarily a popular analysis, nor one that’s widely held, but I offer it in good faith. One of the first things a ganger teaches his labourers is that you … Read more

Visual Comment of the Week

Cartoon by Brian Spencer with commentary from Aaron Callan. So Obama’s made it over the line and won his ticket back into the White House. But already the US media are making predictions on the 2016 Presidential election. It’s interesting to see how the US media, starved of the Presidential election to feed on, turn their attention, almost immediately, towards 2016. Even though President Obama hasn’t even started his second term! What was more interesting was the predictions being made … Read more

Clinton: “I think I’ll serve as secretary of state as my last public position”

As noted by the Telegraph’s Nile Gardiner, US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has told an audience in Bahrain that the post will likely be her last in public office. Clinton was speaking at a town hall meeting in Bahrain, where she’s attending a Gulf security summit hosted by Bahrain’s International Institute for Strategic Studies, where Yemen and Iran are expected to dominate the agenda. “I think I’ll serve as secretary of state as my last public position, and then probably … Read more

Overheard this weekend…

I followed Ian Paisley’s directions to see the Whore of Babylon. Very disappointed – expected some Iraqi babe, instead some German bloke in a white dress was there. Should we report the “Rev” to the ASA? – Confused of Shankill Road. In other news, tomorrow morning Micheál Martin kicks off alongside Hillary Clinton (about whose hair the Daily Mail has been only partly diplomatic), jointly hosting an event in New York devoted to infant nutrition and the First Millennium Development … Read more

“brutal security forces, pliant courts and tightly controlled news media”

The Irish Times reports a warning from the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, about countries which, according to Freedom House, are “using brutal security forces, pliant courts and tightly controlled news media to systematically crush political dissent” “We must be wary of the steel vice in which many governments around the world are slowly crushing civil society and the human spirit,” Mrs Clinton told an international meeting of democracies. Don’t worry.  She’ll still be encouraging investment here… Pete Baker