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The Tea Party is a dynamic force, but it is still unruly and incoherent
In the days after the Republican presidential contender John McCain chose Sarah Palin as his running mate, the Democratic party hierarchy started to panic. In the short period between her convention speech and her Katie Couric interviews, Palin looked to many like an inspired choice. Barack Obama had become exasperated by the propensity of the party establishment to panic at every psephological blip. Just then, a picture of him staring straight ahead and pointing at the camera went viral. On top, it read: "Everyone chill the fuck out." Below, it said: "I got this."
Compared to Europe, the US can at least make a pretence of democracy
For a candidate who ­campaigned on the ­slogan of change, Barack Obama's devotion to continuity has been little short of remarkable. The two principal issues that underpinned his election victory in 2008 were the economy and the war in Iraq. In both instances, he kept the people George Bush had selected to execute failing policies and instructed them to create success. The electoral map and America's image in the world were indeed changed by Obama's victory. But the key personnel – US defence secretary Robert Gates and Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke – remained exactly the same.
A Radio Tour of Tea Party Nation
In his
Dropping in on the Tea Party
It’s hard to imagine how a town like Leitchfield (population: 6,139) in central Kentucky could survive without government. Sitting between Nolin and Rough River Lakes, it’s on the way to nowhere in particular, so no private interest would build a road to it. In surrounding Grayson County more than one in five people and one in three children is on food stamps, so no one would feed it. It does not produce enough wealth to sustain itself. Unemployment, long in double figures, stands at 16 percent. One in five lives below the poverty line; the median income is $35,011. Were it not for the redistributive effects of taxation, its residents would literally go nowhere and many would be incredibly hungry when they got there.
From the archive: Taste of the future put to the test
With an open mind and a refined palate Mariano Casotti brought the spoonful of genetically modified Californian tomato puree to his mouth and tasted the future. "Not much difference," he said of the puree, on sale for the first time in Sainsbury and Safeway stores yesterday. He smacked his lips and went back to his traditionally grown Italian puree for further comparison.
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