Category Archives: LDVUSA

US election results: This isn’t an anti-establishment vote (in effect anyway)

It is strange that this election night is being seen as an “anti-establishment” vote in the US, or as an “insurgency”.

The Republican establishment is wiping the floor of the Senate, the House, State governorships and state legislatures, plus they have the White House (with, at least, a nominal Republican in there). And this will lead to a marked right wing shift in the Supreme Court as well (I certainly fear for Americans on that score).

This is the Republican establishment with a stranglehold on power right across the US.

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+++It’s President Trump – live blog/open thread

Open thread/live blog.

Just watching the results, I think we’re looking at President Trump. Hillary Clinton is struggling in Wisconsin and Michigan so it seems unlikely she can win.

This is an extraordinary result.

The New York Times gives Trump over a 95% chance of winning.

I need a glass of water.

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Rolling Stone magazine weighs in: ‘Donald Trump cannot be President of the United States’

Jesse Berney has written a corker of a piece in Rolling Stone magazine about Donald Trump, saying: “By virtually any measure, he is unfit to lead a Cub Scout troop, let alone the nation with the world’s most powerful military.” It’s worth reading the article in full but here is its brilliant conclusion:

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The USA may face a very dangerous situation on November 9th

P112912PS-0444 - President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney in the Oval Office - crop
How a Presidential election concession normally looks – Mitt Romney and Barack Obama meet in the Oval Office after the latter’s election

I should declare an interest. I am a great Woody Harrelson fan. He could read out passages from the New York phone directory and I would think it is great.

There’s a scene in the film “Game Change” with our Woody at his best. “Game change” is the film that looks at Sarah Palin’s selection and campaign as Vice Presidential nominee in the US 2008 Presidential election.

The scene in question is after Barack Obama’s election is confirmed, and as John McCain is planning his concession speech. Sarah Palin, played by Julianne Moore, is determined to also make her own speech at the same occasion, praising John McCain.

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Donald Trump’s attitude to holes and digging is just plain dumb

The US Presidential election has boiled down to this: If it is a referendum on Trump, Clinton wins. If it is a referendum on Clinton, Trump wins.

At the moment, it seems to be an extraordinarily florid referendum on Trump. This is a shame, as policy doesn’t seem to be getting a look in. But I suppose Americans are debating clearly the sort of person they want to see in 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

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Clinton and Trump second debate – broadly a draw

The second Clinton/Trump took place early this morning. This time it was “Town Hall” style – with questions from audience members. It started without the traditional handshake (which has one precedent in the shape of one of the Nixon/Kennedy debates) but finished with a brief one.

Some of the subjects covered were: the leaked video-tape of Trump, Bill Clinton’s misdemeanours, taxes, the Clinton emails, the character needed to be President, ISIS, Syria, Supreme Court judges, energy and healthcare.

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Yes, they have Vice-Presidential debates as well….

There’s a great line in the film Apollo 13 before the on-board emergency in the space ship. A character refers to the very low TV audience for the coverage of the mission saying:

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US Election: Non-college-educated whites versus the rest?

One of the noticeable features of last night’s US Presidential debate (see full transcript here) was how Donald Trump was goaded into saying things to damage his chances with key constituencies. His “stop and frisk” proposal will not, I suspect, go down well with African American communities. Mention of his criticism of Alicia Machado, a hispanic former Miss Universe, probably met with displeasure from women and Hispanics. There was the airing of the “birther” controversy and a whole series of Trump favourites, as he was very successfully goaded by Hillary Clinton.

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Trump and Clinton finally meet to debate

Well, at last we saw Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton facing each other this morning. You can watch the debate in full via CBS and YouTube below.

My first impression was that Hilary Clinton certainly put the “health” and “stamina” issues to bed. Donald Trump started to get a little frayed as the debate wore on. Clinton carried on confidently and was as fresh as a daisy at the end. She certainly looked “presidential”.

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What will the Presidential debates between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump be like?

In the US, the non-partisan Commission on Presidential Debates has proposed three televised Presidential debates in September and October.

It is fascinating to imagine how these will go. On the one hand we’ll have the ultimate cool-headed policy wonk in Hillary. On the other we will have the hot-headed, insult-firing Trump.

Also posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 11 Comments

“Letter of the month” nails Trump

This is a particularly clever nailing of the Donald Trump style. It comes from the Tampa Bay Times, was written by Terry Vaught of Dover, Florida, USA and tweeted by TBT reporter Mark Puente.

All it needs is that very skilful Trump impersonator, Lewis MacLeod, from Dead Ringers to voice it:

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Obama slow jams the news – the coolest of the cool?

There are not many politicians who could pull this off…



Also posted in Humour | Tagged and | 8 Comments

Compelling portrait of a disabled person who was one of the USA’s greatest Presidents

BBC 4 have surpassed themselves with “World War Two: 1945 & The Wheelchair President”. Professor David Reynolds presents a remarkably gripping and informed biography of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, focussing mainly on the final year of his life. It’s a must-see for any politics anorak and is available for the next 20 days here.

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Clinton finds her voice: “This isn’t reality television – this is actual reality.”

Imagine if he had not just his Twitter account at his disposal when he’s angry, but America’s entire arsenal.

Hillary Clinton has found her voice with a major speech on foreign policy in San Diego. The speech is substantive, going through key issues one by one and quoting Donald Trump’s “ideas”, of which she says, powerfully:

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Timely reminder – when the Guardian’s attempt to influence US politics backfired spectacularly

Owen Jones in the Guardian recently wrote an article entitled: “I signed an open letter to Donald Trump, and you should too”:

Trump’s unapologetic embrace of racism, xenophobia and misogyny vindicates all of those ugly prejudices the world over. And millions of Americans are horrified about Trump. They deserve our solidarity and support. There is, after all, another United States, one forged by immigrants and transformed by courageous Americans who fought racism, sexism and homophobia. That is a United States millions of us believe in. And that is why we should sign this letter.

Also posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 9 Comments

Could the Republican party save the world from Trump, but split apart?

Things have changed since my last post on this. Last time, I thought it was relatively certain that Trump would be the Republican US Presidential nominee. I am not so sure now. First, we had Mitt Romney’s extraordinary, unprecedented excoriation of Trump. Then we had that unheard of event: the Trump gaffe machine gun finally fired a round which rebounded on him – I refer to his rapidly recounted suggestion that women who have abortions should be punished (which, lest we forget, was followed by a casual grunt to confirm that he thought it inconceivable that the men involved should even be considered for equal treatment).

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Must-see TV series: Inside Obama’s White House

While I was on holiday, BBC 2 sneaked out the first episode of a fantastic series: Inside Obama’s White House. You can currently watch the first three episodes of the series here on BBC iPlayer.

This is a brilliant series produced by Brook Lapping for the BBC. They’ve got some truly sensational behind-the-scenes footage. So, as they tell the story of Obama’s presidency, they are able to show specific video of that event behind-the-scenes – advisers emerging from a crunch meeting or whatever. And they have a remarkable parade of players giving their retrospective view on events: from Rahm Emmanuel, Obama’s chief of staff, to John Kerry, Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner and chief adviser David Axelrod.

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A 30 second video which sums up why Hillary Clinton will be the next President of the United States of America


This post carries the normal proviso that I don’t know what the heck I’m talking about so anything I predict is likely to be pure nonsense.

I’ve just done something which I very occasionally do. I last did it in February 2007. I put a modest little wager on who will be the next President of the USA. I put money on Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton.

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A good night for marijuana – US mid-term elections

USA Flag - Some rights reserved by freefotoukFiveThirtyEight has certainly shone through as an excellent resource in these US Mid-term elections. On that website, at the end of a long night, Harry Enten wrote the excellent headline above with these reflections:

In addition to Republican governors, Republican senators and minimum wage increases, marijuana had a good night. Recreational marijuana easily won in Oregon and Washington, D.C., and it’s currently leading in Alaska.

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US Mid-term elections: Republicans sweep all before them

 Stars and stripes, US flag - Some rights reserved by :: Wendy ::
At about 04:30 our time, ABC News projected that the Republicans would win the US Senate in the Mid-term elections. They did so as they called Iowa and North Carolina for the “Grand Old Party”. In virtually every race, where the Democrats had a slight chance, they lost. Nate Silver reckoned, as ABC News made their declaration, that the Republicans could finish with as many as 55 Senate seats.

Also posted in News | Tagged | 12 Comments

Jim Messina and “the single most infamous congressional ad in contemporary history”

The Conservatives have hired Barack Obama’s election strategist Jim Messina to advise on their 2015 general election campaign. The Guardian describes it as “a coup for the Tory team to have been able to hire a strategist who proved such a vital figure in Obama’s presidential campaigns in both 2008 and 2012.”

Those unfamiliar with Mr Messina’s work can watch an example of his kind of ad below. It’s from the 2002 Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee race between Max Baucus and Montana Republican Senate nominee Mike Taylor, and has been described by Salon.com as “the single most infamous congressional ad in contemporary history”:

Renowned in political circles, the ad set porno music to 20-year-old footage of a video from Taylor’s cosmetics business. The video showed Taylor in a leisure suit rubbing cream into another man’s face. As the spot faded to black, it showed Taylor then seeming to reach for the man’s crotch as a voice-over said “Mike Taylor — not the way we do business in Montana.”

Also posted in YouTube | Tagged and | 2 Comments

Steven Spielberg presents… President Obama: “I’m Daniel Day-Lewis.”

The 2013 White House Correspondents’ Dinner, the annual event which disproves any notion the Americans can’t do irony…


(Watch it on YouTube here.)

And here’s the full 20 minute Obama routine:

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Sometimes to win an argument, you need to adopt your opponent’s point of view

Wedding bouquetFraming, that is the way in which a choice is presented, is often key to winning political (and indeed non-political) debates. Consider the following two statements, for example:

It’s dreadful that the government is letting private companies access more medical data about people.

It’s great that the government is letting medical researchers access more medical data about diseases.

They are both ways you could describe the current government’s actual policy. Whether the issue is framed as being about private companies or medical researchers and whether it is about personal data or information about diseases …

Also posted in Campaign Corner | Tagged | 7 Comments

The Independent View: A reply to Mark Pack from Obama’s Director of Data

The Crystal Ball chart blogged by Mark Pack highlights the interesting cases of Alaska and Utah. These outliers make sense given the dynamics of the race (the large Mormon population in UT provided a boost to Romney while the absence of Sarah Palin from the ballot hurt Republican performance in AK relative to 2008). But why do we not see more turbulence in the battleground states?  Surely the gobs of money spent in these states along with the monumental ground efforts of the Obama campaign would push these states away from the crowd? The answer to this apparent disconnect …

Also posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Tagged , and | 5 Comments

Joe Biden appreciates Nick Clegg’s friendship

From a White House press release this week:

Readout of Vice President Biden’s Call with Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Nick Clegg

Vice President Biden spoke to Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Nick Clegg today to thank him for his congratulatory message following last week’s U.S. election. The Vice President expressed appreciation for Deputy

Also posted in News | Tagged and | 3 Comments

What does the data show about the Obama campaign’s use of data?

So far, there has been a weird paradox at the heart of the coverage about the Obama 2012 campaign machine. On the one hand we’re all meant to be impressed by how it was based on data and analysis, honing campaign techniques and targeting activity based on what the data said. On the other hand, we’re meant to take it all on trust (or trust plus bucketloads of anecdotes; i.e. trust) that this hard-nosed, evidence-based approach to campaigning worked. Where’s the evidence that the reliance on evidence really worked?

There’s been remarkably little presented. Which is why the following graph is so

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Opinion: US Elections – I’m not one to gloat, but….

I am still musing on what a wonderful night it was on Tuesday into Wednesday. I stayed up all night until I finally threw in the towel at 6.45am. It was a bit tedious at first, but it got really exciting at around 3am.

Over the last few weeks, I have been a very regular visitor to FiveThirtyEight, the home of Nate Silver. So, perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised that the man’s forecasts have turned out to be right.

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Four more years – thank you

Thank you to everyone who joined in our live blog/tweet following the exciting results from across the Atlantic tonight. Many thanks to everyone who used the hashtag #LDVUSA to join in!

It was a great night – to see all the potential Romney paths to victory disintegrating one by one and a EV total of 332 looking on the cards for Obama!

Analysis and post-mortems can wait for another day. For now, it’s celebration time! WoooooHoooooo!

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#LDVUSA – Election night LIVE

It’s going to be an exciting night as we live blog and tweet here on the US election results as they come in, via the magic of coveritlive.com

Join in with the comments and debate NOW. You can join in by either: (a) adding your comment in the form at the bottom of the box below, or (b) tweeting with hashtag #ldvusa. Use either of those methods and your comments will show in the live stream below.

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#LDVUSA – Three nifty ways to help make sense of tonight’s election results

It can often be a mathematical nightmare trying to work out who’s winning as US Presidential Election night progresses. Sometimes, some poor souls even end up having to rely on David Dimbleby to explain what’s going on! Poor things!

Here are three nifty tools to help you make sense of what is happening tonight:

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarSimon McGrath 2nd Jun - 9:34am
    This sounds like just another bonkers conspiracy theory
  • User Avatarterry 2nd Jun - 9:22am
    All these people campaigning to remove Cumings have probably spent the week end laying on the beach ,spreading the coronavirus & leaving the beaches strewn...
  • User AvatarNonconformistradical 2nd Jun - 9:19am
    https://universalcreditsuffer.com/2020/05/31/cummings-spare-cottage-without-planning-permission-and-pays-no-council-tax/
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 2nd Jun - 9:10am
    cont/ Thus, Studwell isn't advocating mercantilism or growth at the expense of other nations. Studwell also is no advocate of picking winners, or of promoting...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 2nd Jun - 9:09am
    @ Thomas, Thanks for the interesting link. It's hidden behind a paywall unfortunately so I've extracted part of it here. Studwell is partially right ....
  • User AvatarJames Fowler 2nd Jun - 9:08am
    Fine stuff from Layla, but which Party leadership is she standing for? Where's the distinctive liberalism? The problem that there's nothing there that you won't...