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EPA/Michael Reynolds

Hagelian dialectics: Chuck gets the chop

To lose one Secretary of Defense might be considered unfortunate. To have lost three and to be looking for a fourth looks like something more fundamental and systemic. The early departure of Chuck Hagel…
Barack Obama has signed into law all but two of the bills to come before him, but is likely to use his power of presidential veto more often in the final two years of his term. White House/Pete Souza

US votes for presidential vetoes, filibusters and partisan fractures

Perhaps no sentiment better defines the American political psyche than distrust of government. It prompted the constitutional framers 226 years ago to create a system of national government that separates…
Comedian Stephen Colbert at the 2010 Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear. Reuters

Satire might not sway votes, but that isn’t the point

John Oliver’s new program Last Week Tonight is the most recent addition to the parody news genre. Like its predecessors, the show frequently mocks American politics; for example, an attention-grabbing…
Fired up, ready to go…? EPA/Keith Bedford

How the midterm elections became such a confusing mess

The US midterm elections will decide who gets control of Congress for Barack Obama’s last two years in office. A hugely decisive moment at first glance – but in reality, the 2014 midterms have devolved…
If Democrats win governorships in battleground states, their fortunes in the House of Representatives will improve considerably – in the long term. EPA/Michael Reynolds

Why the US midterms matter – and why Democrats see a silver lining

If the polls are correct, the headlines on November 5 following the US midterm elections will proclaim that Democrats have suffered a major defeat. The Democrats will likely lose the Senate. President…
Scourge of the elite. Miguel Ariel Contreras Drake-McLaughlin

Bradlee was a bold editor who helped us understand the world

Ben Bradlee, the former editor of the Washington Post, who has died at the age of 93 was a crusading and courageous editor. He played a central role in exposing duplicity and deception at the highest levels…
Attendees photograph Hillary Clinton speaking at Pennsylvania rally in support of Democratic candidate for governor. Mark Makela/Reuters

Midterm politics: the back story is the thing

Foundation essay: This article is part of a series marking the launch of The Conversation in the US. Our foundation essays are longer than our usual comment and analysis articles and take a wider look…
The outside is being renovated, but what about the inside? Jim Bourg/Reuters

How to make the House of Representatives representative

Foundation essay: This article is part of a series marking the launch of The Conversation in the US. Our foundation essays are longer than our usual comment and analysis articles and take a wider look…
The blurring of the line between the military and the police, especially in the US, is now on the political agenda following recent events in Ferguson, Missouri. EPA/Roberto Rodriguez

Urban combat: Ferguson and the militarisation of police

Anyone watching the footage coming out of Ferguson, Missouri in recent days would be forgiven for thinking they had tuned into a scene from a combat zone, rather than suburban America. There has been a…
In telegraphing toughness on foreign policy issues, Hillary Clinton hopes to send the message that the US will act like a great power when she’s president. EPA/Michael Reynolds

Clinton fires first shot in battle to show she’ll be different as president

Few people expected the opening shots of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign to be fired across the bow of the Obama administration. Yet in a recent interview, the former secretary of state took aim…
Excessive use of force? EPA/David Carson

Michael Brown, Ferguson and the nature of unrest

The death of Michael Brown is heartbreaking, and Michelle and I send our deepest condolences to his family and his community at this very difficult time … I know the events of the past few days have prompted…
Five-year-old Dahlia Zabrano-Tercero at a July vigil for young Central American migrants in California. David Maung/EPA

Life for child migrants is even harder beyond the US border

Between 2003 and 2011, 8,000 to 40,000 unaccompanied migrant children from Central America were stopped every year on the southern border of the US. When this number boomed to more than 57,000 during the…

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