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Tag: Obama

The fifteen hundred

The fifteen hundred

There was an era in U.S. political life “that began with Ronald Reagan, where there was a conservative dominance powered by conservative voters and Southern whites,” said David Bositis, senior political analyst at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. “That era is over.” You know those news stories of religious cults, approaching a day of judgement where they are convinced that they will ascend to some form of heaven, leaving all the unbelievers behind? And they gather on…

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One year to the 2012 US presidential election

One year to the 2012 US presidential election

It’s exactly a year to the day till the next election for POTUS (President Of The United States). On November 6th 2012, millions of people will vote for who they want to live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, as well as a load of other politicians at national and local levels. The presidential race, in particular, is exciting and interesting – in some ways because of the whole ridiculousness of the thing. Campaigns last for a significant part of the four…

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An American trip: October and November 2008

An American trip: October and November 2008

During October and November of 2008, I took a month-long trip around the US of A. The main mode of transport was Amtrak train, and the trip tied in neatly with two conferences I was speaking at – one of which was in Chicago on the day Barack Obama was elected (and one heck of an evening that was). I did a lot of writing on that trip, thinking it was just a few people in the Outer Hebrides and…

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Goodbye Chicago

Goodbye Chicago

Thanks for an unbelievable five days. As night falls and the skyscrapers light up, the calling of passengers for the overnight train following the Mississippi down to Memphis and New Orleans is imminent. Highlights? Too many to remember coherently or put in one posting. The obvious one is 10pm on tuesday when the result of the election was announced, and what seemed like a million people in the park went in search of tea … no, I mean went delirious….

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Oh, you look so beautiful tonight…

Oh, you look so beautiful tonight…

The lyric to a U2 song and, indeed, the backdrop of sparkling Chicago skyscrapers is lovely to look at. And more impressive when between you and it are a million people going deliriously happy because their man won the presidency. The Four Librarians Of The Apocalypse, a new group borne out of #glls2008, went down to Grant Park in Chicago along with a million other people. We saw the results come in, at first nervously and then with increasing cheer….

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Is black the new ginger?

Is black the new ginger?

Next week is the culmination of an epic contest that has gone on for much of the year. Hundreds of millions of people have followed it with increasing fanaticism. The favourite has swapped around a few times in recent months. And there’s been controversy, mess-ups on all sides, vast amounts of media coverage and opinion, and worldwide interest. But currently it looks like, for the first time, a black man will win; he’s up by a few points on his…

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Election, American style

Election, American style

I love American elections. Every aspect of them. The spin, the manoevering, the PR, the coverage, the political humour (Daily Show, Colbert Report and Fox News), the candidates, the campaigns, the lot. I’ve been following this political election since before people were saying “Barack who?”, and when most ‘commentators’ reckoned it would be a straight fight between Rudy and Hillary. Boy, they got that one wrong. We have a lot of coverage in the UK but, not surprisingly, once in…

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A very Irish (US) election

A very Irish (US) election

Genealogy is one of the main uses of the Internet. Not surprisingly, as before the net, research into family ancestory was difficult, slow and costly. Now, various software and many thousands of websites usually make the process a lot quicker. All manner of organisations provide such information online; for example, if you associated the Mormons just with the Osmonds and Mitt Romney, then think again – they maintain one of the largest online databases of ancestral information at www.familysearch.org, and helped me…

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