Georgia on our collective, climate-conscious mind

by Rashmee

Posted on November 16, 2020


President Joe Biden will be in office, come one-minute past noon on January 20. The US will, that very day, rejoin the Paris climate pact. Good. But what happens next? How does the US, the second biggest carbon emitter in the world, become consistently climate conscious, by federal order, no matter who’s in the White … Continue reading “Georgia on our collective, climate-conscious mind”

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The Republican vote turned out for the party. It was Trump that voters fired

by Rashmee

Posted on November 7, 2020


Four days on from US election day, here’s where it stands. Republicans hold 48 senate seats; so do the Democrats. The two remaining seats in Georgia will go into a run-off on January 5 because the leading candidates’ vote shares dropped below 50 per cent. In the House of Representatives the Democrats hold 213 seats … Continue reading “The Republican vote turned out for the party. It was Trump that voters fired”

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India, Hungary, Turkey, Trump’s America

by Rashmee

Posted on October 29, 2020


In the way of television quizzes, here’s your starter for ten: What unites India, Hungary, Turkey and the United States? They’re governed by nationalist parties, all of which are increasingly promoting a faux democracy. The BJP, Fidesz, AKP and the Republican Party are a common thread that runs through the body politic of all four … Continue reading “India, Hungary, Turkey, Trump’s America”

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In four years of Trump, a change in the attitude to violence in politics

by Rashmee

Posted on October 10, 2020


The October 9 New York Times’s briefing from David Leonhardt repeated a point made by The Economist’s John Prideaux in his Checks and Balance newsletter of October 2. The point is as follows: An alarming proportion of Americans seem to believe violence is justified to advance a political goal. The Economist cited a large-sample poll … Continue reading “In four years of Trump, a change in the attitude to violence in politics”

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Trump has said nothing about Jacob Blake & his family’s pain. That tells us all we need to know

by Rashmee

Posted on August 26, 2020


Today (Wednesday, Aug. 26) the international news media is making much of US First Lady Melania Trump’s emollient speech to the Trump convention. The BBC reported that Mrs Trump “made a plea for racial unity”. “Like all of you, I have reflected on the racial unrest in our country,” she said, “Stop the violence and … Continue reading “Trump has said nothing about Jacob Blake & his family’s pain. That tells us all we need to know”

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Trump’s 2020 convention is surely the one Lukashenko would’ve had in Belarus

by Rashmee

Posted on August 24, 2020


Depend upon it, if Alexander Lukashenko had been minded to stage a re-election convention instead of just going ahead and winning by a landslide, the Belarusian strongman would have modelled it on Donald Trump’s 2020 event. Out of habit or perhaps for propriety’s sake (or may be out of fear of legal challenge by the … Continue reading “Trump’s 2020 convention is surely the one Lukashenko would’ve had in Belarus”

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Lafayette Square is not Tiananmen Square

by Rashmee

Posted on June 5, 2020 / The Focus


Exactly 31 years ago today, a powerful military stamped out a peaceful protest by idealistic young people. It became known as the Tiananmen Square massacre, a categorisation to which China objects and which it has tried to scrub from its peoples’ memory. But this year’s anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown has been overtaken by … Continue reading “Lafayette Square is not Tiananmen Square”

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Wisconsin and South Korea – a tale of two elections

by Rashmee

Posted on April 17, 2020 / The Focus


April began with a textbook example of how not to hold an election and progressed to a well-run national poll during a pandemic. There’s a big gap between Wisconsin, which voted on 7 April, and South Korea, which conducted the first big election of the coronavirus era eight days later. It’s about tech-savvy governance and … Continue reading “Wisconsin and South Korea – a tale of two elections”

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Trump may be the ‘Teflon president’ but there are limits even to non-stick surfaces

by Rashmee

Posted on November 22, 2019


Donald Trump took the politics of no-limits and no-shame into prime time. Until 2015, the no-limits, no-shame politics was largely the preserve of autocrats and strongmen in poor, developing countries and former Soviet republics. It was the strong leaders of weak states who embraced the awkwardness, never apologised, stoked the divisive and the ugly, winked … Continue reading “Trump may be the ‘Teflon president’ but there are limits even to non-stick surfaces”

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There were 4 Koch brothers but we only talk about 2. Here’s why

by Rashmee

Posted on August 23, 2019


Now that one of the two Koch brothers has passed, it’s worth thinking about their immense and continuing influence on America. But before we do, consider why we say “Koch brothers” and mean only two of Fred Koch’s four sons. Is it because Charles and David were the only two brothers who remained with Koch Industries? Or … Continue reading “There were 4 Koch brothers but we only talk about 2. Here’s why”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK