US presidential elections go on so long they’re a crying shame. Literally

by Rashmee

Posted on September 2, 2016


A Boston Globe columnist has been reminding Americans why the presidential election is a crying shame. Just days before the 2012 election, wrote Jeff Jacoby, there was that YouTube video of a four-year-old girl crying piteously over the constant stories about “Bronco Bamma and Mitt Romney”. The 21-second video went viral, and was viewed more … Continue reading “US presidential elections go on so long they’re a crying shame. Literally”

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Win or lose, Trump will disrupt US democracy

by Rashmee

Posted on August 12, 2016 / The National


After 240 years, American democracy is facing a serious challenge. If Donald Trump, the most unconventional candidate for president in modern times, wins the November election, democracy may be in danger because of his oft-illiberal and authoritarian prescriptions. If he loses, there is a risk the world’s most advanced democracy will face the sort of … Continue reading “Win or lose, Trump will disrupt US democracy”

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Trump needn’t worry about ‘rigged’ poll. OSCE is an observer & Putin rather likes them

by Rashmee

Posted on August 6, 2016


Donald Trump has said he worries the November 8 election will be “rigged” against him but surely he must take some comfort from the fact that America’s trysts with the ballot box are routinely observed by the OSCE? That the organization, which has traditionally focused on monitoring elections in emerging democracies, has formally done so … Continue reading “Trump needn’t worry about ‘rigged’ poll. OSCE is an observer & Putin rather likes them”

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America’s ambassadors reflect the country? Yes, that fund-raising pays off

by Rashmee

Posted on March 25, 2015


America’s ambassadors reflect the place they come from. In the sense that the US takes initiative and fund-raising seriously and rewards it accordingly. This is the most charitable way to describe the fact that the US often sends, to far-flung outposts, people who are not trained diplomats, don’t seem to be necessarily diplomatic, have no … Continue reading “America’s ambassadors reflect the country? Yes, that fund-raising pays off”

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Why Sarah Palin, Narendra Modi and Mitt Romney shouldn’t mention dogs

by Rashmee

Posted on January 5, 2015


I thought of Narendra Modi when I read about the row over Sarah Palin’s Facebook post of Trig, her six-year-old, stepping on the family dog to reach the kitchen sink. (For context, the child has Down’s Syndrome and Ms Palin’s original Facebook comment was the sort of anodyne, vaguely uplifting wish that is spread trowel-thick on … Continue reading “Why Sarah Palin, Narendra Modi and Mitt Romney shouldn’t mention dogs”

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Ronald Reagan: Another kind of lame-duck president. Swim not sink

by Rashmee

Posted on November 18, 2014


Like Woodrow Wilson, as Sean Braswell recounts in OZY, Ronald Reagan was a pretty popular president when he became lame-duck. Unlike President Wilson, his period of obsolescence was enormously effective. It was 1986, the Democrats had won control of both houses, details of the Iran-Contra affair had begun to emerge in the public domain and … Continue reading “Ronald Reagan: Another kind of lame-duck president. Swim not sink”

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Woodrow Wilson, America’s lame-duck president who wasn’t

by Rashmee

Posted on November 17, 2014


As Sean Braswell recounts in OZY, not all lame-duck periods are alike. Woodrow Wilson is a case in point. By the time he was halfway through his second term, he had achieved a number of tremendous things. A little like President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare)? So, by 1918, Mr Wilson … Continue reading “Woodrow Wilson, America’s lame-duck president who wasn’t”

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Poor America. A lame-duck president is like having older model iPhone

by Rashmee

Posted on November 16, 2014


“History suggests that having a lame-duck president is not unlike having an older-model iPhone,” writes Sean Braswell in OZY. That’s a clever sentence. It’s barely two weeks since the mid-term elections. Ever since, President Obama finds himself further hemmed in by the Republicans, straitened by America’s checks-and-balance, winner-takes-all system, to get even less done in the … Continue reading “Poor America. A lame-duck president is like having older model iPhone”

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US midterm elections & the three D’s: Dynasty, deja vu, die-hardism

by Rashmee

Posted on November 3, 2014


Funnily enough, tomorrow’s US midterm elections may be all about three D’s: dynasty, deja vu, die-hardism. You’d rarely expect to associate these with so fiercely democratic a political system but by all accounts, we can reliably expect the following on election day: Extreme positions Apathetic turnout The dynastic touch The BBC’s Tom Geoghegan has a great explainer here. The … Continue reading “US midterm elections & the three D’s: Dynasty, deja vu, die-hardism”

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British agencies take new interest in #Haiti, but not enough

by Rashmee

Posted on June 18, 2013


Two Haiti events in two days – both brought to us by British agencies. It is fitting – and probably to be expected – barely a week after the UK opened its first embassy here in 47 years (Not sure of the correlation but it sounds like too much of a coincidence). On Tuesday, from … Continue reading “British agencies take new interest in #Haiti, but not enough”

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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