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After George W.Bush, the Deluge

Murray Sayle: Climate change, 21 June 2001

Draft Report of the 17th Session of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Nairobi, 4-6 April 2001 
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Climate Change 2001: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability 
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The Collapse of the Kyoto Protocol and the Struggle to Slow Global Warming 
by David Victor.
Princeton, 192 pp., £12.95, April 2001, 0 691 08870 5
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Managing the Planet: The Politics of the New Millennium 
by Norman Moss.
Earthscan, 232 pp., £16.99, September 2000, 1 85383 644 3
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... By the wise contrivance of the Author of nature, virtue is upon all ordinary occasions, even with regard to this life, real wisdom, and the surest and readiest means of obtaining both safety and advantage. Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments On 13 March President George W ...

‘Damn right,’ I said

Eliot Weinberger: Bush Meets Foucault, 6 January 2011

Decision Points 
by George W.Bush.
Virgin, 497 pp., £25, November 2010, 978 0 7535 3966 8
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... In the late 1960s, George Bush Jr was at Yale, branding the asses of pledges to the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity with a hot coathanger. Michel Foucault was at the Societé française de philosophie, considering the question, ‘What is an author?’ The two, needless to say, never met ...

The God Squad

Andrew O’Hagan: Bushland, 23 September 2004

... America is now offering lessons in what little wisdom it takes to govern the world. Confounded in Iraq, isolated from its traditional allies, shamed over Abu Ghraib, soaked in corporate corruption and the backwash of environmental harm, sustaining an uninherited budget deficit while preparing more tax rewards for the rich, as dismissive of the unhealthy as the foreign, as terrified of the unfolding truth as of mailed anthrax, it is a society made menacing by a notion of God’s great plan ...

Clan Gatherings

Inigo Thomas: The Bushes, 24 April 2008

The Bush Tragedy: The Unmaking of a President 
by Jacob Weisberg.
Bloomsbury, 271 pp., £16.99, February 2008, 978 0 7475 9394 2
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... in 1960, Alpaca is notable less for its depiction of an ideal polity than for the fact that it was written by the oil tycoon H.L. Hunt. ‘Except that I am slow, I am the best writer I know,’ Hunt once ...

Dad & Jr

Christian Lorentzen: Bushes Jr & Sr, 4 December 2014

... been​ five years and ten months. I confess to a bit of nostalgia for the nihilism that came with being governed by George W.Bush. For all the continuities, Obama arouses more earnest responses: apologetics, disappointment, head-shaking, Occupy, Ed...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: Dick Cheney’s Homepage, 18 November 2004

... There’s a handy website, http://tinyurl.com, that shrinks very long web addresses into very short ones. This is useful when sending hyperlinks by email, as they can get broken up on their way through cyberspace, and so be difficult for the person at the other end to click on: tinyurl ...

Feeling Right

Will Woodward: The Iowa Straw Poll, 16 September 1999

... We’re waiting on the front porch of Jack and Sonia Hatch’s three-storey home in Sherman Hill, a desirable district of Des Moines, Iowa. Pillars, parquet flooring, leftish middle-class clutter. It’s a fantastic, warm evening ...

The US is not Hungary

David Runciman: The Midterms, 22 November 2018

... Many​ political scientists were utterly confounded when Trump won the presidency in 2016. A large number had staked their professional reputations on confident predictions that Hillary Clinton would brush him aside ...

In Your Guts You Know He’s Nuts

Thomas Sugrue: Barry Goldwater, 3 January 2008

The Conscience of a Conservative 
by Barry Goldwater.
Princeton, 144 pp., £8.95, June 2007, 978 0 691 13117 7
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... In 2004, with the re-election of George W.Bush, the Republicans seemed invincible. Bush’s consigliere, Karl Rove, interpreted the election as the sign of a realignment and pushed for a hyperconservative politics which would create a ‘permanent Republican majority ...

Farewell to the Log Cabin

Colin Kidd: America’s Royalist Revolution, 18 December 2014

The Royalist Revolution 
by Eric Nelson.
Harvard, 390 pp., £22.95, October 2014, 978 0 674 73534 7
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... and ambition might be enough in themselves to propel the humblest of citizens from log cabin to White House is a vital ingredient in the American Dream. Indeed, it has served as a powerful anaesthetic against the inequalities of American society. But for how much longer? A rampant ...

Those bastards, we’ve got to cut them back

Daniel S. Greenberg: Bush’s Scientists, 22 September 2005

The Republican War on Science 
by Chris Mooney.
Basic Books, 288 pp., £14.99, October 2005, 0 465 04675 4
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... is required to ensure political quiet in the American scientific community. A bit of annual growth in government outlays for research, presidential medal-pinning ceremonies in the Rose Garden for revered elders of the profession, and expressions of respect for science produce a wonderful tranquillising effect on the ...

Short Cuts

David Bromwich: Stirrers Up of Strife, 17 March 2016

... This election year​ will be remembered as the one in which two candidates rallied the indignation of millions against the establishment. Both Trump and Sanders actually call it that. The reflexive response of the establishment – proof of its existence, if you needed proof – has been its uniform portrayal of the two ...

Short Cuts

David Bromwich: Alexander Hamilton’s Worst Idea, 24 October 2019

... On​ 6 October, Donald Trump made a phone call to Recep Erdoğan signalling the withdrawal of around two hundred US troops who were protecting Kurdish soldiers in northern Syria ...

Ready for a Rematch

Michael Byers: The Bushes and Saddam Hussein, 8 February 2001

... mentioned as a factor in contemporary politics, perhaps because its tribal character does not fit well into the ‘rational actor’ model favoured by political scientists and pundits. Yet the American political system, in particular, operates on quasi-tribal lines, to the point where ideological affiliations play an overt ...

Short Cuts

Thomas Jones: ‘freedom’, 24 July 2003

... The first recorded use of the word ‘freedom’ in English comes in the penultimate chapter of Alfred the Great’s translation of Boethius’ De consolatione philosophiae (c.888), in a discussion of free will: ‘Þu segist þæt God sylle ællcum freodom swa god to donne swa yfel’ – ‘You say that God gives to everyone the freedom to do both good and evil ...

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