United States

You can sense them building up, like storm runoff at a dam. It’s possible that the worst won’t happen this time. But one day they will become impossible to contain. The excuses, I mean. Although Donald Trump may wildly overstate his prowess in many areas, there is no doubt that he makes them with the aplomb of a world-class con artist and, more importantly, also makes them stick. (More…)

When trying to understand the ways that the Trump Administration careens from crisis to crisis, one is reminded of a comment that Guy Debord makes early in The Society of the Spectacle. “The spectacle cannot be understood as a mere visual excess produced by mass-media technologies. It is a worldview that has actually been materialised, that has become an objective reality.” (More…)

Former Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon has announced her challenge against two-term centrist Democratic New York governor Andrew Cuomo, scion of one of the state’s best known political dynasties. (More…)

Watching the pullulating weirdness of the Trump Administration often makes one feel like one of those Kremlin watchers from the 1980s, trying to read the tea leaves to get a picture of what’s going on inside. This may seem a strange comparison, given the fact that the Kremlin of old tended to do a pretty good job of information control, while the Trump team leaks information like a sieve. (More…)

Mr. Trump today signed his tariff order today, with much fanfare and a goodly measure of bewilderment among allies of the United States. The devotion to free trade has been talismanic among the political classes in this country for so long that Mr. Trump’s actions seem not just imprudent but heretical. (More…)

If it seems like there is another school shooting every week in the United States, it’s pretty much because there is. It’s a little hard to explain to people who don’t live here the numbed acceptance with which these things are greeted in the American public sphere. (More…)

You may have missed the news, but the Trump Administration is planning for the US will be in deficit until 2039. This is the most long-sighted claim made by the White House. Otherwise, the Trump vision for America and the world is incredibly short-sighted. (More…)

The 18th Century French scholar Fontenelle is credited with noting that, “from the sublime to the ridiculous is only one step, from raillery to insult there is even less”.  One might be tempted to take this as a motto for the United States in the early 21st Century, were it not for the fact the instances of sublimity are in very short supply. (More…)

The left has nothing to fear from Jordan Peterson. Not even fear itself. He argues with his version of what the left stands for and talks past what the radical left really advocates. Peterson believes he is fighting against the postmodern neo-Marxists, but they don’t exist. This is just plain weird. (More…)

It came out last week that Mr. Trump had, via a lawyer, paid something like $130,000 in hush money to a porn star with whom he had had an assignation. Worse yet said the pearl-clutching pundits of the major media outlets, the incident in question had occurred only four months after his wife had given birth to their child. (More…)

It isn’t the centre of capital and culture like Manhattan, doesn’t have the cool factor of Brooklyn, doesn’t have the fabled gritty tales of the past like the Bronx. Maybe Staten Island has it worse. But who cares about that place. (More…)

Right now, the American media is dominated by discussion of Michael Wolff’s forthcoming book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House. Towards the end of the incendiary excerpt published in New York Magazine, Katie Walsh, Deputy Chief Staff until March, 2017, is quoted saying that working with the president was “‘like trying to figure out what a child wants.’” (More…)