Abortion in Ireland: the weaknesses of the Repeal campaign.

On 25 May, Ireland will vote on whether to repeal the 8th Amendment to its constitution, which prohibits abortion unless a mother’s life is threatened. Based on opinion polling, the Repeal campaign should win. But polls have tightened in recent weeks. About a fifth of Irishmen are undecided. The result will almost certainly not be …

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Who will suffer economically the worst from Brexit?

Many areas of the UK that voted for Brexit will suffer the most from the economic consequences of leaving the EU. Researchers at the University of Birmingham studied regional variations in the share of labour income and GDP reliant on the EU, and found that areas in the Midlands and north of England, many of …

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How the Trump presidency has improved American politics.

It’s fair to say I think the Trump presidency has been an unmitigated disaster.  His casual bigotry, dishonesty and regressive economic policies are terrible for America, and have made the world a less stable and safe place. The most recent example of Trump’s destructiveness is his withdrawal from the Iran deal, which will only hasten …

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The US lobbying bonanza

The successful Republican drive to overhaul the tax code in 2017, resulted in a bonanza of business for Washington’s law and lobby firms. Bolstered by GOP control of Washington, lobbyists saw their business explode grow last year. The prospect of tax legislation and regulatory reform was the big reason why. The 20 largest lobbying firms …

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Politics are worse now that earmarks are banned

“The problem with Washington today is that there just isn’t enough bribery. In the old days, when parties lacked a few crucial votes to pass important legislation, they could win over opponents with the help of so-called earmarks. These were sentences included in spending bills that directed some of the money to specific projects – …

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Our oceans are dying!

The proportion of the world’s oceans defined as “dead” – containing such low levels of oxygen that very little marine life can survive – has increased alarmingly in the past 70 years, scientists have warned. The researchers, from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Centre, among other institutions, studied dead zones both in open waters and around …

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The best democracy money can buy!

Acting Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Mick Mulvaney is working diligently these days to gut the agency he now heads. But Mulvaney isn’t seeing that same diligence from the financial industry movers and shakers he’s endeavoring so hard to shield. Last week, at a financial industry conference in Washington, D.C., Mulvaney told 1,300 bankers to …

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Prisons again: British prisons are a disgrace, too.

Two recent shocking reports into jails in Nottingham and Liverpool show that conditions remain Dickensian – inmates crammed into filthy, freezing cells; cockroaches; rats; extensive violence. Whether you measure it by the high levels of re-offending or the number of suicides, it’s clear the system is failing; yet we keep locking more and more people …

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