US elections

US elections - is real change coming?

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Barack Obama has risen from idealistic Democratic outsider to become the first black US presidential candidate of a major party. Gary Younge explores the importance of the Obama phenomenon which has inspired millions, but also the limitations of his political agenda

There was something different about the Martin Luther King Day parade in Charleston this year. To the drumbeats of the marching bands from black schools and more sombre sounds of local black clergymen, came the spirited chants of representatives from local black churches and a throng of the overwhelmingly white coterie of Barack Obama volunteers: "Obama '08! We're ready. Why wait?" Among them was a young man who was "so depressed" after Obama's New Hampshire defeat that he had dropped everything he'd been doing in Guatemala and flown back to help out.

Osama Likes Obama - According to Fox News

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Back in 2000 Fox News announced George W Bush's "victory" before the results had even finished being counted, leading to the widespread media acceptance that Democratic candidate Al Gore had lost, a result eventually accepted by Gore himself.

As the election heats up this time, over once more to Rupert Murdoch's beacon of trustworthy news, which is answering the question on everyone's minds: "Who does Osama Bin Laden want to be the next president?"

According to a survey on its website: "More people think the terrorist leader wants Obama to win (30 percent) than think he wants Clinton (22 percent) or McCain (10 percent). Another 18 percent says it doesn't matter to Bin Laden and 20 percent are unsure."

Bet your Bottom Dollar

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Bush's faces more problems in his second term than many realise, argues Chris Harman.

The re-election of George Bush at the end of last year has left many people, particularly on the US left, shellshocked. As they see it, an administration dominated by the neocons and bolstered up by the votes of the religious right can now get away with anything it wants for the next four years.

This ignores three things. First, the intractability of the position US imperialism faces in Iraq. It is bogged down in a ground war it did not expect and does not have sufficient troops easily to deal with, and which is paralysing its capacity to act elsewhere.

Scrutinising Democracy

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US election shenanigans can't hide from the internet.

Months before the US presidential race started, the internet was a hive of activity and discussion about it. Indeed, the election was always going to be one where electronic media played a huge role. Back in January this year Democratic contender Howard Dean was described by the Guardian as the 'web's candidate for president'.

Losing West Virginia

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Is it time (to paraphrase Brecht) to elect a new American people?

American liberals usually profess great enthusiasm for the common people. But sentimental populism took a hard blow on 2 November. The people, by a slim but decisive majority, elected fear, deception and greed to four more years in the White House. Indeed, with the exception of the Democratic redoubt on the Great Lakes, continental America, from Idaho to Alabama, has become a one-party nation under god. Not even Bruce Springsteen and 48 Nobel laureates could ultimately swing Ohio to John Kerry.

US after the Elections: Never Mind the Ballots

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The re-election of Bush depressed the world, but now the anti-war left in the US is regrouping.

So much for the commentators who thought George Bush was going to mellow in his second term. His new attorney general, Alberto Gonzalez, is the man who called the Geneva Convention 'quaint' and doubted whether torture restrictions applied to 'enemy combatants'. He has also made Condoleezza Rice secretary of state. Bush was sending out a signal - in his view he has political capital to spend.

US Elections: Nader the Twain Shall Meet

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Viewers of HBO's flagship talk-show, Real Time with Bill Maher, were in for a treat a few weeks ago. Sharing the desk with Maher were Michael Moore and Ralph Nader.

Moore, after supporting Nader in 2000, is a convert to the cause of John Kerry. At first confidently predicting a Kerry victory, Moore, his Anybody But Bush arguments faltering, was reduced to begging on his knees for Nader not to stand. Not an edifying spectacle, and all the stranger given Moore's confidence of an anti-war vote turning out for a pro-war candidate. Only last month the man Moore supports for president claimed that, 'even knowing what we know now', he would still have voted to back the invasion of Iraq, as he did in 2003. He is no better on other issues.

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