Donald Trump sacks Reince Priebus as chief of staff

UNDER the best of circumstances—when America has a president who is disciplined, willing to hear harsh but necessary truths and loyal to those he trusts—the post of White House chief of staff is “perhaps the second most powerful job in Washington”, according to James Baker, a political giant who held that post for two presidents,…

קרא עוד

The Trump administration still has the power to wreak havoc on Obamacare

REPUBLICANS’ latest efforts to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, Barack Obama’s health care law, failed in the Senate on the night of July 27th. Three of their Senators—Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowksi  of Alaska and John McCain of Arizona—joined all 48 Democrats to vote down “skinny” repeal (see article).  The amendment was the last…

קרא עוד

Republicans claim to have made progress towards tax reform

THE thing about Donald Trump’s tax plans, writes Alan Cole, formerly of the Tax Foundation, a think-tank, is that they get “progressively less detailed” over time. Almost two years ago Mr Trump released a fanciful but relatively detailed plan for lower tax rates (see blog). After he won the Republican nomination, this went through several…

קרא עוד

Donald Trump’s ill-considered ban on transgender soldiers

TRANSGENDER people are no longer welcome in America’s military, Donald Trump announced abruptly on July 26th. The news seemed to catch everyone by surprise, including Pentagon officials, and was delivered via Mr Trump’s favourite medium, Twitter. “After consultation with my Generals and military experts”, Mr Trump wrote, apparently disingenuously, “please be advised that the United…

קרא עוד

How the riots of 50 years ago changed Detroit

FIFTY years ago, Detroit lived through one of the worst riots in American history. So painful were the memories of the five days of killing, looting and arson that during previous anniversaries of the uprising, which started on July 23rd 1967 when police busted a “blind pig”, an unlicensed gambling and drinking joint, Detroiters largely…

קרא עוד

To pass health-care reform, Republicans may strip it down

It’s grim in New York IT HAS become a fool’s errand to try to predict when the Republicans may give up trying to reform health care. On July 25th Vice-President Mike Pence broke a tie in the Senate to pass a motion to start debate on a health bill, only a week after it had…

קרא עוד

Naming New York’s neighbourhoods

HARLEM’S Apollo Theatre, where Ella Fitzgerald first sang, and the Hotel Theresa, which counted among its guests Josephine Baker, Muhammad Ali and Fidel Castro, are landmarks. Malcolm X, who called Harlem “Seventh Heaven”, preached on the corner of 116th Street. Stretching further back, in the 1920s and 1930s the Harlem Renaissance gave rise to an…

קרא עוד

Why everybody liked Norman Rockwell

WILL a truce ever be declared in America’s culture wars? One way to tackle that puzzle involves considering all-American icons of the past—figures who bridged social and political divides—and asking how they did it. That mission led Lexington to Stockbridge, Massachusetts, and the Norman Rockwell Museum. Modelled on a New England town hall, it is…

קרא עוד

If America is overrun by low-skilled migrants…

NEAR the massive packing warehouse at the headquarters of Limoneira, one of America’s largest lemon producers, sits a row of small white clapboard houses with neat front lawns and American flags flapping over their doorways. The homes are rented to farm workers at 55% below the market rate in Santa Paula, California, a fertile farming…

קרא עוד