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Rundle: US Senate race a parade of male centrefolds and batshit Tea Partiers

Ahead of the US midterms, the Democrats vital signs are ebbing in some key states.

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At home with the Cheneys: Liz quits, Mary seethes, Dick mediates

Liz Cheney has quit her bid for the US Congress, leaving a gay sister still seething and her former vice-presidential father trying to heal rifts within the Republican Party.

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Will the DREAM of US immigration reform become reality in 2014?

Optimism is growing that immigration reform is a real possibility in 2014, reports Inside Story’s Peter Mares from New York. But getting laws through Congress will only be the first challenge.

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Think our Parliament is bad? The extreme dysfunction of US Congress

The current United States Congress has passed the fewest laws of any Congress in history. US-based freelance writer Andrew Murfett looks at where it all went wrong.

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Switch on the panda camera, Boehner pumps for a backdown

After more argy-bargy in Congress, a deal to pull the US back from the financial brink has been done. Most are calling this a victory for Democrats, writes American reporter Andrew Murfett.

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Crikey Clarifier: what would happen if the US defaults?

US Republicans have edged a little closer to a deal with Barack Obama on the government shutdown and raising the debt ceiling. But what if that can’t meet the deadline? Crikey looks at the consequences.

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McCain’s ‘embarrassed’, but Tea Party has no shutdown shame

It was supposed to be about healthcare, but as the US government shutdown rolls on Republicans now want to talk about debt. Crikey reports from Florida where Obamacare has stalled.

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Shutdown standoff, ‘exasperated’ President v obstinate GOP

The stalemate in Washington continues, as President Barack Obama tries to wrangle obstinate Republicans. But the signs of government shutdown are few.

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When the clock strikes 12, US will bring down the world economy

Nobody is blinking in Washington, with Republicans hostage to the Tea Party and Democrats refusing to budge. A shutdown of the US government is now likely, writes reporter Andrew Murfett stateside.

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US shutdown politics Cruzing to a Boehner

Pundits are taking the looming US shutdown as evidence of right-wing bubble thinking. Maybe, or maybe it’s a hard-right strategy to complete a final takeover of the Republican Party.

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Richard Farmer’s chunky bits

The “new leaf” version of Kevin Rudd has promised to be the consultative, first-among-equals kind of prime minister this time around.

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Reagan, Clinton, Bush: the second-term curse awaiting Obama

Barack Obama’s place in history will be decided this year. He has a small window to enact his ambitious agenda, and a hostile Congress to get it done. Dr David Smith of The United States Studies Centre explains.

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Why debt is easier than guns: Obama’s twin challenges

Gun control fits the normal paradigm of a legislative negotiation. The debt ceiling is different, most Republicans know they must raise it — and that’s why Obama should have more success on debt than guns.

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How could they all get it so wrong?

Republican-leaning pundits predicted the US election result more on hope more than common sense. Now there’s egg all over their faces as Democrats celebrate.

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Congress: more gridlock on the cards, House and Senate split

Will it President Obama be plagued by the same legislative gridlock that has characterised the last two years, or willhe find himself with a more co-operative Congress?

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Nuclear drumbeat grows as US eyes Australia

Nuclear weapons and joint military bases aimed at containing our largest trading partner will, sooner or later, be put in our backyard. That’s if US Republicans get their way.

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US reveals plans to put nukes in your neighbourhood

The US would redeploy tactical nuclear weapons to the Asia-Pacific and ask regional allies to host nuclear weapons in plans added to the draft Pentagon budget.

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Kohler: US sleepwalks towards a fiscal cliff

The trouble with kicking the can down the road is that you eventually encounter it again. That’s what’s happening to American fiscal policy at the end of this year.

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US debt: Obama threatens veto after supercommittee fails

Barack Obama has upped the pressure on Republicans to agree to some tax increases as part of US deficit reduction by threatening to veto any attempt to undo automatic cuts to the military.

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Big Copyright’s war on filesharing set to inflict wider damage

US Congress, at the behest of the copyright industry, is set to impose the most draconian anti-filesharing régime yet.

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Joe the Plumber runs for Congress

Remember Joe the Plumber from the 2008 US presidential campaign trail? Samuel “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher (not actually a plumber) announced yesterday that he would contest a Congress seat as a Republican.

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Obama’s jobs plan: stimulus is still a four-letter word

There’s a rare and genuine sense of hope in Washington tonight since nobody shouted “You Lie!” or walked out of the Barack Obama’s much anticipated jobs speech to a joint session of Congress.

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Rundle: debt deal the ideal compromise — it pleases no-one

The US debt ceiling deal is an ideal compromise – not only does it please no-one, it does not address the issues it was meant to solve in any terms, neither the Right’s concern about US public debt, nor the Left’s demand that taxes on the rich be raised.

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The US debt deal nobody likes is done … almost

Less than 48 hours before the US government runs out of money, a tentative deal to avoid default has split both parties down the middle and a vote still has not been scheduled.

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Give Obama credit for negotiating on debt

Barack Obama has played the critical debt negotiations much better than others suggest. To include any tax raises at all has been to go up against a Republican party that fully intends to politically satisfy its base at any cost.

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