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A bridge too far? ‘America’s governor’ may have flattened prez hopes

Has Chris Christie blown it? The Next Republican President of the United States has been hit by humiliating political scandal and a nagging sense he’s simply not fit for the White House.

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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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Richard Farmer’s chunky bits

In a country with a long history of bushfires it takes more that a statement by a politician to convince most people that a weather event is definitely part of a climate one.

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In the game of chicken, we have a winner

Conceding “there are no winners” in the debt ceiling standoff was just modesty from US President Barack Obama. The Republicans lost this one. Big time.

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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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Crikey Blogs | BOOKS|

Book review: Dollarocracy — how money runs US democracy

It’s no secret that big business plays a role in governance, but Dollarocracy shows just how deep those ties run, writes James Rose.

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Berg strains his Tea on US Republican Right

The US Tea Party isn’t that hard to understand — the libertarian streak is tiny and they’re an uneasy fit in the Republican Party. Chris Berg doesn’t seem to understand.

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The Union is fine, the Republicans not so much

President Obama’s State of the Union address set out some ambitious progressive reforms, while the Republicans scatter and filibuster as they work out which battles to fight. Crikey takes the political pulse of the US.

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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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Candelight vigils guide Obama’s unlikely new gun laws

In the wake of the Sandy Hook elementary shooting, President Barack Obama has proposed a range of new gun laws. What would it take to get the laws through the Republican-controlled House?

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Gun control might work, but US needs to temper paranoia and rage

The school shootings in Connecticut have revived a stalled debate on gun control. But history is against any meaningful action to limit gun ownership.

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Only faint hope for a deal with Iran on nukes

For a couple of months things have been looking pretty bleak on the Iranian front.

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Yet another Iowa front-runner — yes, it’s Ron Paul

Already Newt Gingrich’s chances for the Republican nomination are being written off, and there is a new GOP frontrunner in Iowa — Texas congressman Ron Paul.

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Pakistan-US relations: annus horribilis

There is a growing belief that the US now needs Pakistan more than Pakistan needs the US, writes Alicia Mollaun, an Islamabad-based PhD candidate at the Crawford School at ANU.

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The Guardian | LINKS|

Jimmy Carter, the nicest president of them all

Former US president Jimmy Carter ights for global health from his modest house in the tiny town where he was once a peanut farmer. Carole Cadwalladr interviews the fascinating man, who remains proud he never ‘dropped a bomb’ as president.

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Black is back as evangelical Republicans rally

As Barack Obama mobilises his re-election campaign, the Republican base is for the first time excited about a black man running for president — former fast food chain executive Herman Cain, that is. Crikey was at the Faith and Freedom Coalition in DC.

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A game for political wonks

Ever wanted to redraw political boundaries in your own name? An online game allows you to do it, and teaches how gerrymandering can have such a poisonous effect on democracy, says Ben Raue.

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Gillard’s travelling circus: $10k to report from the wrong side of the velvet rope

There are many dozen staff, journalists and crew who are quite thankful the massive operation that is a prime ministerial trip to America is just about over. It’s an expensive and exhausting experience.

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The Daily Beast | LINKS|

The many faces of Jon Stewart

During Jon Stewart’s interview with Barack Obama on The Daily Show the left-leaning comedian ventured much further than straight comedy. Everybody knows Stewart is a liberal, but where does his comedy end and his political advocacy begin?

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Information is Beautiful | LINKS|

The difference between left wing and right wing

Want to know the difference between left wing and right wing? This info graphic will help you out.

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Slate | LINKS|

Salesman Obama — polls not buying Prez’ hard sell

Is Obama simply a poor salesman? Despite trying to sell his achievements for months, the US President is still lagging in the polls, writes John Dickerson.

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Palin on the nose, so who wants to be America’s next top Republican?

The base has spoken: Mitt Romney is the man most likely to win America’s Next Top Republican and challenge Barack Obama in 2013. Harley Dennett reports on the influential Conservative Political Action Conference.

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Shell-shocked Democrats navel gaze on Massachusetts

There are major potholes ahead for the Democratic Party; no-one could dispute that. The Left are complaining, the Right are mobilising and the middle class independents are seeing confusion where they expect results.

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Obama’s second press conference

President Obama pushed for his budget blueprint in his second prime-time press conference, writes CBS.

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