Today’s top story:

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Malia and Sasha, sit for a  family portrait in the Green Room of the White House, Sept. 1, 2009. (Official White House Photo)

Photo by Annie Leibovitz/Released by White House Photo Office

This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

A new role for first families

We need a new understanding of the role of “first families” and various other hangers on around the presidency – and indeed other political positions. Until 1993 first ladies were wives. There were none who had any other career. Hillary Clinton gave up her law practice when her husband became president, but she had continued […]

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Six impossible things before breakfast

In “Alice through the Looking Glass”, the White Queen commends the ability to believe the impossible, and claims once to have believed six impossible things before breakfast [link]. I fear that the Daily Telegraph may be developing the same skill. Yesterday I was struck by the “Business Comment” column by Ben Wright [link]. He covered two topics.  […]

Ed-Miliband

EU in the UK, and the decline of Labour

Labours grip on its core vote was loosened further by the Heywood and Middleton by-election results. Had three thousand conservative voters in the constituency not split the vote, Labour would have been on the receiving end of their biggest by election blow in decades. With Labour doing very badly in the European Election and with […]

President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughters, Malia and Sasha, sit for a  family portrait in the Green Room of the White House, Sept. 1, 2009. (Official White House Photo)

Photo by Annie Leibovitz/Released by White House Photo Office

This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.

A new role for first families

We need a new understanding of the role of “first families” and various other hangers on around the presidency – and indeed other political positions. Until 1993 first ladies were wives. There were none who had any other career. Hillary Clinton gave up her law practice when her husband became president, but she had continued […]

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Should we welcome synthetic meat?

The cultivation of crops and the domestication of animals were two of the breakthrough technologies for our species. They marked the move from hunter-gatherers to settled and nomadic communities. Other breakthroughs – the bucket and the plow, for example, which enabled farmers to produce surplus, and thus for some people to be something other than […]

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Our posthuman future

“If I had asked people what they wanted,” Henry Ford once observed, “they would have asked for faster horses”.  For the same reason, Steve Jobs never bothered with market research. He didn’t need to know what people wanted. He invented things that they would want if they knew what they could do with them. Sometimes […]

More recent articles:

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Why are there no “car deaths”?

Why are there no figures for motor vehicle deaths? You might think that is an odd question. There are, after all, official figures for deaths in motor vehicle accidents. While that is the majority of deaths from motor vehicles, there are also suicides from carbon monoxide poisoning. There may also be suicides and murders in […]

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Time to end the Iowa and New Hampshire Primacy

It is going to be a long campaign, and people in Iowa and New Hampshire are going to shake a lot of hands. But why, exactly, should Iowa and New Hampshire get first crack? There is something to be said for a long campaign. Candidates get thoroughly vetted. And there is something to be said […]

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Hillary Clinton does something unexpected

Hillary Clinton, a presidential candidate who has answered only seven questions from journalists since declaring, has done something unexpected. She has taken a political risk. She has declared that the era mass incarceration is over. The phrasing echoes that of a Democratic president of the 1990s who once, falsely, declared that the era of big […]

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