The Economist: United States

United States

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Minor-league baseball is getting squeezed

MINOR-LEAGUE baseball clubs, the more than a hundred small, independent teams—some, like the Albuquerque Isotopes, with wonderful names–have long had a symbiotic relationship with their major-league counterparts. Since the 1960s most have been affiliated with a major-league club in what is called the farm system. Major-league clubs loan their prized...

The conscience of some conservatives

TO PARAPHRASE Samuel Johnson, nothing concentrates the mind like the prospect of being hanged. And so it has proved inside the Republican leadership. A week after Donald Trump’s MAGA mob erected a gallows besides the Capitol reflecting pool then invaded the building, the president’s party is for the first time seriously reviewing its loyalty to him....

America is experiencing the worst recorded increase in its national murder rate

EVEN FOR a city used to gun violence, the events on January 9th in Chicago were terrifying. A lone man, probably psychotic, bragged in videos on social media of how he planned to murder strangers. Then, over several hours in many places, he shot seven people—a Chinese doctoral student, a security guard, a teenage girl, two elderly women and two others—picked...

What to expect from Texas legislature’s new session

WHEN THE Texas legislature convened on January 12th, the state House opened its first session with prayer, the pledge of allegiance to the American flag, and the pledge of allegiance to the Lone Star flag. The 140-day session, which takes place every other year, will be filled with plenty more prayers and promises. Texas, like other states, is grappling...

Donald Trump’s ban from online platforms underlines their power

PARLER, A SMALL but rapidly growing social network, is an unlikely candidate for liberal sympathy. Pronounced “parlour”, it gained popularity mainly with right-wing Americans fleeing what they saw as the lefty tendencies of Twitter and Facebook. Yet alarm at the company’s fate has crossed America’s political divide in a way that suspending the president...

Congress has impeached Donald Trump for his incitement of a mob attack on the Capitol

OF ALL THE democratic norms President Donald Trump has broken during four years in the White House, none is as important as the peaceful transition of power. The photos, videos and accounts that have emerged since the ransacking of the Capitol on January 6th include footage of rioters beating a police officer with a flagpole as a crowd chanted “USA”...

Congress is moving to block goods made with the forced labour of Uyghurs

IF A SPORTSWEAR company like Nike or Adidas wants to know if any of the fabric in their socks or trainers is from Xinjiang, supplier of 20% of the world’s cotton, forensic science can help. Oritain, a firm based in New Zealand, says it can analyse sample swatches of cotton to determine whether particular elements—including zinc, potassium and rare-earth...

Two stunning victories for Democrats in Georgia upend the Senate

FOUR YEARS ago, any pundit predicting that the solidly Republican state of Georgia would send two Democratic senators to Washington in 2020 would have been dismissed as a crank. Yet that was the outcome of two extraordinary run-off elections held on January 5th, which may set a new model for winning Democratic campaigns in the usually inhospitable South....

The terrible scenes on Capitol Hill illustrate how Donald Trump has changed his party

THE MOST important book of the Trump era was not Bob Woodward’s “Fear” or Michael Wolff’s “Fire and Fury” or any of the other bestselling exposes of the White House circus. Arguably it was a wonkish tome by two Harvard political scientists, Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt, published a year into Donald Trump’s presidency and entitled “How Democracies...

All the president’s pardons

WHEN AMERICA’S founders included in the constitution the power to “grant reprieves and pardons for crimes against the United States”, they sought to hand presidents a “benign prerogative” to show mercy to repentant law-breakers and “restore the tranquillity of the commonwealth”, as Alexander Hamilton put it in Federalist 74; without such a tool, he...

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