Category Archives: US Government and Politics

What is the Special Prosecutor and why are they important?

A Special Prosecutor is an individual who is appointed to investigate potential wrongdoing within the executive branch of the Government. They are appointed if an investigation is required into the President or another member of the Executive Branch. Federal criminal investigations are usually carried out by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The FBI is ultimately overseen by the Attorney-General and the President. It would therefore be a clear conflict of interests for the FBI to investigate the Executive Branch.

Continue reading

What is the ‘Invisible Primary’ and why is it significant?

As of 25th February 2019 eight candidates have declared that they will be seeking the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the United States. Among them are Bernie Sanders (who finished second in the 2016 Democratic Primary) and Elizabeth Warren, someone who has long been tipped to make a run for the White House. Other prominent candidates may still declare, including former Vice-President Joe Biden.

Continue reading

How did Gerald Ford become the only unelected President in US History?

Trump

Trump won the Presidency despite trailing Hillary Clinton by 2.8 Million in the Popular Vote.

It is not unusual for a President to win the election whilst not winning the votes of the majority of Americans. Five times in US History a candidate has won the electoral college vote without winning the popular vote, the latest being in November 2016 when Donald Trump won the Presidency despite securing 2.8 million votes less than Hillary Clinton.

However, it is unusual for someone to become President without winning an election at all. However, this is exactly what happened on August 9th 1974 when Gerald Ford became the 38th President of the United States without having ever contested a Presidential Election.

Continue reading

What were the Articles of Confederation and why did they fail?

The Articles of Confederation were the first attempt at a Constitution between the 13 colonies that had broken away from Great Britain.

articles

The Articles of Confederation were agreed by the Continental Congress and ratified by the states.

The Articles of Confederation began to be drafted at the same time as the Declaration of Independence.  The Thirteen Colonies (now called States) were already beginning to consider their joint future in anticipation of winning the American Revolutionary War. The Articles of Confederation were approved by the States in July 1777, one year after the Declaration of Independence.

The Government was a deliberately loose confederation between the thirteen states. Each state would retain its own sovereignty. Some of the particular elements of the Confederation were:

  • Citizens were allowed to move freely between each of the thirteen states.
  • A Congress of Confederation would be established in which each State had one vote and would send a delegation of between two and seven members.
  • The Congress of Confederation would be the final court for any disputes between the States.
  • A President of Congress may be appointed.
  • The Central Government would have responsibility for Foreign Policy and the Congress of Confederation was the only institution that could declare war. The individual states would not be able to have their unilateral relations with other countries.
  • National expenditure would be paid with funds given to the national government by the States.

Continue reading

Was last week the worst of Trump’s Presidency?

Fear
It has been an awful press week for Donald Trump. On Monday, a new book was published by Bob Woodward called Fear: Trump in the White House. This book claims to feature a number of sources close to the President outlining the chaos and disunity at the heart of Trump’s administration. Among other things it says:
  • Aides have hid government papers from the President to “protect the country”.
  • Trump’s Chief of Staff, John Kelly, described the President as “unhinged” and it said it was the worst job he had ever had.
  • Trump failed a practice interview with the US Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, and would have perjured himself if the interview were real.

Continue reading