US politics: crying out for change

first_imgJohn Marshall comments on US politics. Hilary Clinton’s tearful episode a day before the New Hampshire democratic primary appears to have reignited her camp gain. With some pollsters putting principal adversary Barack Obama ahead by ten points this left many wondering exactly what had happened.Are Americans really that capricious? Despite the notorious unreliability of US opinion polls, this result implies a sea change in active popular sentiment. Large numbers said that they decided on the day. Although polls fairly accurately predicted Obama’s vote share, Clinton appeared to take the vote of every independent and some committed to third place candidate John Edwards.The dramatic shift of many independents to Clinton signals the success, but mostly the failings of current American politics. Voter interest in politics is unusually high – the American people seem to be responding to the rhetoric that America needs change. This turn will likely support more responsible and responsive government.However, serious questions must be asked when a tearful moment from a presidential candidate is credited with winning a potentially pivotal election. This moment is symptomatic of the prevailing image politics that has replaced substantive policy debate. Personally, it is Senator Edwards’ (poorly funded) vision that most significantly differentiates the candidates, yet focus among democrats centres upon the Clinton/ Obama battle. Both are ubiquitously surrounded by boards and signs containing ‘change’; while both Clinton and Obama proffer similar views on moral issues like abortion and gay marriage, the key issues of foreign and economic policy are a more fundamental concern. Characteristic of the post-2005 Democrats, their apparently separate visions for change are vague and predominantly negative in that they argue simply against Bush’s conduct on Iraq, Medicare, social security and the high income tax cuts. Against this backdrop, it is unsurpising that issues of competency and personal charisma take hold among voters in an age that can now relay images of Clinton near breakdown on televised, 24-hour news and internet sites within seconds. When we speak of more interest in this election, this is where it is directed.Considering the reality of the policy junctures concerning Iraq, Medicare and social security, the US needs to publicly discuss its direction. When a brief chink in Clinton’s usually controlled and austere image apparently causes an almighty electoral rupture, supporters of democratic politics must worry. Clinton’s dramatic New Hampshire success admits turnout approximately double the state’s primary average and serves to illuminate the extent of the recent national democratic deficit. Although all democrats should support increasing turnout, and the greater legitimacy that such results confer, nationwide US primary turnout hovers around ten percent. It will surprise nobody that those who do vote are not a representative bunch.Given the low levels of active participation, a pivotal moment such as the potential destruction of Clinton’s campaign or the long-awaited demonstration of ‘real’ emotion (depending on how you see it) mobilising a wave of support among a minority can induce drastic consequences. This seems to be what happened in New Hampshire where the influx of the undecided and habitual non-voters (suggested to comprise many single women) finally swayed by Clinton’s outpour rushed to the poll booths to give Clinton ten percentage points more than expected and thus secure the victory that now reinvigorates her campaign.The rising interest and participation in what may prove to be one of America’s most significant political years in recent memory is to be commended. But this should not conceal the threatening and thinly-veiled problems that lurk underneath.last_img read more

Apple disrupts the banking space

first_img ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Apple has entered the banking arena. The tech giant recently introduced its own Apple credit card, billing it as, “A new kind of credit card. Created by Apple, not a bank.” Apple’s messaging talks about the card’s simplicity, transparency, privacy, ease and security.Apple claims this is the first credit card which encourages consumers to pay less interest, calling its interest rate “among the lowest in the industry.” It also says the Apple card can do things no other credit card can do, like give daily cash back on every transaction. With the recent release of the iPhone 11 and the 2019 holiday season getting closer, this card could take a bite out of financial institutions’ credit card profits.It’s pretty clear the target demographic for this card is iPhone users, which translates to a large chunk of consumers. Apple has more than 100 million iPhone users in the United State alone. That’s about 45% of all smart phone users in the country and a reason for financial institutions to be concerned. continue reading »last_img read more

Other Sports Pro Kabaddi League: Jaipur Squander Lead As Haryana Secure Draw

first_imgKolkata: Deepak Niwas Hooda led by example as Jaipur Pink Panthers held the in-form Haryana Steelers to a 32-all draw in their Pro-Kabaddi League fixture at the Netaji Indoor Stadium on Wednesday.Eyeing a sixth successive win, Haryana Steelers got off to a solid start and led by four points at half time, but Hooda came up with 14 raid points from 22 attempts to help the Jaipur outfit salvage a draw.In fact, Jaipur will rue their missed chances as they held a one-point lead with less than a minute left on the clock.But a final minute blunder by Jaipur’s Sachin Narwal handed Steelers a point as they squandered a great opportunity move to the fifth spot.At second place, Haryana now have 49 points, 10 less than Dabang Delhi from 14 matches, while Jaipur are outside top-six with 41 points.The teams went into the match with contrasting forms as Haryana were on a roll with five wins, while Pink Panthers had lost four games on the trot.Jaipur started the match brightly as Pink Panthers had to rely on Hooda’s raiding prowess and the captain secured seven raid points in the first-half.The Pink Panthers inflicted an All-Out on the Steelers in the 16th minute to open a six-point gap.Haryana bounced back with the help of raider Vikas Kandola who was ably supported by Prashanth Kumar Rai.Kandola’s five-point raid in the dying minutes of the first-half gave the Steelers their first All-Out of the match and brought about a change in momentum.The first half ended with Haryana leading Jaipur 18-14. Haryana maintained their dominance in the second-half, with Vinay also taking up the raiding duties.Pink Panthers’ lack of quality support raiders for Deepak Hooda hurt them badly as Haryana’s defence held firm.Ravi Kumar picked up a High 5 for Haryana but Deepak Hooda produced a series of successful raids to make it three-point game going into the final minutes.Hooda also secured a Super 10 and secured a personal milestone of 800 raid points in the process.The Pink Panthers’ teamwork helped them clinch another All-Out with four minutes left on the clock to make it a nervous end to the match for both sides.  For all the Latest Sports News News, Other Sports News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more