Selma – A turning point in time

Fifty years ago this month, Alabama State Troopers assaulted civil rights protesters as they tried to engage in a non-violent march for voting rights for African-Americans. Images of the sustained beating of protestors were beamed around the US and the world and the events marked a turning point in the civil rights movement with President Lyndon Johnson signing the Voting Rights Act that August (1965). Several marches took place throughout March 1965 but none as brutal as ‘Bloody Sunday’. Finally …

The beginning of the fourth quarter of Obama's presidency

By RTÉ Washington Correspondent Caitríona Perry Interesting things happen in the fourth quarter, quipped US President Barack Obama at his end of year press conference, as his own presidency heads into its fourth quarter. American sports games can often last hours with long periods of inaction allowing for commercial breaks and stocking up on beer and hotdogs. And it is fair to say that his presidency has been criticised for long periods of inaction too.

Drinks all round after Democrats Drubbing – Where to now for US politics?

By Caitríona Perry, Washington Correspondent “The American people sent a message … they expect us to focus on their ambitions and not ours … I have a unique responsibility to make this town work … to everyone who voted, I want you to know that I hear you.” The words US President Obama used to explain the drubbing the Democratic Party took in Tuesday night’s Mid-Term Elections.

GOP set for Senate showdown

    By Caitríona Perry, Washington Correspondent The New York Times says 70%, the Huffington Post says 74%, the Washington Post says 70% too…all agree that the Grand Ole Party – the Republicans – will more than likely take the Senate following today’s mid-term elections.

History moving sideways – 50 years after the Civil Rights Act

By Caitriona Perry, Washington Correspondent As he arrived into the hall at the Lyndon B Johnson Library in Texas last week, Barack Obama apologised for being a little late. The delay, he said, was caused by his wife Michelle playing him a tape of Lady Bird Johnson critiquing her husband’s presidential performance. Nothing has changed in 50 years, joked Obama. But of course everything has changed.

Obamacare Enrolment Deadline

“Is there anything else I can help you with today Ma’am?” It’s not the polite customer service agent’s fault, but no, after a second 45-minute phone call, and the magic words “you are now enrolled”, there’s nothing else you can do for me. After four phone calls, and several hours spent online, I’d finally been cleared to buy a health care insurance policy…not a free one, or a subsidised one, but one I would pay for myself.  The bureaucracy involved …

In the clink …

By Washington Correspondent Richard Downes Dr Kermit Gosnell’s House of Horrors was well-known to the local community of West Philadelphia. His reputation was as sleazy as it comes. He was the “go-to” doctor if you wanted a late term illegal abortion. But you had to pay cash … and lots of it. This was sketchy but not cheap.

Abortion doctor in the dock

Some readers may find the contents of this blog disturbing By Richard Downes in Philadelphia The courtroom in Philadelphia is jammed, with standing room only at key times. But strangely the case has not ignited the imagination of the public or the big networks. CNN isn’t there. Nor is ABC or CBS. Just little old RTÉ. When you spend some time in the courtroom, you quickly get to understand why.

The longest night

In his final blog from Washington DC,  RTÉ News Deputy Foreign Editor Anthony Murnane reflects on the events of voting day and looks ahead to the second term for President Barack Obama. And so the ‘longest night’ comes to an end. It was a 24 hour period that saw 130m Americans queue, some for as long as three hours, to exercise their right to vote. A time frame that saw the polls close and the count begin. Then the time …

World's media descend on US capital

Anthony Murnane, Deputy Foreign Editor, is in Washington where he assesses the situation facing the country’s 133 million likely voters on Election Day. Washington is a bustling city around election time. The world’s media has descended in ‘the Nation’s Capital’ even though the candidates for the White House are usually in another place, their home states watching and waiting for the result. We congregate on rooftops overlooking the White House where banks of cameras are trained on presenters and reporters …