Britain

As if there weren’t enough transatlantic rifts already, from the Middle East to the environment, another has opened over economic policy.

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The Trial

In December 2005, a Purdue graduate student named Vikram Buddhi began posting a series of ugly notes—“Kill GW Bush,” “Rape And Kill Laura Bush,” “Kill Donald Rumsfeld The Old Geezer Crook”—on a message board devoted to technology. A few months later, Buddhi, an Indian citizen who was in the United States to study math, was arrested and charged with threatening the life of the president—a federal crime.

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A word about the defending champions. Not since Germany's victory in the desperate 1990 edition of the tournament has any victor been so little celebrated. Doubtless this owes something to the fashion in which Italy prevailed and to the sense that those players who remain in the squad aren't the men they once were, while the newcomers aren't the men they're replacing either.   So Italy arrive in South Africa overlooked and unfancied and available at 16/1 with some bookmakers.

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Embarrassment is an important element in the pedagogy of experience. There are mistakes I will never make again because I made them once and was usefully shamed. In the winter of 1974, when I was a bright and callow student, and did not yet grasp the difference between knowledge and knowingness, I endured such a lucky education at the hands of Diana Trilling. The subject was the danger of simplification in the intellectual engagement with politics.

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[Guest post by Sam Sweeney] TNR has been all over these British elections. Take a look below for a roundup of all our U.K.-licious coverage. Howard Jacobson writes that U.K. voters aren’t as dumb as they seem.

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Niall Ferguson, in his review of Richard Posner's latest book, sounds like a genuine crackpot: “As an economic power,” Posner concludes, “we may go the way of the British Empire.” Indeed. It seems not to have struck the judge that British decline and the rise of Keynesianism went hand in hand. Ferguson thinks that the British Empire fell because of Keynesianism? Really? There are so many things wrong with that theory I don't know where to begin. For one, Britain was not the only world power to adopt Keynesianism. The United States did too.

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WASHINGTON—Britain produced an electoral earthquake all right, but not the one so many expected. The real lessons have less to do with two-party systems than with how economic change has challenged old strategies on both the right and the left. The Conservatives under David Cameron came in first with the most votes and the most seats.

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Oh, one more thing about that Mark Penn: In noting all the wrong things about his op-ed, I left out this part: Thursday's elections in Britain could be a harbinger of what is likely to come to America in the not-too-distant future: new movements and even parties that shake up the political system. Cleggmania shows that even the most tradition-bound electoral systems are facing the pressures of rapid change made possible by modern communications. ... In Britain, the scandal over parliamentary expenses and frustration with the economy produced great demand for new choices.

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Overall Best One-Stop Shop Politics Home. With all the latest polls, headlines, and videos from the campaign trail, PoliticsHome is clearly the best and easiest-to-use election portal. It’s got enough detail to satisfy political junkies and plenty of overview material for novices and newcomers. Runner-up: the BBC. Best Conservative One-Stop Shop Conservative Home.

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Are some families more dramatic than others? Is this something covered by Tolstoy’s famous law about families—that the happy ones are all alike, while the unhappy ones are unhappy in their own way—or was he hopelessly isolated on the far side of that moment when modern media began?

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