President Donald Trump  got into the White House and began yanking the country back to the 1950s – on abortion, on climate change, on women’s rights, on regulations. Photograph: Doug Mills/The New York Times

I am not going to write “a beautiful letter” to Premier Trump, the kind he likes to get from fellow autocrats. But I have to give him credit for one t(...)

Christian Bale as Dick Cheney in Adam McKay’s ‘Vice’

Three years ago, Adam McKay, hitherto known for spit-out-your-Fanta comedies such as Step Brothers and Anchorman, devised an ingenious new class of st(...)

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar speaking to the media outside  Government Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire

“Nobody will go hungry” in the event of a no-deal Brexit, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar assured us during the week, even if those relying on supermarket read(...)

If Brexit and Donald Trump were the great harbingers of a turn towards enraged irrationality in 2016, the nakedness of their claims will be abundantly clear in 2019. Photograph: Brendan Smialowski/ AFP/Getty Images

In his Reflections on the Human Condition, the American blue-collar philosopher Eric Hoffer wrote that “unpredictability, too, can become monotonous.”(...)

US first lady Melania Trump arrives to attend a commemoration ceremony for Armistice Day. Photograph: Benoit Tessier/Pool Photo via AP

She bad-mouthed the US defence secretary. She was the hatchet woman for John Bolton, the famously combative national security adviser, and drove out s(...)

Ireland’s 2001-2002 membership of the UN Security Council, dominated by the response to the 9/11 attacks, was the last time Ireland held one of its 10 non-permanent seats.

Richard Ryan, Ireland’s permanent representative at the United Nations, was preparing for the second week of the Irish month-long presidency of the UN(...)

Former US first lady Barbara Bush. ‘She was the ungainly, insecure daughter of an austere, beautiful mother who put her down.’ Photograph: Reuters

Barbara Bush was an expert at throwing shade, even before the term existed. When Congressman Dan Rostenkowski gave the then US first lady a shampoo fo(...)

Former US president George W Bush with John Bolton in 2005,  a fervent believer in pre-emptive war. Photograph: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

It’s unnerving covering a president who is treated like a boy king, requiring minders; who is easily swayed because he is underinformed; who can sit s(...)

You haven’t escaped yet. Before awards season closes down for a month or two – it’s now almost as long as the football season – we beg your indulgence(...)

UK chancellor of the exchequer Philip Hammond: rose because of the baseless hunch  people with little outward charisma must possess great depth. Photograph: Luke MacGregor/Bloomberg

This time last year, another technocrat of crisp appearance, whose decisions could swing the British economy this way or that, was pressed to resign b(...)

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