Here is an article I wrote as part of an application for an internship at Pearson. Pearson publish the Economist and own the Financial Times Group as well as the Penguin Group. A juggernaut in publishing, needless to say I unfortunately didn't get an internship but I try and console myself with the knowledge that they must have been inundated with better applications than mine!
HAS OBAMA BITTEN OFF MORE THAN HE CAN CHEW?
The Capitol was host to dog-eat-dog politics earlier this month as Barack Obama resorted to bribery, struggling to stay leader of the pack. The political spectacle was kick-started with proposals for a “deem and pass” strategy for a reconciliation of the healthcare reform bill, avoiding an “up or down” vote. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that over a period of ten years the bill will cost $940 billion yet will reduce the US deficit by $138 billion; however it is not these costs that have the public raising their hackles in disapproval. In a series of moves that was reminiscent on this side of the puddle of Gordon Brown’s water bill offered to the DUP for votes on the “42 day detention” bill of 2008, Obama was forced to deal with members of his own house voting against the bill. One such voter is Democrat Bart Stupak who folded on the 21st March after declaring on his website funds for three airports in his district in Michigan on the 19th. Suzanne Kosmas also jumped ship after securing funds for the Kennedy Space Centre in her district. Rep. Jim Costa of California announced on his website on March 16th that Central Valley had been allocated a 35% increase in public water allocations instead of an expected 5%. He promptly voted in favour of the bill the following weekend. On March 18th, Democrat Bart Gordon announced he would reverse his original vote to show support for the bill. His district in Tennessee is to receive $100 million extra Medicaid funds. Speculation on these and other offers made for the Democrats to receive their win of 60-39 votes have led this to be Obama’s most controversial political gain, costing his approval ratings in the US to drop from 70% to a tail-between-the-legs 50%.
Julia Macfarlane© 2010-2011