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Archive for January, 2009

Job losses in Aussie

Written By: - Date published: 1:50 pm, January 23rd, 2009 - 17 comments

Across the Tasman Kevin Rudd’s plea for employers to save jobs has fallen on deaf ears, with some of Australia’s biggest companies (mining, retail and automotive sectors) announcing plans to axe jobs. BHP Billiton, the world’s biggest miner and Australia’s top profit earner, will lay off about 3300 Australian workers — 8 per cent of the total [BHP […]

A pointless symbolic distraction. At best.

Written By: - Date published: 11:24 am, January 23rd, 2009 - 17 comments

I’m the last person who’d criticise freezing the pay of our MPs but John Key’s cynical opportunism is at best a piece of pointless and time wasting PR and at worst a signal to attack Kiwi wages. Now before any of our regular right-wingers claim I’m reading too much into this it might pay to […]

Obama implements pay freeze for some aides

Written By: - Date published: 11:04 am, January 23rd, 2009 - Comments Off on Obama implements pay freeze for some aides

President Obama has announced his intention to institute a pay freeze on the salaries of senior White House aides earning over $US100,000.  He says “public service is a privilege, it’s not about advancing yourself”. I think it is significant that he has implemented this for those at the upper end of the payscale, rather than across […]

Still swilling the small beer

Written By: - Date published: 2:00 am, January 23rd, 2009 - 52 comments

John Key has written to the Remuneration Board imploring them not to increase wages for MPs and judges in the annual review later this year. Now, I’ve stated my view on this issue – on National Radio the other week and last year in this post. I reckon MPs’ wages, along with the minimum wage and […]

What lies around the corner?

Written By: - Date published: 4:44 pm, January 22nd, 2009 - 9 comments

Under the full warmth of the summer sun those clouds that keep gathering on the horizon seem to have  been quickly dismissed by many, with the hope that the new National-led government will sort it out. What are the signs of action so far? Not a lot of concrete ideas are to be found (as suggested here) but we gain […]

Let’s see the options

Written By: - Date published: 10:45 am, January 22nd, 2009 - 24 comments

Over at the Dim Post Danyl is complaining about our complaining again. In a classic piece of sophistry he seems to have decided the recession is going long and from that (not so absolute) absolute he has constructed a premise that we need “massive infrastructure projects” which are funded at the expense of nearly every […]

Time to pony up with some policy

Written By: - Date published: 6:22 am, January 22nd, 2009 - 11 comments

After three years of solid growth, the latest stats show international tourist numbers collapsing 8% last November compared to November 2007 due to the global recession.  Goldman Sachs forecasts a drop of over 5% this year and more in 2010. Like all economic projections since the world tipped into recession, these numbers are likely to be revised down […]

Brownlee blowing smoke – or is it Coalfinger in disguise?

Written By: - Date published: 11:26 pm, January 21st, 2009 - 16 comments

Gerry Brownlee was puffing smoke this Wednesday morning about his daft (in terms of the Kyoto agreement) decision last month to remove the ban on thermal generation of power. It reminded me of something I’d seen recently, so I dug back through the mental archives. Eventually I re-discovered the mysterious coincidences between the decisions of […]

What does President Obama mean for you?

Written By: - Date published: 2:19 pm, January 21st, 2009 - 46 comments

If you’re living in New Zealand, President Obama isn’t going to change your life. Remember, you voted for John Key. You’ll have to wait for that ray of hope to shine. But President Obama won’t go un-noticed here, because his presidency means at least four things for New Zealanders. First: President Obama means you can […]

Holiday hackery

Written By: - Date published: 12:47 pm, January 21st, 2009 - 4 comments

I’ve long regarded John Armstrong as the best political press journo we’ve got. Not least because he’s one of the few without a transparent bias one way or the other. Not so sure about this Tory hack they’ve had ghostwriting for him this past week though. With Key’s diary having him back at work here […]

Penny wise?

Written By: - Date published: 10:43 am, January 21st, 2009 - 53 comments

Health Minister Tony Ryall has followed Paula Bennett’s* lead by cancelling a conference for PR purposes**. In terms of symbolism it’s great. Even though the per-person cost of the conference was low, and it’s not like doctors would want to spend their precious time at a conference were it pointless, and the cost was only […]

Watch Obama’s inauguration live

Written By: - Date published: 11:58 pm, January 20th, 2009 - 6 comments

The embedded stream below is meant to work even outside the US. Fingers crossed. If you find/know of another good live source drop the link in the comments. [UPDATE: 10:30am Live stream below removed – replaced with recorded oath and address] YouTube’s “inauguration” channel is here, but it’s probably not live. Might be good to […]

Obama’s inauguration

Written By: - Date published: 11:45 pm, January 20th, 2009 - 2 comments

[I’ve taken down the streaming footage now]

What would Jehovah say?

Written By: - Date published: 3:39 pm, January 20th, 2009 - 39 comments

Reports from Hawkes’ Bay confirm that the Exclusive Brethren broke its rule against voting to ensure a National/ACT victory last year. The Exclusive Brethren regards the last of us ‘worldly’ types as sinful heathens destined for hell, so they try to avoid us by living in compounds, running their own schools, and not participating in activities […]

Deflation rears its ugly head here and around the world

Written By: - Date published: 11:42 am, January 20th, 2009 - 11 comments

Inflation, predictably, plunged in the last quarter. With the international prices of oil and other commodities coming off their record highs following the super-spike last year which pushed the world into recession, it was inevitable that inflation would be lower than it had been when those mammoth price rises were underway. This was compounded by falling domestic […]

A bouquet among the brickbats

Written By: - Date published: 10:12 am, January 20th, 2009 - 2 comments

We often criticise media coverage of politics, so it’s a pleasure to say something nice. I would love at this point to link to Martin Kay’s piece in the Dompost yesterday, but it’s not online. Suffice to say it’s a very good piece. Rather than trying to tell people what their opinions should be or concentrating on […]

Bad trips

Written By: - Date published: 1:01 pm, January 19th, 2009 - 49 comments

I remember feeling sick to my stomach as the media childishly replayed Clark’s fall, particularly the morning Paul Henry sat there pissing himself and demanding to see it time after time. So, I won’t be a hypocrite and have a go at Key’s trip. That said, one can’t help but note John Key has made […]

I hope so too

Written By: - Date published: 7:13 pm, January 18th, 2009 - 22 comments

Here’s a cool interactive feature from the NYT – “I hope so too”:  The New York Times asked more than 200 people in 14 states (half red, half blue) to identify their greatest hopes for what Barack Obama might accomplish during his time as president. Their answers do not represent any kind of scientific sample—they […]

A little help

Written By: - Date published: 1:13 pm, January 17th, 2009 - 25 comments

Oddly the Standard hasn’t received its invite to the “job summit” yet. I’m sure this is just an administrative error but just in case it’s not I’d like to offer the National/Act government a few ideas for their consideration. I’ll start with three of my favorites, none of which will surprise regular readers: 1. Home […]

Fox to guard the henhouse

Written By: - Date published: 6:46 pm, January 15th, 2009 - 61 comments

The National/Act government has announced its chair for the “job summit” and it’s stock exchange boss Mark Weldon. I may be missing something but I seem to remember this mess was started by the markets so it seems a bit strange to put someone who runs one in charge of cleaning it up. But after […]

Climate change laffs

Written By: - Date published: 1:20 pm, January 15th, 2009 - 33 comments

Easily impressed

Written By: - Date published: 11:31 am, January 15th, 2009 - 24 comments

John Key in person is extremely amiable; talking to him face to face, it’s hard not to like the bugger. I guess that he hasn’t lost any of that magic on his holiday. How else could one explain John Armstrong’s piece in the Herald today? The guy sounds like he’s in love. All it takes […]

A topic for the NACT talk-fest. Needs a slogan for success.

Written By: - Date published: 7:43 am, January 15th, 2009 - 13 comments

My favourite indicator for a deep recession is showing up. The applications and enrollments for colleges and graduate programs appears to be significantly up in the east, west, and south of the US and Canada. Probably something similar is happening here but we are unlikely to know until later this month. The reason that this […]

Imperfect but far better than the alternative

Written By: - Date published: 3:55 pm, January 14th, 2009 - 11 comments

It’s good to see Kiwipolitico taking a critical view of the Left from the Left – it’s certainly better than any critiques we see from the Right. And, naturally,  within the Left we disagree at times, which is all good and healthy. In that spirit, I thought I would respond to two posts on Kiwipolitico […]

The Standard wager

Written By: - Date published: 2:38 pm, January 14th, 2009 - 23 comments

John Key has announced his ‘jobs summit’ at the end of Feburary saying “I don’t want this to be a talk fest, I want it to be a do-fest.” “Do-fest”, eh? Sounds sexy. Place your bets on which media commentator will be the first to enthusiastically adopt or warmly commend this latest meaningless piece of […]

How peak oil can devastate the rest of the economy

Written By: - Date published: 1:15 pm, January 14th, 2009 - 24 comments

We all know the story of the sub-prime crisis that had developed into the credit crisis  – a flood of credit saw mortgage lenders lending to anyone, including people who couldn’t really afford the repayments. To get these potentially bad loans off their books, the banks pooled them together into new, unregulated instruments and sold […]

National’s first hundred days of (in)action

Written By: - Date published: 8:29 am, January 14th, 2009 - 22 comments

Govt creaks into inaction

Written By: - Date published: 10:41 am, January 13th, 2009 - 29 comments

Only four weeks into a well-deserved holiday following two frantic weeks stripping Kiwis of their work rights, the National/ACT Government has been spurred back into action by an emerging crisis. No, not the international financial meltdown. Nup, not peak oil, nor climate change, nor the recession. The crisis that has seen the Government suddenly announce […]

Change of career for Campbell?

Written By: - Date published: 9:07 am, January 13th, 2009 - 4 comments

Is John Campbell leaving TV to pursue his childhood dream of being a pugilist? No, it’s diminutive Mexican boxer Julio Cesar Chavez. Uncanny resemblance though. (hattip: Hugo – googling himself apparently)

Serendipity, now with dinosaurs

Written By: - Date published: 6:11 am, January 13th, 2009 - Comments Off on Serendipity, now with dinosaurs

Truly sensible sentencing

Written By: - Date published: 3:17 pm, January 12th, 2009 - 16 comments

“I’m not one for ideological stances; I support what works”, said John Key  in a speech to the Salvation Army in early 2007. Well now the challenge is on. Steve posted earlier today calling for a “truce on the sentencing bidding war”, echoing the recent sentiment of Kim Workman, director of the Rethinking Crime and Punishment project. […]

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