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D Day for US shutdown

Written By: - Date published: 7:30 am, January 20th, 2019 - 160 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, corruption, democracy under attack, Donald Trump, International, Politics, us politics - Tags:

The orange haired one intends to make an announcement about the US Government shutdown this morning New Zealand time.

The shut down is in its 28th day. And it is clear that it is hurting the Republican Party. Because most Americans see the event as one big temper tantrum by someone just because he did not get his way. Although I am surprised that all Americans do not blame him because the evidence is crystal clear.

And it must be hurting the Senate Republicans especially badly. The Democrats in the House had wisely passed a funding bill based on one the Senate had previously supported which would allow the Government to be reopened. But Senate Leader Mitch McConnell has vetoed the reopening by refusing to put it to a vote.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is handling herself very well and mounted an all out attack on McConnell’s credibility via twitter by getting the #wheresmitch hashtag working as intended.

My twitter feed suggests that Trump may not announce that he will use emergency powers. But that he could go close.

He must or at least should lose in Court if he does. The first question will be why, if this is an emergency, wasn’t anything done at any time in the past two years during which the Republicans controlled all of the Government agencies.

Hand in hand with the constitutional crisis is Trump’s personal crisis, with the prospects of impeachment growing stronger by the day.

The latest problem he has to deal with comes from this Buzzfeed article which suggests that the Mueller Investigation had uncovered evidence that Trump told his lawyer Michael Cohen to lie to Congress. From the article:

President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.

Trump also supported a plan, set up by Cohen, to visit Russia during the presidential campaign, in order to personally meet President Vladimir Putin and jump-start the tower negotiations. “Make it happen,” the sources said Trump told Cohen.

And even as Trump told the public he had no business deals with Russia, the sources said Trump and his children Ivanka and Donald Trump Jr. received regular, detailed updates about the real estate development from Cohen, whom they put in charge of the project …

Cohen pleaded guilty in November to lying about the deal in testimony and in a two-page statement to the Senate and House intelligence committees. Mueller noted that Cohen’s false claim that the project ended in January 2016 was an attempt to “minimize links between the Moscow Project and Individual 1” — widely understood to be Trump — “in hopes of limiting the ongoing Russia investigations.”

Now the two sources have told BuzzFeed News that Cohen also told the special counsel that after the election, the president personally instructed him to lie — by claiming that negotiations ended months earlier than they actually did — in order to obscure Trump’s involvement.

The special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents. Cohen then acknowledged those instructions during his interviews with that office.

Aspects of the story have been disputed by Mueller’s office. Again from the article:

A spokesperson for special counsel Robert Mueller’s office, Peter Carr, disputed aspects of BuzzFeed News’ report.

“BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” Carr said.

Cohen still intends to testify before Congress on February 7. This promises to be very interesting.

Trump has responded by saying that he is aware of damaging information about Cohen’s family. Let that sink in. The President of the United States has threatened to smear a person’s family if that person gives evidence before Congress.

It is still not clear how or when the US government will be reopened.  Or if or when Trump will be impeached.  But it seems that every day both events become more likely.

160 comments on “D Day for US shutdown”

  1. mikesh 1

    Trump’s response mentioned in the penultimate paragraph above suggests that he believes others may be threatening Cohen with exposure of the “damaging information” rather than that he might use that information himself.

    • Nic the NZer 1.1

      Thanks Mikesh, that is also how I read the linked CNN article.

      However, and as in the case of a recent banning of the handle Ed from this site, a statement which could be interpreted to be a threat is considered synonymous with being a threat.

      [lprent: Generally ‘Ed’ (and his other aliases over the years) gets banned for being a frigging nuisance who doesn’t say much of any real import. He does seem to like to litter the comments section with vague accusations about almost everyone else.

      Eventually a author or moderator will get tired of repeating warnings and give him a ban. Just like we do for many over a year or two. Many of the conservative morons tend to repeat their stupidity fast enough that they get repeated bans. Which is why I tend to refer to conservatives as being bloody stupid fuckwits. They don’t learn from experience, and that is why they tend to wind up living over at the sewer.

      ‘Ed’ tends to be smart enough to be good and distinct under his new personality for a while and reverts slowly. But certainly after I have banned him I haven’t had to look for him hard a few months later. He reinvents himself enough so it is hard to be certain that it the same parrot running on an old-style pianola. But I haven’t got annoyed enough with him to start activating my actual censorship responses. The ones that say enough of this dipshit – I have to get really bored with reading them and the inevitable crap that flows from their repetitions. ]

      • Nic the NZer 1.1.1

        Sure an interesting commentary on the difficulties of moderation, but the ban was given by another moderator and that moderator clearly explained his reasoning at the time.

    • joe90 1.2

      Out-sourcing his dirty work?

    • mickysavage 1.3

      Why would he mention this otherwise? How else should Cohen interpret it?

    • corodale 1.4

      Hmmm, is “threat” still the correct word? If the photo of Cohen I just saw was real… sudden shoulder surgery? Hope he received tranquiliser and proper hygiene. Someone pointed out that Thump has put on much weight recently. Mind you, SPCA also wear those safety vests now day. Is working with animals really so dangerous? I’ve never seen a farmer wearing such a vest.

  2. Jenny - How to get there? 2

    The shut down is in its 28th day. And it is clear that it is hurting the Republican Party. Because most Americans see the event as one big temper tantrum by someone just because he did not get his way.

    Will nobody pay for my big beautiful wall?

    The Mexicans won't pay for my "big beautiful wall, the US government won't pay for my wall, so I shut them down.

    Today at 3pm Eastern Standard Time, I will be making a statement.

    “Youre all fired!”

  3. DJ Ward 3

    So the Buzzfeed stuff is fake news, but you put it in your post anyway.

    So who are these leakers who have committed a crime. If any of the leaking even took place, as that’s highly doubtful.

    • Gabby 3.1

      What d’you reckon is the damaging info warty? How d’you reckon he got hold of it?

    • It’s not fake news, DJ. However, Buzzfeed have been ticked off by the Mueller team for reading too much into it.

      So, it’s something significant, just not what Buzzfeed thought it was.

      • DJ Ward 3.2.1

        The only info claimed is Cohen who had responsibility for the Moskow tower was sending updates to Trump, Ivanka, Jr. Oh my the travesty, Cohen was giving updates to the projects owners. Who ever thought that would happen.

        The cliam that Cohen was asked to commit perjury, the Buzzfeed cliam, was rejected by Mueller. End of story. Fake news.

        Apparently this resulted in one MSM entity, on the 100th cliam, the demand for impeachment for the 100th time. 0% of any of those cliams agianst Trump ended up being valid.

        I’m supprised reality is so hard to comprehend.

        Maybe the 101st cliam will work.

        Morally due to all the lies and corrupt media, you should support Trump in contempt of the evil anti Trump acts. Not because of his policy but because you reject evil and corrupt acts.

        Or you do.

        • te reo putake

          Um, the claim was that Trump instructed Cohen to tell lies and that the Mueller team were given info that proves that. The Mueller team say that claim goes too far by saying that they (the Mueller team) have documentary corroboration.

          “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate”.

          So, Muller’s team aren’t denying Buzzfeed’s claim in toto, just the bit that says that they have information about it.

          • DJ Ward

            Did you read. The cliam by Buzzfeed that Trump asked Cohen to commit perjury is not accurate. Trump either asked him to commit perjury or didn’t. It is not accurate, so excludes perjury. So it didn’t happen as Buzzfeed claimed. The secret leakers lied to Buzzfeed then. They don’t know the truth, as there cliam wasn’t accurate. IE made up. Like the DNC funded Dosier that started all this bullshit. Dem lies.

            Fake news.

            • te reo putake

              Seriously, DJ? I’ve included the statement from the Mueller team. I’ve read it, I understand it. How come you can’t get your head around it?

            • mickysavage

              I would wait for a couple of weeks before drawing a conclusion DJW. Which is why I mentioned Cohen being questioned by Congress.

    • mickysavage 3.3

      So the Buzzfeed stuff is fake news, but you put it in your post anyway.

      Who says it is fake news? Most of it appears to be correct. Time will tell if there is proof that Trump was involved in providing perjured evidence to Congress.

      It seems to me to be quite likely. I cannot imagine why Cohen would do this if there was not at least tacit approval from Trump.

      Fake news is news that is clearly wrong, like the claim that Trump won more votes than Clinton in the last election.

  4. Anne 4

    Well, it doesn’t look like that little caper got very far:


    • joe90 4.1

      The world’s best negotiator.

      • DJ Ward 4.1.1

        He offered 3 years plus promised a bipartisan meeting once a week to fix the issue. Not 1 year.

        • lprent

          I think that the key words (my bold) there were “..leaving DACA in place for at least another year.”

          Bearing in mind that the courts have already blocked the administration’s attempts to since 2017, and the supreme court first wouldn’t look at the lower court rulings in September 2017. I would say that the supremes don’t consider that the administration has done much to advance their case since September 2017.

          I’d also say that it is likely that there is no way that Trump and his other employment failures get some clear support from Congress in the form of actual legislation. Something that is being argued out now.

          For some reason the Democrats and probably a significiant number of Republicans find it offensive that Trump retroactively threw about 1.4 million people in DACA and many legal immigrants under a bus to limbo, just so that he could extract enough money for a useless project to claim campaign promise.

          Now he has 30 million US citizens thrown out of work or working without pay for the same thing. He really is a completely useless at deal making.

    • Dennis Frank 4.2

      Pelosi seems adamant that she won’t compromise: “Unfortunately, initial reports make clear that his proposal is a compilation of several previously rejected initiatives, each of which is unacceptable”.

      Puzzling, her preference for continuing the shut-down. A sensible compromise has always been the obvious solution. What part of democracy don’t the Democrats understand? I don’t get why they want to turn govt workers into victims.

      • There are only two compromises being proposed by Trump. One of them, as noted above, is bogus. The other is a sop to businesses who rely on immigrant labour. So, meh.

        • Dennis Frank

          Well, Trump “again demanded the full $5.7bn to fund it.” I keep waiting for the media to report the counter-offer from the Democrats. How many billion are they offering? Have they actually made a counter-offer? If not, why not?

          The bargaining process to close a deal normally involves a convergence between the offers from each trader. Each must compromise in order to close the deal. I see no evidence that the Democrats are bargaining in good faith. Do you?

          • te reo putake

            Willing buyer, willing seller, Dennis. There is no bargaining unless you have two engaged parties. The Democrats aren’t bargaining because there is no incentive for them to do so. Trump is all ‘buy my car, it’s the bigliest car ever’, the Dem’s are ‘um, I want an e-bike, actually. Go away, Donald’.

            • woodart

              great post

            • Dennis Frank

              There’s also this: “Pelosi rejects Trump shutdown deal before president announces it”. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jan/19/donald-trump-government-shutdown-deal-democrats-white-house-address

              It’s like you show up at the used-car lot & say to the salesperson that you’re interested in this car, here, and the salesperson replies “No deal!”

              • lprent

                That was because the tactics from Trump were so bloody obvious. She didn’t reject the deal that Trump was offering. She rejected in advance specific proposals that he was likely to offer. The same ones that he did – talk about not being able to read across the table.

                Perhaps you should read the detail rather than the headline?

                Many were things that Trump had deliberately caused – like DACA, that the courts had already blocked until the administration provided a legal argument for them proceeding. Rewarding a fuckwit for being a fuckwit who did things that he couldn’t get through isn’t exactly something that any legislator should do.

                And effectively the democrats have already voted for or are about to vote for some moderately sensible immigration reforms. Yet these were things that Trump were now offering them.

                There is a budget proposal already on the table. It was the bipartisan Senate bill from last term, now being passed by the House. The one that Trump throw out all on his own.

                The guy is just useless at the basics of a deal. Both sides need to get something from it. Trump isn’t offering anything and he wants something that is purely a campaigning boondoggle. I get the impression that he learnt his politics from some kind of game or TV show.

                • Dennis Frank

                  Yes, all true enough, but I just get irritated by the one-sided view, so I try to balance that by pointing out the flaws on the other side.

                  I mean really, razor-wire vs wall? Is there really a difference? And they both agree it’s better to punish civil servants than compromise? Combat is preferable to governance seems to be their common view.

                  Now, if Pelosi were an authentic believer in democracy, she wouldn’t copy Trump. Her conscience would over-ride such pettiness. She would provide an exemplary demonstration of integrity by honouring his mandate. Instead, she seems to feel the need to trash the system.

                  • Sabine

                    you are expecting her to change the bedsheets that he shat in because he refused to use the bathroom at night.

                    best course of action to teach the child to use the bathroom at night is to have him change his bed sheets all by himself, and if he refuses you he can a. sleep on the floor or in his shat on bed.

                    You might, you know just for curiosities sake want to check where he wants to build ‘the wall’, read up on what some civil engineers and the likes say about it, wonder about the environmental impact would be in trying to build a wall over the Rio Grande as an example. or destroy a butterfly habitat etc, while doing nothing on any of the other borders. Next would be the millions of law suits in regards to the private property that he would like to confiscate under eminent domain.

                    But to repeat, the Democrats won the House in one part taht they would not allow funds to build a wall. They would be very stupid in giving the shitstain 5.7 billion so he can grift of every brick, every load of concrete while stiffing the contractors that build the wall.

                    last but least, this is the third shutdown that he and his posse of merry republicans caused since coming to power, and the guy has only been in power for two full years.

                  • Tricledrown

                    Dennis Frank His mandate he lost by 3 million votes now he has lost control of the House of Representatives he has no mandate other than with you. He could have left Universal healthcare alone or did a Deal. But even his own party stopped him going to far.
                    Trump is a huge liability to the GOP his man dates are liar hillbillies.

          • joe90

            I see no evidence that the Democrats are bargaining in good faith. Do you?

            They tried, and were rejected.

            3) Democrats have a lot of trust issues with Trump when it comes to any kind of DACA deal. That also throws their willingness to consider this proposal further into doubt.

            Much of this distrust stems from a similar effort to negotiate on DACA almost exactly a year ago, when Schumer offered Trump more than $20 billion in border wall funding in exchange for a pathway to citizenship for DACA recipients. At the time, Trump actually appeared open to the proposal and Schumer was optimistic, MSNBC reported.

            Just hours after the meeting where they purportedly reached an agreement, however, Trump reneged because the plan wasn’t conservative enough, and ultimately urged Congress to consider another proposal that had far more stringent restrictions on legal immigration. Trump has since shut down numerous other efforts to codify DACA protections as well.

            Schumer was heavily criticized by liberal activists for his concessions on wall funding last January, an offer he wound up retracting, and it’s unlikely he and Pelosi would be willing to take on that kind of heat unless they were certain a deal would not only be guaranteed, but also ensure that Democrats walk away with other significant victories.


            • DJ Ward

              That’s not Trump though is it.
              If the republicans won’t support something Trump has his hands tied. Maybe Trump said yes as you pointed out but the Reps said no. So not Trump.

              I’ll say it again. Trump is not a Republican.

              Why is it compulsory that the Dems get significant victories.
              Sounds like spoiled brats and bullies. They lost, they deserve nothing.

              • Ad

                “Deserve” is such a silly framing.

                Power is the word you’re looking for.

                This is part of a plan to trash President Trump so bad that it takes the Republican reputation with him. This is a 2020 game.

                On the way it’s also happily reviving the Democratic Party.

                Trump is well on the way to reversing so many of the gains the two Bush administrations has made, despite his tax reform and the judiciary appointments.

                • DJ Ward

                  Record unemployment. Great economy, prison reform, drug testing reform, regulation reform, troop withdrawals, defeated ISIS, a new Wall, etc etc.

                  Should be a good election 2 years from now.

                  By then the new factions in the Dems will be in self destruct, support my nutty candidate mode.

              • Kevin

                Were you asleep during the Obama administration?

                The Republicans wrote the book on political negotiation for the 21st Century. It has one page and one word, “Don’t”.

                • DJ Ward

                  I agree with you. Both sides obstruct the other. So you agree then, the Dems are obstructing a perfectly reasonable Trump policy.

                  • Kevin

                    Probably is an element of payback in it. I think the days of the Dems just rolling over and taking it are over.

                  • Sabine

                    They are just simply not giving him a wall. They fund everything else even boarder security and such. 🙂

                    So why don’t you look at it like this, Donald Trump, The first shitstain, is obstruction himself. But then maybe he likes Ann Coulter calling him JEB!

                    The people voted for the Democrats to take the House. The democrats ran among other on not building a wall……the democrats are doing what they were voted in for.

                    Donald Trump, if he would have been a better man, had two years to get his shit together and get stuff done, he had two years of making a point that really there is an issue, but instead he wasted his time whinging about inauguration size, dismantling the ACA Healthcare Act with one cut at a time, creating a policy of stealing children from their parents without any plan fur future re-unification, dismantling the EPA, Clean Water bill and and and. And now he sits there, impotent, without an reason of being and he lost bigly the house. His fault, his fault alone.

                    The democrats control the purse, and he will have to live with it, and the Republicans may learn a lesson here as well. Maybe next time do important legislation before you waste all your gunpowder on Tax cuts for the very rich.

          • Craig H

            How does one bargain in good faith with someone who is known not to keep his word on deals, and is willing to leave government shut down until he gets his way?

            The Democrats offered to continue to fund government and discuss the other issues and a budget once done – how is that not good faith?

            • Dennis Frank

              Fair question. I’d use operational context: ensure all the key players are involved. That makes it into a collective process rather than a binary process. Stakeholder design.

              Media and public are stakeholders. Their inclusion is vital to success! Representative democracy is designed to exclude them as much as possible. Clever players therefore will succeed by widening and deepening the operational context, to transcend the limits applied by the system.

              So, when Trump enters into an agreement in that context, he becomes bound by the restraints of a powerful stakeholder consensus. It requires Pelosi & the Democrats to start bargaining in good faith, of course. He can only succeed as President if he takes the people along with him. He doesn’t want to go down in history as a loser, therefore he has the incentive to do the deal. As long as everyone participates in an inclusive process, he can do his thing successfully and be locked into the consequences.

              Such a gamble on his narcissism is contingent on the Democrats coming to the party. I can’t see their ongoing attempt to subvert democracy boosting their collective reputation with the public. Better to do the job they were elected to do, I reckon.

            • DJ Ward

              False, blatant lie.

              “The Democrats offered to continue to fund government and discuss the other issues and a budget once done – how is that not good faith?”

              Trump asked Pelosi if she would do that, she said “NO”. She told the public she would, but when put on the spot by Trump the lie was exposed.

              • Sabine

                links, please.

                they re-submitted the same budget plan – three times in the last 4 weeks.

                the republicans in the senate did not let it come to the floor for a vote.

                so if anything it is the republicans that are obstruction the shitstain, because if Mitch McConall would let the bill pass for vote the democrats in the senate would vote for it, and maybe even some republicans. It may not pass, but it may would. And then it would be up to the shitstain to sign or not.

                chances are he would sign and declare victory, find himself a golfcart and ride to a victory parade near you.

              • Craig H

                Proposed appropriations Bill scheduled for Tuesday (Wednesday NZ time):

                Passed appropriations bills awaiting Senate action:

                I’m not sure how you drew the conclusion that it was a “false, blatant lie” when the House records show multiple Appropriations Bills passed which will collectively fund government activities if passed by the Senate and signed by the President, and have another full Appropriations Bill scheduled to be debated and voted on which would do the same thing.

                Whatever is causing the delay, it is not the House of Representatives failing to propose or pass anything. The Democrats have done their bit in the legislative chamber they have a majority in, it’s now up to the Republicans to do the same in the legislative chamber they have a majority in.

                • DJ Ward

                  The original budget was passed by the house, and the Dems voted it down in the Senate.

                  Now your saying the Dems voted for these budgets, but the Senate won’t so it’s the Reps fault.


                  Trumps putting a bill to open the government forward. Guess who will vote it down and continue the shutdown.

                  Not Trump. Not Republicans.

                  • Craig H

                    Democrats did not vote it down in the Senate. Here is a list of Appropriation Bills for the 2019 fiscal year:


                    The Senate has not had an opportunity to vote on anything passed by the House as none of the passed House appropriation Bills have been scheduled for a debate. Scheduling is done by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate, who is usually the majority leader as is the case currently i.e. Mitch McConnell who is a Republican. McConnell has been very clear that his reasons for not scheduling these Bills for debate is because he thinks the President will veto them, not because he doesn’t think they will pass the Senate.

                    Money bills must originate in the House (not Senate), so waiting for House appropriation Bills makes sense, but they have those now.

          • Macro

            “. I see no evidence that the Democrats are bargaining in good faith. Do you?’

            The Trump administration has moved to sunset DACA, and to end protections for most of the immigrants covered under TPS. Both of those plans are currently held up in litigation.

            Democrats aren’t particularly interested in what Trump’s proposing. “Democrats were not consulted on this and have rejected similar overtures previously,” a Democratic aide told Vox. “It’s clearly a non-serious product of negotiations amongst White House staff to try to clean up messes the president created in the first place. POTUS is holding more people hostage for his wall.”….

            What Trump’s offering — temporary extensions of existing protections for both groups of immigrants — isn’t something that Democrats have been wildly enthusiastic about in the past. Furthermore, with Trump’s efforts to strip existing protections held up in court, it’s essentially a short extension of the status quo.

            DACA recipients are currently being allowed to extend their protections for two years, just as they could under the Obama administration, while the administration fights in court to end the program. (People who don’t already have protections are no longer allowed to apply.) Without knowing when the Supreme Court will rule — or how the Trump administration will proceed if the Supreme Court agrees they can end DACA, since their original plan (issuing no renewals for expirations after March 2018) is obviously moot — it’s hard to say for sure that a three-year one-time extension will protect DACA recipients for longer than waiting for the Supreme Court.


            • DJ Ward

              What’s so difficult about people who agreed to Tempoarary Visas. It’s Temporary. That was the deal. If they want something else like citizenship apply like everyone else has to.

              It wasn’t called Permanent Protected Status.

              • woodart

                I cant figure out whether you are argueing from the point of ignorance, or have english as your third language.

      • Anne 4.2.2

        I assume its because Trump is only offering ‘temporary’ solutions which have been offered before and rejected. The Dems know he will renege on any “compromises” the moment he gets funding for his stupid wall. And they’re right he will – legal niceties mean nothing to him.

        Add to that, the Dems are NOT going to agree to a 6 billion dollar Trump vanity project when so many vastly more urgent projects need to be funded.

        So its “up you” Trump… we’re not going to fall for that one.

        Until such a time Trump is dumped, nothing lasting is going to be resolved.

        • Macro


        • Draco T Bastard

          Until such a time Trump is dumped, nothing lasting is going to be resolved.

          I’m coming to the conclusion that that is inherent in Representative Democracy which has the propensity to switch between one path and another without consulting reality.

        • DJ Ward

          Oh the hypocracy.

          Pelosi said open the govt and we will negotiate the wall.
          Trump asked if I open the govt will you negotiate the wall. Pelosi said no.

          Pelosi is the person who is dishonest and can’t be trusted. Unlike Trump she proved it.

          • Draco T Bastard

            [citation needed]

            • DJ Ward

              Do you only watch CNN?

              That was what the meeting that Trump walked out of was about. Pelosi tried to con the public and Trump. Because she is a liar. He put her on the spot. He walked out because talking to her is a waste of time. She told him no, but the public yes, and thought she would get away with it. Clearly CNN is clouding your judgement.

              She owes far too much to far too many powerful donors. Her $100 million from her tiny salary is a mystery. Even with the insider trading and earmarks it’s still huge.

              • Draco T Bastard

                [citation needed]

              • Macro

                You really have a twisted view of reality.

                • DJ Ward

                  At least I can see it.

                  While clearly I’m nowhere near correct on many things I don’t have hate Trump goggles on causing me to be blind to reality.

              • lprent

                That really is a twisted way of looking at what was actually said.

                Your statements are correct, but why would the democrats offer anything to disrupt the process of getting the government back in operation? The dimwit Don would just make any concession offered towards his vanity project as a negotiating ploy to start screwing the discussion on for longer. He wrote books about his weird deal making practices.

                That just rewards the arsehole who caused the problem by rejecting the budget already agreed at congress. When he allows that real act to be passed again and signed, then he can start with his childish fantasy projects again.

                • DJ Ward

                  A new budget will be voted on soon.

                  The Dems are powerless. Why is there budget the one to use? Are they special with special powers and priveledge. Nope just con artists and hypocrites who openly lie to the public. There only power is to obstruct government, and on that point they are experts.

                  If Obama put the original budget forward they would have voted for it. Oh yeah, they did very similar, to help Obama 5 years ago. Hypocrites.

  5. Ad 5

    Path to full citizenship or nothing.

    • DJ Ward 5.1

      They already have that path. Apply and Qualify to be a citizen. Nothing stoping you Ad if you desperately want to be a Yank. Just do it legally, no sneaking across the boarder or overstaying.

      • SPC 5.1.1

        The dreamer children crossed the border with their parents so they are in a category of their own.

        And the fact that the American economy is dependent on migrant labour but has inadequate pathways for this to arrive legally is another component to this. And how do they build this pathway when some of the work is already being down by the illegals who have dreamer children with them?

        • DJ Ward

          Trump has said he wants to fix this issue, creating Work Visa programmes etc. He has no problem with foriegn workers for farms, Buisiness. He just wants it legal.

          The Dems are obstructing this issue. They also did nothing for them under Obama.
          That’s why the Latino vote is shifting towards Trump.

          • Ad

            He’s only making this extremely limited move because the Supreme Court on Friday said it may not take his case to end DACA.

            Trump can put any bill to the Senate that he likes, but he’s got a long long ay to go before he gets money specially for a “wall”.

            Dems have less to lose than Trump, so they should wait until he begs.
            Won’t take long.

            • DJ Ward


            • RedLogix

              I don’t know if you’ve ever stood in one of the interminable lines in the Border Control hall at LAX. Maybe then you can imagine to your surprise an new doorway off to one side, with a big sign saying “Tired of the Queues? Enter the USA here! No Passport, Visa or Irksome Questions”

              Ludicrous of course.

              So exactly what is the difference between this and the numerous ‘doors’ in the USA border with Mexico?

              • Andre

                The difference is a long long walk through very inhospitable terrain and climate, that is nevertheless intensely monitored, with a lot of security personnel tasked with tracking you down and tossing you into pretty uncomfortable quarters when they catch you.

                So no, nothing like a new doorway off to the side of the immigration queue with a big sign.

                • RedLogix

                  That’s like having two buckets, one has a nice neat hole drilled in the bottom, while the other has a great jagged tear … but the resulting leaks are somehow different?

                  • Ad

                    It’s like comparing LAX to the US-Mexican border.
                    So ….. not

                  • Andre

                    It’s the difference between having to spend a small amount of time waiting to deal with obnoxious officious bureaucrats and at worst being told “no you can’t come in” versus taking on a physical arduous trek that carries significant risk of harm or death and a significant chance of being caught anyway and incarcerated. And even if you get past all those risks, you still live your life in fear of getting found out.

                    That’s why the majority of “illegals” arrived in the US legally and simply overstayed.

                    Seriously, have you checked out what’s at the border already? Anywhere that’s easyish to get to there’s “fence”, ie closely spaced bollards 8m plus high. Plus sensors and patrols. Remoter areas that you can still drive to have vehicle barriers, and are heavily sensored and patrolled. The only bits that don’t have barriers are genuinely hazardous to try to get through. A lot of .people trying to cross that way end up dead.

                    All that shit is why they’re already spending over a billion a year on security for that border. Around $500 per meter every single year for that border.

                    • RedLogix

                      Some years back I visited the start of the Pacific Crest Trail, at Campo in the Sonora Desert right on the Mexican border. I got to walk the first few weeks of the trail (I never had time to do the whole thing), and it gave me some sense of the nature of this border, and many of the issues around it.

                      But I don’t see exactly why the ‘degree of risk’ in the journey undertaken to enter the USA somehow alters the legal situation. Certainly we can have empathy for them, certainly we can understand their desperation in many cases … but I’m not sure these make good administrative or legal criteria.

                      And I certainly don’t see how we can sanely apply one set of criteria at one border, and not at another.

                    • Macro

                      Red – did you do your trek before 2006? Because if you did, then you would not have seen the resulting Secure Fence and border security that was put in place after the Secure Fencing Act – which was a bipartisan piece of legislation passed under GWB.
                      Under that Act there is now over 700 miles of Secure fencing and the remaining 1300 miles are patrolled by drones and security cameras and border patrols.
                      A group of people who are concerned about the safety of those who do try cross the border in those high risk places that Andre mentioned, have been leaving bottles of water etc out – they have been arrested and charged with aiding and abetting by the border force despite the fact that they are carrying out these acts in a purely humanitarian capacity.

                • Ad

                  That, and abject poverty, drug lords, corruption, and forced separation from your children to be held in cages.

                  Any time the Dems want to recite “Give me your tired, huddled masses” on the Senate steps and remind everyone of their parenthood, would be a time for actual idealism about human rights and a little glimpse into human ideals.

                  Don’t trade a thing Dems.

                  • RedLogix

                    I understand all the myriad reasons why people want to get to one of the small handful of reasonably functional nations on earth. We’ve covered that off a thousand times.

                    But your argument amounts to … the Mexican border should be open to all comers, but the rest of us still have to line up with the correct documents at LAX.

                    • Ad

                      Not at all.

                      I am arguing for a path to full citizenship for all illegals in the US right now. Here’s a start:


                    • RedLogix

                      Fine … perfectly humane and reasonable.

                      OK so you’re on a boat and it has a leak. What is your order of priorities? Fix the hole, or mop up the water?

                    • McFlock

                      That depends on whether the bailing can keep up with the leak.

                      The US can handle the number of immigrants coming through its southern border. In fact, it needs them.

                      So it might as well “mop up” until it has a sensible solution for the “leak”.

                    • DJ Ward

                      You vet people working in schools because?

                      You vet people coming into your nation because?

                    • McFlock

                      My school didn’t have walls at its boundary.

                    • DJ Ward


                      My partner when an OSH consultant had to deal with schools that had to put huge fences up to protect students. That was just from the crazy parents, and sometimes the public.

                      Security technology works, like walls, barriers, fences.

                    • McFlock

                      In places, and only a metre or so high. Only tall fences were on the courts to stop wayward balls going out. Wide open gates.

                      I pass three or four schools on my way to work. Not much change in them from my day. But I guess that depends on the OSH consultants they hire.

                  • DJ Ward

                    Trump stopped Obamas forced separation of children policy.

                    • joe90


                      The Obama policy applied to unaccompanied minors.

                    • Macro

                      Now that is absolute bullshit

                      The Trump administration separated thousands more migrant children from their parents at the U.S. border than has previously been made public, according to an investigative report released Thursday, but the federal tracking system has been so poor that the precise number is hazy.

                      According to a report issued Thursday by the Department of Health and Human Services’s inspector general, the separated children include 118 taken between July and early November — after the administration halted a short-lived family separation policy that provoked a political firestorm and public outrage. The report estimates that thousands more youngsters were taken into government custody starting early in the Trump administration and continuing until early last summer.

                      When immigration enforcement officials transferred those youngsters into HHS custody, they said the biggest reason was that their parents had criminal histories. But information on the parents’ criminal records often was so sketchy that it is unclear whether the separations were warranted or whether the children can be safely returned to their families, the report said.


                    • DJ Ward

                      Trump made no new law, it was existing law. Trump just said if you cross the boarder you get prosecuted, no if, buts or maybe. The result was seperated children. But based on Hillary, investigating crime is selective based on Democrat interests. Like cheap workers for there donors.

                      Next you will be saying people in prison should have there children living with them. Well maybe the mums, but not dads because men are toxic, as per the NZ example.

                      Due to political pressure, due to Obamas picture blamed on him, Trump stopped the separations. So good on him. He listens to criticism and try’s to do better.

                      The end result is a huge increase in children being used as pawns to get into the US by illegal immigrants. More children suffering than the policy he stopped.

                    • joe90

                      Trump made no new law, it was existing law.


                      Obama policy complied with a 1997 agreement to keep families together.

                      In early 2017 the Trump administration floated the idea of separating families as a deterrent. Later that year they began a pilot program to separate families that were seeking asylum, and children were then reclassified as unaccompanied and sent to shelters with no system in place to reunite them with their parents.



                    • Macro

                      Trump made no new law, it was existing law. Trump just said if you cross the boarder you get prosecuted, no if, buts or maybe.

                      It’s not Trump who makes the law in the US, it the legislature. He just approves it. He is also required to obey the laws of the US, just as everyone else. But by demanding that all persons crossing the border should be prosecuted, he then made all such persons criminals. Previously it was up to officialdom whether they decided to prosecute or not. So even if they had no previous conviction – under Trump, they were now. A stupid, inhumane, and senseless edict by an sad, bad, man.

                    • DJ Ward

                      So Macro.

                      Your logic Trump is required to obey the law. Your words.
                      If you cross the boarder illegally you break the law.
                      Like everyone else. Your words.
                      Except illegal immigrants? Because it suits you.

                      Trump said obey the law, prosecute them.
                      You then say Trump is wrong for obeying the law.

                      Can you make up your mind.

  6. joe90 6

    Ann isn’t pleased.

    • SPC 6.1

      The fool does not realise that the term amnesty does not apply to minors. And the TPS holders arrived legally.

      • DJ Ward 6.1.1

        The clue is in the title. Temporary Protected Status. So amnesty international ignores the plight of children?

        So your idea of forcing the US to give you citizenship is to grab a child and cross the US Mexico boarder. Wait for it. You can almost hear the penny dropping as to why children numbers have dramatically risen.

    • DJ Ward 6.2

      Anybody would think Trump is negotiating and is trying to do a deal.

      All he needs is 1/2 a dozen sane Dems to cross the floor. Hard to find that many but it could happen. What has the group of 10 been up to lately?

      • mickysavage 6.2.1

        You seem to think that the shutdown is all the Dem’s fault and Trump is innocent. Is that correct? Am I understanding you right?

        • Draco T Bastard

          For the right-wing any consequences to their actions is always someone else’s fault for not doing what the right-wing wanted them to do.

          • DJ Ward

            And the left doesn’t need to blame anybody, right. All the failed states are testimony all of its own.

            That’s a back an forth argument.

            I’m sure any mistake will be blamed on the last 9 years, right.

            • patricia bremner

              Well most were made then, so yes.

            • Draco T Bastard

              All the failed states are testimony all of its own.

              The US is a failed state. That’s really what the shut-down of the US government is really about.

              It also happens to be a rogue state that has purposefully collapsed democratic states and killed millions of people throughout its history.

              All other capitalists nations will be joining in its failure shortly due to the damage that capitalism has done to the environment.

              BTW, the only thing that has managed to save capitalism over the last 80+ years has been socialism with acts like the New Deal and other welfare state policies.

        • DJ Ward

          The original budget, voted yes by the house, that was voted for in the Senate got over 50% of the vote but not the Supermajority required. 100% of the no votes were by Dems. That vote resulted in the shutdown.

          Trump has indicated he will not sign a budget without money for the wall. Hence Trump saying he won’t sign anything without it.

          Since Pelosi refuses to negotiate with Trump, and has been openly dishonest about negotiations Trump has no option but to do what he is doing.

          Trump could declare a National emergency and fund the wall even more biggly than his present plan. So he could end the shutdown at any time. To that extent he is responsible.

          Otherwise 100%, morally corrupt, hypocrite, lying, obstructionist, Democrates fault.

          You can tell when MSM fills the news with Fake News and we have seen quite a few lately, including this post, that the Dems are diverting attention.

          • mickysavage

            Which dimension do you occupy?

            • Psycho Milt

              I think it’s the same one we saw a few years back, that one where the Tories would swiftly negotiate an excellent Brexit deal in which the UK got an excellent free trade agreement with the EU while avoiding all the downsides of EU membership, and also got full border controls without having any Irish border. Got that same smell about it.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Ah, I see you’re still making up BS to defend the immoral actions of your hero.

  7. Jenny - How to get there? 7

    D Day for US shutdown?

    Not quite D-Day, not yet.

    The enormity of what Trump has threatened to do if he doesn’t get his way, has escaped no-one, not even the President himself. Which is why Donald Trump needs the big build up.

    Before he declares a National State of Emergency, the President needs to directly address the American people, to demonise the Democrats as the Villains, to make out that he is the reasonable voice of compromise, the one who will end the shut-down, restore order, and bring security to the nation.

    Now where have we heard all this before?

    • DJ Ward 7.1

      Well the Republicans did vote for the original budget. The shutdown only occurred due to the Dems voting. They are the villains. You can’t change historical facts.

      Trump has negotiated. Added things the Dems wanted. Changed the wall design, reduced its length. He has listened, negotiated, compromised.

      Only met by a Wall. Of arrogance, intellectual incompetence, and obstruction.

      While the Dems are on there donar, lobbyist sponsored holidays, Trump has instead stayed behind working hard for the people of the US.

      • Sabine 7.1.1

        The shut down occured because Donald Trump did not sign the bill that the Republcan held Congress and Senate Pass.

        That was about two weeks before the Democrats took over teh house in January.

        Seriously stop peddling this bullshit and lie.

        You might like your facts but they ain’t true.


        here is the then speaker of the house Paul Ryan declaring that the bill that was put forward by the republican house and senate will not be signed.


        senate had signed the bill 🙂

        in his own words


        so please, stop peddling this bullshit. Find a different line to blame the Democrats, Something like, they should just die and go away 🙂

        • DJ Ward

          Originaly the bill with the wall was passed in the House but got the majority in the Senate but due to Dems not the Supermajority. So originaly blocked by the Dems causing the shutdown. Despite democracy saying yes to the wall.

          Trump as an equal branch of Government is entitled to stand firm. He is only asking for what the voters voted for. At least he’s not corrupt and not following up on his promises.

          • arkie

            [Trump] is only asking for what the voters voted for

            So… Hillary Clinton?

            • DJ Ward

              At least they got the president that didn’t cheat.

              • Sabine

                cheated on wife one
                cheated on wife two
                cheated on wife three a few weeks after she gave birth with at least on Playboy bunny and one Porn star.

                cheating, some do it more then others.

                • McFlock

                  Not to mention maybe cheating in the election, which is the current subject of investigation

          • Macro

            He is only asking for what the voters voted for
            What some voters asked for – and the percentage of Americans who still want Trump’s vanity project currently stands at around 30%.

      • patricia bremner 7.1.2

        So you think the wall is a reasonable idea? Do you live in a walled gated community? It comes down to caring and sharing. Some will have less some will have more, and we may survive.

        • DJ Ward

          It does come down to sharing and caring but it’s a 2 way street. If you don’t put controls on the sharing you get anarchy and no caring.

          The wall is the only idea that has any chance to work presently.
          Other options are automatic deporting for anybody crossing the boarder illegally, or found internally in the US. Once illegal immigration is no longer attractive, you can then have legal immigration, with good, deserving people coming to the US, matching needs for workers.

          As there is no control of immigration (sharing) there is no caring. You get anarchy at the boarder, which is presently the case.

          • Sabine

            what about the east and the west coast? A wall will be needed.
            What about the Canadian frontier? A wall will be needed.
            What about those that come with Visas and overstay? oh that is ok, so as long as they are from Norway and not Mexico.

            gosh one thing is for sure, the Trumpists don’t think their shit through. They just fling it about hoping something will stick to a wall here and there, and before they know it they have build a wall around themselves with no exit anywhere.

  8. Andre 8

    An interesting thought from the fivethirtyeight chat: the Dems should come back with saying they’ll go for putting together their HR1 bill and Trump’s offer as a package deal. That way everyone gets something they want, it’s win-win.


    An explainer of HR1


  9. Just imagine if Trump and then Pence were both impeached or were found mentally unfit and had to leave office. The next in line to act as President would be speaker of the House of Representatives – Nancy Pelosi. Unlikely but just imagine if it happened.

    • Andre 9.1

      Nope, that only happens if the prez and veep get removed in the same event. Otherwise when the prez is outski, veep becomes prez and gets to choose a new veep (to be confirmed by the senate).

      Look back in history: when Agnew cut and ran, Nixon chose Ford as his new veep. Ford was House Minority Leader, not Speaker. The when Ford became prez, he chose Nelson Rockefeller as his new veep. Rockefeller was governor of New York at the time.

      So even if Pence were deeper in it than Agent Drumpfov (very very unlikely), you can guarantee Yertle McConnell would find some way to separate proceedings in the Senate so Pence could get sworn in, appoint a palatable new veep and get him confirmed, then dump Pence.

    • Craig H 9.2

      While theoretically possible, it’s pretty unlikely, as removing the VP allows the President to select a new VP, and removing the President just means the VP automatically steps up and selects a new VP to replace the now vacant VP.

    • DJ Ward 9.3

      Sounds like fantasy to me Fairy Godmother.

  10. Sabine 10

    the main problem as i see is is simply you can’t take him at his words no matter what he offers and no matter how much he whinges.
    he has proven over and over again that his word is meaningless, he says what he thinks will get him a good reception today/this hour/ this moment and then will turn around and say something completely else.

    as for the national emergency? good grief, we truly are simpleton spectators now arent we?
    Mind, i tend to agree with her

    the coup is finalised, certain government areas are completely unstaffed, understaffed, underfunded etc etc and to the everlasting pleasure of Grover Northquist government can now be drowned in a bathtub.
    I am just not sure that the republicans realised just what that monster that they created is going to do them, when they are the last ones standing, after all the ‘others’ have been put back into their god ordained place. Blessed be!

  11. joe90 11

    I wasted fifteen minutes of my life watching tRumps address and the prick had nothing to say about the hundreds of thousands of federal workers who aren’t being paid. No mentions, no insincere sympathy, not a sausage.

  12. Arthur 12

    Is there a difference between being compelled to work for no pay and slavery?

    • Craig H 12.1

      Lots of differences – not that I think this is acceptable in any way, but it is not slavery. For example, they can resign their jobs and find work at any time (I acknowledge that obviously requires finding another job, and that there are no guarantees that equivalent work and pay are available), in some states they qualify for unemployment or other state assistance, there is charitable assistance available (also not the preferred option but better than starving) etc.

      Whatever this is, and it is terrible, it is not slavery.

    • DJ Ward 12.2

      They are being payed. They passed a bill for the pay. Pelosi and Schumer are just keeping it for political gain.

      • joe90 12.2.1

        They passed a bill that guarantees back pay once the shutdown is over.

      • Sabine 12.2.2

        they are not being paid.
        not last week, not this week, not next week.

        some may receive back pay, but many don’t.
        The democrats passed a bill to extend back pay to all that currently are not paid, and they also passed a bill to extend unemployment payment for those that are not paid.

        The House passed the bill. The democratic House. As they did with the republican bill passed by the House / Senate to keep government open before the shut down that the shitstain refused to sign.

        Once the House passes a bill and then it goes to Senate. Sadly tho, McConnell refuses to do his job by either passing the bill or not – he simply will not allow any bill to come to floor unless he is a 100% sure that the shitstain will sign it. I wonder how McConnal likes that arse.

        So again, nothing to do with Pelosi and the House, or Schumer who is in the minority in the Senate.

        I just hope you are not a christian of sort, cause that 4th amendment of the biblical code – thou shall not bear false witness would otherwise be your undoing and guarnatee you a few years to an eternity in one of Dantes Hells.

      • Gabby 12.2.3

        You lying again warty? Only I think I saw your lips move.

    • Sabine 12.3

      He can’t just impregnate women by force for future labor needs and he can’t just kill people for shits n giggles and a bit of gratification.

      but give it time.

      • DJ Ward 12.3.1

        Yes the Dems thinking the 300 a week Herion deaths is acceptable is some strange version of gratification. Maybe Pelosi thinks killing people with an open boarder unable to stop the flow of drugs is a giggle.

        No time needed. The Dems would rather kill people than stop there rich Silicon Valley mates getting cheap labour. Don’t forget the cocaine for the parties.

        How is Trump killing people? Please explain.

        • woodart

          how is trump killing people. ??? taking nra money and letting stupid white boys buy guns to kill other americans. not putting gun control laws in place. trying to kill obamas health scheme, that finally gave health cover to millions of poor americans. ..do I need to go on????

          • DJ Ward

            Racist comment. Do you feel better when resorting to racism?

            Here’s some facts about the gun deaths in the US. Not one US state has gun death rates where whites are more murderous than blacks.


            Next you will be telling us more bullshit about Trump being racist when it’s actually you.

            He didn’t try to kill the scheme, it was failing on its own as is well known. Trump was just trying to fix Obamas corrupt rules that forced users to by insurance from single providers. Obamas lobbyist mates. The end result was yes they had insurance but most had much higher costs and couldn’t actually use it as the bills needed to be huge before insurance would pay.

            IE less health care for most. Trump wanted to add competition to bring down prices from Obamas corrupt monopoly.

            I prefer our system so I don’t support Obama, or Trump on healthcare.

        • Macro

          You do know that the majority of the drugs entering the US actually pass through undetected by Border Control at legal points of entry.

        • Sabine

          link please
          btw, the Rich Silicon Valley mates don’t get cheap labour…..they get expensive labour – Tech Labour.

          Its the pig farms, the chicken rendering plants, the fruit pickers, that are the cheap labour.

          Really dude, you should get better at your speaking points, you start to sound like Rudi Guiliani – incoherent.

          • DJ Ward

            There cooks, cleaners, gardeners, dog walkers, painters, couriers, pimps, drug suppliers, hit men.

            Just joking. I have no proof about the hit men.

            Plus you never explained my comments question.

            How is Trump killing people?

  13. joe90 13

    Making the GOP small enough to drown in a bathtub.

    “We’re in a demographic death spiral,” said Republican consultant John Weaver, a top aide to former Ohio GOP Gov. John Kasich. “If we were Coca-Cola or Delta or any product on the market, would you be happy that your customers, your base of support, were old, white and closed-minded?”


    Changes to what has now been Trump’s party for three years may be far stickier.

    Trump hand-picked a Republican National Committee chair so loyal to him personally that she even stopped using her full name at his suggestion. Committee members who had opposed Trump, meanwhile, tended to either rehabilitate their views or not run for re-election. The RNC now routinely backs Trump’s falsehoods and fear-mongering about immigrants, while Trump’s success has spawned a cohort of mimics, running their campaigns featuring anti-minority, anti-fact themes.


    • DJ Ward 14.1

      You are kidding. Trump spoke to his lawyer. That is clearly corrupt.

      Was Cohen not permitted to speak to anybody?
      Is attorney client priveledge not applicable to Trump?
      Was Trump asking what Cohen did that Trump didn’t know about?
      Why would his current counsel have no problem revealing that info?

      So Trump did talk to Cohen but Mueller says he didn’t ask him to commit Perjury.

      How do they known that?
      Are they bugging the President?
      Or is Cohen a convicted liar, a trusted source?

      Since the media believes all the lies and bullshit stories, Cohen sounds like proof. Wait for it. Yep Trump didn’t do what he was accused of doing.

      • joe90 14.1.1

        Trump was speaking to a congressional witness in an inquiry into his own behaviour may or may not be above board but hey, give it time and I’m sure Rudi will spill the beans.

        • DJ Ward

          Courts can ban an offender from speaking to a victim. That’s about it as far as I’m aware.

  14. Infused 15

    So much bullshit reported.

    You guys need to stoo getti g your news from the us and then you might get something unbiased

  15. DJ Ward 16

    Why did Mueller make a statement which is very rare for him to do.

    It turns out Buzzfeed alludes to the leak coming from within Mueller’s team. That of course would be a serous crime if it happened. The end result was people began asking what the hell was going on. Mueller had to expose Buzzfeeds fake news due to the consequences of that.

    What is that? Exactly what happened to Trump. A special council would have been started to investigate the investigators with the power to go on a fishing expedition.

    Then they would be screwed. Then the Dem stooges that started all this bullshit would be exposed, along with there DNC co conspirators. Imagine how much lying under oath there would need to be to hide there media connections.

    • McFlock 16.1

      If the Buzzfeed thing was made up, then there could be no leak.

      So your position seems to be that either Buzzfeed was substantively accurate and using leaks from Mueller’s office, which led Mueller to lie and say that buzzfeed was inaccurate in order to hide the existence of the leak, or Buzzfeed was at best speculating and Mueller had nothing to worry about other than the effect on his case and his office of that baseless speculation.

      The third option was that Buzzfeed was not relying on leaks so much as intelligent analyses of known information, and maybe overegged their conclusions a little bit.

      • DJ Ward 16.1.1

        It’s a couple of people in Buzzfeed with TDS. Already well known for just making Fake News. It must have been there turn on the Fake News modus operandi.

        A: Report a bullshit Fake News story.
        B: Every other news outlet spends all day reporting on this authoritative news story. Demanding impeachment, questioning his sanity, whatever bullshit is today’s bullshit.
        C: Next media outlets turn.

        Next thing McFlock is you will tell me you can’t tell fact from fiction.
        So no leak McFlock, just corrupt media.

        • McFlock

          If it’s corrupt media, then there was no leak for Mueller to worry about.

          Even if buzzfeed “alluded to” Mueller’s office leaking (and interpretation of events that seems to be extremely doubtful).

          • DJ Ward

            It gives the Attorney General the right to launch an investigation into a possible leaker, or leakers. Then you get a fishing trip, and entrapment interviews.

            So yes no leak for Mueller to worry about. Hence his making the comment to expose Buzzfeed lying. If he didn’t then the legal results were huge.

            There is already huge pressure to investigate the stooges, the DNC, and the corrupt presenting of the faked Dossier to get the original FISA warrant.

            • McFlock


              So the investigation into leakers finds no leak (because fake news), and no evidence of any other wrongdoing. Because if Mueller’s office was as corrupt as you seem to think, the news isn’t fake and there’d be a leak. But the news is fake, so can’t have been leaked, and there are no further crimes to investigate.

              Remember, the guilty pleas so far have been for wide and varied illegality relating to dolt45’s campaign and administration. Do you honestly think Mueller’s office can match that level of corruption?

    • joe90 16.2

      It turns out Buzzfeed alludes to the leak coming from within Mueller’s team.

      Buzzfeed alluded to no such thing.

      That’s a point I made yesterday: Buzzfeed’s story materially differed from the sworn testimony in the case, and even if their sources were right that, in fact, Trump sanctioned Cohen’s lie, they should have explained why Mueller says differently.

      Notably, Cohen’s allocution says that he “stayed in close contact with these advisers to Individual 1,” not that he was talking to Trump directly. It’d be hard (though by no means impossible) to have been ordered directly by Trump to lie if he was no longer in day-to-day contact with Trump.

      Carr is also seemingly objecting to this characterization:

      The special counsel’s office learned about Trump’s directive for Cohen to lie to Congress through interviews with multiple witnesses from the Trump Organization and internal company emails, text messages, and a cache of other documents.

      That’s unsurprising. He’s denying that Mueller has documents and Trump Organization (which may be different from White House) witnesses that would make Cohen’s sworn allocution false. In any case, Trump doesn’t use email, so there’s no email where Trump ordered Cohen to lie.

      My very strong suspicion is that this happened — and Mueller pushed back — for two reasons.

      First, as I noted yesterday, Buzzfeed’s sources appear to have access to primary evidence, but their focal awareness of what Cohen said to Mueller appears to be limited to precisely what Cohen’s sentencing memo had. That is, Buzzfeed didn’t receive any of the details that would be more useful for understanding how the Trump Tower deal relates to any larger conspiracy between Trump and Russia, they received the details that made it into the sentencing memo.

      Cohen’s sentencing went through SDNY, where his other guilty plea was, which means SDNY (both the US Attorney’s office and the FBI Field Office) would have visibility on that process. So it’s likely that Buzzfeed’s sources are there, which would be consistent with the two descriptions Buzzfeed provided for their two law enforcement sources.


      • Dennis Frank 16.2.1

        Excellent, that analysis! Thanks for posting it. So it’s lawyers vs leftists? Those who value the sanctity of evidence vs those who want to use it for propaganda.

        • joe90

          More calm realism v hotheadedness, I reckon.

          btw, history


          • Dennis Frank

            Yeah, a different journalistic ethos back then, eh? Careful investigative journalism, rarely seen nowadays. And dispassionate appraisal replaced by partisan jumping to conclusions. Fairness ought to prevail. I get that Trump’s lack of tact & emotional intelligence polarises the media but there’s also a moral responsibility to resist that effect. Takes self-discipline!

      • DJ Ward 16.2.2

        So if these sources exist, have they been arrested. They committed a crime.

        They cited evidence, that as Mueller points out doesn’t exist. The people involved well known for Fake News anti Trump bullshit.
        Therefore the leakers don’t exist.

        Even SNL is taking the piss out of Buzzfeed.
        But your taking this seriously.

        Diagnosis TDS.

  16. rata 17

    To be fair all the talk about the wall and shut down
    are all just entertainment for the masses.

  17. Wensleydale 18

    Mitch McConnell – The World’s Most Evil Kindly-Looking Grandfather

  18. joe90 19

    During his campaign tRump repeatedly claimed that he had absolutely no business in Russia.

    President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani said Sunday that conversations about a potential Trump Tower deal in Moscow — conversations involving then-candidate Trump — occurred “as far as October, November” of 2016.

    “It’s our understand that they went on throughout 2016,” Giuliani told “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd

    “Not a lot of them, but there were conversations. We can’t be sure of the exact dates, but the President can remember having conversations with [Michael Cohen] about it.”

    Giuliani said Trump and Cohen’s conversations about the Moscow deal went on “probably up to as far as October, November.”


    • joe90 19.1

      Onya, Rudi.

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    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    8 hours ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    9 hours ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    10 hours ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    10 hours ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    11 hours ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    12 hours ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    23 hours ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    23 hours ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    1 day ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 day ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    1 day ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    2 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    3 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    3 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    4 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    5 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    7 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
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    4 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    5 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    5 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
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    5 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    6 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
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    6 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
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    6 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
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    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
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    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
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    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
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    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
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    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
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    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
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    2 weeks ago