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Daily review 19/12/2019

Written By: - Date published: 5:30 pm, December 19th, 2019 - 40 comments
Categories: Daily review - Tags:

Daily review is also your post.

This provides Standardistas the opportunity to review events of the day.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Don’t forget to be kind to each other …

40 comments on “Daily review 19/12/2019”

  1. Ad 1

    Once Trump is acquitted in the Senate, Biden's team will need more skill than they've shown to make voter capital out of constitutional failure.


    • Andre 1.1

      Fuck me, Biden hasn't even made the case that his actions in Ukraine were in the service of agreed US government policy and national interest, with zero in it for him personally. Furthermore, if they affected Hunter's interests at all, were much more likely to be detrimental than helpful.

      His dithering wishy-washiness means he now wrongly appears tarred with the perception that he too used govt resources to do dodgy shit in Ukraine for personal benefit.

      • Cinny 1.1.1

        If it ends up that agent orange is kicked out of office, then pence becomes president.  God help 'murica.

        • Andre

          He won't be kicked out of office. (I might revise that opinion if McTurtle announces the senate trial will have secret ballots).

          He might resign if enough criminal liability piles up waiting for him to lose the protection of his office, and one of the very few people he occasionally listens to persuades him he needs a pardon from President Pence. And that's a conversation that will end with "Be sure to give us our pardons before you resign, OK daddy?"

        • Graeme

          God help the world.  Hard to work out which is the lesser of evils.

      • Ad 1.1.2

        I'm not enthusiastic for Biden either, as I noted. 

        2020 could easily go the way of 2016. 

        • McFlock

          I reckon the orange one will eat biden alive – the gaffs will just be too much fodder.

          We'll see what the noms are like when the dems are down to four or five. I suspect biden is the first choive for a lot of people, but not many people's second choice.

        • Andre


          Hair Furore's negatives are well and truly baked in. So his best strategy is to make his opponent seem like he/she has even more negatives than he does. So far Biden has been pathetic in countering that strategy.

    • Dennis Frank 1.2

      The One News US correspondent just told us that a new poll today has Trump up 6% to 45% approval, so the impeachment is working well…   🙄

      • Andre 1.2.1

        Do you think it's OK for the president to withhold Congress approved and taxpayer funded aid to try to extort a foreign country into smearing a political opponent of the president?

        If you don't think it's OK, what do you think Democrats in the House should have done about it?

        • Dennis Frank

          No.  But don't the rights & wrongs of that depend on whether his action was constitutional or not?  If yes, why impeach?  If no, can't he be prosecuted for breaching the Constitution?  So why don't they do that??  The Dems are just performing pointless theatrics, seems to me.


          • Andre

            The original writers of the constitution were deeply concerned about foreign fuckery in elections. A president covertly inviting that foreign fuckery is the textbook definition of "high crime and misdemeanour" that merits impeachment. Using government resources to coerce that foreign fuckery for his personal political benefit exponentially compounds the unconstitutionality of his actions. If you're really interested, there's the Federalist Papers written by some of the writers of the constitution talking about the arguments and reasoning behind some of the clauses in the constitution.

            He can't be criminally prosecuted, because the constitution specifically provides impeachment as the remedy for that kind of action against the collective state interest. As well as the DOJ legal opinion and policy that sitting presidents can't be prosecuted (which is why he wasn't indicted by Mueller's team).

            But thank you for illustrating the likely reaction of low-information voters.

            • Dennis Frank

              thank you for illustrating the likely reaction of low-information voters

              Indeed!  I take the point that the US system puts a sitting president above the law.  You may assert that I'm wrong – I'm agnostic about that!

              So, as a hick from the remoter sticks, I was suggesting that hitting the guy with a political stunt is the proverbial wet bus ticket, whereas turning him into an official criminal via prosecution as if he's just another citizen breaking the law would actually hurt him.

              If the US system makes that impossible, then it is defective.  No citizen ought to be above the law, not even the president.

              • Andre

                Yes, the US system is indeed deeply defective.

                But note that the president's immunity from prosecution is not in the constitution, it's the result of legal opinions written within the Department of Justice (and the DOJ is controlled by the president). That's why investigations of presidential wrongdoing have required the appointment of a Special Counsel or Special Prosecutor that is somewhat independent of the DOJ.

                The writers of the constitution anticipated a lot of things that could go wrong, and wrote in a lot of checks and balances. But clearly not enough.

                They set up the longer terms for senators intending them to be more deliberative and take a longer view of the national interest. They failed to anticipate that it might get corrupted into a den of deeply partisan hacks.

                Ditto for the Supreme Court.

                Note that one of the reasons for the Electoral College was fear that an unprincipled demagogue might charm the ignorant hicks and win the popular vote; the electors were supposed to be able to closely consider the candidates' qualities, and if someone unfit won the popular vote the electors would exercise their better judgement  to choose a candidate that actually was fit for office. The irony …

                • Dennis Frank

                  I see.  So the Supreme Court could judge him in retrospect after he's served his second term?  If so, he's vulnerable.  Found guilty would mean he'd go down in history as a felon, eh?  I realise it's a long shot & tests the partisan loyalty of the Republican appointees, or should I say their principles (or lack thereof).

                  • Andre

                    A case involving a former president's criminality is unlikely to make it to the Supreme Court.

                    The Supreme Court is much more likely to be relevant if a case went through the courts testing the limits of executive authority, or the boundaries between executive and congressional authority, or where a president is outright stonewalling congressional oversight. Remember the final nail in Nixon's coffin was when the Supreme Court ruled he had to cough up the tapes.

                    That ruling would seem unlikely today with Roberts, Thomas, Alito, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh sitting. The lower courts have been sufficiently stuffed with Repug hacks that any attempt to use them to enforce oversight and accountability would get dragged out so long that any attempt to use the courts would end up meaningless.

                    There's also statue of limitations questions around holding presidents accountable. Most commonly, there's a five year statute of limitations on federal crimes. So a second term would run out the clock on a lot of criminal stuff Fuckface von Clownstick has likely done.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Well that just leaves us with a verdict in the court of public opinion, then, and the current ambivalence likely to continue.  Only something that looks like a smoking gun to most people will shift the status quo…

                    • pat

                      sides well and truly taken already

      • Anne 1.2.2

        An indication of the gross ignorance, the lousy education system, unfathomable naivety and dinosaur-like fundamentalism that plagues much of America. In short, too many of them are mentally challenged throwbacks to the middle ages. angry

  2. joe90 2

    All class.

    (he's since been given the arse)




  3. joe90 3


    • Cinny 3.1

      Nancy heart

    • joe90 3.2

      No acquittal if they aren’t sent.

      • Macro 3.2.1

        Excellent! Nancy is one super smart lady. 

        • In Vino

          Do I not remember lprent or somebody suggesting some time ago that the smartest thing for Democrats to do would be to win it in Congress, but then to stall on it, not send it to the Senate where there is a Republican majority, but just let it sit, and simmer, and fester..

          Whoever suggested it, good idea. Better than sending it to Senate with certainty of it being voted down.

  4. Fireblade 4

    Thought Paula Bennett would've been on telly offering hugs and support or even faux outrage, but nothing.

    I guess Paula isn't the paragon of virtue I thought she was.

    • ianmac 4.1

      Very little from Bennett recently but she did question the release of the Summary of the Enquiry at this time. But apologise? Regret? Amends? No way.

      But I wonder how her personal ratings stand even among her National Colleagues? Who would trust her?

      Note that the media group who published complaints have said that the complainant stand by her story.

      • Fireblade 4.1.1

        The Nats sniff a political hit/story and we know they have plenty of donations and spare cash to offer a "sweater" to anyone willing to help the Nats agenda.

        I'm not suggesting that's what happened here, but I do quite like the AC/DC song Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap.

  5. anker 5

    Paula has no need of the young complainants anymore.  She has had what she needs from them.

    Personally I think the Sydney morning Herald has the best take on the situation.

    will share link soon https://www.smh.com.au/world/oceania/ardern-staffer-abuse-claims-thrown-out-20191218-p53l4v.html

  6. Meridian and Contact Energy have been keeping power prices artificially high by spilling water from the hydro storage lakes. And creating unnecessary carbon emissions. But this enhances shareholder value, so everyone else can get f#$ked I guess. Capitalism FTW

    • mac1 6.1

      With that approach to business, I'm glad that they're supplying power, and not drinking water.

      They would plug up wells to inflate the price of drinking  water.

      The utter foolishness of this. Elsewhere in the country they will burn coal to generate electricity that could have been produced by the water retained in hydro-electric storage for the times of shortage.

      They do this now to drive up prices?

      Stupid. Criminal wastage. Denial of a common good to the people for the profit of the few.

      Even Max Bradford surely did not envisage this which needs reform in itself?

      • roblogic 6.1.1

        Still waiting for the Bradford reforms, and the SOE model in general, to deliver the mythical efficiencies of the free market to Kiwi households

        • Graeme

          The Bradford "reform" was to make the Key sell-off possible.  Once more than 24.99% of any of the  Bradford Four had been sold turning back the clock to a State model became very difficult.

          Only option now is for state entities (ACC and various super funds) to quietly buy up shares, and / or a crisis to facilitate nationalisation or regulation.

          • roblogic

            Privatisation also facilitated the 1998 Auckland power crisis, caused by Mercury Energy's cost cutting scrooge mentality, and wrecking the CBD economy for 5 weeks, at unfathomable cost to the city and its businesses. 

    • Graeme 6.2

      There's penstocks in place at Clyde for two more machines.  They will never be built under the current model because those machines will only generate when the river flow is high and prices are low.  Clyde was built under the NZED model when the objective was to produce electricity at the lowest possible price. Now it's for the highest profit possible.

      Same goes for really any future large hydro, they will all be run of river, so will depress price and hence profit because they get more energy out of the same amount of water.  All the storage schemes, which can generate at high prices are built.  

      Whether Meridian and Contact are spilling too much…  I'd more say they are being prudent and looking at the climate models they have and making sure they have ability to balance inflows and spillway capacity.  It's been a bloody wet spring in the south.

      But hey, Flick are in the game to make money too, buy buying electricity cheap and selling it at a profit.  Of course they are going to complain when the big gen-tailers don't let them do that.

      Bottom line.  We well and truly threw the baby out with the bathwater with the Bradford – Key electricity "reforms"

      • roblogic 6.2.1

        NZ has the worst of both worlds. We are too small for this kind of market to function properly. A government run public utility is the sensible model.

  7. Blazer 7

    the good ole Enron ..template!

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