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Just another typical week in US politics

Written By: - Date published: 9:50 am, November 17th, 2019 - 38 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, Media, Russia, spin, uncategorized, us politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

I seem to have been saying this about American politics for the past couple of years or so.  But what an amazing week it was in American politics.  And the question has to be asked, how is it that Donald Trump is still President?

All roads lead to Russia.  Basically and this must be crystal clear by now, Trump relied on Russian hacking of Hillary Clinton’s email server to run riot during the campaign and accuse her of all sorts of things.  Exactly what I am still not sure but it sure did fill in media space.

And when FBI director James Comey announced during the 2016 election campaign that Clinton was being investigated it seemed to give Trump the momentum to get him over the line.

But this has caused intense blow back from the US machine, I mean why wouldn’t you be concerned if the Russians were able to manipulate the election result?  They might get an idiot or a madman or both elected.  Just for laughs.

During the campaign Trump did not seem to think that it was a problem.  After all the Russians were backing him.  Subtleties like accepting their support might be potentially treasonous was lost on him, such was his desire to win.

But as time has gone by he appears to have realised the enormity of what has happened and has done the only thing possible in Trump world, and try and cover it up.

Hence the pressure on the Ukranians to open up an investigation into Joe Biden.  This had the dual benefits of allowing him to blame Ukranian actors for the Clinton server hacking and say it was them and not the Russians.  And it potentially hobbled who appeared to be his most difficult opponent in the forthcoming election.

The response has been slow but appears inevitably to be heading to a bloody denouement.

There was the Mueller Report with its damning conclusion that the Russian Government interfered in the 2016 presidential election “in a sweeping and systematic fashion”.  And Mueller summarised eleven instances in which Trump may have sought to obstruct justice even though he may not have succeeded.  In the report’s words:

The President’s efforts to influence the investigation were mostly unsuccessful, but that is largely because the persons who surrounded the President declined to carry out orders or accede to his requests.” 

The Mueller investigation has resulted in some people closely associated with the Trump campaign either serving time or facing the prospect of doing so.

Paul Manafort was convicted for bank and tax fraud and crimes related to his work as a political consultant in Ukraine.  Michael Cohen was convicted of tax evasion, bank fraud, lying to Congress and campaign finance violations. George Papadopoulos was convicted for lying to investigators about Russian contacts.

To add to this list is former Campaign lead Roger Stone who has just been convicted on seven counts of misleading Congress.  If you want to read a scathing analysis of what he did wrong and the implications for the Impeachment inquiry then this piece by Charles P Pierce at Esquire is a stand out piece of writing.  Short version he says that Stone’s morality is such that he would engage in marital relations with rodents for political gain.

Professional ratfcker Roger Stone, a blight on American politics for five decades, has fcked his last rat. On Friday, during a recess in the committee hearings into one of his former boss’s other abuses of power, Stone was convicted on all seven counts on which he’d been called to the bar, and no sartorial cock-of-the-walk narcissism can save him this time.

I remember being nauseated watching him get treated like a star at the Republican National Convention in 2016, and even more deeply nauseated watching him gallivant around the Capitol dressed like Mr. Peanut’s evil twin during the inauguration that same year. For all his celebrated “eccentricity,” Roger Stone is what democracy finds stuck to the bottom of its shoe on a hot summer’s day. Your time in the barrel has come, Roger, and the barrel’s gone over the falls. The bell has tolled. The cock has crowed, and maybe it wasn’t a good idea to spend the entire pre-trial period playacting the role of political tough-guy at the expense of the judge who now will sentence you on all seven counts on which you were indicted.

This was a big win for Robert Mueller, whose reputation as an investigator has been badly battered in recent weeks as it has become clear that his strict-constructionist view of his mandate left him incapable of confronting the limitless vista of corruption that is this administration. His prosecutors needed this one to validate their work. In addition, Stone was nailed for lying to Congress, which has to give pause to the people who will be testifying in public next week. (Hi, Gordon Sondland!). The conviction further validates the view that the Russian Story and the Ukraine Story are parts of a reeking whole. The entire noxious fabric is unravelling almost by the hour.

Stone has been using Alex Jones to send messages to the President that he should be pardoned.  The plan is that crazy you never know it just might work.

Because Trump has recently used the presidential pardon for some unusual people.  Like the former US army commando set to stand trial next year in the killing of a suspected Afghan bomb-maker and a former army lieutenant convicted of murder after he ordered his men to fire upon three Afghans and killed two.  And just for kicks he ordered a promotion for a Navy Seal convicted of posing with a dead Islamic State captive in Iraq.

And if you think that things are getting really strange details have been released about a White House meeting between Rudy Guliani’s mates Lev Parnas and Igor  Fruman and the President where the order was allegedly given to get the Ukraine Government to dig up dirt on Joe Biden.

Trump denies meeting them.  Facebook disagrees.

Maybe Trump is right.  Maybe there are hundreds or thousands of Ukraines who think that Trump has told them to go and get that dirt on Biden.  Maybe Trump had forgotten them even though CNN has tracked at least ten occasions where Trump met with Parnas and Fruman.

Trump has thrown Guliani under the bus by telling reporters they should talk with Rudy about Parnas and Fruman who are currently facing charges including conspiracy to violate the ban on foreign donations to federal and state elections, making false statements and falsifying records.  Rudy says he has insurance.

And the circus that is the Impeachment hearing is in full swing.  The right is trying to say that it is boring and there is nothing to see.  The evidence is dry and detailed.  But if you are not concerned then you have not been watching closely enough.

The Republicans are putting up a fight and trying to disrupt and divert attention and no doubt the Republican Senate will refuse to impeach.  But it going to be fun watching them squirm and deny.  If not deeply worrying.

Interesting times …

38 comments on “Just another typical week in US politics”

  1. Siobhan 1

    Impeachment could well be a disaster for the Progressives trying to get their message out …which in turn may well kneecap the Democrats chances at gaining any sort of clear victory..again

    "That would keep those six candidates stuck in Washington, acting as jurors – and out of Iowa and other key early states — in the critical final weeks before the caucuses.

    "We will have to convene every day, six days out of seven," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently told reporters. President Bill Clinton's 1999 impeachment trial lasted more than a month. The only other impeachment trial in U.S. history, President Andrew Johnson's, ran on and off for more than two months.

    Even if a Trump trial only lasts a few weeks, it will still effectively freeze campaigning for Warren, Harris, Booker, Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar and Michael Bennet." (side note: I do love the way he buried Bernies name)

    https://www.npr.org/2019/11/06/776182132/a-disaster-impeachment-could-sideline-senators-in-2020-presidential-campaign

    but then I'm sure the Polosi and DNC were well aware of that…

    and this..another example of who does and who doesn’t get charged with pergury..

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/lawmakers-want-james-clapper-prosecuted-for-surveillance-testimony-before-statute-of-limitations-runs-out

    and this..

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/07/the-us-has-a-long-history-of-election-meddling/565538/

    • Andre 1.1

      I'm curious, do you think Pelosi should have just ignored the blatant ongoing violations of constitution oaths and obligations, trashing of national security interests for personal political advantage, and who the fuck knows what all else?

      Ignore all that, to do what else, exactly?

    • lprent 1.2

      I think that the key point about the Clapper incident is related to the usage of committees inside congress when dealing with security issues. Your link about Clapper said:-

      Still, defense attorney Mark Zaid, who works with national security whistleblowers seeking to lawfully come forward, scoffed at the idea of Clapper standing trial.

      “I can't fathom he would ever be prosecuted. And I honestly don't think it's so black or white as to a conviction. It's more complicated than people see," he said.

      Zaid said that “Clapper was faced with a difficult choice: reveal classified information or respond in a [manner] that is not accurate,” and that although “there is no specific national security defense” for perjury, he believes “an argument can be made that he didn't lie to Congress because that committee knew the information already. [Democratic Oregon Sen. Ron] Wyden essentially trapped him intentionally.”

      Essentially the position Clapper was in was to either violate the restrictions about revealing classified information in public or to give false information to congress. The reason that he was put in that position was because a senator who (presumably) already knew the answer and presumably knew its security classification attempted to cause Clapper to break the law either way. Like Zaid, I suspect that any court proceedings would hang up on that issue. In fact it wouldn’t surprise me if Wyden was pulled up in front of whatever the senatorial equivalent of the privileges committee is for deliberate entrapment.

      This is rather different to the position that someone like Roger Stone was in. There were no such conflicts of legal interests there. He was just lying to cover his own arse and that of his employer – Donald Trump. Moreover from the evidence presented to the court he was encouraging at least one other person to deliberately lie to congress as well. I don’t think that your comparision is in any way a valid one.

      On a separate note – less about intent and more about simple mechanics. The question of if the information about pickup of US domestic surveillance in the course of a different task should have been classified at all is pretty much a separate issue.,/p>

      That there are signals surveillance programs that target overseas intelligence sources has been well known for more than 100 years – for instance the Zimmerman telegram. By-catch is inevitable.

      For me, the only real thing that I see is really the by-catch issue – which happens in all surveillance operations – for example the by-catch of human activities whilst looking at wild-life through cameras. I've been thinking this one over ever since I read that article yesterday. 

       

    • Macro 1.3

      And yet in Louisiana – a state where Trump won in 2016 by 20% points the race for Governor is really close with the incumbent Democrat Edwards ahead of his Republican rival by around 33,000 votes with 98.5% of the vote counted. Note that because of a rather unusual electoral system in this State, Edwards snuck in last time in 2015 because he was facing 2 Republican candidates. It seems that not only has he secured and maintained his majority (despite the fact that just yesterday Trump was exhorting the people of Louisiana to vote Republican), the Trump factor is no where near what it was in 2016.

      *Admittedly Edwards is one of the more conservative Democrats – but with the recent win by a Democrat for Governor in Kansas (again after Trump begging voters not to let it happen) – I believe it illustrates that the race for the White House and even a small majority in the Senate is not an unthinkable objective for Democrats and that the "Blue Wave" evidenced in the 2018 elections is still surging. Recent polling also puts the top Democrat candidates – Biden, Warren, and Sanders ahead of Trump in the 3 crucial states .

      • Andre 1.3.1

        So boooooring this year.

        Oh for the good old days in Louisiana gubernatorial politics, when winning slogans were things like "Vote for the crook, it's important" and "Vote for the lizard, not the wizard"

      • lprent 1.3.2

        Good to hear. Was looking at that this morning in NYT (?) in the morning read. Nope it was the US ABC.

        But here is the NYT
        https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/16/us/louisiana-governor-edwards-rispone.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage

        I bet there will be a recount there. Face saving and trying to spread the loss over enough time to dissipate it’s shock effect. Basically supporting Trump doesn’t deliver the votes for Republican candidates.

        • Andre 1.3.2.1

          The incumbency effect is astonishingly strong in many parts of the US. It's pretty much the only reason Doug Jones has a fighting chance of keeping his Senate seat in Alabama next year (along with the way Sessions will have the spiteful tinyfingers trashing him, and Cradlesnatcher Moore is having another go).

        • Macro 1.3.2.2

          Basically supporting Trump doesn’t deliver the votes for Republican candidates.

          I really hope that this is the take away for Republican Senators as the approach the inevitable Impeachment. The "See No Evil – Hear No Evil" while "Speaking Loads of Evil" approach that they are currently pursuing is being seen for what it is.

          If the Republican Senators do find a backbone then it will be be interesting. Then again Pence, from the latest testimonials, is also implicated in the "deal"! So it might just be a bridge too far. The circling of the wagons is all they can do at the moment. 

          BTW the latest Louisiana Results are available here:

          https://www.vox.com/2019/11/16/20963502/louisiana-election-results-live-edwards-rispone

          Edwards leads by 3%. and around 40,000 votes.

          • joe90 1.3.2.2.1

          • Andre 1.3.2.2.2

            Thing is, there's no good path forward for Repug senators, since none of them have any remaining vestiges of spines, principles or courage. Vote for conviction, and face the wrath of the drumpfkins at their next primary. One could almost feel sorry for them, if any of them showed even a residual glimmer of humanity inside those empty containers they're shuffling around in.

            At this stage, their only hope for political survival is to continue deflecting and gaslighting to keep the base onside, and hope like hell they keep enough swing voters to remain viable. Along with trying to make their Dem opponent look even worse by whatever ugly lying tactics might work. Sadly, this will actually work for almost all of them.

      • joe90 1.3.3

        Aan ugly dawn is breaking over at Free Republic.

         

  2. Andre 2

    Speaking of Sondland, looks like he's gonna have to choose to have a miraculous recovery from a major bout of selective amnesia that goes way beyond the "correction to the record" he's already submitted, or play Sgt Schultz for 10 hours straight.

    https://www.huffpost.com/entry/transcript-testimony-sondland-williams-morrison_n_5dd085d2e4b0294748186552

    • joe90 2.1

      I guess the Stone verdict is keeping Mr Sondland up.

    • Macro 2.2

      Yep! And the damning evidence just keeps on coming.

      • Macro 2.2.1

        • Macro 2.2.1.1

          ”It was the first time something like this had been injected as a condition to release the aid,” Morrison said.

  3. joe90 3

     

     Setting himself up to announce that due to some mysterious ailment he's being forced to resign?

    And then Pence will pardon him, of course..

     

    President Donald Trump underwent a "quick exam and labs" as part of his annual physical exam on Saturday, out of anticipation of a "very busy 2020," the White House said.

    Trump, 73, made an unannounced visit Saturday afternoon to the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

    A source with knowledge of the matter told CNN that Trump's trip to Walter Reed was not on his schedule as of Friday. The White House declined to comment on when the trip was scheduled.

    "Anticipating a very busy 2020, the President is taking advantage of a free weekend here in Washington, D.C., to begin portions of his routine annual physical exam at Walter Reed," White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement.

     

     

    https://edition.cnn.com/2019/11/16/politics/trump-annual-physical-walter-reed/index.html

  4. Macro 4

    Just to remind ourselves just how corrupt this current US Administration is – a picture is worth a 1000 words.

    cartoon%20-%202019-03-27

  5. joe90 5

    https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1195462332358516737.html

  6. Adrian Thornton 6

    I get the fear and outright hatred Trump has brought out of so many people, he deserves most of it, but It's hard to watch people with whom I might not always agree with, but are obviously sincere on the 'Left' get so easily lead around by the nose by none other than the CIA and FBI. It has become so bad now that liberal news channels in the US now actually hire former intelligence officials like former CIA Director John Brennan (MSNBC) and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (CNN) to analyze the investigation.

    And now on a lazy Sunday afternoon in New Zealand on The Standard I see this Russia hysteria brought to you directly by the CIA, given more oxygen..

    ."All roads lead to Russia",

    " I mean why wouldn’t you be concerned if the Russians were able to manipulate the election result?"

    " During the campaign Trump did not seem to think that it was a problem.  After all the Russians were backing him."

    Maybe some of you need to watch The Power of Nightmares, The Rise of the Politics of Fear, again..no seriously you really do!

    Or for something more contemporary..

    Ukrainegate impeachment saga worsens US-Russia Cold War

     

     

    • Andre 6.1

      Yeah micky, whatever you do, don't mention the russians.

      Or fail to properly lay the blame for all that's wrong in the world at the door of the CIA and FBI.

  7. Adrian Thornton 7

    Andre, I am just wondering, have you ever thought in those quiet moments, (Sundays can often be a good time for this) that maybe you could to do a little bit of self reflection..I am saying this because I wouldn't want to see you ending up looking unhinged and out of touch like the establishment DNC and talking heads on liberal MSM, who quite openly and proudly have not spent any time what so ever self reflecting on their historic and embarrassing loss to Trump in 2016 or lately on having their whole Russiagate conspiracy theory crumble into a pile of dust around them..or are you really going to let them make a fool of you yet again with this pointless Ukrainegate that in your heart of hearts you know will go absolutely nowhere and will only help Trump in the end.

    Go on do it pal..do it for your own good….maybe just try saying this little mantra to yourself again and again until you start to feel the effects of your self induced hysteria slowly subside…."The Russians mean me no harm..The Russians mean me no harm"..go on try saying it out loud..empower yourself man!

    Русские не обидят тебя!

     

    • McFlock 7.1

      Well, if we're giving out advice, cool bananas. 

      I've always found a good rule of thumb is "the person with the most reliable view of things tends to be the one most capable of writing a short, coherent sentence".

       

      • Adrian Thornton 7.1.1

        OK my advice is..don't trust any adult that uses the term 'cool bananas' in a conversation with another adult, I don't know why, but it's just somehow not right.

    • Stuart Munro. 7.2

      How about you learn a mantra yourself Adrian.

      The CIA is the FSB is the MSS.

      None of them mean us well, nor, outside of certain limits, do the states that deploy them.

  8. Peter 8

    It's another seminal moment for the US. They honour, well, by words anyway, their Constitution, they regard it with some sanctity. Their Supreme Court and all the doings around that have a sort of Ten Commandments level of status. It seems their courts and legal systems have standing and studies of law and Colleges of law have history, gravitas  and honour. They see themselves a country of high ideals, principles and values.

    When it gets down to it though, if Trump should be deemed to be guilty of anything against the spirit of the Great Nation all that honour stuff, all the stuff about integrity, ethics, morals and principle will seemingly be down the toilet. Political partisanship will rule. That event will be another day America dies.

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    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
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
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    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
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    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
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    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
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    7 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
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    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
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
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    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 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
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    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 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
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    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
    2 weeks 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 ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
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    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
    5 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
    7 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
    17 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
    3 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago