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Open mike 03/03/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, March 3rd, 2020 - 66 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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

Step up to the mike …

66 comments on “Open mike 03/03/2020 ”

  1. Tiger Mountain 1

    So Weasel Pete has pulled out of the Presidential Primary race–nice one with hundreds of thousands of early votes already cast–no chance for those voters to transfer their vote, and Buttigeig supporters second pick was substantially…Sanders.

    It was not the “right” time, it was the tactical time to spoil as many potential Sanders votes as possible. He would not have lost money, his organisation was intact, he has let his supporters down.

    Of course it was positive having a gay man able to stand on the platform, would not have happened even 10 years ago, but “Mayor Pete” has a sneaky pysops background that he obviously uses in politics. And Ms Warren seems to be going down, it is perhaps the “right” time for her to stop–but she is staying in for now to again herd Bernie votes, her supporters second preference too is largely Sanders.

    What a contest.

    • AB 1.1

      And now Klobuchar is gone and will endorse Biden. The Democratic party establishment has decided that Biden is now viable and the donors have been giving their instructions to marginal candidates like Pete and Amy. Sh*t fight about to get double dirty.

    • Andre 1.2

      You got any evidence for your assertion that " Buttigeig supporters second pick was substantially…Sanders "? The numbers I've seen are that Sanders was second choice for around 20% of Buttigieg supporters. While that may be a plurality due to Buttigieg supporters evenly spreading among the other candidates for their second choice, it's not "substantially" going to Sanders.

      Of the polls I've seen on second choices, pretty much all second choice distributions were kinda evenly spread across the field. The only standout first choice-second choice pairings were Sanders-Warren and Biden-Bloomberg. But even among those pairings the second choice preference were only a weak pluralities, not a majority as you might expect if voters were choosing on policies and ideologies.

      https://morningconsult.com/2020-democratic-primary/

  2. A 2

    Ricky got his implant! So happy for him :_

    And BIG thank you to the anonymous donor x

    https://interactives.stuff.co.nz/2020/03/living-in-silence/

    • RedLogix 2.1

      My brother got a cochlear implant about 8 years ago; it transformed his life. I remember sitting at lunch with him one day, and when I grabbed a biscuit from it's packet, he winces and says "I never knew a plastic bag could be so damned noisy!"

      Not a lot of people know they were invented and developed here in Brisbane; one of the really good things Australia has done for the world.

      There is some controversy in the deaf community about the way the cochlear implant disrupts their rather remarkably vibrant and interesting community, but on the whole most people who get one don’t hand them back in. I’m not sure if funding is the big limitation, or patient suitability around a greater uptake. They aren’t cheap and the follow up adjustments and maintenance require skill techies to get right … but it is certainly incredibly good value for money from a purely expenditure pov.

  3. Wayne 3

    You would think that this close to Super Tuesday that candidates would make their decision after Tuesday, not a couple of days before. Buttigeig and Klobuchar must think it essential that their voters are freed to make other choices. However Buttigeig did not indicate who that person should be.

    So it is fundamentally down to Sanders and Biden. Warren and Bloomberg have no chance.

    Naturally Standardnistas will prefer Sanders. But I reckon Trump would beat Sanders in most circumstances. Of course Trump might also beat Biden, especially if Biden preformed badly in the debates.

    • Andre 3.1

      As always, there's Congress to consider as well. I think it's entirely plausible that Sanders could win election to the Oval Office entirely out of disgust with Darth Drumpf, but there would also be a resurgence in split-ticket voting to ensure the Senate and maybe even the House would be in Repug hands. Specifically to tie Bernie's hands.

    • Adrian Thornton 3.2

      Not quite sure what you are talking about here pal…" Naturally Standardnistas will prefer Sanders. But I reckon Trump would beat Sanders in most circumstances. Of course Trump might also beat Biden, especially if Biden preformed badly in the debates."

      1. Sanders has been showing he beats Trump in nearly all nation wide polls for at least 12 months..

      https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2020/president/us/general_election_trump_vs_sanders-6250.html

      2. Biden under most circumstances can't string a coherent sentence together and often looks like a deer caught in the headlights on stage..against Trump (really!) you can't deny he is a very good off the cuff debater, will in short order make Biden look lie the senile old man that he actually is.

      I would put up links od Biden displaying obvious signs of senility, but why bother, anyone with even the slightest bit of self honestly would be aware of this sad fact already.

    • aj 3.3

      Trump – Biden would be a competition between two quite inarticulate people. Sanders can at least string an argument together, although that may not help win debates for him.

      • Adrian Thornton 3.3.1

        Personally I wouldn't write off trump so dismissively, have you actually watched some of his full off the cuff interviews or speeches, and not just the sound bites feed to us by our liberal media?

        I have and I can tell you he can be really funny, super quick witted and play an audience like a pro.

        Only a fool underestimates the strength of their enemy.

        • aj 3.3.1.1

          Yes, careless word, I agree. He has smart repartee honed down well. He's just so random at times when he is unscripted that you wonder if he knows what he's saying next. But for sure when there is an audience he changes gear. He's playing to his base in most of these situations. In fact in debates he's framing responses with his base in mind all the time when there are cameras present. That's what makes him so cunning. Yesterday I watched one of his 2020 election adverts, a full 5 minutes. It was chilling – very effective; railing against the same elite he’s part of, yet making himself sound like a champion for the other 99%

          And that's why Bernie is the only contender who could match him in debates in my opinion. He's the legitimate caretaker of the 99% not the fake.

          • Adrian Thornton 3.3.1.1.1

            Yes I completely agree that Sanders is the only one who could best him in a debate, however what I am not sure about is whether the establishment DNC/Media would not rather lose to Trump than win with Sanders, the equivalent centrist liberals in the UK showed that that is an option they are prepared to take to defend their liberal ideology and power structures.

        • Peter 3.3.1.2

          How great that the American President is really funny, super quick witted and plays an audience like a pro.

          How sad the qualities a country and the world needs from an American President are not those ones.

    • McFlock 3.4

      Ditching just before Super Tuesday is maximises the favours you get from the winner, especially if you endorse the candidate who wins. If you're sure you're not going to get anywhere, bowing out with grace means people still like you. Cabinet posts, party posts, funding for other campaigns, that sort of thing.

      The trick is to maximise your benefit to them – bow out too early, you were a timewasting nobody. Bow out too late, you were an arsehole who harmed the winner by delaying the inevitable and running a damaging campaign.

      Bloomberg will probably ditch after ST, if he gets pummelled enough. Sure, he's set aside $Xbillion for the campaign regardless, but I reckon even he knows he's screwed. It just needs to be spelled out for him clearly.

      • Adrian Thornton 3.4.1

        You could be right, it is looking a lot like the DNC party faithful are circling the wagons around Biden at the expense of Bloomberg..man the whole centrist thing has turned into a real freak show, it would be quite funny to watch if the stakes for the rest of the world weren't so high.

        • McFlock 3.4.1.1

          Biden was always the safe option – lifelong democrat, strongly associated with their previous successful president.

          However, Jeb Bush started in a similar position.

          Bloomberg basically makes no bones about substituting popular support for cash. I think he's discovered the limit of the hubris of wealth, and fundamentally misunderstood why dolt45 got the nom in 2016.

          • Adrian Thornton 3.4.1.1.1

            .."However, Jeb Bush started in a similar position." yeah and Bush wasn't obviously suffering from some sort of age related mental deterioration, which bizarrely (sort of like the kings new clothes) no one in the US media wants to tackle out right…like I said earlier, the moderate DNC runners are starting to look like a real freak show….but then I guess it's anyone but Bernie at this point for them…they would probably run a dead dog now if push came to shove!

            • McFlock 3.4.1.1.1.1

              obviously suffering from some sort of age related mental deterioration

              I'd never vote for him in a primary, but I'd trust Biden's recollections and perceptions over yours any day of the week.

              • Adrian Thornton

                Man what a weird reply, I mean what the fuck has that got to do with anything I said?, are you saying that you can't see that Biden is obviously suffering some sort of age related cognitive deterioration?

                You should think before you type maybe, or are you like Trump..just operating straight from your lizard brain, well that is what that reply reads like anyway.

                • McFlock

                  are you saying that you can't see that Biden is obviously suffering some sort of age related cognitive deterioration?

                  I'm saying exactly that. Is he the sharpest tack in the box? Possibly not. Is he suffering from any defect other than being in the public eye for maybe twelve hours a day during a pretty tough campaign road trip? Possibly not.

                  But, and let me be clear on this, even if I thought Biden were suffering from some for of long term cognitive impairment, I'd still trust Biden's recollections and perceptions over yours any day of the week.

                  • Adrian Thornton

                    Wow that is actually quite amazing to me that you can't see something so obvious, but maybe you haven't had much to do with old people?….anyway I can tell you this, I spend about five years travelling around New Zealand tracking down old cycle racers and interviewing them.

                    The age group ranged from about 65-95 yo, over that time I became very familiar with the different stages of mental deterioration in old men, and I can tell you with 100% certainty that Biden is not in good mental shape.

                    In fact two of my friends I made over those years have only recently passed away, both from dementia, a very sad condition thats for sure.

                    BTW I have no idea why you keep keep on saying "I'd still trust Biden's recollections and perceptions over yours any day of the week." grow up man, can't we have a serious conversation without dropping that kind of stupid shit into it?…why do that?

                    • Andre

                      Aren't you the guy that posted just a day or two ago about how articulate and witty Don Dementia is?

                      Y'know, the dude that comes out with stuff like this when asked about a coronavirus response:

                      I think the financial markets are very upset when they look at the Democrat candidates standing on that stage make fools out of themselves, and they say, "If we ever have a president like this" — and there's always a possibility, it's an election, you know, who knows what happens? I think we're going to win, I think we're going to win by a lot — but when they look at statements made by the people standing behind those podiums, I think that has a huge effect.

                      https://www.salon.com/2020/02/27/we-face-an-emergency–and-mainstream-media-is-covering-up-trumps-alarming-incoherence/

                      edit: also https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/sep/20/as-a-foreign-reporter-visiting-the-us-i-was-stunned-by-trumps-press-conference

                    • McFlock

                      I don't care what experience you think you have.

                      You're making shit up based on media reports in a pretty hard campaign that's only going to get worse. I get that you don't like Biden, but either you know you're going out on a limb with your diagnosis or you have so much cognitive bias you genuinely can't imagine why someone might not see any basis for your assessment. Either way, I'd believe him over you.

                      Why make it personal? You made it personal when you chose to use something that affects many people and their families just for some interwebs pointscoring. And I'm really, really toning it down.

                      Edit: yeah, I say shit about dolt45. He’s a bullshitter. What I tend to avoid is diagnosing him and then finding it incomprehensible that someone might disagree with my internet reckons. That’s what you did in this thread.

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      "But, and let me be clear on this, even if I thought Biden were suffering from some for [sic] of long term cognitive impairment, I'd still trust Biden's recollections and perceptions over yours any day of the week."

                      That reply, with all it implies, is disappointingly personal. 'Smart' and 'blinkered' are not mutually exclusive.

                      "I confess that there are several parts of this constitution which I do not at present approve, but I am not sure I shall never approve them. For having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obliged by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise. It is therefore that the older I grow, the more apt I am to doubt my own judgment, and to pay more respect to the judgment of others." (1787) Benjamin Franklin

                    • McFlock

                      OK, change "Biden" to "Sanders" in the previous few comments and then look at who is "blinkered".

                    • Drowsy M. Kram

                      "Blinkered is as blinkered does." wink

      • Wayne 3.4.2

        I certainly can see Buttigeig being Secretary of State in a Biden administration. And that could position him well in a future presidential contest.

        • Andre 3.4.2.1

          Buttigieg as Secretary of State? What do you see in his background and qualifications that would make him suitable for that?

          About the only thing even vaguely foreign-policy related I'm aware of is his tour of duty in Afghanistan.

  4. Observer Tokoroa 4

    Getting the Job Done

    Just grabbing a moment while Gosman is not hogging a hundred lines or two,

    I am amazed at how many homes have been built – and are being built – between Wellington and Northland.

    The normal Kiwis have set about meeting the housing crisis from the moment the present Government opened for business. Merely two years past.

    Sir John Key built ONE SINGLE HOUSE in his nine years of flag mongering. Sir William English built nothing other than attending to his southland sooky staff.

    During the same period of time Fletchers Ltd, have shat their britches backwards and forwards. As well as setting fire to A Convention Centre. Hopeless.

    And Fonterra handed out a fabulous 8.32 Million $ for a year of slow work by a slow Dutchman.

    There would have been no Housing crisis if Key and English and the Beautiful Paula had done a bit of work.

    Nine lazy dumb years – given to us by Act and Smational.

    • Adrian Thornton 4.1

      I have seen some of the (so called) affordable home that have just been built around the corner from me here in Marewa, they are without doubt the shittest looking homes that I have ever seen built in New Zealand, squashed together like sardine cans, I would give them 12-18 months before they look like the ghetto that they will inevitably become…oh yeah and you need to pay $350,000 + interest to have the privilege to own one of those pieces of shit just to add insult to injury.

      The irony is that these piece of shit homes are built right beside existing state homes from the 1950's-60's that are only just starting to have their tile roofs replaced after 70 years of service, there is no way these (so called) "affordable houses" will even still be standing in 70 years.

      But that is Free market Liberalism for you…always always short-termism , no long term vision what so ever…and to think some people think these same idiots can help stem climate change, what a sad position we now find ourselves in, Labour, whom are pointless and no one really knows what they stand for or believe, but I am supposed to get excited because they are better than National…that's how low the bar is now for Labour, please just be better than the other political party of fucking psychopaths..

      • gsays 4.1.1

        Yes, this race-to-the-bottom, market driven, housing shenanagins is the best argument for a reboot of Ministry of Works.

        Have the state build and manage housing stock.

        Makes so much sense, unless there were a bunch of landlords overseeing things…..

        • Adrian Thornton 4.1.1.1

          Yep you hit the nail right on the head there…."Makes so much sense, unless there were a bunch of landlords overseeing things….."

  5. Ad 5

    Klobuchar out and endorsing Biden.

  6. Adrian Thornton 6

    Class: The Little Word the Elites Want You to Forget

    Chris Hedges;

    "Aristotle, Niccolò Machiavelli, Alexis de Tocqueville, Adam Smith and Karl Marx grounded their philosophies in the understanding that there is a natural antagonism between the rich and the rest of us. The interests of the rich are not our interests. The truths of the rich are not our truths. The lives of the rich are not our lives. Great wealth not only breeds contempt for those who do not have it but it empowers oligarchs to pay armies of lawyers, publicists, politicians, judges, academics and journalists to censure and control public debate and stifle dissent"

    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/class-the-little-word-the-elites-want-you-to-forget/

  7. Muttonbird 7

    Farrar watch:

    David is all over the place today. You could probably count on one hand the times he has used a swear word on his forum over the past 5 years but today he said, "the fucking Prime Minister".

    This was because Jacinda Ardern won't sack Shane Jones for racist comments about Indian students.

    But then two posts later Farrar uses quotes from Jones with which to attack the government on light rail. He’d forgiven Jones already, or perhaps it was just convenient…

    You can't have it both ways, David!

    • Peter 7.1

      Farrar doesn't want Jones sacked for making racist comments. Farrar doesn't call Jacinda Ardern the 'fucking Prime Minister" because she won't sack Shane Jones for racist comments.

      Farrar wants them all sacked and all looking bad because they are in power and National isn't. Using that particular language?

      You can count on the fingers of one foot the number of times I've ever used certain language about Farrar. Farrar is just being a fucking drama queen.

    • Sacha 7.2

      You can't have it both ways, David!

      Professional gymnast. Whichever way the money and power flow..

  8. Observer Tokoroa 8

    Do not build Houses- Implies the great Nationalist Adrian Thornton

    He knowingly promotes Act and National – who built nothing! Other than 1 house.

    Absolutely nothing. – Key – English – Paula – Each of them Failures.

    You are a man of great wealth Adrian – why don't You build great houses. !

    Cut the F…ck- and Shit – and yuck. Thanks

    [If you address a specific comment, please use the reply button. In any case, you’re barking up the wrong tree and way off the mark with your personal attack. Please tone it down and an apology wouldn’t go astray – Incognito]

  9. Ed1 9

    Auckland public transport has been a problem for years, and options for 'solving' the problems are not easy to resolve. This is a good article:

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/119863249/government-splits-three-ways-on-light-rail-as-more-details-emerge-of-dramatic-super-fund-plan

    It sets out some of the reasons for the problems (largely the increase in immigrants from the Key/English Government, while doing as little as possible about housing and transport), but I am concerned that the possibility is even being considered of adopting a "PPP" structure for a large project. There have been enough PPPs fall over that it should be a requirement that the government keeps on its books for any PPP a contingent liability with a realistic probability of being called to cover the costs of taking over a project. The article sets out why a PPP is effectively a means to transfer money from government to a private supplier. We have a number of large construction projects to compare; nine years of National treating everything as a means of creating private profit. The expressways have not all been unqualified successes – problems with surfaces mean that work on the Kapiti coast is still continuing. By contrast, the urgent need to restore the coastal highway from Kaikoura to Marlborough happened too quickly for such a heavy contractual process – much of the engineering was worked out as the project developed; much was on a labour and materials basis, and it was much closer to an old MoW type of project contractually; and worked better than most had expected.

    If our government cannot afford a project, they can even less afford to borrow at higher cost to pay someone else large profits to do it for us. For Labour to criticise such rorts in future, it is important that they not índulge themselves – a future right wing government would see that as an endorsement by the left for subsidising overseas companies . . ..

  10. swordfish 10

    Given that COVID-19 spread is unavoidable now & the elderly are going to be hit particularly hard (more likely to be infected / more susceptible to a severe case requiring hospitalisation / and, unfortunately, more likely to die from the disease) …

    May be time to start encouraging the over-60s to voluntarily stay at home / "self-isolate" for the next 2 or so months (while ensuring in a well-organised, methodical way that they have enough food & other essential supplies available for this period).

    Cut down the number of severe cases / chances of hospitals being overwhelmed / needless death.

    • McFlock 10.1

      At least wait until there is a local outbreak – 2 months in isolation then 6 months of the actual outbreak will drive people batty with cabin fever, if they're used to getting out and about.

      • swordfish 10.1.1

        .
        Already seeing the very early stages of an outbreak here … hate to say it but we might expect the first death to occur in 3-4 weeks time (based on the average days elapsed between first confirmed case-to- first death in those Countries that have already experienced an outbreak) … will probably reach a peak somewhere between mid-April & mid-May – the point when hospitals / medical services / supplies are in greatest danger of being overwhelmed … unless we can slow its progress with far more urgent & decisive action than we've seen to date.

        People with the virus are highly infectious during the initial 1-2 week pre-symptomatic stage + 80% go on to experience relatively mild symptoms (a segment will be completely asymptomatic) = silent spread going on as we speak. Look at the experience of other Countries … the idea that we only have one or two people infected and that this thing has been fully contained in New Zealand … borders on the ludicrous.

        It's the 20% who experience a more severe / acute illness that we need to worry about … and they are disproportionately older & (or) have co-morbidities like diabetes, chronic lung disease, hypertension & heart disease. It could be that the outbreak only becomes fully visible when unusually large numbers of (mainly older) people start presenting to hospitals with acute respiratory distress syndrome. It won't take much for hospitals to be overwhelmed & unable to cope with demand … & then we'll see much greater mortality.

        Western Countries in general have been far too lackadaisical … reactive rather than proactive. The complete lack of foresight & urgency has been astonishing to witness.

        • pat 10.1.1.1

          That medical services would be easily overwhelmed is apparent but the question remains what is the alternative expectation?

          There is no realistic chance of excluding this new virus from NZ even if we attempted a full lockdown of the border, which would itself cause far more social and health problems than the virus….it will run its course. we will do what we can and yes, some will likely die…as happens every day.

          Governments (or the human race) are (is) not omnipotent despite what we like to believe.

    • mac1 10.2

      The concern has to be more than just age, surely?

      What are the factors that put some people at more risk of 'needless death' from this virus?

      "More likely". How much more? And why?

      Has Grey Power responded to these recent events?

      Have gerontologists or geriatricians pronounced?

      • joe90 10.2.1

        Medical scientist with a background in developing anti-viral drugs.

      • swordfish 10.2.2

        High Risk COVID-19 Demographics (for infection / severe or acute form / death):

        Older (over 60 … & esp over 80)

        Co-morbidities like diabetes, chronic lung disease, hypertension & heart disease.

        Male (not for initial infection but possibly for severe form & death … appears to be roughly 60/40 M vs F)

        Smoker (possibly)

        I mean, the odds are still clearly in favour of a good outcome for those in these demographics infected with the virus – I don't want to alarm anyone – but, as you might expect, a larger minority will experience poorer outcomes compared to younger / healthier cohorts.

        Note: By "needless death" … I simply meant lives that would otherwise be saved if hospitals (under the potential scenario discussed) weren't suddenly overwhelmed with demand.

  11. observer 11

    Yet another example of why the change of government really mattered …

    Pregnant women no longer criminals in NZ – another step closer

    It's not only about votes in Parliament. It's about setting the agenda.

    PMs English and Bridges would never have gone there.

    • Peter 11.1

      Yeah, compared to them Key was bold. He was inspirational, he was a true leader. He went to the flag.

  12. Jimmy 12

    Well I hope this guy gets a hefty sentence. What a cruel bastard.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12313564

  13. Observer Tokoroa 13

    To: Adrian Thornton

    It has been suggested that I should apologise to you for my comment in which I raised the big rise in Housing in the past two years.

    You were of the view that the new houses where you have been and seen are "Fucking Shit" and will not survive for very long.

    I do apolologise for offending you in any way that I did. I did draw attention to the fact that the National Government did not build but one house in nine years of Office.

    I withdraw my idea that you might care to build a really good house. I apologise for that too.

    Finally, I was Banned by Incognito for a whole six months and I am out of touch. Prior to that Ban my record was not perfect, but well enough received.

    As I see it – Building Houses now is much more imperative right now – than chatting about Housing built many decades ago.

    Please advise me if that is wrongful. May I repeat my Apology and withdraw any thing that offended you.

    • Muttonbird 13.1

      Nice work, OT.

      I'm not much of an apologiser so you've done better than I would have been able to.

      yes

      • Observer Tokoroa 13.1.1

        Thanks Muttonbird.

        I appreciate your "here and now" sense of reality.

        As for me, I did try to practice walking on egg shells during my Banning, while the Standard flew across the Seven Oceans, and across every Nation of the Globe – as well as the great Great possessions of the Trump Organ.

        For me – I like The Standard to work through the "here and now" of New Zealand needs and Targets.

        Weka – seems to me to keep close to what we can do – and how we might better achieve our Targets. A recent NZ Farming Article was very good.

  14. pat 14

    Doing something for the sake of it….the markets further demonstrate their irrationality

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/mar/03/reserve-bank-of-australia-cuts-interest-rates-to-record-low-05-amid-coronavirus-concerns

    Covid 19 impacts will not be addressed by a rate cut….it is a supply issue

  15. SHG 15

    Inquiry into the Treasury’s Budget related Information Security Systems

    Finding summary: the 2019 Budget leak was 100% Treasury's fault.

    • observer 15.1

      "When what has occurred is revealed, Grant Robertson will need to resign." (Simon Bridges, May 28).

      Hello? Simon? Still there? Hello? Why the silence now?

      Opposition 101: If you shout "Resign", you should really mean it. Otherwise you just spend your credibility for no gain.

      Simon's homework: read Boy Who Cried Wolf.

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