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Open mike 06/02/2020

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, February 6th, 2020 - 126 comments
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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 …

126 comments on “Open mike 06/02/2020”

  1. Andre 1

    Iowa is still only around 71% of the precincts reporting. Buttigieg and Sanders still neck and neck with around 25% each.

    For Sanders, that's about half the vote share he got in 2016.  Which tells us his remarkable numbers in 2016 weren't indicative of a strong movement or actual support for him. It simply showed the large numbers of "anyone but Hillary" that had no other plausible outlet to express that view.

    • Adrian Thornton 1.1

      The Good News…

      Noam Chomsky: 'The Neoliberal Order Is Visibly Collapsing'

      https://www.truthdig.com/articles/noam-chomsky-the-neoliberal-order-is-visibly-collapsing/

    • Adrian Thornton 1.2

      DNC Loses Public Trust in Primary Process on Very First Day

      It doesn’t actually matter anymore who really won Iowa at this point; the damage is already done, writes Caitlin Johnstone.

      https://consortiumnews.com/2020/02/05/dnc-loses-public-trust-in-primary-process-on-very-first-day/

      • Dennis Frank 1.2.1

        "Iowan Democratic Party chairs started telling media that the unspecified ‘issues’ we’d heard about earlier on in the evening, were to do with the app refusing to send proper numbers on down the chain to the Party HQ; and, when they’d resorted to the old-fashioned means and mechanisms of calling up HQ to manually report their results, they were being hung up on. Or facing spiraling delays. Or both."  https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2020/02/06/chaos-in-the-caucuses-iowa-democrats-corn-app-a-real-bad-dud/

        "In a manner similar to how the gabion [a rock-filled wire-mesh cage placed on shorelines as a countermeasure to erosion] disrupts the force of the onrushing wave by dissipating it off up into the small stones, rather than letting it pound forth at the cliff face behind directly … so, too, will the sweeping spray of Sanders find itself diffused amidst all the swirling detritus that’s been distributed via this sudden storm."

        Yep, definitely the most elegant expression of the DNC mastermind thesis thus far!  "Another way you could look at it, I suppose, would be observing the rapidly intensifying Bern, and then attempting to douse it with a smothering spurt of foam, drastically reducing its inflow of oxygen, even if only temporarily. Gives you time to rally other resources to do a more comprehensive job later on down the line, and tries to prevent it going into any further contests any bigger and Bern-ier than it already is. If nothing else, it gives you more time to work out how to spin the actual results coming out of Iowa, while everybody waits for the official count to be released".  How many days we bin waiting already?  I've lost count…

    • Dennis Frank 1.3

      "Terry Pratchett once sagely observed that in Politics, “transparency” has two meanings – like a window, as in you can see right through it … or like the air, as in you can’t see it at all). Instead, the whole thing’s kinda occluded. Almost as if there were some sort of “Shadow” looming large across our visionary skein."  https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2020/02/06/chaos-in-the-caucuses-iowa-democrats-corn-app-a-real-bad-dud/

      "That “Shadow”, of course, isn’t just one sub-standard tech-outfit (no matter how earnest it’s been about providing “a permanent advantage for progressive campaigns and causes through technology.”); nor, for that matter, is it the absolute greaseberg of hairy ‘rough optics’ connections tying said app and its developers/owners back to Buttigieg, or even to Hillary Clinton herself; all laid out on company or personal websites and twitter profiles for any and all to see."

      "What it is, is a pervasive and sweeping sense of malaise. That “we’ve been down this road before”, as … entails a steady dwindling of hope at prospects for the future – a gradual drawing down of not just ‘activist’, but ‘mass’ enthusiasm for the concept that Change [possibly accompanied by Hope] is even possible."

      Establishment must defend itself against invading barbarians by whatever means are available.  Fair or foul, doesn't matter.

      • Andre 1.3.1

        Wow, that's brought out a whole lot of conspiracy-mongering to divert from the original point: Sanders' support level this time around is about half what it was last time.

        What we're seeing now is probably a much better indication of the actual level of support for Sanders and his proposals, compared to last time around, where he was wildly inflated by dislike of the only alternative.

        • Nic the NZer 1.3.1.1

          Andre, you like to style yourself as an intelligent guy and yet here you are claiming candidates should gather the same amount of votes in two different elections with different numbers of candidates participating and supporting different policy proposals.

    • McFlock 1.4

      In 2016 it was him split with HRC, no further candidates.

      In 2020 there are five candidates, and he got over a quarter of the vote and leads the pack.

       

       

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Opportunities Party leader Geoff Simmons: "capitalism definitely needs an overhaul, but we shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Here are ten reasons why."

    1. We don’t have a viable alternative

    5. We can make capitalism work better

    6. We need to offer a hopeful future

    7. We need innovation and new technologies

    10. Returning to the land is nonsense

    The others weren't interesting enough to cite.  "I believe we should focus on pushing for cultural – some might call it spiritual – change. The changes needed to save our environment and enable a just transition are entirely possible with a few rational reforms to our existing system. The real challenge is to get society to truly embrace them."  https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/06-02-2020/scrapping-capitalism-to-save-the-environment-heres-why-that-wont-work/

    • Robert Guyton 2.1

      "Opportunities Party leader Geoff Simmons: "capitalism definitely needs an overhaul, but let's not do it"

      fify

      • Dennis Frank 2.1.1

        Well, to be fair, he offers a pointer or two.  "We need a new kind of capitalism that focuses our creative capacity on doing more with less."  "One of the best ways to do that is through incentives."

        He's right that protesting has failed.  I've often made that point here too.  Sad to see the photo of the young marxist doing exactly what I saw when I was at uni.  Progress in the half-century since = zero.

        However his reform agenda does come across as rather lame.  There's no real difference between it and what the Greens have been promoting for an entire generation!  In fact our prescription still goes further than his.  His chosen role seems to be that of a sheepdog who directs sheep by barking gently at them. 

      • RedLogix 2.1.2

        @Robert

        First up an apology for one of my comments to you last week. I made my case with unnecessary force and that was a mistake. 

        I strongly believe that we will save nature by not using it. This is already an obvious pattern, those parts of the world that do remain as wilderness are the mountains, deserts and marginal lands that we have not been able to put to economic use.

        Yet at the same time we do highly value them for aesthetic and spiritual reasons. We protect the most spectacular of them as parks, and we're slowly getting better at protecting non-human species for their own sake. While deforestation remains a problem in some parts of the world, in others where agriculture has become more efficient, much land is now regenerating back to wilderness.

        Humans will never entirely sever their connection with nature, indeed the more we live in cities, the more our relationship with the wild world shifts from exploitation, to appreciation. (On a personal note, it always struck me that the keenest trampers I knew were mostly city people. Their daily immersion in the metropolis only intensified their desire to visit the hills.)

        I fully accept you are bringing a non-technological viewpoint to this discussion … it's my strong desire to find constructive interplay between what we are both saying. A yin-yang interdependence if you wish.

        • Robert Guyton 2.1.2.1

          Accepted, RedLogix, and I readily acknowledge the perils of commenting on blogs on issues that are nuanced. Recently, I've been reading and listening to Natasha Meyers, Associate Professor  in the Department of Anthropology at York University, director of the Plant Studies Collaboratory, convener of the Politics of Evidence Working Group, co-founder of Toronto’s Technoscience Salon, and the Write2Know Project. She's talking about issues that are consuming my attention at present and it might be that her ideas and research interest you also. You talk about photosynthesis a lot, as does she, only your views are "somewhat at odds" – I find myself cheering her on, though she seems not to need encouragement. I have in fact, begun corresponding with her, via email, about her findings and sharing my own"forest garden" based learnings also. At the core of my belief and behaviour is the idea that, to rephrase your, "we will save nature by not using it", she will save us if we listen to her smiley

    • Sanctuary 2.2

      "Opportunities Party" lol

    • bwaghorn 2.3

      He speaks a language I understand . And top doesn't come with that underlying antipathy towards rural nz that I feel from labour and the greens . (Not all lefties are anti but its there)

  3. Robert Guyton 3

    Route open from Invercargill to Dunedin

     

    Southland is no longer isolated with an access route between Invercargill and Dunedin open for light traffic.

     

    While several roads around Mataura remain closed, an available route can be accessed from SH1 north of Edendale for light vehicles only. Follow Pioneer Highway to Brydone-Glencoe Road and then Te Tipua School Road to Te Tipua before turning left onto Waimumu Road and taking it through to Gore. Travelers can then connect with SH1 from Gore to Dunedin. 

     

    This detour is not available for heavy traffic, in particular HPMV.

     

    News of the route opening will be met with relief after flooding throughout the region left many stranded, including motorcyclists venturing south for the annual Burt Munro Challenge and southerners attending the Elton John concert in Dunedin last night.

     

    Police advise motorists to proceed with caution and not travel unless it is necessary. Roads will be monitored and could potentially close again if the conditions change.

     

    Creative thinking lessens impact on Wyndham

     

    Some creative thinking by engineers in the early 1980s may have helped lessen the impact on Wyndham and other rural settlements along the flooded Mataura River today.

     

    Peaks downstream from Mataura had been predicted to peak at 2740 cumecs at Wyndham at 3.20pm today, equating to roughly 4.2 metres above the river’s normal level, and 1.8 metres above the level of the 2.4-metre floodbanks.

     

    However, in reality the peak flow never rose higher than the floodbanks, rising to 2370 cumecs and 3.9m above normal at 2.50pm.

     

    Cumecs recorded at other sites on the Mataura River were 2500 at Gore at 12.50pm and 2774 at Mataura at 1.20pm.

     

    We believe the peaks have gone past but a full assessment of the river and surrounding areas needs to be completed in the morning. Residents need to stay safe where they are until alerted by Emergency Mangement Southland tomorrow that the cordon has been lifted.

     

    Local marae to assist those stranded

    Local marae have opened their doors to people misplaced by the Southland floodwaters.

    Murihiku Marae and Nga Hauewha Marae are providing emergency shelter and food for anyone who needs a place to stay.

    Numerous roads throughout the Southland region remain closed.

    Motorists heading south to Invercargill from Queenstown are advised to remain in Winton as SH6 at Makarewa Junction is closed due to flooding. The Presbyterian Church is open for shelter, information and tea/coffee.  

    ENDS

     

     

    This release has been issued by Louise Pagan, Duty Public Information Manager on the authority of the Southland Civil Defence Emergency Management Group Controller Mark Crowe.

    Contact Louise Pagan, Duty Public Information Manager, ph 03 2115442

    Website: http://www.cdsouthland.nz

  4. Sanctuary 4

    Jacinda Arderns government has given a political master in the past few weeks. At Waitangi she has utterly wiped the floor with angry Soymon from accounts. Any hope National had of the Maori party becoming a force in the next election have been destroyed. Bridge’s sole political strategy appears to be to use a deluge of Topsham Geurin style fake news and dirty politics to somehow engineer an election outcome where National can govern alone on 45% of the vote.

    It is almost as if his enemies inside the National caucus are sitting back and letting him commit political suicide.

    • Incognito 4.1

      It is almost as if his enemies inside the National caucus are sitting back and letting him commit political suicide.

      What unites them is their desperate desire to win back power. I reckon Bridges will be toast if they don’t get to form/lead the next Government.

      • McFlock 4.1.1

        I reckon at least a couple of them reckon they can be the 11th-hour leadership change that miracles national to victory, like Ardern did replacing Little. But none of them represent the change in energy thast Ardern had from Little and English (not even the gender thing – they were both steady-talking, considered, careful campaigners with little energy, Ardern mixed it up a notch).

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Trump gives power to the people!  Indirectly:  "The Trump administration is relocating large parts of the federal government away from Washington DC, and they’re not going elsewhere in the bicoastal bubble of privilege—they’re moving to flyover country."

    "Two of the main bureaus of the Department of Agriculture, for example, will soon be moving to the Kansas City area, while the Bureau of Land Management is heading for Grand Junction, Colorado.  That’s fiscally prudent—office space costs a lot less in Kansas City and Grand Junction than it does in Washington DC—and it also makes much more sense to put the Department of Agriculture in the middle of farm country and the Bureau of Land Management out west, where most federal lands are located."

    "Yet the political implications are lost on no one inside the Beltway.  When the eager young people who show up for their first day of work at the Department of Agriculture come from farm-belt schools rather than the Ivy League, a tectonic shift in the landscape of American power will have been accomplished."  https://www.ecosophia.net/the-end-of-the-dream/

    • Sanctuary 5.1

      John Greer is just another crackpot (he styles himself an occult druid of some sort) that comes from what seems to be an endless production line in the USA, generated by the American style of paranoia. A right winger with a vague chip on his shoulder and who thinks their is some sort of elite conspiracy going on to rob ordinary Joes of their due. Any opinion he offers has to be taken with an enormous pinch of salt.

      • RedLogix 5.1.1

        Again unwilling to address the comment you attack the messenger. This and a florid turn of rant seem to be most of what you have these days. 

  6. Dennis Frank 6

    Liberals are the masters of the bullshit economy – the Clintons merely function as cheerleaders.  https://prospect.org/politics/bullshit-economy-iowa-caucus-disaster/

    "Shadow is a subsidiary of ACRONYM, a non-profit with lots of connections to the Democratic consultancy, including veterans of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and David Plouffe, the Obama campaign manager who sits on the ACRONYM board. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes asked Plouffe on a late-night panel about his participation, and as he swiveled in his chair uncomfortably he disclaimed any knowledge of Shadow or the app."

    "Similarly, ACRONYM issued a statement positioning themselves as a mere investor in Shadow, without knowledge of their inner workings. But last year, ACRONYM announced they were “launching” Shadow, as part of an effort to help Democrats “win” the Internet and run better campaigns. The head of ACRONYM, Tara McGowan, is married to a Pete Buttigieg strategist."

    "All this doublespeak is a hallmark of the bullshit economy. Your mind doesn’t have to travel to the nether regions of conspiracy, but you can hardly blame people for doing so. This is reflective of the rolling incompetence covered by confidence within the modern economy, especially when you sprinkle on the labor-saving promise of techtopia. When the bullshit economy fails, it robs people's belief in the basic bargain of commerce, the idea that you get what you pay for, that companies operate in good faith to provide quality service. But when placed in contact with politics, it just demolishes faith in the system. The bullshit economy spurs distrust."

  7. millsy 7

    Let's hope Jacinda's day at Waitangi isn't her last as PM.

  8. Cinny 8

    Crickey, mitt romney intends to cross the floor, here's hoping more follow.

    Democrats praise Romney

    Moments after Republican Senator Mitt Romney made the surprise announcement that he would break from party ranks and vote to convict the president on the abuse of power article of impeachment, Democrats took to Twitter in praise of the move. 

    https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/02/trump-impeachment-trial-day-13-latest-updates-200204183046952.html

    Al Jazeera is currently streaming the impeachment


    • Andre 8.1

      That vote makes Romney the first senator ever to vote for convicting a president from their own party.

      In Clinton's trial, 10 Repugs voted not guilty for perjury, and 5 voted not guilty for obstruction.

      It's also a little bit surprising no Dems cracked and voted not guilty, the likes of Jones and Manchin would have had really difficult calculations determining which way was best for their electoral prospects.

      And when it comes to profiles in hypocrisy, there's 28 sitting senators that were in Congress for Clinton's impeachment. Here's a brief then-and-now for them all:

      https://www.businessinsider.com.au/current-senators-who-were-at-clinton-impeachment-2020-1?r=US&IR=T

  9. mosa 9

    The Iowa caucus vote was rigged  The Hill.



     

    Bernie ahead in New Hampshire.

    What dirty tricks will be used in the next primary vote ?

    • Wayne 9.1

      All the upcoming primaries are by ballot not caucuses. So it is about who has the best campaign and most appealing message. 

      Can Biden recover? Probably not.
      The momentum is all with Buttigieg. Can he beat Trump. Probably. I think the US is tired of the bitter partisanship. Buttigieg, unlike Sanders, offers a more appealing message for voters, just like Obama did. 

      I reckon it will come down to either Buttigieg or Warren.

       

  10. Andre 10

    Here's a fairly concise backgrounder on Ukraine corruption and how Manafort, Burisma, Hunter Biden and others moved amongst the thoroughly rotten Ukrainians at the top.

    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2020/02/ukraine-impeachment-trump-journalism-yanukovych/

  11. Dennis Frank 11

    Trump acquittal:  https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/05/politics/senate-impeachment-trial-vote-acquittal/index.html

    "Mitt Romney, a Utah Republican, found the President guilty of abuse of power, becoming the first senator in US history to vote to remove from office a president from the same party."

    “Romney was the sole Republican to vote to convict the President on the first article of impeachment, abuse of power, joining with all Senate Democrats in a 52-48 not guilty vote. Romney voted with Republicans against the obstruction of Congress charge, which fell along straight party lines, 53-47 for acquittal. The acquittal verdict was the final act of a four-month impeachment”

  12. Muttonbird 12

    One thing I'm really enjoying about Waitangi Day of late is the increased goodwill among the many, and the decreased voice of the disruptors, both from lone activists and from the lone National Party.

    The Prime Minister is doing what a leader should do in bringing people together and I detect a significant drowning out and ridicule of the usual anti-Maori right wing of New Zealand.

    However, as the crucible of gammon rage grows ever smaller it grows ever hotter. Witness the red-faced impotent shrieks from the nut jobs that the PM would include her family in what should be a family occasion.

    Good times ahead.

  13. Andre 13

    UK moves forward the extinction date for sales of new fossil fuel powered cars to 2035. Pure electric only after then (unless somehow the green hydrogen unicorn becomes a reality).

    https://cleantechnica.com/2020/02/04/uk-will-move-internal-combustion-ban-ahead-5-years-to-2035/

    Hopefully this will induce our government to choke down a cup of cement, harden up, and implement the same policy that it considered and wimped out on.

    • RedLogix 13.1

      I'm predicting ICE's will be functionally extinct well before then. The 2035 date is a pretty safe bet from the UK govt's perspective.

      • Andre 13.1.1

        Probably. It's still a worthwhile marker to put down, and that line in the sand may just be an extra little nudge that makes it happen.

      • James 13.1.2

        I doubt that will happen – ICE cars will be going for a long time past 2035. 

        • pat 13.1.2.1

          Indeed…esp given the average age of the NZ fleet is 14.3 years and 2035 is less than 15 years away.

          • Andre 13.1.2.1.1

            Did you miss the "… sales of new …" bit?

            • pat 13.1.2.1.1.1

              not at all…did you miss the functionally extinct bit?

              • Andre

                How does the average age of a vehicle fleet affect whether sales of new vehicles will be all pure electric by 2035? Regardless of whether that is by regulation or simple technological superiority and lower cost.

            • James 13.1.2.1.1.2

              Ok. Sales will go well past 2035 ?

              • Andre

                Used ones will do a zombie shuffle for quite a while afterwards, yes.

                • McFlock

                  I reckon there will be a quick drop-off, though, as petrol stations start becoming misnomers. They might continue as fast-charging stations or convenience stores, but tanks will start being pulled if demand halves

              • pat

                assume you mean new sales of ICE?….I would imagine so, though not necessarily for cars/light commercial, I would expect those to have ceased in the main.

        • RedLogix 13.1.2.2

          Once a new technology becomes significantly better and/or cheaper then it replaces the existing one much faster than most people appreciate.

          Over one hundred years ago, the first generation of ICE cars substantially replaced horse drawn vehicles in many major western cities in the relatively short decade from 1900 – 1910. By late 1920's horses were pretty much confined to rural areas. 

          Fairly quickly we will reach the point where the infrastructure needed to support ICE vehicles, both in terms of fuel and service, will suffer declining volumes and rapidly increasing marginal costs. Exactly what that will happen is impossible to tie down to an exact date … but I'd bet on it being sooner than anyone expects.

        • Sacha 13.1.2.3

          Ordinary people will be unable to afford the fuel for individual vehicles.

      • Muttonbird 13.1.3

        If that's the case, why the panic over our own government stopping drilling permits after 2050?

    • Sabine 13.2

      yeah, cause lithium mining is so much greener. 

      Oh boy, the delusion runs deep. 

      • Andre 13.2.1

        Well, yes, even with the genuine problems from lithium mining, it's still way better than fossil fuels. Cobalt is probably a bigger concern, but even adding up all the negatives from the worst batteries in EVs, they are still way better than using dino-juice.

        But there's also ongoing work on alternative chemistries. Potassium and sodium are very similar chemically to lithium, and much more abundant and easier to extract.

        • Sabine 13.2.1.1

          no it is not better. 

          let me put it this way, i can starve you by feeding you a little bit every day or i can starve you by feeding you not at all. Which way is better? 

          And keep in mind that at the end you still end up dead. 

          But then i guess for those that can't conceive of giving up private transport polluting the world by mining this other fossil fuel lithium for batteries and by mining everything else one way or another to generate the electricity you need to drive your SUV (or what ever toy your lifestyle depends on) its 'better'. 

          Yeah, right Tui. 

           

           

      • weka 13.2.2

        Killing us softly instead of hard.

    • pat 13.3

       "…She went on to say that Johnson admitted to her in conversation that he did not understand climate change."

      I suspect thats true of many of our own politicians so wouldnt hold out too much hope

  14. SPC 14

    The German AFD select the Premier of Thuringa (majority with CD and FD).

    The first state majority involving AFD. This ends the period in which major parties refused to accept the votes of AFD.

    The centrist FD leader is the Premier (his party won 5% of the vote).

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-51384615

    This blocked the (Communist) Left (over 30) were the largest party AFD and CD second and third (over 20) – the last time the extreme right was involved in keeping the left out of power was well …

    • SPC 14.1

      It's probably just a reflection of the populist rise against the leftist elite – the one that Karl du Fresne writes about ad nauseam in his Stuff/MSM columns – presumably until we are brainwashed into this new paridigm. 

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/columnists/119262432/elites-cant-dictate-what-people-think-or-how-they-vote

      Of course when he was younger they just called its Robs mob, those easily triggered to hate anyone/anything progressive.

      • millsy 14.1.1

        KDF still wants an elite to control the people. He just wants his kind of elite.

        i.e those who belive in free markets, social conservatism and patriarchy.

      • Incognito 14.1.2

        That is a well-written populist propaganda piece. Right at the start, it carefully constructs the binary framework by defining the good or positive and the bad or negative ones. The bad ones are:

        The elites – often referred to as the metropolitan or inner-city elites – are Leftist idealists who prefer to describe themselves as "progressive".

        The good ones are “ordinary people” with the sub-text ‘people like you and me’.

        Even the corporate sector cops it from the elites.

        It takes a swipe at MMP, of course, as “a dodgy electoral system” and compares it with the US, Australia, and the UK. A more apt comparison would be Germany particularly given the AfD making it into State Government.

        It redefines populism:

        But a populist politician, by definition, is one who seeks the support of, or holds the same views as, ordinary people. Isn't that what democracy is supposed to be about?

        There is a difference between popular and populist but that doesn’t suit the narrative.

        For example, tax cuts are popular; anti-immigrant, anti-farmer or bene-bashing are populist.

        It contains other little propaganda gemstones too.

        The ending is anti-climactic and I don’t want to spoil it by giving it away; you’ll have to read the whole piece from the beginning to end (don’t cheat!).

        • Dennis Frank 14.1.2.1

          No place for centrists in a binary frame.  Since the tertiary tribe have produced most election outcomes in western countries throughout our lives, only someone whose political frame comes from a bygone era would discount them.  Mental disabilities are terrible afflictions!

          So the author struggles with the conceptual reframe of populist Winston into centrist Winston.  Learning from history is immensely difficult for some:  Winston struggled to win via populism, but centrism proved continually reliable.  Obviously!  Not to an ideological zealot though – they only see what they believe.

          If you look carefully at that photo of Hilary that the Stuff editor included with his headline, you can tell she'd had one toke too many.  I hope it eases her path into obscurity.

        • Poission 14.1.2.2

          It was the populist vote that got Donald Trump elected in the US in 2016 and Scott Morrison in Australia last year. Both results came as a profound shock to the elite media commentariats, isolated in their self-absorbed metropolitan bubbles and unable to see past their noses.

          Taleb in a Post script to intellectual yet idiot notes.

          The election of Trump was so absurd to them and didn’t fit their worldview by such a large margin that they failed to find instructions in their textbook on how to react. It was exactly as on Candid Camera, imagine the characteristic look on someone’s face after they pull a trick on him, and the person is at a loss about how to react.

          View at Medium.com

          • Incognito 14.1.2.2.1

            I stand corrected; Karl du Fresne is a brilliant satirist.

            Taleb’s piece, OTOH, is not satire but a anti-intellectual’s and anti-snob’s parody of clichés and stereotypes à la (oops, that’s too much French) Monty Python. I have to confess that I’ve found myself nodding in agreement in places, which probably (oops, bad use of probability theory) proves (!) that I’m an IYI without realising it. We need more of this stuff; it is opium for the brain.

  15. James 15

    https://edition.cnn.com/politics/live-news/trump-impeachment-trial-02-05-20/index.html

    trump acquitted- so the appropriate court of the land has found him innocent. 
     

    Trump 2020 is looking good for re-election

    • Andre 15.1

      A group of partisan hacks chose to close their eyes and ears to evidence and their constitutional obligations to shield their cult leader from accountability for his high crimes and misdemeanours. Thereby contributing to the likely functional death of actual democracy of the US.

      https://www.vox.com/2020/2/5/21115539/trump-impeachment-acquittal-vote-democracy

    • Dennis Frank 15.2

      Well, I did report that here before 11am (#11).  Just like I reported the Gallup Poll yesterday which showed that impeachment had boosted his polling to the highest point of his presidency so far.  And I did predict his re-election last year.

      I agreed with Andre that evidence of his witholding US aid to Ukraine illegally deserved impeachment.  But opinions about laws usually do vary, so no surprise if he thought that law was an ass and ought to be ignored.  If the Dems can't produce an impressive candidate then they don't deserve to win anyway…

    • Fireblade 15.3

      Trump 2024!

    • Andre 15.4

      Just outta curiosity, James, have you read Romney's explanation of his vote to convict? Y'know, the guy who was the 2012 Republican candidate for president?

      This verdict is ours to render. The people will judge us for how well and faithfully we fulfilled our duty. The grave question the Constitution tasks senators to answer is whether the President committed an act so extreme and egregious that it rises to the level of a “high crime and misdemeanor.”

      Yes, he did.

      The President asked a foreign government to investigate his political rival.

      The President withheld vital military funds from that government to press it to do so.

      The President delayed funds for an American ally at war with Russian invaders.

      The President’s purpose was personal and political.

      Accordingly, the President is guilty of an appalling abuse of the public trust.

      https://www.huffpost.com/entry/mitt-romney-convict-trump-speech-transcript_n_5e3b1945c5b6b5fb438bb818

      • James 15.4.1

        That’s one guys view – but he was acquitted despite Romney. 
         

        that’s like asking the single juror who has a different view then the other 11 and holding them up as the right answer because that’s what you want it to be. 
         

        trump was acquitted and that’s the legal outcome. 
         

        • McFlock 15.4.1.1

          Did the dems with senate aspirations no end of good.

          The stench of corruption around repug incumbents won’t wash off.

        • Muttonbird 15.4.1.2

          Not a trial by impartial jury though, is it?

          So your analogy is completely ridiculous.

          • James 15.4.1.2.1

            They are the legal officials and the discharged their duties as required by law.

            He won – they lost.

            So funny – and his approvals are up !

            Trump 2020

        • joe90 15.4.1.3

           The only impeached President ever to have a member of his own party vote to convict and remove.

          https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/05/us/politics/trump-acquitted-impeachment.html

            • McFlock 15.4.1.3.1.1

              All 45 Democrats in the Senate voted "not guilty" on both charges,

              So no members of his own party voted to "convict and remove", although some voted to begin proceedings.

              • RedLogix

                True enough. But I was probably over cryptic …  my point is, hyperpartisan impeachment proceedings are not exactly new thing are they?

                • McFlock

                  I think by refusing to see evidence and hear witnesses, this time has been an extra level of bullshit.

                  And that's if one regards the accusations as being of equal merit in the first place. Clinton lied about getting a blowjob. This one used congressionally-mandated funds to try to blackmail a foreign nation to produce dirt against one of his political opponents.

                  • RedLogix

                    Clinton lied about getting a blowjob. 
                    Imagine if any politician attempted the same defense these days …surprise

                    This one used congressionally-mandated funds to try to blackmail a foreign nation to produce dirt against one of his political opponents.

                    And hopefully this will be the last time the left holds up an instance of the USA blatantly meddling in the affairs of other nations, as a good thing.

                    Imagine for instance if Russia was to start funding armament sales to say Cuban revolutionaries …. oh wait.

                    • McFlock

                      So now we're debating the ethics of international military aid? Who said it was a good thing? Who says it's a bad thing? How is it even relevant to impeachment – is a thief who steals from a drug dealer any less of a thief?

                       

  16. mary_a 16

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12306439

    From self promoting unordained Apostle Bishop Brian Tamaki sermon at Waitangi today … 

    "… But by 1975, Maori had lost 97 per cent of our land. God had prepared the land so everyone could live well, healthy and long. But when we see the deprivation and poverty now, people not living in that land, not living with dignity…"

    Give me strength. I have heard some hypocritical statements in my time. But this one from an extremely wealthy man, who has made his money out of preaching hell and damnation, condemning lifestyles of others, through his self established church to a vulnerable tithing congregation, while promoting himself, would have to be up there with the best of them! I find it gobsmacking to say the least.

    Perhaps the Apostle Bishop and his wife should put their money where their mouths are and consider distributing some of their wealth to help NZs impoverished  and deprived!

  17. joe90 17

    heh

  18. Andre 18

    Fivethirtyeight have just revised their Dem primary odds. Their odds for reaching the convention with a majority of pledged delegates are:

    Sanders 37%

    Nobody 27%

    Biden 21%

    Warren 10%

    Buttigieg 6%

    Compared to before Iowa, that's a small jump up for Sanders, a smaller tick up for Warren and Buttigieg, a big jump up for Nobody, and a BASE jump for Biden.

    https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2020-primary-forecast/?ex_cid=rrpromo

  19. Sanctuary 19

    A piece of satire so brilliant it gives you hope.



  20. Sabine 20

    disclaimer, i liked Sherrod Brown as Presnit of the USofA. 

    I agree wholeheartedly with his opinion about 'the fear' of the republican party  – and i would add that that fear is spreading. 

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/05/opinion/trump-senate-acquittal-impeachment.html

  21. joe90 21

    Obviously fell on his own knife, repeatedly.

    /

    (CNN)French police are investigating the murder of a Chechen blogger, who was a vocal critic of President Ramzan Kadyrov, in a hotel room in Lille.

    The victim, identified to CNN as Imran Aliev, ran a YouTube channel criticizing the Chechen regime backed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    French officials said Aliev, 44, "suffered a violent death."

    Investigators believe he knew his killer, a source close to the investigation told CNN Tuesday.

    https://edition.cnn.com/2020/02/05/europe/chechen-blogger-imran-aliev-murdered-lille-france-intl/index.html

  22. joe90 23

  23. Muttonbird 24

    This is an interesting one.

    No Waitangi Day off if 'not from NZ' Transmission Gully roading manager tells staff

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12306548

    In my own workplace which is comprised of an international workforce the offshore managers asked about us working Waitangi Day and the local manager told them it would cost triple time.

    Everyone had the day off, Kiwi citizen or not. wink

  24. joe90 25

    Lobbying outfits run by former tRump transition staffers raked in record revenues using their connections with former colleagues in the Administration  Those lobbying outfits then donated millions to tRump's re-election committees.

    https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2020/02/republican-party-raking-in-millions-from-trump-tied-foreign-agents/

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