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Open mike 06/10/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, October 6th, 2020 - 69 comments
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69 comments on “Open mike 06/10/2020 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Some may think catching the virus is a clever play for the sympathy vote, but their hero will have to become considerably more heroic to win.

    Trump 14 points behind Biden a month before election, new poll shows.

    The NBC/Wall Street Journal survey indicating a 53-39% advantage for the Democratic party’s nominee injected urgency for Trump’s advisers already scrambling to find a strategy for the final weeks of the campaign until 3 November. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/oct/04/trump-behind-biden-election-poll-shows

    Black Voices for Trump, Latinos for Trump, the whole operation Maga will be deploying everywhere…

    • Andre 1.1

      It's a diabolically clever ruse to set him up to be the bestest ever tremendous choice to deal with the China shithole pandemic, because he's had personal experience with the 'rona and won bigly and weak snowflake Biden hasn't.

    • Morrissey 1.2

      Black Voices for Trump, Latinos for Trump…

      ??!!!?!!? sad

      Where do those fools meet? In the living room of that hideous, outrageous Kentucky Attorney General?

    • Treetop 1.3

      My sympathy vote goes to the staff in the West Wing of the White House who are infected with Covid – 19. It is best to sort your own house out first and Trump could not even do this. It was inevitable that there was going to be a West Wing White House cluster with a long tail.

    • weka 1.4

      does that polling reporting take into account the electoral college system and how presidents are actually chosen?

      • Dennis Frank 1.4.1

        Andre would know, but my guess is that US polling is just a read of the public mood like ours. I suspect trying to take the EC into account is too sophisticated…

      • Andre 1.4.2

        Nationwide polling does not account for the Electoral College. Yes, you do really need to drill down to the state level to get a feel for likely outcomes. Having said all that, the general consensus is that if Biden is ahead by 5% or more nationally, then it's very unlikely the rotting rage papaya could actually sneak through on a freak EC result. If the state-by-state elections were conducted freely and fairly, that is. I have yet to see anyone have a serious crack at trying to forecast where significant fuckery may occur and how it may affect the result.

        In terms of state by state polling averages and forecasts, there's the usual sites. My faves that I'm frantically refreshing and doom-scrolling every 22 seconds are:





        Where things sit right now is Biden is ahead by more than 5% in every state Hillary won, plus Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. That gets to 278 EC votes with enough margin it would take some pretty awesome fuckery to flip.

        Biden is ahead 3ish% in Arizona (11 EC votes). That's hopeful but pretty tight. A bit of turnout model error and a bit of reversion to Repug-voting historical norm would see Biden fall short.

        Biden is ahead around 2%ish in Florida (29 EC votes), so that's well within usual polling errors and Florida fuckery. Still better than 2% behind, tho.

        Biden is ahead by less than 1.5% in North Carolina (15), Ohio (18), Iowa (6), Georgia (16). Consider them true toss-ups at this stage.

        Biden is within 3%ish in Texas (38), so within reach if turnout models etc have over-corrected from 2016, or more events push things Biden's way.

        • Nic the NZer

          "I have yet to see anyone have a serious crack at trying to forecast where significant fuckery may occur and how it may affect the result."

          Greg Palast

          "How Trump stole 2020"

        • weka

          Thanks Andre! I'll have a look through the links and a proper read later.

          Maybe closer to the election, and depending on what happens after our own, we can put up some dedicated threads. Let me know if anything springs to mind. I'm guessing ten days out might be a good time to start, unless we are all busy cursing the resurrection of NZF and are in coalition negotiation agony.

        • RedLogix

          My working assumption is that Biden will win at this point. And his administration can hardly help than to be an improvement on Trump's. Maybe even as Ad made a case for, the old white Catholic guy will make a good President despite everyone's low expectations. I can but hope.

          Still Trump has made a career of doing the impossible, over and again. And there are weeks to go on this circus yet.

    • Mika 1.5

      I'd say Trump is feeling buoyant right now because of the effect of the steroids. A bit of steroid psychosis on top of his baseline disinhibition and lack of impulse control. He may relapse later- around the 9-10 day mark from the onset of symptoms would be expected- and yo-yoing in and out of hospital won't be good for optics.

      • Dennis Frank 1.5.1

        You could be onto something with that! Any relapse will make folks doubt him. His aura of invincibility will fade. Could be worth a 5% shift easily…

  2. ScottGN 2

    I don’t have a telly. Has Labour launched any attack ads so far this campaign?

    • Sacha 2.1

      Why would they.

    • gsays 2.2

      No need, they have a deep plant, who, with every opportunity, turns voter's away from National and towards Labour.

      Auckland review, "I am a Christian and so is my husband" "What's that, dear?"…

    • Wensleydale 2.3

      That would not be 'kind', therefore would likely open Labour up to accusations of hypocrisy. And Judas Collins would absolutely love that. I doubt we'll see any attack ads from Jacinda. Steady as she goes seems to be the order of the day.

  3. Dennis Frank 3

    Good to see the latest poll on the cannabis referendum, from UMR, has yes at 49%. Duncan Garner interviewed a senior research fellow from the Brookings Institute, a polling expert, who said that in 2012 polls in Colorado & Washington State were running even leading up to their referenda & yet the latter came in with around a 10% margin for yes. He pointed to taboo psychology.

    Plenty of voters don't have the courage to be honest about their preference if it defies the traditional prevalent view. They will lie to pollsters. So when you have a hegemony of belief that what has long been forbidden is morally wrong, progress has to come via subterfuge. Rebellion will be covertly done.

    • Barfly 3.1

      That's encouraging to hear – was at CADS yesterday trying to book an alcohol detoxsmiley

      • Patricia Bremner 3.1.1

        Kia kaha Barfly, it will pass 50%, many I know have listened to the science and what has happened elsewhere. Our areas advanced voting begins on the 10th, so voting then Cheers.

        • Barfly


        • gsays

          I wish I could share your optimism, Patricia.

          There seems to be powerful voices against it, Medical Council (against some members views), the arguement that medical cannabis is legal but omitting the fact that applications are rarely approved and it costs a bundle. Big Pharmaceutical wins again.

          I am curious how the big breweries are organising against the reform.

          • woodart

            Id bet that big breweries are testing cannibis in a six pack as we speak.

            • tc

              There's a hop called 'green bullet' marketing will be eyeing up. Parrotdog Lager…takes me back to what steiny used to be before it went export/green.

              • Nic the NZer

                I thought that flavour and the resulting headache was the aluminium can melting down into the beer.

      • Sacha 3.1.2

        Good on you.

    • Herodotus 3.2

      So what is a pass mark to allow the legislation to proceed 50.1% of the vote, 50% of potential voters as many of this site pushed regarding the smacking law 😉60%, 66%.if it is close then there will be no direction given to warrant any change in the law.

      • Dennis Frank 3.2.1

        As far as I know, referenda are merely indicative of the public mood – but much more authoratively so than polls. I haven't read the actual legislation that drives ours.

        So unless someone who has corrects me, I suspect a govt will use the result as a mandate for change if they possess the political will to make that change happen, regardless of the actual percentage in favour.

        It will be a credibility test for Labour if the result is close. Hamlet's choice: to be, or not to be (progressive).

        If the Greens get to be in govt with them, I hope they adopt a staunch bargaining position. We need that progress to happen.

        Remember how strong the political forces in favour of retaining slavery were. If you've read history you'll know that was a multi-generational saga. The establishment was split down the middle: the progressives, motivated by principle, and the conservatives motivated by vested economic interests and classism.

  4. Dennis Frank 4

    In the 18th century Alexander Fraser Tytler, Lord Woodhouselee FRSE was a Scottish advocate, judge, writer and historian and Professor of Universal History at the University of Edinburgh. He's quoted by Edward Persimmon, a neocon: https://thebfd.co.nz/2020/10/05/if-capitalism-failed-the-last-time-whats-failing-now/

    A democracy will continue to exist up until the time that voters discover that they can vote themselves generous gifts from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates who promise the most benefits from the public treasury, with the result that every democracy will finally collapse due to loose fiscal policy, which is always followed by a dictatorship.”

    Is this an iron law of political degeneration? I'm sceptical. Democracies have an inherent resilience due to being social organisms, evolving via social darwinism. Periods of ossification & stasis that produce despair in the populace can surge into periods of regeneration and renewal. Progress sometimes happens!

    Persimmon observes that "progressive politics embodies the idea of movement". Conveniently, we have a PM concurrently campaigning on the basis of Labour's slogan let's keep moving, proving his point.

    He refers to "a process which is known as the ‘Tytler cycle’." Here's how Tytler described that:

    “The average age of the world’s greatest civilisations from the beginning of history has been about 200 years.’ Set against New Zealand’s official ‘start date’ of 1840 this makes for sober reading. In the course of 200 or so years, nations progress: ‘from bondage to spiritual faith; From spiritual faith to great courage; From courage to liberty; From liberty to abundance; From abundance to selfishness; From selfishness to complacency; From complacency to apathy; From apathy to dependence; From dependence back into bondage.”

    Obviously if democracy were all about bondage we'd have a Reserve Bank issuing government bonds, eh? The ties that bind us into capitalism. We do. Left & right govts both do this, thus his critique from the extreme right:

    Our political conversation has been framed for thirty years or more almost entirely by the left. It isn’t Winston Peters who is the ‘handbrake’ on the direction of travel. It is the National party, which is dragged like an anchor behind the socialists’ unstoppable tugboat.

    Yeah, that was bold in the original, that sentence. Intellectuals writing for BFD readers can't make the mistake of being subtle! BFD doesn't tell us what those initials stand for, so we are free to guess. I like Brain Fade Delirium because it captures the normal state of mind of rightists nicely.

    Collins placed a bet both ways by later declaring herself a “Christian feminist”… much like a Halal ham sandwich.

    I credit the dude for being gutsy enough to provide a dispassionate critique of both establishment parties, but he seems lost in an antique time warp.

    As we careen from entitled self-absorption to the complete abdication of personal responsibility, it cannot be a surprise that freedom has been centralised and independence controlled.

    That centralisation and control descended from the British Empire, doncha know?? Not from hegemony of rabid socialists. Try harder next time!

    • KJT 4.1

      Funny how that right wing rabbit on about"Freedom" and "Individual responsibility" while at the same time reducing democratic rights, increasing police power, introducing ever more restrictive search and surveillance laws, putting draconion requirements to access State help, restricting workers rights and calling for protesters to "ask permission first".

      Anyone would think they don't trust people with, "individual responsibility"?

      • Wensleydale 4.1.1

        Individual responsibility is only for poor people. It loosely translates to "fend for yourselves, peasant scum". Increasing police powers feeds into the "tough on crime" rhetoric (always a vote-winner with the perpetually fearful) and further prevents the peasant scum from getting too uppity. Win-win.

        • KJT

          Pretty much.

          The "elite" when they fuck up, get golden handshakes, and another overpaid sinicere. If not an actual Government bailout.

          Poor people get their job and then welfare removed.

    • Nic the NZer 4.2

      Of course Persimmon was quite wrong about the public who rarely vote themselves gifts and clutch fiscal conservatism when challenged on its necessity.

  5. PsyclingLeft.Always 5

    "National's leader Judith Collins is facing criticism from within over policy decisions that at worst are improvised and at best did not consult the party's own spokesperson."


    Yeah because she's been to church an all…"consulting" the sky fairy. She's so obvious its an obvious thing

  6. Peter 6

    I am going to save the Taxpayers a heap of money. There is no need for the expensive review or investigation into the Auckland Council that Judith Collins wants. I know what the findings will be and am quite happy to share them

    When Collins and her Act coalition partner are elected in October they can steam ahead with what needs to be done.

    What is going to be the big recommendation? This might be novel, it might be new, it might be out of right field, but this is the way forward, THE ANSWER.

    It's called, (drum roll) A SUPER CITY!!!

    Let’s set up one of those, that'll work. There's no Hiding from it. 🤔

  7. Morrissey 7

    Next up: M'Lord Warne?


    Lord Beefwit really is a nasty piece of work….

  8. dv 8

    Re Collins ‘praying’ stunt.

    Can anybody recall ANY other political being photographed 'praying' in an empty church (or any church) and then being published?

    • PsyclingLeft.Always 8.1

      "The minister said, 'Oh would you like to come and do a prayer, Judith?' and I said 'yes, I would'. I didn't ask the media in and I turned around and there they were all happily taking shots, so I thought 'gosh, well, I'll just keep on doing what I'm doing'.

      'Collins told Magic Talk: "I could have turned around and said 'get out of this house of worship you evil media', or I could have just done exactly what I was going to do in the first place. I would have thought they would have expected it was a private moment but they came charging in."


      Sure, Dear….

    • weka 8.2

      no, but it's probably on par with politicians kissing babies. Unfortunately for NZ, she's setting precedent as well as actively courting the rise of religious fundamentalism in NZ politics. The left needs better responses than we have if we're going to present something better.

      • woodart 8.2.1

        dont think you need to be worried about religious fundies. NZ is NOT america, which was founded by religious fundies.

        • greywarshark

          A little wry humour about where salvation may arise.

          The trouble with you, dear, is that you think an angel of the Lord as a creature with wings, whereas he is probably a scruffy little man with a bowler hat. Josephine Tey
          and there’s more – I’m on a roll sorry –

          It’s an odd thing but when you tell someone the true facts of a mythical tale they are indignant not with the teller but with you. They don’t want to have their ideas upset. It rouses some vague uneasiness in them, I think, and they resent it. So they reject it and refuse to think about it.
          .If they were merely indifferent it would be natural and understandable. But it is much stronger than that, much more positive. They are annoyed. Very odd, isn’t it.
          Josephine Tey

          Lack of education is an extraordinary handicap when one is being offensive.
          Josephine Tey


        • weka

          I hope you are right, but the signs are not good.

          • Dennis Frank

            Trotter's got a bit of history & also gives it currency: http://bowalleyroad.blogspot.com/2020/10/bringing-national-to-its-knees.html

            Massey’s bigotry found strong institutional support in the Protestant Political Association. Formed in 1919, the PPA worked hand-in-glove with the Reform Party to maintain the ascendancy of Protestantism in New Zealand. They were especially concerned to block the rise of the NZ Labour Party. Formed in 1916, Labour was strongly supported by New Zealand’s large Irish-Catholic community.

            The success of the so-called “new social movements” – most especially in relation to their expansion of women’s and LGBTQ+ rights – threw the principle of Church/State separation into particularly sharp relief. Increasingly, Christianity retreated into the theology of evangelical fundamentalism, or, in the case of the Catholic Church, rigid doctrinal orthodoxy. Liberal Christianity was in full retreat as the principal protestant denominations turned their faces from the agitation for the creation of gay and lesbian ministers and the right of LGBTQ+ Christians to marry.

            For conservative Christians, the willingness of the secular state to legislate over the objections of the churches, had made it necessary for the churches to take control of the state. The most obvious means of securing such control is to increase the influence of conservative Christian morality in the parties of the Right. If conservative parties could be made beholden to conservative Christian voters, then, upon taking office, their legislators could re-enshrine the moral certainties the secularists have so wickedly overturned.

            Thanks to groups like the Maxim Institute, this seeding of the socially-conservative Right with Christian candidates has been proceeding steadily for some time. Maxim’s chosen vessel, the NZ National Party, has, for more than fifteen years, been choosing evangelical fundamentalist Christians to represent the party in safe seats. This has progressed to the point where Christian support, if not already crucial to the success of an aspiring leader, is fast becoming so. The recent departure of so many of National’s liberal MPs, and the projected loss of still more in the general election already underway, seems certain to strengthen the influence of National’s Christian Right.

            They think god is on their side. I think not. Still, we can expect the ritual spraying of money around as if it were fertiliser – especially if sourced from the wealthy christians in the USA. Unless they use Pacifica for leverage, they will keep discovering that Aotearoa seems too much like stony ground.

            In the 2018 Census, only 37 percent of the population were prepared to declare themselves Christian. Forty years ago, by way of contrast, the fraction of New Zealanders declaring themselves Christian was well in excess of two-thirds.

  9. lprent 9

    Had a plugin update this morning cause slowdown problems. Finally fixed by deactivating the plugin.

    Unfortunately it was the second plugin that I was checking. The first caching plugin that was suspicious started off suddenly showing an expired license. It'd be nice if the suppliers of that had sent a email about an upcoming bill – because then I could have checked it for an old card. It expired at the start of the month. So I thought that was the issue.

    However it was a logging plugin. Problem disappeared immediately when I deactivated that.

    Oh well. that puts paid to the post I was about to write. Time to drink the coffee and e-bike to work contemplating the email I will write to each of the plugins company / authors.

    • Adrian Thornton 10.1

      Unfortunately neither Labour or National can ever fix this obscenity that stalks our country while they remain slaves to their neo liberal ideology..a sad but true fact.

      • mosa 10.1.1

        " Unfortunately neither Labour or National can ever fix this obscenity that stalks our country while they remain slaves to their neo liberal ideology..a sad but true fact "

        Yes market economics is the prison that has been created for us. Anything that is attempted by the two main parties is fiddling while Rome burns.

        • greywarshark

          Maybe our next challenge will be how to find a chink in the prison wall and work on opening it up with our files. Let's 'defile' this sacred economic temple of the golden dairy cow.

  10. Adrian Thornton 11

    Ex-OPCW chief Jose Bustani reads Syria testimony that US, UK blocked at UN

    Unreported by all MSM as seems to becoming the new normal, MSM self censorship has reached levels that even the most cynical amongst us never believed that it would, all they have to do is say 'Trump bad' and most left leaning liberals are satisfied with their performance it would seem….what a disaster.

    • greywarshark 11.1

      I noted in something I was reading the comment that the Syrian people when visited mid last century, were really nice, friendly people. It may have been said by Agatha Christie after one of her times in the Middle East with her archaeologist husband.

      I wonder how things are with them now after receiving packages from the world's great free and beneficent democracy.

  11. francesca 12

    Thanks Adrian

    No doubt Bustani will be dismissed as another "outlier"

    Extraordinary how so many of the left , so called , Louis Proyect for one, hysterically defend the corrupt leadership (all diplomats, not scientists)of the current OPCW

  12. joe90 13

    Like a fish out of water.

    • McFlock 13.1

      He might just have walked up a stair. And the girdle probably doesn't help. Peak health, totally….

  13. Jeepers (to coin a word) don't let Draco see this graphic:


    It took me about 15 minutes to scroll through Bezos's wealth!

  14. Andre 15

    So much for my idea that advance voting might have been particularly high on Saturday and Sunday because it's the first time advance voting opened with two full weekend days – Monday was even busier with nearly 110,000 votes cast for a total of 271,000 so far in the first three days.


  15. greywarshark 16

    These people who were involved in WW2 doing important things for the war effort speak to the camera about their roles. I

    It would be good if we could put our efforts into saving our world and our society today, so they can feel that their and all the casualties and sorrows to try to stop terrible things happening, gave a lasting positive effect. Otherwise, why bother caring when it all gets forgotten and repeated only worse. And it has to be more than voting and putting your hand out for those you are most closely connected to.


  16. greywarshark 17

    Economists are good on anything – the go-to people for whatever ails you. Makes sense as economists decide on what we can have, should be and how we want to live.

    Now one economissed's thoughts on bravely striding out into a volcano of viruses, similar to venturing onto White Island when it was getting ready to blow. https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/427677/economist-warns-of-covid-19-fatigue-if-more-lockdowns-occur

    Modeller and economist Rodney Jones says the government has been too conservative with its approach to the Auckland cluster – believing the city's restrictions are being lifted a week late this Wednesday.

    "The toolkit we have is really first class in terms of contact tracing, testing, and particularly the genome sequencing that gives us an enormous understanding of each outbreak.

    "I think we can take more risk and we need to take this kind of learning into a future outbreak if it was to occur."

    Now when did economists ever know anything about learning anything for sure? If something goes wrong they just develop a new model – no probs, and not too much of saying sorry. So it's gone tits up – you should have been ready for that, anyone would know it was bound to happen and have the right gear ready for dealing with it etc. What’s a little collateral damage; one has to weigh up economic damage against human damage and see which side the weight is on. Oh business is up, we already have so much human damage in NZ, there is no significant change in the trend line.

    • woodart 17.1

      yes, economists have pretty much been wrong ever since humans ,weather, nature, etc were added into any equation.

  17. Uncle Scrim 18

    This is entirely anecdotal and of no wider consequence, but my mother-in-law, who descends from 150 years of Pakeha farming stock and has voted National every election for 60-odd years, has said she has voted two ticks for Labour.

    I've got a whole lot of relations and in-laws who are farmers, or retired farmers, good people but traditionally blue as. Some will no doubt hold their noses and stay in the fold, but over the last two years they all agree on a couple of things: they admire Jacinda's leadership (especially over 15 March and Covid); they didn't like Bridges; and they definitely don't like Collins.

    • woodart 18.1

      yes, off all the leadership groups the nats have had this year(strong team?) the current one is the most unpopular. whatisname and the blonde woman would have been better.

  18. sumsuch 19

    Dinna like the roiling around of your comments. Cos I come in at the rational hour of 11 o'clock, no response. I mention Yertle the Turtle and the short touch of the 'art of the possible' (swimming term, 'short touch') and youse play bullshit. Unlike you careerists I put truth , and so reality, first.

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