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Open Mike 14/01/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 14th, 2019 - 90 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

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Step up to the mike …

90 comments on “Open Mike 14/01/2019 ”

  1. Jenny - How to get there? 1

    The US gets closer to its Reichstag moment.

    • Jenny - How to get there? 1.1

      As many have mentioned, It is not really about the wall.

      It is about Trump seizing ultimate power

      From Trump’s statements I still get the feeling that he is still somewhat hesitant to declare a National Emergency. For a person who doesn’t read, I think that even Trump is dimly aware of the enormity of this step and the resonances of history.

      It’s like he is waiting for something…..

      Is Donald Trump is waiting for some sort of atrocity to be committed by Latin immigrant, (legal or illegal) before he takes that final step of calling a National Emergency?

      Even if the waited for atrocity or crime doesn’t occur, it is inevitable that Donald J. Trump will in his capacity as President eventually call a National Emergency.

      On declaring a National Emergency Trump’s first order of business will be to immediately end the government shutdown, and order back-pay to all the suspended government workers, even ordering the contractors be paid for this period as well. If he is smart, Trump will also order them all to be paid a bonus and thank them for the forbearance.

      This move will shore up and enlarge Trump’s voting base, and further isolate the Democrats.

      Cementing Trump’s reputation as champion of the working man.

  2. Jenny - How to get there? 2

    Rule you like a King

    Trump gets closer to ruling the US under emergency powers, using the shut down and the wall as his excuse for taking absolute rule.

    “I have the absolute right to call a national emergency,” Donald Trump

    Fox News 14 hours ago:


    Fox News 2 days ago:


    • Puckish Rogue 2.1

      The USA currently has 31 ongoing national emergencies

    • Wayne 2.2

      The US President has no power to rule the country as an absolute monarch.
      The emergency power has to relate to a specific emergency (earthquakes, fires, floods, etc) not a device to run the whole country.
      On the wall it would fail. The courts would almost certainly say that such an emergency exceeds his powers. There is no wall in the border now, nothing has happened that suddenly create an emergency.

      • Dennis Frank 2.2.1

        Crisis? What crisis? Seeing a bunch of right-wingers in the Supreme Court render a majority verdict that a constitutional crisis isn’t an emergency would be fun. Bring it on!

        What? You don’t think Trump being prevented from building the wall that he was elected to build is a constitutional crisis? Well, okay, gridlock has become normal. But last I heard the electoral mandate was still part of democracy. Delivery of the result is still meant to be the result of democracy. You think that the logic of democracy is no longer valid? You think the Supreme Court will decide that?

        • Wayne

          The Supreme Court would focus on the meaning of “national emergency”, not campaign promises. The Supreme Court is not going to resolve the shutdown, that is a matter for the executive and the legislature. I reckon something will be done within the next for weeks to get the government up and running again. Eight weeks is an awful long time for both sides to say they won’t blink. Easy to do initially, harder as time goes on.

          Of course Trump could declare a national emergency and build as much of the wall as possible before the courts declare the national emergency wrongly declared.

          Would a Federal District Court have the power to stop the spending or would the whole thing have to wait till the Supreme Court ruled? if a Federal District Court could declare the declaration of national emergency invalid and stop construction, the case would be heard within a few weeks. Federal District Courts did stop the initial immigration bans within weeks.

        • cleangreen

          100% Dennis I agree.

          Are Supreme court now running the country and not elected politicians?

          Someone had better go to Mt Rushmore and place those Supreme Court Justices on the hillside now!!!!!!!

          Oh no!!! ; – we cant vote for them can we?

          ‘Democracy is gone now’; – and a bunch of (not publicly elected justice’s) are now running the most powerful country on the planet now!!!!!

          • cleangreen

            Talking about “who runs what” I contributed to Arthur Taylor’s bitch at Labour MP’s inaction in the prisoners debarkle today.


            I said that since labour was in power the MP’s have sidestepped advocating for communities and now are back from being “inclusive” with the community now.

            As most PA office staff are using the excuses that; – quote; – :”the Minister to to busy now”

            Labour promised us a “warm, caring, gentle, ‘inclusive’, transparent. government that gave us all a voice to be listened to, before the 2017 election but we see everything but this now.

            • Morrissey

              Is it any surprise? A year or so ago, Stuart Nash made some crude and stupid comments about some prisoners not deserving any rights—and he’s the Minister of Justice. Greg O’Connor, notorious for his defence of the most indefensible and violent police misconduct, is a List M.P. and they also selected—despite many objections from women—Willie Jackson, who said on radio that he’d “put a knife through her heart” if his “missus” ever cheated on him.

        • Gabby

          But Mayhico’s paying for it franxie. So why’s chump trying to rob the yanker taxpayers? He needs to praxis what he peaches.

          • Dennis Frank

            Well done. 🙄 Haven’t seen the media asking him that, not sure why! It’s been the obvious question for weeks now. 🤔

            • Andre

              But the question has been asked. It got this answer. Enjoy.

              “When during the campaign, I would say ‘Mexico is going to pay for it,’ obviously, I never said this, and I never meant they’re gonna write out a check, I said they’re going to pay for it. They are,” he said as he prepared to depart the White House for the southern border.


              A wee reminder of a few of the many ways Mexico was going to pay:


              • Dennis Frank

                Cool, thanks. You can see why the full explanation wasn’t broadcast here. The small part I saw at the time was obviously carefully edited to make him seem evasive. Can’t expect the msm to do nuance.

                So it’s a semantics thing. Some would call it sophistry, but you can tell by his shrug that he expects people to get his intention. He intends everyone to understand that the trade process will produce the payment. Perfectly logical, but only to those who understand the relation between trade and money – which excludes most media pros.

                So he wasn’t trying to con people after all. He just forgot that most people don’t understand that payment is relative to the value of what is obtained in the trading process. He meant Mexico would pay by providing value equivalent to the cost of the wall. I suspect the trade deal he set up and signed with the leaders of Canada & Mexico will deliver that. Time will tell.

                • arkie

                  Except that money made by trade doesn’t end up in the treasury does it? It ends up in the pockets of businesses trading. And with the drop in tax revenue Trump put through they will find it difficult to recover those monies.

                  I feel like you didn’t read the linked articles at all, and you’re awfully generous to a man who has twice said “I’m like a smart person”.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    True, but the left & right routinely argue that the benefits of trade trickle down, so he’s no different. It ought to have been obvious I read the first link (CNN) since I responded to the evidence there (video clip of Trump explaining the pay thing).

                    As regards the second, I’ve just done a scan of that and agree that his denial is a lie. I have no intention of being generous to him. His various interpretations of how Mexico will pay reflect his lack of decision about the best way to proceed. He campaigned with an intention, and declared his intent to make them pay. He views that as a promise he must honour. I suspect his support base feels the same, so he’s bound to that commitment.

                    • arkie

                      The left i am aware of doesn’t agree with relying on the ‘trickle down’ benefit of trade. That aside, even if we assume this was his intention all along:

                      Economists and trade experts we interviewed called the president’s logic misguided.

                      “Even if we accept conceptually the argument that government revenue attributable to the revised trade agreement constitutes ‘Mexico paying for the wall,’ there are no plausible assumptions of USMCA’s impact that would see government revenue increase by $25 billion,” said Geoffrey Gertz, a fellow in the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution and a research associate at the Global Economic Governance Programme at the University of Oxford.


                      Just seeking a quick clarification: do you not consider yourself of the Left?

                    • Dennis Frank

                      My position: I decided to become neither left nor right in 1971. However in respect of values & aspirations I tend to agree with leftists, and the political compass website located me in the exact center of the left/libertarian quadrant (my red dot showed up in the middle of Bernie Sanders’ face).

                      I take your point regarding those two views from economists. I presume Trump’s economic advisors are supporting his view, but haven’t seen evidence of that. Wouldn’t surprise me if they are also sceptical…

                    • solkta

                      I assume you mean that you decided not to “identify as left or right”. If you value left wing ideas then you are left wing whether you choose to recognise it or not.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      One or two others have said that in the past. I regard it as an example of `to a hammer, everything else is a nail’ type of thinking.

                      Praxis (what I actually do) defines the reality. I critique left-wing and right-wing views and attitudes without any bias. I have a genuinely independent view. That’s why we formed the Greens – to insert the third option into politics.

                    • McFlock

                      I critique left-wing and right-wing views and attitudes without any bias. I have a genuinely independent view.

                      And a certain amount of hubris, if you genuinely believe that. Everyone has acknowledged or unacknowledged bias.

                    • solkta

                      The Green Party is a good example. While it doesn’t identify as left wing it IS the left wing of New Zealand parliamentary politics.

                      You keep using “praxis” to mean “practice” but that is not what it means in a political context. Praxis is a Marxist concept and should be understood as the unified whole of theory and practice. It is the two as one in a dialectic. You can’t have praxis if you don’t have theory.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Yes, I agree I to that technical possibility. I’m as likely to have tacit bias as anyone. Probably against both the left and right, inasmuch as their characteristic behaviour makes me feel alienated from them.

                      “Praxis (from Ancient Greek: πρᾶξις, translit. praxis) is the process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, embodied, or realized. “Praxis” may also refer to the act of engaging, applying, exercising, realizing, or practicing ideas. This has been a recurrent topic in the field of philosophy, discussed in the writings of Plato, Aristotle, St. Augustine, Francis Bacon, Immanuel Kant, Søren Kierkegaard, Karl Marx, Antonio Gramsci, Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Paulo Freire, Ludwig von Mises, and many others. It has meaning in the political, educational, spiritual and medical realms.”

                      So that general usage, consistent with original and historical usage, is how I use the term. Whatever warping marxists did to that meaning has no obvious relevance nowadays.

      • Ad 2.2.2

        If I were President I would make it a matter of national security and instruct the armed forces to design, fund, and execute the wall.

        they have plenty of money to reallocate.

        he has direct authority over them.

        • Andre

          Here’s an explanation of some of the rules why he can’t.


          As a practical matter, forcing POTUS WRECKS to actually comply with the law requires a bunch of other people to do their jobs and fulfill their duties and responsibilities. Which they mostly have been disinclined to do so far.

          • Dennis Frank

            Such onerous things, “duties and responsibilities”. Avoiding them is typically human. Having been brought up under the rules of the patriarchy, I recall compulsion having spectacular success most of the time. Highly unfashionable nowadays, so we get the consequences…

          • Ad

            cheers for the link.

            i think its still the least-worst route for him.

            He’d need to frame the emergency carefully, and yes that scale of reallocation within DoD would still need approval. I see enough Dems folding to do that.

            But even being shown to tilt against the windmills and fail would be easy for him to reframe as an heroic loss to the ‘swamp’.

            I see him able to salvage this ok so far.

        • Crashcart

          Government appropriates funds for the military with very specific spending requirements. Similar to our Defence force there are key outputs that we are funded to provide. Any spending that falls outside of those outputs needs to be approved by government.

          There are three branches of government in the US. Legislative, executive, and Judicial. They balance against each other. Yes the election of the president included a campaign promise that he would build a wall. The more recent victory in the house for the Democrats included fighting a wall. Both branches are carrying out the will of their voters (to the limited extent that they do in the US). Should they come into conflict over the issue it would come down to the judicial branch to sort it out.

          The supreme court can’t create legislation and hence can’t take over government. They can merely act as the referee and when any party goes outside of the rules (the constitution) they can direct that they be stopped.

        • Jenny - How to get there?

          A lot of ugly things will crawl out from under the STONE

          Do you really think this is still about a wall, Ad?

          Could the US military build it?

          I very much doubt it, The US military can’t even fight their wars without massive logistical support of private sector contractors.

          The same private sector contractors that will be called on to build ‘a wall’ of sorts.

          But don’t worry Ad, I am sure the US military will have a role to play in the State Trump Of National Emergency.

      • Sabine 2.2.3

        The president in the US should have no power to rule as an absolute monarch.

        however, once the president is supported by either the house or the senate – or in the shitstains case by both, you have effectively a one rule party – as he had over the last two years.
        Obama was not great, but he was also not served well by having the house / senate held by republicans who literally abdicated their duty to fund and legislate.

        Currently Mitch McConnell or Yertl the turtle is abdicating his duties by not passing any bills who would not receive a 100% support (which is not needed ) or which would not pass the shitstains veto (which they can also override).

        so effectively government is currently being drowned in a tub by Republicans as was wished for many years ago by Grover Norquist. Or as Bannon the Ugly stated, i want to be like Lenin, destroy government as we knew it and rebuild it to my likes.

        The point in this exercise is not to build a wall – which for the largest part already is build (other then the Rio Grande River area) but to damage government until the patient is dead. And he is doing an awesome job of it.

        • Crashcart

          Whilst I agree with most of what you say, Obama also had both the House and the Senate when he took over as president.

          Unfortunately the way their system works means that as soon as you get a new president you get mid terms that require that the House and Senate go into campaign mode straight away. All those in marginal seats tend to go against the new president on legislation to try and win their elections.

          This happened to Obama and also trump.

          • Sabine

            yep, two years, and he too got shit done.

            And at the time of hte election that is what i stated, its not the shitstain himself, he is what he is a conman – and anyone who was alive in the 70 – now knew that. But i cautioned against the people he was surrounding himself with, that would in the end run the show. And it is thus now.

            And for all those that fawn and expect the hi m to do something, he will not. He can’t, he is not disciplined enough, he is a shit negotiator, and he never quite understood that he does not need the republicans or rather the tea party, but the democrats on his side, cause the Tea Party is not there to govern, they are there to loot, slash n burn. Until literally they have legislated themselves back into the 1750 where everyone had no rights unless they were white, male, landowners. But i guess that is also ok for the shitstain considering that he is white, male, landowner and thus good with the 1750s. Everyone else however might not be so happy.,

      • Macro 2.2.4

        There is a way out of this shut down and it only requires only a dozen or so Republican senators to do their duty and reopen the government. The Congress has already approved funding for the Govt to continue – including $1.3B for Border security. Trump refused to sign it in. But the Senate has the power to overturn that veto by voting with a super majority that the funding this should proceed into law.
        There needs to be more pressure on Republican Senators to do their job. Every day Trump’s stability and coherence is deteriorating. He is now well out of his depth and it falls on the Republicans to do something about it – not only for his sake but for the sake of the country.

        • Andre

          The first one that has to go agree to do his job and comply with the oath he swore is the Turtle. He’s the first obstacle to Congress actually doing its job. I’m not aware of any way of bypassing him beyond the Repugs removing him, which would need at least 27 Repug senators.

          If that actually happened that the House bills to reopen the government went to a Senate vote, chances are pretty good it would get 60 votes. But once it got to the White Pride Piper’s desk, he’d likely veto it. The the House and Senate would both need to vote again and pass them with a 2/3 majority, and that’s iffy, needing at least 20 Repug senators and 60 ish (from memory) Repug reps.

        • Sabine

          Mitch McConnell will not let any bill go to floor in Senate unless he is sure it is being signed by President Shitstain.
          He is doing what he did during the Obama years, just the end game here is to show 100% support of the president and nothing less will do.

          So congress can get the bill passed with bipartisan support as they have done since they came to power a week ago.
          The send the bill to Senate and there it dies. Mitch McConnell would be able to pass the bill with the usual defectors from the Freedom Caucus, but that would be enough to pass it.
          If the shitstain were to not sign it or veto it, Congress and Senate could over ride the veto as the Senate would have the support of the Democratic Senators.

          So you have the shitstain pulling a tantrum, and you have McConnell wearing headphones not giving a shit.

          In the meantime everything else goes to shit.

      • Jenny - How to get there? 2.2.5


        14 January 2019 at 7:48 am

        The US President has no power to rule the country as an absolute monarch.
        The emergency power has to relate to a specific emergency (earthquakes, fires, floods, etc) not a device to run the whole country…..


        …….It would be nice to think that America is protected from the worst excesses of Trump’s impulses by its democratic laws and institutions. After all, Trump can do only so much without bumping up against the limits set by the Constitution and Congress and enforced by the courts. Those who see Trump as a threat to democracy comfort themselves with the belief that these limits will hold him in check…..

        ……The moment the president declares a “national emergency”—a decision that is entirely within his discretion—more than 100 special provisions become available to him……

        ……These laws address a broad range of matters, from military composition to agricultural exports to public contracts. For the most part, the president is free to use any of them; the National Emergencies Act doesn’t require that the powers invoked relate to the nature of the emergency……*

        ……For instance, George W. Bush leveraged the state of emergency after 9/11 to call hundreds of thousands of reservists and members of the National Guard into active duty in Iraq, for a war that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks. Other powers are chilling under any circumstances: Take a moment to consider that during a declared war or national emergency, the president can unilaterally suspend the law that bars government testing of biological and chemical agents on unwitting human subjects……

        …….“I think that Google and Twitter and Facebook, they’re really treading on very, very troubled territory. And they have to be careful,” Trump warned. If the government were to take control of U.S. internet infrastructure, Trump could accomplish directly what he threatened to do by regulation: ensure that internet searches always return pro-Trump content as the top results. The government also would have the ability to impede domestic access to particular websites, including social-media platforms. It could monitor emails or prevent them from reaching their destination. It could exert control over computer systems (such as states’ voter databases) and physical devices (such as Amazon’s Echo speakers) that are connected to the internet…..

        ……under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, or ieepa*. Passed in 1977, the law allows the president to declare a national emergency “to deal with any unusual and extraordinary threat”—to national security, foreign policy, or the economy—that “has its source in whole or substantial part outside the United States.” …….

        ……Once a person is “designated” under the order, no American can legally give him a job, rent him an apartment, provide him with medical services, or even sell him a loaf of bread unless the government grants a license to allow the transaction. The patriot Act gave the order more muscle, allowing the government to trigger these consequences merely by opening an investigation into whether a person or group should be designated…..

        …… presidents have explored the outer limits of their constitutional emergency authority in a series of directives known as Presidential Emergency Action Documents, or peads. peads*, which originated as part of the Eisenhower administration’s plans to ensure continuity of government in the wake of a Soviet nuclear attack, are draft executive orders, proclamations, and messages to Congress that are prepared in advance of anticipated emergencies. peads* are closely guarded within the government; none has ever been publicly released or leaked. But their contents have occasionally been described in public sources, including FBI memorandums that were obtained through the Freedom of Information Act as well as agency manuals and court records. According to these sources, peads* drafted from the 1950s through the 1970s would authorize not only martial law but the suspension of habeas corpus by the executive branch, the revocation of Americans’ passports, and the roundup and detention of “subversives” identified in an FBI “Security Index” that contained more than 10,000 names.

        Less is known about the contents of more recent peads* and equivalent planning documents. But in 1987, The Miami Herald reported that Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North had worked with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to create a secret contingency plan authorizing “suspension of the Constitution, turning control of the United States over to fema, appointment of military commanders to run state and local governments and declaration of martial law during a national crisis.” A 2007 Department of Homeland Security report lists “martial law” and “curfew declarations” as “critical tasks” that local, state, and federal government should be able to perform in emergencies. In 2008, government sources told a reporter for Radar magazine that a version of the Security Index still existed under the code name Main Core, allowing for the apprehension and detention of Americans tagged as security threats……

        ……It will fall to Jeff Sessions’s successor as attorney general to decide whether to rein in or expand some of the more frightening features of these peads*. And, of course, it will be up to President Trump whether to actually use them—something no previous president appears to have done……

        What the President Could Do If He Declares a State of Emergency
        Elizabeth Goitein – The Atlantic, January/February 2019 ISSUE – POLITICS

        * (my emphasis, J.

    • joe90 2.3

      On the powers of the President.

      But will they? Unknown to most Americans, a parallel legal regime allows the president to sidestep many of the constraints that normally apply. The moment the president declares a “national emergency”—a decision that is entirely within his discretion—more than 100 special provisions become available to him. While many of these tee up reasonable responses to genuine emergencies, some appear dangerously suited to a leader bent on amassing or retaining power. For instance, the president can, with the flick of his pen, activate laws allowing him to shut down many kinds of electronic communications inside the United States or freeze Americans’ bank accounts. Other powers are available even without a declaration of emergency, including laws that allow the president to deploy troops inside the country to subdue domestic unrest.

      This edifice of extraordinary powers has historically rested on the assumption that the president will act in the country’s best interest when using them. With a handful of noteworthy exceptions, this assumption has held up. But what if a president, backed into a corner and facing electoral defeat or impeachment, were to declare an emergency for the sake of holding on to power? In that scenario, our laws and institutions might not save us from a presidential power grab. They might be what takes us down.


  3. Morrissey 3

    “False Acquisitions the likes of which have never been seen before!”
    Stupid, militantly ignorant, nearly illiterate—and he’s President.

    In the early hours of Tuesday Sept. 25th last year, Donald Trump looked away from Fox News for a minute and tapped out the following piece of shit. An hour later he deleted it, but it’s worth looking at it here so we can, yet again, appreciate just what calibre of intellect occupies the Oval Office….

    The Democrats are working hard to destroy a wonderful man, and a man who has the potential to be one of our greatest Supreme Court Justices ever, with an array of False Acquisitions the likes of which have never been seen before!
    Deleted after 1 hour at 2:01 AM on 25 Sep.


  4. Dennis Frank 4

    “The baying mob of left-wing commentators aren’t brave or radical – and they can barely spell” declares Damien Grant on Stuff. “One of the great tragedies we face as a nation is a surfeit of radicals. Everyone, from Marama Davidson to the coffee-person at The Spinoff, considers themselves a radical.”

    No kidding? I hadn’t noticed. I’ve long thought everyone apart from me considers themselves normal kiwis – such a relief to be wrong about that!

    This Damien chap has a problem with “warriors battling against a Patriarchal Military Industrial Colonial Racist Rape Culture that, even if it ever existed, died long ago.” The problem is that they have infested the msm: “In desperation the media has taken these entitled preening self-obsessed flotsam and given them all by-lines and Twitter accounts.”

    “Their ideas dominate, almost to the exclusion of all other voices. They are, even if they do not know it, in power, if not in office. They define the parameters of allowable discourse and define what is permissible yet fail to see their own power. Their identity is wrapped up in fighting the system, having failed to see that, today, they are the system.”

    He ought to have quoted the Who from 1974: “meet the new boss, same as the old boss”. And “a parting on the left, Is now a parting on the right, and the beards have all grown longer overnight”. https://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/who/wontgetfooledagain.html

    He reckons it “pathetic the way our titans of industry refuse to confront the manufactured hysteria of 25-year-old journalism majors.” “Business, individuals and academics should, indeed have a responsibility, to push back against this monoculture for to fail to is to surrender much of what has we hold to be valuable.”

    The prospect of one part of the establishment polarising against another is interesting. He’s not advocating war, just push-back. Farrar & Slater can’t cope.

    • Muttonbird 4.1

      Amazing how a wealthy white male can feel so oppressed, so emasculated. Is he actually claiming ‘his people’ have lost their fight long ago?

    • Ad 4.2

      Gentlemen, part your beards.

      • Dennis Frank 4.2.1

        The twin-fork style? Rare, indeed. Youngsters seem to have been big on the patriarchal look since a couple of years ago (but not the attitudes that accompanied it). So hard to tell if that’s the usual reversion to the 19th century, or a more novel revival of the biblical style.

        • OnceWasTim

          Merely cyclical fashion @ Dennis, nothing as deep or meaningful.
          There have been attempts already, but I’m waiting for the neo-grunge era.
          The Sallies and St Vincent de Paul might start to do a roaring trade

        • OnceWasTim

          As I go to sleep at night Dennis, I imagine you as the warrior and voice of reason on Gallery with Brian Edwards (and his darling wife as a Commissioning Editor) in a debate between Wayne Mapp and someone like Pablo.
          Better still a ‘conversation going forward’ (as opposed to a discussion) between
          Green Party Co-leaders. Marama on the very-Left in reclamation mode, with James on the middle right protesting he’s not really a cunt.
          It could go on forever, but unfortunately they’ll run out of time

          Sorry for that

  5. Muttonbird 5

    Trudeau does a number on the Saudis in their ongoing spat. Pictures of a smiling and “very brave new Canadian” must infuriate major US ally and one of the worst patriarchal regimes and societies in the world.


  6. An excellent summation by independent American journalist Abby Martin on all the ways Trump has ramped up the US war machine in the past two years.

    An interesting question is whether “war monger” Hillary Clinton would even have gotten close to achieving as much. People are still using the “Hillary would have been just as bad” meme, But at the end of the day, this is pure speculation that will never been proven in reality, whereas Trump has proved to be the military nightmare that so many on the Left as well as Right argued Clinton would be.

    • Dennis Frank 6.1

      Well, I watched it for 2.5 minutes and she still hadn’t produced any evidence to validate her thesis. Propaganda works just like advertising. If you can’t hook ’em in the first 30 seconds, you’re wasting your time.

      Leftists preaching to the converted yet again. 🙄 Any unbiased observer will deduce that pulling US troops out of Syria & Afghanistan makes Trump anti-imperialist. Real US imperialists were livid, and bitched at him in the media about it.

      Life in the leftist bubble seems to induce this type of delusional thinking. If she had evidence he was starting different wars elsewhere, she would have led with that news! Any half-way competent msm presenter, director, or producer, knows that!

      • Sabine 6.1.1

        He has already peddled back on pulling toops out. He has openly stated he would like to remove troops (under check and balances ) and replace these with mercenaries.

        He has yet to stop selling weapons, pull out from anywhere, stop the drone bombing, etc etc etc, he has had the house and the senate for two years and he did nothing.

        Can you explain that?

        Cause life in the bublle seems to induce this type of delusional thinking.

        how about bombing iran

        how about stealing the oil wealth?


        pulling out of syria? Oh noes, equiment yes, troop numbers might actually increase


        afghanistan? privatise the war? might even go to syria?



        yep, non so blind as those that don’t want to see.

        The shitstain is not gonna stop war as war is literally the only business he has left to make money on. And that is what all of this is about. Making money. War is a racket and the shitstain wants his cuts. After all that is what this presidenting business is all about.

        If the shitstain would have wanted to end wars and bring peace he could have done so for two years, yet the only meaningful legislation he and his enablers in congress and senate signed was a tax reform bill that reduced his tax rate even further soon IRS will just send him checks for farting about.

        • Dennis Frank

          I judge him on what he actually does. It seems to work better than judging him on what he says. The notion that I’d be inclined to switch to judging him on the basis of a bunch of media stories about what media pros think he intends to do is a strange one!

          • Sabine

            No you judge him on what he says.

            Cause he has done nothing in the two years that he had with full support of the House and Senate held by the Republicans.
            The only thing he got from his enablers was a tax cut. That is the sum total of his achievements.

            I don’t actually listen to the shitstain, but i read what he says, and you know what? He has not pulled troops out of anywhere. He has not stopped any bombings of Yemen, He has not stopped selling weapons to Saudi Arabia so that they can continue bombing Yemen. He has not stopped North Korea from developing their nuclear weapons. He has systematically dismantled even the tiniest little bit of environmental legislation passed under presidents before him, and not only Obama. EPA is gutted for all its worth, but hey its all good right?

            So i am not sure what you are judging him on, maybe his Golf Game?

            • Dennis Frank

              Yes, those are valid points. In regard to pulling the troops out, I’m assuming there’s an official time-frame to implement that. So we ought to reserve judgment awhile. I hope you aren’t mistaking me for someone pro-Trump. I just prefer to avoid bias, give credit where due, disagree with criticism that seems inaccurate.

              It is true that I appreciate his anti-establishment stance. That’s what has made it hard for him in respect of legislation. Other Republicans are as much enemies as friends, and their support has been slow and conditional.

              • Sabine

                The man with the golden shitter is the anti establishment idea.

                Much like the Mafia, these guys too are anti establishment.

                Surely any time now he will drain the swamp, and make life better for the fearful, much maligned, abused, neglected white working male with economic anxiety.
                One tax cut at a time.

      • Pete 6.1.2

        I was going to watch the All Blacks v Ireland game in 3013 but after 2.5 minutes it was still 0-0 so gave up.

        Apparently it was won 24-22 in the 82nd minute after a try was scored in a movement which involved most of one team multiple times. No substance from the outset though meant it was a nothing event, not worth watching.

        • Dennis Frank

          Poor analogy. Try harder. 🙄

          • Pete

            Totally disregarding something because it doesn’t immediately engage is silly. I realise the long game isn’t for you hence your short reply.

            As an effort to show a shallowness of thinking can be judged in the first four words it is most appropriate.

    • Sabine 6.2

      no she would have not simply due to the fact that she would have had to content with a republican held congress and senate – as did Obama.
      Chances are also as the left is not as disciplined when it comes to voting that the democrats would have not won the house in the mid terms she would still be stuck with Rebulicans everywhere.

      And that is why quite a few and me included would have voted for her – holding nose and all that – rather then vote for the orange shitstain who has surrounded himself with some of the worst people a political party could potentially house.

      But it is now done, the shitstain will in the end be worse the Hillary could have ever been, why? Because no one will ever hold him to account. And considering that the shitstain is lazy, intellectually and physically, has no interest in learning and adjusting ones views but rather wants to be mentally masturbated by arsekissers and boot lickers he will never ever be what he always was, a fraud, a conman, a racist, a misogynist etc etc etc . He will never bring peace to anyone or anywhere, he will not make the US great, but rather cause in the end a civil war which consider that the US is a nuclear country with a lot of bigoted end times obsessed religious nutters, could be interesting for the rest of the planet.

      But hey,. her emails.

  7. Ad 7

    With Germany’s far right AfD now campaigning for Germany to exit the EU, the EU now has an existential fight on its hands.

    Success by AfD in the EU elections together with other nationalists could simply explode the entire EU project.

    They are likely to be hugely successful in these elections.

    The left can now start to imagine a world without the EU – the strongest civilising force in trade, law, environment and human rights that the world has had in 70 years.

  8. Wayne 8

    Anything called the “Empire Files” is hardly independent. Though I guess you mean independent as in not employed by a major news media organisation.

    Anyway I viewed the item. It is way overblown. Trump has increased defence expenditure, but that is basically on new multi-billion dollar ships. It will be years before they are delivered. Overseas deployments have hardly changed since the Obama era.

    In fact the major combat deployment in Syria is in a wind down. The one major change is the US policy toward Iran, but I don’t believe that will result in war. It is possible, but unlikely. In contrast the situation in the Korean peninsula is headed toward peace. As for China, US military policy is basically a continuation of the Obama policy. On that issue Republicans and Democrats have a singular view. Though will the left side of the Democrats want a new policy? Too hard to tell at the moment.

    • Sabine 8.1

      of course the ge ntlement from boeing would never push boeing now that he is secretary of defense…….

      surely not.


      no absolutely not


      cross my heart and bless your cotton socks,


      So much education, so little learned.

      And again, it must be the democrats that don’t want peace, right? Cause ………….never mind that the republicans have held the house and senate under obama and did jack shit, have held the house and senate under the shitstain and did jack shit, but hey the democrats took the house back a week ago, so let the blame game begin.

      What you are saying Wayne is that the conservatives would be so good at running things were it not for the left, and then they run things, and the government gets shut down three times in one year, no war was stopped, no troops have been recalled, the bombs and drones keep on falling, war sales increase, trade wars for shits n giggles, north korea still building its bombs, china still enlarging its territory by building islands and so on.

      You are a faithful water carrier that at least can be said about you.

      • Exkiwiforces 8.1.1

        The ongoing saga of the KC-46 Peagasus Tankers has been very interesting from the start and it shows just much clout the US Arms manufactures have. The Airbus Tanker (which won the contact to supply the USAF with new Tankers until Boeing threw its toys out of its cot) is far superior on so many levels it’s not funny and the basic design of the Boeing Aircraft is basically old technology (mid to late 80’s).

        The Brits have complained about the technology in RC-135 Airseeker’s that replaced the Nimrod R2’s, but the Poms can’t replace more superior Brit technology because Boeing holds the IP rights and they won’t release the IP because they will lose money on any future upgrades and it’s the same for the P8. The Brits were hoping to replace the Yank stuff on the P8 for the MR4 Nimrod design equipment which again was far superior to the Yank design equipment. Hence why I’m a little bit concerned with the NZG/ MOD buying the P8 as any RNZAF upgrade in the future may have to be done in Australia as they have a very large footprint in Oz? Instead of here in NZ because Boeing holds the IP and NZ will be restricted to what it can do to the P8 as it would be the Boeing way or the Highway. Unlike with the old P3’s that RNZAF have upgraded over the years which has in turn generated money for Safe Air as nations that use the P3 have use Safe Air knowledge to maintain the own P3 due too outside the square thinking of the RNZAF and NZ MOD.

    • Morrissey 8.2

      Considering the quality of the advice you seemed to accept with little question during your time as Minister of Defence, Wayne, I would seriously question your critical acumen.


  9. Morrissey 9

    Is there a more laughable public figure
    in New Zealand than Bob McCoskrie?

    Think of the really outré figures in this country. It’s not that big a list. There are the unspeakably evil (Garth “The Knife” McVicar, Allan Titford), the plain silly (David Seymour), the foolish (Jordan Williams), the mad (Cameron Slater), the bad (Nevil “Breivik” Gibson), and the sad (Christine “Spankin'” Rankin).

    And then there is Bob “Hairbrush” McCoskrie. Despite calling himself a Christian, he’s notorious for advocating the beating of children. He reckons using a hairbrush as a weapon to hit an infant is godly.

    But in the following bizarre post, he seems to have decided that any physical force is a bad thing. What’s he smoking? And, no, I do NOT want a puff of it….


  10. greywarshark 10

    Money system mismanagement through not applying the right incentives at the right time seems to be a regular thing. Also too much connectedness, amounting to a syndicate of banks, led to the spread of a what would otherwise have been a localised difficulty.

    In 1836, directors of the Bank of England noticed that the Bank’s monetary reserves had declined precipitously in recent years, possibly because of poor wheat harvests that forced Great Britain to import much of its food.[5]

    To compensate, the directors indicated that they would gradually raise interest rates from 3 to 5 percent. The conventional financial theory held that banks should raise interest rates and curb lending when faced with low monetary reserves. Raising interest rates, according to the laws of supply and demand, was supposed to attract species since money generally flows where it will generate the greatest return (assuming equal risk among possible investments).

    In the open economy of the 1830s, characterized by free trade and relatively weak trade barriers, the monetary policies of the hegemonic power – in this case, Great Britain – were transmitted to the rest of the interconnected global economic system, included the U.S. The result was that as the Bank of England raised interest rates, major banks in the United States were forced to do the same.[6]

    Do we learn? Are we managing our national finances better now? We are all connected now, isn’t that good? Details of the USA in one century alone.

    List of notable depressions since the year dot.

  11. Morrissey 11

    Get out of Iraq. Get out of Pakistan. Get out of Afghanistan.
    Get out of Yemen. Get out of Syria.

    Saying “the US was stabilizing in opposition to the state” is like saying “the serial killer nurse was stabilizing her patients by injecting air into their arteries.”

    —Caitlin Johnstone


  12. Dennis Frank 12

    Anonymous: “I’ve worked at parliament for three different MPs over five years. For the first time, I’m now working for a woman MP, and the kind of messages sent to her online are shocking.” https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/14-01-2019/what-you-see-when-its-your-job-to-open-a-woman-mps-facebook-messages/

    “My job title is Executive Support and Research. It’s a pretty complex job: I balance the diary, conduct research, produce comms material and do pretty much anything else my MP needs. This includes managing and responding to traditional letters and emails; it also means dealing with the wonderful world of Facebook messages – the one part of her social media where my MP has relinquished control to me.”

    For this person, the experiential difference produced by gender was a shock, and it seems to have motivated the writer to publicise what female politicians are likely to encounter from the public. After discussing examples, he concludes with this:

    “There are some simple things we as men can do to change this really nasty culture. We can look at our own actions for starters and how they impact the lives of others. Don’t be a fuckwit. If you’ve been a creep in the past, learn from it. Help your friends do the same if they need it. That might look like just giving them friendly advice on how to Tinder without being a dick, or you know, maybe suggesting they don’t try and hit on members of parliament via Facebook.”

  13. CHCOff 13

    As inane & trite this stuff is to swallow on the surface….


    ….the influence of accumulated money through neo-conservative rorting from the economy is anything but.


  14. Tamati Tautuhi 14

    Tulsi Gabbard should have a good chance of rolling the Trumpster for POTUS IMHO.

  15. Andre 15

    Heh. My kid is looking for a Linux laptop. His grandpa is taking a round trip to the US soon. So I told him to check out getting it delivered to rellies in the US and have grandpa bring it back.

    Looks like it’s going to be quite a bit cheaper to have it shipped to NZ. Because if it’s delivered to a US address, Drumpf tariffs apply, but those tariffs don’t apply when it’s shipped here.

    • Grant 15.1

      Just remember that if it’s over $400 NZD they’ll ping you for GST at the border.

      • Andre 15.1.1

        Yeah. But that happens regardless of whether it’s shipped in or carried back in person. In theory anyway. My kid is quite rule-compliance-oriented so he would have issues with grandpa trying to get it in without paying the GST.

    • Brigid 15.2

      But you can put Linux on any laptop. Surely he knows this. Why does he need to get it delivered to the US considering they’re just about exclusively made in Asian countries?

  16. CHCOff 16

    Financial Transaction Tax better than Capital Gains i’d say, for primarily two reasons:


    1) Firstly, banking has been practising versions of it for a long time, and look how well it has worked out for that industry.

    2) The problem is not so much accumulated capital, as it is accumulated capital that is not good or capable to much else in society other than more accumulation, that is to say accumulated capital rather than being an asset to the real economy, it is a liability.
    I’m not sure a capital gains tax really does much to change that current dynamic.

  17. Dennis Frank 17

    “A new analysis, published Thursday in the journal Science, found that the oceans are heating up 40 percent faster on average than a United Nations panel estimated five years ago. The researchers also concluded that ocean temperatures have broken records for several straight years.” https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/10/climate/ocean-warming-climate-change.html

    “2018 is going to be the warmest year on record for the Earth’s oceans,” said Zeke Hausfather, an energy systems analyst at the independent climate research group Berkeley Earth and an author of the study. “As 2017 was the warmest year, and 2016 was the warmest year.”

    “As the planet has warmed, the oceans have provided a critical buffer. They have slowed the effects of climate change by absorbing 93 percent of the heat trapped by the greenhouse gases humans pump into the atmosphere.”

    “Our best estimate is that the rate of warming since the 1970s is about 40 per cent faster than was reported in the estimates published in the last IPCC report,” Dr Hausfather said. In the period between 1991 to 2010, the ocean warmed, on average, more than five times faster than in the 1971 to 1990 period, according to the research.” https://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2019-01-11/ocean-warming-accelerating-faster-than-thought-science/10693080

    “This latest analysis, headed by Lijing Cheng from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, looked at four different studies published since 2013, that used improved statistical and analytical methods to estimate historic warming. Each of these studies independently came to the same conclusion, according to Dr Hausfather.”

    “There’s been four different estimates of ocean-heat content published since the 2013 IPCC report,” he said. “They all show more warming than previous projections.”

  18. greywarshark 18

    I’d like a bit more information about the Christchurch chase involving 3 young men in a car running from police, and then crashing into a tree; all are dead I think.
    They reached a speed of 135 kmh but what speed were they travelling at when he police first got on their tail?

    I think some psychological discussion needs to go on here. The police becoming involved, once they start to try to outrun them, their adrenalin is pumping, this is not reasoned policing. It does not endear people to the police force, who don’t seem to be involved with the citizens at any age which puts the police in a positive light around the country. Individuals yes, but I feel that meeting targets is more important than good relationships with people.

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