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Open mike 14/07/2020

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, July 14th, 2020 - 120 comments
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120 comments on “Open mike 14/07/2020 ”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Here's a good pic of Trump's finger-pointing for a caption competition: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/ideasroom/will-the-us-election-be-a-geopolitical-turning-point

    Stephen Hoadley, Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Auckland’s Faculty of Arts, examines the US election.

    Until Trump’s digressions, US presidents had made the following contributions to ‘making America great’:

    He follows with a paragraph summarising the greatness effect of each of nine presidents, some rather unconvincing! Then the current situation:

    Biden is 10 percentage points ahead of Trump in an average of polls. He has been endorsed by Obama, Sanders, Powell, 80 top former security officials, several new Political Action Committees (PACs), and by the majority of persons of colour.

    • Cinny 1.1

      Cheers for posting Dennis, that's some good fodder for when I'm trolling the MAGA crowd 🙂

      Any word yet on who Biden's running mate is please?

      Do you know please, if a President became unfit for office would the Vice President become President?

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1

        Andre is the best here for advice on the constitutional method for determining that a US president is unfit for office, but yes, the VP would move up if it happens.

        I posted here a week or two back a report which said Biden will decide on a running mate by the end of July, from memory (vague, sorry), but the short list of black female candidates was down to three in that report.

      • Andre 1.1.2

        No decision yet on Biden's running mate. ISTR they were planning to make the announcement around 1st August.

        The 25th Amendment spells out what happens if a President becomes unable to carry out their duties. Yes, in that case the Vice-President becomes President.

        It provides for handing over temporarily, as has been used a number of times when the president has had a medical procedure done.

        It provides for when a president becomes permenently incapacitated, but not dead, such as by suffering a stroke.

        It provides for when a president is clearly bonkers and completely mentally unfit for the position, which should have been used at any time in the last 3 and a half years but hasn't because all the Repug officeholders that would need to act to make it happen are so cravenly spineless they make jellyfish look like Winston Churchill.

        If your question is about what happens if the nominee for President becomes incapacitated before the election, that depends on timing.

        If it happens before the nominating convention, then it basically becomes a free-for-all at the convention. If the presumptive nominee (right now, Biden for the Dems and that Repugnant stygian homunculus) is in a fit state to express their opinion on who should be their replacement to their pledged delegates, that may be a decisive factor.

        Post convention when they are the actual nominee, it's still not completely clear and is nominally up to the party to decide what to do, but the strongest likelihood is that the veep nominee would become the presidential nominee and choose a new veep nominee. Same as would happen for an elected president and veep.

        • Cinny

          Thanks Andre for explaining, you're awesome 🙂 I really appreciate your insight on the USA elections.

          Maybe there is still hope for the USA after all, depending on Biden's running mate, who may have to take over at some stage.

  2. NZJester 2

    Looks like Act has found a way to grow their support by pulling in all the fringe groups they can with promises to support them. What other fringe groups besides the anti 1080 and anti gun control groups will they try and court next? National's dirty politics people must be rubbing their hands with glee they can target these groups with disinformation to get them to vote for Act and bolster Nationals puppet party.

    The anti 1080 and anti gun control people are being played hard but they are to focused on getting what they want to realize it trapped in their own little disinformation group bubbles.

  3. Treetop 3

    Muller has resigned.

    • Cinny 3.1

      Snap !!! Dang, are they trying to do an Andrew and Jacinda, because it ain't gonna work.

      They are imploding. Crikey!

      Edit…. Crusher is visiting Motueka tomorrow…. hmmmm

  4. Phew!

    Who's next in line?

    Muller just resigned

    • Peter 4.1

      'Health reasons' said a headline. The party is terminal he meant.

      • peterh 4.1.1

        Not health heat

      • Graeme 4.1.2

        Having to lead that mess would take a severe toll on anyones health. He's certainly gone to bits as it's gone on and I was starting to be concerned for the guy.

        • Ffloyd

          So was I. Very pleased to see he had the internal strength to walk away from the swill. I don't think he realised how morally corrupt that little band of Neanderthal are. You lie down with dogs you get up with fleas. All the best to him and his family. Picking the next one to enter the bear pit will be Amy Adams. If so good luck to her. All I can say.

    • Kiwijoker 4.2

      Woodhouse would have to have the required, values, integrity and moral compass to be their leader.

      • Cinny 4.2.1

        Just about chocked on my cuppa! Lmao !!! Moral compass… rofl !!!

      • Treetop 4.2.2

        See if Woodhouse is back benched.

      • Goodgrief 4.2.3

        You are presumably joking Kiwijoker. Woodhouse is, I'd suggest, one of the main reasons Muller has resigned. The Heron inquiry will no doubt show that he had been corresponding with Boag WITHOUT telling Muller. The National Party caucus is deeply divided and Woodhouse was/is a strong Bridges supporter.

    • bwaghorn 4.3

      Its a worry . I would never have voted muller but he atleast seemed to have some decency.

      • Cinny 4.3.1

        He's economical with the truth, which is hardly a decent quality.

        • bwaghorn

          He got cornered by woodhouse last week . I reckon hes been knifed.

          • Pingao

            The health reasons could be the stabbing sensations between his shoulder blades.

        • weka

          he's in National, lying is part of the job. But I don't think he is sociopathic, which was an improvement.

      • RedLogix 4.3.2

        Same here.

        This is a surprise, clearly the mess he inherited from Key and Bridges was worse than he imagined. If you actually care about doing the right thing, being in a position of responsibility to fix it is highly stressful.

        “The role has taken a heavy toll on me personally, and on my family, and this has become untenable from a health perspective.”

        I think also he may have realised his public speaking and communication skills were not up to being PM.

        I'd give the guy points for self-awareness and the courage to leave with dignity.

        • Dennis Frank

          "It has become clear to me that I am not the best person to be Leader of the Opposition and Leader of the New Zealand National Party at this critical time for New Zealand," he said. "It is more important than ever that the New Zealand National Party has a leader who is comfortable in the role. The role has taken a heavy toll on me personally, and on my family, and this has become untenable from a health perspective."


          • RedLogix

            Ta. I forgot the linky …

            In this instance I’m willing to take the ‘health reasons’ excuse at face value. That plus what may well be discouraging internal polling …

            • Dennis Frank

              “I'd give the guy points for self-awareness and the courage to leave with dignity”

              Me too. Nats seem in deep shit now. They need an uncompromised leader to succeed but there's no obvious contenders who fit that description!

          • OnceWasTim

            If I was a gNat, I'd have voted for him too in the absence of an alternative. But can you tell me why you're surprised? I was wondering when rather than if ,

            Perhaps Wayne will be along soon to defend and educate us, while the various rent-a-voices elsewhere will give us all some in-depth analysis

            • Dennis Frank

              Looks like you intended that as a reply to RL – but it is a surprise since bad poll ratings haven't sufficiently emerged as likely trigger. Farrar still has his early June poll on kiwiblog – if he did polling early July it may have been so dire for National that he decided not to post it onsite, but if notified to Muller that could have catalysed the resignation.

              The sense I get is that Muller was never ensconced in control. I hope Nat factionalism will emerge into the media now. Will they succeed in keeping that stuff covert? Depends on caucus perception of common interests…

              • Yep, I did Dennis. Not sure how that happened – possibly phat fingers on a cold early morning keyboard. Those polls those polls though eh? Sometimes about as useful as measuring the voices of a taxi drivers, people in one's own community, and various bubbles one hops hops between, and then putting it all in a David Mac blender


                By the way, I’m wondering how many of the Christian right have popped along to their local lately to listen to their minister’s words of wisdom. It might not be a bad idea if they did. Wotcha rekons?

          • Cinny

            Health reasons or family reasons is just an excuse if he continues to stand for election as an MP.

            One doesn't put their hand up to be leader without understanding the weight of the role.

            Oh snap….. $$$$$$ billboards etc to replace.

            • anker

              Ha ha ha yes the billboards…."Better team, more jobs" They seem to be creating many job opportunities e.g. leader of the opposition positions, Southland/Clutha candidates, not to mention the stream of National MPs leaving

            • Treetop

              Muller might be a late scratching, not sure if he will vacate or be asked to go.

        • mauī

          Yeah right… he's been in fine fettle the past few weeks bagging Labour for everything health related.

        • Treetop

          On News Hub Garner made these comments after 8 am.

          What is John Key doing they could bring him back?


          Cut and run.

          Muller gets points from me on knowing that his family comes first and not a garden full of weeds which just keeps growing.

          • Incognito

            Huh? DP is sinking the party and he calls for the Grand-Master of DP to come back who’s not even an MP!? Garner should have a lie down and a cuppa and he may, just may, come up with a moderately useful uttering for once.

        • anker

          Sure give the guy points for self awareness etc……………but actually no self awareness when he launched the coup that he was the very worst person for the job……………….just remembering the Simon Wilson article where he concluded Muller seemed convinced of his own exceptionlism

          • Incognito

            Simon Wilson’s opinion doesn’t make it true.

            • OnceWasTim

              Ain't that the truth. Simon's probably still yearning for a polished concrete floor somewhere in Burma Road, a little more corduroy in his wardrobe, reflecting on lysergic JollyGreenGiants in pill form allowing him his his historical interpretations, and trusting in his bloody good journalism (by comparison with the rest) to move him forward (in this space).

          • RedLogix

            but actually no self awareness when he launched the coup that he was the very worst person for the job

            Not really. If Muller is remembered for nothing else but rolling the moral vacuum called Simon Bridges, he will have done OK in my book.

    • Graeme 4.4

      Oh will the National Party just get their shit together and stop fighting amongst themselves, I've got work to do.

      Not looking good there, they've burnt through the leaders they can sort of agree on.

    • Muttonbird 4.5

      Probably because there's more to come out on the dirty politics and lying to media.

      As for Hooton, that went well mate, didn't it?

    • Sorry about the mistaken address a moment ago – in my excitement I typed the message in the wrong place.

      Have another go!

      Woodlouse next!!!

  5. Tricledrown 5

    Must be internal polling Hooton ,Woodhouse,in his interview he was up for the hard yards.

    Who's up next Crusher Collins.

  6. Peter 6

    Ben Thomas on radio :"Congratulations to him." WHAT?

    For what? Covering up and lying last week? Getting out before an official report comes out that he knows will be most unfavourable and that much closer to the election?

  7. Cricklewood 8

    Hmm can't help but think Crushers master plan has just come to fruition

    • Muttonbird 8.1

      Will Cameron Slater be the National Party strategist?

    • Treetop 8.2

      It took Collins 18 years, a few scandals, a demotion or two, and count up the leaders.

      Did Collins ever make deputy?

  8. Andre 9

    Bring back Bridges!

  9. Bloke 10

    Todd's gone by lunchtime, shame really but whos next up for a turn in the barrel, Nikki?

  10. Bloke 11

    See that the bouffanted one formerly from Ohariu-Belmont has recommended crusher. He was always a dark horse that romantic devil

  11. Gosman 12

    Muller's resignation is good news for ACT. On track for well over 5% of the vote now.

    [lprent: Please don’t astroturf that same comment everywhere. ]

    • bwaghorn 12.1

      It's ok they'll be in opposition until the nats sort there shit and then they'll be back to .5% and one puppet

    • Treetop 12.2

      I said it approx 6 weeks ago Seymour needs to be the National Party leader.

      I could see Seymour was accumulating seats as well. I predicted 3-4.

      How many at 5%?

      Seymour has it so sweet as he does not have a caucus to leak information.

      • Incognito 12.2.1

        All ACT Leaders of late have been one-man shows. None of them could lead a herd of feral cats starved of power. It would be Seymour’s death sentence.

    • Gosman 12.3

      Lprent, the only reason the comment appeared on this thread was because I posted it and it did not appear for ages so I assumed you wanted it in Open Mike (although it was still valid for that other thread as well).

      • lprent 12.3.1

        Fair enough. I didn't release it, so I have no idea what you got caught by on the comment (could look up the history – but bearing in mind the short time between comments, it was probably just caching).

        I was scanning through the comments at the backend and saw an identical comment in two different posts on the same backend page of comments. Went back up the page and left the note on the last one as a warning.

        Don't take it personally, it is one of my standing reflexive triggers for a warning. I do it to everyone to prevent anyone wanting to use it as a tactic. hell, I still even have the SQL around to detect persistent astroturfing between posts.

  12. anker 13

    Yes act has only ever got anywhere due to the generosity of National

  13. Adrian 14

    Muller for the last week just looked as if he did not want to be there and I don’t think he has had a decent nights sleep in ages. I almost felt sorry for him but kicked myself and reminded myself that actually thinking you are the Leader people need should be the the primary disqualifying factor.
    I believe the health reason.

    In the last week I have suggested that Bridges would be the Nat leader by the Election to much hilarity from my mates, well, my one mate anyway.

    • Gabby 14.1

      He expected it to be easy like his other pretend jobs. Poor good ol boy.

      • Draco T Bastard 14.1.1

        That's part of the problem with National – they actually believe that government is a pretend job.

        John Key wilted after he became PM. It was obvious from the get go that the job was far harder than he ever believed it would be and it took its toll on him.

        • I Feel Love

          Key, the David Brent of politics, "I'm an entertainer first, a boss second".

          • Draco T Bastard

            “The President in particular is very much a figurehead — he wields no real power whatsoever. He is apparently chosen by the government, but the qualities he is required to display are not those of leadership but those of finely judged outrage. For this reason the President is always a controversial choice, always an infuriating but fascinating character. His job is not to wield power but to draw attention away from it. On those criteria Zaphod Beeblebrox is one of the most successful Presidents the Galaxy has ever had — he has already spent two of his ten presidential years in prison for fraud.”

            Douglass Adams.

  14. ianmac 15

    Will Woodhouse be able to continue in his Health role? Does he have universal liking and credibility or will he be another casualty? Hope he gets demoted or maybe he will just resign?

  15. ianmac 16

    Now we know why Muller did not front up for Q&A on Sunday.

    • observer 16.1

      He was brought down by reporters and interviewers doing their job.

      Some of the bores who constantly parrot "media wah wah all useless wah wah" might like to reflect on that for a while. But probably won't.

    • Treetop 16.2

      Heron will need to extend the terms of the inquiry.

      A leader cannot keep making comments or answering questions when they do not know the full answer.

  16. The Chairman 17

    What a pity it's only 84 of them and it seems only one New Zealander. But it's a start.

    Sir Stephen Tindall among group of rich people wanting higher taxes to aid Covid-19 recovery.


  17. greywarshark 19

    It angers me when some smart-arse comes along after a scare of some sort which involved precautions and limits, and because professionals did not have the right crystal ball exactly aligned they receive sneers and cat-calls.

    The Telegraph writer here Christopher Snowdon, takes a sneering look at the concerned professionals in the UK who called for sharp action with warnings of possible disastrous outcomes (which have occurred in USA and Brazil we note). The fact is that Sweden did not duck and take cover and hasn't been bowled over because they were watching the borders and quick to isolate sick people.

    This is the Timeline for Sweden:

    I think the UK was not as organised and the results show. The Guardian states that Sweden had 25 deaths and 2016 Coronavirus cases at 23 March 2020. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/23/swedish-pm-warned-russian-roulette-covid-19-strategy-herd-immunity

    Other charts shows UK with known 1035 cases on 22 March – https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus/country/united-kingdom?country=~GBR
    and UK deaths at 20 March 170-210 depending on how the figures were gathered – https://www.bbc.com/news/health-52103808

    I think it shows bad form to pot the professionals for doing their job of informing possibilities in a seriously concerned fashion.

  18. Incognito 20

    But New Zealand is small and not a big market, so why would those financing false news be interested in our elections?

    Admittedly powerful foreign organisations probably don’t really care whether it is Jacinda Ardern or Todd Muller who is prime minister, but they may want to use New Zealand as a pawn in other political discussions.

    This piece is so odd that it almost comes across as a deliberate distraction.

    The second to last paragraph will lead to predictable behaviour and the tips towards the end are pretty lightweight.


  19. joe90 21

    Fun thread.


  20. The Chairman 22

    NZPP rules out the Vision Party.

    NZPP new membership has grown from averaging 100 a day to 200 a day.

    Seems to be a grassroots movement growing here.

    Could end up being a wildcard to look out for.

  21. observer 24

    Yesterday I said on here that the "secret" hotel location for Aus deportees would inevitably be discovered and named.

    It took 24 hours.

  22. Macro 25

    Now for something completely different.

    This is actually a real workout to which I can relate.

  23. aj 26

    Former Prime Minister Jim Bolger says the National Party needs to choose a new leader who is bold enough to talk publicly about tax increases and New Zealand's post-Covid economic future. “Bolger said no political parties were saying what the political implications were for the government’s major spending during the Covid-19 pandemic “to keep the economy half afloat”.

    “We have to address the tax issues, now we’ve done the spending issue … we’re talking massive sums of money and nobody in any political party – even the commentators are not – saying ‘well, how do we address this now?'”

    He said the government had done a good job in ensuring that New Zealand did not have a Covid-19 problem of the scale that other countries have, “but we do have a problem in the scale of debt that we’ve loaded on ourselves”.

    He said tax and rate increases were the stark reality of what New Zealand had to do, and the discussion it must have, but much bolder leadership was needed as a result of Covid-19.

    “We had bold leadership to manage the virus – full marks – now we have to have bold leadership to manage the aftermath and that requires a real look at how we go about taxing and spending because at the moment they’re just totally out of kilter with reality.

    “And I just hope there are leaders out there, in all parties, that’ll step up to that.”


    Jim Bolger has channeled Corbyn and Sanders several times recently and continues his Road To Damascus moment in this interview. I know he gets served – and deservedly so – for his part in the promoting Chicago School economics but I'll give the guy a break because he's following his conscience and and the doing the right thing now.

    Only trouble is there isn't single Nat you can name that would have the balls (or mana) to change the conversation. Same, more the pity, with Labour, but should they get to govern alone (far from a given) perhaps Robertson et al will grow some. But I suspect the political reality is that heavier and more progressive tax plans will only get a nod from the people when the worlds already past gone.

    • Nic the NZer 26.1

      You've been had. Calling for Austerity (cutting the deficit with tax hikes) way too soon after a recession is precisely a Chicago school type prescription.

      With unemployment at elevated levels this would likely be as destructive as when Boldgers government did it during the mid 90s.

      If you want to understand the Chicago school connection then look up the concept called Ricardian equivalence. Then consider if it seems reasonable to claim your presently limiting spending in anticipation of tax hikes (and the converse), or due to the state of the economy.

      • aj 26.1.1

        I'm pretty sure Bolger is calling for a wealth tax. I would support that. And the Tobin Tax. If you believe 'debt must be repaid' then it has to come from taxing unproductive currency flows and the very wealthy.

        • Nic the NZer

          Clearly Bolgers first concern is the level of government debt. I don't believe he got as far as specifying what kind of tax to collect. Your projecting and another punter would project their own preferred tax onto his statements.

          There are plenty of other ways to reduce the govt debt level of course. For a start you could stop issuing new debt (and just allow the OCR fall to zero). Or have the RBNZ buy and write off as much as desired. Not that this is an actual present policy concern.

  24. Dennis Frank 27

    Bernard Hickey goes fishing for a transformational PM: https://www.newsroom.co.nz/politics/is-the-pm-a-transformer-or-just-a-manager

    Ardern has kept her second-term policy reform powder as dry as possible, knowing that a low-target strategy the surest way to re-election in this MMP landscape. But now that plausible deniability is gone. Todd Muller's spectacular resignation and the prospect of a National voting sagging into the low 30 percent range means there is a very real prospect of a Labour alone or Labour-Green Government from September 20.

    Now there is nowhere to hide. If you're likely to win, the public would like to know what you're going to do with that victory and unprecedented power in nearly a quarter of a century of always-in-coalition government.

    He's right. The time to declare Labour's aspirations is nigh. There will be wiggle room for a while, but Jacinda ought not wait too long. Next poll will provide a basis for being ambitious. In a careful, moderate way…

    • Robert Guyton 27.1

      Doesn't matter if she says nothing at all – National have lost the election; Labour need only bide their time. The win will come, no matter what she says or doesn't say.

    • Incognito 27.2

      Lightbulbs and showerheads.

    • Gabby 27.3

      He's wrong. He just wants Labour to put up a nice big target for Mercky Mitch to snipe at.

  25. lprent 29

    Server is starting to get a bit warmer than usual.

    It must be election season.

    • Incognito 29.1

      Can you fry an egg yet?

      • lprent 29.1.1

        72C peak on the core. 63C on the radiator. So nope. Makes a effective space heater though in a well insulated apartment.

        • lprent

          Couple of minor tweaks now that I can see a loaded performance on php7.4. It appears that they have increased the per process performance at a power and noise chewing higher levels of short term CPU performance. Not useful for this usage. I was wondering about the higher core usage.

          Increased the process pool. Dropped the priority of php processes so the database gets more attention, increased the number of handles that can open, increased the number of requests before closing processes, increased the available processes and the time before each would fail, increased the memory cache quite a lot, etc, etc.

          That reduced the process load at the CPU by a magnitude. Should effectively run quieter and deliver the same user performance. Effectively I have prioritized the database and web server over the raw code performance.

          It is now handling the peaks a lot faster.

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