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Open Mike 19/01/2019

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, January 19th, 2019 - 141 comments
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141 comments on “Open Mike 19/01/2019”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    Finally impeachment is looking like a realistic prospect. I reported the breaking news last night on Open Mike. Nobody commented, so I suspect all the clamour for it last year by the Democrats has everyone in a state of disbelief, assuming it’s fake news.

    Not if Cohen is telling the truth that he has proof Trump lied to Congress. That’s serious. The BBC is now onto the case, but gave it to a reporter who flounders around for a while without getting to the point: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46915909

    Then, after that preliminary failure, their analyst gets to it: “The report on Thursday night that there is documentary evidence Donald Trump directed his former attorney to lie to Congress just lit a big fuse.” “If the Buzzfeed story is substantiated – and it asserts this evidence is already in the hands of Mr Mueller – this would appear to present a strong case for presidential obstruction of justice.”

    Mueller has spent a couple of years taking out the small fry. Seems now’s the time for him to prove that he’s capable of holding a president accountable.

    • Dennis Frank 1.1

      “The circular firing squad: Mueller targets turn on each other” https://www.politico.com/story/2019/01/17/giuliani-mueller-collusion-investigation-1110671

      “During a CNN interview, President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer blurted out that the only person he knows about who didn’t collude with Russia was Trump himself.”

      An unusual legal strategy, eh? The notion that the only apple in the barrel not rotten is the golden one sitting on top is unlikely to fly well in the court of public opinion. Giuliani also offered to sell the Brooklyn Bridge to the Washington Post at a discount price – although it’s possible that this was an attempt to change the subject.

      Maybe not – he also made the same offer to NBC. [https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/dems-vow-action-after-report-trump-directed-cohen-lie-about-n960156] Looks like he thinks he’ll get a better price via an auction…

    • millsy 1.2

      I wouldn’t be celebrating until Trump has actually packed his bags and is boarding the helicopter on the White House lawn.

      Then you have President Mike Pence to worry about.

      • Dennis Frank 1.2.1

        Reminds me of the old “What, me worry?” from when I was a kid.. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_E._Neuman

        “”I want him to have this devil-may-care attitude, someone who can maintain a sense of humor while the world is collapsing around him.” I adapted and used that portrait, and that was the beginning… Mingo’s defining portrait was used on the cover of Mad #30 in late 1956 as a supposed write-in candidate for the Presidency”

        I remember when I first saw it being somewhat horror-struck, thinking “That boy looks just like me!”

    • ropata 1.3

      The Atlantic certainly thinks so, in this excellent piece
      https://twitter.com/JeffreyGoldberg/status/1086266440297127937

      Dems are talking about it again, after Cohen revelations

      • Morrissey 1.3.1

        Ropata, do you know who you’ve just quoted? Jeffrey Goldberg is a cheerleader of the Israeli destruction of Palesitinian life, and was a loud enthusiast for the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

        You’re quoting him approvingly?

        • ropata 1.3.1.1

          Do I care about ad hominems? No I am linking an article from the Atlantic about impeaching Trump

          • Morrissey 1.3.1.1.1

            “Ad hominems?” I was alerting you to the fact you had unwittingly quoted one of the most bloodyminded and shameless propagandists in the United States or anywhere else for that matter.

            There is a huge number of reputable, responsible and decent critics of Trump that you could have quoted, but you (unwisely) chose Jeffrey Goldberg.

            Still, it’s your reputation at stake.

            • ropata 1.3.1.1.1.1

              Doesn’t negate the value of arguments for impeachment, my reputation is already shot so no worries on that front 🙂

              • Morrissey

                Don’t you worry, ropata—your reputation is still sky high amongst the team here at Daisycutter Sports Inc.

    • NZJester 1.4

      The talk is that because his Daughter Ivanka and also his sons are implicated in a lot of illegal dealings that he might strike a deal to resign in order to protect her and his sons.
      They say he is the only president to have made a profit from his presidential campaign. Except for some initial seed money, he mostly loaned not gave money to his campaign and then got it back with interest as the political donations rolled in. He also rented out properties and event venues he owned to his campaign at way over market rates. Something Ivanka was involved in according to evidence.

      Trump’s father was a scam artist and all he knows how to do well is scams. All of his legitimate businesses have ended in bankruptcies and all his main wealth has come from scams and tax avoidance. I would not be surprised if you traced some of the secured creditors from his bankrupt business you would not find Trump himself at the end of the long-hidden trail of money.

    • francesca 1.5

      There’s been so many “smoking guns” the smell of cordite has addled the Press’ brains
      Maybe its time to get back to “the noose is tightening”
      I mean Buzzfeed, come on , didnt they break the “piss tape”

      “Mueller breaks silence to dispute parts of bombshell report on Michael Cohen
      Special counsel says elements of BuzzFeed story, claiming Trump told his former lawyer to lie to Congress, are ‘not accurate’”

      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jan/18/michael-cohen-robert-mueller-responds-lying-congress-buzzfeed-report

      • Dennis Frank 1.5.1

        Yes, 3News just reported the same. Seems remarkable! The initial report was validated by a couple of govt insiders (ex-officials).

        “The statement by Robert Mueller’s office on Friday night doesn’t cite any specific errors.” https://news.yahoo.com/latest-trump-claims-cohen-lying-reduce-jail-time-155631653–politics.html

        So Mueller has felt the necessity of denying the accuracy, but has been careful to do so in general terms only!! Facts are evidently in dispute, but authorities disagree about which ones the public ought to be informed of…

      • joe90 1.5.2

        The Mueller statement talks about the characterisation being wrong,
        but says zip about the content.

        • Dennis Frank 1.5.2.1

          Something about it was so significantly wrong that Mueller had to break his own self-imposed policy of media silence.

          If you want a fun evaluation of the Buzzfeed report, google this: “Nine Reasons to Be Skeptical of BuzzFeed’s Cohen Report”. I tried to include the link but the Standard computer didn’t publish it, so it must be on the forbidden sources list.

  2. AB 2

    It’s not a case of Trump being merely the gangrenous limb. The whole organism is driseased.

    • Jenny - How to get there? 2.1

      A constitutional coup

      The Republican controlled Senate, will do nothing to block Trump’s grab for ultimate power. See below.

      Open Mike 19/01/2019

      If and when Trump makes his move,

      What are the consequences for New Zealand?

      What would it mean for our military and security forces which are closely tied to the US military and intelligence services?

      Will our government order these ties to be cut until the US returns to democracy?

      What if they refuse?

    • Siobhan 2.2

      I had to laugh at this excellent headline from a Bloomberg Opinion piece…
      “Trump’s Wall Won’t Protect Democrats Forever”.
      So many ways to interpret that headline, and all true.

      But as to the reality of The Wall..personally I dread the reality of Pelosi’s “technological wall” with little kids from Nicaragua being chased down by drones, and eventually, inevitably, being shot at or ‘marked’ in some horrific post apocalyptic manner…fascinating the way State Violence is hidden behind technological advances.

    • patricia bremner 2.3

      The system has been perverted by their greed and selfishness.
      Wealth no matter what. They have a class system based on wealth.

  3. SaveNZ 3

    So-called ‘women voters’ don’t exist. So why can’t we stop talking about them?

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/18/democratic-party-women-jessa-crispin

    (Hopefully Democrats and the NZ Green Party can have a read before they lose more voters with campaigns based on identity politics. Having inclusive policies will always trump a narrowing of identity, because as this articles shows, when they talk about a gender aka women, it is a certain type of women they are aiming it at, because women’s views are as diverse as mens!).

  4. Robert Guyton 4

    Jesus: Wisdom Teacher

    The Path of Descent
    Friday, January 18, 2019

    Guest writer and CAC faculty member Cynthia Bourgeault continues exploring Jesus as
    a wisdom teacher.
    Jesus teaches the art of metanoia or “going into the larger mind.” Underlying all
    his teaching is a clarion call to a radical shift in consciousness: away from the
    alienation and polarization of the egoic operating system and into the unified field
    of divine abundance that can be perceived only through the heart.
    But how does one make this shift in consciousness? It’s one thing to admire it from
    a distance, but quite another to create it within oneself. This is where spiritual
    praxis comes into play. “Praxis” means the path, the actual practice you follow to
    bring about the result that you’re yearning for. I think it’s fair to say that all
    of the great spiritual paths lead toward the same center—the larger, nondual mind as
    the seat of personal consciousness—but they get there by different routes.
    While Jesus is typical of the wisdom tradition in his vision of what a whole and
    unified human being looks like, the route he lays out for getting there is very
    different from anything that had ever been seen on the planet up to that point. It
    is still radical in our own time and definitely the “road less traveled” among the
    various schools of human transformation. Many of the difficulties we run into trying
    to make our Christianity work stem from the fact that we haven’t realized how
    different Jesus’ approach really is. By trying to contain this new wine in old
    wineskins, we inadvertently missed its own distinct flavor. In Jesus, everything
    hangs together around a single center of gravity, and we need to know what this
    center is before we can sense the subtle and cohesive power of his path.
    What name might we give to this center? The apostle Paul suggests the word kenosis.
    In Greek, the verb kenosein means “to let go,” or “to empty oneself,” and this is
    the word Paul chooses to describe “the mind of Christ.”
    Here is what Paul has to say (Philippians 2:6-8):
    Though his state was that of God,
    yet he did not deem equality with God
    something he should cling to.
    Rather, he emptied himself,
    and assuming the state of a slave,
    he was born in human likeness.
    He, being known as one of us,
    humbled himself, obedient unto death,
    even death on the cross.

    In this beautiful hymn, Paul recognizes that Jesus had only one “operational mode.”
    Everything he did, he did by self-emptying. He emptied himself and descended into
    human form. And he emptied himself still further, “even unto death on the cross.” In
    every life circumstance, Jesus always responded with the same motion of
    self-emptying—or to put it another way, descent: taking the lower place, not the
    higher.

    • Ad 4.1

      How many more wet metaphors can someone pack into a bad paragraph?

      Cut past Paul and go back to the language of Christ himself.
      You grow things Robert.
      Start there.

      • greywarshark 4.1.1

        Unfortunately it is required thinking for entry into whatever sort of land that respectful kind honest and practical people manage to salvage and continue.

        From your utterances Ad you seem to want a return to 1980 with better technology and more efficiency. Back to the old New Industrial Revolution with robots and AI GM and other acronyms that hide their meanings in a code for people in a hurry to not waste time thinking, explaining while they move to self-destruct.

        • greywarshark 4.1.1.1

          Robert I wondered if we could have in the near future of Sundays a post that looks at the various things people can do within their houses and properties to keep them cooler, conserve water. How thick mulch should be on the garden, Is mustard important, can it be used as ground cover and soil nourisher and be clipped for good nutrients into salads etc till when, does it get bitter when it flowers etc.

          Is there a closed valve water feature that runs down and is drawn up all the time to take the top off really hot days – is there something. Who would make a spring system that keeps a circular clothesline turning back and forth so clothes get dry on still days. And would it be good to have a roof over a clothesline giving cool shade and unheated ground to sit under. Could apartments have a net sun cover overhead which you would lay your washing on and it would shade you as it dries. How to reduce heat retention around you. How to grow vertical gardens from apartments.

          Have a checklist for householders preparing for heat. What should people in caravans and mobile homes do, summer and winter.

          I saw doco called In The Zone about USA Black chap called Terrance Wallace who decided to use the system school zones in NZ to get capable schoolkids from poor backgrounds into the school zones of top schools that would give them entry and encourage them to aim for their dreams. He has done this in Auckland. He is trying it back in his home city of Chicago. One of the mothers said that the lack of air conditioning in the poor schools is one of the difficulties that the children from the ‘hood face. So some way of keeping the heat down will be necessary for a continuation of civilised society through knowledge.

          Should we be digging basements for all houses, where the temperature is more stable?

          • patricia bremner 4.1.1.1.1

            As long as they are in areas where sea rise won’t be a problem, Robert.
            Coober Pedy does this underground building for whole homes to get insulation from the heat and cold of desert conditions. So we know this works.

    • gsays 4.2

      Awesome. Thanks Robert.
      If words like Jesus, God, Christian etc stick in the craw, try replacing with love, awareness, presence.

      This ’emptying of the self’ is common in many traditions.
      A Zen master poring water into a cup and as the water approaches the top of the cup, the student urges the master to stop. The master keeps pouring till the cup overflows. “Your mind is like this cup, full, come and see me when your mind is empty”.

      The essence is stillness of mind, what can I see, smell, hear, feel right now.
      Not the opinions of what I am seeing, smelling etc.

    • Adrian Thornton 4.3

    • ropata 4.4

      Nice comment Robert.

    • Gabby 4.5

      Jesus. Praxis. Jesus.

  5. Jenny - How to get there? 5

    Rule you like a King II

    Trump’s ‘National Emergency’ Gambit May Be The Easiest End To The Shutdown

    “The most likely action for Congress is inaction”.
    Matt Fuller – Huffington Post, January 10, 2019

    ….Trump has moved from toying with the idea of a national emergency declaration to all but promising it. He said Thursday that, if negotiations don’t work out, “probably I will do it. I would almost say definitely.”

    Three senior GOP aides said Thursday that they expect Trump to declare a national emergency as a way of getting out of the shutdown, though all said they hadn’t heard anything specific about timing….

    ….If there were enough backlash in Congress, Democrats and Republicans could team up to pass legislation blocking Trump’s use of the military construction fund for his wall. But initial reactions from Republicans have skewed more toward support, or at least not opposition, for Trump declaring a national emergency to subvert Congress….

     

    ….The point is, Republicans may not love Trump going around Congress, but they don’t seem willing to do anything real to block him at this time…..

     

    Sabine vehemently disagrees with this analysis Here [pardon the profanity]

    ….The shitstain can declare a state of emergency any time he is on the shitter tweeting.
    It would still go to Congress, sign of there, or not, then go to the senate where……the republican majority would have to vote on it. That could be very interesting. At some stage even these guys will ask themselves what their chances of survival and shelf life are in the United states of Trump. I would venture a guess……unless they kiss his arse with abandon and use tongue, they are dead in the water. So they might not actually want to go there and if only for reasons of self preservation.

    He can do what he want, he can scream national emergency from the top of all the buildings and without congress and senate nothing would be done. Three equal parts of government….

    Subsequent events seem to be trending towards the Huffington Post analysis, that “The most likely action for Congress is inaction” over Sabine’s profanity laced counter opinion.

    In the words of Sabine; Mitch McConnel, the Republican Majority Leader of of the Senate, shows himself more than willing, “to kiss his, (Trump’s), arse”, and “use tongue”.

    The ‘Shameful’ Answer to #WheresMitch?

    “If Senator McConnell is able to push through an anti-abortion bill to score political points, he surely should be able to schedule a vote on the House of Representatives’ bills to reopen the government.”

    Julia Conley, staff writer – Common Dreams, January 17, 2019

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has refused to hold a vote in recent weeks on bills that would reopen the government, but on Thursday called a vote on a extreme anti-choice bill. (Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

    Freshman members of Congress and others who have been demanding to know the whereabouts of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in recent days got their answer on Thursday, as McConnell held a Senate vote not on whether to reopen the government, but on a bill that would restrict abortion rights for low-income women…..

    ….”Sen. McConnell has scheduled a vote today. No, it’s not to reopen the government and begin paying 800,000 federal workers who’ve gone without pay for 27 days. It’s to restrict reproductive health care coverage. Unbelievable.” —Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)The Hyde Amendment already disproportionately affects low-income women, many of whom rely on Medicaid for their healthcare costs. Women’s rights organizations slammed Senate Republicans including McConnell and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) for pushing the vote on a bill that would further harm marginalized women…..

    ….In addition to objecting to the content of S.109, reproductive rights opponents were appalled that after weeks of refusing to hold a vote on whether to re-open the government, now in the 27th day of the shutdown, McConnell made time for a vote on an extreme anti-choice bill.

    “People are hurting and want solutions,”saidSen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) on Twittter. “They want the government to open and for this Trump Shutdown to end. Yet Republicans want to vote to effectively ban abortion coverage. This is appalling—and women and men across the country aren’t going to stand for it.”

    “If Senator McConnell is able to push through an anti-abortion bill to score political points, he surely should be able to schedule a vote on the House of Representatives bills to reopen the government,” said Ragsdale. “I encourage Senator McConnell to focus his time and efforts on ensuring that federal workers are paid for their work rather than on denying people the health care they need.”

    As McConnell proceeded with the cloture vote, which took place late Thursday afternoon, 800,000 federal workers were still without paychecks, with hundreds of thousands continuing to report to work and many resorting toGoFundMe fundraisersin order to make ends meet.

    Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has been among those posting under the hashtag #WheresMitch this week as McConnell has refused to hold a vote on reopening the government. While the Democratic-led House has passed multiple bills to end the shutdown, McConnell has declined to do the same because the bills don’t include funding for the border wall President Donald Trump is demanding and he won’t “participate in something that doesn’t lead to an outcome.” ….

    • Dennis Frank 5.1

      McConnell knows the Dems are refusing to compromise, so why would he do what you suggest? Both parties have to be willing to make a deal to end the shut-down. I gather the Dems are refusing to deal because their real target is not Trump: it’s democracy. They want to prove to voters that the electoral mandate is no longer valid. That’s why they keep refusing to meet with Trump to do a deal, apparently.

      So the stalemate suits both parties. Nobody has the leverage to achieve a resolution. It can only come via agreement, which can only come via compromise. Instead, both want to win. It’s like neither has heard of win/win outcomes.

      • Andre 5.1.1

        Dennis, you seem to be persisting in your wilfull ignorance or misinterpretation of how the US political system works.

        The president does not get, cannot get, a mandate for doing something like building a wall. Big policy decisions like that are the sole prerogative of the legislative branch, ie Congress, ie the House and Senate together. The president can only choose to agree or disagree with legislation put forward by Congress, and if he disagrees by exercising his veto Congress may still override that veto.

        Here’s the relevant bits of the Constitution:

        Article 1 section 1:
        All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

        Article 1 section 9 clause 7:
        No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law

        The relevant bit of the constitution dealing with the powers of the president is Article 2. Feel free to point out what bit of that gives the president the power to choose to build a wall.

        To be sure, the president may choose to try to influence what legislation goes through Congess. But the only tool he has for that is his powers of persuasion.

        • Dennis Frank 5.1.1.1

          Yes, but you aren’t factoring in my response last time you made that point. The effect of such political behaviour on voters is to reduce their belief in democracy. That’s why so many don’t vote. A century or two of corruption in both parties has had that alienating effect.

          So, to restore faith in the system, we need positive role models. The electoral contract is the moral basis of the mandate. If those elected respect the will and choice of the voters, they will act in accord with that principle.

          • veutoviper 5.1.1.1.1

            That’s all good theory, Dennis, but I am with Andre on the above points. The US is very different to NZ in terms of its Constitution and constitutional history and political system; and therefore the thinking and expectations etc of US voters.

            • Dennis Frank 5.1.1.1.1.1

              It isn’t an either/or situation. Both/and logic applies. Denial of the electoral contract doesn’t work because most people implicitly believe in it. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t vote on the basis of campaign promises, and wouldn’t identify with a party on that basis. The principle lies at the heart of representative democracy. That’s why I had to lobby all the key players so hard after Winston failed to articulate it clearly, to ensure the waka-jumping bill got passed.

              • veutoviper

                That’s why I had to lobby all the key players so hard after Winston failed to articulate it clearly, to ensure the waka-jumping bill got passed.

                Really???????

                The waka jumping bill only passed because you lobbied the key players?

                • Dennis Frank

                  No, I didn’t mean to imply that, but it was a sustained campaign of document drafting and letter-writing. I had to counter the one-sided view from Jeanette Fitzsimons & Keith Locke that seemed in denial of the primary principle, to win over the Green MPs first, then the Minister of Justice & the PM. Got the desired result.

                  • veutoviper

                    OK.

                    Sorry, I immediately thought of last year’s waka jumping bill – not the original one! Whole different ball game. I also thought I had added a LOL at the end to imply that I was having you on, so to speak.

            • Andre 5.1.1.1.1.2

              My personal pet theory is American politics swings between getting pissed off at the current prez, and a preference for divided government so the only change that happens is by bipartisan consensus.

              First up is the way midterms almost always go against the current prez. The only recent counter-examples are ’96 (likely due to a backlash against the partisan stuntsmanship leading up to Clinton’s impeachment), and ’02 with Shrub getting a boost from his wars.

              Most recently, there wasn’t a whole lot for most people to be pissed off at Obama about and it looked like Clinton had it in the bag, so they delivered a Repug House and Senate. Leading up to 08, they were utterly disgusted with Shrub, which lead to a wholesale clean-out of Repugs. In 00, they were OK with Clinton’s record and the polls were back and forth, so both the House and Senate results were close too.

              • veutoviper

                IMO you have probably hit the nail on the head! It really is a very different political system to ours, and those in the UK, Canada, Australia etc.

                Each system has their pros and cons but IMO the US system cannot be directly compared to the others. More importantly, because of the different system and political history, the behavior of US politicians and voters (and the latter’s expectations) are also very different and cannot be predicted or judged on that of voters in these other countries/political systems.

                I was drawn into the discussion by the points you made in your 5.1.1, in particular your second paragraph as I spent my teens in Washington DC and was therefore subject to the compulsory US Civics courses at high school – as well as living in the US political capital during interesting times (the 1960s). My comments here were in addition to some comments I made to Dennis earlier today at 18.1.1.1.1.2 on OM 18 Jan re my opinion that religion (including fundamentalist Christianity) plays a much greater role in community and political life in the US than in NZ; and also supporting your comments at 5.1.1.

                I’ll try a link but my links within TS seem to do funny things at present and go to the full post rather than the comment itself, so if it does do that, I will delete the link itself.

                Open Mike 18/01/2019

                • Andre

                  Since you seem interested in my background: born in Oregon in ’63, when I was 2yr old the family moved to Japan for a year, then to Geneva for three years, California for four years, then to NZ. Grew up in Palmerston North, went to uni at Massey, then Auckland. Spent most of the 90s in the US, 5 years in Philadelphia, 1 year in Madison Wisconsin, 2 years in San Diego. Came back to NZ in 99 and been here ever since.

                  If you did your high school years in DC then you’ve had more formal US civics education than I have. But it was certainly noticeable that in the US there was a fair bit of awareness about the mechanics of government.

                  I didn’t particularly directly notice the religious influence. But then the areas I lived and worked in were generally pretty liberal (Bill’s taking a break so it’s low risk of an argument about that word). Being involved in engineering products, sometimes I’d work pretty closely with shop-floor people. It’s possible religion played a bigger part in their lives than I ever cottoned on to, but they just kept it to themselves.

                  While it’s obvious that a lot of legislation is driven by religious issues, I find it hard to understand exactly how much the vote is influenced by religious issues. There was worried talk about Kennedy taking orders from the Pope, but he still got elected. In the early days of Romney, that he was a Mormon was speculated to be a deal-breaker, but as that campaign progressed it kind of died away. The Great Orange Libertine makes feeble claims every now and then about his religious beliefs, but that sham is immediately obvious and his fervently religious followers don’t care. I can’t help wondering if the expectation that the president be a “person of faith” will be one of those things that is true until suddenly one day it isn’t.

          • Andre 5.1.1.1.2

            You write about corruption in both parties as if they are equivalent. It’s a false equivalence, and people that repeat it are adding to the problem.

            There’s only one party that routinely indulges in efforts to suppress the vote. There’s only one party that regularly seeks to allow increases in ways for organisations favourable to themselves to spend ever more money trying to influence the vote. While it’s possible to find gerrymandering in strongly Democrat jurisdictions (Maryland being the most prominent), it’s a corrupt tool tool that Republicans employ much more readily when they get the chance. The only states that have fully signed up to the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact are strongly Democratic.

            We’ve just had the best positive role for a long long time in American politics with Obama. So much for that being the panacea American politics needed.

            edit: here’s a piece that nicely highlights the differences in viewpoint to respecting the will of the voters between the two parties.

            https://www.vox.com/2019/1/18/18188150/mitch-mcconnell-house-democrats-anti-corruption-bill-hr1

            • Dennis Frank 5.1.1.1.2.1

              Anyone who reads the history of American politics encounters episodes of corrruption in both parties right back into the 19th century. Only a partisan would deny history. I agree the Republicans have been to the fore on this in recent times.

          • Sabine 5.1.1.1.3

            the choice of the voters in the last midterm was to give the House to the Democrats. That means the Democrats hold the purse.

            In the great spirit of Democracy and positive role models, i am all for the shitstain to start paying the 800.000 people and the uncounted contractors – estimated 1 million – who currently aren’t getting their wages, who don’t receive the funds for governmental projects and so forth, who risk loosing their houses, their bank ratings and risk ending up homeless etc etc etc and get on with business, and to respect the wish of the people who elected the Democrats to the House, the constitution and the principle of three equal branches of government.

        • Ad 5.1.1.2

          It’s his stated policy to build a wall.

          It’s not within his power to legislate for it, or fund it.

          Same for the tax cuts.

          His policy, their means.

        • Gabby 5.1.1.3

          He might argue it can be done under existing legislation.

      • Sabine 5.1.2

        the dems send the bill Paul Ryan passed before handing over the House, the bill that passed in the Senate, the bill that himself said he was gonna sign until Ann Coulter called him a weakling and a ‘push over’.

        that bill has been send three times now to the Senate for signing. The bill that has bipartisan support from the house.

        the bill that yertl the turtle refuses to pass because he knows that the weakling and push over in the whitehouse is not gonna sign. Btw, did you know that the Senate under yertl the turtle could over ride a persidential veto?

        so no it is not the democrats fault, unless you believe that the opposition is to rubberstamp the president at all times, and then i would like for you to think for a moment and ask yourself if you would hold the same position if the roles were reversed.

        So please stop posting this bullshit.

    • Andre 5.2

      It’s a very simple political calculation for Repugs in Congress, most of whom are in very safe Repug seats. Risk the anger of King Con by voting to reopen the government, and reap the wrath of hundreds of thousands of angry Drumpfkins at your next primary. Or just keep cowering in fear hoping to stay out of sight and just coast on through the next primary and election. Yertle McConnell is up for election in 2020, you can be damn sure that’s the only thing he’s thinking about.

    • Sabine 5.3

      @Jenny – How to get there? 5
      19 January 2019 at 9:02 am
      I could call the shitstain the velveeta shartcannon if you prefer. But i think shitstain is perfect, a shitstain in the annals of history.

      I have read your post several times and i have yet to figure what you are saying other then you have an issue with my calling the shitstain a shitstain.

      In essence i have laid out what he can do on his own, sit on the shitter, tweet and scream emergency emergency. And then it goes to congress – nope she says, the speaker of the house, and then of to the senate, and yertl the turtle can either do his job and say nope no emergency here, just self inflicted injury to apease Ann Coulter and Hannity, or he can say yes my lord, how high should i jump.
      As of today there are still three equal branches of government. They might not be there tomorrow, but yesterday and today it still was / is.

      I also said, and you left that out for some reason 🙂 – go figure, that really it is up to the republicans, both in congress, senate and in the voting public who will need to take a decision as to how far they want to go in their submission to the shitstain and if they really want to give up the republic they have to form the United States of Trump.

      And believe me, as an astute reader of history and coming from a country with a lot of baggage, i can guarantee you that if they go for the United States of Trump that they will bow, they will kiss his arse and every other arse they are told to kiss and they will use tongue if they want to stay alive, continue to work, keep their privileges and so on.

      What the shitstain is currently doing is a shake down, a hostage taking, of a country, a populace, its workers. And the republican held senate and the House – which was repbulcican held until two weeks ago are enabling him. And as someone else said, why would anyone trust the shitstain? The house and senate – under the republicans – about 4 weeks ago signed the bill, send it to the white house for signing and he did not sign it? why ? Ask Ann coulter, cause she squeezed his balls hard and as a result 800000 people directly and 1 million via contractors do not receive their wages and might loose their lifelyhood.

      and for some it seems that is all good, cause ………………………..its entertaining? or something?

      but yeah, profanity, priorities.

      but don’t believe me, believe her?

  6. The Chairman 6

    One hopes Labour’s commitment to focus on “wellbeing” doesn’t overlook the “wellbeing” of our vulnerable elderly.

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/109967742/hidden-pain-in-aged-care-delayed-and-missed-care-commonplace–survey

  7. North 7

    It’s hilarious watching various Republican senators and House members purportedly ‘holding the faith’ with sour complaints about Pelosi’s intended travel to Afghanistan during the shutdown……looking true to Donald J. Swamp by talking banal (forgettable) trivialities the mouthing of which won’t ultimately impede their scramble to the nearest political emergency exit when the shit hits the fan(boy).

    McConnell, Ryan, Cruz, Graham et al are more culpable in their facilitation of Donald J. Swamp pissing on the Constitution than the crazy himself. Essentially Swamp’s a George III (mad) and thus forgiveable in measure……these people (who warned of his unfitness during the primaries) have acted entirely out of the cheapest personal political motives.

    Thank God for The Grandma from San Francisco !

    • Sabine 7.1

      Funny too that there were republicans on that bus.

      Pelosi is mentioned, but that delegation was bipartisan. A little lesson for the repubs, don’t ever piss of the tyrant, lest you get stuck on the bus.

  8. JO 8

    Who’s vice is it, the power takers or ours, for refusing to confront them?

    https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/jan/18/adam-curtis-and-vice-director-adam-mckay-on-how-dick-cheney-masterminded-a-rightwing-revolution

    ‘Because what Hitler and Stalin had done was show us as mass crowds – and that went badly out of control and led to horror.
    I think that went very deep into the liberal psyche, that the mob is frightening. It’s dangerous. And that’s why, when we get to this point – where someone like Cheney and the anti-democratic forces around him have taken power away. To challenge that, you’re going to have to bring people together with a very powerful story. But that’s frightening – potentially dangerous. So the left retreat into that mantra which you find everywhere online, that we are all self-contained individuals who all have our own little story. And we’re all going to tell each other those personal stories on Instagram and Twitter, and it’s going to be a nice, stable balance. Well, it’s too late for that now. The have-nots are fed up with that system – and are turning to powerful nationalist stories coming from the far right.’

  9. ropata 9

    Happy #WinnieThePoohDay peeps!

    • JanM 9.1

      I love it!
      I get really heart-broken when constantly confronted with the awfulness of the American Pooh et al, but these are so cool 🙂

      • ianmac 9.1.1

        Walt Disney will never be forgiven for destroying the mystique of Pooh Bear. The crowning insult was to clothe Pooh in a red coat.
        Every page of Pooh Bear holds philosophical ideas for me and my boys, which are readily transferable to modern times. Americans should stick to destroying their own heritage and leave the good stuff alone.

    • Robert Guyton 9.2

      That character in the bottom strip, with the mane and pinned-on tail – The Chairman?

  10. The Chairman 10

    Looks like Labour requires to do far more in regards to the “wellbeing” of beneficiaries.

    The latest statistics from the Ministry of Social Development (MSD) show that more than $100 million was spent on hardship grants in the December quarter of last year.

    More than 385,000 grants were issued – an increase of almost 95,000 on the same period the previous year.

    Increasing demand for food assistance was one of the leading contributors to the growth in hardship grants, the Ministry said.

    Spending on food grants alone was almost $20m, an increase of more than $5m compared to the last three months of 2017.

    Susan St John from the Child Poverty Action Group said the situation was desperate for many families and the government needed to act quickly rather than waiting for the budget in May.

    “What we would like the government to do is increase benefits by 20 percent immediately and to make sure that all low-income families get the entire Working for Families package,” Ms St John said.

    https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/380435/government-benefits-still-not-enough-a-poverty-action-group-says

    Government’s response? Points to the high cost of housing, but no new action to better address the growing problem mentioned.

    Are we here on the left all comfortable with that or would you like to see more being done?

    • The Chairman 10.1

      I for one am far from comfortable with this inaction, hence give the Government my full support to do more.

      Who knows, if more of us express our concern and support for the Government to do more, perhaps they might take heed.

      Or we can sit there and say nothing, largely reaffirming we are happy with the status quo.

  11. joe90 11

    The young woman who boasted from a Thai prison that she had evidence of Russian manipulation in US politics is manhandled in Moscow after being deported from Thailand.

    https://www.newsweek.com/nastya-rybka-escort-trump-russia-823374

    • Morrissey 11.1

      Oh yes, those Russian masterminds. They control everyone. They’re supersmart, just like those dastardly North Korean masterminds.

      Yes indeed.

      Vote Hillary. (She’s endorsed by Beyoncé.)

  12. The Chairman 12

    Received a pamphlet from Labour today outlining their plan.

    Couldn’t help but notice they are still touting lies.

    For example, they continue to claim they’ve stopped foreign purchasing of Kiwi homes. Yet, the policy has been released and as we all know, that claim is a lie. The largest foreign investors (Australians) are exempt and foreign investors can buy new Kiwi homes.

    Hence, Labour’s insistence continuing on pushing this false line makes them look phony as hell.

    How do they expect voters to trust them with this blatant lying carry on taking place?

    • Draco T Bastard 12.1

      Labour are still very much in favour of selling off NZ to offshore ‘investors’ and so they put in place ineffective ‘restrictions’ to make it look like they’re doing something about it but refuse to go to the full ban that the majority of people actually want. Yes, it’s an unscientific poll that’s going to be inaccurate as hell but I think it’s good enough in this case to show majority opinion.

      • CHCOff 12.1.1

        To have a Govt. that is not actively full throttle ahead for a rorting economic system was and is an achievement at this stage in practicality, when it comes to the state of the NZ political system.

      • The Chairman 12.1.2

        “Labour are still very much in favour of selling off NZ to offshore ‘investors’ and so they put in place ineffective ‘restrictions’ to make it look like they’re doing something about it but refuse to go to the full ban…”

        That is how it looks. Labour policy falling short once again.

    • Anne 12.2

      They continue to claim they’ve stopped foreign purchasing of Kiwi homes. Yet, the policy has been released and as we all know, that claim is a lie. The largest foreign investors (Australians) are exempt and foreign investors can buy new Kiwi homes.

      You are the one who is lying or at best… spinning like a Hooton top.

      Labour made it clear well before the election that Australian investors would be exempted (I guess they are not regarded as foreigners) in their ban to exclude foreigners from purchasing existing NZ houses. But if foreign purchasers were to build new houses then they would be welcomed in NZ.

      I remember Phil Twford explaining this night after night on TV both before and after the General Election.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 12.2.1

        Is it NZ Government policy to regard Australian citizens as ‘not foreigners’, at least for the purposes of purchasing NZ houses?

        Asking because it seems the Aussie Government currently regards NZ citizens as foreigners in regard to just about everything.

        The key question (which Twyford probably explained time-after-time, but I forget) is what was the rationale for exempting Australian ‘investors’? Is it something to do with the AUS/NZ CER agreement?

        NZ citizens living in Australia can therefore purchase any type of real estate they desire. This includes investment properties, and old or new homes to live in. NZ citizens living in NZ and permanent residents of NZ, however, will be treated the same as any other foreign citizens in Australia.

        • solkta 12.2.1.1

          CER yes. Would breach this agreement.

          • Drowsy M. Kram 12.2.1.1.1

            I don’t have any experience or knowledge in this area, but is CER a reciprocal agreement if Aussie citizens living in Australia are treated as NZ citizens for the purposes of buying (investment) properties in NZ, whereas “NZ citizens living in NZ and permanent residents of NZ, however, will be treated the same as any other foreign citizens in Australia.“?

            https://www.homeloanexperts.com.au/blog/non_resident/australian-mortgages-for-new-zealand-citizens/#

            • solkta 12.2.1.1.1.1

              New Zealanders can buy residential property in Australia. I’m not sure what point you are trying to make.

              • Drowsy M. Kram

                I’m not sure either. Maybe it’s that Australian citizens living in Australia, and Singaporean citizens living in Singapore, seem to be getting preferential treatment (compared with non-residents that are citizens of other countries) when it comes to buying NZ properties.

                Whereas it appears that New Zealand citizens living in NZ have to compete with the rest of the world when purchasing properties in Australia.

                Of course I’m all for giving Australians preferential treatment – after all they’re ‘giving it‘ to us!

                https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/377727/andrew-little-to-raise-nz-citizens-concerns-over-treatment-in-australia-at-talks

                http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1807/S00125/australia-new-zealand-in-a-duel-over-deportations.htm

                • solkta

                  Neither of the articles you link to talk about New Zealanders buying residential property in Australia. CER is an agreement for ‘closer economic relations’, it is a trade deal not an immigration deal.

                • veutoviper

                  As solkta has said, the arrangements re Australians being able to buy property in NZ is part of the Closer Economic Relations (CER) Agreement between NZ and Australia which has been in place for many years (cannnot remember the date).

                  Yes, the Australians are not exactly acting in accord with the CER deal at present on how they are treating NZ citizens resident in Australia – and all of this is under discussion between the two governments.

                  With regard to Singapore, the terms of the NZ – Singapore Trade Agreement currently also provides for Singapore citizens to be able to buy property in NZ. Most other similar trade agreements do not specifically cover this, and I understand that discussions are underway with Singapore to remove or put some restrictions on this property provision.

                  Sorry, all of the top of my head, but am busy at the moment.

                  IIRC, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s website has some very good information on all of the above.

                  • Drowsy M. Kram

                    Thanks vv, and solkta. I’m not Aussie-phobic; was visiting family (some long-term resident, some now Aussie citizens) there last month.

                    Just thought that The Chairman @12 had a legitimate point, if Labour “continue to claim they’ve stopped foreign purchasing of Kiwi homes“, without mentioning that Aussies and Singaporeans are exempt (for valid reasons.)

                    Do believe (in a hopeful way) that the coalition government are doing what they can to address the shortage of affordable homes/rentals – must be a daunting task.

            • greywarshark 12.2.1.1.1.2

              NZ with money and high skills I believe can get into a more accepted level of settlers and might even get Oz citizenship.

              It’s the ordinary citizen that gets the Aussie salute. It’s a bit like the practice we pull on people coming here.

      • The Chairman 12.2.2

        Seriously Anne? Defending their lying. You are doing more damage than good.

        The best thing Labour and their defenders can do is own it and stop touting the lie. Having defenders attempt to defend it is insulting.

        I would suggest the main reason Labour have to continually explain that Australian investors and new builds are exempt comes down to them continually touting the lie they’ve stopped foreign purchasing of Kiwi homes. Which creates the confusion, hence their need to explain.

        • Anne 12.2.2.1

          You are lying Chairman and what’s more you know it. Time to disconnect you from TS because your’e just a f*****g troll.

          • The Chairman 12.2.2.1.1

            I’m not lying, Anne. As you acknowledged, there are vast exemptions, hence they haven’t stopped foreign purchasing of Kiwi homes.

            Their measures may have reduced it somewhat or simply redirected it to new builds but they haven’t stopped it.

            Therefore, your assertion that I’m a troll coupled with your call to have me disconnected is outrageously out of order.

            Continually touting the lie is not in Labour’s interest if they want voters to trust them.

            Moreover, imagine the embarrassment if they are officially caught out (if someone lays a complaint) for misleading advertising.

    • Graeme 13.1

      Like the breakdown of cause of death…

      “15 were murdered, 17 committed suicide, seven died from accidents, 14 were executed according to the law and 19 died from diseases”

      Also interesting that they imply someone enters the billionaire category at 100 million Yuan, or about USD 15.5 million at the time (2011)

      “There were approximately 60,000 people with 100 million yuan in the Chinese mainland at the end of 2010, according to the GroupM Knowledge – Hurun Wealth Report 2011.”

  13. Draco T Bastard 14

    Disappearing insects cause for concern

    Canterbury Museum curator of natural history and the past-president of the Entomological Society of NZ Cor Vink said people had certainly noticed the ‘windshield effect’.

    The windshield effect was the mess made by insects on a cars windscreen after a long drive, or now, the lack of mess.

    “Fewer insects means you have less food for birds, some plants might not be as well controlled and there are fewer pollinators around,” Vink said.

    “They’re really vital for the environment.

    “If all the mammals on Earth disappeared, there wouldn’t be much effect, but if all insects disappeared …”

    This obviously needs to be researched but there’s nothing coming from government. Probably won’t make a profit I suppose and it would further point to the fact that we have to change our ways.

    • ropata 14.1

      A looming crisis. It’s awful to think about the scale of the problem.

      • Sabine 14.1.1

        i was driving around countryside today and it is a hilly bare brown landscape. Not a tree in sight.
        not a shrub in sight.
        just brown hills devoid of anything other then brown grass.
        Same for the suburbs.

        and my neighbors are winging about the lawns.

    • ropata 14.2

      New Zealand really needs to take this shit seriously. Taranaki and Southland councils ought to be sacked for environmental destruction – also ECan and Hawkes Bay while we’re at it – for total negligence of waterways and covering up problems raised by experts in the field like Dr Mike Joy

    • Pat 14.3

      as a recent visitor to europe the overwhelming impression was the dearth of wildlife, particularly birds…it was concerningly noticeable.

      • ropata 14.3.1

        Sad. I have seen only 1 monarch butterfly this summer. New Zealand is not immune to these issues

        • Herodotus 14.3.1.1

          There is a wee thread that discussed this same thing 7 Jan
          Nothing has changed in the garden except aphids are the only insect seen on any plants.
          Even on holiday noticed the absence of flies or mosquitoes. Nice but also concerning 😳

          Open Mike 07/01/2019


          Herodotus 6.1
          7 January 2019 at 10:20 am
          Slight detour
          There has been no sign of Cicadas in our local area (yet)
          Also notice the absence of Monarch Butterflies (Swan plants are ready to be inundated with caterpillars), as well as few wasps and flies.

          • Sabine 14.3.1.1.1

            the wasps are one of the reasons we don’t have Monarchs, they love the larvae of the Monarchs.

      • WeTheBleeple 14.3.2

        Had a scot visitor about 20 years back she reckoned insects were rare in their cities then. A simple moth would freak her out.

        These isolated islands and other places free from insecticide spraying that they tout as evidence insecticides are not causing insect population collapses are either lying or conveniently ignoring source-sink dynamics at play. The so called sanctuaries are geographical evolutionary bottlenecks in a matrix of spray zones.

        Insects leave. They do not come back. New genes do not arrive.

        Yes climate change is a big problem. But so is all the shit they’ve sprayed on and sold us to kill insects since before Rachel Carlson sounded the alarm in 1962 with her aptly named book ‘Silent Spring’.

        It is heartening that in many places in NZ bird numbers are rising but without corresponding plant and insect sources to feed them there will be inevitable issues. Having been raised in the country I know: from the lack of windscreen splat, we’ve killed most of the insects we had in the 70’s, all throughout the north islands countryside.

        Have our entomologists any plans? Any reports? Power to their prefab?

        • Robert Guyton 14.3.2.1

          Plant for insects – plant plentifully, plant variously and plant like there’s no tomorrow!

          • Sabine 14.3.2.1.1

            trying real hard. Was pleased to see bees a few weeks ago enjoying the clover and other flowers in my unkempt lawn. Bumblebees showed up. But no butterflies, no dragon flies, just the standard black fly and mozzies now.

            and i live near a wilderniss/wetland/floodzone …. nothing. It is so very very strange.

            • Robert Guyton 14.3.2.1.1.1

              We can only try and that means create places for them to live and breed. It’s not sensible to try to nominate favourites and tailor plantings for them; plant, plant, plant and make it a complex, wild mix! There’s not too much time left.

              • Sabine

                its interesting tho that my wild garden seems to be free of fluffy bums, aphids and the likes.
                like anyone who grows veggies i check often to make sure i don’t miss a budding pest invasion, and so far toi toi toi.

                i generally only keep a few places ‘tidy’ its where i grow my veggies, but even that is only ‘so’ tidy, meaning i still let weeds grow – even dock, and just keep them from overtaking.

                And it works i find.

          • WeTheBleeple 14.3.2.1.2

            It’s not that simple Robert. Go to a plant store buy a swan plant chances are it is covered in insecticide. People are buying plants to save butterflies and helping to kill them.

            Those sprays have to go. Only planting is like saying you are going to clean rivers and doing nothing about Dairy.

            Poison merchants and lazy husbandry. Both to blame for caring more for money than life.

            Big oil and their sleazy chemical counterparts, fucking the planet – again, lying about it with fudged up science and information, again. I try every day to be diplomatic but I have nothing to say to these motherfuckers that isn’t invective and hate.

            • Robert Guyton 14.3.2.1.2.1

              I’m puzzled by the passion for Monarch butterflies; they’re not native to NZ, nor are they robust enough to survive without the provision of an exotic plant for them to feed from. Perhaps it’s because they don’t fly in the far-south; the only ones we see (briefly) are those escaped through an open window in a child-care centre 🙂 Paper wasps aren’t getting ours, the weather is.
              I notice @ 5.1 that even slaters are threatened.

              • WeTheBleeple

                Missed the point.

                If people buy plants to save insects, but all those plants are coated in insecticide…

                Planting is the right move for people who can source safe plants.

                Govt and councils must stop the sprays. Garden centres and nurseries are all too heavy handed with such products.

                The insects are doomed if they do not stop spraying.

                Some think this is a rural issue but they are wrong. It can even be worse in cities where home gardeners, unrestrained by the daunting budgets of a large farm, use substances freely and liberally.

                Back in 65 we tested for insecticides in people from non sprayed zones and came up winners!

                https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2475895/

                Now it is convenient not to look at fats – or facts.

        • Pat 14.3.2.2

          if it were only the cities I may not have so readily noticed it but I spent over half my time in rural locations over 3 different countries….for all our problems here, and they are many , i dont think we understand how much worse things are in the northern hemisphere

  14. ropata 15

    Must feel weird for the Nats to pretend to have a conscience *now* after all the poverty that they created

    • millsy 15.1

      With Slater lying low due to his health issues, Demcracymum is set to take over as National’s head attack blogger.

    • The Chairman 15.2

      How about your conscience? No disappointment hardship grants are up almost 95,000 on the same period (the December quarter) the previous year?

      It is one thing to mock the Nats but shouldn’t we also let our side know we’re not happy about it and we expect better?

      Or do you see it as more of a case of Labour won the election so who on the left really cares now how they run the place?

      • solkta 15.2.1

        our side
        @10 Are we here on the left

        You are working it real hard today. I notice that you seem to have given up concern trolling the Greens and are now focusing on Labour.

        • The Chairman 15.2.1.1

          I’m not trolling any party. I’m genuinely here discussing recent political news.

          And in that respect, as usual, the Greens are MIA . Hence, little to say about them at the moment other than why aren’t they running with these news items too?

          Elder neglect and poverty should be high on their radar. Someone please wake them up.

      • TootingPopularFront 15.2.2

        Could this rising figure be due to a more compassionate policy being observed than previously?

        • The Chairman 15.2.2.1

          Going off the large queues at the foodbank this year, one would say not.

          To know for sure, we’d have to know total numbers applying and not just grants issued for both periods.

          However, if that is the case, one would expect Labour to have released a press statement highlighting that. I’ve yet to see one, have you?

        • Kay 15.2.2.2

          Partly, yes. It’s a bit less stressful to have any sort of contact with WINZ at the moment so people are finally getting access to what they are entitled to BY LAW. Numbers of grants needed are up only on paper. in reality they were always there and just couldn’t be accessed. Last time I has to physically go near an office (1st time since regime change) the guard was still at the door, but there was no request for ID, no checklist to see if I had an appointment/reason for going, and he was actually very friendly. Even the interaction with the frontline worker was perfectly civil. Encouraging sign.

          I don’t like the idea that staff can suddenly switch between being nasty and nice on order of government of the day, but so long as they’re playing by the rules.

          @Chairman, given your very real concern for this situation I trust you are writing letters to the editor, posting your thoughts on every blog/news site possible and writing to all politicians with your concerns?

          • The Chairman 15.2.2.2.1

            “Numbers of grants needed are up only on paper. in reality they were always there and just couldn’t be accessed…”

            Do you have the number of total applications for both periods that back that assertion?

            As you can see, I do my bit. And as you well know, democracy doesn’t all rest upon me. It generally takes numbers for political parties to take note. So ask yourself, are you doing your part? Question the ones that aren’t, not the ones that are.

            • ropata 15.2.2.2.1.1

              The increased number of hardship grants seems to correlate quite strongly with the number of migrant arrivals over the past year.
              (inconvenient narrative alert)

              • The Chairman

                Are you suggesting that in the last year large numbers of migrants have come to NZ to seek hardship benefits? Nothing to do with locals struggling to make ends meet?

                At least Jacinda admitted (in her facebook post) more needs to be done, albeit she hasn’t raced to do more.

                But I see you have no conscience, you take advantage of the increase to mock National while look to form excuses for the increase when it becomes an inconvenient narrative.

                • ropata

                  No I am accusing all Governments of negligence in allowing immigration to spiral out of control in the middle of a housing crisis, making inequality even worse, and needlessly throwing thousands of Kiwis into hardship

                  • The Chairman

                    I see.

                    And where is this concern of negligence when it comes to Labour’s inaction to do more?

                    • ropata

                      I have a very critical view of Labour’s neoliberal tendencies… Grant Robertson parsimoniously claiming fiscal responsibility was a serious misstep. His top responsibility is to the people of Aotearoa not his crummy little spreadsheet and certainly not to a bunch of international financiers

                    • The Chairman

                      I hear you and totally agree.

                  • Herodotus

                    From assisting out with a charity over Christmas, I hope that both the volume of those that were assisted will be down next year and those that will need any assistance (food, presents etc) that their needs will not be as severe.
                    IMO we need to give the current govt a years grace before seeing any improvements, if the needs are similar to Dec 18 (this year was the most severe I have seen) then the govt. does need to be questioned that after 2 years in power anecdotal observations show no sign of improvement.

                    • The Chairman

                      After their input (Families Package etc) I think they were rather surprised how little impact it really had, forcing Jacinda to publicly acknowledge (on her facebook post when visiting the food bank in the run up to Christmas) more needs to be done.

                      Anecdotal observations show no sign of improvement now.

                      Moreover, so does the latest data release.

                      Hence, Susan St John from the Child Poverty Action Group is calling for action to be taken now.

                      https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/380435/government-benefits-still-not-enough-a-poverty-action-group-says

                      The worse it is allowed to become the harder and more expensive it will be to fix.

                      This drips and drabs approach by Labour will end up costing us (socially and fiscally) far more in the long run. Hence, one really needs to question Labour’s claim of being fiscally responsible.

                    • ropata

                      Have to agree with Bernard Hickey on this.

                    • The Chairman

                      @ ropata

                      Indeed. Bernard is right. Time to think big.

                      There was/is a lot of expectation from voters when Labour came to power and if they don’t feel things have improved by the next election, there will be a lot of disappointment. Especially so if people feel they are worse off than when Labour came to power.

                      Therefore, Labour’s inaction now could potentially damage the left’s standing in politics for a long time to come.

      • Draco T Bastard 15.2.3

        No disappointment hardship grants are up almost 95,000 on the same period (the December quarter) the previous year?

        Depends.

        What’s the reason why its up? Is it because things are worse or because WINZ has a better culture (due to the change in government) where they actually help people?

        • The Chairman 15.2.3.1

          According to poverty action group and Salvation Army, demand (the need for help) is on the increase. Hence, the call for more to be done now.

          The goal for more social housing is still set far to low. And we know core benefit rates are also set far to low. So is the minimum wage.

          Moreover, if it’s up merely because WINZ has a better culture, one would have expected Labour to have announced that or at lease highlighted that when questioned on the matter. I’ve seen neither.

          Labour’s drips and drabs approach is holding back the required progress. As a result, problems will worsen, hence will become more difficult and expensive to fix.

  15. Morrissey 16

    Even in death, this young woman is insulted by this Australian paper.

    This looks like another awful case. Aiia Maasarwe was a young Palestinian Israeli woman who was attacked and killed in Melbourne. This Melbourne Age report deliberately refuses to acknowledge that she is a Palestinian, and labels her by the cynical Israeli government term of “Israeli Arab.”

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/australia/110032290/aspiring-rapper-codey-herrmann-arrested-over-death-of-israeli-student-aiia-maasarwe-in-melbourne

    “In Canberra last week I met some Australian members of parliament. It gave me hope, because until I heard them speak I had always thought that Israel’s right wing politicians were the worst. —-(LAUGHTER)— I’ve never heard any Israeli politician speak about the Palestinian people the way that those Australian politicians did. But they are Australia’s problem, not mine. (LAUGHTER) I spoke with the Australian foreign minister; she talked and she was very nice but we could not agree on anything. (LAUGHTER)”

    —-Famed Israeli journalist GIDEON LEVY, speaking in Auckland, Dec. 3, 2017

    Open Mike 16/12/2017

  16. joe90 17

    The RNC, the NRA, Facebook, and the transition team. Why not the NYT?

    With the recent revelation that the FBI has long suspected Donald Trump of being a Russian puppet, Dean Baquet owes Liz Spayd an overdue apology.

    In May 2017, Baquet, as New York Times executive editor, oversaw the elimination of the paper’s public-editor position, effectively firing Spayd before her two-year term was up. As public editor, it was Spayd’s job to act as an internal Times watchdog, answer reader questions, and address concerns about news coverage.

    Why was Spayd pushed out?

    […]

    How dubious was the Times’ Russia coverage in 2016? Prior to the election, Times reporters knew about the blockbuster Steele dossier, which detailed international concerns about Trump’s Russia alliance. Over time, the dossier has proven to be remarkably accurate. During the 2016 campaign, the Times knew that the dossier’s author was a respected British intelligence officer, Christopher Steele, and could find no holes or red flags in the dossier information that was checkable. Yet the newspaper sat on the sensational news of the dossier’s existence.

    This is the same newspaper that had spent 18 months treating Hillary Clinton’s emails like Iran-Contra and Watergate put together.

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/1/17/1827048/-The-New-York-Times-is-overdue-on-a-Russia-reckoning-What-went-wrong-in-2016

  17. joe90 18

    Someone’s got themselves deep in it.

  18. marty mars 19

    irony alert

    “US Vice-President Mike Pence has called criticism of his wife’s decision to resume teaching at an anti-LGBT school “deeply offensive”.

    In an interview with a Catholic TV network, Mr Pence said it amounted to an “attack” on religious education.

    The school that Mrs Pence chose bars staff from engaging in or condoning “homosexual or lesbian sexual activity” and “transgender identity”.

    She previously taught art there for 12 years while Mr Pence was in Congress.”

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-46924489

  19. marty mars 20

    Some interesting history for those that might not know about these events…

    In 1830 Captain John Stewart of the brig Elizabeth made an arrangement with Ngāti Toa leader Te Rauparaha to ferry a taua (war party) of 100 warriors from his base on Kapiti Island to Banks Peninsula. Te Rauparaha wanted to surprise his Ngāi Tahu enemies and avenge the killing and eating of several Ngāti Toa chiefs at Kaiapoi in 1829. Te Pehi Kupe had suffered the ultimate insult when his bones were made into fish-hooks. Te Rauparaha was keen to reassert his mana over his southern rivals…

    https://nzhistory.govt.nz/culture/maori-european-contact-pre-1840/captain-stewart-and-the-elizabeth

  20. Eco Maori 21

    Kia ora R & R Waiata is good for the wairua each to there own on the money they want to get for there waiata.
    Waiata is a good mediam for telling storys truth full storys .
    I say that we will find a great maori musicin soon they are out there just need the correct team around them how know how the Papatuanuku works at the minute
    Ka kite ano

  21. Eco Maori 22

    brexit was a con job from the alt right on the common people who’s belif that its there right to make money anyway they can dream up weather it ruins the country selling state assets kill’s people arms sales or selling out there grandchildrens future global warming and the capitalist system is based on selling out the grandchildrens future targeting inflation this policy is selling the future out making dollars worth less for the grandchildren think about it.
    The Tories now treat the nation as they have long treated the poor

    brexit did not come from nowhere. The jerry-built utopianism, the indifference to and ignorance of how the British live and what they need to keep them safe, the know-nothing pride in ignorant generalisations and the cocksure love of sweeping solutions have their roots in the right that emerged a decade ago.
    Before the Brexiters wrecked the country, they wrecked the lives of the poor. Universal credit was the Conservatives’ fantasy when they took power 2010. Iain Duncan Smith offered a dream so seductive that even his natural critics could not find it in their hearts to condemn him unequivocally. His grand project would remove disincentives to work. It would simplify the complicated and create a benefits system that was “a doorway to real aspiration and achievement”.
    If Brexit incinerated the rules of prudence, the right’s treatment of the poor provided the kindling. Universal credit brought homelessness and pushed families to beg at food banks because Duncan Smith and his fellow half-educated idealists thought they could understand poverty like a mathematical theorem. They say now that their revolution failed because the Treasury stabbed their utopian plans in the back when it failed to provide sufficient resources – and you should get used to “stab in the back” theories because you will hear little else as the disillusionment with Brexit grows and the charlatans who led us on bluster like toddlers denying they wrecked the playpen. In truth, universal credit was doomed from the start. The right failed to see the poor as they were rather than as they wanted them to be. People are losing tenancies and going without food not only because universal credit is underfunded but because it imposes delays of five weeks or more before it pays anything at all to claimants. The delays are a matter of deliberate policy. In 2010, rightwingers wanted poverty to be the result of chaotic lives, alcoholism, drug addiction and, above all, for this is was what got the religious right’s rocks off, the breakdown of traditional families. They blamed individuals, not the system. A month’s wait for money would make the feckless pull themselves together and learn to live like members of the respectable middle class, who must wait a month for their first salary cheques when they take new job
    Brexit is a globalised version of the same failure to see the world as it is rather than how the right insists it must be. The greatest delusion is one that Burke would have laughed to scorn: the belief that we can have a wrenching economic, diplomatic and constitutional change without breaking into a sweat. Don’t laugh. Millions still believe in a Brexit without tears and their leaders are still promising they can have it.
    A second delusion flowed from the first: that the countries of the European Union would quail before the newly resurgent British as we awoke like lions from their slumber and scramble to meet our demands. This is what David Davis meant when he said British negotiators would be striking deals in Berlin rather than Brussels. As it is, the supposedly squabbling nations of the EU have held together, while the British political system has imploded. Ka kite ano link below P.S The whole world need to live with in its means a humble happy world for all

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/19/tories-now-treat-the-nation-as-they-have-long-treated-the-poor-universal-credit-brexit

  22. Eco Maori 23

    Some Eco Maori Music for the minute

  23. Eco Maori 24

    Kia ora R & R I sat te reo should be taught to all tamariki under a certain age. I also say that no tamariki should be allowed to leave school without a education /trade qualification invest in the future and it will pay big dividends for Aotearoa society the people that don’t agree have alternative reason a uneducated person is easily CONTROL con. I also say every one should be part of Kiwi saver. Saving for our future at the minute we’re are spending our future.
    Yes Te reo is a taonga treasure for all Kiwis. Ka kite ano

  24. Eco Maori 25

    R & R compolsery voting big yes from ECO Maori Ka kite ano

  25. Eco Maori 26

    Kia Kaha wahine don’t let the alt right red neck cheat and stop your goals for EQUALITY good on you for the marches around the world letting everyone know its time for CHANGE as MAN has made a MESS of the WORLD
    Women in more than 30 countries around the world are expected to gather on Saturday as part of the global Women’s March, to protest against violence against women and the impact of policies of austerity.
    In London thousands are expected to gather outside Portland Place in central London at 12.30pm and march to Trafalgar Square by 1.30pm, ending in a two-hour rally.
    Saturday marks the third anniversary of the first Women’s March in 2017, when as many as 6 million people around the world gathered in protest at the election of Donald Trump as president of the United States. Last year thousands gathered in central London for the Time’s Up rally, in honour of the campaign against sexual harassment and honouring the #MeToo movement.
    While the global theme of the 2019 Women’s Wave is ending violence against women and girls, the theme of the London march has been named “bread and roses”, in honour of the Polish-born American suffragette and workers’ rights campaigner Rose Schneiderman and reflects marchers’ “hunger to thrive and not just survive on bread”, said organisers. After the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911 where 146 mainly female garment-industry workers died, Schneiderman declared: “The worker must have bread, but she must have roses, too.”
    The UK rally is likely to have an anti-Brexit flavour as organisers accuse the government of ignoring the fact that women would suffer the most severe consequences in a post-Brexit Britain. he phrase “bread and roses” captures a desperate need for women’s voices as the devastating impact of austerity in the noise around Britain’s messy departure from the EU is forgotten, said Dr Shola Mos-Shogbamimu, the founder of the Women in Leadership publication and co-organiser of Women’s March London.

    Women’s March to take to streets after controversy divides movement
    Read more

    “The 1912 bread and roses march revolutionised workers’ rights for women and once again on Saturday women are leading the way in the fight against austerity,” she said. “We see women bearing the brunt of the economic and social impact of austerity and we know that after Brexit women will bear the brunt of the fallout. Our lives are being held to ransom because of politics.
    “We know that post-Brexit Britain will not be any better for women unless assurances are put in place to protect us. Yet none of the conversations happening at the moment are focusing on the impact of women and I find that absolutely ridiculous.”
    Sarah Green, of the End Violence Against Women coalition, said the link between austerity and violence against women was marked, adding it was harder than ever for women to challenge injustice as a result of cuts to legal aid and the closing of courts Ka kite ano links below P.S I see trumps little puppets trolls have been suppresing this story quite hard to find a positive one on the wahine marchs trump is suppresing the media on climate change topic to

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jan/18/womens-march-30-countries-set-to-take-part-in-third-global-protest

  26. Eco Maori 27

    Renewable energy doe not put the huge strains or pollute local water supplies WHY are we still burning carbon to prouduce power when renewable energy has so many positive features . Its the oil barons cheating our grandchildrens future.
    TIn addition, wind and solar energy require essentially no water to operate and thus do not pollute water resources or strain supplies by competing with agriculture, drinking water, or other important water needs. In contrast, fossil fuels can have a significant impact on water resources: both coal mining and natural gas drilling can pollute sources of drinking water, and all thermal power plants, including those powered by coal, gas, and oil, withdraw and consume water for cooling.
    Biomass and geothermal power plants, like coal- and natural gas-fired power plants, may require water for cooling. Hydroelectric power plants can disrupt river ecosystems both upstream and downstream from the dam. However, NREL’s 80-percent-by-2050 renewable energy study, which included biomass and geothermal, found that total water consumption and withdrawal would decrease significantly in a future with high renewables [7].his page explores the many positive impacts of clean energy, including the benefits of wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric, and biomass. For more information on their negative impacts—including effective solutions to avoid, minimize, or mitigate—see our page on The Environmental Impacts of Renewable Energy Technologies.
    Less global warming
    Human activity is overloading our atmosphere with carbon dioxide and other global warming emissions. These gases act like a blanket, trapping heat. The result is a web of significant and harmful impacts, from stronger, more frequent storms, to drought, sea level rise, and extinction.
    In the United States, about 29 percent of global warming emissions come from our electricity sector. Most of those emissions come from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas [1, 2].
    Human activity is overloading our atmosphere with carbon dioxide and other global warming emissions. These gases act like a blanket, trapping heat. The result is a web of significant and harmful impacts, from stronger, more frequent storms, to drought, sea level rise, and extinction.
    In the United States, about 29 percent of global warming emissions come from our electricity sector. Most of those emissions come from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas [1, 2].
    In contrast, most renewable energy sources produce little to no global warming emissions. Even when including “life cycle” emissions of clean energy (ie, the emissions from each stage of a technology’s life—manufacturing, installation, operation, decommissioning), the global warming emissions associated with renewable energy are minimal [3].
    The comparison becomes clear when you look at the numbers. Burning natural gas for electricity releases between 0.6 and 2 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent per kilowatt-hour (CO2E/kWh); coal emits between 1.4 and 3.6 pounds of CO2E/kWh. Wind, on the other hand, is responsible for only 0.02 to 0.04 pounds of CO2E/kWh on a life-cycle basis; solar 0.07 to 0.2; geothermal 0.1 to 0.2; and hydroelectric between 0.1 and 0.5.
    Renewable electricity generation from biomass can have a wide range of global warming emissions depending on the resource and whether or not it is sustainably sourced and harvested. Ka kite ano links below.

    https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-energy/renewable-energy/public-benefits-of-renewable-power#.XEPjIPZuJjo

    https://www.ucsusa.org/clean-energy/energy-water-use/water-energy-electricity-overview#.XEPnR_ZuJjo

  27. Eco Maori 28

    Kia ora Newshub condolences to the people who lost there love ones in that oil pipeline explosion in Mexico.
    E scooter are becoming a bit of a problem it would be good to see the %data on the accidents
    Patel car meet is cool yes not all car loving enthusiast people are not all fools who play silly buggers E cars is coming on strong that is the new age.
    It ain’t half hot MUM is a classic TV show given me many sore faces condolences to Windsor Davies whano.
    Ka kite ano

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Community-led solutions to prevent family violence
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    5 days ago
  • Govt confirms investment in better radiology and surgical services for Hawke’s Bay
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    5 days ago
  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
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    5 days ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
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    5 days ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
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    5 days ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
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    5 days ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
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    6 days ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
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  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
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    6 days ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
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  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
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    6 days ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
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    6 days ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
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    6 days ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
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  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
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    6 days ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
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    6 days ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
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    7 days ago
  • Extended loan scheme keeps business afloat
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    1 week ago
  • New investment creates over 2000 jobs to clean up waterways
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    1 week ago
  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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  • PGF top-up for QE Health in Rotorua
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    1 week ago