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Starting out with an obvious lie

Written By: - Date published: 7:02 am, January 23rd, 2017 - 195 comments
Categories: spin, us politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , , , , ,

This just seems completely unhinged doesn’t it:

Trump inauguration crowd: Sean Spicer’s claims versus the evidence

White House press secretary’s angry declaration that the media faked low attendance does not stack up against photos, videos and public transport figures

Photographs of the National Mall in Washington DC and public transport figures for the city cast serious doubt on Sean Spicer’s angry insistence that Donald Trump drew “the largest audience ever to witness and inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe”.

In his blistering debut as White House press secretary on Saturday, Spicer accused journalists of reporting inaccurate crowd numbers and using misrepresentative photographs “to minimise the enormous support” that he claimed the new president enjoyed at his swearing-in.

Before Spicer’s briefing room tirade on Saturday, Trump had told an audience at CIA headquarters that he had given his inauguration address to a “massive field of people … packed”, he estimated, with between 1m and 1.5m people. …

These are easily disproved lies, as per the evidence and photos in The Guardian piece, and indeed all over the news and the net. (Update: Apparently the Trump term for these lies is “alternative facts”.)

So, why?

I suppose it is not unexpected from Trump, who is either a habitual liar or completely delusional (or both). But why does a newly minted White House Press Secretary start out by trashing his credibility like this? I think Garry Kasparov had the most interesting take:

Obvious lies serve a purpose for an administration. They watch who challenges them and who loyally repeats them. The people must watch, too.

See also this musing on Vox:

Trump’s real war isn’t with the media. It’s with facts.

Trump needs to delegitimize the media because he needs to delegitimize facts.

…“This was the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, both in person and around the globe.”

This, along with much else Spicer said, was plainly untrue. But there’s a strategy at work here. The Trump administration is creating a baseline expectation among its loyalists that they can’t trust anything said by the media. The spat over crowd size is a low-stakes, semi-comic dispute, but the groundwork is being laid for much more consequential debates over what is, and isn’t, true.

Delegitimizing the institutions that might report inconvenient or damaging facts about the president is strategic for an administration that has made a slew of impossible promises and takes office amid a cloud of ethics concerns and potential scandals.

It also gives the new administration a convenient scapegoat for their continued struggles with public opinion, and their potential future struggles with reality. This kind of “dishonesty from the media,” Spicer said, is making it hard “to bring our country together.” It’s not difficult to imagine the Trump administration disputing bad jobs numbers in the future, or claiming their Obamacare replacement covers everyone when it actually throws millions off insurance. …

Method perhaps, to the apparent madness.

195 comments on “Starting out with an obvious lie”

  1. Pat 1

    Full Godwin doesn’t even come close……it would appear insanity IS contagious.

    “Ethics lawyers from the Obama and George W Bush White Houses say that Trump is already violating the US constitution by continuing to collect revenues from foreign government officials. Trump has said he will transfer such profits to the US Treasury.”


    • Andre 1.1

      So as soon as Republicans in Congress decide they’re better off getting rid of Trump, they’ve got the tool to do it.

    • D'Esterre 1.2

      Pat: alternative facts? Puts me in mind of Donald Rumsfeld’s “known unknowns” and “unknown unknowns”. Or whatever fantasy it was he was articulating.

    • We’ve spent years railing against the very things and people Trump makes mention of in this speech – yet because Clinton – who is NOT Left , but an emissary of the globalist banking elite masquerading as ‘ Left’ lost – there’s all this playing into the globalists very hands in joining in with bashing Trump.

      Sad situation.

      Remember that next time there is a global recession or a repeat of the Tony Blair / George W Bush ‘ weapons of mass destruction ‘ justification for war type lie.

  2. James 2

    It was pretty clear the entire event that the numbers were waaaaay down on expectations and there were a lot of empty seats.

    I guess people either didn’t want to go because it trump himself or because of the protesters which had announced they were going to be there. I would take kids around that.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Also only 4.1% of Washington DC voted for Trump. That depressed turnout numbers by a quarter million right there.

      Technically however, the Trump Administration started out by SHITCANNING THE TPP

      Expect fast action from this Presidency. It is important however that his new inexperienced team does not start up silly fights and fires that they do not need to so the Trump agenda can stay on track.


      • red-blooded 2.1.1

        Fast action is not necessarily good action, CV. It can be hasty, ill-advised and have unconsidered consequences. While plenty of people here are happy to wave goodbye to the TPP, can we say the same about the hasty decisions to dismantle The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the reversal from cuts to mortgage terms from the Federal Housing Authority, the belligerent approach to policing issues and voter suppression issues in Texas, the disappearance of Climate Change, LGBT issues, civil rights etc from the government website..? http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/01/21/510952189/president-trumps-first-hours-in-office

        Not exactly a caring or well-considered set of 1st-day priorities.

      • McFlock 2.1.2

        Technically however, the Trump Administration started out by SHITCANNING THE TPP

        Which Executive Order (linking to Vice.com because thw White House page is still empty) was that? It wasn’t the one shitting on Affordable Healthcare, or the one giving Mattis a waiver to dovetail military and political careers.

      • joe90 2.1.3

        Technically however, the Trump Administration started out by SHITCANNING THE TPP

        Actually, Trump started out by shitcanning a plan to lower mortgage insurance costs for first time home owners.

        An hour after Donald Trump assumed the presidency Friday, his administration indefinitely suspended a pending rate cut for mortgage insurance required for FHA-backed loans, which are popular with first-time home buyers and those with poor credit.

        The move by the Department of Housing and Urban Development — one of the first acts of Trump’s administration — reversed a policy announced in the waning days of the Obama presidency that would have trimmed insurance premiums for typical borrowers by hundreds of dollars a year.


  3. Ad 3

    Sean Spicer is delivering the truth in order to teach lefties and centrists a lesson.
    We’ll get these lessons for four years.
    What do we think of today’s lesson?

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Eight years

      • Tricledrown 3.1.1

        Mid term elections in 2 years could do the same to trump as what happened to Obama.

      • lprent 3.1.2

        I’d pick about 2-3 years.

        Trump and his team appear to have a problem with thinking.

      • joe90 3.1.3

        Eight years

        Ya reckon.

        Robert Reich
        Yesterday at 07:23

        I had breakfast recently with a friend who’s a former Republican member of Congress. Here’s what he said:

        Him: Trump is no Republican. He’s just a big fat ego.

        Me: Then why didn’t you speak out against him during the campaign?

        Him: You kidding? I was surrounded by Trump voters. I’d have been shot.

        Me: So what now? What are your former Republican colleagues going to do?

        Him (smirking): They’ll play along for a while.

        Me: A while?

        Him: They’ll get as much as they want – tax cuts galore, deregulation, military buildup, slash all those poverty programs, and then get to work on Social Security and Medicare – and blame him. And he’s such a fool he’ll want to take credit for everything.

        Me: And then what?

        Him (laughing): They like Pence.

        Me: What do you mean?

        Him: Pence is their guy. They all think Trump is out of his mind.

        Me: So what?

        Him: So the moment Trump does something really dumb – steps over the line – violates the law in a big stupid clumsy way … and you know he will …

        Me: They impeach him?

        Him: You bet. They pull the trigger.

        • BM

          And he’s such a fool he’ll want to take credit for everything.
          They all think Trump is out of his mind
          So the moment Trump does something really dumb – steps over the line – violates the law in a big stupid clumsy way … and you know he will …

          Trump may be a bit unhinged, but stupid he ain’t, he’ll have a fair idea that this sort of thing will be going on in the background.

          He’ll take steps to counter this threat.

          • Tricledrown

            Trump is all talk and no trousers.
            Melania is not happy about the limelight and Trumps philandering.
            So what women wants a man who shags anything that moves to be intamit with Trumps sex obsession he will get worn down with the hours and commitment the presidency requires.
            Given Trumps track record scandal will bring him down.
            He is already facing several prosecutions.

          • joe90

            a bit unhinged, but stupid he ain’t,

            Where he tells the world just how unhinged he is.

            And then they say: “is Donald Trump an intellectual?” Trust me. I’m like a smart person.


          • mosa

            The Republican party continues to underestimate him.

            There is no doubt he will push the law to its limit and his staff will have to be excellent fire fighters.

            His support base and its patience will play a part in the next two years until the mid terms.

            If the vote then delivers a Democrat house and Senate all bets are off.

  4. Paaparakauta 4

    Lets focus on the next election in Aotearoa.

    • mosa 4.1

      Paaparakauta according to most commentators the National party has already won a fourth term with a reduced majority.

      The family friendly budget and tax relief proved popular and giving the great Mr Key his legacy.
      And redemption for English losing so badly in 2002.
      If that’s the case it seems a huge waste of money holding the poll.

      Lets focus on 2020 or 2023.

      • lprent 4.1.1

        How can they have a “reduced majority” when they don’t have a majority at all?

        It does rather undermine your argument when you appear to be too damn stupid to be even minimally accurate.

        • mosa

          I guess we all aspire to be as bright as you the shinning example that you are.

          I will rephrase the the commentators ill judged and mindless description of the current governments status in the parliament for the record and accuracy.

          The current government won 47% of the vote giving it after the loss of the Northland seat 59 votes in the parliament and governs as a minority with help from Dunne, Seymour and the Maoris giving it a majority in the house.

          Its is their opinion that National will be the largest party after the election giving it the chance to form the next government as each party with the largest share of the party vote has done since the first MMP election in October 1996.

          Hope that clears up the mindless inaccuracy and stupidity for you Iprent.

  5. Rae 5

    Fair is fair, people, Kelly Anne Conway did point out that is such a thing as “alternative facts”. Fact (albeit alternative)
    Oh and by the by, check this out https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/193/all-info

  6. Morrissey 7

    I turned on the radio and heard Spicer raving. For a short time I thought it was the sports guy, Bulldog, from Frasier. The Indianapolis accent and the angry attitude are identical….

  7. Colonial Viper 8


  8. Andre 9

    I’ve posted the article linked below before, but it really is worth a read for the insight into how the brain processes lies. With our own election coming up, it highlights things to watch out for.

    For instance, I’ve been one of the louder people here arguing for Clinton. One of the big negatives for Clinton is she still wore the stains of 25 years of smears, and I was well aware of that through living in the US for most of the 90s. But even for me, mentioning “Whitewater” first caused a strong feeling of vague negativity towards Clinton, before the thinking kicked in and I remembered that there were several independent investigations culminating in Ken Starr’s multi-year multi-million dollar inquisition into every aspect of the Clintons’ lives that found nothing worse than Monica and no misconduct whatsoever on Hillary’s part.


    • Morrissey 9.1

      Smears by her opponents were not the only reason people despised her. Anybody who watches this can be in no doubt about her character….

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        RT’s “Watching the Hawks” interviews Matt Taibi who followed the Clinton Campaign around Murica

        Critical he says: media were career-afraid of saying that she had serious problems with her campaign and put out positive stories where possible.

        • Tricledrown

          RT are no more believable than Fox.
          Assange released Russian hacked Hillary files.
          Facebook set up 250 fake news sites in Macedonia.
          Breibart offshoots many of them.
          Of course your happy focusing on Clinton who is a nobody now.
          We have a white racist supremacist in charge now and your focussed on fake news from the past.

          • Colonial Viper

            Assange released Russian hacked Hillary files.

            Assange, Craig Murray, Bill Binnie, all say that those emails were LEAKED by an INSIDER; they did not come from a party associated with Russia.

          • Colonial Viper

            RT are no more believable than Fox.

            And what about Matt Taibi, political editor for Rolling Stone, that they interview? Or Jesse Ventura’s kid who is on that panel, is he a Russian agent now as well?

          • mauī

            “RT are no more believable than Fox. ”

            Ok, I can fairly safely say RT interviews more independent journos and whistleblowers in a week than our tv channels would in a decade.

          • Morrissey

            RT are no more believable than Fox.

            Actually, RT is more believable than Fox, or any of the American networks. There are real debates on RT, about serious issues.

            RT is also more rigorous and fair than either Al Jazeera or the BBC. I have never seen a political smear and ambush like this on RT, although this sort of thing used to happen in the Soviet Union during the Great Terror….

        • mosa

          CV you could apply the term” career-afraid” with our current crop of so called journalists and their unflinching support of the status quo.

          Not one dissenting voice in eight years.

          • Colonial Viper

            Yes definitely. Also the establishment is more nuanced than just that.

            It is a carrot and stick approach. If you are co-operative, you will get access to sources, early notification of breaking stories, supporting materials, trips, scholarships, promotions, recognition, etc.

            Which admittedly sounds a whole lot better than being an outsider frozen out of career advancement and reporting on the local weather at a regional station for the rest of your life.

    • red-blooded 9.2

      The “Crooked Hillary” lie certainly got established frighteningly quickly and even when many people know Trump lies constantly they somehow seem to give him a free pass while seeing her as shady.

      Of course we also need to be vigilant here. Key lied a lot, although not in the same pointless, bizarre way as Trump. His lies around the Dirty Politics issues certainly won through despite all evidence. English spins and denies: if he presents us with “alternative truths” then we need to find ways to call him out and present an alternative viewpoint without simply being responsive. If we set the agenda we have the advantage of the initiative.

      • Morrissey 9.2.1

        Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton WAS crooked, and depraved.

        Having said that, there is no doubt Trump is far worse than her, and his cabinet of horrors makes Obama’s, even with the likes of Rahm Emmanuel in it, look like this…


        • Psycho Milt

          Hillary Clinton WAS crooked, and depraved.

          Really? Andre’s got

          …there were several independent investigations culminating in Ken Starr’s multi-year multi-million dollar inquisition into every aspect of the Clintons’ lives that found nothing worse than Monica and no misconduct whatsoever on Hillary’s part.

          And you’ve got a clip of her being mean about Gadaffi. Do you actually think about what you’re posting before you post it?

          • Morrissey

            being mean about Gadaffi

            Being mean about Gaddafi is fine. She was laughing about his brutal killing by the jihadists she and Obama supported. He was sodomised with swords.

            She was laughing about THAT.

            • Andre

              The context around that comment. Yes, it was appalling. But it appears to be before any allegations about sodomising with bayonets came out.


              You haven’t touched on how the “Crooked Hillary” smear stuck, while a lot of people stuck to their delusion that the Chump “tells it like it is”. Despite all objective checking showing that Clinton was unusually honest for a politician and the Chump was extraordinarily dishonest.

              • Morrissey

                Of course she knew.

                But you go on believing she was merely laughing at the clean, painless, bloodless murder of a helpless man by her jihadist allies if that makes you feel better. I’m happy to give her the benefit of the doubt, even though I, like you, am sure she knew exactly what Gaddafi had suffered.

                I thought it was utterly hypocritical for Trump, of all people, to call Hillary Clinton crooked. But that doesn’t mean she’s beyond criticism.

                She was indeed up to her eyeballs in corruption. That’s not a Trump “alternative fact”, it’s a hard, absolute, irrefutable, Cartesian reality………


                • red-blooded

                  Morrisey, The Intercept is hardly a non-partisan “irrefutable” source. But, even if Clinton was pro-fracking (and I don’t know one way or the other), she’d still be a damn sight better than the lying, self-aggrandising, racist, misogynistic bully boy Trump and his band of swamp dwellers.

                  • Morrissey

                    The Intercept is hardly a non-partisan “irrefutable” source.

                    Glenn Greenwald has, on several occasions, eloquently laid waste to the spurious notion of “balance” that has reduced the mainstream media to the shameful condition in which it is now. So, you’re correct, the Intercept certainly does have a bias: for the truth, and against government spin. That means it has refused to turn a blind eye to the Obama administration’s crimes, and that’s why it’s infuriated the DNC—just recently John Dean urged the intelligence services to find a link between the Putin regime and the Intercept.

                    But, even if Clinton was pro-fracking (and I don’t know one way or the other)

                    Yes, you do know now, since you’ve had the chance to read that outstanding investigative piece by Lee Fang.

                    I’m interested to see you put the word irrefutable in sarcastic scare quotes, obviously so as to suggest the journalism at that outstanding site is dodgy or unreliable. To strengthen your case, perhaps you would like to cite an example of less than professional journalism by any journalist at the Intercept.

                    Thanks in anticipation.

                • Andre

                  I dunno about “feeling better” about it, but it was a brief spur-of-the-moment reaction between interviews, so hardly a moment for a considered thought. Also, Gaddafi had the same position in 90s American public consciousness as bin Laden did in the noughties. So she would have had a “finally got rid of that problem” moment, even if it was still unconfirmed.

                  Frankly, the considered public gloating about bin Laden’s extra-judicial execution bothers me a lot more. Particularly given The Intercept’s recent piece about the crimes of Seal Team 6.

                  So Clinton put spin on her previously unpublicised promotion of fracking? Show me the top levels of any large organisation that doesn’t do that kind of thing routinely. It doesn’t mark her as “crooked”, particularly when measured on the politician’s scale.

                  • Morrissey

                    So Clinton put spin on her previously unpublicised promotion of fracking? Show me the top levels of any large organisation that doesn’t do that kind of thing routinely. It doesn’t mark her as “crooked”, particularly when measured on the politician’s scale.

                    Fair comment, my friend.

                    Also, Gaddafi had the same position in 90s American public consciousness as bin Laden did in the noughties.

                    Gaddafi was demonized by the American political elite, just as they demonized Nelson Mandela during his long imprisonment. And I doubt many of the “American public” actually spent even half a minute actually educating themselves about Libya’s painful history. Irrespective of that, however, the sight of a privileged and powerful politician laughing at the fate of one of her targets remains profoundly disturbing to me.

                    Frankly, the considered public gloating about bin Laden’s extra-judicial execution bothers me a lot more.

                    Me too.

                    Particularly given The Intercept’s recent piece about the crimes of Seal Team 6.

                    In May 2011, Noelle McCarthy conducted a groveling interview with one of those bastards….

                    NOELLE McCARTHY: What kind of missions have you been on?

                    STEPHEN TEMPLIN: Well, the big one was Grenada. Everybody wanted a piece of Grenada!

                    NOELLE McCARTHY: Mmmm hmmmm….

                    STEPHEN TEMPLIN: Then there was Panama! And there’s a lot of problems with pirates in Somalia. Seal Team Six took down the pirates on that boat in Somalia…

                    Open mike 24/05/2011

                • https://theintercept.com/2016/10/10/clinton-fracking-theworld/

                  Assuming everything in the linked story is true, there’s a semantic gulf between “crooked and depraved” and “did things Morrissey doesn’t like.”

            • Psycho Milt

              He was sodomised with swords.

              Again with the confident assertions that should actually have the word “alleged” somewhere in the sentence. Feel free to substantiate any of this blather.

              • Morrissey

                I’ll take Robert Fisk’s word over yours any time.

                • No doubt, but “alleged by Robert Fisk” isn’t any different from “alleged” in practical terms. Also: you might want to Google the terms ‘logical fallacy argument from authority.’

      • Colonial Viper 9.2.2

        The overwhelming majority of voters (over 80% iirc) who held negative opinions of BOTH Hillary AND Trump, decided in the voting booth to choose Trump.

        In other words, they preferred the 1/100 chance that Trump might actually deliver on what he promised, to Hillary Clinton.

        • Tricledrown

          CV BS making it up Clinton got 3 million more votes.
          Your becoming a bore who thinks he knows everything not unlike Twitlers.

          • Colonial Viper

            Yeah sorry my numbers were off. Out of the 18% of voters who didn’t like either Clinton or Trump, they broke for Trump by just 20 points over Hillary Clinton.

            Even the Huffington Post published on it.


            • Tricledrown

              No surprises their considering the interference by the FBI.
              Assanges vendetta with Obama with hacked Hillary emails.
              Putin wants a weak Europe and a divided US.
              He has achieved both.

            • lprent

              So what you mean is that the protest vote voted for the more anti-establishment candidate. Jez -there is a surprise!

              FFS: this is like reading politics for dummies.

              • dv

                ‘ this is like reading politics for dummies.

                this is like reading politics WITH a dummy.

                Fixed it

              • Poission

                FFS: this is like reading politics for dummies.

                Politics is always for dummies,hence one should not expect the best from politicians as Popper suggested quite convincingly ,

                “I am inclined to think that rulers have rarely been above the average, either morally or intellectually, and often below it. And I think that it is reasonable to adopt, in politics, the principle of preparing for the worst, as well as we can, though we should, of course, at the same time try to obtain the best. It appears to me madness to base all our political efforts upon the faint hope that we shall be successful in obtaining excellent, or even competent, rulers.

        • Xanthe

          Well i have a theory
          For many election cycles the game has been to make people choose “least worse” this works to maintain the duopoly , people are scared of losing their vote

          but the end point of such strategem is when the public is presented with two choices who are not just “least worse” but both completely unacceptable. At that point they (the ones who still vote) will choose the least predictable evil….. trump

    • Adrian Thornton 9.3

      Just to be clear, you are talking about the same Hillary that immediately hired Debbie Wasserman Schultz, after she had just been basically fired from the DNC chair for unfair and biased treatment of the Sanders campaign?

      The same Clinton who let Donna Brazile hold her post as Vice DNC chair, after she was fired from CNN for giving the debate questions to Clinton, and yes let her hold that post into the election, when one of the main concerns in the US public’s mind was cronyism? WTF!

      The same Hillary Clinton who wouldn’t allow Nina Turner to speak at the DNC Convention, as some type of ritualistic punishment? and thus alienate millions of Democrat voters.

      I could go on and on, but the proof is in the pudding, Clinton lost the election to the most unpopular presidential candidate in US history.

      Your Clinton, the DNC along with MSM are almost solely responsible for Trump, that’s it, end of story…wouldn’t you think a little self reflection would be in order about now?

      • Andre 9.3.1

        Adrian, I’ve said many many times that I would have much preferred Bernie to Hillary. For that matter, I preferred O’Malley or many many other Dems. If a vote for Stein would have had the effect of giving her any leverage (rather than just helping Trump), there’s no question that’s what I would have done. Have you got sufficient mental flexibility to finally take that on board?

        The time for pushing an alternative to Clinton was during the primary. But once Clinton became the nominee, there’s the unpalatable task of choosing which candidate with a chance of winning would be the least damaging. You seem to be unable to front up to task like that, clinging instead to some kind of conspiracy fantasy.

        Meanwhile, my post was about the effects of repeated flagrant lying … but somehow just mentioning Clinton seems to send you and CV and Morrissey into a blind frothing rage.

        • Adrian Thornton

          Sorry if I came on a bit to strong, but I regard the Clinton’s and the DNC and their neo liberal ideological project as a root cause of this disaster, so talking about her, even retrospectively, winds me up, deep breaths…deep breaths.

          BTW, MSM have indulged in some pretty hard core alternative truth telling, and straight out propaganda on behalf of the Democrats over the past 12 months and especially in the last 3-4 months, so they can’t have it both ways.

          • Andre


            Now let’s focus on our shared goal of changing the government next year, and not get distracted into fighting with each other.

            Lies and bullshit are going to be a big feature coming up, so let’s be aware of how they affect us and the people around us.

            • Colonial Viper

              Now let’s focus on our shared goal of changing the government next year

              No way that’s going to happen sorry. The election is this year.

  9. Adrian Thornton 10

    Well this is all very unsurprising, if it seems as if the Monster that the Dr Frankenstein MSM helped create is unhinged and uncontrollable, well then maybe they should have been slightly more critical and damning, not covered him relentlessly with wall to wall coverage when he was spewing out his hateful rhetoric, but no,how could they stop. he was great for sales, and in free market economy, where everything is commodified, even news coverage… and shareholders demand dividends, yep you gotta love this free market neo liberal ideology in full bloom.


    And the sad irony is that, this same bullshit media at exactly the same time as they where paving the road to the White House for trump, refused to cover, or when they did, covered negativity, Sanders, another populist, but one with a message of hope and fairness for all…. turns out MSM, and the DNC establishment would rather step in line with a madman like Trump, than support and encouage someone who actually wants Real Change, Equality and Fairness for all citizens.
    If you haven’t figured it out by now, the all self proclaimed centrist party’s would rather a titanic shift to right wing governance than have anything to do with a Left Socialist Democratic project.

    • Bill 10.1


      And as I keep yawning…the liberals have to step away, just fuck. right. off. It is they who are making the Trump’s of the world a viable voting option and a reality.

      • Paul 10.1.1

        Yes all these stories only serve to reinforce the belief ofTrump supporters.
        We don’t need to be hearing the rich and affluent beltway commentators bemoaning Trump. They will only add to his votes.

      • Adrian Thornton 10.1.2

        @Bill +1
        Turn Labour Left!

        • red-blooded

          Adrian, Labour has turned left – it’s signed a MOU with the Greens. That’s significant – it establishes a left block.

          Not all individual policies will be as far left as you would like (you are not an average voter), but the fact remains that there has been a conscious decision to identify as left wing.

          • Adrian Thornton

            Re-Blooded, Excuse me for not thinking that James Shaw is not a signal to the Left for Labour.

            Look, sure I know that Labour has a few really good individual policies, but politically they are still clinging to the center ground like their lives depended on it, yet as the polls reflect, it is killing them, and not all that slowly.
            All the while inequality, flat wages and housing costs are raging out of control, with no answers from Labour, they couldn’t even bring themselves to condemn TPP outright.

            And BTW I am not hard Left, I am just old fashioned traditional Labour Socialist Democratic left, the field in NZ has moved so far right since 1984 that it just might look that way from where you are sitting..

      • Johan 10.1.3

        Bill, try looking at the US election result from a different angle. Only 50% of eligible voters bothered to vote, meaning that Trump got less that 25% support.

        • Bill

          My criticism of liberalism isn’t limited to the US and I don’t really give a monkey’s flying fuck about Trump. It’s bad. It’s happened. What’s next?

          And my eyes slide sideways to the polling numbers for Labour in Scotland where the party has clung to a liberal/radical centre/Blairite (choose your label) positon and been repeatedly fucking hammered by a party that merely occupied the ground the Labour couldn’t flee fast enough.

          Last I looked they sat at a whopping 15% in the polls with elections due in May.

          Meanwhile, in England, the liberal media continue work hand in glove with the Blair ‘left-overs’ to undermine Corbyn who, ironically, seems to be looking to occupy that same ground in England that the SNP walked into in Scotland…and that UKIP is contesting in England.

          Corbyn and the Labour Party could easily occupy that space in England (it’s currently occupied in Scotland) and UKIP would die a death. But the fucking liberals are intent on fucking over Corbyn over and stymieing Labour, meaning that UKIP will grow – just as Trump did in the US off the back of the stupid fuckng liberals/radical centrists putting paid to Sanders.

          • Johan

            Bill is the F-bomb suppose to make your argument sound more convincing? I don’t think so Bill!
            The term liberalism in today’s meaning is much different to what it used to be when I was a young man, you may want to clarify.
            I don’t think you know what you are talking about when you make the call that liberalism was to blame for the demise of the Labour Party in Scotland and a Trump vote catcher in the USA. The first has to do with a serge of Nationalism in Scotland and the other is simply a capitalistic system of governing a country whether Democrats or Republicans are in power, the end result stays the same, ie money over people.

            • Bill

              Bill is the F-bomb suppose to make your argument sound more convincing?


              I don’t think so Bill!


              Liberalism refers exactly to what it has always referred to. Did you never wonder about the suffix ‘neo’ being applied these past 30 years? (obviously not)

              You’re aware that the SNP won a majority in 2011 in an election system geared to prevent majorities and were forced to run a referendum on independence even though support for independence only sat at around 25 percent?

              Go on. Square that circle for me Johan.

              I’ll reiterate. Labour got wiped by the SNP. It was, until then, Labour’s worst election defeat since 1931. And at a time when only about 1 in 4 people supported independence. But it was all about nationalism.

              What is it you don’t understand about both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party being liberal parties? Or about Blair’s ‘New Labour’ and the Tories both being liberal parties? Or about NZ National Party and NZ Labour Party both being liberal parties?

              Sure. It’s all in a capitalist framework. We agree on that. Just a wee step for you to get to the point where you understand that the capitalism you mention has been completely accommodated by both the parliamentary left and the parliamentary right…liberalism.

    • Pat 10.2

      “Every so often, the affluent classes lose track of this, and try to force the working classes to put up with extensive joblessness and low pay, so that affluent Americans can pocket the proceeds. This never ends well. After an interval, the working classes pick up whatever implement is handy—Andrew Jackson, the Grange, the Populist movement, the New Deal, Donald Trump—and beat the affluent classes about the head and shoulders with it until the latter finally get a clue. This might seem promising for Marxist revolutionaries, but it isn’t, because the Marxist revolutionaries inevitably rush in saying, in effect, “No, no, you shouldn’t settle for plenty of full time jobs at a living wage, you should die by the tens of thousands in an orgy of revolutionary violence so that we can seize power in your name.” My readers are welcome to imagine the response of the American working class to this sort of rhetoric.”

      no need to imagine….we are witnessing it.


      • Adrian Thornton 10.2.1

        @Pat, Your Druid need only take a look at Bolivia, Venezuela to recognize two countries of late where a Marxist underpinned Socialist governance has gained power, by and large peacefully, and not, to use your quote ..”you should die by the tens of thousands in an orgy of revolutionary violence so that we can seize power in your name.”
        What a ridiculous statement.

        • Pat

          read the article Adrian

          • Adrian Thornton

            I did read it, I agreed with parts, and thought some of the analysis was pretty good, and I also disagreed with the part I mentioned.
            But I will reread it later when I have more time and see if I missed something.

      • Olwyn 10.2.2

        Thanks for putting that link up Pat – it is very thoughtful, as his pieces tend to be, and goes some way toward explaining why the establishment left in the US, rather than seeking to rebuild their “auld alliance” with the working class, are instead scrambling to reassert their relevance to the elites. So much so that it is possible to read what is happening as a battle between two branches of the elite – roughly outlined, the monetarists, backed by Hollywood and the media, versus the extractionists, backed by a disparate assortment of competing interests.

  10. Ovid 11

    “How can I help seeing what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.”
    “Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”

    • Carolyn_nth 11.1

      The Party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with which any Party intellectual would overthrow him in debate, the subtle arguments which he would not be able to understand, much less answer. And yet he was in the right! They were wrong and he was right. The obvious, the silly, and the true had got to be defended. Truisms are true, hold on to that! The solid world exists, its laws do not change. Stones are hard, water is wet, objects unsupported fall towards the earth’s centre. With the feeling that he was speaking to O’Brien, and also that he was setting forth an important axiom, he wrote:

      …..Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

      – 1984 Chapter 7 (Orwell)

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.1

        BTW Obama oversaw huge growth in mass surveillance/intelligence industry activities as well as heavily persecuting any and all whistleblowers who tried to reveal intelligence and military wrongdoings.

        • Ovid

          I’m not one for whataboutism. Trump is the president. Now the scrutiny is squarely on his administration.

          • Colonial Viper

            Yet Trump inherits many powerful precedents and circumstances set by Obama. A foreign military jail outside of the Geneva Convention. The ability to extra-judicially kill family members simply because they were related to a terrorist. The ability to drone American citizens overseas. A massive and intrusive mass surveillance regime. The Dakota Access Pipeline – which could never have occurred without US Army and federal lands support. The gutting of laws preventing US Gov propaganda campaigns against its own citizens. Massive para-militarised police forces.

            Thanks Obama, you’ve made Trump’s job to be a tyrant – should he want to be – so much easier.

            • McFlock

              I love how you throw outright lies in with shit that Bush the younger or the republican House & senate saddled Obama with.

              Just so you can blame Obama if trump turns out to be a tyrant.

            • joe90

              so much easier.

              A doddle, once he’s got his very own secret police.

              .@KellyannePolls: "It's really time for [Trump] to put in his own security and intelligence community." What? @ThisWeekABC— Josh Rogin (@joshrogin) January 22, 2017

  11. Colonial Viper 12

    Unfortunately, the explanation for this balls up is simpler – Sean Spicer was inexperienced and let his anger at the media’s continuing anti-Trump bias get the better of him when he was writing and reading his statement.

    It was the media’s false reporting that Trump had taken down Martin Luther King’s likeness from the White House which really pissed off the Trump team.

    Having said that the total viewership for Trump’s inauguration was indeed very high historically: not as high as Obama’s historic 2009 inauguration, but certainly higher than Obama’s 2013 inauguration.

    As for Kasparov butting his nose in: just remember that this neocon shill is part of the D.C. anti-Russia, anti-Putin establishment. He is dead set against Trump’s rapproachment with Russia.

    • Andre 12.1

      Nice “alternative facts”, CV. Did RT give them to you?

      • Paul 12.1.1

        The problem is that the msm has been giving us false news and alternative facts for so long, a large sector of the population doesn’t trust a word they say.
        If you’ve lied about WMD and Iraq, you’re in no position to lecture as the media is doing.

        • Andre

          Paul, that WMD thing is one of your favourite lines. But it’s a misrepresentation.

          The likes of Reuters and Time were fairly careful to report that the Bush Administration people were claiming confidential intelligence reports were saying Iraq had WMDs. At the same time, they were also reporting there were leaks from the intelligence community that they were being pressured to skew their reports They were also reporting that Hans Blix and his team had not found WMDs, and were confident they were getting access everywhere needed.

          • Colonial Viper

            And yet the New York Times still had to apologise for fucking up their reporting of the WMD issue.

            The fuck up of the MSM in the USA was simple: they kept putting claims that Iraq had WMD and that Saddam was personally involved in 9/11 on the front page.

            Then at the back end of their articles or buried deep inside the paper they would put down some little mealy mouthed sentence about the UN or Blix or whoever.

            But the neocons wanted their war, so did Blair and Bush, and the MSM was instrumental in convincing the majority of Americans that Iraq was directly involved with 9/11 and WMD.

            It’s payback time now of course, with trust in the MSM in the USA having fallen over the years to the 15% range.

      • Colonial Viper 12.1.2

        Nice “alternative facts”, CV. Did RT give them to you?


        Put your nouveau neocon Russia hating aside for a moment. Entertainment Weekly, actually. (Perhaps you think they have been infiltrated by the KGB too?)

        Trump inauguration TV ratings second highest for 36 years


        Trump got a low vote in the major east coast urban centres like NYC, D.C., Philly, Richmond.

        He only got 4.1% of the vote in Washington D.C.

        That fact alone meant that Trump got far fewer turning up in the National Mall.

        Trump supporters watched it on TV or the internet instead.

        • Macro

          Yeah they were all tuned in to watch the demos

          • Colonial Viper

            Yep. I saw the Starbucks and other shopfronts getting smashed, vehicles including a limo get torched and vandalised, Trump supporters being assaulted, spat on, their MAGA caps snatched off their heads, people using hammers to break up footpath and throw rocks at police, etc.

            • McFlock

              oh noes, a limo!

              Won’t anyone think of the 1%ers?? Good to know that at least CV’s there for them…

        • Tricledrown

          I doubt they were all Trump supporters.
          The next day21/2 times more women turned out to protest at his mysogyny.
          You are just like Trumps press secretary.

          • Colonial Viper

            The next day21/2 times more women turned out to protest at his mysogyny.

            Those were huge protests, no doubt. It’s important that people let their politicians know what is on their mind.

            However let’s remember the facts here, the majority of white women voted for Trump, and ten points more than for Hillary Clinton.

            I’m also comfortable with saying that large numbers of people in those protests (hundreds of thousands of them) probably didn’t even bother to vote on election day, so it’s too late now.

            • rhinocrates

              white women voted for Trump,

              Black women don’t count? Your racism is showing.

              I’m also comfortable with saying that large numbers of people in those protests (hundreds of thousands of them) probably didn’t even bother to vote on election day, so it’s too late now.

              Cite please, since you consider statistics to be important… oh right, selective statistics.

              • Colonial Viper

                Black women don’t count? Your racism is showing.

                That’s your fantasy world, not mine. I simply stated a fact. 53% of white women voted for Trump, ten points ahead of Hillary Clinton.

                That gap grows massively for Trump if you simply consider working class white women without a college (university) education.

                [lprent: It appears that you are in the fantasy land. That isn’t a ‘fact’. From memory, it was an estimate based on some EARLY exit poll(s). As such it would have had a wide confidence level. Yep a quick search gives me just the repeated reports of a CNN exit polls https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/nov/10/white-women-donald-trump-victory

                But since you have asserted it as a fact, I’ll treat it like I do with any other troll asserting an unsubstantiated ‘fact’ and then abusing others with that as their dumbarse bullshit. It is a troll trait. It is especially obnoxious on a post about lying about facts.

                Since you seem to be more dedicated to asserting made up ‘facts’ at present rather than arguing a case, and I seem to remember that your last ban from me was for something similar (abusing others with unsustantiated facts), so I’m giving you a 4 week ban ]

            • Tricledrown

              Demagogary relies on low voter turnout
              But your saying protests and public opinion doesn’t influence incumbents.
              So how come Bill English has signalled a move to the left.

              • Colonial Viper

                Demagogary relies on low voter turnout

                Maybe the Democrats should have put in a candidate who would do the work to visit the states and counties that she took for granted then?

                But your saying protests and public opinion doesn’t influence incumbents.

                You must have imagined that as I never said anything of the sort.

    • joe90 12.2

      the explanation for this balls up is simpler – Sean Spicer was inexperienced

      Alternative fact – experienced public relations/communications professional is inexperienced.

      In 1999, Spicer joined the U.S. Navy Reserve as a public affairs officer; he currently holds the rank of Commander.[7] As of December 2016, he is assigned to the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s naval reserve contingent in Washington, D.C..[9]

      In the late 1990s, Spicer worked for former Congressman Mark Foley (R-FL).[10] From 2000 to 2001 he was communications director on the House Government Reform Committee, and from 2001 to 2002 he was director of incumbent retention at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC).[11]

      From 2003 to 2005,[11] Spicer was the communications director and spokesman for the House Budget Committee.[5] He subsequently was the communications director for the Republican Conference of the U.S. House of Representatives, and then, from 2006 to 2009, as the assistant U.S. Trade Representative for media and public affairs in President George W. Bush’s administration.[12]

      From March 2009 to July 2009, Spicer was a partner at Endeavor Global Strategies.[13]

      After Spicer became communications director of the Republican National Committee in 2011, he enlarged the RNC’s social media operations, built an in-house TV production team, and created a rapid response program to reply to attacks.[12]


      • Colonial Viper 12.2.1

        It was his first full day as White House Press Sec. to the President of the United States. He’ll improve.

        • joe90

          He’ll improve.

          Yup, laying the groundwork. If Trump’s White House is willing to lie about something so obviously bogus – and call it an alternative fact, image the sort of shit they’re prepared to lie about.

          In particular, things the public cannot possibly verify as true or not.

          • Colonial Viper

            Yup, laying the groundwork. If Trump’s White House is willing to lie about something so obviously bogus

            You start your analysis off well, but then lose the plot.

            Look at your statement again, which I accept is spot on, and (assuming this was a deliberate tactic on their part) ask yourself WHY the Trump team would do this.

            • joe90

              WHY the Trump team would do this.

              For more than fifty years Trump’s made a living lying, cheating and defrauding people so why change the habit of a lifetime.

        • lprent

          At this point it doesn’t seem likely. Right now he looks like an arselicking sychophant who believes whatever the boss says regardless of what actually happened in reality. Reminds me of some of the great official irreality arselickers from Russia who have fronted media events over decades. I vividly remember the one who claimed that the Soviet withdrawing from Afghanistan was a great soviet victory. Or the one who fronted the Chernobyl reactor meltdown. Or the Putinesque variants for invading Crimea, seizing energy companies for the benefit of the cronies, and jailing Pussy Riot.

          I suspect this is likely to be the reputation that the press corp gives this particular brownnose from now on.

          • Colonial Viper

            Well, he’s the White House Press Secretary. Being an arselicking sycophant who tows the boss’s line no matter how ridiculous, is a prerequisite.

            What Spicer has to do is make that fact seem less bloody obvious…

        • Johan

          CV with all the money that Trump has inherited and earned, you would think that he could afford some dancing lessons, or does he think in his mixed-up mind that he dances like Fred Astaire?

    • Johan 12.3

      In your mind CV it must be, thumbs-up for oligarchy and a kick-in-to-touch for democracy.
      Give all your support to the, Dyslexic draft-dodging pussy-grabbing tax-evading lying adulterous serial bankrupt with a face like a boiled ham and a dead ferret on his head who lost by 2.8 Million votes after asking Russia to hack his opponent.

      • Colonial Viper 12.3.1

        He got rid of the TPP for NZ on Day One. That’s already half of what I wanted from him for this country, sorted. So much winning. More to come.

        • lprent

          He got rid of the TPP for NZ on Day One.

          Nope. That is a simple lie. At most, he would have said that the US isn’t proceeding with it.

          What NZ does with the TPP is a question for the NZ government, as it is with the other countries involved in it. Fortunately the NZ government are not quite the simpletons that you appear to trying to emulate.

          It wouldn’t surprise me if a number of the governments involved in the TPP will attempt to make smaller agreement based on the existing or a revised document. But I suspect that you will be so busy in stroking your current pole of adoration that you don’t even understand the distinction.

        • Paul Campbell

          No he didn’t – he pulled the US out of the TPP – but left everyone else in it – along with all the US mandated requirements in and around copyright and IP still in place.

          While I’m against the TPP, and think NZ should drop out at the very least, the remaining TPP nations should renegotiate the deal without the US around the table to their own benefit rather than leaving all the US mandated changes to our IP laws in place

  12. Bill 13

    Fcuk. Please. No.

    Maybe there was a bigger ‘shits and giggles’ audience for Trump than for Obama. Maybe including internet hits and twitter and fuck knows what else, it’s possible to claim a bigger audience for Trump than for Obama.

    Regardless – who gives a fuck?

    Is this an illustration of where Liberal America is going? Is this their idea of …well, what the fuck is the idea?

    Four fucking tedious years of school ground kiddie political bullshit spinning around claims of who’s daddy is bigger?

    Fuck that. Count me out.

    • dv 13.1

      Yes but it is laying ground for the lies about Trumps ‘successes’ when the data will show he has failed.

      • marty mars 13.1.1

        + 1 yep the long game is in play not the distracting short game.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.2

        Yes but it is laying ground for the lies about Trumps ‘successes’ when the data will show he has failed.

        You mean like more people out of the labor force at the end of Obama’s term than at the start?

        Or more blacks in poverty at the end of Obama’s term than at the start?

        How about more Americans on food stamps at the end of Obama’s term than at the start?

        Those kinds of statistics, you mean.

        • dv

          Have you noticed that it is Trump that is president now CV.
          AND source the data for your statements.

          • Colonial Viper

            And Trump has received a big steaming mess from Obama, domestically and in terms of failing foreign policy.

            Labor force participation (click on 10 years button)
            2009 approx 65.8%. Now approx 62.7%.


            • red-blooded

              Let’s remember that the groundwork for the GFC were laid well before Obama came to power. The figures will show up on his watch, but can’t be so simplistically attributed to his policies.

              That’s not to say that there aren’t things he couldn’t have done better – there are. We just have to stay in touch with the complexities of reality. Figures alone don’t tell the full story.

              • Colonial Viper

                Let’s remember that the groundwork for the GFC were laid well before Obama came to power.

                Bill Clinton’s repeal of Glass Stiegal, which allowed investment banks to make massive leveraged market bets using other peoples monies.

    • weka 13.2

      “Regardless – who gives a fuck?”

      We should. It’s not about how big, it’s about telling the lie. If this is the set up for the next lie, and the next, then after while it’s the important stuff that is being lied about and effectively so. That’s the theory about advancing fascism. Maybe it’s wrong. Personally, I’m not willing to take that chance.

      I’m feeling like I just need to start naming that attacking liberals while fascism is rising is an obvious problem. This isn’t about Obama vs Trump, or liberals vs working people, or whatever the false dichotomy du jour is. This is about a very complex set of political and social dynamics and what choices we have as those things are set in chaos and what we want instead.

      • Bill 13.2.1

        The fucked upness is rising precisely because of liberals seeking to hang onto power. It’s a pretty straight forward case of enabling that’s been outlined and explained and illustrated by events over and over again. It’s not very complex at all.

        But it’ll all go away and the sun will shine and the children will all rush out to play and happiness and joy will spread across the land when people like me stop calling a spade a spade where liberalism’s concerned? Sure.

        And politicians and their spokespeople have always lied and have never let facts stand in the way of spin ffs.

        • weka

          But it’ll all go away and the sun will shine and the children will all rush out to play and happiness and joy will spread across the land when people like me stop calling a spade a spade where liberalism’s concerned? Sure.

          If you think that is even close to what I am saying then you really aren’t listening, or probably even caring. Not that you are alone in that, what I’m seeing a lot of is people with their own views, holding on to them harder and harder, and an increasingly intolerance to having them critiqued or fitting them into what other people legitimately observe and experience. Which is deeply ironic when it comes from people also calling for collective action.

          • Bill

            You want to suggest a cogent counter analysis to the one holding that the likes of Trump or Farage or who-ever/what-ever are being enabled by widespread liberal efforts to undermine any popular platform that the left has tried to construct, then by all means, go for it.

            • weka

              It’s not a counter analysis. It’s an inclusive or allied one. Which is the point. And there are plenty of people online with such cogent analyses, if one is interested.

              • Bill

                Sure. I’m interested. Seriously. And if you don’t feel able to iterate it, a link to someone who has would be appreciated.

                • weka

                  Will do. Am putting up a post and then hopefully having the night off 😉 so will post anything useful I find during the week.

    • It matters because it reminds people Trump is a minority president, which directly attacks his narrative.

    • Adrian Thornton 13.4

      @ Bill, Exactly right, this is just pretty much business as usual, I haven’t seen Goldman stocks or any stocks for that matter,take a dive, and as usual bad for working and poor people.
      If anyone really gives a shit, then look closely, very closely at the left right now, and ask yourself this simple question, why can’t it responded in a strong coherent way, to counter this right wing nationalist wave?

      • weka 13.4.1

        not sure what you mean by the left there. It can’t have a strong coherent response because it’s not working together. But plenty of lefties responding strongly and well. I’d also point out that this isn’t primarily a left/right battle. Black people in the US, Native Americans too, have been at the forefront of this and they don’t necessarily identify as left wing. The sooner we understand there are no longer 2 sides the better.

  13. AsleepWhileWalking 14

    There are more people there than at a Hillary Clinton rally.

  14. Paul 15

    Aren’t there more important issues to talk about than who has the bigger crowd?

    • marty mars 15.1

      You seem to be like the person distracted by the sparkly lights and not seeing the other hand stealing everything from you. This story is about the other hand not the sparkles Paul. The size of the crowd is sparkle. The deliberate lying and saying it is truth is the other hand.

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.1

        Actually, the media continually pushing their anti-Trump agenda is the real context here.

        Like them pushing the fake news story that Trump had taken down the bust of Martin Luther King, or the fake news story that Trump had taken down the climate change and gender equity pages from the White House website.

        Spicer pushed back hard on this negative agenda during his press statement, but he should have used accurate numbers – simply saying that Trump attracted more people than Obama’s 2013 inauguration would have been sufficient.

        • Ad

          Trump needs an actual legislative agenda, actual budget, and make actual stuff happen. He’s been all over the show just before inauguration.

          He will stabilise the MSM discourses when he himself is stable as a President.

        • GregJ

          Like them pushing the fake news story that Trump had taken down the bust of Martin Luther King

          It was one reporter at Time (Zeke Miller) that reported it and then quickly corrected his mistake. It was picked up by others of his Twitter feed (because that’s the way news is reported these days including by Trump and his supporters). Miller posted a dozen tweets correcting his mistakes and even tweeted Spicer and apologizing – which was accepted by Spicer.

          “This is on me, not my colleagues. I’ve been doing everything I can to fix my error. My apologies,” Miller tweeted at Spicer.

          “Apology accepted,” the spokesman tweeted back.


  15. Sabine 16

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
    Joseph Goebbels

    The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with which any Party intellectual would overthrow him in debate, the subtle arguments which he would not be able to understand, much less answer. And yet he was in the right! They were wrong and he was right.

    they are testing, probing and stretching the boundaries. And then they send Conway in to dish out the threats. We have seen nothing yet. Rejoice, new times, hopey changey n drain the swamp. The Teaparty is running the US of A.

    • Carolyn_nth 16.1

      Sabine: they are testing, probing and stretching the boundaries. And then they send Conway in to dish out the threats. We have seen nothing yet. Rejoice, new times, hopey changey n drain the swamp. The Teaparty is running the US of A.

      then there’s this on Intercept: “Republican lawmakers in five states propose Bills to criminalize peaceful protest”
      They are doing this by making it illegal to block highways, and/or make it lawful for drivers to run over protesters on highways by “accident”, or to target union activity, and more.

      But in some states, nonviolent demonstrating may soon carry increased legal risks — including punishing fines and significant prison terms — for people who participate in protests involving civil disobedience. Over the past few weeks, Republican legislators across the country have quietly introduced a number of proposals to criminalize and discourage peaceful protest.

      The proposals, which strengthen or supplement existing laws addressing the blocking or obstructing of traffic, come in response to a string of high-profile highway closures and other actions led by Black Lives Matter activists and opponents of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Republicans reasonably expect an invigorated protest movement during the Trump years.

      In Washington, a state where Democrats control both houses of the state legislature, there is little chance that the plan to label protestors as “economic terrorists” will advance. Prospects are better for the anti-protesting bills in Iowa, Minnesota, and North Dakota, all of which have Republican-dominated legislatures.

      “Economic terrorists”!? We are truly going through the looking glass, where the meanings of words are sabotaged and made to exist in some alternative floating reality.

    • Colonial Viper 16.2

      There was a time on The Standard when left wing commentators would take the piss out of right wing commentators for their constant ridiculous Godwinning.

      In fact the terms “Hitler” and “Nazi” would send your comment straight into moderation.

      My, how the times have changed. Now, Trump is literally Hitler and we are fearful of his Nazi white supremacist/racist/anti-jewish leanings.

      What we are really are watching is a total political inversion where the former establishment Right evolves back into being the populist party of the people, while the former establishment Left drift back into vehement authoritarian prejudice against everything and everyone who does not agree with them.

      [lprent: The reason that the words or phrases get changed in the auto-moderation is because of overuse and the consequent levels of moderation required to deal with the resulting flamewars. Rather than deal with the resulting flamewars, we deal with the triggering phrases and/or the idiots using them. When the misuse diminishes then the words (and the idiots) get removed from the moderation lists.

      So simple-minded and generally meaningless pejoratives like Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, etc have been retired along with the idiots that used them because they weren’t able to argue effectively. Your interpretation is contrary to the facts.

      I’d strongly suggest that you cease commenting on moderation policies. Otherwise I’ll ban you between now and the election. I suspect this will reduce my workload considerably. ]

      • red-blooded 16.2.1

        “…vehement authoritarian prejudice against everything and everyone who does not agree with them…”

        Remind you of anybody, folks? Trump? CV?

        Just saying.

      • rhinocrates 16.2.2

        By Colin Lidell, published approvingly on Richard Spencer’s site:

        However for too long now, when we consider questions of race, especially questions concerning the Black race, we have been framing things in completely the wrong way. Instead of asking how we can make reparations for slavery, colonialism, and Apartheid or how we can equalize scores and incomes, we should actually be asking questions like, “Does human civilization actually need the Black race?” “Is Black genocide right?” and, if it is, “What would be the best and easiest way to dispose of them?” With starting points like this, wisdom is sure to flourish, enlightenment to dawn.

        Also Spencer:

        Spencer’s main sponsor is Steve Bannon, formerly of Breitbart, known anti-semite, who is the Orangegropenfuhrer’s chief of staff now.

        I call them Nazis because that’s what they are – and that’s what they call themselves.

        • Colonial Viper

          Ah yes, smearing by association, classy. Hey 3 KKK types from the Alabama hills voted for Trump so he’s clearly a KKK sympathiser!

          Trump’s senior team had the first Rabbi speak at his multi-denominational inauguration in decades.

          So the fact you are still pushing the long rebuffed fake news that Bannon is an anti-semite shows that you need to keep up with the facts.

          Clue: look for the Israeli ambassador backing Bannon. Jerusalem Post:

          Briefly addressing press stationed at the bottom of the president-elect’s namesake tower on Fifth Avenue, the Israeli envoy then touched on a controversy without prompting: Trump’s appointment of Stephen Bannon, head of the right-wing website Breitbart.com, as chief White House strategist.

          “We look forward to working with the Trump administration, with all of the members of the Trump administration, including Steve Bannon, and making the US-Israel alliance stronger than ever.”


          • rhinocrates

            Ah yes, smearing by association, classy

            Poor diddums. Yes to the first, no to the second because neither you nor Trumplethinskin would know class if it crept up your back and delivered a lavendar-scented fart into your ear.

            Hey 3 KKK types from the Alabama hills voted for Trump so he’s clearly a KKK sympathiser!

            Lie, a deliberate misrepresentation (again).

            FAKE NEWS!

            Liar. Long proven to be so and your squeaking otherwise compulsively doesn’t change it. You would know it yourself from your long congruence with Breibart. Bannon is an anti-semite who has published anti-semitic material and linked to Nazi organizations directly through Breitbart.

            Trump’s senior team had the first Rabbi ride a unicycle

            Publicity stunt. Thoroughly contradicted by is frequent anti-semitic insinuations. Trump’s had ‘Christian’ leaders standing up to drag themselves along by his coat tails too. That doesn’t mean he walks on water instead of passing it.

            We look forward to working with the Trump administration

            I’m sure they would say that. Public diplomatic language is all about saying “nice doggie” while looking for a rock in private. The British version is “We can do business with this man,” meaning “We want to sell/buy arms to/from this despot.”

            Tokenism 101: It’s said that every Country Club on the East Coast had one jewish member on the board and it was their job to make sure that no Jew was ever allowed to join.

            Token gestures are about as plausible as Milo Yiannopolous saying that the Republican Party is gay-friendly. You will always find opportunists who will happily play the role for their own personal favours and attention.

            • rhinocrates

              Amusing addendum on tokenism: there was actually an astroturf “Twinks for Trump” lobby group.

      • Anne 16.2.3

        Now, Trump is literally Hitler and we are fearful of his Nazi white supremacist/racist/anti-jewish leanings.

        You’ve got the wrong one. He’s an American version of Mussolini with a bedraggled mop of orange hair for decoration. I’m waiting for the RED SHIRTS to arrive on the scene. Won’t be far away…

  16. joe90 17

    Starting out with an obvious lie

    And moving on to the peace dividend

    BREAKING: President of the United States Donald Trump will announce tomorrow move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem – (Channel 2).— Israel News Feed (@IsraelHatzolah) January 22, 2017


  17. Draco T Bastard 18

    Trump’s real war isn’t with the media. It’s with facts.

    The right-wing must lie as reality is always contrary to their beliefs.

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Which political party in the USA is not right wing?

    • Johan 18.2

      I would assume that Trump’s run-in with the CIA will not help him while in office. All this healing and closing the divide will never occur as Trump continues his untruthful and unpredictable behaviour.

      • Colonial Viper 18.2.1

        Trump’s full speech to the CIA at Langley Va. on his first day as President

        Approx 400 CIA staffers attended with hundreds more unable to get into the room.

        Extended standing ovation for Trump at the end of his speech.

        • joe90

          I guess that’s what you get when you bus in your own sycophants,

          More from CNN Prod per pool: "…the persons who are on the side…are the ones clapping and reacting. We do not know who these people are."— Robert Gifford (@giff18) January 21, 2017


          • Johan

            The way Trump flips and twist against the establishment, he is creating a lot of enemies. I wouldn’t be surprised if he only lasts 6 months in office. Lies and BS only takes you so far, even among ignorant American citizens.

        • Ad

          So is he going to reform the intelligence community or is he not?

          For a guy who really, really went at the intelligence community a week ago, and really, really wanted to reform them, a wholesale suckup to the CIA like this makes him look foolish and indecisive.

  18. Andre 19

    Heh. “Facts” has just jumped to #3 on Merriam-Webster searches. “Fascism” keeps the #1 spot.


  19. weka 20

    Why it matters if the government lies,

    J.M. Berger ‏@intelwire 19h

    We are about to learn how much we rely on the government for reliable information about everything.

    The government has, until now, been the gold standard for basic information — jobs, public health, crime, science.

    On the health of the economy alone, the government is the keeper of most of the major statistics. Will they continue to be reliable?

    The government keeps statistics on national crime trends and, particularly important in this environment, on hate crimes.

    Will hate crime data continue to be reliable? Will it even be collected, analyzed and released?

    While we rightfully been fret about climate policy, we also rely on government data for climate research. It needs to be unimpeachable.

    I could go on all night, but you get the idea. We’re an information-driven society that depends the USG’s data objectivity and reliability.

    If we’re entering a brave new world of government assault on consensus reality, that will have far-reaching consequences not yet obvious.

    Several responses to this thread note gov stats often unreliable, and I agree. But neither have they been infowar cannon fodder at scale.

  20. Tautoko Mangō Mata 21

    Jonathan Pie onTrump’s treatment of the media.

  21. Andre 24

    The advice for dealing with con-men remains the best advice for dealing with Trump: pay no attention to what they say and just look at what they do. Even after 18 months of his campaign, it’s still breath-taking how shameless he truly is.


  22. Colonial Viper 25

    This CNN gigapixel photo of the inauguration taken when Trump was actually speaking shows a far, far larger audience in the National Mall than the 11:04am photograph in the post above.

    In fact you can see that the crowd stretched back almost, though not quite, as far as the Washington Monument.


    • McFlock 25.1

      So to recap, lots of people didn’t turn up because only 4% of DC voted for trump, but now lots of people did turn up when you found a photo from a different angle that doesn’t show all the empty space in the back.

      Far, far larger? Count the fences and then estimate how full every section is. A bit larger, maybe, but whatevs. The crowd at 1130am in 2009 was still “far, far larger” than the crowd when Trump was actually talking. And the metro numbers are consistent with that.

      • +1

        Here’s a helpful visual guide (including the CNN gigapixel in subsequent tweets). Trump’s fans are desperate to pretend he’s not an unpopular loser.

        • HDCAFriendlyTroll

          For an unpopular loser he sure won a lot of States.

          • Stephanie Rodgers

            “Sure, if you ignore California and New York, Trump wins the popular vote…and the USA’s entire gross domestic product drops nearly 25%.”

            See, this is how much of a minority loser Trump is. His supporters have to rely on the most gerrymandered “democratic” system in the world to pretend he’s popular.

            • HDCAFriendlyTroll

              So what if Trump didn’t win the pop vote. It’s not the way he played the game. It’s like my buddy Col Viper said – it’s like playing a game of rugby where it’s 1 point for a kick and 10 points for a try – you play to get tries. It doesn’t matter if the other side gets more kicks. So long as you win more tries you win the game.

              And the USA isn’t a democracy. It’s a representative republic.

              • weka

                Can you please respond to this request,

                Open Mike 21/01/2017

              • McFlock

                it’s like playing a game of rugby where it’s 1 point for a kick and 10 points for a try – you play to get tries, poison the other team’s players, lie to the ref, and fake being the victim of a penalty as soon as the other team gains any momentum

                Fixed it for you.

    • Andre 25.3

      Let me think – that gigapixel isn’t mounted very high in front of the crowd so the angle is favourable for showing lots of heads, and unfavourable for showing the ground behind standing people. Even so, it still shows a large empty space in the first area beyond the Capitol Reflecting Pool. Meanwhile the PBS Newshour timelapse and the 2009 photo are from a camera up high on the Washington Monument behind the crowd, so it’s a very good angle for comparing the crowd sizes…

  23. Skeptic 26

    Regardless of whether you support or oppose Trump, if there is one thing the American voter hates more than any other, it is an outright lie. The fact of this matter is, there is no such thing as “fake news”, “alternative realities” or “spin”. All these are made up names for lies, pure and simple. Anyone who believes otherwise is living in a world of self-delusion, which will come home to bite them on the arse well and truly. Americans recognized the “credibility gap” during the Vietnam War, and again during Watergate. They also recognized that “spin” played a large part during the Clinton scandal. No matter which way Trump’s people try to twist the truth, Trump is acting against the constitution ethically (with his refusal to disengage from his business affairs) morally (with his hiding of his IRS returns) and legally (with his refusal to defend and protect the constitution while being a de-facto Russian spy). For these reasons the vast majority of Americans, including many, many of his most ardent supporters will turn against him – not on policy grounds, but because of his personal moral failings – he’s a liar, a cheat, a thief, a conman, and a bully. No-one of such character turpitude can survive the pressures and scrutiny of the Office of Presidency. He will be the shortest serving President, followed by a Vice President whom the GOP really wanted in the White House.

    • Macro 26.1

      Yeah! The Republicans will use him until he is too much of a political embarrassment and then he will be cast aside (impeached). They have enough to impeach him already, but he got them into the White House, and there he will stay as long as he is useful to their ends.

  24. Sometimes I think we’re all running round in circles…here’s something out of the box that is quite interesting … grab your popcorn and settle in – and put on your seatbelts…

  25. Andre 28

    There seems to be a wee discrepancy between Spicer’s views 18 days ago and now about telling porkies for your boss. Or maybe right now he’s just contemplating those moments after his soul ran screaming from his body.


  26. Nick K 29

    I’ve got to this late, and haven’t read any of the other comments, so apologise if it’s been said earlier.

    During the campaign, Trump said we were all stupid for taking him literally. We aren’t meant to do that. So when he says he’s going to “build a wall”, he doesn’t actually mean he’s going to build a fucking wall. It’s just a comment, and whether we believe him, or not, is of our choosing.

    So when he makes wide, sweeping comments about the biggest crowds ever seen x 1,000, you’re not meant to take him literally. It’s just him being a knob.

    That doesn’t answer the obvious question: “How are we meant to take him, then?”.

    I guess if not literally, then figuratively.

    Very succintly – just don’t believe a word he says. I don’t.

  27. Once was and others etc 30

    “alternative facts”.
    They’d be those things that are not unlike alternative things that pop up on here regularly from shi[f]tworker trolls.
    What’s trejuk is that they’re tolerated and given the utmost leeway, whilst that broad church we characterise as left thinking people – and Labour Party branding – appear to be held to higher account.

    I’m not sure what happened to a Phil Ure (for example) – he probably became unbearable. Yet we (you) allow a Jeeze Wayne to pop in regularly with his alternative facts. But then there’s all those others.

    I’m beginning to wonder whether or not TS is becoming counter-productive to ‘leftist aspirations’ (to use an utterly horrible descriptor).
    By which I mean there are Micky Savages and various others …. Bills…. and those anonymous who have, AND aspire to a leftist agenda, and who are compassionate, loyal, and bloody good people. I’m wondering about their namby pamby creds recently though.
    Things have been becoming pretty bloody toxic recently. Whilst the intent of TS is noble and good, can I suggest you look at the implementation.
    You know – Steven Choice has his various vanity projects (there’s a whole dysfunctional Ministry bearing his name as testament – as did that Master of Bullshit John Key). I’m wondering to what extent (given the moderation policies; given the tolerance to trolls; given the ridiculous adherence to a political correctness at times; what – to me – seems to be a basic lack of common sense), TS will continue to be regarded as “The Labour Party mouthpiece”; CT religion trolls; the likes of Jeeze Wayne utterances; those incapable of critical thought; ; and various others. The moderation policy is a bit like ‘self-censorship’ – the likes of which we’ve seen during the Frank Bainimarama reign, or even the Putin reign.
    Thou shalt not challenge an author to any degree he/she cannot cope with.
    Thou shalt not challenge a political kreknuss that both allows the contributor to be identified as a bigot and the contributing author as a fukwit.
    I note the vitriol towards an embittered CV (for example) – now described sometimes as a closet righty . Look inward ffs. I’m WONDERING whether or not there’s an Ad btw that’s far more dangerous.
    Bubble bubble, toil but trubble.


  28. Lloyd 31

    There are many comments above about “liberals”.
    Surely the underlying issue is not liberalism, but neo-liberalism. Neo-liberalism is what has been driving the leaders of the western world for the last twenty-five to thirty years. It is all about making the rich richer. It is central to the policies and attitudes of every Republican I have looked at over this period. It is apparently the main tool Obama used in economic analysis and the only recent US politician who hasn’t been solidly neo-liberal that I know of is Bernie.
    Neo-liberalism is an ideology based on a very erroneous set of ideas generated in the biased Chicago School of Economics – an institution that has a basic rule that socialism cannot be taught – that is in its foundations ( A citation would be appreciated).
    Any left-wing blog that gets diverted by “liberalism” has been deflected from the the essential for the left, which is to keep track of the money. Trump has no ideology other than making himself rich and neo-liberalism will satisfy him most of the time because the objective of neo-liberalism is to make the rich richer. The US Constitution was designed to keep the rich in power and keeps on doing that job well. Very rarely have the rich in the US been taxed enough to reduce their portion of the economic pie, (e.g. the New Deal) and only in and immediately after those times has the USA become significantly more powerful. So we know Trump cannot make the USA greater with his neo-liberal policies.
    The left needs to be telling everyone they can that most people are better off when the rich are taxed heavily. They need to drum home the fat that Trump is and has always been a central part of the establishment. Sure Obama acted in support of a multitude of policies that were neo-liberal in approach, but you can’t blame it all on him when you look at the crazies from the Republicans who controlled the Senate and congress while he was President.

    • Pat 31.1

      is it about liberalism or neoliberalism, or is it about fragmentation and the diminished power and capability that results?

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  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
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  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
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  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
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  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
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  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
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  • Capture: Well spaced out
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  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
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  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
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    1 week ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
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  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
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  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
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  • Saving lives
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  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
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  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
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  • A place of greater safety?
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Communities step up to help New Zealanders stay connected and fed during lockdown
    Communities stepping up to help New Zealanders stay at home to break the transmission of COVID-19 and save lives have received Government support, said Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. “Delivering groceries for the elderly who can’t shop online, providing data packs for low income families to keep them connected, and being ...
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  • 120 COVID-19 testing centres now operating
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    9 hours ago
  • Covid19: Government moving quickly to roll out learning from home
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    10 hours ago
  • Making learning from home accessible to Māori learners and whānau
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  • New Zealand to provide assistance to Vanuatu following Tropical Cyclone Harold
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  • Planning for the future of tourism
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    14 hours ago
  • NZ horticulture sector feeding Kiwis and the world during COVID-19
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  • Work to repurpose PGF funds begins
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  • A million workers supported by Govt wage subsidy
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  • Government helps Pacific communities fight COVID
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  • Statement from the Prime Minister on Dr David Clark
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  • Statement from David Clark
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  • COVID-19 mental health support begins
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  • New Zealanders in Peru to be assisted by Government charter flight
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    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 Hospital Preparation Well Advanced
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    5 days ago
  • Further measures to support businesses
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    5 days ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
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    6 days ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
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    6 days ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
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  • Essential workers leave scheme established
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  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
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    6 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
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  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
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    6 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
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    7 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
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    1 week ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
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    1 week ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
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  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
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    1 week ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
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    1 week ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
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    1 week ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
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    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
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    1 week ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
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    1 week ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
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    1 week ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    1 week ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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    2 weeks ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
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    2 weeks ago