The Race To Replace Trump has Started

Written By: - Date published: 12:23 pm, January 1st, 2019 - 112 comments
Categories: capitalism, class war, Deep stuff, democratic participation, elections, Hillary Clinton, Politics, us politics - Tags: , , ,

Elizabeth Warren has entered the race to be the next US President.

This morning the Massachusetts Senator released a video announcing the formation of an ‘exploratory committee’ to canvass on her behalf.

It’s a bit of an odd watch to Kiwi eyes, a four minute paean to the mythical American middle class. It’s a values based call for support, rather than a solutions based plan of action. If you squint, it could be a pitch from Hillary Clinton two years ago. And to be fair, it pretty much worked for Clinton, who would be President if it weren’t for the bizarro electoral college system they use in the US to determine the result.

Warren will be the first of many. With Trump a dead man waddling and no alternative Republican candidate in the offing, winning the next Presidential election should be a piece of the proverbial for the Democrats.

The Dems take effective control of the House of Representatives in a few days and have already hinted that they will use the numbers to bypass Trump in an effort to end the current Government shutdown stalemate.

Humpty Trumpty is about to fall off his wall before it’s even built.

Warren won’t be the lone candidate for long.  Those considering bids include fellow senators such as Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Kirsten Gillibrand and Bernie Sanders (who is not currently a Democratic party member). There’s also Joe Biden, the popular former vice-president and billionaire former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has the cash and cachet to make a run a reality.

The Guardian has a good run down of the potential candidates here.

Whoever gets the nod, I hope they do a better job of picking a running mate than Hillary Clinton. If she’d gone with Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders, she’d have won. Chocolate fish to anyone who can remember the name of the guy she did pick. No googling, team!

112 comments on “The Race To Replace Trump has Started ”

  1. ken 1

    It has already been foretold that Lisa Simpson will be the next POTUS.

  2. Matthew Whitehead 2

    Thanks for covering the news of the exploratory committee. A good way to think of those committees is basically that you don’t start one unless you want to be president, but you might find out it’s simply not practical. It’s tipping your hat at a campaign without actually announcing a campaign, something which One Doesn’t Do Too Early. (most campaigns are formally announced just before the primaries) It would be roughly the equivalent of announcing you’ll run in a leadership contest for a major party here.

    I do have to slightly object to the contention that Warren’s announcement looks like it could have come from Clinton. It absolutely doesn’t. It’s has a degree of genuine empathy with, understanding of, and communication with real citizens that Clinton could simply never achieve, sadly for us all. I also disagree vehemently with the idea that the problem with Clinton’s campaign was at the bottom of the ticket- she made a deliberate choice to engage in a style where the election was either about Trump’s controversies or hers, and we never really got values-based or policy-based rhetoric from her. Tim Kaine was an example of her thinking she could win by running the same playbook as her husband had, where she picks someone who’s “popular” in a critical state and it pushes her over the line, (too bad he wasn’t really popular so much as just better than the alternative…) a thing that worked back when media was still very local and you cared about things like “oh, the President picked our local governor/congresscritter/etc… as VP!” She would have sunk just as hard if she’d picked Biden, too, assuming she could even have persuaded him to run. These decisions would have both been the problem at the bottom of the ticket reflecting the problem at the top of it, although Biden might have been less disastrous, I’m not sure his goofy nature would have turned things around.

    A unity ticket with Sanders would have arguably made sense, if she genuinely wanted to pivot her campaign in the general election to be more like his and pick up the newly engaged voters he’d mobilised. I think she might have pushed herself over the line doing that, but it’s really impossible to tell. Putting sanders in the #2 position simply as symbolism wouldn’t have worked though, as his supporters only liked him because he was genuinely advocating for what they believed in- he wasn’t their leader, he was their voice. And some wouldn’t have come with even if he were VP- he did give her a whole-hearted endorsement after she won and a lot of people ignored it, with some of those even voting for Trump, sadly.

    Warren represents the closest thing in 2020 to this unity approach- Sanders has been discredited with the establishment, pro-corporate wing of the democratic party and would be seen as a divisive pick in a primary, an ironic fact despite him being one of the most popular politicians in the USA, (according to Fox, of all places!) especially as he’s still technically an independent, despite agreeing to run as a democrat last time.

    Warren has real credibility with his base having fought for similar issues, even if she did so with a more make-the-system-work approach rather than an overthrow-the-system one, is a much better communicator in today’s idiom, and has far less issues with race or getting her credibility by taking third-rail stances, even if Sanders did so for principled reasons. She’s got both the authenticity and the polish to win, and Democrats would be smart to pick her as she can probably peel away the people who turned to Trump in desperation rather than vote for a Clinton who was very obviously a Wall Street candidate, hoping that he’d be true to his rhetoric and put a brick through the establishment’s window on behalf of ordinary americans. While he’s been willing to depart from orthodoxy, sadly it’s mostly just been to Make America Authoritarian Again. She’s one of the two people looking at maybe running that I actually think would have a shot at undoing a significant amount of the damage Trump’s presidency has done.

    • Bearded Git 2.1

      I think she is too old. Maybe she could be veep to a younger 47yo Democrat candidate? There is a hunger for change not old fogies steeped in the system.

      • Matthew Whitehead 2.1.1

        She is three years younger than the current President, and has no obvious health issues. I would politely suggest that she’s just fine, even though I do favour younger candidates for President, there don’t appear to be any with the right policies and values at this point- the only other likely contender who’d do well is even older than both of them.

        • Gabby 2.1.1.1

          Another pale stale female matty? It’ll work eventually.

          • Matthew Whitehead 2.1.1.1.1

            If you want to read down the thread you’ll see me calling Clinton an absolute disaster several times. I’ve been pretty consistent in that I saw her primary win as Trump’s last best hope in 2016, but I still hope she could manage to not sink the ship too quickly and squeak by in the general election, because as bad as she would definitely have been, she wouldn’t have been as bad as Trump.

            While Warren might be older, like most senators, she isn’t stale. She’s part of the actual left wing of the Democratic party, and she’s a great communicator with ideas that, for the USA, are remarkably fresh, like actually regulating things in an effective manner, lol.

            I said with Clinton that her being a woman wasn’t a problem, but her being a Clinton was. I’m up for testing that.

      • Obtrectator 2.1.2

        Inclined to agree on the age thing. Three of the last four POTUS have come from that early baby-boomer generation. Their time is done.

    • Obtrectator 2.2

      “Sanders …. one of the most popular politicians in the USA, (according to Fox, of all places!)”

      Be very, very careful about what Fox tell you.

      Reminds me of those Oz cricketers who kept saying what great England bowlers so-and-so or such-and-such were …. and then taking double centuries off them in series after series.

  3. Andre 3

    I find your attitude to America’s Dad astonishingly disrespectful. Of course we all remember his name … err…Bob…no, Jim …. ahhh Tim. Tim something sort of biblical-ish … got it – Tim Kaine.

    Cough up that chocolate fish now.

  4. fender 4

    The messages contained in that video are inspiring, if the American people won’t vote for someone like Warren to be president then they must be madder than the current one. Voters over there should really treat themselves to a decent leader next time.

    • Matthew Whitehead 4.1

      I’d keep in mind there will be a lot of very big donors who will be almost as angry and distressed by the idea of a Warren presidency as they would be by a Sanders one. Just because the people want something doesn’t mean it’s a forgone conclusion, especially in a state like America where they’re more of an oligarchy than a genuine democracy.

      • fender 4.1.1

        Yes it certainly won’t be easy for her up against that money machine. I hope she ends up running, a good versus evil race would be interesting for a change!

        • Matthew Whitehead 4.1.1.1

          You should consider this committee a sign that she intends to run. If she doesn’t formally announce later, it will mean there has been some practical obstacle that has taken her out of the race.

  5. One Two 5

    Naturally, there is a desire for change similar to the GWB era…

    But change did not come at that time, not will it come after Trump…

    Obama was not change..neither will whomever is parchuted POTUS next time…

    That is the ‘game’

  6. alwyn 6

    “who would be President if it weren’t for the bizarro electoral college system they use in the US to determine the result”
    You might not like their system but you are in no position to call it “bizarre”, at least not unless you are a US citizen.
    They chose the method more than 200 years ago and they would probably not have the Presidential system they have at all if the older, larger, eastern states had not been willing to allow such a system of Presidential election.

    Your comment is really no different to someone from Britain, with its first past the post pure electorate system describing our MMP with list members as bizarre and saying things like “Bill English would be Prime Minister if it weren’t for the bizarre MMP system they use in New Zealand”.

    Clinton really didn’t seem to understand the system anyway. Why, when an overwhelming lead had already been achieved in California did she keep campaigning there? Was she really so foolish as to think you could get 110% of their Electoral College votes. Trump simply ran a more sensible campaign and spent his time where he had a chance. Damn it.

    ” I hope they do a better job of picking a running mate than Hillary Clinton. If she’d gone with Joe Biden”.
    She didn’t have that choice. Biden had withdrawn from the Presidential campaign completely and wouldn’t have deigned to run as VP again. Eight years was surely enough. If he had stayed in the race it would have been extremely likely that he would have got the nomination anyway. He would probably have won the Presidential nomination for the Democrats and beaten Trump. He would certainly have been a less flawed candidate than Hillary.

    • ken 6.1

      I can’t agree with that analogy, alwyn.
      Proportional representation is pretty much the opposite of the electoral college system.

      • alwyn 6.1.1

        I never said that they were similar. Of course they are not.
        However someone who doesn’t like, or at least is not used to the US system may choose to describe it as “bizarre”. That doesn’t actually mean anything except to say that they don’r approve of it.
        That is in no way different to someone who doesn’t like, or at least is not used to the New Zealand system describing it as “bizarre”.
        It is just one opinion and it is being made by someone who really doesn’t have any skin in the game.

        The US ended up with the system they do because of the circumstances there in the late eighteenth century. They were trying to set up a National system on top of an already existing State structure. That is why they ended up with things like counting slaves as being worth 60% of a free man. (Article 1, Section 2) They were compromises that had to be made if they were ever going to get a single Central Government.
        I am not saying any particular system is “bizarre” or not. Just because you wouldn’t have chosen it doesn’t actually make it worse or sillier though.

        • Matthew Whitehead 6.1.1.1

          It is wrong to imply that criticism of the Electoral college is based on “not liking” it rather than it being constitutionally inappropriate in a modern context, being completely unnecessary when coupled with the much greater safeguard of a direct election, and being able to be directly compared with said popular vote in its results so we know precisely when it has overturned what should have been a democratically elected leader.

          The electoral college has only ever delivered perverse results to the advantage of conservative candidates, (although not all of them have been Republicans, due to the changing parties in US history and the fact that the Republicans used to be the party of northern centre-right liberals and Democrats of southern centre-left conservatives, and they essentially switched social constituencies and geographical focus after the Civil Rights Act) and it is best viewed in modern context as a partisan election tool rather than a genuinely reasonable electoral compromise. Its best defense, that it safeguards the interests of smaller states in picking the president, is openly counter-factual: its actual effect is to concentrate presidential campaigns around marginal “swing states,” which are often medium-to-large states with no particular political disadvantage, take Florida for instance, or Virginia, the state that determined where the US capital would be. Not exactly disadvantaged constituencies, but frequently swing states. Texas may also be a future swing state as its demographics change, and it is one of the biggest in terms of electoral votes.

          • Wayne 6.1.1.1.1

            The result for Kennedy in Ohio (which won him the presidency) was also a direct result of the Electoral college.

            In any event to describe the US system as bizarre misses the point that the US is a federal system. In any federal system states have a particular say. For instance in Australia, each state has the same number of senators, despite the varying population between states.

            The Electoral College was designed to ensure that presidential candidates had to campaign in a large number of states. A candidate who racks up large percentages in big states, nevertheless has to campaign in small states. The number of electoral college votes in each state does reflect the population of that state, but a bare win (50% plus one) typically delivers all the electoral college votes to that candidate. So winning 70% is no better than winning 51%, so Hillary’s big wins in New York and California did not help her win the presidency, though it did give her an absolute majority of the popular vote.

            In a few states the electoral college votes are awarded on a proportional basis. If all states did this, then the winner of the popular vote would also win the presidency. Arguably fairer, but it does ignore the key principle behind a federal system, which is to distribute power to each of the states, and not concentrate it all in a few big states.

            • Andre 6.1.1.1.1.1

              In Maine and Nebraska, 2 of their Electoral College votes are pledged to the statewide winner, while the remaining (2 in Maine, 3 in Nebraska) Electors are pledged to the winner of the House districts. So it’s ever so slightly more proportionate. But it’s still a long way from actually proportionate, and even if all states adopted that system there would still be potential for the Electoral College to deliver a result grossly at odds with the popular vote.

            • Matthew Whitehead 6.1.1.1.1.2

              Kennedy won the popular vote, Wayne.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1960_United_States_presidential_election

              Additionally, if that was the sole intent of the constitutional framers of the USA, (and I doubt it because their politics was very divided at the time so I expect people voted for and against with lots of different reasons) they miserably failed. There is next to no reason in order to win the Presidency to campaign in more than ten states- swing states, and states you suspect might come close to being swing states and want to invest in for the future. Other visits tend to relate to party needs- ie. downticket races and issues campaigns.

              Arguably if things are close you might want to campaign in a swing district in one of the split states, but those states tend to vote Democrat anyway.

              • Andre

                Maine overall is fairly solid Dem, so 3 of their 4 EC votes are fairly reliably blue. The rural Maine House district definitely leans red.

                All of Nebraska is fairly reliably red, it would be very unusual for a blue wave big enough to flip the one urban-ish House seat there. 2018 wasn’t a big enough Dem wave to turn any federal part of Nebraska blue.

                • Matthew Whitehead

                  Ah, I was forgetting Nebraska, thank you. My point was more than the odd district that flips in those two states hasn’t ever impacted the vote AFAIK.

            • McFlock 6.1.1.1.1.3

              In a few states the electoral college votes are awarded on a proportional basis. If all states did this, then the winner of the popular vote would also win the presidency.

              Not necessarily. If NY and California assigned their electoral votes proportionately, Clinton would have lost something like 30 electors. That’s a lot to make up from the midWest.

              But it would make the electoral outcome for each state more closely reflect the desires of voters in each state.

              • Matthew Whitehead

                Yes, correct, keeping the electoral college but making each state’s delegates proportional to the popular vote in that state would still introduce rounding errors, and it’s arguably unconstitutional as it violates the equal representation clause. (Then again, the electoral college itself is arguably unconstitutional by the same argument)

        • McFlock 6.1.1.2

          Saying something is “bizarre” doesn’t mean disapproval. “Bizarre” means it’s fecking weird. Now, if the rationale for that weirdness were presented in entirety and found to be wanting, that would probably lead to disapproval.

          But if there’s method behind the weirdness, it might just get a shrug and a “fair enough, still bloody odd, though”.

        • Andre 6.1.1.3

          If you check out the Federalist 68 essay, you will also find that one of the purposes of the Electoral College was for the Electors to take a closer look at the candidates. Then, if the leading candidate were found to be some sort of con-artist huckster capable of convincingly bullshitting the general voting public but utterly unfit for the actual duties of the office, then the Electors would exercise their independent good judgement and choose someone that actually was fit for office.

          But in 2016, the exact opposite happened: the Electoral College overrode the general good sense of the voting public that gave the competent and qualified candidate an almost 3 million vote majority, and delivered the presidency to the utterly unfit, con-artist fraudster that was betraying his country by palling around with at least one hostile foreign power.

          The wiki gives a good summary of what the Federalist papers are, while the Yale link is the actual text.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalist_No._68

          http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/fed68.asp

          • alwyn 6.1.1.3.1

            I’m afraid your argument fits into the “I don’t like him so the system is unfair” category.
            The rules are, and have been ever since the county was founded that the candidate who gets a majority in the Electoral College becomes the President.
            Trump achieved that majority and hence has a mandate to be President.

            Trump would appear to have organised his campaigning to fit the rules of the system. He doesn’t appear to have wasted his time campaigning in States that he couldn’t win or in States that he was certain to win. Clinton didn’t, given that she wasted time and money on California where she was already certain to get a huge plurality and in fact achieved a majority in the state.

            I have a couple of other comments on your opinion.
            You appear to think that a mandate is earned by the candidate who gains a MAJORITY of the popular vote. Certainly you talk about Clinton having ” an almost 3 million vote majority”. Well she didn’t. She achieved a plurality but did not get more than 50% of the votes. She led Trump by about 2.9 million but there were 2 other candidates who got about 6 million between them.

            If you are going to say that a plurality provides a mandate, which is what you seem to be proposing, and that a majority is not required would you also say that National should be forming the NZ Government? They after all reached a plurality. If that is enough to provide a mandate for a President should it not do the same for a party?

            Alternatively, in order to recognize the fact of a plurality being the yardstick for a mandate as you seem to think is desirable, should we not copy the Greek Parliament’s approach? They award 250 of the seats in Parliament by proportional voting and award the largest party an additional 50 seats. Why not accept that the Greek, from where the word “Democracy” comes may know more than we do?
            I’m sure the National Party would agree with this and so, given the views you are expressing, should you.

            • Andre 6.1.1.3.1.1

              Got anything to say about the views of the Founders that actually set up the Electoral College, whose ideas were explained in Federalist 68?

              • alwyn

                Personally I don’t really have anything much to say about it.
                I remember, a long time ago, reading a lot of the papers but my knowledge of the subject is certainly no better than the Wiki article.

                The Electoral College itself became almost instantly an anachronism. The people who proposed it had never expected the formation of Parties and the fact that the slates of electors would be set up with a commitment to vote for a particular person rather than have any free will to pick the one they thought the best.

                On the other hand I can’t personally see anything wrong with keeping it as a Federal system where the States, by and large, can make up their own minds. The States do still matter. I see nol need for there to be any meetings at all or for there to be actual people who are supposedly the members of the college.

                Just hold the Presidential election, allocate the votes by whatever means the State chooses, and declare the result. Let it look like the way it really is.

            • Phil 6.1.1.3.1.2

              … time campaigning in States that he couldn’t win or in States that he was certain to win. Clinton didn’t, given that she wasted time and money on California where she was already certain to get a huge plurality and in fact achieved a majority in the state.

              What… the… fuck… are you blathering about?

              Clinton didn’t “campaign” in California. She held a heap of fundraising events and basically made the state an ATM – she raised $100m from Cali. Her last event there was mid-October.

          • Matthew Whitehead 6.1.1.3.2

            Federalist 68 is a bunch of crap. If something needs to be disqualifying for someone to run as Head of Government/Head of State, it should be in law.

            • Andre 6.1.1.3.2.1

              Well, I’m scratching my head about what kind of laws might have been written to disqualify the rotting halloween pumpkin, given he had managed to slide off the hook for all his previous misdeeds.

              But reason for bringing up Federalist 68 is that the Electoral College utterly fails to do what its original designers intended it to do. As Alwyn mentions, very early on the development of party systems kinda subverted the ideas behind the EC, and now we have clear evidence that the idea of individual electors exercising their judgement is utterly bunk.

              So if a system is delivering perverse results completely at odds with what the original designers intended and at odds with contemporary ideas of how things should work, time to replace it. Ain’t gonna happen, tho.

    • Matthew Whitehead 6.2

      TRP is perfectly justified in calling the electoral college bizarre in a modern setting. It made sense at the time, as America was one of the first western democracies with a hard transition away from a colonial/monarchist system, and they worried that events (ie. last-minute scandals or withdrawals from the campaign for personal reasons) could mean that voters casted votes for someone who was not in the race anymore.

      This was a genuine problem in a geographically sprawling young nation where the fastest way to get news from point A to B was for someone to get on a horse and ride with the news, so under those constraints a delegate system made a lot of sense- parties appointed trusted individuals who had the technical freedom to change their vote, but were expected not to under normal circumstances. It’s a system that relies on trust in how the delegates are appointed and how they vote, but over time that system has been gamed for electoral advantage by the Republican Party, like virtually every other aspect of their system.

      It makes literally no sense in a modern environment where we have the internet, televisions, phones, and radio, to have both a direct election and an electoral college based on the results of the direct election. It is objectively bizarre, and one doesn’t need to be an American to know it. Germans do run an electoral college for their President, one formed from their state and national representatives, but their President is also largely expected to stay out of day-to-day politics, and only get involved as a symbolic leader or to prevent constitutional dangers- their equivalent, the Chancellor, is de facto the leader of the largest party in Government.

      America’s President controls directly or indirectly almost all of the executive power in their entire government, so it is dangerously inappropriate for them to be indirectly elected, as this makes them less accountable to public opinion when they have an extraordinary set of powers, including immunity from both private and public prosecution- they can only be impeached politically, and even then only for “high crimes.” It is only due to a complete breakdown of good faith in their political institutions that the method of electing the president hasn’t been reformed, and if America is to restore itself as a functioning democracy, this is one of the issues they’re going to need to solve, as the last two Republican Presidents have both effectively stolen their inaugural terms using the electoral college despite not having a popular mandate to govern.

      Someone from Britain commenting on MMP is likely commenting out of ignorance, however some of us in New Zealand have actually got practical experience acting as delegates and thus understand the concept of an electoral college reasonably well. I’ve been a delegate in my own political party here. There are systems that are debatably okay and depend on what the country using them wants to emphasise- I point this out all the time when I talk electoral systems, as I did when comparing Iceland’s to ours and discussed why mandating how coalition talks done would not be tolerable in a New Zealand context, despite it working well in parts of Europe. But these are discussing deep quirks of functioning political systems and whether they are locally appropriate, rather than discussing a deeply unrepresentative system that seems to have calcified in an effort by the Republican Party to steal elections they ought to have lost by as many methods as possible, from gerrymandering, to maintaining a racist (seriously, look up US-based criticism on this) and outdated system of appointing a President that is not representative of the public.

      • Ad 6.2.1

        the vote weighting to depopulating states is a good feature

        big ones cant completely bully little ones

        • Matthew Whitehead 6.2.1.1

          I just said that’s not chiefly what it does, Ad. The effect is pretty minimal for small states.

          The EC might arguably benefit small states if votes were allocated proportionally to the popular vote in that state, and fractional/decimal votes were allowed, ie. if it just acted as a multiplier on the power of voters in small states, although that would arguably be unconstitutional.

          That’s not how it works though. Of the states that allow split votes, those votes are not proportional, they’re simply for the plurality winner in each district- so the same candidate can win 51/49 in every district and win all the votes.

          Most states do not allow split votes at all, which means effectively states that consistently side with a particular party are largely ignored by the opposing party in terms of presidential politics, and largely taken for granted by the party that wins them- most small states are either “red” or “blue” so are actually losing out under the Electoral college. Only swing states really benefit, and swing states tend to be either medium-sized or large.

          It’s also unnecessary to advantage smaller states in deciding the President, as smaller states are already advantaged in the Senate, and all laws and many Presidential appointments require Senate approval.

          If you’d like other people saying the same thing…

          https://law.marquette.edu/facultyblog/2010/03/08/how-much-difference-does-the-small-state-advantage-in-the-electoral-college-really-make/

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-the-electoral-college/2012/11/02/2d45c526-1f85-11e2-afca-58c2f5789c5d_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.00272ce60ee7

          https://medium.com/@tomasmcintee/the-electoral-college-does-not-help-small-states-d68f2eb4d28a

        • Andre 6.2.1.2

          If the prez were elected by direct popular vote, the Senate composition of two senators from each state, no matter how big or small, would still be more than sufficient safeguard for smaller states against bullying by bigger ones.

          • Ad 6.2.1.2.1

            would a direct vote require a change to the Constitution?

            • Andre 6.2.1.2.1.1

              Yes.

              The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is a current effort to sidestep the Electoral College without changing the Constitution using the fact that states have complete control over how they choose their electors. So if enough states that add up to more than 270 Electoral College votes sign up, they will pledge their Electors to the winner of the national popular vote.

              But I see the chances of that actually going through as only slightly higher than a constitutional amendment, ie indistinguishable from zero.

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Popular_Vote_Interstate_Compact

            • Matthew Whitehead 6.2.1.2.1.2

              It actually wouldn’t- there’s an interstate compact to implement a national popular vote by just changing states’ instructions to electors, but it only comes into force if a majority of electoral votes are committed to the compact. It’s currently 32% of the way there. It would need to pass in every state considering it and be introduced and passed in additional states representing another 30 EVs.

              • Andre

                So far the states that have fully signed up are all solidly blue. Of the states that are partway through the process, most are solidly blue and only Ohio and North Carolina are on the reddish end of purple. There are no solidly Republican states going anywhere near considering it.

                I feel quite safe in saying I really really doubt it’s going to happen.

      • alwyn 6.2.2

        Mathew. You propose that
        “TRP is perfectly justified in calling the electoral college bizarre in a modern setting”.
        Do you not think that it is equally bizarre to retain race-based seats in the New Zealand Parliament?

        After all they are a relic from about 150 years ago when you had to be a land owner in order to vote. With the communal ownership of Maori land they did not qualify and the Maori seats were brought in to recognize that.
        That was long, long ago and the reason for the seats has gone. Nobody needs to own land to vote and surely you would think that they are a bizarre remnant of a dim dark past and that they should be abolished.
        If you don’t think that why do you think anyone should pay any attention to your views on changing the historic relic of the US Electoral College because it led to Trump being elected? Or does your view depend on whose ox is gored?

        • Matthew Whitehead 6.2.2.1

          I’m actually in principle opposed to special electorate seats like the Māori seats, (and the idea of electorate seats in general, actually) but I also think I am not the appropriate person to ask on whether they should be disestablished, as there is a clear and significant community who wants to retain them.

          That said, if we retained them in the same form and context as 150 years ago, I would openly and bitterly oppose them, as I expect any reasonable person to do to the Electoral College in the US.

          I also love the constant allegations whenever an electoral system benefits the right that I just have my opinions on electoral systems out of pure partisan feelings. Go back through my author log or my person blog (lemattejuste.wordpress.com) and you will see I have advocated lowering our threshold even when it would let NZF into Parliament, or the conservative party. I have no problems making a decision out of principle that might hurt me- hence why I try to cut my personal emissions as well as argue for systemic change.

          If Democrats were winning this way it’d still be wrong, just as BOTH parties’ habit of gerrymandering districts in the USA is wrong.

          I also don’t view delegate voting as a pure relic of the past. I view it as unnecessary and inappropriate in a high-stakes Presidential election where a direct vote on the same issue has just taken place, and as I said, I have been involved in delegate voting within my own party, and support its use there. For someone preaching context and nuance, you are very determined to ignore the context and nuance I am giving you- this is exactly why I made a point of also giving a second example by saying there is a German electoral college system which I entirely approve of, as it doesn’t usurp a popular election and it is for a largely symbolic head of state role, with the head of government (Chancellor) wielding the real power and being determined indirectly by Party Vote. The extent to which the system is a relic of the past is the extent to which the US has failed to amend it when amendments have become necessary- we have in fact amended the Māori seats constantly because our system is set up to require it, and effectively gives a rolling referendum on their existence with the Māori Electoral Option.

          • alwyn 6.2.2.1.1

            I’m sorry. The last sentence in the comment is quite unfair. I wasn’t meaning to apply the view to you but it certainly comes across that way.
            If I could have the moment again my feelings would probably be best summed up by. “I think people’s views may vary with their political leanings” as a general comment not one that comes across as an opinion about you.
            Or perhaps better that I hadn’t written it at all.

  7. Chris T 7

    My prediction is still that the orange, misogynistic, racist, nutcase, arsehole will get a second term.

    He will have a field day with this lady and the native american thing.

    • Matthew Whitehead 7.1

      You seem to think that like Clinton she’s unable to pivot out of such a facile attack. If she isn’t prepared to absolutely wipe the floor with anyone bringing up that fake controversy, she wouldn’t be considering running.

      • Chris T 7.1.1

        It isn’t really about her.

        He is a very very good salesman and a very very good liar. It’s about how gullible his voters are

        • Matthew Whitehead 7.1.1.1

          I agree he’s a good fraud, and his voters are vulnerable. However polling reliably tells us he’s only got about 30-33% of the public onside, which appears to be his actual base, and that he’s damaging perception of the Republican Party outside of it. This isn’t a guarantee that a democrat can win, but it does mean a strong candidate with alternative arguments that actually appeal to the American public could thrash him soundly. Warren is one of the better options at this stage, although I’d also take Sanders if he looks more likely to win and runs this time- he may however decide not to given his age and that Warren looks to be in, and instead he might just support her campaign.

          • McFlock 7.1.1.1.1

            Is that 1/3 of people who regularly vote / plan to vote, or 1/3 of eligible voters?
            Because if it’s just of eligible voters, their low turnouts make 1/3 a contender.

            • Matthew Whitehead 7.1.1.1.1.1

              His last approval rating was 33%, which is of eligible voters, not likely voters.

              Turnout was decisive in the midterms, so it seems unlikely to be a problem with so much at stake, besides, low popularity for a President tends to impact that party’s turnout- while it’s likely the base will turn out stronger than before for Trump, he’s lost a lot of fence-sitters, so I expect a lower vote count for him than before regardless of who the democrats field.

              They can still lose it, but they can only lose it if they repeat Clinton’s mistakes and let him eke out an electoral college victory, or actually enshrine out-and-out authoritarianism among centrist voters.

              • McFlock

                I’m not convinced dolt45 will win, but low ratings won’t kill him. Will the dem field be so big that they dilute exposure and give him all the news cycle again? Maybe. Will there be another “migrant caravan” late October 2020? Or an immigrant commits a crime that gets beaten up by the altright? Probably yes to both. Will he come up with a catchy rote insult for his opponent? Yes. Will the dominant US domestic news service back him? Yes.

                • Matthew Whitehead

                  The democratic field in 2016 was five candidates, with three early dropouts. The dilution was mainly a problem in finding someone to beat him in the Republican primary, not the Democratic one, the problem the democrats had was that they chose the wrong person. *shrug*

          • Andre 7.1.1.1.2

            30% to 33% seems a bit low given most polling averages have him in the 40 to 45% approval range (yes I know those are different things).

            Looks to me like around 20% of the electorate will vote whatever has the (R) next to it’s name, even if it’s the mouldering corpse of a month-dead pimp (as proven by the election of Dennis Hof), 20% of the electorate are middle-finger voters who will still stick with the dayglo swampzilla as long as he continues to stomp around breaking things.

            That means the Dem candidate has to attract at least 2/3 of the remaining vote, or the third-party protest and CBF I’ll stay at home votes will combine to leave Jabba the Drumpf in the Oval Office.

            • Ad 7.1.1.1.2.1

              Warren wont pick up Undecideds or crossover Republicans.

              also hard to see her backed by Hispanic or black voters.

              she’d need practise against Trump, and not easy against Cruz, but no problem against Pence.

            • Matthew Whitehead 7.1.1.1.2.2

              Excuse me, I should have been looking at raw figures, but yes, he has dipped to 33% and 30% in some polls. Most have him at mid-to-high thirties or low forties at this very moment, which is still disastrous at his point in office. For comparison:

              Most recent weekly average 39 Dec 17-22, 2018
              Term average to date 39 Jan 20, 2017-present

              Other elected presidents in December of second year:
              Barack Obama 46 Dec 2010
              George W. Bush 63 Dec 2002
              Bill Clinton 41 Dec 1994
              George H.W. Bush 61 Dec 1990
              Ronald Reagan 41 Dec 1982
              Jimmy Carter 51 Dec 1978
              Richard Nixon 52 Dec 1970
              John Kennedy 76 Dec 1962
              Dwight Eisenhower 70 Dec 1954

              George W Bush was beating him by 24% at this point. George “Miserable Failure” Bush!

              • Ad

                polls didnt count for anything last time

                • Matthew Whitehead

                  Polls correctly predicted the popular vote within the margin of error, which is all they can do. The reason nobody realised that the electoral college upset was a significant probability was that polling was bad and infrequent in a couple of key states, so we were relying on national-level trends for them.

                  • Ad

                    in the selection for candidate – which is the point of this post – polls had him nowhere.

                    the polls were catastrophically wrong.

                    he was the better campaigner and rghtly got the nomination.

              • Andre

                It’s astonishing how stable his polling numbers are. It suggests opinions of him are almost totally baked in at this stage. Events and actions one way or the other have very little effect.

                I’ve long interpreted his fall in approval around Oct-Nov 17 as diehard Repugs thinking ‘this putz can’t even get a rich people’s tax cut passed even with a Repug House and Senate’. But once that was done they’ve drifted back to him and will be very difficult to pry off.

                • Chris T

                  “It suggests opinions of him are almost totally baked in at this stage. Events and actions one way or the other have very little effect.”

                  Indeed

              • Andre

                Oh, and just to keep you awake at night, what did the Elder Bush and the Shrub have going on in their presidencies in December of their second year that at least partially explains their high popularity at that point?

    • North 7.2

      Chris T……you’re confident in that prediction not knowing what Mueller’s investigation will ultimately come up with ?

      • Chris T 7.2.1

        Fairly

        Think it is more likely than unlikely.

        The thing with Trump is every hit on him seems to galvanise his followers more.

        Dude is a freak anomaly

        Sad thing is it seems to be splitting the US more and more to levels not seen since probably Nixon. And it will probably only get uglier

        • McFlock 7.2.1.1

          And Nixon got re-elected

          • Matthew Whitehead 7.2.1.1.1

            Yep, although Democrats ran a hopeless candidate against Nixon the second time rather than a first, so I’m a bit more optimistic that it’s maybe possible there are people in that party capable of learning lessons.

    • Bearded Git 7.3

      Wishful thinking Senor christroll. The mid~terms were devastating for Trump despite his (and the medias) spin. He will only lose more votes because he is a prat. Its all over..unless the GOP dumps him……watch this space

    • Wayne 7.4

      I used to think Trump would win a second term. Now I don’t.

      The House of Reps mid-term result had a big enough shift to show that it is likely that a halfway decent Democratic candidate will win the presidency. Trump only got in a by small majorities in three key mid western states. He will probably lose these states, and probably Ohio and Florida.

      If Trump thinks that is probable, he may not even stand. He won’t want to lose. He has got what he wanted, to be the president.

      And if he doesn’t stand it is likely that all the lawsuits against him will vaporise. He will never be convicted of anything. In fact if he stepped down say six months out, to give Pence a shot, he would also get a pardon for any crimes deal or imagined. Even if Pence lost. The pardon would be done after the election but before the inauguration.

      • Andre 7.4.1

        But the only part of the presidency he seems to enjoy is doing the campaign ralleis in front of the adoring Drumpfkins. I find it hard to imagine he won’t want another solid 2 years of doing those. At this stage, it seems unlikely that real facts about his lack of popularity will be able to penetrate that bubble of suckups he’s got around him.

        If he resigned 6 months out from the election, I find it hard to see anything in it for Pence, other than just being able to say he was POTUS 46.

        Pardoning Agent Drumpfski will be even more career-limiting than pardoning Nixon was, and I can’t imagine the idea of only being known to history as the guy that pardoned the only prez to betray his country will be very appealing. But if he doesn’t dish out a pardon, he won’t get the Drumpfkins onside.

        Even if it’s done after the election, he’ll still have to give signals clear enough that it may as well be done before.

      • alwyn 7.4.2

        “I used to think Trump would win a second term. Now I don’t.”
        God I hope you are right. We are going to have enough problems from his being there for 4 years without it going out to 8.

        • BM 7.4.2.1

          Plan for 8, unless the guy drops dead or decides he’s had enough, it’s pretty much a cert.

          • Matthew Whitehead 7.4.2.1.1

            He’s not Vladimir Putin, BM, so no, his election is not “pretty much a cert.”

      • Sacha 7.4.3

        He can’t be pardoned for state-level crimes, only federal ones – hence Mueller’s being a state prosecution.

        • Andre 7.4.3.1

          Mueller is a federal investigation, not a state one.

          There’s been a lot of commentary about charges Mueller could have brought against various people, but didn’t. Mostly where there’s state statutes getting violated in parallel with federal violations. Informed speculation suggests he’s leaving the door open for state prosecutors to take up prosecuting those crimes. As insurance against pardons and as more incentive to co-operate.

      • North 7.4.4

        This might interest you Wayne: I’ve a lovely old friend who’s pushing 90, mother of a schoolfriend from 50 plus years ago. In the 60s a staunch officeholding Nat in Rona Stevenson’s Taupo electorate…..starting with Key she’s deployed “fucking little idiot” in description of successive Nat leaders. Anyway, this lady assuredly predicts that Trump will resign before end of term…..essentially for the reason you advance……no balls to handle defeat.

        I’m not so sure of vapourisation of actions against Trump in that event (except of course in the instance of pardon from the weirdly god-bothering VP……though that wouldn’t defeat say conspiracy charges preferred by NY Southern District).

        Have to break it to you gently Wayne…..my lovely old friend did apply “fucking little idiot” to one or two down the food chain from Nat leader of the day.

    • Ad 7.5

      he’ll get the nomination, unless indicted.

      Trump’s favourability is negative but unemoyment and economy broadly is booming and will counteract popularilty.

      definitely foolish to count Trump out for 2020.

      Trump came from nowhere and won.

    • BM 7.6

      Trump, will easily win a second term.

      I get the feeling people see all the Trump hate media dross that gets fed to New Zealanders and think the Americans are seeing the same stuff.

      They’re not.

      • Wayne 7.6.1

        BM

        You are ignoring the latest House of Reps results. That was a big loss for Republicans, and at least in part a judgement on Trump. The House of Reps (as opposed to the Senate results) are a mirror of a presidential election, since they cover the entire nation.

        The Democrats were highly motivated, and there was a very big turnout for midterms. Dosen’t bode well for Trump’s chances in 21 months.

        • Andre 7.6.1.1

          Looked at objectively, 2018 was good for Dems in the Senate too. It just looks bad in comparison to 2012, which was astonishingly good for senate Dems. Overreach by the Tea Party in 2012 probably had a bit to do with that, a lesson moonbat lefties would do well to take on board but probably won’t.

          Dems won 23 of the 35 seats being contested, a 65.7% win rate has to be pretty good in anybody’s books. The seats they lost were mostly seats where a Dem win is a major anomaly, while they managed to flip or come very close in some solid red seats. Bill Nelson’s loss in Florida is about the only loss that wasn’t more or less reversion to the norm for the state.

  8. Philj 8

    …. or Oprah, Michelle or Angelie, or Tulsa or Ocasio? Show me the money and I’ll show you the winner.

  9. Jenny - How to get there? 9

    Warren will likely do quite well if, she refuses all corporate backing for her bid, and instead emulates Sanders and Cortez, both who eschewed all corporate backing and both who did quite well. Unlike Clinton who was seen as hopelessly compromised and deeply beholden to the corporate sector because of the large donations she accepted from them for her campaign.

    How mega-donors helped raise $1 billion for Hillary Clinton
    Matea Gold and Anu Narayanswamy – Washington Post, October 24, 2016

    The Clintons turned the Democratic party over to donors. Can it recover?
    Jill Abramson – The Guardian, December 21, 2016

    • Matthew Whitehead 9.1

      It looks like you actually get better exposure and support by eschewing corporate backing at the moment, so she’d probably be a fool not to. It also helps very much with the contrast with Trump- ie. “He said he’d drain the swamp, but he won’t even promise not to take donations from the swamp.”

    • Ad 9.2

      because you win the Presidency on a purity contest.

  10. Morrissey 10

    There’s also Joe Biden, the popular former vice-president and billionaire former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has the cash and cachet to make a run a reality.

    That joke sentence was written strictly in a sense of wicked fun, right?

    • Matthew Whitehead 10.1

      Sadly, no, he’s one of the most popular polled options, and is even beating Sanders in favourables right now in some polls. Centrist pro-corporate liberals love the idea of a Biden presidency, it hearks back to Obama for them.

      • Morrissey 10.1.1

        Who did they poll? The DNC?

        Biden would be as popular as toothache.

      • Wayne 10.1.2

        I agree. Right at the moment, Biden would win the democratic nomination. If he was a few years younger, I reckon he would be a dead cert for the nomination. And maybe/probably even now.

        I also reckon he would beat Trump. He has a style (down folks humour) that would deflate Trump’s ballon.

        His policies are safely “middle of the road”, so he can assemble a large cross section of support, including swing voters. Americans, Democrat or Republican, are basically not socialists. They believe in allowing people to get ahead. Much more so than in New Zealand.

        That is how Clinton got in, and it is how the next Democrat president will need to be.

        In the 1990’s I used to read a lot about Clinton’s appeal to middle America, to get the skills and the jobs that would take them from $10 per hour to $25 per hour. National’s tax and family package of the 1996 election was designed around that idea (I had a hand in the design). I reckon it won National the 1996 election. The package gave middle income families (at that time, around $50,000 annual household income) an extra $100 per week. A huge amount back in 1996. Basically a 10% increase in family income.

        I reckon democrat voters in the primaries will be very focussed on the ability of the candidates to beat Trump.That means appealing to middle America.

        • Matthew Whitehead 10.1.2.1

          I think the Democrats can’t just be focused on beating Trump. They have to offer a compelling vision of what happens after that, that isn’t an “and everyone goes back to before you all threw a brick through our window” fairy tale. In short, Biden, Harris, Booker, and all the other centrists need a credible plan to show that they can not only beat Trump, but that America can recover and become a country where nobody like Trump can ever win again, even if it is on a technicality.

          Biden might beat Trump. But he would be an abysmal failure in both the recovering from the damage Trump did phase, (ie. implementing some left-wing economic agenda that makes poorer rural white people less likely to support authoritarians, rolling back Trump’s legislation and his disastrous tax cuts, protecting voting rights for minorities, etc…) and also the “preventing a future Trump” phase. In short, he’s not qualified to be President post-2016 yet, at least not until some more capable democrat has laid that foundation for him.

          • Ad 10.1.2.1.1

            only the hard left ever think pure idealism wins. total idiocy.

            it took Bill Clinton to beat Bush. sex appeal with a sax.

            show a united policy nessage with Congress on takehome pay – as Wayhe notes – and as much emotion as Obama, and its there for the taking.

            but it has to be a stronger emotion than Trump’s rage. Rage is awesomely attractive.

            So far only Biden and Beto hold a stage as well as Trump.

            • Matthew Whitehead 10.1.2.1.1.1

              I’m not sure how “show you actually have a plan to turn around this tyre fire” is idealism as opposed to pragmatism. Sitting around twiddling your thumbs kowtowing to Wall Street isn’t gonna dig America out of its ditch.

              Beto is definitely a smarter choice than Biden in my book, but again, I don’t have confidence he’ll actually reverse everything he needs to reverse, or actually *lead* democrats rather than just try limply to Get Things Done By Navigating The System, ie. be lead around by a bunch of donors into endless circles.

              • Ad

                “kowtowing to Wall Street” in 2009 kept the world from falling into economic depression. Obama made the right calls, generally, and it sure wasnt done sitting on his hands.

                Trump has shown that massive policy reversals are possible, across all institutions, and stick. His idealism is strong if incoherent.

                no Green New Deal or Jacobin revolt is due in the US.
                but Trump has shown that aligning existing institutions achieves plenty.

                • Nic the NZer

                  Kowtowing to wallstreet did precisely nothing to keep the world economy afloat.

                  There were separate responses in bailing out financial institutions which had lost equity, paying out deposit insurance schemes, government spending programs and central bank interventions (which basically means asset swaps and cheap loans).

                  Then there is the stuff which was skipped, individual investigations of fraud, individual prosecutions and jail of the fraudsters involved. Instead in some cases instutions were made to pay fines for frauds committed, which hardly discourages it as the people kept bonuses and positions.

                  Frankly, from you, conflating between these things is a form of lying.

            • Morrissey 10.1.2.1.1.2

              Sanders drew far bigger crowds than anyone in 2016.

    • Dennis Frank 10.2

      “On Sunday, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he will decide by February if he will run for president in 2020. In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he said if he does decide, it will be under the Democratic ticket.” https://www.salon.com/2018/12/30/michael-bloomberg-i-would-certainly-run-as-a-democrat/

      My commment here a while back was something like `to beat a New York billionaire, use another’. The top-dog syndrome still rules the thinking of many voters, if not most. “As of June 2018, his net worth was estimated at $51.8 billion, making him the 8th-richest person in the United States and the 11th richest person in the world.” [Wikipedia]

      However the race factor also rules the thinking of many: doubtful that american voters are ready to put that aside. No Jewish presidents so far! https://www.quora.com/Which-US-presidents-were-Jewish

      • Morrissey 10.2.1

        Trouble is, Dennis, Bloomberg is nearly as bad as Trump. He’s not as uncouth—hell, nobody is—but he’s not a lot better.

        The DNC—Democracy Negation Cabal—has a lot to answer for.

        • Dennis Frank 10.2.1.1

          Meanwhile… “”We’ll see how she does. I wish her well, I hope she does well, I’d love to run against her,” the president told Fox News in an interview during the network’s New Year’s Eve coverage. Asked if he believes Warren thinks she can unseat him, Trump replied, “well, that I don’t know. You’d have to ask her psychiatrist.””

          Hmmm. Does she have one?? Or is this an unusually subtle implication of insufficient mental health?

          “The president has long derided Warren over her claimed Native American heritage, pinning her with the nickname “Pocahontas,” a line of attack that some have said is laced with racism.” Some see racism wherever they look, and seeing stuff that isn’t there is okay in postmodern culture. Doesn’t matter that it’s another kind of insufficient mental health. They are free to choose it.

          “Warren sought to settle the question of her ancestry last fall by releasing the results of a DNA test that suggested that she has Native American heritage that dates back somewhere between six and 10 generations. But the DNA test results were met with significant criticism, including that her Native American ancestry is too diluted and too far in the past for her to claim it.”

          Now, really? Homeopathy has taught us that dilution increases potency. Anyone who relies on the theory working in practice validates that from their life experience, and the consequent gnosis is shared with others, producing a community that has included the British royal family since the 19th century. Identity based on race or tribe is likewise self-selected and shared. Maoris don’t argue about the extent of their racial purity, and we get blond white ones in our media nowadays. In identity politics, advocacy is based on shared identity. Can’t fault her on that!

  11. Jenny - How to get there? 11

    Elizabeth Warren has announced that she will be seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination to be the 46th President of the USA. With the Republicans unsure about whether Trump will run again due to the difficulties of campaigning from Federal prison….

    TE REO PUTAKE

    Hi TRP, did you make the comment that Trump will be ‘campaigning from Federal prison’, tongue in cheek?

    One way or another Donald J. Trump will never see the inside of a Federal prison.

    No doubt you are aware that Trump has threatened a violent uprising from his supporters if he is ever indicted, (let alone sentenced)

    This leaves only three possible outcomes, none of which see Trump going to prison.

    1/ Trump’s pursuers take seriously Trump’s threat, and drop their lawsuit against the President to avoid that end.

    2/ Trump’s pursuers proceed with their legal action against the President, and lose.

    3/ Trump’s pursuers succeed in their lawsuit against the President, and, (just as foretold by the President, and others), this is followed by an an outbreak of widespread unrest and violence from Trump supporters. Following the unrest the President will write on twitter, “There was violence from both sides folks” Before going on TV to declare a Nationwide ‘State Of Emergency’ as the President will put it, “Necessary to restore order”.

    What the President Could Do If He Declares a State of Emergency
    “From seizing control of the internet to declaring martial law, President Trump may legally do all kinds of extraordinary things”
    Elizabeth Goitein – The Atlantic, January/February Issue, 2019

    “Try and impeach him, just try it. And you will see a spasm of violence that you have never seen”

    “Ladies and Gentlemen, the last President of the United States.”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjYWCiDrCUQ

  12. joe90 12

    Seamless junction of Trump and Third Reich symbolism.

  13. Chris T 13

    Been wondering what Trump’s new catch phrase will be come the next election.

    Something equally as cheesy I suspect. Same theme probably.

    KAG – Keeping America Great!
    MAEG – Making America Even Greater!
    MAEGTIHSF – Making America Even Greater Than I Have So Far! (Might be to long for a cap)
    MAGAD – Making America Great Again. Done

  14. DJ Ward 14

    Oh my.
    Some predictions.
    Mueller has nothing on Trump and the public will be angry at the lies the left has been feeding them, as they know it was driven by Trump haters in the FBI etc.
    Revelations, and admission that it was actually the Democrates paying for the Russian bots will hurt.
    The public will reject Facebooks, You Tubes, Googles blatant political bias and oppression of Right wing free speech. Recent banning of a police press release is not a good look.
    The republicans will shift the battlefield into the universities as the young voters are saturated by Democrates ideology. Piss take videos of how brainwashed this demographic is are damming.
    The republicans will gain support with Black voters as Trump is doing more for them than the Democrates ever have. The Democrates support of illegal immigration hurts this demographic. This is the same but to a lesser level for the legal Hispanic voters. This will be important in winning the swing states for Trump.
    Trump will pull out a Trump card and withdraw from Afganistan, and or Iraq.
    The public is suffering from ‘cry wolf’ syndrome. They will go from just ignoring MSM anti Trump propaganda to voting for Trump in rejection of it. Most propaganda has only a temporary effect and 4 years overall is a long time. When people say Trump is racist, ask what has he done or said that’s racist? Etc etc. Women? What mysoginist policy’s, he’s broken more glass ceilings for women than Obama. Plus he’s a red blooded male so loves women, and only feminists hate red blooded males so normal women will ignor the mysoginist hate speech as they did last election.
    The Republicans will ramp up the portrail of the radical left within the Democrat party as something to fear. If the candidate is significantly left than Clinton the voters in middle America will retain Trump as a moderating force vs a Democrat house and possibly senate. Versus the radical left Trump is predictable. The swing states will stay with Trump.
    A trade deal with China is going to be a game changer.
    The far more pro Trump senate will bring the Republicans more on page with Trump vs the destructive and hateful influence that muppets like McCain had.

    2 years is a long time and many of Trumps policies are only beginning to affect people’s lives. Trump will be a formidable force in any debate and I can’t think of anybody that Trump can’t easily mock. Warren would be like an old nanny goat being fed to a lion. Even Clinton had to cheat and Trump will be a far better, practiced foe.

    • North 14.1

      DJ Ward…..weird…..just weird.

      • RedLogix 14.1.1

        DJ’s grammar may be weird, but his instincts are not. What he’s saying aligns with the same I hear in conversation working with Americans. Much of what we hear about him is not the same as the narrative in the USA.

        Nothing is certain or clear cut with Trump. The allegations of him being addicted to something make a lot of sense of his behaviour; the man really is a loose cannon. If these are confirmed then he really will be gone. Hopefully soon. But as for all the rest of the politicised maneuvering and investigations, I still think its going to prove counterproductive.

        I like Warren a lot, but it’s not clear to me she’s the right person to put up against Trump.

    • xanthe 14.2

      sadly I mostly agree with your analysis DJ

      In particular I expect public opinion, anger, and significant vote against corrupt media.

      However I do not discount Elizabeth Warren if she can run her own PR and somehow both run as democrat and distance herself from the DNC… big ask but Trump has no problem convincing (many of) us of three impossible things before breakfast so it can be done

  15. Macro 15

    How about a Trump sandwich.
    White bread
    Full of bolony
    With Russian dressing
    And a small pickle.

  16. Nic the NZer 16

    Until the Democrats actually try to reform the US electoral system then losing to a candidate like Trump should be taken mighty seriously. We will know the democratic party is serious when the actually look at reforms.

    A good reform would be a preferential vote system where minor party candidates can run and lose with their votes flipping to a second preference. But presently the Democrats have preferred the system to shut out those candidates and push (and shame) people into the two candidate contest.

    On the other hand the elite preference is probably for the political system to continue to successfully neutre reform candidates (as is happening to Warren now).

  17. Nic the NZer 17

    It would be sensible for the democratic party to look at the reasons for Hilary losing to Trump. The cause appears to be that her campaign was functionally inept and didn’t understand what it needed to do in relation to the electoral college system.

    Further to this there was the problem of following up a massively overpromising and disappointing political cycle. There was also the demographic confusion of shifting from the first african American candidate to a female candidate.

    Any and all of african American voters not identifying, voters being disallusioned by a lack of reform, voters disallusioned by a lack of difference in values between the candidates or the debacle resulting from the Sanders primary, may have cost her the votes in key swing states.

  18. joe90 18

    Presidente de los Estados Unidos, de por vida.

    Mitt Romney’s scorching critique of President Trump in a New Year’s Day op-ed has sparked a call from within the Republican National Committee to change party rules to protect Trump from any long-shot primary challenge in 2020.

    The RNC committeeman representing the Virgin Islands late Tuesday emailed fellow elected members of the national party urging them to change the rules when they convene in New Mexico for their annual winter meeting later this month. Republicans are confident that Trump would hold off any primary challenger, but worry the campaign would derail his re-election.

    “Look, the political history is clear. No Republican president opposed for re-nomination has ever won re-election,” RNC committeeman Jevon O.A. Williams said in a email obtained by the Washington Examiner. “Unfortunately, loopholes in the rules governing the 2020 re-nomination campaign are enabling these so-called Republicans to flirt with the possibility of contested primaries and caucuses.”

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/campaigns/romneys-attack-prompts-call-to-protect-trump-from-2020-primary-challenger

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    Buzz from the Beehive Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and other party leaders have been paying tribute to Green MP Fa’anānā Efeso Collins, who collapsed and died during a ChildFund charity run in central Auckland this morning, . The event, near Britomart, was to support local communities in the Pacific. Collins, ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    18 hours ago
  • This is corrupt
    Earlier in the month, a panel of "independent" experts in Wellington produced recommendations for the future of housing in the city, and they were a bit shit, opposing intensification and protecting the property values of existing homeowners. Its since emerged that they engaged in some pretty motivated reasoning on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • Efeso Collins
    God, life can be cruel sometimes can’t it?If only everyone was like him. He was so very warm, so very generous, so very considerate, so very decent. Plenty of people have those qualities but I can think of hardly anyone I've met who had them as richly as he did.Let me ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    21 hours ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Is applying “tough love” to a “fragile” nation the right answer?
      The Question Christopher Luxon Needs To Ask –  And Answer:  How was it possible for a nation of barely three million citizens to create and maintain an infrastructure that functioned, schools and universities that turned out well-educated and enterprising citizens, a health system that kept its people healthy, and a ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    22 hours ago
  • DON BRASH: Is an independent foreign policy really feasible?
    Don Brash writes – A week or so ago, Helen Clark and I argued that New Zealand would be nuts to abandon the independent foreign policy which has been a characteristic of New Zealand life for most of the last 40 years, a policy which has seen us ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    22 hours ago
  • YVONNE VAN DONGEN: So proud
    Ratepayers might well ask why they are subsidising people who peddle the lie that it is possible to be born in the wrong body and people can change sex. The preponderance of events advertising as ‘queer’ is a gender ideology red flag. Yvonne Van Dongen writes –  It ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    22 hours ago
  • S&P slams new Govt's council finance vacuum
    Wellington Water workers attempt to resolve a burst water main. Councils are facing continuing uncertainty over how to pay to repair and expand infrastructure. The Wellington Regional Council was one of those downgraded. File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has downgraded the outlooks for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 day ago
  • Grant Robertson Resigns.
    Yesterday the man that I admire most in NZ politics called time.Around the middle of yesterday news began to filter out. People were posting unconfirmed reports that Grant Robertson was taking a new role as Vice-Chancellor at Otago Uni. Within an hour it became clear that he was indeed retiring ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 day ago
  • Auckland’s City Rail Link will fail immediately… in the best possible way
    This post was originally published on Linked In by Nicolas Reid. It is republished here with permission. Here’s the thing: the City Rail Link is almost certainly going to be overcapacity from day one, with crowding on the trains at peak times. In the simple terms of popular transport ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 day ago
  • You can’t always get what you want
    Grant Robertson is leaving Parliament for two new careers, having been frustrated and blocked from achieving some of his biggest political ambitions. So, he is returning to Dunedin, and, unusually for a former finance minister, with seemingly no ambitions to enter the business world. Instead, he will become Vice Chancellor ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 day ago
  • At a glance – Was Greenland really green in the past?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    2 days ago
  • Sharp-elbowed and loving it
    It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who feels they work their guts out that in fact no one is working as hard as me.It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who knows somebody taking the welfare system for a ride that they’re all ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Sharp-elbowed and loving it
    It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who feels they work their guts out that in fact no one is working as hard as me.It doesn't seem to take a lot to persuade someone who knows somebody taking the welfare system for a ride that they’re all ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • Then why did she do it?
    Earlier in the month, Cancer Minister Casey Costello was caught lying to the media about whether or not she had requested advice on cutting tobacco excise tax to benefit the cancer industry. She repeated her lies in Parliament. But today, she stood up and pretended to apologise for "causing confusion" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Is Applying “Tough Love” To A “Fragile” Nation The Right Answer?
    The Question Christopher Luxon Needs To Ask –  And Answer: How was it possible for a nation of barely three million citizens to create and maintain an infrastructure that functioned, schools and universities that turned out well-educated and enterprising citizens, a health system that kept its people healthy, and a workforce ...
    2 days ago
  • The limits to realism.
    Realism is a school of thought in the field of international relations (IR). It provides a theoretical framework for analysing the behaviour of States in the world political system. Like other theories (which in the IR literature include idealism, liberalism, … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • UNSOCIAL MEDIA – Following the Trolls
    From TODAY FM archives — Wilhelmina Shrimpton and Simon Morrow take a deep dive into trolling and cyberbullying. From the high profile to the general public, Kiwis across all walks of life are being targeted, and some are paying the ultimate price. So what drives us to troll, who is ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Govt prescribes stiff medicine for some beneficiaries while easing access to drugs containing pseudo...
    Buzz from the Beehive One of two new announcements on the government’s official website  – given plenty of publicity by the mainstream media over the past 24 hours – has been pitched as the first steps in a “reset” of the welfare system.  Stiff medicine for beneficiaries, in effect. The ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    2 days ago
  • We’re not as fragile or as lazy as Luxon says
    Luxon says his government is one that is “prepared to make those hard decisions”. File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has adopted the language of Ruth Richardson before her 1991 ‘Mother of All Budgets’ in arguing for benefit sanctions to bolster the Government finances, which ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Talking over the Silence.
    Please open the doorNothing is different, we've been here beforePacing these hallsTrying to talk over the silenceIf I was to describe what I do, or at least the way it sometimes feels, then talking over the silence wouldn’t be a bad way to do so.Not that there aren’t other voices ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • LINDSAY MITCHELL: National needs to go further
    Lindsay Mitchell writes – In today’s State of the Nation speech Christopher Luxon talked repeatedly about getting young people off welfare. It seems that National has devised a traffic light system which will use increasing levels of sanctions – welfare deductions – when beneficiaries fail to meet their ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National spreading panic about the economy
    It is a political strategy as old as time. Scare the public with tales of disaster and stampede them into supporting your ideological agenda because they believe There Is No Alternative. Yet, if the NZ economy truly is as “fragile” as PM Christopher Luxon says it is… Then how come ...
    2 days ago
  • The promise of passive house design
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Sarah Wesseler Imagine a home so efficient that it could be heated with a hair dryer. That’s the promise of a passive house, a design standard that’s becoming increasingly popular in the architecture community for its benefits to occupants and the climate. ...
    2 days ago
  • Deep in the Uncanny Valley of AI
    Hi,Before we get started, some very big fun Webworm news. I am launching a new journalism fund called Big Worm Farm!A really great thing that’s happened with Webworm over the last four years is that it’s grown. That’s great for a few reasons.Firstly — it means the work here gets ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 days ago
  • Introducing: Big Worm Farm
    Hi,I’m excited to tell you about Big Worm Farm.Put simply, the main aim of Big Worm Farm is to support investigative journalists from around the world to be able to devote dedicated time to research and report on a specific story, to be published on Webworm.The stories will capture the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 days ago
  • Why Massey is broke
    The Tertiary Education Commission has named the two universities it says are at high risk financially. They are Massey and Victoria. The Commission appeared before Parliament’s Education Select Committee yesterday and offered a revealing and rare insight into the complex world of university economics. Its Briefing to the Incoming Minister ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • You keep Luxin' when you oughta be thruthin'
    Christopher Luxon’s campaign to win last year's election continued yesterday with a speech.Channelling possibly Bruce Willis in Die Hard, he was all, I'm not going to dress it up, I'm going to level with you guys: the state of the nation is fragile.The thing he’s maybe missing is that it ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • The PM spoke of the need for tough choices – and then opted to beat a retreat when gays and Gaza a...
    Buzz from the Beehive The PM’s State of the Nation speech – according to a Newshub headline – was a ‘buffet of buzzwords’ and full of ‘nonsense’. Fair to say, the quoted words were attributed to Opposition politicians, who were unlikely to say the speech was visionary and inspiring: PM ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    3 days ago
  • Keynesian Wisdom.
    When the facts change, I change my mind - what do you do, sir?John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON: Puffing policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. Brian Easton writes – In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Is 2.8% per year population growth too much?
    TL;DR: The Government is reviewing migration settings that produced 2.8% population growth last year and is looking at a longer-term strategy of matching population growth to the ‘absorbtive capacity’ of Aotearoa-NZ’s infrastructure.Our population grew last year at its fastest rate since 1947, when large numbers of troops returning from World ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Tough Choices & Tough Love.
    I've been trying to hurt youI've been holding you tightI've been learning to love youAm I doing it right?How are you still breathingWith my hands all over your heart?How do we start healingIf we can't keep out the dark?Yesterday the Prime Minister delivered his State of the Nation, for no ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Will the 2024 RLTP be yet another debacle?
    A couple of years ago, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport found themselves in court over the 2021 Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP). A non-profit alliance for transport decarbonisation, All Aboard Aotearoa, argued that among other factors, the RLTP was unlawful because it failed to give effect to the 2021 Government ...
    3 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #07
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, Feb 11, 2024 thru Sat, Feb 17, 2024. Story of the week Based on mission alignment, our Story of the Week is certainly Can we be inoculated against climate ...
    4 days ago
  • Immigration Issues.
    Help is comingI heard a whisperWhite caps turningThe breath of summerA distant drummingAnd liar birds callingEscape the anguish of our pastAnd prayOne of the major challenges of the the 21st century will be the mass migration of human beings around our globe.Some seeking economic opportunities, others fleeing repressive regimes, war ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Trust us, we know what we’re doing
    The best trick the National Party ever pulled was to fabricate their reputation as the responsible ones.This would be the National Party that denied us the New Zealand Superannuation Scheme that—Brian Gaynor wrote back in 2007would be worth more than $240 billion today and would have transformed the New Zealand ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • The Left’s Timidity
    It is not just Karl Marx – even the most enthusiastic supporters of the market economy (not least Adam Smith) will concede that its normal operation inevitably leads to a concentration of wealth in relatively few hands. Some, at least, of these enthusiasts will accept that such a concentration is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • OLIVER HARTWICH: Absurd – NZ courts can now decide on climate change
    Oliver Hartwich writes – The World Justice Project ranks New Zealand 7th out of 142 countries on its ‘Rule of Law Index’, narrowly ahead of Australia’s 13th place. However, Australia still has hope – if only because of a recent decision by the Supreme Court of New Zealand. The ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Still waiting on that turnaround
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday: Week in review, quiz style2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Mihi Forbes and the great Atlas conspiracy
    Graham Adams writes — Last week, Mihingarangi Forbes made an extraordinary claim while interviewing David Seymour on Mata Reports, a taxpayer-funded current affairs programme which, she says, looks at events through an “indigenous lens”. She asked him about Act’s links to the Atlas Network, which fosters connections between centre-right ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    6 days ago
  • Puffing Policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we need the money’. He explained that no-excise-duty ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Luxon is one of three prime ministers pressing for a ceasefire in Gaza – but the two-state solutio...
    Buzz from the Beehive Two days after hundreds of people rallied outside the New Zealand parliament and the US embassy in Wellington to protest against what they maintain is genocide in Gaza,  Prime Minister Chris Luxon joined with the Prime Ministers of Australia and Canada to express their  concerns that ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • All jellied up with possum grease
    1. Shane Jones, addressing the energy industry, called climate concern what?a. The only sane responseb. Undeniably valid c. Our last best hope d. A "religion" 2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. Gleeful ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Equality comes to Greece
    The Greek Parliament has voted for marriage equality: Greece has become the first Christian Orthodox-majority country to legalise same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples will now also be legally allowed to adopt children after Thursday's 176-76 vote in parliament. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the new law would "boldly abolish a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Iron in her soul.
      “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche   Chris Trotter writes – TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Feb 16
    Net emigration of New Zealanders overseas hit a record-high 47,000 in the 2023 year, which only partly offset net immigration of 173,000, which was dominated by arrivals from India, the Philippines and China with temporary work visas. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Stop Whispering.
    There's nothing to sayAnd there's nothing to doStop whispering, start shoutingStop whispering, start shoutingYesterday our government surprised a few of us by standing up for something. It wasn’t for the benefit of people who own holiday homes and multiple investment properties. Neither were there any tobacco companies or fishing cartels ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • “I'm Not Keen on Whataboutism, But What About…”
    Hi,Not sure how your week is going, but I’ve had a pretty frustrating one. I’ve been trying to put my finger on it, and I think it’s perhaps distilled in this message I got on Twitter:What got me a bit riled up is that it was a response to the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National passing bad policies under urgency
    If National really had faith in its welfare policies, it wouldn’t be ramming them through Parliament under urgency – a step that means the policies can’t be exposed to select committee debate, public submissions, expert commentary, media scrutiny and all the normal democratic processes that this coalition appears to hold ...
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 16-February-2024
    It’s Friday so once again here”s our roundup of some of the articles that caught our attention this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday Matt looked at the Government’s war on Auckland. On Tuesday Matt covered the ongoing issues with the rail network. On Thursday Matt ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • The Dawn Chorus for Friday, February 16
    The six things to note in my view at 6.30 am on Friday, February 16 in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Iron In Her Soul.
    “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich NietzscheTELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP for Auckland Central is the odds-on ...
    6 days ago
  • Dig this
    Resources Minister Shane Jones yesterday told a breakfast hosted by Energy Resources Aotearoa precisely what they wanted to hear. “We campaigned to rehabilitate relegitimise and stand up for working families who derive their income,  derive their hope and derive purpose in regional New Zealand through a flourishing, growing, forward-leaning energy ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2024
    Open access notables Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course, van Westen et al., Science Advances: Here, we show results of the first tipping event in the Community Earth System Model, including the large climate impacts of the collapse. Using these results, we develop a physics-based and ...
    7 days ago
  • A rejection of the rule of law
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Shrugging-Off The Atlas Network.
    Upholding The Status-Quo: The Left’s election defeat is not the work of the Atlas Network. It is not even the work of David Seymour and Act. It is the work of ordinary citizens who liked the Right’s stories better than they liked the Left’s. If the Right’s stories were made ...
    7 days ago
  • BARRIE SAUNDERS: Treaty Principles – all rather problematic
    Barrie Saunders writes – When ACT’s leader said they wanted legislation to state what the Treaty principles mean, my first thought was this will be controversial and divisive.  Clearly it is. The first reference to the principles of the Treaty were contained in the 1975 Act establishing the Treaty of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Luxon Rejects The “Rejection Election” At His Peril.
    Fitting Right In: National retailed a reactionary manifesto of right-wing, racially-charged policies to the electorate throughout 2023. No talk back then of ignoring the overwhelming political preferences of the voting public and making a strong stand on principle. If Luxon’s pollsters and focus-groups were telling him that the public was ...
    7 days ago
  • Valentine’s Day went unnoticed on the Beehive website – but it is not “baa, humbug” to celeb...
    Buzz from the Beehive None of our ministers – a quick check with the Beehive website suggests – found cause to mention, let along celebrate, Valentine’s Day. But two ministers – Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson – ensured that National Lamb Day did not pass ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    7 days ago
  • Are You A Leftist?
    Nothing To Lose But Our Chains: The emancipatory movement which the Left, understood correctly, has always been, cannot accommodate those who are only able to celebrate one group’s freedom by taking it from another. The expectation, always, among leftists, is that liberty enlarges us. That striking-off a person’s shackles not ...
    7 days ago
  • An unlawful directive
    An interesting question in the Parliamentary written questions feed today, from Jan Tinetti to the Minister of Education: Has she or her Office directed the Ministry of Education to not release Official Information Act material prior to the full twenty working days, if so, why? Given that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • I’ve been doing this all wrong
    Here are six words that are not easy to say but god it can feel good when you finally say them:I’ve been doing this all wrongFive years ago today I said to myself:What if I'm doing this all wrong?Five years ago today I said to Karren: I think I’m going to ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”
    This is a re-post from RealClimate by Stefan Rahmstorf A new paper was published in Science Advances today. Its title says what it is about: “Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course.” The study follows one by Danish colleagues which made headlines last July, likewise looking for early warning signals ...
    7 days ago
  • Drawn
    A ballot for five Member's Bills was held today, and the following bills were drawn: Parole (Mandatory Completion of Rehabilitative Programmes) Amendment Bill (Todd Stephenson) Goods and Services Tax (Removing GST From Food) Amendment Bill (Rawiri Waititi) Income Tax (ACC Payments) Amendment Bill (Hamish Campbell) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Valentines from ACT.
    Some of us make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. We’ll buy the flowers, eye watering though the price spike might be. Say the things we should be saying anyway, although diminished by being scheduled for delivery. Some of us will even write long free-form newsletters with declarations of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Tax cuts paid for by 13k more kids in poverty
    MSD advised the government that the indexation change it passed under urgency last night is likely to put around 7,000 extra children (and potentially up to 13,000) into poverty. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government has reverted indexation for main beneficiaries to price inflation from wage inflation under ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Fuel Tax Fight and Rail Fail update
    The two stories we covered at the start of the week continue to be in the headlines so it’s worth looking at the latest for each of them. Regional Fuel Tax Mayor Wayne Brown promised some ‘argy-bargy’ over the government’s decision to cancel the Regional Fuel Tax and he’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Arsonists
    Today, a major fire broke out on the Port Hills in Ōtutahi. Like its 2017 predecessors, it is almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. And it is still burning. The present government did not start the fire. But they piled the tinder high last time they were in power, gutting ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • I don’t know!
    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/73411 7 examples And who actually makes the decisions? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know. America is a complex country, conservative on the one hand, rapidly changing on the other. It’s not easy for us to sort it all out.   Tucker Carlson: Do you think Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know the details, of course it’s difficult for me to judge, but ...
    1 week ago
  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago

  • Finance Minister to meet Australian Treasurer
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to Australia today to meet her Australian counterpart, Treasurer Jim Chalmers.    “New Zealand and Australia have an incredibly strong trade and investment relationship. The Closer Economic Relations and Single Economic Market are powerful engines for growth on both sides of the Tasman.     “I will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • PM shocked and saddened at death of Efeso Collins
    “I am truly shocked and saddened at the news of Efeso Collins’ sudden death,” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “Efeso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true champion and advocate for his Samoan and South Auckland communities. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
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  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
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  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
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  • Rt Hon Christopher Luxon – Waitangi speech
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