Posts by Russell Brown

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  • Hard News: The Spiral of Events,

    Thought you might want to talk about this ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 20311 posts Report Reply

  • Island Life: He lied to us all,

    And Clark knew back in February.

    Which, if that's all there is, is much less bad than "Mike Williams gave Winston Owen Glenn's phone number to hit him up for some sly cash."

    She still has to explain why, if Glenn told her otherwise in February, she's been publicly accepting Peters' account.

    I imagine her meetings with Peters have been ... interesting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 20311 posts Report Reply

  • Island Life: He lied to us all,

    If Peters stepped down as FM, is he still able to vote on legislation?
    If he was fired from his position as FM, could he still vote?

    In both cases he could, along with the rest of his caucus. But that would be underestimating his potential to be a self-serving dick.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 20311 posts Report Reply

  • Southerly: The Joys of Unclehood,

    I loved that ad! Like Islander, made no impact on my consumption of the product. :)

    Just like that:

    And Hugo said you go
    And I said no you go,
    And soon he was back
    And then Dad his the track
    So we ate in the back
    Feelin' better inside

    A drive isn't funny
    On an empty tummy
    Thank goodness for Kentucky Fried

    Although I can't recall the beginning at all.

    I recall KFC's arrival as the first global fast food chain. Colonel Sanders even visited. It was the hot and happening thing to get your parents to buy, but I think I only ever ate it a handful of times. It just wasn't very nice.

    The last KFC I recall eating was a chickenburger in Taupo 20+ years ago. It was really, really horrible.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 20311 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Awesome,

    TPM reproduced this Andrew Sullivan post in full, so I might as well too:

    The op-ed in today's WSJ by the McCain duo of Lieberman and Graham is far more important for this election, it seems to me, than parsing the dynamics of the Clinton-Obama marriage. What they are laying out in very clear terms is the agenda of a McCain presidency. The agenda is war and the threat of war - including what would be an end to cooperation with Russia on securing loose nuclear materials and sharing terror intelligence, in favor of a new cold war in defense of ... Moldova and Azerbaijan. I'm sure McCain would like to have his Russian cooperation, while demonizing and attacking them on the world stage, but in the actual world, he cannot. Putin and Medvedev are not agreeable figures, and I do not mean in any way to excuse their bullying. But this is global politics, guys, and these are the cold, hard choices facing American policy makers.

    And in this telling op-ed Lieberman and Graham simply do not even confront them. It's all about a moral posture, with no practical grappling with the consequences. It's the mindset that gave you the Iraq war - but multiplied.

    John McCain is making it quite clear what his foreign policy will be like: tilting sharply away from the greater realism of Bush's second term toward the abstract moralism, fear-mongering and aggression of the first. Not just four more years - but four more years like Bush's first term. If the Democrats cannot adequately warn Americans of the dangers of a hotheaded temperament and uber-neo-con mindset in the White House for another four years, they deserve to lose. If Americans decide they want a president who will be more aggressive and less diplomatic than the current one, then they should at least brace for the consequences - for their economy and their security.

    In my view, the fear card has only one truly compelling target in this election: McCain.

    He has a way with words.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 20311 posts Report Reply

  • Island Life: He lied to us all,

    As for the rest of Owen Glenn's letter, I can't really what conceivable motivation or benefit he'd gain from lying.

    The Herald's vox pops suggest that's a widely held view.

    It was almost touching to hear the emails from the Peters faithful on Morning Report today.

    It's a real pain if it means the ETS legislation can't be passed, but I can't see this can go on much longer. The ideal scenario for Clark is Peters stepping down "while the matter is resolved" (only an optimist would really expect a resignation), but that depends on a sense of propriety I fear just isn't there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 20311 posts Report Reply

  • Island Life: He lied to us all,

    I don't think the picture of Peters at the Karaka sales is a winner.

    Dammit, you may well be right. The TVNZ story says Peters "denied" being at Karaka in 2006, but there appears to be no actual statement from him saying that, just that he didn't meet Glenn there that year, but in 2007. Guyon may have got ahead of himself.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 20311 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Awesome,

    Letting people take deductions for donations like these undermine the tax base, and in a massively undemocratic way. Are they even charities? Debatable, if you ask me.

    We have that here too. Bob McCoskrie insists that Family First is a charity, not a political pressure group. I for one, do not believe him.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 20311 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Awesome,

    That is the one big thing McCain has going for him, the possibility that he will make a serious attempt to cut back out of control federal spending and corrupting earmarks (both of which have accelerated since the Dems won Congress in 2006).

    I guess everyone entitled to faith, but I'm fairly sure the facts don't support the claim of earmarks exploding since 2006. They certainly increased during the period of Republican control of Congress -- from 4000 annually to 15,000.

    But while the same offenders on both sides of the House continue to work the system, this NYT story said that the Democrat House last year reduced the number of earmarks by 50% and cut the total cost of pork. The whole system still seems lunatic and borderline corrupt to me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 20311 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Awesome,

    Yes I want Obama to win but wouldn't it be nice to have a speech that wasn't pandering to what Americans want - that doesn't have to tick the boxes, that could dare to be angry.

    But then all the right-wingers would say that you didn't love your country enough.

    As James has noted many of Michelle's stump speeches were far more hard-nosed, and appealed to the economic grievances of (often) poor, black audiences.

    As far as I can tell, the "downright mean" line doesn't come from an actual transcript, but from this New Yorker profile, whose author followed her around the campaign trail. The author makes this observation:

    Of Michelle Obama’s husband succeeds in garnering the Democratic nomination and then in winning the general election in November, she will be not only the first black First Lady of the United States but also one of the youngest since Jackie Kennedy. Yet, for a potential revolutionary, Michelle Obama is deeply conventional. She exudes a nostalgia, invoking the innocence and order of the past, as much as her husband beckons to a liberating future. Listening to her speeches, with their longing for a lost, spit-shine world, one could sometimes mistake her, were it not for the emphasis on social justice, for a law-and-order Republican.

    It's a mature analysis of who she might be, as apposed to the infantile "she hates her country!" characterisation of the winger commentators who have done so much to infantalise political thought in America in the past couple of decades.

    She also says:

    “It’s not just about politics; it’s TV,” she says, of our collective decay. And, wistfully: “The life I had growing up seems so much more simple.”

    Also, her favourite music is Steve Wonder (which explains the playout music) and the Brady Bunch crack wasn't just for laughs. Apparently she actually does have a think for vintage family sitcoms.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 20311 posts Report Reply

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