Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Some Politics

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  • Mark Graham,

    ...the sender has given their name and sources for the claims they make ie they're not hiding who they are...

    Sorry, Not Important (I'm sure you actually are), but who cares if they're not hiding who they are - of course they're not - they want votes!

    But they only tell half the story - mostly that the whole conflict of interest thing was dealt with by the Auditor General and dismissed and that there was no personal gain. It's Karl Rove type politics by Bhatnagar, who is well known for this type of baseless mudslinging, and William Cairns, ex-Auckland Now bullyboy.

    (disclosure: I was a participant in the steering committee for Digital Earth but not part of the DE Society)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 178 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    All we need now for pure spectator enjoyment is for Gore to jump into the race. The Clintons and Gores hate each other so much, it would be quite a sight to see their respective camps going at each other.

    I'm really hoping Gore comes in. I think he'd win and I think he'd be bloody good. I like wonks.

    But Clinton's record is interesting. She scraped in in her first senatorial race, but grabbed so much ground in hger first term that IIRC the Republicans didn't even bother to stand a candidate against her. Her first problem is that a lot of Democrats don't like her.

    For Giuliani, the deal with conservatives is quite easy, and it has already been done. Rudy says he won’t advance any liberal social policies and says that he will appoint originalist judges like Roberts and Alito, which based on his previous statements; he would probably have done in any event. That is all conservatives need to hear from him.

    Really? That's not what I'm reading. He has the best chance with the nation, but the Republican base doesn't seem to like his personal life at all. I guess he could be like Gingrich and prostrate himself in front of James Dobson (and how nauseating was that?), but I suspect he'd find that difficult.

    Giuliani and McCain (who is trying to cynically reinvent himself as a moral conservative) also have the problem that they're on record holding views on issues like abortion that are anathema to the crazies in the Republican base.

    Frankly, I don't think anyone knows what's going to happen.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Nobody Important,

    All we need now for pure spectator enjoyment is for Gore to jump into the race.

    Damn straight but it aint gonna happen. Gore has only just overcome his 'Loser' status (undeserved) with his Oscar 'win' for An Inconvenient Truth so he's not going to risk that by entering a Primary Race he might not win. Because then he'd be labelled 'Loser' again ...

    American 'Democracy' is one sick puppy. S/he with the most gold rules.

    expat • Since Mar 2007 • 319 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Ain't that the truth! Now I hear on the radio that National's Paul Hutchinson recommended Tony Bierre to Wayne Brown in the first place.

    To be fair, I think it was also Hutchison who realised what was going on, after Bierre contacted him for support, and blew the whistle.

    But, yeah. Part of Labour's defence in the house was to demand an assurance that no National Party people had been involved with Bierre. It knew that this was an assurance that National couldn't give.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    I remember seeing Gore on the Late Show a year or two after the 2000 election, and the contrast between before/after election was amazing. Gone was the uptight, pseudo populist candidate, and in his place was a pretty funny open guy. If he can combine that latter persona with a serious platform then he would definately be a solid candidate.

    So far as the republican race goes, well, if they can get a killer theme song like the link below, then they could select a performing dog and still win IMO

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 894 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    as a completely trival aside, i see that on the National Party site (i was checking how you spell Hutchison - RB you were right)

    http://www.national.org.nz/

    i see that if you go to 'Select an MP', dear Dr Don is still at the top. so much for quarantining him off from the party. and no it's not just a democratic alphabetical order thing, Shane Ardern is well down the list, as is Jonkey.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • James Bremner,

    Gore might win the Dem primary if Hillary tanks, but I don't think he would win the general election, in fact I am damn sure he wouldn't.

    Like Hillary, Gore is not a natural politician, he has zero charisma and a political tin ear, and he not only has a reputation as a loser, he is a loser. He lost what should have been for a politician of any ability at all, an unlosable election in 2000.

    Gore was just such an utter tool in the Presidential debates, even I felt bad for him. It is hard to look poor against Bush in that kind of environment, but Gore managed it. SNL slaughtered him for it, and deservedly so (actually I would love to some of those SNL takeoffs on YouTube!!)

    It is late over here, but I will post some links to some articles about the Rudy/conservative angle tomorrow. It is the real deal; conservatives believe that come Jan 2009, it will most likely be either Hillary or Rudy being sworn in. And how many conservatives do you think want Hillary being sworn in?

    NOLA • Since Nov 2006 • 341 posts Report Reply

  • Leigh Kennaway,

    The Liquor King site on Ponsonby Rd may have cost $7 million, but the business will continue to operate until the current lease expires in July 2009. In the meantime Council's income from the lease helps off-set the purchase price - I can't recall how by much, but it's a pretty significant amount.

    Western Bays • Since Feb 2007 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Like Hillary, Gore is not a natural politician, he has zero charisma and a political tin ear, and he not only has a reputation as a loser, he is a loser. He lost what should have been for a politician of any ability at all, an unlosable election in 2000.

    Ahem. He did win the popular vote, and it's still a matter of conjecture as to who really won Florida.

    He's also a much more appealing figure today than he was then. He may also represent a least-risk candidate for what, on the polling, looks like a hard one to lose for the Dems.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18969 posts Report Reply

  • Nobody Important,

    In the meantime Council's income from the lease helps off-set the purchase price - I can't recall how by much, but it's a pretty significant amount.

    Er ... I think you mean an INsignificant amount. Which is why they're hanging on til 2009 (which almost gives the council enough time for resource consent to demolish and landscape). I don't know the figure either but I recall it being pretty low. One half of the building is essentially an outlet store.

    expat • Since Mar 2007 • 319 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Curtis,

    the money comes from reserve contributions from new apartments and infill housing. So is ring fenced for new reserves.
    Usually its impossible to get a decent site at all, so be gratefull

    If Banks was around it would be for pitstops for the V8's.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 227 posts Report Reply

  • Hamish,

    He's also a much more appealing figure today than he was then.

    Probably, but he's picked his battle and I don't think he can turn his global warming groove into a winning campaign for the nomination.

    The Obama/Clinton debate aside, I really think 08 will be driven by the Republican candidate. My gut says that it doesn't really matter who the Democrat challenger is - in the end people will wait to see if the Republicans can put up someone who is sufficiently not-Bush to be electable.

    Then again, I thought the last time round was going to be a democrat white-wash. Who knowns the mind of the American voter?

    The A.K. • Since Nov 2006 • 152 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Neiman,

    Mr/Ms. Important: I think your outrage might be a little misplaced. In the case of the $40m for the Viaduct, the beneficiaries were primarily opportunistic developers and the wealthy consumers of their products.

    In the case of Ponsonby the primary beneficiaries in the short term will be established local residents, not opportunists - who will no longer have to drive/bus/ride to Western Park to experience public open space. In the longer term, as development in the area is planned to be intensified it also makes sense to buy relatively cheaply now rather later.

    A more valid argument perhaps is that Ponsonby's residents are already among Auckland City's most privileged burghers and that perhaps the money might have been better spent in Avondale, Glen Innes, or Mt. Roskill.

    But poor people in NZ are generally useless at organising and acting politically, so I guess it would be naive to expect that.

    Sydney • Since Feb 2007 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Hamish,

    I see that if you go to 'Select an MP', dear Dr Don is still at the top.

    Heh, within hours the site has been amended. Wonders never cease.

    The A.K. • Since Nov 2006 • 152 posts Report Reply

  • Nobody Important,

    what Steve Curtis said

    This thread has split into two discussions, one from an aside I made earlier. RB will probably want us back on topic so I'll just finish with this thought (continuing the discussion on reserves) ...

    Can anyone explain (in plain english) why we have to acccept the idea of the Tank Fram turning into Appartment Blocks and Commercial Buildings? The land is owned by the Ports Of Auckland which is owned by the ARC who are supposed to be in charge of parks and reserves for greater Auckland. So why can't they just make it a park?

    The argument is that the land is too 'valuable' to waste on a park, and that developing it will cost too much and this will need to be 'offset' by allowing commercial development. Which is why they plan an 'iconic' 50m high building at the very tip of the peninsular. I'd much rather an open headland where children can play and see the sea, but no, they want a building taller than the Vodaphone building on Fanshawe Street. The Urban Planners say this will 'anchor' the development.

    Okay, if they must sell off land for development to offset costs why not think latterally? Redevelop Victoria Park into commercial building space, and create (move?) a new Victoria Park on the old Tank Farm. The current Vic Park is slap bang in the middle of major transport routes, whereas the new Vic Park could be off on its own and possibly alot more peaceful.

    Unlike Wellington, Auckland central really is cut off from its waterfront. The Tank Farm is the last chance we have to reclaim some. Once its turned to office/apartment blocks its gone (much like the railway land at Newmarket, now there's no room to build a decent Terminal)

    [apologies to non Auckland readers who don't know what we're talking about]

    expat • Since Mar 2007 • 319 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    within hours the site has been amended

    well there must be some nats on here. indeed the Lord Jonkey moves in mysterious ways.

    He did win the popular vote, and it's still a matter of conjecture as to who really won Florida

    yeah I reckon. Remeber the Diebold fiasco, the highly dubious involvement of Jeb Bush and the Florida Chief Returning Officer? In that sense alone Bush's legitimacy as the winner of his first election is well debatable.

    btw, did anyone hear TV3's Duncan Garner 'reporting' from the US tonight. A more deluded and narcissistic impersonation of journalism i have not heard.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Nobody Important,

    did I say finish? okay, just this bit ...

    A more valid argument perhaps is that Ponsonby's residents are already among Auckland City's most privileged burghers and that perhaps the money might have been better spent in Avondale, Glen Innes, or Mt. Roskill.

    Definitely a point I agree with! The well heeled citizens of Kohi can stop a motorway but the folks out in Roskill are shit out of luck.

    Now if everyone will get out their Wises road maps and look at Map 1 ... I think you'll see that Ponsonby is well served with parks and reserves. There are plenty, everyhwere (I won't bore you with a list).

    definately my last post on this subject; I'm no threadhog

    expat • Since Mar 2007 • 319 posts Report Reply

  • Marcus Neiman,

    Indeed N. Important, beware the iconic building, and in any case Sydney won that game 40 years with the Opera House, and Bilbao got the silver more recently. Nothing screams "Provincial City!" now like a consciously constructed "icon". Well situated public open spaces however rarely go out of fashion.

    Sydney • Since Feb 2007 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    This is a great photo - the accompanying story is quite good too

    I hope the Democrats don't let the Obama/Clinton rivalry get out of hand.

    Before I developed an interest in US politics, I assumed that the unflattering media opinion of Al Gore had some basis in fact. By chance more than anything, I started reading Gore's speeches, or downloading them from Moveon.org, and I was surprised to find that they were pretty good. Seven years later, events have largely rehabilitated Gore's public image.

    In theory, the media provide a forum for public deliberation, but I am pretty sceptical about the mass media's role in politics. I hope our collective narrative of the Democratic primaries isn't reduced to the lowest common denominator.

    On the other hand...

    Since Nov 2006 • 604 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Ridley Walker wrote:
    oh riiiiight, so there is no association between the National Party and Citizens and Ratepayers. good one Craig

    As I've said, the National Party doesn't formally run or endorse local body tickets and any National Party member who stands for a local body or a DHB doesn't require a permission slip from party HQ. (Just as I'm sure Wellington Deputy Mayor Alick Shaw isn't any less of a Labour supporter because he's not on WCC under a Labour ticket.)

    I don't take kindly to being called a liar, Ridley, and I'm bored to sobs by paranoid conspiracy theorists of any complexion. Take that any way you please.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Giuliani and McCain (who is trying to cynically reinvent himself as a moral conservative) also have the problem that they're on record holding views on issues like abortion that are anathema to the crazies in the Republican base.

    Well, it's also going to be interesting to see if HIlary Clinton can equally cynically 'triangulate' her way into the White House as adrotly as her husband. (And her bet each way response to DADT/Gen. Peter Prace's extraordinary brain fart about the 'morality' of homosexuality while defending the policy to the editorial board of the Chicago Tribune shows she's got a way to go.)

    But doesn't that say more about how thoroughly fucked up the primary process is, full stop - it's the 'crazies' on both sides who actually turn out to vote in primaries, and it's nauseating (if hardly surprising) watching candidates transparently pandering to their nutroots - and then wondering why a majority of the electorate are voting with their feet?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    never called you a liar Craig, i assumed you just had to be joking when you were asserting that Citizens and Ratepayers Now are independent from the National/ACT parties.
    but if it offends you then no problem, you are correct and i was wrong: they are completely distinct, separate and independent entities, despite the evidence presented earlier.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Gore is talking about the decision to invade Iraq here, but he might as well have been talking about the result of the 2000 election.

    I'm convinced that one of the reasons that we didn't have a better public debate before the [Iraq war] started is because so many of the impressions that the majority of the country had back then turn out to have been completely wrong. Leaving aside for the moment the question of how these false impressions got into the public's mind, it might be healthy to take a hard look at the ones we now know were wrong and clear the air so that we can better see exactly where we are now and what changes might need to be made.

    http://www.moveon.org/gore-speech.html

    Since Nov 2006 • 604 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Riddley:

    What evidence? FFS, I've lived the majority of my life in a city where the current mayor was once a National Party candidate for Ohariu-Belmont, and her deputy was a Labour Party candidate for Wellington Central. Somehow, I don't think they're spending a lot of time getting their marching orders from party HQ.

    You'd have to be functionally brain-dead not to realise that Citizens and Ratepayers Now is made up of folks who politically are right-of-center, and (clutch my pearls, girls!), that means they're more likely to support National or ACT.

    But I don't think that's what you're really driving at, is it Riddley? Look, if you - or Annette King or Pete Hodgson - has any evidence that there's some vast right-wing conspiracy at play here, show us what you've got.

    What I'd really prefer is the damn Health Minister doing his job instead of playing hide and don't seek with the Opposition and media. Sorry for finding all the Parliamentary wankage tiresome, but there are people out there who need medical advice based on timely and accurate lab results. That seems to have gotten lost in the posturing from the Government front benches.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12034 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Gore...I'm increasingly fascinated by the momentum that seems to be gathering for the Gore / Obama ticket which seems,on the face of it, to be potentially unbeatable. That takes Gore way past Hillary in polling totals

    Especially if the speculation, as I type, about Edwards withdrawing is correct, although that is simply a what if right now.

    Certainly the election seems to be, this far out, the Democrats to lose rather than the other way around. But its one hell of a long way, no?

    Right now the most fascinating thing happening in US politics is the growing (by the day) Gonzalez scandal. It seems Bush can't help but attract dirt these days as he fumbles towards January 2009.

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3208 posts Report Reply

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