Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: And so it begins ...

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  • Russell Brown,

    Oh, and why Tony Podesta resigned:

    The indictment on Monday did not name the Podesta Group or Mercury, instead referring to them as “two Washington, D.C., firms” that were recruited by Mr. Manafort and Mr. Gates “to lobby in the United States on behalf of Yanukovych, the Party of Regions, and the government of Ukraine.”

    He is not, as Tucker Carlson told Fox News viewers, the "central figure" in Mueller's investigation. But it's an insight into how lobbyists are gonna lobby.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22227 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Shaun Lott,

    I personally feel that the constitutional crisis started with the Supreme Court vacancy stand-off.

    Agreed.

    But there is also a crisis coming within the GOP. At some point GOP representatives are going to demand some kind of change. Without something happening a lot of GOP politicians are going to be kicked out in 2018. But there's no certainty that Pence would be any more palatable than Trump.

    Longer term I'm starting to wonder if the public are willing to accept the binary system that they currently have. It's hard to see how change can occur and certainly American kids are taught that their system is the only viable system. But a lot of folks don't like either party.

    If Trump's supporters do protest hard, it's just possible that the counter protest could trigger a major change in the US system.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4364 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    IDd so far: Manafort, Lewandowski, Sam Clovis, Rick Gates and a couple of Russian agents.

    I've heard coverage that Sessions was Papadopolous' supervisor on the campaign...

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2810 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Attachment

    gamma gamma hey…
    I at first thought they had arrested the elusive Mr Papagopolous from ’60s/’70s Coronation Street, or Mr Papadopolous from Eastenders….

    On Rosamund Street back in the 1960s, there was a haberdashery shop called Gamma Garments that was part of a shop chain. Owned by the never seen Mr Papagopolous, who was of Greek descent, the shop was managed by Leonard Swindley and Emily Nugent.
    Papagopolous was a precursor to EastEnders launderette owner Mr Papadopolous who was also never seen (although he did make sporadic appearances).

    https://coronationstreetupdates.blogspot.co.nz/2013/06/corrie-z-g-is-for-gamma-garments.html

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7480 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2810 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    Longer term I’m starting to wonder if the public are willing to accept the binary system that they currently have.

    Yes, relatives of mine in the US see that as a major problem - yet they feel that reform of political donations/money in politics is even more to blame for the deterioration of their democracy. And they see no way out in that regard.

    Trump's failure to 'drain the swamp' has convinced them even more so that reform of the money in politics by elected members will never happen. Those that believe Trump had that intent at heart, simply see everything going on since through a lens that 'the swamp' wants rid of him.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 760 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    Those that believe Trump had that intent at heart, simply see everything going on since through a lens that 'the swamp' wants rid of him.

    For me, the most depressing thing about this (and the whole of the last 18 months or so) is the failure of the approval needle to move below mid- high-30's.

    It's the same here in the UK - the most incompetent government in living memory, and it's still polling a solid 40%, just a couple of points below Labour.

    There will always be a rock-solid core that simply can't be reached, and that percentage is scarily high.

    Trumplestiltskin once infamously boasted that he'd be able to get away with shooting somebody on 5th Avenue. I suspect that's what it would take to even get a flicker below 35%. That or the piss tape.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2701 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    The Daily Show: Sean Hannity goes all Eminesque

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7480 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Rich Lock,

    It's the same here in the UK - the most incompetent government in living memory, and it's still polling a solid 40%, just a couple of points below Labour.

    That's the nature of tribes. Same here in NZ while Joyce was telling outrageous lies there was a core that justified (or denied) all of that simply to support their tribe.

    If it wasn't terrifying it would be fascinating. It really seems as though people make a decision and then fit every fact into that decision.

    I wonder whether that's a natural default or whether that's something we somehow teach.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4364 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Bart Janssen,

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    If it wasn’t terrifying it would be fascinating.

    In 1940, Mannheim wrote a piece called, Man and society in an age of reconstruction, in which he developed a typology of how institutions of governance interact with civil society to define social order. I think a lot about the situation in the US in respect of where they are going within this framework.

    Palmerston North • Since Sep 2014 • 760 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    If, like me, you’ve used up your month’s free access to The Washington Post...

    If you believe that you own any cookies which reside on your computer, there is an easy solution. I've sent you an email Ian. ;-)

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1326 posts Report Reply

  • linger, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    people make a decision and then fit every fact into that decision.
    I wonder whether that’s a natural default

    Sure is: I’ve previously linked to episodes of The Human Zoo detailing such cognitive biases.
    (The episodes remain available for streaming or download.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1750 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    If it wasn’t terrifying it would be fascinating.

    I always like to remind myself that in both 1935 and 1938, despite the failure of capitalism in the Great Depression and the failure of leadership in the Great War, 40% of New Zealanders STILL voted for conservative parties – and Labour’s margin was only 5% more than the right block.

    They are mostly all dead now, but go back 30-40 years and NZ was full of people contemporary to the events who were unshakably of the belief the first Labour government was a disaster for NZ.

    The idea that great events and changes are carried out with huge support is a nostalgic myth. What happens is a party with a change mandate wins, and if it is successful then the new establishment that owes it's positions and status to that change largely writes the history. Whether or not you consider that version of the past to be true is often just a matter of political opinion.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2135 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Rich Lock,

    That or the piss tape.

    I dunno, he could even get a poll bounce from that.

    What happens is a party with a change mandate wins, and if it is successful then the new establishment that owes it’s positions and status to that change largely writes the history.

    There is also a general change in where the center resides in absolute terms. People have become more liberal and more accepting of welfare since the 1930s, IMHO. But there will always be a Left and Right, because some difference is going to divide the population in half. It just won't be the same differences it used to be. We're not really arguing over the rectitude of women getting the vote any more, for instance. This is 2017, our PM, Governor General and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court are all women and the Right's strongest attack on that is that the PM is possibly too young. Our first female PM was from the Right, as was Britain's. In the USA, where we are all pissy about the swing Right, it is worth remembering we just came off a double term black president who managed to reform their health care system significantly, in a country touting itself as the free market ideal, and which had outright human slavery only a comparatively short time ago, well after they had a distinct Left and Right in their politics.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10504 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    One of Greenwald’s alt world fans:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/XiuMei_THre

    The web site name is, well.

    That’s a pretty toxic mix and it’s being funded by someone.

    Since Nov 2016 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Robert Mueller brought to light a huge scandal this week, and it has nothing to do with Russia.
    He has introduced the world to Sam Clovis.
    Clovis, we now know, was the Trump campaign official who oversaw George Papadopoulos and encouraged his efforts to meet with Russian officials. But what’s more interesting than what Clovis is is what Clovis isn’t.
    For those who had not heard of Clovis before (which is pretty much everybody), he has been nominated to be the chief scientist at the Agriculture Department, a position that by law must go to “distinguished scientists,” even though he is, well, not a scientist. He is a talk-radio host, economics professor (though not actually an economist, either) and, most importantly, a Trump campaign adviser.

    and several others with dubious and unique skill sets...
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-other-huge-scandal-mueller-brought-to-light-this-week/2017/11/01/5e05a458-bf4c-11e7-959c-fe2b598d8c00_story.html?tid=pm_pop&utm_term=.3a4dc497ff22

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7480 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Prime Ministerial pet has thumbs in opposition!
    and a Twitter account...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7480 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7480 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell,

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2062 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Attachment Attachment

    The times they are a changing: I note some searing honesty in the Transdev / Veolia wikipedia page.

    I do hope our Government has those ISDS clauses in TPP2 turned off properly.
    We wouldn’t want to see the next 14 years of Transdev ‘servicing wellington rail’ dotted with legal action against the Government – as Veolia has done to Egypt for 82 million Euro, for raising the minimum wage – Veolia Propreté v Arab Republic of Egypt (ICSID Case No. ARB/12/15) – possibly still pending.

    <edit> just thought I’d add one of those ‘Black Power Salutes’ – from 1917!

    Transdev manager of people and culture, David Gould, went on the offensive, criticising the RMTU’s actions a month before bargaining was initiated.
    “This began a month before bargaining was initiated when the bargaining team for RMTU took a photo, a team photo, with a pledge and a Black Power salute saying they would not change a single term and condition of their employment agreement,” Gould told RNZ’s Morning Report.

    Gould kept digging though, what a grafter!

    Instead, he was referring to an iconic image taken during 1968 Mexico City Olympics when American athletes, Tommie Smith and John Carlos, raised their fists and bowed their heads during the medal ceremony for the 200m sprint.
    "It was a graphic depiction. What I meant to say was that they had raised fists. It was a photo symbolising solidarity. I didn't mean to infer anything else. It certainly wasn't a reference to Black Power gangs in New Zealand," he said.
    "But what [union members] effectively did was put the handcuffs on themselves at that point in time. By saying 'no change' they really painted themselves into a corner. They weren't able to effectively, and in good faith, negotiate with us."

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/98936407/train-company-rep-clarifies-comments-about-unionists-use-of-black-power-salute

    He probably had to go have a shower after uttering that blasphemous word 'solidarity'...

    Venceremos!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7480 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    He probably had to go have a shower after uttering that blasphemous word 'solidarity'...

    Followed by a wee lie down after a hard bout of barrel scraping. One suspects that Gould's attitude to his desperately retrieved "iconic image" hasn't moved far from 1968, when even the Evening Post's Neville Lodge produced one of his few blatantly racist cartoons decrying the intrusion of politics into the then sacred temple of sport.

    Gould's clumsy attempt to duck behind that ancient Mexico City image suggests a happy knack for coming down on the wrong side of history. While the late Australian Peter Norman had his athletic career effectively ruined for his support of the two black athletes, he eventually received a full posthumous parliamentary apology. As an example of placing principle ahead of personal gain, his was a story to rival Chariots of Fire. Because it's not easily co-opted into a jingoistic morality tale there's unlikely to be a fully dramatised movie any time soon.

    While Sydney's mural based on the "iconic image" was under threat at one stage, it's now been granted heritage protection. Venceremos indeed.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4523 posts Report Reply

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