Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Burning down the house to feel better

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  • Russell Brown,

    This post is based on a long Facebook comment (I thought I might as well get something out of the exercise) and doesn't cover all the shitty arguments, omissions and logical fallacies packed into Davidson's columns. Feel free to examine the rest of them.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen,

    I get the feeling that there is a group of Trump supporters who know full well his actions are going to do tremendous damage - but because they initially backed him (for any number of insane reasons) they now cannot change their position.

    It's an inability to accept being wrong.

    So they seize any semblance of positive no matter how ludicrous.

    To some degree I don't mind those folks who really believe Trump is doing good, they're wrong but at least they are honest.

    It's the Republicans who recognise the harm he's doing but are willing to allow it in order to further their own agenda that really disgust me.

    And then there are the ones who actually seem to want Trump to destroy everything, they know he's a screw up and a disaster and that's what they like. Presumably because they believe the post-apocalypse will be fun.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Zach Bagnall, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    A lot of people firmly believe that small government is best government, and the smaller the better. When they see Trump burning it all down, they anticipate a libertarian utopia, not apocalypse.

    Colorado • Since Nov 2006 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Scott G, in reply to Bart Janssen,

    they believe the post-apocalypse will be fun

    The book of Revelation has always been a popular choice in America.

    Since Mar 2016 • 10 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Zach Bagnall,

    A lot of people firmly believe that small government is best government, and the smaller the better. When they see Trump burning it all down, they anticipate a libertarian utopia, not apocalypse.

    Yes. But then they happily wave through the tens of billions to be wasted on The Wall.

    That GPG survey I linked to is interesting. It also found Trump voters:

    • Want to increase spending on immigration enforcement, the military, homeland security, infrastructure and Social Security;
    • Believe spending levels should be maintained for internet and wireless networks, oil and gas exploration, scientific and medical research, environmental protection and conservation, Medicare and Medicaid, education, renewable energy and farm subsidies and, to a smaller degree, health care;
    • Want to decrease spending in only two areas: foreign aid and welfare.

    Trump is going to do the opposite of most of that. And yet the feeble conservative thinkers will keep insisting that that he's only doing what his voters want.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody,

    I was a bit more optimistic about his discussion/reporting of his meeting with big pharma - e.g.,

    http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/31/trump-tells-drugmakers-he-wants-them-to-manufacture-in-the-us.html

    He's right that the American public health system (government) pays more for American manufactured drugs than many foreign governments - NZ being a prime example (and if his advisors are worth anything, they explained to him the Pharmac model which they would be wise to adopt).

    This statistic regarding just how bad it is over there surprised even me: as a percentage of GDP, public health expenditure in NZ is 9.7%, whereas in the US it is 17.1%;

    http://hdr.undp.org/sites/default/files/hdr_2015_statistical_annex.pdf

    Table 9 - Health outcomes, final column.

    I saw the Medicare rip off by big pharma first hand over there when my mother was in her end-of-life phase. Trump is spot on when he states this:

    Trump also decried what he said was the situation where "I go to a drug store to buy aspirin [and] the aspirin costs me less than what the United States pays for aspirin."

    The president was referring to regulations that Medicare, the federally run health coverage program for primarily the elderly, is barred by law from negotiating drug prices.

    It's a ridiculous situation - all I could think of was how much more of their local population could be covered by socialised medicine if someone would just bring their own manufacturers to heal.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Russell,

    At what point are we allowed to succumb to Trump Fatigue? It's only been a few weeks and I feel like I have already passed peak Trump. I am already starting to skip over articles and blog posts (not at PA, heaven forbid...) etc on whatever damned fool thing the man has done now.

    I recognise that this is Not Good. If people become numb, weary of expressing the outrage, then he wins. So good luck to those with the stamina, I guess.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    I was a bit more optimistic about his discussion/reporting of his meeting with big pharma

    I was going on this:

    A lot happened in the 2016 campaign, but one of the things Donald Trump did to win the election was shift to the left on a number of key issues — promising to avoid cuts in Social Security and Medicare benefits and adopting a longstanding Democratic pledge to let Medicare negotiate bulk discounts in the price it pays for prescription drugs.

    Today, after a meeting with pharmaceutical industry lobbyists and executives, he abandoned that pledge, referring to an idea he supported as recently as three weeks ago as a form of “price fixing” that would hurt “smaller, younger companies.” Instead of getting tough, Trump’s new plan is that he’s “going to be lowering taxes” and “getting rid of regulations.”

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22754 posts Report Reply

  • Shaun Lott,

    Interesting post, thanks. I've been giving some thought recently to Trump's promised Mexican wall, and I have come to the conclusion that it has nothing to do with border security and everything to do with trade. If you have a friendly border, it is in the interests of both sides to control it and maintain its integrity. If you think the other side of the border is your enemy, you fortify it. The narrative around 'bad hombres' seems to be more about setting up Mexico as the outsider and enemy in the forthcoming trade war. Or am I missing something?

    Waitakere • Since Aug 2009 • 109 posts Report Reply

  • Alistair Guthrie,

    I wonder how long Chris Liddell can hold his breath for in the swamp?

    Auckland • Since Feb 2015 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Nick Russell,

    Well, I don't have any qualms about Trump fatigue. I don't have any say in who the USians elect, any more than I can do anything about Putin, Duterte, Xi Jinping or many other world despots (actually, even the Chinese can't do anything about Xi Jinping apart from insurrection). I do actually have a vote in the UK for another couple of years, but it's lost in the great mass of stupid.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Nick Russell, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    Lucky you. I've been here so long they got to take away my EU passport without me even getting a vote.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 122 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yes, Russell, I read that account too – and a few others. Being an American by birth, and hence having so many relations there, I read multiple outlets in respect of the issues I’m interested in. Where Trump is concerned, I try to focus on what Trump is directly quoted as saying – as opposed to truncated quotes and interpretations of what he said. I don’t trust any particular outlet these days – but a general observation is that UK media reporting on US domestic stuff often takes a wildly different approach and has been more informative than US reporting.

    But it’s early days – so I’m keeping an open mind and reading widely.

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Alistair Guthrie,

    how long Chris Liddell can hold his breath for in the swamp?

    ..just breathe through a straw man, perhaps?
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Trump's bonfire of the inanities perhaps?
    (he'll be keeping the vanities for himself )

    but I see some similarities to the Florentine monk Savonarola - placed in power by the Medicis who he then turned on, but was himself eventually burnt to death.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    You know what you get when you drain the swamp? – a pile of alligators

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2606 posts Report Reply

  • Bart Janssen, in reply to Zach Bagnall,

    they anticipate a libertarian utopia

    What they anticipate and what they get are unlikely to be the same.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 4451 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Attachment

    what you get when you drain the swamp

    a whole pile of allegations?

    <etching by Barry Cleavin>

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7889 posts Report Reply

  • Zach Bagnall, in reply to Rich of Observationz,

    I'm a kiwi living in the US, and can't vote in either country! UK has generous voting eligibility though who knows how things will stand come 2020.

    Colorado • Since Nov 2006 • 120 posts Report Reply

  • Barnaby Bennett,

    On this theme we released a journal late year on the topic of 'institutional love' and how perhaps the most radical thing we can do at the moment is to care for the organisations and institutions around us, to make them better. Here is pdf version of it. Free download

    Christchurch • Since Jul 2012 • 17 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    the very moneylenders he constantly promised to cast out of the temple

    Oh noooo Its the false messiah quick everyone repent!!!
    The real one will be along any minute now.

    Yeah but seriously I, well, I cant find the words to describe how I am about how such a large swathe of a population became so credulous.
    And under conditions that from the outside seem benevolent when making comparisons to other times. Yeah they blame their circumstances, and people suffered. Not the people offering salvation, I note.
    But really, there seems to have been a lot of conjuring up of demons going on.
    Can you have a phantom demon limb?
    Fuck I dont know.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1881 posts Report Reply

  • Katharine Moody, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    if someone would just bring their own manufacturers to heal.

    lol - I meant "heel".

    Wellington • Since Sep 2014 • 798 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Katharine Moody,

    I thought it was quite an apt pun.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to andin,

    Yeah they blame their circumstances

    Much encouragement for many decades ..

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Kiwiiano,

    Re the wall that Dubbya actually has already started building... It will need to be pretty high, 60% of Mexicans arriving in the States are coming by plane.

    Then there's this thought...
    https://cleantechnica.com/2017/02/06/obama-wheres-trumps-birth-certificate-way/

    ChCh • Since Nov 2006 • 46 posts Report Reply

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