Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: History is now

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  • giovanni tiso,

    This is what happens: you go away for a couple of days and the messages accumulate in your absence (949 postings!!). I don't suppose anyone wants to provide a precis of this particular thread?

    Lessee... It would appear that America elected its first black president. There were pictures of Kenyans rejoicing, in spite of the fact they've been electing black presidents for a number of years. The general mood here was: happy, elated, a little teary even. Then tipsy. Then we went to sleep. Today was wet blanket day: first James Bremer, than His Incoherence from the Chinese PAS contingent; then I had to tear a new one to Denis Welch. Then Danielle came and restored sanity and happiness.

    Am I forgetting something?

    A post-election post from Jolisa would be very sweet.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    I come from what used to be called 'a Labour Party family.'
    None of us have (as far as I know) ever been Labour Party members- but we vote Labour (well, none of us ever ask each other about that, it's jusr assumed from our attitudes et al...)
    My conservative acting father - before he died at age 42- was president of the local Working Man's Club (in New Brighton, Christchurch) annnd - president of the local Buisnessman's Association
    (ditto.) The only early political activity I can ever remember was helping much old people stuff envelopes for Jock Msthieson-

    my father was born here, but his folk came from England.

    My family is Kai Tahu, and we hold to a several-generations-back agreement with Ratana - we vote Labour. This year I'll vote the (fairly-useless )Okeroa and tick the Greens. I hope that two-way comes in.

    There's no way in hell I'd vote Maori Party - almost totally North Island dominated, and riddled with people who have agendas that have almost nothing to do with the South-

    may we still be rejoicing about political futures late Saturday -

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    Also we may be feeling a whole lot less jubilant on Saturday.

    Lalalalalalala I can't hear you.

    Are you, like me, Danielle, spending alot of time recently with your head in the sand? It's quite comfortable I must say. I'm rather enjoying it, until I have to go to the loo, when reality hits and Paul Henry crows about some poll or other that shows how NZers just can't resist change for change's sake. But it's okay, because then I toddle back to my wee space and bury my head again. Fantastic.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Oh, Paul Rowe, you were wondering about those elderly Jewish voters: the exit polls said the Jewish vote split 78:21, which is higher than for Kerry. Which is entirely expected. The Jewish vote in the US is generally Democratic, pro-choice, pro-civil rights issues.

    Of course, Palin's whacko Christianity and Jew-baiting pastor probably didn't help.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3122 posts Report Reply

  • Joe Wylie,

    . . . spending alot of time recently with your head in the sand . . .

    Jackie, from your trick or treat story over in the other thread it'd seem that, as far as the Things That Really Matter go, your head is in a pretty good place.

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4591 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    Did it start here?

    heh. i *demand* that everyone make the billy-goat-gruff jokes whenever james turns up.

    the second-most fun i've had all day.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    Well, what a charming apology that isn't!

    It should be noted that I laughed out loud when I read Mark's 'apology'. I'm thinking the unspoken second clause after 'I'm sure that's not the worst thing you've ever been called' might be something like 'because you're a total bitch on wheels'. Hee!

    Then Danielle came and restored sanity and happiness.

    Awwww! Also, that's conceivably the first time I have ever brought sanity to, like, anywhere. Maybe it's a measure of how weird the thread had become?

    Are you, like me, Danielle, spending alot of time recently with your head in the sand?

    Oh yes, Jackie. My brain is getting excellent circulation down here. The sounds from John Key and his peeps are admittedly a bit muffled, but I like it better that way. I just pretend Craig is One of Us and then I'm practically in an echo chamber. Sweet as!

    Incidentally, I'm Kai Tahu too, Islander. Not much, but a bit. And Kati Mamoe.

    then I had to tear a new one to Denis Welch

    Wait, what? Is this thread so long that I've forgotten huge swathes of it?

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3828 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    Danielle! Just wear a discrete/blatant PAS Women's XV shirt (which my midwife sisters will swap you all kinds of interesting thngs for) at the Huiatau (Kaikoura) in less than 2 weeks from now - we'll feed laud and welcome you, big time!

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Lordy that's lot ot read to get to here again.

    the way JP Donleavy used to finish chapters, especially if the characters were having sex.

    You saying maybe Taslov was only typing with one hand?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    My precis: anticipation, yay, awe, then boo.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    How about the Palin bet, then, Craig. Are we on?

    So on -- I wouldn't mind losing, but never underestimate the GOP's ability to not only divorce itself from reason, but cheat on it with it's sister.

    etc etc

    Well, yes. Chanting "the world is voting left" is about as stupid and ultimately meaningless as chanting "the world is eating soup and wearing saddle shoes".

    Just call me Pollyanna Hippy McGee and be done with it.

    Mind if I don't? Sorry for the whorish self-promotion, but just check out PAR this week, call me whatever the hell you want and we can get along. I don't want to take anything away from Obama's achievement, but can you just take it as read that I find Obama's "blackness" (whatever the fuck that means) roughly the least interesting thing about him?

    And I loved John Stewart's snark that 52% of the vote translating into a two to one rout in the Electoral College just proves that it makes as much sense as it did to the boatload of mentally defective orangutangs who were washed ashore, and designed the damn thing.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    then I had to tear a new one to Denis Welch

    Wait, what? Is this thread so long that I've forgotten huge swathes of it?

    Sorry, yes, a bit cryptic there - Stephen linked to the otherwise excellent blog by Denis Welch and it was exactly one wet blanket statement more than your humble correspondent could take, as it turns out. Now he probably thinks he's being stalked by an angry Italian.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    How about the Palin bet, then, Craig. Are we on?

    So on -- I wouldn't mind losing, but never underestimate the GOP's ability to not only divorce itself from reason, but cheat on it with it's sister.

    And you don't underestimate my appetite. You wouldn't tell for my lithe physique, but I can eat my weight in beef Stroganoff.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And you don't underestimate my appetite. You wouldn't tell for my lithe physique, but I can eat my weight in beef Stroganoff.

    Don't get too ambitious -- unless I can negotiate a rather generous pay bump from Mister Brown, and find another day job PDQ.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Easy, Craig - just devise a winning business proposition with kickbacks.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19686 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And am I the only person who is going to be falling on the poli-geek pron that is Newsweek's Special Election Project:

    As in the previous editions, "How He Did It, 2008" is an inside, behind-the-scenes account of the presidential election produced by a special team of reporters working for more than a year on an embargoed basis and detached from the weekly magazine and Newsweek.com. Everything the project team learns is kept confidential until the day after the polls close.

    I'm really looking forward to it, because when presidential campaigns fall apart it never fails to be entertaining in a squicky kind of way.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Harris,

    Wait! Danielle has wheels???

    Waikanae • Since Jul 2008 • 1343 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And why do I HEART John Scalzi - stuff like this, that's why.

    3. Obama will not give you everything you want, when you want it. Since Obama seems to have this crazy idea that he might want to be president of the whole damn country, I think he’s going to be small-c conservative in his battles, at least the early ones, and will likely stick to the economic issues that got him elected. Anyone who’s observed the man in the campaign who is also not totally high on crazy wing juice (either the right or left vintages) will note that Obama is a man of exceptionally practical strategies; one of those strategies is to lead people to where he wants to go by using the paths they like to go by. Per point 2, this means frustrating people who want to go off the beaten paths. Which brings us to:

    4. Your next president is going to disappoint you. Barack Obama does not fart cinnamon-scented rainbows. He is not trailed by angels and unicorns. Reality does not reshape itself to his wishes. Dude’s a human being, and a politician, and he’s going to have to work with other human beings who are also politicians. Per point 2, some things you want him to do he won’t be able to do, and some of the things you want him to do he won’t want to do, so they won’t get done. He will make mistakes. He will make errors. He will be caught flat-footed from time to time. He will be challenged by antagonists, foreign and domestic, who will have an interest in seeing him faceplant. He will piss most people off. His approval rating will drop below 50%. He is going to disappoint you. Get used to the idea.

    5. Last night’s election didn’t change the country; it offered a chance for the country to change. Which is something Obama himself pointed out last night, because he’s a smart man like that. He will effect some of that change through the power of the presidency, and through his relationship with Congress, but ultimately what will change things is whether people want change and are willing to work for it. Elections are the easy part, basically. Now comes the work. As the saying goes, you have been offered a country, if you can keep it. It’s up to you more than it’s up to your next president.

    And just as a final sidebar before going to bed, could someone tell Tim fucking Wilson that Obama is not - and cannot - appoint a new Treasury Secretary "as early as next week". He may announce a "shadow team" on economic policy, including the probable nominee for the position after Obama is sworn in on the 20th of January. I know this sounds petty and pedantic, but so many of us do love to stereotype Americans as incurious, ill-informed and prone to confidently spouting opinionated ignorance about the rest of the world. Well, wouldn't it be nice if certain sections of the media got a grip on some basic about how things really work.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • dyan campbell,

    Wait! Danielle has wheels???

    I'm jealous too, I never even got that pony Russell said everyone was going to get.

    auckland • Since Dec 2006 • 595 posts Report Reply

  • tussock,

    Craig, that newsweek stuff's great (but then, I'm high on all this hope nonsense, everything's great today)

    Heh. Palin's wardrobe was very much unauthorised, she just took herself on a party-paid-for spending spree. Thank the twelve gods that particular person is far from the white house and clearly facing wrath from some in the republican party. She's going to be fun for the media folk for a while yet, especially if she appoints herself senator.


    <sigh> My old man used to tell me about how the US lead the world for the better, but I've never seen it. This president could potentially mobilise the people and their government to do some genuinely good things. Shit, if he gets them all basic primary health care it'd be amazing, but he seems just the sort to talk the people out of a catastrophic economic recession too, and he wants to join Kyoto and cut emissions, and get out of Iraq in much less than 100 years.

    After Reagan, Bush, the Clinton show, and Rove's mouthpiece, this president makes me hope the US could become significantly less evil and make the world a better place thereby. With apologies to the citizens of Afghanistan, who won't be so lucky.

    Since Nov 2006 • 607 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    @Russell

    So ...Well friggin' make some sort of argument instead of being all passive-aggressive and snotty about everyone else here.

    It didn't start there, it started a little earlier, on page 40; I suggested there seemed to be more celebration in NZ over the election of a black president than there ever was over the election of a female PM in NZ, leafing through to, there are US drones in NZ who'd do better focusing hard on the solutions being offered by the major parties this election, point made by the guys chanting at Key "the world is voting left" in Chch today. a point which Craig later backed up.

    Danielle jumped on me for calling them brainwashed

    Giovani called it wank, said i was ridiculing the people who got the vote.

    Joe called me a racist despite 'congratulations to the Obama campaign'

    then Stephen (I'm not talking to you again) Judd jumped in three months after saying just that. telling me I'm looking for a fight.

    They don't constitute everyone here, they could if you wanted them to. Certainly take sides if your loyalties require Russell.
    i mean whatever suits you.
    even after you post, I'm still getting digs like

    "might be something like 'because you're a total bitch on wheels'. Hee!"

    but of my point;

    "the world is voting left"
    "the world is voting left"
    "the world is voting left"

    sounding like US drones.
    stands
    taller
    than all the vented aggression i've dealt with today.
    from the 4=everyone.

    Sarkozy and Merkel would surely agree.

    thank you to Craig, Ben Wilson, Steve Parks, Eleanor, Che, Bob Hosking et al who were patient enough to endure me today.

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    thank you to Craig, Ben Wilson, Steve Parks, Eleanor, Che, Bob Hosking et al who were patient enough to endure me today.

    Hey, I'm pretty glad people have been putting up with my sleep-deprived scatty witterings...

    Craig, that newsweek stuff's great (but then, I'm high on all this hope nonsense, everything's great today)

    Nah, hope is not "nonsense". But you know what I find encouraging about Obama -- not his race, but that he really seems to get the truth in the observation that you campaign in poetry (and he sure can bring that) but you have to govern in prose and magical thinking just isn't going to cut it.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Heh. Palin's wardrobe was very much unauthorised, she just took herself on a party-paid-for spending spree. Thank the twelve gods that particular person is far from the white house and clearly facing wrath from some in the republican party. She's going to be fun for the media folk for a while yet, especially if she appoints herself senator.

    And how... One thing I'm really looking forward to seeing in Newsweek's inside the campaigns issue is an answer to the question "WTF were you people thinking when you picked Palin?" It's become something of cliché that Palin "energised the base" and turned off everyone else, but that's not quite true. IMO, that call was the tipping point where a lot of people like me just felt McCain destroyed the whole experience/judgement argument that was the closest thing he had to a convincing argument for the White House.

    As I said at the time, if he was serious about having a woman on the ticket there were other credible alternatives -- but the theo-cons have their Caribou Barbie, and they're welcome to her.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Jackie Clark,

    One thing I'm really looking forward to seeing in Newsweek's inside the campaigns issue is an answer to the question "WTF were you people thinking when you picked Palin?"

    I too wonder this. I'd be watching some commentary or other over the last wee while, and hear her speaking.....or was that Tina Fey?

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3136 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And am I the only person who is hoping Obama's pick for White House Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel, decides to stay on Capitol Hill? Because the guy really seems to have... well, __serious__ Mallard-like anger issues:

    The best Rahm Emanuel story is not the one about the decomposing two-and-a-half-foot fish he sent to a pollster who displeased him. It is not about the time - the many times - that he hung up on political contributors in a Chicago mayor's race, saying he was embarrassed to accept their $5,000 checks because they were $25,000 kind of guys. No, the definitive Rahm Emanuel story takes place in Little Rock, Ark., in the heady days after Bill Clinton was first elected President.

    It was there that Emanuel, then Clinton's chief fund-raiser, repaired with George Stephanopoulos, Mandy Grunwald and other aides to Doe's, the campaign hangout. Revenge was heavy in the air as the group discussed the enemies - Democrats, Republicans, members of the press - who wronged them during the 1992 campaign. Clifford Jackson, the ex-friend of the President and peddler of the Clinton draft-dodging stories, was high on the list. So was William Donald Schaefer, then the Governor of Maryland and a Democrat who endorsed George Bush. Nathan Landow, the fund-raiser who backed the candidacy of Paul Tsongas, made it, too.

    Suddenly Emanuel grabbed his steak knife and, as those who were there remember it, shouted out the name of another enemy, lifted the knife, then brought it down with full force into the table.

    ''Dead!'' he screamed.

    The group immediately joined in the cathartic release: ''Nat Landow! Dead! Cliff Jackson! Dead! Bill Schaefer! Dead!''

    Does Obama really want to bring the endless Clinton psychodramatics back? Emanuel is a great, if unsavoury, Capitol Hill shit-kicker but why not leave him there, and get serious about really changing the tone in the White House, rather than appointing a CoS who is more Tory Foster than Leo McGarry.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

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