Tim Watkin has a good point at The Pundit: it would have been great if a marae had offered to host them.
Tim and I had some perfectly civil Twitter back and forth (and of course, nobody has crowned me Queen of The Maori Borg so marae will do whatever the hell they please) but REALLY?
As I pointed out to Tim, "Grace, generosity and robust debate" is all well and good. But let's get really real about who gets landed with the burden of carrying those conversations and spread the load more evenly. Why the hell should Maori or Pasifika be exhorted to (in this case literally) give room to people who couldn't make their utter contempt and disrespect for them more clear?
Totally brutal. Why did Obama put him up for promotion if there was a negative IG report?
Yeah, this is the spin cycle the usual suspects on the right are pushing hard. But you know what, if any of this shit was happening under Obama's roof then shame on him -- even if the White House Medical Unit is a tiny, modestly budgeted and uncontroversial corner of White House operations.
That doesn't explain how the Trump Administration failed to do basic vetting on any nominee to oversee a vast, complex and deeply troubled federal agency with 380,000 employees and a budget of $US 180 billion a year. It's not just Jackson either. You've got the likes of Ben Carson and Betsy De Vos who go the Hill and fumble softball questions about the operation of their own departments.
Trump seems to lack a moral compass from our perspective, but so what?
Jesus... Don't you find the chic, glib nihilism exhausting? Yeah, it does actually matter that people in high public office not only have a moral compass but some kind of functional relationship with reality, a grasp of what their job entails and some regard for the truth.
I mean, Giuliani yesterday doubled down on his claim that Hillary Clinton was nowhere to be seen at Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks. There are not only hundreds of pictures of her there, there are multiple pictures of her there with Giuliani.
Sure, but here's the thing. I think the media can wring their hands all they like, but why wouldn't Trumpets lies their arses off, double down, then pivot to a whole new lie like 1984 On Ice when there's never any meaningful consequences - like being deleted from every booker's contact list?
Seriously. Here's a CNN host finally losing his shit at a Trump shill for lying to his face. But he was right back on air the next day, so I don't know why anyone bothers.
See also the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers with their tribe of assorted shills and hacks all ready to leap into action every time they discover a new way to label something as government waste.
I'm sorry folks, but how about we turn just a bit of this righteous ire into the nearest mirror.
Because if you voted for a Councillor, local board member or Mayor who swore blind they'd "keep rates rises under control" then got strategically vague about how the fuck that was going to happen?
Congratulations, you voted for all the failing infrastructure you've got with much more to come.
I'm not sorry if that sounds harsh - and it's totally fair to say it's not helped by media outlets like The Herald that were more interested in slut-shaming Len Brown out of office that any serious, sustained reporting on infrastructure underfunding in Auckland.
But I think the quality of the comms is going to be spectacularly beside the point if the water coming out of Auckland's taps starts making people sick -- in no small part due to sub-standard monitoring and plant maintenance. Think that can't happen here? The residents of Havelock North might beg to differ.
I’ve noticed even people in parliament using that unfortunate linkage between pay packages and quality of thought.
Sorry for the derail, but I'm genuinely mortified if that's how I came across. "Not speaking above my pay grade" is just an idiom -- which IIRC, came from the US military -- about not speaking above your level of experience and expertise. And yes, when it comes to abortion law reform in New Zealand, I'm perfectly happy to defer to women like Dame Margaret Sparrow who were on the front lines of activism quite literally before I was conceived.
On the bright side, if the population gets it right, it's much more of a mandate than a mere law change at the behest of a government whose legitimacy is (completely wrongfully) being challenged.
No, no and fucking no - pardon my French. Guess what, there's always going to be people challenging the "legitimacy" of any Government and they're always wrong. And you know why? Because nobody has ever shown me the receipts for massive and systemic electoral fraud that would cast any election result into doubt.
And here's another observation I'd like to make. You know another area of public health law where the politics is a minefield and the status quo is a hot mess that isn't working for anyone? (As many folks who've been thinking about the topic well above my pay grade have been saying for decades.)
Abortion law reform.
That's not being thrown open to a glorified opinion poll.
And it shouldn't.
Ardern and her Government are going to have to buckle down and make good on a lot of promises the Prime Minister unambiguously made on the campaign trail. And whatever bloody happens there, it's no less "legitimate" because it hasn't been kicked into touch with an ultimately meaningless plebiscite.
Sorry for being a broken record here, but it matters.
We elect a legislature to legislate.
And whether you like it or not, (plenty of people don't, and I used to be one of them) I thought a major reason for changing our electoral system was so Parliament wasn't just a glorified rubber stamp for the Government of the day.
A lot of people seem to regard referendums as an imposition or even an insult.
Sign me up with those people -- because last time I looked, a few weeks ago we held a free, fair and credible general election to elect a legislature to legislate.
So, yeah, I thought non-binding poorly-framed opinion polls were bullshit when it came to the flag or when our freshly minted Deputy Prime Minister wanted marriage equality ratified by a plebiscite. (Which is working so damn well for our Anzac cousins, ay?)
If this Government actually believes it is time for drug law reform then they should sit the fuck down, thrash out legislation and put it on the order paper with a full debate at every stage and a robust select committee process with an extended public submission period and public hearings.
Otherwise, I think it's perfectly fair to start asking the Prime Minister why "Let's do this" changed so quickly to "Let's outsource this."
Why don't we all cut the bullshit and just say the major block on any Teal Coalition is that the other grand coalition would be the grassroots of both parties uniting to burn the motherfucker down?
Credit to Jesse Mulligan for keeping a straight face. The audience couldn't.
Really, I thought they were giggling at Bolger not having Mulligan trying to coalition-splain his arse.
Which was clearly a decision, and maybe inevitable. She was money.
Sure, but it still feels like there was two campaigns going on -- and if Little had been rolled a month or two eariler, the joins might not have been quite so obvious.
but he was terrible in debates and poor in media in general during the campaign.[...] Being a deputy leader in a campaign is a different skillset.
Indeed, and even being a deputy leader in Parliament and on the campaign trail aren't quite the same things. Davis has done plenty of good work on Corrections policy, but he was also the point man for throwing shit at enemies within and without. Which is fine as far as it goes, but (to take one example) he and Paula Bennett used to do this panel thing on the AM Show. Often, it was just embarrassing (and a tad creepy) watching him be incredibly condescending to Bennett as she laughed iin his face.