Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Starting 2020 with a Bang

With some luck we may see something of Auckland's fireworks tonight, but I doubt it will be as spectacular as the annual Big Sandy Nightshoot near Wikeup in Arizona.


More interesting to me was the following stand at Big Sandy where - for a price - you get a turn controlling a Ball Turret from a B17/B24 bomber with the original twin 50Cal machine guns.


Oh well. Beloved wife and I will see in the 20's at a friend's place and abandon our house to the teenagers. If you think this is risky I can assure you that teenagers - at least the crowd we know of - are a very different bunch to what I was like and what I suspect most readers here were like. Online multi-player gaming around the TV seems to be the order of the day - and it's not even stuff like Halo or Dawn of War!

YOU GOTTA LARF

The BBC has reported here that police in Plymouth attending a 999 call-out to a pub were issued a ticket by a parking company ... no matter that it happened between 23.55 and 00.29 and no matter that police vehicles on emergency call-outs are exempt from parking charges.  

The charge was eighty five pounds reduced to fifty pounds if paid within 14 days.

When the Devon Police contacted the parking company to contest the charge they were told they would need to go through the formal appeal process if they wanted the charge waived.

The Police response was to tell the parking company that they would happily fill out the required paperwork but would they, in the interim, please not call 999 ... cops with a sense of humor ... but I'm sure some numpty will take offence.

FOCUSING ON THE REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF #13

One of our resident apologists for the CoL, a certain Mr Flake, urged me to focus on the really important stuff in my writings.   Who am I to disappoint soooooo ... given that 2019 was Labour's self styled 'Year of Delivery' I propose to look at what they promised vs what they have actually achieved.   #13 looks at seniors.

The Pledge ... “Seniors will be entitled to an annual free health and eye check as part of the new SuperGold Card.” ... source, Speech from the Throne.

The Reality ... with just sixteen hours to go in Labour's self styled year of delivery zip, zero, nothing.

Monday, December 30, 2019

A Final Cheer for Christmas 2019


Venezuela has been a slowly developing horror story for two decades now as Socialist policies of state ownership together with centralised command and control of the rest of the economy have slowly strangled it to death. And there was a decade of encroaching socialist policies preceding that, albeit with a lighter touch.

The country still has the highest rate of inflation in the world at about 15,000%, which is down from 1.5 million%, and about 4.5 million people have voted with their feet and left the dump. And as is always the case, the horror becomes a vortex where things get worse faster towards the end.

But the good news this Christmas is that the end point, the lowest dip in the curve, may have been reached, if the following televised comments from Maduro count for anything (he should have worn a Santa suit):
“I don’t see the process they call dollarization as bad,.... it can aid the recovery of the productive areas of the country and the functioning of the economy."
Venezuela's line up beside graffiti saying "Hunger"

Wait, what? Dollarization? Surely that can't mean the evil Yanqui dollar? From the same “foreign empire” that "has been waging economic war" against Venezuela for a decade now?


And surely not after boastful articles over the years about how they're going to adopt the Euro, like this 2018 piece from Putin's propaganda organ, Russia Today.




As an aside, a few years earlier large-brained mammal Robert Fisk was super-excited about the demise of the US dollar, with the Euro as the new global currency (CAUTION: Do not read that last if you have coffee near your keyboard).

Star-Struck on Google That article is just one more reason why I laugh every time I see No RightTurn in our "Blogroll Left" column announce the thrilling headline "NEW FISK".


My how the worm has turned:
"...It can help the recovery of the country, the spread of productive forces in the country, and the economy ... Thank God it exists
No, No, Mr Maduro! Thank the United States of America it exists.

America says "You're Welcome", Mr Maduro
It turns out that three things have forced the situation.

First, all those Venezuelans who have escaped to find work abroad are sending between $70 - $100 a month back to their families in Venezuela, and irrespective of where they are working that money is sent as US dollars. It amounts to about $US 3.5 billion per year, a huge sum for such an impoverished nation.

Secondly the government, facing empty shelves because of price controls, finally relented on taxing imports, which have thus surged. But again purchased only with US dollars, aided further by the government freeing the exchange rate.

Third, this flood of US currency has caused local business to start using only it for their transactions. Whether it's car mechanics, electricians or architects, they're charging in greenbacks, and the government has turned a blind eye to it.

But nobody who cares about people should be complaining. Things may be on the way up, assuming the idiots in charge don't try and revert to their old socialist ways. Christmas has come early and still limited, but now there is hope.

Ricardo Cusano, who is the president of Fedecamaras, Venezuela’s Chamber Of Commerce, probably summed it up best:
“The government had been unable to restart the economy any other way, so it’s doing what the people want.."
Yes, by giving into free enterprise and markets. And as for the Socialist government that's still in power:
... they have lost the ideological war."
As they always do - eventually - but only after yet another society is wrecked. Unfortunately the lesson seemingly has to be learned again and again and again, and even when it's learned it's only local, and for a few decades at best. The one Christmas present we don't get is a permanent loss by the socialists: another recession and they're right back in the picture.

Oh well, can't have everything. Sounds like Venezuela might have a good New Years as well for once: As Hans said "It's Christmas, Theo. It's the time of miracles. So be of good cheer..."

And now here's the Andrews Sisters singing Maduro's tune from 1944.



WITH FRIENDS LIKE THESE ...

Just love this piece from the left leaning The Daily Blog on Jacinda Ardern ... "To put it bluntly I think Jacinda has perfected the political art of sounding good while saying nothing of substance."

Who are we to disagree.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

THIS ONE FOR THE FLAKE

In one of his increasingly desperate attempts to disassemble the facts contained in my ongoing series on Labour's broken promises (don't worry old son, #13 coming your way shortly) our resident Defender of the Faith asked just what had Simon Bridges achieved since he became leader of the National Party.

Well, ignoring the obvious fact that the Opposition is the Opposition and not the Government one might point to team Bridges forcing the resignation of two Government ministers (Curran and Twyford); besting Labour in most of the opinion polls and right now positioning National with a 50/50 chance of consigning the coalition of the losers to the dustbin of history ... 45 years since the last one term government was given the heave-ho.

Twelve months ago the rhetoric about this being a one term government was more in hope than expectation.   Now, and any number of commentators are calling the race wide open all per courtesy of the failings of the Ardern administration and Bridges keeping his cool and hanging in there. 

Ho Ho Ho






























Florida Man arrested for handing out marijuana to strangers ‘because it was Christmas,' police say.








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THE TWELVE DAYS OF POLITICS

For what it is worth and acknowledging my clear political bias (albeit tempered by a certain degree of realism and a touch of the machiavellian) here are my political predictions for 2020.

#1     Jacinda Ardern to get married in a non church wedding (easy one).   Pulp women's magazines will go nuts.    Publicity money can't buy.

#2      A high profile Labour Party Minister to announce his (there arn't many hers) intention to quit politics at the election.
 
$3     The Supreme Court will reject Crimdotcons Appeal against his extradition only to see the Immigration Minister (Iain Lees-Galloway) decline to sign-off on the deportation order ... leaving us all to wonder why.

#4     Winston First will pull the plug on the coalition agreement mid year (but continue to offer the government confidence and supply) in a bid to distance his Party from Labour.

#5     This will result in a cabinet reshuffle with James Shaw joining the cabinet.   Julie Anne Genter will remain in the outer-ministry.

#6     National's  Matt King will win Northland with an increased majority.

#7     Winston First will not reach 5%.

#8     Labour's Damien O'Connor will lose his West Coast-Tasman seat (for the second time).

#9     Jamie Lee Ross will be hoping that his widely publicised mental health issues do not impact on his ability to utilize his Commercial Pilots License.   He'll need it after polling day. 

#10   ACT will come out of the election with two MPs.

#11   Labour's Adrian Rurawhe will lose his Te Tai Hauauru seat to a resurgent Maori Party.

#12   And the biggie.   Just who will form the next government?   I know who I want to see there but I'm not prepared to predict.   National will win more seats than Labour but which Party gets to sit on the treasury benches will depend on the size of the wasted vote.    A high wasted vote will favor National.   A low one Labour. 


Saturday, December 28, 2019

A heart warming Christmas story from long ago


The article actually had two or three such stories, focusing on the writer's kids talking to their great-grandfather a decade ago about what his Christmas had been like in the Great Depression.

Her husband had got a little annoyed with their kids seeming to be a little ungrateful about all their Christmas treats and presents, so had "assigned" them a project to ask the old guy ten questions about his experiences in early 30's America.
That afternoon, while the rest of the family was out, each kid took a turn calling Gramps to interview him, then they wrote up his answers. When we got back, both somberly read us their summaries — how when Gramps was their age, he received a Christmas stocking with an orange at the bottom and it was the only orange he got to eat all year, how he and his brother had to share a single present of a model car. “I hated Christmas,” Gramps told our daughter.
Ouch! I don't recall my parents having Depression Christmas's that were that bad, even if they did have other stories of being poor.

But it was the following part, almost an aside, that I picked up on:
After Saigon fell to communism in 1975, my parents fled here with their five children, ages 4-9, and our refugee family was sponsored by the Mount of Olives Lutheran Church in Phoenix. That first Christmas, church members rang the doorbell one night and brought in Christmas. All of Christmas — a tree they taught my siblings and me to decorate right then, presents to put under it, cookies and eggnog. In the middle of all this, the pastor's wife suddenly asked where my mom had gone. When we found her, she was in her bedroom crying. It scared me because she never used to cry. She just couldn't believe that people who looked absolutely nothing like us and who weren't connected to us by blood could be so kind. 
In my experience that's what most Americans are like.

FOCUSING ON THE REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF #12

One of our resident apologists for the CoL, a certain Mr Flake, urged me to focus on the really important stuff in my writings.   Who am I to disappoint soooooo ... given that 2019 was Labour's self styled 'Year of Delivery' I propose to look at what they promised vs what they have actually achieved.   #12 looks at water.

The Pledge ... “Commercial users who profit from bottling water and exporting it overseas will pay a royalty.” ... source, Speech from the Throne.

The Reality ... Zip, zero, nothing.   Populist dog whistling.  Perhaps the realisation that to do so would open up Pandora's Box by way of a Treaty claim has finally sunk in.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Deck The Halls with Chutzpah


You really do have to see it to believe it as four people recently conducted their own type of Christmas shopping in a Chicago store...


This was not some bad part of my old home town either. No, this was Marshalls - one of the iconic stores of the city - and in Lincoln Park, one of the more expensive hipster locales.

Theft - with Panache
The men simply walk past the check-out lines one-by-one with piles of winter coats. As you can see, the second thief in line has so many coats in his arms that he can barely see over the top of the stack.

The third guy shows real panache as he keeps his stash of about a dozen coats neatly arranged on their hangers while trundling out the doors.

But wait! There's more.

All of this was captured on phone video by a store "customer" and Facebook user named "Binky GZ", who clearly thought the whole thing was cool with comments such:
“They walked out this bitch with hella coats.”
"They [Marshalls] just got dey dumb ass got"
You can also briefly see a stunned store worker trailing along behind, seemingly helpless to do anything about it. And he is:
“These the boosters that gne beat yo ass if yu touch them"
Well yes.

But he's also helpless because as it turns out, Marshalls would not bother signing a complaint even if the store workers had called the police - which makes calling the cops a waste of time. And this is a standard policy now with most such stores in the Chicago area, especially the mall chain stores who are terrified of being the next Starbucks, guilty of racism. As one CPD cop noted:
Last week a unit responded to a H-and-M store in the South Loop when an employee, who saw a regular [shoplifting] crew in the store again stealing anything they could, called 911. Once on scene the officers observed the manager scolding the employee for calling the police as they were told by the store’s corporate headquarters that “H-and-M will no longer prosecute shoplifters because of prior incidents in the stores”.
And the cops are in the firing line as well. Responding opens up officers and taxpayers to potentially big payouts due to accidents, excessive force allegations and property damage claims.

Kim Foxx
If all this sounds insane you should understand that Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx,  after taking office, raised the felony threshold for theft from $300 to $1,000, instructing her attorneys to reject felony-level retail theft charges unless a person is accused of stealing more than $1,000 in merchandise at a single event and already had ten felony convictions.

So far this year, Foxx’s office has rejected 69% of Chicago police officers’ requests for felony retail theft charges, according to data released by her office. And that only applies to those situations where the store signed a complaint. As noted above, that increasingly does not happen in the Chicago area.

Is it any wonder that reports of shoplifting increased by 20% in 2019. And since those are only reports it's a fair bet that the increase in shoplifting itself is well above that figure.

I note that Chicago mayor, Lori Lightfoot recently fired the CPD Chief, Eddie Johnson. Unfortunately that wasn't for being a useless Chief of Police.

Turns out that he lied to her about an incident where a police patrol found him asleep at the wheel of his parked, but still-running car in the downtown area. Realising who they had, the cops that found him bucked the problem as far up the chain as possible that night, but the story still got out. After a couple of weeks of various fibs about medical conditions and pills it turned out that Eddie had been having a few with some mistress of his.

Lori Lightfoot
Eddie Johnson
Equally unfortunate is that Lightfoot has no similar power over Foxx, who is appointed at the State level. However, given her history on crime and punishment, it's doubtful if the mayor sees things much differently than Foxx.

I wonder how they'd do under the British programme for rehabilitating criminals: Learning Together? Although admittedly that's for criminals who've actually been convicted. The Chicago shoplifters are just laughing at the entire system of law and order.

The thing is that this is not just about such utilitarian factors as shoplifting and increases in such crime and potential losses of customers followed by loss of stores and the Detroitification of a city. It's about an overall attitude in a society. There have always been, and always will be, criminals - but when they become this blatant and unpunished how long can a society hold together?

FOCUSING ON THE REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF #11

One of our resident apologists for the CoL, a certain Mr Flake, urged me to focus on the really important stuff in my writings.   Who am I to disappoint soooooo ... given that this was Labour's self styled 'Year of Delivery' I propose to look at what they promised vs what they have actually achieved.   #11 looks at food banks.

The Pledge ... "The Government will ... lift incomes of families to reduce child poverty ..."  ... source, Speech from the Throne.

The Reality ... the number of food parcels given out in the first nine months of 2019 exceeded that for the whole of 2018 ... source, stuff.co.nz.   Sheesh ... these people are Labour's voting demographic.    Clearly Labour's failed them.

Friday's Fulminations

There is mild moderation.  Normal rules of blogger etiquette and courtesy to blog hosts will apply.with serious transgressors being thrown out.

Unfortunately our system does not allow your comments to show up in the blog post itself.  Just in the comments section.

Visitors might consider the wisdom of using moderate language.

Regards

Adolf

Thursday, December 26, 2019

AN INTERESTING XMAS PRESENT

Whisky (not that sweet, sickly Bourbon stuff) is my tipple of choice.   Preferably a good single malt on the rocks.   Irish whisky a close runner-up.     Our daughter knows nothing about whisky except the name so she thought she would surprise me with something different.    Here tiz .....


a bottle of India's finest 42.2% proof.   Distilled by Radico Khaitan Ltd, Rampur, Uttar Pradesh for overseas export only ... what does that mean?    Unfit for consumption in India?    The mind boggles.

Think I'll keep it for a day when I'm feeling really down and ready to throw caution to the wind. 


WHO TO REPLACE THE NICE MR CORBYN

Some readers may recall I had the temerity to suggest to my old friend Lord Egbut that a Corbyn led Labour Party was an accident waiting to happen.    My titled friend disagreed.   At that time he saw Corbyn as the best thing since sliced bread.   I ventured to suggest that Dan Jarvis, MP for Barnsley Central and Mayor of Sheffield City, would be a much better leader then Corbyn. 

It is reported that Jarvis is considering entering the race to replace Corbyn.   As it happens I know him slightly.   He was a classmate of our son at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Parachute Regiment.    He served operational tours in Northern Ireland, Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan and was decorated with the MBE.    He later gained a Masters in Conflict, Security and Development from King's' College London.    By any measure he is a moderate; by any measure he has been there and done that.    He is a leader of men and prepared to front issues front and center.  

I wish him well although I fear my endorsement will not sit well with the thugs behind Momentum which controls the Labour Party machine. 

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas

and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to all our readers.



(We sang these in our Christmas concert.)

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Straight, No Chaser at Christmas

Well stuff all this politics nonsense on Christmas Eve.

Being it's the big Polish day of feasting and celebration, I have to get busy!
😳

Here's a mens a cappella group, Straight No Chaser, singing their version of The Twelve Days of Christmas.

They were formed in the mid-90's at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

I hope you all have a great Christmas and New Year - and be careful if you're on our roads at this time.

Enjoy these musically clever buggers.



FOCUSING ON THE REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF #10

One of our resident apologists for the CoL, a certain Mr Flake, urged me to focus on the really important stuff in my writings.   Who am I to disappoint soooooo ... given that this was Labour's self styled 'Year of Delivery' I propose to look at what they promised vs what they have actually achieved.   #10 looks at foreigners.

The Pledge ... "A comprehensive register of foreign-owned land and housing will be created." ... source, Speech from the Throne.

The Reality ... a deathly silence.   Zero, zip, nothing.

In the spirit of Xmas and knowing how emotionally draining these posts are for the Snowflakes of this word Focusing on the Really Important Stuff is taking a break and will resume after Boxing Day.    Merry Xmas to all.

Monday, December 23, 2019

FOCUSING ON THE REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF #9

One of our resident apologists for the CoL, a certain Mr Flake, urged me to focus on the really important stuff in my writings.   Who am I to disappoint soooooo ... given that this was Labour's self styled 'Year of Delivery' I propose to look at what they promised vs what they have actually achieved.   #9 looks at renters.

The Pledge ...  "This government will make life better for renters. A ‘Rent to Own’ scheme will be developed." ... source, Speech from the Throne.

The Reality ... gone AWOL.

FOCUSING ON THE REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF #8

One of our resident apologists for the CoL, a certain Mr Flake, urged me to focus on the really important stuff in my writings.   Who am I to disappoint soooooo ... given that this was Labour's self styled 'Year of Delivery' I propose to look at what they promised vs what they have actually achieved.   #8 looks at youth suicide.

The Pledge ... "This government will increase resources for frontline health workers and will put more nurses in schools to make it easier for young people and others with mental health problems to get the help they need. Free counselling will be available for those under 25." ... source, Speech from the Throne.

The Reality ... A pilot giving free counselling for 18-25 year olds was announced in 2018, it hasn’t been universally rolled out (and the announcement was just a commitment to tendering out a contract).    Source ... stuff.co.nz


Sunday, December 22, 2019

The Great Impeachment - Nancy's Strategy and Problems

Old Woman screams at Clouds
It's all too easy to get caught up in the Social Media wars between Trump and his enemies where it's 24/7 flame-throwing. So I wanted to wait a while for things to develop on two fronts: The Great Impeachment, and the report from the FBI Inspector General on the Great Russia Collusion Hoax, which is going to need a separate OP treatment.

For that matter the Impeachment thing has so many strings to it that it's hard to cover in one hit, so I'm going to split this up into three OP's:
  • An overview of Democrat strategy and problems
  • The stages and tactics at each stage
  • The arguments
Democrat Drivers and Strategy
The whole exercise has seen Pelosi involved in not one but four balancing acts over the last two 
years.



First, she's been trying to keep the Far Left of the Democrats engaged with rage so they'll be good little foot soldiers and voters in the 2020 election - while also not burning off the “moderates”. There's no major wars, recessions or social issues outside of the usual grumblings and worries about the Supreme Court, and also no big ticket policy to fight for yet.


Second, trying to keep together the House and Senate Democrats, who have different risk exposures to the GOP and Democrat partisans.
Third, and related to the first two, getting her party to beat Trump in 2020 whilst not being a candidate herself in the next election cycle. As House Leader she would normally be taking a step back at this stage and leaving it to the campaigns of her Party's nominees. The trouble is those nominees look increasingly hopeless, so Pelosi has had to step out on the wire with them and use the House to damage Trump.

Fourth, she's trying to get things done in Congress so that Trump can’t run a Harry Truman “do-nothing Congress” campaign, while at the same time stopping Trump taking credit for things he has pushed, while also pushing impeachment.


Democrat Problems
First are the ones arising naturally from her four balancing acts.

The "moderate Democrats" and their "purple" districts are why she downplayed impeachment during the 2018 election campaign. Having lived through the 1998 impeachment she’s always known how this could hurt her party as it hurt the GOP when they had a swing against them and lost House seats, though not the House or Senate. The GOP have already begun pouring a lot of money into attack adverts in those swing districts won by Democrats in 2018. That's already raised Democrat concerns and the attacks will only increase from here. It could be a repeat of the "Blue Dog" debacle of 2010.

And enraging your own voter base is a double-edged sword here. Impeachment might end up actually helping Trump by enraging his base to the point where they'd crawl across broken glass to vote for him, as well as getting independents to sympathise.

The same problems apply in the Senate, though to a less intense degree. But so far there's nothing that could be weaponised against GOP Senators voting down impeachment, beyond the usual Trump-hatred / you must-be-ashamed-and-guilty tactics that failed so badly in 2016.

With regard to the Democrat 2020 nomination, the timing is awful. Centrist Dems want to go slow in order to show right-leaning and independent voters in their home districts that they’re taking this seriously and not rushing to conclusions about Trump. But even aside from endless hearings and news sucking the oxygen away from the Democrat nominee debates there's the god-awful spectacle of having several candidates forced to vacate the campaign trail to sit silently through the Senate trial from January to March while their primaries are happening. It was for this reason that way back in September there came this quote:
“Very few hearings, if any,” said a senior Democratic aide, who said the coming investigative work will largely take place in closed-door interviews. 
The flip side being that if the hearings are rushed you're not only going to look like a kangaroo court to swing voters but also end up with a weak case to take to the Senate. There's actually no good solution here for Pelosi.

In terms of House work, a classic example of Pelosi's dilemma is the new US-Mexico-Canada-Trade Act (USMCA), which even the Democrats have no problem with but which Nancy has sat on for months. It will look like a big win for Trump, who was the one who pushed hard for a revamp of NAFTA. But not passing it, and other items, will make the Democrats look like they're obsessive about impeaching Trump - which they are of course, but they can't admit that to non-partisan voters.

As if those were not enough Pelosi has many other big problems.

The biggest being the incredible weakness of the Ukraine charges. It had long been expected that impeachment would key off the Mueller investigation's two years of work, supposedly with huge amounts of evidence as well as the spun-off prosecutions of Trump associates, even if none of them were for Russia-collusion "charges". It was can't miss stuff.

But with that having died a public death the Democrats were desperate to find something else - which is when the "whistle blower" turned up with tales of dirty deeds by Trump with regard to Ukraine in a phone call. However when Trump simply released the transcript a lot of the air went out of the charges immediately. This was not how he was expected to react; the Democrats had thought he'd go for Executive Privilege and keep the contents secret, enabling them to spend months talking about what secrets he was hiding and cover-ups. When anybody could read the transcript and draw their own conclusions the Democrats were reduced from simple assertions to argument, which they're not good at, especially when they had to throw them together in just weeks.



Moreover the weaker the case the easier it would be for Cocaine Mitch to just turf the thing the moment it arrives in the Senate. 

Trump is absolutely gagging for a trial and a fight: he lives for this shit, as the Babylon Bee so accurately captured

But McConnell will be as keen as Pelosi to get this behind them and move on to the election.






Then there is the hyper-partisanship of the entire nation. Appeals to Good Will, the Rule of Law and all that are simply falling flat in the face of two largish groups of voters who don't believe that their opponents believe in any of that. It's political warfare down to the last, unbroken bone, pure and simple. Impeachment has to be bi-partisan to have any impact  - right Mr Nadler, Ms Pelosi, et al....?

1998 vs. 2019 Impeachment Mashup
"The Republicans in the House are paralysed with hatred. Until the Republicans free themselves of this hatred, our country will suffer" - Nancy Pelosi, 1998. 
“There must never be a narrowly voted impeachment or an impeachment supported by one of our major political parties and opposed by the other. Such an impeachment will produce the divisiveness and bitterness in our politics for years to come and will call into question the very legitimacy of our political institutions.” - Jerry Nadler, 1998
Chuckle! Politicians eh? I can see the crocodile tears from here.


Minneapolis Star Tribune, Dec 14, 2019
There's also the general disengagement of the voting public from this shitstorm,  probably because there's nothing there as catchy as Nixon's secret Whitehouse tapes and because this looks like just another lump in the three year old soup of Trump-Hate.  It's just not registering despite the MSM's best efforts at placing the news front and centre. Here's the Minneapolis Star Tribune "Most Read" items from just a few days ago.

And that's the final big problem that hurts the Democrats as they try to build the case with voters: the MSM is dead. In 1974 there were only four national broadcast channels and a few extra broadcast channels in local areas. If you tired of Days Of Our Lives or All My Children then endless hours of Impeachment testimony might tempt you. But nowadays such coverage is fighting against hundreds of cable and satellite TV channels, plus thousands of YouTube and Vimeo channels, Twitter pages, Facebook, etc, etc. And that's before we consider the incredibly low trust in the MSM that the public now evinces.

ATTN: Metaphor alert.


It's no wonder that the whole thing has made no headway with anybody but Democrat partisans.

A GOOD MOVE

I consider it a good decision by Anne Tolley to go List only next year in the expectation she would be appointed Speaker should National win the election.    The Speakers role is a time consuming one and if it is held by a constituency MP it is inevitable that his/her constituency work is curtailed to some degree.

While I note that, in our parliament, the Speaker exercises a deliberative vote it is important he/she should be seen as maintaining a degree of impartiality.   Currently Speakers attend their own Party caucuses.   I would argue they shouldn't.   Having the Speaker play an active role in his/her own caucus puts at risk (perception at least) the Speakers neutrality.  

You can also argue that the same rationale re List only should apply to both the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister-in-waiting.   

Interested in your reaction.


The Conundrum Facing Labour

On Friday 20 December 2019 the Gun Amnesty expired and any person owning an illegal firearm was immediately branded a criminal by Police Minister Nash who wants all of these former mostly law abiding people to be put in jail.

I do not know the exact numbers but have worked on the following formula as a rule of thumb:

Number of firearms said to be illegal at start of amnesty - 170,000 approx.
Number handed in up to 20 December 56,250 (from Police website 21/12/2019.
Therefore illegal firearms outstanding 114,000 approx.

Given that no one seems to know how many firearms are out there or how many individulas own or have possession of these 114,000 firearms and probably we never will for the purposes of this illustration let us say that each owner or possessor of said firearms has five. I will base the next calculation on 100,000 firearms still outstanding to keep things simple.

That means Nash wants to incarcerate 20,000 New Zealanders in jail.

Compare that action with the approach of Corrections Minister Davis and Justice Minister Little who both want to let criminals out of jail to roam the streets. Plus the need for new jails to accommodate these newly found criminals is going to completely bugger up Grant Robertsons $12billion of infrastructure spending - unless of course he has anticipated the need for a couple of new jails in his recent announcement.

Oh to be a fly on the wall at Cabinet sittings as this conundrum is debated.

FOCUSING ON THE REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF #7

One of our resident apologists for the CoL, a certain Mr Flake, urged me to focus on the really important stuff in my writings.   Who am I to disappoint soooooo ... given that this was Labour's self styled 'Year of Delivery' I propose to look at what they promised vs what they have actually achieved.   #7 looks at health.

The Pledge ... 'Free doctor visits will be extended to everyone under 14, with teen health checks for all Year 9 students.' ... source, Speech from the Throne.

The Reality ... Why are we waiting, why are we waiting, why are we waiting why, why, why (in this, St Jacinda's, Year of Delivery)? 

Ho Ho Ho














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