Hard News by Russell Brown


Some Monday Things

Anyone wondering what to think about Rodney Hide's plans for central government to cap local body rates might be well advised to look to Proposition 13, the rate-capping referendum question that wrecked the finances and the infrastructure of California.

The mechanisms are not the same, but the central characteristic -- gimmickry -- is. As the case with sentencing law, such gimmickry tends to be framed so as to separate the proposal from its unintended consequences

Moving on, don't you think Clark and Cullen would have been ripped to shreds if they'd been as far off-message with each other as Key and English are with respect to economic recovery? Or even the cycleway?

Nonetheless, the public still seems inclined to let them carry on. And people will start to mutter if Phil Goff can't get out of single figures as preferred Prime Minister …

Chris Rattue scorns the idea -- reported as something like a done deal in the Star Times -- of the Warriors moving their home base to Eden Park. Me too. Mt Smart Stadium works: it's near the club's fan base, it's perfectly-sized and it's a dream to get in and out of. Eden Park is packed around with small, suburban streets and the homes of people who, frankly, didn't sign on for twice as many game days every winter. Perhaps we should have ordered up that waterfront stadium after all.

And if Mt Smart was to be levelled, wherefore the Big Day Out? I can't think of another suitable venue.


Had, in some parallel world, Sarah Palin entered the office of vice-president, things would have been mighty entertaining about now.

First there's another, albeit minor, ethics investigation. The knives are out in the state Republican Party.

Meanwhile, the shotgun she used to bring together her pregnant daughter and the father of the baby Levi Johnston appears to be out of shells, and now Levi is off the scene and doing the talk shows, telling the nation that Bristol's mom knew they were screwing -- in the family home! Happily, having been recently arrested on six felony drug charges did not rule out Levi's mom, Sherry, from accompanying him on the Tyra Banks show. Awesome.

Bristol will now, allegedly, focus on "advocating abstinence".

Then there's Todd's sister, Diana Palin, who has been arrested after allegedly breaking into the same house twice to steal money for drugs.

See? Just some normal American families ...

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