Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The next four years

423 Responses

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  • WH, in reply to Joe Wylie,

    Moore made much the same prediction for “President” Romney. Spooky.

    Ha – I hadn’t seen that. Still, as far as I know, Moore was the only person to say that Trump would target and win the blue wall states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin (together with Ohio) in 2016. Maybe there are others, but this was the state of the polling models as at 7 November.

    I wonder how James Comey will be remembered by history.

    Since Nov 2006 • 752 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    The VP-elect is not happy about Chelsea Manning's sentence being commuted by Obama. However ..

    When pressed on a possible prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who has said he might come to the United States, Pence said the U.S. would “bring to bear the law on his actions and hold him accountable.”

    But he did note that documents leaked by WikiLeaks during the election — and allegedly provided to the organization by Russian hackers — were “useful to many Americans.”

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19481 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Some more ethics news:

    The director of the Office of Government Ethics has requested that a private interview with House Oversight Committee leadership and staff be held in public, given “the significant public interest” in government ethics since Election Day.

    In a letter dated Monday, Shaub responded to House Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz’s (R-UT) request for him to meet with committee leadership and staff in response to the office's public statements, including a series of bizarre tweets Shaub’s office had sent urging President-elect Donald Trump to divest from his business interests.

    A day before Chaffetz sent Shaub the interview request, the OGE chief delivered a speech at the Brookings Institution that was harshly critical of Trump’s plan to separate himself from his businesses, calling it “wholly inadequate.”

    Shaub noted in his letter that over the weekend Chaffetz’s office had “modified your original request and proposed a private meeting with you and the Ranking Member and your respective staffs.”

    Damn right I'd want that meeting in public if I were him.

    Chaffetz has already said he won't go on a "fishing expedition" over President Trump's conflicts of interest.

    They seem pretty determined to enable corruption.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22403 posts Report Reply

  • Neil,

    Key was able to have a constructive relation with Obama on trade and defence. Clark could even work with someone like Bush.

    Trump is completely unknown territory. Unknown but probably predictable.

    If Valls becomes the next french president it might pay for us to shift focus given France's pacific commitments.

    Meanwhile, in the US the knives are still out for Clinton because the Dems created Trump or something:

    https://mobile.twitter.com/ggreenwald/status/821821046739308544

    Since Nov 2016 • 196 posts Report Reply

  • Jason Kemp,

    The day after the election I met up with a North Carolina voter who had voted Trump. I think his expectations of what a Trump presidency would look like are completely wrong and only time will tell but the signs of instability and randomness favouring the richest and most privileges are all there.

    Just this week I came across a a marketing strategy article which analysed Trumps election campaign along the lines of his strategy was to be politically incorrect.

    That allowed him to break all the rules and confound the pundits. When I think about those who don't like "politically correct" behaviour I see people who just don't respect people or rules. That is a core Trump constituency and it is misguided in the extreme.

    I liked Bryon Clark @byroncclark 's Chrome extension which replaces the words "politically correct" with the words "treating people with respect" it flips things around the way they should be.

    And just a few days ago I was pleasantly surprised when a crowdsourced survey into what makes a marriage ( & other long term relationships) work - respect.

    Practising respect and giving respect to others is the social glue that makes the world go round.

    It is no accident that Trump has latched on to being 'politically incorrect' as a strategy.

    I have read some research to say he is a psychopath. You say sociopath - whatever the reason - he has no empathy and fails the famous (Bladerunner) test for being human.

    Still processing all of this and hoping I am wrong. I have links for the 3 stories on my blog.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 355 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    When I think about those who don't like "politically correct" behaviour I see people who just don't respect people or rules.

    Yep #respect

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19481 posts Report Reply

  • hamishm,

    The things that is most frightening is his opportunity to stack the Supreme Court. If Ginsberg goes it's going to be a new Dark Ages.

    Since Nov 2006 • 357 posts Report Reply

  • andin,

    (and it is strictly relative: the poverty bar used by the World Bank is income of $US1.90 a day).

    It would have to be relative, who is living on that a day and where?

    The missteps that lead to now are easily recognizable, and litter our recent history like beacons of stupidity and greed. No one needed to have prophetic abilities to see them, but they were willfully ignored along the way. And the blame lies squarely on those at the top of our society pyramid. But a blame culture took over, its so easy to say its someone else's fault if one is higher up the food chain or stop your whinging. When that person/s have little or no means to speak out, and if they do are ignored, marginalized, made fun of. Or all of it.

    confound the pundits

    That was the easiest thing of all to do, it seems. Maybe they wont be so gullible in the future. Here's hoping.

    raglan • Since Mar 2007 • 1698 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    When I think about those who don’t like “politically correct” behaviour I see people who just don’t respect people or rules.

    Utter bullshit. Talking down to people who happen to disagree with you with comments like this are exactly the tone of contempt and condescension that got Trump elected.

    “Treating people with respect” starts with giving them some hope of a decent job and taking their concerns seriously. Why can’ t you just accept a lot of Americans have had a gutsful with their bullying progressive liberal middle class, a group they find basically indistinguishable from the salaried class of apparatchiks who act as the low level enablers and functionaries of global neoliberal capitalism?

    Hillary Clinton offered more of the same modern economic and social liberalism – in the form of neo-liberal managerialism and identity politics – that is nowadays completed discredited and exposed as an elitist scam. What progressives don’t seem to be able to grasp is that their elite contempt of the “racist"and “misogynist” ordinary Joe and their insistance on the primacy of utterly irrelevant identity politics means they they have become the last defenders of the neoliberal social and economic order in the public sphere.

    Trump won because he offered hope for change – any fucking change – from the existing order. That Trump (and Brexit) won should handily illustrate just how despised and electorally toxic the progressive prescription of modern economic and social liberalism is now in Western democracies. Progressive identity politics is a busted flush, a despised ideology that has seen the rise of right wing populism as its main legacy.

    I say should but they won’t. Instead we’ll get moral panics about fake news, or Russian hackers, or the alt-right, or how dreadfully racist hillbilly Americans are, or any other excuse that doesn’t involve a mirror.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2191 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Russell Brown,

    People I figured had some capacity for thought seem sort of excited about it, if anything.

    Yeah, this. There's a weird sort of mental gymnastics going on with various political establishment suits, commentators and other supposed thinking and engaged folk where they appear to have convinced themselves, and are now trying to convince everyone else, that the clouds on the horizon are probably just a shower, and anyway the crops need rain. Meanwhile everyone else is heading for the storm shelter and wondering if the levee is going to hold.

    Reasonable folk may disagree, etc, and (especially in politics) there's always been the 'well, I think you're misinformed or just not interpreting that correctly' factor, but just recently this seems to have shot up by orders of magnitude. I can't think of a time when I've felt like so many people are attempting to convince me that 2+2=5. I can't get my head around the levels of denialism required to not only just blatantly ignore parts of the same picture that we're both looking at, but to actually swear up and down that they simply don't exist at all, or show something completely different. It's like being told gravity doesn't exist after stepping off a high building.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2723 posts Report Reply

  • Kiwiiano, in reply to Tess Rooney,

    Isn't "Fox News" spelt "Faux News"?

    ChCh • Since Nov 2006 • 45 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Progressive identity politics is a busted flush, a despised ideology that has seen the rise of right wing populism as its main legacy.

    What utter bollocks.

    In the last eight years - and indeed for longer than that - American's thinking has been steadily becoming more progressive. The most marked move in public opinion is on same-sex marriage, the very core of "identity politics". This is why Trump couldn't, and didn't, win the popular vote.

    Talking down to people who happen to disagree with you with comments like this are exactly the tone of contempt and condescension that got Trump elected.

    Or, to paraphrase, your response to my abuse is the reason I abuse you.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4631 posts Report Reply

  • Lynn Yum,

    As far as I can see, in my little slice of New Zealand, Trump has no tangible effect on the politeness of everyday life. I just think it is the nature of text based communication that it dehumanises all parties. A sharp glance, a frowned brow or an ever so slightly raised voice is all it takes to stop a face-to-face conversation going off the rail. But signs like these are completely in pure textual communication. No emoji can replicate the genuine human touch.

    So there are things people won't say to each other face to face but they are perfectly happy to shout at each other via Twitter, or in internet forums. Trump can twit whatever crap that comes to his mind, but I remember when he actually said those crap in front of an audience, he was laughed at ("Nobody has more respect for women than I do"). Normal people in normal face-to-face conversation would have shut up right there and then.

    As we move our lives further and further into the internet, having stripped away all the nuance of communication granted to us through evolution (or God, or what have you), debate is bounded to get more uncivilised I reckon.

    Auckland • Since Dec 2016 • 38 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    Just this week I came across a a marketing strategy article which analysed Trumps election campaign along the lines of his strategy was to be politically incorrect.

    In other words, the Southern Strategy v2.0?

    And not yet mentioned is the Mexican border wall that Trump has threatened to bill Mexico for. What if in response, Mexico got cosy with China and agreed to host its missiles?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5376 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    progressive identity politics / class bigotry/ bullying progressive liberal middle class/ the hate that dare not speak its name

    Heh!

    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.nz/2017/01/the-hate-that-dare-not-speak-its-name.html

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 756 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov,

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2154 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to mark taslov,

    Whose eschatology is more farct . . . Trump’s or the ” Saviour’s” ?
    Tough call :-)

    Dead heat ?

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 756 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Tough question for 6:30am M. Green. Eschatology isn’t something I’m confident speculating on. i’ll defer to you, for now.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2154 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Lynn Yum,

    As we move our lives further and further into the internet, having stripped away all the nuances of communication granted to us through evolution (or God, or what have you), debate is bound to get more uncivilised I reckon.

    Free internet for all planetary citizens ! Yes!

    Divide and rule ; usually successful.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 756 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to mark taslov,

    Hey , the essence of eschatology is . . . speculation.
    You nailed it :-)

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 756 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Farmer Green,

    is . . . speculation

    Quite de rigueur, more instantly gratifying than cleaning up after ourselves.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2154 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    What utter bollocks.

    Have you looked at the scoreboard lately?

    In the last eight years – and indeed for longer than that – American’s thinking has been steadily becoming more progressive.

    Most people don’t give a shit about you or me or what we do, as long as we are civil to each other and polite in public – a simple enough something that a lot of progressive liberals struggle to manage. They certainly don’t regard what you and they are rather than who you and they are as vitally important in the polling booth. Trump’s victory surely showed that railing about identity politics gets you nowhere if the other guy is promising a new factory with decent jobs and to kick out all the immigrants who have been depressing wages.

    It is ridiculous that a black female university lecturer in New York on 120K can claim she is oppressed by an angry “racist” white male unemployed factory worker in backswoods Virginia, but that is exactly the sort of toxic inverted reality identity politics has created and it is exactly that sort of politics that has been utterly rejected everywhere in recent elections. Liberal elites prattling about progressive issues has zero electoral cut though now – the 90s third way alliance is dead and buried. Deal with it.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2191 posts Report Reply

  • David Hood, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    It is ridiculous that a black female university lecturer in New York on 120K can claim she is oppressed by an angry “racist” white male unemployed factory worker in backswoods Virginia

    Does the ridiculousness of the claim lie in it being an example that the entire statement is a straw man appeal to divisiveness that does not represent the strength of voting coalitions?

    Winning a third term is hard in the US. Clinton was less unpopular than Trump. The polls, based on a state level, were closer than most media could numerically understand. Close enough that the poll changes associated with the FBI announcing they were investigating Clinton while remaining silent on the now known Trump investigation was enough to shift the numbers, as were many other events had the election happened at that moment.

    The republican vote is just as identity politics. The Clinton coalition was not identical to the Obama one, and the next Democratic coalition will not be identical to the current one. Just like the Republicans.

    Dunedin • Since May 2007 • 1443 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 756 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    a lot of Americans have had a gutsful with their bullying progressive liberal middle class

    Um, the middle class are the people who voted for Trump, not poor 'hillbillies' - and for cultural rather than economic reasons. Fear of whiteness no longer being the trump card that it once was. Unresolved feelings about slavery. Etc. Links published hereabouts right after the election.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19481 posts Report Reply

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