Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Another Big Day

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  • Craig Ranapia,

    Kyle:

    That's vile. Please leave your c.v. and full contact details at reception on your way out. :)

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

  • Russell Brown,

    Lessig was impressed by Obama’s commitment to open systems — for example, his support of machine-readable government information standards that allow citizens’ groups to monitor what our government is up to..

    Yes, I thought the Lessig thing was very interesting. I think that's an endorsement that's worth a few geek votes.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Kyle, cleaning shit up for four years could very well land them another 4 years, if they succeed in doing it.

    I don't buy that the monetary cost of pulling out of Iraq is a blocker, since it has to happen at some point. It's the political cost of the US basically having to admit they cocked up. Which would only really happen if Iraq got worse afterwards. Given how totally fucked the place is right now, it's hard to imagine it getting much worse. If the US paid reparations (ho ho), it might even begin to recover.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10657 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Hey - Triangle Stratos is broadcasting Super Tuesday via a live feed from Al Jazeera English. I can see flicking between that and Fox might be fun ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • hamishm,

    I'm impressed with Michelle Obama, too. How can a family handle that much rhetorical flair? P

    Very true, Rob. She is the best thing in American politics for as long as I can remember.

    Since Nov 2006 • 357 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    If the US paid reparations (ho ho), it might even begin to recover.

    Perhaps if everyone started turning those aid pledges into actual money... but I guess that would involve less smug moral superiority and a little action.

    <blockquote> Nearly five years after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, allied countries have paid 16% of what they pledged to help rebuild the war-torn country, according to a report scheduled for release today.

    Foreign countries have spent about $2.5 billion of the more than $15.8 billion they pledged during and after an October 2003 conference in Madrid, according to a new report by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction.

    The biggest shortfalls in pledges by 41 donor countries are from Iraq's oil-rich neighbors and U.S. allies: Saudi Arabia spent $17.4% and Kuwait 27% of the $500 million each had pledged more than four years ago, according to a separate report released last month by Congress' Government Accountability Office.</blockquote>

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

  • Neil Morrison,

    ...but I guess that would involve less smug moral superiority and a little action.

    Joschka Fischer has a similar view.

    Bush is reponsible for quite a lot of the bad feeling but that plays out against a backdrop of a bit of bad faith within the international commnuity over the US role in world affairs that predates Bush.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Bush is reponsible for quite a lot of the bad feeling but that plays out against a backdrop of a bit of bad faith within the international commnuity over the US role in world affairs that predates Bush.

    Indeed - this isn't about not fronting up with a $5 Telethon pledge. (Showing my age there...) These were not pledges made to the Chimpy McBushitler Presidential Library Foundation, but the people of Iraq. Or should just come clean and admit they're fundamentally irrelevant?

    Anyway, to cheer things up (or not depending on your POV) the first Three/TNS poll of the year is Super Sucky Tuesday for Clark and Labour. In her position, I'd prefer having the whole Harawira clan up in my grill...

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

  • Joe Wylie,

    :

    Building a library seems to the ex-presidential equivalent of the mid-life crisis Lamborghini -- all good judgment, especially fiscal, goes down the crapper at warp 10.

    http://www.naufrageur.com/articles/clintin/bill_couv4.htm

    flat earth • Since Jan 2007 • 4593 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    Sure you've all seen it already, but electoral compass asks your opinion on various topics and tells you which candidate is closest to your position.

    Well, well well - I just tried it out and it seems I'm closer to Obama than Edwards (who was my preferred candidate until he pulled out) - Obama scores more progressive than Edwards, with Edwards being slightly more economically left - I was more extreme than either of them (naturally), but still, I'm a better fit with Obama. Who knew?

    I'm hoping for an Obama win in enough states tomorrow to keep his momentum going. I'm not as rose-tinted as to think he'll make a clean sweep, but I'm definitely looking for him to keep on increasing his numbers.

    My problem with Hillary is mainly that she's just too divisive - too many people on both sides absolutely loathe her. I think if she were running as the Democratic nominee there'd be plenty of Repubs who would get out and vote just to vote against her, and I think she'd lose a bunch of independents as well. And the progressives on the left would mainly be holding their noses and voting for her.

    Anecdotal evidence shows that there are some Repubs towards the middle who find Obama rather appealing - particularly those who feel that the wingnuttery of the last 7+ years has destroyed "their" Republican party. While they would never in a million years vote for Hillary, they might just vote for Obama.

    While I don't think that Obama can govern on hope alone, I get the feeling that America really needs an inspirational candidate after the darkness of the Bush years. I find him a charismatic speaker, he ticks the right boxes for me in terms of his stance on the Iraq war (against it right from the start), and there does seem to be some decent substance behind the speechifying.

    I don't for a minute believe he will succeed in working with the opposition - I think the Repubs will do everything in their power to make that impossible - but I think he's the breath of fresh air that America needs.

    If I can't have Al Gore (why didn't you run, Al? You rock!) or John Edwards, I'm happy to "vote" for Obama - and if he picked Edwards for VP, I'd be even happier...

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 332 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    My problem with Hillary is mainly that she's just too divisive - too many people on both sides absolutely loathe her. I think if she were running as the Democratic nominee there'd be plenty of Repubs who would get out and vote just to vote against her, and I think she'd lose a bunch of independents as well. And the progressives on the left would mainly be holding their noses and voting for her.

    The thing is that the only people one hears the "HRC is divisve" argument from are Obama supporters. There is no evidence to show that the HRC would have such a motivating effect on Reps any more than Obama or any other Dem nominee would. But it is clearly a theme of the Obama campaign. (And I don't object - it's a rough game - but it's not necessarily true).

    But I do wonder why Obama supporters are so fond of this argument - it suggests a lack of faith in Obama's own message.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • webweaver,

    Well actually there is - assuming that you accept Zogby's polling results as representative of America as a whole - Zogby Poll: Half Say They Would Never Vote for Hillary Clinton for President (October 2007)

    The question was "Whom would you NEVER vote for for President of the U.S.?" - 50% said Hillary, 37% said Obama. There aren't complete details about whether voters were Republicans or Democrats, but here's what info there is:

    Opposition to Clinton among Democratic and Republican women revealed mirror opposite attitudes, the Zogby Interactive survey showed. While 83% of Republican women said they would never vote for her, just 17% said they could possibly cast a ballot for her. Among Democratic women, just 17% said they would never vote for Hillary, while 83% said they could.

    Democratic women appear smitten by former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois – just 11% said they could never vote for them for President.

    I could give you a big list of reasons why I don't like Hillary - I didn't include them earlier because my last post was getting too long as it was - but apart from the divisiveness issue, it's pretty simple.

    She's too right-wing for my tastes, and she voted for the War on Iraq - and crucially has refused to apologise for it or to admit that she might have made a mistake. That rules her out completely in my book.

    And of course the Obama supporters will bring up the "Hillary is divisive" issue - I mean, the Hillary supporters are hardly likely to raise it, are they?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 332 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And of course the Obama supporters will bring up the "Hillary is divisive" issue - I mean, the Hillary supporters are hardly likely to raise it, are they?

    Nope, but I still find it weird that anyone isn't asking the obvious follow-ups every time she raises the 'experience' meme. I also lost it earlier on a politics discussion list when an American asked, "Why do you have such a big problem with Clinton, when she's just like Margaret Thatcher". Oy... girlfriend, thou shalt not take Lady T's name is vain. :(

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

  • Karen Hester,

    My experience in Greenwich Village, 1st time voting in the US (as opposed to Wellington) -

    There were people outside of voting booths with signs for their candidates, trying to rope voters into conversation. Handmade "Hillary in the House 09!!!!" posters were plastered on the walls. Yeah, she's so urban.

    "There's only been one Republican here this morning" said the man at the section 41 voting table as I signed my name. "Someone saw a limo pull over and went "Republican!"" joked the woman as she led me to the booth with black plastic curtains.

    "Pull the lever all the way to the right, select your candidate, then pull the lever all the way back."

    Yep, I can do this.
    Or, maybe not. The machine is weird - huge old gray thing with heaps of empty space, small text, tiny little plastic levers and a two foot metal lever. All the Democratic candidates for the primary season were listed, past and present, so one could happily vote for Kucinovich or Edwards. They were labelled as President of the United States - huh? I don't think we're at that stage yet. Beneath some of the names there were heaps of delegates, also with levers. There were three sets of instructions, each varying slightly, in three different languages (so 9 sets total).

    I followed the instructions at the top - select ONE candidate, pull little lever, get 'x' next to their name, then pull big lever. But I could have voted for all the delegates beneath someone's name, or a mixture of delegates from different candidates. Hopefully voting for a specific candidate implies that you want all their delegates.

    If I had a strong opinion I'd have asked for help with the machine. But it had been difficult deciding, what with Hilary's huge support among swinging-voter Hispanics in swing States, and having seen Barack at Washington Sq give one of his inspirational speeches. My evangelical relatives hate the Clintons in a furious way, satan walking in the world etc, so it isn't just Obama supporters who note she's divisive. If I pulled the levers correctly, I went with OB, and if I didn't, I'm not fussed. I will now search out instructions on how to successfully use the beastly machines :)

    K.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 9 posts Report Reply

  • Robyn Gallagher,

    I followed the instructions at the top - select ONE candidate, pull little lever, get 'x' next to their name, then pull big lever.

    It all seems rather complicated - well done on figuring it out.

    Though, give me the orange felt pens of Aotearoa any day!

    Raglan • Since Nov 2006 • 1946 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Stevens,

    Why don't I care about Waitangi Day at all?

    It doesn't stir any emotions in my heart. I don't get moved by the history. It's just another day off in summer, which I do like.

    But it really doesn't register for me in the way that say, ANZAC Day does.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 230 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Though, give me the orange felt pens of Aotearoa any day!

    Didn't you get the memo, Robyn, we're all too thick to get 'one cross in column A (which indicates the local candidate you prefer) and/or one cross in column B' (which indicates the party you prefer). You don't have to mark both.' :)

    Hell, I wasn't a supporter of MMP, but the triennial howlings from the usual suspects about how it's too complicated for the peasants to grasp gets on my tits.

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

  • Michael Hogan,

    Cooler than Drugs! Insightful and hilarious, Bill Maher and a pollster named Frank Luntz: http://onegoodmove.org/1gm/1gmarchive/2008/02/cooler_than_dru.html
    it reallygives a feeling for how important this election is to the country.

    Waiheke Island • Since Nov 2006 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    "Why do you have such a big problem with Clinton, when she's just like Margaret Thatcher"

    Wow. The breadth of insult in that statement just takes my breath away.

    Hell, I wasn't a supporter of MMP, but the triennial howlings from the usual suspects about how it's too complicated for the peasants to grasp gets on my tits.

    I like to explain the Australian system to them, and then point out that Australians can manage that. Mostly.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This is interesting ...

    The Wall Street Journal political market, run in partnership with Intrade.com, shows the Democratic nomination race in a dead heat: Hillary Clinton is rated a 50% chance of eventually securing the nomination, to Obama's 49%. Notably, the chances of an Obama victory have risen from 40% only yesterday morning, likely buoyed by strong national polling which shows Mr. Obama drawing within striking distance of Mrs. Clinton. A key question is whether his upward trend will continue.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Surviving members of The Grateful Dead break for Obama.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22843 posts Report Reply

  • Michael Hogan,

    As a Deadhead from way back, this actually would influence my vote, believe it or not. Brilliant.

    Waiheke Island • Since Nov 2006 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • Terence Wood,

    There are surviving members of the Grateful Dead???

    Since Nov 2006 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Wow. The breadth of insult in that statement just takes my breath away.

    To Margaret Thatcher, certainly. Before anyone has a stroke, I'd recommend finding John Campbell's excellent (and even-handed) biography, and learn what its facing real institutional sexism in politics every step of the bloody way. Hillary Clinton doesn't have a clue.

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

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Interesting stuff on the US voting process. Is it just me or have other folk had problems with their encounters with US forms and procedures. I am thinking specifically of the green visa form New Zealanders have to fill out, to enter the country. I have a PhD but have problems with it every time--it just seems counter-intuitive to the usual process of form-filling.

    A word of advice--make sure your airline removes this green form when you depart the USA. On two occasions, they have failed to this for me and it led to all kinds of strife, as US Customs read an outdated visa an a sign that you have been an over-stayer and are truly an 'alien'.

    Still on an American theme, did anyone else see 'America's Most Hated Family' on ONE on Tuesday night? It left me kind of ambivalent as these terrible, terrible people were given much too much exposure. I wanted Thoureax to ask, 'So, what makes you any different from the Taliban or any other fundamentalist or absolutist group?'

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2560 posts Report Reply

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