No Minister

Concrete Planning

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There have been many reports over the last few years about China’s “ghost” cities, monuments to China’s vast consumption of concrete and steel over the last decade as it indulged in a Keynesian effort to reduce the fallout of the GFC to its national economy.

China’s massive spend up certainly made a lot of other countries like Australia very happy as they exported iron ore and other basic commodities to the Chinese economy. It certainly helped them move out of the shadow of the GFC.

But the problem with all of this was always the hobgoblin of statists everywhere and for all time; the mismatch between what central planners thought the economy needed and actual economic demand from the people who make up an economy.

Those ghosts cities remained empty of people as the years ticked by. So we come to the inevitable:

Fifteen skyscrapers that were part of the Liyang Star City Phase II Project just demolished after sitting unfinished for eight years due to no market demand.

I note that one of the buildings remains leaning at an angle. All of this should be a stark reminder that China is not the all-enveloping economic beast that people expect it to be in the 21st century. It’s going to get old before it gets rich, and Xi Jinping is actually trying to force it back to a more communist approach to many things, including a bigger state role in planning.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 16, 2021 at 6:58 pm

Listen to The Greenies and The Frogs Squeal

with 21 comments

Australia has ditched its ridiculous contract with a French company for the construction of a fleet of obsolete diesel submarines, ready for service after the next war is lost. In a ground breaking decision, American designed NUCLEAR submarines will be built in Adelaide.

Australia will acquire at least eight nuclear-powered submarines in a once-in-a-generation decision that will deliver the nation unprecedented strike capability and require a significant boost to Defence spending.

The new nuclear boats will be delivered under a historic Defence technology partnership between Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom – called AUKUS – to meet rising Chinese strategic threats.

The submarines will cost more than the estimated $90 billion price tag for the now-cancelled French-designed Attack-class submarines.

Australian greenies are screaming.

French boat builders are moaning.

New Zealand is ignored. China can have the place.

Written by adolffinkensen

September 16, 2021 at 1:11 pm

Posted in Australia, Military

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Kudos to New York City

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Almost every large city in the USA that is controlled by the Democrat party is a disaster area in terms of economics, crime and just about every other factor you can think of.

So it’s nice to see one part of one of these cities that actually works.

The NYPD’s Counter Terrorism Unit.

It may come as a surprise to people that such a thing would exist down at a city level (or municipal level as the American’s would have it), but when you consider that some 50,000 people work for the NYPD you’re talking about a place as large as some small European nations, and certainly much larger than NZ.

The article is a fascinating look into the history of the unit, which of course was set up in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Why the city did not want to just rely on the Federal agencies like the FBI is a story in itself and the one problem I have with this article is that it does not explain.

But another article from January 2003 in the magazine New York, does, with the direct question, why not just rely on the Feds?:

When I ask Kelly this question, he looks at me long and hard. He is a man who knows his way around Washington. In addition to his time in the mid-nineties as undersecretary of the Treasury, he was head of the Customs Service. He also worked for Interpol and was a special State Department envoy in Haiti where he was sent to establish and train a police force.

“I knew we couldn’t rely on the federal government,” Kelly says finally. “I know it from my own experience. We’re doing all the things we’re doing because the federal government isn’t doing them. It’s not enough to say it’s their job if the job isn’t being done. Since 9/11, the federal government hasn’t taken any additional resources and put them here.”

Given the supposed focus on terrorism by the Federal government after 9/11 you would have thought it was a given that they’d be throwing resources into a city that had, as Kelly says, been attacked four times, twice successfully, and remains the most symbolic, substantive target for the terrorists.

That article was written when the unit was in its infancy. The first article, from the superb City Journal magazine, catches the status quo, and it’s impressive:

The New York Police Department has foiled some 51 terrorist plots against the city since 9/11, at least 16 of them serious—more than those aimed at all other American cities combined. “Looking back, it really worked,” said former police commissioner Ray Kelly, credited with having spearheaded what is widely regarded as the gold standard of urban counterterrorism programs.

To be fair to the Federal government the unit was not entirely home grown:

Much to the chagrin of some of the NYPD’s rank and file, Kelly’s top two counterterrorism deputies came from Washington. To lead the NYPD’s expanded Intelligence Division, he chose David Cohen, a former deputy director of the CIA’s operations wing who had helped create the agency’s Alec Station in 1996, which focused on Osama bin Laden before most Americans knew his name. Kelly also recruited Michael Sheehan, former State Department head of counterterrorism, to run the department’s new Counterterrorism Bureau.

They put a 1000 people into the unit, conducted a massive effort to computerise the rest of the NYPD, set up sections that gathered intelligence on every part of the city’s communities, conducted active work with businesses in the city, and even stationed agents in places as far afield as London (working with New Scotland Yard), Lyons at Interpol HQ, Hamburg, Tel Aviv, and Toronto. There are also two cops on assignment at FBI headquarters in Washington, and New York detectives have traveled abroad to conduct interrogations in Afghanistan and parts of the Middle East.

Cohen had quickly hired two dozen civilian intelligence analysts, most with master’s degrees and Ph.D.s from top universities. There were so many pedigreed analysts that Kelly began calling the division a “Council on Foreign Relations with guns.” Its mission, however, proved deadly serious, as it played a role in detecting and foiling plot after plot.

All this from a city police department. Not surprisingly there has been some friction with the FBI at times, but it seems to be working.

One thing that struck me was how many combat-experienced military people led this effort and the tough professionalism of them and the senior cops. It feels like quite a contrast to the group currently in the Pentagon and a number of very poor Police Commissioners around the US at the moment.

Read both articles.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 16, 2021 at 11:46 am

ONE little FACT IS BEING MISSED.

with 12 comments

Random reading of the blogs yesterday revolved largely around what should happen to an ‘officer’ of the NZ Court, who in an act of stupid defiance used a document to evade the Border controls in getting to The Tron. Who Knew New Zealand had “Internal borders”, I know there has long been a mythical “Border” at The Bombays , when was it upgraded to official?

Tar and feathering, stocks, and other public humiliations were considered, but then there were a bunch of holier than thou types who canvassed for a career ending action by the system to deny the Lawyer, actually a barrister no less, any further participation in the system.

OK people using a document to defraud was up there as a serious matter, however there is, currently sitting in the Parliament one David Parker, who had a bit of difficulty around a bit of paper he failed in doing the lawful thing with. That indiscretion committed in company affairs in Dunedin as an adjunct to him bankrupting his Partner led to a real Prime Minister with sme residual scruples removing Parker as Attorney General. No loss of salary or career ending demolition and now totally reconstructed , back in the center of power creating laws to be applied to various other citizens.

Sheesh I am hoping Caesar’s wife is beyond reproach and there are enough without sin to begin the stoning, or will Coster The Imposter be called on to allow some of his recently publicly outed “Thugs” to set thing alight.

Here is a less violent and over the top punishment suggestion, Take the two miscreants back to The Upper Clutha and place them in stocks mounted on a float at the Alexandra Blossom Festival and have the great people of Central Otago bombard them with flowers, Is Jim Bolt without sin, does anyone know.

Written by Gravedodger

September 16, 2021 at 8:38 am

Posted in New Zealand

“Unforeseen” Consequences

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The foremost concern of environmentalists is, of course, the health and well being of the environment.

It’s in their name and all.

So it’s always funny and sad when environmentalists do stuff that blows up in their faces. There are countless examples but in terms of large scale screwups Germany’s decision to shut down its nuclear power stations while also trying to switch the system to wind power is probably the winner. Some €500 million over less than twenty years and all they got was an unreliable network, power prices that have more than tripled, a lot of coal still being burned, plus constantly falling short of their GHG reduction targets. On that last it should be noted that the 2020 Chinese Xi Snot lockdowns and restrictions were a huge help, but that’s not going to be true of 2021 and beyond.

That chart is from 2017 but it’s 2020 forecast of 45 cents per kilowatt hour is not far off where it is right now.

But the latest news from another group of wind farm fanatics, California, is what is really delicious.

As more renewable power has crowded the state’s power grid with traditional power sources switched off, the grid has become more unstable and also unable to meet electrical demand even when its up and running. This has resulted in increasingly frequent summertime calls for people to lay off using power in the crucial 4-9pm slot.

Faced with this, companies and even individuals have begun to turn to, of all things, diesel generators. In fact the state itself has 2,773 stationary and mobile generators in its inventory. Now you would think that the uncompromising Eco-Stasi authorities would crack down on that quick smart. But of course they know if they forced people into that corner even the Liberal Luvvies would revolt. So instead, they’re allowing this to expand and continue. In fact, they’re even helping all this fossil fuel burning along, California wants air pollution rules suspended:

The state’s main grid operator wants the U.S. Department of Energy to suspend air-pollution rules for some natural gas-burning power plants in case their output is needed “to meet demand in the face of extremely challenging conditions including extreme heat waves, multiple fires, high winds, and various grid issues,” according to a filing. The last time California received a waiver of such length and breadth was 21 years ago during the Western Energy Crisis.

Genius. And here you were thinking that the following was just a joke.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 16, 2021 at 6:00 am

When You Think Things Can’t Get Worse……(Updated)

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They do.

So-called investigative journalist Bob Woodward has released a new book in which he claims the Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, one General Milley, opined his Commander in Chief was insane. It is further claimed Milley twice phoned his Communist Chinese counterpart to inform him that if he, Milley, thought President Trump was going to order an attack on China, he would give him a call and let him know.

Elsewhere, it is reported a number of Pentagon officials were privy to those phone conversations and are prepared to testify under oath.

On the one hand, one needs to take anything Bob Woodward says with more than a few grains of salt. His record for accuracy has been second only to that of Baghdad Bob since he was spoon fed the Watergate details by a knowledgeable insider.

On the other hand, it is telling that Milley has not issued a denial.

My money is on Woodward this time. Never trust a military man who carries more armour on his chest than you can find on a Sherman tank.

Watch this space.

I was right. https://www.jcs.mil/Media/News/News-Display/Article/2775541/statement-by-joint-staff-spokesperson-chairmans-conversations-with-chiefs-of-de/

Written by adolffinkensen

September 15, 2021 at 8:12 pm

Posted in US Politics

Tagged with

IS THERE ONE MP FROM NATIONAL THE PROPAGANDA ARM OF THE NZLP MIGHT SEE AS A LEADER,

with 5 comments

Well of course not stupid.

Tonight on State TV that renowned anti Labour journalist (sic), (I had no idea she was still alive), Janet Wilson is all revealing in calling out Ms Collins for her well publicised comments on the rank hippo cracy of a member of the PMs Luminati being caught out cold, breaking the very rules she has been so vociferous in reiterating with nausea inducing regularity.

Described as the “Former” Press secretary to The Opposition leader, Collins inherited Wilson from the “dismal desmond” Todd Muller who did not have the cojones to make his leadership mirage deliver, and could have done National a tremendous favour by taking his remnant dignity away into retirement, Wilson clearly is making a pitch for something more meaningful by way of some well rewarded work for the Arderearly clusterfornication.

Todays Journalists have no calling to a once worthy professional body that was regarded as a Fourth Estate. A term coined in pre revolutionary France that saw the first estate the clergy, the second estate the nobility and the third estate, the common citizens. That fourth estate was the major counter to the power over the people. Although still an oft used descriptive for the media, alas they have become one with the socialist power hungry politicians and are now further muzzled in any prospect of adopting a critical position to the excesses delivered with sickening reguarity, by massive taxpayer funded largess wholly dependant on running their unquestioning support role.

So a question for the now totally corrupt NZ Media in all its guises, can any of you name a single National MP who might be regarded as a suitable leader, I wont hold my breath. Oh and pulease do not hand up Luxon as a nomination he is so bloody WEt he will drown any flickering ignition before he has left the Caucus that could well elect him.

The constant attacks on Collins fulfills the old adage, “You know you are over the target when the Flak gets heavy”. There must be some real concern that the halo is slipping and “getting” Collins is becoming more necessary.

Written by Gravedodger

September 15, 2021 at 7:28 pm

Posted in New Zealand

This sounds familiar

with 2 comments

Having put up a message from the embattled National Party I feel obliged to also post a piece on what I think is their central problem in this time, even more so than poor candidate selections and the extreme MSM bias against them.

The problem is almost a philosophical one, though it is often cast as a managerial and political one.

What is National to do in government?

I thought about this while reading an article in the US magazine, The Federalist, There’s A Reason DC Democrats Are Always Winning, Even When They Lose. First the “good” news:

Washington Republicans are excited for the 2022 elections, and they have reason to be — they’re going to do well. They’re heavy favorites to take back the House of Representatives; and despite a very bad Senate map, it’s a coin flip they’ll retake that too.

There’s a certain amount of “so-what” about this since the Presidential party almost always loses seats in the mid-terms after they win a Presidential election (the Bush 9/11-powered mid-term of 2002 being the exception), and since 1994 when the GOP finally broke the forty year stranglehold of the Democrats on the House, those mid-term election results have meant not just slimmed down majorities but the Opposition party coming into power.

As a side note, I’m always amazed that people who think they know American politics have no idea that the Democrats held the House between 1954 and 1994, which meant they controlled the Budget and all the legislative mechanisms of internal state power via their subsequent control of House Committees. With forty years in the saddle the leadership of those became almost like a royal family, with power passed down like an inherited nobility. The Senate and the Presidency get some input into those areas, and they have their own domains of Constitutional power, but if you control the House you control the machine.

But it’s what you do with that power that matters. Nancy Pelosi knows this:

She’s thrown away a House majority before, back in 2010. But guess what? Before she did, she changed the entire country with Obamacare. That was her exit bomb; that was the sacrifice she made. And now she’s back, Obamacare is still the law (because of the Republicans and the legacies), and the temptation is going to be to return to laughing at her when she loses again in 2022.

Except that if she gets her $3.5 trillion spending bill that GOP laughter will be hollow.

But if she gets this budget through, well then who cares. Her legacy will be remaking the role of government and its interactions with an increasingly dependent class of citizens in the most major way since President Lyndon B. Johnson and his Great Society 60 years ago.

At this stage it’s hanging by a thread – not because of the Stupid Party, which has effectively voted for it – but because of a handful of “moderate” House Democrats and two moderate Senate Democrats (with a few others hiding behind them). The likely driver for those Democrats is that they come from so-called “Purple” districts or States, but that’s the point of this article:

Democrats know that if they can get those policies implemented now, many of them will remain forever. They’ll lose Democrats in the process, but so be it — there will be more Democrats in the future. It’s impossible to watch politics professionally for over a decade, through some of its liveliest battles in a long time, and not come to the understanding that Democrats in general do politics differently.

Here’s how this dynamic plays out: When Democrats are legislating on something major, they look around the field and say to themselves, “Yeah, we’re going to take some casualties on this one, but we’re going to change America.”


And then they blast right through it. Pelosi is going to lose members for this overhaul of our country and she knows it — she’s just decided that given the trouble they’re already heading into, it’s worth it.

By contrast what does the GOP do with its time in power?

When it matters, Republicans look around and say, “Oh no we can’t do that, we’d lose a man. The Democrats would take seats.” They are virtually a majority for the sake of being a majority. They just want to polish it up, put it on the shelf, and look at it. 

To put it simply, Republicans approach politics like America fights wars: They don’t want to lose a single man. Democrats, on the other hand? They look at politics like the Russians looked at Stalingrad: The congressman in front votes now; when they fall the next man gets elected and he will vote too.

I loved Bob Hoskins as Nikita Khrushchev in Enemy At The Gate (not a great movie) and I can see Pelosi with that mindset.

So you see a repeating pattern to American politics: There isn’t a true back-and-forth. Instead, Democrats change the country a lot while they’re in power. Then Republicans hold power and push the pause button. There’s no rollback that a new executive order can’t undo.

Maybe they cut taxes; bring back the Mexico City policy; junk a regulation that Democrats created but didn’t manage to implement; but that’s about it. When was the last time Republicans passed a huge law — one that changed America forever the way Democrats do every time they hold serve in American politics? You don’t see it.

Similarly here. The one “big” pro-active thing I recall from the Key National government was flogging off 49% of an SOE power company, but that was merely the last gasp of the reforms of the 4th Labour government. Also note that it was only 49%; the cultural and political winds had shifted and National have a great nose for such.

The problem is how much longer this can continue, especially given the love of Big Business (and Big Government)? As another article, The Revolution Will Be Bureaucratized, pointed out:

It’s boring and sounds tired, I know, but ballooning state power is not a silly fear of “Zombie Reaganites” and insufferable libertarians. It’s a vehicle of cultural tyranny as much as economic. It’s a tool for the political establishment to bulldoze our culture from their sad office buildings here in Washington.

Elites love corporate power, but they also love federal power. (Unless, of course, Donald Trump is exerting it.) Note that the Chamber of Commerce and Business Roundtable both supported Biden’s vaccine requirements.

That last will be true here also, although in New Zealand’s case it doesn’t matter because we really don’t value our freedoms and civil liberties as much as most Americans do. We’ve proved that in the last eighteen months.

From Biden’s “child tax credit” extension, which conditions nearly all families to depend on the federal government every month for aid, to his extension of the federal eviction moratorium, this president and his elite champions are not worried about these power grabs. The blueprint for Democrats’ infrastructure bill is more proof of that. Their goal is to create a leftist elites’ utopia, blending cultural leftism with neoliberal economics and imposing it on America by any means necessary.

I did appreciate the last two sections of that second article:

Mocking libertarians is a conservative tradition, made all the more fun in recent years as many reflexively defend Big Tech and woke capital. But reflexively dismissing their dry warnings about liberty does not serve conservatives well in this perilous moment.

Simply put, we’ve let our government become very big as its stewards have become very radical. It’s a vehicle for their cultural revolution, not a distraction from it.

A vehicle for cultural tyranny is exactly right, even when it presents as supposed economics – measures on control of water and “fighting Climate Change” likely being the focus of such here in NZ.

We didn’t used to be like that but now that we are, any future “Right Wing” government that claims it’s a “Big Tent” for conservative, classical liberal and perhaps even a slight tint of libertarian thinking, owes its voters to not just slowly reduce government employee numbers but reduce the number, size and regulatory power of the state institutions they inhabit.

If they don’t then they’ll just be weaponised further with vast sums of money and bodies by a future Labour-Green government. Incidentally – for those National people who only care about government spending as a % of GDP and taxes – that will also put paid to any future tax cuts. Actually that’s almost the case now: the giant spend-fest of lockdowns means you can probably look forward to new taxes and tax increases from a future National-ACT government. They’ll have no choice because they’ll have allowed Labour-Green to make the big choices for them.

Written by Tom Hunter

September 15, 2021 at 4:26 pm

Die MSM, Die – A Public Service to National

with 8 comments

Readers will be well aware that I have very little time for the National party nowadays, having voted for them for about twenty years.

However, I have some sympathy for their struggles with a bought-and-paid-for MSM in New Zealand, which apparently extends to an endless character assassination campaign by cartoonists on the National leader, Judith Collins. I don’t have much time for her either but if those cartoonists had any sense of decency they’d hurl at least a few scathing caricatures at Jacinda Adern. God knows there’s enough material.

However the latest piece of news on this front is a new low, with National MP Chris Bishop:

Here is an opinion piece which I pitched to Stuff and the NZ Herald. Neither decided it was worth publishing. At a time when the PM commands the airwaves on a daily basis at 1pm, it’s important for the National Opposition voice to be heard and for constructive criticism of the government.

Ok. Fuck the MSM and their bullshit bias. If Social media, and especially blogs, are still to mean anything in this environment I think we owe it to readers to publish his piece, How Did We Get Here:

Lockdowns are incredibly expensive: it has been estimated a countrywide Level 4 lockdown costs the economy around $1.5 billion per week. That’s before you count the social cost: kids not at school, families split apart, the mental health impacts of being cooped up at home for days on end. I think almost everyone thinks we should be doing all we can to avoid them.

Sadly, it’s become clear in the government’s response to the recent delta outbreak that while Kiwis have done all they’ve been asked to do – the government hasn’t been playing its part. The “team of five million” has been let down.

Two things have become clear. First, we had no alternative but to lockdown because of our woefully low vaccination rates. Second, despite claims to the contrary, the government had done very little planning at all around how to respond to a further outbreak, particularly of delta, since the first COVID lockdown last year.

It gives me no pleasure as the Opposition spokesperson for COVID-19 to say that New Zealand’s vaccination rates, by world standards, are hopeless. For most of this year we had the world’s slowest vaccine roll-out. Chris Hipkins said at the end of 2020 we would be “at the front of the queue” but the reality is we are at the back of the pack. This is not the “year of the vaccine” we were promised by the Prime Minister.

The vaccines are safe, they work, and the data is very clear: the higher our vaccination rates, the less need there is of lockdowns. Every single person that goes and gets vaccinated brings us closer to freedom: freedom from lockdowns, and freedom to travel. That’s why the government’s ineptitude over vaccine supply matters. The government simply failed in its most important job: to get a supply of vaccines as early as possible and make sure as many people were vaccinated as possible as early as possible.

The government’s incompetence is astonishing. We were one of the last developed countries to sign contracts with vaccine manufacturers in 2020. We were then slow to approve the Pfizer vaccine. Hundreds of millions of jabs had been given by the time we approved it. We were then slow to actually order our doses, not doing it until January 29 this year. And we didn’t even bother to ask Pfizer if we could pay more to get earlier delivery of the vaccines, as other countries did. Compare the cost of paying a bit more to the cost of lockdowns, and do the maths. It’s a no brainer.

Incredibly, the government has claimed at various points it would be “unethical” or immoral to have a faster vaccine roll-out, because other countries need the vaccines more than we do. Leaving aside the internal inconsistency in this argument (other countries need them now too, but you don’t see the government giving ours up do you?), the New Zealand government’s first responsibility is to the people of New Zealand – and that means rolling out the vaccine as quick as they could. They failed.

The second failure by the government is their failure to plan for delta. The Prime Minister claimed on television this morning that delta only emerged in MIQ in June. That is completely incorrect. The first case of delta turned up in early April in MIQ and it has been raging across the world for most of this year. The government has sat ensconced behind the barriers of Fortress New Zealand and smugly looked at Australia, but they weren’t doing the work behind the scenes to prepare for when delta turned up here.

A smart government would have done an audit of all our MIQ facilities in light of delta to make sure infection control practices were up to scratch. Instead, a public walkway was allowed to share the same air as an exercise yard at the Crowne Plaza in Auckland and there was a vaccination centre right next to the Crowne Plaza. COVID positive people are still allowed to exercise in an underground car park in Wellington. Only now is the government reviewing MIQ facilities in light of delta.

A smart government would have had a plan in place for more quarantine facilities beyond the Jet Park. Instead the government had to scramble to get more quarantine facilities going like the Novotel Ellerslie – and then a COVID positive man escaped from it, putting us all at risk. It has taken over 24 hours to move many people from the community into quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19, because the coordination plan between health officials and MIQ wasn’t in place.

Some of our current problems date back to the response to the first outbreak last year. Contract tracing has been an ever-present issue. There have been four expert reviews of contact tracing since April 2020. All have found it wanting but little has been done by the government. In this outbreak, it took six days for the government to second public servants from other departments to start contract tracing. By its own admission the government will fail to meet the contact tracing target metrics designed by Dr Ayesha Verrall, ironically enough now Associate Minister of Health. In this latest outbreak there are still 5000 contacts who have not even had a single phone call from a contact tracer!

A smart government would have had a plan in place around testing. Other countries use saliva tests and rapid antigen tests that return results in 15 minutes. Speed of testing with delta is critical, because the virus moves so far. But the government insists on using expensive and time consuming nasal PCR tests as our main testing technique. The result has been people who are told to get tested waiting 10-12 hours for a test or giving up and going home – or even worse, not even bothering. We should be using saliva testing much more widely – recommended to the government a year ago – as well as rapid antigen tests. Incredibly, these tests are banned in New Zealand.

There’s more I could mention. The failure to use Bluetooth tracing even though we’ve all been told for months to turn it on. The refusal to build purpose-built quarantine. The lack of preparation in our hospitals for a delta outbreak – no new ICU bed spaces have been provisioned over the five months.

The government borrowed $62 billion last year on the COVID Response Fund.  Did they spend this on contact tracing, testing capacity, and extra ICU capacity? That would have been sensible. Instead it was used as a slush fund. Instead the fund was spent on art therapy clinics, cameras on fishing boats, horse racing, public interest journalism, and school lunches. Yes, I’m serious.

Auckland is in lockdown – again – because the government failed to vaccinate quickly enough and the government failed to plan for delta.

I should add the usual blog disclaimer that simply because I have published this piece does not mean that I agree with all of it. In fact it’s the usual National angle of agreeing with what Labor does but with the promise to do it better. Hence the talk of superior control of people with Bluetooth tracing and purpose-built MIQ camps – but with no mention of getting after proven treatments like monoclonal antibodies for people who do catch the virus, presumably because just talking about such treatments might further damage an already slow vaccine rollout.

Biden’s Advance Team sends a message

with 3 comments

Either that or they’re as incompetent as the rest of his administration was in planning the great Afghanistan bugout.

In politics an Advance Team is sent ahead of a politician to the areas where photo ops and such are going to be held after speeches and other political events. Sometimes the photo op is the political event.

In any case the idea of an Advance Team is to scope out the best areas for the photographs and avoid things that will make your candidate look bad. One of the classic faux pas happened in 1988 when the campaign staff of Democrat Presidential candidate Michael Dukakis thought he’d look tough riding around in a tank. Instead he looked like Mickey Mouse and the drumbeat of laughter helped send him on his way to a loss against the goofy George H W Bush.

Here in NZ it’s hard to forget the equally boneheaded effort by the political naif, Don Brash, trying to squeeze his clumsy, gawky frame into a dirt track race car. I shared in the hideous chuckle of laughter that went around the nation.

And so we come to this photograph of Biden during a recent visit to Idaho, a state he lost by 30 points and therefore a place where a Democrat needs to be on his toes to not get cornered by Republicans.

My favourite among the MAGA kids is the boy on the right of the picture with a tee-shirt showing Donald Trump as The Terminator (“I’ll be back”).

Written by Tom Hunter

September 15, 2021 at 11:45 am