World

This is the guy inquiring into anti-Semitism in the Labour party

Jeremy Corbyn has initiated an inquiry into anti-Semitism in the Labour party.

He has his own anti-Semitism problems.   Read more »

Can Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton?

Well, the pundits say no, or have said no up until recently.

They all thought he would get spanked by the GOP machine but it turns out it was Trump dishing out the spankings.

Now the pundits are having to recast their thinking. They are starting to realise that all head-to-head polling to date hasn’t accounted for Donald Trump attacking Hillary Clinton directly. He will start doing that soon…he’s already got a nickname for her ‘Crooked Hillary’.

How would Donald Trump fare in a general election against Hillary Clinton? The conventional wisdom is that he wouldn’t stand a chance. The GOP is divided. His campaign, despite a recent spate of landslide primary wins, appears to have its own civil war going on. His favorability numbers are at historic lows for a nominee.

The case against Trump’s electability is strong. But it is also perhaps overstated. The Manhattan billionaire does have a narrow path to the White House. In fact, he may be the GOP’s most electable option at this point, at least among the candidates who are actually still running for the job.

John Kasich argues he’s the only guy who can beat Clinton, an idea mostly predicated on his performance in head-to-head election polls. But head-to-head polls this far out, historically speaking, are not all that predictive, and Kasich has struggled to turn his on-paper attractiveness into actual votes at the ballot box.

Ted Cruz, meanwhile, would likely be the most right-wing nominee since Barry Goldwater. His act appears to have worn thin among even the Republican grassroots, his natural constituency. Cruz might somehow still manage to pull the nomination away from Trump, but there’s approximately zero reason to believe he can win over the swing voters who typically decide presidential contests.

So back to Trump, who still has a few things going for him. His general election strategy, such as it is, seems to be predicated on two strategies: pivot left as far as possible and launch a scorched earth campaign against Clinton.

Read more »

Public transport is for other people…

I loathe public transport. The only redeeming feature of it is loads of other people take it…and aren’t on my roads or in my way.

Politicians love to push people on to public transport…but it seems more and more are ignoring their pleas, especially millennials.

More than a quarter of U.S. government spending on surface transportation goes to mass transit, and yet mass transit accounts for less than 2 percent of total trips taken nationwide. The Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Marc Scribner attributes this eye-popping mismatch to a persistent “falsehood peddled by the transit lobby:” If you build it, they will come.

A stunning chart put together by the University of South Florida’s Steve Polzin illustrates how transit supply has failed to create its own demand.

The blue line represents transit ridership; the red line shows the expansion of the country’s mass transit infrastructure going back to 1970. Their divergence is a “report card on productivity that mom and dad would hardly be proud of,” Polzin writes. It’s also a statistical representation of a sad yet all-too-familiar scene in American cities: empty light rail trains chugging along main streets in deserted downtowns.   Read more »

Shhh…don’t tell anyone but Gerry Brownlee is in Israel

Gerry Brownlee in Israel

Gerry Brownlee travelled to Israel after his visit to Iraq. He’s also tried to keep it very quiet, with it not even being reported in NZ media.

Pity, he went for a visit with ‘Bogie’ Ya’alon though and the Israelis know how to use Facebook.   Read more »

At least it is voters, not politicians like here

The good thing about elections is that it reveals the real motives of the politicians and also their supporters.

One key area is economic literacy, and it seems that few people actually understand the basics.

Education: Everybody talks about how the presidential primaries have uncovered intense voter anger at the political establishment. It’s actually revealed something more troubling: The widespread ignorance of basic economic truths that spans across the political spectrum.

Has there ever been a bigger disconnect between economic reality and public perception?

Polls taken during the primary season have found Democrats embracing socialism, Republicans rejecting trade, and majorities in both parties saying Wall Street is hurting the economy. That’s despite the general consensus among mainstream economists that none of these things is true.

Take Democrats’ views on socialism. An American Action Network poll finds that 40% of Democrats say socialism is the best form of government, while another 10% say both. In other words, half of Democratic voters are perfectly comfortable with the idea of the government owning and/or controlling the private sector. More than half of Democrats (57%) say that socialism has a positive impact on society.

A separate New York Times/CBS poll found the same thing: half of Democrats have a positive few of socialism; just 34% have a negative view.

Overall, the NYT poll found that a third of the public has a positive view of socialism, while just over half has a negative view.

All this despite the unbroken string of failures with socialist states, the latest of which are all happening right in the nation’s backyard, where socialist policies have produced massive deprivation and chronic shortages. Just this week, Venezuela ordered a two-day workweek to save on electricity.

Denmark, which socialist Bernie Sanders says is a model socialist state, rejects the label, insisting that it’s a market economy.

Read more »

Working for New Zealand

Manuel-Valls-m_3568362b

via The Telegraph

 

John Key was chatting about trade with the Indian PM today, and is scheduled to do the same with the French Premier tomorrow.

The first visit to New Zealand by a French prime minister in 25 years is about to begin.

Manuel Valls is due to arrive in Auckland on Sunday and departs on Monday.

Prime Minister John Key has said it’ll be a short but important visit. Read more »

Politics of the 21st century: pulling hair and making faces

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You’d expect this on The Onion or another satire site, but sadly this is real

United Nations officials have rubbished claims that United States soldiers are provoking North Korean troops by pulling faces at them.

Pyongyang has alleged American personnel have been pulling “disgusting” facial expressions while making strange noises and pointing fingers, Sky News has reported. Read more »

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Turns out the anti-racist student behind the Rhodes Must Fall campaign is in fact a racist himself

A massive campaign against statues of Cecil Rhodes was instigated in the UK. Lazy journalists here mimicked the story and went looking for statutes of our own horrible people so they could be tipped over.

But it turns out that the student behind the campaign is an awful racist himself.

A student who helped lead the campaign to tear down a ‘racist’ statue of Cecil Rhodes at Oxford has boasted about refusing to tip a waitress because she was white.

Ntokozo Qwabe bragged online that he and a friend made the woman cry ‘typical white tears’ after writing on the bill ‘we will give tip when you return the land’.

The incident, in a café in South Africa, provoked a fierce backlash from critics who branded him a ‘hypocrite’.

Mr Qwabe, 24, is one of the leaders of the Rhodes Must Fall movement, which campaigned to remove a statue of the 19th Century imperialist from Oriel College.

Although he is a Rhodes scholar himself and received money from the Rhodes’ estate to study at Oxford, Qwabe and other activists claimed forcing ethnic minority students to walk past the statue amounted to ‘violence’.

On Thursday, he wrote on Facebook about an altercation with a waitress during a visit to a restaurant called Obz Café in the Western Cape, South Africa.

He said the incident had left him ‘unable to stop smiling because something so black, wonderful & LIT just happened!’

He wrote that he had eaten there with a friend, described as a ‘radical non-binary trans black activist’, but that the pair had refused to pay the ‘white woman’ waitress a tip.

He said: ‘They take a pen & slip in a note where the gratuity/tip amount is supposed to be entered.

‘The note reads in bold: “WE WILL GIVE TIP WHEN YOU RETURN THE LAND”.   Read more »

Why people think Ted Cruz’s last name starts with C and ends with T

Ted Cruz is not well liked inside the Republican party nor in wider Washington. He is widely acknowledged as being somewhat of an asshole.

That is why the establishment hasn’t really fallen in behind him, and only will if they absolutely have had to in order to attempt to choke off Donald Trump.

But now that he can’t possibly win the required delegates prior to the convention people are starting to recall why he is an asshole…and he’s helping them remember.

In the space of just seven minutes here Thursday, Ted Cruz reminded fellow Republicans that he has few friends in the party.

First he tangled with former House speaker John A. Boehner, a longtime foe who so dislikes Cruz that he labeled him “Lucifer in the flesh.” Then Cruz undercut another Republican, fellow presidential candidate John Kasich, who had entered into an alliance with him to stop GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

“There is no alliance,” Cruz told reporters on Thursday, acting as if a pact announced by his own campaign days before had never happened.

Minutes later, Kasich strategist John Weaver dispatched a cryptic tweet: “I can’t stand liars.”

For Cruz, it was just another day of brawling with leading figures from his own party — a role that has formed the cornerstone of his short political career. But for many Republicans, it crystallized an overriding problem for Cruz’s campaign: Many people simply don’t like him.

Read more »

The anti-semitic virus that’s rampant in the left of politics

We’ve seen Andrew Little getting death threats for visiting a Jewish community centre in Auckland.  But the left and Jew hatred go hand in hand.  This, from the UK:

Tories can feel proud that this anti-Semitism has all but vanished from the Conservative Party.

Unfortunately, it has not vanished from British politics. Indeed, it has emerged as a noxious problem inside Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party. How has Labour acquired this anti-Semitic virus, just as it was eliminated by the Conservatives?

A large part of the answer lies in the politics of the Middle East. Many Labour MPs and activists support the Palestinian cause, and there is no reason why they shouldn’t criticise the policies of the Israeli State. Indeed, it is essential they should be allowed to do so, just as they should be allowed to criticise the policies of any other state.

However, too many Labour politicians have allowed their antagonisms to Israel to spill over into very unpleasant attacks on Jews themselves. We saw this last week, with the emergence of remarks from Naz Shah (made before she became MP for Bradford West, and for which she has now apologised to Parliament) calling for ‘the transportation of Jews from Israel to the United States of America’.

This is a political party that will get stuck into UK Jews for being Jewish, but are quite comfortable with UK Muslims in a general sense.   Read more »