Barack Obama

Phil Quin on Trump’s proposed appointments

Phil Quin comments on Donald Trump’s proposed appointments and gives, for a lefty, some reasoned advice:

US President-elect Donald Trump is said to be considering one of his most vocal internal critics, Mitt Romney, as Secretary of State.

Howls of outrage, left and right, predictably ensued since the the GOP’s 2012 nominee – a mainstream Republican from Central Casting – berated Trump mercilessly in the lead-up to the recent election. He couldn’t even bring himself to vote for him.

And yet, at this turbulent moment, as Trump installs one far-right figure after another to his cabinet, accusations of hypocrisy against Trump and Romney – fair game in the normal course of events – should be set aside.

Trump would be wise to offer the Secretary of State post; Romney should accept it; and the Senate should rush to confirm him before the wildly erratic President-in-waiting changes his mind. Here’s why.

While no doubt Mitt Romney retains his view, expressed as recently as August, that Trump is a “con man” and “fake” who threatens to bring “trickle-down racism, trickle-down bigotry, trickle-down misogyny” to America, the stakes are too high to allow politics as usual to get in the way of what would be a profoundly reassuring appointment.

Romney at the State Department would go quite some way to quelling fears among US allies, in particular NATO, that the Trump presidency is set to redraw the geopolitical map in terrifying and unpredictable ways.

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Guest Post – Early jump for Trump

Will Artificial Intelligence predict a Trump win correctly?

A reader emails:

You could be forgiven for thinking the election of Donald Trump was going to end civilisation or at least the USA part of it.  Dire predictions fostered by a biased media continue days after the election result.  It is both tiresome and juvenile reflecting not just a biased media but one that is immature and inexperienced and has lost any ability to demonstrate professionalism, independence and sound judgement.

President –elect Donald Trump made some unusual election promises, many of which will cost a great deal.  His catch cry of making America “great again” lacks some detail to be blunt but could mean extra spending in some areas of the economy.  A literal, or even figurative fence on the Mexican border for example will demand a hefty budget even if the Mexicans pay some of it.

One of Trump’s other big undertakings was to reduce taxes, especially corporate taxes.  He proffered this as the main catalyst for creating new jobs and more GDP growth.

How will this work?   Read more »

TPP will live under Key. China or Russia might step up

John Key is a deal maker. He will try and keep the TPP alive as free trade really is the key to growing our economy.

Prime Minister John Key is still clinging onto hope that the Trans-Pacific Partnership will come into existence.

But if it doesn’t back-up plans are already being considered.

Mr Key said in Auckland on Wednesday that the 12-nation trade agreement is still a long way from being restarted, but he believes the US will be a “massive beneficiary” and that President-elect Donald Trump could be convinced of its benefits.

“Quite quickly people are going to come at him with a stream of advice and I think that advice will be quite consistent with the advice that drove President Obama to want to be a big part of TPP, and that is US leadership in the region and US companies having access and better access into the fast growing Asian markets,” he said.   Read more »

Kaikoura Earthquake allows TPP to pass quietly

The TPP bill has been passed, quietly, hidden from view by the Kaikoura earthquake.

Parliament has passed the bill that allows the government to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement amid opposition complaints that it’s a waste of time.

The opposition would say that. But since when have they been right on anything. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day, if only Labour had that much accuracy.

The bill lines up New Zealand laws with its obligations under the 12-nation agreement which covers 40 per cent of global trade and 800 million people.

Partner countries signed it in February but it still has to be ratified – and the United States is the big problem.

President-elect Donald Trump is a vehement opponent and Prime Minister John Key has said the chance of the US Congress ratifying it before the January 20 inauguration is “close to zero”.   Read more »

Lindsay Perigo on the US Elections

“It’s morning again in America,” said Ronald Reagan when running for re-election in 1984. The facts and the voters backed him, and he was returned to the presidency in a landslide.

America in 2016 has endured a dark night far longer and blacker than that inflicted by Jimmy Carter, but the reinstatement of morning should be no more difficult for Trump than Reagan given The Donald’s astounding sweep of both Houses of Congress as well as the Electoral College.

What is most gratifying is to tote up all the disgusting things that voters repudiated yesterday, contrary to the pontifications of the usual insufferable suspects in the media. I have been doing it all day and laughing non-stop. The media in fact are foremost among the disgusting repudiated. Their brazen abandonment of any pretence of a distinction between reportage and commentary, their explicit avowal of a duty to root for the inexpressibly corrupt Clinton, their shameless ignoring of her criminality, their comprehensive unprofessionalism—in all of this the mainstream media have written their own epitaph and earned the contempt towards them evinced by voters yesterday. Journalism is dead; long live journalism.

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I told you Bruce Smith was a dickhead

I told everyone that Bruce Smith in Westland was a dickhead, and yesterday he proved it:

New Westland Mayor Bruce Smith, only a week into the job, has been caught out after delivering a speech to Kumara School children using the plagiarised words of United States President Barack Obama.

The Guardian was contacted about the mayor’s plagiarism of the stock Obama speech – almost word for word – after Smith posted his version to his Facebook page.

What a cock.    Read more »

Could Clinton-Trump become like Dewey-Truman?

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Could this year’s US Presidential election end up like 1948 with the famous but wrong headline int eh Chicago Daily Tribune (Above)?

Possibly, but not likely is what Harry Enten at FiveThirtyEight says:

We’re getting to that point in the presidential campaign — with one candidate leading by a lot — when the losing candidate’s supporters start to bring up the 1948 election — the one with the famous “Dewey Defeats Truman” headline when the polls were supposedly way off. Democrat Harry Truman, of course, defeated Republican Thomas Dewey, and Truman has been the patron saint of candidates trailing in the polls ever since.

It’s a neat little story with a nice moral: Never count the underdog out. But Donald Trump’s supporters would be unwise to look to 1948 for comfort: Trump trails Hillary Clinton by more than Truman trailed Dewey, and the polling landscape in 2016 is much different than it was 68 years ago.

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Hillary buys a war with the NRA after Wikileaks exposes her attempts to grab guns

Hillary Clinton is going to have a rather nasty and vicious fight with the NRA after Wikileaks revealed emails from Clinton’s campaign that suggests she wants to use executive orders to prosecute gun companies for deaths using their weapons.

She won’t, of course, look to prosecute Ford or General Motors for the many more deaths in motor vehicles but she is after America’s guns.

The batch of emails released by Wikileaks on October 7 includes one in which Hillary Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon explained that Clinton “would support…closing the gun show loophole by executive order.”

Fallon also highlighted Clinton’s support of universal background checks–which have already failed in California, Colorado, Washington state, and Paris–and her support for a scenario wherein victims of crime would be able to sue gun manufacturers.

In the email, dated October 4, 2015, Fallon mentions that Today had made clear they were going to ask Clinton about guns. At that time she was still locked in a tougher stance than expected primary opponent Bernie Sanders. Fallon wrote:

Circling back around on guns as a follow up to the Friday morning discussion: the Today show has indicated they definitely plan to ask bout guns, and so to have the discussion be more of a news event than her previous times discussing guns, we are going to background reporters tonight on a few of the specific proposals she would support as President – universal background checks of course, but also closing the gun show loophole by executive order and imposing manufacturer liability.

Breitbart News has previously reported that Clinton pledged gun control by executive order. She began pushing executive gun control right after the shooting in the Umpqua Community College gun free zone. That incident occurred on October 1, 2015, three days before Fallon’s email that Clinton “would support…closing the gun show loophole by executive order.” This is in line with a Washington Post report that Clinton wants to use executive orders “to go further than Obama” went  on gun control.

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This is what happens when you go dog on your mates

Like NZ did to Fiji when we turned or backs on our mates, the US has done the same to Israel.

When you are spurned you find better friends. Fiji tuned north, and now Israel has cut a deal with Russia and is improving relations with Sunni states in the region, while Obama looks on.

There is perhaps only one thing harder for the American mind to process than the fact that President Obama has been a terrible foreign policy president, and that is that Bibi Netanyahu is an extraordinarily successful Israeli Prime Minister. In Asia, in Africa, in Latin America, Israel’s diplomacy is moving from strength to strength. Virtually every Arab and Middle Eastern leader thinks that Bibi is smarter and stronger than President Obama, and as American prestige across the Middle East has waned under Obama, Israel’s prestige — even among people who hate it — has grown. Bibi’s reset with Russia, unlike Obama’s, actually worked. His pivot to Asia has been more successful than Obama’s. He has had far more success building bridges to Sunni Muslims than President Obama, and both Russia and Iran take Bibi and his red lines much more seriously than they take Obama’s expostulations and pious hopes.

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Obama continues to be the world’s best gun salesman, but Hillary is likely to beat his records

Barack Obama has sold more guns than any other person in history. His continued attacks against the Second Amendment mean that people seek to get in before he tries to ban them.

The good news is that his time is almost at an end; the bad news for citizens is that Hillary Clinton will continue and escalate his attacks.

Gun sales are on a pace to break last year’s record of more than 23 million, a boon to the U.S. industry and gun stores thanks to election-year worries about gun control and recent terror attacks, according to government figures and experts.

Under Obama, background checks for guns reached 141.4 million through the end of May, amounting to sales of about 52,600 a day, according to the FBI. Last year, the FBI conducted more than 23 million background checks, which are generally used to figure sales of new and used weapons.

Domestically, manufacturers have reported producing about 21,000 guns a day, or more than 46 million in Obama’s first six years in office.

And should Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton continue to best Republican Donald Trump in the polls, sales could hit new highs, according to industry experts.    Read more »

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