USA

Oh those Russkis…they kill me

I thought Russkis, like Krauts, had  a humour bypass in their genes.

Turns out no.

The Russian Government has poked fun at claims it interfered with the US election days after Vladimir Putin said the accusation was a ‘lie’.

This morning, the Russian Foreign Ministry posted an audio recording of an apparent automated telephone service to aid Russian embassies. Read more »

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Do you conflate diplomacy with your own distaste for Trump?

The $80,000 which Ambassador Tim Groser spent on a party in Washington DC to mark Donald Trump’s inauguration is money well spent.

Why some people are up in arms over the $80,000 figure is that they conflate diplomacy with their own distaste for Trump.

Those options are not open in the real world where NZ’s diplomats have to forge links with Governments to get things done and to protect our economic and security interests.

And in Washington those vital connections are frequently made over a drink.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade confirms the Inauguration Gala was hosted because of the Washington embassy’s critical role in pursuing New Zealand’s interests with the United States:

“The event was considered as a constituency building activity to position New Zealand’s interests effectively with the new US Administration and Congress.”

As indeed was blatantly obvious to anyone present at the NZ Embassy in Observatory Circle on the evening of January 17.

Groser in his opening remarks talked about Donald Trump’s achievements and the “stunning victory” he secured against tough competition starting with the contest between 17 contestants for the Republican primaries.

But Groser stressed the event was a celebration of the “democratic process” itself.

It may all be a waste if the Trump administration insists that the path to the White House runs through Israel, eh Murray?  But at least there are still some part of our government that are trying to maintain a working relationship.   Read more »

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Guest Post – “Insult”, “Outrage” as Calls Erupt to Refuse US Ambassador’s Credentials

Jesus O’Nazareth in an artist’s depiction of the infamous “Temple Incident”

The man heavily tipped as President Trump’s choice for New Zealand ambassador, former Judean itinerant teacher Jesus O’Nazareth, was scalded and slandered across the country by all prominent, less-than-prominent, and even the very-little-more-than-meaningless, anti-US grand-dudgeons possessing a shoulder-chip, access to wifi and a twitter handle on Sunday.

When approached by our twelve-year-old, trained and skilled, journalist, a founding-member of the Islamic Women’s Council of NZ (Halal-o-tea-roa) claimed Trump’s choice would be insulting Muslims in this country, especially Muslim women, and she would be texting ‘outrage’ about the pending appointment amongst her easily-offended online cohort as soon as her husband granted access to her smartphone again. Her irritation was ignited after hearing of O’Nazareth’s ignominious and hugely inappropriate display of public nudity; when confronted with the much-touted rumour that Jesus had actually been nailed up outdoors against his express wishes, and was offered very little in the way of choices for clothing, our informant (who wished to remain bigamous) claimed it had been a publicity stunt on the part of O’Nazareth.   Read more »

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Katie Hopkins on Trump’s immigration lock down

Katie Hopkins can work it out, shame the rest of the media just lie like flatfish.

Have you noticed? There has been more outrage from the left over Trump’s so-called Muslim ban, than over terror itself.

More gnashing of gums and loud wailing, more placards decrying the plight of a few tourists and travellers, than over the bodies blown apart by Islamic extremists at Brussels airport in March last year.

So much collective outrage, in fact, I wonder how on earth a ban imposed by 16 countries on Israeli citizens has remained in place for quite so long with such quiet acceptance.

Curious, isn’t it? What liberals will and won’t accept.

Read more »

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“Now it’s time for us to move to New Zealand,” US Justice Ginsburg said, smiling ruefully

via NYT

via NYT

Somewhat remarkably, US politicians and other luminaries want to flee the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave before Trump gets to put his wall up.

Unless they have a book to sell, Supreme Court justices rarely give interviews. Even then, they diligently avoid political topics. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg takes a different approach.

These days, she is making no secret of what she thinks of a certain presidential candidate.

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The Iraq War was about revenge for 9/11

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by Gavin

Poor old Tony Blair is being slammed in the Chilcot Report, which is just saying what we have all known for years. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Saddam Hussein was removed as revenge for 9/11. The failure of the US intelligence system and airline security led to the humiliating attack of 9/11 and someone had to pay.

As for 9/11, I have flown El Al flights and the cockpit doors have been secured against hi-jackers for decades. They have also had armed security on planes for decades as well. For whatever reason the yanks thought they were safe on their own soil. 9/11 changed all that.

I was working in the US in late 2002 to 2003, and what struck me as interesting was that the American people were being prepared for war by the MSM on a daily basis. The MSM were acting as cheerleaders for the upcoming retribution. It was quite odd for me as a Kiwi watching this process unfold as it was a subtle process of getting the people used to the idea that we were going in to sort this out. As history has shown, the evidence for going in was flawed. But, a reason to justify it to the people was necessary to have public opinion on the side of the politicians. Read more »

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Oh look! North Korea have got a copy of Adobe After Effects

Just like North Korea have used Photoshop to achieve amazing military things as a country, just like Iran’s space monkey (a favourite of Pete’s), they have stepped it up and gone from stills to video!

North Korea has released a new propaganda video threatening a nuclear attack on Washington DC, the capital of the United States.

The four-minute video (below), menacingly titled ‘Last Chance’, recounts the history of US-Korean relations and ends with an animation of a submarine-launched nuclear missile surging through clouds, swerving back to Earth and slamming down in front of Washington’s Lincoln Memorial.

After the city is laid to waste, the video concludes with the US flag in flames and a message translated as: “If US imperialists budge an inch toward us, we will immediately hit them with nuclear (weapons).”

Read more »

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White House admits its $100 billion in aid to Iran will be used to fund terrorism

I wonder if Murray McCully is happy about this? He trumpeted the Iran deal to the world..and now we find out that Obama’s government will likely be funding terrorism as a result.

The Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran will provide $100 billion in sanctions relief to one of the world’s biggest funders of terrorism. Now, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that it is highly likely — “expected” even — that the Islamic Republic will use sanctions relief money to continue its support of terrorism around the globe.

The Free Beacon reports:

“The thing that’s important for people to recognize is that critics of this agreement often exaggerate the value of the sanctions relief that Iran will obtain, and they often overlook the rather severe economic priorities that are badly underfunded inside of Iran.”  Read more »

I’m not sure if I should feel sorry for the USA or not

Former Trade Minister Tim Groser doesn’t need to say he feels liberated: he exudes it.

His feet are resting on the coffee table in Parliament’s transition room as he contemplates his next move as a free man – a return to the diplomatic corps in the plum role as Ambassador to the United States.

It will not just be a life relatively free from the demands of near-constant travel, it will be a life, full-stop.

“My office worked out two or three years ago that I was overseas more than 200 days a year and boy, I’m not going to miss that,” he said.

“Constant travel – you have no life at all.”

He is looking forward to resuming a personal life, going to the movies, playing music, getting fit, things he found impossible to do while on the move.

It’s time to be put out to pasture on a cushy gig.   Read more »

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Matching US Presidents

David Farrar has a post highlighting a USA Today survey to see which US presidential candidate matches your own core beliefs.

It is a bit wonky and you do need a little bit of understanding about Federal politics and their political system as well as some policy areas such as Obama Care.

When I say it is wonky I really can’t believe that he would have Chris Christie at number 2…or even Bobby Jindal as number 1.

I have created a table of the candidates with Pinko’s ratings beside mine. I’ve listed them alphabetically.    Read more »

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