Open Forum – Friday

14 December 2018


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  1. David

     /  14th December 2018

    We are so lucky in NZ with a separation of the justice system from politics, in the US where you have elected Attorney Generals politically driven prosecutorial activism is bound to follow.
    “New York Attorney Gen.-elect Letitia James is buttressing President Trump’s claims that there is a “witch hunt” pursuing him; she told NBC News that she intends to investigate not only the president, but also his family and “anyone” in his circle who may have violated the law.

    James blustered, “We will use every area of the law to investigate President Trump and his business transactions and that of his family as well,” adding, “We want to investigate anyone in his orbit who has, in fact, violated the law.”

    In the civilized world the crown/state waits for a crime to be committed and then investigates it and prosecutes it. In the US this AG was elected because she was going after Trump and like Mueller will dissect peoples lives and given how many laws there are in the US with swingeing sentences will just keep flipping people, ruining their lives, financially ruining them all for politics. Its bloody shameful.

    • David

       /  14th December 2018

      The AG in NY will be burnishing her CV for a run at Mayor or Governer now imagine if a new AG said they were going to investigate Hilary, the Clinton Foundation, the Clinton Global Initiative and anyone in their orbit, had done business with them or operated out of the buildings that the Clintons have in their investment portfolio.

  2. David

     /  14th December 2018

    For those convinced that Cohen,s guilty plea, to a non crime, is terrible for Trump have a read of this interesting article from a former member of the FEC and the case law he quotes.

    The politically motivated Southern District of NY included the non charges for political purposes and to embarrass Trump.

    • Duker

       /  14th December 2018

      Cohen is just one of many who are cooperating with prosecutors, plead guilty to crimes or have been convicted. Yet you still say nothing to see here.

      Guess who gets to appoint the prosecutor for Southern District of NY ? Donald Trump

    • Patzcuaro

       /  14th December 2018

      Ever decreasing circles

    • Hans von Spasovsky claims in the Daily Signal article that Michael Cohen and President Trump didn’t breach campaign finance law.

      His arguments might have held water when he wrote his opinion piece but they are not nearly as robust now, in light of the cooperation agreement between SDNY and American Media, owners of the National Inquirer.

      The Statement of Admitted Facts that is appended to the agreement includes the following:
      “In or about August 2015, David Pecker, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AMI, met with Michael Cohen, an attorney for a presidential candidate, and at least one other member of the campaign. At the meeting, Pecker helped offer to deal with negative stories about that presidential candidate’s relationship with women by, among other things, assisting the campaign in identifying such stories so they could be purchased and their publication avoided. Pecker agreed to keep Cohen apprised of any such negative stories.”

      Pecker’s offer to help the campaign amounts to a payment-in-kind contribution to the campaign and both Cohen and Pecker have admitted that these were illegal campaign payments, not private transactions as President Trump has claimed in recent days..

      Back on November 18th of this year, the Wall Street Journal suggested then candidate Trump was the third person in the meeting

      Which places Mr Trump in a room where and when a conspiracy to defraud American voters was discussed.

  3. robertguyton

     /  14th December 2018

    “The unprepared” – a very interesting read from Brian Easton

    “Another instructive example is housing policy. The new government’s view was that New Zealand’s housing crisis (identified by John Key in 2007) required state-sponsored building of more houses. It is not an easy strategy to get under way, especially as the preceding government‘s approach was much more laissez faire. (In contrast, the First Labour Government’s housing program was grounded in work carried out by the preceding Minister of Finance, Gordon Coates.) Instructively, the Minister of Housing, Phil Twyford, has had to create a new government agency to implement his ambition.

    Public understanding of the program has not been helped by the commentariat. Undoubtedly some of the uninformed critics are ideologically opposed to state intervention (and are as enamoured with Judith Collins, National’s spokesperson on housing, as some Labour supporters are with Jacinda Ardern) but most, I think, have been as unprepared for the change in policy direction as the public service, and default to the position they learned under National. They are not National aligned, but creatures of limited habit, repeating what they learned under Key.

    The Minister of Health, David Clark, has faced a different problem. Whatever his analysis or ambitions, he has been overwhelmed by problems left from his National predecessor. (It is called ‘alligator country’; dealing with them means forgetting that the point is to drain the swamp.)”

  4. If this is actual microphotography it is incredible.

  5. lurcher1948

     /  14th December 2018

    Todays nasty comment brought to you by [not by you, don’t quote crap from elsewhere that would not be acceptable here. PG]

    • lurcher1948

       /  14th December 2018

      The right have very low standards, as it trickles down from Nationals leadership

    • lurcher1948

       /  14th December 2018

      KIWIBLOG GD, the source of rightwing National party policy

  6. robertguyton

     /  14th December 2018

    For the cricket fans:
    The National Cricket Club.

    I offer this mid-season review of the NCC.

    Simon Bridges is a medium pacer whose stock ball is two feet outside leg stump. Yet to take a wicket, though he opens the bowling when on the field. As captain does not know when to remove himself from the attack. Has an awkward delivery style and often challenged by the umpire for appealing when the delivery is half way down the pitch.

    Paula Bennett has been known to run herself out, deflecting the ball onto the stumps. Opens the bowling in Bridges’s absence. She likes to pack the catching cordon in hopes of a mis-hit but, like her understanding, most of her deliveries are returned straight back over her head.

    Nick Smith has a full of effort and red-faced approach to the wicket but his deliveries are too short of any length. He has an earnest yet temperamental style and indeed is easily wound up into too many loose deliveries.

    Michael Woodhouse is an earnest off-spinner with a dangerous straight ball that looks like it will drift away but demands bat and pad played close together.

    Gerry Browning appeals often for LBW from his unsighted position at square leg but the umpire has learnt to wave away his vociferous appeals.

    Mark Mitchell runs in a bristling fashion, and is all aggression, with many deliveries spearing in at the throat. Seen as a possible captain, but too many wide deliveries from this right-armer cause him to be of little threat but to his own team fielding in close catching positions.

    Judith Collins has fulfilled the 12th man role on occasion and is seen as captain of the ‘B’ team. Her glare at a turned down appeal makes a 22 yard pitch seem far too short for safety. Her strike ball is a yorker designed to dent toes and reputations.

    Jonathon Coleman is retiring soon. His steady nit-picking length and parsimonious style made him hard to score off. His legacy as the team medic meant that a new first aid room had to be built by his successors.

    Fielding in the deep, Amy Adams, dislikes cyclists on the boundary near her eight favourite fielding positions. Her NOMBY stance (Not On My Boundary) has the lycra-clad in an uproar.

    The former captain, Bill English, was gifted the leadership at a time when the former captain , John Key, was facing prospective defeat and charges of ball tampering.

    Club treasurer, Stephen Joyce, thought he had detected a hole in the opposition’s score card with an extra 11 runs short but when even the friendly media saw the error in his accounting, his attempt failed.

    The search for a wicket-keeper is still being conducted, as no-one with a safe pair of hands can be found.

    Allegations of bullying in the dressing room, tantrums, hair-pulling, match-fixing, dodgy donations to the beer fund, and unflattering references to the ethnic origins of fellow team members plague the team.

    Best estimates are that the NCC (National Cricket Club) will return to near winning form in about another decade.”

    • Gezza

       /  14th December 2018

      Jonathon Coleman is retiring soon.
      It’s quite witty but whose is it? It’s a bit dated. Jonathon Coleman has already retired.

  7. lurcher1948

     /  14th December 2018

    Leighton Smith has moved on,anyone got a stake to make sure?

  8. lurcher1948

     /  14th December 2018

    Chuck Bird a part time poster here is in fine form ranting elsewhere, where rightwingers congregate,Chuck shes your PM or would you rather have her mirror image in Canada their PM,(NO i dont think so)
    Chuck Bird
    Her crocodile tears and atheist prayers.

    Thumb up 15 Thumb down 3 LOG IN TO REPLY REPORTDECEMBER 14, 2018 9:59AM

  9. Blazer

     /  14th December 2018

    usual b/s from banks..

    ‘The Bankers Association – which represents the retail banks – has responded with a warning that raising the capital buffers too high “limits banks’ ability to innovate and enhance customer outcomes.”

    “New Zealand’s banks are currently very well capitalised and among the most stable and secure in the world. Reserve Bank stress tests show banks can withstand a 40 per cent fall in house prices,” New Zealand Bankers’ Association acting chief executive Antony Buick-Constable said.’NZH.


    ‘limit banks ability to…rinse customers.