It’s become clear recently that the FBI was investigating both Hillary Clinton’s emails and Russian attempts to interfere with the US election.
Comey has faced criticism – why did he come out about additional Hillary emails ten days before the election, but didn’t mention the Russian interference?
Surely Obama would have been briefed about this.
Why didn’t Obama hold a press conference and tell everyone what was going on?
Is it really that the extent of it hasn’t come to light until recently?
It feels like the Obama establishment really fucked up on this one – instead of fighting like the Russians are – by exposing information, they’re opted for a strategy of secrecy. Hardly does wonders for their credibility.
Labour’s immediate response was to say that they’ll keep at 65:
Here’s the thing. It’s not like National’s policy is pulling the rug out from the under the feet of people here expecting the retire in a couple of years. National’s policy doesn’t take effect for another twenty years.
Twenty years. That’s so far in the future that for most people it doesn’t really warrant serious consideration, in terms of what career decisions they make or where they buy their house.
The discussion has been framed as a baby boomers vs millenials thing – but this policy really doesn’t affect baby boomers. Baby boomers will be well into their 80s by the time this policy takes effect.
This really affects generation X – people who are about 40 now – or the children who were born to baby boomers who were about 30. (These generational categories are awfully grey, but assume that baby boomers were born 1945-1955).
Perhaps this policy is just clever politicking by National. They harness the baby boomer resentment by announcing a change to the pension, while not actually doing anything.
If anything – it’s Labour that fumbled this one – allowing National to frame the political divide, while Labour is firmly in a reactionary position.
For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. … The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country.
We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate from the face of the Earth.
January 20th, 2017 will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again.
I mean, that’s quite serious rhetoric.
Classic ‘fall from grace’ imagery
America will start winning again,
For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; subsidized the armies of other countries, while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military.
The US military is depleted? What world does Donald Trump live on?
…and I will never ever let you down.
Did Donald Trump just rick roll us?
Strong, worrying isolationist tones
Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families.
it’s going to be only America first, America first.
An isolationist attitude is not going to help solve global problems. I think freetrade + paying for carbon is the answer.
We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow.
I don’t really understand why people oppose the TPPA. The main argument I’ve seen is that it gives corporations the power to sue governments if they pass legislation that contravenes the treaty. However, my understanding is that this would only allow corporations to sue if the countries government is passing legislation that in contravention to the trade agreement. I’m not sure that the trade agreement is anti-environment and anti-workers-rights itself.
Given that TPPA also takes place in the a context of governments trying to make progress on climate change (Barack Obama supports the TPPA, and is clearly for making progress on climate change) – I don’t think there’s a conspiracy that makes the TPPA a fundamentally anti-environment conspiracy.
So the question I have for those on the anti-globalisation left – that Donald Trump says he’s going to rip up NAFTA and opposes the TPPA – is that in itself a good thing for the world?
This post has almost no research at all. I did read the wikipedia pages about separation of church in state in the US and in New Zealand
It’s more an intuitive impresion. Is that an acceptable thing in this post-truth society?
It would be good to do some research and put a bit more detail into my claims.
A lot of Americans have the idea that America has the greatest democracy in the world, the most freedom, and that other countries are jealous of this freedom.
Let’s be fair to Americans and acknowledge that at some point, this might have been true. The American democracy is one of the worlds oldest democracies after all.
There are glaring issues in American democracy:
It’s a first past the post system. Proportional representation is common throughout the rest of the world.
There appears to political dynasties: eg. The Kennedys, The Bushes, The Clintons.
The US has one of the highest incarceration rates in the world.
The separation of church and state is often touted tenant of American democracy, and makes up a part of its constitution – in the first amendment.
New Zealand by contrast, doesn’t have a so explicitly defined separation of church and state; and parliament starts with a Christian prayer.
However, religion isn’t a particularly big factor in New Zealand politics. By contrast, in the US almost all representatives profess to be Christian or Jewish, presumably because there is a considerable political cost if they don’t.
Religion also appears to play a large part in public policy – for example you see the debate about whether creationism should be taught in schools, and abstinence only education.
In New Zealand, abortions aren’t technically legal. They’re not legal except in the case where the mother’s health will suffer. This loophole allows any woman to get an abortion, almost all doctors happy to say that a woman having a baby that she doesn’t want, regardless of reason, would be a detriment to her health.
In the US on the otherhand Roe v Wade establishes the legal right for women to have abortions, but then you see states putting up all sorts of barriers that make it far harder to get an abortion in the certain parts of the US, than it is in New Zealand.
At the same time – there is also a general distrust in mainstream outlets, and the fake news dog whistle is actually used to criticise the mainstream media – by suggesting that it’s the mainstream media that is reporting things wrong.
One only needs to look at the responses to @WashingtonPost’s Twitter account to see examples of this.
Caveat: It’s hard to tell if accounts like this aren’t troll bot accounts.
While I don’t think that the mainstream media is out and out producing lies or fully factually incorrect content, I think it is fair to say that the media has a vested interest in producing certain kinds of content, and it does seem that a lot of what we see on the media now is more opinion or ‘analysis’ – which isn’t something that needs to withstand basic fact checking.
Recently, I’ve taken an interest in watching RT (Russia Today – a Russian state run media outlet). It’s interesting to see the difference in what RT says about particular issues, as opposed to say Fox News.
For example, let’s look at Allepo:
So we have two problems:
People are just going to share whatever suits them.
The media have their own agendas which influences the content they produce.
Now we have a problem – how do we decide what content to consume?
Also – we’re not just concerned about the actual truth of the matter – but we also need to know what other people are thinking or reading.
The answer: meta-news.
Instead of reading news from your favourite news site, whether that’s RT, Fox News, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, The Washington Post – you read a factual, algorithmic aggregate of all news websites.
How this would work, is that some kind of web crawler will read and view news content as it released, and analyse the frequency of certain words, the general meaning etc. It then presents that story with a breakdown of the various narratives being presented, who’s presenting them etc. For example, on the subject of Aleppo, as well as giving the facts of what happened (and who’s reporting what facts), it would report which outlets are using the term ‘liberate’ and which are focused on civilian deaths by government forces etc.
The tool could be also be used to report sentiment on social media. For example, as the story breaks, it can report ‘users on twitter are saying …’. Further investigation can show that ‘Users that say this about x subject, are saying such and such about y subject’.
This tool isn’t a solution to finding the actual truth about a matter, that still depends on journalists publishing the truth. It does however, reveal a different kind of truth, and is reliable at that (if you trust the algorithm) – the what the world is saying about certain subjects. Perhaps that’s a way of breaking free of our echo chambers.