What would George do?

June 5th, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

A very funny speech by George W Bush at the unveiling of his White House portrait.

Bring Back Bush

December 14th, 2009 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Public Policy Polling blogs:

Perhaps the greatest measure of Obama’s declining support is that just 50% of voters now say they prefer having him as President to George W. Bush, with 44% saying they’d rather have his predecessor.

That is a startling figure, considering how unpopular Bush was on both the left and the right.

Minto compares Bush to Hitler and Amin

October 22nd, 2009 at 4:05 pm by David Farrar

It’s great to be reminded how fruit loopy the far left are. John Minto blogs:

It was dispiriting to see a group of secondary schoolboys hounded by media as they entered the Auckland War Memorial Museum to apologise for their behaviour at a school outing earlier this year when they paid mock homage to the swastika. …

They weren’t intending disrespect to the Jews, gypsies, communists and homosexuals who all faced Nazi extermination efforts. Surely we need to lighten up a bit here.

The same applies to the Lincoln University students who dressed up as Nazis and Nazi victims for a fancy dress party a few weeks back. There were howls of rage and profuse apologies all round and disciplinary action followed.

Was the same action taken against those who dressed up as Osama bin Laden, Idi Amin or George Bush? All of these figures could rightly be condemned for war crimes and genocide.

Yes of course dressing up as George Bush is the same as dressing up as Nazis. I mean, after all, they are all guilty of genocide.

I just love it that there really are people who equate Bush with Hitler. Even after Bush retired from office in accordance with the constitution. They spent years darkly warning of how Bush would become a military dictator supported by the industrial-military complex. Yet somehow we now have Obama as President and a Democratic House and Senate.

The Is Obama the anti-Christ poll

September 21st, 2009 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

I first heard about this widely reported poll on Twitter, from Public Address:

Poll: A third of conservatives believe Obama could be the Antichrist. 18% are certain he is: http://bit.ly/2WY48F

My tweet back was:

lunacy but you forgot to mention in same poll a third of dems think gwb knew of 911 attacks in advance.

And PA:

Yes, that’s in the link. But IMO, believing Obama to be the Antichrist is orders of magnitude more weird.

And my response:

have to agree. In fact thinking anyone is the antichrist is pretty far gone.

Anyway I’ve thought a lot more about the poll. It has been widely reported as proof that a large segment of the US right are deranged. So it got me interested in finding the full poll results.

The first thing I notice, in the poll of 500 New Jersey residents, is that it is an automated telephone poll. This means the respondents push buttons on their phone, they are not speaking to an actual person.

So immediately I am suspicious that many of those responses may be in jest. Hell, if I received a recorded voice saying

“Do you think Murray McCully is the Anti-Christ? If yes, press 1, If no, press 2. If you’re not sure, press 3”

well once I’d stopped laughing I’d be pretty tempted to press 1 or 3 🙂

Now is there any proof for my theory many voters may have been taking the piss.  Let us look at the crosstabs. Overall 8% said yes he is, and 13% were not sure. And the shock figure was 18% of conservatives said yes he is, and 17% were not sure

  • 5% of those who voted for Obama in 2008 said he is the Anti-Christ and a further 5% said they were not sure
  • 6% of moderates said Obama was the Anti-Christ and 13% were unsure
  • 6% of Democrats said Obama was the Anti-Christ and 7% were unsure
  • 24% of Hispanics said Obama was the Anti-Christ and 18% were unsure
  • 11% of African-Americans were unsure if Obama is the Anti-Christ
  • 24% of those aged under 30 said Obama was the Anti-Christ and a further 18% were not sure

The last stat especially reinforces my suspicion many were taking the piss. Does anyone really think over 40% of under 30s do not know if Obama is the Anti-Christ?

So more under 30s and more Hispanics said Obama was the Anti-Christ, than conservatives did. But that is not such a sexy headline.

Now don’t get me wrong. I am sure there are some conservatives who think Obama is the Anti-Christ. And they are scary. But is it a very small minority of the conservative movement, or as much as one in three as the poll headline suggested? I say the former.

And some other unusual results:

  • 31% of 2008 Obama voters think Bush knew of the 911 attacks in advance
  • 4% of 2008 Obama voters want to eliminate the Federal Government, as do 6% of McCain voters
  • 21% of Democrats do not think or are not sure if Obama was born in the US
  • 11% of Republicans think Bush knew of the 911 attacks in advance
  • 6% of Democrats want to eliminate the Federal Government, and only 5% of Republicans
  • 50% of African-Americans think Bush knew of the 911 attacks in advance
  • More Hispanics and African-Americans said they want to eliminate the Federal Government than Whites

My conclusion would be that one should be wary of using automated phone polling for controversial statements. People are far more willing to push a digit on a phone for something they do not believe, than actually tell an actual human being the same thing.

US goes more protectionist

September 13th, 2009 at 11:20 am by David Farrar

Sad to read in the HoS:

President Barack Obama slapped punitive tariffs on all car and light truck tyres entering the United States from China in a decision that could anger the strategically important Asian powerhouse but placate union supporters important to his health-care push at home. …

The federal trade panel recommended a 55 per cent tariff in the first year, decreasing 10 per cent in each of the next two years. Obama settled on an extra 35 per cent in the first year, reducing by 5 per cent for two years. Beijing yesterday sharply condemned the US move: “China strongly opposes this serious act of trade protectionism by the US.

“This act not only violates the rules of the World Trade Organisation but also violates the relevant commitments made by the US Government at the G-20 financial summit.”

Protectionism may sometimes deliver short-term gain, but at the expense of long-term pain. NZ is a sterling example of this as we got rid of almost all tariffs and subsidies, yet up until the global recession had the lowest unemployment rate in the OECD. Protectionism doesn’t save jobs in the long-term, it merely keeps capital locked up in relatively inefficient industries.

To be fair to Obama, Bush was also a protectionist despite his rhetoric. He slapped tariffs on regularly, against WTO rules. They know they will lose at the WTO eventually, but do it to get through the election.

It is a pity, in terms of trade policy, that John McCain did not win. He was a very sincere and dedicated free trade supporter – his policy was to remove barriers to trade with every country on Earth, except those they have security issues with.

Fun on National Radio

February 17th, 2009 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

I had great fun on National Radio yesterday. One topic was the ranking of Abe Lincoln as the all time best President by Historians.

I pointed out that Lincoln was very unpopular with many at the time he was President. He invaded the independent Southern states as they were a security threat. He went far beyond the Patriot Act by suspending habeas corpus. He acted unconstitutionally in many ways, justifying it by the ends justify the means. He imprisoned 10,000 Americans without trial and spent money before Congress had appropriated it.

Yet despite all that, 150 years later he is ranked the greatest ever President.

Therefore is it not possible, I postulated, that in 2150, historians will rank George W Bush as the greatest President of all time 🙂

No I wasn’t being serious, but according to the producer I suceeded in lighting the lines and text messages up.

Another topic discussed was the story of the German woman who had the Armed Offenders Squad rescue her from an Internet romance gone bad. Now that is what you call a bad date!

Fisking Tracey Barnett

February 16th, 2009 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Tracey Barnett in her ODT column (also carried earlier in the Herald) says:

And of course, there was the comfort in knowing that a gobsmacking 98% of Bush appointees were regulating the very same industries they used to represent as lobbyists.

That seemed massively high to me. Just from my knowledge of the Cabinet that seemed wrong. So I went to Harper’s Index, which Tracey was quoting:

Minimum number of Bush appointees who have regulated industries they used to represent as lobbyists: 98

Anyone else see the difference? One is a percentage and one is an absolute number.

The total number of presidential appointees is 3,000 so 98/3,000 is a less impressive 3%.

Ad of the year

January 22nd, 2009 at 3:37 pm by David Farrar


Veet, for those who don’t know, is an unwanted hair removal product.

The quickest signing ever!

October 4th, 2008 at 8:42 am by David Farrar

George W Bush has signed the $700 billion bailout bill into law within an hour of the House of Representatives passing it 263 to 171. I guess he didn’t want to risk them changing their minds!

26 Republicans and 32 Deomcrats who voted no last time, voted yes this time.

Clark gives in to Bush

September 8th, 2008 at 9:27 am by David Farrar

New Zealand has dropped its opposition to a US-India nuclear deal after a phone call between George W Bush and Helen Clark.

India is delighted:

This followed tough negotiations in which several small NSG states agreed under heavy U.S. pressure to weaker language than they had sought to ensure India does not test atom bombs again.

“I thank the United States and other member countries of the Nuclear Suppliers Group for the role they have played in ensuring this outcome,” Singh said.

The NY Times says:

Its critics warned that such a sweeping exemption for India, which has developed an atomic weapons program but steadfastly refused to sign the global nonproliferation treaty, sets a dangerous precedent.

The NZ Government is said to have wanted three concessions:

  1. Action to be taken should India resume nuclear testing;
  2. For India to sign up to an International Atomic Energy Agency protocol extending its monitoring powers;
  3. A review of the exemption.

Could someone advise how many of these were formally agreed to? Is India signing up to such a protocol?

Personally I have no issues with the deal. I am just highlighting how the lofty rhetoric of the Clark administration fades way under a phone call from Duyba.

Do the Greens have anything to say?

Why Hurricane Gustav is good for McCain

September 1st, 2008 at 8:00 pm by David Farrar

Thanks to the hurricance, both Bush and Cheney miss the convention, and have an unassailable reason for doing so.

Bush under fire

May 30th, 2008 at 8:29 am by David Farrar

Scott McClellan, George W Bush’s forrmer press secretary, has just released a book which is quite damning of Bush and the White House. This is not some minor official, but the public face of the Administration for many years.

McClellan says Bush’s main reason for war always was “an ambitious and idealistic post-9/11 vision of transforming the Middle East through the spread of freedom.” But Bush and his advisers made “a marketing choice” to downplay this rationale in favor of one focused on increasingly trumped-up portrayals of the threat posed by the weapons of mass destruction.

During the “political propaganda campaign to sell the war to the American people,” Bush and his team tried to make the “WMD threat and the Iraqi connection to terrorism appear just a little more certain, a little less questionable than they were.” Something else was downplayed as well, McClellan says: any discussion of “the possible unpleasant consequences of war – casualties, economic effects, geopolitical risks, diplomatic repercussions.”

This is an honest and useful analysis of where Bush went wrong. It isn’t the moronic “Bush lied” meme,
but shows that they over-hyped the WMDs as a political strategy.

It will be an interesting book to read.

Clark compared unfavourably to Bush

March 7th, 2008 at 11:05 am by David Farrar

A blog has compared Helen Clark to George W Bush. Their headline:

Bush leads fight against climate change, Clark following fast

It goes on to compare Bush’s rhetoric to Clark’s and find some comparisons.

So which awful blog has done this? Is it Whale Oil? Insolent Prick? Cactus Kate? Ian Wishart? No Minister?

It’s the Greens’ Frog Blog!