Monday, November 27, 2006
John Key the National MP for Helensville is now the new leader of the NZ National Party. The Deputy Leader is now Bill English who had a stint as Leader before Dr Brash, and understands that he will probably never be Leader again.
The National Party list shows Dr Brash as # 3 and it appears that he has taken over the caucus Responsibilities of Spokesman for the Security & Intelligence Service and Spokesman for Relationships with Non-Government Parties. He is also on a select committee in relation to Security & Intelligence.
I wish the National Party well and I expect that they along with strong coalition partners like ACT will be in the position to win the next election.....
Posted by Rob Good at 5:55 PM
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Dr Don Brash has just resigned as leader of the New Zealand National Party.
He had called a press conference at 1pm after mounting revelations about his leadership in a book by researcher Nicky Hager.
Dr Brash made his announcement to a press conference called at short notice.
His resignation would take effect from a special caucus meeting on Monday, he said. This will probably be John Key's chance to take the leadership. Don Brash has done a great job for National and although there were alligations he certainly did a better job as leader if we compare him to Bill English.
Now is the time for National to take the reigns and build up to a landslide win at the next election...
Onwards and upwards.
Posted by Rob Good at 5:02 PM
Monday, November 20, 2006
Santa Monica — According to Fox news, an 89-year-old man whose car hurtled through a farmers market at the end of the street from where my office is, killing 10 people, was let off on probation Monday by a judge who said he believed the defendant deserved to go prison but was too ill. It is a hard call as he was negligent in his driving abilities and it makes me wonder if there shold be a more regular auto license test for elderly drivers.
George Russell Weller was convicted Oct. 20 of 10 counts of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence.
Weller, confined to a sickbed, was not in court for his sentencing.
Superior Court Judge Michael Johnson said he agreed completely with the jury and called Weller's actions callous and showing "an enormous indifference to human life."
Weller was 86 when his 1992 Buick Le Sabre plowed at freeway speed into the crowded farmers market on July 16, 2003. In addition to the 10 killed, more than 70 people were injured.
Weller could have received up to 18 years in prison, but the judge said Weller's health problems, including severe heart disease, would make him a burden on prison authorities and taxpayers, and that imprisonment would most likely kill Weller.
Defense attorneys argued that Weller was a victim of "pedal error" in which he panicked and mistook the car's accelerator for the brake. Prosecutors said he was careless to the point of criminal negligence.
The judge noted that Weller had enough control of his vehicle to avoid cars and trucks within the farmers market.
"Mr. Weller chose to steer into the people, plowing into the crowd and literally launching bodies into the air as his car sped 2 1/2 blocks," the judge said. The judge also called Weller's apologies hollow.
The district attorney's office did not make a sentencing recommendation but cited a probation officer's recommendation that Weller spend at least a short time in prison.
"I believe the courts have to be practical as well as principled," the judge said. "I don't see any purpose of sending Mr. Weller to jail or prison. It wouldn't do anybody any good."
Weller, a month short of his 90th birthday, was placed on five years' felony probation. Penalties and fines against him totaled $34,000, and he was also ordered to pay restitution to survivors of those who were killed.
The crash sparked a national debate over whether elderly drivers should be given road and written tests when they renew their licenses.
Although Weller did not testify, a tape of his interview with police immediately after the accident was played in court. He told authorities he did everything he could think of to stop the vehicle, including attempting to throw its gearshift knob into park.
I personally think that when a person hits 70 years old that there should be a test from that age every 2 years until they turn 74 then a driving test every year from then until they hit 80 when it will be necessary for a driving test every 6 months.
It is not a bad thing to do, as peoples driving abilities can deteriorate rapidly upon getting to the 80 year old mark. How often have you seen a blue rinsed Granny riding the clutch in the Toyota as she is looking behind her sholder on a one way road?
That is possible with pople of all age but I truly think that driving testing of the elderly should be mandatory.
Posted by Rob Good at 4:27 PM
Sunday, November 19, 2006
New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark confirmed last night she had invited US President George W Bush to New Zealand after the APEC summit in Australia next year. She had also suggested that Mr Bush meet Pacific leaders while in Auckland. Maybe there will be Kava served, that would make for an interesting meeting....
Helen Clark and Mr George W Bush (#43) were attending the Apec leaders summit in Hanoi, Vietnam when Helen invited 43 to NZ (nice pic above).
HELLen spoke informally to Mr Bush for about 15 minutes at the summit. Mr Bush remained highly appreciative of New Zealand's work in Afghanistan and in the Pacific, she said. He was also interested in meeting Pacific Island leaders. I am not sure what else he could say really without wanting to offend anyone, but lets hope 43 makes it to NZ, it will be a good test on NZ's security systems and will bring some good old publicity to NZ.
If George W Bush visited New Zealand he would be the first president to do so since Bill Clinton visited Christchurch and Auckland for the Apec leaders'summit in September 1999. Now that was an interesting time.
Posted by Rob Good at 11:44 AM
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
(According to CNN) The 2008 race for the White House intensified Thursday as one of the big name Republican players, Sen. John McCain, threw himself into the fray. This is great news in my opinion. John McCain is more popular to most Democrats than Hillary Clinton, so it will be good to see John and Rudy duke it out then give Hillary a knock out punch.
The 70-year-old Arizona senator is the fourth Republican to say they will form an exploratory committee in the race for the GOP presidential nomination since the party took what President Bush called "a thumping" in the midterm elections.
Exploratory committees allow would-be candidates to raise campaign money without having to publicly disclose donations or expenditures.
McCain's name recognition can only be matched by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who filed papers with the Federal Election Commission to form a committee last week. The moderate conservative's performance in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks earned him praise and fame across the nation.
Rep. Duncan Hunter of California, outgoing chairman of the powerful House Armed Services Committee, was the first to form a committee.
On Wednesday, Tommy Thompson, a former Wisconsin governor who headed the Department of Health and Human Services in Bush's Cabinet during his first term, said he is considering a White House bid. An aide said Thompson is expected to create his exploratory committee early next year.
McCain posted a statement on his Web site Wednesday saying the move will "continue my conversation with the American people over the direction of the Republican Party and the future of our country."
"During the next couple of months, I will be talking with my family, friends and supporters about whether to officially announce a run for president," McCain said. "Prior to that decision, the formation of this committee is the first legal step in that process."
McCain is expected to file committee registration paperwork with the FEC on Thursday.
He will also spend the day delivering speeches to the Federalist Society, a group of conservative attorneys, and GOPAC, an education and training center for Republican candidates and activists across the country.
Registered Republicans surveyed in an October CNN poll about their 2008 presidential preferences put Giuliani and McCain at the top of the heap, well ahead of other possible contenders.
Giuliani was the choice of 29 percent; McCain, 27 percent.
I am thinking that either John McCain or Rudy Giuliani would make a great President, although John McCain probably more suitable with his time in the senate. Maybe Giuliani would be a great VP?
Posted by Rob Good at 8:01 PM
Come along..... Will be a fun night. Listen to Greg and Ted play all the favorites including Save Yourself from "Here comes the Caviar", Swagger, Liberty and of course the new songs from the soon to be released album "Anyone can say goodbye".
Posted by Rob Good at 5:59 PM
Friday, November 10, 2006
According to the NZ Herald. Oscar-winning actor Jack Palance, who starred as a heartless gunslinger in the classic western "Shane," died at his California home on Friday at age 87, his spokesman said.
Palance, who won an Academy Award for playing a tough cowboy in the 1991 comedy "City Slickers" and famously performed one-armed push-ups on stage at the ceremony, died of natural causes, spokesman Dick Guttman said.
He usually played menacing villains and was also nominated for Oscars for "Shane" and 1952's "Sudden Fear," in which he played opposite Joan Crawford as a man out to kill his wife.
Born Vladimir Palahnuik in Pennsylvania in 1919, he was a professional boxer and a decorated World War Two veteran before his long career in movies. I rememember him as the host of Ripleys Beleive it or not some years ago. He was good at that.
Guttman said Palance died at his home in Montecito, California, surrounded by members of his family.
Posted by Rob Good at 4:53 PM
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Donald Rumsfeld is to resign with immediate effect.......
He is to be repaced by Robert M Gates upon Senate approval. He served as Director of Central Intelligence from November 6, 1991 until January 20, 1993, capping a 26-year career in the CIA and the National Security Council. Immediately before being nominated to the post of Secretary of Defense, he was the President of Texas A&M University and the National President of the National Eagle Scout Association.
Posted by Rob Good at 10:00 AM
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Forget the predictions that people somewhere wouldn't "get 'Borat'", Sacha Baron Cohen's raucous comedy.
The movie literally swamped the box office on Friday night. According to figures from showbizdata.com, "Borat" took in a whopping $8.925 million on just 800 screens, with a per screen average of $10,663.
"Santa Clause 3," starring Tim Allen, took in only $5.4 million, yet it played on 3,458 screens.
This should put to rest all the predictions based on "tracking" that "Borat" would not be a superstar performer at the box office. The funny thing will be to see all the so-called experts who anticipated the comedy's failure suddenly taking credit for its success.
At this rate, "Borat" should take in around $30 million for the weekend. Next Friday, it expands to 2,200 screens, and then the box office will be limitless. The government of Kazakhstan will have just a few days to suddenly embrace the fun, as "Borat" could wind up grossing $200 million to become the biggest comedy of all time.
Posted by Rob Good at 3:12 PM
Friday, November 03, 2006
I went tonight to Manns theatre in Santa Monica to the premiere of the Borat movie.
It was sold out and I am hoping that the box office puts the movie in the # 1 position.
It was extremely funny, although some of the funnier skits were re hashed from the English version of Borat that I saw many years ago. We went with 10 people and most all of them felt it was one of the funniest movies they have seen. I can't believe that he managed to pull the movie off witout being shot or arrested more than once. I thoroughly recommend it and I for sure will be buying it on DVD for my collection.
Posted by Rob Good at 10:49 PM
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Donald Trump's display of patriotism is apparently too flamboyant for this chic oceanside town of Palm Beach, Florida.
Palm Beach officials cited Trump for hoisting a large American flag atop an 80-foot pole at his lavish Mar-a-Lago estate and club.
Town officials said the real estate mogul has violated zoning codes with a flagpole taller than 42 feet and for erecting it without a building permit and permission from the landmarks board.
Trump has until November 27 to apply for approvals or face a December 21 code enforcement hearing that could result in $250-a-day fines. I am thinking that with The Donalds track record of fighting in court, this may last a while.
"You don't need a permit to put up the American flag," Trump said Tuesday. "The day you need a permit to put up the American flag, that will be a sad day for this country."
Lee Hanley, vice chairman of the town's landmarks commission, previously said the 15-by-25-foot flag makes the town look like "we have an Okeechobee car dealer," referring to a strip of auto dealerships along Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach.
Trump responded in a letter last week saying that "anyone who objects should not, in my opinion, hold a public office of any kind, at least not in this country."
The flag first appeared outside the estate October 3.
Posted by Rob Good at 9:29 AM