i'm feeling pretty tired today, as i've had two after-work meetings already this week, one of which took up quite a bit of time and energy. so i'll just put down some random unconnected thoughts in a meandering kind of way.
hon paula bennet & rt hon john key have me totally depressed with the beneficiary bashing provisions of yesterday. it's just so awful, i mean really, our prime minister is talking about giving beneficiaries a "kick in the pants". yup, kick a dog while it's down. that'll save a whole lot of problems. anyway, julie, deborah, and irish bill have been more eloquent on this topic than i can be just now, so do read what they have to say. also a must read is this from the child poverty action group, showing how wonky the figures are. all i'm thinking is that i'm with the WINZ worker interviewed on tv1 today, who said she would move to australia rather than stay here and implement such policies. certainly, a country that allows these kinds of policies to be put in place is not attractive one in which to live.
just as depressing is the proposal to mine the country's natural heritage. the most precious land (which is why it's been put into schedule 4) is no longer safe. i really hope that there is massive protest if any kind of work starts. i'd be prepared to take unpaid leave to go and sit in front of some bulldozers, arthur dent style but hopefully with better results.
on a more positive note, i'm glad mr obama's health care plan has passed. flawed as it is and still leaving 15 million people without cover. as others have said, at least the bulk of the work is done, and the rest can be achieved by tinkering at the edges. i think this piece of legislation has secured mr obama's place in history - he has lived up to the change and hope he promised, even if it's not as much change as was needed. now, if he can get through some real reform into the financial sector, then he really will be something wonderful.
just a brief mention of the waitakere selection: congrats to carmel, really glad she won the selection and i think she'll do a wonderful job. commiserations to my friend ann pala, who is a wonderful woman contributing in major ways as president of the waitakere ethnic board and through her advocacy for safe driving via nixcrew which she set up.
and finally for some much needed light relief, if you haven't watched it, this series of clips showing the debate in the house yesterday on hon steven joyce's academic record is comedy gold. mr hughes was in especially fine form. enjoy.