Author: peterimrich

Comic explainer: how does Islamic finance work?

Interest fuels the financial world. The money sitting in your bank account accrues it, and the credit cards in your wallet charge it. If you ever want money quick, you’re going to being paying a decent amount of interest for having that money now rather than later.

But under Islamic law, interest is explicitly forbidden.

via Comic explainer: how does Islamic finance work?

How We Fight Fascism

that the longer the stagnation and rot of a dysfunctional democracy went unaddressed, the more attractive fascism would become.

Zetkin warned, arises when capitalism enters a period of crisis and breakdown of the democratic institutions that once offered the possibility of reform and protection from an uninhibited assault by the capitalist class. The unchecked capitalist assault pushes the middle class, the bulwark of a capitalist democracy, into the working class and often poverty. It strips workers of all protection and depresses wages. The longer the economic and social stagnation persists, the more attractive fascism becomes. Zetkin would have warned us that Donald Trump is not the danger; the danger is the growing social and economic inequality that concentrates wealth in the hands of an oligarchic elite and degrades the lives of citizens.

via How We Fight Fascism

A belated ‘Recognition’ and a ‘new policy’ (Part 2) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

 

As things stand at the present, Australia’s Constitution does not recognise Indigenous or Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ prior occupation and custodianship of their land.

Actually, section 51(xxvi) allows special laws to be passed to the disadvantage of Aboriginal people, and section 25 enables state laws to disqualify people of a particular race from voting at state elections.

An expert panel recommended to remove sections 25 and 51(xxvi) and adopt new sections:

1) Add Section 51 (A) to recognise Aboriginal peoples’ occupation of the land and continuing relationship with lands and water. The section would also pay respect to culture, language and heritage, and state that the government can only make laws to the benefit of Indigenous People.

2) Add Section 116A specifically to prohibit racial discrimination for all Australians. It would forbid any government from discriminating against a person based on race, colour, ethnicity or national origin.

3) Add Section 127 (A) for recognition of languages and to acknowledge and protect the role that languages have in Aboriginal communities.

via A belated ‘Recognition’ and a ‘new policy’ (Part 2) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

“THE BONKING BEETROOT”: Deputy PM and “homewrecker” Barnaby Joyce allegedly may have traded sex for favours with powerful Canberra lobbyist – True Crime News Weekly

Shari Markson from Murdoch’s stable didn’t break the Barney Story but did raise it to political thunder to discredit Malcolm Turnbull our PM

Only after billionaire media mogul Rupert Murdoch gave the nod to his News Corp foot soldiers last week to proceed with publishing the truth about some of the scandals surrounding Mr Joyce, did other journalists suddenly somehow discover their reporting mojo and investigative capabilities.

 

Rupert Murdoch
Media mogul and political kingmaker Rupert Murdoch (Commons)

Over the past week, news headlines in Australia have involved almost nothing else apart from the struggles facing Mr Joyce. The headlines have even travelled around the world with media in the USA and UK reporting on Mr Joyce’s troubles and travails. Clearly and obviously this story was in the public interest. But why not in October and November last year when Mr Joyce was facing an important by-election in New England caused by his own ignorance of his citizenship status?

via “THE BONKING BEETROOT”: Deputy PM and “homewrecker” Barnaby Joyce allegedly may have traded sex for favours with powerful Canberra lobbyist – True Crime News Weekly

‘They’re laughing their asses off in Moscow’: Trump on the attack over Russia probe

US President Donald Trump.

West Palm Beach: US President Donald Trump questioned the special counsel’s intensifying Russia probe on Sunday while attacking his own national security adviser, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hillary Clinton, former president Barack Obama, Congress, CNN and others in a nine-hour span of tweets that included swearing and grammatical errors.

The Twitter tirade coincided with a trip to Europe during which US officials and lawmakers told foreign policy leaders to ignore the President.

via ‘They’re laughing their asses off in Moscow’: Trump on the attack over Russia probe

Russia indictments present new reality for Trump crying ‘hoax’

 

US President Donald Trump

Since his election, Trump has often privately expressed concern that the charges of Russian meddling undermine the legitimacy of his presidency. He has told associates that if he accepts the premise of Russian meddling, it would call into question the idea that he won the election on his own merits.

In news conferences, on Twitter and at campaign rallies, he has called the Russia investigation “fake news” and has repeatedly predicted that Mueller’s investigation will end without finding much.

via Russia indictments present new reality for Trump crying ‘hoax’

Turnbull’s attack on Emma Alberici’s tax-cut analysis doesn’t add up | Greg Jericho | Business | The Guardian

Treasurer Scott Morrison

When you force the ABC to take down an article that questions your logic you know something is wrong. Since when has Turnbull taken on the role of ABC editor?

On Friday, the ABC took down Alberici’s analysis, citing that it did not conform to the broadcaster’s editorial standards. Frankly, the article – which has been republished on John Menadue’s blog, is not all that different in focus from analyses by Ian Verrender published by the ABC last year, The Age’s Peter Martin and various others, including myself.

Arguing that company tax cuts may not have the impact that the beneficiaries say will result is hardly controversial.

As I noted in January, Moody’s credit rating agency said of the US company tax rate cut from 35% to 21% (compared with a reduction from 30% to 25% proposed here) that “we do not expect corporate tax cuts to lead to a meaningful boost in business investment”.

 

But given most people don’t get excited by business investment (or increased business profits), companies here have followed the lead of their US counterparts, and are saying a tax cut is needed to increase wages.

It’s all a bit of smoke and mirrors.

via Turnbull’s attack on Emma Alberici’s tax-cut analysis doesn’t add up | Greg Jericho | Business | The Guardian

Tony Mansplains Why Malcolm Shouldn’t Malsplain In Public! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Yes, nobody thought to ask Tones, if criticisms should be kept private, why did he not follow his own advice and call Malcolm directly?

Tony, of couse, may have had a number of reasons.

1)Malcolm never listens to advice from anyone so it would be pointless.
2)Malcolm won’t take phone calls from Tony.
3)Tony knows that hypocrisy is so common that it’s rare that anyone is criticised for it, so this was another great chance to bag Malcolm, thereby reminding people that there was a much better PM recently.

via Tony Mansplains Why Malcolm Shouldn’t Malsplain In Public! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians strikes at the heart of the meddling matter | US news | The Guardian

After the indictment was released, Trump tweeted: ‘The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!’

What Robert Mueller delivered in Friday’s indictment were the first charges for interfering in the 2016 presidential election. He is getting to the heart of the matter.
Robert Mueller charges 13 Russians with interfering in US election to help Trump
Read more

The special counsel also buried once and for all Donald Trump’s mealy-mouthed obfuscations over whether Russia was responsible for this confidence trick of breathtaking scope and scale. Former CIA director-general Michael Hayden has described it as the political equivalent of the September 11 terrorist attacks.

But what Mueller has not yet produced is compelling evidence that demonstrates the president or his campaign knowingly coordinated with Russians to cheat Hillary Clinton out of the election.

via Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians strikes at the heart of the meddling matter | US news | The Guardian

MSNBC Breaks Down Significance Of Russian Indictments | Crooks and Liars

So there was, in this case, unwitting help from Americans and the question that Robert Mueller is investigating is whether there was any witting help to this from members of the trump campaign.

via MSNBC Breaks Down Significance Of Russian Indictments | Crooks and Liars

Fox host falsely claims the deputy attorney general said indicted Russians “didn’t influence the outcome” of the election

via Fox host falsely claims the deputy attorney general said indicted Russians “didn’t influence the outcome” of the election

Trump’s Tweet

Russia started their anti-US campaign in 2014, long before I announced that I would run for President. The results of the election were not impacted. The Trump campaign did nothing wrong – no collusion!

So the Clinton email ivestigation had no effect

Global Warming Is Getting Worse, Fast

 

 

1)Global surface temperatures during the three years from 2014 to 2016 – each hotter than the last – boosted the total level of global warming since 1900 by 25%, according to new research.

2)A separate study has confirmed that heat extremes, too, have outpaced the global average. Maximum temperatures during the hottest heat waves have in the last 30 years risen three times faster – especially in crowded cities that are home to more than 10 million – than average temperatures as a whole.

3)And a third study warns that unless the world’s nations start to reduce carbon emissions, then within the next 17 or 18 years, planetary temperatures will be at least 1.5°C above the world average for most of human history.

And 35 to 41 years from now, these temperatures will have climbed 2°C above the level that held before the Industrial Revolution, and the arrival of fossil fuels as a global energy source.

via Global Warming Is Getting Worse, Fast

Alleged terror attacker denied Turkish visa before coming to Australia

Dutton’s Department

The revelations raise serious questions about why Australia’s Border Force granted Shoma a student’s visa to come to Australia.

A spokeswoman for Australia’s Department of Home Affairs earlier said Shoma had been subjected to “all the usual checks” and that no adverse findings were made.

via Alleged terror attacker denied Turkish visa before coming to Australia

Let’s remember the Schoolchildren US & Russian bombs are killing, too

 

Let’s remember the Schoolchildren US & Russian bombs are killing, too

The US-backed Saudi-led war on Yemen is keeping two million children out of school (Yemen is a country of 27 million). Worse, schools and schoolchildren have repeatedly been struck from the air by Saudi, UAE, Moroccan and Jordanian pilots using American-supplied planes and bombs, in a campaign backed by Washington and the Pentagon and the United Kingdom. The US military supplies logistics, refueling and targeting advice to the aggressors.

via Let’s remember the Schoolchildren US & Russian bombs are killing, too

Barnaby Joyce affair shows how when men make abysmal choices, women pay the price

Barnaby Joyce and Malcolm Turnbull in Parliament on Thursday.

The Barnaby Joyce scandal is a horrible saga, with so many grubby angles to it, that even after observing it for a week you feel you need a shower, or at least a break. Wife, mistress, children born and unborn: all are collateral damage.

Turnbull actually seems the only one who who spoke up for the women “As a clearly furious Malcolm Turnbull described it on Thursday, in an extraordinary press conference, Joyce has “set off a world of woe” on his family, and “appalled all of us” with his behaviour, as well as raising “very serious issues about the culture” of Parliament House as a workplace.”

Even News Limited columnist Andrew Bolt, not known for his feminist leanings, thundered this week about “the women left behind after helping their husbands build their lives and careers”.

However Andrew Bolt in typical blind posturing  then theatrically attacked Malcolm Turnbull,revealing his primary motive over and above false faux feminist sentiment along with the media crowd declaring the PM weak.

via Barnaby Joyce affair shows how when men make abysmal choices, women pay the price

If you have good ratings you can do whatever you please – just ask Donald Trump, Don Burke and Barnaby Joyce. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Despite all of Barnaby’s failings and poor judgement calls, my real disgust lies with the other 20 Nationals in parliament who have implicitly condoned his behaviour using the Don Burke excuse. Barnaby’s ratings are so good that he can do whatever he pleases and they will still support him for the sake of their own incomes.

The “don’t tell us what to do” attitude is ludicrous. You are obviously so out of touch with what is appropriate, or you never cared, that you have lost all credibility.

You are enablers. And for that, you all deserve condemnation.

via If you have good ratings you can do whatever you please – just ask Donald Trump, Don Burke and Barnaby Joyce. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

US grand jury indicts 13 Russian nationals for election meddling

Russian trolls created fake US social media profiles that posted messages in support of Donald Trump and paid for anti-Clinton ads, the indictment said.

The indictment said the Internet Research Agency, a Russian organisation, and the 13 Russian individuals began interfering in US political processes, including the 2016 presidential election, as early as 2014.

The Russian individuals allegedly posed as US citizens, stole identities and created fake social media accounts to communicate with “unwitting” individuals associated with the Trump campaign, the indictment said.

via US grand jury indicts 13 Russian nationals for election meddling

Melbourne Grammar student suspended over ‘hit list’ and kill comments

Melbourne Grammar is one of Australia's most prestigious schools.

Melbourne Grammar School has suspended a student who created a “hit list’’ of dozens of his classmates and spoke about killing them.

Copies of the disturbing list have been circulated among senior students at the prestigious private school and includes a short, offensive description against each child’s name.

“I don’t think I’ll be able to kill him he never shows up anyway,” one entry on the list says.

via Melbourne Grammar student suspended over ‘hit list’ and kill comments

11,004 Gun Murders in US vs. 26 (equiv. 130) in England Annually | Informed Comment

11,004 Gun Murders in US vs. 26 (equiv. 130) in England Annually

You’ll note you don’t hear about mass shootings in Australia, Japan or for the most part the United Kingdom, or other civilized countries whose politicians have not been bought by 10 major gun manufacturers.

via 11,004 Gun Murders in US vs. 26 (equiv. 130) in England Annually | Informed Comment

Donald Trump cites mental health not gun laws in speech on Florida school shooting – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Key points:

Mr Trump directly addressed children who may feel ‘lost alone, confused or even scared’
No specific policy recommendations were made but he pledged to help secure schools and tackle mental health issues
Barack Obama tweeted out an emotional plea for ‘common-sense gun safety laws’

He made no mention of the scourge of gun violence.

When Donald Trump tweeted his go-to response full of “prayers and condolences,” some students responded to him, demanding he acknowledge gun control laws.

“Why was a student able to terrorize my school mr president,” one student tweeted.

When Fox News commentator Tomi Lahren tweeted the standard conservative line that “this isn’t about a gun,” multiple students responded to her on Twitter.

“I was hiding in a closet for 2 hours,” one tweeted back. “It was about guns. You weren’t there, you don’t know how it felt.”

via Donald Trump cites mental health not gun laws in speech on Florida school shooting – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Don’t look to Trump for leadership after the Florida school shooting | Richard Wolffe | Opinion | The Guardian

It’s so heartwarming to hear this from the man who promised to end “this American carnage” in his inaugural address. Of course, at the time he was talking about gang murders, just as he did in his State of the Union address last month.

He must have forgotten to mention school shootings with assault weapons, like the AR-15 used at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland, Florida. It was the same assault weapon used at the Sutherland Springs church in Texas in November. It was the same assault weapon used in the Las Vegas massacre the month before that.

It’s as if no politician could talk about protecting airplane cockpits after 9/11 because all we could was pray and send our condolences.

via Don’t look to Trump for leadership after the Florida school shooting | Richard Wolffe | Opinion | The Guardian

Turnbull invites Glencore coal boss on gala US junket

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has invited the head of coal at multinational mining giant Glencore, a company which routinely avoids paying a cent of company tax, to join him on a gala diplomatic mission to the United States to visit President Donald Trump next week.

 

via Turnbull invites Glencore coal boss on gala US junket

The unintended consequences of Barnaby Joyce’s affair

Illustration: Letch

But perhaps some obligations should be beyond political calculations. Perhaps there are times to spend political capital on people other than colleagues, allies and donors. Perhaps there are times to spend it on those whose people were wronged enough to receive a formal apology a decade ago, who’ve since seen several policies that concern them effectively abandoned, and who in spite of that, when asked to give us their ideas share them from the heart. Perhaps, but apparently not this week.

via The unintended consequences of Barnaby Joyce’s affair

 

The Barnaby Affair: Are the Liberals up to making him go?

PRECEDENT IN HISTORY

Not so 50 years ago this month, when the elastic-sided boot was on the other foot and the then leader of the Country Party (later re-named National Party), John McEwen, made it public he would not continue in Coalition with the Liberals if one William McMahon became its leader.

Prime Minister Harold Holt had drowned in the surf, but heir apparent McMahon was seen as too much of a free-trader – a neo-con – while McEwen, the farmer, was hard in favour of tariff protection and campaigned against “dumping” of overseas produced goods at low prices in Australia. He thought of McMahon, morally, as a poor kind of man — as a chronic leaker of Government business to journalists.

We also heard, in grubby whispers, he was influenced by the rumours about McMahon being gay, a story famously junked in that vernacular exclamation from McMahon’s wife Sonia:

“Bill’s not a homo!”

The National Party in those days were all for “conservative values”, no exemptions for sexual licence of any kind, even for party leaders.

via The Barnaby Affair: Are the Liberals up to making him go?

Malcolm Turnbull’s Government is in the middle of a political crisis of its own creation – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Joyce lost his moral authority

One way or another, Barnaby Joyce is cooked. The question is whether the rest of the Nationals let the Government get cooked with him.

Catholic ritual of confession make Bolt believe in a New Start for himself but not Newstart for the Unemployed. He has no moral authority.

via Malcolm Turnbull’s Government is in the middle of a political crisis of its own creation – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

American decline: Open pools of raw sewage in the richest country in the world — RT Op-ed

 

American decline: Open pools of raw sewage in the richest country in the world

As the wealthy continue sucking the country dry, the question now isn’t if the US will cease to provide a decent standard of living for its people. Rather it is how many people will be sacrificed on the way down.

In America, the richest nation in the world when measured by raw GDP, children are getting sick from living by open pools of raw sewage. This was one of many shocking findings by the United Nations late last year, following a two-week investigation into extreme poverty in the US.

The UN report was issued last December by a team of investigators who visited California, Alabama, Georgia, Puerto Rico, West Virginia and Washington DC.

“The United States is one of the world’s richest, most powerful and technologically innovative countries; but neither its wealth, nor its power, nor its technology is being harnessed to address the situation in which 40 million people continue to live in poverty,”wrote Philip Alston, the UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

via American decline: Open pools of raw sewage in the richest country in the world — RT Op-ed

Did Trump’s lawyer just implicate Trump in the Stormy Daniels payment?

 

Adult film star Stormy Daniels received a $130,000 payment from Donald Trump's lawyer.When evaluating President Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen’s new admission that he paid porn star Stormy Daniels $US130,000 ($165,000) out of his own pocket, it’s worth focusing on what he doesn’t deny: namely, that Trump had anything to do with it.

 Is this an affairBarnaby Joyce?

via Did Trump’s lawyer just implicate Trump in the Stormy Daniels payment?

PM bans sex between ministers and staff and calls on Barnaby Joyce to consider his position

Not fit to lead: Turnbull has punished Joyce the best way he can

But he conceded he was powerless to force Mr Joyce to stand down as Deputy Prime Minister because the Nationals leadership can only be decided by the Nationals party room.

via PM bans sex between ministers and staff and calls on Barnaby Joyce to consider his position

Dutton Stacks The Deck – Deportation; Section 501 – » The Australian Independent Media Network

 

In the two years following its implementation, this legislation change has resulted in a 1,100% increase in individuals placed in detention on ‘character grounds.’ Whilst this is passed off as the protection of the Australian community from a ‘criminal element’, what is particularly chilling is the set of sweeping discretionary powers this legislation gave to just one man – namely the Minister for Home Affairs.

Reason and common sense dictate that it is supreme folly to accord virtually unchecked powers to one person. It means we are left to rely on the moral fibre of an incumbent minister to uphold the spirit and intent of the legislation in a fair and just manner. With great power comes great responsibility’ as the saying goes. And therein lies the problem. In Peter Dutton we have a veritable monkey with a match in a barrel of dynamite. This is a man who displays open contempt for the judiciary; who sees the court system as little more than a frustrating impediment. He is nothing if not transparent – it is not hard to see a man consumed by self-righteousness and driven by a personal vendetta to rid the country of all that he personally considers to be vile and wrong.

Section 501 has effectively equipped this vigilante Minister with a weapon of mass destruction. So how does a 501 visa cancellation actually work? Simply put, it can be likened to a card game which has the deck rigged in favour of the house:

via Dutton Stacks The Deck – Deportation & Section 501 – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Michaelia is hoping we have short memories – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Michaelia Cash must have been hoping that everyone would keep looking at Barnaby when she chose to stick her head up today to spruik her take on the latest labour force survey but, thankfully, some journalists have memories that stretch back further than last week.

via Michaelia is hoping we have short memories – » The Australian Independent Media Network

In maiden speech, Jim Molan warns of China war risk, calls for Defence boost

Jim Molan in the Senate chamber in Canberra.

Should The Butcher Of Fallujah be regarded as our expert on Defense?

Australia needs to increase its military self-reliance so that it can approach China from “a position of strength” and prepare for the possibility that the rising power could go to war with the United States, new Liberal senator Jim Molan has said.

The retired army major-general used his maiden speech to the Senate on Wednesday to stake out his position as a defence hawk, calling for long-term investment in military readiness and linked his call specifically to China’s challenge to a US that is in “relative decline” in defence terms.

via In maiden speech, Jim Molan warns of China war risk, calls for Defence boost

Ayelet Shaked: Israel must safeguard Jewish majority | Israeli–Palestinian conflict News | Al Jazeera

Shaked said Israel must maintain a Jewish majority 'at the price' of rights violations [Tamas Kovacs/MTI via AP]

 

Israel must safeguard a Jewish majority even at the expense of human rights, the country’s justice minister has said in a speech defending a bill that would legally define Israel as the “national home of the Jewish people” for the first time.

Ayelet Shaked said on Monday that Israel must maintain both a Jewish majority and democracy,

“There is place to maintain a Jewish majority even at the price of violation of rights,” Shaked told a conference in Tel Aviv on Monday, Israeli media reported.

via Ayelet Shaked: Israel must safeguard Jewish majority | Israeli–Palestinian conflict News | Al Jazeera

Huckabee Sanders Pronounces Media A Danger To National Security | Crooks and Liars

Sarah Huckabee Sanders, spokeswoman for the man who spent over a year shouting “Lock Her Up!” at his rallies in order to express displeasure for Hillary Clinton mishandling some classified information in their fever dreams, scolded media today and claimed they were a danger to national security.

It was a classic, “Not the leaker, you’re the leaker!” moment.

via Huckabee Sanders Pronounces Media A Danger To National Security | Crooks and Liars

Coalition warned welfare overhaul could worsen poverty and unemployment | Australia news | The Guardian

Centrelink

The government’s planned overhaul of the welfare system could push the most vulnerable further into poverty and undermine their ability to get a job, the Australian Council of Social Service has warned.

Welfare advocacy groups are in Canberra this week mounting a final effort to convince Senate crossbenchers not to pass the harshest elements of the Coalition’s social security legislation.

The bill introduces tougher punishments for jobseekers who fail to meet their mutual obligation requirements and ends the ability for welfare recipients to notify the department of an “intent to claim”, should they find themselves unable to lodge a claim for social security in full.

via Coalition warned welfare overhaul could worsen poverty and unemployment | Australia news | The Guardian

There’s no case for a corporate tax cut when one in five of Australia’s top companies don’t pay it – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

 

Qantas CEO Alan Joyce

via There’s no case for a corporate tax cut when one in five of Australia’s top companies don’t pay it – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Woman dragged out of hearing for exposing Big Energy donations (VIDEO) — RT US News

 

Woman dragged out of hearing for exposing Big Energy donations (VIDEO)

The people who are going to be speaking in favor of this bill are all going to be paid by the industry … the people who are going to be voting on this bill are often also paid by the industry,” Lucas said.

Lucas was ordered by House Judiciary Committee members to desist from making “personal comments” about members. As Lucas persisted, her microphone was cut off. When lawmakers refused to let her finish speaking, she told them to “drag me off.” Security was called and in a video of the incident she can be seen being dragged from the floor.

I got dragged out of House chambers … Because I was listing out who has been donating to Delegates on the Judiciary Committee,” Lucas wrote on her blog.

via Woman dragged out of hearing for exposing Big Energy donations (VIDEO) — RT US News

Political advisers: a case of who you know, not what you know?

Barnaby Joyce (far left) in June last year with media adviser Vikki Campion (far right).

I don’t think I properly understood before that the hiring of political staffers is arbitrary and without scrutiny. One of Australia’s leading researchers in this area, Maria Maley, also at the ANU, has comprehensively reviewed federal political advisers in Australia. The news isn’t good. She describes advisers as “a cadre separate from the public service … partisan”. Under the Members of Parliament (Staff) Act, they are employed personally by ministers but their salaries are paid by the taxpayer.

Maley says one of the negative features of Australia’s arrangements is the secrecy surrounding the identity of ministerial staff. We don’t really know who they are, how they got there and why they were chosen. It’s awful.

Maley says the Coalition, under former prime minister John Howard, ditched the practice of naming advisers; and their identities are not readily publicly available. Everyone in Parliament House knows but not us. We pay the bills but we don’t know who they are.

via Political advisers: a case of who you know, not what you know?