One of Joe Hockey’s first acts as Treasurer in 2013 was to gift the RBA $8.8 billion. The main reason for this was to make Labor’s deficit look bigger. As a side bonus, it allowed the RBA to invest in the forex market, banking on the Australian dollar losing value as the mining boom subsided.
And that is exactly what happened allowing the government to draw…wait for it…$8.8 billion in dividends over the last six years. That’s all very well (if we ignore how the Coalition screamed like stuck pigs when Labor took a one-off dividend of $500 million in 2013) except Hockey borrowed the $8.8 billion so we are still paying interest on it.
The Kurds have a saying that their only friend is the mountains, and in the past few weeks, US President Donald Trump and his deputy, Mike Pence, have seemed determined to prove them right.
Kurdish forces fought alongside Americans to defeat Islamic State at the cost of 11,000 of their young fighting men and women’s lives. Despite this, almost two weeks ago the United States withdrew the 1000 troops who were keeping the peace along the border with the Kurds’ long-time enemy, Turkey.
Ankara responded almost immediately by invading territory the Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces have effectively ruled over for several years.
On top of that, as is his habit, Trump insulted them. Their existential battle with Turkey “has nothing to do with us”, the President said, and Kurds were, by the way, “no angels”.
From this moment on, whenever anyone asks my why – as a lifelong environmentalist – I continue to vote Labor and will never, *ever* vote Green again, I’m gonna refer them to this speech from the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews.
It was in response to a question from a Greens MP asking if Andrews would support a “climate emergency”. I could not like this more if it turned up on my doorstep with LPs of the entire KLF back catalogue and ten boxes of doughnuts. If you are with m…
My thought for the day
I found it impossible to imagine that the Australian people could be so gullible as to elect for a third term a government that has performed so miserably in the first two and has amongst its members some of the most devious, suspicious and corrupt men and women but they did. (John Lord)
When the Coalition under Malcolm Turnbull won 76 seats in the 2016 election, it was generally accepted that Turnbull had “blown it” and the knives were quickly sharpened. Yet when the ad man wins 77 seats, he is hailed as a messiah that has delivered a decisive victory enabling the Coalition to do whatever they damn well please.
Let’s be clear about that election result.
Leaving out Queensland, in the rest of the country, Labor won 62 seats compared to the Coalition’s 54. That is a resounding victory.
We have the government that Queensland thrust upon us against the wishes of every other state and territory (except WA – the only other state where the Coalition won a majority of seats).
Just who does this Prime Minister think he is that on a thought bubble of his own wind, in the loneliness of his limited intellect, think that he can make decisions concerning our standing in the world with all the simplicity of a leader unsuited to the task?
It’s not often you can offend all sides of an argument.
My thought for the day
This American Conservative political strategy of painting everything as black as possible and then pretending it’s only they that have the answers is being duplicated in Australia. It seems Australians are falling for it. I thought we were brighter than that.( John Lord)
There is a disturbing trend emerging in Australia where the government is increasingly trying to silence the people.
They have painted unionists as lawless thugs and removed our ability to withhold our labour without their pre-arranged permission.
They have made charity funding dependent on them being uncritical of government policy.
They label conservationists and animal welfare groups as ecoterrorists and are pushing forward with legislation to make protesting unlawful if it causes any sort of disruption.
Public servants, journalists and whistleblowers face prosecution if they reveal what the government is doing.
They claim the gay community has “an agenda” and are therefore trying to introduce laws that make discrimination against them legal but discrimination against religious people illegal.
They dismiss school students who are concerned about inaction on climate change as being brainwashed by virtue-signalling elites and tell them to be quiet and get back to school.
Of more than 50,000 Australians who participated in the mammoth study, most — 78 per cent — were optimistic about their own futures.
But they were much less hopeful for the future of the nation at large (51 per cent optimistic), and frankly despairing about where the world’s headed, with only 30 per cent hopeful for the future of the globe.
In a hyperactive and increasingly tribalised world, it seems the fear of what lies outside our own sphere of control is far worse than the adversity we face personally.
Trump continues to support Saudi Arabia’s devastating bombing of Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians. A recent Saudi bombing of a community college killed at least 109 people there. Millions of Yemenis are at risk of starvation in what is described as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Congress has twice passed bipartisan legislation to block arms sales to the Saudis, which Trump has vetoed. He has also ordered more troops to Saudi Arabia to protect its oil facilities and lavishes praise on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Oct. 2 marks the first anniversary of the brutal murder and dismemberment of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in a Saudi Consulate in Turkey, which the CIA concluded was ordered by bin Salman. Trump’s warmongering is an impeachable offense in itself.
Trump’s refusal to support gun control legislation, mass shooting after mass shooting; his prolific lying; his relentless attacks on the press; his elimination of critical programs in our social safety net; his discrimination against trans people in the military and in schools; his Muslim ban, his separation of families and caging of children — all are worthy of an impeachment inquiry. As Congressmember Al Green said, “At some point, we have to stand up to him and let him know that the line has been drawn, and you will go no further.”
The worst Treasurers in our history were undoubtedly John Howard, Peter Costello, Scott Morrison (before he became the worst PM), Sloppy Joe Hockey and the catastrophic Josh Frydenberg – all of them deluded fanatical followers of the Trickle Down economic theory which has been absolutely and thoroughly denigrated by illustrious economists such as the Nobel prize-winning Joseph Stiglitz! For God’s sake, Australia, wake up and kick this government to the kerb at the next election – they have destroyed Australia’s international reputation, attacked our vulnerable citizens, annihilated our economy and vandalised our environment! The question is: How bad does the LNP have to get before misinformed, Murdoch-manipulated, apathetic Australians finally realise just how toxic the LNP really are and stop voting for them? The 2019 federal election proved just how stupid the tiny majority of disconnected, complacent Australians really are.
Photo: Mr Trump is accused of offering $US391 million in military aid in exchange for dirt on a political rival. (Reuters: Carlo Allegri)
“There’s three issues here, and they’re all really big deals,” Wittes said to host Chris Matthews on “Hardball.”
“So the first is: shaking down a foreign leader for his own personal political gain,” he continued. “It’s not for some U.S. policy objective.”
The second issue is something the whole country is already deeply familiar with: “inviting or asking or demanding that foreign country to improperly engage in the U.S. political process.”
“Collusion!” Matthews declared. Wittes agreed.
“And the third,” Wittes said, “which is, from my point of view, by far the worst, asking, demanding a foreign leader to investigate your political opponents.”
Wittes noted that Trump has previously asked U.S. law enforcement to go after political rivals — and now he’s taking that abuse abroad.
Watch the clip below:
I’d understood the dilemma of normalising Trump’s ideas and policies – the racism, misogyny and demonisation of the free press. But watching just one press conference from Otay Mesa helped me understand how the process of reporting about this president can mask and normalise his full and alarming incoherence.
As a foreign reporter visiting the US I was stunned by Trump’s press conference | Lenore Taylor | Opinion | The Guardian
No president has ever been sent packing. Nixon resigned because he saw it coming. Trump would sooner start a civil war
The one-sided pact Morrison has reinforced. America can do what it wants.(ODT)
Imagine if we had a day each year when we all went around asking cancer patients if they were “okay”, yet didn’t fund practical medical help for them or give them any hope? The idea is laughable, yet the analogy is real.
Despite being one of the worst bushfires in Australian history, alarmingly, the Victorian Black Saturday bushfires of 2009, which killed 173 people, destroyed around 2,000 homes and incinerated millions of plants and animals, didn’t serve as a wake-up call.
The deeper we sink into denial, the more we commit ourselves to a reality where our children learn about environmental icons such as the Great Barrier Reef and our magnificent rainforests through history books, instead of being able to experience their wonder for themselves.
Choosing to turn away from this moment to act will be the ultimate betrayal of future generations.
The majority of Welfare Recipients, just like the majority of people in the workplace, just like the majority of people living in your suburb, just like the majority of people sitting next to you at a football match, just like the majority of people next to you on the bus, are decent normal folk just trying to lead a decent normal life.
A small number of people in your workplace, in your suburb, in that footy crowd, on that bus, or on welfare, will seek to take advantage. A small number of people always seek to do that. We’ve all met them, especially in the workplace.
Andrew Bolt’s ageist attack on the young is founded on his conservative fear regressivesaren’t being heard. (ODT)
It’s not just the government that intentionally “fosters” the suspicion of “other” Murdoch has team of professionals who have built their careers on it and children haven’t been excluded. (ODT)
The Coalition have deliberately fostered suspicion of “others” be they Muslim jihadis, African gangs, second or third generation Lebanese Australians, Chinese university students, Tamil families. Gays asking for equality have “an agenda” that will undermine society. Unemployed people will be drug tested. Indigenous people asking for some say in their own affairs are engaging in bleeding heart “identity politics”. Environmentalists are anti-job ecoterrorists. Anyone who believes climate scientists is a weak as piss bedwetter.
Why do this? Why divide us? Why seek to marginalise people? Why dismiss people?
It must take a certain amount of ego to run for politics but what seems to be lacking is the actual confidence to be able to say we got that wrong.
While it is all fine for preachy politicians or mainstream newspaper contributors to hector students who walk out of class for being unconscientious, take issue with times of protest (by all means protest, but do so outside school hours), and lecture them for lacking experience, it is also not a fitting statement about the state of affairs that led to such angst. The world may be entering its penultimate phase, at least in a climatic sense, but that hardly bothers the short-term parliament where the vested, constipated interest precedes the universal, bleak message. By all means be critical of Thunberg and appreciate the limitations of the rebel. She, at least, has the courage to say no.