Category: Informed Comment

The Coming Civil War Over Trump’s Ego | The Smirking Chimp

What is America really fighting over in the upcoming election? No particular issue. Not even Democrats versus Republicans. The central fight is over Donald J Trump.

The Coming Civil War Over Trump’s Ego | The Smirking Chimp

Emperor Donald Trump: a psychological profile of an American nightmare

Certainly, such manoeuvres would be entirely consistent with, if not exemplify, some of the core traits of the emperor complex we have now deciphered in Donald J Trump: delusional, omnipotent, narcissistic, arrogant, lawless and distrustful. Juvenile. Tyrannical, resentful, unhinged, misogynist and, perhaps most worrying of all, Putinesque.

Emperor Donald Trump: a psychological profile of an American nightmare

The Supreme Court is finished: Republicans have killed it. Now it’s time to fight back | Salon.com

Trump and McConnell have corrupted the Supreme Court and th judicial branch for a generation. Time to fight dirty

The Supreme Court is finished: Republicans have killed it. Now it’s time to fight back | Salon.com

 

National Times |Coalition To Cut $2 billion A Year From University Research By Rick Morton

New analysis reveals the government intends to cut billions of dollars from university research, while re announcing funds from elsewhere in the budget The government’s proposed changes to higher education funding will cut $2 billion a year from university research budgets, according to new analysis prepared by the sector’s peak body.

National Times | Facebook

Just because we are governed by clowns it doesn’t mean we have to laugh – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thoughts for the day Honesty isn’t popular anymore. It doesn’t carry the weight of society’s approval it once did. * * * 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)

Just because we are governed by clowns it doesn’t mean we have to laugh – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Backflips and somersaults – the NBN black comedy takes a new twist

NBN upgrade backflip

There are those who do back-flips, and triple backward somersaults with a twist. Then there is Communications Minister Paul Fletcher. The saga of the National Broadband Network continues as the Government this week announced a large-scale upgrade to fibre, heralding it as “an idea whose time has finally come”. It’s cost $14.5 billion more than budget, is under-performing and now the Government wants to spend another $3.5 billion to upgrade it, while competition looms. Australia is ranked 50 in internet speed worldwide. We’re well below almost every country in Europe and North America and many including ‘developing’ countries in South-East Asia. And we are failing badly when compared with our cousins across the ditch. Kiwis enjoy twice the average download speed of what Australians enjoy.

Backflips and somersaults – the NBN black comedy takes a new twist

The big lie – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Behind closed doors, government ministers beholden to monopoly capitalists cherry-pick which industry sectors get the most hand-outs. Take for example the unscrupulous extraction industry receiving fuel subsidies and a raft of other tax-breaks designed to offset the operational costs of doing business. While the working class suffer the financial burden that comes from the inequity of a 10% regressive goods and services tax, rent-seekers and other capitalists benefit handsomely from government wilfully leaving gaping loopholes in the tax system.

The big lie – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Thinking economists are grappling with why their profession has made our lives worse

Illustration: Andrew Dyson

By sanctifying selfishness, it has undermined community-mindedness and the role of co-operation in advancing our mutual interests. Voting has become a simple matter of “what’s in it for me and mine”, while businesses and industries have been licensed to lobby for preferment at the expense of everyone else. “In recent decades the balance between these instincts [of competition and co-operation] has become dangerously skewed: mutuality has been undermined by an extreme individualism which has weakened co-operation and polarised our politics,”

Since the late 1970s, however, Americans have talked less about the common good and more about self-aggrandisement; less “we’re all in it together” and more “you’re on your own”. There’s been “growing cynicism and distrust toward all the basic institutions of American society – governments, the media, corporations” and more.

Thinking economists are grappling with why their profession has made our lives worse

Trump Claims He’s Pro-Worker. But His Labor Board Is Trying to Destroy Worker Organizing.

Donald Trump tries to portray himself as pro-worker. Nowhere is this absurdity better exposed than in the decisions of his National Labor Relations Board, which have over and over again favored bosses rather than workers.

Trump Claims He’s Pro-Worker. But His Labor Board Is Trying to Destroy Worker Organizing.

Dirty money leaks shine a spotlight on kleptocrats devouring our economy – Michael West

 

FinCen tainted financial transactions

An unprecedented leak of thousands of files from the US government’s most confidential financial intelligence database has shone a spotlight on the world’s $2 trillion-a-year dirty money habit. As Nathan Lynch reveals, this story goes much deeper than the glib “bad bankers” narrative being trotted out by the world’s media.

Dirty money leaks shine a spotlight on kleptocrats devouring our economy – Michael West

The Possibility That Trump Will Not Voluntarily Leave | The Smirking Chimp

Over the next 48 days, let us do all we can to deliver a decisive victory for Joe Biden on November 3. And once we do that, let us remain vigilant to see to it that Trump allows for the peaceful transition of power.

The Possibility That Trump Will Not Voluntarily Leave | The Smirking Chimp

Getting back to the roots of spycraft

Modern spying techniques have eliminated the need for old-fashioned methods, but that doesn’t mean they’re more effective

Just as boys and girls with leanings toward the Right tend to join the armed forces, so do Right-leaning youngsters get recruited as spies. A spy is a person employed by a government to obtain secret information or intelligence about another country and individuals within it. Spies come in many shapes and forms. They can be full or part-time, they can be sleepers, activated as needed. Or even members of professional or sporting associations and academics who report regularly or as required, or when they judge something is of interest to their minder. They might be journalists, but they shouldn’t be. Sometimes diplomats are spies; sometimes spies use the cover of diplomacy to undertake their activities.

Getting back to the roots of spycraft

Newspoll, Insiders, and what’s new in politics – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The common good, or empathy for it, should be at the centre of any political philosophy. However, it is more likely to be found on the left than the right.

Newspoll, Insiders, and what’s new in politics – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The Economy Above All – Even Life Itself! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

And with the money we save we could afford to give even greater tax cuts to those having a go. Yes, it’s all in how you frame it. Apparently it’s fine to suggest that we can’t afford any economic slowdown just to keep old people alive. After all, they’ve had a pretty good innings so they can just shut up and accept that Covid-19 will kill a few of them. Yes, that seems to be an acceptable way to treat the elderly if you’re a politician or an economist or someone who has a media gig… But if you should suggest touching their franking credits, you’re some sort of monster!

The Economy Above All – Even Life Itself! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

How Abraham Lincoln Fought the Supreme Court

the Right’s resort to judicial supremacy is not a sign of strength, but an admission of weakness: a beleaguered regime calls upon the authority of the court only to achieve what it cannot accomplish through electoral politics.

How Abraham Lincoln Fought the Supreme Court

Reducing Energy Prices And Getting The Debt and Deficit Under Control or Back To The Future XXIV – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Anyway, this latest proposal should go a long way towards helping get us out of the current recession. There’s nothing like a power plant that hasn’t been built for bringing down energy prices. I can’t work out why some people are being cynical about it! Ok, back into the Delorean. I’d make a little trip into the future to see when the plant is actually built, but there may not be enough fuel in the universe to get there and back!

Reducing Energy Prices And Getting The Debt and Deficit Under Control or Back To The Future XXIV – » The Australian Independent Media Network

They built a disastrous NBN and now they think they can build a power station. Wow. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

If one day in the future our children wake to find our prosperity gravely ill. It will be because Australia’s conservative politicians during the years 2013 to 202? Didn’t believe the science of a changing climate and left you with the consequences.

They built a disastrous NBN and now they think they can build a power station. Wow. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

As the West Goes Up in Flames, Trump Couldn’t Care Less | The Smirking Chimp

 

As the West Goes Up in Flames, Trump Couldn’t Care Less | The Smirking Chimp

Nonetheless, Americans have a clear choice. In a few weeks, when they decide whether Trump deserves another four years, climate change will be on the ballot. The choice shouldn’t be hard to make. Like the coronavirus, the dire consequences of climate change – coupled with Trump’s utter malfeasance – offer unambiguous proof that he couldn’t care less about the public good.

As the West Goes Up in Flames, Trump Couldn’t Care Less | The Smirking Chimp

Milton Friedman, 50 Years Ago Today | The Smirking Chimp

A half-century ago, the economist Milton Friedman wrote an article in the New York Times Magazine that got a lot of attention. In it, he argued that CEOs should not try to be socially responsible. Their sole obligation was to maximize shareholder returns. It was the responsibility of government to respond to social needs.

Milton Friedman, 50 Years Ago Today | The Smirking Chimp

Trump doesn’t care if wildfires destroy the west – it didn’t vote for him | Robert Reich | Opinion | The Guardian

Cars drive along the Golden Gate Bridge under an orange smoke-filled sky – at midday in San Francisco.

The choice shouldn’t be hard to make. Like the coronavirus, the dire consequences of climate change – coupled with Trump’s utter malfeasance – offer unambiguous proof that he couldn’t care less about the public good.

Trump doesn’t care if wildfires destroy the west – it didn’t vote for him | Robert Reich | Opinion | The Guardian

Donald Trump: The fool on the hill is full of rage – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day It is clear that from whatever way you look at it that Trump lied and people died. PS: For the complete list of Trump’s lies about the coronavirus (John Lord) click here.

Donald Trump: The fool on the hill is full of rage – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Citizen Musk | The Smirking Chimp

The problem isn’t only that Elon Musk has a net worth of about $100 billion when tens of millions of Americans are barely getting by. It’s that he’s made this money while treating his workers so badly. His wealth quadrupled during the 4 months Tesla forced all workers to take a 10 percent pay cut.

Citizen Musk | The Smirking Chimp

Tone deaf: aged care providers’ PR campaign strikes wrong note – Michael West

 

Not under an LNP watch

Hiring properly qualified staff, staff-resident ratios and a commitment to be transparent and accountable for the $13 billion in annual taxpayer funding would help private providers of aged care “change the conversation” and “win the hearts and minds of middle Australia”. Dr Sarah Russell reports.

Tone deaf: aged care providers’ PR campaign strikes wrong note – Michael West

 

Right-Wing Conspiracists Linked Antifa to the Wildfires. Then They Got a Big Boost from Russian Media. – Mother Jones

RT & Pravda are boosting Biden’s health wildfires and spin for Trump as they always have

How overlapping false claims about the wildfires ricocheted around conservative social media thanks to a bogus story from Russia.

Right-Wing Conspiracists Linked Antifa to the Wildfires. Then They Got a Big Boost from Russian Media. – Mother Jones

Why Liberals Should Unite With Socialists, Not the Right

Conservatives are sounding the alarm bell about a Marxist takeover, with at least one philosopher urging liberals to join forces with the Right to destroy the socialist bogeyman. But the values of liberalism have much more in common with socialism than the Right — and liberals sincerely committed to advancing freedom and equality should unite with leftists.

Why Liberals Should Unite With Socialists, Not the Right

Over and Over and Over Again, History Has Vindicated Edward Snowden

An appeals court recently ruled a mass surveillance program exposed by Edward Snowden was illegal. It’s only the latest example of Washington admitting Snowden had, despite being continuously denounced by pundits and politicians, done the right thing by leaking information about the government’s massive surveillance operations.

Over and Over and Over Again, History Has Vindicated Edward Snowden

Just who are the losers and suckers, Mr Trump? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Gordon Gekko jumped out of a Hollywood movie onto a TV Reality Show in need of someone someone to play the role Trump was born to play. The Snake Oil salesman no longer needed a covered wagon to come to town. America was ripe and ready. Will he steal the Peace Prize too? (ODT)

Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” The embodiment of the false creed of neoliberalism, Trump cannot fathom any human action that cannot be reduced to a transaction. He cannot comprehend volunteers because that involves altruism and empathy. The narcissistic materialist is equally confounded; discomfited to discover that over 1,800 US Marines lost their lives at Belleau Wood. He sees them as “suckers” for getting killed. In brief, as Goldberg sees, Donald Trump suffers the delusion that “nothing is worth doing without the promise of monetary payback, and that talented people who don’t pursue riches are “losers.” It’s not hard to hear the same delusion at work in the News Corp journalists who endlessly, every day twit Dan Andrews with the same questions. Why should the state pursue public health and safety instead of profits for business at any costs? Similarly, in his tedious repetition of his vacuous slogan “open the nation for business”, Trumpista Scott Morrison exhibits the same pathological indifference to others; the same failure to imagine another’s pain, along with an alarming poverty of mind and spirit which simply make him unfit to lead. He should resign over the sports rorts alone. In their own ways, the rise of Trumpism and the coronavirus pandemic have helped create an environment where Morrison and Murdoch’s minions’ claims that we must endlessly pursue selfish competition – that greed is good and might is right – are so vividly exposed as toxic aberrations and hopelessly, grotesquely inadequate to the times’ need for compassion, co-operation, community and humanity. We must expose their lies; continue to hold them to account.

Just who are the losers and suckers, Mr Trump? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

China policy: Our trading relationship is being ruined by the Right wing

Leadership: The LNP is practiced in not giving answers when asked quite the opposite can be said of Dan Andrews.

That made no sense to me. During the course of a 23-year career in DFAT, which involved briefing ministers and ministerial advisers, I cannot recall the provision of such simple and straightforward information not being provided under the circumstances prevailing in this matter. I went back:

China policy: Our trading relationship is being ruined by the Right wing

Australia takes high moral ground as China expels journalists

 

Australia takes high moral ground as China expels journalists
cheng lei bill birtles michael smith

Multiple Chinese media sources now claim the ASIO raided four Chinese journalists in Australia. Given the focus on Chinese espionage in Australia at the moment this may be true — and could possibly tip the problem on its head — but the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade would not confirm or deny it.

Australia takes high moral ground as China expels journalists

Money matters – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day “The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education, or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages … It measures neither our wit nor our courage; neither our wisdom or our learning; neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country; it measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.” (Robert Kennedy, 1968).(John Lord)

Money matters – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Robert Reich (Labor Day 2020: The Power Shift)

If wealth continues to concentrate at the top, no one will be able to contain the corrupting influence of big money on the American system and the anger it unleashes. As Justice Louis D Brandeis once said, “We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

Robert Reich (Labor Day 2020: The Power Shift)

JOHN PILGER: Julian Assange’s Stalinist trial mocks democracy

Having reported the long, epic ordeal of Julian Assange, John Pilger gave this address outside the Central Criminal Court in London on September 7 as the WikiLeaks editor’s extradition hearing entered its final stage.

JOHN PILGER: Julian Assange’s Stalinist trial mocks democracy

On Labor Day, remember this: Trump’s America works only for the rich | Robert Reich | Opinion | The Guardian

Donald Trump has given cover to the financial elites as they rig US capitalism to serve their own interests.

If wealth continues to concentrate at the top, no one will be able to contain the corrupting influence of big money on the American system and the anger it unleashes. As Justice Louis D Brandeis once said: “We can have democracy in this country or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

On Labor Day, remember this: Trump’s America works only for the rich | Robert Reich | Opinion | The Guardian

Trump’s Attacks on Election Integrity Is a Threat to Everything This Country Stands For | The Smirking Chimp

Donald Trump is a pathological liar. According to documented reports he has told more than 20,000 lies and distortions since he has been president. This is, obviously, deeply disturbing behavior for anyone who is president of the United States.

//smirkingchimp.com/thread/bernie-sanders/92673/trumps-attacks-on-election-integrity-is-a-threat-to-everything-this-country-stands-for

Vale Dave Graeber – » The Australian Independent Media Network

When one writes satire, it’s sometimes hard to write something serious and have people realise that you’re actually just writing what you actually think, particularly if one is simply describing the political situation in countries where people like Scotty, Boris and Donald are leaders. However, I felt that I should note the passing of Dave Graeber, the writer of two of my favourite non-fiction books, Debt: The First 5,000 Years and Bullshit Jobs: A Theory.

Vale Dave Graeber – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Trump a ‘cheat’ who idolised Putin, mocked Nelson Mandela: Cohen book

President Donald Trump and former White House insider Michael Cohen.

President Donald Trump’s longtime lawyer and personal fixer, Michael Cohen, alleges in a new book that Trump made “overt and covert attempts to get Russia to interfere in the 2016 election” and that the future commander in chief was also well aware of Cohen’s hush-money payoff to adult-film star Stormy Daniels during that campaign.

Trump a ‘cheat’ who idolised Putin, mocked Nelson Mandela: Cohen book

‘Nightmare Scenario’: Sanders Warns Nation That Trump Is Laying Groundwork for Election Result Mayhem | Common Dreams News

U.S. President Donald Trump boards Marine One for departure from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC., on Friday, July 19, 2019. (Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Warning of the very real chance of a “nightmare scenario” in which President Donald Trump misleads the American people over the results of the November election—or refuses to leave office voluntarily if voted out—Sen. Bernie Sanders is raising the alarm and mobilizing his army of supporters to be aware of just how dangerous a game the president is now playing.

‘Nightmare Scenario’: Sanders Warns Nation That Trump Is Laying Groundwork for Election Result Mayhem | Common Dreams News

Brits, take it from an Aussie: If Tony Abbott is your solution, you’ve got big problems | Van Badham | Opinion | The Guardian

Tony Abbott

Our former PM has not only made deeply sexist remarks, he’s also inept – and unsuited to be anyone’s trade envoy

Brits, take it from an Aussie: If Tony Abbott is your solution, you’ve got big problems | Van Badham | Opinion | The Guardian

A damming report on aged care the government cannot ignore – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day We can sometimes become so engrossed in our own problems that we can easily overlook the enormity of the suffering of others. (John Lord)

A damming report on aged care the government cannot ignore – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The Important Thing Says Scotty Is That The Wheels on The Bus Go Round And Round… – » The Australian Independent Media Network

PRIME MINISTER: Well the bus is going all the way up to Rockie and that’s where it was always planning to go. I mean, it’s a big state and I need to cover as much of it in four days as I can. So we were never planning to take the bus to Townsville, we’d always planned to take that last leg up to Townsville by plane because that was the most effective way to get there and to spend the most time there with people on the ground. I mean, these visits aren’t about sitting on a bus. They’re about actually engaging with small businesses and our supporters and the people of Queensland and listening to them.

JOURNALIST: Then why have the bus?

PRIME MINISTER: Because it gets me from A to B.

JOURNALIST: Will you be taking the bus to Rockhampton from here?

PRIME MINISTER: Yes. The bus will be going to Rockhampton from here. That’s right.

JOURNALIST: With you on it? PRIME MINISTER: I’ve got to get there earlier than the bus tonight.

The Important Thing Says Scotty Is That The Wheels on The Bus Go Round And Round… – » The Australian Independent Media Network

“Doing it Tough”: Defence spending spin belies deluge of dollars for multinational contractors

 

“Doing it Tough”: Defence spending spin belies deluge of dollars for multinational contractors
Defence spending spin

THE REAL NEWS

Scott Morrison spins defence spending and says contractors are “doing it tough”. The numbers show big dollars going to weapons makers from the US, France and Britain, while locally, lawyers, accountants and management consultants are in the frame. Marcus Reubenstein reports. The Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his Defence Minister Linda Reynolds trumpeted the announcement: “A $1 billion investment package to boost Australia’s defence industry and support thousands of jobs across the country.” As is de rigueur under current government/media arrangements, all the political correspondents of the mainstream media had been handed the story on a platter the day before the announcement. Moreover, the ABC’s report included the inexplicable statement that “Australia’s defence industry was struggling due to the coronavirus pandemic”.

“Doing it Tough”: Defence spending spin belies deluge of dollars for multinational contractors

Privatisation of child care laid bare: women pay high price – Michael West

 

Privatisation of child care laid bare: women pay high price – Michael West
Privatisation of child care

Why isn’t this a not for profit industry after all it’s a service for our most valuable assets (ODT)

Despite huge government subsidies of more than $8 billion a year, parents still pay an arm and a leg for this essential service. And the women who mostly do the caring and educating receive pittance wages while the landlords, developers and investors make a mint. Lisa Bryant reports.

Privatisation of child care laid bare: women pay high price – Michael West

 

Newspoll: 50/50 – Will it get any better? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day For the life of me I fail to understand how anyone could vote for a party who thinks the existing education, aged care and health systems are adequately funded and addresses the needs of the disadvantaged. (John Lord)

Newspoll: 50/50 – Will it get any better? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The real threats to American law and order are Trump’s craven enablers | Robert Reich | Opinion | The Guardian

 

The real threats to American law and order are Trump’s craven enablers | Robert Reich | Opinion | The Guardian
‘Trump’s above-the-law, race-baiting, me-first presidency’ was on display at the Republican national convention, staged at the White House.

Since Trump promised he would hire ‘the best people’, 14 Trump aides, donors and advisers have been indicted or imprisoned

The real threats to American law and order are Trump’s craven enablers | Robert Reich | Opinion | The Guardian