Trump administration appear intent on war against Iran. This week on Intercepted: As the U.S. accuses Iran of attacking civilian ships while offering scant evidence, grave historical parallels are emerging with the Gulf of Tonkin incidents in 1964 that were manipulated to justify Lyndon Johnson’s dramatic escalation of the war in Vietnam. California Democrat Rep. Ro Khanna is preparing legislation aimed at stopping an attack on Iran, and he says he would not put it past national security adviser John Bolton to manipulate evidence. Journalist Negar Mortazavi of The Independent analyzes what war with Iran would look like and exposes the State Department’s funding of propaganda operations against Iran. Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman talks about the parallels with the build up to the Iraq invasion of 2003 and shares stories from her early life as a journalist.
via Donald Trump, Iran, and the Gulf of Tonkin Redux
We’re there again. In some very real ways, in fact, we never got out of it.
Over the past five years, if there had not been a multitrillion-dollar increase in government, corporate, and individual borrowing, the U.S. economy would have contracted, rather than grown.
All of our national economy’s growth has been on borrowed money for all of Trump’s presidency: there’s quite literally no “there” there.
This is not how a healthy economy is supposed to work; instead, Trump is maintaining and inflating an economic Potemkin village, a pretend economy made out of cardboard, chicken wire and bubble gum that will collapse in the face of the first stiff economic wind.
If Trump and his collaborators can hold back the winds until November of next year, the GOP has a chance in the elections.
via Can Donald Trump Hold Off an Economic Crash Until the Election? | The Smirking Chimp
Sky New’s Peta Credlin was paid by Adani to do an advertorial on coal entrely ignoring the real facts of what is occurring in India and why Adani is divesting away from coal and to Solar energy. The total avoidance of mentioning the reality of what is occurring renders that Sky News as Fake (ODT)
India is now for the first time in history investing more in solar energy than in coal.
There is a simple reason for this. Coal costs roughly 5 cents a kilowatt hour to generate electricity. India just let a bid for 1.2 gigawatts of solar energy and four companies scooped it up at 3.6 cents a kilowatt hour. The only advantage coal and gas had is that the sunk costs of plant construction have already been written off. But in India today, it is actually cheaper to build a new solar park than to go on operating a coal plant.
Over-all, India is now the lowest-cost producer of solar electricity, at about 8.5 cents a kilowatt hour. Solar photovoltaic has been declining annually by about 23% year on year since 2010.
Asia hosts over 3 million photovoltaic power jobs, nearly 90% of the global total.
India has grown from 3 gigawatts of installed capacity in 2014 to over 30 GW in 2019!
India might not be able to triple that amount but it will at least double it to 60 gigawatts. From the beginning of time till now, the US has only put in 63 gigawatts of solar, total, and Japan has done 60. For India to catch up to those two countries (#2 and #3 for solar panels) in only two years will be almost a miracle.
via Solar Growing by leaps and Bounds in India, fueling Irrigation and Jobs
Anyone thinking we’ll have three years of calm, considered and competent governance is in for a rude shock. What chance it will all blow up in their faces and we get an early opportunity to correct the mass madness of just last month?
via Danger UXB – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Angus Taylor has previously denied on the record that he intervened in the investigation of the alleged illegal clearing of the critically endangered grasslands on the property near Delegate.
In April, in response to the issue being raised in Senate estimates, a spokesperson for the minister told Guardian Australia: “The minister has not made any representations to federal or state authorities in relation to this investigation.
via Angus Taylor met with environment department even as it investigated company he part-owns | Australia news | The Guardian
He is the most unpopular president in modern American history, with poll approval ratings consistently in the low-to-mid-40s.
Mr Trump has successfully trashed the institutions of accountability — especially Congress and the mainstream press — so that he can keep his balance and control of his narrative.
The Republican congressional leadership has collapsed into a spineless, subservient heap at Mr Trump’s feet, even as he alters the party’s DNA on balanced budgets, tax reform, American exceptionalism, free trade, immigration, the promotion of democracy and opposition to dictatorships.
via Preventing Donald Trump’s re-election will take everything the Democrats have – Donald Trump’s America – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Ouch. That’s gotta hurt.
The Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board published their endorsement for president in 2020. It’s…wait for it… “Not Donald Trump.”
This, on the day that Mango Mussolini “officially” kicks off his 2020 re-election campaign, where? You guessed it. Orlando, Florida.
via Orlando Sentinel Endorses ‘Not Donald Trump’ 2020 | Crooks and Liars
Difficult to pin down when this narrative actually began, but for argument’s sake I’ll posit its start with the recent Australian Federal Election and the plethora of fake news trumpeting a Labor victory.
A successive run of negative polls published over at least two years, pointed to this mythical Labor win.
Indeed, dire poll numbers prompted Malcolm Turnbull’s putsch, which lead to the demise of Tony Abbott and ultimately the triumph of Scott Morrison.
The script suggested a brave new Shorten Labor Government replete with the sparkling post-modern trappings of a new Whitlam/Hawke/Keating imperium.
But the thumping hangover of this self-inflicted delusion is made worse by recent raids on the ABC and a News Corp journalist, both aided and abetted by the home-grown master of the dark art of fake news, the Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton.
The falsity of fake news – » The Australian Independent Media Network
things remain so dire that there is talk of importing gas, either the Australian stuff on sale so cheaply overseas, or supplies from one of our competitors, Qatar.
Back on the farm, our parents, who knew how to provide without running out of anything, would have been scandalised almost beyond words.
via How Australia blew its future gas supplies
Change for Dutton is simply changing the narrative Asylum seekers become “illegals Children held become “guests”(ODT)
“This raid demonstrates a dangerous act of intimidation towards those committed to telling uncomfortable truths.”
Let News Corp bullies fulminate about intimidation, it’s all good publicity to Peter Dutton. Or the cat’s well and truly out of the bag. The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) a military intelligence arm, will be empowered to spy on civilians, as Ms Smethurst said, a move which Dutton says on ABC Insiders Sunday, warrants “a sensible discussion”.
Dutton is of course not bound by fact and embellishes his interview with Annabel Crabb by claiming that “he’d got all children out of detention here in Australia”, whereas, at that very moment, two-year-old Tharunicaa is waiting to celebrate her birthday at the Melbourne Immigration Detention Centre. Her strawberry cheesecake birthday cake is refused entry in yet another reminder of the tenderness and mercy extended to those youngsters yet in Dutton’s care.
On the theme of sensible discussion, Rebekah Holt reports in Crikey that Border Force has previously disputed the definition of detention regarding baby Isabella and her mother Huyen, who are held in the same unit with Tharunicaa and her family. Lawyers and the UN agree, semantics aside, that Isabella is a detained child. Yet the Morrison government insists that the child and some others, be classified as guests to get around the law on detaining children.
via Dutton’s naked power grab – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Investors haven’t been this pessimistic since the global financial crisis of 2008.
The 180 degree turn around by the Media is as remarkable because we had just as much to worry about when Abbott delivered his first budget. Yet the media in the main were puffing up Frydenberg and Morrison as the primo money managers of our economy. Interest cuts won’t have the retired spending their savings and that’s the cash they are after Superannuation because the middle class and working class workers are in debt and it’s growing (ODT)
via Investors haven’t been this negative since the GFC
But, you say, the Coalition were given the majority of votes in the recent election. According to the Australian Electoral Commission’s website (at the time of writing — not all seats had been declared) the two-party preferred result is Coalition 6,552,111 and the ALP 6,137,087 you are correct. But it’s not that clear cut. A quick scan of the results in the table below shows that the ALP got more direct votes that the Liberal Party. In fact you have to add the Liberal Party, LNP and Nationals (all different political parties when it suits them) together to beat the ALP figure. Clicking this link will take you to the up to date figures at the time you are reading.
|Liberal National Party (Queensland)
|Country Liberals (NT)
|Australian Labor Party
|United Australia Party
|Pauline Hanson’s One Nation
|Animal Justice Party
All other political groupings received under 100,000 votes.
via They’ve got a mandate – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Jones is one of these illogical people. The problem is that he has been given a microphone to peddle his rubbish to thousands of listeners and give succour to far-right politicians who spruik similar rubbish in the party room.
via Alan Jones’ climate change ‘argument’
Sanders cited figures of vast wealth disparity in the United States, where “the top 1 percent of people own more wealth than the bottom 92 percent.” He said there is higher income and wealth inequality today than at any time since the 1920s. And, Sanders stated, “despite an explosion in technology and worker productivity, the average wage of the American worker in real dollars is no higher than it was 46 years ago and millions of people are forced to work two or three jobs just to survive.”
via Bernie Sanders’ Radical New Proposal Could Transform America
The man is a circus unto himself (ODT)
an agreement to talk about another potential agreement is not really a substantive concession from Mexico,
via Mexico Just Released the Full Text of the ‘Secret’ Deal Trump Said They Made | The Smirking Chimp
Trump needs to take credit for his economic brilliance in these matters (ODT)
Stephen Smith worked at an AT&T call center in Meriden, Connecticut, for over 20 years before the giant telecoms company announced it was closing the city’s three call centers in February 2019.
“At 46 years old, I’m looking for a new job,” Smith said. “They basically told us we either need to move south or lose our job. It was out of the blue. We had no idea.”
These sudden mass layoffs have become increasingly common for workers at AT&T and many other big firms. But it was not meant to be that way.
via Bosses pocket Trump tax windfall as workers see job promises vanish | Business | The Guardian
The uncapping of undergraduate university places enabled tens of thousands of people from poorer backgrounds to access higher education but it failed to boost opportunity for Indigenous and rural students and caused a spike in dropout rates, a major new study has found.
via Uncapping uni places boosted opportunity for many — but not rural and Indigenous students
How easy is it for governments to organize independant referrals to the AFP to investigate matters Peter Dutton? Simply take the case of Nicola Gobbo now she was hardly independant. (ODT)
Dutton defended the AFP raids, noting the police had sought information from the ABC “for a long period of time” and executed a warrant due to a “stalemate” in negotiation.
He said the ABC had a right to defend its interests but the AFP had a “statutory obligation to investigate matters referred to it”, independently of government.
via Peter Dutton confirms plan to create new spying powers still being considered | Australia news | The Guardian
When Trump said “there isn’t anything wrong with listening; if somebody called from a country, [Russia, China, Ukraine], [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent’ — oh, I think I’d want to hear it,” he was advertising more than his intention to collude in 2020. He was, effectively, confessing his impeachable malfeasances of 2016. It is beyond belief that Trump’s collusive sentiments are merely recent.
via This Week, Trump Confessed to (Past) Collusion | The Smirking Chimp
What Trump denies is where you will fin elements of truth that word which Trump runs from. Ratings is his call ratings are everything (ODT)
The polling data showed a double-digit lead for Biden in Pennsylvania 55-39 and Wisconsin 51-41 and had Biden leading by seven points in Florida. In Texas, a Republican stronghold, the numbers showed the president only leading by two points.
As ABC News noted, Trump had claimed that this internal polling, which had previously been reported on without the underlying numbers, didn’t exist at all. But Trump Campaign Manager Brad Parscale confirmed the data’s authenticity to the outlet, though he claimed it was “ancient.”
Just like with any leak, though, readers should be skeptical about why this particular information had been shared. Even if it is true, which it appears to be, selective disclosure can create a distorted perception.
Vox’s Matt Yglesias pointed out that ABC News only received a narrow set of topline numbers, not comprehensive file on the campaign’s polling.
“Someone on the Trump campaign specifically wanted to generate a ‘Trump is polling poorly against Biden’ story and did not want that fact to appear in a broader context,” Ygelsias said.
New Leaks from Trump’s Campaign Expose the Embarrassing Poll Numbers That He Said Didn’t Exist | The Smirking Chimp
Despite clearly having a free pass to act with impunity, Israel — the occupying, nuclear-armed, apartheid state — still wants to eliminate the right to free speech and expression, as well as the right of justice-loving people to reject its military occupation and oppose it by all means. Western and European governments and institutions are weak and hypocritical and have basically surrendered their sovereignty under pressure from the pro-Israel Lobby funded by the extreme right-wing government in Israel. The Palestinians and their supporters, meanwhile, continue to exercise their legitimate right to oppose occupation and racism, and resist the Israeli oppressors.
Israeli Intelligence Agency Mossad makes War on Boycott-of-Israel Movement (BDS)
Ross Leigh and Andrew Bolt are one and the same have you ever seen them in a room together? (ODT)
One of my pet hates is people who respond to the headline and don’t actually read what I’ve written. Yes, yes, I know that one can argue that headlines should actually reflect what one is writing but I have three problems with this:
Often the headline isn’t chosen by the person writing.
I’ve found that people tend to read headlines that they disagree with more often than ones they agree with. For example, “Why Tony Abbott Was Australia’s Greatest PM” will get more views than “Why Tony Abbott Overachieved Given He Became PM With A Total Lack Of Charm Or Intelligence!”
I’m often writing satire.
So, just to annoy people who don’t read beyond the title, I’ve decided to call this one “Drilling The Great Barrier Reef For Oil”.
As far as I know, there is neither oil anywhere near the Great Barrier Reef nor any proposal to look for any potential drill sites…
via Drilling The Great Barrier Reef For Oil… – » The Australian Independent Media Network
If we want to tackle inequality in Australia, the answer is simple. First, we need to end the trickle-up economics by winding back some tax breaks to the very wealthiest people. Next, we need to lift income support. The OECD has already warned that our income support payments are far too low. They are being outstripped every year by the cost of living.
And finally, we need to stop demonising people who need help. Cutting from the poorest must stop.
It is well past time that we end the trickle-up economics, and build a tax system that works for everyone.
via Australia takes from the poor to give to the rich
Adding to the mountain of statistical evidence showing the severity of U.S. inequality, an analysis published Friday found that the top one percent of Americans gained $21 trillion in wealth since 1989 while the bottom 50 percent lost $900 billion.
via ‘Eye-Popping’: Analysis Shows Top 1% Gained $21 Trillion in Wealth Since 1989 While Bottom Half Lost $900 Billion | Common Dreams News
The US have a history of false flags and have used them to start conflicts more so than any modern day nation we know. (ODT)
The statement did not specify how the video and images were obtained, but said a US military aircraft and the USS Bainbridge were in the area following the attacks, with the US warship rescuing sailors from one of the tankers after responding to a distress call.
Such imagery is often difficult to declassify and its release appeared to show US efforts to convince the international community of Iran’s culpability in Thursday’s attacks.
Japanese ship’s owners say reports of mine attack ‘false’
via US releases video it says shows Iranian military recovering mine from oil tanker in Gulf of Oman – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)