Tag: 2020

Good Riddance to a Terrible Year | The Smirking Chimp

About the only good thing that can be said about 2020 is that it’s over. It was an annus horribilis. COVID took the lives of more than 340,000 Americans, about 1 out of every 1,000 of us. Over 22 million of us lost our jobs in March and April, and unemployment is again surging. The trend of fatal police shootings increased this year, with a total 864 civilians having been shot, 192 of whom were Black (as of December 1, 2020, the latest data available). Climate change has worsened. The U.S. suffered an extraordinary 12 hurricane landfalls in 2020, smashing previous records. California had the worst wildfire season ever, burning a staggering 4.1 million acres. The President of the United States made all these crises worse. He played down and lied about COVID. He condemned Black Lives Matter protesters and encouraged right-wing violence. He made the climate crisis worse than it might have been by rejecting climate science and rolling back environmental protections.

Good Riddance to a Terrible Year | The Smirking Chimp

Coronavirus Australia: This year wasn’t unprecedented. If anything, it set the precedent

Locals and tourists on the Mallacoota wharf as fire devastated the region over summer.

The common thread running through 2020 is not merely “shit”, unprecedented or otherwise. It is environmental degradation, accumulated over decades, now accelerating out of control and rebounding upon us in exactly the ways we’ve been told they would. Unprecedented? Possibly. But then consider this year the precedent.

Coronavirus Australia: This year wasn’t unprecedented. If anything, it set the precedent

Can the ABC survive the war under chair Ita Buttrose?

ita buttrose

One thing is certain the LNP attacks on the ABC slow at election time (ODT)

2020 has ended badly for the ABC — so badly that it’s time to ask if chair Ita Buttrose is capable of halting the broadcaster’s slide. Right now it looks like she’s not. But is there anyone who could, given how the stars have aligned against the ABC this year?

Can the ABC survive the war under chair Ita Buttrose?

Vintage year for the wealthy: COVID-19 widens gap between rich and poor – Michael West

Executive bonuses inflated by JobKeeper, rising property and share prices, tax cuts for the wealthy. What’s not to like about 2020 for the top end of town? Tasha May takes a closer look at how the pandemic is exacerbating wealth inequality in Australia.

Vintage year for the wealthy: COVID-19 widens gap between rich and poor – Michael West

My view of the year that was (part 2) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Come April/May of 2020 the coronavirus had taken control of our economy and our health. The government, to its credit, believed in the science and took the advice of experts. Which is something they refused to do with climate change.

My view of the year that was (part 2) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My view of the year that was (part 1) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

I finished the year 2019 with a piece titled George Christensen and other secrets about the rather rotund figure of George. Well, not about his wholesome physique but about why he needed to spend so much time in Manilla. “Many fellow parliamentarians now call him the ‘Member for Manila’ because of his frequent travel to the region, including an astonishing 28 trips in a four-year period.”

My view of the year that was (part 1) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

This government isn’t fit for purpose – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Looking back on my writing for 2020 and what has motivated it the most common ingredient has been a sense of frustration that I’m not having the impact I once did. By that I mean my readership has dropped a little. I want more people to know the truth. Perhaps I have become too repetitive and people are bored by it. Or as my son suggests, l’m a bit too lengthy. That’s not my fault of course, it’s the government’s. They have been so consistently horrific in yet another year of awfulness that one feels compelled to regularly convey it to the AIMN readers.

This government isn’t fit for purpose – » The Australian Independent Media Network

2020: It Doesn’t Exist And I Have Entered A Parallel Universe! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

In the recent few days, there’s the Cartier watches; the ABC paying Foxtel so that they can cover women’s soccer after Foxtel was given government money to cover women’s sport; the disappearance of all documents relating to the “grants” in NSW; the realisation that even if Trump is voted out, some people still think that Donald Trump is a reasonable pick for President; the confusion that, four years after Trump’s surprise win, the best the Democrats could come up with was Joe Biden; the media’s presentation of the Melbourne lockdown protests and the fact that many people are tipping Richmond to win the AFL flag by more points than they’re likely to kick for the whole game… Strangely that last one is the least of my concerns! Ok, let me take them one at a time:

2020: It Doesn’t Exist And I Have Entered A Parallel Universe! – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Creeping Plutocracy after ‘Citizens United’: How US Election Spending skyrocketed to the GDP of some whole Countries

https://www.juancole.com/images/2020/10/Screen-Shot-2020-10-16-at-11.48.55-PM.png

Currently Trump is out of noney

The 2020 election cycle is forecast to smash previous spending records, with the Center for Responsive Politics estimating it will cost US$11 billion. That would be comparable to the 2019 GDP of Equatorial Guinea or Chad.

Creeping Plutocracy after ‘Citizens United’: How US Election Spending skyrocketed to the GDP of some whole Countries

To Stop an Electoral Coup, Study What Went Wrong in the 2000 Florida Recount 

As the possibility of Donald Trump trying to undemocratically snatch the 2020 presidential election seems increasingly likely, we should look to a previous successful attempt by Republicans to seize the presidency while the Democratic Party all but stood by helplessly: the 2000 election’s Florida recount.

To Stop an Electoral Coup, Study What Went Wrong in the 2000 Florida Recount 

Pence-Harris debate gives Trump no relief: a Biden victory is in reach

Senator Harris during her debate with Vice-President Mike Pence.

The President is on steroids, but we are way beyond mere October surprises. No, America is now into shock therapy to jolt American voters into retiring Trump – and the lightning bolts keep coming.

Pence-Harris debate gives Trump no relief: a Biden victory is in reach

Trump could win again (without cheating)

https://www.juancole.com/images/2020/08/trump-could-win-again-without-ch-750x422.jpg

For all his volatility and incompetence, then, Trump is the default choice — even the safe choice — for a critical mass of white voters and business owners. The deaths of nearly 170,000 Americans to COVID-19 won’t change that, in part because the victims are disproportionately Black, Indigenous, people of colour and poorer workers. With all this history on his side, Trump will be hard to beat even if he fights fair, which he almost certainly will not do. The Democrats are in for a desperate fight.The Conversation

Trump could win again (without cheating)

2020 becomes 1984: Trump, Twitter and the Ministry of Truth – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Background: Trump as Liar in Chief

Trump posted a Tweet stating that mail-in ballots will be ‘substantially fraudulent’. Two points here: first there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are any more or less fraudulent than in-person voting. Second, the last time an election used mail-in ballots for a special election, the Republican won. It truly is remarkable how quickly Trump can utterly contradict himself. Vote by mail is totally fraudulent but the Republican won. Amazing. This is analogous to his 2016 claims that the electoral college was a disaster for democracy – when it looked like he would lose.

via 2020 becomes 1984: Trump, Twitter and the Ministry of Truth – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Here are the 2020 awards for the very worst people of coronavirus | Van Badham | Opinion | The Guardian

President Donald Trump pauses as he speaks about the coronavirus in the White House this week.

Ordinary folks can make bad decisions in extraordinary times. But there are those who should know better who don’t do better

via Here are the 2020 awards for the very worst people of coronavirus | Van Badham | Opinion | The Guardian

Iowa Should Be a Warning — It’s Time to Switch to Paper Ballots | The Smirking Chimp

This computerized debacle also deepens concerns about the DNC’s apparent digital incompetence in the face of the extremely sophisticated, hugely funded online campaign already underway from Trump and his high-tech backers.

Iowa 2020 is the ultimate early warning: We can do better. With Donald Trump ready for another apocalyptic term, our survival depends on it.

via Iowa Should Be a Warning — It’s Time to Switch to Paper Ballots | The Smirking Chimp

Trump Grows Concerned About Sanders as 2020 Opponent

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a 'Homecoming' rally in Sunrise, Florida, U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019. Trump is preparing to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into Florida for his 2020 campaign after changes in demographics and voting laws put the linchpin swing state up for grabs. Photographer: Jayme Gershen/Bloomberg via Getty Images

In stump speeches made in January, Trump mentioned Sanders’s name — or, as Trump refers to him, “Crazy Bernie” — eight times as often as Biden.

Trump, if he wants to get serious about Sanders, may need to come up with a more effective nickname for the unorthodox independent senator from Vermont. “Crazy Bernie,” like Trump’s “Crazy Nancy” for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, is the name Trump resorts to for political rivals he doesn’t know how to handle. 

via Trump Grows Concerned About Sanders as 2020 Opponent

Are We Underestimating Trump Yet Again?

Are We Underestimating Trump Yet Again?

A new Washington Post/ABC News poll found Trump at an 44% approval rating—his highest since his tenure began. This is likely because people feel optimistic about the state of the economy—possibly because Trump constantly claims in the face of counterevidence that the U.S. has never had a stronger economy. Despite the fact that 65% of respondents do not consider Trump “presidential,” some predict that this poll indicates a clear path to reelection victory for the president.

via Are We Underestimating Trump Yet Again?

Trump Can’t Stay on Script About Iran to Save His Life

Trump Can't Stay on Script About Iran to Save His Life

Under these circumstances, there is no way Iran can make a bomb without everybody knowing it is trying. It would have to kick out the UN inspectors, build thousands more centrifuges under the gaze of US satellites, etc., etc.

So if what Trump wanted was no Iranian nuke, he had that when he was sworn into office in 2017. By breaching the treaty and refusing to reward Iran’s good behavior by ceasing sanctions, Trump put the US on a war footing with Iran.

He has stopped Iran from selling its oil, a form of blockade that probably amounts to an act of war. He is also stopping European concerns from investing in Iran.

It is frustrating that Trump is dancing on the brink of a war for a purpose that had already been attained. This is why it is bad to elect people to high office who have mental health problems.

via Trump Can’t Stay on Script About Iran to Save His Life

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