Forty-nine African leaders convened in Washington for the U.S.-Africa summit, the first such gathering hosted by the U.S. since 2014. At the Peace, Security, and Governance panel on December 13, Presidents Filipe Nyusi of Mozambique, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud of Somalia, and Mohamed Bazoum of Niger joined African Union Chair Moussa Faki Mahamat in appealing for more U.S. security and counterterrorism aid.
Source: Empire by Invitation
If they can’t elect their speaker how can the expect to govern?
There has been a karmic pleasure in watching the Republicans who won control of the House of Representatives struggle to complete the most basic piece of business – the election of a speaker – but it’s also been instructive, and not only to Americans. For it has confirmed the dirty little secret of that strain of rightwing populist politics that revels in what it calls disruption: it always ends in bitter factional fighting, chaos and paralysis.
Source: After Brexit and Trump, rightwing populists cling to power – but the truth is they can’t govern | Jonathan Freedland | The Guardian
Solving Climate, Cost of Living, reducing the threat of war, Australia has it all. Why be held to ransom by fossil fuel?
Euronews observes that with regard to solar-generated electricity, “the Netherlands, Germany and Spain come out on top, with 23 per cent, 19 per cent and 17 per cent respectively during summer 2022.” Imagine how many billions of euros they would save on energy bills if those numbers were doubled, and were common in the rest of Europe. Moreover, moving quickly to wind, solar, hydro and battery would deeply weaken the Russian Federation and deprive it of a key lever of power and source of income.
Source: Did the Ukraine War kill ‘Natural Gas?’ Solar Power is 10 times Cheaper over the long Term
Once The Public Trustees Office was formed to help post-war time families in need. It has grown to become a series of institutions that help themselves while hidden from public oversight.
- A bombshell 2021 report finds the Public Trustee is pushing some people into poverty with unreasonable fees
- The Trustee releases a separate review which recommends it charge clients more in annual fees
- The Queensland Attorney-General says she’s scrapping two specific fees “for good” but the Public Trustee website shows those fees are just on hold
Source: Office of the Public Trustee accused of overcharging vulnerable clients commissions own review proposing fee increase – ABC News
My thought for the day
In the recipe of good leadership, there are many ingredients. Popularity is but one. It, however, ranks far below getting things done for the common good. ( John Lord )
Source: Power for no other reason – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Ukraine says Russia has destroyed almost one-third of its power stations over the past week — leaving more than 1000 towns blacked out — in a wave of strikes targeting infrastructure.
Source: Russia has hit one-third of Ukraine’s power, water plants: Zelensky
The military-industrial complex generates death and destruction abroad while also harming workers at home: it funds politicians and think tanks, siphons off money from pro-worker programs, and turns the public coffers into a slush fund for war profiteering.
Source: How the Military-Industrial Complex Gets Its Power and Harms Workers, in 6 Graphs
As Queen Elizabeth is laid to rest, only one living person remains who can match her for length of service at the head of a family firm. And while Rupert Murdoch’s publications have caused the royal family plenty of grief, there are many similarities between him and the late monarch, as Crikey founder Stephen Mayne reports.
Source: Queen Elizabeth and King Rupert: seven decades of exercising soft power and hard – Michael West
So forget about the time for reflection, the possibility of making the monarchy more democrat friendly. You have been awe-bombed by a family which relies 100% on our ability to quiet our inner voices, which naturally know the absurdity of a ruling family placed above the populace.
If we ask why do they continue to ‘serve’ we note their lack of political weight, their potential capture by those lucky enough, or devious enough to hold prime ministerial power.
The only ‘sweetener’ in this for a British sovereign seems to lie in the need to satisfy the personal mission of service, and the vast wealth and prestige attached to the office. In a month or so, as the novelty of a new king wears off, he will probably tail off in his relentless efforts to legitimise the existence of a hereditary monarchy, and simply continue the family tradition of opening things.
Source: A quick grab for power? – » The Australian Independent Media Network
- Thousands of people young and old lined up to pay their respects and view the body of Mikhail Gorbachev
- Russian President Vladimir Putin did not attend the funeral of the former Soviet leader
- Many Western leaders were absent from the funeral due to tense relations between Moscow and the West
The man affectionately known as ‘Gorby’ in the West and who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1990 for his role in ending the Cold War is buried at Moscow’s famous Novodevichy cemetery alongside his wife Raisa, who died in 1999.
Some 8 influential Russians against Putin have now died under suspicious circumstances and others are incarcerated, Gorbachev ex-President hasn’t been awarded a State Funeral and Putin didn’t bother to attend. Nevertheless, Trump still is in awe of the Russian State and Putin’s power.
Source: Russia farewells Mikhail Gorbachev but state honours and Vladimir Putin are missing – ABC News
When socialists talk about creating a more equal society, we don’t mean a society where everyone has an exactly equal share of everything. We mean a society where power has been equalized by extending democracy into the economy.
Source: The Equality That Socialists Care About Most Is Equality of Power
My thought for the day Power is a malevolent possession when you are prepared to forgo your principles and your country’s wellbeing for the sake of it. ( John Lord )
Source: You take the high road and I’ll take the low road, and I’ll be in Scotland before you – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Noam Chomsky talks to Jacobin about why the US withdrawal from Afghanistan won’t change US imperialism, the many war crimes of George W. Bush, and why he still believes in average people’s ability to push back against the war machine.
Source: Noam Chomsky: Average People Still Have the Power to Stop Wars
Donald Trump dispensed with even the pretense of paying tribute to workers on Labor Day. Instead his three word Labor Day Statement, blasted out to his supporters everywhere via the right-wing media machine, was blunt about his political priorities: “Fix 2020 First.”
Source: Trump, Texas, and the MAGA Drive for Power | The Smirking Chimp
Taylor suppresses and bullshits about the real information experts supply on our power grid
The manager of the country’s electricity markets has dropped its warning that Australia faces a power supply shortage AEMO says the closure of coal plants in coming years will be shored up by new battery and gas plants Possible flooding at Yallourn station in Victoria remains the biggest short-term risk to supply
Source: Australian Electricity Market Operator predicts stable supply despite closures of coal-fired power stations – ABC News
Law professor Stephen Feldman explains why court-packing should be defended on both moral and political grounds
Source: Trump’s Supreme Court just showed why court-packing is necessary to save U.S. democracy | Salon.com
A $600m gas power plant promised by the Morrison government is not needed and has no prospect of generating enough revenue to justify its cost, according to a new analysis. A report by Victoria University’s energy policy centre suggested the case for the Hunter Valley plant, to be built by the publicly owned Snowy Hydro with taxpayers’ funds, failed on several grounds.
Source: Morrison government’s $600m gas power plant at Kurri Kurri not needed and won’t cover costs, analysts say | Energy | The Guardian
Real Concern “Believe me” Morrison’s Plea
Liberal and Nationals MPs are being urged to raise money for a federal election to be held next year out of concern at the power of activist groups and the union movement to threaten the government’s hold on power. Prime Minister Scott Morrison told government MPs to “turn up and shake hands” at events so they could gain the friends and finances they will need to fend off groups such as GetUp.
Source: Scott Morrison tells MPs to raise war chest for election next year
The power to send Australian troops to fight in foreign wars rests in effect with the Prime Minister alone, yet a huge majority of Australians think parliamentary approval should be required. Alison Broinowski reports.
Source: Going to War: power rests in the hands of one Australian, Prime Minister Scott Morrison – Michael West
Any notion of power for the Common Good has been tossed. (ODT)
The cynical logic goes like this: it’s in the country’s interest that you stay in power, so any means to achieve that end is justified
via Morrison’s twisted logic on the sports rort is perfectly Trumpian but no surprise | Greg Jericho | Australia news | The Guardian
These companies have spent several million dollars on deceptive advertising, lobbying and campaign contributions to help elect politicians sympathetic to their cause.
In return, these politicians have proven dutiful beneficiaries, working diligently to secure almost a billion dollars of ratepayer subsidies for FirstEnergy and AEP.
As lobbying goes, not a bad return on investment.
This isn’t just happening in Ohio. Utilities across the country are pushing to delay climate action and stall the growth of renewables, which are already a cheaper source of electricity than continuing to operate three-quarters of US coal plants.
via While the planet burns, Ohio’s coal industry gets a bailout | Leah C Stokes | Opinion | The Guardian
I was amazed today to discover that Rupert Murdoch is only 5 years older than I am! Nothing to do with age and everything to do with mental outlook.
He is one of a group of wealthy individuals whose use of power has been incredibly damaging.
Since the 1990s, if not earlier, the knowledge has been available to establish that our profligate use of fossil fuels could not continue without severe damage to the planet on which we live.
via Power without glory – » The Australian Independent Media Network
Women with imposter syndrome, take note: young, rich males are inclined to bluff and get away with it, a UCL study shows
Turns out posh boys are better bullshitters. That explains a lot | Phoebe-Jane Boyd | Opinion | The Guardian
Donald Trump has once again assured us that he is incapable of rational thoughts through a speech he gave at a conference on Saturday.
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES gave a rambling and incoherent two-hour speech in which he raved like a lunatic and told crazy, self-serving lies from start to finish. If that no longer qualifies as alarming, we’re in serious trouble.
via President Trump delivers highly regrettable speech
Get over it folks this is journalistic integrity at Murdoch’s Fox News and in Trump’s reality a fake American immigrant who snuck in for the lifestyle and fascist opportunity to take over the country’s media. He hasn’t been able in Australia because they have the ABC an independant public media the most trusted in the country and compulsory democratic voting. Murdoch however has done a major job of it in the UK and now almost a complete job of it in the USA. His profits in the USA are financing the consolidation of Murdoch media globally and ensuring a product that services the 1% largely corporations across the English speaking world. Let’s face it he’s MMussolini’s and Trump’s wet dream. (ODT)
via Fox’s “news” team is an essential cog in a corrupt propaganda machine
A new report by the University of NSW, commissioned by the CFMMEU, sketches two futures for the 8000 direct employees in Australia’s 23 coal-fired power stations: one is a just transition into new jobs with no forced redundancies, emulating Germany’s Ruhr district; the other is the entrenched poverty left by market disruption in coal districts like Appalachia in the US, where pointless ideological warfare takes the place of proper planning. Given that 10 coal-fired power stations have shut down in Australia without a transition plan since 2012, and the Coalition’s science-deniers are in charge of energy policy, still trying to stave off the inevitable decarbonisation, this country is on course for the latter.
Hazelwood was the prime example of what not do: the Greens argued for years for a just transition, but the major parties at state and federal level were in denial. Suddenly, when the time came, workers got short notice and power prices spiked across the National Energy Market, even though the closure was completely predictable. Now, says Sheldon, when AGL does the right thing and flags that it will close Liddell in 2022, “it gets canned for it”.
via Transition time for coal | The Monthly
The most destructive organization in Australia (ODT)
Australia has a big problem. The democratic processes and freedom of the press is under threat. Not content with having an out of control Murdoch-owned media, the Institute of Public Affairs is now attempting to destroy the only balanced mainstream media outlet in the country: the ABC.
This deplorable organisation is made up of some of the wealthiest people in Australia. The IPA was founded in 1943 by none other than Rupert Murdoch’s father. It is a pressure group, and increasingly is now enmeshed into the political system itself, with over a dozen politicians in parliament affiliated with this partisan, extremist group.
via IPA: Institute of Pathetic Authoritarians – » The Australian Independent Media Network
They believe that their great wealth entitles them to rule over the many. For decades, they’ve been running a surreptitious assault on the rules that protect the majority of us from their abuse. From whacking our voting rights to busting unions, their intent is nothing less than to pull a coup on democracy, installing a government of, by, and for the superrich.
via The Koch Brothers’ secret Coup on behalf of the Billionaire Class
America’s Rolf Harris (ODT)
Cosby could get up to 10 years in prison on each of the three counts of aggravated indecent assault. He is likely to get less than that under state sentencing guidelines, but given his age, even a modest term could mean he will die behind bars.
via Bill Cosby found guilty of drugging, sexually assaulting woman
Frustration and bewilderment are common in media accounts of this administration’s expansive chaos. Even well educated writers turn to expletives, as if proper language were inadequate to convey the shock and dismay. Still, it is not that difficult to identify the source of puzzlement: neither Trump nor his appointees follow the rules. From the beginning he has systematically pursued the substitution of a pre-modern style of arbitrary rule for a modern, rule-based government. What we call chaos is what he calls power. The bad news is that, with help from a gullible press, this administration has been surprisingly successful in confusing these two systems in the public mind. That is dangerous. The longer we fail to mark the distinction between arbitrary and rule-based government, the more successfully the president can install personal privilege as the default conception of authority in the popular imagination.
via Behind the Struggle with Mueller & Comey: Trump is the Triumph of Privilege over Law
Why is the US (and Australia) ideologically clinging to last century’s energy sources and technology? How dumb are we?
USA & Australia = Dumb and Dumber a History of Energy transformation live (OD)
via Forget China’s red dragon, fear the green renewable one