Showing posts with label Donald Trump. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Donald Trump. Show all posts

Saturday, 23 June 2018

US President Donald Trump takes a well-deserved hit in the cojones


This little girl couldn't fight back against the full weight of Donald J. Trump's cruel racism.

Time magazine cover for 2 July 2018 issue

Until an American late night show expressed its opinion...........




If only real life delivered such swift justice for little children.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Trump's Truth


Trump’s ‘truth’









The Truth

Reuters, 15 June 2018:

MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - Jean-Claude Juncker has been called many things during his premiership of Luxembourg and presidency of the European Commission, but probably never what he says U.S. President Donald Trump called him at the weekend: “a brutal killer”….

“I think he meant it as a compliment, but I am not sure.”…..

European Union countries on Thursday unanimously backed a plan to impose import duties on 2.8 billion euros’ ($3.3 billion) worth of U.S. products in response to U.S. tariffs on EU steel and aluminum, EU sources said.

Express UK, 10 May 2018:

EU chief Jean-Claude Juncker has said Europe needs to “replace” the United States as a world superpower in the midst of an angry outburst after President Donald Trump confirmed he was pulling the US out of the Iran nuclear deal.

Euro News, 3 March 2018:

European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker has vowed to fight back against US President Donald Trump's threat of a 25% tariff on steel and 10% on aluminium imports.

"So now we will also impose import tariffs. This is basically a stupid process, the fact that we have to do this. But we have to do it. We will now impose tariffs on motorcycles, Harley Davidson, on blue jeans, Levis, on Bourbon. We can also do stupid. We also have to be this stupid," he said in Hamburg on Friday evening.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Worshipping Trump has a scary parallel


United States of America, May 2018
Deutsches Reich, also known as the Third Reich, circa 1933-1945

'Dedicated:  in unutterable thanks to the blessed parents the mother who gave birth to "Our Furhrer"' - Text of a handmade Mother's Day card sent to Adolf Hitler [Daily Beast, 12 April 2015]

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Trump versus the world


US President Donald J. Trump attended all photo opportunities on first day of the G7 Summit in Canada, but reportedly appeared inattentive during some of the working sessions, arrived late for a working breakfast and left the country before dinner on the second day of three day gathering

His early departure avoided further climate change discussions, challenging interactions such as this image caught on camera and, being still physically at the summit when he publicly refused to sign the 44th G7 Communique set out below.

Photograph by Jecsco Denzel

Before boarding the plane to leave this summit Trump threatened an all-out trade war.


It appears Economics 101 is a little beyond the intellectual reach of Donald Trump. Though I am certain one section of the Executive Office of the President of the United States, the Office of the United States Trade Representative, would at least have attempted to inform his senior staff that the economic loss to America in the type of trade war he is threatening would be in the trillions of dollars, with an accompanying reduction in consumer choice and a probable rise in unemployment.

44th G7 Communique

LA MALBAIE, Quebec (Reuters) - 1. We, the Leaders of the G7, have come together in Charlevoix, Quebec on June 8–9, 2018, guided by our shared values of freedom, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights and our commitment to promote a rules-based international order. As advanced economies and leading democracies, we share a fundamental commitment to investing in our citizens and meeting their needs and to responding to global challenges. We collectively affirm our strong determination to achieve a clean environment, clean air, and clean water. We are resolved to work together in creating a healthy, prosperous, sustainable and fair future for all.

Investing in Growth that Works for Everyone

2. We share the responsibility of working together to stimulate sustainable economic growth that benefits everyone and in particular those most at risk of being left behind. We welcome the contribution of technological change and global integration to global economic recovery and increased job creation. The global economic outlook continues to improve, but too few citizens have benefited from that economic growth. While resilience against risk has improved among emerging market economies, recent market movements remind us of potential vulnerabilities. We will continue monitoring market developments and using all policy tools to support strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth that generates widespread prosperity. We reaffirm our existing exchange rate commitments. We commit to promoting smart, sustainable and high-quality investments – such as in infrastructure – to boost growth and productivity and create quality jobs. Economic Growth is fundamental to raising living standards. We also recognize that economic output alone is insufficient for measuring success and acknowledge the importance of monitoring other societal and economic indicators that measure prosperity and well-being. We are committed to removing the barriers that keep our citizens, including women and marginalized individuals, from participating fully in the global economy. We endorse the Charlevoix Commitment on Equality and Economic Growth which reinforces our commitment to eradicate poverty, advance gender equality, foster income equality, ensure better access to financial resources and create decent work and quality of life for all.

3. In order to ensure that everyone pays their fair share, we will exchange approaches and support international efforts to deliver fair, progressive, effective and efficient tax systems. We will continue to fight tax evasion and avoidance by promoting the global implementation of international standards and addressing base erosion and profit shifting. The impacts of the digitalization of the economy on the international tax system remain key outstanding issues. We welcome the OECD interim report analyzing the impact of digitalization of the economy on the international tax system. We are committed to work together to seek a consensus based solution by 2020.

4. We acknowledge that free, fair, and mutually beneficial trade and investment, while creating reciprocal benefits, are key engines for growth and job creation. We recommit to the conclusions on trade of the Hamburg G20 Summit, in particular, we underline the crucial role of a rules-based international trading system and continue to fight protectionism. We note the importance of bilateral, regional and plurilateral agreements being open, transparent, inclusive and WTO-consistent, and commit to working to ensure they complement the multilateral trade agreements. We commit to modernize the WTO to make it more fair as soon as possible. We strive to reduce tariff barriers, non-tariff barriers and subsidies.

5. We will work together to enforce existing international rules and develop new rules where needed, to foster a truly level playing field, addressing in particular non-market oriented policies and practices, and inadequate protection of intellectual property rights such as forced technology transfer or cyber enabled theft. We call for the start of negotiations – this year – to develop stronger, international rules on market-distorting industrial subsidies and trade distorting actions by state-owned enterprises. We also call on all members of the Global Forum on Steel Excess Capacity to fully and promptly implement its recommendations. We stress the urgent need to avoid excess capacity in other sectors such as aluminum and high technology. We call on the International Working Group on Export Credits to develop a new set of guidelines for government supported export credits, as soon as possible in 2019.

6. To support growth and equal participation that benefits everyone, and ensure our citizens lead healthy and productive lives, we commit to supporting strong, sustainable health systems that promote access to quality and affordable healthcare and to bringing greater attention to mental health. We support efforts to promote and protect women’s and adolescents’ health and well-being through evidence based healthcare and health information. We recognize the World Health Organization’s vital role in health emergencies, including through the Contingency Fund for Emergencies and the World Bank’s Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility, and emphasize their need for further development and continued and sustainable financing. We recommit to support our 76 partners to strengthen their implementation of the International Health Regulations, including through their development of costed national action plans and the use of diverse sources of financing and multi-stakeholder resources. We will prioritize and coordinate our global efforts to fight against antimicrobial resistance, in a “one health” approach. We will accelerate our efforts to end tuberculosis, and its resistant forms. We reconfirm our resolve to work with partners to eradicate polio and effectively manage the post-polio transition. We affirm our support for a successful replenishment of the Global Fund in 2019.

7. Public finance, including official development assistance and domestic resource mobilization, is necessary to work towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda, but alone is insufficient to support the economic growth and sustainable development necessary to lift all populations from poverty. As a result, we have committed to the Charlevoix Commitment on Innovative Financing for Development to promote economic growth in developing economies and foster greater equality of opportunity within and between countries. We will continue to invest in quality infrastructure with open access. Given rising debt levels in Low Income Countries and the importance of debt sustainability, we call for greater debt transparency not only from Low Income Debtor countries, but also emerging sovereign lenders and private creditors. We support the ongoing work of the Paris Club, as the principal international forum for restructuring official bilateral debt, towards the broader inclusion of emerging creditors. We recognize the value in development and humanitarian assistance that promotes greater equality of opportunity, and gender equality, and prioritizes the most vulnerable, and will continue to work to develop innovative financing models to ensure that no one is left behind.

8. We are resolved to ensure that all workers have access to the skills and education necessary to adapt and prosper in the new world of work brought by innovation through emerging technologies. We will promote innovation through a culture of lifelong learning among current and future generations of workers. We will expand market-driven training and education, particularly for girls and women in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. We recognize the need to remove barriers to women’s leadership and equal opportunity to participate in all aspects of the labor market, including by eliminating violence, discrimination and harassment within and beyond the workplace. We will explore innovative new approaches to apprenticeship and vocational learning, as well as opportunities to engage employers and improve access to workplace training.
9. We highlight the importance of working towards making social protection more effective and efficient and creating quality work environments for workers, including those in non-standard forms of work. Expanding communication and collaboration between governments and businesses, social partners, educational institutions and other relevant stakeholders will be essential for preparing workers to adapt and thrive in the new world of work. To realize the benefits of artificial intelligence (AI), we endorse the Charlevoix Common Vision for the Future of Artificial Intelligence. We recognize that a human-centric approach to AI has the potential to introduce new sources of economic growth, bring significant benefits to our societies and help address some of our most pressing challenges.
Advancing Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment
10. We recognize that gender equality is fundamental for the fulfillment of human rights and is a social and economic imperative. However, gender inequality persists despite decades of international commitments to eliminate these differences. We will continue to work to remove barriers to women’s participation and decision-making in social, economic and political spheres as well as increase the opportunities for all to participate equally in all aspects of the labor market. Our path forward will promote women’s full economic participation through working to reduce the gender wage gap, supporting women business leaders and entrepreneurs and recognizing the value of unpaid care work.

11. Equal access to quality education is vital to achieve the empowerment and equal opportunity of girls and women, especially in developing contexts and countries struggling with conflict. Through the Charlevoix Declaration on Quality Education for Girls, Adolescent Girls and Women in Developing Countries, we demonstrate our commitment to increase opportunities for at least 12 years of safe and quality education for all and to dismantle the barriers to girls’ and women’s quality education, particularly in emergencies and in conflict-affected and fragile states. We recognize that marginalized girls, such as those with a disability, face additional barriers in attaining access to education.

12. Advancing gender equality and ending violence against girls and women benefits all and is a shared responsibility in which everyone, including men and boys, has a critical role to play. We endorse the Charlevoix Commitment to End Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, Abuse and Harassment in Digital Contexts, and are resolved to end all forms of sexual and gender-based violence. We strive for a future where individuals’ human rights are equally protected both offline and online; and where everyone has equal opportunity to participate in political, social, economic and cultural endeavors.

Building a More Peaceful and Secure World

13. We share a responsibility to build a more peaceful and secure world, recognizing that respect for human rights, the rule of law, and equality of opportunity are necessary for lasting security and to enable economic growth that works for everyone. The global security threats we face are complex and evolving and we commit to working together to counter terrorism. We welcome the outcome of the international conference on the fight against terrorist financing held in Paris April 25-26, 2018. Foreign terrorist fighters must be held accountable for their actions. We are committed to addressing the use of the internet for terrorist purposes, including as a tool for recruitment, training, propaganda and financing, and by working with partners such as the Global Internet Forum for Counter Terrorism. We underscore the importance of taking concrete measures to eradicate trafficking in persons, forced labor, child labor and all forms of slavery, including modern slavery.

14. Recognizing that countries that are more equal are also more stable, more peaceful and more democratic, we are resolved to strengthen the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda. Gender-sensitive measures that include women’s participation and perspectives to prevent and eradicate terrorism are vital to effective and sustainable results, protection from sexual and gender-based violence, and preventing other human rights abuses and violations.

15. We commit to take concerted action in responding to foreign actors who seek to undermine our democratic societies and institutions, our electoral processes, our sovereignty and our security as outlined in the Charlevoix Commitment on Defending Democracy from Foreign Threats. We recognize that such threats, particularly those originating from state actors, are not just threats to G7 nations, but to international peace and security and the rules-based international order. We call on others to join us in addressing these growing threats by increasing the resilience and security of our institutions, economies and societies, and by taking concerted action to identify and hold to account those who would do us harm.

16. We continue to call on North Korea to completely, verifiably, and irreversibly dismantle all of its weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and ballistic missiles as well as its related programs and facilities. We acknowledge recent developments, including North Korea’s announcement of a moratorium on nuclear testing and ballistic missile launches, a commitment to denuclearization made in the April 27 Panmunjom Declaration – assuming full implementation – and the apparent closure of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site on May 24 but reiterate the importance of full denuclearization. The dismantlement of all of its WMD and ballistic missiles will lead to a more positive future for all people on the Korean Peninsula and a chance of prosperity for the people of North Korea, who have suffered for too long. However, more must be done and we call on all states to maintain strong pressure, including through full implementation of relevant UNSCRs, to urge North Korea to change its course and take decisive and irreversible steps. In this context, we once again call upon North Korea to respect the human rights of its people and resolve the abductions issue immediately.

17. We urge Russia to cease its destabilizing behavior, to undermine democratic systems and its support of the Syrian regime. We condemn the attack using a military grade nerve agent in Salisbury, United Kingdom. We share and agree with the United Kingdom’s assessment that it is highly likely that the Russian Federation was responsible for the attack, and that there is no plausible alternative explanation. We urge Russia to live up to its international obligations, as well as its responsibilities as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, to uphold international peace and security. Notwithstanding, we will continue to engage with Russia on addressing regional crises and global challenges, where it is in our interests. We reiterate our condemnation of the illegal annexation of Crimea and reaffirm our enduring support for Ukrainian sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders. We maintain our commitment to assisting Ukraine in implementing its ambitious and necessary reform agenda. We recall that the continuation of sanctions is clearly linked to Russia’s failure to demonstrate complete implementation of its commitments in the Minsk Agreements and respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and we fully support the efforts within the Normandy Format and of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe for a solution to the conflict in Eastern Ukraine. Should its actions so require, we also stand ready to take further restrictive measures in order to increase costs on Russia. We remain committed to support Russian civil society and to engage and invest in people-to-people contact.

18. We strongly condemn the murderous brutality of Daesh and its oppression of civilian populations under its control. As an international community, we remain committed to the eradication of Daesh and its hateful ideology. In Syria we also condemn the repeated and morally reprehensible use of chemical weapons by the Syrian regime and by Daesh. We call on the supporters of the regime to ensure compliance with its obligation to declare and dismantle remaining chemical weapons. We deplore the fact that Syria assumed the Presidency of the Conference on Disarmament in May, given its consistent and flagrant disregard of international non-proliferation norms and agreements. We reaffirm our collective commitment to the Chemical Weapons Convention and call on all States to support the upcoming Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) special Conference of States Parties and to work together to strengthen the ability of the OPCW to promote the implementation of the Convention. We call upon those who have yet to do so to join the International Partnership Against the Use of Chemical Weapons. We call for credible, inclusive and non-sectarian governance in Syria, facilitated by free and fair elections held to the highest international standards of transparency and accountability, with all Syrians, including members of the diaspora, eligible to participate.

19. We remain concerned about the situation in the East and South China Seas and reiterate our strong opposition to any unilateral actions that could escalate tensions and undermine regional stability and the international rules-based order. We urge all parties to pursue demilitarization of disputed features. We are committed to taking a strong stance against human rights abuse, human trafficking, and corruption across the globe, especially as it impacts vulnerable populations and we call upon the international community to take strong action against these abuses all over the world. We welcome the recent commitments made by Myanmar and we pledge to coordinate efforts to build lasting peace and support democratic transition in Myanmar, particularly in the context of the ongoing Rohingya crisis, to allow safe and unhindered humanitarian access and the safe, voluntary, and dignified return of refugees and displaced people. We are deeply concerned about the lack of respect for human rights and basic democratic principles in Venezuela, as well as the spiraling economic crisis and its humanitarian repercussions. We express our concern at the continuous deterioration of the situation in Yemen and renew our call for all parties to fully comply with international humanitarian law and human rights law.

20. Recognizing the threat Iran’s ballistic missile program poses to international peace and security, we call upon Iran to refrain from launches of ballistic missiles and all other activities which are inconsistent with UNSCR 2231 – including all annexes – and destabilizing for the region, and cease proliferation of missile technology. We are committed to permanently ensuring that Iran’s nuclear program remains peaceful, in line

21. We remain concerned about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, especially in the light of recent events. We support the resumption without delay of substantive peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians aimed at achieving a negotiated solution that ensures the peace and security for both parties. We stress the importance of addressing as soon as possible the dire and deteriorating humanitarian and security situation in the Gaza strip.

22. Africa’s security, stability, and sustainable development are high priorities for us, and we reiterate our support for African-led initiatives, including at a regional level. We reiterate our commitment to work in partnership with the African continent, supporting the African Union Agenda 2063, to realize Africa’s potential. We will promote African capabilities to better prevent, respond to, and manage crisis and conflicts and to strengthen democratic institutions. We reiterate our commitment to the stabilization, unity and democracy of Libya, which is key for the stability of the Mediterranean region and of Europe. We support the efforts of the Special Representative of the UNSG Salamé in pursuing an inclusive political process founded on his Action Plan and we encourage all Libyan and regional actors to uphold their constructive engagement as outlined in the June 2018 UNSC Presidential statement. We support the efforts of the Presidency Council and the GNA to consolidate State institutions.

Working Together on Climate Change, Oceans and Clean Energy

23. A healthy planet and sustainable economic growth are mutually beneficial, and therefore, we are pursuing global efforts towards a sustainable and resilient future that creates jobs for our citizens. We firmly support the broad participation and leadership of young people, girls and women in promoting sustainable development. We collectively affirm our strong determination to achieve a clean environment, clean air, clean water and healthy soil. We commit to ongoing action to strengthen our collective energy security and demonstrate leadership in ensuring that our energy systems continue to drive sustainable economic growth. We recognize that each country may chart its own path to achieving a low-emission future. We look forward to adopting a common set of guidelines at UNFCCC COP 24.

24. Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the European Union reaffirm their strong commitment to implement the Paris Agreement, through ambitious climate action, in particular through reducing emissions while stimulating innovation, enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening and financing resilience and reducing vulnerability, as well as ensuring a just transition, including increasing efforts to mobilize climate finance from a wide variety of sources. We discussed the key role of energy transitions through the development of market based clean energy technologies and the importance of carbon pricing, technology collaboration and innovation to continue advancing economic growth and protect the environment as part of sustainable, resilient and low-carbon energy systems, as well as financing adaptive capacity. We reaffirm the commitment that we have made to our citizens to reduce air and water pollution and our greenhouse gas emissions to reach a global carbon-neutral economy over the course of the second half of the century. We welcome the adoption by the UN General Assembly of a resolution titled “Towards a Global Pact for the Environment” and look forward to the presentation of a report by the Secretary-General in the next General Assembly.

25. Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the European Union will promote the fight against climate change through collaborative partnerships and work with all relevant partners, in particular all levels of government; local, Indigenous, remote coastal and small island communities; as well as with the private sector, international organizations and civil society to identify and assess policy gaps, needs and best practices. We recognize the contribution of the One Planet conferences to this collective effort.

26. The United States believes sustainable economic growth and development depends on universal access to affordable and reliable energy resources. It commits to ongoing action to strengthen the worlds’ collective energy security, including through policies that facilitates open, diverse, transparent, liquid and secure global markets for all energy sources. The United States will continue to promote energy security and economic growth in a manner that improves the health of the world’s oceans and environment, while increasing public-private investments in energy infrastructure and technology that advances the ability of countries to produce, transport, and use all available energy sources based on each country’s national circumstances. The United States will endeavor to work closely with other countries to help them access and use fossil fuels more cleanly and efficiently and help deploy renewable and other clean energy sources, given the importance of energy access and security in their Nationally Determined Contributions. The United States believes in the key role of energy transitions through the development of market-based clean energy technologies and the importance of technology collaboration and innovation to continue advancing economic growth and protect the environment as part of sustainable, resilient, and clean energy systems. The United States reiterates its commitment to advancing sustainable economic growth, and underscores the importance of continued action to reduce air and water pollution.

27. Recognizing that healthy oceans and seas directly support the livelihoods, food security and economic prosperity of billions of people, we met with the heads of state or government of the Argentina, Bangladesh, Haiti, Jamaica, Kenya, Marshall Islands, Norway, Rwanda (Chair of the African Union), Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Vietnam, and the heads of the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, to discuss concrete actions to protect the health of marine environments and ensure a sustainable use of marine resources as part of a renewed agenda to increase global biodiversity protection. We endorse the Charlevoix Blueprint for Healthy Oceans, Seas and Resilient Coastal Communities, and will improve oceans knowledge, promote sustainable oceans and fisheries, support resilient coasts and coastal communities and address ocean plastic waste and marine litter. Recognizing that plastics play an important role in our economy and daily lives but that the current approach to producing, using, managing and disposing of plastics and poses a significant threat to the marine environment, to livelihoods and potentially to human health, we the Leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the European Union endorse the G7 Ocean Plastics Charter.

Conclusion

28. We share the responsibility of working together to stimulate sustainable economic growth that benefits everyone, and, in particular, those most at risk of being left behind. We would like to thank our citizens, civil society, the Gender Equality Advisory Council, the Formal G7 Engagement Groups and other partners for their meaningful input to Canada’s presidency. We welcome the offer of the President of France to host our next Summit in 2019 and his pledge to continue G7 leadership on our common agenda.

Saturday, 2 June 2018

US President Donald Trump's businesses lost $100 million over the past year


In 2005 Donald J. Trump unsuccessfully sued an author who stated that he was not as rich as he claimed to be.

The author had written that Trump was only worth between $150-$250 million.

Over a decade later and his 2016 claim of a fortune in excess of $10 billion is looking a lot like delusional thinking.

The latest assessment is that Trump's net worth is around $2.8 billion, down from $2.9 billion in 2017.

If he continues to lose money at this rate he will probaly leave office a lot poorer than when he came in.

The New York Post31 May 2018:

President Donald Trump’s businesses lost $100 million over the past year, with revenues sinking at Trump Tower and his golf courses — though he’s still a billionaire with a net worth of roughly $2.8 billion.

The drop, his second in two years, was based on figures compiled by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index from lenders, property records, annual reports, market data and a May 16 financial disclosure, the news service reported.

During the same period, his once-hugely marketable brand has also taken a hit as assorted scandals and controversies prompted the owners of buildings from Manhattan to Toronto and Panama stripped his name from their buildings.

The most recent estimate, down from $2.9 billion last June, is the lowest since Bloomberg began tracking Trump’s wealth in 2015.

The biggest declines, totaling $220 million, came from adjacent buildings in midtown Manhattan — 6 E. 57th St., which had housed a Niketown store, and Trump Tower, where lower occupancy resulted in less income.

The Trump Organization’s 16 golf and resort properties also dropped in value, by $70 million, as revenue fell at some courses and gained at others.

Losers included Trump’s Doral, Palm Beach and Mar-a-Lago clubs in Florida, while his courses in Scotland and Ireland posted revenue gains. Annual reports for those overseas properties, which have historically lost money, are expected later this year and will show whether they were profitable.

Overall, the clubs are now worth about $650 million, based on lower valuations across the industry……

Saturday, 26 May 2018

Quotes of the Week


“The Trump administration did not rise, prima facie, like Venus on a half shell from the sea. Donald Trump is the result of a long process of political, cultural and social decay. He is a product of our failed democracy. The longer we perpetuate the fiction that we live in a functioning democracy, that Trump and the political mutations around him are somehow an aberrant deviation that can be vanquished in the next election, the more we will hurtle toward tyranny.” [Journalist Chris Hedges, writing in truthdig, 20 May 2018]

“…it is notable that in the past few weeks I've received close to 1,000 representations from local Greenway residents by email, phone and in person regarding the latest reports of systemic abuse in the live animal trade for sheep.”  [Labor MP for Greenway Michelle Rowland, Hansard,  21 May 2018]

“If you were even peripherally aware of history, you’d know that people subjected to lifelong exploitation, forced into a precarious existence or buried under annually compounding debts will, eventually, wheel guillotines into the town square and start taking names.” [Journalist and former Australian senator Scott Ludlam writing in The Guardian, 25 May 2018]

Saturday, 5 May 2018

Quote of the Week


One of the distinguishing traits of the troll-style politics that dominates Trump-era conservatism is the utter disregard for any values outside of winning at all costs and, perhaps even more importantly, defeating liberals. Decency, political norms and truth itself are all treated as acceptable casualties in the endless quest to fuck with the left.
But while many of the excesses of the right seem new, the real­ity is that the Trumpian right is just the outgrowth from roots laid years, even decades ago, in the American right. The racism and sexism, the conspiracy theories, the harping about political correctness? All of it goes back decades and is only exploding out of control now because the right wing political infrastructure has let these foul ideologies and stupid ideas flourish for so long.”  [Author Amanda Marcotte, Troll Nation: How The Right Became Trump-Worshipping Monsters Set On Rat-F*cking Liberals, America, and Truth Itself, 2018] 

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

In incremental moves Trump is distorting rights and protections in the U.S.


The U.S. Dept. of Justice Manual contains a collection of basic manuals, guidelines, policy statement and procedures that govern the action of U.S. Attorneys working for the department.

The U.S. Attorneys’ Manual having recently been reviewed by the Trump Administration no longer contains this section for the instruction of its law officers – in PUBLIC SAFETY,  PUBLIC TRIALS, PUBLIC SAFETY & MEDIA RELATIONS sections 1-7.112 Need for Free Press and Public Trial.



Friday, 27 April 2018

President Donald J. Trump: We need to go after the reporters


"We need to go after the reporters.....They spend a couple of days in jail, make a new friend, and they are ready to talk"  [US President Donald, J. Trump, 14 February 2017]
Finally, an indication of the lengths to which US President Donald J. Trump would go in order to find whistleblowers or silence journalists.
Two excerpts from former FBI Director James Comey's confidential memos supplied to the US Congress last week by the Department of Justice:





BACKGROUND

The New York Times, 7 July 2005, Judy Miller Goes To Jail

Monday, 9 April 2018

Donald Trump's callous disregard for the reality of this situation knows no bounds



Trump Tower is a 58 story building containing a mix of residential apartments, business premises, retail stores and restaurants in mid-town Manhattan, New York.

The thirty-four year old building has been the site of two fires this year.

None of the 238 apartments on the 38 residential floors below the three-story Trump penthouse have sprinkler systems installed.


On 8 April 2018 US President Donald Trump tweeted this ……




By the time that tweet was sent the man who died in the fire had been dead at least tweve hours.

Trump called out for untrue personal attack


Fox News pointed out in polite terms that US President Donald J. Trump is telling wall-to-wall lies in his personal attack on the founder of Amazon (an American electronic commerce and cloud computing corporation) and owner of The Washingtom Post, multi-billionaire Jeff Bezos.

It also linked this attack to newspaper's reporting of the the DOJ-FBI investigation into alleged links between the the Trump presidential campaign and Russia's interferrence in the 2016 US national elections.


Perhaps Trump should cast his mind back to the last American president that tried to silence The Washington Post - in that case for it's reporting of the Watergate political scandal.

He might also care to recall that Bezos (the world's 'richest' man in 2018) only holds est. 16 per cent of Amazon shares - there are another 2,447 shareholders of record and est. 60.53 per cent of the share pool is owned by institutional investors, who as representatives of a host of beneficial shareholders won't be happy with Trump's crude attempt to force Amazon share value down. 

Friday, 23 March 2018

The president doth protest too much, methinks


On 15 March 2018 the mainstream media reported that the Special Counsel Russia Investigation has served a subpoena on the Trump Organisation.

Since then US President Donald J Trump has removed an FBI deputy-director and tweeted his defiance of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.

As usual the only words in Trump's tweets that can be relied on are connecting words like "and", "or" & "but'  - everthing else is bound to be a distortion of fact or a downright lie.



Monday, 19 March 2018

Trump brings out the knives in his effort to derail the FBI-Mueller investigation into Russian involvment in his presidential campaign


What occurred.....

Andrew McCabe became acting head of the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) after the sudden firing of James B. Comey on 9 May 2017 and, as acting head gave evidence before a US Senate committee in which he contradicted the WhiteHouse’s assertion that James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director fired by PresidentTrump...had lost the support of rank-and-file F.B.I. agents.

US President Donald Trump's reaction was hostile across multiple tweets over the following months and he implied that McCabe might be fired before he could retire.  



On 15 March 2018 The New York Times reported:

WASHINGTON — The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has subpoenaed the Trump Organization in recent weeks to turn over documents, including some related to Russia, according to two people briefed on the matter. The order is the first known instance of the special counsel demanding records directly related to President Trump’s businesses, bringing the investigation closer to the president.

Following hard on the heels of the Comey firing Mueller had been appointed to conduct an investigation into Russian links to Trump's 2015- 2016 presidential campaign.

The following day, 16 March, U.S. ABC News reported:

Former FBI deputy director Andy McCabe was fired Friday from the federal government, just two days before he was set to retire, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced in a statement late Friday night.

Nearly 24 hours earlier, McCabe was inside the Justice Department making the case to keep his job until Sunday when he officially qualifies for retirement benefits. His firing means his full pension — built after nearly 22 years in government — is in jeopardy.

After formal announcement of the McCabe sacking Trump tweeted this:


That Trump's move against McCabe is a step on the road to firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller might be inferred from the Dowd quote below. 

According to The Daily Beast  on 17 March 2018:

“I pray that Acting Attorney General Rosenstein will follow the brilliant and courageous example of the FBI Office of Professional Responsibility and Attorney General Jeff Sessions and bring an end to alleged Russia Collusion investigation manufactured by McCabe’s boss James Comey based upon a fraudulent and corrupt Dossier,” Dowd then wrote.
He told The Daily Beast he was speaking on behalf of the president, in his capacity as the president’s attorney.

McCabe's response.....

Statement released by Andrew McCabe's lawyer - sourced from Twitter

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Quote of the Week



“With no clear international achievement to his name, his major accomplishment in foreign policy has been provoking significant global backlash almost across the board.”  [Journalist Andrew Hammond writing about US President Donald J. Trump in The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 March2018]