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Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Way back in the alleged good ol’ days of Ronald Reagan (Ronnie Raygun), the Brits had a satirical program called Spitting Image where puppetry was used to treat pollies with the disdain they so richly deserved.

It certainly didn’t pull any punches as you can see in this clip.

Everyone was fair game, especially the Leader of the Free World, but they didn’t limit themselves to the Yanks. Some of the most severe material was reserved for Maggie Thatcher, the Royal Family, the Russians just to name a few. They were all fair game. It’s brilliantly disrespectful and would probably fail current political correctness tests, but it certainly made it’s point. The episode where Prince Andrew hands Prince Charles a 45 calibre hand gun and asks him to "do the decent thing by the country" springs to mind.

In those days the Free World lived in constant fear of an ageing American actor having access to the nuclear firing codes which for some strange reason reminds me that if you ignore history you are doomed to repeat it. 😉

Reagan came over as a befuddled character with coloured hair (no comment) so the only relief was to send him up outrageously and the series The President’s brain is missing was born.

Image result for spitting image the presidents brain is missing

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Poor Donald is getting a lot of stick of late but perhaps we are measuring him against the wrong model?

Granted, he doesn’t stack up well, measured against a civilised human being, but we may be aiming too low.

Check out the similarities between Trump and the American God and you discover a much better fit.

Firstly, the American God is mostly male and white which is not far removed from Donald’s male and orange-ish white. And both have a full head of hair or some such facsimile.

Image result for trump is god

Next, most versions of the American God are not big on the female of the species. 2nd class is probably the best you can aim for. Compare that with Donald who believes the ladies are there for his own entertainment rather than as his equal and it’s suspiciously close to God’s level of respect.

How about the fan base?

Another close match. Trump fans seem pretty excited about the Bible or at least the first version now marketed as the Old Testament. Like Trump himself they are not much impressed by feeding the less fortunate or turning the other cheek, as featured in the rewrite (New Testament).

And what about the treatment of those fans? Both God and Trump feed off the less well off. Churches achieved their magnificence off the backs of the poor while Trump uses them as his power base but doesn’t repay the favor by deliberately trashing their health care. Both entities work in mysterious ways I guess.

Now we come to the mental state and here the match is closest of all. Both God and Trump are full of themselves and require everyone else to jump on the love machine. Not only that, if you don’t, both are very unforgiving. With Donald the retribution is a little less extreme with only the threat to trash your career, whereas God is way more vindictive offering fire and brimstone for Eternity. (I think Donald needs to ramp that part up a tad if he wants to reach full God mode).

Your Love is not just a “nice to have” thing either. Clearly Trump is melting down over having to pump up his own tires, and God goes out and visits tornadoes and such like on America if he thinks they “don’t hate fags” enough.

Ground crew get the same level of support from God and Donald too. With Trump it’s asking for investigations to be dropped, while with God it’s not handing over serial sex offenders to Police.

So what do you think? Is Donald not closer to being a God than a human?

Clearly his humanity level is low so perhaps he is a God. He certainly thinks he is.

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Yesterday we were treated to the painful video of Trump and Turnbull spruiking man love to the gathered reporters complete with “Alternative facts” which was dutifully accepted by those in attendance. I think it’s a photo finish as to who grovelled more. MT or the Reporters. With just one question about resettlement Trump could have imploded.

Most disgusting of all was the opening comment where Malcolm congratulated Donald for stripping away Healthcare from about 24 million of America’s poorest. He was so excited his eyes were watering. Don’t be surprised if this floats around in the next Election campaign.

This is the very same chap who decried that Labor ran a scare campaign about his support for Medicare because apparently we should ignore history and believe it when he said he loved the program (while actually making cuts to Medicare at the very same election.)

No sign at all of any embarrassment.

imageOne observation I would make though, is that if Trump had really paid any attention to MT he could have learned something. Trump uses the Tony Abbott approach of crash through or crash and we all know how that ends. MT already knows how to move up to the next step and it’s really quite simple.

Donald doesn’t even have to turn away from any of his policies. He can keep them as is. Just change what you announce but then do the opposite. If folk are worried about the Environment, tell them you are too, then claim you are making it better. When they start to get worried announce the very same thing but present it as new. Simply rinse and repeat.

If your mates want to prop up coal mining you do the same. Say you are making big changes, make an excellent speech. Then keep it handy for the next time someone realises nothing has happened. It works a treat.

Malcolm has companies in tax havens and makes great speeches about tax avoidance, then does nothing until the speech is required again. Same goes for Energy security, housing affordability, Superannuation, Climate Change, debt levels, all these he presents as something he cares about, but then nothing happens. Folk actually think he is different to Tony even though he has exactly the same policies. It’s amazing what learning to smile can let you get away with.

So the takeaway for Trump could have been better for him as far as popularity goes. MT has it sown up, and let’s face it folk, Trump has such a fragile ego that any help in that department would be gratefully received.

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On March 13  2017, There was an opinion piece in the Australian Financial Review entitled Wind and Solar can only win on a tilted playing field. Not surprisingly, penned by Brendan Pearson, the chief exec of the troubled Image result for minerals council australia LogoMinerals Council of Australia.

Knowing the track record of trickiness from the Minerals Council, I thought it would be interesting to see what a little background check might reveal. I must admit to some trepidation because, when politics is involved, you have to be careful about the sources you use, but as it turnedImage result for int energy agency Logo out, by using the same sources as Mr Pearson, International Energy Agency,  the picture is far more interesting.

As it turns out the figure quoted is just about right, but what Brendan failed to mention is that subsidies for the Fossil Fuel industry are 4 times the size of those for renewables. Ouch.

Let’s look at the Global  figures for 2014 so we get a fair comparison.

  • Fossil Fuels $550 billion a year and climbing
  • Renewables $120 billion and climbing too, but remember Renewables is gaining market share so it is to be expected.

Currently Renewables are meeting an impressive 30% of the Energy market Image result for repositjust with current technologies and new developments like Reposit are heading towards covering peak demand issues. It’s just a matter of time before the basket of technologies cover the market. Maybe before they finally get “Clean” coal off the ground.

To me, those figures look about even given the percentage of the Energy market both serve. That alone makes a strong case for Renewables because on current figures, the attempt to meet 2DS (limiting the temperature rise to 2 degrees scenario) is predicted to fail when we hit 3.6 degrees. A horrifying figure almost double the target. (World Energy Outlook figures). We simply can’t afford to generate any carbon without serious damage to the climate.

Not feeling nervous yet?

Here is the killer punch. The US EPA did an in depth study of the cost that fossil fuel pollution has on the health of Americans. Bear in mind that chaps like Brendan Pearson give a wide berth to any consideration of the health impacts of his product.

On US figures, the fossil fuel industry gets a free pass to the tune of 14 to 35 cents per kilowatt hour which is actually higher than the unit price in someImage result for us epa Logo areas. To put that in perspective that’s a full 6% of US GDP. Compare that to the official subsidy of about 0.7% of GDP and you start to see how serious that oversight is.

Interestingly, this is not an issue with Renewables with the possible exception of manufacturing plants depending on what chemicals may end up being used. It will certainly be many orders of magnitude less than the problems caused by fossil fuels where everyone cops a serve.

Even leaving aside the health impacts, the case for Renewables is a strong one and unfortunately for Mr Pearson, the Industry is well aware of the problems facing his product. He may be able to influence a few pollies with things like “clean” coal, but it’s a non-starter with Energy companies and Financiers. Unless the Taxpayer foots the massive bill, the sums just don’t add up. Even if a political party starts funding it via the taxpayers, at best it will only last until the next Election and then the Voters will deal with the incumbents.

Our Pollies get a 3 year term, the Industry needs about 20 years to turn a profit. Unless you can buy both sides of the political spectrum, you have 3 years to break even. No wonder only a few short sighted pollies are up for it.

Sources:

Wind and Solar can only win on a tilted playing field. Brendan Pearson MCA

International Energy Agency Energy subsidies 

Reposit Australian energy company that manages your access to the grid

World Energy Outlook figures

the cost that fossil fuel pollution has on the health of Americans US EPA

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Aussie politics has been pretty interesting of late, though I imagine some folk aren’t enjoying it as much as I am. That comes from not appreciating the subtlety of backroom deals and the forlorn hope that there will be a sudden outbreak of common sense where the good of the country coming first.

How long can you hold your breath?

As negative as that sounds, I believe things are on the improve but more about that later.

Overriding our own trials and tribulations is the spectre of the Donald Trump experiment which has entered high farce now that smart decisions are requiredImage result for donald disability instead of just “bitching about the Gov’mint”. It’s turned out that Donald is so gripped by Obamaphobia he can’t think straight and running the government was way more complex than he realised. (Who knew? Certainly not the self described King of Debt )

This throws a dark shadow across Aussie politics because when Donald gets his war with China, and he is going to need it for the Polls, our Economy goes straight down the toilet. With Donald’s America First, he won’t be interested in paying for the damage and sadly our current government is still so besotted with America that we will sign up for any lunacy that Trump imagines. It’s no shock that Hanson wants to be besties with Donald too, and in her case there appears to be no recognition of how damaging the Donald will be. At least the Libs have some trepidation.

But all is not lost.

One positive thing that Donald has achieved is exposing some Aussie pollies Image result for pauline hanson angrywho celebrate brain dead ideas. Populist rubbish that doesn’t stand up to clear thinking. Finding minorities and beating up on them for personal gain. It’s given these self centred individuals an ill founded confidence that is rapidly fading as the full impact of their stupidity takes effect.

Like her last time around, Pauline is hitting the Media at every opportunity and Pauline fatigue is building. This would not be a problem if she had any clear ideas about what she wants to achieve but she is a walking disaster area of contradictions. Just last weekend she proclaimed that Malcolm Turnbull was too bossy but Vladimir Putin was what Aussies want. Just think on that for a moment.

She also decided that playing the anti vax card would be good for a few votes, seemingly unaware that quite a lot of older folk in her camp know what an iron lung looks like and remember how vaccinations made a huge difference to those requiring its use.

Consider yourself a “battler” and believed Pauline would stick up for your pay and conditions?  Shame about that. Pauline votes Liberal 87% of the time which imageis not surprising when you realise she was too hard core for the Liberal party when it was a more centrist body of people. She is happy to take your vote but don’t expect support, or even respect. Apparently nearly half her support comes from notionally Labor voters. They must be starting to realise she might not be there for them.

Climate Change is another area where Pauline thought she could pull a few votes but that boat has sailed long ago. Apart from a few die hards, the countryImage result for malcolm turnbull has mostly accepted the Science and is requiring action. Even Malcolm is getting beaten up over the environment and he has a much more agreeable media presence.

It’s tempting to depict Pauline Hanson’s One Nation as similar to the ill fated Palmer United party, but it way less sophisticated than that. Clive lost control quickly because those in his Party wanted to make their own decisions but at least it was after the Election that the wheels fell off. With PHON, Pauline tells us everyone has to do as she tells them because they represent her. Somehow representing the Voters fell off the back of the truck long ago.

The upcoming WA State election is on this coming weekend and it is going to be Image result for clive palmer one to watch. It sounds like support for PHON is already falling after the bizarre Pro Putin rubbish but WA is often hard to pick. They claim they like stability but who knows if that will turn their vote away from Pauline on polling day.

Whatever the outcome, when it comes to the Eastern States, hitching your wagon to a nutter like Trump, or an anti-Democracy chap like Vladimir, is really going to test Voters loyalty. With Pauline not realising public appearances can be seriously damaging, I think we are looking at a repeat of Pauline’s last foray into Aussie politics where folk got sick of the thoughtlessness. It’s great fun to have a bitch, but when Voters are looking for clever decisions, Pauline’s name is unlikely to be foremost in anyone’s mind.

 

Links

Donald’s fantasy world https://goo.gl/3ZhHAi

Pauline and penalty rates https://goo.gl/wXjCUv

Pauline and bestie Putin https://goo.gl/T5njUn

Pauline and bestie Donald https://goo.gl/4fFm6Q

Australia’s biggest trading partners https://goo.gl/xM8zhe

Palmer United Wikipedia https://goo.gl/nqBypo

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I can’t resist posting the excellent tear down of Spicer by Melissa McCarthy. Humour has a way of cutting through the BS quicker than dragging out the fact checking software.
I thought the bit where he/she started reading out the email password was a send up but according to This Week in Tech it really happened.

The geriatrics are in charge.

Image result for melissa mccarthy sean spicer

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Our embattled PM seems to be bouncing around like a silver pin ball in a 70’s style arcade machine. Granted a lot of his trouble is coming from the hard right faction within his own party but it’s far worse than that.

I will give him credit for sticking it out presumably in the hope that a miracle will occur, that but doing nothing it may help calm down Cory and Co but it’s killing any impression that he is actually leading his party.

Case in point, his embarrassment with Donald Trump which he can’t blame on his party. That was all his own doing.

Any one with a couple of brain cells could predict dealing with the current US President is extremely tricky. The chap is clearly suffering some sort of mental issue or has a personality not suited to his current job, but one thing is for sure, expecting to be able to pretend you had a fruitful phone conversation, when in fact you got humiliated, is not going to make it past the first drunken twitter outburst.

I don’t blame MT for Trump’s insanity, but I do for faking it.

Malcolm’s first stint leading the Libs came to an abrupt halt when he defied sensible tactics over Ute-gate and ran the campaign himself only to discover Goodwin faked the emails. If he had followed good safety practices he would have handed the ball to someone like Chris Pyne or Barnaby and then just thrown them under the bus and kept his job.

However he didn’t see it coming and suffered a self inflicted wound that gave the unlikely Abbott a shot at the leadership.

That vision problem hits him time and time again. Get an idea to deal with Climate Change? Out he comes all excited then gets humiliated by his Party. A good idea comes up about the lowest cost for reliable power? Here he comes again and there he goes again.

With today’s departure of Bernadi it looks like more trouble ahead. The Liberal party has been quick to hide behind Cory to explain their lack of action on Climate Change, but there is no way MT is going to show leadership here and come up with sensible ideas now Cory has shot through. Wonderful words and imagea winning smile are all he has to offer.

Tonight I suggest they get their heads together to find a new bad guy to blame for doing nothing, otherwise folk will begin to realise MT isn’t really interested in the Environment.

With each day bringing new challenges, I think it’s time to give Malcolm some sage advice.

Eventually there will be another phone conversation with Trump so the least I can do is point out what should have been obvious from the very beginning. Forget any educated conversation and realise Donald’s all about Donald, and a fragile ego it is too.

Don’t talk about a tough Election this time around, don’t go anywhere near the numbers from when he was sworn in. Just pump up his tires about his businesses, or tell him about the Cayman Islands for avoiding tax. You know, something you both can relate to.

Oh. And don’t forget the I Love Donald badges and a fake Trump coiffure. Pauline or Cory can help with the badges.

Links:

Utegate https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utegate

That phone call http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11794202

Tony beats Malcolm http://www.smh.com.au/national/shock-result-as-abbott-wins-liberal-leadership-by-one-vote–ets-dead-20091130-k1uz.html

Emissions Intensity Scheme http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-07/energy-minister-backtracks-on-emissions-intensity-scheme/8098196

The Trump wannabe http://www.smh.com.au/comment/blunt-instrument/bernardi-watched-trump-thump-the-establishment-up-close-and-learnt-nothing-20170206-gu6um6.html

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