Wednesday 26th of April 2017

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by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2017-04-26 20:05

Though he [Trump] opened to a few chuckles, his jokes, which went from funny to flat to offensive, soon drew silence, then gasps and finally loud, angry boos.

You can watch his full remarks below, but here are a few highlights:

  • “It’s great to be here with 1,000 wonderful people, or as I call it, a small intimate dinner with some friends. Or as Hillary calls it, her loudest crowd of the season.”
  • “Just before taking the dais, Hillary accidentally bumped into me and she very civilly said ‘Pardon me.’ And I very politely replied, ‘Let me talk to you about that after I get into office.’”
  • “Hillary is so corrupt, she got kicked off the Watergate commission.”
  • “We have learned so much from WikiLeaks. For example, Hillary Clinton believes it is vital to deceive the people by having one public policy and it is only different policy in private. That’s okay. I don’t know who they are angry at, Hillary or I. Here she is tonight in public, pretending not to hate Catholics.”
  • “Everyone knows, of course, Hillary has believed that it takes a village, which only makes sense, after all, in places like Haiti, where she has taken a number of them.”
  • “The media is even more biased this year than ever before … You want the proof? Michelle Obama gives a speech and everyone loves it. … My wife, Melania, gives the exact same speech, and people get on her case.”

Self-deprecating it wasn’t. Indeed, the jokes weren’t aimed at himself at all.

“The jokes he went to the stage with were completely consistent with his character,” said Jeff Shesol, a former speechwriter for President Clinton.

It was a contrast even to Hillary Clinton, who isn’t famous for being funny. “This is such a special event that I took a break from my rigorous nap schedule. … It is a treat for all of you, too, because usually I charge a lot for speeches like this.

read more:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2017/04/26/with-self-deprecation-on-menu-for-presidents-at-correspondents-dinner-its-no-wonder-trump-is-skipping-it/?hpid=hp_hp-morning-mix_mm-trump%3Ahomepage%2Fstory

by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2017-04-26 19:47

Of all the political tribulations that elicit gnashing of teeth from Washington, the most ridiculous has to be the government shutdown. The federal government has been closed 18 times since 1975 over everything from abortion to nuclear missiles to congressional laziness, yet only recently has this rather mundane occurrence been turned by cable news into a ticking-clock serial thriller. The last villain to trigger a shutdown was Sen. Ted Cruz in 2013, and while voters disapproved, they quickly shrugged it off and awarded Cruz’s Republicans control of the Senate that following year. An Associated Press poll from 2015 found the public supporting a hypothetical shutdown if it extracted needed spending cuts.

That being said, Donald Trump was wise to back off his threat of another shutdown earlier this week. Trump had initially signaled that he would veto any budget that didn’t include funding for his wall on the southern border, now such a trademark promise that he’s branded it as just “The Wall.” Democrats are monolithic in their opposition, with Nancy Pelosi on Sunday calling The Wall “immoral, expensive, unwise.” Since Democratic consent is needed to advance any budget through the Senate and the government’s spending power expires on Friday, Trump’s holding firm would have probably triggered a shutdown. So it was good news when he indicated on Tuesday that The Wall could be appropriated later in the year, drawing lukewarm plaudits from Democrats and grateful exhalations from Republicans.

Yes, shutdowns are hardly unprecedented, but doing one now would have cemented Trump’s already-hardening reputation for managerial chaos. “Only Republicans could shut down the government when they control all of it,” the pundits would snark, and they’d have a point. Democrats would have to do little except recline and point. All this over The Wall—more a symbol of Trump-flavored nationalism than a serious policy to advance its goals—which Republicans are reluctant to fund, ostensible Trump allies dismiss as ineffective, and the public opposes by a yawning margin. To pilfer one of political journalism’s favorite clichés, this is one can that should be kicked down the road.

Read more:


by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2017-04-26 19:39

 

RT America has been awarded one Silver Medal and two Bronze Medals at the annual New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards.

Question more, win more!

READ MORE: RT beats BBC, CNN with 18 nominations in prestigious New York Festivals finals

RT America obtained three wins Tuesday evening at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, not from gambling, but from the grand jury of the 2017 New York Festivals International Television & Film Awards.

A Silver World Medal for Direction: Promotion/Open & IDs went to the RT America program “The Big Picture with Thom Hartmann.”

read more:

https://www.rt.com/usa/386157-rt-america-ny-festivals-medals/

 

Read from top...

 

by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2017-04-26 18:28

A Papua New Guinean politician, whose account of a shooting at the Manus Island detention centre was rejected by Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton, has been reinstated as a Member of Parliament by the PNG Supreme Court.

Key points:

  • Ronny Knight disagreed with Mr Dutton over what led to shooting
  • Mr Dutton labelled Mr Knight a "discredited witness"
  • PNG Chief Justice questions allegations levelled against Mr Knight

 

Manus MP Ronny Knight was dismissed last week for misconduct in office over the purchase of a boat for the island.

This week, his comments about what led to the Good Friday shooting at the detention centre were at odds with Mr Dutton's view.

The Immigration Minister said Mr Knight was a "discredited witness" and incorrectly said he had been "convicted of fraud".

Mr Dutton demanded an apology from media outlets— including the ABC — that had interviewed Mr Knight.

But PNG's Chief Justice Sir Salamo Injia found there were no allegations Mr Knight obtained a personal benefit from the boat purchase and said there were serious concerns with how he had been cited by the PNG Leadership Tribunal.

"There is no question that the motor vessel was purchased for a good cause," he said.

"The appellant [Mr Knight] did not stand to benefit personally from the decision of the committee [to purchase the boat]."

The Chief Justice ordered the decision to dismiss Mr Knight be stayed pending an appeal, and that Mr Knight remain in office and be allowed to contest the upcoming election.

read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-26/manus-island-shooting-mp-reinstated-following-dutton-claims/8473676

by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2017-04-26 18:22

Far from being the solution to Australia's energy crisis, bureaucrats have confirmed the upgrade to Snowy Hydro may never even go ahead, reports Mark Hipgrave.

RECENT TURNBULL GOVERNMENT announcements about renaming the 457 Visa system, toughening the citizenship test, and the one from Fiona Nash about decentralising Govt Departments, made me think about last month’s big announcement – the Snowy Hydro Scheme Expansion.

You will recall that, on March 16, the PM announced plans for a $2 billion expansion of the Snowy Hydro scheme that could add up to 50% to its capacity.

In his media statement, Turnbull outlined the basics of the project — a plan to‘supercharge the Snowy Hydro precinct’, with the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), charged to

‘... examine several sites, which could support large scale pumped hydroelectric energy storage in the precinct.  These sites would involve new tunnels and power stations, connecting existing storages.’

In a speech in front of the penstocks feeding the Tumut 3 Power Station, he sounded positively Churchillian puffing out his chest, malsplaining to us all that the new Snowy Hydro scheme was the

‘... result of the vision and the courage of the generation that won the Second World War … they defended our freedoms …. and they came home and built this …. these are big dreams in these mountains, real courage...’

(He ignored the reality that around two thirds of the workforce employed in the construction of the scheme were immigrant workers, originating from over 30 countries. Not the winners of WWII, they were mostly the losers — displaced persons from Germany, Italy, Yugoslavia and other parts of Eastern Europe. They came with little English and no knowledge at all of Australian values. The work was largely managed by U.S. engineering contractors and, while an engineering triumph, it was achieved with what we would now regard as a shocking safety record).

The PM then contradicted his media statement, now telling us the projects were designed and engineered decades ago (so presumably no need for site selection studies), and that all that was missing was leadership and money, and that his government has both.  He told us the projects were ‘thoroughly commercial’ and the task now was now to provide extra funding for the feasibility study to review the geological studies and the tunnelling technology now available.

At the end of the speech he climbed into a helicopter, gave a cheery wave and flew off.

Various mainstream media reports at the time told us that construction work would commence immediately the feasibility study was complete and take four years to complete.

Energy Minister Frydenberg added that the scheme's expansion would "run into the billions of dollars". But the ABC reported that when asked repeatedly where the funding would be sourced, the best he could come up with was that "projects like this make money"

read more:

https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/turnbull-fibbed-about-snowy-hydro-20,10235

by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2017-04-26 18:14

PARIS — The far-right leader Marine Le Pen faces an uphill battle in France’s presidential runoff, less than two weeks away. But she saw daylight through a small window on Tuesday, and from an unlikely source: her defeated counterpart on the far left.

Alone among all of France’s major political personalities, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the leader of his own “France Unsubjugated” movement, whofinished a strong fourth in Sunday’s voting, has refused to endorse Ms. Le Pen’s opponent, the former economy minister Emmanuel Macron.

Mr. Mélenchon’s critics say his obstinacy is petulant, wounded pride that can only help Ms. Le Pen’s National Front. But it also speaks to the passions that Mr. Macron, a seemingly mild-mannered centrist, provokes in large parts of the French electorate, far left and far right, who share a view of the 39-year-old former investment banker as a fire-breathing incarnation of evil market culture.

As populism and anger over the impacts of globalization energize much of the electorate, Mr. Mélenchon’s stand has added a new element of uncertainty into the final round of voting on May 7.

Continue reading the main story

It has also set off a dynamic in the French race much like when Hillary Clinton defeated Senator Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primaries last year — leaving his supporters, still in the thrall of populism, up for grabs as party allegiances broke down.

Mr. Mélenchon’s 19.6 percent of the vote Sunday is now a rich booty — triple the score of the mainstream Socialist Party, whose collapse has elevated Mr. Mélenchon to be de facto leader of the French left. He even won in big cities like Marseille and Lille.

But it is not clear where that vote will now go, not least because far-left populism and far-right populism may have more in common than the seemingly vast gulf between them on the political spectrum would suggest.

Mr. Mélenchon, 65, a former Trotskyite, ran a campaign denouncing banks, globalization and the European Union — just like Ms. Le Pen.

A grizzled orator with a penchant for Latin American dictators, he has the same forgiving attitude she does toward the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin

read more:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/25/world/europe/france-melenchon-macron-le-pen.html

by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2017-04-26 16:31

Macron's credo:

1) ”REMAKE THE FAILED & VACUOUS POLITICAL SYSTEM” (translation: maintain the same political system but curtail people’s ability to protest or initiate change)

2) ”RELAX LABOUR LAWS” (translation: cut protection for workers)

3) “CUT BUSINESS TAXES” (translation: make the wealthy wealthier in the name of “stimulating the economy” or some such nonsense words)

4) “REFORM UNEMPLOYMENT SYSTEM” (translation: cut or eradicate protection for those rendered unemployed by the above two policies)

5) “ENCOURAGE SOCIAL MOBILITY” (translation: give the above jobs to illegal immigrants working for slave wages under threat of forcible repatriation)

6) “CUT PUBLIC SPENDING – BUT BOOST INVESTMENT” (translation: destroy public health, schools, infrastructure and “invest” the money in the 1%’s multiple homes, nuclear bunkers and private planes)

7) “SHRINK PUBLIC SECTOR” (translation: make the above as permanent an arrangement as possible by selling off public assets at ridiculous rates to Macron’s banker chums ) 

8) “REDUCE NUMBER OF MPS” (translation: accelerate erosion of representative democracy

9) “ESTABLISH EUROZONE GOVERNMENT”(translation: one step closer to global control)

10) “HIRE 10,000 MORE POLICE AND GENDARMES” (needs no translation – when you’re destroying people’s livelihoods and living standards you need a lot of men with guns to keep them quiet).

 

Nothing new here for Aussies, us, and Yankees who have seen what their Liberal (KONservative) leaders have done to erode decency, integrity and hope while increasing fear and uncertainty, while making sure there is no peace possible in the world.

by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2017-04-26 15:07

During a speech at George Washington University on Tuesday, Kelly stated that the US is facing the “highest terror threat in years,” and noted that the driving force is radical Islam and an “unprecedented spike” in homegrown terrorists. 

 

The moderated discussion, titled “Home & Away: Threats to America and the DHS Response,” outlined Kelly’s perspectives on identifying priority threats, improving efficiency within the organization and reinforcing its core mission.

Throughout the discussion, Kelly discussed the threat from “sadistic radicals” and “people who hate us.”

read more

https://sputniknews.com/us/201704191052794083-all-us-states-terror-investigations/

 

The rehearsal for Sydney's panic is Friday 28 April at 12:15...

 

by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2017-04-26 11:48

A crisis meeting of the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) board will be held this evening amid fresh claims of bullying within the organisation.

The meeting has been called during an increasingly bitter election campaign for the AOC presidency, with incumbent John Coates being challenged for the first time since he took the role 27 years ago.

Olympian Danni Roche is vying for the presidency, with a vote on May 6 at the AOC's annual general meeting.

Coates called tonight's executive board meeting, believing he is victim of a vindictive campaign to oust him as president.

Coates has also rejected claims of bullying from former AOC staffers including ex-chief executive Fiona de Jong which centre on long-time AOC media director Mike Tancred.

Tancred, a loyal supporter of Coates, is also facing new allegations, published by Fairfax Media today, that he harassed another former staffer for taking two days off during the Beijing Olympics in 2008 due to a miscarriage.

Tancred has denied any wrongdoing.

Read more:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-26/coates-to-address-attacks-on-his-presidency/8471908?section=sport

by Gus Leonisky on Wed, 2017-04-26 10:41

Today (23/4/17) I saw a C-17 take off from Sydney airport... I believe it was the aircraft used by the Vice-President of whatever, Mr Pence. No markings, just the military dark grey colour.

http://www.airforce-technology.com/features/featurethe-worlds-biggest-military-transport-aircraft-4180954/featurethe-worlds-biggest-military-transport-aircraft-4180954-3.html

 

Mind you a couple of days ago I also saw an AN124 take off over the place... No markings, just white...

 

M*A*S*H was a satirical program about the war in Korea... With the US going to the jugular, it appears that this program was a waste of fun. As I said before, satire does not change the mindset of the deceitful leaders. The only thing that brings change is a revolution, and even this can be taken over by new opportunistic bastards...

 

UPDATE (26/4/17): The C-17 was I believe the plane used by Malcolm going to Iraq and Afghanistan. Mike Pence used AirForce One or Two. I still don't know who was flying the AN124.... and satire still does not change the mindset of the deceitful leaders. They are like hard shit... The only thing that brings change is a revolution, and even this can be taken over by new opportunistic bastards...