Monday 20th of May 2024

polling in the US of A.....

In the latest Reuters/Ipsos Core Political poll, Americans continue to report political extremism or threats to democracy as their top issue facing the country, followed by the economy and immigration.


When it comes to political extremism and threats to democracy, more Americans now say they prefer Biden’s approach to the issue over Trump’s. Americans are still divided, however, on whether Trump or Biden has a better plan for improving the economy. At the macro level, most Americans still say that, generally, things in the U.S. are headed off on the wrong track, and Biden’s approval rating is relatively unchanged, now reading at 40%, from the start of 2024.

wafting across the ditch....

I don’t want to appall the diplomats present by using a vulgarism, but Pillar two [of AUKUS] is fragrant methane-wrapped bullshit. Australia and New Zealand are beautifully placed to nurture and defend a different model of relationships between the prevailing power [the US] and the rising power [China]: A different approach from the one that says war is inevitable, says former Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr.



NDIS and emphasis on budgetary control....

When she introduced the first NDIS legislation to the House of Representatives in 2012 Prime Minister Julia Gillard said it was to replace “A system that metes out support rationed by arbitrary budget allocations, not real human needs”. It was a radical break with other forms of welfare assistance because it put the human rights of people with disabilities first and foremost – not the budget. It was not subject to asset or income tests. It was effectively unique. It was intended to meet Australia’s obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.


NDIS and Aged Care; from rights first to budget firstBy Roger Beale


the russians are coming.... the russians are coming... the .....

The Russians are coming — or coming back, better put. 

As the November elections draw near, let us brace for another barrage of preposterous propaganda to the effect Russians are poisoning our minds with “disinformation,” “false narratives,” and all the other misnomers deployed when facts contradict liberal authoritarian orthodoxies.


PATRICK LAWRENCE: Could the Russians Seize Congress?


no worthwhile action is taken for fear of upsetting the media barons....

Government media funding supports the failing mainstream media (MSM) and right-wing advocacy groups like the Institute of Public Affairs.

The News Media Bargaining Code gifts $1b over four years from Google and Facebook mainly to Nine Network, Seven West Media, Guardian, and News Corp. The last two are foreign owned.


Supporting independent public interest media     By John Menadue


oil and the cost of war, with a dithering aged foggy....

US President Joe Biden told an interviewer that he’d warned the Israeli government against attacking itself, in what appears to be the aging leader’s latest gaffe, and one that has again raised concerns over his mental state.

Speaking with Nexstar Media’s Reshad Hudson in an interview published on Wednesday, the 81-year-old president detailed his plans to win back pro-Palestinian voters, despite his ongoing support for Israel in its conflict with Hamas.

Biden claimed that, aside from meeting with pro-Palestinian activists, he had also “made it clear to the Israelis: don’t move on Haifa,” a renowned port city in northern Israel. 

The president then appeared to lose his train of thought, before going on to speak about the weekend’s Iranian attack.

robbing russia.....

US-backed proposals to seize frozen Russian assets could undermine the international order, European Central Bank (ECB) President Christine Lagarde has cautioned. Her comments came during a meeting in Washington on Wednesday, where the G7 finance ministers and central bank governors were discussing the issue of using the immobilized assets of the Russian central bank to support Ukraine.

In a joint statement, the finance ministers and regulators said they would continue working on “all possible avenues” to make use of Russian sovereign assets, according to Reuters. The push to seize Moscow’s money has been led by the US and has caused a rift among the G7 and the EU political elite.

germanic censorship.....

Björn Höcke, the chair of the far-right Alternative for Germany party (AfD) in the eastern state of Thuringia, stands accused of intentionally deploying a slogan used by the Nazi party's paramilitary wing in a speech at a campaign rally.

His trial begins on April 18 at the Halle Regional Court. It will deal with Höcke's election campaign appearance on December 12, 2023 in the Thuringian city of Gera. At the time, the Waldhaus restaurant there was packed with AfD supporters. 

helping yuckraine do more damage to itself.....

Speaker of the US House of Representatives Mike Johnson announced on Wednesday that he is sticking with his plan to send a series of foreign aid bills to the floor, including those for funding for Ukraine and Israel. Johnson said in a note to legislators that they'll vote on these on Saturday evening.

Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, has faced mounting pressure to act on President Joe Biden’s long-delayed request for billions of dollars in security assistance. It’s been more than two months since the Senate passed a $95-billion aid package, which includes $14 billion for Israel and $60 billion for Ukraine.

the response won’t be what was planned .......

Israel planned to retaliate against Iran immediately following Tehran’s drone and missile attack on Saturday, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided to hold off after speaking with US President Joe Biden, Israeli media have reported.

According to the public broadcaster Kan, the war cabinet in West Jerusalem had already approved a range of responses – depending on the scope of the Iranian attack – that would have taken place as early as Sunday. 

“The response won’t be what was planned any longer, diplomatic sensitivities won out,” the outlet quoted a senior source within the government. “There will be a response, but it seems it will be different from what was planned.”

a so faintly emerging spectre of American dangerous inferiority complex.....

The United States, having learnt nothing from the 20th Century, is, quite characteristically, spoiling for a fight with one of the great success stories of our time, China, on the basis of nothing more than a doltishly unfounded fear of this success and an ever so faintly emerging spectre of American fragility. A Fragility across not only its military and political power, but, as well, across its bellicose and tottering brand of democracy.


The emerging spectre of American fragility: A reckoning    By Howard Debenham


love is a many misunderstood things....

FOI access to an exchange of letters between PM Albanese and Israel’s president, Isaac Herzog, was denied on the grounds that it would “damage bilateral relations.” Yet “Albo’s warm letter” was widely shared by Australia’s publicly subsidised Israel lobby groups.

The scam is that the letter was leaked on its way to the post office or from a diplomatic bag and ended up with the Zionist Federation of Australia (ZFA).

The provenance and content of Albanese’s leaked letter appear to have been discussed in early July 2022, when Mark Leibler (the leader of the Australia Israel Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) met with Herzog in Jerusalem. It was reported that Herzog told Leibler “how delighted he was to receive a very warm letter” from the newly elected Prime Minister of Australia.

pushing for “a formalization of apartheid".....

Building on an unprecedented wave of settler violence in 2023, Israeli attacks against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank have intensified since October 7, with over 400 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces and settlers over the past five months. Last week, the Biden administration imposed sanctions on three Israeli settlers and two Israeli outposts in the occupied West Bank for assaulting, harassing and threatening Palestinians, and violently expelling many from their land.


Journalist Says Line Between Settlers and Israeli Army Has Virtually Disappeared


the brussel fascists sprout like nazi weeds

Belgian police barricaded the entrance to a conference of national conservatives in the capital of the EU for several hours, in what participants denounced as censorship and political repression.

The event, dubbed NatCon, drew populists from both Europe and the US to Claridge, a venue in central Brussels. As Brexit architect Nigel Farage spoke on Tuesday, police blocked the entrance and prevented keynote speaker Eric Zemmour – a former French presidential candidate – from entering. 

“I knew I wouldn’t be welcome back in Brussels,” Farage, a former MEP, joked on stage, calling the attempt to cancel the event “simply monstrous.”

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