Cross Post: Pointman Dismantling Obama’s darker legacy.

If you look at the political headlines lately, the press and TV are really running two stories to the exclusion of all else. The first is Trump firing James Comey as FBI director. It’s a bone they just can’t let go of but most people aren’t too interested. Comey stopped having the trust of the FBI rank and file last year over his refusal to prosecute Hillary, and after most people watched his slippery testimony to congress, he didn’t enjoy their trust either.

If Bill Clinton can fire his head of the FBI, there’s no reason why Trump can’t do the same. At the end of the day as with all senior government posts, there are no jobs for life and you “serve at the pleasure” of your president. Comey was hopelessly compromised by the Obama regime. When you and the people have no trust in the highest law enforcement officer in the land, you fire him. It’s as simple as that. His behaviour since has vindicated that decision.

The Democrats blamed him and the Russians for them losing last year’s election and have been howling for his dismissal ever since. Within twenty-four hours of Trump firing him, they were protesting about his unfair dismissal. Like Steve Bannon said, Trump’s true opposition is the media.

The other story is about Trump divulging military secrets to the Russian foreign secretary. Why on Earth he should do such a thing, the press have yet to share with us. Despite all the five people present at the meeting declaring this to be fake news, the story rages on. Will it dominate the current news cycle? Yes. Will it harm the Trump presidency? No.Why won’t it harm Trump? Because the pattern of the false news is apparent to everyone.

First of all, the lying press invent a story based on the information supplied by always anonymous sources. Then, on the same day, all the rest of the media pick up on the story and run with it as headline news presenting it now as established fact simply because they’re all reporting it. As if on cue, the Democrats become outraged and denounce Trump as being nefarious or incompetent depending on whether he’s being accused of being a traitor or an idiot. Not too far down the line, the story proves to be 100% false, but no retraction is ever made, and anyway by that stage another fake news story has been manufactured and the cycle begins anew.

I’ve said before that Trump doesn’t need the legacy media since he communicates to his voters directly using social media, but what he does need is for their current level of juvenile behaviour to continue, and for two very good reasons.

The first is the same reason he didn’t fire Comey on the first day of his administration; that would have looked petty and vindictive. Instead, he left him hanging out and dangling in the wind for months until he’d thoroughly discredited himself, because the average viewer watching him in the hearings knew he’d bent over backwards to prevent charges being laid at Hillary Clinton’s door that would have left anyone else but her facing serious consequences in a court of law.

In the same way, Trump is not minded to interfere in the media throwing one invented accusation after another at him. What’s actually getting eroded is any residual trust in them, and at some point he’ll carry out his threat of cancelling the daily White House briefings.

Then they’ll have to live on his scraps of press handouts, tweets and his weekly White House briefing to America, plus the usual fake news backed up with the usual fake anonymous sources. That’s his longer term thinking about the media, and they’re certainly cooperating Lemming-like in their own eventual destruction. By the time he eventually pulls the plug on them, few tears will be shed over their effective demise.

The shorter term reason for letting them carry on as they are, is that while they’re busy compulsing on one or two manufactured stories, they’re not reporting at all on what Trump is actually up to, and he’s making so many changes it’s difficult to keep track of them all, but they all share one common denominator; they are all aimed at rolling back the excesses of the Obama regime and restoring respect in the offices and institutions of government that Obama subverted.

Part of that rollback has been in public and to some extent or another has been covered with the usual howls of pain by the media. Because Obama couldn’t get what he wanted done past an elected Congress, he resorted to rule by diktat otherwise known as executive orders. Trump, from his first day in office, and as promised on the campaign trail, signed masses of executive orders to reverse most of Obama’s executive orders. What the Obama regime forgot was that anything enacted using an executive order, can just as easily be struck down by simply signing another executive order.

He appointed a man in charge of the EPA who’s busy cutting it down to a fraction of its size under Obama and rolling back all the regulations that were used to cripple industries such as coal mining and which would never have got past elected representatives of the people. The other very public rollback he did was replacing Obamacare with something more financially viable, and that’s a bullet he could have easily avoided.

The whole scheme was heading for collapse anyway, and in some ways it would have been more politic to let that happen so he could swoop in and fix the problem to popular acclaim, except that the people at the bottom of the economic pile would be badly hurt by it imploding. He has a genuine concern for them. If he has a vulnerability, that’d be it.

Domestically on the jobs front, he stopped the hemorrhaging of jobs to cheaper offshore locations by promising import tariffs on any of their goods being brought into America. On the foreign imports issue, he’s picked a fight with Canada over subsidised timber which should stay safely jammed up in a commercial court for years to come while in the meantime he levies a charge on Canadian lumber. He’s making an example of one exporter to America but no doubt won’t hesitate to make a second one should that become necessary.

By the end of his first term, I can see America out of NAFTA and possibly later the WTO, since its membership in both of them hasn’t been doing it any favours for a long time. Economically, Trump’s priority is America and American workers; it starts there and it ends there.

The other big area he had to address was the shambolic foreign policy mess left behind by Messrs Obama, Clinton and Kerry. With the simple expedient of dropping fifty-nine cruise missiles on Assad’s air force and destroying twenty percent of it, he let the world know that the good old days of any old ragged-assed tinpot dictator thumbing their nose at America were over from the minute Barack Obama dragged his sorry ass out of the White House.

Assad made the mistake of assuming that since he was under Russian protection, Trump wouldn’t give him a slap. Obama would never have done it because he was afraid of Putin who’d humiliated him on several occasions, Trump isn’t.

On the diplomatic front, Obama laid some poison behind mainly directed at Israel. Like a typical left-winger, he’s pro-Islam and anti-Zionist, which is liberal speak for hating Jews. Anti-Semitism seems to be an endemic disease of the liberal Left these days.

In the last days of his presidency he could safely show his true colours and directed Kerry to get Israel into difficulties at the UN as well as immediately funneling $200M of taxpayers’ money to the Palestinians. No doubt whatever was left after the usual off-shore accounts had their cut will be used to kill Israeli civilians. Why any American-Jewish association still contributes a red cent to the Democratic party is beyond me.

Since Trump has at least three Jewish grandchildren and had a reputation of being fair with both Jews and Blacks long before he got into politics, he didn’t have much trouble healing that rift. Perhaps it also explains why he’s moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem? Nice one Obama, the law of unintended consequences strikes again because that’s an implicit recognition that Israel owns that city and is there to stay.

In the interregnum when Trump was president-elect, Obama and the Democrats tried substantially the same poisoning of the well with Russia, but since neither Putin or Trump would fall out over such a childish neo-McCarthyite narrative, it’s since fizzled out of its own accord under a barrage of complete indifference to anyone outside the Washington Beltway or the legacy media.

Apart from those highly visible areas, the rest of Obama’s legacy consists of nothing more than various disconnected odds and ends that beyond having a feel good factor to be spun to massage his over-fed ego, never amounted to anything of note. If they aren’t patently doing some good, Trump will either ditch them or starve them of budget.

However, in my opinion Obama left a darker legacy behind and this is what Trump is addressing under cover of the legacy media massively fixated on gnawing its own hind legs off in a forlorn effort to get him removed from office.

Obama corrupted and brought into disrepute the grand offices of state. He actively encouraged federal bureaucrats like the IRS to suppress political opposition. He manipulated the judicial system by not only installing stooges like AG Lynch in it, but by packing the lower courts with judges of a liberal bias. He suborned the intelligence services to conduct illegal domestic surveillance of political opponents on a scale that I think has yet to become apparent.

He starved the armed services of budget and threw the cop on the beat onto the mercy of savages like BLM who had his tacit support murdering policemen responding to emergency call outs. Instead of the much hoped for bringing together of all the people of America irrespective of their colour, he became the most racially divisive president America has ever had.

In short, the Obama regime did nothing but corrupt and debase the government, judiciary, law enforcement and intelligence services of America and now that damage is being undone by Trump.

He gave little or no support to the police, instead opting for a light-touch approach to law enforcement by encouraging his congressmen to support elections of liberal police chiefs who were quite happy to enforce the law or not, dependent only on who was breaking it. That’s the reason left-wing antifa hooligans could riot in Berkley, attack people indiscriminately and destroy private property while the local police stood by and watched because they’d been ordered to stand down.

To compound his complete disrespect for policemen, he never once denounced their murder by organisations like BLM who actively encouraged luring them into lethal ambushes using phoney emergency calls. His final fuck you to law enforcement was to free over 300 drug dealers using presidential pardons as he left the White House. Obama used presidential pardons on 1,715 occasions, more than the previous 13 presidents combined, with the vast majority of them conferred on drug dealers. Note, drug dealers, not drug addicts. Someone really needs to look into his activities as a “community organiser” in Chicago.

Obama’s more than lax attitude to drug dealers wasn’t anything new to either law enforcement or state attorneys. He had instructed his Attorney General (AG) Eric Holder to relax sentencing on drug related crime by doing things like withholding details of amounts of drugs being carried by the dealer when they’d been arrested, thereby not automatically triggering mandatory minimum sentences.

He made it hard to catch drug dealers, and then when they were tried and found guilty, they did slap on the wrist jail time because of state attorneys constrained by what they could say when it came to sentencing using AG Holder’s new guidelines.

Trump was left with a huge morale problem he’s diligently addressed by doing simple things like never missing a photo opportunity with a bunch of cops, phoning the widows of officers killed in the line of duty, inviting surviving family to party rallies and most recently instituting a police memorial day to acknowledge those killed or injured on the job. The simple things like showing some support and seeing the White House lit up in blue are all part of building up morale again.

He’s still got a way to go on fixing that problem, but at least most policemen now think they’ve got a friend in the Oval Office, rather than an implacable enemy relentlessly determined to undermine all their efforts.

Trump’s AG Jeff Sessions has recently abolished Holder’s guidelines, much to the satisfaction of both law enforcement and prosecuting attorneys, who are battling what’s called the opioid crisis across America and need to put drug dealers away for as long as possible. Obama’s hometown of Chicago is the poster boy for that crisis and also suffers from a huge rise in the attendant number of homicides and shootings that come with a drugs blight on any community.

In any light, Obama bending over backwards to go easy on drug dealers is inexplicable. They rot the heart out of any community. By the way, most of those drugs are coming over the border from Mexico, which is why Trump wants the wall.

That’s not the only bit of tinkering Obama did with the judiciary. In 2013, the Democrats removed using what’s called Reid’s Rule, the filibuster from the process of the president appointing people to both the lower courts and federal positions. Essentially, Obama used it to pack the lower court with judges who were seen to be sympathetic to his liberal views on crime amongst other things. If you thought a whole judiciary couldn’t be politically rigged, think again.

Trump and Sessions have already started counter-packing the judiciary to rebalance it, and with more than a 100 appointments to be filled and more opening up each day, the Democrat’s Reid Rule has come back to haunt them and is now very much working in Trump’s favour.

To underline what eight years of administrative tinkering with the wheels of justice can do, Judge Neil Gorsuch after being newly appointed to the US Supreme Court, looked at the petitions being presented to him by the court’s cert pool of law clerks with an attached recommendation to grant or deny. He very quickly and to his surprise found out they were in too many cases making that recommendation not on points of law but political leaning. He immediately dispensed with the services of the cert pool and hired his own clerks to pre-process the petitions.

The military, after nearly a decade of micro-management from the White House, are just loving the change of working for Trump. Your orders are quite simple, gentlemen – kill ISIS. You need more budget? Yes Mr. President. How much? Probably north of $40B. Here’s $64B extra, go git them.

They knew the change was there from the first week onwards, because they rang the White House late at night to get permission to drone a high value target and expecting the usual hours-long delay while a target of opportunity slid off the radar. After he’d gotten out of bed he raged at them “You’re supposed to be good at killing terrorists, do it, you don’t need my permission every time” and that’s how a new relationship between Washington and the military was struck.

What also came out in last year’s presidential election was that election fraud seems to be a business as usual activity for the DNC. Though this was well known, the undercover filming done by James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas of activists doing things like bussing people in from neighbouring states really revealed how widespread it was.

The cynical old aphorism, vote early, vote often and even the dead can join in too, very much reflects the current situation in polling booths across America.

To give you some idea of how endemic this problem is, in Wisconsin the Democrats lost an estimated 300,000 votes in the presidential election when a voter Id law was passed just before it. The conservative foundation Judicial Watch recently put 11 states on warning to clean up their voter registration lists or face a federal lawsuit; they all have counties with more voters on their books than they have residents eligible to vote.

About a week ago, Trump established by executive order a Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity the details of which you can find by clicking the previous link which’ll take you directly to the White House announcement. The days are numbered of America having the most lax voter Id rules in the world, and knowing Trump he’ll chivvy that commission along in order to get something in place by next year’s mid terms. I have a suspicion that this move alone will mark the difference in the Dems doing poorly or catastrophically badly in certain states.

A slower and more grinding part of the rollback is going to be various hearings to shed a light on the darker and menacing activities of the Obama regime. Congressmen with a prosecutor’s background like Trey Gowdy, will be finding out who exactly within the federal IRS bureaucracy ordered yearly oppressive tax audits of political opponents, their families and their businesses. Some careers in government service are going to come to an abrupt and ignoble end.

It’s only a matter of time until a similar process kicks in with regard to the security services which were used to surveil political opponents or anybody they liked without seemingly any justification. Allegations of widespread surveillance on people like Senator Rand Paul and other senators are by now commonplace, with even Judge Scalia of the US Supreme Court harbouring suspicions that their private discussions in chambers were on too many occasions becoming common knowledge in the higher corridors of power.

As you can see, it’s not just Obama’s more public legacy which is being dismantled, but the darker bits of it as well, and none of it being remarked upon by a juvenile press which much prefers to manufacture fake news or make a mountain out of a mole hill story.

Trump goes to a restaurant with family and friends and the press are all over the story, probably by bribing yet another anonymous source. He prefers two scoops of ice cream, with the sly inference that as everyone else around the table only has one, it’s somehow unfair on everyone else except for Mike Pence, who prefers no ice cream on his fresh fruit dessert.

If such displacement activity masquerading as reportage is the best the self-proclaimed newspaper of record can come up with these days, it’s not hard to see why its circulation is plunging.

Over the space of nearly a decade, too many people in the judiciary, law enforcement and federal service got used to the idea that the path to advancement was to serve a liberal agenda in the shape of the Democratic party, rather than the people and the republic they’d sworn to serve. They need to be rooted out and replaced with people of integrity, otherwise all those institutions will increasingly be seen as serving the interests of various elites rather than the common citizen of America.

What Trump is doing is not just dismantling, it’s a necessary rebuilding of respect in national institutions such as offices of state, the courts, the police and the security services. Without first reversing the damage Obama did to the very fibre of the Republic, anything more constructive Trump attempts to do will be constantly sabotaged and undermined by the residual minions of Obama’s dark legacy.

©Pointman. This essay was first published at Pointman’s.

Posted in Cross Post, International | 47 Comments

Andrew Bolt to launch Art of the Impossible in Melbourne @ 12:00 noon on June 6

We’re only a few weeks into Donald Trump’s miracle tenure as president and the efforts by what has been called “the deep state” to bring his presidency to a premature end are evident at every turn. Andrew Bolt has very kindly agreed to launch my book, The Art of the Impossible, in Melbourne on June 6. The details of when and where are found here.

And as much as I think of the book as an important and valuable record of why and how Trump won the election, I now think of it as even more important as we try to keep our bearings in the face of the manic and deceitful efforts to overturn the result by those who have been removed from the levers of power. Others are welcome to disagree, but this to me is a battle for the preservation of Western Civilisation against barbarous hordes of some of the most ignorant and dangerous enemies we have ever faced, many of whom are already within the gates. This is what will be discussed on the day.

Andrew Bolt needs no introduction. I can only say how extraordinarily pleased and honoured I am that he has agreed to launch the book, which is a far cry from saying that he agrees with any or all of it. Come along on the day to hear his views and mine on Donald Trump, his election and his prospects. As it says at the link:

Join Tim Wilms from The Unshackled who will act as chair and moderator followed by two important speakers, Andrew Bolt from the Herald Sun and Steven Kates, author of The Art of the Impossible: A Blog History of the Election of Donald J. Trump as President. Both will discuss the topic of Dr Kates’ book, the lead up to the election of Donald Trump and what has happened since. Patrons can order themselves lunch at an affordable price while listening to the speakers discuss this very important topic. There will be also an opportunity to purchase The Art of the Impossible and have it signed after the event.

The launch is at 12:00 noon on Tuesday June 6. The venue:

Il Gambero
166 Lygon Street
Carlton, VIC 3053

You will also need to pre-purchase a ticket for the nominal price of $6.22 which you can use towards the purchase of the book.

And for good measure, you will also be able to buy copies of Economics for Infants on the day as well.

Posted in Books and writing, Gratuitous Advertising | 25 Comments

New South Wexit

We’ve had Brexit. There have been threats of Grexit and Frexit. There is a vote planned for Calexit. But is there a case for New south Wexit? Is it time to have a conversation about NSW seceding from the “Commonwealth”.

Hey. We can have Vexit also, but Spartacus is but a citizen of NSW and not Victoria.

Yes there would be cries of “it’s not fair”, especially from South Australia and Tasmania. Afterall, who will underwrite their bad decisions. But really.  When is enough is enough?

What about WE (New South Walesers). It isn’t fair.
We’ve had enough. We want our share.

In addition to the GST distribution working against NSW, the impost of the increased Medicare levy and bank levy will disproportionately fall on NSW. As the state housing the city (Sydney) with the highest prices, and the largest mortgages, the increased mortgage rates will hit hardest here.  Never again to hear horizontal fiscal equalization would be a delight.

What about energy risk? Because of the “national grid”, NSW and VIC provide electricity inter-connectors to South Australia, and Victoria to Tasmania. Given particularly South Australia’s renewables policies, the chances are that SA will regularly hit NSW and Victoria generators possibly impacting supply and pricing.

As for politics. Well. For every Lee Rhiannon NSW has produced, we have a conga-line from SA and TAS. Xenophon, Hanson-Young, Lambie, Wilkie, Kakoschke-Moore, Whish-Wilson, Abetz, Pyne and Ellis just from the current sitting crop.  Brian Harradine anyone?  Let’s not even mention WAs contributions such as Christabel Chamarette and Dee Margetts.

And if NSW secedes, for all those Keynesians out there, there would be a huge stimulus from the building of a Trump style wall along the SA and QLD borders.  No need for a border with Vic as a normal USA-Canada style border would suffice.

Perhaps free trade agreements can be entered into between NSW and the other states, but absolutely not, under any circumstance, should the taxes of NSW citizens be transferred to the mendicant bunch.

Clearly the Kiwi’s were the smartest by staying out of the Federation. They have lower taxes, no senate and the best rugby team in the world.

You Know it Makes Sense.

Posted in Uncategorized | 102 Comments

Liberals, tax your brains and drop the bank levy

Today in The Australian

Let’s be clear: increasing taxes is not necessarily bad. After all, if we are genuinely unwilling to curb public spending, then we ought to pay for it rather than passing the bill to future generations.

Posted in Uncategorized | 104 Comments

Open Forum: May 20, 2017

Posted in Open Forum | 1,359 Comments

Lies, damned lies and the media

FURTHER SATURDAY LATE AFTERNOON UPDATE: Picked up at Drudge but from The Oz of all places: Journalists drink too much, are bad at managing emotions, and operate at a lower level than average, according to a new study.

Journalists’ brains apparently show a lower level of executive functioning, which means a below average ability to regulate their emotions, suppress biases, solve complex problems, switch between tasks, and show creative and flexible thinking.

These are the results of a formal study and thus THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED.

Two classic examples of the media being unable to see why no one with any sense believes a word they say. First from America. Having backed for the past eight years and to the hilt the biggest liar in American political history, they now come up with this.

It would be the ultimate irony if Trump now faces a crisis in which his lifelong strength turns into a fatal weakness. His rich and checkered history of salesmanship, his exaggerations, fudges and falsehoods, leave him in a situation now where, even if he is right on this one, people will have a hard time believing that this one time Donald Trump is finally telling the truth.

Warning Donald Trump about crying wolf! What a bunch of clowns! The media are the most disgusting, disgraceful, dishonest crew whose take on nothing can be trusted. It would certainly be the case that if the media told the actual truth about something important one day – it could happen – who would take their word for it other than their fellow leftists who only want to hear what they want to believe?

And it’s not just commission but omission. This from Andrew Bolt is truly astonishing. And the more I dwell on it, the more astonished I become. It truly is incredible.

After years of hearing only the alarmist view on the warmist ABC, a listener put in an FOI request [with the link to a Catallaxy comment that should be read in full]. This is Andrew’s summary:

He asks:

The document I seek is a list of links to articles related to “global-warming”, “climate-change”, “CO2” and “coral bleaching” that represent the sceptical view of those respective debates – as presented by the ABC on all its platforms.

I have listened, viewed and searched for years and I’ve not found any sceptical articles on the ABC’s platforms.

The ABC’s response:

I have taken reasonable steps to identify and locate all relevant documents. My search for these documents involved contacting the following relevant people, who in turn consulted with relevant managers and staff within their respective teams:

• Director News• Manager Editorial Policies, News.

I requested that searches be conducted of all hard and soft copy records for documents which fall within the scope of your request. As a result of those searches, no documents were identified.

Quite clearly the responder at the ABC has no idea how bizarre this reply is. The gotcha is that they cannot find a single example not that they might have found a few. The null response is the scandal. On one of the most important public policy issues of our time, the ABC can provide not a single example of having discussed the sceptical side of the issue. That they cannot see how incredibly dishonest this is – not even recognising that this is how it would look to people such as us – is a massive example why the entire public broadcasting enterprise needs to be wound down. They are blind to their own lies and are unwilling to facilitate public debate on any issue it has already pre-judged.

CONFIRMATION FROM A MOST UNLIKELY SOURCE: Funny thing not even noticing our own post this morning but the grandchildren are visiting so a bit distracted. But now that I’ve caught up, let me continue along these same themes with something else: Harvard Study Reveals Huge Extent of Anti-Trump Media Bias. Read it all, even if you know what it says already. It is that it is being said that is interesting, though you won’t find any news reports in the morning. This is how it starts.

A major new study out of Harvard University has revealed the true extent of the mainstream media’s bias against Donald Trump.

Academics at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy analyzed coverage from Trump’s first 100 days in office across 10 major TV and print outlets.

It found that the tone of some outlets was negative in as many as 98% of reports, significantly more hostile than the first 100 days of the three previous administrations:

Even the sainted Fox is 52% negative which might explain its recent fade.

Posted in Media | 62 Comments

All Aboard the Train to Serfdom – stopping at Harare, Havana, Caracas and Canberra

In today’s AFR, Senator David Leyonhjelm wrote a very compelling and considered review of Prime Minister Howard’s legacy – Don’t be nostalgic for John Howard: he was a big-spending, big-government PM .

Like much of Senator Leyonhjelm’s writings, I found it difficult to argue with.  But in as much as Senator L’s critiques of Prime Minister Howard seem justified, there is one thing that cannot be said of Prime Minister Howard; his governments did not turn the Sovereign Risk dial up to EXTRA HOT as have his 5 successors (counting Prime Minister Rudd twice).

And when I say sovereign risk, I mean more than just the risk of the government defaulting on its debt – which went from a net negative under PM Howard to a projected $600 billion under PM Turnbull in less than 10 years.

The randomness and caprice with which recent Australian governments have attacked citizens and private enterprise in the past 10 years has been breathtaking.  In a very very light Venezuela style, but still Venezuelan.

Let’s have a look:

  • Internet services previously provided by private enterprise now to provided by a state owned corporation.
  • A new international airport to be built, owned and operated by the Commonwealth Government.
  • Mining leases in NSW confiscated by the government without due process (ICAC is an arm of the executive and not the judiciary).
  • Retrospective taxes on deployed mining investments.
  • A government bank regulator forcing banks to increase retained earnings followed by a government hitting total (now increased) retained earnings with a new tax.
  • Assets sold to foreign buyers with pre-approval by FIRB subsequently blocked.
  • A new domestic gas reserve policy with gas extractors having entered into sale agreements.
  • A national energy policy adding inconsistency and unreliability to the network.
  • A bias to increased business taxes and business regulation

For a country that is so so so depended on foreign capital, it is amazing how inhospitable our governments a making us.

One has to wonder what is going on when it increasingly appears safer to invest in Argentina than in Australia.

Posted in Uncategorized | 59 Comments

New Australian National Anthem?

I think the sun has set on Advance Australia Fair.  There are just too many sentiments about Australia that just don’t hold any more.

For we are young and free.

Come on.  Ageing population aside, but we have not been really free for a while.


We’ve golden soil and wealth for toil.

Golden soil perhaps.  But wealth for toil when over 50% pay no net income tax.


We’ll toil with hearts and hands.

Notwithstanding it being from the second verse.  Really?

I would propose something new.  It’s actually a song written and performed by Australians in the 1980s(?).  Perhaps they were ahead of their time.

What About Me by Moving Pictures then?  It has something for everybody.  Lifters and leaners:

What about me? It isn’t fair
I’ve had enough, now I want my share
Can’t you see, I want to live
But you just take more than you give.

Posted in Uncategorized | 48 Comments

Budget Repair Proposal – Politician Super Profit Tax

The latest budget from this Liberal-National Coalition Government included a measure called a bank “levy”.  Although it was called a levy, it is really a tax. But unlike a normal tax, it is targeted at 5 specific banks, rather than all banks or all businesses.

It has been argued by various commentators that there is a good policy basis for this tax – it is to compensate citizens for the benefit of the implied government guarantee and other alleged privileges these particular banks receive.

Many, and notably the Treasurer, the Hon. Scott Morrison, have suggested that the tax is also justifiable because the banks, and these 5 banks in particular, are generally unliked.  So said the Treasurer at a post budget presentation last week:

(customers) already don’t like you very much.

The Treasurer also urged the (business) sector to tell them (banks) to:

pony up and help fix the budget.

Thus, this Budget has birthed a the new Australian Tax doctrine, whereby if you are:

  1. generally unliked;
  2. benefit from a government/tax payer guarantee; and
  3. earn super profits

then your taxes should be increased.

Well then.  Based on this new tax doctrine, the income tax of our politicians must be increased so as to contribute to budget repair.  Let’s test the qualifications:

  1. Are politicians generally unliked? Is there any doubt? TICK
  2. Do politicians benefit from a government/tax payer guarantee? When was the last time their income was cut or superannuation threatened?  Can anyone else get their employer to pay for their family holiday? TICK
  3. Do politicians earn super profits? A base salary of $199,040 per annum plus super/retirement benefits, plus various role/committee allowances, plus travel allowances, plus electoral allowance? Is this a serious question? TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK – I am not a bomb – TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK.

According to the budget papers, it costs over $400 million to feed and water our 226 elected officials (150 MPs and 76 Senators) or around $1.9 million (*corrected) each. How many listed company CEOs earn that much?

Within this cost is also around $3.1 million for international junkets for our politicians for purposes unclear – see the Australian Political Parties for Democracy Program and Australian Political Exchange Program.  Apparently also the $2.2 million Australian Political Parties for Democracy Program was supposed to have been axed, but lo and behold, its back.  How do you separate a politicians from a business class overseas trip?  With a crow bar.

If every single one of our parliamentarian took their trip, the average cost would be around $14,000 trip each. Nice business class return flights to Paris for the Spring anyone?

How about an efficiency dividend?  The public service is supposed to get hit.  How about we have a 10% reduction in MPs from the current 150 to 135 and each state cough up 2 senators?  Australia has roughly 1 member of parliament for every 158,000 persons.  The US has roughly 1 congressman for every 738,000 person.  Clearly there is some inefficiencies available.

OK Treasurer Morrison. Your doctrine. You implement it.

Time to pony up buddy and contribute to budget repair. It’s only fair.

Posted in Uncategorized | 29 Comments

Guest Post: Beliaik TheirABC, diverse views and the FOI Act

When is it OK for our national broadcaster to thumb its nose at its own code of practice?  The obvious answer is never, but we know it happens routinely.  So what can the common worker-drone do about it?  Not much, but we can at least try to use existing legislation to draw attention to the more egregious examples.

One such attempt is described here.  Settle back, this is lengthy.

With the ‘splodey-headed ABC-luvvies  fairly busy being maximally outraged by the US citizenry’s choice for their highest public office, it seemed a good time to try and sink the slipper into them over their second most-passionately held world view – our unfolding ”climate disaster” – and their deranged reporting of it.

The story begins back in February when I thought to tip TheirABC off about the breaking story of the NOAA whistle blower, Dr John Bates.  Here’s what I sent…

G’day ABC news tips department

I read the following article with interest, but can find no reference to it on the ABC. Given the numerous articles featuring NOAA on your website, I wonder if you will feature it soon?

The NOAA whistleblower has been big news across the blogosphere and since the ABC never shows stories that counter the global warming narrative I thought it was time you proved your critics wrong.  Here’s another link to it.

It has already broken in the British media, here…

And in the US media here …

… and here …

Everyone has the internet with them everywhere these days, so bias in some issues can be quite visible in terms of non-reporting.  Please show your lack of bias so those who feel the ABC should be sold off to private enterprise might be placated for a while.

I look forward to your early response on the matter.  You don’t want to wait until after the POTUS tweets on it do you?  Really?

Needless to say, they didn’t cover the John Bates story, even though I tipped them off twice more. Continue reading

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