27 April 2017 – 100 days of Trump in Sydney. 

27 April 2017.  It must have been Trump 100 day in Sydney.  That evening, there were 3 President Trump related events.

  • Andrew Robb at the Centre for Independent Studies.
  • Mark Latham, Ross Cameron and Steve Kates on the Sydney launch of Steve’s new book.
  • Stephen Loosley and Kim Beazley and others at the US Studies Centre.

Only because it was the first one that came to my attention, I attended the Andrew Robb event.

Given that the Andrew Robb event was published live and delayed on YouTube, it cannot be said that Mr Robb’s comments were under Chatham House rules.  Also whilst, Mr Robb’s comments were under the rubric of President Trump’s first 100 days, Mr Robb’s comments were mostly about trade in general and the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) in particular.

Cats can make their own judgements on Mr Robb and Mr Robb’s comments, but 2 things were particularly striking to me.

Firstly, in his early comments, Mr Robb rightly criticized the unaccountable European Union bureaucrats and technocrats in Geneva and Brussels.  He described the arrogance and hubris of these unaccountable and unelected bureaucrats setting Europe wide laws and policies.  He even recounted a story of, when doing some research in Manchester in the late 1990s, we was told that garbage bin colours were regulated from Brussels and a compliance force existed to check and to fine local authorities for non-compliance.

I thought this a funny story, but also thought it hard to believe.  Until, with the assistance of Professor Google, I discovered the European Commission Waste Framework Directive and the European Union legislation on waste management operations.  Apparently also, new European Union rules legally required households to separate all rubbish for recycling from 2015 and paper, metal, glass and plastic will all have to be collected separately from other waste.

So there.  And people wondered why the UK voted for Brexit.

But then in later comments, Mr Robb completely undermined himself when discussing the various state based moratoria on gas exploration and fracking.  At this juncture, he brusquely and offhandedly dismissed the views of “someone from the back of Bourke” (at around 49.15) who might be against unconventional gas exploration and extraction.

Now whilst I support unconventional gas, I also support the requirement of the political class to make their case and not to be arrogant and dismissive of community concerns.  You know like the European Commission types Mr Robb earlier criticized.

Secondly and more interestingly, Mr Robb laid blame for the failure of the TPP squarely on President Trump, even implying that he was pandering to his base and did not understand the issues.

Both those things may be true.  Who knows.  But equally, the political failure of the TPP lies more squarely with President Obama rather than President Trump.

Mr Robb failed to acknowledge that the position of Democratic Party candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders was also to ditch the TPP.  So irrespective of who became President, the TPP was well dead before the 2016 US Presidential election.  Mr Robb also completely discounted the role of the US Congress in effecting the TPP – either as an act of Congress (like NAFTA) or as a treaty approved by the US Senate.

The TPP was dead well before the US elections because President Obama failed to explain and sell it.

Politics is a careful mix of policy and presentation.  Perhaps the policy was right, but the presentation by President Obama was …… how do they say ….. crap.

It might also be argued that the TPP was allowed to die by President Trump so as to engage China into dealing with North Korean belligerence.  Equally, a near straight light might be drawn from President Obama’s foreign policy to North Korea’s belligerence.  After all, what lessons would a rational observer learn from the Obama administrations actions in respect to Libya and Iran.

With the US government having previously promised to support, including through economic aid, the Gaddafi regime in exchange for its surrender of their nuclear program, the merry band of President Obama and Secretary Hillary “We came, we saw, he (Gaddafi) died” Clinton engineered a collapse of the Gaddafi regime which Gaddafi himself 6 feet under ground and his sons in jail.

The deal with Iran to allow them to keep their nuclear program in exchange for piles of cash also sent certain signals to Pyongyang.

Following 8 years of Obama foreign policy, developing nuclear weapons is (very sadly) entirely rational for the average despot.

In his comments (at 44.29), Mr Robb stated that:

Obama would have been discredited as the worst President in US history, on every count, if fracking hadn’t turned up.

If Mr Robb had actually just said “Obama would have been discredited as was the worst President in US history, on every count, if fracking hadn’t tured up.”, he would have been 100% correct.

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24 Responses to 27 April 2017 – 100 days of Trump in Sydney. 

  1. sabena

    There are very feiw politicians who are consistent.

  2. Barry Bones

    Well said Sparticus !

  3. Mother Lode

    Yes, the Brits voted to leave Europe to escape the omnipresent, officious bureaucrats and their all pervading mania to manage, control and corral into officially convenient pens everyone who lived under their rule.

    I would like to see an Australian version of Brexit where we escape our government and bureacracy, who are not milder than the European vipers, they just haven’t caught up.

  4. dopey

    Cockroaches and flies don’t give a shit what colour the bins are.

  5. Myrddin Seren

    The deal with Iran to allow them to keep their nuclear program in exchange for piles of cash also sent certain signals to Pyongyang.

    There was no exchange in terms of nukes and cash.

    The Obama administration practically green lighted the Iranian nuclear programme – all but gifting them a battery of nukes – AND gave them a pile of cash.

    While denied – ostensibly the cash was to secure the release of a number of Iranian-Americans imprisoned by the Mullahs on spurious charges.

    The Kim crime cartel in North Korea has indeed seen the signal and promptly arrested a number of US citizens in North Korea.

    The difference is that The Donald is seemingly not so anxious to turn North Korea in to a nuclear weapons power as Obama and ValJar plainly are.

  6. jupes

    Andrew Robb at the Centre for Independent Studies.

    Yeah nah. Zzzzzzzzzzzz

    Mark Latham, Ross Cameron and Steve Kates on the Sydney launch of Steve’s new book.

    That would have been a hoot. Sad I missed it.

    Stephen Loosley and Kim Beazley and others at the US Studies Centre.

    LOL. What a bunch of losers. Loser Loosley was one of those ‘experts’ who predicted a Trump failure every step of the way.

    As for the US Studies Centre, well too bad they didn’t combine Kates’ and Loosley’s events so that Latho could have another go at those fuckwits. Here he is with the CEO of the US Studies Centre on Sky on the night of the election:

    Mark Latham: Well Simon, you’ve said there the polling industry blew it, the evidence suggests the media blew it. I’d put to you that the “US Confusion Centre” has blown it as well. You’ve got 30 academics down there, the vast majority anti-Trump, pretty well campaigning as partisans. Shouldn’t we get from our publicly funded academics some objectivity and proper analysis of what’s going in the United States? Are you embarrassed and feeling humiliated that your organisation has completely missed the Trump phenomenon – and is really looking as bad as any of the media or polling outfits?

    Simon Jackman: No, I’m not. We’re, we’re, we’re in pretty good company. We’ve got a very balanced line-up at the Studies Centre. You know, we’ve got Tom Switzer on our panel of academics.

    Mark Latham: He’s not pro-Trump. He wasn’t pro-Trump. Can you name anyone who was pro-Trump?

    Simon Jackman: At my place?

    Mark Latham: Yes.

    Simon Jackman: No. No. I can’t actually, no.

    Mark Latham: You can’t? Well what does that say about you? You’re totally slanted in a political campaign against the bloke who’s become the president of the United States which you purport to study and be expert on. It’s an embarrassment to you. To have you in the Sydney University doing this is a disgrace. The people who have funded you have completely wasted their money and you’ve got people like David Smith on this program earlier on saying the Trump victory is for white nationalists taking over a superpower. It’s just embarrassing this level of ridiculous analysis.

    Simon Jackman: [Laughs] I didn’t hear David say that.

    Mark Latham: Well, he’s a disgrace, he’s deplorable.

    Simon Jackman: Well, well, well. [Laughs] We’ve got a good mix at the centre, I think.

    Mark Latham: Yeah, no one for Trump.

  7. cui bono

    Robb calls them xenophobes, he means racists. No problems with Chinese SOEs our Robb.

  8. Myrddin Seren

    Mark Latham:

    You can’t? Well what does that say about you? You’re totally slanted in a political campaign against the bloke who’s become the president of the United States which you purport to study and be expert on. It’s an embarrassment to you. To have you in the Sydney University doing this is a disgrace. The people who have funded you have completely wasted their money and you’ve got people like David Smith on this program earlier on saying the Trump victory is for white nationalists taking over a superpower. It’s just embarrassing this level of ridiculous analysis.

    When Biff is at the top of the bipolar roller coaster – he is unmatched in this country. It is a super power.

    #Biffman

  9. Oh come on

    It was almost surreal to watch Obama speaking at the Hillary coronation Democrat Party National Convention with the huge crowd cheering him on amidst a sea of signs displaying TPP and a big red cross through it. How was this not the mother of all Fuck Yous to Obama (and to Hillary)? The TPP was *the* key economic plank of the Obama/Hillary diplomatic tour-de-force that was the Asia Pivot. Of course, we can all see that beyond the short term, the Asia Pivot was a disaster that triggered an arms race between China and its neighbours as well as the hyper-militarisation of the South China Sea. That being said, no other country in the world had the diplomatic heft to simultaneously pull off such a comprehensive multilateral economic, political and military broadside against China, the ascendant regional power. This was supposed to be Obama’s (and Hillary’s) triumph! Yet there was Obama talking up the undermining of his own legacy. There was Hillary pledging to vanquish a critical part of the one tangible achievement she could point to to support the ridiculous ‘most qualified Presidential candidate ever’ hyperventilating! Just freaking bizarre, the whole thing. How on Earth could pundits claim that it was Donald Trump with the chaotic, befuddled campaign??

  10. Gerard

    We have adopted the same bs for our waste services. And we cannot Brexit.

  11. Roger

    Sounds like you went to the wrong function, Spartacus.

  12. Dr Fred Lenin

    I feel great sympathy for Trump, getting abused for trying to fix the bloody mess ,and I mean Bloody ,that those rabbits bush obummer and the clintons got the world into . Possibly he wont be able to do as much as he promised ,the elitist aparat is formidable and pervasive , it exists in both parties and the judiciary,the corruption is widespread and it will take more than four years to undo . Still he is Trying .
    We are in exactly the same pickle with the same type of rabbits and corrupt scenario I mean abbot ,turnbull,morrison ,shortass. pilsberserk ,what has happened to the elite aoarat,? They used to make a pretence of picking ” leaders ” ( front men ) who were reasonably ok ,then the rot started rudd,giliard ,abbot then the present shower . They are definitely slipping which is a good thing ,the Roman Empire probably went the same way , hopefully we will find our Trump and reverse the downward slide .Australia is far too good for these unworthy aparatchiks and their u,n,v[communust puppet masters .

  13. jonesy

    Only a.multinational could get excited about a TPP or a NAFTA. To the locals in the US it meant packaging your job and sending it to Mexico. Lots of rustbelt un and underemployed with half a brain could see who the real winners were…and they voted for? Indeed! Fly over country! How elitist and spiteful are the US megapolis lefties.

  14. Rob MW

    Who knows. But equally, the political failure of the TPP lies more squarely with President Obama rather than President Trump.

    Quite apart from the fact that the TPP was/is completely shrouded in public, administrative and political secrecy and the big killer, not unlike the EU the TPP created the notion that an undemocratic sovereign jurisdiction could be created within the TPP that overrides the sovereign jurisdiction of participating nations and their covering domestic laws. The globalists loved it, why wouldn’t they however, the need for complete open borders and the resulting influx of low paid workers and the unrestricted movement of that particular capital did not and will never pass the smell test.

  15. Jimf

    Imagine if Bomber was still LOO vs Turntoshit. The nuclear level of wafflery in political debate would have been unimaginable. Together they could out-bore a slow moving glacier .

  16. Jimf

    The much lauded TPP ..meh. Much smarter for Trump to pick off willing partneristas one by one . Why would the US get into a 12 party collective agreement and agree to rules of engagement that allow minuscule economies a level playing field ? You don’t become the biggest economy in the world to then allow pissants equal trading dynamics!

  17. Jimf

    Ross Cameron has the right spirit , is bright ,is pleasingly contrary but is a terrible bore too. His sky news stuff could be so much better if he hit a point and then shut the fuck up .

  18. Sissipus

    Trump has now changed his mind about the TPP. Wonder why?

  19. mareeS

    Latham is gold now that he has thrown off the party yoke. A dream platform would be him and TA, both belligerent big-hitting biffers, laying some killer blows on their respective enemies. I would pay good money to see that.

  20. Andrew

    Obama would have been discredited as the worst President in US history, on every count, if fracking hadn’t turned up.

    Which the Kenyan opposed. He doesn’t mind taking the credit for stuff he opposes (like partial budget repair, cheap energy, falling unemployment etc), but I don’t see how it affects judgement of his status as WEPOTUS.

    But despite seeing the Kenyan as (give or take) the WEPOTUS and clearly identifying Illary Crimton as the Kenyan’s 3rd term doing EXACTLY what he did plus having a uterus, Robb remains an anti-Trumper. He campaigned for Illary, and would fit in well at the Cats United Never Trumpers.

  21. Fulcrum

    Maintaining its (Independant Always) image, SMH lead with a headline connnecting Trump’s first 100 days to carnage.

    Something doesn’t fit but I can’t put my finger on it.

  22. Andrew

    It’s a truth universally acknowledged that T666 hasn’t achieved much in his first 100 days. (Well you know, apart from getting China to smash DPRK over Kim’s out of control behaviour, and getting Canadia and Mexico to renegotiate the offending conditions in NAFTA that are screwing the US, and putting an end to Canadian SOEs dumping lumber into the US, and repealing hundreds of disastrous regulations that massively harm US energy producers, and taking a big stick to the UNSSR, and repairing relations with the strategically important Philippines, and humiliating that worm Michael Trumbull, and seeing unemployment drop bigly, and the stockmarket being up 15%, and the 70% decline in attempted illegal entry, and the appointment of a SCOTUS judge – but apart from them, very little to see.)

    Out of curiosity, I checked the Kenyan’s page. Other than the stimulus package (ARA Act), which I don’t consider an “achievement” so much as an “economic catastrophe,” I was fairly underwhelmed by what they described.

    Other notable events[edit]

    Barack Obama preparing for his weekly address
    On March 19, Obama became the first sitting president to appear on a late night talk show when he was a guest on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.[132][133] On April 2, Obama attended the G-20 London Summit. On April 17–19 he attended the 5th Summit of the Americas where he met Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez, a longtime enemy of Washington, who shook his hand and gave him the book Las venas abiertas de América Latina (Open Veins of Latin America) of Eduardo Galeano while media was present.[134] On April 28, day 99 of Obama’s presidency, Senator Arlen Specter (a former Democrat who switched to the Republican party in 1966) returned to the Democratic Party. Specter increased the Democratic senators to 59, one short of a filibuster-proof majority.[135] At the conclusion of the first 100 days, over 100 federal judgeships remained vacant.[136]

  23. BorisG

    Firstly, in his early comments, Mr Robb rightly criticized the unaccountable European Union bureaucrats and technocrats in Geneva and Brussels. He described the arrogance and hubris of these unaccountable and unelected bureaucrats setting Europe wide laws and policies.

    You may agree with Robb but you are both wrong.

    These European Union bureaucrats and technocrats are appointed by various elected government of EU member states, and laws and regulations usually require a decision of the elected European Parliament, and often approval by all of the member states.

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