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Don’t worry, America – Trump won’t last

Here is Abbott campaigning at the 2016 election, on his own, as unpopular as a wet fart in a lift.

How do I know with certainty that Trump will fall off the rails, crash and burn and then disappear like an ugly pimple on a Clearasil ad? Because I’ve seen this movie before – Australia endured Tony Abbott as Prime Minister. The day he was elected, I thought the world had ended. But we survived. Abbott’s tenure as PM, though painful, was only two years long and was a relatively unproductive two years at that. For those unfamiliar with this story’s plot, here are the key reasons Trump will share the same fate as Abbott:

1) Negative campaigning instead of leading gets old fast

Abbott’s always-on campaign of negativity worked like a charm when campaigning. But once in power, the pessimism, sniping and constant put-downs wore thin very quickly. Just like Trump, Abbott remained in negative attack-dog campaign mode once he became Prime Minister. When people were looking to him for assurance, for confidence, for leadership, they found him bitching instead. It’s easy to criticise everything and everyone when you’re not responsible for fixing problems. But when the country needs solutions and all you have is a whining toddler saying no all the time, opinion polls go south very quickly.

2) Rudeness and weirdness become embarrassing on a national stage

When I say rudeness, Abbott was just like Trump in that before he was elected, he was a well-known sexist and also like to flame racism to cover up for a lack of policy direction. It used to infuriate me that Abbott got away with doing and saying just about anything, no matter how offensive, and how bullshit, because people just shrugged and said ‘oh well, that’s just how he is, at least he says it like it is’.

There was also always a weirdness about Abbott and bizarre decisions which quite frankly could only be put down to a very limited mental capacity. For instance, when he decided to bring back Knights and Dames, and then proceeded to Knight Prince Philip who is married to the Queen of England. Or that time he ate an onion on the TV news. Face-palming at the Prime Minister soon became a national pastime.

It’s like that guy in your group of friends who sets his farts on fire for attention, but then when his bum causes a bushfire, those who used to laugh are embarrassed to be seen with him. It got to the point in Australia where you literally could not find a single person who would admit to voting for Abbott.

It might seem like Trump gets away with rudeness and weirdness on a monumental scale, but once Abbott became the leader of Australia, all his character flaws and faults were like dirty linen aired in front of a world audience. The electorate suddenly realised that having a buffoon representing us in national conversations wasn’t so good for our international reputation. National dignity was at stake. Be patient. It will happen.

3) Broken promises will come back to bite

Days before Abbott was elected Prime Minister, he went on national television and promised ‘no cuts to education, no cuts to health, no change to pensions, no change to the GST and no cuts to the ABC or SBS’. Just like Trump, it was obvious that Abbott would make any promise necessary to win votes and damn the consequences. Then, predictably, in Abbott’s very first budget only a few months after winning the election, he took a sledge hammer to these promises.

I note Trump has done the exact same thing – after promising in a tweet that there would be no cuts to Social Security, Medicare & Medicaid, his Republican counterparts are already busily taking health insurance away from millions of Americans. Many of these people voted for Trump and when it occurs to them they’re worse off because he lied, they will retaliate. Who is paying for that wall again? Watch and see.

4) He won’t grow into the job

There was a common narrative around the election of Abbott, particularly from his right-wing supporters in the media (yes, our media is controlled by Murdoch too!), that he would mature into the job of Prime Minister and would leave all his tomfoolery and lack of policy talent behind, to be the statesman-like leader the country expects. Nope. Never happened.

Abbott, like Trump, was emboldened by winning the election and refused to listen to anyone except a very close circle of advisors (his chief of staff in particular who did her best to rein him in, but even obsessive micromanaging of his every move didn’t cover up his obvious lack of credibility or suitability for the job).

When Abbott was campaigning as Opposition Leader, the only people pointing out his total incompetency in every area and fact checking his bullshit were writers like me in independent media and left-wing politically engaged social media users. We all said the emperor wasn’t wearing any clothes and we were all written off as partisan hacks.

But, then, like a snowball, journalists in the mainstream media began to realise that all was not well with the Abbott project and the wheels started falling off the bus amongst his colleagues too.

When his polls continued to dive to new and electorally disastrous lows, his colleagues did the only thing politicians know how to do when their ship is taking on water – they jumped off it to save their own skin. That’s how we got rid of Abbott in two years, which was a shame really looking back as I regret that the country didn’t have a chance to take our displeasure to the polls. But either way, every day without Abbott as Prime Minister was a good day (until we realised the guy who took over from him was the same pig, just wearing nicer lipstick – but don’t worry yourself about that as getting rid of Trump is your first urgent order of business).

Now, before I let you go away confident in the knowledge that Trump will not prevail, there is one last thing you need to know:

5) You’re going to have to help Trump on his way

I know you’re already doing your best in this respect, but you’re going to have to do better. Keep writing, criticising, pointing out his absurdity, sharing and posting about his failures, calling him out for his lies and bullshit, organising and generally uniting in a fierce wave of Trump-opposition.

I’m not just talking about social media. Take to the streets. I know there were protests when Trump was elected – and good on you for that. But the most success we had in Australia marching against Abbott came not when he was elected, but when he started to announce policies which were deeply unpopular in the electorate. We had a string of national March in March events which brought together tens of thousands of like-minded anti-Abbott marchers, and really helped to solidify the country’s dissatisfaction with Abbott’s policies. Here’s a link to my speech at the first March in March in front of 6,000 South Australians. Abbott was elected in 2013. The marches started in early 2014. He was gone in 2015.

I promise you that Trump and Abbott are beasts of the same breed and that the fate of Abbott awaits Trump. You’ve got mid-terms in two years to work towards. Go for it. We’re all counting on you. And if you could get rid of him before he starts World War III that would be a major bonus too. Good luck.

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66 comments

  1. Orejano Chucaro

    The problem is that when Trump go Pence will take over whi IMO is more dangerous that big mouth Trump.
    IMO the main problem is the Republicans and they will last controlling the senate for many years to come.

  2. longwhitekid

    Orejano is absolutely correct. Pence is true evil and very dangerous. Like Abbott, quite often it’s better to have a mentally ill idiot at the helm.

  3. Keith

    Trump’s impact on the International economy has a greater potential impact than Abbott could muster.
    Trump is apparently suggesting that more nuclear weapons need to be produced.
    Trump creates another major danger through his attitude to climate change.
    Trump does not listen to experts.
    Trump has created a unidimensional cabinet should his nominees be accepted.

    Abbott is not in the same league in relation to the damage that can be created.
    Turnbull has continued the nasty policies of Abbott; there have probably been less gaffes; but, we are still seeing policies that impact savagely on citizens.

  4. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Two concerns. Firstly, Americans are shameless. They don’t care about how the rest of the world sees them (as you’ll know whenever you encounter them “on vacation”), so his buffoonery clearly doesn’t embarrass them. Secondly, whilst everyone has been concentrating on the presidential race, behind the scenes Republicans have been gerrymandering to get a greater grip on both the House of Reps and the Senate (as Oregano states), so even if a democrat does get elected, they will be the same dead duck that Obama was largely forced to be.

    My suspicion is that Trump will get bored with the work, but happy to sit in the office firing out tweets, whilst his “team” will take the opportunity to rape and pillage and let the Trumpster pick up all the blame for their rapaciousness.

  5. totaram

    Steve Laing: I think you’ve got it worked out. I’m also worried about Trump being replaced by true nutters. Better let him hang around while his team rapes the planet.

  6. Terry2

    The women who were groped and assaulted by Rolf Harris gradually found the courage to come forward and seek justice : I hope that those groped and abused by Trump may find that courage to come forward and see this imposter impeached.

  7. Zathras

    Trump is the type of narcissist who attracts scandal and his Republican masters definitely won’t like him “trashing their brand” (as Abbott has certainly done for the Liberals).

    He has no filter on what he chooses to believe and also none on how he responds to what he hears – a true reactionary.

    Unless Trump performs remarkably well, the chances are he’ll be impeached before his term is up or somehow removed by his bosses before the mid-term elections.

    Unfortunately Vice-President Pence is a more dangerous nut-job in many ways.

  8. madscientist

    What do you do when the leader of the “free” world is a narcissistic, sociopathic moron, his deputy is in many respect probably worse and the rest of his team are an assortment of ratbags, sociopaths and idiots…you get rid of the lot of them. If you get rid of Trump, what comes next will probably be just as bad, if not worse. You couldn’t take the chance that you might be able to “reign them in”, keep them under the thumb. It wouldn’t work. None of them can be trusted to do anything right, other than for themselves. What the US needs is either another revolution or a military coup, but I can’t see either of those happening. That would be asking too much of the American people and the military. So, it appears we’re stuck with the disaster that is, and will be, a Trump presidency. A disaster that could very well see a great amount of suffering and pain worldwide before someone has the guts to do the right thing and retire the whole sorry circus.

  9. Miriam English

    Yes. Trump is a fool and will make yanks embarrassed on a scale far exceeding those excruciating years of Bush Jr “making the pie higher”, but the real danger lies in Mike Pence and the deeply scary cabinet Trump’s surrounding himself with. Mike Pence, in particular, is as close to pure evil as anyone in modern politics could be. He is a right wing Christian extremist and white supremacist who appears to hate poor people, women, and anybody who doesn’t have white skin.

    Trump will embarrass USA, but Pence will gut it and do lasting damage. Lucky thing China is emerging as the new world power. They might be able to help the rest of the planet stave off the worst repercussions. Pity the poor yanks though — this is gonna be one hell of a reality TV show for them.

  10. stephentardrew

    People just don’t get it corporate capitalism is a failure and any attempt to fix this sinking corptocracy is doomed to injustice and inequality simply because they are entrenched in neoliberalism. Without a social democrat in the US or Australia we are doomed to more of the same corruption, inequality and illegal wars. Time to ditch the US or we will be going down too. Iceland demonstrates that it can be done. The L-NP and Labor are fossilised neoliberal hacks empty of creativity or social reformation. You see it is a big world and holding our boarders may not be enough. Always local myopia. Well dear friends you think refugees are a problem now give it five more years. Meanwhile lets sleep on hoping that the two party system will reform itself by the magical invisible hand. Ignorance and complacency all round. You don’t think evolution is going to have any sympathy for you do you?

  11. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Correct in so many ways stepheardrew – 1) the two party system is too easily corrupted, 2) the refugee problem has only just begun – once climate change starts to bite, it will start to look like World War Z, but 3) Iceland have done it, so we can too. Just need to vote for parties, or independents, who are committed to changing the system, and I’m not convinced that Labor fall into that category.

  12. Jexpat

    For those unfamiliar with the US system, there are 5 ways (and 5 ways only) that Trump isn’t around until 2021.

    1. He willingly resigns;

    2. He dies;

    3. Invocation of the 25th Amendment process (in which the president is incapacitated and unable to discharge the powers and duties of office);

    4. Articles of impeachment are approved by the House of Representatives, and after a Senate ‘trial’ they are approved on a 2/3’s vote of the 100 Senators;

    5. There is a military coup.

    No American president has ever been removed from office via #3, #4 and #5.

    In addition, as Miriam points out above, the two in line of succession, Mike Pence is a fundamentalist extremist who makes George Christensen look mild and Paul Ryan (Speaker of the House) who’s a subclinical psychopath and Ayn Rand acolyte.

  13. stephengb2014

    Good to be 69 years young. I can see WWIII, and extremes of weather that will impovrish nations and whole continent’s.

    I may just kark it before the worst.

    I hope that the Gen Y’s will start the revolution before it happens, but you know what, I can’t see it happening with the Gen Y’rs because they do not seem to have any knowledge about real life, just electronic games and carefully rehearsed reality tv.

  14. Kim Southwood

    Victoria, I’m in full agreement on your first 4 points and totally hope you are right on the 5th. If there was ever a good chance for not making the distance – Trump’zit – [inspired by your Clearasil ad].

  15. Sam

    So many good points made but I would take issue with one minor one.

    Steve mentioning that Americans don’t care what the world thinks of them and that Trumps buffoonery doesn’t embarrass them.

    He must have been talking to the wrong Americans because 90% of those I know were appalled at the thought he could even win the republican primary and are deeply embarrassed that he is their soon to be president.

    I will say that all are in agreement that Pence will be multiple times worse if he takes over though.

  16. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Sam – you are correct. I made a HUGE generalisation. Through my missus I have many relatives in the US who are in deep shock – I perhaps should have said Trump voting Americans (although many of the other ones are totally shameless in their own American way 😉

  17. Sam

    Fair enough. Like i said it shouldnt detract from the rest of your posts on this matter though. Youre almost always 100% on point.

  18. Annie B

    …… “but once Abbott became the leader of Australia, all his character flaws and faults were like dirty linen aired in front of a world audience. “ … The trouble with this statement is that Abbott probably did not manage to make the 3 a.m. news update, on 95% of the rest of the worlds’ mainstream media. He was a non-event, in world MSM opinion.

    Trump however, because he is way more crass than Abbott was – has probably been 95% reported across the globe. … That’s the difference. He demands, by sheer audacity and implausability ( what will he do next ?? ) many peoples’ attention. He is like turning the page of a horror book, because ya can’t put the damned thing down, before knowing what the next chapter will introduce.

    Trump plays this to perfection.

    However, Abbott no longer speaks for Australians, as PM. Well – thank heavens for that ( I think ). He’s a loose cannon with no target – at this time out on the world stage spruiking his ‘addresses’ ?? .

    Trump will undoubtedly become much the same – or at least we hope he does. He is dangerous – and his choice of supporters in his cabinet, reflects that. … Most worlds’ people do not ‘do dangerous’ by choice … especially when it comes to nuclear suggestions, and hinted at alliances with say Russia ( which frankly I think would be fairly safe if that is truly his call ) … and his obvious dislike and resistance to, Chinese influence – which is probably not too safe a call, at all. There – – lies the bigger danger.

    Trump has cast the stones of his endeavour – – through Twitter for God’s sake …. A tweet-mad bod, but – – cunning as a shite-load of monkeys. He is blatantly using social media, who he believes ( and he is probably right ) most people at least have a go at … to spread his word – and his inane ideas. Social media however, most likely, will make mince meat out of him – in the long run. Can only hope he is NOT a ‘long run’. ….

    As for the people who voted him in – nothing is impossible there – they are of a cemented on mind-set, a sadly uneducated lot who love aggression in any form – and he appealed to many on so many levels, that way, in his own country… No surprise … Americans, by and large, are indeed shameless and see themselves as superior to the rest of the world … which they ain’t.

  19. 245179

    I can see trump meeting his maker. It happins in US of A.

  20. Steve Laing

    This whole Trump thing must be putting our Tones in a right old pickle. I mean can he talk up Trumps populist conservatism whilst overlooking his chumminess with the world leader he wants to shirtfront? Oh the dilemma!

  21. Olivia Manor

    Trump has money, lots of it, and is backed by nasty right wing billionaires who want to shape America according to their beliefs. Abbott can only dream of such support. The USA education system is also not very good in many States, and so we have a large number of people there, who believe in creationism and anything else they are taught at the schools funded by the right-wing billionaires, keen to promote their agenda and use their “philantrophy” as a tax deduction. We haven’t quite reached that level of interference in our political system yet. The Huffington Post also has a story about Trump moving to fire any civil servant not loyal to him! So if he goes, it won’t be because he is upsetting his Party. Maybe Putin will get sick of him. Don’t forget Putin!

  22. ace Jones

    Beware of what you wish for as the Beast is Pence see his number is 666

  23. Miriam English

    Trump won’t last long. There has been an article in the Financial Times over there where they investigated Trump’s money. It turns out he is very much beholden to Russian dark money. Russian Intelligence and Russian crime bosses bailed Trump out of his 7th bankruptcy and made it look like he still had money. Russian criminals use him to launder money. Russian Intelligence have other reasons.

    Quick overview
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2017/1/9/1618540/-Was-Donald-Trump-bailed-out-of-bankruptcy-by-Russia-crime-bosses

    Article in Financial Times
    https://www.ft.com/content/33285dfa-9231-11e6-8df8-d3778b55a923

    I figure as soon as it’s convenient the Republicans will get rid of Trump — they all hate him anyway — and Pence will become the most powerful (and feared) man in the world. Anything could happen with a white supremacist religious lunatic in charge.

  24. Max Gross

    Marches are fine. Guillotines are better.

  25. Stephen V Zorbas

    Good comparison between Trump and Abbott.From the “starters gun” I think we need Trump on Prozac as to make him as benign as possible, and as time goes on like Ronald Reagan, The President’s brain has “gone missing”- again.

  26. Miriam English

    The yanks should declare the election void and hold it again. Turns out Russia had blackmail on Trump and was cultivating him for years. Trump and the Russians had been cooperating the whole time to mess with the election by spinning a web of deceit. A whole slew of evidence has hit the fan about how corrupt Trump is and how Russia influenced the election. A 35 page document has been leaked containing a summary of data for the FBI regarding MI6 investigations of Russia and Trump.

    https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/3259984/Trump-Intelligence-Allegations.pdf

    The election has been fatally tainted. Nobody will have any confidence in it. The yanks will be in deep shit if they let it be carried through to a Trump presidency. USA will be more deeply divided than any time since the Civil War.

  27. Robert G. Shaw

    It looks like some on the Left unable to either comprehend the real reason for Trumps ascendancy or control their surprisingly tender emotions are now opting for the path of hypocrisy as a means of response.

    This Buzzfeed dossier has to be the best piece of ‘post-truth’ I’ve seen in ages. I’m still laughing at its own admission that it is unverified, and according to the Guardian and other outlets, who also had possession of the document but wisely chose not to publish, ‘unverifiable’.

    So we have this bizarre situation, this glorious hypocrisy, where some on the Left, who just the other day were screaming about the evils of ‘post truth’ now only too happy to embrace the ‘unverified and unverifiable’ in an effort to delegitimise Trump’s presidency, and worse still, the US election process.

    The implications of such an act should not be lost on anyone who wonders how it was the Left came to lose its mind over the Trump/hack story.

    Speaking of which, I don’t think any sensible person doubts the incredibly uncontroversial statement ”Russian cyber hacking of US election”. To me it has all the shock value of say ‘US cyber hacks the Libyan election”.

    All I’ve read, and please correct me if you’ve read something more, that constitutes some kind of expression of that hack, not evidence, but simple expression, have been the utterly fantastic and laughable phrases like, engaged in blog sabotage, use of chat room sock puppets, Twitter hashtags, and my favourite, used the internet to influence voting patterns.

    It’s doubtful there have been more innocuous, open ended, and downright preposterous terms ever accorded such gravitas.

    If that’s all they’ve got, if this ‘evidence of sock puppets’ is all they’ve got, then, to my mind, the Democrats should be thoroughly whipped about for their mindless and dangerous rationalising – they lost the election becomes of their own hubris and stupidity and not because of young Alyosha spamming Ohio, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania readers of Reddit with “Killary” messages.

    And to that whipping post tie the corpulent perfidious frames of Clapper and his coterie of deceivers, who like Brennan, appeared to me to be desperate to convince us of the veracity of their claims by offering nothing more substantial than the plea ‘take our word for it, trust us’.

    Take their word for it??

    Take the word of US intelligence officials?

    They must be joking!

    As of today, with what’s available to us, this molehill is an insult and no amount of wishful thinking, fretting and hand wringing, conspiracy theories, innuendo, or personal suspicions, will substitute for cold hard clinical evidence.

    Anyone seen any?

    I haven’t.

  28. Miriam English

    And yet you’re so gleefully certain. Methinks that’s a bit hypocritical, Robert.

    Perhaps the report is fake, perhaps it’s genuine, I don’t know for certain. Russia has definitely been working with Trump, as the Financial Times investigations prove.

    If you think it’s silly to worry about the concerted use of misinformation then by all means laugh yourself back to sleep.

    USA is deeply split, with Democrats getting about 2.8 million more votes than Republicans in the presidential election and around 23 million more than the Republicans in the senate elections, yet losing both.

    There doesn’t seem to be any way USA is coming out of this well. Going ahead with a chronic liar and proven crook as president and a scary Christian extremist white supremacist as vice president seems to me the very worst thing they can do.

  29. Robert G. Shaw

    The story is unverified and unverifiable and you are extremely irresponsible for not just posting it as a piece of “news” but soucing it, legitimising it, as serious grounds for “opinion” –

    “A whole slew of evidence has hit the fan about how corrupt Trump is and how Russia influenced the election” – Really? What “evidence”?

    “Turns out Russia had blackmail on Trump and was cultivating him for years” – Really? What “blackmail”?

    “The election has been fatally tainted” – Really? How so? By this unverified and unverfiable Buzzfeed dossier?

    Irresponsible.

  30. Robert G. Shaw

    Here are 3 quick links. There are scores out there. None supportive of the actions of Buzzfeed.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/how-buzzfeed-crossed-the-line-in-publishing-salacious-dossier-on-trump/2017/01/11/957b59f6-d801-11e6-9a36-1d296534b31e_story.html?utm_term=.8356cda41909

    https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/01/why-did-buzzfeed-publish-the-trump-dossier/512771/

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/media/2017/01/was-buzzfeed-right-publish-donald-trump-golden-showers-dossier

    Read Smith’s rationale in the New Statesman link and tell me it doesnt make your blood run cold.
    After you’ve had a belly laugh, of course.

  31. Roswell

    “The story is unverified and unverifiable and you are extremely irresponsible for not just posting it as a piece of “news” but soucing it, legitimising it, as serious grounds for “opinion” ”

    Robert, since when have you been the adjudicater of what should be posted on this site?

  32. Zathras

    When it come to fake news, Trump was right up there in the front line for years over the Birthergate story and even the Pizzagate myth still goes on in some circles.

    Even though it has now been totally discredited there are a lot of Trump fans who still insist it’s true.

    Likewise the story that Michelle Obama is really a transsexual man and that Joan Rivers was assassinated when she leaked “the truth” continues.

    People will always believe what they want to believe and Trump is happy to let such stories run – until it’s him in the firing line and then he throws the switch to outrage and conspiracy.

    No doubt Trump has a lot of skeletons in his closet.

    Is this what we will be seeing for the next four years?

  33. Robert G. Shaw

    Roswell, I’m not seeking to be adjudicator, that’s just a silly and tiresome red herring.
    What i’m doing is expressing my opinion that the dissemination of ‘post truth’ news is an irresponsible act. Haven’t we just had a series of AIM articles arguing that very position?

    Miriam obviously didn’t research the background to the story and proceeded to construct a series of statements based on nothing more than propaganda. That being the case, i can’t see the difference between what she’s done and what say, the Murdoch/Fox stormtrooping fake news disseminators are doing.

    If you can tell me the difference, I’d love to hear it.

  34. Robert G. Shaw

    Zathras, you are absolutely correct. However sliding down into the gutter and slithering about down there with him and his ilk is not the approach we should be taking.
    It’s a disgraceful justification – worse still, it’s hypocrisy.

  35. Roswell

    “What I’m doing is expressing my opinion …”

    Yet you are prepared to be critical of Miriam for expressing hers.

    Robert, much of what you say makes a lot of sense, so it’s a pity that you diminish your argument by exercising hypocrisy.

  36. Robert G. Shaw

    Roswell,
    my opinion is that Miriam’s opinion is based on a “post truth” – unverified and unverifiable – therefore irresponsible.

    How you see that as hypocritical is beyond me.

  37. Roswell

    OK, you’re not hypocritical. You’re just self-righteous.

  38. Kaye Lee

    The fact that these stories circulate is important to know within itself. If the object is destabilisation, mistrust and division, whoever is feeding the information is doing a damn fine job. Wikileaks and Buzzfeed have been used and it would be very easy to feed them leaks through intermediaries so as to allow deniability. “I didn’t get it from the Russians”…..directly anyway

  39. Roswell

    Robert hasn’t said anything in over 15 minutes. My guess is that he’s half way through preparing a 2,500 word response.

  40. Harquebus

    “In a story that is getting more surreal by the minute, a post on 4Chan now claims that the infamous “golden showers” scene in the unverified 35-page dossier, allegedly compiled by a British intelligence officer, was a hoax and fabricated by a member of the chatboard as “fanfiction”, then sent to Rick Wilson, who proceeded to send it to the CIA, which then put it in their official classified intelligence report on the election.”
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-10/4chan-claims-have-fabricated-anti-trump-report-hoax

  41. Matters Not

    Harquebus your link to a zerohedge article written by a Tyler Durden (there are so many) causes me to now think the ‘golden shower’ story has something in it. Such is their reputation for inaccuracies.

  42. Miriam English

    Robert, you must still be really stinging from the caning you got before to be so gleefully eager to give me a whipping over this. 🙂 I’m perfectly happy to take what comes after you finish with tearing the FBI and CIA apart for thinking it was significant enough to include in their Intelligence briefings to both Obama and Trump the other day. As I say, it could be true, or it could be not. It sure seems to carry a lot of weight, and considering all the other dodgy deals Trump has done with Russia (for example several of his top staff have direct links to Russia, and he got bailed out of his 7th bankruptcy by the Kremlin and Russian Mob) so I’d be quite unsurprised to find out it is genuine.

    Harquebus, I’d expect zerohedge to refute it, considering their growing reputation as a Russian misinformation mouthpiece.

  43. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Whilst the new “dossier” looks at first sight as dodgy as the rest of the post-truth which Trump and his team have been more than happy to circulate and not denounce (pizzagate, anyone?), there are some facts and questions that need to be kept in mind.

    1) Trump is a dodgy businessman and always has been. He continues to overstate his capability, happily criticises others, but can’t be criticised himself. He has no diplomatic skills whatsoever. He doesn’t need comedians to satirise him because he does it to himself.
    2) The US seems to have no problems with dodgy businessmen, and indeed let’s them continue with their dodgy dealings. That is the Merican way, it would appear.
    3) The intellligence agencies, like the military, in the US and elsewhere, tend to support right wing politicians, rather than progressive ones. People that join such organisations tend to be strongly nationalistic.
    4) The decision to investigate a second set of emails attached to the Hillary camp and announce such publicly was very clearly to undermine her campaign, and it worked. This was the head of an intelligence agency that did this. The ones whose views we now shouldn’t trust, or should we trust? I’m confused. So is the president elect.
    5) The DMC picked entirely the wrong candidate to run against Trump. In certain sections of the US, she is despised even more than Obama – and I use that word purposefully. Social media facilitated a groundswell of nastiness against them and no facts would be able to budge them from this. Many Americans would fall into the trap of believing such fake news because that is all they are ever exposed to.
    6) Trump is just too chummy with Putin. Americans have been brought up to be highly suspicious of Russia, but Trumps chumminess is apparently ok with Trump voters. How the hell did that happen? Perhaps they like Putins tough stance on gays, Muslims etc.
    7) The dossier has a number of mistakes in it. If it were a genuine “fake” you’d think the intelligence agencies would do a better job, wouldn’t you? And enough of it seems to ring true and explain why Trump’s business empire is still running despite many US businessmen refusing to do business with Trump due to his flaky reputation. What value do the intelligence agencies get from revealing it? What is their motive, if not to warn Americans that the president, and the process that elected him, has undue external influences involved.
    8) The truth is now almost impossible to determine in this new era. So I’m basing my judgements on character and judgement. The people behind Trump have managed to pull off the biggest heist of all time. The man child that is Donald Trump, bless him, thinks it was all down to his brilliance.

    All in all, America’s low and middle classes, and the economy, are going to be reamed in exactly the same manner as our government is doing to us and ours. Vultures are circling, looking for carrion. It has never been a more exciting time to be Australian or American.

  44. Miriam English

    I have to laugh at one of Trump’s tweets in reaction to this. His way to verify that Russia hasn’t done this is to look to Russia for evidence:

    Russia has never tried to use leverage over me. I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH RUSSIA – NO DEALS, NO LOANS, NO NOTHING!

    Of course, there’s an easy way to prove it. He could release his tax records as he promised to. But he actually misquoted what the Russians said:

    The Kremlin does not engage in gathering compromising materials.

    which I find totally believeable! Totally! 😀 They don’t even have a name for it (Kompromat).

    And when I read that the Intelligence briefings from the FBI and CIA included this report I actually laughed out loud imagining his orange face going blustery red… but then I remembered that the next president of USA doesn’t read his intelligence briefings. Hey! Here’s a thought. They could put the Intelligence briefings on Twitter. He might read them then. And there’s no worry about Russia getting them because giving them to Trump means they go to Russia anyway.

    OMG, he’s going to be terrible for the USA and the world, but he’s going to be a gold mine for comedians.

  45. Miriam English

    Sorry, I just quoted the wrong tweet from the orange man-child. Here is the one I intended:

    Russia just said the unverified report paid for by political opponents is “A COMPLETE AND TOTAL FABRICATION, UTTER NONSENSE.” Very unfair!

  46. Harquebus

    The zerohedge article is only reporting on claims made by some 4chan members and I thought some might be interested. Personally, I hope that the claims made do turn out to be true.
    My bet is that, you won’t hear about it on the telly.
    Cheers.

  47. Roswell

    Miriam, it’s nice to know that he trusts the Russians more than he trusts the American intelligence agencies. Would hate to think that one day they have some information related to national security. Will he believe them?

  48. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Roswell – it does put him in a bit of a predicament, doesn’t it. In the post-truth world that Trump has delighted in being a significant player, who can you trust?

    Putin must be completely pissing himself! Like shooting ducks in a barrel. I wonder when he’ll ask for Tony’s head on a plate?

    But this isn’t really the US vs Russia, its the Oligarchs of the world versus the plebs. That is the real story that we are being very cleverly diverted from.

  49. Miriam English

    Roswell, that’s an interesting point. I hadn’t thought of it quite like that.

  50. Miriam English

    Harquebus, I was initially going to agree with you that it won’t end up on TV, but then it occurred to me that it could still all burst apart like an overripe tomato and spill its guts everywhere. That would really be something.

    Regardless of what happens, we are living through history, folks. We’ll be able to say to future generations we were watching all this insanity unfold, constantly off-balance at what happened next… all while the climate and ecosystems teetered on the brink. It all reads like a B-grade farce. I wouldn’t dare put events of this level of stupidity in one of my stories… it would appear too unrealistic.

  51. Harquebus

    “That these claims are constantly based on the whispers of anonymous officials and accompanied by no evidence whatsoever gives those journalists no pause at all; any official claim that Russia and Putin are behind some global evil is instantly treated as Truth.”
    https://theintercept.com/2017/01/04/washpost-is-richly-rewarded-for-false-news-about-russia-threat-while-public-is-deceived/

    Miriam English
    At this stage, I have come to the conclusion that a complete upheaval is what is needed. Lost fortunes, high unemployment, rations and quotas etc. are pretty much unavoidable.

    “It’s no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.” — Mark Twain

  52. Miriam English

    That Mark Twain quote is exactly right. 🙂

  53. Steve Laing - makeourvoiceheard.com

    Where I used to live in London, there was a bar nearby called Fiction. Its decor was pretty funky. I desperately wanted someone else to open a bar nearby called Truth with even weirder decor for the obvious reason. Unfortunately nobody did – truly a wasted opportunity.

    But I did like Robert Wyatt’s album entitled Ruth is Stranger that Richard – that made me chortle.

    Totally beside the point, but in keeping with my topic, there was a Thai restaurant in Chelsea which feature a rather chubby Buddha on their signage/front window. For some odd reason, Thai restaurants in London all had punnish names – the Thai Pin, the Old School Thai etc. But that one was called the Phat Phuc. I really don’t know how they got away with it, but London humour at its finest.

  54. Roswell

    Miriam, I’ve had a bit of a re-think. He believes it if he wants to, as was shown with the DNC hacking which he used as the tool to suggest he’d throw Clinton in jail. Yet as has been shown, he disputes anything that’s about him.

    But I’m having a re-think after a re-think. I still don’t know if he’d accept ‘real’ news if some ever surfaced, or worse still, how he would deal with sensitive information.

    Speaking from my own experience, it might be prudent to work around him. Tell him nothing and deal with the situation without his interference.

  55. Robert G. Shaw

    @Roswell,
    First you went for assumption; me trying to “adjudicate”.
    When that fell through you tried to level the charge of “hypocrisy” at me.
    Failing again, you opt for the “self-righteous” slur.
    What can I say?
    Better to be self-righteous, to have that certainly of opinion in this matter, than to partake in hypocrisy, or be a defender of it.

    My pointing out the irresponsible dangers of spreading and citing “post truth” is now deemed “self-righteous” on a blog that’s ran several feature articles on the irresponsible dangers of spreading and citing “post truth”.
    Go figure.

    @Miriam,
    You’re clearly struggling.
    Your first post was a clear and irrefutable spread of “post truth”. It was to that grave error of judgement that I responded to.
    And yes, you need to be “perfectly happy to take what comes” – my growing suspicion that you’re more interested in posting platitudes and bias, rather than thoughtful, critical commentary on this very important issue.
    As to your pitiful rationale, “after you finish with tearing the FBI and CIA apart…”.
    Sorry Miriam, I don’t have to do anything to mollify your regret. Least of all offer either an affirmation or critique of what the FBI/CIA are doing. I have no trust in either agency. None whatsoever. This is about you offering the Buzzfeed article as somehow legitimate news.
    It is not.
    Unless you can provide corroborative and credentialed evidence to the contrary.
    Can you do that?

    Trump may well have done 4 million dodgy deals, he may have been a KGB agent, he may well be Putin’s sister in drag, he may well be selling to the moon to the Russians as we speak. I don’t give a damn. I’m only interested in what you can prove. And so far, that’s nothing.

    Again, I direct you to the words of Buzzfeed editor Ben Smith.
    Again, I ask that you consider the horrific implications of his incredible, utterly demented, rationale.

    A “caning”?!
    You’ve obviously moved on from spreading misinformation to performing slapstick routines.

  56. Roswell

    A slur. Don’t make me laugh.

    But please feel free to continue slurring Miriam. Your hypocrisy and self-righteousness is very entertaining.

  57. Miriam English

    Poor Robert.

    Yes, perhaps I was wrong to post it without caveats. No biggie. I added those in the very next post. But how you crow and dance and bluster! And you continue to do so. Don’t you think you’re going a little (a lot) overboard? Perspective, Robert. Have you any sense of embarrassment?

    Incidentally, you’re going to look really silly if the report turns out to be genuine. Frankly, I think there’s still a good chance it will turn out to be true. It aligns really well with what we know of Trump and Putin already. It will be interesting to see what the future brings. As I said, we live in history-making times (though it could often be mistaken for theatre of the absurd).

  58. Miriam English

    Roswell, I think that’s how they’ll end up dealing with Trump. He’ll be sidelined. He doesn’t really want to be doing the job anyway. He’s said as much a couple of times. He just wants to be famous and use it to make lots of money. The guy is a worse moron then Bush Jr. What’s scary is that Mike Pence will then run the show. That guy is one deeply scary bogeyman.

    They should declare no-confidence in the election and hold it again, but they won’t.

  59. Jexpat

    It certainly has been impressive (and tragic) to watch as so many have proven so eager to embrace the McCarthyism spewed by the likes of the Washington Post, et al. Some examples from Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting:

    Why Are Media Outlets Still Citing ghe Washington Post’s Discredited ‘Russian propaganda”Blacklist.

    WaPo Spreading Own Falsehoods Shows Real Power of Fake News”

    More impresive still, even after this obsession cost Clinton the election (through, among other things- divertiing attention from issues that Americans actually cared about) they’re still at it… even though a great many of the shreiking , over the top accusations were directed at progressive individuals and organisations who were deemed to have insufficient fealty to the Clinton camp- or deigned to offer feedback or constructive criticism in the most incompetent Democratic presidential campaign since Michael Dukakis blew a large double digit lead in 1988.

    As with the campaign, every one of these foot stomping fests a missed opportunity to focus on actual and organised opposition to what’s coming (and what’s already come). See e.g.

    Republicans Plot Their Course on the Rising ‘Sea of Red’ in State Capitals
    Meeting in private, enthused activists promise that the growing Republican dominance in state government will unleash a wave of laws to cut business taxes, restrict unions and expand school privatization.

    GOP Advancing “Extreme Bills,” Handing Reins to Corporations at Public’s Expense
    “These wonky bills aren’t improving the federal government. They are an attack on our daily lives.”

    GOP Further Eviscerate Oversight by Changing Little Known Records Rule
    Some documents are no longer the property of the U.S. government, giving lawmakers the ability to hide critical information from an investigation

    All this and much more are going on under the radar, while Clinton’s right wing faction and their media surrogates continue screaming about the Russians, in an effort to avoid any accounting and responsiblity for their across the board failues in 2016.

  60. Annie B

    Well, this certainly has been a interesting ‘back and forth’ read. … I can agree and disagree with most posted here – which leaves me to draw only my own conclusions and offer my own opinions.

    I disagree with anyone who has hinted or outright said, that they trust the CIA, and all other agencies at work in the U.S. …. Nothing that is so secretive, ( in the interests of National Security – of course !! ) … so un-transparent, so controlling … can EVER be trusted. In an effort to understand what SEC-Unclassified – SEC-Classified – and various other higher levels of classifications ‘Confidential – Secret – Top Secret’ I went on a search. I found the following link which explains a great deal – in legal terms ( it’s a bit of a long read ) :

    https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/18/798

    It was from the CIA ( allegedly, or indeed absolutely ), that the ‘intel’ about WMD’s in Iraq, emanated. And look where that fiasco landed the U.S. “A total of 4,491 U.S. service members were killed in Iraq between 2003 and 2014.” … not to mention the altered ( from time to time ) counts of Iraqi casualties, both combatant and non-combatant. Over 1 million reported at one stage, reduced to 174,000 and approx 68% of that figure, were civilian noncombatants. ( from a Wikipaedia post ). Much was made about the sacrifices by men sent to war by the U.S. … never to return. Hardly anything was publicly reported as to the number of Iraqis killed – at the time or a little after. .. To do so, would have put the U.S. under spot-lights in a none too favourable position.

    I do believe ( and most likely imo, Trump will be delighted ) … that the CIA and all other agencies that ‘brief’ the figurehead PotUS, will move him aside and simply 100% take over the reins ( as they pretty much have done in the past decades of Presidencies anyway ). They may let him in on a few unimportant ‘ops’ they plan, but that would only be to keep him subdued. … They would treat Pence the same. .. They are a totally cunning mob – all Secret Services are – and claim they ‘have to be’ – in order to keep everything safe “for the people”. And when it comes to the crunch, the bullets made by the CIA and other agencies, will be fired by the ‘Chief of Staff ‘ which is quite handy when one comes to think about it … WE didn’t do it – HE did. … handy scapegoat is the PotUS.

    We have exactly the same kind of thing here – as do many other countries – secret and secretive ‘agencies’ who do a lot of ‘advising’ in strong terms, to Government Ministers.

    As Jexpat said “All this and much more (are) going on under the radar ….. “ which was largely to do with what the GOP are up to re : hiding critical information from investigation. I would further his comment by suggesting that much more does go on under the radar – across the board of politics, fiscal management, the office of the White House, the President ( and now President-Elect ), who has leaked what to whom etc. etc…. and how much of that is actually ‘false information’ .. ‘fake news’ … or ‘ false flags’. ???? A whole lot, I would venture to say.

    As for Clintons’ team continually “screaming about the Russians” … they have cynically done that to hit the nerves of so very many of the 324 million +, who have inherited and learned “who the beast is” … i.e. Russia and Russians. .. It is a hatred phobia well known and wide-spread over there.

    Why we argue about validity at all, is beyond me. Nothing in politics is clean, very little in politics is truth, nothing in politics is honorable, no matter who the person is, who wears the crown.

  61. Miriam English

    Well put Annie. Perhaps Trump and Pence will be completely sidelined by the crazy Spook community. That’s both a comforting and more scary thought.

  62. Robert G. Shaw

    @Roswell,
    My pointing out the irresponsible dangers of spreading and citing “post truth” is now deemed “self-righteous”, “hypocritical”, and “self righteous” on a blog that’s ran several feature articles on the irresponsible dangers of spreading and citing “post truth”.

    Go figure.
    Again.

    @Miriam,
    yes, you were wrong to post without caveats. No “perhaps” about it. You added no caveats in your following post either, despite your claim. What you did add was the comical sight of you doing a furious backpeddle, and a backpeddle is not a caveat.

    If the report turns out to be genuine, and I sincerely hope it does, then I’ll be the first to trumpet its findings.Till then of course I tend to steer clear of innuendo, lie, hypocrisy, platitudes, and misinformation.
    You on the other hand seem quite comfortable in their company.
    God bless.

    Finally, and most importantly – there’s no such thing as “going overboard” in an effort to expose “post truth” wherever it rears it’s slimy mephitic head – Left or Right.
    You might think there is. I don’t.

    @Jexpat,
    I agree. The deeper we slide down this rabbithole the sooner we end up in Wonderland. And the sooner we arrive at a place where the Democrats will have forgotten why and how they came to lose the unloseable election to this catastrophic buffoon. Anything to avoid looking in the mirror I suppose.
    So far it appears to be working an absolute treat!

    Thanks for the excellent links. I think you’re the only one here to register the horrors awaiting the Dems, and every liberal and progressive, at the more local, immediate, level.
    Trumps victory was only one calamity. There are others.

  63. Roswell

    Don’t believe it, Steve. It’s fake news.

  64. Miriam English

    Regarding the report on Trump’s corruption and close links to Russia, I found an interesting short piece in the Financial Times (not exactly a leftie paper) with more to say on the topic.

    https://www.ft.com/content/47244462-d8e1-11e6-944b-e7eb37a6aa8e

    The author of the dossier of sensational allegations against Donald Trump disappeared from view on Wednesday, slipping away from his home to an unknown destination in a manner befitting his past as an intelligence agent.

    The dossier by Christopher Steele, including allegations of bizarre sexual exploits and international political conspiracies at the highest levels, has been strongly condemned by Mr Trump and the Kremlin. It presents no conclusive proof and nobody has independently verified its claims.

    Yet some of those who worked with Mr Steele are prepared to vouch for his previous work. He is a British former intelligence officer who operated in Moscow in the early 1990s, later served as MI6’s chief expert on Russia in London, and resigned in 2009 to set up his own company, Orbis Business Intelligence.

    In his early fifties and quietly spoken, Mr Steele has a reputation among colleagues for integrity, discretion and for selecting his clients with care. Always keen to keep a low profile, he left his Belgravia office and Surrey home after his dossier on Mr Trump was published and he was unmasked as the author. His present whereabouts are not known and attempts to reach him were unsuccessful.

    (More at the Financial Times address above.)

    I was actually searching for a followup on their article about Trump laundering money for Viktor Khrapunov, a former Kazakh energy minister and ex-mayor of the city of Almaty.
    https://www.ft.com/content/33285dfa-9231-11e6-8df8-d3778b55a923

    The more you look at Trump the more disgusting he is.

  65. lawrencewinder

    “But, then, like a snowball, journalists in the mainstream media began to realise that all was not well with the Abbott project and the wheels started falling off the bus amongst his colleagues too.” I disagree. They knew the whole time that Rabid-the-Hun was an idiot; they were just towing the party line and only when their editors saw the tide of discontent eroding their profits did they slowly change their tune. I think the level of interest in Frump is having consequences here. People can more easily criticize another country’s leader but the parallels with his blatant modis-operandi and the ruling rabble here are too obvious to ignore particularly as corruption is about the only thing the Liarbrils are actually good at. Frump’s “outside ” factor makes him a potent symbol of rampant and corrupt capitalism which is being overtly practised here and it may be he will be the agent of its demise….. starting here.

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