1. Fruit loop advises Trump on foreign policy
A few months ago Michele Bachmann joined Donald Trump’s Evangelical Executive Advisory Board. Now she says she is advising him on foreign affairs.
- Bachmann believes the September 11 attacks represented God’s judgment on America; President Obama and gay rights advocates are bringing about the End Times; homosexuality is “personal enslavement” and “part of Satan”; gay people want to change laws “so that adults will be able to freely prey on little children sexually”; and Obamacare death panels will literally kill people any day now.
Her foreign policy ideas are driven by her belief that the Last Days have arrived.
She warns that a one-world government is emerging which will usher in the reign of the Antichrist, and wonders if Obama fits the description.
Obama, she says:
- has brought upon the End Times by supposedly promoting policies that are “pro-the goals of Islamic jihad,” aiding ISIS, “sending arms to terrorists” and lifting “up the agenda of radical Islam.”
Of course Trump says that Obama founded ISIS and secretly supports terrorism.
Americans couldn’t vote for this mob, could they?
2. Marriage equality plebiscite may not happen
Labor is pressing for marriage equality to be decided by parliament without a plebiscite, but has not said whether it will block the legislation. The Greens, Xenophon and Derryn Hinch all oppose the legislation, so Labor’s support would be necessary.
Grainne Healy, co-director of the Yes Equality campaign in Ireland, has written to Malcolm Turnbull and parliamentarians urging them not to go ahead with a plebiscite, warning the experience was “brutal” for gay and lesbian people and their families.
She said Irish volunteers needed counselling after abuse and hate speech from reform opponents.
Comedian Hannah Gadsby says “This plebiscite in F**KED”. Growing up in Tasmania in the 1990s she listened to the bile poured out as legalising homosexuality was publicly discussed. She says she grew to hate herself so deeply she has not been able to develop an aptitude for relationships
The Greens oppose the legislation, saying young lives are at stake.
Some 85% of LGBTI Australians oppose a plebiscite on marriage equality and most would prefer to wait for a free parliamentary vote to avoid a plebiscite, a new survey shows.
3. Scott Morrison is no Paul Keating
Scott Morrison tried to scare the pants off us by talking about $1 trillion of debt and said the nation would wind up in recession unless complacency towards ballooning debt and deficit was checked. It included a rant about Australia being divided between the “the taxed and the taxed nots”
Dennis Atkins in the Courier Mail recalled Paul Keating’s “banana republic” comment, pointing out that PJK followed up with the greatest fiscal consolidation in our history, bringing the budget to surplus in 18 months. He says ScoMo is no PJK and his “taxed and the taxed nots” is as simplistic as it is stupid.
Laura Tingle says the OECD, the IMF and some other countries are thinking differently about fiscal policy and debt, and about the role of government:
- While not everyone agrees on a return to bigger government per se, there has been a grudging acceptance that, in some areas, and at some times – such as when there are interest rates at historically low levels, when there is low economic growth and a need for productivity-enhancing infrastructure – the bodies best positioned to exploit the opportunities are in fact governments. And yes, that might mean more debt. It might mean more taxes.
She says that, week by week, month by month, the policy gap between the Coalition and Labor is broadening. The LNP are swimming against the tide.
Shorten told the Press Club that stagnant wages, flat-lining productivity and a lack of economic growth were the real issues.
- He spoke of “the missing link – it’s public infrastructure”.
There have to be “generational decisions”, he said. “Monetary policy in a low investment return, low interest rate return, that’s not going to stimulate wages. You need to have public growth.”
We don’t just need a compromise in parliament, she says, we need a compromise in how we talk about the economy and what we are allowed to say.
4. Two tragedies in Europe
Two tragedies in Europe in the last week. The first was the earthquake in Italy, with now 268 counted dead.
Also from the BBC, before:
The other tragedy is the clothing police at work on a beach in France, demanding that a woman remove part of her clothing:
I understand the burkino is an Australian invention.
Introduction to Saturday salon
Because of the way the blog currently presents posts on the home page I think it’s better to remove the introductory material to a different place. For new readers, here’s the rationale for this space.
An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.
For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.
The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.
Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.
The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:
The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.