Australia

American Prestige

#AmericanPrestige | #WhatTheyVotedFor

President Donald Trump, with White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, after signing executive orders at the White House in Washington, D.C., 23 January 2017.  (Detail of photo by Getty Images)

“Putting aside the fact that Trump may not fully understand what ‘illegal immigrants’ means, it’s worth pausing to emphasize that Australia is one of our closest allies.”

Steve Benen

Via msnbc:

Turnbull insisted after the call that the agreement with the United States is still on – the prime minister was less eager to publicly discuss the nature of his conversation with Trump – though the U.S. president turned to Twitter last night to declare, “Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!”

Putting aside the fact that Trump may not fully understand what “illegal immigrants” means, it’s worth pausing to emphasize that Australia is one of our closest allies. NBC News’ Andrea Mitchell noted overnight that someone should tell the White House that Australia “has more troops fighting ISIS in Iraq than any other ally [and] has fought at our side since” World War II.

That’s not a rhetorical aside. Someone really should let Team Trump know about this, because there’s reason to believe they’re unaware of it.

In #DimensionTrump, it is easy enough to expect that these stories only go downhill.

(more…)

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The Donald Trump Show (Rulz)

Real estate mogul Donald Trump announces his bid for the presidency in the 2016 presidential race during an event at the Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in New York City on 16 June 2015. Trump, one of America's most flamboyant and outspoken billionaires, threw his hat into the race Tuesday for the White House, promising to make America great again. The 69-year-old long-shot candidate ridiculed the country's current crop of politicians and vowed to take on the growing might of China in a speech launching his run for the presidency in 2016. "I am officially running for Prsident of the United States and we are going to make our country great again," he said from a podium bedecked in US flags at Trump Tower on New York's Fifth Avenue. The tycoon strode out to the strains of "Rockin' in the Free World" by Canadian singer Neil Young after being introduced by his daughter Ivanka. His announcement follows years of speculation that the man known to millions as the bouffant-haired host of American reality TV game show "The Apprentice" would one day enter politics. Trump identifies himself as a Republican, and has supported Republican candidates in the past. But in this announcement speech he did not say explicitly if he was running for the party's nomination or as an independent. (Photo credit: Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty)

This is not something we should find surprising:

Donald Trump’s campaign is still soliciting illegal donations from foreign individuals―including members of foreign governments at their official email addresses―weeks after the campaign was put on notice by watchdog groups.

Foreign members of parliament from the United Kingdom and Australia confirmed to The Hill that they received fundraising solicitations from the Trump campaign as recently as July 12―two weeks after a widely publicized FEC complaint issued on June 29 by non-partisan watchdogs Democracy 21 and the Campaign Legal Center.

(Swan and Neidig)

Or, rather, we might simply say it sounds about right.

Because even if we somehow might set aside, just for a moment, the magnitude of the Donald Trump spectacle―you know, the whole denial and disbelief part―there remains a question of just how Donald Trump’s exponential boorishness and pointed disdain for general decency should surprise us.

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Image note: Donald Trump announces his candidacy for the Republican 2016 presidential nomination at Trump Tower in New York City, 16 June 2015. (Photo credit: Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty)

Swan, Jonathan and Harper Neidig. “Trump campaign solicits illegal foreign donations despite warnings”. The Hill. 16 July 2016.

Almost Funny

Round Two: Detail from FLCL episode 1, 'Fooly Cooly'.

No, really, this is very nearly funny:

Last month, Nick Jensen wrote an op-ed for the Canberra CityNews in which he claimed that he and his wife Sarah would “as a matter of conscience, refuse to recognize the government’s regulation of marriage if its definition includes the solemnization of same-sex couples.” Jensen went on to attribute his beliefs to the definition of marriage as a “union of a man and a woman before a community in the sight of God.”

In response to these claims, Jesse Mount, also an Australian citizen, created a Facebook group for people who will celebrate the Jensen’s divorce by having a massive party once marriage equality comes to the country as a whole. The group currently has over 175,000 members who have RSVP-ed for the party.

(Nichols)

In the end, though, it’s just sad. You know, though, that couple probably shouldn’t be married, anyway. If the fact of gay people having human rights is enough to compel them to get divorced, it occurs to wonder why the hell they ever got hitched in the first place. Seriously, this is enough to wreck the marriage? What the hell kind of marriage is that?

Very nearly funny. In the end, though, this is just sad.

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Nichols, JamesMichael. “175,000 Pledge To Party If Anti-Gay Australia Couple Divorces Over Same-Sex Marriage”. The Huffington Post. 19 June 2015.

Karl Stefanovic’s Suit

Framegrab of 'Today', an Australian morning news program.  Co-host Karl Stefanovic (left) responded to criticism regarding the attire of his broadcast partner Lisa Wilkinson, and other women in business and media, by wearing the same blue suit on the air for a year; nobody noticed.

“No one has noticed; no one gives a shit. But women, they wear the wrong colour and they get pulled up. They say the wrong thing and there’s thousands of tweets written about them. Women are judged much more harshly and keenly for what they do, what they say and what they wear. I’ve worn the same suit on air for a year – except for a couple of times because of circumstance – to make a point. I’m judged on my interviews, my appalling sense of humour – on how I do my job, basically. Whereas women are quite often judged on what they’re wearing or how their hair is.”

Karl Stefanovic

A note from Down Under provides a moment for thought:

Angered by the sexism he saw being heaped upon his female colleagues – and attempts to downplay it – Karl Stefanovic decided to conduct an experiment.

He wore the same blue suit on air, two days in a row. Then three. A month ticked by without a ripple.

Now, a full year has passed – and he is still wearing the same cheap Burberry knock-off, every morning, on Channel Nine’s Today program.

Not a single audience member has asked about it, he says. Fashion commentators and other media also seem oblivious.

Yet co-host Lisa Wilkinson still receives regular and unsolicited fashion appraisals, as she revealed in her well-received Andrew Olle lecture last year. (“Who the heck is Lisa’s stylist?” one emailer demanded to know. “Today’s outfit is particularly jarring and awful. Get some style.”) These same viewers, however, have failed to observe – or simply don’t care – that the man beside her happily slips on the same outfit, day after day.

(Lallo)

Did you ever notice how news is written at websites in Her Majesty’s Dominion? As few words per sentence, as few sentences per paragraph, as possible. Twenty years ago I learned that the word processor I was using at the time judged grammar against three documents, two of which were the Gettysburg Address and a boilerplate insurance contract, and all equaled out to an eighth grade reading comprehension equivalent or so.

To the one, them’s some pretty smart fourth graders reading the news in Australia. To the other, well, it is effective. That is to say, compared to what passes for daily media in the United States, how many of the words in Michael Lallo’s report about Karl Stefanovic’s suit are actually wasted?

And questions of sexism aside, look, it just has to be pointed out that the white and blue and pink thing Ms. Wilkinson wore is so 1988. Couldn’t you just die?

Huh? What?

Oh.

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Lallo, Michael. “Karl Stefanovic’s sexism experiment: Today presenter wears same suit for a year”. The Sydney Morning Herald. 15 November 2014.