In the case of the evil Trump machine, it turns out the butler may have done it after all. This weekly TBS procedural also investigates the case of the mathematical muck-up and the untangling of the Australian taxation system.
Hello all and welcome to this week’s Current Affairs Wrap. This week saw Trump out Trumped by the help, trouble in Rio, a much-anticipated showdown between our political heavyweights and a sad indictment on the current state of education and racial profiling in the modern world.
You might remember the name Anthony Senecal, the long standing butler to Donald Trump who was profiled not too long ago about what goes on behind closed doors at Casa Trump.
Mr Senecal has hit the news again this week in a surprising twist that no-one saw coming; he’s actually crazier than Trump himself. Mr Senecal wrote a Facebook post this week suggesting that US President Barack Obama should have been assassinated by the US Military as an enemy agent after he was elected.
Before you rush to judge, we’ve all had our bad days on Facebook. Sometimes you get hacked or sometimes you’ve enjoyed a little too much boxed wine before logging on. Not so for Mr Senecal who stood by the statement. He was then interviewed by CNN where he added that Obama should be hung outside the White House, which he also referred to as the “White Mosque.”
Could it be that the butler was the mastermind the whole time? Could Trump’s consistently racist, elitist and fascist rhetoric have come from the man that ran his household for thirty years? We’ll probably never know, however, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign quickly condemned the comments and reminded us that Mr Senecal hasn’t worked for Trump since June 2009. At the very least, we now know where the line lies for Trump. It wasn’t the vilification of an entire continent south of his borders, it wasn’t the overt misogyny of accusing rival Hillary Clinton of being responsible for husband Bill’s extramarital affairs and “abuse” of women. Nor was it accusing Republican rival Ted Cruz’s father of being involved in the JFK assassination. Apparently suggesting that the current US President should be hung as a traitor on the White House (sorry, White Mosque) lawns is a bridge too far for Team Trump.
The upcoming Olympics in Rio have a couple of storm clouds develop over them, as the countdown continues to the opening ceremony in August. Professor Amir Attaran of Ottawa University published an article in the Harvard Public Health Review calling for the cancellation of the games due to the growing threat of the Zika virus.
According to Professor Attaran, Rio is ground zero for the epidemic, reporting the highest number of cases of the virus in Brazil. Attaran suggests that it would be extremely foolish to expose an expected 500,000 tourists to the potential threat of the virus.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) did not refute Professor Attaran’s claims, but released a statement that indicated they will continue to advise the Brazilian government and the International Olympic Committee.
Speaking of the Brazilian government, the country’s first female President, Dilma Rousseff, has been removed from office following a senate vote to continue impeachment proceedings against her. The former guerilla will be replaced by vice president Michel Temer for six months until the results of the investigation are completed. Rousseff has accused Temer of launching a coup against her and setting up an administration without a direct electoral mandate.
The Federal Election is in full swing with Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten campaigning across the country all week before facing off in a “people’s forum” debate in Western Sydney.
The debate and audience response made it very clear that the economy is the main battleground for this election. Labor’s proposed negative gearing reforms were centre stage. with Turnbull continuing to suggest that the potential policy will result in a significant increase to rental prices, firmly aligning himself with the real estate industry who launched a campaign this week to fight against the reforms.
Turnbull was also out to defend the banking sector following Shorten’s push for a royal commission indicating that he had given the banks a “bit of a lecture” about reforms needed within their industry. Unfortunately, this handed Shorten a golden opportunity, which he seized with a reply of “I bet they just went home and changed their practices after a lecture from you.”
Most commentators have described Turnbull’s performance as passable but Shorten was the hero of the evening with 42 members of the audience casting their vote for Bill. Big Mal only amassed 29 (a further 29 were undecided, which sums up the current state of things perfectly).
The debate result was a fitting end for Turnbull’s government following a now infamous question from Duncan Storrar on Q&A earlier this week that left Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer on the ropes. Mr Storrar has also been attacked all week, with some sections of the media desperate to discredit him; however his point still landed. Is it really the right time to giving a tax break to those that earn above the average wage?
As someone that will benefit from the tax break, I wholeheartedly agree with Mr Storrar; we’ve got a lot of people seriously struggling in this country at the moment and I would much prefer to see them given more help than giving me something I don’t need.
An Australian security contractor was killed this week, allegedly at the hand of a fellow Australian contractor working for the same company at the Australian embassy in Baghdad.
Former Australian special forces commando Sun McKay is being held in custody in Baghdad pending the arrival of the Australian Federal Police, who will investigate the incident.
According to reports, the pair had been drinking and playing video games together before the shooting occurred, with McKay suggesting in a statement that the victim had killed himself without warning. Regardless of the outcome, the incident will result in more pressure on the pair’s employer, United Resources Group, who are currently contracted to protect the embassy and have been accused of cutting corners in recent times.
Wacky and Wonderful
In the modern world, businesses need to go above and beyond to offer a point of difference in a competitive marketplace. Sometimes it’s clever, sometimes it’s brave, sometimes you are Domino’s and you go so far above and beyond that you make everyone else look bad. Workers at a Domino’s store in the US State of Oregon became concerned after one of their regulars didn’t send an order in for 11 days after ordering almost every day since 2009 from the same location.
Many businesses would just assume that the customer was on holidays or was made an offer he couldn’t refuse by Pizza Hut. Not the manager of this Domino’s, whose concern led to a delivery driver being sent out to the customer’s home to check on him. The driver found the lights on and heard the TV, but wasn’t getting a response at the door or on the man’s phone, which was enough for him to call the paramedics. When help arrived, the customer was found unconscious after a stroke. The manager has since visited the customer in hospital calling him a “part of the family at Domino’s.”
Straight out of the “only in America” files, this week saw an American Airlines flight to Syracuse delayed after a passenger feigned sickness in order to report the “suspicious” behaviour of the man sitting next to her on the flight. The passenger in question who (coincidentally, I’m sure) had olive skin, dark curly hair and an accent caught the attention of the woman sitting next to him as he was scribbling down notes that appeared to be in Arabic.
Apparently that was enough to sound the alarm bells, with the quick-thinking passenger faking sickness to force a delay in takeoff before slipping a note to the flight attendants raising her concerns. The pilot emerged to speak to her seatmate before escorting him off the plane to be questioned by an “agent” who informed the man he was suspected of terrorism.
The accusation was met with laughter as the “terrorist” explained that the “Arabic” was in fact “math”. He was decorated Ivy League economist Guido Menzio.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen. A perfect summation of the moronic and paranoid world in which we currently live.
Have a great week TBSers.