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Monday, July 31, 2017

Trump fuels doubts over GOP’s agenda

Trump fuels doubts over GOP’s agenda
By Alexander Bolton - 07-31-17 06:00 AM EDT

Republicans are facing serious doubts about their ability to enact big portions of their agenda in the wake of the collapse of their ObamaCare repeal effort and turmoil at the White House.

A week before President Trump hits the 200-day mark of his presidency, the GOP-controlled Congress and the administration are signaling a pivot to tax reform - an issue that has the potential to unify Republicans.

Yet Trump on Saturday also wrote on Twitter that Republicans should not give up the effort on healthcare. He needled Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.), urging the Republican leader to do away with the filibuster - an argument that has grated at the Senate GOP.

The conflicting signals, increasing friendly fire between the White House and Senate GOP and general sense of turmoil has left Republicans increasingly pessimistic about their agenda.

"The White House is providing zero leadership. Zero. If anything, they're making things more difficult and that's not going to change," said former Rep. Jim Walsh (R-N.Y.), a longtime member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

In January, Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) laid out a 200-day agenda at the joint Senate-House retreat in Philadelphia that projected House passage of ObamaCare repeal in March, a budget for fiscal year 2018 in April, tax reform by the August recess and reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program in July.

Fast forward to July 31, and all of those priorities are in limbo.

"This is clearly a disappointing moment," McConnell said on the Senate floor moments after Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) cast the decisive vote to kill the measure.

The Senate will remain in Washington for two more weeks. The House has already left for August and will not return until after Labor Day.

Observers suggest there is blame to go around, but much is directed at the White House.

Lawmakers and strategists say Trump's bullying style has not helped advance his ambitious agenda but instead has proved at times counterproductive.

"Trump's hard-nosed style does not play well on Capitol Hill," said Darrell West, director of governance studies at the Brookings Institution.

"He insults people and threatens senators and that's not the way to generate good will."

Threats to Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke did not change her vote against the healthcare measure.

And it was lost on no one that McCain cast the decisive vote.

One of Trump's first shocking moments in his rise to the GOP nomination was his statement at a 2015 political event in Iowa mocking McCain's time as a prisoner of war. Trump said he liked people "who weren't captured."

"The idea that Donald Trump is going to have an impact on John McCain is laughable. He said McCain was a loser for getting caught and spending 6 years in a POW camp. That kind of behavior has consequences," said a strategist close to the GOP leadership in Congress.

The strategist said the party's sense of teamwork was also hurt by the outbreak of fighting within Trump's inner circle of advisers.

Those internal tensions burst out into the public when the newly appointed White House communications director blasted senior members of Trump's team, strategist Stephen Bannon and former chief of staff Reince Priebus, in a profanity-laced interview with a reporter for The New Yorker magazine.

"When the president was engaged the week before, we got the motion to proceed," said the strategist, referring to the successful vote Tuesday to begin debate on the healthcare bill.

As cable news programs switched their attention to the internal White House fireworks and away from the heathcare bill, focus slipped within the Senate GOP conference as well.

"If there's open warfare between senior advisors, that hurts the ability to motivate people," said the strategist. "It's simply impossible for a majority party in Congress to function and deliver effectively without a strong leader at the top."

Divisions within the White House has made it tougher for party leaders to unite the factions in the Republicans' Senate and House conferences.

The healthcare bill died because of a relentless tug of war between moderates and conservatives in the Senate - an ideological divide that almost killed it in the House.

Another Republican strategist, Chip Saltsman, said drawing lots of media attention is not the same thing as showing political leadership.

"Being on TV doesn't mean you're a leader. Lots of times leaders take a behind-the-scenes role and get things done more effectively the more quiet they are," he said.

He noted Trump hasn't demonstrated a lot of steady, quiet work behind the scenes to get things done.

"If that's happened, we haven't seen it," he chuckled.

Another GOP strategist, Brian Darling, who previously served as a senior aide to Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), says congressional leaders should have taken more advantage of party unity immediately after Trump's upset victory over Hillary Clinton in November.

"The leadership dropped the ball. The fact that the leadership took so long to roll this bill out on the Senate floor with no real game plan to get anything passed, that was legislative malpractice," he said.

Some Republican lawmakers have criticized the president in private for not holding a prime-time television address to make an argument to the nation why Congress should pass the healthcare reform initiative it had labored over for months.

Trump did not travel the country holding rallies to promote his party's ambitious healthcare reform legislation as former President Barack Obama did in 2009, when Democrats were negotiating the Affordable Care Act.

The next major item on the agenda, tax reform, could prove as difficult as repealing and replacing ObamaCare.

There's already staunch opposition among Senate Republicans to a core piece of the House tax reform plan: a border-adjustment tax on imports that would offset the cost of cutting corporate and individual tax rates.

Another top priority, a major infrastructure investment proposal, meanwhile, could run into opposition from conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus who are worried about the federal debt, the limit of which needs to be raised by the end of September.

There's a good chance that Congress could come up empty handed on those two goals as well as ObamaCare, leaving them zero for three on their top priorities.

"You have three really polarized, fractionalized groups within the Republican Party in the House," Walsh said, pointing to arch conservatives in the House Freedom Caucus, mainstream conservatives in the Republican Study Committee and moderate members from swing- and Democratic-leaning districts.

"There's no working majority right now, so it's hugely challenging," he added. "With the White House in seeming total disarray, there's a real leadership void."

This report was updated at 7:10 a.m.

Scaramucci out as WH communications director

Scaramucci out as WH communications director
By Jordan Fabian - 07-31-17 14:42 PM EDT

President Trump on Monday removed Anthony Scaramucci as communications director, ending a tumultuous tenure in the West Wing that lasted just 10 days.

The brash former hedge fund manager lost his job on the same day that Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly assumed his new role as Trump's chief of staff.

The White House cast the move as Scaramucci's decision. Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that "he felt it was best to give chief of staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team."

Yet his quick ouster is being seen as a sign that Kelly could have more power in the chief of staff role than his predecessor, Reince Priebus, ever did.

Scaramucci's hiring on July 21 sent shockwaves through a West Wing already wracked by chaos, contributing to the departure of then-chief of staff Priebus and former White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

Priebus and Spicer both vehemently opposed Scaramucci's hire, and Spicer resigned on the day he joined the staff.

In the aftermath, Scaramucci focused his ire on Priebus, accusing of him of leaking to the press in a profane rant published in The New Yorker that took aim at several other members of Trump's senior staff.

Trump allies have expressed hope the arrival of Kelly, a retired Marine general, will help bring discipline to an unruly White House that has been wracked by infighting and leaks.

Scaramucci seemed to be an obstacle to that goal. He frequently boasted he reported directly to the president and not the chief of staff.

Before his exit, one Trump associate said Kelly's biggest challenge in imposing order would be finding a way to deal with Scaramucci.

"[The] key to success will be laying down discipline and explaining to Anthony that the rules have changed," the associate said.

Scaramucci's official start date was Aug. 15, but he was already carrying out the duties of the job, attending meetings in the White House and acting as a surrogate for Trump on television.

It's not clear if Scaramucci will take another role in the Trump administration or leave it entirely. The former Wall Street financier worked as the chief strategy officer at the Export-Import Bank before being brought on as communications director.

The New York Times first reported the news of Scaramucci's removal.

This story was updated at 3:30 p.m.

Why Single-Payer Will Only Make Health Care More Expensive

Why do single-payer health care supporters treat it like an unassailable good? Even if you can point to a place like Denmark, with 5 million people and little ethnic diversity, why do people think we can transport that into a country of 330 million ethnically diverse individuals with the same results? After all, we couldn’t even get Americans to buy into the infinitely easier metric system, but they are going to enjoy higher taxes to pay for rationed health care?

I’m not here to bash single-payer because it’s European. I’m also not a fan of socialism in principle, but if there is a way to provide better care at a cheaper price, then I’d be all for it, even if that would make me an awful libertarian. But the arguments I hear for single-payer nationwide are full of ridiculous extrapolations, economically illiterate assumptions, and pie in the sky dreams of willing, abundant, qualified providers to treat these hundreds of millions of patients. I’m willing to listen, but the arguments need to be better.

recently debated a very accomplished doctor and single-payer supporter. Single-payer is more efficient because it doesn’t have to take into account profits, she said. It reduces administrative costs, there’s less waste, fraud, and abuse, and therefore even conservatives would be stupid not to jump on this opportunity.

Again, if this were true, then of course we should do it. After all, if I can get anything with the same levels of access at the same quality for a lower price, even Ronald Reagan would be jumping on the single-payer bandwagon. But what was proposed sounded a lot like what President Obama stated before the Affordable Care Act went into law about keeping your doctor, insurance plan, and saving money. None of it was true with the ACA, and none would be true with single-payer.

Single-Payer Would Reduce Provider Compensation

To truly save money with single-payer, we’d need to pay providers much less. With the huge costs in becoming a doctor, there needs to be a large potential salary to cover those costs. My discussion partner said if we eliminated the huge costs of going to medical school, doctors would then be happy to take smaller salaries, since they could still net higher without loans. Without getting into what subsidizing undergraduate education has done to education costs into this country, she ignores another important part about training to be a doctor that cannot be subsidized away: time.

People who train to be doctors are smart and therefore can usually earn a lot of money in a lot of professions. Every single one of those professions requires less time to be able to start earning a living than becoming a doctor. Even without the financial cost of becoming a doctor, the huge opportunity cost of going to medical school, residency, etc. would leave you way behind in earnings compared to going into other professions.

Now imagine taking away some of the top-end salaries one can strive for and suddenly going into the medical profession would be a way to spend a lot of time in school for a very high-stress job earning a modest salary. While some would endeavor to do so for noble reasons, many others, especially at the top of their class, would instead seek careers in engineering, finance, technology, and other areas that can earn them either more lucrative salaries or commensurate salaries with less training or better working conditions. Not only would this result in fewer doctors, it would result in especially fewer highly intelligent and capable doctors.

Those who pursue medical training will also be more likely to pursue areas that aren’t covered by single-payer, such as dentistry, plastic surgery, and the like, where people cash pay and one’s income isn’t limited by statute. My opponent asserted that fewer specialists is a desirable thing and, since they aren’t making as much money, they will be much happier.

Hammering Insurance Company Profits

So if paying doctors less is not an option, and the argument holds for nurses and nurse practitioners, we can still take money from those evil insurance companies to save money through single-payer, right? Well, maybe, but to what extent? My sparring partner used figures from Bernie Sanders’ single-payer plan, which is estimated to cost taxpayers $32 trillion over a decade. She assured me this was a relative bargain compared to the $49 trillion we are estimated to otherwise spend on health expenses over this time period.

This immediately got my math nerd hat on. According to her, we’d save $17 trillion over ten years, or $1.7 trillion a year, simply by eliminating evil insurance companies, which would obviously be great if true. So let’s go with this argument and ignore that the $49 trillion includes all health costs, including things that wouldn’t be covered in single-payer such as plastic surgery, Lasik, cosmetic dentistry—things that, while not medically necessary, are a fairly large component of health spending. (Ironically, by being freed from third-payer pricing opacity and having to compete on price because they aren’t covered by insurance or government programs, such treatments have become magnitudes cheaper over the last decade).

According to this Weekly Standardarticle, health insurance profits have doubled from 2008 through 2015. So how much are those greedy monsters now making in aggregate profit? $15 billion. Now that may be $15 billion too high in your eyes, but is it really that lucrative? After all, this article that blasts insurance companies for skyrocketing profits (yet only cites their revenues and never their actual margins) has Aetna and United Healthcare making an estimated $250 billion in revenue in 2015. A $15 billion margin on that number is a 6 percent margin, which is good but not going to have people fighting to buy your stock. And, of course, those two aren’t the entire insurance market, meaning the total revenue for the industry is closer to $400-$500 billion, or a very modest 3 to 4 percent profit margin.

Reducing Administrative Costs

So not only are insurance companies, even under the ACA windfall, not making staggering margins but their aggregate profits are less than 1 percent of the estimated savings from switching to single-payer. Where does the rest come from? Reduced administrative costs is an answer I frequently hear and, yes, collections would be reduced if they can just take it out of your paycheck through the IRS. And if there were no competition then other expenses like marketing could be eliminated. Talent could be consolidated to reduce some redundancy.

But $1.5 trillion? Well, if these companies are making obscene profits, they’d need more revenue than they are spending. And if they are making, at peak, about $500 billion, with a 3 percent margin, that means their expenses are about $485 billion. Even with obscene CEO salaries, marketing departments, billing and collections departments, and the like eliminated, you probably aren’t going to eliminate even $100 billion in expenses, let alone all $485 billion, let alone the $1.5 trillion we can supposedly save.

Waste, Fraud, and Abuse

So where else must those savings come from? The good old waste, fraud, and abuse category. Are government health organizations really the vehicle to stamp down waste, fraud, and abuse? After all, Medicaid pays out around 10 percent of its payments in waste, fraud, and abuse. So, somehow a government organization with no competitive incentive to save money that already allows a huge amount of waste in a program that covers about one-quarter of the country is somehow going to manage to cut waste, fraud, and abuse, not as a percent of payments but in the aggregate, when they have to manage four times the consumers? Somehow, I am a bit skeptical.

So, can single-payer save us money? Sure. And going to free clinics for all your health care will save you money, going to food banks for all your grocery needs will save you money, and living in Section 8 housing will save you money. But most people, including those who would certainly benefit economically, do not use these services. Why? Because quality is not there. Choice is not there. Convenience is not there. This is the level of all of these that cost-effective single-payer would give us.

If your child has a cold and a basic antibiotic will do, then single-payer could save you money (unless you inevitably have to wait at the doctor longer and miss more work, which may reduce or even eliminate the economic benefits). But if you have something more advanced and need to go beyond a general practitioner, then hope you survive your lengthy wait for an appointment. Specialists will be in short supply, necessarily, as my debate opponent suggested.

As states like California, New York, and Vermont have found out when they’ve journeyed down that road, high-quality single-payer is bankruptcy expensive.

New, improved, and experimental devices and treatments, developed largely by U.S. companies for the large and lucrative U.S. market, will dry up due to a lack of potential profits for developing such technologies, leading us to make do with mostly the options we have. And if you think at least you are sticking it to those evil wealthy, who now lose their medical advantages, think again. That same wealth that gives them access to the best doctors and treatments in this country will allow them to simply head to one of the multitude of other countries that will be happy to have their patronage and money.

As I wrote in another article, health care, like any other product or service, can be cheap, abundant, or high quality. It can even be two of those things. But it can never be all three. That’s also true of single-payer health care. As states like California, New York, and Vermont have found out when they’ve journeyed down that road, high-quality single-payer is bankruptcy expensive. So there is little reason to believe similar quality single-payer health care would be cheaper when trying to deliver it to a larger populace.

If we did want to save money on it, it would hardly be the utopia proponents are selling. I’m happy to look for a better way to deliver or pay for U.S. health care. But stop trying to convince me I can get great, readily available care in this country and save money. It isn’t true in any other product or service run in competitive markets by people trying to make money. It surely won’t work in a government monopoly. And it just makes those advocating for single-payer look ideological, dishonest, and poorly thought out.

Read More Here

Trump Touts "Highest Stock Market Ever", Slams Congress' Exemption From 'Disastrous' ObamaCare

President Trump is active this morning. His first tweet of the week was a shot across the bow of Congress (who exempted themselves from Obamacare because it was such a disaster) and suggesting - shockingly to many in DC - that insurance companies may face some pain...

But then, having discussed the "bad", he pivoted to what he sees as "the good" - the stock market, unemployment, and wages - proclaiming there is "No White House Chaos"...

            Which, as we detailed previously,             could be a big mistake...

The president wants people to think that he is the reason for the stock market bubble.

This is a big mistake.

The Fed is the premier member of the so-called "Deep State". In fact, without The Fed, there would hardly be a "Deep State" to speak of.

The Fed sits at the top of the Deep State. They have the ultimate power (that no human beings should ever have) to create new money out-of-thin-air.

In case Trump hasn't figured it out yet, the Deep State does not like him.

Should a major decline in the stock market occur during Trump's Administration, guess who will take the blame?

President Trump.

After all, he took ownership of the bubble!

Should the market tumble, the mainstream media (that also despises Trump) will have plenty of his quotes, YouTubes, and Tweets to use against him.

The economic woes will be pinned on Trump.

Will Trump deserve the blame? No, but it'll be too late.

?This is not to say that a major decline will occur during Trump's tenure. Bubbles can take on a life of their own, and this one may last during Trump's full term.

But that's a risky gamble to make.

This bubble is going on almost 10 years now without a serious decline.

Should we see a major selloff, Trump has very few friends in the major power centers that will come to his aid.

As Peter Schiff points out in this fantastic clip below: The Fed now has their fall guy:

Read More Here

"Here’s What It Might Look Like If The US Shot Down A North Korean Missile [VIDEO]"

A Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptor is launched from the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska during Flight Test THAAD (FTT)-18 in Kodiak, Alaska, U.S., July 11, 2017. During the test, the THAAD weapon system successfully intercepted an air-launched intermediate-range ballistic missile (IRBM) target. Leah Garton/Missile Defense Agency/Handout via REUTERS
Here’s What It Might Look Like If The US Shot Down A North Korean Missile [VIDEO]
By Ryan Pickrell
30 Jul 2017, 04:56 PM

The Department of Defense has released video footage of Sunday’s test of a U.S. missile defense system.

The U.S. militaryconducteda test of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missile system Sunday. A THAAD battery located at the Pacific Spaceport Complex Alaska in Kodiak, Alaska, detected, tracked, and intercepted a medium-range ballistic missile air-launched from a U.S. Air Force C-17 over the Pacific Ocean. Sunday’s test was the second successful testof the THAAD anti-missile system this month.

The U.S. began deploying THAAD in South Korea in March after North Korea launched a salvo of Scud missiles into the East Sea/Sea of Japan. The new South Korean government, after a period of initial hesitation and concern, is requesting additional THAAD batteries as the threat from its nuclear neighbor grows.

The THAAD system in South Korea is operational and has achieved initial intercept capability.


THAAD is not designed to intercept intercontinental ballistic missiles, like the one North Korea tested for the second time Friday, but it is an excellent defensive tool when it comes to short-, medium-, and intermediate-range ballistic missiles. In recent months, the North has successfully tested a precision Scud, the Pukguksong-2 (KN-15) MRBM, and the Hwasong-12 IRBM, all of which are new weapons systems rolled out this year. North Korea can use these missiles against its neighbors, specifically South Korea and Japan.

Japan has also expressed an interest in the THAAD anti-missile system, which has a perfect test record but has never been tested in actual combat.

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Trump and Big-Government Paternalism

Sunday, July 30, 2017

North Koreans Claim They Can Hit US Mainland With a Nuclear Missile

Jennifer Van Laar 

After North Korea's latest successful missile test Friday, Kim Jong Un is claiming that the entire US mainland is within range of NK's missiles, and that he can fire "at random regions and locations at random times."

The Hwasong-14 missile traveled 620 miles and reached a top height of 2,314 miles before landing in water off Japan's coast, the state-run Korean Central News Agency said, adding that it is capable of delivering a "large-sized, heavy nuclear warhead."

NORAD said the missile did not pose a threat to the US mainland, but analysts studying the missile flight data said they believe large portions of the US are within range of the missile, if fired at a lower trajectory.

The nonprofit Union of Concerned Scientists said that if the missile fired Friday reached the height and flight time that is estimated, it could have a theoretical range of at least 6,500 miles, meaning that depending on the size and weight of the warhead it could reach cities such as Los Angeles, Denver or Chicago.

Writing at The Daily Beast, Jeffrey Lewis noted that North Korea noticed the reaction in the US after the July 7 missile test, when their preparations for launch were noticed more than an hour ahead of time and resulted in "chest thumping" in the US, and did something different this time:

They tested from a surprise location deep inside North Korea, near the Chinese border where it would be hard to strike. And they did it at night when satellites that rely on optical images are useless. (That’s not every satellite, but it is a good number of them.) This looks like a test from an operational missile base. You know that Washington Post report that the missile will “will have advanced from prototype to assembly line” sometime in 2018? Surprise!

Lewis argues that this incident, which revealed at least one secret missile base, means that North Korea probably has more than one secret base with an unknown number of missiles, and that the time to have "pre-empted" North Korea has passed.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

The Market Has Spoken — Will the NFL Listen?

San Francisco 49ers quarterbacks Colin Kaepernick, left, and Blaine Gabbert stand on the sideline during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the Green Bay Packers on Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. Green Bay won 21-10.

The National Football League’s TV ratings dropped by 8 percent last season compared to the year before. Now a poll by J.D. Power reveals the top reason -- though it comes as no surprise. Fans are fed up with players’ behavior, on the field and off. The main issue was players’ protests against the National Anthem.

ESPN reported this week on a survey asking more than 9,200 sports fans whether they had watched fewer football games last season, and the reason.  Of those who said yes, 26 percent said it was because of players’ refusal to stand up for the National Anthem.

Close behind that, at 24 percent, was players’ violence off the field, including domestic violence. Also coming in at 24 percent was fans’ dislike of long game delays, including delays for penalties. Presidential campaign coverage also competed with viewers’ football watching time, according to J.D. Power.

Colin Kaepernick Leads the Protest, Loses Work

San Francisco Forty-Niners quarterback Colin Kaepernick led the small movement among players to kneel rather than stand during the playing of the National Anthem. The Forty-Niners restructured his contract in the middle of the season, and he opted out when the season ended. He’s promised to stand during the National Anthem next year, but he remains a free agent, not having been picked up by another team.

 An anonymous NFL executive offered a different explanation, telling Fox News that  “70 percent of teams ‘genuinely hate him, and can’t stand what he did,’ referring to his season-long national anthem protest.” 

 Some observers had dismissed fans’ dislike for Kaepernick’s other’s protests as “racism,” but the facts say otherwise. The current J.D. Power poll, covering a very large sample, echoes and reinforces findings from smallersurveys taken during last year’s football season. 

Astonishingly, the NFL stood by and allowed players to disrespect our flag and our country without penalty. Will they do so during the coming season? If they do, they can expect fan interest -- and team revenues -- to continue to drop. The market has spoken. Will the NFL listen?

Read More Here

"Australia’s Halal Chief Says White Women Need To Be Fertilized By Muslim Men"

A Middle Eastern woman wears a traditional Muslim niqab. Source: Billion Phots/Shutterstock
Australia’s Halal Chief Says White Women Need To Be Fertilized By Muslim Men
By Ian MIles Cheong
28 Jul 2017, 06:16 PM

Mohamed Elmouelhy, the head of Australia’s Halal Certification Authority, publicly commented on Facebook to state that white Australian women need Muslim men to fertilize them and “keep them surrounded by Muslim babies.”

Elmouelhy’s intolerant views led him to declare that the “white race will be extinct” in 40 years.

The certification chief, who immigrated to Australia in 1975 and became a citizen in 1981, made his comments in response to a study in Human Reproduction Update from Israeli researchers in Hebrew University, which revealed declining fertility rates among men in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

Based on 43,000 men, the scientists found that a high proportion of men in Western countries had sperm counts below the threshold for infertility.

“According to the Hebrew University, Australian men sperm count has declined by 52 per cent over the last 40 years so your men are a dying breed, Australian women need us to fertilise them and keep them surrounded by Muslim babies while beer swilling, cigarette smoking, drug injecting can only dream of what Muslim men are capable of,” wrote Elmouelhy in a comment on Facebook that wasfirst reported by the Daily Mail.

“If the country is left to the bigots the white race will be extinct in another 40 years,” he continued. “Muslims have a duty to make your women happy because you are declining, better go chose a plot for yourself at your local cemetery. If you can’t afford it, commit suicide it is a cheaper alternative for bigots.”

“It will [sic] mandatory for all women to wear hijab or burka if they prefer, bikinis will be displayed in Museums but not on nubile bodies anymore,” he continued. “When that happens everything in Australia will be Halal certified. Bigots and pigs will be declared Haram and must not be approached or touched, they can live together in reserves. There will be a Halal butcher on every corner, all other butchers will be offered to convert to Halal or given a passage back to where their ancestors came from.”

Elmouelhy’s diatribe also included scathing remarks towards Australian politicians and called for the creation of “religious police” who “will make sure all businesses are closed at the time of prayers.”

When questioned by, Elmouelhy backpedaled on his comments to state that he created the post to “stir the bigots.” He has since deleted his inflammatory remarks following a backlash, and complained about “bigots” who are now “using all manner of expletives and attacks possible including promises of physical attacks etc.”

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter.