Just Listening To Barack Obama Talk About The 2020 Election Is Soothing AF

The voice of leadership we all need right now.

Barack Obama has stayed relatively silent on all things politics ever since he left the White House, preferring to talk about things like why Fleabag is his favourite show. But with the 2020 U.S. election carrying so much on the line, the former president has dusted off his much-missed “leader Barack Obama” persona and endorsed his former vice-president, Joe Biden, for victory while simultaneously criticising Trump and reassuring us all that everything will be okay.

Speaking of Trump, the GOAT team talk about Combover Caligula’s poor bowels on ‘It’s Been A Big Day For…’ below:

In a 12-minute video, Obama kicked things off by sharing some heartfelt thoughts about the coronavirus pandemic that the U.S. has been sorely lacking in 2020.

After thanking all the medical workers doing their best during such trying times, Obama then endorsed Joe Biden for the next U.S. president with a glowing appraisal of why he’s the right man to lead the way.

Somewhat surprisingly, Obama then went on to praise Biden’s main challenger, Bernie Sanders, and all the other Democratic challengers before remarkably telling Biden that he must go further than he did back in 2008 and 2012 when it comes to policies and shaping the future of America, saying that the platform he ran as president back in 2008 would be outdated in 2020.

If anything, this felt less about Barack Obama endorsing Joe Biden for the 2020 election and more about a message of unity during these trying times.

But the juicest part of Obama’s Joe Biden endorsement video isn’t the praise he lavished on his former VP and the Democratic party. No, that would be Obama subtly-but-not-too-subtly criticising Trump and the Republican party, both of whom have been at the helm of America these past few years and are responsible for nearly every fustercluck that’s happened in the country.

While Obama doesn’t reference Trump by name, it’s pretty obvious who he is talking about when the much-loved former president says things like “I know he’ll surround himself with good people, experts, scientists, military officials, who actually know how to run the government, and actually care about running the government.”

Perhaps the hardest-hitting part of Obama’s criticism of Trump and the Republicans in power was him basically calling them out for being selfish, greedy arseholes.

“Because one thing everybody has learned by now is that the Republicans occupying the White House and running the U.S. Senate are not interested in progress. They’re interested in power. They’ve shown themselves willing to kick millions off their health insurance and eliminate preexisting condition protections for millions more, even in the middle of this public health crisis, even as they’re willing to spend a trillion dollars on tax cuts for the wealthy.

“They’ve given polluters unlimited power to poison our air and our water and denied the science of climate change just as they denied the science of pandemics. Repeatedly, they’ve disregarded American principles of rule of law and voting rights and transparency—basic norms that previous administrations observed regardless of party. Principles that are the bedrock of our democracy.”

Given all the turmoil that we’ve gone through over the last few years, especially in America with the Trump tsunami, it’s really nice to hear a respected leader like Barack Obama speaking eloquently, with empathy, and with a clear message.

At the very least, it was just comforting to hear Obama giving everyone a much-needed speech about unity and letting everyone know how we’ll emerge through these tough times stronger than before.

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Pope Francis' And The Premier's Tweets About George Pell Are World's Apart

Very different reactions to George Pell walking free from prison.

It goes without saying that the High Court of Australia’s decision to overturn Cardinal George Pell’s convictions was met with quite the divisive response, but the one that really kicked the hornet’s nest was none other than Pope Francis’ tweet about the case.

Following the High Court’s overturning of George Pell’s convictions and the decision to let the Cardinal walk free from prison, Pope Francis sent out a tweet implicitly comparing what Pell went through to what “Jesus underwent” during Lent.

Needless to say that Pope Francis’ tweet about George Pell copped a heap of backlash from Twitter users, who weren’t shy in letting him know what they thought of his reaction to the High Court’s decision to let Pell walk free.

George Pell also issued out his own statement on the High Court’s decision, which you can read here.

While Pope Francis was comparing George Pell to Jesus on Twitter, responses from the other end of the spectrum came from the likes of Victoria Premier Dan Andrews and Julia Gillard, both of whom shared tweets that were world’s apart from what the Pope had to offer.

Dan Andrews stated that he had no comment on the High Court’s decision on the George Pell case and instead focused on “every single victim and survivor of child sex abuse” by writing “I see you. I hear you. I believe you.”

Julia Gillard likewise also didn’t have any comment on the High Court’s judgement on the George Pell case and she too opted to share an empathetic message to all the survivors and victims of child sex abuse, highlighting how much of an impact the case would’ve had on people’s mental health and urging people to see help and support through organisations such as Beyond Blue and Lifeline.

But perhaps the most important statement to come out of this entire George Pell saga is the one given by Witness J, the man who testified against the Cardinal in court.

Writing that they “respect the decision of the High Court” and “accept the outcome,” Witness J states that he why “criminal cases must be proven beyond all reasonable doubt” before pointing our “the price we pay for weighting the system in favour of the accused is that many sexual offences against children go unpunished.”

After urging survivors to continue coming forward despite the George Pell verdict, Witness J courageously states that “This case does not define me” before adding “I am not the abuse I suffered as a child. I am a man who came forward for my friend who is, sadly, no longer with us.”

That was a powerful statement from Witness J, who mustered up tremendous courage to come forward to testify against George Pell, and the amount of graciousness they showed in the face of the High Court’s decision is admirable.

Beyond Witness J’s statement, it is clear from the reactions of Pope Francis, George Pell, Dan Andrews, and Julia Gillard that the church’s opinion on the High Court’s decision is world’s apart from what the public think.

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New Zealand Is Beating Us At Lockdown, And They May Just Eliminate COVID-19

*furiously takes notes*

It probably goes without saying that Australia’s response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has been a bit of a mixed bag. Despite (finally) instigating strict lockdown rules, there have been a few dodgy moments like the Ruby Princess fiasco. Perhaps we should take notes from New Zealand because not only has Jacinda Ardern shown the leadership we need during these tough times, our neighbours are actually showing the world how it is down when it comes to lockdown and flattening the curve.

The Washington Post took a deep dive into why New Zealand’s response to COVID-19 was so effective compared to Australia’s and whatever sh*tshow is going in the U.S. and it can be pinpointed to two things: Jacinda Ardern’s impeccable leadership skills and New Zealand not half-arsing it when it came to lockdowns.

While most countries opted to go for the “containment” option and gradually ramping up its lockdown rules over time in hopes that this will slowly flatten the curve, New Zealand basically said “nah, f*** this” and went straight to the “elimination” option by quickly implementing super-strict level 4 lockdown rules and shutting its borders to foreigners on March 19.

It may have sounded like an overreaction at the time but it’s clearly working as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases are falling in New Zealand each day and the majority of cases can be linked to international travellers, making contact tracing easier.

In fact, the number of recovered people exceeded new cases on April 6, making it the first time that’s happened since the country hunkered down.

New Zealand also benefited from some great leadership that’s helped guide them through this tough situation as Jacinda Ardern has been absolutely nailing it.

From giving out succinct statements and instructions to New Zealanders on a consistent basis to easing people’s worries through regular informal Q&As on Facebook, Jacinda has been the calming voice people look forward to hearing. It’s not often you see a world leader give a press conference specifically aimed at kids but it worked a treat.

It’s not just showing empathy and reassurance to New Zealanders either as Jacinda has had to put her foot down when someone was being a dumbass, like when her Health Minister, David Clark, got demoted for breaking the country’s strict lockdown rules and was only spared from getting sacked because it would’ve caused a “massive disruption.”

In short, Jacinda Ardern has been stepping it up big time on all fronts.

All in all, these efforts have paid off big time as not only are COVID-19 cases decreasing in New Zealand but the country’s measures have flattened the curve so much that the virus is on its way to being eliminated altogether.

It’ll be a new challenge to keep things COVID-19 free when the day comes, but based on what we’ve seen from Jacinda Ardern so far, New Zealand have got this.

The world better be taking notes because the Kiwis are showing us all how it’s done.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

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