Friday! And it’s the first #5and5 for 2017!! Popcorn, anyone???

Just in case anyone is/was ‘bemused’, moi did not put paw to keyboard. Moi only cut-and-pasted Tony Burke’s admirable summary. To make its provenance abundantly clear …


Until this week you could say that Malcolm Turnbull may have adopted all of Tony Abbott’s policies, but at least he had made the policy debate less angry and over the top. Can’t say that now. This was the week Malcolm Turnbull finally went full Abbott. The transformation is complete.

1. The first sitting week of the year only really started when Cory Bernardi stood up to announce his departure from the Liberal Party, surprising no one. Penny Wong had a parting compliment for Cory Bernardi, surprising everyone.

“Now, there are very few issues, in fact there are almost no issues upon which I agree with Senator Bernardi. But I do respect one thing – he does stand up for what he believes in and he is clearly no longer prepared to stomach the rank hypocrisy of a leader who clings to office by parroting views in which he does not believe.”

Watching the drama unfold with his digital popcorn, Sam Dastyari made a great observation.

“You have Senator Bernardi who is quitting a party that he runs! Who leaves a party that does whatever you want them to do?”


Credit: Nick Haggarty

2. There’s a lot that can be said about Malcolm Turnbull’s weird and angry 10 minute rant about how obsessed he is with Bill Shorten. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a firm believer that people should be defiant and passionate in defending their beliefs. I just wish we had a PM who could have that sort of passion to deliver for the rest of Australia, not one who reserves his most passionate speech to tell us how much he hates his opponent.

On Thursday, it was still a few minutes before Question Time was due to start and Malcolm Turnbull was already in the Parliament when Rob Mitchell stood up and said this:


“Yesterday we saw one of the nastiest speeches by the Prime Minister since the election night dummy spit. The second he was questioned about his attacks on families, he spat the silver spoon across the dispatch box. The Leader of the Opposition had the figures; the PM had the tantrum.”


Only a few minutes earlier Labor MP Joanne Ryan drew attention to the PM’s disgust at people he termed “social climbers” and asked:


“Who put the cordial in the PM’s Grange?”


Joanne also said the speech “will forever be known as Prime Minister Turnbull’s ‘know your place’ speech.”

Because Malcolm Turnbull had his tantrum, a lot of people seem to have missed what we were debating. It was a motion moved by Bill Shorten which opposed the Government’s cuts to families, criticised the debacle of telling pensioners they had Centrelink debts when they owed nothing, and pointed out that the best way for the Government to save money would be to abandon its $50 billion handout to the biggest companies. Bill moved to condemn the Prime Minister for being “so out of touch that his hopelessly divided Government punishes families, pensioners, carers and new mums while giving a $50 billion handout to big businesses.” Bill was on 7.30 with Leigh Sales that night, and had this to say.

And Jenny Macklin, always standing up for families and pensioners, rose to her feet to bring a distracted LNP back to the question.

3. Social Services Minister Christian Porter must wish people would stop listening when he talks. In Parliament, trying to justify his cuts to family payments he said:


“We invest all of the money we’re saving in the Family Tax Benefit system.”


This is wrong and Jenny Macklin was quick to let him know:

“Under the government’s policy it’s cutting $2.7 billion in family payments and only spending $1.6 billion on its child care policy. Is the Minister aware he was misleading the Australian people, or is he just plain incompetent?”

Mr Porter embarrassingly conceded that:

“I should have said almost all, that is true, that is true.”


Hang on. Almost all? There’s a gap of more than $1 billion. It seems Christian Porter thinks that’s just a rounding error.

4. Western Australia heads to the polls on 11 March. Labor’s WA MPs used the first Matter of Public Importance debate of the year to draw attention to the Barnett Liberal Government’s chaos and dysfunction, which mirrors the state of the Federal Liberal Government. Colin Barnett and the Liberal Government have grown arrogant and out of touch, creating record levels of debt and deficit without delivering the jobs and services and infrastructure WA needs. But WA Labor Leader Mark McGowan has new ideas and a comprehensive plan for WA jobs.

5. Tanya Plibersek has been tireless in her efforts to hold the Government accountable for its $30 billion cuts to schools, right when we’re seeing $50 billion going to the Government’s big business buddies. Economists are telling us in no uncertain terms that investing in education gives better returns. Bringing it back to the street level, Tanya drove home the sabotage of school education:

“If you walked down any street in any electorate in this country and you stopped a random stranger and said, ‘Here’s $2,000. You can invest it here, giving the banks a tax cut, or you can invest it here in your local school,’ what would parents say? This is not a mystery.”


1. A short memory is a dangerous thing in politics. On Wednesday, Josh Frydenberg thought he was having a go at Labor by quoting comments from Penny Wong in 2009. There were two problems with this. One: Frydenberg had forgotten that 2009 was the year Malcolm Turnbull had supported Labor’s policy on emissions trading. Two: Everyone else in the room remembered. You could watch the energy draining from his face as the gaffe dawned on him and he quickly found a way to finish his answer and get well away from the microphone.

2. Labor has a plan to level the playing field by reforming negative gearing concessions. This week, the Libs scare campaign around housing prices has changed direction once more. No, twice more. Kelly O’Dwyer says house prices will go up, Malcolm Turnbull says house prices will go down, and on Wednesday Scott Morrison says they’ll go up again. It’s enough to give you whiplash. It’s hard to keep up to date with these videos. I put this one up on Wednesday and then on Thursday George Brandis changed their scare campaign again. Admittedly it doesn’t matter whether or not Brandis is trying to run a fear campaign, there’s something intrinsically scary about that man.

3. The Government had delusions of power all week. Mark Butler called out Josh Frydenberg for trying to blame renewable energy for the blackout in parts of Adelaide. Mark had the statement from the Pelican Point generator, which had been ready to supply the power required to avoid overload, and the federal regulator, which reports to Frydenberg, had refused to tell the generator to turn the power on. Tanya, Chris and Mark showed Frydenberg how to flick a switch from off to on.

4. And apparently yesterday was the day we were meant to bring our Christmas presents to Parliament. Scott Morrison arrived with a lump of coal. We must be the only country in the world with a government saying the solution to extreme heat and climate change is fewer renewables and more coal.

Spot the inanimate object.

5. The Government’s Centrelink debacle has many victims. Pensioners and other Centrelink recipients have been sent debt notices and had pensions cut off, even though they owed no money. The Government itself has confirmed a 40% failure rate of those cases that have been publicly raised.

Linda Burney stood up for the victims in Parliament and said:

“In the eyes of those opposite, we are all either ‘lifters’ or ‘leaners’, and anyone who has received a Centrelink payment in the last six years is a leaner. Age pensioners are not leaners. Those caring for relatives are not leaners. Former students who received Austudy are not leaners. Those with disability who receive the DSP are not leaners. That is callous, it is a massive failure and it speaks to the complete lack of empathy on the minister’s part.”


So the fight to stand up for the people who need us most for 2017 is well and truly underway. You can be guaranteed we will be fighting passionately for families, pensioners, education, Medicare and an inclusive Australia. You can also be guaranteed Malcolm Turnbull will be fighting passionately for Malcolm Turnbull and half his party will be fighting passionately against Malcolm Turnbull.

How many friends do we have in our classroom today?

We’re back in Canberra Monday so I’ll give you another update in a week.


PS – Turnbull’s only passion is for power. Here’s the song of the week.

Midnight Oil – Power and the Passion

226 thoughts on “Friday! And it’s the first #5and5 for 2017!! Popcorn, anyone???

  1. OK I’m going to feed the dogs now and set off for the 1 km walk to the pub in the stifling heat. Should have built up a good thirst by the time I get there.

  2. It seems like Ross Cameron is employing the Conway defense against his vile spray against homosexuality and using “alternative facts” to pretend that what he said was very “pro-gay”.

    If Sky had any integrity they’d throw him out on his arse, but oh I don’t know, there’s so much “silent majority” out there that want to still know that it’s okay to hate on people different to themselves, it must be such a dilemma for them.

  3. Michael Gordon, in writing a column today is actually mildly critical of Turnbull for his dummy spit a couple of days ago And then he went and spoiled it with this:

    But there were hints this week that his run of appalling luck might be coming to an end, with the South Australian blackouts helping him reframe the climate change debate as an energy security and cost of living issue, although this blame game is more complex than most.

    That’s it. That’s how the CPG sees the issue of Climate Change: a chance for them to spout their savvy on what plays and what doesn’t.

    It doesn’t matter whether Turnbull was right or wrong.All that matters is that he got a chance to “reframe” the issue.

    But what ABOUT the bloody issue?

    IS it true that a blackout in South Australia was caused by an over-dependence on wind farms?

    IS it true that Turnbull succeeded in “reframing” the issue?

    IS it the case that all Labor wants to do is cause electricity prices to rise?

    OR might there be some sense in encouraging investment in alternative energy, because, y’know there really IS something to this Climate Change thing, especially in the context of the hottest December,January and now February (plus the whole of the rest of last year) on record?

    Who GIVES a shit? Not the CPOG.

    Michael Gordon, in that bullshit way of his (and of the CPG) only sees the bearpit implications. The argey-bargey, the to-and-fro, with the tantalizing prospect of another round of leadership speculation, so he and his ilk can pontificate and dissect the chicken entrails of who’s up who in the corridors of power some more for us.

    It seems to be all they care about. The issues? Oh… they’re for others to comment on.

    • Whenever you see a journalist talking about a politician “reframing an issue” as if it’s a good thing, you just know they’re blowing it out their arse. “Reframing the issue” is exactly the same as using spin. Any journalist who thinks he or she is taking a serious view of political process ought to know that the framing of a message is a million miles from telling the truth.

      And I would hope that journalism, in principle at least, is a search for truth. If you’re not writing to the facts, then, as has been quoted elsewhere, you’re just doing PR.

  4. You know, even if Turnbull’s speech had been a good one, it wouldn’t have mattered. His party just carried on kicking own goals for the rest of the week, so it’s been eclipsed already.

  5. bb – Casidy on 24 this morning on 24 said it ‘gobsmacked everybody’ … and ‘it changed the media reporting significantly’ … ‘and, I think, it was very successful’ …

    But when asked about the effect on the public Bazza said ‘nothing much gained’.

  6. And now I think of it (sorry, every time I post something I think of something else), the main reason Gillard’s misogyny speech stayed in the news cycle for so long was that after its initial burst of acclaim amongst social networks, political journalists insisted on spending article after article attempting to re-frame it. That brought it to the attention of a lot more people than would have been aware if the press had just left it alone. But nooooooo, they had to be right, and they had to go on telling everyone how right they were. After three or four days they were literally seething that it was getting all this attention, so they just gave it more attention. And it just kept blowing out. Gillard’s speech spoke for itself, so the more people watched it, the more people were impressed by it. Many of them mightn’t have seen it at all if the press gallery hadn’t drawn so much attention by their carping and whining.

    Turnbull’s worked the other way. It’s easy to go dissecting a speech looking for faults. You can nitpick all week if you want to. But when you’re praising it, there’s only so much you can say before you start repeating yourself. Really, Turnbull gave them little to work with in the first place. And the Liberals provide social media with plenty of fresh material to get angry at every day, and most of Twitter has moved on. It’s only a couple of days since the speech, and already the media are trying to pump air into a tyre that’s been slashed to bits.

    • Aguirre,

      There’s no need to apologise. I for one am delighted you are back commenting – the more the better!

  7. Whew, finished the latest leg of the wikipedia election results project, which was the Senate results through the Howard years. Hopefully doing the results for the Hawke/Keating years will be a bit better.

    It’s been a long haul with election results so far but, the main thing is, all results for all lower house elections as early as the 1930’s are up and available, apart from by-elections which are more readily available anyway.

  8. On the power cut issue –

    Re=post from the old thread because these tweets say it all.

    Foley lives in Concord West, in Sydney’s inner west. The power cut there, and several others in Sydney, were due to faults on local networks, not load shedding.

    The NSW government is at fault for failing to maintain the network, but you won’t hear Trumbull saying that.

  9. Some news from Manus Island. What sort of sick individual thinks up this torture?

    Behrouz Boochani
    2 hrs ·
    Immigration had a meeting with asylum seekers from Nepal today and offered them money – ‘if you sign and go back to your country we will pay you $10,000 to 15,000 US. If you don’t sign we will deport you by force.’ Immigration also threatened them, saying that tomorrow, or in the days after tomorrow, we will deport a few more of you and will then have another meeting with you, but our offer will be less than this amount. It’s a terrible pressure that they have processed people in this way, saying you only have two choices – accept to be processed by PNG or go back to your country. Yesterday a lot of people received deportation papers and that has effected people. Last night the people with negative status were scared to sleep because at any moment it was possible that their rooms were attacked and people taken. Immigration will have meetings with other groups of people in the next few days and will probably put the same pressure on them. At the same time our lawyer is in court to stop deportations. The Manus prison is in such a hard situation right now with too much fear and worry. Strange time

  10. It’s really hard to imagine a spud being more charismatic than Dutton, but that picture takes us close to that.

  11. Another windmill the Magnificent Mal can tilt at.

    This time it’s executive salaries,particularly CEOs.

    He will not and cannot do anything at all about this, being a very highly paid CEO type himself, I suppose.

    But presumably the media will fawn and frolic over this latest “reframing” of the debate and tell us that nirvana is at hand.

    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is being urged to consider greater transparency around executive salaries and greater powers for shareholders, after widespread outrage over Australia Post boss Ahmed Fahour’s $5.6 million pay packet.

    Mr Turnbull, a long-time critic of executive remuneration and advocate for increased shareholder powers, used a radio interview on Friday to slam the “cult” of excessive executive salaries, and said “a lot” of chief executives were overpaid.

    It’s a similar thing with his new attack on the Gold Pass. He doesn’t need it and will not take it. Neither do journos get it. It’s a perfect issue to hang his Renaissance Man cap upon and for the CPG to wax on about how much a man of the people he is.

  12. To think that the Duttato is spruiked as the foremost candidate for Liberal Leader by some of the opinionistas. Well, I guess it makes sense since they think Turnbull, Bishop and Morrison are traitors and it’s unlikely that Abbott will get the gig again, so… Dutton? Is that really the best hope for the future of the Liberal party?

    Dutton will probably lose his seat next election, given it’s on a 1.6% margin. Although they’re probably thinking that if he’s leader he’d get some kind of buffer from oblivion. But I doubt it. Dutton is just disgusting and he won’t hold off Labor at the next election I think.

  13. Not sure if this will double post. Been a while since I posted. Certainly not since I’ve read– read regularly. Lake Mac. NSW Thank goodness I’ve turned the a/c on, Brought it down to 30 degrees, Been listening to Sting, Foreigner and Chicago….Gee I’m getting old

  14. And while I’m on a roll and cynical would Fizza have cracked down on salaries if his name was Bill Smith instead of that evil sounding Ahmed Fahour?

  15. John Birmingham on TWTWTW:

    If the Canberra Press Gallery didn’t exist, the government would have to invent them. Otherwise how would we ever remember that Malcolm Turnbull is a tactical genius and not just some rich, blimp-jousting nimrod, crashing and burning one bloated, gas-filled Hindenburg after another.

    Oh the humanity!

    Were it not for the Gallery, after all, we might never have realised that calling a double dissolution election that last time was not a strategic masterstroke. No, left to ourselves, we mere punters with a couple of high school Cit-Ed classes and no acquired brain injuries might have thought, “Oh wait, with the whole Senate being put to the vote, gibbering wankbadgers will need only half the usual numbers from the wankbadger demographic to get up. This new Senate will be wankbadgers all the way down!”

    Thankfully, we had the Gallery to assure us that Turnbull had just pulled off a move worthy of Machiavelli raised to the power of Sun Tzu with nitrous tanks bolted on by that guy from the micro party that likes utes and duck murder. The same way they assured us this week that his brain spasm in Question Time was not a symptom of hysterical midget rage as his inner little man finally broke under the pressure, but you know, Sun Tzu, or at the very least Baldrick with an extra cunning plan.

    It was hard to watch them falling into a drooling trance as their eyes beheld the asshat fascinator, but fall they did. It was just a sudden eruption of OMGWTFPWNAGE tweets at first, but many were the ROFLPWNs and they soon gave way to gushing editorials about this “fine blazing moment”, the re-embiggening of Studs Trumble, and the humiliating flagpole wedgie he’d just delivered to that awful plebeian social climber Chav Tryhard.

    Excuse me while I roll my eyes.

    If the best hope of our politics is this white truffle douche lord having a Tourettes moment we’re fucked.

    And yes, having so recently recalled with fondness and advantages the bruising parliamentary rhetoric of Paul Keating, it’s odd to be so underwhelmed by Studs’ dollar-brand homage, but it really was a day-old dog turd posing as a tasty chicken nugget.

    Turnbull might have whipped his mini-mall gang of toilet screamers and high-born idiots into a collective roargasm — Barnaby Joyce looked like a jumbo serving of potted meat that came to life just long enough to suffer a catastrophic cardiac arrest — but outside of the big green room his “fine blazing moment” looked like a desperate cock punch.

    And his intended victim?

    Initially taken aback like everyone else, by 7.30 that night with Leigh Sales, Shorten looked like a man who’d just had a surprising but very pleasant hot-buttered hand job.

    “I feel sorry for Malcolm,” he said.

    “He touched my willy,” he did not add, but could have.

    And why wouldn’t he seem satisfied? Turnbull’s year so far has been a double-brown shit show. He lost his health minister to greed and stupidity (and there’s plenty more of that to go around). Cory Bernardi staged a lone-handed Beer Hall Putsch. Ian MacDonald defended his lifelong right to travel business class everywhere at taxpayer’s expense. (Remember what I said about greed and stupidity?) The taxpayers themselves are still getting bent over a barrel and violently corn-holed by Centrelink’s profit-driven debt collectors every single fucking day. (Greed and, well, you know). Centrelink staff are in open rebellion. And Scott Morrison is in love with a big lump of coal that he carries everywhere with him like Lars and the Real Girl if Lars’ anatomically accurate latex love muppet was a big lump of coal.

    Yes. Studs Trumble is winning.

    By standing up to billionaires. By looking them in the eye.

    It’s not easy of course, being able to look a man in the eye when you’re wedged deep inside his butt-crack, but it’s not anatomically impossible. You just have to commit. And Studs Trumble does speak the truth when he says, “I don’t suck up to billionaires. I look them in the eye…” because his natural burrowing motion, the chin tucked into the chest, the shoulders rounded and the arms held tightly to the sides as he pushes ever deeper into the anal cleft of, say, Rupert Murdoch, does eventually place him so far up inside the billionaire tyrant that he can indeed look him right in the eye and tell him, along with all of the other billionaires:

    “Listen you! I’m only going to say this once. How would you like a really big tax cut?”

    He just needs to pay for it by cutting billions of dollars from welfare outlays.

    That’s what Parliament was debating and what the Gallery might have reported as the story of the day… before they were distracted.

  16. Fiona

    Thank you for the Birmingham . Love it 😆

    “not just some rich, blimp-jousting nimrod, crashing and burning one bloated, gas-filled Hindenburg after another.”

  17. High temperatures?

    This’ll smarten up the troops – no wusses wanted here.


    Of course I don’t mean that (but gee I wish the coalition pollies will suffer extremely).

    Keep as cool as you can, my friends. Remember the trick of the Coolgardie safe, especially if you are having power outages.

    It worked brilliantly for our chooks, so I can’t see any reason why it won’t for Pubsters.

    And don’t forget:




  18. This One Photo Proves Australia Is Actually The Portal To Hell

    It’s supposed to be a max of 36C here tomorrow and 40C on Sunday.


    I survived 41.9C three weeks ago, I can cope with 40C. And no, I don’t have air conditioning. Not all of us are wimps who rush for the aircon remote when the temperature goes above 22C. The power company bods were telling everyone to keep their air conditioners at 26C today, to relieve the pressure on the grid. What’s the point of having air conditioning if you can’t have it blasting away on something barely above freezing?

  19. For selfish reasons, long may the Eastern States burn baby burn. Extreme heat over there seems to result in muy mild weather in SW Straya. February is usually the month of the inferno but instead it has been mild to the max. Same happened a decade or so ago when you were all going up in flames..

  20. I kind of lament that this heatwave didn’t happen 2 weeks ago. Ah, how the right wingers would feel at having to respond to all these disgruntled people at their Australia Day Barbeques with swarms of flies also attending in the 40°C+ heat that it had nothing to do with climate change and that the coal industry was just super special awesome, and that sort of crap like that.

  21. so I read that turnoballs had the backbenchers around to his personal enclave to have a bit of a chinwag.

    did he also have a bag of unmarked envelopes stuffed full of cayman island dollars to buy their friendship for the second time.

    wonder if he had to spend the whole $1.75 big dollars this time.

  22. With all these brownouts people are experiencing in extreme temperatures I am reminded of the Enron scandal in 2001 when Enron browned out California to force power price increases


    I was concerned to read that the alumina smelter at Tomago outside Newcastle/Hexham/Raymond Terrace was in danger of closing because AGL had restricted its power supply – it’s a continuous flow operation and if power is cut off the metal solidifies in the pots and the line has to close while the metal is chipped out, remember the Alcoa potline at Portland lost power for 5 hours during Ausgrid routine maintenance and will probably not reopen despite deputation to New York – AGL refuses to provide cheap electricity

    Perhaps AGL is a bad egg. During one Melbourne heat wave a number of years ago my friend who is an AGL customer living near a major hospital was off the electricity for 2 days, her neighbours had power, her tenants in flats where AGL supplied the power had no power, other tenants in the same block had power. I wonder whether AGL refuses to pay high spot prices for power

    You could say that electricity privatisation and AGL in particular is driving Australia’s heavy industry to close

  23. Leone you may be lucky that the temperature inside your house is the same as the temperature in your district. My house is cunningly placed on the block to maximize late afternoon summer sun and get absolutely no winter sun. in summer I am under siege from the heat coming up from my full western sun patio and western glass. Yes I have canvas blinds and heat retarding internal blinds and I close off rooms next to patio. My house is so well sited [sic] that the front door jamb expands in the heat making it necessary to use force to open the door. As I write this I realise I will have to move before I become frail

    • I’m in much the same situation as you. My living/dining room has three big full-length windows, two facing north, one facing west. In winter it’s heavenly in there, on summer afternoons it’s horrid. I have blockout curtains, but they don’t help much. The tiny front verandah doesn’t help much either.

      I handle hot days by moving to the ‘cool’ end of the house in the afternoon. The PC lives in one of the cooler rooms, thank goodness.

      Up until around 2 in the afternoon it’s cool inside, then the angle of the sun changes and heat pours in through the windows. Because the house is fibro it cools down quickly once the sun sets, so nights are not too bad even in heatwaves.

      There’s no insulation in my roof and I’m happy about that. Insulation and big windows facing west are not a good summer combination. I’ve had arguments with various tradies who always tell me I should ask the housing department to put in some insulation. They would do that in a heartbeat because it’s supposed to be there, but I really don’t want it.

      If I owned this place I’d move a lot of the windows to more sensible places, especially the back wall of the house to get the lovely sea breeze we have all summer.

  24. supposedly, as I have never tried it, lininag your windows with aluminium foil helps keep the heat out. on my side of the house exposed to hot sun yhe most I am thinking of putting some sort of wall of succulents, if possible or a some sort of shade cloth cover,

  25. Yes it would taste great, I wouldn’t say no to a glass either, if offered, but it surely reads like Wangker Juice

    ‘Louis Roederer Champagne famous for Cristal Champagne is a Champagne house of exceptional quality, aristocratic elegance and distinct style dating back to the Russia Tsar in 1886. Not only are they a noteable Champagne producer but also have a exceptional wine portfolio. Louis Roederer is considered one of the leading champagne houses and Louis Roederer at The Champagne Company includes Louis Roederer Brut Premier & Vintage Brut & Rosé Champagne all firm favourites with connoisseurs worldwide. Louis Roederer’s famous Cristal Champagne in the golden wrapped bottles is also available in Magnums & Jeroboams is one of the most sought after Cuvée de Prestige in the world.

    • Puffy,

      Well over three decades ago, before it became the preferred booze of trendoids and drug lords, OH and I enjoyed the occasional bottle. If it’s available by the glass at a restaurant, I don’t let the opportunity pass. And I look forward to quaffing a jeroboam – with the assistance of a few select friends – when Labor returns to federal government.

  26. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. This has taken ages to pull together this morning!

    Paul Bongiorno on Turnbull’s desperate fight to restore credibility.
    This week’s game of ‘pass the coal, punch Bill Shorten’ has a deeper meaning says Paula Matthewson.
    The truth behind the operation of Dominos Pizzas.
    Peter Hartcher does a fair job with this article on the Turnbull/Shorten sideshow.
    US President Donald Trump said his government will act anew on immigration next week, after a federal appeals court decided not to reinstate his ban on travel from seven Muslim-majority countries. “We’ll be doing something very rapidly having to do with additional security for our country; you’ll be seeing that sometime next week,” Trump said.
    Ross Cameron has resisted making an apology for derogatory remarks about gay people he made at a conservative fundraiser, as colleagues and the NSW Liberal Party distance themselves from him. An odious creature is Mr Cameron.
    What a wonderful group is the Q Society!
    Trump sets himself up for total humiliation by promising to win Muslim ban case.
    Karen Middleton writes that Cory Bernardi’s split to form a conservative party, and the resurgence of One Nation, provides the major parties with a genuine threat from the right.
    Don’t tell me that Trump is doing something RIGHT!

  27. Section 2 . . .

    Elizabeth Farrelly gives plenty of reasons why not to buy a new apartment in Sydney.
    Ross Gittins writes that resources booms – or any other booms – are nice, but the subsequent busts are always hard. We’ll know the bust is over when the fall in investment in mining construction – which began in late-2012 – tails off at the end of this year.
    The SMH editorial begins with “Every democracy has rules and safeguards to ensure power is wielded by executive government only within constitutional and legal limits. These limits reflect the will of generations of people, not just one leader or party at one point in time” and says there are better ways to reduce the risk of terrorist attacks.
    Mike Seccombe gets right down to it as he exposes the links between Gina Rinehart’s cattle stations, Adam Giles and fracking prospects
    Crispin Hull tells us that the “ex LNP rat” Bernardi reminds us to fix the Senate shemozzle.
    Public opinion is divided over the merits of trade liberalisation, one of globalisation’s fundamentals. Will 2017 see an opening of the globalist v nationalist divide?
    What a shocking advertisement for the “sport” of boxing! Peter FitzSimons tees off.
    What is the Murdoch family doing about investor frustration resulting from the fact that News Corp shares have fallen 20 per cent since the media empire was split in 2013, while the US sharemarket has risen 45 per cent? The question that somebody finally dated to ask.
    In disagreement with much of the Canberra press gallery Michael Gordon describes Turnbull’s fiery attack on Shorten as “the beginning of the end”.
    Laurie Oakes is of a similar opinion. Google.

  28. Section 3 . . .

    Van Badham takes her CPG colleagues to task over their treatment of Turnbull’s outburst.
    Katherine Murphy writes that Structural shift on Coalition’s right sets off some frantic repair work.
    Conned by celebrity-driven spin, the “worried well” are literally flushing away hundreds of millions of dollars a year on vitamins that do no good and may even be harmful. Another thing that should give the Pharmacy Guild cause for introspection. Google.
    Former prime minister Tony Abbott’s proposal for a constitutional change to make it easier for a government to pass legislation blocked by the Senate does not have support in his own electorate, according to polling writes Michelle Grattan.
    The CA Royal Commission continued its work yesterday at it was revealed that Vatican processes were extremely slow and convoluted.
    Cruise holiday anyone?
    The powerful private and Catholic school sectors are demanding the Turnbull government reveal its plans for a new school funding model to begin next year because they are growing “increasingly alarmed” at the lack of detail from Canberra.
    Barry Jones reckons we need a new political party.
    The cost of private health insurance is on an alarming trajectory.
    Letters to the Editor point out the fallacy of the Coalition’s energy ramblings.

  29. Section 4 . . .

    The Turnbull government’s recent embrace of coal-fired power shows it has “abandoned all pretence of taking global warming seriously”, Climate Change Authority member Clive Hamilton said, explaining why he resigned from the agency. Quite a nice spray.
    Barely two years on from strong government responses to family violence, driven by Rosie Batty, federal funding cuts to front-line services threaten to place more women and children than ever in jeopardy.
    “Just as the Howard government once claimed incorrectly that refugees were throwing their children into the water, the Turnbull government is deliberately misleading the public about the cause of blackouts and energy shortages around the country” writes Richard Denniss. He gets it!
    Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has continued to blame blackouts on renewable energy, despite the fact most experts point to chaotic and lacklustre attempts to modernise the nation’s decrepit networks. Oh yes – and “clean coal” is a myth.
    This week’s events have confirmed Australia’s energy system – which many experts have argued has been an accident waiting to happen for the past 10 years – is badly broken and in need of urgent attention. Google.
    Jack Waterford has a good look at taxation of the rich and what opportunities there are for tax reform in general.
    The Australia Post CEO’s salary scandal highlights our nation’s growing wage inequality.
    The third and final article on the new Chief Justice’s role in failing the victims of banking malpractice.–conclusion,10013
    An Adelaide company has developed a silicon storage device that it claims costs a tenth as much as a lithium ion battery to store the same energy and is eyeing a $10 million public float. Let’s hope they are right. Google.

  30. Section 5 . . . with Cartoon Corner part 1

    The latest executive orders relating to crime will, like so many of the administration’s actions, actually make things worse.
    Gary Linnell examines Trump’s murdering of the English language.
    If you haven’t been impressed by the Inaugural Women’s AFL season, stand by — Adelaide Crows Full Forward Sarah Perkins has got all the excitement, strength and inspiration you need. This footballer is fast becoming a personality – and there is a great story behind her.
    A large number of Australian cartoonists have supported international efforts to get their colleagues out of detention in Malaysia, Turkey and Manus Island but, as Dr Martin Hirst discovered, there’s one significant voice that’s gone MIA on this one. It’s the “highly phobic” Bill Leak.,10011

    Alan Moir explains what “clean coal” really is.

    Broelman on the SA power situation.

    And one on Morrison’s lump of coal prop.

  31. Section 6 . . . Cartoon Corner part 2

    Cathy Wilcox with some ideas on how to stay cool.’

    Trump has identified a target for the USAF.

    Cathy Wilcox sees the NEW NSW Minister for Education visiting a school.

    There’s a lot of naked flesh in David Rowe’s cartoons lately.

    Ron Tandberg on social climbing.

    A ripper from David Pope has Turnbull trying to shepherd the zombie bills through the Senate.

    Mark Knight reminds us who his employer is.
    Bill Leak has a very simplistic view of the Turnbull outburst.

  32. So, here we are… the hottest summer in history, with the longest heatwaves rolling in one after another, the warmest nights,the threat or reality of electricity “load shedding”,perhaps bushfires in the next couple of days…on and on it goes.

    Morrison’s solution?

    A lump of coal.

    Turnbull’s warning?

    Doing something about reducing fossil emissions to combat Climate Change may hurt prices, so we should do nothing. Doing nothing will of course exacerbate the core problem, and drive all other prices for all other goods and services up, but by that time Turnbull will be in the Caymans, lurking the ATMs.

    The cause?

    Bill Shorten.

    I can see the sense of it all now, but maybe the denizens of western Sydney won’t, seeing as they’re copping the worst of it.

    And perhaps energy investors won’t either, as they push their wallets further down into their trousers. Surely there’s somewhere in the world they can invest, where money won’t be subject to the vanity (and the fragility) of whomever is Prime Minister.

    Turnbull’s quest to impress his long-dead mother is starting to do real harm now. She’s not coming back Malcolm. Ranting about Bill Shorten drinking Cristal won’t solve one economic problem or ameliorate one effect of the natural disaster about to befall us, our children and our grandchildren.

    Bringing lumps of coal into parliament won’t either.

  33. bushfirebill

    You would have enjoyed Hartcher’s view from his Olympian heights far above those journalists over there and the petty politicians.

    Canberra’s Punch and Judy show goes on, while the rest of the country couldn’t care less..
    …………………..Malcolm grabbed the slapstick and whacked Bill. Really hard. Really fast. Really unexpectedly.

    This exciting reversal thrilled the audience in the front row of the political contest, though most of the crowd was only dimly aware and largely uninterested, busy with life’s grittier exigencies………….

  34. What alternate reality do these people inhabit?

    Restrictions on electricity supply in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory have eased after a blackout during a major heatwave across the country.
    The Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) confirmed “tight” conditions had subsided following a peak in demand. It said residential load shedding was not required in NSW but commended the Tomago aluminium smelter for reducing their demand during the busy period.
    “These efforts enabled the power system to provide uninterrupted electricity supply to the region,” AEMO said in a statement, reminding people to be mindful of consumption.

    Earlier Energy Minister Don Harwin told people across NSW to go to the movies or head to the shops instead of turning on the television at home and cooking in a bid to save power during the Sydney heatwave

    ‘Uninterrupted electricity supply’? There were blackouts across Sydney and on the Central Coast yesterday afternoon caused by faults in the poles and wires, according to Ausgrid. Poor maintenance by whoever owns that stuff this week was the cause, yet this dill from AEMO boasts about uninterrupted supply.

    As for Energy Minister Don Harwin (who?) and his helpful advice – pfffft.

    How lovely to be told to go to the movies or the shops rather than go home after work. This might come as a shock to Harwin, but we don’t all work in the Sydney CBD, we can’t all taxi down to George Street after work to go to the movies and then follow on with a few icy drinks in a nice cool bar. People have to go home, pick up the family, drive to the movies. What if you can’t afford a trip to the movies? Who wants to spend an hour or so stuck in traffic in an overheating car to get there? What if the shopping centre air conditioning is dodgy and doesn’t really help, especially when an extra 1000 bodies are packed in there trying to stay cool? Who cooks dinner in a heatwave anyway? Don’t we all survive on cold chicken, cold meat and salad? Honestly, what a dill!

    There’s one small consolation – at least Trumbull couldn’t blame yesterday’s outages on renewables. It was the poles and wires what done it, and he’s going to look a right twit if he tries to say anything different.

    • A nice self-congratulatory “We didn’t fuck it up this time” piece.

      Are they going to reimburse the cost of hospitals, data centres etc. that switched to their backup diesel generators to help shed the load? (Apparently Canberra was asked to shed 52MW – doesn’t add up if the expected shortfall was only 77MW.)

  35. “Yes it [Cristal] would taste great, I wouldn’t say no to a glass either, if offered, but it surely reads like Wangker Juice”

    Never heard of it… It sounds like something they’d advertise in in-flight knee padding/magazines.

  36. It’s Mrsbrianmcisme’s birthday today; that’s great but the weather is not. At 1110EDST the temperature here in the (cool) Upper Blue Mountains is 33.2C heading for a record breaking 38C. Unbelievably, down at hot, hot Penrith it’s “only” 31.7.

    We’ll survive (somehow).

  37. On reading anything that Mr Trump has said, does anyone else have an echo in the mind’s ear of a strangulated Scrooge McDuck? And the mind’s eye sees hands wafted about ‘just so’?
    Or a combination of mosquito whine and blue-fly buzz when reading Mr Turnbull’s utterances?

    Some days it is worse than others, but this last week has been particularly annoying when I just want to find out what’s happening – and then the sycophantic press add loudspeakers to the whole mess. Quite frankly I would love to get rid of the aspirants to the Rum Brigade who seem to have their seat in Canberra’s Parliament House. *sighs*

  38. Ew, this Queensland state poll.

    GhostWhoVotes‏ @GhostWhoVotes
    #Galaxy Poll QLD State Primary Votes: ALP 31 (-4) LNP 33 (-4) ON 23 (+7) GRN 8 (0) KAP 3 (+1) #qldpol #auspol12:16 AM · Feb 11, 2017

    Oh well. That’s pretty much what they got at the 1998 election, 23% of the vote. Labor’s primary vote here is a bit low for comfort, but Greens preferences should hopefully secure enough seats.

    If not, the end result might be an LNP minority government propped up one One Nation. Yuck.

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