862 thoughts on “Winter is over ( almost)

  1. Yes, this is politics. Yes, this is a power struggle between two men who want to be prime minister. But I think the prime minister could use a very deep breath right now. I think his tone is way off. Way, off, frankly.

    This is a real process, involving real people, with real feelings. They sometimes forget that, in their gruesome little dog fights.

    Maybe calm down.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2017/sep/07/malcolm-turnbull-tells-miners-he-would-welcome-a-new-clean-coal-plant-politics-live#comment-104816139

  2. On threatened species day, all are welcome to adopt (and move) any of the three bloody wombats which have taken up residence in our garden, digging huge long trenches at random. Bastards of things! Not nearly threatened enough around here.

  3. The trouble with the High Court hearing over the postal vote is that even if it had been ruled out the saga would go on. The ABS have said that they could have found another way to fund it, or the Coalition may have tried to shelve it as Abetz suggested. It would probably have been just as bad an outcome. Really, anything that happens regarding it under the current government is going to be horrible and protracted. That’s what they’re trying to do.

    There will be no respite until there’s a change of government and a free vote is held. Assuming that is in favour of marriage equality. What we are currently experiencing is a colossal amount of time and money being wasted, in order to satisfy a cabal of neanderthals in the Liberal Party. Nobody wins, and we as a country continue to look stupider and stupider. It’s only the monumental catastrophe that is Trump that keeps us from being the go-to international laughing stock.

  4. Well, this crap happened. Some days are better than others, the worst days are when “no” campaigners try to aggressively project their true selves onto the “yes” campaigners.

    “You’re the liars!” “You’re the intolerant oppressors!” “You’re the puppet!”

    Thankfully it seems to be an overwhelming “Yes” so far. The “No”‘s are just whining that so many people are against them and how it’s just so unfair.

    Further still, it gives Labor permission to either do something similar in government to try and get up something the Coalition doesn’t like. Or, more sensibly, change the law so this shit doesn’t happen again. Yes, it means that the right to marry for people like myself will pretty much the only thing to be voted on in this country’s history, because people like Abbott think the only thing we ever do is be sinning sexual deviants, but if left be it’ll just leave the can of worms open for a whole raft of other shit that they want like muslim bans and legalized slavery for Newstart recipients.

    • The other thing about this is that one of the major reasons people were thinking of voting ‘no’ is that they were resentful of being dictated to (having ME shoved in front of their faces incessantly). The No campaigners are actually being such a nuisance that current resentment is all about their behaviour. So what they’re doing is very likely counterproductive.

  5. All Australia has to worry about is a useless and expensive survey, rising energy prices and the threat of nuclear war.

    I’d rather be here than in Florida right now.

    Category 5 Hurricane Irma smashes Caribbean islands and charts path for Florida
    IT’S stronger than the last eight storms combined, and Irma is already leaving a path of utter devastation in its wake.
    http://www.news.com.au/technology/environment/climate-change/category-5-hurricane-irma-smashes-caribbean-islands-and-charts-path-for-florida/news-story/85590ce60589006e3af7d8ad43ef7b55

    A trio of westward-bound hurricanes are churning in the Atlantic Ocean
    http://abcnews.go.com/US/trio-westward-bound-hurricanes-churning-atlantic-ocean/story?id=49664598

  6. Yeah I’m really frightened for the people of Florida. I have a few friends there.

    I also have a friend in the Dominican Republic but thankfully he’s at the south of that island and relatively safe from harm from the Hurricane.

    The forecast is looking pretty frightening at the moment, that it’s going to go up all of Florida’s east coastline and then smash Georgia and the Carolinas, but, I’m holding out hope that eventually it’ll be blown back east by trade winds without touching the US. A lot of hurricanes tend to do that, I’m told.

  7. Major X9.33 solar flare

    What a day! The strongest solar flare of solar cycle 24 erupted today at 12:02 UTC and of course it was sunspot region 2673 that took center stage. It was a memorable X9.33 solar flare (R3-strong radio blackout) which was highly eruptive as well. We have to go all the way back to 5 May 2015 to find the last time we had an X-class solar flare and it has been 12 years ago since we had a solar flare which was stronger than today’s X9.3 event! Not bad considering we are already in the declining phase of solar cycle 24!

    https://www.spaceweatherlive.com/en/news/view/301/20170906-major-x933-solar-flare

  8. I think marriage equality will be the thing that destroys Turnbull. One way or another he’s doomed.

    We go through this ridiculpous, ahte-filled survey, the ‘yes’ vote wins and Turnbull does nothing, because he has that agreement with the National Party. You remember that, the agreement we are not allowed to see, the agreement he made so he could be PM. The one where he said he would not change existing policy on climate change or same sex marriage.
    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/nsw/malcolm-turnbulls-4-billion-deal-with-the-nationals-to-guarantee-coalition-unity/news-story/1cc0d538a70705b4970266c746b2b0d4

    There’s a lot more nasty stuff in there too.
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/rural/2015-09-15/liberals-nationals-finalise-coalition-agreement/6777572

    If he breaks that agreement he’s toast, withing minutes. He knows it, we know it and Abbott knows it.

    The big problem for Fizza is the country is likely to vote ‘yes’ in the ridiculous survey he has inflicted on us. Current polling shows at least 67% of voters favour marriage equality. So what happens after the vote? Nothing happens, because the survey result is not binding on the parliament or on politicians. Fizza will just keep on insisting on a damn plebiscite and the senate will keep on knocking it back. He simply won’t dare allow a conscience vote.

    The mess will still be there come the next election and it will be a big election issue. Shorten has promised a vote withing 100 days of being elected. Turnbull can’t make any such promise. His own ambition to become PM and the dirty deals he made to get the job are likely to be what finally ends his time as PM.

    I can’t wait.

    • The battle lines are clear: Bill offered to put out a joint “Let’s vote yes.” Malcolm ridiculed it.

      Fizza then tied to himself “I want no to win.”

      To misquote: “The fizza doth protest too much, the voters will think.”

    • Why, after this fake survey, would you then go back for a plebiscite? The answer will be either yes or no. It is then up to parliament. If they procrastinate until the next election and hopefully Labor win, then it will be put to parliament.

  9. 7.5. Ellen Fanning had Alex Hawke and Erica on about ME. Both performed badly. At the end though, Erica looked very distressed. At least, Alex could smile.

    As for Erica’s “there will be consequence if Me gets up” …

    • That was another brilliant episode. I think I’ll actually go to the show he has in Ballarat in October, this is a guy that really deserves more attention in my opinion.

    • I’d love to be able to do that with my grandparents, but, I’m rather scared of the consequences because I haven’t even told them that I’m gay yet, and I’m rather scared of what would happen to our relationship if I did so.

  10. If you have – or can find – dark skies, the next couple of nights may be a good chance to see the Aurora Australis in southern Australia. e.g.

    Tasmanian skies turn technicolour as aurora australis arrives amid solar storm
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-05-29/tasmani-aurora-australis-pictures-facebook-hobart-skygazing/8567888

    Stunning ‘skyfire-like’ Aurora captured over Canberra sky
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/stunning-skyfirelike-aurora-captured-over-canberra-sky-20160315-gnjczb.html

    Check here for the latest Aurora alerts etc.
    http://www.sws.bom.gov.au/Main.php?CatID=2

  11. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. Well ,the Crows got the job done last night.

    Mark Kenny says that the risk equation has now shifted for Turnbull. If marriage equality fails from here, he will get the blame no matter how far he back he was standing.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/high-courts-postal-vote-decision-malcolm-turnbull-catches-a-break–now-for-the-hard-bit-20170907-gycnoo.html
    Michelle Grattan has a good look at the time Turnbull and Joyce are having.
    https://theconversation.com/grattan-on-friday-turnbulls-rush-for-an-energy-announceable-sows-confusion-83672
    The SMH editorial says on the postal survey “It is a devastating commentary on the current state of the nation that this exercise, for which taxpayers must shell out $122 million, has had to be conducted solely in order to convince the governing parties’ recalcitrants to back a measure which Australians, according to opinion polls, already overwhelmingly endorse.” It’s quite a bake.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/the-plebiscites-thin-victory-20170907-gycwsl.html
    David Crowe writes that a new clash looms over the postal vote on same-sex marriage as the Turnbull government holds ¬urgent talks to set new rules on the claims that can be made on either side of the eight-week debate, triggering fears the strict campaign laws would shut down free speech. Google.
    /national-affairs/next-battle-will-be-on-samesex-marriage-campaign-rules/news-story/1338c6b1e30cc0e4a42d7a9d1faa8628
    Katharine Murphy has analysed Turnbull’s reaction to the HC decision.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/07/malcolm-turnbulls-relief-palpable-as-he-dodges-same-sex-marriage-bullet
    What now? Judith Ireland looks at what happens next after the HC decision.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/samesex-marriage-postal-survey-what-happens-now-20170907-gycril.html
    Gay Alcorn writes that MPs have resisted public opinion on same-sex marriage for a decade. The reasons are complicated, but new research shows they are gradually being won over.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/08/australias-politicians-are-late-to-the-marriage-equality-party-but-they-are-finally-arriving
    John Hewson says it’s time to shirtfront CEOs over our high energy prices.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/john-hewson-why-voters-need-to-ask-questions-about-their-power-bills-20170907-gych2k.html
    Subsidies to extend the life of coal-fired power might be popular within the Coalition, but industry isn’t interested. They’d rather just have proper policy that would open the floodgates to the many cleaner, replacement supply projects they have on their drawing boards. Google.
    http://www.afr.com/business/energy/electricity/coal-power-subsidies-no-thanks–just-policy-please-20170906-gyceir
    The true cost of keeping Liddell open.
    https://theconversation.com/the-true-cost-of-keeping-the-liddell-power-plant-open-83634

  12. Section 2 . . .

    Meanwhile the only Australian company with a stated potential interest in buying and keeping AGL’s ageing Liddell coal-fired power station open beyond 2022 is facing a number of allegations of environmental mismanagement.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/08/mismanagement-alleged-against-only-company-interested-in-liddell-power-station
    Rob Burgess says we shouldn’t waste taxpayer dollars on worthless coal assets.
    http://thenewdaily.com.au/money/finance-news/2017/09/06/aemo-liddel-coal-clean-energy-target/
    The Liberal Party’s tussles over climate and energy policy – as distinct from denying the science itself – go back some 30 years, writes Marc Hudson from the University of Manchester.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-liberal-partys-30-years-of-policy-tussles-over-climate-change,10691
    Tiernan Brady outlines the Irish experience on changes to SSM.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/same-sex-marriage-the-irish-experience-20170906-gycg58.html
    Sean Nicholls writes that as the elections loom there is still every chance that a significant number of property developers will be elected to local government across NSW. There is more work to be done by the state government to close the loopholes up, he says.
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/developers-like-salim-mehajer-could-still-be-elected-to-council-despite-reforms-20170906-gybqng.html
    There are some disturbing trends in the retail sales figures released recently by the ABS. Everything is flat other than booze sales.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/happy-hour-at-bottle-shops-as-shoppers-buy-booze-and-little-else-20170907-gycmx0.html
    Never mind what the government might or might not do. Insurers are warning apartment owners in Australian buildings with cladding similar to that involved in London’s Grenfell Tower fire that they may refuse insurance cover outright or make it too expensive because of the high safety risks. Google.
    /real-estate/noncompliant-cladding-your-building-may-struggle-to-get-insurance-20170907-gycoe0
    A nice article from Richard Di Natale on how Aussie Rules footy gives him relief from the travails inside the political bubble.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/footy-brings-me-joy-when-the-world-seems-to-have-gone-mad-20170907-gycj2o.html
    Yet more outsourcing is on the table for the Australian Public Service.
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/public-service/public-servants-nervous-as-bosses-mull-more-outsourcing-20170907-gycocd.html
    Eva Cox tells us that much of the data used by the government to justify the cashless welfare card is flawed.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/07/much-of-the-data-used-to-justify-the-welfare-card-is-flawed

  13. Section 3 . . .

    A fast-mutating strain of the flu is defying medical experts’ efforts to stop it and has already killed at least 73 people in Australia this year.
    http://www.smh.com.au/victoria/australias-killer-flu-calls-for-more-immunisations-as-virus-mutates-20170907-gyd2fm.html
    Trump could end up creating turmoil in world financial markets if he gets his way in repatriating trillions of dollars.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/if-trump-gets-his-way-expect-a-dollar-hurricane-to-rip-through-global-markets-20170906-gycdg7.html
    This theology lecturer says that politicians must get real about gambling reform. He has a point.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/politicians-must-get-real-about-gambling-reform-20170904-gya63v.html
    We are not at all well placed to meet our Paris emissions reduction target.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/sep/08/record-drop-in-electricity-emissions-cancelled-out-by-rises-in-other-sectors
    Amazon looks set to launch in Australia before the Christmas rush.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/retail/amazon-could-launch-in-australia-in-next-60-days-says-citi-20170907-gyd3pz.html
    That lovely man Steve Bannon has lashed the Catholic church for wanting to “fill their churches with illegal aliens”.
    http://www.smh.com.au/world/steve-bannon-says-catholic-church-wants-illegal-aliens-to-fill-the-churches-20
    The Liddell power station at the centre of the political fight over energy is operating at below half its rated capacity, and would present “mammoth problems” for any company seeking to extend its life, according to a former senior Macquarie Generation engineer.
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/baseload-investment-scheme-could-keep-coal-alive-but-liddell-power-station-has-mammoth-problems-20170907-gycspc.html
    Thousands of people who turn up to vote at this Saturday’s NSW council elections could be told they are not enrolled or registered in a different area thanks to the federal government’s same-sex marriage postal survey.
    http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/confusion-tipped-at-council-poll-due-to-marriage-survey-20170906-gyc2mp.html
    Theresa May has caused further ill will in Brussels by rejecting an invitation to address the European parliament in public, EU sources have said, instead insisting she will only talk to its leaders behind closed doors.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/sep/07/theresa-may-european-parliament-brussels-eu
    Harold Mitchell laments the role of law and lawyer MPs in government these days.
    http://www.smh.com.au/business/governments-should-stop-courting-disaster-and-get-on-with-governing-20170906-gycej3.html

  14. Section 4 . . .

    Peter Dutton is determined to entrench a deep rift into our society between those who care and those who hate- and he’s got a few mates!
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/peter-dutton-and-those-unaustralian-lawyers,10693
    Western Australian households have been left relatively unscathed by the McGowan government’s first budget, but the big end of town will bear the brunt of repairing the state’s disastrous finances.
    http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/wa-state-budget-2017-miners-big-business-take-the-hit-in-mcgowans-first-budget-20170907-gyclp4.html
    Turnbull is overhauling the top ranks of the federal public service, naming Immigration boss Michael Pezzullo as head of the new Home Affairs Department. And another of our favourites, Kathryn Campbell has been booted from Human Services.
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/mike-pezzullo-a-winner-in-public-service-shake-up-unveiled-by-malcolm-turnbull-20170907-gycl8y.html
    Canberrans must accept the reality that while NSW and other states have anti-consorting laws aimed at outlaw motorcycle gangs, the lack of such laws in the ACT makes it a haven for bikies and increasing violent crimes across our suburbs.
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/act-needs-anticonsorting-laws-for-bikies-now-before-someone-dies-20170907-gycl0o.html
    This is hardly surprising.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com.au/2017/09/06/trumps-mafia-connections-excluded-him-from-an-australian-casino-deal_a_23199578/?utm_hp_ref=au-homepage

  15. Section 5 . . . Cartoon Corner

    An interesting contribution from Cathy Wilcox after yesterday’s postal survey ruling.

    John Shakespeare with the problems energy policy brings.

    Ouch! Cathy Wilcox hits Turnbull right between the eyes with this one.

    John Shakespeare farewells Turnbull as he leaves for overseas.

    David Pope on the High Court decision.
    http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/david-pope-20120214-1t3j0
    Great stuff from Peter Nicholson who we haven’t seen for quite a while.

    More from Nicholson.


    Scary stuff from Glen Le Lievre.

    Some perspective from Alan Moir.

    Andrew Dyson with the China NK relationship.
    http://www.smh.com.au/photogallery/federal-politics/cartoons/andrew-dyson-20090819-epqv.html
    Mark Knight has Dutton doing his stuff at tonight’s AFL final at the MCG.
    http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/1fba98c9d29ca460734668ebf61910f5?width=1024
    Jon Kudelka prepares us for the next round at the High Court.
    http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/6b80196721741083a62b3162e30d1ea9

  16. Turnbull’s latest appointments –

    “Kathryn Campbell has been booted from Human Services.”

    Booted sideways into another cushy, overpaid job as Secretary of Social Services, under the command of Christian Porter. What a pair!

    I hate to break it to youse, but Ms Campbell’s rise to Secretary of Human Services was all Julia Gillard’s work. Ms Gillard appointed her to that role in December 2010. She took up the position in March 2011 and has been there ever since, until yesterday, when Turnbull announced her move. Some other sucker will now get all the blame for the increasing robo-debt problems. Talk about a poisoned chalice. Pensioners will soon be getting their debt letters.

    Pezzullo and Dutton will be planning all sorts of wonderful abuses of their new powers. No-one will be safe.
    I would hope an incoming Shorten government will abolish the Home Affairs department, sack Pezzullo and put the whole nasty mess back the way it was, but I won’t be holding my breath waiting.

    If you missed Richard Ackland’s excellent article on Dutton the other day then here it is again. It’s a must read.

    Is Peter Dutton a fit and proper person to wield such awesome powers?
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/sep/06/is-peter-dutton-a-fit-and-proper-person-to-wield-such-awesome-new-powers

  17. About flammable cladding on Australian buildings –

    Our government is not interested in preventing a disaster.

    Xenophon plan to halt import of flammable cladding ‘impractical’, Coalition says
    Craig Laundy shoots down plan to amend custom laws as Senate inquiry calls for urgent ban on type of cladding linked to Grenfell fire
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/sep/07/xenophon-plan-to-halt-import-of-flammable-cladding-impractical-coalition-says

    It might be time to have a good look at the companies government pollies are investing in.

    • Re Grenfell cladding. There is nothing wrong with it. The company that manufactured/sold it in the UK advertises 3 grades of that cladding and specifies what each grade is suitable for in regard to the number of stories high it is suitable for. The failure is in the regulations and regulators that allowed cladding not rated for buildings of that height to be used . The panels were the PE (polyethylene filled) type.

  18. Rush Limbaugh eat your heart out. Your elaborate conspiracy theory involving climate scientists, liberals and (who knew except you?) supermarket proprietors is about to be tested in the best possible way.

    Hope it will single you and your Palm Beach mansion out for particularly robust verification. Flattening Mar A Lago could only aid in this wonderful opportunity at fine tuning the scientific method.

    Batten down Rush. Your moment in history has arrived!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/09/06/rush-limbaughs-dangerous-suggestion-that-hurricane-irma-is-fake-news/?utm_term=.bea1550f0803

  19. My control group (I just checked in with them) are almost all pro-SSM. They’re more interested in whose it is that it hasn’t happened already. I think when a sports-based site is on board with marriage equality, it’s a good indication that nearly everyone is.

    I understand that for the Liberal Party this is about much more than just a question of legalising SSM, and I get that there’s a lot of politics and point-scoring inherent in it. But even given all that, I’m finding it difficult to work out what sort of message the Turnbull government are trying to sell us here. They celebrated the High Court decision yesterday as a victory. But a victory for what? You can’t argue that it’s a victory for or against SSM, so the only other alternative is that it’s a victory for due process. But it’s not a victory for due process at all. It’s a victory for a compromise in the passage of due process. They’ve successfully managed to mount a public decision making process that has no more legitimacy than your average opinion poll – probably less in fact, as there’s no way to ensure the results are representative. Voluntary, non-binding, conducted via the most archaic means possible (strictly postal), and with no boundaries set as to how the arguments for either side can be conducted. We don’t even know the wording of the question (or questions) yet.

    So what have they succeeded in doing? I guess they’ve succeeded in subverting the direct passage of marriage equality through the Parliament, and committed millions upon millions of public money in the process. It’s nothing to be proud of.

    • Rommel never stood chance 🙂 Met an old German in NZ who had been captured by NZ soldiers in Nth Africa. He said he found them to be ‘nice people’ and so emigrated to NZ after the war. He also mentioned that there were some rumours that the Maoris in the Maori Battalion were still cannibals and this caused concern 🙂

  20. Andrew P Street comment on Facebook – telling it like it is.

    Incidentally, I’d just to point out how arrogant and peevish Turnbull was in parliament yesterday after the High Court ruling – especially his remarkably bitchy slapdown of Shorten’s offer to co-sign a letter supporting the Yes campaign – which reminded me of his epic, graceless dummy spit on election night when he threw a widdle tantrum about his likely victory because it wasn’t as certain as he thought he deserved (and, to be fair, had paid $1.75 million for).
    It’s those moments where you really see the petty, scared little man hiding behind his calm merchant banker exterior. It’s not as far beneath the surface as he’d like

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