Extended thread

                                                     Not Quite The Neverending Story

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This will be the thread that will be in use for a extended period of time unless some one else wishes to post one.Now that Ned is well again I will be away for some time doing bits and pieces, going back and forth ,flying,boating but no driving or as little as possible.

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Things are still relatively quiet even with Barnyards rorting so the blog will just continue along with all your wonderful comments . I’m sure things will heat up as the year rolls along and we can expect the later half of the year to get busy as we get closer till the next federal Election .

 

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The people here are what makes this place special so keep commenting,chatting and sharing your thoughts. I will still checking in and keeping a eye on things .

As always enjoy The Pub and yourselves.

 

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3,267 thoughts on “Extended thread

  1. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Trump’s having another cleanout. Tillerson’s been sacked.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/trump-ousts-secretary-of-state-tillerson-taps-cia-director-pompeo-20180313-p4z484.html
    Richard Wolffe says that Tillerson’s time was up.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/13/rex-tillerson-fired-hapless-hopeless-tragic
    David Crowe writes about the backlash against Labor’s franking credits policy which seems to be rather untargeted if they are talking to the “big end of town” and “rich” retirees.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/bill-shorten-faces-a-backlash-on-tax-plan-20180313-p4z47s.html
    Yes. It is a blunt instrument!
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/beware-the-damage-from-this-blunt-instrument-20180313-p4z47u.html
    And Morrison better watch out about getting too mouthy over it as he’s had Treasury looking at it himself.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/treasury-considered-dividend-imputation-policy-reform-before-2017-budget-20180313-p4z444.html
    Paul Kelly says that unless the Liberals and Labor can resurrect themselves, Australia is in for big change. Google.
    /opinion/columnists/paul-kelly/disillusioned-voters-not-keen-to-go-to-the-big-party/news-story/72b3503682fd3286e961be1d958947db
    Ruth Williams explains how we are way behind when it comes to handling whistle blowers.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/significant-missed-opportunity-super-funds-in-whistleblower-blast-20180313-p4z466.html
    Sarah Dankert writes that As the banking royal commission starts rolling out examples of bad behaviour, many of the bankers and their lawyers are working hard to make sure they are not on the wrong side of history. “Every royal commission needs a Catholic Church and nobody wants to be the Catholic Church in a royal commission,” a source recently told Fairfax Media, referencing the devastating findings of the recent royal commission into institutional responses to child abuse.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/nobody-wants-to-be-the-catholic-church-at-a-royal-commission-bank-sins-laid-bare-20180313-p4z47i.html
    Karen Maley from the AFR explains how the Hayne Royal Commission is exposing the dark underbelly of $1.6 trillion home loan industry. Google.
    /opinion/columnists/banking-inquiry-exposes-dark-underbelly-of-16trn-home-loan-industry-20180312-h0xdv1
    When Hayne delivers his recommendations at year’s end, the banks and non-banks are inevitably going to face increased regulation and compliance burdens. Google.
    /brand/chanticleer/disrupters-will-benefit-from-kenneth-haynes-royal-commission-20180313-h0xffn
    Clementine Ford says that the Australian government’s devotion to its inhumane and racist refugee policies continues, with a Tamil family living in Queensland the latest to be met with unfathomable violence and heavy handed tactics from Border Force officials.
    https://www.theage.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/do-not-be-the-person-who-looks-away-20180312-p4z41g.html
    Peter Lewis contrasts the advertising campaigns of big business and the unions.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/commentisfree/2018/mar/13/marketing-campaigns-dont-cut-through-to-a-public-sceptical-of-big-business
    Is the pokies industry Australia’s version of the NRA?
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/14/dirty-little-secret-is-the-pokies-industry-australias-version-of-the-nra
    Ross Gittins unpacks the problems with our housing market.
    https://www.smh.com.au/opinion/who-is-to-blame-for-the-housing-crisis-and-how-to-solve-it-20180313-h0xe7s.html
    PvO writes that if voters reject Nick Xenophon’s SA-Best party, perhaps it will send a message to politicians not to take them for granted. Google.
    /opinion/sa-election-in-nick-of-time-voters-realise-sabest-is-a-political-facade/news-story/8bd6f005021e79f722d3fb8fc3dd8c04
    The SMH editorialises that insipid wages are a cultural problem, as well as an economic one. They heighten the feeling that the rewards of hard yakka, and consequent growth in company profits, are not being spread evenly. Whether perception or reality, this can only increase resentment and division among individuals and communities.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/playing-catchup-on-wages-20180313-h0xf63.html

  2. Section 2 . . .

    The Australian’s Paul Maley reports that Border Force chief Roman Quaedvlieg could be fired as early as this week. Google.
    /national-affairs/national-security/axe-looks-set-to-fall-on-border-force-boss-roman-quaedvlieg/news-story/1fa9132518ae719b03d1f9447dd7195b
    Tanya Plibersek asks, “Do you care how much the driver delivering your dinner gets paid?”
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/14/do-you-care-how-much-the-driver-delivering-your-dinner-gets-paid
    Ben Oquist explains dividend imputation.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/how-some-of-the-wealthiest-australians-pay-negative-tax-20180313-p4z45l.html
    Survivors of child abuse will face an “especially unrealistic” deadline to decide whether to accept offers of compensation under the government’s redress scheme, lawyers and child protection advocates have warned. The redress scheme legislation before parliament gives survivors 90 days to decide on a compensation offer once it is made by a church or institution.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/14/child-sex-abuse-survivors-given-unrealistic-deadline-for-compensation
    Michael Koziol on how some companies are charging $1000 for the opportunity for unpaid internships. Will Michaelia Cash screech her support for this appalling practice?
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/companies-defend-charging-1000-for-unpaid-internships-20180312-p4z3zv.html
    Sustainable Australia says that the problem record immigration is supposed to solve doesn’t exist.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/the-problem-record-immigration-is-supposed-to-solve-doesn-t-exist-20180313-p4z464.html
    Stephen Koukoulas asks, “As house prices fall across Australia, should we be worried for our economy?”
    https://thekouk.com/item/588-as-house-prices-fall-across-australia-should-we-be-worried-for-our-economy.html
    The Commonwealth Bank has been lashed for handing up first an incomplete submission to the royal banking commission, and then flooding the commission’s offices with meaningless spreadsheets. Not a good start for the bank at the royal commission!
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/cba-slammed-for-handing-meaningless-spreadsheets-to-royal-commission-20180313-p4z44b.html
    Professor Simon Chapman puts the sword to the NRA’s argument about Australian gun laws.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/study-shows-nra-is-wrong-about-aussie-gun-laws-20180312-p4z41i.html
    Government agencies have more than doubled their spend on contracted labour in the last five years as the Coalition imposed massive cuts on the public service workforce.
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/public-service/contractor-spending-more-than-doubles-in-five-years-at-largest-aps-agencies-20180311-h0xbem.html
    Michaela Whitbourn tells us that an Australian journalist who was named as one of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein’s “army of spies” has succeeded in stopping Channel Nine airing footage of him obtained in the lobby of his New York office.
    https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/australian-linked-to-weinstein-scandal-sues-channel-nine-20180313-p4z46m.html
    An investigation into former lord mayor Robert Doyle has upheld four allegations of misconduct against him – including that he grasped the breast of former councillor Tessa Sullivan. And the independent probe launched by Melbourne City Council into Mr Doyle’s behaviour found that on each occasion of sexually inappropriate conduct he had ‘‘consumed substantial amounts of red wine’’.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/report-upholds-four-allegations-against-doyle-including-breast-grab-20180313-p4z469.html
    The South Australian election this weekend won’t be like any recent SA election. Which is a major problem, writes Geoff Russell. On March 17, there will be no Group Voting Tickets. So if you vote 1 above the line for a party which is eliminated, your vote will be trashed. Surely this destroys the preferential voting principle.
    https://newmatilda.com/2018/03/13/major-change-south-australian-electoral-system-hidden-voters/
    Leaseholders in an apartment block covered in Grenfell-style cladding have been ordered to pay £500,000 to make their building safe after a tribunal ruled that they, rather than the management company, were obliged to cover the costs. This is going to get very messy!
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/mar/13/tower-residents-croydon-replace-grenfell-style-cladding-tribunal
    The Conversation has fact checked Steven Marshall’s assertions about energy prices and reliability in SA.
    https://theconversation.com/factcheck-does-south-australia-have-the-highest-energy-prices-in-the-nation-and-the-least-reliable-grid-92928
    The National Energy Guarantee (NEG) and Turnbull Government’s current energy policy have significant adverse health implications, causing deaths and illness, right now, in Australia and globally.
    https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/health-implications-of-coalitions-energy-policy,11292
    Charles Blow writes that Melania knew exactly what kind of man she was getting with Trump.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2018/03/13/melania-trump-knew-trump-affair/
    The woman who triggered a damning investigation into Robert Doyle says she is “relieved” it has upheld allegations of sexual misconduct.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/vic/2018/03/13/robert-doyle-melbourne-mayor/
    “The trade deal known as TPP-11 delivers financial benefits to some 100,000 people in agricultural and farming enterprises, paid for by extra imposts on the purchases of many millions of urban Australians. In future, every time an Australian buys an app, pays to listen to music, gets a prescription from the chemist, does banking, he or she will be subsiding rural and corporate interests to the detriment of the average Aussie Jo… because of the TPP”. Bill Rowlings from Civil Liberties Australia gives lie to the claims that all Australians will be “better off”.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/tpp-11-the-same-dud-deal-for-most-australians-as-tpp-12/

  3. The only backlash to Labor’s imputation credits policy seems to be coming from the MSM. I’m not the only one to notice that,

    Sooner or later an Australian government was going to take these handouts away. Andrew Leigh was very quick yesterday in pointing out Morrison has been looking at doing this. A handout started by Howard in one of his attempts to suck up to well-off middle class retirees has cost the budget billions. It should never have happened in the first place.

    Another Howard idea, part pensions for those with a lot of money in the bank, was abolished last year by Morrison and Turnbull. If they had not done it then the next Labor government would have. Toughening up age pension asset tests reversed a Howard/Costello decision to make them more generous. This reversal is still talked up as ‘the government cutting pensions’ or ‘the Greens voting to cut pensions’, which is all rubbish. Labor didn’t vote for this, but they won’t be reversing the change, they knew at the time this government had saved them from doing it themselves. The only problem with the whole thing was part-pensions were increased for some lucky people, but those at the bottom of the heap, those relying on a full pension, with no assets, were given nothing. I thought it should have been the other way round, those at the bottom given a pension increase. I found Jenny Macklin’s support for keeping these generous assessments really sickening. She blathered on about needing to ‘cherish’ our old people while completely ignoring the fact that for those with no assets at all the age pension is inadequate, too many of her ‘cherished’ older Australians are living in dire circumstances.The blow caused by the loss of a very small part-pension was softened by the government allowing these retirees to keep their Commonwealth Seniors Health Cards, without having to go through the usual assets test everyone else has to face.

    It’s all about priorities. Who needs government funds more? The sick, the disabled, the unemployed, our children or those who have a nice big nest-egg stashed away but choose to rely on free money from the government instead?

    I didn’t know until yesterday that there are people, retirees or about to retire, who have based their whole retirement plan on these handouts. They are now complaining, loudly. Why are big handouts for the well-off a great idea when you are receiving them, but meagre handouts to those with nothing are a really, really horrible idea when it comes to Newstart, or parenting payments for single parents?

    I’m sorry, but I have absolutely no sympathy for those who face losing handouts worth thousands of dollars a year because this very dodgy scheme might come to an end. Don’t think keeping this government will save you, because after the election, should voters be dumb enough to return this rabble, they will do exactly the same thing.

  4. Let’s lay some numbers on the table
    From July 1
    Max amount can have in tax free pension mode $1,600,000 if over 60
    Amounts greater than $1,600,000 are taxed at 15%

    If you have invested $100,000 in CBA this announcement means you lose cash back of $2500, Dixon Advisory
    If you had $1,600,000 in CBA shares you lose $40,000 in cash back

    So really not possible to lose $52000 or $2,500,000 in cash back any more

    The problem with cash refunds is that banks which pay a high dividend with full franking credits are a very attractive place to park money. Banks just churn money they don’t do anything. If that money was invested elsewhere the economy might grow.

    In 1947 Australians took out debentures in General Motors, so that General Motors would build car plants in Australia. Ming allowed General Motors to redeem the debentures in the 1950s or early 1960s

  5. The owner of IPA, the company that charges applicants $950 for an internship that has a 1 in 64 chance of leading to a job sounds like a real charmer, with his army experience, probably drummed out for running a 2up school or stealing from quartermaster stores

    • Young Zakk Goodsell sounds a real charmer too. Despite mouthing off about universities teaching students ‘crap’ he spent years – 2009 to 2015 – at the University of Tasmania studying economics and sociology. Now he designs games and swears a lot.

  6. Change of topic –

    We have a Queensland LNP politician with a brain! Who would ever have thought that was possible?

    Callide MP slams plan to ‘acidify’ Great Artesian Basin

    FIRST-TERM Callide MP Colin Boyce has used his maiden speech in Queensland Parliament to slam a part-Federally funded plan by mining company Glencore to “acidify” the Great Artesian Basin.

    Carbon Transport and Storage Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Glencore, is working through modelling and technical studies as part of its plan to inject 60,000 tonnes of liquid CO2 per annum for three years, into the Great Artesian Basin’s high quality Precipice Sandstone Aquifer, west of Wandoan, on the Western Downs.

    The project is funded by Australian Coal Association Low Emissions Technologies to the tune of $15.24 million, and received $8.775 million from the Federal Government’s Carbon Capture and Storage Research Development and Demonstration Fund in August 2016, announced by Senator Matt Canavan.

    According to the project’s website, studies are expected to finish this year, with the trial injection to take place in 2020/21.

    In Parliament on Thursday, Mr Boyce slammed the proposal, saying: “The people of Callide do not want another Linc Energy fiasco”

    https://www.thechronicle.com.au/news/callide-mp-slams-plan-acidify-great-artesian-basin/3359760/

  7. The Nationals – doing their very best to support Barnaby Joyce.

  8. Handing out at prepoll in Adelaide. Long lines to vote. Near equal takers for each party. Lots if talk and friendliness with volunteers.
    All candidates have htv volunteers.
    I am on the Modbury booth.

  9. Turnbull still thinks all over-fifties are rolling in money – this is a reminder of his ‘parents should chip in to buy their kids a house’ rubbish. He really has no idea about the way ordinary Australians live, no idea at all.

    Malcolm Turnbull Told Journalists To Ask Their Parents About Labor’s New Tax Plan
    He also performed an EPIC eye roll
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/aliceworkman/word-to-your-mother?utm_term=.budxPwkpl#.vryeV1E9D

    Where exactly are all these pensioners who are going to lose money? If any actually exist they must be on the tiniest of part-pensions.

    • This letter writer to the SMH might be a battling self funded retiree born between 1953 and 1957 with a super balance of $250,000 and no house. I am sure he is hanging out til he can access the aged pension

      One-third of my annual income is derived from imputation tax credits. I currently live off $150 per week after my $210 rent is paid. To present Mr Shorten’s proposed policy change as simply, “targeting the rich” ignores those fiscally eccentric types such as myself, for whom the implementation of this plan will prove to be absolutely devastating.

      Andrew Stark, East Gosford

      Calculations:
      total income $360 = $150 disposable + $210 rent
      Full franking credits is 30% so assume $240 dividends and $120 cash from govt per week
      Assume 5% return on income producing shares,
      assets = dividend per week X 52 X (100/5)
      assets = dividend per week X 52 X 20
      = 240 X 52 X 20
      = 249,600

  10. Over in the U.S it looks like the Democrats have won the special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th district. A district that Trump won by about 20 percent.

  11. Everyone carrying on about the tax thing and moaning about how little money they will have really should watch this –

    I think there has been an awful lot of jumping to incorrect conclusions on this issue, pushed along by Morrison and Turnbull and their alarmist lies.

  12. Agree, I think the letter to the Sydney Morning Herald I quoted was a hypothetical, hence the caveats

    • Whoever wrote said “I live on”, not ‘I receive”. To me those mean two very different things. You can choose to live on any tiny amount that is only part of your total income.

  13. Further to a comment by Leone earlier today, I just heard the SBS news headlines, which included, “Bill Shorten facing a backlash over his tax plan for pensioners”

    That headline is so incredibly misleading I don’t know where to start… maybe with the observation that it’s not “for pensioners”, which implies that it affects all pensioners. Not really a “tax plan” either, is it? Just the closing of a loophole. And there’s no backlash either, just the usual hysterical screaming from the Turnbull government flunkies.

  14. I am one of the people likely to be affected by the ALP policy. I have both a APS and a private super pension paying a significant total pension in the $75 to $85 zone which is tax free (over 60). I also have some taxable income from the family farm, very variable but usually in the low $30 zone. I have sufficient franked dividends to reduce my taxable income to below $18. Most years I have excess credits and thus receive a cheque from the ATO for the value of the excess credits. In my case, all will remain the same except for the last mentioned payment. I have always thought of it as a rort of the worst kind, but have taken it none the less. My spouse is in a similar situation except she receives a much larger total pension than me.
    I don’t expect to slip into abject poverty if the excess credits payment is stopped.

    • Take two:

    • Professor Hawkings could probably explain the non-deterministic behaviour of tweets including/not including quoted tweets.

      Vale Stephen.

  15. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Theresa May has pulled the trigger and expelled 23 Russian diplomats
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/uk-to-expel-russian-diplomats-in-response-to-ex-spy-s-attempted-murder-20180315-p4z4eo.html
    John Hewson bemoans the fact that the climate wars between political parties have cost Australia the chance to lead the world on renewables.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/climate-wars-have-cost-us-the-chance-to-lead-20180314-p4z4ck.html
    And the Minerals Council of Australia has released a new energy and climate change policy that refers to coal just once, and calls for “reliable and affordable energy at least cost” while Australia follows a pathway to meet its emissions reduction targets.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/minerals-council-goes-cold-on-coal-in-new-energy-policy-20180314-p4z4bj.html
    Counsel Assisting, Rowena Orr, at the banking royal commission is not one to be taken lightly.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/the-woman-asking-the-hard-questions-at-the-banking-royal-commission-20180314-p4z4ay.html
    And it wasn’t a good day at the commission for NAB yesterday.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/nab-board-aware-of-alleged-fraud-ring-for-months-commission-told-20180314-p4z4a0.html
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/nab-home-loan-applications-adjusted-to-get-them-approved-20180314-p4z4cw.html
    Karen Maley explains why bankers are getting sweaty over the Hayne royal commission. Google.
    /opinion/why-bankers-are-getting-sweaty-over-the-hayne-royal-commission-20180314-h0xfzw
    What the Royal Commission can do if the banks don’t play ball on evidence.
    https://theconversation.com/what-the-royal-commission-can-do-if-the-banks-dont-play-ball-on-evidence-93283
    Robert Gottliebsen writes that Labor is in danger of making a fundamental mistake on its franking credit calculations. Google.
    /business/opinion/robert-gottliebsen/franking-credit-scheme-underlines-alps-lack-of-business-acumen/news-story/d375133d5135d2ba2dc69b756895ed56
    Bill Shorten has pledged to compensate up to 250,000 pensioners for any dollar they lose under his $59 billion dividend imputation policy as the Coalition, retirees and seniors groups accuse Labor over a “brutal and cruel” threat to their finances. Easy, wasn’t it! Now he can get a clear run.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/shorten-promises-pensioners-they-will-get-their-money-back-from-59b-tax-take-20180314-p4z4bg.html
    The Conversation examines whether or not Labor’s proposed tax changes will make the system fairer.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/will-labors-proposed-tax-changes-make-the-system-fairer,11294
    Australia’s institutions are among the least trusted in the world — is there hope? Asks Bruce Keogh.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/cash-for-trash-and-the-joyce-affair-system-trust-bites-the-dust,11295
    This morning The High Court will rule on Katy Gallagher’s citizenship.
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/high-court-decision-on-katy-gallagher-dual-citizenship-case-expected-on-thursday-20180313-h0xfrv.html
    Dan Andrews has really let fly at Turnbull over the decision to build the armoured vehicles in Queensland.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/victorian-government-on-warpath-as-defence-manufacturing-bid-tanks-20180314-p4z4ag.html

  16. Section 2 . . .

    What’s Dutton up to now? He’s got involved with the gun lobby.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/15/peter-dutton-considering-request-for-gun-importers-to-review-rule-changes
    Eryk Bagshaw tells us that Exxon Mobil will not pay tax until 2021, a Senate inquiry has heard, the eighth year in a row it will not contribute to government revenue despite earning $7 billion last year. Never mind that we are virtually giving away our natural resources to companies like this.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/exxon-won-t-pay-tax-until-2021-hasn-t-paid-any-for-years-inquiry-hears-20180314-p4z4ba.html
    Greg Jericho explains that whoever wins the South Australian election will have to deal with a struggling economy and challenging demographics in a state that feels ignored.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2018/mar/15/south-australia-dragged-down-by-demographics
    Peter Martin examines the arguments about immigration.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/there-s-a-case-for-immigration-and-it-s-not-about-us-20180314-p4z4bk.html
    The Turnbull government has refused to take a position on whether the minimum wage should rise but has warned the workplace umpire an increase could pose “employment risks” for the young, low skilled and long-term jobless.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/government-fails-to-back-minimum-wage-increase-as-labor-calls-for-rise-20180314-p4z4az.html
    Peter Dutton invokes queuing rules.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/peter-dutton-looks-to-help-persecuted-white-south-african-farmers-20180314-p4z4el.html
    The Australian’s David Murray tells us that a former undercover cop has gone public about how Australian border chief Roman Quaedvlieg snuffed out his job prospects. Google.
    /news/border-chief-killed-my-career/news-story/8a204ee47163d472ded0b23c5cfefaf0
    The organisation behind a fledgling voluntary euthanasia campaign in Queensland says it believes private support among MPs is overwhelming, and expects a Victorian-style parliamentary inquiry to be under way by the end of the year.
    https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/mar/15/voluntary-euthanasia-would-win-overwhelming-backing-in-queensland
    Tillerson was a dead man walking but his replacement may not make life easy for Australia.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/tillerson-was-a-dead-man-walking-but-his-replacement-may-not-make-life-easy-for-australia-20180314-p4z4dr.html
    The SMH editorial is about Trump’s continual churning of key cabinet members and staff.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/trumps-team-churns-over-again-20180314-h0xgy3.html
    Trump certainly knows how to pick them!
    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/world/a-torture-cloud-hangs-over-gina-haspel-trump-s-choice-for-cia-20180314-p4z4bh.html
    Noel Towell on the cage match to the political death inside The Greens.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/torn-to-pieces-the-rage-inside-the-greens-batman-machine-20180313-p4z43u.html
    The Australian’s technology reporter Chris Smith says that in the lead-up to the next election, it’s time for policymakers from all parties to put away the self-serving rhetoric and start developing sophisticated, tech-savvy NBN policies that address last-mile options and show we are the clever country once more. Google.
    /life/personal-technology/nbn-need-for-speed-drives-consumer-discontent/news-story/df6c84a332b1089db44934c2399fc293?from=htc_rss

  17. Section 4 . . . Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe goes under the Oval Office.

    Mark David hits the spot with this one.

    Peter Broelman farewells Stephen Hawking and welcomes bankers to the royal commission.


    Zanetti does his employer’s bidding once again.

    The rats are deserting the sinking ship.

    Five more from Matt Golding.





    Mark Knight with a “tribute” to Robert Doyle.

    Goodbye Rex.

    Sean Leahy with Hawkins’ worst nightmare.

    Jon Kudelka at Hawkins’ graveside.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/8d45bc56d4059310e114d238f8e4cd05
    And you’ll see some more among this lot.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/best-of-fairfax-cartoons-march-15-2018-20180314-h0xhc8.html

  18. Our Minister for Fascism goes all NRA
    .
    “The Home Affairs minister, Peter Dutton, is considering establishing a committee to allow gun importers to review proposed changes to firearm regulations for “appropriateness and intent”.

    Following a meeting with a pro-gun lobbyist in February, Dutton is weighing up whether to establish a so-called “firearms advisory council”, which the gun lobby says would give it “a seat at the table” to advise the government on firearms policy.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/15/peter-dutton-considering-request-for-gun-importers-to-review-rule-changes

  19. This is a rumour I really hope is true.

    In the 2012 biography “Stephen Hawking: An Unfettered Mind,” author Kitty Ferguson wrote that it was rumoured that Hawking would try to run over the toes of people who annoyed him.

    In 1977, Prince Charles got his feet crushed beneath his wheels during the royal’s induction into the Royal Society, she wrote: “The prince was intrigued by Hawking’s wheelchair, and Hawking, twirling it around to demonstrate its capabilities, carelessly ran over Prince Charles’s toes … People who annoyed him, it was said, found themselves a target.”

    It was even rumoured that one of the politically outspoken scientist’s great regrets was that he never got a chance to run over the toes of Conservative prime minister Margaret Thatcher.

    Hawking, it has to be said, denied these allegations – albeit fairly unconvincingly.

    “A malicious rumour,” he told Ferguson. “I’ll run over anyone who repeats it.”

    https://www.businessinsider.com.au/stephen-hawking-ran-over-toes-of-people-rumor-2018-3?r=UK&IR=T

  20. The Greens have jumped onto Labor’s tax thing, trying to make out oit’s going to hurt people who are ‘struggling’ and vowing to make sure any legislation is ‘fair’. I suppose that’s code for “We will vote with the Coalition to kill it off”.

    Greens vow to prevent ‘unintended consequences’ from Labor’s tax plan
    https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/federal/greens-vow-to-prevent-unintended-consequences-from-labor-s-tax-plan-20180314-p4z4bc.html

    • My heart bleeds for the poor woman. So much suffering, so much hardship. How will she afford the weekly visit to the hairdresser and the regular Botox treatments now? Why, she might even have to sell that fancy mask thing she’s sitting next to, and the other art works that are off-camera, just to be able to keep putting Moet in the fridge.

      This is the chap Billy quoted yesterday –

      Andrew Stark, who is in his “mid-50s”, came out of a divorce with a modest amount of money which he invested in Australian shares.

      He lives off about $150 per week after paying the rent on his home on the NSW Central Coast of $210 a week.

      He has some casual work, but not enough to have an income tax liability against which he can offset his tax credits.

      The $16,000 a year from his share portfolio would drop to about $11,000 under Labor’s plan.

      “I would have to sell some of the shares and eat into my capital and, eventually, I will have nothing left and will be on welfare,” Andrew said

      So he doesn’t live on $150 at all, he does casual work and won’t say how much he earns from that. I’m wondering if he works for cash so he doesn’t have to pay tax. If he’s only in his mid-fifties and is obviously capable of working why doesn’t he get himself a proper job and earn some decent money?

      Fairfax must have really struggled to find a few whingers who will be adversely (so they say) affected by this policy.

    • kk –
      That thought occurred to me, or it’s possible he has kids who are still studying and he doesn’t want to pay child support. He wouldn’t be the only one trying that tactic. Child support usually cuts off when the kid turns 18, but if they go on to tertiary study it can be extended.

  21. gigilene

    Lordy gigilene, You don’t expect them to know an actual poor person do you ? They live many suburbs away.

  22. Dutton has offended the South African government.

    Dutton slammed over ‘persecuted’ white farmers remarks

    South Africa’s foreign ministry has dismissed Mr Dutton’s comments and expressed its “regret” over the lack of diplomatic communication.

    “That threat does not exist,” the South African foreign ministry in Pretoria told Reuters.

    “There is no reason for any government in the world to suspect that a section of South Africans is under danger from their own democratically elected government.

    “We regret that the Australian government chose not to use the available diplomatic channels available for them to raise concerns or to seek clarification.”

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/dutton-slammed-over-persecuted-white-farmers-remarks

    • I note that Gigi and Leone mentioned it was poor timing in relation to the Batman election, but another way of looking at it may be that it distracted a little from the wedge position Labor were in over Adani and Asylum seekers, which had been the Greens primary attack in the campaign. You could almost have believed that Labor was in government the way it was run.

      The Greens couldn’t resist a media opportunity as the media and the Libs try to pretend the reducing of that rort is somehow going to damage pensioners and battlers. It ties in nicely with Labor’s theme that the Greens are more interested in attacking Labor than the are in pushing for fairness for everyone in incomes and taxes. Kimberley takes it up with a vengeance.

  23. Yeah, I had a look at this one as well:

    http://www.canberratimes.com.au/money/super-and-funds/labor-voter-fury-over-losing-30pc-of-income-under-shorten-plan-20180313-p4z4b1.html

    The old, old trick. Find someone who ‘says’ they’re a Labor voter, but is sitting on (or earning) suspiciously large amounts of money, portray them as a ‘battler’ and let them have a whinge about how much they’re going to lose. And make sure you give the impression that that person is ‘typical’ of the ‘type of people’ affected. The press have gone to that well a few times. I remember a couple on $150K plus being portrayed as low income earners a couple of years ago. It’s certainly where I got the idea that neither the Liberal Party nor the journalistic fraternity can see anyone who earns less that $150K. I’m surprised they even gave Andrew Stark the time of day. But then again, his story is so sketchy I’m inclined to think it’s largely made-up.

    These stories don’t work. Nobody pays any attention to them. Especially so because this government has been barking ‘austerity!’ at us for so long. First sign of that ‘austerity!’ being directed at the already-wealthy looking to maximise their free money and all bets are off there.

    • Exactly, Aguirre. A true believer in such a position would rightly be concerned that his independence in retirement was not badly affected by such a move, as BK mentioned when he first linked to that item.

      But when you consider the appalling way we’ve been governed since 2013 and the entirely dishonest opposition campaign against Gillard’s government for the 3 years prior … there is simply no way you’d consider voting for the Liberals, even if you had been likely to be damaged by these changes. After all, that and Negative Gearing and Capital Gains reforms are largely aimed at addressing some of the appalling waste and injustices of the Howard rorting years. They need also to tackle the gross overpayments to the wealthiest schools, too, so that public education becomes more accessible and affordable, but one thing at a time.

    • Twitter is currently inundated with people suggesting ways she could rearrange her capital so that there would be no loss. That’s not the point at all, and it’s not the way this thing works:

      What’s happened is what always happens when the ALP propose some kind of monetary reform. It starts with Coalition bleating, fairly random and generalised stuff from their stock of complaints. It’s all based around “Labor don’t know what they’re messing with, it’s gunna cause hardship blah blah blah.” They use pressers, social media and Sky News to get their whines out there, so that the attack remains unfiltered and unchallenged. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

      Then it filters into the news reports, which inevitably describe what’s happening as a “backlash”. Virtually no airtime allowed for the ALP to clarify what’s proposed and debunk misinformation. Just lots of talk about people being “affected”, “tax slugs”, “hits to pensions” and the like, the more emotive the better. Even newspapers/journalists who agree with the ALP in general know good copy when they see it, and everyone jumps on board.

      Once the more venal news outlets have had a look at the policy in a bit more detail, and constructed the hypothetical worst-case scenarios, they go out looking for willing participants to claim they fit these worst-case scenarios. That puts some anecdotal meat on the bones of the reaction.

      In this case we have a family in which only the wife is interviewed, so we don’t even know what’s going on with the husband financially. We only look at her That’s a red flag. Despite having a comfortable financial set-up with investments that provide a more than adequate income without any of the capital being affected, and the expensive residence on the waterfront, said woman claims to be helpless to do anything about these proposed changes. Red flag number two. No alternative options as to what she can do with her money is even canvassed. So the whole thing is presented as a fait accompli.

      We’re not talking about a real situation for which a solution is sought. Not at all. We’re looking at a news service looking to carefully construct a possibility as bad as possible, and then on-sell it to us. It’s just a news sting. If anybody thinks for a second that the po-faced woman mooning about in her expensive house is really in some kind of financial trouble because she’s lacking for advice, they’re badly mistaken. This is a fiction.

    • The TEN TV News on him mentioned he was on a liver transplant waiting list. According to the specialist interviewed, Hinch had no business drinking ANY alcohol without serious risk. Even if he really only had “one or two” glasses of wine, that was one or two too many with his liver.

      It’s not clear the extent of his head injury, but the specialist was concerned at how long he’d last with such damage to his liver. He may have to retire or resign.

      Goodness knows who that might throw up as his replacement if it occurs. But it is unknown territory for all. Hinch and X were generally onside with Fizza when the crunch came, even if they did extract concessions for their support.

    • I don’t know where Channel 10 get their information, Hinch had that liver transplant about ten years ago. There have been a few mentions of him allegedly drinking since the transplant.

  24. Aguirre

    Median price of 2 bdr Apt. in the suburb is $1,400,000 according to realestate.com . Having a ‘front row seat’ for the waterfront means their ‘hovel’ would be above that. They’ll have options alright.

    • They will. But have you seen how sad she looks? It’s heart-breaking. No harbourside mansion views or accumulated wealth will ever replace those free handouts on tax-fee income. I really don’t know how she’ll cope.

  25. I think this attempted deportation was a deliberate terror tactic by Dutton and his goons, intended to terrify and imtimidate a family they were never going to deport that night.

    Flown to Perth, driven in seperate vans, with the children separated from their parents, handcuffed, forced onto a plane about to leave for Sri Lnka, then at the last moment a reprieve. It makes you wonder.

    Tamil asylum seeker family remains in Australia after last-minute reprieve
    Family taken into detention in dawn raid a week ago reprieved just before take-off to Sri Lanka
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/mar/14/tamil-asylum-seeker-family-remains-in-australia-after-last-minute-reprieve

    The petition to allow this family to return home to Biloela has now reached 81,501 signatures.
    https://www.change.org/p/peter-dutton-bring-priya-back-to-biloela

    • can you get baby handcuffs? those girls are 12 months & 2 years

      And Peter Dutton’s wife runs child care centres in Brisbane. Well you wouldn’t want your kids in her care!

    • I wouldn’t put it past Dutton to have baby handcuffs made, just for terrorising little kids.

  26. Just spent two-and-a-half days at Yarrangobilly with electronic reception or transmission whatsoever.

    Turn on the news on 6:30 and what do I get? People smuggler PotatoHead!

    White farmers facing violence in South Africa “deserve special attention” from Australia, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has said.

    Mr Dutton has ordered his department to investigate how to bring the farmers, who he says are facing “horrific circumstances” of land seizures and violence, to Australia.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-03-15/dutton-wants-australia-to-help-white-south-african-farmers/9550050

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