The Big Budget Bribe.2018

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The 2018 Federal Budget will be announced tomorrow ( or what little parts already haven’t been) but a desperate Government hoping to bribe the voters into re-electing them.

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By all reports they are going to spend big on infrastructure as well as any other items the think will be looked upon favourably as well as giving tax cuts and other sweeteners immediately to the lower classes while the more affluent will have to wait a few years.

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Morrison and Mal are indeed trying to be Santa Claus. The hypocrisy is astounding by them as well as the complicate media,

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What happened to the DEBT AND DEFICIENT disaster   we were warned about day in and day out when it was much lower than what it is now? What about the Sovereign Risk to Australia,? WE were all going to be ruined unless it was bought back under control.

 

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This is the biggest bribe in place since Costello’s last one, which was the last trick to save their tired old Government from losing. This coming budget is about saving Turnbull/Morrison and the rest of Coalscums jobs.It will be talked up as brilliant by their sprukers and lickspittles , Labor will pillared from post to paddock if they don’t immediately agree to pass all the measures in the budget and then get out of the way and let the rightful rulers get on with their agenda with out question.

 

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Will the Public fall for it, or are they more savvy than given credit for?

Time will tell.

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2,703 thoughts on “The Big Budget Bribe.2018

  1. That was the old judgement, back in March. Turnbull is refusing to accept that judgement so it’s going back to court.

    The reporting in that article is really, really incoherent and it’s mostly Labor bashing.That last tweet is also very misleading. I get really frustrated by tweeters who get the wrong end of the stick and tweet rubbish.

    Here’s a report on the original judgement, from 1 March this year.

    LNP loses court battle to keep political donations up to $13,500 secret
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/qld/2018/03/01/qld-lnp-political-donations/

  2. For something a little different on the politicalscene.

    “Ukrainian government intervenes on behalf of government MP Chris Crewther

    In a letter to the AEC, Ukraine’s ambassador to Australia Mykola Kulinich said he was “extremely concerned” about the proposed changes, and warned that the Ukraine-Australian relationship would “only be strengthened by Mornington remaining within the Dunkley electorate.”

    “I believe that the Ukrainian community in Dunkley will be disadvantaged by separating Mornington from the electorate, where many reside,” the ambassador said.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/ukrainian-government-intervenes-on-behalf-of-government-mp-chris-crewther-20180514-p4zfaf.html

  3. Didn’t poor, silly Lucy Gichuhi ever understand that the only reason the Libs wanted her to join their party was so they could push her out of parliament?

  4. 2gravel

    I’m sure Truffles will be right on the case. Given how concerned he is about foreign types trying to influence Strayan politics…………Oh wait, it is a Coalition MP. All is well.

  5. As I did kind of intimate yesterday, yes, the Turnbull government have turned to ‘terrorism’ to chase votes, or scare us to the right, or something. The ID checks at airports announcement is really just about that. It also has a touch of racism about it, as you can bet (as Derryn Hinch mentioned in a tweet that says he’s intending to support the policy) it’s going to be used as a pretext for racial profiling.

    They’re pulling out the stops, and getting on the merry-go-round of right wing tactics – which is (in any order you like) terrorism, unions, Turnbull glad-handing, ALP-bashing, racism. And any combinations of the above.

    Five years since 2013, and we’ve yet to hear one positive people-oriented policy from these bastards. They only have negative tactics. Kind of makes sense in opposition. In power, it’s a national disaster. The nearest we got to anything that might be seen as ‘progressive’ was the kind of talk Turnbull was giving us before he replaced Abbott. But that all dried up the minute he took the reins. I certainly don’t count the SSM vote. That happened in spite of them – they held it back as long as they could, and had to be dragged kicking and screaming to it.

    I should also mention that, for all the dark muttering about threats and danger, the spectre of terrorism right now is no worse than it’s been for decades. And thus there’s no particular reason for greater government scrutiny or curbs on citizens. It’s all rubbish. I don’t know that it’s actually about power, I think it’s about votes. They want us worried so we’ll vote for a ‘steady hand’ or some such rot.

  6. For a long time, since at least Howard’s time, security staff at Sydney Airport have been allowed to demand ID and even do pat-down searches of anyone they believe looks ‘different’. I know this because my son was targeted by these people. He was a uni student back then, dropping his brother off at the airport. He had long hair (blonde) and was wearing his typical scruffy student gear. We think his long hair, scruffy T-shirt and worn jeans made the security staff decide to target him. It was profiling, although not racial profiling. He was asked for ID, frisked and asked what he was doing there. He was waiting with his brother until it was time for the flight to board, security decided he could do that, although he could have been asked to leave or even escorted from the place, as we have since found out happened to others around the same time. However someone from security hovered around until his brother’s flight was called and he left. Meanwhile “respectable’ businessmen wearing suits and ties were allowed to wander around freely, without anyone asking them what they were up to or demanding ID.

    I’m just saying this because the way everyone is carrying on about today’s announcement and talking about possible uses for profiling is very old news. The profiling has been going on for years, so has demanding ID.

    It doesn’t make today’s news better, but it does give a bit of perspective. Coalition governments love to try to keep us all under control. The only things about today’s announcement that are different to what has been going on at Sydney Airport for years is that it’s now the police who have those powers and it is extended across the whole country.

    And – Labor won’t repeal this when they get back into government. They never repeal any of this nasty “keeping us safe from terrorists” stuff. Labor’s only concern seems to be the government might have underfunded the plan for full body scanners, which might put some regional airports under stress.
    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/new-police-powers-at-australian-airports-spark-racial-profiling-fears

  7. From New Matilda –

    Late this evening, we received words from our legal gurus (Marque Lawyers) that the Victorian Department of Prosecutions was amending its application to place a ‘super injunction’ over reporting of the upcoming trial of Cardinal George Pell. A super injunction means we can’t report the trial, and we can’t even tell you why we can’t report the trial.

    We broke that story yesterday morning.
    https://newmatilda.com/2018/05/14/prosecutors-seek-complete-ban-media-reporting-cardinal-george-pell-trial/
    It took mainstream media 24 hours to pick it up. They started reporting it this afternoon. A few hours later, the DPP changed course. ……………………………………..
    ……………… if the DPP’s application is successful tomorrow morning (the hearing starts at 9am) the story linked below will have to be removed from publication, such is the nature of ‘super injunctions’ (I explain in the story).

    Chris Graham
    Editor/Publisher

    BREAKING NEWS: Prosecutors Narrow Application For Media Ban On Cardinal George Pell Trial
    https://newmatilda.com/2018/05/15/prosecutors-narrow-application-media-ban-cardinal-george-pell-trial/

    • Nothing more than a media tactic to paint Labor as being torn apart by factional warfare, when it’s actually the Libs who are having that problem. Turnbull is controlled by the loopy far right of the parliamentary Libsand lacks the will to break away.

      I’d say Murpharoo herself wrote that headline.

      No-one can fault Shorten’s leadership, no-one can find any conflict within the party, Shorten is leading an incredibly united team, so the media just have to make up crap.

  8. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. Want to see something about the royal wedding? Well you won’t find it here!

    Ross Gittins hasn’t let up on criticising Morrison and his utterings.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/rich-whingers-not-as-hard-done-by-as-morrison-would-have-you-think-20180515-p4zfc5.html
    And Stephen Koukoulas says the Turnbull government is kidding itself when it claims the labour market is strong.
    https://thekouk.com/item/601-the-turnbull-government-is-kidding-itself-when-it-claims-the-labour-market-is-strong.html
    North Korea has suspended high-level talks with South Korea scheduled for today due to US-South Korean military exercises and warned that a summit next month between its leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump could be in jeopardy. How’s Trump’s Nobel Peace Prize looking?
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/north-korea-suspends-talks-with-south-warns-on-trump-kim-summit-20180516-p4zfiv.html
    Katharine Murphy previews the upcoming ALP conference.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/may/16/labor-right-pushes-for-conference-majority-as-shorten-faces-test-of-leadership
    The Australian headlines that retirees will fund Labor’s spending splurge.
    https://outline.com/bfttbe
    If things weren’t difficult enough for her Rebekha Sharkie could be forced to campaign in Mayo by-election under Nick Xenophon Team banner.
    https://outline.com/34CLc8
    Jane Halton, the Former head of the Department of Finance, lashes the government’s third budget for lacking the guts to undertake real reform.
    https://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/former-finance-secretary-says-budget-fails-on-reforms-questions-wage-predictions-20180515-p4zfbf.html
    People with a disability are waiting months for simple callbacks when they complain of errors or inadequacies with their national disability insurance scheme support plan, the ombudsman has found.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/may/15/damning-report-finds-ndis-complaints-ignored-for-months
    New housing proposals in one fast-growing area of Sydney will be slowed down, as the government concedes apartment growth is outpacing infrastructure.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/time-to-take-a-breath-government-hits-brake-on-sydney-housing-hotspot-20180515-p4zfhc.html
    The SMH editorial looks at the Israel/Palestine situation.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/more-pain-in-gaza-20180515-p4zffk.html
    This article in the AFR says that the celebration of the US embassy relocation to Jerusalem was grotesque. It was a consummation of the cynical alliance between hawkish Jews and Zionist evangelicals who believe that the return of Jews to Israel will usher in the apocalypse and the return of Christ, after which Jews who don’t convert will burn forever.
    https://outline.com/BvGeDC
    Pastors at the Jerusalem embassy opening highlight evangelicals’ deal with The Donald.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/may/15/donald-trump-evangelicals-christian-right-jerusalem
    The United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has defended Israel for its “restraint” in dealing with protests that left at least 60 Palestinians dead in violent clashes with the military.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2018/05/16/israel-gaza-nikki-haley-restraint/
    Jonathan Steele says that there is a cost to Trump and we are seeing it now in Gaza.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/15/donald-trump-gaza-palestinians-israel
    John Crace opines that the boorish Boris Johnson is now a one-man rogue state, a believer in his own genius, seeming safe in the knowledge that no one will dare sack him
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/may/15/boorish-boris-johnson-one-man-rogue-state
    Sydney’s homeless population increased more than three times faster than the national rate due to soaring house prices and policy inaction, a landmark study has found.
    https://www.domain.com.au/news/sydneys-homeless-population-increases-at-more-than-triple-the-national-rate-landmark-report-finds-20180515-h101i1/?utm_campaign=featured-masthead&utm_source=smh&utm_medium=link
    As the reality sinks in that Telstra earnings have fallen off a cliff, so the chatter about the need for a management overhaul is re-emerging. Whether chief executive Andrew Penn can escape this time remains to be seen.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/penn-under-the-gun-as-telstra-s-earnings-hangover-gets-worse-20180515-p4zffa.html
    How do people and institutions get away with prejudice? Simple, they dress discrimination in the cloak of merit. Just ask Jane Prentice.
    https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/jane-prentice-and-the-biggest-con-of-our-age-20180515-p4zfek.html
    The numbers don’t lie on the Liberal Party’s ‘woman problem’
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2018/05/14/liberals-female-representation-jane-prentice/

  9. Section 2 . . .

    Labor will vow to beat the Turnbull government at budget repair by posting bigger surpluses over the next four years, unveiling a bold economic message for voters who cannot be won by tax cuts alone. Chris Bowen will talk to this at the NPC today.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/labor-makes-bold-pledge-to-prioritise-budget-repair-20180515-p4zfg2.html
    Michelle Grattan previews Bowen’s speech.
    https://theconversation.com/labor-would-deliver-bigger-surpluses-than-the-coalition-bowen-96678
    Phil Coorey reports that Labor has accused the federal government of swindling the elderly in last week’s budget by taking $1.6 billion from nursing homes, using it to fund 14,000 places for home care and badging it as new money.
    https://outline.com/gSBStA
    John Collett writes that the vertical integration business models of the banks, the “wealth” managers like AMP and some of the independently owned financial planning businesses, will likely be the focus of the royal commission’s recommendations concerning financial advice.
    https://www.smh.com.au/money/planning-and-budgeting/something-will-have-to-give-in-financial-advice-20180515-p4zfbr.html
    Highly-regarded fund manager Geoff Wilson has warned against investing in beaten down AMP shares, saying the embattled wealth manager’s financial planning business was “rotten” to the core. Ouch!
    https://outline.com/cWBac7
    Adele Ferguson writes about the heads that keep rolling in the murky world of superannuation.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/the-heads-keep-rolling-in-the-murky-world-of-super-20180515-p4zfh7.html
    Why we can’t just throw more regulation at the ethical issues raised by the banking royal commission.
    https://theconversation.com/why-we-cant-just-throw-more-regulation-at-the-ethical-issues-raised-by-the-banking-royal-commission-96646
    The Victorian Department of Public Prosecutions has narrowed its application for a complete ban on media reporting of the trials of Cardinal George Pell, but is still seeking an order that will have the effect of a ‘super injunction’.
    https://newmatilda.com/2018/05/15/prosecutors-narrow-application-media-ban-cardinal-george-pell-trial/
    The erratic nature of policy-making in the Trump era may produce unintended consequences. – including the status of the US dollar.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/unintended-consequences-how-trump-is-threatening-the-us-dollar-20180515-p4zfdg.html
    Peter Hannam tells us that the Abbott-Turnbull government was warned about the potential of consumers being gouged by electricity networks for more than three years but failed to act until now. And he’s got letters to prove it.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/turnbull-government-knew-for-years-about-network-rorts-letters-show-20180515-p4zffo.html
    Federal Labor has proposed new powers to crack down on tree-clearing across the country, in a move that could transform Queensland’s heated debate over land management into a nationwide row.
    https://outline.com/xdJ8sM
    Nicholas Stuart writes that the single-most critical defence spending issue this government ever makes will be made and announced next week. Not just in terms of cost, or size, or impact on Australian industry, but in terms of the very future of our defence force. This is the big one.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/three-ships-but-only-two-options-20180515-p4zfgg.html
    Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and senior staff from his department could face criminal prosecution over delaying medical airlifts for refugees, says former WorkSafe Victoria prosecutor Max Costello.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/peter-duttons-rule-of-law-comments-could-come-back-to-haunt-him-,11497
    Will small scale plastic pyrolysis plants be one answer to our packaging waste problem?
    https://www.smh.com.au/opinion/a-solution-for-the-recycling-crisis-turn-plastic-into-energy-20180515-h1033w.html
    $30m to Fox Sports, $84m from the ABC: A tale of two broadcasters
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2018/05/15/abc-cuts-foxtel-womens-sport-grant/
    Baby formula will join razors and cigarettes behind the counter at some NSW supermarkets to ensure Australian parents have enough to feed their infants.
    https://outline.com/c9FJTH
    The Bureau of Meteorology says the federal government is jeopardising its ability to provide accurate rain and storm observations through plans to expose its radar systems to harmful radio wave interference.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/politics/federal/government-sell-off-threatens-accuracy-of-weather-radars-bureau-of-meteorology-warns-20180515-p4zfdz.html

  10. Section 3. . . Cartoon Corner

    There’s a lot in this poignant contribution from David Rowe.

    Cathy Wilcox lines up the Uber Tuber.

    Chris Downes on the aftermath of the Tasmanian floods.

    Glen Le Lievre on the Israel/Palestine situation.

    Alan Moir unpacks vertical integration in the finance industry.

    Mark Knight in Collins Street.

    Paul Zanetti on the power of Google and Facebook.

    Jon Kudelka with some suspicious behaviour at the airport.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/d0541ac8a06fb06221b28453a0fd6bd9
    Some more in here.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/best-of-fairfax-cartoons-may-16-2018-20180515-h103dl.html

  11. I can understand cigarettes and baby formula being put under the shelf, but I don’t understand razors having to be hidden. I may have missed some vital information, not being in need of razors.

    • It’s not the disposable razors that are the problem, it’s the actual razor blades.

      Razor blades are – or used to be – popular with shop lifters. The packs are small,it’s easy to shove a few in your bag down your trousers and they are expensive, so there’s a good market for thieves to flog them off at less than supermarket prices. Supermarkets decided to deal with this by keeping them under lock and key, with the cigarettes.

    • Why would she want to come back? She entered parliament in 2001, a few years before the pension rules changed, so she has a very nice pension income. We pay her handsomely to sit around on her ample backside and do bugger all. If she returned to politics she’d have to do some work, not that she did much when she was in parliament, but still, she’d have to turn up for sittings, at least.

  12. I find this much more of a worry than possibly being asked to show my ID at an airport, especially knowing that Family Planning NSW recently had their website hacked with personal details of 8000 clients compromised. My chances of being asked for ID at an airport are lesss than slight, but the possibility of my medial data being revealed to anyone who cares to look is much greater. Of course, no-one is talking about this, the media are distracted by the ID issue.

    From North Coast Voices –
    An insider has finally admitted what any digital native would be well aware of – your personal health information entered into a national database will be no safer that having it up on Facebook
    http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com.au/2018/05/an-insider-has-finally-admitted-what.html

  13. BREAKING – Blackmail charges against CFMEU chiefs John Setka and Shaun Reardon to be dropped in massive embarrassment for coalition’s royal commission into unions. Unmitigated disaster for police, prosecutors and royal commission and massive coup for union movement. #auspol— Nick McKenzie (@Ageinvestigates) May 16, 2018

  14. Couldn’t run a chook raffle

    The Turnbull government is likely to press ahead with the release of a report into the live export trade on Thursday after abruptly cancelling the release of the document after cabinet deliberations.

    A report by livestock veterinarian Dr Michael McCarthy has been handed to the government, and it was due to be released on Wednesday after stakeholders had read it.

    But the government canned the release and a scheduled briefing for stakeholders which was also due to happen on Wednesday. There are conflicting accounts about the surprising 11th-hour decision.

    Nationals sources say it was a unanimous decision by the five Nationals in cabinet to delay the report, and that they presented their argument to their cabinet colleagues on Tuesday and it was accepted.

    Separate reports suggest the agriculture minister and Nationals MP David Littleproud was rolled by Liberals in cabinet and the delay was imposed over his head.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/may/16/release-of-live-export-trade-report-bungled-amid-cabinet-debate

  15. Bowen was excellent at the press club. I understood much of what he was saying. The questions he was asked showed that none of the questioners were actually listening though. Bowen’s responses were a repeat of most of his speech……..and I still don’t think they understood.

    • I thought the lot of them were way out of their depth, didn’t have a clue about economics or budgets and were just asking what they hoped would be “gotcha” questions intended to get a quick Labor-bashing headline.

      It’s disturbing to think these are the same people who get to study budget papers at the pre-budget lock-up and who then get to write commentary on budgets. You have to wonder what they actually do at that lock-up, because understanding budget papers would be way beyond them.

      I don’t think any of them would understand the economics involved in buying a takeaway pizza. let alone have a grasp on the intricacies involved in planning a decent federal budget.

  16. N.B. By default, you will have a “My Health Record”, and apparently private companies will have access to data for “research purposes.” Get stuffed!

    My Health Record opt-out dates announced amid security concerns
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-05-14/my-health-record-opt-out-dates-announced-amid-concerns/9760102

    My Health Record identified data to be made available to third parties
    http://www.healthcareit.com.au/article/my-health-record-identified-data-be-made-available-third-parties

    Find out more about opt-out
    https://www.myhealthrecord.gov.au/for-you-your-family/howtos/opt-out

  17. You know what is really, really annoying me? Journalists using the term “Baby Boomer” to describe any pensioner or anyone they see as old. I once saw John Howard, born in 1939, described as a “Baby Boomer”. That’s how dumb these journalists are. If you insist on using trite labels then at least make sure you understand what those labels mean. Pensioners are not necessarily baby boomers. Not all old people are baby boomers.

    A Baby Boomer is a person born during the post-WWII bay boom, specifically those born between 1946 and 1960 to 1964, depending on what definition you read. I’m just a few months too old to qualify.

    Today Phil Coorey had an article talking about the “Baby Boomer” package in the budget. He quoted Julie Collins, who referred to “Baby Boomers” supposedly being at the centre of the budget.. Both of them are idiots for using that term incorrectly.The oldest baby boomers are turning 72 this year. Few of that cohort need home care packages let alone residential aged care, most are still fit and active. The people who need these things right now are those in their eighties and nineties. They are the ones on the waiting list for home care packages. Many of them will die before they get to the top of the waiting list.

    I’m going to digress a bit here –
    There are about 105,000 on that waiting list as of last week. Last September there were 89,000. That’s how quickly the list is growing. Morrison’s 14,000 places over the next four years (20,000 if you include the 6,000 promised last December) won’t even keep up with the constant growth of the waiting list, let alone meet the current demand. Just think about it – 14,000 over 4 years. That’s just 3,500 a year. The waiting list has grown by 16,000 in just over 6 months.

    • It’s always nice to consider that the trailing edge of the so-called “Baby Boomers” are the ones who will still be trying to find work at the age of 67 or 70.
      Having been born in that trailing edge, I can’t say that I have particularly benefited from anything the “Baby Boomers” might have claimed: Too young for the 60s and too busy with real life(TM) for the 80s & 90s, just when things might have eased up a bit, we got 10 years of hard-core ‘trickle down’ followed by a GFC, there is a part of me that resents being included in that particular demographic.
      * sighs *
      It is a bit disheartening to realise the concept that the way in which those who are less able are cared for is an indication of how civil a society is, is so poorly upheld by those who claim to be such leading citizens. I would dearly like for them to be held to the same ‘high standards’ of ‘mutual obligation’ as some of those less fortunate in our society. “Noblesse oblige” is not necessarily such a bad thing, Is it?

    • Lawyer for the unionists, Peter Gordon, told reporters the Boral executives’ credibility had been “shredded over the last eight days”, including evidence one executive destroyed their original notes of the meeting where the alleged threats were made.

      “Crucially it’s been exposed that neither of the Boral men viewed the coffee shop conversation as any kind of threat at the time and did not think of it as any kind of threat for over a year,” Mr Gordon said.

      “And after a year, their view of that coffee shop conversation, their recollection of it got changed.

      “It got changed only after various lawyers got involved, internal lawyers for Boral, external lawyers for Boral, lawyers for the ACCC, and crucially lawyers for Dyson Heydon’s Trade Union Royal Commission.”

      He said multiple drafts were made of witness statements that changed an “entirely innocent” coffee shop conversation into a blackmail threat.

      Boral executive Paul Dalton told the court that he had sent briefing notes of the meeting with the union to then workplace relations minister Eric Abetz but could not recall if he sent them to former primer minister Tony Abbott.

      Mr Gordon called for the same sort of scrutiny that had applied to the CFMMEU leaders to apply to Boral, the royal commission and “those responsible for distortion of evidence that made these charges possible”.

    • What would you expect from the “Deputy Chairman of the ACT & Region Branch of the Australian Monarchist League” and current/ex advisor to Erica Betz ? Kiwi heritage but thank dawg he was born in Australia so I can shift the blame to his upbringing 🙂

    • I had the impression that “young people” might like to be able to do a TAFE course, they might like to know they will be able to access decent health care, they might want governments to address climate change, but no, this twit says they all want cheaper beer.

    • Leone it was ‘beer’ but the niche ‘craft beer” which benefited. The sort of stuff that is very nice but costs an arm and a leg. Regular drinkers of it, the main beneficiaries , will not be the ‘peasantry’

  18. SloMo – dumber than a box of rocks.

  19. TLBD

    Rangi is Maori for the sky , often used as a boys name. Moana is the ocean , a name often given to girls. Rangi and Moana together comprise the world. Especially if you are from a Pacific nation.

    A ‘Moana” song which sold v well way back when around the globe ” Cheryl Moana Maree “.

    • Which reminded me of

      The Final Proof of the non-Existence of God was proved by a Babel Fish.

      Now, it is such a bizarrely improbable coincidence that anything so mind-bogglingly useful could have evolved purely by chance that some have chosen to see it as the final proof of the NON-existence of God. The argument goes something like this:

      “I refuse to prove that I exist,” says God, “for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.”

      “But,” says Man, “the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves that You exist, and so therefore, by Your own arguments, You don’t. QED”

      “Oh dear,” says God, “I hadn’t thought of that,” and promptly vanishes in a puff of logic.

      “Oh, that was easy,” says Man, and for an encore goes on to prove that black is white and gets himself killed on the next zebra crossing.

  20. And, in more good news,

    The global engineering company AECOM, the firm that had been designing Adani’s $2.2bn rail line to its Carmichael coalmine, says that it has “demobilised” and is no longer working the project with the Indian conglomerate – but Adani says it is still “100% committed to the Carmichael project”.

    Engineering design contracts often have several milestones at which point the design is reviewed and the project then moves to another phase. The AECOM contract was ended at such a milestone with all contracts honoured. But sources have told Guardian Australia the expectation had been that AECOM would shepherd the rail project to its conclusion.

    Adani remains silent on its attempts to finance the Carmichael project, having missed two deadlines, the most recent in March.

    AECOM’s departure from the project comes amid increasing uncertainty around Adani’s ability to finance the Carmichael coalmine.

    The company had sought assistance for its rail project through the Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (Naif) but the Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, has vetoed a federal loan.

    Adani has also put part of its Townsville office up for rent.

    A spokesman from AECOM told Guardian Australia the company was no longer working on the Adani rail project.

    “Our people have demobilised,” he said. “We’ve handed over our design to the client. It’s up to them what happens after this.”

    A spokeswoman for Adani said: “Adani’s commercial relationship with AECOM continues. The current phase of their engineering and design for the rail project is now complete.

    “AECOM remains an important partner for Adani and we appreciate the quality of work they have completed to date and look forward to continuing to work with them.

    “It is normal for contractor numbers to change through the life of a project as milestones are reached and stages of work are completed … a new phase of activity on the project has begun, this involves working with other consultants and advisors to prepare for mine infrastructure construction and operation.

    “We remain 100% committed to the Carmichael project.”

    Guardian Australia understands AECOM stopped working on the project after the engineering design company was unable to gain access to key sites in order to progress its design work. The reasons for that are unclear.

    The executive director at Market Forces, Julien Vincent, said it was another setback for the project.

    “In the past six months, Adani has lost its mine construction partner in Downer EDI, while Queensland rail company Aurizon has withdrawn its Naif application to build an alternative rail line to the Galilee basin,” he said. “It’s time Australian governments and Adani both realise that coal is the past and instead focus on the future.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/may/16/carmichael-rail-line-engineering-firm-says-it-has-demobilised-from-adani-project

    • There might be cheap(er) flights to Hawai`i (Honolulu) at the moment – but make sure your travel insurance company doesn’t need a map like this to explain where the risky parts are for coverage.

  21. Will someone please buy Fizza a dictionary. The man (?) has NFI!

    He says Jules is “a formidable chief diplomat.”
    http://www.afr.com/news/malcolm-turnbull-rules-out-calls-for-julie-bishop-to-be-sacked-20180515-h102l9

    No 1 definition of “formidable” – “causing fear, apprehension, or dread:”
    http://www.dictionary.com/browse/formidable

    Too right. Fear of her incompetence getting us into an international crisis, dread of her lack of ability causing offence, apprehension about what gaffe she will make next.

    Synonyms – dreadful, appalling, threatening, menacing, fearful, frightful, horrible.

    • The Oxford Living Dictionary also suggests that formidable could also imply Inspiring fear or respect through being impressively large, powerful, intense, or capable. ‘a formidable opponent’
      Though which of those attributes Mr Turnbull could be applying to Ms Bishop I am not really sure …

  22. I’ll try to post the whole lot at once.

    Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    The information chief at Dutton’s new Home Affairs super ministry allegedly ordered the deletion of a government record relevant to a request under freedom of information laws when he was a senior executive at NSW’s transport agency. Does the Uber Tuber have his own Goebbels?
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/technology-chief-directed-staff-to-delete-information-20180516-p4zfli.html
    Stand by for some exploding heads! Increases in the minimum wage have not resulted in any job losses or fewer hours of work, research published by the Reserve Bank of Australia has found, in a set of unprecedented findings that is likely to kick-off another round of brawling between the Turnbull government and Labor.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/minimum-wage-rises-don-t-cost-jobs-or-work-hours-rba-research-says-20180516-p4zfoe.html
    Michael Pascoe takes off the gloves and socks Morrison over his wage growth assumptions.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/finance-news/2018/05/16/wages-growth-not-happening/
    Gareth Hutchens says a permanent solution to the bracket creep problem would be to index tax scales to inflation or average weekly earnings. The treasurer’s plan falls short.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/may/17/the-turnbull-government-says-its-tax-plan-deals-with-bracket-creep-does-it
    Greg Jericho explains how wages growth data released on Wednesday is not good news for workers – or for the projected budget surplus.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/may/17/have-you-heard-the-one-about-the-treasurer-predicting-wage-growth
    Phil Coorey writes that frustration is building within Labor over the delay in setting a date for the super Saturday of five byelections.
    https://outline.com/3HzLKb
    The gullible Trump finally finds out Kim Jong Un isn’t ‘honourable’.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/the-gullible-trump-finally-finds-out-kim-jong-un-isn-t-honourable-20180517-p4zfrf.html
    Why this White House leaks like a sieve.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/shiv-each-other-why-this-white-house-leaks-like-a-sieve-20180516-p4zfis.html
    Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson took a veiled shot at President Donald Trump on Wednesday, warning that a growing national crisis of ethics and integrity has put American democracy at risk.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/in-veiled-shot-at-trump-rex-tillerson-warns-democracy-at-risk-20180517-p4zfrq.html
    On Morrison’s tax plan Peter Martin says that we need to rely on organisations such as the Grattan Institute and the Parliamentary Budget Office for the calculations because the government won’t provide them for us. It wants us to be in awe of the trick without seeing how it’s done.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/here-s-my-big-dangerous-tax-idea-let-us-keep-our-money-20180515-p4zfih.html
    Nikki Savva explains all the undercurrents within the Liberal Party.
    https://outline.com/WTA6mc
    John Passant says That the disendorsement of sitting Liberal National Party member and Assistant Minister Jane Prentice highlights the sexist nature of the Coalition parties.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-coalition-is-a-boys-own-club,11503
    Rachel Olding says Alexander Downer broke with diplomatic protocol to take part in a highly-secretive interview with the FBI about Russian election meddling, according to new reports.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/alexander-downer-interviewed-by-fbi-hours-into-trump-russia-probe-20180517-p4zfrg.html
    The Senate Intelligence Committee has determined that the US intelligence community was correct in assessing that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election with the aim of helping then-candidate Donald Trump, contradicting findings House Republicans reached last month.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/russia-helped-trump-in-2016-us-senate-panel-says-breaking-with-house-20180517-p4zfrk.html
    Meanwhile Trump has acknowledged for the first time that he repaid his attorney Michael Cohen for a payment of at least US$130000 made to a “third party” in 2016.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/trump-discloses-third-party-expense-repaid-to-attorney-cohen-20180517-p4zfrh.html
    John Warhurst examines the prevalence of dynastic electorates as Georgina Downer emerges in Mayo.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/democratic-seats-aren-t-inherited-but-politics-is-a-family-business-20180515-p4zfia.html
    The SMH editorial looks at the new NSW legislation which aims to limit the influence of third parties on elections. It wonders about transparency.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/the-battle-continues-to-keep-elections-fair-20180516-p4zfo3.html
    In the wake of the collapsed CFMEU prosecution Nick McKenzie says it’s hard not to wonder if a desire to bag the biggest union scalps in the country blinkered the judgment of those who sought to criminalise what the union movement always insisted was industrial conduct.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/union-boss-john-setka-gifted-the-high-moral-ground-20180516-p4zfpv.html
    Even The Australian gets stuck into Cash, saying she should find a new whiteboard to hide behind after the withdrawal of blackmail charges against CFMEU Victorian leader, John Setka, and his deputy, Shaun Reardon.
    https://outline.com/UjwnAf
    And the AFR reckons that the collapse of the unprecedented court action to criminalise unlawful industrial behaviour has emboldened the militant CFMEU to pursue legal action against lawyers and state and federal police.
    https://outline.com/LtuxCu
    Jennifer Hewett says the decision by the Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions to drop blackmail charges against two senior construction union officials is a complete humiliation for the Turnbull government despite the Coalition’s attempts to claim otherwise.
    https://outline.com/PWp73H
    Another example of rampant wages theft.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/may/16/food-delivery-riders-protest-against-wage-theft-by-deliveroo-foodora-and-ubereats
    A quarter of a million Australians chose not to renew their health insurance in the year to March, citing rocketing premiums as the main reason, new research has revealed.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/finance-news/2018/05/16/mass-exodus-health-insurance/
    Australian companies are on notice that penalties for cartel breaches will be significantly higher than in the past, the competition watchdog has warned, in the wake of a landmark $46 million fine against Japanese car parts giant, Yazaki.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/toyota-supplier-fined-46m-in-australia-s-biggest-ever-cartel-penalty-20180516-p4zfk1.html
    Coca-Cola is reducing the sugar in even its full-sugar drinks.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/coca-cola-is-reducing-the-sugar-in-even-its-full-sugar-drinks-20180516-p4zfpo.html
    According to Tony Featherstone we need the right incentives and education programs to encourage small business owners to invest in their training. We need better linkages between universities, which have traditionally focused on big-business training needs, and small business.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/small-business/why-small-business-owners-must-invest-in-themselves-20180515-p4zfhr.html
    Michael West reports that prices charged by foreign ecommerce players have left inflation, indeed price growth and profitability in almost all other industries, in the shade. Equally daunting for regulators is that consolidation proceeds apace – that is, big players like Amazon, Google and Expedia (Trivago, Wotif) are swallowing start-ups and smaller ecommerce companies, quashing competition in their wake.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/stranglehold-global-tech-giants-push-up-prices/
    Stephen Bartholomeusz says Australia’s board cull could leave big holes that can’t be filled.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/australia-s-board-cull-could-leave-big-holes-that-can-t-be-filled-20180516-p4zfll.html
    The global engineering company AECOM, the firm that had been designing Adani’s $2.2bn rail line to its Carmichael coalmine, says that it has “demobilised” and is no longer working the project with the Indian conglomerate – but Adani says it is still “100% committed to the Carmichael project”.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2018/may/16/carmichael-rail-line-engineering-firm-says-it-has-demobilised-from-adani-project
    Reviews of NDIS cases have taken up to nine months to complete, and significant effort needs to be made to deal with the backlog of requests, an ombudsman’s report has found.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/politics/federal/long-wait-times-poor-communication-slammed-in-ndis-ombudsman-report-20180516-p4zfmt.html
    Involuntary celibacy has been recently used as an excuse for homicides, but freedom of online speech is more to blame, writes Nini Bien.
    https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/the-abnormalisation-of-society–how-big-tech-turned-lonely-men-into-mass-murderers,11499
    Ivanka Trump has been condemned over a series of photos that show her smiling and celebrating in Jerusalem on the same day 60 Palestinians were shot and killed in violent protests in nearby Gaza.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2018/05/16/ivanka-trumps-jerusalem-gaza/
    Wiping away a tear as he confirmed the public’s worst fears, Israel prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu officially declared a nationwide day of mourning Tuesday for a section of security fence damaged in yesterday’s conflict at the Gaza border.
    https://www.theonion.com/netanyahu-announces-day-of-mourning-for-fence-damaged-i-1826046925
    A Victorian County Court employee has reportedly been sacked for looking up information relating to Australia’s most senior Catholic, who has been charged with historical sexual offences.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2018/05/16/court-staffer-sacked-pell-report/

    Cartoon Corner

    Great work from David Rowe again!

    Ugly stuff from Mark Knight.

    Lovely stuff from Matt Golding

    A good one from Zanetti for a change.

    Jon Kudelka on a possible ban on balloons.

    Another one from Kudelka.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/opinion/cartoons/kudelka/image-gallery/8d1d6295a5d4de435ee608ff718b2351
    There some excellent cartoons in here.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/best-of-fairfax-cartoons-may-17-2018-20180516-h105js.html

  23. Phil Coorey – more of the Turnbull protection racket.

    Is Labor really frustrated by the delay in announcing a by-election date? Probably not. The longer the delay the more time to campaign, the more time for Turnbull to make a dill of himself. There’s another little problem brewing for the government – by mid July people will be working out that those budget tax cuts that the media assured them would kick in on 1 July aren’t happening. There are going to be a lot of grumpy campers when that penny drops.

    Tony Smith has not mucked around with announcing dates for previous by-elections. For New England the writs were issued on the same day the High Court decision was handed down. For Bennelong the writs were issued in the day John Alexander resigned. Why the delay this time?

    Coorey doesn’t mention the most obvious reasons for the delay.

    1 – Turnbull doesn’t have a candidate yet. He will be in campaigning in Longman today, without a Liberal candidate. Pre-selections are next Tuesday. This is the dual citizenship issue Coorey mentions, he carefully omits the details, no doubt hoping we will believe it’s a Labor problem.
    https://outline.com/ae7Ced

    2. Turnbull is dithering over whether or not to go an election in August or September. If he’s considering an early election, and judging by his frequent assurances he’s going right up to the “due date” and his record of repeatedly saying one thing and then doing the opposite, then he definitely is, it would be stupid to have five by-elections in July, just weeks before a full election.

    Also part of the racket – Coorey told us what Turnbull promised in Braddon, not that he will ever do any of it, given another term in government, but deliberately refused to mention anything Shorten said or promised in Longman. Don’t Coorey’s readers deserve a chance to compare and contrast?

    If Coorey is right and Turnbull is planning on delaying those elections until parliament isn’t sitting, so he can allegedly have a clear week to campaign, then that could be a really bad idea. The more Turnbull stays out of the public eye the better his polling is. Having Turnbull waffling around most of those electorates, with the intense media coverage that will get him, is going to turn voters off, not inspire them to vote Liberal. Shorten is a much better campaigner. A smart PM, which Turnbull certainly isn’t, would try to deny Shorten a chance for on the ground campaigning while boosting his own chances by staying away.

    No matter what he does Turnbull is stuck. He wanted by-elections so he could boost his tiny majority, he got his wish, and now he wishes he hadn’t, because Labor will get an increased vote.

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