24 November 2018: Victoria Votes

 

 

 

The promised Vic Election thread.

I know that some here are feeling nervous, as are a couple of my closest non-Pubster friends.

Yet I am beginning to feel a little – just a little – and very cautiously – optimistic.

Fingers crossed I don’t have to eat my words!

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714 thoughts on “24 November 2018: Victoria Votes

  1. Western Australia has signed a $122m deal with the federal government to fund housing in remote communities.

    The deal comes after the state spent $270,000 on attack ads aimed at ministers in Canberra, with the state housing minister, Peter Tinley, accusing the Coalition of abandoning remote Indigenous people, and admitting that the fight saw Indigenous people used as a “political football”.

    The one-off payment is intended to last two years and cover the gap left by the end of the 10-year National Partnership on Remote Housing, which expired in July.

    It is more than double the federal government’s original offer of $60m over three years, which was to be matched by the state.

    The Northern Territory signed a deal in April accepting $550m for remote housing, which was to be matched by the territory government. Negotiations with South Australia and Queensland are ongoing.

    WA will not match the funding, arguing that it already covers its fair share by spending $90m a year on housing in remote communities.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/dec/07/western-australia-signs-122m-deal-with-canberra-for-remote-housing

  2. This is getting (more) ludicrous

    Matt Hancock, the health secretary, was on the Today programme this morning talking about Brexit, and about planning for a no deal. As the Press Asociation report, he said that planes could be used to fly in drugs, and medicines could be given priority access through gridlocked ports in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/blog/live/2018/dec/07/brexit-debate-latest-hancock-confirms-government-could-charter-plans-to-fly-medicines-into-uk-in-event-of-no-deal-politics-live

  3. Assange rejects deal between UK, Ecuador for him to leave embassy

    WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday rejected a deal brokered between Ecuador and the United Kingdom that would allow him to leave the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the first time in six years, the U.K.’s Telegraph reported.

    Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno said Assange can choose to leave the embassy without the risk of being extradited for charges abroad.

    “The way has been cleared for Mr Assange to take the decision to leave in near-liberty,” Moreno told The Telegraph, without elaborating on what “near liberty” meant.

    Assange’s lawyer, Barry Pollack, told The Telegraph that the U.K.-Ecuador agreement was not acceptable because it did not protect Assange from being extradited to the United States.

  4. France Deploys 89,000 Cops Amid Fears Of Yellow Vest Rebellion On Saturday

    French authorities will deploy at least 8,000 riot police and gendarmes in Paris on Saturday, and 89,000 forces across the country according to the Prime Minister, as the Elysee prepares for “act four” of the Yellow Vest movement’s violent protests against the Macron government.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-12-06/france-deploys-12000-riot-cops-closes-eiffel-tower-coup-attempt-feared-yellow-vests

  5. Kremlin Sours on Trump After His Repeated Putin Snubs

    Donald Trump may have stood up Vladimir Putin once too often. After the U.S. president snubbed the Kremlin leader twice in less than a month, Russia is finally losing faith in Trump’s promise to improve relations and bracing instead for increased tensions…

    Trump’s mercurial decision-making is increasingly seen as a liability in Moscow. Russian officials were taken aback when Trump tweeted that he was canceling talks with Putin at the Group of 20 summit in Argentina hours before they were due to meet last week, a decision one of them called really bad. Since then, Russian frustration has steadily grown, according to four senior officials, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters.

    “This is a signal for us that it’s difficult to deal with this person, that he’s unreliable and unsuitable as a partner,” said Andrey Kortunov, head of the Russian International Affairs Council, a research group set up by the Kremlin. “Russian patience is coming to an end.”

    The disillusionment with Trump may mean Russia takes a harder line in talks with the U.S. on thorny issues including arms control, the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria and the Iranian nuclear accord. It may also retaliate against possible future U.S. sanctions after Putin held back from taking measures in response to earlier rounds of penalties.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-06/kremlin-said-to-sour-on-trump-as-putin-snubs-feed-disappointment?srnd=premium

  6. Nikki Haley To Be Replaced By Blonde Version Of Nikki Haley

    When UN Ambassador Nikki Haley announced her upcoming resignation from the position, establishment loyalists spent the day awash with grief that the Trump administration was losing one of its remaining moderate Republican voices.

    “Nikki Haley, ambassador to the United Nations, has resigned, leaving the administration with one less moderate Republican voice,” tweeted the New York Times, without defining what specifically is “moderate” about relentlessly pushing for war and starvation sanctions at every opportunity and adamantly defending the slaughter of unarmed Palestinian protesters with sniper fire.

    “Too bad Nikki Haley has resigned,” tweeted law professor turned deranged Russia conspiracy theorist Laurence Tribe. “She was one of the last members of Trumplandia with even a smidgen of decency.”

    Well I’ve got some good news for those who lamented the loss of a virulent psychopathic war whore as UN ambassador, and bad news for any anti-interventionist Trump voters who’ve been secretly hoping this administration would use Haley’s vacancy to move in a less hawkish direction: you’re getting another one just like her. According to multiple sources, Trump has confirmed early rumors and selected State Department Spokeswoman and forme

    https://caitlinjohnstone.com/2018/12/07/nikki-haley-to-be-replaced-by-blonde-version-of-nikki-haley/

  7. Soldiers Shoot Two Children In Jerusalem

    Israeli soldiers shot, Wednesday, two Palestinian children while walking home from school in Jaba’ village, east of occupied East Jerusalem.

    Medical sources said the two children, 14 and 15, were shot in the shoulder and the leg, and were rushed to Ramallah Medical Complex.

    It remains unknown why the soldiers opened fire at the two children in their village, especially since they were just walking back home when the soldiers assaulted them.

    http://imemc.org/article/soldiers-shoot-two-children-in-jerusalem/

  8. A thoughtful and persuasive piece from Trish Corry on why Labor was right to pass the AA Bill and why threatening never to vote Labor again is a very stupid reaction.Trish also very rightly wonders why people did not get angry about the government’s deliberate manipulation of timing to avoid bringing seriously ill people from Manus Island and Nauru. I agree with her – that was a despicable action by the government.

    Labor, Outrage and Encryption. But Why? A Wicked Problem.
    https://polyfeministix.wordpress.com/2018/12/07/labor-outrage-and-encryption-but-why-a-wicked-problem/

    There has been some negative Twitter response to this. especially from Dr Jennifer Wilson. who pushes the popular Twitter line about the legislation not coming into effect for 28 days. She claims she has read the bill to prove this.

    Well, I read the bill too, and all I can find is details of most of the legislation taking effect immediately the GG gives royal assent. There are a couple of things that depend on other items taking effect.

    Read it for yourselves if you like, I might be wrong, I’ve only skimmed through most of it, although I did pay attention to the “Commencement” part.
    https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;query=Id:%22legislation/bills/r6195_aspassed/0000%22

    I just wish it had not been necessary for Labor to take the action they did. I understand why it was done, but I don’t have to like it. The fact it was a necessary move is damning of the way the government operates, everything is about plots and point scoring, nothing is about good government.

    At least FauxMo won’t get his Christmas jollies by staging fake terrorism raids and claiming it’s all Labor’s fault for knocking back his lousy legislation.

  9. I am very cynical. At first, I was shocked by Lsbor passing the Encryption Bill. Overnight I have had a think about it. Either I am fitting the facts to my beliefs (confirmation bias) or the Coalition are the most devious bloodthirsty, sociopathic, non-ethical, reactionary gov’t of Australia’s history.

    I am thinking after Morrison got Shorten to vote down the Encryption Bill, we would have an incident, with or without loss of life, or at least a series of arrests of middle eastern immigrant ‘terrorists’ who supposedly used encryption to plan their dastardly deeds.

    Cynical am I?

    • Not at all cynical. I’ve been thinking the same thing.

      It all fits, especially when you think about FauxMo’s behaviour yesterday He was way beyond cocky at his presser, obviously assuming Labor would vote against his damned AA bill and give him a chance to rant for months about Labor being soft on terrorism.

      Now he can’t do that.

      The first day back for parliament is going to be a doozy – if we actually see that day happen. FauxMo will be forced to deal with the “bring them here for medical treatment” bill which has already passed the Senate, he will have to deal with his electricity “big stick” bill which was ignored yesterday and he has to do something about discrimination in schools.

      I’m beginning to think he actually might call an election for 2 March because that would mean he avoids going back to parliament. He can call the election before parliament sits, issue the writs, dissolve the parliament and avoid that troublesome first day. He’s a coward, so anything is possible.

    • I agree with both of you. Shorten has avoided a trap; a clumsily assembled trap at that. It’s a little far off to see what will develop over Christmas and into January but Morrison may well refuse to front Parliament again. For him it’s a choice between wearing the indignity of a defeat on the floor of Parliament or of sacrificing the robes of office a couple of months early. Then there is the other course he could follow if the trappings of power are all that important to him – have a separate Senate election and hold on in the House until much later in the year. This would be farcical but who knows what Scomo will do; this week he said he would do anything to “keep Australia safe” which is Scomo speak for to “keep little-old-God-fearing me in power”.

  10. The Liberals have been using fear to rescue themselves from electoral oblivion for their whole existence.
    The latest version is terrorism, the electorate was naive early on with Tampa and children overboard but Victorians didn’t flinch with the latest terrorism scare 2 days before the election, 40% had Pre voted

  11. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    John Hewson doesn’t hold back in writing that Morrison’s big stick on energy defies what a true Liberal believes in.
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/morrison-s-big-stick-on-energy-defies-what-a-true-liberal-believes-in-20181206-p50kle.html
    Abbott has other ideas.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/liberals-back-free-markets-not-oligopolies-gouging-power-customers-20181207-p50ktf.html
    The “big stick” really is on the nose outside of government circles.
    https://outline.com/J4kyWA
    Peter Hartcher explains why he – and we – have given up on this mob.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/the-government-australia-left-behind-20181207-p50ktd.html
    Paul Bongiorno pretty much reckons Morrison and id chaotic government are stuffed.
    https://outline.com/vUAkLL
    Tony Wright gives us a portrait of a dismal day in Parliament as trust in democracy melts. Ouch!
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/portrait-of-a-dismal-day-in-parliament-as-trust-in-democracy-melts-20181207-p50ktx.html
    Laura Tingle writes that the government goes into the holiday season without any clear policy framework from which to fight the next election beyond “we aren’t Labor”. That works only if voters think that matters. And the Coalition, in its long downward spiral, seems determined to ensure they don’t care.
    https://outline.com/uUU3aZ
    David Crowe has a look at what’s in store for the stalled Nauru/Manus legislation.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/nauru-release-valve-remains-blocked-for-at-least-a-few-more-months-20181207-p50kz6.html
    While the Morrison Government continues to ignore pleas from doctors to remove detainees from Nauru, the campaign to put a stop to the cruelty has received a boost from the celebrity community, writes Dr Binoy Kampark.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/medical-evidence-steps-up-campaign-to-end-nauru,12178
    The SMH editorial says that the overwhelming impression left by the final week of Parliament for 2018 is that a federal election cannot come soon enough. It says that without control of the house, it is not clear what Morrison is achieving by dragging out his government.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/five-long-months-until-the-federal-election-20181207-p50kv3.html
    The government hopes it can avoid a potential parliamentary loss by getting ill and child asylum seekers off Nauru to appease crossbenchers.
    https://outline.com/J8JBst
    The AFR has a look at who is in Morrison’s inner circle.
    https://outline.com/ZpFH5X
    Peter van Onselen looks at the unintended consequences of the Liberal Party’s rule changes on leadership.
    https://outline.com/dDmnAF
    Karen Middleton explains how ahead of Labor’s national conference, factional splits are appearing over major policies, including the approval of the Adani coalmine, refugee intake, free trade and Newstart. Will this REALLY be a test for Bill Shorten?
    https://outline.com/p476np
    According to businessman Gareth O’Reilly Australia’s debate over energy policy is an ongoing, unedifying spectacle. The National Energy Guarantee (NEG) is dead – despite looking capable of balancing affordability and emissions issues – and we now have a discourse focusing on ‘fair dinkum’ as a brand for energy sources. This interesting contribution does not put Australia in a good light.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/our-energy-needs-to-go-into-being-efficient-not-fair-dinkum-20181207-p50ku1.html
    The Saturday Paper’s Chris Palmer tells us that unwise decisions made when privatising our electricity grids, permitting companies to spend excessively on the networks’ ‘poles and wires’ and pass on the cost to consumers, are the driving force behind our exorbitant power bills.
    https://outline.com/M4jjF9
    Australia’s car dealers are a proven canary in a coalmine when it comes to economic conditions, and right now they are sounding a warning that the government seems to be ignoring.
    https://outline.com/aRsM8V
    Crispin Hull writes that there is a real danger in Australia that some voters fed up with congestion and infrastructure take it out on multiculturalism, refugees and non-Christian, non-white immigrants. Indeed, he says, the sensible position for people who support multiculturalism, refugees and non-discrimination should be to support lower immigration.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/voters-are-no-longer-oblivious-to-the-downsides-of-high-immigration-20181206-p50kqr.html
    Fairfax reports that asylum seekers based in Indonesia say they will not attempt to come to Australia by boat, despite warnings from the Morrison government that any change to the rules governing medical evacuations from Nauru could restart the flow of vessels. Doesn’t sound like a “clear and present danger” to me.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/asylum-seekers-in-indonesia-say-possible-medical-transfer-change-won-t-encourage-them-20181207-p50kvk.html
    Jess Irvine wonders if our economy can pull off a second great escape.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/can-the-economy-pull-off-a-second-great-escape-20181206-p50kr9.html
    Peter Hannam reports that Malcolm Turnbull has been asked to front the Senate inquiry into his government’s controversial $443 million grant to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation early next year. This will make interesting watching.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/environment/climate-change/malcolm-turnbull-asked-to-front-reef-inquiry-20181207-p50kxs.html
    Adele Ferguson explains how it took a public shaming of IOOF at the royal commission to finally get the prudential regulator to do its job and start using its powers against institutions.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/legendary-performance-by-ioof-s-chief-set-off-powder-keg-20181207-p50kuo.html
    The ACCC says IOOF rots from the head.
    https://outline.com/ZgC9eR
    Chasing the murky money trail for the payments made by Australia’s banks as punishment for their systemic fraud, Michael West finds some of the money has found a home at The Ethics Centre, in ethics programs for the banks. Who knew?
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/conflict-of-ethics-the-banks-and-the-ethics-centre/
    What is Qantas up to here?
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/qantas-call-for-christmas-airport-volunteers-has-workers-seeing-red-20181207-p50kzk.html
    Michael Koziol explains how the machine behind the successful “yes” campaign on same-sex marriage will turn its sights on discrimination against LGBTI people in schools, the workforce and the law in a major revamp aiming to take the fight directly to Morrison in 2019. It also stands ready to fight the government’s looming response to Philip Ruddock’s review of religious freedom.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/scott-morrison-faces-fresh-fight-on-lgbti-discrimination-from-new-campaign-machine-20181207-p50ksa.html
    Hamish McDonald tells us how Donald Trump has seized a Chinese princess.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/donald-trump-has-seized-a-chinese-princess-20181207-p50kt7.html
    Primrose Riordan writes that Chinese company Huawei’s involvement in a ­proposed undersea internet cable near Sydney has sparked fresh espionage ­concerns.
    https://outline.com/gEPwbg
    So as of now Germany has a “Mini-Merkel”.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/new-leader-chosen-to-replace-germany-s-angela-merkel-20181208-p50l04.html
    The Berejiklian government says it has awarded a demolition and construction contract for a new stadium at Moore Park, setting the stage for an election brawl over its determination to build new elite sporting infrastructure.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/planning-approval-clears-path-for-demolition-of-allianz-stadium-20181207-p50ku2.html
    Chip le Grand goes into detail on how Lawyer X’s relationship with Victorian police.
    https://www.outline.com/tZKUyh
    Martin McKenzie-Murray also writes about this scandal. It’s going to be an explosive royal commission.
    https://outline.com/CqwCjZ
    Brexiters who reject Theresa May’s deal will drive the UK towards a permanent customs union with the EU, Downing Street has warned as the government tries to forestall a rash of resignations before next week’s historic vote.
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/07/government-aides-tell-may-they-plan-to-quit-over-her-brexit-deal-mike-wood
    Religious warrior Paul Kelly has got the shakes over what might eventuate on the religious freedom front.
    https://outline.com/rCCdzW
    More from Karen Middleton as she writes that amid a chaotic final sitting week of parliament, conservative Coalition MPs are furious at the prime minister for what they perceive as his betrayal over religious freedoms in schools.
    https://outline.com/6zbpXF
    Why do we let religion rule our lives, but in particular our deaths? Geoff Russell takes a look at the power of Churches to prevent people from making the most intimate of choices.
    https://newmatilda.com/2018/12/07/dying-dignity-versus-metastases-religious-heritage/
    A trial date has been set for August next year for a former Victorian education department boss charged with conspiring to steal millions of dollars from public schools.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/august-trial-date-set-for-ex-schools-big-wig-over-alleged-1-9m-fraud-20181207-p50kwg.html
    How Vivian Deboo’s evil crimes connected to a nationwide network of church-linked paedophiles. What a shocking story!
    https://outline.com/exSWgz
    George Monbiot tells us how US billionaires are fuelling the hard-right cause in Britain.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/dec/07/us-billionaires-hard-right-britain-spiked-magazine-charles-david-koch-foundation
    The marathon inquest into the deaths of four people at Dreamworld has closed with the coroner offering his “deepest condolences” to the families of the victims.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/qld/2018/12/07/dreamworld-inquest-closes/
    Michael Koziol reports that unhappy Labor MPs are insisting on major changes to the encryption regime that Opposition Leader Bill Shorten backed in a last-minute deal with the Morrison government on Thursday. The MPs fear Morrison will use the summer break to bed down the laws and will renege on undertakings to fix flaws, arguing there is no demonstrable need to do so.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/bill-shorten-under-internal-pressure-to-force-major-changes-to-rushed-encryption-laws-20181207-p50kvp.html
    Adam Turner tells us how the new technology laws will affect us.
    https://www.smh.com.au/technology/what-do-the-new-encryption-laws-mean-for-you-20181207-p50kvh.html
    Jeep continues to be champion of the lemons!
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/life/auto/2018/12/07/jeep-australian-struggles/
    And for today’s nomination for “Arsehole of the Week” we have . . .
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/don-t-scream-or-i-will-stab-you-man-accused-of-sexual-assault-faces-court-20181207-p50kzw.html
    And thin one . . .
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/man-charged-after-coward-punch-at-richmond-station-20181207-p50kz2.html

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe and the new encryption laws.

    Zanetti’s contribution on the kids on Nauru.

    Glen Le Livre with housing prices.

    Pryor saves Private Kelly.
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/sites/default/files/styles/cartoon/public/Cartoons/tsp_cartoon_234.jpg?itok=ZfEQZCFE
    Alan Moir with the current government.
    https://static.ffx.io/images/$zoom_0.368%2C$multiply_1%2C$ratio_1.776846%2C$width_1059%2C$x_0%2C$y_10/t_crop_custom/w_780/t_sharpen%2Cq_auto%2Cf_auto/0ce2f2badc6f317979ee1a97c4f84493928168ce
    Some good imagery from David Pope.
    https://static.ffx.io/images/$width_828/t_resize_width/t_sharpen%2Cq_auto%2Cf_auto/3f4ced47e576953f62dfa8b39f86d867852af331
    Jon Kudelka is unconvinced by the encryption legislation.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/be4e26d31ff122758eda730994510478
    More in here.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/best-of-fairfax-cartoons-december-8-2018-20181207-h18vjh.html

  12. What an abysmal creature!

    Meet Louise Clegg, barrister and wife of Anus Taylor.

    Energy minister’s wife says rolling blackouts needed to teach lefties a lesson

    Louise Clegg, the barrister wife of federal energy minister Angus Taylor – suggesting that she, too, thinks that the best way to get the lefties to see the light about the error of their ways is to, well, have the lights go out.

    “Recession, rolling blackouts, youth unemployment all necessary for people to realise left populism/culture, unrestrained spending, outlawing offensive speech, etc. not the answer,” Clegg wrote on a Facebook post, in response to an article posted by conservative commentator Parnell Palme McGuinness

    The Clegg response was picked by the AFR Rear Window gossip column last week. Neither Rear Window, nor the AFR, are hot-beds of lefty populism, but even they seemed troubled by such statements close to the bone of Clegg’s partner’s portfolio. And of the idea itself.

    Clegg, herself, wondered what all the fuss is about, but did seem delighted by the publicity

    https://reneweconomy.com.au/energy-ministers-wife-says-rolling-blackouts-needed-to-teach-lefties-a-lesson-15482/

    Anus and Loo seem very apt names for this pair. Imagine the conversations at the dinner table in their home!

    • I have long touted the invisible talents of young Anus. When Yass (hidden treasure) was part of Hume we had him peddling his wares in such lofty locations as the Dalton Pub and he hung around Gunning like a bad smell for too long as well. It was a colleague and friend that met him at Dalton and was quick to relate the eagerness that Loo applied to working the front bar of the pub and promote the aforementioned invisible talents. My colleague’s take-out was that she was a “Hyacinth” Howard wannabe.
      Fortunately the vagaries of the electoral redistribution’s rendered us in the swinging seat of Eden-Monaro and left poor Anus to peddle his wares in the cooler reaches of the Southern Highlands.
      This spared us the dreadful fate of mistaking Anus’ election pamphlets for an RM Williams or RB Sellars catalogue.
      I did meet Anus by the banks of the Yass River at a Green Army photo-op and was spared the chance to meet Hyacinth.

  13. I tried to find a video of Bill Shorten’s presser yesterday, but failed. I was very happy to see this tweet.

    I really liked Bill’s comment about FauxMo’s constant talk about “Bill Shorten” instead of talking about the things that affect Australians.

  14. Dennis Atkins on why we should expect a March 2 election.

    While the Government has laid out a map for an April 2 Budget and a probable poll on May 11, there are signs the Parliament will not come back.

    Coalition staffers left Canberra on Thursday night looking like they had cleaned out their apartments, going home for a long haul to an election.

    Don’t be surprised if Morrison comes back to work just before Australia Day and calls an election for March 2

    https://www.couriermail.com.au/rendezview/its-been-a-madcap-week-of-egodriven-politics/news-story/d41468b327de5435657f5be87afe919d

    If that link doesn’t work –
    https://outline.com/HESLac

    • Gladys is cooked either way
      If NSW election is first – the voters will punish her for ScoMo’s sins
      IfFederal election is first – not enough clear air for state campaigning

      Unlike Victoria the NSW govt hasn’t got runs on the board with completed rail level crossings, holes in ground which commuters can inspect to see progress of new underground metro
      Dan Andrews promised more social housing and free 3 year old kinder

      Those who care note Pru Gowards mean and vindictive policies in social sphere

  15. Putin v Superman? DC Comics features surprising guest

    The latest installment of the Superman comic features a cameo from an unexpected guest: Russian President Vladimir Putin. To the surprise of no one, he is portrayed as evil and aggressive.
    DC Comics’ “Doomsday Clock” is an ongoing, limited-edition series that brings the dark themes and characters from Alan Moore’s "Watchmen" into the world of Batman and Superman.

    The same issue takes a jab at Russia a few pages before – referring to a child whose parents were “gassed by Assad, the Russians’ puppet”. And it features the likeness of Putin to show how tensions between the US and Russia escalated into a shooting war.

    After American superhero Firestorm accidentally turns a crowd of Russian civilians into glass, Putin is more than a little mad. Appearing in front of the Kremlin, flanked by tanks and soldiers, Putin declares that he will “NO LONGER tolerate America’s lies!” and promises retribution, believing Firestorm to be working for the US government.

    I

    https://www.rt.com/news/445800-superman-putin-batman-comic/

  16. But I can tell you how the bill the Greens & LNP passed on 29th Nov 2018 will hurt people.

    The gov can now block any site they wish-so overseas Indie news not agreeable to the status quo will be targeted big time, then it will begin here if LNP win the election.

    Greens back government’s expansion of website-blocking scheme
    Party supports strengthening of system it originally opposed

    https://www.computerworld.com.au/article/650190/greens-back-government-expansion-website-blocking-scheme/

  17. From cross the road and stolen from Facebook

    Eye halve a spelling chequer
    It came with my pea sea
    It plainly marques four my revue
    Miss steaks eye kin knot sea

    Eye strike a key and type a word
    And weight four it two say
    Weather eye am wrong oar wright
    It shows me strait a weight

    As soon as a mist ache is maid
    It nose bee four two long
    And eye can put the error rite
    It’s rear lea ever wrong

    Eye have run this poem threw it
    I am shore your pleased two no
    Its letter perfect awl the weigh
    My chequer tolled me sew

  18. For something a really ‘far out’, have a listen to the wind…………………………………on Mars. Heed their advice re the speakers.
    .
    .
    Before you listen, hook up a subwoofer or put on a pair of bass-heavy headphones. Otherwise, you might not hear anything.

    Then listen.

    Low Rumble of Martian Winds
    When deployed on the ground, seismometers on NASA’s InSight spacecraft will record vibrations passing through the planet. But for now, they are recording sound.

  19. A future Liberal Party primary vote % with a 2 in front of it ? I’m sure Scrott is up to the challenge.

  20. The deal to privatise Australia’s visa processing could be worth more than $300 million a year to the winning company, tender documents show.

    The Department of Home Affairs on Friday released the next steps in its years-long process to privatise Australia’s visa processing system, detailing what would be required of the company involved.
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Immigration Minister David Coleman are connected to a bidder for a major government contract.

    Just two bidders are in the race for the contract, which is expected to require at least $1 billion in investment – one helmed by Scott Briggs, Liberal Party heavyweight and friend to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and former colleague of Immigration Minister David Coleman, and another joint bid from Australia Post and Accenture.

    Mr Briggs runs Pacific Blue Capital, which holds 19 per cent of the Australian Visa Processing Consortium, along with Qantas Ventures, PwC and Ellerston Capital.

    The bidders will be required to develop a “global digital platform” to process applications for temporary Australian visas, of which there were 9 million in 2017-18. The contract would cover 10 years, with the number of temporary visas expected to rise to 13 million a year in 2028-29.

    While the signed contract would be required to protect the $2 billion that pours into government coffers every year from visa application charges, it would allow the company running the system to recoup a service fee on temporary visas of around $35 per visa.

    Based on last financial year’s intake, the $35 fee would bring in $315 million, and under the predicted 13 million visa applications to be made in 2028-29, revenue would increase to $455 million a year.

    The documents show the government doesn’t intend to pay for the new program, and that the only source of revenue for the winning bidder would be from the service fee. The government expects the platform to be operational in the first half of 2021, first to be rolled out with one visa, and extending to other visas progressively.

    Responses from the bidders for phase one of the project must be received by February 20 next year, before the April budget and predicted announcement of a federal election in May, meaning the decision could be made before the caretaker period begins.

    At Senate estimates in October, Home Affairs secretary Michael Pezzullo said public service jobs wouldn’t be lost under the plan, and the system needed to be overhauled as its legacy computer systems were struggling to keep up with demand. Around 50 different systems are used in visa processing at the moment.

    The government has said it will maintain responsibility for actually making visa decisions, but it was necessary to outsource the IT system that handles the visa application process.

    The main public sector union has criticised the plans to privatise the visa system, and the tender process, which began when more than 10 companies were involved in an expressions-of-interest round.

    “This is not an open tender, as only two shortlisted companies are in line to be handed our visa processing system,” Community and Public Sector Union national secretary Nadine Flood said.

    “With phase one of this process closing in just over two months on February 20, it looks like the government is racing to sell out our visa processing system before voters can have a say on their plan. Such an incredibly important decision should not be rushed through in the shadows of an election.”

    The union is concerned for public sector jobs under the plan as well as costs to those seeking visas.

    “This government seems unmoved by the 3000 jobs that are at risk under its plan, and completely oblivious to the disastrous experience of other countries that have already gone down the visa privatisation path,” Ms Flood said.

    “Ordinary Australians will bear the brunt if it’s allowed to proceed, particularly those who were born overseas. Visas are already far from cheap here in Australia and costs have risen rapidly in the UK in just a few years since visa processing was privatised there.”

    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/politics/federal/billions-on-the-table-as-government-looks-to-privatise-visa-system-20181207-p50kxv.html

  21. Also the VEC has posted notional ALP v Coalition 2pp votes for all non-classic 2pp seats except for Melbourne and Preston.

    Benambra: Lib :58.91%, ALP: 41.09%
    Brunswick: ALP: 84.38%, Lib: 15.62%
    Geelong: ALP: 60.14%, Lib: 39.86%
    Mildura: Nat: 55.61%, ALP: 44.39%
    Morwell: ALP: 52.41%, Nat: 47.59%
    Northcote: ALP: 83.23%, Lib: 16.77%
    Pascoe Vale: ALP: 68.32%, Lib: 31.68%
    Prahran: ALP: 57.54%, Lib: 42.46%

  22. I am sick of privatisations. If there is a profit to be made, it should be made for the Commonwealth of Australia, not a private company, and certainly not for Lib mates.’

    Federal ICAC yesterday!

  23. Lives of the over-paid and fatuous.

    Jewellery Blingshop couldn’t get out of Canberra fast enough on Thursday night. Now we know why. She had an overseas trip lined up, leaving yesterday morning.

    Jewels and The Handbag are at a Mexican resort for the wedding of Jewellery’s “friend” Karl Stefanovic.

    The resort’s cheapest rooms are over $1000 a night. I wonder who is paying for her stay? She never pays for anything, she expects freebies – frocks, jewellery, upgrades, whatever. Jewels must be paying her own airfare, or more likely The Handbag is paying, because they flew economy. When the taxpayers pay she tries to get an upgrade to business class.

    Sorry about the link, this is all I could find and it’s heavily paywalled. Outline doesn’t want to know and I don’t blame it. You will need a paywall-dodging extension to see the stunning (not really) photos of Jewellery walking along a beach –
    https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/sydney-confidential/julie-bishop-flies-economy-to-pal-karl-stefanovics-lavish-mexican-nuptials/news-story/8525820a554488a847352d8c8e8ff33f

    Or there’s this, with a zillion shots of Jewellery and The Handbag wandering around an airport lke a couple of well-off grey nomads heading off overseas. Both of them are showing their age and are well qualified for the title “Wrinklies”. Maybe they plan to have some quick neck and face filler top-ups before the wedding.
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-6469903/Julie-Bishop-David-Panton-catch-flight-Mexico-Karl-Stefanovics-wedding.html

    If Jewels is one of the highest-profile guests then the rest must be a bunch of absolute nonentities. James Packer was supposed to be there, but he has cancelled to spend time with his mum, who is about to have her 81st birthday. Dumped for an octogenarian – Karl must be crushed! So must Jewels.

    • Karl is the male host of Channel 9’s “Today” show – breakfast TV, which I haven’t watched for over a decade. His female co-host used to be Lisa Wilkinson, wife of Peter FitzSimons. She left to join “The Project” and has been replaced by some blonde person who looks like all the other identical blondes who co-host stuff on free-to-air TV.

      Lisa used to be the brains of the show, now she’s gone they don’t have anyone with a brain left. Karl is dumber than a box of extra-stupid rocks, and it shows.

    • The protesters know FauxMo won’t do anything, that’s why they keep asking Shorten to “Stop Adani”. He has more chance of doing what they want, and they understand that. They also know Shorten will soon be PM.

      Shorten keeps saying Australia will need coal for many years. No, we won’t. Not if we have a new government that supports renewables. It’s another reason these kids target him.

      I’m over “Stop Adani” as a slogan. The Adani mine (mines?) is unlikely to ever get started, but there are other, bigger mines planned for the same area that are likely to go ahead, if they can get a rail link. None of them can be allowed to start.

      A better slogan, one more to the point, would be “Stop Coal Mining”.

  24. Puffy,

    It’s passing strange. Ever since the 2013 election, it’s been “Labor’s fault”.

    That extraordinary attitude on the part of the elected government of Australia suggests to me that they know themselves to be pretenders, to have achieved government by egregious fraud, and to be unworthy of their office.

    • I spent a lot of time pouring over Hansard for that day, to make sure I had the sequence of events worked out. It’s a shame some of the Twitter “I’ll never ever vote Labor again” shouters didn’t bother doing the same thing.

      Most of them aren’t Labor voters anyway, a lot would be rusted-on Greens.

      I really, really don’t like the new act, not one bit, bit I suppose we now have to try to make Labor hold to its promise to amend it.

      The problem now is whether or not the joint committee will get to finish its work before we go to an election.

  25. Adolph Kipfler , what a nice chap. Better dead than here for the dead eyed one
    .
    Mr Dutton has hit out at the opposition’s support of a bill to urgently transfer sick asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru to Australia, saying border protection would “collapse” under Labor and “the boats will restart”.
    https://outline.com/JESmJp

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