26th January is ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Day …

955 thoughts on “26th January is ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Day …

    • Dumber than a box of really stupid rocks, and far less charismatic.

      In his favour though, he’s not all that great at lying. He needs some coaching.

  1. McCormack isn’t the only one who can’t get his lies straight.

    There are a couple of clips from that interview on Twitter, if you are interested.

  2. Seeing the government is so worried about rapists, why aren’t they doing a bit of complaining about the way NRL star’s Jack de Belin’s rape case and bail is being handled?

    Bail conditions changed so a rapist doesn’t have to mess with his training schedule?

    Jack de Belin pleads not guilty in rape case; bail conditions changed due to ‘high profile’
    https://www.foxsports.com.au/nrl/nrl-premiership/teams/dragons/de-belin-pleads-not-guilty-in-rape-case-bail-conditions-changed-due-to-high-profile/news-story/62793ee5fcd22310321d90d766b8cd7f

    More about the crime –
    Police will allege footy star urged mate to ‘have a go’ as Jack de Belin pleads not guilty to sexual assault
    Shocking allegations have emerged in the sexual assault case against Dragons forward Jack de Belin, who pleaded not guilty in court.
    https://www.news.com.au/sport/sports-life/jack-de-belin-pleads-not-guilty-to-charge-of-sexual-assault-in-company/news-story/339b878fd1eb0ccd72e10370cfb04219

    • I’d have to say that on my trips through Singapore and stops in other Asian airports, it’s very obvious that a certain ‘description’ of Australian male is very prominent and makes me feel very sad and concerned for the poor people who will ‘accommmodate’ them when they get to their destination.
      I attended a Behaviour in the Classroom Comference in Siem Reap last year with my wife and three male teachers from a Newcastle Private School were very obvious in their lack of attendance at the conference and the general attitude displayed towards the locals that they were using their work as a free trip to Asia. To say they fitted the previous category of Aussie male gos without saying.

  3. What gets me about this is that the least you’d expect from Dutton is a response in the order of “This is clearly wrong and I’ll have to look into it.” Not so much that I would expect that of Dutton, but I would expect questions along the line of “What are you going to do about it now?” to follow, and they never do.

    Plausible deniability is one thing. But following it with a refusal to act on this new information is quite another. You can defend it or you can fix it, those are your only two options. If you’re going to defend it, first you have to own it, which Dutton clearly doesn’t want to do. So his only option is to fix it. That’s what should be demanded of him.

    The alternative is happily suffering incompetence (or worse) in your department. I wouldn’t really call that an alternative from a government that bangs on about how rigorous it is.

  4. These two tweets have made my morning!

  5. The Big Stick becomes just another limp lettuce leaf campaign item.

    After months of yelling about the big stick, which then became a somewhat smaller stick, the government has pulled its legislation from the notice paper, after facing the risk of having the bill amended to prohibit funding for coal-fired power generation projects.

    So what is left of the big stick will now go to the election, as a Coalition policy

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2019/feb/14/coalition-labor-morrison-shorten-closing-gap-asylum-politics-live#comment-125843855

    Fancy a PM who likes to talk tough and make threats being scared of a few unfriendly amendments!

    The government has lost control of the Reps and the Senate is far from willing to rubber stamp anything. If FauxMo is so frightened of amendments he might as well cancel the entire Notice Paper and call that election. Today would be a good time for that. Things are only going to get worse for the government.

  6. Dutton has a lot of questions to answer, not only about his involvement in the Paladin decision, but on his rapidly growing personal wealth.

    If you haven’t read BK’s link to the IA article on Dutton then you should, but before you do, read this linked story on which the article is based.

    Dutton’s Secret Drug Cartel Connection: The William Betham Case
    View at Medium.com

    Ross Jones assures us he has checked out this story, spoken to the writer and says it seems genuine. Some have long wondered about how a former Queensland cop turned politician could quickly become a multi-millionaire with a substantial real estate portfolio. These two articles give us some clues about the reality of those suspicions.

  7. The main reason Morrison’s fearmongering is destined to fail is that he’s doing it, not in response to an ‘incident’ but to an act of Parliament. I should think the electorate would have to be heavily pre-conditioned in order to believe the passing of an amendment constitutes a dangerous. None of this would be making any sense to those not watching closely. And even the political tragics are mostly baffled.

    Morrison’s compounded the stupidity by actually taking action on the basis of the thing he’s scaremongering about. Of course it’s going to look pre-emptive. He hasn’t even made his case. So now he has to explain why he’s done this crazy thing as well. The problem being:

    1. He took the action to re-open Christmas Island to reinforce claims that looked a little weak on the face of them.

    2. If he can’t substantiate the claims, opening Christmas Island is absolutely inexcusable.

    One’s meant to bolster the other, but if one falls, both do, which doubles the political catastrophe.

    Now, not only does he need boats to come, but he needs to structure the whole narrative to make it look as if he didn’t want them to come and wasn’t banking on them to win his argument. I’d say that’s impossible.

  8. Yesterday BK linked this article on FauxMo.

    Scott John Morrison: Where the bloody hell did he come from?
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/scott-john-morrison-where-the-bloody-hell-did-he-come-from/

    If you haven’t already seen it then I recommend you take a look.

    It leaves you wondering how someone who has failed at every job he has had could become PM. It makes you wonder why his mentors felt it necessary to keep on assisting him, when he was clearly incompetent.

    FauxMo’s spur of the moment decision to reopen the Christmas Island detention centre was clearly a captain’s pick. Like all his other clever ideas it was done out of spite and a desire to have revenge on Labor and the cross-bench for a defeat in both houses. He didn’t think it through, he never does that. He just makes a rash decision and in his usual dictatorial style insists his orders be obeyed. He didn’t even seem to realise that CI is an Australian territory, not a foreign country that could be bribed with lavish amounts of funding. Christmas Island is not self-governing. it comes under Australian law.

    I don’t think FauxMo realises he has just made things a lot easier for the legal teams who will be handling the inevitable legal challenges that will come if he tries to deny any of those sent to CI from Manus or Nauru their medical treatment.

  9. Twitter is fuming. They’ve extended qt so they can avoid a vote on having an inquiry into violence against disabled people. The freaken lot have no shame.

  10. Gazza is on the job

    GazzaFromGrongGrong
    3m ago
    2 3

    @ 15:41

    If anyone tells Morrison
    the way to conquer Bill
    is turning up in Question Time
    stark naked, then he will,
    for he’s so bloody desperate
    he’d bare his flabby hide,
    abandoning all decency,
    integrity and pride,
    so now we see this pantomime
    of trickery and lies,
    this journey to irrelevance
    where all ambition dies.

  11. Serious Tech Annoyance!
    We received our new NBN modem from Telstra about ten days ago. In the last ten days we have experienced more “timed out” websites than any of us remember happening since the WWW became ‘a thing’ in the early 2000s and one just didn’t use the computer when school let out because the ‘inter-tubes’ slowed down as the kids got online.
    And now comes the implication that Telstra is hoping that 5G networks will bail them out of a loosing situation? Hah!

    I honestly don’t know who to shout at crossly (again) … though the phone call from our local LNP representative asking if I would work on his campaign is probably a tempting target!

    • In Portland Vic, we have a wireless NBN, which at its best is about roughly equal to ADSL-2. Its best is pretty rare, however, and it has varied from dial-up speed or slower to barely functional. I have learned over time to cope with buffering and timeouts by disconnect my Wi=Fi and then reconnecting. For those near my age, that works like we used to use AV phone jams. Just hang up and redial. I hope this may help.

      It is hard not to feel fury with the LNP, especially Turnbull and Abbott, and Murdoch for sabotaging the original project. A historic comparison is worth thinking about. The Victorian Age saw the rapid advancement of the Industrial Revolution and entrepreneurship. It had its own scandals of greed and excesses, but it would have been unthinkable that anyone would have sabotaged something as important as the Overland Telegraph and our overseas cable connections to the Empire and the world. That in effect is what our present scoundrels have done.

  12. I am disgusted with all side of politics media ,commentators posters everyone.
    While apparently the biggest issue in Australia today is a transfer of asylum seekers or weather the govt lost a vote in parliament or may lose another one people in FNQ are facing devastation /health issues. worst disaster for years
    . But because it is ” Redneck Queenslanders ” no one seems to care
    I would be focusing on them before anything else.
    If Melb or sydney had suffered what they have copped up north it would be number 1 priority for weeks. Billions would be pumped.
    Where is the compassion for those people up north ?
    Phelps may be feeling smug but most normal people know she will be out at the next election after the Wwentworth voters have got there bitterness of Malcom being dumped out of there system. They will return to form.

    So go ahead and congratulate that you won a schoolboy victory over the other side . out of the cities it is a huge bad look and any seats you thought you may have picked up In regional qld you have lost.

    Mark my words and I hope Im wrong but playing kiddie games have made Morrisons plan easier.

    • I am heartily sick of the political journalists who report on Parliament like its a horse race with no regard to the long range ramifications of their actions. And blaming both sides for the sins of the COALITION as thought the journalists want a COALITION victory at the next election

  13. Joe6pack,

    I really hate myself for suggesting this, but perhaps it’s because it’s affecting the non-urban (apologies, Townsville and other regional urban centres) regions of Queensland that always vote LNP that makes the LNP/Coalition think that they can get away with ignoring the devastation because they believe have those votes in the bag.

    I think otherwise. Two such devastating events in two formerly different climate areas in Queensland, taken together with the failure of the monsoon in the Kimberleys, looks to me like something that the Coalition/LNP really don’t want to discuss.

    Not to mention the appalling condition of the Lower Darling.

    There’s huge compassion from the rest of Australia for what’s going on in all these diverse regions, including the severely drought-affected reasons, as is obvious from the hay trucking. Unfortunately, it’s not reflected at the Federal government level.

    It’s the current Federal government that’s playing silly buggers with asylum seekers, not the Opposition.

    It’s also the current Federal government that’s playing silly buggers with anything to do with climate change.

    • Are you suggesting the government and media don’t want to mention the elephant in the room

      CLIMATE CHANGE

      and the Townsville 100 year floods are just a symptom of same

    • Well said, Fiona. Most people do care. It is only us/we political tragics that are focused on what is happening, political wise. Maybe joe6pack should be asking why the lnp aren’t concentrating on the devastation that is happening due to climate change. I guess because the lnp do not believe climate change is happening, they are ignoring it.

  14. I share your anger. No one gives a busted can of sardines for what happens to SA, either. Just check any Murray River disaster. The only time there is interest is if there is a blackout and renewables can be attacked. The whole of Adelaide could slide into the sea and disappear forever and it would barely rate a mention outside the ABC.

    The same for FNQ. Most of the nation couldn’t give a tinkers curse because most of the population lives in NSW/Vic and the rest of the country does not exist. Hell, NSW does not exist West of the Blue Mountains.

    That is what a Federal gov’t is for, but this one is a joke.

    • The above is addressed to Joe6pack. I have family in Emerald and we originated around Barcaldine, so emphasise with your sentiments.

      Why there has not been significant help sent up there I have no idea except, as Fiona said, it is not the home of swinging voters. That is cynical of me, but at the moment I am very cynical.

  15. I have friends who have been flooded in Townsville also cattle Frazier’s who after spending almost everything he had keeping stock alive during the drought only to see them ironically drown because of a unheard of drenching. I don’t care that they are in a lnp voting area or labor this is a disaster and no one seems to care. More important to play games ,. I’ve had enough , I don’t care who wins the next election labor / libs greens . No one in Canberra really cares so why should I

  16. Joe6Pack,I am sorry about the floods in Townsville. They make great photos. But Queensland is prone to flooding rains in the monsoon season. That’s why the population is centred around more benign climates like Melbourne & Sydney. My father and uncle helped clean up after the Maitland, NSW floods of 1956 and family lore has it that 104 year old great grandfather had flood waters lapping his front door while a cousin who was told to open the pig sty spent the night on the roof of the sty in her nightie because the flood waters rose so rapidly

    As the Murray Darling Basin starts 60km north of Melbourne and part of our water supply comes from there, i am aghast at the total mismanagement of the Murray Darling Basin and massive fish kills and theft of water by Queensland irrigators

    I was appalled at the skullduggery of of the AFP In issuing a red notice against Hakeem Al Arabi

    Tuesday 10 days ago Melbourne was wreathed in the bushfire smoke from the bushfires that have been burning in the Tasmanian wilderness areas for 5 weeks, started by dry lightening strikes a phenomon unknown until 2001,, That was after enduring a night where the minimum overnight temperature was 35 degrees – that will have killed the newborns and the frail elderly

    I was driven from Canberra to Ulladulla last Thursday night in heavy drenching rain where we crossed flooded creeks and saw the bushland lit up by the sheet lightening strikes

    • Climate change is happening. It’s not just a fantasy of the far green lefties.

      It affects everyone in Australia, in all the world.

      It’s something that is beyond political party affiliation.

      It’s something that has to be acknowledged as happening.

      And it’s something that has to be managed to the best of our abilities, for the sake of life as we know it.

      If we don’t succeed, the cockroaches deserve to inherit the earth.

  17. Joe6pack,

    I think everyone here is on the same page, for Queensland farmers/graziers, for many other Australian agriculturalists, and for the whole world’s providers of food for the entire world’s population.

    This is serious.

    • Joe6pack,

      There is huge support across Oz and maybe internationally for everyone in Queensland who is doing it VERY tough. Would you expect anything else?

    • The point I’m trying to make – and not very well – is that many Australians are deeply concerned about the plight of rural people, across the whole nation, who are doing it extremely tough because of these unprecedented high temperatures, floods, and fires, and many Australians are doing what they can to help their fellow-Australians who are experiencing such horrific climate ‘events’.

      Unfortunately, the current interim mob in power federally is in DEEP denial, and will not move one millimetre in that denial. So what the heck can any opposition party do, faced with such intransigence?

      Bring on the federal election, and let’s see Australia’s will (if any) to try to make a change for the better of ALL of us.

  18. It’s rising

    Michaelia Cash’s former chief of staff, Ben Davies, said in a police statement that an employee of the union regulator told him police were set to raid the offices of the Australian Workers Union (AWU), a court has heard.

    Davies gave evidence in federal court on Thursday, a day before his former boss is due to appear in the witness stand for the civil trial. The union is seeking to quash an investigation into historic donations it made to GetUp!, a probe launched by the Registered Organisations Commission (Roc) launched in October 2017.

    The AWU’s barrister, Herman Borenstein, aired the potential involvement of the Roc’s then-acting media adviser, Mark Lee, on Thursday as he sought to have Davies compelled to give evidence about his knowledge of the raids.

    Lee’s lawyer, Gideon Boas, sought an order to suppress that evidence, saying: “There is a police statement naming my client as the source … It may never be the subject of evidence.”

    But Justice Mordecai Bromberg rejected the request. Lee, who was on secondment to the Roc, had been offered a job in Cash’s office. He will give evidence on Monday.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/14/former-michaelia-cash-staffer-says-union-regulator-employee-tipped-him-off-about-awu-raid

  19. I agree, Joe6pack. The death of those cattle and the devastation to livelihoods is going to play out in the long term. People are going to have physical and mental health problems, marriages will fail and kids will be or are already traumatised.

    There should already be a co-ordinated national response but the relevant Prime Minister and Minister are very busy torturing sick people. No governing is happening and does not look like happening until after the next election.

  20. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Waleed Aly writes that the medevac legislation has left the Morrison government in a bizarre position. A very good analysis.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/medevac-leaves-morrison-government-in-a-bizarre-position-20190214-p50xqz.html
    Tony Wright says that this first parliamentary week of the year was a miserable metaphor for the state of federal politics.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/this-first-parliamentary-week-of-the-year-was-a-miserable-metaphor-for-the-state-of-federal-politics-20190214-p50xw0.html
    Michael Koziol details the changes that the medivac legislation brings about.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/cutting-through-the-claims-the-refugee-medical-debate-explained-20190214-p50xpd.html
    Michaelia Cash’s former chief of staff told federal police the former media adviser at the union watchdog tipped him off about police raids on the Australian Workers’ Union, the court has heard. And it’s Michaelia Cash’s turn in the dock this morning!
    https://www.outline.com/RFUtBE
    Sam Maiden looks at what Cash can expect.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/02/14/michaelia-cash-court-awu-raids/
    Kate Aubusson continues with her reporting on bullying in teaching hospitals.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/probe-into-major-sydney-hospital-s-handling-of-bullying-claims-20190214-p50xqn.html
    Eryk Bagshaw reports that the Coalition will delay a key part of its plans to overhaul the $2.8 trillion superannuation sector and hope it can win over the entire Senate crossbench in its last two days of sitting before the May election.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/coalition-and-greens-in-3-billion-super-negotiations-20190214-p50xvn.html
    Katharine Murphy tries to come to grips with current politics.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/14/blood-on-the-door-burston-ashby-clash-sets-parliament-on-surreal-end-of-days-journey
    David Crowe reckons Shorten should have called for an election immediately.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/shorten-should-have-called-for-an-election-immediately-20190214-p50xqx.html
    With government MPs buoyed by renewed focus on border protection, Bill Shorten says the country has moved on from 2001 when boat people debate became electorally potent.
    https://www.outline.com/wNM7Rb
    Paula Matthewson writes about the similarities between medevac and Tampa, and how it will affect the election.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/02/13/mv-tampa-medevac-election/
    The federal Coalition has used parliamentary tactics to extend question time amid fears it was set to lose another vote in the House of Representatives. Question time was allowed to run far beyond its usual end time, prompting Labor accusations the federal government was trying to avoid a looming vote to establish a royal commission into abuse in the disability sector.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/02/14/federal-government-filibusters-house-of-representatives-to-avoid-disability-vote/
    The SMH editorial leads by saying that the history of white settlement in Australia has been marred by failure to take the views of Indigenous people seriously and Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s response to this year’s Closing the Gap report risks repeating that mistake.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/time-for-listening-government-must-listen-to-indigenous-people-20190214-p50xtm.html
    UK MPs have just savaged Theresa May’s plans as Brexit descends into an ‘appalling shambles’.
    https://www.theage.com.au/world/europe/mps-savage-may-s-plans-as-brexit-descends-into-appalling-shambles-20190215-p50xxy.html
    Judith Ireland reports on the consequences arising from the Ashby/Burston clash.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/james-ashby-banned-from-parliament-house-brian-burston-admits-to-smearing-blood-on-door-20190214-p50xuz.html
    Cole Latimer tells us that the historic former Ford Motors factory in Geelong will be re-established as a manufacturing hub after Danish energy giant Vestas unveiled plans to build wind turbines on the site.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/back-to-the-future-old-ford-factory-to-be-recast-as-renewable-energy-hub-20190214-p50xoz.html
    Jacqui Maley writes that reports of Kerryn Phelps drinking champagne with the Greens following this week’s legislative victory may turn off some Wentworth voters.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/kerryn-phelps-led-the-passage-of-the-medevac-law-will-voters-reward-her-for-it-20190214-p50xus.html
    Michelle Grattan wonders what reopening Christmas Island really mean and way we are doing it.
    https://theconversation.com/grattan-on-friday-what-does-reopening-christmas-island-actually-mean-and-why-do-it-111866
    John Passant reports on the details of the two biggest parliamentary topics to happen this week.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/parliament-report-medevac-bill-and-banking-royal-commission,12375
    The passing of the Medevac Bill shows a rare display of parliamentary compassion towards human lives, writes Jade Manson.
    https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/medevac-bill-passing-set-to-save-lives,12374
    David Crowe and Dana McCauley report that the Morrison government is being accused of “fear-mongering” and exaggeration in a growing dispute over border security as doctors reject claims of a “flood” of 300 asylum seekers seeking rapid medical help. The peak centre handling refugee medical transfers said the government claim was unrealistic, while the Human Rights Law Centre said it had 70 people being assessed, of which a “handful” are urgent because they are critically ill.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/politics/federal/doctors-reject-claims-of-flood-of-asylum-seeker-transfers-20190214-p50xwg.html
    Jenna Price tells us about the study the ABS will make next year on work and life balance.
    https://www.smh.com.au/opinion/we-think-we-do-six-things-at-once-soon-we-will-have-proof-20190214-p50xun.html
    The AFR says that further questions have been raised about $423 million in Commonwealth contracts after Home Affairs sought to exclude Manus Island security contractor Paladin from FoI laws.
    https://www.outline.com/t84FJ8
    The Age reveals that just an hour before he was brutally stabbed by two inmates on Monday Tony Mokbel had given his lawyer a list of 500 questions to be posed to Informer 3838 when she fronts the royal commission beginning today.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/mokbel-jailhouse-letter-reveals-his-view-of-3838-scandal-for-first-time-20190214-p50xw8.html
    Phil Coorey says that Labor’s call for extra parliamentary sittings to act on some Hayne recommendations was mainly a stunt but it had enough substance to make life awkward for the Coalition.
    https://www.outline.com/Wf4wBK
    A refugee legal expert writes about a week of ‘reckless’ rhetoric and a new way to process asylum seeker claims.
    https://theconversation.com/a-refugee-legal-expert-on-a-week-of-reckless-rhetoric-and-a-new-way-to-process-asylum-seeker-claims-111756
    Emma Koehn reports that a new payment-times investigator is on the cards, with the federal government asking small businesses for feedback on creating a register to track how long it takes big businesses to pay smaller suppliers.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/small-business/massive-ramifications-payments-register-to-scrutinise-big-business-20190214-p50xnx.html
    Joseph Stiglitz wonders how countries can tax the footloose multinationals.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/feb/14/how-can-we-tax-the-footloose-multinationals
    The Morrison government’s generator underwriting scheme is losing a race against time to be completed before the election campaign begins in April.
    https://www.outline.com/fYUbEv
    Professor Clive Williams explains the Interpol notice system and how Hakeem got caught up in it.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/hakeem-al-araibi-s-treatment-shows-up-red-faces-at-interpol-20190214-p50xre.html
    A committee examining the government’s decision to award $443.3m to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation has recommended unspent funds from the controversial grant be returned to the commonwealth and reserved for future reef projects.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/14/highly-irresponsible-senate-calls-for-great-barrier-reef-foundation-to-return-money
    The outlook for the environment in the Murray-Darling Basin, particularly in the north, is extremely challenging and there will be almost no scope for environmental flows for the remainder of the 2018-19 year unless it rains, the Murray-Darling Basin Authority has warned.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/15/murray-darling-basins-outlook-is-grim-unless-it-rains-authoritys-report-warns
    John McDuling says that for every growth avenue Telstra’s Andy Penn explores, there is Rod Sims or an angry politician standing in the way.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/investing-in-telstra-is-a-game-of-regulatory-roulette-20190214-p50xqa.html
    Experts are saying that CEOs of competitors should not have private meetings together, given the breadth of cartel conduct laws and “concerted practices” prohibition that can apply to sharing sensitive business information.
    https://www.outline.com/dwAKLf
    Sixteen Victorian Labor politicians have been exonerated by police over their involvement in an election rorts scheme, but former treasurer John Lenders will be criminally interviewed.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/14/victorian-labor-mps-exonerated-in-red-shirts-election-rorts-scheme
    Is this behaviour a symptom of the effects of Morrison’s antics?
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/you-re-disgusting-liberal-candidate-left-shaken-by-commuter-anger-20190214-p50xr0.html
    The endangered black-throated finch is on the verge of halting Adani’s controversial coalmine after a review.
    https://www.outline.com/47GjWa
    The intelligence and security committee has recommended a further review of Peter Dutton’s ability to strip terrorists of Australian citizenship before granting his wish to extend those powers.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/14/peter-duttons-power-to-strip-terrorists-of-citizenship-must-be-reviewed-committee-finds
    CBS has reported that former top FBI official Andrew McCabe said he began an obstruction of justice and counterintelligence investigation into US President Donald Trump and his ties to Russia after Trump fired bureau director James Comey in May 2017. Pity they didn’t follow through!
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/ex-acting-fbi-chief-describes-secret-meetings-to-remove-trump-20190215-p50xxs.html
    Funny things have been happening in the Optus My Account website.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/i-could-access-everything-optus-customers-worried-after-logging-in-as-vladmir-20190214-p50xx6.html

    Cartoon Corner

    Another excoriation from David Rowe -and don’t you just love the crab!

    David Pope with a new cap for Morrison.

    Jim Pavlidis and the Valentine’s Day aftermath.

    From Matt Golding.

    John Shakespeare with Turnbull’s memoirs.

    Fiona Katauskas identifies the beast that has been caused to stir.

    Cathy Wilcox and Closing the Gap.

    Andrew Dyson on the boats.

    More poetry from Mark David.

    Peter Broelman and Morrison’s welcome mat.

    Zanetti continues with his crusade.

    A cracker from Sean Leahy.

    Alan Moir with a cartoon from October 2014.

    Jon Kudelka sees off the big stick.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/f5665f3d7dd0a7d70678c963d702ec34

    From the US.






  21. Farewell Opportunity. My father was dying from bowel cancer back then and got a kick out signing up to get his name put on a cd.dvd that went with the rover to Mars. Even more chuffed though was that he, like the rover, was expected to last about 3 months but both kept chugging along. So he felt a connection and kept a close eye on it. He managed another 2.5 years, Opportunity another 14.

    Finally Over for Mars Rover
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/finally-over-for-mars-rover/

  22. This is how David Crowe’s article “Shorten should have called for an election immediately” is being promoted on the SMH main page today –

    https://twitter.com/chrismurphys/status/109619737871600435

    I would expect the Chief Political Correspondent for the SMH and The Age to understand why Shorten did not try to call for an election immediately after Tuesday’s loss by the government.

    The reason? Some of the key cross-benchers have promised Morrison confidence. Julia Banks and Cathy M’Gowan are on record saying they want the government to go full term, so any motion of no confidence would have been unsuccessful. Mr Crowe would have had a field day with that loss, you can imagine the gloating and the jibes about an over-confident LOTO being cut down to size etc.

    I also expect a leading political journalists to know it is not the job of a LOTO to call for or push for an election. It’s up to the PM to call an election, or to advise the GG in the event there is a successful motion of no confidence, or a significant loss like Monday’s. In the past, when there has been such a loss, the PM at the time has resigned immediately. FauxMo chose to stay.

    Crowe does go on the talk about why Fauxmo did not call an election.

    I get the impression Shorten is happy to have the government stew for a while longer. We are already at the stage where FauxMo is pulling legislation he fears will be voted down by Labor, the Greens and enough of the cross-bench in both houses. He’s already unhinged and every day he becomes angrier, more spiteful towards Shorten, and the lies intensify.

    I think Shorten wants the government to hand down their budget every bit as much as FauxMo wants to do that, but for a different reason. FauxMo hopes a positive budget will increase his chances of re-election. Shorten wants to give his right of reply speech. His past speeches have been excellent, the next one should outdo them all. It will actually be a campaign speech, setting out Labor’s budget plans.

    Best thing about this tactic, if that’s the way it plays out? The government gets no chance to respond to a LOTO’s reply. The PM. the Treasurer and the rest just have to cop it.

    • I have absolutely no idea why anyone would expect Shorten to force an election. It’d be all downside for him, as far as I can see. It would highlight differences between the ALP and cross-benchers for a start, which is something that can be exploited. And it also cut short the clear picture we currently have of Morrison running scared. The more ‘lame-duck’ this government looks, the better for the ALP. Not only that, I don’t think it’s in Shorten’s best interest to have the election look like ‘Shorten’s call’. Respecting the formality of the current government having responsibility is the much wiser move. Shorten’s all about process, and he’s not been known to go out on a limb so far. Why start now?

      Let ’em stew, I say. Morrison running about searching more and more desperately for a vote-changer before he dares enter an election campaign is just about the least dignified way he and his party can conduct themselves. It can go on for as long as possible, as far as I’m concerned. It’s not great for the country, but the one person responsible for that is Morrison and he has to wear it.

    • Aguirre says “it’s not great for the country”, isn’t the well being of the country the most important thing? I really dread several more months of in some cases irreparable damage. The task of repair will be that much harder for Labor.

    • The corollary of that though is that what’s far, far worse for the country is a massive Coalition election campaign on the back of “Shorten is a Wrecker!” calls (accompanied with the AS muckraking and other stuff) leading to another term of Morrison. Which is a possible scenario if Shorten overreaches. Shorten overreaching is exactly what large parts of the political press are sweating on.

      Best to let this shitshow run its course and set about the massive task of rectifying the country’s myriad ills with the goodwill of the people. In my opinion anyway.

  23. Going to the G-G straight after the Budget speech would be madness, wouldn’t it? It would leave the Budget just hanging there, it’d be worthless even putting one together.

    • Leaving it ‘just hanging there’ would appeal to Scrott. Promise a unicorn in every garage and a rainbow at the bottom of every garden the campaign like it has already been achieved. When it comes to shameless lying our PM just cannot get enough.

    • FauxMo calling the election the day after the budget would be sheer madness, but I wouldn’t put it past him. It’s the sneaky kind of thing he’s do, and it would achieve nothing because Shorten would just use his speech to kick off his election campaign.

      Besides, a mean and tricky move might go down well among rusted-on conservative voters, but might sway some undecideds away from the government.

      It wouldn’t matter much as far as the timing for calling the election goes, a week or so early won’t make any difference. He really does need at least one sitting day after the budget to get the first couple of appropriations bills through both houses though.

      Those are the bills necessary to keep the public service running, to make sure pensions and benefits are paid, to keep government offices open, to keep paying politicians salaries and other running expenses.

      Budget funding for less crucial things can wait until after the election.

  24. Time for some comedy relief.

    Shanners thinks Shorten has has a very bad week and FauxMo has increased his chances of an election win.

    Shorten surrenders his ascendancy
    https://outline.com/exbUhf

    Shanners really should give up whatever it is he’s drinking, smoking or using, his delusion is getting worse.

    Meanwhile fresh horror awaits the government on Monday.

    Scott Morrison may face second parliamentary defeat – this time by Nationals
    Nationals MPs defy Liberals on measures designed to help small businesses prevent misuse of market power
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/15/scott-morrison-may-face-second-parliamentary-defeat-this-time-by-nationals

    • As the sycophants in the Murdoch press claiming pre-emptive victory for Morrison drop off one by one in the face of reality, only the hard-core lunatics remain. Shanahan is a hard-core lunatic. He’ll be lauding Morrison ‘victories’ until election day. I’m surprised he’s not talking up PPM figures at this stage.

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