26th January is ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Day …

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

  1. I love my grandsons generation. 15yo here for the night. Watching women’s footy (afl). Out of the blue says, wtte ‘teacher changed sex over the holidays’. Just as casual as that. What wonderful world for future generations.

  2. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Jacqui Maley writes that with Morison looking like a caretaker PM before a loss the overall impression is one of a government that long ago stopped believing in itself, made woozy by the end-of-days atmosphere which envelops it. It’s quite a good spray.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/the-caretaker-government-where-little-care-is-being-taken-20190208-p50wkn.html
    Alexandra Smith says that next month’s NSW election will be a battle for the bush.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/in-the-battle-for-the-bush-the-liberals-are-scared-20190209-p50wqe.html
    It looks like Abbott’s feeling the heat!
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/in-the-fight-of-my-life-abbott-takes-aim-at-negative-cashed-up-independents-20190207-p50wak.html
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/getup-poll-points-to-abbott-electoral-defeat-20190209-p50wqi.html
    And Bevan Shields backgrounds Ali France, the woman out to slay Peter Dutton at the election.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/meet-ali-france-the-woman-out-to-slay-peter-dutton-at-the-election-20190206-p50w5h.html
    Katharine Murphy says we should stand by for a Liberal fightback as Labor steals the march in marginals.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/commentisfree/2019/feb/08/stand-by-for-liberal-fightback-as-labor-steals-march-in-marginals
    Christopher Knaus reports internal documents have revealed that Malcolm Turnbull received direct warnings about paid lobbyists who were simultaneously occupying powerful roles in the Liberal party hierarchy.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/09/turnbull-was-warned-about-lobbyists-holding-executive-roles-in-liberal-party
    Nick O’Malley explains the venal power of political donations and poker machines.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/venal-power-of-political-donations-and-poker-machines-20190209-p50wr0.html
    Dana McCauley reports that Morrison has declared the government will not negotiate over a bill giving doctors more say in treating sick refugees, setting up a pre-election battle on border security if Labor votes for the legislation next week.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/no-middle-ground-morrison-digs-in-on-asylum-seeker-medivac-bill-20190209-p50wpj.html
    Sally Whyte tells us how the AEC is preparing for the 2019 election.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/politics/federal/the-final-countdown-how-the-aec-is-preparing-for-the-2019-election-20190208-p50wjs.html
    In a new essay, Kevin Rudd renews call for a big Australia and lambasts the Murdoch press and elements of the left for attacking progressives.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/09/kevin-rudd-chic-left-needs-to-realise-we-are-at-war-with-radical-right
    Tim Soutphommasane tells us that why being an Australian citizen doesn’t mean others will believe you truly belong. It’s all about whiteness he says.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/why-being-an-australian-citizen-doesn-t-mean-others-will-believe-you-truly-belong-20190205-p50vus.html
    Caitlin Fitzsimmons reports that new laws could make it easier for young people who want to be vaccinated without the consent of their parents.
    https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/health-and-wellness/how-teens-from-non-vax-families-can-become-vaccinated-20190207-p50wbb.html
    Matt Wade explains the economics of why Australia should be more prepared for extreme weather.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/storm-o-nomics-why-australia-should-be-more-prepared-for-extreme-weather-20190208-p50wln.html
    Nicky Ison writes that we have a rare chance to make our electricity system fair again, but we need to act quickly.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/08/we-have-a-rare-chance-to-make-our-electricity-system-fair-again-but-we-need-to-act-fast
    NSW Labor has announced it will support a program to help 500,000 households to install rooftop solar, reducing electricity bills in the next 10 years.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/labor-announces-plan-for-500-000-households-to-get-rooftop-solar-20190209-p50wrl.html
    A good Peter FitzSimons Sunday column.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/clive-palmer-just-texted-to-say-you-love-me-20190208-p50wmo.html
    Carol Anderson writes that despite all of the warning signs, SCOTUS Judge Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed. Now he’s trying to roll back basic rights
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/09/brett-kavanaugh-supreme-court-louisiana-abortion
    The New Daily reports that Trump faces the biggest humiliation of his presidency as congressional Democrats prepare to offer nothing more than a small fraction of the $US5.7 billion ($8.03 billion) he has demanded to wall off the US from Mexico.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2019/02/09/trump-massive-defeat-over-wall/
    This video is well worth watching!

    And for nomination for “Arseholes of the Week” we have . . .
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/sneaky-sound-system-audio-companies-used-in-record-setting-meth-haul-20190209-p50wq2.html

    Cartoon Corner

    From Matt Golding.


    Reg Lynch and Dutton.

    Paul Zanetti and some contemplative bankers.

    Jon Kudelka with some NAB chiefs applicants.

    From the US.




  3. Didn’t bother with Insiders this morning. A cursory glance at Twitter indicates it’s been the same-old same-old. They haven’t been critically assessing anything the Coalition has done lately, just speculating as to how it might play out politically.

    Our political media landscape is not a level playing field at all. On the one side we have moral conservative outrage, which seems unafraid of putting forth strong opinions and heavy denouncements. Opposed to it – where you might hope to see an equal and opposite reaction from the Left – we have timid speculations as to how things might ‘play out’ in an electoral sense – conducted with a kind of ‘hope’ that the conservative elements will do the right thing, but no indication of what should be done if they fail to do that. If there is an occasional break-out of outrage from the Left – ‘Tonightly’ on the ABC last year was the last example of that – it gets quashed before it can take hold. ‘Mad As Hell’ is firmly in the ‘we hope the conservatives do the right thing’ camp, so it doesn’t count. Our media is a mess in that sense.

    Politically, I’m not at all sure where our moral or ethical centre is supposed to reside. The Right have made it pretty clear that those considerations should be subservient to immediate political aims. The ALP, by necessity, need to balance tendencies toward humanism with political caution, otherwise they’ll be swamped with Rightist rhetoric unchallenged by a supine media – they’d be badly exposed. So they’re living an eternal compromise,and often get castigated for it. The Greens are choosing to fight their battles against the ALP, which isn’t helping at all. All the heavy lifting is being done by outside elements – social media, in the main.

  4. I should also note in passing that the ‘rise of the independents’ is also a rise in the ‘we hope the conservatives do the right thing’ attitude. Phelps, Steggall etc are all likely to tut-tut the Liberal Party while voting with them on everything substantive – even on bills they profess to expose. They’ll do some hand-wringing, of course. But doing unethical things with a guilty conscience is still doing unethical things. So it’s not really progress, just a friendlier face on the old conservatism.

  5. “Dana McCauley reports that Morrison has declared the government will not negotiate over a bill giving doctors more say in treating sick refugees, setting up a pre-election battle on border security if Labor votes for the legislation next week.”

    I’m getting very tired of the media twisting the facts on this legislation, and very sick of the focus on Kerryn Phelps. I suspect a media campaign to get her out of Wentworth via a loss in the election is underway.

    I spent a bit of time yesterday trying to sort out the myth from the fiction.

    First – I finally found the actual, real name of the so-called “Phelps bill”. It’s the Migration Amendment (Urgent Medical Treatment) Bill 2018. It’s sponsored by Alan Wilkie, Rebekha Sharkie, Julia Banks and Adam Bandt as well as Kerryn Phelps, so it really should be referred to as “the cross-bench bill” or better still, by its name.

    https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r6236

    This bill is the “medivac bill” the media keep going on about.

    It has been superceded by the McKim/Storer amendment to the Home Affairs Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2018. This and other amendments to the existing legislation will be debated in parliament next week in the Reps, unless FauxMo pulls the whole thing to avoid a possible defeat.

    It’s important to understand this act is already law. The amendment bill proposed extra measures dealing with persons who have been deported but have been refused entry to destination countries, who is to pay the costs incurred, what happens to their visas, etc. Senators McKim and Storer managed to get their medical transfers amendment added to this bill on 6 December, with the support of Labor, the Greens and some of the cross-bench. All the amendments now have to go back to the Reps for approval.

    https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r6069

    The McKim/Storer amendment contains the entire so-called “Phelps” or “medivac” bill, (it’s a very brief bill) and goes a lot further. It also deals with mental illness patients and it gives the Minister final approval. Should the minister veto a transfer he/she has to provide an explanation to both houses of parliament.

    The “Phelps bill” is not likely to ever have a second reading debate. It will probably be dumped on Tuesday.

    Why?

    This is going to be a long explanation.

    Parliament returns from holidays on Tuesday. There will be party room meetings in the morning, sittings for the Reps and the Senate won’t start until 12 noon.

    Tuesday in the Reps will be Take Out The Trash Tuesday.

    The Notice Paper for the Reps is already online. Ir tells us there is an awful lot of trash to be dealt with as quickly as possible,.

    https://parlinfo.aph.gov.au/parlInfo/search/display/display.w3p;db=CHAMBER;id=chamber%2Fnoticer%2F4407bfbd-9430-4284-ba9c-139b71b8a1bb%2F0002;query=Id%3A%22chamber%2Fnoticer%2F4407bfbd-9430-4284-ba9c-139b71b8a1bb%2F0000%22

    First,a stack of Government Business dealing mostly with resuming debate on a stack of government bills.

    Then Private Members Business.

    Then a number of bills introduced last year but not going anywhere because they are private members bills or Labor bills.

    The Notice Paper tells us, after each bill listed, that it will be removed from the Notice Paper (that means consigned to the bin) unless further debate can be scheduled for a certain number of later Mondays, or the bill is to be sent to the Federation Chamber.

    The Selection Committee has the final say on which bills will be debated and which will be dumped. That committee is currently stacked to favour the government. Draw your own conclusions on the fate of bills that will be tricky for the government.

    https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/House/Selection/Committee_Membership

    Among those bills are two of special interest. The Alan Wilkie/Adam Bandt/Rebekah Sharkie Migration Amendment (Kids Off Nauru) Bill 2018 and the so-called “Phelps bill”, the Migration Amendment (Urgent Medical Treatment) Bill 2018

    Both are likely to be sent to the bin.

    The Wilkie bill has been negated, all kids are now off Nauru and in Australia for medical treatment or will soon be leaving for the US, if they have not already gone. The Phelps bill has been covered in the Home Affairs amendment bill.

    The media can’t seem to get their heads around that. They insist, as Dana McCauley does, that the “medivac bill” is the one that passed the Senate. No, it didn’t. That bill was introduced in the Reps on 3 December 2018, a second reading was successfully moved and that was it. It has never reached the Senate and probably never will.

    There is a big “but” though.

    Chances are the amendment won’t pass the Reps. If that happens then either the cross-bench bill will be re-introduced or a new replacement will take its place.

    The government can’t win this fight. It’s going to be an election issue, no matter whether or not an amendment passes the Reps. The MSM seem determined to confuse us by refusing to tell the truth.

    I believe far more people are concerned about the plight of the adults on Nauru and Manus Island than there oldies are getting angry about losing a government tax handout.

    The government, in their usual blundering, ham-fisted way, has chosen the wrong issue to champion.

  6. Abbott seems to think he is running for Northern Beaches Council, not the federal electorate of Warringah.

    “A lot of politics is very, very basic. People want their potholes filled, they want their rubbish removed. They do not like noisy neighbours having parties all night. And they expect their politician – any politician they can get access to – to help fix all that stuff

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/in-the-fight-of-my-life-abbott-takes-aim-at-negative-cashed-up-independents-20190207-p50wak.html

    Potholes – a council matter.
    Rubbish removal – council again.
    Noisy neighbours – police.

    He’s desperately trying to distract the attention of voters from the big issues -climate change and energy policy.

    • Isn’t that typical of a low-minded person like Abbott? No vision at all. A real dummy. He’s an insult to people who are aiming higher. With him, it’s all about toilets and rubbish. To think that that man was once PM. People are such fools. Still desparing. Hoping people who believe we are going to win are RIGHT. I have doubts.

  7. Greg Hunt didn’t come out of this encounter well.

    Was “Doris” really starving to death”? After seeing the abysmal quality of alleged food, and the meagre quantities dished up in aged “care” facilities I think she might have been just stating a fact.

    A response to that tweet –

  8. Government ministers have repeated claims that all 1,000 or so refugees in offshore detention would receive medical transfer under the Kerryn Phelps bill – but failed to explain if that meant they are all sick.

    The Coalition government is strenuously fighting against amendments to Australia’s medical evacuation rules, which would give doctors more say in who needs to be transported for treatment.

    Under the amendments Labor originally supported, the minister could reject a transfer on national security grounds, but would need to do so within 24 hours, with an independent health panel set up to review the rejections.

    On Sunday, David Coleman and Christopher Pyne were the latest government ministers who argued against changes to existing medical evacuation rules, claiming it would result in all Manus Island and Nauru detainees being sent to Australia.

    But they dodged answering whether or not that meant the 1,000 or refugees and asylum seekers under Australia’s care in the offshore centres were all ill enough to require transfer.

    Pyne said all refugees and asylum seekers “could all qualify” for medical transfer to Australia, but dodged if that meant they were all ill.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/10/coalition-ministers-fail-to-explain-whether-all-refugees-held-offshore-need-medical-transfer

    • If the ATM government, and especially FauxMo during his time as Minister for Hellholes had given these men proper medical care then they would not now be suffering from a range of physical and mental health issues.

      Pyne is a disgusting, lying grub.

      I haven’t seen his Insiders interview. I’m told “train wreck” goes nowhere near describing how awful it was.

  9. I can feel a movie coming on…
    .
    .

    For three years during the height of the California gold rush, an infamous gang of ex-convicts from Australia held San Francisco to ransom………………….
    the district in which they congregated began to be known as Sydney Town, and it was so called for some ten years.

    “It was this area that later became notorious throughout the world as the Barbary Coast,

    The hundreds of vagabonds who made up the Sydney Ducks, as they were called by locals, landed on the US west coast straight from the penal colonies of NSW and Van Diemens Land (now Tasmania). They set up camp at the base of Telegraph Hill near the docks and ruled the area — and struck fear into greater San Francisco — for four years until vigilantes embarked on a series of lynchings to try to bring them under control.

    https://outline.com/9d8hvJ

  10. Philip Adams not optimistic about how the election will be run
    .
    .
    ‘All things white and wonderful’
    ………………………..Just as FDR won on ideas, ideals and his “New Deal”, Whitlam won on “It’s Time” optimism and Obama on hope. Let’s hope the forthcoming federal election doesn’t descend into lowest-common-denominator demonising of “the other”. But I fear it will.
    https://outline.com/C9c6AL

  11. Looks like NewsPoll is steady Mordor Media orc Kenny said on his program..
    .
    “Kenny “Not much in Newspoll. Which is kinda good news for Scott Morrison and the Coalition because they jumped up a fair bit……..”

  12. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/newspoll-coalition-staring-at-bruising-poll-defeat/news-story/be027b742362f8cd3705f91c336b3718

    The Coalition has held on to the electoral gains made over summer but still remains on course for a significant election defeat despite a lift in Scott Morrison’s approval ratings.

    An exclusive Newspoll to be published in The Australian tomorrow shows Labor retaining a commanding lead over the Coalition with a two-party preferred vote of 53/47.

    As both parties prepare for a pitched battle over asylum seekers and the economy when Parliament returns this Tuesday, Mr Morrison has maintained his lead over Bill Shorten as the preferred prime minister after widening the gap two points to 44/35 in the latest fortnightly poll.

    • So the only good news for FauxMo is a tiny improvement in his preferred PM number, a pointless and meaningless number.

      Labor’s primary vote increased while none of the others did. Isn’t that worth a mention?

  13. Thank Goodness!

    Kon and Jana of the ASRC understand what has been happening with legislation on medical transfers and are getting the facts out there.

    The media are still running deliberately confusing information and government lies on this.

  14. Newspoll is… fine. When all the ruckus dies down the polls end up where they’ve been for ages, hovering around 53-47 to the ALP. There’s been talk about the past couple of weeks being a disaster for the Coalition or for the ALP, depending on who you listen to. I mean, obviously it’s been terrible for the Coalition (when isn’t it?); but on the other hand, the ALP have been going around looking for ways to reform things, which as far as I can tell from the reportage is a big no-no. We can’t have the economy being fixed up, what would happen to all those people benefitting from the current broken system? We’ve had to listen to them screaming about the prospect of losing their free money to hospitals and school for days now. And the media – most of which doesn’t even think these jackals have a point – is still applauding it as an astute political tactic.

    But the people have spoken. 53-47. And from all the backgrounding going on, it looks as if the battleground will now shift to BOATS! and BORDER PROTECTION! Because that’s the last policy area the Coalition think they can have a win. So of course we have to talk about that and nothing else. If that fails I don’t know what they’ll do. Tantrum?

  15. One thing that keeps me buoyant: we keep hearing how this is going to be a dirty, grubby campaign and the Liberals are going to throw everything at Shorten and the ALP. Well:

    1. They’ve been doing that at hysterical levels for a long time now, to no effect.
    2. They promised a dirty campaign on the SSM vote, and they gave us exactly that, and it didn’t make any difference at all.

  16. Telling it like it is.

    Government strategists need to take an hour off and spend it reading Aesop’s Fables, specifically “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”.

    Screaming “Boats!!!” is so 2001. It worked once, it won’t work again. Ir’s a distraction to take our attention away from the big issues this election – climate change and energy policy.

    • How right you are, Puff.
      I have been notified by My Aged Care to expect a package offer sometime this month for OH. Assessed as requiring a level 4 (high care) but expecting to be offered level 2. Have been on the waiting list for16 months.
      I have been researching Providers and could not believe some of the Fees being charged.
      Administration / Case management Fees vary from 20% – 37%. Set Up $350 – $960 and Exit Fees on average $400. Even if no service is being provided (e.g. client in hospital) the Admin Fee still applies.A level 4 package consists of $50,286 p.a plus client contribution $3,806 p.a. The actual services costs are around $70 per hour. After the admin/case management fees are deducted the balance provides approx 11 hours care per week including respite for the carer.

  17. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    The SMH editorial says that Tim Wilson should quit or be dumped.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/tim-wilson-should-quit-or-be-dumped-20190210-p50wuz.html
    David Crowe reports on Christopher Pyne’s candid and quite accurate outburst on the state of Australian politics.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/christopher-pyne-delivers-damning-verdict-on-the-state-of-australian-politics-20190210-p50wt2.html
    Greg Jericho writes that as clouds on the economic horizon darken, Scott Morrison has many problems and little to brag about. Quite an interesting read.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/09/with-an-election-looming-the-governments-fear-is-palpable
    Any Remeikis and Katherine Murphy talk about Morrison ramping up on an attack on Labor regarding border protection.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/11/scott-morrison-ramps-up-border-protection-rhetoric-with-attack-on-labor
    Sarah Danckert explains why the corporate regulator will ask the government to change mortgage rules that could make it harder and more expensive for borrowers to get a new home loan if it loses a landmark case against Westpac over responsible lending laws.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/home-loan-hit-asic-will-seek-to-change-laws-if-it-loses-key-case-20190206-p50vys.html
    The government has backed away from two explicit commitments to establish a register to help stamp out multi-national tax avoidance – by claiming there was never a commitment in the first place.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/feb/11/coalition-abandons-plan-for-register-to-help-beat-tax-avoidance
    The AFR says that Scott Morrison will launch the second arm of his re-election pitch by claiming superior national security credentials. Labor wants the focus on banks.
    https://www.outline.com/jkrqvV
    Tony Walker thinks its franking credits policy is coming back to bite Labor.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/franking-credits-policy-is-coming-back-to-bite-labor-20190208-p50wh9.html
    David Wroe tells us how the independent MPs behind the push to move refugees off Nauru and Manus Island for medical treatment have demanded Labor hold the line in supporting the proposed law as Bill Shorten ponders a politically safe compromise.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/bill-shorten-set-to-back-down-in-stand-off-over-refugee-medical-bill-20190210-p50wvb.html
    Investors are poised for a big week of earnings, with a number of the local share market’s most shorted stocks set to report their results this week.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/2-7b-on-the-line-as-asx-s-most-shorted-stocks-report-results-20190210-p50wv7.html
    Jennifer Duke explains how Telstra chief executive Andy Penn says a change of government could bring cheaper broadband to customers.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/sensible-labor-would-bring-cheaper-nbn-to-telcos-and-customers-20190204-p50vo2.html
    Sam maiden says that big banks have been given a get-out-of-jail card on reforms ordered by the royal commission, with the Morrison government saying it’s a job for after the May election.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/02/10/royal-commission-big-banks-recommendations/
    Ross Gittins writes that in the wake of the Hayne report on financial misconduct, many are asking whether the banks have really learned their lesson, whether their culture will change and how long it will take. Sorry, that’s just the smaller half of the problem.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/politicians-and-economists-will-determine-whether-bank-misbehaviour-stops-20190210-p50wtf.html
    The government has quietly extended one of its most controversial contracts, paying little-known Paladin Group an extra $109 million for security services on Manus Island.
    https://www.outline.com/ucmexh
    The Grattan Institute’s Dannielle Wood says that negative gearing changes will affect us all, mostly for the better.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/negative-gearing-changes-will-affect-us-all-mostly-for-the-better-20190208-p50wjn.html
    These two environmentalists look at the ramifications of the recent court finding on the Rocky Hill mine.
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/coal-miners-derided-climate-action-sideshow-now-it-s-the-main-event-20190208-p50wmc.html
    Publisher Benjamin Dreyer comes to the defence of using proper English.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/writing-proper-english-let-s-call-it-an-act-of-resistance-20190210-p50wuk.html
    Eryk Bagshaw reports that the union movement will resist a key finding of the banking royal commission, baulking at Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s recommendation that workers should be defaulted only once into a superannuation fund in their lives.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/unions-to-resist-key-royal-commission-finding-on-super-20190210-p50wtx.html
    The insurance broking industry is confident it can persuade regulators there is nothing wrong with taking commissions from insurers, after the Hayne report recommended a three-year stay of execution.
    https://www.outline.com/dBMyUt
    Samuel Freedman says that in revering Trump, the religious right has laid bare its hypocrisy.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/feb/10/in-revering-trump-the-religious-right-has-laid-bare-its-hypocrisy
    Bloomberg explains why South America is the battlefield in a new cold war.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/south-america/why-south-america-is-the-battlefield-in-a-new-cold-war-20190211-p50wwa.html
    John McDuling examines journalistic style when it comes to protecting sources.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/it-is-understood-how-oblique-sourcing-is-hurting-australian-media-20190210-p50wtl.html
    Peter Martin unpicks the mystery of taxation and franking credits.
    https://theconversation.com/words-that-matter-whats-a-franking-credit-whats-dividend-imputation-and-whats-retiree-tax-111423
    Michael Pascoe tells us that among the less-noticed aspects of Commissioner Kenneth Hayne’s final report was a backhander for parliamentary committees. He seems to think that at least one of them is useless.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/finance-news/2019/02/10/asic-banks-michael-pascoe/
    The Australian reports that the lobbying firm of NSW Liberal powerbroker Michael Photios has started donating to the Labor Party, in an apparent nod towards the likelihood of Bill Shorten taking up residence in The Lodge.
    https://www.outline.com/j8c6JV
    British billionaire and mooted Whyalla saviour Sanjeev Gupta says his transformation plans for the steelworks are running ahead of schedule and he expects the formerly troubled plant to begin breaking even by the middle of the year.
    https://www.outline.com/eYDpkd
    Every new high-rise tower in New South Wales will be approved by a new watchdog and constructed by qualified practitioners in a bid to better protect home owners. Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean made the announcement on Sunday in response to a national report that found “significant and concerning” problems in the construction industry.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/nsw/2019/02/10/building-commissioner-matt-kean-opal-tower/
    What is corporatisation doing to rip off in dentistry?
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/marc-was-told-he-needed-1200-dental-fillings-suspicious-he-did-an-experiment-20181219-p50na8.html
    Stephen Koukoulas’s statement on refundable franking credits to the House of Representative Economics Committee.
    https://thekouk.com/item/669-my-statement-on-refundable-franking-credits-to-the-house-of-representative-economics-committee.html
    The world’s insects are hurtling down the path to extinction, threatening a “catastrophic collapse of nature’s ecosystems”, according to the first global scientific review.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/feb/10/plummeting-insect-numbers-threaten-collapse-of-nature
    A state of emergency has been declared in a northern Russian archipelago, as a community suffers an unprecedented invasion of polar bears, with the military brought in to help.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2019/02/10/state-of-emergency-declared-as-polar-bears-terrorise-city/
    According to Dr Geoff Davies we are hitting a boiling point in climate devastation. Now is the time for comprehensive action.
    https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/this-summer-is-angry-are-you,12357
    Lobbyist David Alexander tells us about the crucial first question for the new chair of the ABC – “Is the ABC biased?”
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/the-crucial-first-question-for-the-new-chair-of-the-abc-20190208-p50wld.html
    Women and children will gain from a $60 million federal investment in emergency housing to protect them from family violence as part of a new statement Scott Morrison on keeping Australians safe.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/it-must-stop-scott-morrison-to-unveil-78-million-family-violence-package-20190210-p50wtn.html
    Matt Wade reports that NSW Labor has unveiled a 10-year plan to provide 600,000 students with free TAFE courses in a bid to reduce skill shortages.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/labor-offers-free-tafe-courses-to-target-skill-shortages-20190210-p50wvi.html
    Major city hospitals in SA are reeling from record demand as hot weather presentations outstrip even the worst figures registered in the depths of winter.
    https://www.outline.com/qJcny5
    Chip le Grand tells us that allegations by up to six women against former Melbourne lord mayor Robert Doyle are being assessed by Victoria Police.
    https://www.outline.com/98B8WC

    Cartoon Corner

    What a cracker form David Rowe!

    Pat Campbell and the Four Pillars.

    From Matt Golding.



    Jim Pavlidis and franking credit policy.

    Lovely work from Mark David.

    Sean Leahy and flood insurance.

    Jon Kudelka prepares Morrison for the two weeks sitting.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/1f5ec4b2b5bab09b326bad70d016884b

    From the US.



  18. I’ve been trying to work out why the government is pushing for Labor to amend the so’called “Phelps bill”, aka “the medivac bill” and why the MSM is so intent on ignoring the other option.

    I’e been so slow to get what is happening! (I’m pleading being distracted by much nicer things.)

    A week ago FAuxMo was blathering about Labor’s support for an amendment to a Home Affairs amendment bill passed bythe senate on 6 December last year. Over the last few days he has changed tack and is now demanding Labor move an amendment to the so-called “Phelps/medivac bill”, or blathering about Labor removing support for that bill, depending on what Wormtongue adviser is whispering in his ear. He seems very unsure about what he really wants.

    It seems the government wants to force Labor to attempt to amend or even withdraw support for this bill, one that has not even had a second reading in the Reps yet, because it will be a bad look for Labor to not support the bill.

    Shayne Neumann issued a rather cryptic statement a week ago that gave nothing away. The MSM didn’t even notice it until yesterday, now they all over it, interpreting it as a sign Labor is going to back down.
    https://shayneneumann.com.au/news/immigration-and-border-protection/morrison-backflips-to-try-and-fix-medical-transfer-failures/

    It’s very obvious the usual suspects have all had their instructions from Liberal HQ and are going full-on at discrediting Labor. ‘s working. THere has been a lot of social media backlash aimed at Labor because of all the media rumour-mongering.

    The cross-bench bill actually should be withdrawn from the Notice Paper because there is no need for it now.
    The contents of the very brief Migration Amendment (Urgent Medical Treatment) Bill 2018 have been included, with improvements, in the McKim/Storer amendment in the Home Affairs Legislation Amendment (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill 2018.

    The amendment contains everything the government wants – the medical panel, the Minister having the right to refuse a transfer and an extra – a requirement for the Minister to table an explanation for a refusal in both houses of parliament. It’s a good balance. It gets around the flaws in the original cross-bench bill.

    Please have a look at the ASRC video I posted last night, if you have not yet seen it. Kon and Jana understand why the amendment is what needs to be passed, not the weaker and now unnecessary so-called “Phelps/medivac” bill.

    The amendment, along with others made by the Senate to the Home Affairs bill, should come before the Reps for what the parliament calls “concurrence” some time this week. “Concurrence” just means agreement, or rubber stamping amendments that have already passed the Senate. It’s possible the government might attempt to delay that concurrence debate as an attempt to force the Reps to debate an unnecessary bill just because it might make Labor look bad.

    The MSM, as always fully supportive of the government and keen to find anything they can use to beat Labor, are going all-out on the need for Labor to support a flawed, now-superceded bill that really should be removed from the Notice Paper by the cross-benchers who sponsored it. The sponsors should be insisting the Home Affairs amendments be debated in the Reps ASAP.

    Whether the government’s clever plan is going to succeed depends on whether or not the egos of the cross-benchers involved – Phelps, Wilkie, Banks, Sharkie and Bandt – allow them to act sensibly.

  19. Desperate tactics – Ms Sudmalis hid in a room in Parliament House so journaliusts and Labor politicans didn’t know she was there.

    Liberal Party flew backbencher Ann Sudmalis home from New York amid fears of losing a vote

    In an extraordinary move demonstrating how desperate the Morrison Government was to avoid losing a vote on the floor of Parliament, a Liberal MP was secretly flown back from the United States to shore up the Coalition’s numbers in the final sitting week of last year.

    The Liberal Party paid for backbencher Ann Sudmalis to return to Canberra from New York, where she was on a three-month delegation to the United Nations.

    Few knew Ms Sudmalis was in the country, let alone the building.

    She had flown in under the cover of darkness and locked herself in her parliamentary office, where for hours on end she watched the live feed of the House of Representatives and waited, in case the Coalition needed to use her as a secret weapon

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-02-11/liberal-party-flew-ann-sudmalis-new-york-to-canberra-amid-fears/10784384

    Turns out she wasn’t needed anyway. Still, anything that depletes the Liberal Party’s coffers is a good thing.

    • It looks as if, numbers on the floor of the HOR being what are currently are, a majority of 76 votes is now possible by the ALP and cross-benchers. If the Morrison government want to prevent that majority, all they have to do is have someone missing and call for a pair. Removing pairs for any ‘absolute majority’ vote means Morrison’s team can’t play silly buggers to prevent a loss on the floor.

      In the thread below that post Sudmalis was mentioned. That’s a breach of trust issue that the ALP appear to be fed up with. Fair enough. But I also recall Dutton pleading injured late last year when he had a few questions that needed answering. Cancelling pairs – which is just a convention, which the Lib/Nats are clearly abusing – means the government has to have all hands on deck, and therefore accountable. That may have something to do with it too.

      It might actually force Morrison to call the election. He’s got nowhere to hide in the HOR any more.

  20. Pairs

    The pairs system, a practice of some antiquity,400 is an unofficial arrangement between Members, organised by party whips, which can be used to enable a Member on one side of the House to be absent for any votes when a Member from the other side is to be absent at the same time or when, by agreement, a Member abstains from voting. By this arrangement a potential vote on each side of a question is lost and the relative voting strengths of the parties are maintained. The system also allows the voting intentions of absent Members to be recorded.401

    From time to time difficulties have been encountered with the system because:

    Members forget they have made pairing arrangements and vote in divisions;402
    the voting intentions of a Member have been misrepresented in the pair book;403
    there have been allegations of tampering with the pair book after a division;404 and
    of accusations that parties refused to enter into pairing arrangements.405

    These were earlier cases when the House was not always divided into distinct political parties. With the development of the modern party system pairing arrangements were facilitated and Members have been paired not only on particular questions or for one sitting of the House, but sometimes for extended periods. In some periods the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition have been automatically paired unless one indicated that he or she wished to vote on a particular issue.

    The closer the relative strength of the parties the more crucial the pairing arrangements have become. In these circumstances disputations on pairing arrangements are more likely to occur, especially on vital votes, and have been the cause of protracted disorderly proceedings. Statements have been made to the House on guidelines for the granting of pairs.406 Pairs have been cancelled by the Government because of the need for an absolute majority to pass a bill to alter the Constitution.407 The Opposition has cancelled the arrangements for the remainder of the session as a consequence of its view on the manner in which the proceedings of the House were being conducted.408

    Although there is no rule or order of the House requiring a Member to observe a pair, there is a considerable moral and political obligation on his or her part to adhere to such an agreement. The consistent attitude of the Chair on this question was summed up by Speaker Watt when, in reply to a question as to whether it would be a breach of honour if a Member did not observe a pair, he observed that the Chair knew nothing of pairs, the question of honour being a matter for the Members and not the Chair to decide.409

    During a division, it is the practice that Members who are paired leave the Chamber before the doors are locked so as to avoid voting. However, if a paired Member calls for a division, he or she is bound not to leave the area of Members’ seats, and to vote.410 Both the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition have been allowed to leave the area of Members’ seats after the doors have been locked when they have found that they should not be voting because of pairing arrangements.411 Other Members have been permitted to leave for the same reason.412

    https://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/House_of_Representatives/Powers_practice_and_procedure/practice5/~/link.aspx?_id=B85B81FFF88041569016B792AB57A045&_z=z#pai

  21. From over the road a nice 😆 .
    .
    .
    SKY reporting that the Newspoll figures on policy stances shows that since the government started its campaign against franking credits….support for Labor’s position has improved.

  22. Talking about ‘pairs’ in parliament, does anyone else remember the shenanigans committed by abbott and pyne when JG was PM?

  23. Hi all, away in WA for a bit of R&R but I thought this is one of the more important stories of the week that required a posting:

    Epidemic In Kazakhstan: US Blamed for Germ Warfare Test

    Machine translated from Russian
    My comrades and I constantly wrote and talked about the activities of the American military reference laboratory for the study of dangerous pathogens in Almaty, opened by the authorities of Kazakhstan in 2016. Officials rejected all accusations of public figures and environmentalists about the danger of this object, especially built with the money of the Pentagon in a seismic zone and in a large metropolis. Now, employees of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan were forced to admit that new toxic strains of contagious measles disease were first found in Ukraine, and local vaccines are unable to effectively fight them.
    Ukraine, Georgia and Kazakhstan – training grounds for the use of biological weapons

    Thus, Zhandarbek Bekshin, Chairman of the Public Health Committee of the Ministry of Health, the country’s chief state sanitary doctor, said on January 29 that high-tech research was conducted to identify the causes of measles that are not typical for Kazakhstan, which showed that they caused the epidemic in Ukraine.

    “On January 24, we received the results of a genomic study of pathogens that circulate among patients in Kazakhstan. The study showed that these are the same strains D8 and B3 that circulate in the European continent. We went further. And then a more detailed study showed that the strain “B”, which circulates to a greater degree in Kazakhstan, has the genetic lines “Dublin” and “Kabul”. Of these, especially “Kabul” is very toxic. He caused an outbreak in Ukraine, ”said the country’s chief sanitary doctor.

    According to doctors, these two strains have never circulated in Kazakhstan. Against them there is no immunity in vaccinated children and adults. Experts believe that these are new strains that are resistant to the old vaccines and specifically designed for conducting so-called test tests for possible further spread of other more dangerous diseases.

    It is clear that measles, a disease that does not lead to massive fatal cases, although it can severely affect the nervous system in case of complications, affects the kidney liver, the immune system and is very dangerous for children. But, using the example of this contagious disease, modified in US military laboratories, the mechanisms for the spread of more dangerous diseases in the territories of the former republics of the Soviet Union — Ukraine, Georgia, and Kazakhstan — are now being worked out across the ocean.

    https://www.veteranstoday.com/2019/02/10/epidemic-in-kazakhstan-us-blamed-for-germ-warfare-test/

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