Pyne: Another One Bites the Dust

Meanwhile, back at the ranch …

The MSM seem pretty certain that Mr Pyne will announce tomorrow that he won’t contest the next election. A similar announcement is apparently expected from Mr Ciobo (he of “slit her throat” infamy).

I’m prepared to publish this new post this evening because I want to ensure that BK has his amazing media roundup at the top of the page. And if neither Pyne nor Ciobo comes good, I’ll wear the egg on my face.

Goodnight, friends, and good luck!

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187 thoughts on “Pyne: Another One Bites the Dust

  1. Egyptian Grand Imam brands polygamy an ‘injustice’

    A hugely influential Egyptian Imam has provoked controversy for describing polygamy as an “injustice” to women practiced by people who do not understand the Koran.

    Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, who heads Egypt’s prominent Al-Azhar mosque and university, made the comments on Twitter and on a weekly television show.

    The influential cleric, who met Pope Francis in February, said the practice is the result of “a lack of understanding of the Koran and the tradition of the Prophet.”

    “Those who say that marriage must be polygamous are all wrong,” he said on the TV program adding that any Muslim man who desires multiple wives must obey certain conditions governing fairness, “if there is not fairness it is forbidden to have multiple wives,” he said.

    The Grand Imam, who is considered one of the highest authorities in Sunni Islamic thought, didn’t limit his comments to just marriage, he also made broader comments on the need to revamp women’s position in society.

    “Women represent half of society, if we don’t care for them it’s like we are walking on one foot only,” he said.

    Tayeb’s comments stirred up considerable controversy on social media with many applauding them while others took strong exception.

    The Al-Azhar institute was prompted to release a statement clarifying that Tayeb had not called for the prohibition of polygamy, as some had claimed.

    The grand imam’s comments were welcomed by the Egyptian National Council for Women.

    “The Muslim religion honors women, it brought justice and numerous rights which didn’t exist before,” said the Council’s president Maya Morsi in expressing a “deep appreciation and thanks” to Tayeb.

    https://www.rt.com/news/452908-egyptian-grand-imam-polygamy-injustice/

  2. North Korea disputes Trump’s Hanoi summit claims

    n a highly unusual development, North Korea called a post-midnight press briefing in Hanoi to dispute some of the claims made earlier in the day by Donald Trump in a press conference that the US president had held following a summit that ended unexpectedly with no declaration and no agreement.

    “What we have asked for was partial lifting of sanctions, not entirely,” Pyongyang’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said at the late-night briefing, according to Kyodo News. “In detail, we asked to lift five sanctions that were imposed within 2016 and 2017, out of total 11 sanctions, which would affect ordinary people’s economy and life.”

    Ri’s statement contradicted what Trump had said hours earlier in his own press conference.

    Then, Trump had claimed that the summit had come to an unsuccessful conclusion due to North Korea’s stance. “It was about the sanctions, they basically wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety,” he said. “We could not do it.” Explaining his negotiating tactics, Trump said: “Sometimes you have to walk. This was just one of those times.”

    Kyodo reported that Ri also said North Korea told the United States that Pyongyang would “eternally” dismantle the country’s central Yongbyon nuclear complex if sanctions were partially lifted, while proposing to Washington a written pledge ending nuclear and ballistic missile tests.

    The late-night meeting was held at Hanoi’s Melia Hotel, where the North Korean delegation, including national leader Kim Jong Un and his sister Yo Jong, is staying amid tight security.

    It is highly unusual for high-level North Korean officials to give press briefings to foreign reporters, though the country’s delegation to the United Nations in New York occasionally does so.

    The unorthodox timing and convening of the press conference reflected events on Thursday morning, when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had answered two questions from reporters for – it is believed – the first time ever.

    The post-midnight timing was atypical, and it is not clear how international and local media were selected and contacted for the briefing – apparently by Vietnamese authorities.

    https://www.asiatimes.com/2019/02/article/north-korea-disputes-trumps-hanoi-summit-claims/

  3. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Fairfax heavy James Chessell tells us how three cases in two weeks have highlighted the creeping threat to Australian journalism.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/tough-times-for-shining-light-into-dark-corners-20190303-p511gz.html
    And John McDuling explains that in media industry circles there is a growing belief that consolidation in the sector will not end with last year’s $4 billion tie-up between Nine and Fairfax.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/why-there-are-more-deals-to-be-done-in-aussie-media-20190303-p511fm.html
    Sam Maiden tells us about the not-so-secret men’s business raising more questions of leadership in the Liberal Party.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/03/03/julie-bishop-mens-group-liberals-leadership/
    According to Bevan Shields six former Liberal politicians-turned-ambassadors could be recalled under a Labor hit list.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/six-former-liberal-politicians-turned-ambassadors-could-be-recalled-under-labor-hit-list-20190303-p511fj.html
    Sean Kelly writes that our country is waking up to the fact that, over a very long period, many people have lost, so that others can get ahead.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/the-massive-cultural-shift-scott-morrison-is-in-danger-of-missing-20190302-p511cw.html
    Ross Gittins explains how we’ve had weak consumer spending because of weak wage growth, the product of globalisation and skill-biased technological change, which has diverted much income to those with a lower propensity to consume.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/beware-of-groupthink-on-why-the-economy-s-so-weak-20190303-p511fl.html
    Adele Ferguson predicts that the big franchise industry is braced for serious reform in a parliamentary report due this week. Reforms are expected to include changes to the franchising code, stronger unfair contract terms and stiffer penalties for breaches.
    https://www.outline.com/PVWKfS
    Amy Remeikis writes that Angus Taylor has again falsely claimed Australia’s greenhouse emissions are falling.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/mar/03/angus-taylor-again-falsely-claims-australias-greenhouse-emissions-are-falling
    Jennifer Duke reports that the ABC is under pressure to reveal details of its confidential settlement with its sacked managing director.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/should-be-made-public-abc-rebuked-for-secret-michelle-guthrie-settlement-20190303-p511fg.html
    Trauma specialist Valerie Malka tells us that every day she operates on injuries that politicians could prevent.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/every-day-i-operate-on-injuries-that-politicians-could-prevent-20190225-p5102z.html
    Gross domestic product data to be released Wednesday may confirm strong population growth is the only thing that stood between us and a recession in the second half of last year.
    https://www.outline.com/butx42
    The Morrison government will unveil $22 million in funding for community environmental projects across the country on Monday, stepping up its green pitch to voters ahead of the election. This is after they ripped the hell out of Landcare some years ago.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/morrison-government-announces-funding-for-community-environment-projects-20190303-p511gg.html
    The Department of Home Affairs has refused to respond to allegations Minister Dutton and those around him may be corrupt reports Evan Jones.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/home-affairs-department-fobs-off-ias-dutton-corruption-allegations,12432
    Industry super fund tsar Greg Combet says businesses that use conflicted remuneration and vertical integration to squeeze consumers for short-term profits will be first in the firing line.
    https://www.outline.com/W6PTcL
    A heap of CEO’s are calling for an end to climate policy paralysis.
    https://www.outline.com/KEAbZR
    Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher has told Catholic worshippers not to be “too quick to judge” in relation to Pell’s conviction over child sexual abuse. They just don’t get it do they.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/sydney-archbishop-says-don-t-be-quick-to-judge-george-pell-20190303-p511fq.html
    Pell is being sued over allegations he molested a boy in a swimming pool in the 1970s. The complainant, now 50, was in the St Joseph’s Boys Home in Ballarat from February 1974 until 1978. He claims he suffered physical and sexual abuse at Pell’s hands during that period.
    https://www.outline.com/VcjjwT
    Dr Evan Jones discusses the way Australian media frequently channels an unashamedly pro-Israel worldview at the expense of other legitimate perspectives.
    https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/fairfax-the-israel-lobby-and-unchallenged-propaganda,12428
    Here are some proposed alternatives to Labor’s franking plan.
    https://www.outline.com/TSg9Vz
    BHP representatives were aware of the possibility of loss of life years before its Brazil joint-venture Samarco’s dam burst, court documents show.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/profit-before-people-documents-allege-bhp-execs-were-warned-over-deadly-dam-20190215-p50y6y.html
    The AFR reports that documents show that Australia’s building regulators discussed the risks of combustible cladding but failed to warn about the dangers.
    https://www.outline.com/rNEX7Z
    The head of the US House Judiciary Committee say the panel would seek documents from more than 60 people and entities as part of a probe into possible obstruction of justice and abuse of power by Trump.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/us-house-panel-launches-trump-probe-into-possible-abuse-of-power-20190304-p511ie.html
    Matthew Knott tells is who’s who in the Mueller inquiry.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/villains-lawmakers-and-a-dirty-trickster-who-s-who-in-the-mueller-inquiry-20190227-p510mm.html
    Trump has just let fly with a two hour ranting and raving temper tantrum.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2019/03/03/trump-slams-mueller-theyre-burying-me-with-bull/

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe gets the numbers right in this visualisation.

    From Matt Golding.

    Mark David nails it!

    And on the same subject we have a classic from Glen Le Lievre.

    Sean Leahy is a bit pessimistic here.

    Pat Campbell at the crucifixion.

    Peter Broelman farewells Mike Willesee.

    From the US



  4. There’s been a lot of angst over Cassidy’s interview with Angus Taylor yesterday, where Taylor just straight out lied about emissions. Apparently Cassidy didn’t call him out enough.

    I don’t think you can. I have an alternative. Conduct the interview, ask the questions, don’t enter into any debate, but have the interviewee clarify points to the best of your ability. Twenty minutes after the interview, after a bit of fact checking, critique it in the interviewee’s absence. Point out the obvious falsehoods. It’s what Twitter is doing anyway, so it wouldn’t hurt for a political program to do it.

    Then it’s simply a matter of whether your version of the facts is more convincing than the MP’s was.

    • 1.2 million jobs over the next fiver years is just the normal population increase reflected in the labour market. A lot of those alleged “new” jobs would only be casual work anyway.

      The whole thing was always a fake promise.

      Here’s an article from 2014 explaining why Abbott’s promise of 2 million new jobs over a decade was dodgy..

      Why Abbott’s two million jobs promise isn’t as good as it sounds

      Abbott’s promise does not look particularly ambitious. Seasonally adjusted data on Labour Force Status published by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) indicate that in the ten years preceding the formation of Abbott’s government (that is, from September 2003 to September 2013), employment in Australia had already grown by 2.06 million units.

      If Abbott were to maintain his promise, total employment would grow by about 17.5% in the decade ending September 2023. But in the decade ending September 2013, the growth of employment was already 21.8%.

      So, the prime minister is actually promising to do slightly worse than the past

      https://theconversation.com/why-abbotts-two-million-jobs-promise-isnt-as-good-as-it-sounds-30141

      FauxMo’s promise is just as dodgy.

      If there’s no modelling then that’s because there was never any need for it. There’s no funding involved in this brainfart so there’s no need for Treasury to be looking at the cost of anon-promise.

    • More

      On 20 February Meghan Quinn, the Treasury’s deputy secretary of the macroeconomic group, said the department provides “briefings on the labour market regularly – [of] both current and future expectations”.

      Quinn said that in order to create 1.25m new jobs, the Australian economy needed to achieve employment growth of 1.9% a year.

      On Monday Bowen said the Treasury had “distanced itself” from the pledge because it was “completely at odds with Treasury’s own budget figures”.

      “When asked about the government’s jobs target, [Quinn] confirmed the government’s target would require annual jobs growth of 1.9%, which is higher than the 1.5% or 1.75% assumed in current budget figures,” he said.

      https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/mar/04/treasury-did-not-model-coalitions-125m-jobs-pledge-labor-says

  5. But who’s counting …

    Holding tight to his “strong and stable team” line, despite the Coalition having three prime ministers, two deputy prime ministers, three different employment ministers, treasurers and education ministers, four separate human services and defence ministers and five social services ministers since it was elected in 2013, Morrison said Labor needed to make clear who would serve in its frontbench.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/mar/04/scott-morrison-my-team-is-strong-and-stable-despite-five-ministers-quitting

  6. Occupied Childhood: Ahed Tamimi Pens a Heartfelt Letter About Life in and After Prison

    In a heartfelt letter, 17-year-old Palestinian activist Ahed Tamimi tells the story of her arrest and eight months in an Israeli prison – and the struggles she faces as a symbol of resistance.

    “I am a child of the Israeli occupation. It has always been there. My first real memory is of my father’s arrest in 2004 and visiting him in prison. At the time, I was three years old; he has since been arrested on two further occasions. Last year, when I was 16, I was arrested too, during a nighttime raid, for slapping a soldier who was standing in our yard. I was sentenced to eight months in an Israeli prison.

    “Life behind bars was very hard. The guards woke us at 5.30am for the count and at 8am they returned to search the cells. Our doors opened at 10.30am, when we were let out for breakfast. Afterward, we would go to the other rooms, where I could talk to my fellow inmates. There were around 25 of us. We were not allowed outside and walked around in a big hall for exercise. Along with the other girls, I tried to make study groups, but the prison administration did not encourage this and broke up the class. Instead, we read books, and I managed to pass my final exams in prison. Only my immediate family was allowed to visit me, and that was limited to 45 minutes through a glass barrier every two months.

    https://en.vogue.me/fashion/perspectives/ahed-tamimi-palestine-open-letter/

  7. Why does this feel like something I remember from way back? The guys are getting the girls in to clean up their mess behind them as they leave.

    • First Dog is showing his Greens affiliation more than he usually does.

      I would be happy if the Greens vote was zero.

      The Greens achieve nothing. Worse than nothing, because they have a history of voting against Labor reforms.

      Never forget the Greens voted down Rudd’s CPRS. If they had supported that bill then history would be telling us a very different story and this country’s emissions would have been under control and falling for years.

    • I am no fan of The Greens. I happen to agree with Bludger Boerwar who explained that by locking up the environmental vote, The Greens corralled the conservation and environmental votes to themselves and they can never enact any legislation.

      If I remember correctly all the major conservation and environmental successes were before this iteration of The Greens. Bob Brown was very good at working with the ALP to get stuff done or saved but the current lot are as useless as tits on a bicycle.

    • I’m not going to agree that Bob Brown was helpful to Labor.

      It was Bob Brown who voted down the CPRS. I have very clear memories of Brown smirking during a TV interview and saying when the Greens had a Senate majority they would have their own legislation passed. Much better legislation, Brown claimed. We never got to see it.

      Of course, he forgot that legislation would never get through the Reps.

      At that time Brown was having a spiteful hissy fit because Labor wasn’t interested in the Greens’ amendments to the bill.

      Back then this ad was pushed by the Greens because they saw an ETS as their ticket to more seats in parliament.

      Brown was the one stopping Rudd doing what he had promised. Never trust a Green!

      Labor had two tries at getting this legislation through the Senate in 2009, both times the Greens voted against. A third attempt with a new bill started in February 2010, got to the 2nd reading stage but lapsed when parliament was dissolved for the 2010 election.

      https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Bills_Legislation/Bills_Search_Results/Result?bId=r4281

  8. On the Bad Show tonight

    Q&A
    Monday 4th March at 9:36 pm (67 minutes)
    Jim Molan, Kristina Keneally, Francis Sullivan, Dr Viv Waller And Shmuley Boteach: Tony Jones is joined by NSW Liberal Senator Jim Molan, NSW Labor Senator Kristina Keneally, Catholic Lay Leader Francis Sullivan, institutional abuse lawyer Dr Viv Waller and rabbi and relationship counsellor Shmuley Boteach.

    A Jewish chaplain yet.

    • Jim Boy will, as usual, use 4000 words to say what could be said in five. He will take all the time he wants as is his experience of his privileged status expects.

      Jones will interrupt the women and limit their time. He will protect the rightwing blokes. He knows which side his white bread is buttered.

    • Not watching, as usual. Not even for KK, who will probably get up Molan’s nose because she is female and a hell of a lot brighter than he could ever hope to be.

      I’ve seen Shmuley Boteach before, he’s not that great. He’s a “celebrity” rabbi to the stars. Surely we have Australian rabbis who would be better qualified to speak on Australian issues.

  9. First q on QandA was to Kristina. She absolutely nailed it.

    Peter Fox (you know who he is) asked about those voicing support for Pell now.

    KK said they are showing a total lack of respect (especially JWH) for the justice system and, importantly, for the bloke who spoke up.

    • Thanks for that link to Father Bob and his views on the Pell case. I feel his wise presence here with us, old and alone though he may be – sorry not really, he has his dog with him – and I have a similarly divine companion here with me as I write. (https://polliepomes.wordpress.com/2018/02/08/fido-the-faithful-one/)

      I quite agree with Father Bob – the clerics are the problem; the officers of this mammoth incorporation of power, the establishment of the Roman Catholic Church, who exploit our need to believe and to have faith in a life beyond this. They resist all attempts at reformation! Well that’s what the history books say.

      PS Am I being paranoid? Every time I try to write about George Pell on my blogsite my notes on my verse about “Cardinal Sins” just disappear into thin air. I’m told there is a malicious ‘tool/troll’ out there attacking me and my site. Before this I thought it was just a software marketing slogan – but perhaps Satan doesn’t like satirists and he is taking his revenge. Advice from anyone, old, young or middle aged, would be much appreciated, though I’m told that toddlers handle IT better than all of us.

  10. Syria ready to use S-300 air defence systems in March

    The Syrian regime will be ready to use Russian made S-300 air defence systems as of March, after completing training to use them, Russian daily Kommersant reported.

    The paper said that as of March it would be possible to deploy one air defence battalion equipped with these missiles to protect Damascus and its surroundings area.

    A member of the Russian Federation Council’s defence and security committee, Franz Klintsevich, said the Syrian crews are currently undergoing training, adding that “the Israeli warplanes are now striking Syria because they are still outside the Syrian air defence range, but after the deployment of the S-300, no one will be able to escape them”.

    The Russian Defence Ministry announced that the Syrian air defences managed to counter Israeli air strikes on Damascus airport and some installations on Monday.

    In November, the Russian Defence Ministry said its advisers were training Syrian military personnel to use the S-300 air defence systems, warning those described as “foreign parties” against any military provocation in Syria.

    Former Israeli defence minister Avigdor Lieberman has previously threatened to attack Syria if it uses the system against Israeli jets.
    https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20190123-syria-ready-to-use-s-300-air-defence-systems-in-march/

    • I have considerable respect for you, @ImranKhanPTI

      I really want you to be the person who somehow – and it’s a big ask – resolves peace and unity into your troubled country. Having watched your part of the world for many years, I think you may be able to do it. Anyway, you have my sincerest thoughts and best wishes.

  11. Huawei Said to Be Preparing to Sue the U.S. Government

    SHANGHAI — The Chinese electronics giant Huawei is preparing to sue the United States government for banning federal agencies from using the company’s products, according to two people familiar with the matter.

    The lawsuit is due to be filed in the Eastern District of Texas, where Huawei has its American headquarters, according to the people, who requested anonymity to discuss confidential plans. The company plans to announce the suit later this week.

    The move could be aimed at forcing the United States government to more publicly make its case against the Chinese equipment maker. It is part of a broad push by Huawei to defend itself against a campaign led by the United States to undermine the company, which Washington sees as a security threat. Executives have spoken out strongly against America’s actions, and new marketing campaigns have been aimed at mending the company’s image among consumers.

  12. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Paddy Gourley says that Labor should dismantle Home Affairs, the failed department which broke the rules of good government. This is a very good contribution.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/time-s-up-for-the-home-affairs-experiment-20190225-p5100t.html
    Richard Mulgan goes into the murky world of government contracting and concludes that senior public servants need to keep politicians well away from procurement decisions.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/the-murky-world-of-government-contracting-20190226-p510g3.html
    Markus Mannheim is unimpressed as it’s government advertising season, when public servants feel an urge to tell you how great life is.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/spending-your-money-to-inform-you-20190303-p511hy.html
    Morrison says the next election will be a contest “between enterprise and envy”, claiming the economic policy differences between the major parties are the most pronounced in more than 40 years.
    https://www.outline.com/X3d995
    Paul Bongiorno nails it as he says repackaging political problems without actually solving them is emerging as a hallmark of Scott Morrison’s brief prime ministership.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/03/04/scott-morrison-scandals-timeline/
    Stephen Holt examines the Liberal Party’s creaking, unstable core.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/liberal-party-s-creaking-unstable-core-20190123-p50t7w.html
    Stephen Bartholomeusz writes that the US and China are close to agreeing a new trade deal that could damage world trade – and Australia is right in the firing line.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/trump-s-historic-china-deal-could-be-a-bit-of-a-horror-for-us-20190304-p511ld.html
    The AFR reports that CBA’s top bankers and directors are being interviewed by the corporate regulator as it moves closer to launching a landmark case against the bank.
    https://www.outline.com/3qDgec
    Rachael Siewert says that The appointment of 14 former Coalition MPs and staffers to the Australian Appeals Tribunal last month is as deeply political as it is concerning. “Jobs for the boys” is hardly a new phenomenon, but it’s becoming the rule rather than the exception.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/the-cost-of-stacking-tribunals-20190227-p510ph.html
    The prominent barrister and advocate for asylum seekers, Julian Burnside, will “wrestle the pig” by running as a Greens candidate. Now THAT would be an interesting addition to the HoR.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/julian-burnside-enters-political-fray-in-attempt-to-unseat-treasurer-josh-frydenberg-20190304-p511nu.html
    The AFR explains that there is one key reason the big four banks have proved so remarkably immune when it comes to Hayne pain while financial institutions such as AMP and IOOF Holdings have suffered.
    https://www.outline.com/3dtVSC
    David Crowe reports that the government will commit $328 million to a fourth wave of programs to curb violence against women after calls for more guaranteed funding and a sharper focus on prevention.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/government-commits-328-million-to-a-fourth-wave-of-domestic-violence-programs-20190304-p511np.html
    Clare Linane, the wife of a survivor of child sexual abuse, has written an open letter to columnist Andrew Bolt, one of Cardinal Pell’s most prominent defenders.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/dear-andrew-your-defence-of-george-pell-makes-a-mockery-of-survivors-20190304-p511k3.html
    Anglican rector Michael Jenson says that the only hope for institutional Christianity lies in truth.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/only-hope-for-institutional-christianity-lies-in-truth-20190304-p511mr.html
    Kristina Keneally has called out Tony Abbott and John Howard over their support for Pell.
    https://www.outline.com/ue7JMn
    And a senior police investigator has accused the Catholic Church of obfuscation during the investigation of George Pell.
    https://www.outline.com/BCSSYT
    Abbott and Howard’s defence of Pell lays bare their shared values of governance and leadership as ruthless defenders of wealth, privilege and inequality, writes Peter Henning.
    https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/howard-and-abbotts-abhorrent-defence-of-pell,12431
    Troy Bramston writes that the Catholic Church in Australia is facing its greatest crisis and says it must address its own sins and seize the opportunity to deliberate on fundamental changes to its structure, culture and practices.
    https://www.outline.com/8mqfvT
    Glen Barton writes that national security is too important to be abandoned to the politics of fear.
    https://theconversation.com/national-security-is-too-important-to-be-abandoned-to-the-politics-of-fear-110897
    Alex Reilly tells us how the next Australian government can balance security and compassion for asylum seekers.
    https://theconversation.com/how-the-next-australian-government-can-balance-security-and-compassion-for-asylum-seekers-110713
    “I don’t know of any Australian election since the democratic reforms of the late nineteenth century, that was so directly, so openly, so brazenly influenced by large corporate interests”. This is the transcript of a brilliant speech made over the weekend by author James Boyce to the Tasmanian Election Inquiry.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/democracy-gamed-how-tasmania-was-sold-to-a-pokies-family-from-interstate/
    Telstra is cutting back its small business offering, shutting 78 business centres and opening 28 Telstra Business Technology Centres in their place.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/small-business/a-very-very-big-transformation-telstra-to-shut-78-business-centres-20190304-p511l6.html
    Stephen Koukoulas says our economic well-being is undergoing some significant changes at the moment. Whether that is good or bad news depends on one’s home ownership status and intentions to buy, and the amount of money one has in invested in shares either directly or indirectly in a superannuation fund.
    https://thekouk.com/item/672-is-the-aussie-economy-slowdown-good-or-bad-news-for-you.html
    Writing for The Conversation mark Kenny wonders if, under a Labor government, an Australian republic might finally take the crown
    https://theconversation.com/if-labor-wins-government-will-an-australian-republic-finally-take-the-crown-110723
    Sam Maiden writes that the Morrison government has been accused of using a $640 million regional grants scheme as a taxpayer-funded election slush fund by freezing out independents Cathy McGowan and Rebekha Sharkie from the big announcements.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/03/04/cathy-mcgowan-bridget-mckenzie/
    Emma Koehn explains how the tax office has urged small businesses to use new small business benchmarks to track their performance against competitors, warning it will be knocking on the doors of 4000 companies between now and July to chase black economy activities.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/small-business/ato-to-knock-on-small-business-doors-as-benchmarks-updated-20190304-p511jj.html
    Military and security professor Clive Williams writes that our investment into the Barracuda class submarines is not a wise one.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/sinking-billions-on-an-outdated-weapon-20190225-p5103l.html
    More and more Australians believe owning their own home is becoming further out of reach, as new polling shows housing affordability concerns are becoming more widespread. Three out of four people now think that in a generation’s time, only “the rich” would be able to afford the Australian dream: Buying a home in an area where they actually want to live.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/property/2019/03/04/australian-home-ownership-poll/
    Sally Whyte reports that the number of Human Services staff found to be accessing customer data without authorisation has been steadily dropping over the past two years, but has increased slightly this year.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/politics/federal/fewer-human-services-staff-caught-accessing-customer-data-20190303-p511gu.html
    Rand Paul will support a resolution that would overturn US President Donald Trump’s declaration of a national emergency at the southern border, appearing to provide the crucial vote needed for the Senate to pass the measure. This will send the clown spare!
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/key-republican-s-vote-likely-to-derail-trump-s-emergency-declaration-20190304-p511nf.html

    Cartoon Corner

    David Pope goes to town on Morrison’s latest attempt at climate change and energy policy.

    Three from David Rowe.



    From Matt Golding.





    Some telling poetry from Mark David.

    Peter Broelman and last days.

    Alan Moir with another view.

    Andrew Dyson post Hanoi.

    Cathy Wilcox and a party party.

    Johannes Leak with a reasonable effort here.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/778772b9baf724b63dea7402274f8701

    From the US




    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D0xfiUqX0AAMCz0,jpg

  13. What on earth made Julian Burnside decide to run for the Greens?

    The rapturous applause on social media shows us those who know his name and his work want him in parliament, but surely it would have been better if he had decided to be an independent. Most of the support is, of course, coming from those who can’t vote for him.

    The word “integrity” is being used a lot. Sorry Julian, but the Greens have no integrity, I doubt they even know the meaning of the word.

    • I thought he was a reasonably intelligent person, very disappointed. He’s obviously not aware of the turmoil in the greens that seems to be happening in nsw and vic.

    • Julian Burnside is probably aware of the turmoil inside the Greens and might see himself as a leader.

      He lives in Kooyong electorate, his kids are young adults, he is comfortably off and if he isn’t going to be made a judge he has reached the height of his legal career

  14. As it is Shrove Tuesday let us have a pancake story,involving scientific articles and a surprising fact about someone extremely rich.

    …………………..pancake flipping is a serious pursuit of mathematicians.

    The Pancake Problem imagines a chef trying to sort an untidy stack into a neat pyramid. She can stick her spatula anywhere into the stack and flip the upper section around, over and over, to form an orderly tower of tastiness.

    Mathematicians are still puzzling over the best strategy to do this, which uses the fewest flips. The simplest method – repeatedly moving the next-largest pancake to the top, then inverting the whole stack – requires two flips per pancake.

    In the early 1970s, Harvard professor Harry Lewis set the problem to his students, one of whom devised a solution that requires just 1.67 flips per pancake.

    Although the student later dropped out of Harvard, the solution he published with Christos Papadimitriou held the title of best flipping algorithm for over 30 years. And to this day, “Bounds for Sorting by Prefix Reversal” remains the only scientific paper published by …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….Microsoft’s Bill Gates.
    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2195602-bill-gatess-pancake-problem-and-three-more-pancakes-in-science/

  15. Here’s Burnside’s tweet, which echoes what he said publicly about running:

    I mean, good luck to him and all, I’m sure I’d prefer him to Frydenberg. But if he really thinks things “urgently need to change”, I don’t know how he thinks running with the Greens is going to achieve that. They’ve proven over time that they’re neither honestly committed to their causes nor honest brokers. If anything, the Greens muddy the waters. Their political decisions are always predicated on what’s best for them politically, not necessarily what’s best for Australia or its environment.

    I’d have respected him a lot more if he ran as an independent. That way he’d be freed up to decide for himself how the things that need to change can be brought about. He’s tied to a flawed ideology this way.

    • I agree. He’s tying himself to a minor party and will have to follow their line no matter what. He’s assuming his views on legislation will always align with the way the Greens want to go and he might find that’s not the case.

      I have a lot of respect for Burnside, not only because of his human rights work. I understand why he’s running parliament, but I just don’t understand why he’s decided to go Green. Maybe he thinks the party machine will help him, maybe Dodgy Dick has made him an offer, maybe he sees himself as a leader, maybe he wants Dick’s position. In all the explanations I’ve read and heard today Burnside has not managed to satisfactorily explain why he has chosen the Greens.

      He’d do better as an indie.

      If I lived in Kooyong I’d have given Burnside my first preference if he’d run as an indie, but as a Green he’d come much lower down the ballot paper, probably second-last, ahead of Frydenberg.

      I keep thinking of the absolute dipsticks the Greens always run up here. There’s no way I’d want to be connected to that lot. Just as well none of them have a snowflakes chance in hell of ever being elected.

  16. Fred E James – thanks for remembering the impressive Hitchens! He inspired me way back when I was experimenting with versification without punctuation! I think a new Pope’s inauguration was the occasion.

    Hitchens
    again
    out there
    bitching
    and still
    pitching
    against
    the church
    claims his
    research
    is sound
    even
    profound
    says he’s
    no atheist
    but an
    anti-theist
    and thus
    he’s become
    for some
    the anti-christ
    ergo
    satan
    so let’s
    straighten
    this out
    without
    a doubt
    he is
    dogmatic
    hardly
    diplomatic
    seen as
    fanatic
    by those
    he so
    describes
    and often
    derides
    myself
    an agnostic
    hopefully
    objective
    even
    diagnostic
    without
    invective
    i’d say
    he’s a dope
    to take on
    the pope
    he hasn’t
    a hope
    if he wins
    in court
    no matter
    how fair
    he fought
    he’d lose
    seen to
    have sinned
    by the
    faithful
    still more
    fateful
    his soul
    condemned
    to hell
    ever after
    leaving the
    holy father
    worshipped
    sainted
    and adored
    a martyr.

    If only Hitchens was here today to say – “George Pell – Go to Hell!” he’d make a difference to the public debate and make sure that appeal against conviction for cardinal sin fails. Sadly, I think it might succeed.

  17. If you missed the story –

    NSW Opposition Leader Michael Daley has told radio broadcaster Alan Jones he will sack him, and the rest of the SCG Trust board, if he wins the election.
    In a heated on-air exchange, Sydney’s stadium war escalated when Mr Daley told Jones on 2GB that “the board will go, it will be sacked”.
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-05/michael-daley-threatens-to-sack-alan-jones-and-scg-trust/10870814

  18. The petal doesn’t like losing

    Top barrister, Robert Richter QC, will no longer represent Cardinal George Pell in court for his sentence and appeal, saying he is too emotional and angry about the guilty verdict handed down by the jury.

    If Pell wins his appeal that will prove there is no God.

  19. It’s unusual in Vic to change legal teams for an appeal

    Richter got on the wrong side of the judge and public. Vanilla sex

  20. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    According to David Wroe the Australian Border Force has been falling short of its sea patrol target by 20 per cent, which has “posed an increased risk” to maritime security, leaked documents reveal. Well, well!
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/leaked-briefing-reveals-defence-warning-on-state-of-australian-border-force-20190305-p511yl.html
    David Crowe nicely pulls apart Morrison’s economic scaremongering.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/using-special-effects-scott-morrison-makes-bill-shorten-s-200-billion-plan-look-like-a-hammer-blow-20190305-p511xm.html
    Bill Shorten will take the economic fight to Scott Morrison today and declare the next election to be a referendum about wages.
    https://www.outline.com/pszhzB
    Labor has accused Dutton of breaching ministerial rules by failing to pay taxpayers for the value of his mobile office caravan’s refurbishment, gifted to him by a business in north Brisbane.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/mar/06/peter-dutton-breached-gift-rules-over-caravan-refurbishment-labor-says
    The powerful Sydney Cricket Ground Trust’s board has hit back at Michael Daley’s remarks, with the trust’s chairman Tony Shepherd saying the trustees did not appreciate the Labor leader’s “disparaging remarks”. When you look at who is on the board there are quite a few right wingers on it so this should not come as a surprise.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/michael-daley-takes-on-big-end-of-town-over-stadiums-20190305-p511yu.html
    But Alexandra Smith says Daley’s calculated move was a stadium masterstroke.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/calculated-move-daley-s-stadium-masterstroke-20190305-p511wc.html
    And the SMH editorial says that NSW Opposition Leader Michael Daley is breaking the mould by trying to win votes with a promise NOT to build something. It declares that it is refreshing to have a lively public debate about priorities in infrastructure spending. Too often it is a magic pudding where parties compete to make ever more extravagant promises.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/choosing-the-right-projects-is-crucial-for-nsw-economy-20190305-p511uz.html
    “Did the AFP increase the number of boats into Australia for their own purposes?”, asks The Independent Australia
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/did-the-afp-increase-the-number-of-boats-into-australia-for-their-own-purposes,12440
    Ross Gittins tells us that if we want a salutary example of the taxpayers’ money that can be wasted and the harm that can be done when governments yield to the temptation to prop up declining – and, in this case, environmentally damaging – industries, look no further than Melbourne’s water supply.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/how-to-lose-water-waste-money-and-wreck-the-environment-20190305-p511ti.html
    Matt Wade explains how the state budget has taken a huge hit from Sydney’s property downturn.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/nsw-budget-surplus-lower-and-growth-slower-says-pre-election-report-card-20190305-p511yt.html
    Caitlin Fitzsimmons says that taxpayers deserve to know the details of Guthrie’s payout.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/taxpayers-deserve-to-know-the-details-of-guthrie-s-payout-20190305-p511wt.html
    Jane Gilmore writes that there are many people suffering this week as they digest both the findings of the jury in the George Pell child abuse case, and the aggressive attacks on those findings.
    https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/you-can-t-get-away-from-it-it-s-all-happening-again-20190304-p511qa.html
    Meanwhile Robert Richter will not be in George Pell’s legal team for the appeal against the Cardinal’s conviction for child sex offences, partly because he was too emotionally involved in the case and angry at the guilty verdict.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/robert-richter-no-longer-part-of-george-pell-s-legal-team-for-appeal-20190305-p511xj.html
    Tess Lawrence tries to find reasons behind Robert Richter’s trivialisation of Pell’s offences.
    https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/cardinal-george-pell-the-ice-cream-rapist,12439
    None of the ABC or Crikey journalists sent contempt of court notices for breaching a suppression order in the trial of Cardinal George Pell will face legal action. The letters sent to the media companies from the Office of Public Prosecutions did not give a reason for dropping the contempt cases, despite an earlier notice from the OPP director, Kerri Judd, warning them: “… I intend to institute proceedings for contempt against you.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/mar/05/prosecutor-drops-george-pell-contempt-of-court-cases-against-abc-and-crikey
    Sam Maiden reports that women will secure access to “free” abortions in public hospitals and scripts for the contraceptive pill that last for three years, if Labor is elected at the next election.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/03/05/labor-abortion-contraceptive-policy/
    Phillipa McGuinness tells us why Morrison cannot run the 2001 election campaign John Howard did after Tampa.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/05/tampa-20-scott-morrison-cannot-run-the-2001-election-campaign-john-howard-did
    From untrained and unfamiliar staff to high costs, poor transparency and confusion, the dream of ageing at home is, for some, turning into a nightmare under a privatised, partly for-profit system. Here the Home Care Package is examined.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/aged-care-s-new-front-line-our-own-homes-20190305-p511u2.html
    Nicholas Stuart tells us how the subcontinent was just a heartbeat away from nuclear war last week.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/the-subcontinent-was-just-a-heartbeat-away-from-nuclear-war-20190305-p511vw.html
    Peter Hannam reports that an Australian National University analysis has found that the $3.5 billion spent on water-saving infrastructure – such as concrete canals – may have saved 70 billion litres a year compared with the federal government’s estimate of more than 10 times that figure.
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/sustainability/travesty-fourth-fish-kill-looms-as-study-finds-phantom-water-savings-20190305-p511xb.html
    Elizabeth Knight writes about how a Coles deal is an exercise in distancing itself from the ethical implications of gambling while still owning a gambling business.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/coles-new-found-sobriety-will-lift-shareholders-spirits-20190305-p511tp.html
    Clancy Yeates says tighter mortgage credit is here to stay now.
    https://www.smh.com.au/money/borrowing/tighter-mortgage-credit-is-here-to-stay-20190228-p510ug.html
    The ABC and SBS are gearing up to defend their programming in light of a new review that has suggested some content is not “core” to the charter responsibilities of the public broadcasters. The 100-plus page outcome of an efficiency review, headed by former Foxtel boss Peter Tonagh and former media regulator Richard Bean, was handed to management teams of the ABC and SBS on Monday evening. It may well have a point.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/efficiency-review-questions-the-focus-of-abc-and-sbs-on-lifestyle-and-food-content-20190305-p511u7.html
    Adele Ferguson reveals that the tax office has admitted it will waive penalties for hundreds of businesses that have admitted failures to pay superannuation to their staff in the wake of a ‘botched’ amnesty.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/ato-set-to-waive-unpaid-superannuation-penalties-in-wake-of-botched-amnesty-20190305-p511yn.html
    Matthew Knott informs us that the Democrats’ investigations will plague Trump long after the Mueller probe ends. Good!
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/democrats-investigations-to-plague-trump-long-after-mueller-probe-ends-20190305-p511s3.html
    RFG, the franchising giant behind Gloria Jeans, Donut King, Brumby’s Bakery and other well-known chains has had the goodwill on its balance sheet called into question.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/a-52-million-question-mark-adds-to-gloria-jeans-owner-s-woes-20190305-p511wg.html
    This is a good example of how social media can influence a gullible public.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/my-anti-vaxx-mum-was-misinformed-by-facebook-teen-who-vaccinated-himself-20190306-p5120r.html
    Is it ethical to promote the health benefits of “low GI” labelling? How about multinational food companies paying to have their products certified? At best, it provides little value to the consumer, writes science journalist Dr Maryanne Demasi, At worst, the low GI symbol is misleading and should pass the way of the Heart Foundation tick.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/the-low-gi-label-sound-science-or-a-ploy-for-product-promotion/
    A landmark ruling by an Australian court is expected to have international consequences for newsrooms, with media companies on notice they face large compensation claims if they fail to take care of journalists who regularly cover traumatic events.
    https://theconversation.com/media-companies-on-notice-over-traumatised-journalists-after-landmark-court-decision-112766
    South Australian jetties are deteriorating at a rate too rapid for cash-strapped coastal country councils to repair and maintain, leading to an escalated may-day call for urgent state government assistance.
    https://www.outline.com/dmXJkC
    This woman clearly gets today’s nomination for “Arsehole of the Week”.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/from-a-private-jet-to-a-police-cell-rosemary-rogers-charged-over-alleged-nab-fraud-20190305-p511y1.html
    A little ripper from Jon Kudelka.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/606cdf2ff422f99473f78b174e0616a6

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe has three more for us today.



    David Pope well and truly lines up Angus Taylor.

    As does Glen Le Lievre.

    And Alan Moir doesn’t think muck of Morrison’s pronouncements on meeting emissions targets.

    Cathy Wilcox thinks Morrison is overegging the scare campaign.

    Michael Leunig has a message for a certain section of the media.

    John Shakespeare with Alan Jones getting the treatment for Daley.

    From Matt Golding.





    Mark David goes after Shouty Morrison.

    Peter Broelman calls out Morrison’s rear campaigning.

    Zanetti’s back on his bandwagon.

    Sean Leahy with birthday greetings for Prince Charles.

    From the US




  21. As mentioned in BK’s links –

    Bill Shorten, this morning at the Financial Review Business Summit, speaking on “The next election will be a referendum on wages.”

    This is a big half-hour speech followed by a quick interview with Phil Coorey.

    Here’s the link again – doesn’t seem to be paywalled.
    Bill Shorten to make the election a ‘referendum on wages’
    https://www.afr.com/news/politics/bill-shorten-to-make-the-election-a-referendum-on-wages-20190305-h1bzsd

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