896 thoughts on “This Venn Diagram …

  1. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Ross Gittins congratulates Morrison on his perfecting of the seal on his own personal Canberra bubble. Ross is far from impressed by the recently announced changes to the machinery of government.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/morrison-is-perfecting-the-seal-on-his-own-personal-canberra-bubble-20191210-p53ig5.html
    Shane Wright tries to work out what has become of the tax refunds deposited in the bank accounts of millions of Australians since the start of the new financial year.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/the-mystery-of-the-missing-tax-refunds-20191209-p53i25.html
    NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean says “no one can deny” that climate change is to blame for the smoke haze choking Sydney as bushfires burn across NSW. Is this a career limiting move for him in the Liberal Party?
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/this-is-not-normal-minister-urges-action-on-climate-change-20191210-p53ip1.html
    Australia needs a national summit to address how the country should prepare for and resource bushfire emergencies in a changed climate, former emergency leaders say. But Morrison’s style is to double down.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/11/former-fire-and-emergency-chiefs-push-for-national-bushfire-emergency-summit
    Shane Wright examines the dire outlook for the farming sector. It’s not a good picture.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/drought-impact-tipped-to-be-worst-in-six-decades-as-sheep-numbers-tumble-20191210-p53iki.html
    Don’t blame the Murray-Darling Basin Plan. It’s climate and economic change driving farmers out writes Professor in Water Economics Sarah Ann Wheeler.
    https://theconversation.com/dont-blame-the-murray-darling-basin-plan-its-climate-and-economic-change-driving-farmers-out-128048
    The water crisis has plunged the Nats into a world of pain. But they reap what they sow says researcher Daniel Connell.
    https://theconversation.com/the-water-crisis-has-plunged-the-nats-into-a-world-of-pain-but-they-reap-what-they-sow-128238
    At yesterday’s Smart Energy Summit Malcolm Turnbull urged Morrison and Taylor about using the accounting trick to achieve the Paris emission target.
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/superhuman-turnbull-warns-against-morrison-plan-for-paris-climate-short-cut-20191210-p53iig.html
    Meanwhile from Madrid Professor Frank Joitzo writes that Australia’s plan to use leftover Kyoto credits is seen as an attempt to conceal that the government is not trying to meet the Paris target. He says that we could do so much better and it is in our interest to lead by example, not to be seen as a recalcitrant.
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/here-in-madrid-the-view-of-australia-s-tricky-tactics-is-not-pretty-20191206-p53hhi.html
    Judith Ireland looks at the latest version of the new religious discrimination bill. What a crock of crap!
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/rules-for-doctors-pharmacists-tightened-in-new-religious-discrimination-bill-20191210-p53imo.html
    Justice Peter McClellan has condemned Catholic church leaders for failing to recognise the sexual assault of children as a crime. Where do these frocked f***ups get off?
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/i-cannot-comprehend-sex-abuse-royal-commissioner-slams-catholic-leaders-20191210-p53inr.html
    A new psychiatric panel decision on former Melbourne school principal Malka Leifer’s mental fitness to stand an extradition trial to face charges of child abuse has been postponed to next year. Something really stinks over in Israel!
    https://www.theage.com.au/world/middle-east/who-didn-t-get-the-memo-panel-no-show-forces-another-delay-in-malka-leifer-decision-20191210-p53iqj.html
    The SMH editorial is concerned that a government trying to close a credibility gap with Indigenous people cannot afford to turn its back on those working far from the spotlight for some of the most vulnerable Australians.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/unacceptable-indigenous-funding-cuts-a-breach-of-faith-20191210-p53ip6.html
    Motoring journalist Joshua Dowling writes that the axing of the Holden Commodore (and Astra) is news to everyone except those inside the car industry. The numbers don’t lie he says. The battle for Holden now has shifted from manufacturing cars to one of survival.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/let-s-face-it-no-one-buys-holden-commodores-anymore-20191210-p53ipe.html
    Clancy Yeates exposes the hidden costs of free loyalty schemes.
    https://www.smh.com.au/money/planning-and-budgeting/the-hidden-costs-of-free-loyalty-schemes-20191209-p53i2a.html
    The Federal Government’s protection of “a few big interests” was on show last week when it voted against accountability proposals from the Royal Commission into Aged Care. Public health researcher, Dr Sarah Russell, reports.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/royal-attrition-government-caves-to-a-few-big-interests-ignores-aged-care-inquiry-reforms/
    Adele Ferguson writes that after a series of meetings of franchisees and restaurant managers over the past few days, it seems Grill’d is doubling down. No apologies, no changes to its wages model, trainee program or its mistreatment of franchisee Elton Berrange.
    https://www.theage.com.au/business/companies/grill-d-doubles-down-as-food-safety-issues-simmer-20191210-p53iot.html
    Facebook is forging ahead with encryption across all its services, which the Australian, UK and US governments have warned will hamper criminal investigations.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/facebook-refuses-to-compromise-on-privacy-firing-back-at-australia-us-and-uk-20191210-p53ik7.html
    Judith Ireland explains how a review commissioned by the Council of Australian Governments has recommended the Morrison government commit to funding preschools in a five-year block to provide certainty to the sector, amid warnings any reduction in federal funds would trigger “immediate and longer-term consequences”.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/coag-review-calls-for-funding-certainty-for-preschool-education-20191210-p53ifl.html
    Western Australia has become the third jurisdiction in the federation – and 19th in the world – to legalise euthanasia, with the McGowan government’s voluntary assisted dying law clearing its final parliamentary hurdle on Tuesday evening. I hope Kevin Andrews enjoys his breakfast!
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/western-australia/history-made-as-voluntary-assisted-dying-becomes-law-in-western-australia-20191209-p53ic8.html
    Tuan Black tells us how Australia’s private rental market is failing to provide affordable homes to the bottom 40 per cent of income earners, forcing many to live out of cars, couch-surf with friends, or cram into overcrowded rooms. He looks at the terrible numbers surrounding affordable housing.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/property/2019/12/11/affordable-housing-shortage/
    As expected, Attorney-General Christian Porter has reintroduced the freshly-defeated Ensuring Integrity Bill, doubling-down on the Government’s anti-worker, anti-union agenda in the guise of industrial relations reform policy.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/coalition-persists-with-dead-buried-and-exhumed-union-busting-bill,13396
    Australia’s underperforming super funds are feeling the heat after regulator APRA released a controversial new rating system showing which funds are hot, and which are not.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/superannuation/2019/12/10/super-fund-heatmap-apra/
    Private health premium increases might be the lowest in years, but that doesn’t mean they’re justified explains economist Nathan Kettlewell.
    https://theconversation.com/private-health-premium-increases-might-be-the-lowest-in-years-but-that-doesnt-mean-theyre-justified-128311
    Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe has called out Australia’s major banks for consistently charging customers more for international money transfers than their non-bank rivals.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/finance-news/banking/2019/12/10/banks-called-out-on-cost-of-money-transfer/
    Matthew Knott reports that the Democrats have unveiled two articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, accusing him of abusing his presidential power and obstructing Congress’s attempts to investigate his dealings with Ukraine.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/democrats-unveil-articles-of-impeachment-against-donald-trump-20191211-p53iqx.html
    Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton have come out attacking progressive and independent-minded U.S. Democratic presidential candidates.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/hillary-and-obama-attack-bernie-and-other-progressive-candidates,13397
    Zoe Williams contends that it could be costly for the Tories with their underestimation of the anger of young UK voters.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/10/tories-young-voters-anger

    Cartoon Corner

    A Christmas song from David Rowe.

    And he introduces the second coming on the religious freedom bill.

    Cathy Wilcox solves Albo’s coal problem.

    Mark David has developed into a very good cartoonist.


    John Shakespeare is less than happy!

    Ouch! Alan Moir presents Angus Taylor in Madrid.

    Andrew Dyson and what Morrison is doing to the APS.

    From Matt Golding.





    Fiona Katauskas and coal.

    Sad stuff from Peter Broelman.

    Zanetti on Albo’s coal expedition in Queensland.

    From the US















  2. It seems journalism is not dead yet. A lazy US$1,000,000,000,000 down the gurgler and bullshit all the way. I wonder why this was exposed now ? Prepping the US public for a withdrawal from Afghanistan ?

    A long read
    ——————————————————————————————————————————————
    THE AFGHANISTAN PAPERS A secret history of the war
    AT WAR WITH THE TRUTH

    U.S. officials constantly said they were making progress. They were not, and they knew it, an exclusive Post investigation found.

    ………………………………“We learned some very important lessons in Vietnam,” Bush replied confidently. “People often ask me, ‘How long will this last?’ This particular battlefront will last as long as it takes to bring al-Qaeda to justice. It may happen tomorrow, it may happen a month from now, it may take a year or two. But we will prevail.”

    In those early days, other U.S. leaders mocked the notion that the nightmare of Vietnam might repeat itself in Afghanistan.

    “All together now — quagmire!” Rumsfeld joked at a news conference on Nov. 27, 2001.

    But throughout the Afghan war, documents show that U.S. military officials have resorted to an old tactic from Vietnam — manipulating public opinion.

    “We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan — we didn’t know what we were doing,” Douglas Lute, a three-star Army general who served as the White House’s Afghan war czar during the Bush and Obama administrations, told government interviewers in 2015. He added: “What are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.”

    “If the American people knew the magnitude of this dysfunction . 
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/investigations/afghanistan-papers/afghanistan-war-confidential-documents/

  3. I’m still trying to get over the sheer evil FauxMo displayed yesterday.

    First – calling two pressers, held outside, in Sydney’s severe smoke, not to talk about fires, not to call a bushfire summit, not to mention the drought but to talk about his nasty, unwanted, unnecessary religious discrimination bill and to offer support to New Zealand.

    Second – his refusal to talk about fires.As Katharine Murphy told us, no journalist asked about them. Not one. Why? Had they been given orders?Was the PM trying to shut down discussion of his deliberate ignoring of a crisis?

    Third – FauxMo offering New Zealand whatever support they needed while denying any support to Australian firefighters now working down the whole east coast of Australia and no doubt soon to be fighting fires across the country.

    Last – his refusal to pay firefighters, who have been working as volunteers for at least a month now, much more in some places, and going without pay the whole time, with the excuse “They want to be there”.They do NOT want to be there. They want to be safe at home with their families, they want to be back at work earning an income, they want to be spending their weekends relaxing. They do not want to be risking their lives every day and every night to stop the entire country turning into one giant bushfire. They do not want to be using up all their leave from work to fight fires. They do not want to be taking extended unpaid leave. They do it because they care, a concept totally alien to our PM.

    ‘Fireys have nothing in tanks’: Ex- chief’s warning as Scott Morrison rejects paying RFS firefighters
    Former Fire and Rescue NSW commissioner Greg Mullins warns volunteer fireys are worn out, stressing concerns for their welfare and mental health.
    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/fireys-have-nothing-in-tanks-ex-chief-s-warning-as-scott-morrison-rejects-paying-rfs-firefighters

    He wanted to be PM, he went through all sorts of evil machinations to get that position. He expects us to pay him his salary of $549,250 plus perks but he does not think firefighters should be given even a modest payment for their services.

    What a vile creature he is.

    I just hope voters remember this whenever they next get a chance to vote. (If we ever get that chance. I have my doubts.)

  4. Another “achievement” of the ATM government –

    AUSTRALIA’S DEMOCRACY HAS BEEN DOWNGRADED FROM ‘OPEN’ TO ‘NARROWED’

    An annual report on the civil rights of countries worldwide has downgraded Australia’s democracy from “open” to “narrowed”.

    The CIVICUS Monitor is a collaboration between human rights organisations around the world, to assess the democratic freedoms of 196 countries.

    In the 2019 report, Australia’s democratic ‘status’ dropped. This was due to recent police raids on media outlets, the growing trend of prosecuting whistleblowers like Witness K – and the increasing crackdown on peaceful protest.

    The CIVICUS Monitor combines several different sources of data looking at things like the freedoms of association, peaceful assembly and ‘expression

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/the-feed/australia-s-democracy-has-been-downgraded-from-open-to-narrowed

  5. This needs a better headline, but the article makes good points. Should be something like “A nail in our coffins”: Why Australia’s refusal to deal with climate change threatens the world.

    ‘A nail in our coffins’: Why the world is outraged at Australia over bushfires

    Richie Merzian, director of the Climate and Energy Program at think tank The Australia Institute is at the climate talks in Spain and says in some corners of the globe, Australia is seen as being “totally disconnected from reality”.

    “When you talk to some Europeans, they look at Australians like they’re from a different planet,” he told news.com.au.

    “They cannot comprehend how a country can literally be on fire and admit the fire emergency is unprecedented … and at the same time and in the same breath lobby for special consideration to do as little as possible on climate action.”

    https://au.news.yahoo.com/why-the-world-is-outraged-at-australia-over-bushfire-crisis-064351301.html

    Albo, busy with his “Labor Loves Coal” tour of Queensland, should take note. I bet he doesn’t.

  6. I don’t like the chances of you Easternstaters getting relief re weathe soon.. The 5 day weather outlook for Perth 38C 39C 40C 40C 40C . The garden and lawns will fry. But at least ,so far, out West bushfires have been pretty much off the radar.

    • And in Australia our government wants to cut social security payments while giving more tax cuts to those already well-off. The economy suffers because of that stinginess.

      The demands for a universal basic income are not going away.

  7. Gladys the Dinosaur

    The New South Wales government will ignore the bulk of the recommendations from a landmark inquest into drug deaths at music festivals, with the premier, Gladys Berejiklian, saying she is “closing the door” on pill testing.

    On Wednesday, the government announced its response to the findings of deputy state coroner Harriet Grahame’s inquest into six drug-related deaths of young people at music festivals in the state.

    Handed down last month, the long-awaited report recommended the government introduce a pill-testing trial, limit the use of strip-searches at music festivals to cases of suspected drug supply and stop the use of sniffer dogs.

    But the government has ignored the majority of the recommendations from the inquest, instead saying it would introduce drug amnesty bins at music festivals to allow festival-goers in the state to discard illegal substances “without fear of prosecution or penalty”.

    “What we want to do is send a strong message out to young people which is the most important one: do not panic if you see police officers, if you see anything that worries you because you’ve got pills on your person or your friends do, just throw the pill away, no questions asked,” she said.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/11/drug-deaths-inquest-gladys-berejiklian-says-she-is-closing-the-door-on-pill-testing

  8. Australia was once a world leader in reducing emissions thanks to Julia Gillard’s carbon price. Now, after six years of Coalition government, we are bottom of the heap, worst in the world.

    Aren’t you just so proud?

    Australia ranked worst of 57 countries on climate change policy
    Thinktank report deems Morrison government ‘an increasingly regressive force’

    Australia is the worst-performing country on climate change policy, according to a new international ranking of 57 countries. The report also criticises the Morrison government for being a “regressive force” internationally.

    The 2020 Climate Change Performance Index, prepared by a group of thinktanks comprising the NewClimate Institute, the Climate Action Network and Germanwatch, looks at national climate action across the categories of emissions, renewable energy, energy use and policy.

    Across all four categories, Australia was ranked as the sixth-worst performing of the 57 countries assessed

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/11/australia-ranked-worst-of-57-countries-on-climate-change-policy

    • Melbourne does much bigger protests, usually about workers rights, refugees, Adani and we always say Sydney is very hard to mobilise SNIFF

    • Great piece, I wonder what happens when RFS volunteers collapse I. February after a prolonged fire season

      Let’s not talk equity

  9. Why is Bridget?

    When asked about Australia’s climate change policy in response to the unfolding bushfire crisis, the agriculture minister, Bridget McKenzie, said it was “misleading” to link the fires with “coal-fired power generation right now”.

    “Our government has strong action to address climate change,” she said.

    “As an emitter of 1.7% of the globe’s carbon emissions, I think Australia is really taking strong action to address that and we need to be proud of that instead of beating ourselves up about it and our regional communities.

    “We are taking strong action. People might not like the way we are doing it … but to say that we are not actually taking action because we don’t have some sort of market mechanism that certain sides of politics prefer, we are actually getting the job done.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/11/australia-ranked-worst-of-57-countries-on-climate-change-policy

  10. As an emitter of 1.7% of the globe’s carbon emissions
    Hey Bridge, you forgot to mention we emit that despite being a mere 0.32% of the world’s population How good is that ! That is before counting the megatons of fossil fuels the Aussie carbon drug lord ships out to the world’s addicts. Aussie Aussie Aussie !

  11. Is Scrott’s electorate possible in the line of fire ?

    More than 720 homes lost in NSW fires as Sydney told to brace for huge losses

    “We’ve got massive fires that are too big to put out without rain. They are going to get bigger and they are going to come into Sydney suburbs, the South Coast, the Central Coast.”

    Mr Mullins said the number of homes lost this season was more than three times the previous record, with destruction this year so far confined to regional areas.

    “Formerly all of our big losses have been places like the Blue Mountains, Sutherland, Warringah and Lane Cove,” he warned.

    “The fires haven’t even reached Sydney suburbs yet. People need to brace themselves.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/more-than-720-homes-lost-in-nsw-fires-as-sydney-told-to-brace-for-huge-losses-20191211-p53iv5.html

    • Nope.

      It’s mostly pure suburban sprawl with waterfront for the millionaires. There is precious little bush left, what there is occurs in small pockets. You might get the odd small fire, but nothing a couple of garden hoses could not fix.

      About the only place you might get a bushfire in Cook now would be around Kurnell. The last time that happened was September 2017.

      Sutherland is a likely fire target, but it’s in Craig Kelly’s electorate of Hughes as is all the bushy land around Lucas Heights. That all went up in flames in April last year. I remember that because No 2 Son lives in that area.

      Hughes has a lot of bush and includes most of the Royal National Park.

  12. Everything FauxMo talked up in his presser yesterday was stuff that had been put in place by previous governments. He was attempting to cover his arse after copping a lot of criticism.

    When it comes to fighting these terrible bushfires, our Government is ensuring the States and Territories are getting everything they request for the response. We have a nationally co-ordinated bushfire response, working closely with the States and Territories, which includes:

    ✅ Over 110 aerial firefighting aircraft in operation across the country
    ✅ An additional $11m last year to boost aerial firefighting efforts, on top of the $15m our Government commits every year to aerial firefighting
    ✅ Deploying the Defence Force to assist States with the response efforts
    ✅ Emergency payments to those who have lost their homes or incomes due to the fires

    Our firefighters battling the bushfires across Australia are doing an amazing job and we can’t thank them enough. Please ensure you stay alert, stay informed and stay safe when it comes to bushfires in your area

    https://www.facebook.com/scottmorrison4cook/

    Aircraft – we had 143 aircraft in the National Aerial Firefighting fleet last summer, this summer there are only around 110. What happened to the advice to increase the size of the fleet? Easy answer – FauxMo ignored it.

    Money – he quotes figures from last year’s budget because, I assume, this year’s budget contained no extra funding.

    Defence – the ADF (despite what you might see on Twitter) have been working with state firefighters for at least a month. I’m told the ADF does not need to be ordered to mobilise by the PM.It’s a state-based thing, the ADF works with state emergency services like the SES and the RFS.

    Emergency payments have existed for years, they are administered by DHS and are worth around $1000 for adults and $400 for a child.

  13. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Alexandra Smith reports that NSW is preparing a new ambitious emissions reduction target to address climate change and will commit to lowering greenhouse gases by 35 per cent by 2030.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/nsw-to-commit-to-new-emission-reduction-targets-for-2030-20191211-p53izc.html
    In this op-ed NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean says it is time to stop the climate politics and let NSW become the Saudi Arabia of green energy.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/stop-the-climate-politics-and-let-nsw-become-the-saudi-arabia-of-green-energy-20191211-p53j2g.html
    Andy Marks is concerned that with climate change the nation faces a real threat while its PM is occupied with an utterly esoteric one, the religious discrimination bill.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nation-faces-a-real-threat-while-pm-is-occupied-with-an-utterly-esoteric-one-20191210-p53in6.html
    Paul Karp looks at what has changed in this version of said religious discrimination bill.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/11/the-coalitions-religious-discrimination-bill-whats-changed-and-can-doctors-refuse-treatment
    And he reports that Vinnies has refused to be ‘used’ to promote the Coalition’s new religious discrimination bill.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/11/vinnies-refuses-to-be-used-to-promote-coalitions-new-religious-discrimination-bill
    Adam Morton reports that an analysis by a Berlin-based science and policy institute shows that Australia’s plan to use an accounting loophole to meet its commitment under the Paris climate agreement has no legal basis and suggests it has reneged on a pledge to make deeper emissions cuts once a global deal was reached.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/12/australias-use-of-accounting-loophole-to-meet-paris-deal-found-to-have-no-legal-basis
    And Sarah Martin writes that Australia is the worst-performing country on climate change policy, according to a new international ranking of 57 countries. The report also criticises the Morrison government for being a “regressive force” internationally. What a belting!
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/11/australia-ranked-worst-of-57-countries-on-climate-change-policy
    While the devastating effects of climate change eradicate our koala population in huge numbers, the Government continues to ignore the issue, writes Sue Arnold.
    https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/coalition-ignorance-on-climate-situation-is-leading-koalas-to-extinction,13398
    Surging house prices are limited to Sydney and Melbourne – and cannot hide the economy’s weakness writes Greg Jericho.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2019/dec/12/surging-house-prices-are-limited-to-sydney-and-melbourne-and-cannot-hide-the-economys-weakness
    Last Wednesday’s release of the national accounts for the September quarter confirmed what we already knew: economic stagnation continues says Michael Keating.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/government-report-reveals-a-lagging-economy,13401
    The ATO has revealed a third of large firms don’t pay income tax. But the same data shows a surge in revenues, bolstering the budget bottom line.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/a-third-of-large-firms-don-t-pay-tax-but-corporate-returns-surge-20191211-p53iwe.html
    In a very sensible article Johnathon Hunyor explains how the release of the second exposure draft of the Bill does not address the serious concerns of groups across the community who stand to have their rights eroded. More than this, it doubles down on the privileges it grants to religious organisations.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/do-unto-others-power-of-religions-to-discriminate-must-have-limits-20191211-p53iw9.html
    Kate Aubusson writes that the latest data is showing that the numbers of critically ill patients have been rising at a rate never before seen by NSW’s emergency department staff.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/hospitals-in-critical-condition-3-million-flood-nsw-emergency-departments-20191211-p53ivg.html
    Meanwhile Dana McCauley tells us that health funds are calling on Greg Hunt to use the government’s new data-matching powers to stop public hospitals from rorting patients with private health insurance by allowing inexperienced doctors to treat them instead of their chosen specialist.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/health-insurers-call-for-federal-crackdown-on-public-hospital-fraud-20191211-p53j0d.html
    John Warhurst opines that there’s no disguising the diminished leaders and parties in Parliament.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6537268/theres-no-disguising-the-diminished-leaders-and-parties-in-parliament/?cs=14258
    In what might be another indicator of the underlying state of the economy Australia’s fertility rate has fallen to an all-time low. It also shows how the median age of parenthood has risen.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/not-so-busy-australia-s-fertility-rate-falls-to-record-low-20191211-p53j2u.html
    The SMH editorial says that Conservative leader Boris Johnson looks likely to secure an outright majority in the UK election which will finally ‘get Brexit done’ for better or worse.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/johnson-on-track-to-win-uk-election-and-get-brexit-done-20191211-p53j2n.html
    Bevan Shields writes that Boris Johnson is confident but the election outcome has become less certain.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/johnson-confident-but-final-election-outcome-less-certain-20191211-p53isb.html
    Bianca Hall reports that two of Australia’s leading investigative journalists are fighting an attempt by Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith to force them to expose their sources.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/journalists-fight-attempt-by-ben-roberts-smith-to-expose-their-sources-20191211-p53iy3.html
    At last! David Crowe reports that major airports will be forced to hand over more information about the money they make from parking and other services, in a federal government plan that has infuriated critics who want more drastic intervention to halt price hikes.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/airport-parking-costs-to-be-scrutinised-with-new-government-rule-20191211-p53j2w.html
    Richard Flanagan has written the speech he says Albanese COULD be giving on his trip to Queensland.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/12/what-albanese-could-have-said-we-lied-australian-coalmines-have-no-future
    New coalmines in Queensland don’t help existing communities, they hurt them says Richard Bennis.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/11/new-coalmines-in-queensland-dont-help-existing-communities-they-hurt-them
    Michael Pascoe examines the mess in Dutton’s visa processing outfit.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/12/10/visa-spouse-partner-pascoe/
    Stephen Bartholomeusz explains that over the next few days there are two meetings that could shake stock markets and the world in general.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/the-four-days-that-could-shake-markets-and-the-world-20191211-p53iw4.html
    In breaking news the US Federal Reserve left interest rates unchanged and signalled it would keep them on hold through 2020 amid a solid economy, sticking to the sidelines during an election year.
    https://www.theage.com.au/business/markets/fed-leaves-rates-unchanged-and-forecasts-show-no-change-in-2020-20191212-p53j65.html
    A new reports indicates that world stock markets are likely to see an impact from climate change in the next five years, as policy changes to reduce global warming could force a net $US1.6 trillion ($2.3 trillion) repricing in sectors from energy to agriculture.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/shifting-point-climate-change-could-force-2-3t-sharemarket-shakeup-20191211-p53it0.html
    And in Australia ,despite lacking a clear carbon price signal from government, corporate Australia has for some time now been factoring a “shadow” carbon price into long-term decision-making. “Why?” asks Jess Irvine. Not because Canberra is telling it to, but because climate change is the new business reality.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/there-s-some-sunlight-beyond-the-climate-doom-and-it-s-coming-from-business-20191211-p53j0e.html
    New Zealanders are world leaders at flaying ourselves after disaster has struck, but we never seem to see it coming, writes Dominion Post columnist Karl du Fresne.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/oceania/why-kiwis-never-seem-to-see-disasters-coming-20191211-p53j38.html
    How can this happen? Owners of Sydney apartment buildings fear they will be forced to remove materials they use to replace flammable cladding within several years at a large cost because of a lack of state government guidelines about what products are safe to use.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/hotter-and-faster-owners-fear-replacement-cladding-materials-will-be-unsafe-20191211-p53iux.html
    More pain for Westpac! A private investigator and Sydney law firm are investigating whether payments involved in a sophisticated international fraud headed by notorious conman Peter Foster were properly reported by the bank to regulators.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/hong-kong-fraud-payments-put-westpac-under-fresh-scrutiny-20191211-p53iz8.html
    Bang! There goes another large Australian retailer. This time it’s Harris Scarfe.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6538604/harris-scarfe-collapses-enters-voluntary-administration/?cs=14329
    America should follow Australia’s example and keep Big Pharma in check – and medicine available at reasonable prices – by supporting the import of generic versions of key drugs such as Gilead’s HepC cure. Hazel Heal tells her story.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/a-gilead-tale-big-pharma-drug-prices-kept-in-check-by-generic-imports/
    This will cheer Trump (and The Australian) up no end! Greta Thunberg has been just named Time’s Person of the Year.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/teen-climate-activist-greta-thunberg-named-time-s-person-of-the-year-20191212-p53j5k.html
    Boris Johnson wants to destroy the Britain I love. I cannot vote Conservative declares Peter Oborne.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/11/boris-johnson-destroy-britain-conservative-revolutionary-sect
    Rob Manwaring writes that as weary Britons head to the polls again, parties seem incapable of handling the nation’s problems.
    https://theconversation.com/as-weary-britons-head-to-the-polls-again-parties-seem-incapable-of-handling-the-nations-problems-127709
    Alexander Downer’s infamous London bar meeting with former Donald Trump adviser George Papadopoulos is at the centre of a fiery US Senate committee hearing in Washington DC.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6539140/us-senators-battle-over-downer-meeting/?cs=14232

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe with the UK election day race.

    More good work from Cathy Wilcox.

    From Matt Golding.




    John Shakespeare and the fires.

    Andrew Dyson takes us to the last supper.

    What a ripper from Mark David!

    Paul Zanetti and the Ghost of Christmas Past.

    A part of a Glen Le Lievre effort.

    Matt Davidson on Morrison’s crusade.

    From the US










  14. Richard Flanagan’s speech, one Albo should have given but never will, is fantastic.

    It is a must-read, sums up the case against coal mining and gas extraction beautifully.

    If only Labor had a leader who would give such a speech instead of a useless, coal-cuddling wanna-be Liberal and a stack of equally deluded MPs.

  15. Well, guess who has finally realised we have had devastating bushfires in NSW and Queensland for over a month now.

    It’s nowhere near enough.

    FauxMo can splash out $185 million for his photo-op on Christmas Island plus $30 million a year to keep just one family there indefinitely. He can spend $245 million to extend the unwanted school chaplains program for another five years. He agrees to $50 billion for already obsolete new submarines and who knows how many billions for the F35 Joint Strike Fighters.

    And we are supposed to applaud a few crumbs tossed to firefighters and a lot of lies told.

    Pfffft.

    As I said last night, he is talking up things that already exist, things set up by previous governments. He has done nothing extra.

    At least he has corrected his incorrect claim we have 110 aircraft fighting fires and has used the NAFC figure for last summer instead -143 aircraft.
    http://www.nafc.org.au/?page_id=168#CurrentFleet

    No-one will say how many firefighting aircraft we have operating right now.

    Here’s what has actually happened – it’s not what FauxMo claims at all.

    Australia’s aerial firefighting centre has been given an $11 million boost, nearly doubling the Commonwealth’s annual contribution to its capability.

    The Federal Government grant comes as fires rage across parts of Australia with more than six people killed and more than 720 homes destroyed in New South Wales this season.

    The National Aerial Firefighting Centre (NAFC), which coordinates the aerial fleet of federal, state and territory governments, will immediately receive the grant and can spend it wherever it needs to.

    The funding comes after former fire and emergency leaders said they had tried for months to warn Prime Minister Scott Morrison that Australia needed more water-bombers to tackle bushfires, which were expected to be bigger, faster and hotter this season.

    Mr Morrison said the boost was a response to a request for more funding from Australia’s national fire chiefs

    .
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-12/federal-government-announces-aerial-firefighting-boost/11790862

    A request for more funding that has been made repeatedly since at least 2016. A request FauxMo ignored in April this year.

    https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Environment_and_Communications/TasmanianBushfires45/Report/c04

  16. This is satire, but as usual these days satire is too close to reality.

    “Burn More Aussie Rainforest”: Albo Argues Our Bushfires Are Cleaner Than Elsewhere

    Consistent with his watertight logic stolen from a climate denying former Prime Minister, Labor Leader Anthony “ScoMo” Albanese has called on “little lucifers” to set fire to more forest because unless they do, global emissions will increase because of the dirtier bushfires of other countries.

    Smoko’s twin brother Albo will commence his “More Bushfires” tour of Queensland today in an historic effort to purge all remaining members of his party, along with anyone who maintains the iron stomach required to still vote Labor.

    The key message of the Labor leader’s tour is extrapolated from his recent argument that reducing our coal exports “would likely lead to an actual increase in global emissions because much of our coal is much better quality than is available from the alternatives.”

    “In the same way, if we were to reduce the scale of our current bushfires, this would likely lead to an increase in global emissions because our bushfires are the best bloody bushfires in the world.”

    Responding to the fact that Labor suffered swings against it in all Queensland seats covered by the tour at the last election, Albo’s ambition for the next election is to also suffer swings against Labor in all seats not covered by the tour

    http://situationtheatre.com/news-fuse/burn-more-aussie-rainforest

  17. Something for our Great Prime Minister to posture about

    Two more people have died from injuries sustained during the eruption of New Zealand’s White Island volcano, bringing the confirmed death toll from the disaster to eight, as the Australian prime minister says there are 10 of the country’s citizens missing, presumed dead.

    Eight of those confirmed dead are Australians and one a New Zealander, tour guide Hayden Marshall-Inman.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/dec/12/seven-australians-confirmed-killed-in-white-island-volcano-disaster

  18. About that not-so-generous $11 million –

    In December last year the NSW government decided to spend $26.3 million on three firefighting aircraft – a Large Air Tanker and two smaller fixed-wing aircraft which would all be permanently based in NSW. When the announcement was made experts said the LAT would be second-hand and converted, because it was not possible to buy a new, purpose-built tanker for that money.

    https://australianaviation.com.au/2018/12/nsw-to-acquire-its-own-large-air-tanker/

    This is what they bought –

    https://www.hawkesburygazette.com.au/story/6336622/new-tanker-at-richmond/

    “Marie Bashir” was up here at the beginning of November, helping control a huge fire on the southern edge of town.

    That $11 million FauxMo has reluctantly coughed up won’t do much for aerial firefighting.

  19. Just the weather to put on for the kiwi cricketers ! Days standing out in that heat would have to be a health risk. A serious one

    Thursday Max 40 Very hot and sunny.
    Friday 13 December Max 41 Very hot and sunny
    Saturday 14 December Max 40 Very hot and sunny.
    Sunday 15 December Max 40 Very hot and sunny.
    http://www.bom.gov.au/wa/forecasts/perth.shtml

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