Welcome to 2020 …

and good luck to everyone on board – we will need it.

Note: Cartoon reproduced with the kind permission of Jon Kudelka.

1,086 thoughts on “Welcome to 2020 …

  1. Jim Lehrer, the retired PBS anchorman who for 36 years gave public television viewers a substantive alternative to network evening news programs with in-depth reporting, interviews and analysis of world and national affairs, died on Thursday at his home in Washington. He was 85.

  2. I had a pleasant surprise on Monday when I discovered that Dr Norman Swan was hosting RN Breakfast this week. I usually don’t listen because of Fran K, but this week I’ve made a point of waking up in good time to listen to Swan’s incisive interviews.

    • We have been listening too. Took a while to realise that he knows more than health matters. His questions were short and to the point, no faffing around with ‘balance’ or equivalence. Our problem is, where to do go when Fran K comes back?

  3. I was given a copy of “Dark Emu” for Christmas; I’m very much looking forward to reading it now!

    How ‘Dark Emu’ upset the Right-wing media
    https://independentaustralia.net/australia/australia-display/how-dark-emu-upset-the-right-wing-media,13523

    I dunno what Josephine Cashman’s beef is. Jealousy? Sucking up for LNP pre-selection?

    Her Linkedin page has many titles (“entrepreneur”, “lawyer”, “businesswoman”, “orator” and “media commentator”), but few achievements.

    “Inaugural member of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council” (uh huh… Where’s Tony?)

  4. PvO follows up from the podcast with this article. I use Firefox and can open it in a private window without any problems. My only criticism of PvO is that this has been happening for the last 7 years and this mob got so arrogant that they became blatant about it, and only now some in the msm have seen through it.

  5. Sarah Henderson gets dragged into the sports rot scandal – and there is an awful lot of pork involved.

    Read all Ronni’s thread, it’s not long –

    This goes way beyond “it’s OK to break the guidelines, with millions of dollars involved, and despite all that bribery Henderson still couldn’t hang on to her seat. Not to worry,the CrimeMinister soon had her in a nice, safe Senate spot where she will achieve bugger all.

  6. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Rob Harris reveals that the embattled Bridget McKenzie signed off on more than $1 million for shooting clubs and associations during her time as federal sports minister, potentially opening her up to further allegation of conflicts of interest.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/bridget-mckenzie-signed-off-on-more-than-1-million-for-shooting-clubs-20200124-p53ujm.html
    Nick O’Malley echoes John Hewson in saying that the Nationals have a problem distinguishing between the national interest and the Nationals’ interest. This is a good hit job.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/your-money-is-serving-the-nationals-interest-that-minor-party-with-major-delusions-20200124-p53uh4.html
    Sarah Martin reveals that Bridget McKenzie’s office was told it was ‘not appropriate’ to approve sports grants after applications had closed.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/jan/25/bridget-mckenzies-office-told-not-appropriate-to-approve-sports-grants-after-applications-closed
    Unsuccessful sports grant applicant Martin Smith writes about how unethical the process was.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/24/we-missed-out-on-a-sports-grants-for-our-club-now-we-know-how-unethical-the-process-has-been
    Karen Middleton explains how, following the auditor-general’s damning report on the sports grants scheme, questions are being raised about other programs.
    https://outline.com/VEwTYA
    Sean Kelly is concerned about how flagrantly this government operates outside any conventional sense of accountability.
    https://outline.com/7bWk7q
    Laura Tingle lament the culture wars still going on in Australia,
    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-25/australia-day-2020-do-we-know-who-we-are-as-a-nation/11898652
    Richard Acland says that PR is the place people end up when all other professional options fail, and now Schmo has failed at the failures’ last resort.
    https://outline.com/2ujuvW
    The Saturday Paper’s Nick Feik writes that in recent months the federal government’s position on climate change has shifted. Not in policy terms: the change has been restricted to its rhetoric. It has a new strategy to avoid responsibility.
    https://outline.com/FRxphj
    The Saturday Paper’s editorial says, “What Scott Morrison lacks most is not intelligence or good advice: it’s empathy. He cannot feel what the country is feeling, and so he plays cricket and takes his kids to Hawaii.”
    https://outline.com/AFDfmq
    Paula Matthewson declares that Anthony Albanese has put himself front and centre on the leader board.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/politics/2020/01/24/paula-matthewson-anthony-albanese/
    Elizabeth Farrelly has written a searing article about the choice Australia faces – and that is survival-by-respect or death-by-stupid
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/survival-by-respect-or-death-by-stupid-your-choice-straya-20200123-p53u07.html
    The fires, together with this week’s hail storms, are on track to be one of the most expensive natural disasters in terms of insurance claims on record writes Shane Wright.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/bushfires-may-crimp-living-standards-long-term-as-insurance-costs-hit-2b-20200124-p53uen.html
    Bevan Shields reports that in London our Governor-General David Hurley said Australia should have a national debate about whether to ban the swastika amid fresh warnings by world leaders of a steady reawakening of anti-Semitism across the globe.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/governor-general-australia-should-consider-debate-on-reprehensible-swastika-20200123-p53u9i.html
    Ross Gittins gives us a good basic understanding of economics in this contribution.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/economics-isn-t-as-highfalutin-as-the-jargon-makes-it-sound-20200124-p53udk.html
    It was a bit more than the few headaches Trump dismissively mentioned! The Pentagon says that 34 US service members were diagnosed with varying degrees of brain injuries after the Iranian ballistic missile attack in Iraq this month, upping the number of service members understood to be injured by explosions.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/pentagon-says-34-us-troops-were-diagnosed-with-brain-injuries-after-missile-attack-20200125-p53um5.html
    Colin Kruger reports that Crown Resorts’ most senior board member John Alexander will step down as executive chairman of the embattled casino group as part of sweeping governance overhaul.
    https://www.theage.com.au/business/companies/crown-s-john-alexander-to-step-down-as-chairman-in-sweeping-governance-overhaul-20200124-p53ug4.html
    Mike Seccombe suggest that in Australia’s quest to become one of the world’s leading weapons exporters, the line between government and industry is becoming increasingly blurred.
    https://outline.com/Ws64V9
    The NDIS would better serve its participants if its workforce had decent pay and good working conditions, writes Nicholas Haines.
    https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/the-ndis-leaves-workers-behind,13526
    Experts have warned that the government’s tree-planting projects may have limited effectiveness as a climate strategy – particularly in the wake of this summer’s bushfires.
    https://outline.com/RChupM
    Richard Ackland talks to Mark Speakman SC, the man leading the charge to update Australia’s lopsided defamation laws.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/25/mark-speakman-sc-meet-the-man-leading-the-charge-to-update-australias-lopsided-defamation-laws
    Wendy Squires ponders over Australians seem to be having quite a lot less sex than previous generations.
    https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/it-s-actually-little-wonder-young-people-are-saying-no-to-sex-20200124-p53ucv.html
    The Saturday Paper reports that as the aged-care royal commission rolls on, community groups fear that the welfare of elderly migrants who do not speak English is being forgotten.
    https://outline.com/G5EwXx
    Rick Morton writes that as the Australian Red Cross faces criticisms over its bushfire efforts, current and former employees question the broad scope of its fundraising appeal.
    https://outline.com/M3km9s
    With the risk of coronavirus being brought into Australia, our government should have taken steps to protect its citizens, writes Tarric Brooker.
    https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/wuhan-virus-the-morrison-government-has-potentially-put-us-all-at-risk,13524
    The US and Europe have clashed over the threat posed by global heating as Donald Trump’s finance minister downplayed the risks of a climate crisis during the final session of the World Economic Forum in Davos.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/jan/24/us-and-europe-clash-over-climate-crisis-threat-on-last-davos-day
    Trump’s threat to assert executive privilege in his impeachment defence to try to curb testimony by his former national security adviser John Bolton is an attempt to silence a key witness and could undermine constitutional principles, ex-justice department officials and legal scholars have warned.
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/jan/24/john-bolton-donald-trump-testimony-impeachment
    Andrew Bolt and other News Corp associates have begun attacking author Bruce Pascoe and his book ‘Dark Emu’, writes Dr Martin Hirst.
    https://independentaustralia.net/australia/australia-display/how-dark-emu-upset-the-right-wing-media,13523
    Politic professor John Hawkins says that ‘Slow-minded and bewildered’, Donald Trump builds barriers to peace and prosperity.
    https://theconversation.com/slow-minded-and-bewildered-donald-trump-builds-barriers-to-peace-and-prosperity-128840
    Richard Glover outlines 42 ways by which we can tell if we’re truly Australian. Very funny!
    https://www.smh.com.au/culture/tv-and-radio/bunnings-snags-and-the-meaning-of-girt-42-ways-to-tell-if-you-re-australian-20200121-p53tam.html
    Christopher Knaus reports that the Catholic church is attempting to stop one of its own priests from suing it for child abuse.
    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/25/catholic-church-attempts-to-stop-one-of-its-own-priests-from-suing-it-for-child-abuse

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe


    Alan Moir


    Matt Golding



    Andrew Dyson

    Dionne Gain

    Jon Kudelka
    https://www.thesaturdaypaper.com.au/sites/default/files/styles/cartoon/public/Cartoons/cartoon_jan25.jpg?
    John Shakespeare



    Simon Letch


    Sean Leahy

    Johannes Leak gets this one right.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/a3440bddcc6e176b12ca479380a016d7?width=1024

    From the US












  7. Some thoughts on Australia Day –

  8. Fiona Martin won Reid for the Libs. with a 2PP swing against her of 1.5%

  9. Bill Maher – (with the usual caveats)

    New rules 43:15

    Overtime (geddit while it’s hot)

    Johnathan Pie –

    Bryan Tyler Cohen –

  10. Labor embraces patriotism, a word I loathe because it reeks of everything a decent human should never be – jingoistic, intolerant, racist, divisive, exclusivist,

    Labor MP Tanya Plibersek calls for all Aussie schoolchildren to pledge allegiance to the country, democracy and the rule of law

    ‘Without pause or hesitation, people have accepted their duty to each other as citizens, as neighbours, as fellow human beings,’ she says.

    ‘This has been patriotism at its practical best; patriotism as the thread connecting us all as Australians.’

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7925263/Tanya-Plibersek-calls-children-pledge-allegiance-Australia.html

    It’s not “patriotism”, Tanya, it’s being a decent, compassionate, empathetic human being, none of which are anything to do with the blight of patriotism.

    Hand-on-heart oath-swearing has no place in Australian schools. Shame on you and shame on Labor.

    • I was just going to do a rant on this, thanks Leone. Of all people, I can’t believe it is Tanya pushing this. Where did this come from. It is certainly not ‘Australian’ in my opinion. Tanya is not getting very positive feedback on twitter, politely saying no way.

    • She’s been busy on Twitter trying to defend herself by saying patriotism is loving your country and wanting to make it better, and trying to assure us progressives can love their country.

      There’s a huge difference between loving your country and being a jingoistic patriot. Doesn’t she know what “patriot” means now? Doesn’t she know the word has been taken by the extreme right-wing neo-nazis and they use it as a term of exclusion?

      Turning kids into programmed patriotic robots is not going to make anything better.

      And of course that hideous word “mateship” has been dragged out along with the pretence caring for your fellow human beings is a unique Australian trait. It’s not. I want that word banned.

    • I think you have to care for your country as if it were your garden, your place. Australia is in a very bad way now with fires, drought, poor rivers. We have to start caring for her/it. It may sound patriotic. If it is it’s in a positive way.

  11. It wasn’t Scott, it was his staff – latest whitewash campaign from Murdoch.

    PM staffers linked to Mckenzie funding scandal
    https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6126317390001

    Scott Morrison’s staffers linked to sport rorts scandal
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/scott-morrisons-staff-embroiled-in-sport-rorts-scandal/news-story/eae466d63d538ace978e69f001bb01e1

    What rot! This scandal has the CrimeSinister’s grubby fingerprints all over it. He believes he is above laws, regulations and guidelines because he also believes his god made him prime minister and therefore he can do whatever he likes.

  12. I’ve often heard the phrase “It’s UnAustralian”. It’s always struck me as strange. Never heard of UnFrench, UnGerman, UnItalian, etc.

    • You can accuse Noël Coward of many things but not that

      Un-Australian is an increasingly pejorative term used in Australia. In modern usage, it has similar connotations to the United States term un-American, however the Australian term is somewhat older, being used as early as 1855 to describe an aspect of the landscape that was similar to that of Britain. Its modern usage was popularised during the 1990s by Prime Minister John Howard and One Nation Party founder Pauline Hanson; however, Stanley Bruce used it in reference to striking workers in 1925 and Joseph Lyons during the 1930s to decry communists and migrants from non-British backgrounds.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Un-Australian

  13. Its awkward. Reminds me of the late Howard period, when some in Labor went through various psuedo conservative contortions, e.g. Sam D in 2006 advocating conscription. No one took us seriously when we played this game then, they won’t now. Saving grace, will have zero impact either way. I’m happy for kids to be taught more about democracy, but not for going back to a pledge at school assembly like we used to have in Victoria up until the early 1980s. We didn’t as kids take it seriously at all then, no need to bring it back. Its very try-hard.

    • Yep, I remember in Primary School, everyone Monday morning, lining up and standing on our dots and having to sing it. I just used to pretend to mouth the words.

    • I remember having the Monday morning assembly where we all had to chant “I honour my God, I serve my Queen I salute the flag”. It meant nothing, just pointless gibbering before we had to sing the national anthem.

      Definitely no hands on hearts though.

  14. A sports club getting a grant for female change rooms when they have no female members is bad enough, but what about this – a defunct club managing to get $100,000 just before it closed.

    ‘Ghost’ Logan club scored $100,000 sports grant, then club pulled up stumps

    A FEDERAL grant for a small but defunct southside cricket club in a marginal seat is the latest to be linked to pork-barrelling claims during last year’s federal election.

    The Bethania Cricket Club was awarded the $100,000 grant in April, a month before the unexpected landslide LNP victory, which returned sitting MP Bert van Manen to his marginal seat of Forde.

    The club used the funds to install lights and cricket nets at its grounds.

    Days after winning the grant, the then-club president Jill Major took to Facebook in April to urge members to vote for Mr van Manen.

    Three months later, the small club which only had three senior teams, folded.

    Mr van Manen defended the Bethania Cricket Club funding, claiming it came from the Community Development Grant program, separate to the controversial Community Sport Infrastructure Grant.

    However, both grants were delivered under the federal Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Cities and Regional Development.

    “Although the money was given to the club, it was to improve the grounds which are owned by Logan City Council,” Mr van Manen said.

    “So other community groups which use those grounds will benefit.”

    Labor senator Murray Watt said the Bethania funding was part of a wider grants plan to prop up marginal seats.

    “This is evidence of a broader problem with grants used to buy votes,” he said.

    “Forde was a ‘must-win’ marginal seat and we now have better reasons for the unexpected LNP victory especially in knife-edge seats.”

    Loganholme Cricket Club president Scott Rice was told the grant money for the Bethania club could not be redirected.

    “We really needed this sort of funding because we are a growing club with more than 120 players and up to 350 members – unlike the other club which was tiny,” he said.

    “There are no sporting grants around at the moment unless they are for community-based facilities.

    “For us to get new nets under sporting grant program is almost impossible because our facilities are not shared by another club.”

    https://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/ghost-logan-club-scored-100000-sports-grant-then-club-pulled-up-stumps/news-story/13184bfc23fc8b5900be67f09de4e6df

  15. Yuck!

    Sydney bookshop Kinokuniya bars dating company using ‘pick-up’ techniques on female customers

    Ms Locke told the ABC she and a friend both had similar experiences and felt uneasy after being approached in a “very full-on” manner.

    “[The man] was obviously trying very hard,” she said.

    “It seems to me that this coaching service was using Kino as a place for men who might be socially awkward, but also have an interest in comic books or manga as a way to get them talking to people.”

    Ms Locke said it was disappointing many women had to tolerate such behaviour while just trying to browse books

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-25/sydney-bookshop-tells-pick-up-artists-to-stay-away/11899582

  16. As I posted over the road “FUCK OFF ” Plibersek. My decision to ditch and severely downgrade Labor on my voting card being bolstered by such crap. WTF are they up to in the Labor ‘brains trust” ? In the middle of a bushfire season from hell we have seen Albo go the “love coal” and now Tanya does “USA USA USA” .

    Labor will get the shit kicked out of them in the sort of culture war idiot Plibersek is dabbling in. Worse, infinitely worse than Labor getting the shit kicked out them is the place Australia will end up in at the end of a ‘patriotism’ culture war. Cast your minds back to refugees and the arc the “tough on boat people” war has traveled.

  17. Found this from Fiona, she linked it on Twitter. This is something I can agree with.

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