1,086 thoughts on “Welcome to 2020 …

  1. God also hit the Sutherland Shire yesterday in possibly another try at getting FauxMo or maybe Craig Kelly. , A wild storm brought down power lines and trees and created mayhem on the roads.

    Parts of the Shire (including the electorates of FauxMo and Kelly) were still without power this morning.


  2. The world’s leading financial institutions have been accused of hypocrisy over the climate emergency, after providing significant support for the fossil fuel industry over the last five years.

    A report by Greenpeace, the environmental group, highlights that 24 banks which regularly attend the World Economic Forum in Davos have provided $1.4tn (£1.1tn) of financial support for the hydrocarbon sector since the Paris agreement set new emissions reduction goals in 2015.

    The financial cooperation with fossil fuel firms includes loans, debt underwriting, equity issuances and direct investment. The report, called It’s the Finance Sector, Stupid, also shows how some major insurers and pension funds that flock to Davos each year are key supporters of polluting industries such as coal.

    The data was compiled from BankTrack, an organisation that monitors the financial sector. It shows that JP Morgan, the Wall Street investment bank, has provided $195bn of financial support to fossil fuel companies since 2015. JP Morgan declined to comment on the report.


  3. Bloody hell ,this is disgusting. He is unfit for office. Check out har far he went to enable the Iraq invasion. Arsehole.

    The Other Reason Biden Shouldn’t Run
    Biden used his leadership to get a Democratic-controlled Senate to give then-President Bush in 2002 the unprecedented authority to invade a country on the far side of the world that was no threat to the United States.

  4. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. As I put this together the impeachment trial is running in the background.

    Rob Harris has come up with a beauty – McKenzie approved $36,000 for a shooting club without saying she was a member.
    Ross Gittins opines that the fires are our Pearl Harbour event that could become our Port Arthur moment. He says, “Second-rate leaders throw in their lot with those who fear losing from change, letting the rest of us suffer while they attempt to resist the irresistible. First-rate leaders seek out ways we can benefit from that change, restoring the luck of the Lucky Country.”
    Sarah Martin says that Morrison’s senior ministers discussed how best to reposition the government’s climate change policies in a cabinet meeting on Monday.
    Morrison has lost the plot. He says hazard reduction burns are as important as emissions.
    It should surprise no one that a man steeped deep in an apocalyptic cult should demand that everyone else act as if his reality is the norm, writes Dr Jennifer Wilson.
    The NSW police commissioner is sickened to the stomach with the unprecedented amount of looting in the wake of the bushfires.
    Craig Matheson tells us why Morrison’s mastery of the TV interview means something has to change. Quite a perceptive contribution.
    Josh Frydenberg says the Coalition will not compromise “the strength of the economy” to manage rising environmental concerns as international authorities urge governments to do more to tackle climate change.
    Bianca Hall writes about some top scientists hitting back at the idiot Craig Kelly’s “brainwashed climate cultists” spray.
    Jess Irvine reports that in a recent Ipsos poll the environment has catapulted to the top of the list of Australians’ biggest worries, leapfrogging cost of living, healthcare and the economy.

    Peter Hannam and Mike Foley report that leading ecologists say decades of underspending on environmental research mean governments will likely struggle to assess the impact on wildlife from the huge bushfires let alone develop effective recovery plans.
    Sarah Danckert explains how NAB took three years to transfer 330,000 customers to a low-cost no-frills product as required under the law. Now members are looking to recoup their money.
    Emma Koehn reports that Australian funeral directors have demanded an exemption from the government’s proposed ban on $10,000 cash payments, claiming the policy could hit grieving people “at the lowest point in their lives”.
    Shopping centre landlords “spooked” by the collapse of high-profile retailers will likely be forced to renegotiate rents as store closures eat into occupancy rates and income from malls. Danger signs!!!!
    The SMH editorial proclaims that medical specialists and insurance funds must come clean on health costs. Of the government’s $7.2m Medical Cost Transparent website it says, “First, it is clear that lots of consumers in NSW are getting ripped off. Second, the website does almost nothing to help them save money.”
    This beef farmer says it all when it comes to what is happening to our environment.
    From Rome Gabriella Coslovich writes that in the streets there people think that our fires were the result of arson.
    Anthony Galloway tells us how the Member for Manila has been forced to cough up $2100 of misused travel expenses.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz writes that there’s something quite odd about a share market that rises more than 26 per cent over a year in which world economic growth was the weakest since the financial crisis. He sheets the blame t the feet of the US Fed.
    A plant that aims to convert household rubbish into enough electricity to power up to 20,000 houses is expected to be operating in Melbourne’s west within three years.
    Anne Davies reports that the NSW inquiry that Crown Resorts may have breached casino licence over proposed share deal with Melco.
    Bevan Shields reports that Trump has taken aim at “perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse” and challenged world leaders at Davos to be more optimistic about the economy and climate change.
    Scientists hate to say ‘I told you so’. But Australia, you were warned writes Professor Will Steffen.
    Norm Abjorensen tells us how Trump’s greed threatens a crucial post-Watergate reform. It’s about laws covering companies bribing foreign officials.
    Politicians such as Joe Hockey – who ironically talked of ‘leaning’ and ‘the age of entitlement’ – have come to understand public service purely as an entitlement, writes Dr Kim Sawyer.
    A risk-rating system for builders and new powers for the building regulator to stop suspect high-rise apartment towers are among measures the NSW government wants introduced to avoid further incidents like Sydney’s cracked Opal and Mascot towers.
    Arwa Mahdawi says that misogyny explains Prince Andrew’s rehabilitation and Harry’s vilification.
    It’s hard for people with severe mental illness to get in the NDIS – and the problems don’t stop there say two mental health academics.
    This didn’t take long. Milton Orkopoulos appears to have breached his parole conditions.
    Iran has admitted that two Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles hit a Ukrainian airliner that was shot down on January 8, killing all 176 aboard.

    Cartoon Corner

    Alan Moir
    David Rowe

    Simon Letch

    Andrew Dyson

    Cathy Wilcox

    Michael Leunig

    John Shakespeare.

    Matt Golding

    Mark David

    Peter Broelman

    Glen Le Lievre

    Is Johannes Leak unwell?

    From the US

  5. More than $1m in sport grants were handed to nine clubs that boast senior Coalition MPs as members or patrons, including one undisclosed by Bridget McKenzie, three linked to Indigenous affairs minister Ken Wyatt, one tied to treasurer and deputy Liberal leader Josh Frydenberg, and two associated with senator Sarah Henderson.

    The controversial $100m grant program gave money to a gun club joined by the former sports minister, a tennis club where Frydenberg is an honorary member, an Australian rules football club where Wyatt is the “No 1 ticket holder”, and Henderson’s football and netball club, which made personal representations for the funding to prime minister Scott Morrison.


  6. Bevan Shields reports that Trump has taken aim at “perennial prophets of doom and their predictions of the apocalypse” and challenged world leaders at Davos to be more optimistic about the economy and climate change.

    I listened to the first 5 minutes or so of his speech. There must have been a boast about every 15 seconds that some aspect of the US economy is the greatest ‘the world has ever seen”, “largest in history” or some other hyperhyperbole. He of course is responsible for such superduperdom. I guess it was aimed at the yokel voters back in the US of A .

    • I don’t know how anyone could bear to listen to him for more than a few seconds. He sounds like a cross between a senile old fart and a snake-oil salesman.

      I can’t even begin to imagine how braindead you would have to be to support him.

  7. BHP’s whining about the fires holding up coal mining made The New York Times.

    Their story includes this quote –

    “I did roll my eyes,” Bill Hare, chief executive of Climate Analytics, a policy institute, said in an interview.

    The smoke, Dr. Hare said, was most likely a minor inconvenience in the supply chain for BHP, the globe’s biggest mining company. But, he added, it served as a “wake-up call” to BHP that the world needs to wean itself off coal to avert the most damaging effects of climate change.

    “You can see the mood is changing in Australia,” Dr. Hare said. “Sooner or later, the companies are going to run out of social license.”

  8. He has given up claiming arsonists as the reason for nation-wide bushfires and now the cure-all is hazard reduction, a term I doubt he had ever heard of until a month ago.

    Would someone please sit this ignorant city type down and explain carefully, preferably in three word slogans, that councils cannot do hazard reduction burns during a drought, or if the wind is blowing the wrong way. Could someone also explain that NSW budget cuts to NPWS meant fewer rangers which meant fewer hazard reduction burns in national parks could be attempted, even when conditions were suitable.

    • National standard for hazard reduction burns is just brainless stupidity.

      A burn in my local dry sclerophyll forest is going to be much different to a burn in the mountain forest of Vic and NSW or the mountain forest of northern NSW. for example.
      Every hazard reduction burn has to be carefully planned with a heap of local factors in the mix. Things such as fuel load, type of fuel, soil and fuel moisture content/ drought index, Wind, taking into account topography that can cause wind direction to chop and change, catabatic and adiabatic winds. Climate and weather conditions. Even the length of time since the last fire is important, some trees such as Mountain Ash and many Banksias and Wattles are killed by fire, they need time for seeds shed after the last fire to germinate and grow into mature trees that are capable of seeding the burnt forest. Burn too soon and you will kill immature trees and have no seeds to grow, this will change the makeup of the whole forest. Then there is the shrinking window of opportunity to actually do burns without them getting away and causing exactly what you are trying to prevent.

    • rustednut

      Clearly the Crime Minister does not understand any of that. He’s just seized on the words “hazard reduction” as a slogan he can spout whenever he’s asked about bushfires and emissions reductions. He doubtless believes it makes him seem knowledgeable and in charge when actually it makes him look like an ignorant dill.

      Someone should tell him burning bush increases emissions. He seems to think setting fire to large areas of bushland will reduce them.

      He is a braindead loon.

  9. “Craig Matheson tells us why Morrison’s mastery of the TV interview means something has to change. Quite a perceptive contribution.”

    The Crime Minister hasn’t “mastered” anything. He just learned to insist on seeing questions before the interview so he can avoid spluttering through answers he’d rather not give and instead can rehearse his prepared responses.

    His interview with David Speers was so obviously scripted it was embarrassing to watch. The PM had seen the questions, rehearsed the answers and stuck to the script.

    It must have been embarrassing for Speers too, to have to do an interview like that, he is so much better when given free rein, but the ABC needs to suck up to the Crime Minister if they are to save the little funding they now have, so everyone has to follow orders and give the government what it wants.

  10. Talking about brainless stupidity.

    Almost a religious aspect’: Tony Abbott downplays link between bushfires and climate change.
    Washington: Former prime minister Tony Abbott has downplayed the contribution of climate change to the Australian bushfire crisis, telling a US audience he believes the link between extreme weather events and carbon emissions has become akin to a religious dogma for many people.


    • As a devout Catholic Abbott should be following the Vatican line on climate change.

      The Vatican embraced the science behind climate change a long time ago, so what the hell is wrong with former seminarian Abbott? Doesn’t he agree with the teachings of his church? Is he accusing the head of his church as being a member of a “climate cult”?

      Time to go to confession, Tony.

      Pope Francis has condemned those profiting from fossil fuel as threatening the survival of the planet and its people and demanded immediate action on climate change.

      ‘Startling’ inaction on climate change must end, pope says

      Addressing a Vatican climate change conference for finance ministers from around the world May 27, the pope said that the current crisis is “caused by a confusion of our moral ledger with our financial ledger.”

      “We live at a time when profits and losses seem to be more highly valued than lives and deaths, and when a company’s net worth is given precedence over the infinite worth of our human family,” he said.

      The conference, “Climate Change and New Evidence from Science, Engineering and Policy,” was sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. Among the issues discussed during the event was the fulfillment of the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals, a list of 17 major commitments that the world’s nations and U.N. agencies will be asked to pursue until 2030


  11. The minister, the cardinal and the billionaire climate sceptic you’ve probably never heard of

    Rupert Murdoch and his influence on climate politics are front and centre of debate right now but there is a second, less well-known Australian billionaire operating from afar who has used his money and access to back conservative political causes. His name is Michael Hintze.

    Hintze is a leading free marketeer and sceptic of the role of carbon emissions in climate change. He is a Liberal Party donor. He also has a long-running business relationship with Angus Taylor, Scott Morrison’s minister in charge of emissions reduction. Hintze is also a conservative Catholic who has links to former prime minister Tony Abbott and now gaoled Cardinal George Pell, both of whom are climate change denialists — with Abbott trotting out his denialism at a conservative US think tank today.


  12. 😆 a Telegraph reporter captures Trump’s speech perfectly.It truly was like this.
    “Donald Trump just gave the most incredible speech at Davos… and it went a little something like this

    Tremendous boasting. Phenomenal boasting. Outstanding boasting. Donald Trump was boasting like no American president had ever boasted before. His boasts were some of the biggest boasts in the history of boasting. His boasts were truly incredible. You wouldn’t believe them……………. it was non-stop boasting from soup to nuts.

  13. From Richard Denniss –

    No one job is worth saving at the expense of climate catastrophe. Not even Scott Morrison’s
    Promising Australia won’t tackle the climate crisis unless every coal worker’s job is safe is a cruel hoax designed to conceal inaction

    Would the prime minister rule out protecting Australians from terrorism if it cost a single job? Would he promise that no nurse, teacher or other public servant would be sacked in pursuit of a budget surplus? Of course not. But when it comes to preventing dangerous climate change, the government whose policies closed the entire Australian car industry claims that every job is sacred. Yeah, right.

    The one thing we can say with certainty about the coal industry is that, regardless of climate policy, automation will decimate coal communities in the coming decade. The coal companies sacked around half their workforce in the late 80s – the minute new technology let them – and the coal industry is gearing up to do it again. Adani promised its proposed Queensland coalmine would be automated “from pit to port” and the rest of the industry is publicly preparing for the same goal


    Now read this, on the lunacy of insisting Adani will provide thousands of jobs.

    100 jobs: What Adani is really delivering

    Jobs vanish as times change. We no longer need rat catchers, lamp lighters, rag and bone men and blokes who walk in front of cars waving red flags because the need for such work became obsolete.

    I can remember other jobs that have now vanished – dunny men, ice deliverers, rabbitos, clothes prop sellers and more. No-one ever vowed to stop advances until all their jobs were declared safe. I can, however, remember Gough Whitlam hastening the demise of dunny men by insisting sewerage be installed in places like the western suburbs of Melbourne and Sydney. Gough must have had life-scarring memories of being trapped on the dunny when the man came to change the pan. Anyone who lived in his electorate of Werriwa (much bigger then, encompassing vast swathes of southern and south-western Sydney) during the 1950s would know exactly what that felt like.

    No-one back then said progressive health policies should be put on hold until all the dunny men were assured they would keep their jobs for life. They just moved on, hopefully to more pleasant work.

  14. I’ve seen comments about Greg Hunt’s dreadful performance on ABC News Breakfast this morning. The comments were true.

    Have a look at this – the technique is obviously to keep gabbling, keep talking over the interviewer, doesn’t matter how rude you are, just keep on babbling talking points.

    Paul Kennedy is a treasure, leaves all the other ABC interviewer for dead.

    • Smoko must have put his foot down (from his mouth) and told Macca she can only fund one gun club?
      We’d be knee deep in the bloody things otherwise.

  15. For God’s sake! Who the hell cares about the mess these women make of their hair! I thought here at the Pub at least we could get some relevant comment on the political mess they and their fellow party members contribute to. Or even some deserved appreciation of good work attempted. Why not dig around and come up with some real dirt, Or even cause for praise!

    • I believe her constantly neglecting her hair tells you a whole story about her entire behaviour, her overall carelessness in her job. My view only.

    • In my defence –

      All through my teacher training I had the importance of dressing professionally drummed into me. The rules were strict in 1966/1967 – no trousers for the women, hair to be neat and properly groomed, for the men shirts with ties and either trousers or shorts with long socks. The men were expected to have short back and sides haircuts. No long-haired jeans-clad hippies were allowed, and the rules felt harsh to us because everyone in my section had done a year at uni and either failed or transferred to primary training. We had all been used to the freedom allowed at uni and suddenly there were dress codes – it was like being back at high school.

      All that indoctrination was explained as staff setting a good example. We were told so many times we could not expect our young pupils to obey the school uniform rules if the teachers were scruffy in dress and hair. Men could have beards, but they had to be neatly trimmed. The designer stubble so popular now (which I loathe with a passion) would never have been permitted back then.

      After years of that I came to expect high standards of dress and grooming for anyone in positions of authority, and that includes politicians.

      I agree with Gigilene – careless grooming and messy hair reflects a careless attitude to work.

      If you don’t like my posts then don’t read them.

    • My FTTN NBN is now providing the 50/20 Mbps that I pay for. Yay!

      It did work properly for a couple of months (Easter 2019); I don’t know why it started working – or why it stopped – but I didn’t change anything… Otherwise, It has been stuck on approx. 35/13, with dropouts.

      The NBN tech told me there were several faults. Maybe – but only one of them made a difference.

      He asked if I had a different phone cable – no change. (I think he needed one for his trusty RJ12 socket on an ever-shortening, freshly stripped cable.)

      He re-terminated the wall socket, possibly on the other pair of wires – no change. (He actually said “I’ll be back”, without irony. 😀 )

      He did something downstairs (MDF panel?) – it made it worse! (He said “I’ll be back” again.)

      I think he then ran a test wire from the MDF panel to t’ pit in street* – bingo, 50/20!

      I thought that was that, but no … Several hours and a cabling crew later, it was finally fixed.

      In hindsight, I think they did what Telstra never did – diagnosed and fixed the actual problem (i.e.the cable from the MDF to t’ pit.)
      With analogue voice/ADSL, there was always _another_ problem that Telstra could “fix” (re-wetting the piece of string) to get things working adequately for another 12-18 months.

      Anyway, I’m happy that it’s finally sorted.

      * “Trouble at t’ mill.”

    • Ducky,

      I am not in the least surprised that you are familiar with ‘æstivation’ (the word, that is, not necessarily the [lack of] activity).

      What you perhaps don’t know is that one of my three top Kew, VIC, eateries is Estivo

  16. There won’t be a single grant application, granted or not, that will escape analysis. Also the ones that didn’t apply …

  17. and

    • Oh Good Lord – it starts with Sinkers!

      Ian Sinclair – in 1989 became the only National leader to be ousted by his own party room in all those 100 years.

      Sinclair – once described by Paul Keating as “a piece of vermin”.

      Sinclair, who had to resign from the ministry in 1978 over allegations of forging his father’s signature on company documents, improperly loaning himself money from companies he controlled and attempting to conceal the loans.

      In 1980 Sinclair was charged with nine counts of fraud, relating to forging, uttering, and making false statements on company returns. He got off all charges after a 23-day trial and returned to the ministry.

      And if all that wasn’t proof of his dishonesty there was his long affair with Sydney socialite Glen-Marie North. He canoodled with his mistress while his second wife stayed at home in Tamworth looking after the children.

      I lived in New England for a few years while Sinclair was the local MP. He was actually a pretty good local member. My then husband had reason to ask his help at one stage and we both found Sinclair very helpful. But that does not really cancel out all the well-known examples of dishonesty. If a politician’s wife can’t trust him then why should his constituents, or the country?

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