Many Pubsters are aware of John Menadue’s Pearls and Irritations, which
… began as a blog in January 2013 because John Menadue was concerned about several important issues. The first was how good policy discussion was being crowded out by gamesmanship, personal gossip, faction fights devoid of content and a ‘gotcha’ media style. Second was the importance of political action which is so much discredited and derided by populists and conservatives.
Politics is about how power is exercised. It is a noble calling which must be restored in public estimation. The third was the preoccupation of Australian mainstream media with newsfeeds out of US and UK, to the neglect of media coverage and interest in our own region.
Those words “Politics … [i]s a noble calling which must be restored in public estimation” resonate strongly with me. The blatant venality and corruption so evident at every level of government in Australia is the worst I’ve seen in my lifetime, and I know many share my view. So I thought that it would be useful to make this new thread a tasting-plate of recent Pearls and Irritations articles that concern integrity (or lack thereof) in Australian governance.
See if budget creates a future, and beware of dirty tricks!
By JACK WATERFORD | On 6 October 2020
Close observers of Tuesday’s federal Budget will no doubt have their eyes out for evidence of the usual political chicanery towards political donors, lobbyists and friendly interests, as well as mates, cronies and relatives of senior members of government, this time in the alleged cause of stimulating demand and picking winners in the post-Covid economy.
That eye is more necessary than ever before, if only because government has become more shameless, with less and less respect for evidence, proper process and transparency. But it is not the main game. This time about, indeed, there is a risk more serious than of government shovelling money towards its friends and cronies. It is that it will be doing too little, too conservatively, and with too little imagination and open mind, with the result that economic and social recovery will be delayed. Those who will suffer most from this timidity will be disproportionately the usual suspects: low-paid workers, casual workers and people in part-time work, pensioners and welfare beneficiaries — including the young, the aged, the disabled, indigenous Australians and many temporary workers, including overseas students. But the fabled little capitalist in “small business” — the people that the coalition pretends it is all about — will probably suffer more than most as well.
Sports rorts and muddy waters
By IAN CUNLIFFE | On 8 October 2020
Last summer, just like much of the country, the federal political landscape was ablaze. Scott Morrison was caught out taking a secret holiday in Hawaii; and those who weren’t evacuating from bushfires were very angry about sports rorts.
One of the cunning ways by which Morrison and his Attorney-General, Christian Porter, sought to lower the temperature on sports rorts was to muddy the waters as to whether the whole exercise was illegal.
Many observers expected that the scandal would have blown over by now. Those observers seem to have underestimated the deep impact that sports rorts affair had on many of John Howard’s old “battlers”. They were angered that wealthy clubs of the rich and famous got the grants which, according to Sport Australia’s careful analysis, battling clubs in the suburbs and the regions should have got. Bridget McKenzie telling us that one tennis club is just the same as another – White City of White Cliffs? Kooyong or Quambatook? – was just petrol on the fire. (The Quambatook tractor pull is certainly better than Kooyong’s).
“Disgraceful” Tudge puts him self above the law
By IAN CUNLIFFE | On 9 October 2020
Late last month, the Federal Court’s found that Minister, Alan Tudge engaged in criminal conduct by keeping an asylum-seeker in detention and depriving of his liberty for five days in defiance of an order by the Administrative Appeals Tribunal that the man be released.
The Court described Tudge’s decision to deprive the man of his liberty as “disgraceful”, and said: “The minister cannot place himself above the law”: “The minister has acted unlawfully. His actions have unlawfully deprived a person of his liberty. His conduct exposes him to both civil and potentially criminal sanctions, not limited to a proceeding for contempt.”
Michael Pascoe: Forget the ‘Daz and Glad Show’, this is the real political scandal (The New Daily Oct 15, 2020)
By MICHAEL PASCOE | On 16 October 2020
It’s the secret sexual relationship that sells the ‘Daz and Glad Show’ and elevates it from being merely yet another corrupt NSW politician before the ICAC, but it also distracts punters from the much bigger scandal.
Disgraced former National Party MP Daryl Maguire’s litany of rackets and wheezes are impressive for their breadth and, sometimes, shallowness.
Skimming the Wagga Wagga RSL’s spending on cutlery. Really, Daryl?
For all his efforts though, it’s small beer, the work of a wannabe grifting on the fringes of a vastly more professional and richer industry devoted to influence peddling, insider knowledge and structural corruption.
Actually, it’s more than that: It’s an industry steadily undermining our democracy, weakening our institutions, entrenching and reinforcing privilege.
Over time it perverts government and increases inequality. When insiders keep selling access and influence and the rich and powerful keep buying it and profiting from it, the citizens end up betrayed.
That is the core of the lobbying industry – selling access to politicians and senior bureaucrats, bending outcomes to their paymasters’ benefit. Those with the money get the inside run and the rest can go whistle, all the more so as the public service is intentionally run down.
Morrison Government is running scared of a federal integrity body
By DAVID SOLOMON | On 16 October 2020
This week’s trials of Gladys Berejiklian only confirm the Morrison Government’s largely unspoken fears that a federal ICAC would do the government a lot more harm than good.
The Morrison Government, in theory, supports the creation of a federal version of NSW’s Independent Commission Against Commission. The proposal has been on the table for two years, following the belated (and agonised) decision of Labor nationally to include a federal ICAC among its policy objectives.
The political manoeuvrings over its creation demonstrate how resistant the Morrison Government really is to having a federal body with the powers of the NSW ICAC or Queensland’s Crime and Corruption Commission. Attorney-General Christian Porter is supposedly negotiating with cross-bench senators about the proposal – not with the ALP or the Greens, who have had their own legislative proposals for a strong ICAC-like body on the books for the past three Parliaments. But the cross-bench senators haven’t heard from the Attorney-General since he said he would begin talks with them.
Why the resistance to a national anti-corruption commission?
By IAN CUNLIFFE | On 16 October 2020
Scott Morrison and Christian Porter are insisting that a new federal integrity body could not look at old corruption. What is that about? Is it because there are skeletons in too many people’s closet? Is it the extent to which Alexander Downer and other senior officials benefitted financially from their activities during the Australian Government’s shenanigans on behalf of Woodside and others over oil and helium, which should always have been Timor-Leste’s, in the Timor Sea?
Preposing the case for the commission feels like pushing against one of those beautifully crafted doors that will open to the slightest touch. Everyone supports a federal anti-corruption commission, including 85% of the population. Federal Labor came out in support in January 2018.
In December that year, Prime Minister Morrison, with Attorney-General Christian Porter at his side, announced he would move to establish one. An appropriate discount needs to be made for propensity of this Government to announce many more things than it ever gets around to doing. Indeed, the Big Announcement seemed to be a cunning ploy to buy time and do nothing. That seems a likely story with what Morrison and Porter called the Commonwealth Integrity Commission.
The Gladys and Daryl Show. Having to squirm in open hearings acts as a disincentive to venality
By JACK WATERFORD | On 20 October 2020
If Gladys Berejiklian, and her ludicrous consort, have to take one for the team, let it not be for tiny misdemeanours but for being parties to a corrupted mindset of the spoils of public office.
One has only to look at the daily papers to see constant reminders of how the system is broke. There is a fresh scandal every other day. Beyond the Maguire (and Berejiklian) inquiry, or Hayne, we have seen in recent weeks a tribunal considering whether Crown Casino, and owners associated with it, such as James Packer, “are fit and proper people” to be allowed to operate in Sydney.
Gladys’ arrogance paves the way for Federal ICAC
By MUNGO MACCALLUM | On 20 October 2020
The most remarkable thing about the revelation of Gladys Berejiklian’s love life was that it was remarkable at all.
998 thoughts on “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?”
Good morning Dawn Patrollers. CNN has just reported that Rudy Giuliani has been diagnosed with Covid-19.
Sean Kelly describes Morrison’s outrage over Chinese tweet as being a tried and true tactic.
Ross Gittins tells us about the secret sauce missing from Morrison’s recovery recipe, and it is growth in real wages.
Adele Ferguson explains what an investigation into what are known as “short and distort” attacks have cost ASX investors in Australia. Critics are saying the practice is damaging market integrity by exploiting weaknesses in Australian regulation.
Alexandra Smith writes that the commissioner who led NSW’s ice inquiry has warned an outdated law and order war on drugs threatens to derail critical reform and leave NSW lagging behind the rest of Australia.
The SMH editorial says that Albanese’s Labor is not doing enough to create a real political contest.
Peter Hannam explains the view of Australia’s biggest general insurer that the stalled La Nina event is likely to return with a vengeance over summer, lifting risks of flooding and storms over much of Australia.
According to Rob Harris, fruit and vegetable prices are expected to rise by up to 25 per cent across Australia this summer as COVID-19 travel restrictions limit labour available for harvesting.
The ABC could be forced to hand over details of its commercial agreement with a news website that is bankrolled by industry superannuation funds, amid fresh questions over the national broadcaster’s independence. Andrew Bragg doesn’t like The New Daily, it seems.
Even with a vaccine, it will take time for life to return to normal, explains Dr Rob Grenfell who is the health and biosecurity director at the CSIRO.
Nick Bonyhady and Rob Harris write about a new statutory definition of casual employment being among several measures designed to bring more certainty to the workforce, but they say the new laws are poised for a fight, with Australian Council of Trade Unions secretary Sally McManus claiming they will only “entrench” casual work.
And Paul Karp says the Morrison government will offer an improved path to permanent work but retrospectively wipe out billions of dollars of potential claims for misclassified casual employees under industrial relations changes.
On this subject Michael Pascoe poses the question, “In particular, who do you trust Attorney-General Christian Porter to primarily serve with the biggest industrial relations reform since Work Choices – employers or employees?”
The editorial in The Canberra Times says the cashless welfare card is too heartless to achieve its intended effect.
Paul Sakaal tells us that the right wing of the Victorian Liberal party is getting a bit restive over the party’s recent political fortunes.
Hiring processes at Australia’s food safety regulator, FSANZ, were “inappropriate” and involved “clear” favouritism toward certain candidates for senior roles, a report obtained by The Canberra Times reveals.
Peter Hannam reports that the AMEO has found that keeping AGL’s Liddell coal-fired plant going beyond its planned closure date was among the lowest-ranked options to avoid any shortfall in power.
In the absence of a comprehensive national strategy, the health sector must adapt to the changing climate in Australia, say Stephen Duckett and Will Mackey.
According to the AFR, the construction union, the CFMMEU, has accused internal rivals of crafting a plan with the Coalition to break up the CFMEU, sparking a war of words within the bitterly divided body.
Cait Kelly tells us how a report demonstrates how a human trafficking-style network is feeding international workers to Australian farms, where they’re being exploited, mistreated and threatened – all for less than $10 an hour.
The anti-corruption watchdog found a litany of problems with Victoria Police’s handling of a case involving a serving officer charged with 70 criminal offences after repeatedly bashing his partner. Not a good look.
And now claims of sex discrimination, harassment and victimisation at Ambulance Victoria will be subject to a three-year investigation by Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
Here is John Lord’s second part of his review of 2020, the year that was.
Max Mason reports that Google engineers have been working on a secret project to exclude Australians from improvements to its services if it does not agree with proposed federal laws.
Phil Coorey writes that Daniel Andrews is alone in defending his Belt and Road deal with Beijing, after federal Labor reaffirmed it never supported the arrangement.
The Anzac legend has blinded Australia to its war atrocities. It’s time for a reckoning, say two historians in The Conversation.
Social media is growing, but it appears our ability to critically evaluate it is not keeping pace, writes Anushka Britto.
Patrick Hatch tells us that Qantas is looking to permanently reduce the number of cabin crew on the lucrative Sydney to Melbourne route as it unleashes a massive cost-cutting drive.
In the sub-category of “Idiot Arsehole of the Week” nomination goes to this unfortunate guy.
Joe Biden’s economic team beats Trump’s goon squad – but it faces a steep challenge, warns Robert Reich.
Matthew Knott writes that Trump unleashed a torrent of false and baseless claims about voter fraud at his first campaign rally since the 2020 election while urging Republicans in Georgia to show up to vote in two crucial upcoming Senate elections. Many Republicans are fearful that the way Trump is carrying on will result in their voters not turning out.
Trump’s attacks on election integrity ‘disgust me’, a senior Georgia Republican has said.
Larry Hackett writes that Trump, with an appetite for revenge, wants more.
The London Telegraph explains the three leaving Boris Johnson and Europe deadlocked on Brexit.
Glen Le Lievre
Nothing worthwhile from the US today.
Nothing is ever the CrimeMinister’s fault. He lies constantly and pushes Commonwealth responsibilities onto the states then blames them when things go wrong. He must have been a revolting child, always lying, always blaming others for his problems, never able to tell the truth or admit to a mistake.
A very good thread from Ronni Salt summarising the Keystone Cops antics of the federal and NSW governments in their attempts at arse-covering yesterday.
Now Birmo says they were dual citizens returning from “a break” in Germany which just raises more questions. How did two dual citizens apparently have no problems leaving Australia or flying back in while thousands of Australians stranded overseas, some since March, are unable to return? Who allowed these travellers to book a connecting flight when someone handling bookings should have known all the quarantine requirements? Why were these two apparently unaware of quarantine requirements for those returning from overseas?
And then there’s this story, illustrating how easy it has been for some to flip in and out of Australia –
Arriving in the US from Australia during Covid was like walking through the looking glass
No wonder Australians stuck overseas are angry. They have been lied to again and again. The CrimeMinister promised to get them home by Christmas, then forgot about them. He also promised free quarantine – turns out they will have to pay.
The NYT highlighting some ugly truths . Not going to help the image all the Scotty “So where the bloody hell are you” people try to sell.
The way everyone (even Australian reporters for the NYT) accept the nonsense about Australians loving the “fair go” has always amazed me.
There is nothing fair about Australian society.
An actual statistician looks at polling…
The Secret Sauce in Opinion Polling Can Also Be a Source of Spoilage
On November 6, 2020, I woke up to a flood (for a statistician) of tweets about my 2018 article “Statistical Paradises and Paradoxes in Big Data (I): Law of Large Populations, Big Data Paradox, and the 2016 US Presidential Election.” A kind soul had offered it as an answer to the question: “What’s wrong with polls?” which led to the article going viral.
Some good news for once –
Please note and save this comment for later
The biggest achievement of the Coalition gov’t Cashless Welfare Card will be a great increase crimes such as theft, drug growing and selling car stealing, prostitution by all genders, plus black market cash in hand work , as the poor and disenfranchised find ways of getting cash into their hands.
This will happen even among people who have never done a thing wrong before, as despration takes over.
There will be an increase of beggars on our streets, to get cash to survive.
As a social experiment the Cashless Welfare Card has failure, social harm and civil unrest built in.
The casual observer thinks that cashless welfare card is a good idea to stop wastrels gambling drinking and smoking away their welfare.
When I point out no more shopping at Aldi, Bunnings, Vinnies, garage sales for them they change their tune.
The moral police forget that Newstart, the dole, Job Seeker reverts to $276 per week on Jan 1. Tobacco products now cost $120, so they don’t buy smokes
Andrew Wilkie said in Parliament yesterday that aged pensioners are getting threatening letters, Robodebt style. That will impress the aged pensioner who does a bit of intermittent part time work who imagines they are frugal, hard working and honest
I have been an enthusiastic participant in the cash economy for ages. For many years I sewed dance costumes and was usually paid in cash. I did not specifically ask for cash, it was just how most people paid.
The men who mow my lawn (I’m now up to Bloke No 3) have all asked for cash. I’m happy to pay that way.
When the CDC was first being discussed it was obvious there were ways around it.The obvious one was asking your friends to pay you cash to do their shopping on the card. That way you have cash to spend and they get their groceries.
Nothing solves the real issues with this vile card though. Paying rent is a huge problem unless you are in public housing. Anne Ruston says “they can just use Centrepay”. Real estate agents and private landlords don’t take Centrepay and Indue is infamous for refusing to pay rent on time. People have been evicted for repeatedly failing to pay their rent on time when Indue is to blame. Many estate agents and landlords are now refusing to accept tenants who are on this card because they want rent paid on time, not tangled up in bureaucracy, and I don’t blame them.
Online shopping is a nightmare. The other day the wonderful Kathryn Wilkes gave an example of someone trying to buy a plus-size bra online. Indue declined the payment, despite the constant assurances by Anne Ruston about this card working like a normal debit card. The woman rang Indue, they wanted a photo of the item and the price plus other documentation before they would allow the purchase. This is a regular occurrence.
Only 20% of your payment is put into your own bank account, the rest is on the card. This gives a little cash for spending at markets, on school needs etc in theory, but in reality that money is soon eaten up paying bills Indue refuses to pay via the card.
The whole system is designed to punish people for being poor, disabled or unemployed.
There is talk of a class action being needed, but after the Robodebt debacle where victims ended up with next to nothing and had to pay legal expenses no-one seems really keen to pursue this option.
Good morning Dawn Patrollers
Peter Hartcher describes our former trade relationship with China as a “racket, and he says that the “racket” has fallen apart. It’s an interesting contribution.
And overnight China has slapped on another Australian beef company import ban.
Tensions have resulted in trade restrictions with China, but there may be a silver lining to what seems like an unfavourable economic scenario, writes David Joy.
Eryk Bagshaw reports that former ambassador Dave Sharma says Australian security agencies should harness the Chinese community in the same way they have co-operated with Muslim leaders.
Adam Morton and Katherine Murphy tell us that Scott Morrison does not yet have a speaker’s spot at a global climate ambition summit this weekend despite telling parliament last week he intended to use an appearance at the event to “correct mistruths” about the government’s heavily criticised record on emissions reduction.
According to David Crowe, federal parliament’s peak security committee will be asked to open an immediate inquiry into right-wing extremism amid fears the coronavirus crisis is fuelling conditions that intensify the threat.
Rob Harris writes that David Littleproud says the Nationals leader Michael McCormack will lead the party to the next election if he wants to, ruling out any potential challenge for the job. Harris describes the party as “deeply divided”.
Paul Bongiorno looks at the political “killing season” just being entered.
Household spending is key to our economy, but it is still too early to know what will happen next year, says Greg Jericho.
Matt Johnson explores the changes in household spending on food and drink over the pandemic.
Advertised job vacancies increased by 13.9 per cent in November as Victoria emerged from its protracted lockdown. But in a worrying sign for the economic recovery, part-time jobs are coming back much faster than full-time positions, says Euan Black
Shane Wright explains how things are very different these days when it comes to ratings agencies’ determinations of governments’ credit ratings.
Following on from yesterday’s story from Adele Ferguson, former federal court judge Ray Finkelstein has called on market regulators to make an example of one or two “short and distort” attackers to deter the release of false and misleading research
Katherine Murphy reports that Scott Morrison has written to the clerk of the House of Representatives correcting the record and apologising to Kevin Rudd after declaring erroneously in question time that the former Labor prime minister had been allowed to leave and re-enter Australia during the pandemic.
Nick Bonyhady tries to unpick the logic of Christian Porter’s casual work legislation.
Industrial relations researchers, Stephen Clibborn and Chris F Wright, say that this industrial relations package swings the pendulum too far towards business.
Labor is set to have itself a nervy little Christmas, but it’s not too late to make 2021 sing, opines Chris Wallace.
The Berejiklian government has escaped corruption findings over water allocations but ICAC says biased policies are bringing politics into disrepute, declares the SMH editorial.
The practice of capturing flood waters moving across plains using levees and dams is almost certainly illegal in New South Wales, the state government has been told.
“Should shareholders in buy now, pay later operators such as Afterpay characterise the Reserve Bank’s favourable decision on the sector as a reprieve or a case of good news now, bad news later?”, asks Elizabeth Knight.
And Michael Pasco writes that this is a major backflip from where our central bank was heading last year, a fillip for stockmarket hotshot Afterpay and a feather in the cap for the government wanting less regulation of the for-profit finance sector.
GPs in some Melbourne quarantine hotels will attend to their own patients after they pushed back against government demands that they work exclusively in the hotels.
Now it is revealed that a key Liberal Party fundraising official offered to arrange a meeting between Victorian party leaders Michael O’Brien and Robert Clark and allegedly corrupt developer John Woodman as she sought donations from him and pointed to a “loophole” to avoid public disclosure.
Nick Bonyhady reports that Labor is set to back a government bill allowing unions to split, which is likely to see the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union fragment into several smaller unions, after shadow cabinet gave in-principle support last night.
Experts are nervous many investors and savers are headed for post-work living conditions well below their expectations, but are as divided as ever about the solutions, writes the AFR’s Alecks Vickovich.
Shane Wright tells us how IMF researchers have warned of recession-level impacts from cyber attacks on the financial system, saying more needs to be done by regulators and the industry.
Oil giants Shell, Santos, Woodside and Chevron finance the Bureau of Meteorology. Sandi Keane investigates the influence of the fossil fuel sector over the Bureau’s public documents.
Peter FitzSimons says that the indigenous language anthem at the rugby union Test was a nation-changing moment.
Australia’s debates over falling standards of education seem endless and circular despite the constantly increased funding. Why is it so hard to get the right answers, wonders Jennifer Hewett.
We will save lives in regional Australia by treating drug use as a health issue, not a criminal one, argues the Reverend Simon Hansford.
The home of an accused paedophile has been restrained for the first time using proceeds-of-crime laws, in an “aggressive” new federal police strategy to target the assets of child sex offenders, reports The Australian’s David Murray.
Christiaan De Beukelaer writes about the humanitarian crisis that’s left 400,000 seafarers stuck on cargo ships stranded at sea.
Polly Toynbee thinks that Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal will light the fuse for a Tory civil war.
The New York Times says that the economic recovery, slowing for months, is in danger of going into reverse. That’s why a growing list of economists, business lobbyists and other advocacy groups are urging lawmakers to rally around the $US908 billion (A$1.22 trillion) aid package currently gaining bipartisan support in Congress.
In Trump’s America, Michigan’s secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson, said dozens of armed protesters gathered in a threatening manner outside her home on Saturday evening chanting “bogus” claims about electoral fraud.
Cartoon Corner – David Rowe has gone on leave for some time.
From the US
I have a confession – I have used Afterpay.
I did it to try it out, see how it worked. I could have afforded to pay for my $560 purchase but the offer was there, I knew I could make the repayments, so I thought I’d give it a go.
I was sent a reminder email before each of the four payments were due, then they just came out of my bank account on the day. Easy as!
One thing though – I accidentally timed my purchase so the repayments were due on pension days, which turned out to be a smart thing to do. The money came out of my account before I could spend it on trivia like food and rent. If you want to use this method then make sure to plan for something similar.
I now get emails from Afterpay with tempting offers. I am seriously thinking of using it when I buy the next big appliance, simply because it means I don’t have to take a chunk out of my savings.
A warning – do not use Afterpay if you are not good at budgeting or tend to max out credit cards, it will all end in tears. But if you are like me, used to budgeting, don’t have a credit card, know you can meet the repayments then it can work well. I’d even pay a surcharge to use it.
Yesterday the CrimeMinister mislead parliament.
Either he deliberately chose to lie, assuming he would not be caught out, or he was badly advised by his staff. Guess who will get the blame in the unlikely event he is ever questioned about this?
Under the Westminster system, which Australia follows, deliberately misleading the house is considered so grave it can result in the resignation of whoever commits the offence.
It was not the first time the CrimeMinister has done this. He committed the same offence a year ago. Albo actually made quite a fuss about this but this time he has said nothing.
Scott Morrison accused of misleading Parliament as Labor demands an apology
There was also an accusation of misleading the house over sports rorts, which he denied –
Scott Morrison denies misleading parliament over sports rorts saga
PM’s categorical ‘no’ comes despite fresh evidence his office intervened on behalf of five clubs seeking grants
The usual method of dealing with such an offence is for the offender to make a personal apology in the house. Both times the CrimeMinister has refused to do this, instead preferring to write a letter of apology to the Speaker. Typical of this bastard, I suppose, he never admits to any mistake.
PM apologises for erroneously stating Kevin Rudd had left and re-entered Australia during Covid
Scott Morrison has written to the clerk of the lower house correcting the record and apologising to the former Labor leader
We have no parliamentary standards now, the CrimeMinister and his corrupt ministry do whatever the frack they want and no-one ever says anything.
“Globalization is on its deathbed,” says economist Mike O’Sullivan. The question now is: What’s next? Tracing the historical successes and failures of globalization, O’Sullivan forecasts a new world order where countries come together over shared values rather than geography. Learn how big regional powers like the United States and China will be driven by distinct ways of governing trade, technology and people — while smaller nations will forge new alliances to solve problems.
This is Tempest, a young mum on the Indue card. She explains her problems at a webcast last September.
Anyone who can pay off over $1000 in debt while on this card is more than capable of managing her own finances, but Indue will not allow her off the card because she is, allegedly, incapable of managing her money.
Rachel Maddow (first 6 mins is a book promotion but pertinent to what follows) –
Chris Hayes –
Brian Tyler Cohen (no lie podcast segment) –
Chris Hayes sub –
Andrew Leigh should be Labor leader, but he doesn’t have a chance because of Labor’s stupid faction system.
Seth Meyers –
Jimmy Kimmel –
Anderson Cooper –
Brian Tyler Cohen –
Chuck Yeager, pilot who was first to break sound barrier, dies at 97
Yeager’s postwar exploits took humankind to the brink of space exploration and were immortalised in celebrated book and film The Right Stuff
Forget the postwar stuff, which is extraordinary but well documented. No-one ever mentions his feats during WWII.
Disposed of 5 enemy aircraft in one mission, 2 without firing a shot by making a pilot crash into his wingman. Overall claimed 11.5 official victories. Shot down over France on his eighth mission, after his first kill, escaped to Spain with the assistance of the French Resistance, helped them make bombs on the way, got back to England and carried on flying after successfully challenging a rule forbidding “evaders” – escaped pilots – from flying more missions over enemy territory for fear they might reveal information about the Resistance. Awarded the Bronze Star for helping another flyer who was suffering from hypothermia to get across the Pyrenees.
And that’s just the stuff no-one ever mentions!
Gives new meaning to “a right Charlie.”
Now see this:
Stephen Colbert –
Good morning Dawn Patrollers
Nick Bonyhady reports that businesses will be allowed to strike pay deals that leave some workers worse off as part of a suite of government industrial reforms to help the economy rebound after the coronavirus pandemic and boost enterprise bargaining. He says it sets up a fight with the union movement, which regards the changes as a major attack on workers akin to the Howard government’s controversial WorkChoices laws.
The government starts with a major advantage – it is in the box seat to win the next election. Labor starts weak and uninspired, but with the potential for this fight to give it the spark it needs, writes Peter van Onselen.
Phil Coorey writes that the labour movement has vowed to fight the government’s move to give distressed businesses extra latitude to negotiate workplace agreements which do not comply with the no-worse-off test that underpins the enterprise bargaining system.
Ross Gittins explains how we’re having trouble learning to live without inflation. Now unemployment and underemployment are our dominant worry, he says.
Berejiklian has defended her recent comments about the prevalence of pork barrelling in NSW, saying she was simply being upfront and honest about the political process. Lucy Cormack looks at Gladys’s rather lame excuse.
The Guardian reveals that the expenses watchdog is investigating allegations that the Nationals deliberately scheduled a party room meeting to coincide with the Melbourne Cup so its MPs could attend the race at Flemington while billing taxpayers for their travel. Surely not the Nats!
Rachel Dexter reveals that authorities have confirmed that a man who travelled from the US in July evaded hotel quarantine in Sydney and flew to Melbourne.
On Covid, Paul Kelly writes, “Our record is far from perfect. Australia took too long to fully close the international borders. In the end our geography as an island has helped. Because the states had charge of the medical response the premiers became national figures as the country lurched towards a new states’ rights provincialism that hopefully is a passing phase.”
AstraZeneca and Oxford University have more work to do to confirm whether their COVID-19 vaccine can be 90 per cent effective, peer-reviewed data published in The Lancet shows.
Rachel Clun reports that pharmacists will be able to administer COVID-19 vaccinations when the wider immunisation program begins in mid-2021, but doctor groups believe pharmacies should be excluded because they’re retailers who also sell products.
The government sat on a report into the retirement income system for four months because it was so politically sensitive and then released it on the day the Brereton report into potential war crimes in Afghanistan was released. Harry Chemay looks at what’s at stake in the debate around the rise in superannuation guarantee levy.
The federal government will immediately examine whether it should scrap Victoria’s Belt and Road agreement with China, as one of Australia’s top national security academics says states must equip themselves with national security units to better manage foreign influence.
David Crowe and Nick O’Malley tell us that Scott Morrison has confirmed his ambition to cut Australian greenhouse gas emissions without relying on disputed credits from old climate change accords, as he prepares to take the message to a global summit within days.
Following the Rudd petition, Rudd and Turnbull could further extend their example to inspire bipartisan action on climate policy and sustainability, writes Dr David Shearman.
Quentin Dempster has a close look at Fletcher’s letter to Ita Buttrose and what it means.
Stephen Bartholomeusz has penned an informative article on the imbalance in trade that has occurred by a resurgent China and he looks at alternative means of responding to it.
And Tony Walker provides us with a timeline of a broken relationship – how China and Australia went from chilly to barely speaking.
Many people seem to think Morrison is a good leader. Others think he is a prick. Either way, he has lasted longer as PM than anyone – prick or otherwise – could have imagined. David Donovan and Michelle Pini delve deep to uncover the truth.
The AFR’s Lucas Baird writes that a veteran of the 1998 waterfront dispute will lead the charge for the TWU in the Federal Court as it tests Qantas’ decision to outsource thousands of staff.
Paul Sakaal reports that the Andrews government intends to push its controversial ban on all forms of gay conversion through the state lower house this week before Parliament rises for Christmas, as key crossbench MPs in the upper house commit to backing the laws in a vote early next year.
Nathan Despott and Chris Csabs write that Victoria’s conversion bill is world-leading legislation and they say every state and territory should follow suit to criminalise dangerous conversion practices.
According to Nick Bonyhady, a national union boss has savaged federal Labor’s broad support for a government bill that will allow merged unions to split up, saying the party is being short-sighted to back a law that could hurt the union movement.
The government department which paid $30 million for a block of land later valued at just $3 million may have misled the Auditor-General about consulting finance officials over its valuation strategy, reveals the AFR’s Ronald Mizen.
Despite the pandemic, the number of Australians with private cover is higher now than in any of the four previous quarters, reports Joel Gibson.
Tom Cowie tells us about a current court case that could be key in protecting a landmark court ruling that paved the way for sex abuse victims to seek more compensation even if they had already signed away their rights to sue.
Rob Harris reports on Australia’s leading supermarkets, retail stores and mining companies uncovering hundreds of cases of modern slavery throughout supply chains, severing ties with third-party contractors, negotiating pay increases and forcing the return of confiscated passports to migrant workers.
Sarah Danckert writes that a group of some of the most senior investment bankers in the country have been committed to stand trial on criminal charges over an alleged capital raising cartel. This is heavy shit.
What is the future for cemeteries?
Dubbo’s Stephen Lawrence says that the Nationals against drug reform are out of step with rural communities.
Christopher Krebs, who was fired by Trump last month, said he had been “bombarded” with death threats, harassment and being branded a traitor. He has lobbed law suits on the Trump campaign. A lawyer and the conservative TV station Newsmax.
The future of Britain’s relationship with the rest of Europe will hang on the success of a dinner between Boris Johnson and Ursula von der Leyen in Brussels today, it has emerged, as the EU’s chief negotiator warned the chance of a Brexit deal was now “very slim”.
Glen Le Lievre
From the US
Either Albo is doing something right and Liberal Party polling reflects that or the CrimeMinister is in urgent need of a distraction. Or both.
Because both Nine and the Murdoch rags are awash with Labor leadership stories today. There is so much going on right now in politics, so much that needs comment, yet the usual suspects have decided crap about Labor’s alleged woes is front page news. It seems the CrimeMinister’s pet hacks have been fed stories about these alleged problems in an attempt to reinforce the tired old view about Labor constantly changing leaders. Starting rumours seems to be the only thing the PMO team can come up with.
The CrimeMinister has received a resounding slap across the chops by being refused (so far) a speaker’s spot at Friday’s global climate summit. He has been invited, but not to speak. Nevertheless he plans to use the summit to make an announcement (yes, another one) about his plans to ditch Kyoto credits. It’s just more attention-seeking.
Morrison yet to be granted speaking slot at climate summit he vowed to attend
Australian PM last week insisted he would address forum to ‘correct mistruths’ about Coalition’s action on emissions
Australia drops plan to use Kyoto credits to meet Paris climate target
Tuned in this morning to the Aus Institute webinar with Laura Tingle discussing her Quarterly Essay ‘The High Road, What Australia can learn from NZ’. (Don’t tell the boss I wasn’t wkg!)
Highly recommend listing to the podcast when they post it on their website. ( I’m only a dozen pages into the essay itself.)
I’ve been following nz news a lot since deciding a couple of years ago to make nz my first choice for retirement and the topics discussed reflect the questions / thoughts I have had comparing the politics, media, culture etc.
Have thought a lot lately that perhaps Aus should move to a proportional system… but aus politics & media is so rancorous and focused on trivia & gotchas that there is no chance of even having a civilised & nuanced debate about anything, let alone something as radical as changing our electoral system.
kaffeeklatscher – if you have time to listen to the podcast, would be interested in your thoughts.
Will tune in to these more often in the new year as its a pleasant change to listen to a civilised panel discussion of current affairs & now I work from home 2 days a week, I can listen without interruptions (or the boss noticing!).
BK’s intro to the Independent Australia article suggests Morrison is a prick. I go further than that, He’s an arrogant prick. Elsewhere some say that Labor is heading for another term of opposition.
I am a glass half full person. Arrogant pricks do come undone. Eventually Morrison’s arrogance will cause him to piss off either the right wing loons, the billionaires, or both. Already it is regularly reported that many of the Parliamentary LNP hate his guts.
My true dream is that the ALP forms a workable government and then immediately establishes a series of Royal Commissions that will bury these arseholes for eternity. Change the government, change the county. (That’s my new election slogan)
The arrogant prick became very, very cranky in QY yesterday after Labor started off by asking him some questions he did not like. If they can keep this up today and tomorrow we might see an explosion in parliament. He cannot take criticism, Labor exploits this well.
“We don’t tell people how to spend their money.”
Paywalled, but here’s the gist –
Canavan brother’s coal company collapses
Matt might like to review his new Twitter photo that shows him with (alleged) coal dust (or makeup) on his face and wearing hi-vis. His cos-playing as a miner might upset his brother.
Chris Hayes –
Jonathan Pie –
Rachel Maddow –
Ari Melbur –
Brian Tyler Cohen –
Stephen Colbert –
Jimmy Kimmel –
And that is a fight that JWH lost. The current CrimeMinister has nowhere that bastard’s nous. He’ll lose.
And another, a bit different
An honourable man.
As, leone, as we are of an age … who remember stuff.
PS: my daughter introduced me to that word. It is very useful in cognizant company.
Good morning Dawn Patrollers
Katina Curtis reports that the cashless debit card will stay a feature of Australian welfare for another two years after the Morrison government compromised in its bid to make it permanent. Centre Alliance senator Stirling Griff abstained from a series of votes in the early hours of Thursday morning, giving the government the numbers it needed to pass the bills.
Nick Bonyhady tells us that Scott Morrison is facing a ferocious political fight to pass divisive changes to workplace laws as unions accuse him of launching a dangerous reform and Labor warns of pay cuts for ordinary workers.
Attorney-General Christian Porter could dump contentious industrial relations changes that risk some employees being worse off to ensure passage of the Coalition’s workplace bill and head off a Work Choices-style political attack, writes The Australian’s Ewin Hannan.
Labor, unions and the Morrison government have clashed repeatedly in an escalating row over proposed industrial relations changes that are the most significant since WorkChoices. Labor has seized on the opportunity for a political contest on its preferred ground of workers’ rights, accusing the government of giving frontline workers a Christmas gift of pay cuts in a bid to shore up Australian businesses, writes Paul Karp.
So much for consensus: the Morrison government’s industrial relations bill is a business wish list, says Jim Stanford.
William Olson writes about the unflappable unions remaining focused against the IR reform bills.
The AFR tells us that some experts are saying that the Morrison government’s attempts to retrospectively strip billions of dollars in casual worker claims for permanent benefits could face constitutional hurdles and, even if legal, might not stop several class actions.
The federal government may amend or even dump a key irritant in its industrial relations bill if that is what it takes to get the package of reforms through the Parliament, writes Phil Coorey.
Niki Savva says that Ita Buttrose is not for backing down on the government’s criticisms of the Four Corners program.
David Crowe reports that a new federal inquiry will examine the rise of right-wing extremism after Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton agreed to Labor calls for more attention to the threat amid fears the pandemic could accelerate its growth.
China is increasing the list of companies and goods it is targeting. Our trade relationship is not on a good trajectory!
Tim Flannery writes that with all our major trading partners and strategic allies now stepping up their commitments to climate action, Australia faces a diplomatic firestorm, not to mention decades of economic fallout if it fails to act.
Giant industry superannuation fund AustralianSuper’s spurned $5.1 billion bid for New Zealand infrastructure group Infratil demonstrates how an incoherent national energy policy has trashed investment opportunities, explains Rod Meyer.
The Independent Australia says that Murdoch and the Nationals are joining forces against NSW and “renewable energy stuff”.
Anne Davies reports that a New South Wales inquiry into the allocation of more than $252m of local government grants has heard the premier, Gladys Berejiklian, announced $255,000 for a council in the seat of Wagga Wagga during the 2018 by-election, months before the application was lodged and processed. Top effort!
Katherine Murphy tells us that the Senate has passed a motion directing Bridget McKenzie to appear before a select committee investigating the sports grants imbroglio no later than 12 February to answer questions about her administration of the scheme. McKenzie had earlier declined to appear before the committee in response to a request that she make herself available in the first week of February. Popcorn time – if she turns up, that is!
WA Premier Mark McGowan won’t attend the first in-person National Cabinet meeting to avoid being in the same room as his South Australian counterpart Steven Marshall. Has McGowan jumped the shark here?
The SMH editorial says that there is a fine balance between relaxing penalties for younger people caught with drugs and being tough on criminal activity. It wants to see that reforms aim to keep small drug users out of court
Katherine Murphy takes us through the report on the federal government’s response to Covid-19. The Labor-chaired committee found there was a failure to anticipate crippling staff shortages and high demand for protective equipment.
The AIMN’s Grumpy Geezer reviews 2020 and the anus horribilis.
Greg Jericho writes that, looking at Australia’s house prices, one could be forgiven for wondering, ‘what recession?’.
Job seekers with disabilities claim job providers are cutting their Centrelink payments when they have missed appointments due to illness and finding them work in inaccessible workplaces, explains Vanessa Jo Di Natale.
Samantha Dick tells us that a new report by Macquarie University has revealed major chocolate producers such as Nestle, Hershey, Mondelez (which owns Cadbury) and Mars are still sourcing cocoa from Ivory Coast, a small African country where child labour and slavery is rife.
The Juukan Gorge inquiry puts Rio Tinto on notice, but without drastic reforms, it could happen again, explain these contributors to The Conversation.
Stephen Bartholomeusz looks at what a plunging US dollar might mean for Australia.
The source of coronavirus infections could be uncovered within four hours using a new genome sequencing strategy developed by Sydney researchers. Collaborating with NSW Health Pathology, researchers at St Vincent’s Hospital’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research and UNSW’s Kirby Institute have adapted an existing sequencing technology to trace coronavirus infections more quickly. Impressive.
Taking climate action doesn’t destroy jobs – they depend on it, declares Jess Irvine.
Scott Morrison is unlikely to win a last-minute speaking slot at a global leaders’ climate ambition summit as his government has failed to meet the demands set by the event organisers, a long-time advisor at international talks says.
Until recently, pressure on Australia to drop carryover credits had little impact. But times change, explains Richard Denniss.
Australia’s hottest spring on record, which saw temperatures more than 2C above average, would have been “virtually impossible” without human-caused climate change, new analysis has found.
Private debt collectors handed million-dollar government contracts by Services Australia will face penalties if they don’t claw back enough money, in a move that has “appalled” critics, writes Luke Henriques-Gomes. He tells us that tender documents show the three collection agencies who win three-year contracts to pursue individuals over Centrelink debts will be subjected to “specific performance targets”, including the performance of other collection agencies. What could possibly go wrong?
The Bew Daily looks closely at the targets Centrelink will put on the debt collecting agencies.
Royce Millar reports that the Australian representative of a Kuwaiti sheikh cannot account for $230,000 in cash that he claimed was held in his safe at home as repayment of a loan he made to sacked Casey mayor Sam Aziz. This inquiry is proving to be a ripper!
The federal government was wrong to suppress an audit report critical of a $1.3bn arms deal to protect a weapon maker’s export prospects, a tribunal has ruled. In 2018 the attorney general, Christian Porter, took the remarkable and largely unprecedented step of redacting parts of an auditor general’s report that examined the government’s purchase of a new fleet of Hawkei combat vehicles from French manufacturer Thales.
The AFR bestows its annual Drumstick Awards for the five worst corporate stuff ups of 2020.
Tom McIlroy explains how the ATO is cracking down on ‘contrived’ diverted profit tax schemes. I hope they succeed.
The SMH reveals that Police Minister David Elliott referred complaints about the inappropriate behaviour of a Sydney deputy principal to Education Minister Sarah Mitchell 18 months before the man was arrested for attempting to lure a 14-year-old girl for sex. Despite Elliott’s representations, Mr Wanstall, 47, remained at the school until he was stung by a police operation on Tuesday and charged with online child exploitation offences.
Peter Lewis tells us why the world may follow our lead on Google and Facebook.
In the space of a week, two high-profile jury trials involving sexual assault charges have ended in a “hung jury” – meaning that the jury was unable to reach a verdict. It is reasonable to ponder, given these outcomes in the de Belin/Sinclair and Hayne cases, what they tell us about the NSW criminal justice system.
Pru Goward wonders why the NRL has failed to ‘train’ players to respect women.
Australia’s fertility rate was falling even before the coronavirus pandemic as couples across the nation gave up on the idea of having more children, explain Shane Wright, Rachel Clun and Esther Han.
The London Telegraph’s Philip Johnston says Europe brought down six Tory PMs and he wonders if Boris Johnson be next.
Under Boris Johnson, corruption is taking hold in Britain, writes Gina Miller who says that cronyism is rife, our system of checks and balances is being dismantled, and ordinary people will soon start to suffer.
Trump’s campaign to subvert the will of voters and reverse his re-election loss to Democrat Joe Biden is taking hold among state and local Republicans even as it marches toward imminent failure — a demonstration of Trump’s power to bend the GOP to his will even as he leaves office.
Only in Trump’s Operation Warped Reality is his vaccine leadership a success, says Richard Wolffe.
After her father’s humiliating presidential loss in early November, all eyes have been on Ivanka Trump to see exactly what she’ll do next. It seems Trump and husband Jared Kushner’s post-White House life has finally been decided, and it includes relocating to an exclusive private island known as the Billionaires’ Bunker.
This former “Arsehole of the Week” nominee continues to wreak havoc from inside high security prison.
Glen Le Lievre (with one cracker of a gif)
From the US
I think it is time for a Xmas, New year thread-starter,please.
Anyone who supports Centre Alliance needs their head read after last night’s abysmal performance by Sterling Griff in the debate on the Social Security (Administration) Amendment (Continuation of Cashless Welfare) Bill 2020
Griff did a deal with the government and abstained from voting after spending the day giving the impression he was going to vote against this bill. If he had voted against it the bill would not have passed.
There are around 400,000 Australians (plus their families) in tears today because they are stuck with this vile card for another two years.
Thanks so much, Senator Griff. Your weakness has caused immense disappointment and anguish.
Labor now has an excellent campaign tool to use against the government – getting rid of the card and the the government’s plan to roll it out across the country to everyone on social security.
I stayed up watching the debate until 11.30 last night, well after it became clear the bill itself had passed the Senate and they were arguing about how long the card would be extended. At least the government didn’t get its wish to make the card permanent. It would have been far better to have it cancelled.
So what was Griff promised? A handful of magic beans again?
He has made Rebekha Sharkie look like a fool. She had said neither she nor Griff supported the bill. Sharkie had voted against it in the Reps. Did she agree to Griff’s cave-in or did he betray her too? Where does that leave her? Heading for the crossbench maybe?
The stars of the night were Rex Patrick and Jacqui Lambie. Lambie stuck with her announcement yesterday to vote against the bill and gave an emotional speech. Patrick did not reveal his vote until his speech, although it was clear earlier he was not happy with the bill.
Well isn’t our government doing an outstanding job!
Negotiates an omnibus industrial relations bill with unions, Labor says it will support it, then AFTER all the negotiations have finished the government decides to play silly buggers by cleverly including an extra part at the request of business. Result – instant warfare with unions up in arms, Labor withdrawing support and talk of the new WorkChoices.
Doesn’t have a climate policy, insists that coal and gas are important and then wonders why the rest of the world now sees Australia as a pariah and overseas companies won’t invest here.
Doesn’t realise the US signed a trade deal with China early this year and is desperate to steal our Chnese trade. Does Trump’s bidding, not realising they are being played and trash-talks China, aided by hysteria from the MSM. China cancels more and more of our exports and opts for US replacement products.
The extreme right-wing Dutton starts bleating about right-wing extremism and its dangers, probably because (a) he hasn’t has a favourable headline for ages and (b) he wants to distract attention from 2 little girls and their parents spending their second Christmas on Christmas Island and notching up 1000+ days in detention. Notice how this government always drags out a scare campaign when they are in trouble? It used to be asylum seekers, then terrorists, now it’s “right-wing extremists” which is odd considering those same extremists vote conservative, if they vote at all.
And that’s just for starters.
A parting gift from Mungo MacCallum, courtesy of Situation Theatre –
Actually all of it was left out – must have been too explicit for genteel, conservative-voting SMH readers.
Excellent personal tribute from David Lovejoy of the Byron Echo –
Vale Mungo MacCallum
Rudi the Superspreader.
Chris Hayes –
Rachel Maddow –
Subs for Chris Hayes –
Another surveillance bill waved through both houses today –
Only Dr Helen Haines, Adam Bandt and Andrew Wilkie voted against it in the Reps, only the Greens were against in the Senate.
Here are the details –
Here’s what the Law Council of Australia thinks of it –
The Law Council made 78 recommendations for amendments, none were acted on. Some government amendments were made in the Reps but the bill passed the Senate without further amendment.
Why does Labor always support these nasty bills? This time the government refused to allow Labor
leave to even move amendments in the Senate, let alone debate them, so why vote for it?
Some answers to the question………..
What Motivates COVID Rule Breakers?
In early 2020, as the coronavirus was racing through Europe and North America, we helped gather more than 100 colleagues from around the world to measure how people were responding to the pandemic. With prosocial behaviors such as social distancing, frequent handwashing and mask-wearing the best tools against the virus, we wanted to understand why some people follow government rules and others don’t. Now, with 60,000 responses from more than 30 countries, preliminary results are in,
1. My rights!
2. Don’t tell me what to do!
Seth Meyers –
Stephen Colbert –
Jimmy Kimmel –
Chris Cuomo –
Ari Melbur –
Rebekha Sharkie seemed to be taking a sickie today too – at least, she wasn’t voting on anything.
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