Around the blogs

Kaye Lee – Honesty…what’s that?

When the Charter of Budget Honesty was introduced by the Howard/Costello government in 1998 it was intended to provide a framework for the conduct of Government fiscal policy. “The purpose of the Charter is to improve fiscal policy outcomes. The Charter provides for this by requiring fiscal strategy to be based…

Edward Eastwood – Waiting To Exhale – Joe Hockey’s Delicate Condition

All political parties have their heroes. Figures who tower over other former leaders. For the ALP it’s Gough Whitlam. For the modern version of the LNP, it’s John Howard and Howard’s own hero – Bob Menzies. Menzies still casts a long shadow over the LNP, and over post-war Australian history…

Rossleigh – Liberals Complain That The Facts Are Showing A Distinct Bias Against Them!

Interviewer: Good morning, today we have the Treasurer of Australia, Mr Hoe Jockey, Good morning, Mr Jockey.
Jockey: Good morning.
Interviewer: Now, apparently while you were in New Zealand, you were quoted as saying that the Budget was not in crisis…
Jockey: Sorry, where did you get this information?
Interviewer: Well, it’s been reported in a number of newspapers, as well as appearing on the Internet.
Jockey: Amazing. You mean something that I say in another country can make it’s way all the way to Australia?
Interviewer: Of course…

The Political Sword
2353 – You reap what you sow

During the June prior to Senate changeovers, as June 2014 is, it is traditional for retiring senators to give a valedictory speech. Senator Ron Boswell (LNP Queensland) gave his speech on 17 June after 31 years in the Senate. Although never a cabinet minister, Boswell is renowned for fighting off a challenge from Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party in 2004. Boswell’s television advertising in the 2004 election campaign was corny but apparently successful.

Something new from the amazing Casablanca – Casablanca’s Specials. This is really worth checking out:

This is how Ad Astra introduced Casablanca’s Specials:

Casablanca’s creative brilliance is in evidence again with her latest innovation: CASABLANCA’S SPECIALS, which you will find permanently displayed in the Page List in the left panel.

Under this heading she is progressively assembling clusters of links on a series of subjects. The concept is to enable readers to easily examine specific issues in great detail. No longer will they need to sort through many web pages to find links on the subject. They will be there in profusion in the one place, classified into logical categories, the headings of which are bookmarked to the corresponding place in the text.

As is the case with CASABLANCA’S CACHE, you will see it as another great time saver. You will find it invaluable not only because it provides a detailed coverage of individual topics of major political importance, but also because it will be a priceless resource when you are writing comments on the subject, or original pieces.

The first item in CASABLANCA’S SPECIALS is an item that has been featured in the Page List for some time: ‘ABBOTT’S REPORT CARDS: Lies & Unfair Policies’, one that invites regular additions!

Recently she has added ‘Piketty Un-picked’, a collection of over a hundred items relating to Thomas Piketty’s bestseller: Capital in the Twenty-First Century, which highlights the genesis of inequality. This is an outstanding assembly of excellent links.

She has also created ‘Co-Payment Cache’, which aggregates items about the $7 co-payment for medical services, which you will find informative.

She is currently preparing a collection of items about climate change, to which we can look forward with keen anticipation at this crucial time as our government takes our nation backwards.

Please join me in congratulating Casablanca on this significant innovation, which will be so useful to us all, and in thanking her for all the effort she has put into the initial collections.

Ad astra

Please add your favourites from the blogosphere in comments.


122 comments on “Around the blogs

  1. Independent Australia
    Barry Everingham – Open letter to ‘psychotic’ Scott Morrison

    Senior correspondent Barry Everingham has penned an open letter to Australia’s unhinged Immigration Minister Scott ‘the Christian’ Morrison.

    Rodney E. Lever – Murdoch and Abbott: Climate change denialist flat-earthers

    It is impossible to speak sense to committed climate change deniers like Rupert Murdoch and Tony Abbott, writes Rodney E. Lever.

    David Donovan – Shocking Joe Hockey admits the ‘budget emergency’ was a lie

    Treasurer Joe Hockey admits to a New Zealand audience there never was any Australian budget emergency, yet the ABC don’t think that’s newsworthy. Managing […]

  2. Happy Birthday Truth Seeker!

    What a bloody mess we’re in!

    This poem was written for no other reason, than it’s my birthday, so I can… And seeing as how we are now subjected to the long, winter break, and politically it’s that time when politicians play the junket game, heading off to the warmer climes of the northern hemisphere summer, or just playing hide and seek, with their electorates and constituents! 😯

    So to fill the gap for those alleged reporters of news, who regularly neglect their duty to their readers/listeners/viewers, by beating up “nothing” stories, or ignoring the stories that don’t suit their agendas (Like Hockey telling the truth about “No budget emergency”, to the Kiwis… WTF?), I thought I would go for something completely different, and try a “Look over here” moment 😯

  3. Bacchus, thanks mate 😀 My birthday’s tomorrow, but I got the poem finished earlier that I thought, so I posted it as soon as Mrs Truthy gave it the thumbs up 😀 (She always gets to hear the poems first 😉 )

    Cheers mate 🙂

  4. Bill Mitchell – UK growth not all that it seems

    The British Office of National Statistics published the – Gross Domestic Product Preliminary Estimate, Q2 2014 – last Friday (July 25, 2014), which showed that real GDP growth was 0.8 per cent in the second-quarter building on the same result in the first-quarter. It is also the first quarter than the British economy has reached the peak value in March 2008 some 6 years and 1 quarter to get back to square one. On the surface it is a reasonable result but focusing on the headline figure misses some of the salient points that the British government certainly doesn’t want to advertise. The following blog provides some other perspectives some pointing out the deficiencies in just focusing on the headline GDP figure and others looking at other measures. Overall, what growth there is in the UK appears on the surface to being hijacked by high income earners and corporations.

  5. AIMN
    John Lord – A Short Response to “My Last Post”

    I have been a regular user of social media since 2010. After a period of time I began to post my political observations and my quotations on Facebook and Twitter (I had been in the habit of writing them down over many years) under the titles MY THOUGHT FOR THE DAY or AND ANOTHER THOUGHT. Here are two recent examples.

  6. AIMN
    Kay Rollison – Book Review: All the Birds Singing, by Evie Wyld

    All the Birds Singing is the winner of the 2014 Miles Franklin Literary Award, given to a book judged to be ‘of the highest literary merit’ which presents ‘Australian Life in any of its phases’. I don’t have a very good history with literary prize winning books, and I’ve only read one of the other five short-listed books – Eyrie, by Tim Winton (and you can see my post on that book here). But I think this time they’ve got it right. I can’t really say I enjoyed the book, but I found it utterly compelling.

  7. Independent Australia
    Lyn Bender – Tony Abbott: Israel right or wrong

    While the Palestinian Holocaust continues, with the death toll in Gaza reaching 1,360 – mostly civilian women and children – Prime […]

    Tess Lawrence – WikiLeaks Suppression Order defies democracy

    Thanks to revelations today by WikiLeaks, the wider world is now privy to an outrageous Suppression Order issued by the Victorian Supreme Court, writes […]

    Peter Wicks – TURC turnabout: Kathy chokes on her whistle

    Kathy Jackson melted down yesterday in the union Royal Commission as it dawned on her that her self-professed whistleblower status was not going to save her. […]

  8. A new piece at The Political Sword tonight from Ken Wolff will be of interest to Café Whispers/Cellar Dwellers who enjoyed Miglo’s articles on Aboriginal affairs.

    Ken spent 30+ years working in “Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander affairs” so has a exceptional insight into what works and where governments of all persuasions have gone wrong.

    I strongly recommend this piece to all!

  9. It seems love of the budget, is I not growing. Happens wen one gives no information, keeping all secret.

    …….”Mr Hockey is asking if there’s an alternative plan for fixing the budget deficit. There are a raft of ideas, starting with the billions of dollars of tax concessions for higher-income earners and wealthy retirees.”

    The government’s secrecy about its modelling of the impact of the budget on households is unusual. This year’s was the first budget since 2004 to be presented without detailed tables showing the projected change in the real disposable incomes of different family types…………

    Read more:

  10. Just a mean tricky budget. Most cuts are just not worth fighting for. Very little of the budget is.

    ……..A big reason Joe Hockey isn’t getting much support from independent observers like me in his battle to get the budget through the Senate is that so few of his contentious measures are worth fighting for.

    If he were facing opposition from vested interests struggling to protect their privilege, or even just unthinking populism from the punters, it would be a different matter.

    For a bit I thought I’d be in the trenches with him defending a plan to impose a temporary deficit levy on individuals with incomes above $80,000 a year but, as we now know, his boss insisted on lifting the threshold to a far-less-contentious $180,000 a year.

    What would have made the lower threshold defensible is the inconvenient truth that so much of our present distance from budget surplus is explained by the folly of eight tax cuts in a row, the savings from which were skewed in favour of higher income-earners. This would have clawed back a bit of …

    Read more:

  11. Could Morrison be charged with contempt court, with some of what occurred on that boats coming out.
    Seems Labor left this nation with one of the lowest smoking rates in the world. Another success.

  12. This is where Abbott launched his Grtee Army Another useless stunt.


    Tony Abbott plants a tree at Carss Bush Park, in the south of Sydney, for Saturday’s launch of the Green Army initiative. Photograph: Britta Campion/AAP

    About 15,000 young Australians will be mobilised for the government’s Green Army and get their hands dirty on environmental projects for a weekly wage of up to $500.

    The Abbott government’s Green Army initiative, launched in Sydney on Saturday, will involve 1500 projects implemented over the next three years.

    The scheme will involve 17 to 24 year olds working on 20- to 26-week-long projects, including koala habitat restoration, revegetation, and restoring culturally significant sites.

  13. ‘Frances-gate’, just shows what a load of shonks are “the abbotts”, one wonders whether tones will be bought undone by his own daughter 😮
    ….I will laugh the same laugh I laughed when little johnny lost his seat if that happens…it is indeed more proof that this government with their elitist ways, needs to GO, they are just rorters…… or to put it another way, ‘they are right wingers’ or RWer’s = rorters….. mob of bloody crooks ‘continually’ on the take, which is typical of their “leaner’s” mentality. 😡

  14. :LOVO, chickens seem to be coming home to roost everywhere. Never seen a government get so little support and so much criticism from their own side.

    At last some in the media are loosening their tongues. Still silence from back benchers, though some say, the noise is deafening within the government.

  15. Link is a bit old now, but should serve as a reminder that abbott does not have anything like a mandate 🙄
    “Lazy analysis that took national polling numbers and laid them over the Mackerass pendulum without any understanding of local conditions allowed this Chicken-Little number-crunching to crowd out how policy was affecting people’s day-to-day lives.

    Eventually someone is going to have to call bullshit on the cottage industry of nationwide polling as anything more than a vehicle for hack journalists to meet a deadline. Regional swings and variations are far more definitive than any blanket national assessment. ”

  16. Why are the Americans here to talk defence, when the Operations Team Leader taken himself aboard?

  17. Does he have what it takes. Suspect not.

    ………..The key to political survival is knowing when to hold ’em or fold ’em, or creating a distraction when needed. The Government tried all three last week, to varying degrees of success, writes Paula Matthewson.

    Political longevity comes, in no small part, from a government’s ability to survive its mistakes – the self-inflicted stumbles, dramas and crises that diminish it in the eyes of voters.

    The key to survival is often a matter of knowing the right time to stick to one’s guns and when to cut one’s losses and move on.

    The third approach is to create a diversion. A well-executed diversion can take the heat out of an issue by drawing the attention of the media and public away from the troublesome matter at hand. This creates space in which to find the necessary course corrections……….>/blockquote>

  18. Team Abbott; adults emulating really silly private school boys- …on the take 😮 …. who’d a thunk 😕 🙄 ……. I bet a lot of aussies’ are think’n that Julia’s lookin pretty good about now :/
    “Over the next couple of years, the composition of the Senate will see some of Abbott’s sillier legislation defeated. But that will not change the character and style of his team. The prime minister has indicated he is incapable of learning. He governs like a student politician.

    He appears to have no capacity for introspection or even to listen to the words he utters. For instance, he says Australia is assisting with humanitarian assistance in Iraq because we are a caring nation, at the same time as he lets distressed men, women and children – many of them Iraqis – lose their minds in detention.

    His predilection for playing fast and loose with the truth, occasionally contradicting his own statements within days or even hours, indicates a degree of immaturity not seen in an Australian prime minister since Billy McMahon ”

  19. Please, Abbott is nothing like McMahon. He is in a class of his own. McMahon was useless, never destructive,

    We have Abbno0tt crossing the globe, looking for his Twin Towers,. Every time he thinks he has found it, it slips from his grasp. All we are left with, is Abbott’s me. me. me. look at me, look at me.

    Leaders in the countries he visits, do not seem to have time to meet with Abbott. Well at least in public for for a photo op.

    While at home, his government lurches from one calamity to another. W have Kerry and his security people left in Limbo why Abbott continues his travels.

    This is the second time he has taken of, on a global tour with no planned agenda. Meetings are arranged on the run.

    (On the 18th next month, he will have been in the drivers seat fr year. What has he achieved in that time, except for closing down numerous government services and sacking thousands.

    As far as the rescues of the bodies in the Ukraine, Abbott was definitely held at arms length. He was on the outside of the tent, with the megaphone, screaming, bullying and threatening, while the Dutch and Malaysians got on with the job,.

    Maybe we will fin out one day what the 500+ actually did. Might even find out when most come home. We know no armed military was let into the disaster zone. We know only a small number of police were.

    We o only a vey small number are helping with the identification of the bodies. That is a long way from 500+

    Why is everything this government does, a secret. Why is anything hidden.

  20. If we are a caring nation, the refugee figures would have been raised from 20,000 to near 30,000 as Labor intended,. Not bought back to a little under 14,000.

    It manet we could have kept our word, to our near neighbours, allowing many more to come from the camps they have been stranded in for a decade or more.

    Those, the sailed around the ocean for a month, included 18 year olds, that were born in that camp in India. By the way, I believe many were Christians.

  21. The secrecy in this government is becoming ridiculous, as Hockey’s apology today.

    …………Reporters travelled to Ukraine to tell the story of Australia’s admirable, risky, heart-breaking MH17 mission. But secrecy from AFP and DFAT put their safety at risk, writes Stephen McDonell.

    Australian government secrecy in a war zone can become dangerous.

    Departments have developed a default position of mistrust towards journalists. This may be seen as harmless enough in certain circumstances, but in a conflict zone it is a different story.

    Reporters experienced this firsthand when trying to report on the MH17 recovery effort in Eastern Ukraine.

    Despite their best efforts, the Dutch and Australian investigators (working with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE) have had to pull out of Ukraine due to safety fears. They tried and tried to push through to the crash site in order to search for the remains of those who died when their passenger plane was shot down. On a few days they did make through – even if only for a matter of hours at a time.

    It was always going to be a supremely difficult task to comb over a huge area smack in the middle of an active war. The initial hope that the team could also carry out some type of crime scene investigation was shelved.

    When the final decision came to leave, we heard about it in the form of a public announcement from the Dutch prime minister.

    Now that all but a handful of inspectors have left the country, it’s perhaps time to reflect on this question of secrecy.

    A paranoid approach to journalists, especially in certain departments, is not something that has suddenly sprung up. It’s been growing for years under governments of all shades and has now reached ridiculous and, as I say, dangerous levels.

    During the MH17 recovery operation in Ukraine, journalists often gave the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) information that we had gathered about the moving frontline or conditions along the various routes to the wreckage zone. But on a number of occasions, neither the AFP nor DFAT would pass on to us even the most basic safety information.

    For me, the most glaring example of this came when we arrived on the morning of August 1 to follow the full international police convoy out of rebel-held Donetsk across two battle fronts and into the crash area. We didn’t know that the Australian team was about to drive out of the city for the last time. They had decided to shift base to a safer location closer to the crash site, and had clearly decided that we didn’t need to know this.

    This information was kept from us despite the fact that the Australian journalists in the city had repeatedly asked to be given – for security reasons – advanced notice of any move out of Donetsk.

    A fully-fledged battle for control of the rebel stronghold was on its way. You could already hear the clashes on the outskirts. So, if the Australian contingent had decided to leave, you can see why Australian journalists might have wanted to know.

    Every day the Australian and Dutch Police, with the help of the OSCE, negotiated a safe passageway for their people into the huge crash area. Both the Ukrainian government troops and rebel fighters agreed to not fire on their convoy and to not fight over the specific piece of ground where they were working … but only these exact locations.

  22. Yes Florence – EVERY day we get more evidence that this is without doubt the worst Australian government in our history. When will the nightmare end? 👿

  23. A few facts for Mr Hockey.
    Lets assume that an average family drives 500km per week covering work ( or looking for jobs and interviews if unemployed), children and school, appointments, shopping for food and paying bills. Necessities not niceties.
    Their car takes 10litres to travel 100km. at $1.50 per litre the cost is $3,900 per annum.
    On a salary of $100,000 that equates to 5.34% of net income. For a necessity
    On a salary of $50,000 that equates to 9.46% of net income. For a necessity
    On unemployment that equates to 27% of net income. For a necessity

    Now Mr Hockey please explain how your new petrol tax is progressive and not regressive.

  24. Funny how Hockey is in trouble for the one thing in the budget, that would not have cause him much trouble. Maybe it should have been extended across the economy, Should not have been contained to roads,, but to public transport as well.

    It was Hockey that raised the issue, in an attempt to prove the budget is fair.,

  25. An excellent piece from Ad Astra at The Political Sword this week.
    What is the Hockey budget all about?

    There is a surprising consensus among political commentators, economists, the Federal Treasury and the people about the effects of the budget, namely that it disproportionately penalises the middle and lower income earners. Proportionately, the wealthy are penalised less. Why is this so? What ideological position finds this acceptable? What economic argument supports this approach?

    It’s good to see Ad Astra back in the author’s chair – especially when he’s on fire like this! One not to be missed.

  26. I am not sure Hockey knows. What I do know, this govt seek no advice from dept. or experts. They have hobbled most.

  27. It takes a special kind of stupid

    To still support… the LNP

    Spot on TS – gave me a good giggle on the way through, yet sadly, it’s all true!

  28. We seen Morrison today once again so his ignorance. He seems to believe all prisons are like Long Bay. Many, across the world can fimnd themselves imprisioned in their own home.

    “any place of confinement or involuntary restraint. ”

    Morrison cannot denied, the islands he incarcerates asylum seekers indeed meet this criteria,

    In many ways, they re more harsher than Long Bay. Yes harsher.

    Prisoners in Long Bay, knows why they arte there. Yes, they have been convicted of a crime, and know their sentence.

    On the Islands, that Morrison so proudly defends, this is not the case.

    No t conviction. No length of sentence,

    I am amaze that the media see Morrison as having a good day before that hearing.

    Why are the government backing off the Shorten story. Only reason I can think of, is that they know there is evidence that Shorten is completely innocence. It was Pyne, first off, within minutes that came to Shortens defence,

  29. There’s a treat in store for readers at the AIMN today – Michael has reposted an excellent article by Ad Astra (The Political Sword). This piece has come to mind often since I read it when first published – it sort of helps to make a little sense of what this ‘worst government ever’ does and says. It explains the differences between the thinking of progressives and conservatives, based on the work of George Lakoff.

    I highly recommend The myth of political sameness to all Cellar visitors.

  30. ” One interesting sidelight to this debate has been the dramatic demise of two of the most virulent anti-renewable campaigners – Alan Moran of the Institute of Public Affairs and Burchell Wilson from the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Moran and Wilson have been either sacked or stood down for extreme comments made on social media about Muslims and refugees, and even a dig at ‘fat’ Joe Hockey.

    It serves to underline an increasingly recognised point about Australian politics – the fact that it is being influenced by a small band of far right ideologues who have extreme views about climate change, renewable energy, refugees, race and a whole bunch of other policy issues.

    Gradually, these views are being found to be unacceptable. But it will likely come too late to save the RET.”

  31. P.S. I have been too busy of late to blog, I have been given over 3,000 natives to plant and have been busy organising upcoming planting days.
    PPS I attended the March in August here in the Silver City, even got my picture in the local rag. 🙂
    cheers LOVO.

  32. LOVO, that is a lot of bushes to plant.

    Government has upgraded it’s arrogance and contempt for parliament today. Does not even seem to be interested in appearing fair and just. Expecting bills to be passed without any sighting them has to be a new height in contempt for the voter.

    Would have left decision to raise compulsory super contributions with treasurer. Would mean no rises until somewhere in the 2030s.

  33. How can this be kept a secret from “the people”, the TPP is corporate corruption writ large. 😡
    “•Unlike previous trade agreements, the text of the TPP is classified so that only the U.S. trade representatives and their 600 corporate advisers have access. Members of Congress must go through a complicated process to see portions of the text. All that is known about the contents of the TPP is from documents that have been leaked and reports from NGOs and industry meetings. From the information available, one thing is clear about the impacts of the TPP on health care: the intention of the TPP is to enhance and protect the profits of medical and pharmaceutical corporations without considering the harmful effects their policies will have on human health. It is more appropriate to call these trade agreements “rigged” trade rather than “free” trade because they rig the rules in favour of business interests ”

  34. Well up to your usual standard TS 🙂 Incisive, humourous, yet absolutely accurate!

    So one year down, and two to go

    And we’re primed to take a hit

    From this clown they call “The mad monk”

    And his party, who’re full of shit

    They promised “no surprises”

    But the truth is plain to see

    That you can’t believe a word that dribbles

    From the lying LNP

    😆 😆 😆 😆

  35. Abbott does not seem to be getting credit anywhere. So Sinodinos, as head of section, is not responsible to ensuring things are legal under his care. Who is, I wonder.

  36. Gillard’s latest crime, according to the Toiletgraph: not saying if she claimed expenses to which she’s entitled

    Excuse the profanity, but they HAVE to be fckng kidding! 👿

    With all the rorts by their poster boy over many years, they have to try it on with a legitimate claim that is frankly none of their effing business!

  37. Must have been in prominent place. My friend told me this morning, that Gillard had received legal aid.

  38. This we shoul;d not ignore.

    ……..Competitive federalism” was explicitly pushed by the Coalition’s Commission of Audit, is implicit in Joe Hockey’s first budget and is likely to underpin the looming federalism white paper. And the nation’s big tax avoiders love it.

    Competitive federalism is a conservative ideology which holds that the public sector should behave just like the private sector. The idea is that, if states are made responsible for their own tax revenue and spending, they will compete to provide the highest quality services at the lowest prices.

    Well, that’s the theory. The reality is a race to the bottom that benefits tax dodgers, punishes taxpayers and disadvantages the general population….

    Read more:

  39. An excellent article tonight on TPS by Kay Rollison: Middle Australia: a new narrative for Labor?

    Economists’ views, even in the mainstream, are changing. Many now agree that trickle-down economics doesn’t work for the public good. And a significant number are now arguing that prosperity and greater equality aren’t alternatives; in fact you can’t have one without the other. Rich people do not generate most of the jobs in society — small business and middle class consumers do. My consumption fuels your business; the more people in a position to consume, the more profitable your business. Instead of top-down economics, we need ‘middle-out’ economic policies.

    A ‘must read’ IMO.

  40. Even Howard does not support RC for political gain.,

    John Howard: ‘I think the special prosecutions in the US are appalling.’ Photograph: Sergio Dionisio/Getty Images

    John Howard has questioned the Coalition’s decision to launch two royal commissions in its first year in government, saying that the process shouldn’t be used for “narrow targeted political purposes”.

    A royal commission into the home insulation scheme has already concluded, while another royal commission, into unions, is underway.

    Howard told the Australian: “I’m uneasy about the idea of having royal commissions or inquiries into essentially a political decision on which the public has already delivered a verdict.

    “I don’t think you should ever begin to go down the American path of using the law for narrow targeted political purposes. I think the special prosecutions in the US are appalling

  41. Ken Wolff’s analysis of the Abbott government’s lies tonight at TPS…

    Lenore Taylor reported in August that Tony Abbott had told a ministerial meeting that the party had not broken any election promises, not one. My first reaction was that this was the sign of a narcissistic personality, someone who cannot bear to be wrong. On second thought, I pondered that perhaps it is true. After all, as Humpty Dumpty said: 

    When I use a word, … it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.

    Was Abbott merely playing Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass, and using words, words, and more words as he intended them, not as the electorate might understand them? 

    Highly recommended for all cellar dwellers! 😀

  42. ” Given that Abbott has made security and counter terrorism activities his single biggest priority – and deliberately avoided the UN climate summit – the words of US president Barack Obama were an interesting counterpoint:

    “For all the immediate challenges that we gather to address this week – terrorism, instability, inequality, disease – there’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate,” Obama said.

    “No one can stand on the sidelines any more.”

    Yet that is exactly what Australia is doing. ”

  43. “The Chief of the US Navy’s Pacific Command, Admiral Samuel Locklear, recently said that climate change is our single greatest security threat,” said DiCaprio. “My friends, this body – perhaps more than any other gathering in human history – now faces that difficult task. You can make history, or be vilified by it.”

    The speech was well given and well received, but it turned out that his prediction was not entirely correct. Australia did not have to wait for history, it was vilified for its stance on climate change on the spot…….”I’m disappointed but not surprised with Australia,” Pa Ousman Jarju, Gambia’s Climate Change Minister who represents the 54 least developed nations at UN climate talks, told the Responding to Climate Change analysis website later. “What the Foreign Minister [Julie Bishop] said was as good as not coming. It’s nothing… as good as not attending.”Indeed Tony Abbott did not attend Tuesday’s meeting, though many attendees detected a reference to Australia – among a handful of other notable recalcitrants – in Barack Obama’s keynote speech……..

    it was Australia and to an extent Canada that were subject to most of the opprobrium,….. ”

  44. This week on The Political Sword, 2353 looks at the hypocrisy of the religious conservates – their actions vs their professed beliefs.

    The Political Sword usually stays away from religion — and this piece won’t go there either except to question why conservatives invoke ‘their god’ as a basis for their ethics and morals while promoting actions that are diametrically opposed to those promoted by their religious beliefs.

  45. Ah, the Shooters Party….. talk about dumber ‘n dumber…… I’d wager that the ‘average’ Shooters Party supporter is not smart enough to know how dumb they are 🙄
    “….. are further testimony to the immoral position being taken by the National Party.”

    The Shooters Bill seeks to dismantle the Native Vegetation Act which was passed in 2003 to bring an end to the millions of hectares of bush clearing over past decades with many vegetation communities and animal species brought to the edge of extinction; and valuable topsoil being lost. The Bill also drastically reduces penalties and inspection powers for illegal clearing in a clear signal the government would tolerate environmental destruction ”
    i.e. Proof that Baird ‘sucks’ or what….. talk about Daddy’s boy 😛 ….Baird the Butt sellerer…….it must be an Manly- Warringah thingy 😈

  46. ‘Clear As Mud’
    ““Are you confused by what is going on in the Middle-East? Let me explain. We support the Iraqi government in its fight against Islamic State (IS/ISIL/ISIS). We don’t like IS but IS is supported by Saudi Arabia whom we do like. We don’t like President Assad in Syria. We support the fight against him, but not IS, which is also fighting against him.

    “We don’t like Iran, but the Iranian government supports the Iraqi gov’t against IS. So, some of our friends support our enemies and some of our enemies are our friends, and some of our enemies are fighting our other enemies, whom we don’t want to lose, but we don’t our enemies who are fighting our enemies to win.

    “If the people we want to defeat are defeated, they might be replaced by people we like even less. And, all this was started by us invading a country to drive out terrorists who weren’t actually there until we went in to drive them out – do you understand now?” ” by Aubrey Bailey in the Daily Mail.

  47. LOVO,I suspect many including Turkey have great problems having to rely on the Kurds. Turkey would be top of the list. PKU I believe is banned in this country, or was so.

  48. ” Macarthur Carer of the Year, Fay Jones, was among the budget’s local critics, angered by the federal budget’s $1.7billion cuts to home-based aged care services and the axing of a supplement that allowed nursing homes to employ extra staff to deal with patients with dementia and ‘‘severe behaviour’’.

    Mrs Jones cared for her husband, who suffers dementia, at their Harrington Grove home before he moved to a nursing home almost two years ago.

    She said local families were getting a ‘‘raw deal’’.

    ‘‘I think the whole show stinks, I’m very upset about the cuts in the nursing homes,’’ Mrs Jones said.

    ‘‘A lot of people out here are just ordinary, everyday, working people. How can they afford all this while the cost of living just keeps going up and up?’’

    The poorest 20 per cent of Australian families will pay $1.1 billion more into government coffers than the richest households as a result of the budget.

    Fifteen of the 16 hardest hit electorates are held by the Labor Party.”

  49. Oh guffaw 😆 😆
    “Another day in buffoon land where scientists show off the power of one hand clapping … ”
    “…..there’s only so much hypocrisy and stupidity that the pond can swallow on any one day, no matter the post-modernist ironies and jollies to be had from the cavorting of fools like Greg ‘Walri’ Hunt, who wouldn’t know most days how to wiki his fundament.”

  50. Yep, we have a PM who always puts politics before Policy. A PM who has no interest in the people and the nation.

    A PM who is quite happy to follow the agenda set for him by the IPA. right wing thingjhj tank, that was created by Murdoch’s father.

    A man who thinks nothing of lying to get what he wants.

  51. What will this weeks stunts be. Seem to have missed that the Dutch are back in the Ukraine. Still no political gain in that issue now.

  52. That’s a great site LOVO, but the neo-cons don’t understand the word ‘feel’. They think it’s got something to do with the sensation on their fingers of counting $100 notes… 😉

  53. Want to get your brain cells a little exercise? Ken Wolff has posted a very interesting piece at TPS this week – Whose responsibility?

    The neo-liberals ignore that people do not always act in their own self-interest. Social relationships and cultural values (social inclusivity) can mould decisions — these also shape our social responsibility. We support our neighbours in times of trouble, during floods and fires; ordinary people will run into a burning building to save someone they don’t know; people stop at road accidents to help if they can; people will care for a lost child until a parent turns up; and so on and so on. Despite what the neo-liberals think, social responsibility still exists in the hearts of the people and we are still a social animal — as infants we learn to be human in a social context, through the ‘others’ that surround us.

    We should be demanding greater social responsibility, not just the promotion of individual self-interest, from companies and from government. Will we ever get social responsibility from our current government? Of course not, as it is too easy to see on which side of the fence it falls in this debate.

  54. This morning on Insiders it was said that Abbott wanted a debate on GST but seemed to be fobbing all responsibility off to others. He began this by starving states of money, believing they would have no choice but to extend and raise the GST.

    He reminds one of those annoying pesky mostly little boys that poked and stir those around them. When the blue begins, he steps back, head down, taking no responsibility for starting the ruckus.

  55. It will be interesting to see how they progress 😉 ….. I hope you can give us your thoughts and any relevent info Baccs. 🙂

  56. Not much on the blog LOVO – they seem to do a lot more on facebook. Possibly not so surprising – one of the founders, Tim Jones, was also one of those behind the March in March campaign, which was conducted mostly on FB & twitter.

    Today they’ve been discussing Modern Monetary Theory. They posted an excellent MMT for dummies video:

  57. Interesting thought Florence. I’m in two minds – do we want Abbott to stay until the next election, almost guaranteeing the Liberals won’t sit on the treasury benches for a couple of terms at least, BUT can we survive the havoc wreaked on our society until the next scheduled election if he stays?

  58. Still miss these sites.

    Yep – all we need is some conversation starters though. Something to get things going. Hopefully I’ll find a little more time to work on this next year. (Is this my first New Year’s resolution? I hope not – I don’t usually keep those 😉 )

  59. Bacchus, I want him to stay. Suspect they will not be in a position to do more harm. No good either. On the other hand, I see no one who would do better. Abbott, when one looks, is the best of a bad lot.

    I say this, because it is the policies that are the problem. Cannot see any of this lot dropping even one.

    What we do not know, what is on that back bench, who have kept themselves well hidden.

    Even if there was talent there, I believe the government would split down the middle.

    One does not know.

  60. Looking forwarded to that. Got some sight back. Have other eye done in February., Nice to be able to see again.

  61. Good news about your eyes Florence! My (85 yr old) dad had both of his done over the past year. His GP tells him he’ll live to be 100. As long as he continues to believe that, he probably will.

  62. It is amazing to get sight back in the left eye, Was literally blind. The first few days, all I seen was a blazing light,. Is settling down now. The other one is only half as bad, so I expect less drama.

  63. One must not listen to Abbott. Seems he is just a front to con us in.

    ………..Perhaps voters were reading the wrong document, and listening to the wrong man.

    While Abbott and his chief of staff Peta Credlin crafted a moderate social policy platform aimed squarely at middle Australia, shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey was preparing a very different set of policy prescriptions.

    In 2012, he gave a speech to a right-wing London think tank, entitled “The End of the Age of Entitlement.”

    The warning contained in that speech could not have been starker. Australia was living beyond its means, Hockey declared. Our social safety net was unsustainable. Without a radical austerity program, standards of living would decline. “The market is mandating policy changes that common sense and years of lectures from small government advocates have failed to achieve,” he said.

    Here was as honest a statement of intentions as you could hope to find. It was pure neoliberalism: dismantling welfare protections and shrinking the size of government to unshackle free enterprise. If that threw the unlucky into poverty or destitution, well, so be it.

    Just to make the point crystal clear, Hockey contrasted sclerotic western democracies with that beacon of Asian capitalism, Hong Kong. “Without a social safety net, Hong Kong offers its citizens a top personal income tax rate of 17 per cent and corporate tax rates of 16.5 per cent.”

    It’s hard to find a simpler explanation of Hockey’s world view than this. What counts are low taxes and small government, not the right of citizens to vote.

    Soon after coming to office, Hockey began to implement this program. He appointed a Commission of Audit, headed by right-wing CEO and business lobbyist Tony Shepherd. And he set about preparing his first budget.

    As soon as voters got a look at what Hockey and his mates in big business had planned for them, the electoral fortunes of the Abbott government started to head ………

    Has to be the most dishonest government ever. I suspect Abbott still believes it will work.

  64. Yes, and from same article

    The irony, of course, is that Hockey’s radical assault on what’s left of Australia’s welfare state hasn’t even helped the budget. As Monday’s MYEFO showed, the deficit continues to blow out.

    Simple reason for this. It is nothing about budget or economy. They are not interested or could not care less. They are resetting our society. Their dogma is all that counts.

  65. We have never looked at Hockey at his beliefs or derives his dogma from. No one has bothered to ask. I think most just see him as a loveable, harmless buffoon. Maybe we better start digging.

    ……..The irony of the Coalition’s misfortune is that is self-inflicted. It was ideology, not pragmatism, that led the Abbott government to try to dismantle Australia’s welfare state. It was ideology, not pragmatism, that drove the broken promises..

  66. Yep – true about the ideology Florence. Taking money away from those who would spend it back into the economy to give to those who will hoard or export it can only lead to where we are now.

    At this rate, we will be in recession before these buffoons are finished 😦

  67. Big year ahead. My scenario is, Abbott falls quickly, to be replaced by a clean skin, that has nothing to do with this or Howard’s mob.
    May budget will include many tax cuts but little else.

    Early election will be called before honey moon gloss disappears.

    Good chance of succeeding, extending present mess for another term, is good.

    None can be as bad as Abbott as PM. Government will be worse,

  68. I’m not too sure if the Liberals have the gumption to get rid of Tones Florence. I wonder could they engineer a strategic retreat for him – a health scare or a swim off Cheviot Beach 😉

  69. I remember watching the commotion at Cheviot Beach the day after Harry the strong swimmer went for a paddle, we were on hols and I was too young to understand what was going down……then.
    If ‘they’ are going to do that again, but with Tones, I would dearly like to be actually there….. watching….. cheering…… and waving bye-bye…. and I’m, usually, not that kinda bloke, but for ‘Tones the Terrible’ I would make an exception 👿

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