Category: Informed Comment

It is your journalism that is a “dog’s breakfast”, Andrew – » The Australian Independent Media Network

ABC is now modelling Sky News (ODT)

Since when did negotiation to make something better become a weakness?

And why on earth does a tax cut that will not come into force until after the next election (or two) have to be legislated now?

Why is it considered irresponsible to wait and see how the economy is doing?

Where is the modelling about the economic outcomes of the three stages of the tax cuts?

Where are the questions about what cuts will be made to compensate for the loss of $158 billion in revenue?

The Grattan Institute released analysis during the election which outlined the government would be forced into making $40bn in spending cuts to meet its forecast surplus and tax cut promises, which the government immediately rejected yet failed to come up with any evidence to counter the institute’s research.

Whilst commentators like Probyn may revel in the intrigue of the Game of Wedge and thrive on any perceived party disunity, what he serves up is more like a gossip column than journalism.

The Australian people are sold short by the dishing up of such tripe. But as we saw with Emma Alberici, factual analysis is no longer welcome at the ABC.

Did it ever occur to you Andrew, that by refusing to split the tax bill, it is actually the Coalition who is blocking tax cuts?

via It is your journalism that is a “dog’s breakfast”, Andrew – » The Australian Independent Media Network

What is truth, who owns it, and why do Morrison and Trump abuse it? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day

I used to believe that Americans were the only people in the world that believed their own bullshit but we are now their equal. John Lord

via What is truth, who owns it, and why do Morrison and Trump abuse it? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Lying does work: Just ask any Liberal Prime Minister – » The Australian Independent Media Network

When politicians collectively or individually over a long period seek lie for their own individual benefit or that of their parties then the lie only serves to denigrate the liar, and show contempt for the voter’s intelligence.

Sir Walter Scott said this about lying:

”Lying is probably one of the most common wrong acts that we carry out (one researcher has said ‘lying is an unavoidable part of human nature’), so it’s worth spending time thinking about it.

Why is lying wrong?

There are many reasons why people think lying is wrong; which ones resonate best with you will depend on the way you think about ethics.

Lying is bad because a generally truthful world is a good thing: lying diminishes trust between human beings: if people generally didn’t tell the truth, life would become very difficult, as nobody could be trusted and nothing you heard or read could be trusted – you would have to find everything out for yourself and an untrusting world is also bad for liars – lying isn’t much use if everyone is doing it.”

When it was revealed that the Coalition knew that a report would say that renewables were not the cause of the SA blackouts the conservatives had to tell lies on top of lies to justify the first one.

via Lying does work: Just ask any Liberal Prime Minister – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Angus Taylor is on a mission – » The Australian Independent Media Network

It is clear that Angus Taylor is a man on a mission. What’s less clear is whose best interests are driving him.

Richard Taylor also made a submission to the department’s review of how environment laws affect the agriculture sector. His submission called for changes to make the laws more simple and compatible with broadscale agriculture and best-practice weed control.

It’s handy when your family has such a prominent platform on which to express their views and such insight into investment opportunities.  Even handier when they get to make and change the rules that directly affect them.

via Angus Taylor is on a mission – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Robert Reich: The GOP Is the Most Corrupt Party in Living Memory

Robert Reich: The GOP Is the Most Corrupt Party in Living Memory

Not since Warren G. Harding’s sordid administration have as many grifters, crooks and cronies occupied high positions in Washington.

Trump has installed a Star Wars Cantina of former lobbyists and con artists, including several whose exploits have already forced them to resign, such as Scott Pruitt, Ryan Zinke, Tom Price, and Michael Flynn. Many others remain.

via Robert Reich: The GOP Is the Most Corrupt Party in Living Memory

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez On Impeachment: ‘This Is About Us Doing Our Jobs’ | Crooks and Liars

Screenshot_2019-06-17 Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez On Impeachment 'This Is About Us Doing Our Jobs'.pngOCASIO-CORTEZ: Well, I think every day that passes the pressure to impeach grows and I think that it’s justifiable, I think the evidence continues to come in and I believe that with the president now saying that he is willing to break the law to win re-election,

via Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez On Impeachment: ‘This Is About Us Doing Our Jobs’ | Crooks and Liars

If Donald Trump Is the Symptom… Then What’s the Disease? | The Smirking Chimp

Here, then, is the question of the day, the sort you’d ask about any patient with a rising temperature: If Donald Trump is only the symptom, what’s the disease?

via If Donald Trump Is the Symptom… Then What’s the Disease? | The Smirking Chimp

Media Wrongfully Blame Iran for Likely US-Staged False Flag Attacks – Stephen Lendman

Screenshot_2019-06-17 False Flag Images, Stock Photos Vectors Shutterstock.pngDespite no credible evidence suggesting Iranian responsibility for Thursday’s Gulf of Oman attacks or earlier regional ones in May, US establishment side with the Trump regime’s Big Lies against the country — what they always do against its adversaries.

They vilified Julian Assange, supporting his prosecution if handed over to Trump regime hardliners for the “crime” of truth-telling journalism the way it should be, ignoring their war on speech, media and academic freedoms, eroding en route to disappearing altogether along with other fundamental rights if strong action isn’t taken to halt Washington’s tyrannical agenda.

via Media Wrongfully Blame Iran for Likely US-Staged False Flag Attacks – Stephen Lendman

Habits are hard to break. Just ask Scott. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Ask yourself this: Does the political culture we have make you feel good about your country?

So don’t moan if the Coalition continues to stuff things up. They have been doing so for six years. You gave them another three. That’s not my fault.

My thought for the day

The right to vote in an election is the gift that democracy gives. Therefore, it is incumbent on the voter to at least have a rudimentary understanding of politics and to take an interest in the political landscape.

via Habits are hard to break. Just ask Scott. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

David Corn Has HAD IT With Republicans Dancing Around Trump’s Love Of Election Help From Foreign Governents | Crooks and Liars

Screenshot_2019-06-16 David Corn Has HAD IT With Republicans Dancing Around Trump's Love Of Election Help From Foreign Gove[...].pngvia David Corn Has HAD IT With Republicans Dancing Around Trump’s Love Of Election Help From Foreign Governents | Crooks and Liars

Greg Hunt announces an intention to develop a strategy – » The Australian Independent Media Network

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“Whether it’s drugs and alcohol, whether it’s the work in relation to diet, whether it’s other elements, we are developing, with you, a long-term national preventive health strategy,” he told a conference on Wednesday.

He doesn’t have a plan as such, just an intention to develop one.

Which goes against everything they have done over the last decade.

In opposition, Tony Abbott fought against plain-packaging for tobacco. Franking credits crusader (aka Freedom boy) Tim Wilson wrote about it at length during his time at the IPA.

Peter Dutton, when opposition health spokesman, opposed the increase in taxation on alcopops calling the bill nothing more than a “tax grab”.

Fiona Nash, as assistant health minister, controversially chose to shut down a Health Star Rating site for foods. It was later reinstated.

In the 2014-15 Budget, the government abolished the Australian National Preventative Health Agency (ANPHA) which, coupled with its decision to cease the National Partnership Agreement for Preventative Health, showed a blatant disregard for the importance of this sector.

via Greg Hunt announces an intention to develop a strategy – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The government is in a rut so deep that they can no longer see the signposts of where we are going – » The Australian Independent Media Network

He said the government’s fixation on jobs and growth had had some positive outcomes – higher company profits combined with tax concessions mean investors have done well, and jobs growth has resulted in more people being employed – but the glaring hole is the forgotten middle who have not seen commensurate wage rises.  This is placing a drag on the economy and financial stress on wage-earning households.

The government is in a rut so deep that they can no longer see the signposts of where we are going – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Pull your head in, Mike – » The Australian Independent Media Network

A few days ago, this supposedly apolitical head of the Department of Home Affairs took the extraordinary step of ringing Senator Rex Patrick to tell him to watch his words after the Senator issued a press release criticising the media raids.

“The overall trend has been clear for some time with the Government clearly working up a suppression trifecta: routinely obstruction and delaying freedom of Information applications; persecuting whistleblowers such as Witness K and Richard Boyle, and now using the police to intimidate journalists.”

Apparently Mike took exception to the following as he felt his character was being attacked:

“There is no doubt that Coalition Ministers and senior bureaucrats have no love of media scrutiny.”

Gee, now why would anyone think that.

His boss, Peter Dutton, infamously said “Some of the crazy lefties at the ABC, and on The Guardian, Huffington Post, can express concern and draw mean cartoons about me and all the rest of it. They don’t realise how completely dead they are to me.”

How dare they criticise him for wanting to fast-track refuge for persecuted “white” South Africans.

But he’s not alone in trying to avoid criticism and scrutiny.

via Pull your head in, Mike – » The Australian Independent Media Network

He’s the Goodes all right – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Image result for Bolt and egg on face

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and white, but as with Eddie is not that bright.

These last couple of paragraphs do I think reinforce the opinion of David Marr that Bolt is a journalist of little repute. To quote Marr on Bolt read this:

But Bolt’s ugly columns have not cost the Herald Sun much more than a fair dose of embarrassment.

There is in the office of the Editor of the Herald Sun (and dare I say those of other Murdoch newspapers) a four-drawer filing cabinet with a suspension file with a tab and the word “truth” on it. It has not been looked at in many years because it is the newspaper where the truth goes to die.

via He’s the Goodes all right – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Labor MP Ed Husic calls on parties to sign fake news ‘armistice’

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Labor backbencher Ed Husic has called on both major parties to reach a fake news “armistice” before the next election, arguing that political scare campaigns are in neither’s best interests.

The western Sydney MP also admitted Labor was “outgunned and outspent” in the digital campaign waged in the lead-up to the May 18 federal election.

via Labor MP Ed Husic calls on parties to sign fake news ‘armistice’

The government has dug itself into a deep hole and the walls are crumbling – » The Australian Independent Media Network

In the past five years the population has grown by just 8%, but government spending has risen by an incredible 21%. By sheer luck the mining boom has increased revenues by 27% but windfall gains like these are not sustainable.

The Daggy Dad “please like me” tour, backed up by his affable side-kick doing slide shows of endless cherry-picked graphs, is nothing more than an advertising campaign. Their claims of strong economic management are based on unrealistic assumptions about future wage growth and consumer spending and completely ignore Australia’s spiralling household debt.

They are reliant on precarious revenue from resources and seem clueless about the importance of diversifying our economy and building new industries to take up the slack caused by technological disruption and the inevitable demise of the fossil fuel industry.

via The government has dug itself into a deep hole and the walls are crumbling – » The Australian Independent Media Network

George Orwell’s prescient novel 1984 is turning 70 and only growing more relevant with age – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A man holds a copy of the book to the camera, head not shown

via George Orwell’s prescient novel 1984 is turning 70 and only growing more relevant with age – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

The Same Old Scare Tactic about Socialism | The Smirking Chimp

Screenshot_2019-06-08 The Same Old Scare Tactic about Socialism The Smirking Chimp.png

I keep hearing a lot about “socialism” these days, mainly from Donald Trump and Fox News, trying to scare Americans about initiatives like Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, universal child care, free public higher education, and higher taxes on the super-wealthy to pay for these.

Well, I’m here to ask you to ignore the scaremongering.

via The Same Old Scare Tactic about Socialism | The Smirking Chimp

The Afghan Files: Defence leak exposes deadly secrets of Australia’s special forces – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

https://www.abc.net.au/news/image/8522110-16x9-2150x1210.jpg

It’s what the LNP did with the history of this nation they went to war the ALP took them out of Vietnam and the LNP kept helping in more Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, all losing ones. They needed a winning war and decided on calling Asylum seekers “illegals” saying ‘Nope to the Malaysian Solution and telling Australia that they were winning a just war against “deplorables”. A Democracy is diminished when it’s government has too many secrets and buys and lies their way into power without any reasoned policies just scare mongering on the undeclared donations of Palmer and Murdoch. (ODT)

via The Afghan Files: Defence leak exposes deadly secrets of Australia’s special forces – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Not without controversy: dunderheads disguised as ministers (part 2) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

I find it impossible to imagine that the Australian people could be so gullible as to elect for a third term a government that has performed so miserably in the first two and has amongst its members some of the most devious, suspicious and corrupt men and women, but they did.

The aforementioned people exist to make their living as members of the Australian House of Representatives. One would expect to find in such an august chamber only people of the highest calibre and integrity but instead we find a bunch of highly educated self-interested members of the House of Representatives who the Prime Minister thinks are worthy of being in his team.

via Not without controversy: dunderheads disguised as ministers (part 2) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Not without controversy: dunderheads disguised as ministers (part 1) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Christensen spent 25 per cent of the year in the Philippines making woopee with his girlfriend at the taxpayer’s expense.

Turning to Craig Kelly, he:

” … has been described as a climate sceptic. He was appointed chair of the backbench Environment and Energy Committee, giving advice to Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg. He has previously written that convict arrivals to Australia in the 18th century found the weather warmer than in recent years and has invited climate sceptics from the Institute of Public Affairs to present to the government prior to the Paris Agreement. Kelly has criticised renewable energy, saying that it causes higher electricity bills. He has furthermore stated that this could kill people who are afraid to turn on their heaters.”

And, he:

“… stated on his Facebook page that he would vote with his electorate in the marriage survey. In the conscience votes which sought to amend the Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Bill 2017, Kelly voted for all the amendments, none of which passed.”

“In February 2019, after Cardinal George Pell‘s conviction for child sexual abuse, Kelly posted a series of Facebook posts labelling the trial a “grave miscarriage of justice”, and the media a “lynch mob”.”

via Not without controversy: dunderheads disguised as ministers (part 1) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Bridget McKenzie revealed the Adani jobs lie and no-one noticed – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Nationals deputy leader Bridget McKenzie made an amazing admission in an interview on Sky but nobody (except The Australia Institute) seemed to notice.

“[Adani will] be employing 1500 through the construction phase and around about 100 ongoing.”

Just to emphasise, that’s 100 ongoing jobs – not 10,000, not 1500 – ONE HUNDRED.

via Bridget McKenzie revealed the Adani jobs lie and no-one noticed – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Neoliberalism must be pronounced dead and buried. Where next? | Joseph Stiglitz | Business | The Guardian

Bill Clinton and Tony Blair

There is no magic bullet that can reverse the damage done by decades of neoliberalism. But a comprehensive agenda along the lines sketched above absolutely can. Much will depend on whether reformers are as resolute in combating problems like excessive market power and inequality as the private sector is in creating them.

A comprehensive agenda must focus on education, research and the other true sources of wealth. It must protect the environment and fight climate change with the same vigilance as the Green New Dealers in the US and Extinction Rebellion in the United Kingdom. And it must provide public programmes to ensure that no citizen is denied the basic requisites of a decent life. These include economic security, access to work and a living wage, health care and adequate housing, a secure retirement, and a quality education for one’s children.

via Neoliberalism must be pronounced dead and buried. Where next? | Joseph Stiglitz | Business | The Guardian

Trying to juggle religion with politics in Australia – » The Australian Independent Media Network

 

 

If as I do, you believe that Jesus was the world’s first socialist then you would find it extremely difficult to accept the Pentecostal/charismatic church’s adoption of conservative political and social values.

In particular its adherence to “prosperity theology“, which links any scripture that suggests that God wants the very best financial success for his followers to you personally.

The Prime Minister will be taking a great risk if he chooses to unite his Christian beliefs with his political philosophy. Australians have never liked “Bible Bashers.”

My thought for the day

When asked as to my belief or otherwise in religion, or indeed my tendency toward a continuous search for truth. I can only say that I am in a perpetual state of observation which is the very basis of science or fact.

via Trying to juggle religion with politics in Australia – » The Australian Independent Media Network

You can’t have a mandate for a lie – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Labor’s short-lived carbon price raised $15.4 billion in revenue from polluters which was passed on to the public via a large increase in the tax-free threshold and additional payments to welfare recipients and families with school-aged children. Trade-exposed industries also received assistance to transition and had incentive to invest in more sustainable practice.

Conversely, the Coalition have spent billions of public money on their Direct Action strategy only to see emissions rise again.

When more people voted for Labor and the Greens, to claim a mandate for the Coalition’s inaction on climate change is beyond despicable.

You can’t have a mandate for a lie.

via You can’t have a mandate for a lie – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The one that got away (Part two). If you think it ended last Saturday then think again – » The Australian Independent Media Network

via The one that got away (Part two). If you think it ended last Saturday then think again – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Trump Uses This Psychological Gimmick to Appeal to His Followers — and the Media Keeps Falling for It | The Smirking Chimp

Being president is the ideal position for a self-refereeing psychopath. Those of us trying to sustain cultural norms try to show deference to the office of the president, which the psychopath can use as evidence of his supreme authority. The threat of being ousted from the press corps keeps the media respectful of the office from which the psychopathic referee-in-chief can systematically call fair on all his plays and foul on all critics.

The media end up in the role of petitioner, awaiting the president’s authoritative decision on the merit of the president’s decisions. The resistance ends up playing lawyer petitioning in the court he rules.

There’s no way to stop a self-refereeing psychopath short of relentlessly exposing his self-refereeing. Truth is, nobody asked him whether he agrees with his actions. The media should stop asking him and his lackeys to referee their own virtue.

via Trump Uses This Psychological Gimmick to Appeal to His Followers — and the Media Keeps Falling for It | The Smirking Chimp

The one that got away (Part one) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

I, like many others, are just coming to grips with the stunning victory of the conservative side of politics. While doing so we should keep in perspective that as of this moment it is only around 181,000 votes that separate the two parties.

Hardly a ringing endorsement of the conservative forces.

via The one that got away (Part one) – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Doomsday is nigh | The Monthly

I suspect that part of the angst comes from reviews of internal polling, which shows a bleak picture for Abbott in particular. This is a serious repudiation of the hard right of the Liberal Party, along with their backers at News Corp, 2GB, 3AW, 4BC and elsewhere. But it also shows how precarious the position of the cultural right in this country is. They are reliant on favours and iffy government handouts to do business. They are beneficiaries and champions of middle-class welfare and rent-seeking. They are fanatically committed to outmoded forms of power, both literal and figurative. They are openly bigoted and intellectually barren. They have little to fall back on. No wonder they fear the drop. Here’s to giving them the push.

via Doomsday is nigh | The Monthly

What’s the story with Kathy Jackson? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne described Jackson as ‘decent, brave and revolutionary’.

I can think of better descriptions.

via What’s the story with Kathy Jackson? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

John Lord’s Election Diary No. 14: Have you thought about why we are voting? This might help. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

via John Lord’s Election Diary No. 14: Have you thought about why we are voting? This might help. – » The Australian Independent Media Network

A free ride on the gravy train – » The Australian Independent Media Network

When Tony Abbott rolled Malcolm Turnbull for the Liberal Party leadership back in 2009, he immediately threw out the constructive negotiations towards an emissions reduction scheme.

“Oppositions are not there to get legislation through,” Abbott intoned, heralding his approach for the next 4 years.

There would be no discussion, no amendments, no working together to improve legislation. It would just be NO to everything.

So used to this approach did the Coalition become that, when they did finally become the government, they had nothing to offer. They have spent six years still opposing Labor’s ideas.

Our overly generous property tax concessions are a prime example.

via A free ride on the gravy train – » The Australian Independent Media Network

There are many reasons not to impeach Trump. The House should do it anyway | Robert Reich | Opinion | The Guardian

U.S. President Trump responds to questions from reporters at the White House in Washington<br>U.S. President Donald Trump responds to questions from reporters in front of a portrait of President Theodore Roosevelt after an event centered on a proposal to end surprise medical billing in the Roosevelt Room at the White House in Washington, U.S., May 9, 2019. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

It’s important to uphold the constitution through impeachment – even if it goes nowhere, even if it’s unpopular with many voters, even if it’s politically risky

via There are many reasons not to impeach Trump. The House should do it anyway | Robert Reich | Opinion | The Guardian

John Lord’s Election Diary No13: Shorten has dared to go where other Labor leaders have not – » The Australian Independent Media Network

via John Lord’s Election Diary No13: Shorten has dared to go where other Labor leaders have not – » The Australian Independent Media Network

How will you fill in your time? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

We have seen three leaders’ debates now (well a couple of us have), and the overarching takeout is that this election is all about Bill Shorten and Labor policies.

After six years in government, Scott Morrison has nothing to say about why we should vote for his party other than we will get him as PM as opposed to Bill Shorten.

Even the journalists are over it. Patricia Karvelas said she feels like Bart Simpson writing lines over and over – “if you vote for Labor, you get Bill Shorten, if you vote Coalition, you get me.”

via How will you fill in your time? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

A star rating for companies and what it would mean – » The Australian Independent Media Network

 

In a world that puts profit first, the idea of a social licence to operate seems to be disappearing.Shareholders are removed from the reputational damage that once kept business owners more accountable for acting responsibly. It’s all about the cheque.Worker exploitation, environmental vandalism, tax avoidance and market manipulation are goals rather than anathema.

via A star rating for companies and what it would mean – » The Australian Independent Media Network