Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton only managed to get three words into a substantive interview on Insiders last weekend before he started talking about the Opposition.
The question was about who had leaked classified documents from his portfolio. But his answer was all about how Anthony Albanese was only asking questions about the leak because he was trying to distract everyone from Labor’s problems.
This would have to rate somewhere between “marvellous” and “magnificent” on the irony-o-meter, since the only thing anyone in the Government seems to want to talk about at the moment, particularly this week, is the Opposition.
You know? The mob that actually lost the election, not the mob who won it and who are supposed to be springing into action with plans to lead the country forward.
The main topics this week have been the Government’s planned tax cuts, the imminent collapse (according to Mr Dutton) of Australia’s migration regime as a result of a Federal Court decision about the legislation on medical evacuations from Nauru and Manus Island, and the ongoing battle over the future in the Labor Party and the trade union movement of union official John Setka.
Who is Atlas did he Shrug?
Bernie Sanders says that he’s a socialist and that he loves the New Deal. He doesn’t see any discordance there, and neither do a lot of people who support him.
There’s a famous story that was told when I was growing up about a politician who is asked about his position on whiskey. And he says, “If by whiskey we mean the drink we enjoy to celebrate happy events and toast our friends, I’m for whiskey. But if by whiskey we mean the demon liquor that drives families apart, I’m against whiskey.”
That’s where I am. If by socialism, you mean the New Deal, then by golly I’m in favor of it. Obviously, the New Deal shaded into socialism or social democracy, if you will. But in many ways, it’s a foolish argument, because we have socialism for the rich everywhere. Nobody is actually trying to keep the government out of the market. At least, nobody in Herbert Hoover or Donald Trump’s Republican Party.
What I have listed above just touches on a few lowlights we have discovered about our Government this week. Feel free to add your particular lowlights below.
Emergency treatment and an independant Panel is what the Christians define as compassion > Doctors can’t be trusted because their Hippocratic Oath was counter to National Security which has resulted in death and delivered mental illness in greater proportion that 1200 drownings out of 50,000 boat arrivals. We haven’t the figures to hand because the current government has made it a secret punishable by jail.
The Labor leader is likely to insist on changes that would tighten ministerial discretion. The bill currently gives two doctors the ability to demand refugees on Nauru and Manus Island be brought to Australia for treatment, but gives the immigration minister the ability to require an independent panel review the medical assessment, as well as the authority to overrule any evacuation on security grounds.
Coalition enters ‘death-rattle mode’
By contrast, the sense that the government is now in full death-rattle mode is more of a consensus opinion, to the extent that there was a widespread view as MPs and senators went home on Thursday and Friday that — as was canvassed in this space a few weeks ago — it was just not a viable option for the government to come back and sit out a period until a May election.
The experiment of government and business being hand-in-glove has failed.
In the relentless pursuit of profit, businesses have reneged on their part of the social contract.
In the pursuit of endless growth, and pandering to big money donors, government has ignored its duty to act in the best interests of the people.
Aboriginal Leaders Make Statements From The Heart. Liberal Leaders Make Statements From White Supremacy.
Both sides of Government have labelled Fraser Anning’s maiden speech ‘appallingly racist’, saying it was incumbent on all politicians to at least give the impression they’re not inflaming race issues to garner votes.
Annual government expenditure is over $450 billion per year making it, by far, the biggest business in the country.
They decide what percentage of our income they will take and how they will spend it. They have total control over our common wealth and the ability to sell our assets as they please.
They make our laws. They can send us to war. They can choose to ignore existential threats like climate change.
we had the saga of George Brandis’ refusing to fulfil a freedom of information request for his diary to see if he met with community legal aid stakeholders before making controversial cuts to the sector in the Coalition’s 2014 budget despite a Productivity Commission report that found it needed a huge boost in funds to meet growing demand.
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal subsequently ruled Senator Brandis should process the request. He again refused, taking it to the Federal Court who also ruled he must hand it over. Eventually, after 1039 days and over $50,000 of public money wasted, Brandis finally handed over a heavily redacted copy of his diary.
Michaelia Cash is waging a similar battle to avoid answering questions regarding tipping off the media about an AFP raid on union headquarters. The Federal Court has issued a subpoena requiring her to give evidence but she has instructed her lawyers to fight it.
The next time you hear Donald Trump bluster and harumph about something he’s angry about, you should assume Sean Hannity is his anger translator. Trump doesn’t need speechwriters as long as he can call up Hannity and get his lines for the next day.
The Government and the ACCC
the confident assertions on the Liddell Power Station by the ACCC Chairman Rod Sims remind me of the surgeon having completed a brilliant operation to save the sight of an elderly patient — he removes his mask, smiles and acknowledges the admiration of his team when a junior nurse puts up her hand and says rather apologetically, “But Sir, the patient has died”.
There are economists on the ACCC Board who would have been expected to review the full life-cycle costs of coal before Mr Sims made his statement. Did they ignore or were they unaware of the work of eminent Yale economist William Nordhaus? Nordhaus demonstrated, using full cost accounting of all externalities, that coal now has no value to the community — work confirmed by other groups of economists.
Indeed coal is the most expensive energy modality apart from nuclear energy. It requires exceedingly good discipline by the government to do a “John Cleese” and not “mention the war” – the war being the word “health” – for to do so would undermine the ideology that coal is “good for humanity“.
Koalas are in big trouble with disease now rampant in wild populations.
Dr Michael Pyne, head veterinarian at Currumbin Wildlife Hospital, says that one-third of Australia’s koalas have been lost over the last two decades, largely due to the spread of chlamydia, which now affects between 50 and 100% of wild populations.
There has been nothing but silence after The Australian revealed the NT Government kept over $2 billion of its Indigenous aid budget.
The scathing report from The Australian came at a time when all eyes were on the NT after a shocking case of child sexual abuse hit Tennant Creek. The NT is facing a mountain of problems right now. From Indigenous health to housing, unemployment to education. Indigenous communities really need all the help they can get. The situation is nothing short of a national disgrace.
While many people have their fingers pointed directly at Aboriginal communities, no one seems to be questioning the $2 billion of Indigenous funding that was taken out of Indigenous aid budgets by the NT Govt. Can you honestly say that problems would be so bad in these communities if the $2 billion was invested like it was supposed to be?
In 2016-17, corporate profit surged 21.2 percent while average wages rose only 1.8%. In the year to September 2017, trend employment increased by 335,500 persons while the labour force increased by 333,300 persons resulting in 716,600 still unemployed.
In a stunningly successful first week for the Trump administration, the US has seen the creation of over two million new facts, spurred on by increased confidence and growing productivity.
Fact-creation was one of Mr Trump’s key policies during the presidential campaign, but even he is said to be surprised by the growth achieved in just the first seven days.
Analysts have put the growth down to the ‘Trump Effect’, which has seen a boom in investment in the fact-making industry, which is now close to capacity.
In other first week data, unemployment is down eight percentage points, growth is up eleven per-cent and America’s trade balance is back in positive territory.
The Government has been accused of trying to bury a major report about the potential dangers of global warming to Britain – including the doubling of the deaths during heatwaves, a “significant risk” to supplies of food and the prospect of infrastructure damage from flooding. The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment Report, which by law has to be produced every five years, was published with little fanfare on the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs’ (Defra) website on 18 January.
Malcolm Turnbull confirms Treasurer Scott Morrison only learned the budget would be brought forward to May 3 on Monday morning.
The Australian Government faces a crisis of their (and past governments’) own making. Ian McAuley explains.
A corrupt network of wealthy elites has hijacked our government, ex-GOP staffer and best-selling author tells Salon
But Björk Vilhelmsdóttir sees a silver lining in controversy over shortlived Israel boycott by Iceland’s capital.
The Australian government will partner with private companies such as Coca-Cola to distribute medical aid, foreign minister Julie Bishop has said.
Speaking at the Liberal federal council on Saturday, Bishop said she was not satisfied with the way Australia had distributed aid in the past, saying there was, “too much duplication, too much waste, not enough of a focus, spending money, doing what we’ve always done and not coming up with a better result.”
Bishop said move toward private sector networks was part of a focus on the “economic security for the recipients of our aid.”
The foreign aid budget is set to lose $4bn a year over the next four years. The cuts, outlined in the 2015 federal budget, will put Australia’s foreign aid spend relative to income at the lowest levels since a formal aid program was introduced 40 years ago.
“One problem that remote villages and regions in the Pacific face is getting access to essential medicines and I’ve visited places where these villages and health centres have been without fundamental supplies for weeks, they just can’t get it through,” Bishop said.
“But it was observed that Coca-Cola is available everywhere throughout the Pacific. Any remote village, any hill top, Coca-Cola is there. So we’ve decided to partner with the private sector to use their distribution networks, their supply chains, to get essential medicines to where they are needed.”
Coca-Cola already uses its distribution networks to deliver drugs for HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and malaria in a number of African nations, in partnership with the Global Fund, supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
In a statement on its website, the Global Fund says the global soft drink company has the “specific expertise” required to get essential medicine into isolated areas.
“It is widely recognised that the Coca-Cola Company has unparalleled expertise in distribution and supply management worldwide,” it says.
“In Africa in particular, its network of local bottlers is critical to reach consumers.”
The program ran as a pilot in Tanzania in 2010, and was found to reduce lead time in delivering medicine by 25 days and increase the availability of medicine by 30%. It is set to expand to 10 countries in Africa by 2019.
At first glance, it looks like a normal construction, but when you look more closely, it defies logic and credulity — it couldn’t possibly work. It doesn’t make sense.
Correcting Lomborg and Murdoch Press on Climate change