Three things

The major parties in Victoria get fiddling to nobble the Greens in local government; candidates confirmed for Queensland’s Bundamba by-election; and Barrie Cassidy’s moustache strikes back.

Three things:

• The Victorian parliament has passed contentious legislation to change the process by which boundaries are drawn for local government elections, the effect of which will be an end to proportional representation in many councils and a return to single-member wards. This was passed through the upper house with the support of both major parties, and fairly obviously targets the Greens, whose local government footprint expanded considerably in 2016. The legislation is covered in greater detail by Ben Raue at The Tally Room. Relatedly, The Age reports Labor plans to endorse candidates across metropolitan councils at the elections in October, after doing so in only three councils in 2016. The Liberals in Victoria have never endorsed candidates.

• The closure of nominations for Queensland’s March 28 by-election for Bundamba on Tuesday revealed a field of four candidates representing the Labor, the LNP, the Greens in One Nation, just as there will be in Currumbin on the same day. You can read all about it in my election guides for the two seats, which are linked to on the sidebar.

• For those who have forgotten what a Labor election win looks like, Malcolm Farnsworth has posted four hours of ABC election night coverage from 1983 in two parts, here and here. The broadcast predates results at polling booth level and indicative two-party preference counts, which would have to wait until the 1990s, and without which it was difficult for analysts to read the breeze from partial counts in any but the most homogenous seats.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,957 comments on “Three things”

Comments Page 1 of 40
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  1. Well, I, for one, haven’t forgotten what a Labor election win looks like. Up here on the mighty Central Coast of NSW Labor won the Council Election (6/11 seats on Council) and we now have the Mayoralty as well. So there!

  2. And I don’t see how a West Australian can ignore Mark McGowan’s mighty WA State Labor win! One for the history books that was.

  3. Peter Fitzsimons:

    Jonathan Liew in the Guardian on the Olympics on a collision course with coronavirus: “The spectre of a cancelled Olympics still belongs to a different, scarier world: one of barbed-wire borders, soldiers on the streets, petrified citizens stockpiling Super Noodles.” Not in this country, Jonathan. We are obsessed with toilet paper. (Seriously? I don’t get it. Like making sure you have a backpack of ear-buds before storming the beaches of Gallipoli. Rather beside the point.)

    Agree 100%.

  4. Thanks for those links to the video uploads of the ’83 election William

    Took me several minutes to recognise Mr.Cassidy 🙂

  5. Pat Conroy MP
    This was one of the few positive climate initiatives from this Neanderthal Government. This research went to hydrogen, renewable metals & how to support carbon intensive regions. It is a disgracefully short sighted move to cancel the funding already committed.

  6. I despise the Morrison government! Nothing they do is for the benefit of the planet. Everything they do is for the benefit of themselves, their leechy mates and their donors.

  7. Well, at least Coles is putting sensible thinking before profit:

    Dear C@t,

    As you may have seen, the past few days have been challenging for some customers with shortages of selected items, in particular toilet rolls! For which I apologise.

    This is due to increased purchases of everyday items by some customers brought about, in part, by an international media & social media frenzy – which then causes other customers to lose confidence in the system and then buy more themselves. Australia has an outstanding supply chain and most of our products are sourced from Australia including toilet paper.

    We’re working to re-stock shelves every day to meet demand, and we have agreements in place to increase production of everyday items in Australia if the need arises. We have increased the number of team members in our stores and our suppliers are doing the same.

    However, in the short term, we have reluctantly chosen to introduce a temporary 4 pack limit on toilet paper to ensure the elderly and those groups at highest risk can still access the everyday products they need, and to reduce likelihood of bulk purchasing which then appear on the internet at a price premium.

    I understand the average 4 person family needs around 20 rolls of toilet paper per fortnight, and larger packs contain around 30 rolls meaning 4 packs would total 120 rolls – enough for around 12 weeks.

    We appreciate the understanding and patience of our customers who miss out, and our hardworking suppliers and team members who are doing their best to ensure we are helping all customers.

    We appreciate your business and I know that security of grocery supply is a key concern for all Australians. Through the bushfires I also know that Australia is at its best when we all come together to help each other.

    Regards & thanks,
    Steven Cain
    Chief Executive Officer
    Coles Group

  8. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. This is Part 1. More to come after I feed all the animals.

    Jack Waterford reckons Scott Morrison needs new a roadmap and more humility.
    paddy Gourley devastatingly looks at our current government and concludes by saying, “Is it any wonder that confidence in government is at such a low ebb and that taxpayers seem less willing to fork out when the system has become too slippery with the public interest?”
    The levers of stimulus and interest rates have served Australia well for decades, but they won’t work in response to the coronavirus says Dr Andrew Charlton who was Rudd’s advisor during the GFC.
    Shane Wright and Eryk Bagshaw say the coronavirus outbreak could leave an extra 100,000 Australians out of work as the economy slows, with signs the nation’s retailers were already reeling before the disease spread globally.
    Ross Gittins dives into the economic figures to find the underlying state of the economy. And it’s not encouraging.
    Human studies of an experimental coronavirus vaccine developed by US-cased company Moderna are set to begin this month.
    Shane Wright explains how the graphical shape of the recovery will be n the shape of a V rather than a U.
    The Age looks at six Melbourne workers to see how the coronavirus has affected them already.
    Jason Yat-sen Li writes that the face mask is a symbol of a fracturing world.
    Extending AGL’s ailing Liddell power station beyond the already delayed closure date of 2023 could pose a “major concern” for the health and safety of workers at the plant reports Peter Hannam.
    Richard Baker describes what came out of Estimates this week regarding the Home Affairs/Paladin relationship.
    The embattled St Kevin’s College has created two new senior roles to improve student welfare in the wake of the fallout over its handling of sexual grooming at the school.
    The nation’s housing market, particularly in Sydney and Melbourne, is at risk of “renewed overheating”, the International Monetary Fund has warned, urging governments to overhaul property taxes including negative gearing. Well fancy that!
    On the latest retail figures announcement Shane Wight says that shopper are the canaries in the economic coal mine.
    The legality and effectiveness of Commonwealth grants programs has been challenged by constitutional and financial experts as the sports rorts affair continues to dog the federal government reports Adrian Rollins.
    Former sports minister Bridget McKenzie has made a new and potentially damaging claim in the sports grants affair, saying changes to a sports grants brief were made without her knowledge. It looks a bit like she’s throwing Morrison under the bus.
    Jess Irvine explains how the coronavirus pandemic has reignited the debate on ‘the good and the bad’ of globalisation.
    A US federal judge has sharply rebuked Attorney-General William Barr’s handling of the special counsel’s Russia report, saying Barr had made “misleading public statements” to spin the investigation’s findings in favour of President Donald Trump and had shown a “lack of candour.”
    The Canberra Times editorial describes Biden’s comeback as a blow to Trump.
    Tom Switzer writes that if Biden defeats first Sanders, then Trump in November’s election, he will join some prominent company. History will also judge this week as marking the turning point in his great political comeback.
    Elizabeth Farrelly writes disparagingly about NSW’s new building law.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe

    David Pope

    Alan Moir

    Mark David

    Sean Leahy

    Matt Golding

    John Shakespeare

    Dionne Gain

    Andrew Dyson

    Jim Pavlidis

    Joe Benke

    Johannes Leak

    From the US

  9. ‘Peter Fitzsimons:

    Jonathan Liew in the Guardian on the Olympics on a collision course with coronavirus: “The spectre of a cancelled Olympics still belongs to a different, scarier world: one of barbed-wire borders, soldiers on the streets, petrified citizens stockpiling Super Noodles.” Not in this country, Jonathan. We are obsessed with toilet paper. (Seriously? I don’t get it. Like making sure you have a backpack of ear-buds before storming the beaches of Gallipoli. Rather beside the point.)’

    Dumb and dumber.

    The big picture is that at a national level we have gone from avoidance (failed), through containment (failed) to curbing the spread (a work in progress) and triaging the infected (a work in progress). This means that we are now trying to slow the spread of C19 until the vaccines arrive. Much of this slowing will come from, at population level, avoiding infection. At a personal level this will mean avoiding contact in public and engaging in personal anti-infection behaviours. It will also involve self quarantine.

    There are now around 2,000 Australians in quarantine at home. On average they will have an additional 1.7 people living in the same dwelling. One assumes that those additional 1.7 would have to stay at home as well. That is nearly 4,000 Australians right now living at home enforced for a fortnight. We do not want a single one of these peeps to be dodging down to the Super to buy toilet paper or any other supplies. Not one of them. Not once. It is quite likely that when some get through the first fortnight they will find that they have to return for another fortnight sometime over the next 12 months. Commentators focusing on toilet paper in this context is not only dumb, it is counterproductive.

    A few individuals have been obsessed with getting enough toilet paper and have hoarded toilet paper far beyond any possible reasonable need. Far more commentators, cartoonists and social media jockeys appear to be obsessed with those obsessed with toilet paper. Potty brains abound.

    Fitzsimons, of all commentators, should know that having adequate supplies for fighting and feeding is a key to every battle. Instead of focusing on toilet paper he should take a step back and encourage every household to prepare an appropriate quarantine pack for all members of the household. The current 4,000 are but the tip of the spear. In a month’s time it is more likely than not that tens of thousands of Australians will be in self quarantine.

    The next 12-18 months will be about hanging tough, behaving smart, and waiting for the cavalry to arrive. The very same people who were last week condemning toilet paper panic (apparently we had nothing to fear but fear itself) are now waking up themselves.

    As for the Olympics… there will not be a mass spectator event sport. They may be able to cobble together some contests by way of testing every athlete and every support peep before the events. But there are already olympic-grade cyclists in quarantine…

  10. Under a Labor government – Ben Raue latest on Victoria’s local government legislation passed by the political duopoly

    Victoria’s ward review system: what has been lost:

    One of the truly sad things about the new local government legislation passed on Thursday night by the Victorian upper house is how it will send a wrecking ball through the independent and transparent system Victoria has used to not just determine ward boundaries, but more broadly determine the electoral structure for each council – ie. how many members each ward will elect.
    Of course politicians, be they local councillors or state MPs, have vested interests in how the electoral map is drawn. We can only avoid partisan gerrymandering by taking this power out of the hands of politicians.
    Proportional representation was first made possible in Victoria in the early 2000s by the Bracks government, but the decision to move councils to PR wasn’t a top-down decision. Each council has shifted over through an independent process, to the point where only a small number of councils are elected entirely through single-member wards as of the 2016 election.
    This change shifts the electoral system in Victoria towards one controlled by politicians and away from independent and transparent boundary-setting.

    The Labor and Liberal parties have put a thumb on the scale of these independent reviews, which will see a turning of the tide away from more democratic and proportional councils in favour of single-member wards which will reduce diversity and political choice and produce weaker councils. It’s really quite sad.

  11. Boerwar

    Yes, it does seem that a single fortnight’s isolation will not be enough.

    Ms Honey’s symptoms eventually disappeared and she returned a negative result, but she recently tested positive again.

    That is consistent with reports from China and Japan of patients being discharged and then testing positive for the second time.

    This could mean the virus is biphasic, where the virus lurks around undetected before recurring.

    With no cure and no vaccine, the Honeys can only wait until their bodies defeat the virus.

    “It’s just got to run its course,” Mr Honey said.

    “You’ve just got to build your immunity to it. There’s nothing the doctors can do.”

  12. After fires, loggers move into Toolangi forest

    Then this week, the Victorian government’s position on protecting Toolangi’s rainforest shifted dramatically, a decision that “is senseless”, according to Black Saturday survivor Steve Meacher. “It’s beyond bizarre that VicForests would now decide to commence destruction to this area.”

    “It’s unfathomable,” says NAIDOC chairperson Stacie Piper. “Especially while the Treaty process is under way.”
    This week, as the Herald Sun reported a $200 million “secret deal” between the Andrews government and the Australian Paper mill in Maryvale, the Zinger and Big Kahuna sites became the focus of Protect the Unburnt, a First Nations campaign to decelerate species extinction in the wake of the recent bushfires that killed more than a billion animals and millions of habitat hectares. Conservationists deemed the Victorian government’s pledge to end native logging by 2030 “greenwashing”, as forests will by then be too depleted to further harvest anyway.
    “The minister’s comments are ill-informed,” said Professor David Lindenmayer, who specialises in forest ecology and fire management at the Australian National University. “VicForests has redefined what old growth is to make it much harder to find old-growth forest. This is a piece of policy bastardry.
    Despite its access to a free resource, successive VicForests annual reports record either losses or no dividends to the state. The grants, subsidies and costs of court battles and enforcement aren’t tallied. While the CFMMEU is pressuring the government to support timber jobs, a 2016 PwC audit found each native forest industry job costs Victorians more than $5 million and brings at best 14 cents’ return for every dollar invested.

  13. Boerwar,
    As the letter from the Coles CEO that I posted stated, you only need 120 rolls of TP to last you for 12 weeks! So a limit of 4×24 packs per customer is more than enough if you are self-isolating. You don’t need to hoard more than that.

  14. In the name of the virus: Here are the government’s new security powers

    The Biosecurity Act grants the government a suite of extreme powers to do things that could never be done lawfully — and which we would never accept — in any other context
    The impending global pandemic of COVID-19 is likely to give us a taste of some absolutely dead serious police-state treatment. You think our security agencies and police forces have been given way too much discretionary power to infringe civil rights since 9/11? (That was a rhetorical question.)

    Check out what the chief medical officer and health minister can do to you if you sneeze at the wrong time.
    The powers it creates are, by design, largely immune to legal challenge. Essentially we are reliant on the individuals and agencies who exercise the powers to do so in a measured and responsible way.

    Some of these powers are in the hands of Health Minister Greg Hunt, some the director of human biosecurity Dr Brendan Murphy (who is also the Commonwealth chief medical officer).

    Then there are lesser but still quite invasive powers that can be exercised by other biosecurity officers down the bureaucratic chain.

  15. Morning all. On Covid19, as Boerwar said, we have passed (and lost) the contain phase and are trying to slow and manage its spread within the capacity of the medical system. So we nee to start getting out clearer messages on basic behaviours to the great unwashed. Surely Scotty from Marketing could get a government media campaign going? Nothing as dramatic as the 80s anti-Aids one, but something to reduce panic.

    Internationally we now have 100,000 reported infections (probably low) and 3000 dead. So we have a reasonable idea of the risk. This is not the black death. But some countries are in denial and one is the USA. For their 19 dead they should have detected around 600 cases, yet are reporting less than half that. As this coverage reports, they are simply not testing people. The USA will be hit hard.

  16. C@tmomma @ #8 Saturday, March 7th, 2020 – 4:48 am

    Well, at least Coles is putting sensible thinking before profit:

    Dear C@t,

    I understand the average 4 person family needs around 20 rolls of toilet paper per fortnight, and larger packs contain around 30 rolls meaning 4 packs would total 120 rolls – enough for around 12 weeks.


    What do these families use toilet paper for?

  17. Also on the economics, if panic persists, people will start shying away from events. So even if the Tokyo Olympics is held, how many will want to sit in a six hour plane to get there then use the crowded Tokyo subway to reach stadiums? It will be half empty, and mostly filled with locals. Japan is facing a financial disaster, after spending billions on it.

    The same will be true for the parts of our footy season that coincide with flu season. Smarter for the AFL to keep the players healthy, accept the crowd loss, and make it a broadcast sport only, like Italian soccer. They will lose money but survive. All those self isolators will need something to watch.

  18. Well I panic brought often and early so I am 3 weeks ahead when it comes to grocery shopping. Two weeks for self isolation if required and 1 to get through the panic buying week. I am looking forward to running down stocks, that is three glorious weeks of no shopping to look forward to.

    Yesterday was a normal shopping day for me:
    No cheese.
    No margarine, I’m not talking none of the brand I like, I am talking none.
    No meat loaf.
    Love my chick peas, restrictions on the number of tins, oh well who cares.
    No toilet paper and I mean none. About 10 rolls of paper hand towels, and that was it.
    Hope 1 week to cover panic buying was enough, I will find out next week.

  19. Dawn Patrol Part 2. It appears that The Saturday Paper has closed off the Outline route so you will have a new incognito window for each article and click on Keep Reading.

    Peter van Onselen writes that Morrison’s shaky integrity might fail the confidence test and tells us why.
    Rick Morton uses Morrison’s efforts on the Brian Houston White House dinner issue to line him up on his lack of integrity.
    And Paul Bongiorno chimes in writing, “It is getting harder by the week to believe a word uttered by the prime minister of Australia. And no one has done more to undermine Scott Morrison’s credibility than the man himself. This harsh judgement is shared not only by his political opponents in the Labor Party but also by all but one of the six crossbenchers in the house of representatives.”
    Australians are supposed to be laid-back during prosperity but manage crisis with grit and responsibility, rising to the occasion and putting lesser squabbles aside — yet the coronavirus outbreak will become a decisive test of how much our public culture has been damaged and poisoned says Paul Kelly.
    Laura Tingle thinks the coronavirus problem could be Morrison’s redemption. (Comparing him to Donald Trump, though, is not a high bar to jump!)
    Before the health crisis, the government had largely declined to act on Lowe’s pleas for greater fiscal support. But they are now on the same stimulus page according to the AFR.
    The coronavirus outbreak has had the unlikely side effect of sparking a price war between Australian and North American carriers on routes between the east coast and Los Angeles, Flight Centre says.
    Australian schools missed out on federal government funding earmarked for school sporting grants because Sport Australia used it for administration, technology, marketing and other associated programs writes Karen Middleton as she reveals Bridget McKenzie’s role in doing it.
    The federal government has promised to improve communication to the public and health workers around Covid-19, following doctors expressing their frustration with the level of information they were receiving from officials.
    The federal government has quietly cut the rate of interest it charges on reverse mortgages for retirees from 5.25 per cent to 4.5 per cent after being accused of gouging. But Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is under pressure to do more for older Australians in his forthcoming stimulus package amid warnings they face the grimmest financial outlook in decades.
    A top effort from the ATO as it issues false, years-old tax debts worth thousands of dollars due to IT error.
    Phil Coorey says that Scott Morrison has declined to respond to a statement by former minister Bridget McKenzie that raises fresh questions about whether the Prime Minister’s office intervened in handing out “sports rorts” grants.
    Luke Henriques-Gomes writes that the government has refused to tell a parliamentary hearing how many alleged welfare debts have been identified by a flawed and now abandoned calculation method that is likely to force the commonwealth to refund thousands of welfare recipients. At a fiery Estimates hearing Deb O’Neill launched into the rather unlikeable Kathryn Campbell for seeking to avoid scrutiny.
    If we care about integrity in government, the Coalition must be held accountable for the grants saga writes a rather circumspect Katharine Murphy as she calls for a decent federal ICAC.
    Mike Seccombe writes that as Scott Morrison announces emergency COVID-19 measures and medical experts ‘war game’ worst-case scenarios, a looming recession may prove the greatest threat to Australia.
    Jonathan Freedland thinks coronavirus could turn Joe Biden’s defining weakness into a strength.
    News Corp finds someone to blame after pulling the plug on AAP (hint: it’s not News Corp) writes Amanda Meade.
    Raising the Newstart rate is one possible step towards preparing our economy for chaos brought on by factors such as COVID-19 writes Ross Jones.,13668
    The Guardian reports that Home Affairs tried to suppress the release of Serco’s immigration detention centre operating manual by arguing it would allow immigration detainees to make human rights complaints as a “means of intimidating Serco personnel”.
    Michael West’s Callum Foote strongly makes the case for a decent federal ICAC with a chronicle of events worthy of referral to such a body.
    The New Daily tells us that as coronavirus continues to spread globally, the form of the Morrison Government’s economic stimulus package is beginning to take shape. It will not include Rudd-style cash payments for everyone, so don’t expect to receive a $900 cheque in the mail. But economists believe some individuals, particularly pensioners and the unemployed, should receive direct payments of some kind.
    The social services minister, Anne Ruston, admitted during a Senate committee hearing there was a with the cashless debit card which still allows people to buy alcohol.
    John Elder outlines some good advice on the differences between the usual flu and Covid-19.
    The Australian Government needs to listen to the experts and become a world leader in climate change policy, writes Dr Victor Luca.,13664
    The Saturday Paper tells us that in the wake of revelations that doctors in Wagga Wagga are refusing to perform abortions, the New South Wales government faces pressure to investigate access to reproductive healthcare across the state.

    Cartoon Corner Part 2

    From a new (to me) cartoonist Paul Dorin

    John Kudelka

  20. Thanks BK. Lots to get through today.


    I got a similar email from Woolies CEO the other day with the same limits on toilet paper. We live in interesting times 😆

  21. I attended my local coles yesterday and despite the four pack limit, none was available. Went to Aldi, woolies and IGA, no luck.

    Anyhoo, on another note, it is very interesting to see the judge ask for the unredacted Mueller report.

    Biden is looking likely to be the eventual nominee. He was supposed to throw his hat in ring at last election, but his son died and he was grief stricken.
    I actually don’t even think he wants to be President, but feels a sense of duty to the country and even to his deceased son. That is my vibe anyways.

  22. Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski drops a bomb on Trump over his political future if he keeps lying about the coronavirus crisis

    Reviewing Donald Trump’s lies about the U.S. government’s response to the coronavirus epidemic that appears to be on the verge of turning into a full-scale pandemic, Morning Joe host Mika Brzezinski stated that voters will remember how the president handled the health crisis when they go to the polls in November.

    “Governments, including our own, I would say, especially our own, other than China, are responding in a clumsy, ham-fisted way and unfortunately just as you had with China the at the beginning of this outbreak, you have the president of the United States who actually is spreading disinformation, trying to tell everybody there’s nothing to worry about, telling people to go back to work if they want to,” the MSNBC host explained. “His words, go back to work while you have the coronavirus — that is the quickest way to turn this epidemic into a pandemic. The president of the United States also this week saying that it will go away magically.”

  23. Justin Hendrix‏Verified account @justinhendrix

    “As of noon on Friday, fewer than 100 people had been tested for the coronavirus in New York City over the past month, according to the city’s Department of Health, even as concerns grew that the virus was circulating largely undetected.”

    Dr. Dena Grayson‏Verified account @DrDenaGrayson

    Dr. Dena Grayson Retweeted Justin Hendrix

    INSANITY. Early detection of #COVID19 is *crucial* to contain the #CoronavirusOutbreak, and the #coronavirus is *already spreading* within the #NYC community.

    Pence promised sufficient testing capacity but has FAILED to deliver, putting MORE people at risk for infection.

  24. President ‘Nobody knows more than me about X’ says he should’ve been a scientist fighting viruses.

    Eamon Javers@EamonJavers
    President Trump praises his own scientific skills: “All these doctors say, ‘how do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability, maybe I should have done this instead of running for president.” Trump says his uncle went to MIT and was a super genius.

  25. Victoria says: Saturday, March 7, 2020 at 9:23 am

    Anyhoo, on another note, it is very interesting to see the judge ask for the unredacted Mueller report.


    Just reading Jennifer Rubin on this Victoria :

    Judiciary is finally fighting back against Trump’s lawlessness — and not a moment too soon: conservative columnist

    Conservative Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin wrote Friday that she is grateful that the judiciary is finally fighting back against President Donald Trump‘s contemptuous attitude toward the law.

    Thursday, a Republican-appointed federal judge called out the Trump administration for their misrepresented facts and outright lies to the public.

    “U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, overseeing a lawsuit brought by EPIC, a watchdog group, and BuzzFeed News, said he saw serious discrepancies between [Attorney General William P.] Barr’s public statements about Mueller’s findings and the public, partially redacted version of that report detailing the special counsel’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election,” the Post reported. “Because of those discrepancies, Walton ruled, the judge would conduct an independent review of Mueller’s full report to see whether the Justice Department’s redactions were appropriate.”

    The judge was brutal in his comments attacking Barr’s credibility. in light of Attorney General Barr’s conduct and misleading public statements about the findings in the Mueller Report,” he said.

  26. Thanks BK for some interesting articles and cartoons with your largish Dawn Patrol.

    I was impressed particularly with this item which shows that IT fuckups are the mainstay of the current Gummint –

    From the BK Files 👇 👇

    A top effort from the ATO as it issues false, years-old tax debts worth thousands of dollars due to IT error.

    another punching above our weight story. Having regard to the following table 👇👇

    finding where Straya fits is anybodies guess. I’m going for Atomweight.

  27. PhoenixRed

    Yep. It is about time. It was obvious what Bill Barr did at the time to not only misrepresent the findings, but ensure that the full report never saw the light of day.

  28. Fess

    It’s hard for me to believe that Trump hasn’t already been confined to a mental hospital for his outlandish bragging.

    Oooh! A baby rabbit just ran (hopped) along the verandah.

  29. Looking at the US presser with Pence it looks very much that they are flailing around. Add to this Trump’s stupid and intemperate remarks you can see t ending badly. And quickly.

  30. BK

    Along with every thing else that is going on with the Trump administration, the covid19 is one that they have utterly failed to control. This will be part of his undoing. This virus does not discriminate between republicans and democrats.

  31. Although as I have said previously, our public health officials have been proactive and on the front foot with managing this pandemic.

    It could be argued that for economic motives, the govt has not been more rigid in its containment policy. But I would say an attitude of being calm and carry on, is better than the stupid frenzy of stocking up on toilet paper and the like.

  32. Morrison is trying to cement the narrative that all questions on his honesty are just Labor feeding lies to the MSM. I do wonder at what stage in his life did he learn to twist truth so blatantly in his own defence. Did a punitive father encourage him to lie his way out of trouble? Did his mother protect him?

    Rick Morton’s article reminds us of detail that many of the public would not know, and his supporters would refuse to believe. Some of his ministers are just as evasive. Angus Taylor, anyone?

    But Morrison didn’t talk about irregularities or a crackdown. He did something more curious. He denied the cut entirely.

    “No,” he said. “That’s what the Labor Party says.”

    “No, no, you did,” I replied. “I reported on it.”

    “No, I don’t accept that,” the prime minister said. “If people want to put questions, they’re not allowed to put lies.”

    But there was no lie in the question. It was right there in the budget papers. Morrison knew it, and I knew it, but that didn’t change his relationship to the truth.

    What the prime minister was trying to do was imply that my questioning was from the opposition, that I was a stooge for the other side of politics.

  33. I can’t remember who it was, but someone was tweeting the other day that back in January when state health departments began being quietly concerned about coronavirus is when the federal government should’ve been calmly instructing people to start stocking their pantries bit by bit with each shop (an extra UHT milk here, a packet of pasta there etc) to prepare for any necessary self-quarantine.

    They didn’t presumably because they were so preoccupied dealing with their own self inflicted wounds on their poor response to the bushfire crises, and then covering up their own corruption on the sports rorts affair. And now we have this completely out of control panic buying by a largely uninformed public who have had their panic fanned by hysterical media reporting.

  34. Victoria, it won’t be Emperor Donald the First’s undoing. He’ll just do his usual: It’s the deranged democrats out to destroy him because he’s popular and the greatest, blame the fake media, it’s all Obama’s fault, and lie and lie and lie and his sycophants will just keep covering for him.

  35. “The Victorian parliament has passed contentious legislation to change the process by which boundaries are drawn for local government elections, the effect of which will be an end to proportional representation in many councils and a return to single-member wards. This was passed through the upper house with the support of both major parties, and fairly obviously targets the Greens, whose local government footprint expanded considerably in 2016. ”


    The two old establishment parties team up against the Greens yet again. What a surprise lol.

  36. Ray (UK)

    Jebus. There are 330 million US citizens. That equates to roughly $1.50 each.

    Seriously if it only took 500 million dollars to enrich all Americans, it would then only take 25 million to enrich us here.

    You gotta laugh or you will cry.

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