Saturday salon 9/12

1. Checking Katter facts

Bob Katter is a colourful character, which allows him to get away with what other people might be accused of bigotry. However, I find he usually gets his facts right, it’s his solutions which are really weird. When he said that a person was being torn to bits by a crocodile in North Queensland on average every three months the ABC decided to check his facts.

Turns out he was stretching it a bit.

Stats show that there was one fatal crocodile attack every three years from 1985 to now. However:

    In the past 10 years there were six deaths, a rate of one every 20 months. There was one death per year in the past three years.

There’s more and it is complicated but really, Bob was tired of talking about same-sex marriage. I heard today he was so tired of it he made five speeches on the legislation, some so vile that he got a blast from Warren Entsch “after he brought up everything from slavery, AIDS, “boys in dresses”, Christianity, morality and Gianni Versace in his speech last night.”

He started by saying “let a thousand Flowers bloom” and ended by trying to reclaim the word “gay”. There is a story he’s descended from Afghan cameleers, but seems he was raised a Catholic descended from the Maronite Christian community of Lebanon.. You would have to say he is deeply Australian, of the northwest Queensland variety.

2. Same sex marriage celebrated

In spite of Katter and a few other grouches same-sex marriage passed in scenes that were unprecedented and unforgettable. Here’s Penny Wong in an emotional moment:

Some seriously question whether Malcolm Turnbull should claim any credit for the outcome. The bottom line is that it would never have happened under Abbott or Howard, but under Turnbull it did, and some think in a 100 years time it may be all he is remembered by.

Terri Butler told Patricia Karvelas that traffic to a LGBTI helpline increased by 40% during the survey, and LGBTI people are 40% more likely to commit suicide.

Have a listen to Linda Burney on the joy and heartbreak of legalising #SSM. She lost a son who was gay.

3. Problems with POTUS

When Donald Trump announced Jerusalem as Israel’s capital something was amiss other than the decision itself:

    Mr Trump, 71, initially appeared to struggle with some words during a live statement from the White House on Wednesday.

    However, by the end of his speech the president’s slurring was profound, leading to questions as to the state of Mr Trump’s health.

    “God bless the United States,” he concluded, but his pronunciation sounded like “Shtates”.

Sarah Sanders, his formidable press secretary, slammed speculation, describing questions about Mr Trump’s health as “ridiculous”. Just a dry throat, she said.

He may have more than a dry throat if a current law case alleging sexual misconduct grips and gets traction.

    The plaintiff in the lawsuit — Summer Zervos, a former contestant on Mr. Trump’s show “The Apprentice” — is represented by the law firm of Gloria Allred, who has helped bring cases against Bill Cosby and other high-profile defendants.

Other women are prepared to stand up and tell all.

    Ms. Zervos declined to comment, but in the lawsuit, her lawyers say that “Mr. Trump knowingly, intentionally and maliciously threw each and every one of these women under the bus, with conscious disregard of the impact that repeatedly calling them liars would have upon their lives and reputations.”

Democrat Al Franken has had to resign accused by more than six women of groping or trying to kiss them. Republicans usually don’t resign, just deny or apologise and carry on. Boys will be boys etc etc.

4. Investigation continues into sexual harassment and misconduct in Australia

Here in Oz Tracey Spicer has gathered together a group of a dozen journalists who are investigating women’s stories of sexual misconduct perpetrated against them. Over 1000 women have come forward with complaints against 85 men. Spicer said when they publish the list we will recognise some of the names.

She told Patricia Karvelas that the case of Geoffrey Rush was one where the paper did not investigate properly before publishing. Rush has filed a defamation suit against The Daily Telegraph.

Spicer said that the case of Don Burke was one where the TV station must have known what was going on and covered up because his shows were so successful. She said that happens a lot.

5. More power to Palaszczuk’s arm

Today at 2pm I heard the news – Labor had 47 seats and government in Queensland. Seems it will be 48, plus one Green, then one independent, one One Nation, three Katter Party, and I think that leaves 39 LNP.

Re-electing a woman is a first in Australia, but this is wrong:

Ronan Lee has been airbrushed from history.

Berkman has announced a listening tour where he is going to tell people how evil Adani is. Typical Green I would say a little uncharitably. However, I do hope he listens to people on the land about what they fear in Labor’s vegetation management laws, previously blocked by the Katters.

Tim Nicholls has resigned the LNP leadership, which looks like going to Deb Frecklington and Tim Mander, who was raised in a Labor household, but then apparently saw the light.

Looks like wall to wall climate deniers and an LNP not all that different from PHON.

People of the north will not be impressed by Labor planning to spend $2 billion on an entertainment venue in the city. If Brisbane wants to be a modern sophisticated city, I’m sorry, it needs something better than the Commonwealth Games (1982) gymnastics centre, built next to a mosquito-infested swamp way out of town, or the choice of The Gabba or Lang Park football fields.

There is word that Jackie Trad will be treasurer, which should be interesting.

6. National politics goes completely loopy

Some journos have been saying Malcolm has had a good week, with Newspoll giving relief by putting him only 47-53 behind TPP instead of 45-55, ignoring Essential which has gone the other way to 45-55.

I’m a bit sick of it all, but will make two comments.

Sam Dastayari won’t be on the Labor Senate ticket next election. He hasn’t grown up enough to be in parliament, probably never will.

And if there is a by-election in his seat David Feeney will not be the Labor candidate. Remember he was the bloke who forgot he owned a $2.3 million house before the last election.

89 thoughts on “Saturday salon 9/12”

  1. “”Republicans usually don’t resign, just deny or apologise and carry on. Boys will be boys etc etc.””
    Bill Clinton, come on down….

  2. The ABC has just delivered some tax news. Here is part of the headline:
    “There were 732 companies who paid no tax in Australia in the 2015-16 financial year. Collectively, their income was more than $500 billion.”
    That’s a lot of money and for just one year.
    Now I’ll push my tax claims a little bit if I can…most of us will, but usually it’s petty cash stuff when compared to some of the big corporate stuff.
    If you have the time to trawl through the ABC article, you’ll probably need a cup of tea, a Bex and a good lie down.

    $500 billion is a heap of money and the non-payment places a heavier tax burden of the ordinary Aussie. And a lot of community needs are not met. It might be revealing to cross-match political donors to the corporate names on the list.

  3. $500 billion is turnover, not taxable income.
    Company tax is only one of a raft of taxes Companies are hit with, to say ‘ no tax payed ‘ is an outright lie.

    It’s just the ABCs anti-business rhetoric again, as usual.

  4. Brian
    Being a scumbag is timeless, pre or post Weinstein.
    Giving Clinton, Kennedy or Weiner a pass because they are Dems is immortal at any time in history.
    I notice but refuse to except partisan morality.

  5. It’s just the ABCs anti-business rhetoric again, as usual.

    It was actually the ATO who left those fields blank; it wasn’t the ABC and it wasn’t rhetoric.

    But otherwise you’re completely correct.

  6. And who here has given Clinton, Kennedy or Weiner a pass?
    The statement which roused your ire was

    Republicans usually don’t resign, just deny or apologise and carry on. Boys will be boys etc etc

    Nothing about letting anybody off the hook.

  7. Zoot, I think the following is more accurate.
    To single out one flavour is to ignore history and misleading.

    ” Politicians usually don’t resign, just deny or apologise and carry on. Politicians will be politicians etc etc.”

  8. ABC reports,
    “”There were 732 companies who paid no tax in Australia in the 2015-16 financial year. “”
    Fact check- Status = Bullshit.

    But just to be fair, pick one in that list and we’ll investigate together.

  9. To single out one flavour is to ignore history and misleading.

    OK. You have often criticised Hitler, Stalin and Mao on this forum. Why have you given a free pass to Attila the Hun, Ghengis Khan and Vlad the Impaler?

  10. Brian: Rohan Lee was not the first Green to be elected to the Qld parliament. He was Labor when elected and Green when he lost at the next election.
    ABC Fact check found that the Greens claim that

    Land clearing in Queensland is now on par with Brazil.”

    was a fair call.

    Land clearance is a thorny issue in Queensland, but a fresh urgency has emerged with the state’s woodland and scrub now being cleared at a rate equivalent to 1,000 rugby fields a day.

    In a state where the rise and fall of annual land clearance rates tends to correspond with political and legislative changes, there is no shortage of policy promises about the management of Queensland’s vegetation.
    With 395,000 hectares of regrowth and old growth vegetation having been cleared in 2015-16 — a rise of 33 per cent over the previous year — Queensland accounts for more than half of Australia’s total losses of native forest.
    The Queensland Greens say they support emergency measures to protect all native wildlife and ecosystems, including “tackling rampant land clearing”.
    Their website claims: “More than 1 million hectares of native bush and forest has been cleared in Queensland over the last four years. Land clearing in Queensland is now on par with Brazil.”

    Mike was employed by the EDO before becoming a candidate. Would be disappointed if he wasn’t strong on the environment.

  11. John, the Michael Birkman poster does not say he was the first Green elected, it says “QUEENSLAND’S FIRST GREEN MP”, which is wrong.

    It doesn’t matter much though, I was just being pedantic.

    I’m not a full bottle on vegetation management as I was about 6 or 7 years ago.

    FWIW, the pre-Newman regime was incredibly onerous to landholders in Queensland and scandalously unjust in the legal mechanisms contained in the law. I haven’t kept up since then, but my impression is that Newman swung too much the other way, and that the proposed Labor legislation swings back too far.

    A few comments.

    To compare the state of Queensland with the Amazon forest is loopy. Dr Anita Cosgrove of QU said it was apples and oranges. She is right.

    The key fact in the ABC factcheck is that it runs “regrowth and old growth” together. If you scroll down the page you find that 138,000 hectares (35%) was old growth (remnant) while 257,000 hectares (65%) was regrowth (non-remnant).

    There may be some pre-emptive clearing going on in anticipation of tighter laws. That has happened in the past.

    People south of the border and many city greens have no idea how fast and thick trees grow in Queensland. The remnant growth is likely to be far thicker in many areas than was the case before European settlement.

    I don’t want to stir things up too much but greenies and sometimes Greens often seem to know how other people should live. That includes the First Nations peoples on Cape York, where The Wilderness Society assumed they knew better than the local Indigenous people how they should live on the land.

  12. Jumpy, I’m not giving anyone a pass, but I don’t think the case of Bill Clinton can be used by anyone to justify their attitude now.

    There is a current controversy in the domain of the psychs as to whether addiction to sex is an illness. You may have heard that Weinstein went of to a clinic, implying he was sick rather than bad.

    FWIW I think Clinton had a fetish which may have amounted to an addiction.

    I’ve forgotten a lot of the detail.

    Certainly sexual relations with an intern was out of order, but I’m not sure whether there was coercion or abuse of power in his other instances.

  13. Geoff, that taxation story is of interest, and Jumpy’s comment OTT.

    This segment on RN’s PM program is recommended. Michael West explains very clearly how the big multinationals get away with murder.

    I checked some of our major companies, and while there was no direct tax figure on the database as far as I can make out Telstra, BHP and RIO pay tax equivalent to about 6% of revenue. That is the company tax paid on profits, as Jumpy says there may be other taxes and charges.

    So I expect we are missing a good deal more than the $2.5 billion my link claims.

    Woodside Petroleum as far as I can make out is paying 9% of revenues in tax.

  14. Brian,
    I’m just calling a ball as a ball and a strike as a strike.
    No matter the team.

    Trump is framed as a sex offender for just saying one could do what Clinton actually did.

    The nympho defence is for the gullible or the blindly biased.

  15. And other than Weinstein being a huge Dem donator I’m puzzled as to why he’s relevant to Moore or Franken.

  16. On the Katter fact accuracy, I would see that from the perspective of relative fact accuracy of Katter versus most National even most LNP MP’s on important matters such as say,…Anthropogenic CO2 induced Global Warming, or the causes of electricity price increases. The Kat croc fact check goes into torn to pieces versus drowning, when we all know that interventions such as catching the croc and recovering the bodies significantly alter outcomes that would in natures way all catches of humans would lead to “tearing to pieces”. I’ve no doubt that Katter can remember a year where 3 people have died due to croc attacks, somewhere, and the exception makes the rule in the fearful mind. The only real issue would be why Katter picked that one pseudo “fact” in connection with marriage equality, and that draws attention way from the very real hard fact that the LNP government as a whole are a bunch of liars on some very significant issues that will potentially kill most of our children in the long run.

  17. Clinton versus Trump, on this Clinton’s primary indiscretion was a willing party (even kept the panties), whereas Trumps accusers are all actual victims, and there are plenty of them.

  18. The nympho defence is for the gullible or the blindly biased.

    As often, jumpy, you wade in with a simplistic view to issues that are complicated. Any professional expertise is simply irrelevant to you, it seems.

    If I get time I’ll do a longer post, because I’m troubled that bad behaviour has persisted for so long after the second wave of feminism around the 1960s.

    However, anyone who can’t see the Harvey Weinstein matter as a significant change moment is not looking.

  19. Another aspect of this outlined by Andrew Romano to Sarah MacDonald is that American Democrats traditionally stick up for human rights, especially of the oppressed and minorities. Hence it was embarrassing that Al Franken was so clearly a bad egg.

    Jumpy, you simply can’t sweep differences between the Democrats and the Republicans under the carpet. Have a read of this piece from a Democrat feminist, noting ahead of reading it that when she wrote it, Franken had only been accused by one woman.

    Turns out there were others, and on this account he made a complete mess of his ‘apology’ and resignation.

    In the end, for him, it was essentially about him rather than about the people he had harmed, and he messed up an opportunity to do some good for both them and him.

  20. BilB, in general terms around mid-20th century crocs had been hunted almost to extinction. Numbers have recovered, and Katter has long advocated more shooting and culling. There is also the issue of crocs turning off tourists.

    They can also travel long distances over land, and are showing up further south, certainly around Rockhampton and I think there was one in the Mary River at one stage.

    It is interesting that no-one has been killed by a freshwater croc in Queensland. I doubt the same could be said of the NT.

  21. Trump is framed as a sex offender for just saying one could do he had done what Clinton actually did.

    FIFY again.

  22. Zoot
    Please stop editing my comments to make them incorrect.
    It’s rude and annoying.

    Thanks in advance,

  23. Hi Brian,

    Mr Mander can thank his parents for not calling him Gerald.

    I kid you not: long ago I read a book with a title like “Four Reasons to Abolish TV”. Author?

    Gerry Mander


  24. Oh, and while you’re here, you know Jim Crow Laws, unions and the KKK were all Democrat party right ?

  25. (i) Re Trump: E…Vid…Ence
    (ii) Re conservative memes: Yes, I know racist laws were passed by Democrat controlled polities. Who was it signed the Civil Rights Act (making Jim Crow illegal)? Must have been one of the great Republican presidents (was George Wallace ever president?) surely?

  26. I don’t believe anybody here has said the Republican Party is racist (but I can be proven wrong if you have E… Vi… Ence).
    But please, keep supplying us with your cheap gotchas, they relieve the boredom that so often arises from informed comment.

  27. I didn’t accuse anyone here of anything zoot.
    Perhaps you doth protest too much methinks,
    Just informing you on who was the driving force behind civil rights in America, traditionally, in answer to your question above.

    I like to answer questions, if I can, to help genuine gaps in knowledge. Not so much silly inane questions.

  28. Jumpy, I’m not a student of American history. I was merely quoting Andrew Romano, journalist who gave his age one night. From memory it was about 33, so his view of “traditional” may be limited to the last couple of decades. I don’t know.

    If Republicans have such a fine tradition they should honour it, live by and act according to it.

    I do note that your link gives the exception of

    Democrat President Lyndon B. Johnson, who was instrumental in the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and the 1965 Voting Rights Act


    This may have marked a break in the earlier Democrats tradition. I would not look to your author Jennifer Kerns, a GOP communications strategist who served as a writer for the 2016 U.S. presidential debates for FOX News, for a balanced comment on recent history and the status quo.

  29. Brian

    Those laws were good achiements by Lyndon Johnson. Perhaps it took a Texan Democrat to bring enough Southerner congress persons along, and complete that part of the JFK ambition?

    Recently I read that early in his term, Mr Kennedy felt at times under pressure from the “liberal” wing of his Party. Which pressure (for more rapid reform) he resisted. Perhaps he recognised, more than they did, that he had achieved election by the slimmest of margins??

    Caution, compromise are often the course a leader feels necessary to follow for a while.

    PS I don’t condone JFK’s generous sexual gymnastics. For a bloke with a weak back, he was a tad adventurous. If anyone suffered from a “sense of entitlement ” it was those “Kennedy Boys”.

  30. To Mr J, clocking on at 1.10pm.

    Now that you’re dabbling in Middle Eastern names I offer you this greeting:

    Salaam Salim

  31. If what she says is correct, and I’ve been shown more evidence she is than not, I’ll trust her for now.

    I’m of the opinion there no balances commentators.

    Barry Cassidy was Bob Hawkes press secretary yet his facts are mostly correct.

  32. Jumpy, her whole spiel is what happened between 1860 and 1960. She may be correct, but simply irrelevant as to what has happened since then.

    It is common knowledge that Lyndon Johnson in doing what he thought was the right thing lost the south politically and the Democrats have struggled there ever since.

    Jumpy, of course there is no such thing as ‘objective’ comment. That is a truism and not news. All I’m saying is that if you have someone who is a GOP communications strategist and wrote for the notoriously biassed Fox News during the last presidential election, then a certain slant on things would be no surprise.

  33. For another summary of Australian corporate tax paying, Jessica Irvine has an article* in the SMH online: A third of companies pay no tax, here’s why.

    This topic just won’t go away. UK Guardian has a preview of a speech by Mr Corbyn to the UN in Geneva soon. Mr Corbyn condemns corporate tax evasion strongly. But of course the Guardian is biased .

    They had a hand in breaking the “Paradise Papers” story. Fake news, folks. Terrible. Mr Mueller is biased. I always said he was a Crooked Hillary fan. etc etc etc.

    * do we still call them “articles”? Maybe I’m not up to date, dearie me.

  34. Brian:

    I would not look to your author Jennifer Kerns, a GOP communications strategist who served as a writer for the 2016 U.S. presidential debates for FOX News, for a balanced comment on recent history and the status quo.


    If what she says is correct, and I’ve been shown more evidence she is than not, I’ll trust her for now.

    (My emphasis) Apples and oranges?
    “Correct” will be accurate, but it is only a subset of “balance”.

  35. You’ve got it zoot, and jumpy has fallen for the line being pushed.

    Kerns is a spin doctor, messing with your brain, the more dangerous because she uses selected facts and doesn’t make stuff up.

  36. Zoot,
    The very next sentence, immediately below the one you copied & pastes. The one Brian acknowledged but now forgets.
    This one,

    I’m of the opinion there no balances commentators.

    Apart from my typo it seems so accurate you unknowingly went on to prove it by omitting it.

    I must have missed the link with Andrew Romano to Sarah MacDonald. I’d like to see what line and any evidence you fell for. Could you post it again please ?
    Also to see any political affiliation or link to biased news outlets, ta.

    After that perhaps the subject of which US party has traditionally given more shits about minorities could be nutted out together. Actual actions rather than lip service.

  37. Jumpy, it appears you have not understood my last comment and Brian’s reply.

    And quite frankly, I can’t be arsed trying to explain it to you.

  38. Do you mean actions rather than words Mr J? Deeds rather than empty rhetoric? Laws rather than spin and photo opportunities?

    OK: I’ll begin by citing the two laws sponsored by LBJ which Brian drew our attention to, earlier. Long overdue by European standards, but breakthroughs in the context of USA, 1960s.

  39. Zoot, you never do, don’t trouble your good self now.
    And I feel I understood more completely what you say than you did in the context of this thread of discussion.

  40. Mr A, I’ve covered the Civil Rights Act 1964 above but here’s the final count,
    Democratic Party: 153–91 (63–37%)
    Republican Party: 136–35 (80–20%)
    At the time the longest filibuster in history by Dems.

    The Voteing act of 1965 results were similar,
    Democratic Party: 221-85 ( 78-22% )
    Republican Party: 112-61 ( 82-18 % )

  41. Oh perhaps I misunderstood “given more shits” and “Actual actions”.

    You meant “Congressional voting records” did you?

    How about real outcomes: poverty rates, educational achievements, employment rates, average wages, infant death rates, electoral enrolments, hospital facilities….??

  42. Ok.
    But we have to indulge in dichotomic thinking as the US is a 2 party system, Republican or Democrats.
    Being careful not to give credit or condemnation for outcomes they had little to do with.

    I would say Republicans were overwhelmingly responsible for ending slavery. That’s a biggy. Can we agree on that at least ?

  43. And I feel I understood more completely what you say than you did in the context of this thread of discussion.

    Then you’ll be able to disprove Dunning-Kruger by telling me , using your own words, what I said. (Not what I “meant”, but what I said).

  44. Couldn’t be arsed zoot
    Find someone else to play waste of time games with.
    Or offer something, anything, in the way of relevancy or substance.

  45. On quite different topic,
    Today’s Conversation with Richard Fidler was Daniel Kish, strong brilliant bloke.
    Listening to him I couldn’t help making parallels between how we treat the blind and how Governments treat Aboriginals.
    The infantilising is not helpful.

    Anyway, it’s there to listen to.

  46. Aww, come on Jumpy. Don’t be a spoilsport. It’s easy. Really.

    If what she says is correct, and I’ve been shown more evidence she is than not, I’ll trust her for now.

    Here Jumpy has said that he has been shown evidence that in some cases she has been wrong but there have been more instances when she was right.
    So, not knowing whether she is right or not on this occasion, he will go with history and assume she is probably right.

    That’s what you said. I know it’s not what you meant, but what you meant did not address Brian’s comment about balance. You were indulging in your favourite tactic the Gish Jumpy Gallop.

    See? It’s easy.

  47. Jumpy, I haven’t forgotten anything. It’s just that you don’t want to see what is in front of you.

    Sometimes people do things that result in real change.

    Abraham Lincoln:

    led the United States through its Civil War—its bloodiest war and perhaps its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis.[2][3] In doing so, he preserved the Union, paved the way for the abolition of slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the economy.

    Lyndon B Johnson:

    In domestic policy, Johnson designed the “Great Society” legislation by expanding civil rights, public broadcasting, Medicare, Medicaid, aid to education, the arts, urban and rural development, public services, and his “War on Poverty”. Assisted in part by a growing economy, the War on Poverty helped millions of Americans rise above the poverty line during his administration.[1] Civil rights bills that he signed into law banned racial discrimination in public facilities, interstate commerce, the workplace, and housing; the Voting Rights Act prohibited certain requirements in southern states used to disenfranchise African Americans. With the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, the country’s immigration system was reformed, encouraging greater immigration from regions other than Europe. Johnson’s presidency marked the peak of modern liberalism after the New Deal era.


    Johnson is ranked favorably by many historians because of his domestic policies and the passage of many major laws that affected civil rights, gun control, wilderness preservation, and Social Security


    Other people have too, not always for the best, but including Franklin D Rooseveldt, Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Gorbachev.

    Ms Kerns is perpetrating a con, whereby she quotes what happened prior to Johnson as reality, terms what Johnson did as an exception and then pretends things went on as before.

    They didn’t and to claim they did is humbug.

    But thankyou for educating me about what really happened, even if you can’t see it yourself.

  48. I’d like to put in a word for the Republicans, who are recognised hands down winners when it comes to gerrymanders and voter suppression (the sorts of things which really enrich the lives of the poor and vulnerable, as well as ensuring democracy will blossom).

  49. Wish I could provide a link, but I have memories of an article I read some time ago which explained how Huey Long, a Democrat and probably the crookedest US politician of the twentieth century (admittedly from a crowded field), was responsible for enormous social good in Louisiana.
    George Wallace and Lester Maddox were Democrats fighting integration while JFK and LBJ were Democrats busy making it a reality.
    To make the whole complex mess a simple Democrats vs Republicans issue (my team is better than your team, rah! rah! rah!) is, quite simply the height of stupidity.

  50. zoot, you are right, as you usually are. Ronnie Reagan did some good stuff because he brought in competent people and wasn’t threatened by them.

    Otto von Bismarck introduced things like the aged pensions in part to steal the socialists’ homework, as it were.

  51. Will Rogers invented Trickle Down Theory 😀
    In his words:

    They (Republicans) didn’t start thinking of the old common fellow till just as they started out on the election tour. The money was all appropriated for the top in the hopes that it would trickle down to the needy. Mr. Hoover was an engineer. He knew that water trickled down. Put it uphill and let it go and it will reach the dryest little spot. But he didn’t know that money trickled up. Give it to the people at the bottom and the people at the top will have it before night anyhow. But it will at least have passed through the poor fellow’s hands. They saved the big banks but the little ones went up the flue

  52. Sam Dastyari has quit. Maybe the pollies and the media can find something halfway important to talk about now.

  53. Amazing how, these days, a bloke who resigns has never done anything foolish, corrupt or greedy. No, he has merely “become a distraction”.

    A bit like the AFL footballers: “I let myself down”, “I disappointed myself”, “I let the Club down”, “I have remorse”, “I’ve learnt a lot about myself”,

    “We’re Taking It One Week At A Time”, etc.

  54. At least Kenneally has spot if Bennelong doesn’t go her way.
    Her and Sam go way back.
    Same people made them what they are.

  55. And now I’m even more curious about Sally Zou’s Julie Bishop Glorious Foundation, and the appointment of firmer Trade Minister Robb, as a consultant to Landbridge.

    Or is the latter position entirely unpaid?


    PS I don’t think these matters are unimportant. Bring on the Federal ICAC.

    Mr Di Natale spoke strongly about it today.

    On the “4 Corners” about the Lionel Murphy matter recently, Mr David Marr suggested that the LM case involved old-fashioned corruption, but the later establishment of the NSW ICAC and the Qld body meant that nowadays a more clearcut result would be obtainable.

  56. I agree with DiNatale on an ICAC type body for the Feds.
    Hopefully it’s established better than the HRC.

  57. Ambi, I think Dastayari was largely a distraction. Most of it was old news. He didn’t have any secrets to give away, had zero impact on Labor’s foreign policy, and you will notice that Tanya Plibersek took exactly no notice of him about who she would meet with.

    Shorten pointed out that Labor is not taking foreign donations any more, and Turnbull has done nothing about changing the law.

    It seems clear that Shorten got in his ear and told him where his future lay.

    Agree about a federal ICAC.

    Jumpy, Keneally has said specifically that she has been offered the senate before, has said no in the past and will say no in the future. It was gross negligence on Mat Worthington’s part to raise this possibility on the 7.30 Report and not report what Keneally said. I heard her about three hours earlier on NewsRadio.

    Worthington was a spare parts man on Brisbane radio, useless here and beyond requirements, shunted to Sydney where he does fill-in jobs. He’s not good enough to do a real gig and is far short of his own estimation of himself, from what I see.

    I’ll be very disappointed if Keneally loses and ends up in the senate.

  58. We’ll have to disagree on Senator Sam, Brian.

    I think several of the recent items were new news.
    The fact that Sam appears not to have had his desired effect on ALP policy, or on Ms Plibersek’s itinerary in Hong Kong, is positive. But his lobbying was highly suspect in my view, and put together with the previous admissions about a personal bill being paid, etc, leads me to think he might have faced a very torrid time in front of the Senate Privileges Committee.

    Senators are not supposed to be available for purchase.
    We can do without it.

    In some ways, it reminds me of that scandal in the UK House of Commons several years ago, where MPs had been paid to ask questions in Question Time, scripted by outsiders with commercial interests at stake.

    Yes, there are worse things that happen; but that’s no excuse to ignore this little problem.

  59. Apparently the relevant authorities are calling Alabama as a Democrat win for the Senate seat.


  60. Well US elections look to, from now on, be a Televised Show called ” Least Accusations Wins ! ”

    RIP presumption of innocence.

    We’re now in the political era of weaponised accusations. And don’t think the best money won’t buy the best weaponry.

    Strap up folks…..

  61. We’re now in the political era of weaponised accusations. And don’t think the best money won’t buy the best weaponry.

    We’ve been in it for yonks (c’mon down Whitewater, Benghazi, Birtherism) and the current POTUS has been one of the most accomplished practitioners, ably assisted by Faux News (thank you Rupert).

  62. I owe you my humblest apologies Jumpy, I don’t know what came over me.
    You’re right of course, I should have responded to what you were thinking rather than what you had written.
    I’ll try to do better in future.

  63. Well I doubt it, based on past evidence, but OK.
    You have my forgiveness.
    Now my comment stands unblemished.

  64. Bless you guv’nor, thank you. You can’t possibly comprehend the weight that has taken off my shoulders.
    Now what, in your highly esteemed and obviously elevated moral view, should we do about candidates for political office who brag about being sexual predators?

  65. brag? mr zoot, brag??
    why would any decent fellow do that???

    Surely he would be too ashamed of himself?

  66. Weaponised sexual accusations zoot.

    Jumpy, you can’t assume that the accusations were true or not true. As you say there must be an assumption of innocence.

    In the main, though, accusations are real but devilishly hard to prove.

    In this case, it seems Republicans mainly walked away from Moore, except Trump and local Alabama Republicans. Some say Jones won because many Republican supporters simply stayed at home. You can read a more complex story here.

    I’m hearing right now Moore was a tax cheat and was dismissed from several positions.

    According to the BBC Moore believed that Muslims are not fit to serve in Congress.

    At best Moore was a flawed candidate.

  67. Ambi, Laura Tingle said Dastyari showed himself unfit to be in parliament, and I agree with that.

    What he did was bizarre, and then it became clear that he lied about it.

    However, I don’t think he put Australia’s security at risk or had any noticeable influence within the Labor Party in terms of policy.

    I think when Linda Burney and Catherine King came out and said he should consider his position within the party, it was time to go.

  68. I think it would be a splendid idea to replace Dastyari with a member of the Australian Chinese community.

  69. I agree, Brian, that Senator Sam was unfit to sit in Parlt.

    It was expulsion from Parlt that I was contemplating, when mentioning the Privileges Committee.

    There may be charges laid later, but he deserves the presumption of innocence.


    On sexual offences, I think the general legal principle of presumption of innocence is so valuable to society, that it must be preserved and valued.

    It is possible to make a false accusation (I’m thinking of instances in family law in Australia, custody disputes and the like; not Hollywood casting couch, TV productions, ….).

    In fact, I think it is easier to make a false accusation of sexual assault. If the event really happened, strong emotions of shame, helplessness, violation, etc. , or explicit threats by the perpetrator, seem, as things stand, to make many victims reluctant to report (accuse).

    So years may pass.

    By the nature of the perpetrator’s modus operandi there may be no witnesses. Quite likely no physical evidence. But thank science for forensic DNA techniques which are being refined every year.

    I hesitate to mention the blue dress, but there – I’ve said it.

    It must be terrifying to be assaulted.
    There’s the additional fear of murder, which tragically is so often the perpetrator’s ultimate iniquity.

    More attention now being paid to “family violence”, and some support in “rape crisis refuges” and such.

    More progress is needed.
    I hesitate to call the Weinstein Follies a distraction. What a toad!

    Sometimes you have to be kissed by a lot of toads before a prince arrives to sort out the toads……

  70. I hesitate to mention the blue dress, but there – I’ve said it.

    Not seeking to excuse sleazebag Bubba, but I don’t recall that affair being characterised as sexual assault (ala Weinstein, Cosby, Harris, Spacey, Franken, Old Uncle Tom Cobbley and all). A similar distinction applies to JFK and FDR (and Billie Snedden if push come to shove).

  71. Consensual indeed. Sleazy and “that woman – Miss Lewinsky”

    I wanted to give an example of DNA evidence in a sexual matter.

    FDR, JFK, Bill Snedden*, Mao, Mussolini, RJLH, LK Murphy…. yup, that branch of showbiz they call “politics” has seen some legendary bedroom bandicoots.

    Do you have anything particular in mind, in writing “push come to shove”?

    The lady exited the motel as swiftly as she could, I heard.

    * “Mr Snedden, why are you insisting on being called Bill rather than Billie?”
    “Because Billie is a diminutive name and I am not a diminutive person.”

  72. Do you have anything particular in mind, in writing “push come to shove”?

    It wasn’t an intentional single entendre, I was just a bit dubious that Mr Snedden ‘s achievements justified his inclusion amongst such legends as JFK.

  73. Howdy zoot

    Guess I just don’t wanna let you Aussies down there gettin’ to think all the sleazes are over here Stateside.

    Why, only the other day Miss Keeler over there across the seas in England went to say Hi to her Maker, and it sure did stir up them Limeys to remember Minister Perfume. “Ah DID have sex with that young lady – Miss Keeler.”

    Sure took the rap. Like a real man. Great guy. Anyhows, gotta get back to The Pursuit of Happiness.

    Say hi to the wallabies for me!!

  74. Some things are happening that are giving me increasing concern:
    * Trump as president has ceded influence in Asia (and much of the world) to the Chinese and maybe Russia. The latest Quarterly Essay offers insight into what the increased Chinese influence means to Australia. How adept is our government (Labor or Liberal) to manage the shift in power and influence?

    * Trumps deplorable actions supporting climate change are well known. His attitude to women and racial bias is shocking, and he openly supported an alleged pervert, Moore.

    *Now he wants to end net neutrality, meaning that large corporations can effectively control web content. That’s a serious tilt at broad based censorship, with implications for the world. For example, it places a harness around “free” political reporting, one of the few devices supposedly keeping the bastards honest.

    * Given Trump’s instability and his performance to date, that he should have access to the nuclear codes is downright scary.

    * Disney is buying a huge chunk of Fox. My thinking is that Rupert may be tired and knows the stock is worth more while he still lives. How the new owners behave is to be seen, but Disney today is far removed from the quirky Mickey and Donald days.

    *Apple is buying Shazam, a great app that identifies any tune/song you are hearing. So if you are in a shop and like the mood music, in a few moments you can identify that music. The app offers sites where the music can be found – one of which is Apple. Access to the site will doubtless be limited to Apple only, or to others via a fiscal contribution.

    * In Oz we have this on-going business about eligibility. Labor seems to have belatedly admitted they have some referrals to the High Court. No surprise but they should have come clean earlier.

    * John Alexander somehow forgot to declare an income of $1,400 per week, nearly $53,000 pa. I just can’t believe that kind of money could be so back-of-mind that he would forget to mention it. Perhaps he saw it as petty cash when weighed against Kushner’s omissions… I think it goes to honesty and integrity, characteristics that are less apparent in commerce and politicians these days, and seldom pursued with any vigour.

    So there are some of the depressing happenings I am seeing and wondering what the heck the grandchildren and beyond are going to see.

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