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Open thread – May 7 – 11

Budget week. The Federal budget brings with it a familiar pattern in Australia’s media, lists of “winners and losers”, complaints from rent-seeking industries who don’t believe that they’ve been given enough handouts and subsidies, concern from welfare lobbyists that the government hasn’t done enough for their area of interest, while they ignore what is being done elsewhere, and of course our political journalists pontificating on whether or not this is a good budget, based on the political impact rather than the economic effects. However, much of this may end up being overshadowed as the allegations circling the Speaker of the House, Peter Slipper, continue to draw attention. Strap yourselves in, I predict that this week will not be one where our press bathe themselves in glory.

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  • 1
    Dom Ramone
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    Let the great unhinging begin…

    Hollande ousts Sarkozy as France President
    http://www.theage.com.au/world/hollande-ousts-sarkozy-as-france-president-20120507-1y7iv.html

  • 2
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Breitbart is still the go-to brand for the most crap stories. Made even more believable when they’re quoted by bolta.

    Seems like some people on Obama’s campaign think he’s far more interesting than most normal people actually find him:

    Barack Obama launched his campaign in unspectacular fashion today at Ohio State University, the largest college in the crucial swing state. A photo posted to twitter by Mitt Romney’s campaign spokesman Ryan Williams reveals sparse attendance. The above image, according to Williams, was taken during the President’s first official campaign speech.

    Right. A photo of the back of a crowd, taken by the opposition, framed to include two sections of the bleachers that are empty. Why are they empty? Well, here’s a photo, thoughtfully supplied by an ODS-sufferer:

    http://therealrevo.com/blog/?p=73713

    Those gates are shut, and that’s a policeman standing next to them. For whatever reason, people aren’t allowed to sit there. So they’re empty. QED.

    Here are some other photos of the same event that appear to show a different kind of turnout:

    http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/obama?before=1336266086

    http://sync.democraticunderground.com/101726417

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/06/us/politics/obama-holds-large-campaign-rallies-in-ohio-and-virginia.html

    The NYT estimates 14,000 attendees. Insiders claim that glenn beck estimated the same crowd at around 7 billion.

    The internet has made it much harder to get away with this sort of nonsense. Sadly, falling expectations and rising gullibility seem to be offsetting those advantages.

  • 3
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    In the “what’s in a name” category, andrew’s also quoting “new research”, commissioned by an organisation calling itself the “Australian Industry Greenhouse Network”, being described the The Australian as “some of Australia’s biggest companies in the climate change policy debate”

    Sounds legit. At least they’re honest about their backing – the AIGN website describes its membership as “comprised of a broad cross-section of Australian businesses and industry associations”. Yep, it’s true. They’ve got both kinds of companies – those who produce huge quantities of energy from fossil fuels, and those who consume huge quantities of energy from fossil fuels (and a few who chop down trees).

    And they’ve commissioned a report that says the government’s carbon policy is bad, because the carbon price will drop precipitously due to international pressure.

    And this is news. Except it isn’t. Because Bloomberg New Energy Research said the same thing last year:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2011-08-26/report-predicts-carbon-price-drop/2856902

    Here’s the problem, though – nobody’s showing us the report:

    But the Bloomberg report, obtained by The Australian, says when the impact of international supply and demand economics is considered in relation to Australia’s legislation “a bumpy domestic carbon unit price is produced”.

    “Obtained by the australian”? PPpptht. I think “commissioned by an industry lobby and handed to us to give predictable coverage”.

    At least release the report. Let’s see the assumptions.

  • 4
    Coldsnacks
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    A good news story:

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/refugee-students-get-helping-hand-to-fulfil-their-educational-dreams-20120506-1y76n.html

    Declaration of interest: I’m one of the tutors in the program this semester.

  • 5
    gtpfb13
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    I’m assuming after Andy’s condemnation of Bob Carr’s Tweet about Ashby and other comments by the Hate Filled Left, that he will be at least as scathing about this:

    ……the Nationals leader in the Senate, Barnaby Joyce, hit out at Mr Ashby, saying ”he seems only slightly less dodgy than Slipper”.
    Senator Joyce said the question was what Mr Ashby was doing at Mr Slipper’s house – where some of the inappropriate conversation was alleged to have taken place. ”He wasn’t dragged into the house,” Senator Joyce said, adding that Mr Ashby was ”not a boy in his teens but a man in his 30s”.

  • 6
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    MoC@2:

    An explanation of what’s going on there: https://plus.google.com/101040998703128232705/posts/ZCxp7XC2RnF

  • 7
    John Reidy
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

    I wonder how long the ABC had to look to find these dentists that are against the new dental plan.
    I wonder what other health professionals think?

  • 8
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I predict that this week will not be one where our press bathe themselves in glory.

    I’m adding that to the standard Open Thread text.

  • 9
    Angra
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Interesting article on the erosion of the independence of Australia’s legal system and kow-towing to US pressure to make it easier to prosecute Aussies for breaches of US law even though occuring on Australian soil.

    “We have reached a point in Australia where citizens can be arrested and extradited to the United States based on information supplied by Australian spies for breaches of US law on Australian soil. Australia has effectively signed away its right to govern its own in matters of copyright infringement when those matters overlap the interests of the United States. ”

    And the relaxation of legal protections against extradition covered by the Extradition and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation is truly frightening.

    http://torrentfreak.com/the-lengthening-arm-of-uncle-sams-pirate-justice-120506/

  • 10
    Angra
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Please help Andrew possums, his roses are being eaten by armies of giant rats!

  • 11
    monkeywrench
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Heartland’s Ad Campaign Pays Dividends… for global warming campaigners. A classic example of ugly Right-wing rhetoric alienating people. Post this one, Mr. Bolt.

  • 12
    mr. peabody
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    @gtpfb13

    shhhh…The Liberal Party are trying very hard to pretend it never happened.

  • 13
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    So Fair work say what they said months ago. Some small breaches of the HSU rules.

    But how can Fair work investigate former employees in the first place when Fair work did not exist then.

    Fair dinkum the media are claiming it is Thomson but he has not been named.

  • 14
    mr. peabody
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Apparently there is a man shortage. The Catholic Church and the Liberal’s Kevin Andrews are concerned.

    The flaw in statistical modelling is so obvious that I wonder how Andrews and co. missed it. Excluding those males making under $60ka is just BS.

    Australia is experiencing a huge decline in the number of available men, with the church telling women they should also forget about living with their partners before tying the knot, the Herald Sun reports.

    Statistics have revealed that there are dramatically fewer eligible blokes than single women aged 25 to 34.

    The dire outlook has been backed by Federal Liberal MP Kevin Andrews, who is researching changes in marriage and families in Australia and has suggested the swing towards de facto partnerships wasn't helping.

    A church official told the Herald Sun newspaper there has been a massive decline in the number of available men, with statistics claiming there are just 86,000 Mr Rights for 1.3 million women aged between 25 and 34.

    Demographer Bernard Salt has calculated that of the 1.343 million men in the same age bracket, only 86,000 single, heterosexual, well-off, young men were available after excluding those who were already married (485,000), in a de facto relationship (185,000), gay (7000), a single parent (12,000) or earning less than $60,000 a year.

    http://www.news.com.au/national/grab-a-man-or-miss-out-church-warns-girls/story-e6frfkvr-1226348223822

  • 15
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

    And apparently refugees know it is the first anniversary of the announcement of the illegal Malaysia deal so they turn up to spite us.

    Too bad that it is their legal right to turn up.

  • 16
    Mack the Knife
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    I read on the ABC that Fair Work Australia is pursuing HSU people under the Fair Work Act.

    Would these people being targeted include some that haven’t worked for the union for years before the act was enacted, such as Craig Thomson?

  • 17
    Fran Barlow
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    In the psirit of finding instances of semiotics in the newspaper, this photo of Craig Thomson in the major Murdoch rag …

    Craig Thomson as news would like to see him

  • 18
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Craig Thomson was not investigated by
    Temby and he was not named in the interim fair work report but we would not know that from our worthless fucking media.

  • 19
    Coldsnacks
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    Fair dinkum the media are claiming it is Thomson but he has not been named.

    Care of @sspencer_63 here’s the FWA report: http://t.co/vvI1dqUD

    And the tweet it was posted in:

    Here’s the FWA report into the HSU aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_… Thomson is mentioned on over 900 of the report’s 1127 pages.

  • 20
    Angra
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    Fren – maybe Zoosemiotics is more appropriate.

  • 21
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    OK Thomson was accused of misusing a credit card but no charges will be laid for the non-governance of credit cards.

    And he didn’t have a spouse so can’t be charged with spousal travel.
    EDIT

  • 22
    Lola
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

    mr.peabody 14

    Haha, my partner was silly enough to pick up a copy of the Hun today at her parents house and was “flabbergasted” by that article. Nice to see they can still shock some people.

  • 23
    Angra
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

    Well the Catholic church is getting pretty well-practised at putting their feet in the bovine faeces.

    This time they are blaming unmarried womern in their ’30s for being too fussy. They are looking for “Mr. Right’ whilst ignoring “Mr. Almost Right.’

    There’s a ‘man-drought’ apparently – especially for suitable middle-aged blokes.

    Maybe if the Tykes freed up a few hundred thousand priests from 1,000 years of mastubatory solitude and child molestation they could solve the problem.

  • 24
    liliwyt
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Fran @17 – that’s a very subtle photograph. I hope it doesn’t confuse some of the Hun readers and think that Craig Thomson is actually behind bars.

  • 25
    Angra
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

    Mr Climate claims that there were no threats against climate scientists and it’s all a leftie/Greens beat-up.

    He links to ‘the man who shall not be named’, and Quadrant as proof.

    Right.

    The Australian claims that the threats ‘have gone up in smoke’ as a result of the inquiry by the Privacy Commissioner.

    Mr B says “Tony Thomas reviews the “death threats” beatup – and the astonishing gullibility and double standards of the warmists.”

    So if any of us say to Mr B. “you should be tied up in a bag and dumped in the sea”, or “watch out for your family”, or “we’d like to use you for target practice” – it’s all just a jolly jape.

    Orwell would be proud.

  • 26
    John Reidy
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think so Angra@33, look at the ‘qualifications’ again…

    only 86,000 single, heterosexual, well-off, young men

  • 27
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

    “There’s a ‘man-drought’ apparently – especially for suitable middle-aged blokes.”

    Rules me out.

  • 28
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    This ohio-speech-turnout thing. My golly. Even the turnout at an obama speech is now the subject of wing-nuttery. They know how many people were there. It’s not up for debate. Admittedly, there’s a bit of moonbattery. But I’d like to think it would stay OUT of the mainstream? Apparently not.

  • 29
    Brown Bob
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    OK Thomson was accused of misusing a credit card but no charges will be laid for the non-governance of credit cards.

    LOL there’s nothing like doing 5 seconds worth of research before you let the Tourettes kick in Marilyn !

  • 30
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 9:41 pm | Permalink

    mr. peabody @14

    Did they also rule out any men who aren’t catholic?

  • 31
    Phil Vee
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    Re Fair Work Report
    I would like to know what is the penalty for breaching Sub rule 36-B and also subsection 285(1) of the RAO schedule. What does it mean and how many lettuce leaf lashes will he get? Check out the findings 101-104 in the quote below.

    meanwhile consider Ch 6, my translation
    para 592 there was no formal policy on travel, rather an informal understanding that allowed his expenditure.
    598 There was no policy allowing him to do it.
    599 Permission to do it was not included in his terms of employment.
    Therefore he broke the rules.
    If this is the logic, surely a lawyer could knock it over in a few minutes. Will this stand up in court?

    Findings 101 to 104 – Expenditure by Mr Thomson on travel for his wife,
    Mrs Christa Thomson
    101. Mr Thomson breached Sub-rule 36(b) by incurring the expenditure of National Office funds referred to in paragraph 541 of this chapter on travel for his wife, Mrs Christa Thomson, without the authority of either National Council or National Executive to do so.

    102. Mr Thomson contravened subsection 285(1) of the RAO Schedule by failing to
    exercise his powers and discharge his duties as National Secretary with the degree
    of care and diligence that a reasonable person would exercise if they were National
    Secretary by using HSU funds to pay for the travel by his wife, Mrs Christa Thomson,
    referred to in paragraph 541 of this chapter when such expenditure:
    — had not been authorised by either National Council or National Executive;
    — was not in accordance with any policy approved by either National Council or
    National Executive; and was not an entitlement of his employment as National Secretary.

  • 32
    Gerry Hatrick, OAP
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 10:44 pm | Permalink

    JuLIAR accepting Thompson’s vote from jail? How corrupt can this government get? I demand more elections! Until we get it right!

    Aside, Their News24 this morning on the ticker, something like “Hockey claims Labour is conducting a smear campaign against Ashby”. You know, I’m not saying anything but, how would it look if the Labour party _were_ conducting secret meetings before a full out assault on a defenceless, lovely LNP MP?

  • 33
    SHV
    Posted May 7, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    I missed all of the really important stuff being covered on the ABC tonight.

    Got a bit sidetracked by some pointless and completely irrelevent triviality:

    “LASHKARGAH/QALA-I-NAW (PAN): A mother and her five children were among 20 civilians killed in two separate airstrikes in the southern Helmand and northwestern Badghis provinces, officials said on Monday.

    The first incident took place late on Friday when an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) helicopter missed its target and dropped bombs on a house in the Fatih Mohammad Pech area of Sangin district in Helmand, the governor’s spokesman said.”

    Did I miss anything important?

  • 34
    mr. peabody
    Posted May 8, 2012 at 3:36 am | Permalink

    Andy was had by the GOP. I wonder if he will admit it?

    Andy ran a photo on Sunday of an empty arena. Claiming that nobody had shown up to Obama’s campaign launch. I was somewhat suspect about the photo at the time.

    And as it turns out the photo was taken before the event began. Here is a series of photos taken during the event that shows the empty sets that Andy pointed to where in fact filled once the event began.

    http://blogs.news.com.au/dailytelegraph/andrewbolt/index.php/dailytelegraph/comments/still_it_makes_it_easier_to_hear_his_own_voice/

    http://www.politicususa.com/obama-arena-empty.html

  • 35
    Aliar Jones
    Posted May 8, 2012 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    LOL there’s nothing like doing 5 seconds worth of research before you let the Tourettes kick in Marilyn !

    Even if that were the case, that’s a whole 5 seconds more than you ever do on anything Blob.

  • 36
    Duncan
    Posted May 8, 2012 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    According to Joe Hokey the recent .5% drop in interest rates is a sign that the economy is weaker and is struggling under incompetent leadership.

    But Abbott, Hockey and Howard have all said said that “interest rates will always be lower under a coalition government”

    Are they are admitting that the economy will always be weaker, and leadership always more incompetent, under a coalition government?

    Or will low interest rates be reported as a good thing again, after Tony wins the next election?

  • 37
    Duncan
    Posted May 8, 2012 at 9:03 am | Permalink

    News Ltd comments thread policy..

    “Feedback will be rejected if it does not add to a debate, or is a purely personal attack, or is offensive, repetitious, illegal or meaningless, or contains clear errors of fact.”

    Most of their content wouldn’t stand up to their own moderation policy. :)

  • 38
    boynxdor
    Posted May 8, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I predict either the Coalition or someone in the MSM will think it clever to call it the “Fudge it Budget” or something similar.

    Hoho won’t that be funny. Not

  • 39
    Posted May 8, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Climate change denialist Bob Carter describes scathing reaction to the portrayal of those who accept climate change science as Ted Kaczynski, Charles Manson, Fidel Castro and Osama bin Laden as ”amazing, immediate and over the top”. This, from a group of people who get upset when they’re called “denialists”.

  • 40
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted May 8, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

    What I want to know is whether anyone’s actually caught up with ted to find out if plimer and monckton have managed to change his mind. Everyone just sort of assumes that he DOES blieve in climate change (which, apparently, so does andrew bolt, so let’s hope he doesn’t sue me for saying that) but nobody’s been trotting out the precise quotes to back that up, so it must be really obvious or something.

    I don’t think the reaction was over the top. The reaction was actually pretty low-key, merely pointing out that the comparison between warmists and mass-killers was a wee bit extreme and that it would show that heartland had lost the plot, if anyone actually believed that heartland even had the plot to start with. What was remarkable was just how CONSISTENT that reaction was.

    But yeah, this is from people who reckon calling someone a denier is just like saying they’re hitler.

  • 41
    Sancho
    Posted May 8, 2012 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    Some random surfing recently led me to the wiki page for the Moors Murders, in which a couple raped and murdered several children in England during the early 60s, before being apprehended and tried.

    From the page:

    The trial was held over 14 days beginning on 19 April 1966[.]

    David Smith was the chief prosecution witness, but during the trial it was revealed that he had entered into an agreement with a newspaper that he initially refused to name—even under intense questioning—guaranteeing him £1,000 (equivalent to about £10,000 as of 2012) for the syndication rights to his story if Brady and Hindley were convicted, something the trial judge described as a “gross interference with the course of justice”.

    Smith finally admitted in court that the newspaper was the News of the World, which had already paid for a holiday in France for him and his wife and was paying him a regular income of £20 per week, as well as accommodating him in a five-star hotel for the duration of the trial.

    That was three years before Rupert Murdoch took control of the paper, but it doesn’t seem like his ownership did much to improve its practices over the next four decades.

  • 42
    peter de mambla
    Posted May 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if You Know Who will be directing his readers to make a submission?

    http://www.immi.gov.au/living-in-australia/a-multicultural-australia/multicultural-policy/speak-out-on-racism.htm

  • 43
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted May 8, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

    “I wonder if You Know Who will be directing his readers to make a submission?”

    As long as we get to read ‘em.

  • 44
    jules
    Posted May 8, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    SHV @ 33.

    Its sad and disgusting and it seems to happen every day, especially via drone strikes. How the fuck do we let this happen? Its insane. According to a variety of non US based sources at least 2000 civilians have been killed by drones and the civilian to militant ratio may be as high as 10 to 1.

    The US claim that basically these days everyone they kill is a militant.

    I wonder who to believe.

  • 45
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    A violent attack at a school representing a religion with an association with violence at various times and places around the word …

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-05-09/teen-girl-stabbed-in-school-assault/4000102

    Andrew bolt’s going to be all over this. Just watch.

  • 46
    Idlaviv
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    MoC @ 45

    Barbarians.
    When will they learn to assimilate?

  • 47
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 3:55 pm | Permalink

    “The US claim that basically these days everyone they kill is a militant.”

    And who’s going to traipse into the border regions of pakistan to tell us they’re wrong?

    I’m not a fan, but one of the more apt observations that robert fisk made when I saw him speak at ANU in the middle-days of the iraq war: Every time there was a US operation, the papers would declare “XX militants killed”. And no independent journalist could say if that was true or not, because nobody else was there and nobody had the capacity to head into the wild zones and ask. But everyone still reported it just the same.

  • 48
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    I think andrew’s right. I think the following subject needs, desperately, to be spoken of in plain terms. In full sunlight.

    “Sex abuse or also a cultural fault line?

    He links to this:

    Girl forced to have sex with 20 men in one night

  • 49
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

    Oh. Blast. Sorry. I appear to have mixed up my links. Let’s try that again:

    Girl forced to have sex with 20 men in one night

  • 50
    Matthew of Canberra
    Posted May 9, 2012 at 8:23 pm | Permalink

    DAMMIT! I think this machine must have a virus. That’s totally not the link I meant to post. I’ll try it again:

    Girl forced to have sex with 20 men in one night

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