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SOPS 2nd Dec 2013 11:50

Labor has voted down TPV in the Senate. :ugh::ugh:

500N 2nd Dec 2013 12:48



MTOW 3rd Dec 2013 19:45

George Brandis stomps on an retired spy/whistle blower involved in testifying about Australia's involvement in spying on East Timorese delegates during oil lease negotiations.

Pity he didn't have the balls to come down as heavily - if not heavier - against those involved in disclosing the current Indonesian fracas.

MTOW 3rd Dec 2013 19:47

Brilliant cartoon from Pickering this morning.

Cartoon By Larry Pickering - The Pickering Post

7x7 3rd Dec 2013 20:24

On the ALPBC's AM programme this morning, someone asked the Guardian editor if he'd been around during WW2, would he have disclosed the fact that the British had broken the Germans' Enigma code had some TRAITOR put that information on his desk.

His non-answer was that he was a patriot - i.e., we can only assume that he almost certainly would have.

7x7 4th Dec 2013 00:50

Sarah Twodads won't like this.

THE government has banned new permanent protection visas for asylum seekers already in Australia, slamming the door shut on permanent residency for the 33,000 boat arrivals held in detention centres or on bridging visas.

The Daily Telegraph has learned Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has used powers under Section 85 of the Migration Act to put an immediate cap on permanent protection (class XA) visas for asylum seekers who arrived by boat. The legal order was issued yesterday to the Department of Immigration to cease approving PPVs to circumvent the move in the Senate by the Greens and Labor on Monday night to reject the Coalition's attempts to revive the Howard-era temporary protection visas.

The Coalition had hoped to use these to deny permanent residency to the 33,000 refugees by applying them retrospectively.

But the government has found a way around the Senate roadblock through ministerial powers which can be used to set an annual number on how many visas will be granted in a particular class.

500N 4th Dec 2013 01:00


I like that.

I also see in the media something about cutting funding to the ABC
and making them take subscriptions and adverts.

If this comes off, it could be good. At least it is a "shot across the bows"
to the ABC that they overstepped the mark.

"Senator Bernardi's call for ABC funding cuts, which he made in an interview on ABC radio on Wednesday morning, comes amid widespread anger within the Coalition about the ABC's collaboration with The Guardian Australia to report on the alleged phone-tapping of the Indonesian President, its perceived left-wing tendencies and its $1.2 billion annual budget.
Such is the ABC-directed anger within the government that, in a rare move, Prime Minister Tony Abbott publicly condemned the chief executive of the national broadcaster, Mark Scott, for exercising "very, very poor judgment"
by publishing the Indonesian spying revelations, leaked by US whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Ethel the Aardvark 4th Dec 2013 05:14

And there's me thinking it's only Wednesday and there couldn't be anything else this week that his right honourable Phoney Abbs would be back flipping or defending.
How wrong I was.

Dark Knight 4th Dec 2013 05:43


The aardvark is vaguely pig-like in appearance. Its body is stout with a prominently arched back and is sparsely covered with coarse hairs. The limbs are of moderate length, with the rear legs being longer than the forelegs The front feet have lost the pollex (or 'thumb'), resulting in four toes, while the rear feet have all five toes.. Whereas the aardvark is considered digitigrade, it appears at time to be plant grade. This confusion happens because when it squats it stands on its soles

The head of the aardvark contains many unique and different features The snout resembles an elongated pig snout and the aardvark has a long, thin, snakelike, protruding tongue and elaborate structures supporting a keen sense of smell. The ears, which are very effective, are disproportionately long, about 20–25 centimetres long and the eyes are small for its head, and consist only of rods.

Both males and females emit a strong smelling secretion from an anal gland. Genetically speaking, the aardvark is a living fossil, as its chromosomes are highly conserved, reflecting much of the early eutherian arrangement before the divergence of the major modern taxa.

Aardvarks hide in dark underground burrows; their thick skin also protects them to some extent even though the aardvark is a rather quiet animal. However it does make soft grunting sounds as it forages and loud grunts as it makes for its tunnel entrance. It makes a bleating sound if frightened. When it is threatened it will make for one of its burrows.

Guess this pretty well sums it up explaining behaviour.
`emit a strong smelling secretion from an anal gland' Could this be considered as talking through ones fundamental orifice?

Ethel the Aardvark 4th Dec 2013 06:24

Dark knight, you have me all wrong, I am in know way as pleasant as you imply.
However I am one heck of a quantity surveyor!!

500N 4th Dec 2013 07:00

The aardvark is vaguely pig-like in appearance. Its body is stout with a prominently arched back and is sparsely covered with coarse hairs. The limbs are of moderate length, with the rear legs being longer than the forelegs The front feet have lost the pollex (or 'thumb'), resulting in four toes, while the rear feet have all five toes.. Whereas the aardvark is considered digitigrade, it appears at time to be plant grade. This confusion happens because when it squats it stands on its soles"

Sounds like something I would shoot, and possibly eat ;)

Ethel the Aardvark 4th Dec 2013 07:55

So please correct me if I am wrong.
The honourable mr A downer bugs an office to gain info for a major signing on a gas reserve, a certain respectable oil company picks it up and now the not so honourable stocking wearer works for the said oil company.
You couldn't make this stuff if you tried.
What little gems will behold tomorrow?

Fliegenmong 4th Dec 2013 08:11

Who in their right mind would do a deal with the Greens!!! FFS:ugh::ugh:

Who signs off on such lunacy!! :yuk:

No Cookies | The Courier-Mail

Ooh....the LNP gummint, when it suits apparently........

I thought we were mercifully 'done with' the Greens! :{:{ .....who ever would have 'thunk' it? :( ....

I suppose Christine Milne's naivety in believing in greater transparency from an 'Um Ah TA' Gummint kinda worth a giggle.... :rolleyes:....silly Lady!

Ken Borough 4th Dec 2013 08:44

Another objective view on the performance of our new political 'apprentices'. From The Global Mail by Mike Steketee

Let’s Play Political Whack-A-Mole

I’m getting so tired of writing about the nastiness and incompetence of the Abbott government. Truly. My intent today was to write about some of Labor’s stupidities.

That was the plan. To balance up the ledger a bit. To point to the idiocy of Labor’s determination to block the increase in Australia’s debt limit to $500 billion, for one. To highlight the hypocrisy of its decision to obstruct cuts to tertiary education, which Labor itself initiated, when in government.

These are tactically dumb calls, and, given the opportunity, I would have been happy to explain why.

But alas, the opportunity does not present itself. Every day, new examples of the nastiness and incompetence of the Abbott Government crowd out the possibility of writing about anything else.

And the events of the past 24 hours have been exceptionally target-rich, even by recent standards. It’s hard to know where to begin.

Perhaps we should start with Cory Bernardi. Remember him? Tony Abbott chose him as his parliamentary secretary when in Opposition. Alas, Cory was forced out after he gave a speech linking gay marriage to bestiality.

This homophobic, Islamophobic, climate-change-denying, free-market Christian fundamentalist burst back into the news overnight after word came out that he had initiated a major bitch session about the ABC in the Coalition joint party meeting.

Apparently the allegedly independent Speaker of the House, Bronwyn Bishop (whose early performances in the role, incidentally, suggest she may yet rival former Labor Speaker and trick cyclist Leo McLeay for competence and impartiality), joined right in.

Reportedly, so did Senator Ian Macdonald, of whom more in a sec.

Anyway, Bernardi, who someone once described as Sarah Palin without the lipstick (actually that was me), advocated cutting funding to the national broadcaster, the ABC, possibly breaking it up and forcing it to sell ads, or raise subscriptions.

Naturally, he went on ABC radio to talk about it.

He presented some odd arguments in support of his position. Like that the ABC “behemoth” was a threat to media diversity because it competed online with News Corp and Fairfax.

Diversity? Australia has the most concentrated print media in the developed world. The Finkelstein Inquiry found the big two operators controlled 86 per cent of metro circulation. News Corp alone had 65 per cent.

If Bernardi really cared about diversity, he would be welcoming of the arrival on the local media scene of Guardian Australia and The Global Mail. Actually, he despises both.

Diversity schmersity. This guy’s about helping the people who help him, i.e., News Corp.

Now, moving on to Ian Macdonald, who had something of an “emperor’s new clothes” outburst, in that he dared utter publicly something many of his colleagues have muttered quietly about.

That is the culture of “obsessive centralised control phobia” of Tony Abbott and his chief of staff, Peta Credlin.

In fact, numerous members of the government are royally ticked off with the meddling of Credlin in particular in everything from staffing appointments to media appearances, to policy areas.

Macdonald also suggested the leadership was already showing itself to be out of touch with the concerns of voters.

Oh, dear.

But let’s move right along, to Don Randall.

You will recall the entitlement rorts scandal of a month or so ago, in which various pollies – most of them on the conservative side, and including Abbott himself – were accused of claiming expenses for various dubious expenditures.

Well, Randall’s was the most celebrated case. He spent more than $5,000 of public money to fly himself and his wife to Cairns, where they had just bought an investment property.

He admitted no wrong, but paid the money back.

Well, guess who Tony Abbott okayed to sit on the Parliamentary Privileges Committee, which oversees the ethical standards of MPs?

You guessed it.

Then the oleaginous Christopher Pyne defended Randall as an “excellent” choice.

Believe it or not, Randall actually showed himself to have higher ethical standards – and better political judgment than his boss – and stepped down as soon as news got out.

But, wait, there’s more…

The pious Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews moved to repeal almost all of the harm-minimisation measures passed by the Gillard Labor government in November 2012.

The move was promptly condemned by the chair of the Australian Churches Gambling Task Force as a payback to the gambling lobby, which kicked very big money into the Coalition’s election war chest. See our post here.

And still there’s more ...

Attorney-General George Brandis approved ASIO raids on the homes of a former spy turned whistleblower and a lawyer, Bernard Collaery, working for the East Timorese Government in a dispute with Australia due to be heard Thursday in the Hague.

The claim is that former Liberal Foreign Minister Alexander Downer (can we again use the descriptor oleaginous?) approved the bugging of the East Timorese during negotiations over valuable oil and gas fields in the Timor Sea, to the commercial benefit of the resources company, Woodside.

(Guess who Downer wound up working for after he left office?)

The government, of course, claims no foul in sooling the wallopers onto these people. Reasonable people, such as Greens leader Christine Milne, say it stinks and should be the subject of an inquiry.

Meanwhile immigration minister Scott Morrison was announcing new ways to persecute asylum seekers, keeping those asylum seekers already in Australia on indefinite bridging visas without work rights , which means their options for providing for themselves are limited pretty much to charity or criminality.

And, last, but not least, of course, we had the latest OECD report of educational attainment in Australia, which found a dramatic slide in Australian kids’ performances, compared with other developed countries.

The report noted, what’s more, a continuation in the trend towards greater inequality of outcomes within Australia, which is exactly what the Gonski report warned of nearly two years ago, and set out to address.

The oleaginous (oops, that word again) “education” minister Pyne, continued to duck and weave about his government’s commitment to greater educational equity, and to try to blame the previous government.

They, in turn – and with far greater justification – blamed the government before them, the Howard government, which put in place funding “reforms” that greatly benefited elite private schools, in 2001.

So, folks, that about wraps it up for the day.

Promise we’ll get to Labor’s inadequacies some time soon. If the other side ever stops screwing up.

dat581 4th Dec 2013 08:45

Ah? have you missed the last six years Flieggs? Didn't labour sign a pact with them?

Fliegenmong 4th Dec 2013 08:56

Dats 'da point Dat! .......... The LNP do the SAME THING! :ugh::ugh::ugh:

Ask 'Um Ah TA' and the rest of the LNP 'troo believers' why they would do the same thing!! :{ :{ :{

I personally would like to see the greens kicked outta the ball park! Hockey & TA chose to cut deals with them! :rolleyes: The ALP @rse clowns cut deals with them....difference?? Principles?

I have not missed the past 6 years Dat, and observe, sadly I have to admit, that the LNP under 'Um Ah TA', have chosen freely to do deals with a bunch that in the National interest should disappear up their own Tarkine!!!

Fliegenmong 4th Dec 2013 10:28

He he...disappear up their own Tarkine....geddit?? Ah never mind....The LnP are doing deals with the Goddam greens.....Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey Et Al are doing 'deals' with the Greens...are you happy with this? I for one am not!!!

Not happy that Jooliar did deals with them, not happy that 'Non Core' 'Um Ah TA' does deals with them.......disappointed......surely not as much as those who expected much more from this bunch of inexperienced idiots, but it is what it is.....disappointing, but not surprising! ......... :(:sad:

bankrunner 4th Dec 2013 10:40

The news reporting on the former ASIS "whistleblower" and his dealings with that lawyer are interesting.

The media have apparently missed the most likely way in which this contact came about, which would be that he wandered into the embassy off the street, and spilled the beans. The East Timor government would then have engaged the services of the lawyer when they decided to go stomp their feet at the Hague.

The term for this is not "whistleblowing", it's "espionage."

I don't think old mate is likely to see the outside of a jail for a while. If nothing else, he/she picked a pretty dumb time to do it!

Dark Knight 4th Dec 2013 21:45

Aardvarks; thou shalt be judged on what and how is writ.

Ethel the Aardvark 4th Dec 2013 22:09

What's going to happen on day four of the week,
I guess,
1 lots more spying embarrassment,
2 lots more ABC attacks by the dog lover,
3 lots more complaints from the lib old guard regarding abbotomys unelected advisors.
4 maybe start a war with some country or other!
5 cut a bit more world aid from the asbestos queen.
Endless possibilities!
Not overly convinced with the Timor accusations, surely ASIO would not of had the modern technology of bugging machines, it would of been more the case of the honourable Mr Downer hiding in the closet to which he comes out of every now and again,

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