Saturday, 31 May 2014

"Tony Abbott - Happy" - brilliant :)

Melbourne Medicare rally pics

Here's the link for the rest. Lots of people out last night for it. Abbott has underestimated the people's opposition to him and his policies.

 more

Budget won't pass senate in it's present form - Xenophon

Very interesting interview with independent senator Xenophon, on the budget and what's likely to happen with it in the senate. Xenophon is experienced in the senate, and being an independent I guess gives him a unique perspective on the senate. He gives examples of the Medicare tax and student costs as major stumbling blocks for the budget, and that it won't pass the senate in anything like it's present form.

 

Abbott already more unpopular than Gillard

Abbott's lying demolition of the Gillard Labor gov was very effective. He was after all, always known as Howard's attack dog. It appears that's about the only thing he was good at, as since gaining gov he's been an unmitigated disaster. 

His polls continue to free fall, taking his party with it. They must be having a panic attack in the Lieberal bunker with how so completely he's destroyed himself in only a short space of time. It's so bad surely something has to give. The Liberals can't just stand by and watch him trash their party name into the dirt. Even without an election, surely the Lieberals have to act soon for their own good?

Here we have the unpopularity of Abbott now, as compared to the unpopularity of Gillard when Rudd finally turfed her. Abbott is worse than Gillard ever was, by a good deal. And in only 10 months he's done this.

 
On the key issue of trustworthiness, Abbott has already managed to outdo Gillard's rating of just 30 per cent. 

Where she arrived after a relentless internal destabilisation and a sustained attack on her credibility over a couple of years, Abbott has turned up on the occasion of his first budget. 

And while they're neck and neck on trust deficiency, Abbott is well behind where Gillard was before her final political execution on a number of other measures. He is considered more out of touch with ordinary people; more intolerant, less intelligent, and much more arrogant. more

If Tony Abbott Was Your Housemate :)

Baker ordered to bake for gays - US

This has been going on a while over there in the US. Some baker guy over there refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple as it hurt his religious feelings to do so; on the grounds of his religious convictions, even though the law says he's not allowed to discriminate. The couple sued and last I heard the matter was ending up in court.

Now the Civil Rights Commission in the US has ordered the baker to bake a cake for the gays, saying that his religious convictions weren't enough to disobey the law. A very interesting case indeed, as it almost seems a bit fashionable now for Christians to "push back" so to speak, and use their religious convictions as an excuse to discriminate. In fact the same arguments were used against ending segregation in the south last century.
A US Civil Rights Commission has ordered a baker to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples, finding his religious objections did not outweigh the state's anti-discrimination statutes. 

The unanimous ruling from the seven-member commission in Colorado upheld a judge's finding in December that Jack Phillips violated civil rights law when he refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple in 2012. 

The couple sued. 

Phillips said the decision violates his First Amendment rights to free speech and free exercise of his religion. Read more   

Friday, 30 May 2014

Shorten on the budget - fighting words

The week in Politics with Michelle Grattan

Gov grilled over 2 Aussies killed in US drone strike

Oh, I had no idea. Two Australians have been killed in a US drone strike in Yemen. Watch as Greens senator Ludlam grills the gov in the senate over it. Interestingly, Abetz who is Mr freedom of speech ("people have a right to be bigots") is very non co-operative.

 

Ex PM Howard praises the budget to mining sector

Ex PM Howard, who bought in WorkChoices when he had the majority in both the lower house and the senate, has praised Abbott's budget. Using words that he dared not use when in office, he asserts the present budget furor is temporary and public attitudes to it will "stabalise".

Earth to Howard: you are only the second PM in our history to lose his own seat in parliament, both of those events were to do with industrial relations. That's how out of touch with his own electorate he was, let alone the broad Australian public. Surely Howard you are the last person that should offer advice to the present Lieberal party. 
At his second address in the past fortnight to a business audience in Perth, Mr Howard reiterated that the Liberals had handed down a budget that was "absolutely right for the times" but the party was going through a period of "backlash and unpopularity". 

"I believe that will change," he told a mining sector conference. "Give them time. Public attitudes will stabilise as time goes by. 

"But I don't think everything will get through the Senate." 

His comments came after Prime Minister Tony Abbott told the same kind of audience that some of the budget changes were very difficult and hard for people to get their minds around. 

Mr Howard would not be drawn by reporters on the measures he believed would be blocked. 

"I think they should pass the whole budget," he said. 

"The situation with the budget in Australia is very similar to the first budget of the chancellor of the exchequer in Britain introduced a few years ago. 

Everybody dumped on that and now the British economy is performing better than any other European economy. more
I got news for you Howard. Yes the public attitude will stabalise over time, but it won't be positive. This will go down as the worst budget ever, and an attempt by the corporations to hijack our democracy. This is a wake up point for Australia, showing exactly what will happen if we sacrifice our sovereignty to corporate rule. 

And WTF is this about England performing better than other European economies? So what? That means nothing. I mean Europe is pretty fucked up at the moment, not exactly economically shit hot. Easy to be better than. More Lieberal bullshit.

So how is England doing as compared to Australia now? Hmmmmmm? Following England down the toilet doesn't sound like a good economic plan to me.

Media rips sloppy Joe new asshole

Far out. The National Press club address is a prestigious event where pollies and journalists get together and an opportunity is given for the media to ask questions after a speech. It's televised nationally.

However on this occasion with smokin sloppy Joe, the media went rabid. Honestly, you can see the unfettered frustration and anger on their faces. I've watched the press club address for years and never seen anything like this. It carries on outside too after his address. 

Has even the main stream media given up on this gov and going for the jugular?

 

"Why I'm voting Lieberal" satire :)

Abbott goes after workers homes - CFMUE

Workers in Western Australia are in danger of losing their homes over a dispute way back in 2008, and the gov is supporting it.

All I can say is that we've seen how Abbott treats pensioners. How's he gonna treat workers then? By going after their homes, of course.

From the CFMEU:
The CFMEU said that the Prime Minister Tony Abbott can add another notch to his belt of lies, in light of his backing of legal action against workers in West Australia whose assets are under threat if they are unable to pay penalties. 

National CFMEU Construction Secretary Dave Noonan said that Mr Abbott is on the record as saying before the election that workers had nothing to fear from him, and they would find that he was ‘their best friend.’ 

“He is supporting a move that puts workers assets- including their homes- on the line, for something that happened in 2008. 

“This is unprecedented and shows how far his government is prepared to go to hound workers and prevent them from speaking out issues affecting their employment,” he said. 

The Federal Government is also pursuing action against 76 workers in Perth. 

“This is the beginning of what’s in store for workers in our industry. Mr Abbott has made it very clear that he’s doing the bidding of multinational companies who make billions of dollars in profits. 

“He’s making it clear that he is willing to render workers homeless in his quest to teach them that this is the kind of punishment that awaits them if they dare to take a stand. 

“With friends such as Mr Abbott, what can we expect from our enemies?” link 

8,0000 people did multiple votes last election

What gives here? In 2010 there were only 19 multiple voters. In Sept 2013 there was 8,000. WTF? In any case, those who did so are going to find themselves in a spot of bother. I wonder if there's any statistics available as to who those 8,000 people were voting for? I smell a rat.......
The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) will ask federal police to investigate about 8,000 cases of multiple voting from last year's federal election.

The commission has told Senate Estimates it is part of a tough new approach - in comparison, just 19 multiple votes from the 2010 federal election were referred to the Australian Federal Police (AFP).

Senate Estimates has heard 2,000 people have admitted voting more than once, citing reasons including being drunk, confused or "trying out the system".

A further 6,000 people have not adequately explained why they voted multiple times.

Acting Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers says the AEC will refer all those cases to the AFP, which may then hand matters on to the Director of Public Prosecutions. more

Bird flu shot appt

I had to see my doctor before, so I got a script and he asked me about the diary I'd filled out for the study. I also asked him about the $7 doctor tax, which nearest I can gather it's to early for the centre to come up with any pensioner policy yet. He just said it starts in July if it gets through the senate.

So I go upstairs to the research part of the centre and there's a different bloke there who was dealing with me last time. Um, after the statutory anti-Abbott rave to each other (fuck I've never seen so many medical people over the last three months, have so much hatred for our PM) he took some blood and we discussed the diary I'd filled out last time. The 7 days after the first flu shot.

As the guy was involved in the research side of things I guess he wasn't that closely involved with HIV+ people. For example I was saying to him that I generally feel nausea in the mornings (sometimes not) after taking my pills, so I don't know if the nausea would be simply normal for me or a result of the flu injection. Same with tiredness, as the kidney functions aren't the best along with having HIV. The guy seemed surprised that HIV makes you tired. 

Then there was diarrhea which I had a bit of during the 7 days. Thing is I get that off and on all the time, although it's improved somewhat since being on these new HIV pills. Like the other day I had 4 days running (literally). He seemed shocked. Asked if my doctor knew about this. I said of course, it's simply part of the territory with HIV. Being involved only in research I guess that's fair enough though.

Then we got onto my mental health, which for some reason he thought was relevant. I said I've been diagnosed with severe depression and PTSD. He asked who diagnosed that, I said the psychologist I see. Asked again if my doctor knew about this diagnosis, I said of course.

Then the nurse came in and gave me the flu shot. Meh, no biggy. I may be a poof but I'm not a wimp. He was surprised, and started telling about some of the guys that'd been through there as part of the study. Big muscly guys who carry on like 5 year olds at the sight of a needle. Good Grief :s  Give us a bad name.

So I have another diary to fill out for this booster shot, and go back in three weeks to be examined again. 

Save Medicare rally - 300% increase in my costs

There's a rally on tomorrow for the likes of me to vent my rage at what Abbott is trying to do with Medicare. 

Here's the facebook page

Sydney is 1pm at Town Hall. 

Sounds like the organisers want a peaceful family friendly protest. Which is good. The Murdoch media just loves to pick out an isolated bad event and plaster the whole protest with it.

The more I find out about it the more I throw my hands in the air over it. If you're worried about the $7 doctor tax, that's just the start. The $7 to pay for a blood test which I'd have to pay every time I get my bloods done is another one. Then there's another $5 on top of what pensioners normally pay for a prescription, going from the current $6 a script to $11. This may sound like chicken feed to many people, but as I've said I have only $250 a week for everything. Why are they making pensioners pay the same increase as working people?

So the updated typical cost of seeing the doctor if all this gets through the senate, on a typical sort of visit. $7 to see him and $7 for a blood test. Then there's $22 for a couple of prescriptions. In short what now costs me only $12 (two scripts, no Medicare fees) will cost me $36.

That's a 300% increase for me to pay. Just impossible. I'm a fuckin pensioner FFS. Don't kick me when I'm on my ass. 

Thursday, 29 May 2014

Abbott poll disaster worsens


Debt of Human Services phone message re budget

WTF? It hasn't even been passed. Hasn't got a hope of passing the senate. Yet the gov has had the Dept of Human services announce it like it's done and dusted!

 

Like I've said, this gov hasn't got a clue what it's in for in the senate. They arrogantly think that it's going to be not a problem. Fuck, Labour, The Greens, PUP, are all talking election. The gov seems deaf.  

Bird flu booster shot today

Later I'm off to get the booster shot in the bird flu study that I'm in. I have to see my doctor immediately before it so I'll have a chance to ask him about what the centre's policy might be regarding the Abbott budget. That's if it gets past the senate doors. Also need a script.

I don't think I had any sort of reaction much at all to the initial flu shot the other week. Problem is if I did get nausea I wouldn't know if it was from the shot or just general nausea from the HIV pills. Same with diarrhea, I can get days of it but that doesn't mean it's anything to do with a flu shot. I guess I'll just explain that to them when I go there today.  

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Joe Hockey protests for free education - 1987 video

Oh dear smokin sloppy Joe, this is going to send terror through your back benchers! Watch this video from 1987, where sloppy Joe himself  (who currently is demanding students pay up to $100,000 for a degree) is protesting for free education. In fact he's right in front of the camera saying it. Oh dear........

 

Mediawatch on Murdoch's Daily Terrorgraph

This is a Mediawatch report on that disgusting front page of the Terrorgraph the other day, from the ABC.

 

Consumer confidence worst since GFC

Talk about everything he touches turns to shit. Fuck me, since the budget he's managed to destroy consumer confidence to it's lowest level since the GFC. Good on ya Tone. That'll get your back benchers even more nervous:

 

Abbott "overthrown in next 9 days" - Bob Ellis

I dunno how right or wrong he may be, but I'm starting to think something's afoot in Canberra reading it. Bob Ellis has declared that Abbott will be gone in nine days. What's more, he reckons smokin sloppy Joe will go soon after. It's becoming clear that there is trouble in the Lieberal ranks.
It’s likely Abbott will be overthrown in the next nine days and his successor Dutton, Hunt or Turnbull will rapidly and brutally excise Hockey from the Treasury; not certain, but likely. 

Why do I say this? Well, in Question Time today he, Tony, was very strange indeed, his face calm but his voice arching upwards huskily into polecat soprano as he asserted repeatedly that ‘not one dollar’ had been cut from Health and Education, though Plibersek waved a government document saying eighty billion dollars had been, and his backbenchers’ faces behind him, and the Ministers’ faces beside him, were melancholy-dire. He seemed mad, and it was clear they’d given up on him, the worst policy-salesman in their history (he had lost, in seven months as PM, 1.3 million votes), and were making frantic plans in hugger-mugger to be rid of him. more

Gay marriage = threat to black families

Here we have the latest wacko reason why gay marriage is supposed to be wrong; it will threaten the black families like slavery did. It's actually an attempt to drive a wedge between US gays and blacks, relying solely on some kind of extremist Christian views. Just a note, it's incredibly offensive.

 

 

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

QLD Lieberal was sacked for speaking out

The NSW corruption scandal has raised it's head in QLD, with the recently sacked Lieberal Chris Davis claiming that it had to do with his opposition to relaxed rules with donations to the QLD LNP.

 

Clive Palmer's Rolls Royce entrance

Clive loose-cannon Palmer arrive at parliament in his own car this morning, to save taxpayers money he reckoned. Um, it was a Rolls Royce :s

 

Greens question trusting Abbott in negotiations

Is Milne laying the groundwork for an election? This would seem a strange thing to say otherwise, if she was planning long negotiations with the budget? She's basically poured water over any chance at them succeeding before they've even started.

Milne uses an example of the world heritage listings in Tasmania:
"It was with regard to Tasmanian World Heritage area, where the PM had [said] he was going to withdraw the area from World Heritage listing," she told ABC News Breakfast. 

"I said to him it would be a very bad idea. He said, 'Oh, I've never said that'. He said, 'What's locked up is locked up'. He would just oppose anything more being protected. 

"And then within weeks the Federal Government submitted to the World Heritage Centre in Paris its intention to withdraw 74,000 hectares. 

"So you simply can't deal with a PM who tells you one thing, then does another. 

"You have to act in good faith and you have to be able to trust people. And it's clear from that, that I wouldn't be able to trust what the Prime Minister had to say." more
So if the Greens don't trust Abbott not to lie in negotiations, how can these negotiations go forward at all? 

Australia's choice - US style ruin or a fair society?

If nothing else, Australians now know what this gov is really about. And the direction they want to take us, that being firmly in the direction of a US style dog eat dog society. Thing is, we don't buy all the rhetoric about US that our pollies so like to slather them with. The US has severe social problems bought about by 30 years of Reaganomic trickle down bullshit. This is not a path that Australians want to follow..... as evidenced by the budget reaction and Abbott's poll crashes.
The 2014 coalition federal budget was aimed at dramatically upsetting this balance, taking several very large steps towards the US model. 

Currently the majority of unemployed Americans get no unemployment benefits. Their public school outcomes are amongst the worst in the developed world and their public healthcare is extremely limited and particularly expensive for the mediocre outcomes achieved. 

However, their system has resulted in relatively high levels of economic growth when compared to most of their European counterparts. The downside of this economic success story is that the overwhelming majority has gone to those who are already well off. The majority of US citizens have seen little or no growth in their real wages or material standard of living over the last 40 years. They work longer hours than Europeans, they have less paid leave, less penalty payments for working outside normal hours and less support should they lose their jobs. In other words, basically everything about the US system is worse for all but those at the top of the economic pyramid. 

Perhaps even that would be OK if the US was the land of opportunity as it’s often claimed. Unfortunately even that’s not the case. In the US, the link between sons and fathers income is twice as strong as it is for Scandinavian countries. In other words, a child born to poor parents in the US is twice as likely to stay poor as one born to poor parents in northern Europe. The same goes for educational and health outcomes. 

Which of these two directions we want to take is a critical question but it is not one that we are answering with our eyes open. The backlash against the Abbott and Hockey budget has been strong but, for the most part, it has not stemmed from an awareness of these bigger picture issues. more  

Negotiating is impossible for Abbott

Further evidence of Abbott's inability to negotiate from Phillip Corey. Abbott considers that his way is the only way, and is known in the Lieberal party for digging in his heels. This of course would not be a style that would help with negotiating the worst budget in 20 years through the Senate.
“I will say, ‘Look, there are a lot of merits in this and this is what they are. They will get us out of Labor’s debt and deficit disaster. If you have a better idea, tell us what it is,’ ” he told the ABC’s Jon Faine when asked about how he would approach negotiations. 

But ultimately: “There’s only one plan. There is only one plan, Jon, to tackle Labor’s debt and deficit disaster, and it is ours.” 

Despite the unpopularity of the budget, Abbott has no choice at this stage but to keep backing it. To show a preparedness to blink this far out would only weaken his negotiating position when talks begin. 

This budget is unpopular because the voters believe it to be unfair in its emphasis and because it contains broken promises. The damage was exacerbated by the initial defensive tactic to deny the tax increases were tax increases and, for example, to deny that cutting funding to the ABC broke a promise not to cut funding to the ABC. 

“In relation to the ABC, I plead guilty,” Hockey conceded on Monday night. 

As the battle ahead unfolds, MPs will be nervous that unless the government can convince voters of the merits of the budget, the Prime Minister’s propensity to dig in his heels the more he is urged to do something risks dragging out the more damaging debates for months, if not for much of the duration of this term. more
Like I said, he couldn't negotiate himself out of a wet paper bag. And he's completely underestimating the Senate resolve against his policies.

Whitehousegate - school chairman donated to Lieberals

The latest revelation is that the Chairman of the Whitehouse arts school made large donations to the NSW Lieberal party. 
As we previously reported: "For her three years at the design school she paid a grand total of $7,546 tuition, for a degree that ordinarily costs $68,182. Where the Prime Minister runs into trouble is due to the fact that he did not declare the scholarship on the Members' Interests Register, which discloses political gifts. Mr Abbott has stated the scholarship was not included because it was earned on merit. But the nature of that merit is in severe question, with prior relationships between the Whitehouse Institute Chairman of the Board, Les Taylor and Tony Abbott emerging. Taylor has been shown to have donated large sums to the NSW Liberal Party, and evidence is emerging that Taylor expressly approached Frances about attending the Whitehouse school, and not a rival." more
Oh how lovely, it all seems to be fitting together nicely. Now we have the added bonus of donations to the NSW Lieberals and all the scandal that's causing them here with the ICAC. Indeed it bought down the NSW premier.

Which raises an interesting question: if there are shady circumstances surrounding these large donations by the college chairman, would Abbott be dragged into a New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) investigation?

Oh but there's more! Even though the proclaimed "budget emergency" is evidently about to swallow us all, Abbott has found money in the budget to, for the first time, provide direct funding to private colleges. 
To boot, Abbott announced in one of the most contentious budgets in decades that from 2016 onwards the government will for the first time ever provide direct funding to private colleges, one of which includes the Whitehouse Institute. But speculative arguments surrounding any potential lobbying which may or may not have occurred or any "gifts" the Abbott family may or may not have received are moot as Frances' scholarship (of which she was the second ever recipient) was awarded based on merit. more

Austerity not the answer - Nobel economics prize winner

This is from back in 2011 when Greece was going under. An excellent interview discussing the dangers of Greek austerity should it continue. Clearly it wasn't the right thing to do to let it, and Greece had to have money to keep it's economy going.

Something that I've not read much of, what effect would pulling $80billion out of the Australian economy have? My assumption would be that it would grind to a halt.

 

Social justice under global threat - Gillard

Ex PM Gillard was at a function honouring Joan Kirner, and used the opportunity to sound the alarm on what's happening in Australia and worldwide. 

It's no secret that Abbott was elected with the aid of the Murdoch media empire. He got there through lies and Murdoch support. But Australia isn't the only western country that's been presented with an extremist wacko far right wing corporate supporting gov. 

Like, WTF is going on in England? Horror stories coming out of there about what the gov over there is doing to the poor and sick. Canada has also copped a similar sort of thing. New Zealand has had a right wing gov for some time now. So it looks like it's Australia's turn now right?

I don't necessarily go along with that. Australians don't take shit, and no matter how you dress it up it's still a turd. The corporate takeover of the world may well find itself in quite some bother in Australia. 
Julia Gillard has delivered a rallying call to the community and charity sector to take up the fight of social justice and inclusion after conceding that much of what she sought to achieve in government is under threat. 

The former prime minister has also declared that progressive values and fairness across the globe are under challenge and committed her post-political life to education. 

In a speech in honour of her political mentor, Joan Kirner, Ms Gillard did not mention Tony Abbott by name, but appealed to community groups to lead the fight for a ‘‘socially just Australia and socially just world’’. 

‘‘The fragility of some of what we have built and what we still must achieve, has become so evident over recent months,’’ she told a conference of not-for-profit community groups at Moonee Valley. 

‘‘We have seen the recommendations of the Commission of Audit and the response of the government in the budget that was handed down earlier this month. Budgets are made up of choices. They make us – all of us, no matter what side of politics we are on – think about what we care most about, what we want valued in our society.’’ 

Declaring social justice under threat on multiple fronts, she said she wanted to see ‘‘an educated country, a compassionate country, and a country that holds social justice and fairness at the core of its identity’’. Read more   

Straight men use Jack'd :)

Evidently there's a new gay hook up app like Grindr, called "Jack'd". I've never been on either of them, guess am a bit old fashioned? Wouldn't want to anyway with David. So these straight guys get shown this gay app Jack'd for the first time.......

 

Monday, 26 May 2014

Gov requests community groups input, cuts funding same day

What a bloody clown show. The finance minister (smokin sloppy Joe's cigar mate) and his cohorts were in the senate today being grilled about the budget. And what a pathetic display it was. 

Here they are asked about a request by the gov to an organisation that represented community groups and survived solely on funding from the gov. They wanted input about some matter claiming that theirs would be important to the issue. The same day the gov cut their funding.

Now the gov is in the awkward predicament of still needing this vital community input, so they're going to have to put money back in and hire somebody to find out! What a bunch of complete Neanderthals. They just look like idiots in the video:

 

Half of budget savings come from low income earners

Another study has been done by ACOSS (Australian Council of Social Services) into just who pays how much in the budget if the gov got it's way. It's a very stark statistic that they come up with; that half of all the savings from the budget are paid for by low income earners who are already struggling. High earners pay only one sixth of the savings. Fuck, maybe the whole budget should be just chucked in the bin and started again:
The Australian Council of Social Service has released new analysis revealing that people on low and middle incomes will carry the overwhelming burden of repairing the federal Budget. 

"Our analysis brings home the harsh truth that the heavy focus on spending cuts will be socially harmful and cost our nation more in the long run," said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie. "The burden of restoring the Budget will not be fairly shared. 

Over the next four years, people and families living on low incomes will be expected to contribute over half the savings in the Budget (52%), compared with less than one sixth coming from people on high incomes. 

"More than $19 billion out of $37 billion (52%) in budget savings in key programs and services over the next four years will come from reductions in spending on programs that mainly assist low and middle income earners. Only $5.7 billion (15%) billion are tax increases or savings in programs mainly benefiting people on high incomes. 

"The people that will particularly be affected are those under 30 looking for work, people with disabilities, carers, single parents and struggling low income pensioners and families. The income losses sustained by many people relying income support and family payments are large and crippling. 
"Lowering indexation for pensions and freezing family payments for two years will affect families living on low incomes the most and increase poverty and inequality. A single parent on a low income with one child over 6 years stands to lose $50 a week from the changes to Family Tax Benefits alone. We estimate that over a decade, changes to indexation will mean that single people relying on most pensions will be $80 a week worse off. more
 

$245million to put anti-gay chaplains in schools

This is outrageous. Why should taxpayers money be used to put religious anti-gay chaplains in schools? Even if we were a theocracy, suddenly in the middle of of a "budget emergency", the budget that's supposed to be tightening belts finds money to put religious representatives in schools. What about trained counselors?

There is a petition going for I guess the senate, not to let this happen and to block the measure in the senate:
The Australian government just released the Federal Budget with $245 million to send chaplains from anti-gay religious groups, such as ACCESS Ministries and Your Dream Incorporated, to schools where lesbian, gay, bi and trans students are already bullied and harassed. 

There's still a chance to stop it. If we expose this secret religious agenda right now, while the budget is being debated. 

Help raise the alarm and stop taxes from being spent to bully vulnerable teens. We only have days – Sign now! Sign here.  

If gays said what straight people say - funny

Senate numbers graphic

Here's a little picture representing the senate numbers now and in July when the new senate starts. I wouldn't like to be Abbott trying to negotiate his extremist budget through this lot.

 

Whitehousegate deepens - daughter lobbied gov regulator

All the shit is starting to float to the surface of Abbott's cesspool. Despite his indignation that his daughter is being dragged into the media, it hasn't stopped people digging and finding out what sort of slimy dealings this family has been up to (allegedly). Now it's come to light that Abbott's daughter lobbied the gov regulator on behalf of the Whitehouse Institute of Design, to get a new Masters of Design course going at the school. The same Masters of Design course that she is now enrolled in:
Frances Abbott, the middle daughter of Tony Abbott, was attending the Whitehouse Institute of Design on a secret $60,000 scholarship, the existence of which had been withheld from other students, and even senior staff at the college. 

Leaked documents obtained by New Matilda reveal that late last year, Ms Abbott was one of just a handful of students from more than 400 put forward by Whitehouse to be interviewed by assessors from the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency. TEQSA is the federal government regulator responsible for approving or denying an application from Whitehouse to launch a new Masters of Design course, and the re-accreditation of existing courses. 

That application was ultimately successful. Ms Abbott has since moved to Melbourne to enroll in the course, securing a job at Whitehouse’s Melbourne campus while she waits for it to begin later this year. Ms Abbott appears to be the only one of 74 employees with no defined role, according to leaked documents. more  

Abbott's heavy lifting :)


Sunday, 25 May 2014

Mean Gays - Courtney Act

Winkgate makes it to Truthloader :)

Ha ha ha ha....... This is the view from the northern hemisphere on Tone's little wink caught on camera and gone viral across the globe. They give it the treatment well deserving of probably the creepiest wink from a politician ever:

 

Latest budget cartoons & pics :)









Terrorgraph "hurts our most vulnerable" - Mental Health Council

Firstly, the highly offensive cover of the Daily Terrorgraph the other day, of which I've already had a stress attack about on this blog recently:


Well I'm not the only one who thought it was crap. I am joined by the company of the CEO of the Mental Health Council of Australia, a Frank Quinlan. He dishes out some well deserved criticisms of Murdoch's Terrorgraph:
The country is abuzz about the Tele's front page story yesterday. It was a crass attack on people on the Disability Support Pension (DSP), based on hearsay and conjecture and not a lot of evidence outside a list of large and largely misrepresented figures. 

Most bizarrely, the story compared our country's war veterans to recipients of the pension, suggesting a negative comparison between these proven heroes and the dross on the DSP. 

Ironically, some of those so called DSP 'slackers' would be veterans themselves, perhaps with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, for example. 

In reality, the front page of the Daily Telegraph yesterday did a large number of Australians, who are battling every day with a serious mental illness or who care for somebody with a serious mental illness, a tremendous disservice. 

How terribly disheartening for those people to read that they're somehow less entitled to the support, somehow less entitled to the respect of the community, than people with disabilities that are more immediately obvious or visible. 

Australia is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of People with a Disability, which makes it clear that discrimination against people on the basis of disability type is unacceptable. It's a shame that these same standards of decency don't apply to Australia's tabloid media.

 ........................ 

We need reform - indeed, disability advocates are seeking reform - but we need reform that is based on the facts, not populist mythology. 

Unfortunately, the Tele is peddling myths that make it harder for people to achieve their goals of participating more fully in our society, and our economy. 

The reality of the experience of severe and persistent mental illness is that it can have a profoundly disabling impact on day-to-day living and social functioning, leaving some Australians requiring ongoing financial assistance despite their eagerness to work independently. 

It is incumbent on news outlets like the Daily Telegraph to get their facts right before they launch these kinds of baseless and discriminating attacks. These articles hurt real people, and with no perceivable gain for the economy or the country. 

Yesterday we witnessed a step backwards in how we treat the most vulnerable members of our community. And that's the true test of a nation's moral courage. more  

Abbott's definition of "negotiation" :s

The Abbott gov doesn't have a bloody clue what it's in for in the senate. They actually seem to think that much of the budget will be passed, but they will have to "negotiate" to ensure it does. The pollie speak language they use is telling. For example, here's Pyne:
"We will, of course, seek to consult and negotiate with the minor parties and the crossbenches to ensure these important reforms are delivered," Pyne said. more  
Notice what he actually said. A casual observer would think he said that he was going to negotiate and assume he was going to give in on key measures. Right? Well that's not what he said at all, in reality he's saying the negotiations will be to "ensure" the legislation passes, calling them "important reforms". Classic pollie slight of hand there. 

Then there's Abbott himself, in the same article: 
Compromises were inevitable, though, he said. "You have got to negotiate your legislation through the parliament." more
Another little smartarse bit of pollie double speak. He's not saying he's going to compromise on any of the key issues, he's just talking about getting his budget through the senate. 

He just doesn't seem to have any idea of the level of opposition already built up in the senate over this budget. The other parties are going to block key measures of his budget and they're not going to change their mind about it. No amount of "negotiation" is going to change that.

He's also, surprisingly, showing a huge underestimation of the senate's resolve to oppose much of his budget, come what may. Labor, The Greens, Palmer United, have all said they're willing to go to an election over this budget. Abbott seems blind to it. Tone, don't you get it? He simply dismisses the possibility of a double dissolution election. Is he that stupid?:
Abbott said he was confident the government would get the budget through the Senate in the end, because the alternative would be a double dissolution election. 

"Because let's face it, there have been many governments over many years that have had to negotiate budgets through the Senate. 

"The only time that wasn't successfully done ... that was a different bill in 1975." more  

Share your Medicare story with cross bench senators

GetUp has put together a site where you can send your story of Medicare and how the budget would affect you if the changes were to go ahead, to the cross bench senators who will hold the balance of power come July. It will give them an opportunity to read, first hand, what damage it will do to lives. An excellent idea I thought. I will be adding my little story to it shortly :)
Before it becomes law, the legislative changes to Medicare, including a new Sick Tax for GP visits, will need to pass through the Senate -- a decision that lies with the eight crossbench senators who will hold the balance of power from 7 July. 

Many of these senators have already spoken out against the GP-fee, but Prime Minister Abbott is going to be negotiating fiercely to get his government's budget priorities through. By sharing our stories, we can ensure that when Mr Abbott comes knocking on key senators' doors, asking them to make a deal on Medicare, they will have hundreds of constituent stories front of mind. 

Many of these crossbench senators are just starting their first term, so our stories about Medicare will be the first mass contact they'll ever receive from the Australian public and are sure to grab their attention. And while we may not agree with them on everything, this initial contact will open the door to conversations about the many other issues that matter to our movement. 

Will you share with your cross bench senator how the Sick Tax will impact you and your community? tell your story

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Doug Cameron throws Terrorgraph in bin

Doug Cameron is a great bloke. Used to be head of my union the AMWU years ago. Now in Labor opposition he rips into the Daily Terrorgraphs crap front page the other day which used a fake picture to paint people like me on the DSP as bludgers. At the end he throws it in the bin. Marvelous! 

 

The Abbott ministers are revolting

Huge cracks are starting to appear in the Abbott gov's initial bravado at their first attempt at budget smuggling. Now the back bench is scared shitless at the polls, and surprise surprise there is suddenly talk of "negotiation" by the Abbott gov. 

Yes, that's right, I said "Abbott" and "negotiation" in the same sentence. Perhaps as an illustration? Like, what's wrong with this picture?...... 
Senior government ministers are signalling a willingness to compromise on key budget reforms after a wave of popular unrest, and in the face of entrenched opposition from interest groups and a hostile Senate. 

Amid the pressure on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to water down aspects of the budget, speculation has been fuelled that income tax cuts will be announced this term to address disastrous polls and ease the nerves of MPs in marginal seats. Two of the biggest-spending ministers, Education Minister Christopher Pyne and Health Minister Peter Dutton, have signalled negotiations would see some ground given. 

The Coalition is bracing for the return of Parliament next week following disastrous post-budget polls and a sales job that has all but run off the rails. 

After a week of hostile talkback radio sessions, and a now infamous prime ministerial ''wink'' during a radio interview, a Coalition party-room meeting on Tuesday looms as a potential flashpoint for both Mr Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey. more
Abbott couldn't negotiate himself out of a wet paper bag. And I hope the walls are made of something stronger than just plasterboard if he loses it when he doesn't get his way. Perhaps the negotiating room should be built like a boxing ring? That would be the only way Abbott would get it. Gotta watch this senate stuff coming up, it should be a sight to behold. Wonder how many times Abbott will put his foot in his mouth?


  

QLD Lieberal jumps ship

Queensland state member of parliament for Stafford, Dr Chris Davis a member of the QLD Lieberal National Party, has resigned the Campbell Newman gov. He cites the gov's policies as the reason why. It should be noted that Newman's state QLD policies are very similar to Abbott's:
It is with sadness that I have advised the Speaker of my resignation as the state member for Stafford. 

The passage of recent government legislation affecting critical aspects of our democracy goes contrary to my value system and that of the majority of my electorate. I would never have stood for Parliament on such a platform, nor do I believe I would have been elected. My most recent speech to Parliament offers additional insights. 

My sacking has been a catalyst. It is sadly no longer possible for me to effectively represent my electorate in such an environment, despite my best endeavours. 

 I thank the people of Stafford for the opportunity to have served them. It has been an honour and a privilege, and I look forward to ongoing engagement with such a wonderful community. I also thank everyone who has helped and guided me on this journey, particularly my family and my electorate team. link  

Abbott doesn't want his daughter in media? *pfffffffft*

Abbott's daughter gets a free scholarship worth $60,000 in some (allegedly) shady deal, pissing off her fellow students who thought there were more deserving people of the scholarship. Abbott is asked about it in parliament and declares " I think families should be left out of it". 

Really? My how times have changed.....  Here's Abbott campaigning with the daughter now at the centre of the controversy:


Update:

Whitehouse-gate is taking off. Are we not allowed to ask questions about this?
But there’s no denying that the timing is politically awkward, particularly in light of the growing number of coincidences that the ‘Whitehousegate’ saga is throwing up. 

Coincidences like these: One of the first beneficiaries of the new Whitehouse Masters of Design Course will be Frances Abbott. 

Ms Abbott announced earlier this year she was relocating from Sydney to Melbourne to undertake the Masters. The course begins later this year. 

This was backed up by the Prime Minister, who updated the Register of Members’ Interests in April this year, reporting that Frances was no longer his dependent, given her move to Melbourne to further her studies. 

Ironically, that’s the same Register of Members’ Interest which Mr Abbott chose not to update after Frances was awarded the secret $60,000 scholarship at a design college chaired by his close friend and Liberal Party donor, Les Taylor. 

The Masters Course hasn’t yet begun, but fortuitously while Ms Abbott waits for her course to start, she’s managed to secure employment… at the Whitehouse Institute of Design. 

While the Prime Minister’s office and Whitehouse are maintaining that Ms Abbott was employed on the basis of merit as a “teacher’s aide”, a Whitehouse staff register obtained by New Matilda reveals that out of 74 staff, only one employee has no defined role listed next to their name. 

That staff member is Frances Abbott. more 

Update2:

 

Gay marriage = "end of republic" :s

In the latest of many reasons why the crackpots don't want marriage equality, we have this one. Some US nut says it will be the end of the republic. Far out, I didn't realise that we were such a powerful minority :s  Evidently able to bring down the US republic simply by wanting equal rights. Oh the humanity!.......

 

Deutsche Bank ditches Abbott Point

That was quick. GetUp was only talking about targeting them the other day. But in wonderful news Deutsche Bank has decided it won't fund the dredging of the Great Barrier Reef. This will make it harder for the coal companys to find the $bazillions needed to make the biggest coal port in the world (if it happens).

First, some of the email, followed by their video about it:) 
It all started on Monday, just days before Deutsche Bank's AGM, when we knew investors across the world were watching closely. GetUp members mobilised with a huge last-minute fundraising effort to run a full page colour ad in the biggest financial newspaper in Europe.

We only had 24 hours, but more than 4,270 GetUp members, and thousands more from Germany, chipped-in to make sure it happened.

The ad sparked international media coverage, including a major feature in Germany's leading newspaper. It talked about "the powerful group GetUp who were pressuring Deutsche Bank not to support the Reef projects."

The Financial Review in Australia said it was "another example of increasingly sophisticated campaigning by environmental groups." That's you they're talking about.

Then, when all eyes were on Deutsche Bank right before their Annual General Meeting, you flooded their Facebook page, targeted them on Twitter, and filled their inboxes with emails.

The result was unequivocal. The head of Deutsche Bank's Supervisory Board declared "we are currently not involved with this project and will also not be involved with it in the future." Wow.

The pensioners are revolting

Retired members of the AMWU took part in a pensioner protest in Melbourne on Wednesday. You know things are bad when grandad is protesting :)




Public outrage over the punishing Abbott Budget has spilled into the streets from furious pensioners to angry students in a single day of mass protest. 

AMWU retired members were in the vanguard of a Fair Go for Pensioners (FGFP) rally in Melbourne on Wednesday, with hundreds condemning the changes which will see pensioners much worse off as a result of the budget changes.. 

Older people, multicultural groups, disabled youth and single parents all condemned the impact of the Budget’s levy on GP visits, cuts to family tax benefits, drastic tightening of the dole, reduced indexing of age pensions and removing concessions from the Commonwealth Seniors Health Card. 

FGFP co-convenor Louise Wheeler said Treasurer Joe Hockey had declared war on low-income groups, swapping a so-called age of entitlement for a grim “age of inequality.” 

“The government is re-shaping this country as selfish, uncaring and FGFP says ‘no way’,” she said, as the crowd took up a “no way” chant. 

AMWU Retired Members Secretary Frank Cherry said later that every disadvantaged person who relied on social security and those who had worked hard all their lives for a decent pension were the government’s targets. more 

Friday, 23 May 2014

Clarke and Dawe - Selling the Budget. Take 2 :)

Wound Up 13

This week in Oz politics - Michelle Grattan

Well what a week it's been. Michelle Grattan of the press gallery adds her insight into this weeks happenings. Discussed is the electorates reaction to the budget, the gov's ineptitude in selling it, Winkgate, and even speculation already about the Lieberals rolling Abbott :)