Showing posts with label right wing rat bags. Show all posts
Showing posts with label right wing rat bags. Show all posts

Monday, 28 January 2019

Climate change denialism is alive and apparently thriving in 2019

One would expect this dodgy co-sponsorship from the likes of Facebook Inc, but Google and Microsoft do surprise.

Mother Jones, 22 January 2019:

Google, Facebook, and Microsoft have publicly acknowledged the dangers of global warming, but last week they all sponsored a conference that promoted climate change denial to young libertarians.

All three tech companies were sponsors of LibertyCon, the annual convention of the libertarian group Students for Liberty, which took place in Washington, DC. Google was a platinum sponsor, ponying up $25,000, and Facebook and Microsoft each contributed $10,000 as gold sponsors. The donations put the tech companies in the top tier of the event’s backers. But the donations also put the firms in company with some of the event’s other sponsors, which included three groups known for their work attacking climate change science and trying to undermine efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

Among the most notable was the CO2 Coalition, a group founded in 2015 to spread the “good news” about a greenhouse gas whose increase in the atmosphere is linked to potentially catastrophic climate change. The coalition is funded by conservative foundations that have backed other climate change denial efforts. These include the Mercer Family Foundation, which in recent years has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to right-wing think tanks engaged in climate change denialism, and the Charles Koch Institute, the charitable arm of one of the brothers behind Koch Industries, the oil and gas behemoth.

In the LibertyCon exhibit hall, the CO2 Coalition handed out brochures that said its goal is to “explain how our lives and our planet Earth will be improved by additional atmospheric carbon dioxide.” One brochure claimed that “more carbon dioxide will help everyone, including future generations of our families” and that the “recent increase in CO2 levels has had a measurable, positive effect on plant life,” apparently because the greenhouse gas will make plants grow faster.

In a Saturday presentation, Caleb Rossiter, a retired statistics professor and a member of the coalition, gave a presentation titled “Let’s Talk About Not Talking: Should There Be ‘No Debate’ that Industrial Carbon Dioxide is Causing Climate Catastrophe?” In his presentation, Rossiter told the assembled students that the impact of climate change on weather patterns has been vastly exaggerated. “There has been no increase in storms, in intensity or frequency,” he said. “The data don’t show a worrisome trend.”

He insisted that when he hears the news that carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere are rising, “I’m cheering!” That’s because, he said, carbon dioxide “is a fertilizer” that has made Africa greener and increased food production there, reducing human misery.

Rossiter also claimed that carbon dioxide emissions correlate with wealth and that the greenhouse gas “improves life expectancy” because poor countries that start burning fossil fuels have a more consistent power supply and can then clean up their water. “I’m happy when carbon dioxide is up, because it means poverty is down,” he declared.

“I come not to bury your carbon but to praise it,” he concluded.....

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Morrison's election campaign battle plan 2019

Apparently Australia's interim prime minister, Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison has a prepared 'battle' plan for the May 2019.

* Ministers need to portray gravitas and confidence.

*Don't let backbench MPs open their mouths without a central office minder. 

*Give prepared statements and don't answer journalists questions about said statements.

*Freeze out mainstream news outlets other than News Corp, Sky News, 2GB Radio and its Macquarie Media stablemates.

* Stay on message and repeat, repeat, repeat - Liberal Good, Labor Bad!

* Praise Supreme Leader Scott Morrison.

The Plan...........

* Document found on Twitter @bamboozled3

Friday, 14 December 2018

Human Rights 2018: when forgetting is not a good thing

The Guardian, 11 December 2018:

As those who lived through two world wars die out, taking with them real memories of past atrocities, the world is back on a path to self-destruction, a leading authority on torture has warned.

Human rights are facing a “worrying backlash” from a global community that has failed to “learn the lesson” of the past.

Speaking exclusively to the Guardian, the United Nations’ special rapporteur on torture, Nils Melzer, said the global community had become “complacent” in the face of injustice because the world no longer understood why human rights should be protected or what the world would look like without them.

“I don’t think it’s a coincidence that 70 years after world war two, when the last witnesses of past atrocities are dying away, we start to see human rights being questioned on a broad scale,” said Melzer, a Swiss law professor who assumed the UN post in 2016.

“The generation that had the answer is almost gone. They left behind the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for us, but it is as if its message is no longer understood, and it looks like we will have to learn the same lesson the hard way again.”

Melzer’s comments mark the 70th anniversary of the declaration in a week when world leaders are in an uproar over global migration flows, with numerous countries backing out of a UN compact in Marrakech seeking to make migration a universal right.

Melzer pointed to the grave human rights violations occurring in key migration routes as proof that the global community now considers human rights a “luxury” instead of a right….

The first major dismantling of human rights began after 9/11, said Melzer, who worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) at the time. He said that the “global war on terror” saw the use of torture increasingly tolerated in public opinion as well as in mainstream entertainment….

The global erosion of human rights is just one crisis among many, said Melzer, from migration and the environment to financial instability, energy, poverty and cyber security. Rather than provide solutions to these problems, however, world leaders are instead “promoting regressive policies focused on national interests and decrying human rights as a threat to national sovereignty and security”.

Melzer added: “We must understand that, in a world full of globalised challenges, human rights are the very basis for our safety, stability and prosperity, and that any significant erosion of these rights will cause the collapse of our modern civilisation.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

Quote of the Week

"Scott Morrison is Dutton dressed up as lamb"  [Jenny Frecklington-Jones

Sunday, 11 November 2018

Australian Politics 2018: the emperor's new clothes

i360 sits on the bleeding edge of technology, delivering innovative products and services through the strategic use of data, software and analytics. Bringing together this unique set of data science, marketing and analytical capabilities, i360 drives innovation and results for our customers in both the political and commercial spaces…..Using predictive modeling and state-of-the-art grassroots tools, i360 helps candidates and issue advocacy organizations target the right individuals with a strategy guaranteed to make an impact whether at the local, state or national level. []

It’s no secret that the Liberal Party of Australia has contracted the services of data miner and political micro-targeting analyst i360, a conservative-aligned platform funded by hard right US billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

i360’s services were used in this year’s South Australian state election and it is rumoured these services will be available to Liberal Party sitting MPs during the 2019 federal election campaign.

It’s no accident that interim Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison (who had a Kiwi grandfather and a mother who was a New Zealand citizen by descent) has suddenly turned himself into a virulent ‘ocker’ - complete with an Aussie beer or meat pie in hand, thumbs forever standing to attention when cameras begin to click, spewing forth g’days and fair dinkums ad nauseum while sporting a cheap Australian flag lapel pin on his business suit jacket. Togged out in hi-vis vests whenever possible. Wearing a veritable parade of caps for less formal media moments as a "good bloke' and nicking the moniker “ScoMo” from other Facebook users for his own public relations purposes.

No recognition of his own multicultural background for Scott Morrison - it might offend the One Nation supporters he is so obviously wooing!

One has to suspect he is personally getting a calculated makeover by a professional image manager. If the image advice is coming from Finkelstein and Kunkel they are definitely not earning their salaries.

The problem for Morrison is that he has been a federal MP since 2007 and was a Cabinet Minister from September 2013 until he became prime minister in August this year, so his underlying character is widely known to the national electorate. 

A man without a genuine empathetic bone in his body; single-mindedly ambitious, self-righteous, arrogant, prevaricating, unwilling to accept responsibility for the consequences of his ministerial decisions, a shameless dog whistler and, a victim blamer from way back who believes that political or business success and/or personal wealth are visible manifestations of God's approval of the individual and consequently lacking success and wealth indicates moral failure.

His track record as Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (18.9.13 to 23.12.14), Minister for Social Services (23.12.14 to 21.9.15) and Treasurer (21.9.15 to 26.08.2018) precludes him from ever being considered a good bloke.

So it was inevitable that the artifice of his new persona would be mocked……

The Guardian, 7 November 2018:

He didn’t want the job, it was handed to him – just ask him. But now that the mantle of greatness has been thrust upon him, Scott Morrison, ScoMo to you thanks, is going to take that mantle, put a surf cap from Mick Fanning’s mum on it and serve it meat and three veg. Fair dinkum. He’s the nation’s daggy dad and, just in case you weren’t aware of it, he’s going to stone the flamin’ crows and show you just how ridgy-didge he is. Below are some memorable quotes. But who said them? Our 30th prime minister, or an Australian icon?

Top of Form

 1. "That’s why you keep backing it in. If something is working well, you should back it in. And that’s what we are doing here."
Scott Morrison
Alf Stewart from Home and Away

2. "The right is constantly procreating while the left is grooming a dead dog."
Scott Morrison
Cleaver Greene from Rake

3. "No wonder the country’s in a mess."
Scott Morrison
Ted Bullpitt from Kingswood Country

4."We’ve got a future CEO of the farm down here, I reckon. He’s pretty keen on the ice cream."
Scott Morrison
Bill Heslop from Muriel's Wedding

5. "This is me doing what I do – I’m out, I’m listening, I’m hearing and I’m doing."
Scott Morrison
Kenny Smyth from Kenny

6. "It’s a simple rule: pants first, shoes second. That always usually works for me."
Scott Morrison
Alvin Purple from the movie of the same name

7. "Feels good to be on the road again. Feels like a drug. Not an illegal drug, a good drug."
Scott Morrison
Russell Coight from All Aussie Adventures

8. "Mate, I think I’ll take you down to Canberra and let you give the boys a bit of a rev-up."
Scott Morrison
Barry McKenzie from The Adventures of Barry McKenzie

9. "People don’t hassle me. It’s always very friendly anywhere in the world."
Scott Morrison
Paul Hogan

10. "Lily and I had a great time yesterday doing the hot lap with Mark Skaife and coming down it was a bit like doing the Wild Mouse."
Scott Morrison
Steve Irwin

11. "And yeah, fair dinkum, we should be supporting Australian businesses."
Scott Morrison
Darryl Kerrigan from The Castle

Image Credit:The Guardian

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Scott Morrison hits the campaign trail - complete with bus

On Saturday 3 November 2018 interim Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook (NSW) Scott Morrison announced he would be in Queensland this week.

On Sunday 4 November he announced the first of the election campaign promises for that state - $200 million towards Townsville water supply.

The bus accompanying Morrison in Queensland is allegedly being paid for out of LNP coffers. 

However it is principally a visual prop for Morrison as he rolls out his 'ocker' social media videos and announces his financial sweeteners because for most of the trip in will be empty except for its driver.

As consenting authority he has apparently signed off on the use of a Royal Australian Air Force VIP jet for most of his travel and that of his staff, so it will be Australian taxpayers paying the considerable airtravel costs as well as the hotel bills.

In 2013 the hourly operational cost of such a special purpose aircraft was in the vicinity of $50,000 plus fixed costs. How much will Defence be billing the public purse for four days of VIP air travel over Queensland to kickstart this LNP federal election campaign in 2018?

Side view of Morrison's bus complete with 'borrowed'* nickname as signature.

* There are a number of men (including businessmen and athletes) from the United States and beyond with the nickname "ScoMo" who have long established   Facebook accounts - one ScoMo going back as far as 2006.

Morrison's Taxpayer-Funded Electioneering Junket:

Day One

Morrison’s team film him standing on the sand at Broadbeach wearing a Rip Curl American-style ‘trucker’s hat’ made somewhere in Asia which was sent to him by an ‘admirer’, promising to wear more of the same in the coming week and talking up support for 'Australian' businesses like Rip Curl.

Also promising backpackers (with a billion dollars in their pockets) will have a great time working on farms bringing in crops, at the same time as introducing a workforce test so Australians are given the first chance to get that casual farm work - with no explanation about how he will manage to produce this rural nirvana except by extending backpacker and working holiday visas by three months and raising the age limit for these visas from thirty to thirty-five.

Morrison additionally pledged $112 million towards the tram extension between Broadbeach and Burleigh.

Day Two

Morrison turned up to a Maroochydore pie factory for a photo op (left), slipped in a quick doorstop, pressed the flest at thr CWA, then down to Caloundra to press the flesh again at the Sunshine Coast Turf Club where he was careful to be photographed with a Queensland beer in his hand

Before boarding his VIP jet to fly into Rockhampton ahead of the campaign bus.  

He could have stayed in Sydney to eat a pie, do a doorstop, have a beer at the races and fail to pick the Melbourne Cup winner without the taxpayer having to pick up such a hefty tab. 

Day Three

Still in Rockhampton, still in that silly cap and just a bit late in announcing $800 million for a local ring road project - the Queensland Labor Government announced the jointly-funded ring road in February 2018

Then onto Gladstone and then that VIP jet again heading to Townsville where he was scheduled to appear on a special edition of Paul Murray Live to answer voters’ questions in a forum broadcast on Sky News and WIN from 8pm AEST.

This is Morrison's third visit to Townsville in 2018 and his second as interim prime minister. Is he buying an investment property there?

Wonder how many dollars he'll have left in his election campaign Santa sack by the time the actual writs are issued?

Day Four

And the day is yet to unfold......

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

The portfolio trainwrecks Barnaby Joyce caused when he was in the ministry continue

It became obvious even before he lost leadership of the National Party of Australia, stood down as deputy prime minster and went to the government backbenches, that Barnaby Joyce oversaw a corrupt administration of national water resources.

Later it was revealed how he had blocked reform of the live animal export trade.

Now we find his porkbarrelling of the electorate he still holds has led to this.......

ABC News, 31 October 2018:

Australia's pesticides assessor is three months late delivering its report that reconsiders a chemical banned in other countries and linked to brain damage in children.

The report is the culmination of a 22-year process reviewing the health impacts of chlorpyrifos, a popular insecticide used in fruit and vegetable farming.

The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) had planned to deliver the report as part of its reconsideration process in September 2017.

However it revised its work plan and amended the deadline to August 2018.

The organisation is now saying the report will be released in early 2019.

An APVMA spokesperson blamed the delay on "the complexity of interpreting scientific information, particularly the epidemiological data", that is, the extent of health impacts caused by the chemical.

Within the organisation, just 15 per cent of chemical reconsiderations were finalised on schedule during 2017-18. The stated goal is 100 per cent.

APVMA has suffered staffing losses due to the 2016 decision by former agriculture minister Barnaby Joyce to move the organisation from Canberra to Armidale, inside Mr Joyce's electorate.

The organisation declined to address whether this had contributed to the delay.

Monday, 5 November 2018

Scott Morrison doesn't know watt's watt

This was the ‘interim’ Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on ABC TV The Drum, 23 September 2018:

SCOTT MORRISON: I want more dispatchable power in the system.
ALAN JONES: Could you stop using the word dispatchable? Out there they don’t understand that.
SCOTT MORRISON: Well, real power, OK?
ALAN JONES: Real power.
SCOTT MORRISON: Well, fair dinkum power.

So what exactly is this “dispatchable power” the Prime Minister is talking about whenever he cites “fair dinkum power” that “works when the sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing”.

This is what Energy Education:has to say on the subject:

Dispatchable source of electricity

A dispatchable source of electricity refers to an electrical power system, such as a power plant, that can be turned on or off; in other words they can adjust their power output supplied to the electrical grid on demand.[2] Most conventional power sources such as coal or natural gas power plants are dispatchable in order to meet the always changing electricity demands of the population. In contrast, many renewable energysources are intermittent and non-dispatchable, such as wind power or solar power which can only generate electricity while their energy flow is input on them.

Dispatch times
Dispatchable sources must be able to ramp up or shut down relatively quickly in time intervals within a few seconds even up to a couple of hours, depending on the need for electricity. Different types of power plants have different dispatch times:[3]

Fast (seconds)
Capacitors are able to dispatch within milliseconds if they need to, due to the energy stored in them already being electrical, whereas in other types of power storage such as chemical batteries the power must be converted into electrical energy.
Hydroelectric facilities are also able to dispatch extremely quickly; for instance the Dinorwig hydro power station can reach its maximum generation in less than 16 seconds.[4]

Medium (minutes)
Natural gas turbines are a very common dispatchable source, and they can generally be ramped up in minutes.
Solar thermal power plants can utilize systems of efficient thermal energy storage. It is possible to design these systems to be dispatchable on roughly equivalent timeframes to natural gas turbines.

Slow (hours)
While these systems are typically regarded as only providing baseload power, they often have some flexibility.
Many coal and biomass plants can be fired up from cold within a few hours. Although nuclear power plants may take a while to get going, they must be able to shut down in seconds to ensure safety in the case of a meltdown.

What this tells us is that renewable energy can and is used as “dispatchable power” and often responds faster than coal-fired power.

Battery storage by way of home battery installations and mega battery installations such as the Tesla system in South Australia are just two successful examples of storing renewable power for later use – making it dispatchable power.

According to the Melbourne Energy Institute, South Australia’s new mix of renewables and traditional source of energy is working well.

What has become increasingly obvious over the years is that once renewable energy via wind and solar reaches a reasonable scale it becomes cheaper than coal and other fossil fuels. That is where Australia is now.

Yet Scott Morrison apparently doesn’t understand how electricity generation and the national power grid work – it’s a though he has been asleep for the last decade. Because he appears to believe that renewable energy systems have not evolved to meet market demands.

Which in his mind means more coal-fired power.

Expensive, polluting, coal-fired power supplying electricity to Australian homes at maximum cost to ordinary consumers.

Friday, 26 October 2018

We were robbed in Wentworth and it's all Malcolm's fault!

Now let me see….how did it all go down again?

There are eighty-five parliamentarians in the federal party room representing the parliamentary arm of the Liberal Party of Australia.

Leadership of the party has been a political football since December 2009 when Tony Abbott ousted Malcolm Turnbull. Winning this leadership spill by one vote to become Opposition Leader.

Almost six years later in September 2015 Turnbull returned the favour by replacing Abbott as leader, when Abbott became a terminally toxic prime minister less than three years into the job. Turnbull won that leadership spill by ten votes and became prime minister.

What followed was over two years of relentless vindictive payback directed at Turnbull by Abbott and his cronies.

Then Peter Dutton threw his hat in the ring on 21 August 2018. He lost this attempt to topple Turnbull and replace him as prime minister when Turnbull called a leadership spill and Dutton lost the spill by thirteen votes.

Another motion to spill the leadership was passed by five votes on 24 August 2018.

This vote effectively sacked Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister and the leadership contest was then between Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison.

Morrison became the current (and very interim) prime minister on the back of just five votes that same day.

On 31 August 2018 Turnbull made good on his promise to resign from parliament and, a by-election was called for the seat of Wentworth which had been held by conservative politicians since its inception in 1901.

Scott Morrison campaigned in the Wentworth electorate on behalf of his party’s candidate, David Sharma.

On 20 October 2018 the Liberal Party lost the by-election to an Independent candidate Kerryn Phelps, with a swing against the party of over 19 per cent.

The Morrison Government is now a minority government, having lost its one seat margin in the House of Representatives.

So who is the Liberal Party blaming for their by-election defeat? Why it appears to be all Malcolm's fault.

The Daily Telegraph, 24 October 2018:

PRIME Minister Scott Morrison is “done with” Malcolm Turnbull and will no longer ask the former leader to represent Australia at international conferences.

Senior Liberal sources told The Daily Telegraph that while the PM would not rescind the decision to send Mr Turnbull on official duties next week at a conference in Bali, it would be the last request. “Scott has said to a number of senior Liberals that he doesn’t want anything further to do with Malcolm,” the source said….

In September, Mr Morrison asked Mr Turnbull to ­represent the Australian Government at the ‘Our Ocean Legacy’ conference in Bali next week — a decision that has been met with a backlash from Liberal and National MPs after the former Prime Minister did not even send a tweet backing the Liberal Party in the by-election caused by his resignation…..
The pair had been communicating regularly over WhatsApp prior to Mr Turnbull’s decision to reject Mr Morrison’s request to help Liberal Party candidate Dave Sharma campaign against ­independent Dr Kerryn Phelps in Wentworth.

Mr Turnbull, who told journalists yesterday he was “out of partisan politics”, was initially invited to attend the conference by the Indonesian Government in March when still prime minister.

After the August leadership spill, Mr Morrison said he was unable to attend the conference, so asked Mr Turnbull to still go. It was understood to be an “olive branch” extended to the former leader.

All of Mr Turnbull’s travel and accommodation costs will be covered by taxpayers during the trip.

“I did request the former prime minister to represent us at that conference, and he’ll be there representing the policies of our government,” Mr Morrison said yesterday.

His office later issued a statement denying that Mr Turnbull had been banned from representing Australia at such events, adding that Mr Morrison “will be seeking to maintain a positive relationship with the former PM as he would do with any other former PMs”.

“Mr Morrison rejects the suggestion made to the Telegraph,” the statement said. “The decision to invite Mr Turnbull to represent Australia was initiated eight weeks ago after direct discussion with President Widodo of Indonesia and was well received by the President.” However, Nationals MP and former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce said Mr Turnbull may be “sulking” after losing the leadership and should not represent Australia at the conference, especially given his refusal to campaign in Wentworth.

“It is a problem and there should have been a bit more thought put into this” Mr Joyce said. “I think he’s angry about losing his job — one can only presume some sulking. I suggest that probably gives us a very good reason not to send him to Bali.” 
The Wentworth by-election has still not been officially declared, with the Australian Electoral Commission still counting postal votes yesterday. Dr Phelps’ lead dropped by 74 votes to 1552 as Mr Sharma secured 55 per cent of the postal votes counted yesterday. He needed upward of 70 per cent to dent the margin.

Mr Morrison defended the pending result, saying that while the Liberal vote in the eastern suburbs seat dropped by about a third so did the Labor and Greens vote.

Fronting the Coalition party room for the first time since Saturday’s by-election, Mr Morrison hit back at calls from moderates in the party for action on climate change and the urgent removal of refugees from Nauru.

“We’re not shifting to the left or the right — it’s not hokey pokey politics,” he told the closed door meeting.

“We will continue to be a strong centre-right government with strong centre-right parties focusing on the things that matter.” Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, whose leadership has been under pressure from renegade ­Nationals, urged MPs not to be “spooked” by the result in the once-safe Liberal seat.“What they think in ­Double Bay is not what they think in Dubbo,” Mr McCormack said.

One political thumbnail draws attention to what Morrison & Co were loathe to mention during their public blame gaming.

The Sydney Morning Herald, 24 October 2018:

By the way, Malcolm was in a no-win position – if he had campaigned he would have been accused of being disruptive and a distraction - of crowding out Sharma. 

Morrison wanted his letter of support but wouldn’t allow Turnbull to mention the circumstances of his demise, so, no go.

Next, move on to Morrison’s horror personal contributions to the campaign – the lingering image of him hugging a lump of coal; his defence of advertising on the sails of the Opera House, wanting to see not just horse racing but also car racing; his mishandling of the issues of funding and independence of the ABC generated by the dismissal of chief executive Michelle Guthrie; his multiple positions on the treatment of gay students and teachers; the white supremacist/neo-Nazi parliamentary vote; announcing the possible shift of our embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem (even after most devout Jews in the electorate would have already pre-voted, to avoid having to do so on the Sabbath); the possible rejuvenation of a New Zealand deal on refugee resettlement; and then, finally, the assertion that a Kerryn Phelps win meant “instability”, conveniently ignoring the instability in his own party that had resulted in the byelection in the first place.

All this shooting from the hip, attempting to spin the issue, assuming some resonance with some identified constituency, only compounds the electoral cynicism and mistrust. So much for the new, marketing/PR-type jockey - so much for Morrison's skills as a retail politician. Clever sound bites and stunts have a limited life. Voters want authenticity, substance and outcomes. This was a clear message from Wentworth.

Morrison’s calamitous performance wasn’t helped by Barnaby Joyce’s grubby attempt to rekindle his leadership ambitions, nor by Environment Minister Melissa Price insulting former Kiribati President Anote Tong.

Apart from denying any responsibility for all this mess, the most disturbing aspect of the government’s response to the Wentworth result has been its failure to recognise the significance of issues that dominated the campaign, such as climate change....

Robbed of a seat? No, the Liberal Party gave that seat away and the people to whom it should assign the most blame are Tony Abbott, Peter Dutton and Scott Morrison - along with every senator and MP who fell in line behind these 'gentlemen'.