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IndyWatch Aussie Politics Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.
During my time in Berlin, Germany this year, immigration has been a central theme. I was recently interviewed by German public broadcaster RBB about the issue and why privatising the refugee crisis, as I investigate in my book Disaster Capitalism, leads to human rights abuses. My interview has been translated into German but here’s the introduction translated from German into English:
‘Unternehmen dürfen nicht die Flüchtlingskrise managen’
Private Unternehmen spielen quer durch Europa eine immer größere Rolle in der Versorgung von Flüchtlingen – der Staat zieht sich zurück. Der australische Journalist und Autor Antony Loewenstein warnt vor den Konsequenzen dieses Trends. Er sieht die Menschenrechte in Gefahr. Derzeit ist Loewenstein Gastwissenschaftler am WZB Berlin. Eric Graydon aus der Wirtschaftsredaktion hat ihn getroffen.
‘Companies can not manage the refugee crisis’
Private companies play across Europe an increasingly important role in the care of refugees – the state withdraws. The Australian journalist and author Antony Loewenstein warns of the consequences of this trend. He sees the human rights at risk. Currently, Loewenstein is a visiting researcher at the WZB Berlin. Eric Graydon from the business section interviews him.
Here’s the interview broadcaster nationally yesterday: Warnung vor der privatisierten Fl├╝chtlingskrise
This 18 to 21 February 2016 Newspoll had little effect on lacklustre betting on the 2016 Australian federal election:
The radio business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs.Having seen the process by which a major party chooses its Senators, I don't share others' sympathy for the idea that minor parties are a blight on our democracy. The Liberal Party isn't quite like the Thompson quote above but its processes and standing ought not be taken at face value, as the government and the press gallery would have you do.
- Hunter S. Thompson
When is a discount not a discount? When it is in the context of the current multi-partisan tax grab debate.
It is just jiggery pokery to imply that the 50% “discount” on capital gains when calculating capital gain tax (CGT) is a gift to the rich. The 50% discount is not a gift but rather an administrative simplification in the calculation of CGT. It did not come out of the blue as a budget measure, but rather was a swap of the prior indexation method of calculating CGT.
Before the change (of around 2000), CGT liabilities were calculated using the indexation method whereby the cost base of an asset was adjusted by an indexation factor that was determined out using the consumer price index (CPI). It was entirely possible that under the indexation method, the “discount” could wind up being more than 50% or even less than 50%. It depended on factors including the rate of CPI.
There was always an adjustment to the cost base – unless the capital asset was held for a very short time – but then it would be treated as just income. The 50% CGT “discount” was introduced an administrative simplification.
If out political “leaders” want to reduce the “discount” then these tax rocket scientists should offer to allow people to use the indexation method again. Otherwise, it is conceivable that the capital gains tax will become just a capital tax – you know yet another tax on savings and capital formation.
Can these people please DO THE WORK.
This is not so much an exciting time to be an Australian, but rather an exciting time to be an Australian tax collector.
John Key, Post Cabinet Press Conference, May 18, 2015 (referring
to Rachel Glucina's Herald smear of the victim of his serial
Yeah no I had nothing to do with that...
just interviewed the waitress. Piece of work! Massive political agenda
Last week, the Ombudsman ruled that the Prime Minister should
release communications between him and sewer-scraper Rachel Glucina
over his serial sexual harassment and bullying of a cafe waitress.
Today, the Ombudsman released their
formal case-note of the case, and there's some interesting
features which are worth highlighting.
Firstly, on confidentiality, the Ombudsman reiterates that protection applies to information supplied to the government, not to information supplied by it. So, what journalists say to Ministers might be protected, depending on the circumstances - but what Ministers say to journalists probably isn't. And while that's a "might", its a pretty narrow one, because its a two-legged test: not only must there be an express or implied obligation of confidence (rather than just a chummy assumption that no-one will ever find out), there also has to be a real risk that release would prejudice the supply of such information in future. And on the latter point, the Ombudsman notes that journalists are "more aware than most" of the OIA and the principle of availability - an implicit suggestion that it is unlikely to be seen as prejudicing future communications. To which I'd add that the fact that it is a journalists job to talk to Ministers would weigh heavily against a finding of prejudicing future supply.
Secondly, the hat game. Its common for Ministers to try and dodge tricky questions by claiming that they were wearing a different hat and acting in their capacity as a Member of Parliament rather than as a Minister. Key's office tried to do this, after the fact, but the Ombudsman shut that down because he had already accepted responsibility. But more importantly, he goes on to say that
In the absence of any evidence that it was received by th...
JLN Independent Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has labeled the proposed changes to Senate voting rules and the Liberal Party’s threat of a double dissolution election as a distraction.
“The Greens have done a deal with the Liberal party to change the way Australians vote for the Senate. Its more than likely the Liberals and the Greens will be preferencing each other in Tasmania. The Greens Leader wants to become a minister in the Turnbull government.
So what we really have is a deal being done between the party that wants to decriminalize Ice and the party that wants to increase the GST – because each thinks it will politically benefit from those changes,” said Senator Lambie
“This change is a distraction, which is not being driven by the people. In the time I’ve been a Tasmanian Senator I haven’t had one person come into my office and ask for a change to the Senate voting system. They wanted positive changes and improvements to our Health, Education, Social Services, Veterans Affairs and Military Pay.
It is self-interest, which is motivating the Liberals and Greens. We should be discussing the Governments plan to cut $650M worth of cuts to Medicare Bulk Billing. That’s the issue which everyone who contacts my office is concerned with today,” said Senator Lambie.
Victorian Liberal President and Former Labor leader predict JLN 2 to 3 Senate seat gain in DD election
“I’m also surprised that some Tasmanian media is trying to talk down my chances of being re-elected as a Senator.
It was only last year that Liberal party powerbroker – Michael Kroger and former Labor Premier Peter Beattie had a conversation on Sky TV where they agreed that if a double D election was called, my JLN candidates could win in Tasmania alone – 2 to 3 Senate positions.
Click below to watch Victorian Liberal President predict a 2 or 3 seat senate win for JLN
The Australian public had great expectations for Malcolm Turnbull after he ended the disastrous Abbott experiment, but now the new PM is floundering. Abdullah Ahmed explains why. read now...
Naturally not in the American press but from The Daily Mail Online: Rudy Giuliani says Trump is smarter than he looks as The Donald consults with former NYC mayor and other ‘kitchen cabinet’ advisers. Here are the sub-heads for your delectation:
- Donald Trump is assembling a ‘kitchen cabinet’ advisers
- Former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Education Secretary Bill Bennett, economists Art Laffer and Steve Moore rumored to be involved
- Trump promised in South Carolina that he would soon unveil a foreign policy advisory team
- ‘He has an exceptionally good understanding of how the economy affects our foreign policy,’ Giuliani said of Trump
- ‘This idea that he’s only familiar with slogans, it’s not accurate at all’
And the opening paras of the story:
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and a handful of policy wonks are casually advising Donald Trump as the Republican front-runner prepares for the kind of scrutiny he has yet to face.
But Giuliani says The Donald is up to the task.
‘You know, he’s very good,’ Giuliani told The Washington Post on Sunday, when a reporter asked whether the Republican front-runner has a decent grasp of complicated public policy issues.
‘It’s clear that he has an exceptionally good understanding of how the economy affects our foreign policy,’ he said of Trump.
‘He understands what’...
Papua New Guinea is one of many states which retain the death
penalty on their books, but does not ever apply it. But for the
past few years, their government has been pushing to start
voting in 2013 to expand its application to new crimes. Nut
officially given up on those plans:
The reactivation of the death penalty in Papua New Guinea is looking less likely, after Prime Minister Peter O'Neill decided to hold off on the reforms indefinitely.
The PNG government has been actively pursuing a return to capital punishment for some time, mainly in response to the outcry over sorcery related violence and violent attacks on women.
As recently as February 5th, Attorney-General Lawrence Kalinoe indicated that 13 prison inmates on death row had exhausted all avenues of appeal, and were likely to be executed before the end of the year.
But PNG's tough stance actually began to shift last year, with the government mindful of the bad publicity surrounding the execution of two Australians in Indonesia, and subsequent pressure from religious leaders and non-government organisations.
Radio New Zealand reports that
employers are stealing their employee's KiwiSaver
Tens of thousands of workers are missing millions of dollars from their KiwiSaver accounts because their employers have failed to either pass on payments docked from their pay, or pay their own employer contributions.
Figures obtained by RNZ News show Inland Revenue is chasing thousands of employers for $29.3 million in outstanding payments and penalties that have accumulated since the retirement savings scheme was launched in 2007.
At the end of June 2015, 1663 employers had failed to pass on $15.3m in KiwiSaver payments deducted from their employees' own salaries to the IRD.
So yesterday the Abbottistas were out in force picking over the latest Newspoll. Congratulating themselves on their foresight and how right (heh) they had been all along and so on and so forth.
The aggregated estimate of the two-party preferred vote – still higher than when the Liberals first won office in 2013. Note the collapse in early 2014 and sudden increase in late 2015.
The aggregated betting market.
The principle – elections are meant to be contests and contested. A completely rubbish opposition makes for poor government. As PVO points out this morning that’s not what some people expected or wanted:
That’s not what MPs and senators who shifted support from Tony Abbott to Turnbull signed up for. They believed the new PM when he condemned a lack of economic leadership by Abbott. They didn’t think he’d show so little of i...
Revealing the reason for the rise of Bernie Sanders, a new poll released shows two thirds of Democrat voters prefer socialism to capitalism. read now...
An environment can be photographed, but to be experienced it must be understood. Experience is a function of shared collective programming of mind. There is more to the stories of culture – but it seems to be the case we miss much.
As Dexter, Hannah and I go about our regular transit, we are walking through a culturally transformed landscape, in which ignorance and neglect is as significant as blind agency. Admittedly, it is pushing boundaries to suggest that native animals , who are beings with levels of awareness and sensing lived in the natural ecology. The human beings who lived here for 40 -60,000 years were much more integrated with the natural ecology than those that followed. The train that carried the coal from deep in the escarpment is now a figment of imagination, as is the sounds of the coal crusher and those driven by the ethos of industrial civilization.
There is more to this world than I can see. Dexter and Hannah live in the present. There are two videos from from 6-19 February.
The supporting music for “The Second Week of February” is “Stomping Ground” by Silent Partner:
My agreement is to hold this back until Monday (from the Friday Fin Review). Just in case anyone missed it the other day:) RC
Many years ago, when I first started working as a veterinarian, I accepted there would be parts of my job I didn’t like. Vets, as everyone knows, are expected to put animals to sleep, some when they are perfectly healthy. It can become wearing. Obviously other vets have issues too; vets are four times more likely to commit suicide than members of the general population.
The reason you probably didn’t know that little factoid is because we vets are disinclined to complain about our lot. By contrast, it seems barely a day goes past without members of the medical profession telling everyone how hard they’ve got it.
Recently, in response to public criticism of Sydney’s ‘lockout’ laws, we had Professor Peter Miller telling all and sundry, “behind every number is a tragic story – you only need to ask the emergency department doctors, police, paramedics and surgeons who have to clean up the awful toll.”
Yes, violence causes injury and doctors are paid to treat the injuries. But their involvement is a matter of choice; they are not compelled “to clean up the awful toll”. Indeed, they don’t have to do trauma or emergency medicine, or even medicine itself, at all. Moreover, no-one is forced to join the police or ambulance service.
In fact, doctors demanding lockouts because they don’t like treating the victims of violence is equivalent to teachers demanding parents keep dumb kids at home. They should do their jobs, or find a job that they’d rather do.
Furthermore, there is something particularly unbecoming about upper middle-class professionals whining about their (well paid) jobs. There’s a part of me that wants to send the lot of them to the nearest Centrelink so they can see how the unemployed and disabled respond to their grumping.
This last point is relevant because job losses and ve...
The Liberals, Labor, and The Greens are conspiring to ensure that the 20% or so of Australians who don’t preference them in the Senate don’t elect anyone from the minor parties. While there are some cross-benchers who are annoying and/or not too smart to be sure; there are also Labor, Liberal, and Greens Senators who are also annoying and/or not too smart. Rather than restrict the choices of voters displeased with their efforts maybe Labor, Liberals, and The Greens should give some thought to why 20% or more of the population don’t want to vote for them.
Anyway, I suspect Senate Reform won’t be enacted before the next election – because the “reform” will be in the courts. Something of a long shot but here goes: Senator Mathias Cormann has admitted:
Senator Cormann acknowledged voters who voted above the line could see their vote exhausted and ultimately not counted towards any candidate.
The Constitution requires:
7. The Senate shall be composed of senators for each State, directly chosen by the people of the State, voting, until the Parliament otherwise provides, as one electorate.
If your vote can become exhausted, deliberately by design, before being counted can you have said to have voted? Not all of the people in the State will have voted.
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IndyWatch Aussie Politics Feed was generated at Australian News IndyWatch.
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