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Yesterday we were treated to the painful video of Trump and Turnbull spruiking man love to the gathered reporters complete with “Alternative facts” which was dutifully accepted by those in attendance. I think it’s a photo finish as to who grovelled more. MT or the Reporters. With just one question about resettlement Trump could have imploded.

Most disgusting of all was the opening comment where Malcolm congratulated Donald for stripping away Healthcare from about 24 million of America’s poorest. He was so excited his eyes were watering. Don’t be surprised if this floats around in the next Election campaign.

This is the very same chap who decried that Labor ran a scare campaign about his support for Medicare because apparently we should ignore history and believe it when he said he loved the program (while actually making cuts to Medicare at the very same election.)

No sign at all of any embarrassment.

imageOne observation I would make though, is that if Trump had really paid any attention to MT he could have learned something. Trump uses the Tony Abbott approach of crash through or crash and we all know how that ends. MT already knows how to move up to the next step and it’s really quite simple.

Donald doesn’t even have to turn away from any of his policies. He can keep them as is. Just change what you announce but then do the opposite. If folk are worried about the Environment, tell them you are too, then claim you are making it better. When they start to get worried announce the very same thing but present it as new. Simply rinse and repeat.

If your mates want to prop up coal mining you do the same. Say you are making big changes, make an excellent speech. Then keep it handy for the next time someone realises nothing has happened. It works a treat.

Malcolm has companies in tax havens and makes great speeches about tax avoidance, then does nothing until the speech is required again. Same goes for Energy security, housing affordability, Superannuation, Climate Change, debt levels, all these he presents as something he cares about, but then nothing happens. Folk actually think he is different to Tony even though he has exactly the same policies. It’s amazing what learning to smile can let you get away with.

So the takeaway for Trump could have been better for him as far as popularity goes. MT has it sown up, and let’s face it folk, Trump has such a fragile ego that any help in that department would be gratefully received.

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On March 13  2017, There was an opinion piece in the Australian Financial Review entitled Wind and Solar can only win on a tilted playing field. Not surprisingly, penned by Brendan Pearson, the chief exec of the troubled Image result for minerals council australia LogoMinerals Council of Australia.

Knowing the track record of trickiness from the Minerals Council, I thought it would be interesting to see what a little background check might reveal. I must admit to some trepidation because, when politics is involved, you have to be careful about the sources you use, but as it turnedImage result for int energy agency Logo out, by using the same sources as Mr Pearson, International Energy Agency,  the picture is far more interesting.

As it turns out the figure quoted is just about right, but what Brendan failed to mention is that subsidies for the Fossil Fuel industry are 4 times the size of those for renewables. Ouch.

Let’s look at the Global  figures for 2014 so we get a fair comparison.

  • Fossil Fuels $550 billion a year and climbing
  • Renewables $120 billion and climbing too, but remember Renewables is gaining market share so it is to be expected.

Currently Renewables are meeting an impressive 30% of the Energy market Image result for repositjust with current technologies and new developments like Reposit are heading towards covering peak demand issues. It’s just a matter of time before the basket of technologies cover the market. Maybe before they finally get “Clean” coal off the ground.

To me, those figures look about even given the percentage of the Energy market both serve. That alone makes a strong case for Renewables because on current figures, the attempt to meet 2DS (limiting the temperature rise to 2 degrees scenario) is predicted to fail when we hit 3.6 degrees. A horrifying figure almost double the target. (World Energy Outlook figures). We simply can’t afford to generate any carbon without serious damage to the climate.

Not feeling nervous yet?

Here is the killer punch. The US EPA did an in depth study of the cost that fossil fuel pollution has on the health of Americans. Bear in mind that chaps like Brendan Pearson give a wide berth to any consideration of the health impacts of his product.

On US figures, the fossil fuel industry gets a free pass to the tune of 14 to 35 cents per kilowatt hour which is actually higher than the unit price in someImage result for us epa Logo areas. To put that in perspective that’s a full 6% of US GDP. Compare that to the official subsidy of about 0.7% of GDP and you start to see how serious that oversight is.

Interestingly, this is not an issue with Renewables with the possible exception of manufacturing plants depending on what chemicals may end up being used. It will certainly be many orders of magnitude less than the problems caused by fossil fuels where everyone cops a serve.

Even leaving aside the health impacts, the case for Renewables is a strong one and unfortunately for Mr Pearson, the Industry is well aware of the problems facing his product. He may be able to influence a few pollies with things like “clean” coal, but it’s a non-starter with Energy companies and Financiers. Unless the Taxpayer foots the massive bill, the sums just don’t add up. Even if a political party starts funding it via the taxpayers, at best it will only last until the next Election and then the Voters will deal with the incumbents.

Our Pollies get a 3 year term, the Industry needs about 20 years to turn a profit. Unless you can buy both sides of the political spectrum, you have 3 years to break even. No wonder only a few short sighted pollies are up for it.

Sources:

Wind and Solar can only win on a tilted playing field. Brendan Pearson MCA

International Energy Agency Energy subsidies 

Reposit Australian energy company that manages your access to the grid

World Energy Outlook figures

the cost that fossil fuel pollution has on the health of Americans US EPA

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Aussie politics has been pretty interesting of late, though I imagine some folk aren’t enjoying it as much as I am. That comes from not appreciating the subtlety of backroom deals and the forlorn hope that there will be a sudden outbreak of common sense where the good of the country coming first.

How long can you hold your breath?

As negative as that sounds, I believe things are on the improve but more about that later.

Overriding our own trials and tribulations is the spectre of the Donald Trump experiment which has entered high farce now that smart decisions are requiredImage result for donald disability instead of just “bitching about the Gov’mint”. It’s turned out that Donald is so gripped by Obamaphobia he can’t think straight and running the government was way more complex than he realised. (Who knew? Certainly not the self described King of Debt )

This throws a dark shadow across Aussie politics because when Donald gets his war with China, and he is going to need it for the Polls, our Economy goes straight down the toilet. With Donald’s America First, he won’t be interested in paying for the damage and sadly our current government is still so besotted with America that we will sign up for any lunacy that Trump imagines. It’s no shock that Hanson wants to be besties with Donald too, and in her case there appears to be no recognition of how damaging the Donald will be. At least the Libs have some trepidation.

But all is not lost.

One positive thing that Donald has achieved is exposing some Aussie pollies Image result for pauline hanson angrywho celebrate brain dead ideas. Populist rubbish that doesn’t stand up to clear thinking. Finding minorities and beating up on them for personal gain. It’s given these self centred individuals an ill founded confidence that is rapidly fading as the full impact of their stupidity takes effect.

Like her last time around, Pauline is hitting the Media at every opportunity and Pauline fatigue is building. This would not be a problem if she had any clear ideas about what she wants to achieve but she is a walking disaster area of contradictions. Just last weekend she proclaimed that Malcolm Turnbull was too bossy but Vladimir Putin was what Aussies want. Just think on that for a moment.

She also decided that playing the anti vax card would be good for a few votes, seemingly unaware that quite a lot of older folk in her camp know what an iron lung looks like and remember how vaccinations made a huge difference to those requiring its use.

Consider yourself a “battler” and believed Pauline would stick up for your pay and conditions?  Shame about that. Pauline votes Liberal 87% of the time which imageis not surprising when you realise she was too hard core for the Liberal party when it was a more centrist body of people. She is happy to take your vote but don’t expect support, or even respect. Apparently nearly half her support comes from notionally Labor voters. They must be starting to realise she might not be there for them.

Climate Change is another area where Pauline thought she could pull a few votes but that boat has sailed long ago. Apart from a few die hards, the countryImage result for malcolm turnbull has mostly accepted the Science and is requiring action. Even Malcolm is getting beaten up over the environment and he has a much more agreeable media presence.

It’s tempting to depict Pauline Hanson’s One Nation as similar to the ill fated Palmer United party, but it way less sophisticated than that. Clive lost control quickly because those in his Party wanted to make their own decisions but at least it was after the Election that the wheels fell off. With PHON, Pauline tells us everyone has to do as she tells them because they represent her. Somehow representing the Voters fell off the back of the truck long ago.

The upcoming WA State election is on this coming weekend and it is going to be Image result for clive palmer one to watch. It sounds like support for PHON is already falling after the bizarre Pro Putin rubbish but WA is often hard to pick. They claim they like stability but who knows if that will turn their vote away from Pauline on polling day.

Whatever the outcome, when it comes to the Eastern States, hitching your wagon to a nutter like Trump, or an anti-Democracy chap like Vladimir, is really going to test Voters loyalty. With Pauline not realising public appearances can be seriously damaging, I think we are looking at a repeat of Pauline’s last foray into Aussie politics where folk got sick of the thoughtlessness. It’s great fun to have a bitch, but when Voters are looking for clever decisions, Pauline’s name is unlikely to be foremost in anyone’s mind.

 

Links

Donald’s fantasy world https://goo.gl/3ZhHAi

Pauline and penalty rates https://goo.gl/wXjCUv

Pauline and bestie Putin https://goo.gl/T5njUn

Pauline and bestie Donald https://goo.gl/4fFm6Q

Australia’s biggest trading partners https://goo.gl/xM8zhe

Palmer United Wikipedia https://goo.gl/nqBypo

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Our embattled PM seems to be bouncing around like a silver pin ball in a 70’s style arcade machine. Granted a lot of his trouble is coming from the hard right faction within his own party but it’s far worse than that.

I will give him credit for sticking it out presumably in the hope that a miracle will occur, that but doing nothing it may help calm down Cory and Co but it’s killing any impression that he is actually leading his party.

Case in point, his embarrassment with Donald Trump which he can’t blame on his party. That was all his own doing.

Any one with a couple of brain cells could predict dealing with the current US President is extremely tricky. The chap is clearly suffering some sort of mental issue or has a personality not suited to his current job, but one thing is for sure, expecting to be able to pretend you had a fruitful phone conversation, when in fact you got humiliated, is not going to make it past the first drunken twitter outburst.

I don’t blame MT for Trump’s insanity, but I do for faking it.

Malcolm’s first stint leading the Libs came to an abrupt halt when he defied sensible tactics over Ute-gate and ran the campaign himself only to discover Goodwin faked the emails. If he had followed good safety practices he would have handed the ball to someone like Chris Pyne or Barnaby and then just thrown them under the bus and kept his job.

However he didn’t see it coming and suffered a self inflicted wound that gave the unlikely Abbott a shot at the leadership.

That vision problem hits him time and time again. Get an idea to deal with Climate Change? Out he comes all excited then gets humiliated by his Party. A good idea comes up about the lowest cost for reliable power? Here he comes again and there he goes again.

With today’s departure of Bernadi it looks like more trouble ahead. The Liberal party has been quick to hide behind Cory to explain their lack of action on Climate Change, but there is no way MT is going to show leadership here and come up with sensible ideas now Cory has shot through. Wonderful words and imagea winning smile are all he has to offer.

Tonight I suggest they get their heads together to find a new bad guy to blame for doing nothing, otherwise folk will begin to realise MT isn’t really interested in the Environment.

With each day bringing new challenges, I think it’s time to give Malcolm some sage advice.

Eventually there will be another phone conversation with Trump so the least I can do is point out what should have been obvious from the very beginning. Forget any educated conversation and realise Donald’s all about Donald, and a fragile ego it is too.

Don’t talk about a tough Election this time around, don’t go anywhere near the numbers from when he was sworn in. Just pump up his tires about his businesses, or tell him about the Cayman Islands for avoiding tax. You know, something you both can relate to.

Oh. And don’t forget the I Love Donald badges and a fake Trump coiffure. Pauline or Cory can help with the badges.

Links:

Utegate https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utegate

That phone call http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11794202

Tony beats Malcolm http://www.smh.com.au/national/shock-result-as-abbott-wins-liberal-leadership-by-one-vote–ets-dead-20091130-k1uz.html

Emissions Intensity Scheme http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-12-07/energy-minister-backtracks-on-emissions-intensity-scheme/8098196

The Trump wannabe http://www.smh.com.au/comment/blunt-instrument/bernardi-watched-trump-thump-the-establishment-up-close-and-learnt-nothing-20170206-gu6um6.html

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image

 

Neil Rowe works for the Australian Financial Review and his distinct style is water colours. Not only do they look fabulous, he also has a keen eye for seeing the ridiculous.

My American friends will have no trouble picking out Donald, Putin, the statue of Liberty sans her virginity, and a pig fresh from the trough which I would assume can be any Republican Senator (your choice), but I had better explain the Aussie bit.

In the top hat is Malcolm Turnbull, the prime Minister, who was recently abused by Donald. I’ll give Donald credit for one thing, he knows a lap dog when he sees one. Malcolm is a wealthy man who claims to represent the working class but comes from a privileged background and boy does it show. Tackling off shore tax avoidance has been beyond him and to his cost, having companies in the Cayman Islands is not helping the image. He cuts a tragic figure in Aussie Politics because he is continually having decisions reversed by the right wing faction of his Party. They bully MT too probably even more so than Donald.

The big mouth throwing peanuts at MT is Tony Abbott, the previous PM who is a poor loser who can’t be silenced. For some time Tony aspired to getting his old job back, but now that he sees he can’t he travels the world spruiking the sort of nonsense that Donald aspires to. In Tony’s view if he can’t have the job then he will trash his Party on the way out.

The chap sitting back comfortably with his feet on the seat is Bill Shorten the chap who leads the Opposition. I’m guessing it’s deliberate that he can see the stage while MT cannot. It also suggests that Bill can relax and watch the Liberal Tragedy unfold while he sits back and enjoys the show.

If you like the look of the cartoons, Google David Rowe cartoonist. He often has International characters in his efforts. But I should warn you, if you are a Trump fan (and if you are why are you visiting my blog) I’d probably give him a miss.

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As a pen for hire for the cranky old Yank, poor Andrew has a job of growing complexity and possibly a moral dilemma when it comes to telling the truth.Image result for andrew bolt (Assuming he has morals).

Up till now Fake News was not often focused on, but now the cat is well and truly out of the bag and Bolt is left sitting in the spotlight trying to maintain the line under the old rules while society is moving beyond the point of uncritical news consumption.

The job was hard enough as it was when he went in to bat for Cardinal Pell who showed by his own evidence that he deliberately ignored his responsibility towards our kids by protecting serial sex offenders behind the skirts of mother church. That seemed to break through Image result for rupert murdochhis tough façade momentarily but after a call from Rupert, he was quickly back on message, albeit with severe damage to what little cred he still maintained.

But if he thought that was tough, he didn’t imagine the worst-case scenario of Donald Trump becoming POTUS. Suddenly he is faced with a flood of ill-conceived thought bubbles signed into Law without the usual thinking through of the consequences, and his job is to try and spin them.

He might also have to consider how search engines work on the Net. I was chasing details on Fake News and up popped an item from him claiming heImage result for cardinal george pell found a Fake News story. If that isn’t click bait then it will have to do until we get some.

Seems Andrew is trying to play the Trump line of screaming Fake News first, or he doesn’t quite understand the term yet, but either way, he should probably stop giving ammunition to his opponents.

Bolt had two issues for his claim based on the US ban to entry for some nations and the best that can be said about his upset is nit picking the words than any attempt to mislead the Public.

Point 1. The word Muslim did not appear in the document signed by Trump.
Point 2. It’s not a ban. It’s a suspension.

Let’s look at these 2 items in detail.

Point 1. All through the Republican selection process and during his battle with Hillary Clinton, Trump was at pains to play the anti-Muslim card. It was one of his most powerful planks. Even since his victory he has consistently promised to issue a ban. Despite the word Muslim not appearing in the document, the countries affected are majority Muslim religion communities. You don’t have to be a genius to figure out the intent of his document. If this is how gullible Bolt is, I’m surprised he gets paid for his commentary.

Point 2. If you originally come from one of the Muslim countries and just happen to be visiting family on your holidays from your normal place of employment, you are flat out of luck getting back to work. If you have won a job in a high-tech company but haven’t started work yet, you too are stranded by this ill-thought out rule. As for it being temporary, who knows what bizarre thing might pop into Donald’s brain before the time expires? My best guess is it will be extended because the chaos has melted down their system and I can’t see them getting it under control for months yet. This could be relieved by Trump recognising it was a poorly executed idea, but as we see daily, he doesn’t take criticism lightly and he is more likely to drum up the Trump Rent a crowd than admit to an error of judgement.

Going by the flood of Trump decisions and the unexpected consequences, Andrew is going to have his work cut out trying to spin the Fake News especially now folk are being taught how to recognise it.

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With the Olympic games just around the corner, I guess we should be bracing ourselves for a flood of ex-sportspeople flogging performance enhancing chemicals and magic potions as part of  the price we pay for the expensive coverage.

But the logic of the marketing escapes me.

Before the Games, we get plenty of stories about trying to get the drugs out of sport, but as soon as the Games start we have the Spin Doctors telling us that buying their potion is going to give you an advantage over your opponent.

Isn’t this the wrong message to be sending our kids?

Of course those of us with a sceptical bent remember when some of the companies have been prosecuted for making false claims, but those events quickly fade from view probably because MSM enjoy the advertising revenue that comes from downplaying the consumer protection law breaking. It’s just another example of how the they have fallen away from standing up for the population. A role they once proudly carried.

These days they are inclined to chase an individual who falls foul of the rules but when it comes to companies who need their advertising space, they hit the exits as quickly as possible.

Personally, I believe the whole process of writing drug rules and deciding what is or is not acceptable, is completely broken because it is now a vehicle for pollies. Either wannabees or ex, who suffer from some form of attention deficit, and who corrupt the process trying to big name themselves.

The case against the tennis player last Aussie Open was an example of how arbitrary the process is. The particular drug was examined for 10 years before they finally decided it was unacceptable, then they sank the boot into the player for missing the email.

The Essendon footy club was another interesting study, and before I get stuck in, I am an Essendon fan, but just look at how the process was handled.

Trial by Media used to be regarded as a bad thing, but in this case the leaks flowed freely through Caroline Wilson, and I don’t remember too many folk complaining about the denial of natural justice. Even worse, the penalty applied to the players meant the least responsible people in the fiasco were the ones punished the most heavily.

Claims that the players should have challenged the club and their medical experts were bizarre indeed. Currently one player is taking court action against the club just to find out what drugs were involved, and anyone who feels that a young player has any ability to make demands of the club is living a long way away from the real world.

So far these aggressive campaigns against sportspeople still seem to carry public Support, but I can imagine a time when we start to question how dinkum the rule changes are, and if there may be an unhealthy undercurrent from folk trying to build a profile for themselves.

One thing for sure though, youngsters starting out in a team environment will continue to be the soft target that gets hit the hardest simply because they have the least power.

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