Wayne Swan elected to chair UN economics advisory body.


(two towering intellects of the economics world)

The World's Greatest Treasurer Wayne Swan has been elected to chair a UN economics advisory body.

Wayne Swan aka Wayne Swan FI* to the staff of the Australian Treasury.  This is not a joke.

And the very first thing he said in his opening remarks in the new role?  Governments need to increase taxes to give themselves more money to work with.

Inaugural meeting of the Eminent Expert Group on Tax Policies and Public Expenditure Management

6 Dec 2016 to 7 Dec 2016
Bangkok, Thailand

The Eminent Expert Group has been established as an independent advisory board for the Executive Secretary of ESCAP to provide strategic guidance, suggest policy priorities and contribute technical inputs for ESCAP's efforts in supporting member States to rethink and recalibrate public finance policies for the successful implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

18 renowned experts and experienced policy makers serve as the founding members of the Eminent Expert Group, and 16 of them participated in the Group's inaugural meeting which took place in Bangkok on 6-7 December 2016. Mr. Wayne Swan, Member of Parliament and former Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer of Australia, was elected as the first Chair and Mr. Axel Bertuch-Samuels, former IMF Special Representative to the United Nations, was elected as the first Rapporteur of the Group at the meeting.

The meeting deliberated on a number of policy priorities covering (i) conducive tax and public expenditure policies for inclusive and sustainable development, (ii) international tax reforms and their implications for developing countries, (iii) unique local challenges such as municipal public finance for urbanization, and (iv) cross-cutting issues such as building a broad social contract for responsible public spending and taxpayer consent for sustainable revenue mobilization.


Here is the Swan economic genius at work.

*FI - floppin' idiot.

Xxxxx Xxxxxx XXXXXXX AC - temporarily awarded highest honour in Australia Day honours list

The Governor General's office has contacted us - apparently Mr Wolpe's announcement of the Companion in the Order of Australia was premature and he's broken an embargo with his note.

The Governor General's office has asked that we unpublish the details of the award recipient until 0001 hours Thursday 26 January.

So unpublish we shall.  



Pride cometh before a fall.

Ask Justice Einfeld.

The Government of Turnbull has presided over the following award to be promulgated on Australia Day.

Companion (AC) in the General Division of the Order of Australia

The Honourable Xxxxx Xxxxxx XXXXXXX


For eminent service to the Parliament of Australia, particularly as xxxxxxxxxxxx, through seminal contributions to economic and social development, particularly policy reform in the areas of education, disability care, workplace relations, health, foreign affairs and the environment, and as a role model to women.


Contact: Mr Bruce Wolpe - Mobile 0407 887 290

Let Bruce know how you feel.

Perhaps General Sir Peter Cosgrove might be interested too.

He might be the one to hand it over to her.

And he'll probably be the Governor General who will receive the Order back when the offender XXXXXXX is convicted of those offences pending prosecution.

Every touch leaves its trace.



September travel plan shock - Clinton Global Initiative Party cancelled

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New York State law requires that organisations shedding workers file the following notification:

Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification


1 / 13 / 2017 - WARN Notice Dated 01/12/2017 
Current Powered by GE - Capital Region
1 / 13 / 2017 - WARN Notice Dated 1/12/2017
The Clinton Foundation - New York City Region
1 / 12 / 2017 - WARN Notice Dated 1/6/2017
Gordon Industries Ltd. d/b/a Gordon Sinclair - Long Island Region


And there at number two is the "social advocacy" organisation so well funded by Australian taxpayers.

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Formal notice of the end of the annual Clinton Global Initiative Party.

Limits the September travel options somewhat.

But there's always Obama.

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Tallying the Obama Disaster

Gillard and obama


On Friday this week Donald Trump will be inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States.

Here's an extract from the Boston Globe columnist  editorial tallying the Obama disaster.

As a political leader, Obama has been a disaster for his party. Since his inauguration in 2009, roughly 1,100 elected Democrats nationwide have been ousted by Republicans. Democrats lost their majorities in the US House and Senate. They now hold just 18 of the 50 governorships, and only 31 of the nation’s 99 state legislative chambers. After eight years under Obama, the GOP is stronger than at any time since the 1920s, and the outgoing president’s party is in tatters.

Obama urged Americans to cast their votes as a thumbs-up or thumbs-down on his legacy. That’s what they did.

In almost every respect, Obama leaves behind a trail of failure and disappointment.

Consider just some of his works:


The economy. Obama took office during a painful recession and (with Congress’s help) made it even worse. Historically, the deeper a recession, the more robust the recovery that follows, but the economy’s rebound under Obama was the worst in seven decades. Annual GDP growth since the recession ended has averaged a feeble 2.1 percent, by far the puniest economic performance of any president since World War II. Obama spent more public funds on “stimulus” than all previous stimulus programs combined, with wretched, counterproductive results. On his watch, millions of additional Americans fell below the poverty line. The number of food stamp recipients soared. The national debt doubled to an incredible $20 trillion. According to the Pew Research Center, the share of young adults (18- to 34-year-olds) living in their parents’ homes is the highest it has been since the Great Depression.

In 2008, when Obama was first elected president, 63 percent of Americans considered themselves middle class. Seven years later, only 51 percent still felt the same way. Obama argues energetically that his economic policies have delivered prosperity and employment. Countless people disagree — including many who aren’t Republican. “Millions and millions and millions and millions of people look at that pretty picture of America he painted,” said Bill Clinton after Obama extolled the recovery in his last State of the Union speech, “and they cannot find themselves in it to save their lives.”

Health care. The Affordable Care Act should never have been enacted. Survey after survey confirmed that it lacked majority support, and only through hard-knuckled, party-line maneuvering was the wrenching health-care overhaul rammed through Congress. But Obama was certain the measure would win public support, because of three promises he made over and over: that the law would extend health insurance to the 47 million uninsured, that it would significantly reduce health insurance costs, and that Americans who had health plans or doctors they liked could keep them.

But Obamacare has been a fiasco. At least 27 million Americans are still without health insurance, and many of those who are newly insured have simply been added to the Medicaid rolls. Far from reducing costs, Obamacare sent premiums and deductibles skyrocketing. Insurance companies, having suffered billions of dollars in losses on the Obamacare exchanges, have pulled out from many of them, leaving consumers in much of the country with few or no options. And the administration, it transpired, knew all along that millions of Americans would lose their medical plans once the law took effect. The deception was so egregious that in December 2013, PolitiFact dubbed “If you like your health plan, you can keep it” as its “Lie of the Year.”

Foreign policy. The 44th president came to office vowing not to repeat the foreign-policy mistakes of his predecessor. His own were exponentially worse.

In his rush to pull US troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, he created a power vacuum into which terror networks expanded and the Taliban revived. Islamic State’s jihadist savagery not only plunged a stabilized Iraq back into shuddering violence, but also inspired scores of lethal terrorist attacks in the West. For months, Obama and his lieutenants insisted that Syrian dictator Bashar Assad could be induced to “reform,” and pointedly refused to intervene as an uprising against him metastasized into genocidal slaughter. At last Obama vowed to take action if Assad crossed a “red line” by deploying chemical weapons — but when those weapons were used, Obama blinked. The death toll in Syria climbed into the hundreds of thousands, triggering a flood of refugees greater than any the world had seen since the 1940s.

Determined to conciliate America’s adversaries, the president indulged dictatorial regimes in Iran, Russia, and Cuba. They in turn exploited his passivity with multiple treacheries — seizing Crimea and destroying Aleppo (Russia), abducting American hostages for ransom and illicitly testing long-range missiles (Iran), and cracking down mercilessly on democratic dissidents (Cuba).


For eight years the nation has been led by a president intent on lowering America’s global profile, not projecting military power, and “leading from behind.” The consequences have been stark: a Middle East awash in blood and bombs, US troops re-embroiled in Iraq and Afghanistan, aggressive dictators ascendant, human rights and democracy in retreat, rivers of refugees destabilizing nations across three continents, the rise of neo-fascism in Europe, and the erosion of US credibility to its lowest level since the Carter years.

National unity. As a candidate for president, Obama promised to soothe America’s bitter and divisive politics, and to replace red state/blue state animosity with cooperation and bipartisanship. But the healer-in-chief millions of Americans voted for never showed up.

According to Gallup, Obama became the most polarizing president in modern history. Like all presidents, he faced partisan opposition, but Obama worsened things by regularly taking the low road and disparaging his critics’ motives. In his own words, his political strategy was one of ruthless escalation: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” During his 2012 reelection campaign, Politico reported that “Obama and his top campaign aides have engaged far more frequently in character attacks and personal insults than the Romney campaign.” And when a Republican-led Congress wouldn’t enact legislation he sought, Obama turned to his “pen and phone” strategy of governing by diktat that polarized politics even more.

To his credit, Obama acknowledges that he didn’t live up to his promise to reduce the angry rancor of Washington politics. Had he made an effort to do so, perhaps the campaign to succeed him would not have been so mean. And perhaps 60 percent of voters would not feel that their country, after two terms of Obama’s administration, is “on the wrong track.”

Obama’s accession in 2008 as the nation’s first elected black president was an achievement that even Republicans and conservatives could cheer. It marked a moment of hope and transformation; it genuinely did change America for the better.

It was also the high point of Obama’s presidency. What followed, alas, was eight long years of disenchantment and incompetence. Our world today is more dangerous, our country more divided, our national mood more toxic. In a few days, Donald Trump will become the 45th president of the United States. Behold the legacy of the 44th.


Gillard and obama

Jim Mattis confirmation hearing - we face greatest threat since WW2, US military not ready

This is Mad Dog's confirmation hearing.

For more than a year now I've been writing about Jim Mattis and President-elect Trump.

It's critical that Australia understands the dynamic between these two men.

We have Buckley's of that happening under Turnbull, Payne and Party Girl.

As I wrote in January last year, Trump has an intuitive feel for the relationship between a General and Commander in Chief.

Mattis's appointment as the civilian chief of the military is the right man at the right time.

Under Obama Climate change was public enemy No 1.

Jim's a bit different from the weathermen.

Hard as nails.
Smart as paint.
Better read than men of letters.
Afraid of no one.
And proud. Very, very proud.

Loved by his men.
Hated by his enemies.
And given the highest honour Obama could deliver.
The order of the boot.

Jim Mattis is good news for modern man.


What is AUSGOV for if it can't send Julie to the polo? #good-gov-lost-its-way

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News Ltd reports this under the moniker, ahem:

Julie Bishop pulls out of Portsea Polo

Staff writersHerald Sun
FOREIGN Minister Julie Bishop has been a last minute no-show at today’s prestigious Portsea Polo.

Ms Bishop and her partner David Panton were listed as guests at the Alfa Romeo marquee however sources this morning confirmed the couple would no longer be attending. The foreign minister’s absense comes after it was revealed earlier this week she attended last year’s event in melbourne using taxpayer money.

Ms Bishop’s has attributed her no-show to her need stay in Sydney for the visit of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Despite the inclusion of Ms Bishop and Mr Panton’s names on the guest list at the Alfa Romeo marquee, her office maintains she was never a confirmed guest at the event.

And while the visit of Mr Abe in Sydney is being cited as the reason she was never attending the event, Fairfax Media reports international fashion brand Hugo Boss had agreed to dress Ms Bishop for the glamorous summer function.

“Earlier in the week it had been her intention to attend the event,” a public relations company involved with the event told Fairfax Media. “She was attending as a guest of one of the key sponsors.”

Portsea Polo program. Picture: Julie Kiriacoudis

Sussan Ley resigns - still doesn't get it - Team Turnbull comes 1st, privilege to serve Turnbull

She's so crystal clear.  

She's doing this for Turnbull.  

Not because it's right.  

Not because she's done wrong.

This one's for the team.  

Which creates obligations.

And so the gravy train rolls on.

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At least Turnbull is making the right noises.