Author: Sandi Keane

The Madhouse Effect: climate denial in Australia v the US

This latest article by David Schlosberg, University of Sydney, is part of an ongoing series from the Post-Truth Initiative, a Strategic Research Excellence Initiative at the University of Sydney. The series examines today’s post-truth problem in public discourse: the thriving economy of lies, bullshit and propaganda that threatens rational discourse and policy. Michael Mann is well known for his classic “hockey stick” work on global warming, for the attacks he has long endured from climate denialists, and for the good fight of communicating the environmental and political realities of climate change. Mann’s work, including his recent book The Madhouse Effect, has helped me, as a dual US-Australian...

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Shambles of a government shambling through shambolic shambleathon

Like clockwork, the Turnbull government keeps making bad decisions that only result in humiliation. Bernard Keane at his cracking best.  ONE OF the staples of parliamentary theatre is confected amusement, when MPs on one side or another, on cue, roar with laughter like extras in an opera. With Labor MPs struggling to stop themselves grinning from ear to ear this week, there’s been little need for fakery. The government’s conspiracy theory about Barnaby “The Maungatapere Candidate” Joyce, and its insistence on doubling down on it yesterday in Parliament, turned question time into a farce of an altogether higher order than it normally is. Labor’s...

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Fired up: Shooters’ dollars on the rise, including political donations

The financial clout of Australia’s billion-dollar gun industry is increasing with firearm sales, membership revenues and political donations all climbing according to an investigation for ABC RN’s Background Briefing and by Paddy Manning. EMBLEMATIC OF the increasing power of the firearms industry is the substantial investment by five powerful players in a new peak body the Shooting Industry Foundation of Australia (SIFA), established in late 2014. SIFA’s first accounts, lodged in May, show revenues from membership nearly trebled from $125,000 in 2014-15 to more than $350,000 in 2015-16, as the Association geared up for a major lobbying effort. SIFA made donations of $84,035...

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Keane & Dyer: How will Warren Buffett’s death affect Australian market?

The control of Australia’s insurance market wielded by Warren Buffett’s General Re makes his continuing health a subject of real import for the Australian financial system, write Glenn Dyer and Bernard Keane. ITS’ NOT as if governments and financial regulators don’t have plenty to worry about at the moment, but the health of an 86-year-old man in Omaha, Nebraska, should be high on the list, especially in Australia. The answer to the question “what happens when Warren Buffett dies” is extremely important to our financial sector and entirely unclear. We aren’t being ghoulish. There is simply no other businessman anywhere in the world with the clout or...

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Sorry, Matthew, adoption of “real time” donations still doesn’t cut it

AN EMBATTLED Matthew Guy, desperate to rebadge himself as the great donation reformer is urging adoption of “real time” donations. But that doesn’t quite cut it, says Nichola Cooper, who reminds us that Australians are demanding an end to “policy capture”. Had Guy been seriously concerned about his political future (and he should be after the latest Fairfax Media-ReachTel poll, he’d have taken a leaf out of Annastacia Palaszczuk’s book and advocated serious donations reform. We note no mention, for example, of reducing the disclosure threshold of $13,200 to $1,000 (now a policy of federal and Qld Labor). Increasing the transparency threshold from...

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