Donald Trump Jr lives in a parallel universe where 1000 deaths in one day from coronavirus constitutes “almost nothing”

The AGE reported that Donald Trump Jr declared that coronavirus deaths had dropped to “almost nothing,” questioning the seriousness of the pandemic on a record-breaking day for new cases in which more than 1000 Americans died of the virus.

‘Why aren’t they talking about deaths?’ ” Trump Jr said. “Oh, because the number is almost nothing. 

Donald Trump Jr said: “If you look at my Instagram … it’s gone to almost nothing.”CREDIT:AP

At least 1063 people in the US died of the novel coronavirus on Thursday, the second-highest daily total for October, and 5668 have died in the past seven days.

More worrying still is that the number of new infections is rising steeply and with no way of curbing this, this rate of increase is only going to accelerate.

At the beginning of October, new infections were 40,000 a day. At the end of October they are 60,000. That’s a 50% increase. By the end of November, daily infections should be reaching approximately 100,000 a day.

It is called exponential growth. Even if there is a vaccine by the new year, it is unlikely that it roll out will be able to control this kind of growth.

It is likely, that in three months, Americans will look back on Donald Trump Jr’s statement that 1000 deaths in a day was “almost nothing” and think sadly that he was probably right.

The rate at which Australians are saving means Josh Frydenberg’s tax cuts are unlikely to be an economic stimulus

It appears that since the beginning of the pandemic, Australians have not been spending their money. They’ve been saving it.

And will probably continue saving once they get the tax cuts that have been brought forward.

Figures published in The Age this morning indicate that savings have risen by $100b. That is a bucketload of money to be sitting in the bank rather than to be circulating in the economy.

Source The AGE

The Federal government’s tax cuts, which despite the rhetoric, favour high income earners, are designed to stimulate the economy, and would now appear unlikely to have that effect.

In other words, they are going to be a waste of money.

At a time when government expenditure is rising to stimulate the economy, decreasing revenues through income tax cuts was always going to be a risky proposition economically if not politically.

It’s going to make economic recovery ie recovering from the “debt and deficit” that Joe Hockey was always railing against, all the more difficult.

There is no doubt that Frydenberg was absolutely correct to take a Keynesian approach to government spending to get Australian out of the crisis created by the coronavirus.

But to link that spending to massive tax cuts was probably a mistake. It was probably necessary to find some ways of increasing government revenue.

There are some low hanging fruit in this respect. Revisiting and re-jigging negative gearing, recasting diesel fuel excise, means tested tax credits . It’s all old hat.

And having a flat tax rates for the vast bulk of taxpayers just doesn’t make sense at present.

Another of Nicola Gobbo’s ex-clients walks free, probably the second of many.

The AGE reports Zlate “Steve” Cvetanovski who had been behind bars for 11 years, had his conviction for drug trafficking quashed today after the Court of Appeal found a substantial miscarriage of justice had occurred in his case.

He follows Faruk Orman who was jailed over allegations he was the getaway driver in the 2002 gangland execution of Victor Peirce and had his murder conviction overturned in the Court of Appeal last year.

Faruk Orman walking free from the Supreme Court in July.CREDIT:EDDIE JIM

The AGE reports that in these cases

“A key witness, a drug cook, turned police witness after Ms Gobbo simultaneously informed on and represented him.

His evidence was used to bring down Cvetanovski and 23 other people, including drug boss Tony Mokbel.”

So here’s a list of people who are very happy with the course of events so far and the precedent that has been set and who are looking to be released.

1Tony MokbelPleaded guilty April 2011
2Jacques El-HagePleaded guilty July 2011
3Ibrahim KurnazPleaded guilty January 2012
4Mr King*Pleaded guilty July 2007
5Kabalan MokbelPleaded guilty October 2007
6Abdallah RadiPleaded guilty February 2009
7Ghazwan FarachiPleaded guilty March 2009
8Mr Bickley*Pleaded guilty April 2007
9Zlate CvetanovskiFound guilty July 2011
10Matthew FinnPleaded guilty June 2011
11Toreq BayehFound guilty October 2008
12Domenic BarbaroPleaded guilty October 2008
13Mr Keene*Pleaded guilty May 2008
14Mr Agrum*Pleaded guilty May 2007
15Horty MokbelPleaded guilty August 2010
16Stephen GavanasFound guilty June 2010
17Mohammed KhodrFound guilty June 2010
18Garry GibbsPleaded guilty August 2007
19Milad MokbelPleaded guilty June and November 2008
20Mr Kearney*Pleaded guilty 2008
21Mr Kelvin*Pleaded guilty 2008
22Mr Boyd*Pleaded guilty October 2008
23Mr Saturn*Pleaded guilty 2008
24Mr Snyder*Pleaded guilty. No date.
*Not his real name.

The Victorian Police force is apparently now spending more money on legal fees than it spends on its vehicle and helicopter fleet.

How Ambulance Victoria can deal with sexual harassment quickly and effectively.

THE AGE: The Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission will launch an immediate inquiry into allegations of widespread sex discrimination, gender-based bullying and sexual harassment at Ambulance Victoria.

Again, it was the same sickening litany, as was recounted in the article about the Victorian Police, only with more rather graphic detail.

In a statement, Ambulance Victoria CEO Tony Walker said “like many Victorians, I am distressed and deeply disappointed to read reports of bullying, harassment and discrimination against women in my organisation”.

Ambulance Victoria CEO Tony Walker has announced a Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission inquiry into sex discrimination at the state’s ambulance service.CREDIT:JOE ARMAO

“I want to be very clear that these behaviours and actions have no place in the Ambulance Victoria I lead. They will simply not be tolerated.”

Does he really need an inquiry? He knows it’s going on. The evidence is right In front of him. It’s time he did something about it.

Mr Walker said in recent years Ambulance Victoria had “worked hard with various external organisations to address some deep cultural challenges. It is distressing to hear that despite all this work, there are still colleagues who don’t feel safe or respected.”

If Ambulance Victoria is serious about stopping this, here’s an idea that will put a stop to this form of behaviour overnight

Send out an email.

Tell any staff member who believes that they have been sexually harassed that they may communicate with complete anonymity with an external counsellor who will be given an opportunity to assess the seriousness and validity of the allegations.

At the same time, announce to all staff that there will be an intensive program of awareness raising in relation to sexual harassment

This will be framed in terms of a general program ongoing education and improvement in the workplace.

Any complainant may name their harasser who will be called in for counselling and mediation if it is warranted.

Anyone who is independently named as a harasser in serious or ongoing incidents by more than three people will be subject to disciplinary action.

Any attempts by the alleged harassers to victimise anyone will be taken as an indication of guilt and lead to immediate dismissal.

What Ambulance Victoria is currently doing is clearly not working. It’s time to do something different. Very different.

As Covid fatigue sets in, voters appear unwilling to give the Andrews government much credit.

THE AGE reported an Ipsos poll commissioned by The Age and Nine News. It’s a small poll, a sample of 858, and given the relative success of the government compared with overseas jurisdictions results are somewhat surprising.

The poll found opinion was divided on how the state government overall had handled the pandemic in Victoria. Of the 858 Victorians surveyed, 49 per cent were satisfied and 40 per cent dissatisfied.

Labor voters were significantly more likely to be happy with the state government’s response (73 per cent were satisfied, compared with 29 per cent of Coalition voters and 56 per cent of Greens voters).

The poll was particularly bad for opposition leader Michael O’Brien. His approval rating has dropped 15%. However as coronavirus fatigue sets in, approval ratings for both party leaders have slipped. But O’Brien’s decline is disastrous

In a Roy Morgan opinion poll earlier this month, Victorian voters gave the Premier a 59 per cent approval rating, down from 70 per cent in September.

Significantly, approval for the CHO Brett Sutton continues. It is hoped that the findings of the enquiry do not provide the government’s political opponents with opportunities to attack him.

The poll also provides an interesting commentary on the public’s reaction to both parties’ response to pandemic.

While the public’s response to the government’s efforts could only be described as luke-warm, Tim Smith and his fellow-travellers in the Liberal party should take no comfort from these results.

With the state recording zero new cases and Victoria slowly emerging from Stage IV lockdown, Victorians may take more optimistic view of Premier Andrews.

No time for complacency. But a time for reflection on Victoria’s Covid-19 performance relative to the rest of the world

Stephen Duckett, Director of the Health Program at the Grattan Institute, wrote in an article, THE AGE “Comparing different countries’ fights against COVID-19 is not a straightforward exercise, given differences in demography, geography, health system capability, and government strategy.

Today, as the crisis accelerates in Europe and elsewhere, Victoria’s “zero new cases” are the envy of the world. But there can be no certainty about where things will be in a few months’ time.

By suppressing their second waves, Victoria and Singapore are well placed to join a small club of countries that have sustained zero or near-zero cases, including New Zealand, Thailand, Vietnam, China, and the rest of Australia. The dividend for these countries has been economic, not just health-related.

Victoria’s lockdown has been long and difficult, but it now occupies a rare and envious position. As Victorians await new freedoms on the next step towards COVID-normal, they should feel a sense of accomplishment.

THE AGE reports in the US Average deaths per day across the country are up 10 per cent over the past two weeks, from 721 to nearly 794 as of Sunday. Confirmed infections per day are rising in 47 states, and deaths are up in 34.

Experts are warning of a grim autumn and winter, with a widely cited model from the University of Washington projecting about 386,000 dead by February 1.

Trump, who spent several days in the hospital after contracting the virus, has said repeatedly over the weekend and today that the country is “rounding the turn”.

The perilous situation for the US is that, should Trump be re-elected, he does not believe that the epidemic is getting worse and consequently will take no action to remedy the situation.

Because neither he nor anybody in his administration understands the concept of experimental growth, this pandemic will spread like wildfire through US with absolutely disastrous consequences.

This growth will accelerate through the US winter leaving tens of thousands dead.

Read a summary of Richmond’s Australian Football League premiership victory

AFL Is game played between two teams of 18 players.

Last night, a few of the Richmond team didn’t turn up for the first half. Some of those who did, appeared to be playing for Geelong. That made things very confusing for everybody. Added to that, nobody was playing particularly well.

At the end of the first half, Geelong was leading by two points, 42 – 40.

During the half-time break, Richmond coach, Damien Hardwick, had a few words, it would be good to know what they were.

In the second half, the entire Richmond team turned up and played for the same side. Unfortunately for Geelong, they also played very well. And then there was Dustin Martin

Which just about sums it up

Is the Victorian Police Force taking a strong enough stand on sexual harassment?

THE AGE reports A scheme set up to support police officers who have been sexually harassed, assaulted or discriminated against at work has been inundated with victims seeking compensation and counselling.

The redress scheme, established in the wake of a damning Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission report, has received more than 250 claims and spent $1.6 million on compensation, counselling and other support since it was launched in December. The payments range from $45,000 for rape and sexual assault to $10,000 for sexual harassment or systematic sex discrimination.

A follow-up report released by the commission last year found while there had been some improvements, one in four female officers had been sexually harassed at work in the past three years.

This would indicate that change is not occurring particularly rapidly. The everybody knows how hard it is to change an ingrained male dominated culture.

But this is an organisation that is charged with upholding the law and the standards of our community. But it seems to be falling short of protecting the women that it employs and still go on out on the streets of Melbourne to protect women citizens. Surely this is somewhat of a paradox.

How difficult is to provide a workplace that is free of sexual harassment?

Everyone needs to take responsibility.

This is how real culture change actually takes place. When everybody’s job description, when everybody’s annual appraisal has an item that requires them to state what they have done to make a contribution to removing discrimination. Failure to put a tick in the box means no promotion.

Just watch the behavioural changes as a result of that.

How on earth could ABC journalist Laura Tingle possibly describe PM Scott Morrison as “smug”?

In the offending tweet, Ms Tingle — ABC 7.30’s chief political correspondent — farewelled another 30-year veteran and “legend” Philippa McDonald.

“What a legend … watch this. It is what mere journalistic mortals aspire to,’’ she wrote.

“And we grieve the loss of so many of our colleagues to government ideological bastardry. Hope you are feeling smug @ScottMorrisonMP.” reported The national broadcaster’s managing director, David Anderson, confirmed it “doesn’t necessarily align” with the strict code of conduct that governs ABC journalists, he revealed Ms Tingle had been contacted by her executive producer and agreed to take it down.

The tweet described Prime Minister Scott Morrison as ‘smug’. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gary RamageSource:News Corp Australia

The tweet was subsequently deleted but not before it attracted around 3000 Twitter “likes” from viewers and subsequent complaints over its removal.

Morrison and his attack dogs are remarkably thin-skinned if they need to use the Senate estimates committee to reprimand a journalist over a comment in a Twitter account.

It’s also dumb politics. Because it gives publicity to something that very few people have noticed. Well, 3000 Twitter account users. But now it is getting publicity in the national media.

“Morrison doesn’t like being called smug”

What does he think is going to happen now?

He is likely to be labelled with Smug one way or another from now on.

From Scomo to Smuggo?