Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Trump voters reject election results

A new poll indicates that 70 per cent of Republican voters believe the United States election was not free or fair, as President Donald Trump continues to promote baseless conspiracies that the result was rigged against him. The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll indicates the number of Republicans harbouring such scepticism has doubled since prior to the election, when about 35 per cent espoused similar beliefs. Of the respondents, 78 per cent believed that mail-in voting led to widespread voter fraud and 72 per cent said that ballots were tampered with. About 86 per cent of Democrats said they trust the results. Trump supporters are planning several rallies for Saturday, including the “Million Maga March”. It comes as Richard Pilger, the head of the Justice Department Election Crimes Branch, resigned in protest after US Attorney-General William Barr authorised the investigation of voter fraud. Meanwhile, Trump has removed the head of the program that produces the US government’s definitive scientific report on climate change, and plans to appoint a climate sceptic to lead the US Global Change Research Program.

A former adviser to acting immigration minister Alan Tudge has lodged a formal complaint that alleges he engaged in workplace bullying and intimidation that left her “anxious and afraid”. Rachelle Miller, who came forward this week to Four Corners to detail an affair she had with Tudge while working in his office, detailed his “humiliating” behaviour in a document obtained by The Sydney Morning Herald. Miller calls for a systemic change to create a “zero tolerance” approach to bullying. A spokesperson for Tudge said the minister had only learned of the complaint from the media and was not aware of any previous complaint. 

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young will today move to establish a Senate inquiry into media diversity, after Kevin Rudd’s petition for a royal commission into Murdoch media attracted  501,876 signatures. “The cosy relationship between the Coalition government and News Corp should be scrutinised,” Hanson-Young told Guardian Australia. The petition was presented to the parliament on Monday by Labor MP Andrew Leigh, but Labor is yet to reveal whether it supports it. The Greens will need the support of Labor, the crossbench and One Nation to get an inquiry established by the environment and communications references committee.

An independent inquiry has found that the Catholic Church in Britain betrayed its moral purpose over decades by protecting those who sexually abused children rather than caring for their victims. The Catholic Church received more than 900 complaints involving more than 3000 instances of child sex abuse in England and Wales between 1970 and 2015, and more than 100 allegations a year since 2016, which the independent inquiry into child sexual abuse suggests likely underestimates the scale of the problem. The report calls for the senior Catholic leader in England and Wales, Cardinal Vincent Nichols, to resign over his failure to acknowledge personal responsibility or show compassion for victims in recent cases. The report on the Catholic Church comes on the same day that the Vatican published a report into sex abuser and former US cardinal Theodore McCarrick. The report pointed to failings by popes, Vatican officials and senior clerics.

Who is Joe Biden?
After one of the most tumultuous periods in recent US history, voters have chosen Joe Biden to try and reunite a divided country. Today, Jonathan Pearlman on Joe Biden’s life, his upcoming presidency, and what it means for important issues like climate change.

“Australia marked a significant and enviable milestone this week, recording zero cases of community transmission of coronavirus for the first time since its second wave began in Victoria, a Herculean effort with few global precedents. Professor Allen Cheng, one of the architects of Victoria’s response, says it will be some weeks yet before we can be confident that the virus has been eliminated locally, but we are now among a select few nations grappling with the prospect of post-pandemic life, so-called Covid-normal.”

“As on many stretches of highway in 2020, the landscape is thoroughly depressing. For more than 50 kilometres, panic growth blurs blackened trunks and limbs as far as the eye can see – a reminder of the flame heights that terrified residents and firefighters through Australia’s horrific Black Summer bushfires. To the casual observer, the epicormic shoots are a sign the trees are alive. To the trained eye, the shoots show what stress the trees are under – a silent green shriek.”

“Democracy is fragile, just as truth is. Donald Trump has no respect for either. He has set about dismantling both. Morrison surely must value at least the former, although he utterly failed to defend it this week. It is hard to know if it is cowardice or indifference or if the distinction matters.”

“The rush by the government and its media supporters to attack last night’s Four Corners as not in the public interest is not merely wrong, but offensively so. The campaign was led by Liberal minders ... trying to prevent the ABC from broadcasting it, including by contacting the board, then Liberal senators in a special Senate estimates sitting yesterday attacking it, and then News Corp’s bloviator-in-chief Paul Kelly tried to argue on Q+A last night that Four Corners had gone beyond normal standards of what was in the public interest in covering politicians’ personal lives.”

“Alan Tudge, now-Acting Immigration Minister, was one of the Liberal Party’s most vocal advocates of traditional marriage in 2017 during the same-sex marriage debate. In December that year, Tudge – then Minister for Human Services – said: ‘My reservations about changing the Marriage Act to include same-sex couples was my view that marriage is an institution that traditionally has been primarily about creating a bond for the creation, love and care of children.’”

“It’s a terrible thing to say, but shadow minister for agriculture and resources Joel Fitzgibbon is rapidly turning into Labor’s answer to Barnaby Joyce. I hasten to add that I am not comparing him to the Beetrooter in terms of personal failings, but rather his drift away from the political mainstream.”

“This project aims to provide fifty words in every Indigenous language of Australia. The words are provided online with community permission, and with audio provided by a language speaker. The languages and words are displayed on a map of Australia so that users can easily find the information relevant to their local area.”

Max Opray is Schwartz Media’s morning editor and a freelance writer.