The Owl is not a psychiatrist though over the years he has had a few dealings with them. They have helped me overcome a personal crisis or three. And their miracles of modern medicine and a little therapy have helped overcome some extraordinary irrational behaviour. Which makes me look at Barnaby Joyce with a sympathetic eye. To me, and I might be quite wrong because I have never met the man, our Deputy Prime Minister needs help just like I did. I hope he gets it.
And in the mean time here's an update on the media reports and links to some other news and views.
Labor has ramped up pressure on the government over allegations surrounding Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce's affair, demanding Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull explain the creation of a series of well-paid jobs for Mr Joyce's partner. ... Politicians on all sides have declined to cast judgment on the Deputy Prime Minister's affair, saying it was a private matter but expressing sympathy for Mr Joyce's wife and daughters.Bill Shorten queries Barnaby Joyce partner’s promotion - The Australian
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is facing mounting pressure to explain implications stemming from Barnaby Joyce’s affair with a younger staffer, including suggestions highly paid positions were created for her in other offices.Barnaby Joyce’s affair with a staffer needed to be made public - The Australian
Maybe this is a midlife crisis. Maybe it’s something worse than that: maybe he’s an ego on legs, drunk on power and indeed on alcohol, who thought he could have his cake and eat it too.
Maybe he really did just fall in love.
The question this week has been how much we — the poor punters paying the bills while all this goes on — needed to know about what he was doing after the lights went out.
Some journalists, mainly from Canberra, have been arguing for silence on the matter, which is curious. Uncovering is what they’re meant to do. The logic of their argument, as far as it could be followed, was that affairs between politicians and their staff — or journalists — are “private” or else “not in the public interest”.
That may be right at times, perhaps even most of the time, but not in this case.
Barnaby Joyce: I didn’t report it because I couldn’t verify it - The Guardian
Katharine Murphy writes how Joyce was clearly preoccupied, but 2017 drove parliament to insanity – and I didn’t want to be the Canberra sex correspondentThe remarkable privilege of being a male politician - Sydney Morning Herald
Julia Baird writes there can be few greater examples of the double standard of reporting in Australian politics than that of Barnaby Joyce's "love child". If it were, say Barbara – or Joyce – Joyce, a married female party leader and deputy prime minister who became pregnant to a younger staffer, the story would have been pursued with great vigour and determination months ago.Barnaby Joyce's other betrayal - Sydney Morning Herald
Jenna Price writes: If you think what Joyce did to the gay and lesbian community was terrible, let me frighten you even further. In 2006, Joyce was prepared to condemn women to death.What Bitcoin Reveals About Financial Markets - New York Times
Joyce, then just a Nationals senator in the Howard government, opposed the free provision of a drug which would save the lives of hundreds of women a year.
John Quiggin writes: The spectacular increase and recent plunge in the price of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have raised concerns that the bursting of the Bitcoin bubble will cause financial markets to crash. They probably won’t, but the Bitcoin bubble should finally destroy our faith in the efficiency of markets.
Riding high on the oil boom of the late 2000s, the state followed the Kansas model and slashed taxes. But the promised prosperity never came. In many cases, it was just the opposite. Around 20 percent of Oklahoma's schools now hold classes just four days a week. Last year, Highway Patrol officers were given a mileage limit because the state couldn't afford to put gas in their tanks. Medicaid provider rates have been cut to the point that rural nursing homes and hospitals are closing, and the prisons are so full that the director of corrections says they're on the brink of a crisis.In her State of the State address Monday, Gov. Mary Fallin expressed the state's frustration." We have two clear choices," she said. "We can continue down a path of sliding backwards, or we can choose the second path, which is to say 'Enough is enough! We can do better! We deserve better! Our children deserve better, too!' " Many of the tax cuts and subsequent revenue failures have happened on Fallin's watch. Now she wants to fix it, and she's gotten behind a large coalition of business leaders who have come up with a plan to raise taxes and enact reforms.‘Living a catastrophe’: Post-ISIS, Syria’s civil war rages on at a horrific pace - Think Progress
While government and opposition forces continue to fight, a new front has opened up on the Turkish border.Study: Climate Change Probably Won’t Kill All of Us - New York Magazine