Newspoll: 56-44

The Australian reports that Labor’s lead in this fortnight’s Newspoll is down slightly from 57-43 to 56-44. Kevin Rudd is down three points as preferred leader to 65 per cent while Brendan Nelson is up two to 14 per cent.

The latest weekly Essential Research survey shows no change in Labor’s long-standing 58-42 lead. Also featured is a national-level question on state voting intention which suggests collective primary vote support for the state Labor governments is 7 per cent lower than for federal Labor (40 per cent compared with 47 per cent), although Coalition support is only 3 per cent higher (38 per cent compared with 35 per cent). Further questions involve federal Labor’s performance on various individual issues, and attitudes to the balance of power in the Senate.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

745 comments on “Newspoll: 56-44”

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  1. Tom

    you’ve clearly initiated your blog yourself , you FrogOz Just Me & wbj initiated posts today which th site records demonstably prove , to which i have responded to your falsely based comments You don’t like your phoney snake oil salesman being called for what he is and his adverse protectionist policys on ‘oz’ farmers & our trade deficit etc , is abit hard for precous intllegentsia ears well no problem for me , and as for your collective Gilligans prissy responses they display weakness so suggest get what Cossie doesn’t hav & it holds a book together , or return back to th looney left faction of Greens Partys Gilligans retreat

  2. No problem William , was responding to initiated posts so it was “obvious”


    “Just read the M. Fraser article in the AGE. I totally agree with his views especially re Russia, Georgia and the new arms race. It shows that he still is well informed on what is happening around the World.
    It is a shame though that I can’t forgive him for 11/11/75.”

    It is th last sentence that causes me to take little notice of his credibility KEVIN RUDD faces difficulty of unscrambling th worst aspects of Howard’s 100% following Bush’s USA FA approach , whilst retaining best parts of USA’s FA built up pre Bush on behalf of democracies and porer Countrys & there peoples

    However in case of Georgia , Malcolm Fraser has pretended th crisis just occured and has omitted some crucual , which was in line with his almost total anti american article Justifiably he mentioned failures with Iraq & Palestine but left out important info on Georgia as follows

    Georgia & Ukraine at th April meting of NATO in Bucharest in April (at which Albania & croatia became the 27th & 28th members , “NATO Allies formally welcomed Ukraine’s and Georgia’s for membership and AGREED that these countries will become members of NATO”

    “The Membership Action Plan (MAP) is the next step for these two countries (Georgia and Ukraine) on their DIRECT way to membership”

    These ar a further 2 of th former Soviet Empire Countries to WILLINGLY decided to join This follows 3 in 1999 (the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland) and 7 who joined in 2004 (Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia)

    FOLLOWING that April NATO meeting , increased cross border crossings by Russia into Georgian sovereign land (into th autominous provinces followed , Concurently there was increased Ossettian unrest in Province Concurent there was more fragrent free Russian citizenships offered to Oseetians Concurrent was USA ‘advisors’ visiting Georgia

    None of this Malcolm Fraser mentioned , instead Malcolm Fraser just pretended this crisis just happened a few weeks ago with Georgia moving its troops STILL within its own bordars without provocation which simplicity blamed Georgia (Fraser has accepted th Russian claims here rather than th disputed versions from Nato Countries & Georgia)

    Obviously it was in Russia’s interests to derail Georgia’s NATO membership which had been agreed at th April Nato meeting , and Russia’s subsequent provocations , unrest caused & recent invasion has achieved this derailmnt of Nato memebership So I think Malcolm Fraser’s articel by ommission of relevant recent events has conveyed a misleading & unbalanced picture

    What we do not appear to know is how naeve Georgian President was , how much internal provacation Russia caused , how much separate & unrelated Ossettian unrest there was , and what signals if anything USA gave or did not give , perhaps a mix of all but Russia’s actions and motives ar transparent ireespective

    Fraser’s other absurb anti amaerican underlying theme was Russia was treated with ‘disrespect’ by it being circled by former Soviet sattellites now Nato members…what he is suggesting is all of those 14 former Soviet sattelites , once independent , had no right for there own security’s sake to willingly apply to Nato for membership for ‘protection’ , and/or Nato should hav rejected thee applications !! That is not those 14 Countrys opinion at all , conversley it is only Russia’s opinion which Malcolm Fraser is disracefully speaking on behalf of

    Fraser would hav been more credible sticking to moral arguments of FA consistency less self interst relating to Iraq & Palestine , th lack of keeping concentration on Afghanistan alone rather than Iraq , and management of possible utter calamity that is Pakistan nuke armed and all could fall into , rather than devote a whole article to some credbile arguments and some which completely diminished its credibility & Fraser , which leads me back to 11/11/75
    I do not think he has any credibility to lose , it all went being Kerr’s Kerr

  3. ommitted to mention at end: given th sickening atrocities committed against th peoples of all 14 former Soviet block Countrys whilst part of that Soviet Empire , such proven recorded astrocities some of which would even make th Gespato blush with envy , is it any wonder thee peoples hav floicked to ‘security’ of Nato at there own discretion , and such astrocities memories that Fraser seems all to keen to forget when giving Russia ‘respect’ , but who is happy to ignore those 14 Countys indefensible reasons for joining Nato

  4. Centre

    Missed that you’d posted earlier & back from my teenagers ‘taxi run’ Brissy is one of my homes and mighty Bronco’s were there before Uncle Rupert bought it , and will be there when he sells , timing of which will be solely profit orientated , so I see Uncle Rupert’s News Ltd as an unwelcome but transitionary intruder to our Bronco’s history

    Other point , frankly I forgot that a long time ago and its others “narrative’ that it is not so & sometimes all is not what it seems or “presented” Actualy my post agreeing with Vera #631 is my view based on extensive soursed info I hav & plus its ‘oz’ effect and Kevin rudd’s trade deficit I’m aware from your many numerous posts of your opinion & I hav not challenged your right to it nor you my right to mine , but then you’re probably a Labor Party supporter thereby believing in equity , but not all ar

    As to your comments on Palin as VP , agree being female was a factor , plus “non Washington” & she looks very fine but she is more than good looks , she must hav some ticker & politcal skills in defeating th incumbent Republican Governor firstly in Primarys , and then secondly th former Democrat Governor & having 5 kids (one with ‘down syndrome’) , and to think as amigo FINNS said Russia sold whole of Alaska for a few million dollars

  5. I think one US commentator might be right when she said that McCain’s choice was insulting to women, that he thinks he can just dump any old woman in the job and win Clinton’s votes, as though women were not making choices based on other qualities.

    Another commentator suggests the the Palin choice was to sure up fundy Christian votes which McCain was bit suspect on.

    I think it is a move that Republican supporters will love and effuse over but is there a novelty factor in this that will ware off over the weeks and, she be seen as a light weight gimmick?

    Anyway, makes for an interesting time.

    Obama’s quick fire ad in response to the VP pick.

  6. Labor used Howard’s ‘Australians have never been better off…’ moment in the last election. Seems Obama has a similar one with McCain he is using in ads… “The fundamentals of our economy are strong…”

    The Democrats even had an ad called ‘Better Off’ featuring McCain.

    You can see how busy Obama has been in the net:

    Type: Politician
    Videos: 1,119
    Video views: 53,177,019

    Type: Politician
    Videos: 245
    Video views: 9,986,049

  7. All of USA candidates written policys covering numerous areas under “climate and enegy issues’ sound attractive varyingly

    BUT they ar all totally irrelevant to solving CC unless there is a firm USA commitment to cutting CO2 emmssions by 2020 , which is what Kyoto’s IPPCCC 4th Report says is required

    Both candidates only give an emmissions target by 2050 (Obama 80% of 1990 levels and McCain 60% of 1990 levels) They may as both promise they’ll cut emmissions by 100% for all th relevance th year of 2050 has , because our planet may be imperilled by 2050 So such USA 2050 emmission targets ar meaningless & simply conning American public

    We should look at ht stark contrast of EU Third biggest economy in world vs USA two candidates promises

    EU promised to cut emmission targets by 20% by 2020 BASED ON 2005 levels , my estimate equating to an EU promise of 40% emmission target by 2020 based on 1990 levels

    Why won’t USA candidates committ to a 2020 target , because neither candidate supports ratifying Kyoto , underwhich a mandatory agreed 2020 target is to be set by negotiations that commenced last year

    ‘oz’ via KEVIN RUDD has ratified Kyoto , so we will hav a 2020 target under Kyoto , of which ETS is part of vehicle to achieves

    A further separate point , IF USA as proposed by both Pres. candidates does not hav a 2020 target , then it does not hav a 2020 USA total emmssions cap ,
    so both candidates ‘promises of a ‘cap and trade’ ETS scheme simply means carbon trading will occur under either as President BUT with that carbon trading has no objective to reduce emmssions by 2020 , only by 2050 AND USA businers’s ar hardly likely to alert USA public of both pollies play with CC

    Having examined both candidates formal written policy documents , regretably all of th above is true as stated in #656 link , however both when speaking about CC imply more than what is th above , but do not actual say so , but then politcaly savvy oiliness and maverick ar disingenuous with words unlike Kevin07 who is a committed Kyoto therefore committed CC politcan

  8. Regarding McCain’s choice of Palin, while I have nothing against Palin, she does seem very light weight, hence I think this will backfire in the long run. I don’t think we should over analyse this – McCain probably just picked Palin to lock in the conservative vote and defuse criticism of his own age. But the contrast between her and McCain is so great I think it just highlights his problem.

    With the US headed into recession and neither McCain or Palin having any knowledge of economics, I think the Republicans will be very vulerable to claims that they won’t be able to fix the mess that is the US finance system. A simple message should work: “Vote for McCain/Palin and its steady as she sinks”.

  9. Thomas Paine @ 656 –

    These are the summarised current positions of McCain and Obama.

    I believe Obama is right in wanting to require car makers to increase fuel efficiency, though I’d like to see it go up by much more than 4%/year. The EU is legislating for a limit of 4.6L/100KM on passenger cars. However, given American’s love affair with big, large engined crap-mobiles it’s not going to be easy to get them to change.

    This is something Wong also needs to consider. According to the RAA (local car association) national petrol consumption for the first 6 months of this year is on par with last year which demonstrates that price alone won’t cause a reduction in use.

    Of course a major impediment is that for many public transport is so poorly organised, or even non existent, that they have no choice but to continue driving. It will take years, perhaps decades given the inefficient way we’ve built our cities, to change that, but getting car makers to increase fuel efficiency could be done relatively quickly. The EU has, and no doubt will continue to do most of the heavy lifting anyway.

  10. Even though it is a reasonably small number surveyed this could cause a slight narrowing in the polls.
    Certainly gives the libnats something to chew on.

    Wonder how tho OO will spin it.

    The key findings include that 83.7 per cent believed global warming was occurring and, of those, 84.9 per cent said Australia should proceed with an emissions trading scheme (ETS) regardless of the international response. “The bottom line from this study is that Australians think now is the time to adopt a climate change program that has some real teeth,” visiting economics professor at UTS Richard Carson said.

  11. Here is a thought.
    Palin’s selection took the publicity away from Obama’s final night speech the morning after he had made it.
    It now looks like Hurricane Gustav will be very nasty (last measured at Category 4 and still heading for the Gulf coast). I don’t want to get away from the human suffering – by far the most important issue, with hundreds of people already killed in the Caribbean – but as a humble (amateur) psephologist it seems to me that Gustav could easily mean a week or more of no-one talking about Obama, or indeed about Palin or the election at all.
    What does this sudden pause, so close to the election, mean for the electoral propsects?

  12. Insiders has Karen Middleton, Milne and Bolt, and is interviewing Tony Abbott (why bother? he has no power). Good episode to tape and watch on fast forward.

    Apparently Costello’s book will cost $55!!!

  13. Ron

    On CC, I agree with most of your arguments but there are a few other things to consider. Palin not believing in anthropogenic CC is a disaster for every nation. Extreme pressure (political or scientific) needs to be placed on her to recant this. It gives tacit credibility to the Flat Earthers of the world.

    Although as you point out both candidates are feel-good with a lack of real action in their CC policies, the political reality in any democratic country is that the leader isn’t going to deviate too far from what the populace wants. The figures that Gaffhook quotes show that it would be electoral suicide for an Aussie PM to deny CC and try to avoid acting. We need the same situation in the US. They are pretty impervious to reality over there and are almost immune to shame. The single biggest determinant of how much the US does for CC is how much their population wants something done.

    As Dyno says at 666, Hurricane Gustav is on it’s way. It’s an ill wind that blows no good.

  14. Dio,
    No way Palin will recant on anthropogenic CC before the election. I actually don’t think her views will hurt her in her key demographics (which are the Christian Right and blue-collar workers and their families, one would have to think).
    After the election? Who knows. After all, McCain appears to be a genuine believer in human-caused CC.

  15. Dyno

    As you predicted, Hurricane Gustav has knocked Palin, Obama etc off as the banner on Drudge (who admittedly has something of an obsession with extreme weather). It’s predicted to become a category 5 hurricane. One million have fled and mandatory evacuations are starting in Texas.

    I hope Bush can help redeem himself for the abject failure during Katrina if worst comes to worst.

    New Orleans gets ready as Gustav strengthens

  16. Grog at 667 wrote:

    Insiders has Karen Middleton, Milne and Bolt, and is interviewing Tony Abbott

    A solid right-wing lineup as usual. You could drive a truck through the daylight between balance and bias on that “show”.

    Why don’t we just privatise the national broadcaster to News Ltd? Media diversity … why bother, this is only a democracy!

  17. I’m still waiting for Turnbull to congratulate Swan on talking interest rates down. Apparently according to Turnbull Swan talked inflation up so and he sees Swan as having great vocal power.

  18. See Malcolm, Swan is at it again, talking down interest rates. I don’t recall the “World’s Best Treasurer” doing that. If he did it has no effect in the last 7 years of his government.
    “There has been changes in funding costs on international markets and in recent times they’ve been coming down as well and that does mean that banks will have the capacity to further reduce rates given those reductions in other funding costs outside the Reserve Bank cycle,” Mr Swan told reporters in Brisbane.
    “And over time there will be no excuse not to further cut rates if funding costs continue to come down.”
    Mr Swan said banks also had passed on previous RBA rate rises “in a nano-second” and should pass on any cuts just as quickly.
    “The other lenders don’t need to be magicians, they just need to do the right thing and pass on any cut if that’s decided by the Reserve Bank,” Mr Swan said.

  19. Dopey Headline: Come Back Pete say Abbott and Gillard.,23599,24270287-421,00.html
    I missed her on Meet the Press this morning but apprently she said:

    “I would relish the opportunity each and every day and I’m sure (Treasurer) Wayne Swan would relish it too,” “There are some very clear facts about Mr Costello’s track record which I’m sure we would be pointing.”

    I wonder if Costello did take the leadership whether Gillard wold stay in her current position? WOld be temptingto give her the treasury.

  20. “I wonder if Costello did take the leadership whether Gillard wold stay in her current position? WOld be temptingto give her the treasury.”
    Why? She’d be extremely effective in challenging Costello over Workchoices.

  21. True, and the other aspect is, if she goes to Treasury, I can’t see anyone else having such a huge protfolio as she has.

    Also as education minister she has more than enough headline issues to deal with.

  22. #667 today
    “Ron On CC I agree with most of your arguments but there are a few other things to consider” (then mentioned VP Palidin & US voters views)

    Before getting to Palidin & US voters views , key issue remains a 2020 target now

    Central theme of my #659 post was that both Obama and McCain”s CC policys ar empty rhetoric because both there stated policys ar effectively CC vandalism My reasons were that both hav 2050 emmission targets ONLY (rendering such 42 years away targets completely meaningless) , and both do not support ratifying Kyoto ratification or committing now to 2020 emmission targets

    Talking about any other subsidary CC policy matter such as renewables etc by either candidate , is irrelevant to th prerequisite main game above

    My unambiguous condemnation of both oiliness and maverick on CC , is rarely seen on this site , because it involves criticising one severely , rather shoot th Media messenger of these 2 candidate’s hypocracy , rather than th message

    Mention of Palin and CC , when every discussion about condemning Iraq fails to also condemn VP Biden who holds similar Iraq views to Bush (stay th course’ and ‘win) , perhaps mentioning this Biden policy would also point out th policy hypocracy of who appointed Biden As to th obvious policy sham of a POTUS & a VP having totally opposite views on th most fundamental US FA policy (Iraq) …again silence or shoot Media messenger This is great 2 VP’s , a heart beat way from Presendency and one querying CC & th other gung ho to fight in Iraq to “win”

    However th uncomfortable message of CC , ie. of US politcans empty words will ultimately see its ruins in CC consequences for all , abit late then to condemn

    You mentioned th USA people needing to come on board Thats an ‘excuse’ downplaying both candidats CC responsibilty & policy disgrace BUT in any event USA public ALREADY ar on board on CC , and polls show this Most recent is 2 days ago show 80% believe world has been warming , importantly 61% believe USA Govt should be doing MORE to combat CC ( 27% content as is) , and criticaly 42% will be MORE likely to support a candidate who is strong on environment ( with 50% no vote effect at all) I’d say USA public ar onboard CC ship , and its USA candidates who aren’t Irrespective of polls anyway its politcans job to lead way on CC

    Other furthy excuse is public want India & China to hav same targets as USA with no dispensation otherwise USA should not commit to Kyoto , no , 68% want USA having emmission targets even if other countrys hav less targets

    So back to th reel problem , it is failure of will & policy hypocracy of both candidates Obama & McCain , not th USA public , and for many in ‘oz’ regarding this CC USA issue when faced with unpalatable facts do not unambigously condemn them both , & instead seek ‘alternitives Fortunately KEVIN07 is having a serious go at CC & some people will criticise Kevin07 on CC yet strangly not US politcans by name , yet todays babys would if they could

  23. Ron

    I checked your figures and I was surprised to find that you were right, not because I doubted you but because I hadn’t realised Americans were as “on board” with CC. So I’m wrong yet again. 🙁

    The report released with the figures basically says the same as you.

    “Here the poll identifies a clear disparity,” Becker said. “The overwhelming majority of Americans want a strong, urgent climate change policy, but in the voters’ minds, none of the presidential candidates has yet emerged as the leader on climate change issues. A clear need exists for candidates to make the issue of climate change and their policies more prominent in the current race.”

    44% also said that, if not addressed, CC would be a threat to national security.

    So Obama and McCain are going to try and look like they’re doing something, without actually doing anything. They should have a talk to Mike Rann if they need any advice on that front. 😉

    PS In Biden’s defence, I should point out that he has admitted that his vote for the Iraq War was a mistake.

  24. Insiders is a very pale shadow of its former self. Once, it used to be sharp and cutting edged with diversified views. Now, it’s the same old hacks being re-cycled by the same old hacks.

    You know it is terminal when the middle neutral chair has been occupied and invaded by a “baddie” as per this morning. It’s bit like Russian invaded Georgia.

    Yes, the Rudd government is in trouble, apparently it has been talking UP the inflation too much that has caused the interest to go DOWN, the punters would NOT like that:

    [Australian banks and lenders will have no excuse not to follow Wizard Home Loans’ lead and cut their interest rates if conditions continue, Treasurer Wayne Swan says]

  25. New Orleans should NEVER have been resettled after Katrina. Anyone with any knowledge about the effects of CC could see this coming.
    The best time to make major changes is immediately after a catastrophe, when what they have been through is clear in people’s memories and they haven’t started to rebuild their lives.
    Instead, we’re going to see the same tragedy repeated unnecessarily.

  26. 680 TF – and I love how the “what’s in the papers” segment at the start is used by Milne always to just plug his latest article.

    That said I thought Bolt was quite sensible – most likely because there was no mention of climate change.

  27. bilbo
    phew, for a minute there i thought it was my post about my undying man-love for brenda now he is a certifiied friendly trucker.
    mark my words this is truly the narrowing……… 🙂

  28. Dio @ 679,
    Interesting link.
    My cynical mind sees opportunity as well as downside in Gustav, from a Republican campaign perspective.
    Firstly, their get-together was always going to look tawdry and second-rate compared to the Obama/Clinton magnum opus. The Big G means they have an excuse, and no-one will be paying much attention anyway.
    Secondly, McCain forgoing what is notionally the biggest moment of his 30 year political career, in order to be at the disaster zone, is a very powerful way of saying “I am not George Bush” without disaffecting the core Republican base (who, let it be said, still like Bush a lot more than they like McCain).
    Thirdly, far better to have Palin make her first big set of public appearances in the storm-hit Gulf states, playing the role of Action Woman and Compassionate Mother of Five, than at the convention playing the role of Political Neophyte Reading Out Speech Someone Else Wrote.
    The other side of the coin: if the Republicans stuff up their response to Gustav, Barack and Michelle can start measuring up the curtains for the White House now.
    With due deference to those whose lives are about to be turned upside down by the tempest, the politics of this week will be fascinating!

  29. [and McCain may deliver his speech by satellite from the hurricane site.]

    Wow, you mean like Big Brother style?

    Sounds perfect for a Republican Convention.

  30. Dyno

    You are absolutely spot on according to the pundits in the US. The only thing I would add is that if Obama and Biden head down to visit Nagin, who left the DNC early to prepare New Orleans, they will in effect be sharing the spotlight during a week the Repugs should have it solely on them. The Repugs need a convention bounce badly. Obama is back to 8% ahead with his convention bounce.

    I’m not sure if there is any gentlemen’s agreement that Obama won’t try to hog RNC time because of a natural disaster. It would be a bit unfair IMO but I’m sure if Rove was his manager, Obama would be helping sandbag the levees in front of the cameras and highlighting every complaint about the response.

    PS If anyone out there is associated with the Essendon “Walk Over Us By 100 Points To Make the Top Four” Football Club, such as it is, the Adelaide Football Club will be sending some of our friends around to check out your bank accounts for recent transfers in from the St Kilda FC.

  31. Dio,
    Obama and Biden have to be there – otherwise there will be a (seeming) disconnect between the rhetoric of last week and their response to those in acute need.
    I guess it will be Nagin and team vs Jindal and team. Interesting.

  32. Did anybody watching John McCain introduce Sarah Palin as his running mate on Friday doubt that he would have preferred to be standing there with Joe Lieberman? When he and Palin hugged on stage, it had the air of the new daughter-in-law joining the family.

    And another take on the Palin selection:

    The main reason McCain knuckled under to the religious right by picking Palin is that he actually believes there’s a large army of embittered Hillary loyalists who will vote for a hard-line conservative simply because she’s a woman. That’s what happens when you listen to the TV news echo chamber. Not only is the whole premise ludicrous, but it is every bit as sexist as the crude joke McCain notoriously told about Janet Reno, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton.

    …… The Obama campaign has long been on board those digital locomotives. Its ability to tell its story under the radar of the mainstream press in part accounts for why the Obama surge has been so often underestimated. Even now we’re uncertain of its size. The extraordinary TV viewership for Obama on Thursday night, larger than the Olympics opening ceremony, this year’s Oscars or any “American Idol” finale, may only be a count of the horses. The Obama campaign’s full reach online — for viewers as well as fund-raising and organizational networking — remains unknown.

  33. If I was an Adelaide supporter, I’d be secretly pleased they’ve finished fifth. St Kilda now gets the honour of playing away against a team who have just concluded the most dominant season in AFL/VFL history (surpassing Essendon’s effort of 2000 by a percent or two), and Adelaide gets to play a home final against an indifferent Collingwood. If they win (and Geelong beats the Saints), Adelaide will then play St Kilda. Interestingly, of Geelongs past 11 opponents, 8 of them have also lost the week after (North Melbourne being the most recent case of post-Geelongitis). So, *if* Adelaide do end up playing the Saints, the Crows could be a decent chance to win – and probably meet Hawthorn the week after.

  34. Two quick questions about Gustav, if it turns out badly. Hopefully it will fade before it reaches land.

    1. Katrina cost the US $80B. How is the US economy and insurance/banking industry placed to take a loss of that size?

    2. If people are displaced (there are 11M in the path on current estimates) don’t they vote in their new and temporary home-states?

  35. Diogenes

    A few comments on Gustav and New Orleans:
    – I agree with you that it should never have been resettled, although it would have been very difficult to stop peoel who’s home/life savings are tied up in it without some compensation to them, which would have been massive.
    – Having said that, if they weren’t going to abandon New Orleans, then defences needed to be strengthened. This has NOT HAPPENED. The pre-Katrina defences have been repaired but not increased. It was proof against a slow category 2/fast category 3 hurricane. If Gustav is a 3/4 it is unlikley to hold unless they are lucky with timing, tides etc.
    – The real solution would have been to abandon less defensible areas of New Orleans (some areas are lower and more isolated than others) and strengthen defences in the rest.
    – It may sound perverse but a natural disaster is not always bad for a countries economy. A lot of work is generated in reconstruction and the insurance money comes form a system of reinsurance that is international. If there is a New Orleans II we will all pay for it in our house insurance premiums.

    Regarding Palin and CC, I find it really curious that she is a skeptic, because she lives in the US state where the evidence for it is most graphically obvious!

  36. “So, *if* Adelaide do end up playing the Saints, the Crows could be a decent chance to win – and probably meet Hawthorn the week after.” Then it’s bye, bye Adelaide.

  37. Diogenes

    One more economic concern on Gustav that may be more significant – remember what it did last tme to oil prices? There are an aweful lot of oil refineries in that part of the US.

  38. Bad news , Hurrican Gustav presently has maximum sustained winds of 120 mph plus some higher gusts (thats a Category 3 , same as Katrina which killed about 2,000) people) , but has potential to get up to 150 mph winds (Category 4) & its path is part of southern Louisanana Cuba already hit New Orleans is under mandatory evacution well done State officials Shame on any politcan if this tragedy is made a politcal ‘blame’ game or reference to ‘Katrina’ seeing New Orleans cann’t reely easily be made hurrican proof for a category 4 Theoreticaly should not hav been resettled but peoples just did not to leave there ‘life’ & ‘memories’ behind , as for logistics & compo of resettleing a city that was 500,000 where to & cost & against people’s wishs , no win either way but effect on USA economy & Southern Stae peoples future lives will not be good

    Also note on returning from day out & party , & find whilst having made just one prior post today and that was on th CC subject I find it extraordinary 2 posters apparently made Ron comments requiring deletions , sort of a personality based fan club with a “narrative” to spread somone’s popularity it seems Well if fan club is one then it still won’t stop spade is a spade comments but then Gough said it better

    “The Obama campaign has long been on board those digital locomotives” said a poster One of worst aspects of USA non compulsory voting system is that both Party’s efectively ‘truck’ voters to booths , hav spruikers out to get people to vote , use widespread partisan Church pulpits , and both Partys use other less ‘savoury methods to get voters to turn out to vote , ALL an “abuse” of th core principal of non compulsory voting Often th Party that wins a marginal but often POTUS defining State is th Party who “organizes” voters to vote “non compulsorey” but reely those voters do not want to vote or not motivated enough to put themselves out to so vote Fortunately other Countrys with non compulsory voting don’t hav this ‘abuse’ to this extent

    Similar issue with Internet , it has been Obama’s forte THIS time resulting in Internet ‘news’ being “manipulated” to hav “good news’ highlighted & bad news” difficult to locate , and with partisan Obama armys in there tens of thousands of ‘posters’ flooding sites with pro Obama and anti his opponents ‘rumours” or indeed factual adverse stuff , whilst ‘burying’ reverse info This may be fine for those who suport Obama this time , but one should be careful with principals with what you sow as Repugs next time may do it better than Democrats both technically & may then hav more money than th Demmocrats So I oppose this ‘abuse’ on principal , and likewise th ‘abuse’ of “organizing” voters to come out to vote Our compulsory systyem in comparison seems more representative , despite warts and all

    Not sure why both St Kilda & Essendon suporters were apparently barracking for th Saints today in last quarter , such an even handed lot

    Link on VP Joe Biden quoted earlier was a 2005 one of Joe Biden copying Edwards & Clinton alleging (correctly) that th Iraq 2002 war vote was based on ‘false’ intell supplied to Democrat Senators by Bush admin , but unlike Edwards & Clinton whose current unambiguous public policy is Iraq withdrawal ASAP , Joe Biden STILL publicly wants to ‘stay the course’ in Iraq to “win’ , ie same policey as our foolish George can th prospective Democrat VP and POTUS be on same ticket on such an key issue without political hypocracy & policy shallowness by oiliness who appointed him Of course maverick on other hand says Iraq will be won by 2013 a foolish cynical date he’s plucked from nowhere without any intell or military credibility suport Perseption and reality have clashed there

    And ABC TV’s “insiders’ , seems now an ‘oz’ version of Fox News , so “fair & balanced” , a Howard legacy , & a living example of how MSN ends up so balanced

  39. also on that same Joe Biden link in a televised debate

    Joe Biden : “I’ve been calling for more troops (in Iraq) for over two years, along with John McCain (and others subsequent to my saying that)..”

  40. Basically agree with Socrates about the economic impact of Gustav. It’s worth remembering that at say $80b (which includes some of the cost to Government as well as that to the insurance industry which was about $50b) Katrina only cost a fraction of what the current credit crunch has cost to date.
    As I recall it a lot of the 2005 damage to oil installations was caused by Katrina’s ugly sisters, Rita and Wilma, who came within a month of her.

  41. As suggested earlier, the GOP has partly cancelled the RNC.

    President Bush, first lady Laura Bush, Vice President Cheney and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger all canceled Monday appearances. Bush is likely to address the nation, instead, if killer Gustav does not veer off its path toward the Gulf Coast.

    Gustav wipes out GOP opener

    PS For anyone interested, Drudge has excellent links at the top of his page to the most recent course models, wind maps etc for Gustav. The lastest map predicts Gustav to be a category 3 as it crosses New Orleans, which is much better than yesterday when it was pedicted to be a 5.

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