Happy new year: day two

Light holiday reading:

• “Carlton’s lone classical liberal”, Andrew Norton, weighs in on Liberal hyperbole over third party political campaigns. New Mayo MP Jamie Briggs reckons these to be a “cancer in our democracy” due to the efforts of GetUp! and the ACTU at the last election. Briggs argues that “Australians are entitled to know who is behind the campaigns, how much is being spent and where the money is coming from”, evidently having failed to notice that such groups are indeed required to provide annual disclosure of receipts, expenditure and debts. However, in an interesting discussion at Larvatus Prodeo, Norton also argues that lowering the donation disclosure threshold from $10,000 to $1000 (as proposed by a bill currently before a Senate committee due to report on June 30) could theoretically catch independent political blogs in a “massive compliance net” thanks to a loose definition of “persons or organisations expressing views by any means on candidates or election issues”. Elsewhere, The Australian’s Janet Albrechtsen tugs at the heart strings by complaining the disclosure amendments are designed to cut donations to the Liberal Party (from which you can readily infer why the Howard government used its Senate majority to jack the threshold up from $1500 to $10,000 in the first place). More substantially, she argues that “the nature of third-party campaigns in Australia is such that if we ban or cap donations (except by individuals) and allow third-party campaigns by unions to continue unabated, the political field is skewed against one side: the conservatives” – particularly in light of government plans to scrap tax deductibility of party donations while maintaining it for union dues and levies.

• “Dotcom millionaire” Evan Thornley has made himself popular in Labor circles by pulling the plug on his political career on the eve of his anticipated promotion to the Victorian state cabinet. The talk around Thornley was that he viewed his state political career as a stepping stone to federal politics via Simon Crean’s seat of Hotham, beyond which his ambitions were apparently without limit. His entirely unheralded decision to “pursue opportunities outside of political life” has inevitably fuelled all manner of speculation, most of it involving his financial wellbeing. It has also created a vacancy for his upper house seat for the Southern Metropolitan region. The Age reports that the new upper house system instituted at the last election “has created an anomaly for Labor, as party rules do not specify how preselection for an upper house vacancy should be conducted”:

Party sources said the anomoly was expected to be tackled by rule makers in May 2009 before preselections began in earnest for the 2010 election. But Mr Thornley’s shock departure – which sources from both major factions of Victorian Labor described as the most bizarre incident they had ever witnessed in politics – could force the anomaly to be dealt with sooner. While some within Labor believe the rules offer no guidance over preselection, others say the spirit of preselection processes in the lower house should also be adopted for the upper house. Under that scenario, Mr Thornley’s replacement in the Southern Metropolitan electorate would be decided 50:50 by a ballot of ALP branch members and a central selection panel. Many expect Labor’s national executive to ultimately choose his replacement but all agreed it was too early to speculate on the names of likely candidates.

A commenter at Andrew Landeryou’s VexNews writes:

The Left were promised Thornley’s spot but they agreed not to insist as Thornley was then non aligned. Thornley then joined Labor Unity. They left will claim they are entitled to fill Thornley’s vacancy. Labor Unity will most likely want it and there will be an internal facional brawl like Kororoit. Then Mr Dearricott’s non-aligned group will claim their right to the vacancy. A strong tip tonight is that (former Brimbank mayor) Natalie Suleyman is a favourite for the position.

Another hopeful is said to be Dick Gross, former Municipal Association of Victoria president and Port Phillip councillor defeated in recent elections in a “resident revolt over his support for the St Kilda triangle development”. There is also the question of the political future of Theo Theophanous, charged on Christmas Eve with rape. An end to Theophanous’s political career would create another upper house vacancy in Northern Metropolitan. In lieu of Evan Thornley, Theophanous’s position as Industry and Trade Minister has been filled by Martin Pakula, previously best known for his failed preselection bid against Simon Crean in Hotham ahead of the last federal election.

Michelle Grattan of The Age reports that the Victorian Liberals are “set to reluctantly give the Nationals the number two spot on a joint Senate ticket for the 2010 election”. This would continue an agreement initiated after the 1987 double dissolution election giving the Nationals the unwinnable fourth and safe second seats at alternating elections. The party’s seat in the Senate has been held since 1993 by Julian McGauran, who quit the party for the Liberals in January 2006. One possible explanation for the move was that he did not expect the Liberals would continue with the existing joint ticket arrangement, which as Grattan explains is widely opposed within the party. It had long been thought that the Nationals had been able to negotiate the joint ticket partly because the McGauran family helped delivered it preferences from the Democratic Labor Party, whom they had assisted in legal action to prevent its deregistration. The Nationals’ apparent success in keeping the arrangement going might suggest otherwise. However, another possibility is that McGauran thought his prospects of winning Liberal preselection less unlikely than those of keeping his place with the Nationals. McGauran had an uncomfortably narrow preselection win ahead of the 2004 election over Darren Chester, now the member for Gippsland, and his family’s clout might have been further weakened since by brother Peter’s departure from politics.

• Labor’s Mark Dreyfus, chairman of the House of Representatives Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, says he hopes the government will “soon” announce a non-binding plebiscite to test opinion on a republic before the federal election.

Robert Taylor of The West Australian has an interesting overview of the new entrants to the WA state parliament.

UPDATE (3/1/09): Malcolm Mackerras reviews the Queensland state redistribution and offers his prediction for the election to be held some time this year, namely an 11 seat Labor majority from an even split on two-party preferred.

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.

619 comments on “Happy new year: day two”

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  1. Poor Briggs and Albrechtsen. Someone get them a tissue.

    The caps should never have been raised in the first place, too many cashed up big business types donating often and scraping in under the threshold.

  2. William and I obvously cann’t be away at same time as Site just becomes mayham

    Happy new year to my short list of mates and long list of enemies , may I bring cheer to your 2009

    New year ‘awards’

    ….2nd lowest point was not just our Cricketerrs losing , but putting up with that tony Greig pretending to be so so very very disappointd , does anyone actualy like that guy or he is “th Ron of Channel 9”

    ….highest point was our astute of astuteness Ruawake:

    “Ruawake #305
    ”Hey Diog, did you realise Brisbane has been on level 5 water restrictions for a few years?
    Geez you make some silly statements. I let your recent vile comment on CLL go through to the keeper, but for a supposedly educated person it is amazing how wRONg you are, so OFTEN.”

    ………just gold Ruawake , and added to ‘diog you ar wRONg’ tabernacles file

    …….worthy comendation…goes to th lovely Vera and those days on th SCG hill “as one of th boys” …and probaly distracting those pommie batsmen with your good looker looks , and perhaps sweet words of encouragements to thems

    …and worstest lowest point point …..a draw…Bush ‘hope th Israeli’s avoid hitting innocent civilians” …draws with Obama epitapgh ” if I was living as an Israeli with rockets being fired by Hamas I’d want to relatiate”

    Bush and Obama…you ar pathetic…. Its not your SOS’s , its yous double standards

    ronism , if this iis th 21st Century internet age of knowledge communicated world wide to all , then google has a webster filter deleting all commonsense for ‘spin’

    So if Indonesia takes 1/2 of Brissie , and part of Q’ld and breaks it into enclaves , Indonesian and Queenslander…and 99% of worlds UN (as it has done for 40 years) says to Indomesia to withdraw immediately from queensland no preconditions , but USA says its ok four Indonesia to stay in Queensland to protect your security…and then Queensalnders fire rockets at Indonesians to force Indonesians out …yep per USA , th Queenslanders ar terrorists…USA just keeps arming & financing th Indonesians , ansd calls Queenslanders terorists

    And posters here want oz to influense th USA on CC targets , reely ?….yet Gazza says USA does what it wants for its own benefit despite th UN or any other other Copuntrys views on th Palestiniens …posters want us to influense th USA on CC targets by being th econamic bunny , when Obama says his policy is ZERO CC targets…yep zero reductions from 1990 levels …….well Gaza is th reel World…….or is it DOHA/WTA…….meanwhile th Palestiniens wonder about th land of Liberty cause there’s no change they can belkieve in …Rudd understands th reel World , and for us

  3. From previous thread:

    Malcolm Bligh Turnbull is not in anyway related to Bligh of Rum Rebellion fame. His family were supporters of Bligh and have traditionally given the eldest son of each generation the second name Bligh.

    Anna Bligh (Qld Premier) on the other hand, is a direct descendant of Bligh. 🙂

  4. Briggs’ comments re 3rd party campaigns are footy fan one-eyed.
    Remember the adverts by the Business Council at the last election against nasty unionists and in support of the COALition?
    You know the ones which they had to pull off air cos they featured disreputable types as actors?
    And I don’t know if you city slickers are aware but in my rural electorate the union for farmers, the Farmers’ Fed., saturated local rural TV with ads in the last week or two of the election directed against the ALP and particularly aimed at the ALP ‘robbing’ the future fund set aside for the country folk.
    And, of course, there was that mob who spent umpteen millions of taxpayers’ money in the leadup up to the election telling us how wonderful the COALition Howard government was. The Howard govt. I mean.
    Cuts two ways Jamie.

  5. The most disturbing aspect of the cabinet papers released after 30 years is the loan to Woodsreef Asbestos.

    $1.4 million “confidential loan” to a company that walked away from the mine 4 years later. 30 years on this site is still not rehabilitated.

    Who was Minister for Trade in 1978? Doug Anthony. Who’s electorate was the mine in? Ian Sinclair’s.

    National Party Pork was alive and well 30 years ago. 🙁

  6. More to the point, will Obama turns out to be the “Princess Diana” and Michelle the “Dodi” of the heavy hitting magazines like New Idea, Dolly, Women Weekly, People etc.

    We all know what happened to Princess Diana. But it’s OK, we got Hillary in the wing.

    [Obama’s paparazzi presidency – ABC’s Jake Tapper predicted this week that Barack Obama will be “the Britney Spears of 2009.” Considering that Obama was deemed by some to be the Britney Spears of 2008, it wasn’t much of a leap. Barack Obama on the cover of a magazine. With a faction of compliant, adulatory and skin-deep chroniclers added to the media mix, Obama has found a consistent wing of support, one that can be used to upend the traditional political media apparatus, bringing new storylines to the fore and changing the game of how a president is covered…..

    “Does this trivialize the presidency?” asks Democratic strategist Peter Fenn. “At times, yes. Why is it important to know the back and forth of what kind of tuna fish sandwich the president-elect ordered? On the other hand, does this often humanize a leader? The answer to that, of course, is sure it does.]

  7. happy new year
    just watched Nine news
    Presenter says; how would you like living next door to a Guantanamo Bay terrorist?!!!
    Then had Talcum all hairy chested ranting in a very dramatic raised voice , he sounded and looked so phony, this guy would make a terrible actor (unlike amigos’ freind Oils Obi).
    At end of story said Govt refused to comment despite nine’s requests (poor dittums) but then went on to say acting PM julia gillard released a statement saying the USA’s request would most likely be refused due to Australia,s strict security laws.
    Story and way it was presented brought back nasty memories of the Howard years of playing on racist fears and predjuces for political gain. Made my skin crawl and was a sober reminder of what life could be like if St Kev wasn’t here to help.

  8. Reflecting on 2008 from SA a couple of things stand out. Idiocy 1 was the decision by SA govt to sell various State buildings so that the level of State debt will be below the magic 90% of some measure that the Ranting Agencies use to help decide AAA rating for State. How selling buildings and then paying rental to private owners helps a State’s economic position is a mystery of the first order. How Ranting Agencies Standard and Poors and Moodys retain any credibility is a related mystery.
    Then there was the highlight of suggestions by “back benchers” that Treasurer Kevin Folley should replace Rann as Premier and Folley emerging a few days later after going AWOL to say he should have acted earlier to squash such silly talk. Why bother.

  9. It’s all about perception. It will be hard for MHS and the Liberals to say Rann Labor has mismanaged the economy or the GFC if Rann Labor can say they brought SA up to an AAA-rating and kept it there.

  10. “Let’s just can Obama before he gets started. How much fun is this eh?”

    Tell th Palestiniens its fun for Obama to support Israeli air raids

    Tell th IPCC its fun for Obama to support zero 1990 emission targets

    This is this guys public position Using that logic , then Turnbull should not be criticised for any of his public positions either

  11. The US won’t support the Palestinians Ron no matter who is in power in the US, not even Hilliary.
    My understanding that a zero emissions target is in fact an improvement on what they are emmitting now. Still a lot better than the alternative.
    By all means criticise policy but let’s leave the name calling and inane personal assassination to the right wing blogs shall we and above all let’s give the bloke a go before writing him off.

  12. I think there are about 60 people in Guantanamo that the US has decided have no case to answer, (even though they have been locked up for the best part of a decade).

    Some of these are citizens of China, unfortunately mistaken for muslim terrorists by the US (but not by the people who recieved the bounty for nabbing them).

    The Chinese Govt. does not really like these guys, does not want them and is actively disuading other countries from accepting them.

    My view is its an American problem, re-settle them in “The Home of the Brave” and let them use the US legal system to its full effect.

  13. “The US won’t support the Palestinians Ron no matter who is in power in the US, not even Hilliary.
    My understanding that a zero emissions target is in fact an improvement on what they are emmitting now. Still a lot better than the alternative.”

    I missed out reductons from zero emmissions , so Obama’s zero reductons emmissions policy guarantees irreversible CC …past th tipping point with all th dire results Now people here criticise there own little world player oz for 55 , yet not criticiese th world leader So I call both on bama’ public policy and th unwillingness to criticise his policy but criticise Rudd , pathetic

    Now with Palestiniens just because no one in USA will suport them does not make it right Hell no it does not , its a disgrace so I call that Obama position also pathetic Also do not know why there was a referense is to Hillary , as if that diminishs my case at all Anyway unlike peoples here too afraid to attack oily , i actualy did many times severely criticise Hillary also on her Israeli policy also despite chanse she may later follow Billys 1999 negotiatons lead also Finaly Gore for Palestiniens was better And historicaly only one to get close to fair dinkum deal was Billy Clinton…95% of all land with Juralesm & refugee ‘return’ last mssing piece biut 20th Jan 2000 came first…thats Bush’s first day

  14. ruawake

    I think you’re on to something there.

    Obviously it would be easy for the US to take 60 inmates who have had no charges laid against them. You have to wonder why the US is opening up a can of worms with it’s allies by asking them to share what is a tiny load? Is it trying to diffuse the responsibility for stuffing up so badly or do the US want to avoid multiple embarrassing court cases under US Law which would all end up in the Supreme Court with very unpredictable?

  15. Ron

    1. Obama has only just put together his Environmental team which is headed by a Nobel Prize winning physicist with expertise in renewable energy. He hasn’t even taken over yet and certainly doesn’t have a “white paper” equivalent yet. We’ll have to wait and see what he comes up with in power. What is said before an election about Climate Change isn’t necessarily reflected in the end policy. 😉

    2. I definitely recall the Israel-Palestine situation being Hillary’s problem. I’m glad I don’t have to defend the indefensible with that one. 😀 Good Luck Hillary!!

  16. Ron, you may disagree with Obama’s stance on Israel but that’s been a US policy since moses was a lad and is not about to change soon. It would be a very brave boy indeed to change that policy. No president has.
    You may recall I supported Rudd’s ETS policy so I’m being consistent here.

  17. Vera at 10, channel 10’s coverage was no better. Didnt include ANY response from the government, but had some “ordinary aussies” from the shops who werent pleased, Turnbull )of course, and, of all people, Habib saying something like you dont know what “those people” have done- huh??

  18. Ron

    This exemplifies the problem in Israel. I’d seen a few polls saying that the Israelis wanted peace more than their Government a while ago, but the Israelis are fully behind the latest strikes. Only 2.5% think worse of Barak after the strikes. 🙁

    [THE popularity of Defence Minister Ehud Barak’s Labour party has shot up on the back of Israel’s deadly blitz on Hamas in Gaza, according to an opinion poll published today.
    The centre-left party would get 16 seats in the Knesset if an election were held today – compared with as low as seven seats that some surveys gave it in November, said the poll published in the Maariv newspaper.

    The party currently has 19 MPs in the 120-seat parliament.

    And 44 per cent of people questioned said they had a “more positive opinion” of Mr Barak, against 48 per cent who have not changed their opinion and 2.5 per cent who had a more negative opinion of the former prime minister.]


  19. Gary , you will find that Billy Clinton was first to break past USA policy on Israel by being more even handed , did pressuring israel to negotiate , in hisd first term had PM Rabbin & Peress and Arafat to White House face to face , Oslo Accords , didn’t work , kept trying pressuring both sides unlike normal USA policy & ended up with PM Barak and Arafat to Whitwhouse in 1999 deeling right up to actual day of Bush’s inauguarton on a ‘deal’…now as said they of to 95% of land agreed with 2 sticky wickets left & run out of time …now one was division of Juruleslesm Believe but for Florida chads in 2000 electon , Gore as POTUS wuld hav finished a deal

    Now up to June , Obama said Juralesm was on table , a Palestinien reequirement , so it should its there capital East Jurelesm But in July Obama changed policys & told J.wish lobby publicly Jurelesm is off table & now follows normal previous (except Billy Clinton) USA position on Israel generaly So my criticism is there is a template , not Hillarys that I’ve severely criticised , but Billys

    Now as for CC , as I said zero reductons is irreversibe CC , so its reel pathetic policy I know you’ve been consistent on rudds ETS so that point in my blog was not too you at all actualy , but to people who criticise littl World country oz’s 5% , but won’t criticise th USA ‘s potus to be’s policy

    There will be NO CC mitigation unless th USA so decides and USA will decide alone no matter what any other country says , and Obama’s USA zero reductons is zero CC mitigaton…is reely Bush’s keep polluting policy with fluff

  20. Where is th condemnation of these Israeli war crimes against innocent civilians Aeroplanes flying over th most densely populated place on earth , just dropping big bombs …and there is NO anti aircraft defenses

    Where ar all those that criticised USA attacking Iraq , but silent on this atrcoity IF ANY another country did what Israel is doing against anyone but Palestiniens th liberal press wuld be screaming blue murder

    Whole Arab league hav offered full peace and recognition of Israel in return for them doing what UN has repeatedly tolsd Israel to do , withgdraw to its own borders Israels’ policy and USA’s is a disgrace and indefensable totaly

    And even on strategic policy slant its a flawed Israel policy as well Talk about growing th seeds of hate of West and terorism , USA policy guarantees that outcome…and bet majority of peoples of Saudi , and Kuwait and Egypt tink so to…what happens if they overthow there despotic poro USA Govts and do a Shah of Iran…oil $500 a barrel

  21. ruawake @ 6

    Nice pick up. I hadn’t realized the Nationals had diversified from coal into asbestos. I would appreciate a link, if you have it.

  22. Innocent or not, folk who have spent ten years getting the treatment of G Bay are probably close to being insane.

    Unless I have it wrong, Australia, as an ally in an illegal and monstrous war, was a strong and vociferous supporter of G Bay, extreme rendition and various practices that normal human beings would instantly recognise as torture. Legalists such as Robert Hill, now our ambassodor to the UN, could, of course find legal reasons why it wasn’t really torture at all.

    Even though we have a successor government in place, Australia must therefore bear some responsibility for fixing the mess.

    G Bay inmates may or may not be terrorists. We actually don’t know what they were. We do know what they are: people who have been tortured and held without trial in an extra-judicial system. We know enough to know that the snatching was quite arbitrary. If they are terrorists, let the US judicial system get on try them. We probably know that no normal civilian court in the US would find them guilty of anything. The evidence is far too tainted.

    In his desperation Turnbull has turned again to disgraceful dog whistling. He is smart enough to know what he is doing. The sooner the Liberals turf him out, the better. Perhaps Peter Costello might have the social nous to avoid the dog whistling.

    As for the Rudd Government, I hope that it is not ducking behind the same sort of legalistic cover as Hill employed to avoid upsetting the rascist elements of our society.

    I am unsure of the ‘strict security’ laws which would prevent Australia from taking people who have been tortured and abused for ten years without due legal process or trial. These folk are refugees whom we have helped create. We should do our bit to right a hideous wrong. So, proportionately, should the US and the other allies.

  23. “Even though we have a successor government in place, Australia must therefore bear SOME responsibility for fixing the mess.”

    We never renditioned We don’t hav Gittmo , its a US problam I’d take Habbibs security advice as well , don’t take them ,

  24. There’s at least one positive to come out of the GFC. Not everyone has lost their sense of humour.

    [Following the problems in the sub-prime lending market in America and the run on Northern Rock in the UK , uncertainty has now hit Japan.

    In the last seven days Origami Bank has folded, Sumo Bank has gone belly up and Bonsai Bank announced plans to cut some of its branches.

    Yesterday, it was announced that Karaoke Bank is up for sale and will likely go for a song while today shares in Kamikaze Bank were suspended after they nose-dived.

    While Samurai Bank are soldiering on following sharp cutbacks, Ninja Bank are reported to have taken a hit, but they remain in the black.

    Furthermore, 500 staff at Karate Bank got the chop and analysts report that there is something fishy going on at Sushi Bank where it is feared that staff may get a raw deal. ]


    A number of other good quotes there also.

  25. “Not enough”

    Well clearly you hav absolutely no credible defenses for israel’s bombing behavour nor a Potus to be’s CC zero emmissions reductions policy , but presumably would like to be able to or ar reluctant to agree with me…what a devils choise

  26. If only the media in this country could put forward as honest an appraisal as this occasionally.

    [When Mr. Bush officially takes his leave in three weeks (in reality, he checked out long ago), most Americans will be content to sigh good riddance. I disagree. I don’t think he should be allowed to slip quietly out of town. There should be a great hue and cry — a loud, collective angry howl, demonstrations with signs and bullhorns and fiery speeches — over the damage he’s done to this country.

    This is the man who gave us the war in Iraq and Guantánamo and torture and rendition; who turned the Clinton economy and the budget surplus into fool’s gold; who dithered while New Orleans drowned; who trampled our civil liberties at home and ruined our reputation abroad; who let Dick Cheney run hog wild and thought Brownie was doing a heckuva job.

    The Bush administration specialized in deceit. How else could you get the public (and a feckless Congress) to go along with an invasion of Iraq as an absolutely essential response to the Sept. 11 attacks, when Iraq had had nothing to do with the Sept. 11 attacks?

    Exploiting the public’s understandable fears, Mr. Bush made it sound as if Iraq was about to nuke us: “We cannot wait,” he said, “for the final proof — the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.”]


  27. and still almost 46% just voted for another Republicon POTUS which is stagering

    And on that Japan Banking story , just wonder how deep is hole of GFC as we may not hv seen bottom yet

  28. Thanks Scorp @32, the article in the NYT was a good review of the lowlights of the Bush2 era. That the lasting image of his end of days will be an unrestrained Arab throwing shows at him is probably appropriate, obviously ironic, and says something complicated about the ‘freedom’ he helped to bring to Iraq (free to die in poverty in a violent, dysfunctional state, but once again free to throw shoes at our leaders – weird…).

  29. Interested in William’s lead in story about right wing complaints over Get Up etc. So freedom of speech is an attack on democracy? Interesting, especially coming from someone who often writes an opinion piece in a newspaper. Should op-eds be illegal too? Of course not – how else can people rich enough to own newspapers influence public opinion? The trouble with those dashed bloggers is that they may be people without Old Money undermining the power base of The Elite. Aweful 🙂

    I won’t dignify Norton or Briggs comments with a click on hs blog, other than to say the hypocracy is glaring, and the over the top reaction shows the defensiveness of someone who knows their side is losing.

  30. Ron 33

    Economists I read seem to feel we may have seen the worst of the GFC in the banking industry. However, the next thud might be many of those private equity funds, who don’t have the same reporting rules, but must have lost billions. Sooner or later they will have to fess up. Of course the “real world” fallout from the GFC will cntinue through this year. Recovery by 2010 if the western world can get a few initiatives moving. The US will take longer.

  31. Ron @ 25

    I suspect that the Israelis want to separate the majority of Gazans from supporting Hamas. If so, it would be self-defeating for them to kill lots of Gazans. They are clearly trying to kill lots of Hamas persons, the Hamas ability to organise, and to destroy Hamas physical infrastructure. I have sort of missed the latest counts but the Israelis have probably delivered four hundred or more explosions in Gaza.

    With about 2-3000 Gazan casualities from perhaps 400+ explosions, the Israelis are clearly trying to avoid killing civilians.

    Whether the Israelis are right to kill lots of Hamas persons, to destroy what is essentially governance infrastructure of Gaza and incidentally kill many civilians, is another issue.

  32. G’day Boerwar

    Hope you’ve got some water there since last xmas I understand humanitarian view you put on gittmo guys , but feel in one way USA needs to wear responsibility for what it sowed with renditions , also in that Group one wuld assume there ar innocents and bad guys …now innocents could staying in US get relief in US justice system outside of militarey tribunals…whilst baddies (which would be reely unknown to our intel) should also go thru US justice system & may be found innocent also , but goodness we ar not equipped to handle such unknown baddie people and as Habbib a Gittmo guy himself did say tonite there ar reel security issues & suggested don’t take them

  33. Socrates

    “Ron 33 Economists I read seem to feel we may have seen the worst of the GFC in the banking industry.”

    My concern is th prime not sub prime area , USA housing prices declined on average from 500,000 to 260,000 from to 2007 compared to july-Sept 2008 period , before USA main econamy started to feel downturns

    Then there is a world wide squeeeze on credit itself even bank to bank , with most Countrys Govts already putting in alot of ‘bailout’ monies Then there is further risk of say USA printying money with hypo inflation down tack

    Then yes those private equity companies , believe there is big bad losseses there to come Then unemployment is going to rise in th West irespective asung less Govt revenue & more welfare costs to cash stapped econamys so my GFC thoughrts may not be majority but feel winds ar not good

  34. There was a frog who wanted to get across the River Jordan. But he was afraid to because the seagulls would spot him and catch him before he got across.

    Along came a scorpion.

    ‘Hello Frog. I want to get across the river. I could ride on your back and protect you from the seagulls. Would you carry me across?’
    ‘How can I trust you not to sting me to death?’ asked the frog.
    ‘Why would I do that? I would drown,’ replied the scorpion.
    ‘OK’, said the frog, ‘That makes sense, we both win.’
    So, the scorpion got onto the frogs back and the frog started swimming across.
    Half way, the scorpion stings the frog, which starts to die.
    ‘Why did you do that?’ asked the frog. Now we will both die.
    ‘Because this is the Middle East.’

  35. “the Israelis are clearly trying to avoid killing civilians.”

    well th latest one ton bomb landed on an apartment building (as intended) being th home of a Hamas leader It demolished th apartment buiding …and th Hamas leader…it also killed 7 other members of his family including his wives and four children One day before killed 4 out of a guys 5 little girls , he lived Further dropping bombs on unarmed civilian houses in most populated place on earth guarantees civilian deaths I don’t tink trying to avoid killing civilians has any credibility….its just ‘spin’ for US consumpton & conscience

  36. oh dear me, I agree with ron at 43, god help me….

    sorry that should have read:

    o dere mee, eye aggree wit run at $#, godde elp meee…

  37. Boerwar 45, of course they care about killing ‘civilians’ – but even though they are rather clinical in their execution, Ron is right, they must know that in heavily populated Gaza they will notch up more ‘collateral’ casualties than they will ‘targets’, and they are obviously comfortable with that. Are you?

  38. I hate to shoot down BOTH of Williams inductees (Norton and Briggs) in his intro , but on reflecton am going to

    they hav both produced red herrings for there opposing sides ANYONE an still donate , anyone…and to whoever …and as much as they like All thats seemed to hav changed is level at whcih discloure occurs

    Like now at 10K limit before you get fessed up to publics …you’ve got 6 states and 2 territories , and theoreticaly you’ve got a Lib and Nats Party in each (did anyway)…so thats 160,000 per family member you could prev donate before anyone publicly knew you donated now mif th lovely lady of house also donated plus 3 adult kids ….thats 800,000 a family potential without disclosure ….excluding all th nieces and uncles …instead of with a 1K limit for disclosure being 80,000 per family potential Now perhaps thats what Briggs is worried about

    Its called transparency is better democracy I’d hav thought

    And suggesting a politcal blog site is somehow caught by legislation as a campaign advertising medium is naive

    now hope Faukner alo looks at extending close off dates for registering to vote , and looks at growth of those pre polls (especialy how they ar ‘managed” within retirement etc places , and who sends them out (should be AEC only) etc

  39. Pica @ 46

    No. I can’t see a justification for it. There is no moral justification for putting yourself in a situation of taking people’s land and then having to kill some of them in order to maintain a ‘peaceful’ status quo. Australia did it routinely in relation to Aboriginal lands from 1788 until 1927 (Coniston massacre).

    Given that, though, I think the Israelis are being careful to avoid killing civilians where they can, knowing that with Hamas mixed up with civilians, some civilians will be killed.
    It is not in their self-interest to kill civilians.

  40. “It is not in their self-interest to kill civilians.”

    but they a happy to continue doing so and knowingly do so …in order to kill some Hamas leaders …without regard to greater civilian deaths than Hamas deaths in Worlds most densely populated area

    And I might add Hamas is a democraticaly elected Govt of a UN deemed sovereign land

    And furthermore to do so as occupiers of non israeli land according to 99% of th worlds UN nations , and against 40 years of UN resulutions to unconditionaly withdraw

  41. Whatever else might be said about the Gaza conflict, it seems to me that “world’s most densely populated area” is hyperbole. The Gaza Strip has a population density of 4118/km2Gaza City’s would appear to be a bit under 9000. This is considerably lower than many cities listed here, the highest of which is Dhaka with 42,752. If you want to go with countries, Singapore has 6336. Hong Kong is about the same.

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