Midweek mélange

New fronts open in the Liberal Party’s internal warfare as it scrambles to prepare for an election looking increasingly to be in May.

As we wait for the 2019 polling machine to get cranking, a review of recent happenings:

• Indigenous leader Warren Mundine is to be installed as the new Liberal candidate for the marginal seat of Gilmore in southern New South Wales, supplanting the existing candidate, Grant Schultz, by decree of the party’s state executive acting at the behest of the Prime Minister. Schultz promptly quit the Liberal Party when the news broke yesterday and announced he would run as an independent. Schultz’s dumping was also blasted by Shelley Hancock, member for the corresponding state seat of South Coast, who spoke of “one of the darkest days of the Liberal Party”. A local real estate agent and son of the late Alby Schultz, former member for Hume, Schultz was preparing a challenge to the preselection of incumbent Ann Sudmalis last year, and was the only remaining nominee after she announced her retirement in September. Mundine was national president of the ALP in 2006 and 2007, but quit the party in 2012 and moved ever further into the conservative orbit thereafter. It is expected the seat will be contested for the Nationals by Katrina Hodgkinson, former state member for Burrinjuck and Cootamundra.

• Following Kelly O’Dwyer’s retirement announcement on the weekend, it appears accepted within the Liberal Party that it needs to pick a woman to succeed her. Katie Allen, a paediatrician and medical researcher who ran unsuccessfully in Prahran at the November state election, has confirmed she will nominate. Michael Koziol of The Age reports other names being discussed include Caroline Elliott, state party vice-president and daughter of businessman John Elliott, and Margaret Fitzherbert, who lost her upper house seat for Southern Metropolitan region at the state election. Senator Jane Hume has reportedly encouraged to put her name forward, but announced yesterday she would not do so.

• Anne Webster, founder of young mother support organisation Zoe Support, was chosen as the Nationals candidate for Mallee at a local preselection vote on Saturday. Webster will succeed one-term member Andrew Broad, who announced his impending retirement last month after he became embroiled in the “sugar baby” affair. Rachel Baxendale of The Australian reports Webster won in the second round of voting over Birchip accountant and farmer Bernadette Hogan and Mildura police domestic violence taskforce head Paul Matheson, with three other candidates excluded in the first round.

• Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie has announced she will not contest the lower house seat of Indi, contrary to expectations she would do so if independent incumbent Cathy McGowan announced her retirement, which she did last weekend.

• Two notable independents have emerged to challenge Tony Abbott in Warringah: Alice Thompson, a KPMG manager who worked in the Prime Minister’s Office under Malcolm Turnbull, and Susan Moylan-Coombs, founder and director of indigenous advocacy organisation the Gaimaragal Group.

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.

1,977 comments on “Midweek mélange”

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  1. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2019/jan/22/us-politics-donald-trump-latest-live-updates-government-shutdown

    A new survey of 760 registered voters from Democratic polling firm, Public Policy Polling, shows voters prefer any of seven likely Democratic candidates for president in the 2020 election over Donald Trump.

    In the poll, Trump trails Joe Biden 53-41, Bernie Sanders 51-41, Kamala Harris 48-41, Beto O’Rourke 47-41, Elizabeth Warren 48-42, and Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand each 47-42.


    Kamala Harris raises $1.5m for 2020 election

    In the first 24 hours after announcing she would run for president, Kamala Harris had raised $1.5m from 38,000 people, according to the Wall Street Journal:

    The California Democrat saw a burst of $1 million in contributions in the first 12 hours after her appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and the simultaneous release of an online video, her campaign said, adding that the average donation was about $37.

    Those initial donation numbers are competitive with Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign kickoff. His team said at the time that he raised $1.5 million from 35,000 donors in the first 24 hours after his April 30, 2015, announcement. Mr. Sanders, who ultimately raised 85% of his $238 million in increments of $200 or less, is weighing another presidential run.

    Harris, the daughter of immigrants from India and Jamaica, launched her campaign on Monday – America’s Martin Luther King Jr Day holiday – in an appearance on ABC’s Good Morning America.

    “Let’s do this, together. Let’s claim our future. For ourselves, for our children, and for our country,” Harris , 54, said in a campaign video that was released to coincide with her appearance on the morning television show.

  2. Good Morning Bludgers 🙂

    Can I just put it out there that the Nationals candidate in Mallee, Anne Webster, sounds like another Conservative Christian Fundamentalist, if the group she founded, ‘Zoe Support’, is related in any way to the law ‘protecting the unborn’ called ‘Zoe’s Law’ that the religious fundamentalists in NSW’s parliament tried to get through, but failed, thankfully.

    It would have seen anyone who caused the death of an unborn child charged with murder. Ostensibly related to vehicle accidents between hoons or drunks and innocent young mums-to-be, but you can see where it was going. Criminalising abortion was it’s ultimate destination.

    Jeez I wish the Coalition would pull back from their flirtation with this extreme Christian Fundamentality. It’s not good for the country. You just have to look at America to see that. But it seems they’ve been bitten by that bug. You just have to look at the leadership of the Liberal Party to see that.

  3. And I just want to put up this comment from last night. It’s a keeper:

    3z @ #3056 Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019 – 11:24 pm

    So Pegasus is it Labor that’s responsible for all inequality now is it?

    Considering your Greens have utterly failed to deliver on a Newstart increase besides lamely carping on about it, surely they shoulder some of the blame.

    And of course, calling Labor is the lesser of two evils is only slightly more clever than the tired “Labor and Liberal are just the same” parroted by tired Greens everywhere.

    Call whoever you want evil, but for me, supporting a party that makes grandiose promises to society’s most marginalised and does nothing to fulfil them – indeed does not even bother to attempt to do so – isn’t exactly what I’d call good.

    The Greens, as a party by and for an upper middle class inner-city elite, serve only to assuage this demographic’s social conscience, while ensuring through their inaction that it’s priveleges are entrenched.

    Too true.

  4. Mundine is moving to the Dark Side, and that’s bad news…. for Mundine!

    Kelly O’Dwyer’s seat is ready for the taking, probably by the Greens, with the help of Labor (or the other way around).

    The Nationals better watch out, their traditional stronghold in rural and regional Australia is in grave danger to significantly deflate, courtesy of Independents (mainly) and a coordinated attack by Greens+Labor.

    Bridget McKenzie knows that there are too many baseball bats in Indi, so she smartly told the Liberals: you go first.

    Tony Abbott is not the only one to be challenged by Independents. The pattern seems to be taking shape already: Marginal Liberal seats going to the ALP in a landslide victory, with several allegedly safe Liberal seats going to Independents…

  5. This US polling of putative Democrat contenders vs Dotard looks promising..

    Public Policy Polling put President Trump head to head with 7 top Democrats:
    Biden 53 – Trump 41
    Sanders 51 – Trump 41
    Harris 48 – Trump 41
    O’Rourke 47 – Trump 41
    Warren 48 – Trump 42
    Gillibrand 47 – Trump 42
    Booker 47 – Trump 42

  6. “And I just want to put up this comment from last night”…

    I fundamentally agree with your post, C@t, but to be fair and having known many genuine Greens voters of the old school, their core and historical constituency is a genuinely middle class (some currently lower middle class and indeed struggling) who are fully and honestly concerned about the environment…. What happened next is that the Greens have attracted both the otherwise “moderate” Liberal voters who have developed an environmental conscience and the Marxists who escaped the ALP during the Hawke-Keating years… That could explain the current mess the Greens are in, it’s an ideological dog’s breakfast.

  7. Can I just put it out there that the Nationals candidate in Mallee, Anne Webster, sounds like another Conservative Christian Fundamentalist, if the group she founded, ‘Zoe Support’, is related in any way to the law ‘protecting the unborn’ called ‘Zoe’s Law’

    And if it isn’t?

  8. “This US polling of putative Democrat contenders vs Dotard looks promising”….

    Indeed, the overall trend is that the former Democrats who voted for Trump in traditionally Democrat states (desperate to find somebody with new ideas to solve their many problems), have decided that the “old ideas” were not that bad after all…… This looks more and more like a one-term presidency, whether it’s Trump or, more likely, Pence to face the electorate in 2020.

  9. As one of the replies says, 3 weeks is a long time in politics.

    Can Scotty do anything lower than rub the noses of the Liberal branch members in Gilmore in the poo with this Captain’s Call?

  10. According to senior police, the push for pill testing at Concerts is simply an attempt to legalise drugs by stealth.

    I’m in favour of Michael Daley’s proposal to have a summit and have the matter analysed and debated. Policy based on evidence rather than emotion is the best way forward in these social reform pushes.


  11. Trump White House official begs Rudy Giuliani to stop going on TV: ‘Nothing good can come of it’

    The knives appear to be coming out for Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani among White House officials.

    Someone described as a “senior administration official” by NBC News’ Peter Alexander said on Tuesday that it might be best for all involved if Giuliani stops making appearances on television news shows.

    If nothing good can come of it, don’t do it,” said the official, who added that Giuliani’s confusing rants were “not helping” the president defend himself from special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe.


  12. Trump plan to reopen government, build border wall undercut by Supreme Court

    President Donald Trump’s bid to build a U.S.-Mexico border wall and end a month-long partial government shutdown suffered a blow on Tuesday when the U.S. Supreme Court left in place for now a program protecting young illegal immigrants from deportation.

    The border wall, government funding and “Dreamer” immigrants have become intertwined in an epic Washington battle being waged by the Republican president and Democrats in Congress. The Supreme Court ruling deprives Trump of a key bargaining chip.


  13. Trump’s shutdown is making unpaid ‘disgruntled’ FBI agents easy prey for foreign spies: national security expert

    Former Executive Assistant Director of the FBI and national security expert Shawn Henry told MSNBC on Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s shutdown has left FBI agents without pay — and vulnerable to compromise by foreign spies.

    “When we’re talking about national security, we’re thinking about here and now, what’s happening today, what’s happening tomorrow and next week,” Henry said. “You’ve got agents now and FBI employees that will not have received a paycheck for a month.”

    Espionage, one of the basic tenets for national security for foreign intelligence officers, is to look for vulnerable people that they can get access to,” he said, adding that “the driving factors” boiled down to “money and employee attitude”.


  14. And Sam Maiden has a scoop – sourced from someone in Lucien Aye’s camp – about Scotty’s views on the Banking Royal Commission… and another indication of the Liberals tearing themselves apart.

    “Scott Morrison was the “last holdout” against calling a royal commission into the big banks, according to insiders in the inner sanctum of Malcolm Turnbull’s economic team.

    As the Prime Minister prepares to craft the government’s response to the final report of the Hayne Royal Commission, Liberals have warned Mr Morrison’s deep opposition to the royal commission is a ticking time bomb for him.

    Senior government figures have confirmed the former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull was first to move, incensed the government looked “ridiculous” when they were the last ones defending the big banks when even they had accepted the inevitability of the inquiry.

    “His view was, ‘Why are we the only people out there defending the banks when even the banks accepted the need for a royal commission?’,” a government source said of Mr Turnbull’s attitude.

    “I can guarantee you that Scott Morrison was the last holdout.”

    In private talks with the economic team, Mr Morrison warned against the establishment of the inquiry. He spoke of the “reputational damage” to the government, given Labor had months of quotes from senior government figures, including himself, decrying the idea as a waste of money.


  15. White House official confirms Trump may deliver annual State of the Union speech at fiery political rally

    White House official said on Tuesday that President Donald Trump may deliver his annual State of the Union Address at a political rally instead of the U.S. Capitol.

    CNN’s Jim Acosta said that an administration official confirmed to him that the speech could take place outside of Washington, D.C. at one of Trump’s signature political rallies.


  16. irony overload – Morrisson allegedly opposed the banking royal commission because he was scared that his opposition to it would be used against him.

  17. “This US polling of putative Democrat contenders vs Dotard looks promising..

    Public Policy Polling put President Trump head to head with 7 top Democrats:
    Biden 53 – Trump 41
    Sanders 51 – Trump 41
    Harris 48 – Trump 41
    O’Rourke 47 – Trump 41
    Warren 48 – Trump 42
    Gillibrand 47 – Trump 42
    Booker 47 – Trump 42”

    I’m not so sanguine. 42 is about the same as trump’s numbers back in 2016. He has the great advantage that of those 42%, two thirds or 28% can actually be relied upon to turn up and vote. The same can’t be said of those 47-53% democrat supporters. If the party splits because of a bruising “moderate” vs “progressive” primary battle, or the winner isn’t in some way inspiring enough for fickle democrats to be bothered standing in line to cast a vote then those pesky stay at homes could well gift this to Trump again.

  18. Governments of both flavours routinely produce “information” ads in the run up to an election, promoting or “explaining” one government initiative or another.

    No, it’s never classy. Yes, it’s always an abuse of the power of incumbency. And politicians wonder why we respect them less.

    But the Morrison government has taken that abuse to another level of propaganda altogether.

    Perhaps bowing to the dictum of “When telling a lie, tell a big one and keep telling it”, Prime Minister Morrison, the former marketing guy, is using your money to try to give you the impression his government is spending more on infrastructure. It’s not.

    Oh, the radio ads sound impressive, suitably voiced with all the conviction of faked sincerity. The reality is that when he was treasurer, Mr Morrison’s two budgets have cut federal infrastructure investment.

    As I reported at the time, Mr Morrison took a Joe Hockey smoke-and-mirrors trick and amplified it.


  19. Perhaps ScoMo doesn’t ever use Google?

    14h14 hours ago

    Its such a shame we (Australia) know so little about Captain Cook there are two replicas – Young Endeavour 1988 – HM Bark Endeavour Replica 1994 – both have done extensive circumnavigations of Australia – both still sailing

    The Australian Government owns both vessels

  20. What’s the bet @ScottMorrisonMP makes a Captain’s Call on Australia Day & ignores the votes for Aussie of the Year & appoints his choice instead?

  21. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Michael Koziol tells us how the latest Captain Cook call has Liber party members in Gilmore absolutely fuming.
    Michelle Grattan looks at the Mundine parachuting.
    And after another Captain Cook call the Morrison government is set to hand $17.1m to the commercial networks to provide TV programming to Pacific nations but the TV industry says it did not seek the funds and does not know what content to provide.
    Sam Maiden has a scoop that says Scott Morrison was the “last holdout” against calling a royal commission into the big banks, according to insiders in the inner sanctum of Malcolm Turnbull’s economic team.
    The AFR explains how Chris Bowen has touted a $200b tax hike ‘buffer’ against global ‘headwinds’.
    Labor’s proposal to limit negative gearing to newly built properties would be the “shot in the arm” the weakened off-the-plan property market needs, according to one Sydney developer.
    The AFR reports that a Labor government would seek to carry out all the recommendations of the banking royal commission citing it would need a “very, very, very good reason” not to adopt any finding.
    The pipeline plan that will drain the lower Darling River dry.
    And John Quiggin says that the Darling River fish kill is what comes from ignoring decades of science.
    Michael Pascoe explains how we are being robbed to fund the Coalition’s election advertising.
    Paul Bongiorno says that the Liberal Party’s problem with women is tying them in knots so they are resorting to marketing spin to solve it. They have moved to sprouting bravado.
    Oh oh! Australia’s corporate and consumer watchdogs are allowing commissioners and staff to accept gifts and hospitality from the industries they regulate but refuse to publicly disclose the largesse or potential conflicts of interest.
    The SMH editorial says that Morrison’s trip to the Pacific islands trip was marred by a lack of leadership on the region’s biggest issue, global warming – which poses an existential threat through rising sea levels and the increased frequency of catastrophic weather events.
    Clancy Yeates writes that money markets are betting there’s now a 50-50 chance that by late this year, governor Philip Lowe will have announced an interest rate cut, which would take the cash rate to just 1.25 per cent.
    Meanwhile Stephen Bartholomeusz says that the global economic slowdown is accelerating – and Australia is vulnerable.
    Colin Brinsden writes that Fears of an escalating trade war between the US and China and the threat of a “no deal” over Brexit has the International Monetary Fund worried about the global economic outlook. Such concerns are also unnerving businesses and Australian consumers.
    Nicholas Stuart reckons it’s time to shift some money away from defence.
    Simon Benson reports that almost 11m Australians who earn money from sharing-­economy platforms will be subject to a new tax reporting regime.
    Yet another NSW project blowout! The cost of building a motorway to the new Western Sydney Airport risks blowing its $1.25 billion budget unless the road project’s size is reduced or extra funding found, leaked government documents reveal.
    The Australian’s Chip le Grand writes that for more than a year, Jason Ball has been shadowed by an embarrassing but innocuous sexual encounter which, if released into the combustive atmosphere of a federal election and the MeToo movement, could destroy his campaign for the seat of Higgins.
    Emma Koehn reports that interactions between accountants and the Australian Taxation Office look set to be much faster and taxpayers will see the flow-on benefits from an overhaul of the nation’s digital tax systems. The tax office has been working on a reboot of the 18 year old architecture of its tax portal systems for several years, but development was paused in 2016 after a widespread outage caused havoc.
    Chris Wallace opines that the Liberals’ woman problem has reached critical mass.
    Jennifer Hewett looks at the economic part of the upcoming election campaigns.
    Geoff Clark – what have you done?
    The potential that buy now, pay later market leader Afterpay will be forced to adopt bank-like credit checks appears to have faded.
    One-third of elderly Australians who need help to live at home say they don’t get the assistance they need, with average wait times into aged care climbing 44 per cent in two years. The Productivity Commission released its government services reviews into the aged care and disability sectors on Tuesday, as the royal commission into nursing homes begins.
    Eryk Bagshaw reports that the former Inspector-General of Taxation Ali Noroozi will become an adviser to some of Australia’s largest companies at PricewaterhouseCoopers just three months after leaving the post as head of the tax watchdog.
    Ross Gittins writes about how the employment participation rates of older age groups are higher than they’ve ever been.
    Former Liberal MP Margaret Fitzherbert writes that we’re not doing enough about a lethal cancer that’s easily treated – bowel cancer.
    Abbott will direct a Liberal campaign mach­ine on the back of his Facebook followers to counter the left-wing activist group.
    Christopher Scanlon explains why men need meaningful friendships, not just mates. Something to think about.
    Richo writes that reviling paedophiles is not enough.
    Should we redress gender imbalance in Australia Day medals?
    The embattled wealth group AMP faces growing investor resentment at its upcoming annual general meeting.
    Decades-old temperature records will be under threat on Thursday as the mercury soars across South Australia. Adelaide’s 80-year heat record could topple, the Bureau of Meteorology says, as the city and its healthcare system brace for a new maximum forecast of 45C.
    This is hardly surprising. A former Trump staffer has written that a chaotic White House is out of control.
    To those who have done business with Trump the government shutdown comes as no surprise.
    Matthew Knott reports that the field of Democrats seeking to become a left-wing hero by denying Donald Trump a second presidential term is growing rapidly, with Californian senator Kamala Harris the latest contender to enter the fray.
    In Trump’s America four women were found guilty of misdemeanours and are facing possible prison time for leaving jugs of water and canned food in the Arizona desert for migrants braving the scorching triple-digit temperatures during the summer of 2017.
    A clear choice for nomination for “Arsehole of the Week” . . .

    Cartoon Corner

    A cracker form David Rowe!

    From Matt Golding

    Cathy Wilcox and the Endeavour.

    A nice contribution from Fiona Katauskas on the same subject.

    Zanetti and Morrison’s baby blues.

    Another ripper from Alan Moir!

    From the US

  22. William Bowe @ #10 Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019 – 6:47 am

    Can I just put it out there that the Nationals candidate in Mallee, Anne Webster, sounds like another Conservative Christian Fundamentalist, if the group she founded, ‘Zoe Support’, is related in any way to the law ‘protecting the unborn’ called ‘Zoe’s Law’

    And if it isn’t?

    Of course, then it would be wrong to say it.

    Has anyone found out yet?

    I just can’t see a Rural Woman Nationals candidate being into internet gaming.

  23. @Cat re Zoe’s. The whole thing reminds me of “The Babes Project” These are pro-life outfits maskarading as mother and baby support. The babes project was pledged $700k funding from Matthew Guy in the vic election campaign . I wonder how many of these places there are, how much money are they getting from the tax payer and why places that perform services that should be provided publicly are sprouting up like this?

  24. Re Briefly @6:02 “In the poll, Trump trails Joe Biden 53-41, Bernie Sanders 51-41, Kamala Harris 48-41, Beto O’Rourke 47-41, Elizabeth Warren 48-42, and Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand each 47-42.”

    Those numbers seem to say that Trump’s support is in the low 40’s, with “anyone else” high 40s and around 10% undecided. Rather close considering the dysfunctionality of the Trump Presidency. The relatively small undecided indicates a high degree of polarisation.

  25. Okay, I was wrong. Zoe Support sounds quite good actually:

    4. Zoe Support recognises that the members of the target group:

    a. are likely to be young, single and/or from a background that is otherwise associated with higher levels of disadvantage including culturally and linguistically diverse groups, indigenous communities and people with physical and/or intellectual disabilities;

    b. have minimal or no access to practical support in relation to their pregnancy or impending parenthood; and

    c. are unlikely to receive the assistance they require because there is a gap in the community service system.


    5. Zoe Support seeks to assist the target group because it recognises that the target group are highly vulnerable and without assistance they are:

    a. at risk from mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, suicide and substance abuse;

    b. at heightened risk of experiencing despair, impoverishment and desperation as a result of pregnancy and parenthood;.

    c. likely to miss out on education and training opportunities because they don’t have the emotional or practical support required to complete, or return to, education;

    d. are at risk of becoming socially disadvantaged and that this disadvantage is likely to become entrenched, intractable and intergenerational;

    e. unlikely to achieve their full potential due to lack of opportunity and guidance.

    6. Zoe Support seeks to assist the target group because:

    a. there is a gap in the community service system for the provision of services to the target group;.

    b. the target group requires a specialised and well-resourced team of professionals who are trained to provide services to the target group

    c. without assistance the individuals within the target group are at risk from suffering long term personal, social and economic detriments; and

    d. it is in the community’s interest to assist the target group as without assistance the individuals are likely to require long term assistance from the public health and welfare system.

    7. Zoe Support seeks to assist the target group because it recognises that with assistance the target group has an increased potential to:

    a. remain engaged in education.

    b. help young women reach their potential

    c. improve employment choice and satisfaction

    d. parent with more support

    e. improve life outcomes for themselves and their children


  26. C@tmomma says:
    Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 7:46 am


    I just can’t see a Rural Woman Nationals candidate being into internet gaming

    My evidence is as good as yours that she is into religious Fundamentalism.

  27. “Did Morrison actually say ‘ the Captain Cook tribute will assist with reconciliation’?”

    He has been saying that. He’s just saying any old crap he thinks sounds good.

  28. frednk @ #32 Wednesday, January 23rd, 2019 – 8:03 am

    C@tmomma says:
    Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 7:46 am


    I just can’t see a Rural Woman Nationals candidate being into internet gaming

    My evidence is as good as yours that she is into religious Fundamentalism.

    My new evidence is better. She’s not, or she could be but it’s not the same as Zoe’s Law people. 🙂

  29. Mr Samuel said corporate gifts and hospitality, including at major sporting events such as the Australian Open, football matches and the spring racing carnival, were often important to corporate strategies for influencing regulators and politicians.

    “Gifts and hospitality are not given for reasons of altruism,” Mr Samuel said.

    He said they were for “ingratiation”.

    “It’s about creating that sense of obligation or a relationship so that officials start to think ‘maybe I shouldn’t be as tough on this lot’,” he said.

    He said regulators and politicians should refuse all gifts and hospitality, including entertainment at sporting events.

    ASIC, the ACCC and APRA are independent authorities, but their in-house monitoring of gifts and hospitality reflect a wider problem across the Commonwealth public service.


  30. I think I remember seeing something on ABC regional TV about Anne Webster. If I recall correctly, she herself dropped out of school aged 16 or 17 and had a child. Then years later re-entered education – finishing school and going on to tertiary study. She set this up to help others in a similar position – and in that electorate and in Mildura particularly there are many young women in that situation every year, including a fair few aboriginal ones.

  31. Sprocket
    Biden 53 – Trump 41

    Unbelievable that after this cluster f###k of a presidency that Trump is only 4 points down on his winning position.

    He’s a good chance for re-election given the idiocy of electoral college system

  32. Cat
    And I don’t think she is into internet gaming.
    I think she will win and I don’t think she will have much time for Barnaby.
    Credlin has pulled out because she is smart enough to know she would get slaughtered.
    Anne Webster is literally a doctor’s wife and a well educated women.


  33. I am not sure where those polling figures come from (not yet posted at 538 or RCP) but what I think will be really intersting statistically will be to comparethe various vote preferences to sort out what factors are important.

    There are so many dem candidates that it should be fascinating.

    Just on the basis a PPP poll reported from North Carolina we have:

    two old white guys beating trump by 3-5% (Sanders and Biden). Two women tied (Warren and Harris) and both younger males (O’Rouke and Booker) behind 1%.

    it is way too early to make any predictions based on this but it may indicate a trend. Clearly the posted polling figures show the two old guys well ahead of everyone else. Mind you it seems likely that most of that is name recognition, which makes it too early to make any assessment.

  34. lizzie says:
    Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 7:37 am
    What’s the bet @ScottMorrisonMP makes a Captain’s Call on Australia Day & ignores the votes for Aussie of the Year & appoints his choice instead?

    Another possibility is that he declares a state of emergency and appoints himself PM for life.

  35. SCOUT

    I do not know about yesterday but the idiot has form in that area.

    Sep 24, 2018 – Scott Morrison has lauded James Cook as a figure of reconciliation

    Oh, late breaking find. PM FMD Morrison said……….

    “As the 250th anniversary nears we want to help Australians better understand Captain Cook’s historic voyage and its legacy for exploration, science and reconciliation,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement on Tuesday.

  36. “White House official said on Tuesday that President Donald Trump may deliver his annual State of the Union Address at a political rally instead of the U.S. Capitol.”….

    He should deliver it directly from the Kremlin….

  37. Another possibility is that he declares a state of emergency and appoints himself PM for life.

    The AFP, ABF and the GG are likely to support him.

  38. NRA now officially part of Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian election influence

    CNN is reporting special counsel Robert Mueller is now probing the relationship between Russia and the National Rifle Association (NRA).

    The NRA got behind Trump very early in the game and was able to fundraise millions and millions more than they typically raise for elections, setting a record for the organization. Their haul was helped in part by a single donation of $19.2 million in 2016 from an undisclosed “individual.”


  39. “As the 250th anniversary nears we want to help Australians better understand Captain Cook’s historic voyage and its legacy for exploration, science and reconciliation,”

    “reconciliation”????…………..That must be a prank, poroti, it cannot be true… Morrison wouldn’t reach such level of stupidity, wouldn’t he?…… Wouldn’t he?…. Hmm, most likely he would… he did.

  40. NPR reporter dishes on juiciest new White House revelations — including doddering Trump ‘wandering off’ during meetings

    NPR senior editor Ron Elving read Cliff Sim’s new White House tell-all, Team of Vipers, and dished Tuesday with CNN’s Brooke Baldwin on some of the juicier revelations.

    In one interaction with then-House Speaker Paul Ryan, Elving described President Donald Trump “wandering off” during a complicated discussion of tax reform.

    “He literally gets up while Paul Ryan is in mid-description and wanders out of the Oval Office and down the hallway into a side room where one can hear the television being switched on,” Elving said, adding the “eventually” the vice-president had to go retrieve the easily distracted commander in chief.


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