Essential Research: US visit, economic conditions, Middle East intervention

A new poll records a broadly favourable response to Scott Morrison’s US visit, mixed feelings about the state of the economy, and support for Australia’s new commitment in the Middle East.

Essential Research has released its fortnightly poll, once again without voting intention results. It includes a series of questions on Scott Morrison’s visit to the United States, with results generally more favourable than I personally would have expected. For example, the most negative finding is that 32% agreed that Donald Trump’s presidency has been good for Australia, compared with 49% who disagreed. By way of comparison, a Lowy Institute survey in March found 66% believed Trump had weakened the alliance, and only 25% had either a lot of or some confidence in him.

Only 38% agreed that a good relationship between Scott Morrison and Donald Trump reflected badly on Australia, compared with 48% who disagreed. Other results were probably too influenced by question wording to be of much value. Fifty-seven percent felt Morrison had shown “good diplomacy skills” during the visit, a quality that might be attributed to anyone who maintains a straight face in the President’s presence. The statement that Morrison “should have attended the UN Climate Summit, alongside other world leaders” is compromised by the words in italics (which are my own), but for what it’s worth, 70% agreed and 20% disagreed.

A question on the state of the economy likewise produces a result less bad than the government might have feared, with 32% rating it good and 33% poor. Fifty-one per cent supported Australian military involvement in the Middle East, after it was put to them that Australia had “agreed to provide military support to their allies in the Middle East to protect shipping and trade in the region”, with 35% opposed.

Essential has not yet published the full report on its website, so the precise sample size cannot be identified, but it will assuredly have been between 1000 and 1100. The poll was conducted online from Thursday to Sunday.

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.

1,065 comments on “Essential Research: US visit, economic conditions, Middle East intervention”

  1. Douglas and Milko @ #842 Friday, October 4th, 2019 – 11:16 pm

    I really worry that what has been seen, cannot be unseen.

    I love Wagner, but worry that the Ride of the Valkyries in Apocalypse Now gives the true meaning to the music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ojOdYMSw2W0

    That being said, I still intend to go to Bayreuth to hear the whole Ring Cycle.

    Does anyone have a good suggestion for activities that might amuse a partner, not so enthusiastic for Wagner, for about three days?

    You’ll need more than three days. Put Bamberg on the list fo starters.

  2. Warren posts whopping quarterly fundraising haul

    Elizabeth Warren raised $24.6m over the past three months, relying largely on a massive small donor operation to solidify her status as a leading contender for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, the Associated Press reports:

    The Massachusetts senator’s haul, announced on Friday, is just less than the $25.3m her chief liberal rival, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, posted during the third quarter. But together, the fundraising numbers illustrate the financial strength of the Democratic party’s most progressive wing and a rejection of more traditional approaches to pressing donors for money.

    The White House hopefuls who have relied on frequent high-dollar fundraisers reported numbers that lag behind Sanders and Warren. Former vice-president Joe Biden said Thursday he raised $15.2m during the third quarter. Senator Kamala Harris of California reported $11.6m during the same period. Pete Buttigieg, who has combined small donors with traditional fundraisers, raised $19.1m.

  3. Beijing’s multi-trillion-dollar project to connect China with Europe and Africa is slated to cut through large swathes of forest and run close to dozens of biodiversity hotspots, sparking fears of habitat destruction and wildlife extinction.

    The initiative, which promises to be the largest in human history, involves more than 7,000 projects spanning 72 countries across Asia, Africa and Europe.

    Hundreds of roads and railways will be built to facilitate trade and bind China’s economy to two-thirds of the world’s population.

    But research has revealed 60 per cent of the biodiversity across the three continents could be damaged, with impacts ranging from forest fragmentation to outright destruction.

    …Of particular concern are hotspots in South-East Asia, which is already home to several threatened and endangered species not found anywhere else in the world.

    There are also fears for Northern and Central Asia, which boast ecosystems largely untouched by humans.

    “There are going to be routes being built in areas which have had very few routes in the past,” Dr Hughes said.

    “Many species have been migrating for literally thousands of years using the same route. If suddenly you put a road through the middle of it, it can’t be used anymore.”

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-10-05/chinas-belt-and-road-initiative-imperils-wildlife/11571950

  4. I could have predicted the Mean and Tricky 2.0 Morrison government would have a sting in the tail of their glorious $1080 tax refund for everyone, and so it has come to pass:

    By the end of August, the Australian Tax Office had delivered almost $15 billion worth of tax refunds to workers. Far from the expectations of a $1080 tax cut for many, the reality is increased compliance and fewer deductions saw an average jump of only $270 delivered into bank accounts.

    Enough for a couple of pairs of shoes.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/cash-splash-just-a-trickle-from-14-5b-in-tax-refunds-australia-s-shops-got-squat-20191004-p52xp8.html

    Not to mention the reduction in the revenue base just so ScaMo could have his feelgood election palaver to retail. Oh well, a good investment for him I suppose.

  5. I really hope Democrats don’t stuff this up, but even as the impeachment process is just beginning, already Schiff is giving Trump ammo to use against them!

    President Trump is constantly grasping for anything to exploit to discredit his opponents as Democrats’ early impeachment inquiry produces mounting problems for him. And House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the Democrats’ face of the inquiry, has handed the president at least two things to yank on within as many weeks.

    We now know that Schiff’s committee had a heads-up about the whistleblower complaint because the whistleblower approached Schiff’s staff for guidance before filing the complaint. The New York Times first reported this week that the whistleblower reached out to Schiff’s staff concerned that attempts to flag what the whistleblower found alarming weren’t getting due attention.

    Schiff himself didn’t know the exact contents of the complaint, and he says he did not directly talk to this person. But the heads-up gave Schiff a tactical advantage; he knew to press hard to get this person’s complaint when the Trump administration initially held it.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/10/04/adam-schiffs-unforced-errors-impeachment-inquiry/

  6. Katherine Murphy writes a thoughtful piece about the motivation behind Morrison’s move into foreign policy with his Lowy speech.

    Having stood alongside Trump in Wapakoneta, Ohio, and watched the rapturous way Trump devotees greeted their saviour – Morrison, who is always half prime minister, half Liberal party campaign director – is on the hunt for talking points that work with voters who could have voted for Bill Shorten in May, but instead handed Morrison his upset victory in 2019, either with a direct endorsement on the ballot or a vote for a protest candidate that flowed back to the Coalition. If you wonder who I might be talking about, think Queensland coal workers for example, worried that the UN is coming for their jobs.

    I use talking points advisedly, because for now at least, that’s all this repositioning is.

    Morrison is a cynical bastard, and he learnt a lot from Trump.
    Expect more battles with windmills as Don Quixote Morrison rushes to save us from the evil climate ‘negative globalism’ of the UN.

    Shallow populism? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/05/scott-morrison-unleashes-foreign-policy-fetish-while-staying-passive-on-economy

  7. Good morning Dawn Patrollers. Enjoy!

    Eryk Bagshaw writes about the terrible retail spending figures after the government’s $14.5b investment and says this leaves the Morrison government stranded on an island thinking the tax cuts will be enough.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/cash-splash-just-a-trickle-from-14-5b-in-tax-refunds-australia-s-shops-got-squat-20191004-p52xp8.html
    Labor has pushed back against Scott Morrison’s warning on “negative globalism”, saying international bodies “don’t dictate to Australia” and accusing the Prime Minister of adopting Trump-style rhetoric.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/labor-criticises-morrison-s-negative-globalism-warning-20191004-p52xpx.html
    Deborah Snow thinks that Morrison’s rhetoric in his speech on globalism seemed designed to tap into the kind of inchoate frustrations that have driven Brexit in the United Kingdom, unleashed nationalism in Eastern Europe and fuelled Trump’s patriots-first fixation in the US.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/morrison-runs-risks-by-invoking-unnamed-shadowy-adversaries-20191004-p52xrj.html
    After that speech Michelle Grattan reckons Morrison needs to avoid ‘the conveyor belt of Trumpism’.
    https://theconversation.com/view-from-the-hill-morrison-needs-to-avoid-the-conveyor-belt-of-trumpism-124709
    Katharine Murphy can’t work out why Morrison is unleashing a foreign policy fetish while staying passive on the economy. She concludes her article by saying that once you unleash the dogs of populism, all that can be guaranteed is a bumpy ride.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/05/scott-morrison-unleashes-foreign-policy-fetish-while-staying-passive-on-economy
    As Donald Trump faces the threat of impeachment, Scott Morrison is carefully balancing his responses to the US president’s request for assistance writes Karen Middleton.
    https://outline.com/cgXqqB
    Tony Walker explains why he thinks the governments’ scandalously little drought preparation is accelerating disaster.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/governments-scandalously-little-drought-preparation-is-accelerating-disaster-20191004-p52xmv.html
    Federal ministers touring drought-hit Australia found farmers in survival mode who are angry over politicians’ failure to plan for increasing dry times.
    https://outline.com/TZYadj
    “The government is scrambling to persuade the nation it really knows what it is on about and how it will achieve it. The drought and a stubbornly sluggish economy aren’t helping. Nor is Morrison’s new best mate, Donald Trump”, begins Paul Bongiorno who says the government is flailing.
    https://outline.com/BjdB7M
    Paula Matthewson says Morrison is always keen to talk about drought but never on climate change.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/10/04/scott-morrison-climate-change/
    In this op-ed Andrew Leigh has some ideas on how to fix the labour market and boost wages.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/time-to-axe-the-cosy-deals-and-fix-the-labour-market-20191003-p52xb9.html
    Ross Gittins is back from leave and outlines for us how politicians and bureaucrats need to be more conscious of the insights of behavioural insights when designing policies to fix problems.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/governments-are-learning-a-simple-and-cheap-nudge-can-yield-big-dividends-20191003-p52xf3.html
    According to Eryk Bagshaw Frydenberg says he will give the competition regulator’s request for a new probe into the financial services sector “due consideration” as he called on banks to “keep lending” to stimulate the economy.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/frydenberg-to-consider-accc-s-call-for-new-bank-probe-20191004-p52xpy.html
    Adele Ferguson says the CBA criminal charges are a good first step but ASIC needs to do more.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/cba-criminal-charges-a-good-first-step-but-asic-needs-to-do-more-20191004-p52xra.html
    Michaela Whitbourn reports that a key witness in the NSW corruption watchdog’s inquiry into Labor Party donations has been urged to “come clean” and reconsider his evidence, as the inquiry turns the blowtorch on former high-profile ALP figures.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/come-clean-nsw-labor-figure-urged-to-reconsider-evidence-at-icac-20191004-p52xrc.html
    The Guardian reveals that a significant Australian proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory is a family friend of Scott Morrison, and his wife is on the prime minister’s staff. QAnon is a pretty nasty mob.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/05/qanon-conspiracy-theorist-friends-australian-prime-minister-scott-morrison
    The AFR tells us how to grow and preserve wealth in a low rate environment.
    https://outline.com/YbLxvf
    Yet another whistle blower’s life has been ruined.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/i-was-in-despair-my-demons-were-loudest-at-night-ioof-whistleblower-speaks-out-20191002-p52wzz.html
    Michael Koziol tells us that now Australia’s Catholic Church says the federal government’s draft religious discrimination laws are “problematic” and require major changes to avoid unwanted “lawfare” and ensure religious bodies keep their ability to hire and fire at will. The chickens are coming home to roost it seems.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/catholic-church-calls-for-overhaul-of-problematic-religious-freedom-bill-20191004-p52xpn.html
    And religious believers could be free to publicly shame rape survivors under the federal government’s proposed “religious freedom” laws, Victoria’s Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner has warned. What a can of worms has been opened!
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/sinful-and-dirty-fears-for-women-under-new-religious-freedom-laws-20191004-p52xpm.html
    Despite Christian Porter’s new ‘safeguard’ for journalists, experts warn that Australia’s national security laws continue to impede public-interest reporting, as whistle blowers are increasingly afraid to come forward says Russell Marks.
    https://outline.com/n3NEAS
    Clive Palmer’s financial interference in the 2019 Federal Election is a sign of how weakened our democratic system has become, writes George Grundy.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/how-clive-palmer-showed-that-our-democracy-can-be-bought,13171
    Clive Palmer is suing YouTube sensation Jordan Shanks for defamation. Instead of capitulating however, Shanks doubled down and tore strips off Palmer in the funniest response to a legal threat yet.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/the-streisand-effect/
    Donald Trump may well be the first president of modern times to preside over a slump that can be directly attributed to his own policies, rather than bad luck writes Paul Krugman. This is a good read.
    https://www.theage.com.au/world/north-america/brace-yourself-the-trump-slump-hits-us-economy-and-the-world-20191004-p52xkg.html
    The AFR says Trump is throwing haymakers at Democrats, but the real danger is the economy.
    https://outline.com/NqqTsX
    Alexandra Smith reports on the mess that the NSW Labor Party is in.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/acting-nsw-labor-boss-pat-garcia-quits-after-five-weeks-in-the-role-20191004-p52xm2.html
    The Saturday Paper’s Rick Morton explains how funding cuts made when Scott Morrison was treasurer have left parts of the aged-care sector on the brink of insolvency, propped up by a government bailout. This is a bit of a worry.
    https://outline.com/3EdFsT
    Major car manufacturers have raised the warning level for some models fitted with Takata airbags to “critical” after new assessments showed them to be even more dangerous than first believed. The ACCC has said none of the affected models should be driven.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/should-not-be-driven-takata-airbag-danger-on-20-000-cars-critical-20191004-p52xou.html
    Letters asking Centrelink recipients to prove they don’t have a debt are causing just as much anxiety as raising a debt itself, a Senate inquiry has heard, even as a government senator disputed the colloquial term for the controversial debt recovery system.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6422287/robo-debt-word-causing-anxiety-not-centrelink-debt-system-liberal-senator/?cs=14350
    The Coalition’s controversial debt recovery scheme should not be called robodebt, Liberal MPs say, in part because the phrase is causing anxiety in the community reports Luke Henriques-Gomes.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/04/calling-debt-recovery-scheme-robodebt-causes-anxiety-coalition-mp-claims
    Julia Gillard has poured cold water on the Australian and British governments’ hopes of signing a trade deal within months or even weeks of Brexit and told British television it would be no economic bonanza when in force.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/no-economic-bonanza-julia-gillard-pours-cold-water-on-trade-deal-20191004-p52xun.html
    Mike Seccombe writes that while the proposal to increase the superannuation rate to 12 per cent has bipartisan support, the reform is likely to be a significant economic burden that exacerbates inequality.
    https://outline.com/wUJvCe
    The head of the royal commission into the role of notorious police informer Nicola Gobbo says she’s not satisfied the former barrister is too sick to take the stand.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/head-of-lawyer-x-royal-commission-not-satisfied-gobbo-too-sick-to-show-up-20191004-p52xmb.html
    Tony Wright begins this contribution with, “The humiliation of it. Who could have imagined, in the days before the twittering Trump, that any Australian government could feel itself required to help a US president build a paranoid conspiracy theory in order to help said president survive an impeachment inquiry?” Ouch!
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/as-trump-enters-new-meltdown-territory-australia-stumbles-right-along-20191003-p52xbq.html
    Samantha Dick writes that North Korea’s submarine-launched missile means no country is safe.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2019/10/04/north-korea-underwater-nuclear-missile/
    This Guardian editorial simply says that Trump is an abuser of his office.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/04/the-guardian-view-on-donald-trump-an-abuser-of-his-office
    Boris Johnson is careering towards a fresh constitutional crisis, after insisting there will be “no delay” to Brexit just hours after government lawyers promised in a court in Scotland that he would obey the law and request an extension if he failed to clinch a deal within a fortnight.
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/oct/04/boris-johnson-new-constitutional-crisis-no-brexit-delay
    The US supreme court will hear a challenge to a Louisiana abortion restriction, which could have broad implications for women’s reproductive freedom. The case is likely to be decided just four months before the 2020 presidential election.
    https://www.theguardian.com/law/2019/oct/04/supreme-court-to-rule-on-louisiana-abortion-case-that-would-leave-state-with-one-clinic
    A Collingwood fan has earned today’s nomination for “Arsehole of the Week”.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/i-m-going-to-kill-you-footy-fan-stabbed-his-stepmum-after-pies-loss-20191004-p52xre.html

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe has some people raking through the embers of the empire.

    This is a cruel effort from Rowe!

    As is this.

    Jim Pavlidis ND Morrison being caught by the drought – or is it climate change?

    From Matt Golding.




    Alan Moir explains the rules.

    What a beauty from Andrew Dyson!

    Matt Davidson reckons financial advisors are still a bit dodgy.

    Zanetti and the fears of the old with their finances.

    A couple from Sean Leahy.


    Jon Kudelka and our health system.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/17092957a802888af2fbc36fa7a3c118?width=1024

    From the US













  8. Morning all. Cat I was going to link exactly the same article – the cash splash via tax cut was a trickle and has done nothing to restart our dead economy. There is no other policy. They are not governing, just exercising the apparatus of power to pursue their personal obsessions. as the Saturday Paper editorial says:
    “It is a dangerous thing, a government that refuses to govern. So much of the apparatus of governing is dedicated to the appearance of action: doorstops, press conferences, site visits, overseas trips and speeches; committees and estimates hearings; inquiries and royal commissions. It is easy to see all of this general busyness and mistake it for the doing of something. With some political sleight of hand, though, it can easily come to naught. “

  9. lizzie, i would be amazed if that rail corridor through Tajikistan and Afghanistan to Iran gets built. Serious mountains, serious weather, very remote.

    Then again, a rough costing for it was $2B. So lets say $5B. Still under the subsidies we give to private health insurance.

    These rail projects should reduce carbon emissions (as opposed to road, air and maritime transport) – especially so if they electrify them and connect to renewables.

  10. Thanks BK.

    Federal ministers touring drought-hit Australia found farmers in survival mode who are angry over politicians’ failure to plan for increasing dry times.

    How many of them will vote with their anger next time instead of playing sheep and continuing to vote for Liberal or Nationals MPs and candidates? It’s fine to wake up and smell the coffee, but only if you make sure you wake up and smell the coffee!

  11. Mitt Romney is one of the very, very few Republicans to speak out against Trump.

    Mitt RomneyVerified account@MittRomney
    6h6 hours ago
    When the only American citizen President Trump singles out for China’s investigation is his political opponent in the midst of the Democratic nomination process, it strains credulity to suggest that it is anything other than politically motivated.

    Mitt RomneyVerified account@MittRomney
    6h6 hours ago
    By all appearances, the President’s brazen and unprecedented appeal to China and to Ukraine to investigate Joe Biden is wrong and appalling.

  12. Socrates @ #863 Saturday, October 5th, 2019 – 7:37 am

    Morning all. Cat I was going to link exactly the same article – the cash splash via tax cut was a trickle and has done nothing to restart our dead economy. There is no other policy. They are not governing, just exercising the apparatus of power to pursue their personal obsessions. as the Saturday Paper editorial says:
    “It is a dangerous thing, a government that refuses to govern. So much of the apparatus of governing is dedicated to the appearance of action: doorstops, press conferences, site visits, overseas trips and speeches; committees and estimates hearings; inquiries and royal commissions. It is easy to see all of this general busyness and mistake it for the doing of something. With some political sleight of hand, though, it can easily come to naught. “

    Or, in other words, Soc, one long marketing and re-election campaign for Scott Morrison. Lots of colour and movement signifying not very much at all.

    It’s also instructive to see the way the media handles Morrison’s goofball antics, like pouring a glass of beer on his head at the cricket, compared with Albanese’s doing the spaghetti kiss with Denise Drysdale yesterday. One action has the mass media trawling social media for supportive Tweets, the other for negative ones. It’s becoming a bit obvious to me that that has become one of their tactics.

    Anyway, the good upshot of it was that Labor pushed back hard against the negative framing almost as soon as it started. Maybe they are learning? Because this is a government that uses all the media manipulation, as well as policy and process manipulation tools at its disposal. Also, as many are starting to observe, it is a government that should be easy to knock over as well.

  13. Cat
    “Or, in other words, Soc, one long marketing and re-election campaign for Scott Morrison. Lots of colour and movement signifying not very much at all.”

    Yes exactly. Both the behaviour and the media coverage of Scomo remind me far too much of Joh from Qld. Media there gave him a free pass till it was far too late.

  14. Socrates @ #869 Saturday, October 5th, 2019 – 8:01 am

    Thanks BK. This report in the Conversation about the need to build infrastructure resistant to climate change is good. Sadly it is not happening. I first read CSIRO reports on the need to do this as long ago as the mid 1990s. 25 years later we are still plowing billions into projects that will make the problem worse.

    Soc, you really need to read, ‘Rising Tide’ by Bronwyn Adcock in The Monthly this month. It’s all about how local councils are being intimidated by wealthy noisy residents (sadly one of the noisiest is from the Central Coast) to spend scarce resources fortifying their beachfront residences. 🙄

    Also, I love this quote about Morrison from last month’s edition:

    Morrison’s nationalism seems more a matter of gesture than substance: “How good is Australia? How good are Australians?” Exactly what is it that is so good about us?

  15. The deeming rate has decreased from 1.75 to 1.00 percent for financial investments up to $51,800, and from 3.25 to 3.00 percent for investments above that amount for singles, $86,200 for couples. You’d be doing extremely well to get returns anywhere near the upper deeming rate for those who have their money invested in, say, term deposits. Pensioners and part-pensioners will be extremely pissed off, most of whom, it’s postulated, voted for this no-good, mean, tricky government.

  16. Scott and Jenny Morrison have some weird family friends… no wonder Morrison is so enamoured with Trump.

    ‘A significant Australian proponent of the QAnon conspiracy theory is a family friend of Scott Morrison, and his wife is on the prime minister’s staff.

    The sprawling, disjointed and incoherent QAnon conspiracy variously claims that Donald Trump is leading a behind-the-scenes fight against a shadowy deep state, that powerful forces are hiding and protecting satanic paedophile rings, and that a secretive individual named Q leaves clues for his followers to decipher on internet forums.’

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/05/qanon-conspiracy-theorist-friends-australian-prime-minister-scott-morrison

  17. Simon Katichsays:
    Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 7:38 am

    lizzie, i would be amazed if that rail corridor through Tajikistan and Afghanistan to Iran gets built. Serious mountains, serious weather, very remote.

    Then again, a rough costing for it was $2B. So lets say $5B. Still under the subsidies we give to private health insurance.

    These rail projects should reduce carbon emissions (as opposed to road, air and maritime transport) – especially so if they electrify them and connect to renewables.

    They’ve got a lot of experience now with the development of their road and rail networks within China.

    They built the railway up to the Tibetan Plateau 15 years ago and the roads and railways I saw in Yunnan were very impressive considering how remote and rugged the terrain.

  18. As for smirkmo’s reference to “negative globalisation”, what a wonker – a term he most likely picked up when visiting the soon to be impeached “Yellow blob”.

  19. Pensioners and part-pensioners will be extremely pissed off, most of whom, it’s postulated, voted for this no-good, mean, tricky government.

    They will find reasons to vote for them again. Murdoch will give them dozens. Reasons only compelling to those who want to believe.

    Voting is not a process of analysis of policy and considered thought based on personal interest and in the interest of the common good. It is habit. It is cultural. It is brand affiliation. It has become an expression of perceived core values unaware that are nothing more than tribal custom.

    Call it a cult if you want. Your words. Not mine. OK. My words.

    How many here have voted against their traditional party preference?

  20. How many here have voted against their traditional party preference?

    Me! I have ALWAYS voted my own preferences after putting Labor 1 in the House and Senate. HEMP always #2 in the Senate. Numbered all squares in the Senate, my way.

    Does that count?

  21. ‘Incredibly frustrating’: GOP strategist worries Republicans can’t go on TV because Trump is indefensible

    Republican elected officials are unable to go on television to make their case to the voters because they don’t want to answer questions about President Donald Trump solicitating foreign election interference from Ukraine, China, Australia and Italy.

    Trump believes Republicans will stand by him during an impeachment vote, but so far few are interesting in going on television to defend their party’s leader.

    For analysis, Todd interviewed GOP strategist Michael Steel, who was a top advisor to former Speaker John Boehner and former Governor Jeb Bush.

    “Look, he’s confident because the facts may not be on his side, but the math is,” Steel explained.

    “He can lose 19 Senate Republicans. He can lose [Susan] Collins (R-ME), he can lose [Cory] Gardner (R-CO), he can lose Sasse (R-NE) and [Mitt] Romney (R-UT) and he’s still fine,” he explained.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/10/incredibly-frustrating-gop-strategist-worries-republicans-cant-go-on-tv-because-trump-is-indefensible/

  22. Bill Barr ought to be impeached even before Trump……

    ·
    17m
    People who made a criminal referral to Bill Barr over the whistleblower complaint:

    1. The CIA’s top lawyer
    2. The Director of National Intelligence

    People Bill Barr ignored:
    Ditto

    Bill Barr is obstructing justice.
    CIA’s top lawyer made ‘criminal referral’ on whistleblower’s complaint
    Experts are raising questions about why the Justice Department did not open an investigation.
    nbcnews.com

  23. Simon Katich:

    [‘Voting is not a process of analysis of policy and considered thought based on personal interest…’]

    Wanna bet? The pensioners I know count their pennies to the nth degree.

  24. They built the railway up to the Tibetan Plateau 15 years ago and the roads and railways I saw in Yunnan were very impressive considering how remote and rugged the terrain.

    The Tien Shan are not tibetan plateau, nor Yunnan. It is more swiss alps on steroids in the middle of nowhere. No doubt they can do it using known techniques on a large scale – but costs will be huge and maintenance mindblowingly expensive too.

    But the costs will be weighed against the political and economic benefits. Iran and affiliated countries if stable could become an economic powerhouse that China would want to be part of. And there are a lot of plans for electricity interconnectors across the Mediterranean into the ME that China would be interested in too. They will be the gas pipelines of the future.

  25. Victoria @ #422 Saturday, October 5th, 2019 – 6:50 am

    Morning all

    Fess

    Did Rick Wilson have more to say on the enablers in the GOP?

    Not really except to say that the more evidence comes out through the impeachment the harder it becomes for them to stay cuddled up to him (or wtte).

    The woman panellist with him said Barr should be impeached as he is not acting as AG for the nation, but as the president’s personal attorney. Too right.

  26. CougarGate is stumbling due to the star witness lying through his teeth..

    ‘An ex-U.S. Marine infantryman, who claims to be a combat veteran of the Afghanistan war, is involved in a far-right plot to smear Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts with claims of being in a long-term sexual affair with the 2020 presidential hopeful. The U.S. Marine Corps told Newsweek he did not deploy to Afghanistan.

    In a bizarre press conference held on the porch footsteps of a residential neighborhood, Kelvin Ty Whelly said he was a “United States combat veteran” and had deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 with 1st Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, an infantry unit out of Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.

    The U.S. Marine Corps confirmed to Newsweek on Friday that Whelly is a ex-Marine and served with the infantry unit in Hawaii as a machine gunner; However, the former lance corporal does not have any overseas deployments.

    Whelly spoke before a crowd of hecklers and few reporters on Thursday flanked by Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman. The two men engage in far-right conspiracy theories and are known to perpetuate false sexual assault claims against political candidates or individuals perceived to be working against President Donald Trump.

    https://www.newsweek.com/ex-marine-who-claimed-sexual-involvement-elizabeth-warren-lied-about-military-service-corps-says-1463271

  27. Cat

    Thanks, I will take a look. I still find amazing the unwillingness of some to accept that sea levels will rise, and could rise by more than a metre within this century. When the last ice age ended sea levels rose 20 metres in 500 years = 4 metres a century (there is a great exhibit proving this at Narracort Caves for SA holiday makers). The current warming trend is higher than it was then. So why do people assume we will only get a few hundred millimetres rise?

    In this respect the IPCC is far too optimistic, and is filtering the science due to internal politics. (Remember that Saudi Arabia and USA are members of IPCC). John Englander is an oceanographer who explains the current science clearly. He is certain we have already gone too far to avoid melting Greenland, causing a +6 metre rise. We should be planning to protect or lose anything below 6 metres above sea level. We should not build anything new in that range. So adieu Maldives and Tuvalu.
    https://www.johnenglander.net/speaking/#presentations

  28. Ryan Goodman
    @rgoodlaw
    ·
    2h
    “The move by the CIA’s general counsel…meant she and other senior officials had concluded a potential crime had been committed, raising more questions about why the Justice Department later closed the case without conducting an investigation.”
    CIA’s top lawyer made ‘criminal referral’ on whistleblower’s complaint
    Experts are raising questions about why the Justice Department did not open an investigation.
    nbcnews.com

  29. Mavis Davis: The deeming rate has decreased from 1.75 to 1.00 percent for financial investments up to $51,800, and from 3.25 to 3.00 percent for investments above that amount for singles, $86,200 for couples. You’d be doing extremely well to get returns anywhere near the upper deeming rate for those who have their money invested in, say, term deposits. Pensioners and part-pensioners will be extremely pissed off, most of whom, it’s postulated, voted for this no-good, mean, tricky government.

    The upper deeming rate was always meant to reflect dividends and capital growth in shares and managed funds and not so much the term deposit rate. 3% is a reasonable reflection of the dividend rate/capital growth in Australia.

  30. People not being who they are has extended from the intertubes to real life.

    It turns out that the vocal woman in that viral video from the Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez event who called for baby-eating, which prompted the congresswoman to try to calm the woman down, repeating “it’s OK”, and which prompted Donald Trump to call the congresswoman a “Wack Job” on Twitter last night, was not a constituent or supporter of the congresswoman at all but instead a member of LaRouche Pac, a far-right group that supports Trump, and it was all an attempt to troll the congresswoman, celebrated of course by Donald Trump Jr the end – read more here.

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