Sins of commission

Kooyong and Chisholm legal challenge latest; by-election rumblings in Isaacs; Jim Molan strikes back; and the Victorian Liberals gearing up already for federal preselections.

Possible (or possibly not) federal by-election news:

• The Australian Electoral Commission has petitioned the Federal Court to reject challenges against the federal election results in Chisholm and Kooyong. The challenges relate to Chinese-language Liberal Party signage that appeared to mimic the AEC’s branding, and advised voters that giving a first preference to the Liberal candidates was “the correct voting method”. As reported by The Guardian, the AEC argues that “the petition fails to set out at all, let alone with sufficient particularity, any facts or matters on the basis of which it might be concluded that it was likely that on polling day, electors able to read Chinese characters, upon seeing and reading the corflute, cast their vote in a manner different from what they had previously intended”. This seems rather puzzling to my mind, unless it should be taken to mean that no individuals have been identified who are ready to confirm that they were indeed so deceived. Academic electoral law expert Graeme Orr argued on Twitter that the AEC had “no need to intervene on the substance of a case where partisan litigants are well represented”.

• Talk of a by-election elsewhere in Melbourne was stimulated by Monday’s column ($) from acerbic Financial Review columnist Joe Aston, which related “positively feverish speculation” that Labor’s Shadow Attorney-General, Mark Dreyfus, would shortly quit his Melbourne bayside seat of Isaacs with an eye to a position on Victoria’s Court of Appeal. Aston further reported that Dreyfus hoped to be succeeded by Fiona McLeod, the prominent barrister who gained a 6.1% swing as Labor’s candidate for Higgins in May. Dreyfus emphatically rejected such “ridiculous suggestions” in late August, saying he was “absolutely committed to serving out this term of parliament”, and again took to Twitter on Monday to say he would be “staying and fighting the next election”. Aston remains unconvinced, writing in Tuesday’s column ($) that the suggestions derived from “high-level discussions Dreyfus has held on Spring Street with everyone from Premier Daniel Andrews, former Attorney-General Martin Pakula, his successor Jill Hennessy and his caucus colleagues”, along with his “indiscreet utterances around the traps”.

Federal preselection news:

• Jim Molan has won the endorsement of both Scott Morrison and the conservative faction of the New South Wales Liberal Party to fill the Senate vacancy created by Arthur Sinodinos’s departure to become ambassador to the United States. However, the Sydney Morning Herald reports this is not dissuading rival nominee Richard Shields, former deputy state party director and Insurance Council of Australia manager, and the runner-up to Dave Sharma in last year’s keenly fought Wentworth preselection. Shields’ backers are said to include Helen Coonan, former Senator and Howard government minister, and Mark Neeham, a former state party director. Earlier reports suggested the moderate faction had been reconciled to Molan’s ascendancy by a pledge that he would only serve out the remainder of Sinodinos’s two-year term, and would not seek re-election in 2022.

Rob Harris of The Age reports the Victorian Liberals are considering a plan to complete their preselections for the 2022 election much earlier than usual – and especially soon for Liberal-held seats. The idea in the latter case is for challengers to incumbents to declare their hands by January 15, with the matter to be wrapped up by late February or early March. This comes after the party’s administrative committee warded off threats to members ahead of the last election, most notably factional conservative Kevin Andrews in Menzies, by rubber-stamping the preselections of all incumbents, much to the displeasure of party members. Other preselections are to be held from April through to October. Also proposed is a toughening of candidate vetting procedures, after no fewer than seven candidates in Labor-held seats were disendorsed during the period of the campaign.

Self-promotion corner:

• I had a paywalled piece in Crikey yesterday which noted the stances adopted of late by James McGrath, ideological warror extraordinaire and scourge of the cockatoo, in his capacity as chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Electoral Matters, which is presently conducting its broad-ranging inquiry into the May federal election. These include the end of proportional representation in the Senate, the notion that parliamentarians who quit their parties should be required to forfeit their seats, and — more plausibly — the need to curtail pre-poll voting.

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.

1,820 comments on “Sins of commission”

  1. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Wow! John Hewson has come out swinging, saying, “Morrison’s hubris shows he’s turning his back on ordinary Australians”.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/morrison-s-hubris-shows-he-s-turning-his-back-on-ordinary-australians-20191009-p52ywx.html
    The John Curtin Research Centre says that Labor has yet to learn the hard lessons of defeat.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/labor-has-yet-to-learn-the-hard-lessons-of-defeat-20191009-p52z5e.html
    It looks like Turkey has kicked off the action in Syria.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/turkey-begins-military-offensive-in-northern-syria-erdogan-announces-20191010-p52z9j.html
    Tony Walker concludes that Syria is now a mess of Trump’s own making.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/syria-is-now-a-mess-of-trump-s-own-making-20191009-p52z1q.html
    Morrison has defended Donald Trump over the contentious withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria as the US President is accused of leaving Kurdish allies exposed to an imminent attack from Turkish forces. Of course he has!
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/morrison-defends-trump-over-withdrawal-of-us-troops-from-northern-syria-20191009-p52z6v.html
    And Bob Carr says that abandoning the Kurds confirms Asia’s view that US power is waning.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/abandoning-the-kurds-confirms-asia-s-view-that-us-power-is-waning-20191008-p52yqj.html
    Michelle Grattan reports that opposition resources spokesman Joel Fitzgibbon has had his proposal to bring Labor’s climate change target into line with the government’s immediately torpedoed by the party’s climate spokesman Mark Butler.
    https://theconversation.com/labors-climate-and-resources-spokesmen-at-odds-over-future-policy-124991
    There are three types of climate change denier, and most of us are at least one explain two academics in The Conversation.
    https://theconversation.com/there-are-three-types-of-climate-change-denier-and-most-of-us-are-at-least-one-124574
    Shane Wright reports that the Morrison government is facing growing pressure to bring forward infrastructure spending to boost the economy with consumer confidence falling to its lowest level in four years despite tax and interest rate cuts.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/government-pressured-to-bring-forward-spending-after-consumer-confidence-dives-20191009-p52z1w.html
    The Coalition’s policy agenda hurts people economically, socially and politically, writes Mike Dowson.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/return-of-coalition-government-threatens-australian-values,13188
    The Morrison government has been accused of waging a war on the poor through its Centrelink welfare debt recovery program. A Senate inquiry into the controversial “robo-debt” recovery program heard first-hand accounts from people told they owed the agency money.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6428626/centrelink-robo-debt-feels-like-bullying/?cs=14231
    In quite a concerning contribution Jess Irvine examines the perils of a long term low interest environment.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/of-zombies-and-unicorns-the-perils-of-low-interest-rates-20191009-p52z5g.html
    Meanwhile the ANZ’s CEO has called for a quantitative easing summit.
    https://outline.com/fvxMHv
    Choice has announced its annual Shonky Awards and there some beauties among them.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/shonky-awards-handed-to-medibank-health-insurance-and-amp-super-lemons-20191009-p52z1m.html
    David Crowe writes that the Australian Kurdish community is urging the Morrison government to join global action to prevent a “bloodbath” in northern Syria after accusing United States President Donald Trump of a “complete betrayal” by withdrawing US troops.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/complete-betrayal-kurdish-community-braces-for-syria-bloodbath-urges-turkey-boycott-20191009-p52z3c.html
    Lawyer Rawan Araff says that the Australian women and children caught up in Syria’s al-Hawl camp should be brought home and the women should be investigated for their role, if any, in the commission of any crimes including war crimes.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/australians-trapped-in-syria-should-be-brought-home-to-justice-20191009-p52z1i.html
    And the SMH editorial urges the government to bring Australian IS families back before a new war really starts in Syria.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/bring-australian-is-families-back-before-a-new-war-in-syria-20191009-p52z5r.html
    Matthew Knott writes about Trump now going for a scorched earth policy with the impeachment inquiry.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/trump-s-scorched-earth-tactics-reveal-impeachment-for-what-it-is-a-free-for-all-20191009-p52z3i.html
    Amy Remeikis writes that Women would face further barriers to receiving healthcare under the proposed religious discrimination bill, advocates have warned, with the potential law overriding professional or employer obligations to treat patients. This bill is getting push back from so many quarters.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/10/religious-discrimination-bill-would-create-barriers-to-womens-healthcare-advocates-warn
    But of course the Australian Christian Lobby has backed calls for religious businesses such as aged care providers to gain more powers of hiring and firing employees who do not conform to religious teachings.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/09/australian-christian-lobby-backs-sacking-of-employees-with-no-christian-sexual-ethic
    Peter Harris, who retired as Productivity Commission chairman last year, says he favours introducing a stern best interest duty for bankers and mortgage brokers.
    https://outline.com/d8GpHy
    John Setka has launched an appeal against the Victorian Supreme Court’s decision permitting his expulsion from the Australian Labor Party.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6429487/setka-appeals-labor-expulsion-decision/?cs=14350
    A ban on repeat prescriptions for antibiotics could be just weeks away, according to Australia’s chief medical officer.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/life/wellbeing/2019/10/09/antibiotics-repeat-prescription-changes/
    According to the SMH some Extinction Rebellion protesters have been subjected to bail conditions designed for bikie gangs. This will make Dutton happy.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/extinction-rebellion-protesters-subject-to-bail-conditions-designed-for-bikie-gangs-20191009-p52z4s.html
    If you are under 34, you’ve experienced just one month of below average temperatures writes Greg Jericho. He shows us several graphs that should convince ANYONE about the climate change we are a part of.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/10/if-you-are-under-34-youve-experienced-just-one-month-of-below-average-temperatures
    Asylum seekers who have been approved for medevac transfers to Australia are among 52 men who have been locked up in Port Moresby detention without access to phones or lawyers for the past two months.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/10/asylum-seekers-approved-for-medevac-transfers-detained-in-port-moresby
    In this interesting article Crispin Hull tells us why Australia must be wary as autocracy advances.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6421191/laying-down-the-law-australia-must-be-wary-as-autocracy-advances/?cs=14258
    Three of Australia’s big banks will face pressure from investors on climate change with a series of resolutions lodged ahead of annual meetings demanding ANZ, NAB and Westpac reduce loans and exposure to coal, oil and gas companies reports Nick Toscano.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/big-banks-facing-investor-heat-on-fossil-fuel-lending-20191009-p52z2c.html
    The threat of Chinese military intervention in Hong Kong could spur locals to seek a new life in nearby countries – and Australia is among their most likely destinations reports Samantha Dick.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/world/2019/10/09/hong-kong-migration/
    The Morrison government is focused on getting more dispatchable energy into the system. But the industry tells Angus Taylor he’s not providing the right signals for investment writes Jennifer Hewett.
    https://outline.com/vgrnBV
    Dr Kerry Schott, chair of the Energy Security Board, has cautioned that some moves by government to cap prices and subsidise generation projects could discourage investment in firm and flexible plant, such as fast-start gas peakers and pumped hydro plants, which are needed to fill in the gaps between intermittent wind and solar.
    https://outline.com/PFEtFk
    Incitec Pivot’s Jeanne Johns says the gas market is “dysfunctional” and a use-it-or-lose it policy is needed to stop gas companies banking future supply for LNG plants.
    https://outline.com/vpuWt3
    In a special report The Guardian reveals the 20 fossil fuel companies whose relentless exploitation of the world’s oil, gas and coal reserves can be directly linked to more than one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions in the modern era.
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/oct/09/revealed-20-firms-third-carbon-emissions
    The number of dwelling approvals and residential construction starts has continued to fall, dragging Australia’s economy down with it. It is not good news for wages growth in general.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/property/2019/10/09/wages-growth-construction-data/
    The Darren Weir/Victorian racing story has just got bit more interesting.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/victoria/prized-flemington-race-at-centre-of-weir-criminal-probe-20191009-p52z6o.html
    More than one million Californians were in the dark on Wednesday in the first phase of a multi-day power shut-off aimed at curbing wildfire risks amid high winds and hot, dry conditions.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/more-than-1-million-in-california-are-without-power-to-curb-fire-risk-20191010-p52z9p.html
    The New York times describes how a White House official who listened to Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s leader described it as “crazy”, “frightening” and “completely lacking in substance related to national security.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/crazy-trump-phone-call-left-official-frightened-whistleblower-says-20191009-p52yzf.html
    Because of his standoff with Congress, Trump may be in danger of losing Republicans who still think of themselves as constitutional conservatives
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/09/trump-republicans-danger-constitution
    Trump’s decision to abandon America’s partners in the majority Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is yet another illustration of how the president’s rash foreign policy results in disastrous consequences.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/oct/09/syria-kurds-trump-policy-lurches

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe.

    More nice work from Alan Moir.

    Three from Mark David today.



    Cathy Wilcox in Syria.

    From Matt Golding.




    Matt Davidson and economic moral hazard.

    I think this is Turnbull that Zanetti’s going for.

    Jon Kudelka introduces the new range of NSW ALP cash collection accessories.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/fe13472b5c70d1a31876133a6f5f802b?width=1024

    From the US








  2. Michael Cohen will meet with prosecutors in New York to spill everything he knows about Trump: report

    President Donald Trump’s former attorney and fixer Michael Cohen will leave prison for a meeting with New York prosecutors.

    Cohen, who’s serving a three-year sentence after pleading guilty to campaign finance violations and other crimes, is expected to tell prosecutors everything he knows from his years representing Trump, reported CNN.

    The meeting, Cohen’s third with prosecutors, should happen later this month, according to a law enforcement official.

    https://www.rawstory.com/2019/10/michael-cohen-will-meet-with-prosecutors-in-new-york-to-spill-everything-he-knows-about-trump-report/

  3. This “religious freedom” Bill is really a “right to discriminate” Bill for conservatives to exploit. It must be opposed relentlessly. I hope that Jackie Lambie does not support it, even in a watered-down form. The civil liberties legislation that we desperately need is strong protections for whistleblowers.

  4. …with consumer confidence falling to its lowest level in four years despite tax and interest rate cuts.

    Says it all about the so-called, ‘superior economic management’ (oh, but THEY’LL get a Surplus that no one else has! 🙄 ), of this bunch of Coalition cucks.

  5. Several Liberal MPs have signed on to a crossbench-led climate action committee, as the parliament’s independents attempt to take partisan politics out of the nation’s climate policies.

    Haines: “Climate action should be an issue that crosses the political divide. Managing risk is actually quite a conservative approach to take.”

    Take partisan politics out? But the little egotist Wilson has joined the group, instantly bringing his antagonist attitude into play.

    Wilson, who shuns the descriptor ‘moderate’, describing himself as a “modern Liberal” said he believed it necessary to be part of the group, having concluded “that only the Coalition can deliver sustainable, evolutionary climate policy”, after what he termed “revolutionary failures” from Labor and the Greens.

    “Some of us want sensible, sustainable policy that confronts Australia’s emissions challenge, focuses on technology and economic growth and doesn’t leave Australians behind,” he said.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/oct/10/moderate-liberal-mps-sign-on-to-crossbench-led-climate-action-group

  6. Can we please, please, please talk about something other than Climate Change policy!?! Just for one day!?!

    Yes, we know that the Coalition will do everything possible to drag the chain on action, give taxpayers’ $$ to Coalition mates and use mouthy Tim Wilson as their point man to put a spoke in the wheel of genuine cross-party action. Oh, and The Greens’ approach is perfect.

    So what’s new!?!

    Haven’t we done this subject to death already!?!

  7. It looks like the Canadian Conservative Party is using the Scott Morrison ‘Daggy Dad’ playbook to win the election against Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party:

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia — The tall, blue-eyed man in the off-white shirt cuts open an English muffin and tears off a piece of paper towel as his kids banter next to him in the kitchen. His wife wipes something off of his cheek. Folk music plays in the background as the couple piles their children into a minivan and drives off to school, in what could easily be a Dodge Caravan commercial but is actually an ad featuring the man who could become Canada’s next prime minister—Andrew Scheer.

    …Now polling neck-and-neck with Trudeau, through little of his own doing, is Scheer, the leader of the center-right Conservative Party. Which means Trudeau could be unseated by a man who remains mostly unknown outside Canada—an unassuming, 40-year-old father of five who represents Saskatchewan, and whose party has been known to share photos of him swinging a baseball bat with poor form and playing beer pong wearing a suit jacket.

    Campaigning in a country that’s broadly alarmed by the politics of its neighbor to the south, Scheer has faced accusations that he might use his power as prime minister to pursue a socially conservative agenda, or to try pleasing the far-right fringes of a party prone to fracturing. But his campaign has tried to focus on Trudeau’s deficiencies and offer a nonthreatening, even banal alternative. Even Scheer’s opponents admit he is a pretty nice guy. He quotes “The Simpsons” to his staff; he watches football and uses sports metaphors, associates say. Publicly, he likes to talk about his love for popcorn and tries to come across as the kind of person you might run into at a grocery store.

    “He’s such a dad,” says Kenzie Potter, Scheer’s top adviser. “He makes dad jokes. He has a dad bod. He is the quintessential dad.”

    🙄

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/10/09/the-bland-conservative-dad-who-could-take-down-the-trudeau-dynasty-229667

  8. Morning all. Thanks BK. Cat that is a good question about the AEC.

    This article in the UK Guardian highlights the very negative impact of SUVs on road safety. The situation is almost certainly worse here, because we buy more of them. So why no article on Australian SUV crash data? Because the research program that tracked real world safety outcomes for different makes of car was defunded six years ago under Hockey’s first budget. No data, no problem. Coincidentally, after decades of falling our road toll is now trending up again.
    https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/oct/07/a-deadly-problem-should-we-ban-suvs-from-our-cities?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_LinkedIn

  9. Morning all

    You really couldn’t make this shit up.

    Quote Tweet

    Aaron Rupar
    @atrupar
    · 59m
    Trump indicates he’s not worried about ISIS fighters escaping northern Syria because if they do they’ll just end up in Europe
    Show this thread

  10. I continue to be fascinated by the 180 turn of Anthony Scaramucci

    Anthony Scaramucci
    @Scaramucci
    ·
    1h
    Joe endured life’s biggest sin…not burying 1, but 2 children. Naomi in ‘72 car crash, Beau in 2015 cancer. POTUS still goes after Joe’s son Hunter, with no proof…is there any decency? The world is watching.
    Quote Tweet

    Donald J. Trump
    @realDonaldTrump
    · 3h
    So pathetic to see Sleepy Joe Biden, who with his son, Hunter, and to the detriment of the American Taxpayer, has ripped off at least two countries for millions of dollars, calling for my impeachment – and I did nothing wrong. Joe’s Failing Campaign gave him no other choice!

  11. Anthony Scaramucci
    @Scaramucci
    ·
    2h
    “I have turned on my own country and all of its citizens and I am quietly giggling as I push everyone around with my childish bullying. Going to test all of the limits of the system before I negotiate my pardon.” —
    @realDonaldTrump
    Anthony Scaramucci
    @Scaramucci
    ·
    2h
    Justin the
    @POTUS
    is a rank liar and criminal and we know now he is a traitor. Find out what they have on him and you will understand his actions.
    @realDonaldTrump
    is finished.
    Quote Tweet

    Justin Amash
    @justinamash
    · 2h
    Despite President Trump’s bluster about ending endless war, he’s not ending anything. Our troops aren’t coming home; a small number were moved so Turkey could escalate the war. And the president has expanded our role in Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and

  12. Victoria @ #11 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 8:13 am

    Morning all

    You really couldn’t make this shit up.

    Quote Tweet

    Aaron Rupar
    @atrupar
    · 59m
    Trump indicates he’s not worried about ISIS fighters escaping northern Syria because if they do they’ll just end up in Europe
    Show this thread

    Um, they’re not going to end up in Europe because Trump and Steve Bannon have played themselves. Matteo Salvini in Italy, where most asylum seekers come ashore from Northern Africa and the Middle East, has played the Anti Immigrant card hard, so now Europe’s borders are virtually closed. 😆

  13. Former vice president Joe Biden made his most direct call for President Trump’s impeachment Wednesday hours after Trump said the Democratic-led inquiry should be terminated “for the good of the Country,” claiming it was tainted with political bias.

    “President Trump has indicted himself by obstructing justice, refusing to comply with a congressional inquiry … he’s already convicted himself,” Biden said during a fiery address in New Hampshire.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-impeachment-inquiry-live-updates/2019/10/09/d1bb38e0-e9f7-11e9-9c6d-436a0df4f31d_story.html

    Is Biden the only Dem nominee saying this kind of stuff about Trump? The others seem to have gone to ground since the Ukraine stuff blew up.

  14. C@t
    That last comments feels like the coalition have you exactly where they want you regards climate change.
    The LNP policy with regard to climate change is to be allowed to reward their mates and themselves without scrutiny from either the public or alternative elected representatives.
    It’s what dictatorial politicians dream about.
    Enough voters had that attitude at the last election to give Morrison a unlikely win and he now controls both houses of parliament.
    I believe Angus Taylor is in charge of energy. Someone is probably in charge of the environment. The economy is a dog’s breakfast. Dutton is in charge of anything he likes. Lambie is chasing a bag of coins. Abbott has been appointed to the board managing the War Memorial. Morrison has befriended a psychopath. Jobs for the boys and some girls from uninhibited nepotism. The poor and needy demonized.
    The fight to realign this nation to resemble something akin to fair and reasonable is at its most critical nadir!

  15. This is such an accurate description of our current situation. It took more than a single election cycle to turn this around in the past so we need a really strong and clever opposition to start the process. I hope we’ll get one.

    Unexpectedly stuck with the burden of office and having exhausted explicit policies in the first five minutes, the Government is now in danger of exposing the will of its sponsors. What was probably expected to happen is that Labor would get elected and resume a vaguely positive program of government, just as the economy was tanking.

    Growth, a budget surplus and house prices, which have all been propagandised as the gold standard of economic health, so much so that people value them above their own lived experience, would all have faltered at the same time. Then the Coalition was to storm back and “save the day” with more tax cuts, crippling austerity and sweeping privatisation.

    It’s a methodology long seen in the U.S. and currently rolling out a red carpet throughout much of the Anglosphere for authoritarianism. Richard Denniss calls it “the right-wing ratchet”.

    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/return-of-coalition-government-threatens-australian-values,13188

  16. Just like winning trade wars!

    Jim AcostaVerified account@Acosta
    49m49 minutes ago
    Trump when asked whether abandoning the Kurds could impact US ability to form alliances in the future: “Alliances are very easy.”

  17. ‘fess,
    Kamala Harris is the only other Dem candidate for President I have heard making comment about the Impeachment of Trump.

    I kind of think that they are generally letting Joe Biden take the lead on it but I suspect we will hear a lot about it at the next Democrat debate.

  18. lizzie,
    That description of the government leads me to think, along with Tim Wilson’s smart aleck political schtick, that what we will have is a Stonewall government that fights off its competition aggressively using all the sneaky tricks and tools at its disposal and then, even if it has to be incremental, advances its agenda. They are already bringing back legislation into the parliament that has been previously defeated, as if their election win gives them a carte blanche mandate to do it.

  19. Daniel DaleVerified account@ddale8
    56m56 minutes ago
    Trump on the Kurds: “They didn’t help us in the Second World War, they didn’t help us with Normandy.” He says they’re only interested in fighting for “their land.” He adds, “With all of that being said, we like the Kurds.”

    How do assembled journalists keep straight faces? It’s like comedy hour every time this man fronts a camera.

  20. Brilliant opinion piece about Lindsay Graham’s Faustian bargain with Donald Trump:

    It was a cri de cœur from Lindsey Graham, the lament of the sycophant scorned.

    President Donald Trump’s decision to abandon our Kurdish allies in Syria by leaving them undefended against a Turkish invasion was, Graham tweeted, “a disaster” and a “nightmare.”

    As Monday morning wore on, he expanded his indictment. Betraying the Kurds would force them to align with the Assad regime and Iran and would ensure the comeback of ISIS. It would be, he tweeted, “a stain on America’s honor,” and a virtual surrender to the terrorists.

    “President Trump may be tired of fighting radical Islam,” he wrote pointedly of his good friend. “They are NOT tired of fighting us.” And he commented on the signal Trump’s decision sent to the world: “By abandoning the Kurds we have sent the most dangerous signal possible — America is an unreliable ally and it’s just a matter of time before China, Russia, Iran, and North Korea act out in dangerous ways.“

    In his cruelest cut of all, he compared Trump with Barack Obama. “No matter what President Trump is saying about his decision,” wrote Graham on Twitter, “it is EXACTLY what President Obama did in Iraq with even more disastrous consequences for our national security.”

    Graham’s disappointment was palpable, but understandable, given all that he has given up to avoid this moment.

    For the past several years, Graham has transformed himself from one of Trump’s fiercest critics, into one of his most reflexive defenders. Even by the cynical and shape-shifting standards of Washington, Graham’s metamorphosis has been a thing of wonder. The senator once known as John McCain’s best friend in the Senate, transformed himself into Trump’s shinebox, willing to ingratiate himself with rationalizations and praise even as Trump became increasingly erratic.

    by Charlie Sykes of The Bulwark

    https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/10/07/trump-lindsey-graham-syria-kurds-turkey-229541

  21. C@t

    It is a brilliant article by Dowson.
    I would like to think that there is a Labor strategist with the ability to see through Morrison and counteract his false wholesomeness. Polite non-partisanship will not cut it.
    Hewson seems to be perceptive enough. Pity he’s on the wrong side.

  22. lizzie,
    A lot of ‘good’ conservatives are rebelling against the populist authoritarianism that is weeping the world, with their seemingly benign ‘daggy dad’ leaders, or virtually faceless men like Putin. Lucky for us these good people, like Hewson, Rick Wilson and Charlie Sykes, still have media outlets that will publish their critiques. It’s pretty much all we have left now to counteract them-sympathetic media outlets.

  23. Another populist appointment? Style over substance?

    @tanya_plibersek
    · 31m
    Scott Cam’s a good bloke, but if the Liberals were serious about fixing the skills crisis they’ve created, they’d stop hiring celebrities + start funding TAFE and apprentices.

  24. The escarpment dividing the less well-off and the rampant rorting and ridicule from the beneficiaries of institutionalised largesse is looming, just beyond the shadow and view of so many.
    The ‘budget surplus’ punchline will be paraded with all the finesse of a lousy joke.
    Morrison is a gambler.

  25. @BelindaJones68
    ·
    21m
    Super sensitive Scott Cam gets pissed-off if the slightest thing doesn’t go his way or if he cops a bit of backchat from a contestant, how the Hell is he gonna be able to work with serial lying incompetents Morrison & Cash?

    Not gonna end well.

  26. Trump isn’t the only one deserving of impeachment. Pence, Pompeo and Barr should be too.

    President Trump has no one but himself to blame for the fact that he is on the verge of being impeached. He recognizes no legal or moral limits on his “absolute right” to do whatever he pleases — including pressuring a foreign country to intervene in U.S. politics on his behalf. But his most senior aides have done him no favors by acting as accelerators rather than brakes on his unconscionable conduct.

    Three senior officials, in particular, could have tried to dissuade the president from misusing his office for personal gain, but there is no evidence that they ever attempted to do so. History will record their names along with Trump’s in the annals of ignominy. The president’s principal accomplices in his brazen assault on the rule of law are Vice President Pence, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Attorney General William P. Barr.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/10/09/pence-pompeo-barr-deserve-be-impeached-too/

  27. Can we please, please, please talk about something other than Climate Change policy!?! Just for one day!?!

    You’re going to hate the 2020s. And 2030s. And the next few hundred years after that.

  28. Watermelon @ #40 Thursday, October 10th, 2019 – 9:07 am

    Can we please, please, please talk about something other than Climate Change policy!?! Just for one day!?!

    You’re going to hate the 2020s. And 2030s. And the next few hundred years after that.

    Because YOU’LL still be all talk on PB? Because The Greens will achieve 3/5 of bugger all while the world burns!?! But hey, you still might be able to harass Labor supporters on PB! 🙄

  29. From WB above…

    This seems rather puzzling to my mind, unless it should be taken to mean that no individuals have been identified who are ready to confirm that they were indeed so deceived.

    Well, I would have used a stronger word than puzzling.

    It seems to me to tie into the ever narrowing definition of corruption. Where you can actually take huge sums of money from an entity and give them favours – it just happens to be coincidental unless you can prove a link which seems to require reading the mind of a corrupt individual (or they r dumb enough to write it down somewhere).

    Clearly, those posters are a deliberate attempt to subvert democracy. It doesnt matter that they may not have subverted it (other than not requiring a return to the ballot box). The AEC should be mad as hell about them, should have demanded they be removed at the time.

  30. Daniel DaleVerified account@ddale8
    33m33 minutes ago
    This is the transcript of the story Trump told about what he saw and thought when he visited Dover Air Force Base as soldiers killed in action were returned in coffins.

    :large

  31. But hey, Watermelon, thanks for conferring immortality on me ( You’re going to hate the 2020s. And 2030s. And the next few hundred years after that. )

    🙂

  32. Elections must not only be free and fair – they need to be seen to be free and fair. Same with corruption in politics. Trust, legitimacy, confidence are as important as the structure.

    So the onus is on the political parties – if there is any doubt they should be publicly whipped.

    I just noticed the AEC has a “strategic focus”. We’re f’ed.

  33. Simon Katich

    If the intention to deceive doesn’t count for the AEC, someone who votes more than once “by mistake” can’t be prosecuted??

  34. No C@t, it’s not all about us…

    what’s going to happen is that much of the inhabited planet is going to become uninhabitable. A problem so big that there really won’t be much else to talk about.

    So get used to hearing about it.

  35. OMG. The AEC have a Corporate Plan as well as a Strategic Focus. Full of nice sounding meaningless words. With a Purpose, Directions and a Vision. Because you need Vision.

    I notice one of their Directions is to “Uphold the reputation of the AEC”. Hmmmm.

    I love this sentence under the Activities section of the Corporate Plan.
    “Our activities are the tasks and projects we complete to achieve outcomes against each direction.”
    I wonder how many highly paid people sat in lengthy (and catered) meetings and workshops to come up with that line.

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