1. Turnbull faces the music on Newspoll
Malcolm Turnbull got an unexpected surprise when Fairfax-Ipsos cheekily inserted a poll to gazump Newspoll by a few days. It had good news for Turnbull. By the usual method of allocating preferences according to flows at the last election the LNP was behind 48-52 TPP. However, when preferences were allocated as those polled indicated they would vote, the result was 50-50.
However Poll Bludger points out that the sample was only 1146, instead of the usual 1400.
Fairfax-Ipsos also said 62% reckon the Liberals should stick with Turnbull. Only 28% think he should be dumped.
There is little doubt that Abbott and his mates are making a special effort to unsettle Turnbull. We have the Monash Forum to promote coal, and the Pollie Pedal through the La Trobe Valley. Julie Owens, Labor member for Parramatta, has been on these pedals in the past, and tells Patricia Karvelas just how political they are.
At time of writing Newspoll has just appeared and it’s 52-48 to Labor. Turnbull will be happy with that, as he will think he can win from there.
There is some encouragement for Bill Shorten as he has narrowed the ‘better PM’ poll to 36 to 38.
Essential Report on 27 March also narrowed to 52-48 in favour of Labor, from 54-46 a fortnight earlier.
2. In the Land of the Free
Quite a lot has been happening in the Land of the Free. There is little doubt that President Trump would feel more free if he could wish away the investigations about collusion with Russia being undertaken by Robert Mueller.
Multiple aides to the President continue to describe him as obsessed with the Russia investigation, becoming increasingly agitated as details about the probe emerge. Trump feels the investigation undermines his presidency and has grown increasingly bitter that it has not yet concluded, the aides have said.
Mueller’s mob have already laid charges on 19 people and problem is that Mueller wants to have a chat with Trump.
At least five major law firms have been invited to help Trump navigate the Mueller investigation. All have declined.
Deliberations over an interview with Mueller have proceeded amid tumult within the President’s legal team. Midway through March, the lead lawyer, John Dowd, resigned amid disagreements with the President and increased scrutiny in the probe. That’s left Jay Sekulow, an outside attorney, and Cobb, who works in the White House, as the remaining lawyers representing the President in this matter.
3. American teachers fired up over pay
If you look at international comparisons, apart from learning that Luxembourg is the place to be, American teachers do a bit better or a bit worse that the OECD average. That last one, however, shows American teachers earning about 70% as much as similarly educated workers.
The real problem, hover, is that within the US there is enormous variety:
While kids enjoy their summer vacations, most teachers are still working. Why? Because many across the U.S. are struggling to make ends meet.
In fact, the amount teachers make can vary greatly by state. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the lowest 10 percent of high school teachers earn less than $38,180 and the highest 10 percent earn more than $92,920.
In Kansas the state supreme court recently rule that “public spending on education was unconstitutionally low”. It’s not just teachers salaries, of course, it’s buildings and the whole fabric of educational resourcing. Ironically, I understand the states doing worst are Republican states obsessed with small government.
You might say that people are getting what they voted for.
4. Centrelink’s robo-debt scheme is a scam, pure and simple
Emeritus Professor of Law at the University of Sydney and former member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal Terry Carney headed a review of Centrelink’s robo-debt program and found that Centrelink has been enforcing debts that have no legal basis. In legal terms it is a scam, pure and simple.
The Finance department told them they needed to save around $2 billion, so they went out and scammed the most vulnerable people in the community.
The scheme uses averages to determine debts, not actuals. Carney thinks about 70 per cent of debts raised are wrong. For some unimaginable reason the Ombudsman’s review did not examine the legality of the operation.
This arrogant government is persisting. This scam must stop now.
There’s more at the SMH and a more complete article at The Guardian, linking also to Carney’s paper.
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