Weekly salon 16/9

1. Two views of Bojo

This is how some people see Boris Johnson:

He sees himself like this:

I wonder how the Europeans see him.

On Wednesday his decision to suspend UK Parliament was ruled unlawful by Scotland’s highest civil court:

    The judges were unanimous in their belief the shutting down of Parliament was “motivated by the improper purpose of stymying Parliament and that it, and what has followed it, is unlawful”.

    “The court will accordingly make an order declaring that the Prime Minister’s advice to HM the Queen and the prorogation which followed thereon was unlawful and is thus null and of no effect,” the ruling read.

    In the summary issued by the court, Lord Philip Brodie called the decision to prorogue Parliament “an egregious case of a clear failure to comply with generally accepted standards of behaviour of public authorities”.

    “It was to be inferred that the principal reasons for the prorogation were to prevent or impede Parliament holding the executive to account and legislation with regard to Brexit, and to allow the executive to pursue a policy of a no-deal Brexit without further Parliamentary interference.”

My understanding is that the people bringing the case went to Scotland because the relevant court in London was on holidays. This week they are back, and I believe will consider the case. They may do what the Scottish court didn’t – issue an order for parliament to resume.

Nothing would surprise.

2. US gives democracy a trial run

Only in an opinion poll on the Democrat presidential contenders, to find that Elizabeth Warren leads Joe Biden in ranked-choice poll.

In the first round it was Joe Biden 33%, Elizabeth Warren 29%, Bernie Sanders 20, Kamala Harris 10 and Pete Buttigieg 8%. That adds up to 100, so on that basis the preference votes for the other 15 candidates go into the bin.

Big surprise (to the Americans) – as they drop out Joe Biden gets run down by Warren 53-47. I like this:

    To the uninitiated, ranked-choice voting (sometimes called “instant runoff voting,” or IRV) might seem like a confusing and convoluted system.

Seems pretty simple to people who grew up in a democracy.

In the last debate that went on for three hours, I’m told, Warren was also the winner. Apparently she’s a natural in front of the camera.

I do think Bernie Sanders is too old, and Biden apart from being old is too yesterday.

3. Martin Hirst unloads

Martin Hirst really unloads on the Morrison government in his article The Morrison Government: It’s no longer funny:

    Despite the PM’s attempt at portraying the blokey-jokey good guy, it’s getting harder to see the funny side of Australian politics. I’m not cracking a smile, I’m seething with rage.

    I have come to the terrible but sober conclusion that we can no longer laugh off the Morrison horror show. The clowns are actually ideological axe murderers in pancake makeup and funny shoes.

He’s just warming up. Later he talks about a lack of clear policy and the absence of a mandate following the close Election result are not an obstacle to achieving the Government’s ideological mission:

    It is the mission itself that motivates Morrison, his cabinet colleagues and his power-hungry backbenchers like “Freedom Boy” Tim Wilson. The mission is to remake Australia as a nation without compassion, empathy and opposition to Morrison and Dutton’s authoritarian instincts. It’s a change that started under Abbott, was briefly disrupted by Turnbull’s obsequious vacuity, but is now back in full battle dress.

    The mission goal is an impoverished, embittered, divided Australia; a country where “having a go to get a go” means wealthy Liberal and National Party donors standing by the back door waiting for handouts, kickbacks and sinecures paid for by the reduction of everyone else to the status of serfs. It’s as if Morrison and company (that’s how they view the Government) are wanting to return Australia to the status of a penal colony.

He lists a string of Independent Australia articles:

Our open and egalitarian ethos is being stolen from us.

4. The strange case of Gladys Liu

Presumably Martin Hirst’s deadline meant he missed the strange case of Galdys Liu, which Jennifer Wilson takes care of in Political need overrides national security in Gladys Liu saga.

Because she had three different stories to tell in short order about her association to an association, she must have been lying at least twice. unless you believe the schtick that she couldn’t remember, and then suddenly did. Thjis doesn’t look good:

    Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was advised by ASIO Director-General Duncan Lewis not to attend a meet and greet organised by Ms Liu in February 2018, on the basis of the guest list compiled by Ms Liu.

    Despite the intelligence agency’s concerns with Ms Liu’s alleged links to the Chinese Communist Party, she won pre-selection and then the seat of Chisholm. During the election campaign, Ms Liu was revealed to have engaged in spreading misinformation about the Labor Party amongst the Chinese community, using the WeChat app.

    The fake news she propagated included claims about the perils of the Safe Schools policy and erroneous information about how Labor would manipulate the refugee intake to disadvantage Chinese Australians.

ScoMo then pulled the race card, and went on to WeChat to assure all the Australian Chinese that he had their back.

Wilson says:

    It won’t be difficult to argue, after this debacle, that the Government has lost all credibility on national security and can no longer legitimately invoke it as a reason for anything.

Furthermore, the government itself is in danger of becoming “just as much a security risk as is Liu”.

Laura Tingle sees some hubris which may come back to bite in the way Morrison has handled the issue.

5. Drone attack on Saudi oil facilities

Yemeni insurgents ostensibly mounted a successful drone attack on Saudi oil, so we have US ‘locked and loaded’ over Saudi attack:

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said earlier that there was no evidence the attack came from Yemen, where a Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthis for more than four years in a conflict widely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Muslim rival Iran.

Of course Trump had just sacked John Bolton and moved Iran to backburner.

This is inconvenient for Trump. Bolton wanted to start wars with everyone. What Trump wants to do is announce a major peace resolution with one of his pesky problems to advance his re-election strategy.

To me it is one of the scariest things that has happened in a while. I believe both China and the US would do just about anything to avoid being entrapped in a major war. I think both understand that threatening beats doing, so here’s hoping.

59 thoughts on “Weekly salon 16/9”

  1. Good to see some of the yanks have sort of understood preference voting. With a bit of luck preference voting will expand and minor parties can run without favoring their enemies.
    What they appear to have missed is that who gets kicked out when can be important. (Ex: LNP more likley to win if Greens come second instead of Labor because Greens get a higher % of Labor preferences than Lab gets from Greens.) However, it looks as though Biden and Warren would be last pair person standing no matter what the sequence was.
    The figures suggest to me that it is time for Sanders to pull out and support one of the younger candidates with similar political views.

  2. I originally tipped Harris to be the contender but Gabbard destroyed her in the second “ debate “. CNN obviously to me unfairly blocked Gabbard from the third in case she did the same to Warren.

    I haven’t read Warren’s book but folk that have say it contains the opposite of what she says now.

    Biden may not live till the next election, his deterioration just in these Dem primaries it sadly remarkable leave alone in an election battle with Trump.

    I’ll give Sanders one thing, he’s honest.
    He’ll tell everyone how economically disastrous his policies will be.

    And forget about Booker, Robert Francis O’Rourke, Butters and the rest, they’re just in it for the book sale at this point.

    If the Dems had a chance with the middle ground they lost it with CNN shunning Gabbard.

  3. I haven’t read Warren’s book but folk that have say it contains the opposite of what she says now.

    Which book is that? She’s written 10.
    And which folks are you quoting? Your usual alt.right goons?

  4. CNN could not have blocked anyone from the debate – eligibility for the debate was set out in criteria laid down by the Democratic National Committee

  5. Saw a cynical comment that suggested that the Saudi’s flew the drones. The logic behind this comment was that the Sunni Saudis wanted to suck the US into a war against their enemy Shiite Iran. Unfortunately for the Saudis warmonger Bolton’s departure from the White house has just made this harder.
    The fact that the Shiite Houthi claim to be responsible doesn’t mean much. Some groups like to boost their cause by claiming responsibility for attacks without actually having to take the effort to actually mount the raid.
    Given our minute oil reserves it might be smart to get friendly with Iran to have access to alternative oil supplies.

  6. The other Geoff warned this blog several times that Australia’s oil reserves were not only very low, but below a level recommended by the Int’l Energy Agency (?)

    Chickens, the roost is just over here.

    (Of course, being – possibly – correct about matter A doesn’t entail being correct about everything he commented on.)

  7. Brian,

    It seems the Luxemburgers now see Mr Johnson as a vacant podium, after he wouldn’t stay for a Press conference.

    A columnist in the Grauniad said the PM had quickly morphed from Incredible Hulk to Incredible Sulk.

  8. Ambi:

    A columnist in the Grauniad said the PM had quickly morphed from Incredible Hulk to Incredible Sulk.

    Nah. His carer had had enough and thought he should go home straight away.

  9. Ambi your interest in quills is taking over as evidenced by your quip about chickens and roosts. Cup of tea, a Bex and a good lie down maybe? [I had to check whether it was “lie” or “lay”. Mirriam W says either is OK.]

    And about the other Geoff – what is your compelling evidence? Sorry Geoff M if you are watching, could not resist.

    Levity: Why do cows have hooves?
    Because they lactose…

  10. A good lie down sounds very pleasant, Geoff H.

    (If I were Mr J I would angrily ask if you were calling me a lier,
    and demand satisfaction: sharpened war-quills at three paces, seconds out of the ring please, all chicken coops to be covered with heavy cloths during proceedings, lest the snow flake chooks guess what happened to Aunty Cluck last week. They really are chicken when it comes time for coop-culling! As Senator Lambie would say, they need to “grow a pair”. Or as her recent interlocutor might express it, “harden up”!!)

    Could we stop using “BoJo” please, it reminds me of “ScoMo” too much.

    “Bozo” is fine.
    “PM Morrison” has a certain ring to it.

    Gee whizz, next you’ll be telling me HM Leader of the Opposition is called “Alby” or “Anty” or “Anti” or “Albo”.

    Why oh why can’t we restore a little decorum, everybody??


  11. Mr A,

    Why oh why can’t we restore a little decorum, everybody??

    That would be nice.

    I’ve never considered you a lier, lyre or a liar to date, although I am disappointed you’ve not spoken up when zoot and Ootz brazenly do. And that’s almost every comment they make.

    I recon your very honest.

    As for how we refer to National leaders, I’m up for trying “ UK PM Johnson “, “ Australian PM Morrison”, “ US President Trump “ etc, etc. That style of thing.
    But I’m not confident it’ll catch on.

  12. To illustrate the basis of my claim on the climate thread, that hard core deniers fit the pattern of sociopaths. Believe it or not, according to Cleckley’s The Mask of Sanity, and Robert Hare’s Hare Psychopathy Checklist on top of the list on traits of a sociopath :

    – Glibness and Superficial Charm.

  13. Exhibits #4635 and #4636.
    It’s pitifully and pathetically predictable really.

    Zoot could be ootz’s sockpuppet in some weird schizophrenic multi personality disorder sufferers medication error.
    ( whilst I mimic folk pretending to be backyard clinical psychologists that would benefit from seeing a real one )

  14. Jumpy:

    Zoot could be ootz’s sockpuppet in some weird schizophrenic multi personality disorder sufferers medication error.
    ( whilst I mimic folk pretending to be backyard clinical psychologists that would benefit from seeing a real one )

    You are sounding stressed and close to losing it Mr J. In case you have forgotten, true blue Aussie male culture values being able to laugh at yourself.

  15. Oh Sigmund, while you’re here, two and a half years ago you wrote

    $550 million in reality will be closer to $1.2 billion.
    Screen shot that and in 2 year we shall see.

    What were you talking about and how did it turn out?

  16. Ambi, I didn’t invent BoJo, but adopted it for two reasons. I was 57 years old when I first used a typewriter, fingers not fleet, had a triple bypass when 60 and one of the effects was that the incidence of hitting the key next door (or hitting both keys) especially with my left hand, increased at that point and remains.

    Secondly, it seems to me to capture an appropriate disrespect he richly deserved. Pretty much the same with ScoMo.

    OTH, Albo and for that matter Jumpy (it was originally jumpinmcar, or something similar) and indeed Ambi are normal Ossie forms based on endearment.

    If you would prefer Ambigulous then so shall it be.

    I have a surname (Bahnisch) which people hardly ever get right. According to the Silesian German dialogue it’s ‘Bay-nish’, but in standard or high German or Hochdeutsch it’s Bähnisch, which is pronounced ‘Bair-nish’. I often get Banish, which I don’t particularly like for obvious reasons.

    Growing up I had nicknames, first Schnups, then Jumbo, which both have their own origins and history.

  17. Zoot: One problem with some markets is that “long term” is what happens after lunch. Bit of a problem for industries that involve investments that may last for forty years. (Think power stations.)

  18. Probably I’m pining (not Pyneing) for those days of yore when the ABC and serious newspapers would refer to “the Prime Minister Mr Whitlam” or “the Prime Minister Mr Holt “.

    Unfortunately we have no control over nicknames.

    One of my favourite moments of Aussie political comedy occurred when HM Opposition Leader Billie Mackie Snedden circa 1974 informed Canberra journalists that he would henceforth be referred to as Bill Snedden because:

    “Billie is a diminuitive name and I am not a diminuitive person”

    Thank heavens he didn’t possess a name suggesting pomposity!!

    Here is an amateur guidebook to names, for your learned perusal:

    Whitlam – wit, whippet
    Holt – full stop
    Fraser – speechwriter
    Kerr – canine?
    Menzies – old hotel in Queen Victoria’s State’s main town
    Albanese – white pizza topping
    Shorten – reduce everything except the odds
    Joyce – it’s a joke
    Bishop – chess piece
    Abbott – ecclesiastical chess piece
    Turnbull – able to argue any bulld*st and turn it into a winning courtroom triumph
    Pyne – soft timber
    Plibersek – never berserk
    Rudd – missing a K somewhere?
    Di Natale – all your Christmases at once
    Bush – sons of Am
    Trump – is it in some card game??
    Merkel – Mutti
    Bunga Bunga – a party for old men who never grew up
    Retail Politician – see ICAC
    Bracks – Bracksy
    Kennett – to be Jeffed is to suffer a grave misfortune
    Downer – misery
    Xanana – how on earth do you get Sha Na Na from that? Is it foreign or something?
    Ardern – alt. spelling of ‘ardent’
    Muldoon – Piggy
    Helen Clark – baritone
    Te Kanawa – soprano

    Over and out,

  19. Ambi: You could try sAMBO but some picky people might think that is racist.
    Or maybe AMBOH. Still sounds the same as what you want but implies that they don’t teach you to spell proper south of the border (Even though you claim to ride on high drays. (Or worse still, you went to one of those scruffy government schools that no legal high dray rider would ever send even their illegitimate children to.)
    Then again a name like QUILLY might capture your desire to be one of the class that rides high drays.
    Perhaps one of the other bloggers may have a stroke of brilliance?

  20. John

    Many thanks for your suggestions.

    The drays are higher than ever. If only the little man would properly clean the equine ordure off the wheels every evening!

    Perhaps Quilty??
    He appears in that rather nasty novel Lolita written in the 1950s by that emigre Vlad Nabokov.

    Quilty has a touch of Quill, some quilt, and a good old Aussie “y” sound on the end.

    Chrissy, cozzy, barby, Bracksy, etc.


  21. Quilty: We found moving to Queen Victoria land from from a part of the country where Aboriginal culture was still very influential an interesting experience. We were startled to find that very very shortly after meeting someone they would want to know what school you went to. (This is something like Aborigines wanting to work out what moiety you and your daughter’s dolls belonged to.) They also struggled to believe that my wife had studied French, Latin and German in an NSW regional, coal mining town public school.
    Then there was the way that words rarely used in the NT (like Mr and Mrs) were the common form of address from most people except real estate agents.
    Perhaps we would should simply call you sir or madam depending on your preference. (Or are you actually trying to become Australian?)

  22. There has never been a secession movement in this Province, sir.
    How very dare you.

    On the other hand Kalgoorlie Province had that Prince Leonardo, and there were Rum goings-on at Sydney Cove, we have been led to believe. The Queen Adelaide folk are more to our taste, fine Squatters and Vignerons and a putative Hegemony of Wealth with refined Gerrymander. As to Joh Province, well it’s certainly pleasant to visit during the skiing season (on the quaint hills of our Province and Sydneyvale). Please continue growing bananas.

    On a more serious note, yes indeed there was a class consciousness and snobbery throughout the upper middling strata. Possibly still strong…… These days the wealthy are just as likely to be Mediterranean landscapers or builders or property developers.

    In the 1950s they were regarded with scorn. They worked too hard in the hot sun. Accumulation, as in Aussie capitalism.

  23. Ambinni (using ancient Latin I think) I reckon it might be time for you to surrender your quill and upgrade to one of those new things called a biro. I seem to understand biro script better.
    Thank you

  24. There has never been a secession movement in this Province, sir.

    True, Ambi, but I’ve seen maps of Australia showing the states in terms of their relative importance as seen by the inhabitants of said state.

    Magically said state grew in size to out-do NSW and Qld combined!

    Must google and see if I can find it.

  25. Ah Sir, you hit the nail right on the head Herr Bahnisch.

    The reason we have never wished to secede is that the Centre never secedes. Only outlying parts, and provincials ever seek to sever ties with their elders and betters.

    That’s the nub of it.
    Hatters in Melbourne are well accustomed to provisioning we of the ever-swelling heads crowd.

    But look, there is value and a decent life to be enjoyed if yon outer Provinces learn to love their subordination.

    We are very much inclined to “live and let live”.

    Noblesse oblige.

  26. Ambi, I was on a committee once with 14 members, meant to have expertise, plus represent states and territories.

    5 of the 14 were Victorians, which they seemed to think was barely enough.

  27. My dear Brian, that sounds a little overdone.

    One would expect a single Expert, one in fourteen, to be able to guide a committee to the decisions best suited to Victoria’s The Nation’s interests.

    It sounds to me as if the Expert in question may have lacked the arrogance self-confidence which we in the Amazing State imbibe with the milk of our mother, or wet-nurse and nanny, if of the Bunyip Aristocracy, Esq.,
    Melb. Club, ANZ Board, MCC Member.

    I rest my quill.


  28. I have previously confessed to spending too much time on Trump, and I haven’t improved much since then.
    My first visit to the US was in 1956, then again in 1962 and 1966. And since the late 1990’s maybe seven more times – I married an American lass. I mention all that to show that I have a long history of contact with the US and an awareness of its presence and for want of a better word, it’s amenity.
    Over that time my naivety has been eroded and my initial view of US as “gods chosen country” has become tarnished. But aside from my own changed perspective the US has changed, and notably in the period of Trump.

    Trump has, it seems to me, no underpinning floor of truth or fact. Most of us rely upon fact as supporting a contention, and we will use that to defend our position. Trump is not hampered by fact or prior statements, he just says what appears to be right at that moment. Later, on the same topic, he will make claims that are inconsistent with his prior words as if he never spoke them. Truth and fact are not, never were part of his game unless by coincidence. And his supporters swallow that like blotting paper soaks up an Ambi inkblot.
    Now add in Trump’s disdain (and ignorance) for law and due process – again supported by his Party people – where he is blatantly defying law and order, blurring those lines between legislative and executive elements of government, literally undercutting the deep confidence in American legal process.
    You can say, probably correctly, that the US has been corrupt for an extremely long time, but Trump has noticed that you can bring corruption out of the shadows into bright light and get away with it. And those supposed to provide the checks and balances are proving to be totally impotent, unable to launch meaningful attacks on the breaches.
    Now we can look at Trumps “foreign policy” if it can be called that with a serious face. He embraces dictatorships as allies and insults long-time friends even when standing on their soil.
    He has overseen the loss of US primacy in SE Asia and lost the confidence of many nations that if there is a fight, the US will be there to support them.
    The trade war was an attempt to redress some legitimate claims by the US that China held too much of a trade surplus over the US and that they stole intellectual property. However, the handling of the dispute has proved inept if you forgive my understatement. There have been many externalities affecting economies and corporations all over the world. It’s impossible to believe that the American grievances could not have been addressed more artfully.
    There is am immediate issue in the US. There is a news item covering a whistle blower. I’m going to call it “whistlegate”.
    On probabilities, there is a good chance someone, probably Trump has done something wrong. But more concerning, IMHO, is the interference with due process at this high level of government. And there seems to be no way to stop it, no policeman to call, no enforcement of the rules available. That’s the power of a dictator. A dictatorship, e.g. North Korea, dispatches threats to the boss. So does Trump. And yet Trump is careening on.
    Can it get worse? Yup, and we can speculate on that. But right now we have our prime minister in the US all but fell*ting Trump in public, whilst back home many thousands of schoolkids are admonished by politicians for climate protests. And if you give it a thought, most of those kids were therewith the support of their parents so you can add that number into the protest as inferred support.
    Lastly, about the climate change protest – what a showing of support. And their number can only grow as the child population matures.
    A great chance for a political party to read the tea leaves and prepare to govern.

  29. Meanwhile, in British Labour, Jon Lansman would like Student Labour abolished* and the Deputy Leader position abolished*.

    This just before the annual conference and just before a General Election??

    * both said to be not keen supporters of the Corbynista camp.

  30. Jumpy maybe Warren or an advanced iteration of Lee Enfield.

    Mind you, I don’t think Trump being re-elected is impossible at all. So far the Dems are unimpressive. They are relying on Trump’s stench to push them over the line sort of by default. I think they will need show a few more positive reasons to boost their chances. And you don’t see a lot of push-back on Trump, you only see what CNN etc. put out. You could be forgiven for thinking that Americans don’t see what is happening. After all, much of their media is captive by larger vested interests.

    Can you answer your question Jumps?

  31. GH: Who do you think the Republican candidate should be? Or is there something in the rules or conventions that says a president has the right to run for a second term?

  32. GH, JD has a good question. Trump has captured the Republican Party.

    But you are right IMHO. Trump has possibly crossed a line.

  33. Geoff

    Can you answer your question Jumps?

    From the start I’ve thought Tulsi Gabbard was they’re best hope but CNN cherrypicked surveys ( some that didn’t even have her as an opinion) rather than the aggregate.

    She was polling Nationally far better than Klobuchar and Castro and even Booker.

    It’s easy to see that the MSM and DNC want Warren with possibly Harris as her running mate and they can’t have Gabbard exposing their hypocrisy in any more debates.

  34. Just out of interest, and to anyone interested in motorcycling, Charley Boorman and Ewan McGregor are doing another documentary.
    This time on Harley Davidson Livewires ( electric ).
    They will be supported by a few trucks and vans ( and presumably diesel generators) with a Rivian R1T electric being at least one of them.

    Should be interesting.

  35. Jumpy thanks for that. I don’t know these guys but I do recall two plus-size ladies tooting around the mother country last century.
    Electric Harley’s? Half the fun of a Harley is the engine noise that is a little like a motorised chaff-cutter. Maybe they could synthesise the noise and play it as they ride.
    And has Trump side them yet for being environmentally responsible?

  36. Geoff,
    I think Harley-Davidson are trying to diversify into other potential customer areas.
    They’re bring out an ADV called the Pan America too.

    Let’s face it, the traditional HD fan want the throb, rattle, sound and oil stain on the driveway. They’re not going to be interested. There’s a bit of a status thing the older the Harley is.

    A mate of mine has 2, an old Knuckle for gatherings and a new 100 cubic inch ( 1639 cc ) if he wants to get somewhere and also home.

    The customers will decide the Livewires success regardless of who is President.
    Unless of course Trump praises it, then CNN will say it’s a Hitler bike that kills brown immigrant transsexuals. Therefore sales will skyrocket outside the inner city.

  37. Nice that Harley is investing in post-Jurassic technology. They even have a trike with an electrically powered reverse.

  38. JD about whom the Republican candidate should be.
    I think the incumbent has some claim to be the preferred candidate. That’s not saying he/she is best, just that probabilities are perceived as in favour of the person that won last time.
    Trump has broken a lot of rules but there seems little Republican concern, out of fear or ignorance maybe.
    Who then would be best? Not many to choose from so far. In some states they have eliminated primaries and that limits contenders standing as Republicans.
    For my part, a Republican victory in 2020 with Trump would be catastrophic, because Trump would view that as a global endorsement of his crazy careening governance. What he would do with that “power” is scary.

  39. And for some reason a portion of the US population want to undermine their Constitution, the main thing that puts a limit on the Government.
    Do they not comprehend the power increase they give their preferred “ dear leader “ will be used and increased by the ones they dread too.
    The heads/tails, red/blue two party cycle is normal.

    Both red and blue are guilty of this as the Libertarians in the middle just shake our heads.

  40. As Donald Trump and his Republican enablers have demonstrated, the Constitution can be safely ignored, particularly if the opposition don’t control Congress, and even more so if they are as timid as the current bunch. Perhaps Pelosi is anticipating pulling the sort of stunts Moscow Mitch has employed.

  41. As Donald Trump and his Republican enablers have demonstrated, the Constitution can be safely ignored,

    A few example please, can’t think of any of the top of my head.
    Ta, 🙂

  42. Try Article I, Section 9, Paragraph 8 and Article II, Section 1, Paragraph 7 for starters.
    I’m sure a constitutional scholar like you will find others.

  43. JD

    Jumpy: Any particular reason for supporting Tulsi Gabbard?

    She’s got the guts to be interviewed by conservatives, that’s a start to win the Presidency given the US political demographic and ignoring the woke minority on Twitter.

    And I’m not supporting her, to me she’s the lesser damaging of the Dem Marxists.

  44. Jumpy please allow me to comment without rancour that not only is your bar set too low but it is somehow misshapen and skewed.
    And the Marxist tilt?

  45. Jumpy: Julia may be OK from your viewpoint at the moment given that she is not polling well against Trump. However, in a land without compulsory voting and systems in some states that make it hard for some groups to vote the real polling question should be “who would you actually be willing to go to the polling booths to vote for?” The answer might be dramatically different for the question “who do you prefer?”
    The other obvious question is where the votes will go when some of the early candidates.
    Agree with you that candidates that are willing to take on hostile interviewers is what is needed for the Democrats at this stage.

  46. I don’t usually follow the minutiae of pre-Primary jousting, but I agree with those who admire any candidate who willingly steps beyond “soft interviews” with sympathetic reporters.

    Not sure that there are any (or many) Marxists in the US Democratic Party? Mostly centrists or centre-right in Aussie terms, with a very small number of “democratic socialists” such as Bernie. Who, by the way, like Mr Biden is too old to run IMO.

    There were Marxists in the old CPUSA and there would still be a few in any Trotskyite or Maoist grouping – if such Parties still exist over there.

    At present, one of the largest concentrations of Marxists in leadership in a major Party would I think be in British Labour Party (the latest opinion poll there has a Tory lead over Labour widening to 13%).

    By the way, I think it’s about bl**dy time the Democratic Party stopped sooking over Pres Trump’s victory. Hand wringing and hissy fits.

    Time for policies and reason. Debate the Republicans. Talk to the so-called rust belt States. Invite a hillbilly to lunch, or an unemployed woman, or a very poor person with their kids. Stop patronising them; there are elections coming.

    Let Us Now Praise Famous Men.

  47. At my alma mater shindig yesterday I met an American who came to school here in the 1960s but then went back to the US. He was puzzling as to how the ‘liberals’ over there could equate to Labor here.

    I told him the ‘liberals’ there would be Liberals here, but only some of the Liberals here. The dominant faction of the Liberals here were actually conservative.

    “Aha!” he said.

    He then told me that he had two daughters living in the US. Otherwise he’s probably come here to join his brother who had stayed and made a life here.

    It was actually the only sensible exchange I had about politics all day.

  48. Ambi: When my American son first went to the US he commented that John Howard would be considered left wing extremist by US standards. It is a different world.

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