Weekly salon 28/1

1. Australia Day 2020

Australians seem to like doing crazy things on Australia Day, like pie-eating competitions and wrestling crocodiles. This time an innocent lamington-eating competition went horribly wrong when a Hervey Bay woman choked and died.

Laura Tingle asks seriously As we approach Australia Day, do we even know who we are as a nation?

She says this year:

    we seem to be surpassing our usual ration of clichés about beaches, barbecues, and revelling in our egalitarian ordinariness.

    Of course these days we pay at least some respect and recognition to Indigenous Australia, while skirting around the controversy of what they think about the marking of our national day on January 26.

    But this year there are more than just the usual clichés about Aussie-ness. We have drought and fire and rain all at once, and on a scale that has made the world sit up and take notice.

She says the Bridget McKenzie sports rort affair of political bad behaviour seems an appropriate cliché for what we are, or what we tolerate, these days.

The bushfires have changed the way we see ourselves, but instead of a sensible conversation everything morphs into the culture wars.

Speaking of culture she says we need to talk about whether culture actually matters to us.

    Recent research has highlighted how the Federal Government’s spend on culture in its broadest forms — everything from film and music to museums and local events — has fallen in the last decade, and fallen as a share of the total spend by different levels of government.

    The Federal Government now contributes 39 per cent of total government spending, down from 45.7 per cent a decade ago, while state and territory governments contribute 34.8 per cent, up from 31.9 per cent, and local governments contribute 26.2 per cent, up from 22.4 per cent.

To the Feds it’s more about jobs than it is about creativity and telling our stories. So we are:

    spending half a billion dollars expanding the Australian War Memorial, while cutting the funding of many of our other museums and galleries, [which] suggests a certain lopsidedness in what it is we value remembering these days.

    Our natural landscape may have become a vast barren and bleak place this summer.

    But we have to ask ourselves whether our cultural landscape has to be that way too.

Someone pondered the other day whether, if we had no such thing as a public library, any government would consider spending a buck on such an idea.

In Oz I think the answer is self-evident.

2. Brand Australia takes on a new look

Laura Tingle’s column also appears in the opinion pages of the AFR. On the front page last weekend they highlighted:

    2020 REVISION

    A burnt-out landscape. A war zone of dead wildlife. Unbreathable air. A smoke-damaged vintage. A laggard on climate change. Advertising alone won’t repair Australia’s image problem.

In tourism, and in food exports, Australia has traded on its clean, green image. Now the Government is going to shovel $76 million of the bushfire aid into tourism advertising, with $20 million persuading us to take holidays at home.

That is the incomparable David Rowe in the AFR where they tell us:

    The government now faces disruption within its two biggest export markets behind coal and iron ore: tourism and education. Tourism employs one in 13 Australians and is worth $152 billion a year, where international tourist arrivals account for $45 billion of that figure – second only in export earnings to mining. The international student business is just behind tourism, contributing in excess of $38 billion to our annual bottom line.

According to Tourism Australia, 1.42 million people visited Australia from China in the 12 months to September 2018, spending $11.5 billion.

Greg Jericho says he loves the sunburnt country but If you love Australia, climate change should scare the hell out of you. Moreover, Scott Morrison’s stance on climate change makes it harder for future governments to undo his damage. This is the shape of the task that would face an Albanese government to repair the damage of the Morrison policies, given that, according to the science, you can’t just ignore all the emissions that should not have been released during the Morrison delinquency:

You can’t call yourself clean and green if continue to pollute with greenhouse gases unabated.

3. Coronavirus strikes

Seems the problem comes from eating, or getting too friendly with bats and snakes.

Here’s where Hubei Province is:

The are locking down Wuhan, a city of 11 million people, and there was talk of locking down the whole province, nearly 60 million people. Some are questioning whether the official figures are underdone. The authorities are taking emergency action to build two extras hospitals in a matter of weeks.

Clearly our tertiary education industry could be impacted. The virus may be the 2020 ‘black swan’ event.

Now Coronavirus ban puts quarter of Chinese tourism to Australia at risk.

The blessing with this one is that it is not inherently deadly, like ebola or the bubonic plague. However, it is highly contagious on the person-to-person basis.

This site monitors its spread, showing that cases have occurred all over China.

4. Environment now our top worry

The environment has now catapulted to the top of the list of Australians’ biggest worries, leapfrogging cost of living, healthcare and the economy, writes Jessica Irvine in the SMH:

Something to think about from Ipsos researcher Daniel Evans:

    “When we unpacked the reasons why Australians selected the environment, people mostly attributed their worry to climate change, drought and bushfire. Some linked these topics, and others discussed climate change and drought in relation to natural resource management failings related to water and bushland. Comments were also made about waste, consumption, population growth and plastics.”

    Participants were asked which political party they felt was best able to address their environmental concerns.

    Generation X, Millenials and Gen Z’ers ranked the Greens highest, while Baby Boomer and Builders nominated the Coalition.

    No age cohort put Labor first to manage the environment.

74 thoughts on “Weekly salon 28/1”

  1. Two things:
    1. I’m surprised our Mackay correspondent hasn’t castigated you for repeating the lies (by omission!) of Laura Tingle.
    2. No age cohort put Labor first to manage the environment. seems to me the same kind of thinking as the Coalition are better economic managers.
    The human race really is too f*cking stupid to save itself.

  2. Just on ‘culture’, I would say that
    Recent research has highlighted how the Federal Government’s spend on culture in its broadest forms — everything from film and music to museums and local events — has fallen in the last decade, and fallen as a share of the total spend by different levels of government.

    may be true as far as it goes, but to apply the prism of Federal Dollars to ‘culture’ is to so grievously misunderstand ‘culture’ as to render it almost meaningless.

    where to start?
    The skill, knowledge and courage of a volunteer firefighter are for many of us valued more highly than the $ it cost to provide a volunteer firefighter with safety clothing and equipment.

    Frankly, I don’t much care how many millions of $ Alan Bond paid for a van Gogh; the painting has a human value, regardless.

    A dollar measure misunderstands and misrepresents ‘culture’.

  3. Ambi, I’m not sure what you’re getting at.
    Does funding firies have to be at the expense of community theatre (plucking an example out of the air)?
    In my perfect world instead of pissing money up the wall represented by french submarines we would fund a fulltime professional, properly equipped, mobile fire fighting force.
    And I don’t think the Feds paid for Bond’s grandstanding in the art market – it was the poor buggers who invested in Bell Group – another triumph of unfettered capitalism.

  4. Well I’ve read La Tingle’s piece for about the fifth time now and I think she basically agrees with Ambigulous, always with the caveat that I may be wrong. Relevant quotes:

    It seems we don’t mind government support for job subsidies in an industry, but we don’t want to provide government support based on the idea that there may be any intrinsic merit in cultural or artistic output.

    It is striking that submissions to last year’s Senate inquiry on the economic and cultural value of Australian content emphasised the impact film sets had on local economies; on how much had been spent at the local Bunnings store, rather than the intrinsic merit of the stories that were being told.

  5. The decisions that are killing the future of coal are being made in boardrooms, not by political parties https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-28/why-finance-is-fleeing-fossil-fuels/11903928

    “Last week, that message was rammed home rather forcefully by the Bank of International Settlements, the governing body of the world’s central banks, including our own Reserve Bank.

    In a paper entitled Green Swan, the BIS warned central banks that bad loans on power stations and mines could spark the next financial crisis.
    Should that occur, central banks could be forced to pick up the tab, just as they had to wade into mortgage markets during the global financial crisis.

    Most global banks already are acutely aware of the dangers. That’s why no-one will commit to financing the Adani mine in Queensland’s Galilee Basin.
    Coal mines and coal fired power stations are projects with very long life spans that require huge amounts of capital.”

  6. John, if you are logged on you can ‘edit’ your comments and you will find there all the tools above the box that we used to have.

    I’ve put your quote in ‘blockquote’.

    Ambi & zoot, yes the whole concept of ‘culture’ is difficult to talk about. I think Tingle was making a comment about our national priorities and what that says about us.

  7. The number of coronavirus cases has now moved to 5578, with 131 deaths. That’s around 2.3%. I heard last night that mortality is around 3%.

    A further consideration is that all but 6 of the deaths have been in Hubei Province. There I presume people who are older and more frail have been infected in greater number, whereas people elsewhere who have been travelling might be presumed to be younger and fitter.

    I’m wondering whether the mortality rates are much different from common garden variety flu.

  8. Thanks zoot, Brian.

    To open a new topic: HOW GOOD IS CHRISTMAS ISLAND??!!

    (I hope the evacuees get to the Australian mainland when the medicos say it’s OK.)

    Scotty discovers Medevac*

    * Medical Evacuation

    Mr A

  9. “”(I hope the evacuees get to the Australian mainland when the medicos say it’s OK.)””

    Of course, they’re Australian citizens legally entering the Country, not illegal people smuggler paying country shoppers.

  10. You don’t see any irony then, Mr J?

    The daily news is a good source of gallows humour, if you look around a bit.

  11. Meanwhile, apropos of a Senate far, far away,
    The Wall Street Journal says that John Bolton should tell the public what he knows.

  12. On the basis of one ABC news story, it appears Bolton will be silenced because what he is alleged to have already said is top secret (or something).
    I used to have some respect for Alan Dershowitz, but listening to him tie himself in knots soon cured that.

  13. “” I used to have some respect for Alan Dershowitz….””
    What, when he was defending OJ Simpson, Harvey Weinstein and Jeffery Epstein ?

    But defending Trump makes him suddenly deplorable, got it.

  14. What, when he was defending OJ Simpson, Harvey Weinstein and Jeffery Epstein ?

    Yes. Every person on trial deserves representation.

    But defending Trump makes him suddenly deplorable, got it.

    No. What part of “listening to him tie himself in knots” did you not understand?

  15. Alan Dershowitz has a much wider record than that, as a lawyer who’s often been written about by journalists and others operating in the public eye, Mr J.

    By the way, it’s not unusual for someone with Mr Bolton’s recent employment, to submit a manuscript for “security vetting”. (I saw a memoir written by former diplomat and spy Valerie Plame, so heavily redacted that some pages were heavily smudged in black. Yet it was published by a commercial publisher.)

    It’s not unknown for someone as experienced as Mr Bolton, to be able to give evidence on the record, without revealing State secrets. It happens now and then in the UK, USA. Perhaps even in Canberra?

  16. Here are three links to the Dershowitz intervention:

    From Politico Dershowitz’s power play and a Trump team stumble: The moments that mattered in the Senate Q&A

    From the SMH Trump’s celebrity lawyer stuns with impeachment defence

    From Raw Story ‘It’s We the People — not you the douchebag’: Colbert clobbers Alan Dershowitz’s claim Trump can’t do anything illegal

      Dershowitz, a member of Trump’s legal team, said a president could do virtually anything — including engaging in a quid pro quo for a purely political benefit — as long as it’s in service of winning reelection.

      “Every public official that I know believes that his election is in the public interest,” Dershowitz said on the Senate floor, responding to a question about how presidents conduct foreign policy. “And if a president did something that he believes will help him get elected — in the public interest — that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment.”

    On Dershowitz’s view, Richard Nixon would have been unimpeachable and should have been praised for doing what was in the public interest.

    I think Dershovitz has a few soulmates with hands on the levers of power in Oz.

  17. Brian – Reagan or Tricky Dicky?

    (Disclaimer: I firmly believe old Ronnie should have been impeached for a couple of things, but I don’t remember it being mooted)

  18. Tricky too.

    The break-in at the Watergate Hotel was intended to go through DNC files, as I recall (one rumour was that Tricky wanted to link Senator McGovern to el Presidente Fidel Castro).

    Quite clearly it was in the public interest that R. M. Nixon be re-elected, so if a break-in would assist then a break-in it had to be.
    🙁

    Some Congressmen around 1973, 1974 wanted R. M. Nixon to be impeached over the (secretive) bombing of Cambodia, but that count wasn’t presented. These things involve compromises.

    Iran-Contra was exceedingly murky, but was carried out by Patriots All. Nothing to see there. Move on, pesky Congresspersons….

  19. Judge zoot, please explain.

    If a first-term President of USA decides it’s in the public interest for her/him to be re-elected, and she/he undertakes dubious or improper acts to help make her/his re-election more likely, thereby advancing the interests of the nation, should she/he be immune from removal by impeachment, si?

    But Judge, wouldn’t that require a Constitutional amendment?
    But that too would be in the public interest….

    Knots everywhere.

  20. That’s why I know longer respect Dershowitz.
    When he appeared on LNL with Phillip Adams I didn’t particularly like him (Jumpy please note) but he was at least logical and he made some excellent points regarding the workings of the law.
    Now he’s just spouting nonsense.

  21. Additional point for m’learned colleague to contemplate.
    If I heard him correctly Alan “Underwear” Dershowitz maintained that any politician standing for office would be above the law as long as they believed they were acting in the public interest. His argument wasn’t confined to incumbent Presidents. Sheer lunacy.

  22. “”If a first-term President of USA decides it’s in the public interest for her/him to be re-elected, and she/he undertakes dubious or improper acts to help make her/his re-election more likely, thereby advancing the interests of the nation, should she/he be immune from removal by impeachment, si? “”
    Well Obama wasn’t apparently according to the media. In his last term too, according to the media.

    Just face it, the impeachment process is a political one, not a legal one. Trump hasn’t committed any dubious or improper acts to help make her/his re-election more likely than every other US President.

    Obama wiretapped Trump during the campaign for pities sake, spying on AP journalists, Libya, getting the IRS to concentrate audits on political opponents……
    All unimpeachable according to ABCs favourite trustworthy US news outlets CNN, NPR, MSNBC, NYT, WaPo… you know.

  23. Just face it, the impeachment process is a political one, not a legal one.

    Yes, that’s why it is a process which takes place in the Legislative Branch

    Trump hasn’t committed any dubious or improper acts to help make her/his re-election more likely than every other US President.

    Yes he has – abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Previous Presidents who were impeached for the same high crimes and misdemeanors were Nixon and Clinton.

    Obama wiretapped Trump during the campaign

    No he didn’t.
    I don’t know why you’re so upset, your favourite president won’t be removed (he’ll stay impeached forever though).

  24. My favourite President Chopper George from xxxxxxxxx Golf Course was Impeached!?>???

    Was it for lowering green fees, improving the Course, improving the books or getting more regular players?

    Oh, hang on, it was his etiquette…..

  25. Lawyer Jumpy

    Of course Pres Obama could have been impeached. It’s a process rarely used. Please note: high crimes and misdemeanors . However you interpret that phrase, it was intended to set a HIGH bar.

    Nixon: authorizing burglary of DNC offices then covering up his links to the crime (obstruction of justice, etc) Apparently it was the second burglary that was noticed and led to the arrest, red-handed, of the criminals.

    Clinton: lying under oath and thereby undermining the justice system; physical evidence included a stained frock. (Earlier investigations by Ken Starr of other scandals led to no impeachment articles. Whitewater etc.)

    Trump: learned counsel zoot has provided the charge sheet.

    To enable some political stability, I think it’s fair enough to set a high bar for removal through impeachment.

    In Westminster Parliaments we have “a motion no confidence”, an early election, resignation before the end of a term, voting out by one’s own Party, etc. as ways of removing a PM.

    Compare and contrast.

  26. Jumpy

    I only mentioned a President’s first term because Mr Dershowitz was talking about re-election.

    Re-election.

    By the way, those keen on history might share my delight that the committee devoted to the re-election of President R.M. Nixon was
    CREEP
    Committee to Re-Elect the President.

    What a skill with acronyms some folk have, eh?

    (Watch out, Mr J, you’ll have a few of the old timers getting misty-eyed about those golden years of Getting Tricky Out.

    Simpler times. But he made it fairly easy for the Press…….
    oh what a tangled web we weave, when we first essay to deceive Bill Shakespeare. )

  27. Re-election like when Obama got caught on a hot mic telling Medvidev ( and by extension Putin ) that he’d have more flexibility after his 1st term election ?

    Good old etiquette and media support trumps positive outcomes in Dem world.

    By the way, are Princess Adhern and blackface Trudeau illegitimate leaders due to loosing the popular vote as Trump did
    ?
    Perhaps Von Davidson ( VD ) may care to help you with that conundrum.

  28. Well, my own view is that Mr Trump was elected under their Electoral College system, and the “national vote” is of academic interest only. Secretary Clinton was a poor candidate and her campaign team was apparently not alive to candidate Trump’s prospects in some States.

    One measure of how low grade a candidate she was, was her eventual loss to a bloke revealed as a boorish, a lady-grabber and lady-groomer, barely coherent in press conferences or Twits. A man of infantile bragging and vindictive to boot.

    Hillary demanded election because she is female, and enough voters in enough States apparently thought, “Hang on, that’s not sufficient reason to vote for you, Secretary C.”

    The world and the US have to deal with the election of Pres T.

    John can answer for himself.

  29. Jumpy: As you well know John Van Scotland favours electoral systems that, among a number of things, mean that governments are formed by the party or coalition that wins the two party preferred vote. This does not mean that the successful party will always be the one that gets the most primary votes.
    In a electorally primitive country like the US with no preference voting and heavy duty rorting it is a bit hard to say who would have won if there had been a fair voting system that at least included some form of preference voting.

  30. Results just in from the 1917 Russian Constituent Assembly election of November 1917, with a 64% turnout of voters.

    Socialist Revolutionaries (led by Chernov):
    37.6% of the vote, 324 seats won of 767

    Bolsheviks (Lenin):
    23.3%, 183 seats

    Mensheviks (Martov):
    3.0%, 18 seats

    Cossacks (Kaledin):
    2.0%, 17 seats

    Cadets (Milyukov):
    4.6%, 16 seats

    These figures are from the Wikipedia article.
    A turnout of 64% is pretty good, considering the circumstances.

    Apparently these elections had been planned for months, after the Tsar abdicated. Wikipedia claims that many historians say they were the first free elections held in Russia.

    Held a couple of months after the Bolshevik coup in Petrograd. A strong showing by Lenin’s Party but not a majority, and certainly not the highest Party vote.

    For seven decades after their seizure of power, the Bolsheviks and their successors “controlled the present” in Russia.

    He who controls the present controls the past.
    He who controls the last controls the future.

    – Orwell

    Ingsoc.

  31. The US Senate voted 51-49 against calling witnesses in the trial of Pres. Trump.

    As many predicted, he’s most likely to be acquitted.

    Learned counsel zoot, does this establish a “Dershowitz Principle”, allowing future Preidents to undertake any actions designed to increase their likelihood of re-election, provided only that such re-election is manifestly in the public interest, in the opinion of the President who is wishing and hoping for re-election, and has formed a sincere and conscientious view on the matter – is indeed in unanimous agreement with himself on the question – and so help me God, I do solemnly swear that I will uphold the Constitution of these United States to the very best of my considerable abilities and genius-level intellect, and will win – yes, folks I am a winner – because what’s good for me and my family is good for America, which is on its way to Greatness but must forthwith be Made Great Again (again)

    So help us God.
    Amen

    Raise the Bible in your right hand, no grab it from the Chief Justice, what would he know about goddam swearing of oaths, my swearing was the best swearing there has ever been and OMG did you see the CROWDs???

  32. The founding fathers disagree with Dershowitz.
    Trump was never going to be removed from office but it concerns me that the Republicans didn’t even pretend to comply with the Constitution – stating publicly that they would in no way be impartial and then swearing an oath to be impartial.
    It does appear to be the end of the rule of law in the land of the free, or at least the system of checks and balances. The Senate has effectively voted to make the Executive more powerful than the Legislative Branch.

  33. Many thanks for this glimpse of the motivations the founding fathers had, for inserting “impeachment” into the new Constution.

    You are indeed a leaned friend of the court.

  34. All this New Found enthusiasm by Democrats for the US Constitution all of a sudden, wow !

    Trump did that.

  35. In any event, Pelosi and Schiff have been totally embarrassed and outplayed by McConnell they have to be booted.

    Either that or the Pee Tapes, Russia, Ukraine, DNC Steele Dossier, Obama’s kids in cages photos, Tax Returns, Greta and consensual pussy grabbing will persuade the Electorate that the eventual DemNom excites them enough to vote him out.

    Then again, there’s still time for another media hype outrage or three.

    Popcorn sales however are dwindling apparently.

  36. “”You are indeed a leaned friend of the court.””

    Leaned alright, he’s leaned so far left he’s past horizontal. Racist too, he admitted it.

  37. So Bill’s answer was more fake news, not surprised.

    Get ready for 4 more years of Trump Bill and zoot, your bubble is shrinking.

  38. Zoot, you admitted being a Racist, are you recanting you addition ?
    Hope so, I find racists disgusting.

  39. It is a bit hard to tell what effect the senate impeachment trail will have on the next presidency.
    There is a lot of dirt there on Trump but too much of the self righteousness is about digging for dirt on Biden when digging for dirt is practiced by both sides.
    The blocked request on Ukraine to dig dirt actually makes it harder for Biden to prove there was no dirt.
    If Biden is beaten in the primaries it may mean that the dems will go into the election with a weaker candidate. Then again, Sanders seems to be the one with passionate supporters that will work their guts out trying to get him in. (Seemed to work for Obama and Trump.)
    It is worth remembering that the last election pitted two of the most unpopular candidates against each other.

  40. too much of the self righteousness is about digging for dirt on Biden when digging for dirt is practiced by both sides.

    Trump wasn’t impeached because he dug for dirt. He was impeached because he used his power as President to withhold funding in an attempt to force Zelensky to announce an investigation. He abused his power.
    And if I recall the Bidens have been investigated already and found to have no case to answer.

  41. Zelensky didn’t know that funding was already on hold, before the phone call, and Trump didn’t mention funding.
    On the other hand Biden bragged ( YouTubes, go fetch) about withholding funding unless the Ukrainian Government prosecutor that was investigating his crooked Son be sacked. Abuse of power for personal gain right ?

    If Biden gets the nomination, which I doubt, then impeachment grounds have already been established.

    Personally I think Comrade Sanders is where I’d put money. And how could he be impeached, he’s never done anything, at all, no things done, zero stuff.
    That said, the DNC and left media is again blocking him, and his enthusiastic sheep could out-turnout the blasé donkeys.

  42. There was an opinion today on the BBC that the Democrats should have waited and assembled more evidence before they started. And their ‘experts’ think Trump is now a shoo-in to be re-elected.

    Zoot’s link says the founders included impeachment so that when the president falls under suspicion, a “regular and peaceable inquiry” is needed.


      The author says:

      I’ve read statements made at the Constitutional Convention that demonstrate the Founders viewed impeachment as a regular practice, with three purposes:

    • To provide a fair and reliable method to resolve suspicions about misconduct;
    • To remind both the country and the president that he is not above the law;
    • To deter abuses of power.

    Looks pretty straightforward to me.

    As the matter stands Trump has been impeached, but not removed. The fact that the Republicans would not admit witnesses makes it appear that they had prejudged the case.

    I’m thinking that come the election it will be old news and won’t make much difference either way.

  43. If Biden gets the nomination, which I doubt, then impeachment grounds have already been established.

    Surely that is a moot point since, as you have opined on a number of occasions, Trump is assured of winning the next election.
    But if you are in fact covering your arse, keep in mind the Republicans will need to win the House for any impeachment to occur (it’s a political process – remember?)

  44. Zelensky didn’t know that funding was already on hold, before the phone call, and Trump didn’t mention funding.

    That’s splitting hairs; if you “read the transcript” Trump didn’t need to mention assistance to Ukraine because Zelensky brought up the subject.

    I would also like to thank you for your great support in the area of defense. We are ready to continue to cooperate for the next steps specifically we are almost. ready to buy more Javelins from the United States for defense purposes.

    To which Trump replied

    I would like you to do us a favor though…

    Wherein lies the offence underpinning the first article of impeachment. It’s interesting that the defence has gone from “There was no quid pro quo” to “Of course it was a quid pro quo but the President is allowed to do it”.
    It’s also interesting that the President refused to allow anybody who could have cleared his name from testifying on his behalf. Most innocent people would welcome such testimony and it provided the foundation for the second article of impeachment.
    I disagree with Brian, I think this will still be an issue in November. Time will tell.

  45. Learned friend.

    As an overseas observer, might I disagree with Senior Counsel Jumpy?

    The piece on the founding fathers merely showed the type of misdemeanours that the founding fathers anticipated…. what might a President do, that would warrant her removal? What actions might she undertake that were so outrageous, that the nation would expect removal (not waiting until the next election for the voters to depose her).

    The piece set out WHY the “impeachment” process was invented.

    Both major Parties have used the process.

    Of course the Democrats are partisan.

    But impeachment, whatever Senior Counsel may think of it, is merely a well-established and very infrequently used mechanism in the US polity.

    You might as well fulminate that “the Democrats have suddenly become enthusiasts for the Capitol Building”.

  46. If Sanders wins the Presidency (an extremely big if) it will be similar to FDR’s win in 1932. It would be the result of a seismic change in mood of the populace and it would mark a renewal of all that’s good about our yankee cousins.
    I don’t think it will happen.

  47. Jumpy. John was adding information, making an argument, all those things you claim to value which were missing from penultimate comment.

  48. BilB

    Many years ago there was a light, comedic film
    Irma La Douce

    A newspaper somewhere embarrassed itself by printing an ad for the film headed

    Irma La Douche/em>

    How sweet.

  49. Irma La Douche

    How sweet.

    Leaned friend of the Court
    Some Lean-to, for Chambers
    Humpy-Do

    (Horizontal by Choice)

    Lean over by Choice
    rather than
    Bend under Compulsion

  50. Indeed, learned friend.

    Just found this gem, which I mean to share, if it pleases Your Honour:

    “I wonder that so many people have written, who might have let it alone.”
    – Dr Johnson

  51. “”The defense rests?””
    There was no attack, prosecutor or accusation, defence was never needed. Creating friction on smooth surfaces again zoot.

    Mr A, what is it exactly that you see of value in zoots body of commenting works ?
    I can’t see anything that would justify a nett positive rating in any conversational forum.

  52. Oh, Ambi, so it is really ch for Douchowitz. Corrected my typo typo. Typocal.

    I doubt that Irma was concerned, but I certainly hope Alan is.

  53. I’ve had diverse adventures today, including a long talk with Mark.

    He thinks Trump will win the next US election, and thinks of the remaining leading Dem candidates Biden has the best chance. However, he doesn’t think Biden was aver all that smart and is showing signs of cognitive decline.

    He thinks the Dems start picking their candidate too early, and have shed or are shedding 3 or 4 that would be better than the leading candidates.

    Tomorrow is the last day for me before a scheduled colonoscopy on Tuesday morning, so not fun. I’ve been working on a few posts, so a bit frustrated. New Salon will have to be next now.

  54. Coalition’s $165 million war chest that helped Scott Morrison win election revealed. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-03/political-donations-ahead-of-election-revealed/11923038.
    “The Liberal Party hoovered up $165 million in donations and other revenue in the year leading up to the federal election, surpassing Labor by more than $40 million.”
    If you add Palmers $90m anti Labor adds it is not unreasonable to suggest money made the difference that gave us this second rate government.
    In addition: “Behind Labor’s $126 million, the Greens received $20 million, the Nationals $16 million, Australian Conservatives $3.6 million and One Nation $3 million.”

  55. Sean Kelly in “The Age” offers some free advice to Federal Labor:

    Labor should aim as high as it can in question time. I don’t mean the Prime Minister – he will stay where he is. Its aim should be to push for the most powerful anti-corruption body possible. Labor should forensically question the government on specific features and cement those demands as part of the public debate.

    There is always a risk in campaigning on integrity – no party leader knows about every skeleton. But this government’s record of scandal over the past seven years has been awful. Also, it’s the right thing to do. It’s a gamble Labor should take.

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