Waiting for Wentworth

Current make-up of the House of Representatives

Liberal 44 + LNP 21 + National 10 = 75

Labor 69

Bandt + Katter + McGowan + Sharkie + Wilkie = 5

And then there is Wentworth

Under starter’s orders are

Candidate Name Party
CALLANAN Robert Katter’s Australian Party
KANAK Dominic Wy The Greens
HIGSON, Shayne Voluntary Euthanasia Party
GEORGANTIS, Steven Australian People’s Party
MURRAY, Tim Labor
FORSYTH, Ben Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party
ROBINSON, Tony Australian Liberty Alliance
GUNNING, Samuel Joseph Liberal Democrats
SHARMA, Dave Liberal
VITHOULKAS, Angela Independent
DOYLE, Deb Animal Justice Party
LEONG, Andrea Science Party
HEATH, Licia Independent
KELDOULIS, Barry The Arts Party
PHELPS, Kerryn Independent
DUNNE, Kay Sustainable Australia

The ABC has all the details https://www.abc.net.au/news/elections/wentworth-by-election-2018/

Antony Green’s take last night on the outcome was that, on primaries and after the distribution of preferences from the “minor” players, Sharma would finish first and Phelps and Murray second or third. If Phelps finished second she would get in on Labor preferences. If Murray finished second then who knows.

If Sharma were to lose then the L/NP would only have 75 seats and then they would have problems on any vote requiring an absolute majority to get passed.



368 thoughts on “Waiting for Wentworth

  1. Good grief!

    Jane Caro poised to run against Tony Abbott in seat of Warringah
    Writer says she worries about climate change and was encouraged by Kerryn Phelps’s result in Wentworth

    Why is this announcement being met with so much excitement? Jane Everywhere is not up to the job, she would be way out of her depth in parliament. It’s good she wants to have a go and run, but there are other candidates in Warringah who deserve support. Labor’s Dean Harris deserves to win and Warringah deserves to have someone of his calibre representing them. He actually lives in the electorate, unlike Caro and Abbott, who live in the electorate next door.

    Jane Caro is just another TV “personality” famous for getting her mug onto chat shows and breakfast TV who has little to offer voters looking for change.

    Now flame away – everyone but me seems to think this is a brilliant idea.

    • I admire her chutzpah in considering the move, but agree with you, Leone. She doesn’t have what it takes.

      I’d prefer serious consideration being given to where Tim Murray should be running at the next Federal election.

    • I think – not with great certainty, I admit – that Caro is doing this more to underline the options voters have than to make a serious run at Parliament. This helps to reinforce the current narrative that you can vote against ‘safe’ members and expect it to have an impact. People seem at the moment to be a lot more open to independent representation in Parliament, and less inclined to bow down to the old two-party model. Caro announcing a tilt at Warringah keeps that idea foremost.

      I can see the importance of someone getting out there and reinforcing that public attitude, before the Liberals attempt to wrest the narrative back. Maybe the most important feature of the past week was Morrison (and Howard to an extent) warning about the dangers of voting for a hung Parliament, and the people of Wentworth completely ignoring it. Even without complete control (having to negotiate with the Senate the entire time, for instance), the Coalition have wreaked havoc on the country under the claims of a ‘mandate’. I suspect people are sick of mandates, and are demanding a government that will listen to them. The SSM vote was the key moment there. And generally, there is a slow movement toward the public forcing policy onto governments. The Coalition have never been rewarded for talking down to the electorate; the only time things went their way was when they put up a PM with a reputation for progressivism. And once he betrayed the country the mood became ugly out here.

      The Liberals are dinosaurs. They’d rather die than accept the obligations of climate change, and their craven genuflecting to big business is something they have no plans to modify. But it’s pissing people off, and they must surely realise by now there’s no way to sell their rank conservatism to us. Morrison’s crappy speech last night reflected more the dead end of their ideology than anything else. He talks Shorten because his party is dead-set against anything Australians might actually want.

      Caro is simply expanding the idea of individual seats killing off individual pieces of deadwood. Whether it works for her or not, I don’t know. But it will probably destroy Abbott.

  2. Part 8: Appalachia (Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia)

    In West Virginia incumbent Democratic Senator Joe Manchin is favoured for reelection despite the heavy Republican lean of the state. While in Tennessee the race to replace outgoing Republican senator Bob Corker turned into a contest when former Democratic governor Phil Bredesen stepped in to the race against the Republican nominee Congressman* Marsha Blackburn. While polls did show Blackburn widening the gap after the race being close, at least one poll is indicating that the race is tightening again.

    * Blackburn calls herself Congressman rather than Congresswoman.

    House of Representatives
    There are two potentially competitive races in this region. In Kentucky’s 6th district, based on Lexington, polls are showing a tight race between incumbent Republican Andy Barr and his Democratic challenger Amy McGrath in a seat that Trump won by 16 percent (which was actually his narrowest district win in this region).
    Additionally Democrats appear to have an outside chance of winning West Virginia’s 3rd District. Trump won 73 percent in this district but it is ancestrally Democratic and polls give their candidate Richard Ojeda a chance of winning. The remaining districts include 13 safe Republican districts and 3 safe Democratic districts.

    In Tennessee, incumbent Republican governor Bill Haslam, is set to be easily reelected. The governorships in Kentucky and West Virginia are not up for election.

    State Legislatures
    Tennessee House of Representatives (All 99 seats up for election): Republicans 74 seats, Democrats 25 seats. Democrats need to gain 25 seats to win control.
    Tennessee State Senate (18 of 33 seats up for election): Republicans: 26 seats, Democrats: 5 seats with 2 vacancies. Democrats need to gain 12 seats to win control

    Ballot Measures
    In West Virginia there is a ballot measure that would alter the state’s constitution to state that there is no right to abortion or abortion funding. While the wording does not expressly ban abortions it would ensure that laws allowing abortions in the event of Roe v Wade being overturned would run afoul of the state’s constitution. No polls appear to have been conducted for this measure

    • Bits I forgot

      Kentucky House of Representatives (All 100 seats up for election): Republicans: 63 seats, Democrats: 37 seats. Democrats need to gain 14 seats to win control.
      Kentucky State Senate (19 of 38 seats up for election): Republicans: 27 seats, Democrats: 11 seats. Democrats need to gain 9 seats to win control.

      West Virginia House of Delegates (All 100 seats up for election): Republicans: 64 seats, Democrats: 36 seats. Democrats need to gain 15 seats to win control.
      West Virginia State Senate (17 of 34 seats up for election): Republicans: 22 seats, Democrats: 12 seats. Democrats need to gain 6 seats to win control.

  3. At the bottom of the last page Fiona asked what Victorians think of the level crossing removals

    I am only indirectly effected by the level crossing removals

    My friends in Bentleigh are rapt that the line is underground
    I reckon the new Southland Railway Station makes shopping much easier for people from Frankston to Glenhuntly

    In Pakenham the locals are whinging about the congestion caused by the level crossing at McGregor Rd. The rapid increase in population in a former sleepy country town has caused traffic congestion even on wet Saturdays.

    In Victoria there are advertisements from the state government offering you $50 for checking that you have the cheapest electricity and gas plan. I think this is because when Kennett privatised the energy monopolies the state government lost information about current energy demand and the state lost the ability to plan future energy usage

    • User accounts?

      By my reckoning, ninety percent of who have “confidential information” on accounts, have no idea.

      They wouldn’t know the privacy hat could protect them. Not less how to use them.

      Government at all three levels has no interest in educating them.

      Ombudsmen have lost their powers. The Auditor-General ha bee silenced from publishing from legislation.

  4. Good morning Dawn Patrollers,

    Peter Hartcher says that voters will punish Liberals’ factional parlour games.
    Paul Kelly says he first lesson from Wentworth is don’t change prime ministers when you have a one-seat majority.
    Crowe and Wroe look at what Wentworth will do to the simmering internal tensions within the government.
    And David Crowe says that the evidence is in: Last week’s messy sitting of Parliament cost Dave Sharma in Wentworth.
    Dennis Shanahan says the Wentworth by-election is a disaster for the Coalition and Scott Morrison. They are in deep trouble — divided, conflicted over the past and future, at odds about what the swing in Wentworth means and looking to blame each other for the debacle.
    And Richo opines that the damage to the Liberals is incalculable.
    Simon Benson explains how Malcolm Turnbull has come under fire from angry Coalition figures for failing to issue a public endorsement for Dave Sharma.
    Michelle Grattan escribes Wentworth as the canary in the coal mine.
    Trent Zimmermann writes that it would be a mistake to dismiss Wentworth result as a one-off.
    Phil Coorey tells us that Morrison has attributed a record swing against his government at the Wentworth byelection to an angry backlash over dumping Malcolm Turnbull and says there will be no adjustments to policy, including on climate change.
    Greg Jericho uses the term “clown car government” to describe Morrison’s problems.
    Lisa Visentin dissects polling patterns within Wentworth.
    Letters to the SMH editor have really given Morrison a message.
    And the editorial says that Morrison is well and truly facing a new political reality and it says he thought he could take the voters of Wentworth for fools.
    Jennifer Hewett writes that Morrison will use Sunday’s pull-back in Kerryn Phelps’ lead to suggest the result is far better than anticipated as he prepares for another gruelling parliamentary week.
    Tony Walker reckons the real lesson from Wentworth is that democracy isn’t broken just yet. He agrees with Craig Laundy’s assessment that his colleagues yield too much ground to media bullies whose prejudices have shifted his party too far to the right on issues like climate.
    Michael Pasoce goes to a part of the Liberal Party’s problem: ‘preaching to the converted’ or, in current politics-speak, ‘shoring up the base’.
    Mike Bruce opines that if we needed further justification for the secession of Queensland from the nation, we got it at the weekend in the form of the Wentworth by-election.
    Taric Brooker writes that with the unceremonious end of Prime Minister Turnbull’s tenure, it is time again to examine what went wrong with his leadership. Why did yet another Australian PM fail to live up to the public’s expectations?
    Peter FitzSimons says that the message is clear even to us bozos: the Australian people are waiting for the Libs with a cricket bat, intent on pounding their behinds and administering electoral punishment.
    Bevan Shields reckons Tony Abbott is in for a fight at Warringah.
    Eryk Bagshaw tells us how the government has been breaking its own Budget rules.
    Andrew Tillett reports that lower house crossbenchers are preparing a log of claims on policy issues such as climate change and refugees to take advantage of the potentially hung Parliament, but have indicated they are reluctant to bring the Morrison government down.
    The Adelaide Advertiser says that Rebekha Sharkie is the ringleader.
    According to the Independent Australia the Coalition’s failure to deal with the housing affordability crisis could spell electorate defeat.
    On the day of the national apology Julia Gillard writes that the dreadful abuse of children’s trust must never happen again.
    Joanne McCarthy gives us one survivor’s perspective in anticipation of the apology.
    The Age’s Miki Perkins writes that the apology leaves abuse survivors somewhere between cynical and glad.
    Katharine Murphy explains how Morrison will commit to a new museum to raise awareness and understanding of the impacts of child sexual abuse as the centrepiece of what will be an emotional national apology to the survivors of institutional abuse in federal parliament today.
    More from Christopher Knaus on how the Coalition suppressed auditor’s finding that $1.3bn Thales arms deal could have cost half with US.
    Jane Gilmore says that with its antics after the Queensland vote on about abortion White Ribbon has thoroughly lost purpose and credibility.
    Colin Kruger reports that corporate crooks would face stiffer penalties and more jail time under new laws being introduced to federal parliament this week.
    Parents can find their kids’ curriculum baffling and alienating. That’s all the more reason to have their say in the NSW curriculum review, writes Jenny Donovan
    Adele Ferguson reports that a joint parliamentary inquiry into the powerful franchise sector is bracing for a fight after taking the rare step of slapping a summons on three former executives of Retail Food Group who have repeatedly refused to appear before the inquiry.
    Clive Palmer is being sued by China’s largest conglomerate, Citic, over his ongoing “refusal” to co-operate in making more land available on a major iron-ore site in Western Australia.
    A vast army of protesters has marched through central London to demand a new referendum on Britain’s departure from the European Union.
    Kate Aubusson reports that a world-first surveillance program that tracks adverse reactions to vaccinations will soon monitor every vaccine on the national immunisation program (NIP).
    Nicole Hemmer explains the concerns about rampant voter suppression throughout the US as the midterm election looms.
    And for “Arsehole of the Week” . . .

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe is on tide watch. Note the crab and worm holes.

    Mark David with Morrison’s messaging problems.

    Nice work from Sean Leahy.

    Some fun with Morrison from Jon Kudelka.
    Some more in here.

  5. The Libs seem to be clinging to the belief they will get enough postal votes to get them across the line in Wentworth. Some journalists are pushing the same idea.

    Nope. Not going to happen. It’s all over. Even a possible recount won’t help.

    The Saturday night counting was a bit of a shambles. In some polling places, including Bellevue Hill, Bondi and Bronte, votes were not counted properly. That gave the impression Sharma had won more votes than he really had. This error was corrected yesterday afternoon and Phelps suddenly found herself an extra 700 or so votes ahead.

    What has been happening with the postal votes was explained over the weekend. So far the postals that have been counted are the ones posted earliest in the campaign, the votes made before last week’s government omnishambles. Votes posted during the last week are still on their way. It’s estimated there are still about 3300 postal votes working their way through Australia Post’s system. They will reflect voters’ impressions of last week. It’s expected they will not be good news for Sharma.

    Even with the most favourable postal vote numbers possible Sharma can’t win, according to David Crowe.

    So ScumMo can stop blathering on about waiting for the very last vote to be counted. He can admit his side lost. He can stop blaming everyone but himself for the mess he helped create.

    Turnbull was dumped because his colleagues believed he could not win the next election. ScumMo has just presided over the loss of one of the safest Liberal seats in the nation. That despite him being all over Wentworth for the last few weeks. ScumMo’s bribing campaign backfired in the most spectacular way. He promised $2 million for repairs to Bronte surf club. Bronte had one of the biggest primary vote swings against the Libs – 27.2% at last count, beaten only by Paddington North on 31.2%

    It’s all going so well, isn’t it.

  6. Sharma stared out needing a preference flow around 64%. However, that was before the anomalous booths were adjusted Phelps’ way. His initial postal vote flow was something like 65%, the later postal votes were down around 60%. And obviously the more votes that get counted, the higher percentage of the remaining ones need to go Sharma’s way. Last I heard Sharma needed a preference flow of something approaching 80% to get across the line. Not going to happen.

  7. With Labor expected to win the next election, I decided to have a look at the situation regarding the Senate.
    Of the 38 retiring Senators 14 are Coalition,13 ALP, 6 Greens and 5 Minor Parties. To attain a majority the ALP/Greens would need to win 23 of the 38 up for grabs. Highly unlikely I would believe.
    If no new minor party candidates are elected can you imagine Labor trying to negotiate with this remaining rabble (thanks to Turnbull’s DD). Hanson (PHON), Patrick and Griff (CA), Bernardi (CA) and Burston (UAP).
    Good luck Bill and Penny.

  8. I will always remember Julia Gillard as the one Prime Minister in my lifetime to have left the office with her honour completely intact. She did so with dignity, bravery and, in telling contrast to those before and after her, without any self pity or recriminations. It is therefore particularly gratifying that the genuine affection shown to her today was from the very people most personally affected by her signature legislative achievement.

  9. Part 9: Pennsylvania

    Incumbent Democratic Senator Bob Casey looks set to be easily reelected

    House of representatives
    Pennsylvania’s congressional districts were heavily gerrymandered following the 2010 census and redistricting however in March 2018 the state’s supreme court invalidated the old map, ruling that it was in violation of the state’s constitution and also drew a new map to take effect for this election.
    Old districts

    New Districts

    The new map has created an electoral bonanza for the Democrats. In suburban Philadelphia. Four districts that were marginal or lean republican have become much more favourable to the Democrats and they are favoured to pick up these districts (the new 1st, 5th, 6th and 7th districts). Furthermore the new 17th district district in suburban Pittsburgh is a seat that narrowly voted for Trump however the Democrat who is running here, Congressman Conor Lamb, won a special election in March for the old 18th district, a much more Trump leaning district. The fact that he won a heavily Trump district makes him the heavy favourite against Keith Rothfus, Republican Congressman for the old 12th District.

    In addition there will also be special elections for the 7th and 15th districts as they existed on the old boundaries due to the incumbent republicans retiring early. The candidates in the old 7th district are also running in the new 5th district and the candidates in old 15th district are running in the new 7th district. While these old districts are more Republican leaning than the districts they replaced, the Democrats would have a reasonable chance of winning given the political climate. This is important as the winners of the special elections would take their seats in the house immediately rather than in January.

    Incumbent Democratic Governor Tom Wolf is the favourite to be reelected

    State Legislature
    Pennsylvania House of Representatives (All 203 seats up for election): Republicans: 121 seats, Democrats: 78 with 4 vacancies. Democrats need to gain 24 seats to win control.
    Pennsylvania State Senate (25 of 50 seats up for election): Republicans: 34 seats, Democrats: 16 seats. Democrats need to gain 10 seats to win control.

    Ballot Measures
    None in 2018

    To end this part here is a map of the old 7th district. Commonly referred to as “Goofy kicking Donald Duck”

    • The question is what happens when that medical treatment is finished? Do they get sent back? I bet that’s what the government plans to do. I also bet that’s what Batron Whatsisname expects. He needs that Australian funding to keep pouring in.

      I think this is just a move by ScumMo to head off embarrassing motions from the Greens and the cross bench. I doubt it will work.

  10. Nice one, Katharine

    The visceral emotion of the survivors, the truly cathartic sentiment, was reserved for Julia Gillard – the prime minister who had delivered them the royal commission.

    She was the prime minister who declined to be restrained by nervous colleagues and powerful institutions to seeking to preserve their veneer of respectability, and by their backers in the public square, who delighted in eviscerating her for daily sport.

    They roared when Gillard entered the Great Hall, the victims’ champion who had asked to sit down in the bleachers, with the survivors, rather than on the stage, with the dignitaries.

    Gillard had the grace to humbly acknowledge the sincerity of the welcome, and to remind them Monday was about them, not about her. She told them it had been a long road to this occasion. “I do want to take this opportunity to record my thanks to all of you for your courage, your determination, for your stoicism.

    “It took many years to get to this moment but we are only at it not because of me, but because of you.”


  11. That sleazeball KRudd was on 7.30 tonight running down FPMJG and whinging. Apparently, he wrote a book.

    He waited until the day of the day of the Apology to victims to try to suck the oxygen out of any goodwill going Julia’s way.

    He is a vindictive rat.

    • To write one book about yourself may be acceptable if it’s any good but to write two, that’s just pathetic.

      I think Rudd’s suffering from relevance depravation syndrome.

    • I think there’s another volume yet to come. Lord knows what that’s about. Possibly 1000 pages of “how I sat around whinging about losing an election and not getting to be UN secretary general.”

    • Rats, especially male rats, are charming creatures.

      Stoats, on the other hand …

      Well, that’s unfair to stoats too.

      Humans, on the other hand …

  12. When the review is much better than the book…

    I guess MSN have done some deal to repost selected Crikey articles. No paywall on the below.

  13. Weird, isn’t it.

    Our government today made a formal apology to victims of child sexual assault while at the same time refusing to allow all the kids on Nauru to come to Australia and while refusing to allow them to go to New Zealand unless the parliament votes for the nasty lifetime ban on entering Australia.

    Does anyone else see the conflict here?

    Meanwhile there’s this, about the huge expense and unnecessary legal battles involved in getting sick kids here from Nauru. What a needless waste of money and court time.

    Australia spends $480,000 more in legal fees on Nauru detainee healthcare claims
    Cost of responding to transfer bids is sharply rising as appeals to Australian courts mount

  14. Part 10: Ohio and Indiana

    In Ohio, incumbent Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown looks set to be reelected however Indiana is a competitive race with Democratic Senator Joe Donnelly locked in a tight race with the Republican candidate Mike Braun, Donnelly has opened up a bit of a lead, indicating that he has not suffered from a backlash for voting against Brett Kavanaugh in a state that went heavily for Trump.

    House of Representatives
    The districts in these two states are heavily gerrymandered and the only real contest is in Ohio’s first district, based on Cincinnati, Where Republican incumbent Steve Chabot could be in a fight with his Democratic opponent Aftab Pureval.

    The governorship in Indiana is not up this year but in the race in Ohio to replace outgoing Republican Governor John Kasich is turning into a tight race between the Republican, former senator Mike DeWine and the Democrat Richard Cordray, the former director of the consumer financial protection bureau.

    State Legislatures
    Ohio House of Representatives (All 99 seats up for election): Republicans: 64 seats, Democrats: 34 seats with one vacancy. Democrats need to gain 16 seats to win control.
    Ohio State Senate (17 of 33 seats up for election): Republicans: 24 seats, Democrats: 9 seats. Democrats need to gain 8 seats to win control.

    Indiana House of Representatives (All 100 seats up for election): Republicans: 70 seats, Democrats: 30 seats. Democrats need to gain 21 seats to win control.
    Indiana State Senate (25 of 50 seats up for election): Republicans: 41 seats, Democrats: 9 seats. Not mathematically possible for Democrats to win control (need to gain 17 seats, only running 16 candidates in Republican-held seats up for election)

    Ballot Measures
    In Indiana there is a ballot measure that would require the state legislature to enact a balanced budget. No polls have been conducted for this measure.

  15. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Katharine Murphy gives us the rundown on the latest Essential poll that came in at an unchanged 53/47.
    Simon Benson analyses the terrible looking Newspoll state by state aggregations.
    While Dennis Shanahan reckons the Coalition is staring at a generation al wipe out.
    In a good performance on Q and A last night Kerryn Phelps said she won’t be a wrecker in Parliament.
    Jacqui Maley tells us about the impact of Julia Gillard’s appearance at the apology.
    And she explains why, for good reason, QT was cancelled yesterday.
    Her harrowing family story made Prime Minister Scott Morrison cry live on TV across the nation. But for leading child abuse advocate Chrissie Foster, tears are not enough. It’s not over yet.
    Tony Wright muses over the consequences of a Morrison minority government.
    Paul Bongiorno writes that Scott Morrison’s ability to recover from the body blow that was the Wentworth by-election will depend as much on his own fractious party and Coalition as it will on anything else.
    The Wentworth by-election was not just a resounding loss for the Coalition but also the clearest message yet that the people have had enough of party politics.
    Phil Coorey reports that Liberal moderates fretting over the Coalition’s lack of climate change policy are set to demand Scott Morrison revitalise the ailing direct action policy with a $1 billion injection into the Emissions Reduction Fund.
    People are utterly fed up with Canberra and are starting to take back their Government and choosing to be “represented”, writes Noely Neate.
    In an op-ed Tony Windsor tells us that Morrison is going to need people skills to govern after Wentworth. He says that it won’t be the crossbench that will give him grief. Rather it will come from inside his own side.
    The federal government’s top energy adviser Kerry Schott says the plunging cost of renewables will force Australia’s remaining coal plants to close even earlier than planned, as mining giant BHP renewed calls for a price on carbon to urgently slash national emissions.
    Here’s John Passant’s take on the Wentworth wipe out.
    Kerryn Phelps’ victory in Wentworth is good for Australian democracy, writes Ben Eltham.
    Peter Hatcher gives Rudd and his book a serve.
    This is interesting. The Senate president says some past police raids on politicians’ offices were “improper” and may have breached parliamentary privilege. Liberal senator Scott Ryan, who presides over the upper house, also said his government’s telecommunications-snooping laws fail to protect parliamentarians adequately from intrusion.
    David Crowe tells us that Australians will be promised new laws to slash up to $832 from their annual electricity bills in another federal government move to toughen rules for big energy companies and demonstrate action on household costs.
    Latika Bourke reports that a NSW MP has urged Scott Morrison to call an early election and get “smashed” at the polls in order to save bigger losses at the state level.
    Wroe and Koziol report that at Estimates last senior bureaucrats revealed that all refugee children waiting for high-level medical treatment have been transferred off Nauru after 11 kids were flown to Australia last night.
    Joanne McCarthy says the situation on Nauru was the elephant in the room at the national abuse apology.
    Stephen Koukoulas shows how the total wealth of Australians has dropped by close to $300 billion since the start of 2018.
    Aged care costs are sure to rise as the needs of those now coming into the system are requiring higher and higher needs.
    Kelly O’Dwyer fires a shot at the unions and Labor as it becomes clear that IR will be a major part of the government’s election campaigning.
    But Sally McManus says Australian workers deserve a fairer go.
    Anna Patty explains why so many low paid workers will be marching.
    Dana McCauley explains how the insists that the rallies should not be considered as industrial action – which may only be undertaken as part of enterprise agreement negotiations – but as political protests, dismissing criticism of its plan to shut down Melbourne as an attack on free speech.
    Mining giant BHP Billiton has renewed calls for a price on carbon to drive emissions reductions in Australia, despite the Morrison government rejecting the need to overhaul climate policies before the next election.
    In a sobering contribution Greg Jericho says that no matter your age or gender – there is no escaping the underemployment boom. The last of his charts shows a very clear relationship between wages growth and the level of underemployment.
    Trump’s decision to withdraw from a nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia has drawn sharp criticism from one of the men who signed it — Mikhail Gorbachev, who called the decision reckless and not the work of “a great mind”.
    An American academic explains that it’s clearer than ever: the theft and leaking of Democratic emails were key to Clinton’s election defeat.
    Tony Walker says the political class must be held to account for a lax regime that allows the alcohol industry to exploit a gaping hole in the regulatory framework.
    Elizabeth Knight says that despite Virgin’s financial performance now humming along, there remains persistent talk that two of its partner shareholders are looking to offload their stakes.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz dissects the remarks of Graeme Samuels on how the balance between competition and stability would become a more formal element of the approach to financial regulation.
    Jenna Price makes a case for shutting sown the White Ribbon organisation.
    ANZ Banking Corp is refusing to pay Australia Post a new $22 million-a-year fee for access to its branches, on the basis it’s unfair by effectively requiring ANZ to subsidise its larger rivals, Commonwealth Bank and Westpac.
    Some of the largest river red gum forests in New South Wales would be opened up for logging if a private members bill from the Nationals’ MP for Murray, Austin Evans, wins support. WTF!
    Erdoğan is set to reveal the ‘naked truth’ about Khashoggi’s death.
    Jewel Topsfield writes that the NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton has been accused of failing to address the state’s waste crisis by providing incentives to divert rubbish from landfill or crackdown on illegal dumping.
    Australia’s largest ‘pay day loan’ company has caved on the first day of a class action lawsuit, coughing up a $16.4 million settlement to settle one part of a case brought by nearly 30,000 Queenslanders, some of whom were illegally charged interest rates that topped 600 per cent per annum.
    The Conversation explains how a Senate report recommends an overhaul of My Health Record but the key changes not supported by the Coalition.
    Simon Castle writes about the feeling of standing a special type of alone in a department store.
    Michael Clarke should stick to cricket.
    Seven councillors sacked when Ipswich City Council was dissolved over a corruption scandal are bracing for a legal battle to show they were unfairly dismissed. This should be fun!
    And for today’s nomination for “Arsehole of the Week” we have this charming lady.

    Cartoon Corner

    An evil contribution from David Rowe.

    Mark David knows how to hurt Morrison.

    Pat Campbell reflects on what a safe seat once was.

    Peter Broelman with a postal vote from New York.

    And he goes to Fraser Island.

    Paul Zanetti and Turnbull’s homecoming.

    Glen Le Lievre and the ever present Rudd.

    And Sean Leahy has Gillard putting Rudd into perspective.

    Johannes Leak on the Wentworth wash up.
    David Pope on the apology.
    More in here.

  16. Just saw on twitter the latest not quite quarterly newspoll roundup. Have they allowed for their change giving phon more? If they haven’t, it might be even more disastrous for them.

  17. Hrumph..hrrrumph!!…a poem..

    Into the fire she did cast,
    Letter by letter until the last.
    Her stern face, flame-lit aglow,
    No pity nor sentiment did it show.
    No regret, nor heartfelt loss,
    As letter by letter she did toss.
    Until the last in hesitant hold,
    One short sentence writ in bold,
    One final line that caught her eye,
    And though the rest she did despise,
    That one broken promise with love’s death,
    Gave pause for memory’s catch of breath,
    Forgotten above this, all the rest;
    “Forever, my love, my pledge, to you,
    I do bequeath”.

    • There are numerous paintings of “The Letter” theme…but there is one of a young woman..Australian, I believe, who looks like settler’s wife, standing reading a letter…I don’t know the name of the painting..or who painted it..perhaps a Tom Roberts…perhaps ; ‘The drover’s wife”…I don’t know..but that’s got nothing to do, really, with the above poem…

  18. Part 11: Illinois

    Neither senate seat is up this year

    House of Representatives
    Illinois is one of only two states (the over being Maryland) where the Democrats enacted a gerrymander. However there are a couple of districts that are potentially competitive. The two closest districts at the moment are the 6th and 14th districts, both include parts of Chicago’s suburbs. Both of these districts swung heavily to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential election and polls have the respective Republican incumbents, John Roskam and Randy Hultgren in tight races against their Democratic challengers. Also it looks like, based on polling, that the Southwestern Illinois based 12th District and the 13th District in Central Illinois could be outside chances for Democratic gains.

    The unpopular Republican governor Bruce Rauner looks set to lose to his Democratic challenger, businessman J.B. Pritzker

    State Legislature
    Illinois House of Representatives (All 118 seats up for election): Democrats: 67 seats, Republicans: 50 seats with 1 vacancy. Republicans need to gain 10 seats to win control.
    Illinois Senate (39 of 59 seats up for election): Democrats: 37 seats, Republicans: 21 seats, Conservatives: 1 seat. Not mathematically possible for Republicans to gain control (need 9 seats but only running candidates in 6 democratic-held seats that are up for election).

    Ballot Measures
    No statewide measures are on the ballot in Illinois this year.

  19. I didn’t know whether to post this or not, but what the hell, here goes anyway. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead. Flame if you like, it adds to the discussion.

    Is Morrison trying to foist Pentecostal “end days” dogma on us?

    I had an interesting conversation at the weekend where ScumMo’s idea of moving our embassy in Israel to Jerusalem came up. Someone mentioned the “end days” thing and I became cross with myself for not twigging to this when Morrison first made his announcement.

    He blamed the whole idea on poor Dave Sharma, who had doubtless been got at by the Israeli government while he was our ambassador there, and denied his own Pentecostal faith had any influence.

    Asked by a reporter whether his faith played a role in the shift, given evangelical Christians had been the biggest supporters of Trump’s position on Jerusalem, Morrison issued a flat denial. “My faith and religion has nothing to do with this decision.”


    I think he lied.

    Pentecostals, and other assorted happy-clappers, pray for peace for Jerusalem. They believe we are in the “end days” and fast approaching the time when Jesus will return to rule as king in Jerusalem, setting in motion a chain of events that will climax with a final conflict, Armageddon.

    There are growing numbers of “evangelical” Christianist nutters who greet every new conflict in the Middle East as a certain sign we are about to witness the end days.

    Allegedly when Jesus returns to Jerusalem (if I were him I’d never want to go back there, considering what happened last time he visited) he will begin his reign by converting the Jews. Whether or not the Jews will want to be converted is an excellent question which the nutters pushing this fantasy never ask. Of course, this return and the following mass conversion cannot happen until there is peace not only in Jerusalem, but throughout the Middle East. So they pray for peace for Jerusalem not because they want to end wars that have been dragging on for centuries, but because they want to hasten the end of the world.

    Moving embassies to Jerusalem and getting full, international recognition for Jerusalem as the real capital of Israel is allegedly part of “God’s plan” for the end days. Trump is keen on the idea because he is surrounded by “evangelical” Christianists who feed him this garbage knowing he’s stupid and/or senile enough to believe it or to at least accept it. White evangelicals are a huge part of his base.

    Here’s just one article to get you started.

    There is plenty of information on this if you Google, and the more you read the scarier it gets, because our current PM apparently believes it all. He must, if he is as devoted to his alleged faith as he keeps telling us.

    As a member of Horizon Church Morrison accepts the doctrine preached by Australian Christian Churches, formerly known as Assemblies of God. Horizon’s website directs you to the ACC doctrine. They have this (and more) to say on the apparently close end of the world.

    4.16 The Second Coming of Christ
    We believe in the premillennial, imminent and personal return of our Lord Jesus Christ to gather his people to himself. Having this glorious hope and earnest expectation, we purify ourselves, even as he is pure, so that we may be ready to meet him when he comes. (John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; Titus 2:13; James 5:7-8; 1 John 2:28; 3:2-3).

    4.17 The Millenium
    We believe in the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to set up his millennial reign on this earth (Psalm 11; 96:10-13; Daniel 7.22; Zechariah 14:5; Revelation 5:9-10; 20:1-10)


    • I saw bits and pieces of the apology yesterday, and the one thing that made me cringe was scummo getting everyone to hold the hand of the person next to them. That is one of the corniest and old hat tricks of the come again Xtains.

    • I noticed the hand holding too, and I cringed. It’s such a happy-clapper thing to do.

      It was also very insensitive. Sometimes victims of child sexual abuse grow up to be adults who do not like to be touched, not even in an affectionate way by their family, close friends or even their partners.. To insist everyone held hands was the worst thing ScumMo could have done, and shows he has little if any understanding of what those present yesterday had been through.

  20. I think polling may have stabilised at 53-47

  21. Will Labor reverse the lifetime travel ban when they win government?

    Labor needs to be very clear on this right now and voters deserve to know where a Shorten Labor government will stand.

  22. Kelly O’Bigmouth all excited about the ‘Nazi’ reference at the ACTU Rally. From what I read, the context defuses much of the confected rage she carries on with but it is symptomatic of a gavernment that is getting so little in the way of points in the current climate that she’s all over it like a rash. Thoughts anyone?

    • I had to look that up.

      Kelly O’Bigmouth needs to find something else to worry about. Lord knows her government has more than enough problems without her creating more. She is way over-egging this pudding.

      Here’s the tweet –

      Setka can sometimes go a bit overboard, but this time he’s right.

      Here’s Graham Perrett’s reply.

      No-one has used the word “Nazi” except the media reporting on this very minor non-news and maybe Ms O’Bigmouth (I can only find quotes, not her actual words).

      Is it now illegal to mention Hitler? Does that mean I have to burn my copy of “The Man in the High Castle”? Are we to burn all the history of WWII books because they contain a word O’Bigmouth doesn’t like us to use?

  23. Part 12: Michigan and Wisconsin

    Incumbent Democratic Senators Debbie Stabenow in Michigan and Tammy Baldwin in Wisconsin are heavy favourites to be reelected.

    House of Representatives
    Michigan was heavily gerrymandered by the Republicans to the extent that they hold 64% of the seats despite Michigan being a competitive state at the presidential level. Nevertheless polls have the Democrats competitive in 3 Republican-held seats. Polls have the Democrats with a lead of about 5% in the 11th District located just north west of Detroit and they are also competitive in the South-Eastern Michigan-based 7th District as well as in the 8th district just to the east of the state capital, Lansing. In Wisconsin, fivethirtyeight has the Democrats competitive in the 6th District located between Milwaukee and Green Bay, and in with an outside chance in the southeast Wisconsin-based 1st District. This district is held by the outgoing Speaker of the House Paul Ryan who is not running again and this could give the Democrats an opening however their candidate, Randy Bryce has been tripped up by revelations that he has a history of arrests, including ones for drink driving and driving while suspended.

    In Michigan the Democratic candidate, former State Senator Gretchen Whitmer has a healthy lead in the polls over Republican Bill Schuette in the race to replace outgoing Republican Governor Rick Snyder. In Wisconsin the race for governor is a tight one with Democratic candidate, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers having a slight lead in the fivethirtyeight averages over incumbent governor Scott Walker.

    State Legislatures
    Michigan House of Representatives (All 110 seats up for election): Republicans: 63 seats, Democrats: 46 seats with 1 vacancy. Democrats need to gain 10 seats to win control.
    Michigan State Senate (All 38 seats up for election): Republicans: 27 seats, Democrats: 10 seats with 1 vacancy. Democrats need to gain 10 seats to win control.

    Wisconsin State Assembly (All 99 seats up for election): Republicans: 63 seats, Democrats: 35 seats with one vacancy. Democrats need to gain 15 seats to win control.
    Wisconsin State Senate (17 of 33 seats up for election): Republicans: 18 seats, Democrats: 15 seats. Democrats need to gain 2 seats to win control.

    Ballot Measures
    There are no statewide measures on the ballot in Wisconsin. In Michigan, however there are two prominent ones. The first one would legalise marijuana for recreational use, this measure has a wide lead in the polls. A second measure would create an independent redistricting commission, which would put an end to the gerrymander, this measure also has a wide lead in the polls.

  24. I notice ScumMo used the words “reliable power” a lot in his presser today. I take that to mean coal generated power, because according to ScumMo’s doctrine anything but coal is unreliable.

    He might like to look at this, on the many breakdowns at Liddell up to May this year.

    • Of course it means coal. I have heard he and his scurvy crew a number of times say “intermittent power” sources as a way of referring to wind/solar.

    • Loy Yang is even worse than Liddell for breakdowns.

      This shows us how unreliable coal and gas generators really are.

      View at Medium.com

      No amount of lies and nagging from ScumMo and Taylor will change this and nothing is going to make power companies decide to pour money into keeping ageing, unreliable generators going when they are already past their use-by dates.

  25. Geez it gets boring, doesn’t it? Eight weeks into this new PM-ship, and already they’re back to being heavily reliant on coal, union-bashing and badmouthing Shorten as their primary strategies. Which is exactly what they did for the entire Abbott and Turnbull PM-ships. We’re even getting the shonky promises of lower electricity bills. Same playbook, all the time, and it really doesn’t make any difference who’s selling it (or shouting it, as in this case). And still they can’t figure out that Australians aren’t buying it.

    How many times do they need to be told, and how strongly, that none of this crap flies?

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