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. Part 13: Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri


    In Minnesota there are two senate races this year. In the race for the seat normally up this year incumbent Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar will be easily re-elected while in the special election held to fill out the remainder of former Senator Al Franken’s term, appointed Senator Tina Smith is favoured to hold the seat for the Democrats.

    The Senate race in Missouri is a competitive race with polls showing incumbent Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill in a dead heat with her Republican challenger, Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley.

    Minnesota could be the only state where a seat switches from the Democrats to the Republicans. The 8th district in North East Minnesota swung heavily towards Trump in 2016 and the Democratic incumbent is retiring. Polls show the Republicans with an edge in this seat, the Republicans are also hoping to win the Southern Minnesota-based 1st District, another seat that swung heavily to Trump and where the incumbent is retiring, polls show a close race here. On the other hand, Democrats are hopeful of winning the suburban Minneapolis-based 2nd and 3rd districts from the Republicans.

    Republicans appear to be in trouble in Iowa with the North-Eastern 1st District and the south-western 3rd district liable to flip if the Democrats are on track for a good result.

    In Missouri there are no competitive races apart from the 2nd district in the St Louis suburbs, and even that is a long shot.

    In Minnesota, Congressman Tim Walz is favoured to be elected governor, succeeding outgoing Democratic governor Mark Dayton. In Iowa however, incumbent Republican governor Kim Reynolds is in a tough fight to hang on against her Democratic Challenger Fred Hubbell. The governorship in Missouri is not up for election this cycle.

    State Legislature
    Minnesota House of Representatives (All 134 seats up for election): Republicans: 76 seats, Democrats: 55 seats with 3 vacancies. Democrats need to gain 13 seats to win control.
    Minnesota State Senate: Not up for election.

    Iowa House of Representatives (All 100 seats up for election): Republicans: 59 seats, Democrats: 41 Seats. Democrats need to gain 10 seats to win control.
    Iowa State Senate (25 of 50 seats up for election): Republicans: 29 seats, Democrats: 20 seats, Independent: 1 seat. Democrats need to gain 6 seats to win control.

    Missouri House of Representatives (All 163 seats up for election): Republicans: 114 seats, Democrats: 47 seats with 2 vacancies. Democrats need to gain 35 seats to win control.
    Missouri State Senate (17 of 34 seats up for election): Republicans: 24 seats, Democrats: 10 seats. Democrats need 8 seats to win control.

    ballot measures
    In Missouri there are three separate ballot measures that aim to legalise medicinal marijuana with the main differences between the measures being how much tax will be imposed on marijuana products and where that raised tax money will be spent. There is also a measure on the ballot in Missouri that would progressively raise the minimum wage each year until it reached $12 an hour in 2033. No polls have been conducted for any of these measures.

    • That’s their line and they are sticking with it.

      Will you provide more funding for state schools, Prime Minister?
      We are lowering electricity prices.

      Will you lift the freeze on Medicare rebates?
      We are lowering electricity prices.

      Why will Malcolm Turnbull be taking your place in Indonesia?
      We are lowering electricity prices.

      Get used to hearing those words, it’s all we are going to get from these gumbies until at least Christmas.

    • I watched Morrison’s stupid video on electricity prices. What a gyp. Firstly he tries the old trick they used to use in opposition, waving somebody’s bill around and saying it’s too high. Weak tactic when you’ve been in government this long. Then, he addresses a very specific aspect of prices, that of people who stay with a provider and see their plan get changed to their disadvantage. That alone won’t get prices down, it won’t stop profiteering across the board, it might just see a reduction in those offers that attract you to a provider. Big whoop. Then he says ‘thirdly’, when he’s only covered one thing so far, and that ‘thirdly’ is just confirmation that he’s planning to stick with coal over renewables – accompanied by the entirely unfounded claim that only that will assure a constant supply (the old “when the sun don’t shine and the wind don’t blow” ruse).

      This is a poor effort. But he’s got all his MPs out their singing from his hymnbook on it. Plus his used car salesman shtick.

      I did a quick calculation this morning. A single occupancy unit nets at least $700/year in poles and wires alone for them, before a single unit of power (gas/electricity) is used. In other words, a single street of, say 40 houses and 10 10-unit blocks (I’m basing this roughly on the type of street I live on) gifts them a minimum of $98K/year before they start charging for usage. A single street. It’s clear that not only is the usage charge too high, the supply charge is off the scale. You have to address that if you’re going to make any headway on these bills. And Morrison is planning on doing nothing more than tinkering around the edges.

    • My service/supply fee didn’t go up this July. My actual electricity price dropped, but by so little you’d never notice. It went from 29c per kwh to 28.9c. What a joke! The drop in the off-peak rate was just as ludicrous.

      This was after the NSW and federal governments made a HUGE fuss about NSW prices dropping on 1 July.

      I pay $1.42 per day supply charge before I use any power at all.

      Over many years I’ve seen this supply charge increase every July, even when the actual electricity price drops, so I suppose I’m lucky this time.

      My guess is that ScumMo’s blathering is just another pea and thimble trick. He might force a tiny fraction of a cent per kwh drop in power prices but that will be more than compensated for by a rise in the supply charge. He’s not mentioning that fee at all, I doubt he even knows it exists.

      Anyone want to bet ScumMo will go after cuts to the pension supplement, which is partly intended to help pay power bills, because he will claim electricity prices are dropping and pensioners don’t need that financial support any more?

      Just remember this – ScumMo doesn’t have to pay any electricity bills until he’s booted out of office, we pay for whatever power he uses at Kirribilli House and The Lodge. Aren’t we generous!

    • Of course they’re jacking up “supply” charges – that’s the only way they can earn profits from people with solar (who want to remain on the grid.)

      Folk who can’t afford or are unable to install solar cop it in the neck, as usual.

    • They initially jacked up the supply charge because people were heeding the energy conservation push and lowering their electricity usage. All the low-watt bulbs and turn off your appliances/lights when you’re not using them and that sort of stuff. Companies were worried about preserving their profits, and larger supply charges were a way of guaranteeing that.

      It’s a loser’s game for the consumer. You’re going to give them their money one way or another, and they don’t really care how you do it. I’d imagine that when they do finally figure out a way to get their greasy hands on renewables the same thing is going to happen.

  2. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.
    REQUEST FOR LEAVE: Mrs BK and I will be travelling to Canberra soon so I will be unable to pull the Dawn Patrol together Saturday through Tuesday.

    Malcolm Turnbull is hardly flavour of the month with the Coalition, Bevan Shields explains.
    In a quite interesting contribution Paul Kelly posits that the deeper lesson from the Wentworth by-election is the rising tribalisation of Australian politics and culture — as Wentworth’s values become more distant from Longman’s values — and the shared compact that binds Australia ­together begins to disintegrate.
    And Dennis Shanahan writes that Scott Morrison’s ‘Muppets’ have to wake up to themselves right now or wake up with Bill Shorten as prime minister.
    Peter Lewis opines that Morrison’s stunts and thought bubbles won’t be enough to win over voters.
    The AFR has got stuck into The Australian’s strange interpretation of its Newspoll results.
    The human clothes horse has been sprung.
    The SMH editorial says that the “murderous prince” has made a massive miscalculation over Khashoggi.
    The Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has publicly torn down Saudi claims that the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi died in a fight in its Istanbul consulate, making fresh allegations that his “savage” murder was premeditated and calling for an independent investigation in Turkey.
    Meanwhile reports in British, Chinese and Russian media on Tuesday, all citing anonymous sources, claimed parts of Khashoggi’s body have been located at the Saudi consulate.
    Labor is accusing the Coalition of shaving almost $200 million from ASIC’s budget, paving the way for misconduct to flourish in the financial services sector.
    Political leaders need to be challenged about whether they are exploiting community unease and promising false “populist” solutions to complex problems, according to the former foreign affairs minister, now high-profile backbencher, Julie Bishop.
    Peter Hartcher writes about how Rudd is saying that Murdoch and mining industry support are now key to political power.
    Katharine Murphy reports that Angus Taylor has signalled the Australian government could indemnify new power generation projects against the future risk of a carbon price, and says it could also support the retrofitting of existing coal plants.
    Matt O’Sullivan goes into how Sydney Trains’ ability to cope with emergencies have been exposed in an internal report which reveals inadequate training, limited oversight and an overall need for “significant improvement”.
    The AFR’s Matthew Stevens writes that Scott Morrison has started waving his “big stick” at the power industry and, should the Prime Minister actually hang around long enough to translate the threat into action, the sectoral ramifications could be profound.
    But energy retailers are warning that the government’s move to set a “default” tariff for household electricity will end up as a cap on prices that could squeeze smaller suppliers out of the market.
    And Phil Coorey says the energy sector and states reacted coolly towards Scott Morrison’s raft of market intervention measures designed to force down electricity costs.
    In an op-ed Andrew Leigh says that it’s time to crack down on phoenix activity in Australia. He laments that currently it is simpler to become a company director than open a bank account. And while we don’t want to discourage entrepreneurship, we also need to ensure that people aren’t rorting the system to hurt others.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz reports on how Anthony Pratt is lamenting that 45 per cent of all pension funds in America were loaned to businesses, it hasn’t happened here. He said only about 1 per cent of super funds were loaned to business in Australia.
    And National Australia Bank executive Mike Baird says a push for superannuation funds to finance business lending is at a “tipping point,” after the size of the compulsory retirement savings system overtook the value of bank loans.
    A well-connected firm stacked with former ministers and senior bureaucrats will subject itself to federal lobbying laws after revelations it was approaching politicians while remaining invisible to Australia’s lobbying oversight regime.
    Michael West tells us that defence spending used to account for little more than a fifth of government spending on procurement. Just seven years ago. Now it accounts for almost three-quarters of government spending. Global weapons manufacturers, most of who pay little or no tax are the big winners. And now the government is muzzling contract information, information about how it is spending its taxpayers’ money. The excuse? “National security”.
    Wore from West as he lead with “First came the member for Gilmore; hugged by ScoMo, then whooshka, gone. Malcolm Turnbull was next, hugged by ScoMo, then ousted in a bloody coup hours later. Then came Dave Sharma, hugged by ScoMo, and promptly slugged by the largest swing in electoral history. Who will ScoMo hug next? Many hope he will hug Tony.”
    Oliver Yates explains why Morrison needs to realise Liberals are prepared to lose the election over climate change.
    David Wroe reports that Nauru kids could remain in limbo because of security fears about parents.
    Ross Gittins is back from leave no longer believing that reforming our tax system is the magic key to improving the nation’s economic and social wellbeing. He says the loudest voices demanding we change our tax system are coming from wealthy men, and their agenda comes at the expense of less well-paid women.
    John Collett looks at the effects of the reduction in housing prices on wealth.
    The Australian’s Simon Benson writes that Labor’s $32 billion plan to end negative gearing for existing homes and slash the capital gains discount would lead to a fall in new housing construction of up to 42,000 dwellings over five years and 32,000 fewer jobs across the country, according to independent modelling of Bill Shorten’s key property policies. (The report was commissioned by the Master Builders Association).
    Jennifer Hewett says Coalition MPs still seem determined to make an unpalatable political hash of the government’s much battered energy policy. Witness the latest demand for a lazy $1 billion for the Emissions Reduction Fund.
    Dana McCauley reports that employer groups have warned emboldened unions could drive up housing and infrastructure costs, as they wait for the full bench of Fair Work Commission to release a decision that will clarify the meaning of “pattern bargaining” in industrial actions.
    Nationals deputy leader Bridget McKenzie will shift her electoral office into the federal seat of Indi, setting up a bid for independent Cathy McGowan’s seat and a potential tilt at the party leadership.
    And as unlikely as it may seem, there’s speculation in the media that the National Party is considering defenestrating its current leader, Michael McCormack and, according to some, replacing him with former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce.
    Michaela Whitbourn reports on yesterday’s proceedings at the Geoffrey Rush defamation trial.
    The Australian Taxation Office has 50 secret legal agreements in which firms and their advisers, mainly lawyers and accountants, promise to stop promoting tax exploitation schemes to clients as the agency ramps up its policing of the Promoter Penalty law.
    Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s equity and quant team say market signals from the ever-flattening yield curve are clear as day: stock markets are due to begin a new era of elevated price swings.
    Anna Patty explains how a new survey of 1100 Uber and other ride-share drivers to be released today has found that they earn an average of $16 per hour before costs.
    More from Anna patty as she tells us that the vast majority of Woolworths supermarket workers have voted in favour of a new wages agreement which will restore their full penalty rates and pay them base rates above the retail industry’s minimum requirement.
    Sarah Danckert writes that the dodgy financial products that have become the hallmark of the banking royal commission could be stopped from sale if the corporate cop gets its way on new legislation being considered by the government.
    Gareth Hutchens tells us that the ABC says it will not publicly release its internal review of claims made by its former managing director Michelle Guthrie about the former chairman Justin Milne.
    Nicholas Stuart writes that the Communications and Foreign Affairs departments are currently reviewing our broadcasting services in the Asia-Pacific and the issue of soft power. This means there’s finally a chance to undo the neglect and repair our relationship. He says that nless we urgently refund international broadcasting we may as well abandon any ‘leadership’ role in the Pacific and double our defence spending.
    An Anglican priest teaching about climate change says people have a naïve view of how science really works.
    More and more design flaws are emerging with Adelaide’s new hospital.
    Embattled Greens NSW MP Jeremy Buckingham is fighting for his political life this morning after a major escalation overnight of the dual scandals now centred around the renowned anti-coal seam gas campaigner.
    Getting 6,000 doctors to agree is impossible – unless it’s on Nauru.
    Michelle Grattan tells us how Morrison is easing refugee policy while still talking tough.
    New Zealand has introduced new foreign property investment laws that are “more extensive” than Australia’s, and Silicon Valley’s billionaire doomsday preppers could be the big losers.
    The mega bridge that will change China – and challenge road users.
    The Conversation tells us that A challenge facing the recently announced Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety will be to define “quality”.
    Jacqui Maley writes on the plethora of stabbed PMs we have and concludes that prime ministers come and go, but one iron law persists – the hatreds within parties always out-strip those between them.
    Ah. Trump’s America!
    Washington’s Bible Museum opened by Mike Pence, embarrassingly that admits some of its Dead Sea Scrolls are fake.
    Today’s nomination for “Arseholes of the Week” goes to a number of Sydney suburbs.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe with the government’s problems with energy prices. Look at the stove!

    A cracker form Alan Moir.

    And more!

    Mark David with more leadership talk.

    From Matt Golding.

    A safe pair of hands for kinds stuck on Nauru.

    From Glen Le Lievre.

    Jon Kudelka savages Morrison’s energy announcement.
    David Pope and the defence industry.
    More in here.

  3. We’ll miss you, BK. Enjoy Canberra.

    Should also mention that Morrison is promising us not only lower prices, but also Fair Dinkum Energy. Australians have long been concerned that the energy they’re getting is not Fair Dinkum, so this should be a relief to all.

    Honestly… rebranding “we’re sticking with coal” as “fair dinkum energy” can only have come from the mind of a cheap-arse advertising brain. The shonk factor of this government has shot up.

    • An advertising brain that the Howard government thought too incompetent to run Tourism Australia after he inflicted the “So where the bloody hell are you” campaign on the world.

      How anyone could fail with an ad ad set on a beautiful beach and starring a young, pretty(back then) Lara Bingle in a bikini is unfathomable, but somehow ScumMo the advertising genius managed to do it. It cost him his job, so he went into politics.

      And now that incompetent fool is PM, and he’s still churning out the cringe-making slogans.

  4. Good to see the media finally going after Jewellery and her rorts.

    This sudden attention to something that has been going on for years wouldn’t have anything to do with rumours about her planning on becoming PM, would it?

    Let’s hope those shoes look better on her old lady feet than the red $1500 Louboutins did. So uncomfortable, and two sizes too small, it hurt just to look at them.


  5. When even Sky News has doubts about the Minister for the Environment.

    Ms Price says her government is helping with the degradation of land – well, indeed they are.

  6. Descend into darkness…

    “A fragment does not give us that continuously changing truth….” Anais Nin.

    We now live our lives in fragments. Small moments of awareness, like a penny peep-show of old. Wisdom and knowledge in photo-ops and literary grabs of no more than a thousand words…written in a witty and evocative hand. Hinting at but not over-playing a verbose vocabulary…just enough to thoroughly suffocate the inadequate language of the uneducated while going about the task of educating the unknowing about the inner truths of subjective objectivity.

    What is “truth”?.. we may ask. And did not Pilate ask the same of Jesus?..or so we are told..before he cast him to the mob..So there is the difference of the times..now, the mob plays the role of a Pilate and any victim that falls into their media net of criminality or what can even be construed as such is torn apart BEFORE they are judged and THEN thrown to be intellectually eviscerated by the singular expert on visual media or blog.

    It was a hot summer’s day and I might have dropped into that front-bar of that esplanade hotel for a quick refresher before lunch…you could get a good counter-lunch at some of those hotels then..I’m talking of the early seventies..There were three other blokes in the bar, sitting with their backs to the esplanade and sea..I was at the at the zenith of the “u” shaped bar so could see through the open sash windows onto the street.

    At that moment, a young woman clad in a “strategically shaped” yellow bikini stepped barefooted onto the hot road and, clutching an ice-cream in one hand and towel in the other, quick-steppingly made her way across to the sea. As I said , she was a young woman and a Bertie Wooster might add; “with a rather splendid profile”…and the hot surface of the road made her tapping steps enhance the perimeters of that profile..and as I nonchalantly perved, those other three chaps, as if on some silent, invisible, stage-directed cue all turned simultaneously and looked toward the young lady. And as their eyes lingered on the sight some while, one has to conclude they were of the same imagination as yours truly.

    What made them turn in unison?…What made their eyes linger on the vision?..What is it about the female form that creates a certain kind of silent hunger in the heterosexual male?..a lust for life!…: “Perfume of embraces all him assailed, with hungered flesh obscurely, he mutely craved to adore.”…Thank you Mr. James Joyce..couldn’ve said it better meself!

    Of course, I won’t try to answer those questions..I suspect most men of my generation (and any other ) already know them anyway. Sufficient to answer for myself in that time of youth, lusting after the sublime feminine form. The object of sexual desire. But that was then. Back in those long lost years of “wasted youth” etc, etc …..Now, I have to admit a certain lack of enthusiasm toward the erotic or even the exquisite female form. Something lost upon the way, perhaps?…I don’t think so.. A woman in her early forties recently remarked to me that she noticed that “one doesn’t see..(and here she paused to choose the correct word).. sexy..looking people much anymore”… She didn’t mean saucily-dressed or simpering expression and looks, she meant as in that attractive manner..that je ne sais quoi of style and form that some people seemed to have in spades.

    I recall my first sighting in film of Catherine Deneuve, a “love at first sight” moment..in a movie experience type of way..Now there was a woman who visually oozed that confident feminine quality that was both sensual strength and vulnerable beauty at the one time..a type of woman one felt like showing both heroic example and adoring servility at the one moment. The Leonard Cohen ; “I’m your man” kind of thing.. “. . . with hungered flesh obscurely. . . “

    I myself am a viewer these days of those so-called “Scandi-noir” films where often there is a smattering of nudity and sexual activity..but strangely, (perhaps it is my age) even though there is accompanying sultry music and mood photography to fit the moment, I find the sex scenes cold and clinical..almost brutal and the bodies harsh and brittle…certainly not attractive as the girl in the yellow bikini from my young years..and indeed, I confess to sometimes wincing my eyes shut at just that strategic moment of coitus abruptus. These present day displays of the body-naked is more like a display of the “body-corporate”..can there be such a thing as “Fascist sexuality”? …and one is left with the cold, clinical feeling of a surgical examination rather than the warm inner-glow of unsettling desire..one senses the silent glare from unseen eyes by the society examiner of sexual morals of ; “don’t you even dare think. . . !”…What has gone wrong?

    Sexual sensuality has morphed into sexual depravity, lustful desire has morphed into lascivious groping…and we as a collective have become the lesser for it. Where once flirt and tease were played with all the skills of a professional erotic dancer..now..one could perhaps observe that brutality has become the new eroticism. Where once was the anticipation of a new date a thrill of elated emotion ; “Will she turn up?..it’s getting a bit late, surely!..Oh, wait..there…!”… is it now no more than a banal casual appointment made over a shoulder-to cheek clamped mobile phone as we walk to shopping?

    The same with show-biz humour, where once, the inept clumsiness of slapstick and the guffawing of a gross double entendre sufficed for many an evening’s entertainment, those now dated situation comedies have been replaced..NOT with equally juvenile but more sophisticated humour, but it would seem with more a vicious glee in making mockery of another’s unfortunate situation..like the many humiliating situations and events on clips on Twitter or You Tube..an up-dated media event from the sadistic “funniest Home Videos” shows…We no longer laugh at situations, but more now at the hapless victims of a situation…Where once a professional comedian would play a rehearsed part of a gormless dupe, we now have smart-phones candidly recording every mishap and misadventure by any citizen just going about their business to be displayed to the entire world! We no longer hunger for just a touch from a desired person, but seem to need to totally control the entire relationship…

    I see the steady walk toward authoritarianism as the motivating principle of these debased and bullying behaviours, where so many people, used to following persons of exemplar, those regular paths of guidance in life choices are being fed wrong choices , wrong possibilities and in accepting so readily these immoral and unethical social “norms”, we are being herded onto a path that only leads toward a descent into darkness.

  7. A Northern Territory MP has launched a blistering attack on the remote work-for-the-dole scheme, calling it “modern-day slavery” and describing life on the community development program for people in his electorate as “hunger games”.

    The member for Namatjira, Chansey Paech, told NT parliament the scheme – which sees people in remote communities suspended from income support if they don’t meet their work-for-the-dole commitments – was driving Aboriginal people into poverty, out of remote communities and into major towns, where social problems arise.


  8. Speaking of shoes, Leone

    Former foreign minister Julie Bishop has responded to Fairfax Media’s story questioning whether she may have breached ministerial rules which require them to pay for gifts worth more than $300.

    The story notes Bishop has declared a pair of “Aboriginal print shoes” by Grand Master

    Lineage on her register of interests – but the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet has no record of them being declared as official gifts over the $300 threshold (a separate requirement that arises under ministerial rules).

    Grand Master Lineage is a Chinese company connected to Jimmy Choo, who collaborated with Australian Indigenous artist Peter Farmer for a new line of couture shoes featuring Aboriginal artwork.

    The shoes were declared in March. Bishop ceased to be foreign minister in August, when she declined to remain in the ministry after Scott Morrison took over from Malcolm Turnbull.

    On Wednesday, Bishop was door-stopped after delivering a keynote at a security conference. “I comply with the register of interests,” she said.

    A spokeswoman told Guardian Australia “that is her response”, declining to answer if Bishop had breached the separate ministerial rule on gifts exceeding $300 in value.


    • I can’t imagine Jules would ever consider wearing shoes that cost less than $300. She’s very much a “nothing under $1000 will ever go on my feet” type. She’s telling porkies.

  9. Michael Sainsbury’s piece for Michael West, “The Blaming and ScoMo’s Hug of Doom” is great fun.

    It’s in BK’s links.

    If you haven’t already read it then you should get onto it now.

  10. “Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton yesterday refused to comment on whether he would block the entry of Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes into Australia, with the ultra-right activist set to speak at events across the nation.”


    https://outline.com/FkTdkr non paywalled version here

    This visit was written about earlier, in The Guardian last week


  11. Part 14: The Great Plains (North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma)

    In Nebraska incumbent Republican Senator Deb Fischer will be easily reelected but in North Dakota incumbent Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp appears to be in a lot of trouble with polls showing her down double digits against her Republican challenger, Congressman Kevin Cramer however in 2012 she was down by 10 points and then went on to win, so she shouldn’t be written off just yet.

    There are 3 districts that are competitive. In Nebraska’s 2nd district, based on Omaha, which Trump only carried narrowly, Democrat Kara Eastman has a chance of defeating Republican incumbent Don Bacon, although polls show her trailing. A more promising prospect is Kansas’s 3rd district, based on Kansas City, which was the only district in these five states that Hillary Clinton carried. Polls show the Democrats’ Sharice Davids leading Republican incumbent Kevin Yoder. While the 2nd district, Topeka and Eastern Kansas, could also be in play due to the retirement of the Republican incumbent.

    While this area is usually a Republican stronghold, three of the governor’s races are potentially competitive. In Oklahoma the deep unpopularity of outgoing Republican incumbent Mary Fallin has lead to the Democrats’ Candidate Drew Edmonson having an outside chance of winning in one of the most Republican states in the U.S. Similarly in Kansas, the unpopularity of former governor Sam Brownback and the defeat of his successor Jeff Colyer at the hands of the hard right Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has given the Democrats, and their candidate Laura Kelly, a chance of victory, with polls showing them in a statistical tie, another factor is the presence of independent candidate Greg Orman, who almost won the Kansas Senate seat in 2014, the candidate that he takes the most votes from will have a role in determining the winner. While in South Dakota, polls are showing a surprisingly close race to replace term limited Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard. Polls, albeit internal ones for the Democrats, indicate a close race between the Democrats’ candidate, State Senate minority leader Billie Sutton and The Republicans’s candidate Congresswoman Kristi Noem.

    State Legislatures
    North Dakota House of Representatives (48 of 94 seats up for election): Republicans: 81 seats, Democrats: 13 seats. Not mathematically possible for Democrats to win control (need 34 seats but only running 27 candidates for Republican-held seats).
    North Dakota State Senate (24 of 47 seats up for election): Republicans: 38 seats, Democrats: 9 seats. Democrats need to gain 15 seats to win control.

    South Dakota House of Representatives (All 70 seats up for election): Republicans: 59 seats, Democrats: 10 seats with 1 vacancy. Democrats need to gain 35 seats to win control.
    South Dakota State Senate (All 35 seats up for election): Republicans: 29 seats, Democrats: 6 seats. Democrats need to gain 12 seats to win control.

    Nebraska State Senate (24 of 49 seats up for election): The Nebraska State Senate is officially non-partisan. The de-facto party numbers are as follows: Republican-affiliated members: 31 seats, Democratic-affiliated members: 16 seats, Libertarian-affiliated members: 1 seat, actual independents: 1 seat. Democratic-affiliated members need to gain nine seats to win control.
    Nebraska’s legislature is unicameral and therefore does not have a House of Representatives.

    Kansas House of Representatives (All 125 seats up for election): Republicans: 85 seats, Democrats: 40 seats. Democrats need to gain 23 seats to win control.
    Kansas State Senate: Not up for election this year.

    Oklahoma House of Representatives (All 101 seats up for election): Republicans: 72 seats, Democrats: 27 seats with 2 vacancies. Democrats need to gain 24 seats to win control.
    Oklahoma State Senate (24 of 48 seats up for election): Republicans: 40 seats, Democrats: 8 seats. Not mathematically possible for Democrats to win control (need 17 seats, only running 16 candidates in Republican-held seats).

    Ballot Measures
    In Nebraska there is a ballot measure that would expand the eligibility for Medicaid under the affordable care act to persons under 65 earning at or below $16,753 per year. In North Dakota there is a measure that legalise the use of Marijuana for recreational purposes. No polls have been conducted for the Nebraska measure but the North Dakota measure was trailing when it was polled in August.

  12. Whence the saying : “To fiddle the books”?.. From Samuel Pepy’s Dairy Nov’ 7th 1660…: “ After all this he called for the fiddles and books, and we two and W. Howe, and Mr. Childe, did sing and play some psalmes of Will. Lawes’s, and some songs; and so I went away. “

  13. Ron’s shopping trolley experience.

    While not wanting to tangent away from the header subject on to shopping trolleys and their “weaponisation”, I would still like to relate a most tragic moment that happened to a relative of mine some years ago concerning a shopping trolley, that has affected him up till this day…:

    He had just bought himself his first brand spanking new car…a Holden Kingswood..bright lime-green..he was a gregarious chap..and being super cautious to not have it scratched or knocked whilst parked up at the local mega-market, he made it a point to park the car way-away in the bottom corner of the car-park.

    This one day, he decided to have an expresso coffee before shopping…Sitting there in the cafe at the big window, he could see his bright lime-green Kingswood parked in splendid isolation at the bottom of the car-park..he sipped his coffee whist admiring his beautiful toy…when movement at the upper end of the park caught his eye…

    You know..Lady Fate has a cruel streak in her…in that she will first draw your attention to her intent to do you harm in a most un-nerving way and with awful premonition, she will taunt you with an unease of the certainty of disaster and yet allow you no chance of stopping it…like watching a train-wreck in slow motion, she will gleefully torture you with a cruel certainty of inevitability.

    My relative watched a young, frustrated mother wrestling with baby on hip, boot open, loading bags of shopping into her car whilst obviously attending the wrestling infant..slamming the boot-lid down and then angrily shoving the shopping trolley away without care or concern…My relative watched with both mesmerising curiosity and horror as the trolley performed a slow, predictable, parabolic curve of most pure mathematical precision, and , guided by the tyrannical hand of cruel Fate, gathered speed down the gentle slope and made a bee-line to a bright lime-green Kingswood..set there now looking as big as a barn-door just waiting for a projectile….and with all the emotional tempest of a Heathcliff and Catherine rushing toward each other’s arms from Wuthering Heights..they did indeed find each other…

    We can draw the curtain of sympathy down over my relative’s facial expression at that moment…sufficient to say that from that day forward he ceased to contribute to ANY charitable religious collections…concluding, quite correctly, that there is no half-decent God!

    • Indeed ; “OUCH” , billie11…sometimes it seems like all the Gods are against you, eh?

      The twist of the knife.

      “ ‘Twas the cruel hand of fate”, some will attest,
      “Plain bad luck..had to give it best”.
      No plot nor plan nor Nemesis,
      That loss of love, fortune..no redress.
      There was that time for the Lady’s smile,
      Luck, sweet mistress, walk me a mile,
      Friends, well wishes, oh wilful guile,
      Was jealous intent? or blunt revile!
      Chance will intervene yet awhile,
      To arm the hand, repay the slight,
      Fate; cruel mistress will plunge the knife,
      Yes..Fate’s cruel hand..would repay it best,
      But truly I say ; ” ‘tis the twisting of the blade,
      Above ALL the rest!”

    • Why is ScumMo so obsessed with this thing he calls “the Canberra bubble”? What does he actually mean? Does he have the foggiest idea or is it just another of his meaningless slogans, just more gibbering?

  14. Leonie asks Why is ScumMo so obsessed with this thing he calls “the Canberra bubble”?

    Is it the same as the Washington Beltway
    Anyway scumMo and his advisors are living on a very different planet to the voters, even the voters of Wentworth

    • That might be where he’s heading, I’m not sure if he actually knows what he’s on about though. It’s just meaningless drivel, he keeps repeating it when he talks about Labor. He seems to think it’s an insult.

      It’s funny though. If he’s aiming for an “inside the beltway” reference then he has missed it by miles. That term refers specifically to the US government, its officials and public servants, lobbyists and other hanger-on in Washington and the media who report on them. It’s intended to imply these people are isolated from the general population by their close ties to the seat of government.

      Isn’t ScumMo, as PM, now the centre of that damn “Canberra bubble” just as Trump is at the very heart of the “inside the beltway” territory?

      It’s another own goal if that’s what he’s on about with his stupid catchphrase. He’s trying to tell us Shorten and Labor are isolated from mainstream Australia. What a joke!

  15. Yep, the ‘Canberra Bubble’ is Morrison’s attempt to portray Shorten and Labor as being out of touch with the ‘real world’. Which is pretty laughable considering the Coalition under Morrison have been alienating the majority of Australians by backing unpopular policy positions.

    Morrison hasn’t grasped yet that claiming one thing while doing the exact opposite doesn’t fool anyone. You can’t run the country entirely on buzzwords and catchphrases. Or that promising things and then not doing them is what got his party into its current mess.

  16. Lovely picture of Julia – I guess her enemies would still find that hard to take – to be reminded she was not only brilliant, but beautiful too! Gave me the chance to recall some of the myriad comments of regret and admiration made by so many when we lost her as our PM.

    J is for Julia and the Joy she gave.
    U is for Us, so Useless to save
    Labor while staying Loyal to her,
    In spite of our Instinct that never
    Again could we Australians be so proud of our name.

  17. Ecuador likely to turn Assange over to US – ex-President Correa to RT

    The Ecuadorian government might eventually hand WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange over to Washington, even though it is legally obliged to protect him, former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa told RT.

    “I believe they are going to turn over Assange to the US government,” Correa, who was leading the Latin American country at the time when it granted the WikiLeaks co-founder asylum, told RT, calling the policy of the current Ecuadorian government “a shame.”

    “The Ecuadorian state has to protect Assange’s rights, he is not just an asylum [seeker]; he is a citizen,” Correa said. Granted Ecuadorian citizenship back in 2017, Assange is now supposed to be protected by the Ecuadorian constitution. But the current government is too desperate for Washington’s favor, Correa believes.

    The WikiLeaks co-founder might be a bargaining chip in an agreement between the Ecuadorian authorities and US Vice President Mike Pence, who visited the Latin American country and met with President Lenin Moreno earlier this year.

    Quito’s behavior shows that it has “absolutely submitted” to Washington without actually earning any favor, Correa said.


  18. I have a big problem with current affairs showing important issues. Continuo in a minor key is compulsory to show how “serious” it is. If a show cannot stand on its own legs without music then it is worth nothing.

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