America’s Midterm Elections 2018

From fascinators to fascination.

Or maybe fascinated fear?

Are these particular Americian midterms the most important elections in a long time?

Gippsland Laborite has already started his superb coverage: these are the comments he has already posted today:


358 thoughts on “America’s Midterm Elections 2018

  1. Time for NSW opposition leader Luke Foley to resign, before he’s forced out.

    ABC journalist releases explosive statement about Luke Foley

    Foley has been a dud anyway. No-one knows who he is and he tends to agree with Berejiklian’s most stupid brainfarts.

    His replacement is supposed to be Michael Daley, he’s not going to be much of an improvement. He has a scandal-filled past.

    Daley was caught speeding a year ago, not his first speeding offence.

    Earlier this year Daley was accused of accepting a$130,000 donation from a property developer in 2011. He got off on a technicality.

  2. So how did Lucien Aye go ?
    So pleased Malcolm came back one more time to remind us what a self-aggrandising, duplicitous, jelly-spined, delusional, smug faced, toadie he really is/was. We’d almost forgotten. #qanda… fuck off

    • Turnbull looked pathetic really, frail, old, bitter, angry. Full of himself and lying as usual. I wonder what’s between himself and Morrison. He’s careful not to damage Morrison. Not overtly anyway.

    • Thought it would be easier to post a blog on what happened at Bill Shorten’s Forrestfield Town Hall last night.

      The candidates, Hannah Beazley for Swan and James Martin for Hasluck, were introduced and mostly made sure that they introduced themselves to the folk present. Both of them are strong supporters of Medicare and are standing partly due to the way in which Australia’s health care systems are under threat from privatisation.
      The phrase “health care should be available through your Medicare card, not your credit card” was bandied about. I suspect that will be one of the planks of the upcoming ALP platform again.

  3. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Yet another mass shooting in the US, but the perpetrator was white, a former marine and with an Anglo name so it won’t be classed as terrorism. His gun was apparently bought legally. No doubt thoughts and prayers will abound.
    Alexandra Smith looks at Luke Foley’s travails.
    Jacqui Maley says that the statement from ABC journalist Ashleigh Raper tells you everything you need to know about why women generally don’t report sexual harassment.
    Jacob Saulwick writes that after almost four years as state opposition leader, Luke Foley finally emerged with his own transport policy on Thursday – and held on to it for less than a day.
    Lisa Visentin gives us a picture of the man most likely to replace Foley.
    Jenna Price expresses why our justice system needs an overhaul, for the sake of women everywhere.
    Michael Koziol reports that Morrison has shored up his minority government’s numbers in Parliament with a $234 million handout to Bob Katter’s electorate in return for the independent MP’s support on the floor of the House of Representatives.
    Phil Coorey writes that Scott Morrison had to behave more like an opposition leader with this week’s four day bus (and VIP jet) tour of Queensland, underscoring the urgency of his task between now and the impending election.
    Michaela Whitbourn reports on the blast that Rush’s lawyer gave the Daily Telegraph in his closing submission.
    David Crowe makes the case to lift the stone-age secrecy shrouding political donations. And it’s a good one.
    Neil McMahon looks at Turnbull’s Q and A performance.
    Phil Coorey tells us that Malcolm Turnbull has excused Scott Morrison from helping orchestrate his downfall but said many senior members of the Coalition were bullies who posed an existential threat to the Liberal Party and who blew up the government for no good reason, jeopardising its re-election prospects.
    In her piece on Q and A Michelle Grattan says Turnbull might have had a penchant for trams and trains with selfies but not the faux bus tour with cheesy videos.
    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has a corker of a new strategy to win back voters. Dave Donovan fair dinkum doubts it will work.,12078
    Here’s Katharine Murphy’s take on Turnbull’s effort.
    Despite the media working to discredit Barnaby Joyce, the man seems indestructible and likely to win back leadership of the Nationals, writes Ross Jones.,12079
    Experts have rubbished Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s claims that a proposed rollback of negative gearing will decimate the property market and send rents soaring.
    David Wroe reports that the chief of Australia’s navy has revealed that the first of the new fleet of submarines will likely not be fully operational until 2035 – three years after it is due to be in service – and that all six of the existing Collins Class submarines may need to have their life spans extended.
    According to the chair of the Coalition’s backbench energy committee, Craig Kelly, the RET’s penalty for committing grievous bodily harm to mining profits should be death by firing squad rather than its current slow death by hanging. Getting rid of the RET, so the logic goes, will provide more subsidies to the fossil fuel industry. Philip Soos investigates how this rent-seeking industry has captured the Coalition Government to loot the pockets of taxpayers. The irony is that by axing fossil fuel subsidies, we’d need never spend another brass razoo on renewables.
    Richo’s latest contribution is well worth a read.
    Democrats in the House of Representatives have vowed to investigate Donald Trump’s removal of the attorney general, Jeff Sessions. This is a whole new ball game for Trump.
    Suzanne Moore tells us that the US press corps has to learn to stand up to Trump. She says Journalists are too complicit in the ritual degradations at the president’s press conferences. Why not just walk out?
    Professor of International Politics Scott Lucas says that after the midterm elections there are six key issues and he tells us what they mean for the country’s uncertain future.
    The big four banks have launched a strident defence of vertical integration, lending benchmarks and executive bonuses, in response to the Hayne royal commission interim report.
    In a very worrying contribution the London Telegraph says that Trump’s $2.1 trillion deal with the devil has failed,
    Waleed Aly posits that although using race for campaigning gave Trump some success with the Senate this tactic has its limitations and alone it won’t be enough for provide success in 2020.
    John McDuling says that Paul Keating’s incendiary rhetoric may be entertaining, but it won’t be enough to stop the most significant media merger in decades from getting over the line.
    The Adelaide Advertiser warns of the damage the merger is likely to do to country newspapers.
    Banks have told the Hayne royal commission that more rules to ensure their lending is responsible would make it harder for consumers and businesses to get loans and push borrowers into the hands of unregulated “shadow” banks.
    Paul Karp reports that The health minister and the Australian Digital Health Agency have refused to give an update on how many Australians have opted out of the My Health Record system.
    Federal Energy Minister Angus Taylor’s crusade for lower household power prices for households hit another speed bump yesterday when the regulator approved increases in tariffs for Victorian distributors from January 1.
    James Adonis examines the obsession known as hyper-connectivity which, in contrast to its opposite, hypo-connectivity, attracts consequences such as the neglect of relationships, burnout, distraction from bigger priorities and the risk of becoming a mind-numbingly boring person with whom no one wants to hang out.
    Fairfax tells us that Australia will have to get used to handling a cascade of difficult issues with China, all the while striving to preserve an immensely valuable trade relationship. Amid such upheaval, it is worth asking whether Canberra’s new policies are well targeted to address the new challenges.
    A long contribution from Shane Warne on how to fix cricket in Australia.
    From inside jail Roger Rogerson makes a ply for “Arsehole of the Week”.
    Although Carnival Australia’s bid is worthy of consideration.

    Cartoon Corner

    Two beauties from David Rowe.

    On the campaign trail with Mark David.

    A couple from Peter Broelman on the political wedding of the year.

    Two from Paul Zanetti.

    From the US.

    Matt Golding hits the target.

    Glen Le Lievre and a helpful Abbott.

    David Pope on Morison’s motives in the South Pacific.$width_828/t_resize_width/t_sharpen%2Cq_auto%2Cf_auto/1868866108b599752ac155eae05c749deef4b55f
    Jon Kudelka and the ghost from Christmases past.
    More in here.

  4. From the Guardian transcript of last nights Q&A Malcolm said,

    “I’m out of politics, and I will return to the business world, and I love nothing more than technology, I love new projects, I like new technology, and I love creating jobs.”

    This from the man who totally fekked the NBN

    • I want to know exactly how many “jobs” he has created. He’s not a business owner, he doesn’t have anywhere that requires employees. The only “jobs” he would create would be his and Lucy’s domestic staff and maybe someone to clean his office and answer the phone. Menial workers only, and I bet they are ripped off on pay and conditions.

  5. BK thanks for your roundup

    I was struck by Richo’s repeated use of “the mob”, both he and his readership have no respect for ordinary people

  6. NSW Labor will, of course, choose exactly the worst possible person to replace Foley.

    Daley is another disaster waiting to happen, so he’s sure to get the job.

    My choices would be Jodie McKay and Jihad Dib.

    Ms McKay doesn’t have a chance. NSW Labor only puts a woman in charge when they know they are going to lose an election, it’s why they made Kristina Keneally leader, they would not sacrifice a male. In next year’s election Labor is in with a chance of returning to government – or were until Foley’s groping was revealed.

    Jihad Dib is a former high school principal, before he went into politics he was well known for turning one of Sydney’s worst state high schools – Punchbowl – into one of the most respected. If he can handle tough high school kids then managing the political rabble in Macquarie Street should be a breeze.

    There are two reasons Dib won’t become leader. He’s a Muslim. He hasn’t served his time in Sussex Street, he didn’t come up through the ranks of the party machine and only entered parliament in 2015.

    Both McKay and Dib are well known in NSW, probably much more so than Daley or whoever the other (male of course) option is.Another reason for Labor to pick yet another dill.

  7. Foley and that groping.

    There are a few male grubs involved here. Liberal David Elliott raised Foley’s behaviour in parliament, under the protection of parliamentary privilege, without bothering to ask Ms Raper if she was willing to have it revealed. He caused embarrassment and anguish to a woman who had not asked for or consented to her private life being revealed. He’s a filthy grub. He too should be resigning. He will probably be rewarded by the Liberal Party with a promotion instead. Eric Abetz is the other grub involved – he raised this business at Senate estimates.

    So what if Elliott’s behaviour brought on the resignation of Foley? The tactics he used were despicable. Foley is better off out of the leadership, he was a dead loss, totally incompetent, but this was not the way to force him to resign.

    Foley was an idiot and a drunken grub. Being drunk is no excuse for bad behaviour, especially not when it involves shoving your hand down the back of a woman’s dress and knickers and groping her buttocks. I understand why Ms Raper did not immediately turn around and slap Foley – she froze, as you would, and didn’t react. She has a witness who has showed far more class and understanding than the prominent political grubs involved.

    I also understand why she did not report this.

    Now it has been made public, against her wishes, her life has been destroyed. She may be at risk of losing her job and if Foley takes legal action she will have to deal with being called a liar in court. All because some fool of a man had too much to drink and thought a woman was there just for his entertainment and sexual advances, and because another male decided it was a good way to create a political uproar.

    It’s no wonder women often don’t report similar incidents. We know what is likely to happen next, if they do. Just look at what Eryn Jean Norvill has been through after her incident with Geoffrey Rush. Like Ashley Raper, she did not want the incident made public, she just asked Rush to stop being offensive and reported to someone senior in her workplace, someone she thought was a friend. Now her career is in tatters and she has just spent hours in court being accused of lying.

    The more prominent the man the louder the calls of “Liar!”. Women who stand up for themselves have no chance of receiving fair treatment and usually put their careers at risk. No wonder Ms Raper didn’t want to report Foley’s behaviour. Now, thanks to a Liberal Party grub keen to score political points she has a dreadful ordeal ahead.

    If you haven’t read Ms Raper’s statement then you should.

  8. Re job creation bullshit. HoJo the Useless and The Mad Monk tried that claim when they landed on the government benches. Promising to ‘create’ a million jobs in so many years. What a surprise all they needed to meet such a you beaut sounding target was to sit on their arses and population increase would see them achieve their ‘target. Truffles the Ego has done same same

  9. Re Morrison’s bus tour of the North:

    There’s been some talk around that his mad PR skills and feel for the commercial advantage are what inspired Morrison. Conversely, that he saw how well it worked for Gillard and Shorten at the grass-roots level and copied it. I doubt either are true. This has already been done by the Liberals – I recall Abbott embarked on a ‘listening tour’ at some stage, and I’m certain Sky News facilitated town-hall style televised events in regional areas for both Abbott and Turnbull. This is just more of that.

    But like the short-sighted goofballs they are, the Liberals cottoned on to the optics of the strategy while completely missing what actually made them successful. Morrison is flying in and flying out for video grabs and photo-opportunities, which is pretty much the equivalent of, say, Turnbull riding on a tram or Abbott eating an onion. There’s no lasting impression left on the community other than “the PM turned up”. It all looks contrived, mainly because it is contrived – the aim being maximum exposure from minimal effort. We get enough of that lip-service in politics already.

    And there’s absolutely no point in having a televised ‘town-hall-style’ event if it’s invitation only and the questions are pre-set. Well, maybe if your PM is wildly popular and people can’t get enough of him; in that case they’ll tune in just to see him, but that’s not the case with Morrison. He’s going to leave no political footprint on Queensland at all, because the entire thing is predicated on the idea that nothing’s going to change and he doesn’t want anyone’s opinions or advice.

    He could have done the whole thing from Canberra, from inside the ‘bubble’ he’s so fond of referencing. After all, all he’s doing out there is reinforcing the ideology the party’s been foisting on us for years. It’s pretty clear he took that bubble with him on the road, to protect himself from real grass-roots politics.

    It works for Shorten because Shorten is prepared to engage with the questions and complaints of people in regional areas. There may be an argument that it’s a lot of work for modest political gain – a big story in Canberra can wipe out all that work in one fell swoop – but Labor knows that’s how you build a solid base. Like the plane trips he takes in order to avoid actually being on the road for hours at a time, Morrison is looking for a political short-cut. Inevitably, there are no political short-cuts.

    • Sky News did an alleged “town hall” meeting for StuntMo in Townsille on Wednesday night. It was only on Sky, a Paul Murray Live special. The audience was arranged by Sky.

      i didn’t bother watching. Apparently there’s a video on Facebook somewhere, if you are into self-torture.

      I haven’t heard anything about how it went, so it must have been a big failure.

  10. I have nothing to say about Turnbull’s appearance on QandA. Waste of time, didn’t watch it. All he was ever going to offer was gripes and self-glorification. We’re better off launching him into the wilderness, he’s no use to anyone now.

  11. And just one more thing on Morrison: can anyone actually imagine him spending time listening to someone respectfully, and at the end saying, “You make a good point there, I hadn’t thought of it like that”? He only talks at people, or over them. That’s his fundamental problem, one he’ll never surmount. His background dictates that he will always attempt to take control of a situation and shape it to his own ends – and manically too, as if the clock’s winding down and his chance to remain alpha is going to slip. Bad look for anyone who wants to capture the public imagination.

  12. Leone

    The reporter who saw what happened with Foley has given reasons why he told the Libs about it from what I can gather from a tweet I read earlier. So he, as well as the Lib, are the ones that went against the woman’s wish for it not to become public. I don’t know NSW politics, but from what I’ve gleaned about Foley, he apparently won’t be missed by the general public.

    • In her statement yesterday Ms Raper said Sean Nicholls had honoured her request to keep the events in strictest confidence. I believe her.

      I don’t think Nicholls is the leaker.

      Read Ms Raper’s statement for the full timeline of what happened. She claims ABC news management have been very supportive and respected her request for privacy.

      Someone leaked to the media earlier this year. I’d be looking at others present on the night in question.

  13. From the GG. A look at Lucien Aye’s appearance on Q&A

    It was at his crucifixion that Jesus made his famously charitable request: “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

    But, as he emerged from 76 days in the tomb into the Q&A studio last night, Malcolm Turnbull dispensed with the forgiveness bit.

    The coup that ended his political mission on Earth, ………………
    Moir was so right back in 2009

  14. While I’m around, just one more thing, on the US Midterms. Others are obviously way more informed on this than I am, but I do find the following a bit odd:

    1. Prior to, and during the voting, there are widespread reports of vote-tampering, problems with the electronic voting machines, voter exclusion, long lines, voting on a Tuesday when people may not be able to get away from work or travel the distance required to vote, etc – a whole host of factors that might put votes in doubt, with extensive opportunities for manipulation of results.

    2. Afterwards, the entire outcome is explained as if voting went smoothly, votes were faithfully recorded, everyone got a chance to vote and the results exactly reflected the wishes of the US population. For instance, blasting low turn-outs, or saying things like “I can’t believe around half the country support Trump!”

    Surely (1) impacts on (2) to some extent, but it always gets reported after the event as if (1) never happened.

    • Andrew Clennells seems to have backed down from his accusation anyway.

      Here’s his latest.

      He justifies his approach with this-

      The pursuit of this story by The Australian was a difficult one. At all times we have respected the wishes of Ashleigh, who has been brave in releasing this statement today.

      In fact, an original article in May questioning Mr Foley’s behaviour at a function towards an ABC journalist was welcomed by the ABC at the time.

      The pursuit of the story by The Australian was due to the fact that we felt we had to tell the story of a serious allegation against a man who looked very much like he could become the state’s next premier.

      It is difficult to see any other option but resignation right now, giving Labor five months to build a narrative around a new leader, tipped to be Michael Daley

  15. The pursuit of the story by The Australian was due to the fact that we felt we had to tell the story of a serious allegation against a man who looked very much like he could become the state’s next premier.

    It is difficult to see any other option but resignation right now, giving Labor five months to build a narrative around a new leader, tipped to be Michael Daley

    That is the puzzler for me. Murdoch’s Orcs gave NSW Labor time to recover. Why ? SOP for them would be to bring it out in the middle of a campaign and so deep 6 Labor’s bid. Have the denizens of the Sussex St swamp made some very sweet promises to gain this ‘favour’ ?

    • I’ve often wondered to what extent the breeding from the Rum Rebellion still affects the bloodlines of politicians, particularly in NSW and possibly the rest of the eastern seaboard, with particular questions about Liberal or National Party types.

      And what does the Murdoch (pere or fils) think they are doing? Murdoch Snr may be an American, but is Jnr still an Australian?

    • Curioz,

      The Rum Corps’ genes are still going strong, most of all in NSW, but also in Queensland – and, with all due respect, in WA …

    • Fiona, I am intrigued by the whole “Rum Corps Attitude” among certain classes of politicians in particular. I’m more familiar with the WA versions, but am less familiar with the ones on your side of this ‘big island’ of ours *cheeky grin*
      Having such well controlled media is a wonderful way for those types of attitudes to be hidden in plain site. Having to trawl through Trove provides surprising evidence of editorial outrage when the venality of certain public figures is pointed out – as if a curtain has been drawn aside to show the ‘wizard’ as a pile of humonculi scrabbling for control of the levers.

  16. The Liberal Party wheeled out their holy relic to no avail in Wentworth , But the faithful remain undeterred and so wheel it out again.

    Howard on campaign trail

    Former PM John Howard is back, mobbed by shoppers as he pressed the flesh to lend star power to Matthew Guy’s state election campaign.

    Mr Howard was also joined on the campaign by Liberal President Michael Kroger and state director Nick Demiris.

  17. Curioz

    NSW politics is an eternal Rum Corp’s Red Squad v Rum Corp’s Blue Squad. A rotten corrupt cesspit.

    • The Rum Corps thing has been done to death. It’s way past time we stopped blaming bad behaviour on a small group of military types who have been dead for 200 years. Their blood (what remained of it in Australia, and that’s not much, because most of the corps were moved on to India and then back to England)) has been well and truly diluted by later arrivals. The Obeids and their mate Tripodi, just to name a few, have no links to early nineteenth century chaps who spent a bit of time in a colony two centuries ago..

      All party politics in this country could be described as a rotten cesspit, especially when it comes to the two major parties and the Nats. Even the “purer than pure” Greens are going through their own sex scandal right now.

      If you really want to blame the current crop of miscreants on distant ancestors then it has more to do with Australia (not just NSW) being for many decades a dumping ground for sons of the aristocracy and wannabe upper crust who had disgraced themselves and been banished. That attitude of “don’t you know who I am” and entitlement has carried on into the Liberal Party with its adoration of all things British and its refusal to move out of the 19th century. It’s also partly responsible for the class hatred that runs through our politics and society in general and still influences much government policy.

      Just look at the current attacks on those on welfare, especially single mums, if you want proof. They are seen as the undeserving poor and single mums are still expected to marry so a man can take the responsibility of supporting them from the government.

    • LeonieTwo,
      That’s just it, the attitude towards those perceived as ‘lesser than’, or who want to change the status quo in some way. Newcomers with a similar attitude can always be assimilated into the ‘club’, but the rest of us … ?

      That whole attitude has always fascinated me as to its justifications. That and so many Australians, even ones born in the UK and more aware of those class divisions, deny that what I call the “Rum Corps Attitude” can infect so much of our political and business people. To me it suggests some deeply felt inadequacies, I think.

      One friend now insists that all politicians are “Rum Corps” types, which I have difficulty accepting as I’ve met some on both Labor and Liberal sided that are not like that at all. And the odd one or two who really are. *sad smile*

  18. Coming home from town, news radio was going gangbusters on this bloke Elliot bringing up the stuff against Foley in parliament. Just read a tweet that Elliot has warned the msm that are set up at his home that he will call the police on them. Let us hope he becomes the story from now on.

    • He should be the story. His actions were just as abusive, if not more so, than Foley’s

      Now he knows what it’s like to get unwanted media attention.

  19. Some things restore my faith in humanity.

    Conjoined twins undergo major separation surgery in Melbourne
    A SURGEON is confident about complex surgery to separate twins, but is unsure of how long the operation will take.

    Kudos to the Victorian government for paying for the operation, and to all the lovely physiotherapists and medical people who are donating their service.

    I just hope it all has a happy ending.

  20. Jack the Insider has a look at some pollie shenanigans over the years.

    He was horsewhipped in Pitt Street by a political opponent in 1898 in front of hundreds of shocked Sydneysiders otherwise going peacefully about their business. Norton responded by drawing a revolver and firing three shots at his assailant but unsurprisingly missed his target. He was later charged and fined five pounds……………On another occasion Norton was arrested in his home at Watson’s Bay. Returning to find his dinner not prepared, he became enraged and assaulted his wife with a fish.

    The ugliness has moved from the bizarre, the eccentric, the dodgy and…………

    • I almost cried – in anger and desperation – when I found out StuntMo was PM, I probably yelled “Oh My God! No!” as well. Does that count as praying?

      We still don’t know who he prays to. It’s obviously not the Christian God.

      My money’s on Cthulhu.

  21. I don’t really believe in hounding someone. Even if they’re at fault. Let the law take its course. Luke Foley should be left alone. We’ve seen what happened to John Brogden, and how they pursued P Slipper and Craig Thomson. Even Julia Gillard for just losing her shoe.

  22. video clip here of police announcement

    Guardian live updates

  23. Even from the other side of this wide brown land I can hear the licking of chops from a number of Coalition peasants as they anticipate “security”,’keeping you safe’, opportunities from the Melbourne incident.

  24. midterm late counting update

    After trailing for most of the count. Democrat Kyrsten Sinema has taken the lead in the Arizona Senate Race by 9000 votes with about 400,000 ballots still uncounted.

    The race has also tightened in Florida with Rick Scott now ahead of Senator Bill Nelson 50.1% to 49.9% with a large number of ballots still to be counted.

Comments are closed.