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Australians from far and wide are in the wilderness looking for a new home. While there is a bunch of work to do to get plugins loaded and other techo stuff – this is a start.  Our header image is a composite created from a shot of Barack Obama by Saul Loeb (AFP) and an photo of John McCain by Carolyn Kaster (AP). Info about the site and how we go forward is referenced under a separate thread. In the meantime – this thread is about the general election.

118 Responses to “Welcoming the AU/US Political Contingent”

  1. 1
    Chris B says:

    Brilliant! Just what we need and moderated. Are we going to have rules about things such as cut and paste and general behavior?

  2. 2
    Catrina says:

    Chris at 2
    Whatever ‘we’ decide – and when I say ‘we’ I mean all of us. I’m just delivering the infrastructure.

  3. 3
    Chris B says:

    Missouri appears to be a tossup in the Presidential race for this fall, with John McCain holding a slight lead over Barack Obama at this point.

    The good news for Obama and other Democrats in the state is that Democratic party id has surpassed that for Republicans in the state. When PPP last polled Missouri, during its hotly contested 2006 Senate race, Republicans had a 40-39 party id advantage. While the Democrats have remained constant since then, Republican self identifiers have dropped 6%, with a commensurate increase in independents.


  4. 4
    Chris B says:

    Thanks. I will watch I don’t go overboard, Although I only try to put what I think MOST people are interested in.

  5. 5
    Chris B says:

    To get your rankings up in Google, copy the URL into your website name on the original Pollbludger. Then regularly post some messages on the Australian site. Links mean a lot in Google.

  6. 6
    Chris B says:

    Catrina, could you email me. I will send you some links to put on your site. If you want help with stuff, I will volunteer.

  7. 7
    Catrina says:

    Chis at 6

    As far as Google is concerned we are so close to zero that it does not matter. The only way that changes is we get blogroll listed by other sites (comment URLs will not matter because the comment pages themselves are unlikely to be referenced – in effect when William said “they have a very short shelf life”, what that actually means is that individual pages have very short lifetimes, very long shelf lives, but no effective ranking value). But that doesn’t matter – main objective here is keeping friends together over the next few months and the more interesting subject there is the question of who will be contributing posts and how good they are – I’m hoping some of the usual suspects will put aside any short-term modesty and step up to the challenge.

    I should also point out that we (for the timebeing) will be dealing with a technical issue in that we don;t have comment paging (the required plugin is not available from the collection provided by wordpress on their hosted blogs). On this subject I’ll be contacting the WordPress crew to see if we can get this fixed, but in the meantime nit means that we will need to be coming up with new topics in order to trigger new pages.

  8. 8
    Catrina says:

    Chris at 7

  9. 9
    Chris B says:

    Sent them on the about page. Got to go for a while. Great job again.

  10. 10
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Well done Catrina (may I call you “Mistress Catrina’? LOL) and if there’s any technical stuff you want done, now that my work has slowed down, give me a shout.

    All the best to the new Bludgertoreum and all who dwell there in their cyber life.

  11. 11
    Catrina says:

    KR at 11
    Well … now that you mention it I was wondering if you would be up to the job of writing the next post? After all, a girls get her sleep sometime or other.

  12. 12
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Last night the US markets took a beating, and I’ve now got Fannie Mae on deathwatch…she took a 13% scalping last night!

    This, after days of the heavy hitters jawboning it up, bu the punters obviously NOT believing a word of it.

    Now, if both Freddie and Fannie have to go to the capital markets for more capital, their ratings will be stressed and the costs for that money will go up steeply.

    The punters have got this factored in, and it’s not looking good for the US housing market if either of these two cannot buy up mortgages.

    It’s a long way from Benanke’s soothing words late last year folks, and it is the BIG issue in US households, and it will not be a winner for John Mccain, you can bet on that.

  13. 13
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    OK, Catrina, done. I’ll pop in little market shots occasionally to keep people up on what I think is the significant event of this period (obviously housing and energy and inflation generally) because it’s moved dead centre of the country’s focus.

    I hope they’re not considered too oblique, but hey, at least they’re readable! LOL

  14. 14
    Catrina says:

    KR at 14
    Super! A contributor account invitation has been sent to you email. Ping me if you have any problems.

  15. 15
    Catrina says:

    GG – would you be interesting in providing some political content to the posts on the site (where reasoned and balanced is in the context of an impending KR economic accountability statement)? After all – we need someone of substance and testicular fortitude to represent the fence.

  16. 16
    jen says:

    Well done Catrina !!
    REally glad to see there is a forum for ongoign discussion and (let’s face it) the connection that has developed over time between some of us.
    How do we donate/ help fund it?

    And if you want any technical help and advice then I would suggest you stay well away from me .
    (Will this have that Javascript stuff on it??)

  17. 17
    Swing Lowe says:

    Just thought we should look at a couple of the new polls that came out in the US today:

    New Jersey – Obama +5
    Missouri (Rasmussen) – McCain +5
    Missouri (PPP) – McCain + 3
    Kansas – McCain +13
    Alabama – McCain +13

    All of these are good polls for McCain. Obama should be up by more in a state like NJ, whilst McCain seems to have established a consistent lead in MO.

    The KS and AL polls show that Obama shouldn’t waste any of his money in those states.

    The question is – Has Obama peaked? Or are these just random outliers?

  18. 18
    jen says:

    Swing Lowe –
    I know which position I’d rather be in. (don’t go there Finns)http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/2008/president/us/general_election_mccain_vs_obama-225.html

  19. 19
  20. 20
    Optimist says:

    Bravo Catrina!!!!!

  21. 21
    Catrina says:

    jen at 17

    How do we donate/ help fund it?

    No need.

    The site we are running on is provided by free from WordPress and for that we get some pesky adds just above the start of comments. There are also lots of restrictions on what we can and cannot do with the site, the level of customization, and potentially some traffic/volume issues in the future. But lets not worry about that just yet. First priority is keeping the family together.

  22. 22
    jen says:

    you’re a whizz.
    Do you reckon William will drop in if he doesn’t have to moderate? I’d like to think we can all stay friends…

  23. 23
    Enemy Combatant says:


  24. 24
    Catrina says:

    jen at 23
    I hope so!

    In the meantime I need some sleep – enjoy the playground.


  25. 25
    blindoptimist says:

    Catrina, you very clever. I send bouquets and chocolate. Thank you for doing this.

  26. 26
    Optimist says:

    I feel like I’m half drunk at a house warming party.
    Anyone care to dance?

  27. 27
    Swing Lowe says:

    I’m game, Optimist.

    What’s your preferred dance style???

  28. 28
  29. 29
    Swing Lowe says:

    First there was Gov. Ventura – now will Minnesota soon have a Sen. Ventura?

    I report, you decide… :-)


  30. 30
  31. 31
    Optimist says:

    Swing Lowe,
    foxtrot? Maybe a little charleston.
    Don’t wanna get too excited though, I’ll start ranting about that darned Woodrow Wilson and his foreign adventures. Bosh! Flimshaw!

  32. 32
    Chris B says:

    29 Swing Lowe. Wouldn’t that split the Repug vote?

  33. 33
    Optimist says:

    Chris B,
    let’s hope so. Go Al Franken!

  34. 34
    Chris B says:

    Fact-checking McCain and the RNC.

    One of the great information resources in this high-octane, spin-heavy campaign season is the non-partisan fact-checking website. Three in particular stand out: The Washington Post’s fact-checker; PolitFact, run by the St. Petersburg Times and Congressional Quarterly; and FactCheck.org, a project of the Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.

    All three have taken John McCain and Barack Obama to task for misleading statements, speeches, and TV ads. But McCain has had a particularly rough go of it lately, especially from FactCheck.org

    Catrina. Maybe we could link to these fact checking sites.

  35. 35
    Swing Lowe says:

    Well, when Ventura won the Governorship of Minnesota (back in 1998), it was the Democrats who ended up coming 3rd.

    The results were:

    Ventura: 37%
    Coleman (R): 34.3%
    Hubert Humphrey III (D): 28.1%

    The irony here is that the incumbent senator in Minnesota is one Norm Coleman – the losing Republican candidate in 1998. Of course, Coleman now has the benefits of incumbency, but it would be interesting to see whether history repeats itself in Minnesota (if Ventura runs)…

  36. 36
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Well done, Catrina. Great to see some of the core crew here from soon to be hibernated Sep PB. No luck yet with being able to get toonies up but will keep trying. I’m a bit of a techno-trog but willing to learn how to get it right as site teething probs are sorted.

    Suggest that the five three eight site is worth adding to blogroll, will see immediatly after posting this comment if if 538 will link in comments.

  37. 37
    Swing Lowe says:

    It is looking increasingly likely that Sen. Susan Collins (R – ME) is going to be reelected fairly comfortably.


    Considering that the Maine senate seat was considered a winnable seat by the DSCC, it now looks increasingly unlikely that the Democrats will be able to get the 60 seats it needs to have a filibuster-proof majority…

  38. 38
    Optimist says:

    Ventura might have a few problems as he has a couple of controversial theories on 9/11


  39. 39
    Enemy Combatant says:



  40. 40
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Are you too old for this shit?


  41. 41
    Swing Lowe says:

    Optimist @ 37,

    If Ventura ran for the Senate, I would be seriously surprised if he got close to 37% of the vote this time around. 1998 was the height of political apathy in the US – people were pissed off with Clinton because of the Lewinsky affair, whilst they were also pissed off with the Republican Congress coz they tried to impeach the President. It’s no surprise that a third party won at least one political race.

    This time, things are different. Partisanship has increased, turnout will be higher (because this is a Presidential election year rather than a mid-term) and there’s more enthusiasm for politics. I predict that if Ventura runs, he’ll end up being more like Perot’s run for President in 1996 rather than Perot’s run for President in 1992. If he gets 20% of the vote, he should be extremely happy with himself…

  42. 42
    Optimist says:

    Swing Lowe,
    I tend to agree. I suspect he’ll get that advice and decide against a run.

  43. 43
    Chris B says:

    18 Swing Lowe Not surprised about Kansas and Alabama. Not many African Americans in Kansas. Although heaps in Alabama.

  44. 44
    Swing Lowe says:

    Chris B @ 42,

    Out of all the southern states, Alabama is probably the most unfavourable for Obama (although Arkansas and Tennessee would come close). He should concentrate on Virginia, Florida (and possibly) North Carolina in the South and focus more on the Mountain West and the mid-west.

    As for Kansas – well, unless Sebelius is on the ticket, it’s definitely not going for Obama. If he’s going to spend any money in the plains states (and they are cheap markets), he should spend it on the Dakotas and Nebraska (for that 1 electoral vote he may win there…)

  45. 45
    Chris B says:

    Hi America. Meet the Obamas, a model family.

    In an age of divorce and single parenting, it was the picture of the model American family: dad, mum, and two charming children. Voters, meet the Obamas.

    Barack and Michelle Obama let down their guard this week to grant their first family television interview to Access Hollywood with daughters, Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7. The two girls – who occasionally squirm with boredom – discuss such family fare as sleepovers, date night, ice cream, their father’s uninterest in shopping and how he embarrasses them in front of their friends by shaking their hands.


    Isn’t that what parents are for to embarrass their kids?

  46. 46
    Chris B says:

    Swing Lowe just found this.

    Obama triples Missouri staff.

    arack Obama’s campaign plans to triple its paid workers in Missouri to 150, making it one of the largest Democratic campaign efforts in the state’s history.

    The 150 workers will be placed in 30 field offices across the state, which has been a key swing state in presidential elections for years.


    As for Maine, it is a big lead, but the campaign hasn’t started yet. I won’t give up so soon.

    Tennesse senate was almost won by the Democrats in 2006. The race issue lost it for them.

  47. 47
    Chris B says:

    The AFL-CIO is launching a new television ad Thursday in six battleground states to deter union members who happen to be military veterans from supporting Republican John McCain, a decorated Navy fighter pilot who was shot down over Hanoi and held as a prisoner of war.


  48. 48
    Possum Comitatus says:

    Cat, if you ever have a question about what you can and cant do with the free wordpress.com system, feel free to drop me a line.

    For instance, I’m sure you are currently looking for a way to paginate the comments, so you have multiple pages of them under a given post?

    Well, you cant. :mrgreen:

    Plug-ins like that aren’t actually supported by the wordpress.com system.

    Just a lot of little things like that which would ordinarily take hours at a time to hunt down, I’ve probably already wasted years of my life looking for!

  49. 49
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    46 Chris B

    Good move to use a Vietnam vet too, and remind folks that they’ve already done the wasteful war for no benefit trip once before.

    I’m beginning to wonder how McCain can stand there and justify it all as if losing one unnecessary was wasn’t enough.

    The money message is only really working because of their dire economy, so it’s the perfect storm for the Repuglies. The jingoism is fine when they think they can afford it, but it goes out the window when people are losing jobs and houses and public services are being slashed to the bone.

  50. 50
  51. 51
    Chris B says:

    48 Kirribilli Removals The Democrats used a Second World War veteran in McGovern to say that his world war II record didn’t qualify McGovern to be a leader so why should it qualify McCain. The only thing it qualifies McCain for is War.

  52. 52
    jen says:

    Yay Ecky- cartoons and all!
    Feel like I’m at home.

  53. 53
    Optimist says:

    Doesn’t recent Presidential history indicate that draft-dodging qualifies you for President?

  54. 54
    Chris B says:

    52 Optimist Thats a good idea for a You Tube video. I nominate you to make it :)

  55. 55
    Chris B says:

    Is anyone on here good at doing You Tube video’s?

  56. 56
    jen says:

    Finns did a tapdance one.

  57. 57
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    ooh, they’re being coy:

    Later, Obama was appearing with Clinton, his rival-turned ally who is mentioned as a possible running mate, at two fundraisers spanning two days. Vice presidential searcher Caroline Kennedy accompanied the two on the flight from Washington.

    Aides were tightlipped about why the trio traveled together other than to cite the fundraisers.


    So maybe she’s not completely out of the picture? It would surprise me, but then again…

  58. 58
    Chris B says:

    My theory is, if the right wingnuts hate Hillary more than Obama, than Hillary’s the one for the job. Why would you bump off Obama only to get Hillary? Hillary is insurance.

  59. 59
    jen says:

    you know Kirri, the more the dust settles after the Primary the better the idea of Hillary for VP thing is starting to sit with me.
    It would certainly bring the division in the Dems some healing and calm the pro Hillary people down a bit.
    And maybe she’d behave herself after all.

  60. 60
    jen says:

    ChrisB –
    I think it’s more Bill you have to worry about than right wing nutters.

  61. 61
    Chris B says:

    58 jen Maybe now that your out of the heat of the battle your enemy doesn’t look as bad. I think Kevin Sheedy said the champions of opposition side always looked bigger and nastier when your team played against them.

  62. 62
    Chris B says:

    When they played for the same team (Vic) against an interstate team (S.A.) they didn’t look anywhere near as bad.

  63. 63
    Diogenes says:


    Thanks for this.
    Is it possible to get the alternating shading of the posts to keep the “look and feel” of our old home.

  64. 64
    Chris B says:

    59 jen Your saw what they tried to do to Bill with Starr. If they have a massive landslide and filibuster proof the senate, the neocons will be out to stop them at all costs.

  65. 65
  66. 66
    jen says:

    geez Diogs –
    we’re a sentimental lot, hey?

  67. 67
    Chris B says:

    59 jen Your saw what they tried to do to Bill with Starr. If they have a massive landslide and filibuster proof the senate, the neocons will be out to stop them at all costs. Just because they have no power in government doesn’t mean they will not try to stuff it up by fair means or foul.

  68. 68
    Chris B says:

    59 jen You saw what they tried to do to Bill with Starr. If they have a massive landslide and filibuster proof the senate, the neocons will be out to stop them at all costs. Just because they have no power in government doesn’t mean they will not try to stuff it up by fair means or foul.

  69. 69
    Chris B says:

    Sorry I thought I stopped the first one to correct the spelling mistake in the first sentance.

  70. 70
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Good to see you, Doc, with an aesthetic sense like that, I’ll bet you a bloody great surgeon.

  71. 71
    Chris B says:

    Redneck quotes a redneck in redneck paper, therefore it must be true.

    A TOP-rating US radio host and political commentator has joined the Herald Sun’s Andrew Bolt in lamenting the “global climate change delusion”.
    Rush Limbaugh, an influential voice in US conservative circles through his nationally-syndicated radio talk show, today quoted Bolt’s recent column on climate change entitled ‘Doomed to a fatal delusion’.

  72. 72
    Optimist says:

    Chris B @ 57,
    and if they knocked both Obama and Hillary, they’d end up with the Speaker of the House, Califoenia congresswoman Nancy Pelosi.

  73. 73
    Chris B says:

    70 Optimist. A socialist, that’s even worse! Have to wait till they all got in a plane together.

  74. 74
    David Gould says:

    It is tough to see a better VP candidate than Hillary. I thought Webb would be of use in bringing over Viriginia. I guess an Ohio senator or ex-governor would be my next pick. Or a Michigan one.

    It is still my contention that this presidential election will be decided in Ohio, and that McCain can win if he wins Viriginia, Ohio and Michigan. I am discounting Penn. for the time being, as I think that that is a much easier win for Obama than the other three.

    The good thing about Hillary is that she would bring in voters in all three of those states, making it that much tougher for McCain. (And she would also put a little pressure on in Arkansas – not crucial, but might sap a few dollars from McCain’s spend elsewhere …).

    But then, I am a Clinton supporter. So what else would you expect me to say? ;)

  75. 75
    jen says:

    Which is why David it no longer seems like such a dumb idea.
    If Hillary supporters can accept her as VP not the candidate, and get behind Obama then really it should spell absolute doom for the Repugs.

  76. 76
    Diogenes says:

    68 ec

    I’m a plastic surgeon after all. I have to worry about aesthetics all the time.

  77. 77
    Chris B says:

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel has slammed a request by Barack Obama to give a speech this month before the Brandenburg Gate as inappropriate, her deputy spokesman said today.

    The conservative leader said that while she would be pleased to meet the US Democratic presidential hopeful, it would be wrong for him to hold a “campaign rally” at the historic symbol of German unity.

    You may have to register for the Age.

  78. 78
    jen says:

    Wiliam has just terminated us on PB!

  79. 79
    jen says:

    I have developed life-threatening crows feet. What do you recommend?

  80. 80
    Catrina says:

    Diogenes at 64

    Is it possible to get the alternating shading of the posts to keep the “look and feel” of our old home.

    The current look-and-feel is a close as I could get to PB. A Poss mentioned above (#49) these free sites come with restrictions – one being that you can’t manage your own theme, and being that plugins are not allowed (which is going to make life fun).

  81. 81
    Diogenes says:


    Emergency treatment with Botox will give you the best chance of surviving such a serious illness.

  82. 82
    jen says:

    It seems to have pulled Hillary through. And all the newsreaders on the SBS US newssite. Or is that silicone?
    I may have to just age with dignity–
    do you have Philip Neitsche’s phone number?

  83. 83
    Chris B says:

    79 jen I thought he was going to leave it for a week?

  84. 84
    jen says:

    nup- couldn’t wait to get rid of us.
    what’s the bet on how ,long it takes before Ron reappears despite his protestations?
    My bet is 24 hours.

  85. 85
    William Bowe says:

    No plug-ins? Shit.

  86. 86
    jen says:

    Hope you feel bad now Billbo.
    (whatever a plug-in is- hate to think).

  87. 87
    Chris B says:

    86 William Bowe Had to come for a fix already?

  88. 88
    William Bowe says:

    Jen, in practical terms, it means comments won’t appear in digestible chunks of 100 like they do on my site. Although that won’t be so big a problem if the principals here don’t leave threads to fester for two weeks like I did.

  89. 89
    Chris B says:

    81 Catrina We LOVE you Catrina!

  90. 90
    Possum Comitatus says:

    No plug-ins on WordPress.com.

    Unless they’re a widget built into the backend of the wordpress.com system.

    For most things you can actually be tricky and get around it somehow – especially with judicious use html in text widgets!

    But anything with javascript – bleh. Script dont happen in the wp.com universe which shits me to tears regularly.

  91. 91
    jen says:

    I knew you’d miss us Billbo. But the best bit is you can come and play here and no one will get cross at you if you’re mean to them. You can just do it for fun now!

  92. 92
    jen says:

    POssum- are you from the same planet as I am ?

  93. 93
    jen says:

    You’re from that weord place that hsa Javascript aren’t

  94. 94
    jen says:


  95. 95
    jen says:

    !ook! 4 in a row Bilbo!

  96. 96
    jen says:

    ooops . 6.

  97. 97
    Possum Comitatus says:

    Only sometimes Jen.

    Want to talk heteroskedasticity? :mrgreen:

  98. 98
    William Bowe says:

    You, Jen, are worse than Hitler.

  99. 99
    Kirribilli Removals says:

    Did someone mention Andrew Bolt and climate change? Seriously, that man is a fool of the first order. First he entirely misquotes a specialist in his own field, then refuses to publicly retract his misstatement of the man’s research and generally shows himself to be a complete d!ckhead.

    But why stop there, he just exudes the smugness of the not quite clever enough who just enjoy telling everyone they’re f-wits because he’s got it all figured out.

    Yep, it’s all a mass delusion because Andrew Bolt says so.

    Good enough for me then.

    And even the ABC lets Barry Casidy interview Uhlmann (talk about journalistic incest) on Insiders where the smug git tells us that if they can’t tell him what the weather’s going to be like next week (presumably in the square metre he occupies) then well, hey, how wrong are they going to be in 100 years?

    God they let some really stupid people pretend to have brains when they give them a podium.

    Spare us.

    end of rant

    (well, we’re sans Ronspernto at the moment, so indulge me one OK?)

  100. 100
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Btw, William didn’t get a chance to say thanks for all the fish before PB Sep City hibernation closing time in. So thanks for all the fish. Jolly decent of you to make sure we’re up and away OK although I know you’re pleased to see us off. A nuanced life is one lived fully.
    Thanks for all the fish, BillBo.