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Two years ago Barack Hussein Obama was elected President of the U.S. with  Democrats having a majority in  Congess and an almost fiflibuster-proof majority in The Senate. Tomorrow the politicl landscape will have changed somewhat.  To what degree depends largely on how many formerly energised Democratic supporters are “getting out the vote” because we know that a buzzed-up bunch of Tea-Baggers are going gangbusters to rally their people for E-Day.

Conventional Wisdom and assorted Solomons of Psephology like  Nate “NYT” Silver predict Dems will lose the Congress and hold The Senate by a whisker. Seems a fair call, but wouldn’t be surprised if the Dems get done in the Senate too. We’ve all had our two bob’s worth over the possible result and the reasons for it. In the next day, many of those quetions and points of conjecture will be answered.

1,024 Responses to “Loose Change Is Hard To Belive In”

  1. 901
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Good to hear that Ferny’s OK, KL. The Birmo article adds credence to the proposition that a lot of QLDers are seeing Bligh/Rudd/Neuman/Gillard as we do.

    A poll of over 11,000 respondents shows 83% believe Bligh is doing an “Outstanding” job.

    When the ochre torrent recedes there will be mud ubiquitous. It will be most instructive to see who starts flinging it first.

  2. 902
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Blood Simpleton:

    “The former Republican vice-presidential candidate, now a bestselling author and reality television star, had offered a brief message of condolences and prayers just hours after the shooting.
    But her new comments raised eyebrows, as “blood libel” historically refers to the slander that Jews use the blood of Christian babies to make Passover matzoh, a myth used to justify pogroms and other repression.”


  3. 903
    Enemy Combatant says:

    And the fox will accomodate the scorpion, the dingo lay down with the bandicoot, and the frog become helmsman to the serpent….

    ~Revelations 25:17


  4. 904
    paddy says:

    Actually Ecky, I believe that’s a photo of Barnaby Joyce being rescued by Tony Abbott. :evil:
    Also, the pedant in me wishes that the reporter on the ABFrigginC news24 would stop referring to E Coli and Salmonella as dangerous viruses!!
    They’re bacteria!! Grrr!!!! :-(

  5. 905
    paddy says:

    Obi hits one out of the park in Tucson.
    Good to see the guy hasn’t lost it.
    What a speech!!
    Vid here.

  6. 906
  7. 907
    Katielou says:

    paddy @ 905
    I think that was exactly what was called for from Obama. As close to perfect for the occasion as can be.

    Joe Klein liked it.

  8. 908
    Katielou says:

    and gaffy @ 906 – love Bill Maher.

  9. 909
    Jen says:

    Katielou –
    glad Ferny is ok- and the rest of the northerners so far.
    not tryingg to be bitchy about the botox in particular… couldn’t care less really but Julia’s overall image and presentation is artificial.

  10. 910

    Yeah, paddy, jailbird jorno inexactitude of this kind bugs me too. :)
    These morons would google etymology when looking for something about insects!

    While were in the animal kingdomn, mon ami, this current flood event type-situation clearly demonstrates that as a herpetologist, Kermit takes his research very seiously.

  11. 911
    paddy says:

    Never mind Ecky, things could be worse.
    Never mind the boat people. Imagine if we were subjected to an invasion fleet of Russian hamsters!!!
    Brown snakes, bull sharks, or even Tony Abbott in front of a microphone…. Would be a walk in the park compared to these vicious brutes!!!! :mrgreen:

  12. 912
    paddy says:

    As usual, Grog’s got some very savvy observations about both Qld and Obi up on his latest post.
    Well worth a read.

  13. 913

    Obama at Ticson U did what he does best.
    When the gaping wounds of this tragedy begin to heal let’s see if he adds any First Executive oomph to his follow through re his “highly polarized” U.S.


    Here are some cartoony hints, Mistah President, Sir.





    Jan 12:


    Jan 12:

    Jan 12:

    Jan 12:


    Jan 12:


    Cazart! Greenwald gets Medieval on Obi’s ass over the First without using hyperbole or profanity.



    I say, old beans, this one’s rather good. Nothing like a cartoonist who jolly-well hits the spot, what!


    And now for me quiet pint of Grog and update on the Commie Hamster front. Is the Thin Red Rodent Line gonna hold orwot, paddy?

  14. 914
    Jen says:

    Just watched Obama’s Tuscon speech…
    Katielou we were not wrong..
    -Obama did, as does everybody, Hope for a future that while continuing to struggle with the old paradigms, and that cannot possibly overturn the embedded wrongs of the past, can still address the world differently by acting with integrity.
    We all recognise it when we see it – Anna Bligh and Kevin Rudd are showing it whilst Julia Gillard is not.
    It’s authenticity, and we need it like water and oxygen.

    I am just so relieved to see Obi fulfill his promise afterall.

  15. 915

    It’s up close and personal now. JA is prepared to go head-to-head with the Dirty Delaware. Two boody Australians battling it out for the Message Control Championship of the world.
    JA has also given a bit of “how’s yer Father” to the Chinese dictatorship.

    Brave man JA, his life is in mortal peril but I suspect JA/WL have got the goods on Mr. “How Come You Guys Don’t Read Newspapers?”. Short of closing down the www, The Message, as McLuhan dubbed it, is now beyond the control of depots who once snuffed threatening truths well prior to their mass proliferation.


  16. 916

    Jen, many of us bought Obama’s words, presence and gravitas in 2008. As an orator he is outstanding. Once bitten, twice shy though. This time I’ll believe Obama if he delivers on his rhetoric.

    btw, hope you don’t the typo fixes. A mere word from you and your tapped originals will remain unsullied. :)

  17. 917
    Jen says:

    fix the typos Ecky – i am always in too much of a hurry to edit myself. :lol:

    I think Obi did just deliver on his rheotoric… can you imagine the reaction from GWB or Palin if they were in power??
    We always agreed the man was not The Messiah- and therefore bound to disappoint. I still think the better questionjis not “did he deliver?”, but rather “what would have happened under the neocons?”
    and therin lies the Hope.

  18. 918
    paddy says:

    Not content with pissing all over the dirty digger.
    Wikileaks is now insulting no less than The Homeland Security Committee chair Peter T. King!!!!
    Has that rotten little Aussie hacker no sense of shame? :mrgreen:

  19. 919
    gaffhook says:

    A few people starting to turn over a few logs to discover the vermin that hides underneath.
    Keep digging guys and get all this garbage out in the open for everyone to see.

    Spy thriller author Thomas Bodström, an attorney who represents the two Swedish women making the notorious sex charges against WikiLeaks leader Julian Assange, knows better than most people that truth is stranger than fiction.

    As Sweden’s Minister of Justice, Bodström helped his nation in 2001 secretly turn over to the Central Intelligence Agency two asylum-seekers suspected by the CIA of terror…………………………
    Is Bodström again cooperating with U.S. authorities in their all-out effort to save the United States, Sweden — and perhaps Bodström himself — from further embarrassment caused by cables that WikiLeaks might release from its still-secret trove?

    Or are Swedish authorities proceeding normally, as they claim, in launching a global Interpol manhunt to capture Assange to question him about precisely how and why he engaged in sex-without-a-condom last summer with two women who invited him separately to stay with him in their beds while he was on a speaking tour?

    Whatever the case, Bodström’s role in helping initiate the sex claims — which are not yet criminal charges — inevitably bring scrutiny upon his motives, background and law partner Claes Borgström, a prominent feminist and, like Bodström, a former official in the Social Democratic Party.


  20. 920
    paddy says:

    OMG!! First those bloody commies want to take away our guns.
    Now they’re trying to steal our freedom to pay a fortune for dope!!
    It the end of days!! :evil: :lol:

  21. 921
    gaffhook says:

    Wonder what he’s smoking Paddy?

  22. 922

    Ok, Jen, for Obama to deliver effective change on gun control he would in my view need to initiate legislation (signing statemented if necessary) baning citizens from carrying automatic weapons anywhere in public. The guns & ammo brigade could still legally own automatic wepons and blast away on their friendly neighbourhood firing range till their shoukders are black with bruises, no sweat.

    Single shot pop-guns that were around when The Second Amendment was written, no probs. As now, anyone could own a piece that fires one bullet per trigger squeeze. Escort the kids to Sunday School with it. Never leave home without one. Afterall, ya wouldn’t be a true-striped Sep if you couldn’t at least pack a modicum of heat. Derringers through .357 magnums can still do a lot of damage, but not the kind witnessed recently in Tucson.
    Automatic weapons were banned in D.C. a few years back. But it was only for as long as it took NRA lobbyists to lean on “their” reps in Congress.

    Banning automatic guns in public is change that is realistic and achievable. But Obama will have to spend a motza of political capital with his funders if he has the guts to align his promises with change we really can believe in.
    What do you reckon, comrade?


    Anyone up to writing an intro for a fresh thread. The longer a thread gets, the more spam seems to clutter the engine room.

    C’mon you bastards, doesn’t have to be long, just tapped from the heart. Blog it as if they are no tomorrows. Something you’d be proud to show your grandchildren one day.

    “Say, kid, have a gander at this, wrote it back in a time when I really gave a fuck about The Passing Parade.”

  23. 923
    paddy says:

    Lousy at longform writing Ecky, but sometimes good with the links.
    This is a gem of a discussion on wikileaks by the frontline club.

    On the Media: WikiLeaks – Holding up a mirror to journalism?
    90 mins video of detailed discussion. Well worth a look.


  24. 924
    Katielou says:

    Just want to clarify with Jen – I didn’t think you were being bitchy about the botox – I guess I was trying to communicate my feeling that there’s some deeper problem with Julia and how she’s behaving at the moment. I think any botox may be a symptom and not a cause. Same with the way she dresses. I would have picked her for having better judgement about how to present herself – physically and verbally – in such a crisis. And then there’s the question about whether any judgement needs to be applied at all – what about reacting like a normal human being? It’s quite disappointing. It makes me wonder generally about her people skills.

    And I agree that Obi’s speech was more than simple rhetoric. It is an example of him delivering of his promise – demonstrating an ability to lead, to honour the victims, and to help steer the discourse. At first I felt uncomfortable with the cheers. But watching the whole speech, I came to realise that it wasn’t politically motivated cheering – it was, I think, a mixture of defiance, of celebration of life and rising above adversity.

    But, like EC, I want to see him keep this up. I hope he will.

  25. 925
    David Gould says:


    The legislation would not pass in the House of Reps.

  26. 926
    Chris B says:

    Berlusconi loses legal immunity.

    Italy’s constitutional court has thrown out a law granting prime minister Silvio Berlusconi absolute immunity from criminal prosecution.

    Individual judges will now be able to decide whether to accept Mr Berlusconi’s claims that he cannot attend court and run the country at the same time.

    More here…

  27. 927
    Jen says:

    Agree on all counts Miss KatieLou!
    I wonder how much fall out this will have for Julia – a lot of people I know (not politics junkies) are talking about how disappointed they are in her and her seeming coldness or lack of response to the crisis.
    I think she is probably is deeply distressed about Q’land – how could she not be?- but her public apprearance shows poor judgement – and it is resonating badly for her.

  28. 928
    Katielou says:

    “Anna Bligh: Bloody Legend” with comments by Jessica Rudd.

  29. 929
    Jen says:

    I reckon Obama would dearly love to ban guns- he has said as much before he was elected but as David G pointed out it would never pass in the House…. sadly. Americans are their own worse enemy.

  30. 930
    Enemy Combatant says:

    David and Jen, the way the Congressional deck is stacked at the moment, of course it would fail. But a President possessed of the vision spendid would demonstate true grit if he, at the very least, initiated massive pow-wows on this most vexing and lethal of issues. Commercial interests here are as vested as those of deep offshore oil and gas “explorers”, but being a President was never meant to be easy.

    One of the cartoonists yesterday featured a close-up of Sarah Wolf Slayer sporting dangling cross-hair sights as ear lobe jewellry. I think Obama could use such “perceptions” to his advantage now that the Lupus Liquidator is tumbling in the polls. Catalysing a monster burrough to precinct national gabfest on gun control would be a wothwhile start.

  31. 931
    David Gould says:

    Enemy Combatant,

    Personally, I think that using his energy on that issue would not be worthwhile when there are way more important and way more difficult issues to tackle. Further, polling shows that support for gun control has declined over the last 20 years and, after the Supreme Court made that ruling on handguns, there is really not much point working at it until the balance of that court shifts.

    Unless Republicans came out and suggested some kind of balance in gun control then I think that this would be a bust, both policy wise and politically. Massacres have moved gun control in the past. But that move has always been temporary and, indeed, has often enabled the NRA to get the issue decided in their favour in the Supreme Court.

  32. 932

    Yes, David, it’s well nigh impossible to negotiate with gun and ammo manufacturers when they have so much at stake in supplying an Armed Madhouse. Cultural barriers are also well fortified but not insumountable should the US undergo a sudden upsurge in Columbine/Tucson m.o. civilian massacres. Certainly there are many other major agendas with which Obama has to deal but surely setting up a national debate on the topic is not going to break his balls.

  33. 933
  34. 934
    Katielou says:

    Paul Krugman has written an outstanding essay on Europe’s financial woes. It’s long but very, very good.

  35. 935
    David Gould says:

    Enemy Combatant,

    The US has gone through upsurges in massacres before. They have never resulted in any significant permanent change in the law. The Constitution has proven to be an insurmountable barrier, with its mandate expanded with every battle that ends up in the Supreme Court. I would also point out that violent crime has significantly decreased in the United States over the last 20 years, making the urgency of changes to gun laws debateable. I would point out that the culture in cosmopolitan cities has changed significantly, with Nate Silver showing that gun ownership has declined.

    Fighting battles that you are destined to lose is not usually good politics (unless you are using the fight to distract people from other stuff, which is what the Right is excellent at.) However, if Obama used this losing fight to distract opponents from the EPA, that might be a good political tactic.

  36. 936
    Chris B says:

    UK opposition Labour Party holds seat in election.

    Britain’s coalition government lost its first ballot box test Friday, as the opposition Labour Party easily regained a House of Commons seat it was forced to put up for grabs following allegations of fraud.

    Labour candidate Debbie Abrahams had 42 percent of the ballots when the results of the special election were announced early Friday. Kashif Ali of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party got 13 percent of the vote. Elwyn Watkins of the Liberal Democrats, Cameron’s coalition partner, came second with 32 percent in Thursday’s voting in the Oldham East and Saddleworth district.

    “What we have seen here is people are not happy with the way this government is going about its business,” Abrahams said.

    The result underscores public disaffection with Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, who has been fiercely criticized for abandoning a campaign pledge to oppose any increase in college tuition fees. He has since backed the government’s plan to triple the maximum fee.

    Poll ratings for the Liberal Democrats have crumbled as the government’s program of spending cuts and tax hikes begins to bite.

    More here…

  37. 937
    Chris B says:

    935 David Gould Violent crime has not decreased over the last 20 years. In fact over the last 10 years it has had a big increase.
    Bureau of Justice Figures and graph supplied.

  38. 938
    Enemy Combatant says:


    Chris B’s linked caveat aside, what you say makes a lot of sense when considering the status quo re Joe and Jane Civvy toting machine guns on Sep Street.
    Indeed, SCOTUS is unmovable on reform under present law.
    However, the infinitite wisdom of bona fide nutjobs roaming free while legitimately armed up the wazoo with Uzis and Glocks is surely worth an honourable mention from President Obama. Unless of course it’s too late for “civil discourse” on the matter.
    Jan 13:

    Doorstop-Of-The-Month-Club taps star recruit:

    Jan 13:

  39. 939
    gaffhook says:

    Geez i hate being a cynical bastard.

    What better way of stopping the hens from disappearing from the fowl house than to put the fox on sentry duty. That will fix it for sure. In this case the fox being that delightful vixen Rebekkah Brooks, the foxy lady editor who refused to front a parliamentry inquiry into phone hacking at NoW.
    As a good Pom would say, Charming, fookin charming.

    News International has launched a “comprehensive” internal investigation into Ian Edmondson, the News of the World’s suspended assistant editor (news), who is under fire amid allegations that he commissioned the hacking of celebrities’ mobile phone voicemails.

    The Rupert Murdoch-owned publisher of the NoW, which suspended Edmondson before Christmas, has impounded his computer and begun trawling his emails for any evidence of his involvement in voicemail hacking.


  40. 940
    Chris B says:

    Silvio Berlusconi in probe over teenage dancer Ruby.

    Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is being investigated over his dealings with a 17-year-old nightclub dancer.

    Mr Berlusconi is suspected of abusing his power by trying to have the Moroccan girl – known as Ruby – released from a police cell.

    Some reports say the probe includes allegations of underage prostitution.

    Lawyers for the 74-year-old prime minister dismissed the claims as “absurd and groundless”.

    They said the claims had already been refuted by all witnesses and people directly involved.

    More here…

  41. 941
    gaffhook says:

    An update on the latest developments on wikileaks;


    A folksy renegade number for Bradley Manning;


  42. 942
    gaffhook says:

    Meanwhile the boss huntsman has sounded the horn to charge and the hounds are on the hunt and could outsmart the sly fox in the hunt for truth in the dirty little delaware diggers hen house;
    Hope his myrmidons cost him millions more.

    The Crown Prosection Service today announced it will mount a “comprehensive” assessment of all the phone-hacking material held by the Metropolitan police.
    Today’s decision to review the evidence in Scotland Yard’s possession could result in further prosecutions. It was announced late this afternoon by the director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer.
    The CPS said it had been prompted by “developments in the civil courts”, where several alleged victims of phone hacking are pursuing legal action against the owner of the News of the World for breach of privacy.


  43. 943
    Chris B says:

    Stewart Mocks Fox News For Criticizing Arizona Shooting Memorial (VIDEO).

    Jon Stewart continued his coverage of the Arizona shooting aftermath Thursday night, this time going after Fox News for actually criticizing the memorial held this week. While pundits initially praised the memorial service for those who were killed in Tucson, Stewart showed how soon they turned to nitpicking it as if it were a televised form of entertainment.

    President Obama delivered support, inspiration and comfort to the people affected by Sunday’s tragic events, not receiving much criticism about the event. But later, perhaps in a fit of boredom, Fox News pundits began discussing how the seating arrangement could have been better.

    “Yeah, that would have made it much better,” Stewart said. “That would have made it a better show, but you know it’s a memorial service — not the Emmys.”

    More here..

  44. 944
    Chris B says:

    The PM urgently needs to stop sounding robotic and rehearsed, as her performance during this week’s floods shows.

    MY MOTHER was born and raised in the Hunter Valley in New South Wales and knew a bit about floods. The best known flood in the Hunter was in 1955 in Maitland, later portrayed to dramatic effect in Phillip Noyce’s film Newsfront. But there had been big floods there earlier. One of them swept through her house when she was a young woman and washed away most of her personal effects – photos, old schoolbooks, letters, jewellery.

    Many years later, having married and moved to Victoria, she was still sad about that loss, and it didn’t take much for her to recall the fear she had felt as the waters rose and she was rescued by soldiers in a dinghy. In the kitchen of our Melbourne home, where she spent most of the day, she listened to an old, brown Bakelite valve radio about the size of a small shoebox.

    More here…

  45. 945
    gaffhook says:

    Yep sir, open the windows and let the sun shine in.

    A new inquiry has been ordered into the case of former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mamdouh Habib.

    Prime Minister Julia Gillard requested the new probe amid dramatic claims of Australian government complicity in his 2001 CIA rendition to Egypt, where he was detained and tortured.

    The Prime Minister’s office yesterday confirmed that Ms Gillard had asked the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security to conduct an inquiry into the role of Australian agencies in Mr Habib’s arrest and detention, The Australian reported.

    Advertisement: Story continues below The investigation follows a secret compensation payout made by the federal government to Mr Habib in December, apparently triggered by untested witness statements implicating Australian officials in his detention and brutal maltreatment in a Cairo military prison.

    The new evidence, not previously made public, includes a statement from a former Egyptian military intelligence officer that he was present when Mr Habib was transferred to Cairo in November 2001.


  46. 946
    gaffhook says:

    I can’t be bothered making a list of the LNP bastards that are still in parliament, and were then, then but Ruddock, Andrews, Abbort and hockey and a few others spring to mind.
    Where the fuck were you Dolly, were you sticking up for wrongly done by Australians or were you sticking it up them?

    Open another one in to AWB i say.

  47. 947
    Enemy Combatant says:

    In Tunisia Les Peuples are rioting in the streets. The despotic ruler has done a runner lest he prematurely join the choir invisibule of muezzins past. There has been speculation that the spark for the mass demos was a cable released by WikiLeaks to the web in which senior Sep “diplomats” get up the greedyTunisian President for squirriling away enough aid-money to make King Farouk blush.

    Tunisia shares its western border with Algeria. In the fifties and very early sixties the systematically oppressed Algerians saw off the French after over a hundred years of occupation that was fortified with regular sessions of Martial Law, torture, public guillotining and firing squad events. :)

    “The Battle for Algiers” is de rigeur viewing for people like us who have lived through a period of History featuring high-rotation regime changes worldwide and like to have a natter about them.

    A brilliant film that gives the French as well as the Algerian sides of events.


  48. 948
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Ah, Gaffy, how sweet it is to see a rat’s nest of dirty little secrets set to soil the already squalid tory legacy .

    Btw, old son, have you read any of Joseph Conrad’s yarns about the exploits and characters of mariners? Coming back to read him again after nearly half a century has been such a sweet literary treat. Not only could the man write exceptionally well considering English was his third or fourth language (after Polish, German, French) but his great understanding of what makes us tick is at times breath-taking.

  49. 949
    gaffhook says:

    Btw, old son, have you read any of Joseph Conrad’s yarns about the exploits and characters of mariners?

    No mate but i hope he is not writing about any of my past exploits, especially overseas. I wasn’t even game to tell mum. :mrgreen:

    Nothing would cheer me up more than some real evidence that those bastards were in Egypt with Mamdouh while all the time hotly denying it. From his version of events he is lucky to be alive.

    Then they will be shown for what they really were.
    Trouble is something always seems to tell me that they all stick together just like Barry doing nothing about Shrub and cheney.
    It is almost like they have an unwritten agreement that whatever is in the skeletal closet stays in the skeletal closet.

  50. 950
    paddy says:

    Gaffy, given that Julia’s got not much to lose by slagging off the arselickers of the Howard years…She just might surprise us. :-)
    (Not holding my breath though.)

    Meamwhile…..Apropos of nothing at all…. Two lovely tweets from today’s store.
    This one Via Possum.
    RT @wadelaube: I am not sure there are too many countries where you’d return to your flooded home to find 25 strangers cleaning it for you.
    And …
    lobroo Louise Brooks RT by Macyourselfhome
    If you know chn who have lost books in flood email names,ages and interest to Riverbend-they would like to donate. http://www.riverbendbooks.com.au

    Maybe there’s hope for us all yet. :-)

  51. 951
  52. 952
    Enemy Combatant says:

    I say, Claude, old chum, those bloody Berbers of yours are getting frightfully skittish again………

    Tunisia: People Power Succeeds Without Western Backing

    “- These are scenes Western powers would have loved to see in Iran – thousands of young people braving live bullets and forcing an autocratic ruler out of the country. But it is in the North African nation Tunisia where an uprising forced the Western-backed autocratic President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali to flee the country.

    Western powers remain incredulous. France, the real power broker in the Franco North African nation, was giving Ben Ali tacit support until an hour before he fled Friday.

    The French Foreign Ministry said it “backs” the measures announced by Ben Ali by way of overtures to the protestors, but asked for more freedoms. In effect France ignored the movement’s demand for Ben Ali to go, and addressed Ben Ali as the legitimate leader.”


  53. 953
    gaffhook says:

    It is getting like jimmy sharmans tent. Line up folks line up.
    roo has got plenty to give away especially if you will STFU.

    Paul Gascoigne, the former England footballer, is to become the latest celebrity to sue the News of the World, alleging that he was a victim of the phone-hacking scandal that has rocked Rupert Murdoch’s media empire.

    His solicitor, Gerald Shamash, confirmed today that proceedings would be issued within days.

    Shamash claimed that Gascoigne was in a vulnerable mental state and that his recovery had been hindered because of the stress of believing that his phone had been hacked. “It has made things even more difficult for his general wellbeing,” he said.

    Gascoigne has been fighting drink and drug problems for years and been in and out of rehabilitation clinics.

    The Observer has now established that the comedian Steve Coogan has also issued proceedings and that Chris Tarrant, the television presenter, and the jockey Kieren Fallon are expected to launch legal actions soon.


  54. 954
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Gaffy, at 948 you write:

    “Trouble is something always seems to tell me that they all stick together just like Barry doing nothing about Shrub and cheney.
    It is almost like they have an unwritten agreement that whatever is in the skeletal closet stays in the skeletal closet.”

    If this is the case comrade (and I certainly take your wider point re Baz and The Imbecile) why did Ranga Everidge bother announcing this fresh probe in the first place? Just to wrongfoot the tories (a welcome back to parliament, kiddies) without any meaningful follow-through perhaps? Is it a charade or is she actually trying to hurt them?

    Otoh, Jimmy Sharman’s Troupe will be playing the joint on Bennelong Point should an ASIO deep throat spill his encrypted guts to WikiLeaks on the caging and torture of Mr. Habib.

    ~ Boom-boom………..boom-boom——–boom-boom…..boom-boom !

    Step right up ladies and gentlemen, and bear witness to this most unique of Australian spectacles.
    Thrill to the combination of blood sort….. gutter politics…….. high culture…… clandestine intrigue and sweet science!

  55. 955
    gaffhook says:

    I guess i was trying to say in a few words that Politicians usually look after their own and know what result they want from an enquiry and therefore the question is manufactured to suit the answer.

    I would dearly love for a full and proper enquiry in to the stage managed and complicit assistance given to the illegal rendition and torture of Mamdouh and whoever is responsible should do time, and lots of it, for kidnapping or whatever the charges may be.

    Just seems all a bit strange that she wants to quickly incarcerate JA for telling us the truth about things like Tunisia etc but her and the ALP have been very lax, in finding out the truth about all the persons wrongly tortured or locked up for no reason, until now that someone or other has come forward with some embarrasing real evidence.

    I wait with bated breath.

  56. 956
    gaffhook says:

    Not only the windows opened to let the sun shine in, now the roof is about to be lifted as well. How sweet it is.
    Poor JA is about to cop another cascade of abuse.
    No doubt some smartarses will be running for cover.

    Today, Rudolf Elmer, a former COO of one of the biggest Swiss banks, Julius Baer, may have just nailed the last, and with that set off a chain reaction that will force a huge outcry against pervasive global tax fraud (but likely achieve nothing ultimatel). According to the Guardian, tomorrow Elmer will hand over details of 2,000 “high net worth individuals and corporations” to WikiLeaks which will make him “the most important and boldest whistleblower in Swiss banking history.” And since among those exposed will be “approximately 40 politicians” expect all hell to break loose as photos of Assange having a underage orgy with Al Qaeda members are suddenly made public to diffuse what is bound to be another huge (if brief – after all human kind cannot bear very much reality)…………………….
    Yet just like with cablegate, the end result of all this imminent disclosure will be merely the confirmation of what everyone has already long suspected: that nobody rich pays taxes, and all US, and world, politicians are massively corrupt. And therefore, no criminal charges will be filed against anyone. Expect of course Assange, who will soon be branded a threat to US national security.

    Unfortunately, US society, having lost all forms of checks and balances. has gotten to a point where no incremental information will do anything to even dent the ponzi lie. After all, the simplest observations is that Madoff is in jail for life, while sacrifices are made on Ben Bernanke’s altar each and every day. And they say gold is a religion…


  57. 957
    gaffhook says:

    It is fast becoming a game of pass the parcel or the hot potato as the heirachy have now hired a PR man to clean up the stench at NoW.

    The people who matter most at Wapping – Rebekah Brooks, James Murdoch and, down the phone line, his dad – are hacked off about the News of the World phone-hacking scandal. It’s costly, with a dozen or so more privacy cases in the legal works. It won’t go away because a steady drip of disclosure documents keeps coming down the legal slipway. It’s headline news while Andy Coulson, ex-NoW editor, remains David Cameron’s Greenberg equivalent. And, worse, it’s fouling up efforts to take back all of Sky (as Ofcom passes this very hot parcel)…………………………..
    Time for a fresh mind and truly fresh start.

    What could that be? It’s easy to prescribe. Spend very big bucks to make all pending cases go away at a stroke of the pen, and draw a line under the whole wretched experience. Stop seeming to hush up this or that seamy allegation and welcome the Director of Public Prosecution’s new burst of interest. Play to supposed News of the World strengths and launch a transparent investigation. Don’t defend anyone – even Coulson – if the facts aren’t clear. Try to get on the front foot at last by detailing how too much of Fleet Street was mired in dodgy private eye contracts up to 2005 when all of this stuff took place.


  58. 958
    David Gould says:

    Chris B,

    That graph you linked to does not show what you think it shows. It gives violent crime as a percentage of total crime. It makes no comment on whether violent crime has increased.

    The actual numbers are here:


    Violent crime peaked in the early 1990s and has quite dramatically declined in the United States since then.

    Homicide in particular has dropped off a cliff:


  59. 959
    David Gould says:

    The reason that we perceive that the US is more violent today than it actually is is covered pretty well in Bowling for Columbine. There is also the fact that we are a species that evolved in small tribal groups. If we became aware that a murderer was around, it was a direct and present danger to us, as the murderer must be one of the 20 to 30 people who we knew existed.

    Today, when the media report on so many murders all round the world, our evolved response is to feel tense and afraid. Even if we do not become consciously aware of that fear, it is there. So we are in a state of fear that is not justified by the facts – a murderer in Arizona is no threat to the vast majority of people in the world.

  60. 960
    Chris B says:

    958 David Gould Thanks David.

  61. 961
    Chris B says:

    David I got that from the Rupert Murdoch School of Journalism.

  62. 962
    Chris B says:

    959 David Gould When Madelaine disappeared in Spain. Parents all over the world went into a panic. Even Australia. That incident was 17000 kms away. The perpetrator wasn’t in Australia. A reaction totally out of proportion to the distance of the crime.

  63. 963
    Chris B says:

    957 Gaffy more on that.
    Jack Blum’s Client Goes to Wikileaks.

    A man about to go on trial in Switzerland for breaking that country’s secrecy laws has promised to give details of 2,000 individuals and corporations who are hiding their money in offshore accounts to Wikileaks tomorrow.

    The offshore bank account details of 2,000 “high net worth individuals” and corporations – detailing massive potential tax evasion – will be handed over to the WikiLeaks organisation in London tomorrow by the most important and boldest whistleblower in Swiss banking history, Rudolf Elmer, two days before he goes on trial in his native Switzerland.

    British and American individuals and companies are among the offshore clients whose details will be contained on CDs presented to WikiLeaks at the Frontline Club in London. Those involved include, Elmer tells the Observer, “approximately 40 politicians”.

    Elmer, who after his press conference will return to Switzerland from exile in Mauritius to face trial, is a former chief operating officer in the Cayman Islands and employee of the powerful Julius Baer bank, which accuses him of stealing the information.

    That’s interesting enough. But I’m equally interested because of who Elmer’s lawyer is: Jack Blum. Blum explains why Elmer has resorted to leaking this to Wikileaks.

    Maybe Wikileaks will do what governments can’t.

  64. 964
    Chris B says:

    963 I hope he makes it alive. I’m a bit worried about him announcing it in advance. May this be the first in an avalanche of banking leaks.

  65. 965
    Chris B says:

    I reckon most of them would be billionaires.

  66. 966
    Chris B says:

    Silvio Berlusconi at the top of the list?

  67. 967
    Chris B says:

    Oil companies? Mining giants? Weapons Manufacturer’s? Catholic Church?

  68. 968
    Chris B says:

    Rupert Murdoch?

  69. 969
    Chris B says:

    If all the above were on the list that would wipe out world poverty and there would be enough left over to fix all the worlds problems.

  70. 970
    Chris B says:

    Enough dreaming. Now back to the real world.

  71. 971
    Chris B says:

    40 politicians on the list. They’ll all say they’ll vow to clear their name. While their friends distance themselves from them. :)

  72. 972
    Enemy Combatant says:

    G’day, Chris. Marcy Wheeler of firedoglake rarely disappoints. That’s a great story at 563. The Honey Bunny appeal for calm and reason:

    “Spring me on a “technicality” or I’ll expose every last mother-fucking one of ya!!”


    Having eliminated Arizona from their list of potential wranglin’ routes, Rosie and Rocky express their deeply held conviction for a life less complicated.



    David, your figures are correct (naturellement) as is the first part of your following assessment.

    “Today, when the media report on so many murders all round the world, our evolved response is to feel tense and afraid. Even if we do not become consciously aware of that fear, it is there. So we are in a state of fear that is not justified by the facts – a murderer in Arizona is no threat to the vast majority of people in the world.”

    Surely, David, a little POTUS-inspired discussion by the collective Sep about the present inaliable rights of psychos (and those who are differently-abled psychologically) to tote lethal automatics on Elm St and in Hyper-Malls is worth tabling?

    As that numbers guy Zacky Newton himself once noted between a bout of spontaneous enlightenment and an idle Eureka moment:

    Inertia exerts its greatest force the instant before motion is achieved

    One helluva guy that Zacky.


    Worthy of note:

    The Royal College of Astronomers have eschewed You-Tube and have launched their own platform:


  73. 973
    Chris B says:

    Democrats erase the 2010 Republican electoral advantage.

    A 7% national popular vote victory is a landslide in contemporary American politics. Democrats showed this in 2006 when they took back the House of Representatives with a 6.49% victory. President Barack Obama again made this point in 2008, when he defeated Senator John McCain by 7.27%. Just eleven weeks ago Republicans provided a third example when they won the national popular vote for Congress by 6.83%. A 7% victory isn’t just a win–it’s a thumping, a shellacking, or some such catch-phrase.

    That’s why it’s worth noting that, in the mere 75 days since the 2010 elections, Democrats have gained 7% on Republicans nationally. In so doing, they have already erased the Republican advantage ahead of the 2012 elections.

    More good news here…

  74. 974
    David Gould says:

    Enemy Combatant,

    I agree that it would be good for the US to discuss this issue. And better opportunities for the mentally ill to get the treatment that they need. Maybe the debate about repealing health care might give Obama and the Democrats the forum in which to do that.

  75. 975
    Katielou says:

    OMG – Ricky Gervais’ opening monologue at The Golden Globes is frikkin awesome! Don’t think he’ll be asked back though.

  76. 976

    Aye, David, though blighted with pessimism, we can only hope all over again. :)

  77. 977
    Katielou says:

    Thought this might be of interest…

    The ABC is to air This American Life, one of the world’s most popular podcasts.

    It will be the first time the show has been broadcast in Australia.

    This American Life will air on ABC Radio National on Sundays at 7pm .

    Each episode of the show is themed around a particular topic and told through ordinary people’s voices. The GFC episode Giant Pool Of Money won several awards.

    The show consistently heads iTunes podcast charts with more than 400,000 downloads per week. It has a US audience of more than 100m across more than 500 public radio outlets.

    It was less charitably described in The OC as “that show by those hipster know-it-alls who talk about how fascinating ordinary people are”.

    The ABC will be the first broadcaster outside of North America to air the program.


  78. 978

    KL, Ricky’s blurb was fearless and brilliant. He treated the audience as an upmarket comedy-club crowd, chose his marks carefully and delivered with brutal panache. Here was a Englishman who was not going to kiss “American Royalty’s” butt in public.
    Reminds me of the wonderful scene in West Wing where as he enters Bartlett’s inner sanctum, the English ambassador tosses his coat to Leo claiming moments later that he thought he was the butler.

    Shades of Colbert at the 2006 W.H. annual Press shebang.
    Depp was hip to the dynamic. Buscemi and De Nero got off lightly. Nobody fucks with connected guys. :)

  79. 979
    Katielou says:

    Utterly fearless. As he said – he did warn them.

  80. 980
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Looks good, KL, found the link via NPR for those who seek instant sociological gratification. :)



    “First, I shot my bolt

    But then I didn’t have a bolt to reload anymore

    So I shot myself in both feet

    But then I didn’t have feet to stump me anymore

    So I chain-sawed both of my thighs off above the knees

    But it sure worked a treat cos the MSM began to notice me again !”

    Morons of America approve the following sites:

    ~ As a courtesy from the manufacturer, we advise medicants that Magic Bullets ™ have variable side-effects. Please report any noticable changes in your appearance and behavior to your Mental Health Practitioner while taking this prescription.


    Thank goodness casualties are on the wain.

    Jan 16:


    FrontierLand, tall tales and true from our legendary past….

    Episode 7: Don’t Fence Me In


  81. 981
    gaffhook says:

    I sometimes wish i knew a bit more technical information about my Puter, then again most times i am happy to be naive.

    The Stuxnet worm heralds a new way of thinking about war.
    The New York Times is reporting that Stuxnet computer worm has destroyed 20% of the nuclear centrifuges in Iran, setting back their Nuclear bomb program by three years. (Other sources estimate 10 percent damaged.)
    The article reports that, cooperating with the USA, Israel tested and developed the virus at the secret Dimona facility in the Negev, where Israeli’s undiscussed nuclear weapons are developed and stored.


  82. 982
    gaffhook says:

    Tunisians have apparently used the internet to their advantage during the lead up and pissing off of Ali. Powerful stuff at our fingertips. Facebook and W/leaks perhaps.
    My Grandma always told be the pen was more powerful than the sword.
    Look out Roo!

    In light of the rising number of civilian deaths, the Tunisian activists’ sites took on a new tone and focus, moving from Internet freedom to freedom from what they perceived to be government oppression and police violence. Tunisian flags dripping with blood replaced profile pictures and the word “revolution” has begun appearing on blogs and Facebook pages along with calls for the immediate removal of Ben Ali. Ordinary Tunisian Facebook members flocked to such sites, including the Facebook page, Revolution Tunisienne, swelling its following to well over 8000 as of this writing.
    Tunisians used their computers to post almost minute by minute accounts of events as they unfolded: blurry images of street battles were uploaded from mobile phones and photos of the deceased to refute government claims that there were no civilian casualties. They also turned to Facebook, one of the few sites still operating in Tunisia, to access mainstream news from the outside world, which was blocked by censors.


  83. 983
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Harry H and Hussey, havn’t heard for a bit; hope youse Vic mob (and the neddies) are handling the flood orright.

  84. 984
    gaffhook says:

    Good read , article on JA by John Pilger.

    Javier Moreno, the editor of El Pais, which published the WikiLeaks logs in Spain, wrote, “I believe that the global interest sparked by the WikiLeaks papers is mainly due to the simple fact that they conclusively reveal the extent to which politicians in the West have been lying to their citizens.”

    Crushing individuals like Julian Assange and Bradley Manning is not difficult for a great power, however craven. The point is, we should not allow it to happen, which means those of us meant to keep the record straight should not collaborate in any way. Transparency and information, to paraphrase Thomas Jefferson, are the “currency” of democratic freedom. “Every news organization,” a leading American constitutional lawyer told me, “should recognize that Julian Assange is one of them, and that his prosecution will have a huge and chilling effect on journalism.”
    My favorite secret document — leaked by WikiLeaks, of course – is from the Ministry of Defense in London. It describes journalists who serve the public without fear or favor as “subversive” and “threats.” Such a badge of honor.


  85. 985
    HarryH says:

    High ‘n’ Dry here ta Ecky.

    I bet that old “subversive” bastard Pilger must be feelin’ a little tingle up his spine at the antics of his younger image J.A. I’m not a big book reader but Pilger’s works always found a way to my bookshelf and vidshelf. Admire him greatly.

    As for the Ricky Gervais mono, i’ve never seen him before but that was a humorous introduction lol


    Loved the gasps as he stated the bleedin obvious, but unspeakable, about the Scientologists little “secret”. What a farce. While he was at it, he should have included Ms Kidman, who traded wearing a 10 year beard for guaranteed fame, riches and roles….Can i say that about Nic???..nobody else in Oz Media ever has…..Damn you Gervais, look what you’ve done…..Get back in there worms!!!

  86. 986
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Angelique Chrisafis reports from on the ground in Tunis.

    Confusion reigned. For the first time in the Arab world, a people had forced out a leader by spontaneously and peacefully taking to the street. But although Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali has fled, the diehards of his brutal police force have not. During the day random yellow taxi-loads of militia loyal to the ousted leader had careered through the capital and some suburbs, firing randomly into the air. Armed gangs broke into homes and ransacked them, or fired shots in the street.

    If the Army doesn’t deal with the remnants of the exiled Ali’s henchman soon, the locals will be lacing the arterial approaches to their homes with IEDs.

    If the French send troops there will be riots in Paris and a National Strike.

    Sounds like a job for Blackwater perhaps….or maybe that black ops, gun-running scumbag Ollie North could rustle up a mess of Tunisistas if the Seps are dumb enough to become involved?

    Unless…………. an interim govt. is formed quickly and ratified by popular street acclaim followed soonafter by U.N. sponsored elections.

    Has the camel jumped the corrall? Will the Jasmine Revolution take root?

    Who the hell knows but one thing is certain.

    In Tunisia, l’ancien regime ain’t no more.



    Harry, think “Heroes” was my first Pilger. Read everything since. Put his life on the line to get the story of the Timor L’Este genocide by Suharto’s goons and militias to the outside world. The fickle Right criticise him for flying first class to some destos where he’s lauching a new book/lecture touring. Well mate, after the years he spent roughing it on Freedom’s Trail, he’s bloody well earned it. The publisher pays anyway.

    Oh, and they coined the word “pilger” too which is a compliment when you think about it, because he really gets up the fickle Rights’ schnozes.

    Not long after Nelson Mandela had become President and his global esteem was in the stratosphere Pilger spoke with Mandela in a one-on-one BBC formal interview (armchairs, framed pictures, vased flowers). After all the cutesy chat was done and as Mandela was beaming benign gravitas, Pilger idly asked: (wtte)

    “ President Mandela you’ve made huge progress in overtuning racial aparteid but the economic aparteid still remains…… doesn’t it?”

    Now that’s what I call speaking truth to power

  87. 987
    gaffhook says:

    Roo has now decided to let the hacking cases run to see who else was responsible, because he has no idea i suppose. After all he only owns the dirtbag empire.
    And rightly so he does not want to be treated like a piggy bank by all those rich celeb bastards whose phones were hacked by some unknown phone hacker.

    I agree he should not be treated like a piggy bank, he should be treated like a fucking pig and a leper.

    Previously News Corp had sought to settle cases, paying Gordon Taylor, head of the Professional Footballers’ Association, and publicist Max Clifford, about £1m each.

    Now it is letting the cases run, partly to see what evidence there is of hacking by NoW reporters, and also because it does not want to be treated as a “piggy bank” by high-profile claimants.

    The company had said that hacking was the work of a single rogue reporter – former royal editor Clive Goodman – who was jailed over the royal voicemail hack along with Mulcaire back in 2007. But News Corp now wants to see what evidence there is of hacking from elsewhere………………………………..Charlotte Harris, the lawyer representing sports agent Sky Andrew, said: “It is shocking that it has been left to claimants to push matters through the civil courts in the face of relentless denials from the News of the World that the phone hacking was the work of a rogue reporter. The numerous new claims to be issued shortly suggest a very different story.”


  88. 988
  89. 989
    gaffhook says:

    The new HALE is the latest in the seppo drones to help in shall i say, their warmongering.


  90. 990
  91. 991
    Chris B says:

    Data on alleged tax-evading Swiss bank clients handed to Assange

    Swiss whistleblower Rudolf Elmer has provided WikiLeaks with two CDs, allegedly containing information on more than 2000 bank clients suspected of tax evasion.

    Handed over in London overnight to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, the documents are claimed to contain secret bank accounts and other confidential details of clients, including politicians, artists and, reportedly, also organised crime figures.

    Mr Assange, on bail before an extradition hearing in London next month, said that Mr Elmer had been fighting for five years to make the information public.

    More here including video.

  92. 992
    gaffhook says:

    There is nothing sweeter to the audio organs than a happy magpie warbling voluntarily in the still air. :mrgreen:

    News Corporation’s defence that phone hacking at the News of the World was the work of a single “rogue reporter” was on the verge of collapse tonight after Glenn Mulcaire, the private detective at the centre of the case, said the paper’s head of news commissioned him to access voicemail messages.


  93. 993
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Rogue magpie acting alone sings like a canary.


  94. 994
    Chris B says:

    :lol: :lol: The Battle Hymn of Sarah Palin.:lol: :lol:

    She’s a cold blast from Alaska
    Ingrained with common sense
    She’s not a Harvard lawyer
    But she knew what the Founders meant
    A cold blast from the north
    That freezes Congress in their tracks
    With God and the Tea Party
    She’s gonna take it back

    Snigger. Snigger.

    See the video here…


  95. 995
    Chris B says:

    Maybe she is still going to run. She’s gonna need all the help she can get. If Palin runs against Obama. It’ll be the biggest landslide ever. Just what the Democrats need.

  96. 996
    Chris B says:

    Obama improves standing vs ’12 rivals.

    A new national poll shows an improvement in how Americans see the direction of the country, and puts President Obama in better standing against potential 2012 rivals.

    The McClatchy Newspapers-Marist poll said still just 41 percent of respondents think the country is headed in the right direction, with 47 saying it remains going in the wrong direction. But that compares to a Marist poll in December where 34 percent of Americans said right direction, and 58 said wrong direction

    The poll showed President Obama now holding a 51-38 percent lead over Mitt Romney in a hypothetical 2012 match-up. In their December survey, Romney was leading Obama 46-44 percent.

    Along way to go yet.

    More here…

  97. 997
  98. 998
    Enemy Combatant says:

    Memo to America’s Tweetheart: Run Sarah, run, or da nawdy Tan Man donna getcha!

    “My Daddy was a surveyor. Next he got into complexion enhancement. Ever since my first application, I knew “Brahmin Beige” was my best tone because it helped me glow and glimmer like a good GOPper should. As things turned out, I liked the company so much I bought it from Daddy on his death bed before I had the chance to inherit it as an only child”



  99. 999
    gaffhook says:

    There’s shock and awe and there’s shock and fake horror.

    Does News International take the British public for fools over the News of the World phone-hacking scandal?

    Or are its executives engaged in a pathetic attempt at fooling their own proprietor, Rupert Murdoch?

    Last night, as James Robinson reported, the company’s defence that hacking was confined to a single rogue reporter was in tatters.

    The private investigator employed by the paper, Glenn Mulcaire, admitted that the NoW’s head of news, Ian Edmondson, had commissioned him to access voicemail messages.

    So how did the paper react? An NoW spokesman was quoted as saying:

    “This is a serious allegation that will form part of our internal investigation.”

    This response defines the adjective disingenuous. It has no credibility whatsoever. It suggests that News Int is utterly shocked by the revelation


  100. 1000
    gaffhook says:

    Off to Lucinda for a couple of days.