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Hot on the heels of the inability of some of Hollywood’s thin-skinned Wankerati to laugh at themselves (nice one, Ricky), the profundity of American Seriousness will  manifest itself at the annual set-piece SOTU on The Hill this Tuesday. One of the most endearing aspects of the SOTU ritual is its peppering with spontaneous bouts of quick-response standing ovations after Mister President has delivered grateful Americans his best bon mots straight from the heart of his autocue. Applause of the Pop Ups— surely no POTUS could wish for more. Terribly exciting in a pantomimish sort of way, such displays of unrestrained adulation are what modern politicians do when pogo-ing is inappropriate. The gesture of unbridled joy was nailed to perfection by Joey “The Weasel” Lieberman during The Imbecile’s 2006 SOTU performance. Joey, one helluva guy, was a Democratic Senator at the time.   Such twitter-op moments are nowadays pinged around the globe faster than David Helfgott can riff Rachmaninoff .

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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.

That is the existential question of our elected parliament. One of the most fascinating aspects of contemporary Oz Politics is the relationship between the NBN-phobic Rupert Murdoch and Neville Wran’s former Silk du Jour—now shadow Comms Minister—Petit Mal de Wentworth, the loyal Liberal tasked by his Dear Leader to not merely remove from the national agenda, but to DESTROY our NBN.

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Oz media made a desperate grasp for vested “meaningfulness” by deciding to manufacture a “contest” of the 2010 Australian Federal Election.
Whoopee doo.
Enter stage left ex-PMs: Big Mal, Silver Bodgie, Ruddbot The Loyal, but not Keato.
Enter stage Right: Mad Mark, El (Murali’s a chucker!) Rodentino and Bobby Santamaria’s Ghost.

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Mars waning Venus rising

From the ABC:

Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, backed by factional Labor Party warlords, has made a tilt at Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s leadership. Mr Rudd has told a press conference that earlier this evening Ms Gillard visited him to request a leadership ballot. Mr Rudd says the Labor caucus will vote on the party and Federal Government leadership tomorrow at 9:00am AEST.

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The UK Election

I had decided I was going to ignore the UK election. Like many others, I have been angry at the Labour Party for getting involved with Bush and the Iraq War and have found their policies to be far more conservative than I had liked. I had expected a lot more from British Labour, particularly on the European front. But what are they offering? No entry to the Euro. No entry to Schengen (borderless Europe). I see Europe as a major part of the many ways to world peace. Britain under Labour wasn’t leading.

But what was the alternative? A return to Thatcherism under the Conservative Tory Party. In other words, a lose/lose situation.

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An open thread in which to dicuss the ramifications of legislation currently being voted upon in The House. Will American citizens benefit as much as the Health Corps? Will the trillion-plus fistful of dollars be enough to make a dint in the diseases of the underclasses? And what will need happen for lawmakers to release a few dollars more to help their constituents in West Baltimore, “South Central” L.A. and those who like to go Deer Hunting with Jesus (the one reputed to have been a legendary healer himself, in his day)?

Cracks in the Ice

Reported in the AP, written up in the Weekend Australian, a couple of op-eds, and the NYT, but not a lot of attention …

SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea called on Friday for an end to “the hostile relationship” with the United States, issuing a New Year’s message that highlighted the reclusive country’s attempt to readjust the focus of six-party nuclear disarmament talks.

In the meantime, an interesting snippet from of the The Mainichi Daily News earlier today …

This year, the Obama administration will continue to take various actions on the nuclear issue. The U.S. and Russia are heading toward an agreement on strategic arms reduction. Meanwhile, the U.S. is working on renewing the country’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) for the first time in eight years, and is expected to incorporate anti-nuclear terrorism measures. The nuclear security summit this April will aim for an international agreement on enhanced protection of nuclear materials, and in May, a review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) — held every five years — will take place in New York.

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Take a Deep Breath

On this subject of carbon trading and suggestions that the government is not doing enough. Well, I’m not convinced. Thing is there is a bunch of legislation already passed that deals with the obligations of organisations to publish data about the energy levels they are consuming, the energy they are producing, and the emissions they are generating as a by-product. That legislation has a significant impact on these bigger companies out there (and ok, it’s a smaller number of companies but it is the industries that matter when we do the numbers). So right now those big industries (including those constitutional companies that we don’t talk about much) are doing the stuff necessary to meet the legislative reporting requirements (and this is both a cost for those organisations and a economic stimulus for those other organisations providing the info-technology to support this).

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The Healthcare Debate

Today is the day that will make or break the Democrats. The health care bill has finally arrived on the floor of the congress. After months of in fighting and scare mongering, we finally get to find out what the Democrats are made of. Failure will surely mean the Democrats will be wiped out in 2010. Success will mean the polls will sky rocket for the Democrats and plunge for the Republicans. The urgency and pressure will be immense. Already the Republicans have used bullying tactics against female Democrat speakers wanting to talk about how the health care bill will help women. There are tea baggers in the gallery ready to intimidate Democrat members of congress. The battle lines have been drawn. Let the battle begin.

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